April 24th, 2012 by Jaclyn
Few sports can boast a full-body workout the way tennis can. Due to the nature of the game, tennis can develop mental, physical, and social health. Because tennis requires keen hand-eye coordination, this sport can stimulate concentration, balance, and depth perception. Although this skilled sport may require some patience and practice, even a beginner can gain physical benefits. Playing tennis requires running, lateral movement, upper body rotation, and strong abdominal muscles. The competition of the sport can provide positive camaraderie, accountability, and a social outlet. Tennis leagues are cropping up all over cities and communities. Check with your local Parks and Recreation department or Fitness Club about lessons or leagues, and visit Active.com for a list of nationwide tournaments for all levels. Tennis is a lifetime sport with low impact on the joints, so it’s never too late to pick up a racquet and start swinging!
Q: “I’ve been experiencing noticeable fatigue and weakness lately. I get adequate sleep at night, but I don’t feel like I can function without an afternoon nap and some caffeine. It’s been pointed out to me that my memory has been a little foggy too. Is this anything to worry about?”
April 22nd, 2012 by Jaclyn
A: Although these are common symptoms that many of us frequently experience in our fast paced society,
one has to consider if there is an underlying problem when these symptoms persist and begin interfering with daily life. Several conditions can cause similar side effects, but one possibility is a thyroid disorder.
The thyroid is a gland in the front of the neck that produces hormones to keep the metabolism working properly. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid cannot make enough thyroid hormones to keep the body functioning as it normally should, therefore slowing down the metabolism. Symptoms of an under-active thyroid include constant fatigue, despite getting the proper amount of sleep, difficulty staying focused, weight gain for no obvious reason, dry skin or brittle hair, and depression.
Conversely, the thyroid can also make too much thyroid hormone causing hyperthyroidism. The higher levels of thyroid hormone production leads to the body’s metabolism working too fast. Grave’s disease and goiter are common forms. Symptoms include heart palpitations, feeling nervous, weight loss for no reason, hand tremors, perspiration at rest, and bulging eyes.
If you have one or more of these symptoms that persist, notify your physician. Contrary to some beliefs, thyroid disorders occur in men as well as women. Treatment depends on the symptoms and severity of the condition. Regular follow-ups and blood work are usually performed to ensure that your levels are within normal limits, and to try to get you feeling back to your normal self again.
April 20th, 2012 by Jaclyn
If you are looking for a flavorful, low calorie, and nutritious addition to your everyday recipes, look no further than the zucchini. Since more than 95% of a zucchini is water, this vegetable can add volume, fiber, and color to our plates without adding calories. Chopped zucchini can easily boost the nutrient content in family favorites like pasta, quick breads, and casseroles. For ideas on incorporating this veggie into your meals, visit Health.com’s 26 Quick and Tasty Zucchini Recipes. When shopping for the perfect summer squash, select the squash with the darkest green skins, since the darker skins hold the highest concentration of nutrients. Always wash, but don’t peel the skin. The skin houses most of the nutrients like folate, vitamin C, and beta carotene. Zucchini’s adaptability allows for it to be eaten raw as a snack, sauteed, grilled, or left up to your own imagination to find a new creative way to serve this versatile food.
April 17th, 2012 by Jaclyn
Sterling President, Claire Kelbaugh, had the opportunity to meet Top Chef Contestant Antonia Lofaso at the 9th Annual World Health Care Congress in Washington DC. Antonia is currently working on a cookbook with over 100 recipes geared towards busy mothers. “The Busy Mom’s Cookbook” is projected to come out in August and will contain tips and suggestions from her own experiences and those of other celebrity single moms.
April 14th, 2012 by Jaclyn
Sterling Wellness Solutions puts great emphasis in training and equipping its employees to become educated and qualified leaders in the industry. Pictured here are a few of Sterling’s Health Coaches participating in a Health Coaching continuing education certification course at the Cooper Institute in Dallas, TX. The Cooper Institute is internationally known for its groundbreaking research, training, and health promotion in the fitness and wellness field. Visit http://www.cooperinstitute.org/ to learn more about their health and wellness resources available to you.
April 9th, 2012 by Jaclyn
We often talk about the empty calories we consume through our beverages, especially alcoholic ones. The reality is, that consuming too much alcohol can effect more than just your waistline. Like most things in life, moderation is the key to responsible alcohol intake. When choosing a healthier alcoholic beverage, consider red wine for its high antioxidant content, light beer, or mixing equal parts seltzer water and wine to create a low calorie spritzer.
Overindulging on a regular basis can take a physical toll on the body leading to liver cirrhosis, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, and birth defects. So how much is too much? Heavy drinking is considered 4 drinks a day/14 drinks a week for men, or 3 drinks a day/7 drinks a week for women. Not only does the social isolation of binge drinking and alcoholism effect your health, but it affects those around you as well. Heavy drinking can lead to greater chances of accidents and injuries. If left uncontrolled, alcohol abuse can cause severe depression, anxiety, injury, and even death. Since binge drinking and alcoholism should not be taken lightly, many resources are available if you or someone you know may be a risky drinker. For more information visit Alcoholics Anonymous, The Help Guide, or Smart Recovery.
April 5th, 2012 by Jaclyn
Before little bunny foo-foo hops into your house with baskets of festive sweet treats, consider substituting them for a few healthy alternatives. Although children (and adults!) are drawn to high sugar, high fat, artificially colored food-like substances, try introducing healthier options of snack items and toys in lieu of candy and chocolate. Children are taught by example, so encouraging healthy behaviors at a young age can create a lifetime of positive health habits. Offering kids toys that encourage movement is a great choice. Consider giving games, sports equipment, or puzzles. Sidewalk chalk, sunglasses, and a new swim suit can get a child anticipating the warm months ahead. To satisfy the sweet tooth, opt for dark cocoa instead of milk chocolate, fruit snacks made from real fruit, oatmeal cookies, or rice krispie treats.
April 3rd, 2012 by Jaclyn
Although everyone experiences stress at some point in their lives, the perception of the stress plays a big part in the emotional and physical response. Stress affects the immune system and can contribute to obesity, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. To manage the stress in our everyday lives, consider the following techniques:
Evaluate the Situation- It’s easy to exploit a minor situation into a five-alarm frenzy. Ask yourself if this is really something worth stressing over. Will worrying get you anywhere?
Be Physically Active- Move. Find an activity you enjoy, and schedule it into your calendar. Exercise burns anxious energy and releases feel good endorphins to improve your mood. There’s a reason they call it the ‘runner’s high.’
Choose and Lose- Choose your priorities wisely, and lose the rest. Write down the things that matter most to you and rank them in
order of which ones deserve your most attention. Determine what is important to you, and don’t get stressed out over the things that aren’t.
Practice Stress Relaxation Techniques- Deep breathing, yoga, mindful meditation, and prayer can all clear the mind of clutter. Consider setting an alarm or chime to go off every hour as a reminder to take 5-10 slow deep breaths, and do slow neck and shoulder stretches to relax tension.