Lately I've been fielding questions from friends and clients that revolve around time. They want to know how they can get maximum results in as little time as possible.
What magic series of exercises must they do to drop 10 pounds and unveil a perfectly sculpted six-pack? Ah, if only it were that easy!
The truth of the matter is, we have got to get over using time, or the lack thereof, as an excuse and an obstacle. I know that this is not easy, and I feel constantly time-crunched as well.
But in order to really begin making strides to address our health and wellness issues, we must change our perspective in regard to the way that we view exercise and the manner in which we incorporate it into our lives.
I think we are conditioned to believe that we must fit in an hour or more workout in order to make it count. And yes, in a perfect world, that would be ideal.
But let's face it, that is simply not always possible. And we will set ourselves up for failure if we try to hold ourselves to that "hour or nothing" mentality.
We have time to exercise. We have time to actively engage in a fit and healthy lifestyle. We just need to look at the clock a little differently and break down strong and effective exercises in an efficient way.
"I don't have time" is an excuse. It's a crutch. It's procrastination, pure and simple. Because there is time.
There is time for 20 squats at some point in your day. Or 20 jumping jacks. For 20 of something. And that counts.
It counts because although you may not have had the time for a full-blown workout, you have achieved more than you thought you would, and you did something. And if you are still trying to find the time and motivation to take that first step, I guarantee that by starting with a simple exercise and a number of repetitions, it will start to become a habit.
You will feel better about yourself and suddenly you will "find" more time for another set. Or you will add in another exercise. You'll do it because the energy boost you get will make you feel so much better. You'll do it because you know you should, to set an example for yourself and others. And you'll do it because true health and wellness, of body and mind, is a journey. And it starts with baby steps.
One of my favorite exercises that can be easily adapted and modified for all fitness levels is the plank. You don't need any equipment to do this exercise, and it is very effective.
Targets your core.
Lie facedown on the floor and prop yourself up on your forearms with your elbows bent 90 degrees. Extend your legs and flex your feet so your toes touch the floor.
Keeping your abs pulled in tight and your back flat, lift your hips so your body weight is supported by your forearms and toes. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds. Squeeze your glutes to prevent your body from sagging in the middle. Do 10 reps of 30 seconds each.
SIDE PLANK WITH A TWIST
Targets shoulders, obliques, quads and glutes.
Lie on right side with elbow on the floor under shoulders, with hips stacked. Push hips up, forming a straight line from head to heels; extend left arm above shoulder.
Bring left arm under body, rotating upper body to the right. Hold for 5 seconds and return to start. Do 6-10 reps and switch sides.
Lawrence Memorial Hospital considering opening wellness center as part of proposed recreation project
Lawrence Memorial Hospital is considering opening a wellness center in northwest Lawrence that would be part of a proposed $24 million, 160,000-square-foot recreation center.
President and CEO Gene Meyer told the board on Wednesday that the hospital has been approached by city leaders and developer Thomas Fritzel about being involved in the project, which will be on the northwest corners of Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway. The project’s plans also call for an outdoor track and field stadium and a soccer field that would be operated by Kansas University.
“We felt that if the facility was going to contain some sort of a commitment to wellness that we wanted to be the ones involved,” he said.
Karen Shumate, chief operating officer, gave a preliminary report about what kinds of services the wellness center might offer if it were to move forward with a partnership. They included:
• Physical, occupational and speech therapy services.
• Diet and exercise classes.
• One-on-one wellness coaching.
• Sports performance enhancement programs.
Shumate said they would like to target two populations: older adults and pediatrics. With the older adults, they would focus on screenings such as bone density tests and helping those with chronic conditions.
In pediatrics, they would be addressing children who may have an illness or disorder that’s affecting their ability to live a healthy lifestyle. They also would like to help those who are struggling with weight through programs that address diet, fitness and emotional support.
“The problems with kids having weight problems is becoming more and more prevalent in our community as in every community,” she said.
The report provided a look at how the hospital might use the proposed 7,000-square-foot space:
• Two large multipurpose rooms for fitness classes.
• Two smaller meeting rooms for educational classes, screening clinics and a resource area.
• A physical therapy clinic with a section devoted to pediatric patients.
• Open space for sports performance class work.
• Food court area.
• Locker room and showers.
• Small reception area.
“This is just a concept,” she told the board. “It’s very preliminary."
A few board members raised concerns and questions after hearing the report. Dr. Lee Reussner questioned whether the recreation center would be primarily used by athletes or for the general public. Rob Chestnut wondered if the location really fit the populations that the hospital was trying to reach with its wellness efforts. He asked hospital administrators to consider other locations for a wellness center as well.
Meanwhile, others wondered if LMH didn’t provide a wellness center at the site, would the developers approach someone else?
Meyer said the developers have not given him a deadline for committing to the project. He also was uncertain if the hospital would own or lease the space. The hospital is currently putting together a report that would look at the upfront and operational costs of the wellness center. In the meantime, the hospital will continue to gather input from the community, its employees and patients.
A new report on the wellness center project will be presented during the next board meeting, which is scheduled for Aug. 15.
“A partnership with the city and with the athletic department is something that we would always want to try to achieve if it makes strategic and financial sense for us,” Meyer said.
Lawrence's local Lions Club will be delivering bikes to the Health Care Access Clinic front lawn 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning that are looking for homes. These referbished bikes are free as a way of promoting wellness to clinic patients as well as other less priviledged who could benefit from a bicycle. First come, first serve (330 Maine)!
Stop! Slow down! Left-right-left!
These were just some of the statements and actions that approximately 30 students from Eudora and Free State High Schools learned Tuesday night as part of a pedestrian safety program to be shared with second graders.
The students were volunteers from both schools in good academic standing and interested in this pilot program funded by a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation by Douglas County Community Health Improvement Partnership and SafeKids of Douglas County.
A group of volunteers from Eudora High School were the first to learn this presentation that is framed around a story teaching children about traffic signs and safety as well as health benefits by describing how walking to school each day can be an adventure. High school students work in teams of 5 people with one person serving as the moderator to the story and the other four people explaining the traffic signs, how you benefit from exercise, and pointing out different animals encountered during their adventure.
Students learn about the following traffic signs or signals: stop, yield, school crossing, walk/don’t walk and what the red, yellow and green lights on a stoplight indicate. During the presentation, on the return from their adventure students encounter each of these traffic signs and must demonstrate the action learned that is associated with the signs.
Second-grade students are targeted for this presentation because studies show that parents begin the deliberation of whether it is appropriate for their child to walk to school by themselves at that age. Current statistics show that less than 50% of children who live within one mile of their school walk to school. Only 18% of those who live 2 miles or less from school still walk to school.
Students from the two high schools who attended last night’s workshop at the Douglas County Fairgrounds will begin presenting to second graders next month. The pilot program runs through the end of the calendar year.
Americans need help getting back into shape, and Park University hopes to help.
The college located in Parkville, Mo., just north of Kansas City, is adding a bachelor of science degree in fitness and wellness in the fall.
Tom Bertoncino, chairman of the Department of Athletic Training, said the degree could help any student who wants to improve their health or they can take it to the next level and help others.
“Today, there is a focus on preventive medicine and I think it starts with changes in lifestyle,” he said.
