Why Those Gray Hairs Should Encourage You!

I recently requested my hair stylist to cut my hair shorter into a pixie cut. Of course, when she did that, all the sun-kissed summer blonde hair quickly floated to the floor. My kids kindly pointed out that my hair was grayer than before.

At this point, some of you might be thinking their truthful words might hurt my feelings.

No Way!

My graying hair is symbolic; it means I’ve been through stuff! I am seasoned!

At 45 years young, I feel great! I exercise. I eat healthy 80% of the time. I have better relationships with my friends because we’ve been through the highs and lows together.

When you look in the mirror, I hope the face looking back at you shows joy and contentment.

If not, why not?

It’s not too late. I’ve seen 30 somethings in worse shape than 70 somethings.

Perhaps the gray hairs that reflect in the light are a bother to you. Maybe you dye your hair so you can ignore them until your next coloring appointment.

Age is a number and it is also a...

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When Your Mind Says “Yes” And Your Body Says “No”!

I turned 45 years old last month and my body acts differently. I noticed it when I became part of the “over 40” category.

Now, I’m not complaining about my age. I celebrate every 45 of those years and I don’t cringe at each birthday when it comes around. I have learned so much in my 45 years and my attitude is that “I’m just getting started!”

Here’s the conundrum though. My mind loves to say “Yes!” yet my body sometimes says “No!”

Have you ever experienced that?

Maybe you are an athlete reading this and you can remember the exact day when you ran down the field, cut to one side, and your mind said you were going to get the ball but your body said “Excuse me, your knee just went the opposite way.” Yea, that ACL tear wasn’t fun.

Or, maybe you are in your 40’s like me and you spend hours cleaning out the garage, weeding, planting flowers, spreading mulch, and thinking about your great...

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Grinning and Winning!

 

Have you ever worked so hard for something that when you earned the reward you couldn’t stop grinning?

Well, that’s how I felt this past week.

For the past year, I have been studying for a Fitness Nutrition Specialization credential with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. This was no small credential. It involved 15 modules of videos + reading + quizzes + a final exam. I felt like I was back in graduate school earning my clinical doctorate!

And you better believe… I am excited that I passed my exam with a score of 92/100 on the first attempt!

Why did I put in all this hard work?

I was tired of my physical therapy patients and fitness clients asking me questions about nutrition that I didn’t have all the answers to. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not going to have the answer to every question that comes my way about food. However, I feel so much better equipped to respond to questions like:

  • What is the best diet to follow?
  • Is...
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How A Death In the Family Can Revitalize Your Health

It seems that quite a few people in my life have gone through loss - some very tragic like an accident or suicide and some somewhat expected due to aging or a terminal illness. I have experienced loss recently as well when my father-in-law passed away.

When someone loses a loved one there is a lot of immediate activity between the day of their passing and the day of the funeral. After the funeral, people tend to move forward and the family of the loved one who passed may or may not move forward right away. Besides grieving and emotions surrounding the loss, there are legal and financial issues that must be taken care of. It can be a very emotionally, mentally, and physically draining time. It is definitely one of life’s greatest stressors.

If you have experienced loss, I encourage you to talk about it. Lean on trusted family and friends. Talk with your pastor. Seek a licensed professional counselor if you need help through the grief process. Spend some quiet time reflecting...

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Why Your Activity Level Now Will Impact You Later

Are you among the millions of Americans who have high aspirations for how you’ll spend the extra time during your post-retirement years? Whether you plan to travel the world, pick up fly fishing, spend more time woodworking or sign up for a golf league, your physical fitness level will be a factor.

2010 study suggests that the fitness declines we typically attribute to advancing age are largely caused by living sedentary lifestyles—which are on the rise due to the prominence of desk jobs in the workplace and activity-limiting personal technologies including smart phones and voice-activated remote controls in the home. Still, this runs contrary to the widely held belief that any declines in our physical abilities are caused solely by biological aging. Do we really have control over how active we’ll be in our “golden years”?

In a word, absolutely. The study—which examined 900,000 running times of marathon and half-marathon...

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5 Quick Tips to Relax During the Holidays… And Any Other Time Too!

November and December can be very stressful for many people because their normal routine is often disrupted by holiday breaks, the kids being out of school, work schedule changes, party requests, diet changes, gift buying excitement or woes, grieving the loss of a loved one, strained relationships, holiday concerts, travel traffic… and the list could go on… and on… and on.

Let’s be honest… some of us thrive on the chaos of the season… and some of us get a bit overwhelmed.

Whether you are an extrovert and enjoy hopping from party to party and event to event or an introvert and you prefer to snuggle under the blanket by the fire and sip on hot cocoa with marshmallows while cherishing your “me time”, EVERYONE NEEDS TO RELAX!

Your body needs to rest and relax so that you can feel rejuvenated and refreshed. The old saying, “we all need a little R & R” is very true.

Rest and Relaxation Allows Your Body to...

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How Fast Can You Stand Up and Sit Down?

Seriously?

Yes, I am purposely asking, “How Fast Can You Stand Up and Sit Down 5 Times?

Make sure to time yourself with a stopwatch.

My time was 9 seconds. What is yours?

Now, the next question is, “Why am I asking this?

I ask because a recent study shows that people who cannot perform this test in less than 12 seconds, are less likely to be able to walk 6000 steps per day.

A good walking goal to strive for is 10,000 steps per day. If you can walk 10,000 steps per day – the equivalent of walking approximately 5 miles per day – then you are less likely to be inactive.

Inactivity can lead to weight gain and joint stiffness. Obesity-related illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and some types of cancer are on the rise in America. Therefore, having the ability to walk 6,000-10,000 steps per day is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Why else is the Five Times Sit-To-Stand Test so important?

Because if it takes you >16...

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Coffee, Tea, or Milk – All 3 Please!

We’ve all heard this question, “Do you want coffee, tea, or milk?”

With the addition of soda, energy drinks, nutritional drinks, protein drinks… well, you know, the list goes on and on and on…

Why not keep it simple and go back to the traditional 3 + 1?

Coffee, tea, milk, and water?

Benefits of Drinking Coffee:

  • 1. According to the Journal of Pain in March 2007, you can cut your post-workout pain by 48% if you drink 2 cups of coffee
  • 2. According to the Journal of Pain in March 2007, you can cut your post-workout pain by 48% if you drink 2 cups of coffee
  • 3. In 2014, The Public Library of Science published an article supporting the caffeine in coffee reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease
  • 4. Your risk of Type II Diabetes may decrease by 9% for every cup of coffee you drink according to a study in The Archives of Internal Medicine

For a complete list of benefits: ...

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Which Diet is Best For Me?

Anyone who knows me knows that I exercise regularly, eat healthy 80% of the time, and try to find some “me” time to relax.

Because I am a physical therapist and an athletic trainer, I tend to get asked a lot of questions about “what do I do when this [fill in the blank] hurts?” or “can you tell why I have this pain?”

Besides those questions, I get asked A LOT about “WHAT FOOD SHOULD I EAT?” or “WHAT DIET DO YOU RECOMMEND?”

Now, let’s be clear. I am NOT a nutrition expert and I am NOT a registered dietician.

If anyone has any dietary concerns or has any health problems related to diabetes, heart disease, thyroid issues, or any other medical issues that can be influenced by diet, I absolutely recommend seeking professional assistance with a Registered Dietician who can create an individualized and custom diet plan for you.

I can only speak in general terms based on the research I have read for my own personal benefit...

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4 Top Reasons NOT to Read in Bed

  1. Neural Tension
    • a) When you sit with your legs straight out in front of you while your head is looking down, you are placing the maximum amount of tension on your spinal cord and sciatica nerve
    • b) Nerves do not like to be stretched or placed on tension and the reading in bed posture promotes exactly this so you can end up having symptoms like numbness and tingling and not realize that the reading in bed posture is the cause of your problem
  2. Poor Digestion
    • a) When you sit with your legs straight out in front of you while your head is looking down, you are increasing pressure on your abdomen and squeezing your stomach
    • b) This increases the likelihood of poor digestion and acid reflux issues – especially if you eat right before you go to bed
  3. Poor Sleep Habits
    • a) The bedroom should be reserved for sleeping and intimacy – not reading, watching television, playing games on a tablet, or checking your smartphone
    • b) When your brain...
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