Ice Cream Day!!
Starting the New Year with a HEALTHIER You!
Plan on setting New Year Resolutions? When it comes to building healthy habits, small decisions add up over time. Remember that building new healthy habits can take some time. Stay focused on your goal, and if you slip along the way, just start again.
Throughout the year we will be sharing with you some habits for a healthier lifestyle. We are here to offer support and advice on your journey to a healthier you!
Below are the habits that we are going to highlight through out the year!
Ask Us…We can help!!
Don’t just take the stairs — use them
If you have stairs at your home or office, take them every chance you get. Walking up and down stairs repeatedly can become a strong cardio workout. Start with a small number of repetitions until you feel strong enough to increase it!
Physical activity has been shown to improve health, improve quality of life, and slow the aging process down. The 2018 United States Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week of moderate or greater intensity. One type of activity is aerobic exercise. This involves the use of large muscle groups and must be sustained for a minimum of 10 minutes, such as stair climbing. Remember to take is slow and go at your own pace.
Guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggest a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity on 5 days each week, or a minimum of 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity on 3 days each week, or some combination of the two.
**Individuals with disabling conditions may not be able to achieve the minimal recommended amount of physical activity but should be as physically active as can be achieved without harm. It may be appropriate for certain individuals to exercise for many months at levels below the recommended minimum guidelines.
Drink 1 extra glass of water
There are many health benefits to drinking more water. It helps keep your temperature normal, lubricates and cushions joints, protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues. It also helps getting rid of wastes through urination, sweat, and bowel movements.
Adults total body mass is made up of about 60-70% water.1 This makes water the breath of life for our bodies to function. Therefore, it is crucial that we stay hydrated. If you wait to drink water until you are thirsty, then it is too late- you have already become dehydrated. Prevent this by setting a daily water goal and drink this amount consistently.
Getting enough water every day is important for your health. Most of your fluid needs are met through the water and beverages you drink. However, you can get some fluids through the foods that you eat. For example, broth soups and foods with high water content such as celery, tomatoes, or melons can contribute to fluid intake.
If you think you are not getting enough water, these tips may help:
- Carry a water bottle for easy access when you are at work of running errands.
- Freeze some freezer safe water bottles. Take one with you for ice-cold water all day long.
- Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. This can also help with weight management. Substituting water for one 20-ounce sugar sweetened soda will save you about 240 calories.
- Choose water when eating out. Generally, you will save money and reduce calories.
- Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water. This can help improve the taste and help you drink more water than you usually do.
1. Pediatrics. 1961;28:169.
Take a 10-minute walk
Walk during your lunch hour or to a store that is a block away to buy a gallon of milk — it’s all good for you. Even if it’s cold outside!
Walking is a type of aerobic exercise that can increase your heart rate in a good way. Walking has many benefits, such as: burning calories to help control weight; Controls blood sugars in diabetics; Lowers blood pressure; Lowers stress and fights depression; Keeps bones strong; and lessens the chance of dying from heart disease!
If it’s been a while since you exercised, start slowly. For example, do the exercise at a slow pace or for a few minutes only. Over time, you can exercise faster and for longer periods of time.
Remember that each time you exercise, don’t forget to; Warm up – this helps prevent muscle injury. Start with light aerobic exercises like walking slowly or by stretching for 5-10 minutes. Work out – need at least 150 minutes weekly for benefits.1 Cool down – this helps keep you from getting dizzy following exercise and prevents muscle cramps. Start by stretching or do a light aerobic exercise for 5 minutes.
If you have any of the following symptoms when you exercise, stop exercising and call your doctor as soon as possible; Pain or pressure in your chest, arms, throat, jaw, or back, Nausea or vomiting, Feeling like your heart is fluttering or racing very fast, Feeling dizzy or faint.
Don’t forget to exercise safely and healthy, be sure to; Drink fluids during and after exercising, Wear shoes that fit well and support your feet. Avoid exercising in extreme weather
So, take a walk to remember! You will not forget your first step.
Reference: 1. Piercy KL, Troiano RP, Ballard RM, Carlson SA, Fulton JE, Galuska DA, George SM, Olson RD. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. JAMA. 2018;320(19):2020.
Focus on sitting up straight
Good body posture can have a powerful impact by preventing neck and back pain and reducing ligament and muscle strain. Walking with your shoulders back and head held high can also make you feel good about yourself.
The spine contains three normal curves, at the neck, middle back, and lower back. Each curve is ideally maintained in the midrange of available motion. This is known as neutral spine. The curves absorb shock and provide stability. It is important to keep the spine in the correct alignment to decrease wear on joint surfaces that lead to arthritis and reduce ligament strain. Proper alignment prevents muscle fatigue and can boost energy by improving muscle efficiency.
Posture up! Stick that chest out, hold your head high, and walk confidently.
Proper posture requirements
- Sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. Your buttocks should touch the back of your chair.
- All 3 normal back curves should be present while sitting. A small, rolled-up towel or a lumbar roll can be used to help you maintain the normal curves in your back.
- Distribute your body weight evenly on both hips.
- Bend your knees at a right angle. Keep your knees even with or slightly higher than your hips. (use a foot rest or stool if necessary). Your legs should not be crossed.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Try to avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes.
Posture and alignment
· Align the head, neck, and trunk during rest and activities.
· Avoid stressful head positions (eg, lying on a sofa with the head propped up, falling asleep in a chair and allowing the head to drop forward, and using more than one thin pillow).
· Align the entire trunk, chest, and head on a slanted wedge or a very large pillow while watching television or reading in a reclining position.
· Avoid the "bird watcher's neck" (also called VDT neck) that involves jutting the head forward as if watching birds through field glasses.
· Maintain the proper hand-to-eye work or reading distance of 16 to 20 inches.
What is the best position for sleeping and lying down?
No matter what position you lie in, the pillow should be under your head, but not your shoulders, and should be a thickness that allows your head to be in a normal position.
Try to sleep in a position which helps you maintain the curve in your back (such as on your back with a pillow under your knees or a lumbar roll under your lower back; or on your side with your knees slightly bent). Do not sleep on your side with your knees drawn up to your chest. You may want to avoid sleeping on your stomach, especially on a saggy mattress, since this can cause back strain and can be uncomfortable for your neck.
**This advice will benefit a majority of people with back pain. If any of the above guidelines causes an increase of pain or spreading of pain to the legs, do not continue the activity and seek the advice of a physician or physical therapist.
Go to bed ½ hour earlier
You're not cursed to toss and turn every night. Consider these simple tips for better sleep. Stick to a regular sleep schedule and find time for physical activity in your daily routine.
Think about all the different factors that can interfere with a good night's sleep — from work, stress, and family responsibilities to unexpected challenges, such as illnesses. It's no wonder that sleep is sometimes difficult.While you might not be able to control all the factors that can disrupt your sleep, you can adopt some habits that promote better sleep.
1. Stick to a sleep schedule
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try to keep the same sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends. Being consistent reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle.If you don't fall asleep within 20 minutes get out of bed and do something relaxing like, reading or listening to soothing music. When you get tired, go back to bed. Repeat if needed.
2. Limit daytime naps
Long daytime naps can interfere with your nighttime sleep. If you choose to nap, limit yourself to no more than 30 minutes and avoid naps late in the day.
3. Include physical activity in your daily routine
Physical activity on a regular basis can promote better sleep. However, avoid being active too close to bedtime.Spending time outside every day might be helpful as well.
4. Create a restful environment
Create a room that's ideal for sleeping, keeping the room cool and dark. Too much light might make it difficult to fall asleep. Avoid excessive use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime. Consider using room-darkening shades, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs. Engaging in calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a bath, may promote better sleep.
5. Manage worries
Try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. Write down what's on your mind before bedtime and set it aside for tomorrow. Stress management might help with more than sleep. Start with the basics, such as getting organized and setting priorities. Meditation and yoga may ease anxiety.
Your daily routine- what you eat, drink and the medication that you take- can impact your quality of sleep. Even a few changes can mean the difference between sound sleep and a restless night.
Use these tips for a sound sleep that would put sleeping beauty to shame!
Replace 1 can of diet soda with carbonated water
If you drink soda each day, use carbonated water to help wean yourself off them. Studies suggest the brain reacts to artificial sweeteners much like it does to sugary sweets. Ingesting them frequently can increase your desire for high-calorie foods and put you at risk for weight gain and diabetes.
The type and amount of carbohydrates consumed may pose health risks, if in excess. Fructose in the U.S diet usually comes from high fructose corn syrup and Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSB). In fact, SSBs are the single greatest source of calories and added sugars in the U.S. diet, accounting for about one-half of all added sugar (1). Several studies have shown an association between high SSBs consumption and increased body weight, diabetes, and coronary artery disease, stroke, gout, insulin resistance, kidney stones, and high lipids. SSBs also make you hungrier due to insulin spikes after consumption.
In theory, 1 can of soda a day can lead to weight gain of 5lbs per year. (2) Switching to SSB alternatives may significantly benefit Americans. Studies have shown that replacing 1 serving a day of SSBs with water was associated with about 1.1lbs less weight gain over a 4-year period. (3) Substituting 1 serving a day of SSBs with 1 cup of coffee daily is associated with a 17% lower risk of diabetes. (4).
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 100-150 kcalories a day from all added sugar. The World Health Organization recommends an upper limit of 10% of total energy from added sugar. Remember that one 12oz can of regular soda contains about 35g of sugar (140 calories) or 7% of total calories (based on 2,000 kcal per day).
Drinking too much soda or SSBs (Sugar Sweetened Beverages) can cause a negative impact on your health and wellbeing. To do your body justice, swap out 1 soda everyday with 1 bottle of water. Your body and your wallet will thank you later.
Balance is Key
This simple exercise is something you can do while brushing your teeth or standing in a line. It’s a part of neuromotor training, which helps you improve your balance, agility and mobility — all things you need in everyday movement and in other forms of exercise.
Most Americans are aware of the many health benefits of exercise, but let’s be honest- who has the time to go to a gym consistently? The good news is that its never too late to start changing your exercise habits with or without a gym membership. You can start slowly and find ways to fit more physical activity into your busy life. To get the most benefit, try to get the recommended amount of exercise based on your age:
Physical activity falls into four categories which are: Aerobic exercise, Muscle strengthening, Flexibility, and Balance.
Depending on the specific goal, you may want to spend more time within each category.
For older adults (65 and older), perhaps a balance goal may be most beneficial. Balance exercise improves stability and may prevent falls and reduce injuries related to falls. Balance exercises are especially important for individuals who have a history of falling or who have mobility problems.
In a study from US National Health Interview Survey, nearly 20 percent of 37 million older adults (mean age 74 years) reported dizziness or balance problems in the preceding 12 months.3 Balance exercise improves stability and may prevent falls and reduce injuries related to falls.
Research has shown that participation in group classes of exercises, such as tai chi, improve balance and reduce falls risk. Balance training may involve activities that challenge gait patterns, such as heel-to-toe walking; increase awareness of use of the center of gravity for basic movements4.
1. 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
2. Circulation. 2007;116(9):1094. Epub 2007 Aug 1.
3. Laryngoscope. 2012;122(8):1858.
4. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2005;60(2):187.
https://health.gov/paguidelines/default.aspx (Accessed on August 1,