Leave Your New Year’s Diet Out In the Cold

Is there a better way? Intuitive Eating and mindful eating are “non-diet” approaches backed by research and now making headlines as ways to improve your relationship with food and more naturally manage your weight for life.

Gluten-Free and Gaining

Research shows that many people with celiac disease gain weight on a gluten-free diet. A 2012 study followed almost 700 patients with celiac disease and found that about a quarter of those who were overweight at diagnosis gained weight on the gluten-free diet. A 2010 study of nearly 150 children with celiac disease on the gluten-free diet found that the percentage of overweight participants almost doubled. For those who are underweight, gaining a few pounds may be a good thing and can improve overall health. But for those at a normal weight or even overweight at the time of diagnosis, weight gain may cause great distress.

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How to Set Fitness Goals

The National Institute on Aging shared that many people find that having a firm goal in mind motivates them to move ahead on a project. Goals are most useful when they are specific, realistic, and important to you. Be sure to review your goals regularly as you make progress or your priorities change.

Download and use the Goal-Setting Worksheet to document where you want to be in both the short and long term.

Write Down Your Short-Term Fitness Goals

Short-term goals will help you make physical activity a regular part of your daily life. For these goals, think about the things you’ll need to get or do in order to be physically active. For example, you may need to buy walking shoes or fill out an Activity Log so you can figure out how to fit physical activity into your busy day. Make sure your short-term goals will really help you be active. Here are a few examples of short-term goals:

  • Today, I will decide to be more active.
  • Tomorrow, I will find out about exercise classes in my area.
  • By the end of this week, I will talk with my friend about exercising with me a couple of times a week.
  • In the next 2 weeks, I will make sure I have the shoes and comfortable clothes I need to start walking for exercise.

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Plan NOW for the GGR’s New Year’s Walking Challenge

Three friends walking through snow winter forest

For the month of January, we are highlighting a community-oriented 31-day walking challenge. While it might sound a bit simplistic on the surface, walking is one of the most efficient ways to keep your body and mind sharp. It’s also one of the easiest ways to stay fit, even if you’re already hitting the gym on a regular basis.

“Everybody’s got 10 minutes to go out there and take a walk, and that’s all that it really takes. And it’s going to have a compounding factor,” strength coach Jesse Burdick said on an episode of the Mark Bell’s Power Project podcast. “If you’re outside, getting a little of sun, breathing fresh air…it just has a compounding effect on your mood, psychologically, it keeps you further moving things along.”
All you need to do is to follow a chart which details how long you should walk, and on what days. Consistency is key here.
Although the walks will get a little more challenging as the month goes on, it is designed, so you can continue your other workouts–but you could also just do this on its own if you wanted.

The goal here is to provide a foundation for your fitness journey and put you in a position where you can accomplish any other goals you might have, whether that’s running a mile or to start lifting heavier weights.
To participate, go to:

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Most Common Tech Ailments

Harmony Healthcare IT share with Healthy Lombard that for many remote workers, working from home meant ditching suits for sweatpants and long commutes for later alarms. As of September, 45 percent of Americans are still taking advantage of their remote setup, according to a recent Gallup poll.

But that doesn’t mean employees are more comfortable on their couches. Increased screen time and makeshift office furniture have strained our eyes and stiffened our joints over the last 18 months.

Tech Ailments by State

At Harmony Healthcare IT, our consultants are here to help health systems, hospitals, and physicians navigate a dynamic industry. To find out how employees are getting through these unprecedented times, we analyzed Google search volume to determine the most common tech-related ailments, aches, and pains Americans have been suffering due to our tech-obsessed lifestyles.

The results are a real pain in the neck or rather, the hands. Wrist, hand, and finger pain dominated as the most common tech ailment across the country, with 32 percent of states searching for a remedy online. Both lower joint pain and eye irritation claimed 16 percent, while neck pain bothered 14 percent of Americans.

So, what technology caused so much pain? According to our research, it’s not work-related technology that’s afflicting us the most. Gaming addiction landed the top spot among tech ailment searches, followed by computer vision syndrome. And video games aren’t Americans’ only addiction. The third most popular search is “nomophobia” or the fear of being without your phone. Read more

NIA’s new exercise guide in Spanish

Thumbs up - Male student doctor with stethoscope on white backgroundNIA’s new exercise guide in Spanish can help you learn about the benefits of exercise and physical activity as you age. Whether you’re just starting out, getting back to exercising after a break, or are fit enough to run a three-mile race, this guide is for everyone, including those who live with a disability or chronic health condition.

This guide can help you learn about:
Types of exercise and physical activity
How to get started
Safe ways to stay active
How to stay on track

Visit NIA’s website to download, print, or order a free copy of the new exercise guide in Spanish. The guide is also available in English.

