You're as Young as You Feel

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You're as Young as You Feel

Most of us want to live a long life—but even more importantly, we want to be as energetic and healthy as possible as we get older. Happily there are things we can do to help us get there.

More and more, research is showing that improving your lifestyle can help postpone disability in later years—and you don’t have to wait until you’re retired to make those changes.
You have the ability to take control of your health and your life at any age and at any stage. Here are a few ways to jump start your lifestyle for a healthier old age, whether you’re 20 or 80.

Walk out your work breaks.

Instead of sitting in a break room, use those breaks to get up and move. Adding two small walks throughout your day can add up. Take the stairs and visit a local coffee shop a few blocks away from the office. Even better—find coworkers who also want a walking break and make it a daily ritual!

Try a new way to move.

If you already have an exercise you love, by all means stick with it. But you can always try something new, too! Explore fitness classes or activities that seem appealing, like Zumba, water aerobics, or yoga. Mixing it up can create new social connections and encourage muscles that aren’t used regularly.

It’s never too late to improve your health and vitality through exercise. Julia Hawkins took up running at the age of 100. She now holds the age-group world record for the 100 meter dash!
Swap sugary desserts for fruit. No matter your age, eating a little something sweet after dinner never gets old! If you’re trying to avoid refined grains and sugar, consider the fruit. Fruit wraps its delicious sweetness inside a package of healthy fiber and phytonutrients, making it as good for you as it is good tasting. Here are ten dessert ideas low on refined sugar but high on flavor.

Stay Connected.

Keeping up a social life can help with quality of life in any part of the aging process. Find a way to connect with others. Do you know your neighbors? Have friends who like to walk like you do? Find community classes to take or volunteer at local school. By keeping strong connections, your life will feel more meaningful and fulfilling.

Visit Your Doctor.

Make September the month to schedule your annual physical. Regular exams and screenings can help your and your doctor identify any health issues before they start. By being proactive about doctor’s visits, you can avoid unnecessary worry about your health.
 

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Exercise: One Size Does Not Fit All

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Exercise: One Size Does Not Fit All

You may have heard that the recommendation from the Department of Health and Human Services is for healthy adults to exercise 150 minutes per week. But what do those guidelines look like in real life? Beyond the numbers, the exercise recommendation is very flexible and can cover everyone from those just getting started to athletes. Below you’ll find some ideas on how to work toward those 150 minutes in your life.

All data is based on CDC recommendations.

OPTION 1: WALK IT OUT
150 minutes equal 2 hours and 30 minutes. That is 30 minutes, 5 days a week! Those hours are for moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking, slow bicycling, tennis (doubles), ballroom dancing or gardening.
OPTION 2: GET SWEATY
1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity. Examples are jogging, running, swimming laps, tennis (singles), dancing, hiking uphill or backpacking.
OPTION 3: MIX IT UP
Do you get bored easily? Try a mixture of moderate and vigorous activity. A rule of thumb is one minute of vigorous-intensity activity is equal to two minutes of moderate activity. Give your brain a workout with some basic math to get the equivalent of 150 minutes! Here are a few examples: 75 minutes of moderate activity and 40 minutes of vigorous intensity movements or 50 minutes of moderate activity and 50 minutes of vigorous movement. 

DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR MUSCLES
No matter what you choose, in addition to those activities, add in muscle strengthening activities! Try yoga, walking stairs, or weight lifting for two days per week. Work your legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms.
GIVE IT 10 MINUTES
If you are just beginning your physical activity journey, start small. Break your activity into even 10 minutes at a time.
Here’s a sample schedule for your week to achieve 150 minutes:

Monday: 30-minute brisk walk at lunch; muscle strengthening: 3 sets of 12 squats
Tuesday: Gardening, 1 hour
Wednesday: 30-minute brisk walk at lunch; muscle strengthening: 3 sets of 20-second plank position.
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 30-minute brisk walk to coffee in the morning.
Saturday: Hike, 1 hour
Sunday: Rest.