The degree will include courses in:
• Physical and physiological functions of the body.
• Ability to design a personal strength training and conditioning program.
• Prevention of injuries.
• Administrative responsibilities in fitness, wellness and recreation.
• Emergency first aid.
The new degree could help students land a job as a fitness center owner, athletic director, personal or athletic trainer or as a wellness coordinator in a community or corporate center. Bertoncino said a lot of businesses now are getting a reduction on insurance costs if they have some type of wellness coordinator on staff.
Most colleges offer a similar degree program but they call it exercise science. Park University wanted to be different.
“I think of exercise science as just being about exercise. Well, there’s more to a person’s overall health. There’s the fitness part which is the exercise component and there’s also the wellness which is the nutrition part and hygiene part and psychology part of it,” he said.
Bertoncino said he’s already fielded a lot of inquiries about the degree, so he believes it will be a healthy addition to the 49 other bachelor’s degree programs at the college, which has about 22,000 students.
To learn more about the degree, visit www.park.edu/athletictraining or call the Park Student Success Center at 877-505-1059.
By Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Count your blessings this Thanksgiving. It's good for you.
While it seems pretty obvious that gratitude is a positive emotion, psychologists for decades rarely delved into the science of giving thanks. But in the last several years they have, learning in many experiments that it is one of humanity's most powerful emotions. It makes you happier and can change your attitude about life, like an emotional reset button.
Especially in hard times, like these.
Beyond proving that being grateful helps you, psychologists also are trying to figure out the brain chemistry behind gratitude and the best ways of showing it.
"Oprah was right," said University of Miami psychology professor Michael McCullough, who has studied people who are asked to be regularly thankful. "When you are stopping and counting your blessings, you are sort of hijacking your emotional system."
And he means hijacking it from out of a funk into a good place. A very good place. Research by McCullough and others finds that giving thanks is a potent emotion that feeds on itself, almost the equivalent of being victorious. It could be called a vicious circle, but it's anything but vicious.
He said psychologists used to underestimate the strength of simple gratitude: "It does make people happier ... It's that incredible feeling."
One of the reasons why gratitude works so well is that it connects us with others, McCullough said. That's why when you give thanks it should be more heartfelt and personal instead of a terse thank you note for a gift or a hastily run-through grace before dinner, psychologists say.
Chicago area psychologist and self-help book author Maryann Troiani said she starts getting clients on gratitude gradually, sometimes just by limiting their complaints to two whines a session. Then she eventually gets them to log good things that happened to them in gratitude journals: "Gratitude really changes your attitude and your outlook on life."
Gratitude journals or diaries, in which people list weekly or nightly what they are thankful for, are becoming regular therapy tools.
And in those journals, it is important to focus more on the people you are grateful for, said Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California, Davis. Concentrate on what life would be without the good things — especially people such as spouses — in your life and how you are grateful they are there, he said.
Grateful people "feel more alert, alive, interested, enthusiastic. They also feel more connected to others," said Emmons, who has written two books on the science of gratitude and often studies the effects of those gratitude diaries.
"Gratitude also serves as a stress buffer," Emmons said in an e-mail interview. "Grateful people are less likely to experience envy, anger, resentment, regret and other unpleasant states that produce stress."
Scientists are not just looking at the emotions behind gratitude but the nuts-and-bolts physiology as well.
Preliminary theories look at the brain chemistry and hormones in the blood and neurotransmitters in the brain that are connected to feelings of gratitude, Emmons said. And the left prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is also associated with positive emotions like love and compassion, seems to be a key spot, especially in Buddhist monks, Emmons said.
However it works in the brain, Emmons said there is little doubt that it works.
Emmons, who has conducted several studies on people from ages 12 to 80, including those with neuromuscular disease, asked volunteers to keep daily or weekly gratitude diaries. Another group listed hassles, and others just recorded random events. He noticed a significant and consistent difference. About three-quarters of the people studied who regularly counted their blessings scored higher in happiness tests and some even showed improvements in amounts of sleep and exercise.
Christopher Peterson of the University of Michigan studied different gratitude methods and found the biggest immediate improvement in happiness scores was among people who were given one week to write and deliver in person a letter of gratitude to someone who had been especially kind to them, but was never thanked. That emotional health boost was large, but it didn't last over the weeks and months to come.
Peterson also asked people to write down nightly three things that went well that day and why that went well. That took longer to show any difference in happiness scores over control groups, but after one month the results were significantly better and they stayed better through six months.
Peterson said it worked so well that he is adopted it in his daily life, writing from-the-heart thank you notes, logging his feelings of gratitude: "It was very beneficial for me. I was much more cheerful."
At the University of North Carolina, Sara Algoe studied the interaction between cancer patients and their support group, especially when acts of gratitude were made. Like Peterson, she saw the effects last well over a month and she saw the feedback cycle that McCullough described.
"It must be really powerful," Algoe said.
It has to be potent to combat gloom many may be feeling in such uncertain times.
There have been many Thanksgivings throughout history that might challenge society's ability to be grateful. The first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims came after about half of the Plymouth colony died in the first year. Thanksgiving became a national holiday in the United States when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it in 1863 during the Civil War, the deadliest war the country has ever known. And the holiday moved to the fourth Thursday in November during the tail end of the Great Depression.
Emmons actually encourages people to "think of your worst moments, your sorrows, your losses, your sadness and then remember that here you are, able to remember them. You got through the worst day of your life ... remember the bad things, then look to see where you are."
That grace amid difficulty motif may make this Thanksgiving especially meaningful, McCullough said.
"In order to be grateful for something, we have to remember that something good happened," Peterson said. "It's important to remind ourselves that the world doesn't always suck."
Come one, come all! Come to the first-ever Nutrition Carnival from 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday in the lower level of Lawrence Memorial Hospital. In conjunction with National Food Day, children of all ages are invited to learn about nutrition in a variety of ways.
Interactive booths for children aged 5-12 include creating healthy snacks with trail mix, granola and yogurt (not all combined together!); growing a garden in your glove; spin-the-wheel on nutrition and physical activity among others. Children will begin their trek by picking up a passport to be stamped after completing a task at each nutrition station. If 10 stamps are obtained on the passport, an additional prize will be given.
For bigger kids, there will be displays with ideas for healthy eating as well as speakers addressing nutrition in different settings:
•9:30 a.m., LMH Registered Dietician Patty Metzler will talk about the Kids Eat Right initiative;
•10 a.m., Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department Registered Dietician Trish Unruh will talk about the LiveWell Eat Well initiative with local restaurants;
•10:30 a.m., Lawrence Public Schools Registered Dietician Lindsey Morgan will talk about what’s new in school lunches and healthy eating programs.
Each speaker will make a short presentation and then be available to answer an questions you may have. Don't miss out on this fun and interactive opportunity!
Lawrence resident Vernon Burkett was among more than 1,200 people who attended the annual health fair Saturday at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
“It’s where all of the healthy people hang for one day a year,” the 56-year-old joked.
Not only did he enjoy catching up with neighbors and friends, but he did what health professionals encourage everyone to do — practice prevention. He had the following health screenings at the fair: Body Mass Index, blood pressure, hearing, height and weight measurement, oral cancer, vision, waist circumference, glucose, skin cancer, bone density and prostate.
