Archive | January 2016

Winter Wellness Tips

We all can feel that winter has finally arrived, it’s freezing outside! While we know that staying warm is one factor to staying healthy during the winter season, we all could use the following wellness winter tips to take better care of ourselves and our families. Below is a great article describing ways to stay healthy during the winter. Stay warm and take care!!!


6 MUST-FOLLOW Wellness Tips To Keep You Healthy This Winter

2016-01-20 19.42.55With Winter upon us, most people scramble to “winterize” their homes or cars. But what about our bodies? Undoubtedly, the cold weather challenges our immune system making us more susceptible to colds.

Here are 6 simple wellness routines great to follow all year long, but especially designed for Winter wellness:

  1. Stay hydrated. During cold months, people just don’t feel as thirsty. As a result, they don’t drink as much putting them at risk for dehydration. The body needs water to function properly. Drinking water can even give your immune system a boost and prevent you from getting sick during peak cold and flu season. Water also helps regulate body temperature and is essential to the function of cells, tissues and organs. How do you know if you are drinking enough water? When you go to the bathroom, yellow urine means you need to drink more whereas clear or light yellow urine means you are well hydrated. If you feel thirsty, have dry mouth, are light-headed, can’t focus well, feel tired or notice your skin is dry, then you need to drink more water. Consider hot beverages this winter to stay hydrated, and stay well! Keep a water carafe next to your bed or office desk to encourage frequent water consumption. This will aid the out-of-sight out-of-mind challenge for those that are simply not thirsty during the winter months. Our favorite water carafe, BPA free, dishwasher safe, shatterproof, looks like glass, by Govino.
  1. Keep warm. Yale researchers have found the cold virus thrives in a slightly cooler environment— that is, it does better in the nose than in the lungs. First, the common cold virus replicates more rapidly when it exists in chillier air surroundings. Second, the cells in our airways don’t do as good a job of fighting off viruses when we’re exposed to lower temperatures. So, it’s entirely possible that if we can keep our noses toasty we might ward off cold symptoms, says study co-author Akiko Iwasaki, a professor in the department of immunobiology at the Yale School of Medicine. So, stay warm, bundle up, cover those noses – consider scarfs by day, and warm heated blankets by night.
  1. Support throat care promptly. Often the first sign of a cold starts with the pesky sore throat. Early symptoms consist of scratchy, itchy, irritated throat, difficulty swallowing, then pain. Being that most colds start from the nose, and the #1 sinus born bacteria is staph-aureus, consider gargling with Gargle Away® Advanced Throat Care. It not only supports fast symptomatic relief of sore throat, laryngitis and vocal care but it reduces the staph-aureus bacteria by 99.9%. The key to supporting normal throat health is prompt action the moment you feel the itchy/scratchy/irritated throat/pain. Gargle Away® offers the most comprehensive throat care and it’s 100% all-natural. It also helps loosen mucus, decrease inflammation, restore your natural pH balance to support normal throat health, soothe cough and more. Available at Amazon, Wegman’s Food Stores, Discount Drug Mart, Value Drug,Fruth Pharmacy and selected retailers.
  1. Wash your hands regularly and keep sanitizer handy. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. Carry hand sanitizer with you in situations where washing your hands is not that convenient – for example, while traveling, at school, following an event with a lot of hand shaking, etc. Consider a hand sanitizer with no alcohol so that your skin is not compromised with frequent use. Perfect for the children as well!
  1. Stay active, outdoors! Just because the weather is crisp and chilly doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors. Seek out some fun outdoor winter activities like skiing or hiking or simply bundle up for nature walks for a dose of mind and body wellness. Getting out exposes you to the Sunshine Vitamin, Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps facilitate normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of the vitamin is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases. In addition, new evidence presented in the April-June issue of Dermato-Endocrinology confirms that exposure to the sun in appropriate and measured timeframes has a number of health benefits. A few of those include: enhancing mood, energy, clarity of mind through the release of endorphins, and UV radiation from the sun enhances skin barrier functions which help treat skin diseases such as psoriasis. Google winter activity suggestions near you.
  1. Get your sleep. Ah, the power of a good night’s rest. Turns out a lack of sleep really can make us more prone to catching colds or the Flu. According to the Sleep Center of the University of Texas, experimental data proves if you don’t sleep well, you will get sick. “Sleep loss not only plays a role in whether we come down with a cold or flu. It also influences how we fight illnesses once we come down with them. For example, our bodies fight infection with fevers. “One of the things that happens when we sleep is that we can get a better fever response,” Balachandran says. “This is why feverstend to rise at night. But if we are not sleeping, our fever reaction is not primed, so we may not be waging war on infection as best we can,” says WebMD. If you have a weak immune system, you will likely be more prone to infection if you are not getting enough sleep. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night to help reduce stress, improve memory, eliminate depression, have a clarity of mind, live longer, and even curb inflammation – research indicates those who get 6 or less hours sleep per night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more sleep. This C-reactive protein is also associated with Heart Attack. Easy fix. SHUT DOWN your body to recharge or you’ll CRASH your body with illness. Sleep 8 hours! Shut off those televisions and computers. Use Pandora to play soothing music as you slip into a calm deep sleep.

Weekly Tips For All Wellness Issues

Self Care is what everyone should do for their own health and wellness on a daily and weekly basis. However self care is so easy to forget when you are super busy. Taking small steps to take care of yourself daily and weekly will help you in amazing ways. Below is an amazing chart of 52 wellness solutions for every kind of issue. Take care of you!


HAP Wellness Tips




1 Exercise If using your treadmill for exercise, every 1% incline increases the calories burned by 10%. Thirty minutes of high-intensity exercise a day can help prevent weight gain and metabolic syndrome, adding an incline is a great way to boost intensity.  Check with your doctor to make sure high-intensity activity is right for you.
2 Cooking Plan your meals for the week and try to get an extra meal out of a casserole or one pot dish you might have made on Sunday.
3 Women’s Health Smoking is the leading preventable cause of heart disease in women. In fact, fifty percent of heart attacks among women 45 and older are due to smoking. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about resources to help you quit. Your life depends on it.
4 Exercise Be patient: Tackling a new fitness regime is always a challenge. There will be ups and downs, as well as setbacks and victories. Be patient – don’t give up!
5 Self Care Our life is essentially the sum of our habits. What habits would you like to stop doing? What habits would you like to start? Make a short, realistic list. It takes about a month of consistent effort to adopt a new habit, so keep trying.
6 Nutrition – Food Labels It’s cupboard cleanout time! Go through you cupboards and get rid of items that you may have bought that are high in sodium, fat or sugars. Take a note of them and look for lower sodium, fat or sugar items to replace them. For help reading a food label, go to and type “Food Label” in the search box and select the document titled, “Healthy Eating: How to Read Food Labels.”
7 Stress Management Know yourself. You can develop your emotional and spiritual self by journaling to enhance your emotional self-awareness. Journaling offers a way to clarify your thoughts and feelings. Writing down a problem or stressful situation often allows for unexpected solutions.  Journal 15-20 minutes a day or as often as you like.
8 Stress Management Humor is a positive mood and emotion changer.  Laughter can help relieve pain and increase happiness.  Movies and TV offer an easy venue to experience laughter while alone or with others.  Looking at the silliness of situations can also shift our way out of the blues.  Make arrangements for a ‘laugh night’ with family or friends just to relax, laugh, and keep things light.
9 Financial Wellness Use a single insurer. Larger insurers usually offer discounts if you use them for car and home, or other coverage. If you have insurance policies with different companies, do your homework to get savings.
10 Men’s Health Our bodies were meant to move.  Regular physical activity not only makes us feel and look better, it improves mood, helps us sleep better and helps keep our weight under control.  It can also increase our libido. Physical activity does not need to be strenuous. Try walking or biking, but if you haven’t been active, check with your doctor before starting.
11 Exercise The almighty lunge is the one exercise to master that can make the biggest difference in someone’s life. This simple exercise may have a bad rap because some think it can cause knee pain, but there is great news. Lunging isn’t bad for you, bad lunging is bad for you. If done correctly, lunging works all the muscles of the legs in a way that will improve how you move, lift, walk and run all day long., a free weight management website, has videos with instruction on how to properly perform various exercises, including lunges.
12 Cooking Encourage your children to help you with meals because when they cook it or prepare it – they have ownership of the meal and are more likely to eat it! Visit for healthy, family-friendly recipes.
13 Women’s Health Keep your brain and memory sharp.  Learn a new language or hobby. Do crossword or jigsaw puzzles. And it is never too late to learn how to play an instrument.
14 Exercise Chest up tall! Did you know that if you stand tall when you exercise, you activate the muscle that flattens your belly? It’s easy to do, just pretend you are getting your picture taken. If you are like most people, you automatically stand with your chest up tall. Be sure not to hold your breath. Doing that simple little move can make every exercise a belly flattener.
15 Self Care Move it or lose it.  Moving our bodies every day decreases the risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.  It helps to reduce stress and maintains healthy bones and joints. Take a 10 minute walk three times a day five days a week.  You will look and feel better.
16 Nutrition – Food Labels When looking at a label, every 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon (small spoon) of sugar. The body’s storage capacity for sugar is quite limited, so the sugar and other carbohydrates we don’t use are converted into fat and stored in our body as fat.
17 Stress Management Avoid negative environments. Although not always possible, work to avoid negative environments. Negativity is contagious!  Draw yourself nearer to people who are supportive and positive.  You can eliminate drama by not engaging in judgmental conversations. Do not speak negatively about anyone.  (This alone is extremely powerful.) Blaming others inwardly or outwardly only de-energizes us. Notice your thought patterns today.  Are they of acceptance or of judgment?
18 Stress Management Life is better when you are happy but life is best when other people are happy because of you! Be an inspiration, give peace, share your smile. Smile at a stranger today!
19 Financial Wellness Pack a lunch instead of buying one every day. You will help your waist line and your pocket! Packing your own lunch can save you over 0 a year (that’s including the cost of preparing your own lunch).
20 Men’s Health  Your body needs maintenance just as your car does. The only way to know if your body is “running smoothly” is to have your numbers checked. This would include blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and weight. Early detection is the best way to prevent a health issue – just as it does with your car.
21 Exercise Do you take the stairs? For the average American, climbing stairs for just two minutes a day (six to eight flights) will burn enough calories to prevent annual weight gain.
22 Cooking Cutting up fruits and veggies into easy to grab snacks will help you to get your 7-9 servings a day that you need. Keep sliced fruit from turning brown by dipping it in lemon water.
23 Women’s Health Yoga and tai chi are two ways to keep your joints flexible and your muscles strong.  It’s important to keep your joints flexible so you can tie your shoes or zip up your dress. More importantly, it can help prevent falls. Try it!  You just may like it.
24 Exercise To improve your balance and prevent ankle injuries, try this. Stand with slightly bent  knees and bring one of your feet slightly off the ground. Feel your foot and ankle on the floor making adjustments to stay balanced.  At first, hold for 30 seconds and work up to one minute. Switch to the other foot and repeat.  Works best when wearing flats or bare feet.   This is an easy exercise you can do anywhere.
25 Self Care Emergencies are stressful when you know what to do and very stressful if you don’t know what to do.  Discuss an emergency plan with your doctor. Where does he suggest you seek treatment? Does he take after hour calls? Knowing what to do will take some of the stress out of an emergency situation.
26 Nutrition You can take a daily vitamin supplement, but try to get most of your nutrients from actual food. The antioxidants, vitamins, and other healthy nutrients found in foods like blueberries, beans, and artichokes don’t pack the same punch when they’re not in the form of food. Eat a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables as each color contains unique nutrients that others do not.
27 Stress Management Seek Support. When we feel overloaded, overwhelmed, or overworked, or just feeling down or blue it helps to get some support. Support includes using a mentor, advisor, counselor, therapist, friend, family, coach, support groups, workshops and seminars, church groups, spiritual connections, reading materials, books, soft music, CD’s, DVD’s, journaling, and internet sources, etc.  Reaching out when in need is key toward taking charge of our life. We can’t do it all alone.
28 Nutrition – Food Labels Be wary when a product makes a claim like “Endorsed by Moms of the Healthiest Kids” – This kind of statement is meant to influence your buying decision, not to inform you of its actual quality.  So read the ingredient list to know what is actually contained in the product you are buying.
29 Nutrition Don’t shop when you are hungry – statistics show that you are more likely to make bad choices when hungry.
30 Men’s Health Being connected 24/7 can be a big stressor and chronic stress can negatively affect us psychologically and physically.  Try “unplugging” for a night. That would include TV, phone and computer. Enjoy the peace!  For more information on stress, visit
31 Nutrition Although cherries have been known to be a folk remedy for gout, they now have been proven effective by science.  There is a substance in cherries that stops the production of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation and pain. A bowl of 20 cherries (fresh or frozen) a day during a bout with gout is enough to neutralize the swelling with no side effects.
32 Exercise A rolling stone gathers no moss. Keep your wheels rolling. Bicycling burns excess calories and sheds body fat. One hour of cycling can burn up to 400-500 calories.
33 Nutrition If taking a supplement to get your vitamins, it is best to have a B-complex or multi vitamin for the B’s.  They work best when taken together….like musicians all together in an orchestra.
34 Women’s Health Did you know that women metabolize alcohol different from men?  In fact, the current recommendation is that women consume no more than one drink per day. One drink means 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, 5 oz wine or 12 ounces of beer. Consuming more than this can increase the risk of health problems or interfere with medications. Alcohol also adds unnecessary calories.
35 Nutrition If we increase the fiber in our diet and do not increase water it will become “cement” in the GI tract.  Prevent constipation by drinking a lot of water.  How much is enough?  A good rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning followed by one every two hours until bedtime. Want to get more specific? Divide your current weight in half, that’s how many ounces of water you need each day.
36 Self Care When taking a new medicine, make sure you understand the“W’s”.  Why am I taking it? When do I take it? What should I do if I miss a dose? Who do I call if I have any questions?  When should I start to feel better? What are some of the side effects I should know about? Where should it be stored?
37 Exercise Researchers have found that when we walk, our brains are activated and our “gray” matter is protected.   Brain gray matter is involved in muscle control, seeing, speaking, hearing and memory.  So walk at least a mile a day to keep the mind in tip top shape.
38 Stress Management Did you know it’s okay to say “no” if you feel drained and exhausted because you may have volunteered too often or just overbooked yourself? It’s okay to back out, gracefully, of course.  “This no longer works for me…” is a statement to use to relinquish some responsibilities that we may have over committed to or do not want to volunteer to do in the future.  When doing this you are also teaching others it’s okay to take care of oneself.
39 Nutrition – Food Labels When looking at a label, every 5 grams of fat equals 1 pat of butter, or 1 teaspoon (small spoon) of oil. Look for good fats – the unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. These can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease. Avoid the bad fats: saturated and trans fat. Both can raise cholesterol levels, clog arteries, and increase the risk for heart disease.
40 Safe Driving Don’t end up a statistic! Distracted driving kills. Don’t eat, drink, apply makeup or make phone calls while driving. Do not reach behind you to attend to passengers. If your child needs something, pull over to assist them. And absolutely no texting! Turn off your cell phone while driving or assign a designated passenger to text and reply to calls.
41 Men’s Health Smoking increases your risk of heart disease and lung cancer. It lowers your good cholesterol (HDL), temporarily raises your blood pressure, makes it more difficult to exercise and can affect the health of others around you. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about resources to help you quit. Your life depends on it.
42 Exercise Wear proper shoes when you exercise and your feet, and knees, and back will love you. The most important piece of equipment to virtually any kind of exercise is the right pair of shoes.  Go to an athletic shoe specialty store to get an expert insight on the right shoe and the best fit.
43 Nutrition Our bodies need clean, pure water.  Don’t wait until you are thirsty or have a dry mouth. To determine how much your body needs; take your body weight (in pounds) and divide in half… that number is how many ounces you should be drinking daily.
44 Skin Care “Beauty is skin deep”…. Researchers found that even a small increase in eating fruits and vegetables (especially red and yellow foods ) during a 6 week study gave participants improved skin quality. So add a few more servings each day of fresh produce for a healthy glow.
45 Self Care The food we eat can make us sick or keep us healthy. To stay healthy, be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Choose leaner cuts of meat and remove the skin from chicken and turkey. Limit sugary drinks and foods.  And be sure to watch the portions.  Remember, calories in and calories out. If you take in more calories than you are burning, you will gain weight.
46 Self Care Be prepared when you go to the doctor’s office.  Write down the top three health concerns you want to discuss and bring all medicines and supplements with you.  If you take your blood pressure or blood sugar at home on a regular basis, be sure to bring all those results with you.
47 Exercise Shower Warm-up — While waiting for the shower water to get warm; stretch arms up one at a time reaching for the ceiling. Start slow and continually speed up. (Improves circulation)
48 Stress Management Gratitude is the power of being thankful.  Gratitude is recognizing and concentrating on the good things in life and being thankful for them.  Start and/or end your day by noticing what you have or what you are grateful for.  There are positive emotions linked to being grateful.  Write down three things daily you are grateful for and watch your mood change.
49 Cooking Try an all-vegetable stir fry over whole grain rice. The taste may surprise you. The key to a crispy stir fry is very hot oil—your veggies will cook quickly instead of soaking up unneeded fat. 6. Pack a lunch instead of buying one every day. You will help your waist line and your pocket!
50 Financial Wellness Prepare to brown bag.  Eating out is expensive and so are vending machines. Plan your lunches ahead of time by making several meals you can freeze. Buy your snacks at the grocery store, then place snack portions in plastic bags to grab and go. You could easily save 0 per month if you implement both suggestions.

