Fitness & Wellness

A Teenager's Nutritional Needs

A Teenager’s Nutritional Needs

If you’re worried about your teen getting all the nutrients they need, just provide the same type of diet as you would eat for good nutrition. Notice I didn’t stop at the words you would eat. That’s because many adults don’t have the nutrient dense diet they should have. A teenager’s nutritional needs differ slightly, but one thing that’s different is the amount of calories they require. Boys need approximately 2800 calories each day, which shoots as high as 4,000 if they participate in sports. Girls need approximately 2,200 calories a day that increases up to 3,000 when they’re in sports. Adult women only require about 2,000 calories with adult men requiring 2,500.

Make sure they get plenty of calcium, but it doesn’t have to come from milk.

I won’t get into all the studies that are controversial, debating whether drinking milk is good for you or not. Some say it increases the potential for early mortality if more than a glass a day is consumed. Others say it’s quite healthy. One thing is certain, after a child is weaned, the potential for lactose intolerance increases and affects a large portion of the US. There are other ways to get your calcium and ensure your teen gets it. Almonds, beans and lentils, broccoli and dark leafy greens contain it, too.

Protein is extremely important.

Just like adults, teens need protein. Male teens and teens in athletics need more protein per pound of body weight than adults because they’re growing and developing muscle tissue, while adults are simply maintaining muscle tissue. Just like adults, teen diets should contain approximately 10 to 30 percent of the calories from protein. Since the caloric intake is higher for teens, more protein is required. The protein can come from fish, dairy, eggs, poultry, meat or vegetarian options like, lentils, chickpeas, most types of beans and Tofu.

Don’t forget plenty of servings of fresh fruit and vegetables.

You can cook those veggies or serve them raw, however, make sure you provide a colorful plate with many different colors of veggies to ensure your teen gets all the nutrients necessary for a healthy life. The recommended amount is five servings of different types of fruit and vegetables. Another way of saying it is Don’t forget healthy fat. The brain needs fat to operate at its peak, so does the rest of the body. It’s filling, so your teens won’t overeat or reach for snack foods.

  • Teach your teen to make smarter choices when it comes to food, such as whole grain bread or choosing brown or wild rice instead of white rice for more nutrients and lower calories.
  • If choosing yogurt for a teen’s diet, choose the regular yogurt over the low fat yogurt. It helps boost the feeling of fullness and was found to help people lose weight.
  • Avoid serving foods high in sugar and fried foods. Nobody needs extra sugar in their diet and nobody needs deep fried Twinkies, pickles or fries.

Layer Up For Fall

Layer Up For Fall

It’s not always easy to know what to wear when you’re exercising outside in McKinney. Sometimes it looks far warmer than it is and you have to go home after a few minutes to add an extra jacket. Other times, you’re prepared for the cold, only to find you’re way too warm. There’s a solution to this problem, just layer up for fall. Even if you dress appropriately for the weather, once you start exercising, your body warms and you’ll want to shed clothing.

There’s a secret to layering.

It’s not really a secret, but learning how to layer is a skill you’ll want to learn. The undermost layers should be made of wicking material, which is sometimes called DriFit or other trade names. It pulls the moisture from perspiration away from your skin and prevents that uncomfortable wet feeling. The wicking action also helps prevent a chill that comes from damp clothing. Atop that layer, put the one for warmth. Based on the outside temperature, it could be anything from a sweatshirt to a far warmer jacket. Atop it all, consider a rain slicker or windbreaker. Let the weather dictate which one to use.

If you’re dressed for the gym, add a layer to stay warmer.

If you’re like many of my clients, you dress at home to save time. What you wear to the gym is what you wear to workout. That’s not always the best choice. One of two things can occur. Either you chill coming into the gym, creating stiffer muscles that require more warmup, or you sweat profusely and uncomfortably during your workout. Again, layering is the route to go.

Exercising outside doesn’t just mean running or working out.

Fall is my favorite time of the year. The weather is cooler and brisk, refreshing me every minute I’m outside. There’s so much to do, too. I love going apple picking or hunting for the perfect pumpkin at those pick-it-yourself places. Don’t kid yourself, it’s definitely exercise and can be hard work, particularly if you search for the best. Seeing the changing colors with a hike in the woods is also a huge treat. Bicycling, hiking and even an outside picnic can bring enjoyment to the whole family, plus provide a great deal of exercise for those days away from the gym. Ensuring everyone has layers will help prevent premature endings to your adventures.

