WINTER 2014

Australia has the fastest climbing obesity rates in the world

Obesity rates in Australia are climbing faster than anywhere else in the world, according to a new study.

The results of the global study into obesity rates, published in the medical journal The Lancet, show almost a quarter of the country's children and 63 per cent of the adult population is overweight.

Australia's obesity levels are now on par with the United States, but slightly less than New Zealand.

The study has prompted health experts to call on the Federal Government to commit to a national anti-obesity strategy.

Obesity Policy Coalition spokeswoman Jane Martin says obesity is an issue that governments can tackle in a number of ways.

"It's around looking at policies around food that are supplied by institutions that are funded by governments," she said.

"[It's about] looking at encouraging smaller serving sizes, having social marketing campaigns that give education to people and help put it on the individual's agenda, and in an environment where it pushes people to make healthier choices and be more active."

Professor Alan Lopez, who was among the international researchers working on the study, says the numbers should be of concern.

"We are at the levels of overweight and obesity as the US is, three decades ago obesity levels in Australia were a half to a third of what they are now," he said.

"We need to understand that overweight and obesity is not just something at an individual aesthetic level, it has serious health consequences.

"It ought to be taken much more seriously by the public health community in Australia."

(ABC News: Nic MacBean) 

Health at Work offer educational Nutritional challenges, seminars, demonstrations and stands.

Click Here for more information

How to Find Balance

Finding balance is one of life's great goals, but it can be as elusive as it is desirable. Change your approach and its true nature will emerge.

When you're balanced, you can feel it. You get the sense that your life is moving along steadily. You take things in stride. You feel healthy and vibrant, challenged by your life, but relaxed enough to enjoy it; protected by the familiar, but excited by the possibilities ahead. So why does achieving it -- and maintaining it -- seem so difficult to do for so many of us?

Study balance a little closer, and you realize that what many of us perceive to be the ideal balance is in fact not balance at all. Unlike, say, a balanced scale, a balanced life is not symmetrical, still, or neutral. Like riding a bike, living a balanced life comes easier to you as you gain momentum. From that perspective, the myths and truths that follow can help you find a new understanding of balance -- and, finally, a way to get there yourself.

Myth: You must be even-tempered.
Truth: Balance encompasses the full range of emotions.

You may think the balanced person takes everything in stride, never gets upset or irritable, rarely gets depressed or overwhelmed. But that's simply not true. Balance is not about remaining placid and peaceful. In fact, by avoiding negative emotions such as anger, grief, or sadness, you are causing an unhealthy imbalance, says medical intuitive and neuropsychiatrist Mona Lisa Schulz.

So go ahead, get angry. Have a good cry. True balance is achieved by understanding the nature of our moods and feelings, not by suppressing them.

Myth: Balance is effortless.
Truth: Balance is efficient.

In physics, equilibrium is a state in which all external forces cancel each other out, with no one force exerting dominance over the other. That's how balance can work, too; it's not that you're not exerting any effort, it's that you're providing just the right amount for each need.

When you're balanced, your exertion is distributed so well -- your big muscles doing the big work and your little muscles carrying a lighter load -- it feels effortless even though it's anything but. One way to tune in to your balance is to appreciate your physical balance, whether through running, walking, or doing yoga or any activity that calls for focus.

Myth: You must be in control.
Truth: Real balance means being in flux.

At the circus, all eyes are on the tightrope walker. Why? Because where there's balance, there's also tension and risk. The tightrope walker's talent and skill resides not in her ability to defy gravity, but in making the hundreds of subtle, incremental readjustments to account for imbalance. In the same way, our ability to achieve balance is in learning to re-establish it when forces put it to the test.

This is why stability alone is not balance. The more we cling to things (circumstances, people, and possessions) to hold us in balance, the less we rely on our internal strength and flexibility to adapt. And because balance is not a fixed point, but always moving forward, we need to move forward, too. This can mean embracing change and allowing ourselves to evolve.

Moving to a new city, letting go of an old relationship, or losing a job are potential triggers for imbalance, and any one of them has the potential to throw you off your axis, causing stress, exhaustion, or anxiety. Balance comes when we adapt to change, rather than try to resist it. But you can start small: Encourage and practice smaller-scale changes in your life so that you're better prepared to handle the bigger ones.

Myth: A balanced person is good at everything.
Truth: Balance requires prioritizing.

You might also recognize this as "superwoman/man syndrome" the idea that you should be able to fill all needs, including your own, all the time. But life is not a pie chart. And because the world is not balanced, we should not expect to be either. This is where the 80/20 rule comes in. This established business principle posits that, by and large, roughly 80 percent of results come from 20 percent or fewer of the causes.

Think about what is most important for you to accomplish, and why. How can you make the most of your talent and energy in order to reach your goals? What is the benefit of focusing on these few things? Does it give you more time with your family, open up more opportunities, provide additional income? Weigh in with yourself about each action you want to take and why; that way you will be less likely to spread yourself too thin and sabotage your best efforts.

Myth: Imbalance will result in disaster.
Truth: Imbalance is opportunity.

Maybe you sense that your balance is slipping. Put those moments in perspective. We have to occasionally lose our balance in order to regain it. The mistake we often make is accepting our imbalances as part of who we are -- giving up instead of trying to recover balance.

You may not want to believe you've taken on too much, for instance, because you want to do it all and are hesitant to let anything go -- whether it's a job, obligation, or opportunity. Consider what kinds of imbalances have been affecting you, physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually; pay attention to when and how you experience it.

When one area of your life is imbalanced, it can affect the others. Rather than view your imbalance as a mistake to fix, see it for what it is: an opportunity to rediscover balance in a new way.

Body+Soul, Volume 5, bodyandsoul.com.au 

Contact Health at Work about our stress resilience programs – 4 week building resilience challenge: Finding Your Balance, Bounce Back and Beyond & Lighten Up seminars, Resilience packs.

 

In fond memory of Tom Hafey & Neale Trollope

Our sincere condolences go out to both their family and friends. It was a great honour and pleasure to have Tom & Neale represent Health at Work.

TOM was a key motivational speaker for Health at Work, inspiring employees all over Melbourne. His energy and enthusiasm for life always left attendees feeling uplifted, encouraging them to be the best they can, make every day count and to be healthy and happy in all aspects of life.  He will be sadly missed by us and our clients.
His inspiration will live on always....

EVERY MORNING IN AFRICA A GAZELLE WAKES UP. IT KNOWS IT MUST RUN FASTER THAN THE FASTEST LION OR IT WILL BE KILLED. EVERY MORNING A LION WAKES UP.  IT KNOWS IT MUST OUTRUN THE SLOWEST GAZELLE OR IT WILL STARVE TO DEATH. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER YOU'RE A LION OR A GAZELLE:
WHEN THE SUN COMES UP YOU'D BETTER BE RUNNING.


Tommy Hafey

NEALE was a key health & fitness speaker & trainer for Health at Work. His passion for health and will to help others was truly inspiring. Neale had the ability to bring the best out of people. His uplifting energy and big smile always left you feeling motivated and confident that you could achieve whatever you set your mind to. He will be sadly missed by us and our clients. 

Anyone wishing to support melanoma research, the Hafey family suggests: 

www.everydayhero.com.au/tommy-hafey-tribute

WINTER 2013

It pays to Meditate

For most people the word meditation conjures up images of shaven-headed monks and nuns sitting in mountain retreats high in the Himalayas. Very few people would associate it with their office or place of work.

