Posts tagged with Exercise
As many people begin the new year with resolutions for a healthier lifestyle, it is important to remember frequency and intensity matter for seeing results. The CDC recommends adults participate in 2 different types of physical activity a week, aerobic activity and muscle strengthening. There are many ways to combine these 2 important types of activity into your schedule.
150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week AND muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups
75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity every week AND muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups
An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity AND muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups There are many ways to perform aerobic activities and muscle-strengthening exercises.
Moderate intensity: * Walking faster * Water aerobics * Riding a bike on level ground or with few hills * Doubles tennis * Pushing a lawn mower
Vigorous intensity * Jogging or running * Swimming laps * Riding a bike fast or on hills * Singles tennis * Playing basketball
Muscle strengthening: * Lifting weights * Working with resistance bands * Body weight * Resistance exercises * Heavy gardening * Yoga
Aerobic activity can be performed in 10 minutes increments at first to build up endurance to go longer. And it is important to always stretch properly before performing exercises and start off slowly if you are not used to exercise. And if you have an extreme tightness or muscle pain slowing you down, call TherapyWorks for a free screening for suggestions how physical therapy can get you back on track to your goals!
---Megan Remmert, DPT www.therapyworkskansas.com 785-749-1300
Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. It is the time of year when we celebrate the mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers in our lives. On our end of things at TherapyWorks we are wishing health and wellness to all the mothers out there both young and old. More than just wishing them well we have some tips on staying well. To the Mothers of all ages: • Stretch, it decreases your risk of injuries. Hold stretches for 30 seconds for best results. • Leaking urine does not have to be normal, even if it is just a little bit o Physical Therapy has a strong track record with treating incontinence • Strength training keeps your bones healthy, even if you just use everyday objects as weights • Balance can be lost, but it can also be gained through practice o If you have a fear of falling consult your doctor or come in for a free screen. You do not have to live your life in that fear • Pelvic Pain caused by muscles or fascia can be treated, and often resolved with physical therapy • Please switch hips occasionally when carrying baby • And most importantly: take time for your health. Whether it’s walking, running, swimming, biking, weight lifting, or kayaking keep moving. It is good for your heart, bones, muscles, and so much more.
Join us at our Free Seminar on May 17 at 7pm at TherapyWorks Women's Health: How to Get That ROAR Back! Featuring Dr. Malati Harris of Lawrence Family Medicine & Obstetrics.
--Sarah White-Hamilton, DPT
www.therapyworkskansas.com Facebook Page 1311 Wakarusa Drive Suite 1000 Lawrence, KS 66049
Save the Date for this Free Educational Seminar:
Monday, January 27 @ 7:00-8:00pm at 1311 Wakarusa Dr.
Listen to guest speakers Dr. Karen Evans and Cindy Johnson, MSPT talk about:
How fitness & nutrition influence your health
Tips for goal setting
Resources for success
Contact us with questions or for more information:
nikkiwhite@ therapyworks. org
Physical Therapy * Massage Therapy * Wellness Center * Personal Training * Since 1994
This community event is for all ages and abilities, from the competitive runner to the parents pushing a stroller and little ones tagging along! These runs are fun and engaging, enough of a challenge to push the serious competitor but not defeat the newly health conscious participant.
The Eudora event is the first of three runs benefiting Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association and local communities were half the net proceeds are returned to the community through a wellness grant.
The 2013 Eudora Grant Recipients are:
Eudora Recreation Commission and Eudora Middle & High School Cross Country Track and Field teams
The second of the three events will be in Tonganoxie Saturday, July 20 benefiting the Tonganoxie Civic Club and the Tonganoxie High School Cross Country and Track Teams and the third run of the summer will be in Baldwin City on August 13 benefiting Baldwin City Recreation Commission-Bulldog Days.
Register today at http://bit.ly/MzOF1F
Registration for these events are only $25 One Event. $45 Two Events. $55 All Three Events, $10 for children 12 and Under. Interested in registering for all three events OR registering a child under the age of 12? Please contact LMHEA at (785) 550-3315 for registration discounts.
Come on out and learn about health benefits of the community wellness activities and the services provided in these communities by Lawrence Memorial Hospital, all while supporting Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association.
BY JENNIFER OSBORN
The holiday season is upon us.
It’s actually been encroaching since Oct. 1, but I am one of those people who refuse to acknowledge this season of celebration and chaos until Thanksgiving Day. After that, bring it on!
I’m happy that Mother Nature is being so cooperative and generous with her mild weather, which means more time for outdoor runs and leisurely walks before the winter chill sets in.
I’m aware that not everyone is happy about this. After all, with the countless extra things that we take on at the holidays, the very least the weather could do would be to grant us an excuse to stay in and skip working out, right? I mean, no one would expect you to brave the cold and sleet simply to get to the gym or risk slipping on the ice during a run, would they? You could end up with a twisted ankle if you go running and it’s icy out! A much better idea is to stay in where it’s warm and cozy, and where there are a million little things to do, right?
Now, now, now. You know we can’t do that. As tempting as it sounds to skip workout time in favor of holiday preparations, this is truly a very bad idea. And I’m here to tell you why.
Several columns ago, I wrote about the debilitating effects that stress can cause. It’s so ironic that when we feel pressed for time and under the gun, the one thing that can make us feel better is the very first thing to go.
Exercise has the very powerful ability to reshape more than our bodies. It can rejuvenate our minds, our energy levels and our ability to cope with all of the additional tasks that lie before us. It can help to fight depression and lethargy. I don’t know one single person who has felt worse after working out. And if you are that one person, please email me because then I can stop saying that!
When I write about working out and exercise, I want to make it very clear that I know my readers vary greatly in fitness levels, abilities and interests. So please adapt what I am saying to what your specific needs may be.
That being said, I don’t care if you are a runner, a walker, a yogi or a power lifter. At some point everyone has to talk themselves into getting it on with their workouts. It’s not always easy to fit it in, yet for many of us, life seems so much more difficult if we do give in and skip that workout. There are no endorphins to boost us up, we may be missing that adrenaline kick, and then there is that nagging and persistent guilt that makes us feel even worse about ourselves.
Admit it — you talk to yourself much more harshly than you would EVER talk to one of your friends. So knock it off. Don’t get in that position in the first place.
And don’t worry so much about weight loss right now. Focus on staying steady, staying sane and maintaining your fitness level.
I have a few tips for you now, and in the next column I’ll break it down with some quick but effective exercises that can be easily modified and adapted for ALL fitness levels. So get up, get ready and get rid of that nagging inner voice.
- • There are two times that are proven to be more effective in maintaining an exercise program: first thing in the morning or directly after work. Choose one that fits into your schedule. Be ready to switch to the other if conflicts arise.
• Change your mindset and make exercise a PRIORITY in your day, just like all of the other things. Instead of making it the first thing to go when you are under the gun, accept that everything else will get done with more energy and mindful awareness if you actually DO exercise. Don’t eliminate it. Trust me on this.
• Are you exhausted? Lethargic? Lacking in energy and motivation? GET THEE TO A GYM! Or a pool, playground or sidewalk. It doesn’t matter! Just exercise! You will get back all of the energy you are missing and then some! You can do some Tabata sets for 4 ½ minutes and feel much better. You already know this!
• Grab a friend, neighbor or child and make a commitment to honor that time together. You can socialize and motivate each other. And you will most likely laugh, which is also much needed right about now.
• Do something that you enjoy. Swim at one of the indoor facilities, play tennis, go for a walk downtown or on campus, run on the river trail or at Clinton Lake. Just move. Get your heart rate up. And enjoy doing something that is 110 percent good for you!
— Jennifer Osborn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new study forecasts the adult obesity rate in Kansas could reach 62 percent — more than double the current rate — by 2030, contributing to 367,000 new cases of Type 2 diabetes and 769,000 new cases of heart disease and stroke.
“The track that we are on is leading us down a path to even worse health and significantly higher health care costs but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are things we can do now to change the future,” said Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health.
The 124-page report “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future” was released Tuesday by Trust for American’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The country’s obesity rate has seen substantial growth since 1995 when Mississippi had the highest obesity rate with 19.4 percent. Today, every state’s obesity rate is higher than 20 percent. Mississippi’s is now 34.9 percent. Kansas has seen its rate grow from 13.5 percent in 1995 to 29.6 percent.
“It truly is a nationwide crisis,” Levi said.
For the first time, the annual report included an analysis that looked at 2030 obesity rates in each state based on current trajectory and the likely resulting rise in obesity-related diseases and costs.
In Kansas in 2030:
• 62.1 percent — of adults would be obese. Someone who is obese has a body mass index of 30 or greater, which would be at least 186 pounds for a 5-foot-6 woman or 215 pounds for a 5-foot-11 man.
• $5.5 billion — will be spent on obesity-related health care costs, up 11 percent from today.
The report recommends spending more on prevention efforts and implementing policy changes at the national, state and local levels. Such initiatives might include increasing physical activity time in schools and ensuring farmers’ markets accept food stamps.
“Small changes can add up to a big difference,” Levi said.
The report highlighted efforts across the nation that are being made to reduce obesity, among them was Seaman High School in Topeka, which has about 1,150 students. It is preparing meals with lower-calorie, lower-fat ingredients and offering fresh fruit during breakfast and lunch. It also has established Wellness Wednesdays and Fitness Fridays activities that are designed to incorporate nutrition and fitness information into the school day.
“We need to invest in obesity prevention in a way that matches the disparity of the problem. We can’t afford not to," Levi said.
To view the full report, visit healthyamericans.org.
Rural Americans are more likely to be obese than those living in urban areas, according to a new study led by Kansas University researchers.
It’s the first study in more than three decades to use measured heights and weights rather than relying on self-reported data, and it was published in the National Rural Health Association’s fall 2012 Journal of Rural Health.
It’s also the first study to examine obesity by place of residence.
Christie Befort, who led the study and is assistant professor of preventive medicine and public health at KU Medical Center, said they analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which includes 9,000 people, and they found 39 percent of adults in rural America are obese compared with 33 percent living in urban areas. Someone who is obese has a Body Mass Index of 30 or greater, which would be at least 186 pounds for a 5-foot-6 woman or 215 pounds for a 5-foot-11 man.
Befort thinks there may be two significant reasons why rural residents are more likely to be overweight: cultural diet and physical isolation.
She said the rural American diet tends to be full of rich, homemade foods, including lots of meats and desserts. Rural Americans also tend to use more fats when preparing foods, and they have fewer choices when it comes to buying groceries or eating out.
Additionally, they face challenges to accessing health care, prevention and lifestyle activities. “Access is often about travel time in a rural area, but it can also be that there’s no place to go,” she said. “It’s tough to get to a gym if you live outside of a town without one.”
Befort said they examined several factors that are thought to affect obesity, including diet, physical activity, age, race, gender and education. They discovered that even when other contributing factors are held constant, rural residents are more likely to be obese.
“Living in a rural area isn’t always recognized as a category of obesity-related health disparities but, according to our study, it should be,” Befort said.
Not long after successfully dropping close to 50 pounds, Shelly Sheets heard a friend was taking boxing classes in Lawrence.
The 33-year-old Pomona resident decided to try it herself and was addicted after the first class. She comes to Lawrence to box four or five times a week, and none of those 50 pounds has been back since.
“This has been amazing to help me stay in shape,” Sheets said.
Sheets isn’t the only person addicted to the high-energy, full-body workout. With two gyms opening within the past 10 months, the boxing-for-fitness trend has arrived in Lawrence in force. “There’s always that interest for people to try something new and different,” said Brad Goetsch, who owns Punch Boxing and Fitness, 4931 W. Sixth St. “It’s easy to get hooked on doing these types of classes.”
To be clear, this is boxing for fitness, and the only sparring is between you and the heavy bag. If there’s a ripped-up, cauliflower-eared, cage-fighter type wandering around the class, he’s not going to punch your lights out. Most likely he’s an instructor, and he’ll probably bark out exercises and correct your form but won’t scream insults if you falter or make you run until you throw up.
“That’s not what it’s about at all. It’s a very uplifting and encouraging workout,” said Jim Thomas, who owns Lawrence’s Title Boxing Club, 1520 Wakarusa Drive. “We have people puke, and that’s fine. If they want to go that hard in their workout, that’s up to them.”
Participants get out of the class what they put into it, Thomas said, adding that everyone can go at his or her own intensity level.
Feel the burn
In a recent kickboxing class at Title, where Sheets was working out, music blared and participants punched the 110-pound heavy bags from nearly every angle possible. Same with kicks — low, medium, high, forward, sideways, standing and kneeling. Jogging, crunches and stretches came before and after class, or between sets.
On top of working limbs, lungs and heart, boxing also works the body’s core strength. With the correct form, that’s where a lot of the power behind a punch or kick originates. Core work makes boxing a particularly good cross-training option, Thomas said, even for endurance athletes, such as runners.
“If you don’t have a strong core … you’re losing efficiency,” he said. “You’ve got to have a strong frame.”
The exhilaration factor is one of boxing’s most addicting characteristics, said Goetsch, who likened the rush after his first boxing class to what he felt after intense workouts as a college wrestler.
“You’ve done everything you can, you’ve pushed yourself as hard as you can,” Goetsch said, “and then you get that sense of accomplishment.”
While men and woman of all ages can be found in a boxing class, the overwhelming demographic is women in their mid-20s to mid-40s.
Title Boxing Clubs describes itself as the fastest-growing fitness concept franchise in the country. Since the first club opened in 2008 in Overland Park, clubs have spread to at least 12 other states with hundreds more franchises sold, Thomas said.
Thomas opened the Lawrence location in November and offers strictly boxing and kickboxing classes from morning to night, seven days a week.
Goetsch opened the first Punch Boxing and Fitness in Shawnee in 2009 and moved it to a larger Shawnee location, 5421 Martindale Road, in April. He opened Punch in Lawrence in January. Punch aims for a holistic, family-oriented approach. In addition to boxing and kickboxing, the club offers yoga, interval and other fitness classes. There are also youth and family boxing classes.
Both clubs have loaner gloves, but they also sell new gloves on site for people who want their own (which is most people).
A lot of people are drawn to boxing because they enjoy the club atmosphere — having a trainer and being in a group, said Phillip Vardiman, an athletic trainer and assistant professor of Health, Sport and Exercise Science at Kansas University.
Vardiman said finding a workout you enjoy is important for meeting fitness goals. “If exercise is fun,” he said, “then you’re probably more likely to do it.”
Before you try it
As in any new workout, exercising a couple simple precautions can help you avoid injury. Phillip Vardiman, an athletic trainer and assistant professor of Health, Sport and Exercise Science at Kansas University, offered these tips for folks who want to give boxing a whirl. First, there’s nothing wrong with easing into the workout to build up strength.
