Why are positive choices hard to make?

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.

Impact Exercise and Bone Density

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!

 

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Sedentary, 65 and older? It’s never too late to start a physical activity program!

Over the age of 65, and sedentary, but want to start a structured physical activity program? Here are a few steps to safely begin a program and incorporate fitness into your life.

  1. Educate yourself on the weekly amount of structured activity needed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention individuals 65 and older that are in good health and have no limiting health conditions should strive for 150 minutes of aerobic (also known as cardio) activity per week as well as two total-body strength workouts. Aerobic activity needs to be performed at a moderate intensity. For example, on a scale from 1 to 5 – one being the feeling of lounging around the house and five being out of breath – you need to be working at a level 3, possibly a 4. A total body (legs, back, chest, abs, arms) workout should be performed at least two times a week. These basics requirements are for those active older adults that want to maintain their health, weight and fitness level. If you are want to achieve greater goals (improved health, weight loss, train for an event) then up to 300 minutes a week of aerobic activity and possibly an additional day of strength training is required. Fortunately, your aerobic activity doesn’t have to be in 60 minutes increments. Ten minutes here and fifteen minutes there can make your aerobic activity cumulative. Strive to meet the basic recommendations for structured activity as described above. This is your first step in starting a physical activity program.
  2. Find an activity, or two, that you enjoy. Does your gym, health club, fitness or community center offer group fitness classes? What about local churches or social clubs? SilverSneakers® programming is offered nationwide and can be found at most of these establishments. Look into class schedules to determine what works best for you. What about participating in a sport such as swimming or golfing? This may be the time to start a private lesson or join a league. Perhaps meeting a friend for a walk, jog or hike is more appealing. Ask your children or grandchildren about gaming systems such as the Wii, XBox or Playstation. These devices, as well as good old fashioned exercise DVDs, will allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home and for much less than a gym membership .  If all else fails, seek out a reputable and certified personal trainer for guidance. By opening your mind to what is available and identifying an activity (or two) that you enjoy, you’re more likely to exercise regularly.
  3. On a weekly basis, schedule and complete your activities. Just as you would schedule an appointment with your doctor or dentist, schedule your activities. Write it on your calendar or in your daily planner. Use an app if you are tech saavy. Be specific. For example, “2PM on Sunday. I will walk 3 miles outside.” or “Monday at 11:30AM I will attend the group strength training class at the community center with my friend, Bob.” Scheduling and completing your activities will ensure your long term success.
  4. Make adaptions based on your limitations. With any new activity, the body will need time to adapt. Learn to make adaptations for orthopedic or medical conditions (this is where a personal trainer can be helpful). Take things slowly to prevent injuries. Modify the exercise to fit your abilities. If you have been sedentary, 150 minutes of weekly aerobic training might be unrealistic. Instead, start with 15-20 minutes, three times a week. After one or two weeks, progress the duration or frequency of the activity. Continue in this manner until your body can handle the increased activity level. Making adaptations will ensure that your body responds properly to the increased activity level and help prevent injuries.

Even if you are sedentary and 65 years or older, it is never too late to start a physical activity program. The body has a unique ability to respond to exercise regardless of its age. Delaying or preventing disease, improving mood, managing stress, and pain management are all benefits of regular exercise. Use these steps to incorporate fitness into your life and you will soon be able to achieve the physical results and health benefits you’ve always wanted.

Live Now Nutrition! A Local Resource

As most of you know, my scope of practice as a personal trainer limits my nutritional and eating guidance. Though I’m able to provide exercise guidance and instruction, you may ultimately need more to reach your health and wellness goals. With that in mind, I’d like to share a resource for nutrition and eating therapy: Heather Henniger and Live Now Nutrition.

Heather and I have been friends for many years since first meeting at the YMCA.  As an eating and nutrition coach and practitioner, her approach is different from that of a dietician or nutritionist because it focuses on one’s relationship with food and the emotions involved. I asked Heather a few questions about her services to which she elaborated:

If one tends to eat out and/or buy prepared foods frequently, which service would benefit them the most and why?

One-on-one sessions would be most beneficial for those who are wanting to get healthier, lose weight, struggling with digestive issues, or binge eating/overeating and are eating out frequently or consuming mostly prepackaged food.  One-on-one sessions would allow us to explore your life and discover areas where we can begin to tweak your diet as well as your lifestyle. Just a few small changes can make a positive shift in one’s health and wellness and can help to transform one’s metabolism.

