Monday, February 8, 2016

Get Moving with these 3 Outdoor Activities

We’ve been pretty lucky this winter, it hasn’t been nearly as harsh as the last couple of winters… so far. It does look like the trend is supposed to continue into February (but we know how predictable the weather can be around here). Even if February doesn’t end up as nice as it’s shaping up to be now, you can always just throw on more layers!

According to Northern Illinois University, it’s especially important to get your kids outside for the following reasons:
  • It builds up their immune system - When kids regularly come into contact with outdoor things, such as dirt and animals, they are less likely to develop allergies and autoimmune disorders.
  • It provides exercise opportunity. 
  • It gets their imagination going which is something their electronic devices are less likely to do.
  • It provides them (and you) with the very important vitamin D, which can be harder to come by in winter months with their shorter days.

Here are a few things to do to get you out of the house and your blood pumping:

Take a Walk around Your Neighborhood
This is a great activity because wherever you live, you can change your route up on a regular basis. Make this a weekly activity…or even daily for a regular workout. Head in a different direction every day. Turn down streets you don’t usually walk or drive down. Take in the scenery, check out the houses and who knows, maybe you’ll even meet some new folks in your neighborhood.

Ride Your Bike on the Cherry Creek Bike Path
The bikepath runs through several neighborhoods in the Denver area. If you start by Confluence Park and make it to Cherry Creek, why not stop at one of the many coffee shops and treat yourself to a warm beverage before heading back – just don’t order something filled with sugar that undoes all your hard work. If you start in Cherry Creek and make to Confluence Park, why not find a spot in the sun and rest a while, take in the scenery and then head back.

Head Up into the Foothills and Observe the Wildlife
There are plenty of animals that don’t mind the cooler temps. Why not head to one of the many trails along the foothills on a sunny afternoon and see what you can find. For instance, not all birds migrate south, so there are still plenty to be seen. You can also usually see some rabbits and squirrels. If you’re really lucky you may even come across some deer. AllTrails is a great source to learn more about each trail before you go.


Don’t forget to share your photos with us on Facebook!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

What You Need to Know about the New FDA Guidelines for Food

Just a few months ago, a new report came out saying red meat can cause cancer. Now, in the Foodand Drug Administration’s (FDA) newest guidelines, updated every five years, has said red meat is actually okay. It can be hard to keep up with constantly evolving science regarding our foods. Here’s what you need to know about the FDA’s new guidelines.



The USDA Dietary Guidelines Key Recommendations: 

Limit calories from added sugars to less than 10 percent of calories.
The FDA recommends no more than 10% of your daily calories come from sugar. While naturally occurring sugars such as those found in fruit is not a major concern, we need to be mindful of the other sugars found in our foods that you might not even realize are there (Sugarno, meat… maybe?). People know there is sugar in cakes and cookies, but most people don’t realize how much sugar they’re consuming through juices and even savory dishes such as the pasta sauce on your spaghetti or some salad dressings. With that in mind, make sure you’re reading nutrition labels (Read more about the sugar situation here!).

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
This is one rule that never changes. Eat your fruit and vegetables. When it comes to the vegetables, make sure you have a variety of color on you plate such as pairing a side salad with roasted carrots and eggplant. (A tip from 9HealthReady nutrition expert, Caitlin Dow Ph.D.: think of fruits and vegetables as the foundation of each meal!)

Eat less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats.
Saturated fat can come from meat, poultry and dairy. Saturated fat raises your cholesterol, which can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. To cut this out of your diet, try going meat-free on Mondays and eating more fish, especially salmon which is high in Omega-3 fatty acids (the good kind of fat).

Reduce intake of sodium – 2,300 mg per day.
For many Americans, the majority of sodium we eat every day comes from processed foods and eating out. Too much sodium can increase your blood pressure and your risk of heart disease and stroke – which kills more Americans each year than any other cause. To cut back on the amount of sodium you eat every day, make your meals ahead. You might also find it gives you more energy to get through the day. Here are a few ideas to helpyou get started.

Choose whole grains for at least half of the total grains consumed.
When it comes to your bread, choose whole grains over everything else. Grains are a vital source of nutrients such as fiber, B vitamins and minerals. Try adding flaxseed and oatmeal to your diet (HealthBenefits of Grains).

A Couple More Notable Changes

Males – Cut Back on the Meat
Most men are probably not going to want to hear this one, but according to the FDA, the majority of them are actually taking in too much protein (NewDietary Guidelines Urge Less Sugar for All and Less Meat for Boys and Men). Instead, why not swap out some bacon for a banana & peanut butter smoothie and instead of steak have some salmon.

Eat Eggs
That’s right. The FDA has loosened the restriction on the amount of cholesterol you take in. So go ahead and have some eggs. Just keep in mind, if you already have high cholesterol, you should probably still cut back on those foods with high amounts of it.

Who These Guidelines Impact

As individuals, it’s up to us to decide whether or not to follow the guidelines, so you might be wondering why anyone cares so much. However, these guidelines do affect a majority of Americans, particularly children. These guidelines will help determine the lunches offered in our schools as well other federal nutrition programs (MakingSense of Latest US Dietary Guidelines).

You can read the entire guideline report here.

Maybe now is a good time to reevaluate your diet? If so, there are a lot of great resources out there. The U.S.News and World Report has some great tips for finding a diet that will work for you and your needs.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Family Checkup that will Save You Time and Money

How would you like to have your entire family get a health checkup all together, in one place? It may sound too good to be true, but with 9Health Fair, you can do just that.

Making Healthcare a Family Affair

Our 2016 spring 9Health Fair season is just around the corner. Find a fair near you, register and put it on the family calendar.

“New this year is the opportunity for our spring sites to offer (non-blood) screenings for children such as blood pressure and height, weight and body mass index,” says Margarita Archibeque, our Director of Client Services. “Select sites will offer these screenings, and we think this opportunity aligns well with state efforts to respond to children’s health issues.  This is a great way for parents and children to learn about their health together as a family.”

