Columbia has been freezing the past couple days, and the last thing we want is to be outside for longer than necessary. And with ice and snow on the ground, you probably want to drive as little as possible. However, bundling up under blankets indoors isn’t great for staying in shape. Here are a couple tips to keep your heart rate up while the temperature is low.
Utilize your space
If you have open space, maybe in your basement or living room, you can walk, run laps or possibly even jump rope. No space? See what you can move! Push the coffee table out of the way and create a new workout area.
Don’t have a home set of weights? Use gallon jugs filled with water or canned food for use in basic exercises like bicep curls. Don’t have a jump rope? Do jumping jacks.
But make yourself move to the floor in front the couch, place your arms on the edge, and do a couple dips while in front of the TV. Or do a wall sit for 30 seconds, about the length of a commercial. You’ll feel better than just sitting all night.
Do it old school
Not all exercise requires equipment. Try push-ups, sit-ups, squats and other calisthenics. They may seem more basic, but they get you off the couch and increase your blood flow.
Turn up the radio
Doing household chores? Turn on the radio and have fun with it! Maybe you’ll want to bust out your favorite dance moves while doing the dishes to keep moving.
What are you doing to stay active in the winter?
Only 3 out of every 100 Americans donate blood, according to the American Red Cross. Do you? January is National Blood Donor Month so if you have never given blood before, or haven’t in the past three months, it might be time to consider it.
In order to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old, healthy and weigh 110 pounds. When you donate, you can help up to three people. On top of that, donating blood also has certain health benefits.
Provides a picture of your health
Before donating blood, each potential donor gets a basic physical. Blood pressure, pulse and vital signs are all checked, so it is a handy reminder between visits to the doctor.
Reduces health risks
Donating blood on a regular basis can regulate iron levels (fighting heart disease); lower your risk against lung, liver, colon, stomach and throat cancers; and decrease your risk of a heart attack or a stroke.
Your body replaces the blood volume lost, and that replenished blood can help your body work more efficiently.
Yes, Columbia hosts the annual Homecoming and Greek Week blood drives. However, it’s important to remember that donating blood should be a year-round activity. You can donate blood every 56 days. There are always opportunities in town for you to donate and help save lives. Contact the local Red Cross office at 573-449-2656 to stay updated on drives around the city.
You can also donate today at the Molly Bowden Memorial Blood Drive from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. at Grace Bible Church at 601 Blue Ridge Drive. Check out www.savealifenow.org for more information.
New Year’s Eve is tomorrow! Are you setting any resolutions for 2011? Many people set resolutions to get healthy and lose weight, according to USA.gov. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is health-oriented, follow these tips to achieve your health goals and live a healthier 2011!
Set your goals and make a plan
As you create your resolutions for the year, develop a plan as to how you will achieve those goals. For example, if your plan is to get fit, steps could include joining a gym or heading to Rockbridge Park three times a week. (We have a couple great parks and trails in Columbia, you can learn about them at http://www.gocolumbiamo.com/ParksandRec/.) When you have a plan as to how you will accomplish your resolutions, they become more manageable.
Know that your resolutions will not happen overnight. When planning, set benchmarks for yourself. For example, you can have specific actions accomplished by the first of each month. Like the ability to run a mile by February 1 and build from there. Realize that a resolution is sometimes a year’s worth of work, so you can’t always expect an instant change.
Keep them visible
Post your resolutions somewhere that you see every day like your bathroom mirror. This will keep you motivated throughout the year and help you work toward your goals daily. Be sure to update the list if you accomplish one of your goals!
Ask for help if you need it
Sometimes you need a little extra help working toward your goals. Ask your family and friends for motivation, and consult a health professional if your resolutions aren’t going as planned or need a little bit of tweaking.
Do your research
There are lots of great resources online to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Some of our favorites are Health.com, FitnessMagazine.com and WebMD.com. Consulting a doctor, nutritionist, trainer or D&H pharmacist can also help steer you in the right direction.
If you’ve made a lot of progress, you deserve a pat on the back for your accomplishments! It shouldn’t, however, give you the opportunity to backslide on the work you’ve accomplished so far. Treat yourself to a spa day or a mini-vacation. You’ve earned it!
What are your resolutions for 2011?
It’s December 22! Christmas Eve is the day after tomorrow. We’re getting excited. How will you spend your holidays? Are you heading out tonight to a family member’s house? Hosting your own gathering?
Our plans are to slow down and spend time talking and laughing with those that mean the most to us. During this family time, the last thing we need is stress about what everyone should snack on before dinner, or what food to bring to a party. Gina Murdock, one of our registered nurses, shared her never-fail-super-easy-totally-healthy dip recipe. We think it’s awesome. What do you think?
1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can of corn, drained and rinsed
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red sweet pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
3 T. minced garlic
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup zesty light Italian dressing
Mix ingredients in a bowl and toss well. Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips.
For the next couple months, we’re going to have to be extra careful about cold and flu viruses floating around. Because we believe wintertime is for snowmen and hot chocolate, and not for being sick inside, we’ve compiled a couple suggestions to help you (and the kids) avoid getting sick this winter!
