SLCo Healthy Lifestyles Blog
What's New with Healthy Lifestyles?
Starting August 1st there will be new
additions to the Wellsteps program that Healthy Lifestyles is excited to share
Your Wellsteps account will now feature the ‘My Tracker’ tool. You can
utilize this tool to track physical activity, eating, and/or anything else you
desire. You can also sync your fitness devices to the Wellsteps Tracker
including Fitbits, Apple Health, Google Fit, Strava, Garmin, and Map My Fitness
devices. You can find My Tracker on the
home banner when you log-in to your personal Wellsteps account. Learn to sync
your device to My Tracker here.
Healthy Lifestyles believes health and wellness is the
pursuit of continued growth and balance between dimensions of wellness –
physical, emotional, social, financial, intellectual, environmental, and
spiritual. Going forward Wellsteps questions and points will reflect this
philosophy. There will be activities each month representing each dimension of
wellness. To ensure you complete the monthly activities, check your account to
see the activities for each dimension at the beginning of each month.
Note: To continue growing in each dimension,
activities will change each quarter. Be sure to check your Wellsteps account at
the beginning of each month to know what activities need to be completed to
earn points. You can also view the monthly activities in the Healthy Lifestyles
monthly newsletter. Healthy Lifestyles wants to provide resources for all
monthly activities, so we have provided links on each activity to help guide
you. Feel free to reach out to our office if you are in need of more resources
Wellsteps is now offering ‘Wellness News’ to help participants
along in their journey of wellness through articles and videos. The articles
and videos feature topics including nutrition, fitness, social connections,
mindfulness, and many more. You can find the link to Wellness News in green on the
home page of your account. Check it out today!
Social Media & Health
Media & Health
Written By: Megan Tucker, Wellness Coordinator
media has changed the way we live our day-to-day lives. From the way we get our
news to the way we buy groceries, watch our favorite TV shows and movies, to the
way we connect with others, and so much more. The President of the United
States uses Twitter to communicate executive orders. You may have received a
wedding invitation via Facebook, found a job through LinkdIn, or found out the
gender of your friend’s baby via Instagram. A social media is an online
platform where users can connect with others who share the same interests,
careers, etc., or to stay connected to those with whom they have a real-life
connection with. These platforms allow users to share information, ideas,
pictures, messages, videos, etc. Social media is everywhere, and its usage around
the world is only increasing.
In 2018, there were 243.6 social network users in the
United States, out of the 327.2 million United States population. The number of
worldwide users is expected to reach 3.02 billion monthly active social media
users by 2021, which is about 1/3 of the Earth’s population (Statista, 2019). An average
of 2 hours and 22 minutes are spent per
day per person on
social networks. (Globalwebindex, 2018).
3.2 billion users, which is about 42% of the population, log in, use, and
converse with others on social media. 91% of all social media users access
social channels via mobile devices. Almost 80% of total time spent on social
media sites occurs on mobile platforms (Lyfemarketing, 2018). Instagram
stories have become a popular social media outlet. The number of daily active
Instagram story users have increased from 150 million in January 2017
to 500 million in January 2019
While social media can be a very positive tool, it is important
to be aware of the possible negative effects of social media on our health,
specifically our mental health. Several studies have shown that prolonged engagement
in social media platforms may be related to feelings of depression, anxiety,
loneliness, and lower self-esteem, however, the relationship between social
media use and mental health remains controversial (NCBI, 2019).
of prolonged social media use may include:
Forming an addiction to social media
Comparison to others and perceived
inadequacies associated with comparison.
Spending money on things seen and
advertised on various platforms.
Seeing a misrepresentation of individual’s
lives and/or portraying a misrepresentation of our own lives.
Feelings of FOMO (fear of missing out) and
Butchering of face-to-face interactions.
Feelings of low self-esteem.
Difficulties falling and/or staying
We don’t need to cut out social media completely, but
it might be a good idea to set limits on just how much we are using it. How
many of us have been at a gathering with family members or friends, and notice
that EVERYONE is on their phones? I know that I personally have witnessed that and
been a part of that countless times. The next time you are at a gathering with
family or friends, try having a “no phone rule.” Obviously, there are
emergencies and things we have to take care of but try putting your phone down
and really engaging in conversation. Instead of trying to capture the perfect
picture for your Instagram story, capture the moment by being fully engaged and
steps to take to combat the possible negative effects of social media include:
Limiting social media use to a specified
Taking a social media break or partaking in
a social media fast.
Being mindful and intentional in your social
media use. Follow accounts that make you feel good and unfollow or remove the
ones that don’t.
Remembering that not everything you see is
an accurate reflection of “real life.”
Focusing on your own life. Where you are, where you are
going, your goals and priorities, and what you are grateful for.
Benefits of Hiking
Written by: Jayne Hansen, Health Educator
"Hike more, worry less” is a
sentiment that we all can take comfort in. Research has shown that hiking in nature
can actually clear your mind, boost your brain, and improve your outlook on
is this possible?
