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The Health Gazette

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Rules To Live By

1. Exercise aerobically for 30-60 minutes every day.

2. Do not smoke or use tobacco products.

3. Limit alcohol intake to: two drinks per day for males and one drink per day for females.

4. Try to control stress through regular exercise, yoga, counseling, Tai Chi or meditation.

5. Maintain a body mass index (BMI) of below 25.

6. Always report rectal bleeding.

7. Wear a helmet when biking, snow skiing or skateboarding.

8. Never drink and drive.

9. Always wear a seatbelt.

10. Start getting screened for colon cancer starting at age 50 or earlier if you have risk factors for colon cancer.

11. Have a flu shot every October particularly if you are over 50 years of age or for infants 6-23 months of age.

12. Females should have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 or earlier if they have specific risk factors for breast cancer.

13. Have a pneumonia shot (Pneumovax) starting at age 50.

14. Become knowledgeable about sexually transmitted diseases.

15. Eat fish several times per week. Cold water fish such as Salmon and tuna are best.

16. Try to get at least 30 grams of fiber every day. One half cup of Fiber One Cereal contains 14 grams of fiber.

17. Avoid excessive amounts of sun and use sunscreen. Any moles that change should be evaluated. New moles appearing after age 40 should be evaluated.

18. Report any vaginal bleeding that occurs after menopause.

19. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Taking vitamins is not a substitute for eating fruits and vegetables.

20. Avoid excessive use of NSAID's (ibuprofen, Aleve, Motrin and others)

21. Consider taking a baby aspirin with food everyday if you are at high risk for heart disease.

22. Consider taking a vitamin with minerals everyday.

23. Eat red meat in moderation.

24. Women should perform breast self-examination once each month. Report any breast lumps.

25. Try to get 1200-1500 mg of calcium/day either through diet and/or calcium tablets.

26. Discuss getting a PSA (prostate specific antigen) with your physician at age 50.

27. Get a Tetanus-diphtheria shot every 10 years.

28. Take folic acid 0.4 mg several months before you decide to get pregnant. Taking a multivitamin daily satisfies this recommendation. This prevents a congenital brain disorder called neural tube defects.

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Readers may send questions to our email address. This column is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional or medical advice.

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