Getting healthy for the new year, and how to keep those New year’s resolutions for improving health and maintaining a healthy weight, was the topic of Talking Health on News Radio 1240 KQEN recently.
Host Lisa Platt talked with Jenny Wood, a registered dietician/nutritionist with CHI Mercy Health and Dave Powell, the owner and trainer at CrossFit Roseburg.
The following is an edited version of the interview from the program on Jan. 29.
Lisa: How much exercise should we have on a regular basis?
Dave: For the average person, depending on what your goals are, on your age and other factors, generally between two to five times a week. Three to four would be safe for the majority of the population.
Lisa: Give us some advice on how we can keep ourselves inspired to want to exercise.
Dave: I think everyone has to have goals, and everyone’s goals are going to be something completely different, but I like to see four or five short term goals that you can reach in two months or less.
Then two to three medium goals and one long term goal that’s going to take you a year.
I like the short term goals that are going to be something someone can hit in a day or two, or maybe a week. If you don’t have those short-term goals, and you’re not seeing any progress, you’re going to get burned out and just end up quitting.
The medium one is something that, if you’re going to reach it, it’s going to be in that two to six month range, so you have to stay the course to do that. Obviously with the year goal, you’re really going to have to stay the course, and that has to be tied into a lot of other things as well.
Sometimes, you might not hit the yearly goal, but I really like the short-term goals because when you hit it and get a little positive feedback, you have a little extra pull, or you lost that extra five pounds that you were trying to lose, that’s what keeps you motivated.
What you have to do is give your best effort for the day and just be consistent. That’s why we work.
Lisa: Are you able to customize workouts for people that have issues and can’t do hard workouts?
Dave: Right now in the gym we have a seven-year-old and an 86-year-old, so if we can work with seven to 86, we can probably work with anyone. A 92-year-old was the oldest member we’ve had, and we’ve seen many people who come in with a variety of injuries and issues.
Each day, we have an idea of what workout we’re going to do, and everyone’s going to do some form of that, but we tailor it to each person. So if you’ve got a fused back and you’re kind of nervous about doing dead lift, we can offer options that don’t require doing that.
They’re going to get the same response that we wanted out of the workout, but not put that extra pressure on their back because they’ve already had some issues there. So we take each workout and tweak it just a little bit. We can do that for anyone, really.
Lisa: If someone wants more information on CrossFit, how do they do that?
Dave: You can go to crossfitroseburg.com.
Lisa: Jenny Wood, as a dietician at Mercy Medical Center, can you talk about the food services for the hospital and the role it plays in getting someone back on their feet?
Jenny: Nutrition is just so important to help healing and helps us feel good about ourselves. For a lot of patients, food is the one thing they have control over in the hospital. Even if they are on a restricted diet, they can pick from a menu, and as a dietitian I work with patients to find foods for them to eat and promote health based on whatever diet they’re on.
Lisa: What is your work load at the hospital as a dietitian?
Jenny: It just depends on the day. Lately the census at the hospital has been a little higher, so our caseload is higher, which means we have to put the highest-priority people who are at-risk of nutritional deficiencies first.
But generally speaking, our floor assignment is maybe 15 to 20 patients, and we don’t necessarily see all of them every day.
Lisa: When you’re getting ready to go home from the hospital and you have to watch what you eat, what kind of information do you give folks when they leave?
Jenny: It’s really individualized. We try to meet every patient where they are, and patients are going home on different diets. If you’re going home as a recently diagnosed diabetic, that’s going to look a lot different than someone with kidney disease.
We also use handouts that come from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which all include information on the disease state or nutrition goal that you’re trying to meet; it includes information about foods that are recommended, foods to avoid and a meal plan.
Lisa: What does a balanced diet look like?
Jenny: A balanced diet is a general recommendation. It includes a variety of all the food groups, every day.
These food groups are going to be proteins, like beans, legumes, soy, and lean meats. It includes low-fat dairy, or dairy alternatives, whole grain products like 100 percent whole grain wheat, rice and whole food fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors. They always say eat the rainbow everyday.
Lisa: Where can people get information about eating healthy?
Jenny: There are quite a few resources in our community, one of which is on the CHI Mercy webpage . They have a Health Tip tab, so you can go in there and find a lot of great articles and a lot of great resources about healthy eating. Also, the Blue Zones Project is a community-wide initiative that’s really wonderful and happening in our community now.
Lisa: If you were going to change one thing about your eating habits or your eating diet, what would that be?
Jenny: Well I feel like I eat pretty well. But just in general for the general population, I think there’s always more room for those fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s really important to incorporate those into every meal and every snack you have.
The USDA’s My Plate guidelines recommend filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables for every meal. When you do this consistently, it helps you get vitamins and minerals that bodies require to perform their functions, it increases the fiber in your diet, which most Americans are lacking, and that fiber helps keep you full and satisfied for longer. It also promotes regular bowel movements and gut health. We’re starting to learn more about gut health, which is tremendously important.