Fitness, to Some, is the “F” Word

This article is such an important share.  It was written by my mentor, coach and esteemed friend, Dr. Jack Barnathan.  Dr. Jack, (as his friends call him),  is a board member of the Magic Happens Foundation and has served legends of pro & Olympic sport.  He continues to lead and consult with those interested in creating and sharing their unique gifts with the world.  His list of credentials is impressive.  What truly sets Dr. Jack apart is his cutting edge insights, innovations and information that create a high ground experience that focuses on individual strengths and proven strategies.

 

Fitness, to some, is the “F” word.
by Dr. Jack Barnathan

Fitness, to some, is the “F” word.

And sadly, for good reasons.

Too often it’s FRUSTRATING

It is such a broad term and it can mean an evening hike after work (one of my favorites) or heavy lifting of weights in a gym (my favorite a decade or so ago) or rock climbing, or … almost anything.

And that’s where the confusion comes in.

What is Fitness?

As a doctor, and someone who taught certifications for a college that offered live certification classes for many years, I’m also confused.

My philosophy has always been that “Fitness activities” are very personal, and should be. There are no cookie cutter formulas that are “one size fits all” when it comes to fitness.

And the benefits for all, especially for preventing many illnesses or as a tool (with your doctors exam, advice and consent) for individuals to speed healing when they are recovering from treatment such as for cancer.

And because of this “confusion” I now use the term “physical activity” or, encourage people to find their “physical style.”

Something you can express from within. Something that fits your physical goals, health needs, protects you with safety FIRST and foremost, and, feeds your soul.

I will discuss elsewhere the many studies that exist proving the intense benefits of body, mind and spirit all found within that walk. Or Tai Chi. Or yoga. Or… whatever fits your physical style.

Give it a thought. It’s something you probably wanted to “express” or at least explore.

There are many great individuals, and organizations you can do this with. magichappensfoundation.org is one that supports those going through cancer treatment with similar activities.

You have goals for body and spirit. Make sure you find the support you deserve in that journey. The results could be dramatic, and life long.

No Gym? No Worries!

 

Can’t get to the Gym?

No problem! There may be many reasons why a ‘Gym’ setting is not the ideal place to exercise.

Compromised immune system. Many health issues create a weakened immune system making it necessary to avoid as many germs as possible. Clients who are going through chemotherapy are warned to avoid as much physical contact as possible to avoid germs.

Preference to a ‘private’ setting while exercising. Many people prefer a place of solitude, as opposed to a social spot, like a gym, to exercise

Time. We are all time crunched these days, but for some, time is a major player when it comes to fitting in exercise. The gym may not be convenient during the time needed to exercise.

Intimidation. So many people experience a feeling of intimidation regarding a gym setting, especially when new to exercise. A gym can be scary for new exercisers.

-Introverted. There are many people who prefer a more private setting for exercise. ( I totally get it!)

Equipment. Many people prefer to work with equipment that only they use. This also falls under the necessity of remaining as germ-free as possible. Having your own set of resistance bands, weights, and other equipment means less exposure to germs.

Less Stress. Exercising at home, under the careful guidance of a Fitness Professional, can lead the way to a lifetime of enjoyable exercise. Once the proper form, basic exercises, and fundamentals are taught; a client can exercise when it is convenient for them. As a professional, keeping a support system in place is essential. After all, it is not our intent to keep you depending on us. The idea is to coach, mentor and teach you what you need to know so you can enjoy a more active lifestyle.

Everyone is unique. An exercise program can be designed to fit your unique goals, situation and personal likes (and dislikes!)

Introducing a client to the enjoyable world of exercise and movement is a thing of beauty! Newly found energy, purpose, and enjoyment are natural by products of an active lifestyle.

Aging and Exercise

  • With respect to the aging process, what are some benefits derived from participation in regular physical activity?

Research shows that many of the physiological declines that are typically associated with the aging process can be reversed, or at least slowed down by engaging in regular physical activity. While exercise is not a magic pill or the proverbial Fountain of Youth; it is about as close to it as you can get.

