Which type of activity tracker should I buy?

These days there are lots of choices when it comes to activity trackers and that can leave you wondering which one to buy.  Here are some things to keep in mind as you decide which one is best for you:

Buy what you need.

Trackers can vary in price depending on the features. More expensive models include lots of features like display, heart rate monitors and GPS. These are geared towards exercise enthusiasts and people who specifically use these features in their workouts. If you are just looking for a tracker to wear while walking there is no need to spend the money on feature you will never use!

Select the type.

Trackers come in watches, bracelets, and clip-type forms. Bracelets and watch types are worn on your wrist and while  not as easy to lose, can get in the way when typing or writing. Plus, they also might not always match your outfits. While the Clip-type can be hidden under clothing, it can be easier to forget about or lose and may not have a display. You have to use your smart phone to check your progress. Knowing which form you like will help you narrow your purchase

Like the look.

It doesn’t matter how great the tracker is if you don’t like the look, you won’t wear it. Find a tracker that is comfortable for you, that you think you will use daily, since that is the point!

Check the sync time.

DO you want your device to sync automatically so you can  get real time stat or is that not as important to you?  Tracker sync time can vary depending on device so find a sync time that works for your needs.

Match to your other devices.

Check to see if your tracker will work with your current equipment like your computer or phone. Some trackers only work with specific brand products. Many have mobile apps but others are strictly designed for desktop computer interaction. Nothing is worse than buying something you think will work with what you have and then finding out it doesn’t!
Trackers can be a great tool to help you be more active and healthy. And by doing just a little research you can ensure that it is something you use, and doesn’t go into the junk pile that you end up donating along with the shake weight you bought! 

Eating healthy when eating out

Eating out and being healthy do not seem like they should go together but there is no reason why they can’t! The good news is that many restaurants are adding healthier menu options so it’s possible to get a fairly nutritious meal on the go. Here are some useful tips to help you eat healthier when dining out:
•Think ahead. Check the menus online for calorie and nutrition information. Select your healthy meal prior to entering the restaurant. Stick to your plan and do not be swayed by the sights, smells, and people around you.

•Order first. That way you won’t be swayed by what others are your table are ordering.

•Have a plan. If you know you are eating out for dinner cut back on the calories on other meals that day. 

•Ask for water,  fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, and stay away from sugary beverages.

•Ask for whole-wheat bread for sandwiches.

•Start your meal with a salad packed with veggies, to help control hunger and feel satisfied sooner. And ask for salad dressing to be served on the side. Then use only as much as you want.

•Choose main dishes that include vegetables, such as stir fries, kebobs, or pasta with a tomato sauce.

•Think color. The more color in a meal usually means more fruits and veggies.

•Order steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sautéed.

•Choose a small” or “medium” portion. This includes main dishes, side dishes, and beverages.

•If main portions at a restaurant are larger than you want you can order an appetizer-sized portion or a side dish instead of an entrée. Consider  sharing a main dish with a friend or taking half of it home.

•Resign from the “clean your plate club” - when you’ve eaten enough, leave the rest.

Check out our 5 meals under 500 calories and take the guess work out of eating healthy at some of the local fast food joints.

Reduce your risk of diabetes with our new online resource

The Southern Nevada Health District recently launched its newest online program, the Road to Diabetes Prevention, a free six-session program to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The program is self-paced and includes optional activities and available resources in the community. While it is open to anyone, the Road to Diabetes Prevention program is recommended for people who could have pre-diabetes. For information or to sign up for the program, visit the Get Healthy Clark County website, www.GetHealthyClarkCounty.org/training/diabetes.

The program is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Road to Health toolkit that includes healthy eating and physical activity educational information to help individuals reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Participants can learn about their own risk factors and how to make simple lifestyle changes to reduce their risks.

