Shape Up America!
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 Shape Up America! Newsletter . Real Help For Real People 
December 2002 
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Greetings!

The staff of Shape Up America! wishes you, your family, and your friends a terrific holiday season. To Your Health, Dr. Barbara Moore, P.H.D.

Another year is upon us, and while festivities are all around us, the time is NOW to begin to focus on your weight management and fitness goals. The fact is, as it has always been, that we do not have much if not for our health. With this in mind, it is our deepest desire to help you and your loved ones achieve a better lifestyle in 2003. Let's get started.

In this issue
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  • Sponsor Shape Up America!
  • 10,000 Steps Program
  • Support Somebody You Love With This Gift!
  • Holiday Recipes
  • Childhood Obesity - It Takes a Family-PART II

  • 10,000 Steps Program
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    How much exercise does it take? Getting started on the 10,000 Steps Program. In December, 2001, the U. S. Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher issued "The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity." In this report, Dr. Satcher joined former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop by highlighting the health risks and costs of overweight and obesity and issued a call to Americans to take action. Dr. Koop founded Shape Up America! in 1994 because of his concern about the increasing prevalence of obesity in America. The mission of Shape Up America! is to provide you with solid (scientific) information on weight management. Over the years, the Surgeon General has warned Americans about such things as the hazards of cigarette smoking or a high cholesterol level in your blood. In 1996, the Surgeon General issued an important report on physical activity and warned us that regardless of our age, we are just not active enough. Since then, you may have been scratching your head, wondering just how much activity would make the Surgeon General happy. Our purpose is to clarify how much exercise is necessary to manage your weight and to introduce the 10,000 steps program.

    Exercise and Health The Surgeon General's recommendation for physical activity is to add about 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity each day ON TOP of your customary daily activities. This recommendation is a health recommendation - it is designed to improve your health and it is backed by solid evidence that you WILL improve your health if you follow this recommendation. But is it enough activity to prevent weight regain after a weight loss program? Is it enough activity to prevent overweight in the first place? No, the studies show it is not likely to be enough for either purpose.

    For Weight Management -- How Much is Enough? So how much activity is enough for weight management? There are now some studies suggesting that walking 10,000 steps a day is the right ball park to be in. Several months ago, we decided to purchase a pedometer so that we could figure out how to talk to you about the physical activity goal of "10,000 steps a day." The pedometer we purchased is of the very simple variety. It tracks steps and that's it. We didn't care about tracking miles walked or calories burned or any of the other fancy features that some pedometers offer. We purchased the basic model, which means it was the least expensive -- costing less than $30. We learned you can't just stick it in your pocket. You have to firmly clip it to a belt or waistband around your waist in order for it to work properly. After wearing the pedometer for a few weeks, we learned that in the normal course of events - just living and working - we took anywhere from 900 to 3000 steps in a day and not much more. In other words, we came to realize that it was pretty nearly impossible for us to get in 10,000 steps in a day without intentionally going out for a walk (or getting on a treadmill).

    Here is what we learned about getting started on the 10,000 steps program To avoid injury, you need to work up slowly. If you have any concerns about your joints (ankles, knees or hips) discuss your exercise plans with your physician. You will need a good pair of sneakers. We actually prefer a running shoe with plenty of cushion. We noticed that we are wearing out our sneakers and replacing them every six months or so. Start out by wearing the pedometer each day for two weeks and don't do anything to change your normal routine. Before you go to bed, take care to log your steps at the end of the day each day for the entire two-week period. At the end of the second week, take a look at how many steps you are taking each day in the course of living your life. Perhaps on some days it is as few as 700 steps in a day and on other days, it may be as high as 2500 steps. If you feel comfortable doing so, take the highest number of steps you have walked on any given day and use that number of steps as your daily step goal. Feel free to select a smaller number of steps as your goal if you prefer. To avoid injury, do not select a higher number. Aim for your goal each day for the next two weeks. Let's assume your first step goal is 2500 steps. That means that for the next two weeks, you are going to try to walk 2500 steps each day. Before bedtime each night, be sure to log in the number of steps you actually took. At the end of that two-week period, review all the steps you took each day and decide if you are ready to add another 500 steps to your goal. Your new step goal is now 3000 steps a day for the next two-week period. Continue in that manner, working up as slowly as you wish, until you finally reach the goal of 10,000 steps a day. Check with your physician if you experience any pain or discomfort that concerns you. We consider pain a warning signal that something may be wrong. Our goal is to keep you active for the rest of your life. So don't go overboard and pull a muscle that will put you out of commission. Take it slow. Take it easy. I Hate to Walk, But I Like To If you really can't stand to walk but you like to jog or run -- Go ahead and get your steps in with jogging or running. A pedometer can track your steps whether you are moving slow or fast. If you use special exercise equipment or if you like to bicycle, swim or kayak, we discovered our pedometer does not help us keep track of our activity. Even on a stair stepper or stair climber in the gym, it was not accurate. But not to worry, you can "translate" your 10,000 step goal into an equivalent time goal for your favorite activity.

    To get started with our pedomoeter click here »

    Support Somebody You Love With This Gift!
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    This beautifully designed gift basket contains everything that you need to get started or continue developing healthy fitness habits. What a great gift for the holidays right around the corner!