Regular physical activity is well documented to help reduce the odds in developing heart disease, stroke, colon cancer, and diabetes. These are major reasons to develop a habit of regular exercise. There are also factors such as weight loss and control, keeping depression at bay and helping with feelings of anxiety, as well as, fostering improvements in mood and feelings of well-being. Regular exercise can boost one’s mood and feeling of self-confidence. Regular exercise can help reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. Engaging in regular physical activity can help those with chronic, disabling conditions by improving stamina and muscle strength. Exercise can help keep the body flexible and stiff joints more pliable. Lack of exercise actually can make your joints even more painful and stiff. Keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong can be crucial to maintaining support for your bones. Not exercising weakens those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints. Certain regular exercise also helps with balance, which can enable a lifestyle of independence as well as promoting safety by reducing the risk of falling and performing routine daily tasks. Another benefit of regular physical activity is in how it aids brain function. Exercise is proven to change the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills. This is especially good news as the older we get, the more we may experience ‘brain fog’ and declining memory.

Exercise performed regularly improves physical appearance and when enjoyed in a group setting, provides a good social support. Regular physical activity is the key to staying strong, energetic, and healthy as you get older. If you find an activity you enjoy, it can even be fun. Exercise helps make life pleasurable and expands the quality of life.

by Terri L. Pouliot

 

 

Keeping the Holidays Healthy

holidaycocktails

Keeping the Holidays Healthy

Tips for a healthier holiday season:

Many people experience weight gain of 1 to 2 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years.  For others, it can be as much as ten pounds. Research shows that for most people, this extra weight never goes away after the New Year.  This Holiday weight gain is considered a major contributor to obesity. Holiday parties, the office cookie tray,   even temptations in your own kitchen can wreak havoc on waistlines.  It doesn’t have to be that way, if you carefully plan.

Most experts agree that it can be perfectly healthy to indulge in a treat or two over the Holiday Season.  Moderation is the key.  If you know that the very taste of a Christmas Cookie will send you down a slippery slope and end in binge-eating, don’t go there.  For most, however, a seasonal goodie can actually be healthy.  One thing to bear in mind is to not starve yourself or skip meals in anticipation of treating yourself.  That usually results in overeating.

There are other things to consider when limiting your Holiday treats.  It is so easy to stray off your healthy diet plan during the Holidays.  With a batch of cookies an arm’s reach away, it’s easy to eat poorly during the holidays. And when we overindulge on treats, our waistlines aren’t the only things that suffer. Sweets can also wreak havoc on our mood. According to Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Eat Your Way to Happiness, when stressed, people are more likely to choose sugary carbohydrates that deliver a quick shot of energy to the system. Unfortunately, these same foods cause us to bottom out just as fast — leaving us irritable and exhausted. Instead, choose complex carbohydrates, like whole-grain bread, combined with protein, such as turkey or low-fat cheese, to keep your mood on an even keel.

 

Here are a few things you can do to stay in control this Holiday.

 

  • Hydrate.  Drink plenty of water throughout the day and especially before heading out to a party.
  • Don’t skip meals on the day of a party.  Eat small, mini-meals that are filling and nutritious.  Make sure you are including high-quality protein with your small meals. Include complex carbohydrates and watch the fat intake.
  • Limit alcohol.  You can quickly consume your daily calories in beverages if you aren’t careful.  Sip water if you need to have a beverage in your hand.
  • Never go to a party hungry.  Have a healthy snack prior to heading out the door.
  • Exercise.  The holidays can be a busy time.  Find the time to fit in a daily workout.  When short on time, choose some form of your favorite cardio.
  • Practice mindful eating.  Savor each bit.  Eat slowly, chew thoroughly and enjoy your senses.
  • Wait before heading back for seconds.  Allow your food to digest and settle.  It takes approximately 20 minutes for your stomach to register that it is full.
  • Sleep.  Make sure you are getting adequate rest. Research proves that when we are sleep-deprived, the stress hormone cortisol is released at an increased level, which makes us feel hungry, even if we are full.
  • Use a smaller plate.  It will hold less, so the end result is, you will eat less.
  • Fill up at the Veggie Tray.  Not only will you feel fuller, you will be doing your immune system a favor.
  • Choose protein.  Include plenty of high quality protein with each meal.  Protein keeps you feeling full, longer.
  • Step away from the buffet table.  Socialize away from the food.  It will only cause you to nibble mindlessly.
  • Bring a Healthy Dish.  If asked to bring food to a party, make it healthy and low fat.  You will at least have one smart option.
  • Bake Healthy.  There are many delicious recipes available for everything from appetizers to desserts that are not fat-laden and sugar-loaded.  By making simple recipe swaps, you can create a healthier dish which will benefit everybody.