Our Top 5 Health Tips for 2012

The New Year is a time for resolutions and new beginnings. Whether you’re trying to turn over a healthier leaf or just preparing yourself to repeat last year’s successes, there are a few bad health habits that everyone should tackle. And we can almost guarantee even our healthiest reader has room for improvement!

  1. Review Your Health With Your Doctor
    Immunizations are key – every adult should have a tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, hepatitis, and flu shot. Younger adults should consider the HPV immunization and older adults should be vaccinated against shingles and pneumonia. If you take any medications, you should review your prescriptions with your primary care physician regularly. Regular conversations can help ensure that you are taking the right medications, in the right manner, for your ailments.
  2. Create a Living Will and Name a Health Care Proxy
    Too often we shy away from planning for the worst. But when you face an unexpected illness or injury a living will is instrumental in making your medical wishes and desires known. Your designated proxy should know your wishes and be prepared to act as your patient advocate during your treatment.
  3. Learn CPR
    CPR is a simple technique that can be the difference between life and death for someone you love. Those crucial moments before the ambulance arrives can have a huge impact on an individual’s survival rate and recovery. The American Red Cross offers a variety of CPR classes across the country – find one near you by contacting your local health care system.
  4. Donate Blood
    When you donate blood, you give another the gift of life. The blood bank is always in short supply, and healthy adults can donate a pint every two months – each pint can save as many as three lives.
  5. Dispose of Outdated Medication
    We’ve explored medicine expiration dates on this blog before. Most of the time, expired drugs don’t cause harm, but they do lose their effectiveness with time. Life-saving medications, such as insulin, epi-pens and heart medication, should always be current.

Source: Consumer Report, January 2012, www.ConsumerReports.org

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