While getting your movement in for the week is important, rest is equally important for your overall health and recovery. Shoot for getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night and spend your rest days exploring other hobbies that may not be centered around sweating. By allowing yourself days off, you will feel refueled and ready to work hard for the rest of the week.

Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.

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5 Tips to Live Your Best Summer

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5 Tips to Live Your Best Summer

July! It’s already July?! Summer always feels like the shortest season of the year. It’s time to seize the day and start living your best summer. 

Here are 5 steps to get started:

  1. Visit a local farmers' market. Summer fruits and vegetables are reaching their peak of flavor. Your local farmers’ market provides a great opportunity to find the best tasting (and often lowest priced) produce in town. Use your farmers’ market bounty to explore new recipes for old favorites like fruit salads, green salads, and wraps! When you have fun adding fruits and veggies into your meals each day, it’s easy to reach your fruit and vegetable recommended intake.
  2. Start a garden. Gardening can reduce stress and can even count as exercise! You don’t even need a big yard to do it: Container gardening can help you create a small sanctuary with containers on a back patio or front porch. Even though it’s July, it is not too late to start planting! Try a fast-growing herb garden with cilantro, basil and mint. Other plants that can handle a late start are beets, broccoli, cabbage or kale. Planting starts may also be a good way to garden in July. If you are new to gardening, be sure to visit your local nursery to learn about what plants grow best in your climate!
  3. Create a Summer playlist. Whether it is for your daily commute or for a weekend BBQ, make a summer playlist. Focus on music that feels like summer to you to help remind you that it’s time to enjoy this season. Choose your favorite oldies, new and upcoming beats, or classic summer tunes—your choice!
  4. Invite friends to a healthy potluck barbecue. Socializing is an important contributor to longevity and mental health. One way to celebrate summer in a social way is to gather friends, neighbors, or co-workers for a potluck. Encourage healthy and wholesome dishes. Feed your social soul with friends and nourish your body with great food!
  5. Take advantage of an earlier sunrise. Sure, it’s always important to get enough sleep (7-9 hours for most adults), but now is the time to take advantage of the early sunrises this time of year and get outside for some movement in the morning before you start your workday. Find a local park, or explore a new neighborhood nearby. Exercising in the morning can help you have more energy throughout your day and guarantees you’ll get in a workout before 8 hours of work saps your energy. When does the sun rise in your town? Check here. A tip for waking up naturally may be to leave your window shades open to see the sun come up.

Now get started on living your best Summer!

Interested in learning more about Quality Health Solutions? Visit our website or contact us at info@my-qhs.com. 

 

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The Summer of Safety

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The Summer of Safety

Swimming, fireworks, picnics, hiking, boating, biking—these are the pursuits we crave during summer. And while we hate to harsh your mellow, each of these pursuits does come with some risks.

That doesn’t mean you have to avoid your favorite pastimes entirely. Being informed and prepared can go a long way toward minimizing summer risks so you can make the summer of 2017 your best ever.

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The Road to  Resilience

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The Road to Resilience

Every life has its challenges from the trivial to the profound. Facing adversity is what unites us as human beings.

So it's important to learn how to bounce back. Resilience is the quality that helps us adapt and move forward after trauma,  tragedy, and even garden-variety stress. Read on to find out how to develop it.

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Making Friends with Money

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Making Friends with Money

Lots of us muddle along from paycheck to paycheck, sometimes putting something aside for the future, sometimes going a bit into debt because of unexpected expenses. But are we really financially well? Read on for the signs of financial wellness and some suggestions for getting there.

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Which Is Better, Diet or Exercise?

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Which Is Better, Diet or Exercise?

The health coaches are often asked the question, "Which is better, diet or exercise?"

We usually try to discover where the person is more ready to make a lifestyle change and encourage them to start with that. But new research suggests the answer is exactly what you always thought it would be: (Read on for the answer!)

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Are You in Control?

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Are You in Control?

