Category Archives: Life & Leisure

get_physical

Let’s Get Physical

by Jen Fuller-Allen

You don’t have to wait for the New Year to start a new fitness regimen.  You can start integrating healthy habits before the hype of weight loss in January. Healthy lifestyles affect various aspects of your life. By making a positive lifestyle change you can see benefits emotionally, physically, spiritually and even with your relationships on an individual level as well as with your family.

1. Exercise improves your mood & increases self-esteem.

Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. You’ll also look better and feel better when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. Regular physical activity can even help prevent depression.

2. Exercise combats chronic diseases.

Regular physical activity can help you prevent — or manage — high blood pressure. Your cholesterol will benefit, too. Regular physical activity boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol while decreasing triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly by lowering the buildup of plaques in your arteries. Regular physical activity can help you prevent Type II diabetes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer.

3. Exercise helps you manage your weight.

When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn — and the easier it is to keep your weight under control. Dedicated workouts are great, but physical activity you accumulate throughout the day helps you burn calories, too.

4. Exercise boosts your energy level.

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can leave you breathing easier. Regular physical activity helps your entire cardiovascular system — the circulation of blood through your heart and blood vessels — work more efficiently. When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you’ll have more energy to do the things you enjoy.

5. Exercise promotes better sleep.

A good night’s sleep can improve your concentration, productivity and mood. And you guessed it — physical activity is sometimes the key to better sleep. Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. There’s a caveat, however. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you may be too energized to fall asleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you might want to exercise earlier in the day.

6. Exercise can be fun!

Physical activity doesn’t have to be drudgery. Take a ballroom dancing class. Check out a local climbing wall or hiking trail. Push your kids on the swings or climb with them on the jungle gym. Plan a neighborhood kickball or touch football game. Find a physical activity you enjoy and go for it. If you get bored, try something new. If you’re moving, it counts!

7.  Exercise increases mental focus.

Did you know that the latest research shows that exercise helps keep the brain sharp well into old age? Anything that involves mental acuity (focus and concentration) is improved. You also stand a much better chance of avoiding such diseases as Alzheimer’s and senility.

8. Exercise improves your relationships with others. 

It provides you with an outlet for your stress, allowing you to be more relaxed and able to focus more on others. If you exercise with a partner or family member, it provides a perfect opportunity to improve communication and strengthen your bond by committing to doing something together.

9. Exercise can decrease stress levels.

The worries and stresses of everyday living (commuting, work demands, conflicts etc.) can stick with you long after the work day is done. Exercise right after work is the perfect natural therapy that can change your mood. You’ll sleep better too!

Things we can do as a family to stay fit…

  • Find a partner or class to be accountable to – spouse, fellow pastor, friend, child, anyone…..
  • Walk together
  • Ride bikes
  • Play in the yard
  • Go to the park
  • Play hopscotch, basketball, soccer or any other games as a family
  • It is good for us to teach these healthy choices to our children as well.
    • By setting an example for our children, we encourage them to embrace healthy habits from a young age and help to increase their brain development, decrease their risk of obesity and other childhood diseases, improve their self-esteem and spend more time together as a family.

Think about what motivates you to make a healthy lifestyle change – write it down and stick it on your mirror at home

Decide HOW & WHEN you will exercise – make a written plan and schedule it in your calendar.  Don’t break that appointment with yourself.

Easy ways to add exercise to every day:

  • Take the stairs
  • Park your car at the end of the lot
  • Do jumping jacks or march in place during commercials on TV
  • Use a pedometer – aim for 10,000 steps a day

I would encourage you to track your exercise – set a goal of 30 minutes a day/three days a week or three family walks a week or a certain number of steps on your pedometer – anything that you enjoy – then record it on your calendar just like all your other appointments. When you finish, write it down so you can see your progress – you can use a calendar, a sheet of paper or a website. Sparkpeople.com allows you to track food and exercise – you can use it for either one.  There are also lots of articles, workouts and recipes you can use.

