Facts on Antibiotics

What are Antibiotics? Antibiotics are a group of drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Bacteria are small organisms that live and multiply in many different hosts, including humans, animals and plants. All of us have millions of bacteria in our bodies — some are helpful and others can grow inside our bodies and make us sick by causing infections. Examples of bacterial infections include strep throat, whooping cough, and certain types of pneumonia. It is important to know that bacteria may be spread between people and other hosts in many different ways, including but not limited to, direct contact with other infected people or by eating or drinking contaminated foods. The introduction and correct use of antibiotics has saved countless lives and prevented significant suffering by helping people overcome or avoid bacterial infections. What is antibiotic resistance? Today antibiotics are [...]

5 Tips for Managing School and Your Stress

  A new school year is a busy and exciting time for students of any age. However, all that excitement can bring a lot of extra stress. Settling back into a routine can be a breath of fresh air after the summer break, but between changes in schedules, homework, tests, and day-to-day responsibilities, life can start to feel overwhelming quickly. We’re going to explore five different ways that can help you manage stress this school year. Stay Organized Nothing makes stress levels spike like losing an assignment or completely forgetting about a test. Clutter of the mind or physical clutter around you can leave you with your wheels spinning, unsure of what to do next. Even if you don’t consider organization one of your strong suits, there are several easy habits you can incorporate to keep your school responsibilities in [...]

Influenza Season is Upon Us

The time between October and March is known as flu season because the viruses that cause influenza (and other types of flu) are more prevalent and more easily spread during the fall and winter months. Influenza virus activity starts increasing in October and spikes between December and February. That means it’s time to start considering how you’ll protect yourself—and the people around you—this flu season. As with other viruses, you can reduce the chance of getting sick by regularly washing your hands and limiting contact with sick people. But influenza is different from other viruses because it can be potentially life-threatening. During the 2021-2022 flu season, influenza contributed to well over 100,000 hospitalizations in the US. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) strongly recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older as the best way [...]

Hydration, Electrolytes, and Exercise

  Hydration is a key factor when it comes to physical activity. Our bodies need adequate water intake to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, and bring important nutrients throughout your body for energy. When you’re not well-hydrated, it can greatly impact your performance with exercise, and even more importantly, it can take a toll on things like organ function and blood pressure. From light intensity to high intensity and on hot days and even cold days, it is imperative to practice good hydration before, during, and after exercise. What Factors Affect Hydration? Many factors can affect hydration during exercise and activity. During physical activity, your body loses fluid through sweat. Sweating can occur on hot summer days, as well as cold winter days, and every other day in between. Sweating can occur without it being visible. For example, did [...]

Hydration and Mental Health

  Staying hydrated is an integral part of health and wellness. However, it is often overlooked, especially when water is out of sight and out of mind. You’re probably familiar with how hydration is necessary during exercise, fighting a cold, or proper digestion. But did you know that adequate hydration is important for our mental health too? Let’s take a closer look at how it can affect us mentally. Improved Brain Performance According to the National Council on Aging, “even mild dehydration – as little as 2% fluid loss – can affect memory, mood, concentration, and reaction time.” Getting adequate hydration throughout the day can balance all these areas and positively impact our brain performance. As you age, the risk for dehydration increases, and cognitive function can decrease. This shows that proper hydration and water intake are key factors in [...]

June is Men’s Health Month

In the United States, June is designated as Men’s Health Month to raise awareness about the ways men can improve and maintain their health. The five most important things that men (and women) can do for their health are to be tobacco free, stay physically active, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight for your height, and get recommended screening tests. In addition to the top five, there are other health behaviors that can increase your likelihood of living a long, healthy life. Below are details about important health behaviors for men: Be Tobacco Free - This includes smokeless tobacco products as well. Visit CDC.gov for resources to help you be tobacco free. Stay Physically Active - Aside from being tobacco free, exercising is the best thing that you can do for your health. There are 336 thirty-minute segments [...]

Nutrition and Mental Health

  Eating healthy can help us to look and feel our best physically. But little is discussed about how the food we eat can affect our mental health. Eating a diet rich in nutritious foods can help us to feel more alert and think clearly. Well-balanced meals and snacks can also help us to concentrate and improve attention span. On the other hand, eating a diet high in unhealthy foods can affect our brain in a negative way. An inadequate diet can lead to fatigue, impair decision making skills, and slow down reaction time. A poor diet can aggravate or lead to stress and depression. Stress and Depression It has been shown that sugar and processed foods can cause inflammation throughout our bodies. Chronic inflammation can contribute to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. According to the Academy of [...]

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in the U.S. since 1949. Mental health refers to our emotional or psychological wellbeing, and many argue it is the most valuable aspect of health. Mental Health Month was instituted to raise awareness about mental health and signs and symptoms of imbalance that require help from a professional. Mental illness can affect people of any age, including children and adolescents. Our physical and emotional health has been increasingly challenged by the pandemic and other recent events, so maintaining psychological balance is as difficult as it has ever been. Mental illnesses, such as depressive and anxiety disorders, are among the most common conditions in the United States today, affecting one in five Americans at any given time. Despite the huge numbers, many people with emotional illnesses often feel [...]

Make Mental Health a Priority

  May is Mental Health Awareness Month. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), “1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year.” Mental health affects all ages, from children to adults, and it is part of our overall health and well-being. Let’s explore why mental health is so important and how we can make it a priority. What is Mental Health? First, let’s start by defining mental health. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes mental health as a “state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Taking care of your mental well-being does not mean an absence of negative emotions or feelings, but it does mean practicing healthy [...]

Exercise and Mental Health

  Mental health is an important factor in overall wellness. Many Americans face mental health challenges daily, which magnifies the need for understanding and managing it. Exercise is proven to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. Let’s take a closer look at how exercise can aid mental health. The Benefits The latest exercise guidelines published by the Department of Health and Human Services noted how physical activity has “brain health benefits, including possible improved cognitive function, reduced anxiety and depression risk, and improved sleep and quality of life.” Exercise increases the body’s production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters help the body stabilize mood, feel more happy and motivated, and stay more focused (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Physical activity also releases endorphins, often referred to as the “feel-good” hormone, and are a natural pain killer for [...]