Health365 eNews
August 2014 • Volume 6, Issue 8

August: National Immunization Month

Importance of immunizations

Immunization is key to preventing disease among the general population. Vaccines benefit both the people who receive them and the vulnerable, unvaccinated people around them because the infection can no longer spread through the community if most people are immunized. In addition, immunizations reduce the number of deaths and disability from infections, such as measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox.


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Importance of immunizations

Immunization is key to preventing disease among the general population. Vaccines benefit both the people who receive them and the vulnerable, unvaccinated people around them because the infection can no longer spread through the community if most people are immunized. In addition, immunizations reduce the number of deaths and disability from infections, such as measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox.

Although children receive the majority of the vaccinations, adults also need to be sure they are already immune to certain infections and/or stay up-to-date on certain vaccinations, including varicella, seasonal influenza, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, rubella, zoster, human papillomavirus, pneumococcal (polysaccharide), hepatitis A and B, flu, and meningococcal disease. Childhood illnesses such as mumps, measles, and chickenpox can cause serious complications in adults.

About guidelines for childhood immunizations

Many childhood diseases can now be prevented by following recommended guidelines for vaccinations:

  • Meningococcal vaccine (MCV4). To protect against meningococcal disease
  • Hep A. To protect against hepatitis A
  • Hep B. To protect against hepatitis B
  • Inactivated poliovirus (IPV). To protect against polio
  • DTaP. To protect against diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Hib vaccine. To protect against Haemophilus influenzae type b (which may cause meningitis)
  • MMR. To protect against measles, mumps and rubella (German measles)
  • Pneumococcal vaccine. PCV13 (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) to protect against pneumonia, infection in the blood, and meningitis. Another form of pneumococcal vaccine, PPSV (pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine) is used in special conditions and in adults.
  • Varicella. To protect against chickenpox
  • Rotavirus. To prevent infections caused by rotavirus (RotaTeq or Rotarix)
  • HPV. To protect from human papillomavirus, which is linked to cervical cancer and other cancers
  • Seasonal influenza. To protect against different flu viruses

A child’s first vaccination is given at birth. Immunizations are scheduled throughout childhood, with many beginning within the first few months of life. By following a regular schedule, and making sure a child is immunized at the right time, you’re ensuring the best defense against dangerous childhood diseases.

Reactions to immunizations

As with any medication, vaccinations may cause reactions, usually in the form of a sore arm or low-grade fever. Although serious reactions are rare, they can happen, and your child’s doctor or nurse may discuss these with you before giving the shots. However, the risks for contracting the diseases the immunizations provide protection from are higher than the risks for having a reaction to the vaccine.

Treating mild reactions to immunizations in children:

  • Fussiness, fever, and pain. Children may need extra love and care after getting immunized. The shots that keep them from getting serious diseases can also cause discomfort for a while. Children may experience fussiness, fever, and pain at the immunization site after they have been immunized.
  • Fever. DO NOT GIVE ASPIRIN. You may want to give your child acetaminophen, a medication that helps to reduce pain and fever, as directed by your child’s doctor:
    • Give your child plenty to drink.
    • Clothe your child lightly. Do not cover or wrap your child tightly.
    • Sponge your child in a few inches of lukewarm (not cold) bath water.
  • Swelling or pain. DO NOT GIVE ASPIRIN. You may want to give your child acetaminophen, a medication that helps to reduce pain and fever, as directed by your child’s doctor.
  • A clean, cool washcloth may be applied over the sore area as needed for comfort.

 

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Low-Fat BBQ: Cooking as Delicious as It Looks

This is the season for outdoor cooking. Many foods can be grilled, including vegetables and fruit. And, nutrition experts say, barbecuing uses healthy cooking techniques for a low-fat, healthy lifestyle–especially when compared with frying.

That’s not to say that a barbecue can’t deteriorate into an artery-clogging, calorie-laden meal. To avoid that, choose the right foods and follow some simple guidelines.


