September is Cholesterol Education Month!
5 tips on what you need to know about high blood cholesterol.
About 13% of Americans have high cholesterol. This is a waxy substance that circulates in your blood. Too much LDL cholesterol causes buildup in your arteries that could eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- Work with your health care provider. Ask what she recommends to help lower cholesterol and talk with her about dietary supplements or other complementary health practices.
- Change your diet. Saturated fat is a huge component of raising your LDL.
- Manage your weight. Losing weight can lower your LDL and triglycerides while raising your HDL (or good cholesterol)
- Get moving. Just as losing weight can help lower LDL and triglycerides while raising HDL- physical activity does the same thing! Shoot for 150 minutes/week.
- Educate yourself on dietary supplements marketed for improving cholesterol. According to the NCCIH, there is not a great deal of evidence validating these product claims.
Walk Across Texas is coming soon!
Panola County- it’s time to bust out your walkin shoes! That’s right, Walk Across Texas is just around the corner and I want YOU to be part of this team challenge! Walk Across Texas is an 8-week physical activity challenge for people of all ages and fitness levels. Over the course of the challenge, you and seven friends will collectively walk 832 miles- the distance across the state of Texas. Join in a little friendly competition amongst yourselves, or just sign up as an individual and I’ll connect you with a team. Hurry and sign up today on HowdyHealth.org – the challenge begins September 13.
**You can also visit the Walk Across Texas! page on our website: https://panola.agrilife.org/walk-across-texas/
7 simple ways to move more!
Are you finding it hard to make time for exercise? Join the club.
- Grab the leash and walk the dog. He’ll love it and your body will thank you.
- Take your kid or spouse for a walk. Reconnect with loved ones without sitting in front of screens. Mix it up by taking a different route each time
- Try a 10-minute workout from the American Heart association at heart.org
- Walk and talk. If you have some phone calls to make or meetings to attend, try and walk while talking or organize a walking meeting.
- Tune into fitness. Entertain yourself during workouts by watching tv or listening to books/podcasts
- Drive less. Choose a spot at the back of the parking lot or ditch the car altogether and walk/bike around.
- Take the stairs! The elevator will take you to the next level of the building but doesn’t do the same to your heart rate. Opt for the stairs for a win-win.
American Heart Association. (December 13, 2017). No time for exercise? Here are 7 easy ways to move more. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/getting-active/no-time-for-exercise-here-are-7-easy-ways-to-move-more?utm_source=jul_sust_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=jul20_sustainer&utm_content=jul20_sust1
Should I be taking a multivitamin?
Vitamins and minerals are essential substances our bodies need to function. Close to half of Americans take multivitamins (MVM)/multiminerals as dietary supplements. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that most people can and should aim to achieve these levels by eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods.
Taking a MVM increases overall nutrient intake and can help people achieve the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of nutrients when they can’t or don’t get them from food alone.
MVM’s cannot replace a healthy diet! Eating whole foods (eating an orange rather than drinking orange juice) is the best way to get your fiber and nutrients. However, taking a multivitamin may be appropriate for some audiences due to health needs and medical conditions.
It’s important to note that there are some risks involved with dietary supplements. Too much of a good thing is not necessarily a good thing! Make sure to talk to a healthcare provider if you are considering beginning a supplement.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (February 2018). Vitamins and minerals. National Institutes of Health. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/vitamins-and-minerals
Keep up with Healthy Habits when you’re on the Go
With schools and businesses reopening, everyone is on-the-go once again. How can you keep your healthy eating habits on track once life starts getting crazy again? Well, meal prepping is a common solution. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to meal planning, it’s a strategy that needs to be adapted to fit your life and your schedule.Some people prefer to batch-cook a bunch of meals so they can “grab and go” on busy days. Others may prefer to chop fruits and veggies to use as snacks or in meals throughout the week. Knowing that there’s ready-to-eat food in your fridge will make you a lot less likely to swing through and get some fast food while you’re on the go.
- Think storage. How will you keep everything fresh and organized? Get a variety of sizes in containers that are dishwasher and microwave safe to keep the process more efficient.
- Game plan! Figure out a time where you can dedicate a couple of hours to meal prep and planning.
- Pick your recipes and make a shopping list. Be sure to plan for well-rounded, nutritious meals that offer choices from different food groups.
- Start simple. Set yourself up for success by choosing options that you’re confident you can produce.
- Reuse ingredients! Cook a bunch of meat or other ingredients at once and then use it in different meals throughout the week such as casseroles and salads.
- Jump on it and have some fun. Crank up some tunes or a favorite podcast and get to work. Label everything and keep in mind that most meals should be consumed within 3-4 days unless they are frozen. Freeze portions of big batch meals to enjoy at a later date.
A beginner’s guide to healthy meal prep: How to set yourself up for healthy eating success. (2020, February 21). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/a-beginners-guide-to-healthy-meal-prep/
According to the NIH, at least 1 in 4 adults will have at least one day of back pain Over a 3 month period. So, what’s the big deal with posture? Little changes over time can add up over a lifetime. Years of slouching make your spine more fragile and prone to injury. Poor posture can also decrease your flexibility, joint mobility and balance. This is important later in life to help maintain one’s balance and independence. Posture can even impact your ability to digest food and breathe comfortably. Straighten up, Panola County! For more information visit nih.gov.
Tips for long-distance caregiving:
The National Institute on Aging says anyone who cares for a friend, relative or parent from far away is considered a long-distance caregiver. Whether you’re helping with finances, arranging for care or providing emotional support; long-distance caregiving brings many unique challenges. Here are a few tips to make this more manageable:
- Learn as much as you can about the person’s health, treatment plan and available resources. Be proactive in trying to prevent crises and acute illnesses
- Organize important paperwork and provide copies to other caregivers
- Make sure at least one caregiver has written permission to receive medical and financial information
- Plan your visits. Spend relaxing time together
- Stay connected. Schedule calls with healthcare providers so then you can update other family members and caregivers
- Consider caregiving training. American Red Cross or other nonprofits may offer this training. It is sometimes reimbursed with Medicare and Medicaid.
For more information on caregiving, visit nia.nih.gov
Grilling Like a Texan
Lee and I are excited to bring you a new program this month called “Grilling Like a Texan!”
Each week during the month of July, we will share grilling tips and tricks as well as some delicious recipes for you and your family to try! Bring the kids, because we will learn where food comes from as we follow it from Path to the Plate.
We will feature grilling secrets and safety and focus on healthier meals that will give your whole family a chance to gather around the grill for delicious food and great conversation.
Be sure to check out our Facebook page “Panola County – AgriLife Extension Service” for all of the program materials coming out over the next few weeks. We’re looking forward to learning from one another and Grilling Like a Texan!