Burkett didn’t share any results but said he considers himself fairly healthy.
“I can touch my toes,” he said, with a smile.
Aynsley Anderson, LMH community education coordinator, said the health fair has grown immensely during the past 30 years. This year, there were 30 educational exhibits and 16 screenings offered.
Here are some tips from a handful of medical care providers:
• Dr. Kathani Amin of Kansas Medical Clinic Dermatology — Everyone should get a skin cancer screening every year by a dermatologist and do a self examination once a month. Look for asymmetry, irregularity and color variation and watch moles that are larger than a pencil eraser. If there is anything changing, itching, bleeding or tender, seek professional help.
More than 700,000 Americans develop skin cancer every year.
“If you catch these things early, then they are preventable and curable. If you don’t then it could cause problems down the line,” she said.
When it comes to sunscreen, she advises people to use one with a Sun Protection Factor of 45 or higher and to apply it 30 minutes before going outside and then reapply every two hours if active. She said there’s no such thing as a waterproof sunscreen.
• Karin Denes-Collar of Heartland Community Health Center — With the holidays approaching, she encourages people to not overschedule themselves.
“Less is more sometimes,” she said. “That stressful time over the holidays can lead people to depression and anxiety — either during or after. So it’s an easy way to help yourself.”
She said about 70 percent of the health issues that show up in primary care, like diabetes or high blood pressure, are related to behavioral health issues like stress and depression. That’s why there is a big push nationwide to integrate the two into primary medical homes, like Heartland does.
• Paula Naughtin of Midwest Transplant Network — Learn about organ donation and then make your decision known to loved ones.
She said there are more than 100,000 people waiting for an organ, and one person can save up to eight people with organs and enhance up to 50 lives with tissue. “There’s a huge need for all of it,” she said.
If you want to become an organ donor, register online at donatelifekansas.com and talk to your family.
• Kelly Nightengale of Early Detection Works — Women should get a Pap test to check for an infection, abnormal cervical cells or cervical cancer beginning at age 21 or three years after the onset of sexual intercourse. Cervical cancer does not show symptoms until it’s in advanced stages.
“I can’t stress enough that the best protection for cervical cancer is getting screened,” she said.
When cervical conditions are discovered and treated at a pre-cancerous stage, survival rate is nearly 100 percent. Yet 4,600 women die from cervical cancer each year in the U.S.
• Raymond Munoz of Douglas County Dental Clinic — Brush your teeth twice a day, at morning and night, and floss daily, preferably before you go to bed.
He said staff have seen people at the clinic who haven’t brushed their teeth in several weeks. When you don’t take care of your teeth, gum disease and cavities become painful and costly issues.
The clinic provides general dental care to children and adults who meet income guidelines and do not have dental insurance. It served 2,800 people last year.
While packing up, Anderson also offered advice: Get a medical home and have an annual wellness exam. She said it’s important to know your numbers when it comes to blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
“Oh, and don’t forget to follow general healthy lifestyle habits like not smoking, eating nutritiously, exercising and managing stress,” she said.
DID YOU KNOW?
Here are some facts that were revealed through a Health Challenge Questionnaire at Lawrence Memorial Hospital’s annual health fair on Saturday. Participants picked up forms and then had to find the answers at various exhibits.
Among the things they learned:
• Kansas has the fourth-fastest-growing obesity rate in the country.
• 21.7 percent of people are living below the poverty line in Douglas County.
• One in four adults experience a mental health disorder in a given year.
• 20 years ago, there were 500 calories in the average slice of pizza. Now there are 800.
• 18 percent of Douglas County residents eat the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
• The best way to extinguish a fire in a pan on the stove is to place a lid over the pan.
• A person who is 51 or older should not consume more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day.
• One in seven women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
• Open enrollment for 2012 Medicare Prescription Drug coverage begins Oct. 15.
• 50 percent of people over age 75 have a fall each year.
The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department has hired Jeremy Fite as a community health specialist.
He will be working to educate the community about what services the health department offers, in addition to explaining health policies.
Fite said he plans to do that through social media and face-to-face conversations at events like health fairs. He also will be an active participant in a number of LiveWell Lawrence initiatives that aim to get people moving more and eating healthier.
Fite, 32, previously worked for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, where he oversaw operations of the research and training facility called Haslam Family Club University. It had about 300 children per day. He did grant writing in addition to serving as the community liaison.
He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in health education, and is originally from Indianapolis.
Fite said he and his family — wife and 2-year-old son — try to stay as active as possible by running, swimming and walking. They like the outdoors.
“I run between four and five nights a week, depending on my son’s behavior,” he said, laughing.
Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association is having 5K run/walks in three area towns this summer.
It’s the third year for its “Small Town Big Cause” fundraiser.
The events will benefit the endowment association, which provides financial support to LMH for medical education, research, equipment, land acquisition and unique programs.
Also, half of the net proceeds raised in each town will be donated back through a wellness grant to help improve the community’s health.
• Tonganoxie — July 23 at Family Medicine of Tonganoxie, 410 Woodsfield. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. and the race at 7:30 a.m.
• Eudora — July 30 at Eudora Parks and Recreation Center, 1638 Elm St. Registrations begins at 7 a.m. and the race at 8 a.m.
• Baldwin City — Aug. 27 at Baldwin City Golf Course, 1500 South St. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and the race at 8 a.m.
Registration before July 1 is $20 for one event, $35 for two, and $50 for three. After July 1, it’s $25, $45 and $65.
Prizes will be given at each event for: overall top male and female finishers, top male and female in each age group, the team with the first three finishers, team with the most members and team with most creative apparel.
To register or for more information, contact Melissa Hess at 505-3317 or visit www.lmhendowment.org.
What do Monkeys and Baboons, Freeze Tag, stop-drop-and-roll, jump roping and relays all have in common? Those games kept 750 third grade students from northeast Kansas active and moving Friday morning in Anschutz Sports Pavilion as part of Kansas Kids Fitness Day.
KKFD is an annual event the first Friday in May for third-grade students sponsored by SafeKids Kansas, Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness. There were 40 regional sites hosting approximately 18,000 students today promoting an increase in physical activity and safety awareness.
Locally, volunteers from SafeKids Douglas County, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, Douglas County CHIP, KU Watkins Student Health Center, KU Athletics Department, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical, and numerous community volunteers from both KU and Lawrence all helped the students move through 10 different stations trying out various physical activity games or learning about safety procedures.
The 750 third graders came from 16 different schools: Baldwin Elementary Intermediate Center, Broken Arrow Elementary, Cordley Elementary, Deerfield Elementary, Edgerton Elementary, Green Springs Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary, Marion Springs Elementary, New York Elementary, Pinckney Elementary, Sacred Heart of Jesus Elementary, Schwegler Elementary, Sunflower Elementary, Sunset Hill Elementary, Wakarusa Valley Elementary and Woodlawn Elementary.
Special recognition goes out to the students and teachers from Hillcrest and Schwegler Elementary schools in Lawrence who not only participated in the day’s events, but walked the round trip from their school to KU!
Sedona Staffing is hosting a free health and wellness seminar next week.
The event will be from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 4, at the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, 646 Vt.
Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, a chiropractor from Overland Park, will cover a variety of topics, including employee stress, sleep, nutrition, whole-body wellness, posture and ergonomics, proper lifting techniques and more.
