Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

It’s Thanksgiving this week and that means food, family & friends, and FUN ! Everyone has their favorite dishes and desserts they are looking forward to eating this week. It’s also fun to get together and make memories. And this year make some memories beyond the table with your family and friends. Start the day off with a new tradition of burning a few calories and spending some quality time together. Here are a few ideas:

Instead of watching football this year get the family together to play some football. Hit up a local park and throw around the football or baseball. Play a pickup game of basketball or volleyball.  Find a park near you.

Sign up for a 5K walk/run as a family. Do a little turkey trot before your big meal. Check out this link from the RJ about races and walks all around town this weekend. http://www.reviewjournal.com/sports/plenty-options-thanksgiving-runs-las-vegas-area

Plan or morning hike or walk. Check out Neon to Nature to find a trail near you.

Help clean up. After a big meal there is always a lot to do. Instead of parking in front of the TV, give the host a hand and help put away tables and chairs, do some dishes, or take out the trash. Focus on things that will get you moving!

Take the relatives down to the Strip for some sightseeing. We all know taking a trip to the strip means a lot of walking! That’s okay! Get out there and show them the sights while you burn off some of that turkey dinner.

Have a post-dinner dance party! Crank up the music and turn the living room into a dance floor. Get everyone moving and they will be having so much fun they won’t even know they are being active.

You may not have time to do all of these if you only get together for an afternoon or evening. If you’re with family for the entire weekend there’s plenty of time to try out being active together. All it takes is a little initiative and the fun times will follow.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a safe holiday home!

As you welcome older adult family and friends this holiday season, pay special attention to your home environment and what might add to a fall risk. Falls do not have to be an inevitable part of life for older adults but many people think falls are a normal part of aging. The truth is falls can be prevented and you have the power to reduce the risk of falls for you and your family members. The risk of falling and fall-related problems can rise with age, so take action now to prevent falls from ever happening.

Here are four things you can do to prevent falls:

•Begin an exercise program or do activities to improve balance. Exercise helps to counter the effects of muscle deterioration. Focus on strengthening leg and ankle muscles and doing resistance training and exercises done while standing. Check out this website to see what exercises you can do to improve your balance
•Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year to make sure your vision is fine or that your eyeglasses do not need to be replaced.
•Be mindful about what shoes you wear. Be sure to have firm slip-resistant soles that can be worn inside and outside the house.
•Keep floors clutter free.  Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.  Add grab bars in the bathroom—next to and inside the tub, and next to the toilet. Have handrails and lights installed on all staircases. 
•Talk openly with your loved ones and your healthcare provider about fall risks and prevention.

Making some of these small changes can prevent you or a family member from experiencing falls that can lead to bigger problems. Look over the “Check for Safety Checklist” for more ways to prevent falls.

National Healthy Lunch Day November 15th

There is often confusion about what to eat that is healthy and what is not. Often the foods choices people make are full of calories, yet lack the nutritional value the body needs. The result is expanding waistlines, low energy, and rising rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity-related illnesses. Our goal is to promote the importance of good nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle, and help people make better food choices. To start, let’s do lunch—a healthy lunch! We invite you to participate in National Healthy Lunch Day on November 15th by eating a healthy lunch that day!
7 Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas

1. Put a healthy spin on the traditional sandwich.
Use 2 pieces of thin whole grain bread and
include 2 ounces reduced-sodium lean turkey,
hummus, spinach, bell pepper slices, and
mustard. Add some carrot sticks and light
ranch dressing on the side.

2. Mix together some cooked quinoa, rinsed and
drained canned white beans, chopped bell
pepper, carrots. and broccoli to make a whole
grain and veggie salad. Toss with some olive oil,
lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add a nectarine or
some grapes on the side and a small handful of
dry roasted almonds, if desired.

3. Make a tuna salad with canned light tuna
packed in water, light mayo, diced celery,
lemon juice, and freshly ground pepper. Serve
it over greens with an apple and peanut
butter on the side.

4. Pack a cup of leftover chili or vegetable soup.
Top it with some fresh tomatoes and nonfat
plain yogurt instead of sour cream.

