May 25th, 2012 by Jaclyn
The month of May provides little grace for slowing down and resting. This month’s calendar slots get inevitably filled up with graduations, summer vacation planning, and end of school parties. Amidst the frenzy of social, family, and work obligations, remember to take time for yourself.
“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” -Etty Hillesum
Time alone is often viewed as a selfish act, but it’s necessary to realize you can’t take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself. This especially rings true for caretakers of young children or elderly adults. Spend time in silence for a few moments each day to relax, breathe, think, dream, pray, or meditate. This renewing time can provide a calming sense of satisfaction and stress relief.
May 22nd, 2012 by Jaclyn
Sterling Wellness Solutions is seeking an enthusiastic and experienced LPN or RN for a Health Coaching position in Crowley, LA. Applicant must have 2-3 years of experience in the health care field. Responsible for reviewing abnormal lab results and addressing risk factors, motivating healthy lifestyle change, and providing intensive onsite and telephonic health coaching. Must have excellent presentation and interpersonal skills and be computer proficient. Required to uphold time sensitive deadlines and maintain privacy and confidentiality. Serious applicants only. Please send cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 16th, 2012 by Jaclyn
If your idea of a salad conjures up images of rabbits on a picnic, it might be time to change the way you think about this versatile dish. By definition, a salad is a dish of various mixtures, often containing raw or cooked vegetables, pasta, or fruit. With new flavors from seasonal produce arriving on market shelves and in gardens across the country, it’s a great time to get creative with your preferred method of delivery.
Salads are a party of nutrients, and when paired with a healthy fat like olive oil or walnuts, the fat soluble vitamins are more easily absorbed. There is no limit to the different ingredients to add to your salad, and you may find yourself adding everything but the kitchen sink. For a healthy base, opt for dark greens like spinach or red leaf lettuce in lieu of iceburg lettuce. For picky family members, consider a salad bar night where each person can add their own toppings. Some great options for salad mixers include whole wheat spiral pasta, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and chopped olives. Perhaps the salads can even replace a meat dish for a meatless meal once a week. Visit AllRecipies for an extensive list of innovative salad combinations.
Ask the Expert Q: “I’ve heard conflicting evidence on Body Mass Index, Body Fat, and Waist to Hip Ratio. What is the difference between those measurements, and what is the most accurate?”
May 14th, 2012 by Jaclyn
A: These three biometric screening methods all indicate a different result. There are pros and cons to each method. Although they are each appropriate for certain readings, one must also take into consideration physical activity, eating habits, and lifestyle factors as well. Being “healthy” is not making the grade on a body composition screening, but rather getting a sense of the whole picture through other evaluations as well.
Body Mass Index (BMI)- BMI is a ratio of your weight to your height. This is a good indicator of a healthy weight range, but does not work well for people with muscular builds. Since muscle weighs more than fat, those with high lean body mass can register in the overweight category. Generally speaking, BMI is a good approximation to determine if your weight is a healthy range for your height. To determine if you are in a healthy weight range, calculate your BMI here.
Body Fat Percentage- We are able to measure the percentage of fat composition in the body by sending a weak electrical current through your arms (measuring only upper body fat) or through your legs (measuring only lower body fat). Both methods fail to measure abdominal fat, the most important indicator of health status. The results of this bioelectrical impedance method we use varies greatly depending on hydration status, recent exercise, and food consumption. The most accurate way to measure true body fat is through underwater weighing or a DEXA scan.
Waist to Hip Ratio- By taking the waist circumference and dividing it by the hip circumference, one can determine health risks according to fat distribution. When fat is distributed around the abdominal area, such as in “apple” shape body types, the risk for chronic diseases such as type II diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension increases. To calculate your Waist to Hip ratio, click here.
While all three methods of screening are important, we must not reduce one’s health to the result of one test. Determining health risks requires comprehensive look at other indicators as well.
