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Healthiest County

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I saw a little blurb on the local news last night that the county that I live in was named the "Healthiest County in Georgia" I'm not sure where Georgia stands nationwide, but I thought that was pretty cool.

I checked it out a little more this morning and it's a study from some health institute and it's based on a variety of factors, including mortality, morbidity, health behaviors, clinical care, social/economic factors and physical environment.

It sounds right that our county would be up there. We are a "bedroom" community of Atlanta and within the last 15 years, have become pretty affluent and one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. The south part of the county is suburbia and the north part is still somewhat rural.

We have a lot of shoreline and Corp. of Engineer parks on a large lake and river and lots of great county parks. I've blogged before that there's no reason in our county not to be active. There are so many indoor & outdoor activities for a reasonable price and often for free!

I'm glad that I'm an "active" participant in the "healthiest county in Georgia"!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COACHMOMMY 3/22/2013 11:30AM

    You're right, Nikki, it does seem like only the more affluent neighborhoods have access (those tax dollars working!) or sometimes it's an issue of feeling safe in the environment. 7 out of the top 10 counties in the study were all
metro Atlanta and the lower counties were the very poor South Georgia rural counties.

I have to applaud the city of Atlanta though. They are working on a new "beltway" that goes around the city using an old rail line. It's multi-use trails and greenspace and will go through a lot of really neat areas (and help with revitalizing a lot of neighborhoods). I'm not sure how many miles it will be when it's done, but it's pretty massive. It looks pretty neat and even my "suburban self" would like to check it out.

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NIKKICOLE83 3/21/2013 2:10PM

    That sounds like an amazing place to live. I live in Omaha and our city is not exercise friendly. First of all, we are one of the top cities for restaurants per capita. We don't have a great public transportation system or biking lanes so 95% of our city drives cars to and from work even if they stay close by. We are lacking in parks and the ones we have are mostly just green space. There is nothing inviting about it that would make families want to get up and walk to the park. I live in an upper-middle class neighborhood and I was shocked when I moved there how many of my neighbors walk, run or bike everyday. There is also a trail system near my house so once I moved to this particular neighborhood, activity became a way of life. Unfortunately, it seems you have to live in an affluent neighborhood to have access to that.

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Healthcare Fines?! Makes you think . . .

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I am not a very political person. I don't like to participate in political discussions and I hate to listen to the "pundits" or "experts" from either side. I'm defiantly a "fence hugger". I have my opinions and I try to stay well informed, but find it hard to determine what is fact in today's media. That's why I usually just stay on the fence or keep my opinions to myself!

I briefly heard something on the news this morning while getting dressed about CVS charging their employees a "fine" for healthcare if they don't submit "vital information". I went online this morning to "check out" what they mentioned (slow day at work!). Of course you find all kinds of different information and "headlines" on the internet.

It does get you thinking though. My husband's company provides a $50 discount for any employee (and spouse) on the health plan to participate in a health screening. The information is private and all you have to do is go online and answer some questions and then do the screening.

Even if you have horrible health and you do nothing about, you aren't charged a "fine". I guess they just want you to be aware of your health and health risks with the HOPE you would do something about it. They provide all kinds of resources (for free), discounts on gym memberships, etc.

According to DH, a lot of people don't even want to do it, even for $100 discount a month on health care costs! The percentage of people that participate is pretty low. For employees they had several opportunities to go online at work (during your work time) if you don't have a computer at home. They had the health screeners come to work or you could go to several (very convenient) lab locations. They also gave you 2 months to complete. The health screening was a "mini" physical. Still with all of this, a very small percentage participated!

Although what I read about CVS sounds a little extreme, and again I'm not sure of what is all facts, it is kind of understandable that companies are having to go to the extreme. Apparently giving people a "bonus" like DH's company (and this is all fact) to take a little responsibility is not enough.

Just a little commentary and thoughts from someone who really doesn't have an opinion and likes her place on the fence!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RASPBERRY56 3/20/2013 12:12PM

    That's scary - just what is considered "vital information", anyway? Privacy advocates should take note of this!

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BIGDOG18 3/20/2013 11:31AM


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The scale is going the wrong way . . .

