Monthly Archives: December 2016

Wellness Challenge: Water

water-glasses

This week’s wellness challenge is to drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water a day, for four or more days this week.

Here are some reasons to make sure you’re drinking enough water every day:

  • Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids. Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

  • Water Can Help Control Calories. For years, dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn’t have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help. Food with high water content tends to look larger, its higher volume requires more chewing, and it is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel full. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.
  • Water Helps Energize Muscles. Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. Drinking enough fluids is important when exercising. Follow the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for fluid intake before and during physical activity. These guidelines recommend that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid about two hours before exercise. During exercise, they recommend that people start drinking fluids early, and drink them at regular intervals to replace fluids lost by sweating.

    Here are some tips to increase your fluid intake and reap the benefits of water:

    - Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
    - Eat more fruit and vegetables. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from food.
    - Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.

Wellness Challenge: Fresh Air

air

Here’s your wellness challenge for this week: Spend 30 minutes or more in the fresh air, four or more days this week!

Why is fresh air good for you? Here are some reasons:

•Fresh air cleans the lungs and helps to bring more oxygen to the cells and improves the cleansing action of your lungs. When you exhale and breathe out through your lungs, you release airborne toxins from your body. The increased oxygen level in the body brings with it increased energy to do the things you need to do.

•More oxygen also brings greater clarity to the brain, which needs twenty percent of our body’s oxygen to function. When you breathe fresh air you can automatically think better as compared to when you remain inside a room for a longer period of time.

•Fresh air is good for digestion as it helps you to digest food more effectively. That is why experts’ recommend taking a small walk outside after you eat. From all the health benefits of fresh air, this one is really important if you are trying to lose weight.

•Fresh air also improves your blood pressure and heart rate. Those who have a problem with blood pressure should avoid staying at polluted environments and try to stay in surroundings that have a good supply of fresh air. Dirty environment forces the body to work harder, to get the amount of oxygen it needs.

•The amount of serotonin your body has is hugely affected by the amount of oxygen you inhale. Serotonin can significantly lighten your mood and promote a sense of happiness and well-being. Fresh air will leave you feeling more refreshed and relaxed.

•Fresh air is also essential to make your immune system strong. White blood cells require more oxygen when working to kill and destroy bacteria, viruses, and germs. They need enough oxygen to work and function properly.

•Fresh air purifies the blood, imparts to it a bright color, and sends the blood, a life-giving current, to every part of the body.

So get out there, take a deep breath, and enjoy! See you next week!

Wellness Challenge: Fruit and Vegetable Snacks

fuitandveg

We hope you are having fun with our weekly wellness challenge! You will find that small changes in your diet and routine can make a big difference in your health and how you feel.

Remember, you can do each week’s wellness challenge on your own, or with a group of friends. You can even reward yourself for successfully completing the challenge!

To complete, do each challenge for four days a week, or more if you’d like to set your own rules. We usually do Monday through Thursday.

Here is this week’s challenge:

Eat one piece of fruit and one vegetable as a snack on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week. You can do it!

Why is it important to eat fruit and vegetables?

Nutrients:

  • Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. None have cholesterol.

  • Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
  • Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Vegetable sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, sauce, and juice), beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, spinach, lentils, and kidney beans.
  • Dietary fiber from vegetables, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber-containing foods such as vegetables help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.
  • Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections.
  • Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Vitamin C aids in iron absorption.

Health Benefits:

  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruit as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke, and may protect against some kinds of cancers. It may also lower blood pressure and reduce bone loss.

  • Eating a diet rich in some vegetables and fruit as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against some cancers.
  • Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as some vegetables and fruit, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Eating foods such as vegetables that are lower in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.