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.
 

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.

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

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!

Healthy heart equals healthy choices

Good heart health means being active, eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. We understand that can sometimes be a challenge. Here are some resources to help you do just that!

  • Join the Nutrition Challenge and learn how to eat healthier. This free 8-week online program will help you increase the number of fruits and veggies you eat each day.
  • Go for a walk outside! Find trails and parks in your neighborhood. Check out the Neon to Nature App.
  • Take the guesswork out of healthy eating. By choosing a plan that’s just right for you, these 28-day meal plans can help you healthfully lose weight and learn the patterns of a heart-healthy diet.
  • 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!
  • You don’t have to drastically change the way you shop to eat healthy. Check out this link to find tips to ensure you have the right foods in your healthy eating plan.
  • Looking to lose some pounds? The 10 in 10 Challenge is a free online program designed to help you lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks.
Reduce your blood pressure and help your heart

Too much sodium increases your risk for high blood pressure… and high blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke. By taking the right steps to reduce your sodium intake, your blood pressure can begin decreasing within weeks. You can help control it! We consume excess sodium—primarily from salt added to food by manufacturers and restaurants—increasing our risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Look for low-sodium options. Eat out less. Look for canned items that say no salt added. These small changes can add up. Want to get your blood pressure checked? Find a location near you using this tool. For more information click Million Hearts.

Sitting too much

Our entire modern world makes it a whole lot easier to just sit .When at work,  we sit at our desk.  When driving home, we sit in our cars.  When at home, we sit in front of the TV. 

Studies are showing that prolonged periods of sitting are not good for our health.  We need to be moving more throughout the day!  Less Sitting!  More Moving!  Here are some tips to get you up and moving throughout the day:

- Stand or walking at least once an hour.
- If you have the choice, stand rather than sit.
- Walk while on the phone
- Instead of sending an email, go deliver the message in person
- Park farther away from the building
- Walk to the farthest restroom in the office
- Walk at lunch
- Don’t use the drive-up window.  Park the car and walk to the counter or ATM.
- Multitask while watching TV.  Get up and move during commercials.

Moral of this post.  Move More!  Sit Less!

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.

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.