May 2019 – Try a New Move

Build to your First 5K The weather has finally warmed up enough to get back into your walking routine! How will you build on last year’s progress? One option is setting a new goal, like a 5k (or 10k!) event. Although you could always walk a 5k, learning how to run the 3.1-mile distance offers a new and exciting challenge. You may also improve your cardiovascular endurance, boost your self-esteem, and make new connections with runners in your community! Not to mention having an event on the calendar to train for provides additional motivation to stick with your exercise routine. But before getting started, check with your physician to ensure you’re cleared for exercise. When you’re ready, take these steps to build up to running your first 5k. First, pick an event. Choose one that’s about 6-8 weeks away, depending Read More

May 2019 – Stress Less

Get a Dose of Nature You likely already do things to help cut down on daily stress. Perhaps you meditate for a few minutes each day; practice self-care rituals; or choose to eat a well-balanced diet that promotes sustained energy and mental clarity. But have you ever considered what spending time outdoors can do for you? Think about it; outdoor-living was the only option for our ancestors. Over time, human brains formed an innate connection with nature, one that can be difficult to uphold with indoor-based living. This relatively recent change to living and working indoors comes with apparent advantages, i.e.,  protection from harsh weather, but our brains never abandoned the instinctual desire to connect with nature. This desire to spend time outside can be demonstrated by the mental and physical health benefits that occur when we get in touch Read More

May 2019 – Try a New Food

Everyday Mediterranean You may not be able to relax on the beaches of Crete or watch the sunset in Oía, but you can enjoy the delicious benefits of the Mediterranean right here at home. The Mediterranean diet has been ranked as 2019’s overall best diet by health experts after years of research into its health benefits. The landmark PREDIMED (Prevention with Mediterranean diet) clinical trials reported that a Mediterranean-style eating pattern may lower incidence of major cardiovascular events, like heart attacks, stroke, and death from heart disease by thirty-percent. A 30% risk reduction is as effective as some prescription statin medications! These findings were further strengthened following corrections to participant randomization protocols in 2018. Mediterranean-style eating has also been linked to lower peripheral artery disease risk, healthier body weight and blood sugars, decreased Alzheimer’s disease risk, and decreased risk for Read More

May 2019 – Results Recap

Blood Pressure Break Down One in two American adults has high blood pressure according to guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. If you don’t currently have high blood pressure, that’s great! However, ninety-percent of adults in the United States go on to develop high blood pressure, increasing their risk for stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and dementia. But is high blood pressure inevitable? No! Eating the right diet, losing weight, and exercising regularly can help you take control of your blood pressure. Blood pressure is a measure of the cardiac cycle, or the contraction (squeezing) and relaxation (refilling) of the heart’s chambers. Blood exerts pressure on the walls of your arteries, just like water pushes against the walls of a garden hose. The force exerted by blood on the walls of blood vessels during Read More

April 2019 – Try a New Food

Beans for Dessert When it comes to dessert, fruit is always your best option as it’s naturally sweet and offers a healthy dose of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is also well established that fruit consumption is linked to lower risk of chronic disease. If you want to stay on track with your healthy diet, improve your biometric screening results and you’re bored with having fruit for dessert, try Dessert Hummus! You’re likely familiar with hummus, the traditional middle eastern chickpea dip that pairs perfectly with crunchy carrots, cucumbers, and celery. Its main ingredient, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), has grown in popularity so much that the United States Department of Agriculture expects crop plantings to reach record highs in 2019. This trend reflects our newfound love for all things chickpea! Put off by the idea of beans for dessert? We Read More

April 2019 – Stress Less

National Volunteer Month April is National Volunteer Month, but volunteer work any time of year is important for the health of both you and your community! Nearly one in three American adults (77 million!) volunteer each year, contributing a collective 6.9 billion hours of service at an estimated value of $167 billion. But did you know that helping others could help you too? Helping your community is what matters most, but when performed altruistically, volunteering has mental and physical health benefits for volunteers themselves. Research has shown positive associations between volunteering and improved health in older age demonstrated by longer lifespan, higher cognitive function, and lower rates of depression. It’s hypothesized that knowing your actions make a lasting impact on those you serve helps you feel better about yourself, thus reducing stress. Volunteering can also offer a new sense of Read More

April 2019 – Try a New Move

Lunging Around The best strength training exercises make daily activities like walking and climbing stairs feel easier. It’s even better if they don’t require added weight or lots of floor space. Bodyweight lunges fit the bill perfectly! The classic forward lunge closely mimics the movements used when walking, making them a smart option for walkers looking to include more strength training in their routine. Strength training each muscle group (arms, shoulders, chest, trunk, back, and legs) at least twice per week helps preserve lean muscle mass, strengthen bones, and prevent cognitive decline. Standard lunges fire-up two of your major muscle groups – legs and core. Abdominal and lower back muscles assist in stabilization throughout the movement. If you’re traveling, can’t make it to the gym, or need to wake-up your legs and core after sitting at your desk for too Read More

April 2019 – Exercise Your Brain

MIND Diet Did you know someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease every 65 seconds? Nearly 6 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer’s disease, but this number is projected to grow to nearly 14 million by 2050 as our population over age 65 surges. As the sixth leading cause of death with no known cure, it is wise to take action to lower your risk by protecting your brain. There are many Alzheimer’s warning signs, but the most common symptom is memory loss that disrupts daily activity, especially forgetting recently learned dates, names, and events. Other warning signs include difficulty developing or following tasks involving numbers; losing track of the passage of time; having trouble following conversation; misplacing and losing items in odd places; and making poor decisions regularly. Keep in mind that forgetting, but later remembering, new Read More

March 2019 – Try a New Move

“Snack” on Exercise One of the most commonly cited reasons for not keeping physically active is just not having time. If this doesn’t apply to you, congrats! You’ve beaten one massive hurdle to regular physical activity. If it does, scientists have thoroughly investigated a style of exercise called high-intensity interval training, or H.I.I.T. (pronounced “hit”), which involves short intervals of all-out, maximum effort exercise flanked by longer bouts of lower intensity exercise. For example, a H.I.I.T workout could be repeated intervals of cycling as fast and as powerfully as possible for 20 seconds, then cycling at a slow, relaxed pace for 60 seconds until you’ve cycled for a total of 15-20 minutes. These workouts come in many forms (find free full H.I.I.T. workouts here) and can last minutes to hours, but if you truly give your all during the high-intensity Read More

March 2019 – Stress Less

Train Your Self-Esteem “Without it, you can do little. With it, you can do anything.” No, we aren’t talking about money. We’re talking about self-esteem, a trait often understood as something you either have or you don’t.  Individuals who report high levels of self-esteem claim to be more likable and attractive, have better relationships and make better impressions on others than individuals who report low levels (though, objective measures show these assumptions aren't valid). The good news is that self-esteem isn’t a fixed state as it may wax and wane through the lifespan. We also know it’s a lot like a muscle that can be trained to grow stronger. How can you start training your self-esteem?   Start by completing this reflective exercise. Take a few minutes to write a short description of yourself. Use adjectives to describe your mood, Read More

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