Health and Happiness

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

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In recognition of Colon Cancer Awareness Month, Centra Care Urgent Care, in conjunction with Florida Hospital/Live To A Healthy100.org, is offering 10-thousand FREE Colon Cancer Home Screening Kits, throughout the month of March, as part of our Prevent Colon Cancer campaign. 
The free kits are available at all 20 Centra Care locations, while supplies last.  For a list of locations visit centracare.org or call 407-200-care (2273).

Why Screening Is Important:
Colorectal Cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. About 1 out of every 20 people will develop colon cancer in their lifetime.  This year alone, more than 140,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer, and about 50,000 will die from it.  BUT, colon cancer is also one of the most curable types of cancer if it is diagnosed early.  Thanks to colorectal cancer screening, polyps can be found and removed before they turn into cancer. And when colorectal cancer is found earlier; it is easier to cure.  When detected at its earliest stages, chances for a cure are as high as 90 percent. There are several excellent screening and diagnostic methods to detect colon cancer early. 
At Home Testing:
One simple step you can make is taking an at home screening test like the ones being given out for FREE at Centra Care.  This test will help detect the presence of microscopic or invisible blood in the stool.  Blood in the stool can be a sign of a problem in your digestive system, such as a growth, or polyp, or cancer in the colon or rectum. Stool Blood can also be caused by things that are NOT cancer - like hemorrhoids, ulcers, and inflammation.  If microscopic blood is detected, it is important for a doctor to determine what is causing the blood in the stool.  Again, detecting colon and rectal cancer EARLY is the key. 
Early detection is vital -- over 80% of all cases of colorectal cancer can be prevented, if detected early. Tens of thousands of lives could be saved each year with just a simple screening.  Here's why:
•       Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum.
•       Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer.
•       Screening tests can find polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
•       Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer.
Who Should Be Screened?
1.     All men and women, annually, beginning at age 50
2.     Those considered to be at high risk should begin screening before age 50:
      - Family history of colon or rectal cancer
      - Personal History of colon or rectal cancer or colon polyps
      - Diagnoses of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
Other factors that can increase your risk of developing colon cancer include:
- Drinking one or more servings of alcohol a day
- Obesity
- Smoking
- Eating 2-3 servings of red meat a week
- Physical Inactivity (less than 30 minutes a day)
Special thanks to the ABB Foundation, and the Bob Holley Foundation for making this program possible.
Be sure to share the importance of early detection of Colon Cancer with your loved ones, and let them know they can pick up a free Colon Cancer screening kit at any of 20 Centra Care Urgent Care locations in Central Florida.  For a list of locations visit www.centracare.org.  For more information about the campaign, visit gethealthyflorida.org.


To Have a Good Day, Smile Like you Mean It

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Want to keep your boss happy? Smile at your customers. Want to keep yourself happy and productive? Smile like you mean it.

A new study led by a Michigan State University business scholar suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity. But workers who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts - such as a tropical vacation or a child's recital - improve their mood and withdraw less.

"Employers may think that simply getting their employees to smile is good for the organization, but that's not necessarily the case," said Brent Scott, assistant professor of management. "Smiling for the sake of smiling can lead to emotional exhaustion and withdrawal, and that's bad for the organization."

For the study, which appears in the February issue of the Academy of Management Journal, Scott and former MSU doctoral student Christopher Barnes studied a group of city bus drivers during a two-week period. They examined the effects of surface acting, or fake smiling, and deep acting, or cultivating positive emotions by recalling pleasant memories or thinking about the current situation in a more favorable way.

The study is one of the first of its kind to examine emotional displays over a period of time while also delving into gender differences, Scott said.

The results were stronger for the women bus drivers, he said.

"Women were harmed more by surface acting, meaning their mood worsened even more than the men and they withdrew more from work," Scott said. "But they were helped more by deep acting, meaning their mood improved more and they withdrew less."

While the study didn't explore the reasons behind these differences, Scott said previous research suggests women are both expected to and do show greater emotional intensity and positive emotional expressiveness than men. Thus, faking a smile while still feeling negative emotion conflicts with this cultural norm and may cause even more harmful feelings in women, he said, while changing internal feelings by deep acting would gel with the norm and may improve mood even more.

But while deep acting seemed to improve mood in the short-term, Scott said that finding comes with a caveat.

"There have been some suggestions that if you do this over a long period that you start to feel inauthentic," he said. "Yes, you're trying to cultivate positive emotions, but at the end of the day you may not feel like yourself anymore."