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This is the season for outdoor cooking. Many foods can be grilled, including vegetables and fruit. And, nutrition experts say, barbecuing uses healthy cooking techniques for a low-fat, healthy lifestyle–especially when compared with frying.

That’s not to say that a barbecue can’t deteriorate into an artery-clogging, calorie-laden meal. To avoid that, choose the right foods and follow some simple guidelines.

What to grill?

For traditional red meat, nutrition experts suggest moderate portion sizes: 4 ounces raw or 3 ounces cooked. Choose lean cuts that have the word loin or round in their names. Trim any outside fat before cooking, and trim away any inside fat before eating.

Check out the “numbers” for ground meat. Look for the packages that have the greatest percent lean to percent fat ratio. Occasional hamburgers are also okay if you use a lean cut such as ground round, which is the leanest, followed by sirloin ground chuck. Look for ground beef that is 90 to 96 percent fat-free and, again, limit patties to a quarter pound raw, which is 3 ounces cooked.

Chicken’s leanness makes it popular for grilling–and you don’t need to take the skin off until after you cook it. Removing the skin before eating eliminates excess fat, but there’s no significant difference in fat content whether you leave the skin on during cooking or take it off. Leaving the skin on will add significantly to the moisture content, so the chicken won’t be tough or dry.

Marinated and grilled fish “steaks,” such as halibut or salmon also are a healthy menu idea. You can even grill fish kebobs if you use firm-fleshed fish.

Don’t overdo it

Some grilled foods may raise your risk for certain cancers, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. The high heat used for grilling produces substances called heterocyclic amines in red meat, poultry, and fish. Another class of cancer-causing substances, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, form when fat from meat, poultry, or fish drips onto hot coals or stones. These substances are deposited back onto food by the smoke and flame-ups that blacken grilled meat.

You can take steps to reduce your exposure to these substances. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use lean cuts of meat so little fat will drip onto the coals.
  • Use tongs or a spatula to turn foods on the grill. Piercing the meat with a fork allows juices and fat to drip down and cause flame-ups.
  • Boil, steam, or use a microwave to partially cook poultry and ribs before putting them briefly on the grill. Be sure you transfer foods immediately from the microwave to the grill.
  • If charred matter does form on the meat, remove it before eating.
  • Place aluminum foil between the coals and cooking foods to keep the smoke away from the grill.
  • Cut the meat into small portions so they don’t take as long to cook. Kebabs work well.

Healthy marinades

Fat isn’t an essential ingredient in a marinade or barbecue sauce. It’s the acid in lemon, lime, pineapple, or vinegar in a marinade that tenderizes meat. Look for low-calorie or low-fat salad dressings or marinades, or make your own, using a 3-to-1 ratio of vinegar to oil.

Don’t forget the veggies and fruit

Meat, poultry, and fish aren’t the only foods that can end up on a grill. Put vegetables on the grill after marinating them and placing them on skewers or a grilling tray. You can also wrap vegetables in foil with a little sauce, broth, or vinegar.

You can even grill fruit. The heat of the grill caramelizes the sugar in the fruit, intensifying the flavor. Grilled fruits can make wonderful additions to entrees, or serve as tasty, antioxidant-rich desserts.

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Jog or Walk? Both Boost Your Health

Which is better for you, jogging or walking?

Nearly all studies show that jogging provides slightly more benefits for your bones, muscles, heart, and lungs. But walking has gained a lot of ground in the last decade or so as a viable exercise. It strengthens bones, tones muscles, and helps your cardiovascular system.

Walking is easier on the body’s joints. It causes far fewer injuries to heels, shins, knees, and hips than jogging or stair climbing, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.

And virtually everybody can walk.


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Which is better for you, jogging or walking?

Nearly all studies show that jogging provides slightly more benefits for your bones, muscles, heart, and lungs. But walking has gained a lot of ground in the last decade or so as a viable exercise. It strengthens bones, tones muscles, and helps your cardiovascular system.