That goes for participants who aren’t in good shape and participants who are in shape but new to boxing.
“You may be an avid runner or an avid cyclist, and you could have a good cardiovascular fitness base, but when you’re exercising in a different way, you’re not going to have the muscle coordination,” Vardiman said. “You’re going to use muscles you haven’t used in a long time.”
Second, take advantage of an experts’ knowledge.
Let instructors help you with your form and, if needed, ask them to suggest exercise modifications that accommodate your physical limitations.
“They’re going to try to push you, but they’re going to know when they should back off a little bit and let you go at your own pace,” Vardiman said. “That’s going to prevent a lot of the major injuries.”
A few years ago, a friend of mine started running half marathons. She’s inspired many of our friends to run, too, and many of them have also done half marathons.
But not me. Running never appealed to me. I told her something would have to be chasing me to get me to run.
However, nothing was chasing me when I competed in my first triathlon this month, and I still finished.
I got the idea on Christmas Day when my roommate’s father told me how he used to participate in the Topeka Tinman Triathlon. Suddenly, a light bulb went on — I thought, “I bet I could do that.” I looked it up after our conversation to find out the date of this year’s race and discovered I’d have plenty of time to train.
I had thought about doing a triathlon before, in passing — usually when I read one was coming up that weekend or happening that day. But I’d quickly forget about it.
This time, the thought stuck. I decided to do the Tinman short course race: a 400-meter swim, 13-mile bike ride and 5k run.
One motivator: my 30th birthday, which was this month. I figured finishing a triathlon would be a satisfying accomplishment for a milestone year. I also figured it would be a good way to get into exercising regularly — I hoped this would become a habit I could keep up after the race.
Why a triathlon? I love swimming and biking. As I said, though, I’ve never been a fan of running. I hadn’t even tried since middle school gym. Unfortunately, I don’t think swimming-biking-rollerblading triathlons exist. But I decided if almost everyone I know could be a runner, surely I could manage 3.1 miles.
I started looking into training programs and found a “couch to triathlon” schedule at BeginnerTriathlete.com, which seemed appropriate. It even starts you out just walking before trying to run. I started the program Jan. 2.
I didn’t tell a lot of people when I first started training. That’s probably not good for accountability, but the training was time-consuming, and the running was going terribly at first, so I was afraid to announce it and then quit later.
Some time on the treadmill helped me when I started to think the running just wasn’t going to happen. I had no idea how to pace myself, so I’d been running as fast as I thought I should and then would get winded after a block. With the treadmill determining my pace, I managed to run a whole mile, a victory for me.
I signed up for the triathlon in March. By April, I was tired. The training called for nine workouts per week; I usually skipped some, so I was doing six or seven 30- to 120-minute workouts per week.
At the beginning of May, I talked to someone who had done several triathlons. He gave me a lot of advice and helped me realize that the program I was on was not tailored to my race — I didn’t need to train so far beyond the distances I’d be racing. After that, I revised my workouts and only loosely followed the schedule.
As I was researching the week before my race, I read that someone in relatively good shape should be able to train for a triathlon in three months — about half as long as I did. No wonder I was so tired. But I probably needed the whole five and a half months to work on my running, since I’d never done it before.
Those many months of training were put to good use at my race, though. I finished, and with much faster times than I expected. Because I mostly trained solo, I think being around other people at the race gave me an even bigger boost than the usual racing surge.
I did walk some of the 5k. It was humid and getting hot. I was tired. I knew my first two legs went way faster than I’d expected. I gave myself a break. Somehow, I still finished faster than I would have imagined.
I felt good after the race — until about 30 minutes after I finished, when it suddenly hit me how worn out I was. I sat, ate a banana, replenished fluids and then felt good again.
If I continue in athletic endeavors, I’ll have to stick with triathlons. First of all, I have all the equipment now. And I’ll probably never be a great runner, so I need the swimming and biking legs to boost my overall results.
My guess is that I’ll do it again. Next time, I’ll try to run the whole last leg.
— Go! editor Katie Bean can be reached at 832-6361. Follow her at Twitter.com/LJW_Go.
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
For managing weight the healthy way, simply planning ahead is one of the best ways to prevent the need to “cure” unwanted pounds.
Everything from having healthy snacks on hand for Saturday’s soccer tournament to sticking to an exercise regime can benefit from a healthy dose of planning, said Anne Van Garsse of Lawrence’s Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, who runs a clinic for overweight children and teens.
Without it, she said, “life gets in the way every single time.”
Van Garsse and other experts say the same principles apply for adults and families with children alike: Plan your meals and snacks ahead, grocery shop accordingly, find forms of exercise you enjoy, and map out where and when you’ll do them.
A week’s worth of meals
Our “hectic, American way of doing things” doesn’t always lend itself to healthy food choices, said Patty Metzler, clinical dietitian for Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
“You have to make extra efforts,” she said.
Metzler suggests sitting down once a week and planning your meals seven days out — breakfast and lunch included. Make a grocery list with everything you’ll need to have on hand, then shop.
“When you go to the market, you know exactly what you’re going to buy,” she said. “You save time, you save money, and that makes your week flow.”
At the end of a busy workday, people are tired and don’t have time to cook, much less go to the grocery store and then cook. Hitting the drive-thru starts to seem awfully appealing.
“You’ve got to have things there you can pull together quickly,” Metzler said.
Contrary to common beliefs, she said, meals don’t have to be complicated, and recipes aren’t required.
Cooking up some brown rice, tossing a hamburger or veggie burger on the grill and adding a generous helping of vegetables — even canned or frozen — makes for an easy, well-balanced meal, she said. An equally easy meat-free option Metzler might be found eating is whole-grain noodles topped with olive oil, parmesan cheese, basil and oregano.
For lunch, try tuna salad sandwiches, she said. For breakfast, whole wheat toast with peanut butter or oatmeal topped with a banana.
In her effort to lead a healthier lifestyle, the menu-planning approach helped Lawrence resident Jennifer McVey, 32. Eating breakfast at home helped her fill up, making those donuts at the office easier to resist. After a long day, knowing she had chicken thawing in the fridge for dinner helped her avoid fast food.
“It’s easier to stick to the plan when you already have something set up,” McVey said. “It was harder to deviate.”
Not having healthy snacks on hand when kids are hungry — such as after school or at the end of a long day at the sports fields — is another way to find yourself with a handful of potato chips or hitting the drive-thru, kids in tow, Van Garsse said.
Don’t forget to put snacks on the list for your weekly shopping trip, she said. Fruits, vegetables and low-fat cheese are good for after school.
And if you know you’ll be at the ballfields, for example, buy snacks that can be eaten throughout the day. That morning, pack them and take them with you.
Metzler suggested water or juice instead of sugary sports drinks. Apples, bananas, cheese sticks, whole-grain rolls or crackers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and homemade trailmix are portable but satisfying snack options, she said.
“As adults, we are gatekeepers for what our kids eat,” Metzler said.
Plan on exercise
For McVey, a personal trainer helped her set up workouts and stick with them.
McVey worked with her trainer Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, she did workouts her trainer had written down for her.
The accountability of having plans in writing helped encourage her not to skip workouts, McVey said. Plus, she said, “it made me feel good to look back and say, ‘You know what? I’ve done a really good job this week.’”
Jo Ellis, recreation instruction supervisor for the city of Lawrence, said finding an activity you enjoy is a good starting point for sticking to an exercise regime.
Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department offers guest passes for fitness classes, enabling you to “try it before you buy it,” she said. The city offers a variety of classes for senior citizens through children, ranging from Zumba to stationary bikes.
Planning ahead by signing up for classes or agreeing to meet a friend for a workout makes it harder to skip exercise sessions, Ellis said.
“I think the buddy system is a big thing,” she said.
Van Garsse suggests an hour of play (hard enough to elevate heart rates) daily for children.
Parents should schedule that time in advance, even if activities aren’t particularly structured — a family walk, a trip to the park or a game of pickup soccer in the backyard all fit the bill.
“It works for family togetherness time,” she said, “but it also gets everybody moving.”
BUT I DON'T HAVE TIME!
When it comes to managing your weight (and your kids’), cooking at home can be a big difference-maker — and planning ahead is key.
Below, the U.S. Department of Agriculture highlights common stumbling blocks to cooking at home and ideas for getting over them.
“I don’t have time to cook a big meal every night; it is easier to just order out.”
Try prepping dishes the night before or in the morning; prepping the salad or the side dish can help save time after work.
Also try cooking a big meal on Sunday and then eating it as leftovers and freezing extras. Buying frozen or canned fruits and vegetables can also save prep time.
“My family prefers to eat out; when I cook at home, they complain.”
Changing a family pattern is difficult at first. Start by eating one more meal at home each week than you normally do. You may save calories and money!
To mix things up, try a new recipe. It’ll help keep your family excited about dinner at home.
“I’m tired of being the only one that cooks.”
Make cooking a family event by getting your children involved with the prep work. Not only will they learn about healthy eating, it’s a good way to spend time together.
Or have an occasional potluck, where you invite friends and have everyone bring their favorite healthy dish.
— Source: choosemyplate.gov
Oldwayspt.org: A nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, focusing on cooking simply, using fresh foods. Features include the “7 Habits of Highly Effective Food Shoppers,” plus grocery lists to ensure you have staples on hand that will make cooking easy.
Healthychildren.org: An American Academy of Pediatrics site featuring articles on fitness, nutrition and obesity prevention for families and children.
Choosemyplate.gov: U.S. Department of Agriculture resource with guidelines and tips for healthy eating, exercise and weight management for all ages, with many resources in both English and Spanish.
The sun is shining, the grass is green, and it's simply too beautiful to stay indoors.
When the humidity begins to climb and the heat becomes oppressive, we can take our workouts back into the gym and have a well-deserved respite from the elements. But for now, let's celebrate the season and reward ourselves with an outdoor workout.
Every weekend gives us a new opportunity to walk, run and cycle our way to better health.
We have 5Ks and 10Ks every weekend, often for a good cause. We have miles of trails at Clinton Lake and around the Kansas River.
The University of Kansas is well known for having one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. The hills that surround it are nothing but a bonus for those of us who love an incline challenge!
We have Red Dog's Dog Days, that certainly take on a new and very literal meaning as the summer months approach.
And if walking and strolling along is more your speed, you can start at one end of Massachusetts Street and make your way around to the other side.
We truly have a plethora of outdoor venues at our disposal, and that makes it all the more appealing to take our workouts out of doors.
My boot camp participants love the fact that every workout is in a different place, with new things to gaze at and ponder as we sweat it out and make ourselves stronger.
The best thing of all about working out in the great outdoors is simply the fact that it helps to alleviate boredom, which is a very significant factor in why many individuals fall off of the workout wagon in the first place.
I have two very basic moves to share with you this week, and both of them can very easily be done on your patio, your deck or even in your driveway, if that's what you want to do. Open your door and step outside.
I've written about the equipment seen here previously, medicine balls and dumbbells, so you should be a little familiar with them. They are easy to find and travel well, so you can take your fitness show on the road, if you so choose.
As is the case with everything exercise-oriented, form is essential. Always take the time to set yourself properly. Know what muscle groups you are targeting, be mindful of your breathing, and always contract your abdominal muscles.
Give these exercises a try. They are very basic and are good for all fitness levels. There are modifications for everything, so if you need further explanation or a variation, just let me know. Let's get outside, let's step it up, and let's make it count!
Place left knee slightly forward and slightly bent. Hold an 8-pound to 10-pound weight in your right hand, with your right arm perpendicular to the floor. Bend right elbow to lift weight to shoulder level.
Lower and repeat 15 times.
Remember to keep the weight close to your body.
MEDICINE BALL REACHES
Lie on a mat with your legs raised and together. Hold a 5-pound to 10-pound medicine ball on your chest.
Push the ball toward your toes while contracting your abdominals and making sure that your shoulders are off of the mat. Drop back down and repeat 20 times.
Your arms remain extended for the entire time.
May is National Bike Month. The days are getting longer, and it is the time of the year when people spend more time outside. Recreational and commuter bikers alike start to increase mileage enjoying the fresh air filling their lungs and the sun shining on their face. It is also when riders tend to ride too much too soon. Most cycling injuries are due to overuse, rather than traumatic.
It is no fun to be sidelined by an injury especially when it can be prevented. Here are a few tips to avoid injury and make the bike ride more comfortable and enjoyable. Think about biking as a form of play. Play it safe! Play is where…
“P” stands for POSITIONING.
“L” stands for LEG strength.
“A” stands for ARM strength and core.
“Y” stands for YOU.
Positioning. Think of the bike as a fine piece of clothing. The clothing should fit perfectly so it is comfortable. This goes for the bike as well! If the bike fit is off it makes pedaling unnatural and inefficient. You can adjust your own bike or take it to a trained professional. To find someone who can help you with fit, ask the staff at a bike shop for reference. Many experts disagree about adjustment rules, so you don’t have to be wedded to the fit. Feel free to experiment to customize your bike to the perfect fit. A good fit should not cause any knee, back, neck or shoulder pain.
Legs. The distance from your saddle to pedal will depend on your leg length. If the seat is too high, your bottom will shift side to side and may end up with the back of your knee hurting. If your seat is too low, you will lose a lot of power, not to mention the risk of causing pain over the front of your knee. The saddle should be set so there is a slight amount of knee bend at the bottom of each pedal stroke. Stand occasionally to stretch and also develop a consistent ride schedule to decrease soreness.
Arms. While your legs have to deal with fatigue due to producing the power to pedal, your arms and core have to stabilize the bike, and provide a base for the legs to work from. Keep your arms and grip relaxed, not tense, to avoid arm fatigue and absorb road shock. Keep your elbows slightly bent. Avoid hunching your shoulders up to your ears. Occasionally you may need to loosen the upper body by placing one hand behind your back for short periods of time. If your neck gets tired, try getting a light weight helmet and tilt your head side to side. This will also reduce arm and shoulder soreness.
YOU. Ultimately only you can determine what feels most comfortable! So go outside and P.L.A.Y.!!
Authored by Becky McClure, Sports Physical Therapist at LMH South Therapy Services. Want more good athletic advice? Visit LMH Sports Injury Rehab blog at: http://bit.ly/K07b1m
Get out and enjoy the nice weather with a lunchtime walk this Wednesday -- National Walk at Lunch Day! Pack your comfortable walking shoes (if you don't already have a pair at work) and gather co-workers for some exercise. You can turn a working lunch into a walking lunch.
The idea for a walk at lunchtime is designed to complement your busy lifestyle because schedules are so jam-packed it is often hard to find time outside of work for physical activity. So, take advantage of the nicer weather to get at least part of it during your work day.
