November’s Reminders

Dr. Clayton Lawrence, CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on overall wellness in an otherwise toxic world. (Always consult with your own physician before beginning any new diet/exercise routine).

What comes to mind when you think of the month of November? Turkey? Family? Cold weather? While most of our minds go to these traditional, familiar thoughts, the 11th month of the year includes some very important dates when it comes to overall health and wellness. For starters, it’s National Healthy Skin Month. November 21 is known as the Great American Smokeout and November 28 is National Family Health History Day.

Why are these topics important? Because we are all affected, in some way, by each of the month’s health reminders. Read on for key points on each of the above dates.

 National Healthy Skin Month

It’s incredibly important to protect the skin – the body’s largest organ – not just during the summer, but during colder months, as well. The American Academy of Dermatology/Association has released a few important tips to keep the skin as healthy as possible, including keeping the skin clean, examining the skin for any changes, protecting the skin with sunscreen, preventing blisters and corns by wearing proper footwear, and moisturizing daily.

Great American Smokeout

On the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society sponsors the Great American Smokeout, encouraging Americans to quit tobacco smoking. According to the ACS, although smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world, more than 34 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. But quitting improves health immediately and over the long term, says the ACS, so it’s important for smokers to understand the benefits of quitting and for family and friends to know how to offer support. The American Cancer Society encourages those who wish to quit to contact them for support, where programs and resources are readily available.

National Family History Day

Held each year on Thanksgiving Day, National Family History Day is a great way to take advantage of having everyone together under one roof. It’s important to understand what conditions may run in the family, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure, if anyone died at a young age and the average life span of ancestors. This is important information to share with doctors, who will make appropriate notes to records and plan for appropriate testing and/or screening.