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.

Healthy Fellowship Guide

The environments in which we live, work and gather, influence many of the choices we make and can either support or hinder our efforts to eat healthy and be active. Places of faith have a special role to play in helping their members live healthy!

Places of faith can be powerful sources of information and can provide an environment that supports healthy choices. This guide provides an overview and instructions to adopt and implement policies, programs and environmental changes that support healthy eating and physical activity within your faith organization.
Download the Healthy Fellowship Guide.

As a faith community member, you are the expert in knowing your members’ needs; how your congregation works and how to generate enthusiasm among your members for these programs. We hope these programs, policies and environmental changes can be easily combined with activities your congregation already provides. If you are interested in more information and ways that you can encourage those you worship with to be healthy, send us an email at gethealthy@clarkcounty.org

Happy Bike Month !

In honor of bike month we want to highlight a video showcasing the efforts of our local Regional Transportation Commission’s efforts to provide bike lanes to residents.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyl7b6jqFYk

5 signs that you are watching too much TV

5. You tell yourself that you don’t have time to exercise but you conveniently make time to watch TV.
If you have time to watch an hour of TV, then you certainly have time for 30 minutes of exercise. In fact, combine the two and workout while you watch. Get on the treadmill or do some squats, crunches, or stretches while watching.

4. The place where you watch TV looks like your bedroom, kitchen and living room in one.
If you look around and see remnants like trash or dishes from every meal you have eaten this week then maybe it’s time to step away from the TV. Mindless eating while watching TV is one of the easiest ways to consume unwanted calories. Try eating dinner at the table with family or friends and have a real conversation.

3. If you find your food cravings mimic the commercials.
We might not like to admit it but food commercials can influence if you are hungry and what you want to eat. Try turning off the tube and cut down on the amount of outside influence on your diet.  If you are looking for ways to save time like ordering food, in order to spend more time watching TV…you might be watching too much. Plan your meals ahead of time and go to the store and buy the ingredients. Chances are if you have purchased the items for meals you will choose to cook and eat that food.

2. Your couch has a permanent body indent where you usually sit.
No, flipping over the cushions is not the answer to this problem. Getting off the couch is the solution!  Actually leave your house for a few hours and go for a hike. Flipping over the cushions might reveal all the crumbs from mindless snacking. So when you get up, while you are at it, why not do a little cleaning?

1. You’ve turned into a hermit.
Do you purposely go out of your way to avoid plans so that you can stay home and watch TV,  it is time to limit your TV watching if you. Don’t let life pass you by or risk missing an opportunity to make connections with friends and family because you don’t want to miss an episode.
This upcoming week is TV Turnoff Week (May 4- 10). Join with us to pledge to watch no or less TV. Look for more information on ways you can participate in TV Turn Off Week

Food Label Claims

Do nutrition labels seem to be written in a foreign language? Here is a quick run-down of the main food label claims and what they mean.

Calories

Calorie free: Less than 5 calories in a serving.
Low calorie: 40 calories or less in a serving.

Fat

Fat free: Less than 1/2 gram fat in a serving.
Low fat: 3 grams of total fat or less in a serving.
For a meal or main dish: 3 grams of total fat or less in 100 grams of food and not more than 30 percent of calories from fat.
Percent fat free: A food with this claim must also meet the low fat claim.

Sodium

Sodium free: Less than 5 mg of sodium in a serving.
Low sodium: 140 mg of sodium or less in a serving. For a meal or main dish 140 mg of sodium or less in 100 grams of food.
Very low sodium: 35 mg of sodium or less in a serving.

Saturated Fat

Saturated fat free: Less than 1/2 gram of saturated fat in a serving; levels of trans fatty acids must be not more than 1 percent of total fat.
Low saturated fat: 1 gram of saturated fat or less in a serving and 15 percent or less of calories from saturated fat. For a meal or main dish: 1 gram of saturated fat or less in 100 grams of food and less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol free: Less than 2 mg of cholesterol in a serving; saturated fat content must be 2 grams or less in a serving.
Low cholesterol: 20 mg of cholesterol or less in a serving; saturated fat content must be 2 grams or less in a serving. For a meal or main dish: 20 mg of cholesterol or less in 100 grams of food, with saturated fat content less than 2 grams in 100 grams of food.

Light: A product has been changed to have half the fat or one-third fewer calories than the regular product; or the sodium in a low calorie, low-fat food has been cut by 50 percent; or a meal or main dish is low-fat or low calorie.

Reduced/Less/Lower/Fewer: A food has at least 25 percent less of something like calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol or sodium than the regular food or a similar food to which it is compared.

Lean and Extra Lean: The two terms, “lean” and “extra lean,” are used to describe the fat content of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish.

Lean: Less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol in a serving.
Extra lean: Less than 5 grams of fat, less than 2 grams of saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol in a serving.

Fee free weekend at Lake Mead National Park

In honor of National Parks week it is a fee free weekend on April 18-19th for Lake Mead National Park. Whether you like to camp, hike, kayak or any other outdoor activity check out this webpage to plan your next visit. Find out all the information you need to have a great time at Lake Mead.

When we think of Lake Mead National Park we tend to think about just the lake but Lake Mead is much more than water! Lake Mead has nine designated wilderness areas throughout the 1.5 MILLION acres that form the recreation area. Many of those areas are remote with limited access but others are fairly easy to get to and have designated backcountry roads off of the main roads within the park.

The park has just released six self-guided adventures that range from quick trips by car, to peaceful raft trips down the river to a four-wheel-drive backcountry experience at Lake Mead NRA. Each Explore Map highlights a wilderness area in the park and describes what makes it unique, including its flora, fauna and geologic features.  Check out all these possible adventures.

The Alan Bible Visitor Center for Lake Mead is a great place where volunteers can answer all your park questions and they have a wealth of knowledge about the park, its history and things to do. This weekend at the visitor center park rangers will hold ranger chats at 11:30am and 1pm to teach kids about outdoor fun and ways they can get in touch with nature.

National Walking Day 2015!

Today is not only April Fool’s Day but also National Walking Day! Walking is a low-risk and easy way to be active. All you need is comfortable walking shoes and you are ready to go! It really is that simple to change your life. What good can come from just a walk ? Research has shown that walking at least 30 minutes a day can help you:

•Reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
•Improve your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood lipid profile
•Maintain your body weight and lower the risk of obesity
•Enhance your mental well-being
•Reduce your risk of osteoporosis
•Reduce your risk of breast and colon cancer
•Reduce your risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes
Some things to help you get out and walk….
Here are some way to help you included walking into your daily routine:

•Join the Walk Around Nevada and increase your acitivity by keeping track of your steps or miles. Complete a lap around NV and earn a Hall of Fame T-shirt!

•Go for a walk outside! Find trails and parks in your neighborhood. Check out the Neon to Nature App.

•Keep comfortable shoes at work or in your car. Look for opportunities to take a quick walking break or walk somewhere for lunch.

•A little adds up. Just because you can’t walk for one hour straight shouldn’t keep you from walking at all. Short little bursts of walking 5 to 10 minutes are great and add up together to make up the 150 minutes of recommended physical activity we need each day.

•Instead of meeting up for coffee or lunch with a friend….try meeting up for a walk. Saves on the calories and helps you fit in a workout at the same time.

•Look for reasons to walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther away from the store. Look for the long way instead of the short cut.
Celebrate National Walking day by going on a nice stroll today.

Download the Neon to Nature app!

Need help finding a place to go outside this weekend? Check out our free new trails app called Neon to Nature. You can download it on apple or android phones. This app will help you find trails in your neighborhood or discover places you have never gone. Download the app and select the “near me” feature and find all the possible trails within a short radius of where you are located. Also use this app to search specifically for types of trails or activities you want to do on the trails like walking, hiking or biking. When it comes to trails we have such a variety and a large amount of trails here in Southern Nevada. Our trail system is made up of various types of trails from hiking in rural areas to taking a stroll through one of the many urban trails that meander through the city. Check out the Neon to Nature app and find a trail to explore today!

How Do We Know If We Are Eating Healthy?

Most of us remember the food guide pyramid as the graphic icon for a healthy diet, but that confusing pyramid has been replaced by a new and improved version called MyPlate.  MyPlate is an update icon which shows you what your plate should look like at every meal.  The colorful divided plate includes sections for vegetables, fruits, grains, and foods high in protein. With MyPlate, forget about measuring out serving sizes and trying to remember whether a piece a chicken should be the size of a fist or a golf ball. The icon visual shows you what you need:

•fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits

•fill ¼ of the plate with grains and make at least half the grains you serve are whole grains, like oatmeal and brown rice

•The other ¼ of your plate should be a protein, like chicken or eggs

•Serve fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk and water rather than sugary drinks

Once you get the concept of MyPlate down, you might be wondering: Do I have to serve all the food groups at each meal? And what about breakfast? Do I really have to veggies for breakfast? No, you don’t, but do aim to serve a variety of food groups at each meal. Use the plate as a guide when planning and serving meals. The goal is to think of the plate as an entire day’s worth of eating: so, throughout the day, try to make half of what you eat vegetables and fruits, and the other half grains and protein foods. It is that simple to create a healthy meal! Exercise is no longer included in the icon, but it’s still an important component of a healthy lifestyle as well. So visit http://www.myplate.org/ and reimage your plate today!

Get out of your recipe rut with these new recipes!

Thinking about eating healthier but don’t know where to start? Or are you stuck in a recipe rut? Eating healthy doesn’t mean what you eat tastes like cardboard or is difficult to make. Our Get Healthy team has put together some EASY recipes that are not only simple but delicious as well! Most of these recipes only have three steps to prepare so is no excuse why you can’t whip them up!  Here is a little taste…

Strawberry Mango Salsa… This salsa is tangy yet sweet and adds a burst of color to any plate and can be eaten as a side or with tortilla chips

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
⅔ cup orange juice (2-3 oranges)
¼ cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
2 fresh mango, diced
2 pints (16 oz each) strawberries, diced

Preparation:
1. In a large serving bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar orange juice, lemon juice, and lime juice. Add sweetener if desired.
2. Add mango and strawberries and lightly combine.
3. Wait about half hour before serving to let flavors mingle together
To check out our Get Healthy Recipes today.

Let us know your favorite healthy recipes too!