For adults, attending a 9Health Fair is a great way to get your baseline levels checked – such as cholesterol, blood pressure and thyroid. Oftentimes, the tests offered at our fairs are a lower cost than what you would be charged at the doctor’s office, even with insurance. Keep in mind, each site varies on the screenings they offer. However, all 9Health Fairs will offer a blood chemistry screening, prostate specific antigen (PSA) for men, blood count screening, vitamin D 25-Hydroxy screening and colon cancer screening kits.

Archibeque also 
says this year there will be two new locations. “I am always excited about new sites and new site leaders!  This means our important services are reaching new communities. This year, our new sites in Aurora and Southwest Denver add to the ever growing diverse communities in Colorado.”

Just remember, the screenings offered may vary at each 9Health Fair. Find a fair near you to see what screenings they will have available.

Our goals are to advance health awareness and provide our community with the tools they need to take responsibility for their health. Each spring, 9Health Fair, along with volunteers from our community, organize approximately 130 9Health Fairs all across Colorado to help our community own their health. We hope you and your family take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Let’s get healthy together!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A New 9Health Fair Proves Successful from the Get-Go

The Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Aurora proves that as long as you have a passion for health and love for your community, even your first 9Health Fair can be a resounding success.

The church held its first 9Health Fair back in October, and participants were predominately from the Ethiopian community. 173 adults and 123 children participated in the opportunity to learn more about their health and the tools they need to take responsibility for their health. This 9Health Fair gave these folks an opportunity to check in on so many different aspects of their health, such as:

Blood Chemistry Test
Over 100 participants took advantage of the Blood Chemistry test. This screening provides baseline information on a variety of levels including Cholesterol, thyroid and heart disease. It’s a great way to prevent health issues from becoming emergencies.

Diabetes Risk Assessment
Through the Diabetes Risk Assessment, participants were able to complete a short risk test to identify personal risk factors. Nearly 40 people found out they were eligible for the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program thanks to this screening. The Denver YMCA DPP is hoping to set up classes at the church for those people eligible for its program.

Blood Pressure
Also important to one’s health discovery journey is the blood pressure screening. You often have your blood pressure checked when you go to your annual exam, but do you really understand it? Blood pressure is the force in the arteries when the heart beats and when it’s at rest. It can fluctuate with exercise and/or illness. It should never exceed 119/79.

Height/Weight/BMI
No health checkup is complete with measuring your height/weight/body mass index (BMI). This is important because it can identify your risk for heart disease or diabetes. BMI is considered very reliable for assessing obesity.

Oral Health
These participants didn’t have to set up a second appointment to check on their dental health either. One of the great aspects of 9Health Fair is being able to have one-stop checkups, rather than having to go to several different doctor’s offices for a complete check of your health. The oral health screening identifies tooth and gum disease and oral cancer by examining the inside of the mouth for sores and lesions. Of course, you’ll still want to go to your dentist for a teeth cleaning.

The feedback from this 9Health Fair was overwhelmingly positive. One person even wrote this heartfelt thank you:

“My name is Ashley Rauert… Yesterday I attended the 9Health Fair at the Ethiopian Evangelical church in Aurora and I have to tell you, it was unlike anything I have ever experienced! Talk about being completly emerged into the Ethiopian culture! The members of the church cooked traditional Ethiopian food for us at lunch and we interviewed so many people about their culture and how it plays a role in their health! It was such a great experience and I just wanted to say thank you!”

Thank you Ashley, and to all those who made this first health fair a huge success!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Introducing 9Health Ready

We are excited to announce a new program specifically designed to help all of you “Own Your Health.” This new program comes with a new website, 9Health Ready, where you’ll have access to expert medical professionals who can answer your questions and help you on your journey to better health. You’ll also have all the latest healthcare news at your fingertips in one place. In a sense, you’ll be 9Health Ready.

The 5 Pillars of 9Health Ready

Our five pillars make it easier for you to know where you should be focusing your efforts towards better health. They are:

·         Prevention - 9Health Fair is the key
·         Sleep – Rejuvenate your body
·         Exercise – Find your groove
·         Nutrition – Health starts in the kitchen
·         Mental health – Keep your mind sharp

When you join the 9Health Ready community, you will learn more about these 5 key pillars of health and how to fit them into your daily life. With resources and practical information provided by our local specialists, you can be better prepared for whatever comes at you.

Prevention

Let 9Health Fair help you take charge of your health. When you attend a 9Health Fair, you have access to a variety of medical screenings, such as cholesterol and blood pressure checks just to name a couple, that can provide you with important details on your overall health. Think of 9Health Fair as a supplement to your annual checkup. It’s a great opportunity for you to have your questions answered by our medical professionals and on the right track to a healthy lifestyle.

The site also features health apps you may find beneficial, along with access to our health expert and 9Health Fair Vice President, Marte Meyer. “I am really excited to be a part of this,” says Meyer. “Prevention has been a big part of my clinical career, and I look forward to working on this in a way that can help people integrate prevention into their everyday lives.”

Sleep

Sleep is crucial to your overall health. First of all, it’s what helps your brain to function properly and improves your ability to learn new things. Resources in this pillar will help you get the most out of your sleep. Dr. John Torres is our designated sleep expert. If you have questions, you can contact him here and he’ll help point you in the right direction to a better night’s rest.

Nutrition

A healthy diet is essential to your overall well-being. Food is what gives your body energy, so you want to make sure you’re eating the right foods to energize you throughout the day, not food that’s going to take away your energy. Ever wonder what correct food portions look like? You can find out here. You’ll have our nutrition expert right at your fingertips. Through this site, you can ask her your questions and learn more about what kind of food diet is right for you.

Exercise

We’re here to help motivate you to get moving! We’ll share tips to keep you motivated. For instance, have you thought about adding some variety to your usual routine? Sometimes changing things up a bit can keep you from getting bored. Our fitness expert, Jamie Atlas, will help you personalize your exercise plan here.

Mental Health

A healthy mind is key. It helps you deal with stress and keeps things positive. Dr. Max Wachtel is available to help you with your mental health questions. Here, you’ll find all kinds of resources to help you with issues you may be having, including apps and articles.

