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Monday Move: Q4 Kickoff! Learn WHY and How to Breathe to Get Ahead of Stress

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, October 17, 2016
The MineFit Q4 focus is: Physical and Mental Stressors

Get ahead of the stress for a more enjoyable end to your year!  This quarter will highlight the following “stresses” and give our members the tools they need, and ways to give their workers, easy stress-management information and techniques.

-The holidays 
-Seasonal change 
-End-of-year goals and deadlines 
-Identifying top stressors 
-An easy on-site stress test 
-Physical did-you-knows on stress patterns 
-Sleep and stress 
-Applications for stress reduction that aren’t just fluff

For Today’s Move, we give to you Breathing 101: Muscles you Use to Inhale 

Our lungs are housed within our ribcage, and they can get trapped! By breathing more deeply and focusing on the muscles you use to inhale and exhale, you promote higher oxygen levels to your brain and your body, evoke a relaxation response to avoid “chronic” high stress levels, and cue your body to release anxiety through your breath. You can also help your waistline simply by active, deep breathing.

Breathing 101 Instructions 

1. Inhale and put your hands on the base of your ribcage, where the ribs come apart. Try to get the air to go all the way up through your neck muscles. Start your breath in through your ribcage muscles opening and let it travel all the way up to your jaw.
2. Start with a passive exhale to promote relaxation - this uses the External Obliques and Intercostals.
3. After 3 passive, deep breaths, work your Internal Obliques and Intercostal muscles with an active exhale for 5 breaths. Think about blowing out candles, rather than fogging up windows. Feel your muscles on either side of your waistline contract, and your abdominals turn on.
4. End with 10 short breaths, really working your abdominals and punctuating each exhale, with a small inhale in between exhalations.

Learn more about why and how breathing reduces stress here:


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Friday MineFit TidBit: When You Eat Fast Food, Make Sure You Get a Good Grade

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, October 14, 2016

A new report, produced by six organizations devoted to public health and environmental concerns, is alerting consumers about the use of antibiotics in the meat and poultry. Researchers surveyed and investigated the supply chains of the 25 largest U.S. fast food and “fast casual” restaurants to find out how much they were altering their product with use of antibiotics - in order to keep the animals free of infection and save money. But, what’s the big deal with antibiotics, anyway?

When livestock producers administer antibiotics routinely to their flocks and herds, bacteria becomes resistant, meaning you have to give more of them, and different types, to maintain effectiveness. When consumers eat these foods, they are basically putting antibiotic resistant cells into your body. This effect contributes to the larger problem of antibiotic resistance - it means that antibiotics may not work when we need them most.

Read which restaurants make the grade for no antibiotic additions! Remember: establishments who use antibiotic-riddled meat are also likely to add hormones and other chemicals to their products to save money. In the end, It’s YOUR money, health, and future that counts the most. So Get A Good Grade.

A Grade

B Grade

C Grade
Dunkin Donuts

F Grade
Burger King


Tags:  diet  food  MineFit  minefit tidbit  nutrition 

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North American Minerals Days 2016 This Week

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, October 11, 2016

This week marks the 2nd Annual North American Minerals Days, a continuation of IMA-NA's partnership with IMA-Europe to broaden awareness of industrial minerals, the industry, and the role our members play in creating and supporting our modern lifestyles. This year, in addition to continuing to partner and support the efforts of Earth Science Week, Kaolin Festival, and the Georgia Marble Festival, IMA-NA members are hosting a variety of events.  

Tomorrow, October 12th, KaMin and Imerys will be hosting an all day event highlighting the Kaolin industry and their culture of safety. We'll be welcoming Assistant Secretary of MSHA, Joe Main, to tour a mine and participate in a Safety luncheon with EHS representatives from across the state of Georgia. In addition to Joe Main, Congressman Jody Hice (GA-10) and representatives from the state and local governments will be participating in the activities. The Kaolin event is also being supported by Georgia Mining Association and promises to provide an excellent opportunity for IMA-NA members to interact with their legislators and regulators.

Across the country, in Nevada, Tronox will be hosting Congressman Joe Heck for a tour and discussion. Tronox's event is demonstrative of the type of relationship building opportunities presented during election years. Continuing to tell the story of the positive economic and community impacts of your businesses is especially important at the district and state level, where legislators can interact with your employees and their constituents. 

We're pleased by the expansion of the Minerals Days and believe any opportunity to educate individuals, both in government and in our communities, about our industry is productive in continuing to tell the story about the importance of mining in North America. 

Tags:  community  education  Joe Main  Legislators  MSHA  North American Minerals Days  outreach  Regulators 

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Monday Move: The Complete List For Your Strength Series

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, October 10, 2016

Our Final Two Additions to the MineFit Strength Series are... 
(1) the Plank 
(2) the Quad Extension 

**Please see the Monday Moves Section for Each of the Strength Series Exercise Postings**

Strength Move: The Plank

The plank is hugely useful to strengthen the core of the body as well as the arms, build stability to prevent joint injury, endurance to measure gains in progress, and it's easy to do anywhere. The main focus of this activity is to tighten your abdominals and create a long, flat, strong spine, then hold firm as long as you can. Squeeze your butt as you hold your plank, and tuck your belly button to engage your abdominals. If your lower back starts to sink, your spine starts to arch, or if you feel your back aching, stop the plank and rest. 

Start with performing 30 seconds of a plank hold, twice through, and add time until you reach 90 seconds. Or, add weight in your arm, or a leg raise, to make the plank more challenging.  

Strength Move: The Quad Extension 

This move can be performed in standing, sitting, or on a weights machine. It is beneficial to proper tracking for the kneecap to prevent and treat pain in the top of the knee (a result of patella-femoral syndrome) by strengthening the muscles surrounding the joint. It also helps stretch the hamstrings out, because as you squeeze your quadricep, your hamstring lengthens out. This means a more limber, stronger leg, and less pain in your lower back (a result of tight hamstrings pulling on the spine)

Perform 15 repetitions on each leg when doing one at a time, and if you are seated, perform 10 repetitions with both legs at once - engaging the abdominals. 

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Monday Move: Side Bend

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, October 3, 2016
Happy October! This week, keep your eyes peeled for the (1) Q4 MineFit Focus, the official (2) Strength Series with Audio Recordings for each exercise, and (3) other events to come between now and end of year. For today, your Monday Move is on the Oblique! An important muscle for posture, breathing, and trimming the waistline, do this move ANYWHERE and ANYTIME to strengthen your obliques and make a huge impact on your body in two minutes. 

The Side Bend For Oblique and Waistline Strength

Bend at the waist to one side until a deep slight stretch is felt and a pull on the waist. Then, lower to the opposite side, same distance, and repeat. If you are using a weight, try to lower it to your kneecap, and focus on the other side of your waistline as you go down. Do 10 on each side, either alternating or keeping on one side. Add a neck stretch for an extra benefit and reduced rate of pain and injury in the upper back.  

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Drink Your Morning Cup to Help Hydration...and More.

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, September 30, 2016

Let’s hope that everyone got a chance to score a free cup of Joe yesterday, as it was National Coffee Day! Dunkin' Donuts gave out 66 cent cups of coffee, and Starbucks opted for large donations to coffee trees. In any case, this week’s TidBit comes at a pivotal time: when it starts getting... well, a little bit darker outside. Get your warm and much-needed morning cup of coffee and receive innumerable health benefits, no matter what time of year.  
Cheers this Friday to a good cup of coffee to help you: 

(1) Stay Hydrated — coffee has no diuretic effect!

(2) Improve 24-hour memory recall.

(3) Reduce cancer risk in non-specific but highly confirmed studies — just make sure it’s not too hot!

(4) Heck, even the new astronauts prefer a cup of coffee to water, and it helps stimulate the day and improve mood in a confined (space) environments.  

Check the links below:

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Monday Move: Strength Series with Two New Additions!

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, September 19, 2016
This Week, the Q3 MineFit Strength Series Includes TWO Strength Moves to help us move towards the end of the series and provide you, our members, with a comprehensive guide for your organization, serve as a valuable tool for your Health and Safety managers, and act as an amenity for your HR departments to weave into wellness programming.  

MineFit Strength Series Achieves the Following:
(1) Improvements in overall body strength and functional, proper movement patterns.
(2) Increases in joint integrity and reductions in cumulative osteoarthritis.
(3) Reductions in chronic injury, including strain to the vulnerable shoulders and lower back

Review of the Exercises So Far: 
-Row: address muscles in the back, reduce shoulder issues, improve pulling motion.
-Bicep Curl: improve posture, tighten grip strength, practice on one leg 
-Press-up: tighten your stomach, improve your upper body, stretch your shoulders.
-Squat: strengthen the leg muscles, mobilize the hips, reduce low back pain 
-Fly-Retract: draw shoulder blades in, stretch the chest, reverse repetitive movement.
-Hip-Hamstring Hinge: engage the whole body, flat spine posture, proper lifting form.

To Add to Your List!

Strength Move: The Side Lunge

This exercise is fantastic for addressing a plane of motion that we don’t often move into: side to side! It helps strengthen the hips, can be performed simply with your own body weight, or with an added load to help drive up strength gains.  

Doing a Side Lunge should follow the instructions:
Keep your eyes up looking straight ahead of you the entire time. Take a step to the side with your right foot, then drive your hips backwards, bending only the leg which is moving to the side. Keep your kneecap behind your toes, and keep your non-moving leg completely stick straight. To complete this strength move, pop your lunging leg back up to center, meeting the straight leg. Make sure that, while doing your side lunges, all parts of both feet are planted into the floor, not allowing either the heel to come up, or the foot to tilt. 

