Monthly archives of “September 2014

headband relax
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The Muse: A headband that trains your brain on the beach

Headbands aren’t just for style anymore, they can now help you manage your stress. The new Muse headband from InteraXon will help you learn to focus and effectively manage stress.

Stress is a daily part of our lives but is not always easy to manage. The Muse uses a mindfulness technique that takes you to a scenic sunny beach. When your brain starts to drift,  the scene will change, causing you to focus back on the relaxing beach image.

You can  track your mindfulness activity by adding the app to your phone. You can practice for as little as 3 minutes, so there is no room for the excuse that you don’t have enough time in the day!

This is definitely on my wishlist for Christmas this year! Anything that involves the beach has me hooked.

Do you think this would help you manage your stress? Tell me what you think by commenting below.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Adrian in Bangkok

dont let you immune system fall flat
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Don’t let your immune system fall flat

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The leaves are changing, I get to wear sweaters and jeans, and I get to look forward to corn mazes and pumpkin carving!

I also tend to catch a cold towards the middle of October. I think most of you can relate and know that washing your hands becomes a top priority. Making other healthy choices is important too. I created a typical workday schedule and added some healthy tips so your immune system doesn’t fall (pun intended) flat  this season .

A typical workday for me  is 8am-5pm. Feel free to  adjust this according to your schedule.

5:30am: Start your day with a healthy breakfast: Add some granola and seasonal fruits to your yogurt.

6:15am: Head to the gym, or go for a morning a run. Most people that exercise in the morning tend to stick with it. This also is a great way to manage stress.

6:45am: Hit the Shower: Wash off the the germs that can be lingering, and make sure to moisturize to keep skin smooth.

8am: Heat up some tea: Green tea has antioxidants that discourage abnormal cell growth.

10am: Stretch it out: Sitting for long periods of time puts strain on your back and other muscles.

12pm: Walk with co-worker to lunch: Exercise and socializing help keep you mentally and physically healthy to fight off colds.

3pm: Make sure your vaccinations are current: Check-in with your doctor and see when your  flu shot is available. This will help keep you protected year round.

6pm: Cozy up with a pet or loved one: This helps to relieve stress, which in turn helps you fight back germs!

7pm: Make a meal. Stir fry is a great way to get in all those essential nutrients. Try adding broccoli,  squash, mushrooms, corn, and any other veggies that you love.

8pm: Turn off the phone. Electronic use before bed can disturb your bodies sleep cycle. Being well rested helps your body fend off germs.

10pm: Lights out. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep helps your body relax and recover from the day you had. It also aids in stress management.

If this seems like too much at once try doing a few during the day and work your way up from there. Do you have any tips for helping boost your immune system?

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Erin Kohlenberg

break time
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Give yourself a break!

Are you working too hard? How often do you take breaks at work? These questions are meant to get you thinking about giving yourself a break every now and then because it is good for your health.

Many of you, like me, get lost in projects that you are doing at your computer and lose track of time. It is hard to pull yourself out of your work mode and think about getting up and taking that allowed 15 minute break.

A recent article  has stated that ” an hour of sitting can impact arteries in the legs, but even a 5-minute stroll helps (for every hour of sitting).” Sitting for long periods of time are also linked to other health problems like heart disease.

I know that is hard to pull back and get out of your work zone, but you can set an alarm on your computer to remind you to get up for a quick break. Here are some ideas of what you can do on your breaks:

  • Refill your water bottle
  • Walk up and down the stairs a few times
  • Have a walking meeting (if you can’t take a break)
  • Grab a healthy snack
  • Stretch it out
  • Walk to a co-worker’s desk instead of e-mailing them

These are just a few ideas that you can use for your breaks. It is hard to step away from the project, but taking a break can make you feel more refreshed, and help you focus on the task at hand.

What do you all like to do on your breaks? Let me know by commenting below!

caption-arrow  Feature photo by DonkeyHotey

tornado2
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Are you ready for America’s PrepareAthon?

Does your work, family and children’s school have a plan for emergencies? September is not only National Childhood Obesity Awareness month, but also National Preparedness Month.

My family has a plan in case of fire, but does not have a plan for other natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods. With the recent earthquake in California, Septembers National Preparedness Month couldn’t have came at a better time.

