South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)
9 Healthy Living Messages
The National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (NCP) wants you to know 9 things that can help you live a healthier, safer life.
The NCP’s job is to advocate for health promotion, disease prevention, and patient health education for you, our nation’s Veterans. NCP has several current programs, including MOVE!, a weight management program for Veterans that has helped more than 300,000 people lose weight, keep it off and improve their health. Their overall goal is to keep Veterans well and well-informed.
One of the ways they achieve their goal is through 9 health living messages:
• Be involved in your health care: Ask question when you’re not sure; Ask for written information and instructions that you can keep and share with your family or caregiver; Know your medicines and why you take each one.
• Be tobacco free: All forms of tobacco are harmful. This includes cigars, pipes, snuff, chewing tobacco and electronic or smokeless cigarettes; Quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health and protect the health of your family members
• Eat wisely: Choose a variety of vegetables and fruits each day and aim for 5-9 servings every day; Get the nutrients you need in a healthy way by following a balanced eating pattern, such as those provided by using the USDA MyPyramid food guide.
• Be physically active: avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none, and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits; Physical activity is anything that gets the body moving.
• Strive for a healthy weight: balancing the number of calories you eat with the calories your body uses or burns; Being a healthy, normal weight is good for you and will help you prevent and control many diseases and conditions.
• Limit alcohol: Too much alcohol use or binge drinking can lead to higher risk of health problems, such as liver damage or injuries; If you choose to drink alcohol, drink in moderation (women no more than 1 drink a day; men no more than 2 drinks a day).
• Get recommended screening tests and immunizations: Recommendations for preventive services depend on your age, gender, health status, and family history. Find out which screening tests and immunizations are recommended for you.
• Manage stress: People who are overly stressed report difficulty concentrating, feelings of worry and fear, a sense that the body is wound up (for example, tense muscles, sweaty palms, and a pounding heart), irritability with others, and exhaustion. Too much stress over a long period of time can put your health at risk.
• Be safe: Prevent Falls - About half of all falls happen at home; Prevent Motor Vehicle Crashes and Injury- Don't text message or talk on a cell phone while driving; Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)- The best way to fully protect yourself from STIs is to abstain from sex.
These and many more tips for healthy living can be found on the NCP website at: http://www.prevention.va.gov/Be_Involved_in_Your_Health_Care.asp