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I gained a lb. and I must say I'm a little disappointed :(

Except for Saturday & Sunday, I stayed within my PP daily target and didn't even come close to using up all of my earned activity points. I use my activity points first and try not to use the weekly points.

I even got kind of mad this morning after weighing in and started thinking about some more "drastic" measures to get that scale moving. All the things I mentioned before are still true (even though I'm 7 lbs. over "goal"), my measurements are actually lower, I feel great, I'm exercising and I'm eating pretty healthy. I hate to admit it, but I'm one of those people that put a lot of weight (pun intended!) on what the scale says!

Oh well, I'll keep plugging along. The only thing I need to "tweak" is to cut out some of the processed food I've been eating lately (i.e. Publix rice cakes - they are yummy air!) and maybe lower the carbs. A couple of years after DD#3 was born (she's 12 now), I had high glucose levels and was diagnosed with Insulin Resistance. I was about 60 lbs. overweight. I lost about 40 lbs. then and my glucose levels have stayed normal since (they were great at my health assessment in January) but I still try to limit the sweets & carbs.

Anyway, I finished out the "week" with running last night. I did the workout DVD on Monday. Well, most of it anyway. I was just about done, still needed to do the cool down and the phone rang. DH had taken DD#1 to work and DD#2 to Girl Scouts, so of course DD#2 wouldn't answer the phone! It was my sister calling to say our county was under a Tornado Warning (we had really yucky weather Monday). Both my sisters call when there's warnings to make sure my parents come to our basement (we live on the same property together and they don't have a basement and our house is built like a "fortress").

The weather was beautiful yesterday. Even though it's now officially Spring, yesterday and today will be the last Spring like days we'll have for about 5 days (rainy & cold). DH, DD#2 and I ran at the park and then DH & DD#2 played some basketball while I finished up my run/walk (I'm slower). I ran for 2 miles and walked another 10 mins. I'm slowly trying to work myself back up to 3 miles! Since this is the first day of my "week", I'll probably run again today before taking DD#1 to youth group and DD#2 to basketball. I want to take advantage of the nice weather!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJREIMERS 3/20/2013 10:29AM

    Don't fret over 1 lbs. It could be salt, water weight, that last late snack. Weight can fluctuate up to 4 to 5 lbs a day, so no worries.

If you are gaining weight, but you are "getting smaller" then you are probably gaining muscle. GOOD FOR YOU! That's where I'm at. My husband even thinks I lost weight, but I haven't. I've just toned up and am actually seeing muscle definition!!

Concentrate on that good feeling that you have had. If you are feeling healthy, energized and are feeling good in your skin, then the scale doesn't matter. (I know it does play with the mind, though!)

You are doing great! emoticon job! Keep it up!

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No exercise this weekend and oh yeah,

Monday, March 18, 2013

I didn't track either! It was kind of a strange weekend. I thought I would get in plenty of exercise because the weather was so nice.

I took DD#1 to work and DD#3 to church on Friday evening. DH took DD#2 to Walmart to get some stuff for her homeless experience that next morning. We were going to get fish at the church fish fry, but DD#1 had to work and DD#2&3 don't like it, so they had cheese pizza and I had a baked potato with broccoli. I found myself snacking Friday evening.

DH had to work overnight Friday night and got a couple of hours of sleep and then had to take DD#2, friend and their "homeless"box to the location @ 7 am. He helped set-up and got back home around 9:00 am and went back to bed. I had to pick up DD#1's boyfriend and take them later to the homeless experience where they were going to help take donations and load the trailers with donations. When I got back home DH was up, so I had to get some housework done (didn't want to be noisy earlier in the day).

After picking back up DD#1 & boyfriend, we got Subway for dinner. By that time, it was already after 7 pm and I didn't get in any exercise. I did work outside cleaning my front porch & deck getting geared up for "spring cleaning" and yard work. DH left for "security" duty and I took boyfriend home. It was a busy day, but I didn't exercise and I didn't track. DD#3 had a friend spend the night, so they made ice cream sundaes. I didn't eat that, but I still did plenty of snacking again.