Wash your hands
Washing your hands on a regular basis helps avoid germs that could potentially get you sick. This is especially important after you have been public places, such as restaurants and gyms. If you aren’t able to wash, carry an instant hand sanitizer with you. Remember to follow up with a moisturizer to avoid dry skin!
When it’s cold outside, a warm bed is one of the best places to be. That makes it easy to get plenty of sleep! Sleep helps boost your immune system and allows you to fight nasty viruses. So get tucked in early this winter, because it will keep you ready to fight illness.
Drink plenty of fluids
You know this. We know you know this. But it’s worth mentioning because it’s so important. Water keeps you hydrated, and juices provide you with vitamins you need to stay healthy. Watch your kids to make sure they are drinking enough fluids as well, especially on those days when they are outside for hours building snow forts!
Beware of commonly used items
Shopping carts, elevator buttons and escalators are typically contaminated by cold and flu viruses. Bring hand sanitizer with you, or use sanitizing wipes if available, and avoid touching any surfaces that you don’t have to. If you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your mouth or eye, you may get those cold and flu germs.
If you aren’t able to avoid getting sick this winter, we recommend Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold. It’s a new formula that addresses conditions associated with sinus and nasal congestion, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, cough and fever. It should not be used for children under 12 without a doctor’s permission. Because everyone has different symptoms, please drop in and ask us if you aren’t sure what cold/fever medicine is best for you.
When did you kick your heat on this winter? Chances are that the minute you did, your skin started drying out. For some people, this means that it’s time to purchase some heavy duty moisturizer; for others, it may be time to talk to a dermatologist. Each case is special, but here are a couple tips to help you fight skin dryness this winter.
Use an exfoliating scrub once a month. This will get rid of dead skin and allow your body to create new skin. Be careful to not confuse exfoliating with using a harsh peel, which can strip the oil from your skin.
The lotion that you used during the summer months may not be right for wintertime. Consider looking for a different lotion that is more heavy duty. Most oil-based lotions are better for dry skin because they provide more protection than water-based moisturizers. If you’re not sure what type of lotion or moisturizer is best for you, drop by and we’ll help you pick one based on your personal preferences and needs. Plan on packing emergency lotion in your purse or pocket so it’s always handy.
Your shower and hand-washing water should be lukewarm instead of hot. Hot water takes moisture out of skin and causes dryness. If the thought of lukewarm water doesn’t thrill you, try taking shorter showers.
With the heat always on, the air in your home gets dry. A humidifier places the moisture back in the air. You may already have one built in your furnace, but if you don’t, consider picking one up for this winter.
Do you have any tricks to beating out dry skin?
- Image by ~W~ via Flickr
With the holidays coming up, we may be paying attention to what we eat, but it’s very easy to go over our recommended calorie and food intake. The USDA Food Guide Pyramid gives us outlines on healthy eating habits, but do you understand what that means for the holidays?
Grains: Grains are a good source for carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Whole grains are the best for you because they have the least amount of processing. A great naturally sweet snack is a piece of whole wheat bread with sorghum syrup. It might get a little sticky – if you have this at a gathering don’t forget the hand toilettes!
Fruits: This is where you have to be careful at the holiday parties. You may see a fruit dessert – but that doesn’t mean you can eat all of it! Another popular treat is serving fruit covered in sugar or chocolate. Watch out for what you’re putting on your fruit, most fruits are naturally sweet.
Veggies: The cold months are the best for carrots, beets and broccoli. So when you’re visiting friends and family this season, consider a veggie tray instead of chips. Veggies fill you up without any guilt after you leave the party. And don’t forget that we have a winter Farmers Market in Columbia where you can stock up on fresh produce.
Meat and Beans: This is a fairly broad group that contains meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts. It one of the main ways to get protein in your diet. The USDA recommends eating lean or low-fat cuts of meat to cut down on discretionary calories. If you’re having a holiday party, keep a bowl of unsalted nuts on the table for a simple and healthy snack!
Milk and Dairy: Milk and dairy products are essential for helping build strong bones. The easiest way to get these nutrients is by drinking milk, but eating cheese and yogurt are also great ways to get your dairy servings. You should typically have three servings of dairy each day. A cheese tray is always popular at gatherings and great finger food too!
Oils: “Oils” is another way of saying “fats” in food. These include saturated, unsaturated and trans fats. Saturated and trans fats are the ones to avoid. Oils are mostly used in cooking, for a healthier option, try using olive oil in your holiday recipes.
Discretionary Calories: This is the area for wiggle room in the food pyramid. You can fill up the rest of your daily intake with more of other food groups, foods with higher caloric content, foods with added fats and sweeteners, and foods that are mostly fats. The amount of discretionary calories you have each day depends on your other food intake. This is the important group to watch during the holidays, especially with all the cookies and cakes around!
So whether you’re hosting the party, or are planning on bringing a dish, keep the food pyramid in mind. Do you have any healthy dishes that you enjoy preparing?