Health & Wellness Tips of the Week

Health & Wellness Tips of the Week

Make Each Day a Little Healthier


  1. If you are trying to eliminate caffeine it is much easier to quit if you gradually cut down, as opposed to going cold turkey.  Here are some helpful hints to help kick the habit.  Mix decaffeinated coffee with your regular coffee and gradually decrease the amount of regular as you increase the decaffeinated.  Over time, dilute your latte with extra skim milk.  Try brewing tea for less time.  And, trade sodas for water or 100% fruit juices.


  1. Popeye would agree.  Spinach is the best of the best.  If your meal calls for “lettuce” use fresh spinach instead – even when ordering a sandwich from a restaurant or making one at home.  Your taste buds won’t even notice but your health will.


  1. Shake the habit for better health.  Your taste for salt is acquired yet one of those behaviors that is reversible.  With a dash of common sense and a pinch of prudence, you can shake the habit.  To unlearn this salty savoring, decrease your use of salt gradually and your taste buds will adjust.  It should only take about 3 week and then you will be surprised to find you won’t even miss it.


  1. You can ease into running with a walk/run program with emphasis on the walking.  One variation is to take 10 easy jogging steps, then 10 walking steps, followed by 20 running and 20 walking steps, and so on working your way up to 100 running and walking.  Then work your way back down in 10-step intervals, and repeat the sequence.


  1. Convert your computer/desk chair into a piece of equipment.  In your exercise shoes, stand in front of your chair and simply tap the front of the seat with the ball of your foot.  Alternate using your left and right foot for as long as possible.  Take a break for a minute or two and repeat.  Do as many repetitions as you like. 


  1. Pace Yourself.  If you can pace while you talk on the phone, whether at work or home, you will burn almost four times as many calories as simply sitting and chatting.


  1. Where did I put my keys?  Sound familiar?  Everyone suffers from short-term memory lapses from time-to-time but there are lifestyle modifications to keep your memory sharp.  The first and most obvious is to get enough sleep.  Also, control your blood pressure and engage in regular physical activity.  Always strive for a well-balanced diet and eat least every four hours.  And last, keep your brain active by playing games, solving math problems in your head, doing crossword puzzles, or prepare your own tax return.  Pretty soon, forgetful moments may be a thing of the past.


  1. Breakfast like a king: This is a granny’s saying which says “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”. You need to remember that breakfast is the first meal of the day and it needs to be a good one. Your breakfast should be rich in carbohydrates and proteins to perk up your metabolism. Most people prefer cereal and milk with fruits. Suits fine as long as you have your regular vitamins and minerals. Breakfast also reduces work related fatigue and weight gain.


  1. Caffeine: Most of us have uncountable cups of coffee at work. The coffee machine is nearby, there is stress at work and you need something to give you a zing. So what could be more convenient than coffee? However, you need to remember that coffee may give you an initial boost for a couple of hours but like all stimulants those hours are followed by lethargy and drowsiness. So too much of coffee really doesn’t make you fresh and instead leaves you tired in the long run. Try limiting your coffee to two cups a day and not more.


  1. The desk jobs have limited the exercises and caused a lot of backache. Most of it is due to poor posture. So next time you catch yourself slouching, correct your posture and keep your spine upright and use a chair with a cushion for your back. While standing, remember to balance your weight on both feet and keep the knees bent slightly. Remember to exercise daily.


  1. Working for long hours can be tiring. So, you need to utilize your breaks to the maximum. Try some gentle stretching. You can also put your feet up and relax your calves and feet.


  1. It’s not important to have three heavy meals. In fact the ideal thing is to have six to seven small meals that keep your energy high and lethargy at bay. Have a small snack in the interim and see your energy levels rise up.


  1. At the end of the day, put your work thoughts on hold. Shift your attention to the pleasant events of the evening, such as family, friends, or a book. The wind down and detachment from work is a significant component in the mental recharging that will prepare you for the next day. Now, get rested up so you are raring to go and able to whistle while you work.



  1. Sunday--the laziest day of the week - It's easy to be lazy on the weekend, but use it for a functional training session. Play your favorite sport at the park or get in that long workout that is difficult during the hectic week. Also, take a few minutes to plan for the upcoming week. Choose which days might be best for your workouts, then schedule some exercise time and commit to it.


