Ladies First Heart Health Services are back!
Great news! The Ladies First program has been awarded funding for another round of Heart Health programming.

Ladies First is now able to pay for the following services for members that are over the age of 40:

  • Height and weight measurements
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Cholesterol testing
  • Blood sugar testing

We are excited to offer lifestyle programming again to members over the age of 40 that are up to date on their heart health screenings and ready to commit! Lifestyle Programs include:

  • Weight Watchers
  • Curves Complete
  • TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly)
  • The Diabetes Prevention Program
  • Local fitness options with health coaching
Adventures in Food
Hold the salt, please

What’s the big deal with sodium? About one third of Americans have hypertension (high blood pressure) and a diet that is high in sodium might be to blame. For some people, sodium helps hold extra fluids in the body which adds a burden to the heart. When high blood pressure goes untreated, it can damage the blood vessels and organs. High blood pressure can also increase risk for stroke and heart failure. Even if you don’t have high blood pressure, taking in too much sodium can lead to bloating, puffiness, and weight gain.

The American Heart Association suggests that women take in less than 1500 mg of sodium per day. That equals a little less than ¾ teaspoon of table salt. Amazingly, most of the sodium that Americans consume is from processed foods, not from the salt shaker. In fact, one fast food hamburger has more than the recommended daily value of sodium! 

Gradually use less salt. You will get used to things being less and less salty if you decrease slowly.

Choose fresh food over processed food. For example, making your own marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes could save you up to 500 mg of sodium when compared to buying pre-made sauce.
Make your own meals low sodium. Rinse all canned beans and veggies under cold water before using them. Use herbs and spices instead of extra salt for flavor. Add less baking soda or baking powder since these have sodium in them as well. Try this low sodium chili recipe!

Pay attention when shopping for certain cheeses, bread, cured and smoked meats, pickled sides, condiments, broths and soups, and savory snacks. Compare the package labels and choose the brand with the lowest amount of sodium.

Look out for terms like “sodium free” “low or very low sodium” and “lightly salted” when buying canned and packaged food . Try to find canned beans and veggies that say, “no salt added”. 

Track how much sodium you eat. You can use this sodium tracker or use an app on your phone such as My Fitness Pal. 
Move U!
Tips to motivate you through the Winter!

Take action, start today.
You don’t have to start on Monday. Even if you miss your Monday workout, try to sneak some exercise in, even if it’s just a walk. Don’t wait until the next week to pick up your routine again.

Start a little friendly competition.

Even finding a supportive friend or family member can be motivating. If you announce your goals they can be there to cheer you on. 

Set mini-goals and celebrate along the way.
You can reward yourself with small things like a smoothie or an episode of your favorite show afterwards. These can be goals that aren’t tied to the number on the scale.

When you are lying in bed trying to decide whether to work out or not- imagine how you will feel after your workout and how excited you will be when you start to meet your goals. 

Mix it up!
Workout burnout is a real thing.
As you enter a new season, switch up your workout routine to match it.
Around Vermont
Free Snow Days! 

Blue Cross Blue Shield is hosting their free Snow Day Events again this winter! These events include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and sledding.They also have a bonfire and healthy snacks! 
Equipment use is free and on a first-come, first-served basis. 

This year's events are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the following locations: 

January 26th, 2019: Grafton Outdoor Center in Grafton
February 2nd, 2019: Mountain Top Inn and Resort, Chittenden
February 16th, 2019: Lyndon Outing Club, Lyndon
February 23rd, 2019: Bolton Valley Ski Resort, Bolton
Ladies First | Phone: 800-508-2222 | Fax: 802-657-4208