The American Diabetes Association estimates that 86 million Americans - more than 1 out of 3 adults age 20 and older - are considered to have pre-diabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are elevated but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. That number is up from 79 million in 2010. People with pre-diabetes are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. For some people with pre-diabetes, early treatment can return blood glucose levels to the normal range. There are no clear symptoms of pre-diabetes so many people are unaware of their status.

Check out our free program and learn what resources are available to help you reduce the risk of developing diabetes!

Farmers Market schedule for the summer

Living in the desert you may think there aren’t many places to get fresh grown produce. However, there are several farmers markets around the Valley providing residents with many opportunities to purchase locally/regionally grown produce.

Local food tastes better and is fresher than food that has been shipped long distances. Buying locally helps strengthen our community’s economy and gives you the opportunity to get to know the farmers who grow your food. Knowing where your food comes from and how it’s grown enables you to feel better about the food you put on your table.

Now, more of your friends and neighbors can have access to healthy fruits and vegetables as EBT (electronic benefit transfer) machines get integrated into select farmers markets throughout the county. Below is a list of all the farmers markets in the Valley.

Farmers Markets Accepting EBT Debit and Credit

Las Vegas Farmers Market - Gardens Park
Thursday, 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
10401 Gardens Park Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89135

Las Vegas Farmers Market - Bruce Trent Park
Wednesday, 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
1600 N. Rampart, Las Vegas, NV 89128

Las Vegas Farmers Market - Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs
First and 3rd Saturday of each month, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
9200 Tule Springs Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89131

Fresh 52 @ Tivoli Village
Saturday, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
302 S. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89145

Fresh 52 @ Sansone Park Place
Sunday, 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
9480 S. Eastern, Las Vegas, NV 89123

On The Ranch Farmers Market 
Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
628 W. Craig Road, North Las Vegas, NV 89032

The Farms at Fantastic
Hours subject to change- Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
1717 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89128 

Other Farmers Markets Around Town

Country Fresh Farmers Market
Thursday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
240 S. Water St., Henderson, NV 89015

Country Fresh Farmer’s Market II
Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
200 S. Green Valley Pkwy., Henderson, NV 89012

Downtown 3rd Farmers Market
Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
300 N. Casino Center Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89101
(Casino Center and Stewart)
Parking is complimentary, in the adjacent lot.

Downtown Summerlin Farmers Market
Saturday, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. under the Pavilion
Sahara Ave. & 215 Beltway, Las Vegas, NV 89135

The Green Chefs Farmers Market
Thursday, 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
333 S. Valley View Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107

It is Soda Free Summer all summer long.  A few tips to help you ditch the sugary drinks and drink healthier options.

1. Commit.  Decide to change what you drink. No dream can be achieved without and goal and a plan!
2. Drink more water. Drink water instead of sugary drinks when you’re thirsty. Carry around a water bottle or container that holds water so you have something ready to drink when thirsty.
3. Find alternatives. Find other healthier options to take the place of your soda or sugary drink. Try sparkling water, unsweetened tea, or squeeze lemon, lime or other fruit in your water. 
Sugary drinks are drinks that contain added sugars or sweeteners. Sugary drinks include soda and other carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, juice drinks, sweetened tea and coffee drinks, and sweetened milk or milk alternatives. The added sugar in these drinks add calories but little or no nutrients.

Juice Drinks 20oz = 23 packets of sugar: 60 minutes of walking to burn off

Soda  20oz =  22 packets of sugar: 52 minutes of walking to burn off

Energy Drink 16oz = 17 packets of sugar: 50 minutes of walking to burn off

Sports Drink 20oz = 12 packets of sugar : 27 minutes of walking to burn off

Chocolate Milk 8oz = 9 packets of sugar : 34 minutes of walking to burn off
Rethink your drink !