According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) each week. That's an average of 30 minutes five days a week. The 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System of Douglas County residents showed more than 50% did not get the recommended amount of physical activity.
Getting a group together to walk at lunchtime is a great start to your walking or activity routine. The recommended activity doesn't have to occur all at once, even 10 minutes at a time three times a day is helpful. No excuses. Let's get moving!
Last week a dear friend of mine sent me an email containing words that were a pure delight for me to read.
She wrote that she had come to a serious realization. You may call it an epiphany, a revelation or an aha moment, but the meaning is still the same.
After having been quite successful in adapting and improving her eating habits, her delight had turned to one of frustration and dread. She wrote that it was finally clear that in spite of her best efforts to lead a more healthy and fit lifestyle, it had now come to This.
She had reached the point that most of us, particularly exercise addicts, dread. She had plateaued.
Those of us familiar with this effect know how very frustrating and challenging a plateau can be. In spite of our best efforts, we are stuck at a weight that simply will not budge, no matter what we do.
Some of us resort to a more challenging work out routine. Pick up the speed, increase the endurance and really hit it hard; that's the way to improve!
Others, like my very dear friend, have now come face to face with the fact that even though the pounds may have been falling off initially, they won't be doing that consistently unless exercise is added to the mix.
Yes, that's the truth. And I am so happy that she has realized this because things are about to become even more exciting in her world.
And that's hard to do, because her life, especially with this weight loss, is already pretty exciting.
Introducing a workout plan and more physical activity to an improved and healthy diet is paramount to a fit and active body, which translates to a more fit and healthy you. We all want that!
I have written quite a bit about setting a goal, making a plan and finding ways to make exercise a priority in your life. I've given you workout moves to try and written about the importance of making physical activity an expected and routine part of your daily schedule.
Are you doing that? Because if you are, then I'm willing to bet that you are seeing the results of your efforts, however small they may be.
I've heard from one reader that she has picked up an old love, cardio tennis, and how much she looks forward to going. The fact that she has increased energy, is inspired to make healthier eating choices and can now wear clothes that have been too tight is quite the bonus!
I am so happy for her because she is on her way to achieving the goals that she has set for herself. And she seems pretty determined to continue. Cheers to her!
Another reader recently made big changes in her diet, joined a gym and is taking full advantage of scheduled workouts.
She will admit that it is not always easy, but nothing that we ever really want is. She looks better, feels better and her positive outlook is inspiring.
My point in all of this is that we must eat well and exercise often to attain our fitness goals. We must strive do better.
Healthy eating and working out are intertwined. One won't work without the other. So let's all pick up our game, and let's make it all count!
Spring is in the air. Everywhere I look I see people walking, running and biking.
That's a great sign for those of us who are looking to get outside and change it up a bit. I've written about the importance of goal-setting, adding physical activity to your day and trying to "eat clean."
I aspire to those things every day. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don't. But I do try. And I know so many of you do, as well.
That's a perfect example of why spring lives up to its moniker of being a time of renewal. It feels entirely possible to really change.
But now that we are entering The Season of The Sun, exercise takes on a new "dimension of despair" when our slim window of exercise opportunity seems to diminish as we revel in the great outdoors. Soccer games, baseball games and outdoor gatherings begin to claim our "disposable hours." Where we once had time to get to the gym for a group fit class, we now do not.
We need to get creative. We need to get inspired.
It's time for what I like to call Functional Fitness. Let's step it up with a fresh new perspective, a clean way of eating, and some great ideas to carry on our workouts in unexpected ways.
Functional Fitness can mean several things, but to me it means simply paying special attention to your everyday routine, paying close attention to the ways that you physically move and then making a conscious effort to integrate your fitness routine into your everyday one.
For example, be aware of the way that you move when you transfer your laundry from your washer to your dryer. Instead of bending down to do it, save your back and make that a squat. Continue to hold that position until you are finished.
When you are vacuuming, instead of just mindlessly pushing the vacuum around, be very aware of the back and forth motion that your arm makes and throw in a little resistance. Focus on drawing that arm back and retracting your shoulder blade.
How much more functional can you be? Paying attention to these little things, in addition to your posture, can help to improve your form and bring you a new awareness of your body during your workout.
Speaking of working out, now that you will most likely be outdoors more, it's going to get a lot more exciting. More opportunities to move and longer days mean more opportunities for you to increase your physical activity. We are rapidly approaching "The Season of the Run" in Lawrence, when there are multiple races each weekend, and our community turns out in droves to volunteer and to participate. Try a 5K or 10K. Grab a friend and do it together, just for the experience.
Not a runner? You don't have to be. You can walk in many of these events. You can do it as a family, too. Step out of your comfort zone, and you may very well find that it is the best thing that you have ever done. The energy at these events is tremendous, and it will fill you with inspiration.
Soccer games and baseball practices mean more fun for the kids outside but less time to think about yourself and what you need to fuel your workout.
Whether you are going to an interval class or on a hike, remember to plan ahead and have a fuel-up food ready to go. Some things to try are apple slices with peanut butter, Greek yogurt with flaxseed or blueberries, or a banana smoothie with soy milk. You must remember to eat. Even if you are dieting or trying to tone up, try to think about what you need to be adding or changing in your diet instead of what to take away.
To help get our shoulders and our backs into perfect springtime shape, it's time to whip out the resistance tubes that we talked about in January. They're inexpensive, compact and ultra-versatile. Most importantly, they are ultra-effective. Give these two moves a try. Take them outside and soak up some vitamin D.
Do two sets of 15 for each move. And have fun! Spring is on the way!
Begin with the tube in front of you, chest level, holding the tube in the middle. Take up the slack. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, pulling the tube so your arms go out to the sides. Return to the starting position, keeping the resistance on the tube. Repeat.
Put the tube behind your back at its widest part, taking the slack up. Holding your hands by your shoulder blades, extend your arms, pulling on the tube. On the return, focus on bringing your shoulder blades close together. Resist as you complete the move. Repeat.
I think that it must be something in the water. Or perhaps it's an airborne kind of thing. I really don't know. But what I do know is that lately there are an awful lot of people running around, berating themselves for not going to the gym, for falling off of Weight Watchers and for letting themselves get out of shape in the first place. You know who you are. And if you see yourself in any of those scenarios, then it's time to channel that negativity into something productive and positive. It's time to sit down and really think about that goal plan that you initiated back when we started this, in November. Yes, November. You remember. We sat down, and I wrote and you read and then we began our new and exciting fit lifestyle together? OK, I know that you meant to, but you couldn't envision it just then? I could! So let's see what a little positive visualization can do for us. Get out of your own way!
SET A GOAL
Take the time now to make a plan. Think in terms of a realistic and specific goal.
Assess where you are now and be honest about your capabilities.
What do you want to do? What changes do you want to make? How can you get there?
What obstacles do you see in your way? What can you do to make this work?
SCHEDULE YOUR WORKOUTS
I don't care if your workout is running up and down the stairs in your house 10 times, schedule something physical into your day. Seeing it written down is a commitment.
CLEAN UP YOUR EATING
Yes, again with the food! Stop drinking sugary beverages, toss out the processed junk, drink more water and eat more fruits and vegetables. Be mindful of what you eat. Fill up on fiber and try to pair complex carbohydrates with lean protein at meals.
Make a weekly menu and have healthy snacks ready. Many people find that exercise makes them hungry, so now is not the time to starve yourself.
If you have a "bad day" don't sulk about it. Just do better next time!
Change up your playlist and get excited about moving!
Grab your weights and get strong: A pound of muscle consumes twice as many calories as fat.
Try a new workout class: boxing, Zumba, interval - there's something for everyone.
Create mini-workouts throughout your day: 20 squats here, 20 push-ups there and a brisk walk around the block are all small things that can add up to big differences.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, IT'S ALL ABOUT ATTITUDE
I can't stress this enough. If you think you can't, you won't. It's as simple as that. If you can't shake a negative attitude, then it will be an uphill battle all the way.
Lose that "all or nothing" mentality.
You didn't get out of shape overnight, and you won't wake up as a triathlete tomorrow. But you can make those small changes that will yield you big results because you really, really want this. You do, I know you do.
I've heard that you've been working out a little bit more. I've heard that you've been cleaning up your diet, watching what you eat, and trying to incorporate more exercise into your life.
In short, you are holding yourself accountable for your overall health and wellness. Good for you! Don't you feel great?
I have heard from several readers who have stopped making excuses and are actively increasing the amount of physical activity that they do each day. Their success is fantastic news for all of us, simply because it demonstrates what we all secretly know — that it can be done.
If you really want to get your exercise act together and build a strong body, it's time to get out of your own way and make it happen! We can only use the same excuses so many times before the words become utterly meaningless. It's time to stop talking and think of Elvis Presley: "A little less conversation, a little more action please." How can you go wrong with lyrics like that?
The fact is, that no matter what your reasoning is for not working out, any good trainer will be able to demolish your argument in two minutes flat, while you stand there desperately trying to formulate some sort of response. I know first-hand. I've worked with some of those trainers, and I was really good at coming up with reasons why I couldn't make the time, or why I couldn't do that particular exercise.
And you know what? I lost the argument every single time. I learned a lot by keeping my mouth closed and my body moving. Most importantly, I did make the time, and I was able to perform the movements. Once I stopped talking and started doing, my workouts became something to look forward to and something that I really needed to do, for both my physical and mental health.
When I hear these same excuses from people now, I listen and nod sympathetically. And then we do 10 more reps. Simply because we need to and because we can. That being said, let's get to work!
The leg exercises pictured here are all basic moves that can be easily modified for a range of intensity. The goal is to do 20 reps of each or until failure (when you literally cannot do any more), and then continue on to the next move. Going to failure makes your body respond the fastest. Yes, your legs will be burning, but that is exactly what we want to happen!
Do all of the moves on one leg first, before you switch sides. All of these moves are simple, require no equipment, and they work! It is essential to isolate the motion and resist the urge to do the moves quickly. Form and resistance are key here!
BASIC LEG LIFT
Standing on one leg (you can use a chair or wall for balance if you need to), raise the opposite leg out to the side with foot flexed. Control the motion and resist the leg when you bring it back down. Repeat 20 times and immediately go into the next move.
CLASSIC TURN OUT
Raise your knee to hip level with your foot aligned with the opposite knee. Isolating the hip motion, turn your knee out and bring it back to the front. 20 again, and continue on.
STANDING DONKEY KICK
Raise your knee to hip level again, raise your bent leg out to the side and back down to complete the move.
If you've been working out and are looking for ways to step up your game a little, try some of these shortcuts:
• Alternate 3-5 minutes of cardio with 60 seconds of lunges, squats or push-ups;
• Add 60-second cardio bursts between weight lifting sets;
• Move up to heavier weights and do fewer reps.
• Work multiple muscle groups together - try shoulder presses with squats or bicep curls with lunges.
It’s cold and there’s not much daylight before or after work. Yep, winter can be a tough time to keep a healthy, active lifestyle.
That’s why Lawrence Memorial Hospital is offering a free eight-week program, “Drive Away the Winter Doldrums.”
It’s unique in that it doesn’t just challenge participants to eat healthier and exercise more, but to get health screenings that they like to put off.
Janelle Martin, executive director of the Community Health Improvement Project and co-coordinator of the new program, said the overall goal is to help people develop healthier habits for a lifetime.
“It’s full of tips that, hopefully, people can find useful,” Martin said.
Here’s how the self-paced, on-your-honor program works:
• Sign up by noon Feb. 3 by contacting Martin at email@example.com or 505-3070 or Aynsley Anderson, LMH community education coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org] or 505-3066.
• They will provide a packet of information by email or snail mail. It will include a handful of challenges per week to choose from. The goal is for each participant to complete one challenge per week. If they do, LMH will provide a small reward. The program begins Feb. 6 and ends April 1.
Martin said the challenges include:
• Moving 10,000 steps a day.
• Getting 150 minutes per week of activity that’s moderate to vigorous.
• Tracking the fruits and vegetables consumed on certain days.
• Creating a healthy recipe and providing a nutritional breakdown.
• Attending the LMH Healthy Hearts Fair on Feb. 18.
• Forming a team for Walk Kansas, a team-based program that’s March 18-May 12.
• Checking cholesterol and blood pressure.
• Creating a list of prescriptions that’s handy for appointments.
“We just wanted offer some sort of challenge to get people motivated to be more active in the winter. Some people fall off the map in the wintertime. They will use the cold as an excuse to not exercise one day, and then it turns into two. So it’s encouraging people to get back out and do the things they enjoy or just trying something different.”
— Janelle Martin, co-coordinator of program
Tofu, clementines, yoga, martial arts and stress management.
These are just a handful of the things that have been introduced to at-risk teens in Lawrence through a Go Healthy program at Van Go.
“All of the activities take place within the context of job training. They address the whole person and how to make each individual healthier and therefore, more employable,” said Eliza Nichols, Van Go marketing director.
Van Go, 715 N.J., is a social service agency that provides job training and employment for about 30 at-risk youth, ages 14 to 21. They are hired to create artwork which is sold to the community. Van Go’s goal is to improve their lives by using art as a vehicle for self-expression and self-confidence.
For about 10 years, Van Go has provided healthy snacks and lunches and addressed mental health, but last summer it was able to expand efforts and start a Go Healthy program with a $20,000 grant from the Topeka Community Foundation. The program has three components: food, movement and life skills.
• Food — Hilary Kass, a Lawrence nutrition educator, is the lunch coordinator. She shops and cooks about half of the meals and then local chefs provide the rest. Kass not only has taught the Van Go participants how to cook with more nutritious foods, but how to buy healthy foods on a budget; 70 percent of them live in poverty.
Kass also strives to use local foods. Last summer, the students received $50 worth of tokens to use at the farmers market and for many, it was their first trip.
“We are offering these kids foods that they’ve never had before but are things that you might think are fairly common like fresh strawberries or avocados. That’s what’s really great,” Kass said.
About 20 local chefs also have provided food, tours of their restaurants and talked about their careers.
“They shared these stories about being kind of lost, not knowing what to do, not going to culinary school necessarily and how they kind of made their way,” Kass said. “They told their stories; that’s the lovely part.”
• Movement — The students participate in yoga, meditation, martial arts and strength training exercises to name a few. Local fitness guru Don Gardner, aka Red Dog, also leads them in Dog Days workouts and many of the students said they are tough.
“We are really exhausted after the workouts but it’s really fun,” said Victoria Secodine, 17. But, she prefers yoga.
“A lot of people get calmer after doing that. The next work day is usually calm and peaceful,” she said.
