2015: The Year of a Healthier Thanksgiving

It is that time of the year again. Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, and Pumpkin Pie overflow from the dining room table and kitchen counters. The Holidays can be daunting as many family gatherings are centered around food. But fret not! There are ways to make this Holiday Season a healthier one.

Think about your favorite Thanksgiving dish. Whether it is fluffy mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, or stuffing, the deliciousness of a recipe does not equate to the calories it contains. You can still have a delicious dish without as many calories, fat, sodium, etc. As a starting point, try swapping these ingredients in some of your dishes this Thanksgiving:

*Heavy Cream → Coconut Milk. Same taste and texture, but 1/2 the calories!

*Oil in cakes → Applesauce. Use 1 cup of applesauce for every recipe that calls for 1 cup of oil. Vegetable oil has 480 calories and 56g of fat in 1/4 cup; meanwhile, applesauce has 25 calories and 0g of fat for the same amount.

*One Whole Egg → Two egg whites. Two egg whites instead of one whole egg saves 36 calories
*Sour Cream → Greek Yogurt. This substitution will save 55 calories per ¼ cup.

*Buttermilk → Low-fat Plain Yogurt (1 cup of low-fat plain yogurt for every recipe that calls for 1 cup of buttermilk). Greek Yogurt decreases the amount of fat and sodium.

*Pasta → Whole-Wheat Pasta. Whole-wheat pasta has more fiber and decreases the calories per serving up to 50 calories.

*Chocolate Chips → Cacao Nibs/Dark Chocolate. Your desserts will be filled with antioxidants.

I attended a Mindful Cooking Series through Marquette Employee Wellness. There was a chef who made three Thanksgiving favorites: mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and green bean casserole. All of the dishes were delightfully delicious and the kicker is that they were healthier! I never thought that I would like any mashed potatoes more than my mom’s, but his mashed potatoes were wonderful! Instead of using butter and heavy cream, the chef used extra-virgin olive oil. This significantly lowered the calories, sodium, and fat from the normal mashed potato recipe. Give this a try!

Mashed Potatoes with Olive Oil and Herbs


2 pounds of russet potatoes
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp finely chopped basil
1 tsp minced flesh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp minced tarragon
Freshly ground black pepper


Combine the potatoes, 1 tsp of salt, and cold water in a large saucepan and cover. Bring to a boil. After boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until able to poke through potato with a fork. Drain the potatoes, but save ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Place the potatoes back in the saucepan and shake over medium heat for 1 minute to dry potatoes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl.
Add the oil and reserved cooking liquid to the saucepan and warm over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Mash the potatoes. Transfer the potatoes back to the saucepan. Add the basil, parsley, and tarragon, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper as needed. After dished, make indent in the potatoes and pour a little extra-virgin olive oil to keep potatoes moist and soft. Enjoy!

A great article about ways to have a healthier Thanksgiving was written by Joanna Dolgoff, a Medical Doctor and nutrition specialist. Check out this article to get a healthier pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce recipe: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joanna-dolgoff-md/healthy-thanksgiving-tips-recipes_b_1092915.html!

Although calories and macro-nutrients can be scary, the Holidays should be about spending valuable time with friends and loved ones. Be conscious of the foods you are eating, but do not make this the main focus. Try to fill your Thanksgiving feast with more fruits and vegetables this year, as well as making an effort to substitute healthier options into your recipes so that you can sit back and relax instead of trying to mentally calculate every calorie you are consuming. Lastly, if you take anything away from this blog: eat foods in moderation. This will help you to not overindulge. If you do these things, you will be well on your way to a healthier Thanksgiving. And just think! Instead of being in a food coma after the big feast, if you do not fill yourself to the brim, you may be able to participate in the competitive family Turkey Bowl or go for a walk together around the neighborhood. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

By: Natalie Radloff

Conflict Resolution

No two people think the same, and with this, issues in the workplace can arise. Perhaps this could be caused from workplace gossip, a poor boss/employee relationship, jealousy caused by a promotion, a co-worker who seems to slack off, a misunderstanding…the list goes on and on. An issue does not, by definition, become a conflict until the thoughts, opinions, or beliefs are expressed. Conflicts in and of themselves are not always destructive. We need conflicting ideas and beliefs in order to make improvements and continue to better the “norm.” However, when issues and conflicts are destructive in the workplace, they can affect one’s work performance as well as his or her mental health and overall well-being. Therefore, conflict in the workplace is an issue that needs to be addressed, so that the involved parties can learn from it, become better employees, co-workers, or employers, and maintain their wellness.

Most often, conflicts arise because of a miscommunication. As most of us prefer to ignore conflict and confrontation, we have difficulty with communicating with a colleague or employer when we have a problem with something. If we were more honest and open, issues and workplace drama could be avoided or greatly diminished in intensity. With this in mind, when approaching someone about a problem, it is important to be in a state of mind where you truly wish to resolve the conflict so that both parties can benefit. If you are still upset that someone got a promotion over you, you are likely to attack, rather than calmly ask what you could do differently in the future to be more competitive for a promotion.

Therefore communication is essential. For the best results, use direct communication. If you have a problem with Sally because she keeps stealing your food out of the break room fridge, go directly to Sally to discuss the conflict. Do not use indirect communication and complain to your co-worker Diane that Sally is out to get you. Chances are Sally was not maliciously trying to steal your food and make you go hungry all day—maybe she brought the same thing for lunch or meant to ask you if she could have your apple as a snack today and she would bring one for you tomorrow. If you discuss the issue with Sally, you can hear her intent from her directly.

Next, use “I” statements to explain your point of view. For example, you could say to Sally, “I noticed that my apple was missing from the fridge. Did you accidently grab it?” This way Sally will not feel attacked and become defensive. If you approach her and say “You are a thief! What have you done with my apple?” Sally will become defensive and you will never get to the bottom of your issue.

Then, actively listen to what the other person has to say. It is important to not interrupt them as they speak so that they can clearly and effectively communicate their point of view. As they are speaking, try to empathize with the person and understand their thought process behind their beliefs and actions. Lastly after the other person is finished explaining, summarize their main points and recap them back to the person to insure you understand what he or she is saying.

Each party should continue to ask questions so that a full under standing of the other person’s point of view is had by both parties. Then, develop a plan of action and execute that plan. For example, you could decide with Sally that if she were ever to take food of yours from the break room fridge in the future, she would ask your permission first and also make sure to replace it. This step is often forgotten, but after some time, follow up to make sure your decided plan of action is effective for both parties and to insure the conflict has truly been resolved.

Clearly there are much more serious conflicts in the workplace than Sally taking your food; this was just a simple example used for clarity. As much as most of us do not enjoy dealing with conflict in the workplace, it will arise, so it is important that we each understand how to best deal with it. This will allow you to improve your communication skills, see someone else’s point of view, and most importantly feel more productive and mentally present at work. The next time a petty act happens, try to step back from the situation and think is this deserving of conflict resolution? Perhaps you did not need to approach Sally until after a few offenses. However, if a more serious issue arises, apply the steps given above and work with the other person to resolve the issue and create a more harmonious workplace environment.  Work is stressful enough; we need to work together to make the workplace enjoyable for everyone and maintain each person’s well-being.

By Natalie Radloff

The Great American Smokeout

Please take a moment to reflect on your own life and how, if at all, smoking has affected you. Do you have family members who have to take smoking breaks during family gatherings? Do you have friends who have to drive separately to events so that they can smoke? Do you pass people smoking on the sidewalk? Although over the years, people have become more educated on the ill effects smoking can have on a person, smoking is still the leading preventative killer in the U.S. Therefore, smoking is still a very large and serious problem. The American Cancer Society (ACS) designates the third Thursday of November, which is November 19th this year, to encourage smokers to join together, “Quit Like a Campion,” and quit smoking for good.

We all know smoking is “bad for you,” right? But what does this actually mean? According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general.” Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, decreased tooth and gum health, decreased immune function, clouding of cataracts, decreased bone health, and cancer. Smoking is a cause of type II diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, having a stroke…the list goes on and on.

A study done by the American Cancer Society showed that of these 12 types of cancer, about half of the deaths from these types of cancer are due to cigarette smoking. These cancers that are proven to be caused by smoking include: liver, colon and rectum, lung, oral cavity and throat, esophagus, larynx (voice box), stomach, pancreas, bladder, kidney, cervix, and blood. Of these cancers, lung cancer killed 80% of its victims due to smoking. The CDC reports that “If no one smoked, one of every three cancer deaths in the United States would not happen.” Not only is this a very significant number, but the biggest concept to grasp here is that smoking and all the risks it entails is preventable. We can change the number of people who die from all of these types of cancers because of smoking.

