The 5 pillars of health

9NEWS and 9Health Fair want everyone to have the healthiest life possible.

9NEWS and 9Health Fair want everyone to have the healthiest life possible. So now, 9NEWS presents a wellness resource that focuses on the five pillars of health: Nutrition, Sleep, Exercise, Mental Health and Prevention.

Find more information on these pillars below and on the website 9healthready.org.

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NUTRITION

A balanced diet gives your body the energy it needs to thrive.

Americans often base their meals around proteins and starches. Change your thinking and make fruits and vegetables the foundation of each meal. Make it fun by "eating the rainbow."

Understanding portion sizes can make a huge difference in your diet. Use Nutrition Scientist Caitlin Dow's "hand-y" guide to find the right amount of each food for you.

Handy guide to portion control

Planning what you're going to eat for the week ahead can be beneficial. It can reduce the daily stress of cooking when you're hungry and improve your diet.Here's how to start doing weekly meal prep:

  • Start small: Wash, chop and store veggies for a week's worth of salads. Set up your snacks in the right portions for the week, like some yogurt with fruit, veggie sticks with hummus or homemade popcorn.
  • Plan meals based on what can go together: Pick a couple of recipes that call for similar ingredients and prepare them all at the same time (examples: Roasted veggies which you can mix with whole grain pasta and olive oil or throw them into an omelet or toss them with salad greens, mix a protein with a grain and veggies or make tacos with veggies and salsa, make all your grains for the week by adding water, herbs and spices into a rice cooker)
  • Keep trying weekly meal prep and don't get discouraged. You'll find what works for you through trial and error

9Health Fair Screenings for nutrition: Nutrition screening and Blood Chemistry Screening.

  • Nutrition screening: Poor nutrition may lead to nutrition-related diseases. This screening pairs you with a dietitian to get help on making lifestyle changes.
  • Blood Chemistry screening: This blood test provides a baseline measurement on 28 different levels, including cholesterol, glucose and more. It can help you and your doctor monitor your wellness and prevent health issues from becoming emergencies. Fasting is no longer required for this test.

Find out more information about nutrition here: http://9healthready.org/nutrition/.

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SLEEP

Sleep is key to overall wellness. It impacts many aspects of your health.

So the question remains, are you getting enough sleep? Here's how much sleep you should get per day based on your age:

  • Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours
  • Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours
  • Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours
  • Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours
  • School age children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours
  • Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours
  • Younger adults (18 to 25 years): 7 to 9 hours
  • Adults (26 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours
  • Older adults (65+ years): 7 to 8 hours

Source: National Sleep Foundation

It's important to establish a 30-minute pre-bedtime routine. It cues your body that it's time to power down and sleep.

Incorporate these steps into your routine:

  • Remove all technology from your room. The glow from electronics simulates sunlight, which disrupts our melatonin. That interrupts our circadian rhythm and keeps us awake.
  • Stop drinking caffeine in the mid-afternoon.
  • Play mellow music.
  • Start relaxing and thinking about bedtime.
  • Brush your teeth and wash your face.
  • Put down and turn off all technology.

These 9Health Ready participants tested a bedtime routine and here’s an update on their progress:

9Health Fair Screenings for sleep: Sleep Apnea screening and Blood Chemistry Screening.

  • Sleep Apnea screening: If you’re having trouble sleeping, it may be caused by sleep apnea. This condition affects one in five people. It happens when a person experiences a pause in breathing for 10 seconds or more while sleeping. This screening can help you determine if you need fuller evaluation for a serious health issue.
  • Blood Chemistry screening: This blood test provides a baseline measurement on 28 different levels, including cholesterol, glucose and more. It can help you and your doctor monitor your wellness and prevent health issues from becoming emergencies. Fasting is no longer required for this test.

Find out more information about sleep here: http://9healthready.org/sleep/

EXERCISE

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Exercise means different things to different people. Maybe your style is walking the dog or maybe it's competing in century cycling races. No matter what you prefer, 9Health Ready has some tips.

If you're a beginner, find simple ways to add movement to your day. Try 9NEWS Fitness Expert Jamie Atlas' suggestions for a starter workout:

Exercise 1 - Side squat with dumbbell reach

  • What it's great for: Leg strength and learning the squat movement
  • Tips for success: Keep the heels on the ground, hold the chest tall, breathe in as you drop down, out as you stand up.

Exercise 2 - Lunge step with same side rotation

  • What is great for: Hiking, beginning runners, loosening upper back tightness
  • Tips for success: Increase the range of the step as you feel more comfortable with the movement, if the right foot is stepping forward, rotate to the right, keeping the chest up as you rotate, let the back heel rise up as you step forward

Exercise 3 - Open squat with overhead reach

  • What it's good for: Improving posture, improving cardiovascular ability, relieving hip tightness
  • Tips for success: Imagine you are standing on the north pointer of a compass. As you step into the open squat position, make sure the foot is pointing at ninety degrees or on the east west pointer. Keep the low back straight and the chin up as you drop the weight between your knees. Raise the hand up above the head and lock the elbow out with each rep.

