Health and Wellness

About Your Healthy Life
img

Losing weight isn’t just about a number on the scale, it’s about gaining better health, and living your best life. By participating in Lighten Up Onslow, you’ve already taken the first step to making healthier choices, becoming more active, losing weight, and learning more about your health. Whether it’s learning what your BMI (Body Mass Index) is when you registered for the challenge, or making your yearly doctor’s appointment, and choosing healthier recipes for your family, Lighten Up Onslow hopes to provide you with resources and health tips that will help you on your journey to a healthier you.

img
What You Drink Is Just as Important as What You Eat!

The American Heart Association found that sugary drinks are the number one source of added sugars in the American diet. Each year the average American consumes 39 pounds of sugar from sugar-sweetened beverages. 
Calories from sugar-sweetened beverages can really add up throughout the day, which is why it is extremely important to be aware of the nutrients you put into your body counts! Small changes in your diet add up over time to create a healthier and happier you!  
Learn more and more tips and tricks…

img
Eat, Breathe, Sleep.

Do you know how important is to your overall health?  Sleep is as important as the food you eat and the air you breathe. Find out more about sleep by taking the sleep quiz…


OHealthy
img
Onslow County Health Department

National Nutrition Month was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to highlight the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. 
This year the Academy chose the theme of “Put Your Best Fork Forward” as a reminder that every bite counts! Small changes in your diet add up over time to create a healthier and happier you!   
As you are planning meals, exercise and time with family this month, what can you do to put your best fork forward?
Some suggestions are:

Drink fewer sugary beverages
Eat more meals at home
Incorporate exercise into your daily routine 


img
Onslow County Health Department

When it comes to taking care of your heart, some activities are better than others. According to experts the most important thing to do is find an activity you enjoy and stick with it. Here are a few suggestions for activities that are proven to be good for your heart health. Read more…


Onslow County
Health Department
img
Onslow County Health Department

Know Your Numbers. High cholesterol, high blood pressure and being overweight or obese are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. You should be getting tests regularly to know if you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure. That’s because elevated cholesterol and blood pressure have no warning signs.  Read more…


Onslow County
Health Department
img
Difficulty Sleeping?

"Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together." --Thomas Dekker Are you having difficulty falling asleep and or staying asleep? Insomnia is a common problem that takes a toll on your energy, mood, health, and ability to function during the day. Chronic insomnia can even contribute to serious health problems. Stress often leads to sleep deprivation and lack of sleep can cause stress, a vicious cycle that can frustrate and exacerbate the problem. Simple changes to your lifestyle and daily habits can put a stop to sleepless nights.

Learn more

By April Clark,
Owner of Second Wind
Eco Tours & Yoga
img
BEING ACCOUNTABLE CAN HELP YOUR WEIGHT LOSS

Joining Lighten Up Onslow is just the start to a healthier you. Making a contract with yourself is the next step in reaching your weight loss goal.  Busy lives can sometimes make it difficult for you to stay on track with your diet and exercise routine. But, if you make a contract with yourself, writing down exactly how you plan on reaching your goals: Eating the right amount of daily calories that you need to reach your weight loss goal and how many days a week you plan on exercising. Most important, remind yourself along the way of why it’s so important to you to succeed. This will help you hold yourself accountable and keep you on track to success.
Click here for more tips to keep you true to your weight loss goals.

By Lighten Up Onslow
img
Healthy Habits for Successful Weight Loss

Avoid high-fat meals - Keep an eye out for meals that use the following words in their description: Au Gratin, Parmesan, Tempura, Alfredo, creamy and Carbonara. These meal descriptions usually mean a "high-fat" content. Be mindful when you are eating. Pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth. In other words, sit down and pay attention to the food you are eating. Really enjoy each and every bite.

Keep Reading
By Lighten Up Onslow
img
Preparing for Your Best Year of Fitness

Here's a word of advice: If you're getting ready to make New Year's fitness resolutions--don't. Instead, design a yearlong fitness plan to ensure that you make effective lifestyle changes.

Keep Reading
By HealthDay News
img
A Guide to a Lighter, Healthier You!