• Life skills — A variety of organizations and businesses have provided presentations on topics such as finances, stress management, relationships and bullying. There also have been nonprofits like Health Care Access and the Douglas County Dental Clinic who have informed the students about their services for low-income residents. There also was an unforgettable presentation involving condoms by Douglas County AIDS Project.
“That was interesting,” Victoria said with a laugh.
The Go Healthy program has been such a success that Van Go leaders hope to continue offering it throughout the year. It received a $21,000 grant from the Topeka Community Foundation for 2012. Van Go also is having its first “Culinary Hearts” dinner Feb. 10 to raise money for the program.
Amy Bertrand, social worker, said the youths are having conversations about fruits and exercise. More importantly, they talk about how different they feel when they eat healthy, exercise and get plenty of rest. They’ve noticed that they are more productive the next day.
“They’ve started to see those connections,” she said.
Van Go is having a Culinary Hearts Valentine dinner by local chef Robert Krause to benefit its Go Healthy program. The dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at Van Go, 715 N.J.
The dinner includes wine, a three-course meal, dessert and live music. It is $250 per couple or $125 per person. A portion of the dinner is tax deductible.
To make reservations, visit www.van-go.org or call 842-3797.
It’s healthy to make resolutions for the coming year even if you oftentimes don’t follow through.
“Improvements are good, and self-improvement is fantastic. I don’t think we should ever get to the point where we are like, ‘I’m done,’” said Marciana Vequist, a therapist at Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center. “I think we should always be growing. Change is good.”
When making a resolution, Vequist recommends setting realistic goals and framing them in a positive way. For example, don’t set a goal of losing 20 pounds. Instead, set a goal of exercising five times a week for 30 minutes. Also, share your goals with a friend or loved one because it will hold you more accountable.
Susan Johnson, nutritionist with K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County, takes it a step further. She says to be successful you must be specific, write it down and tell a friend.
“Research shows that if we just write down what we eat or write down how much we exercise, we are going to be more successful,” she said. “Sounds crazy, but it’s true.”
Exercising more and eating healthier tend to be among the top resolutions. Others include: organization, saving money, stop smoking and going to church more often.
Lawrence health experts recently offered their tips on being successful in the new year:
Vequist says exercise is the best medicine and hopes everyone resolves to do more.
“That doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon or work out at the gym every day for two hours. It just means having some kind of routine,” she said. “I think that makes people feel a lot better.”
Chad Richards, owner of Next Level Sports Performance, said it’s important to start with something you enjoy whether it’s lifting weights, boxing, biking or dancing.
“Finding something that you love is ideal,” he said.
Also, link exercise to something positive whether it’s walking a dog or listening to your favorite music.
“Everyone has that soundtrack that gets them moving regardless of what they were planning on doing. It gets you happy, amped up and excited about what you are doing,” he said.
He recommends having short-term goals and short-term rewards like getting a massage.
Also, be patient.
“It took a certain mount of time to get out of shape, so it’s going to take the same amount to get in shape or maybe double that. That’s the realization of it,” he said.
Keep it simple.
Johnson said too often people want to overhaul their diet and change too much at once. Instead, she suggests picking one or two habits and trying them for a month and then re-evaluating to see if they are working. Maybe, it’s eating whole-grain bread instead of white.
“We want to keep it so simple that we hardly even recognize that we are doing it,” she said.
Another example would be to eliminate one 12-ounce soda every day. That would be 140 calories a day or 51,100 calories a year. That equals 14 pounds.
“I don’t ever want to recommend a particular diet because there should never be a diet. It should be a lifestyle change,” she said.
If you’re looking for suggestions on how to improve your eating habits, she has eight and they are from the book “Water with Lemon” by Zonya Foco and Stephen Moss. They are:
• Drink water.
• Include breakfast every day and stop eating two or three hours before bedtime.
• Tame your sweet tooth. Don’t just switch to sugar substitutes but gradually cut back on sugar, starting with maybe cereals. “Once our taste buds no longer enjoy that heavy sweet taste, then we naturally eat less sugar without feeling deprived.”
• Find the fat. Eat more of the good kinds that are contained in salmon, nuts and seeds and less of the kinds found in baked goods.
• Replace processed foods with wholesome foods that are produced on farms. “We really need to avoid food that have enhanced colors and preservatives that you can’t even pronounce. If you look at the ingredients and they are basic, that’s a good thing.”
• Eat only until you are no longer hungry. Eat slower and savor each bite and don’t feel like you need to clean your plate. Also, know what your weak links are whether it’s continuing to eat that extra bite at the table, sampling while cooking or buying junk food at the store. For Johnson, it’s buying it. “If it’s not in my house, then I won’t eat it,” she said. “Some people can have chocolate in their desk and not touch it, but not me.”
“There’s not a perfect plan for eating right. Moderation is still the key,” Johnson said.
Kimberly Erwin, owner of Family and Home Organizing in Lawrence, joked that most people don’t get that tingling feeling that she does when it comes to organizing.
“So, you need to look at it as a tool for the things you actually want to do in life,” she said. “It helps you enjoy life more, be more productive and prevents those little emergencies from happening.”
Before starting, you need at least two things: a filing cabinet for papers and a little tray or cup to hold odds and ends like paper clips and pens.
“A lot of times we have piles because we don’t have the proper containers for them,” she said.
When organizing, keep it manageable by doing just a corner of a room or a closet. Maybe, it’s just the shoe rack in the closet. She said to only keep things that:
• Inspire you or that you really love.
• You need.
• You regularly use.
Get rid of items that are depressing and that bring you down, like things you are never going to get around to fixing or using.
• Create a master calender that has everyone’s schedule and the household budget.
• Don’t check the mail until you have time to sort it.
• Pay bills online. “It’s more efficient, I think, and more peace of mind and productive, just making sure you have money in the bank. Instead of remembering I need $60 for this one and $120 for that one. Just remember the maximum amount you need every month to cover bills.”
Dan Cary, a Lawrence financial planner, said everyone needs to take a look at where they stand financially and then set goals.
“Most Americans don’t know where their money goes, they just know it goes,” he said.
He said people should have three to six months worth of savings for emergencies, a retirement plan and a will.
“Seventy percent of Americans don’t have a will and when you have children, it’s so important,” he said.
He also recommends paying down debt as early as possible, but he said that needs to be weighed with accumulating savings. It’s good to do both, and it’s possible if you live within your means, make a plan, and stick to it.
He won’t soon forget a client who approached him in 1994. She was a respiratory therapist, single and in her mid-40s. She questioned whether she would ever be able to save enough to retire. She said to him: “I think I will be living under a bridge. I can’t save any money.”
He said she started by putting spare change under her sink and then taking it to the bank. She was able to retire three years ago.
“The important thing is to have a goal in mind,” he said.
Vequist, a therapist, said she commonly sees people who are distressed about their financial situation. “Debt brings a lot of psychological distress for people and it’s one of the common things that I see.”
Jeff Barclay, lead pastor at Christ Community Church, supports resolutions whether they are spiritual or about giving up french fries.
“I think any kind of commitment of renewal is a super idea,” he said.
However, he’s more in favor of resolving daily to do good things rather than waiting until Jan. 1.
“The minute we start improving our lives we have the power to help others, and I think that’s when the real energy starts,” he said.
Lawrence is leading the state when it comes to improving the health of its residents.
A variety of wellness initiatives have started during the past year, including school fitness programs, school gardens, workplace wellness programs, an initiative for restaurants to serve healthier foods, and a health website WellCommons.
The projects aim to reduce the obesity rate by increasing access to local foods and physical activity for all ages. The adult obesity rate in Douglas County is 28.4 percent, according to 2009 data from the Kansas Department of Environment and Health. That is costing an estimated $38 million in direct healthcare costs.
“There’s a terrific effort throughout a lot of different entities in the city to develop healthy lifestyles for everybody in Lawrence. Lawrence is very impressive.”
— Doug Vance, executive director of Kansas Recreation and Park Association.
This is the first year for the award and it was given to three different-sized communities. Lawrence was in the category of cities that had 50,000 or more residents. Grinnell and Hutchinson also won an award.
The award will be presented to Lawrence during a city commission meeting in early March. The money will be used for wellness programs in Lawrence Public Schools.
Vance said Lawrence stood out because of the collaborative effort among city, hospital, school, business, and nonprofit leaders.
“There is such a well-organized coalition of health advocates working in partnership to educate the community and to develop projects that are geared toward healthy lifestyles.”
The projects include:
Nancy O’Connor, education and outreach coordinator for The Merc, lead the effort last spring to start a unique school garden project at West Junior High School.
The project involved hiring WJHS students to plant and tend to the garden. They also sold their produce during weekly markets. In the fall, the garden provided more than 180 pounds of produce for the school cafeteria.
This year, the project is expanding to two elementary schools — Hillcrest and Sunset Hill. There also will be a larger growing area at a farm in Lone Star and a demonstration plot in front of The Merc.
“That’s part of the sustainability plan is to grow more, so we can sell more,” O’Connor said. The first community work day at WJHS is March 12. The goal is to plant a big spring garden so produce can be used in the cafeteria before summer break.
O’Connor hopes to break ground on the elementary school gardens in April.
“It’s really cool because there’s a lot of momentum that continues to build out of the West project,” O’Connor said.
Leaders from the Kansas Association for Conservation & Environmental Education are taking note. They met with O’Connor and Bev Lockwood, WJHS food service manager, on Friday to learn more about the project, and how they can use it as an example across the state.
Next school year, all junior high school students will have physical education class every other day instead of one semester.
“That’s a really good change. We are really excited about that,” said Anne Hawks, curriculum specialist.
The district also is implementing some new health classes that didn’t exist before.
Sixth-graders will be required to take Healthy Living, and eighth-graders will be required to take Career and Life Planning, which has health content.
There will be new elective class Nutrition and Personal Wellness for seventh-graders.
Several schools have started marathon clubs where students track their miles and are recognized when they have completed 26.2 miles. At Sunflower, there are 250 students participating, while at Quail Run there are 100.
At Central Junior High School, there’s an after school Smart Strength program that about 50 students participate in. Quail Run has a Fabulous Fun Fitness Friday once a month where all of the students participate in an activity like Zumba or Tae Kwon Do.
“There’s a lot of passionate people that have been mobilized and they are starting to find ways that they can make a difference,” Hawks said.
LiveWell Lawrence has formed a new Complete Streets committee, which met a few weeks ago for the first time.
It is composed of 20 community members from the city, county, chamber, and community and is being coordinated by Jennifer Church, of the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department.
The group will be pushing for a Complete Street policy that will direct transportation planners and engineers to consistently design with all users in mind, including drivers, public transportation vehicles and riders, pedestrians and bicyclists as well as older people, children, and people with disabilities.
They plan to push their agenda during the upcoming city elections. Jessica Mortinger, transportation planner, gave a presentation about complete streets at the planning commission meeting Feb. 9.
Marilyn Hull, of LiveWell Lawrence, said the complete streets initiative is a long-term project that is just now revving up, but likely will have the biggest impact for the wellness of the community.
“Ultimately, that’s when we will succeed is when we have these environmental conditions that just make it easy for people to eat better and get more activity into their day,” she said.
— To learn more about health-related activities in Lawrence, visit WellCommons.com.
Lawrence resident Michelle Derusseau suffered a heart attack at age 39, on April 15, 2003.
Now 47, she feels lucky to have survived without permanent heart damage because the symptoms were there, but she waited until they were severe before seeking treatment.
“I changed a lot after my heart attack,” she said.
She shared her life-changing experience during the seventh annual Go Red For Women Luncheon & Expo on Friday at The Oread hotel. About 200 people attended the event, which raised approximately $30,000 for the American Heart Association.
Before the heart attack, Derusseau said, she worked too much, slept too little, and ate too much fast food. She didn’t eat fruit or vegetables, but she did exercise regularly. She never suspected that she might have heart disease although she often was fatigued.
“It was springtime and the weather was beautiful, and I would go home and put on my pajamas and sit on the couch and go to bed immediately after dinner — that’s not normal. But I kept blaming it on things.”
About 36 hours before the attack, Derusseau thought she was suffering from the flu because she was sweating, dizzy and nauseated.
“It just knocked me out. I slept all day,” she said.
The next day, she felt a little better and went to work. But she left work early and returned home to sleep. Then she had a sharp pain between her shoulder blades, and later her left arm went numb. That’s when she decided to go to Lawrence Memorial Hospital’s emergency room. On the way, she said, there was a tightness in her jaw and neck.
Derusseau was flown by helicopter ambulance from LMH to St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., where two stents were implanted into her heart.
“When I got up to my room, I couldn’t believe how good I felt. I just didn’t realize how bad I had felt for so long,” she said.
She began eating healthier, adding more fruits, nuts, fish and salads to her diet. Now she eats out only about once a week.
She’s also an exercise nut. Last year she participated in 20 5K runs and completed her first triathlon in September — in 1 hour and 41 minutes, beating her goal by four minutes.
“I didn’t win any medals, but I got it done and that’s all I wanted to do,” she said.
She finished an indoor triathlon last month, and has registered for six more triathlons.
“I have a hard time taking that one rest day a week. When I don’t exercise on that one day, it makes me crazy,” she said.
Derusseau, business manager at O’Malley Beverage, said she’s cut back on work and gets more sleep.
“I feel great,” she said. “I am very fortunate considering how long I had put off getting treatment. Luckily, my heart healed.”
Note: Derusseau has a group called "With All My Heart" on WellCommons to raise awareness about heart disease. It's a place where people can share their stories and/or heart-health tips and, more importantly, encourage each other.
Good for Lawrence!
The federal program focuses on efforts to decrease childhood obesity. The program doesn’t cost anything for a community to join but does require cities to work to make improvements in four areas:
• helping parents make healthy family choices,
• improving the health of schools,
• increasing physical activity opportunities;
• making healthy food affordable and accessible.
Several local organizations already are working on those issues and by joining the "Let’s Move" program, they will have access to branding and marketing materials.
About 55 Central Junior High School students participated in a week-long Pedometer Challenge that ended Friday afternoon.
The idea was for the students to wear pedometers and track their daily activity, and the student with the most steps would win a prize.
A majority of the students did — as ninth-grader Bryan Bourdon said — “kick it up a notch.”
The problem was they didn’t keep a good record of it. Most of the students only counted activities like runs, gym class and sports practices. They didn’t count walking between classes and doing chores at home. A lot of them estimated the number of steps instead of using the pedometers, which is understandable because it’s hard to wear a pedometer while participating in a wrestling match or sledding.
Bryan deserves an A for effort in calculating that he exerted 4,000 steps — or 2 miles — in “beating up” his older brother.
The students who took part were enrolled in an advanced physical education class. Instructor Teresa Grieb said she intends to use their charts to discuss when the students get activity and what motivates them to move.
