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Archive for the ‘Healthy People’ Category

Sunshine, warm weather and spring rain usher in a new growing season for our local farmers. It won’t be long until we see the products of their efforts at a local farmer’s market.

Early markets will be opening up in the next few weeks. You can expect to see early crops such as asparagus, rhubarb aRedLentilRhubarbSoupnd maple syrup. As we get into May, there will be more of the greens showing up – kale, collards, and mustard greens. Check out the Ohio Farm Bureau’s OUR OHIO website for more information about fruits and vegetables in season, http://ourohio.org/food/whats-in-season. And, try this recipe for Red Lentil and Rhubarb Soup, http://ourohio.org/food/recipes/532/red-lentil-and-rhubarb-soup.

Written by: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, goard.1@osu.edu.

Reviewed by: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County, Miami Valley EERA.

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If you are at all like me, you were anxious to get outside last weekend and enjoy the beginnings of spring! Whether you took a long walk, rode your bike or spent some time cleaning up your yard after a long hard winter, you can probably fill in the blank above with “Back”, ‘Legs”, “Neck”, etc.

It is amazing how muscles and joints that we don’t normally even think about can suddenly command our attention. The soreness and stiffness that we sometimes experience can make us hesitant to jump back into these activities again – but don’t give up! Learning more about preventing and treating sore muscles and aching joints will allow you to continue with the activities you enjoy.

There are several causes for sore muscles. It might be doing an activity that you are not used to or suddenly increasing the intensity of an activity. These changes can cause microdamage to the muscle fibers and connective tissue. It usually doesn’t hurt right away but about a day later you may start feeling sore. The good news is that it will ease in a day or two and the next time you do the activity, your muscles will start to get used to the movement and will become stronger and you’ll become less sore.

Pain in your joints is often a sign of osteoarthritis. The cartilage that cushions the joints wears away and can lead to increased pain with use of that joint. Pain can be caused by overuse or injury.

One way to help prevent sore muscles is through stretching. It is important to stretch properly.

Here are some stretching tips:

  • Stretching should never be painful but should cause your muscle to feel comfortably stretched but never distressed.
  • Take your time and ease into each stretch.
  • Hold it for 15 to 30 seconds and perform the stretch three times.
  • Breathe naturally when you are stretching – never hold your breath!

Always consult your physician before any type of physical activity – including stretching.

If you do have a sore muscle, most experts recommend using ice wrapped in a thin towel for immediate relief. This will help reduce inflammation then you can use heat later to increase blood flow to the area. Heat is often helpful for joint pain.

So, go outside, enjoy the warm spring weather that has finally arrived. But remember, ease into new activities to avoid the aches and pains!

Written by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@sou.edu

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Treber.1@osu.edu

 

Sources: Managing Sore Muscles and Joint Pain.

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/art- sore-muscles-joint-pain

Stretching and Flexibility as We Age

http://ohioline.osu.edu/ss-fact/0171.html

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Candy Counts Up Quickly!

Many families as part of their Easter celebration, give a child a basket filled with toys and sweet treats. These treats can really add up the calories and fat… a medium size chocolate bunny (4 ounces) can have 880 calories and 48 grams of fat!

Walk it Off!
Use this calorie counter to determine how far you’d need to walk to burn the calories from the candy in your Easter basket. For example, to walk off the calories consumed from eating 1¾ ounce hollow chocolate bunny (260 calories), you would need to walk 2.6 miles! You may think twice about the treats you put in your child’s basket, and also the ones you might sneak a taste of while you’re filling the eggs!

easter

Fun Alternatives to Candy
There are many ways you can give a child a treat to enjoy without all the calories and fat:
• Fill the basket with favorite fruits. Clementines are a nice colorful fruit that are easy to peel. Dried fruit is a good alternative too… it’s still sweet and filled with nutrients.
• Small toys or activity books. Here are some ideas to get you started:
o Bubbles
o Kites
o Seeds & gardening gloves
o Sidewalk chalk
o Bug catchers
o Art supplies
o Travel games
o Kids’ cookbooks & baking utensils
• Include family fitness toys like a soccer ball or jump rope.
• If you want to include some candy, use small packages to limit consumption.
• Make it a game to find the basket… kids love scavenger hunts. You can even attach a string to the basket that the child must wind up to find the treasure at the other end.
• Themed baskets are great fun for kids too… if they are in to a certain toy, you can add to their collection.

