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Tips to help you take charge of your health

Tips to help you take charge of your health

The cold weather often increases our want to be sedentary. The winter months can lead to us spending more time indoors and less time enjoying the things we love. As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, we often find that many put their health on the back burner.

Not only does diet and physical activity decrease in the winter, but the chances of injury increases. Walk-in clinics and ERs can get flooded with many preventable injuries. Whether it’s from slipping on ice or overexerting yourself during snow shoveling, many of these occurrences could have been avoided with a little knowledge.

So if you are looking to make this year your healthiest year yet, below are a few ways to help.

Ditch The Cigarettes
First things first, if you are a smoker, now is the time to quit! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking doesn’t just affect your lungs; it damages your entire body. More than 480,000 deaths per year are caused by cigarettes, and your chances for stroke and coronary heart disease are raised two to four times more than non-smokers.

But the most significant risk you are putting on your body when you choose to smoke is the increased risk of cancer.

Though smoking can cause cancer anywhere in your body, some of the most likely types of cancer include:

  • Lung, Bronchus, and Trachea
  • Kidneys and Liver
  • Pancrease
  • Stomach
  • Esophagus
  • Colon and Rectum

Still not sold on quitting? Just one year after quitting, your risk for heart attack considerably drops, and within two to five years, your stroke risk can be similar to that of a non-smoker. So make this year the year you ditch the habit.

Kick Start Your Diet
Smoking isn’t the only bad habit that needs to be kicked to the curb in 2019. When it comes to your diet, say no to transfats and processed foods, and hello to fresh, lean and clean foods. An unhealthy diet is known to increase your chance of heart disease. If you are currently indulging in large portion sizes, a lack of vegetables, and/or a diet high in fat, you are also increasing your chance of a heart attack.

Remember to:

  • Choose lean meats
  • Eat your daily servings of leafy greens and whole grains
  • Reduce your sodium intake
  • Limit your unhealthy fats such as butter, lard, bacon fat and gravy

By being more conscious about your daily diet, you can do your part in keeping your ticker working as it should!

Get Physical
Believe it or not, even the smallest amount of physical activity can make a world of difference when it comes to your overall health. Little tips like parking further away, taking the stairs instead of an elevator, or just simply getting up several times a day to stretch and walk can kick your metabolism up a notch.

The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobics (such as brisk walking, gardening, or water aerobics) and 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (hiking uphill, running, or jumping rope) a week.

Remember: Before any physical activity, you’ll want to stretch your muscles to prevent an injury. If you have a past neck or back problem, or any health issues, please consult with your doctor before starting any new workout routine.

Fight Flu and Cold Season
For many, “it’s just a cold” might be something they are so used to saying each winter. But in reality, a cold is not just that — it’s something that is quickly spread and can often be mistaken for the flu.

The best way to prevent either is to practice good hygiene, and the best way to avoid the flu is through the influenza vaccine. Remember during the winter months to wash your hands often, especially if you're exposed to someone who is congested or coughing. Teach your kids to cover their mouths while coughing, too. Though symptoms of the cold and flu can be similar, you’ll want to know when to spot the difference, as the flu can come with some severe complications.

According to the CDC, a cold will rarely be accompanied by a fever or chills but will come with sneezing, stuffy nose and headache. It usually begins with a sore throat and runny nose.

The flu, however, can come on quick and will almost always cause fever, chills, and severe aches and pains. You may also experience a dry cough and headache. If you believe you have the flu, visit your doctor or our Campbell County Medical Group Walk-In Clinic to get tested for the virus, make sure to drink plenty of fluids, and get tons of rest.

Don’t Ignore Your Symptoms
Symptoms like chest pain or an upset stomach are commonly ignored, but they can be signs of a bigger problem—you can check out some not so common heart attack symptoms here. If your body doesn’t feel right, chances are there something more happening, and the longer you wait to see someone about it, the worse the damage can be.

Whether you twisted your ankle the wrong way or have a stomach ache that won’t go away, the Walk-In clinic is equipped to evaluate your symptoms so you can have the peace of mind you deserve.

Some injuries and ailments we can help you with include:

  • Falls, strains and simple fractures
  • Fevers and respiratory issues
  • Abdominal pains
  • X-rays and lab testing
  • Pneumonia and more

Remember that jaw pain or vomiting could be a sign of something serious and an untreated strain or sprain could get worse.

If in your quest to get healthy you find that you are experiencing some uncomfortable aches and pains, are not feeling yourself, or obtain a minor injury—the CCMG Walk-in Clinic in Gillette, Wyoming has the experienced staff you need to treat you and your family with personal and quality care. Save your spot in line or walk-in today!