California Health: 7 Must-Know Heart Disease Facts

Of all the health issues that cause the most problems in the U.S., heart disease is at the top of the list. “Heart disease” refers to a number of conditions, including:

  • Arrhythmias
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart infections
  • Heart valve disease
  • Hypertension

Because of the prevalence of heart disease and how deadly it can be, it’s important to learn as much as you can about it and take steps to prevent it.

7 Facts About Heart Disease You Should Know

Here are five facts about heart disease you may not know:

  1. Heart attacks and coronary heart disease are 2 of the top ten most expensive hospitalization conditions. Both account for more than $10 billion/year.
  2. Heart disease is the number-one cause of death in the U.S.
  3. It’s estimated 790,000 Americans suffer from heart attacks every year; around 114,000 of those are fatal.
  4. More than 360,000 Americans die from heart disease every year.
  5. One heart attack occurs almost every 40 seconds.
  6. Strokes account for 133,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. They cause five percent of all American deaths.
  7. The average age of a male’s first heart attack is 65.3. The average age for a female is 71.8.

What Are Risk Factors for Heart Disease?

Risk factors for heart disease that you should know about include:

  • Diabetes
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

Take Steps to Prevent Heart Disease in California

Heart disease affects thousands of Americans every year. Know the facts and learn the risk factors so you can take steps to avoid heart disease:

  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Exercise regularly
  • Improve your diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stop smoking

For more information about heart disease or California health tips in general, be sure to continue to visit us at The Benefits Store.

3 Reasons to Get Your Flu Shot

flu shot in California

The flu can be a deadly virus, depending on your age and health. Even if you’re young and healthy, you should still get vaccinated. It’s important that you get your flu shot every year, especially this year.

There are different strains of the flu every year, which is why a flu shot is required annually. The time to schedule a flu vaccination is before winter hits, which is the peak flu season in California. 

Why You Should Get Your Flu Shot in California

The following are some of the many reasons why it’s important you get your flu shot this year. With your annual flu shot you can avoid:

  • Illness – The flu vaccination can prevent you from getting the flu. The flu can be deadly because it can cause medical complications and lead to other issues, such as pneumonia. Even if you’re healthy, the flu can cause unpleasant symptoms that can keep you home and “down.”
  • Mistaking symptoms for COVID-19 – COVID-19 is a deadly disease that has raged into a worldwide pandemic. Its symptoms are so broad that it can be difficult to determine if you have it or “just the flu.” COVID-19 and the flu share similar initial symptoms, and the last thing you want is to be stressed-out thinking you have COVID-19 when you have a less dangerous flu.
  • Spreading the flu to others – The flu is a virus that spreads easily. If your loved ones aren’t as young or healthy as you, they can “catch” the flu from you.

Getting vaccinated for the flu is critical to your health.

The flu can make you seriously sick, even if you’re young and in good health. Because we now have experience with a pandemic, we need to take our health as seriously as possible. The last thing you want to do is get someone sick with the flu, which could cause them to become even more vulnerable to COVID.

Get your flu shot in California today. For more flu health advice, visit us at The Benefits Store.

4 Tips for Reducing Holiday Stress

reduce holiday stress

Most of us experience holiday stress in one form or another every year. This stress can be the result of large family gatherings, traveling in and out of California, the obligation to attend various social functions, the need to purchase gifts for multiple family members and friends, and much more.

Holiday stress is so common that many people think it’s normal. However, this shouldn’t be the case. Stress can have a negative mental and physical effect. It can diminish your ability to actually enjoy the holidays. 

