Week 7: Weight, Stress, and Wellness

May 14, 2018


Healthy Weight Ranges: BMI

               What is BMI? Good question; BMI stands for Body Mass Index. This is a measurement based on your height and weight to help you determine an appropriate weight range.  This number is used to screen for weight categories (overweight, obese) that may lead to diseases such as cardiovascular (CVD) and type 2 diabetes.   

               You may be wondering how you can calculate your BMI. The CDC has a BMI calculator  that can be used for both adults and children at; https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/


What is healthy?

               Each person takes his or her own personal journey to becoming healthy. While most people


often focus first on diet and exercise to improve health, professionals have identified up to eight dimensions of health and wellness. The eight dimensions include; social, financial, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, occupational, physical, and environmental.

               Health can be difficult to define. Your quality of life and physical health are not shaped by isolated events, but rather a complex interconnection between body, mind, and spirit. The World Health Organization (WHO) created the most famous and the modern definition of health in 1948, and it has not been amended since. WHO defines health as, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

               The ability to improve health begins with identifying what being healthy means to you. Here is a sampling of personal definitions of health:

  • Feeling strong, energetic, mentally sharp, happy, and confident

  • A balance between mind, body, and soul

  • Health is being able to play with my grandchildren

  • Eating healthful food, being active every day, waking up and feeling rested

  •  Independence. Being able to take care of myself

  • Health is not determined by a scale, but rather how my clothes fit and how I feel.

  • A balance of healthful food, sleep, exercise, and chocolate (moderate amounts)!

  • Being positive, finding exercise I enjoy, eating foods that fuel my body, spending time with people I love.

 Mental health is just as important as physical health! If you find yourself stressed a lot, try yoga or mind/body classes to distress. Mediation exercises may be helpful as well. You’ve done a great job getting your body healthier, now its time to make sure you’re healthy in every aspect. For more information about medication  visit; https://www.gaiam.com/blogs/discover/calming-the-mind-a-meditation-exercise

                                        *Remember to get 8 hours of sleep per night too!*


Eat More Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh Ideas for Success

               When it comes to eating more fruit and vegetables even through we know what to do, it isn’t always easy to accomplish. If fruits and veggies were, just, well exciting…

               Fruits and vegetables can be exciting-sometimes it just takes thinking outside of  whatever the “typical” box is for us! For some, that may mean adding some dried fruit to our favorite cooked cereal, or grating carrot to add as a taco topping. For others, it may mean seeking out a new form of fruit or vegetable, and fitting it in our meal or snack routine. Tiny grape tomatoes are a quick addition for salads or to pack as a snack, and citrus- flavored dried plums can calm the cravings of a sweet tooth while boosting your effort toward 5 cups a day! Need a bit more of a nudge? How about trying a new recipe that has a fruit or vegetable emphasis? It could be as basic as a banana bread or as involved as a spinach soufflé.        

               For active kids ages 5-11, a goal of 3.5-4 cups a day is more appropriate . Fruits and veggies becomes a way of life if they are consistently surrounded with options- a peanut butter and jelly may never seem quite as tasty as peanut butter and banana on raisin bread. Often, the produce sections in supermarkets or farmers’ markets will offer recipes that feature the “pick of the day.” Contact your local Extension office for ideas to help you step up to 5 cups a day- they will be happy to assist!


Recipe of the Week

               Green Smoothie

                              Is it hard for you to get in those 5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day? Well a smoothie can help!


  • 1 cup of spinach

  • 1 frozen banana                                     

  • ½ cup of canned, drained, or frozen pineapple

  • ½ cup of water or milk (add more liquid for a thinner consistency or less for a thicker green treat)

                  ~Instructions: Blend everything together in a blender and enjoy!


FitEx Fitness

               Bench Dips

                              Bench dips can be done anywhere, anytime. You don’t even need a bench, use a chair, the side of a table, or get creative! For an added challenge, put a weight in your lap (and if you don’t have a weight, you can always use a textbook or two)



Team Talk; “Awarding your Teammates”

               As a team, decide on some fun award categories (ie most motivation, always on time, greatest fitness improvement). Have everyone on the team assign all teammates to one reward. This way you can see how everyone views each other as teammates and a part of their success story. Share what you find out with your whole team!


FitEx and Beyond

               FitEx 2015 Testimonial from Team Captain Crystal Baber!

                              The members from Captain Baber’s team reported;

  • 2-4 lbs of weight loss

  • Improved blood pressure

  • Increased motivation to practice the healthier habits of increasing fruits and vegetables and activity on a daily basis

  • Valued being held accountable as a team member, and being able to visibly see their intake and progress

              Step 6:  Write down your physical activity success story and ask you fitness friends to do the same! Set a time to get together to reflect on your successes and brainstorm ideas that will help you and your fitness friends get 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity at least 5 days a week!


              Once FitEx is finished many of us map slip back into a busy and low activity lifestyle. Physical activity without the team goal and comraderies may seem boring and you many not feel like exercising. Everyone at one point or another, gets tired, board or whatever- we’re not alone! Even internationally known athletes get tired of working out, and heck, their livelihood depends on it !

               Last week we wrote about the benefit of having those people who are important to us support us in the pursuit of a healthy, physically active lifestyle. It is not coincidence that one of the best ways to overcome the risk of relapsing into an inactive lifestyle is to build good support systems. Fitness friends are of the oldest tricks in our motivational grab bag and we introduced you to it last week. Your fitness friends can help you get through the motivational badlands that will surely follow FitEx. Another good way to help you remain motivated to celebrate the success you have felt during FitEx. People who exercise regularly or who have been overweight and have witnessed the dramatic results from exercise don’t stray from it for very long.



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