There are a variety of things you should know to help you stay in shape and have the best Wellness Center experience possible. Click any of the tabs below for helpful tips and resources.
Physical activity is voluntary bodily movement that burns calories. Examples of physical activity are walking to the store, housework, gardening, and choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator. These activities can easily be incorporated into daily life. Daily physical activity helps promote general health and wellness.
Exercise is a subcategory of physical activity and is defined as planned, structured, and repetitive movements done to improve or maintain physical fitness. Cardiovascular (“cardio”) exercise is more intense than daily physical activity but is necessary to obtain optimal health benefits and to lose or maintain weight.
Cardiovascular exercise increases your heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time. Aerobic activities help make your heart stronger and more efficient. They also burn more calories than normal daily activities.
Examples of cardiovascular exercises are brisk walking, jogging, aerobics, swimming, bicycling, aerobic equipment (treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical), dancing, hiking and recreational sports.
Cardiovascular exercise increases circulation, reduces risks of heart attack and stroke, lowers blood pressure and resting heart rate, improves ratio of good (HDL) to bad (LDL) cholesterol, helps control blood sugar, reduces risks of type II diabetes, improves lung function increasing the amount of oxygen in blood, boosts immune system, strengthens bones, keeps joints healthy, improves coordination, increases energy level, slows the aging process and the list goes on.
Basic cardiovascular health benefits can be obtained by participating in 30 to 60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a minimum of three days a week, although, additional benefits occur with added days of activity, up to six days a week.
If you are just starting out, it is more important to focus on frequency and time rather than intensity. After you are able to work out three days a week for 20 minutes, you can adjust the intensity of your workouts.
To improve your physical fitness level, your body must be progressively challenged. Improvements can result from either a change in frequency, intensity, duration or type of exercise.
Certain medications alter heart rate. Please talk to your doctor or ask our exercise physiologist before you begin an exercise program.
There are two basic ways of measuring intensity: Target heart rate and rate of perceived exertion. A third method is the talk test: If you can’t talk, decrease the intensity. If you can sing, increase the intensity.
To calculate your target heart rate zone (THRZone)
220 – Your Age = maximum heart rate (MaxHR)
MaxHR X 0.60 = Beats Per Minute ~ Low End of THRZone
MaxHR X 0.85 = Beats Per Minute ~ High End of THRZone
To calculate your THRZone for a 10-second count, divide both answers by 6
Take your pulse for 10 seconds while exercising to ensure you are working at the appropriate intensity. To take your pulse, press the tips of your index and middle finger against the inside of the opposite wrist, just below the mound at the base of your thumb. Count how many pulsations you feel in 10 seconds. The 10-second count should fall in your zone; if not, adjust intensity accordingly.
RPE is how you feel expressed on a scale of 0-10, with 0 equaling minimal exertion/resting and 10 equaling maximal exertion/sprinting up a hill. You want your RPE to be somewhere between 4 (brisk walking) and 8 (running/climbing stairs).
Strength Training, sometimes called resistance training, is exercise performed in order to increase muscular strength and endurance.
Incorporating a sensible strength training routine into your exercise program will help you to:
At The Wellness Center, you can incorporate strength training through the use of:
Flexibility is the ability of a particular joint to move through its complete range of motion. Stretching can help to increase your flexibility and also increase mental and physical relaxation, increase body awareness, reduce risk of injury and reduce muscular soreness and tension.
1. Be courteous.
2. Practice the Golden Rule.
Following are some key points that support these basic principles throughout The Wellness Center:
Do you know approximately 500 people work out at The Wellness Center every day? We clean the equipment regularly, but preventing the spread of germs requires everyone’s participation – we need your help!
