Why Orlando Is the Best Vacation for Your Health

Most people will see the title of this article and think, “What? Why?”

This makes sense because anyone who has visited Orlando knows that it can be a tiring experience. Along with all of the walking, there’s also plenty of eating going on at all of the great restaurants.

So, how does Orlando end up being a good place for a healthy vacation?

Exercise

All of that walking that makes you really tired has a lot of benefits. Getting your body moving and sometimes, at an accelerated pace (think of trying to make that Fast Pass) is a great way to get your exercise in. Many people continue to exercise like they did in Orlando when they get home. The vacation broke them into walking – one of the best forms of exercise.

De-Stress

Orlando is as stressful as you make it, so when you go, don’t make it that way. Take time to take in all of the beauty the city has to offer. Sit back in a lounge chair on the beach. Take a dip in a crystal clear pool. Spend an hour or more at a restaurant just taking in all of the excitement and happiness around you.

Many people go on vacation and go-go-go. This only creates stress for them, so that when they return home they are more wound up than before they left. Instead of doing that, make a point to de-stress on your Orlando vacation.

Enjoy Family and Loved Ones

When you get to take your little ones and other loved ones to Orlando, you will feel an incredible feeling inside. This will spark healthy responses in your body that will better your health. A vacation with your family in one of the funnest places on Earth can strengthen your love for your family and remind yourself why you work so hard every single day.

Start with Planning Your Trip

A healthy vacation is a planned one. Start planning your Orlando vacation here. The newsletter is packed with the latest deals, insider tips and special offers!

With all of the information provided on the site, you will be able to set up an itinerary that will not only help you have a great time, but also improve your health. Just remember, don’t book up your time so much that you become stressed. Take advantage of the exercise the area provides, and spend time on the beach and pool. You may even be interested in spending a day at the spa! Everything you need for a healthy vacation is ready for you in Orlando.

The Best Ways to Treat Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an uncomfortable, itchy condition. It can also be quite embarrassing in places where others can see it. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get rid of it. Most people who succeed to rid themselves of the condition tried many different treatments before finding the one that works for them.

Psoriasis Treatment Options

To find what works best for you, consider trying each of the following psoriasis treatment tips.

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Steroid-Based Cream

Steroids reduce inflammation and itching. The downside is that some people experience increased dryness and itching because of it. It can also burn and cause thinning of the skin. It’s best to use this psoriasis treatment under the supervision of a medical professional.

Vitamin D Ointment

Calcipotriene is vitamin D and it’s often prescribed with corticosteroid cream. When used in limited amounts, it doesn’t usually produce side effects.

Coal-Tar

Those suffering from psoriasis on their scalp can use coal-tar shampoo. It’s been effective in some people who experience itchy, flaky symptoms.

Vitamin A Ointments

Vitamin A ointments, also known as retinoids, have shown to be effective in helping people with psoriasis. It does cause dryness and skin irritation when overused, so dosing is an important consideration.

Sunlight

The sun can help alleviate psoriasis symptoms. Unfortunately, exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer, so limiting the amount of unprotected ultraviolet rays is important.

Natural Remedies for Psoriasis

Side effects make it difficult for many people to seek relief from psoriasis. Natural remedies can make it possible to achieve the relief without the side effects.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera can help with the irritation, drying, and flakiness that comes along with psoriasis. While it may not cure psoriasis, it can make dealing with it much more manageable.

Fish Oil

Fish oil can be taken orally, and have many physical benefits including helping with psoriasis. One of the most pronounced effects is the reduction of inflammation.

Dead Sea Salts

Bath with dead sea salts can help alleviate the itching on bad days. It’s important to apply moisturizer immediately following the bath.

Cayenne

Cayenne pepper can help with the pain of psoriasis. Some people experience increased burning on the skin, it’s important to test a small area before applying it liberally. Always wash your hands after application to ensure it doesn’t get into the eyes or mouth.

Weight Loss

Many people who suffer from psoriasis under the folds of the skin feel relief after losing weight. This reduction in weight can keep skin from touching, which aggravates psoriasis.