DH & DD#2 got home about 8 am on Sunday, so they both went to sleep after showering. This would have been a perfect time to leave the house and exercise, but I ended up watching "4 Weddings" (I seem to have this fixation on weddings, buying wedding dresses & houses and fixing up houses!) for a couple of hours and then taking DD#1 & 2 shopping! We did play a little badmitton Sunday night and I had to finish up the laundry that I wasn't able to do earlier

So I tried to "recreate" what I ate over the weekend. I didn't got over my PP's (but ate a lot of crap!), if I remembered everything I consumed.

DH's work schedule is getting me out of whack (I can only imagine what it's doing to him!). All 3 girls have something going on tonight. He can help with the taking, but I'll have to do all the picking up. It's raining and kind of cold today, so I'm going to try to squeeze in the workout DVD. The next couple of days will be sunny, but colder than last week. I'll try to run Tue/Thurs.

I'll see how my "strange" weekend effects the scale on Wednesday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJREIMERS 3/18/2013 4:10PM

    Hang in there. We all get busy, but emoticon Just carve out some YOU time and stick to it! I now get up at 4:00 AM to get my workouts done. Otherwise, with four kids, work and volunteering, I'd never squeeze it in! JUST DO IT!

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Quite the Walk!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Even though I hurt DD#1's feelings the other day about "putting on a few pounds", apparently she agreed that she needs to exercise. She told DH she wanted to run on Thursday (mainly because it was such a beautiful day). As I mentioned before, she has a sedentary lifestyle with school, work & hanging out.

DH and I ran on Wednesday. Since he's been working nights, he didn't want to do a long run, so we ran on the "hilly" trail. It's been a while since I've done this trail and it was hard. With walking & running, we probably got in a little over 2 miles.

Last night DH, DD#1 and DD#3 and I went to the greenway trail that's behind the subdivision behind our property. We drive and park at the trailhead because it's a pretty long walk from our house and DD#3 was taking her bike.

DD#3 took off on her bike and DH, DD#1 and I stretched and walked for a few minutes and started to run. DD#1 did pretty good considering she hasn't done any running in a while. She and DH ran at a pretty brisk pace for about a mile. I trudged on past them when they started to walk, but they caught back up with me. We had gone over a mile and were getting ready to turn around, but we still hadn't come across DD#3 on her bike. DD#1 turned around and was going to walk through the neighborhood home and DH needed to go because he was going to run by Publix and pick up DD#2 and he was "done".

I kept on walking to find DD#3. This "leg" of the greenway is about 3 miles and then you have to cross a pretty busy road to continue on (which then goes through the park where we also run). I hoped DD#3 wouldn't cross the busy road, but you never know with her! I finally spotted her riding back. At that point I had probably walked/run over 2 miles. I told her we were going to have to get back home on our own because DH had taken the van and that she could ride on ahead, but had to stop at the entrance to one of the subdivisions and we would cut through there. I walked a little more and then probably ran for another 10 mins. after that. By the time we got home, I had walked/jogged for 1 1/2 hours! I'm not sure the distance, but the walk also included cutting through a very hilly subdivision!

Good thing I got in all that exercise because DH got a pie for PI day and I had a small slice of blueberry pie!

I'm feeling kind of sore and stiff today, so I think I'll take a "rest" day. DD#1 has to work tonight and DD#3 has something at church. I have to get up early tomorrow to take DD#2 to the "24 hour homeless experience". DD#1 decided she would just volunteer a shift and not do the entire 24 hours since she has to work late tonight (and wanted to hang out with boyfriend tomorrow). I'll have a lot of driving around tomorrow, but it's supposed to be 70+ this weekend, so I know I'll get plenty of exercise!

I really enjoy just walking & running and not really keeping up with my distance. For some reason, it doesn't seem like such an "obligation" when I do it that way. I want to work on building back up my distance so I can have a good time on my 5/4 5K, but I think I'll just "enjoy the ride" for a while. I might start working on distance in a couple of weeks.

Speaking of 5K's, a mother of DD#2's friend (who runs 1/2 marathons) came by yesterday to pick up DD#2 to plan out their Spring Break trip (she's going with them to Florida - lucky!) Anyway, she mentioned that one of their friends heard DD#2's name announced at the 5K we did as a "winner"! Apparently she got some kind of award for her age group. She came in 3rd, so they must have given her something. We didn't stay for the "awards ceremony" so I'll have to check it out! She's like her Mom and likes awards & recognition!

Happy St. Patty's Day to all tomorrow! emoticon


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