When you're active already, it's important to mix things up a little. Jamie Atlas put together an intermediate workout for you:

Exercise 1 - Side to side squat

  • What it's good for: Inner and outer thigh, glute and calves
  • Tips for success: Let the hands go out and the butt drop back as you drop into the squat position. As you become better, hold a dumbbell in your hands while going through the movement. Increase the side to side speed to emphasize cardio improvement and inner and outer thigh muscles.

Exercise 2 - Side to side with touch down

  • Resist the urge to round the upper back as you touch down. For increased challenge, hold a dumbbell in each hand. If this irritates your low back, reach in front instead of down and across

Exercise 3 - Figure 8 crawl pattern

  • What it's good for: Core muscles, wrist strength and shoulder stability
  • Tips for success: If this irritates your wrists, try layering down some yoga mats to soften the ground on your wrists. Also experiment with holding the wrist at different angles. Try to keep the head in line with the hips and feet as you move. Don't bounce the hips up and down as you move. If this is too challenging, you can also complete this exercise on knees, moving only the hands in a mini figure 8 movement.

Exercise 4 - Side to side pushups

  • What it's good for: Shoulder stability, tricep sculpting and core
  • Tips for success: Keep the chest tall (not rounded) as you move side to side. Wider hand position works more chest, narrow hand position more triceps and front shoulder. You may bring your knees to the ground if you need an easier version. Breathe in as you drop down, out as you push away from the ground.

Working out is already part of your routine, but you want to become even better? Test out these movements Jamie Atlas assembled that he doesn't often see people do:

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Exercise 1: Split squat with band pull

  • What it's good for: Leg strength, calf flexibility, upper body strength and posture
  • Tips for success: Keep shoulders low as you pull the band towards yourself. Breathe in as you pull away from the anchor point. Place 70 percent of the weight in the front flat foot. If using a band, step closer or further away to increase or decrease resistance

Exercise 2: Step back lunge with horizontal resistance

  • What it's good for: Core, sports applications, shoulders and upper body sculpting
  • Tips for success: Keep the shoulders in place and don't allow the upper back to round forward. Start with a light resistance and get familiar with the movement first. It's harder than it looks!

9Health Fair Screenings for exercise: Body in Balance screening and Blood Cell Count screening.

  • Body in Balance screening: This screening checks your body position, posture, flexibility, strength and balance to help you prevent injuries to your neck, back, knees, ankles, feet, and other areas.
  • Blood Cell Count screening: This screening helps determine your body’s ability to transport oxygen. It also looks at how your body’s prepared to fight infection, anemia, liver disease and certain cancers. The blood draw checks your white blood cells, hematocrit, hemoglobin levels, and blood-clotting abilities.

Find out more information about exercise here: http://9healthready.org/exercise/.

MENTAL HEALTH

A healthy mind helps you realize your potential, cope with stress, work productively and contribute to your community.

Reduce your stress in your life. 9NEWS Psychologist Dr. Max Wachtel walks you through the 4 Rs that let you alleviate stress and stop over-analyzing your life.

Here are some activities to relieve stress:

  • Exercise (Stress has a physiological component & exercise works it out!)
  • Meditate
  • Make lists
  • Simplify the number of activities you’re involved in.

Engage your brain muscles to keep a sharp mind by doing the following two things: Learn something new and be social with others.

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9Health Fair Screenings for mental health: Stress Management screening and Memory screening.

  • Stress Management screening: This screening evaluates your mental wellness by seeing how you cope with life’s stressors.
  • Memory screening: The purpose of this screening is to test your short-term memory related to Alzheimer’s disease. It uses a memory impairment screening tool

Find out more information about mental health here: http://9healthready.org/mental-health/.

PREVENTION

9Health Fair puts you in charge of your health. Choose from a variety of professional medical screenings and wellness resources.

The blood chemistry screening gives you a baseline for your health. Learn what your normal values are for 28 different tests all in one blood draw. It will help you detect if something is wrong later down the road. Some of the levels that are tested include: cholesterol, glucose (screens for diabetes), thyroid, kidney and heart disease. Fasting is no longer required for this test.

Ask the medical expert at your 9Health Fair about what screenings you should get.

Important free screenings to take advantage of:

  • Blood pressure screening: Blood pressure is the force in the arteries when the heart beats and when the heart is at rest. It can fluctuate with exercise, illness, injury and emotional reactions. A high or low blood pressure can indicate a bigger health issue.
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) screening: Your BMI is calculated using your height, weight and waist measurements. It can help identify your risk for obesity, heart disease and stroke.
  • Body in Balance screening: This screening checks your body position, posture, flexibility, strength and balance to help you prevent injuries to your neck, back, knees, ankles, feet, and other areas.
  • Skin screening: It’s important to regularly check your skin for potential issues, like skin cancer and other problems. The screener may examine your scalp, face, neck, arms, hands, upper chest, back and legs.

Download the 9Health Ready Resource Guide for a quick way to reference the goals in each pillar.

Find out more information about prevention here: http://9healthready.org/prevention/.

Join the 9Health Ready community: http://bit.ly/1oJw8b9