Holiday Treats Versus Time to Exercise Them Away

How many calories for your holiday treats?  How much exercise to burn them off?

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Provided by Kendall Taylor of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in their October 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

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Not Exercising? That’s as Bad as Smoking…

When you see someone smoking, you might question “Why would you do that to yourself when you know it could kill you?” Do you react the same way when you know someone doesn’t exercise? You should.

When I was at a recent medical conference, one of the presenters reminded the audience that research has shown physical inactivity to be as deadly as smoking. I was shocked at this when I first heard it a couple of years ago, but I think I was just as shocked hearing it the second time. My guess is you are too. It’s hard to imagine being inactive could be comparable to smoking, but it is.

You wouldn’t dream of smoking (and if you do smoke, you’re likely trying to quit), so why poison yourself with inactivity? But many of us do. Nearly 80% of us don’t get the recommended amount of exercise. Many experts agree the inactivity epidemic is more concerning than the obesity epidemic.

The benefits of exercise are numerous and irrefutable. It helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancer, dementia, depression, and more. If you exercise, chances are you’ll live a longer, healthier life. Period.

What’s so powerful about exercise? Take heart disease, for example. Heart disease is associated with inflammation in the body. Exercise is a natural inflammation fighter. When you move, your muscles send out anti-inflammatory chemicals.

Also, every time you get up and move, your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides improve. When you sit down, they get worse. It’s just about moving more.

If you’re not active now, I’m sure it sounds overwhelming to start an exercise program. The good news is you can see health benefits with even a small amount of activity. Even taking a daily 5 minute walk around the office will improve your health. Slowly build up from there.

Ultimately, you want your goal to be 30 minutes at least 5 days a week of moderate exercise. We’re talking about a brisk walk– hard enough that you can talk comfortably but not able to sing. But take your time getting there. Throw in resistance exercises a couple of days a week, and you’re on track. If you’ve tried exercise before and didn’t lose weight, don’t be discouraged. You are still getting health benefits even if you’re not shedding weight. If you’re overweight but active and fit, you can expect to live as long and healthy as someone who is normal weight and fit. Even if you’re obese, being active helps you live a longer, healthier life than a normal weight person who isn’t active.

Think you’re too old for it to matter? Hardly. Regardless of your age, getting active has enormous benefits even in your 80s and beyond. We’re not just talking about living longer, but living better with a higher quality of life. As British-American anthropologist Ashley Montagu once said, “The idea is to die young as late as possible.”

Source: WebMD 2014 by Michael Smith, MD, CPT

Provided by Sheri Gilbert of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the February 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

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Not Exercising? That’s as Bad as Smoking…

Not Exercising? That’s as Bad as Smoking…

When you see someone smoking, you might question “Why would you do that to yourself when you know it could kill you?” Do you react the same way when you know someone doesn’t exercise? You should.

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When I was at a recent medical conference, one of the presenters reminded the audience that research has shown physical inactivity to be as deadly as smoking. I was shocked at this when I first heard it a couple of years ago, but I think I was just as shocked hearing it the second time. My guess is you are too. It’s hard to imagine being inactive could be comparable to smoking, but it is. You wouldn’t dream of smoking (and if you do smoke, you’re likely trying to quit), so why poison yourself with inactivity? But many of us do.

Nearly 80% of us don’t get the recommended amount of exercise. Many experts agree the inactivity epidemic is more concerning than the obesity epidemic. The benefits of exercise are numerous and irrefutable. It helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancer, dementia, depression, and more. If you exercise, chances are you’ll live a longer, healthier life. Period.

Exercise

 

What’s so powerful about exercise?

Take heart disease, for example. Heart disease is associated with inflammation in the body. Exercise is a natural inflammation fighter. When you move, your muscles send out anti-inflammatory chemicals. Also, every time you get up and move, your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides improve. When you sit down, they get worse. It’s just about moving more. If you’re not active now, I’m sure it sounds overwhelming to start an exercise program.

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The good news is you can see health benefits with even a small amount of activity. Even taking a daily 5 minute walk around the office will improve your health. Slowly build up from there. Ultimately, you want your goal to be 30 minutes at least 5 days a week of moderate exercise. We’re talking about a brisk walk– hard enough that you can talk comfortably but not able to sing. But take your time getting there. Throw in resistance exercises a couple of days a week, and you’re on track.

If you’ve tried exercise before and didn’t lose weight, don’t be discouraged. You are still getting health benefits even if you’re not shedding weight. If you’re overweight but active and fit, you can expect to live as long and healthy as someone who is normal weight and fit. Even if you’re obese, being active helps you live a longer, healthier life than a normal weight person who isn’t active.

Think you’re too old for it to matter? Hardly. Regardless of your age, getting active has enormous benefits even in your 80s and beyond. We’re not just talking about living longer, but living better with a higher quality of life. As British-American anthropologist Ashley Montagu once said, “The idea is to die young as late as possible.”

old-people-exercise-2

 

Source: WebMD 2014 by Michael Smith, MD, CPT

Provided by Sheri Gilbert of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the January 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

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24 Daily Habits

 

24 Daily Habits

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us” – John Dryden

I have previously written about how the habit of exercising every day has helped me tremendously. Doing something every day is such a powerful way to form a habit that I thought I would make a list of 24 habits that are worth doing on a daily basis. Note: I have divided these into morning, day and night although some could obviously be under different headings.

The Morning

1. Wake Early: I am a big fan of waking at 5am and spending time working on myself before going to work. I have written more about this habit here: How to Wake Early When All You Want to Do Is Sleep.

2. Exercise: when I had the goal of exercising 4 times a week I found it was very easy to tell myself I will exercise tomorrow instead. Setting the expectation of daily exercise removed this as a potential excuse and I have since reaped the benefits of this daily habit.

3. Review or (even better) Rewrite Your Goals: each day I try to get closer to achieving my short, medium and long term goals. Starting the day by reviewing or rewriting my goals means that I have better awareness of them throughout the day. As Robin Sharma says:

“With better awareness you can make better choices and when you make better choices, you will see better results.”

4. Read and/ or Listen to Motivational Material: in the morning a whole day of endless possibilities lies ahead. I motivate myself to play my best game by reading and listening to inspirational books/ audiobooks. For audiobooks I recommend the free introductory offer from Audible.

5. Visualize the Day Ahead: I like to take a few minutes to shut my eyes and visualize what I want happen in the coming day. It’s amazing how often my desires become reality when I do this.

6. Write a “To Do” List: I like to write out a list in my diary of the important tasks I need to do that day. As they are completed I put a line through them. So simple, yet so effective.

7. Check the News Headlines: I think it’s important to have an idea of what is happening in our community and the world. Also if don’t at least check the main stories, I find it is easy to feel left out of conversations throughout the day. Having said this, much of the news is negative and I’m careful not to spend too much time digesting it unless there is a particular story of note.

8.  Blog: I find there are many benefits to blogging. Starting a blog can help you gain clarity, be creative, make new friends, and may even generate you some income. If you would like to start a blog I recommend Squarespace.

9. Take Time to Look Good: it’s a reality of life that people judge us by our appearance. I take a few minutes each morning to ensure I go out into the world looking the best I can.

The Day

10. Smile. You’ve probably heard about the importance of smiling, but as the saying goes “common sense is often quite uncommon.” I try to carry a smile with me on throughout the day. I find that not only does it make me happier, but it can make other people smile and open the door to conversations with people I haven’t talked to before.

11. Put First Things First: I try to avoid having my day controlled by tasks that are urgent , but not necessarily important. The habit of putting first things first is about organizing and executing your life around your deepest priorities.

12. Under-Promise and Over-Deliver: at work I try to go the extra mile on my projects, especially on the details many people might miss.  I set reasonable deadlines for myself and, when possible, try to get them done early.

13. Be Proactive: being proactive means showing initiative and taking the responsibility to make things happen. Whenever I want to get something done, I ask myself: “what can I do to make this happen?”

14. Snack Well: I substitute the chips, candy and chocolate with fruit, vegetables (carrots and celery are great to chomp on) and nuts.