You now have access to numerous resources to help you in all areas of your life. So what are you waiting for? Head over to 9Health Ready and start taking charge of your health. Don’t put it off because you’re too busy. Remember, you can’t take care of those around you if you don’t take care of yourself. Are you ready?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Mental Health Every Day

When it comes to your overall health, keeping tabs on your mental health is just as important as getting plenty of sleep and exercise. Your mental health can affect every aspect of your life. If you’re struggling in this area, whether it be from anxiety, depression or self-image, just to name a few, you may find yourself struggling elsewhere in your life. Maybe it causes you to have trouble sleeping (or sleep too much). Maybe you have no motivation to exercise and eat healthy. Or maybe you begin to isolate yourself from others.

We all experience low points in our lives. Before you get down too far, try these tips to boost your mental wellness:

Value Yourself
The Universityof Michigan student health center points out how important it is to respect yourself. You may have heard this before, but be kind to yourself. Remember, we all make mistakes. We all have bad days. Don’t be so hard on yourself that you can’t recover from a bad day. Make time every day to do something you enjoy. Then you’ll always have something to look forward to in your day.

Maintain Good Hygiene
It may seem obvious, but as MentalHealth America explains, it’s “important for social, medical and psychological reasons in that it not only reduces the risk of illness, but it also improves the way others view you and how you view yourself.” So make sure you shower regularly and brush and floss your teeth twice a day. It’s amazing how much clean teeth can make you feel so good!

Exercise
The MayoClinic recommends exercising as a way to keep your mental health up. Even if it’s a light activity such as gardening or walking, exercise can go a long way to keep your mind sharp. It can manage symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.  Find an activity you enjoy and make it part of your daily routine.

Remember, good mental health is one of the keys to overall happiness in life. When you’re mentally healthy, you’re better prepared for anything that may come your way, and you’re better prepared to help those around you who made need it, too.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

5 Ways to Be a Kid Again This January

With the winter solstice now behind us, the days are going to gradually get longer. This means a little more time for outdoor play. Here are some ideas to get you and your family out of the house and active during these cold winter months.

Make Snow Angels

Grab the warmest coat you have, a pair of gloves and a good hat. Then head outside and make a snow angel. You might be cold when you first walk out, but you’ll definitely warm up by moving your arms up and down in the snow to make angel wings. Why not make enough to fill your entire yard while you’re out there?

Unleash Your Inner Architect

Want to do something really cool? Build an igloo! It will take some patience, but the hard work will definitely pay off when you’ve impressed everyone with your skills. If you’re not sure how to begin, here’s a great video to help you get started. If you have a warm sleeping bag designed for the elements, you can even camp out in the igloo overnight. Just make sure you’re well prepared for the cold.

Have a Ball                

And of course by this we mean have a snowball fight! Just don’t hit anyone in the face. If you really want to put in the effort, you can break up into teams and each side can build their own little defense wall out of the snow. Then, let the battle begin!

Hula Hoop

That’s right, hula hoops aren’t just for the summer month. There’s no reason you can’t bundle up, head outdoors and warm yourself up by hula hooping around. Make a contest out of it and see who can hula hoop the longest.

Head to the Park

Here’s another idea that’s not just for summer months. Whether it’s your local park or a state or national park, head over and check out the scenery. Parks provide beauty year-round. Take in the sights and enjoy a short walk.  What animals do you see? What plants are still around?

Don’t forget to take pictures and encourage your friends and family to get outside and get moving with you!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

4 Fun and Affordable Events to Check Out This Next Month

There are a wide variety of events happening this next month, from cowboys to wild animals. Whether you’re looking for something to do with the kids or just a night out with friends, here’s a few ideas to help get you out of the house.

Symphony for Toddlers

Inside the Orchestra will be hosting their winter performance for Tiny Tots. If you have young ones, this may be a great way to introduce them to musical instruments. Designed specifically for children under six, seating is on the floor and the audience is truly surrounded by a 30 piece orchestra. The program is 45 minutes long and provides kids an opportunity to interact with the conductor and musicians. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the variety of instruments. There’s also dancers! The winter season runs on select dates in February and they suggest a price of $9.95 per attendee.

Release Your Inner Cowboy/Cowgirl

The Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering takes place every year in Golden, Colorado. This year’s event takes place January 21st-25th at the Table Mountain Inn. The cost depends on the events you want to attend. You can also take a couple of classes such as “cinch” making and learn how to play the harmonica.

Participate in the Annual MLK Marade

January 19th will mark the 30th year for the 5k Marade (march + parade). The formation begins at 10 a.m. and the Marade will start at 10:45 a.m. at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I Have a Dream Memorial in City Park. You can find a map of the route here. Donations of old cell phones, non-perishable food and children’s books will be collected.  The phones will be refurbished and donated to battered woman shelters and food donated to local food banks.

Free Zoo Day

That’s right! You can take the whole family to the Denver Zoo for free on January 21st and 31st as well as February 1st and 18th. Maybe while you’re there you’ll catch a glimpse of the new baby lion cubs, Kalu and Kamara.


Whatever you end up doing, don’t forget to share your pictures with us on Facebook!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Our Healthy Hat Winner

Every year at 9Health Fair, we honor an employee who has owned their health for the year. This year, that employee is Margarita Archibeque, our Director of Client Services.

Trailblazer

Margarita manages the overall operational and logistical support for all new and existing 9Health fair locations. Because of her high-stress job, she was looking to make her health a priority again, so she decided to participate in our “Trailblazer” program this past spring. This program encourages participants to commit to overcoming the obstacles they have in pursuing their health goals, whether that be busy lives, works, confusing health insurance, etc.

Margarita’s story goes like this:

Photos from Margarita’s younger days tell the story of an adventurous, thin woman who climbed mountains and salsa danced.  Now, life’s twists and turns have taken some of that adventure from her life and added a few unwanted pounds to her frame.  The loss of her father, an emotional move to a new house, and a stressful job have led to unhealthy habits becoming the norm. This vibrant woman is ready to make herself, and her health, a priority again.

Her goal was to lose 15 pounds by April and improve her cholesterol (see her story on 9News here).

Margarita says she is still in touch with her support group, which consists of family and friends. "I've met several challenges along the way, and I continue to learn to get myself back on track and not beat myself up about little slips here and there," she says. Margarita cooks more often at home and chooses healthier snacks. 

