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Register for WWHF’s 14th Annual Spring Gala Today!

You don’t want to miss out on an elegant evening of dinner, dancing, dessert and drinks at the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation’s 14th Annual Spring Gala. On Saturday, May 4, 2013, we will hold the 14th Annual Spring Gala at the Wisconsin State Capitol Rotunda. This event is benefitting ouroutreach and education programs. The Spring Gala is our primary fundraising event, allowing us to reach women statewide with the information and tools they need to make healthy decisions for their families!

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Registration is now open,

Bring some friends and buy a table of 8 – $1,280 per table

or

Make it a date night and purchase two individual tickets! – $95 per ticket

 

Vote for your Everyday Health Hero today!

WWHF Everyday Health Heroes are men and women who have made a positive impact on the health and welfare of their families and communities. We will recognize four Heroes who demonstrate courage, creativity, generosity, leadership, and perseverance and who live out the WWHF mission of helping women and families reach their healthiest potential in their everyday lives. Read about the Everyday Health Heroes and vote here.
 

EHH Collage

Winners will be honored at the Spring Gala and auction on May 4th in Madison. Join the party and support your Everyday Health Hero!

 

Start Spring With A New Liscense Plate

Improve the health and well-being of women and families in Wisconsin by purchasing a Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation license plate!

Your $25 donation will be re-invested in communities all over Wisconsin through support of WWHF outreach and education programs.

License plates can be purchased any time throughout the year, regardless of when your annual registration fees are due. Complete the application today, and you will pay the one-time original issuance fee of $15, plus the $25 donation (note: if your current plates expire within 3 months, you’ll also need to pay your regular registration fee). Your specialty plates will be mailed to you. Each year that you renew your Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation license plate, the Foundation will continue to receive a $25 donation.

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Click here to Download the application.

Click here for more information from the Department of Transportation or call the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation at 1-800-448-5148

 

 

A Lesson from Africa

I was recently told of a tribe in Africa that does the most beautiful thing.dancing-maasai-african-people-afkj7t5099-out

When someone does something hurtful and wrong, tribal leaders take the person to the center of town, and the entire tribe comes and surrounds them. Then, for two days the people of the tribe tell the person every good thing he/she has ever done….from the smallest act of kind consideration to the bravest noble deed.

The tribe believes that every human being comes into the world as a good person; each of us desiring safety, love, peace, happiness. Each of us is able to be instruments of kindness, comfort and support for one another. But sometimes people make mistakes. The community sees misdeeds as a temporary false step or a cry for help.

The tribe bands together, for the sake of their fellow member, to hold them up, to reconnect them with their true nature, to remind them of who they really are. The purpose of this activity is to help the person fully remember the truth from which they have temporarily been disconnected, the truth that says “I am good.

Can you imagine bringing someone you know and love into a circle of support and reminding them of their goodness? Imagine if families surrounded an adolescent who had done something dishonest and spent time sharing the wonderful things they had done in the past. How affirming that would be. With this kind of reaction who knows how good we would all remember to be, right?

 

Take Time for a Nature Walk

Why Take a Nature Walk?

What is it about nature that makes us so much healthier? And what is about outdoor exercise that is better than working out in a gym? While there are many theories as to why being in nature makes us healthier, one leading hypothesis tells us that being outside increases our vitamin D intake. Why does this matter, you ask?

We keep learning more and more about the importance of vitamin D for our health. The health benefits of increasing your vitamin D intake can include: cancer prevention, correcting hormonal problems, reducing obesity, decreasing inflammation and strengthening our immune system. Because sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, it only seems logical that spending more time outside will increase your vitamin D intake.

 Yellow Autumn Leaves On Trees

Did you know that being in a natural setting can also help increase your quality of sleep? Studies show that natural sunlight helps set the body’s internal clock which tells us when to eat and sleep. It even normalizes hormonal functions that occur at specific times of the day.

Additionally, enjoying the outdoors gives us a break from technology and the on-the-run lifestyle to which many of have become accustomed. When we’re outside, we have a clearer, more focused mindset. We get a chance to turn off—or better, leave behind—our cell phones to clear our heads and break from the stress we all have each and every day. We can pay more attention to our friends, pets, or ourselves.

Now, let’s go take a walk!

 

GrapeVine Project Nurse Highlight

Meet Lori Rudolph, Parish Nurse

 Lori

Lori Rudolph was trained for the WWHF’s GrapeVine Project in April 2009 and has presented sessions in Sauk County on all of the GVP health topics (bone health, breast health, cervical health, heart health, mental health, oral health, and domestic violence).

Lori has held 29 educational sessions for over 100 women. She has presented in churches, schools, various support groups and even at a Farmer’s Market!  Many of the women Lori works with are those who need support in developing life skills, often have limited education and greatly benefit from learning health information.

The GrapeVine Project is a free health education program for women presented by Faith Community/Parish Nurses (FCNs) right in your own community! The Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation partners with FCNs throughout the state by providing them with tools and educational information about various health topics. Holding free educational sessions, the nurses then share the information with women in their communities. Sessions can be held anywhere!

WWHF: How or why did you get involved with GrapeVine Project? 
LR: I thought it would be perfect for my job here at St. Clare Hospital because community outreach is so important. On a personal note, it has been a strong interest [of mine] to focus on prevention. The GrapeVine Project topics allow us to do that, to give women the tools they need to make better choices in their lives so that they are on the path to prevent a major illness.

WWHF: What is your favorite part of the GrapeVine Project?
LR: The people that I meet and the appreciation that they voice. They’re very happy to receive the information and are very thankful for the incentive gifts they receive at the session.

I personally appreciate that Sue Ann started the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation and the resources and information provided for health fairs and other events.

WWHF: What are your hobbies and interests?
LR: Travelling, reading and entertaining.

 

For more information on the GrapeVine Project, please visit:  http://www.wwhf.org/programs/grapevine-project/

 

Spring Break Time!

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Ah, Spring Break! The countdowns are nearing zero, the kids are getting antsier for a week free from school, and you just finished updating your vaccinations.

Wait…what?

Regardless of your spring break destination, make sure to check out the list below for some travel reminders you may have overlooked. Be prepared for wherever you go.

 

THE BEACH – http://www.cdc.gov/features/workingoutdoors/

  • Stock up on sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. If you have sunscreen more than two years old, throw it away – it doesn’t offer the same protection anymore! And remember, SPF is affected by rain, wind, water, and bug spray, so the more the merrier.
  • Don’t swim at night! A moonlit dip in the ocean may sound fun, but it’s also extremely dangerous.
  • At a party scene? Use the buddy system, and never leave a party alone. Carry around your hotel information with you, too, in case you get lost.
  • Make sure to drink more water than usual. That hot, tropical sun can get to you faster than you think. Remember: if you’re thirsty, you’re already slightly dehydrated.

THE MOUNTAINS – http://www.cdc.gov/Features/AdventureTravel/

  • Just because it’s cold, it doesn’t mean you still can’t get sunburnt on the slopes. Stock up on sunscreen for your ski trip – see the SPF advice above. Bring lip balm too – winters are dry out west!
  • The same goes for your eyes; to avoid snow blindness, wear a good pair of UVA/UVB blocking shades. Better yet, invest in a pair of goggles: they won’t fall off, they’ll keep snow out of your eyes, and they protect your eyes from tree branches should you unexpectedly visit the woods!
  • Wear layers! Working up a sweat during the day can make for a chilly evening as the sun sets. With long underwear, wool socks, a vest, hat and gloves, you’ll be prepared for any weather.
  • It may seem obvious, but pay attention to avalanche warnings, and don’t enter any restricted areas. Always ski with a buddy, and know your limitations.
  • Avoid altitude sickness by drinking tons of water. If you’re asthmatic, make sure to carry your emergency inhaler around in case the high altitude triggers an attack.

ABROAD – http://www.cdc.gov/features/springbreaktravel/

  • Make sure your vaccinations are up to date, and check the CDC’s safe travel updates for notifications on current disease outbreaks.
  • Consider health insurance, and always check the political climate of the country you’re traveling to in order to ensure you’ll have the safest trip.
  • Be careful of what you eat. You may have been advised to avoid the water in a certain country – but that extends far beyond drinking it. Avoid salads and fresh fruit/veggies (unless you peel them yourself), as they are often washed in tap water. Ice makers use tap water, too, as do showers and sinks. Also be aware of undercooked food in general – only eat it when it’s served hot.
  • Leave your travel itinerary and hotel numbers with family or friends at home so someone always knows where you are.

ROADTRIP – http://www.cdc.gov/features/InternationalRoadSafety/

  • As tempting as it may be to lie out in the back of a van after your 2AM-5AM driving shift, always wear your seatbelt. An uncomfortable nap is highly preferable to the consequences of not wearing a seatbelt.
  • Get enough sleep. As soon as you begin to feel drowsy at the wheel, it’s time to pull over to rest or switch drivers. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
  • Map your route ahead of time, and check to see tolls, construction, and the weather for each state you’ll be passing through. Don’t rely solely on a GPS or smartphone, as they can be lost, stolen, or broken – not to mention, the batteries can die at the worst time. Carry road maps with you; they can always be found at the nearest gas station.