15. Connect with Nature: I find spending time outdoors in nature is great for my sense of well-being. On work days I like to go for a walk during my lunch break.

16. Ping a Friend: I try to send a quick email or text to a friend each day. It’s a great way to stay in touch with friends when I am extremely busy.

17. Save: I save at least 10% of each paycheck. A great way to find the money to save is to break it down to a daily amount, for example $10-15. By taking account of the Latte Factor I find it easy to save this much.

The Evening

18. Have Family Time: I believe it’s important to be present most evenings. Family time is aboutquantity and quality.

19. Take Time for Myself: I also believe it’s important to spend a little time each day just for me. Some things I like to do: read, write, meditate, yoga, play music and/ or visit the gym.

20. Tidy Up: a cluttered house can lead to a cluttered mind and fuzzy thinking. I find it’s best to stay on top of things by tidying up each day.

21. Wind Down: I try to switch off the computer and the TV about 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime and let my brain have some down time after a long day. I sleep far more peacefully when I do this.

22.  Review My Day: I find this is a great way to hold myself to account for taking action throughout the day. Did I get closer to achieving my goals? Did I complete my to do list? Did my day go as planned? If not, why not?

23. Say I Love You: don’t just assume that your family members know you love them. I say these words to my wife and sons at least once per day.

24. Go to Bed At A Reasonable Time: the first habit of this list (waking early) begins by going to bed at a reasonable time and getting a good nights sleep.

Photo by lululemon athletica

Improved Mental Health Linked to Nature Group Walks

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Walking through nature in a group sounds like a lovely way to spend an afternoon, but can it lower depression? According to a new study from the University of Michigan, the answer is yes, suggesting potential health benefits of national outdoor group walk programs. Although it is well known that outdoor walking groups encourage interaction with nature, social engagement and physical activity, until now, little has been known about how effective they are at promoting mental, emotional and social well-being.

A recent study published in April suggested that walking boosts creative thinking, while another from July suggested brisk walking is  therapeutic for people with Parkinson’s disease. Though the health benefits of going for a good walk are wide ranging, researchers
from this latest study focused on the mental benefits of the activity. Their results are published in the journal Ecopsychology.

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To conduct their study, the team, led by Dr. Sara Warber, associated professor of family medicine, evaluated nearly 2,000 participants
from the Walking for Health Program in the UK, which organizes almost 3,000 weekly walks each year. “We hear people say they feel better
after a walk or going outside, but there haven’t been many studies of this large size to support the conclusion that these behaviors actually improve your mental health and well-being,” says Dr. Warber.

Results from their study show that group nature walks are linked with “significantly” lower depression, less stress and better mental health and well-being, both before and after controlling for covariates.  Additionally, people from the study who had recently encountered
stressful life events—such as a serious illness, death of a loved one, marital separation or unemployment—experienced a mood boost
after outdoor group walks.

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Commenting on their findings, Dr. Warber says, “Walking is an inexpensive, low risk and accessible form of exercise, and it turns out that combined with nature and group settings, it may be a very powerful, under-utilized stress buster. Our findings suggest that something as simple as joining an outdoor walking group may not only improve someone’s daily positive emotions but may also contribute a non-pharmacological approach to serious conditions like depression.”

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The team cites an increase in mental health issues and physical inactivity in the developed world for why they seek to explore new ways
to help improve quality of life and well-being. “The present study identifies the mental and emotional well-being benefits from participation
in group walks in nature and offers useful information about the potential health contribution of national outdoor group walk programs,” the researchers conclude.

Source: WebMD, Inc.

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Provided by Rebecca McGonigle of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the November 2014 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

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Silent Killers of Your Metabolism

Silent Killers of Your Metabolism

March 27, 2014 | By

Your metabolism is responsible for turning calories into energy. A slow metabolism can lead to a build-up of calories, stored as fat for later use. Ultimately, this leads to unwanted weight gain and, if unchecked, obesity. In the following infographic, Rockwell Nutrition highlights a number of factors that are wreaking havoc on your metabolism.

– See more at: http://infographicjournal.com/silent-killers-of-your-metabolism/#sthash.rBhHvbLt.dpuf

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