5. Fill a whole wheat tortilla wrap with rotisserie
chicken, hummus, and greens. For more veggie
goodness, add roasted or fresh pepper strips.

6. Pack a hard-boiled egg, a piece of fruit,
a string cheese stick, and 5 whole wheat
crackers. And bring as many carrot or celery
sticks as you like!

7. Throw together a salad with romaine
lettuce or spinach and any other nonstarchy
vegetables that you like. Top with some
cottage cheese, a sprinkle of chopped nuts,
and a tablespoon of light salad dressing.

National Diabetes Prevention Month

Every November we observe National Diabetes Prevention month to help educate everyone about how to prevent this deadly disease.
Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have “pre-diabetes” — which means blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
Doctors sometimes refer to prediabetes as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), depending on what test was used when it was detected. This condition puts you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
There are no clear symptoms of prediabetes, so, you may have it and not know it.
Some people with prediabetes may have some of the symptoms of diabetes or even problems from diabetes already. You usually find out that you have prediabetes when being tested for diabetes by your doctor. 

If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for type 2 diabetes every one to two years.
You will not develop type 2 diabetes automatically if you have prediabetes. For some people with prediabetes, early treatment can actually return blood glucose levels to the normal range.

Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% by:
•Losing 7% of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds)
•Exercising moderately (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, five days a week

The following symptoms of diabetes are typical. However, some people with type 2 diabetes have symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed.
Common symptoms of diabetes:
•Urinating often
•Feeling very thirsty
•Feeling very hungry - even though you are eating
•Extreme fatigue
•Blurry vision
•Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
•Weight loss - even though you are eating more (type 1)
•Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes. To learn more about how to prevent diabetes check out our Diabetes Prevention Program. It is a free online program to help you reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Happy Halloween 2016!

Halloween is fun and full of traditions and although all the candy collected is not the healthiest part; the actual act of trick-or-treating can in fact be a healthy activity. Your family walks around the neighborhood stopping at all the neighbor’s houses. It is so much fun that you don’t even think of it as exercise! One idea you can do to make the night healthier is to extend your route. If you were thinking of only visiting your own block of neighbors, expand your route and visit another neighborhood too. The week leading up to Halloween you can do some “practice runs” for the big night. This is just a way to get out and take a walk as a family after dinner and check out all the fun and festive decorations around the neighborhood.

When it comes to your kids stash of candy or the leftover trick or treating candy you wanted to give out, set up some guidelines to help your family not indulge too much in all the treats. Realistically your kids won’t be able to finish all that candy anyway, so here are some tips below for what you can do with the leftovers.

Have your kids pick out a specific number of candies they want to eat. Ration the amount they can eat each day and stretch out the consumption over time.

Donate the candy to other organizations. Dentists are usually looking to collect candy from kids. You can also donate candy to the troops in the form of care packages. Do a search to find what opportunities are available in your community.

Offer a buy back option for your kids. Ask your kids if they want to trade their candy for something else they would like even more like a toy, an outing with a parent or extra time to stay up past bedtime.  Find something that motivates your kids and trade them for the candy. This way they won’t feel like you are taking their candy but that they get to make a healthier choice.

Whatever you end up doing this Halloween be sure to have fun and be safe out there! Happy Healthy Halloween from your Get Healthy Staff!

Talk before you take!

Are you one of the millions of Americans who takes prescription drugs? Do you fully understand all the benefits and risks of the medications you are taking? It is important to discuss the benefits and risks of your prescription medicine before your prescription is filled to reduce the risk of injury. 

Talk before you take!

Here are 4 tips to help guide a conversation with your healthcare provider:

1. Talk to your healthcare provider and ask questions about the benefits and potential risks of prescription medicines you take.
2. Tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you are currently taking—including over-the counter medicines, vitamins, and dietary supplements.
3. Tell your healthcare provider about any allergies or sensitivities that you may have.
4. Read and follow the medicine label and directions

Talking to your healthcare provider before you take your prescriptions can help you:
-Understand medication side effects—for example, which ones, if any, will go away with time and those that may be experienced for the duration of being on the medicine.
-Avoid adverse drug interactions.
-Improve adherence to medicine regimen(s).
-Live healthier, more productive lives.