There are many resources out there to help you prepare for natural disasters, but www.ready.gov/prepare  has a tailored program to have you ready for America’s PrepareAthon on September 30th.

This guide is tailored for each natural disaster and will help you be disaster ready by September 30th. Start making your disaster preparedness plan today, and don’t forget to register for America’s National PrepareAthon!

caption-arrow  Feature photo by FEMA

scale and apple
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Low-carbs vs. low-fat – Food for thought

A recent study has been published stating that a low carb diet may help you lose weight more quickly than a low fat diet. This study was conducted over a year and the participants in the low-carb group lost more weight than the low-fat dieters.

This study made me think back to what I know about carbs and fats. There are healthy carbs and healthy fats, as well bad carbs and bad fats. Both healthy carbs and fats are good for our diet. This study focused primarily on the unhealthy versions of both.

I wanted to come up with a list of the healthier options of these two important essentials for our diet. I hope this helps some of you out too.

Healthy carbs:

  • Brown rice or quinoa
  • Vegetable variety-  think color
  • Fruits: same color rule for veggies applies to fruits too!
  • Legumes: chickpeas, black beans, and edamame
  • Whole wheat toast instead of white toast

Healthy fats:

  • Oils: Olive oil, peanut oil, soybean oil
  • Flax-seed-try adding this to smoothies
  • Nuts & seeds: Walnuts and sunflower seeds are my favorites
  • Fish: Salmon, tuna and trout

I have tried several diets and none seem to stick. I like to think of a diet now as a lifestyle change. I don’t cut out unhealthy fats and carbs altogether, but I make it a habit to eat more of the fats and carbs that are good for my health.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Jeanette Goodrich

joan rivers
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Joan Rivers – Laughter is the best medicine

Sometimes life gets tough and you forget to laugh at all the little things, even yourself. Joan Rivers was no stranger to laughter. In one of her famous quotes she states, “never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.”

Joan Rivers did not know any boundaries when it came to her jokes, especially when it came to other celebrities. She knew that she was not exempt from being laughed at as well. She was her harshest critic and never failed to maker herself the butt of her own jokes .

Joan Rivers reminds me that  your attitude can make all the difference. There have been many mornings where I have forgotten something or poured coffee on my clothes.  I didn’t always laugh, but the times that I did made my  morning outlook a lot more positive.

So take a step back when you think you are having a bad day and find something to laugh about. This can be a funny picture, a memory, or laughing at yourself for some silly mistake you made earlier.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by David Shankbone

cvs
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CVS walks the talk

CVS, the second largest drugstore company in the United States, announced this week that they will no longer be selling tobacco products. Wave goodbye to cigarettes, chewing tobacco and cigars, and say hello to replacement therapies like gum and patches.

As if getting rid of tobacco altogether wasn’t a major change for the company, they will also be changing their name to CVS Health. This will show a full commitment to helping its customers live a healthier lifestyle.

We like to say here that you need to walk the talk. That can be anything from exercise, mental health, or quitting tobacco for example. We all know that smoking and using tobacco is bad, but often do not have the motivation or will to change.

Maybe the removal of tobacco products from drugstores is a small step to having an increasingly tobacco free population. What do you think?

Way to walk the talk CVS Health!

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Mike Mozart

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
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National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month- Is your child 1 in 3?

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.  Did you know that according to the CDC, 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese?  Working in at least three days of activity for 30 minutes on your family calendar every week will help keep you and your family healthy. Keep in mind that kids should also get about 60 minutes of play a day. Here a few ideas to help your family get moving:

  1. Take turns choosing an activity for the entire family. This way everyone gets to do an activity they enjoy.
  2. If you are watching TV together, have fitness challenges during the commercial breaks. Try doing jumping jacks, sit-ups or push-ups through the whole commercial.
  3. Go for a family walk. It can be around your neighborhood, or head to a local park.
  4. Create a scavenger hunt  with items you can find outside or in the home.

These are just a few ideas to get you moving. Kids are recommended to get at least 60 minutes of activity everyday. Eating healthy also plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight. For more ideas to get active, and eating healthy, check out Let’s Move!

 If you have some fun family activities or healthy recipes, leave us a comment below!

caption-arrow  Feature photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture