When it comes to meeting exercise guidelines, Colorado is #1!

Reported by Jeff Hayden, contributing editor at Inc., Colorado ranked #1 for meeting the CDC exercise guidelines!  Read the article here: The CDC Just Ranked Every U.S. State by How Much People Exercise. (And Things Ain’t Pretty Down South) | Inc.com

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Read the National Health Statistic Report here.

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Sedentary, 65 and older? It’s never too late to start a physical activity program!

Over the age of 65, and sedentary, but want to start a structured physical activity program? Here are a few steps to safely begin a program and incorporate fitness into your life.

  1. Educate yourself on the weekly amount of structured activity needed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention individuals 65 and older that are in good health and have no limiting health conditions should strive for 150 minutes of aerobic (also known as cardio) activity per week as well as two total-body strength workouts. Aerobic activity needs to be performed at a moderate intensity. For example, on a scale from 1 to 5 – one being the feeling of lounging around the house and five being out of breath – you need to be working at a level 3, possibly a 4. A total body (legs, back, chest, abs, arms) workout should be performed at least two times a week. These basics requirements are for those active older adults that want to maintain their health, weight and fitness level. If you are want to achieve greater goals (improved health, weight loss, train for an event) then up to 300 minutes a week of aerobic activity and possibly an additional day of strength training is required. Fortunately, your aerobic activity doesn’t have to be in 60 minutes increments. Ten minutes here and fifteen minutes there can make your aerobic activity cumulative. Strive to meet the basic recommendations for structured activity as described above. This is your first step in starting a physical activity program.
  2. Find an activity, or two, that you enjoy. Does your gym, health club, fitness or community center offer group fitness classes? What about local churches or social clubs? SilverSneakers® programming is offered nationwide and can be found at most of these establishments. Look into class schedules to determine what works best for you. What about participating in a sport such as swimming or golfing? This may be the time to start a private lesson or join a league. Perhaps meeting a friend for a walk, jog or hike is more appealing. Ask your children or grandchildren about gaming systems such as the Wii, XBox or Playstation. These devices, as well as good old fashioned exercise DVDs, will allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home and for much less than a gym membership .  If all else fails, seek out a reputable and certified personal trainer for guidance. By opening your mind to what is available and identifying an activity (or two) that you enjoy, you’re more likely to exercise regularly.
  3. On a weekly basis, schedule and complete your activities. Just as you would schedule an appointment with your doctor or dentist, schedule your activities. Write it on your calendar or in your daily planner. Use an app if you are tech saavy. Be specific. For example, “2PM on Sunday. I will walk 3 miles outside.” or “Monday at 11:30AM I will attend the group strength training class at the community center with my friend, Bob.” Scheduling and completing your activities will ensure your long term success.
  4. Make adaptions based on your limitations. With any new activity, the body will need time to adapt. Learn to make adaptations for orthopedic or medical conditions (this is where a personal trainer can be helpful). Take things slowly to prevent injuries. Modify the exercise to fit your abilities. If you have been sedentary, 150 minutes of weekly aerobic training might be unrealistic. Instead, start with 15-20 minutes, three times a week. After one or two weeks, progress the duration or frequency of the activity. Continue in this manner until your body can handle the increased activity level. Making adaptations will ensure that your body responds properly to the increased activity level and help prevent injuries.

Even if you are sedentary and 65 years or older, it is never too late to start a physical activity program. The body has a unique ability to respond to exercise regardless of its age. Delaying or preventing disease, improving mood, managing stress, and pain management are all benefits of regular exercise. Use these steps to incorporate fitness into your life and you will soon be able to achieve the physical results and health benefits you’ve always wanted.

5-minutes of movement every hour has its benefits!

For those individuals that are sedentary, even low-intensity movement interruptions––five minutes every hour––can improve metabolic conditions.

The American Council on Exercise along with a team of researchers in the High Altitude Exercise Physiology Program at Western State Colorado University investigated the optimal frequency, intensity and time for reducing sedentary behavior to improve cardiometabolic health in middle-age and older adults.

Through this study we learn that improvements in one’s HDL, triglycerides and blood glucose can occur by simply moving, at a minimal intensity level, for five minutes every hour. In fact, duration and frequency proved more important than an increase in movement intensity.

Of course, these study results do not mean that regular, structured exercise is unimportant in the quest for better health. Rather, the focus should be placed on both regular exercise and reduced sitting time.

View the study’s results here.

Do You Have Portion Distortion?

If you are accustomed to mega-sized platefuls of pasta and Flintstone style steaks, you may have portion distortion. Discover what a healthy portion looks like here.

Why the “pause-button mentality” is ruining your health and fitness

Do any of the words below resonate with you?

“I’ll resume healthy eating after my vacation… once the baby is born… after Dad gets out of the hospital… January 1… Monday.”

