Stress Reduction Exercises

We all know that exercise has great benefits for our bodies. Have you ever thought about the benefits it has on our minds and stress levels? Exercise plays a very important role in keeping our stress at bay. Exercise raises our endorphin levels (the feel-good chemicals), it improves sleep, and helps with depression and anxiety.  We have put together a list of our favorite exercises and activities that help combat our stress. Let us know what helps keep your stress in check!

Yoga and Meditation–Want to experience the wonders of relaxation while still strengthening your body and mind? Give Yoga a try! The use of deep breathing stimulates relaxation, while the different poses and exercises concentrate on strengthening and lengthening your muscles. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and is very tranquil. Meditation helps you sort through your good and your bad thoughts and helps keep you centered.

Walking— Don’t feel like going out for a jog or run? Not a problem! You can still get a great workout in by walking. It’s very simple to do and requires no equipment. It releases tension, deepens your breathing, and gets you moving outside, which is quite relaxing. Grab a buddy to mix a little socialization into your exercise and you’ll be sure to kick that stress out of your life!

Stretching –This is a great way to wind down after an exercise, get rid of any of that left-over stress, and really relax. Stretching relieves tension not only in your muscles but in your mind as well. It’s a great way to de-stress. Stress causes your muscles to contract and tense up in all parts of the body. Stretching allows your muscles to relax and will eliminate some of that tension. It also is a nice break for your mind to concentrate on other thoughts than the stresses of our daily lives.

It’s important to take the time out of our day to concentrate on keeping yourself healthy and stress-free. Built-up stress can cause a lot of problems, so you must take action when it comes to your health. Exercise works wonders on your body and mind and will help you combat stress. Before reaching for stress medication, or engaging in harmful activities to ease your stress, try getting a good exercise in. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

National Stress Awareness Month

It’s April, National Stress Awareness Month! This month is focused on stress and how to reduce it in a healthy manner. There are many aspects of life that bring on stress–it can even be this inconsistent Minnesota weather we just can’t seem to shake! Maybe you’re the primary caregiver for a loved one, juggling your work and home life, or in the process of pursuing a degree. Whatever the case may be, April is the perfect time to hone in on the stress you have been experiencing and deal with it appropriately. The purpose of Stress Awareness month is to inform people of the dangers stress presents, what can cause it, and how to cope and cure it in healthy ways.

Dangers–Stress can be a pretty dangerous thing if it isn’t controlled. It can wreck havoc on your heart and may play a part in heart attacks and sudden death. Stress also weakens your immune system making you more susceptible to illness. Stress may also lead to dangerous behavior like drinking alcohol, using drugs, and participating in risky behavior and activities to cope. It can also greatly diminish the amount of sleep you are getting each night.

Causes— There are a lot of different factors that go into one’s stress level. You may not enjoy your job, have a heavy workload, or maybe you just lost your job. You may be having relationship problems, may have experienced a recent loss, you may be the primary caregiver for a chronically ill loved one, or you may be the sole provider for your family. All of these and many other things are sure to cause some degree of stress in your life. A lot of stress factors cannot be controlled. With this in mind, the way you choose to handle your stress is very important.

Coping–Exercise is a wonderful and healthy way to combat your stress. Go for a run, walk, or bike ride and enjoy the fresh air as well. Yoga is also a great relaxation technique that can help alleviate some of your stress. Listening to music, writing, or spending leisurely time with friends and family are all great ways to get rid of stress as well. Choose healthy coping mechanisms and you’ll be on the right track to eliminating stress from your life.

With April being National Stress Awareness Month, know that there are people to help you deal with stress. If you are the primary caregiver for a loved one and it is becoming too stressful, or you are worried about who will be able to care for a loved one, give Senior Helpers – Burnsville a call at 952-892-8403. We have trained and experienced caregivers who can be of assistance for you in taking care of your loved ones whether it is just for a few hours here and there or full 24-hour care.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spring Snacks for Seniors

It may be hard to believe with the way this Minnesota winter has dragged on, but we have technically reached Spring–finally! With the weather warming up in the next few months (fingers crossed), comes a wide variety of in-season produce to snack on. We have compiled a list of a few healthy snack options to incorporate into your loved ones’ meal plans. The spring is the perfect time to get healthy and snacking should be no exception! You’ll want to bring on snacks that are high in fiber content, as they will fill you up and hold you over between meals. This will prevent you and your loved ones from overeating (fruits and veggies are ALWAYS a good choice).