How To Reduce Holiday Stress

Although you may not be able to avoid the holidays in California, there are ways to reduce stress. The following are a few effective methods to manage stress and to reduce your stress levels so you can enjoy the holiday season:

  1. Ask for gift suggestions – If you’re planning on buying gifts for friends and family, don’t spend hours of your time trying to find the “perfect gift.” Stressing-out over what the perfect gift is and worrying about getting something they won’t like isn’t necessary. Just ask them for suggestions. It’s the act of giving a gift itself they will appreciate, after all.
  2. Don’t do everything yourself – Are you hosting a holiday dinner or party? Ask for help. For instance, have a family member or friend (or two) help with the meal prep so you don’t spend the entire night running around instead of enjoying yourself. You could even ask guests to bring small dishes to contribute to the meal.
  3. Don’t wait until the last minute – Whatever it is you’re doing, whether preparing a meal for a group of friends and relatives or shopping for gifts, give yourself plenty of time to do it. Waiting until the last minute is going to cause a massive amount of stress.
  4. Give yourself “you” time – Although the holidays are generally shared with friends and family, make sure you take time out to relax on your own. Do some yoga, exercise, or read a book; these can reduce your stress levels.

Use these tips to reduce your holiday stress. For more California holiday health and safety tips, be sure to keep visiting us at The Benefits Store.

Older Driver Safety Awareness Week

older driver safety

The AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association) established Older Driver Safety Awareness Week to spread awareness of how changes to physical, mental, and sensory abilities can affect your ability to drive safely.

It’s important to understand that Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, which is December 7-11, 2020 doesn’t only focus on the problem, but also provides solutions. New technologies are being developed every year to help senior citizens in California drive more safely despite physical or sensory changes.

Importance of Older Driver Safety in California

Things change as we age. Our eyesight worsens, we become more sensitive to light, and our hand-eye coordination decreases. These changes can affect our ability to drive safely.

Almost 18 percent of all traffic crashes in 2015 involved people ages 65 and older. Considering the senior citizen population is growing significantly every year, older driver safety has become even more important. 

Technology Aiding Older Driver Safety

The following are a few technologies available in new cars that can help older drivers navigate the roads safely during the day and at night:

  • Assistive parking – An assistive parking system helps drivers to park more effectively, reducing the risk of fender-benders.
  • Lane departure warning – The lanes on roads can sometimes be difficult to see at night, which makes the lane departure warning system so useful. It warns drivers if their vehicle is swerving or leaving their lane.
  • Reverse monitoring – Judging distances can become more difficult for an older driver, especially when it comes to checking the rear of the vehicle (which can be physically difficult, too). A reverse monitoring system helps drivers to back up safely and warns the driver if there are objects in the way.
  • Smart headlights – Smart headlights automatically adjust the headlights’ intensity and range based on the distance of traffic. This makes it easier to drive at night.

These are just a few of many new technologies aiding older driver safety in California. Visit us at The Benefits Store to continue receiving helpful safety awareness information.

Toy Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

toy safety

For children, there’s no better time of the year than the winter holiday season. Not only do they get some time off school, but they get to spend time with friends and family they may not see that often. It’s a season when they’re spoiled by all kinds of presents, giving them a chance to build up their toy collection.

If your kids will be receiving toys or if you’re planning to buy children’s toys in California, keep toy safety in mind.

Toy Safety Risks

The last thing you want is to put children at risk of injury as a result of the toys you bought for them. Certain toys can be especially dangerous to younger children under the age of three. For example, toys with small parts can be a choking hazard. Additionally, riding toys may seem like a lot of fun, but they are also responsible for most toy-related injuries to children ages 14 and under.

Tips for Choosing Safe Toys in California

Keep toy safety in mind and understand that certain toys aren’t appropriate for children of certain ages. The following are a few tips on how to choose the right toy:

  • Avoid flammable toys – All toys with fabric should be labeled flame-retardant or flame-resistant. 
  • Avoid potentially toxic toys – Make sure the materials of the toy are labeled non-toxic and lead-free.
  • Avoid projectile toys – Even if you think the child is old enough for the toy, think twice about projectile toys (such as toy guns). Projectile toys can lead to facial injuries.
  • Be present when the toy is given – If the children are younger, make sure you’re present to instruct them how to use the toy safely, if necessary.
  • Follow the age recommendations – Toys have labels with clearly defined age recommendations. Always look for these labels to ensure the toy is age-appropriate.

Keep these toy safety tips in mind when buying toys in California. For additional holiday safety tips, visit us at The Benefits Store today.