Run? Who’s Chasing Me?

I never played a sport in school. I was a band geek. I played the marimba for sideline percussion, marched on the field with the alto saxophone, and marched in parades with either the alto saxophone, marching bells, or cymbals.

Besides marching band, I played in the concert band, pep band, and jazz band. I took marimba and drum lessons. I won music awards and also earned a music grant to play in college. I haven’t played music since 1996. I’m a bit ashamed of that because I had music talent and just let it go. That’s what happens when other activities take priority.

One of those activities was running.

Back in 8th grade if someone would have told me that I would be a long distance runner, I would have laughed. I would have asked Who’s chasing me?

However, in 9th grade, my favorite teacher coached cross country. I would see him running to school while I rode the bus. That’s when I noticed that runners always looked in really good shape. They had a lot of...

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Living Through A Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked our world globally. If you are not a healthcare worker or another type of essential business, you most likely have been working remotely, placed on furlough, or have lost your job.

This is not only a major health crisis but also an economic crisis. Our entire way of life has been impacted. In a matter of moments, much of our day-to-day operations have shifted to a new virtual reality. The only people that we are coming in physical contact with are most likely the people we live with. Everyone else must keep 6 feet away.

When we start to venture out, I am 99% positive that we will think twice about shaking someone’s hand or giving someone a hug. Our entire mindset is different now. We will be keenly aware of other people’s hygiene habits and wonder if they really washed their hands as well as they should.

How are you coping with our “new normal”?
Are you ready to venture out?
What are you feeling?
What are you doing?

If you...

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The Health Scare That Changed My Life

We live in a new time right now. The fear of COVID-19 is running rampant. It is an absolute tragic disease that does not discriminate between wealth and poverty, educated and uneducated, race, religion, or gender.

Yes, the 60+ population are more susceptible but young people are getting it too. This pandemic is serious and it is impacting the entire world.

COVID-19 must be taken seriously. It is scary and many are realizing just how valuable being in good health is. My hope is that after this experience, people do not take good health for granted.

I’ve had a few health scares - in no way as scary or tragic as COVID-19. Not even close and I’m not trying to compare. My point in sharing my 1st health scare is because it changed my life.

I used to be a long-distance runner. I’ve completed 2 marathons, multiple 5k, 10k, and half-marathon races. I also completed a sprint triathlon. I was an endurance junkie.

I don’t run anymore, not because I don’t like...

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Lessons Learned From COVID-19

With many states on “safer-at-home” restrictions and social distancing of at least 6 feet, the COVID-19 pandemic has rocked much of our country as well as the world.

I have intentionally refrained from commenting because I’ve wanted to see how everything was going to play out. I’ve also been reflecting on what we can potentially learn from this once in a lifetime (I hope!) disruption to our daily lives.

Here’s a few lessons I’ve come to appreciate:

  1. Providence reigns. We aren’t in as much control as we think we are. As much as I want and try to control my daily schedule, I can’t control everything and in reality, have very little control over much.
  2. In times of crisis, we witness both the best and the worst of humanity. I love the stories of people checking in on their senior neighbors, sharing birthday parties via video chat, and connecting or re-connecting with their kids during “stay-at-home” school. I am saddened by the...
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Meal Planning Basics

Kudos to all you super organized meal planning let me spend an entire day making every meal for the week ahead folks.

Unfortunately, that’s not me. My family’s schedule doesn’t allow me the opportunity to cook all day then never cook again that week. Even though I like to cook, I don’t like it enough to spend an entire day doing it. I would be exhausted!

I am proud of those who can do it but I know myself and I am comfortable with who I am enough to know that I won’t devote a day to cooking.

This is what I am willing to do and these are the strategies I use to avoid the question every Mom hates to hear, “What’s for dinner?”

  1. Plan Ahead
    • Look at your schedule
    • What nights do you have time to cook?
    • What nights need to be reserved for reheating leftovers?
    • What mornings do you have to prepare for a crockpot meal for dinner?
  2. What’s In Your Pantry?
    • What food do you already have?
    • What food do you need to buy?
    • What meals can be made...
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Do I Need Supplements?

I get this question a lot. “Do I need supplements?”

Yes and No.