While this kind of “pause-button mentality” seems reasonable, it could be ruining your health and fitness. Co-founder of Precision Nutrition, John Berardi, Ph.D. tell us why, and what to do about it.

He explores:

  • Why the pause-button mentality only builds the skill of pausing.
  • Why it’s not about willpower, but about skills.
  • Fitness in the context of real human life

This must-read article can be found here.

Colorado Residents – Get paid to be a healthy weight!

As the new year approaches consider taking advantage of the weight loss initiative “Weigh and Win“.  This free, measureable weight improvement program pays Colorado adults (18 and older) to achieve a healthy weight. Weigh and Win is funded by Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Community Benefit in an effort to improve community health by making an effective weight management program accessible to the general public. Community partnerships have also been critical in making the program available by providing additional funding, resources, and promotional support. Each participant receives personalized health coaching by email and/or text message, including a daily meal plan, fitness plan, motivational tips and a weekly grocery list. Unlimited access to Weigh and Win health coaches is also provided via phone or email.

In addition to these great resources, cash incentives are distributed to those who begin the program with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or greater. Participants who join with a healthy BMI (less than 25) are eligible for monthly prize drawings.

Participant progress is tracked through quarterly weigh-ins at community kiosk locations. The kiosk takes a validated weight measurement, BMI reading and a full-length photograph – providing a visual progress report of the participant’s weight improvement.

This unique behavior change program has helped Coloradans lose more than 258,000 pounds since 2011. The average weight loss for a participant after one year in the program is 8 percent, or about 18 pounds. Weigh and Win has nearly 80,000 participants. If you are interested in participating, you can sign up for the program for free by visiting weighandwin.com or stop by one of your local kiosks locations:

COLORADO SPRINGS – American Furniture Warehouse 

2805 Chestnut St, 
Colorado Springs, CO, 80907
HOURS: Mon-Sat: 10am-10pm, Sun: 10am-7pm
NOTES: Inside the main entrance on the left toward the cafeteria

COLORADO SPRINGS – East Library 

5550 N. Union Blvd, 
Colorado Springs, CO, 80918
HOURS: Mon-Thur: 7:30am-9pm, Fri-Sat: 8am-6pm, Sun: 12pm-5pm
NOTES: Left side of main entrance

COLORADO SPRINGS – Southeast Family Center & Armed Services YMCA

2190 Jet Wing Dr, 
Colorado Springs, CO, 80916
HOURS: Mon-Fri: 5:30am-9pm, Sat: 7am-7pm, Sun: 1pm-5pm
NOTES: Across from the front desk and swimming pool

9 Ways To Sneak Produce Into Your Day

Get strategic — and a little tricky — to eat more fruits and veggies
Are you getting your fruit-and-veggie quota? You want to eat a variety of these nutritious and delicious foods. Why? Because it’s simply one of the best things you can do for your health. Each heading also provides a link to recipes or additional information!

1. Top off breakfast
Use mixed berries, sliced peaches or chopped apples to dress up oatmeal, whole-grain pancakes and low-fat yogurt. Mix diced peppers, tomatoes and olives into scrambled eggs. Add sliced or mashed avocado to whole-wheat toast.

2. Whip up a smoothie
Blend bananas, berries or peaches with low-fat milk or yogurt for a cool and creamy breakfast or snack. Use frozen fruit to make it a frosty treat.

3. Take a dip
Raw or lightly steamed vegetables offer the same satisfying crunch as crackers. Dunk them in salsa, hummus, garlicky low-fat yogurt or low-sodium marinara sauce.

4. Snazz up your sandwich
Go beyond the typical tomato and lettuce. How about tucking in some baby spinach, sliced peppers, avocado or cucumbers — or even sliced apple?

5. Make a Sunday roast
Of veggies, that is! In a hot oven, roast a colorful assortment of cut-up veggies, such as broccoli, red bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Use these flavorful jewels for dinners or quick snacks all week long.

6. Go for grate-ness
Grated vegetables add an extra layer of flavor and nutrition to your favorite recipes. Try any number of veggies — carrots, beets, squash, cauliflower, etc. — in sauces, mashed potatoes, meatloaf and casseroles.

7. Be a puree pro
Blend steamed butternut squash to make soup or for mixing into mac and cheese. Do you like to bake? Try fruit purees, such as mashed banana and unsweetened applesauce, to replace about half the fat in recipes for muffins, breads and other baked goods.

8. Grill to perfection
Veggie kebabs can add color and flavor to your plate. Grilling makes fresh corn even sweeter. And for a super-fast dessert, you can even grill watermelon slices for 30 seconds on each side.

9. Order up
When dining out, select a light salad, steamed vegetables or fresh fruit as your side dish. And ask for extra veggies to enhance your omelet, tacos, pizza or pasta.

 *Source: United Health Care newsletter September 2016