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It is National Nutrition Month® so ‘Put Your Best Fork Forward’

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Every March, we celebrate National Nutrition Month® which focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing healthy eating and physical activity habits. Created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), National Nutrition Month® is an annual nutrition education and information campaign.  This year, the theme is  "Put Your Best Fork Forward" to encourage people to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

“Putting your best fork forward encourages the small healthy changes that add up over time.”
<p>Putting your best fork forward encourages the small healthy changes that add up over time.</p>

Sarah Barnes, MS, RD/LD of Norman Regional Health System's Diabetes and Nutrition Education Department suggests the following tips to help put your best fork forward.

  • Take it one fork at a time: Change doesn't happen overnight.  Putting your best fork forward encourages the small healthy changes that add up over time. Examples may include:
    • Replacing sugar sweetened beverages for water.
    • Cutting portions in half and taking home leftovers.
    • Adding vegetables and fruits to your diet.
    • Focusing on healthy cooking methods such as grilled, baked, and broiled.
  • Making informed food choices: Food labels and nutrition claims on products can be confusing. For example, when a product is marked fat free, another ingredient is typically added to replace the removed ingredient. Be cautious to claims on the front of packages and become familiar with the Nutrition Facts label to see what other nutrients are in the product. Making the right food and nutrition choices are necessary for biting into a healthy lifestyle.
  • Incorporating daily activity: Being physically active is often overlooked but plays a crucial role in adapting a healthy lifestyle. Regular activity helps to maintain a healthy weight, strengthen bones & muscles, and reduces risk of chronic illness. Research shows that incorporating activity in 10+ minute increments with a total goal of at least 150 minutes of activity per week is beneficial for our health. Start out slowly and increase your activity each day. Tips of increasing activity include:
    • Take a 15 minute walk on your lunch break.
    • Register for a local 5k or fitness challenge.
    • Use an activity monitor to help assess movement throughout the day.
    • Get a friend or family member involved to help with accountability.
  • Working towards a healthy lifestyle requires a lifelong commitment of healthful lifestyle behaviors.
  • For nutritional counseling, Norman Regional Health System offers the guidance of registered dietitians. Those interested can schedule an appointment for an assessment with a referral from their family physician. For further information contact 405.307.5730.

RESOLVE: Healthy at Any Age

Monday, March 13, 2017

There is no secret age limit to becoming or staying healthy. Nationally, many initiatives have been created to encourage children to be physically active and teach them proper nutrition. While it is best to learn these lessons early and form healthy habits that you can live with for the rest of your life, it is never too late to get started. Forget New Year's resolutions that most people have already broken. At The Health Club; we have selected a word to be mindful of all year long. The word is Resolve. Resolve to be healthy at any age.

“As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass. It is very important to stop this natural process.”
<p>As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass. It is very important to stop this natural process.</p>

You should select a word as well: Focus, Mindful, Happiness, Empower, Attentive, Invest (in yourself). If you can’t think of a word, we would be glad to share The Health Club's word of RESOLVE. If at any point you need a little refocusing, think about your chosen word.

According to Jack Carter, a Supervisor at The Health Club as well as a Nationally Certified Strength and Conditioning Trainer with Distinction, "as we age, we tend to lose muscle mass. It is very important to stop this natural process." One method to overcome muscle deterioration is to work on strengthening your core. "There are so many benefits to increasing your core strength including balance, stability, long-term weight loss, improved flexibility and breathing. Not to leave out the obvious, weight and resistance training will make you stronger overall," said Carter.

Shape Your Future, a program of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, focuses on eating better, moving more and being tobacco free. We can all use this advice, no matter how old we are.

  • Create a colorful plate that includes fruits and vegetables.
  • Each day, become a little more active than the day before.
  • Avoiding tobacco products is a very crucial step in resolving to stay healthy.

As we age, many factors beyond our control can get in our way to a long and restful night's sleep. However, sleep is also very important in achieving overall health. Control the factors that you can control.

  • Reduce your caffeine intake.
  • Put down electronics before you go to bed.
  • Stick to a routine of going to bed and waking up at a similar time each day.

If you have not been on an exercise program, first consult your medical practitioner and then start out slowly. You can increase the longevity, weight and resistance of your workout over time. The trainers at The Health Club can help you determine an exercise program based on your desired outcome, current abilities and the goals you want to achieve.

