Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Four focus areas for health & well-being

In today's hectic and stressful society, many things require our time and attention. Unfortunately, it is usually at the expense of our health and well-being. Sure we all know we need to take care of ourselves but with the overload of information and products out there today, where does one begin? I have listed four areas that I feel are important to focus on.

1. Exercise
2. Nutrition
3. Sleep
4. Psychological well-being

Exercise is movement. Moving the body. It is meant to make us feel better, look better, be stronger and be more confident. The exercise should be an activity that is enjoyable and one that you will want to make part of your lifestyle. Be careful not to approach it with an "all-or-nothing" attitude. There will be good days and bad days. Just do something everyday.

Nutrition. What you put into your body is as important as the activity you put your body through. To put it simply, base your diet on fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, nuts & seeds, healthy oils and fats and very little sugar. Starvation and deprivation do not work so don't even try it, in other words stay away from diets. Keep it simple and natural.

Sleep is one of the most important things our body needs and the one thing that many people are deprived of. In this busy and stressed out world we live in, to get the proper amount of sleep is crucial. Lack of sleep contributes to weight gain, higher stress levels and an increased risk of some cancers and heart disease.

Psychological well-being. We all know we need to nurture and take care of the body, but what about our mind and soul, they need nurturing as well. Take some time every day for "you", whether its to meditate, listen to music, read, daydream, see a movie or play, etc. At the end of the day, stop. Take the time to relax and unwind. Being in a peaceful and quiet state of mind can make everything else in life just a little easier.

Try focusing on these areas to help yourself come back to a healthy and balanced life. Take it one step at a time and enjoy the journey.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How are YOU doing?

So, here we are starting the 2nd full week in January. This is the time when people start to either succeed or fail when it comes to the health and fitness goals they set for themselves in the new year. How are YOU doing with your weight loss and health goals so far? If you are gung ho and feeling good about what you are doing and feel you are headed in the right direction, awesome! Keep going.

If you find yourself struggling, its OK, just take time to re-evaluate and make changes as needed. Are your goals realistic and sustainable? Are you doing too much too soon? It's better if you start out easy, with small goals. Try and accomplish one goal at a time. The thing to remember when it comes to exercise, weight loss and your overall health is, slow and steady wins every time.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Are you getting enough ZZZZZZZzzzzzz...

When it comes to our overall health and wellness, we all know how important a healthy diet and exercise is. And we do what we can to make it part of our lifestyle. However, there are other very important aspects to our health and wellness that we tend to ignore. One of these is sleep.

In today's fast-paced and stressful society, everyone is over extended in time and energy. It seems like there is never enough time in a day to get everything done that needs to be done, so we skip on the one thing that can help us get through the day, sleep.

Research has shown that lack of sleep can be a contributing factor to weight gain and the growing obesity problem this country faces. A lack of sleep can cause disruptions to hormonal and metabolic processes. A 2004 study conducted at the University of Chicago, has found that sleep deprivation can cause the hormones leptin (which signals the brain when we have eaten enough) and ghrelin (which triggers feelings of hunger) to increase by 18% to 28% respectively in people who get less than 4-5 hours a night. Also, according to a Harvard Run Health Study, sleep deprivation has also been shown to increase the risk for developing breast cancer, heart disease, colon cancer and diabetes.

Most researches and experts agree that 7-8 hours of sleep per night is good for most people, but most people get 4-6. So, next time you think about skipping out on those ZZZZzzzz, think again. For some tips on helping you get better sleep check out the following link:

Good Night and have a good sleep.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tips for a healthy 2010

It's the beginning of a new year and people are trying to find the easiest way to live a healthier lifestyle. Making exercise and a healthy diet a regular part of your daily routine is the best way to be fit, healthy and happy, but here are some other tips for you to follow:

1) Remove soda and other sugar-laden drinks from your diet, period.
2) Always eat breakfast.
3) Drink plenty of water.
4) If you drink alcohol, try to drink only on the weekends, and use moderation.
5) Use olive oil rather than butter when eating and cooking.
6) Chew your food slowly.
7) Sit down when you eat.
8) Choose dairy products that are fat free or have 1% fat in them.
9) Replace your regular dishes with smaller ones, like salad plates
10) When at a restaurant, always ask for your salad dressing on the side
11) When at a restaurant, lean towards dishes that are grilled, broiled, steamed or baked.
12) When eating out, don't feel you need to clean your plate, in fact ask the server to bring half of your meal and put the other half in a doggie bag to take home.

Here's to a healthy and happy 2010!

Monday, January 4, 2010

SMART goals to your New Year Resolutions!

Is your New Year's Resolutions to get fit and be healthy in 2010. How is it going so far?

Many people make the decision to get into shape every year, and many do succeed, but many do not...why? In my opinion there are a number of reasons, one of them being that although you've resolved to change, the actual commitment to change is not there. You have to want to change, any change you make should be important to you and mean enough to you, so you are willing to give it the time, energy and effort it takes. They should become part of your lifestyle. If you don't make the changes part of your lifestyle, you will never truly succeed.

Another way to help you succeed with the changes you've committed to is to set realistic goals. When you set your goals, use the SMART method. This method will make it easier to keep and reach your goals. What is SMART?

S = Specific - your goals should specifically state what is to be accomplished. They should be easy to understand, not ambiguous.

M = Measurable - the goal should be measurable so you know whether or not you actually achieved them. For example, walk/jog for 10 minutes. Do 3 sets of 20 crunches.

A = Attainable - the goal should not be too difficult or too easy. If the goal is too easy you will not be motivated to work towards it, if it is too difficult, you may get frustrated and abandon it.

R = Relevant - the goal should be relevant or pertinent to your interests. For example, if your goal is to take part in a 5K walk, you do not need to be doing speed work at the track.

T = Timed - the goal should be bound to a specific deadline, both short-term and long-term, it will keep you on track and focused. A 20-30 day time period is usually good for each goal.

To help you reach those SMART goals, start a log, daily write down what you've done, when you see the progress you have or haven't made, it will push you and motivate you. Also, report to others, pick a few family members or friends or start a blog, let it be known what you are trying to do. Once its out there they will be wondering how you are doing and hold you to your goals and commitment.

GOOD LUCK! Here's to a happy and healthy 2010.