Jul
11
2013

Watch What You Eat, and How You Eat It

Good nutrition practices are a key factor to your weight loss and maintenance success, but another part of “watching what you eat” is just as important: practicing food safety. Take preventative measures to ensure that you and your family are really eating healthy. 

Keep It Clean:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm, soapy water before, during, and after food preparation.
  • Clean fruits and vegetables in cold water prior to cutting.
  • Make sure you always start with clean counter surfaces.
Make Sure It's Cooked:
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure meat and seafood are cooked to proper temperatures.
  • Never eat anything with raw eggs or containing raw eggs.
Don't Forget the Leftovers:
  • Don’t let perishable items cool on the counter or sit out for more than 2 hours without putting them away.
  • Make sure your refrigerator is set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler.
  • If in doubt (about the freshness of your food), throw it out.
What do you do to practice food safety? Leave some tips in the comment box below!

Jul
9
2013

Walk for Your Health

Walking is a part of daily life. You do it from your car to your desk, to the bathroom, up and down the stairs, and everywhere in between. But, how many steps are you taking daily? Knowing this can help you to implement a small change that can help you become healthier. Some studies suggest walking 10,000 steps daily—most Americans average about 2,000 to 3,000—but really, every extra step counts and can make a difference. To start taking an extra few steps each day:

  • Wear a pedometer each day for a week, while going about your normal routine, to figure out the number of steps you are taking daily. Log the amount you take each night. At the end of the week, take the amount of steps from the day that was the highest, and try to make this your goal.
  • For the next week, try to walk your goal amount of steps daily. Continue to log this each night to track your progress.
  • At the end of the week, figure out how many extra steps you would like to take each day the upcoming week. Simply increase this number by a couple hundred (i.e. 250), nothing too unrealistic.
After a few weeks, you should find that walking becomes easier and that you are feeling healthier and fit during activities that you may previously have been tired doing. The goal is to incorporate walking into your daily life and to change your current lifestyle! 

*Always consult a doctor before beginning an exercise regimen. If you feel any pain or discomfort during, contact your doctor.

 

Jul
2
2013

Stretch, 2, 3, 4…

Stand up, hold your arms out in front of you, bend at the waist, and try to touch your toes. Can you do it? Do you feel tightness in the back of your legs? Stretching your muscles and joints through something as simple as touching your toes is an important part of wellness and one of the simplest changes you can make to your current lifestyle. 

Through the aging process, our muscles tighten, making everyday motions of picking something up off the floor to reaching for something on a top shelf difficult. Implementing a day-to-day stretching regimen can assist in making these activities a bit easier. 

Simple stretches can have a huge benefit on your quality of life, including:

 

  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Increased range of motion in your joints
  • Enhanced muscular coordination
  • Increased circulation of the blood to various parts of the body
  • Increased energy levels (resulting from the increase in circulation)

Implementing a stretching regimen now, even one as simple as a 5 minute wake-up routine, can make a huge impact on your health and well-being in the future. Muscles that are stretched and conditioned have an easier time handling the rigors or life, sports, and other activities. 

As with any exercise regimen, start out slowly, and focus on making progress. Over time you will notice that your muscles can handle a greater amount of strain and that your aches and pains from the rigors of life are lessened.


Links: robard.com

 

 

Jun
27
2013

Eating Healthy on Vacation

Summer has officially begun! If you plan to start the season with a getaway, keep these nutritious eating tips in mind during your travels. 

  • Don’t be at the mercy of vending machines, fast food stops, and airport cuisine. If you want healthy, convenient meals and snacks, there are a variety of healthy alternatives.
  • If you’re traveling by car, pack a cooler filled with a variety of fruits, cut-up vegetables, milk for cereal, ice cold water, etc.
  • If you’re traveling by plane, ask about special menus available, such as low-fat, sodium-restricted and vegetarian selections. (Note: You’ll need to make this special request when you book your flight.)
  • Consider eating breakfast in your room instead of heading for the hotel restaurant. It will save you calories and free up extra time to enjoy more of the sights.

Remember, when you take a vacation from the daily grind, don’t take a vacation from your healthy lifestyle.

Links: www.robard.com

Jun
24
2013

Fitting Fitness In Your Schedule

Let’s face it, our lives are busy; our days are spent at work, running errands, taking care of our children, and a million other tasks in between. In the end, there’s not a lot of me time. As a result, our health takes a backseat to all the other things we need to do. But, it doesn’t need to be this way! Use the tips below to fit fitness into your day:

1.   Schedule your workouts: When you plan things ahead of time, you’re more likely to do them. Put your workout on the calendar—in pen—to dedicate time to your health.

2.   Bag your lunch: Menus, with all their appetizing pictures, tempt us when we’re hungry. By packing your lunch, you’ll control the portions and calories of what you eat, and be just as satisfied afterwards.

3.   Make going to the gym convenient: Sign up for a gym close to your job or that you pass on your way home, this way it’s conveniently located and not something you need to go out of your way to get to.  

4.   Weekend workouts: In most cases, we have more free time during the weekend. Use this extra time to be active: take a stroll around the block, make up for a missed mid-week workout, go for a bike ride, or more!

These are only a few ways to stay healthy when your schedule might otherwise deter you. Do you have others? Leave them in the comments below. 

Links: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20568004,00.html

Jun
20
2013

AMA Decides to Call Obesity a “Disease”

We’re at a major milestone in the treatment of obesity; the American Medical Association (AMA) voted, during their annual meeting, to classify obesity as a disease. While not legally binding, this decision from a group of over 224,000 medical professionals could potentially cause a major policy change. How? Obesity will now no longer be thought of and viewed as a lifestyle choice, and instead the dialogue will shift towards the causes, effects, prevention and treatment of the disease.

It’s because of this conferment of this title that we’ll begin to see the patient-doctor dialogue shift in upcoming months. No longer a choice or personal responsibility, the AMA’s decision makes diagnosing and treating obesity a professional obligation. It will need to be treated the same as any other “urgent chronic condition”, “major health concern” and “complex disorder.”

Similarly, insurance providers will see added pressure to reimburse for obesity treatment, something many of them currently don’t do. As Dr. Virginia Hall, an obstetrician from Hershey, said to the AMA prior to the vote, we “should call obesity disease so ‘insurers can stop ducking their responsibility’ in paying for obesity treatments.”  This could be the biggest effect of this change, for both the provider and the patient.

In the upcoming weeks and months, expect to see a change in the nation’s focus and discussion of obesity. We’ll be sure to keep an eye and keep you updated, but in the meantime, what do you think of this change? Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below.

Links:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/06/19/193440570/ama-says-its-time-to-call-obesity-a-disease

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/19/health/ama-obesity-disease-change/index.html

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-obesity-disease-20130619,0,4422080.story

http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/AMA/39906

Jun
18
2013

MAKING EXERCISE A ROUTINE

Motivation strikes! You go out and buy new sneakers, the latest trendy work out clothes, and joined the gym, not only a month-to-month membership, but a full year commitment! You figure that all the money you put into this exercise endeavor will surely keep you motivated. Yet, six months into the program, you find exercising at the bottom of your long To Do List. You're not alone; many people who begin exercise programs drop out before the six-month mark. 

If you are having this issue, try these tips to make exercising a part of your routine.

Treat your workouts like a non-negotiable appointment

When your To Do List becomes longer and longer and time feels increasingly shorter and shorter, exercise may be the first thing to go. Classify exercise as a high priority, not last on the list or an optional appointment. Also, exercising on the same days at the same time will help your routine become a fixture in your life. Before you know it, not going to the gym will feel unusual.

Set realistic and attainable goals

For example, "I will look like an athlete after two weeks of exercising" is not likely. Rather, set short-term goals as stepping-stones to your ultimate, long-term goals. For instance, be proud of yourself if you make it to the gym two or three times a week consistently for one month. Commitment can be very challenging and a great accomplishment to be proud of. As you attain each goal, you gain encouragement and further motivation.

Find an exercise buddy whose goals and interests are similar to yours

A friend or family member cannot only make exercise more fun, but can also add that extra motivation you need and vice versa. Sometimes all you need is to hear your buddy say "Ready for the gym today?" and you'll feel a renewed commitment and obligation.

If you have some other ways that you have made exercise part of your everyday life, leave a comment in the box below.  

Links: Robard Corporation 

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