Now is a perfect time to RESOLVE to put our health and well-being first in 2017. Starting, or even continuing, an exercise program can seem overwhelming but if you take small steps in the beginning, you can build up to a more rigorous program. Remember it is never too late to get started. Find your word to focus on this year to keep yourself on track to a long and healthy life. RESOLVE to be healthy at any age!

RESOLVE: Personal Training

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Norman Regional Health System and The Health Club are here to help you become a better and healthier you. How many people have already pushed their resolutions aside and went back to their normal habits? This is why The Health Club has chosen a word to be mindful of throughout the entire year to keep us on course. If we stray a little, do not worry, just go back and focus on that word. The word is Resolve: Resolve to become a better and healthier you.

“People of all sizes can benefit from a personal trainer.”
<p>People of all sizes can benefit from a personal trainer.</p>

A personal trainer may be the strategy that we need to keep us on our journey to becoming a healthier and better version of our current self. You may be starting out new, fighting to get beyond a plateau or simply looking for a change in routine. People of all sizes can benefit from a personal trainer. For instance, one of the more common reasons to seek out a personal trainer is to help lose weight. You want to fit into a smaller size. On the other hand, a thin individual may be looking for help improving core strength by building muscle and improving bone density. Personal trainers can focus on cardio-endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility or body composition or a combination of those components.

Some benefits of using a personal trainer are as follows.

  • Personalized Attention: According to Chat Williams NSCA-CPT, CSPS, a supervisor and a nationally certified strength and conditioning specialist, ‘It is very important to learn about my clients’ fitness goals and the methods in which they want to achieve those goals. I can create a top notch training program but it won’t be most beneficial if it includes activities they dislike or fails to focus on their desired fitness components. A customized program that incorporates their personal goals will lead clients to success.’ A personal trainer will make it all about you. You deserve to come first!
  • Accountable and Motivate: A personal trainer will keep you accountable. They encourage you to push through and complete the workouts. They believe in you even when you personally have some doubts. There are some days that you just don’t want to work out but knowing you have a paid commitment will keep you on track. Trainers have no judgement; they provide unending support and encouragement.
  • Maximize the burn: when you walk endlessly between equipment or spend time deciding what routine to follow next, you don’t receive a good return on investment for your time. A personal trainer will create a routine that will maximize the benefits. Whether you want to burn the most calories, allow for the most repetitions and simply enable you to get the most out of your work-out, a personal trainer is your answer.
  • Safety First: In order to continue along our journey to become a healthier and better you, it is important to avoid injuries. A knowledgeable trainer will teach you proper technique. In addition, they will help you with posture adjustments to ensure your knees and back are properly aligned. Creating a program that is appropriately paced with also keep you in the game and off the injured reserve list.

At The Health Club, which is owned and operated by Norman Regional Health System, there is a dedicated team of personal trainers who have gone above and beyond. They are degreed or advanced degreed fitness professionals including nationally certified personal trainers, certified special population and certified strength and conditioning specialists. This is what sets The Health Club apart from other facilities. They will be glad to answer any of your questions about various exercises and proper technique. Personal training sessions can be scheduled to create a customize program specifically designed for you.

To find out more information about The Health Club, simply call 405.329.5050. You can also stop by for a quick visit or talk a tour at 3720 West Robinson. The main entrance is located at the back of Brookhaven Shopping Center. Walk under the green awning and meet the team that is ready to help you resolve to become a healthier and better you!

RESOLVE: Group Fitness

Monday, January 30, 2017

Norman Regional Health System and The Health Club want 2017 to be the year you become a better and healthier you. New Year's resolutions come and go but it would be so beneficial if this could be a way of life. Be mindful of your choices. Resolve to make this your year.

“Many participants feel accountable to their instructors and work harder than they do on their own.”
<p>Many participants feel accountable to their instructors and work harder than they do on their own.</p>

When you think of becoming a better and healthier you, one way to achieve your goals is to participate in group fitness. By definition, a group fitness class has one or two instructors who lead a group of people in an exercise routine. Many participants feel accountable to their instructors and work harder than they do on their own. In addition, they want to keep on moving in class so that other participants won't think less of them. However, it is important to know that most often other participants are just trying to get in their work out and typically are not concerned or opinionated about others.

Group fitness classes typically include yoga, high impact and low impact aerobic or dance routines, Step classes, spin (cycling), classes designed seniors, kickboxing, TRX, boot camp and combinations classes. Energetic music may just be in the background to keep the class motivated or the routines may be choreographed to beat of the music. The Health Club offers a variety of classes throughout the week. You can see the classes here.

When working out in a group fitness setting, you are usually more motivated with the social and fun atmosphere created by both the instructor as well as the participants. Other benefits include the following.

  • An expert instructor will demonstrate proper technique so you can avoid injuries.
  • The class ensures you do a proper warm up and cool down when you exercise.
  • You can plan your week's workouts around a set class schedule.
  • The instructor can help you adjust your level base on your experience of current fitness ability.
  • You can go with friends to keep you accountable for showing up.
  • The more fun you have, the more likely it is that you will return for more classes.

To find out more information about The Health Club, simply call 405.329.5050. You can also stop by for a quick visit or talk a tour at 3720 West Robinson. The main entrance is located at the back of Brookhaven Shopping Center. Walk under the green awning and meet the team that is ready to help you resolve to become a healthier and better you!

Prevention is the Best Medicine for Antibiotic Resistance!

Monday, January 23, 2017

For over 70 years, antibiotics have been used to fight infections and ultimately save lives. Penicillin, which was known as the miracle drug, was the first antibiotic prescribed starting in the 1940s. Along with other antibiotics and antimicrobial agents, the utilization over the years has skyrocketed. Unfortunately, this widespread use of these infection fighting medications has ultimately made organisms adapt and resist treatment. The efficacy of the medication has been compromised. These resistant microorganisms are sometimes referred to as superbugs.

“A quick 20 seconds could prevent you from acquiring a cold, flu or other infectious disease.”
<p>A quick 20 seconds could prevent you from acquiring a cold, flu or other infectious disease.</p>

Alexander Fleming won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of Penicillin. With this discovery, people thought we would be able to live in a world that was free from infectious diseases. Fleming understood that his miracle drug could have a short-coming with the potential development of resistance. Despite the warning he provided in his acceptance speech, overutilization or improper prescribing continued.

When someone acquires an antibiotic resistant infection, the treatment options become limited, more costly as well as potentially more toxic. Their time in the hospital would most likely be extended, their recovery from major surgery or chemotherapy could be negatively impacted and they have a higher potential of spreading infections to other people. It is also important to mention the toll from pain and suffering.

There are precautions to help keep these important medications effective in the germ and infection fighting battle against bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. Prevention is the best medicine. By properly washing your hands, you can help stop the spread of germs. According to Julie Smith, RN, Infection Prevention Specialist at Norman Regional Health System, "A quick 20 seconds could prevent you from acquiring a cold, flu or other infectious disease. When using hand sanitizer, use enough of the product to coat the same areas as when you wash your hands and rub until all areas are dry; this process should take about 15-20 seconds as well. People tend to wipe off the excess which defeats the purpose of the hand sanitizer; it works best if you rub it until it is dry." Norman Regional Health System has a hand hygiene program in place for all its employees called Wash In / Wash Out, or WIWO for short. WIWO helps remind everyone of the expectation to wash hands every time employees enter AND exit a patient room. Washing can be performed using soap and water or with our hospital provided hand sanitizer. This program has helped everyone focus on basic hand washing.

It is important to take the appropriate steps to avoid infection in the first place. These precautions are more important than ever.

a. Hand Washing, Hand Washing, Hand Washing!
b. Proper food handling and preparation
c. Respiratory hygiene - Cover your cough with the inside of your elbow, don’t use your hands
d. Stay home when you are sick and keep your germs to yourself
e. Antibiotic Stewardship – While it is up to the physicians to prescribe the appropriate medication, at the most effective dosage, for the right length of time; as patients, we need to follow through on our end as well.

i. Take antibiotics as prescribed
ii. Finish the entire course/prescription of antibiotic, even when you start to feel better.
iii. Discuss with your physician when you need antibiotics - antibiotics do not treat viruses

For additional information on antibiotic stewardship, please visit the Centers for Disease Control’ and Prevention’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/

Remember, the easiest way to help prevent infection, including any onset of a superbug, starts with simply washing your hands.