HOW DO YOU STAY HEALTHY AND FIT THROUGH THE HOLIDAY SEASON?

  We can do this; we can have a great time through the holiday season, enjoy some goodies and even over indulge a bit but still not feel guilt-ridden, or do the downward spiral of diminishing willpower and unhealthy, unwanted pounds. Most important, don’t panic or feel guilty if your diet seems to have gotten out of hand! Get over it and get back to normal. If you ate a bit too much, forget about it and resume a regular healthy diet. Skipping the next meal will not help you. It will actually hurt you. Your body does not understand the idea of banking calories or skipping meals for the sake of losing weight. Your body only knows that it must be fed every few hours or else it is not receiving the proper nutrients and glucose necessary for normal functioning. Eating every few hours keeps your blood sugar levels in check. Skipping a meal because you over indulged earlier in the day is not a smart idea and besides that, it doesn’t work.  On the reverse, if you know you are going to your holiday party and plan to eat until the cows come home, do not skip meals before hand. This is also considered banking calories and works against your metabolism.  Once we set ourselves up for failure, we can only fail. As soon as you begin to think about skipping meals so you can eat more later you are thinking about calories and weight, not nutrition and health. You are also mentally preparing yourself to eat a lot and lose control. Think the other way about it, visualize success. Imagine how you want to behave at that holiday pot luck, (just those words can get the digestive juices going). See yourself making the right choices, enjoying how you feel in that beautiful holiday outfit and enjoying the company of those you love.

The holiday season is just that, a season. So plan ahead. The secret is balance over a several day period and if you blow it guess what, like my dear husband Mike likes to say, “it won’t be the last time!” Pick yourself up out of bed the next morning and get back in the health game.

Why wait for New-Year’s Day Resolutions?

  Why wait for New-Year’s Day Resolutions?

 It’s the middle of October and we are looking at the end to another year, this is a good time to reflect upon the goals and achievements of 2009.

Most of us choose to use the new-year as a catalyst to initiate changes for the coming year.  We can look back on 2009 at the goals achieved and those that weren’t. Try and decipher what fueled your success and use this as a blueprint for new successes.

I know there are quite a few of us that abandoned our fitness and health goals in 2009, so I have an idea! (You knew this was coming).

Let’s launch some “new-year resolutions” now and get a jump start on 2010.

Don’t get me wrong, I think new-years resolutions are super and I have my list. But why wait? This is a great time of year to embark on new fitness and health routines

The way I see it, a jump start on some healthy choices is the best way to approach the holiday season.  Don’t be a victim of “holiday weight gain”!

This will make your holiday season so much more enjoyable, you will feel better, have more energy and you might even fit into that sexy new-year’s outfit (men too) that resides in back of the closet!

 

 

How To Start New Healthy Routines Now?

 

One of my favorite thoughts is: action precedes motivation and not the other way around.

We get caught up thinking that we have to wait for motivation to start doing something good for ourselves, but that is not how it works. You just need to initiate action; even the smallest of actions will facilitate some momentum.

Here are some tips that could help you get started:

  • Start with bite-sized pieces that you’ll be able to accomplish.  If your goals are too big, you can end up feeling defeated before you get a good start. 
  • Avoid perfectionist thinking. Focus on positive terms; avoid self talk that is negative.
  • Don’t make your resolutions absolute. Keep real!
  • Share with a friend. Tell someone you trust about your goals.
  • Make your goals yours. The goals you have set for yourself should be something you really desire. If you don’t have a strong internal motivation you won’t be successful.
  • Tune in to your spirituality. Spend some time outside; nature will help you find balance!

 

Here are some simple tips to help you with the two most common and important wellness routines you will want to start now.

Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or exercising for fitness, it’s important for everyone to do some level of weightlifting and aerobic exercise. Ultimately you want strength, flexibility and endurance.

Schedule it in your day. Pick a time of day and stick to it. You have to make it a priority because it is. I would say this is the biggest obstacle for most of us.

Get up and move! At my work place I call it “pop ups”. Incorporate exercise during the day, even while you're at work. If you sit at a desk most of the day, get out of your chair at least once an hour and walk around.  Use the five-minute-per-hour rule. Look for ways to just get up and move.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk down the hall instead of using the phone or e-mail, or take a walk during a morning or afternoon break.

