Reasons why giving back is good for both society and your health

Courtesy of Reena Vokoun
Town Crier columnist Reena Vokoun, pictured, holds a sign advertising the fundraising competition she will be in to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society between February and May 2020.

Holiday season is here, and it’s a natural time to think about giving back and donating to charities. In fact, according to the Blackbaud Index, as featured in USA Today, approximately 34% of all charitable donations are given in the last three months of the year, and 18% in December alone.

While giving back should first and foremost be for the purposes of helping those in need, it also can provide health benefits for those on the giving end, in addition to those on the receiving end.

Pilates equipment will take your workout up a level

Courtesy of PhysioFit
Incorporating Pilates equipment into a workout, such as the Reformer, above, can help fitness-oriented people avoid becoming stuck in a rut.

Low-impact, total body and mind-body integrating – that sums up Pilates.

The Pilates fitness approach is versatile and safe enough to be done in the privacy of your own home, but the value of getting in-person coaching from a certified Pilates instructor really can’t be beat. You will come away with a deeper awareness of your body and greater strength, flexibility and peace of mind than you ever thought possible from a simple yet challenging workout.

FDA set to update labeling on dietary supplements

Courtesy of Statepoint
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has required that all dietary supplement products include updated labeling by January 2021, a move aimed at addressing the evolution of the American diet.

Dietary supplements help people get the nutrients they need to thrive, and 77 percent of Americans take them, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition. However, experts advise that to make smart choices down the line, it is necessary to understand changes being made to product labels.

“The Food and Drug Administration has mandated that all dietary supplement products feature updated labeling by January 2021 to reflect the evolution of the American diet, as well as advancements in nutrition science,” said Brian Wommack, the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s senior vice president of communications. “Larger manufacturers will comply by January 2020, and many other manufacturers will be introducing the new labels early, so it’s smart for everyone to get familiar with the updates now.”

Why practicing gratitude is good for our health

Town Crier File Photo
While planning for the holidays can be stressful, practicing gratitude can improve physical and mental health, sleep and relationships.

Thanksgiving and the holiday season are just around the corner, providing a nice reminder to think about what we’re grateful for. Gratitude is something we can and should focus on throughout the year to look at life through a positive lens. It also can create amazing benefits for our health and well-being.

Below are five scientifically proven reasons why practicing gratitude is good for our health.

Feeling unsteady? How to recognize signs of a balance disorder

Courtesy of Kim Gladfelter
With everything going on in the course of the day, balance is not often a focus until someone points out that something could be off. Physical therapist Kim Gladfelter says that a certain amount of balance is vital to living a healthy life. For seniors, seeking guidance could help prevent serious falls.

You bump into furniture often. You’ve stubbed your little toe more times than you can count. Are you a little clumsy? Just signs of aging? Or could your balance problem be something bigger?

Most of us rarely realize we have a problem with balance until it’s pointed out and made obvious to us.

El Camino awards $50K to county's drug redistribution pharmacy

Courtesy of the Mountain View Police Department
A Mountain View Police Department employee collects unused and expired drugs from a local resident and properly disposes of the pills at the agency’s drug takeback event Oct. 26. The county’s Better Health Pharmacy received a grant that enables it to redistribute surplus medications to low-income residents.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department’s Better Health Pharmacy received a $50,000 grant last month from the El Camino Hospital and El Camino Healthcare District Community Benefit Program.

According to Joe Simitian, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and chairman of the county’s Health and Hospital Committee, the grant will enable the pharmacy to help more residents access drugs they need at no cost.

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