Monday, July 29, 2013

Is the Low-Fat/Low-Sugar Option Really Better for You?

     All of us have been known to overindulge. All of us have wanted to make a change in our diet. Let’s say the healthy change starts today. Picture it now: You are walking down the aisle of the grocery store with a new grocery list in hand full of nutritious choices. But are they really good choices? Food labels and advertisements on packaging can be deceiving. It is vital as consumers to be savvy to food label misconceptions.

Just because the front of a package may show a healthy looking image, does not mean that the nutritional value is of worth. Brandy Baxter, RD, LN at Meritus Medical Center says, “Food labels can be deceiving because they may advertise a product as ‘low fat’or ‘trans fat free’ but these claims don’t always mean healthy. That item that is ‘low fat’ may be full of sugar or sodium. A person has to take into account the entire food label rather than relying on the manufacturer’s claims.”

When reading a food label, it is important to understand the serving size. The serving size is what the calories and other nutritional facts are based upon and can be much smaller or larger than what an individual will actually consume.

Next, the calories are important to read and understand. A good rule of thumb is limiting the nutrients from fats, cholesterol, sodium and sugar. A higher percentage of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron are beneficial for health.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Job Burnout: Are You at Your Rope’s End?

We all have our bad days: too many emails, pressing deadlines and changing priorities. But when does stress cross the line to job burnout? “When every day is a bad day—you’ve completely shut down—that’s job burnout,” says Julie Kugler-Bentley, RN, LCSW-C, CEAP, employee assistance coordinator at Meritus Health’s Behavioral Health Services.

Why do we burnout?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Exercise: A Family Affair

Khrys Thompson and family after the Color Run
      After the birth of their fourth child, Khrys Thompson and her partner wanted to lose the baby weight. They signed on with a personal trainer to create an exercise program they could do on their own time, three to four days a week. Their trainer developed a 30-40 minute cardio and strength training session that fit the couple’s work schedule. “We’d use moves like an overhead press combined with a squat to raise our heart rate and incorporate strength training. This cut down total exercise time,” explained Khrys. They also learned how to eat better and control their portion sizes.

DIY exercise
     Using the knowledge gained from their personal trainer, the couple went online and purchased health magazines to incorporate new time-saving exercise routines. Both in the field of physical therapy, Khrys and her partner asked colleagues for exercise tips and gleaned ideas from their teenage kids’ sports training regimens. “It took the thinking out of it for us,” said Khrys. Next, they devoted a workout space in their home, hooked up a DVD player and posted exercise routines on the walls.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Traveling Safety

     Summer consists of more than grilling out and poolside activities; this is the season for families and friends to plan their summer travels. A popular way to arrive at vacation spots is to drive there. Even though summer driving may seem less strenuous than winter driving, it is important to remember the risks we take when driving in nice weather too.

     Butch Rhoderick, Director of Security at Meritus Health, discussed some prominent summer traveling woes. He said, “Common summertime driving dangers include distracted driving, surprise thunderstorms, more pedestrians and bicyclists on or around roadways and younger inexperienced drivers on the road as compared to when school is in.”

Monday, July 1, 2013

Heat Wave Dangers

     Summer has finally arrived, which has brought people out of hibernation from those cool, damp, windy transitional months. Summer can make a big entrance, with cook outs, graduation parties, pool parties, and vacation plans. Of course, all of these activities sound enticing but it is important to remember summer can increase the likelihood of health risks.

     High temperatures can affect the health of a number of different age groups. Knowing how heat can affect us can help prevent heat fatalities.