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Health and Fitness information to improve your quality of life


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Essentials Of The Long Run

runwithyourheart

I’ve starting running again; gradually increasing my mileage each week.  As I progress, I realize the importance of preparing properly for my run.  There are many factors that can affect your running experience such as your clothing, the weather, dehydration, poor sleep, and insufficient warm-up

  1. Carb load  and hydrate the day before your long run– commonly referred to as  Carbohydrate Loading or carbo-loading, is a strategy used by endurance athletes, such as marathon runners, to maximize the storage of glycogen (or energy) in the muscles and liver. Be sure to drink plenty of water during the day with your meals and avoid excess caffeine. Urine should be a pale, straw color which is the best indicator of hydration. Dark yellow usually indicates dehydration.
  2. Get plenty of rest the day before your long run and mentally prepare yourself for a good run.  Go to bed early to ensure a good night of sleep.  Be sure to set your alarm to get up early to prepare for your run. Check the weather for your planned run time and lay out appropriate clothing and running shoes for your run. Don’t forget your Garmin watch if you keep pace and mileage during your run. When selecting clothing, consider layering with a long sleeve running shirt, arm sleeves, compression socks, hat, etc.
  3. Pack a snack bag the night before to take with you with items for during and after your run.  I normally pack a water bottle and sports beans to carry with me on my run.  I also pack a full water bottle and a banana and/or energy bar for after the run.  It’s important to have snacks and water on hand due to issues you may have with low blood sugar, or electrolyte imbalance.  Per Dr. Bennett’s article:  Hydration and Electrolytes – Impact on Athletic Performance by Paul B. Bennett, Jr. Ph.D

The body performs delicate balancing acts to keep water and electrolyte levels optimal. If blood sodium levels drop too low, the kidneys are stimulated to produce more urine. This restores balance by lowering the amount of water in the blood. If sodium levels get too high, thirst develops, stimulating the person to drink. Hormones secreted in response to thirst cause the kidneys to produce less urine and conserve water. During intense exercise and sweating these systems are taxed and the endurance athlete must sometimes anticipate where the system (body) is heading in terms of water and electrolyte status in order to avoid problems. The take home message here is: If you are thirsty – drink water! Your body is talking to you.

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  • 4.  Plan to get up at least an hour before you need to leave for your run. Drink water upon arising and eat a good breakfast.  I’ve found that organic oats with sliced bananas and a scoop of whey protein is the perfect pre-run fuel.  The carb and protein combination helps provide sustained energy for a long run.
  • 5.  Always make sure you tell someone where you are running and if possible run with a friend.  It’s always best to run with someone in case of emergencies that may occur when running.  Remember safety in numbers.  Make sure you have your cell phone fully charged and carry with you if possible.  Per article on myrunningtips.com

 

  • Run With A Buddy

    As running safety tips go, this one is not always doable, but if you can find someone to run with regularly, great! – you can look out for each other and you are statistically less likely to be attacked if you are with another runner. But finding a running partner who matches the same pace as you, same running goals and so on, can be difficult. Maybe joining a local running club could help you find someone?

Remember preparation is key for a good run and as you increase mileage it become more important.  After your run make sure you take time to stretch, hydrate, and re- fuel to help aid in recovery.  Consider wearing compression socks to help with circulation and prevent muscle soreness.  Taking a little extra time for planning your run can make it a much more enjoyable experience. Happy running!

 

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BodyBalance- Tai Chi, Yoga, and Pilates

BodyBalance sequence

Love teaching Les Mills Body Balance classes.  They provide us with the most up to date education in the industry; as well as choreography and music.

 

 

Here is a teaser for the general class design:

Their ab tracks are amazing and one of the reasons at age 57, I keep a strong core and good abs.

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Check with your local gym and see if they offer Les Mills classes. They have something for everyone- Weight training, kickbox, cardio conditioning and more.


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You Control Your Health

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Although hereditary factors can play a part in some diseases, you have a lot more control of your health than you might think. Your body is an amazing machine designed to heal, but with continued abuse of unhealthy food choices and inactivity, you can end up with permanent damage. There comes a point where your body gives in and stops fighting. You are left with an increased chance of developing diseases such as: diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, or auto-immune disorders.

Once this occurs you have damage that can’t be reversed. Diabetes can lead to blindness, loss of limbs, and even coma. Heart disease and hypertension can cause heart attacks, stroke, and leave you dependent on others for your care.

You have the ability and the choice everyday to make good decisions regarding your food choices and activity level.  Don’t wake up one day and regret the opportunities you had to take care of yourself and live a better quality of life.

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Click on this link to read my article on six steps to reduce fat and get lean

Don’t wait another day to start making small changes to your diet and lifestyle. You will be amazed at how much better you feel mentally and physically as you begin to decrease consumption of junk foods and develop a consistent exercise program.