The event has been approved for one HRCI credit.
For more information or to make a reservation, contact Nate Scott at (785) 856-4123 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for reservations is Friday.
Wellness speaker Jennifer Myers will be giving a presentation “Healthy Eating Made Simple” in Lawrence.
Her presentation will be from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 21, at Alvamar Country Club, 1809 Crossgate Drive.
She will talk about:
• How and why to improve your family’s diet.
• How to protect you and your family from degenerative disease and chronic illness.
• What to eat and what to avoid to build a strong immune system and obtain optimal health and wellness.
Myers, of Denver, is known for taking complex concepts and distilling them into easy-to-understand practical knowledge. She has spoken to audiences around the world.
The presentation is free and open to anyone, but seating is limited.
Reservations are requested by April 18, and can be made by contacting John or Bette Sue Wachholz, of Lawrence, by e-mail at email@example.com or by calling 785-856-0881 or 785-342-1448.
We are not eating enough fruits and veggies or getting adequate exercise.
That’s according to a new community health assessment released Wednesday by the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department.
Eighty-one percent of county residents do not eat the recommended five fruits and vegetables per day.
When asked about physical activity during the past 30 days, half of the population hadn’t done anything to get their heart rate up, like running, aerobics, or heavy yard work, and 16 percent hadn’t done leisure exercise like brisk walking or bicycling.
Dan Partridge, health department director, said these likely contributed to the rise in diabetes, which now affects nearly 8 percent of the population.
On the flip side, we are breathing better. Our smoking rates — teen, smoking during pregnancy, current smokers — have declined. The biggest decline was in the number of residents who allow smoking in their home. It went from 23 percent of the population in 2005 to 8 percent in 2008, compared to 20 percent statewide.
The health department paid the Kansas Health Institute $7,400 to help compile the report, which looks at demographics, health factors like behavior and income, and health outcomes.
“We hope this report will spur not only discussion, but action among Douglas County residents, organizations, community coalitions and policymakers to make the changes necessary to have a healthier community.”
— Dan Partridge
Highlights from the report:
DOUGLAS COUNTY DEMOGRAPHICS IN 2009:
• 116,383 — residents.
• 58,990 — female.
• 57,393 — male.
• 86 percent — white.
• 4 percent — multiracial.
• 4 percent — Asian.
• 3 percent — black.
• 2 percent — American Indian or Alaskan Native.
• 1 percent — Other.
• Median age — 26.4.
• 79 percent — of the population lives in Lawrence.
Here’s how Douglas County residents are doing compared with the previous year and how we stack up against the rest of the state. The data compares 2009 with 2008 unless noted. (Note: I bolded the Douglas County and Kansas numbers for easier comparison).
• Teen smoking — 8.5 percent in 2010, down from 9.3; 12.6 percent.
• Teen pregnancy — 12.8 percent in 2010, down from 14.2; 26.9 percent.
• Teen binge drinking — 11.7 percent in 2010, down from 14.4; 13.7 percent.
• Teen substance abuse — 17.7 percent in 2010, down from 20.8; 16.8 percent.
• No leisure exercise in past 30 days — 16.5 percent, down from 25; 23.2 percent.
• Didn’t get enough sleep for one night in past 30 days — 76.7 percent, up from 72.9; 68.1 percent.
• Don’t eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day — 81.8 percent, up from 78; 79.8 percent.
• Smokers — 15.1 percent, down from 15.2; 17.8 percent.
• Daily smokers — 12.4 percent; up from 11.7; 13.9 percent.
• Drank alcohol within past 30 days — 53.7 percent, down from 61; 50 percent.
• Heavy drinkers (two drinks per day for females; three for males) — 5.9 percent, up from 4; 4.1 percent.
• Binge drinking in past 30 days — 14.4 percent, down from 16; 14.5 percent.
Social and economic
• Single parent households — 28.1 percent, down from 31.4; 30.5 percent.
• Average family size — 4.76, down from 5; 3.9.
• Children below poverty — 15.9 percent, up from 13; 17.1 percent.
• People with no income — 10.6 percent, up from 8.2 percent; 9.1 percent.
• Median income — $20,624, down from $21,333; $24,699.
• Median household income — $47,614, up from $44,580; $50,174.
• Households receiving food stamps — 5.43 percent, up from 4.38; 8.26 percent.
• High school graduation rate — 88.2 percent, up from 85.7; 89.7 percent.
• Those with college degrees — 50.1 percent, up from 47.6; 29.5 percent.
• Domestic violence — For every 1,000 residents, there are 6.8 incidence reports, up from 5.8; 8.5.
• Violent crime — For every 1,000 residents, there are 4.3 offenses, up from 4.0; 4.0.
• Uninsured under age 65 — 17.7 percent in 2007, down from 19.7 percent; 13.7 percent.
• Children fully immunized by age 2 — 56 percent in 2008, up 31 percent; 63 percent.
• Population per primary care doctor — 2,148 residents per doctor, up from 1,975; 1,715.
• Adults without flu shots — 67.6 percent in 2006, no comparison; 64.6.
• Adults seen by doctor within past year — 64.6 percent, down from 73.8; 71.2 percent.
• Did not seek care due to cost — 9.6 percent; up from 8.6; 11.2 percent.
• Population per primary care dentist — 2,288 residents per dentist in 2008, down from 2,744 in 2006; 2,606.
• Had not been to the dentist in more than 12 months — 19.9 percent in 2008, down from 26.2 in 2006; 28 percent.
• Never had blood cholesterol checked — 19.8 percent, up from 15.9; 21.5.
• Women, ages 40 and older, who haven’t had a mammogram — 6.5 percent in 2008, down from 8.6 in 2006; 9 percent.
• Men, ages 40 and older, who haven’t had a prostate screening — 29.4 percent in 2008, down from 41.6 in 2006; 34 percent.
• People ages 50 and older who haven’t had a colonoscopy — 32.9 percent in 2008, down from 34.1 in 2006; 38.3 percent.
• Never had an HIV test — 67.2 percent, up from 61.3 percent; 65.4 percent.
• Overweight — 59.2 percent, up from 57.9; 64.6.
• Obese — 27.8 percent, up from 22.9; 28.8.
• High blood pressure — 24 percent, down from 26.6; 28.7 percent.
• Disability — 16.9 percent, down from 24.7; 18.9.
• Mortality — 5.1 deaths per 1,000 people in 2008, up from 4.8; 8.5.
• Infant mortality — 9.4 deaths per 1,000 births in 2008, up from 7.6; 7.2.
Leading causes of death in Douglas County in 2009:
Chronic lower respiratory disease
Accidents other than motor vehicle
Kansas University students will have a chance to show off what they’ve learned in the kitchen with this year’s Student Recipe Contest on Tuesday, March 8.
The contest is set up to showcase students’ favorite healthy recipes at a free taste testing from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Jayhawk Room in the Kansas Union as part of Healthy Lifestyle Week.
The winners will take home gift cards and get their recipe featured on the menu of the Impromptu Cafe in the Kansas Union for the rest of March. The winners will be determined by taste-testers.
“As college students, it is very important to stay healthy because we are always on the go,” says Kris Velasco, SUA social Issues Coordinator. “This event is a reminder of that.”
