0

Why We Should all Care about Employee Wellness

Happy National Employee Wellness Month! Did you even know that June is National Employee Wellness Month? More importantly, do you have a reason to care? The truth is that we all have a reason to care! Employee health and wellness has a direct impact on healthcare costs. And, it’s no secret that healthcare costs in America are soaring right now and cause a lot of controversy across company board rooms and government negotiations every day. According to nationalemployeewellnessmonth.com, “75% of these costs are driven by preventable and highly manageable chronic diseases like, heart disease, type II diabetes and some forms of cancer.”

Many companies and organizations have joined forces throughout the month of June to raise awareness for employee wellness. But, it can’t stop here. On June 30th, we can’t all forget about employee wellness until June 2014 rolls around. We’ve got to keep the momentum going!

How you ask? That’s exactly what we want to answer today. Here are a few tips for encouraging employee wellness in your organization beyond National Employee Wellness Month.

    • Participate: If your company has a wellness program in place, participate in the programs they offer. Join the wellness walks, participate in the webinars, compete in the challenges… Whatever they offer, take advantage!
    • Campaign: If your company doesn’t currently offer a wellness program, or you see a need for improvements in the wellness program, become an advocate for a stronger wellness program. NCES has many products designed to make workplace wellness easy in any workplace.
    • Get Started: Can’t find all the support that you’re looking for within your company? Odds are that you’re not alone. Get together with some co-workers and start a walking club, create a weight loss challenge or even host a wellness class. If your employer sees that you are interested, they’ll be more likely to get the program started for the entire company.

 

So, even though June is the official month for employee wellness, let’s keep the

Employee wellnessmomentum going! National Employee Wellness Month officially began in 2009. Since then, it’s gained great momentum year after year and has grown to have over 150 organizations with more than 65,000 employees supporting the cause. Get started promoting employee wellness in your workplace today. And, remember to become a 2014 supporter of National Employee Wellness Month. Visit www.NationalEmployeeWellnessMonth.com for more information and to become a supporter next year. For everything corporate wellness, take a second to browse the NCES Corporate Wellness section today!

 

0

Your Toolbox for Fighting Childhood Obesity

With the Childhood Obesity Conference happening right now in Long Beach, CA, we thought it was a fitting time to address childhood obesity and some of the top ways to combat and reverse it. It’s no secret that the number of children in the US that are overweight or obese is overwhelming. And, to make it worse, that number is still growing at an astounding rate. But, the goal of the conference is to “Accelerate Progress”. So, what can we do to accelerate progress? As many of you remember from our last blog, we discussed some resources that are available to parents and educators to provide to children. Today, we wanted to provide some easy ways to teach health, nutrition and fitness to kids.

NCES MyPlate Lunch & Learn Placemat – Use at the breakfast/lunch or dinner table either at MyPlate Munch and Learn Placemathome or on the go. Designed specifically for kids, this placemat educates your child about the five major food groups while engaging their critical thinking skills as they work through the fun activities on the back.

EIEO Kids Tear pad

NCES EIEO tear pad – Use these handouts to help motivate kids to get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity in daily.  It also helps children understand that what you eat has to balance with how much they exercise in order to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.


Kids Portion PlateNCES Right-Sized Plate – With two designs, one for adults and one for kids, these colorful plates provide portioned sections for measuring out portions. This is great for kids so they can learn all about portion control by filling each section of their plate.daily.  It also helps children understand that what you eat has to balance with how much they exercise in order to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Whiz, Zip, Zap Kids Cookbook

Whiz Zip and Zap cookbook – Get your kids in the kitchen to start cooking so they can see how fun it is. Summer is a greattime to engage your kids in activities like helping to cook family meals.   It has been proven that kids who participate in cooking with their parents or caregivers have healthier eating habits. This cookbook provides simple recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks.

Scratch and Sniff Learning Cards for KidsScratch and Sniff Learning cards – These interactive scratch and sniff cards provide a fun way for kids to learn about and try new fruits and vegetables.  First, have them smell the card. Then, have them taste the actual fruit and vegetable to compare the scent and taste. They can also note what they liked most and least about the foods.

0

MyPlate Food Bingo Wins Parents Choice Approved Seal

Congratulations to our friends at Smart Picks for receiving the “2012 Parents Choice Approved Seal” for MyPlate Food Bingo. Read their Press Release below for all the details!

