Written by Kiana Abel, Marketing & Communications Specialist
NorthLakes Community Clinic (Published 3/2018)
March is the month of spring in most of the United States. The signs of color, life and vitality begin to slowly come out of hiding. While we may be able to witness spring popping into other parts of our nation, I suggest we Northerners focus not on when we will see green, but on refreshing our personal health routine. Yes, a spring clean of your health routine! As your local promoter of community health – and firm believers in preventative care – we have 5 tips for cleaning up (or inspiring you to start) a revitalized health routine.
- Include the great outdoors in your movement routine. We are the toughest people in the land, withstanding months of sub-zero temperatures and avoiding the chill of our northern climate by sprinting from-house-to-car-to-office for months! You have to admit that when we experience sub-zero temperatures, 20 degrees feels like spring and 30 degrees is downright BBQ weather! Your physical and mental health is very important and you can enjoy the beauty of our area by challenging yourself to get outside. So, get outside this month! A 20 min walk with yourself, a friend, child or pet, will not only improve your physical health but can improve your mental health as well.
- You are what you eat. The number one food killer of Americans is… Salt. Do your best to control your sodium intake by cooking at home the majority of the week, reading labels carefully, eating processed foods with less frequency and filling your plate with fruits and vegetables.
- Schedule your yearly appointment(s). If you have not done so already, call your clinic and schedule a yearly health exam – whether that’s with a medical provider or your dentist, seeing both providers on a regular basis helps you to maintain a healthy routine throughout the year. And, don’t just sit there…DO something about that back pain, headaches or gimpy knee. Make an appointment with one of the many excellent local chiropractors or physical therapists to get out of pain and back to healthy so that by summertime you’ll be able to enjoy.
- De-clutter your Medicine Cabinet. Since we’re talking spring-cleaning, let’s focus on the medicine cabinet by discussing the proper ways to discard unused or expired medicines. It is important to discard unused or expired prescriptions from the home as quickly as possible to help reduce the chance that children or others, including pets, accidentally take or intentionally misuse the medicine. The most effective way to discard these prescriptions is by contacting your local city or county police department. These local departments take part in the statewide network of Drug Take Back locations, and often host drug take back events. For more information, please visit, http://doseofrealitywi.gov/drug-takeback/ or call your community police department.
- Focus on creating a life worth living. Has something been stressing you out? Think about what could be causing stress in your life consider seeking the help of a professional “talk therapist” or psychotherapist. It might be beneficial in finding a solution. Have you felt like getting more movement in your weekly routine? Take life by the horns and begin a weekly walk. Who knows, you might be running by the time spring really hits the northland! Is there something you have really wanted to give up or cut back? Don’t try to do it all in one day; start small and reward yourself for doing something for yourself and all the others in your life. Overall, we challenge you to focus on those things that can help you to live a life worth living.
NorthLakes provides care to those with Medicaid and Medicare, those with private health insurance (such as Anthem/Blue Cross, Security Health, and many others) and those without insurance. We also provide a Sliding Fee Scale available to all patients who qualify based on income level, regardless of insurance status.
NorthLakes Community Clinic has 11 clinic locations in Ashland, Balsam Lake, Hayward, Iron River, Minong, Turtle Lake, and Washburn. NorthLakes locations offer: medical, dental, behavioral health counseling including substance use disorder counseling, recovery services, chiropractic, pediatric speech therapy, pediatric occupational therapy, and prescriptions for patients. Clinics are open Monday through Friday. For more information visit http://northlakesclinic.org. NLCC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.