You can also sign up for monthly Healthy Aging Tips e-alerts in Spanish! Starting in January 2022, NIA will begin sharing monthly tips on healthy aging, caregiving, and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in Spanish. Sign up here. Read more

11 Unique Family Activities to Help You Connect With Loved Ones

All Things For Kids shared that spending time together as a family is important, and the activities that you do together can help strengthen your family’s bond.

Life can get busy, and it’s easy to forget to spend quality time together. But taking time out of your busy schedule and making family outings and activities a priority actually has loads of benefits.

Spending time together: 

  • Can strengthen the emotional bond between parents and children
  • Improve communication
  • Reduce behavioral problems
  • Improve kids’ school performance
  • Boost kids’ self-confidence

Of course, it can be hard to come up with an idea that everyone loves, so we put together a list of family activities that are sure to create lasting memories.

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Head-to-Toe Health Tips for the Whole Family

Brad Krause at brad@selfcaring.info wrote for Healthy Lombard that Childhood obesity is a major issue in the United States, with nearly one in five kids aged 2 to 19 considered obese. Unfortunately, excess pounds can contribute to long-term health issues, from diabetes to hypertension. Healthy Lombard is a charitable organization committed to helping parents raise healthy, active kids. This guide provides head-to-toe tips that you can implement in your family to help kids and adults alike improve their wellbeing.

Make exercise a family activity

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things people of all ages can do to maintain a healthy weight. Look for activities you can enjoy as an entire family, like playing tag, hula-hooping, or dancing to music. You can also get some fresh air by exercising outdoors. Go for a hike or a bike ride as a family. As your kids get older, encourage them to pursue athletic activities like team sports on their own.

Establish a strict bedtime routine for kids and adults alike

A solid night’s rest helps kids and adults alike feel their best. Build a bedtime routine for your children that will help them get to sleep at the same time every night. Pre-sleep activities could include helping them brush their teeth, reading a book together, and singing them a lullaby. It’s also significant to get rest as an adult. The Mayo Clinic provides guidance for getting a better night’s sleep, such as minimizing caffeine intake before bed.
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Preventing and Managing: Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

College of DuPage Nursing Student Thomas Flock researched for Healthy Lombard that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) develops from an excess of fat in the liver and surrounding area. Poor management of this disease can lead to liver cirrhosis. NAFLD can also be a risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and kidney disease (Department of Veteran Affairs, United States, 2021). People living with NAFLD are normally asymptomatic. Often people with NAFLD have preexisting conditions, such as obesity, diabetes or insulin resistance, high blood pressure to name a few. But how do I prevent and/ or manage NAFLD?

 

The first and most important answer is a healthy diet. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables with limited added sugar is a great start to a healthy diet. Other foods can include fish, avocados, walnuts, oatmeal, and sunflower seeds. When it comes to drinks, the first rule is NO alcohol. If you do drink alcohol, make sure it is limited, as alcohol can help NAFLD progression to liver cirrhosis. Good liquids to have are water, milk, green tea, and even that early morning coffee. Balancing your diet can be difficult, but the right planning can easily be attained.

 

The next is exercise. Physical activity, from walking to jogging to a full-on run, will all get the job done. The US Department of Veteran Affairs recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day (Department of Veteran Affairs, United States, 2021). The goal is to get moving. Exercising may seem like a lot, but you don’t even have to join a gym. Walk at your nearby park, take a bike ride, go for a swim. This will help promote a healthier lifestyle and help to lose a few pounds, which is important in managing NAFLD.

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Healthy Jumpstart for Everyone

College of DuPage Nursing Student Marta Jasinski asks Healthy Lombard followers, “Do you lack the motivation to engage in regular physical activity?” Awareness of the numerous benefits of both physical activity and exercise may help motivate even those who are least interested in physical activity to begin. Routine physical activity or an exercise program can be implemented at any age, starting with those who are young and continuing into older age. This article will provide several benefits of becoming more active to encourage overall health for the entire family.

To begin with, physical activity and exercise are not the same. Physical activity is any activity, whereas exercise is planned and structured movement. Either will help with mental well-being and improve mood. Stress is relieved and cognitive thinking and acuity, and ability to focus are improved (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2021). In general, physical activity and exercise help to increase energy levels throughout the day. Another advantage of physical activity and exercise is their contribution to decreasing depression and anxiety (CDC, 2021). When people are active, sleep also improves tremendously (CDC, 2021).

Physical activity and exercise help with wellness, and along with a healthy diet, facilitate weight loss which is also beneficial in preventing disease. When people are consistently active, blood pressure and cholesterol are improved and the chance of type 2 diabetes is reduced (CDC, 2021). Read more