I see you offer kitchen cooking sessions, pantry makeovers and grocery shopping tours. What can one expect to learn from each of these?

Cooking Session: I love to cook nutritious food, but only if it tastes good, otherwise, what’s the point?  In my cooking sessions, you can expect to learn healthy cooking techniques that can help you transform your unhealthy or boring meals into nutritious and delicious delights. Depending on your needs, we can work on knife skills, explore kitchen equipment, and ways to prepare healthy meals and snacks easier and tastier than you may think possible.

Pantry Makeover: Good health starts in the kitchen. A Pantry Makeover is a great way to set yourself up for success. We will be cleansing your kitchen from ingredients that keep you stuck in addictive patterns and don’t serve to properly fuel your body. You will also receive a list of foods and spices that you need to have in your kitchen to support your health. Please note that if you have family members who are not on board with your desire to make healthy lifestyle changes that I will not throw out the foods they want to keep. Instead, we will find a way for them to not feel deprived of what they want while leaving you with a kitchen that supports the changes you’re ready to make in your health and life.

Grocery Shopping Tour: There is a common misperception that shopping at health food stores will significantly increase your grocery bill. In fact, depending on what you purchase, you might even save money. Regardless on where you choose to do your food shopping, there is a way to shop at the grocery store that will be easier on your wallet, and help you get healthier. I can help you discover foods you haven’t tried, how to purchase the freshest produce, as well as how to store and ideas to prepare them.

How is your style or approach different from that of a nutritionist or dietician?

Most dieticians and nutritionists focus solely on the foods you consume, calorie content, and macronutrient balance. While these are important components of health, they are only part of a healthy life. As a Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner, I look at foods and their nourishing properties. However, I also use my training as a Mind Body Eating Coach to work with the whole person: body, mind, spirit, emotion. Together we will examine your past as well as your current lifestyle to gain a better understanding of where you are in your health journey and why. From there we will work together to help you build the skills and confidence to overcome eating challenges, health challenges, and life challenges so that you can become your best self.

Do you create meal plans? Why or why not?

I don’t create meal plans for my clients. I have found that many people follow a meal plan for a time and then stop following it completely when life makes it difficult to follow that meal plan perfectly. I work with my clients to see that an “all or nothing approach” is not the way to lasting health. My clients learn to trust the wisdom of their bodies in deciding what to eat and make their food choices from a place of love and respect to their bodies.

What would your clients say has been their greatest discovery through working with you?

Most people put a lot of stress and energy into negative thoughts and worrying about food. I think the greatest discovery people have had, after working with me, has been the peace and confidence in their lives.

 

Need or want guidance in this area? I encourage you to reach out to Heather!

LNN_heather_01

Live Now Nutrition – Heather Henniger
Certified Mind Body Eating Coach and Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner

Phone: 719-308-1160
Email: info@livenownutrition.com
Location: 422 E. Vermijo, Ste. 216 Colorado Springs CO 80903

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5-minutes of movement every hour has its benefits!

For those individuals that are sedentary, even low-intensity movement interruptions––five minutes every hour––can improve metabolic conditions.

The American Council on Exercise along with a team of researchers in the High Altitude Exercise Physiology Program at Western State Colorado University investigated the optimal frequency, intensity and time for reducing sedentary behavior to improve cardiometabolic health in middle-age and older adults.

Through this study we learn that improvements in one’s HDL, triglycerides and blood glucose can occur by simply moving, at a minimal intensity level, for five minutes every hour. In fact, duration and frequency proved more important than an increase in movement intensity.

Of course, these study results do not mean that regular, structured exercise is unimportant in the quest for better health. Rather, the focus should be placed on both regular exercise and reduced sitting time.

View the study’s results here.

Do You Have Portion Distortion?

If you are accustomed to mega-sized platefuls of pasta and Flintstone style steaks, you may have portion distortion. Discover what a healthy portion looks like here.

Why the “pause-button mentality” is ruining your health and fitness

Do any of the words below resonate with you?

“I’ll resume healthy eating after my vacation… once the baby is born… after Dad gets out of the hospital… January 1… Monday.”

While this kind of “pause-button mentality” seems reasonable, it could be ruining your health and fitness. Co-founder of Precision Nutrition, John Berardi, Ph.D. tell us why, and what to do about it.

He explores:

  • Why the pause-button mentality only builds the skill of pausing.
  • Why it’s not about willpower, but about skills.
  • Fitness in the context of real human life

This must-read article can be found here.