  • When exercising outside, don’t forget to protect your eyes with sunglasses that have UV protection. Not only does it help prevent squinting, it can protect your eyes from UV rays that cause cataracts, too.
  • You can create a DIY poncho from a leaf bag that folds up in your pocket, so you’re prepared for anything, even rain. There are also hooded plastic ponchos that fold to minuscule size and carry in case of a sudden downpour.
  • The only difference between rainy weather layering and cold weather layering is the weight of the garments. In cold weather use midweight wicking top and bottom for the first layer and midweight fleece for the second. In rainy weather, use lightweight.
  • Don’t forget gloves or mittens and warm socks. Many of my clients find they need warm socks and gloves when the weather gets brisk in order to be comfortable.

Lifting Weights Could Improve Your Memory

Lifting Weights Could Improve Your Memory

You’ll get more from your exercise time when you include lifting weights. It not only helps promote bone density, builds muscle tissue, burns fat tissue and makes you less prone to injury, studies show it can improve your memory. It’s not only muscle and bone tissue that strength training boosts. It helps boost the development of new neurons in the brain, which can improve mental functioning and memory. Chances are, you’re among this majority. The good news is that your brain is a dynamic organ, constantly adapting and changing, for better or for worse.

The brain is not static, it grows and changes.

At one time it was though that people were born with all the brain cells they’d ever have, but new findings show that’s simply not true. The brain has neuroplasticity. It’s the process that causes it to grow new neurons. In fact, age doesn’t matter. The memory center of the brain, the hippocampus, grows new cells continuously, if you follow certain protocols. While the memory center of the average person may decline with age, one study found that it grew by one or two percent in people who exercised.

Studies show that exercise helps not only fight dementia, but also create large cognitive gains.

When you workout, you improve the blood flow to your brain and even increase it. It also helps increase the creation of compounds that protect the nerves. Exercise helps boost the survival of neurons in the brain, while boosting the development of new ones. Damaging plaque can form in the brain in diseases like Alzheimer’s. Exercise lowers the amount of that plague and reduces beta-amyloid peptides that form them.

Studies show that as little as 20 minutes of weight lifting could boost your long-term memory.

A study at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta chose 46 random volunteers. They were divided into two groups, active and passive exercise. Before the exercise took place they were shown 90 pictures to rate as positive, negative or neutral, then later asked to recall those images. Then the researchers used a resistance exercise machine and had the active group do 50 extensions at maximum effort, while the passive group let the machine move their legs for 50 extensions. The training took about 20 minutes. Two days later, the same procedure of showing images was used with new images in the mix. There was a significant difference between the two groups with the active group identifying 60 percent, while the passive group only identified 50 percent. That was two days later and just one training session!

One study showed that just 40 minutes of exercise daily, elementary school students boosted their IQ points by almost four points.

  • HIIT—high intensity interval training—can boost your brain while it boosts your body. It should include not only strength training, but also core work.
  • Sitting for prolonged periods can be your biggest hazard. Don’t sit for more than an hour without getting up and stretching, running in place or doing some other type of activity to get your body moving.
  • Rather than speeding up your weight training, consider slowing it down. It not only helps prevent injury, but works much the same way as HIIT.
  • Besides exercise, eating healthy, getting adequate sleep and drinking plenty of water boosts brain activity.

Exercise And Relaxation May Reduce Anxiety

Exercise And Relaxation May Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety, fear and worry are part of living, but there’s a point where those feelings cross the line and begin to control your entire life. It can make experiences that should be fun into ones that you dread and turn those dreaded experiences into nightmares. While it’s not a substitute for professional help for severe cases of anxiety, exercise and relaxation can help reduce anxiety. If you’re suffering from normal anxiety and stress, it may be the perfect solution to get you back on course. If you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder, it can be a help when combined with traditional treatment.

The body reacts to stress/fear.

When you’re under stress, your body prepares to fight or run. That fight or flight response comes from the body’s creation of hormones that starts in the sympathetic nervous system. It stimulates the adrenal glands to release hormones called catecholamines, such as adrenaline and noradrenaline. Those hormones make your blood pressure rise, heart rate increase and rate of breathing increase. It reduces the blood flow to surface area of the body and stomach, sending the flow to muscles in the extremities, brain and other muscle groups. It boosts the body’s ability to clot blood, so if there’s injury, blood loss will be at a minimum. Pupils dilate and muscles tense, sometimes causing trembling.

