When we think of "summer break," our minds travel back to days with no school, to sleeping in, lazy afternoons, and play. As parents of school-age children, the "summer break" concept lingers... at least for them. July, prime summer break time, is the most popular month for vacations (AYTM.)
No matter what our age, however, there are still plenty of good reasons for a summer vacation. Borrowing a few ideas from Gracie Dusseau's " 10 Reasons Why You Need a Summer Vacation" blog, consider the following
IMPORTANT NOTE: In honor of summer vacations everywhere and in every way, CareSmart will be operating on an abbreviated schedule through the month of August.
"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day,
listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky,
is by no means a waste of time."
John Lubbock;The Use Of Life
The upside to the internet: We have easy access to a lot of good information. The downside to the internet: We have easy access to a lot of not-so-good information. At the same time, we increasingly rely on the web to educate ourselves on a host of topics including health. How do we know who and what to trust?
When it comes to online health resources, one of the best ways to assess reliability is to look for URAC Accreditation. The URAC seal indicates that a health website has been reviewed for privacy and security, health content editorial processes, disclosure of financial relationships, linking policies and notice about the links you choose, and consumer complaints.
The number one URAC website is WebMD, www.webmd.com, the healthcare website with approximately 80 million visitors per month! If you're not familiar with WebMD, you'll definitely want to visit. If you're a current user, it may be time to take a closer look.
At first glance, WebMD will introduce you to controversial issues like teen suicide and recent news events such as the recent vote on the Affordable Care Act and updated news on antibiotics.
Click on the Menu Bar at the top of the page, and you'll soon find that the site offers so much more!
"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver."
Children learn early in life how important their brains are. By the time they've completed elementary school, they understand what the brain looks like and how it contributes to their ability to hear, see, smell, and think. They also learn early on about the problems that occur when brains "don't work right."
The older we are, the more important brain health seems to become. According to the Alzheimer's Society, dementia is the most feared health condition in the United Kingdom. In the U.S., twice as many people fear the loss of mental over physical abilities (CDC). Given the number of people with dementia (47 million worldwide) and the cost ($818 billion), this fear is justified... not only for us as individuals but also for families who care for their loved ones and for society as a whole (Lancet).
Research currently focuses on two fronts: cure and prevention. Unfortunately, no cure has as yet been discovered.
For those of us without dementia, however, there's progress on the prevention front.
So what can we do differently? This week, the Lancet Commission announced that more than a third of dementia might be preventable by reducing the following risk factors.
9% - Hearing loss, especially if you're middle-aged (45-65)
8% - Not graduating from high school
5% - Smoking
4% - Untreated depression
3% - Physical inactivity
2% - Social isolation
2% - High blood pressure
1% - Midlife obesity
1% - Type 2 diabetes
Together, these factors add up to 35% so the idea is... the more we can change, the more we can lower your dementia risk.
True, nothing in life is guaranteed. But it's good to know that when it comes to brain health, we CAN take some action to protect our brains from dementia.
NOTE: Since 1823, the British journal, The Lancet, has published articles related to science, medicine, and health. Click here to read the full text of the Lancet article. Click here to download.