HEALTH for the whole family

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By:  Steven M. Stoltz, MD, CPI

We recognize Mother’s Day in May and Father’s Day in June.  What could be better than honoring mothers and fathers by encouraging them to take care of their health so they may live to celebrate many more of these special occasions?

National Women’s Health Week is held from May 13-19th, and National Women’s Check-Up Day is May 14th.  Women are encouraged to seek out preventive screening, which varies by age and risk factors but generally includes routine blood pressure measurements, blood tests, and cancer screening tests.  If you are not sure which tests you should have, discuss this with your healthcare team and consult a reputable website such as www.medlineplus.gov for more detailed information.

To stay healthy, women are also encouraged to eat healthy and incorporate physical activity into their daily routine.  Eating healthy means eating foods that promote good health, like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, berries, and meats while avoiding processed foods that are high in sodium, sugar, and saturated fats.  Staying physically active means having a routine that includes safe physical activity on most days.

Women should also be aware of mental health problems, avoid smoking, get adequate sleep and establish effective stress management skills.

Men’s Health Week is observed from June 11-17th.  Similarly, the aim of this period is to raise awareness of preventable health problems and to promote healthy behaviors.  Many men put aside their healthcare needs due to lack of time or because they feel that they don’t need help, but it is known that preventive behaviors and regular checkups result in improved health over the long-term.  Media, healthcare teams, and families are encouraged to support men and boys seeking out regular medical advice, evaluations, or early treatment of health conditions.

Each day presents an opportunity to plan for good health.  It is important to make the effort to take a look at what preventive measures you’re taking today to plan for a better tomorrow.  Simply put, regular visits to the doctor, staying physically active, and eating a healthy diet will pay off!  And if mothers and fathers set the example, the whole family will follow suit.

Steven M. Stoltz, MD, CPI, is the Physician Executive and President of South Texas Institutes of Health, Inc., as well as a respected physician in the Rio Grande Valley.  He completed his undergraduate education at The University of Texas at Austin, attended medical school at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, and was a resident through the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio’s McAllen Family Medicine Residency Program.  For more information, visit Dr. Stoltz’s website at www.stxih.org, call his office at 956-994-9832 or toll-free at 1-888-648-3390, or follow his nonprofit on Twitter @STxIH for health information and local health events.