We’ve compiled some of the best resources to help you with your nutritional needs, including (in-page links)
Websites that provides free accurate scientific advice:
www.eatright.org American Dietetic Association.
www.cnpp.usda.gov is administered by The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. This is an organization within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, established in 1994 to improve the nutrition and well-being of Americans focusing on advancing and promoting dietary guidance for all Americans and conducting applied research and analyses in nutrition and consumer economics.
www.hearthub.org American Heart Association.
www.aicr.org American Institute of Cancer Research.
www.complementarynutrition.org Nutrition in Complementary Care (NCC), a dietetic practice group of the American Dietetic Association; excellent for researching individual drugs and supplements.
www.herbalgram.org American Botanical Council; information on safe Medicinal Plants.
www.nih.gov National Institutes for Health; safe dietary supplements.
www.cdc.gov Centers for Disease Control; disease conditions and treatments
www.ncahf.org The National Council Against Health Fraud provides science-based health information
www.ftc.gov Federal Trade Commission; lists health frauds
An alcoholic drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or one and a half ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.. People who drink alcohol should limit their intake to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Women at high risk of breast cancer may want to consider not drinking any alcohol. Regular intake of even a few drinks per week is linked to a higher incidence of breast cancer in women, especially in women who do not get enough folate. Alcohol raises the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), esophagus, liver, and breast, and probably of the colon and rectum. The combination of alcohol and tobacco increases the risk of some cancers far more than the effect of either drinking or smoking alone.
Antioxidants protect our tissues and cells against the damage brought on as a result of the body's normal oxidation processes. Because such damage is linked to increased cancer risk and antioxidants are known to block the actions of this oxidation they are viewed as protectors. Antioxidants include: vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A, and all are found in a plant based diet. Studies have shown that those who eat more vegetables and fruits (rich sources of antioxidants) many have lower incidences of some types of cancer. To reduce cancer risks, the best advice at present is to obtain antioxidant from food rather than supplements.
Aspartame is a low-calorie artificial sweetener that is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. Current evidence does not show any link between aspartame use and increased cancer risks. However, people with the genetic disorder known as phenylketonuria should avoid foods and drinks that contain aspartame.
Bioengineered foods are made by adding genes from other plants or organisms to make a plant more resistant to pests and spoilage. Some genes improve flavor and nutrient composition, or make the food easier to transport. In theory, these added genes might create substances that could cause harmful reactions among sensitized or allergic individuals. But there is no evidence at this time that the substances found in bioengineered foods are harmful or would either increase or decrease cancer risk because of the added genes.
Cruciferous vegetables belong to the cabbage family and include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale. These vegetables contain certain compounds thought to reduce the risk for colorectal cancer. The best evidence suggests that eating a wide variety of vegetables, including cruciferous and other vegetables, reduces cancer risk.
Dietary fiber includes a wide variety of plant carbohydrates that humans cannot digest. Specific categories of fiber are "soluble" (like oat bran) or "insoluble" (like wheat bran and cellulose). Soluble fiber helps to reduce blood cholesterol, which lowers the risk of coronary heart disease. Good sources of fiber are beans, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits.
Many substances are added to foods to preserve them and to enhance color, flavor, and texture. New additives must be cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before entering the food supply. Rigorous testing in animals to determine any cancer effects is done as part of this process. Additives are usually present in very small quantities in food, and no convincing evidence has shown that any additive at these levels causes harm.
Genetics is the science of genes. Damage to the genes that control cell growth can be either inherited or acquired during life. Certain types of mutations or genetic damage can increase the risk of cancer. Nutrients in the diet can protect DNA from being damaged. Physical activity, weight control, and diet might delay or prevent the development of diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease or some cancers in people with a family history of these chronic illnesses. The interaction between diet and genetic factors is an important and complex topic, and a great deal of research is under way in this area.
Irradiated foods are foods that have undergone a particular radiation process. Radiation is used to kill harmful organisms on foods in order to extend their "shelf life." Radiation does not remain in the foods after treatment, and eating irradiated foods does not appear to increase cancer risk.
Processed meats are meats that have undergone a manufacturing process that changes a part of their composition. Some studies have linked eating large amounts of processed meat to an increased risk of colorectal and stomach cancers. This connection may or may not be due to nitrites, which are added to many luncheon meats, hams, and hot dogs to maintain color and to prevent bacterial growth. Eating processed meats and meats preserved by methods involving smoke or salt increases exposure to potential cancer-causing agents and should be reduced as much as possible.
The term organic is popularly used to designate plant foods grown without pesticides or genetic modifications. At this time, no research exists to demonstrate whether such foods are more effective in reducing cancer risk than are similar foods produced by other farming methods.
Pesticides and herbicides are used on crops to kill insects or pests. Pesticides and herbicides can be toxic when used improperly in industrial, agricultural, or other occupational settings. Although vegetables and fruits sometimes contain low levels of these chemicals, overwhelming scientific evidence supports the overall health benefits and cancer-protective effects of eating vegetables and fruits. At present there is no evidence that residues of pesticides and herbicides at the low doses found in foods increase the risk of cancer, however fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly before eating.