May 9th, 2012 by Jaclyn
As we Spring into Summer, the warmer clothes get packed away, and the summer wardrobe comes out to play. It’s important to take extra precautions to protect our body’s largest organ from the sun’s damaging rays. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Up to 90% of visible skin changes from aging are due to the sun’s UV rays. Take care of your skin this summer by following these skin-saving tips:
- Save your Skin- Be generous with an SPF of 15 or higher that offers protection against UVA and UVB rays. It takes approximately one ounce of sunscreen to cover an entire body. That’s roughly the size of a golf ball or shot glass.
- Take Cover- Find a wide brimmed hat to protect your ears and neck. Since the sun’s rays can penetrate through clothes, find an extra layer of protection from a hat, umbrella, or tree.
- Ban the Bed- Tanning beds are a proven risk for developing skin cancer. For men and women wanting a sun kissed glow, opt for spay or self tanners.
Protect your Peepers- Sun can damage eyes, leading to increased risk of cataracts, a damaged retina, or chances of skin cancer on the eyelids. Wear sunglasses that reflect light and block out 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays.
May 7th, 2012 by Jaclyn
There is no generational gap seperating the fun one can have while riding a bike. Cycling is a joint-friendly low impact exercise that is appropriate for all ages. The coordination and balance required to learn to ride a bike as a child is still needed today. A 60 minute bike ride can burn up to 300-500 calories and will continue to boost your metabolic rate, burning more calories long after you’ve put your kickstand down. The repetitive low impact motion of pedaling is beneficial for hip and knee mobility, offering a great exercise for those suffering from lower body joint pain.
Riding a bike is an excellent aerobic activity that improves cardiovascular fitness by using the body’s largest muscle group in the legs. For those wanting to tone the lower body, cycling slowly increases stamina, muscle strength, and definition in the legs, hips, core, and buttocks. Whether you choose an indoor stationary bike, or an outdoor ride through the park, biking is a family friendly year round activity. Pedal with a purpose May 14-18 for national ‘Ride your Bike to Work Week‘. If riding your bike to work isn’t an option, make it a goal to ride your bike in exchange for driving to an errand. Remember to put safety first by wearing a helmet and high visibility clothing.
May 6th, 2012 by Jaclyn
Osteoporosis, or the thinning of bone tissue, is largely thought of as a condition afflicting only elderly women. Although being a Caucasian woman over the age of 50 greatly increases your chances of osteoporosis, men and younger adults are susceptible to low bone density as well. It is estimated that by 2020, half of all Americans will have osteoporosis. This low bone density can lead to bone fractures, loss of height, broken bones, and severe back pain. To keep your bones solid, follow these tips:
- Do regular weight bearing and strength training exercises. High impact exercises like running, weight lifting, and jumping rope will increase bone mass.
- Don’t drink too much soda or alcohol, and don’t smoke. The phosphoric acid in soda draws calcium out of the bones.
- Get the recommended amount of Calcium and Vitamin D. Dietary levels of Calcium and Vitamin D vary widely by age and gender. If the diet is low in dairy products, fish, and fortified foods, additional supplements may be necessary.
- Know your family history and risk factors. Having a thin frame, being inactive, or having other medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or hormone treatment can increase your risk.
- Take action before it’s too late. Getting adequate nutrition and exercise in younger years will build a strong bone frame for the later years. Inform your doctor about your risks, and have a bone density scan to predict your risk for fractures.
For more information about preventing, detecting, or managing osteoporosis, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
May 3rd, 2012 by Jaclyn
The heart and soul of any successful company is its employees. In a time of escalating health care costs, unhealthy lifestyles have become costly expenditures on American businesses. Employers around the world are recognizing the benefit of healthy employees, which leads to this movement of workplace wellness. Healthier employees have been shown to be more productive and have fewer sick days and work comp claims.
This May recognizes Employee Health and Fitness Month by the National Association of Health and Fitness. We encourage you to take advantage of this health observation month by taking simple steps toward health and fitness. Consider stretching breaks before or after meetings, walking meetings, or lunchtime physical activity opportunities. If you or your employer would like help organizing a lunchtime walk, educational presentation, or stretching class, let us know!