Walking is easier on the body’s joints. It causes far fewer injuries to heels, shins, knees, and hips than jogging or stair climbing, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.

And virtually everybody can walk.

Moreover, walking is linked to better physical functioning, even among older people who already suffer from chronic disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. Both of these two groups call for getting at least 30 minutes of walking or a similar activity every day. This level of exercise burns at least 150 calories of energy.

For those of any age who can handle greater intensity and joint-pounding, however, jogging may be the way to go.

Burning fat

Many people wrongly believe that jogging burns more fat than walking.

It is true that the intensity of the exercise often decides what fuel source your body will use. Fats are the main fuel for longer duration exercises. The longer the intensity is maintained at a steady state, the greater the amount of stored fat is used. If you are using exercise as part of a weight-loss plan, aim for longer duration, lower intensity exercise at least three days a week. Low-intensity exercises are less likely to cause injuries.

Although longer duration exercise burns more fat calories while you are doing it, higher intensity exercise will increase your resting metabolic rate. For those who do not have time for longer, less intense workouts, shorter, more intense workouts will provide the same benefits.

Bone strengthening

If you don’t over train, jogging is better at strengthening bones than walking, but both activities add bone mass no matter what your age.

Walking, as well as dancing and light aerobics, can be almost as beneficial as running. And race-walking—5 mph with arms swinging—can strengthen arms, streamline legs, and burn 180 to 250 calories in a half-hour, almost as many calories as jogging.

Most studies show that jogging more than 25 or 30 miles a week will not add further benefit to bone mass. Researchers are not yet sure why. For women, overtraining may lead to the female athlete triad, a combination of eating disorders, halting of menstrual periods, and a weakening of the bones.

Pounding the body

A simple fact of physics has made jogging more dangerous than walking for the human body: Objects that fall farther and faster hit harder.

This fact can cause damage to heels, shins, knees, hips, and even the back for joggers and occasionally walkers. This is true even when precautions are taken. But many joggers can go their entire lives without injury, as long they warm up properly, purchase good running shoes, and find fairly even surfaces to run on.

If you have osteoporosis or arthritis, talk with your health care provider about the best exercise for you. You may need to limit yourself to walking.

If you have serious medical problems or are unsure of your level of fitness, check with your health care provider before walking or jogging.

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As Prescribed
Looking for timely and accurate health and wellness information from the Fort HealthCare clinicians you know and love? Visit FortHealthCare.com/Blog for updates on women's health, nutrition, skin care, foot pain and many other health topics.

Giving Circle Grants Announcement

The Giving Circle of Fort Memorial Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce the grants that were awarded from funds raised during its 2013 program year. The grants totaling $14,550 were awarded to three health and wellness initiatives at Fort HealthCare.


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Upcoming Events
Fort HealthCare is proud to sponsor a number of community events. All year long, you can find a number of health and fitness related events and classes for the whole family. Check out Health365Events.com to find more activities throughout the community.
August 4 Childbirth Preparation Classes
August 6 AHA Heartsaver First Aid/CPR/AED
August 12 Having Healthy Babies
Recipes

Watermelon Mojito

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 (5-inch) mint sprigs
  • 2 cups cubed seeded watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 cup lime-flavored sparkling water
  • Mint sprigs (optional)
  • Lime slices (optional)

 



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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 (5-inch) mint sprigs
  • 2 cups cubed seeded watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 cup lime-flavored sparkling water
  • Mint sprigs (optional)
  • Lime slices (optional)

Directions

Mix water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a near boil. Ensure sugar dissolves. Turn off heat and add 2 mint sprigs. Cover and let set for 15 minutes. Remove mint and chill mint syrup completely.

Process the watermelon in a blender until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a bowl and add mint syrup and lime juice.

Fill glasses with ice cubes. Pour 3 parts watermelon mixture and 2 parts sparkling water over ice in each glass. Garnish with mint sprigs and lime as desired.

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