Tips for Managing Stress

Stress Management

Stress is a part of almost everyone’s life. In fact, 35% of Americans said their stress has increased in the past year and 62% say their job is the main point of stress. Chronic stress can have an impact on your physical and mental health. It can lower your immunity, cause sleeplessness and headaches, and make you feel anxious and angry. The negative effects and feelings associated with stress can pile up, so learning to cope and deal with it is important.

5 Tips for Managing Stress


1. Learn to Say No
A healthy work-life balance is important. Learn to say no to things in your personal and professional life. An overloaded schedule is a sure-fire way to increase stress.

2. Manage Your Time Better
When you’re running behind for an appointment or a deadline is looming your stress levels are going to sky-rocket. Learn to manage your time, plan ahead and stay focused on one thing at a time.

3. Stay Positive
Next time you feel stressed and negativity starts to take hold, pause and take a moment to think about all the good things in your life.

4. Learn to Move On
Things that are out of our control, like the actions of other people, can be a huge cause of stress. While you can’t control everything or everyone, you can control how you react.

5. Find a Healthy Outlet
Find a way to unwind and let go of your stress at the end of the day. For some that’s running or yoga, others it’s taking a hot bath or meditating. Talking about your feelings, laughing at a funny movie, and getting outdoors are all healthy outlet options. Find an outlet that works for you.

Staying Healthy at a Baseball Game

healthy at a baseball game

Happy Opening Day! In addition to the fresh air, cheering, and the excitement of the game – ballpark food and beer are a part of the experience. Just because you’re at a game doesn’t mean you have to toss your healthy habits aside nor does it mean you have to deny yourself a treat. Here are a few ways to make your next game a healthier experience.

  • Avoid the Nachos
    You’re looking at more than 1,200 plus calories! If it’s your favorite item, try sharing the order with a group of friends.
  • Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jacks
    Buttery popcorn isn’t your best option.  Go for a box of Cracker Jacks, which has only about 120 calories compared to over 1,000 for popcorn.
  • Swap the Burger for Chicken
    Once you add the cheese and toppings, the calorie-count can sky-rocket. Opt for a leaner protein and eat the grilled chicken sandwich instead.
  • A Healthier Dog
    It’s the toppings that are a nutrition killer. I’m looking at you Bacon and Blue Dogs. Select a regular size hot dog and toppings like relish and onions. Ketchup can be high in sugar, so reach for the mustard instead.
  • Load Up On Vegetables
    There are plenty of vegetarian options throughout most baseball stadiums like wraps, sandwiches, salads, and veggie dogs and burgers.  Check out places that have a make your own salad option. Remember to skip the cheese and select a non-creamy dressing.
  • Limit Your Beverage Intake
    Whether it is beer or soda, try to limit yourself to only one or two beverages.
  • Pack a Lunch
    Did you know that most stadiums allow you to bring your own food? Pack a healthy picnic lunch or snack, plus bottles of water.


Add More Activity Into Your Game Day

  • Bike to the Game
    Avoid the parking hassle and burn extra calories by biking to the game. Utilize the bike lanes throughout the area if they are available and be prepared for the weather.
  • Take a Lap
    Don’t just walk to your seats, take a lap around the stadium in between innings.
  • 7thInning Stretch
    Avoid sitting the whole game and take your own 7th inning stretch by standing up, stretching and moving around. Walk up and down the stairs a few times to get some blood flowing to your legs.

Hunting for a Healthier Easter

Easter Eggs

 

The best approach for a healthier Easter:  shift your focus to the meaning of Easter and the nonfood traditions behind the holiday. Then, once you’re looking at the bigger picture — not just candy-filled Easter baskets — you can figure out how to get the best out of your “Easter Eggs.”

Plan for Sweets

Make smarter choices elsewhere in the day to allow for a small splurge later. Remember, Easter is only one day so try to only indulge on those chocolate eggs on Sunday and not ruin the rest of the week! Some chocolate can be good for you but try buying small, individually wrapped chocolate eggs and avoid the giant chocolate bunnies, no matter how cute they are.

Break an Egg

One of the big heart myths is that eggs contain harmful cholesterol. However, eggs aren’t a problem unless they are fried in oil or loaded  up with cheese. For a filling and healthy start to your day try a boiled, poached or scrambled egg loaded with fresh vegetables.

Don’t Come to Dinner Hungry

Try snacking on some of those colorful hard-boiled eggs you may have made earlier — one large egg has around 76 calories. It’s a filling and nutritious option before the big meal.

Slow Down

When has there ever been a shortage of food or drinks at holiday events? Eat and drink slowly and allow your brain to catch up to your stomach.

Be Active

Plan fun activities with your family and friends to stay active and motivated over the weekend: go for a walk, run, swim, bike ride, kick a ball around, whatever you like… just move that body and enjoy the time spent together!

Rethink the Easter Basket

Nontraditional gifts such as jewelry, books, and clothing are even more appreciated than those sugary little peeps.  Who wouldn’t love seeing a Fitbit in their Easter basket?!