New Southern Nevada Restaurant Inspection App

The Southern Nevada Health District has launched its restaurant inspection grade app for smart phones. The health district’s mobile app can be downloaded through the Apple Store for iOS devices or from Google Play for Android.  For additional information, visit the Southern Nevada Health District website, snhd.info/apps.
The app allows users to review current inspection information for Southern Nevada restaurants as well as past inspections. Users can bookmark their favorite establishments, find information and search for all restaurants in their area, search for grade cards by restaurant name, and even view Yelp restaurant ratings. For additional restaurant inspection information, users should visit the health district website inspection page.

Additional health district apps include Neon to Nature, a program that helps users find urban or rural trails and parks in neighborhoods throughout the Las Vegas Valley, and the Sugar Savvy Beverage tracker, which tells users how much sugar is in the beverages they are drinking. More info on these mobile apps.

Guidelines for being active

The Health and Human Services has provided Americans with the Physical Activity Guidelines as science-based information and guidance to help Americans ages 6 and older maintain or improve their health through regular physical activity. Physical Activity Guidelines are meant to be straightforward and clear, while remaining consistent with complex scientific information. Some findings from the guidelines include:

•Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many adverse health outcomes.
•Some physical activity is better than none.
•For most health outcomes, additional benefits occur as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency, and/or longer duration.
•Most health benefits occur with at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. Additional benefits occur with more physical activity.
•Episodes of activity that are at least 10 minutes long count toward meeting the Guidelines.
•Both aerobic (endurance) and muscle-strengthening (resistance) physical activity  recommended and are beneficial.
•Health benefits of physical activity occur for children and adolescents, young and middle-aged adults, older adults, and those in every studied racial and ethnic group.
•Health benefits of physical activity are attainable for people with disabilities.
•The benefits of physical activity outweigh the risks of injury and heart attack.

Substantial health benefits are gained by doing physical activity according to the Guidelines presented below for different groups.

Key Guidelines for Kids and Teens:

•Kids and Teens should get 60-minutes of physical activity each day. Like hiking, biking to school, rollerblading etc. They should also include muscle and bone strengthening activities like swinging on the playground, jump rope, sports, push-ups and sit-ups.
•It is important to encourage young people to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety.

Key Guidelines for Adults:

•All adults should avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none, and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits.
•Adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity activity like walking fast riding a bike or aerobics. These episodes of activity should be at least ten minutes long.
•Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities 2 or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits. Some examples include yoga, lifting weights, push-ups and sit-ups.

Soda Free Summer 2015

The Southern Nevada Health District is kicking off third annual Soda Free Summer Challenge which will run from June 8 – August 2, 2015. The challenge is designed to inspire you to make a lasting commitment to health by reducing or eliminating sweetened beverages. We invite you to Take the Soda Free Summer Challenge and win prizes!

Every Monday beginning June 15th, all participants who had at least 6 soda free days in the prior week will be entered into the weekly Soda Free Summer raffle for a Soda Free Summer prize pack which includes a water bottle, double-sided lip balm, and more!

Go soda free for 4 or more weeks this summer to be entered into the Soda Free Summer Grand Prize raffle for an iPod shuffle.

To participate and enter the raffles download the tracker sheet (adults & kids) and track your soda free days. To be entered into the weekly raffle scan your tracker sheet and email to gethealthy@snhdmail.org by 9:00 a.m. each Monday. To be eligible for the Grand Prize drawing send us your scanned tracker sheet showing you were soda free for 4 or more weeks by August 7th.

Tips to prevent drownings this summer

The triple digit temperatures have arrived and the Southern Nevada Health District reminds visitors and residents alike to stay safe and healthy during the summer. The health district reminds parents about the ABCDs of drowning prevention and sun and heat safety.