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.
One year ago, first lady Michelle Obama launched her Let’s Move! campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation.
The campaign seeks to put children on the path to a healthy future by:
• giving parents the information they need to make healthy choices for their families;
• providing healthier foods in our schools;
• ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food;
• helping kids become more physically active;
• Childhood obesity rates have tripled in the past three decades.
• One-third of all children born in 2000 or later could suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. • Many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and asthma.
“Over the last year we’ve fundamentally changed the conversation about how we eat, how we move and how we get our food. Communities across the country are implementing creative solutions to ending childhood obesity. Together, we’re making a real difference in the lives of children and today there’s a real sense of hope that we can end childhood obesity.”
— First lady Michelle Obama
Key accomplishments achieved during the past year:
• Nearly 500 communities, including Lawrence, have become Let’s Move! cities and towns.
• President Barack Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act into law, enacting the most meaningful and comprehensive change to food in schools we’ve seen in a generation.
• Walmart announced a new Nutrition Charter that is designed to bring healthier and more affordable foods to the 140 million customers who shop at its stores each week.
• Sport leagues, including the National Hockey League, the U.S. Tennis Association and Major League Baseball, have teamed up with Let’s Move! to air public service announcements. Last summer, the Presidential Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition was launched. Through this outreach, children are inspired by athletes to play sports and get active.
• The American Academy of Pediatrics has pledged that 100 percent of its doctors will screen for BMI and the campaign is working with family physicians to measure BMI during Well Child visits. The new Affordable Care Act right now requires all new health insurance plans to cover screening for childhood obesity and counseling from doctors without a co-pay or any other payment.
• Faith groups have committed to walking 3 million miles and hosting 10,000 community gardens or farmers’ markets.
Are you and the kids feeling a little cooped up this winter?
Janelle Martin, executive director of the Douglas County Community Health Improvement Partnership, provided a list of things to do in Lawrence that are free or low cost, and they are indoors.
Here you go:
• Prairie Park Nature Center, 2730 SW Harper St. — no cost.
Hours — 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Check out natural habitat dioramas, displays and live animals, including a live bird of prey collection with eagles, owls, hawks and falcons.
• East Lawrence Recreation Center, 1245 E. 15th St. — no cost.
Hours — 8 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays; 1p.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.
It has a full-size gymnasium, lockers/shower facility, game area (foosball, billiards, ping pong), wellness/weight room with cardio equipment and a meeting room with a kitchen.
• Community Building, 115 W. 11th St. — no cost.
Hours — 7 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays; 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.
It has a full size gymnasium; lockers/shower facility; wellness/weight room with cardio equipment; dance studio; meeting rooms with access to kitchenette.
• Holcom Park Recreation Center, 2700 W. 27th St. — no cost.
Hours — 7 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays; 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.
It has a full-size gymnasium; lockers/shower facility; combination handball/racquetball court; game room (billiards, ping pong, foosball); wellness/weight room with cardio equipment; meeting room with a kitchenette.
• Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center, 4706 Overland Drive — cost from free to $4.
Hours for children’s area — 3:30 p.m.-7:45 p.m. Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday; 2:30 p.m.-7:45 p.m. Wednesday; 1 p.m.-7:45 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m.-5:45 p.m. Sunday.
It features a 10-lane, 50-meter competition pool with diving well and underwater classroom; a separate family pool with zero-depth entry, water slide and interactive children’s play features; meeting rooms; shower/locker rooms and a café-style concession area. Both pools are heated.
• KU Booth Family Hall of Athletics, 1651 Naismith Drive — no cost.
Hours — 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; game days vary.
The hall honors KU’s historic athletics programs, its coaches and student-athletes, past and present. The hall also has several interactive exhibits and a basketball championship trophy case.
• The Dole Institute, 2350 Petefish Drive — no cost.
Hours — 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
The Institute is home to many state-of-the-art exhibits and one of the nation’s largest collections of congressional papers. Self-tours of the six videos and 29 displays allow individual visitors time to listen, read and reflect on the history and inspiration presented. Interactive displays allow visitors to access more than 4,000 veteran photos submitted by veterans and/or their families. There is also a World Trade Center memorial: two columns salvaged from the New York City Twin Towers.
• KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd. — no cost.
Hours — 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
Four floors of exhibits help you explore the life of the planet. Toothy mosasaurs will open your imagination to the Cretaceous seas of 85 million years ago. Throughout the museum you will discover the animals and plants of the Great Plains, including birds, snakes, and mammals from prairie dogs to moose. In Bugtown, you'll meet a few six-legged critters. Explore Evolution introduces you to the work of scientists making leading discoveries in the diversity of life, from tiny diatoms to humpback whales. Plus, you can buzz in to see the live bee colony.
The museum offers scavenger hunts to help you explore the museum as well as many hands-on exhibits.
• Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt. — no cost.
Hours — 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday.
— If you have another idea, please share in the comments below.
Strong leaders create healthier communities.
"We don't believe you can create a stronger, healthier, more prosperous community without many more Kansans able and willing to exercise tremendous leadership," said Ed O'Malley, CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center. "We try to help people learn how to be more effective at leadership."
KLC is unique because of its robust funding, statewide focus and curriculum of civic leadership development. O'Malley said there's nothing like the center in the country and possibly the world.
"It's a special thing for Kansas," he said.
O'Malley spoke Thursday during a break in the center's three-day "Guiding Coalition" event at The Oread Hotel, 1200 Oread Ave. It's an annual event where about 60 of the center's key players review the year and plan for the future.
O'Malley said the Wichita-based nonprofit has about a dozen full-time employees and offers a variety of programs. Some programs are four consecutive days, while others are 12 days spread over a year.
Each year, it reaches nearly 1,000 Kansans - everyone from pastors to legislators to grassroots advocates.
Sue Hack, executive director of Leadership Lawrence, uses the center for consulting, training and exchanging information with other Kansas community leaders. For example, KLC has a fall program that is attended by about 200 people.
"Every community has its own challenges, and how they make these adaptive solutions to their problems is really exciting to see," she said.
Hack estimated about 60 Leadership Lawrence participants have received training at the center, and they've found it to be useful.
"Taking on a position of leadership is risky," she said. "It's difficult. It's hard work. But if we are going to change the civic culture of our community, then we've got to have courageous conversations and we've got to be willing to not only speak, but to listen."
First, there was “LiveWell Lawrence.”
It’s a network of organizations, businesses, schools and residents who are working to integrate healthy eating and physical activity into every aspect of community life. It has been meeting since fall 2008.
This fall, “LiveWell EatWell” was launched. Trish Unruh, a Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department nutritionist, began working with restaurant chefs and owners on offering great-tasting, nutritious items.
This week, “Work Well Lawrence,” was started under K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County with the hiring of Hayley Stolzle.
“The goal is to create this culture of health at the workplace,” she said.
Stolzle, who has a master’s degree in public health from Kansas University Medical School, is contacting chief executives of nonprofit and for-profit businesses. She said the first step of any successful wellness program is to get them on board.
Then, she hopes to get one or two people from each business, depending on its size, to form a community leadership team that will meet monthly. Stolzle will be educating the team about successful wellness programs, and it will share information and ideas as well.
