April 6-12 is National Public Health Week.
Take VA’s Five Days to Health challenge. Each day brings a new focus to help build a healthier you, one step at a time. Here is the challenge:
Monday: Get Vaccinated
With so many illnesses out there, it is important to stay up to date on your immunizations. Today, talk to your provider or make an appointment at your nearest VA medical center to learn which vaccinations you may need, including hepatitis A and B, pneumococcal, MMR, and shingles.
Tuesday: Quit Smoking
Today, make a plan to quit smoking for good. Quitting smoking will help you live a longer, healthier life, with more time to spend with family and friends. VA has resources to help you quit. Call 1-855-QUIT-VET (1-855-784-8838) to speak with a smoking cessation counselor and sign up for VA’s SmokefreeVET text messaging service: Text the word “VET” to 47848 for 24/7 text messaging support.
Wednesday: Get Tested
Almost 1 in 6 people living with HIV do not know they are infected, and similarly, 3 out of 4 people with Hepatitis C do not know it. Getting the facts, knowing your risk, and getting tested for HIV and Hepatitis C can save your life. If you do not know your status, talk to your provider or make an appointment at your nearest VA medical center today, and say yes to an HIV and Hepatitis C test.
Thursday: Develop Healthy Habits
Washing your hands, eating balanced meals, and exercising regularly help to prevent infections and protect your health long term. Today, start small:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk around the block,
- Order a side salad instead of french fries or eat a piece of fruit instead of dessert, and
- Sing the happy birthday song every time you wash your hands to ensure you are washing long enough to get rid of all the germs.
Over time, you can turn these actions into habits for your health!
Friday: Enroll in Health Care
In order to access health care benefits, you first need to enroll. Find out if you are eligible for VA health care coverage and enroll today.
Learn more about National Public Health Week and get started. Throughout the week, tell us what you are doing to stay healthy by sharing your experiences on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to use the hashtag #NationalPublicHealthWeek and tag VA Facebook and Twitter profiles, @VeteransHealth, in your posts.
This story was originally published on Inside Veterans Health.