Back-to-school health isn’t just for kids

Back to school pinterest

The dog days of summer are at their tail’s end and fall is rapidly approaching; families are flocking to Wal-Mart to purchase back-to-school supplies and wardrobes, teachers rush to prepare for the influx of students, and fall health & flu prevention begins.

Each year, around 50,000 people in the United States die from vaccine-preventable diseases according to Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS.gov). Influenza, pneumococcal pneumonia and hepatitis B, diseases with available vaccines, account for over 250,000 hospitalizations on an average year.

The good news? Medicare covers vaccinations for each of these diseases. Medicaid and CHIP covers the influenza vaccination along with other vaccinations needed for children.

But it’s not just for kids. Influenza claims an average of 36,000 lives a year. People 65 and older make up a large amount of that statistic. The same goes for invasive pneumococcal disease. Of all the deaths caused by the bacterial pneumonia, greater than half are 65 years of age or older.

This fall, schedule a “time-out” from watching fourth-string scrubs play football or visiting shopping rallies at the mall and take the first step. Contact your health care provider or a local clinic to find out more about vaccines and immunizations.

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For more information on vaccines and preventable diseases, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac. For more information on what vaccinations are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, visit http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prevention/Immunizations/.

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Avoid Stress Eating this Holiday Season

It’s hard to turn down home cooked holiday favorites, but it might be better to resist. The Christian County Health Department reports the average weight gain from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day is about 7 pounds (to burn this off you’d have to walk from Springfield to St. Louis!). Be proactive in your holiday eating habits and read below to find out if you fall victim to stress eating. Content courtesy of the Christian County Health Department

Instead of falling into the “stress eating” habit, try eating and exercising with the idea of health in mind. Exercising serves as a double bonus as it helps you control your weight and relieves your stress at the same time.

 Check out the following “stress eating” assessment to see how susceptible you are to holiday weight gain:

  • When you attend a dinner party to do you feel obligated to accept a second helping to please your host?
  • Are mad dashes to the mall and social events the only exercise you get during the holidays?
  • Do you bake a batch of cookies to have on hand for guests only to eat most of them yourself?
  • Are you the type of person who lets yourself go and splurge on anything you want during the holidays, promising to go on a diet when January starts?
  • Do you feel an obligation to eat every morsel of fattening food you may receive as a gift?
  • Do you sample while you are baking holiday goodies?

Too many yes answers? If so, take steps to improving your stress eating by selecting one area and improving on it. Don’t try to lose weight during the holidays, just try to make healthier choices.

Content courtesy of the Christian County Health Department.