Archive | February, 2016

My Plate

13 Feb


A great free resource to visit is My Plate ( The goal of MyPlate is to simplify the government’s nutritional guidelines and messages into easy to understand graphics.

MyPlate educates readers while encouraging everyone to eat a more balanced diet, which is made up of approximately 50% fruits and vegetables. MyPlate features a Super Tracker, which use member’s age, gender, height, weight and physical activity level to develop an individualized eating plan to meet his/her specific caloric needs.

Fitbit users are also encouraged to use the food tracker on the Fitbit app and web site. The calories consumed will feed into your HAWA Health Tracker after you connect your Fitbit account to your HAWA account.

Heart Disease and Exercise

11 Feb


Over the past 40 years experts have conducted many studies looking at the relationship between physical activity and cardiovascular health. The consensus from many panels has consistently shown that the more active you are the less chance you will develop coronary heart disease (CHD) compared to your sedentary counterparts.

Why is this important? Nearly 1 in 4 deaths in the United States are attributed to heart disease. That’s 610,000 deaths per year according to the Center for Disease Control. So what are risk factors associated with CHD? Sedentary lifestyle, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, age, and family history.

Why is exercise so important? Exercise provides known benefits; reduction in body weight, lower blood pressure, a decrease in your bad cholesterol (LDL levels), and increase in your good cholesterol (HDL). It allows your body to use insulin more effectively, decreasing insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes and builds your exercise tolerance. Despite the known benefits of exercise, less than one third of Americans engage in the minimal recommended exercise outlined by the American Heart Association. Exercise is defined by the American Heart Association as engaging in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week.

What are some examples of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise? Walking briskly at about 3-4 miles per hour, cycling, swimming, yard work etc.. This should correspond to burning 600-1200 calories per week. Combine this with a healthy diet and lifestyle and you’re on your way to cardiovascular protection. You’re never to old too start. Researchers estimate a 30-40% reduction in cardiovascular events in most Americans that engage in physical exercise. With the explosion of wearable devices and APP’s on our smart phones, it’s very easy to track your exercise, calorie intake, calories burned, and other metrics to spur you on to a more healthy lifestyle. Let’s make 2016 a great success story by making time for you to get active!

Dr. Bob, HAWA Medical Director

Heart Health

1 Feb


Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. It is also a major cause of disability. The risk of heart disease increases as you age. You have a greater risk of heart disease if you are a man over age 45 or a woman over age 55. You also are at greater risk if you have a close family member who had heart disease at an early age.


This month HAWA is focused on healthy hearts. We challenge our members to get their heart rate up every day. Here are some of our suggestions: change your walk to a jog, go for a swim at an indoor pool, do jumping jacks every commercial break, ride your bike or stationary bike at the gym or walk on a treadmill on an incline.

All of these activities along with so many more are heart healthy and good for you. Look for additional heart health support every week in HAWA U, your HAWA University.

Game on!