For more information visit http://j.mp/2dqUrGw

Get Outdoors Nevada Day Saturday October 15th!

The Get Healthy staff will be out at Get Outdoors Nevada Day this Saturday. Come join us for the fun from 9am-2pm at Lorenzi Park. The annual celebration promotes trail use and outdoor recreation. It also includes informational exhibits, booths, basic bike maintenance checks and activities for all ages. Come say hi to us at our booth!

Active Seniors can try new ways to stay fit

It is easy to think that the older we get, the less we are able to do in terms of physical activity. Just because we can’t strap on the football pads, spike a few volleyballs or race around the track like we did in high school,  doesn’t mean we should give up on being active each day. No matter our age or situation, being active is important to stay healthy. Regular physical activity can reduce the likelihood of developing dementia and physical activity can also help improve cognition in adults with some mild cognitive decline.

Just like for everyone, as older adults, it is important to find an activity that you like and are able to do. It doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be as simple as walking around your block. And don’t be afraid to try something new. Often times, taking an exercise class can benefit you physically as well as socially.  Many of the recreation or senior centers here in the Vegas valley offer a variety of classes for older adults. This can be a great chance to meet other people and get in some activity.

Here are some ideas for classes to try:

Sit N Fit: This is a class with a little bit of everything; cardiovascular, endurance, strength, balance and abdominal conditioning. Participants perform a variety of low impact exercises both standing and seated.

Qigong: This type of class will help increase your flexibility and lower your stress levels by holding different yoga poses in a relaxing environment.

Yoga for seniors: This is often a lower intensity form of yoga focused on breathing, posture, and gentle movements. Yoga can improve balance and flexibility, which are both important for a group at higher risk for falls.

Aquatic Exercise: Water’s buoyance means workouts done in the pool generate less impact on bones and joints. This makes aquatic aerobics or swimming a good option for people looking to improve aerobic fitness under lower impact conditions.

Dance-based fitness: During dance fitness classes, participants often need to remember different steps, and in some cases interact with a partner. This offers participants a fun way to be physically active, build aerobic fitness, be social, and challenge the mind and memory.

Tai Chi: Tai Chi is a relaxing, low impact form of exercise that has been shown to help improve sleep quality, muscle strength, balance, and flexibility.

To find local classes check out the following links:

Clark County Recreation and Senior Centers

Get Healthy Calendar of Classes

City of Las Vegas Classes

City of Henderson Classes

City of North Las Vegas Classes

Get moving as a family!

October 3rd is National #ChildHealthDay! One of the best ways to have healthy kids is to keep them moving. Kids often have a natural desire to move, fidget, run, play and jump. And that is good! Help your family move more each day and have fun with it. Think about what your family can do to be active together. Here are some ideas:

•Add physical activity to your daily routine. For example, walk or ride your bike to work or a friend’s house, walk the dog with your children, exercise while you watch TV, or park farther away from your destination.

•Set up a party or other social event with activities that get people moving, like dancing or having a jump rope contest.

•Play with your kids or ask them to join you for an exercise video or fitness game.

•Go to a local park in your neighborhood. Find a park here. Find a trail here.

•Develop a set of activities for you and your family that are always available regardless of weather, such as indoor cycling, indoor swimming, stair climbing, rope skipping, mall walking, dancing, and active games that you can play indoors.

•Ask your kids for ideas. Get everyone involved by having your children choose physical activities for the family to try together.

•Come to Get Outdoors Nevada Day. Come join the fun on October 15th, 2016 at Lorenzi Park 9am-2pm. The annual celebration promotes trail use and outdoor recreation. It also includes informational exhibits, booths, basic bike maintenance checks and activities for all ages.

Free help to manage your diabetes– Care4Life mobile app

It is not always easy to manage your diabetes and remember to do all that is required. We have a new free resource that can help! The Care4life program is an easy way to help you or someone you know manage their diabetes. Using the Care4life mobile app you have a coach in your pocket to remind you to take your medication, test your blood glucose or encourage you to eat healthy. It is like having your own personal diabetes educator!   

Check out this video to see how the app works and hear from folks who are using it.

For more information about the Care4Life program visit Get Healthy Clark County.org