State fitness assessments results now available

Pump Up P.E. shared that the Illinois health-related physical fitness assessment data is now available by school, district, and county under Quick Links at the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) Enhanced P.E. web page.

ISBE is in the process of sharing these results with schools, along with a letter

providing context and guidance on how they can use fitness testing data to help their students, physical education (P.E.) teachers, school and community maximize the benefits of physical fitness.
What are the SY16-17 statewide physical fitness assessment results?
With results from 69% (2,475) of the 3,572 Illinois schools required to report:
  • 63% of 5th, 7th, and 10th graders across the state met the Healthy Fitness Zone for aerobic capacity, using either the PACER or Mile Run tests
  • 65% of 5th, 7th, and 10th graders across the state met the Healthy Fitness Zone for muscular strength, using the Push-up test
  • 79% of the 5th, 7th, and 10th graders across the state met the Healthy Fitness Zone for muscular endurance, using the Curl-up test
  • 72% of the 5th, 7th, and 10th graders across the state met the Healthy Fitness Zone for flexibility, using either the Back-saver Sit and Reach or Trunk Lift test

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8 Things to Keep in Mind If You Want to Lose Weight This Year

Close-up of pretty girl eating fresh vegetable salad

Laura Newcomer in SELF shared in their recent post that first things first: Whether you do or don’t want to lose weight is totally personal; if you want to, great, but if you don’t, that is perfectly fine as well. If weight loss is one of your goals this year and don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. Nearly a quarter of the Americans who resolve to change something about their lives this New Year’s will be hoping to shed some pounds—and preying on these doe-eyed resolvers will be all manner of “fast weight loss solutions.” They’ll guarantee instantaneous results or promise to make the pounds melt off without you having to change a thing. The reality is, losing weight in a safe, healthy, and effective way is a lot more complicated than that.

Weight loss requires lifestyle changes (no matter how much we might wish for quick answers). It requires work, adaptability, and a whole lot of patience. There’s so much that goes into it. A holistic approach is necessary for success, which is measured in how you feel, not what a scale says. It includes setting thoughtful goals, looking at your physical activity levels, adopting healthy eating habits, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and being cognizant of confounding factors that may be outside your control, such as health issues or hormones. It’s also really important to note that if you have a history of disordered eating, a weight-loss plan might not be a healthy choice for you. You should consult a doctor before making changes to your diet or exercise regimen. At the end of the day, the underlying goal is to feel better—physically, mentally, emotionally, however you define it. That’s what you’re working toward.

The first step for making the process easier is to treat your body in a loving way from day one—instead of withholding positivity until you reach a specific number on the scale. That means ditching the judgy voice in your head and acting like your own best friend.

The next step? Craft a plan that will make the process of losing weight sustainable over the long haul. If you’re ready, willing, and able to move forward, the following eight tips will help you do just that.

1. Be realistic.

Effective weight loss requires personal honesty. “Make sure any changes you will make are realistic for you and your lifestyle,” Maxine Yeung, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., NASM-CPT and founder of The Wellness Whisk, tells SELF. That means don’t plan on cooking a healthy meal every night if you hate spending time in front of the stove. Instead, you might commit to cooking two nights each week and ordering in from a restaurant with healthy options the rest of the time. Read more

Tips For Dealing With Loneliness When Living Alone

John Hawthorne, john@connex.digital,  shared that living on your own can either be one of the most rewarding experiences or a living nightmare for some. It all depends on your personality type along with your life experiences that have molded you into the person you are. Spending hours or even days at a time not having a conversation with another person can be damaging to the soul. Depression worldwide is on the rise and one of the most common causes is loneliness. I have put together this article to try to help if you are finding life difficult living on your own,

Get Out As Much As Possible
There is nothing more depressing than staring at the same four walls all day long. There is a huge world outside waiting to be explored and by getting out as much as possible you can discover the wonders of this amazing planet. Staying indoors for too long causes feelings of isolation and will increase your feelings of loneliness. Just by been outside around others will help cure this problem and make you feel more connected to society.

Pets
One of the most enjoyable and rewarding ways you can overcome feeling lonely when living alone is by buying a pet. The most popular are cats and dogs so depending on which type you prefer these will make the perfect companion. Unlike humans, they will be overjoyed to see you every day and sure you unconditional love. If you live in a dangerous area an investment in a dog could help reduce your fear as it will help to protect you should you need it.

