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HealthBeat This month’s feature topics are

Fitness & Nutrition

HealthBeat December: Fitness & Nutrition

Return to the gym safely

Gyms have begun to reopen in parts of the United States and Canada after being shuttered to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It may have been several months since members have stepped foot in these facilities. That means not only will fitness enthusiasts need to be smart about COVID-19 precautions, they also will need to reacclimate their bodies to routine exercise. Fitness resolutions may come earlier this year as people are eager to

regain fitness levels achieved prior to shutdowns. Going about a return to the gym in a smart way can prevent injuries and illness.

Ease into workouts

There will be a transition period as you get back to your gym routine. Start with flexibility workouts like yoga or pilates that can help reacclimate your body to physical activity. These will

help increase blood flow, joint mobility and range of motion. Expect that your stamina will have taken a hit from a prolonged absence at the gym. So if you once were a cardio master, it may take some time to build up to the speed and distance of a treadmill run or you may need to enroll in low-impact classes as your body adjusts. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself, so the mantra “slow is pro” is key. Aim for exercising two or three times a week to begin with, and stick to shorter workouts of 30 minutes or less. Gradually increase the duration and frequency of workouts as you notice your endurance improving. Stretching is essential after any workout, but especially helpful for those who are easing back into the gym. Stretches help avoid muscle tightening and spasms that can come with being unaccustomed to working out.

Pandemic precautions

Returning to the gym also means sharing space with fellow members. Official guidance on how gyms are to operate now vary by state or province. However, certain safety tips can help you stay safer if you’re ready to work

3 ways to eat healthier Diets can be difficult to navigate. Since no two people are the same, a healthy diet that satisfies one person won’t necessarily satisfy another. While the most effective diets tend to be those that emphasize nutrition while still allowing individuals to indulge in some of their favorite dishes in moderation, the following are three ways that everyone, regardless of their personal preference, can eat healthy every day.

1. Whole-grain carbohydrates

Fad diets tend to paint carbs as the enemy, but various studies have shown just how integral carbohydrates, particularly whole-grain varieties, are to a healthy diet. One study found that diets that got between 50 and 55 percent of their calories from plant-based carbohydrates like whole grains were associated with a lower risk of mortality than low-carb diets that favored animalderived protein sources. When buying carbs at the grocery store, shoppers can opt for whole-grain varieties, including whole-grain pastas, brown rice and cereals.

2. Eat more fruits and veggies

The United Kingdom-based National Health Service, which is the largest single-payer healthcare system in the world, recommends eating at least five portions of fruits and vegetables every day. That may sound like a lot, but


it’s pretty easy to incorporate all those healthy fruits and veggies into a diet. For example, add a serving of antioxidantrich blueberries to your cereal bowl each morning. At dinner time, allow vegetables to take up the most real estate on your plate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that diets rich in fruits and veggies can help people control their weight and may even reduce their risk for certain diseases, including cancer.

3. Kick added sugars

Avoiding added sugars is another way anyone, regardless of their food preferences, can eat healthier every day. Healthy foods such as fruit contain natural sugars, and these don’t pose a threat to overall health. However, added sugars are found in many foods and can include honey, molasses and corn syrup, can increase a person’s risk for various conditions and diseases, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Fruit contains fiber that slows the absorption of natural sugars, but the body digests added sugars much more quickly, leading to an uptick in blood sugar levels that can ultimately contribute to diabetes. Added sugars can be found in a host of foods and beverages, including some that aren’t generally considered unhealthy, like bread, certain breakfast cereals and pasta sauces. When shopping, consumers should read nutrition labels and avoid products with excessive amounts of sugar.

out indoors. Try working out at off-peak hours when the gym is likely to be less crowded, even with capacity restrictions in place. “Based on recent research, aerosolized droplets can remain airborne for up to three hours, making the potential for spread in crowded and confined spaces such as fitness studios problematic,” said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC. Maintaining distance and avoiding crowds is essential. Ask about air filtration and circulation at the gym. The rate of transmission of coronavirus may be higher in hot and crowded facilities without adequate circulation. Turn on fans or work close to open doors when possible. Many gyms require that masks be worn while working out. This may mean members must take more breaks if the masks impede respiration during strenuous activity. While gyms may be spraying down equipment and hightouch areas, keep hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes in your gym bag so you can do your own cleaning and keep your hands as clean as possible. Wash your hands after using any equipment if it’s feasible to do so.

Yoga for All Levels!

Fitness Punch cards

SilverSneakers Yoga 8am & 9 am • Tues. & Thurs. (Class limits due to COVID) Gentle Yoga 10 am • Tuesdays Yoga Foundations 5:30 pm • Wednesdays

10 classes per card Senior Members: $10.00 Senior Nonmembers: $20.00 Members: $30.00 Nonmembers: $40.00

Balance your mind and body with yoga! You don’t need to be “flexible” to attend yoga.

Fitness Punch Card Classes: • Dance Fitness Tuesday - 4:30 pm • Bars & Bells Tuesdays - 5:30 pm & Fridays - 5:20 am • Tabata: Thursdays - 4:30 pm • Early Bird: Monday & Wednesday - 5:20 am 1111 National St. • Belle Fourche 605-892-2467 www.bellefourcherec.com

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HealthBeat December Wk 2  

HealthBeat December Wk 2  

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