LAU HANLY reports in the article:

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of a Healthy Diet

Over the course of your life, the benefits of a consistently healthy diet really add up. You are less likely to develop cancer, arthritis, memory loss, dementia and macular degeneration. You’re at a reduced risk of getting heart attacks, blood clots, of sustaining falls and fractures, of getting diabetes, and of having nutritional deficiencies that otherwise become more difficult to treat as you age. You’re also likely to live longer, and to be happier and more active than people who have eaten a less healthy diet.


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Yum Easy No Bake Protein Balls

I love Sunwarrior protein.  Here is an amazing quick recipe on their site for an easy, healthy snack that tastes delicious.  Check it our at  Sunwarrior.com

RE: https://sunwarrior.com/healthhub/no-bake-coconut-protein-balls

I love these easy to make protein balls to grab after a workout or for a healthy snack during the day.  Here is the recipe:

No Bake Coconut Protein Balls

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup (100% almonds) almond butter
  • ½ cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 scoops Sunwarrior Classic Chocolate protein
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2–2 ½ tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons organic vanilla extract
  • *sprinkle Himalayan sea salt
  • *extra organic unsweetened shredded coconut
DIRECTIONS

Mix all ingredients together except almond milk.  Add almond milk as needed to get the right consistency for shaping your protein balls.

Form bite size balls and roll in shredded coconut.  Refrigerate and enjoy.

 


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Ten Steps To Halt Binge Eating

latenightsnacks

 

Binge eating is a disorder that can lead to poor health and emotional issues.  Some of the symptoms include gorging on large amounts of food in a short period of time, continuing to eat when full,  and the inability to control eating habits.  Psychological issues can arise from guilt related to weight gain, hiding food, and embarrassment over gorging. www.helpguide.org lists some specific behavioral and emotional symptoms of compulsive overeating that include:

Behavioral symptoms of binge eating and compulsive overeating

  • Inability to stop eating or control what you’re eating
  • Rapidly eating large amounts of food
  • Eating even when you’re full
  • Hiding or stockpiling food to eat later in secret
  • Eating normally around others, but gorging when you’re alone
  • Eating continuously throughout the day, with no planned mealtimes

Emotional symptoms

  • Feeling stress or tension that is only relieved by eating
  • Embarrassment over how much you’re eating
  • Feeling numb while bingeing—like you’re not really there or you’re on auto-pilot.
  • Never feeling satisfied, no matter how much you eat
  • Feeling guilty, disgusted, or depressed after overeating
  • Desperation to control weight and eating habits

Binge eating can lead to social isolation, anxiety related to meals, and many health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.  Prevention Magazine reports,

“Binge eating is a psychological disorder that usually has much deeper roots than a simple food craving,” says Mary Ellen Sweeney, MD, obesity researcher at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

“Binge eating is literally stuffing feelings down,” says Mary Froning, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Washington, DC. As long as we’re eating, we don’t have to deal with feelings such as anger, anxiety, or depression, say doctors.”

Try these 10 steps to help you overcome binge eating:

  1.  Consider listening to positive affirmations daily related to overeating and self-control.
  2.  Make a point to eat something healthy at the beginning of each meal.  Try a smoothie, juice, or glass of water before meals and a binge. If you have additional cravings for something processed or junk food afterwards, allow yourself to eat it without guilt. However, make an effort to eat it slowly, focusing on mindful eating by enjoying each bite and savoring the taste of the food.
  3.  Set a timer to extend your meal time to 20 minutes. Practice drinking fluids in between bites and counting how many times you chew each bite.
  4.  Don’t stock unhealthy items in your home.  Therefore, it will require more effort to leave your home to go purchase the binge food. If you give into a craving, buy small portions.  For example, if you have a strong desire for ice cream, buy a pint rather than a half-gallon. 
  5.  Stop dieting and avoid starving yourself throughout the day.  Get in the habit of eating regular meals and try to balance each meal with protein and healthy fat. Healthy fats such as walnuts, coconut oil, and avocado help fill you up and stabilize your blood sugar.
  6. Lose the all or nothing attitude.  If you binge, learn to accept it and consider starting a journal to jot down your feelings. Did something happen at work?  Are you anxious or stressed for some reason?  Learn to detect behavioral patterns and determine ways to alleviate stress before it builds and becomes overwhelming. Perhaps take a walk outside or call a friend or loved one.
  7. Make a list of what you can do to improve your health and consider adding one item on the list each month. Make sure each item on the list is doable and something you feel strongly you can achieve. Examples can include: I will eat breakfast every morning for the next 30 days, I will eat a green food item with one meal each day, I will try to get at least 6 hours of sleep each night.
  8. Treat yourself once a month by doing something non food related that you enjoy. It can be as simple as going to a movie with a friend or buying yourself something nice such as a massage or new clothes.
  9. Consider getting a physical and a comprehensive blood workup to look at any deficiencies or medical issues.  It may be helpful to start a multi-vitamin to help ensure you are getting the vitamins and minerals you need on a daily basis. Always check with your doctor before starting any vitamins or supplements.
  10. Therapy can help disclose and work through hidden issues that may be causing emotional turmoil and overeating. Many therapists are covered by insurance and now offer online therapy in the privacy of your own home.  Other options include self-help books and group therapy.