Provided to HAP by Robin Thompson, the Money Coach for WXYZ-TV Channel 7, president of Budget Wise Consulting (

51 Exercise Twist and shout! Did you know that you were designed to twist when you move? Twisting is what allows people to be the best athletes. In fact, reminding your body to twist at the hips is one of the most important things you can do. It’s easy – try this exercise. Begin walking and on each step place your food down on the opposite side of the centerline of your body. Another exercise is to stand and reach your arms across your body, alternating with your right and left arms. Or, do the “Twist” dance of the early 1960’s.
52 Self Care Happiness is a choice. You can choose to live in the moment and enjoy what you are currently doing, or wish you were doing or enjoying something else. What’s your choice?

New Year Resolutions, Thinking About The “Why”

muliaHappy New Year Everyone! Have you thought of what you would like to accomplish in 2016? You may have though of the”what” and “how” for your resolutions, but have you thought of the “why”? Thinking about the “why” for your resolutions will motivate you to stick with your goals because you know the purpose for your resolutions. Below is a great article that describes this in further detail. Happy New Year!

Three Words for the New Year

21 hours ago | Updated 20 hours ago

  • Susan Fowler Author, ‘Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work…and What Does’


At the beginning of each New Year my step-daughter, Lisa, encourages us to proclaim three words that represent our aspirations for the upcoming year. The catch is that the words need to be alliterative–they all need to begin with the same letter. For example, my past trios included:

  • Compassion, Courage, and Curiosity
  • Purpose, Passion, and Pluralism
  • Gratitude, Graciousness, and Generosity

Keeping with the theme of trios, here are three reasons I encourage you to embrace this seemingly simple New Year exercise.

1. Begin with one noun that truly reflects your values-based intention for the New Year. If this is as far as you go, it is an important step in declaring an area for focus and improvement. I began with my priority for this year: JOY.

In the process of examining the word JOY, I came across words that were worth considering or just plain interesting:

  • Jeu d’esprit–a witty comment or composition
  • Joie de vivre–a feeling of happiness or excitement about life
  • Jovial–full of happiness and joy
  • Joyance–an archaic word meaning an experience of delight
  • Randomly, I learned that a jolie laide is a good-looking ugly woman; a woman who is attractive though not conventionally pretty (and made me wonder about the origin of Angelina Jolie’s name)

Each of these words encouraged me to explore a different aspect of what I wanted JOY to reflect in my life. I didn’t want a synonym for happiness. To me, happiness lacks a dimension of quality. Someone might be “happy” that something awful has happened to a rival; that she won and someone else lost; that he got the big promotion or received some other external validation. These reasons for being happy reflect suboptimal forms of motivation that I am eliminating from my life.

I want JOY to signify a deep and profound state of delight that comes from acting on my developed values, fulfilling a noble purpose, and experiencing intentional inherent motivation.

2. Begin exploring other words that begin with the first letter of your primary word. This fascinating process leads you down paths you might never explore if you picked three words that begin with any letter. I almost gave up on JOY because positive “j” words are scarce! But I found words that pushed back on my values and intentions in surprising ways. Juncture took on a symbolic meaning beyond its dictionary definition. I liked the idea that juncture represented “an important point in a process or activity: a place where things join.” Could I embody a point where people joined in an important process or activity? Experiencing my JOY was one thing, but sharing it with others was another thing.

This led me to JUBILANCE: expression of joy; rejoicing.

3. One reason most resolutions don’t work is because they are too general. (I wrote a blog that you might want to revisit).

But, resolutions fail for a more deadly reason. Most resolutions are statements about “what” you want (to lose weight, or more healthy) or “how” you’re going to change your behavior (stop eating empty carbs, work out weekly, drink a green shake every morning).

The most important aspect of a resolution is often the least considered: why. Declaring what you want and how you will do it cannot sustain your efforts without clarity about why you want to do it in the first place.

Why do you want to lose weight, be thinner, or more healthy? The answer to why lies in your values and purpose. Linking your values and connecting your purpose to resolutions elevates your intentions. Expressing your developed values and noble purpose through three compelling words makes you more resolute. (Family, Fitness, and Facile, maybe?)

One word reflects a value connected to my life’s purpose to be a catalyst for good and permeates my thinking every time I watch the news, listen to a political candidate, or discuss world events: JUSTICE. I long to be fair, open-minded, loving, compassionate, and to seek harmony between diverse points of view. What a glorious “J” word.

Beginning the year with JOY, JUBILANCE, AND JUSTICE is almost as optimally motivating as ending the year with GRATITUDE, GRACIOUSNESS, AND GENEROSITY. The most thrilling realization from the three-word exercise is that the you give, the more you receive. This has been a year where I received touching expressions of gratitude for my work; where people were gracious in light of my foibles and failings and amazingly generous with their bountiful gifts.

What are your three alliterative words for the New Year? I encourage you to share with us as you embark on a year of living intentionally