A little healthier Thanksgiving

Put the bird in the oven and your feet in your shoes. Take time before or after you eat to take a walk or play with your kids at the park. Fit in some activity earlier in the day before you start your feast.

Sample not scoop. Holidays mean we look forward all year to eating certain foods. Have a sample of all your favorites but try to limit yourself to a few tablespoons instead of a big scoop. That way you satisfy your craving without eating too much.

Talk more and eat less. It is easy to get drawn into the appetizer table at the holiday party. Before you even eat, you can consume enough calories for a whole meal. Instead of killing time before dinner munching on the finger foods, spend time getting to know the other guests at the party or catch up with old friends. A little conversation will keep your mouth busy without spoiling your plans to not over eat.

Best part of thanksgiving is the leftovers. Happily share the leftovers with your guests and send extra food home with everyone. They will love it and you will not be tempted with all the leftover food. Plan ahead and purchase extra inexpensive storage containers that you can package leftover food for your guests. This will make it easier for you to divide and send home food.

Quit smoking for FREE

Interested in quitting smoking? Whether you prefer the support of a group setting, online services, or calling from the comfort of your own home, there’s a program that’s right for you. Here are two resources to help you quit smoking for FREE.

Nevada Tobacco Quitline: The Nevada Tobacco Quitline offers FREE telephone-based service to Nevada residents 18 years or older, so you can speak to a coach in person. Through the telephone program, you can receive a free supply of nicotine replacement patches, gum, or lozenges. Coaches will determine if you are eligible to receive the nicotine replacement therapy.

The Quitline also offers a FREE online service. When you enroll online, you get special tools, a support team of coaches, research-based information, and a community of others trying to become tobacco free. Expert coaches can talk to you about overcoming common barriers, such as dealing with stress, fighting cravings, coping with irritability, and controlling weight gain. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW or (800) 784-8669 to start the process today. Hours of Operation: Monday – Sunday 4 a.m. – 10 p.m., Pacific Standard Time

American Lung Association Freedom From Smoking: Freedom From Smoking (FFS), American Lung Association’s adult cessation program, guides individuals through the quitting process with eight sessions over a 7-week period. This program is FREE. For more information on Freedom From Smoking, or to schedule a class, contact Richard Davis at (702) 431-6348.

Contact one of these programs below to get started on the road to quitting for good! For more resources check out our website.

National Diabetes Month

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States with approximately 9.3 percent of the population impacted by it. Most of us know a family member or friend that is dealing with diabetes and it can be hard to know how to help them manage this very serious disease. We have some great resources and information on our website related to diabetes. One of the best resources is our Diabetes Directory. This directory is full of information and local services that can help those dealing with this disease.

When it comes to symptoms of diabetes, it can vary depending on the type of diabetes diagnosed. Some symptoms are so mild that people do not notice them. People with diabetes may not experience symptoms or may experience some or all of the following symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes:

-Feeling very thirsty
-Urinating often
-Feeling very hungry even though you are eating
-Unexplained weight loss- even though you are eating more (type 1)
-Tingling, numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)
-Picture of man drinking water Extreme Fatigue
-Blurred vision
-Slow-healing sores or bruises
Although type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it typically appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, the most common type, can develop at any age and is often preventable.

Call your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above.

For more information about Diabetes please visit our webpage that is full of resources and information.

A mobile App to find trails near you!

Looking for a great place to go walking in your neighborhood? Want to find new trails to explore? Download the Neon to Nature app.

Southern Nevada Health District has launched a new mobile app called Neon to Nature that features an easy way to find walking trails in your neighborhood and across the valley. Detailed information about each trail is provided, such as its location with map, surface type, length of the trail, photos and any of the trail’s associated amenities. Download the app on your iphone or android phone for FREE today!

Happy Healthy Halloween!

For many, Halloween kicks off the annual holiday season, which stretches for several months of celebrations with family and friends. These celebrations involve a consistent presence of food, and often that of the unhealthy persuasion. And Halloween, with its ever-expanding candy sacks, may be the biggest culprit. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

A healthy Halloween starts at home. The way you celebrate with your family will set the tone for health as your kids partake in other classroom parties and out-of-school time celebrations. Here are some treat tips for your household:

Plan to trick-or-treat after a healthy dinner. When your kids are full, they will be less likely to snack on the treats they accumulate later in the evening.

Leave the pillow cases at home and give your kids smaller treat containers to use while venturing out to collect their neighborhood bounty.

Participate in a Halloween candy buy-back program where children donate their Halloween candy to American soldiers overseas. Or swap your child’s sweet for a sweet prize, toy or extra minutes playing at the park.

Happy Healthy Halloween from the Get Healthy Team!

  For more tips and spooky tricks

Unhealthy Checkout

It seems everywhere you shop these days, there is junk food, soda, and other sugar-sweetened beverages at the checkout. Candy at the home furnishing store? Soda at the office supply store? Munchies at the home improvement store? Yes, most retail stores are pushing extra calories on their customers. The Center for Science and Public Interest conducted a field study of checkout aisles in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area in 30 retail stores across 14 store types, from grocery and convenience stores to hardware, toy, and electronic stores. They assessed the presence and type of food, beverages, and non‐food merchandise at each checkout.