Social Media
All of the main Facebook executives have apologized for making an addictive platform that is changing society for the world. Getting likes and comments for posts gives a dopamine hit which can become addictive if not kept under control. Social media increases the feeling lonely and can make you envious of all your friends who are not living on their own. Try to limit your time as much as possible and this will help you cope.
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6 Tips For Caring For Your Child With POTS Syndrome

Abby Drexler a contributing writer and media specialist for POTS Care who  regularly produces content for a variety of health and wellness blogs shared with Healthy Lombard the following information about POTS.

What Is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome?  Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is a condition that affects the human body’s circulatory system, including the blood vessels and heart. Patients refer to this condition as POTS syndrome, and it primarily affects females from the age of 15 to 50. However, it is possible for children to have POTS syndrome, and if a child has this condition, then their parents must understand how to manage the symptoms.

 

What Are the Symptoms Of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome?

This circulatory problem manifests with an assortment of symptoms that include:

  • Light-headedness while standing
  • Rapid heartbeat at various times
  • Intermittent fainting episodes
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Overall weakness
  • Blurry vision

In children, this condition might begin after a viral illness or surgery, and it is often combined with other medical issues such as chronic headaches or irritable bowel disease. Diagnosing POTS in children is difficult because the symptoms are similar to the ones in other conditions such as anemia, hyperthyroidism or dehydration.

 

What Causes Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome?

The cause of POTS varies but can include these factors:

  • Decrease in blood flow to the heart
  • An unusually low blood volume
  • An increase in heart rate to compensate for a low blood volume
  • Constriction of the blood vessels
  • Problems with neuropathy
  • Chronic fatigue following an illness

Children with autoimmune disorders, diabetes mellitus or a gastrointestinal condition are more likely to have POTS as a secondary condition.

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Be careful out there!

Edeards-Elmhursh Health asked, “When you picture dangerous winter activities, do you think of skiing or maybe snowboarding?” You may be surprised that, on average, only 38 Americans are killed each year in skiing and snowboarding accidents combined, compared to 100 deaths in the U.S. related to shoveling snow.

Yes, there are probably a lot more shovelers than skiers, but consider this other statistic for just one metro area: During the winter of 2014-15, CBS News reported that 18 people died in incidents related to shoveling snow in the Chicago area, and that was only through Feb. 15. Ages of the victims ranged from the 40s to 75.

How can shoveling be so dangerous? Think of a primarily sedentary 50-year-old man gulping down his coffee so he can go out on a cold morning to move hundreds of pounds of snow before he has to leave for work. He’s putting a lot of strain on his upper body in particular, in an aerobic activity that’s more strenuous than many sports. And he’s doing this while inhaling cold air.

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Want to improve your health in 2018? Follow this advice

Over the next couple weeks many of you will find yourselves reflecting on this past year as well as looking ahead to 2018.

Joshua Steckler, owner of Push Fitness, a personal training studio located in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning, and nutrition shared that chances are, personal health will be on your mind, and once the holiday season is over, many will set New Year’s Resolutions focused on getting into better shape.

If you set out to become healthier in 2018, be mindful of the following advice. It’s not your typical “must do” tips, but plays an important role in losing weight and keeping it off.

Take responsibility

If you’re not happy with your weight or current state of health, take responsibility and admit that you have not been doing your part.

Don’t blame lack of time, the abundance of junk food, or depleted motivation. No one has more control over your actions than you do.

Take responsibility for the poor choices you’ve made in the past that got you into your current state of health, and then work to fix those problems.

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Nonsurgical knee pain relief available locally

Dr Gregory Castello, a Board Certified physician for over 20 years, now offers an FDA approved, safe, effective, non surgical treatment in his new Joliet location. It utilizes a Hyaluronic acid gel lubricant injected into the knee that replaces the natural lubrication that is lost in the knee as we age.

This has been known as rooster comb injections, because the Hyaluronic acid gel also can be found in rooster combs, and makes up the ingredient in Hyalgen injections. Synthetic versions of this also exist for injection.

The procedure is done by Dr Castello, right in the office. He utilizes xray equipment to direct the injection safely into the knee joint space. The patient experiences immediate pain relief, and leaves the office feeling better.

In the United States, there are 70,000 knee replacements performed every year. The average cost of a knee replacement is $49,500. Dr Castello reminds us that 2% of surgeries have serious complications and 1 in 400 people die in the first 30 days of surgery from complications. About 5-10% of people are not happy with their knee replacement. Over 100,000 people are hospilized from bleeding due to NSAID pain medications like Ibuprofen and 15,000 a year die from chronic NSAID use

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How to keep your New Year’s resolutions

resolutionsGinny Grimsley shared in a Daily Herald article that if you’re one of the millions of Americans who will make a promise to improve yourself this New Year, there’s bad news: You’re 92 percent likely to fail in sticking to your resolutions, says a recent study from the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology.

About 45 percent of Americans make resolutions. Ranking at the top is losing weight, and staying fit and healthy ranks No. 5.

“Of course, those statistics represent the average – you don’t have to be average,” says Dr. Virender Sodhi, founder of the Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Medical Clinic. “There are plenty of things individuals can do to improve their odds of success if they resolve to become healthier and fitter.”

Dr. Sodhi, author of the new guide, “Ayurvedic Herbs: The Comprehensive Resource for Ayurvedic Healing Solutions,” believes we can move much closer to a world of disease-free societies by following the laws of Mother Nature. Individual commitment to health via New Year’s resolutions is one path to take us there. Dr. Sodhi offers five tips for staying true to your goals.

• Get away from the instant-gratification mentality and avoid unrealistic goals. Don’t expect to go from zero to 60 — 60 being your ideal body image — in just a few months, especially if you have little background in training. Unfortunately, most who have resolutions like losing plenty of weight and quitting smoking are used to easy snack foods and quick rewards. Health is a long-term labor of love; commit to the love and wait for results.

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Of Course Happy Is Healthy: What You should Know about Mood and Health

wellness-bannerAngela Metcalf, College of DuPage Nursing Student, shares that we have known for some time that dark moods like depression and anxiety may contribute to conditions like heart disease or cancer. However, research has recently identified a connection between a positive mood and wellness and this information was published in the January edition of the journal Emotion. Recently the positive reaction of awe was found to have the most resounding effect based on the research.

The research was conducted at the University of California- Berkeley where researchers included 94 students and collected a substance known of as IL-6 by using swabs to obtain saliva samples. IL-6 is a chemical that is produced in the body when dark or bad moods are present; when an individual has a positive mood, the chemical is at lower level. The researchers believe it is possible that IL-6 may be a contributing factor to conditions like heart disease and cancers.

So, the message from the researchers is, ‘Get Happy!’ The more positive emotions in your life the less IL-6 that released which is linked to bad moods.

Researchers recommend engaging in activities that will promote positive emotions such as:

  • Take a walk/run outside
  • Reminisce with a family member or friend
  • Spend more time with spouse/children/family/friends
  • Spend a night out with family/friends
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising often
  • Spend time with individual who facilitate positive emotions and limit time spent with persons who bring about negativity when possible

 

3 Ways You’re Risking Your Health When You Rewear Your Workout Gear

POPSUGAR shared that you might want to think twice before putting on that dirty sports bra for a next-day workout. Of course, sometimes you’re in a bind for time and you grab what’s most convenient. But if you start regularly wearing the same, unwashed clothes for days or weeks at a time, it can really put your health at risk. (And you’ll probably start to smell, too.)

The same rules apply for lounging around in sweaty gymwear. If you’re meeting friends for happy hour after exercising, you’ll need to change, stat. (And, to note, you’ll also probably be a whole lot more comfortable in dry clothes.)

Here, we got a few experts to explain why you should really be doing that extra load of laundry. (And here’s how to wash workout clothes the right way.)

You Could Get a Yeast Infection

Yikes. Because dirty workout clothes create germs that breed bacteria and live on clothing until washed, it can lead to a yeast infection, board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Peyman Banooni, MD, tells POPSUGAR. And if the clothing is restricting or made with synthetic fabrics, it might be even worse, as bacteria like moist, tight spaces, he says. (If you do get a yeast infection, here’s how to treat it.)

A tip? Use cotton clothing for workouts (it breathes better). “Synthetic material workout clothes tend to harbor the worst of the bacteria, harboring sweat and quickly multiplying. While cotton does retain bacteria that quickly multiplies, it tends to be mostly harmless,” Dr. Faisal Tawwab tells POPSUGAR.

And be prepared after leaving that HIIT class. “I recommend taking an extra set of clothes with you to the gym and changing immediately after your workout. If possible, showering after will also help to reduce the risk of an infection,” Banooni says.

When washing your clothes, use hot water to really get those germs out, he adds. Read more