The term phytochemicals refers to a wide variety of compounds made by plants. Some of these compounds protect plants against insects or perform other important functions. Some have either antioxidant or hormone-like actions both in plants and in the people who eat them. Because consuming vegetables and fruits reduces cancer risk, researchers are looking for specific compounds responsible for the helpful effects. At this time, no evidence has shown that phytochemicals taken as supplements are as good for you as the vegetables, fruits, beans, and grains from which they are extracted.
Saccharin is a sweetener that has been removed from the list of established human carcinogens by the U.S. National Toxicology Program. Saccharin contains a warning on its label that is linked with causing cancer. However, this link has only been found in rats at high doses of the artificial sweetener saccharin to cause bladder stones that may lead to bladder cancer. Saccharin has not been found to cause bladder stones or cancer in humans.
Sugar increases calorie intake without providing any vitamins and minerals. White (refined) sugar is no different from brown (unrefined) sugar or honey with regard to their effects on body weight or insulin. To prevent unwanted weight gain, limit foods such as cakes, candy, cookies, sweetened cereals, and high-sugar beverages such as soda to help reduce sugar intake.
Many healthful compounds are found in vegetables and fruits, and these compounds most likely work together to produce their helpful effects. There is strong evidence that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods may reduce the risk of cancer. But there is no proof at this time that vitamin and mineral supplements can reduce cancer risk. Some high-dose supplements may actually increase cancer risk. Food is the best source to meet vitamin and mineral requirements. However for some people, such as women of childbearing age or people whose dietary intakes are restricted by allergies, food intolerances, or other problems, a vitamin/mineral supplement would be beneficial. If a supplement is taken, the best choice is a balanced multivitamin/mineral supplement containing no more than 100% of the "Daily Value" of most nutrients.
Trans fats are trans-saturated fats made when oils such as margarines or shortenings are hydrogenated to make them solid at room temperature. Recent evidence shows that trans-fats raise blood cholesterol levels. Their relationship to cancer risk has not been determined, but people are advised to eat as few trans-fats as possible.
Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian eating styles can be healthful. The bottom line depends on your food choices over time. Studies show a positive link between vegetarian eating and health. Vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and cholesterol levels, lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancers.
1. Semi-vegetarian - those who follow a vegetarian eating plan but occasionally eat meat, fish or poultry
2. Lacto-ovo vegetarian - those who eat eggs and dairy products in addition to plant foods
3. Lacto-vegetarian - people who consume dairy products in addition to plant foods
4. Vegan - those who avoid eating all animal products.
Unsupplemented vegan diets do not provide vitamin B-12. Dairy products and eggs supply vitamin B-12; however, depending on food choices, some lacto-ovo-vegetarians may have inadequate intakes as well. Vitamin B-12 is well-absorbed from fortified nondairy milks and from breakfast cereals, as well as from supplements. In addition to regular supplementation with vitamin B-12, vegans require a dietary source of vitamin D when sun exposure is insufficient. This occurs at northern latitudes and in certain other situations. Many fortified nondairy milks and breakfast cereals provide vitamin D, although the form used to fortify cereals is often not vegan. Vegetarians may also choose vitamin D supplements.
If you are thinking about starting a vegetarian eating plan, talk to a registered dietitian who can help you devise an eating plan that is right for you.
Click below to try something new today!
1. Nonfat yogurt mixed with fresh fruit
2. Cereal and milk
3. Cut-up fresh fruit or vegetables with yogurt dip
4. Whole-wheat pita filled with hummus
5. Low-fat corn chips with salsa
6. Fat-free tortilla filled with turkey, cheese, and vegetables
7. Half of a bagel topped with peanut butter and banana
8. Low-fat popcorn with grated & sprinkled Parmesan cheese
9. Fat-free pudding
10. Handful of nuts mixed with a few chocolate chips
11. Low-fat milk and 2-3 gingersnap cookies
12. Pretzels dipped in low-fat ranch dressing
13. Heated frozen whole-grain waffle topped with unsweetened applesauce
14. Low-sodium tomato soup made with low-fat milk & a handful of oyster crackers
15. Small salad topped with grilled chicken
16. One slice of thin-crust pizza topped with lots of vegetables
Prepare healthy meals in advance in containers that are easily accessible and spill proof. Sandwiches can be kept in baggies, and fresh cut fruits/veggies in Ziploc or Tupperware containers.
