For a good all-around exercise, try squatting

squat-BBOEJoshua Steckler,  owner of Push Fitness, a personal training studio located in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning, and nutrition shared that The squat is often called the king of all exercises. He also commented that when performed correctly, it’s one of the best all-around movements for total body strength and conditioning. When using resistance as described below, the squat uses muscles of the legs, hips, core, back, shoulders, and arms.

We’ll use body weight and a barbell to perform this exercise, but you can also use dumbbells, kettlebells, or even a rubber band for resistance.

Body weight squat

To perform: Begin with your feet between hip and shoulder width apart while holding your arms straight out in front of you. Slowly squat down as you inhale, ensuring that your heels stay heavy, while pushing your hips back and maintaining the natural curve in your low back. Drop down to a depth where you still feel stable in your stance. Exhale as you stand back to the top, but don’t lock your knees all the way out.

Repeat for 10-15 controlled repetitions. Squatting with just your body weight is a great way to become comfortable with the actual squat mechanics. It’s also an effective warm-up exercise to prepare you for your workout.

Try to avoid: If you have limited flexibility or stability, it’s very easy to lose your form as you squat down. Ensure that your heels stay planted on the floor and don’t push your knees forward past your toes or allow the knees to cave inward.

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Healthy Work Place Webinar


*August 31, 11am-12pm webinar: “Healthy Illinois 2021 Presentation to the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity” This webinar is specifically for IAPO and HACN members to provide input into the State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP),  State Health Assessment (SHA), and State Innovation Model (SIM), collectively called the Healthy Illinois 2021 initiative. Join to help the state understand the current health status in Illinois and establish health improvement strategies that address needs and gaps and engage all aspects of the public health system. At the current stage in this process, data is being presented to stakeholder groups to validate health issues, and assets, opportunities and barriers to health improvement. Register here.
*September 17, 2015, 2:30pm-3:30pm webinar: “Practical Playbook: Making the Connection Between Primary Care and Public Health”Brought to you by the IAPO Clinical Access and Community Linkages workgroup, this interactive webinar will feature Dr. J. Lloyd Michener, chair of the Department of Community and Family Medicine, and Dr. Don Bradley, Associate Consulting Professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University. They will discuss the Practical Playbook, a tool to assist with the collaboration between primary care and public health groups to achieve population health improvement and reduced health care costs. Register for the webinar here. View the flyer for more information. 
*September 28, 2015, 11am-12pm webinar: “Promoting Physical Activity in the Workplace: Tools and Ideas for Small Businesses and Non-Profits” Hosted by the IAPO Physical Activity in Communities and Institutions workgroup, this webinar will feature tools and strategies for promoting physical activity in the workplace. Geared toward organizations working with smaller businesses and non-profits that don’t have dedicated wellness staff, this webinar will feature best practices for incorporating and supporting physical activity in the workplace, how workplaces can take the first steps toward employee wellness (and how you can help workplaces do so), and case studies of successful physical activity worksite wellness initiatives in Illinois.  Register here.
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National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

NOCC_E_Blast_Banner_2014September is nearly upon us. We will have the opportunity to renew our commitment to advance the fight against ovarian cancer. While our dedicated NOCC staff and volunteers continue to raise awareness about the disease throughout the year, we are intensely focused this month on raising awareness, education, support, and funds for research. This month, teal’s the appeal. Speak of it, wear it, and share it.

Throughout September, there will be countless ways to promote and support the cause. Tens of thousands will participate in NOCC Run/Walks nationwide, dress and decorate in teal, learn the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of the disease, and use social media to share information and images that have the potential to save a life.

NOCC’s EARLIER Awareness Initiative℠ and the TAKE ACTION. NOT CHANCES.℠ campaign
This year the NOCC’s National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month campaign is TAKE ACTION. NOT CHANCES.℠ Created in partnership with a member of the NOCC community, this campaign is designed to inspire and promote earlier awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, and earlier conversations with doctors. Read more about the EARLIER Awareness Initiative℠ here.

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5 tips for keeping kids healthy in school

Back to schoolAnn Piccininni, Daily Herald Correspondent, shared that the bell is about to ring, heralding the start of a new school year. As parents take children shopping for backpacks and other necessary supplies, medical professionals remind parents and students that preparing for school isn’t only about buying the right educational tools.

Cultivating a few simple habits can help make the year a healthier one, said Dr. Julie Miaczynski, family medicine physician at Edward Medical Group in the Edward Healthcare Center in Plainfield.

Wash hands

“As kids go back to school, because of the nature of the environment, the close proximity to each other, we see a spike in colds, flu, that type of thing,” she said. “We remind people of really good hand-washing habits.”

Frequent washing won’t prevent all microbial threats from causing illness. Inevitably, hands will come into contact with some nasty germs.

“Try to avoid touching the face. That’s really important,” she said.

When students come home from school each day, they potentially and unwittingly bring germs with them. Miaczynski recommends families take steps to stop the spread of germs before they infect family members.

