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 

Jun
13
2013

Buying Healthy Isn't Always Expensive

We've heard it all before. You really want to eat healthy and buy nutritional food, but it’s just so expensive. There’s no way that you can afford to purchase all the food you need, so instead, you opt to get whatever is seemingly cheaper. You think you’re sacrificing your health to be frugal, but in reality, eating healthier is cheaper than junk food splurges.

Add it Up 

For the next week, keep track of the purchases you make outside of the grocery store. Did you buy a chocolate bar at the checkout counter, stop for coffee, or pick up a bag of french fries? You've probably never considered adding these quick bites into your food budget, but the amount you spend could surprise you! Curbing these purchases and sticking to packing your lunches and bringing food from home will allow you to spend more money on better food. 

Prioritize

When you go to the grocery store, pick out your healthy options first. Walk through the aisles, keeping your budget in mind, and choose foods that best fit your diet. Once you have filled your cart with these options, keep a good estimate on your expenses as you go, then you can evaluate if there is anything else you need that fits into the amount you've allotted. By making healthy purchases a priority you’ll find you have a lot more options than you first thought. 

Clip Those Coupons

You get them every weekend in the newspaper, your email account is teeming with them, but how often do you present coupons at your local grocery store? If your answer is all the time, you’re ahead of the game! Coupons can save you a substantial amount of money!

 

If you think you’re not good at the whole clipping coupons game, keep this in mind:

  • If you tend to forget your coupons: Keep them in your car! This way, you’re never without them, even on an impromptu trip.
  • If you are worried that your email account is going to fill up with offers and spam: Create a new email address that you will strictly use to sign up on company/grocery store websites. Your coupons will be delivered in one concise place, and you won’t have to worry about scanning through hundreds of offers to find that email from Grandma! 
Do you have any other ways to save money while being on a healthy diet? Leave a comment in the box below!

Links: 

Jun
10
2013

Understanding Organic Labels

As you transition to grocery food and begin strolling the aisles for diet-friendly items, you will notice foods are now touting the organic food label. When buying organic, look for the following regulated terms on food labels: 

  • Food labeled "100% organic" has no synthetic ingredients and can legally use the USDA organic seal
  • Food labeled "organic" has a minimum of 95% organic ingredients. It is eligible to use the USDA organic seal
  • Food labeled "made with organic ingredients" must contain at least 70% organic ingredients. It is not eligible for the USDA seal.
  • Meat, eggs, poultry, and dairy labeled "organic" must come from animals that have never received antibiotics or growth hormones.

However, there is little research on the health outcomes of people who eat primarily organic diets. So, if you are like many individuals whose purse-strings are tight but want to eat healthy, listen to the experts and spend your organic food dollars on produce, as non-organic fruit is most likely to contain pesticides. Still need to pick and choose? Fruits with peels and skin you don't eat tend to have the least amount of pesticides, as you are removing the part with the most residue. 

If you have any other tips, or something to look out for when reading organic labels, leave a comment in the box below.


Links:

http://www.robard.com/Content/default.aspx?id=3b85bbd0-8adb-43c8-affd-9089b2640a11&t=10001&gn=

Jun
7
2013

Your Food In Miles

If you’ve visited a fast food restaurant of popular chain (with more than 20 restaurants nationwide) recently, you’ve probably noticed that along with the mouthwatering description of the item, menus now are including calorie information on their menus. The aim of this law is to help individuals make better food selections, but for some the information is just a number with not point of reference as to its impact on health.

But, what if instead of 640 calories next to Arby’s Reuben, it were to say, “3 hours of brisk walking?” Would you still order that item, or would it at least make it more difficult to decide?

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at Texas Christian University, replacing caloric intake with “exercise labels” can possibly lead to healthier food selections by consumers.

"We need a more effective strategy to encourage people to order and consume fewer calories from restaurant menus," says Dr. Meena Shah, Texas Christian University (TCU).

"Brisk walking is something nearly everyone can relate to, which is why we displayed on the menu the minutes of brisk walking needed to burn food calories," says Ashlei James, TCU.

With this method, instead of 550 calories for a McDonald’s Big Mac, you’d learn it takes an hour of cycling at a moderate pace of about 13 miles per hour to burn the calories consumed, or that consuming a Super Sonic Double Cheeseburger with Mayo (1160 calories) would require three hours of low-impact aerobics.

Restaurants may not be adopting this method anytime soon, since researchers must find a way to account for the different in calories burned can from person to person, but we would like to know: Would you pay attention to what you’re eating if you knew exactly how much exercise you would have to do to work it off? Leave your answer in the comment box below.


Links:

http://www.myhealthnewsdaily.com/3786-food-calories-exercise.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/science/exercise-versus-calories-on-menu-lists.html?_r=0

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-04/foas-mld041813.php

May
13
2013

Staying Active In the Workplace

For many of us, our jobs find us sitting in an office, behind a desk, in a chair; movement isn’t a requisite to do our daily work effectively. The hope is that, when we aren’t at work, we spend our time being active. But, new studies are starting to suggest that sitting for long periods of time can possibly be harmful, regardless of your caloric intake or other physical activity.

Muscles not in motion for extended periods is never a good thing, so make a point to be as active as you can throughout your work day. How?

  • Talk in person to a coworker.
  • Capitalize on your breaks by taking a walk around the building.
  • Eat at your desk and then spend your lunchtime walking at a local park or mall.
  • When you are sitting at your desk, tap your feet hourly. It may seem simple, but even an activity such as that will keep you active and burn calories!
  • Walk to the water cooler often – you’ll get exercise and hydrate at the same time.
  • When you go to the restroom walk to the furthest one away.
  • After an hour of hard work at your desk, get up and take a walk around the office.

Remember, every little bit helps, so get up and get moving! You will enjoy yourself more and your body will thank you for it later. Have some other ideas about staying active? Leave them in the comment box below.

Links:

http://www.menshealth.com/health/staying-active?fullpage=true

https://www.presidentschallenge.org/motivated/ten-ideas.shtml

 

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