What does it mean for you to be lighter? Does that mean eating healthier? Exercising more? Or could it simply mean that you simply want to feel better? Lighten Up Onslow is a program specifically designed with life’s demands in mind, and the program’s simple tools and guides help you find practical ways of meeting your goals.

Keep Reading
By Lighten Up Onslow
Take the Heart Health Test

How healthy is your heart? Find out more by taking this quiz, based on information from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the American Heart Association (AHA).

img
Health Benefits of Water

It's no secret that water is great for helping weight loss, because drinking water can keep you feeling full so that you don’t eat as much, which may help you lose weight. But, did you know that if you don’t drink enough water every day, you can experience daytime fatigue? Well it’s true. Water can help with weight loss, but water is actually crucial for our bodies to function properly. Water helps promote good digestion, as well as transporting the nutrients we eat to our cells. Without water, our digestive track will not function well, and lack of proper hydration may cause headaches, fatigue, constipation, and diarrhea.

Drink up and read more about the importance of drinking water.

By Lighten Up Onslow
img

Body, mind and spirit are linked together for optimum health. If one of these is out of balance, it is likely that your health will be affected. Yoga is a practice that addresses each of these components in order to maintain good health.
Read more...

By April Clark,
Owner of Second Wind
Eco Tours & Yoga
img
Does Drinking Water Really Help You Lose Weight?

It appears that the answer is yes. Sometimes we confuse thirst with hunger and we end up eating extra calories when an ice-cold glass of water is really what our body needs.  Therefore, it’s important to drink enough water to keep your body hydrated so that you don’t confuse hunger with being thirsty. Read more...

By Lighten Up Onslow
img
Nutrition Facts Tool.

Onslow Memorial Hospital has a great nutrition tool to help you find out more about the foods you eat as far as calories, fat, protein, cholesterol, sodium, fiber, and more.
Search this handy database to learn more

By Lighten Up Onslow
img
Yoga and Weight Loss

Yoga’s Positive Effect on Diabetes There have been a number of studies conducted on the effects of yoga as an adjunct treatment for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. For the sake of this article, we will limit the scope of our information for type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, yoga can be used as an effective therapy in reducing oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes. Yoga, in addition to standard care, helps reduce BMI and improve glycemic control in type 2 diabetic patients.

Keep Reading
By April Clark,
Owner of Second Wind
Eco Tours & Yoga
img
Maintain a Healthy Weight

One of the most important things to do to support a healthy heart, is to maintain a healthy weight. If you are not sure what your healthy weight range should be for your height and frame, click to view a Healthy Weight Range Chart.

View Chart
By Lighten Up Onslow
img
All About Laughter Yoga

There are many different styles of yoga. Some of the more common types are Hatha, Ashtanga, and Bikram. Others include Aerial, Restorative, and Laughter yoga. To celebrate National Humor Month, I thought I’d highlight Laughter Yoga.

Keep Reading
By April Clark,
Owner of Second Wind
Eco Tours & Yoga
img
Does Chronic Stress Increase Appetite?

According to WebMd, for some people, chronic stress can be tied to an increase in appetite and induce weight gain. And WebMd adds “we
would like to blame all our weight gain on stress, but experts say that eating in response to stress can also be a learned habit, often, eating becomes what we do to relieve stress.”

Keep Reading
By Lighten Up Onslow
Healthy Habits to Successful Weight Loss
Avoid high-fat meals

Keep an eye out for meals that use the following words in their description: Au Gratin, Parmigiana, Tempura, Alfredo, creamy and Carbonara, because these meal descriptions usually mean a "high-fat" content.

Be mindful when you are eating

Pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth. In other words, sit down and pay attention to the food you are eating. Really enjoy each and every bite. If you're watching TV or working while you eat, you won't pay attention to what's going into your mouth and you might eat more than you should and enjoy it less.

Drink more water

Drink water instead of grabbing for a high-fat snack. Drinking six to eight glasses a day will help fill you up and help your waistline.

Ask for a "doggie-bag" before you eat

Ask your waiter for a take-home box before you begin to eat your restaurant meal and put half of your main course into the take-home box. Putting the food away before you start your meal will help you eat a more sensible portion and you'll have leftovers to take home for tomorrow.

