Wellfie Wednesday Tip #124: Updated Physical Activity Guidelines

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio) and it includes NEW updates to The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. This is the first update in 10 years! And a bit of a spoiler, not much as changed. But greater emphasis in key areas has been added.

The foundation of the recommendations still suggest a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week. However, they now also speak to specific populations, such as preschool-aged kids, older adults, and adults with disabilities.

Here are a few of those specific key guidelines:

“Preschool-aged children (3 through 5 years) should be physically active throughout the day to enhance growth and development. Adult caregivers of preschool-aged children should encourage active play that includes a variety of activity types.”

“Children and adolescents aged 6 through 17 years should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.”

For adults, “additional health benefits are gained by doing physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.”

“As part of their weekly physical activity, older adults should do multicomponent physical activity that includes balance training as well as aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.”

“When adults with chronic conditions or disabilities are not able to meet the above key guidelines, they should engage in regular physical activity according to their abilities and should avoid inactivity.”

In addition, the guidelines highlight the many known health benefits of being physically active. And with an influx of new research, those newly discovered benefits are also mentioned. Such as “improved bone health and weight status for children aged 3 through 5 years,” “brain health benefits, including improved cognitive function, reduced anxiety and depression risk, and improved sleep and quality of life,” and “for people with various chronic medical conditions, reduced risk of all-cause and disease-specific mortality, improved function, and improved quality of life.”

Be sure to check out The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in its entirety, is it contains a lot of great information and a greater call to action for healthcare providers and community leaders.

The real take home message is that we need to Move More, Move Often, and that ALL Movement Counts! And as the WW crew believes, it is the small victories that matter!

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #116: Change Takes Time

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is to serve as a friendly reminder that making change in your life certainly takes time, especially if you want it to be long lasting.

Change can be a funny thing too, because sometimes your reasons behind making a change can play a significant role. Such as whether those reasons are self driven or created by an outside influence. Traditionally, change that is self driven will be of greater success. And than continuing change usually requires some form of motivation, again internal motivation traditionally the strongest, but we all certainly benefit from an outside push or support system.

Now one of the main reasons I think that change, permanent change for that matter, takes time is because success can be found with achieving small victories, one win at a time. And if it’s a big lifestyle change you’re going for, lets say a combination of eating healthier, exercising more, and getting quality sleep, that takes time. If you were to try and change everything at once, you’d most likely become overwhelmed and than potentially frustrated because your not attaining that complete transformation you had hoped for. But if you took the time and let your small victories and changes add up, you will have a better chance of lasting change. And know that the time is takes to reach your goal will never be the same as someone else.

So pick one thing today to improve upon, something small, and share it! Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

  • WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #81: Boost Your Willpower!

     Welcome back! Happy Wellfie Wednesday! This week is brought to you by Patrick @TheFuelPhysio, though partly a variation of a piece Eric @Eric_in_AmERICa did back in 2016, Improving Willpower. I felt this topic was something pertinent to mid-January, as I’ve already started seeing a small decrease in gym attendees.

Eric originally gave a very applicable scenario to most, especially with the start of a new year.

“You decide that you’re tired of feeling out of shape and want to improve your health. You drive to the grocery store and load up of fruits and vegetables, plan out your meal prepping calendar and get your Tupperware ready, dust off that gym membership that’s been hanging on your key ring for months, and curate the perfect playlist of songs to help motivate you through those tough workouts you’re going to crush 5 days a week. You’ll probably have a six-pack just in time to hit the beach next month…

Then the weekend comes and some friends are getting together for drinks, or you’re tired of cooking all week, and inevitably you find yourself eating pizza, throwing away the fruits and veggies that went bad too fast, and regretfully feeling your six-pack dreams wash away (they’re over-rated anyway, right?)”

     His scenario was on point, as most of us want to drastically change all at once and get immediate results. Though, in most cases, we are creatures of habit. That being we don’t usually like change and reverting back to the old ways of eating or enjoying long hours of television are simply easier.

