Families: Let’s Do This!
Just how healthy is your family? Healthy habits, learned early, help to make long and healthy lifetimes — and it’s never too early (or too late) to start! How do you begin?
Look at how you live. Are you living a healthy lifestyle? Are you and your family within “normal” body mass indexes? Are there ways you could improve the way you live — eliminating tobacco use, losing weight or reducing stress? How about your children’s health habits, whether they’re toddlers, teens or in-betweens?
Look at how you eat, play and work. Does your family live an active or sedentary life? Do your children enjoy 60 minutes of play every day? Do you and your spouse exercise and set an example for your children? Could you improve your diet by exchanging certain foods and snacks for alternatives that you (and everyone) will find just as tasty and (even better), healthier?
Look to partner with a medical professional. It’s important to know just how healthy you are (and what you need to adjust) to improve the health and happiness of your family. Consult with a medical professional, get regular health screenings, and ask what your family’s current “health picture “ is — then go about making changes.
Together, you and your family can become healthier. Are you ready? Let’s Do This!
Family Health Center
Staying healthy mentally and physically isn’t simply a matter of good genes. It’s a proactive project that lasts your entire life. Like a finely tuned machine, your body needs preventive maintenance. Wellness has three basic components: a balanced diet, regular exercise, and wise lifestyle choices. Incorporating all three into your daily routine can help you live a longer, healthier lie. Adopting even one of them can improve your well-being.
How does one begin?
- Know your numbers. Healthy numbers mean a healthy heart. If you follow a healthy lifestyle, you can even turn bad numbers around. The results of various health screenings can help you and a doctor determine where your biggest health risks are, and work on a plan to improve them. You should know:
- Know your health risks. Acknowledging negative health habits such as tobacco use or too much alcohol consumption — as well as being familiar with your family’s health history, as well as your own — can help shape a health improvement plan for you and identify when to seek additional preventive health screenings.
- Learn about good health. Spend some time with our online Family Health Center. There’s information, checklists and interactive tools to help you explore many ways to engage yourself and your family in achieving optimum health and wellness.
- Keep moving. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. This helps keep your heart fit, your arteries open, your bones strong, and your brain clear. Do both a variety of aerobic and strength training exercises. Talk with your doctor before you begin any exercise program.
- Volunteer and Join In. People who volunteer or participate in community events say that they make new friends as well as help others. There are plenty of places that could use your help. Start with your local hospital, school, community center, local organization, or place of worship.
The choices are many, and the benefits are excellent. And another thing about this prescription for health: It never runs out.
Children are our future, and the future is bright! That’s why we want to keep your kids healthy and happy. Through programs in our clinics and local schools, kids are learning to play more, eat right, and limit screen time. Special events like Camp 911, PEP Rally and diabetic support groups engage children through hands-on learning, while our clinicians lead Fitness Initiative for Tomorrow (FIT) and Shapedown to help overweight children become healthier in their early years.
For ways to help your kids at home, visit our Children’s Health Center. Here you’ll find interactive tools and resources to work through age-specific concerns like thumb-sucking and potty training, biting and bedwetting and even STDs and tobacco and alcohol use.
Raising children is tough work. Let us help.
The transition into the teenage years can be difficult and confusing for children — and their parents. Understanding what your son or daughter is going through can help you give guidance during these critical years.
Starting around age 9 or 10, new hormones rage through your preteen’s body. These potent chemicals affect the body, brain and personality. As these changes occur, your child may start to wonder if his or her body is “normal.” Assure him or her that everyone goes through these stages, although at different rates. This is the time to start to watch for weight loss, or other signs of body image or eating problems.
As your child approaches adolescence, he or she will feel more independent, experiment with new ideas, develop deeper friendships, express emotions more clearly, and voice a stronger sense of right and wrong. Strong self-esteem will help your child ride out the rough patches in their development, and much of your child’s confidence is based on how you treat him or her. Setting an example of kindness and mutual respect is the key to open and honest communication with your teen.
Preteens and teens also face different health and wellness challenges than they had when they were children, and still differ greatly from adults. It is still very important that adolescents receive regular well-child exams from their physician. Meeting with a doctor can also provide the teen with another trusted adult to discuss concerns with or ask questions. Many of the unique health concerns for teens can be explored in our online Healthy Teen library.
Let’s face it ladies, we tend to put ourselves last, but when we aren’t healthy — who picks up the slack? We need to stay in tip-top shape to make sure there is someone to care for our loved ones and that means taking some time to put ourselves first.
Pregnancy. Mammograms. Menopause. These are just a few of the things we need to understand. Let us help you through your journey to wellness. Set a good example for those you love by getting your regular screenings and staying healthy. Prevention is your priority.
Have a daughter? Don’t forget her special healthcare needs as she grows. A number of physical, mental, and emotional changes occur when a girl reaches puberty, from reproductive development to deepening cognitive abilities.
Enjoy good health at every age. Know your body and how it works, eat well and stay active, and follow a plan for disease prevention. We can help. Let’s Do This!
Cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, stroke, and diabetes are among the leading causes of death for American men. The risk of developing these conditions can be reduced with the combination of a healthy lifestyle and regular medical care. Many disorders, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, are “silent” illnesses and do not cause telltale symptoms that may prompt a doctor’s visit.
Routine checkups and screenings are critical for detecting hidden problems and staying healthy. It is best to try and detect and address medical problems in their early stages, when many conditions are more treatable and less threatening to overall health. Seeing a doctor for age-appropriate screenings and establishing a preventive healthcare plan may even reduce the number of visits you have to make to a doctor’s office in the long run.
Speak with your doctor about the right method of screening for you. The age at which you begin screening depends on several things, including family history and your personal health profile. You and your doctor will decide which screening method is best for you. For more information about the important issues and guidelines for men’s health, review our online Men’s Health library.
Older Adult Health
Just how should you expect to feel as you age? The answer differs for everyone — and genetics, lifestyle and outlook all contribute to your overall health. Still, at about middle age, the body begins to wear from daily use. You may need to crank up the television to hear better, or squint your eyes to read the newspaper. Your body may begin to accumulate more weight and lose lean muscle.
Americans’ life expectancy continues to increase, but how long you’ll live depends on many factors, including how you take care of yourself in the years leading to older age. To stay youthful, strive for constant self-improvement of your body, mind and spirit. Your chronological age shouldn’t determine how young and good you really feel.
Getting older doesn’t mean you have to accept feeling older. Fortunately, the changes associated with natural aging take place gradually, and most people adapt quite well over time. How you feel emotionally is just as critical in helping you age gracefully. Having a positive attitude and a healthy lifestyle can do wonders for your mental growth and happiness and help you truly enjoy your golden years.
For a better understanding of the particular health issues that an aging adult faces, and what to do about them, explore our online Older Adult health library. Getting regular checkups, screening tests, and monitoring your health status and changes with your doctor are keys to good health. Take good care of yourself — you deserve it.
You know that it is better for you and your family to eat healthy, nutrient dense foods. But, sometimes it’s hard to know what that means. You don’t have to become a vegetarian to eat a healthy diet, although you may need to put some thought into your meals to make sure you are getting the best variety.
Fort HealthCare Nutrition Services team offers a multidisciplinary team approach, with staff experienced in a variety of highly specialized diagnostic and treatment areas. Registered dietitians can assist with:
- Planning and developing healthy eating guideline
- Nutrition education Recommendations on tube feedings
- Post-hospitalization nutrition instruction
- Follow-up care for long-term nutritional needs
- Consultation to patients
Avoid the drive-thru in favor of the slow cooker. Cancel your reservations and cook with the family. Forget the carryout in favor of the produce aisle. We can help. Let’s Do This!
Stress. We all have it. It’s what pushes us to make a deadline or perform well in a big game. But it can also make us feel like we have a tremendous weight on our shoulders when we’ve got too much to bear. Chronic stress can lead to negative consequences like weight gain, trouble sleeping, depression, high blood pressure, infertility, irritable bowel syndrome and diabetes. Just thinking about what stress can cause is enough to stress you out.
During stressful times, your body produces various chemicals, including cortisol, an immune-suppressing hormone. The more cortisol produced, the weaker your immune cells become and the more susceptible you are to illness.
Don’t worry. We’re here to help.
Recognizing the symptoms of stress in your life is one step toward managing it. We’ve put together a comprehensive resource center to help you limit unnecessary stress in your life. Take a breath and see how it can help. Let’s Do This!
Losing weight or maintaining your optimal weight can be a challenge, there is no doubt about it. This much you know: The more body fat you have and the more you weigh, the higher your risk for health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
But with a busy schedule and little time to fit in exercise and healthy eating, how do you begin your weight loss journey? The first step is to find your motivation. Which is more important to you — being able to wear the jeans you wore five years ago, or being able to move better, have more energy and improve your health? Once you know the answer, you can put our wealth of resources to good use.
- Find out your BMI
- How many calories do you burn?
- How much should you be eating each day?
- Simple behavior changes that make a big difference
- What’s your target heart rate?
Losing just five to ten percent of your body weight can lower your chances of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Modest weight loss can also help prevent diabetes. Let’s Do This!
Substance abuse is a pattern of substance (drug) use that causes significant problems or distress, such as failure to attend work or school, substance use in dangerous situations (driving a car), substance-related legal problems, or continued substance use that interferes with friendships and/or family relationships.
Alcohol and tobacco are two of the most often abused substances, but others, like street drugs, prescription drugs, or inhalants are also common. If you feel you have a problem with substance abuse, don’t be ashamed. You are certainly not alone. Standing up to your addiction means admitting you can use some help – and that’s OK. We are here for you.
Depending on your situation and needs, Fort HealthCare Behavioral Health center can provide individual, family or group counseling to help your loved ones overcome both physical and emotional problems.
Not sure if you have a problem?
A variety of recovery programs for substance abuse are available in the area. Programs considered are usually based on the type of substance abused. Detoxification and long-term follow-up management or recovery-oriented systems of care are important features of successful treatment. We can help. Let’s Do This!
