Getting Started

21 May


Thinking about adding physical activity to your life, but not sure how to get started? Sometimes, taking the first step is the hardest part.

If you have not been active in some time, start at a comfortable level and add a little more activity as you go along. Some people find that getting active with a friend makes it easier to get started.

Is something holding you back?
Think about reasons why you have not been physically active. Then try to come up with some ways to get past what is keeping you from getting active.

Have you said to yourself . . . I haven’t been active in a very long time.
Solution: Choose something you like to do. Many people find walking helps them get started. Before you know it, you will be doing more each day.

I don’t have the time.
Solution: Start with 10-minute chunks of time, a couple of days a week. Walk during a break. Dance in the living room to your favorite music. It all adds up.

It costs too much.
Solution: You don’t have to join a health club or buy fancy equipment to be active. Play tag with your kids. Walk briskly with your dog for 10 minutes or more.

Activity: Write down some things you could do to get past what may be holding you back:

1. _____________________________

2. _____________________________

3. _____________________________

Article published by:

Help a Loved One/Friend Get More Active: Quick tips

15 May


Lots of people struggle to get enough physical activity. If someone you care about is having a hard time getting active, you can help. Here are some tips to get you started.

Suggest activities you can do together.

• Start small. Try taking a walk after dinner twice a week, or do crunches (sit-ups) while you watch TV.
• Mix it up. Learn new stretches and warm-up exercises.
• Join a fitness class. Choose an activity that’s new for both of you.
• Make it part of your regular routine.
• Meet up at the local gym or recreation center on your way home from work.
• Wake up a bit earlier so you can go for a brisk walk together, before breakfast.
• Pick a certain time for physical activity, like right after your favorite TV show.
• Ride your bikes or walk to the store or coffee shop.
• Be understanding.

What are your loved one’s reasons for not being more active? Maybe he or she feels overwhelmed or embarrassed. Ask what you can do to be supportive.

• Be patient. Change takes time.
• Remember, some physical activity is better than none!
• Offer encouragement and praise. (“Great job doing your crunches today!”)
• Point out positive choices. (“I’m glad we’re walking to the park instead of driving.”)

Choose healthy gifts: For birthdays or special rewards, choose gifts that encourage your loved one to be more active. Some ideas include:

• New sneakers or workout clothes
• A basketball or balance ball
• Hand weights
• A yoga mat
• A pedometer (a tool that counts the number of steps you take)
• A gift certificate to a gym or exercise class

Article published by:

Get Active!

8 May


What are the benefits of physical activity?
Physical activity increases your chances of living longer. It can also help:

• Control your blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight
• Lower your “bad” cholesterol and raise your “good” cholesterol
• Prevent heart disease, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes

And that’s not all. Being more active can:

• Be fun
• Help you look your best
• Help you sleep better
• Make your bones, muscles, and joints stronger
• Lower your chances of becoming depressed
• Reduce falls and arthritis pain
• Help you feel better about yourself

Is physical activity for everyone?

Yes! Physical activity is good for people of all ages and body types. Even if you feel out of shape or you haven’t been active in a long time, you can find activities that will work for you.

Happy National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

1 May



May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Regular physical activity is good for your health, & people of all ages & body types can be active!

Exercise generally falls into four main types: endurance, strength, balance, & flexibility. Choose exercises from each category for maximum gain!

Endurance: Exercises like brisk walking, or hiking improve the health of your heart, lungs & circulatory system. They can make daily activities easier, such as climbing stairs.

Strength: Strength training like lifting weights or using resistance bands, can build muscle strength & help with everyday activities like carrying groceries.

Balance: Balance exercises, such as standing on one leg or doing tai chi, can make it easier to walk on uneven surfaces & help prevent falls.

Flexibility: Stretching exercises like yoga can help your body stay flexible. They give you more freedom of movement for daily activities, such as bending to tie your shoes.

Find an exercise planner here!

Article published in National Institute on Aging at NIH

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

16 Apr


What is IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a group of symptoms that occur together, including repeated pain in your abdomen and changes in your bowel movements, which may be diarrhea, constipation, or both. With IBS, you have these symptoms without any visible signs of damage or disease in your digestive tract.

IBS is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder. Functional GI disorders, which doctors now call disorders of gut-brain interactions, are related to problems with how your brain and your gut work together. These problems can cause your gut to be more sensitive and change how the muscles in your bowel contract. If your gut is more sensitive, you may feel more abdominal pain and bloating. Changes in how the muscles in your bowel contract lead to diarrhea, constipation, or both.

What are the symptoms of IBS?
The most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are pain in your abdomen, often related to your bowel movements, and changes in your bowel movements. These changes may be diarrhea, constipation, or both, depending on what type of IBS you have. Other symptoms of IBS may include bloating, the feeling that you haven’t finished a bowel movement. IBS can be painful but doesn’t lead to other health problems or damage your digestive tract. To diagnose IBS, your doctor will look for a certain pattern in your symptoms over time. IBS is a chronic disorder, meaning it lasts a long time, often years. However, the symptoms may come and go.

What causes IBS?
Doctors aren’t sure what causes IBS. Experts think that a combination of problems may lead to IBS. Different factors may cause IBS in different people. Functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as IBS are problems with brain-gut interaction—how your brain and gut work together. Experts think that problems with brain-gut interaction may affect how your body works and cause IBS symptoms. For example, in some people with IBS, food may move too slowly or too quickly through the digestive tract, causing changes in bowel movements. Some people with IBS may feel pain when a normal amount of gas or stool is in the gut.

How do doctors treat IBS?
Doctors may treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by recommending changes in what you eat and other lifestyle changes, medicines, probiotics, and mental health therapies. Your doctor can help you find the right treatment plan.

Changes in what you eat may help treat your symptoms. Your doctor may recommend trying one of the following changes:

• Eat more fiber

• Avoid gluten

Article Published from: MedlinePlus

Stomach Disorders

9 Apr


Your stomach is an organ between your esophagus and small intestine. It is where digestion of protein begins. The stomach has three tasks. It stores swallowed food. It mixes the food with stomach acids. Then it sends the mixture on to the small intestine.

Most people have a problem with their stomach at one time or another. Indigestion and heartburn are common problems. You can relieve some stomach problems with over-the-counter medicines and lifestyle changes, such as avoiding fatty foods or eating more slowly. Other problems like peptic ulcers or GERD require medical attention.

You should see a doctor if you have the following:

• Blood when you have a bowel movement

• Severe abdominal pain

• Unintended weight loss

• Ongoing vomiting or diarrhea

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

National IBS Awareness Month

2 Apr


Did you know April is National IBS Awareness Month? 

This month HAWA wants to educate you on a few common digestive issues like IBS and acid reflux, while teaching you how to prevent and treat them. 

Acid Reflux (GER) happens when your stomach contents come back up into your esophagus causing heartburn. You can prevent or relieve your symptoms from acid reflux by changing your diet. 

Avoid eating or drinking the following items that may make GER or GERD worse:

• Chocolate
• Coffee
• Peppermint
• Greasy or spicy foods