Sunday, January 30, 2011

GET YOUR ZZZS

Research has shown that not getting enough sleep or getting poor quality sleep on a regular basis may increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. There is even evidence suggesting that weight gain is associated with getting inadequate sleep, possibly by disrupting hormones that regulate appetite. Sleep
needs are different for each person, but most adults generally need between 7–9 hours each night.

Source: National Sleep Foundation

Thursday, January 27, 2011

CHICKEN SOUP FOR COLDS

Chicken soup is a popular home remedy for the common cold but does it really work? Some researchers say that it can help to relieve the symptoms of a cold by reducing inflammation, thus providing some relief of cold symptoms. Also, the hot vapors help break up congestion, making it easier for you to breathe. Soup provides fluid, which is important for fighting infection. Plus, it tastes pretty good when you’re not feeling your best.

Source: National Institutes of Health

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

6 Ways to Reduce Stress and Protect Your Heart

1) Build a support system
2) Recognize your stress triggers
3) Schedule in 'Time-Outs'
4) Find fun stress relieving activities
5) Soothe your soul with music
6) Learn how to say 'No'

The American Heart Association (AHA)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Manage Extra Weight to Prevent Knee Pain

Losing weight is an important part of keeping your knees healthy, Shook says. The National Institutes of Health recommends the follow steps for exercising safely.

Get a consultation - Talk to your doctor if you have any chronic health problems or you're worried that exercise might cause an injury. If you already have knee pain, discuss types of activities with your doctor that might be safe for you.

Exercise - Good types of exercises for heavier people include walking — even for just a few minutes when you're starting out — bicycling indoors or outside, and strength training to build stronger muscles.Be more active.

Simply work more physical activity into your daily routine - Walk around while you're talking on the phone (after all, that's why they're cordless!), play actively with your kids or grandkids, and make personal visits at work instead of using e-mail. Weight loss is something you can do on your own, says Shook. It's inexpensive. And it might save you from knee surgery or other health problems down the road.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

EXERCISE COOL DOWN

It is important to cool down after a moderate- to high-intensity exercise session. This prevents sudden pooling of blood in the muscles as well as sudden drops in blood pressure that can lead to dizziness and falls. During the last 5-10 minutes of your workout, gradually decrease your exercise intensity and gently approach your resting
heart rate before coming to a complete stop.


Source: American College of Sports Medicine

Friday, January 21, 2011

EXERCISING IN COLD WEATHER

Don’t let cold weather keep you from enjoying an outdoor workout. Keeping warm is a lot easier than you might think. Just follow the three-layer principle: wear an inner layer of wool, silk or a synthetic fabric to wick away sweat; an insulating layer of wool or a synthetic fabric to keep the body warm; and an outer layer to provide protection from wind, rain or snow. Add a hat or headband and some gloves and you will be ready to walk, run, hike or cross-country ski.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE!

According to a recent survey, most people donate blood to help others and because it makes them feel good. This is not surprising since a blood donation truly is a “gift of life”. In just one hour’s time, a healthy individual can donate one unit of blood that could help save multiple lives in their community. On any given day, approximately
39,000 units of red blood cells are needed. The need is great, so consider being a blood donor and saving a life!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lose Weight Safely

If you’re working on your New Year’s resolution to lose weight, be sensible. Stay away from fad diets and other plans that promise quick weight loss. While you may lose weight initially, these strategies are not effective for long-term weight maintenance, and some can be unsafe. Professionals recommend a safe rate of weight loss of 1/2 to 2 pounds per week. Be patient as you practice new behaviors that support healthy eating and active living. In time, you will achieve your healthiest weight.

Cutting Fat

Rich in protein, calcium and vitamin D, milk is certainly a nutritional powerhouse. But, consider choosing skim or 1 percent fat milk rather than whole milk. This can mean a nutritional savings of roughly 70 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat for each cup. If taste is a concern, gradually working your way down can help. Start with 2 percent milk and slowly switch to skim milk over time.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

EFFECTIVELY FLATTEN YOUR STOMACH

While crunches are effective in building and strengthening the abdominal muscles, they don't address the layer of fat sitting on top of the muscle. To reduce the fat, aerobic exercise is your best bet (such as walking, running, cycling, or using an elliptical machine). Focus on both time and intensity in order to burn the most calories.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Food Tip

An egg a day may keep the eye doctor away. Antioxidants in egg yolks can help protect against age-related vision problems.