Consider Making Healthy Meal Substitutions

Try serving chocolate covered strawberries instead of a carrot cake or even steamed carrots instead of honey glazed carrots.  Add in more vegetables and make sure to savor every bite!

Written by: Rachel Corcoran, Weigh and Win Health Coach

Meet the Health Coaches: Rachel

Get to know another one of your incentaHEALTH health coaches, Rachel. She is the newest member of the incentaHEALTH team who moved from Chicago Illinois to Denver less than 3 years ago. Want to know more about your health coaches? Email or call us!

Name: Rachel Corcoran

Years with incentaHEALTH: One

Years as a Fitness Trainer/Health Coach: Three

Education: I graduated from the University of Iowa as a Division 1 gymnast with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health & Sports Studies, emphasizing in Health Promotion.  GO HAWKS!!

Certifications: ACE Advanced Health & Fitness Specialist

Hobbies: Camping, hiking, running, yoga, cooking, listening to music, Frisbee, arts and crafts, fitness/boot camp classes

The Best Advice I Have to Offer:

There is no excuse that is too large to overcome.

Whether you’re young or old, have bad knees or too little time, a healthier lifestyle can always be achieved. Some people would consider these things as setbacks but there are always ways of achieving your goals. Even the smallest amount of progress is still progress. My best advice is to keep striving for change and always keep trying to be a better you. Setting little goals along the way will help you to stay focused and motivated on always becoming  healthier. Don’t do it for the physical changes, but to become healthier, live longer and not only limit your health conditions, but lower your risk for preventable diseases.

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Healthy Greens for St. Patrick’s Day

 

Are you ready to show your Irish pride on St. Patrick’s Day? What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland is now an all day festival celebrating Irish culture with extravagant parades and a whole lot of green. incentaHEALTH encourages you to continue to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day with a whole lot of greens, but maybe a little less green beer and more green leafy veggies!

Leafy greens are one of the most hormonally healing foods in this world because they have the most nutrition per calorie, they keep you satisfied for longer, and the calories are much less likely to be stored as body fat. These foods are natural health boosting and fat burning medicines that you won’t need to purchase over the counter- unless it’s a grocery store counter!

Healthy-Greens-2Healthy Greens 1

Most nutrition per calorie

I hope we can all agree that 250 calories from Twinkies is not the same as 250 calories from Spinach. Calories are very different in foods when it comes to nutrition and keeping our body healthy long-term. The key is nutrition QUALITY. Quality is based on how much nutrition (vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids) you get for the amount of calories you consume.

Keep you satisfied for longer

Leafy greens are packed with high amounts of water, fiber and protein. More water and fiber means bigger food, more stretch, and getting fuller and staying fuller for longer. That is why 200 calories of wet, fibrous celery is more filling then 200 calories of dry, fiber-free gummy bears. A calorie is not a calorie when it comes to filling us up and keeping us full throughout the day. For example, I bet a six-pack of green beer would make you want to grab a pizza later in the day.

Unaggressive in being stored as fat

Leafy greens produce a very small amount of glucose, which is the blood sugar released during digestion to bring energy to cells. Aggressive calories in certain starchy and sugary foods will cause too much insulin to be released. Body fat storage is triggered as a response to eating foods that causes more glucose in our blood stream then we need at one time.

Arugula, Bok Choy, Cabbage, Collards, Dandelion Greens, Kale, Leaf Amaranth, Leeks, Mixed greens, Mustard Greens, Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Turnip Greens…and the list goes on! Pick a few for dinner this week and celebrate good health and St. Patrick’s Day.


Written by:
Mallory McCormick,  Health Coach

 

 

 

Tips for Staying Active While at Work

 

What’s your reason for not sticking with your New Year’s resolution to become more active this year? For a majority their reason is they are “too busy” and demanding work schedules are the number one culprit. With technology advancements, many jobs have moved from being physically demanding to sedentary. Just because most of us work in an office or a cubical doesn’t mean we can’t continue to keep our bodies fit. Try some of these ideas for staying active while at work and finally get yourself moving toward a true state of health!

Go for a walk break – Set a designated time and get  your co-workers together each day to take a quick 15-20 minute walk around the office building or campus.  

Walking Break                     

Take the stairs – Skip the elevator and take the stairs whenever possible. If it’s too cold to take your daily walk, agree to climb the stairs instead!

Stand at your desk – Try this while on one of those long conference calls you dread each week. You can even add in some squats or calf raises! You may want to mute the phone if you find yourself getting out of breath.

Park further away – Park your car at the top of the parking garage or at the back of the parking lot and enjoy your walk into the office each morning.

Move around the office more – Get up out of your seat and personally deliver messages rather than calling or emailing your coworkers down the hall.

Incorporate activity into your day- Try to incorporate some body weight exercises each day. Set an alarm to go off each hour and take 60 seconds to complete one set of each of the following exercises:

6 Exercises to Do At Work

1. Squats or wall sits – Challenge yourself to see how many squats you can do in one minute or if you can hold your wall sit for an entire minute.

