Tag Archives: exercise

Beach Body Craze

Contributed by Denise Daub

Just Say ‘No’ to the Beach Body Craze

by Melinda Parrish

Your body is perfect, just as it is. You don’t need to lose weight, or tighten up your tummy, or pop out your butt in order to have a perfect beach body. You already have the perfect beach body, and you should feel free to rock whatever swimming attire you feel comfortable in, regardless of your size.

This time of year, there are many fitness regimens, potions, pills, diet plans and supplements being offered to us that claim they will “transform” our already perfect bodies into bodies that are more acceptable to society. But this year, I’m saying “no” to the beach body craze, and so should you!

woman running

I’m not saying no to showing my body love through movement each day, or to fueling my body with delicious, healthy foods, or to practicing self-care like bubble baths and massages and face masks. I’m just saying no to anyone or anything that would make me believe that my body isn’t perfect as it is, and that I have to be perpetually engaged in efforts to change my body in order to meet someone else’s standards for perfection.

Our bodies are sacred vessels that carry us through this life, and for that, they deserve respect.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melinda-parrish/just-say-no-to-beach-body_b_10063274.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living&ir=Healthy%20Living

New Year’s Resolutions anytime of the year

Contributed by Denise Daub

There’s No Need To Wait For The New Year To Make A Resolution

Jan1stAlmost half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and exercise and weight loss is always at the top of the list. That’s no surprise, considering that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, and less than half get the recommend amount of exercise needed to stay healthy.

But a future plan to exercise can be used as an excuse to curl up in a ball of blankets and hibernate through the holidays, which could explain why some folks go into the new year with a little added heft. A 2000 study of 195 Americans found that people who were already overweight or obese gained an average of five pounds in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and that for all who gained holiday weight, these extra pounds made up more than half of the total weight they gained that year.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/theres-no-need-to-wait-for-the-new-year-to-make-a-resolution_5654dab4e4b0d4093a599c6c?ir=Healthy%2BLiving&section=healthy-living&ncid=newsltushpmg00000003

You Have to Age But; You Don’t Have to Rust or Rot*

By Jenny Lundak
WGI Faculy, Beachbody coach, artist,  windsurfer, and lifelong learner

Many people think of exercise and eating healthy as something you do to lose weight and look better. Many think of it as a sacrifice and a pain. I know I thought that way until I realized that exercise and eating good food gives me a much better quality of life now and as I get older.

You know the saying pay now or pay later? Well, you can pay attention to your fitness and nutrition now or you can pay attention to your illnesses, aches and pains later.

Look around you at the people in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. There is a huge difference in their quality of life. Some people move easily and have active, full lives. Others have limited mobility and are plagued with illnesses. Accidents and genes play a role in this. But lifestyle plays a major role and we have control of that.

There was a time I thought that the good life was eating what I wanted and taking it easy with a good book. In my early 40’s, I found myself 50 pounds overweight, in poor cardio vascular health with lots of aches,pains and no energy. So began my journey, first to lose weight, then to gain health.

At first it was all about giving up my favorite foods. Then it was about finding new healthier foods. And finally it became about being healthy and happy.

But it was very hard to eat well when I thought I was giving up the good stuff.

Luckily I married a very smart man who said the oddest things like, “There is no better treat than a good grapefruit.” You have got to be kidding! A grapefruit? Then I started thinking about how we decide what is a treat and what isn’t. In the United States anything that is good for you is not very desirable, and all the junk food is a treat. Who decided this? Do they get to make that decision for me? I set about changing how I think about foods.

Good fresh food is delicious. Sugar, fatty foods mess up my system. When I eat well I am not setting myself up to rot from the inside out. My reward is that I feel good. I feel well. I feel energetic.

canstockphoto2082282And what about rust? If I don’t move it, I lose it, or it just rusts. My body needs exercise to know I am not ready to give up and die yet. I need to send a signal, “I have things to do and places to be.”

Beyond that, I feel so good to be stronger and more fit in my 60’s than I was in my 40’s. I am limber. I can do push ups. I can walk, windsurf, and ride my bike. I can be a role model for my kids. It wasn’t quick and it isn’t always easy.

Now I ask myself, “What kind of quality of life do I want for myself going forward?”

It isn’t giving up anything but poor health, when I choose to eat fresh fruit and veggies. I don’t need to make myself exercise; I just choose to challenge myself to be stronger and more fit each year.

What about you? What do you want for yourself?

*You have to age, but you don’t have to rust or rot. I got the inspiration for my motto from a book called “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge M.D. It explains the science of aging and how we can reduce or eliminate many of the symptoms of what we have considered “normal” aging.

In a slump?

