Wellness Works!

Mary Jo Coyne's blog

Health Risks Linked to Chronic Sleep Deprivation

Today, about 20% of Americans report that they get less than 6 hours of sleep on average, and the number of Americans that report that they get 8 hours or more has significantly decreased. (www.webMD.com) A growing list of health risks including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity have all been linked with chronic sleep deprivation.


If you are not getting enough sleep, you can create an environment and adopt sleep habits that encourage a more restful night and lower the incidence of developing health risks.


1. Go to bed and get up at about the same time every day. This strengthens your sleep-wake cycle and can help you fall asleep more easily at night.


2. Don't eat or drink large amounts before bedtime. Eat a light dinner at least two hours before sleeping. Drinking too much liquid can cause you to wake up repeatedly during the night for trips to the bathroom.


3. Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol in the evening. These are stimulants that can keep you awake.

Wellness Coaching: The Path to Meeting Your Wellness Goals

Have you ever lost some weight, only to find the pounds creeping back on just a few months later? Or tried to eat healthier, but found it too difficult and time consuming to read the food labels or cook?


Having a Corporate Wellness program in place can boost morale, improve health and fitness and increase productivity in the workplace. Corporate Wellness Programs help people overcome their physical and emotional hurdles towards achieving optimal health, by working with a wellness coach.
“A wellness coach is trained to help you break your goal into manageable steps, track your progress, and identify and overcome personal roadblocks," says Karen Lawson, MD, program Director for Health and Wellness at the University of Minnesota.

 

Wellness coaching is a growing industry. Dr. Mehmet Oz has said “Coaches are crucial in changing the culture of wellness in America. They help people define their health goals and devise a plan with achievable milestones for reaching those goals. They may work with individuals on behavior modification and other lifestyle changes”.

Stock - Up on Heart Healthy Foods!!

Keep your kitchen stocked with low-salt options, along with foods that are low in saturated fats, but rich in healthy unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, to promote a heart healthy diet!
The foods listed here are all “top-performers” in protecting your heart and blood vessels:

  • Fruits and vegetables. Choose a wide variety of different types and colors
  • Whole grains. These include whole-wheat breads and pastas, brown rice, whole-grain cereal, and oatmeal.
  • "Healthy" fats. Salmon and other fatty fish such as sardines, olive oil, avocado and nuts, provide omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Walnuts, flaxseed, and soybean oils. These are additional sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Lean proteins. Include skinless poultry, lean cuts of beef, and beans.
  • Low-fat dairy. Include skim milk and low-fat cheese.

Here are some examples of some simple and easy to prepare heart healthy meal choices:
 

Energy In – Energy Out

Food is fuel that affects our energy levels and supplies the nutrients so your body can perform its best. "Certain eating strategies will definitely help you ward off fatigue," says Stacey Whittle, RD, a registered dietitian at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.Chances are, you are already eating many of the foods best suited for daylong energy. It's simply a matter of eating them at the right time, in the right amounts, and in the right combinations."If you watch your portion size and take time for that midmorning and midafternoon snack, you'll be surprised at how positively your energy levels are affected," Whittle says.

 

Energy In…

Hold The Salt

Everyone — regardless of age or health — can benefit from keeping a watchful eye on salt intake.Too much salt can lead to many health conditions including high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and kidney problems.


Our modern diet makes lack of sodium nearly impossible. On the contrary, many people eat about doublethe amount of sodium as they should eat. And when it comes to sodium, too much of a good thing is definitely not better.


According to the American Heart Association, 1,500 milligrams of sodium is the ideal daily goal for African-Americans, middle- and older-aged Americans, and people with high blood pressure. The rest should aim for less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day -- the equivalent of about 1 teaspoon of salt.


Here are some tips for “holding the salt”


• Take the saltshaker off the table, and try not to add salt to foods you prepare at home.
• When you’re comparing nutrition labels on products at the grocery store, make sure you check the sodium content.

Annual Screenings Can Detect Cancerous Breast Cells Before They Spread

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women of all major racial and ethnic groups in the United States affecting one out of every eight women according to the National Cancer Institute. The American Cancer Society recommends monthly breast self exams, checking your own breast for any lumps or changes in the breast or underarm area. A clinical breast exam should be performed by your health care professional at your scheduled appointment annually, by your primary care physician or OB/Gyne physician.


Sometimes breast “cells” become abnormal and grow faster than normal healthy cells. These fast growing extra cells can forms clusters or masses known as tumors. Some tumors are considered “benign” or not cancer. Other tumors are”malignant” meaning they are cancerous and have the ability to spread or “metastasize” to other parts of the body.


A screening mammogram is used to detect breast changes in women who have no signs or symptoms or observable breast abnormalities. The goal of the screening mammogram is to detect breast cancer before any clinical signs are noticeable.

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