OWH Wellness Watch March 2012

       OWH Wellness Watch

                        Across the Lifespan ~ Across Indiana

Swimming March OWH WW

The Health Benefits of Swimming

Milder spring weather sends Hoosiers outside and thinking about the opening date for neighborhood pools. OWH interviewed an expert with Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation in Hamilton County about the aquatic offerings at the Monon Community Center facility to find out more about some of the possible health benefits of swimming. We were interested in the joint-relief benefits, the cardiovascular intensity required, the recommended number of laps or suggested swimming time for a swimming workout and some of the pain-relieving aspects of a water workout. Below Eric Mehl, Aquatics Manager, answers some of our questions:
OWH:  For women who walk for 45 minutes or are used to slow jogging, what would be the equivalent cardiovascular swim workout? How many laps would you suggest for someone who would like to start swimming for exercise who is accustomed to moderate physical activity at least three times per week?
Eric:  For someone that has very little swimming experience, the change between land and water can be a little hard at first. Start out slow with a 200-300 yard (8-12 lengths of the pool) workout. Like any workout routine, swimming will get easier and you will find yourself being able to go longer distances in a shorter amount of time, so as you build your ability, you build on your number of laps. Individuals who are not comfortable with swimming can take advantage of the resistance of water by jogging or walking in chest deep water.
OWH: Is there particular pool etiquette that all swimmers should know, besides wearing goggles and a swim cap? Is it acceptable to rest in your lane after a set of laps, for instance?
Eric:  The main thing to remember when lap swimming is that you often share lane space with another swimmer or two. If you are sharing a lane with one other swimmer, you will generally split the lane so that one is swimming on the left side and one on the right. If more than one swimmer is sharing a lane, you will swim “circle swim” staying on the right side of the lane at all time, like traffic on the road. There are no problems with resting at the end of a lane. Swimmers generally take a 20-30 second rest between sets or as a break between a large number of laps.
OWH: Should swimmers stretch before their lap swimming? Or afterwards?
Eric:  Like any workout, you should stretch lightly before and thoroughly after your swimming workout.
OWH: For cardiovascular health, how many times a week do you recommend lap swimming?  Is there a particular time of day that has the most benefit?  What are the benefits?
Eric: For someone who would like to add swimming into their normal routine, I would recommend spending at least 30 minutes in the pool two to three times a week. As I stated before, the more you work at it, the better you will get. Therefore, your 30 minute workout can start out reaching from 200 yards to 500 yards and more. Increasing your speed increases your distance which increase your cardiovascular heath. There are many benefits to swimming above running or biking. Water exercise is the only type that works all four areas of health most commonly recommended for improvement by doctors: strength, flexibility, respiratory and cardiovascular. Swimming is a total body workout, increasing the health of all muscle groups. Water also provides a little to no impact environment, meaning it is better for your joint and back health. Exercising in water that is chest deep allows individuals to carry only 10 percent of their total body weight on their joints while offering many times the resistance of land exercise.
OWH: Besides swimming laps, are there other water activities/exercises that your members engage in?  Do they offer the same benefits?
Eric: Other activities that we offer would be water aerobic classes. These classes have a lot of the same benefits to swimming laps. You can still sweat when you are in the water. Water aerobic classes use the added resistance of the water to make every movement in the water a little harder. Again, there is little to no impact on the joints in these classes, so they are great for injury recovery and anyone with joint pain.
Nutrition Labe OWH WW March

Does Nutrition Affect Kidney Health?

