May 24, 2024

Healthy Habits That Stick by Nicole Bryan

Small Steps to Successful Healthy Living

Long- lasting sustainable wellness happens with small consistent behavior changes. Going “on” or “off” a healthy eating or exercise plan for example, will defeat your efforts and only be effective and lead to results for so long. Just as you wouldn’t ever consider going “on” or “off” brushing your teeth or combing your hair, you shouldn’t consider a healthy lifestyle as something you are on or off of either.

The key is to consider healthy living as something you simply are, not something you do. So, how do you get there? Break your unhealthy habits down into small steps to slowly wean off or replace with new healthy behaviors. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Replace waiting time with walking time. How many minutes do you waste sitting and waiting for meetings or appointments? Instead of sitting around and wasting time, why not head out for a walk instead. Even standing instead of sitting is a more productive option. Keep an extra pair of walking shoes in the trunk of your car so taking advantage of the found time is easy and simple.

Replace juice with water. Save 100-plus calories plus countless sugar every single day by swapping out one glass of juice as your go-to beverage and drinking pure calorie-free water instead. Reducing simply 100 sugar calories a day equates to 700 less calories a week! Over the course of a year, the health benefits will really add up.

Make Monday mandatory exercise. Make Monday your non-negotiable fitness day. Always exercising on Monday sets a healthy tone for the week. You’ll be less likely to skip the rest of the week. Exercising on Monday also provides a great confidence booster and motivational tool to have one solid workout already completed for the week.

Small changes also eliminate the feeling of being deprived and punished. Small changes are the key to sustainable and effective wellness and healthy living.

2014 Twitter Must-Follow

Words matter! Sometimes encouraging words are just what we need to focus our fitness efforts. When they come from our fitness friends sometimes they matter even more. From the experience of another who has been there, who is on the journey with us and has found a way to make their healthy living happen. We carry these words of inspiration with us!

Need motivation in fitness and healthy living? Look no further than our 2014 Twitter Must-Follow List!

THANK YOU ALL for your motivation, expertise, encouragement and inspiration to live healthy and fit.

@Deb_Lowther Deb Lowther

@FitExpertJess Jessica Matthews

@LoRoRD Lori Rosenthal, RD

@lmaydak Laura Maydak

@SarahJChicago Sarah Johnson

@familyfocusblog Scarlett Paolicchi

@HelenAgresti Helen Agresti, RD

@StressFreeKids Stress Free Kids

@LoriShemek Lori Shemek, PhD

@Smart_Kitchen Kathy Smart

@DrCedricBryant Dr. Cedric X. Bryant

@slowswimmer Kenny Steil

@FitnessToGo Tera Busker

@30SecondMom 30 Second Mom

@kerigans Keri Gans

@SusanCross1 Susan Campbell Cross

Are You at Risk? by Laura Maydak

Winter Dehydration: Are You at Risk?

Here’s a question: Is the risk of dehydration in the winter similar to that in the summer?

Using context clues (the title), you may have an idea as to the correct response.  But, if you still aren’t sure, the answer is yes.  Here’s the next question: Do you know why?

Think about summer: It’s hot and humid, the sun is blazing, and you’re noticeably sweating.  You’re losing a lot of body water when you exercise, and you’re fully aware of it.

Now, think about winter: The air is dry and cold, you can see your breath when you breathe out, and you’re bundled up in layers.  You’re losing a lot of body water when you exercise, but you’re unaware of it. The reasons for fluid loss in the winter are less obvious than those in the summer, but understanding them is critical for optimal hydration status and athletic performance.  Here’s what you need to know:

The air is dry and cold
When you breathe in, your body humidifies the air.  This is the reason you can see your breath when you breathe out.  What you may not realize is that this causes you to lose considerable amounts of fluid through respiration.
Also, these conditions make for fast evaporative sweat loss.  Any part of your body that is exposed to the elements will not be sweaty for long, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t losing body water.

You’re bundled up in layers
Depending on how many layers you wear, you may be carrying a significant amount of extra weight.  Extra weight means extra effort to move.  Extra effort to move means increased exercise intensity.  Increased exercise intensity lends itself to heavier breathing and more sweating, which takes us back to the problems listed above.

You don’t feel thirsty
This is the most important issue of which to be aware.  In the summer, when we become dehydrated, our bodies elicit a thirst response, helping to prevent dehydration.  In the winter, our body’s ability to elicit this response is decreased.  Without getting into the specifics, the way our bodies respond to cold temperatures alters the brain’s ability to detect dehydration.  When we aren’t thirsty, we don’t drink, which allows for further dehydration.

Dehydration seriously hinders performance and wellbeing.  Avoid it by taking note of these tips:
Hydrate early and often:
- Drink non-carbonated, non-caffeinated fluid (~16 oz every hour) before you exercise to ensure that you start fully hydrated
- During exercise, drink 4-8 oz of liquid every 15-20 minutes
- For workouts lasting longer than 1 hour, drink a sports drink to replenish lost electrolytes
- After exercising, drink 16-24 oz per pound lost (weigh yourself before and after you workout to determine pounds of water lost)

Be aware of the signs of dehydration:
- Early fatigue
- Faster breathing and heart rate
- Dizziness
- Headache
- Dark yellow urine (you want it to be almost clear)

So remember, bundle up and drink up!

Laura is currently a graduate student in the University of Pittsburgh’s Coordinated Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics program, one semester away from being eligible to become a registered dietitian.  Connect with Laura on twitter (@lmaydak) for motivation and tips to live your healthiest, happiest life – all given with a healthy dose of humor.

To those who have motivated our healthy living: Thank You!

Has someone in particular inspired or motivated your fitness? Offer him/her a Thank You! A few words of encouragement, an email of enthusiasm or a simply a text offering a Good Luck goes a long way toward motivating one another. As athletes we are instantly a community of friends. We all understand the effort and dedication required to live healthy and fit.

So, contact someone today who has inspired you, motivated you, or provided encouragement on your healthy living journey, and offer these two simple words of gratitude: Thank You.


THANK YOU to our Summertime Motivational-Monday Live Fitness Chat Sponsors! If you’re looking for ways to motivate your fitness, check them out.

PrAna. If you’re on the go often and believe in living an active lifestyle, you should know about PrAna! Their slogan “clothing for people who live life fully, play long, and travel well” sums up their motivation behind their clothing designs. They offer men’s clothing and women’s clothing touting functional apparel for the unconventional spirit. Designed for healthy living and offering durable apparel be sure to include prAna in your next health living adventure. Follow them on Twitter to see what’s new.

Flip2BFit. Peak your kids interest to be active through the innovative games of Flip2BFit. Ideal for the whole family to play on a weekend, for a group activity at a birthday party, or for teachers to have on hand as a rainy day go-to. Their games encourage self-esteem all realized through the spin of a wheel and the flip of a card! Order yours today for hours of family fun time via and check them out on Twitter.

RunnerBox. RunnerBox offers you the opportunity to sample top fitness, running and triathlon products just like the Pro’s (without having to train like one.) Each month you’ll receive a mini shoe-box full of products chosen just for you; you’ll find nutrition, gear, gadgets, just to name a few. Choose a subscription or 1-time purchase to gift yourself or favorite athlete. At, there’s no better way to find YOUR perfect running, triathlon and fitness products. Follow them on Twitter for a preview of upcoming products and discounts.

RunHappyRaces. Discover the ease and inspiration of virtual races through RunHappyRaces. All proceeds from Run HAPPY Races events go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through their Team In Training program. HAPPY stands for “Run Happy. Have a Purpose!” and this is exactly what you’ll experience in their events. So, what’s the benefit of a virtual race? Complete the race distance before the final day, anywhere and at any time you choose- that’s it! Enjoy connecting with fellow athletes online without the travel costs and 3 am shuttles to race starts. Go to for event information and follow them on Twitter for all race info and updates.

Rock My Run. Looking for a motivational boost during your workout? Meet RockMyRun! They offer music mixes specifically designed with YOU, the athlete, in mind. Offering over 15 difference genres from which to choose, you can also select desired duration and beats per minute for your run and gym workout. RockMyRun has designed their mixes to keep you going when your motivation is challenged. As your training partner, they’ll get you through and onto logging your next personal best. Follow them on Twitter to learn about all their new and upcoming mixes. Check out – where your next favorite music mix awaits.

How to Reduce Anxiety and Stress by Coach Juli

Anxiety falls into two basic categories, that which is manageable and considered normal in our lives, and that which hinders normal daily functioning. How do you know which category your anxiety falls into?

Anxiety is a natural reaction to real stresses, as a normal level of it can propel you to prepare for things you need to deal with and spur your energy level to handle issues in the moment. That form of anxiety can be motivating.

