Did you know that the government of Canada has selected days, weeks and months that feature health awareness? As an organization, you are also able to submit a health promotional event to Health Canada; however not all events are recognized. Last month’s Awareness campaigns included Arthritis, Craniofacial, and Prostate Cancer to mention a few of the 22 that are mentioned. I even had to research some of them such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth, Duchenne, Syringomyelia and Chiara Malformation Awareness, all related to diseases and health issues.
World Cerebral Palsy and Mental Health days have already passed this month; however, Rett Syndrome, Lupus, Breast Cancer Awareness and Occupational Therapy are causes for the month of October. Because we have been so focused on COVID cases, many have forgotten that there are many diseases, conditions and ailments that are still predominant in our society. Fund raisers, pink ribbons, charities and the Terry Fox Run are noble causes to develop awareness and improve funding for an organization. There are many pink ribbons worn this month.
My mother was first diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in her 60’s. Because there was a history in her family, chances were 1 in 4 that she would be diagnosed. She underwent treatment. As the years passed, her remission only lasted for so many years and she had to undergo a mastectomy. My mom, sisters and I would joke with her about how much one silicone “boob” could weigh. Eventually, my mother succumbed to bone cancer at the age of 80. My sisters and I have our regular check-ups, but often wonder if one of us will eventually have to share bad news. Every family has heard the diagnosis from one of their members or friends.
The good news is that there is research being done on many different fronts to stop diseases; however, it is really about health prevention if we want to live a healthy life. The Mayo clinic sites that: Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the world. But survival rates are improving for many types of cancer, thanks to improvements in cancer screening, treatment and prevention. So, what are some of the preventative measures and how might we have a cleaner bill of health as we age?
The Mayo Clinic and many other health organizations promote preventative measures. Here are a few:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat healthy foods but limit processed food intake
- Stop smoking
- Get fresh air
- Get regular exercise
- Getting enough sleep
- Socialize and laughter
Because cancers and many diseases are preventable, we should be taking more care of our bodies, our health and our daily habits. An example of a daily routine might look something like this.
- Waking up and going to bed at a set time each morning and night
- Getting dressed and taking care of personal hygiene
- Preparing and enjoying a light breakfast, lunch and dinner – nutritional
- Going outdoors for a walk or running an errand in morning or afternoon
- Working on a project – art, sewing, writing, building, reading
When we think of health, we often think only of the physical aspect of it; however, our mental health is also very important and sometimes overlooked. Drinking lots of water and washing our hands are needed but we also need to stay positive, laugh often and socialize. Hopefully, we stay connected to family and friends and are able to share our lives together for a happier and healthier future.