March has a focus on kidney health and the National Kidney Foundation is working to inform Americans about the damage that the condition called "pre-diabetes" can do to the kidneys. The kidneys filter our blood, regulate blood pressure and remove waste products and excess fluid from our bodies. When kidneys become damaged and cannot filter blood as well as possible a condition called "chronic kidney disease" results, which can lead to other health problems, including cardiovascular disease, anemia and bone disease. Blood and urine tests are the only ways to tell if you have chronic kidney disease. High blood pressure, or hypertension, and diabetes are the two leading causes of chronic kidney disease, which is more common in women than men, and in women aged 65 and older, in particular. The good news is that lifestyle changes can prevent pre-diabetes from turning into full-blown diabetes, which may lead to kidney damage and kidney failure if inadequately controlled. Watching what you eat and choosing a heart-healthy diet that controls cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure (keeping it below 130/80 mm/Hg) and limits salt is important to keep your kidneys functioning well. Keep in mind that diet needs vary by person to person, depending on physical activity, overall health and specific health concerns. Talk to a physician to develop a meal plan to stay kidney healthy. The following tips can help to keep your kidneys functioning well:
  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables including legumes (peas or beans) and grain-based food like bread, pasta, noodles and rice.
  • Eat some lean meat like chicken and fish each week.
  • Eat only small amounts of salty or fatty food. Look for “low sodium” or “reduced sodium” labels. Use lemon juice, herbs or spices for flavor instead of salt.
  • Drink plenty of water instead of other drinks.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Stay fit. Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity that increases your heart rate on five or more days of the week including walking, lawn mowing, bike riding, swimming or gentle aerobics.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Limit your alcohol to two small drinks per day if you are male or one small drink per day if you are female.
  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly.
  • Do things that help you relax and reduce your stress levels.
Source: CDC, National Kidney Foundation

New Updates to the www.womenshealth.isdh.in.gov Website:

Fact Sheet on State's Sexual Violence Prevention Work and State Plan Now Available at: http://www.in.gov/isdh/files/PH_Fact_Sheet.pdf
Office of Women's Health Annual Report, 2010-2011, for Legislature Now Available at: http://www.in.gov/isdh/24403.htm
Sexual Violence Primary Prevention Policy Brief Now Available at:  http://www.in.gov/isdh/23820.htm

HWHH OWH WW logo March

Mark Your Calendar for the 2012 "Healthy Women, Healthy Hoosier Conference" to be held at the NCAA Headquarters in Indianapolis on October 5, 2012

This year's focus will be on sexual health across the lifecourse, and will incorporate disease prevention (HIV, sexually transmitted disease, HPV vaccine) methods and educational best practices with sessions on healthy relationships and sexual issues of interest to older women, women in their childbearing years and women with cancer, diabetes, pain or other chronic conditions. OWH is in the initial planning stages for this fall conference and is collaborating with the Maternal and Child Health Program, the HIV program as well as the Pregnant and Parenting Adolescent Support program at ISDH, and with a number of external partners including: the Indiana Minority Health Coalition, the Indiana Family Health Council, Roche Diagnostics, Community Health Network, the Indiana University Center for Research Sex, Gender and Reproduction, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Indiana Youth Group, the Health Care Education and Training Center and the Indiana University National Center of Excellence in Women's Health. This one day conference will again offer a unique opportunity for professional providers, nurses, social workers, health administrators and other public health workers to learn from local and national speakers, network and initiate a conversation about the oftentimes avoided topic of sexual health. Sponsorship and exhibit opportunities will be offered, starting at the low rate of $200. Stay tuned for more details!  If you are interested in sponsorship or exhibit opportunities, please contact Morgan E. McGill, OWH Director, at (317) 233-2170 or mmcgill@isdh.in.gov.

March 2012

March 1-31: National Nutrition Month
March 1-31: National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, more on this disease which affects women as often as men at: http://bit.ly/qvvxWO
March 1-31: National Endiometriosis Awareness Month
March 1-31: Women's History Month, see what tribute is on display at the Statehouse, fourth floor, this month here: http://1.usa.gov/xcTW2p
March 8: World Kidney Day
March 10: National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Celebrated since 2006, this day highlights the fact that every 47 minutes a woman tests positive for HIV in the U.S. For more information, visit: http://1.usa.gov/RVs2M
March 24: World Tuberculosis Day
March 27: American Diabetes Association Alert Day. Early intervention through weight loss, increased physical activity and lifestyle changes can lower your risk of developing Type 2. Take the risk test at www.stopdiabetes.com to know your risk!
March 29: Domestic Sex Trafficking Awareness Training, sponsored by Women In Motion, Inc. Rachel Irby, Executive Director of Unchained, will be speaking. 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, email Rachel Irby at rachel@unchainedmovement.org to register for the training.  

