You should definitely think twice before skipping that morning meal. In a study that monitored the breakfast eating habits of over 4,000 subjects free of heart disease or diabetes, researchers found a clear association between missing or skimping on breakfast and early markers for heart disease and diabetes. Researchers found that those who skipped or ate a very light breakfast were at increased risk for developing heart disease with the skippers being at most risk. Relative to the regular breakfast eaters, these two groups (skippers and skimpers) also had bigger waistlines, more body fat, as well as higher blood pressure, blood lipids and blood glucose.
Unfortunately, donuts and pastries don’t count towards a healthy and nutritious breakfast. But a healthy breakfast can be as simple as a piece of whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter and fruit. Here’s what you need to keep in mind to ensure you eat a healthy and satisfying breakfast every day.
Make sure every breakfast contains these three components:
- Protein: Nuts or nut butters, soy milk, low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, reduced fat cheeses, smoked or canned salmon, omega-3 eggs, low-fat cottage cheese, high protein cereals, or protein powders (for smoothies) are all great options for breakfast.
- Produce: Fruits, like berries, citrus, red grapes, cantaloupe, kiwi and mango are a natural breakfast fit. Veggies can also play a starring role at breakfast. Spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes are a delicious addition to any egg dish. You can also throw a variety of veggies into smoothies.
- Whole grains: High fiber cereals and oatmeal are top-rated whole grain foods. Additional healthy choices include 100% whole grain bagels, English muffins, toast, waffles, and granola.
Join us on June 12th for a healthy cooking demo! Recipe and samples of the meal will be provided for those who attend.
When: June 12, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Receive support and encouragement to reach your health goals this summer. Your Nurse Care Coaches will help you set two SMART Goals and provide tips on how to achieve them over the summer. Free, confidential one-on-one health coaching is available as an option to help you be even more effective in reaching your goals.
If you or a family member are one of the millions of adults who deal with chronic pain on a daily basis, here are a couple of common mistakes to avoid when using pain medications (courtesy of WELCOA):
Doubling or tripling up on dosage. Most pain meds take 15 to 30 minutes to kick in. Many people make the mistake of taking another dose if they don’t feel relief within a few minutes. Doubling or tripling the dose can cause harmful side effects and bodily damage. If you’ve given your pain medication time to work and you are still experiencing pain, don’t increase the dosage, seek your doctor’s advice and recommendation.
Drinking alcohol while taking pain medications. Because alcohol can adversely interact with hundreds of commonly used medications, it’s important to observe warning labels and ask your doctor or pharmacist if it’s safe to use alcohol with any medications you take.
For additional information on how to use opioids safely, see below:
When you’re an exercise newbie, the fitness gains come fast. But once you’ve broken in your running shoes or become a regular at the gym, you have to work harder to challenge your stronger, more efficient body. You can accomplish this by changing how hard, long and often you work out. The trick is to avoid doing so much that you end up hurt or burned out. Make a smart and safe transition with these tips.
- Assess your current fitness level
Start by assessing where you’re at now as well as your strengths and weaknesses.
- What you already do (exercise mode), including cardio exercise and strength training
- How hard you work (intensity)
- How often you do it (frequency)
- How long you do it (duration)
- Set new goals
Next, take a look at where you want to be. What are some specific, realistic goals you can set to improve your fitness level? Maybe you can jog or swim for 45 minutes rather than 30. Or you could add flexibility exercises into your routine. Perhaps you want to train for an event such as a 10K or minitriathlon.
- Do more
The best way to pump up your fitness level is to increase your exercise intensity. Intensity refers to how hard you work. The fitter you get, the harder you need to exercise to feel challenged and see results. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone will help you to get the most effective workout possible, which is important, especially if you don’t have a lot of time that day to exercise. If you exercise at a lower intensity, you’ll need to work out for longer sessions or more often to achieve the same fitness effects. In building up, first increase the frequency of your activity (number of days a week). As you become more fit, increase the length of each workout and finally the intensity.
To increase the intensity of your workout:
- Move faster. Walk more briskly or start running if you’ve been walking or jogging. The faster you move your body, the more work you’ll do within a given time.
- Add vertical challenge. Run or walk on hills, or increase the grade on a treadmill. Add a step riser for step aerobics.
- Increase resistance. Increase the pedaling resistance on a cycling machine. For strength training, gradually lift more weight.
- Cross-train. Participate in a variety of activities, including some that are more demanding or vigorous.
- Try interval training. This means interspersing short bursts of high-intensity activity (such as a 10-second sprint) with intervals of low- to moderate-intensity activity, such as walking.
- But don’t overdo it
If you exercise several hours a day every day, you run the risk of an overuse injury or fatigue and burnout — and you won’t produce many extra gains in fitness. To avoid overtraining, increase your total exercise time, distance or intensity gradually. Alternate hard and easy workouts from one day to the next, and build in time for rest and recovery.
Once you’ve reached a new fitness level, take a moment to congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come!