“Is it their friends? Is it sports?” she asked. “I am curious about that.”
Bryan walked, ran and participated in an after-school Smart Strength program during the week — logging about 15 miles. He said he didn’t do anything on Monday and Tuesday because he was sore.
The winner — Marcus Jacobs — put in about 20 miles between running and wrestling. He takes a 10-mile run once a week, he said.
“I just feel like running. Since I was little, I’ve always worked out,” Marcus said.
Bryan and Marcus said the cold weather didn’t deter them from exercising outdoors. They just put on more clothes and went for it.
“The sidewalks were clear, but it was cold,” Marcus said.
He won four bowling passes from the challenge’s sponsor, Scale Down Challenge, a Lawrence company that organizes weight-loss competitions. Marcus is looking forward to the warm, indoor activity.
“It will be fun,” he said with a smile.
Health beat: Pedometer challenge, Duggars are coming, library health grant, KU researcher on pre-existing insurance plans
Here’s a dose of health news from WellCommons, around town and elsewhere:
Fifty Central Junior High School ninth-graders are tracking their daily activity in a weeklong Pedometer Challenge. The top four students will earn prizes Friday.
The students are enrolled in an advanced physical education class.
“Students will chart the data for how many steps they take over the weekend, as well as during the school week,” said Teresa Grieb, a class instructor. “They sit most of the school day, except during PE class. We know that some are involved with sports, but the data from the challenge will provide more insight as to how much exercise students get outside of school.”
Scale Down Challenge, a Lawrence company that organizes community weight loss competitions, is sponsoring the challenge.
Kris Beckland, co-owner, said the goal is to inspire students to be more mindful of time spent in sedentary versus physical activities and to encourage an increase in walking and movement.
For more information about Scale Down Challenge and its community weight loss competition that begins Jan. 15, visit www.ScaleDownChallenge.com.
Duggars are coming
Have you wondered how Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar manage to eat or shower with 19 children, ages 1 to 22? Here’s your chance to find out.
The Arkansas family that has their own TV show on TLC, “19 Kids and Counting,” will be in Lawrence on Sunday, Feb. 13, to help raise money for the Pregnancy Care Center of Lawrence.
The fundraiser will be from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Lawrence. There will be a children’s activity room and refreshments. Prices are $15 for a single ticket or $45 for a family.
A VIP event is scheduled from 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., when people can visit with the Duggars, ask questions and take photos. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be provided. VIP tickets cost $100 per person.
To purchase tickets, visit duggarsinlawrence.com or call the center at 842-6499.
It will have a “One World, Many Stories Summer Reading Program” that will feature a variety of programs for children, teens and adults. It will kick off June 4 with a community cultural celebration featuring healthy international foods and music.
The library has set a goal of increasing participation by 1,000 people. Special emphasis will be placed on encouraging low-income children, disabled individuals, non-English speakers, and seniors to complete the program.
Bruce Flanders, library director, said 4,500 people participated in last summer’s reading program. They hope to top that this year, especially with the additional funding.
KU researcher on pre-existing insurance plans
Jean Hall, associate research professor at Kansas University Center for Research on Learning’s Division of Adult Studies, discussed the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan in a Dec. 27 article by American Medical News.
The plan is available to uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, only 8,000 people had signed up as of Nov. 1. In Kansas; 120 had signed up by mid-November.
Hall said the numbers are lower than expected primarily because most consumers don’t know the program exists. Another reason is high costs.
“Affordability is an issue, because really what this does is give people access to the individual market, and the individual market is expensive,” Hall said. “You have to look at it as a stopgap for people that CAN afford it. It’s a good bridge to the exchange coverage.”
According to a report published in October by The Commonwealth Fund, 6 million Americans are potentially eligible for the program. Hall was a co-author of the report.
For more on the Kansas plan, visit my Nov. 19 story.
— Know of something happening on the health beat? Send me a tip at email@example.com.
The Sierra Club is hosting a riverfront hike at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8.
To participate meet at the parking lot just past Eighth and Oak streets in North Lawrence. The hike will last for about an hour unless it is bitterly cold.
“Just because it’s January, doesn’t mean we can’t go hiking. Bundle up and enjoy a hike with no ticks or poison ivy — just crisp, clean Kansas air and maybe a bald eagle or two," Melissa Rogers said.
Rogers said it is a kid-friendly event, so she hopes to see lots of families.
For more information, e-mail Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a dose of health news from WellCommons, around town and elsewhere:
The U.S. spends more than $2 trillion on health care annually. At least 3 percent of that spending, or $68 billion, is lost to fraud.
To help combat fraud, the Kansas Insurance Department soon may have access to new information from across the nation.
Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger and Ted Clark, KID anti-fraud director, are involved in helping the Anti-Fraud Task Force of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners come up with a standard reporting system that can be used by state fraud bureaus, insurance companies, law enforcement agencies and anti-fraud organizations.
According to a study, one in five medical providers who are involved in defrauding health insurance companies are also involved in defrauding property and casualty companies. That fraud occurs in areas such as workers’ compensation, commercial slips and falls, and staged auto crashes.
Having this reporting system, Clark says, could match up fraud activities through all lines of insurance (in this case study, health and property/casualty) and could provide a much quicker way to “catch on to the bad guys.”
For more on this effort, read the Commissioner’s Corner on the KID website.
Megan Stuke’s blogs on WellCommons are a fun read. She’s matter-of-fact and has a sense of humor.
Today’s blog is about marriage and resolving issues.
She said her husband tends to use the “You’re Right” argument that her mother used.
“He’s a master at that one. He’s a master at making me feel bad for mentioning that he didn’t take out the trash two weeks in a row, with the old ‘You’re right! I’m the worst husband EVER.’”
Meanwhile, Megan — like me — tends to keep score and then use it for leverage. For example, she used: “I have changed three poopy diapers today. It is your turn.”
We would like to know how you settle spats with your partner. Are you a scorekeeper? Join the conversation by commenting on her blog.
The Kansas Health Foundation has given $1 million to help organizations across the state accomplish 59 projects that intend to improve the health and wellness of Kansans.
Its Fall 2010 Recognition Grants range from $1,400 to $25,000.
Douglas County received two grants:
• $24,991 to the Tiny-K Foundation, which helps facilitate growth and development for Kansas children with disabilities by connecting them with support services. This project will hire experts to research potential ways to leverage funds and donations and to develop an awareness/marketing plan for the foundation.
• $22,500 to Lawrence Public Library Foundation to expand participation in a summer reading program by partnering with other community organizations and reaching out to at-risk children, people who don’t speak English, seniors and people with disabilities. The project plans to offer expanded programming featuring authors, musicians and dancers, and it will offer participants incentives for completing the reading program.
Anysley Anderson, community education coordinator for Lawrence Memorial Hospital, says many people tend to start an exercise program this time of year. The challenge is sticking to it.
She offered these tips to help stay on course:
- Start with setting simple goals and once you have achieved them, reset them.
- Make it fun. Participate in activities you enjoy and/or with people you like to be with.
- Make physical activity part of your daily routine and use every opportunity to fit more activity in, such as taking the stairs or parking farther from the door.
- Put it on paper. Put your goals in writing and keep a log of your activity.
- Reward yourself once you have met your goal(s).
The tips were included in this month’s LMH Wellness Words newsletter.
— Know of something happening on the health beat? Send me a tip at email@example.com.
Here’s a dose of health news from WellCommons, around town and elsewhere:
The good news is that more than 90 percent of preschool children get the vaccines that doctors recommend.
Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, state health officer, said many of the leading infectious killers of children have virtually disappeared as a result.
The bad news: Adults are not getting the vaccinations they need.
Here are some sobering statistics that Eberhart-Phillips included in his column “Adults Need Vaccines Too”:
• 95 percent of the 50,000 Americans who die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases are older than 18.
• 41,000 adults suffer each year from pneumococcal disease. Nearly one in eight of these adults will die from the disease, but only two-thirds of adults over 65 years of age have gotten themselves protected by receiving a single, one-time dose of pneumococcal vaccine.
• More than 6 million women are infected each year with human papillomavirus, the major cause of cervical cancer. About 70 percent of these cancers are preventable with the HPV vaccine, given in three doses to women under 26. But fewer than one in five such women have gotten the shots.
• 200,000 adults are hospitalized each year from the flu, which can be prevented with an annual dose of vaccine. One-third of people over 65 or nearly two-thirds of high-risk, younger adults are still not getting a vaccine.
“Clearly, doctors and other health care providers need to play an active role in promoting adult immunization, committing whenever possible to make vaccines easily available for their adult patients,” Eberhart-Phillips said.
For more, check out his entire column posted on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's website.
As a child, I never came across the opportunity to try hula hooping. My husband said he did it in gym class during grade school, but we didn’t hula hoop at my school.
A few years ago, there was a hula-hooping contest at Relay for Life of Douglas County. My team captain, Christine Metz, and I gave it a try, but the hoops fell to the ground. We laughed and laughed and marveled at those who kept it going for well over 10 minutes.
Last week, I had the privilege of meeting 85-year-old Virginia Acheson. She took up hula hooping just four months ago and is a pro. She also likes to teach others. After interviewing her, I decided to give it another whirl.
She gave me a few pointers, and then, low and behold, the hoop stayed on my hips for about 10 loops.
I did it — not once, but three times!
Virginia said all I need is a little practice. What a terrific teacher!
Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger will be discussing health reform issues regarding seniors this week at the Lawrence Older Women’s League meeting.
The presentation will be from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt. The event is open to anyone.
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Did you know that making a resolution is healthy, whether you keep it or not?
Barbara Torgerson, child and family therapist at Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, said it’s a good for people to review the past year and then set a few goals for this year.
“I think it’s an opportunity to start fresh and refocus our lives,” she said.
To be successful: Set realistic resolutions, be specific, and frame them in a positive way.
Eight community leaders provided tips on trying something new, eating healthier, exercising more, relationships, organization, money, smoking and alcohol.
I usually don't make resolutions, but the Rev. Peter Luckey convinced me to try something new this year and make one. So, my goal is to do just that — try something new at least once a month. I already have a few ideas: take a cooking class, go bowling (I know it's hard to believe, but I've never done it), and take a road trip to a Kansas town that I've never visited. I am looking forward to succeeding at this resolution!
— Know of something happening on the health beat? Send me a tip at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Americans are reflecting on the past year and, hopefully, making resolutions for the coming one.
Among the most popular resolutions are to: lose weight, get more exercise, stop smoking, reduce debt, and spend more time with family and friends.
Barbara Torgerson, child and family therapist at Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, says it’s healthy to make resolutions, even if we oftentimes don’t follow through.
“I think it’s an opportunity to start fresh and refocus our lives,” she said.
Torgerson recommends making one to three resolutions — not 10. To be successful: Set realistic goals, be specific and frame them in a positive way.
For example, don’t set a goal of losing 20 pounds. Instead, set a goal of exercising five times a week for 30 minutes.
Lawrence community leaders offer more tips for the new year:
TRY SOMETHING NEW
The Rev. Peter Luckey, senior pastor at Plymouth Congregational Church, believes resolutions are healthy because they give us a goal and keep us from being stagnant in life.
Luckey suggests making a resolution to try something new once a week or once a month that’s outside our comfort zone. It could be anything from food or a road trip to picking up a musical instrument or foreign language.
“They really help us grow as human beings. They deepen our life experience, and the important thing isn’t that we succeed at it, but that we give it a try,” he said.
Luckey said he is taking a trip next week to India — something that will be outside his comfort zone.
“What’s really scary in life is not failure, but looking back at life and wishing I would have taken the trip to India,” he said. “It’s better to have striven than not to have done anything.”
After the sugar-laden holidays, many people want to get on a healthier track with their diets.
Nancy O’Connor, education and outreach coordinator at The Community Mercantile, said people want cooking classes on chocolates, cakes and cookies before the holidays, and then they switch to healthy cooking classes after the New Year.
“We see a huge increase in wellness classes. I just think people are ready to do some self-improvement,” she said.
O’Connor advises residents to make small changes in their diet.
“It’s much better to have one small success than trying to go after a dietary overhaul,” she said.
• Replace one soda a day with a glass of water.
• Eat at a restaurant one less time a week.
• Once a week, let the children choose a veggie that they don’t normally eat.
• Change one thing in a recipe, like using brown rice instead of white.
She said it’s about substituting ingredients and exploring new ones.
When it comes to weight loss, she believes it’s about healthy eating and exercise — not the scale.
“Weight is a benchmark, but not an end goal because you can be fit and healthy and not be skinny because there are all kinds of body types,” she said. “If you are totally hung up on just stepping on the scale and did you achieve that weight, instead of looking at the big picture — sometimes that can be discouraging.”
O’Connor said denying yourself food with diets is a no-win situation. Often, people lose the weight and then gain it back — and then repeat the cycle, which is hard on your body.
“It has to be a lifestyle change or choice, otherwise it’s just not going to work. It has to be integrated.”
The best way to get moving is to get friends, family or neighbors involved, and then meet on a regular basis for a walk or activity.
That way you are accountable to each other.
“On the days, you are feeling low, hopefully they are having a good day and so you can feed off that,” said Janelle Martin, executive director of the Douglas County Community Health Improvement Project.
Over time, she said exercising will become a habit and you won’t need to depend on them as much.
Martin said it’s also important to mix things up. Don’t walk the same route. Try a new activity like swimming or bicycling.
“For a lot of people, it’s just moving more and sitting less,” she said.
She suggests checking out CHIP’s “Opportunities for Physical Activity in Douglas County” guide. It’s available at www.douglascountychip.org. Or you can request a copy, by calling 856-7312 or e-mailing email@example.com.
Once you start exercising, the benefits — weight loss, lower stress, lower bad cholesterol, to name a few — will start kicking in. That likely will motivate you to move more.
Torgerson, of Bert Nash, said spending more time with family and friends tends to top the resolution list. Maybe, it’s because the New Year comes on the heels of the holidays — the one time of the year we devote to doing just that.
“People want to have better relations. I see that happening in my office on a daily basis,” she said. “I think the busier we get the less connected we feel.”
Parents want to spend more time with their children, and grown children with their parents or friends.
Torgerson suggests starting by setting aside 10 minutes each day, whether it’s to read to a child, snuggle with a significant other, or call a friend.
“Having that voice or face-to-face connection, I think, is critically important. We get very, very lost in our computers and our television,” she said. “It’s important to laugh, cry or share something from your day.”
The new year also is a time to evaluate unhealthy relationships.
If you are willing to work on a relationship and the other person says they are not, she suggests seeking counseling anyway.