15-minute circuit

Perform 10 of each exercise in order a total of 5 times (no equipment required)

  • Squat
  • Push-ups
  • Plank
  • Dip
  • Sit-ups

Quick Cardio – no equipment required – all can be high or low impact

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Jump Rope
  • Quick Feet
  • Power Heels
  • Jump Squat
  • High Knees (add arms)
  • Hamstring run
  • Front Kicks
  • Arm Punches/Speed bag Arms
  • Run/Walk up & down stairs
  • Walk/Run in all directions at a track or in your driveway

 

Weight Circuit:  You can use anything from dumbbells to canned vegetables

Arms Legs
Bicep Curls Squats
Tricep Kickbacks Plies
Shoulder Press Right Front Lunge
Front Lat Raise Left Front Lunge
Side Lat Raise Right Lateral Lunge
Back Row Left Lateral Lunge
Pull-Ups Calf Raise
Chest Press Hamstring Bridge Lift

(*Weights – begin with 2 sets of 8 reps; work up to 3 sets of 8-10 reps each)

Woman with tissue and hot drink

Fighting Flu the Old Fashioned Way

Fighting Flu the old fashioned way
Novant Health Lexington Primary Care
Tiffany Cox, PA –C

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness that affects millions of people in the United States each year. Although individuals can best protect themselves against influenza by getting vaccinated, practicing good health habits will be more important than ever in helping to fight the flu.

Flu spreads from person to person most easily through coughing and sneezing. In fact, infected respiratory droplets can travel up to three feet through the air. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the influenza virus can also survive on surfaces such as books, doorknobs and computer keyboards for up to eight hours. And adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before experiencing symptoms and up to seven days after getting sick, making it possible for them to pass the flu to others without even knowing it.

But there are ways to avoid getting sick:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick as well.
• If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you have the flu to help prevent others from getting sick.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water to dislodge and remove flu-causing germs. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers will also kill the germs that cause the flu.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then inadvertently touches his or her face.
• Practice health habits. By getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing stress, drinking plenty of fluids and eating nutritious food, it is possible to stay healthy during the flu season and all year long.

These healthy habits are beneficial no matter what type of illness you may encounter. However, while the flu is highly contagious, it is important to remember that not every cough or sneeze indicates that the flu is on its way.

Unlike colds, which come on slowly and usually result in a sore throat and cough, the flu attacks quickly and causes extreme bodily exhaustion. Here are some common flu symptoms to be on the watch for:

Fever Muscle aches
Headache Loss of appetite
Extreme tiredness Chills
Runny or stuffy nose

Left untreated, the flu can lead to some serious complications, including pneumonia, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor for your flu shot or visit one of the many flu clinics held throughout the community. For more information, please visit nhlexingtoprimarcare.org or noflu.org.

DSC_2717

Ride for Angels: Hospice of Davidson County

By Renee Shipko

Photos provided by Hoy Beck

For nearly 30 years, Hospice of Davidson County has been committed to providing specialized medical care and emotional and spiritual support to patients and families facing end of life.  Hospice care is a type of individualized care that supports emotional and spiritual needs while providing expert care for pain control and symptom management.  Hospice care is delivered in homes throughout the county, in long term care facilities and at the county’s only inpatient hospice program, The Henry Etta and Bruce Hinkle Hospice House, located off of US Highway 64 East in Lexington.

In an effort to raise funds to support patient services, Hospice of Davidson County hosted its first memorial motorcycle ride in 2008.  The event was organized by a volunteer committee who came together to honor the memory of loved ones who had passed away as a result of a terminal illness.  Participation and enthusiasm about the event has grown every year since its inception in 2008, and the ride now attracts more than 500 participants.  The event is a significant one for Hospice of Davidson County, raising nearly $20,000 annually to benefit patient care.