Weight Loss where do you start? Write it down. Writing down what you eat is the best way I know to become more aware of just how much and what you are eating. The awareness factor is tremendous, if you have to write it down you will think twice about mindless eating, plus you will learn about yourself. Knowledge is power. You can do this with your exercise too. Keep a log.

Good luck and make health, not looks, your priority. "Positive thinking is a big part of it. Try to keep your focus in the right place -- not on the numbers but the feeling and desire for better health and well-being.

Fibromyalgia a Positive and Proactive Approach

  What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia syndrome FMS is a complex and chronic condition that causes a widespread oversensitivity to pain and unusual fatigue. It disturbs sleep and causes exhaustion from head to toe. Those with fibromyalgia often experience aches and pains all over their bodies. The pain may be in the tendons, ligaments or muscles. Also, they have tender spots located on various points on their body referred to as trigger points.

It’s estimated that this condition affects approximately 7 million Americans. 90% of fibromyalgia patients are woman. Symptoms may be present at any time during a person’s life; they are most commonly reported at middle-age. Some studies show it may be hereditary. Most people go undiagnosed, suffering from widespread body pain and fatigue that impacts the ability to carry out the simplest daily activities. Chronic fatigue syndrome CFS is most often considered to be the same illness.

The symptoms are unpredictable and frustrating however the common symptoms may include:

  • Pain
  • Poor Sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Memory and Concentration
  • Sleep Disorder
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Chronic Headaches
  • Depression

Even though fibromyalgia is often referred to as an arthritis-related condition, it does not cause joint damage or inflammation, as arthritis does. Fibromyalgia does not cause damage to muscle or other tissues.  However, it is similar to arthritis because it causes severe pain and tiredness, and can undermine ones ability to go about daily activities. Fibromyalgia is seen as a rheumatic condition. A rheumatic condition is one that causes joint and soft tissue pain.

 

What is the treatment for fibromyalgia?

Traditional treatment of fibromyalgia is geared toward improving the quality of sleep and reducing pain. A sleep study may aid in this process. Deep level sleep is crucial for many body functions and disturbed sleep may be a strong contributing factor to symptoms.

Several holistic treatments can be used to alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia; the goal of most holistic treatments is to help the body to heal itself.  One thing that I think is very important is to work with a healthcare practitioner that specializes in CFS and FMS.

Treatments may include:

Nutritional and dietary approaches are often simple and can produce measurable benefits. Of course good overall nutrition is important for everyone, but there are several vitamins and mineral supplements that can improve energy levels and aid in sleep.

Massage therapy improves circulation and helps with the flow of nutrients through the body. It relaxes the muscles and improves range of motion, reduces stiffness and may help with sleep problems.

Acupuncture has been found in some studies to help alleviate pain associated with FMS and also reduce depression and fatigue.

Biofeedback is a relaxation technique that utilizes electronic equipment to analyze the body’s various responses to stress. It too can help reduce sleeping problems and improve daily functioning.

Exercise (you knew I was going speak to this), aerobic exercise combined with resistance training (strength-training) have been linked to a significant improvement in pain and sleep disturbance. Women with fibromyalgia may experience significantly improved daily function and symptom relief after taking part in a program that includes walking, strength training and stretching, according to an article published in Archives of Internal Medicine (JAMA/Archives), November 12th issue.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of patients do not keep up the exercises. Studies have shown that working out with a partner or personal trainer helps to keep the program active.

Remember, the key is to start slowly, watch your symptoms carefully, and find the level of exertion that's right for you right now. Keep the following in mind:

  • Push yourself to get moving, but don't push yourself to do more until you know you're ready.
  • Expect some setbacks -- you'll need to experiment to find your current level of tolerance.
  • Take breaks when you need them, but don't give up!

 

Fibromyalgia remains a challenging condition, however many strides have been made in the last decade. Clinical studies have demonstrated that patients can reduce their symptoms.

The key is to be proactive, stay positive and motivated. Quality of life can significantly improve by developing a self-management plan and making necessary lifestyle changes.