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Doc Gurley: 5 Things To Do For Your Health This Month - October

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1) Check - The first week of October is Fire Prevention Week. Now is a great time to run through a short list of crucial prevention tasks. First, make sure you have a fire evacuation plan for your residence. Do you need a rope-ladder for second-floor bedrooms? Second, do you have an active smoke detector in all bedrooms and the hallways (make sure the batteries work too!)? Third, do you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen? You can buy one at almost every hardware/home improvement store. If you own one already, this month is a great time to make sure it’s still charged/active. Does your teen know where your fire extinguisher stays (and how to use it)? It’s awfully tempting when you’ve charged through the door and thrown your backpack on the floor to call a friend and fry up something FAST to fill that gnawing pit of hunger. Unfortunately, that’s also a great way to laugh so hard you drop the dishcloth and (whoomp) get a kitchen-fire going (not that we’ve ever done anything like that…ahem).

2) Be Aware - This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! October is a great month to get your boobies flattened (or not - consider an MRI if you can!). Are you reluctant to suffer in silence alone? How about taking a gaggle of girlfriends all on the same day, then treat yourselves to a celebratory coffee afterwards? Maybe you don’t personally sport a pair of breasts - keep in mind, however, that breast cancer can be a man’s disease too (rare, but unfortunately true). Any lumps, no matter what your gender of birth, need to be evaluated. If you’re in a low risk group, consider encouraging the women you love to step up to the cold mammogram plate and let her swing this month - we all need to do our part to knock breast cancer out of the park.

3) Plan - We’re heading into the fabulous (or dreaded, depending on your perspective) holiday season. Halloween is seen by many as the kick-off for a season of excess that often ends with a New Year’s emotional (or literal) hangover. Now is a great time to do what is called, in behavior-change-lingo, “pre-contemplation.” What does that mean?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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