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Heart-Health Valentine’s Day Tips

February 13th, 2019
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 Your sweetheart may have the   key to your heart, but eating   healthy and being physically   active can be the key to a   healthier you!
This Valentine’s Day, celebrate   love and life with your heart in   mind.

 

 

1. Rather than tempting your sweetie with sweets, consider a gift that has more permanence. Find a poem that describes your feelings and write it on beautiful paper for a handmade valentine. Or visit www.ShopHeart.org for gift ideas that benefit the American Heart Association.

2. Quality time is one of the most meaningful gifts. Bundle up and plan an active winter outing such as sledding, ice skating, or gathering wood for a fire. If you’re feeling adventurous, visit an indoor rock climbing wall.

3. If your kids are having a Valentine’s Day party at their school or day care, instead of sending candy, consider fresh or dried fruit, friendship bracelets, colored pencils or stickers as tokens of their friendly affection.

4. Cooking at home is an excellent way to control what and how much you eat. Take a date to a cooking class to practice your skills or learn a new technique. And check out our tips for healthier preparation methods.

5. Prepare a romantic candlelit dinner at home using one of our healthy recipes.

6. Give to one another by giving back. Ask your love to volunteer with you at a local organization. Giving back is a healthy habit that can boost your mood and help beat stress.

7. Use this day as an opportunity to tell your loved one how important they are to you, and share ways that you can support each other’s health and wellness. Get started by taking the My Life Check Assessment.

8. Craving something sweet? Gift a beautiful fresh fruit basket to your loved one instead of giving sweets with added sugars.

9. Sharing is caring – if you go out for a romantic dinner date, order one entrée to share. Many restaurant servings are enough for two – splitting will keep you from overdoing it.

10. Don’t forget to love Fido, too! Give your pet a Valentine’s treat and remember to walk or exercise them daily – getting active with your pet will benefit your health and your bond with your pets.

11. Take it slow – if you receive an indulgent box of chocolates from your sweetie, stick it in the freezer and enjoy in moderation over the next several weeks.

12. Take a long, romantic walk with your beloved – and try to make it a regular habit. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity each week to stay healthy. You can reach this goal by walking briskly for at least 30 minutes five days each week.

Last reviewed 2/2018
Acknowledgements: www.heart.org

Celebrating Your Fitness Success

January 16th, 2019
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What’s the point of hard work if you don’t celebrate success once your goal is accomplished?
After you set your fitness goals, don’t forget to determine how you will celebrate success for hitting a specific milestone.

Choose Your Reward

Whether your goal is simple — achieving 150 minutes-per-week of recommended activity on a regular basis or more complex — like finishing your first triathlon — write down a meaningful reward before beginning your fitness journey. And make sure you follow through when you reach your goal.
One caution: food rewards are generally not recommended because these reinforce unhealthy eating habits. If you have worked so hard to get active and possibly lose weight, but then reward yourself with a high-fat meal or treat, you may sabotage some of the healthy habits you have worked so hard to create!

Tangible Rewards

Here’s an example of tangible rewards that may appeal to you:

• New clothing
• Concert tickets
• Vacation
• Night out with friends
• Spa day
• Relaxation/time alone
• Health rewards

The following are some of the health rewards that may come with achieving physical activity goals. It’s important to celebrate these less tangible, but very important rewards, because they serve as additional reminders of your success. A simple screening at your doctor’s office or at a work-site wellness fair — before and after — your program will show you the progress you’ve made toward these health rewards:

• Healthier weight
• Lower blood pressure
• More-stable blood sugar
• Better cholesterol numbers
• Quality sleep
• Improved muscle tone

Acknowledgements: Heart.org 

Happy New Year!

January 3rd, 2019
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January will kick off our first ever
SPOTLIGHT Contest…
Click here to find out more!

December 25th, 2018
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Holiday Stress and How To Cope

December 19th, 2018
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5 Tips for Coping with Holiday Stress

 

1. Plan
Start thinking about the holidays early. If you are hosting a party, start planning out your menu a few weeks ahead of time. To avoid the store crowds, make a list of your loved ones you need to buy for well in advance and plan to find their favorite items online. The packed malls in December are enough to drive anyone insane!
2. Prioritize
There are things that we MUST do during the holidays and things we WANT to do. Often it can be hard to differentiate between the two. By prioritizing what needs to get done, you can finish those important tasks first, like buying a gift for your Grandmother. Then you have time left over to do some of those things you want to do, like volunteering at a soup kitchen.
3. Exercise
When all of these holiday obligations begin to pile up, exercise can often be the first thing to take a back seat. Make this one of your priorities! Not only can exercise burn off extra calories so you can enjoy those gingerbread men, but it also boosts your endorphins to help get you in the holiday spirit. You can even get creative with your exercise, like adding squats in as you decorate your tree!
4. Sleep
Like exercise, sleep is another one of those things that is less of a priority when we are busy. Skipping an hour or two of sleep to get a few extra things done over the holidays can actually do more harm than good. It can affect your metabolism and actually increase your stress level all on its own. Make a point to keep up with 7 to 8 hours of good sleep a night.
5. Indulge
Yes, indulge! Trying to stay away from that plate of holiday cookies or that pitcher of eggnog can be very stressful and often lead to overeating of seemingly healthier options. Allow yourself to indulge a bit this time of year and enjoy the time with your friends and family. You don’t have to go overboard, but a small slice of pumpkin pie or a helping of those buttery mashed potatoes is sure to put a smile on your face and take some of that holiday stress away.

Acknowledgements: BY SARAH MCGOVERN