Stress or fear can turn into anxiety.

Stress and the fear it comes from doesn’t have to be real danger for the brain to set off the fight or flight response. It can come from a memory, a dream or lived vicariously from a story offered by another or a movie. When it occurs with no real danger, it’s often from anxiety. Luckily, exercise is great for burning off the hormones created by stress. It even helps create hormones that make you feel good again.

Exercise is a start, but you also need relaxation techniques to boost the effort.

You can’t always jump on a treadmill or drop down and do ten when anxiety hits. It often comes at times in your life when you’re faced with critical issues, crowds of people and even when the activity should be fun. If you can find a quiet moment in your head, you can probably get your anxiety level down to manageable with some relaxation techniques. One that you can do anywhere requires you to focus on a personal item as you inhale and exhale slowly. Make all your breathes deep. Keep your focus only on your item, whether it’s jewelry or even your hand. Do this for one or two minutes and you’ll start feeling more peaceful and calm.

  • If you’re faced with an upcoming anxiety producing situation, find an outlet you can do before you begin. It can be running up and down stairs, deep knee bends or simply parking far from your destination and walking briskly to it to help relieve the tension.
  • Learning meditation techniques can help you quiet your mind and lower your level of anxiety.
  • Deep breathing exercises can help in a crowd. Breathing from the diaphragm can be done anywhere anxiety starts, even in the middle of a crowd. Practice before faced with anxiety is important.
  • A program of regular exercise can help lower symptoms of anxiety significantly the longer you maintain it. Just one high energy session, can bring relief for hours.

Can Exercise Affect Your Gut Bacteria

Can Exercise Affect Your Gut Bacteria

It may not be the topic of conversation over the dinner table, but the discussion of gut bacteria and how it can help your overall health can be quite enlightening. It’s amazing how these tiny microbes either work together or against one another to create a healthy digestive tract or if out of balance, affect your overall health. Various research studies show that there’s a difference in the gut bacteria of healthy people and the gut bacteria of those who are sick. Those that are sick have an imbalance of bacteria or lack the variety of bacteria healthy people have. Exercise can change that.

Serious conditions like diabetes show a link to the bacteria in the gut.

Whether you’re fighting type 2 diabetes, heart disease or obesity, the bacteria in your gut may be part of the cause. The type of bacteria you have can affect your overall metabolism and even determine the amount of calories that you get from the food you eat or the nutrients you absorb. The wrong type or balance of gut bacteria can cause fatty liver deposits by turning fiber into fatty acid. That can lead to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Other serious conditions can come from bacterial imbalances.

Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s, colon cancer, arthritis and certain disorders of the nervous system are all linked to different balances of bacteria. Those with colon cancer are found to have more disease causing bacteria than those that are healthy. Believe it or not, your gut has loads of nerve endings that send messages to the brain. It’s called the “gut-brain axis.” There are some studies that show a link to conditions like autism, depression and anxiety based on the gut bacteria. Certain type of bacteria are linked to inflammation. People with rheumatoid arthritis often have more of those bacteria.

Exercise can change the mix of bacteria in the gut.

A study done at the University of Illinois found that as little as six weeks of regular exercise could change the makeup of the bacteria in your gut. In this study, they didn’t introduce diet into the mix, but stuck with exercise alone. The study included both thin and obese people with the researchers measuring the microbes at the start. The participants exercised for six weeks, three times a week for 30 to 60 minutes. When the samples were taken at the end of six weeks, the researchers found microbe balances changed, increasing some and decreasing others.

  • The six week exercise study continued by allowing participants to go back to sedentary ways. The microbe balanced returned to pre-exercise levels.
  • Combining health eating habits with regular exercise has an even bigger impact on overall gut health.
  • The study brought attention to an interesting question. Is it the bacteria changes from exercise that brings the health benefits?
  • One reason people often fail at keeping weight off may be that they fail to continue exercise, which can cause gut bacteria to revert back to previous levels and slow metabolism.

Walk Your Way To A Longer Life

Walk Your Way To A Longer Life

If you’re like many people that I meet, you may workout three times a week, but circle the parking lot multiple times to find that perfect parking place that’s closest to the doors of your destination. While working out is extremely important, adding other types of exercise to your daily routine is too. You can even walk your way to a longer life. Consider grocery shopping. Do you grab a cart even though you only have a few items? A basket would do just as well and you’d get more weight lifting exercise in for the day. Everything you do throughout the day can make you healthier or unhealthier. Start focusing on the simple things, too.