Healthy Hat’s History

The Healthy Hat was started six years ago by our President and CEO Jim Goddard. It’s a way of recognizing and celebrating a conscious effort to make a healthy choice toward a healthier lifestyle.

The first Healthy Hat was awarded to Stacey Brake for training and running the ½ Ironman. The next year, Stacey passed it on to Jim for riding the Triple Bypass. He then gave it to Becky Aragon who made a change in her diet and exercise which resulted in her losing 50 pounds. The following year, Becky passed it on to Melinda Taylor for her overall healthy habits. She was doing yoga, Pilates, running and other workouts all the time. Then last year, Melinda gave the Healthy Hat to Brad Brunz. That year, Brad became a cancer survivor. He found a small lump on his shoulder, had it checked and found it was cancerous. It was removed and Brad endured radiation treatments on a daily basis. This year, Brad passed it on to Margarita.

We hope you can see from all of their stories that no matter your situation, you too can make a conscious effort towards a healthier lifestyle. We all have our obstacles and overcoming them is something to be very proud of.

Congratulations to Margarita for overcoming hers! 

Friday, December 11, 2015

3 Outdoor Activities for Winter Fun

Don’t let that beautiful pristine white snow go untouched! Grab your coat, hat and gloves and head outside for some winter fun.

Ice Skating

It’s only open for a few months of the year, so head over to the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park while you have the chance. Ice skating is fun for the whole family! It’s free if you have your own skates. If not, you can rent skates for $2. Don’t forget to bring your camera. There’s plenty of opportunity for some fun family photos while you’re there.

Sledding

No matter what neighborhood you live, there is always a park nearby. That’s one of the great things about Colorado. So grab your sled and a thermos of hot chocolate and head to the park for an afternoon of sledding. Here’s a list of parks well-known for their sledding hills. Don’t have a sled? Here’s a great list of items you can use instead.

Build a Snowman

You don’t even have to leave the house. Make sure you’re dressed warm and have a good pair of gloves. Building a snowman can be a great family bonding activity. If it’s been a while since you last built a snowman, here’s a short video with some tips on how to build a good, solid one. You’ll have the family thinking you’re a snowman expert in no time.

Even though winter in Colorado can be cold, that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. As outdoor enthusiasts always say, “There’s no such thing as bad weather…just bad gear!” Bundle up and let the good times roll.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Get Ahead of Holiday Stress

The holidays are supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year.” However, the optimism that’s with most of us at the beginning of the season seems to evaporate quickly. The next thing we know, we’re all talking about how we can’t wait for the holidays to be over. This year, get a jump start on how you will handle the stress associated with this time of the year. By doing so, you just might find yourself genuinely enjoying the season.

Handling Holiday Pressure

There’s a lot of stress around the holidays, especially if you’re the one hosting the family gets together. Everyone comes with their own expectations of how things should be, whether it’s about the food that is served or the traditions honored. According to the Cleveland Clinic (Managing Holiday Stress), the first thing you must do is ask yourself if your goals and plans are realistic. If not, it could be that you’re taking on too much. We all have our own ideas in our mind as to what we need to do to make the holidays perfect, but if you think about it, maybe what will make them perfect is simply to make them as humble and stress-free as possible. Here are a few tips to keep the pressure down:
  • Ask everyone who’s coming to dinner to chip in and make a dish so you don’t have to make the entire meal.
  • When it comes to gifts, ask people what they want and shop early.
  • If you expect conflict with family members, remember that half the battle is knowing it is coming. Decide in advance how you will deal with it should it arise.

·         Keep in mind, this time of year is about spending time with loved ones – not the perfect meal, perfect gift, perfect house, etc. Try to plan fun activities in advance and just enjoy being with family and friends.

Balancing Work & the Holidays

Let’s be honest. This time of year, none of us are really into our work. While physically we may be at the office, mentally we’re at home going through our to-do lists. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

The Cost of the Holidays

The holidays can be expensive, and not just with the gifts but the food and decorations too. If you’re strapped for cash, it can be really difficult to explain that to children and relatives. Don’t let the pressure get to you or cause you to go into more debt you can’t afford (7 Tips for Coping with Holiday Financial Stress). Remember:
  • Most of us at one point or another have been low on cash.
  • Make a budget and stick to it.
  • Ask your family to do a Secret Santa Gift Exchange instead of having to buy for everyone (and don’t forget to set a price limit).
  • Get crafty – make gifts instead of buying gifts.

Holiday Travel

Traveling is always stressful, but even more so this time of year because so many of us are doing it. The good news is, you already know this! So with that in mind, you’re mentally prepared for the hassle of airport security and the crowds of people. One of the best things you can do with that information is keep a positive attitude (How to Reduce the Stress of Traveling). Don’t be disappointed when you show up and the security line is out the door. You knew it would be this way, remember?  Here are some other tips to help make your travel as smooth as possible:
  • Pack well in advance so you have enough time to remember those items you forgot to pack.
  • Eat before you head to the airport. Airport food is expensive and the lines are probably going to be long.
  • Arrive early and bring a book so you have something to do while you wait.
  • Dress comfortably and in layers.
  • And don’t forget that positive attitude!


Here’s to a happy, healthy holiday season! Cheers!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Total Wellness Zones

In the spring of 2015, 9Health Fair created the Total Wellness Zone to address the growing interest in complementary health practices. This opportunity was open to any 9Health Fair site, and 45 sites decided to offer interactive demonstrations and education in a variety of areas related to wellness. The Total Wellness Zone quickly became one of our most popular areas at the 9Health Fair sites that offered it.

Creating a More Dynamic Experience

Cindy Hickman, Active Adults Coordinator for the Town of Erie, volunteered to run one of the first Total Wellness Zones. She says she was very excited to hear the idea. “I thought it would bring a more dynamic experience to 9Health Fair…It allowed me to look at more natural and holistic health options.”

Our mission is this: 9Health Fair will advance health awareness by providing people with the tools they need to take responsibility for their own health. Our Total Wellness Zone features a variety of activities, such as works outs like Zumba or Yoga, first aid demonstrations, nutrition discussions, farmer’s market vendors, and cooking classes.