Smart Picks
MyPlate Food Bingo wins
” 2012 Parents’ Choice Approved Seal”

What is The Parents Choice Approved Seal?

The Parents’ Choice Approved Seals are given on the basis of the production, entertainment and human values they exemplify.
A Parents’ Choice Approved Seal indicates a wholesome product that helps children enjoy developing physical, emotional, social or academic skills.

My Plate Food Bingo

Spring 2012 Games

Ages: 9 & Up

Manufacturer: Smart Picks, Inc.

Price: $39.95
Review:

MyPlate Food Bingo combines family game night and lesson in healthy eating habits. Based on the USDA’s new MyPlate food categories (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein and dairy) the game boards feature ninety-five different foods and their suggested serving sizes. It provides information and tips on healthy eating, exercise, food allergies and more. The game, which is ideal for the classroom or camps, includes 30 laminated cards, 114 picture squares, a checking card, 95 clue cards, 600 square markers, an instruction sheet and an information sheet. The game helps children learn information about healthy eating habits way while also encouraging family time, cooperative play and social interaction. Though the game may mention foods that kids may not recognize, such as kashi, seitan, and amaranth, there is an information sheet that explains what more obscure foods are. The sheet also provides enough nutritional information and additional resources to assist any teacher or home schooling parent to craft a healthy eating curriculum. The practical, tasty, and accessible healthy eating tips on each card (“try frozen grapes instead of popsicles” and “eat popcorn instead of candy or chips”, for example) add to the game’s health and educational value.

1

Fighting Cancer with Fitness

The Major Role Fitness Plays in Fighting Cancer

Chances are that a friend or loved one will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. Although experts in the medical community still have a lot to learn about the different forms of cancer, there have been some very intriguing findings involving the relationship between cancer and fitness. In general, increased fitness levels seem to have a positive impact on people in all stages of cancer treatment. Whether someone is a healthy adult or a cancer survivor, including fitness into daily life can offer many benefits.
One of the most recognized positive outcomes for people who routinely exercise is a lowered body mass index. Getting frequent exercise helps to reduce body fat and increases lean muscle mass for those who work out.  Medical experts have recognized a correlation between lowered body mass index and the prevalence of cancer. Based on this scientific data, people of all ages should incorporate fitness into daily routines to help prevent a cancer diagnosis. Staying in shape can also help to lower inflammation throughout the body and lower the occurrence of other major illnesses.
Even with proper diet and exercise, a cancer diagnosis can sometimes happen without warning. For most, getting this news from the doctor is a stressful experience that is difficult to deal with. However, this is the time when staying fit can be the most advantageous. Fitness and medical experts agree that regular exercise helps to lower stress hormones in the body. After an initial cancer diagnosis, patients should stay motivated to stick with exercise programs in order to maintain a positive outlook. Staying active will help the body deal with the shock of this information.
After a cancer patient has agreed upon on a treatment method with a doctor, some may undergo depression and withdrawal. It can be easy to get discouraged when undergoing strong chemotherapy treatments for mesothelioma and other cancers. Patients should confer with their oncologist about the type of exercise that would be right for them. Moderate walking and resistance training can increase energy levels and positively affect mood. Additionally, there are many side effects associated with these aggressive treatments that can leave patients with the feeling that they have lost control over their bodies. Simple, short-term exercise goals can help patients to regain confidence with their abilities and help them to overcome a cancer diagnosis.
Even patients in remission from cancer can benefit from routine exercise.  Several studies have shown that exercise helps to prevent the cancer from recurring. One specific study of breast cancer survivors found that women who walked three to five hours a week saw a 50% reduction in mortality. Getting frequent exercise after going into remission offers survivors the chance to prevent the disease from coming back. In addition, those who maintain this level of exercise after going into remission are able to regain a lot of the strength that may have been lost during the treatment process.
Although staying active and maintaining a proper body weight is not a definitive cure for cancer, there is enough evidence to suggest that patients greatly benefit from regular participation in cardiovascular and strength training. Further, taking a simple walk around the block or picking up lightweights on occasion offers benefits for anyone desiring to prevent major medical issues. Cancer doesn’t have to be fought lying down. Oncologists can work with cancer patients to help them stay in shape during the long and arduous fight against the disease.

