Loud noise at work can damage hearing. Approximately 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise at work. To minimize occupational noise-induced hearing loss, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that workers should not be exposed to noise at a level that amounts to more than 85 decibels (dBA) for 8 hours.
How much sleep do I need? Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep on a regular schedule each night. Make changes to your routine if you can’t find enough time to sleep. Getting enough sleep isn’t only about total hours of sleep. It’s also important to:
- Go to sleep at about the same time every day.
- Get good quality sleep so you feel rested when you wake up.
If you often have trouble sleeping – or if you don’t feel well rested after sleeping – talk with your doctor.
via Get Enough Sleep.
Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life.
For example, regular brisk walking can help you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthen your bones
- Lift your mood
- Improve your balance and coordination
The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.
Turning your normal walk into a fitness stride requires good posture and purposeful movements. Ideally, here’s how you’ll look when you’re walking:
- Your head is up. You’re looking forward, not at the ground.
- Your neck, shoulders and back are relaxed, not stiffly upright.
- You’re swinging your arms freely with a slight bend in your elbows. A little pumping with your arms is OK.
- Your stomach muscles are slightly tightened and your back is straight, not arched forward or backward.
- You’re walking smoothly, rolling your foot from heel to toe.
As you start your walking routine, remember to:
- Get the right gear. Choose shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel and thick flexible soles to cushion your feet and absorb shock. If you walk outdoors when it’s dark, wear bright colors or reflective tape for visibility.
- Choose your course carefully. If you’ll be walking outdoors, avoid paths with cracked sidewalks, potholes, low-hanging limbs or uneven turf.
- Warm up. Walk slowly for five to 10 minutes to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for exercise.
- Cool down. At the end of your walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes to help your muscles cool down.
- Stretch. After you cool down, gently stretch your muscles. If you’d rather stretch before you walk, remember to warm up first.
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least two hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or one hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity — preferably spread throughout the week — and strength training exercises at least twice a week.
As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. If you can’t set aside that much time, try two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions throughout the day.
Remember, though, it’s OK to start slowly — especially if you haven’t been exercising regularly. You might start with five minutes a day the first week, and then increase your time by five minutes each week until you reach at least 30 minutes.
Keeping a record of how many steps you take, the distance you walk and how long it takes can help you see where you started from and serve as a source of inspiration. Just think how good you’ll feel when you see how many miles you’ve walked each week, month or year.
Record these numbers in a walking journal or log them in a spreadsheet or a physical activity app. Another option is to use an electronic device — such as a pedometer — to calculate steps and distance.
Starting a walking program takes initiative. Sticking with it takes commitment. To stay motivated:
- Set yourself up for success. Start with a simple goal, such as, “I’ll take a 10-minute walk during my lunch break.” When your 10-minute walk becomes a habit, set a new goal, such as, “I’ll walk for 20 minutes after work.” Soon you could be reaching for goals that once seemed impossible.
- Make walking enjoyable. If you don’t enjoy solitary walks, ask a friend or neighbor to join you. If you’re invigorated by groups, join a health club.
- Vary your routine. If you walk outdoors, plan several different routes for variety. If you’re walking alone, be sure to tell someone which route you’re taking.
- Take missed days in stride. If you find yourself skipping your daily walks, don’t give up. Remind yourself how good you feel when you include physical activity in your daily routine — and then get back on track.
Once you take that first step, you’re on the way to an important destination — better health.
To measure stress according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, the number of “Life Change Units” that apply to events in the past year of an individual’s life are added and the final score will give a rough estimate of how stress affects health.
Life event Life change units:
- Death of a spouse 100
- Divorce 73
- Marital separation 65
- Imprisonment 63
- Death of a close family member 63
- Personal injury or illness 53
- Marriage 50
- Dismissal from work 47
- Marital reconciliation 45
- Retirement 45
- Change in health of family member 44
- Pregnancy 40
- Sexual difficulties 39
- Gain a new family member 39
- Business readjustment 39
- Change in financial state 38
- Death of a close friend 37
- Change to different line of work 36
- Change in frequency of arguments 35
- Major mortgage 32
- Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
- Change in responsibilities at work 29
- Child leaving home 29
- Trouble with in-laws 29
- Outstanding personal achievement 28
- Spouse starts or stops work 26
- Beginning or end school 26
- Change in living conditions 25
- Revision of personal habits 24
- Trouble with boss 23
- Change in working hours or conditions 20
- Change in residence 20
- Change in schools 20
- Change in recreation 19
- Change in church activities 19
- Change in social activities 18
- Minor mortgage or loan 17
- Change in sleeping habits 16
- Change in number of family reunions 15
- Change in eating habits 15
- Vacation 13
- Major Holiday 12
- Minor violation of law 11
Score of 300+: At risk of illness.
Score of 150-299: Risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).
Score <150: Only have a slight risk of illness.