The current issue of the Center for Disease Control’s Vital Signs publication highlights a somewhat shocking statistic: 70 percent of older adults have high blood pressure—and 50 percent of them don’t have it under control.

This is important because high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and strokes, as well as kidney problems. The condition has been linked to a higher risk for dementia as well.

Why are 50 percent of seniors with hypertension walking around with uncontrolled high blood pressure? Read on for the answers.

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10 Fruits and Vegetables to Try Right Now

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10 Fruits and Vegetables to Try Right Now

It’s harvest season and across the country supermarkets, farmers markets, and roadside stands are stuffed with peak-season produce. That’s one of the reasons it makes sense that September has been designated “Fruits & Veggies More Matters Month”

The piles of juicy apples and fresh-picked butternut squash are seductive, but “More Matters Month” is also a great time to branch out and try fruits and vegetables that might not be as familiar. Who knows? You might find a new veggie to fall in love with or a new fruit BFF.

Here are ten of the more unusual f+v available in stores this season.

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Back to School = Return to Routine

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Back to School = Return to Routine

For families, back to school time can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s the end of summer. No more long, lazy days at the lake and late nights out in the yard watching for fireflies.

Instead, it’s a time for a chill in the air, fresh school supplies, and a renewed sense of rigor.

By the time September rolls around, most all of us—not just kids and parents—are ready to put away the unstructured days of summer and add routine to our lives.

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Exercise: More is More

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Exercise: More is More

Another data point for the more-is-more theory of exercise: Apparently you can reduce your risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke by exercising—sometimes considerably. The catch? You have to be about four times as physically active as the current 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week guidelines prescribe.

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In Praise of Plant Protein

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In Praise of Plant Protein

Many people have complicated feelings toward plant sources for protein.  Snow-white and innocent with a sometimes quivery texture, tofu is often a target for people’s unkind words.

But what if I told you that eating more tofu is associated with a longer lifespan?

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Campaign for Calm

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Campaign for Calm

The political “silly season” has arrived. And while this year’s election offers some outrageous theater for hardcore political junkies, for others the constant barrage of politics in the news, on social media, and in conversations is a potent source of stress and anxiety.

Some of the political rhetoric has even gone out of the way to incite a sense of panic and fear in people in order to generate votes.

How do you stay calm and help others retain a positive outlook when the stakes feel so high and you’re not sure your candidate will prevail?

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Eat Veggies, Be Happy

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Eat Veggies, Be Happy

How do you feel after eating a sun-warmed peach plucked ripe from a tree? What is your mental state like when you dig into the season’s first asparagus, grilled and drizzled with olive oil?

We all know that eating more fruits and vegetables can bring us more physical health.  Those who eat more fruits and vegetables have reduced rates of heart disease, as well as lower BMIs. And each daily serving you eat can help prevent an early death.

What is less well-known is that eating fruits and vegetables can actually make you happier.

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It’s Never too Late to Fall in Love with Biking to Work

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It’s Never too Late to Fall in Love with Biking to Work

Bicycling to work comes with a lot of benefits: It’s good for your body. It’s good for the earth. And it’s great for your mental health. And now, there is one more reason to take to the saddle—type 2 diabetes prevention.

Scientists have known for a long time that exercise can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes. Being active helps your body control blood sugar better and also prevents the kind of weight gain that can be a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.

Still, many people believe that it’s “too late” to start an exercise program and improve their health. New research, however, should give middle-aged and older adults confidence that starting an exercise program at any age can help protect you from type 2 diabetes.

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Stress Kills (Productivity)

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Stress Kills (Productivity)

A new NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation survey looks at stress, overwork, and hazards in the workplace. The outcomes, while they do not surprise, certainly strengthen the case for getting workers help for dealing with stress.

The poll seems to point to overwork as a potent form of stress. About a fifth of us work more than 50 hours per week at a primary job (which doesn’t count the many, many people who need a second job just to get by in our economy). Even more shocking: About half of us do not use all or most of our allotted vacation days!

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