“Around the house, wipe down knobs and handles,” she said. Stepped-up routine cleaning can help prevent colds and flu germs from getting a foothold in the household.”

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proactive-kidsA new school year has begun and school physicals are well under way!  As a clinician, you will see many overweight children over the next few weeks and we hope you remember to tell them there is a place where they can get help –

ProActive Kids is a health education program offered FREE to children ages 8-14 who are considered obese or overweight and their families.

 Click here for more information on the complete program.  

There is a ProActive Kids program in your community where you can refer your patients. We will help them learn how to live a healthier lifestyle!

TO REFER A CHILD OR FAMILY   Please refer patients, students or parents to the ProActive Kids website at  or ask them to call 630-681-1558.

LOCATIONS FOR FALL 2015 (Sept 21 – Nov 13)
ProActive Kids locations are made possible by the following generous funding sources. 

Addison, IL — At Club Fitness at Addison Park District, Funded by Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare

Downers Grove, IL  — At Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center, Funded by Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital

Melrose Park, IL — At Gottlieb Memorial Hospital,  Funded by Loyola University Health System

 Oak Lawn, IL — At Oak Lawn Ice Arena – Oak Lawn Park District, Funded by Advocate Children’s Hospital Oak Lawn

Park Ridge/Niles, IL — At Gemini  Junior High School, Funded by Advocate Children’s Hospital Park Ridge

 Woodridge, IL — At Edward Health and Fitness Center, Funded by Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare


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How Friendship Fights Depression

friendsJULIE BECK a senior editor who writes about Health shared in The Atlantic on August 19 that … “As everyone knows, depressed people are some of the most boring people in the world,” Mindy Kaling writes in her book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? “I know this because when I was depressed, people fled. Except my best friends.”

In a section titled “Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities,” she vows, “If you’re depressed, I will be there for you … I will be there for you during your horrible break-up, or getting fired from your job, or if you’re just having a bad couple of months or year. I will hate it and find you really tedious, but I promise I won’t abandon you.”

Having a relationship with someone who’s depressed can be difficult. It’s hard to hear a friend say negative things about herself; it’s hard to know how to help. These are among the more noble reasons people might have—or they may just not want to be brought down themselves by spending time with someone who’s depressed.

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Stop the Unhealthy Snack Attack! 10 Fresh Ideas For Work

trail mixLizzie Fuhr from PopSugar offers this healthy advice:

Whether you’re looking to lose a few pounds or maintain a healthy weight, stocking up on healthy snacks for work is essential. Fueling your body with quality nutrition will increase energy levels, helping you feel more productive, and also stave off fatty and sugary cravings.

1.   Fresh fruit: You can’t go wrong with fresh fruit at the office! Put your favorite sliced fruits and berries together in a beautiful salad for the office fridge, so you can scoop out the perfect portion to enjoy all week long. If that sounds like too much effort, pack low-maintenance picks like apples, oranges, and pears, so all you need to do is wash and eat.

2.  Veggies: Bring a tub of baby carrots, celery sticks, or already steamed edamame to the office. You can easily find prepackaged options at your grocery store, but skip the ranch or blue cheese dressing, and opt for a small side of hummus instead to offer your body some protein.

3.  Healthy bars: Unfortunately, not all bars deemed “healthy” are created equal. Look for bars that are relatively low in sugar and high in fiber and protein. If you eat a bar that’s all carbs and sugar, then chances are you’ll experience a crash after eating it, just as if you’d chowed down on a candy bar.

4.  Single servings of trail mix: Take the issue of portion control out of the picture, and prepackage small baggies of trail mix or dried fruit and nuts at home. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be able to keep tabs on exactly how much you’re eating.

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5 Secrets a HIIT Trainer Wants You to Know

trainerShort, fast intervals (called HIIT, or high-intensity interval training) are the way to go if you want to melt fat and target a muffin top. But if you’re not quite certain if you’re doing it right, Sean Bartram, the trainer for the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders and author of High-Intensity Interval Training For Women ($18), will let you in on a few secrets. Stop fearing HIIT and start reaping the sweat-inducing workout’s benefits with these beginner-friendly tips.

You don’t have to go all out at the start: That image of a sweaty, muscly man defying gravity doing box jumps is enough to make anyone intimidated about trying an interval workout. But almost any explosive movement can be modified until you’re ready to take your workout to the next level. “Don’t be intimated by HIIT,” Sean says. “If you don’t feel comfortable taking on the plyometrics exercises, you can always substitute.” For example, Sean recommends doing areverse lunge instead of a jump lunge if you’re not ready for jumps. Focus on mastering these moves first, and add more explosive ones when you’re ready.

Form is more important than reps: That speed demon who’s racking up squats like nobody’s business? Don’t pay her any attention — it’s more important to focus on your own form and ensuring that you’re doing your reps correctly. “We have one golden rule and that’s always form first, speed second. We’re about quality, not so much quantity,” Sean says. So if you can only do five perfect squats in 30 seconds, pat yourself on the back for focusing on form.



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