Stolzle said some examples of what Lawrence businesses are doing:
• Allowing extra time at lunch or the end of the day for walking or other exercise.
• Offering on-site health screenings.
• Offering yoga sessions during the lunch hour.
Workplace wellness programs are a win-win, Stolzle said.
For employers, they reduce health care costs and absenteeism, and improve productivity and morale.
For employers, they reduce health care costs and improve quality of life and health.
“The long-term benefits are endless,” she said.
Hayley Stolzle 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, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-7058.
Ahhh, the Thanksgiving feast.
It’s the start of the holiday season when Americans tend to cast their health aside and indulge in their favorite goodies.
Susan Krumm, nutrition educator with K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County, says it’s not uncommon for people to gain 5 pounds over the holidays.
It’s easy to do: Eat an extra 500 calories per day — or a small piece of pecan pie — and that adds up to 1 pound per week.
Now, consider the Thanksgiving meal. If you stick to a serving size of the traditional fare, you will have consumed 992 calories. That’s without pie! Add a slice of pecan and you’re up to 1,518.
A 155-pound person would have to walk six hours to burn that many calories.
And, who sticks to a serving size of anything? For stuffing, that’s a half a cup or a cupcake wrapper full.
Here’s a look at what’s considered a serving of various foods and the amount of calories in each, according to the University of Minnesota Nutrition Coordinating Center Food and Nutrient Database:
• Turkey with skin, 3 ounces (or a deck of cards) — 156.
• Stuffing, 1/2 cup — 214.
• Mashed potatoes, 1/2 cup — 119.
• Gravy, 3 tablespoons — 54.
• Cranberry sauce, 1/4 cup — 110 calories.
• Candied sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup — 165 calories.
• Green bean casserole, 1/2 cup — 96 calories.
• Roll, 2-inch by 2-inch — 78 calories.
• Pumpkin pie, 1/8 of a 9-inch pie — 316 calories.
• Pecan pie, 1/8 of a 9-inch pie — 526 calories.
“The holidays for some reason give us permission to overindulge in food and alcohol,” Krumm said. “There just seems to be that mindset that it’s OK.”
But, it’s not. Overeating can contribute to an assortment of chronic health issues like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and respiratory problems.
Krumm offers these tips for a healthy, happy holiday:
• Moderation, not deprivation. It’s better to take a small portion of food you want.
“I think when the food passes by you at the table and you really want it, but you’re like, ‘No, I can’t eat it.’ At some point, you might eat it and then you might go overboard.”
So, if you want the pecan pie, take a slice.
• Eat slowly. You will enjoy the company and the flavor of food, and likely not eat as much.
• Don’t make it unhealthy. Turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and green beans are all healthy choices until they are loaded up with extras like gravy, butter, mushroom soup, brown sugar, honey and marshmallows.
“If you want that flavor, go with half the amount. Nobody will ever know the difference — ever,” Krumm said.
• Fill up on good stuff. Eat fresh vegetables and a green salad before the meal. Also, drink plenty of water.
• Don’t skip breakfast. Don’t “save up” for the meal, it will ultimately lead to overeating.
• Exercise. “I highly recommend getting out and taking a little walk before or afterward, just to get out and enjoy some fresh air.”
In preparation for the holidays, Susan Krumm, nutrition and wellness educator at K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County, answered:
• Which traditional Turkey Day dish has the most calories?
• How long can food safely be left out after serving the meal?
• What about the leftovers?
These were among the questions asked during an online chat today on WellCommons.com.
To read the transcript of the chat, click here on WellCommons.com.
If you have a suggestion for a health-related chat, please contact health reporter Karrey Britt at email@example.com.
Way to go Haskell!
I can't think of a better way to recognize the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout on Thursday. The run/walk celebrated those who have quit smoking and encouraged others to quit.
About 85 people participated in the FREE event, which included a block party with food and awards.
The event was sponsored by the American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance's All Nations Breath of Life program, which is a smoking cessation program culturallly tailored for American Indians.
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.
Karla Knudson is about to hop on a plane and fly to Los Angeles to get a haircut. It’s not just any haircut, though. She’s shaving her head completely.
And Knudson’s new look isn’t about fashion, it’s about childhood cancer. Knudson, a 43-year-old Lawrence resident, is shaving her head in honor of her daughter, Annika, who was diagnosed with cancer in February 2009. Annika recovered, but thousands of children don’t, and Knudson wants people to know about it.
As part of 46 Mommas Shave for the Brave, 46 women from all over the country are shaving their heads in Hollywood to raise awareness. They have a goal of raising $1 million to donate to research and appearing on a telethon to help.
“I feel a responsibility to share and awareness I didn’t have myself,” Knudson said. “When you find out your kid has cancer, you don’t have people around who know what you’re talking about.”
Knudson found the women on the Internet, and the group formed a bond. Some had children who were survivors, such as Annika, 13, who was diagnosed with Stage 2 of Burkitt’s lymphoma after her parents thought she had the flu. The early diagnosis of a cancer that usually isn’t detected until Stage 4 meant Annika was declared cancer-free by May 2009.
Other children weren’t so lucky, and some mothers in the group lost their kids.
“That speaks to the randomness of childhood cancer,” Knudson said.
The women in the group, named for the 46 children who are diagnosed with cancer every weekday, found each other over the Internet. It’s the same place Knudson found help when she thought she might not be able to pay for a flight out to Los Angeles.
A Cincinnati woman she’d never met volunteered her frequent flier miles to pay for the trip. That woman, Jamie Landheer, met a family two years ago whose daughter died from neuroblastoma. After becoming close to the family, she knew she had to help.
“As a mom, as a human being, I just can’t sit back and do nothing,” she said.
Landheer earns frequent flyer miles as an executive, and Knudson is now one of about 25 people Landheer has used her miles to help.
“I always say I’m not the hero,” she said. “I just happen to be the person who can, but anybody can do a little bit.”
Knudson flies out to Los Angeles early today, and by evening, she’ll be a bald-headed beauty. It’s an idea her daughter was not OK with at first.
“At first she said, ‘I don’t approve of that,’” Knudson said. “And I said, ‘Well, I didn’t approve of you being bald.’”
Three days after shaving her head with 45 other women in Hollywood, they will appear on the Stand Up 2 Cancer telethon. The telethon will air at 7 p.m. Friday on several networks, including CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox.
Knudson admits she’s surprised she plans to shave her head, and the idea of raising thousands of dollars is daunting. But she knows the cause is important, and having her daughter, son and husband healthy is priceless.
“It does make you realize when stuff gets harder, it could be so much harder,” she said. “All I want is to keep holding my kids’ hands and my husband’s hands.”
Time magazine came out this week with a fascinating article looking at the life expectancy of those who drink moderately, versus those who drink heavily and not at all.
The perhaps surprising result? Those who totally abstain from drinking die at a younger age than either those who drink heavily or those who drink moderately.
The standard Alcoholics Anonymous explanation for this finding is that many of those who show up as abstainers in such research are actually former hard-core drunks who had already incurred health problems associated with drinking. But a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that — for reasons that aren't entirely clear — abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one's risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers.
The study tried to account for all possible influencing factors: socioeconomic status, level of physical activity, number of close friends, quality of social support, the article said.