The American Cancer Society encourages smokers to ban together on November 19th to quit smoking—together.  Smokers can come together to feel as though they do not have to do this alone, but that others understand where they are coming from and are also working towards a common goal.  With the cessation of smoking being such a challenge, we need to make sure our loved ones and friends know that we are in their corner and that we fully support them and their goal. So this date is not only for smokers to use as their start date, but also a date for us to cheer them on to their smoke free life. This is just an arbitrary date. If you feel this date is too soon for you to make the change that is okay and you can designate your own start date to a new life. Research has shown that if you pick a date within the next 30 days and designate that as your date to live a smoke free life, you are more likely to be successful and stick to your word, as opposed to the “yes, I know I need to stop smoking” empty promise we have all heard too often.

Here are some tips the ACS gives to quit smoking:

  • Pick your quit day and mark it on your calendar
  • Write a list of all the reasons why you want to quit
  • Inform family and friends of your quit day (they can help hold you accountable)
  • Remove all tobacco, cigarettes, and ashtrays in home, car, workplace, etc.
  • Create your plan of action. Will you quit cold turkey, use nicotine replacement therapy, sign up for a cessation class?
  • Establish a support system. Perhaps this means using the buddy system and quitting with a friend, finding encouragement in someone who has already quit, using loved ones as additional motivation to take control of your health, or attending a group class.
  • Practice saying “No thank you. I do not smoke.”
  • Change your routine so you do not feel as though you need to smoke in certain situations, as was previously your routine
  • Stay active and use exercise as a hobby/stress reliever
  • Try the Quit for Life Mobile App

It is never too late to stop smoking. The main thing is that each smoker individually has to make the decision that they want to quit and actively work towards this goal. If an outside source, such as a family member or loved one is trying to tell you that you need to stop smoking and you try for their sake, you most likely will not be successful. This needs to be a decision that you choose to make for yourself and you need to be willing to put forth the effort to do so. It is not going to be easy. But you can do it. As encouragement, please click on this link to view the positive way your body recovers once you stop smoking: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@editorial/documents/document/acspc-046237.pdf. Your body will experience positive effects from the cessation of smoking almost immediately. Quitting for even one day is a great start towards a healthier you. Please realize that smoking can have serious risks, but together we can “Quit Like Champions.”

By Natalie Radloff


I know, I cannot believe it either, but November is already upon us. With that, every November, National Diabetes Month is observed to raise awareness to this growing issue and its affect on millions of Americans.

I know a few people with diabetes, is it really that big of an issue? According to the Center for Disease Control’s 2014 Diabetes National Statistic Report, 29.1 million people or 9.3% of the U.S. population have diabetes. This takes into account people with diagnosed diabetes and also an estimate of undiagnosed diabetes cases. This is a rising epidemic and is also one of the main causes of death in the United States. Similarly, obesity will soon surpass smoking as the leading preventable cause of death, and Type II Diabetes is a direct health consequence of obesity.

Just as quick information about diabetes, a person can have Type I or Type II diabetes. Type I diabetes is caused when a person is unable to produce adequate insulin. Type II diabetes is when a person’s body does not use insulin properly, or becomes insulin resistant. Because of this, a person’s blood sugar levels become more difficult to control. Type I is common among children and Type II is commonly associated with obesity.

How did we get to this point? In general, people’s lifestyles have changed from the past. We take in more calories than we used to (encourage by the larger society accepted portion sizes), partake in more sedentary behaviors, and decrease our regular exercise. If we compare our lifestyles now, how many more people have desk jobs than performing physical labor as their work; how many kids play with video games or iPads instead of running around outside; how many people eat the oversized portions of McDonalds on a regular basis; how many people do not have the means to afford healthy foods or do not live in an area with a grocery store with fresh produce and rather are forced to settle with the “foods” offered in their local corner convenient stores? As stated previously, Type II Diabetes is a direct health consequence of obesity. So if our obesity rates are on a steady incline, one can deduce that the rate of people with diabetes is also on an upward trend. Further, the CDC states that one’s “risk for developing type 2 diabetes is associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity.” All of these have an affect on one’s chances of acquiring type II diabetes. It is important to be aware of all of these factors.

Does diabetes lead to other things? Diabetes can affect many parts of the body and is associated with very serious complications. To list some of the common issues:

*Varying (non-steady) blood glucose (sugar) levels

*High blood pressure

*High LDL cholesterol (This is your bad cholesterol.)

