Prevention and Wellness

Flu Facts: What You Should Know


Each year 5 to 20 percent of Americans get the flu (influenza) and more than 200,000 end up in hospital due to flu complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To stay healthy, the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older receives a flu vaccine. However, when it comes to the flu, several myths and tales persist. Test your flu facts and fiction knowledge with this quiz from the CDC. Read More

Top Tips to Maintain Eye Health


Eye health isn’t always top of mind when our vision is functioning normally. But as we age, our eyes become more susceptible to diseases that can lead to vision impairment or loss. Some age-related eye diseases run in families and can’t be entirely prevented, but following basic rules for eye health can ward off problems. Robert Filer, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon, suggests the following tips to keep your eyes healthy for life. Read More

Stay Healthy During Flu Season


During the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 to 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 60.8 million people got the flu, almost 275,000 were hospitalized and about 12,500 died from flu complications. While it’s hard to predict how bad this year’s flu season will be, it’s always best to be prepared. Read More

Reduce Stress with Mindfulness


Are you ever aware – fully aware – of your thoughts, your feelings, the sensations on your body? Most of us aren’t. Yet if we could focus our attention on the moment, without judging or analyzing our thoughts, research shows we could use this mindfulness to boost our health in many ways.

“Mindfulness is portable. You can do it anywhere. You don’t need any physical tools, and it doesn’t cost any money,” says Kimberly Erlich, CPNP, nurse practitioner and coordinator of the Adolescent Behavioral Health Project at Mills-Peninsula and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “Mindfulness-based stress reduction is a skill you have to learn, just like riding a bike. But it has great longevity and benefits.”

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Your Good Sleep Guide


Can’t sleep but not sure why? Before you assume you have a medical sleep disorder, find out if your personal habits are undermining good sleep.

Do you watch movies or work on the computer until right before bed? Do you have a frothy coffee drink in the afternoon to perk you up? Do you stay up late and sleep in on weekends?

Mehran Farid-Moayer, M.D., a sleep specialist at Mills-Peninsula Health Services, suggests this checklist to improve your snooze. Read More

Your Healthy Weight

Fifty-seven percent of American adults say they would like to lose 20 pounds or more, according to findings of the NPD Group in the 2013 Eating Patterns in America report.

This desire for weight loss comes as no surprise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 60 percent of Americans are overweight or obese.

So what’s the magic number you need to reach on the scale for optimal health?

“There’s no such thing,” Heidi Stroessner-Johnson, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula internal medicine doctor, says. “It’s very individual from person to person.”

Family history, genetics, body frame, medical conditions, pregnancy, lifestyle – these are all factors that determine what the scale should read for each individual.

Body Mass Index

“I don’t just look at one thing when I help my patients determine healthy weight goals,” Dr. Stroessner-Johnson says, “but a good place to start is the Body Mass Index.” A simple mathematical formula based on height and weight, the Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to measure body fat. The CDC offers a free, online calculators you can use to calculate your BMI. Read More