Yet this is exactly what is happening as organisations seek to balance aggressive corporate culture with the calming, performance-enhancing techniques of meditation.

There is no need for employees to feel imprisoned by work, experiencing it as a burden, a threat or an inconvenience; instead there is the potential for a profound sense of freedom, fulfilment and wellbeing in the workplace.

It appears that savvy business leaders, keen to incorporate these wholesome values into the world of business and commerce, are increasingly looking towards meditation, or mind training as it is sometimes known, as the solution.

Contrary to popular opinion, mind training is about far more than simply sitting crossed-legged on a cushion. There are numerous techniques that can be used in a very direct and practical way for raising awareness and the quality of communication at work. A well-structured programme of mind training will always include the three key elements of vision, insight and action.

Vision relates to the way in which we view the world around us. Essentially this is our attitude to life, to work and our perception of others. Clearly, when addressed successfully, this has dramatic implications for the workplace.

Insight relates to the practice of meditation itself and the wisdom generated through such practice. This allows us to work with increased clarity in any given situation and to respond in a skilful and compassionate way.

Action relates very specifically to the way in which we implement and integrate our refined vision and new-found wisdom into our everyday work. Early pioneers of meditation in the workplace included Apple, Yahoo! and Google. Needless to say, many organisations have since followed suit.

This growing trend is perhaps not surprising given the extensive scientific research published by the likes of the National Institute of Health and Harvard Medical School. The findings consistently demonstrate a decrease in the production of chemicals associated with stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia. At the same time they show an increased ability to relax, heightened levels of concentration and the alleviation of the many aches and pains that plague employees everywhere.

With employee healthcare high on the agenda these numerous benefits alone would be reason enough for many to sign up. But increasingly it is the performance-enhancing qualities of meditation that are attracting all the attention - at the individual, departmental and organisational level.

Individuals who meditate tend to experience higher levels of sustained happiness and wellbeing in their lives. The result of this is an increased level of job satisfaction, improved morale and a greater willingness to contribute and communicate with fellow employees.

Those practising on a regular basis also report that by allowing the mind to settle, to experience calm, they are able to tap into a previously unknown reservoir of creativity.

As employees begin to work together with greater clarity, focus and enthusiasm, they invariably become a more efficient team. With increased understanding of one another's strengths and limitations they also begin to communicate far more effectively.

These benefits make for a handsome return on investment, with a sharp decline in absenteeism and health costs accompanied by a significant increase in productivity and staff retention. The bottom line - it pays to meditate.

Management Issues, 08 Jan 2008, Andy Puddicombe

Book A Mindful Meditation Course For Stress Down Day!

Remarkable productivity from clear, focussed minds at your workplace! As the week progresses, your employees' minds are increasingly fogged up in a hectic environment, losing their greater perspective, motivation and their ability to perceive things clearly.

4 Week Course includes:

Week One

  • Introduction
  • Posture and preparation
  • Meditation One – Relaxing the Body and Mind

Week Two

  • Exercise – Deep Breathing Relaxation
  • Meditation – Watching the Breath

Week Three

  • Meditation – Mind Calming
  • Exercise – Being Present

Week Four

  • Meditation – Visualisation on Problem Solving
  • Course Summary and Conclusion

Click here to check out Stress Resilience options or contact Health at Work for more information.

How Real Life Change Happens

Imagine the person you want to be, and become them.

If the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, then most of us qualify as nuts. We want to change our lives for the better; we believe that we are capable of change; and yet we find ourselves perennially stuck in the same old rut. One study found that 90 percent of coronary bypass patients go back to their old, unhealthy eating habits within two years of their operation. Another found that a substantial majority of dieters regain all their weight within a year—or wind up even heavier than when they started.

We fail to change time after time because we profoundly overestimate our stores of willpower. Psychologists call this failing “restraint bias.” We confidently make resolutions to change and assume we’ll be able to bulldoze our urges because we’re bad at remembering how tempting temptation can be. When we’re full, we forget how irresistible that bacon triple cheeseburger is when we’re hungry. So we allow ourselves to walk into situations in which our willpower is going to be overwhelmed.

That’s not to say that all resolutions are necessarily doomed. People do transform their lives, every day. But for the most part they don’t do it by relying on willpower. The key, it turns out, is to simply start behaving like the person you want to become. Instead of wondering, What should I do?, imagine your future, better self and ask: What would they do? This approach works because of the rather surprising way that our brains form self-judgments. Numerous experiments have demonstrated that when it comes to forming beliefs about our own character and proclivities, we don’t peer inward, as you might expect; instead, we observe our own external behaviour. If we see ourselves carrying out a particular action—whatever the actual motivation—our self-conception moulds itself to explain that reality.

The most effective way to move toward change is to act like you’ve already achieved it. Don’t worry about playing mind-games with yourself. Don’t worry about affirmations. The way to become a fit person is to act like one. I’ve always found that the hardest part of exercising—the only hard part, really—is putting on my sneakers. Once they’re on, there’s pretty much a 100 percent chance of getting some form of workout done. Why else would I have these shoes on?

Obviously, you can’t change your internal reality overnight. But act out the change you want, and day by day, the weight of evidence will become undeniable. Before long, the person you pretend to be becomes the person that you are.

In one experiment, researcher’s recruited subjects who said they wanted to learn one new habit, and asked them to perform the new behaviour every day. After 60 days, most of them rated the newly learned habit as effortless to perform. What had once been a desired change was now an accepted reality.

Psychology Today, March 19, 2013 by Jeff Wise in Extreme Fear


‘Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle:
When the sun comes up you’d better be running.’

Health at Work Motivational speaker, Tom Hafey

 

The Winter Fitness Survival Guide

Does your fitness routine go into hibernation during the colder months? It doesn't have to: there are plenty of ways to stay active and prevent weight gain during winter.

When you're busy and tired during the colder months, it's easy to put off exercise till tomorrow. But sticking to a regular fitness routine is vital if you want to stay in shape and take care of your health.

The two biggest challenges associated with exercise during winter are finding a place to train – outdoors, indoors or at home – and finding the motivation to stay active.

Outdoor exercise

There is usually no reason why you can't continue a wide range of activities all year round, provided the weather isn't extreme. It really depends on the type of activity you enjoy. You just need to:

  • Wear suitable clothing. Fabrics that keep moisture away from your skin will prevent you becoming wet and chilled.
  • Wear a hat. When going out in the cold, it is advisable to wear a hat. About one-third of your body's heat loss occurs through the head.
  • Dress in layers. Wear plenty of light layers so you can gradually peel them off as you become warm. You should be a little cool starting out. Avoid sweating, as you may become chilled.
  • Exercise caution. Beware of slippery surfaces, and exercise in daylight wherever possible. It's also wise to perform a longer warm-up in cold conditions.
  • Keep your fluid levels up. Drinking water regularly is just as important during winter as it is in summer. Cold weather stimulates urine production, and every breath you can see is water droplets being exhaled from your body.

Indoor exercise

There are a number of options if you want to exercise indoors. This winter, consider:

  • Joining a gym for the winter months. Health and fitness centres provide a wide variety of exercise options in a comfortable and supportive environment.
  • Indoor sports. Many sports can be played indoors, such as basketball, volleyball, badminton, squash and soccer. Investigate your local area to see if any competitions exist, or start up your own.
  • Indoor climbing. If you aren't afraid of heights, indoor climbing centres offer a unique way of boosting your strength and stamina. Climbing walls are usually graded to suit all levels of strength and ability.
  • Aqua training. If you live near an indoor heated pool, you could swim some laps, or try an aquarobics class. Training in water has a low risk of injury, and is a great way to add variety.
  • Mind/body classes. Activities such as Pilates and yoga are often available at halls, studios and other venues. These activities can help develop your balance, posture, core strength and flexibility, and help you to relax at the same time.

At-home exercise

When it's cold and miserable, and you don't even want to step foot outside, having some exercise options at home can make all the difference. You could try:

  • Exercise equipment. There is a range of cardiovascular machines and strength-training equipment to suit every budget. If price is a concern, look to rent, or buy second-hand equipment.
  • Do housework with vigour. Make a workout of cleaning or gardening. Sweeping, scrubbing, raking, mopping and vacuuming, if performed a little bit faster than normal, can all get your heart rate up.
  • Exercise DVDs and TV shows. There are numerous exercise DVDs on the market, covering everything from yoga to step aerobics.
  • In-house circuits. You can perform many exercises in your home with little or no equipment. A basic exercise routine could be developed by mixing and matching some of the cardiovascular and toning exercises. Always start out slowly, and then push yourself a little harder as your fitness levels improve.

Just do it - Don't ponder your workout; just get started. The more you think about it, the more likely you will talk yourself out of it. Once you're in motion, you'll find it easier to continue.

ABC Health & Wellbeing BY Andrew Cate, 24/06/2008

 

Alcohol - How YOU Can Be The Influence

Believe it or not, you are a role model. There is bunch of people looking to you and modelling their behaviour on yours. This may be friends, siblings, children, work colleagues and people you may not even be aware of.

Take a moment and think about what advice you would give to a younger person about alcohol? Would you be happy for them to follow in your footsteps? Would you like them to experience what you have?

People will see through inconsistencies, if you are saying one thing and behaving in another way, they will not take you seriously. Saying alcohol is bad for you and then getting ‘written off’ on the weekend is giving very mixed messages. Your actions speak louder than words.

You can be the influence in relation to alcohol use by:

  • Engaging in activities that don’t revolve around alcohol
  • Sticking to the low-risk drinking guidelines
  • Having a plan and sticking to it.
  • Having the strength to ‘say ‘enough’
  • Set limits for yourself and stick to them
  • Start with non-alcoholic drinks and alternate with alcoholic drinks
  • Drink slowly
  • Try drinks with a lower alcohol content
  • Eat before or while you are drinking
  • If you participate in rounds of drinks try to include some non-alcoholic drinks

Take the plunge and say ’enough’…

Let’s face it, saying ‘enough’ or ‘no’ and sticking to it is hard, especially when your friends are hounding you to drink.

If someone persists, the ‘broken record technique’ is useful, sticking to your guns and saying ‘No thanks’ every time they ask. You don’t have to make excuses, it is your choice.

Other helpful tips are:

  • Being assertive and saying how you feel. This can earn you respect among your friends. Make it clear to your friends that you expect them to be supportive and not pressure you into something you don’t want to do.
  • Hang out with friends that make you feel good about yourself and who don’t pressure you into drinking and accept your choices.
  • In a difficult situation, you can always put a drink down and walk away from it.
  • Suggest activities that you and your friends can do that don’t involve or revolve around alcohol.
  • Stand up for others facing peer pressure. If you feel comfortable in a particular environment take a stand against those who pressure others into drinking.

Making decisions that are best for you is all part of being an individual and taking ownership of your actions can feel empowering. Being an individual shouldn’t mean not being accepted and you may be surprised at how you can influence others at the same time.

Take the plunge and join Dry July this year! http://www.dryjuly.com/

 

Inject Some MOTIVATION Into Your Staff By Booking Inspirational Speaker Tom Hafey!

Maribyrnong City Council invited Tom Hafey to their Operations Centre as part of their Health & Wellbeing Program, to speak about health and fitness. Tom spoke for an hour, effortlessly and passionately about his personal experiences both in football and life in general. He was inspirational, motivational, engaging, and took the time to have photos taken, autographs and speak with staff after the session. A true gentleman and brilliant speaker!”

Contact Health at Work for more details.

 

Quiona, Spinach, Mushroom and Chickpea Curry

Serves 4
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 long green chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 350g mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
  • ¾ cup quiona grain, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ cups hot water
  • 2 x 400 cans chickpeas, drained
  • Salt to taste
  • 150g baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup coriander
  • Fresh lime to taste
  • Greek yoghurt for serving

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, stir in the cinnamon and cumin seeds and cook a few seconds until fragrant. Stir in turmeric, coriander and cumin and cook a few seconds more to release their flavours. Add a little more oil if needed.

Add the onion and chillies and cook until the onion is soft. Stir in the mushrooms and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until mushrooms soften and collapse. Add the tomatoes, stir well and bring up to a light boil. Stir in the quinoa and water, cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.

Add the chickpeas, season with salt, cover and simmer for another 5-10minutes until the quinoa is cooked and tender. Stir in the spinach and coriander and cook until the spinach has wilted. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice and a dollop of yoghurt.

 

Hydrate, Detox Or Liver Cleanse By Holding A Juice Stand At Your Office!

This delicious and nutritious stand will be set up and manned by our Naturopath/Nutritionist, who will freshly juice a variety of wonderful spicy detox, immune boosting, or energising juice!

This is a wonderful and fun way for your employee to find out about all the hidden sugar, additives and preservatives in commercial fruit and veggie juices and the effects they can have on energy levels and overall health.

Click here for more information or contact Health at Work NOW to book this great stand!

 

Keep Your Employees Active This Winter!

TAILORED EXERCISE CLASSES

Health at Work offers a range of either lunchtime or before and after work activities to improve your employee's fitness and wellbeing. The classes are all conducted by fully qualified, insured and experienced practitioners. Outdoor or indoor classes available.

Contact Health at Work to find out more or to enquire about Exercise Classes we offer.


AUTUMN 2013

Heart Disease and Women

Heart disease is for middle-aged men to worry about isn’t it?
No. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Australian women. Women are four times more likely to die of it than breast cancer.

Below you will find answers too many of the common questions and myths around women and heart disease.


Q1. Doesn’t heart disease only happen to middle-aged and older men?
No. Heart disease kills almost as many Australian women as men. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Australian women – on average it kills almost 10,400 women each year or 29 women each day.

Q2. I have no signs of heart disease. Surely I would know if I was at risk?
The signs of heart disease are not always obvious, and a heart attack can often be the first indicator. There is no single cause of heart disease but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing it. Risk factors include lifestyle habits, such as smoking or being overweight, as well as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and a family history of heart disease. These risk factors often don’t have symptoms.

So, how can you find out if you are at risk of heart disease? Visit your doctor to get a heart health check, which involves discussing your heart disease risks with your GP and getting your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked.

Q3. I’m in the prime of my life. Surely I don’t need to be concerned about heart disease?
With heart disease the No. 1 killer of Australian women, all women need to understand heart disease and how it could be relevant to them. Your risk of heart disease increases significantly after you reach menopause. It’s not clear why, although it appears that the hormone oestrogen may give some protection against heart disease during our reproductive years. Regardless of this, it is vital that all Australian women, especially those aged 45 and over, understand the risk factors and signs of heart disease because they are four times more likely to die of it than breast cancer.

Q4. Don’t more women die of breast cancer than heart disease?
No. Australian women are almost four times more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer. Cancer organisations have done an excellent job raising the profile of breast cancer and all women should continue to be vigilant in understanding this disease. The Heart Foundation encourages women to be just as vigilant in looking after their heart health.

Q5. I’d know if I had high blood pressure wouldn’t I? Why is it even a problem?
Not necessarily. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, means your blood is pumping at a higher pressure than normal through your blood vessels. This forces your heart to work harder to pump blood to your vital organs.

There are often no symptoms of high blood pressure, which makes it even more dangerous. High blood pressure can lead to other health problems, including heart disease. The only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is by getting it checked by your health professional.

Q6. Why do I need to care about cholesterol?
Because there are often no symptoms associated with it and you don’t need to be overweight to have high cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a naturally produced substance found in your blood. When you have high cholesterol levels, it can lead to hardened blood vessels which could become clogged with plaque. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke. The only way to find out if you have high blood cholesterol levels is by getting them checked regularly by your doctor.

Q7. Does Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) prevent heart disease?
The Heart Foundation does not recommend Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in the treatment or prevention of heart disease. HRT, which includes oestrogen replacement, has been used to treat menopausal symptoms in the short-term for many years. It has also been used in the treatment of osteoporosis for some women after menopause. To find out more about HRT, the National Health and Medical Research Council has published booklets with information and advice. Before commencing HRT, such as for the short-term treatment of menopausal symptoms, we strongly recommend discussing the risks and benefits of HRT with your doctor.

Q8. Does oral contraception (‘the pill’) affect your heart disease risks?
Oral contraceptives (‘the pill’) are usually safe for healthy young women. However, women who smoke while taking it greatly increase their risk of heart, stroke and blood vessel disease. Always speak to your doctor about your choice of contraception and any associated risks.

Q9. What can I do to prevent heart disease?
Heart disease is largely preventable. You can reduce your risks of heart disease by living a healthier lifestyle, including:

  • Be smoke free
  • Enjoy healthy eating
  • Be physically active
  • Manage your blood pressure
  • Manage your cholesterol levels
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
  • Maintain your mental health and wellbeing
  • Take any medicines as prescribed

If you have any further questions or just want to speak to someone about your heart health, we have a Health Information Service. You can call the team of qualified health professionals on 1300 36 27 87 during business hours (local charges apply) or email them your query.

Heartfoundation.org.au

 

BOOK YOUR HEALTH CHECKS NOW for Heart Week in May!

Health at Work offers a variety of in-depth and highly confidential health assessments. Employees obtain a comprehensive understanding of their current health, together with an understanding of how to make sustainable changes to improve their health and lifestyle risks. Companies are provided with a detailed, de-identified report of the current health risks faced by their workforce, providing the opportunity to measure subsequent improvements and develop tailored health initiatives such as nutrition & weight management, sleep & fatigue education and physical exercise.

Click here to check out Health Check options or contact Health at Work for more information.

 

Fighting FATIGUE!

About 20% claim to have fatigue intense enough to interfere with living a normal life.

Fatigue is generally defined as a feeling of lack of energy and motivation that can be physical, mental or both. Fatigue is not the same as drowsiness, but the desire to sleep may accompany fatigue. Individuals often describe fatigue using a variety of terms including weary, tired, exhausted, malaise, listless, lack of energy, unable to concentrate, difficulties getting out of bed and feeling run down.

Fatigue is common. About 20% claim to have fatigue intense enough to interfere with living a normal life. A physical cause has been estimated to be responsible 20% to 60% of the time, while emotional or mental causes comprise the other 40% to 80% of cases of fatigue.

So what's making you so tired all the time? Let’s look at the range of causes that could be making you weary.

Lifestyle related causes
Common lifestyle choices that can cause fatigue include:

  • Lack of sleep – typically adults need about eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Too much sleep – adults sleeping more than 11 hours per day can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Alcohol and drugs – alcohol is a depressant drug that slows the nervous system and disturbs normal sleep patterns. Other drugs, such as cigarettes and caffeine, stimulate the nervous system and can cause insomnia.
  • Sleep disturbances – may occur for a number of reasons, for example, noisy neighbours, young children who wake in the night, a snoring partner, or an uncomfortable sleeping environment.
  • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour – physical activity is known to improve fitness, health and wellbeing, reduce stress, and boost energy levels. It also helps you sleep.
  • Poor diet – low kilojoule diets, low carbohydrate diets or high energy foods that are nutritionally poor don’t provide the body with enough fuel or nutrients to function at its best. Quick fix foods, such as chocolate bars or caffeinated drinks, only offer a temporary energy boost that quickly wears off and worsens fatigue.
  • Individual factors – personal illness or injury, illnesses or injuries in the family, too many commitments or financial problems can cause fatigue.

Workplace related causes
Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

  • Shift work – the human body is designed to sleep during the night. This pattern is set by a small part of the brain known as the circadian clock. A shift worker confuses their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
  • Poor workplace practices – can add to a person’s level of fatigue. These may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours, stressful work environment (such as excessive noise or temperature extremes), boredom, working alone with little or no interaction with others, or repetitive tasks.
  • Workplace stress – can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, constant change, or threats to job security.
  • Burnout – can be described as striving too hard in one area of life while neglecting everything else. ‘Workaholics’, for example, put all their energies into their career, which puts their family life, social life and personal interests out of balance.
  • Unemployment – financial pressures, feelings of failure or guilt, and the emotional exhaustion of prolonged job hunting can lead to stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue.

Psychological causes
Studies suggest that psychological factors are present in at least 50 per cent of fatigue cases. These may include:

  • Depression – People who are depressed commonly experience chronic tiredness.
  • Anxiety and stress – a person who is chronically anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
  • Grief – losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

Medical causes – Many diseases and disorders can trigger fatigue. Unrelenting exhaustion may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease or diabetes.

Diagnosis can be difficult
Since fatigue can present a vast range of symptoms and be caused by many different factors working in combination, diagnosis can be difficult. Consequently, people and their health care practitioners need to spend some time together to clearly determine whether or not the problem or symptom is truly fatigue, and if it is, any associated symptoms that may accompany the fatigue should be explored

Better Health Channel & eMedicine Health

 

Sleep & Fatigue Seminar

This seminar is a must for individuals that have had or are having sleep problems, or would like to know more about the importance of sleep.

Great for workplaces that work long hours, have heavy workloads, shift workers, truck/car drivers and for the general worker having sleeping difficulties.

Or have some fun & educate your employees with our SLEEP WELL AWARENESS PACK. The pack contains:

  • Sleep & Fatigue information booklet
  • Sleepy Herbal Tea
  • Eye Mask
  • Ear Plugs

Contact Health at Work to find out more or to enquire about other Seminars we offer.

 

Body + Mind = Our Feelings

We could improve our feelings by having more understanding of the body/mind connection.

Our senses see, hear, feel, taste and smell the outside world. These impressions awaken mental activity. We think, remember and visualize. At the same time, our body also occupies our consciousness. Our heart pounds. Our stomach rumbles. Our muscles tighten. We sweat. We hurt. We act.

There are times when these parts work in harmony, and other times when we feel overwhelmed. If we feel flooded by our inner world, whether because of emotions or sensations or thoughts or circumstances, these various parts of our experience tumble in upon us in a jumbled mass. We could improve our feelings by having more understanding of the body/mind connection.

Natural response to threat isn't always appropriate
When we perceive a threat to our safety, nature ramps up our body and mind into a powerful state of arousal to prepare us for rapid, highly charged response. However, in civilized life, intense biological reactions are often triggered in situations that are not at all dangerous. When we watch a disaster on the news, vent frustrations about work or are stuck in traffic we find ourselves facing the full brunt of nature's arousal, including pounding heart, dry mouth and muscle tension.

These bodily reactions give us a natural kick to prepare us to confront danger. However, unless we are in hand to hand combat, our danger-based thinking leads to inappropriate responses that are more likely to create problems than solutions. If we accept too readily our fight-or-flight impulses, and go along with the feelings of emergency arousal, we behave aggressively, lashing out in anger, and hurting and upsetting those around us.

Bottled up feelings burn under the surface
Anger, aggression, frustration, fear, the emotions associated with fight-or-flight arousal may become part of the background noise of our mind. If these feelings simmer under the surface, the hormonal effects continue to operate, even as we try to shut these negative feelings out of our mind.

Stress feels bad, and leads us to do things to escape like taking substances, running away or shutting down into depression. Researchers have discovered that our immune system is less able to fight off disease when our minds are stressed, angry or depressed, and our immune system is healthier when we are in a good mood and networking with supportive relationships.

One way to reduce the effects of stress is to learn about the body reactions, and reduce fight-or-flight arousal before it starts. We can find many strategies for putting on the brakes, such as time-outs, positive self-talk, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques. We also need to reduce the causes of this arousal by reducing arguments and feelings of victimization.

Relieving muscle tension
One way we habitually bottle up mental tension is to tighten up our chest and shoulder muscles. This muscle tension restricts breathing, and reduces the flow of air in and out of our lungs. We can express mental tension in other muscles, clenching jaw or calf like worry beads. Our habit of expressing mental tension in our muscles interferes with spontaneity, holding us rigid in body and mind. We can't "let go" and we feel and act like we're stuck.

Unravelling the body/mind knot
Our body and mind work together so intricately we have a difficult time locating the key to unlock our tension. Many people use jogging, walking and other exercises as a way to unload stress. While exercise has an overall beneficial effect, we can learn more specific techniques to enhance relaxation, peace and harmony. With soothing, calming thoughts, peaceful safe images, natural breathing, and relaxed muscles, we can work at the important task of becoming more poised, more comfortable, more effective people. Yoga and Tai Chi are two practices that teach the principles of healing and integrating body and mind.

Getting smarter about body and mind
Learning the connections between body and mind opens a whole new range of tools that we can use to improve the quality of our lives and our feelings. Whether we learn these methods from dance instructors, stress relief workshops or a yoga instructor, by incorporating these valuable principles into our working plan, we can use them to improve our effectiveness and sense of well-being.

Jerry Waxler, M.S.

SPRING 2013

The HEALTH of Australian Males....Check these recent stats out!

In a recent report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Canberra 2013
It focused on males aged 25 and over, who comprise two-thirds of the Australian male population and encompasses diverse life stages that see males establish themselves in the workforce, change career paths, form long-term relationships, have children and retire.
The report focuses on topics that are age-specific (such as healthy ageing), are of particular relevance to this age group (such as suicide), and those where large sex differences are observed (such as workplace injury).
Check out the interesting statistics that were revealed.

  • Life, ageing and death

  • Males aged 25 and over in 2011 can expect, on average, to live to 80 or over.
  • Coronary heart disease was the leading cause of death in males aged 25 and over in 2010. Lung cancer was the second leading cause.
  • Between 2001 and 2011, there was a gain of 1.9 years in life expectancy for males aged 65 and 0.6 years for males aged 85.

Risky living
  • Based on measured data, in 2011–12, 44% of males aged 25 and over were overweight, 31% were obese and 66% had a waist circumference that put them at increased risk of chronic disease.
  • The proportion of males aged 25 and over who were overweight or obese increased from 69% in 1995 to 75% in 2011–12.
  • One in 10 males aged 50–59 (11%) and 60–69 (10%) are at risk of injury resulting from excessive alcohol consumption, on a daily basis.

Health status
  • The prevalence rate for treated psychotic disorders is 5.8 cases per 1,000 males aged 25–64, higher than the rate among males aged 18–24 (4.0 per 1,000) and females aged 25–64 (3.7 per 1,000).
  • Nearly 1 in 5 males (18%) aged 25 and over (nearly 1.3 million males) are estimated to have a core activity limitation, and need help, have difficulty with or use aids or equipment to assist with mobility, self-care or communication. More than 1 million (15%) are carers.
  • Males aged 25 and over are significantly less likely to have asthma, arthritis or osteoporosis, compared with females of the same age.
Marriage, employment and health
  • Married males have lower mortality rates compared with their never married counterparts—8.1 compared with 12.8 deaths per 1,000 population.
  • Employed males are less likely to rate their health as fair or poor (11%) compared with unemployed males (37%) and males not in the labour force (41%).
  • There were over 73,000 workers’ compensation claims related to serious injury or fatality for males aged 25–64, including 170 workplace fatalities. Males in this age group made up 55% of all claims.
Λ BACK TO TOP
 

NEW ONLINE 10 000 Steps Challenge!

Book in the month of September for an October Start and receive your first 10 participants packs FREE! (Pack includes: Pedometer & Booklet)
The 10 000 Steps is a great opportunity for employees to increase their fitness levels and become more aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. It is a cost effective way of conducting an indirect teambuilding event with your employees and/or departments. Challenges include Walk the Italian Coastline (4 weeks) or The Amazing Race (6 weeks)
Contact Health at Work for more information.

 

Vitamin D…Are you getting enough?

Protecting your skin from the sun to help prevent skin cancer may have an unhealthy side effect: Vitamin D deficiency.

The sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation is both the major cause of skin cancer and the best source of vitamin D. In Australia, we need to balance the risk of skin cancer from too much sun exposure with maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. Sensible sun protection does not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

How do we get vitamin D?
Vitamin D forms in the skin when it is exposed to UV from sunlight. It can also be obtained from some foods. Vitamin D, which is needed to develop and maintain strong and healthy bones and muscles, is made in the body when skin is exposed to UV radiation. Some food, such as milk, margarines, oily fish and eggs, contains small amounts of vitamin D, but it is very hard to get enough vitamin D from food alone.
In Australia, almost all our vitamin D comes from the sun’s UV radiation. However, the need for exposure to sunlight for vitamin D must be balanced against the risk of skin cancer. Too much UV radiation exposure can cause skin damage that can lead to melanoma and other skin cancers.

How much sun do we need for healthy bones?
The best source of vitamin D is UV-B radiation from the sun. UV radiation levels vary depending on location, time of year, time of day, cloud coverage and the environment.

For most people, adequate vitamin D levels are reached through regular daily activity and incidental exposure to the sun. During summer, the majority of people can maintain adequate vitamin D levels from a few minutes of exposure to sunlight on their face, arms and hands or the equivalent area of skin on either side of the peak UV periods (the middle of the day when UV levels are most intense) on most days of the week.

In winter in the southern parts of Australia, where UV radiation levels are less intense, people may need about two to three hours of sunlight to the face, arms and hands, or equivalent area of skin, spread over a week to maintain adequate vitamin D levels. In winter in northern parts of Australia, people will continue to maintain adequate vitamin D levels going about their day-to-day activities, so it is not necessary to deliberately seek UV radiation exposure.

The amount of sunlight you need to make vitamin D also depends on:
How much skin is exposed
The more skin you have exposed, the faster your body will make vitamin D. However, exposing about 15% of the body (hands and arms or lower legs) for the recommended time periods should produce enough vitamin D for most people.

Who is at risk of low vitamin D?
Some groups in the community may be at risk of low levels of vitamin D:

  • Elderly people, particularly those who don’t go outdoors very often
  • People with naturally dark skin
  • People who cover their skin and heads with clothing and veils for cultural or religious reasons. The less skin that is exposed to UV radiation the harder it is to get adequate vitamin D
  • Babies of mothers who have low levels of vitamin D. An unborn baby is dependent on the mother’s levels of vitamin D to form healthy bones. As breast milk is not a good source of vitamin D, a baby born with low or deficient levels will find it difficult to get the vitamin D they need. If you are concerned about your baby’s vitamin D levels, do not stop breastfeeding and do not deliberately expose your baby to sunlight. Talk to your general practitioner or baby health centre
  • People with prolonged illnesses who spend little time outside. People in identified risk groups should talk to their GP about vitamin D. A GP can order a blood test to see if vitamin D levels are low, and can advise you about sun exposure, diet and supplements.
 

Skin Checks

Book your Skin Checks in September for October/November and receive a FREE S.H.I.N.E. Aqua Skin water bottle for each skin check. *only while stocks last

10 minute private consultations onsite with a specially trained Doctor will view your employees' skin.

Participants will be notified of any suspected skin conditions and referred onto the employee’s own GP for follow up.

Click here for more Skin Check information.

 

Understand the cause of your Back pain and prevent it

Imagine the person you want to be, and become them.

Heavy lifting, repetitive movements and sitting at a desk all day can take a toll on your back. Get the facts about back pain at work and how to prevent it. 
www.mayoclinic.com

Whether it's dull and achy or sharp and stabbing, back pain can make it hard to concentrate on your job. Unfortunately, many occupations — such as nursing, construction and factory work — can place significant demands on your back. Even routine office work can cause or worsen back pain. Understand what causes back pain at work and what you can do to prevent it.

What are the common causes of back pain at work?
A number of factors can contribute to back pain at work. For example:

  • Force. Exerting too much force on your back — such as by lifting or moving heavy objects — can cause injury.
  • Repetition. Repeating certain movements can lead to muscle fatigue or injury.
  • Posture. Slouching exaggerates your back's natural curves, which can lead to muscle fatigue and injury.

Of course, certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors — such as obesity, sleeping position, poor physical condition, smoking and stress — also can contribute to back pain.

What can I do to avoid back pain at work?
You can take steps to prevent back pain and injuries at work. For example:

  • Strengthen & Move Your Body Daily. Maintaining a healthy weight minimizes stress on your back. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity — preferably spread throughout the week — and strength training exercises at least twice a week. Combine aerobic exercise, such as swimming or walking, with exercises that strengthen and stretch your back muscles and abdomen.
  • Pay Attention To Posture. When standing, keep your weight balanced on your feet. Don't slouch. To promote good posture when sitting, choose a chair that allows you to rest both feet flat on the floor while keeping your knees level with your hips. If necessary, prop your feet with a footstool or other support. If the chair doesn't support your lower back's curve, place a rolled towel or small pillow behind your lower back. Remove your wallet or mobile phone from your back pocket when sitting, to prevent putting extra pressure on your buttocks or lower back.
  • Lift Properly. When lifting and carrying a heavy object, lift with your knees and tighten your core muscles. Hold the object close to your body. Maintain the natural curve of your back. If an object is too heavy to lift safely, find someone to help you.
  • Modify Repetitive Tasks. Use lifting devices, when available, to help you lift loads. Try to alternate physically demanding tasks with less demanding ones. If you work at a computer, make sure that your monitor, keyboard, mouse and chair are positioned properly. If you're on the phone most of the day, use a headset. Avoid unnecessary bending, twisting and reaching. Limit the time you spend carrying heavy briefcases, purses and bags. Consider using a rolling suitcase.
  • Listen To Your Body. If you must sit for a prolonged period, change your position occasionally, stand up or stretch whenever you feel tired.

 

Back pain can plague your workdays and free time. You're not stuck with it, though. Take time to examine your work environment and address situations that might aggravate your back. Even simple steps to ease back pain are steps in the right direction.

 

WorkSafe Week 21st – 31st October

With the focus on ‘being safe at work’, Health at Work offers a number of options for you to be able to implement in the workplace during Worksafe Week.

Ergonomic/Manual Handling options:
Our qualified Ergonomists can educate through our:

  • Better Backs & Bodies Seminar
  • Health Expo
  • Roving Workstation Assessments
  • Manual Handling Assessment & Demonstrations
  •  ‘Train the Trainer’ Ergonomic & Manual Handling Course
  • Core Strength Classes – learn to prevent back pain!

Contact Health at Work for more information.

Click here for more information or Contact Health at Work NOW to book your initiative!

 

10 Thoughts on Success

Throughout our life and careers we must continually assess whether we are letting our fear of failure or losing face keep us from taking the actions, and engaging in the conversations, that will move us forward and make the impact we want.  Again and again, we have to decide:

  • Do I keep doing what’s always been done, or challenge old assumptions and try new approaches to problems?
  • Do I proactively seek new challenges or just manage those I already have?
  • Do I risk being exposed and vulnerable, or act to protect my pride and patch of power?  
  • Do I ask for what I really want, or just for what I think others want to give me?
  • Do I ‘toot my horn’ to ensure others know what I’m capable of, or just hope my efforts will be noticed?
  • Do I speak my mind or bite my lip, lest I ruffle feathers or subject myself to criticism?

    Of course, being willing to take a risk doesn’t mean everything you try will work out.  But as every successful person will tell you, it’s only by being willing to make mistakes and try something new that you can ever accomplish more than what’s been done before.  As John F. Kennedy once said, “Nothing worthwhile has ever been accomplished with a guarantee of success.” Nothing ever will be.
    So why wait! Start with these 10 Thoughts on Success to make the first step…

    Thriving

    Just as a seed contains all it needs to sprout, so are you already equipped to thrive.

    Growth

    You can't grow without pushing your limits.

    Lessons

    See your mistakes not as personal flaws, but as the source of your most valuable life lessons.

    Empowerment

    Think of money as energy; use it to empower, not control, your life.

    Resilience

    Every moment of suffering brings an opportunity to build resilience.

    Rewards

    With each challenge comes new growth. Engage in rewarding efforts

    Focus

    Missteps are part of any process. Stay focused on where you're headed

    Direction

    Find your direction in life by looking where you want to go, not where you don't.

    Worth

    Know your worth -- and accept nothing less.

    Dreams

    Make this the day you stop dreaming and start doing.

     

     “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”
    Winston Churchill
    http://www.wholeliving.com/136748/10-thoughts-whole-living >

 

Beyond Blue Anxiety & Depression Month

Are you looking for something to do for Beyond Blue Anxiety & Depression Month or Mental Health Week in October?
Consider some of these great Stress Resilience options:

  • Bounce Back & Beyond Seminar & 20pg information Booklet
  • Finding your Balance 4 week Challenge
  • Lighten Up Seminar & Pack options
  • 4 week Meditation course

Click here for more details Contact Health at Work for more details.

 

Snack Attack: Sesame- Kale Chips

Munch on homemade kale chips that are cinch to prepare!


Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • Coarse salt

Directions

  • Heat oven to 200 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, drizzle kale with oil, lemon juice, and sesame seeds. Season with salt. Toss until evenly coated.
  • Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and, using a spatula, flip kale leaves over. Return to oven and continue cooking until kale is dry and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes more. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

SUMMER 2013

Gaining Weight?...What are you drinking?

Although most people know to cut out sugar if they want to lose weight, some people don't realise the reason they can't shift those extra kilos is not what they're eating, but what they're drinking. 

Australians drink a lot of sugary drinks. In fact, our country is in the top 10 per capita for consuming sweetened beverages, so it's no wonder the levels of obese Aussies are expanding as rapidly as our waistlines.
While giving up alcohol is a great way to lose weight, replacing fizzy drinks with water or milk might help too.

There are around 10 teaspoons of sugar in a can of regular soft drink, which is a lot of extra kilojoules you might be consuming without realising. 

American research shows that people who drink one can of soft drink every day can gain up to 6.75 kg over the year if the kilojoules from the fizzy are not offset. This is great motivation to consider fasting from sugar! Another downside of getting energy from a bottle is that it won't help you feel full, so they are additional 'empty' kilojoules on top of your normal diet. 
More confusion is raised because some drinks are marketed as "healthy" alternatives to sugar-laden fizzy. However, these drinks are still chocked with added sugar – it is best to stick to water. On average a 500ml can of energy drink makes up over half of the recommended daily sugar intake and sports drinks make up just under 40 per cent, on average.
Sports drinks are designed for high performance athletes who really need the energy boost and as such, are not an ideal choice to quench your thirst. While juice is considered a better choice because of additional benefits such as vitamin C, it still contains high levels of sugar, without the high fibre content you would get from eating fruit on its own, and some juices also have added sugar.
All drinks have a guideline on the back with nutritional values and the percentage of daily sugar involved, so if you are planning a sugar detox program, it may pay to check all your labels - you may be surprised by how much white stuff you are actually consuming.

 

Talk to Health at Work about how you can implement a HEALTH & WELLBEING PROGRAM in your workplace!

Can you afford not to be having some health and well-being programs at your workplace?

For as little as $10 per employee you can begin to make an impact on your company’s workplace and your employee’s lifestyles.

We would love to help you implement:
  • 12 month programs
  • Victorian Work Health Grants
  • Monthly & Quarterly health Information flyers
  • Seminars & workshops
  • Nutrition Challenges/ 10 000 Steps Challenges
  • Ergonomics & Manual Handling

Click here to check out the great programs Health at Work you can run in your workplace! Or Contact Health at Work for more information.

 

Making Up for Bad Health Habits

Reverse or reduce the damage to your body caused by years of bad decisions.
Did you smoke cigarettes for years? Overweight for 10 or more years? Whatever health mistakes you’ve made in the past, our experts weigh in on the specific changes you can make now to improve your well-being—and, in some cases, even reverse the effects of bad habits.

1. Bad Posture
Misaligned posture can lead to back, knee, hip and neck issues as well as collapsed arches and a host of other problems, says Dana Davis, MA, CYT, a senior certified balance teacher in Petaluma, California. If you’ve had poor posture most of your life, you probably think there’s nothing you can do to improve it. Not true, you can make changes instantly, transform yourself and don't have to wait to see results. 
Try this easy exercise to turn back years of bad posture habits: Stand with your heels almost touching a wall. Roll your shoulder blades back and drop them down until they touch the wall. Slightly lower your chin and pull the base of your head against the wall, lengthening the back of your neck. Hold this position for 15 seconds, breathe, rest and repeat. If you cannot touch the wall, then your goal is to work up to it slowly.

2. Smoking Cigarettes
So you smoked at school - OK, and maybe occasionally when you’re socializing. You already feel guilty about it, but what can you do now? The quickest way to improve your health if you're a smoker is to quit now rather than later. Research shows that people who quit smoking when they're in their 30s and 40s have a much lower risk of emphysema, stroke, hypertension and cardiac disease. Medical-grade supplements can help smokers reduce their cravings to increase their success.
According to the American Cancer Society, after three months of not smoking, your lung function improves dramatically and your circulation is revitalized. After one year of being cigarette-free, your risk of coronary heart disease is 50 percent less than when you were a smoker. One of the best ways to reclaim your smoke-ravaged lungs is to make a new commitment to fitness. Increasing exercise both during the transition from smoker to nonsmoker and afterward will help you keep the commitment to yourself while improving circulation, gaining lung capacity and reducing cardiac-related problems.

3. Too Much Booze
Do you regret years of excess drinking? While alcohol-related damage to the body can be harmful, and experts say there’s no way to completely reverse it, there are certain things you can do to improve your liver function and overall health. 
Help your liver recover by starting a weight-loss regimen and eating a healthy diet. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and reducing trans fat and saturated fat can enhance recovery from alcohol-related liver injury. If you haven’t completely cut alcohol from your life, health experts recommend one drink per day, max, for women, and two for men—though it’s best not to drink daily, so to pick a few days a week that you don’t drink at all.

4. Being Overweight
One of the leading causes of heart disease is being overweight. But once you’re diagnosed with cardiovascular issues, it doesn’t mean it’s a life sentence. Losing weight will significantly reduce this risk. Weight loss, through a diet and exercise program, can significantly reduce risk factors.
Weight loss is not only associated with lower blood pressure, but it has also been shown in studies to improve your lipid profile—decreasing LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (good cholesterol)—and reduce triglycerides. “Cholesterol buildup in arteries starts at a young age, but if you improve your cholesterol profile later in life, it stabilises the cholesterol plaque and decreases the risk of it enlarging and occluding the artery or rupturing and causing a heart attack,” says Dr. Iqbal, a cardiologist practicing at New York University Hospital.

5. Not Eating Right for Years
The antidote for years of burgers, fries and ice cream binges? Eating right, of course. Here’s an easy way to jump-start your health and get the vital nutrients you need without going on a restrictive diet: Eat one salad every day, the primary reason to have a salad is because it helps to reduce the energy density of your diet. You can eat a very large salad for very few calories.
Plus, you’ll load up on vegetables that can give your body the nutrients it’s crying out for: vitamins C and E, selenium, beta-carotene and lots of fiber. Add a palm size of lean protein such as chicken, and you have a healthy filling meal.

6. Exercise Procrastination
You know that old saying: If you don’t use it, you lose it? Well, it’s only partly true. When you start to use your muscles, you can regain them—at any age. So even if you've never worked out or had muscles to show off, you can certainly acquire them through a good fitness strategy. 
Where to start? Avoid an intense jog or hike, as your muscles aren’t ready for the extreme activity (if you haven’t been active for years), think weights first. To avoid injury, focus on strength training first. Building up your muscles so you have the capacity to exercise, consider short bursts of intense exercise known as interval training. Here’s how: start with shorter, intensive spurts, - walk briskly for 1 minute, then stop and rest. Walk briskly again for 1 minute and repeat. Or cycle hard for 4 minutes and then rest. With this method, you can pack 30 minutes of regular exercise into just 15 minutes, with less injury risk. 

7. Negative Self-talk and poor body image
After years of negative self-talk (“Look at how fat I am,” or “No one likes me at work because I’m not talented”), people tend to withdraw from social situations and intimacy. A poor or destructive self-image is also linked with depression and anxiety. 
So how do you break the cycle of negativity toward yourself? The variables that drive behaviour are brain biochemistry, innate drives, habits, addictions and relationships. So you need to do things that will optimize brain function—exercise, good-quality sleep, stress management and proper diet all are critical for proper brain function. And, because our self-image is so often affected by the people in our lives, try hanging around positive friends and ditch the people who are not on the same page as you. 

The moral of the story…..It’s never too late to create healthy habits, so what are you waiting for start now!
Women’s Day - Sarah Jio is the health and fitness blogger for Glamour.com. Visit her blog, Vitamin G.

 

Get a Health Program for $900!

Subscribe to Health at Work’s JUMP INTO LIFE MONTHLY FLYERS 

Each month an A4 topical, skillfully presented sheet of health tips can be emailed to all employees. 

These monthly flyers are an effective tool to empower employees with simple health and wellbeing education, thus encouraging change in their lives to become healthier and more productive. 

The flyers coincide with national awareness months and can be used as part of your health and wellbeing program. They can also be taken home and be part of a wider initiative of total family health

With each flyer, Health at Work can offer a variety of exciting and educational options to accompany each topic, from Desk Drops, Massage, Men’s & Women’s Health packs, Meditation sessions, Seminars and Cooking demonstrations.

Click here to order online NOW!

 

Why Women are Drinking More

Female drinkers are the cause of increase in alcohol abuse. This is a concern for women’s health. The long term effects of alcohol are more severe for women than men.

Having a few drinks is more common with career women these days, as many meet friends for happy hour and don't think anything of unwinding at the end of the day with a glass or two of wine. Some women even rely on the effects of alcohol to help them get to sleep.
One argument is that women are drinking more because of parity. However, it is not something to strive for as alcohol has more negative effects for women than men.

Women who work in male-dominated environments have a higher risk of alcohol abuse and women with a university degree are more likely to drink daily than women without one according to Rick Grucza, an epidemiologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

There is concern that women continue the patterns started at university and continue to drink long after they graduate.

Womens bodies have a higher fat percentage, and this retains more alcohol and less water than men's more muscular physiques.
This means women who consume similar amounts of alcohol as men will feel the effects more quickly, even if they weigh the same.

Medical problems caused by alcohol dependence also creep up on women faster than men, with many risking brain, heart and liver damage.

The alcohol industry has also focused more of its advertising and marketing on women, who 'need a break after a long day'.

More women are using drink as a form of escape, and this is not limited to working women as some stay at home mums turn to the bottle to alleviate feelings of boredom and anxiety.

Women suffer from depression and anxiety at double the rate of men and alcohol is used by some to self-medicate these conditions. Many female heavy drinkers have suffered from sexual abuse and eating disorders and believe that alcohol can give them a sense that they are in control and have power over themselves.

There are better ways to manage these conditions than sipping alcoholic beverages everyday and women who are concerned about how to stop drinking should talk to
their GP.

Febfast, October 31, 2013    www.febfast.org.au

 

BOOK YOUR FLU VACCINATIONS NOW!

Health at Work provides a complete and comprehensive service to manage your Flu Vaccination Program.  Our customer service is unparalleled as we streamline the set-up and execution of your Flu Vaccinations by providing one point of contact. 

Contact Health at Work for more information.

 

Step Your Way Into a Healthy Living this Summer

In the warmer, longer, lazier days of summer, your life may not have changed but probably feels less chaotic. Even adults tend to adopt a "school's out!" Attitude in summer. That's why this is a perfect time to improve your health in a season so  laid back you'll barely notice the effort.

Okay so let’s keep it simple and suggest these 8 simple changes you can make to boost your personal health this season…

1. Give Your Diet a Berry Boost 
If you do one thing this summer to improve your diet, have a cup of mixed fresh berries - blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries every day. They'll help you load up on antioxidants, which may help prevent damage to tissues and reduce the risks of age-related illnesses. Blueberries and blackberries are especially antioxidant-rich.
A big bonus: Berries are also tops in fiber, which helps keep cholesterol low and may even 
help prevent some cancers.

2. Get Dirty and Stress Less
To improve your stress level, plant a small garden, cultivate a flower box, or if space is really limited, plant a few flower pots indoors or out.
Just putting your hands in soil is "grounding." And when life feels like you're moving so fast,  being mentally grounded can help relieve physical and mental stress.

3. Floss Daily 
You know you need to, now it's time to start: floss every single day. Do in the car, while reading on your patio, or when watching TV, anytime that suits, so it becomes a habit. 
Flossing reduces oral bacteria, which improves overall body health, and if oral bacteria is low, your body has more resources to fight bacteria elsewhere. Floss daily and you're doing better than at least 85% of people.

4. Get Outside to Exercise!
Pick one outdoor activity - going on a hike, taking a nature walk, playing games such as tag with your kids, cycling, roller blading, or swimming - to shed that cooped-up feeling of gym workouts. 
And remember, the family that plays together not only gets fit together -it's also a great way to create bonding time.

5. Be Good to Your Eyes
To protect your vision at work and at play, wear protective eyewear. When outdoors, wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of ultraviolet A and B rays. Sunglasses can help prevent cataracts, as well as wrinkles around the eyes. 
And when playing sports or doing tasks such as mowing the lawn, wear protective eyewear. Ask your eye doctor about the best type; some are sport-specific.

6. Holiday Time
Improve your heart health: take advantage of summer's slower schedule by using your vacation time to unwind.
Holidays have multiple benefits: They can help lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones such as cortisol, which contributes to a widening waist and an increased risk of heart disease.

7. Alcohol : Go Light
Summer's a great time to skip drinks with hard alcohol and choose a light, chilled alcoholic beverage (unless you are pregnant or should not drink for health or other reasons).
A sangria (table wine diluted with juice), a cold beer, or a wine spritzer are all refreshing but light. In moderation -defined as one to two drinks daily.

8. Sleep Well
Resist the urge to stay up later during long summer days. Instead pay attention to good sleep habits by keeping the same bedtime and wake-up schedule and not drinking alcohol within three hours of bedtime. It's also a good idea to avoid naps during the day unless you take them every day at the same time, for the same amount of time.

There they all are, Eight super simple ways to boost your health this summer.
Try one or try them all. They're so easy you won't even know they're - shhhh- good for you.

 

Start the NEW Year Healthy at your workplace!

Health at Works TOP 5 programs to kick start your NEW YEAR!

  • 10 000 Step Challenge
  • C.H.E.F. Program – 4 week nutrition program
  • Finding your Balance Challenge – 4 week stress resilience challenge
  • Effortless, Healthy Working Week Seminar
  • Meditation 4 week Course

 

Contact Health at Work for more details.

 

Recipe: Crispy Cornmeal Sweet Potato Fries

Serves 3-4 
Ingredients:
2 – 3 large sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee
4 Tbsp. cornmeal / polenta
1 tsp. sea salt (more to taste, if desired)
extra flavour options:
garlic powder
ground cumin
smoked paprika
cayenne
black pepper
dried parsley

Directions:
1. Scrub the sweet potatoes well under running water. Slice them into long sticks 1cm thick (between ¼” and ½”). Place them in a bowl of water, swish around a few times, then drain (this step helps remove some of the starch from the potato). Place potatoes on a clean tea towel and dry thoroughly. Let them air dry while you prepare everything else.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. On low heat, melt coconut oil or ghee in a small saucepan. Place cut potatoes in a plastic bag, seal and shake bag vigorously to coat (this process can also be done on a cookie sheet, drizzle the oil over and toss very well to coat). Add cornmeal and salt to the bag and toss well to coat.
3. Place fries on a lined baking sheet, making sure that they are not overlapping. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and crisp (in my experience, there was no need to flip them halfway through cooking).
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