     However, behavior change and the willpower to continue on don’t happen overnight, it takes time. So as your moving through the rest of this month, remember the concept of “Small Victories” – looking at daily occurrences as an opportunity to fuel positive changes. Passing on that extra cookie – victory. Having a water at lunch instead of a soda – victory. Taking a nice walk around the neighborhood – victory. Each of these small victories will inevitably produce a snowball effect, creating a more powerful decision making process throughout your day and loading you up with positive reinforcement, improving your willpower and putting you one step closer to a healthier life.

     Don’t give up! Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt@kuhnalyssa_spt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

Wellness Wednesday Tip #52: Keep the Wave of Healthy Change Going! Happy 1 YEAR!

     Welcome folks! Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Today marks our ONE YEAR anniversary for starting #WellfieWednesday and boy are we excited to have made it this far. Since its’ start, we’ve seen hundreds of photo tags across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. What was once just two guys trying to spread a wealth of health information has turned into a greater team effort, and we are thankful for those whom have joined us.

     As a recap for those of you who may be recently seeing or using #WellfieWednesday, the initiative was basically started as a way to spread healthier habits, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. Every single push towards a healthier you is an important one. Our hope is that these Wellness Sellfies (the Wellfie) create inspiration or encouragement to start or continue healthy habits, creating a community of health, and steering this ship (your family and your community) away from chronic illness.

     We’ve been told our tips are refreshing at times, coming from the point of view of a “real” person vs those social media famed fitness experts. Normalizing healthy ideas for the average Joe or Jane, again highlighting the smallest change makes a difference. Check out our latest hashtag posts to Instagram and Twitter below this article.

     Our tip this week is simple. We want your help in continuing to spread ideas and inspiration to those around you. So choose that healthy habit, snap a picture, tag it #WellfieWednesday, and give it a post.

     For those of you who have been with us since the beginning, with the continued dedication to spreading our message, we thank you. For those of you just joining us, welcome! And a special thanks to GetPT1st for featuring us as their Wednesday social media posts. We hope to inspire others together. Because only together can we make a difference.

     Thank you! And be sure to tag the WW crew members in your post (@PBernerSPT@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@fitnerdaimee@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew 

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Wellness Wednesday Tip #27: Sprinkle Fruit Throughout Your Day

Welcome back folks!! Happy Wellfie Wednesday and Happy New Year!

     We hope everyone is recovering well from all the holiday festivities. As we all know, it is New Year Resolution time, and the gyms start to get packed, the dieting goes into overdrive, and in about a month or two life goes back to how it was.

     So for this week’s tip, I want to emphasize the small victories towards health, the little things that can be sprinkled throughout your day to make a lasting difference. Start by adding nutritious options, not eliminating foods. I want to use fruit consumption as today’s highlight. Ideally, the concept can be applied for both fruits and vegetables, but we’ll emphasis just one for today.

     Research shows that roughly only 25% of Americans meet the recommendations for fruit consumption, which is about 1 ½ to 2 cups a day. (1) Check out this link from the USDA for serving suggestions. So why is fruit consumption important? Fruits not only taste great, but they provide your body with an abundance of beneficial nutrients, such as fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants. And what do these nutrients provide? Adequate intake of these may help reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and some cancers, by normalizing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improving bowel function, and provided satiety (feeling of fullness) with less calories.

     The easiest way I find to meet my servings of fruit is to spread it throughout the day. You can easily add a serving to breakfast, by including some blueberries or strawberries on your plate. A banana works well as a mid-morning snack, perfect for those of us on the go. Lunch can have a small orange or apple. If you would rather, you can move that banana to a mid-afternoon snack or try a different fruit. That little sprinkle of fruit, puts you at 3-4 servings! And if eating fruit isn’t your thing, maybe a texture issue, blend them! That is honestly the only way I eat apples. A quick smoothie can meet those recommendations is one sitting!