Choose to walk 10,000 steps a day.

One study covering 2500 subjects in Australia found that going from a couch potato to an active 10,000 steps a day lowered their mortality risk by as much as 40%. Another study was easier on people. It just requested the participant added an additional 3,000 steps a day. In that study, it lowered the risk of dying sooner by 12 percent! The studies were longer ones, spanning over a period of 15 years. Another study showed that walking 150 minutes a week reduced mortality risk by 20 percent, with reductions in specific areas, too. It lowered the risk of dying from respiratory disease by 30 percent, that of cancer by 9 percent.

Boost your heart health with walking.

Cardiovascular health is also boosted by this simple exercise that should be part of everyone’s day, even people who workout regularly. Why? Because it’s one more notch in the belt of staying healthy. It’s a great addition to a workout program. You can use it for those days away from the gym, but it also can be a simple supplement that you can practice every day. Walking can raise the good cholesterol, help shed pounds and promote circulation.

Find ways to add steps to your day.

It might be as simple as getting a pedometer and registering every walk ensure you boost your habit of walking. Rather than catching driving or catching a cab, a brisk walk for a few blocks not only could extend your life, but boost your circulation and help clear your head. I’m a big fan of pedometers. I think they make exercise more fun, but then, I also like to compete against myself to improve on past records and pedometers help me do that with the tracking. If you ride a bus, walk to the next bus stop or get off a stop early and walk the rest of the way. Look for ways to boost your walk and walk as briskly as you can.

  • Walking can help keep you regular, which also helps lower the risk of colon cancer. Increase your intake of water to get the most benefit. You’ll also help your immune system when you walk.
  • Walking can also help you lose weight, particularly when you do it more frequently on a daily basis.
  • Some people are too intimidated and feel they’re too out of shape to come to the gym. While we welcome everyone, especially those who need help getting in shape, walking can be a good preliminary to starting a workout program. It can build your endurance enough to get you ready for more strenuous exercise.
  • Increase your walking daily. Use the stairs rather than the elevator. Take time from your computer and walk for a few minutes. You’ll be more focused when you return. Take every opportunity, within reason, to walk and you’ll find yourself healthier and more fit.

Exercise And Diet Create Stronger Bones And Teeth

Exercise And Diet Create Stronger Bones And Teeth

No matter what your age, having strong bones and a good teeth is important. You can achieve those two easier by adopting healthy habits. Exercise and diet create stronger bones and teeth for a start. There are many other factors that impact both teeth and bones, but these two factors also affect your overall health, making them a great place to start. It’s long been known that exercise and eating healthy reduce the risk for many serious conditions, so you’ll get double the benefit starting with these. Many of the same nutrients necessary for building bones are also necessary for remineralization of tooth enamel. Again, you get more benefit from eating healthy than just stronger bones and teeth.

Exercise can boost your bone density and slow the depletion of bone mass.

If you were active as a teen and into your 30s, you may be lucky enough to have great bone density. Lots of things affect how much bone loss there is in later life, including genetics, diet and activity level. After 30, the building process slows and the balance shifts to more bone lost than gained. Here’s where exercise and diet are even more important. If you’re younger, in the bone building stage, exercise can boost the amount of bone tissue creating, so even if there’s bone loss, it isn’t as critical. If you’re past 30, exercise and diet can slow the loss of bone and even reverse it. Studies show that weight bearing exercises and strength building exercises can increase bone mass, no matter what your age.

What you eat makes a huge difference.

If you’re chronically soaking your teeth in sugar and acidic foods, expect dental carries and enamel erosion. Sugar is a well-known culprit of tooth decay, but so is starch. These mix with the enzymes in saliva and create an acid that plays havoc on enamel. While dried fruits may be natural, they also are high in sugar and can stick to teeth. Opt for fresh fruits over dried ones. You need calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K2 for strong bones and teeth. Getting adequate and safe exposure to the sun is one way to boost your vitamin D. Eating foods higher in calcium throughout the day is far better than taking a supplement. Eating meats, fermented foods and eggs help. Adding collagen to your diet, which is easily done with bone broth, can also help keep bones and teeth strong.

