Simple Ways to Stop Seasonal Stress

In an effort to pull off the perfect Hallmark holiday we often find ourselves facing enormous pressures- work, parties, out of town guests, shopping, baking, kids on a school break, cleaning and the list goes on. So much for peace and joy, right?

Actually with some simple tips you can minimize stress and even enjoy the holidays.

Be realistic. Traditions and rituals often change as families change and grow.  Hold on to those traditions that you can, but realize that you may have to let go of others.
homemade gifts
Stick to a budget. Remember that the holidays are not about who got the biggest gift.  Set a reasonable budget and stick to it!  If you don’t you could feel anxious and tense for months to come as you try to pay the bills.  Give homemade gifts or start a family gift exchange.

Set prioritizes. Learn to say no to social engagements that you just don’t have time for.  Believe it or not people will understand if you can’t make it. If you say yes, only to what you want to do, you will feel less overwhelmed and bitter.

Don’t abandon healthy habits.
Don’t let the holidays become a dietary free-for-all. Excessive eating will only show up on your waistline later, which can cause anxiety. Have a healthy snack before a holiday party. For a little help getting in those fruits and vegetables, join our Nutrition Challenge Program!

Stick to your exercise routine. If you have an exercise routine, then do your best to stick with it. It may mean cutting down on a few holiday related activities, but it is well worth it in benefits which are both physical and psychological. Be creative and involve your family members so you spend time with them and get your exercise. Invite them to go along on a walk or go for a bike ride. Find great trails in your neighborhood using our Neon To Nature program!

Look for simple ways to increase Physical activity. Chances are there will be days when you just won’t have time to do your regular exercise. On these days look for opportunities to “build” physical activity into your day, like parking farther out, taking the stairs or doing a short walk to look at Christmas lights.

Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting neighbors and friends etc. Plan your menus and make what you can ahead of time. This will help prevent the last minute scrambles to pick up items you may have forgotten.

Forget about perfection. Holiday TV specials are often full of happy families with no problems, and if they do have problems they are resolved within 1-2 hours. In real life, it does not usually work out that way. Your husband will burn the cookies, your mother-in-law will criticize something, and your brother will start up an old argument, all in the matter of an hour. Accept imperfections in yourself and others, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Seek professional help if you need it. The holidays are often a hard time for many people. Despite your best efforts, if you still find yourself feeling persistently anxious, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless and unable to face routine chores for several weeks, seek professional help. Speak with your doctor or a mental health professional.

Healthy Gift Giving

Tired of giving the same old gifts to family and friends? Looking for a gift that isn’t cookies, fudge or food? Give the gift of health! Here are some ideas for healthy gift giving:

Stocking Stuffers:

Jump Rope or Resistance Bands. These great workout tools are small and are great when traveling to help keep up healthy habits.

Pedometer. Know someone who’s trying to start a simple exercise program? A pedometer, which counts each step a person takes, and the distance they’ve walked, makes a perfect present for someone who’s trying to be more active.

iPod or iTunes gift card. Combining entertainment and exercise often motivates people to jump on the treadmill who would otherwise be boredby going for a run or walk.  You don’t just have to download music either; you can download books, fitness apps, or movies to watch or listen to while exercising.

Gifts:

Active video games for kids and adults. Your children want to play video games. You want them to go outside and get some exercise. Now there’s a solution you both can love and enjoy. Active video games, such as Dance Dance Revolution, and the sports games for the Nintendo Wii force players to get off the couch and burn calories.

A massage gift certificate. Purchase a relaxing massage at a spa. Or create a home spa basket with essential oils, bath salts, massage oil, body lotions, and a pumice stone.  Relaxation and stress relief are important for overall good health.

A bicycle or scooter. Bikes and scooters are a great way for kids and adults to get exercise.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money either, check out goodwill stores or second hand shops.  They often have good bikes and scooters that might need just a little work.  Don’t forget to get a helmet to wear when riding as well!

Healthy cookbooks. How about a new cookbook that includes healthy recipes — maybe one with healthy soups, salads, vegetable sides dishes, whole grains or whole grain breads.

Subscription to a magazine. Consider giving a year subscription to a magazine. There are several magazines that offer healthy recipes and tips, as well as magazines that focus on physical activity (biking, hiking, running, etc.) and relaxation.

Hostess Gifts:

Oil and vinegar. Why not give high-quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil as a gift. If someone is trying to lose weight by eating a lot of salads, some aged balsamic vinegar and a dash or two of good olive oil can make the difference between a boring salad and a nice treat.

A healthy goody basket. A fruit basket of exotic or specialty fruits or other gift basket of healthy specialty foods is always welcome. Try putting together your own basket.  You could include some of your favorite healthy recipes and some homemade healthy treats.

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.