Month: May 2018

Engage Your Mind to Change Your Body

Have you ever felt like you’re showing up and getting your workouts in but really just going through the motions? Does it sometimes seem like you’re getting it done but not really seeing results? On the other end, have you ever had a workout during which you feel completely connected to your body, where you can feel your muscles working purposefully for each exercise? When it’s over you feel energized instead of drained. The difference is huge and can have a huge impact on the changes you see in your body.

What accounts for the difference is commonly referred to as the mind-body connection. It’s the proven fact that what goes on in our minds (i.e. beliefs, thoughts, attitudes, emotions) can positively or negatively influence what happens to our bodies. In relation to fitness, the mind-body connection begins coming together even before you get into the gym.

Now, we recognize that life nowadays is hectic and you’re pulled in a million different directions with obligations to work and family. And, these make it difficult to find the mental energy to focus on yourself. But mastering the connection can mean the difference between feeling stale and stagnant versus rejuvenated and invigorated by your fitness efforts. 

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A Healthy Approach to BBQ Season

After what seemed like an endless winter, we are finally heading into the summer season and prime cookout weather! For those of us who have been sticking to ahealthy diet, navigating cookouts can be tricky since many traditional BBQ dishes are loaded with salt, sugar and unhealthy fats. But, that doesn’t mean you have to decline your invitations to the season’s backyard parties.

Here’s some guidance to help you enjoy the fun in a healthful way that won’t wreck your summer fitness.

  • Don’t show up starving. It’s never a good idea to show up to any event on an empty stomach. If you’re starving, you’re less likely to be able to resist unhealthy foods and make smart food decisions. Instead, have a nutritious snack before you go. Bonus points if you can sneak in a workout too.
  • Bring something of your own. Now, we’re not suggesting you go to a BBQ with your own picnic basket of food. But it’s a good idea to offer to bring a dish and make it something healthy. That way, if your other choices are limited you’ll have at least one nutritious dish to dig into.

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Is Your Diet Bringing You Down?

Everyone knows that what you eat affects the way you look and feel physically but what you might not realize is the effect your diet can have on how you feel mentally and emotionally. A study presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Conference in April showed just how closely diet is linked to depression.
Part of the study showed that people whose diets consisted mostly of vegetables, fruit and whole grains and were low in saturated fats and sugar had lower rates of depression. People who followed a more traditional Western diet which is higher in saturated fats and red meats and lacking in vegetables and fruits were more likely to develop depression over time.

A different study published in Nutritional Neuroscience examined the effects eating a Mediterranean-style diet could have on people who are already suffering from depression. Amazingly as these people followed a diet based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, fish and olive oil, their symptoms of depression were drastically reduced. Yet another showed that as patients with moderate to severe depression replaced processed, refined foods, sweets and fried food with whole, natural, nutrient-rich foods over a 12 week period they experienced significantly fewer symptoms of depression.

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