If you find yourself crippled and unable to function, then you will most likely need professional help. Since I am not a doctor, I will provide some ideas on how to deal with the more common normal anxiety.

Here’s how you can manage anxiety in 3 steps:

Plan your week so you can be prepared. If you know what is coming up in the next few days and you have a good working plan of how you are going to accomplish those items which may be anxiety producing, you will be proactive versus reactive.

Strive to avoid negativity. Be positive in how you see things as much as you possibly can. Sure, some situations aren’t ideal, but you can change how you think about them and approach them by adopting a positive attitude.

Decompress. Being stressed out and letting anxiety get the best of you can make everything worse. Try something that is calming such as yoga, meditation, or simply breathing deeply for a few minutes. Some clients find going out for a fifteen minute workout helps them to relax and reduce anxiety. Find what works for you and keep that in your “decompression toolbox” for the next time anxiety strikes.

Contributed by Coach Juli, CPC: ADHD Productivity Coach. Efficiency Expert since 1984, and author of the eBook, Order! A Logical Approach to an Organized Way of Life, Contact Coach Juli at, via phone 805-964-2389  or

Boost Energy Naturally by Rachael Roehmholdt

If you’re anything like me, you are no stranger to the mid-day energy slump. While it can seem easy and convenient to swig down coffee, soda, energy drinks, and excess amounts of sugar to give us an uptick during the day, there are better and more natural ways to even out your energy levels.


Here are five gentle ways to boost energy the natural way:


1. Reduce caffeine.

It might seem counter-intuitive to reduce the amount of caffeine when you want to gain more energy. By reducing your consumption of coffee, sodas, and energy drinks, you’ll avoid the ups and downs that come with blood sugar and mood swings and overall feel a lot more even keel.

2. Eat dark leafy green vegetables.

Dark leafy green vegetables are packed full of vitamins and nutrients, which are essential to giving you that boost in energy that you’re looking for. Enjoy broccoli, collard greens, bok choy, kale, mustard greens, arugula, and dandelion greens throughout the day or incorporate them into your snacks to get that natural feel-good energy boost.

3. Drink water.

Before you grab that candy bar or reach for that can of soda, grab a glass of water and wait a few minutes. Our bodies send off the signal that we need energy, but for most of us, that signal is telling us that we’re dehydrated. Start with drinking a glass of water, then if that doesn’t help, you can start troubleshooting with other ways to get that natural boost.

4. Use gentle sweets.

Instead of choosing candy or other sugar-loaded treats or drinks, opt for natural sweets that are gentler on the body. Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners as these have a funny way of tricking our bodies into more of those sugar swings and the desire for more of them. Instead opt for natural sweeteners and aim to get sweet vegetables into your diet to satiate that sweet craving once in a while.

5. Get physical.

Even if you start small, you can boost your energy just by getting out of your chair and moving a little bit. You don’t have to put in a hard core sweat session, but even some designated time for physical movement can get your blood moving and give you that energy that your body craves.

Increasing your energy doesn’t have to be done with a quick-fix. Over time, these small changes can add up to overall increased energy levels. Enjoy!

Rachael Roehmholdt is a certified holistic health coach and founder of Be More Healthful. With a passion for good food and living a healthful and balanced life, she believes that small changes to our everyday lives can set us up for a lifetime of health and happiness.

Decrease Clutter! By Coach Juli Shulem

It would be easy to just say, “throw away stuff you don’t need” but therein lies the problem. Those with clutter issues generally cannot discern between what they need to keep and what they should get rid of.

Here are 3 tips to making a big impact on decreasing the clutter in your physical space:

1.    Increase border control.
Don’t let anything through your door that isn’t an asset to your life. This means start by not even buying things you don’t absolutely need.  Don’t go ‘shopping’ for things. Go ‘buying.’ That means you go for the items you need, with a list in hand, and nothing more. If you don’t let unnecessary items come into your home in the first place you will have less to deal with in the near and distant future. Not having the item around to begin with will stop the process of cluttering at the root.
This goes for not accepting things from others as well. If friends or family don’t want an item any longer, why do you need it?

2.    Don’t buy more containers.
I see in my coaching practice that those who are trying to get organized instantly want to go out and acquire storage containers thinking that this will help them become organized. Actually, you want to first get rid of things and then, based on what is left and where the items will be kept, you can get appropriate containers. If you get dozens of plastic boxes first you will have more clutter that you had to begin with and chances are you won’t need all those containers either.

