Hello South Dakota!

Finally, the weather is starting to cooperate and I hope everyone is getting a chance to get outside and enjoy it! It was nice to get some landscaping done this weekend and take in a little league baseball game. I am excited for playing in the yard with the kids and field work with the dog!

Week 3 results are in! We have 263 participants in the challenge and this week we moved a total of 27,557 minutes (459 hours).  The goal of this program is to reach 150,000 minutes (2,500 hours) of activity by the end of the 6 week program. So far, South Dakotans have moved a total of 80,637 minutes or almost 1,344 hours! Great job everyone!

We would like to congratulate Amber, from Huron, SD as this weeks lucky winner! Amber will receive a Be Well South Dakota Fit Kit and a $10 Scheels Gift Card!

Here are some additional tips to help you be active when time is an issue:

1. Whenever possible take the stairs.

2. View yard work and household cleaning not as chores, but as opprotunities for some active time.

3. Walk or ride your bike whenever possible.

However you choose to get your exercise in, stay safe and injury free and remember to Be Well South Dakota!


Recently I was alerted to a CDC-sponsored initiative entitled Million Hearts™ (http://millionhearts.hhs.gov ). This national initiative’s goal is to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over five years by bringing together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke. I believe this laudable goal deserves our attention and support. Cardiovascular mortality and morbidity may not directly impact you, but I guarantee it has impacted your network of family & friends.

A few startling heart disease and stroke-related key facts:

  • •  Heart disease kills roughly the same number people in the United States each year as cancer, lower respiratory diseases (including pneumonia), and accidents combined.
  • • Number of people in the United States who die from heart disease:
    -2,200 each day
    -800,000 each year (150,000 are under 65)
  • • 1 in 4 deaths in the United States is due to heart disease.
  • • 1 in 3 people (80 million) in the United States have some form of heart disease, which can include severe chest pain, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.
  • • Approximately 49% of adults have at least one major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
  • • Number of heart attacks and strokes that occur in the United States: 2,000,000/year.
  • • Heart disease and stroke cost the nation $444 billion/year in health care costs and lost economic productivity

As you are well aware, many risk factors for heart disease and stroke—including high blood pressure and high cholesterol—may not have any symptoms, hence the term “The Silent Killer” we oftentimes use for high blood pressure (hypertension). In the Sioux Falls area, DAKOTACARE is assisting the City of Sioux Falls during the month of April in their effort to encourage all adults to get screened for high blood pressure. This “Big Squeeze” program is part of the City Health Department’s “Live Well Sioux Falls” efforts to improve overall health care.

Fortunately, most risk factors for heart disease and stroke—specifically high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and obesity—are preventable and controllable. That is where you come in, we want you to REMEMBER YOUR ABC’S:

A — Appropriate Aspirin Therapy

B — Blood Pressure Control

C — Cholesterol Management

S — Smoking Cessation

Get your blood pressure checked, ask your doctor whether aspirin therapy is appropriate for you, keep your cholesterol numbers in the ideal range, stop smoking. By working hard through living a healthier lifestyle, which improves your risk factors for heart disease, we could reduce risk of heart attack or stroke in this country by more than 80%!

It won’t be easy, but we know you can do it. Good luck in your efforts.


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Try it Thursday: Greek Yogurt Pancakes

April 25th, 2013 | Posted by admin in Recipes - (0 Comments)

Tis the season for pancake feeds! While it is hard to not want to indulge in a stack of pancakes, especially for a great cause, it is definitely one of those foods that are better in moderation, at least when made at home. When making pancakes at home, try this lighter, protein-packed version!

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

6 oz of Greek Yogurt (plain or flavored!)
1 tablespoon honey
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup whole-wheat flour (or ½ all-purpose ½ whole-wheat)
½ cup fresh fruit

Mix together yogurt, honey, and egg.  Slowly mix in flour and baking soda.  Preheat a large pan or griddle on medium heat and scoop ¼ cup batter onto cooking surface.  Since the batter is so thick, smooth it out with a spoon and place fresh fruit on pancake.  Cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes. Serve with sugar free syrup or even better, fruit on top!

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Recipe Credit


Healthy Trade-Offs Just For You!

April 24th, 2013 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Hello and Happy Wellness Wednesday!  OMG…who is pulling out their shorts for the rest of the week?  Okay, only in South Dakota do we get excited to see a forecast above 50 degrees…but hey, it has been a looooooong 6 months and we are due for some decent weather!  Talk about motivation to get moving!  This week I want to talk to you about setting goals for healthy living other than the standard eat right and exercise.  Do you sometimes feel as though the “rules” for healthy living seem endless: exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, wear sunscreen and drink your water?  Who has time for this every day? The good news is you can swap out some of the must-dos for quicker fixes if you know how. Try these time-saving health trade-offs that really work.

Healthy goal: Meet face-to-face with friends regularly
Trade-off: Schedule one phone conversation with a friend each day.    
In-person meetings take time, but studies show that simply speaking out loud to one good friend a day boosts happiness levels. There are several ways to make the most out of those phone conversations.  Call someone who makes you feel good and focus on being positive rather than negative or confrontational. You can also try to bring back some shared memory and maybe use the time to plan something nice to do together in the future.

Healthy goal: Do crossword puzzles and brain games for memory
Trade-off: Read out loud.
Recent research found that when people who studied lists of words and read half the words out loud and the other half silently, they remembered the words spoken out loud much better. When reading something you want to remember, try reading the most important information aloud, even a whisper should work, according to the researchers.

Healthy goal: Brush your teeth after every meal
Trade-off: Chew sugarless gum when brushing isn’t an option.
Studies show that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals helps prevent tooth decay. Chewing increases saliva flow, which can help neutralize and wash away acids produced by the bacteria in plaque on teeth. The American Dental Association recommends gum chewing in addition to, not as a substitute for, brushing and flossing twice a day.

Healthy goal: Strength train to prevent back pain
Trade-off: Walk 30 minutes, five times a week.
Yes, I had to throw in something to “tie in” with our “Move Into Spring” challenge J  Traditional back-pain treatment often involves hours of physical therapy and strength training, but a new study shows walking can be just as effective. Walking also helps lower blood pressure and boosts immune functioning, making it a healthful lifestyle practice with multiple benefits, researchers concluded.

So now that we have these “goals and trade-offs” in place, I encourage you to pick at least 2 of these and challenge yourself to complete these throughout the next week…IN ADDITION to aiming for your 150 minutes of physical activity of course!  Together South Dakota, we can do it and with the nicer weather in our forecast, I can’t wait to see the numbers come in for the amount of physical activity completed in the days to come!  Have a wonderful day and Be Well South Dakota!


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Hello South Dakota!

I am wondering if we are going to have to collectively shout “Move into Spring” and hope Mother Nature listens! Oh well, one bonus is the fact that shoveling counts for minutes of activity…right?!

Despite the weather, week 2 results are in! We now have 262 participants in the challenge and this week we moved a total of 24,475 minutes (408 hours).  The goal of this program is to reach 150,000 minutes (2,500 hours) of activity by the end of the 6 week program. So far, South Dakotans have moved a total of 52,920 minutes or almost 882 hours! Needless to say we are on pace to blow past our goal! Great job to everyone!

We would like to congratulate Jeryl, from Madison, SD as this weeks lucky winner! Jeryl will receive a Be Well South Dakota Fit Kit and a $10 Scheels Gift Card!

It’s not always easy to find the time to move, but here are some suggestions to help you while you are at work.

  1. Do one minute’s worth of jumping jacks. If you’re a beginner, try the low-impact version (raise your right arm and tap your left toe to the side while keeping your right foot on the floor; alternate sides)
  2. March in place!  Get those knees up!
  3. Do walk-lunges in a vacant room

However you choose to get your exercise in, stay safe and injury free and remember to Be Well South Dakota!