Are You Ready for American Diabetes Month?

11/05/2009

November is American Diabetes Month, devoted to increasing awareness about diabetes and educating people about the prevention and  treatment of diabetes.  We all need to pay attention to this increasing epidemic. 

Some alarming facts about diabetes:

1 in 3 American children born this year will develop diabetes if they follow the typical American diet and lifestyle.

Every 20 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes.

Diabetes is the #1 cause of blindness in adults.

Diabetes is one of the strongest risk factors for heart disease and stroke in both men and women.  Adults with diabetes are at a 2 to 6 times higher risk of having a heart attack.

The American Diabetes Association has just released some great new educational videos covering a multitude of diabetes lifestyle and management tips.  Go to www.libertymedical.com to view free.

Also during the month of November help get the message out there to both adults and kids about the risks associated with diabetes, prevention tips and the importance of appropriate management. 

Why should you get involved?  Someone you know either has diabetes or is at risk to develop diabetes (maybe even you).

Two of the most important things to do to prevent diabetes:

1)      Maintain a healthy weight AND waist (men’s waist circumference should be less than 40 inches and women’s waist circumference should be less than 35 inches)

2)      Get a moderate amount of exercise daily

“Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” discusses how women can control their  risk factors to prevent a heart attack, stroke and diabetes.  Also include info for women with diabetes – how to control your risk factors to prevent heart disease.

 “Take Charge: A Man’s Roadmap to a Healthier Heart” is due to be released Fall 2009. For more info visit www.heart-strong.com

Advertisements

6 Affordable and Effective Exercise Essentials

08/26/2009

 If you need inspiration to become more physically active, a push to get going or just want to have more fun, here are six of the best, easy-to-afford and effective pieces of exercise gear.

 Using just one of these regularly will improve your fitness without straining your budget:

Resistance bands: Stretchy and fun, they do the work of weights but pack easily in a purse or pocket. Versatile for several body areas. ($3+)

Jump rope: Remember when you could jump for hours with your friends? You don’t need hours now—just 5 or 10 minutes of jumping (indoors, if you prefer) will boost your activity level and burn calories. ($3+)

Exercise mat: You’ll be more comfortable, with a safer grip, than exercising on a carpet or bare floor. That will help you be active more easily, for a longer time. ($15+)

Hand weights: Keep a set by the computer or TV and use while watching something entertaining. ($5+)

Exercise ball: Sized for your height, most of these come with their own pump for easy inflation (and reinflation). Great for strengthening various muscle groups. Use as a chair and you’ll get a bit of a workout just from balancing on it. ($15+)

Pedometer: Just put it on and in a day or two you’ll be more aware of how much (or little) you’re moving every day. Aim to increase your average daily steps by 5 percent every week until you reach 10,000 steps a day, a goal that the American Heart Association and other experts suggest. Then add more to increase benefits. ($10+)

Often, you can find fitness items such as exercise DVDs, roller skates, workout clothing and more at yard or garage sales for just a dollar or two.

If you’re interested in acquiring big home-gym equipment, yard sales and online community boards are great places to find barely used items. Recently, one site had offerings that included treadmills for $35 to $75, a weight bench for $1 and an elliptical machine for $180. Just remember that you’ll probably have to arrange for transporting the big and heavy pieces—as well as find a space for them in your home.

© 2009 National Women’s Health Resource Center, Inc. (NWHRC) All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from the NWHRC. 1-877-986-9472 (tollfree). On the Web at: www.healthywomen.org.


Walk or Bike to Work to Decrease Your Heart Attack Risk

08/21/2009

ride bike

Can walking to work or riding your bicycle really lower your risk for a heart attack?

The CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults, published in July 2009 issue of Archive of Internal Medicine) study followed over 2,300 men and women and found that active commuting to and/or from work really did help lower heart disease risk factors.  Unfortunately only 16% of people in the study actually performed active commuting on a daily basis, more men than women.

Men who actively commuted had lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels, lower blood pressures, better insulin levels, lower weights, and higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

The number of women who participated in active commuting was too small to determine any significant health benefits but women who performed daily physical activity had healthier numbers.

Numerous factors may not make it feasible for you to walk or bike to your place of employment.  But we always like to say that even SMALL CHANGES can make a difference.  Try getting off the bus or subway one stop earlier and walking the rest of the way to work.  If you have to drive to work, try parking your car further away from the door, which would allow some extra steps.  Take a walk at lunch time.  All Activity Counts!

“Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” discusses how women can help control their blood pressure and other risk factors to prevent a heart attack, stroke and heart failure.  “Take Charge: A Man’s Roadmap to a Healthier Heart” is due to be released Fall 2009.  For more info visit www.heart-strong.com


Funny Healthy Dog Video

08/14/2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEgJ9qxCQzU


Do I Have to Stop Snacking to Lose Weight?

06/15/2009

There is a general perception that snacking is bad and you need to cut out snacking if you want to lose weight. Well, the opposite is actually true.

