Superfoods: The fight against the flu

With flu season approaching it's important to take care of your health and consider what you eat/drink as it can greatly affect you and your chances of getting sick. By eating the proper foods from ALL food groups you will be able to get the nutrients and vitamins you need to boost your immunity. Eating healthy foods will give you the upper hand in warding off infections. 

Here are some items that you can incorporate in your diet:

Yogurt can protect your body against against bad bacteria and infections as it contains a healthy amount of of good bacteria.
Garlic gets rid of any viruses, bacteria or infections in the body. It is good for the immune system and protect cells from any wear or tear.
Red Bell Peepers have a ton of Vitamin C, more than most foods. They produce antibodies and will maintain our skin so viruses can't pass through.
Green tea is something that everyone loves and it is good for us! It is rich in antioxidants and can protect us from fighting viruses. 
Pumpkins are good for the respiratory system. With Halloween approaching it's a good idea to stock up on that Vitamin A. 

Oh and don't forget to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated will boost your immune system and keep you healthy. It is recommended to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day. 

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/ColdandFluNews/story?id=6141948&page=1

 

 

Reaching a healthy weight: Lifestyle changes vs. Dieting

When thinking about losing weight what comes to mind? Dieting, right? This method either works and one is able to successfully lose weight and maintain it or it doesn't. Another method though is changing your lifestyle. Some say that changing your lifestyle is more efficient rather than going on a diet for a certain amount of time. Once someone starts dieting, they usually deprive themselves of food, loss weight, and then go back to hold habits. Going on a diet is just temporary, whereas changing your lifestyle you will be able to keep the habit for a much longer period of time. When you focus on more areas, besides just food, you will see better results. 

So what does this lifestyle include? It includes what you eat, how much caffeine you drink, how much exercise you get, how you manage stress, and much more. It's important to take into consideration all these things when trying to lose weight. For example, instead of eating less amount of food, choose foods that are rich in nutrients so you are getting enough calories. Also, try cutting out fatty foods that are high in sugar and salt. To get the best results you need to be exercising as well. Try to get in at least 30 minutes a day of exercise. You can begin with just walking and then add on activities once you feel more comfortable. 

Here are some tips to help you make positive lifestyle changes that will last...
1. Set goals for yourself: If you want to lose 30 pounds, start by losing 1-2 pounds each week. If your goals are manageable and realistic you will have a better chance of meeting those goals.
2. Involve a friend: Find someone who will keep you accountable and motivated. You could even find someone who has the same goals as you and you guys can work together in changing your behaviors. 
3. Get support: If you are feeling down or overwhelmed talk to someone about how you are feeling. Asking for help if you can't meet your goals doesn't mean your weak or you are being defeated. It shows that you are strong and committed to changing your life. 

Not all diets are bad. This strategy might work for you, but think about what will last in the future. Dieting or lifestyle changes? 

Source: http://www.apa.org/index.aspx

The Secret Weapon of Changing a Behavior: Awareness

"Progress is impossible without change, & those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."
-George Bernard Shaw

Behavior modification starts with awareness and knowing that a behavior needs to be changed. Once we become aware of unhealthy behaviors or habits we can start to replace them with healthy, positive behaviors. The awareness usually comes from within or if another person alerts you of the unhealthy pattern. When you make a genuine effort to observe what is happening in your life, you will become more aware of the situation and notice what triggers you to engage in that behavior. It's important to reflect on your behaviors and think about how you can improve. Then the choice is made by you to change the behavior or continue doing it. This change won't happen over night, but it will occur slowly over time. It starts with awareness and continues with motivation, education, support, and substitution.  Instead of saying you are not going to do the behavior anymore it's best to find something to replace the behavior with. The results will be much more successful. 

Here's some examples of unhealthy habits and changing the behavior!

  • If you spend 3 hours during the day watching tv, you can replace that behavior with exercising or going outside to do an activity.
  • If your behavior is to have an unhealthy snack, try to replace that behavior with eating a serving of fruits or vegetables. 
  • If you hang around people who smoke, and you want to quit, surround yourself with other friends who do not engage in that behavior. 

It can take up to 6 months for a new behavior to become a habit. Over time, the new behavior will be much more desirable than the old one. Once it becomes a part of your daily routine you won't even think about it. 

Sources: http://www.yourofficecoach.com/topics/career_success/self_help_strategies/how_to_change_your_behavior.aspx
http://99u.com/articles/30437/its-all-our-fault-self-awareness-as-a-secret-weapon-for-habit-change

Change Starts with You

Hi everyone! Welcome to the employee wellness blog. Our goal is to help you stay informed with up-to-date information and support you through this journey. It's time to be inspired and to live a healthy lifestyle! 

Being a caregiver can be stressful and hard work at times. While you are caring for others you may forget to take care of yourself which can have a poor affect on you emotionally, physically, and mentally. We want to help you take charge of your health and adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. The core to good health starts with getting the right education, knowledge, skills, support, and motivation. If you do not want to change your behavior, there will be no result. Once you adopt a behavior you need to maintain it, which can be the hardest part for people. You have to work hard and set goals for yourself, and if you don't stick to a routine and follow through, the behavior won't last. 

Have you ever heard of the Transtheoretical Model (Stages of Change)? This is an interactive framework for understanding how individuals progress toward adopting and maintaining a healthier behavior. Change is a process that unfolds over time through a sequence of stages. The goal is to get individuals to make clear modifications in their life and sustain it for a period of time so they do not relapse.

Change starts with you and it won't happen over night. Start thinking about your unhealthy lifestyle habits and how you can take action on fixing the behavior. Have you ever tried changing a behavior but you were stuck in one of the stages in the picture below? Take a few moments to write down what stopped you from taking action and why you weren't able to sustain the new behavior. It's important to reflect on your past experiences so you are able to learn from your mistakes and be able tackle the obstacles in the future. 

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 12.04.32 PM.png

To read more on The Stages of Change check out this link: http://www.cpe.vt.edu/gttc/presentations/8eStagesofChange.pdf

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