Celery & Nut Butter – We love this combination! The fiber in the celery will fill you up, while you get a healthy dose of protein and fat from the nut butter of your choice (tip: if you have a nut allergy, try sunbutter–it’s made of sunflower seeds). You can add raisins on top for a sweetened taste. Don’t like celery? Nut butter is great when paired with your favorite type of apple. This snack is loved by all ages!

Strawberry Sandwich (PB&S) – Strawberries are soon to be in season! Enjoy these antioxidant-rich berries as a substitute for sugar-laden jelly. Grab some whole-grain bread, spread some nut butter of your choice on the bread, and top with cut up strawberries. This is a great way to enjoy this in-season berry, and it is a fun spin on the classic PB&J snack.

Kale Chips – Want a healthy alternative to those deep-fried chips we all love to enjoy every now and then? Try some kale chips! They are insanely good for you, and taste very similar to the crunchy, oily chips we are used to. Start with a bunch of washed, chopped kale. Lightly coat in olive oil and salt (you can add paprika and chile powder if you want something spicy) and bake in the oven for 7 minutes at 365 degrees. Your loved ones will never believe that these green chips are as healthy as they are delicious!

We hope the warm weather is on its way soon–but in the meantime, try out these healthy spring snacks and let us know what you think! If you or your loved one is in need of a little assistance when it comes to healthy meal planning and preparation, give Senior Helpers – Burnsville a call at: 952-892-8403. We have trained and experienced caregivers who can help keep you or a loved one on track this spring with healthy meals and snacks.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Super Foods for Seniors

In honor of National Nutrition Month, we have put together a list of some of the beneficial super foods for seniors. Super foods are foods that have been shown to have a very positive impact on one’s health and wellness. Diet and nutrition are important parts of keeping seniors healthy, and incorporating these super foods into their diets is a great way to ensure optimum health.

Kale — This leafy green has been popping up everywhere lately. It packs a mean punch with a high fiber content, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K, and calcium. It is great for bone health and it has lutein in it, which is great for vision.  It can be cooked, steamed, juiced, or eaten raw. Try making kale chips–it’s a very tasty way to incorporate this powerful green into your loved one’s diet.

Garlic— This kitchen necessity is a natural immune booster. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is best eaten in the raw. When crushed, garlic releases an enzyme, allicin, which has a power effect on the immune system. However, if you cannot get your loved one to take it raw, you can still eat it cooked. Try adding this super food daily to your meals.

Red Bell Peppers — This bright vegetable should be a staple ingredient in every senior’s home. This pepper has twice the amount of vitamin C as oranges and can possibly prevent or slow the progression of arthritis. They are also full of beta-carotene, which is great for eye sight.

Blueberries — It’s no surprise that this powerful berry is on the list for powerful super foods. This little berry has a lot to offer–it’s high in antioxidants, it has anti-aging properties, and it has been shown to preserve memory function.

Dark Chocolate–Get the benefits of a super food and the taste of a treat with dark chocolate. This super food (must be dark chocolate and at least 70% cacao) has antioxidant and mood boosting properties.

Super foods are important to have in everyone’s diet. If you are concerned about a loved one’s eating habits, try encouraging them to include some of these in their diets. If you or your loved ones need help with grocery shopping, meal planning, preparation, and meal charting, give Senior Helpers a call at 952-892-8403. We have wonderful, trained caregivers who can help make sure a proper diet is being followed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

St. Patrick’s Day Crafts for All Ages

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. Prepare yourselves for everything green, everywhere you go! This is a great holiday to get together with friends and family and enjoy the festivities. We have put together a few ideas for some all-age-friendly crafts that will help you get ready for the green holiday.

Shamrock Prints— A fun craft for you and your loved ones to try out this St. Patrick’s Day includes some green paint, paint brushes, white paper, and a bell pepper. Get everyone together and gather your supplies. You will want to cut the pepper in half to expose the “shamrock” shape. Get some paint on your paint brush and paint the brim of the cut pepper. Once the outline of the shamrock is coated with paint, use it as a stamp on your paper. You can paint a stem on the print and there you have it! Make St. Patrick’s Day cards letting those special people in your life how ‘lucky’ you are to have them.

Green Garland— For this craft, you will need different shades of green construction paper, scissors, and glue. Cut strips of the construction paper, take half of them and glue their edges together to form circles. Take the other strips and loop them through the glued pieces and connect their edges to form circles as well. Continue doing this until you have your garland at a desired length. Hang it up on your wall for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration!

Leprechaun Hats–This craft makes for a wonderful centerpiece or place card for any get-together. All you need is a small flower pot, green paint or spray paint, black ribbon, green construction paper, and a decorative belt buckle. Take the flower pot, paint it green and let it dry. Feed the black ribbon through the belt buckle and glue the ribbon around the middle of the flower pot with the buckle centered on the “hat”. Take the construction paper and cut out a 4-leaf clover. Glue this onto the hat above the belt buckle. You can stop there, or you can add a loved one’s name to the clover as a place marker.

Get into the holiday spirit and enjoy this great time with your loved ones while making some of these crafts for St. Patrick’s Day. You and your loved ones will have a great time together making these wonderful and easy crafts to celebrate the holiday.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Improve Your Nutrition

Although it may not feel like it with our frigid Minnesota weather, March is here and spring is right around the corner. March is National Nutrition Month, and it is the perfect time to “spring” into action and take control of your health. These days, the typical American diet is not very healthy, so we put together a few simple steps you can take to improve your nutrition as well as your loved ones’.

Include these–Try incorporating more fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains into your diet. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals as well as fiber to help keep everything moving throughout your system. The MyPlate program is a good informational guide to show you what you should be including in your diet. You can reference it at: http://www.eatright.org

Eliminate these–Get rid of the junk in your life. Do your best to cut processed, high-sodium, and fatty foods out of your diet for good. Cut back on how many meals you eat out or on-the-go. It is always best to have a homemade meal, so you know exactly what ingredients were used. Also, try avoiding large portions and over-sized meals. This will help you eliminate unnecessary calories.

Visit a Doctor or Dietitian–It is always a good idea to get advice from your health-care professionals when looking to change up your diet. If you are unsure of where to start, why not visit with them and they can get you started in the right direction. They may be able to help you put together a nutritional plan to keep your health in good condition.

If you or a loved one need a little assistance sticking to a nutritional plan, Senior Helpers of Burnsville is here to help. We have caregivers who can help keep you or your loved one on track by helping with meal planning as well as utilizing meal charts. They can also help with grocery shopping and transporting clients to and from doctor’s appointments. Senior Helpers will work with you to ensure you or a loved one’s nutritional needs are met. Find out more about our services by contacting us at: 952-892-8403.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Heart

With Heart Disease on the rise, it is important to take the necessary steps to keep your heart healthy. Your heart is the most important muscle in your body–keeping everything flowing and working properly. Follow these effective tips, and you will be on the right path to a healthier, happier heart.

Lifestyle adjustments— There are many parts of your life you may need to alter if you are serious about keeping your heart healthy. Many Americans engage in certain lifestyle activities that are detrimental to heart health. These include but are not limited to: Smoking, consuming large amounts of alcohol, inactivity, and poor diet choices. Cutting out these vices is a great way to begin your journey to a healthy heart.

Daily Prevention— There are many steps you can take on a daily basis that will help keep your heart healthy and prevent disease. It is recommended to incorporate exercise 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week. It is also important to stick to a healthy diet. A healthy heart functions on a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and lean meat. Be sure to get your daily nutritional needs in to keep your heart functioning properly. Stress management is another good step to take to ensure healthy heart function. However, make sure you are managing it in a healthy way.

Know your numbers— It’s important to have yearly check ups and physicals to evaluate your overall health. You should keep an eye on the numbers they give you in regards to your heart and its health: blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol, weight, etc. Ask your physician about where your numbers should be to ensure heart health, and if you’re not in the healthy number range, get a plan together with your doctor that will get your health in check.

Taking care of your heart health should be a main priority in everyone’s lives, especially with Heart Disease being the number one cause of death here in the U.S. There are preventative measures you can take to ensure you are treating your heart well, so why not incorporate these heart-healthy tips into your daily routine? Your heart will definitely thank you for it!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment