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df0d3c2abcdeaa0c_fruit_xxxlarge_1I found this article on www.fitsugar.com written by Jenny Sugar.  I thought this was insightful so I wanted to share it with you.  I agree with Jenny Sugar. . . what you keep in your kitchen and how you keep it can make or break you with your weight loss quest.  Maybe you can incorporate some of these tips into your kitchen. . . .

http://www.fitsugar.com/Kitchen-Weight-Loss-Tips-18543636?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

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menI recently read a post by Cynthia Sass in the Huffington Post Healthy Living section on 5 mistakes people make with food and exercise that I thought I would summarize and share.  I have seen these same issues with people who I know.  Fix these missteps and the author feels you can better reap the rewards of all of your hard work.

  • Eating Too Little Fat – It seems like people these days are super fearful of fat.  Despite recommendations to include good fats in diet, people stay clear of any fat, often reaching for fat-free options.  Cutting back on fat too much can lead to fatigue, hunger, irritability, depression, weak immune system, and can increase risk of injury.  It is more of the most important nutrients in your diet.  Even if you are trying to reduce body fat, including good fats in your diet is essential to your health.  Look to add things like almond butter, avocado, or olive oil to get the fats you need.
  • Using A Sports Drink When You Really Don’t Need One – As a rule of thumb, if you are exercising less than 90 minutes in a climate controlled gym, water is all you need.  Sports drinks are for folks that work out for more than 90 minutes in hot or humid conditions.  They are meant to keep you going when you can’t stop to eat.  Sports drinks contain a lot of sugar so unless you are really pushing it, stick to water.
  • Not Eating After A Workout Because You’re Afraid To “Eat Back” What You’ve Burned – You may not want to over eat after a workout but you do need some nutrition to heal the body from wear and tear that you put on your body.  Again, you don’t want to overdo eating after a workout but eat with a goal in mind of delivering nutrients to your body to aid in recovery.
  • Only Eating Protein Post Workout – Protein is only one of the key nutrients for recovery.  You also need your share of healthy fat, whole grains and produce.  These help do things such as replenish nutrients, supply antioxidants, help muscles heal, replete glycogen, and optimize circulation.
  • Doubling Up On Recovery Meals – The author recommends eating something like a natural bar or shake 30 minutes before the end of a tough training or game to start the recovery process.  This has shown to maximize healing.  However, she recommends this for your pro athlete clients.  For the average person this can be overkill if it is followed by a full recovery meal.  As a tip she recommends that if you are going to eat within an hour after leaving the gym, skip the snack and wait for the meal.

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kaleIt’s not quite flu season but that is no reason to not get a jump on strengthening your immune system.  In a recent article on www.naturaltherapypages.com, Kat Tate recommends 10 ways you can do this pretty simply.

  1.  Eat your Greens.  Greens contain the nutrients you need to stay healthy and build white blood cells.  They also contain much-needed antioxidants which reduce risks of illnesses.
  2. Stay Relaxed.  Stress puts pressure on your immune system in a negative way which leaves you more prone to illness.  Try to alleviate stress with massage, yoga, meditation etc.
  3. Exercise.  In a study conducted in 2006, researchers found that those that exercised regularly were three times less likely to develop colds then those that did not.
  4. Get Sleep.  This is another way to reduce stress and alleviate pressure on your immune system.  When you don’t get enough sleep inflammatory chemicals increase which leads to illness.
  5. Spend Time with Friends.  Studies show that people who spend time alone have poorer health than those that socialize regularly.
  6. Stop Smoking.  In addition to damaging your skin and internal organs, smoking triggers inflammation.  When you smoke or are exposed to smoke you are more likely to develop illnesses.
  7. Spend Time in the Sun.  Most of us are Vitamin D deficient but you can combat that by getting a little sun every day.  Vitamin D is key in functions like bone health, neuromuscular function, cancer prevention, and enhancing the immune system.
  8. Eat Bacteria.  Good bacteria are found in probiotics, yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut.  Consuming these microorganisms can reduce infections and other ailments.
  9. Get Immunized.  Make sure you are up to date on all of your immunizations because they can keep illnesses and infections at bay.
  10. Reach for Herbs.  There are plants like ginseng, astragalus, garlic, and Echinacea that can help boost your immune system.

For more advice on ways to boost your immune system consult a health professional such as a dietician, nutritionists or naturopath.

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foot-on-scaleThe ROI of workplace wellness programs is proven.  We also know that ROI increases as participation increases.  Many times motivation is driven by the employees’ knowledge they need to lose weight, do more physical activity or just live a healthier lifestyle.  However, employees need to get their first and what if they don’t?  What if they don’t think they are unhealthy?

A recent study shows that this may happen more often than realized.  In the study, 2800 employees were surveyed and 87% said they thought they were in good health.  Only 23% reported they were overweight.  However, the real numbers showed that 66% had a BMI that would classify them as overweight or obese.  Based on the survey, 53% were wrong about the state of their health.  They were not as healthy as they thought.

Perhaps if they had the information on their health they would make different choices such as being more motivated to live a healthier lifestyle or participate in their company’s wellness program.

Being overweight or obese is linked to problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancer.  It can not only impact their health but also their professional live.  They may take more sick days, be less productive, less motivated and just less happy overall which translates into higher overall costs for the company.

So, how do you get employees to buy into participation in the company’s wellness program or to live a healthier lifestyle?  First, give them the information they need.  Health risk assessments that include biometric screenings and blood work can be the first step.  After employees have this information they may need assistance to interpret the results so they can have a better understanding of their current health status.  Once they know where they stand, provide opportunities to learn through wellness classes, on-line quizzes, posters, informational e-mails, and one-on-one health coaching.

For those that are truly already healthy, you can motivate a continued healthy lifestyle by sharing other benefits such as stress reduction, longer lives, or better overall health with decreased chance of diseases.  Offering incentives such as lower health insurance premiums, gift cards, or other prizes can also be motivation to some.  However, the first goal is awareness followed by support and education for all for an overall healthier and happier life.

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th[1]There is a lot of talk about alkaline and acid foods but what does it all mean and how does it impact your overall health?  Any food you eat can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline which impacts the pH level of your body.  PH is a scale that measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The scale ranges from 1 to 14 with 1 being very acid, 7 neutral and 14 very alkaline.  The ideal pH level for your blood is right around 7.35.  The pH of your blood is extremely important in order to maintain a bio chemical balance in the body and enable your body to function properly.

Because of the Western diet, there is a tendency for most people to be on the more acidic pH level.  Examples of acidic foods include meat, fish, poultry, diary, processed foods, refined sugar and flour, alcohol, and caffeine.  More acidic diets can lead to bone loss, back pain and some chronic diseases.  Just to clarify, it isn’t necessarily how “acid” something tastes when you eat or drink it.  It has more to do with what is left over when you digest your food.

Alkaline foods are mostly vegetarian such as fruits, vegetables, soy products, nuts, grains and legumes.  There are no extensive studies confirming the benefit of an alkaline diet but if anything you can balance out our pH and eat a diet full of fresh product, water, and healthy protein.

To see a chart of alkaline foods versus acid food click this link:  http://www.realfoods.net/acid.html

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Would you like to be part of an organization that is flexible, adaptive, and firing at peak performance a majority of the time?  Find out how to achieve and maintain this peak performance by directing energy in the right direction through physical, social and mental fitness.

Maintaining Physical, Social and Mental Fitness for Peak Performance 

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skiI usually post my articles on Wednesday of each week but I missed this past Wednesday.  I decided to take the day off and spend it skiing and posting an article completely slipped my mind.  I felt a little bad about missing my posting but now this is an opportunity to write a little bit about the benefits of skiing and how to be prepared when you hit the slopes.

Some don’t understand why skiers would spend the money on gear, tickets, and transportation to spend 6 – 7 hours pushing your physical limits in (sometimes) freezing temperatures.  Sure there are fitness benefits but there is more to it.  Here are a few to include the fitness benefits:

  • Fitness Benefits – Skiing is a weight-bearing exercise which strengthens bones and prevents osteoporosis.  Skiing successfully requires balance, coordination, agility, and spatial awareness.  It also provides some cardiovascular fitness.  A person weighing 160 pounds burns 365 calories an hour downhill skiing.
  •  Motivation to Stay in Shape – Skiing itself has health benefits but it also can motivate you to stay in shape.  When ski season is approaching, I spend more time focused on my balance and leg strength so I can enjoy the experience and prevent injuries.  Because skiing is so physically taxing there may be a desire to train harder for ski season but low-impact aerobic training is the way to go.  Try shorter, less intense runs, elliptical workouts and yoga or Pilates.
  • Overcoming the Winter Blues – Seasonal Affective Disorder is depression caused by the longer hours of darkness and cold temperatures.  To combat these winter blues, skiing provides some sunshine, physical activity and social interaction.
  • Social Benefits – Skiing is one of those physical activities that almost anyone can do despite age, size, and fitness level.  It’s also an activity that the entire family can enjoy.  Skiing always offers the opportunities to meet new people on the lift, on the slopes, or in the lodge.

If you are now motivated to hit the slopes, here are a few tips for getting started:

  • Prepare yourself physically by jogging, using the elliptical trainer or doing some leg strength training exercises.  This will help you avoid muscle strain and injury.
  • Don’t overdo it.  Most injuries happen at the end of the day when people are fatigued and going for that last run of the day.  Listen to your body and when you are tired it’s ok to call it a day.
  • Drink enough fluids even though it’s cold and you don’t feel thirsty.  You can become easily dehydrated in the cold dry weather in no time.  The same goes for fuel.  Eat enough food to keep you energized throughout the day even if you are not hungry.
  • Wear appropriate gear for comfort, warmth and protection.  Helmets and sunscreen area must.
  • If you are a first time skier, spend the money and take a lesson.  It’s better to learn to ski the right way than through trial and error.

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