Summer means fun in the sun, with lathered on sunscreen of course! July is UV (ultraviolet) Safety Month and most of us are aware of the harmful effects the sun can have on our skin. Protection with sunscreen is a necessary component to prevent damaging effects from the suns UV rays but so are the foods we put on our plates.
Eating foods rich in Vit A, such as low fat dairy; antioxidants, such as berries and essential fatty acids, like walnuts or salmon can boost skins ability to heal for a more vibrant, youthful and healthier skin. Summer is the season to enjoy antioxidant rich berries and since July is National Blueberry Month, let’s give a shout out to the blueberry. Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits because they offer a sweet, tart flavor and are packed full of water to help us stay hydrated. Blueberries along with other deep red, purple and blue fruits contain a high concentration of antioxidants which can help skin cells against damaging free radicals and may provide defense against cancer.
When spending the day at the park or beach be sure to pack up some fresh blueberries or try a cooler friendly recipe like the Mojito Fruit Salad (non-alcoholic) which would be perfect to serve at any 4th of July celebration.
Recipes courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats. Article adapted and references from Web MD
Written by Nikki Stahr, Registered Dietitian with Live Healthy Iowa
Do you ever just sit back and enjoy a handful of juicy grapes or a slice of watermelon in the summer heat? I find eating fruits and vegetables when hot and thirsty to be quite satisfying. Staying well hydrated is essential to good health. Drinking water is the best source but not the only way. According to the Institute of Medicine, 20 percent of our water intake comes from food. Foods with high water content such as fruits, vegetables and dairy are also a great source of essential nutrients that are important for an active lifestyle. So think outside the water bottle and try adding these foods to your diet to stay well hydrated and healthy.
Fruits such as berries, melons and peaches are mostly water but also rich in potassium and Vitamin C. Potassium is an electrolyte we lose when our bodies sweat and important for fluid balance and circulation. Vitamin C helps protect the skin against UV, pollution and sweat damage. Try tossing strawberries onto your favorite summer salad, or twist up your taste buds with these refreshing summer recipes: Triple Berry Summer Salad or Peach Caprese Salad.
Favorite tip: Make watermelon a staple food at picnics or backyard barbecues. It’s an easy and fun way to keep friends and family well hydrated. Watermelon is roughly 92% water and low in calories. To add a new twist on flavor, try grilling slices of watermelon and tossing it with feta cheese and mint, or whip up a Watermelon Salsa to serve over grilled fish.
Recipes courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats and ISU Extension and Outreach
Written by Nikki Stahr, Registered Dietitian with Live Healthy Iowa
As your summer time activities kick into full gear, it’s important to focus on staying well hydrated. Drinking water is the best way to replenish our body’s fluid needs but we can also eat our water by enjoying foods with a high water content such as watermelon, citrus fruit and oatmeal cooked in water or milk. Staying properly hydrated is essential for every cell, organ and tissue in the body. According to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics the daily fluid intake of 13 cups for men and 9 cups for women with help sustain normal activity. We can lose up to 10 cups of water a day just by normal activities such as breathing, brushing our teeth and sweating.
Try these tips to keep hydrated:
- Wake up with water. Keep a glass of water bedside and drink it in the morning before getting out of bed.
- Freeze water to go! Stock several freezer safe water bottles in the freezer and always have an ice cold supply to go.
- Keep a refillable water bottle on the desk and set a timer to refill it. This is a good reminder to get up and get active too!
The amount of fluids the body needs depends on several factors, such as age, gender, activity level and weight. Curious where to start? Web based calculators for a starting point. Friendly reminder: these are estimates and always talk with a health care provider before starting a new routine.
Need a boost to get on the hydration track? The LHI Burst Your Thirst challenge is a perfect opportunity to help us drink more water, get more active and win some great prizes The BYT Challenge kicks off Monday June 16, so gather some water drinking buddies and register. (Registration open through June 27)
As a veteran to the Johnson’s Elite Training Boot Camp run by Dream Team captain, Shawn Johnson, Julie was a rookie to Live Healthy Iowa’s 10 Week Wellness Challenge. This was the first year she participated in the Challenge and was drawn to it for the opportunity to work toward her wellness goals with support from her Challenge team members and fellow boot campers. With her son’s upcoming wedding in May, Julie set goals and worked hard throughout the 10 Week Wellness Challenge.
Her goal kicking off the Challenge was to work out at least five times per week. It’s important to set a firm date to accomplish your goals by and to write down your S.M.A.R.T. goal: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Julie’s son’s wedding was the perfect motivation for her and she set herself up for success by determining her S.M.A.R.T. goal.
Julie struggled at the beginning to complete difficult exercises in her work out classes. By the tenth week, she had made huge strides and was able to complete the entire workout. At the end of the challenge, Julie had lost six pounds, 3% body fat and maintains her goal to work out at least five times per week.
The biggest change for Julie after completing the 10 Week Wellness Challenge was her nutrition and daily meals. She eats smaller portions and now incorporates protein shakes and bars. Julie learned that your body needs more protein in order to burn more calories throughout the day and especially during exercise.
Accomplishing her goal wasn’t easy and took a lot of will power but her teammates and fellow boot campers kept her motivated and held her accountable. Shawn and her team were by her side the whole time; always pushing her to finish one more rep.
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 each 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!
Posted in Healthy Living, Uncategorized
Tagged 10 Week Wellness Challenge, fitness, Fitness Center, Goals, Health, lifestyles changes, Live Healthy Iowa, living a healthy lifestyle, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Success Story, Testimonial, Tip of the Week, Weight Loss, Well-being, Wellness
National Public Health Week began Monday and runs through Sunday, April 13. This year’s theme is “Public Health: Start Here”. Public 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.
“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 the 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!