Celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary at Lake Mead National Recreation Area

The National Park Service is celebrating 100 years of protecting and preserving the nation’s parks and monuments, and everyone is encouraged to get out and #FindYourPark. There is a variety of special events taking place during the centennial. Join a Centennial Volunteer Cleanup, become a Junior Ranger or participate in one of the many special Centennial events taking place throughout the park. As 2016 kicks off a second century of stewardship and community engagement, we hope you join in on the fun. Check out some of the events taking place out at Lake Mead National Park.
 

Staying Active in the Summer Heat

Living in the desert it is no surprise that the summer months are HOT, and for most people being physical active outside is torture and sometimes not safe!   Instead of using the heat as another excuse to not be active, get creative this summer! Here are a few tips to help you stay active throughout the blazin’ summer months.

Stretch with the Sun or Move with the Moon. Wake up early and get in a walk or bike ride before the sun has a chance to heat the day. If you’re not a morning person wait for the sun to set and then take advantage of the nighttime. It might still be warm but at least the sun won’t be beating down on you.

Stay inside. There are plenty of activities you can still do inside. Attend a gym, play racquetball, do a workout DVD inside your house, walk on a treadmill, clean your house. All things that can be done indoors and are a great way to get in some activity.

Wet workout. This one might seem like a no-brainer, but exercising in a pool or lake is an instant way to cool off. Take a trip out to Lake Mead and try a new activity like paddle-boarding, try a water aerobics class, or round up some friends for a competitive game of water volleyball. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll get a great workout! Also, you can plan a day at the water park or the splash pad. Check out our Places to Play to find parks with splash pads in your area. Have fun in the water and it won’t even seem like exercise.

Hit the mall. Too hot to take a lunchtime walk outside? Take your workout to a nearby mall with air conditioning. Lace up your sneakers and get your heart pumping without overheating!

Visit the Mountains. The Spring Mountains Area also known at Mt. Charleston is a great place to get away from the heat and enjoy nature at the same time. Find a hike for you and your family to do while you are there.

Don’t let the summer heat slow you down!  Summer time is all about fun so no matter what you choose to do to keep moving just have fun doing it! 
 

Soda Free Summer Challenge

The Southern Nevada Health District is kicking off its annual Soda Free Summer Challenge. The challenge is designed to inspire you to make a lasting commitment to health by reducing or eliminating sweetened beverages over the summer months. We invite you to take the Soda Free Summer pledge. Its all about small changes so pledge to be healthier by reducing or eliminating your soda consumption this summer!

Soda was once considered an occasional treat, but consumption has steadily increased over the last three decades. Drinking too much soda could have health consequences ranging from weight gain to osteoporosis to kidney problems, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Healthy Drink Alternatives. Next time you quench your thirst try one of these options:

Water: Try water with added citrus or sliced cucumbers. Always refreshing and is great for the skin. Try some of these great flavored water recipes as well to mix it up a bit!
100% fruit juice: A sweet treat full of vitamins and it counts as a serving of fruit. Don’t overdo it though, limit yourself to 6oz.
Vegetable juice or V8: Packed with flavor; high in vitamins C, A, and potassium and around 50 calories per cup. If possible choose the low sodium versions.
Non-fat or low-fat milk: High in calcium and protein—and you need both. You could also try soy milk, rice milk or almond milk.
Light yogurt and fruit smoothie: Creamy and sweet, high in calcium and only about 170 calories per cup.
Tea, unsweetened: Get a boost on less than five calories per cup, plus it’s high in antioxidants.

Never too late to be an olympian in Nevada

The countdown is on! There are less than 63 days to go before the opening of the world’s biggest sporting event the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! Have ever dreamed of becoming an Olympian but you feel like you are past your prime? Don’t worry it’s never too late! Now in its 36th year of existence, Nevada Senior Games is dedicated to the promotion of a healthy life style for adults 50+ through exercise and athletic competition.