     So sprinkle some additional fruit servings throughout your day and let us know how it goes. And as always, thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures again this week and tag Eric (@Eric_in_AmERICa) or myself (@PBernerSPT) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-       Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT

-       Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT

 

1.     Van Horn L, Carson JA, Appel LJ, et al. Recommended dietary pattern to achieve adherence to the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology (AHA/ACC) guidelines: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2016.

 

Wellness Wednesday Tip #9: Ditch the Phone in the Bedroom

Happy #WellfieWednesday friends!

     This week’s tip is to try sleeping without your phone in the bedroom. [Insert gasps and looks of shock/horror here]. While I know this may sound unthinkable, I bet most can relate to the feeling of lying down in bed after a long day, pulling up Facebook or Instagram, and next thing you know you’ve been scrolling for 2 hours and are having muscle spasms in your thumb. The light from our phones, tablets, and even TV screens disrupt the natural sleep-wake cycle in the brain (Circadian Rhythm) and prevents your body from relaxing in preparation for sleep.

     My wife and I personally made this change about a year ago and had both noticed a difference in our ability to fall asleep faster. Since we both used our phones as alarm clocks, we had to invest in traditional alarm clocks (about $30 total), but it was worth the change. Ditching the phones gave us extra time for sleep and improved our mental clarity when waking up the next day.

     So give it a shot, and let us know how it goes! And trust me, that political rant from the kid you knew in high school who you haven’t spoken to in 12 years and the cat video from your crazy Aunt will still be there in the morning.

     Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures again this week and tag Patrick (@PBernerSPT) or myself (@Eric_in_AmERICa) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

 

Further information:

http://www.journals.elsevier.com/sleep-medicine

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/249592.php

https://sleepfoundation.org/ask-the-expert/electronics-the-bedroom

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/power-down-better-sleep#1

- Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT

- Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT

Wellness Wednesday Tip #6: Take the Stairs

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

     This week’s tip involves adding some additional physical activity to your day. I want to first give credit to the University of Salford for sparking the idea. Check out the photos of their elevators and stairs, an awesome way to remind people to move more. I wouldn’t be opposed to having messages like this posted on every elevator. 

     I know sometimes we feel our day is too busy or cut short, and we find it difficult to find time for exercise. Stairs are an excellent way to give your physical activity level a little boost. In many instances I’ve found the stairs to be faster than the elevator, eliminating that factor of time you may have. The research behind increasing your physical activity and the benefits of exercise is scientifically strong. This post could be pages long if I gave you all the benefits of moving more throughout your day, so instead I’ll I just share with you the CDC’s benefits of physical activity

  • Controls your weight
  • Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and some cancers
  • Strengthens your bones and muscles
  • Improves your mental health and mood
  • Improves your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls
  • Increases your chances of living longer

     But let’s say you work on the 32nd floor, there’s no need to climb all those stairs if you’re not in a healthy position to do so, start out small and gradually add. Don’t think of the stairs as just a part of the fire escape route, think of them as a way to easily add some exercise to your day. So take the stairs, even if it’s just one flight of them, you’ll be glad you did!

Thanks for reading! Continue to spread the word for #WellfieWednesday and share your healthy lifestyle accomplishments. 

- Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT
- Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT

#WellfieWednesday Initiative: First Month Follow-up

     Hey, Everyone! So after a month of pushing #WellfieWednesday and providing tips towards living a healthier life, Eric and I wanted to offer some insight behind the reason we started this project and give a summary of the tags thus far. Our mission for the Wellfie Wednesday Initiative was to help increase awareness for living healthier by showing that your efforts don’t have to be elaborate, but can be as small as going for a walk with your dog or eating a piece of salmon. We wanted to facilitate a way to share ideas with others who may be struggling with ways to start improving their health. There shouldn’t be a single rule book to follow for health; it should be individualized for everyone. So use these ideas to help build your own healthy lifestyle.  