In Cindy’s Total Wellness Zone you could learn more about mountain biking, essential oils, and how to cook for a healthy life. A number of local businesses were included, which also created another way for the community to interact and learn more about each other.

The idea of total wellness is becoming quite popular. The National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health says that roughly 38 percent of adults and 12 percent of children are practicing some form of complementary and alternative medicine.

“I believe that our health is something we have to take personal responsibility for,” says Cindy. “This would include going to the doctor’s office, visiting 9Health Fair, and thinking of other options for good health rather than always relying on medication. The 9Health Fair Wellness Zone allowed me, as a site coordinator, to think outside the box when it comes to health options. I believe the Total Wellness Zone will give participants more options when it comes to considering health alternatives.”

If you were one of the many people to participate in a Total Wellness Zone, we hope that you are well on your way towards a more successful and healthy existence, with a greater awareness of the choices you make.


Look for a Total Wellness Zone at a 9Health Fair in your area this spring. A full site list will be posted to our website on February 1, 2016.

Monday, December 7, 2015

3 Festive Family Activities

There’s so much to do around the Denver Metro area during the holiday season. Here a few ideas for a fun family outing to get everyone in the holiday spirit!

Check Out a Holiday Market

This time of year, there is no shortage of holiday markets. One option is the Denver Christkindl Market. It has music, drinks, crafts, and if you haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet, gifts! Make sure you get there soon. Its last day is December 23rd.

There’s also the Holiday Art Market at the Foothills Art Center. It’s a great place to find gifts made locally. You’ll find ceramics, glassware, jewelry, paintings, woodworking, photography and more. And if you’re a last minute shopper, you’ll be happy to know that it runs through the end of the year.

Take a Drive to View Holiday Lights

How about a family car ride? No matter what neighborhood you live, you’re bound to find some spectacular light shows. Fill a mug with hot chocolate, turn on some holiday music and sing along as you drive around checking out the lights. Need an idea for a direction to start? Head downtown and check out the Downtown Denver Grand Illumination. Both Union Station and the City and County Building will be lit up for the holiday season.

Holiday Art

The Artists on Santa Fe are in the holiday spirit. Their annual Holiday Art Exhibition will take place from now until January 4th. You can see the art on display anytime, but of course, the big event is always the 1st Friday Art Walk.


Snap a good photo of yourself enjoying the holiday spirit? We’d love to see! Share it with us on our Facebook page!

Monday, November 16, 2015

I Exercise and Eat Right. How Can I NOT Be Healthy?

I have always been weight conscious, and I’m not alone. Roughly 45 million Americans go on a diet every year and spend approximately $33 billion dollars on weight loss products, according to the Boston Medical Center.

No Symptoms

Because of my family history, I have never let my weight get more than 5 or 10 pounds beyond what I consider a healthy weight. I would never wait until my weight was out of control to do something about it. If I noticed I gained five pounds, I would immediately take measures to lose the weight. Which means, I eat healthy most of the time and I work out on a regular basis. Plus, I’m fairly active. When I’m not working out, I like to hike and ski. This sounds like a person who would have great health, right?

Wrong. When I received my 9Health Fair results earlier this spring, I found out that my cholesterol is too high. If left unchecked, it could increase my risk for heart disease. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I got the news. I have no risk factors – not overweight, not older (I’m 32) and not sedentary! But I found out I have one risk factor that I have no control over – my genetics! Like my green eyes and 5’1” stature, high cholesterol is just part of me. My Triglycerides and LDL Cholesterol were both higher than they should be. LDL is known as the bad Cholesterol. HDL is known as the good cholesterol. Overall, my total cholesterol was at 228.

If you have high cholesterol, there will be no symptoms to tip you off. The only way to find out is through a blood test. I don’t typically do a blood draw when I go in for my yearly wellness check, and my doctor would never order one if I have no symptoms to report, so I would have never known my cholesterol was high if it were not for 9Health Fair.

Your cholesterol levels have a lot to do with your chances of getting heart disease. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in your blood. Too much of it can lead to heart disease, which is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. The higher your cholesterol the higher your risk. The Mayo Clinic recommends having a blood test done at the age of 20 and then doing it again every five years. If you have a family history of high cholesterol like me, you may want to do it more often.

Owning My Health

After I got the results, I tried to schedule an appointment with my doctor. Navigating insurance can be tricky, as I found out. I’m still waiting to see my doctor, but in the meantime, that doesn’t mean I should continue on like nothing is wrong. This is when I Own My Health. The first step in owning my health was research. Thanks to 9Health Fair, I have the information I need to start.

Once I got my results back, they gave me a lot of information as to what I could do to be healthier, particularly in regards to lowering my cholesterol. Exercise, of course, was one suggestion, as well as food recommendations such as choosing oatmeal, whole-wheat toast or whole-grain muffins.

I realized that even though I already eat healthy, I am still going to have to step it up a notch, both in my workouts and with what I eat. The Mayo Clinic recommends the Mediterranean Diet, which consists of less meat and more fish and seafood. I also read the nutrition labels when I’m shopping at the grocery store and try to avoid foods that are high in cholesterol.

Next Steps

My next step in owning my health is seeing my doctor. I’m curious to see whether or not the changes in my eating habits have impacted my cholesterol, and if so, by how much. I’m the type of person who would rather take care of my health through my diet than pills and other medications.

Now that I’m aware of my high cholesterol, I will need to monitor it for the rest of my life. Thankfully, 9Health Fair makes it easy and affordable to keep tabs on this issue.

I share my story because I think it’s important for all of us to be aware that no matter how healthy we think we are, it is imperative to check in once a year and make sure. If everyone received the recommended health screenings each year, 100,000 lives would be saved each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There is one 9Health Fair left this fall to check out if you’re interested, and of course, we’ll be back with more in the spring.



Grab Your Coat and Head Outside

The days are certainly getting shorter, which can lead to a serious case of wintertime blues. That is why it’s really important for you to make some time to get outdoors and get your Vitamin D. Here are a few outdoor activities to get you out of the house and moving.