DSC_2655This year marks the 7th annual Ride for Angels event, which will be held on Saturday, July 19, 2014 at Denton FarmPark.  The ride is escorted annually by members of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department and travels a route that weaves across the southern part of the county.  The ride departs from Denton FarmPark around 10:45 a.m. and returns riders to the park, where they enjoy a lunch and entertainment following the ride.

Pre-registration for this year’s ride is $15 per bike, and $5 for an additional rider.  Commemorative T-shirts are available for purchase as well.  Day of registration increases to $20 per bike and $5 for an additional rider.  Ride participants, the majority of whom ride in memory of a loved one who benefited from hospice care, are encouraged to share memories or photos of loved ones on the agency’s Memorial Wall at the event.

The 7th annual Ride for Angels Motorcycle Ride is sponsored by Younts Insurance and Wake Forest Baptist Health-Lexington Medical Center.  Additional sponsorships are provided by WLXN KOOL 1440 AM and 99.9 FM radio in Lexington, Creative Carpets and Holladay Surgical Supply.

Hospice of Davidson County is one of the largest non-profit member agencies of the United Way of Davidson County.  In 2013, the agency provided hospice care to more than 700 patients while providing grief support to nearly 3,000 individuals in the 17 communities that encompass Davidson County.  More than half of the agency’s workforce, which exceeds 100 employees, are from or live in Davidson County, which translates to a better understanding of the uniqueness of the rural county.  And, with patients located in all corners of the county, Hospice of Davidson County is the most responsive provider of hospice care in our area.

For more information about hospice care or to register for the 7th annual Ride for Angels motorcycle ride, please call (336) 475-5444.

2013 RIVER RAT DONATION PICTURE

High Rock Lake River Rats

By Julia Euliss

In the mid-1980s, a group of friends comprised of residents of High Rock Lake and “weekend warriors” congregated regularly to socialize. In 1987, while the group was gathered at a Southmont facility for a Christmas party, a need in the community was made known to those present and the group took up a collection of $650.00 to help. The following year, a similar event occurred and $1,250.00 was collected to help the needy, including a family whose home had been destroyed by fire. In 1989, the group decided to further the tradition by holding an auction of items donated by local individuals and businesses to raise money to buy Santa gifts, food, and clothing for local needy families.

This worthwhile endeavor, combined with the social element, generated increasing interest from members of the community and throughout Davidson County. The original group of roughly 14 individuals created an informal club and elected officers. Club membership was established and immediately began to grow in number.

In the mid-1990s, the River Rats adopted a set of by-laws to establish policies and provide guidance for its growing membership. The River Rats soon became the host for semi-annual golf tournaments benefiting the American Children’s Home and other worthy causes.

scanned River Rat redrawn no lettersThe club assisted in cleaning High Rock Lake in First Citizens Operation Big Sweep in the early 1990s. Over the next ten years, the River Rats gradually assumed the total responsibility for organizing and conducting the cleanup of High Rock Lake in Davidson County and portions of Rowan County. After 2000, lake level fluctuation intermittently prohibited the group from conducting the operation on the water during several statewide events. In 2007, Davidson Water Inc. adopted the project for Davidson County.

The annual Christmas Benefit has drawn in as many as 300 attendees. Through the auction of hundreds of donated items and services, the event raised funds in excess of $20,000 each year. Proceeds were distributed to deserving families and children to meet a multitude of needs.

Since its humble beginnings, the River Rats has evolved into a North Carolina chartered non-profit corporation, specifically The High Rock Lake River Rats Inc. Incorporated in 1999, the group presently maintains an average of 75 members. The corporation is administrated by a nine-member executive board comprised of four officers and five directors elected by the membership.

In 2013, over $15,000 was donated to families, American Children’s Home, Nazareth Children’s Homes and 175 children in need through yearlong fundraisers.  To find out how you can get involved and to learn about upcoming events, please visit www.highrocklakeriverratsinc.com or find us on Facebook (HIGH ROCK LAKE RIVER RATS – look for the rat cartoon logo). You may also call Julia Euliss at 336-210-6571 or email jeuliss@triad.rr.com for more information.