Promote Men’s Wellness in Your Workplace

Men’s Health Week is Coming up!June is Men's Health Month

On June 15th – 21st, promote healthy lifestyles in your workplace to maintain a robust wellness strategy.

Get the Wellness Screenings You Need

Screenings are an important part of your healthcare and lifestyle. Make sure you are up to date with your age specific requirements.

Here are common screenings you should get:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm – If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever been a smoker, talk to your doctor or nurse about being screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).
  • Colorectal cancer – Have a screening test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50 (or earlier if you have a family history of colorectal cancer).
  • Depression – Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. Talk to your doctor or nurse about being screened for depression, particularly if recently have felt down, sad or hopeless or have little interest or pleasure in doing things you once enjoyed.
  • Diabetes – Get screened for diabetes if you blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medication for high blood pressure. Diabetes (high blood sugar) can cause problems with your heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves and other body parts.
  • High blood pressure – Starting at age 18, have your blood pressure checked at least every two years. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, and can cause strokes, heart attacks, kidney and eye problems, and heart failure.
  • High cholesterol – If you are 35 or older, have your cholesterol checked. High cholesterol increases your chance of heart disease, stroke and poor circulation.
  • Lung cancer – If you are between the ages of 55 and 80 or have a history of smoking, check with your doctor about getting screened for lung cancer.
  • Overweight and obesity – The best way to learn if you are overweight or obese is to find your body mass index (BMI). You can find your BMI by entering your height and weight into a BMI calculator.
  • Immunizations
    • Get a flu shot every year.
    • Check the recommended vaccines for your age here.

You know your body better than anyone else. Always tell your doctor or nurse about changes in your health, including your vision and hearing. Ask them about being checked for any condition you are concerned about (such as prostate or skin cancer), not just the ones listed here.

Get Healthy, Stay Healthy.


What can I do as an employer?

  • Promote a “Wear Blue” day –Maybe the Friday before Father’s Day?
  • Make brochures and information available to them regarding Men’s Health issues and prevention guidelines.
  • Host a picnic, healthy lunch, seminar, or sporting event to celebrate the awareness of Men’s Health.

Source: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

 

 

Sedentary Lifestyles – Is Sitting the New Smoking?

man tired at computer screen

Sedentary lifestyle getting you down?

Have you heard? Sitting is the new smoking….

I am not sure where this tagline started, but it sure does get your attention. Dr. James Levine from Mayo Clinic at  Arizona State University is credited with the mantra and he has lots of research to prove it. Have you heard of the treadmill desk?  Dr. Levine invented it to combat the adverse effects of our sedentary lifestyles.

You may be a non-smoker, exercise after work, and eat healthy so you think you are healthy, but if you sit for hours at a time without a break you are still at risk of serious illnesses like diabetes, cancer, muscle-skeletal issues, depression, and heart disease. The risks increase with every two hours of sitting without a break and we are not just referring to your desk chair. According to The Active Times, we spend more time sitting in our cars, watching TV, playing video games, or playing on our electronic gadgets (like cell phones and tablets).

Are you sitting yourself to bad health? You can be pro-active and reading the health risks is your first step.  Now institute these breaks into your everyday life to get you out of that sedentary lifestyle and create a healthier you:

  • Take a break every hour, something as simple as walking to the water cooler, stretching at your desk, walk around the block on your lunch hour.
  • Use a stand up desk or treadmill desk. (check out Pinterest for ideas to make a homemade stand up desk –and make sure it is approved by HR.)
  • At night, while watching TV start to use the commercial breaks for stretching breaks. At every commercial stand up and stretch, jog in place, etc.
  • If you ride on public transportation, stand instead of sitting.
  • Put down the cell phone and get some exercise. Make a “no-electronics” time that so you get active and disconnect, even if it is for 5 minutes, twice a day.

You need to get the blood flowing and your muscles stretched at least once every 60 minutes.  Another reason for the smoking analogy is that  sitting and smoking both have non-reversible effects as multiple studies have shown.  So, are you standing yet?

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

breast cancer awareness
Breast cancer typically produces no symptoms when the tumor is small and most treatable. Therefore, it is very important for women to follow recommended screening guidelines for detecting breast cancer at an early stage, before symptoms develop. When breast cancer has grown to a size that can be felt, the most common physical sign is a painless lump.