Visit a State Park

There are tons of parks around Denver and the metro area. It’s one of the great things about living in the Mile High City. But even with such easy access, a lot of the time we’re lucky if we make it to our neighborhood park. This fall, why not head to one of our fabulous state parks. Go for a hike, or take your dog and visit one of the parks with a dog park. And if there’s snow, rent some snowshoes!

Turkey Trot

Lace up those shoes and get a workout in before that big Thanksgiving Dinner at the annual United Way Turkey Trot. If running is a little out of your league, you can also volunteer. Or just show up and cheer on those who are racing.

A Story for Your Walk


Have you ever done a Denver Story Trek? If not, now is the time. It’s a great way to learn more about our Denver neighborhoods. Just go to their website and plan your walk. Then dial the number as you stroll around the neighborhood and learn more about the fascinating history behind our city. It’s free and easy to use. This could be a great activity for your lunch break during the week, especially since it is most likely dark when you get to work and dark when you leave work.

Geocaching

Geocaching is a lot of fun no matter your age. It’s considered the “world’s largest treasure hunt.” Once you sign up on the website, you’ll use your phone to start hunting for a geocache. According to the Geocaching website, there are currently over 600 geocaches in the Denver area.

This winter, aim to get 15 minutes of outdoor time each day. Whether it’s one of the above activities, or just taking a quick walk around the block, your mind will thank you! If you’re worried about staying warm, check out these layering tips!



Thursday, November 12, 2015

All the Recipes You Need for a Healthier Thanksgiving

Let’s be honest, it’s easy to over indulge when it comes to Thanksgiving Dinner. The good news is that all of your favorite dishes can be made a little healthier while keeping their delicious taste!

Roasted Turkey by World’s Healthiest Foods Cookbook
According to the World’s Healthiest Foods Cookbook, the healthiest way to cook a turkey is to roast it.

Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Rub 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and a little salt and pepper on the outside of the turkey. Lift up the skin and rub some directly on the flesh.
  2. Place the turkey breast side down in a shallow roasting pan. Roast 15 minutes for every pound it weighs.
  3. Roughly 30-60 minutes before it is done, measure the internal temperature. Once it has reached 125 degrees, flip the turkey and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees for the remainder of the time.
  4. When it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees, the turkey is done. Remove it and let sit for 15-20 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and the meat to become moist throughout.

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower by Allrecipes

By swapping out the potatoes for cauliflower, you’ll save yourself when it comes to starch and sneak another vegetable on the table!

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon reduced-fat cream cheese
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
  1. Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower, cover, and steam until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat; cook and stir garlic until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Transfer half the cauliflower to a food processor; cover and blend on high. Add remaining cauliflower florets, one at a time, until vegetables are creamy. Blend in garlic, Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, salt, and black pepper.

Cider Gravy by EatingWell 

No matter what kind of gravy you’re making, it’s recommended that you go with a reduced-sodium chicken broth. There will be plenty of salt throughout the feast, so cut back where you can.

Ingredients:
4 cups Turkey Giblet Stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups apple cider
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
Ground pepper to taste

Directions:
  1. When you remove the turkey from the roasting pan, skim off any visible fat from the pan juices.
  2. Whisk 1/2 cup Turkey Giblet Stock (or chicken broth) and flour in a small bowl until smooth; set aside.
  3. Set the roasting pan over two burners on medium-high heat. Add cider and vinegar; bring to a boil and cook, scraping up the browned bits from the pan, until the liquid is reduced by about half, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the remaining 3 1/2 cups stock (or broth). Increase heat to high; return to a boil, whisking often. Boil until the liquid is reduced by about half, 8 to 12 minutes.
  4. Whisk the reserved flour mixture into the pan. Boil, whisking constantly, until the gravy is thickened, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the gravy through a fine sieve into a large measuring cup. (Discard the solids.) Season with salt and pepper.

Simple Cranberry-Citrus Relish by Health.com

A fresh, homemade cranberry relish is much better than the canned stuff! And with only 2 steps in the directions, it’s incredibly easy to make this at home.

Ingredients:
1 (10 oz) package fresh cranberries
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
1 3-inch orange rind strip
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick

Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, until cranberries pop and mixture thickens.
  2. Remove the cloves and the cinnamon stick with a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl; refrigerate until ready to use.

Farro, Caramelized Onion and Wild MushroomStuffing by MyRecipes 

This one is sure to impress the guests. You might find yourself hosting Thanksgiving every year!

Ingredients:
3 cups boiling water
½ cup dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 ½ cups finely chopped onion
1 ½ cups uncooked farro
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
6 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ cup dry white wine
Cooking spray
¼ cup celery leaves

Directions:
  1. Combine 3 cups boiling water and dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain through a sieve over a bowl, reserving the soaking liquid. Finely chop the mushrooms.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low; cook 30 minutes or until onion is tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add reserved porcini liquid, chopped porcini, farro, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until farro is al dente and liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup. Remove from heat.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; swirl to coat. Add shiitake mushrooms, celery, thyme, and sage; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Sauté 6 minutes or until mushrooms are lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add wine to skillet; cook 3 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Add shiitake mixture to farro mixture; stir to combine. Spoon stuffing into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray; cover dish with foil. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, and top with celery leaves. 

What are your tricks for making your Thanksgiving a touch healthier? Share with us on Facebook.

Monday, November 9, 2015

9Health Fair & Anschutz Medical Campus Serve the Community

This guest post is authored by Vicki Hildner of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

By the end of the morning on Saturday, October 10th, more than 300 participants had been helped by more than 200 volunteers at the Family 9Health Fair at Anschutz Medical Campus. The volunteers provided life-changing intervention and information at more than 30 health screening stations—from blood-pressure checks to breast exams, skin screening to stroke education.

“We are in the Aurora community, we have a mission to do community outreach and this is definitely a great way to do it,” said Hillary Duffy, MPT, manager of outpatient rehabilitation therapy at the University of Colorado Hospital and medical coordinator for this year’s Family 9Health Fair. “9Health Fair has been doing this so long, and they are so good at it, it’s a perfect way to get connected to more families in Aurora.”

By the end of the morning, volunteers left knowing their time had been well-spent serving the community—and many of the participants left with stories of care that could be life-changing. Here are just a couple of examples.

