Roz Thompson “Knocks the Ball Out of the Park” As 2015 DMC Health Challenge Comes to a Close

        Have you heard that old saying, “Time really flies when you’re having fun?”

        In the case of the 2015 DMC 61 Day Health Challenge, that ancient maxim seems especially true. Has it really been more than eight weeks since we launched our exciting journey together through the world of “Less sugar, more steps, eat more fruit”?

Indeed it has.

But before we declare the DMC’s 2015 holiday health-education campaign to be a ringing success and start wishing each other a Happy New Year, I want to take a moment to salute yet another Challenge participant for her outstanding diet-and-exercise accomplishments during the past two months.

Her name is Rosalind (“Roz”) Thompson – and she recently told me (with totally understandable pride) how she managed to lose about 20 pounds during the Health Challenge, while also improving her score on a blood-sugar test designed to help measure her risks for developing adult-onset diabetes.

For Ms. Thompson – a veteran nurse (RN, MSN) who also owns an MBA and has enjoyed a fabulous, 37-year career as a care provider at the DMC – the Challenge began in earnest after she received an alarmingly high blood-sugar score during a similar test back in October.

Troubled by that score and by the fact that she was also significantly overweight, the hard-working Ms. Thompson (who currently serves as Clinical Coordinator of Inpatient Psychiatry at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit) decided eight weeks ago that she was going to take the Challenge “Pledge” – and would therefore refrain from consuming the “empty calories” contained in candy, soda pop, doughnuts and other “junk” foods . . . while also engaging in moderate exercise frequently and including more fruit in her daily diet.

And she did!

“I gave up my Ruby Red Squirt [soda pop],” a proud Roz Thompson told me the other day, “along with my fried chicken and other sweets. And I want to thank you – and the DMC Challenge – for providing me with the motivation I needed to better manage my blood sugar and lose weight!”

Like the triumphant Roz Thompson, hundreds and hundreds of Detroit-area residents in recent weeks have benefited from the lowered health risks and the sense of empowerment that can flow from making the decision to cut out the nutrition-less sugar in their lives and begin exercising more often in order to improve their overall health.

Among the beneficiaries of this year’s challenge, we can also include many of the 1,600 officers and staffers at the Detroit Police Department.  Led by their health-savvy Chief James Craig, hundreds of DPD members worked enthusiastically to meet the goals of this year’s challenge – and will now go on to continue meeting them in a year-long health-and-fitness partnership with the Detroit Medical Center.

As the third annual version of the DMC Challenge winds down and the New Year looms, it’s good to know that so many Detroit-area residents have “gotten the message” – and that many of them will continue to work hard in the coming year at “eating healthier” and “exercising more often” in order to enjoy better health.

Here’s wishing all of us a healthy and happy New Year . . . and I’ll see you again in October for the DMC 61 Day Health Challenge of 2016!

[To learn more about the DMC Challenge and how you can continue to benefit by eating better and exercising more during 2016, just click on www.dmc.org/61days.]

Eat Right, Feel Better. Take the 61 Day Challenge!

Hundreds attended the 61 Day Challenge Kick-off on Friday; it’s time to take the pledge and join

22584820746_863772fd78_o (1)Several hundred DMC employees, physicians and community members, joined DMC executives and special guests in a packed auditorium at Children’s Hospital Friday, to take the pledge and kick off the 61-Day Challenge to eat better and get more exercise.

DMC CEO Joe Mullany talked about what the challenge means for Detroit Medical Center. Other speakers included Challenge founder Dr. Reginald Eadie, CEO of Detroit Receiving and Harper-Hutzel Hospitals, Chief Administrative Officer Conrad Mallett, event emcee WDIV Local 4 news anchor Rhonda Walker, Weight Watcher’s president and CEO Florine Mark, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Quindell Peyton, a Cornerstone Health +Technology High School student, performed a poem about time and drew two standing ovations from the audience. He talked about the tick tock, ticking and tocking away of time. You can’t stop it, but you do have a choice of whether to use it or abuse it, he said. Those in the auditorium vowed to make the most of their time for health over the next 61 days. With right hands raised and repeating after The Honorable Conrad Mallett, they said in unison, “I pledge to not harm my body by not drinking soda pop, eating fried food, and consuming sweets. I will eat more fresh fruit and increase my exercise activity.”

The 61 Day Challenge officially starts Sunday, Nov. 1. New for this year is “Step Up with Andrei”, an exercise challenge from DMC COO Andrei Soran, inviting DMC employees to take more steps than he does during the 61 Day Challenge period, and be eligible to win great prizes, including gift cards worth up to $150. It’s time to make a change and you know it, so get on board. (More Photos)

Learn more at www.DMC.org/61Days or use the hashtag #DMC61DayChallenge on social media.

Is Too Much Sitting Bad For Children?

Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times Well Blog has shed light on a potential issue. Reynolds writes that “Children who sit too much may face adult-size health consequences,” and it certainly seems that way from her article.

Reynolds reports, “Ali McManus, an associate professor of pediatric exercise physiology at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna, and her colleagues decided to ask children to sit still.

In general, today’s children are doing plenty of that. One recent large-scale epidemiological study reported that children across the globe sit for about 8.5 hours every day. Another recent study found that activity levels among children dropped precipitously after about age 8 and continue to fall through adolescence, with young people trading movement for sitting.”

While we have long known about the health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle in adults, this study is one of the first to properly examine what happens to children when they sit too much. The results of the study, and this blog as a whole are well worth a visit. You can read Gretchen Reynold’s blog post in its entirety HERE.

Exercise And The Brain

In her latest post on the New York Times’ Well blog Gretchen Reynolds investigates whether exercise changes your brain. 

Reynolds writes,

At the age of 93, Olga Kotelko — one of the most successful and acclaimed nonagenarian track-and-field athletes in history — traveled to the University of Illinois to let scientists study her brain.

Ms. Kotelko held a number of world records and had won hundreds of gold medals in masters events. But she was of particular interest to the scientific community because she hadn’t begun serious athletic training until age 77. So scanning her brain could potentially show scientists what late-life exercise might do for brains.

This is a fascinating topic, and although research is very thin on this topic, this article is well worth a read on the latest thoughts on the matter: http://nyti.ms/1Q7XLn0

Obesity and Inactivity Rates Still Rising

In the annual “America’s Health Rankings”, a list calculated by the United Health Foundation (UHF), the American Public Health Association, and the Partnership for Prevention, both obesity and inactivity rates were still on the rise. The list assess each state’s performance on 27 core health measures, but perhaps the most important information that came to light was the following:

According to the report, U.S. residents are more sedentary than ever before, despite encouraging findings in last year’s report, and it is leading to greater prevalence of chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes.

Specifically, the report found that:
•29.4% of adults are obese, a 7% increase from 2013;
•23.5% of all residents are considered sedentary, up 3% from 2013; and
•9.6% of adults live with diabetes, more than double the number living from 20 years ago.

You can read the full article here. This again highlights the importance of healthy diet and exercise, and is another reminder of how the #61DayChallenge can help you with your fitness and health goals.

Join the 61 Day Challenge!

To learn more about the DMC 2014 61 Day Health Challenge and how it can help all of us to cut back on sugar and exercise more during the holiday season, just click on:   www.61daychallenge.com

Burning Junk Food Calories with Exercise Is a Whole Lot Harder Than It Looks!

TRUE OR FALSE: Guzzling a 20-ounce soda pop won’t increase your chances of getting fat . . . provided that you exercise for a few minutes soon after downing that sugar-laden bottle of bubbly.
The correct answer, of course, is FALSE.

Although many people don’t realize it, the amount of exercise required to “burn off” the calories from junk foods such as soda pop, cupcakes, cheesy puffs and milkshakes is actually huge. Example: Let’s say you decide to slurp up that 20-ounce container of fizz-pop and then eliminate the 250 extra sugar-calories you just took in by walking briskly for a while. Not a bad idea . . . until you discover that you’ll have to walk at least five miles just to burn your way through the jumbo-sized dose of fat-building sugar contained in those 20 ounces of cola.

Pretty shocking, right?

Ready for another startling example of how exercise can’t be counted on to save us from the health-threatening consequences of making poor food choices?

This time, let’s say you decide to wolf down a typical bakery cupcake covered with gooey, mouthwatering chocolate frosting—then “run off” the calories on the nearest treadmill or outdoor track.
Okay, fine. Before you start wolfing, however, you might want to look at some recent health data from the U.S. Government. According to the experts, you’ll have to run more than four miles without stopping just to neutralize the 400-450 calories in that scrumptious cupcake. The point here is a simple one that can help all of us: Most of the time, it’s impossible to overcome the negative effects of eating junk foods with exercise!

As a physician and hospital administrator, I’m absolutely convinced that educating ourselves about our food and exercise choices is a key step on the road to better health. That’s why I helped to create the upcoming 2014 DMC 61 Day Health Challenge in which hundreds of thousands of Detroit and Southeast Michigan residents will be challenged to abstain from soda pop, fried foods and junk foods during the approaching holiday season, while also exercising more often. (To learn more about the Challenge and the gala “Kickoff Event” set for Oct. 31 at the DMC, just click on www.61DayChallenge.com).

I hope you’ll join us during the exciting and health promoting challenge that’s about to begin. And I also hope you’ll join me in thinking about one other very interesting food fact the researchers recently unearthed. If you decide to enjoy a juicy apple for your next snack, you’ll only have to stroll along for a mere 19 minutes in order to burn those 42 calories off!

Are You Ready for the Annual DMC 61 Day Health Challenge?

61daysPyramidThis Year’s Theme: “Less Sugar, More Steps!” 

Here’s a quick question for all of us who are interested in promoting good health for ourselves and for our children.

Q.What do you think would happen if you sat down every afternoon and gobbled up 18 teaspoons of sugar in a row?

(If you answered, “You’d get fat!” please go immediately to the head of the class . . . where you might be surprised to learn that the typical 20-ounce soda contains every one of those 18 teaspoons of sugar – along with several other ingredients that can be detrimental to your good health!)

Pretty shocking, right?

It sure is – especially when you consider the additional fact (recently announced by the federal government) that two out of three adults and one out of three children are either obese or overweight in the America of 2014.

Put all of those facts together, and you don’t need a Ph.D. to understand that cutting back on our daily consumption of sugary drinks can be a key strategy in avoiding many of the problems (obesity, diabetes, heart disease, you name it) that now pose major threats to our good health.

All of which takes me to an important announcement I want to share with you today:

The annual DMC 61 Day Health Challenge is about to begin!

This year’s Health Challenge – during which hundreds of thousands of Detroit-area residents will be encouraged to cut back on sugary drinks and calorie-rich fried foods while increasing their daily exercise – is set to kick off at 2 p.m. on Friday, October. 31 in the Kresge Auditorium at DMC Harper University Hospital.

Once again this year, the Health Challenge will focus our attention on the crucial links between nutrition and exercise and good health . . . while also encouraging all of us to act on these important insights.

As a physician and a hospital administrator who’s passionate about education and helped launch the Health Challenge several years ago, I’m very excited about the message we’re going to be sending throughout the 61 days of this approaching holiday season (Nov. 1-Dec. 31).

Together, we’re going to meet the challenge of living a healthier lifestyle by living with “Less Sugar and More Steps!” – and the action is all set to begin on October 31.

See you there!