Fort HealthCare Behavioral Health Center is here for you and your family when you need help. Our convenient location provides a comprehensive outpatient program of assessment, counseling and treatment available to help you and those you care about work through mental illness and substance abuse.
Developed for adults and youth, Fort HealthCare Behavioral Health Center focuses on the destructiveness of addiction and mental illness. Depending on your situation and needs, Fort HealthCare Behavioral Health Center can provide individual, family or group counseling to help your loved ones overcome both physical and emotional problems. Our services help with:
- Social Skills and behavioral management
- Eating disorders
- Anxiety and stress disorders
- Family and relationship problems
- Sexual Identity
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse
- Career-related difficulties
- Grief Counseling
Your mental health is critically important to quality of life. If you need someone to talk to, we can help. Let’s Do This!
You know that eating right and staying active are vital to your health and well being. Not only does exercise help prevent or limit many health problems, it can even minimize the effects of aging. Regular exercise (3 or more times per week for at least 30 minutes) is good for your body — and your mind. It reduces your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. And, it boosts your mood.
Exercise is anything that gets you moving, from vigorous household chores to briskly walking the dog. Try to do something active every day. Your workout should include both aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises.
If you need some inspiration, try a few of these:
- Stretch and Flex: Stretching after your workout will help keep you flexible, an important part of being fit.
- Build Endurance and Strength: A balanced fitness program includes aerobic exercise for endurance and exercises to increase muscle strength.
- Walk: Walking is a great way to get exercise because it’s safe, easy to do and inexpensive.
- Run and Jog: When increasing how far you run or jog, do so gradually, over several weeks.
- Try Something New: Exercise comes in many forms, from swimming to skiing. Variety can help keep you motivated.
- Join a challenge: Throughout the year we offer a variety of activity related challenges to help motivate you in your fitness endeavors.
If an injury — old or new — is keeping you on the sidelines, our Therapy & Sport Center or Orthopaedic Associates teams can provide the care you need to get back on track. What are you waiting for? Let’s Do This!
Healthcare systems are changing their focus from solely treating sickness and disease to a system that is focused on wellness and prevention. Focusing on prevention in our communities will help improve everyone’s overall health, quality of life, and prosperity. Doing so creates healthier homes, workplaces, schools and communities so that people can live long, productive and independent lives — and reduce healthcare costs.
Here are some guidelines for good preventive healthcare practices:
- Screening tests and vaccinations. An important part of preventive care. Get regular checkups, preventive examinations, and immunizations. Do not forget self-examinations, too. Find out which tests and immunizations are recommended by age group and gender, using these guidelines, and discuss a disease prevention plan with your doctor.
- Be informed. Learn about health promotion and disease prevention and ask your physician for specific information regarding your needs.
- Avoid illegal drugs and alcohol. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines a drink as one 5-ounce glass of wine, one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. Remember that the alcohol content of each type of drink can vary widely. Where illicit drugs are concerned, there is no such thing as “moderate” use.
- Take medicine wisely. Read the labels, follow the instructions carefully, and remind your doctor or pharmacist about any other medicines or supplements you might be taking that could interact with your medication. If you have any questions about possible side effects, call your doctor or pharmacist.
- Play it safe. Avoid injuries. Buckle up. Wear a bike helmet. Use smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Wear sunscreen and UV protected sunglasses. Use street smarts and common sense. Practice safe sex.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in our country.
- Eat smart. It is the secret to good health. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Enjoy a variety of foods, balance foods from each food group, and exercise moderation.
- Get moving. The other secret to good health: just 30-60 minutes of physical activity, accumulated over the course of each day, can radically improve the way you look and feel, both physically and mentally.
- Be happy. Take time for yourself. Get connected with family, friends, and community. Do things you enjoy!
We believe that a lack of insurance should never prevent someone from getting quality healthcare. After all, we can’t be the healthiest community in Wisconsin if we can’t provide care to everyone. That’s where LiveWell-Community Program comes in.
The program is free for eligible participants and includes, on an annual basis:
- Fasting lipid panel
- Glucose screening
- Biometrics assessment
- One hour, one-on-one coaching session with a Fort HealthCare clinician
- Health risk assessment
- Monthly Health365 eNewsletter
- Wellness challenges
- Cerner Health account to access personal health-related information.
The goals of the LiveWell-Community Program are:
- To allow participants access to basic wellness care
- Introduce community members to Fort HealthCare and Cerner Health
- Provide information on: how to best utilize services, like when to use emergency or urgent care and when to make an appointment for primary care
- Completing a Personal Heath Assessment and having results reviewed and explained by a health care professional
- Providing wellness coaching to encourage healthier choices
- Educating individuals about health risks associated with lab, biometric and health assessment results.
To become a member of the LiveWell-Community Program, interested persons will receive a brochure and lab slip from a participating organization, such as Fort HealthCare Community Health & Wellness, Rock River Free Clinic, Workforce Development, Health & Human Services or other affiliated organizations.