  1. Let’s face it: Snack machines usually don’t have many healthy options. Get around this by preparing your own snacks — from fresh fruit to mixed nuts — in advance. Pre-planning will help you make healthy choices and avoid impulse buys.


  1. Small movements make a big difference. If you don’t have time to hit they gym, try some simple chair yoga. Two minutes of stretching and breathing several times a day can increase your fitness and focus.


  1. Pack your own lunch.  Studies have shown that people who eat lunch out less frequently are more likely to lose weight. Even one fast-food meal a week can do damage, including increasing your risk for heart disease.


  1. Don't fight stress by eating. It can be tempting to reach for a bag of chips or some cookies when you're stressed out about an impending project. Eating won't help your stress go away, so avoid filling up on snacks. Try working out or taking a break instead.


  1. Don't skip meals. With so much to do, it's easy to forgo eating to run off to your next meeting. Don't skip meals. Set up foods you can eat on the run so you'll have the energy to keep going.


  1. Take vitamins. If you feel like you aren't getting the nutrition you need from your diet, don't hesitate to supplement it with some multi-vitamins to stay healthy and illness free.


  1. Stretch first. Help yourself avoid injuries by stretching each time you exercise. Simple stretches before and after you work out or engage in physical activity can help keep you active and pain free.


  1. Make it fun. You're probably not going to work out if you are bored with your routine or find going to the gym torture. Find a way to make it fun for yourself and you'll be much more likely to keep it up.


  1. Be realistic. Sometimes there's just no way you're going to get done everything you'd like to in one day. Be realistic about your goals and understand that you can only do so much.


  1. Relax with hobbies. Whether you like to paint or to destroy aliens with your family and friends in video games, making time for the things you love is an important part of keeping yourself from getting too stressed out.


  1. Don't let yourself get run down. With so much to do, it's easy to get run down. If you feel yourself getting stretched too thin, take a step back and evaluate everything you've got going on to determine what's really important.


  1. Realize you don't have to please everyone. There is no way that you can make everyone happy all the time. Concentrate on making yourself happy first and you'll cut out lots of stress and hassle from your life.


  1. Assert yourself. Don't let anyone make health or wellness decisions for you that you feel uncomfortable with. If you don't want to eat that donut or have a drink, then don't.


  1. Don’t get waylaid by foods with hidden calories.  Granola, for instance, may sound healthy, but many brands actually have up to 450 calories in just one cup.  The calories come from dried fruit, added sweeteners and added nuts.  Keep your portion down to just ¼ of a cup.  Read the nutrition labels for granola – look for lower sugar and try not to go over 140-200 calories in your portion.


  1. Pair high fiber food with protein for a healthy snack.  Be mindful of portion size.  Options to consider:  high fiber-whole grain crackers, brown rice cakes, whole-wheat slice of bread, English muffin or tortilla, fruit, veggies, and plain popcorn.  For a healthy protein, try low-fat yogurt, nut butter, a handful of almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, edamame, hummus, low-fat string cheese, low-fat chocolate milk and hard boiled eggs.


  1. Ensure at least one healthy choice at potlucks by contributing a dish.


  1. Holiday Meals or Potlucks – scan the table before choosing what to eat.  Remember, you don’t need to try everything.  Refrain from taking second helpings, unless it is a vegetable dish.


  1. Holiday Meals or Potlucks – resist the urge to completely deprive yourself.  Eat dessert, but do so sparingly.


  1. Holiday Meals or Potlucks – when you overindulge, follow your healthy routine the next day.


  1. What is the best exercise you should do?  The one you WILL do.  Walking counts!  Don’t start a routine you can’t see yourself sticking to.


  1. Try to get some Zzzzzs.  Studies have shown that the “hunger hormone” is increased in the sleep deprived.


  1. Dark chocolate and cocoa consumption has been proven to reduce LDL and total cholesterol.  Look for more real cocoa and less sugar. 


  1. Have a sweet tooth?  Been to your local farmers market?  Buy delectable, seasonal treats.
  2. At least 150 minutes of moderate exercise is recommended for health each week.  Take the stairs; think:  a brisk walk; get off the train or bus a few stops early; small changes, but big differences….


  1. Start your day with a healthy breakfast.  One study has shown that men who skipped breakfast were at 21% higher risk for Type2 Diabetes.