Have a Happy, Healthy Easter!

Sources:
Calorie Counter: http://walking.about.com/library/cal/bleastercalories.htm
Steeves, Ann. “Nutritious and Delicious—Alternatives to Easter Candy.” (2013). The University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824 – http://www.unh.edu/healthyunh/blogs/2013/03/alternatives-easter-candy
Image: http://www.gnclivewell.com.au/files/editor_upload/Image/healthy-easter.jpg

Writer: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County, carter.413@osu.edu.
Reviewers: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu.

Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

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The reasons why people choose to have a massage are varied, but two of the most common are usually to relieve stress or as part of a day of pampering. Massage therapy actually has many benefits, including the role it can play in overall health and well-being. A growing body of evidence shows that massage therapy can be effective for a variety of health conditions, such as chronic low back pain, stress, fibromyalgia, headaches, and inflammation after exercise. According to a consumer survey completed by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA):

  • 75% of individuals claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the past 12 months was medical (43%) and stress-related (32%).
  • 87% of the individuals viewed massage as being beneficial to overall health and wellness
  • 61% of the respondents said their physician recommended they get a massage

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Are you new to receiving a massage or want to get the most out of your experience? Here are some tips to help you get the maximum benefit out of your massage:

  • Be able to provide your massage therapist accurate health information and share your expectations.
  • Discuss any apprehensions you have about massage therapy with your therapist. Remember, your massage therapist is a professional who is dedicated to his/her career path.
  • Your massage therapist will most likely use lotions or oils to decrease friction on your skin. If you have allergies, please tell your therapist.
  • Music may be played during the session. Let your massage therapist know if you have different preferences. The same goes for talking during the massage.
  • Provide your massage therapist feedback during the massage if you have concerns about pressure or any type of discomfort whatsoever.
  • Remember, the therapeutic benefits of massage are cumulative, so the more you get a massage, the better you will feel and the more quickly your body will respond!

 

Massage therapists are required to demonstrate ability through education and testing, adhere to a strict code of ethics, and to meet continuing education requirements. To find a professional massage therapist near you, visit http://www.ncbtmb.org/tools/find-a-certified-massage-therapist

 

Written by: Melissa Welker, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County, Maumee Valley EERA, welker.87@osu.edu

Reviewed by:

Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County

Sources: www.amtamassage.org

www.ncbtmb.org

 

 

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nature

Eco therapy or the growing field of outdoor practices connects us to the healing benefits of nature. Decrease stress, improve your immune response, lower your blood pressure and make your sleep more peaceful by using these strategies.

Go outside. Researchers in the United States and Japan have determined that simply being in nature helps lower blood pressure. Is it the view? Or the smell of trees? Maybe walking on a trail or looking for signs of spring?
People suffering from stress, illness or a trauma can benefit from spending quiet time in nature to heal. Explore walking in the gardens, hiking in the mountains, or walking trails in the woods. Nature is not only wilderness. The benefits of nature can also be found in our communities’ parks and green spaces. If you enjoy hiking outdoors, great! Researchers have linked lowered blood pressure and improved immune response to exercising outdoors. They found that being physically active outside increases these benefits more than the same activity completed inside or in urban settings.

Once you are outside, move! Regular exercise has been proven to help control depression and reduce stress. Try movements you enjoy, such as biking, walking or gardening. An added bonus includes exercises that focus the mind on the present movement. Dance, yoga and martial arts have all been shown to have excellent stress-relief benefits.