There is a website, The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), that is  a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, the American Cancer Society has an abundance of great resources to assist you and your caregiver.   For more than 40 years, the American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery program has helped people (female and male) cope with their breast cancer experience. This experience begins when someone is faced with the possibility of a breast cancer diagnosis and continues throughout the entire period that breast cancer remains a personal concern. (http://www.cancer.org/treatment/supportprogramsservices/reach-to-recovery) Image courtesy of http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/

Wear pink this month in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

 

Weight Training has Many Health Benefits

Weight Training has Many Health Benefits

Strength training with resistance bands, barbells, or weight machines will give you results in just after a few sessions. The American Heart Association recommends strength training at least twice a week. Please get approval from your physician before starting any exercise routine.

If you are not sure where to begin, contact a with a fitness professional to learn the right way to do each exercise. Doing each exercise 8 to 12 times is usually enough to work your muscles. Begin with a weight you are comfortable with and increase gradually until your muscles are tired after the 12th repetition.

Two or three 20- or 30-minute weight training sessions every week can result in significant health benefits:

  • Increased muscle mass: Muscle mass naturally decreases with age, but weight training can help reverse the trend.
  • Stronger bones: Strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of fractures.
  • Joint flexibility: Weight training helps maintain joint flexibility and can reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
  • Weight control: As you gain muscle, your body begins to burn calories more easily, making it easier to control your weight.
  • Balance: Strengthening exercises can increase flexibility and balance as people age, reducing falls and injuries.

Reference: American Cancer Society’s August 2014 Healthy Living Newsletter [news@messages.cancer.org]

Take a Vacation from Work, Not from Your Workout

Take a Vacation from Work, Not from Your WorkoutGoing on vacation? It is good to get away from the grind of a schedule and stress. Use this time to charge up your batteries with daily vacation workouts. Your body will feel more refreshed when you get back. It just takes a little planning and a lot of motivation.

The planning starts when you are packing your suitcase. Don’t forget to pack your running sneakers and your iPod for your music. Download some playlists that will keep you motivated. Also, if you are traveling by plane and you do not have much room in your suitcase you can bring resistance bands (they are available at any Target or sports store). These bands are great for stretching and strength training. While in the airport, don’t sit for hours, get up and walk around the terminals often. Remember you will be sitting for a long plane ride so exercise when you can. Also, check with your hotel to see if they have a fitness center and challenge yourself visit it 30 minutes a day.

If you are not traveling by plane, the staycations are great because you can pack exercise equipment in the car. This could be equipment like yoga mats, kettlebells, push-up bars, pull up bars, stability balls, etc.  Try visiting some parks and nature trails during your staycation. Kayaking, jogging, swimming, and biking are all great summer activities but make sure to hydrate before, during, and after your workouts.

Remember summer is vacation time from work, not your workout!

Festive & Healthy 4th of July Treats!

Festive & Healthy 4th of July Treats!

Three cheers for the red, white, and blue…

Make your plate colorful with bright red, white, and blue fruits and vegetables.

The brighter the color (natural coloring, not dye), the healthier it is.

The red fruits and vegetables contain lycopene and other nutrients that reduce the risk of prostate cancer and tumor growth. They can also help with your blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol (LDL), and support joint tissue. Examples of these are: red apples, cherries, cranberries, strawberries, red grapes, pomegranate, raspberries, tomatoes, red cabbage, and red peppers.

The white fruits and vegetables contain Vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients. They can help reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers and help boost your immune system. Try to add some bananas, white pears, cauliflower, garlic, parsnips, mushrooms, onions, and shallots to your daily diet. Avoid the white (or bleached) foods such as white breads, rice, or cereals.

Don’t forget to add blue fruits and vegetables to your plate for their nutritional value. Many blue (or indigo) fruits and vegetables contain lutein, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, and other nutrients.  Blackberries, blueberries, black currants, and figs will aid in lowering your bad cholesterol (LDL), boost your immune system, fight inflammation, and limit the activity of cancer cells.

So celebrate 4th of July on your plate every day for a healthier you!

Make Father’s Day Last A Month

Make Father's Day Last A Month

The best Father’s Day gift is to give your family a healthy dad. Make this the month to schedule your screenings.

Are you taking responsibility for your health? Do you know all the screenings that are suggested for your age group? To view a checklist of men’s health screenings categorized by age, please click the link below. (If you are in a high risk category or have family medical history, please consult your physician regarding the possibility of earlier screenings.) Do it for them. Do it for your father.

http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/pdfs/GetItChecked.pdf

Make Mother’s Day Last A Month

Take time for yourself and book your screenings this month. Do it for you, do it for them.Make Mother's Day Last A Month

Screening tests:

Screening tests Ages 18–39 Ages 40–49 Ages 50–64 Ages 65 and older
Blood pressure test Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Bone mineral density test
(osteoporosis screening)
    Discuss with your doctor or nurse if you are at risk of osteoporosis. Get this test at least once at age 65 or older.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about repeat testing.