“Even if one person is willing to work on the relationship, I think it’s a good start,” she said. “It really does start with each person growing within themselves and learning about themselves as a human being and individual, and what they are bringing to the table in a relationship — both positive and negative.”
Marguerite Carlson, owner of Organize U, said start small. Don’t try to organize and clean the entire basement, attic or closet at once.
Instead, start with one drawer or one part of the closet — maybe the shoes or jackets.
“Do not try to tackle the whole giant thing because it will become discouraging, and you will say, ‘I would rather do anything else than this,’” she said.
The other important thing to remember: Once you’re organized, put things where they belong.
“That’s pretty simple, but it sure makes a difference,” Carlson said.
So, how do we get in such a mess? We buy lots of things and then don’t get rid of anything.
“In order to have more space and more peace in our own homes, there have to be less things, and we all just got more things from the holidays,” Carlson said.
She said most people have items they are not using, but they could be of use to someone else. She suggests donating them to charities.
If it’s not easy to get rid of things, she suggests bringing in someone who is impartial. He or she can ask questions like: When are you going to use it again and when? Do you have space for it? Where should it be stored — in the living room or basement?
Once organized, she said people feel a great sense of relief.
“They feel like they’ve been freed from the clutter, the too much, the disorganization that they’ve been living in,” she said.
Start by paying the credit card with the highest interest rate while continuing to make smaller payments on the others.
“You are throwing money down the drain every time you pay interest to those credit card companies, and that’s money you could have in your pocket to buy things you really want to buy and to treat yourself well,” said Rusty Thomas, owner of Rusty Thomas Insurance & Financial.
Also, residents need to put money into a retirement account — a traditional or Roth IRA, or a company plan.
“They need to put away as much as they possibly can — every pay day,” she said. “Anything helps.”
She said the only way to get out of debt and save money is to be systematic and disciplined about it.
“It’s just like anything else you do, if you do it on a regular basis, you will get in the habit of doing it. But, you have to get in the habit,” she said.
To successfully quit smoking, it’s best not to try it cold turkey on New Year's Day. Instead, set a quit date and start planning.
Aynsley Anderson, community education coordinator for Lawrence Memorial Hospital, advises smokers who have tried several times to consider using a nicotine replacement or pharmaceutical product.
Smokers also need to become aware of their smoking behaviors. Do they smoke in the car or while drinking coffee? And then, start to uncouple the activities.
Often, people smoke to manage stress, so Anderson recommends finding a new of way of coping — such as walking, deep breathing or meditation.
LMH is offering a free class “Steps to Successfully Quitting Smoking” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 10. To enroll, call 749-5800 or visit www.lmh.org.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment offers free counseling through its Kansas Tobacco Quitline at 800-QUIT-NOW.
The sooner smokers set a quit date, the better. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 minutes of life is lost for each cigarette smoked.
Anderson said it’s never too late to quit and don’t give up. Try, and try again.
“Every time you quit and have a failure, you learn something and you will plug up that hole and eventually, there are no more holes to plug up and you will make it.”
CUT BACK OR STOP USING ALCOHOL
Lisa Carter, a program coordinator at DCCCA, encourages people to seek professional help if cutting back on alcohol is their resolution.
Often, she said, people will verbalize it by saying:
• It’s for medical reasons. The doctor said, “I need to lose weight.”
• It’s for financial reasons. “I am spending too much on beer per week.”
• It’s to save a relationship. “I argue with my wife too much and she doesn’t like me drinking.”
When someone says they have a problem aloud, it’s time to seek help and get an assessment. The treatment can vary depending on the addiction.
“If they are truly addicted, they can try it on their own, but very few people are successful,” she said.
Carter said they can call DCCCA if they have any questions — even if it’s about a family member or friend. The numbers are 843-9262 or 830-8238.
But not just any exercise: aerobics AND weight or resistance training.
Jennifer Corbett-Dooran did an article -- Exercise Combination Cuts Blood Sugar in Type 2 Diabetics -- in the Wall Street Journal about 262 people who were divided into four groups: aerobics only, weights only, both and none. The study supervised their exercise (or non-exercise, as the case may be) for nine months.
All the exercisers spent about the same amount of time -- and expended about the same amount of energy -- in their workouts. The combo -- 110 minutes a week on a treadmill and weights twice a week -- significantly lowered their blood sugar.
Check out the article for more info. If you're feeling geeky and have a subscription, read the research article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. For the overview, here's a link to the abstract.
A related article in the New York Times -- Protecting Yourself from the Cost of Type 2 Diabetes -- includes exercise in its tips on reducing the costs associated with Type 2 diabetes. It always stuns me when I read that one out of 10 Americans has diabetes, and, if that trend isn't reversed, by 2050, one in three will have the disease.
By Cathy Hamilton
Staying motivated while trotting on the treadmill can be an uphill battle. To spur them on, many local exercise enthusiasts use a secret weapon — customized workout playlists.
Gary Mullane, manager of Maximus Fitness Center, 3400 S. Fourth St., is a big proponent of using music to motivate in the gym.
“It’s great for integral training, which is bringing the heart rate up and back down,” he says. “That’s best for weight loss. Music is perfect for that because the length of an average song is between 2 and 5 minutes, and that’s exactly the right time to keep your heart rate up and bring it back down.”
Mullane has six playlists on his iPod, containing songs ranging from Frank Sinatra to Disturbed, which he alternates — fast, slow, fast, slow.
“It doesn’t matter what you pick as long as you’re alternating the Disturbed with the Frank Sinatra. If you listen to Sinatra back to back you might lose a little bit of your steam. But, if you alternate them and gear your movement to the tempo of the music, your workout will usually go faster because you’re not concerned about the time. They’re more effective.”
On his so-called moseying days, Mullane likes soft rock from the ’70s by the likes of Neil Diamond, Gordon Lightfoot and Jim Croce.
“That’s what I’ll put on if I’m just working a certain area with weights or cooling down,” he says.
Kansas University student Jordan Woertz of Lawrence prefers rap to ramp up her running sessions.
“I don’t usually listen to rap at all, but I made a playlist just for workouts because it gives me something to run to. I listen to a deejay, RJD2, too, and he just does beats.”
Woertz’s friend and KU student Alex Wages, Lawrence, listens to an eclectic mix of tunes in her ear buds.
“At the beginning of my run when I reed to get going, I listen to really fast rap, like Girl Talk, who’s a deejay,” she says. “Then, in the middle of my run, when I need something motivating, I’ll do Florence the Machine’s ‘Dog Days are Over.’ I like Broadway showtunes. ‘Jersey Boys’ is a great soundtrack to run to. I couldn’t run to country, but I like classical music for a cool-down.”
Dru Huff, Lawrence, a personal trainer at Maximus, has one playlist on her phone.
“I call it ‘Booty Do,’” she says. “My favorites are ‘Teach me how to Dougie’ (California Swag District), and my go-to artist is Li’l Wayne. I don’t head-banging metal music. That gives me a headache. I’m a country girl, so I can listen to country. But, not slow country.”
Huff says the one song that gets her pumped up if all else fails is “Animal” by Nickelback.
“That’s the one from college that I go to if I don’t want to move at all.” she says.
Lee Williams, president of the Lawrence Bicycle, says riding with headphones on is frowned upon by the cycling community.
“Personally, I wear them,” he says. “I usually do have headphones on, but they may not always be in my ears. If I’m in group — like we’re doing a pack ride or something — I may have music in the background with them dangling below my ears so I can hear traffic, or if somebody says something to me.”
“If I’m on the road by myself, I usually have them in, but I have them low enough that I can hear cars coming up behind me.”
Williams tastes range from bluegrass to heavy metal. He says he’ll use a harder set of tunes during a training mission or while doing intervals.
“I like a lot of Black Sabbath, so if Sabbath comes on, my pace will pick up by a couple miles an hour,” he says. “I listen to a band called Kraftwerk who has a whole album associated with the Tour de France, and it’s electronic. I used to run a fair amount and cycling takes so much longer that it’s difficult to get a set of music you can customize for a particular ride. So, I tend to shuffle.”
Sometimes, Williams admits, randomly selected songs can have the opposite effect on his motivation and, in fact, slow him down.
“I’ve got my kids’ music on my iPhone, so there’s stuff from, like, The Backyardigans,” he says. “There are times when that will come up when I’m riding and it’s very frustrating because I just can’t reach around and change the song.”
Gary Mullane's playlists
Interval-training playlist, including warm-up and cool-down songs:
• “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen
• “We Will Rock You” by Queen
• “Bad Company” by Bad Company
• “Change” by Deftones
• “My Own Prison” by Creed
• “Rooster” by Alice in Chains (Mullane says “If this song doesn’t get you working out, I don’t know what will.”)
• “The Outsider” by A Perfect Circle
• “Testify” by Rage Against the Machine
• “Stone Sour” by Looking Through the Glass
• “I Am the Highway” by Audio Slave
• “The Trooper” by Iron Maiden
• “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne
• “All That She Wants” by Ace of Base
• “Shooting Star” by Bad Company
• “We Are the Champions” by Queen
• Theme from “Rocky”
And Mullane’s “moseying day” playlist:
• “Cracklin’ Rosie” by Neil Diamond
• “If You Could Read My Mind” by Gordon Lightfoot
• “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
•“Summer Wind” by Frank Sinatra
• “Southern Cross” by Crosby, Stills and Nash
Natalie Wilkins, fitness assistant and personal trainer at Body Boutique, 2330 Yale Road, says most Americans tend to hunch their shoulders forward. Not a good look on anyone, and even worse for your posture.
“We’re a very front-rolled society, whether it’s working at the computer or driving,” Wilkins says. “It’s very important to have that posture with the shoulders up, back and down.”
Wilkins, Lawrence, says not only will the three exercises shown below contribute to better stature, they’ll help everyone look better in their clothes.
“In tank tops and sleeveless shirts, women always want their shoulders and arms to look nice,” she says. “Guys, I’m sure, always want their shoulders to look big. It's kind of a masculine thing — big, football player shoulders.”
Reverse Rear Delt Fly
Stand with knees bent, feet together. Hold dumbbell in each hand (5 to 10 lbs for most women) in front of your legs with your palms facing each other. Lean forward, keeping back straight, so your upper body is at a 45-degree angle. Hold abs in. With a slight bend in your elbows, bring the dumbbells up until they are in line with your body. Return to starting position.
Alternating Dumbbell Front Raise
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing thighs. Keeping elbows slightly bent, slowly lift one arm up to shoulder height straight out in front of you, in a controlled motion, then back down. Alternate arms.
Overhead Parallel Press
Stand with one foot back, up on toe, to support lower back. Hold a dumbbell in each hand to the sides, with elbows at a 90-degree angle (like a field goal), palms facing each other. Press the weights overhead, stopping before they touch. Lower slowly to 90-degree starting position. Repeat.
By Chansi Long
Nancy Hays, mother of two, looks forward to it every year: Making the mile trek to school on foot with her daughters on International Walk to School Day.
This will be her seventh year taking part, but it will mark the event’s 14th.
“We don’t do it every day, I must admit,” Hays says. “I work full-time, so we usually drive. We do try to walk when possible… (It’s) about a mile, so we have to time it right.”
International Walk to School Day, which takes place Wednesday, is designed to encourage physical activity, pedestrian safety and environmental health to children and adults alike. It will be Nancy DeGarmo’s first year walking. DeGarmo is the principal of New York School, 936 N.Y., and she plans to trudge the path to school on foot.
“I decided to do it this year because I wanted to really stress that it is a walkable distance,” DeGarmo says. “I think it will be a lot of fun to walk with the kids. It will be a good opportunity to get to know them a little bit, and for them to get to know me a little bit.”
Geri Hartley, parent coordinator of the event at Sunset Hill School, 901 Schwarz Road, says that more than 90 percent of the school’s students walk that day, and more than 450 people participate just at Sunset alone. There are 46 Kansas schools registered for the event, and six of them are from Lawrence.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a teacher not participate,” Hartley says. “It’s just a great event. So many kids participate, and it’s such a great way to teach them about pedestrian safety.”
Pedestrian safety is the No. 1 reason parents choose not to let their children walk to school most days. In 1969, more than 80 percent of children who lived within a mile of school would walk. Over the years that number has dwindled. According to the National Household Travel Survey, last year less than 15 percent of children walked to school regularly. Eighty-six percent of children arrived at school either by bus or car.
Hays, whose daughters Chloe, 14, and Cara, 9, have been taking part in the activity for years, says the event is very instructive.
“I think it’s educational in both directions,” Hays says. “The kids need to learn about traffic safety. It also reminds the drivers in the neighborhood to be on the lookout for walking schoolchildren.” Hays says there’s another special component to the day: Parents at Sunset use it as a chance to recognize the crossing guards who direct traffic during hot, humid afternoons and cold, blistery winters. Sunset parents like to give their crossing guards a note of gratitude and a warm pair of gloves or a coffee mug to show that they care.
“We try to tell them how much we appreciate the work they do,” says Hays. “I think it’s just so important.”
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Need a flu shot? How about a blood pressure check?
Lawrence Memorial’s Hospital’s 29th annual health fair will offer these services and much more.
The fair will be from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday (Sept. 18) at LMH, 325 Maine. It attracts about 2,000 people.
Free health screenings may include prostate and skin cancers, hearing, vision, bone density and blood pressure. Exhibits will provide information about issues such as dietary fats, smoking cessation, hospice care, organ donation and advance directives.
The only fee that is charged is for blood work, which is $40, and $50 for males who wish to have a PSA (prostate screening antigen) test included.
Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation, and Hospice Care will be offering flu shots to anyone older than 18 for $24.
Also, participants may bring any non-perishable food item to help support the efforts of Just Food, the Douglas County food bank. While any amount is appreciated, participants who bring five or more items will receive a recycled tote bag.
For more information, call LMH Connect Care at 749-5800.
Kansas University’s Change of Heart program and Nebraska Furniture Mart have teamed up to offer a wellness fair on Saturday.
“Healthy Living: Inside and Out” will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the furniture store, which is located near the Kansas Speedway.
Kansas First Lady Stacy Parkinson, Jasper Mirabele of Jasper’s Restaurant, and Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame Pitcher Dennis Leonard will be at the event, along with area chefs who will offer some healthy treats.
Customers can test Wii Fit and other equipment in the store’s exercise area. Chair massages also will be offered.
A Change of Heart encourages heart-healthy living, focusing primarily on women. Staff will be on hand, promoting advocacy kits and gift cards to use toward the $60 health assessments.
He’s walking the walk.
Stanley Bronstein, a 51-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., resident, spent about five hours Monday morning walking on Kansas University’s campus.
Bronstein — who calls himself Warrior Walker — is raising awareness about the importance of exercising and eating right, one step at a time.
