LHI Tip of the Week – Team Support Motivates Fairfield Woman

Born and raised in Fairfield, IA, Melinda has seen the town go through many changes. She has now seen a change within herself. Melinda has struggled with her weight for years and with her 30 year high school class reunion coming up, she decided it was time to start making healthy choices. Melinda and her co-workers made up the seven-person team, FitEmp, to participate in the 2014 10 Week Wellness Challenge. Melinda began the challenge with the goal to finish, but quickly added more specific fitness and nutrition goals. Team FitEmp became Melinda’s strongest support system!

Melinda joined the local rec center and has made it a habit to exercise at least five times Team FitEmpeach week. Not only did she have the support of her teammates but also from her son and fiancé. Her entire family now joins her at the gym when they can. This lifestyle change has taken a lot of effort but her team and family wouldn’t change it for anything.

Like many of us, Melinda faced obstacles and roadblocks throughout the challenge. Halfway through, she became ill and couldn’t exercise for almost two weeks. Following her recovery, she found it was much harder than she anticipated to jump back into her previous workout routine and experience slight discouragement. Thankfully, with her teammates and co-workers by her side, she remembered something; an employee at the rec told her every time she felt like skipping the gym, to remind herself how good it felt losing the first 10 pounds. That was motivation enough!

At the end of the 10 Week Wellness Challenge, Melinda lost 22 pounds, has made it habit to visit the gym five times per week and feels much more confident! She loves to hear compliments from others and believes participating in the 10 Week Wellness Challenge was the best decision she’s made in a very long time! Melinda is already excited for the 2015 Challenge and will be working hard to continue her amazing progress!

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LHI Tip of the Week – National Public Health Week

National Public Health Week began Monday and runs through Sunday, April 13. This year’s theme is “Public Health: Start Here”. PublicImage Health affects individuals and communities across the globe. Whether public health officials are working toward policy change, public safety, disease prevention and control or access to safe and healthy foods, public health lays the foundation for a safe environment.

Each day throughout National Public Health Week has a specific focus in order to educate and engage the community.

Monday, April 7: Be Healthy From the Start

  • Family nutrition, maternal health, safety precautions and disaster preparedness start in the home. Take action by planning healthy family meals, creating an emergency safety plan and conducting safety upgrades in your home.

Tuesday, April 8: Don’t Panic

  • Several different types of natural and man-made disasters occur across the country every year. Learn what emergency procedures your community has in place in case a disaster, epidemic or outbreak occurs. Be sure your family is prepared by keeping at least a three-day supply of food and water as well as a week’s worth of unrefrigerated food.

Wednesday, April 9: Get Out Ahead

  • Preventable disease take the lives of 7 out of 10 people in the U.S. while 75% of our healthcare dollars are spent on treating these diseases. Learn what you can do for yourself, your family and your community to prevent obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and other preventable diseases.

Thursday, April 10: Eat Well

  • Americans eat nearly one-third more calories today than we did 40 years ago while our activity levels and caloric expenditure have decreased. Use the dietary guidelines and learn how to read food labels to help you make healthy food choices for yourself and your family. Make healthy swaps to include fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. Be sure to store your food properly as well to avoid bacteria growth and food-borne illness.

Friday, April 11: Be the Healthiest Nation in One Generation

  • The life expectancy of the current generation in the United States is less healthy than the one that came before. This irregular trend is alarming and you can help to reverse it by learning about options for health care, coverage and education resources provided under the Affordable Care Act.

Find out if there are any events going on in your community that you can volunteer with to help promote National Public Health Week and healthy lifestyles. Learn more about National Public Health Week atwww.nphw.org.                 

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LHI Tip of the Week – Congratulations!

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” –Leonardo Da Vinci

YOU MADE IT! You started this challenge 10 weeks ago and made healthy,positive changes in your life. We are coming to a close on Imagethe 10 Week Wellness Challenge and after all of your hard work and dedication, we hope you are proud of where you are today. While this 10 Week Wellness Challenge might be over until next year, you’re now facing the 42 week wellness challenge.