Adopt some strategies to improve your potential for healthy bones and teeth.

Make sure you walk enough. It might sound way to simple, but walking is a form of weight bearing exercise. If you walk between three and five miles a week, you’ll boost bone building. I like the idea of wearing a pedometer. It not only adds a bit of whimsy to the effort, you can get a good picture of just how far you really do walk. While other aerobic types of exercise, such as bike riding, are good for your cardiovascular system, walking helps increase the bone building process.

  • Include foods high in magnesium and zinc. Magnesium is necessary to convert vitamin D to the form that absorbs calcium. Avocados and nuts can boost magnesium. Zinc boosts bone building. Shrimp, beef, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds are a good source of zinc.
  • Get the ratio of your intake of Omega3 fatty acids to Omega6 more in line. While the ideal balance is somewhere between 1 omega3 for every 3 to 6 omega6, the average American diet is more in line with a 1 to 25 ratio. Omega3 promotes bone formation and slows bone loss.
  • Yo-yo weight loss or too low of calorie intake also contributes to bone loss. Eating healthier without an extremely low calorie diet, under 1000 to 1200 calories, is the best method of weight loss.
  • Make sure you have adequate protein intake. The bone is made of 50% protein.

Get Stronger While Chasing Away Depression

Get Stronger While Chasing Away Depression

With an epidemic rise in suicide and depression, people are looking for answers and chasing away depression. Unfortunately, there are so many reasons it occurs that finding the one cure will probably never happen. Even medications for depression work differently in each person, causing even worse depression in some. One of the is to use strength building exercises. You’ll not only get help lifting your spirits, you’ll get stronger in the process.

There’s scientific evidence to back this hypothesis.

One meta-analysis, which is an analysis of several studies at once, showed that people involved in strength training showed a significant improvement and reduction of the symptoms of depression. The study showed it occurred over a broad spectrum of people of differing health status, amount of strength training and whether they improved their strength or not. It showed less improvement for those without symptoms of depression and more for those who had mild or moderate symptoms.

You’ll get other mental health benefits from strength training.

There are reasons that the World Health Organization suggests at least two days of strength training a week. The first is that the body needs it to be at its fittest and reduce the potential for bone loss. But it also benefits the mind and emotions, not just from the rush of “happy hormones,” although that’s part of it. It’s been shown to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, lower the symptoms of depression, improve self-esteem and even improve cognitive thinking in older adults.

What does exercise do for you?

Some studies also show that aerobic exercise also can help alleviate depression, just as strength training is. Part of that is the dopamine, endorphins and norepinephrine the body creates during exercise that boost your mood. It may come from the fact that you’re doing something good for yourself and improving your life or from the creation of new neurons that release a chemical to create a more calm state of mind. The brain also releases substances that block feelings of depression and pain when you exercise. However, several studies of older adults found that HIIT lowered symptoms of depression far better than low intensity workouts or even normal care received for depression.

  • Exercise also boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is a protein that’s often lower in people with depression.
  • One large study of 34,000 adults showed that over the 11 years studied, people who had at least one or two hours of exercise a week were less likely to be depressed. Those who got no exercise boosted their potential by 44 percent to develop it.
  • Since exercise enhances sleep, that improved sleep may also be a reason for lifting depression.
  • Getting stronger can boost your feeling of being in control and pride, just as sticking with any exercise program can. One study showed that with just ten weeks of resistance training, 80 percent of the depressed older adults studied showed significant improvement.

When Is The Best Time To Exercise

When Is The Best Time To Exercise

There’s an ongoing debate surrounding the question of the best time to exercise. Well, I know that the best time to exercise is anytime. Of course, I am joking. There’s a lot of science backing early morning exercise, but there’s also other studies that say no matter what time of day you do it, if you’re consistent, your body become more efficient and perform better at that time. There are a few misconceptions about the best time to work out and some definite facts that will make your workout better.

Always drink water and avoid exercising on a full stomach.

Studies focusing on whether exercise could counteract the effects of a poor diet actually found something quite different. One group in the study had sports drinks during exercise and ate before their workout. The second group waited until after working out and drank only water. The third group didn’t exercise at all. All three consumed the same number of calories, but the group that worked out before eating and only drank water, fared better. The group that didn’t exercise gained six pounds in just six weeks. Those that ate first gained three pounds. Both the non exercise group and the eat and exercise group developed insulin resistance. The take away here is not only should you exercise on an empty stomach—at least two to three hours after eating—but avoid sugary sports drinks, too.