Brent Scott
Michigan State University


Six Easy, Fun Steps To Better Health

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CIGNA and Healthy Kids Challenge, working together since 2004 to fight obesity, announced the launch of their latest initiative - an online CIGNA Mix Six for Healthy Balance Toolkit offering real-life ways for individuals, families and employers to incorporate better health into their daily routines.

Despite all of the dialogue about obesity, some 86 percent of Americans are expected to be overweight or obese by 2030.1 Businesses, individuals and families pay the price not only in higher health care costs but in human terms as well: loss of productivity, a shorter life expectancy due to conditions caused by obesity and poor health in general. The CIGNA and Healthy Kids Challenge collaboration is designed to help reverse the obesity trend through online coaching and interactive programs.

"It is critical that we continue to get the message out about the effects that everyday choices have on our health and on overall costs to the health care system," said Patty Caballero, director of sponsorships, CIGNA. "This toolkit is a great resource to reinforce this message in a fun and engaging - and hopefully habit-forming - way."

Drawing on CIGNA's experience with wellness in the workplace and Healthy Kids Challenge's expertise on children's health, the new collaborative toolkit offers simple, actionable solutions at a variety of levels. The goal is to enable everyone to eat healthier and exercise more both at home and at work. The educational and interactive materials can be adapted in any chronological order, therefore, Mix Six for Healthy Balance:

- Colorful Plates: Diets rich in fruits and vegetables not only keep weight in check but can lower the risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even some cancers. Yet fewer than two in 10 adults - and fewer than one in 10 kids - eat the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Colorful Plates helps users add fruits and vegetables to their diets simply by adding color to their plates.

- Minutes in Motion: Regular physical activity lowers risk for stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and bone fractures and can help people stay mentally sharp as they age. Experts recommend 30 minutes of daily physical activity and agree that most adults are not meeting that goal. Minutes in Motion offers fun activities to help people of all ages get moving.

- Power Breakfast: Parents were right: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast improves concentration, problem-solving ability, mental performance, memory and mood and helps people maintain a healthy weight. Power Breakfast offers easy tips and meal ideas to begin any day the right way.

- Snack Attack: It's estimated that in the U.S., one-quarter of daily calorie intake comes from snacks. An extra 100 sugary calories daily can add up to more than 10 pounds in a year. Snack Attack helps people learn how to make healthy snack choices by planning ahead and understanding which snacks are both nutritionally worthy and tasty.

- Smart Servings: Super-sized meals are not a value when you consider your waistline. Smart Servings helps users recognize eating distractions so that they can better watch what they eat and also shows how to better estimate serving sizes.

- Drink Think: Coffee used to cost a quarter - and came with a quarter of the calories when compared to today's café mochas. Drinks are often an overlooked culprit when it comes to weight control. Drink Think challenges users to assess calories in a particular drink to help them downsize or choose an alternate beverage.

"The new CIGNA Mix Six for Healthy Balance Toolkit features up-to-date, relevant and fun information and activities for a variety of ages, in a variety of settings," said Vickie James, RD, LD, executive director, Healthy Kids Challenge. "This latest initiative has been another great opportunity to partner with CIGNA to work towards our shared goal of improving health."

1 According to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Healthy Kids Challenge (HKC)


Add Color to your Diet for National Nutrition Month

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Add Color to your Diet for National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month®, an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the American Dietetic Association (ADA).  The International Food Information Council Foundation is pleased to partner with ADA on this effort to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. This year’s theme, “Eat Right with Color,” reinforces the importance of making room for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and dairy on consumer’s plates. And the good news is that there are lots of options in grocery stores and restaurants to help people consume a colorful diet.

“A great start to a colorful diet includes fruits and vegetables, but you don’t have to stop there,” says Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, FADA, Senior Vice President of Nutrition & Food Safety, International Food Information Council Foundation and former President of the American Dietetic Association. “Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables can offer equal nutrition compared to fresh, and other packaged foods such as brown rice, yogurt, cereal, soup and juice can also play an important role in a healthful diet.”

Nutrition Insights to Help You “Eat Right with Color”

* Dive into Color with Functional Foods-- Functional Foods are foods that may provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition. Examples can include fruits, vegetables, whole grains as well as fortified foods and beverages. Whether it’s the deep red in cherries, bright orange in an apricot or the deep green of spinach, the color of certain fruits and vegetables is often connected to the health benefit of the food. Plan meals around a vegetable dish like a soup, stir-fry or veggie kabobs, and try snacking on fruit for dessert.