Gluten-Free Diet

Gluten has been known to induce psoriasis. Avoiding bread, pasta, crackers, and other food products containing gluten can reduce psoriasis flare-ups.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Using apple cider vinegar on the scalp and skin can help with the itching. Since some people can experience a burning sensation, diluting the vinegar with water is often recommended.

Oats

Applying oatmeal to the skin can help with itchiness and the redness of psoriasis. For a bath, seek bath soaps with oatmeal in it to prevent excessive labor in cleaning up.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an antiseptic. Applying it to the skin or using it in shampoos can help the symptoms of psoriasis. It’s important to test a small area on the skin because applying it liberally as some people are allergic to it.

Tumeric

Tumeric can be anti-inflammatory and it’s an antioxidant. Tumeric can be taken as a pill or used in food. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports 1.5 to 3 grams a day is safe.

Mahonia Aquifolium

This is an antimicrobial herb. Some studies have shown it to be effective in treating psoriasis. Due to it being an alkaloid, it’s important to be careful when taking it.

Fighting Psoriasis

The only way to find relief from psoriasis is to search for a treatment that works for you. The only way to do that is to keep trying as many as possible. Try all of the above treatments giving each one enough time to work. If after a few weeks it doesn’t provide enough relief, move on to the next one.

Fighting psoriasis may be hard, but once you find a solution, it will be worth the effort you put into it.

 

Summer Heat Slows You Down

The carefree days of summer may seem like you can do anything you want. Afterall, the weather is nice, and you can go out without being weighed down by sweaters, coats and scarves. But researchers recently reported on a study that the summer may not be all that it’s cracked up to be, and actually, it can end up slowing your brain.

It all has to do with temperature. A new study finds that the brain is susceptible temperature abnormalities.

Just as you may walk slower when it’s hot out because it just seems like you’re walking through thick humidity fog, the brain also deals with the heat in much of the same way.

The study looked at two groups of students who were in rooms with different degrees of temperature. In the mornings, each group would take tests on their phone. The results were consistent in that the students who were in the warmer rooms scored lower than those in the cooler rooms.

What the Findings Mean for Workers

Since it seems as though temperature has a lot to do with how people think, it’s safe to say that working environments that are cooler would be much better for productivity. So, employers should consider the temperature of their office for employees. Keeping the office at an uncomfortable temperature could end up costing them a lot of money.

Does this mean that office spaces should be chilling cold? Probably not.

While hot environments slow the brain down, uncomfortable cold ones may do the same, or at least impact the ability to focus. When someone is cold, they are more likely to seek warmth in various ways, and that can take their attention away from the work they are doing. So, even though they may be quicker at thinking, they won’t be able to think because they can’t focus on the task at hand.

The only way to create an area that is conducive to the best working environment is to set it at a mild temperature. The low to mid 70s is perfect for an office environment. This will ensure that someone is able to think, but not too cold not to focus. It’s also the perfect temperature for a light sweater in case some people feel that it is too cool for their liking.

Another consideration is illness when it comes to extreme temperature. Warmer offices have a tendency to harbor viruses, which can then affect many employees. Colder offices can sometimes aggravate people’s immune systems making them more susceptible to illnesses. Again, keeping the environment at a mild temperature is best.

Osteoporosis – A Serious but Preventable Issue

Over 40 million Americans are facing the challenges associated with Osteoporosis, and 68% of them are women according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. But there is also some good news contained in the current report, and that is the fact that Osteoporosis is for the most part preventable. The human body builds up most of its total bone mass by the age of around 30 and after that point, the focus turns to maintaining the existing bone. So it is truly never too late to begin taking good care of your bones by consuming adequate amounts of calcium and taking part in physical activity.

Increased Risk Factors

There are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of Osteoporosis. These are not certain indicators of the disease but are things to consider and to be aware of as you decide how best to maintain your bones strength and density. Females have a higher incident of osteoporosis than males and should focus early in life on bone maintenance. In addition, the risk of bone damage from Osteoporosis increases as women age.

Smaller, thin boned women are also more susceptible to bone damage and should be extra vigilant when it comes to calcium consumption and proper exercise to prevent bone deterioration or damage. Studies have also found that white and Asian women are more prone to Osteoporosis as are women who have a family history of the disease.

