Health Ministry

Health Hash for February

"2 Feet = 1 Healthy Heart"

OK...we made it through January and the "deep freeze" it brought and now we are in the sweet month of February. February is one of those months that almost ANYTHING can happen, from ice, rain or snow storms and record shattering temps to balmy breezes and 65 degrees followed by a tornado. On a brighter note, it also brings Valentines Day and matters of the heart. Being National Heart month, it brings us back to thinking about our heart health and how we are caring for our hearts.

All of us are born with one heart and two feet...and for good reason. Problem is..when we fail to use our feet, our hearts begin to fail as well. 2300 Americans still die each day from cardiovascular dis-ease...that equates to one death every 37 seconds!! Yet one "cardioCURE" sits right under our noses....our 2 feet!! Simply by returning to an active walking lifestyle, as our ancestors used to do, we can strengthen our hearts and our entire cardio-respiratory system, reverse present cardio damage and prevent future cardio events from happening. 2 feet and minutes a day seems to be pretty cheap health insurance.....don't you agree? If exercise could be synthesized and manufactured into a pill, that pill would be the best selling pharmacuetical on the market today. Actually that pill does can be found as "GOYR ASMA" or "GET OFF YOUR REAR AND START MOVING AROUND".

There are many people who have already incorporated a routine physical activity into their daily regi-ment, but the majority of we Americans have learned to live in our "mobile" society driving everywhere and walking very little, using our feet to get only from the this point to the next closest point. Unfortu-nately, too many of those sedentary people believe that exercise equates to arduous, athletic, "no-pain no-gain" work-outs. But on the contrary, research has shown that modest, daily and continual activity im-provements decrease the risk of cardiac events while improving overall fitness and stamina. Along with the cardio protection, you get improved circulation and breathing, better immune system function, stronger muscles, enhanced energy and improved cognitive function and brain power. All this with the added benefits of stress reduction and improved confidence, self-esteem and happiness. What pill can do all that??

And it's NEVER too late to start....even adding small amounts of activity into your daily lifestyle, can make big cardio improvements. Start slow and don't overwhelm yourself, gradually boosting activity levels. I recently read an article of a women, now in her 90's, who while in her 70s incorporated light walking and mild activity into her daily routine,...she is now running marathons!!!! Bottom line, re-search clearly shows the greatest gain for high-risk, sedentary folks "comes from just rising off the couch".

Actually, when you get right down to it, your own 2 feet may be your heart's best medicine. A quote from George Trevelyan might say it best with, "I have two doctors--my right leg and my left leg."

"There are many plans in a mans heart, nevertheless the Lord's counsel; ....that will stand.”
(Pro. 19:21)

   Nancy Rader, Parish Health Nurse



One question regularly asked is, "How do I know if this upper respiratory infection (URI) is the flu or a cold?" since many of the symptoms mimic each other. Here is a chart to help you determine which it might be:


SYMPTOM                      COLD                 FLU

* Fever                                 Pretty rare              Usually present

* Body aches/pains              Slight                     Severe

* Chills                                Uncommon            Fairly common

* Fatigue                              Mild                       Moderate/Severe

* Sudden Symptoms            Over a few days     Rapid onset (within hours)

* Coughing                          Hacky/productive  Dry/nonproductive

* Sneezing                           Common                Uncommon

* Stuffy nose                       Common                Uncommon

* Sore throat                        Common                Uncommon

* Chest discomfort              Mild/moderate       Can be severe

* Headache                         Fairly uncommon   Very common


Unlike colds, flu can lead to complications like pneumonia, especially in the elderly, the young and those with chronic or serious health issues. Viruses are transmitted by contact with objects the infected person has touched after coughing or sneezing.  Germs can be transmitted 1 day after symptoms appear and up to 5 days after becoming sick. Stay healthy by eating well, exercising routinely, getting plenty of rest and practicing GOOD HAND WASHING.  If you have the cold or the flu, cover your nose or mouth with a tissue when coughing/sneezing, avoid people while ill, wash your hands after coughing/sneezing and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. If you are ill STAY HOME; don't share your germs!!  Treat your symptoms by hydrating yourself, get plenty of rest, gargle to moisten a sore throat, drink hot liquids to clear nasal passages, apply hot or cold paks to congested sinuses, use an extra pillow when sleeping to relieve congestion and avoid traveling by air. And if you are the healthy one, remember those who are ill by sharing Jesus' love through your prayers and doing a little kindness for them, like taking them some chicken soup, watching their children or running to the store.

Nancy Rader RN,  Parish Nurse

"Then shall the light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall  spring forth speedily ......."   Isaiah, 58:8