2. Calf raises – You can do these standing or seated. To add resistance while sitting, place a couple books or other heavy object on your knees.

3. Push-ups (on the floor, wall, or desk) – How many push-ups can you do without stopping? Challenge your coworkers!

4. Plank (on the floor, wall, or desk) – Can you hold a plank for an entire minute? As time goes by try improving on your past time!

5. Tricep dips (on your desk or chair) – If you are doing these on your chair make sure it’s secure or backed up to a wall so it does not move.

6. Sit-ups – Many variations of sit-ups can be done in the office. Bring in a towel or yoga mat to lay on.

Written by: Deanne Emig, Health Coach

 

Meet The Health Coaches: Deanne

With the incentaHEALTH program, you have access to personal trainers, by phone or email to talk to or to ask any questions that you may have. We can help with anything from login credentials to program queries and mostly importantly, with any nutrition and fitness advice you may be needing. We are happy to offer exercise suggestions for injuries, meal substitutions for dietary restrictions, or just a friendly ear to listen to when your struggling. Get to know all 3 of us and don’t hesitate to reach out. First up is Deanne:

Name: Deanne Wood

Years with incentaHEALTH: Three

Education: I graduated from Colorado State University in 2007 with a major in Health and Exercise Science, a concentration in Health Promotion and a minor in Business Administration. Go Rams!

Certifications: ACE Certified Personal Trainer, AFPA Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant

Hobbies: Snowboarding, wakeboarding, fishing, hiking, traveling, watching football

Health Advice: Switch it up! If you find that you are starting to fall off your current workout routine due to boredom or if you have found that you have reached a plateau, it may be time to give your strength training and cardio routines a makeover. If your body is always presented with the same stressor it will begin to adapt which can eventually result in a plateau. Switching up your exercise routine each month is a good rule of thumb. If you need some suggestions on how to switch up your current exercise routine, contact me and I would love to help!

deanne

Want to Improve Your Cholesterol? Don’t Lower It. There’s a Smarter Approach.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates.

Healing properties of food have been reported by cultures worldwide throughout history. Over the past decade we have uncovered, through numerous clinical studies, all the health benefits individual foods can offer!  By identifying the various nutrients associated with these benefits, we can heal our bodies with food better than pills, potions, and powders ever could.

“There is a wealth of…evidence that increasing the concentration of HDL cholesterol through diet will lower the risk of coronary artery disease.” –R.P. Mensink, Maastricht University.1

When it comes to eating heart healthy diets, new science proves we shouldn’t be concerned with lowering total cholesterol, instead we should focus on raising our HDL levels (the “good cholesterol”). Researchers have found that people with low HDL levels run a much greater risk for heart disease.

“Our focus of trying to reduce our LDL and total cholesterol levels (especially saturated fats) may not have just failed to reduce heart disease risk- but it might have actually increased it along with decreasing our health, weakening our blood sugar control, and increasing insulin resistance and obesity.” ­- The Journal of American Medical Association

So, how do we increase our HDL levels? We replace unhealthy starches and sweets with healthy sources of fat. Try to consume more seafood, coconut, milled flax seeds, and chia seed and try to avoid starches as they lower HDL.

foods-to-boost-HDL

 

Written by: Mallory McCormick, Weigh and Win Health Coach

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7 Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

How to Prevent and Control Heart Disease

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” Mahatma Gandhi

Preventing and controlling heart disease can be as easy as choosing to take the stairs over the escalator, choosing lean proteins over fattier meats or just monitoring your blood pressure. All it takes is 7 simple steps towards lasting heart health.

Heart-Health

  • Get Active: Aim for 30 minutes of activity a day most days of the week. Try parking farther away or taking the stairs when you have those options.
  • Eat Better: Eat plenty of fresh fruits, non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins and quality carbohydrates. Don’t forget to drink water too!
  • Improve Your Weight: Aim for a BMI below 25 and less weight carried around your stomach, and more around the hips. “Apple” shaped has more health risks than “Pear” shaped.
  • Stay Away From Smoking: According to the CDC, cigarette smokers are 2–4 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than nonsmokers. So, if you’re a smoker try to kick the habit. Smokefree.gov  is a free online service for anyone to utilize. http://smokefree.gov/ready-to-quit
  • Reduce & Manage Your Blood Sugar: Try to eat small meals throughout the day and focus on quality carbohydrates that create less of a spike in blood sugar levels.
  • Keep Your Blood Pressure in Check: It’s known as the silent killer for not having any symptoms. It’s important to check your blood pressure often and kick the salt shaker habit and limit processed foods to balance your sodium intake.
  • Control Your Cholesterol: Cholesterol or plaque build-up is one of the main causes of heart disease. Choose healthy fats while eliminating trans or saturated fats. Keep in mind though, although olive oil may be a better choice, it’s still a fat so keep the portion sizes small.

Written By: Rachel Corcoran, incentaHEALTH Health Coach

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