ABCDs of Drowning Prevention:
Since the beginning of year, there have been 18 submersion incidents in our community among children under the age of 14, four of which were fatal. Children should be well supervised when they have access to any water source, including bathtubs. The health district and its community partners remind parents of the ABCDs of drowning prevention:

A – Adult supervision, it is recommended that a parent is within arm’s length when children are in a pool, bathtub or other water sources
B – Barriers to the pool,  such as fences or gate alarms
C – Classes, such as swimming and CPR courses
D – Devices, such as personal flotation devices, life jackets and rescue tools

Drowning is a silent killer and a majority of deaths occur in a pool or spa; however, any amount of water can pose a hazard, including a bathtub. In just 10 seconds, or the time it takes to grab a towel, a small child can become submerged and in the two minutes it can take to answer the telephone, a child can lose consciousness. Twenty percent of near-drowning accidents that require hospitalization result in severe and permanent disability. For more information.

Heat Safety
Southern Nevada’s high summertime temperatures are also accompanied by plenty of sunshine. It is important to remember that two of the sun’s three types of UV rays can pose hazards to skin, including sunburn and, to a more dangerous extent, skin cancer. Information about sun and heat safety is available on the health district website.

Sunlight exposure is highest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Anyone who works outdoors or participates in outdoor recreational activities should protect themselves against exposure to excessive heat and sun to prevent sunburns, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and worse. In addition, high summer temperatures can be harmful to older people, children, or those with a chronic medical condition. Health Information about heat safety is available on the CDC website.

The health district reminds Valley residents and visitors to take precautions:

•Use sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15; reapply at least every two hours or less; apply it to ears, scalp, lips, neck, the top of the feet, back of the hands; apply a minimum of 20 minutes before any sun exposure.
•Wear wide-brimmed hats (not baseball caps) and sunglasses with UV protection.
•Wear tightly woven clothing (not tight fitting) with high SPF protection to block out light. (If you can see your hand through the fabric, it offers very little protection against the sun’s UV rays). Clothing can be loose fitting, but cover as much skin as possible.
•Limit or avoid exposure to the sun, especially for long periods of time. Rest in the shade.
•Bring an adequate supply of water if plans include extended outdoor activity. Drink plenty of water at regular intervals, regardless of activity level.
•If unaccustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and gradually increase the pace.
•Limit alcoholic beverages and eat well-balanced, light meals
•Check on the status of homebound neighbors and relatives

Caution: Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney or liver disease; are on fluid-restrictive or low-salt diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake or changing what they eat and drink.

5 reasons to ride a bike

Biking can be a fun and healthy opportunity for fitness and transportation. This is true whether it’s biking to work or a leisurely family bike ride. But the benefits stretch beyond health – biking can help reduce traffic congestion, enhance your quality of life, save you money and it’s FUN!

Feel like a kid again.

Learning to ride a bike is a defining moment for a kid. Not only do you feel a sense of accomplishment but you also feel a great sense of freedom. That first taste of freedom comes from being able to jump on your bike and go to a friend’s house or ride to school.  We feel a similar sense of freedom when we learn to drive but the novelty of driving wears off over time but the sense of fun seems to remain when you get on a bike. Enjoy that freedom again and ride a bike!

Ride into the sunset.

It’s becoming a popular activity for all ages. It’s one of those activities that you can enjoy doing day after day for the rest of your life. Certain exercises that you might enjoy doing now aren’t going to be as easy to do years down the line.  Starting to ride bikes can help you fall in love now with an activity that you can do for the rest of your life.

Great full body exercise.

When it comes to riding a bike our lower body muscles are the primary muscle group that gets worked but your upper body also gets a workout. Biking can be a great way to strengthen your core and get in a full body workout. It also can burn a lot of calories and is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

Another way to get around.

More and more people are using bikes as their primary mode of transportation. If you haven’t been on a bike since you were young, start with a short ride around the neighborhood. Then try running to the store using your bike. Gradually build up your comfort level. Ride to work a few times during the week and see how that goes for a while, then increase the number of days you ride. The goal doesn’t need to be to stop driving to work completely but to give you another method of transportation. Check out commuting by bike for more info.

One of the best resources for biking in southern Nevada is our RTC. Check out their website to learn more about biking.