* Add Variety Everyday—The end of summer does not have to mean the end of your favorite seasonal produce. Food processing and technology make it possible for us to enjoy seasonal foods year round. For example, find fresh tomatoes in the produce section of the grocery store (even in the winter!) or add jarred sun-dried or canned diced tomatoes to your favorite recipe. The choices are endless.

* Keep a Food Diary—Track the calories you eat and drink, as well as how much you move. Research has found successful weight “losers” tend to regularly track their weight, food intake and activity. Regularly write down what and how much you eat and drink. Aim to record at least three days of intake and activity; the longer your journal, the more information you will give yourself about your daily routine. At the end of each day, add up the number of calories you ate that day. Is it higher or lower than what you need?

*  Be a Life-Long Learner— There are many misperceptions about food. Know that all foods can be a part of a healthful diet. In fact, the more science-based information you have about your food and how it’s grown and produced, the more you can apply this knowledge to achieve a healthful lifestyle.

Additional Resources to Help Build a Healthful Lifestyle

    * Understanding our Food Toolkit
    * Background on Foods with Added Health Benefits
    * A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety
    * Finding Balance: Understanding How Calories Work
    * Your Personal Path to Health: Steps to a Healthier You!

Source: International Food Information Council (IFIC)


Tips to Finding the Best Personal Trainer

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To get and maintain top levels of personal fitness and health, it is vital to have a coach. Real achievers in this world have coaches that guide them and hold them accountable. In fitness we call these coaches personal trainers.

It’s easy to say, “You should hire a personal trainer”. What is not so easy is to find the right one. Like any other service industry you can come across a very good one or a very bad one. This is sad but so very true.

But how do you find the right personal trainer? How do you find a personal trainer that is worth the money? How do you find a personal trainer that will help YOU?

Here are 7 tips that I suggest you use to find the best personal trainer for you:

1.  Don’t shop on price. This is mistake number one that many people make! While you obviously need to stay in your budget the lowest price is almost always the worst value. You shop gas for the lowest price; not a coach. You are looking for the person that is going to help change your life. Trust me on this one. If a trainer offers you FREE sessions then they are desperate and not for you. You get what you pay for.

2. Look for a trainer that ASKS you what you want and then tells you how they can HELP you get there. If a trainer starts telling you about how great they are or how many certifications they have then run don’t walk. They are not what you need. The focus needs to be on you!

3. Hire a trainer that is a trainer and THAT is what they do for a living. Your trainer needs to be the one who wakes up every day and goes to work in workout cloths. Don’t hire a trainer that is part time. They’re hearts not where it needs to be.

4. A good trainer is going to be fit and live a healthy lifestyle. Don’t hire the personal trainer that smokes. (Don’t laugh; I’ve known “personal trainers” that smoke) Don’t hire a personal trainer that is heavy. I know that is judgmental BUT if you are going to invest your heard earned money then you need to do it with a person that is in it 100%. If they can’t keep themselves in top shape then they can’t get you in top shape!

5. Get referrals! If you ask a trainer for referrals and you don’t have at least 5 emails addresses or phone numbers in your hand of people that will tell you glowing things about their abilities as a trainer then you need to keep looking.

6. Stay away from trainers whose primary goal is to sell you supplements. Don’t get me wrong. Supplements are important to an active and fit person BUT they ARE NOT the answer. If your potential trainer talks about supplements at in the first conversation then keep looking. They need to care about YOU first and making money second.

7. Be VERY cautious of the trainers that where skin tights cloths that show off their muscles. You want your trainer to be fit but if they show it off then they are thinking more of themselves and not being respectful to the 99% of the world that doesn’t look like them. Some personal trainers (OK, a lot of personal trainers) think that they can attract clients if they look hot and all muscled up. Sometimes these trainers are very good. More often than not thought, they are not.

Sadly in the health club industry there are many personal trainers that are certified, yet not qualified. Look for the qualified ones. This could be the difference between you reaching all your goals or you simply losing a lot of money.

“Rick Copley, the Fitness Guru, has been in fitness full time for 12 years.  He is a certified Fitness Coach and owner of “Your Best Fitness Coach.com”. A published author and elite triathlete, Rick publishes a free blog at http://Yourbestfitnesscoach.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Eustis.”

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