Joanna Scott

Joanna Scott smiled proudly as her 5-year-old son Savaughn had his height measured. This mother of two—her 8-year old son Maurice also attended—came to the Family 9Health Fair to have her children’s overall health checked, but she was especially focused on the children’s diabetes screening and an eye exam.

Scott said she likes the fact that there is so much information and health care available in one spot. Her sons liked the games and prizes. “It doesn’t feel like you’re going to the doctor,” Scott said. “We came for their eyes, but we stayed for everything else!”

Reuel Hunt

“Instead of going to eight different doctors, I come here,” Reuel Hunt said as he filled out the paperwork to have his eyes checked.

Hunt read the eye chart like an expert. He is a Family 9Health Fair success story, as he lost 50 pounds after learning that his blood pressure and cholesterol were high. Now, he says, “I keep checking them! And I always come to a 9Health Fair!” Students, residents and School of Medicine faculty handled the steady stream of visitors to the Family 9Health Fair vision screening.

“This gets us out of our routines and into the community,” said Frank Siringo, MD. “We get to interact with medical students and younger professionals and have fun while we are teaching and learning.”

Isabele Hernandez

Isabele Hernandez navigated the Family 9Health Fair with an invaluable aide—a volunteer translator, Thelma Rodriquez. Rodriquez, who normally works at the CU College of Nursing clinic at Sheridan Health Services, said that helping is “the least I can do.”

Hernandez, who works full-time at Wendy’s, heard about the Family 9Health Fair on the radio, and came because it was on a day she did not have to work. Working as a team, the participant and the translator asked questions and got answers about many health issues, including how to get a mammogram.

Hernandez also stopped by the skin screening station run by Tamara Terzian, Ph.D., and Neil Box, Ph.D., from the Department of Dermatology at the CU School of Medicine. Hernandez looked into the camera and within seconds, the Canfield Reveal facial imager had rendered an image that highlighted places on her face that had been damaged by ultraviolet rays.

“As professionals in public health, we have a responsibility to work in the community to raise awareness about skin cancer,” Box said. “This is a personalized way to show people what the sun has done to their face over a lifetime. Research shows this helps people pay attention to suns safety.”

With Rodriquez translating, Terzian talked to Hernandez about what the image reveals. Hernandez leaves with a clear understanding. “More sunscreen!” she said, pointing to her cheeks.

“We show the damage, but we also give them hope,” Terzian said. “We let them know that it’s never too late to use protection from the sun.”

The stories that came out of the Family 9Health Fair at Anschutz Medical Campus were just a few examples of the way that each fair has an impact on the community. Thanks to the thousands of dedicated volunteers, Coloradans can rest easy knowing a little more about their health this fall.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

5 Volunteer Opportunities for You to Support Your Community

This time of year, the idea of volunteering and supporting our community at the forefront of our minds. Not only can you help others with your kind acts, but you can also help yourself. Research shows that volunteering is linked to positive physical and mental health, according to PsychologyToday. Plus, it can be a great bonding experience for your family. Here are five ways you can make a difference in our community this month:

Assistance for Senior Citizens
Elder Helpers is an organization aimed at supporting our older citizens. Whether it’s helping them around the house, preparing meals or just keeping them company, you can be the person that brightens up their day. A background check is necessary.

Creative? Use Your Talents to Help a Local Museum
The Wow!Children’s Museum in Lafayette is looking for volunteers to help with all sorts of fun areas around the museum. Opportunities include exhibit guide, activity developer, preparing materials and so much more. It’s a great way to support the education of our youth! Volunteers are asked to commit 25 hours or six months of service.

Help Feed Your Community
The Food Bank of theRockies is always looking for volunteers. You can support them by helping with food distribution, packing boxes, helping in the community kitchen, and office work. Plus, you can volunteer in area schools with their After School Snacks and Totes of Hope programs. Certain age requirements apply – check their website for details!

Volunteer with Us at 9Health Fair
Did you know that 9Health Fair is the largest volunteer organization in the state? We’re always looking for those who can volunteerin the following areas: site coordinators, non-medical and medical coordinators, bilingual volunteers, hotline volunteers, special events, and marketing and social media.

Looking for More Opportunities?
MetroVolunteers is a local organization with all kinds of volunteer opportunities in our community. They also make it easy for you to get everyone in your office together through their Employee Volunteer Program. It can provide your company with a great team building experience.
Check out their online calendar to find a wide variety of ways to give back. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

In Gourds We Trust

(This guest post is authored by Cristina Rebellon, King Soopers RD Nutritionist)


If you’re like the rest of us, you’re getting pretty tired of hearing about pumpkin spiced everything and it’s not even Halloween yet! In that spirit we thought, why not shine a spotlight on some other wonderful varieties of winter squash? They’re pretty darn special too…although we don’t recommend flavoring your coffee with them.
If you have shopped the produce department at your favorite King Soopers lately, you may have noticed that winter squash season is in full swing! Our stores offer familiar varieties of winter squash including acorn, butternut and spaghetti, but what about those other ones? You will find an incredible selection of winter squash that have different colors, shapes and sizes. More unique varieties include buttercup, delicata, kabocha, and red kuri to name a few.

In addition to the beautiful, vibrant color they bring to any serving platter, all of these varieties offer a slew of health benefits. Winter squash is one of the best sources of plant based anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as omega-3’s and beta carotene. These nutrients are good for night vision and protecting against this season’s cold and flu. Additionally, diets rich in carotenes like those found in squash, offer protection against cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Working in the kitchen with a winter squash might be a little intimidating, so here are a handful of tips…

How do I choose them?
Choose winter squash that are firm, heavy for their size and have dull, not glossy, rinds.

How long do they last?
Winter squash have a long storage life. Depending upon the variety, it can be kept for up to six months. If you’re using them as a decoration first, be sure to keep them out of sunlight and extreme hot or cold.

Can I eat the skin?
Yes! Kabocha, butternut, and delicata squash are varieties that have an edible skin. However, if you’re going to remove the skin before you cook or eat it, use a potato peeler or sharp knife and be careful!