Across 30 grocery stores and other retailers, they found that candy, gum, energy bars, chips, cookies, soda, and other sugar drinks comprise the majority of food and beverages at checkout. The widespread availability of junk food and sugary beverages means that even shopping for clothes or books has become yet another occasion for food companies to push (unhealthy) products on people. This is a powerful form of food marketing that contributes to unhealthy eating. Just as the natural environment is polluted by chemical emissions, our food environment is polluted by a glut of sugar, salt, and fat—and checkout contributes to this unhealthy food environment. Despite high levels of obesity, retailers and food and beverage manufacturers push extra calories on people at every turn.

Check out the one-page summary “Sugar Overload: Retail Checkout Promotes Obesity”

The Get Healthy Holiday Challenge!

The holiday season is almost here, and we all know what that means— temptation! As much as we look forward to holiday parties and dinners, many of us fear enjoying it too much – and packing on the pounds.

The average American consumes approximately 4,500 calories and 229 grams fat from eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. And that doesn’t include breakfast, lunch, or late-night snacking on leftovers, or the bounty of holiday sweets that are consumed in December!

Studies show that the average American gains 1 to 2 pounds during the holiday season. And, those extra pounds tend to become permanent baggage. Year after year, those pounds can add up, and contribute to overweight or obesity later in life.

Although we may not all gain weight over the holidays, there is no question we tend to eat and drink more — and exercise less. With the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, parties and festive traditions, healthy eating and exercise are usually the first things to go.   No one wants to be on a strict diet during the holidays. We want to enjoy the bounty of traditional favorite foods. How can you enjoy the holidays and still maintain those healthy habits?  Join the Get Healthy Holiday Challenge!!  It begins Monday, October 13 and will challenge you to adopt new healthy behaviors during the holiday season.

Each week you will be emailed a ‘health challenge’ on Monday.  Each challenge encourages healthful living, such as a daily 15-minute walk or eating three servings of vegetables each day.   You can track your weekly progress by using the online tracker on the website and be eligible for prizes!   We’ll also provide lots of tips, resources and motivation to help you meet the challenge. To register or sign in: http://www.gethealthyclarkcounty.org/hhc/.

Get Outdoors Nevada Day 2014!

Southern Nevada has lots of great ways for you to get out and be active!!  On Saturday October 25, 2014 you can come and celebrate all the recreation opportunities that we have at Get Outdoors Nevada Day.  Get Outdoors Nevada Day is presented by The Outside Las Vegas Foundation in partnership with the City of North Las Vegas. This celebration will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Craig Ranch Regional Park located at 628 W Craig Rd, North Las Vegas. The Get Healthy team will have a booth promoting healthy eating and encouraging physical activity. Feel free to stop by and say hi!

Attendees will find out the “how to’s” and “where to’s” for outdoor recreation in our Southern Nevada.  Learn about the many ways you can enjoy the outdoors in new, fun and accessible ways. Participants at Get Outdoors Nevada Day can try out sporting demos, try out the latest sporting equipment, see recreation demonstrations, and enjoy an outdoor picnic and more.
For more information about Get Outdoors Nevada Day, call 702-997-3350 or visit
www.getoutdoorsnevada.org/day.

Exercise can help reduce stress

Many people are starting to recognize the ill effects of stress and use exercise and getting active as a way to help reduce the effects that stress can have in our lives. Often times we think we are too busy and stressed to make time for exercise but when we do we can reap the many benefits that come from moving our bodies.

Being active is often thought of meditation in motion. It can also boost the production of those feel good endorphins. Moving your body creates opportunity to release energy and it can help you feel less tired and sleep better. When we are stressed often times the first thing effected in our life is our sleeping habits. Being active is a great way to ensure a good night’s sleep. Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever. If you’re not an athlete or even if you’re downright out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management. Make the time for a little physical activity in your busy life. Any form of physical activity can help you unwind and become an important part of your approach to easing stress!

Are e-cigarettes better for me?

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes or vapors as they are more commonly known, are nicotine-delivery devices that sometimes look like cigarettes in shape, size and general appearance. They have become very popular in the past few years and are often thought to be safer than conventional cigarettes.

Some recent studies indicate that e-cigarettes may not be as safe as some think. In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tested the ingredients in a small sample of cartridges from the two leading brands of e-cigarettes. They found that the samples contained detectable levels of known cancer-causing agents and other toxic chemicals. The tests also found that there was no consistency in the amount of nicotine between different products with the same label. Some of the e-cigarette products labeled “no nicotine” still contained low levels of nicotine. Because these products are not regulated, there is real concern that users do not always know what levels of nicotine they are consuming or what other chemicals they may be exposing themselves to.

There is also cause for concern related to the secondhand e-cigarette aerosol that comes from e-cigarettes (incorrectly called water vapor by the industry), because it has been found to contain nicotine, ultrafine particles and low levels of toxins that are known to cause cancer. People exposed to e-cigarette aerosol can absorb nicotine (measured as cotinine), with one study showing levels comparable to passive smokers. FDA scientists have also found detectable levels of cancer-causing tobacco-specific nitrosamines in e-cigarette aerosol.

Do not be fooled into thinking the aerosol from e-cigarettes is safe just because it doesn’t smell like conventional cigarette smoke.

While more studies are currently being conducted on the safety, efficacy, and integrity of e-cigarettes, most public health professionals agree it is too soon to call e-cigarettes a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes. Additionally, the dramatic increase of e-cigarette usage by youth and the ever present marketing of e-cigarettes to all populations have created concern with public health leaders.

To find out more information and the sources of the research discussed please visit our website.