Prevention Methods

Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to prevent Osteoporosis. Milk, cheese and other dairy products that are high in calcium are essential for strong bones. Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage are also good for bone growth as well as tofu and some nuts. Another good option is any fish in which you consume the bones such as sardines or pilchards. There are also a few items to eliminate from your diet or limit when you are concerned with increasing bone health. Foods that contain caffeine or high amounts of sodium or protein will increase the loss of calcium and cause bones to become weaker.

Weight bearing exercise is also critical to maintaining healthy bones. Activities such as walking, jogging or running in combination with strength training is the most effective way to keep both your muscles and skeleton strong. Studies have found that exercising for 30 minutes at least three times per week provide the best results.

It is common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health but studies have found that smoking is directly linked to the loss of bone density. Smoking also increases the risk of bone fractures and increases the healing time for bone and other types of injuries. Alcohol consumption has also been found to prevent bones from absorbing calcium and can contribute to a loss of bone density.

Proper diet and exercise are important to overall health but they are proving to be two of the most critical factors for preventing Osteoporosis. Knowing that older women are far more prone to bone density issues and bone injuries has been helpful in learning how best to focus on preventing Osteoporosis rather than simple trying to find ways to manage it one the disease has begun.

 

Understanding Targeted Cancer Therapy

The National Cancer Institute spends over 5 billion dollars each year on research to better understand cancer and to develop therapies that will slow or eliminate the disease. One of the more promising areas of discovery in recent years is in targeted therapy. This method of treatment focuses on a precision assault of the cancer cells rather than all of the cells in the body.

What Targeted Therapy Does

The research that has been conducted for targeted therapy is focused on discovering specific molecular targets. These are the molecules that are involved in cancer growth, progression and spread. Unlike traditional chemotherapy which is designed to eradicate all of a specific type of fast dividing cell, targeted treatments are focused on only destroying specifically selected cells which facilitate the proliferation of the cancer cells. While the goal of traditional chemotherapy is to kill existing cancer cells, a cytotoxic process, targeted therapy is designed to stop the growth of new cells, a cytostatic process.

How Targets Are Determined

Proteins are very important to cancer cell growth and proliferation. Scientist are able to harvest cancer cells and healthy cells to determine which proteins appear in much higher concentration in the cancer cells than the healthy cells or even which proteins are present in the cancer cells but not present in the healthy cells. These proteins are then determined to be the target of the treatment. Scientist work to create a compound that will inhibit the protein from binding with receptors to grow the cancer.

Challenges of Targeted Therapy

One of the drawbacks to targeted therapy is that the cancer cells can become resistant to the treatment. In some cases, the target will mutate to become immune to the treatment and in other cases the cancer will use a different protein to facilitate growth. Another issue that researchers are working to overcome is the existence of certain targets that cannot be inhibited at all. Many variants of treatments have been used but none have successfully bonded with the protein.

Side Effects of Targeted Therapy

One of the driving goals of targeted therapy was to offer cancer patients a treatment that was less toxic to normal cells and that didn’t produce the debilitating side effects that are common with a standard chemotherapy treatment. Although side effects have not been completely eliminated, the targeted therapy side effects appear to be more mild in most patients. The issues can include diarrhea, skin problems, issues with blood clotting and normal healing processes and high blood pressure.

Targeted Therapy Treatments Available

There are many types of cancer that offer FDA approved targeted therapy options for select patients. The list includes stomach cancer, bladder cancer, brain cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, large cell bone cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, liver cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and some skin cancers. More information about possible treatment options and eligibility can be found at the National Cancer Institute website or by calling 1-800-4-CANCER.

The Investment is Paying Off

The vast investment that society has made in cancer research is finally offering a sizeable reward for cancer patients and their loved ones. Survival rates are increasing and the life altering side effects of treatments are diminishing. My generation might not see the cure for cancer but it is not out of the realm of possibility for my son’s generation to see it, and for his son’s generation to grow up with no frame of reference for this horrendous disease.

6 Ways to Recharge Your Batteries

Everyone has a breaking point. Even when things are at their best, as women, we sometimes push ourselves too hard and experience a kind of overkill, stress-wise. We can often feel it coming, but we ignore it.

Instead, try to think of yourself as needing a moment to just recharge your batteries. Pushing yourself can only get you so far before everything—work, home life, friendships, etc.—begins to suffer. Here are 6, quick ways to take a moment and allow yourself to relax. Afterwards, you can then go back to living your fast-paced life, just with a lot less stress.

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1. Remove Yourself from Social Media

Better yet, if you can, remove yourself from all technology for as long as possible. Whether it’s refreshing our email, obsessively checking our Facebooks, or just updating the news on our phones, technology is constantly giving us new things to stress about, worries we honestly don’t need when our lives are already so hectic.

So take some time off, and plan it so the important people will know how to get in contact with you when it’s happening. Trust us, you’ll feel so much better once it’s over, and then, you can return to the world of technology like nothing happened.

2. Spend Time With Your Pet

Petting an animal can lower one’s stress levels, minimize blood pressure, and elicit a laugh, which is almost better than anything. If you don’t have a pet, try volunteering at the local animal shelter. Whatever you do, just get some cuddle time with a furry friend.

3. Book Some Spa Time.

Even if it’s just in your own bathtub. Give yourself a break and light some candles, use some good bath salts, and relax. If you can afford to go to the spa, do it! You deserve to be pampered.

4. Listen to Music.

We all have a favorite type of music or band. Even if you just have a favorite song, put it on repeat when no one else is home and dance along. Sing at the top of your lungs, and enjoy yourself! If you don’t have time to do this at home, do it in the car on your way to work.

5. Go for a Walk.

Yes, it seems like a sneaky way to get exercise into your day, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re enjoying the scenery. Spend some time walking but not going anywhere in particular. It will help you remember there isn’t always a finish line to sprint toward.

6. Take a Nap.

Most of us don’t get enough sleep at night, and many of us feel like taking a nap is selfish or indulgent. The truth is, though, napping is actually extremely good for you, and it’s one of the easiest, most natural ways to recharge your batteries.

So what’re you waiting for? Close this window and go get 20 minutes of shut-eye. Don’t worry, you’ve earned it, and everything will still be here when you wake up.

7 Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work

Two years ago I tried on a dress for my friend’s wedding, looked in the mirror, and hated what I saw. I stood there, staring at myself, crying, wondering how I got to that point. I weighed in at 192 and knew something had to change. I came across the Atkins diet, went on the Atkins 20 plan, and my life was forever changed. I focused, put in the hard work, and came out feeling confident, healthy, strong and 73 lbs lighter on the other side – and you can too! I learned what worked for my body and left what didn’t. Here are a few tips that helped me along the way.

    1. Never let yourself go hungry. In other words, EAT! The Atkins diet encourages you to have three meals and two snacks per day, or five or six small meals, whichever you prefer. Either way, snack regularly! Eating low carb snacks every few hours helps keep you satisfied, maintains your blood sugar and keeps your energy at a sustainable level. I found that keeping Atkins meals, shakes, bars and treats on hand helped when hunger strikes!
    2. Hydrate. Drink at least 8 oz glasses of water each day. If you are active, drink more! Yes, two of your daily cups can come from coffee, tea, or broth (vegetable, chicken, beef, or bone are all good for you). Dehydration makes your body retain fluid as a protective mechanism, so make this a priority!
    3. Count net carbs, not total carbs. This is a common mistake for newcomers to the Atkins diet. Net carbs are the grams of total carbs minus grams of fiber. On the Atkins 20 plan, your daily goal is to intake 20 net carbs, which is the average level at which fat burns. It’s best to eat 15 grams of carbs per day in vegetables, saving the other 5 for meat, cheese and other necessities. (Definitely cheese!)
    4. Plan your meals. Take time every Sunday to plan your meals for the week, make your shopping list, and stock your kitchen only with approved food. Order Atkins prepared meals, shakes, snacks, and more to help along the way. Click here for a $5 off coupon! Once you register, you’ll get free weight-loss guides and coupons to save on their delicious products.
    5. Supplement your diet with vitamins to ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs. Multivitamins help improve energy levels and reduce sugar cravings, electrolytes will assist with headaches or fatigue, fish and flaxseed oil can improve blood circulation, and fiber can ensure a healthy digestive system. These will all make sure your body is working in sync and feeling good.
    6. Exercise daily. Whether it’s a walk after dinner, a yoga class, a group fitness class, or going for a swim, exercise builds muscle. And the more muscle you build, the more calories you burn. Get out there!
    7. Track your success. Take photos along your journey, keep a food and fluid intake journal, and write about challenges or achievements that come up. Atkins even provides free diet tools to track your weight loss goals and progress. I have found these trackers especially helpful in times when I wanted to give up. It wasn’t an easy process, but seeing my day 1 photo next to my day 30 photo helped me when I wanted to eat that chocolate cake on day 60.

So whether you just started the Atkins diet or you’re trying to figure out if you should take the plunge, Atkins can help you get there with determination. If I can do it, you can!

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Cheap, Easy Ways to Bust Stress at Home

Work is hard, and life is stressful. Sometimes, we all wish we could get away from everything for a minute, but not everyone can afford to take a week-long vacation in the Seychelles. This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to stay a ball of stress until you can. There are plenty of cheap and easy ways that you can relieve the stresses of your day-to-day life right from your couch.

  1. Grab a glass of wine, put on Netflix, and cuddle up with your pet.

 

  1. Buy an adult coloring book or print out some free pages available online. Then, bust out the Crayolas and focus on something calming for an hour or two.

 

  1. Meditate. Just sit down in a comfortable spot, close your eyes, and try to focus on nothing but your breathing. As thoughts come into your head, acknowledge them and then let them go. Doing this for even a few minutes a day can have a wondrous effect on your overall state of mind.

 

  1. Put on your favorite song and dance to it as fast as you can.

 

  1. Ask your best friend to come over and dish about your lives over a frozen pizza. (Remember to heat it up first though!)

 

  1. Find an old notebook or journal you once bought and start filling it up with all your thoughts, worries, fears, and desires. Keep writing until your hand hurts, filling up as many pages as you can with your feelings.

 

  1. Give yourself something small to do around the house whether it’s to clear off the kitchen counter, make yourself dinner, or fix a broken appliance. Once you do it, you’ll be flooded with a sense of satisfaction, and you should give yourself a reward for a job well done.

 

  1. Take a nap. Go on, you deserve it! In our constantly working, hustle-‘til-you-make-it society, we are always telling ourselves we can’t take a break. You can, and you should.

 

  1. Think about the thing you are most stressed out about. Consider the potential outcomes of the stressful situation and ask yourself how you will cope with each outcome. This is called mental creation, and it not only helps you destress but prepares you for many different possible futures.

 

  1. Take a warm bath and then a cool shower.

 

  1. Put down your phone for the rest of the night and refuse to check your texts, emails, social media, all of it! Unplug for just a few hours and see how free you’ll feel.

 

  1. Try breathing in slowly, thinking about the things you’re stressed about when you do. When your lungs are full, hold the breath in for a few seconds and then slowly let it out. As you do, let all those stresses go.

 

  1. Lie down and relax your toes, then your feet, then your ankles, and then your legs. Go all the way up your body relaxing until you get to your head. Lie still for five minutes as you simply breathe and let your body unwind.
2017 Breast Cancer News Means Serious New Conversations With Doctors Necessary

Up until November of 2017, women who reached the 5-year cancer free mark following a diagnosis and subsequent treatment of breast cancer, breathed a sigh of relief. They believed that this marked the beginning of a cancer free life. Not necessarily so, a recent report claims.

According to a November report in the New England Journal of Medicine, many of these women run the risk of developing new malignancies up to 20 years following their initial diagnosis. This information comes on the heels of a lengthy examination of 88 clinical trials. These trials involved the testing of nearly 63,000 women who were initially diagnosed with estrogen receptor positive tumors in their breasts.

The protocol in recent years has been to treat these women with chemotherapy, radiation and/or surgery—or sometimes a combination of the three. They then followed up their treatment with a five year course of tamoxifen or another aromatase inhibitor. The idea behind the ongoing treatment was to kill off any lingering cancer cells the radiation, chemotherapy or surgery may have missed. All the women in the aforementioned study were, in fact, deemed cancer free at the five year mark.

The recurrence rate for the highest risk women in the study group—those who originally had the largest tumors that had spread beyond their breasts—is raising alarms. 41 percent of those women experienced a recurrence over a 15 year period. 10 percent of those women with the lowest risk of recurrence were diagnosed with cancer again over that same period of time.

Dr. Daniel Hayes of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan served as senior study author for this report. He doesn’t want to raise fear via this study, but instead wants both doctors and patients to become acutely aware of its findings.

“We know that adjuvant (hormone based) therapy for five years substantially reduces the risk of recurrence and mortality,” he explains. “We now have good evidence that extending adjuvant (hormone based) therapy beyond five years continues to suppress and reduce recurrence and mortality.”

Women with breast cancer and survivors should talk with their doctors about extending the course of adjuvant therapy for an additional five years. Though some may be hesitant to continue these therapies due to menopausal symptoms, it could wind up saving their lives.

Albert Farias wasn’t part of this study. A cancer researcher at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, he is in agreement with Dr. Hayes and the others involved.

“Breast cancer cells can travel from the primary tumor to the lymph nodes and can circulate throughout the body undetectable with current screening methods, and over time these circulating cancer cells can attach to other organs in the body and this is generally when there is a cancer recurrence,” he says. “One way that adjuvant breast cancer treatment works is to kill and/or stop the undetectable cancer cells from growing and dividing.”

While this new information may fill some breast cancer survivors with fear, they should use this fear to their advantage and have a serious conversation with their doctor. If they are among the high risk group that participated in this study, a new course of adjuvant therapy may be in the cards for them.

Should You Get a Flu Shot?

The question of whether or not a person should get a flu shot seems to be one asked yearly. What are the benefits? What are the risks? What are the myths? Will it help our overall general health? Hopefully after reading this article the answer will be clear whether or not you should get a flu shot.

What exactly is the flu? The influenza virus is a highly contagious virus that attacks the respiratory system. All of the symptoms you might find with the common cold (coughing, sneezing, congestion, sore throat, headache, etc.) are associated with the flu, but the flu often causes a high fever accompanied with body aches and fatigue.  These symptoms can lead to more serious issues that are certainly not good for one’s general health which may prompt an individual to consider getting a flu shot.

There are several benefits to getting a flu shot. The flu vaccination reduces the risk of getting the flu by 40% to 60%. This is especially true among children and older adults and the prevention of hospitalization caused by flu symptoms. Flu vaccination has proven to be an effective tool for people with chronic health conditions such as cardiac issues. It has lowered some cardiac events just by receiving the vaccination especially for those who have experienced heart issues within the past year. Patients who have chronic lung disease or diabetes who have received the flu shot have also shown a decrease in hospitalization. Another benefit of the flu vaccination is proven among pregnant women to not only reduce their risk of catching the flu, but reducing their baby’s risk of getting the flu after birth. If for some reason you still get sick with the flu after receiving a flu shot, chances are your symptoms will be milder.

As with any medication or vaccination, risks are always involved. Babies under the age of six months should not receive the flu shot. Any person with a severe allergy to the ingredients found in the flu vaccination, such as gelatin or antibiotics, should not consider getting a flu shot for obvious reasons. Other things to consider before getting the flu vaccination are any allergies to eggs or a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Speaking with your physician is advised in either case. People may also experience a low-grade fever and a sore arm after receiving the injection.

The biggest myth about flu shots is that the flu vaccination actually causes the flu. Prior to 2016 some vaccines contained a live virus, however, it was weakened and was specifically developed to prevent illness. Since then flu vaccinations are made from inactivated virus. The virus is essentially grown and then killed, making it impossible for a dead virus to cause the flu but instead help your body build an immunity to the live virus.

When considering one’s general health, one needs to be informed and educated. Only you can decide if getting the flu shot is best for your well-being. Compare the benefits to the risks and deduce whether or not the risks of getting the flu are better or worse than the risks of receiving the vaccination.