Monthly archives of “September 2015

fall fun
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It’s the first day of fall! What’s your favorite fall activity?

Welcome to fall. The days are slowly getting shorter, colder, and darker. You leave the house in the morning wearing a sweater and by the afternoon you may turn on the A/C but by the evening your lighting a fire in the fireplace. Halloween candy is showing up at the grocery store and thoughts of pumpkins and holidays are starting to creep in to your long term plans.

Fall is a wonderful time of year for you and your family. There are so many indoor and outdoor activities that families can do together. Here is a quick list of links to fall family activities.

  1. Guide to Oregon – festivals and events
  2. Oregon Live – things to do with the kiddos
  3. Northwest including Washington
  4. Seattle area

From football games to raking leaves there are plenty of fun things families can do together this fall. Take a few moments to share your favorite fall activities in the comment section. We’d love to know what memories you’re making with your family.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by:  Mt. Hood Territory

 

 

 

pretty ladies
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Accepting the aging process

Ok, you’re aging.  There’s no way around it.   You turn a certain age and people say “You’re how old?  Oh you don’t look your age at all”.  It’s a sideways compliment but what if you’re one of those people who has made peace with aging and you’re not going to fight it? You’re going to embrace every wrinkle, grey hair, and every crows foot line on your face.

Ann Brenoff, a senior writer and columnist with the Huffington Post, is just such a woman.  She asks “What exactly is aging gracefully anyway?  The definition of aging gracefully seems to be someone who doesn’t look or act the age they actually are.”   But she goes on to more clearly define the act of aging gracefully as “the simple act of not aging as rapidly as some people think is typical.”

Hollywood and social media set such a high standard for beautiful aging, look at Jane Fonda, age 77,  Helen Mirran, age 70, or Anthony Hopkins, age 77 they’re all stunning.  But is that the youthful beauty that is affordable to those who are able to pay for personal trainers, chefs, and high end cosmetics?  This may not be you but unless you make your living on the big screen, it doesn’t have to be you.

Remember this….we are not our bodies.  The soul of who are you are is not always a direct reflection of your outer shell.  Give yourself permission to not defy nature and embrace the changes that will happen to your appearance.  You’re not a failure because you don’t look 25 you’re whole life.  There is beauty in aging – embrace your beauty.

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by: The Arches

 

 

 

16871668302_4dbd65047d_o
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7 facts about HPV for parents

Hey parents, did you know that your child is at risk of getting an STD (sexually transmitted disease)? It is estimated that nearly all sexually active individuals will get HPV (Human Papillomavirus) at some point in their lives.

Now we know what you are thinking… “My child isn’t sexually active yet!”

That may be true, but HPV is so common that the best protection is to get your child  vaccinated before they become sexually active. This will allow the vaccine to develop an immune response within the body. Currently there is a FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved series of vaccines (3 shots total) that are available for both preteen girls and boys around the ages 11 and 12.

It is important to note that a person with HPV has no symptoms. Studies also show that individuals with HPV also have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer. But keep in mind, prevention is possible!

Here are 7 facts about the HPV vaccine:

  1. There are 3 vaccines approved by the FDA to prevent HPV infection.
  2. The HPV vaccine can help prevent many types of cancer (such as vaginal, cervical, anal and throat).
  3.  The HPV vaccine can be given to females until they are 27 years old.
  4. Males can get the vaccine as well, up to age 22.
  5. Two of the HPV vaccines can protect against genital warts.
  6. No serious side effects have been shown to be caused by the vaccines.
  7. Protection from the HPV vaccine is long lasting.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and FDA continue to carefully study and monitor the HPV vaccine; these studies have continued to show that the HPV vaccines are safe and effective. Parents are encouraged to talk to your child’s doctor about the HPV vaccine and what they can do to make sure their child is protected.

Moda Health offers members with a pharmacy benefit HPV immunization services at select network pharmacies. For a complete list of network pharmacies or for questions, call Moda Health Pharmacy Customer Service at 888-361-1610.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by By: Agência Brasília

 

age gracefully
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Aging gracefully is easier than you thought

When you think of the aging process you may think of diminished vision and hearing senses, wrinkled skin, and arthritic joints.   Some of these may be a genetic predisposition but there are definitely ways to age gracefully – physically, mentally and socially.

Here is a list of 5 attributes that may help ease the stereotype of aging:

  1. Be a happy camper.  Not all seniors have to be cranky but depression can be a common as you age.  Find something positive in every day. Pay a compliment to a stranger, say a kind word, find joy in unusual places and celebrate.
  2. You’re a survivor.  Just by aging you’ve experienced wisdom, resilience and a mature prospective.  Growing old is an accomplishment in itself and you’re stronger than you think.
  3. Accept changes.  The aging process brings on many changes.  Instead of fighting them, embrace them.  Life isn’t the same as when you were in your youth. The environment, culture, and world has changed.  By accepting changes and adapting to new situations you’re continuing to remain mentally and socially flexible.
  4. Avoid stereotypes.  Aging doesn’t mean that you are required to sit in a rocking chair and knit sweaters; unless that’s what you want to do.   Live by your own standards and don’t feel like you need to join the Red Hat Club just because you’ve reached a certain age.  Live for yourself.
  5. Find meaningful activities. Retirement has always been defined as a time when you move away from your regular day-to-day activities. This is historically when depression may set in.  Instead of seeing retirement as an end, see it as a beginning. Now you have time to learn to play a musical instrument, learn a foreign language, volunteer at the library, or any number of other activities that keep your brain and body socially active.

Click here to watch a great video on aging advice from young and old.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by David D

brain
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8 habits to improve your brain flexibility

September is national Age Gracefully month.  The media will drive you to focus on the physical aspects of aging, but what about your brain?  Does it age?  YES!

BrainHealth.gov says “Your brain changes as you age. But the central mission of your brain never changes.  Its job is to help you make sense of the world and oversee your daily operations of life.”   When the brain ages its called “brain plasticity” and it’s normal.  However, there are a few simple ways to help with improved cognitive function.

Here are 8 habits to improve cognitive function:

  1. Physical activity
  2. Openness to new experiences
  3. Curiosity and creativity
  4. Social connections
  5. Mindfulness meditation
  6. Brain-training games
  7. Get enough sleep
  8. Reduce chronic stress.

It’s just as important to focus on brain health as it is to focus on physical health.   Does the list seem daunting?  Choose one per month as a focus and in no time you’ll be on your way better brain flexibility.

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Allan Ajifo