     Up to today, we’ve had 82 #WellfieWednesday photos posted across Twitter and Instagram, each of them showing numerous variations of what wellness means to them. Check out the photos below to see what people have posted so far.

     No matter what you’ve tagged #WellfieWednesday, we appreciate your support and hope that you’ll continue to share. And for those who haven’t posted, we hope that we’ve at least got you thinking. We’ll continue to share tips, so keep an eye out for something that may help kick start your way to a healthier life.

Thanks again for reading and helping spread healthy living!

- Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT

- Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT

Wellness Wednesday Tip #3: Try some Eggplant

     Happy Wednesday friends! Thanks again for all of your #WellfieWednesday submissions, it’s exciting to see people joining in to not only talk the talk but walk the walk of improving their health!

     This week’s Wellness Wednesday tip deals with trying a new vegetable, which for me turned out to be eggplant. Eggplant, for me, has always been one of those vegetables that you see on a menu at a restaurant or walk by in the grocery store but never really know what to do with. So this past weekend in the spirit of Wellfie Wednesday I decided to buy an eggplant and find a recipe to use that incorporates it as the main ingredient. After reaching out to some friends on Twitter (shoutout Mike Eisenhart @mikeeisenhart, Andrew Rothschild @ARothschildPT, and Erson Religioso @The_OMPT), I found a great recipe for eggplant that was quick and easy to make, without too many ingredients or complicated techniques. It turned out to be delicious!

     Pro tip: be sure to leave the skin on in order to benefit from the phytochemicals which give eggplant its signature purple color and may assist with cardiovascular health.

     Recipe of what I cooked can be found here via Bon Appetit.

     More about the health benefits of Eggplant and other veggies by clicking here

     Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures again this week and tag Patrick (@PBernerSPT) or myself (@Eric_in_AmERICa) and keep the wave of healthy changes growing!

-Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT

-Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT

 

 

 

Wellness Wednesday Tip #2: Improving Willpower

Happy Wellness Wednesday friends!

     Let me know if this scenario sounds familiar. You decide that you’re tired of feeling out of shape and want to improve your health. You drive to the grocery store and load up of fruits and vegetables, plan out your meal prepping calendar and get your Tupperware ready, dust off that gym membership that’s been hanging on your key ring for months, and curate the perfect playlist of songs to help motivate you through those tough workouts you’re going to crush 5 days a week. You’ll probably have a six-pack just in time to hit the beach next month…

     Then the weekend comes and some friends are getting together for drinks, or you’re tired of cooking all week, and inevitably you find yourself eating pizza, throwing away the fruits and veggies that went bad too fast, and regretfully feeling your six-pack dreams wash away (they’re over-rated anyway, right?)

How’d I do?

     If this sounds familiar, trust me you’re not the only one. I’ve found myself in this scenario too many times to count, which is why for this week’s #WellfieWednesday I wanted to give a tip on willpower.

     When it comes to making changes in your life, I’m a big fan of the concept of “Small Victories” – looking at daily occurrences as an opportunity to fuel positive changes. Examples include choosing not have one of those cookies someone brought in to work (victory), skipping the soda and having water with lunch (victory), going for a walk after work instead of sitting on the couch (victory), getting out of bed without hitting snooze (ehh not-so-small victory).

     Each of these small victories produces a snowball effect, creating a more powerful decision making process throughout the day and loading you up with positive reinforcement to continue to make healthier changes in the future. I’ve found this method to be much more effective because it frames the challenge of improving your life in small successive steps, rather than facing one giant abstract goal of getting “healthier”.

     Give it a shot this week and let me know what you think. Reach out on Twitter to me (@Eric_in_AmERICa) or Patrick (@PBernerSPT) and send us your selfies of you doing something to improve your wellness (aka Wellfie) tagged with #WellfieWednesday to keep the word spreading. 

- Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT

- Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT