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.

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.

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.

Exercise can help reduce stress

Many people are starting to recognize the ill effects of stress and use exercise and getting active as a way to help reduce the effects that stress can have in our lives. Often times we think we are too busy and stressed to make time for exercise but when we do we can reap the many benefits that come from moving our bodies.

Being active is often thought of meditation in motion. It can also boost the production of those feel good endorphins. Moving your body creates opportunity to release energy and it can help you feel less tired and sleep better. When we are stressed often times the first thing effected in our life is our sleeping habits. Being active is a great way to ensure a good night’s sleep. Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever. If you’re not an athlete or even if you’re downright out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management. Make the time for a little physical activity in your busy life. Any form of physical activity can help you unwind and become an important part of your approach to easing stress!

Start the school year off healthy!

With the sound of school bells just around the corner, it’s important to refocus your efforts to ensure healthy eating with our kids. Providing healthful meals and encouraging physical activity are essential for your child’s growth and development, and will help your child build healthy habits for the rest of his or her life and improve their academic achievement.

Not sure how to keep your child excited about eating healthy and moving more? Here are some tips to get on the right track.

Start the Day Off Right
Don’t skip breakfast. Studies show breakfast eaters tend to have higher school attendance, less tardiness and fewer hunger-induced stomachaches. They also score higher on tests, concentrate better, solve problems more easily and have better muscle coordination. If you are pressed for time, quick options include instant oatmeal topped with nuts or raisins, low-fat yogurt with sliced fruit or whole-grain toast with peanut butter.

Keep Lunchtime Interesting
•Plan lunch together. Encourage kids to pack their lunch with items they enjoy so they are less likely to throw their lunch away or swap with classmates.
•Try new foods. Pack exotic fruits such as kiwi, or allow them to pick fruits and vegetables they want to try at the grocery store.
•Celebrate special days. Plan lunch around special events. For example, pack an all-red lunch for Valentine’s Day or include a fortune cookie to celebrate Chinese New Year.
•Offer choices. Vary protein sources — tuna, peanut butter, turkey or beans — and offer different whole-grain items such as whole-grain bread, tortillas or crackers. Rotate whole pieces of fruit (banana, orange or grapes) and cut-up vegetables (celery, carrots or broccoli).

Get Moving
Regular physical activity is vital to strengthen muscle and bones, promote a healthy body weight, support learning, develop social skills and build self-esteem. Kids are encouraged to be active for 60 minutes per day. Involving the family is a great way to spend time together. Hike together as a weekend outing, ride bikes after dinner, play catch after work or take the dog for a brisk walk.

Be active and feel better!

Being active is not just about burning calories. Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better. Research has shown that doing aerobic or a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities 3 to 5 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes can give you these mental health benefits. Some scientific evidence has also shown that even lower levels of physical activity can be beneficial.

Improving your mental health can help support a positive outlook on life. Research also shows that physical activity helps to relieve symptoms of depression & anxiety and leads to improvement of mood. Being active gets your blood flowing and releases neurotransmitters which are responsible for our energy levels and emotions.  Physical activity can leave you feeling invigorated sharp and full of energy. By making fitness activities social like taking a class with others, it can add another layer of benefit that can also improve your mood. Social interaction while performing the same activities is a great way to connect with like minded-people.
Don’t just think of exercise as a way to lose weight and look great—it can help you feel great on the inside too. Be active it just might change the way you feel!

Stay cool outside

Don’t let this heat get you down. Find ways to exercise inside if possible. But if you are heading outside to be active during the summer, a few things to keep in mind:

Time of Day. Avoid going out during the hottest part of the day. Plan to go out early in the morning or later at night.

Wear loose, light-colored clothing. The lighter color will help reflect heat, and cotton/dri-fit material will help the evaporation of sweat.

Sunscreen. Protect your skin and keep from getting burned.

Stay hydrated. Before you go out, drink water. Take water with you. Take a drink every 15 minutes, even when you’re not thirsty. Be sure to drink more water when you are done.

Look for shaded trails or pathways.  Do what you can to stay in the shade and out of the sun. Parks are a great place to find grass and trees.

Check the weather.  before you start your workout. If there’s a heat advisory, meaning high ozone and air pollution, you might want to take your workout indoors. These pollutants can damage your lungs.

Get Wet. It never feels like you’re sweating while you are working out in the pool so choose workouts like swimming, water aerobics classes or running in shallow water.

Most importantly, listen to your body. Stop immediately if you’re feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous.

Find the perfect fit!

Somtimes we think being “into fitness” means that we have to excel at every endeavor we try. Which is not possible!  Some activitiese leave us feeling energized and empowered (Hello running and Zumba!)  And others might make you feel defeated and embarrassed (Hello Insanity and tennis!) Exercise is not one size fits all.  Not every workout is suited to or even safe for everyone.  Sounds logical right, but when you hear your best friend swear up and down that hot yoga melted (not literally) the fat from her thighs, you feel like you must try it!  But if spin class is not your thing, you are not likely going to stick with it.  For exercise to be sustainable, you need to enjoy what you are doing.  It needs to feel good,  be something you desire to do, please your mind and get you closer to your goal whether you want to run a marathon or  just lose that baby weight.  So find what works for you, and it is OK if it is not the latest fitness craze or your friends sure fire weight loss workout! Do what works best for you!