*Cardiovascular disease


*Blindness/eye problems

*Kidney disease



*Nerve disease

*Complications of pregnancy

*Premature death

What are things you can do to detect/prevent diabetes? As a way to monitor yourself and detect diabetes earlier, be sure to get eye exams, urine tests, and foot exams regularly. These things can be done by attending your yearly doctor and eye doctor appointments. As a way to prevent type II diabetes, one can exercise regularly. According to the ACSM a person should be exercising for 20-30 minutes 3-4 days per week. It is also important to regulate your diet. Try to eat “whole foods” or unprocessed foods. This combination often leads to weight loss and if you are overweight, even losing 5-7% of your total body weight can greatly decrease your chances of obtaining type II diabetes.

Perhaps diabetes does not affect you directly, maybe you know a family member/friend/co-worker with diabetes, or maybe diabetes has no personal connection to your life. However, it is important to be informed about this issue, especially since it is a rapidly growing problem. For more information, visit the National Diabetes Education Program at www.ndep.nih.gov.

By: Natalie Radloff

What About Your Skeleton?

As much as we all want to be forever young, unfortunately it is a fact of life that we are all getting older and with that, we have different health issues that we need to be more aware of. You may be conscious of maintaining your cardiovascular health, your weight, and the look of your skin; however, have you given much thought about the health of your bones recently? It seems as though this is often times overlooked, but on the flip side, it can be a very problematic and serious issue as one ages.

As we all know, our bones are the foundations of our body. Did the constructors of your home make sure it had a solid foundation before they went ahead and put the dry wall and ceilings up? Absolutely. In the same way, shouldn’t we be educated about the foundation of our bodies? After all, you can sell your house and buy a new one, but you cannot do this with your body.

Contrary to common belief, bones are not just hard and lifeless. Children’s bones are obviously growing as they becoming taller. However, even once a child stops growing the bones are becoming denser until what is called peak bone mass. This occurs between the ages of 18-25 years old, where you have the greatest bone mass you will ever reach. Now, how many of you made the strength of your bones a priority at that time in your life? You were invincible at that age, why would you need to worry about the future! Right? Well, even when you stop growing, your bones are constantly breaking down and rebuilding to make new bone. When you do not make enough bone, you lose too much, or the combination of both this is called osteoporosis. In both men and women, as they age, many people actually lose more bone density than they form. This is often a problem for postmenopausal women, when their estrogen levels drop tremendously. The National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that “five to seven years after menopause, women can lose up to 20 percent or more of their bone density.” Twenty percent is a very significant and noteworthy amount and should be large enough to make you want to do something about it.

Why does it matter what your bone density is? Osteoporosis is a very serious issue. Osteoporosis could cause someone to break a bone from a very minor fall or even a more intense sneeze. Most commonly, people tend to have broken bones in their hip, spine, and wrist from this problem. This can be extremely painful, affect posture (and also cause you to lose height), and not allow participation in day-to-day activities. In extreme cases, elderly people can pass away from a fall or the surgery to repair their broken bones.

So what can you do to improve/protect your bone health?

  • Intake enough calcium and Vitamin D through a balanced diet (sunlight for some vitamin D)

Recommended amount of calcium/vitamin D (These are general values. May change from person to person):

Vitamin D:

Women and Men
Under age 50 400-800 international units (IU) daily**
Age 50 and older 800-1,000 IU daily**


Age 70 & younger 1,000 mg* daily
Age 71 & older 1,200 mg* daily
Age 50 & younger 1,000 mg* daily
Age 51 & older 1,200 mg* daily

*Good foods for healthy bones: dairy products, milk, yogurt, cheese, green vegetables, fish, fruits, soy milk, some juices

***For most people, you can get all the nutrients you need from eating a well-rounded diet, but if you are not getting the recommended amount, then you may need to take a supplement. Talk to your doctor before you decide to take a supplement to make sure it is necessary for you.

  • Participate in exercise regularly
  • *It is so important to put your bones under load through exercise and activity so that they can rebuild and become stronger.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking excessively

It is important to remember that it is never too late to make a change.

Whatever your age, you can make changes now to improve your bone health. Take this problem seriously so that you can maintain your independence as you age and allow yourself to continue to do the activities you love. For more information, please visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation online: www.nof.org.