Author: David Haas

0

Don’t Get the Sugar Scares!

Halloween is here! The most dreaded holiday for dentists and dietitians across the country! But, it’s nothing a little education can’t fix, since the holiday has the potential to be a lot of fun for kids of all ages. All of the unique costumes give kids an opportunity to show off their creative abilities. Then, they go door-to-door ‘trick or treating’ for some sugary snacks! Many people have already begun changing this tradition by passing out more health conscious items, including stickers, granola bars and even fruit! But, how do you keep your kids safe from those ghouls and goblins that still pass out sickening sweet treats? We’ve put together a list of the top things to do with all that candy so your children don’t spend the entire month of November amped up on a sugar high. (As with everything, it’s important to remember that moderation is key! Don’t feel like you have to take it ALL away!)

  • Donate to your Dentist: Obviously, you don’t want to be that parent that gives away all of your children’s hard earned candy. So, have them set aside their absolute favorites. Then, find a local dentist who will trade you for the leftovers. Many dentists have items that they will trade your children for their candy.
  • Put it on Ice: Sit down with your kids and pick out all the chocolate. Then, throw it in the freezer. This way, your kids can enjoy their Halloween treats all year long! Throw away the rest… or you can always trade the dentist!
  • Take it to Work: Although no one person needs to be consuming all that sugar, spreading it out amongst your co-workers will keep your kids healthier. Plus, you’ll probably be a big hit around the office.
  • Sell It: There are many organizations out there that will purchase your leftover Halloween candy. Some of them even take what they purchase and send it to our troops so they can enjoy the sweet treats. Try searching your area for locations you can take your Halloween stash and sell it.

As you can see, there are many options for keeping all that candy out of your little one’s tummy. A little bit of Halloween fun can go a long way. So, be sure to take this opportunity to teach your children about healthy habits and using self-control when digging in to their tasty treats!

0

A Change in Lifestyle, A Change in Nutrition (Week 4)

April is National Cancer Awareness Month, in recognition of this, we have decided to highlight this week for you, some of the changes experienced and needed in your diet as a cancer survivor.

There is no “magic bullet” for increased health and maintained wellness in the body. The human body is composed of many different systems, all requiring different things to stay working at an optimum level, and there’s simply no single, simple answer to the equation.

The only proven way to stay healthy after beating cancer is to ensure that your diet is a healthy one, and that you maintain an appropriate level of engaging, physical activity.

Having a healthy diet can be simple though. Take a look at your plate. At least 2/3 of the food you see on there should be vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. Only about 1/3 or less should consist of fish, poultry, lean red meat or dairy products. Anything else, such as processed red meat, should only appear occasionally.

When it comes to the vegetables and fruits, make sure that the canned varieties are packed in water or juice instead of syrup. For frozen vegetables, check the nutrition label to make sure that there isn’t any added sugar or sodium, since those should be avoided.

This information and much more can be found in our handout: “Nutrition and the Cancer Survivor” One of our Anniversary Special Items in our catalog and at www.ncescatalog.com.  Item # 4625

0

A Change in Lifestyle, A Change in Nutrition (Week 3)

April is National Cancer Awareness Month, in recognition of this, we have decided to highlight this week for you, some of the changes experienced and needed in your diet as a cancer survivor.

It’s common knowledge your doctor recommends a healthy diet in order to promote overall heath, but did you realize that there are some healthy eating choices you can make that might improve the chances of keeping your cancer from returning? 

A healthful diet that’s full of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans is especially helpful as a cancer survivor. The more in your diet, and the less red meat in that same diet, can help fight cancer at several stages. The vitamins and minerals gained through this diet help the body defend itself against cancer, as well as other diseases.

Many of the protective plant phytochemicals are very helpful in seeking out toxins and carcinogens in the body and eliminating them. This protects cells, and helps them to make repairs when cell damage occurs.

Combined with a healthy amount of physical activity, this improved lifestyle can greatly increase your chances of preventing remission, and living a full, longer life.

This information and much more can be found in our handout: “Nutrition of the Cancer Survivor” One of our Anniversary Special Items in our catalog and at www.ncescatalog.com.  Item # 4625.