Breast cancer screening
(mammogram)
  Discuss with your doctor or nurse. Starting at age 50, get screened every 2 years. Get screened every 2 years through age 74.

Age 75 and older, ask your doctor or nurse if you need to be screened.

Cervical cancer screening
(Pap test)
Get a Pap test every 3 years if you are 21 or older and have a cervix.

If you are 30 or older, you can get a Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years.

Get a Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years if you have a cervix. Get a Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years if you have a cervix. Ask your doctor or nurse if you need to get a Pap test.
Cholesterol test Starting at age 20, get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Colorectal cancer screening
(using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy)
    Starting at age 50, get screened for colorectal cancer.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.

Get screened for colorectal cancer through age 75.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.

Diabetes screening Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure.

http://www.womenshealth.gov/screening-tests-and-vaccines/screening-tests-for-women/

Don’t Tax Your Health

tax your healthNow that Tax Season is here, you are focused on deadlines, finances, and everyday life but don’t let these tax your health. Make sure to follow these simple health tips:

  • Deduct the soda in your diet. Are you a soda drinker? Did you know that if you drink just one can of soda a day, it will increase your chance of diabetes by 30%?
  • Exempt processed foods such as hot dogs, lunch meats, sausage, and prepared meals from your diet. These usually contain lots of sodium and saturated fats that can lead to high cholesterol.
  • Interest -make your food and drinks more interesting with spices and reap the rewards. Cinnamon can reduce your sugar cravings and regulate your blood sugar. Cumin can help lower blood glucose levels and act as an antibacterial agent. Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory for arthritis and can bring relief for coughs and congestion.
  • Contributions – contribute exercise to your daily habits to raise your HDL levels (the good or “Happy” cholesterol). This will reward your body by building your heart muscles, burning fat, and reducing stress.
  • Earnings- you have earned yourself a time out. Plan some time in your day for a stress relieving activity such as walking, yoga, meditation, listening to soft music, or taking a nap.
  • Deferred -defer that next alcoholic drink by ordering a glass of water with every drink.
  • TurboFlax – add flaxseeds to your oatmeal or salads for a heart healthy supplement containing fiber, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Congratulations, you are now on track to move to the next health bracket!

Resources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/10/spices-health_n_1085099.html
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/diabetes/articles/2010/10/27/even-1-soda-a-day-can-hike-your-diabetes-risk

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed

The Best Valentine’s Gift

As February approaches, we remember Valentine’s Day. Can you think of the best Valentine’s gift you received or that you gave to your Valentine? Wouldn’t it be a great idea to give the gift of health? This year give yourself the best present, a gift of a healthy heart. February is also known as Heart Health Month so let’s focus on a few simple ideas on ways to keep your heart healthy.

Change your plate, lose some weight– One of the best suggestions I have received regarding diet and nutrition was to reduce my plate size. At dinner I use a lunch plate instead of a dinner plate and surprisingly it fills me up. Have you ever heard the term “eat everything on your plate, there are starving children all over the world”. That has been ingrained in us since childhood and to this day I feel guilty leaving food on my plate. One way to curb the guilt is to use a smaller plate. Or if you are eating out, ask for a box when you order and place half of your food in the to-go box as soon as the meal arrives.Image

Make your plate a masterpiece- The more colors on your plate, the more variety of vitamins and minerals, the healthier it is. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (eatright.org) recommend half of your plate consisting of fruits and vegetables. Also, the protein should include lean meats, poultry, beans, eggs, and nuts.  Keep it fun and colorful.

Pack the sack- Do you want to save money and stay healthy? Who doesn’t, right? Then all you need to do is spend a few minutes planning and packing your lunch the night before and this will accomplish both of these. Some examples of easy and nutritious lunches are: baked sweet potato, tuna pita sandwich (with low fat salad dressing, lettuce and tomatoes), carrots and hummus, salad topped with lean proteins,  taco salad (add cubes of mango, red onions, avocado for a burst of flavor), or chicken wraps (rotisserie chicken wrapped in lettuce leaves). Click on the link below for other great lunch ideas.

Happy Heart Month!

Eatright.org
http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/meal-ideas/10-quick-and-healthy-brown-bag-lunches