Break up those 42 weeks into mini 10-11 week challenges and treat it just as you did this challenge. By setting short term and long term goals, tracking your activity minutes and working with a team to stay motivated; the 10 Week Wellness Challenge has created a great foundation for you to build off of for the rest of the year. You already have a great group of people supporting you, goals you set that have now been accomplished and a positive mindset that you can do this all year round! You can even continue to participate in upcoming Live Healthy Iowa Challenges to keep your momentum strong, including Strut Your Pup, Burst Your Thirst, The Next Step and the Healthy Families Challenge.

Even though the 2014 10 Week Wellness Challenge is ending on Friday, don’t let that also end your healthier, more active lifestyle. Work to maintain all your hard work and keep improving your lifestyle each and every day! For new recipes, workouts and motivation check out Live Healthy Iowa’s Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest sites! We can’t wait until the 2015 10 Week Wellness Challenge, but until then keep working towards the healthiest version of you! From all of us at Live Healthy Iowa, we want to say congratulations on completing the 2014 10 Week Wellness Challenge, great job!

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LHI Tip of the Week – Reflect On Your New Lifestyle

“Take the time in your life to think about who you are from your own perspective and not someone else’s.”Image

Where were you on Monday, January 27th when the 10 Week Wellness Challenge began? Maybe you were getting in your first morning workout, maybe you were sitting at your desk sending emails, maybe you hadn’t even signed up for the challenge yet. Wherever you started, whenever you started the Challenge, you’re probably not living that same lifestyle any more. 

This simple and affordable challenge that you started as a fun, friendly competition has now transformed you into a healthier version of yourself. Someone proud of the accomplishments you’ve conquered and the new goals you have set for yourself. Take a second now and really think back to where you began and realize how far you have already come!

Find a Time to Pause

Finding time to take a break while in the hustle and bustle of your busy life is important not only for relaxation but also to reflect on your life. This will help manage stress as well as planning for what’s ahead each week or month. You may be playing multiple roles in life but it’s very important to also take time and focus on yourself. You have spent nearly 10 weeks trying to change your lifestyle! Look back and recognize how much has changed.


ImageBeing able to look back and evaluate your journey will help you to improve your efforts going forward. You can see where you have struggled, where you are successful and take note. What techniques helped you through the hard times? What workouts did you enjoy the most? These are all things to reflect on so you can continue to incorporate them into your lifestyle after the challenge ends.

Evidence shows our lifestyles play a huge part in our health. A healthy lifestyle helps reduce the incidence and impact of disease, eases coping with life stressors and improves quality of life. From what we eat and drink, to how much we exercise, all will affect our health in terms of life expectancy as well as how long we can expect to live without experiencing chronic disease. You have already made a drastic improvement over the past 9 weeks. Reflect where you are and the incredible journey you’ve been on. If you had to choose a theme song to represent you today, nearing the end of the 10 Week Wellness Challenge, what would it be?

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LHI Tip of the Week – Compliment a Challenger!

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

A competition, like the 10 Week Wellness Challenge, is great for building excitement between friends, family, co-workers and even strangers. Competition is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the act or process of trying to get or win something that someone else is Imagealso trying to get or win.” In the sense of the 10 Week Wellness Challenge, we are competing to gain a healthy lifestyle but rather than competing against each other, we are competing with each other! As Helen Keller says, “alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” and this definitely rings true during a lifestyle adjustment. You need the support of those around in order to constantly keep improving.