If this blog inspired you to take control of your bone health, on Monday October 26th, Marquette Employee Wellness is hosting an event for Wellness Day. There are various vendors that will be in attendance, including Aurora Healthcare, who will be performing bone density screenings. Join us and take charge of your health!

By Natalie Radloff

Breast Cancer Awareness

Think of all the wonderful women that have impacted your life—mother, grandmother, sister, wife, aunt, niece, and friend. You would do everything in your power to prevent anything you possibly could from happening to them, wouldn’t you? As sad as it is, almost all of us know someone who has or at least know of someone affected by breast cancer. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and we want to raise awareness of this disease as well as various preventative measures that can be taken.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women (except for skin cancers) and about 1 in 8 women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. Now, although the introduction was more focused on women, it is important to be informed that men can also get breast cancer. For men, the chance of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000, significantly less than women. Men also have breast tissue, but because their tissue is much less developed and because they have lower levels of female hormones that affect breast growth, it is much less prevalent.

For any disease, there are risk factors that can put you at increased risk of getting that disease. The more risk factors you possess, the greater your risk. Although there is no for sure way to prevent breast cancer, there are steps you can take to lower your chances and detect breast cancer early.

Detection: Early detection increases the chances that breast cancer can be diagnosed at an early stage and treated in a successful manner.

  1. Perform self-breast examinations. Even though this may be uncomfortable for some women, even if you go to a doctor for your yearly check up, you know your body the best. If you are unsure how to perform a self-exam, the American Cancer Society’s website explains an effective method to do so. It does not have to be a systematic approach, perhaps just feeling your breasts while you’re showering or getting dressed in the morning will be sufficient. Self-exams are extremely important and could be the sole cause of early detection. This should be started when women are in their 20s and continued throughout a women’s life.
  2. Get a Clinic Breast Examination. Women in their 20s-30s should get a clinical breast examination done by a health professional every three years. This helps women to notice changes in their breasts and also provide early awareness of breast cancer, as your chances of developing breast cancer increase as you age. Once a woman turns 40, clinical breast exams should be done by a health professional once per year.
  3. Get a mammogram. Although it is not 100% effective at detecting all types of cancer, mammograms are very excellent tools to detect abnormal areas in the breasts. Then a biopsy must be done to see if the tissue is cancerous. Women in their 40s should most definitely be getting a mammogram done once per year throughout their lives. Marquette University’s insurance for faculty and staff covers preventative measures at 100%–this would include a mammogram. Mammograms are definitely not the most enjoyable procedure to go through, but it is so important that you have your yearly mammogram and give these appointments the importance they deserve.

Preventative Measures: Some risk factors, such as age, gender, race, and family history cannot be controlled. However, you do have control over some possible risk factors. It is crucial that you take control of these factors.

  1. Eat well. According to an article written by Dr. Jennifer Landa, the Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD, “any diet that is focused on maximizing your health and reducing disease risk will include fresh and whole foods, and be rich in a variety of vegetables.” Just as Dr. Landa said, eating well can reduce your risk of getting breast cancer. Try to reduce your intake of processed foods and stick to “real foods” such as meat, fruits, and vegetables. As a general rule of thumb, if you stick to the outside perimeter of the grocery store and avoid buying a lot of items in the middle of the store, you will avoid consuming a lot of processed foods where the food loses nutrients and additional things are added to the food. Secondly, eating well will most likely in turn allow you to manage your weight. Being at a healthy weight can also decrease your chance of getting breast cancer.
  2. Exercise regularly. I was informed by Dr. Papanek that studies have shown exercising for 4 hours per week can reduce your chances of getting breast cancer by 50%; exercising for 6 hours/week can decrease your chances by 75%. Just let that statistic sink in. If you exercise for one hour 6 days per week, you have about a ¾ chance that you will not develop breast cancer. Exercise is medicine. It is such a useful tool that is right at your fingertips. You just have to use it!
  3. Limit total time spent sitting. Research has shown that the more sitting time you do, the greater your likelihood of developing cancer. An American Cancer Society study found that women who sat a total of 6 hours per day had a greater risk for invasive breast cancer than women who only sat for 3 hours per day. This is just more motivation to get moving!
  4. Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption, whether minor or excessive has been shown to increase your risk of developing breast cancer. This is especially true if you already have other risk factors, such as family history.
  5. Avoid hormone replacement therapy. In the past, the symptoms of menopause used to be helped by hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, researchers have proven that women who took the combination of estrogen and progestin used in HRT appeared to be at a greater risk for breast cancer. If you need relief, talk to your doctor about the best way to work through your menopausal symptoms.