1. Your workout leaves you exhausted versus energized. If you finish your workout feeling like you need a nap, rather than feeling revitalized and ready to conquer the next thing, you are likely pushing yourself too hard or too long, and it may be time to assess and scale back those workouts.
2. You are unexplainably irritable and moody. If small things are setting you off, and you can’t figure out why your fuse is short or your moods are so funky, this could be a sign that your body is worn down and fatigued. Your body may be screaming for a vacation from exercise, so take one!
3. You’re sleeping too much or can’t sleep. Are you restless and unable to sleep through the night no matter how tired you feel? OR, does it not matter how much sleep you get you STILL feel tired? Both of these can be caused by overtraining. When you exercise too much, your body can interpret it as a stressor, sending out stress hormones like cortisol that makes sleeping difficult. On the flip side, overtraining can actually make some people more tired than normal. Sleep is the time when the body and brain repairs itself, so if you’re pushing it too hard, your body might be telling you that it needs more rest that you’re giving it.
4. You have ”heavy” legs. Rather than walking or jogging with ease, your legs feel like dead weights. Heavy, tired and overly fatigued legs (or arms) can be caused by muscles that just haven’t had enough time to fully recharge and repair.
5. You get sick frequently or can’t seem to recover. When you over-exercise you break your body and immune system down, so you are more susceptible to getting sick, or it takes you longer to recover.
6. You feel sore for days at a time. Rather than bouncing back from a tough workout, if your body is constantly aching or sore it’s a warning that you need to step back and allow it to repair itself.
7. You feel unmotivated and/or “blue.” It seems ironic since exercise has been shown to boost feel-good endorphins, but overtraining has been linked to a decrease in energy and mood, so you need to relax and restore.
Stress happens. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, at times it’s unbearable. That’s why taking time for yourself is a necessity.
Stress does not merely afflict your mind; it can also affect you on a cellular level. In fact, long-term stress can lead to a wide range of illnesses – from headaches to stomach disorders to depression – and can even increase the risk of serious conditions like stroke and heart disease. Understanding the mind/stress/health connection can help you better manage stress and improve your health and well-being.
via Stress Awareness.
Don’t risk ruining your trip or your health with too much sun.
Using sun protection can prevent sunburn during your vacation and protect you against skin cancer later. Nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year in the United States. Skin cancer can be serious, expensive, and sometimes even deadly. Fortunately, most cases are preventable, and as a traveler, you can use simple strategies to keep yourself and your family safe from the sun.
- Teleworking and flex-schedule policies
- Job-sharing, phased retirement options
- Healthy commuting supports and incentives
- Smoke-free building and campuses
- Healthy foods, healthy meetings and green/sustainable environments policies
- Peer support and mentoring programs
- Policies promoting volunteering and community service
- Time off work for health promotion, physical activity, screenings, healthcare visits
- Robust non-discrimination, diversity and cultural awareness/sensitivity programs
- Continuing education, distance learning, and other training supports
- Incentives for health program participation and engagement
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Beans and legumes
- Nuts and seeds
- Fish (preferably oily fish high in omega-3 fatty acids), skinless poultry, and plant-based alternatives
- Fat-free and low-fat dairy products
- Healthier fats and non-tropical oils
- Sodium and salt
- Saturated fat
- Sweets and added sugars, including sugar-sweetened beverages
- Red meats – if you choose to eat red meat, select lean cuts
- Trans fat and partially hydrogenated oils
via How to Eat Healthy.
A healthy eating plan that helps you manage your weight includes a variety of foods you may not have considered. If “healthy eating” makes you think about the foods you can’t have, try refocusing on all the new foods you can eat—
- Fresh fruits ― don’t think just apples or bananas. All fresh fruits are great choices. Be sure to try some “exotic” fruits, too. How about a mango? Or a juicy pineapple or kiwi fruit! When your favorite fresh fruits aren’t in season, try a frozen, canned, or dried variety of a fresh fruit you enjoy. One caution about canned fruits is that they may contain added sugars or syrups. Be sure and choose canned varieties of fruit packed in water or in their own juice.
- Fresh vegetables ― try something new. You may find that you love grilled vegetables or steamed vegetables with an herb you haven’t tried like rosemary. You can sauté (panfry) vegetables in a non-stick pan with a small amount of cooking spray. Or try frozen or canned vegetables for a quick side dish — just microwave and serve. When trying canned vegetables, look for vegetables without added salt, butter, or cream sauces. Commit to going to the produce department and trying a new vegetable each week.
- Calcium-rich foods ― you may automatically think of a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk when someone says “eat more dairy products.” But what about low-fat and fat-free yogurts without added sugars? These come in a wide variety of flavors and can be a great dessert substitute for those with a sweet tooth.
- A new twist on an old favorite ― if your favorite recipe calls for frying fish or breaded chicken, try healthier variations using baking or grilling. Maybe even try a recipe that uses dry beans in place of higher-fat meats. Ask around or search the internet and magazines for recipes with fewer calories ― you might be surprised to find you have a new favorite dish!