Perform 20 total side lunges, switching legs each repetition, or stick with the same leg for 10 repetitions, then switch. If you are doing them on one leg only, try coming up into a single-leg balance after each side step for a challenge! 

Strength Move: Overhead Press

One of the most vulnerable places on the body to strain and chronic problems is the neck and the shoulders. This is mostly because the “deltoids” or the shoulder muscles are (1) tight, (2) weak, and (3) not properly placed in their joint socket. By engaging in this move, light overhead presses with high repetitions, then adding weight slowly, you will strengthen your shoulders and keep them loose, limber, and away from injury, 

Instructions on how to perform an overhead press: 
Stand up tall with your feet hip/shoulder width apart. Start with no more than 5 lb weights, and raise both of your arms over your head, making the shape of a “Y” for 20 repetitions. Then, try performing a straight line over your head with one arm only, 10 more times on each side. Finally, try performing this move while in balance on one foot, or just hold your weights up at shoulder height while balancing. After you feel confident that your shoulders can add weight, raise your weight to 8, 10,and as much as 15 lbs. Be sure to keep your knuckles out of your peripheral vision, tracking your arms straight up and down, and not in front of you. If need be, lean slightly forward from the waist while you do this exercise.  

It is encouraged to do the Overhead action multiple times a day, 15-20 times, to compliment and counter-balance the fact that our arms are most often at our sides, which weakens the shoulders.  

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Perkins Reauthorization Passes House

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, September 13, 2016

This afternoon the House of Representatives passed the Perkins reauthorization, HR 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, with broad bipartisan support. The Perkins bill has not been reauthorized in over a decade and is an important federal investment in career and technical education across the United States.  In the current political environment or severe partisanship, it is important to note that HR 5587 passed out of the Education and Workforce Committee unanimously and today passed in the House by a vote of 405-5 (with 22 no votes). IMA-NA has worked with a broad coalition of industry and other stakeholders in support of the Perkins reauthorization and is pleased to note the continued bipartisan support for this measure. Indications seem to be that the bill will move through markup in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee next week, with the vote likely happening when Congress returns in December.

To read more about HR 5587 click here

Tags:  House  legislation  perkins reauthorization  Senate  training  workforce development 

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IMA-NA Receives TWH Affiliate Status

Posted By Darrell Smith, Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Industrial Minerals Association - North America (IMA-NA) is pleased to announce that it has been named as an Affiliate of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Total Worker Health (TWH) Program. The IMA-NA has a long history of advancing safety and health initiatives and is proud to continue leading the way to provide the best and most innovative resources for the benefit of the industrial minerals workforce.

“We think the breadth and history of the activities of IMA-NA demonstrate well the organization's commitment to worker safety and health…NIOSH looks forward to collaborating with IMA-NA to advance the well-being of workers,” said Chia-Chia Chang, the Partnerships Coordinator for the TWH program. TWH is defined as policies, programs, and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to advance worker well-being. The mission of the TWH Affiliate Program is to foster an integrated approach to protecting and promoting worker well-being through collaborations with academic, labor, nonprofit, and government organizations.

“We are excited to begin partnering with NIOSH on a variety of projects, including our embedded ideology: “Do the Right Thing,” and more recently our new MineFit program to encourage health and safety using the principles of athleticism to ensure workforce protection,” said Darrell K. Smith, PhD, Executive Vice President of IMA-NA.

Click here to learn more about the TWH Affiliate program.

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Friday MineFit TidBit: Why Protein Really Matters for Muscles and Joints

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, September 9, 2016
Proteins come in all shapes and sizes, available in meat and vegetarian options. Regardless of what protein appeals to you, it is the make or break for any weight management strategy and can build your muscles and bones. According to new research, protein is the key to losing fat and gaining muscle (reminder: muscle raises your metabolism!!): Forty overweight but recreationally active men were recruited for the study. They followed a reduced-calorie diet in which they ate about 40 percent of their normal diet and were randomly assigned to either a low-protein or high-protein group. The low protein group ate around 70 grams per day, while the high protein group ate ~200 grams per day. After one month, with regular exercise and normal daily lifestyle, the high-protein group lost 10.5 lbs of fat and gained 2.5 lbs of muscle. The low-protein group lost 8 lbs of fat and had no muscle gains. Lesson learned? Eat your protein and enjoy more muscle, a higher metabolism, stronger joints, and a sustainable body weight.  


Easy Ways to Get Protein: 
1 cup greek yogurt - 18 grams 
1 protein bar - 16-20 grams 
1 scoop protein powder - 16-20 grams 
2 eggs - 16 grams 
1 piece of chicken - 25 grams
1 piece of fish - 20-30 grams 

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