May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month. And it's time to get outdoors and enjoy the spring weather. Did you know that regular physical activity increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life? It also reduces your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer?
The President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition recommends the following Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans:
*Aim for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week. This includes things like walking fast, dancing, swimming, raking leaves. *Do muscle-strengthening activities - like lifting weights or using exercise bands - at least 2 days a week.
Physical activity is good for everyone's health. No matter what shape you're in, you can find activities that work for you. Together we can rise to the challenge and get more active during the month of May.
May is also National Stroke Awareness month. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a stroke, or CVA (CerebroVascular Accident) is a medical condition in which poor blood flow to the brain results in cell death. There are 2 main types of strokes: ischemic - due to lack of blood flow, and hemorrhagic - due to bleeding. Both result in parts of the brain not functioning properly. It is important to know the symptoms of a stroke:
*Sudden CONFUSION, trouble speaking or understanding speech.
*Sudden TROUBLE SEEING in one or both eyes.
*Sudden TROUBLE WALKING, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
*Sudden SEVERE HEADACHE with no known cause.
If symptoms last less than 1-2 hours, it is known as a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack).
Risk factors include high blood pressure, tobacco smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, previous TIA, atrial fibrillation.
Because stroke attacks the brain, the person experiencing the symptoms often cannot act alone to call 911 and seek medical treatment. Bystanders are integral to acting quickly and getting people who have suffered a stroke to the hospital quickly enough to get time-sensitive treatment.
Wishing you health in mind, body and spirit, and an uplifting Spring.
~Lyn Florio, RN