April 21, 2024

Small Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle

Fit Mind:

Take small steps to a healthy lifestyle

Small changes in health habits are more likely to be sustainable, lasting changes. Those who make large, sweeping, all-or-none lifestyle changes often burn out mentally or get injured physically from going from unhealthy to healthy in a day, or week. Make a few small changes at a time, every 2-3 weeks. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Walk! Start walking more.

2. Drink one glass of water every morning.

3. Reduce your unhealthy snacks by one portion or piece per serving. Continue to reduce intake or portions by one every 2 weeks.

4. Take 3 deep breaths every time you get in your car.

5. When you go out to eat, skip dessert.

5 Easy Steps to Becoming a Runner by Jason Saltmarsh

My Story
Four years ago I was overweight, had trouble sleeping, made poor diet choices, worked long hours, and was on the precipice of a mid-life crisis. I decided that I wanted to be here to see my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I wanted to be active and set a good example for my family. So, I decided to run.

Today, I’m fifty pounds lighter, I’m a competitive master’s runner and I feel healthier than ever. This November, I’ll be running in the New York City Marathon.

Step 1 – Have a Plan
My running actually looked a lot like walking to those who saw me struggle down the road during the first few months. However, the thing that helped me get on track was having a plan AND sticking to it. I could look at my calendar and plan accordingly for every workout. The beginning is the most challenging time, because you are forming new habits and breaking old ones.

Creating a calendar is essential to staying on track. Protect your workout time. Don’t compromise. This is important for you. I would recommend putting that calendar in a place where your family and others can see it and support you. It keeps you motivated and accountable.

Step 2 – Set a Goal
My first goal was a local 5K race. I decided when I began training that I would complete a 5K race within three months. Time should be of no concern.

Finishing should be the goal the first time you race or run a new distance. Find local races by searching online or talking to others in the running community that you may already know. Choosing a local race has a few advantages. First, you can easily make it to your race without a lot of logistical planning and expense. Second, it is easy to have your family or friends there to support you. And third, you will hear about the race in the local media outlets and be reminded of your goal as you train.

Step 3 – Eat Well
I chose a few easy steps to get my diet under control. I stopped eating as many bad things, and ate more good things. I stopped going out for lunch, and brought my own to work. I focused on less sugar and cut out surgary drinks altogether.

Challenge yourself: Try eating two servings of vegetables with dinner. Try eliminating sugary desserts for 4 weeks. Try eliminating alcohol for 4 weeks. Try not to eat anything that comes in a box with heating instructions for 4 weeks. These little measures will result in huge health and weight-loss benefits.

Step 4 – Sleep Well
I find that eight hours of sleep each night keeps me in good condition both mentally and physically. Your body needs time to repair and adjust to the stress of a new training regimen so that it can grow stronger.

Be sure to reap the benefits of your hard work by letting your body rest. You may want to give yourself a curfew for a few weeks and see how it goes. If you run in the early morning hours, you’ll probably miss some of your favorite nighttime TV shows. That’s what the DVR is for!

Step 5 – Stay Flexible
Life is unpredictable. Not everyone responds to training the same way. You’ll have good days and not so good days. That’s OK. Listen to your body and rest when something hurts. The individual workouts are not as important as the overall training effort.

There are communities of runners (both online and off) that support, encourage, motivate and challenge each other to reach their goals. Local running clubs can usually be found either online or by visiting running specialty shops. Online, you can turn to your social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and the blogging community for more information and resources.

Stay focused. You can do this.

By Jason Saltmarsh. www.SaltmarshRunning.com – Run for your life!
Twitter @SaltyRuns

Green Tea: Healthy or Hype? By Lori Shemek, PhD

All teas are healthy for you, in fact, the Chinese have known about the benefits of drinking tea since ancient times.  But there is one tea in particular that shines above the rest and that is:  Green Tea.  Green tea is a young tea and because of this, is also less processed.  There are many health advantages to drinking green tea due to its very high concentration of EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) and other antioxidants.  The active ingredients in green tea responsible for its broad healing effects along with EGCG are antioxidants including polyphenols, and catechins.

Here are the top 5 reasons why green tea is healthy for you:

1.     Green tea can help protect against cancer.  The polyphenols in green tea stop cancer in its tracks by shutting off the blood supply to the cancer. Many studies have linked green tea to a decreased risk of skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder cancer.

2.    Green tea improves cardiovascular health.  The polyphenols in green tea increase the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and reduce the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.  The antioxidants also help to prevent heart attack and stroke.

3.    Green tea can help prevent Alzhiemers Disease.  Green tea inhibits three enzymes linked to the development of Alzheimer’s. Polyphenols, present in green tea, have neuroprotective properties, binding with the toxic compounds that protect brain cells.

4.    Green tea help prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis . Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that causes soreness, stiffness, inflammation and loss of function in the joints. The EGCG  in green tea help reduce pain, joint damage, inflammation and slow cartilage breakdown

5.    Green Tea helps prevent stress. Stress causes inflammation in the body.  Green tea contains a large concentration of catechins (antioxidants) that reduce the body’s mental and physical stress response.  Additionally, the amino acid Theanine can reduce stress, improve cognition and mood.

Drinking 3 cups of green tea a day or using an extract are beneficial and will help you to create optimal health now and in your future.

This article is written by Lori L Shemek, PhD, CNC. America’s #1 Fat Loss Expert and Best-Selling Author of ‘Fire-Up Your Fat Burn!’  Find Lori’s book here: http://www.amazon.com/FIRE-UP-YOUR-FAT-BURN-ebook/dp/B0083BW37G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337040876&sr=8-1