Hiking through a scenic trail in
Big Cottonwood Canyon is more relaxing to the bodies senses than simply taking
a walk through the busy city streets. While any walking is proven to have
physical benefits, walking through nature has the addition of mental and
emotional health benefits. Why is this so? The city has stimulus nature doesn’t
have like busy streets, loud sounds, lights, crowds of people, and the
occasional fear of getting hit by a car. Hiking on our local Utah trails
provides increased mental
health benefits and reduces the part of your brain that brings about bad
You do not need to be suffering
from mental health issues to experience the hike-induced endorphins to the
shows that people who spend more time in nature, and less time with technology,
are generally 50% more creative when it comes to problem solving tasks. I don’t
know about you, but that is a brain boost I could benefit from.
Our days are often full of emails,
computer screens, and constant phone calls. The diverse scenery of nature allows
the brain to decompress and relax – allowing us to unplug from the world. This
improves our mood and our outlook – making us feel happier. Wandering where
there is no WiFi can help us recharge our mental and emotional batteries to be
our best self.
Here are some of
Healthy Lifestyles local Hikes:
Historic Nature Park Trail Loop- Easy
Sidewinder, and Diamondback Loop- Easy
Bells Canyon Reservoir- Easy
Falls Bells Canyon Reservoir- Moderate
Trail Big Cottonwood Canyon- Hard
Dog Friendly Trails:
Creek Trail- Easy
Rock Via Elephant Rock Trail- Moderate
The Scoop on Vitamins
Scoop #2: Vitamins
Written by: Kevin Nguyen
We previously touched base on some
essential minerals that are necessary for proper bodily functions. Now, let’s
spend time reviewing the vitamins that we eat in everyday foods and why they’re
important for good health. Vitamins are a group of organic compounds that are
essential for growth and nutrition. There are 13 vitamins that can be
classified based on their solubility. Each vitamin has a unique composition and
Vitamins and energy:
Vitamins are important nutrients because
they are part of the enzymes that catalyze reactions associated with energy.
Vitamins play critical roles in energy metabolism, but they are indirect roles.
The biological energy that is needed to create “energy” is provided by
carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and alcohol, and this energy is measured in
kilocalories. Vitamins contain no energy but facilitate the production of
energy. They play a critical role in energy metabolism, but, by themselves, do
not provide “energy”. Excessive amounts of B vitamins do not result in more
energy production activity but consuming a variety of foods that contain these
vitamins, will help metabolize the food, and provide “energy.”
Before we discuss antioxidants,
let’s review oxidation. When the soft insides of fruit are exposed to oxygen in
the air, they become oxidized, causing them to break down and turn brown. In
relation to our body, the oxygen we breathe is needed to produce energy (ATP)
but a small percentage is not used. Instead, free radicals or reactive oxygen
species (ROS) are produced. ROS are unstable chemical compounds that can
destroy cells and damage DNA. ROS will always be present, but the key issue is
that there is a balance between ROS production and ROS removal from the body.
To be able to adequately remove and manage ROS levels in your body, you need a
sufficient number of antioxidants. Vitamin A (beta-carotene, form of vitamin
A), C, and E, are the main antioxidants that counteract the effect of free
radicals. Vitamin C is a common vitamin that gets heavily supplemented,
particularly to prevent or self-treat illnesses like the common cold. Studies
have shown that colds are not reduced with routine vitamin C supplementation
but has been shown to reduce the number of sick days by 8 percent along with
Vitamins and Red
The human body contains
approximately 30 trillion red blood cells that are primarily responsible for
transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide. With a life span of only 120 days, the
body must constantly replace the red blood cells (2-3 million cells per
second). Seeing how extensive this replacement and production program is, it is
important to ensure we get enough of the vitamins that help with this process.
Vitamins B12, folic acid (folate), and Vitamin K all play an essential role and
cannot function without one or the other.
Foods: Do we get
enough, or do we need to supplement?
Multivitamins are the most frequently used dietary
supplements, with close to half of American adults taking them. These
supplements cannot take the place of eating a variety of foods that are
important to a healthy diet. Foods provide more than vitamins and minerals.
Many foods also have fiber and other substances that can provide health
benefits. However, some people who don’t get enough vitamins and minerals from
food alone, or who have certain medical conditions might benefit from taking
one or more of these nutrients found in single-nutrient supplements or
multivitamins. However, evidence to support their use for overall health or
disease prevention in the general population remains limited.
Taking a multivitamin or specific supplement can increase
your overall nutrient intake and helps some people get the recommended amounts
of vitamins and minerals when they can’t or don’t get them from food alone. But
taking a supplement can also raise the chances of getting too much of some
nutrients, like iron, vitamin A, zinc, niacin, and folate/folic acid,
especially when a person takes more than a basic, once-daily product that
provides one hundred percent of the Daily Value (DV) of nutrients.
An issue with supplements is that they are not regulated by
the FDA. Supplements can appear on the shelf without having to prove they offer
any benefits. With limited regulation and oversight, it's also difficult to
know for certain that the supplement contains the ingredients on the label and
is free of contaminants. It’s good to be a conscious consumer and refer to your
medical provider if you have any questions or concerns with the use of
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) per
growth, immune function, overall health of cells
milk, milk products (fortified), dark green leafy vegetables, orange fruits
Regulates bone mineralization
5 mcg (ages 19 to 50)
10 mcg (ages 51 to 70)
15 mcg (over age 70)
Fish oil, milk (fortified), shrimp, ultraviolet
light (sunshine) on skin can activate vitamin D production
proper red blood cell formation
soybeans, almonds and other nuts, sunflower seeds, wheat germ
Normal blood clotting, role in bone mineralization
Green, leafy vegetables, also created by bacteria in
of energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Normal nervous system
grain breads and cereals, fortified breads and cereals, dried beans, pork
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Release of energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and
fats. Normal skin development
Milk, leafy green vegetables, whole grain breads and
of energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
fish, poultry, and eggs. Milk, nuts, whole grains and breads
Release energy stored in tissues, red blood cell
1.3mg (ages 19 to 50)
1.5mg (women over 50)
1.7mg (men over 50)
Whole grain breads and grains, dried beans, leafy
green vegetables, bananas, meat, fish, poultry
of new cells, nervous system, red blood cell formation
foods only, specially formulated yeast (fortified)
Creation of new cells, red blood cell formation
Leafy green vegetables, whole grain breads and
cereals, orange juice
of energy from carbohydrates, proteins and fats
distributed in foods
Release of energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and
Widely distributed in foods
of collagen, antioxidant, immune function
and other citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes
Environmental Health Day Every Day!
Environmental Health Day Every Day!
By: Stella Johannes, Health Educator
When most of us hear the word health we think of fitness and
nutrition, or physical health. In fact
there are nine dimensions
of wellness that affect our overall health.
They include emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental,
financial, occupational, social and cultural.
Each of these dimensions needs to be addressed for us to be healthy and
balanced people. When most of us hear the words environmental health most of
us think of blue bins and stalwart activists, chaining themselves to trees or
challenging massive whaling boats in rubber rafts armed only with a megaphone
and ideals. While these things certainly
apply to Environmental Health, realistically the blue bin variety is more
applicable to most of us – and its importance is underrated! Environmental health is concerned with any aspect of the
environment that affects our health as human beings. By this definition environmental health has
as much to do with lighting, ergonomics, and neighborhood watch, as it does to
do with recycling.
However, as it’s April, and Earth Day is upon us, we’ll
stick to the blue bins. Because every
choice we make however large or small has an impact on the natural environment,
positive or negative, whether we directly feel the repercussions or not. For those interested in improving their environmental health,
in honor of Earth Day I would suggest starting by picking one small, realistic
goal, and doing your best to stick to it for the month (approximately the time
it takes to form a habit). Choose something that appeals to you personally. If you are trying to find more opportunities
for physical activity, you could save electricity too, and opt for the stairs. You could bring silverware to work with you,
thereby eliminating the need for single use plastic cutlery, use scratch paper
instead of post-its, or power-off and unplug electronic devices that don’t
require updates when you are done with them for the day. - or get yourself a reusable water bottle and
stay hydrated in the bargain. There are lots
ideas out there!
the choice to commit to using canvas grocery totes instead of paper or plastic bags, has an impressive impact. When plastic bags are not recycled (which is not
always an option) they usually end up in a landfill, but those that don’t often
find their way into the natural environment, decorating trees and floating in
the breeze. Plastic bags do not actually
biodegrade, they photograde, which
means that the material never breaks down into organic material, it just breaks
up into smaller and smaller pieces of toxic material over the course of many
years. In the meantime they cause a lot of damage, most infamously getting
mistaken for jellyfish and choking turtles and other sea creatures, entangling
and trapping wildlife, and at every stage of photo-degradation, polluting the
natural environment. While paper bags
are a better choice, they represent forest – a resource better not taken for
occasional laundering you can reuse canvas totes for years. Of
course there are reusable totes in other materials, but my personal favorites are
cotton, hemp and burlap because they are natural biodegradable materials. Isn’t
it amazing how incredible the impact of just one choice can be? Good advice for those of us trying to make any healthful change
in our lifestyle habits (whatever the dimension) is to take it in small steps,
and to reward ourselves when we hit a benchmark. It is tempting to try to bite off more than
we can chew out of excitement, or impatience.
But trying to change too much too quickly typically results in failure,
leaving us feeling discouraged and less likely to try again. If we set one small realistic goal and succeed,
then we can move on to another, and before we know it we are miles ahead of
where we were when we started!