Thursday, August 30, 2018

Choose a Healthier Option!

The hot summer days may have you parched, but don’t give in to sugary soft drinks, fruit drinks or sweetened teas to quench your thirst. They are high in empty calories. For example, just nine ounces of soda has 110 to 150 empty calories. These sweetened drinks are empty calories that increase cholesterol, blood pressure and fat storage.

Here are three ideas to help you make healthier choices to save your calories for the food you eat to fuel your body.
  • Replace the sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks with water or two to four servings of fat-free milk.
  • Limit fruit juice to a half cup or less.
  • Read drink labels before you buy them to be aware of the sugar content.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Balancing Emotions

Emotional health can lead to success in work, relationships and health. In the past, researchers believed that success made people happy. Newer research reveals that it’s the other way around. Happy people are more likely to work toward goals, find the resources they need and attract others with their energy and optimism.

What You Can Do
Turning Lemons into Lemonade: Hardiness Helps People Turn Stressful Circumstances into Opportunities
Research shows hardiness is the key to the resiliency for not only surviving, but also thriving, under stress. Hardiness enhances performance, leadership, conduct, stamina, mood and both physical and mental health.

The Road to Resilience
Learn how to develop and use a personal strategy for enhancing resilience despite challenging life experiences.

Communication Tips for Parents
Parenting is hard work, but there are things you can do to maintain a good connection with your children and keep the lines of communication open.

Source: American Psychological Association

Snooze or Your Body Will Lose

Regardless of what age we are, it’s important to get the sleep our bodies need. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lack of sleep increases your risk of serious health conditions, such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, stroke and heart disease.

Here are four ways to help you get the recommended amount of sleep you need to feel your best:
  • Establish a routine. Stick to the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body's clock and can help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
  • Give yourself time to relax and wind down. Spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as meditation or reading. Check out the website to help you relax.
  • Exercise daily. Not only will you feel and look better, you will sleep better.
  • Having trouble falling asleep? Get out of bed and go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Make sure to avoid electronics before bed or in the middle of the night.

If you’re still having trouble sleeping, talk with your healthcare provider.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Get Off to a Healthy Start!

Studies show that children who eat a nutritious breakfast function better. They do better in school, have better concentration and more energy. Many children eat one, if not two, meals in school each day, making nutrition an important part of school life. These tips can help you consider how to offer the best nutrition options for your child.

  • Learn about what your child’s school is already doing to support nutrition. Ask the school cafeteria manager how often fruits and vegetables are available as a la carte options for students.
  • Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home and/or have them posted on the school's website. With this information, you can plan on packing a healthy lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat.
  • The body needs carbs (sugars), fats and sodium, but they should be eaten in moderation. Too much can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
  • When packing your child's lunch or going over the lunch menu, encourage him or her to select healthier choices.
  • Remember! Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child's risk of obesity by 60%. Choose healthier options (such as water and appropriately sized juice and low-fat dairy products) to send in your child's lunch. 

Reach Your Financial Goals

Whether you have a short-term or long-term goal to save money, it requires discipline. Saving money means that you find ways to pay less when you shop. Saving may also mean deciding to NOT buy everything you want.

Learn more about smart options to reach your financial goal!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Smart Workout!

The American Heart Association recommends adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running, each week. You should also do moderate- to high-intensity muscle strengthening at least two days a week.

Children age two and older should participate in at least 60 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity physical activities each day that are developmentally appropriate, such as walking, bicycle riding and gardening.

Need help to get started? Try this body weight circuit workout:

• Run in place for 60 seconds
• 10 Squats
• 10 Jumping Jacks
• Rest 60 Seconds
• 10 Push-ups
• 10 Jumping Jacks
• Rest 60 Seconds
• 10 Lunges Each Leg
• 10 Jumping Jacks
• Rest 60 Seconds
• 20 Crunches
• 10 Jumping Jacks
• Rest 60 Seconds
• 30-Second Plank
• 10 Jumping Jacks
• Stretch

Perform this workout two to three times per week with at least one day between workout days.
WEEKS 1 & 2: Perform entire workout once
WEEKS 3 & 4: Perform entire workout once, rest five minutes, repeat workout

Drop the remote!

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association reported people who watch three or more hours of television a day double their risk of death at a younger age. This research reinforces the dangers associated with a sedentary lifestyle, which include high blood pressure, obesity, cancer and heart disease.

Too much technology and screen time for children can also lead to learning problems and expose children to more violence and sexual content, which can lead to fear, aggressive behavior and acting out.

Turn the TV, computers and electronic devices off and make sure your family stays under the two hours or less of screen time recommendation. Here are a few ways to limit your family’s screen time:

• Keep the TVs and other electronic devices out of bedrooms.
• Turn off the TV, smartphones or electronic devices and enjoy family meals together.
• Replace watching TV or playing on computers, gaming systems and other electronic devices with fun family activities that encourage movement. Take a walk, bike ride or play basketball.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Blueberries and Oatmeal with a Cool Twist!

Try this grab-and-go breakfast that's rich in fiber which is known to help lower levels of bad cholesterol. Customize it with your favorite fruit and enjoy!

1/3 cup skim milk
1/3 cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt 
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup blueberries (or your favorite fruit)
Stir all ingredients together and spoon into a jar or container with a lid. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
OPTIONAL: In the morning, top the oatmeal with a tablespoon of chopped nuts or half a sliced banana. Enjoy chilled, right out of the refrigerator.
Nutritional Information
Serving size: 1 1/3 cup
Calories 195
Total Fat 2g
Sodium 75mg
Carbohydrates 14g

Healthy Breakfast on the Go!

Mornings are a busy time for many families. It’s hard to prepare a healthy breakfast to satisfy all taste buds. Here are some quick and healthy suggestions to get your family out the door.

Fresh fruit:
Use fruit that’s easy to transport, such as apples, bananas or grapes. Cut your favorite fruits into chunks the night before and place in zip-lock bags.

Boiled eggs:
Boil a dozen eggs and keep them in the refrigerator for a high-protein grab-and-go breakfast.

Blend your favorite fruits and vegetables with ice, yogurt or milk. Reduce the calorie count by choosing fat-free dairy or unsweetened milk alternatives.

Refrigerator Oatmeal Cups:
The whole grains, protein and calcium in this grab-and-go breakfast make it a great breakfast option.

Managing Medications

Prescribed medications come in several forms and are taken in different ways. Even though they are meant to improve health, taking medicat...