As is the case with many health issues, people are often times not educated about breast cancer. Because early detection is so important and could be the difference between successful treatment, or worse—life or death—awareness and education about this disease is essential. If each one of you who reads this blog shows even one other person, think how many more people could gain awareness. Perhaps one more woman would schedule her yearly mammogram,, 5 women increase the time they exercise, or 10 women may begin to perform self-breast exams. Even if someone you love personally never develops breast cancer, 1 in 12 women will. Please raise awareness and do your part to help decrease this number.

*For more information such as risk factors, support, treatment options, etc. please visit the American Cancer Society’s website at www.cancer.org

By Natalie Radloff

Run Forrest, Run

When thinking about exercising, most people associate exercise with aerobic activity. Some of you may be thinking, what is aerobic exercise? Aerobic exercise utilizes the aerobic forms of our bodies’ energy-producing systems. This means it uses oxygen to allow you to sustain exercise for a longer duration of time by delivering oxygenated blood to your muscles. Just like a car, your muscles need fuel to allow their “engines” to work. Aerobic exercise must be done from low to moderate intensity. If the intensity of your workout becomes too high, your body will switch to anaerobic energy sources (without oxygen).

Now that you know some of the physiology behind your exercising, what does this mean for you? First and foremost, if you are not a frequent exerciser and you want to become more active, it is important to start slowly. You do not want to overdo it and injure yourself. If you have been sedentary for a long period of time or have health issues, you may want to see your doctor before you embark on your exercise program.

Enough of the informational session, we’re all dying to know: how can I get moving?! Too many people think that when they first want to become more active they should start running and run as far as they can because that’s how they will burn the most calories. STOP FORREST, STOP.

Here are some aerobic activities you may not have originally thought of that you can utilize to raise your heart rate, send oxygen to your muscles and brain, and help you become more active.

  • Step Aerobics: adjust your step height to get the workout that is just right for you. If you have lower extremity injuries or need a lower baseline to start off at, complete your step workout on the ground. If you are someone who likes to push yourself, you can use up to two risers.
  • Spinning: control your own resistance and in turn control the intensity of your workout. If you are a beginner, go easy. If you are a more experienced rider, you can push yourself and increase the resistance while trying to maintain the same interval of revolutions your instructor wants you to fall in depending on the course of your ride.
  • Cardio Kickboxing: try moving in a new way you may not have originally thought of. There are always ways to modify movements so that a beginner or someone just starting to do this type of exercise more will be able to partake in as well. If you have questions about this, ask your instructor for modifications. He or she will be more than happy to find something that works for you!
  • Zumba: get sweaty dancing! Zumba can be a great way to move your feet and hips, and you don’t even realize you’re actually exercising! Who knows, maybe you have a saucy Latin persona inside you waiting to be discovered!
  • Walking: start walking for short periods of time. Work your way up to longer periods of time and increase the intensity of your walk. If it is right for you, perhaps you may want to try intervals where you walk at a high speed for 30 seconds and walk regularly for 15. This will help to train your heart for higher level exercise and can be a great tool for progression!  
  • Water Aerobics: splash into a different aerobic activity. Water aerobics can help take pressure off of sore joints and provide a great form of resistance. Once again, you can control the intensity of your workout. By doing more slow movements against water resistance or working towards high intensity movements to treading water for long durations of time, water aerobics can definitely be progressed to find the right workout for you.
  • Circuit Training: use light resistance and shorten your rest periods to increase your muscular endurance. Before partaking in this type of exercise, it is important to have strength training/weight lifting experience or be supervised by someone who is knowledgeable about this or you could put yourself at risk for injury.

Aerobic exercise has a plethora of benefits. A few include boosting your mood, increasing your heart health, maintaining your weight, reducing health risks like osteoporosis and high blood pressure, and maintaining your independence as you age. There are many great ways to get your cardio workout in for the day and help you become more active. Perhaps your niche doesn’t include of the activities on this list, but it is so important to be open to trying different things until you find something that makes exercising something you enjoy doing and look forward to. If you hate running, don’t force yourself to become Forrest Gump! If you enjoy what you’re doing, you will be more app to do it again and again and not even think of the activity you love so much as “exercise.”

By: Natalie Radloff

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