HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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Take care of yourself if you catch the flu. “People should stay home when they are sick or have a fever so they do not spread it to others,” Hall said. As soon as symptoms such as a fever or body ache appear, you need to see your doctor.


“People say they feel like they have been hit by a truck but there are medications that can reduce symptoms,” Hall said. “Then the flu has to run its course.”


When you get your the flu shot, not only are you protecting yourself but you are also protecting the people around you. Do yourself a favor: Put getting a flu shot on your list of resolutions for 2019 and check it off as early as possible.

WHY YOU NEED A FLU SHOT

that feels like they have been punched in the shoulder, but you do not get sick from it,” Hall said. If you do not feel like yourself after receiving the vaccine, that is normal. “You may feel bad for a day but that is your body absorbing and letting the immunity build up,” Hall said.


It is a misconception that the flu shot can cause the flu because a live virus is not injected into you. “You can still get the flu after the shot because it could already be in your system or be a strain that is not covered by this year’s shot,” Hall said.


The flu has been shown up earlier each year, but usually starts to increase in September. “In Kentucky, the flu hits its peak in late January and early February, so it is absolutely not too late to get the shot,” Hall said.


It takes some time for the shot to take effect. “It takes about two weeks to build full immunity,” said Hall. It does not help that people spend a lot of time indoors in the winter and in close quarters with lots of physical contact, such as hugs and handshakes, around the holidays. The most common and best piece of advice is to wash your hands frequently and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

JAMIE LOBER

Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

more articles by jamie lober

“It is the best and easiest way to protect yourself and your family from the flu every year,” said Kevin Hall, spokesperson for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.


Even the littlest members of your family are advised to get this tried and tested vaccine. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the flu shot for everyone ages 6 months and above,” Hall said. “But it’s even more important for people age 65 and older to get a flu shot because they are most susceptible to serious illness and complications from the flu.” Young children who may not have had a chance to fully build up their immune system are also in danger.


Scientists responded to the higher risk seniors face during flu season. “There is a high-dose vaccine that can provide extra protection for the elderly population,” Hall said. “Seniors may also want to talk to their doctors about the pneumonia vaccine.”


There will always be exceptions to a rule, and the same applies to the flu shot. “There are some people who should not get it, such as people with egg allergies and underlying health conditions,” Hall said. “You should talk to your medical provider to make sure it is appropriate for you.”


Knowing what to expect can make you feel more at ease when you get the shot. “Most people will have a little bit of soreness in their arm