It is important to eat regularly, every 3-4 hours to maintain your metabolic rate, promote stable blood sugar levels, and prevent insulin spikes. By maintaining a high metabolism you boost the calories you burn throughout the day, which helps you lose weight. By maintaining stable blood sugar levels and preventing insulin spikes you will prevent drops in energy.

Now, this doesn’t mean just any food will work. You need to select heart healthy snacks. This means eating snacks that balance carbohydrates with protein and/or heart healthy fats. Fat and protein slow the breakdown of carbohydrates, preventing the rapid rise in blood sugar and the corresponding increased insulin release.

Here are healthy snacks that are high in carbohydrates:

  • Whole grain crackers
  • Dried Fruit
  • Pretzels
  • Fig bars
  • Fresh fruit

You can make these snacks heart healthy by combining with a protein. These protein sources that are easy to include with snacks:

  • Glass of skim milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Nuts
  • Peanut Butter

Here’s an example of how you can apply this to your daily snacks.

Mid-morning snack: Yogurt with granola
Mid-afternoon snack: Nuts mixed with dried fruit
Evening snack: Light frozen yogurt topped with strawberries

Balancing the carbohydrates and protein in your snacks is just one of many factors that affect weight loss. To drastically increase your success with losing weight and keeping it off you must wade through all the weight loss information available and sort out what works from what doesn’t. Many methods used to lose weight are ineffective and some may even sabotage your weight loss efforts. Sign up for the FREE teleclass to learn which weight loss strategies really work. Visit http://www.goldbar.net/ua/link.php?affID=Heartstrong_ad to learn more today.


Eat Breakfast if You Want to Lose Weight!

06/08/2009

healthy_breakfast

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There’s just no way around it.

Do you frequently think “I don’t have time for breakfast” and “I’m not hungry in the morning”, neither reason negates the importance of eating breakfast every morning. Maybe it’ll be easier to make breakfast a priority if you understand why it’s so important.

First, breakfast occurs after about an 8 hour fast (think how many hours are between your last meal of the day and breakfast). When you wake up in the morning, your blood sugar and glycogen stores (carbohydrates stored in your muscles and liver) are depleted and the body is searching for fuel. If you don’t feed your body it goes into conservation mode, drops your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories throughout the day), preserves your fat stores (the body is thinking “starvation”), and will turn to muscle for the energy it seeks.

Second, when you skip breakfast you’ll frequently grab snacks mid-morning to tide you over until lunch. A mid-morning snack is good, but when you skip breakfast the snacks that tempt you tend to be high in fat, sugar, and calories. A breakfast that includes a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber reduces these mid-morning cravings.

What’s Going on Physically

Your body is primed and ready to go in the morning. Your metabolism is boosted and your hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and serotonin are highest first thing in the morning.

Cortisol

This hormone promotes the breakdown of lipids (fancy name for fats) which is a good thing; however, it also promotes the breakdown of muscle. It blocks muscle from taking in more amino acids (muscle building blocks) and inhibits new muscle formation.

Adrenaline

Your “fight or flight” hormone increases your blood sugar to give your body immediate energy by breaking down glycogen in the liver and mobilizing amino acids stored in muscles. However, I’ve already stated that by the time morning rolls around, your glycogen levels are depleted. This means there’s not a reserve glycogen supply and muscle receives adrenalines full attention for the fuel it’s after.

Serotonin

Just to throw an extra hurdle into your morning routine, serotonin is at peak levels first thing in the morning. Serotonin reduces your appetite. There’s a reason you don’t feel hungry!

Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas

What can you do if breakfast doesn’t appeal to you? If you’ve been skipping breakfast for years, changing your habits will be hard, but not impossible. Take it slow and add something small, working your way up to a good breakfast with a balance of carbohydrates and protein.

Here are some examples of quick and easy breakfast meals that include a balance of protein and carbohydrates.

Whole wheat toast with peanut butter
Banana with handful of mixed nuts
Apple with hard-boiled egg
Low fat yogurt with granola

By eating a well-balanced breakfast you provide your body the fuel it needs, protect your muscles, boost your metabolism, and reduce cravings throughout the day.

Starting your day with a well-balanced breakfast is just one of many steps towards successful weight loss. To drastically increase your success with losing weight and keeping it off you must surround yourself with a steady support system. NewU – Your Weight, Your Health, Your Choice is a safe place for you to receive support and expert guidance on your journey to weight loss. Learn more and join at http://www.goldbar.net/ua/link.php?affID=Heartstrong_ad


Help Prevent Heart Disease in Women

06/01/2009

 lovemyheart

Odds are heart disease will strike a woman that you know.  It could be a friend, relative or even you.  You have the power to change that.

 Now through June 30th:
If three of your friends take the pledge, Sister to Sister will donate one free screening to a woman in need. The more friends you tell about Screen Four, the easier it will be to reach this goal.  Please visit http://www.sistertosister.org/screenfour/get-screened