Have You Signed Up Yet?

This fall, we invite you to join the Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge. For eight weeks, from Sept. 1 to Oct. 27, rediscover the healthy benefits of being active and spending time outdoors. It’s a great opportunity for all ages — from kids to seniors — to exercise in the fresh air and learn cool stuff about nature while bonding with family and friends.

This year’s Challenge has a new twist!

We are partnering with local community sponsors to bring you hiking insights and expertise, special programming and ideas to Elevate Your Hike each week!

When you complete and track 6 hikes during the 8-week Challenge period, you’ll earn the Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award.

What Is A Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award?

When you complete and track 6 hikes during the 8-week Challenge period, you’ll earn the Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award* (includes either a commemorative pin or a walking stick with a commemorative medallion – pictured right).

Complete the Take a Hike! Tracker and bring it to one of the below locations between Oct. 28 – Nov. 30 to pick up your award:

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Addiction among the Morbidly Obese

The editorial staff of Sunrise House, comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers, shared with Healthy Lombard that it’s helpful to picture a simple Venn diagram when thinking about morbid obesity and drug addiction. Picture about 80 million American adults occupying the circle representing obesity in the US. Now picture about 20.8 million Americans, aged 12 and older, occupying a circle representing the estimated number of people who have experienced a substance use disorder. Put those two circles together and a shaded area would emerge to reveal the number of Americans who are experiencing co-occurring obesity and a substance use disorder. Research has not clearly revealed that number, but it is significant.

The co-occurrence of obesity and a substance abuse disorder is a complex matter. Research studies continue to consider the link between the two disorders, while still trying to understand each. For this reason, a discussion of obesity and substance abuse must necessarily look at factors involved in each, then their interaction, and ultimately how to treat each and both at the same time. The good news is that recovery from both conditions is possible. Read more

Sign Up NOW for “Take A Hike”

This fall, Edward-Elmhurst Health invites you to join the Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge. For eight weeks, from Sept. 1 to Oct. 27, rediscover the healthy benefits of being active and spending time outdoors. It’s a great opportunity for all ages — from kids to seniors — to exercise in the fresh air and learn cool stuff about nature while bonding with family and friends.

The Conservation Foundation is partnering with local community sponsors to bring you hiking insights and expertise, special programming, and ideas to Elevate Your Hike each week! When you complete and track 6 hikes during the challenge period, you’ll earn the Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award* (includes either a commemorative pin or a walking stick with a commemorative medallion).

Start your collection now — we’ll offer a new design each year!
*Supplies are limited.

The Offer is valid while supplies last. Read more

Why Blood Lead Levels Rise at Pregnancy and Menopause

The half-life of lead in the bloodstream is only about a month. In other words, if you feed people lead for about a hundred days to boost up their blood levels, and then you stop giving them lead, the levels in their blood start to drop, such that within about 30 days, their lead levels are cut in half. In another month, they’re cut in half again. So, by around three months, their body is able to remove about 90 percent from their bloodstream. You can see a graphic depicting this at 0:10 in my video The Rise in Blood Lead Levels in Pregnancy and Menopause 

If you’re chronically exposed to lead, however, you can have chronically high lead levels in your blood. More than half a million kids in the United States have concerning high lead levels, and poor peoplein politically disempowered communities of color are most at risk of lead poisoning,” regardless of age. 

If you don’t live in those communities and are not constantly exposed to lead, why should you care about dietary strategies to lower the lead level in your own blood, if your body is already so good at it? Even if you do get exposed to lead here and there, about 90 percent of the lead in your blood is gone after just three or four months. Ah, but go where 

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Daily to-dos for a healthier heart

Heart-shaped stethoscope. Isolated on white backgroundEdward Elmhurst Health shared in their Healthy Driven Blog that keeping your heart healthy is not something you may think about every day. But you should.

In a 2021 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update Fact Sheet, the American Heart Association (AHA) reports that heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the U.S. and approximately every 39 seconds, an American will have a heart attack.

The good news is that there are some simple changes you can make in your daily life to help lower the risk for heart attack and reduce your chances of developing heart disease.

Here are things you can do each day for a healthier heart:

  1. Don’t smoke. One-third of deaths from coronary heart disease are linked to smoking and secondhand smoke, the AHA states. When you smoke, the carbon monoxide you inhale decreases oxygen in red blood cells, causing heart damage. Smoking can lead to hardening of the arteries and heart attack, according to studies. Vaping is dangerous, too. Learn about health benefits minutes, hours and weeks after you quit smoking.
  2. Get moving. Walk the dog. Work on your garden. Go for a swim. Walk around the block. Dance like no one is watching. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore; it can be fun. It takes 30 minutes of brisk activity at least five days a week to keep your heart healthy. The key is finding something you enjoy doing and making it part of your routine. Get heart-healthy exercises.
  3. Eat right. Excess weight contributes to heart disease. Research suggests that even healthy, slim adults can improve their heart health by cutting a few calories each day from their diet. Don’t snack after dinner, and find healthy alternatives to sugary sweets and drinks. If you’re overweight or obese, talk with your doctor about how to get to a healthy weight. Check this online nutrition guide called DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) for easy and healthy recipes.

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AcceptThis Invitation For The Take A Hike Challenge

This fall, we invite you to join the Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge. For eight weeks, from Sept. 1 to Oct. 27, rediscover the healthy benefits of being active and spending time outdoors. It’s a great opportunity for all ages — from kids to seniors — to exercise in the fresh air and learn cool stuff about nature while bonding with family and friends.

This year’s Challenge has a new twist!

We are partnering with local community sponsors to bring you hiking insights and expertise, special programming, and ideas to Elevate Your Hike each week!

When you complete and track 6 hikes during the 8-week Challenge period, you’ll earn the Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award. See details below.

Read more

Effective workouts when you’re short on time

Edward Elmhurst Healthy shared in its Healthy Driven Blog that life is hectic. Many of us get caught up in our work schedules, kids’ sports, home projects, social obligations, and an ever-growing to-do list.

It’s easy to eliminate exercise and overall wellness for the next item scheduled on the calendar. But we all have to make time to exercise, even amidst the hustle and bustle.

As the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state, in order to see measurable results for the aerobic and cardiovascular systems, we should aim to get 20-30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise 3-5 days a week in at least 10-minute increments or 10-15 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise 2-3 days a week in bouts of as little as 5 minutes.

From a strength-training perspective, ACSM suggests using all the major muscles groups of the body, such as the legs, trunk, butt, chest, and back, in compound (multi-joint) exercises 2-3 days a week to see an improvement in overall body composition, muscle tone, and injury prevention.

There are ways within your day to get a quick burn with strength training and physical activities. Some of these solutions are a lot easier than you may realize. Read more

MENTAL HEALTH IMPACTS FROM WORKING OUT AT THE GYM

Sean, an outreach manager at The Boxing Club a martial arts & fitness center based in San Diego, shared that we’re always looking for ways to step up our game for our physical and mental health. It’s always a bonus when both physical and mental health is prioritized. Ahh, gotta love efficiency, right? *Inserts exercise here* – Exercise is more than heart rate and weight loss. While those two can be very important, it is also important to note the massive mental health impacts that can be gained from regular exercise. The best part is that it’s not exclusive to anyone in particular – it’s universal. Specifically, exercising regularly has a profound impact on depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It is recommended that adults do at least 30 minutes of moderate to intensive physical activity on most days.

Exercise and depression

A recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk for major depression by 26%. Exercise can positively impact depression by also providing a maintained schedule to prevent relapse. Exercise is known as a powerful depression fighter for several reasons. Firstly, getting a good leg day in or getting that heart rate going promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, such as neural growth, reduced inflammation, and changing activity patterns that can help bring feelings of calm and well-being. Endorphins, powerful chemicals related to emotions, are released during exercise. Plus, when one is plugged in during a serious lift or run, exercise can serve as a distraction to cut out the noise and prioritize you.

Exercise and anxiety

Exercise is probably one of the best and natural anti-anxiety treatments. The healing properties of exercise include relieving tension and stress, boosting physical and mental energy, and enhancing well-being through the release of endorphins. The most ideal scenario is when physical exercise combines moving with paying attention. You can find this by paying attention to the sensation of your feeling your heels on the ground when going into a squat or the rhythm of your breathing as you change from a jog to run, or the feeling of sweat dripping down your skin. Adding a mindfulness element, really focusing on your body and how it feels as you exercise will help to interrupt the flow of anxiety.

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Best Swim Workouts for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Swimmers

Jean, an Editor at Happy DIY Home, was doing research on swim workouts. The result is a just-published and updated, comprehensive swim workouts guide that they posted on their sister site, Sport Fitness Advisor.   In the article, they state that swimming is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercises and sports to get fit, strong, and toned, and to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. It gives you a full-body workout, where almost every muscle in the body is used, it burns calories, and helps with weight loss and maintenance, and de-stresses and relaxes you.

Swimming is a non-contact and non-weight-bearing sport and supports the body when in the water, as well as has a very low risk of injury. It increases your metabolism, which results in increased energy levels and feeling great overall.

There are different levels of swimming, ranging from swimming for recreation to competitive swimming, all of which require different workouts in the pool to achieve different goals. Depending on your goal, workouts will differ in a range of factors from distance or mileage and time spent in the water to types of drills and sets in the pool and the speed at which they are done.

Swimming for Recreation

Swimming is a great recreational activity for people of all ages. Recreational swimming can provide you with a low-impact workout, keep your body fit and healthy, and it’s a fantastic way to relax, de-stress, and feel good.

Competitive Swimming

Swimming can also be enjoyed at a competitive level. Competitive swimming can range from competing in events in the pool, the open water, and triathlons at all ages and levels. Competitive swimming generally requires training with a coach and working towards specific goals like training to win a 100-meter freestyle event in the pool, taking part in an open water swim in the ocean, or completing your first triathlon.

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Weight Loss Without Hunger