By Nancy S buck, PhD, RN

Walking is man’s [woman’s] best medicine Hippocrates

Are you in a slump? Are you wanting, waiting, and craving spring to finally make some kind of an appearance? Do you feel restless or unhappy for no specific or apparent reason? Is today  just a day where you are a little irritated, frustrated, or down in the mouth?

woman runningThen get outside and go for a walk. Go for a walk to improve your Mental Health & Happiness. If possible go for a walk outside and search for signs of spring. Whatever your weather today, go outside and walk, walk, walk.

Want to improve your Mental Health & Happiness even more? Start walking with a bounce in your step while swinging your arms. Act as if you’ve just heard wonderful and happy news. Now  start walking with a joyful spring in your step and spirit. As you get into this kind of a positive rhythm you may discover that your mood begins to elevate. If you go for a longer walk continuing to raise your steps and vision, taking deeper and deeper breaths you will move into even greater peace, calm and maybe even joy.

If you are the kind of person who is unwilling to believe or trust this “woo-woo” stuff, there is some research to help persuade you. A recent study reported in The Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry found that people who practiced this kind of walking were more likely to remember the positive in life during these kinds of walks.

For your own good and the good of your Mental Health & Happiness, go outside and start walking!

How rich are you?

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

I started this new year out with the same old resolution many other people before me have made. This is the year I’m going to get into good physical shape. I’ve even made this same resolution before myself. I won’t embarrass myself by saying how many other years this has been my resolve. No matter.

Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
Samuel Beckett

yogagirl_transpI’ve begun working out with a new athletic trainer. He was my least likely expectation of who I thought was the best trainer for me. He is a different age, color and gender from what I expected. And as it turns out, he is the perfect guy for me. He is introducing me to exercises and programs that surprise and delight me!

My Monday afternoons and Thursday mornings are now spent using weights, equipment and apparatus all designed with my body improvement in mind. My guy Roy guides, encourages, corrects and aligns my form leading to my progressive and noticeable success.

But today he crossed the line! Today he asked me to go for four sets instead of three.

This will help build not only your strength but also your endurance, he told me.

Grrr . . . I didn’t care anything about endurance!

But then I had a change of heart and mind. I stopped complaining. I stopped whining. I suddenly said, How lucky I am to have a wonderful body willing to work hard for and with me. My wonderful body will complete four sets. I can do it! I am getting into my best physical shape! 

Every time we feel satisfied with what we have we can be counted as rich, however little we may actually possess. — Alain De Botton

Thank you Roy for being my welcome guide on this surprising journey. It seems I’m not only getting into better physical shape, I’m also improving my Mental Health & Happiness.

Best Antidepressant Cure

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Did you know that in the early 1800s, Americans turned to the advice of Scottish physician William Buchan for melancholy:

The patient ought to take as much exercise in the open air as he can bear . . . A plan of                this kind, with strict attention to diet is a much more rational method of cure, than                              confining the patient within doors, and playing him with medicines.

Today British medical authorities have rediscovered Buchan’s advice. The National Insitutute for Health and Clinical Excellence decided that antidepressants are not recommended for the initial treatment of mild depressions because the risk-benefit ratio is poor. Instead physicians should try non-drug alternatives and advise patients of all ages with mild depression of the benefits of following a structured and supervised exercise programme. 

That’s right, doctors in the UK may write a prescription for exercise! Andrew McCulloch, executive director of the Mental Health Foundation in London says, “The evidence base for exercise as a treatment for depression is quite good. It also reduces anxiety. It’s good for self-esteem, control of obesity, et cetera. It has a broad spectrum effect.”

In 2000, a study by James Blumenthal at Duke University revealed that it is unwise to combine exercise with drug therapy. He conducted a study with three different groups: exercise, or Zoloft, or exercise and Zoloft. Those treated with exercise alone were doing the best. And given the choice after the study, more people chose exercise alone and continued for a long time afterwards.

Hmmm. Why is this information such a mystery for those of us living in the United States? Are our physicians less well informed? Are our drug companies perpetuating the myth that
depression indicates bad brain chemistry?


Luckily, you don’t have to worry about finding this answer. All you need to do is follow the advice of getting yourself outside and exercising to improve your Mental Health & Happiness!

*Information for this blog is courtesy of: Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, Robert Whitaker. New York: Broadway Books, 2010, p345.


Take Care of Yourself

By Denise Daub

I am always amazed at how my whole mental state changes when I am eating right and exercising. When I  start making  “unhealthy” food choices or am not exercising enough, life seems overwhelming and nothing seems possible.  My whole outlook takes a dive. Of course, nothing external is really different, but how I feel about myself has changed.  With this change in behavior and attitude, I also experience  physical symptoms as well, such as sluggishness, stomach issues or that darn knee is hurting again.

canstockphoto2397096We all know that exercise and eating well is  good for your physical health, but it also goes a long way in improving mental health and happiness.  When I am doing all the “right” things, I am happier, I feel good, I look good and anything suddenly appears possible again.

So take care of yourself, take time for that walk and eat healthy foods.  It is one of the most important things you can do for your mental health & happiness.