 Wherever you go (or don’t go), get some well-earned rest, stay safe, and HAVE FUN!

 

Just 3 Steps – Starting to Exercise

Strech

Sometimes the hardest part of exercising is just getting started. Here are a few tips on how to start, or reignite, an exercise routine: 

1. Pick something you like to do.

If you don’t like running, you’ll dread getting on the treadmill; if you hate gyms, you’ll find many excuses not to go.  Think about what you do like to do and what makes you feel good. Choose THAT.  It might be going for a walk in your neighborhood, taking a dance class, or getting exercise DVDs to do at home.  If you don’t like the exercise you’re doing, it will be very, very hard to achieve step #2 (which is the most important!).  So, it is important to pick an activity that you will enjoy doing and that will make you feel good about yourself, both mentally and physically.

2. Commit to consistency, not perfection.

The most important part of starting an exercise routine is to be consistent.  It doesn’t matter what you’re doing or how perfectly you’re doing it; if you can maintain a regular routine, the strength and stamina will come.  The biggest challenge is just getting started.  We are creatures of habit, and inertia is powerful!  So, pick a reasonable routine (maybe walking 20 minutes 4x a week) and do that for two weeks.  Then, when it no longer feels like a challenge to get out the door or go to the gym, start to increase the intensity or vary the activity.

3. Take baby steps and set reasonable goals.

Many of us set unrealistic exercise goals and plan routines that are difficult to achieve and almost impossible to maintain. That’s why so many of us are frequently starting to exercise instead of continuing to exercise.  Think carefully about what will work with your interests, schedule and lifestyle, and start there.  If that doesn’t work, reassess; if it does, think about increasing the intensity or the length of time little by little.  Holding on to unrealistic expectations will make exercising stressful, which will make it more likely that you will stop (and then have to start all over again!). 

 

This St. Patrick’s Day, Go Green For Your Health!

A famous frog once said “it ain’t easy being green” and while it may be hard to be the color green (the Wicked Witch of the West definitely had some issues), there are a few good green things you can do for your health.

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Introduce more green veggies into your diet. Vegetables are full of dietary fiber, which helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Look for vegetables that are in-season and don’t require a lot of prep work. Take a moment to check out Choose My Plate for even more healthy eating tips.

 

 

green cleaning

 

 Try green cleaning. Many of the household cleaning products we use contain harsh and even harmful chemicals called volatile organic compounds or VOCs. VOCs can irritate the eyes or throat, cause headaches or other health problems. [1] Try using warm water and baking soda for scrubbing and vinegar and warm water for cleaning glass.

 

 

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Enjoy the green space outdoors. The snow is finally starting to melt and the green shoots of spring flowers might even be popping up in your yard. Exposure to nature or green space has long been associated with improved well-being, self-esteem and mood.[2] Wisconsin is home to many beautiful parks and outdoor recreation areas, take time to visit one near you or take a moment to look at the green scene right outside your window.

 

 

 

[1] http://www.lung.org/healthy-air/home/resources/cleaning-supplies.html

[2] Pretty, J., Peacock, J., Hine, R., Sellens, M., South, N. & Griffin, M. (2007) Green Exercise in the UK Countryside: Effects on Health and Psychological Well-Being and Implications for Policy and Planning. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 50, 211-231.

 

My Motivation? My Grandson.

387064_614366303481_595492368_nMy grandson is quite possibly the cutest 3 ½-year-old little boy in whole wide world and I know I’m not the only Gramma that thinks this about her grandchildren. One thing you other Grammas may or may not have thought about is how your health is affected by your grandchildren.

In the 3 ½ years since my grandson was born, I’ve started eating better, exercising, losing weight and I’m happier.

I eat what my grandson eats. His health is important to me, so when I fix his plate with a fruit, vegetable, protein and grain, I’m benefited by eating healthier. Using his fun, kid-sized plates helps me keep my portions under control too!

When I say exercise, I should be more specific…I’ve never been a fan of traditional exercise or going to a gym. I’ve always preferred being active with my family or doing things outside like, kayaking or gardening. These feelings didn’t change when my grandson was born, I just added “chasing” to my list of activities. As soon as he could crawl, I chased after him. Now that he can run, our favorite chasing track is around the island in our kitchen through the living room and back. A few laps are enough exercise to get my heart pumping.

Combining healthier eating and exercise has helped me to lose 18 pounds since I became a Gramma. I know that by losing weight, I’ve lowered my risk of Type II Diabetes, which runs in my family.

Lastly, but maybe most importantly, since my grandson was born, I’m happier. I love to see his smiling face and that little twinkle in his eye. I look forward to my time with him because I know my mood will be brightened, I’ll laugh and he’ll smile.