  1. Ice cream is okay every once in a while, but….don’t go overboard with toppings, stick to one scoop.  Control your intake with pre-packaged ice-cream products such as fudge pops, or order a kid-sized cup of frozen yogurt and top with fresh fruit.


  1. Is the summer heat gluing you to your couch?  Get creative with exercise.  Play Frisbee with your kid or plant wildflowers in your yard; go window shopping in an air-conditioned mall; take a bike ride right before sunset or after sunrise for cooler temperatures.  Remember to stay hydrated and stop exercising if you feel unwell.


  1. Summer drinks can be detrimental to your waistline.  Watch out for sodas, sugary lemonades and iced teas, smoothies with sugar added, and alcoholic beverages (especially if the drink has a fancy name).  Ice cold water or seltzer is your best choice, but feel free to squeeze in some fresh lemons, limes, cucumber, mint or berries for a refreshing drink.


  1. Keeping a daily food “log” of what you eat can help identify eating habits and foods that you want to control. It can also provide motivation to not eat things (like snacks) if you know that you’ll have to write it in your log.


  1. Got a taste for ethnic foods?  As with any restaurant food, watch out for versions containing too much saturated fat, sodium and refined starches. Select dishes with plentiful vegetables, grains, and healthy portions of mono-unsaturated oils. Try to scale back on meat portions.


  1. According to experts, these are the top ten foods for reducing your risk for disease and promoting good health.
    1. Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts); Garlic; Carotenoid-rich foods (deep green, yellow, orange, and red fruits and veggies); Yogurt; Beans; Soybean products; Citrus fruit; Fiber-rich foods (whole grains, fruits, veggies, beans); Fish (especially tuna, salmon, trout and other fatty fish) and Mushrooms.


  1. Take “5” – refresh and relax yourself in 5 minutes.  This is a good stress reducer.  Use it whenever, wherever and as often as you need.
    1. Sit in a quiet room; close your eyes and slowly breathe in through your nose; hold your breath for a count of 5; while counting to 5, slowly exhale through your mouth; repeat this again several times. 
  2. Happiness cannot come from outside, it must come from within.
    It is not what we see and touch, or that which others do for us which makes us happy.
    It is that which we think, and feel and do, first for the other person and then for ourselves."
    (- Helen Keller)


  1. Ah-h-h, the benefits of drinking water!
    1. Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids.
    2. Water Can Help Control Calories.
    3. Water Helps Energize Muscles.
    4. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good.
    5. Water Helps Your Kidneys.
    6. Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function.


  1. Add fruits and vegetables to your summer menu.  East well at work and on your days off. Adding fruits and vegetables to each meal or snack is one of the easiest ways to stay healthy. There are many tasty ways to enjoy fresh produce. Try grilling your fruits and vegetables, such as peaches and potatoes. Cooking on the grill adds flavor and reduces fat. You can cook fruit and vegetable kabobs for a healthy change. Just grill them on low heat until they are hot. Serve foods that take the heat out of your kitchen. Add cool, fresh berries or peaches to salads, yogurt, and desserts. Cut up raw vegetables to serve with low-fat dips or toss them into salads. Frozen juice pops are a favorite with kids of all ages. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day for better health.


  1. Summer is the perfect time to go out and have fun. Go biking or jogging, play with your kids, or go to the park. Outdoor activity helps you keep healthy and spend time with your loved ones. Be sure to drink water in the heat. Kick up the taste of your water with slices of oranges, lemons, cucumbers, or strawberries.  Fruits and vegetables boost natural flavor without a lot of calories. Get out earlier in the morning or later in the evening to stay away from direct sun. Always use sunscreen. You can still get your body moving when it’s too hot to go outside. Beat the heat with inside activity like yoga, aerobics, or bowling. Even cleaning the house can keep you fit. Whatever you do, keep moving.


  1. Use a pedometer – did you know that every mile that an inactive person walks adds about 21 minutes to his or her life and lowers health care costs by 34 cents?  A pedometer is a fun and safe device that measures the distance that you walk.  It can be worn at home, on the way to work, in the office, or anywhere you walk.  Try using pedometers and holding a fun contest with your family or friends to see who can walk the most.


  1. It is important to be careful of the sun during the warm days of summer. Make sure to wear sunscreen, sunglasses with UV protection, and a hat. Always reapply sunscreen often if you are outdoors. Your lips can get burned as well so don’t forget to use a lip balm with SPF. Drink plenty of water so that your body can replenish its fluids.