The Nevada Senior Games encourages older adults to stay active and fit, revive past recreational skills or learn new ones. Friendships are made that will last a lifetime. The Games challenge each athlete to be his or her “Personal Best.” Men and Women 50 years old or more are eligible to participate in the Nevada Senior Games. We are an ‘open’ competition and accept out-of-state participants as well. The Nevada Senior Games is the only National Senior Games Qualifying site in the state of Nevada and we are the largest multi-sport senior competition in our state.

For more information visit http://www.nevadaseniorgames.com

5 ways to be active on vacation

Vacations are often a time of indulgence, and many vacationers relish having the time to kick back and relax. However, throwing away all of your hard work at the gym while vacationing can lead to a depressing reality when you get home. Staying active while traveling can seem tough, but there are plenty of ways to stay active no matter how long your trip lasts. Whether you’re traveling across the country or around the globe, the effort you put in to keep yourself feeling your best will pay off when your vacation comes to an end.

Make a plan & schedule time to be active. Depending what you are doing on your trip, schedule time each day to be active. If you are not planning to do something active during the day, make a plan to fit it in before your day starts. Book your stay at a hotel with a gym or a pool if you like access to those facilities. You can always go out for a walk along the beach or near your hotel. Use this as a chance to explore the area and find places where you might want to come back to later in your trip.

Get active as a family. Find things that are fun to do but active for everyone. Bring a football to toss around the beach or set up a volleyball net, go snorkeling, or kayaking. Get the family involved and have fun!

Do some research. Before you even arrive at your destination, do some research to see what opportunities there are to be active. Are there any local trails? Or hikes? Can you walk to most destinations? Can you rent bikes and ride around? What unique opportunities does your vacation offer that will be active and most of all memorable?  Try something new and be willing to go out of your comfort zone.

Ditch the car. Walking is an ideal physical activity because of its low cost, low impact, and portability. Nothing beats the sights, smells, and sounds of the beach. If you are in a big city, skip the cab rides and subways, and walk everywhere. You might just come across a great little restaurant or shop to stop in. If you’re at Disneyland, well, there is really no choice but to walk. Wherever you are, make sure you wear comfortable clothes and sneakers so you don’t end up with blisters or foot pain of any kind.

Take the stairs. Skip the elevator and sneak in some extra cardio.

Whenever you can make the healthy, active choice, do so and you won’t regret it.

Enjoy your vacation!

Healthy employees are productive employees!

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! Check out this video to see how health programs in one town in Maine are making the community healthier. How can your workplace promote more walking?

 http://bit.ly/1TaWZLG 

 

 

Enhance the flavor of your food when cooking at home

Cooking at home can be healthy, rewarding and cost-effective. And, according to research, taste tops nutrition as the main reason why Americans buy one food over another. The foods you enjoy are likely the ones you eat the most, so make taste a kitchen priority when preparing healthy, nutritious meals.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers cooking tips to enhance flavor and retain nutrients without adding extra fat, calories or salt. To maximize food’s flavor and nutrition, start with high-quality ingredients at their peak quality. They don’t need to be the most expensive foods — or served in big portions. It’s also important to handle and store foods properly, because poor storage destroys flavor and quality.

Overcooking can destroy flavor and nutrients. So cook to retain nutrients, flavor, color, texture and overall appeal. Cooking can’t improve poor-quality foods, but it can enhance the flavors of high-quality foods.

Try these seven simple techniques to enhance flavor and experiment with flavor combinations.

-Intensify the flavors of meat, poultry and fish with high-heat cooking techniques such as pan-searing, grilling or broiling, which help to brown meat and add flavor.
-Grill or roast veggies in a very hot (450°F) oven or grill for a sweet, smoky flavor. Before popping them into the oven, brush or spray lightly with oil so they don’t dry out and sprinkle with herbs.
-Caramelize sliced onions to bring out their natural sugar flavor by cooking them slowly over low heat in a small amount of oil. Use them to make a rich, dark sauce for meat or poultry.
-Pep it up with peppers! Use red, green and yellow peppers of all varieties — sweet, hot and dried. Or, add a dash of hot pepper sauce.
-Add a tangy taste with citrus juice or grated citrus peel: lemon, lime or orange. Acidic ingredients help lift and balance flavor.
-Use small amounts of ingredients with bold flavors such as pomegranate seeds, chipotle pepper or cilantro.
-Give a flavor burst with good-quality condiments such as horseradish, flavored mustard, chutney, wasabi, bean purees, tapenade and salsas of all kinds.

Establishing healthy behaviors during childhood is easier and more effective than trying to change unhealthy behaviors during adulthood. Schools play a critical role in promoting the health and safety of young people and helping them establish lifelong healthy behaviors. Research shows a link between health behaviors of young people - like physical activity - and their academic success.

In 2014, the Nevada School Wellness Policy was updated and in May 2015 the Clark County School District subsequently updated and adopted their Student Wellness Regulation. This regulation outlines nutrition, physical activity and wellness standards for schools in the Clark County School District. Learn more about the school wellness policy and how you can support healthy environments in our schools using the resources below.

What can parents do to promote a healthy school environment?

Survey for the Spencer Greenway Trail

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada needs your feedback for the Spencer Greenway Trail and UNLV Campus Bike Plan, a year-long project to develop conceptual plans for a trail along the Spencer utility corridor and identify a bicycle network on the UNLV Main Campus. The RTC of Southern Nevada is conducting this study to determine the level of community support and the desired design elements for a paved path connecting UNLV and Downtown Las Vegas. The proposed path would be primarily be constructed along a 100-foot wide existing NV Energy utility corridor that runs adjacent to Spencer Street. Additionally, the project team will develop a plan for improved bicycle connectivity and associated amenities such as bicycle parking at the UNLV Main Campus on Maryland Parkway. Participate in the plan by taking the online survey or attending an upcoming event. More information is available at www.rtcsnv.com.

Link to the Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/spencerunlv

Being realistic about your goals.

With all the fad diets, weight-loss programs and promised quick fixes it can be difficult to wade through all the ways in which you can achieve your weight loss goals. It is easy to get swayed into thinking these types of gimmicks can help you find lasting success. However, the time tested foundation of permanent change remains the same. Successful weight loss combines healthy calorie-controlled diet combined with exercise. How can you make these changes permanent?

Set realistic goals
It may seem obvious to set realistic weight-loss goals. But do you really know what’s realistic? Over the long term, it’s best to aim for losing 1 to 2 pounds a week. Generally to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day, through a lower calorie diet and regular exercise. When you’re setting goals, think about both process and outcome goals. “Exercise every day” is an example of a process goal. “Lose 30 pounds” is an example of an outcome goal. It isn’t essential that you have an outcome goal, but you should set process goals because changing your habits is a key to weight loss.

Understand how much and why you eat
Use a food diary or tracking app for a while to gain an understanding of what, how much, and when you are eating. If you tend to snack late at night or visit fast food restaurants several times a day or week, those might be opportunities to make healthier choices. Being mindful of your eating habits and aware of common roadblocks and excuses in your efforts to lose weight can help you set and reach realistic goals.

Change your perspective
It’s not enough to eat healthy foods and exercise for only a few weeks or even months if you want long-term, successful weight loss. These habits must become a way of life. Lifestyle changes start with taking an honest look at your eating patterns and daily routine.
After assessing your personal challenges to weight loss, try working out a strategy to gradually change habits and attitudes that have sabotaged your past efforts. And you have to move beyond simply recognizing your challenges — you have to plan for how you’ll deal with them if you’re going to succeed in losing weight once and for all.

You likely will have an occasional setback. But instead of giving up entirely after a setback, simply start fresh the next day. Remember that you’re planning to change your life. It won’t happen all at once. Stick to your healthy lifestyle and the results will be worth it.