NMC Employee Wellness Monthly Mini Challenge

March 2015

Wellness Works! -  National Nutrition Month

The temperatures may be frigid but the sun is peaking through the clouds and the days are getting longer, reminding us that spring is around the corner. Start preparing for those busy summer days by embracing National Nutrition Month. After all, if you eat better you will feel better and have more energy. Taking small steps like eating more fruits and vegetables will fuel your body and trim your waistline.

How much do you need? Generally speaking, an adult needs 2-3 cups of vegetables and 1 ½ – 2 cups of fruit each day. Select produce that is fresh and colorful in order to provide your body with a wide range of nutrients. Avoid nutrient loss when cooking by steaming, grilling or lightly sautéing vegetables. Not a big fan of vegetables? Trick your palate by hiding them in sauces, soups, casseroles or smoothies.

Most people enjoy eating fruit so getting recommended amount is fairly easy. Be sure to choose fresh, colorful, seasonal, whole fruit(s) over fruit juice. Whole fruit contains lots of fiber which makes you feel full longer and aides in digestion. Most fruit juices contain added sugar which adds unwanted calories. In fact, a typical 8 ounce glass of orange juice contains 120 calories compared to 60 calories for a whole orange. To find out more about the calorie content of your favorite fruits and fruit juices visit www.caloriecount.com.

After filling your plate evaluate the ratio of fruits, grains, vegetables and protein. It should be similar to the diagram below.

choose my plate image of one quarter fruits, grains, vegetables, meat

For more information on nutritional guidelines please go: www.choosemyplate.gov

March Nutrition Challenge

Your challenge for March is to eat 2-3 cups of vegetables and 1 1/2 – 2 cups of fruit each day. Keep track of the number of days you were able to meet the guidelines and submit your monthly total to mtalicska@nmc.edu by April 3rd. The person with the greatest number of days will win a local merchant gift card. All others will be entered in a random drawing.

Leave the measuring cups at home and use your hand(s) to determine the amount of food on your plate. Below is a guide you can use to determine how much food you are consuming.

image of food portion size


Wellness- March desk stretches for relief


We all have everyday aches and pains caused by sitting and/or typing for long periods of time but we can find relief. Take a few minutes out of your day to try out the stretches below which can be done at your desk.

Desk Stretches for shoulders and upper back

Shrugs:

  • Start with the arms relaxed hanging loosely by your sides
  • Inhale deeply and shrug your shoulders by lifting them toward your ears
  • Hold for 5 seconds
  • Repeat three times

Leg hugs:

  • Sit on the edge of your chair (if it has wheels, wedge the chair against the desk or wall to make sure it does not roll). Place your feet flat on the floor with the knees and ankles touching.
  • Lean the upper body over the legs resting the chest on the thighs. Let your arms dangle loosely to the floor and the head drop over the knees.
  • Next, wrap your arms under your knees and grasp the wrist, forearms or elbows. Feel the stretch in your back, shoulders and neck. Hold for 10 seconds
  • Release arms so the hands dangle toward the floor.
  • Repeat as often as need.

Bear Hugs:

  • Stand tall and wrap your arms around your chest. Try placing the right hand on the left scapula and the left hand on the right scapula.
  • Relax your shoulders and imagine moving the scapula away from the spine, stretching the upper back. Breathe deeply and lengthen the ears away from the shoulders.
  • Repeat as needed.

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