Wellness Newsletter: January
Putting a Safety Lock on Your Health
Fitness is different for everyone, and finding what motivates you will go a long way. It’s time we get excited about being healthy and moving our bodies. Our lives can change for the better; we just have to make it happen ourselves. Marcos Flores has encountered a few things that flipped his life around. When he started with Arbon Equipment, he needed to complete a physical when he was hired. This physical showed he had high cholesterol which got him worried about his overall health. He tried to make excuses about being too old to exercise, but his doctor wouldn’t take them. It becomes more important to exercise as we get older, not less.
As Marcos was growing up, he played sports and was extremely active. He fell in love with soccer and through his hard work and a passion for playing, he began playing semi-pro in Los Angeles. When he stopped playing soccer, his life got busy and his health took a turn in the wrong direction. He picked up smoking and drinking, but didn’t think anything of it because his friends all thought it was something cool to do.
He decided to make a change though. He wanted to be healthy for his children and hopes to see his grandchildren one day. He is proud to say he has not picked up a cigarette in 25 years. When he was 33, he started playing soccer once again. It’s something enjoyable to do and he looks forward to playing every time he ties up his laces.
He joined a community indoor soccer team that travels to different towns. He loved it so much that he encouraged his wife to join too. They have played on the same team as well as against each other which has made for some friendly competition. Since he knows the importance of exercising, he encouraged his kids to pick up sports as well. They decided to play both soccer and basketball. To share his passion with the kids, Marcos has been coaching their soccer teams. This sport has really helped his whole family stay active.
He was able to find people who supported his healthy efforts and left those individuals who only encouraged bad lifestyle habits. He knew how important it was to be surrounded by those who truly cared about him.
Marcos believes that his best years have been when he was healthy. He is able to enjoy life to the fullest and is always looking for ways to be even healthier. His best grocery store tactic is to eat before shopping and avoid buying junk food. He knows it’ll be eaten in the house if it’s there, so it’s best not to have it around at all.
Through all these efforts, he has kept his high cholesterol away. He knows he’ll be playing soccer until he can’t run anymore. So what gets you moving? What are you passionate about that will help you live the best years of your life?
New Year's Resolution
When creating New Year’s resolutions, we often make them vague and overly ambitious. This can lead to a disappointment at the end of the year if it’s not completed. To avoid that, stay positive and make a plan you can stick to. Set a realistic goal that you can hold yourself accountable to and set up checkpoints throughout the year to analyze your goal's progress.
Where to Start?
Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight
Changing your diet and getting into an exercise routine can be intimidating and overwhelming. It can feel like that because we don’t know where to start, so here are a few tips.
Limit Deserts, Snacks, and Foods with High Sugar
The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 100 calories (about 6 teaspoons) of added sugar per day. It’s also recommended that men consume no more than 150 calories (about 9 teaspoons) of added sugar per day. While looking at labels, keep in mind that one teaspoon of sugar is about 4.5 grams.
Don’t Skip Meals
It can lead to binge eating later on and you’ll want to snack on foods that are high in calories, sugar, fat or salt. Try focusing on eating regular meals that are low in calories.
Be Physically Active
Exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. For better results, exercise for 45-90 minutes. If you are not used to exercising, start out with 10 minutes.
Rest and Manage Stress
Working toward weight loss can be very stressful. One way to keep stress manageable is to take time to relax for a few minutes each day. Another way is to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Sleep restores the body’s physical and mental energy reserves. Exercise also relieves stress. When you feel your muscles tense up, stretch and go for a walk around the block.
You can use Vitality Bucks or money to purchase a heart rate monitor or a pedometer from the HumanaVitality Mall. You can also purchase them from various stores like Walmart, Target, and Amazon to name a few. Using a device to track and verify your workouts will earn you more Vitality Points and Bucks to spend in the Vitality Mall.
Recipe! Colorful Quesadillas
- 8 ounces roasted chicken or leftover rotisserie chicken, coarsely chopped (about 1 2/3 cups)
- 1 cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
- ½ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- Four 8-inch whole wheat flour tortillas
- 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
- ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro, optional
- Optional toppings: Light sour cream, salsa, guacamole
- Stir together the chicken, cheese, beans, corn, barbecue sauce, and the cilantro as desired in a large bowl until well combined. Spread the mixture evenly over half of each tortilla. Fold over, press down gently, and set aside.
- Heat ½ tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 of the quesadillas and cook, pressing down occasionally with a spatula, until the bottoms are crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Flip them, and cook until the other sides are golden, about 2 minutes.
- Repeat with the remaining oil and quesadillas. Cut into halves and serve with optional dippers, or wrap the quesadilla halves in aluminum foil and pack in a lunch box.
TIP: Instead of frying the quesadillas, try baking them! Heat the oven (or toaster oven) to 350. Follow step 1 and then put the tortillas on a greased baking sheet. Cook 10-15 minutes, until the cheese melts and the tortillas are a bit crispy.