Be mindful.
Spend time each day to ground and center your mind. This helps bring focus and peace to your daily life. How do you do this? Relax and breathe deeply or focus on your breath. Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way, on purpose in the present moment. For example, pay more attention as you’re brushing your teeth, taking a shower or taking a walk outdoors. Zero in on the sight, smell, sound, taste and feel of these activities. Mindfulness is a practice that trains your brain to be more efficient and better integrated with less distractions and improved focus. It reduces stress and helps you become your best self.

Written by: Beth Stefura, Extension Educator, The Ohio State University, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu
Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, The Ohio State University, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Resources: http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/nature-therapy-ecotherapy

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Start Your GardenAre you interested in maintaining your weight or even losing a few pounds this spring? Could you use some encouragement and guidance but don’t have time to attend classes? Want tips to help you grow herbs, start a garden or eat more local foods? Does this sound interesting to you?

If so, give our Spring Live Healthy Live Well Email wellness challenge a try.

“Spring Live Healthy Live Well Challenge” is an on-line challenge designed to help adult participants get fit by encouraging regular physical activity, nutrition, and wellness activities. Participants will receive e-communications twice each week, containing nutrition, health and fitness tips. Additional food and activity logs will be available for download to help participants track their progress. They will also have access to supplemental information available on Blogs and Facebook.

Sign up by following this link to enroll: http://go.osu.edu/SpringPick

If you’ve joined us on other challenges, you’ll see new themes during this spring challenge. We will learn about these topics and be encouraged to participate in wellness behaviors.

• Vegetables and Fruits – adding more of these foods to your diet.
• Fitness Focus Tips – finding ways to move more.
• Root Vegetables – trying new recipes for veggies and fruits.
• Local Foods – visiting a Farmers’ Market or the local foods section of your store.
• Gardening – planting an herb, vegetable or fruit in a container or plot garden.
• Seasoning with Herbs – using herbs instead of salt to season foods.
• Sunscreen – wearing sun protection or sunscreen every day.

Once you register, you will be enrolled and begin receiving e-communications starting the week of April 7, 2014. While Facebook™ will be utilized; participants only need to have an email address.

The program is funded by Ohio State University Extension and County Commissioners Cooperating.

Writer: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer: Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, Heart of Ohio EERA, rabe.9@osu.edu

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March 17 - Spring Blog Photo

Signs of spring are around us everywhere . . . . daylight savings time, daffodils and crocuses popping through the ground, and skunks along the roadside – yes, skunks are a sign that spring is in the air.

Much like New Year’s resolutions, spring is a time of renewal and new beginnings.  In our hurried, fast-paced world, it is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life; we forget to stop and smell the roses.  This hectic, fast-paced lifestyle can take a toll on our energy and time.  With the onset of spring approaching later this week, here are ten suggestions for new beginnings and renewal.

  • Get eight hours of sleep.
  • Get 30 minutes of physical exercise daily.
  • Take 10 deep breaths when something overwhelms you.
  • Drink water instead of sweetened beverages or soda.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits.
  • Say affirmations in the morning and at night.
  • Surround yourself with positive people; negative attitudes can drain your enthusiasm.
  • Do something nice for yourself.
  • Take time to reflect upon each day.
  • Treasure every moment.

As you embrace the changing of the season from winter to spring, consider how you can make small changes to your personal life for renewed health and well-being.

Written by:  Cynthia R. Shuster, CFLE, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, Buckeye Hills EERA.

Reviewed by:  Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, Ohio Valley Hills EERA.

Reviewed by:  Jenny Lindimore, Office Associate, OSU Extension, Morgan County, Buckeye Hills EERA & Kim Barnhart, Office Associate, OSU Extension, Perry County, Buckeye Hills EERA.

CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clients on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information: go.osu.edu/cfaesdiversity

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family mealPoor nutrition + inactive lifestyle = childhood obesity.  That is a very simple formula.  Every day there is a new story in the media about childhood obesity.  Obesity is running a close second to smoking as the nation’s number one preventable killer.  It is a major factor for heart disease, and increases the potential for high cholesterol, blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 8 preschoolers are obese in the United States. Obese children are 5 times more likely to become obese adults and suffer lifelong physical and mental health problems.

How did we get here?  Life today is so hectic for families. Some parents are working longer hours away from home and children. Days are so filled with stress that some parents simply do not have the time or energy to apply healthy eating rules into their homes. For example, breakfast is often skipped or consists of a pop tart on the run.  Family meals are rare and have been replaced with meals on the run at fast food restaurants.  We live in a “super sized” world where we are led to believe that bigger is better.

Adding to the issue of nutrition there is also the concern of inactivity. Kids today spend too much time sitting still.  Exercise is out and video games, laptops and TV shows are in. Recess time or free time during the school day is very limited.  And sadly many of our neighborhoods are too dangerous for kids to play outside without adult supervision.

So how do we fix this? Parents are the key to changing the behaviors in their home. By changing family behavior and creating a healthy weight environment you can help your family to engage in a healthy lifestyle.  Here are some tips to help start your family on a pathway to a healthier lifestyle:

  • Set goals and start small. New habits take a while to become routines.  A simple goal might be to offer vegetables or fruits at snack time.
  • Drink water at mealtimes and as a refreshing snack.  If you are eating at a restaurant, you will save money and make a healthy choice by drinking water.
  • Recognize triggers that will tempt you to fall back into old habits.  If your child loves video games limit their screen time and encourage them to play outside.
  • Surround your family with healthy foods.  Keep plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains available.
  • Try to  eat at home more.  Explore easy meals and try new, healthy recipes.  Check out http://go.osu.edu/healthyrecipe      for some guidelines to help you personalize your eating plans. You will  find ways to combine fresh and convenience foods to make a healthy meal in  a hurry.
  • Take the time to read labels.  There are some fruit juices and juice drinks that have as many or more grams of sugar as      soda.
  • Plan ahead for busy days.  Cook once for two or more meals.  Dust off the crock pot and make a healthy recipe. Visit this website for recipes you can make with your favorite ingredients.       http://go.osu.edu/recipefinder
  • Join your  kids as you all move more. Take a walk or bike ride around the block or play a game of tag. Physical Activity is an important key to good health.
  • Celebrate  success with rewards.  Make sure the rewards are healthy – what about a visiting the nearest playground or park to play with your family?  Fly a kite with your kids for a fun springtime activity.
  • Be flexible.  If the plan is not working, make the necessary changes to reach your goals.

All of these things are something parents can control. Parents are the key to the health and lifestyle choices of their children. Being a good role model, remaining confident in your parenting choices, and feeling competent to address the resistance of family members might require being a strong parent, but with practice it can be done. Take charge of future, not only for yourself, but your children as well. They will thank you for it later.

References:

http://www.cdc.gov/VitalSigns/ChildhoodObesity/

www.choosemyplate.gov

Writer: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County, Miami Valley EERA.

Reviewer:   Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

 

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Are you eating wheat products?  Lately, the news has included many stories on how wheat is bad for you causing abdominal fat, triggering diseasewheat and breads, and being linked with Alzheimer’s, headaches, depression and others.

If all that is true why is wheat recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, by nutrition experts and American Heart Association?   Isn’t it a part of the Mediterranean Diet which is highly recommended by nutrition professionals.

Does wheat contribute to abdominal fat or belly fat?  High consumption of refined grains has been associated with greater belly fat in studies.  However, lower belly fat has been associated with the consumption of eating whole grains including whole wheat.  Thus, whole grains including whole wheat do not seem to be the problem.  The problem is our consumption of refined grains.  Cutting out processed foods made with refined wheat (wheat flour, white flour, enriched wheat flour, all-purpose flour) and loaded with sugar and saturated fat will help us all avoid or limit the “wheat belly.”   Limit your consumption of cookies, cakes, pastries, crackers, and white bread.

So what about the other charges on mental effects?  Research has shown that both the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet lower the risk of dementia.  Both diets include consumption of whole grains including whole wheat.  Following those diets showed better cognitive ability in adults ages 65 and up over a period of 11 years.  It is true higher glucose levels from too many carbohydrates is a risk factor for dementia, but cutting out all carbohydrates is not the answer either.  Our brain needs glucose (Carbohydrates break down to glucose in our body.) for energy as it does not store glucose.  Thus, diets low in carbohydrates can hurt our thinking and memory.

Again, it is important to eat whole grains.  Whole grains including whole wheat can provide the glucose needed for our brain.   Whole grains including whole wheat breaks down more slowly than simple carbohydrates like refined grains and sugar.

Whole grains also provide fiber.   Consuming the recommended amount of dietary fiber without whole grains would be very difficult.  Gluten-free diets usually only contain six gram of dietary fiber a day, a lot less than the 25-38 grams recommended by the Institute of Medicine.

Do cwhole-grain-stamphoose a variety of whole grains but including whole wheat, unless you need a gluten-free diet.  When shopping be sure to choose products made with “whole wheat” or “whole-grain wheat.”  You can also look for the 100% Stamp from the Whole Grains Council on foods made with all whole grains.

Note:  If your doctor recommends you follow a gluten-free diet, please continue to follow your doctor’s advice.

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Ohio State University Extension, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences

Reviewed by:   Liz Smith, M.S, RDN., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension

References:

Tufts University, [2014].  The truth about the war on wheat, Tufts University Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Health & Nutrition Letter, March 2014 Special Supplement, p. 1-4.

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“Raising Kids, Eating Right, Spending Smart, Living Well” is the theme of a national Living Well campaign being promoted by Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educators, both at the national level and here in Ohio. The goal of the Living Well Campaign is to provide people with the education and information they need in order to “Live Well.”

In Ohio Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educators work through Ohio State University Extension to offer all kinds of information that will help families achieve a positive, healthy lifestyle. Whether you are working to improve your health through eating heart healthy meals, saving money for a vacation or nest egg, or looking for a babysitter class for your teen – Extension can likely help you. March is National Extension Living Well Month and 2014 is the 100th Year of Extension – so it’s a great time to get better acquainted with Ohio State University Extension. Visit OSU Extension online at http://extension.osu.edu/ or National Extension information is gathered at http://www.extension.org/. This site is an interactive home for research based information from Universities across the nation.

100 yr logoCooperative Extension is the partnership that began in 1914 with the United States Congress passing of The Smith Lever Act. County, state and federal governments agreed that by joining together they could provide citizens with access to the wealth of knowledge generated by public universities. Many outstanding Universities across the country house Extension including: Rutgers, Clemson, Purdue, Nebraska, our beloved Ohio State University, and many more. If you enjoy Facebook, the Extension 100 Years page has interesting information about the history of Extension and programming offered today as well https://www.facebook.com/Extension100Years.

In recognition of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS), the Ohio Live Healthy Live Well team is sponsoring a “blog” contest.  Please share your “personal story” as to how you have benefited from the Cooperative Extension Service.  By sharing your story, you will be entered into a drawing to win your own personal copy of our NEAFCS Living Well™ More Than a Cookbook.  Please send your personal story to barlage.7@osu.edu by March 24, 2014.  The entrant of the winning entry will be notified via email.

The NEAFCS Living Well™ More Than a Cookbook answers your questions with research-based information for Living Well with practical tips.

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer: Cindy Shuster, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County.

Source: Live Healthy Live Well Blog, C. Shuster, March 8, 2012, http://wp.me/p1cmn2-nM.

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