The article theorizes possible causes for this surprising finding, including that moderate drinking is a part of so many social situations, and that social interaction is crucial to maintaining good brain function and other a positive outlook on life, which leads to greater longevity.
What do you think? Should we be encouraged to drink a glass of wine at lunch, or a martini in the afternoon?
A couple days ago, I posted "10 ways to burn about 100 calories."
Aynsley Anderson, community education coordinator for Lawrence Memorial Hospital, also provided "10 Ways To Save About 100 Calories" in the August newsletter "Wellness Words."
Here's the list:
1. Drink only half of a 12-ounce bottle of soda instead of the whole thing.
2. Substitute 3 ounces of turkey sausage for pork sausage.
3. Dip your salad fixings into 2 teaspoons of ranch dressing instead of pouring on 2 tablespoons.
4. Drink a 12-ounce glass of skim milk instead of whole milk.
5. Eat low-fat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream.
6. Eat 4 ounces of sugar-free chocolate pudding instead of regular pudding.
7. Choose 3 ounces of fat-free sour cream instead of regular.
8. Dip 1 cup of celery into salsa or hummus instead of dipping tortilla chips.
9. Put a slice of tomato, lettuce and onion on your burger instead of a slice of cheese.
10. Use canned tuna packed in water instead of in oil.
I am pretty good about cutting calories where I can. For example, I follow Numbers 4, 5, 7 and 10.
For salad dressing, I stick to fat-free versions. I eat baked tortilla chips when I indulge in them, but it would be tough trading chips for celery.
It also can be difficult giving up a slice of cheese on a burger. But maybe, I make up for it by only using lean beef (4 percent fat) or opting for healthier veggie versions. Often I use reduced-fat cheese.
Of course, it's better to stick to veggies and fruits.
But, I am interested in knowing what everyone else does to curb their caloric intake? Do you follow these tips? Or, do you have better ones?
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a particularly troubling form of arthritis because science views it as an auto-immune disease, meaning that the body's immune system actually attacks its own tissues as if they were foreign invaders. The good news is science also suggests there are natural ways to deal with the pain and mobility limitations of RA without relying exclusively on medication.
Kansas was ranked 16th worst, out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, for adult obesity rates. About 28.2 percent of adult Kansans are deemed to be obese.
Kansas came in 18th for its childhood obesity rates. About 16.2 percent of Kansas children are obese.
At the top end of the scale, Mississippi ranked as the state with the highest adult and childhood obesity rates: 33.8 and 21.9 percent, respectively. On the other end of the scale, Colorado had the lowest adult obesity rate — 19.1 percent — while Oregon had the lowest childhood obesity rate — 9.6 percent.
Nationally, the situation isn't getting better over time: it's only getting worse:
More than two-thirds of states (38) have adult obesity rates above 25 percent. In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent.
"Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges the country has ever faced, and troubling disparities exist based on race, ethnicity, region, and income," Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH said in a statement put out with the report. "This report shows that the country has taken bold steps to address the obesity crisis in recent years, but the nation's response has yet to fully match the magnitude of the problem. Millions of Americans still face barriers - like the high cost of healthy foods and lack of access to safe places to be physically active - that make healthy choices challenging."
The report did find signs of hope.
• 20 states and DC have set nutrition standards for school lunches.
• 28 states and DC have imposed restrictions on a la carte items and vending machines offered at schools.
• 20 states now require some sort of body mass or fitness screening for children.
All of these numbers have increased four or five times from where they stood five years ago.
In order to actually decrease childhood obesity rates, the two organizations behind the study encouraged us to take the following steps, as a community:
Support obesity- and disease-prevention programs through the new health reform law's Prevention and Public Health Fund, which provides $15 billion in mandatory appropriations for public health and prevention programs over the next 10 years.
Align federal policies and legislation with the goals of the forthcoming National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy. Opportunities to do this can be found through key pieces of federal legislation that are up for reauthorization in the next few years, including the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act; the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; and the Surface Transportation Authorization Act.
Expand the commitment to community-based prevention programs initiated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 through new provisions in the health reform law, such as Community Transformation grants and the National Diabetes Prevention Program.
Continue to invest in research and evaluation on nutrition, physical activity, obesity and obesity-related health outcomes and associated interventions.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department is working to find out just how healthy — or (gulp) unhealthy — Douglas County residents are.
It, along with other community health leaders, has identified 90 health indicators. Now, the data are being collected.
Dan Partridge, director, hopes to provide the “Community Health Assessment” results at the Aug. 16 board meeting. He said the health department plans to have a public forum to address the findings.
The proposed indicators have been divided into 13 categories. Here are the categories and a few examples from each:
• Demographics — gender, age distribution, race.
• Socio-economic status — average family size, divorce rate, unemployment rate.
• Access to health care — hospitals, number of urgent care clinics, number of long-term care beds.
• Adolescent health — teen binge drinking, teen smoking rates, teen suicide rates.
• Environmental health — foodborne illness breakouts, ozone levels and secondhand smoking.
• Immunizations and infectious disease — Measle cases in children, no influenza shots in past year, percent of children who are up-to-date on vaccinations.
• Injury and violence — domestic violence rate, motor vehicle crash death rate, seat-belt use.
• Mental health — Number of incarcerations due to mental health issues, adult suicide rate, number of inpatient admissions for mental health issues.
• Oral health — Number of dentists, number of school-based dental programs, percent of children with dental caries.
• Overall health and quality of life — Adult literacy, infant mortality, life expectancy at birth.
• Overweight and obesity and physical activity — Percent of adult population overweight, Type II diabetes cases, fruit and vegetable consumption.
• Responsible sexual behavior — Average age of first sexual activity, sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy rate.
• Substance and tobacco use — Illegal substance abuse, cigarette smoking, alcohol use.
Here, Dr. Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, shares shocking information about the underbelly of medical science to help you understand how, and why, the "scientific method" has become so manipulated and willfully distorted by the drug industry.
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.
The AHA says ideal cardiovascular health for adults is defined by these health measures:
1. Never smoked or quit more than a year ago 2. A healthy body mass index (BMI) 3. Physical activity, and the more the better 4. Blood pressure below 120/80. 5. Fasting blood glucose less than 100 milligrams/deciliter 6. Total cholesterol of less than 200 milligrams/deciliter 7. Eating a healthy diet
The AHA hopes the seven factors could improve the cardiovascular health of Americans by 20 percent by the year 2020, and also reduce deaths from cardiovascular-related diseases and strokes by 20 percent.
Every summer my Jazzercise center in Lenexa has an attendance game. If you and a partner attend 60 classes total from June 1 to July 31 you win a Jazzerprize. (I just made that word up right now!)
This summer's game starts today, and they're doing the same thing at the Lawrence Jazzercise location, too! I'm partnering with my mom to win this pair of flip flops and bag:
To do my part, I have to attend 30 classes from today until July 31. That's an average of 3.5 classes per week.
If I don't have those flip flops on my feet by July 31, I'll be really embarrassed. In a skinnier, former life, I was a Jazzercise instructor. I used to teach 4-5 classes per week PLUS the time it took to learn routines. Here's a video blog I made during my old Jazzin' days:
Keep me honest, WellCommoners! I'll post my weekly progress along with my local food posts every Monday morning.