Leave something on your plate

Challenge yourself to leave half of your sandwich on your plate, remove the bun from your burger or eat only half your spaghetti and meatballs. You might find out that you are satisfied eating only half-of-a- portion and not to consume the rest of your meal.

And most important - Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

If you’ve been following our tips, you know that in addition to eating the appropriate amount of calories, increasing your exercise activity can be the key to helping you lose weight. In fact, a Duke University study suggests that you should walk for 45 minutes a day. The study found that “while 30 minutes of daily walking is enough to prevent weight gain in most relatively sedentary people, exercise beyond 30 minutes results in weight and fat loss. Evidently walking 45 minutes can burn an additional 300 calories a day which could help you lose 30 pounds in a year without even changing how much you’re eating.

All About Laughter Yoga
By April Clark, Owner of Second Wind Eco Tours & Yoga

There are many different styles of yoga. Some of the more common types are Hatha, Ashtanga, and Bikram. Others include Aerial, Restorative, and Laughter yoga. To celebrate National Humor Month, I thought I’d highlight Laughter Yoga. Laughter Yoga was started by Dr. Madan Kataria in 1995; it combines gentle yoga breathing and simulated unconditional laughter. When the simulated laughter is practiced in a group setting, it soon gets an energy all its own and evolves into genuine laughter. Some of the benefits of this form of yoga include:

- General health. The health benefits of laughter are extensive. After laughing, the positive effects can last up to 45 minutes, benefiting the cardiovascular system and even reducing blood pressure. Indeed, studies have shown that people suffering from heart disease are 40 percent less likely to laugh in many situations compared to people without heart disease. Laughter even speeds healing.
- Stress relief. Laughter can be a healthy way to reduce anxiety and stress, as well as fostering a positive attitude and feeling of happiness. Within minutes of laughing, stress levels drop.
- Boosted immune function. Laugher can help our immune response by raising levels of infection-fighting T-cells and disease-fighting proteins called gamma interferon and B-cells, which produce disease-destroying antibodies.
- Aerobic conditioning. The regular practice of Laughter Yoga can be good for your heart, diaphragm, abdominal, intercostals, respiratory, and facial muscles. As part of the “workout" of laughter, endorphins are released, the body's natural painkillers, which foster a sense of well-being.

While I don’t practice Laughter Yoga personally, I appreciate a good laugh and realize its many benefits to physical and mental health. Remember, the importance of laughter and a positive mood on our health can’t be overestimated. Sometimes, a good laugh can be just the prescription the doctor ordered.

Does Chronic Stress Increase Appetite?

According to WebMd, for some people, chronic stress can be tied to an increase in appetite and induce weight gain. And WebMd adds “we would like to blame all our weight gain on stress, but experts say that eating in response to stress can also be a learned habit, often, eating becomes what we do to relieve stress.”

For most of us, stress is a way of life and getting your kids ready for school in the morning, receiving a late email from your boss about a report that is due in the morning or rushing to get the yard done when suddenly the lawn mower breaks... 
We feel pressured about getting it all done and it can certainly take its toll on you, 
your body and your diet. And we all know, stress can affect how well you take care of yourself and stay on track with your healthy lifestyle changes.

Evidently, when stress hits, it triggers our neuroendocrine system this system and that activates a series of hormones meant to give us the biochemical strength we need to fight or flee the stressors. But, unlike our ancestors, these chemicals aren't serving our bodies well in the 21st century and can lead not only to weight gain, but a tendency to store fat around the midsection. These fat cells that can lie deep within the abdomen have been linked to an increase in both diabetes and heart disease.

To further complicate matters, the "fuel" our muscles need during the "fight or flight" syndrome is sugar which is one reason why we crave carbohydrates when we are stressed, says endocrinologist Riccardo Perfetti, MD, PhD.

Tips to Help You Deal with Every Day Stress

1. Exercise every day. It is by far one of the best stress-buster and it burns calories.
2. Eat a well-balanced diet and don't skip meals. 
3. Get your sleep. Not getting enough sleep can increase stress and your appetite. When you’re tired, your body will crave "sugar" for energy and you may end up overeating.
And, most important: Devote time to relaxation

 

 

Copyright © 2015 All Rights Reserved.