Beverages such as water and unsweetened iced tea are healthier than regular sodas, sports drinks and flavored or vitamin water. You can freeze water bottles the night before and they will stay cold for hours.
1. Peanut butter over toasted whole grain waffles with dried cranberries and a glass of low-fat milk.
2. Hard-boiled egg, bran muffin, and banana with a glass of low-fat milk.
3. Whole grain English muffin toasted with Canadian bacon served with apple slices and a cup of hot chocolate.
4. Low-fat yogurt with bran cereal and raisins.
1. Tortilla Wraps: Tofu or lean meat (turkey, chicken, and ham) wrapped with a variety of vegetables (romaine lettuce, spinach leaves, cucumber, red and yellow pepper slices, and mushrooms) in a whole wheat tortilla. Add condiments to taste such as reduced fat mayonnaise, mustard, hummus, or BBQ sauce.
2. Peanut Butter and Fruit Spread Sandwich: Whole wheat bread with natural peanut butter and fruit spread such as Palomar. Add carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes plus a glass of soy milk.
3. Sabra® Hummus To Go: Pre-packaged product with two small containers. One container of hummus, available in a wide array of flavors, and the other with crackers; add side salad and fresh fruit.
4. Pasta Salad with julienne vegetables, shredded chicken or salmon with light vinaigrette dressing plus a glass of V8 juice.
We all hope for good health and a long, productive life. Fortunately, you play a major role in making that a reality. Many of the health issues that plague our society today come, at least in part, from making poor lifestyle choices. A high-fat, high-calorie diet can put you at risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, all of which can lead to heart disease and stroke.
One of the keys to getting and staying healthy is making good food choices. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans emphasize the need to reduce the amount of fat, sodium (salt) and added sugar we consume. Sound difficult? It may not be as hard as you think.
By understanding what foods are high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium, you can make better choices. By choosing wisely at the grocery store and making simple substitutions when cooking, you can eat the things you love without putting yourself at risk. Here are a few simple shopping tips that can help you get started
2%, 1% or skim milk or plain soymilk
Reducing the amount of butter, lard and other saturated fats in your diet is another way to protect your arteries and decrease your risk of heart attack or stroke. While completely eliminating these ingredients from the foods you eat is not a realistic solution, cutting down on them or substituting other, healthier, ingredients could be just the ticket.
Instead of using butter as a spread on your bagel or toast, consider using low-fat cream cheese or an all-fruit jam.
Rather than frying meats or vegetables, try dipping them in a beaten egg and then coating with flour, herbs and crushed Corn Flakes or bread crumbs. Then cook them under a broiler which gives them a golden, crisp coating without all the fat.
For cakes and muffins, use applesauce or fruit puree in place of some or all of the butter or oil. As a general rule, use half applesauce and half fat. You will also want to opt for heart healthy oils, like olive oil or canola oil.
For baking, it is best to use canola oil. When cooking, it is better not to substitute reduced-fat margarine or corn oil spreads for regular butter unless a recipe specifically calls for their use. However, you can simply reduce the amount of butter or oil called for in a recipe. This table gives you an example of how much you can safely cut from a recipe and still have delicious results.
= 3/4 teaspoon
You don’t have to skimp on flavor to cut calories and fat from your diet. You just have to know the tricks of the trade!
This meatless sauce tastes like old-fashioned Italian spaghetti sauce, is loaded with veggies and has a zesty aroma.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1⁄4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
1 Tbsp. dried oregano, basil & thyme
1⁄2 cup fat-free chicken broth
2 cans (28 oz. each) crushed tomatoes, drained
8 oz. spaghetti, preferably whole-wheat
7 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
Salt and pepper
In heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper, zucchini and carrot and sauté 2 minutes. Add oregano, basil, thyme and broth. Stir in tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions. To vegetable mixture, add garlic, mushrooms, tomato paste, salt and pepper, to taste. Raise heat to medium, cover and cook 10 minutes. When spaghetti is done, drain and transfer to warm serving bowl. Add sauce and toss.
(Source: American Institute for Cancer Research)