Mar 10 OWH 2012

Spotlight on Sexual Violence Against Women with Disabilities

In recognition of Indiana Disability Awareness Month, OWH is bringing awareness to the issue of sexual violence against women with disabilities. Research indicates women with disabilities experience sexual violence at twice the rate of women without disabilities. Almost 100% of the time, the perpetrator is someone known to the victim, with the two most likely abusers being family members or an individual who provides care specifically related to the victim’s disability. Individuals with disabilities are at such great risk for several reasons:
1.       A deficit in communication skills may impede the ability of an individual with a disability to say no or to express lack of consent and may inhibit reporting due to a lack of understanding of sexual violence and how to communicate about victimization.
2.       Individuals with disabilities are mistakenly not seen as sexual beings, which results in a lack of education about their bodies and sexual health. This can lead to difficulty in identifying, labeling and communicating abuse.
3.       Individuals with disabilities are taught to trust caregivers and not question authorities, which limits the power and control over one’s body and increases the risk for sexual violence by a trusted caregiver.
Despite the high numbers, it is possible to prevent sexual violence against women with disabilities. When an individual with disabilities is assaulted, they should have access to the same social, legal and health services as an individual without disabilities. Individuals with disabilities should also receive sex education regularly to help aid body awareness, self-determination, safe relationship skills and protective skills.
The Indiana State Department of Health recognizes the need to improve services for victims with disabilities and is partnering with the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and statewide disability organizations to apply for funding from the federal Office on Violence Against Women to improve training, offer technical assistance, change policies and procedures and increase prevention programming.
For additional resources, visit the Indiana Governor's Council on People with Disabilities website, at: http://www.in.gov/gpcpd/

women for sidebar OWH WW March

Upcoming Events

March 22-23: Indiana State Conference to End Sexual Violence, The Marten House Hotel and Lilly Conference Center, Indianapolis. Details and full brochure available at www.incasa.org

March 23: Pacers Ladies Night Presented by 338-4-HER, St. Vincent Health
April 3: Sexual Assault Awareness Month Day of Action, 11 a.m. on the south steps of the Indiana Statehouse. Balloon release event sponsored by the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault (INCASA). Free event: guest speakers, balloon event and soloist.
April 3-4: 2012 Joint National Public Health Week Conference: A Healthier America Begins Today! IUPUI Campus Center, Indianapolis. Focus is on preventing disease to live longer and healthier lives. Please visit www.publichealthconnect.org to register.
April 4: National Start! Walking Day. This day is to encourage Americans to add 30 minutes of walking into their daily routine to better their health. Wherever you are, get out and walk! At the workplace - hold a walking meeting!


ISDH is busy planning the 2012 Public Health Nurse Conference with its partners.  This year's event will be held May 16-17 at the Hilton Indianapolis North Hotel, 8181 Shadeland Avenue, Indianapolis.  For more information, please contact Sarah Strawbridge, Director, Indiana Immunization Coalition at director@vaccinateindiana.org or Cheryl Moore, ISDH Local Health Department Outreach Division, at Cmoore1@isdh.in.gov 


Limited time and limited locations!  Please call 1-800-238-1471 or visit: http://bit.ly/zvanKd

Owh march tulips

Healthy Living Calendars for Women and Men Now Available

The Centers for Disease Control has just released new 2012 Healthy Living Calendars for women and men, with Spanish language versions available. These references are one-page calendars that promote taking healthy steps every day for a safe and healthy life!
Download yours today by visiting: http://1.usa.gov/zq76z2

owh logo 2


Please follow us on Twitter!