Making positive choices. It’s something you have the ability to do in all aspects of your life on a daily basis. Yet, sometimes you fail. With a new year, comes a sense of renewal or heightened self-awareness towards areas in your life that need improvement.
I’ve been eager to share this video clip* with you and felt the new year was the perfect time! It’s part of an entire speech that I was fortunate to listen to at the 2017 IDEA World Fitness Conference. I must say keynote speaker, Darren Hardy, delivered! You’ll learn why we sometimes fail to make positive choices, the four traps we face, and how to withstand immediate gratification. The information delivered in this short clip is eye-opening. However, I hope it will elicit change! Please watch it–you’ll be glad you did!
* This video was originally uploaded to YouTube by Kendrick Ritchie.
We are often told that weight bearing activities help prevent osteoporosis or bone loss. But, I know a few women who perform weight bearing activities regularly and have osteopenia or osteoporosis! So, it appears for some, it can’t be prevented. Your bone mass density is subject to factors like genetics, lifestyle, hormones and nutrition. Even if it doesn’t prevent osteopenia and osteoporosis, know that it’s beneficial!
Interestingly, many studies that showed an increase in bone mass density (BMD) from weight bearing activity only applied to adolescents and pre-menopausal women. Only a few, like this study, showed it was beneficial for post-menopausal women. Also, your bone density improvements can be limited to areas of the skeletal system which show a greater bio-mechanical stress. Osteopenia/osteoporosis doesn’t appear to be a big concern for men, but they too should recognize the benefits of impact exercise and discuss bone mass density tests with their physicians.
Interestingly, impact activity (think “jumping” activities like running and tennis) proved to be better at stimulating an increase in bone mass density, though weight training (resistance training) can be effective if the weight is challenging enough to provide a stimulus! Sadly, walking, which is considered a weight bearing activity, may not be enough of a stimulus to increase your overall bone mass density, but it is still beneficial. Impact activity, like jumping, may not be an option for your body. Studies agree there is a higher risk of injury involved with the over 60 population, that’s why it’s not typically recommended. Consider weight training if this is the case. You may not be able to reverse osteopenia or osteoporosis, but you can certainly slow down the process or maintain what you have!
For years I’ve been frustrated by the use of BMI (Body Mass Indicator) as an indicator of body fat, although my industry continues to use it. BMI measures a person’s height and weight and draws conclusions from that. It’s not an accurate means of determining ones body fat level. There are many other factors. In my opinion, the health and fitness industry needs to adopt a more accurate measure of body fat. This new development gives us hope!
Being healthy takes effort. Every. Single. Day.
Some of those healthy behaviors are harder to manage than others. Fortunately there are digital resources that can help!
Check out the few I’ve discovered and determine whether they may be of interest.
Do you find yourself gulping down food in a matter of 2 or 3 bites? If so, a mindful training tool, like this app, might help you slow down. You’ll enjoy the taste of your food and become fuller faster.
Eager to lose weight but lacking motivation? How about a financial incentive to get you going? By signing up for a money based challenge, you commit to a start date and see your goals through to the end. Place a bet you’ll reach your goal, if you don’t, you lose that money. If you do, you win money!
How does streaming yoga videos free of charge sound? Yes, please.
Good stress or bad stress, it’s still STRESS! This app helps reduce stress and anxiety, and promotes a more restful sleep with guided meditations, Sleep Stories, breathing programs, and relaxing music. Limited capabilities with free app but subscription available.
This app collects health data from your iPhone, Apple Watch, and third-party apps that you already use, so you can view all your progress in one convenient place. Besides managing your activity, sleep, mindfulness and nutrition did you know it can store a Medical ID card, your health records and can even sign you up to be an organ donor! Done.
How much time do you spend on your device? Are you curious? Track how much you (free) and your family (requires subscription) use your phone, tablet and apps each day, automatically and set limits.
Track your sleep with or without an Apple Watch. Discover how much time you spend in deep sleep and your resting heart rate. Very detailed and surprisingly quite accurate!
Track liquids, other than water, as part of your hydration efforts. The app calculates the water percentage in your beverage of choice and even keeps track of how much of each beverage you drink. Also offer reminders and syncs with a variety of devices.
What’s one of your favorite health and wellness apps or resources? Please share!
This month I wanted to supply you with answers to questions I’m often asked on the topic of stretching. The American College of Sports Medicine holds the following positions on this often lengthy topic. View the complete article from the link below.
How long should a stretch be held?
Holding a stretch for 10-30 seconds at the point of tightness or slight discomfort enhances joint range of motion, with little apparent benefit resulting from longer durations. Older persons may realize greater improvements in range of motion with longer durations (30-60 seconds) of stretching. A 20%-75% maximum contraction held for 3-6 seconds followed by 10- to 30-seconds assisted stretch is recommended for PNF techniques (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation).
How many repetitions of stretching exercises are needed?
Repeating each flexibility exercise two to four times is effective, with enhancement of joint range of motion occurring during 3-12 weeks. The goal is to attain 60 seconds of total stretching time per flexibility exercise by adjusting duration and repetitions according to individual needs. For example, 60 seconds of stretch time can be met by two 30-seconds stretches or four 15-seconds stretches.
How often should stretching exercise be performed?
Performing flexibility exercises ≥2-3 days week is effective, but greater gains in joint range of motion are accrued with daily flexibility exercise.
I heard such fascinating information from Wendy Suzuki in this 13 minute TED Talk that I felt obligated to share!