Winter is over and gone with it should be the excuses for not being physically active. The warm weather and the blooming daffodils just beckon us outside. There are a variety of activities the entire family can do to meet daily activity needs.
If you haven't been active all winter, start slowly and gradually work your way up to 30-60 minutes per day. That will give your body time to adjust and will help prevent soreness and injury.
There are many benefits to be gained from getting regular exercise. One benefit is that it is easier to maintain a healthy weight when you are exercising. People who lead active lifestyles can help lower risk factors for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some types of cancers. Weight bearing exercise such as walking, running and weight lifting can help make bones stronger and strength training can help make muscles stronger. Many people who exercise regularly say they sleep better and feel less stress when they are exercising.
Your body benefits in the long run when you develop regular exercise habits. Some people feel like they just don't have time to work exercise in to their daily routine. Keep in mind that exercise helps you to have more energy. So, after you exercise, you'll be rejuvenated to finish your other tasks.
Source: Tammy Roberts, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist in Barton County, University of Missouri Extension
Just as baseball players need spring training to get in shape for the upcoming baseball season; this is a great time to start preparing our bodies for warm weather activities like gardening and yard work. A little time each day doing a few stretching and strengthening exercises will help prepare muscles that have been resting since last fall. The payoff will be reduced risk of injury and fewer sore muscles.
Before starting, be sure to warm up muscles by doing a little bit of easy walking and arm-pumping first. Pain, especially joint pain should not be part of the spring training experience. Reduce the stretch to a more comfortable level, or reduce the intensity of strengthening exercises. Mild discomfort or a mild pulling sensation during stretches is normal.
Source: Linda Rellergert, Nutrition Specialist in St. Charles County University of Missouri Extension
Change is never easy. But with a little planning, patience and a positive attitude, your lifestyle can become a little healthier every day. Here are some ideas:
➺ Choose to do something you enjoy. Many people prefer walking—you can walk outdoors, at home on a treadmill, alone, or with friends and family.
➺ Make it fun. Listen to music or books on tape while you walk or jog.
➺ Keep it interesting. Try different activities like tennis, swimming, dancing, or yoga.
➺ Write it down. Schedule time to be active just as you would an important appointment.
➺ Give yourself credit. Set short-term goals and plan rewards for yourself.
➺ Be flexible. Life will sometimes get in the way of your plans. Stay flexible and get back on track right away.
Many people believe they can't eat healthfully on a tight budget. But it is easier than you might think.
If you are a single-person household, maximize your food dollars at the grocery store:
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Take a Break – Every morning, afternoon and night, take a 30-second break to look at the sky, breathe deeply and offer thanks. Even though the world has its problems, the sun still rises in the sky each morning, and we're awake and alive when we get out of bed. Let the sky be a touchstone to hope. Think of other people around the world as you look at the sky, and know that we all share this planet together. Among all of us, we have the ability to create solutions to the problems that now exist. Trust that this is so.
If you are a senior citizen and want to improve your sense of balance and reduce the risk of falls, ankle exercises can help. A series of simple ankle exercises that involves flexing and extending the feet and using elastic bands for resistance has been proven to give stronger muscles in the feet and ankles thereby improving balance and mobility.
This is the time to look at what's in your medicine cabinet to see what's crammed in there and what might need to be thrown out. Check the labels on bottles to see if they are out of date. Then reorganize everything by use; what you use daily up front and occasionally used items in the back of the shelf.
The "dawn effect" or "dawn phenomenon" are terms used for early morning high blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. These blood glucose levels are higher than when the person went to bed. This may happen more with those who have type 1 diabetes than with type 2 diabetes. However, other scientists think about half of all people with diabetes have this rise in the morning at some point.
The blood glucose in these cases usually rises between 2 and 8 a.m. A rise is considered significant if it is greater than 10 mg/dl compared to when the person went to bed. Therefore, if your blood glucose was 100 mg/dl at bedtime and 115 mg/dl when you got up, you should talk to your doctor about this.
These high blood glucose levels may be due to a natural overnight release of certain hormones. Those hormones include growth hormones, epinephrine, cortisol, and glucagon. They increase the release of glucose stored in the liver. They also decrease glucose use by other organs. Other possible causes for these high blood glucose levels include:
Your doctor will probably want you to check your bedtime and early morning blood glucose values for a few days. They may try to adjust your evening carbohydrate if your intake is high in the evening. If you take insulin, you may need an adjustment. These increases in blood glucose may not be very high. If the higher values are still in your target range, nothing may need to be adjusted. However, dawn phenomenon is associated with worse hemoglobin A1C values.
"...I dressed and went for a walk – determined not to return until I took in what Nature had to offer." Raymond Carver, poet
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, halved, washed and sliced
Zest of 1 lemon
½ cup lemon juice
1 pound baby carrots
½ cup fat-free low chicken broth
2-4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon cornstarch with water for thickening
In a large skillet, heat oil. Add chicken, turning often to brown. Add leek and lemon zest, cooking 3 to 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and broth, stirring to combine. Add carrots, making sure carrots are at least partially covered with liquid. Cover and cook 35 minutes. Uncover. While boiling add cornstarch water mixture. Stir while boiling until liquid begins to thicken.
Nutrient analysis per serving: Calories 146, Calories from fat 59, Total Fat 10 g, Cholesterol 149 mg, Sodium 382 mg, Carbohydrate 3 g, Dietary Fiber 1 g, Protein 11 g, Exchange 1 medium fat meat, 1 vegetable 1 fat, Carbohydrate Units 0.