Gov. Mark Parkinson will recognize the state’s first health champion in September.
The Governor’s Council on Fitness is seeking nominations for an individual or organization who puts forth an exceptional effort to model, encourage and promote fitness in Kansas.
Nominees are expected to have demonstrated:
• Work that goes above and beyond what is expected to model, encourage and promote fitness.
• Far-reaching impact.
• Sustainable influence or activity.
Eligible nominees might include an outstanding volunteer, school, local community, newspaper, reporter, policy maker or employer.
The deadline for nominations is June 15.
For more information and to submit a nomination, visit www.kansasfitness.org and click on “Health Champion Award” or contact Jennifer Church at 785-296-8060.
The Governor’s Council on Fitness advises Parkinson and others on ways to enhance the health of all Kansans through promotion of physical activity, good dietary choices and prevention of tobacco use.
I really liked the state health officer's column this week about successful retirement planning.
Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips emphasized that middle-aged Americans don't need to worry about saving money, if they are NOT saving their health. Unfortunately, many are not.
Here's a few paragraphs from his column:
"Americans who are in their 40s and 50s today are less healthy, as a group, than previous generations were when they were at comparable ages. Middle-aged Americans today report poorer health, more pain and more difficulty with everyday tasks than older Americans did at the same age, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
"Today’s aging Baby Boomers have more trouble with walking, climbing steps or doing other physical tasks than earlier generations did. They are also less likely to report having excellent health than their parents’ generation did at the same age."
The good news is that steps can be taken to improve health and longevity, like walking, bicycling, swimming, or playing tennis.
To read the his entire column, visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's Web site.
According to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, health insurers have invested $2 billion in fast food companies — therefore, they appear to be subsidizing foods that are helping to make millions of Americans obese.
Read about it here.
All of the students participated Thursday in the annual Hawk Walk to raise money for classroom materials. Students sought pledges from family, friends and neighbors to walk/run between a half mile and two miles, depending on their grade level.
Three years ago, they were selling frozen cookie dough.
The decision to switch to a healthier fundraiser has won praise from parents and doctors — even the students.
Way to go!
TherapyWorks will be hosting a FREE seminar about foot and heel pain.
It will be:
• at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 13.
• at the center, 1311 Wakarusa Drive.
Presenters will be Cindy Johnson, owner and physical therapist, and Dr. Lawrence Gaston, a podiatrist.
The seminar will include information about different causes of and treatment options for foot and heel pain.
It is part of a monthly series “Helping You Help Yourself.”
For more information, contact TherapyWorks at 749-1300.
A longtime Lawrence dentist is smiling about a nearby elementary school’s fundraising efforts.
“I’d had enough cookie dough in my freezer and bad burritos and junk food and processed popcorn — more than I can stand,” Dr. Jim Otten said. “So when they came up with the idea of doing a walk for the kids, that concept really fit with our philosophy of health care, so we got on board and became a title sponsor.”
Hillcrest School’s Hawk Walk will be April 15, and its 340 students are seeking donations. The students will walk between half a mile and 2 miles, depending on their grade level. They are asking friends, neighbors and family to pledge money in support of them. “We are trying to participate in things that raise the level of wellness,” Otten said. “Obesity levels are at extreme highs. Diabetes levels for kids are at extreme highs. They are talking about giving a statin drugs (cholesterol lowering drugs) to kids which, to me, is insane.”
The problem is the school’s PTO was able to raise $6,000 by selling cookie dough three years ago, compared to $4,900 for the walk last year.
“We have yet to make as much money as we did with cookie dough, but we are committed to the wellness effort,” said Stacie Wohlford, PTO co-president and an organizer of the walk.
With today’s state budget woes, the school could use the funding for scholarships, field trips and classroom materials.
Wohlford has a first-grader and third-grader, and would much rather walk with her children than sell cookie dough.
“I love it. I’ve been to the walk and the kids are so excited about it,” she said. “The teachers are holding their hands, and the kids are challenging each other to go one more lap. They are drinking lots of water. It’s just a really great thing.”
HOW TO HELP
Hillcrest School students will be participating in a fundraiser called Hawk Walk.
It will begin at 12:30 p.m. April 15 at Centennial Park. Each student will walk between a half-mile and two miles, depending on grade level.
Students are asking friends, neighbors and family to pledge money, which will be used for items such as scholarships, field trips and classroom materials.
To volunteer to help with the event or make a donation, contact Betsy Six at email@example.com or 865-0755.
Today, take a walk!
Yep, you heard me. Take a break from your day’s work by putting on some comfortable shoes, and going for a walk. It will do your mind and body good.
You also will be taking part in the American Heart Association’s National Start Walking Day, which is designed to get businesses involved in wellness initiatives.
Trust me. I am not one to talk. Like most Americans, there are days when I barely escape my desk, and it’s my own doings. I often — OK, always — eat lunch at my desk unless there is a required lunch meeting. I consider a trip to a nearby coffee shop a break because I get a little fresh air and exercise.
But, I DO walk before or after work. I try to get four miles in each day, whether it be outdoors or on the treadmill. If I don’t, I get cranky.
I am a big believer in the benefits of exercise. For me, it’s about stress relief and feeling good. But, according to the American Heart Association, I am also reducing my risk for heart disease — American’s No. 1 killer, and that includes women, many of whom think breast cancer is the biggest killer.
So, get moving. What’s stopping you?
According to an American Heart Association survey, 54 percent of Americans find excuses not to exercise. Among those with excuses, the No. 1 excuse was lack of time.
If you are moving, what motivates you? Maybe, you can help those who are struggling in the community.
You can learn tips on safety, health and wellness for FREE.
Haskell Indian Nations University is having its 11th annual fair today — Thursday, April 8, and it’s open to the community.
The event generally draws about 450 people.
It will be:
• from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• at Coffin Sports Complex.
There will be at least 50 vendors at the fair.
Among the vendors:
• American Heart Association.
• Douglas County Community Health Improvement Project.
• Douglas County Senior Services.
• Haskell Health Center.
• Health Care Access.
• Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department.
• Lawrence Police Department.
• Safe Kids.
• Willow Domestic Violence Center
The first one is “Nutrition 101: The Basics of Good Nutrition” and will be presented by Aynsley Anderson, Lawrence Memorial Hospital community education coordinator.
The class will be:
• from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 31.
• in the lobby of Health Care Access, 330 Maine.
“I am just trying to get different groups in the community to come to the clinic and present on different wellness topics,” said Shasta Zielke, executive assistant and wellness coordinator.
She plans to offer classes twice a month. The next class will be April 14 and about financial wellness.
Zielke was hired by Health Care Access in September to help improve wellness among its 1,400 uninsured clients and the community. Diabetes is one of the top diagnoses among its clients.
She has a bachelor’s degree in sports and exercise science from Kansas University and worked at Health Care Access as an intern this summer.
Zielke works one-on-one with clients who want to improve their nutrition and fitness. She also has started walking with one client, and hopes it leads to a new walking group.
She also is passionate about promoting prevention:
“People don’t need to wait until they are completely sick to come see us. They can come get their screenings and come get their checkups, so that maybe they can avoid being so ill when they do come see us. Prevention is definitely key to keeping yourself out of the doctor’s office with dire situations."