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 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.