What’s an easy way to prepare it?
Don’t bother peeling it! Leave the skin on, cut it in half lengthwise and bake it. Scoop out the seeds (which you can save and make into a snack later!) and bake with your favorite seasonings and spices. Cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and good ol’ salt and pepper can be a spicy sweet combination. 

Did you know…spaghetti squash can be used as a pasta replacement in just about any dish that calls for spaghetti or angel hair noodles?!

What else can I do with winter squash?
Squash bowling of course! Great for kids and grandkids to play on sunny fall weekend days.

SQUASH BOWLING MATERIALS (INSPIRED BY MARTHA STEWART)
  • Squash
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Vinyl sticker numbers
  • Painter's tape

STEPS:

1. To make the pins: Attach vinyl sticker numbers to 10 butternut squashes.

2. With painters' tape, cover portions of each squash to create stripes. Fill in stripes using acrylic craft paint, and let dry.

3. Carefully peel off stickers and tape. Designate a lane, and set up the pins, placing lower numbers in front and higher ones in back. Have each player stand about 15 feet away, grip a small pumpkin by the stem, and bowl. (Should the stem fall off after a few tries, players can grab onto the whole pumpkin.) Give everyone two turns, and award each player the number of points on the pins knocked down.

Be sure to swing by your favorite King Soopers to pick up one of these gorgeous gourds for a hearty fall dish, or a fun fall activity!

Just How Stressed Out Are You?

Are so you overwhelmed with everything going on in your life that you just need a mental health day? A day to check out - no work, no responsibilities, no to-do lists. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Stress has become embedded in our culture

It seems like there’s a social mentality that if we’re not crazy busy and stressed out all the time, then we’re not working hard enough. It’s an idea that’s prevalent in our workplaces (Stress: a social issue). We have 40 hour a week jobs, but let’s be honest, most of us are working at least 45 hours a week because we’re working through our lunch breaks. You hear people venting all the time because their employer is constantly increasing their workload. Because of this pressure, not only are we plowing through our lunch breaks while mindlessly stuffing our faces with either fast food or a frozen meal we microwaved; we put off important things like going to the doctor, especially if it’s for preventive care. We wouldn’t want our employer to think we’re not committed or reliable, or worse, ask why we’re going to the doctor. And really, our jobs are one of our greatest stresses. We stress about how secure our jobs are, whether we’re performing to the high expectations set upon us by our bosses and, of course, work-life balance.

“I have actually heard couples get into arguments about who is busier and who is more tired,” says 9NEWS psychologist Dr. Max Wachtel. “It is like they are competing with each other to be the family's hardest worker…there is pressure to be busy and to work hard...It comes from an expectation, either internal or external, that we be perfect in every way. We have to be perfect at work, and we need to be the perfect parents, and we have to have fantastic social lives. Every moment ends up getting booked, and all of a sudden, we find ourselves folding laundry at 1:00 in the morning because we've run out of time.”

Stress is not the same as busy

It’s important to note the distinction between being busy and being stressed. Just because you are really busy, doesn’t necessarily mean you are stressed out. Stress is when we feel like things have just become too much to deal with. Some stress can actually be good for you. It can get you going or save your life (think “fight or flight”). But when the stress starts to take a toll on your mental and physical health, that’s when it becomes a problem (What is Stress? How to Deal with Stress).

How stress affects your body

Stress can affect your body in many ways, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can cause headaches, anxiety and even impact eating habits by causing you to overeat or not eat enough. Some symptoms of stress can lead to even more health problems if you don’t address the causes of your stress. (50 Common Signs and Symptoms of Stress)

According to Dr. Wachtel, stress can really cause us to be less productive. “Stress can actually cause us to be less efficient--if we are exhausted and feeling overwhelmed, it can be hard to figure out how to prioritize and get tasks done…It seems counterintuitive, but if we try to accomplish fewer tasks, we tend to get more done in a day and we tend to complete those tasks more effectively.” 

Ways to de-stress

If you really are stressed out, it’s time to seriously think about ways to alleviate it. You can’t keep putting the issues off or have the mindset that “this is just how it is for everyone.”

“You need to prioritize,” says Dr. Wachtel. “You can't get everything done that you want to finish in one day, so pick the top three tasks, and focus on those. Also, realize you don't need to have every moment of your life completely booked--some down time to relax is okay, and it will probably help you to get more done in the long run. It is extremely important to carve out some time for yourself, too. Focus on an old hobby you used to enjoy or try learning a new skill. Exercise, meditation, prayer, yoga--those are all great for stress too.”

Do you need help coming up with ways to unplug and recharge? Here are a few more suggestions:

Rent a funny movie.
Laughter is the best medicine. Someone once said that, didn’t they? Not to mention, renting a funny movie can provide you with another positive opportunity – family bonding time! (10 Tips to Help You De-Stress)

Listen to relaxing music.
This is a great one because whether you’re in the car or at the office you can usually put some music on. Choose something with a slow tempo and preferably with no lyrics. Think spa music. (Stress Relief: 8 Ways to De-Stress Your Life)

Identify your stress triggers
This one is especially important. By identifying what stresses you out, you can be prepared to deal with it ahead of time. You may not be able to eliminate the stress trigger, but just knowing what it is, when it’s likely to occur and how you plan to deal with it is a huge part of the battle. (10 Ways to De-Stress Your Mind and Body)

When to seek professional help

“If you are trying to de-stress and still struggling, professional help may be a good idea. A therapist can help you prioritize and understand how to relax,” adds Dr. Wachtel. If you feel you would like to speak with a professional check to see if your employer has an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) or call your insurance for referral or go to one of our 9Health Fairs for a stress screening.
Here are some signs you may need professional help dealing with stress, according to the Cleveland Clinic:
  • Experiencing a marked decline in work/school performance
  • Excess anxiety
  • Misuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Unable to cope with demands of daily life
  • Having irrational fears
  • Experiencing significant change in sleeping or eating habits
  • Having suicidal thoughts or urge to hurt others
  • Engaging in self-mutilation, self-destructive or dangerous behavior
  • Having a sustained withdrawn mood or behavior

    What’s your favorite way to de-stress? Share with us on our Facebook page.



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