“You are going to feel so much better if you will start walking — even if it’s 15 or 20 minutes a day, just start,” he advised. “The motivation will build. You will feel better, and as you get better and better and better, you will keep going.”
About two years ago, he was returning from a family function with his older brother. They were on an airplane and he couldn’t get the seatbelt around his waist. He weighed about 325 pounds.
“My brother is a fitness fanatic and I was so embarrassed,” he said.
That was the moment that got him to start moving. First, he walked in a swimming pool, and then he put on his sneakers. “One of the things that happens when you walk a lot is you have a lot of time to think, and when you think, you start coming up with ideas,” he said.
He came up with this “crazy idea” to walk five hours in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and to do it between Aug. 10 and Nov. 26. So far, he has walked about 450 miles and Kansas was his 18th state to visit.
Bronstein said he walks in college towns because he wants to reach out to students.
“They are our future,” he said.
Sunday he was in Fayetteville, Ark., and Saturday he was in Norman, Okla.
“That was quite an interesting experience to see all of the electricity and all the tailgaters and smell the barbecue and beer at 8 o’clock in the morning,” he said with a grin.
While walking on KU’s campus, Bronstein said he observed students waiting to take the bus. He did the same thing as a college student at the University of Texas.
“I used to take the shuttle bus also, and now I am going, ‘Boy, I should have walked,’” he said. “I mean this campus is big, but not that big. It’s a pretty day. It’s 65, 70 degrees outside. We should be walking.”
Wearing a fanny pack around his waist and carrying a bottle of water, he walked around KU’s hilly campus from 6:45 a.m. to noon. He stopped and took a few pictures along the way.
“In the beginning, I was having to force myself to exercise. Now, it is a privilege to go walking every day,” he said.
Bronstein has lost about 100 pounds and now weighs about 225. He wants to lose more. While on the road, he avoids restaurants as much as possible. He said the salty, fatty foods are too tempting along with the big portion sizes.
“That’s what got me fat in the first place. My eyes are bigger than my stomach,” he said.
His next stops include: Columbia, Mo.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Ames, Iowa.
Bronstein, a certified public accountant and attorney, is working while on the road thanks to his BlackBerry and laptop.
He has started a website, iwarriorwalk.com, where anyone can sign up and track their own miles, or follow his journey. Bronstein estimates he will spend about $10,000 on the project, which includes flights to Alaska and Hawaii.
His tour culminates with a national event, “Walk Friday,” on Nov. 26 — the day after Thanksgiving also known as Black Friday.
Bronstein hopes the event will encourage Americans to begin a program of walking at least 30 minutes per day for at least five days per week.
“If you go to the mall, fine, but I want you to walk 30 minutes in the mall before you start spending money,” he said. “Get your exercise, and then I want you to walk the day after that and the day after that.”
Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Douglas County’s Community Health Improvement Project are offering “Walktober,” a free walking program for individuals or groups in October.
Participants will receive fitness and nutrition tips along with a healthy recipe. There will be a small gift for people who complete 20 walks during the month.
There are two orientation sessions at LMH, 325 Maine:
• 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. today, Sept. 13.
• 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 27.
The deadline to enroll is Sept. 27.
51-year-old Stanley Bronstein says walking has changed his life.
Not only has he lost 100 pounds, but he says it has given him a peace of mind.
Now, Bronstein — who calls himself Warrior Walker — is raising awareness of the need for daily exercise with a 50-state walking tour that began July 1. So far, he has walked 4,172 miles and visited 15 states.
Bronstein’s Kansas stop will be Monday in Lawrence. He plans to walk on Kansas University campus for five hours, beginning at 8 a.m. from the KU Visitors Center. He encourages anyone to walk with him.
His tour culminates with a national event “Walk Friday” on Nov. 26. The event will encourage Americans to begin a program of walking at least 30 minutes per day for at least five days per week.
To follow Bronstein’s tour, visit iwarriorwalk.com.
I just had re-confirmed that whether you are just beginning an exercise routine and want a scheduled time to do some walking and stretching, or you are a veteran runner who wants to socialize with others, this group is for you! Check out the link below for their schedule and locations.
I wanted to share this story written by Margie Carr. It's about Michelle Derusseau who suffered a heart attack at age 39. Since then, she has changed her lifestyle and will be competing in her first triathlon on Saturday. Michelle uses her story to inspire others. She has started a group page on WellCommons called "With All My Heart."
By Margie Carr
The first indication that something was wrong was when 39-year-old Michelle Derusseau went to sleep halfway through the KU-Syracuse NCAA college basketball championship game in 2003. Her husband, Ron couldn’t believe his wife, a loyal Jayhawk fan, was sleeping through the biggest game of the year.
Derusseau didn’t think much of it.
“A week later I got up feeling really nauseous and just soaked with sweat,” she says. “I thought I had the flu, so I called in sick and went back to bed.”
After dinner the next evening (a BLT slathered in mayonnaise), Derusseau felt a sharp pain in between her shoulder blades.
“I thought it was a muscle spasm, and I kept trying to work it out,” she says, reaching back to indicate the space where the pain originated. “Then I couldn’t seem to catch my breath, and my arm went numb. I called for Ron, and he said we should go to the hospital.
“When we were driving, I finally put everything together — the fatigue, nausea, sweating and shortness of breath — I was having a heart attack.”
Once they reached LMH, Derusseau was life-flighted to St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City because there was no cardiac unit in town at that time. At St. Luke’s she had two stents implanted.
But while the stents had the desired result of immediately reducing her physical pain, it took longer before Derusseau realized the emotional toll heart disease would take.
“It was a dark day,” she says of her release from the hospital, an Easter Sunday. “I just kept crying.”
As with others who have survived a heart attack, Derusseau had to readjust how she saw herself.
The heart attack “came as a complete shock as I had always been athletic and at the time was swimming three miles a week,” she recalls.
But Derusseau says she didn’t have the healthiest lifestyle habits.
“I thought I was doing well if I ate the tomatoes at Taco Bell and the lettuce on my Big Mac,” she says.
And while Derusseau quit smoking three years prior to the attack, she never got regular medical checkups. And when she had her cholesterol checked at the hospital she noticed that while the overall number was only borderline high, her triglycerides were “off the charts.”
The impact of the heart attack has stayed with her.
“For many years there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t at some point have this fear that I could drop dead at any moment,” she recalls, noting that “none of us is guaranteed tomorrow.”
To help guarantee more tomorrows, Derusseau has made changes in her lifestyle, including a more heart-healthy diet. “And I’ve learned to listen to my body,” she says.
She received another stent in 2007 when tests revealed a 75 percent blockage in one of her arteries. It left Derusseau more determined than ever to continue her journey toward physical and emotional health.
Part of her healing involves telling everyone she knows her story and the truth about heart disease, which is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. To spread the word, Derusseau has set up a group on Facebook, “I Wear Red with All My Heart” which provides information about keeping your heart healthy and includes links, recipes and healthy events.
“If people find themselves in my position, listen to your body,” she says. “Listen to the doctor, be sure to do the cardiac rehab — the group at LMH is a great support group — I was lucky to have them and my very supportive husband, family and friends. I am truly blessed.”
With her doctor’s OK, Derusseau decided to enter the Olathe Medical Center’s triathlon, which is Saturday. And she received special permission to wear the American Heart Association’s logo on her cycling jersey.
“I have never worked so hard in my life,” she says of her preparations, which begin at 4:30 a.m. daily. And while her old self might have been worried about winning, the new Derusseau is only interested in competing against herself.
“Victory for me is each time I complete a 5K, or open water swim, or a bike ride,” she says. “It’s not about the fastest time, it’s about the journey.”
For elementary school kids:
Today, in the first installment of a new monthly fitness series, Whitney Samuelson, a personal trainer at Alpha Studio and Kansas University graduate with a degree in exercise science, focuses on three moves to help tone and strengthen the legs.
Samuelson, who tore her ACL playing volleyball in high school, says she likes to help teach exercises that prevent injury as well as improve the client’s appearance.
“After surgery and rehab, it was a long haul,” she says. “My knee brace was my security blanket for a long time. Then, I really got involved in training and total body, working all the different planes of motion to prevent injury. Now, I want to share it with as many people as I can, whether they’re an athlete or not.”
Samuelson says when exercising, the important thing to remember is quality, not quantity.
“Form is very important. As for repetitions, you can start out with 10. Maybe 12 or 15. For a beginner, I always say, ‘Do as many as you can with proper form.’”
Stability ball leg curl
(Works hamstrings and strengthens core muscles.)
Lie on your back. Place the bottoms of your feet on top of the ball with knees at a 90-degree angle. Straighten your legs, driving through your heels and lifting your hips off the ground, keeping your core tight. Don’t let your hips sag. Keep them high and on a flat plane with your torso. Return to bent-knee position and repeat.
(Tones inner thighs, quads and glutes. Stretches groin, increases strength.)
Stand up tall, feet shoulder-width apart. Hands can be on hips, stretched to the front or sides. Take an elongated step to the side and slightly forward, sending the hips back and drop into a lunge. Be carefully not to bend the knee first. Then, drive off that outside leg and return to standing position. You can alternate legs or do multiple reps with the same leg before switching.
(Targets the quads and glutes.)
Stand with feet hip width apart, toes slightly pointed out. Push your hips back, stick your butt out, then lower yourself and come up again. Keep your chest up and open. Be sure to move the hips back first. Resist the temptation to bend the knees first, because your body will move too far forward and everything will come out of alignment. Return to standing position.
Sarah Arbuthnot takes the stairs instead of the elevator at the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, where she has worked for the past year as curriculum specialist.
“It’s like you know you should, but the sign confirms you are doing something healthy. It’s very effective,” Arbuthnot, 30, said.
The nonprofit organization has posted 24 signs throughout the four-floor building in west Lawrence that remind its employees about the benefits of eating right and exercise.
It’s just one of the steps GCSAA has taken during the past four years to make the environment a healthier one for its 90 employees.
“It’s a collection of small things that really creates that culture of wellness,” said Paige Wilson, human resources manager.
GCSAA started by forming a wellness committee, then surveying its employees.
“You have to ask the employees what they want,” Wilson said. “It really helps if we get their feedback because then they become personally invested in the initiatives. It creates buy-in.”
The company also encouraged its employees to take a health risk assessment, commonly called HRA, so they knew what health issues to focus on. The first year, GCSAA provided a $60 incentive and 55 employees completed the HRA.
GCSAA learned many employees suffered from stress and depression, so they scheduled “lunch-and-learn” programs in these areas. For example, Aynsley Anderson, of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, gave a presentation in November on “50 Ways to Simplify the Season.”
Wilson said it was a hit among employees, who provide feedback on programs and initiatives. “This place is only as good as its employees and we need to value their health,” Wilson said.
Wilson spoke during a worksite wellness workshop last month at South Junior High School. The three-hour workshop covered the importance of offering comprehensive smoking cessation programs, how to create a culture of health at work, and the resources available to do so.
Susan Krumm, of K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, was one of the keynote speakers. Workplace wellness is a subject she’s passionate about. She took a five-month sabbatical in 2008 to study the issue in-depth, and has been working to implement workplace wellness in the statewide agency that she works for. She also wants to make a difference locally.
“It just makes sense when we are spending 50 percent of our time at a business that perhaps we could notch out some time during the day to focus on wellness,” she said.
Krumm recently received a $13,500 grant from LiveWell Lawrence to establish a community leadership team to help identify what works and what doesn’t when it comes to wellness programs in workplaces of all sizes.
She plans to hire a part-time employee by Sept. 1 to help facilitate the team and effort called “Work Well Lawrence.”
Krumm estimates about 20 percent of Lawrence businesses are “dabbling in” wellness, but many aren’t implementing a program that promotes a “culture of change,” like GCSAA is doing.
“It’s best not to plan your workplace initiative around an activity of the month because research shows that’s not working. It needs to be results-oriented,” she said.
Arbuthnot described GCSAA as the most health-centered place that she has worked for, and she likes it.
Among the programs that she takes advantage of is the healthy snacks program. Members of the wellness committee take turns buying fruits and healthy snacks for the kitchen areas. The program charges 50 cents for a snack and 35 cents for fruit, and employees put the change in a can.
“It’s super affordable. So, if you get hungry, you don’t have to go buy a Snickers, you can buy something that’s better for you,” she said.
Wilson also like the program.
“There are mornings when I don’t eat breakfast at home and so instead of starving myself, which is not healthy, I will go grab a banana and a granola bar,” she said.
Among GSCAA’s other initiatives:
• Fresh produce. Employees planted a garden of tomatoes, green peppers, basil, eggplant, corn and more. They can pick produce when they want. Employees help maintain it during and after work hours.
• Annual wellness fair. This year’s event was July 29 and featured 16 vendors. Employees received $20 if they completed a health risk assessment. Wilson said the economy has caused them to reduce the incentive, but they still had more than 40 people participate.
• Payback. Not only are employees offered a discount to fitness centers in town, but they get $10 per month added to their paycheck if they use it, or participate in any other exercise-related activity. This includes runs, walks, swimming lessons and personal training.
• Yoga sessions. It offers an hourlong session five times a week in the building. Sessions cost $5.
Wilson said the company hasn’t seen a change in its bottom line because of the wellness initiatives — yet.
“Our health insurance claims have been maintained at the same level, which I think is huge considering the direction of health in our country, she said.
More importantly, Wilson said they hope the measures help retain employees and make them more productive.
“We want them to be as stress-free, healthy and happy as possible,” Wilson said.
Susan Krumm, of K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, has done extensive research on the benefits of workplace wellness programs.
• reduced health care costs
• reduced absenteeism
• improved employee performance
• improved productivity
• enhanced employee morale
• enhanced employee recruitment and retention
• community goodwill
• improved health
• improved quality of life
• less time being ill or with disability
• reduced health care costs
Krumm is seeking people who represent Lawrence nonprofits, agencies or companies to serve on a new community leadership team. The team will address what works and what doesn’t when it comes to wellness programs, and help implement a Work Well Lawrence initiative.
If you are interested in serving on the committee, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-7058.
The first "Shawnee County's Largest Workout" drew 587 participants Thursday at Washburn University in Topeka.
Misty Kruger, of Shawnee County Health Agency, said they plan to make it an annual event.
No matter the numbers — it's great that hundreds of Kansans were motivated to get and move despite the heat, and support each other.
Kudos to both towns!
About 1,000 people, of all ages and fitness levels, converged Tuesday evening on Kansas University’s Shenk Fields to participate in the second “World’s Largest Community Workout.”
Lawrence fitness guru Don “Red Dog” Gardner stood atop a fire truck with a bullhorn and led participants through a 45-minute workout of stretching, calisthenics and a run or walk.
