The Cannon Y wants families in Cabarrus County to understand how families adopting healthy habits together can help reduce childhood obesity.
September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and while the dangers of childhood obesity are well chronicled, many families need support changing their children’s habits with the ultimate goal of improving health. That’s why the Cannon YMCA — a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving health—wants families to understand the dangers of childhood obesity and ways to reverse course through improved eating habits and increased physical activity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity has more than tripled in children and adolescents over the past 30 years. Today, obesity affects one in six children and one in three are overweight, which poses greater risks for a number of health problems such as Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and some cancers.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS ESSENTIAL TO HEALTHY AGING
As an older adult, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can prevent many of the health problems that seem to come with age. It also helps your muscles grow stronger so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others.
Not doing any physical activity can be bad for you, no matter your age or health condition. Keep in mind, some physical activity is better than none at all. Your health benefits will also increase with the more physical activity that you do.
If you're 65 years of age or older, are generally fit, and have no limiting health conditions you can follow the guidelines listed below.
Immunization, or vaccination, helps prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. To stay protected against serious illnesses like the flu, measles, and pneumonia, adults need to get their shots – just like kids do. National Immunization Awareness Month is a great time to promote vaccines and remind family, friends, and coworkers to stay up to date on their shots.
How can National Immunization Awareness Month make a difference?
We can all use this month to raise awareness about vaccines and share strategies to increase immunization rates with our community.
Each June we celebrate Men’s Health Month, especially the week leading up to Father’s Day, which is Men’s Health Week (June 13-19). The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems, and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
Women tend to be great at taking care of others, but sometimes forget to take care of themselves. Very often women need a reminder that their health needs to be a priority in order to be able to take care of others. Use these strategies below to get a step up on your overall health:
1. Focus on a plant-based diet. Despite gender, you always want to focus on a nutrient dense diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, low-fat dairy and lean protein, but women do have some specific concerns during each phase of life:
- For pre-menopausal women it is important to get adequate iron, as there is iron loss with
blood loss. Iron rich foods include red meat, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, kale, spinach, beans, lentils and
- For women of child-bearing age it is important to get folic acid/folate in your diet to
decrease the risk of birth defects. Sources of folic acid/folate include citrus fruit, leafy greens, peas
and fortified cereals and grains.
- For post-menopausal women and women of all ages, it is important to get adequate calcium
along with vitamin D for bone health and to prevent osteoporosis. Good calcium sources include low fat
dairy products, sardines, tofu, and dark leafy greens. Get outdoors for some vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin!
2. Get Active & Stay Active! It is important to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week to maintain good health. As we age we tend to lose muscle and have an increase in fat mass, but if we incorporate regular cardiovascular and strength exercise we can prevent those less than desirable changes from happening. Maintaining lean mass can be even more challenging once women reach menopause, so start as early as possible and make exercise a habit!
3. Set Aside Leisure Time. Many experts have noted that women seem to be more susceptible to stress due to the fact that women are socialized to be caretakers. More women than men have both a career outside the home and continue to try to juggle traditional responsibilities after hours. Women are now more often trying to achieve the “male standard” at work, while trying to maintain the perfect wife and mother standards at home. Also, as women age and go through different life stages they are at risk for stress and depression related to hormonal changes. Go ahead and schedule some leisure time, and consider it a necessity, not a reward!