We challenge you to compliment a team member, a friend on another team or even a stranger you see making a healthy choice. Tell them what a great job they’re doing or ask them about their workout routine. While that person is also a challenger, you both have the same goal which creates trust and a sense of unity that will aid in your ultimate success. There are many reasons to compliment a challenger but here are just a few:

  • It’s an opportunity to partner up and make a new friend
  • You might learn something new
  • You will empower others to try and be the best version of themselves
  • You feel happier and so does the recipient

What do you have to lose by talking to the person next to you at the gym or someone you see wearing the Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Wellness Challenge t-shirt? They’re going through the same process as you and while their goal may not be the exact same, the idea is still similar. Compliments enhance a person’s self-image and confidence, which are two key aspects in a healthy lifestyle change. Plus, who doesn’t love receiving a compliment about how great they’re doing!?

Giving a compliment is rather easy. Here are a few tips:

  • Be conciseImage
  • Be genuine
  • Be unique
  • Be specific
  • Acknowledge their effort
  • Tell them how it makes you feel
  • Use vivid language
  • Try not to use a backhanded compliment (acknowledging something negative in a positive light)

Try it out today! Compliment a challenger and you will immediately feel the positive effects it has on your ultimate success as a 10 Week Wellness Challenger participant!

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LHI Tip of the Week – Try a New Recipe!

If You Never Try, You’ll Never Know

Trying a new recipe is fun, exciting and can possibly even take you on a trip around the world! Different foods and flavors will ignite your taste buds and introduce you to ways you can incorporate new foods into old dishes, or old foods into new dishes. What if you’re one recipe away from finding your family’s new favorite meal?

It’s not hard to find a new recipe; they’re everywhere, on Pinterest, in magazines, probably even in a cook book that’s shoved behindImage your pans. New recipes will allow you to add variety to your weekly menu. There are also many cooking techniques that can be learned from trying new dishes. You may even come up with your very own dish with unique flavors and cooking approaches.

Trying a new dish doesn’t have to be a bold leap into the culinary world if you’re not ready for it. There are simply ways to add variety to your old favorites since you already know what you and your family are comfortable with. If you eat chicken regularly, try making the same dish with fish or just vegetables. Rather than beef patties, try making turkey burgers. Choose one new food or spice at the grocery store each time you shop and incorporate it into one of your usual dishes.

“Variety is the spice of life” and this is in the most literal sense with food. Try at least one new recipe a week! Make it a meal that the whole family will enjoy together.

Here are three different recipes to try before the end of the 10 Week Wellness Challenge!

Grilled Chicken Florentine Pasta








Baked Tomato with Quinoa, Corn & Green Chiles








Chopped Kale Salad with Edamame, Carrot & Avocado


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LHI Tip of the Week – Mix Up Your Workouts

“Routine does not allow us to progress.”

Finding exercises you enjoy doing is important and can help shed the pounds, but there is a need to incorporate different types of Imageexercise for many reasons. When you do the same type of exercise exclusively, your body builds certain strengths for those exercises. This means your body will eventually use less energy during your workout and burn fewer calories.

By varying your activity style, you broaden which muscles you are engaging and increase your physical abilities. Push your body beyond what it normally does in order burn more calories during your workout. This stress on the body will work new muscles or even muscles you didn’t know existed! Not only will you maximize calories burned, but alternating your activity will also help you avoid repetition and boredom in the gym.

Mixing up exercise routines enhances the body and mind, especially if you’re experiencing:

  • A plateau in your progress
  • Change in your goals
  • Boredom
  • Lifestyle change
  • Burn out

How to change your workout:

Be creative and think outside of the box – if you enjoy exercising outside, try adding sprints or changing your route to add a little variety.  If you like working out in a gym, try a new machine or group fitness class. Visit a specialty fitness studio to try a new class – many times your first visit is free!

Here are some ways to switch up your exercise routine:

  • Increase intensity
  • Switch the days of the week you do certain exercises
  • Slow down your repetitions
  • Change the order you do the exercises
  • Try an active rest day with low intensity exercise such as yoga
  • Workout outdoors rather than indoors (or vice versa)
  • Try interval training
  • Search workout videos on YouTube

Make it a goal to vary your workout routine this week. Let us know what you did and how you plan to continue adding variety to your exercise regimen!

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