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4 Ways to Stay Healthy This Season

4 Ways to Stay Healthy This Season

By Randy Bergen, MD

As the winter months arrive and viruses begin to circulate, you may wonder if there are tricks to avoid getting sick.

Colds and influenza, or “the flu”—which has similar symptoms to a cold but is more severe—may be unavoidable, but you can still minimize the seriousness of an illness or how often you catch a bug with a few simple germ-fighting strategies.

There are a lot of urban legends—almost equal to the number of viruses—about how to beat common illnesses, so you have to sift through fiction to get to the facts.  Here are a few widely accepted ways of fortifying yourself this season:   

Foods to Improve Your Mood

Foods to Improve Your Mood

Interview by Elizabeth Schainbaum

For Nancy Hoffman, PsyD, the old adage “you are what you eat” doesn’t just relate to physical health. It’s also mental.

The simple neuroscience behind eating begins with how nutrients influence the brain’s chemical composition. Foods that boost neurotransmitters, such as serotonin or dopamine, can also boost our mood, alertness, and ability to cope with stress.

A licensed clinical psychologist with specialized training in neuropsychology, Dr. Hoffman is based at Kaiser Permanente Union City Medical Offices. Dr. Hoffman is also the guest of the Health Talks Online webinar “Food and Mood” on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 12:30 p.m.

Briefly explain the neuroscience behind what we eat.

2013 Weekly Challenge #48: Pick Your Day!

2013 Weekly Challenge #48: Pick Your Day!
2013 Weekly Challenge #48: Pick Your Day! Tis the season for parties, celebrations, get togethers...food is everywhere all the time this time of year, and it isn't always the healthy stuff.

The bad news: the average person expects to gain weight during the holidays, and does so.

World Diabetes Day observed Nov. 14

World Diabetes Day observed Nov. 14

On Thursday, November 14, San Joaquin County Public Health Services (PHS) will take part in the local observation of World Diabetes Day. According to the 2011- 2012 California Health Interview Survey, 10.9% (53,000) of the adult population in San Joaquin County has diabetes. In California, the rate is 8.4%. These high numbers illustrate the need to educate county residents about the risk for diabetes and how to prevent the crippling effects of this disease.

Diabetes is a challenging disease that affects the entire family in many ways. San Joaquin County Health Officer, Dr. Karen Furst advises, “It is important for people with diabetes and their families, to work together to manage diabetes and prevent serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and nerve damage.” Usually, people with diabetes who have a strong family support system are better able to cope with the day-to-day demands associated with the disease.

Free flu vaccine clinics for San Joaquin county residents

Free flu vaccine clinics for San Joaquin county residents

San Joaquin County Public Health Services (PHS) will provide seasonal influenza vaccinations free of charge on Monday, October 28, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (or until supplies run out), at two community sites in Stockton: Delta College in Upper Danner Hall and downtown, next to the Stockton WorkNet office on South Lincoln Street. These special flu vaccine clinics are open to everyone, 3 years of age and older. They are “walk-in” clinics and no appointment is required.

Those who do not have health insurance and those at highest risk of complications from the flu, including pregnant women and persons with long term medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic illness, are especially encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. Flu vaccination is also important for people who live with or care for people at high risk for influenza-related complications, and for anyone caring for newborns.

2013 Weekly Challenge #37: The Power of the Push Up

2013 Weekly Challenge #37:  The Power of the Push Up

What do you do when your bootcamp coach says "time for pushups?" I'm willing to bet you groan, shoot a dirty look or, at a minimum roll your eyes. Admit it - you know its true!

Pushups aren't the easiest thing in the world to do. But they are worth every bit of effort you put into them. Pushups work SO many muscle groups. Primarily, they work your deltoids (shoulders), triceps (back of the upper arm) and pectorals (chest). As if that weren't great enough, they can also engage your rhomboids (shoulder blade area), Erector spinae(spine), Rotator cuff, Posterior Deltoids (shoulders), Serratus anterior (near your arm pits), Rectus abdominus (abs), Transverse Abdominus (abs), Gluteus maximus (glutes), and Quadriceps (quads).

That's a lot of bang for your exercise buck, so its no surprise they can be challenging!

Officials call Air Alert

Officials call Air Alert

Increasing ozone levels and possible smoke impacts from lingering wildfires have prompted local air officials to declare the air basin’s second Air Alert episode of 2013 beginning today (Monday, Sept. 9) and continuing through Wed., Sept. 11. The Air Alert is effective in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and the Valley portion of Kern counties.