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Make it a goal to get your blood pressure checked during May for National High Blood Pressure Education Month. It’s easy to check blood pressure and it’s painless. It can be checked by your doctor, and many pharmacies have free screening stations. Blood pressure stations can be found within most stores that have a pharmacy department such as CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens.

High Blood Pressure Education Month encourages you to examine your daily routine which may be contributing to high blood pressure. Lifestyle changes which can help reduce blood pressure include; maintaining a healthy body weight, regular exercise, quitting smoking and following a healthy low-sodium diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

What do the blood pressure numbers mean? Blood pressure is typically recorded as two numbers, written as a ratio like this:

blood pressure (3)

 

Incorporating these healthy habits can help you keep your blood pressure under control:

  • Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Participate in 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week.
  • Eat a healthy diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium, saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol.
  • Manage stress.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink (no more than one drink each day for women and two for men).
  • If you have high blood pressure and are prescribed medication, take as directed.
  • Check your blood pressure regularly.SOURCE: American Heart Association, CDC, WhatHealth

 

Note: If you have an existing condition, such as hypertension (high blood pressure) or diabetes, your doctor will advise you on the blood pressure level that is best for your individual health needs

 

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is set for April 18-25, 2015.  This week, NIIW will provide parents information on the benefits of immunizations and how to improve the health of children two years old or younger.  Immunizations are one of the most effective ways that parents can protect their children from infectious diseases, such as measles and whooping cough.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), immunizations, can now protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two. The CDC recommends the following immunizations for infants 0-23 months:

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At Western Health Advantage, keeping you and your family healthy is our top priority. Preventive care services such as well baby care and immunizations are part of your medical plan, at no additional cost to you! Visit our online infant wellness section for more information.

Disclaimer: Coverage for WHA services depends on eligibility at the time of the service

Sources: CDC

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Did you know today, March 24, is American Diabetes Association Alert Day?  In the U.S., 86 million people have pre-diabetes, putting them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Western Health Advantage is passionate about helping members successfully manage their diabetes.  Before people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, they nearly always develop pre-diabetes, in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Pre-diabetes should be taken seriously as it can begin causing damage to the body.

But it isn’t all bad news! The good news is you can take steps to prevent and manage diabetes. Here are three helpful steps to get you on the right track:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Your body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat calculated using your height and weight, should be in the healthy range. Visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to calculate your BMI.
  2. Eat wisely. Choose pastas, breads, cereals and crackers that show “whole” or “whole grain” as the first ingredient. Eat more fruit and vegetables, aiming to eat dark yellow and green veggies like broccoli, spinach and squash every day. Cut back on foods containing saturated fats like butter, whole milk, high-fat ice cream and cottage cheese. Visit MyFoodAdvisor for recipes and tips from the American Diabetes Association.
  3. Exercise regularly. Physical activity helps you lose weight and control your cholesterol and blood pressure. It also helps your body use insulin. Try to be physically active for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If you haven’t been active in a while, start slowly with a gentle exercise like walking.

Have a minute?   Learn your risk for type 2 diabetes and take the Diabetes Risk Test now at http://diabetes.org/takethetest.

Take it. Share it. Step Out.

For more information, please visit mywha.org/diabetes

 

Sources:

American Diabetes Association

Measuring Spoons Filled With Table Salt

American Heart Association is urging us all to ditch the salt.

The average American consumes more than twice as much sodium than the American Heart Association recommends, and nearly 80 percent of it is coming from pre-packaged and restaurant foods. Your relationship with salt is putting you at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

AHA’s goal is to secure 350,000 online pledges and build a movement to change America’s relationship with salt. They will use these pledges to urge the FDA and food manufacturers to reduce sodium in the food supply.

Tell Sneaky Salt you’re on to his game. Take the pledge today!

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iStock_000006179543MediumWhy immunizing your teen is important.

It’s March and pediatricians are already seeing an increase in the number of infectious diseases, such as measles, whooping cough and the flu. Preteens, teens and young adults need a booster shot for certain childhood vaccines because their vaccine protection wears off. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following immunizations for children ages 13 to 17 years old.

  • Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Meningococcal (MCV4)

We encourage you not to wait until your child is sick to take them to the doctor, but to build a partnership with your child’s doctor through regular annual well visits. This visit will provide you and your child’s doctor the opportunity to discuss important health topics and ensure your child is getting his or her recommended health screenings and immunizations.

With the help of regular well care visits, your child’s doctor can often detect and address health problems before they become more serious.*

For a complete list of immunizations for your teen visit mywha.org/guidelines.

Disclaimer: Coverage for WHA services depends on your eligibility at the time of service.

Source:  CDC

Walk A Mile

Walk A Mile

 

 

 

 

Make history with WEAVE at Walk a Mile in Her Shoes!

On Sunday, May 3rd, Capitol Mall will be taken over by more than 600 men– business leaders, elected officials, husbands, neighbors – who will walk, run, and limp the one-mile course while wearing high heels to support WEAVE.

This year’s event is hoping to make a statement not just locally but to the world when 1,000 brave men come together for the 5th Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. WEAVE hopes to not only raise a quarter of million dollars to support victims, but to set a Guinness Book of World Records in the process.

Join our team and we’ll pay your $40 registration fee. Contact community@westernhealth.com to be a part of WHA’s team!

To find more event information, please visit http://weaveinc.donorpages.com/WalkaMile2015/page4/

What: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

When: Sunday, May 3, 2015

Time: 11:00 am – Elite men who are crazy enough to run take the course.

11:10 am – Less crazy men who only want to walk the course begin.

12:15 pm – Walk is completed. Prizes for top fundraising awards are announced.

1:00 pm – Program ends. Stay for the festival including games, music, cocktails and fun.

 

Where: Capitol Mall between 5th & 7th

 

Western Health Advantage supports WEAVE because we believe in their mission to bring an end to domestic violence and sexual assault in the Sacramento community.  With 1 in 4 women affected by domestic violence, it is no doubt impacting the life of someone you care about it, whether you know it or not. WHA understands that violence of all kinds is preventable, which is why we are committed to helping WEAVE keep families safe from violence and abuse.

Go Red For Women

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Heart disease is the No.1 cause of death in women and it’s time to take a stand……in RED! Go Red For Women is a nationwide event that is devoted in helping women fight back against heart disease.

Join millions of women in the fight against heart disease Feb. 6th for National Wear Red Day.  Whether on the job or walking the street, illuminate your wardrobe and support women fighting heart disease.

Take charge of your heart care! Urge your mothers, sisters, and friends to get their heart checkups. Get your cholesterol screening. Here’s a checklist you can take to your doctor’s visit.

Get healthier! Resolve, today, to make one healthy change in your life. Eat breakfast, even if it’s an apple or a high-fiber bagel you grab on your way out the door. Switch one soda a day for a glass of water. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Support the cause! Wear red today. Make a tax-deductible donation; even if it’s only $5, every little bit helps. Shop Go Red merchandise. Sign up for your free account, and receive a free Red Dress pin. Shop Macy’s until the 8th, receive a 20% discount in-store or 15% discount online, and support Macy’s $100,000 donation. Attend an event in your area.

Learn more about heart disease prevention and heart healthy tips at: https://www.goredforwomen.org/home/live-healthy/

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