3.    Delete dupes .
If you have a lot of things, and they have had ‘offspring,’ you can generally get rid of all but one (perhaps two) of the item and be just fine. Often the reason people have many of the same items is that they can’t locate it when needed, so they go out and purchase another only to find the original one days, weeks, or months later. This can happen over and over resulting in ridiculous amounts of something where one is sufficient.

Contributed by Coach Juli, CPC: Efficiency & ADHD Coach. Efficiency Expert since 1984, and author of the eBook, Order! A Logical Approach to an Organized Way of Life, Contact at 805-964-2389 or

How to NOT Sabotage your Healthy Living Efforts by Bob Choat

Are You Sabotaging Yourself When it Comes to Exercising?

So, you joined a gym or discovered some new fitness routine, right?  Maybe you will do something for a week, a month or even longer and then… BAM!  You suddenly stop or start slacking off.  Even those that have gone for a longer period of time may start engaging in behavior that sabotages their fitness training.  If you are doing the same thing, you are not alone.

Each person has a self-concept of him or herself.  That concept or self-image starts from early childhood.  How you see yourself leads to the kind of actions you will take.  As you move through the years, your self-image will develop even further.  Many times, though, some people tend to get stuck with that perception of who they are from the past.  That translates into the kind of work they will engage in and what they do in all aspects of their life.

People that have a very high concept tend to take more risks and do more things that is “worthy” of that self perception.  The person with a low self-concept will do things to match that.  They don’t believe they are worthy, even if they start to reach a certain level of success.  In fact, many have a fear of success.  That includes getting fit and looking good.  So what happens, they will do things to sabotage their efforts.  They may start to procrastinate in working out.  They will make excuses of why they can’t do this or that.

Our self-image is based on our beliefs and beliefs can be changed.  Here are a few pointers that should help you overcome your self-sabotage and create a new image:

•    Keep a journal of your thoughts and emotions just before you take certain actions.  This will help identify your beliefs and behaviors.  Make sure to include those thoughts and emotions that lead you to working out and those that lead you to making excuses.  Sometimes there are certain triggers that activate the behavior.  When you understand this, then you can remove the trigger.

•    Change your self-image by looking at all the good qualities you possess.  If you’ve won an award of any kind, remind yourself that you did.  If you have trouble with being praised, start to let praise come in.  Keep a scrapbook or binder that showcases your accomplishments.

•    Change your physiology to change your attitude about you.  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and put your fists on your hips, kind of like a superhero would do.  And even add a smile, with your head slightly raised and cocked to the side.

•    Tell yourself that you deserve all the really good things in life.  That includes being healthy and fit.  Make it emotionally intense when you do, and again, with a smile.

•    Take continuous action, each and every day.  Surround yourself with supportive people.  Discard those that are not.

Practice each of these pointers and incorporate them into your life.  You will eventually see a new you, one that is confident, powerful and deserving of success in fitness and beyond.

This article is written by Bob Choat. As America’s #1 Mind-Body Transformation Expert and author of ‘Mind Your Own Fitness’ Bob is dedicated to help transform the mind-body fitness of the nation and beyond. He can be contacted via email: and via his blog:

Does your Lifestyle Need a Makeover? By Heidi Henry

Need more joy in your life? If you’re feeling sluggish and unmotivated, it’s time to look at your current lifestyle.  Overcome lack of energy and motivation by asking yourself five key questions and then of course, making simple changes:

Are you drinking alcohol? STOP!  Don’t put a known “depressant” into your body?

What foods are you putting into your body? Are you eating and drinking processed, chemical-laden foods? Read your labels! Stick with whole foods and you’ll feel a boost in energy instantly.

Are you surrounding yourself with individuals that love and appreciate you?  If not, it’s time to make new friends. Join a club, join a gym, volunteer. Find like-minded people and you’ll find support.

Are you doing what you enjoy? Making time for what you enjoy is essential. Don’t know what you enjoy? Try new things. Set a goal to try a new hobby once a month.

Are you exercising? Do it! You say it’s hard?  Yes, however it’s always worth it. Living active clears your mind and is an excellent confidence-booster.  And yes, it gets easier over time. Move your body as often as possible.

You can’t continue to live the life you’re leading and expect a different outcome. Embrace change! 

Follow Heidi’s blog via where she focuses on running, training for triathlons, living a vegan lifestyle, all the while proving that YOU make the decision to lead the life you want to lead. Heidi can also be found on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube