HEALTH: Ten tips for a safe and healthy 2011

By Contributor
January 2nd, 2011

A new year is upon us and Interior Health wants to remind you there are many things that can be done to help make 2011 a healthy and safe year for you and your family.  ·           Take steps to prevent falls. In the BC Interior falls are the leading cause of injury, hospitalization and death, as well as traumatic brain injury. Exercise and losing weight will improve your balance and strength to help you avoid or cope with falls. Stairs are the most frequent site of severe falls. Careful attention to stairway design, visibility and handrails can dramatically reduce your risk. For more information:http://web.me.com/bldguse/Site/Checklist_for_Stairways.html.  ·            Talk to someone if you are having trouble coping. If you feel depressed, anxious or stressed it’s usually helpful to talk about it. Avoid alcohol or other drugs, keep physically active, take action to deal with outstanding issues, and remember that most problems you are facing now will soon improve. Your family doctor and/or counsellors at your local health unit are available to help.  ·            Protect your head – wear your gear.  Use a helmet for sports such as downhill skiing, snowboarding, skating, skateboarding, kayaking and cycling.  ·            Quit smoking. Tobacco has many harmful effects, and causes 28,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths a year in BC. Quitting is the single best action you can take for your health and the benefits begin almost immediately. For more information visit www.quitnow.ca or http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/tobac-tabac/index-eng.php ·           If you drink, do so safely. Watch your intake – regularly drinking more than two standard alcoholic drinks a day for men, and more than one for women, can harm your health. Binge drinking of more than three drinks for women and four for men on a single occasion increases risk of death, injuries, interpersonal violence, suicide, high blood pressure and other diseases. No alcohol is safest when operating vehicles and during pregnancy and breastfeeding. ·            Wash your hands often. Germs can spread easily through contact with any surface. Once you get germs on your hands, they are spread by simple acts like rubbing your nose or your eyes. Regular hand washing can help avoid picking up and spreading colds, flu and other viruses. ·            Get your shots:  Immunize your children, get your flu shot every winter and a tetanus shot every 10 years. For more information, check www.immunizebc.ca  ·            Eat a healthy diet. Choosing foods low in salt and fat and avoiding drinks high in sugar will help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of conditions such as high blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet and play an important role in prevention of disease. Contact HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 for information and to speak with a dietician.    ·            Get active. There is a direct link between physical activity and lifelong health. Weight bearing activity such as walking and carrying groceries improves your bone strength and increases resistance to injury. Exercise helps prevent heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. ·            Learn about your medications.  Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects of all your prescription and other medications.  Interior Health wishes you and your family a safe and healthy 2011.

Categories: GeneralHealth