    The basket includes: Treklinq Pedometer, The Asian Diet Cookbook, Healthy Weight, Healthy Living, Eating Smart, Fitting Fitness In, On Your Way To Fitness, 10,000 Steps Program, and the Beautiful Basket Shape Up America! members get a 10% discount!

    To order your basket go here! »

    Holiday Recipes
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    Bread Stuffing for Turkey Serves 10

    4 tablespoons butter 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 cup celery, including leaves, finely chopped 1 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped 1 tablespoon salt 1 ˝ teaspoons freshly ground pepper 2 teaspoons dry thyme 1 teaspoon dry rosemary 1 teaspoon dry sage 8 cups stale bread, cut into ˝ inch cubes, toasted lightly 1 cup chicken broth

    1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the celery and sauté another few minutes. Add parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Place the mixture in a large mixing bowl, add the cubed bread and chicken broth, and toss to combine.

    2. When cool, stuff the turkey and bake.

    For More Recipes Click Here »

    Childhood Obesity - It Takes a Family-PART II
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    When a child is too fat, the risk of diabetes is a serious threat to that child's health. For the first time in history, children as young as eight years old are suffering from "Diabesity" - obesity-induced type 2 diabetes. Equally upsetting is that overweight children are subjected to ridicule and teasing from their friends and schoolmates. What steps can you take to protect the mental and physical health and well being of your overweight child? The last issue of our newsletter explained how to work with your child's pediatrician or other qualified health care professional to assess your child correctly. Now you need to know what to do about it if your child is too fat.

    What to Do If Your Child is Overweight? You may be surprised to learn that it takes an entire family to help an overweight child. It is true that the child requires careful monitoring by a qualified pediatric health professional. But treatment should start with a careful review of the entire family's eating and exercise habits, and the eating and exercise environment of the child. If you decide to seek a weight loss program to address the problem, here are a few things you need to know: For the complete list of things to consider, obtain a copy of the Parent's Guide.

    · The treatment of an overweight child should focus on the entire family. Efforts to treat the child without addressing the lifestyle of the parent(s) and other members of the family living under the same roof are likely to fail. · If you are the caregiver for the child, it is important to face the question of whether the entire family is ready for change.

    · You are the role model(s) for the child, and you may need to improve your own eating and exercise habits if you truly want to help the overweight child you love. · Targeting only the child for treatment may stigmatize the overweight child and can be counter- productive and harmful. · Making exercise a priority for the entire family will usually take a great deal of planning on your part. Walking is great exercise for all ages. · If your neighborhood is unsafe, you may need to organize supervised play groups with other adults you trust who will share responsibility with you. · Food is often used for emotional reasons that have nothing to do with true hunger. Learn how to identify real hunger and distinguish it from emotional hunger. You and your child may need the help of a professional in this area. · You may need to change the way in which your family uses food to manipulate each other's behavior and emotions. · Avoid using food to reward good behavior - the best reward is to offer to spend special one on one time with your child. · You may need to seek emotional support for yourself and your family as you make these lifestyle changes. · Turn off your TV(s), computer(s), video game (s) and spend more time interacting as a family. · If your child requires medications, you must be sure that a qualified physician is carefully monitoring the health and growth of your child. This is especially important the entire time your child is taking any medications Summary As described in last month's newsletter, the assessment of an overweight child requires very accurate measurement of height and weight to calculate your child's BMI. Your pediatrician will then use gender- and age-specific BMI Percentile tables to evaluate your child. For more information on assessment, and treatment please consult the Shape Up America! Parent's Guide to the Assessment and Treatment of the Overweight Child. The treatment of childhood obesity should not focus on the overweight child. The treatment approach should focus on the behavior of the entire family, including the parents or caregivers, siblings, and any other role models in the family. The child's living environment (including home, school and neighborhood) may need to be carefully evaluated and changed to encourage healthier eating and exercise habits. Family dynamics may have to be examined and changed - a process that can be painful and may require emotional support. The Shape Up America! website is intended to address the lifestyle of adults. It is not designed for children or intended for children. There are many resources on the Shape Up America! website that can be used to improve your entire family's eating and exercise habits. For example, if you use the Shape Up America! CyberKitchen, the recipes and meal plans are appropriate for the entire family. Both children and adults require a great deal of physical activity to maintain a healthier body weight. If you use the Shape Up America! Fitness Center to improve your exercise habits, be sure to choose some activities that you can enjoy with your child. You may find the Shape Up America! Support Center useful in making these lifestyle changes. Our goal is to help you acquire the skills you need to achieve healthy eating habits and a level of physical activity that is sufficient to maintain a healthy weight and body fat content for life.

    More on this topic »

    Sponsor Shape Up America!


    Shape Up America! is financed solely by private funds of corporations, commodity boards, and foundations. Sponsorship of Shape Up America! is open to a wide range of companies and industries that are concerned about healthy weight and physical fitness, including food and beverage manufacturers, food retailers and restaurants, commodity boards, weight management companies, manufacturers of diet-related products, manufacturers of sporting goods and equipment, fitness organizations, health promotion companies and the mass media.

    Sponsorship is a tax deductible contribution, and with an average viewership of ONE million per month you can have your organization be in the spot light to thousands of people per day.

    From now until December 31, 2002 we have created some truly unbelievable special offers for sponsoring Shape Up America! in 2003. Click on the link to see how you can help us develop more REAL HELP FOR REAL PEOPLE!

    Click To See Sponsorship Options

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