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August 2009: Getting ready for the Fall

            It has been a very strange summer thus far, in terms of weather and of H1N1 influenza fears.

            There’s also the matter of heat and humidity in our part of the world.  August tends to bring both to NYC – and sometimes lots of rain (possibly hurricanes).  We need to be sure to remain healthy in the summer – a time we tend to think of as carefree, maybe drink a bit of alcohol and try to relax.  That’s great, but so is keeping up with good nutrition and exercise.  The recent flu pandemic has shown that to be true.

            You can also wear your “heart” [health] on your sleeve!  It’s Medic Alert Awareness Month.  If you or a loved one have any conditions or medications, this is how you can ensure that no matter what you are doing or where you are, if you cannot speak for yourself during a medical crisis, the bracelet or necklace will.  Sometimes, simply looking at yourself and your health in writing can be an eyeopener (e.g., “Am I really taking all those medications every day?!”).  And you can help keep yourself out of harm’s way when unexpected public health crises (like the flu) arise.

            From 9-15 August, we will celebrate community health during National Health Center Week.  Visit your local health center for wellness information.  By maintaining ourselves as well and healthy, we extend our lives and our abilities to fight off other illnesses.  Our local wellness and health centers in our communities are a large part of this.

            Finally, get that flu shot!  It’s National Immunization Awareness Month!

            And enjoy whatever this sultry month may bring!