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Small changes can help you live healthier

What if a few small changes in your daily routine could add years to your life? Would you make them?

In the American diet, the top sources for added sugar are soft drinks, fruit drinks, flavored yogurts, cereals, cookies, cakes, candy, and most processed foods. But added sugar is also present in items that you may not think of as sweetened, like soups, bread, cured meats, and ketchup.

The result: we consume way too much added sugar. Adult men take in an average of 24 teaspoons of added sugar per day, according to the National Cancer Institute. That's equal to 384 calories.

Sign up for the Sugar Shutdown challenge, and join Novant Health for a 10-day challenge to cut out added sugar.

Our “Vision 2020: A new lens for a healthier future” program is uniquely designed to help participants tackle some of the biggest risk factors that can lead to a higher heart age: lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Throughout the year, Novant Health will guide participants through a series of challenges designed to be fun, manageable and, most importantly, sustainable. Each challenge will begin by asking participants to calculate their predicted heart age, which they will work to lower throughout the year in order to reduce one or more risk factors that are known to have a direct impact on heart health.

Made to Move

This three-month challenge is designed to get you up and moving with simple, quick exercises you can do virtually anywhere.

Participants will learn strength training exercises, fitness tips and “life hacks” to incorporate more movement into everyday life. 

Sugar shutdown

Over the summer, we’ll help you focus on cutting out added sugar from your diet and replacing it with healthy alternatives. Added sugar can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. This 10-day challenge is a re-set for your body.

Live in the Moment

To wrap up Vision 2020, we’ll task everyone to live in the moment for 12 weeks with purposeful challenges. Being present and enjoying life’s everyday moments rather than being tied to a device directly affects your heart health by reducing stress, among many other benefits.

Sugar Shutdown

Foods high in sugar, such as sodas, candy, bakery items and ice cream are just some of the products that contribute to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other health problems.

During Sugar Shutdown, Novant Health challenges you to stop eating foods with added sugars for a 10-day period that will help relieve sugar cravings and better align with recommended dietary guidelines.

Get connected with Novant Health
Candy
5 tricks for controlling your sugar intake

Sugar is not the enemy. But it could be. Which is why you need to pay attention to how you eat. Learn from a nutrition specialist some easy tips to control your sugar.

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Woman grocery shopping
7 things I learned from grocery shopping with a dietitian

Learn how a dietitian fills up her grocery cart with healthy ingredients that won’t break your budget.

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BBQ sauce
Hidden sugar in everyday foods

It’s well-known that too much sugar is not healthy. But did you know that sugar hides in many foods that you may not even realize how much you’re actually consuming?

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Man smiling at nurse
Understanding prediabetes

Prediabetes is a condition in which the blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes.

Act now
Sugar cubes
Curb your sugar craving

When’s the last time you had a sweet tooth? Last week? Earlier today? A few minutes ago? Sugar is in more foods than you might expect and should be consumed in moderation with a healthy diet. But there are ways to curb your sugar cravings.

Learn how
Granola Bars
Eating candy for breakfast? Beware granola bars

Granola bars are a popular snack, but are they healthy?

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Yogurt
Stop buying the wrong yogurt

With all the competing information about what is and isn’t good for us, it’s easy to get confused about what to eat. Yogurt is a healthy choice when the hunger pangs strike, but some types of yogurt can be loaded with sugar and extra calories.

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Spiked Seltzer
Is spiked seltzer really healthier?

Drink of the summer? At the moment it appears to be spiked seltzer. Beverage companies are marketing it as a bubbly, refreshing and healthier alternative to light beer or wine and it’s become especially popular.

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Sugar pouring out of soda can
Sugar shutdown

Americans love soft drinks. Just walk down the soda aisle of any grocery store and you’ll see a plethora of sweet, bubbly beverages in every flavor imaginable. But are these drinks the cause of many health problems?

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Made to Move

You know that exercise is good for you – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to fit into your schedule. Our Made to Move challenge is designed with your busy life in mind. Through a series of email newsletters that include access to exercise videos and easy workout ideas, we hope to inspire you to move just a little more each day.

You were made to move. Start today.

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People walking together in park
Walking your way to heart health

Over the past few years, conventional wisdom has set the benchmark for fitness at getting at least 10,000 steps a day. One study sets the standard for optimal heart health at 15,000 steps a day.

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Woman working at standing desk
The do’s and don’ts of using a standing desk

Standing desks have grown increasingly popular in recent years. First available as a customizable yet costly addition to your workspace, today the standing desk is much more user-friendly and a lot cheaper. But how do you use it properly?

Learn how
Woman working at desk and talking on a cell phone
Got a desk job? You better read this…

If you find yourself sitting at your desk at work for hours on end, it’s time to make a change. New research has found that frequently interrupting inactive behavior is crucial for your long-term health.

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Family running outdoors
1-hour run may extend your life by 7 hours

Here’s another reason to lace up those shoes and hit the road: You may live longer. Running has already been shown to reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, and now a study finds that people who run tend to live three years longer than nonrunners.

Learn why
Woman running outdoors
Even just a little running can improve your health

Women who run for as little as one minute a day had 4 percent better bone health than those who did less than a minute, scientists from the University of Exeter and the University of Leicester in England found in a recent study.

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Man and woman looking at watch during workout
The impact of wearables

If you checked your fitness tracker app or glanced at your wrist to see, you’re one of tens of millions of people driving the wearable technology craze.

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Healthy Hearts

Since your heart health affects everything from the function of the rest of your organs to your ability to exercise, we’re taking our health to heart.

If you haven’t taken the heart age assessment to find out how old your heart is, take it now. This number is crucial, as we’ll be working together this year to move more, cut back on added sugars and reduce stress levels – all of which are known to have positive effects on heart health and to lower your heart age.

Get connected with Novant Health
Woman stressed at work
What every woman needs to know about stress and heart health

Stress can have a significant impact on heart health, and in some cases high stress levels can trigger the heart to mimic a heart attack.

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People walking together in park
Heart healthy recipes

Diet plays an essential role in heart health and can impact your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Here are a few simple heart healthy recipes from Novant Health to get you started.

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Woman holding heart
The ‘widow-maker’ heart attack hits women, too.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. a heart attack. Here's what you can do to prevent having one.

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People walking together in park
PAD is a warning sign for future cardiovascular issues

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is one of the most common cardiovascular issues in the U.S. Despite its prevalence, it can be easily overlooked or misdiagnosed. Risks can also be reduced with lifestyle changes.

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Vision 2020 sign-up form