Gardner started by saying, “We are all in this together.”
Despite a heat index of 105 degrees, participants did jumping jacks, push-ups and leg lifts at the encouragement of Red Dog: “Don’t let your legs touch the ground.” “Hold that fanny in the air.” “Let’s see if you’re tough — 10 good push-ups.”
Garder also constantly reminded people to take it easy or stop if they weren’t feeling well.
Susan Krumm, a workout organizer, said the heat likely was a reason for the lower turnout than last year’s inaugural event, which drew 2,700 participants. She also cited having to reschedule it not once, but twice because of rainy weather.
Still, she was pleased with the turnout.
“I am happy that 1,000 people came, especially when it comes to physical activity,” Krumm said.
The workout also helped promote LiveWell Lawrence’s initiative to increase physical activity and improve nutrition.
“It supports the concept that we want to get moving as a family, as friends, and as a community. We want to do it together,” she said.
Lawrence resident Pat Ransone, 61, and her grandsons Preston Bruce, 4, and Porter Bruce, 2, took part in the workout. The boys said their favorite activity was running.
“I am pretty speedy. Watch,” said Preston, as he took off in a sprint. When he returned, his younger brother showed off his speed as well.
Ransone said she needs motivation to keep in shape, and that’s why she regularly participates in the smaller community workouts put on by Red Dog. She’s been doing it since 2003.
“It’s really fun. There are different levels and that’s what’s nice. Everybody can do their own pace,” she said. “Coming across the finish line, others will say, ‘Good going,’ and it’s encouraging.”
Australian professional triathlete Pip Taylor, who calls Lawrence home from April through November, was a special guest. She said the camaraderie is what made the workout special.
“I think it’s an awesome community event,” she said. “It’s not really about doing the hardest workout. It’s about doing something, which is what this is about.”
The LiveWell Lawrence coalition, which was founded in 2008, has no plans to organize a third “World’s Largest Community Workout.”
It currently has 11 projects under way that increase access to healthy food, promote local food, provide exercise for children, and push for better walking and bicycling conditions.
Don’t be fooled.
There’s no magic program, pill or diet when it comes to losing weight or shaping up.
Like other experts, Joseph Donnelly, director of Kansas University’s Center for Physical Activity and Weight Management, recommends eating right and exercising.
And you need to do both, not just one or the other.
“It’s not something that happens to you. It’s something that you have to make happen," he said. "If you are unwilling to change the lifestyle that is responsible for you being unfit, and perhaps overweight, then almost by definition you have no chance of success.”
Donnelly, a nationally recognized researcher in weight loss and maintenance, said a variety of programs can provide the incentive for people to move toward a healthier lifestyle. But, he finds, once that program is over people tend to revert to old habits.
“Most people can lose weight. The problem is maintaining the weight,” he said. Fewer than 5 percent of people can maintain their weight loss without physical activity.
Losing weight, shaping up
“There’s no quick fix,” he said. “There is no best way. There’s a huge individual variation in the way people both lose weight and maintain weight loss.”
The standard recommendation for losing weight is a daily reduction of 500 to 700 calories coupled with a progressive exercise program that goes up to between 2,000 and 3,000 calories per week. That’s between 3.7 hours and five hours of exercise per week.
So, is it healthy to lose more than 2 pounds per week like contestants on the popular show “The Biggest Loser”?
It’s OK. But Donnelly advises people to do it only with professional guidance and medical monitoring.
“There’s nothing necessarily wrong with accelerating weight loss as long as you are in a program where you have people who know what they are doing. That’s a big caveat,” Donnelly said. “Many weight-loss programs have people with or without degrees or with questionable training.”
Before signing up for a program or taking health advice, Donnelly said to consider:
• Do they have a degree?
• Do they make outlandish claims?
• Do they say it’s going to be easy?
• Do they just emphasize one thing, like just eating grapefruit or exercising only in the morning?
• Do they have data to back their claims, not just anecdotal stories?
New incentives in Lawrence
With national and local attention on the obesity epidemic, it’s no surprise that more weight-loss programs, fitness trainers and other products are popping up.
Sixty-eight percent of adult Americans and 25 percent of children are overweight, Donnelly said. Only 20 percent of Americans exercise enough to meet health guidelines.
Among those eager to capitalize on the nation’s bulging waistline are Lawrence brothers Ryan and Kris Beckland. They, along with their friend Cliff Nix, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., have started a weight-loss tournament in Lawrence called the Scale Down Challenge.
Participants pay a minimum of $95 to participate in the 10-week competition. They also will pay a $1 penalty for every pound they gain. The money is put into a prize pool. The person who loses the most weight will win 12 percent of the pool. The second-place finisher will take home 7.6 percent. Anyone who finishes in the top half of the tournament will win something; for most, it’s just their money back. Those who finish in the bottom half will lose money.
The administrators of the tournament will take 20 percent off the top.
Ryan Beckland said they came up with the idea after reading a Time Magazine article about how people were more successful in losing weight when there was a financial incentive.
Donnelly, a KU researcher, agreed.
“Money does work in the short run. In our research studies, we pay people,” he said. “There’s research literature especially in the workplace that money or reduction in the insurance premiums provide incentives.”
There’s also plenty of researchers who say money doesn’t work, like Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.
“It’s probably a waste of time,” Brownell said, in an Associated Press story.
Ryan Beckland said they modeled the tournament after ones in other communities.
“All we do is administer the tournament,” he said. “We don’t give any weight-loss advice. We don’t offer workout routines or diet and exercise advice.”
But, the organizers are encouraging participants to work with the approximately dozen or so trainers and health clubs that they’ve partnered with.
The tournament begins Saturday, and at least 65 people have signed up. That includes Judith Bellome, chief executive officer of Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association.
The 64-year-old said she has tried other programs and they just didn’t work. She likes the financial incentive, and thinks it will help her achieve her goal of losing between 30 and 40 pounds.
“I am a competitive person, so when you give me an incentive and say I am competing against other people and not just against myself, it incentivizes me at a higher level,” she said.
Bellome plans to eat four or five small meals per day and has signed up for Zumba classes.
The registered nurse agrees that people should seek professional help if planning to lose a lot of weight, as she is.
“Putting in a dollar for every pound that you put back on, incentivizes you not to do that. I think this is the plan for me,” she said.
The Chiropractic Experience is hosting “The Biggest Winner” competition. It is offering a 12-week weight loss program to six people. The cost is $199. The winner will get $500, and will be determined by a number of factors, including fitness level, essay and weight loss.
Sean Cailteux, an associate chiropractor, said the program will focus on exercise, nutrition and lifestyle habits. Each participant will write an essay before and after the program.
The deadline to apply is July 9, and it is expected to start July 19.
Among those who have partnered with Scale Down Challenge is Fernando Rodriguez, a 29-year-old fitness trainer.
Rodriguez, who has a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology and health promotion, started The Underground Lab a year ago. It offers a variety of services to help people reach their fitness goals.
Rodriguez is offering boot camps for women and men starting July 1. He said it’s for people who are in a rut and looking for something different. It is similar to the Red Dog’s Dog Days workouts, but a little more intense. Rodriguez said there will be a trainer for every five or six participants.
“We always are modifying exercises for people who may be a little overweight or we maximize it for those that are athletic,” he said.
Costs range from $42 to $100 per month, depending on weekly participation.
Rodriguez said he trains about 50 hours per week, and has about 35 clients. Their ages range from 16 to 71, and they are all shapes and sizes.
His advice for achieving your fitness goal is the same as that of other health professionals: Eat right and exercise.
“Eating is No. 1,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how much you are working out if you are not eating correctly.”
And stick with it.
Rodriguez agreed with Donnelly, who said: “There’s no sense to lose weight or become fit for six weeks. The people who go like hell usually crash. The people who are successful understand a few basic principles of physical activity and weight management.”
WEIGHT LOSS INCENTIVES
More Lawrence businesses are offering incentives for people to lose weight or get fit. Here are a few new ones:
• Scale Down Challenge, a 10-week weight loss tournament where people compete to win money. No health advice is given. The tournament begins Saturday with the first weigh-in from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lawrence Nutrition Center, 4931 W. Sixth St. Visit scaledownchallenge.com or call 785-371-4778, to learn more.
• The Biggest Winner, a 12-week weight loss competition for six people that offers exercise, nutrition and lifestyle advice. The Chiropractice Experience, 2449 Iowa, Suite Q, is hosting the competition, which costs $199 to participate. The winner gets $500. For more information, click on WellCommons.com and visit The Chiropractic Experience’s group page or call 838-3333.
• Summer boot camp for men and women. Starting July 1, Underground Lab Fitness will offer camps three times a week. The camps include a warmup, weight training, conditioning, and cool down. Participants can go one, two or three times a week. Prices range from $42 per month to $100 per month, depending on participation. For more information, contact owner Fernando Rodriguez by e-mail at email@example.com or call 979-7339. The website is uglfitness.com.
• Weight Watchers, 2449 Iowa St., Suite C., 800-651-6000.
• TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), a biweekly support group, Bridge Point Community Fellowship Hall, 601 W. 29th Terrace, 843-1692.
• Metabolic Research Center, 1420 Wakarusa, 843-5600.
Let us know if you have a fitness program in the Lawrence area at WellCommons.com.
The American Dietetic Association recommends that people steer clear of any diet plans, pills and products that make these claims:
• Rapid weight loss. Slow, steady weight loss is more likely to last than dramatic weight changes. Healthy plans aim for a loss of no more than 1/2 pound to 1 pound per week. If you lose weight quickly, you’ll lose muscle, bone and water. You also will be more likely to regain the pounds quickly afterward.
• Quantities and limitations. Ditch diets that allow unlimited quantities of any food, such as grapefruit and cabbage soup. It’s boring to eat the same thing over and over and hard to stick with monotonous plans. Avoid any diet that eliminates or severely restricts entire food groups, such as carbohydrates. Even if you take a multivitamin, you’ll still miss some critical nutrients.
• Specific food combinations. There is no evidence that combining certain foods or eating foods at specific times of day will help with weight loss. Eating the “wrong” combinations of food doesn’t cause them to turn to fat immediately or to produce toxins in your intestines, as some plans claim.
• Rigid menus. Life is already complicated enough. Limiting food choices or following rigid meal plans can be an overwhelming, distasteful task. With any new diet, always ask yourself: “Can I eat this way for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, the plan is not for you.
• No need to exercise. Regular physical activity is essential for good health and healthy weight management. The key to success is to find physical activities that you enjoy and then to aim for 30 to 60 minutes of activity on most days of the week.
Beginning July 19th The Chiropractic Experience will lead 6 contestants through a life-changing weight-loss competition, focusing on exercise, proper nutrition, and better lifestyle habits. This competition is open to the public, so if you think you have what it takes to be THE BIGGEST WINNER stop by The Chiropractic Experience at 25th and Iowa St. and pick up your application today!....
Applications due July 9th! Are you ready to be in the greatest shape of your life?!! Would you like to feel better, have more energy and a higher self-esteem than you ever thought possible? If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, The Chiropractic Experience thinks you have what it takes, and would like to invite you to be 1 of 6 contestants for this year’s “Biggest Winner” challenge!
The 12 week life-changing program for $199 includes:
*90 days of personal training using the acclaimed P90X training program
*Before & after body composition analysis and fitness assessment
*Body For Life book
*Eating For Life book
*Chiropractic Experience water bottle
Grand Prize $500 cash
Workouts will be held every morning from 630-800 AM in The Chiropractic Experience yoga studio. Dr. Sean Cailteux will be leading these classes using the workouts of the acclaimed P90X series. We only have room for 6 participants which we will select from the provided applications. For more information or for an application stop by The Chiropractic Experience at 2449 Iowa St., Ste. Q or call us at 785-838-3333
Here are two upcoming runs in Lawrence, one in July and one in September:
The Mass Street Mile will be held in downtown Lawrence on July 4th with the first heat starting at 9am. This is open to all ages and abilities and is going to be put on in conjunction with the Tour of Lawrence bike races that weekend. Participants will enjoy a certified 1 mile course that will be divided up in three heats. Awards will be given out to top 3 male/female in each age divisions. There will also be awards to the fastest male/female time and the top Master male/female time. All participants will receive a great Mass Street Mile official tee shirt and chip timing. Registration forms can be picked up at Garry Gribble's Running Sports at 839 Mass street or online at www.massstreetmile.com Questions can be asked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.kcrunningcompany.com.
Looking ahead for an autumn run? The 2nd Annual Head for the Cure 5k-Lawrence will be on Sunday morning on September 26th. This run benefits the Chris Anthony Brain Tumor Research Fund, Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative and Solace House, so come out to support a good cause. There were over 250 runners last year for the 5k and they are hoping to build on that number this year. The race will again take place at the YSI fields in Southwest Lawrence. Information can be found at www.headforthecure.com or by emailing email@example.com.
Avoid corn syrup
Science shows that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is bad news. One study showed that rats who drank HFCS-sweetened beverages gained significantly more weight than rats consuming the same amount of calories in sugar.
Keep away from junk food -- It's Addictive
Junk food can affect your brain in ways similar to drug abuse.
Structure meal times
Long stretches without food make people crave energy-dense snacks, which can make healthy choices difficult.
Satisfy your body -- especially at breakfast
A protein-rich breakfast leaves you less hungry for the rest of the day. Some fat in the meal can help, too.
Favor foods closer to nature
Favoring whole fresh foods over processed ones will naturally optimize the healthiness of your food choices.
Change your environment
Altering your food environment -- whether this means using smaller plates or keeping seconds out of immediate reach -- can help you lose weight.
Enjoy your food
Food that is eaten mindlessly is neglected food. When you pay attention, you are satisfied in a deeper way.
Spinach is a tricky sucker. The fresh stuff goes bad so fast. I can understand why someone thought "OK, I have got to freeze this stuff and sell it for profit."
So obviously my leftover spinach spoiled quickly (bummer), which means you don't want to be near our garage trash can right now. Lesson learned. I picked up some more fresh leaves and cooked right away. This week's dish was spinach and artichoke dip. All you have to do is mix stuff in a bowl and bake it. My kind of recipe!
The finished product was a little bland. I suggest adding a pinch or two of salt. Otherwise it's worth making (and eating).
I'm still waiting on the basil plant to sprout a few more leaves before I harvest enough to make pesto. I hope to have the 1 C. of leaves I need by the end of the week.
My other summer challenge began last Tuesday. Mom and I are participating in the summer attendance game at our Jazzercise center in Lenexa. If we attend 60 classes as a team between June 1 and July 31, we win a pair of flip flops and a bag. The same game is going on at the Lawrence center, too.
We've done pretty good the past seven days, donchya think? I attended five classes (mom four) in six days!