If you don’t eat a well-balanced diet, then yes, you probably need a high quality supplement to provide you with the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function at its best.

If you do eat a well-balanced diet, then you might not need a supplement.

Let’s delve into this a little deeper.

Your body needs vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins are organic molecules; Minerals are inorganic molecules. Both are necessary to survive.
Vitamins can be either fat soluble or water soluble.

Fat soluble vitamins include Vitamin A, D, E, and K - they don’t dissolve in water and if taken at high levels can be stored in fat tissue; this can create toxicity in your body.

Water soluble vitamins include Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C - they can dissolve in water and are less likely to reach toxic levels because the excess is basically peed out.

Minerals are either:

  • Major - Need >100mg per day like sodium,...
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Yes! You Can Eat Fat!

What?

Eating fat can be part of a healthy diet?

Absolutely!

As long as you eat the right types of fat, including healthy fats into your diet can be part of a well-balanced diet.

Your body needs 20-35% of its daily calories from fat!

When we talk about fat, we are really talking about Fatty Acids.

Fatty Acids are either saturated or unsaturated.

Saturated fatty acids are bad → they raise bad cholesterol levels AKA low-density lipoproteins or LDLs and increase your risk of heart disease. Examples include whole milk, lard, butter, meat, and poultry.

Unsaturated fatty acids are good → they increase good cholesterol levels AKA high-density lipoproteins or HDLs and decrease your risk of heart disease. Examples include avocado, olive oil, almonds, and salmon.

Consuming healthy fats can increase satiety and make you feel full which decreases the risk of over-eating.

Consuming healthy fats can also decrease your risk of heart disease.

So, the next time someone says to eliminate fat...

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Protein Packs A Punch!

A well-balanced diet consists of 40-65% carbs, 10-35% protein, and 20-35% healthy fats.

Let’s focus on protein.

Protein helps build and repair your muscles AND is involved in the production of your hormones and enzymes.

Dietary protein is either complete or incomplete. Complete means the food has all essential amino acids the body needs. Incomplete means the food is low or lacking in one or more essential amino acids the body needs. Combining a couple of incomplete proteins can make a meal complete of all the essential amino needs the body needs.

Examples of complete proteins are:

  • Rice and beans
  • Oatmeal with milk
  • 1 whole egg

Examples of incomplete proteins are:

  • Grains
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Oats
  • Legumes

What can influence our need for protein?

  • Exercise - whether you perform strength training or cardiovascular exercise, your body will need to repair the tissues of your body from the stress and strain you put on it. Thus, you must increase your protein take
  • Diets - if you are...
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Yes, Your Body Needs Carbs!

Carbs get a bad wrap. They are blamed for diabetes, obesity, the “sugar high”, poor dental health, and “bad” food choices.

The problem with the argument that “carbs are bad” is that the carbs that are “bad” typically are the type of carbs found in processed foods, high fat foods, and foods with lots of sugar.

Of course, these carbs are “bad” because let’s face it, these are the foods that don’t hold much nutritional value anyway. Most people know that a diet consisting of donuts, soda, and candy may taste good but aren’t really good for you.

Let’s chat about the “good” carbs. These are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

And, yes, they taste good too!

A healthy diet should INCLUDE 40-65% carbs.

Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of fuel.

Removing carbs entirely or significantly decreasing them to below 40% of your diet will rob your body from readily available energy.

...
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How To Pump Up Your Heart

One of the best ways to be good to your heart is to get it pumping!

This means you have to move!

Living a sedentary lifestyle will not lead to a healthy lifestyle or a healthy heart.

Being active, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a balanced diet are keys to overall great health and helping your heart be more efficient.

Exercise improves your blood flow by helping it circulate throughout the entire body.

That’s why if you sit at a desk or travel on planes, you are encouraged to move your feet up and down or get up once and hour so that you reduce your risk of blood clots.

If you have surgery, you are advised to elevate your legs so that fluid doesn’t accumulate in your feet and so that gravity can assist blood flow back to your heart.

What are some keys to movement?

 

#1 Pick movement that you like!

You don’t have to play a sport. If you like to dance, move and groove on the dance floor.

If you like a spotless clean home, go ahead and sweep the floor,...

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