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Posts Tagged ‘Balance’

trekking

Experts recommend that that one should try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. Although physical activity offers many benefits, there are also inherent risks such as developing knee, hip, and joint problems. If you walk on a regular basis, you might consider purchasing a trekking pole or two. Trekking poles are commonly used by hikers and backpackers to support their weight, improve balance, and lesson the stress on knees and joints. You can use one or two, but two will offer you the most benefits in terms of balance and stability.

Consider the many benefits of Trekking poles:

  • The arm movement associated with walking poles adds intensity to your aerobic workout, which helps you burn more calories.
  • Walking poles improve balance and stability.
  • Walking poles help you maintain proper posture, especially in the upper back, and may help to strengthen upper back muscles.
  • Walking poles take some of the load off your lower back, hips and knees, which may be helpful if you have arthritis or back problems.
  • Walking with poles may improve your mood.

Tips on purchasing trekking poles:

  • Trekking poles can be purchased fairly cheap at stores that sell sporting goods or camping/ outdoor equipment and range from $15-100 a piece.
  • Most are adjustable for height and for packing, or if you are going up (shorten) and down (lengthen) hills. The poles often come with rubber caps on the end that can grab pavement.
  • Consumers can choose among cork, foam, or rubber grips.  Each type of grip has its advantages and disadvantages, but cork might be most preferable for average walking.
  • Poles that have wrist straps and shock absorbers are best for relieving stress on knees, hips and other joints.
  • Most poles are made from aluminum and carbon fiber. Aluminum poles are cheaper but are more prone to bending under stress.
  • Poles also have an adjustable locking mechanism, with some that twist to adjust and others that use a lever lock.

Using Trekking poles

Poles should be adjusted so that the elbow is bent to around a 90 degree angle on a flat surface. Wrist straps should be used to ensure balance and stability. There are several YouTube videos that provide instruction on use. For some activities and styles (hikes with rock climbing), Trekking poles may not be the best option.

References:

Physical Activity Basics. Then Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed on 6/12/18 at https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm

Could walking poles help me get more out of my daily walk? Mayo Clinic Healthy Lifestyle and Fitness. Accessed on 6/12/2018 at Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/walking-poles/faq-20057943

How to Choose the Best Trekking Polls. Outdoor Gear Lab. Accessed on 6/12/2018 at https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/camping-and-hiking/best-trekking-poles/buying-advice

Author: Dan Remley, Associate Professor, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness, OSU Extension

Reviewer: Misty Harmon, Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Perry County

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christmas tree

As the holiday season approaches, requests are made to participate in “Secret Santa” at work, office parties, “Ugly Sweater” contests, and for the kids, “Elf on the Shelf”. Add to that list decorating, cooking, shopping and gift wrapping, inventory, and end of year reports at work. That’s a lot to juggle from now thru the end of the year. To help you stay sane, try a strategic approach to reduce stress, while still balancing work-life responsibilities during the holidays:

  1.  Set Priorities– Go through the task of ranking your priorities. Is your top priority family time? Volunteer work? After you establish your priorities, you will be able to say no to events that don’t make the list (or at least put time limits on your participation).
  2. Do a Time Study – For one week, keep a log of how your time is spent. Log general groups of tasks that include activities such as errands, housework, shopping, cooking, and so forth; then total your column times. Did the way you spent your time align with your priorities? If not, adjust your schedule to bring your life back into balance.
  3. Set Limits on Work Hours – This is easier said than done, but if work-life balance is important to you, then set limits on the hours that you are willing to work and enforce them. Maybe that means leaving the office no later than 5 pm, and/or no working on the weekends. As the holidays approach, it’s important to carve out extra hours for all of those seasonal tasks, as well as keeping time for you to exercise and relax. If you’re someone that usually works late hours, communicate the temporary change to co-workers.
  4. Get Help – Is cleaning the house, running errands or baking taking up a large amount of time? Consider sourcing out some of those chores. It may be a better use of your time to pay someone to do a few of those tasks – such as purchasing cookies from a neighbor that likes to bake. If you are not able to hire out, scale back your menu, have a potluck or rethink hosting every party.
  5.  Unplug – Turn off the social media and emails. Don’t check your work emails until you are back at work. If you can’t forgo checking emails, set limits for when you will check work email.
  6.  Get Moving – If exercise didn’t originally make your priority list, be good to yourself and schedule it back in. This will boost your energy level and improve your mood!

Work-life balance is an ongoing process. Keep your priorities on task and just do your best. Priorities will change as your life changes – especially during the holidays. Periodically reassess your priorities and take inventory of your work-life balance.
Written by: Beth Stefura, M Ed, RD, LD. Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, Crossroads EERA, stefura.2@osu.edu
Reviewed by: Donna Green, MA, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, Erie Basin EERA, green.308@osu.edu
Sources: http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/25-ways-find-joy-balance-during-holidays

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New Dietary Guidelines

By law, every 5 years, Dietary Guidelines for Americans is reviewed, updated if necessary, and published. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) jointly create each edition.

What does that mean to you or me?
Remember that the guidelines are intended for healthy Americans ages 2 years and older. You may read the entire publication and see the specific recommendations. In this age of multiple sources of information, you should feel comfortable knowing that this information is the federal government’s evidence- based nutritional guidance.

Here are selected messages for consumers:

Balancing Calories
• Enjoy your food, but eat less.
• Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
• Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce
• Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals-and choose the foods with lower numbers.
• Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

These are 6 relatively simple messages that most of us will be able to achieve. Let’s look at each of these messages and how you can make practical changes to improve your diets.
1. Enjoy your food, but eat less. Share a dinner portion with a friend or family member. At a restaurant, when your order comes, request a “Take –Home” box and immediately put half of the portion in the box. This way you won’t be tempted to eat the entire meal. Take time to savor each bite. Don’t eat in a hurry or while watching television or reading. Focus on the food and enjoy your food. You may find that this slower pace encourages you to eat less.
2. Avoid oversized portions. You don’t want to be “over-sized” so don’t upgrade your portions. Even if you think you’ll save money, don’t do it unless you are splitting the food. You don’t need the extra calories by over sizing your portions. One thing you can safely “oversize” is water. Add a little lemon or lime and go ahead and oversize your water.
3. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Take your normal plate and fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Add a smaller portion of protein and a whole grain to fill your plate. Add a fruit serving and low fat milk and you have a well balanced meal. This doesn’t mean that you can pile your plate to the ceiling with French fries. PS this won’t count for half of your fruits and veggies.
4. Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk. Make the switch to skim (fat-free) or low-fat (1%) milk. If you are used to whole milk, switch to 2%. Once you get used to this reduce it to 1% or skim. You will lose some fat calories by making this switch.
5. Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals-and choose the foods with lower numbers. Take the time to read the labels to see which foods are lower in sodium. Pick the foods with lower numbers. Once you know the best choices, be sure to purchase the items at the store. Making food from scratch will help reduce the amount of sodium in your foods.
6. Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Drink water at meals. Add a slice of lemon or lime for a refreshing taste. Bring your own reusable water bottle from home to save money and to reduce the impact of plastics on our environment. Some of us find that if we drink water with our meals (or before our meals) we’ll eat less food and consume fewer calories.

What should you do about Physical Activity?
Some physical activity is better than none, and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. It is common knowledge that watching our food intake and being more physically active helps us lose or control our weight. What can you do to improve your health? Follow these guidelines for health benefits.
2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for adults (18-64 years) should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week. Adults should also include muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.

1. Be active for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes per week. You can be active in 10 minute episodes but don’t do it all on one day per week. Spread out your physical activity throughout the week. Take a walk, work in your yard, or take a bike ride. Move, move, move. Meet with friends and take a walk at lunch. Try a yoga or Pilates class. Pick up tennis or swimming. Play outdoor active games. Find an activity you enjoy and make sure you do it for about 2 -3 hours per week.
2. Include Muscle-Strengthening Activities at least 2 times a week. Lift weights or strength train at least twice a week. Involve all of your muscle groups. Use a fit-band if you have one. Go to the gym and lift weights or use free weights at home. Make it fit into your schedule so that you will strengthen your muscles.
This message is meant to encourage you to take small steps that will improve your health and provide you with many benefits. You will feel and look better. Your sleep or moods may improve as well. Make the decision to make a change today. Some people take one change and make it. Once they are comfortable with that change (in about 3 weeks) make another change. If you feel like these are easy changes that you can make, go for it!!

Source: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/

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