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April Health News
  • Alcohol Awareness Month
  • Did you know? Regular exercise is one of the key factors in lowering your blood pressure.
  • Did you know? 70 percent of Americans admit to having a problem in the bedroom: lack of sleep.
  • Dr. Oz video:  Mediterranean Health
  • Monthly Health Tip: The sun and vitamin D
  • Monthly Healthy Recipe
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alcohol awareness

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

When Does Alcohol Abuse Become Alcoholism?

Heavy drinkers may appear to function day to day yet still be putting themselves and others at risk. Learn how to recognize problem drinking.

It’s not easy to pinpoint the moment when someone starts having a problem with alcohol. Instead of clear lines, there are shades of gray between social drinking, alcohol abuse and alcoholism. For some people, abuse begins before they – or their family – know it’s happening. One glass of wine after dinner can turn into four.

Knowing your limits

For men, experts define heavy drinking as more than two drinks per day on a regular basis. For women, it’s an average of more than one drink per day. But it may still be hard to tell when drinking has become a problem.

Drinking is common in our culture, and some people do it without harmful effects. For others, drinking escalates until they lose their health and put themselves and others in danger. The reasons for these differences are complex. People with a family history of alcoholism are more likely to have addiction problems. So are those who face depression or some other mental illnesses. Your upbringing and social environment may also make a difference.

Getting help

The effects of alcoholism can be devastating. Heavy drinkers are more likely to have heart disease, liver disease, depression and several types of cancer. Family and work relationships usually suffer. And of course, drinking too much alcohol on even one occasion can lead to injuries or death from a car crash, drowning or other type of accidents.

If you need help with a drinking problem, your doctor is a good place to start finding the counseling or treatment you need. You can also contact the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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exercise

Did you know? Regular exercise is one of the key factors in lowering your blood pressure.

What's keeping you from exercising?

Check out these common exercise barriers and some solutions that can help you get started and keep going:

  • No time. Make time. Get up earlier, use your lunch for walks, do some stretching during commercials.
  • Too tired. Just do it. Exercise can boost your energy levels and improve your mood. Consider working out with a friend or training for an event.
  • Too boring. Make it fun. Mix it up. Walk one day, swim the next. Do yoga today and weights tomorrow.

How much exercise is needed for good health?

  • There is good news about fitness – you don’t have to run a marathon to reap the many rewards of exercise. Research has shown that moderate exercise, performed for 30 minutes on most days of the week provides many of the same benefits as strenuous exercise.

A moderate exercise program can improve:

  • the efficiency of your heart and lungs
  • muscle strength and flexibility
  • the burning of fat
  • quality of sleep
  • overall well-being.

Be sure to check with your physician for medical clearance before starting an exercise program.

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better sleep tips

Did you know? 70 percent of Americans admit to having a problem in the bedroom: lack of sleep.

Three simple steps to help you get better a night’s sleep
 
Sleep deprivation can lead to a weakened immune system, increased risk of heart disease and decreased brain function. Dr. Oz says these simple steps could help you get a better night’s sleep:

  1. Make your bedroom cool and dark
  2. Ban the TV and laptop
  3. Set a standard wake-up time
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smoking and heart disease

Dr. Oz: Mediterranean Health
Scientists have studied the health secrets of the Mediterranean. Besides a mainly plant-based diet, their lifestyle habits keep folks living better and longer.
To learn more, view this video with Dr. Oz.

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sunlight

Health Hint: Sun is one of the natural energy boosters and providers of vitamin D, which helps fight colds and boosts your mood. Thirty minutes is all it takes, whether you get outdoors or just open the blinds at your home or office.

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April Healthy Recipe: Chickpea and Feta Salad

Feta cheese and chickpeas lend a Mediterranean flair to this satisfying side salad. Eat a double portion for a vegetarian lunch, using the chickpeas as your main source of protein.

Ingredients:
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed
3 cups peeled, seeded diced cucumber
2 cups halved grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:
Place chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, cheese, onion, olive oil, vinegar and pepper in a medium bowl. Mix until coated.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 150 - Fiber: 4 g
Carbohydrate: 20 g - Protein: 5.5 g
Sodium: 110 mg - Fat: 6 g
Cholesterol: 4.5 mg

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