Carrots aren’t the only food that’s good for your peepers. Egg yolks are a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that accumulate in the eyes and help protect the retinas from sun damage. Research shows that people with the most lutein and zeaxanthin in their diets have a nearly 60 percent smaller risk of developing age-related macular degeneration — the leading cause of blindness. According to a 2006 study in the Journal of Nutrition, eating an egg a day boosted antioxidant levels in the retinas without elevating cholesterol. While it’s okay to eat eggs as part of a heart-healthy diet, people who are watching their cholesterol should consult their doctor first. Other good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin include green, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens and romaine lettuce.

Monday, January 10, 2011

REALISTIC FITNESS GOALS LEAD TO SUCCESS

Do you expect too much when you try to start or increase your physical activity? Success often leads to more success, but very high goals often lead to frustration. Start slow and set realistic goals for yourself. For example, unless you are already very active, don’t set
your new goal as 60 minutes of vigorous exercise every day. Instead consider starting with activities such as brisk walking for 10-15 minutes several days a week. By conquering smaller goals first, you are more likely to continue and ultimately reach your larger goals.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Health Tip

Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. Luckily, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk by as much as 80%

Want to slash your chances of ever having a stroke? By maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, exercising regularly and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you can reduce your risk of a first-time stroke by 80 percent, according to the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. Also key in preventing a stroke: keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol down. A healthy diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein. Focus on reducing your sodium, sugar and saturated fat intake. You can do that by cutting back on red meat, full-fat dairy products, baked goods and fried food. Practicing healthy habits won’t just reduce your risk of stroke, it will lower your chances of developing other chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes as well.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wellness Tip

Do you find it hard to resist those pre-meal all-you-can-eat tortilla chips that are served with salsa at most Mexican restaurants? Chips and other tasty appetizers can add plenty of calories to your meal.
One basket of restaurant tortilla chips, for example, can contain as many as 1,000 calories and up to 50 grams of fat. When dining out, try to carefully limit or even skip chips and other pre-meal snacks. To avoid temptation, try sipping on a non-caloric beverage such as water or iced tea as you wait for your meal.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Health Tip

Folic acid is a B vitamin that everyone needs for good health, especially women in their childbearing years. Folic acid plays a role in preventing spina bifida, a type of birth defect of the baby’s brain and spine. Since about 50 percent of pregnancies are unplanned, it’s important that women who could become pregnant take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. Eating a breakfast cereal with 100 percent of the daily value for folic acid is one way to get enough, but the most reliable way to get that amount is to take a multivitamin with folic acid.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wellness Tip

Basking in the glory of an achievement? Steer clear of your favorite treats. Pride in accomplishments can make us indulge unhealthfully.

What’s the quickest way to sabotage your healthy eating efforts? Putting yourself in temptation’s way after a job well done. Whether you just landed a promotion or aced a final exam, being proud of an accomplishment can make you splurge on not-so-good-for-you goodies. The reason, according to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research: Pride over success makes us want to reward ourselves. And, unfortunately for our cholesterol levels, most of us would rather choose a sundae over a fruit salad for our celebration prize. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to something special after an accomplishment. But instead of choosing cookies or cake, celebrate with a manicure, a movie or an hour at the driving range with family or friends.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Wellness Tip

It takes more than willpower to stick with your New Year’s resolution. You also have to believe in your ability to succeed.

Wondering if you’ll achieve your New Year’s resolutions this year? According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, if you want to do well, you have to stop speculating and start believing. While willpower is an important part of sticking with your resolutions, faith in yourself is just as vital for success. Having confidence in your ability to change is key to maintaining your resolutions. According to Alan Marlatt, a psychology professor at the University of Washington, it’s also a good idea to have coping strategies to deal with any obstacles that may arise, and keep track of your progress. And if you mess up, that’s okay. Continue on your quest instead of giving up.