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10 tips to healthy eating and physical activity

Start your day with breakfast.
Breakfast fills your "empty tank" to get you going after a long night without food. And it can help you do better in school. Easy to prepare breakfasts include cold cereal with fruit and low-fat milk, whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit, whole-grain waffles or even last night's pizza!

Get Moving!
It's easy to fit physical activities into your daily routine. Walk, bike or jog to see friends. Take a 10-minute activity break every hour while you read, do homework or watch TV. Climb stairs instead of taking an escalator or elevator. Try to do these things for a total of 30 minutes every day.

Snack smart.
Snacks are a great way to refuel. Choose snacks from different food groups - a glass of low-fat milk and a few graham crackers, an apple or celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins, or some dry cereal. If you eat smart at other meals, cookies, chips and candy are OK for occasional snacking.

Work up a sweat.
Vigorous work-outs - when you're breathing hard and sweating - help your heart pump better, give you more energy and help you look and feel best. Start with a warm-up that stretches your muscles. Include 20 minutes of aerobic activity, such as running, jogging, or dancing. Follow-up with activities that help make you stronger such as push-ups or lifting weights. Then cool-down with more stretching and deep breathing.

Balance your food choices.
You don't have to give up foods like hamburgers, french fries and ice cream to eat healthy. You just have to be smart about how often and how much of them you eat. Your body needs nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fat and many different vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and A, iron and calcium from a variety of foods. Balancing food choices from the Food Guide Pyramid and checking out the Nutrition Facts Panel on food labels will help you get all these nutrients.

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A new year and a new, healthier you

Trying to stick to a new exercise routine
this year? Consider joining a gym.

Many Oregonians are looking for ways to be healthier in 2011. Dr. Yen Nguyen of The Portland Clinic, an Oregon resident most of her life, has some tips specific to those living in the Pacific Northwest. “We are lucky enough to be living in an area of the U.S. that poses its own unique challenges and strengths,” says Nguyen, a University of Oregon graduate. “At The Portland Clinic we aim to tailor health care to the needs of our patients, and these are just a few of the recommendations that we recommend on a daily basis to patients.”

No excuses: Start exercising
Many times patients will mention that they can’t find enough time in the day to exercise and the response is always, “Make your day longer and get up earlier,” Nguyen says. Some of the healthiest people in the world have one thing in common: They make exercise as much part of the daily routine as making the bed or brushing your teeth. However, the hours of daylight in Oregon dwindle during the winter and motivation to exercise can drop dramatically. To keep motivations high, consider training for a race, exploring a hiking trail during the summer, or working out during a lunch break when it’s light outside. Consider joining a gym and trying out its scheduled exercise classes. There is usually something for everyone, from dance classes, Muscle Blast classes or cycling classes.

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Vow not to gain weight leads to group losing effort

Jennifer Dugan sparks Biggest Loser-type program at
Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center

By Mara Stine
staff writer

 

It’s amazing what a little friendly competition can lead to.

A total of 37 employees at Gresham’s Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center are vying against one another to see who can lose the most weight in what can only be described as an East County version of “The Biggest Loser.”

Jennifer Dugan, an emergency department technician nicknamed Doogie by her co-workers, sparked the contest with her revolutionary Thanksgiving resolution.

A knee injury followed by surgery resulted in a sedentary spell and a horrifying number on the scale. “I can’t be this unhealthy anymore,” she told herself. But instead of vowing to lose weight, she pledged to not gain any more.

She shared her new mantra with her four sisters who live in Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Texas. All liked the sound of it and adopted the pledge. And an interesting thing happened. Their weigh-ins every Tuesday, coupled with their camaraderie and heightened dietary awareness, resulted in them shedding a few pounds.

By the time Christmas rolled around, Dugan was noticeably slimmer. Her co-workers inquired. “Well, weigh in with me,” she said, adding as an afterthought that maybe they could make it a contest like the hit television show “The Biggest Loser.” “It was just kind of to motivate a few of us,” Dugan said.

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Ancient Eastern healing methods complement Western practices

Eastern techniques such as yoga and tai chi have benefits available to everyone

By Jim Hart
staff writer

Ancient healers say to maintain health and wellness, a person needs to take regular breaths of oxygen filled air and keep all of the body’s energy flowing.

This is the basis of holistic healthcare, which includes many of the Eastern forms of health maintenance such as those emanating from China, Japan and India.

Tai chi and qigong
Bonnie Newman of Sandy combines Eastern and Western approaches to health and wellness. Newman teaches t’ai chi ch’uan and qigong (chee-gong), both of Chinese origin, which she says help keep chi (energy) flowing, at the Sandy Community Center.

All the approaches Newman teaches are safe for everyone, offering reduced anxiety as well as improved posture, balance, flexibility, digestion and respiration.

Chinese healers, Newman says, prescribe various forms of qigong that match each patient’s condition. Each qigong is specific for a particular health condition such as circulation, arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis or balancing yin and yang. Newman has classes throughout the winter and spring. For information, call 503-622-4041.

Yoga and meditation
There are a number of forms of yoga, an ancient art at least 5,000 years old, says certified yoga instructor Therese Fleischman of Sandy’s Celtic Spirit Yoga.

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