Turn Resolutions into Lasting Change

Kaitlyn Pauly, Product and Marketing Coordinator for WELCO asks, “How long do your New Year’s resolutions last?”  If you are with the majority of Americans, your good intentions to lose a few holiday pounds and get healthy at the beginning of the New Year take a back burner as soon as life starts to get busy.

For example, they might start a weight loss program in order to fit into their jeans again or because their doctor told them that it would help them control their blood sugars/cholesterol/blood pressure etc. Unfortunately these reasons don’t keep most people motivated for long. In fact, research suggests that those who are motivated to be physically active for reasons other than weight and health do a better job at sticking with their goals long term. Sounds odd right? However, researchers have found that motivators such as “running makes me more patient,” “weight lifting helps me clear my head,” or “yoga is my time for me” are more effective at encouraging people stick with the activity long term.

In addition to the right “whys” for making healthier resolutions, you might also consider thinking loftier about your goals. A great recommendation from Sean Foy, fitness expert for WELCOAs On the Move online wellness program is to consider “kedging” to help pull you in the direction toward your goals. Kedging is a nautical term that refers to moving a ship by means of a line attached to a small anchor dropped at the distance and in the direction desired—you can see the analogy. Read more

Some tips for reducing the sugar in your morning smoothie

Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian, an expert on healthy eating on a budget, shared that the smoothie has become ubiquitous because it makes healthy eating sound easy and attainable. I’ll admit to you right here: I love smoothies — throwing a bunch of things into a blender and then sipping on my breakfast. The more nutrients I can cram into that cool and creamy treat, the better. Healthy mornings are smart because mornings are when we have the most discipline since the day hasn’t tired us out, and our willpower isn’t exhausted. And smoothies are quick to throw together, and they’re portable, which makes them a busy-person’s best friend at breakfast. (You can even pre-prep smoothie ingredients in resealable bags to keep in the fridge or freezer for dump-and-blend convenience).

Not all smoothies are equal, however. Just because something is a “green smoothie” doesn’t mean that it isn’t loaded with sugar. (Just read the labels of some commercially available smoothies). Making your own smoothies at home gives you a lot more control, of course. But even so, if you load up a smoothie with an apple, a banana, some honey and berries, you could easily be looking at the same amount of sugar as a can of cola, which we would never gulp down at breakfast. Yes, fruit is natural sugar, but it still needs to be consumed mindfully.

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4 Ways to Get More Sleep in 2017

Is getting more sleep on your priority list for 2017? Maybe it’s your resolution? More sleep means more weight loss, more energy for workouts, less getting sick, and lowered stress levels. Sounds good, right? We had an expert give us tips on how to achieve our goal of extra snoozing in the New Year.

Sleep expert Dr. Sujay Kansagra is the director of Duke University’s sleep medicine program and Mattress Firm’s sleep health consultant. He shared four tips on how you can get more zzz’s, starting tonight.

  1. Think about staying awake. “It sounds counter-intuitive,” he said, “but for those that find it difficult to sleep because they keep worrying about not falling asleep, do the opposite. Instead of worrying about falling asleep, think about staying awake instead. This often lessens anxiety and gives your mind a chance to relax enough to fall asleep.” He told POPSUGAR, “It’s a technique known as paradoxical intent.”
  2. The to-do list. “This technique is for those that mentally work through their list of pending responsibilities before bed.” Sound familiar? “In our fast-paced world, sometimes lying in bed is the first time you have to actually think about what’s on this list.” A-types will love this tip: “By creating a list of tasks (and even writing down your worries), you can prevent yourself from thinking about it excessively just before bed.”
  3. The hot nighttime shower. Dr. Kansagra gave us a solid circadian rhythm hack: “The body temperature drops when we fall asleep. Taking a hot nighttime shower just before bedtime artificially raises the body temperature. The subsequent fast drop can make it easier to fall asleep.”
  4. Lights out. That means no phones; sorry, guys. “Avoiding bright lights from TVs, smartphones, and computers prior to bed is difficult, but important. The brain decreases its natural sleep hormone, melatonin, when exposed to bright light at night. Try to unplug for an hour before bed.”

Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

Jenny Sugar wrote for POPSUGAR that whether it’s the Freshman 15, breakup weight, baby weight, or can’t-stay-away-from-the-dessert-cart weight, losing those extra pounds is not as easy as putting them on. It doesn’t matter if you have five or 105 pounds to lose, here are the top reasons most people abandon their weight-loss goals, and what you can do to prevent it from happening.

It’s Taking Too Long

Just as those pounds seemed to slowly creep on, it also takes time to slowly shake them off; coming to terms with this will make it easier to stick with your plan. Know that to safely lose weight and keep it off, you’ll only drop one to two pounds a week, so do the math and you’ll have an idea of how much time it’ll be before you’re near your goal weight. Find ways to celebrate your smaller goalsand it’ll help keep you on track.

I’m Hungry

Weight loss comes down to simple math: calories in cannot exceed the amount of calories out. If you choose high-calorie foods, you’ll only be able to have a few bites, which will leave your belly empty and unsatisfied. Eat smarter by choosing low-calorie foods like vegetables, high-fiber foods like whole grains, and foods with high water content like fruit. These foods will keep you feeling full, preventing hunger pangs.

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Sleep-deprived drivers have plenty in common with drunken drivers

Those are the findings of an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report released recently that draws on original research and past studies to create a troubling picture of the risk caused by a go-go world where many people don’t get enough rest.

“Managing a healthy work-life balance can be difficult, and far too often we sacrifice our sleep as a result,” said Jake Nelson, director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research for AAA.

About 35 percent of people get fewer than the needed seven hours of sleep, and 12 percent say they sleep for five hours or less, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Earlier research by AAA Foundation showed that 21 percent of fatal crashes involved a sleep-deprived driver. The group’s new work uses data from the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey to delve into how much driving ability decreases based on varying lack of sleep.

Not surprisingly, the less sleep, the higher the risk of a crash.

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When to Eat Your Largest Meal During the Day

9 Things to Cut Out in 2017 to Be Healthy

Here’s what we’re cutting out in 2017 to have our healthiest year yet.

  1. Negative self-talk: Stop being mean to yourself. Just stop. You are enough! You ARE strong! You’re capable. Start giving yourself more compliments, and make this year about no negative self-talk — ever. The more you berate and degrade yourself, the harder your year will be; you’ll also have a much harder time reaching your healthy goals.
  2. Your scale: Look, quantifiable goals are great, but the scale can be an evil enemy, and doctors agree! If you’ve been obsessed with the scale and every decimal point on your weight, it’s time for that thing to go. In the trash. Forever. Remember that a number on a scale doesn’t reflect the hard work you’re putting in, and the numbers absolutely do not define you.
  3. Workouts you hate: Not everyone likes running, and that’s OK. Forcing yourself into a workout that you hate definitely won’t encourage you to keep working out. There are alternatives to running — and so many other kinds of cardio exercises. If you hate bootcamp classes, try barre. Hate barre? Stop doing it! Try yoga. If something’s not working, try a new studio or new instructor. Keep going until you find something that clicks, but absolutely do not keep going to a class or attempting a workout you don’t like.
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YMCA’S Diabetes Prevention Program

heart-and-applesqThe YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps overweight adults at risk for type 2 diabetes prevent or delay the onset by taking steps that will improve their overall health and well-being. The program provides a supportive environment where participants work together to achieve the program goals of reducing individual weight by 7% and building up to 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.

It’s delivered over a 12-month period in a classroom setting and can be offered in any community location to participants who meet qualification criteria putting them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

The qualifications:

  • ·         Adults 18+
  • ·         Overweight (BMI >25)*
  • ·         At risk for or have been diagnosed with PREDIABETES
  •  Via a blood test with one of the following results:
  1.        Fasting Plasma Glucose between 100–125 mg/dL
  2.           2-hour Plasma Glucose between 140–199 mg/dL
  3. ·          A1c between 5.7% and 6.4%
  •   Or a previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes

− If a blood test is not available, a qualifying risk score based on a combination of risk factors— family history, age, etc.

The Program is based on the landmark Diabetes Prevention Program funded by the NIH and the CDC, which showed that by eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing a small amount of weight, a person with pre-diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58% and by 71% in individuals over age 60.

The participants do not have to be Y members.

For additional information, please contact:

Katie Sivak – Director, Organizational Engagement
B.R. Ryall YMCA of Northwestern DuPage County
49 Deicke Dr. | Glen Ellyn, IL  60137
630 547-2022