Is exercising at night a big no-no?

That is normally the conventional wisdom, but one study showed something quite different. While the studies normally focus on the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, this study focused on the quality of sleep. It showed that people who lifted weights at night had a longer duration and high quality of sleep than those who worked out in the morning. Other studies show that your peak muscular functioning may be later in the evening, rather than early in the morning.

It’s all about you and your body.

The core temperature of the body plays a role in how well you’ll recover from the workout. The colder the core, the stiffer the muscles. If your core temperature is higher, you’re more flexible and less susceptible to injury. As the day wears on, the core temperature normally rises, with the afternoon being its peak, with the corresponding blood pressure and heart rate its lowest. The body also produces testosterone, which is important for a good workout whether you’re a man or a woman. That would indicate that late afternoon workouts are best. But then didn’t other studies show that mornings were and evenings were also good.

  • The best time to workout is based on each individual. Almost all studies show that when you pick a specific time to workout and stick with it, your body adjusts to make it the best workout time.
  • Even if you have to vary from your normal workout time, don’t worry. You’ll still get benefits from working out. Any time you can get moving more and exercise, is a good time to do it.
  • Some people use intermittent fasting with exercise to get lean muscle gain. Hugh Jackman did it to get ready for Wolverine. It boosts the HGH and insulin sensitivity. The fast is simply eating all meals in an 8 hour window and fasting the other 16 hours. That makes a morning workout followed by a meal perfect.
  • Even if you workout regularly at the gym, try to fit in other types of exercise and make them part of your schedule. Walking during your lunch hour, playing with the kids or taking the stairs all get your heart pumping and burn off calories.

Small Changes That Will Keep You Fitter

Small Changes That Will Keep You Fitter

I had a client come to my McKinney TX facility that say he’s finally ready to start his exercise program. He look relatively fit, but he told me how just walking a few blocks the year previous made him so winded that he had to sit down. When I acted surprised, he told me how he worked his way slowly from couch potato to healthier and was ready for the ultimate workout by making minor changes in his life until they became a habit. You can make small changes that will keep you fitter and get you going in the right direction.

Start anywhere, but start.

The key is finding one thing you can change and do it repeatedly until it becomes a habit. He chose to walk more. Every time he was faced with a situation, he chose to pick an option that involved more walking. At first, it was just parking further from the store in the first parking spot he found. Then it expanded to taking the stairs instead of the elevator. My client eventually bought a pedometer and wore it throughout the day, looking for ways to boost his number. It took about ten months, but he finally managed 10,000 steps a day regularly.

Start packing your refrigerator with healthier foods.

Whether you’re a late night snacker or want to eat healthier meals, it all starts with what you buy at the grocery. Create a grocery list, so you don’t impulse shop and bring home tons of sugary treats or other types of snacks. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables and as soon as possible, peel them, cut them, pack them or whatever you need to do to have them ready to eat in a second. One off my clients wanted to take advantage of those delicious, in-season, Texas grapefruits. She bought them but found they weren’t eaten, until she segmented them and had them ready in the fridge. The first time she segmented 6 and they were gone the next day. Now she does a dozen every two or three days, plus has fresh celery, carrots, peppers and other veggies and a healthy dip on hand.

Plan to procrastinate.

I’ve learned a lot from clients. One of them told me he quit smoking by simply using his talent for procrastination. He didn’t decide to quit, but instead, decided to use his super power of procrastination and put it off to do something else. He found it worked even better when he chose to do a simple exercise every time, instead of smoking. It could be anything from walking to an actual exercise like a jumping jack. He went from two packs a day to about three a day and finally smoke free. It took over a year, but it worked for him.

  • Switch out those sugary drinks for water. Focus on the taste of the water. Yes, some taste better than others. Make yourself a connoisseur. You’ll save calories and improve your health.
  • Learn breathing exercises to use when under stress. Deep breathing can lower blood pressure, improve posture, improve circulation and definitely reduce your stress level.
  • Create a sleep schedule and routine, then stick with it. Getting adequate sleep doesn’t come easily for some people. When you start a bedtime ritual and schedule, it can become far easier.
  • Take up a hobby. Make it something you like, but also something more active. Several clients garden, others ride bikes and yes, many do play basketball with their friends once a week. Staying fit should be fun and you’ll stick with it.