Tag Archives: wellness

The Simplest Thing You Can Do TODAY To Improve Your Health

2 May

So it’s been a while since I wrote my last blog entry and I have a very good reason for it.  The past month I’ve been moving 3,000 miles  to our nation’s capital in Washington DC to start a new job working on global health policy.  It is a fantastic opportunity for me to get on the ground with health and see what’s really going on it our world.  So if I’m MIA for a bit it just means I’m in some really cool (and remote) place.  But I’m not here today to fill you in on my really cool job, but to talk about the simplest thing you can do to improve your health: WALK!

I was inspired to write this post after my wonderful boyfriend sent me a link to a funny or die video starring the cast of West Wing (we’re huge fans…who isn’t?).  They got back together one more time, this time for promote the importance of walking to improve your health.  See the video here:

As you can see it’s funny, but has a very serious point.  Walking for some combination that adds up to 30 minutes a day reduces your risk for many cancers, heart disease, diabetes, among others.

Now this is not new news to anyone, but hopefully through this fun and creative medium people will actually do it!  On top of daily exercise, it is a mile for me to walk to work (takes about 12 minutes), so I walk to and from work. It saves me the hassle and cost of public transportation, I get to be outside, and I know I’m helping my health.  If at all possible I encourage you to walk to work.  So what are waiting for? Get up and start walking, just like President Bartlett!

Keep Sweating!

The State of the Union

24 Jan

No I’m not talking about the actual State of the Union which was broadcasted tonight (although I am a political junkie), but I’m referring to the health of our Union. I thought I’d spin off of President Obama’s speech tonight and address some of the top health issues facing America this year.

Smoking/Tobacco

If everyone knows these days that smoking kills, I don’t understand how 46 million or 20.6% of Americans still smoke.  It perplexes me that the tobacco industry is STILL gaining new customers everyday.  Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.  Smoking accounts for approximately 443,000 deaths, or 1 of every 5 deaths, in the United States each year.

80% of smokers begin smoking before they even turn 18. 17.2% of high school students smoke.  Clearly our anti-smoking/tobacco campaigns are not resonating with our students.

Secondhand smoke is even more deadly for those around you than it is to yourself.  Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds of those chemicals are toxic and about 70 are known to cause or contribute to cancer.  So think about that before you light up around those you love (and strangers!!! we don’t like it either!).

Smoking and tobacco products lead to many diseases including many cancers, hypertension, heart disease, and stroke to name a few.  It’s a nasty and disgusting habit that you should drop…like yesterday!

Diabetes

Diabetes affects 25.3 million Americans or 8.3% of the population. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and new cases of blindness. Diabetes is also a major cause of heart disease and stroke.  Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.  There were 1.9 million new cases of Diabetes last year alone.  Type 2 is a largely preventable disease. It is mainly brought on by lifestyle choices such as obesity due to inactivity and improper food choices.  But is true that genetics do make you predisposed to the disease. So if it runs in your family, it’s even more important for you to watch your weight and what you eat!  It is estimated that 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes. Left unchecked, pre-diabetes leads to Type 2 Diabetes.

Obesity Crisis

34% of American Adults (considered 20 & older) are obese and an additional 34% of adults are overweight.  This means that 7 in 10 American adults are either overweight or obese. Those are not encouraging odds.  The CDC defines overweight as an individual whose BMI is between 25 & 29.9. Obese is anyone with a BMI greater than 30.  They have recently added Severely Obese and Morbidly Obese to accommodate the growing number of extraordinarily obese individuals in the United States.  We spend an estimated 150 BILLION dollars every year on increased medical bills due to obesity.  This means these costs can be averted if we fix our health and a reduction in spending in healthcare results! 🙂  Now wouldn’t that be nice?  Obesity leads to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, sleep apnea, and death among many other horrible ailments.

We as a nation set goals in the Healthy People 2010 campaign.  Not one state met the goal to reduce their obesity rates to 15% by 2010. In fact, the number of states with an obesity prevalence of 30% increased to 12 states (from 9 in 2009 and 0 in 2000).

About 1 in 3 children today are either obese or overweight.  Since 1980, the prevalence of obesity in children has tripled.  Approximately 17% of children are obese, not overweight, obese.  Overweight kids have a 70-80% chance of staying overweight for their entire lives if they do not correct the course early.  Overweight/obese children will battle more with their weight for the rest of their lives compared to their normal weight peers. Children are developing adult diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.  The OECD projects that by 2020, 20% of girls aged 3-17 and 30% of boys aged 3-17 will be obese.

These are scary statistics I know, but together we can combat and reverse the obesity epidemic.  Will you  help me end it?

Bottom Line

Think about this.  Of the 571,950 cancer deaths that occurred in 2011, the American Cancer society estimates that one third wouldn’t have happened if no one smoked. Another third of the deaths could’ve been prevented by proper weight loss, diet, and exercise.

I admit that there are days when I would I like to be lazy all day, lounge on the couch, and stuff my face with bon bons (okay maybe not, but I’m  making a point). But my health is more important to me than the short satisfaction of these activities (or non-activities).  My generation (gen Y) is the first generation projected to have a shorter life expectancy than our parents, even with all the medical advances!  This projection is driven by lifestyle choices made by Americans today.

You have to make a choice.  I choose to still do the things I enjoy, like watching TV, but I walk up and down my stairs during commercial breaks. Instead of sitting, I choose to stand.  I have cherries instead of cherry pie.  You have to decide what your priorities are. It’s so much more than just about how you look, it’s about what kind of life do you want to lead? What type of role model do you want to set for your children?  No one said it was going to be easy. It’s going to be a tough and lifelong road, but I believe this great nation can do it!

We must end this obesity crisis, but we have to do it together.

Keep Sweating!

~Coach Lindsey

The Dangers of Stress

6 Dec

S-T-R-E-S-S. That little word sends shudders through most people.  Everyone knows the feeling, your heart starts racing, you start sweating through that meticulously ironed shirt of yours, you feel like you just might faint…

Stress can result from lots of different things. Work, your weight, your love life, friendships, money, and the list goes on and on.  Stress has a bigger impact on your life than all the other things you do to stay healthy!  With the holiday season in full swing I thought it appropriate to remind everyone why they should take a moment to relax during the stressful holiday season (kind of an oxymoron don’t you think? A stressful holiday…anyways…)  Even if you exercise a ton, get lots of sleep and eat your fruits and veggies you can still die at an early age if you live under a constant cloud of stress. Why you ask? I’m so glad you did! Read on for a run down on just what stress does to your body…

Within moments of feeling stressed, your body begins the protocols of “fight or flight”. I’m sure you’ve heard of it.  In the days of the cavemen, when we were faced with a foe, our bodies automatically begin to prepare to either fight the beast or run like hell.  It saved us from life-threatening situations.  Now those work deadlines are interpreted in the same way and our bodies prepares for battle.  First, your body triggers a release of cortisol, which also happens to be a hormone that is tied to weight gain.  Your body will also release a surge of adrenaline into the bloodstream which pumps up our muscles and allows us to run longer and faster. Think of hulking out in a less green and brutish fashion.  When your stress response is in full gear your senses become heightened, you can focus and think more clearly, and be prepared to react to whatever comes your way.

Now your flight or fight response is great when there’s a crazy person or a bear chasing you, however your body cannot distinguish between physical threats and psychological threats, so when that deadline is causing you to flip out, your body responds the same way it would if you just saw a hungry mountain lion pouncing on the attack.

If you are stressed out or have a lot of responsibilities for most of your life, your “flight or fight” response is also on during that time, forcing your body to behave like the world is about to blow up and that’s when it get bad for your health.  The more frequently your body’s response is turned on, the harder it becomes to turn it off.   Chronic stress disrupts practically every system in your body. It can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process.  Prolonged periods of stress can put you in an early grave.  Some studies show that long periods of stress can even rewire the brain, which leaves you always on high alert and can cause lots of anxiety and even depression.

So what CAN you do to prevent stress or alleviate it once it’s happened?  Firstly, you need to recognize the symptoms of stress which sometimes can be very subtle.

Stress Warning Signs and Symptoms
Cognitive Symptoms Emotional Symptoms
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Agitation, inability to relax
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of loneliness and isolation
  • Depression or general unhappiness
Physical Symptoms Behavioral Symptoms
  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds
  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

(chart borrowed from here)

Obviously, all of these symptoms could have a medical or psychological reason behind them, but it is also likely that it is stress that are causing these problems.  So how do you de-stress you life?

Learn how to RELAX!  When your boss starts yelling at you about a deadline or the last of that “must have toy” of the Christmas season in the hour radius from your house you wanted for your tike just landed in the cart of that au pair in front of you, don’t panic.  Take 10 slow deep breaths and ask yourself “is my life going to end if I don’t xyz”.  More than likely the answer will be no.  Take stock of that and then create a game plan.

To tamp down on stress before it even hits take up something that you find relaxing and try to do it for at least 30 minutes everyday.  For me it’s to make sure I exercise at least every day and I try to write my thoughts in a journal daily. It keeps me sane and grounded. Some other ideas are meditation, yoga, cooking, or anything that YOU find relaxing.  There’s no one pill for everyone solution here.

Stress, unfortunately, has become fairly commonplace in our everyday lives today.  So you need to learn how to manage it when it occurs. What do you find works? Is it deep breaths, going for a walk around your office or the block, giving your dog (or cat a hung), or simply talking to a friend?  Find what works for you (or a combination of things) and then do that.  The key here is to manage your stress before it manages you.  You’re too young to be shopping for headstones right….RIGHT?!?!

Here’s a little comic I found that I thought was what you DON’T want to turn into!!!

Keep Sweating!

The Economics of Staying Healthy on a Budget

22 Sep

So I saw this article posted by BeachBody called “6 Healthy Foods that are Easy on Your Wallet”  http://www.beachbody.com/product/p90x-online/newsletters/p90xnl_099.do?code=P90XNEWS_099#article1 and it got me thinking..how do you stay healthy AND not go bankrupt????

A lot of people shy away from healthier foods because “they’re so much more expensive than fast food, chips, fill in your excuse here”. But that’s not the case there are so many nutrient-rich foods that are good for you AND your wallet. Take black beans for examples. These little gems are protein and fiber packed, and are a lower calorie option to get your protein than other sources like beef. They can help you lower cholesterol and blood pressure too! And the great thing is you can get a huge bag of dry black beans for less than a bag of Doritos!

But it’s not just food that you can save on and stay healthy, you can with your fitness too!

The absolute cheapest way you can get fit is to simply lace up your running shoes and head to the great outdoors! You can walk, run, bike, swim all for free (well as long as you have the proper gear!). You can use the local park’s jungle gym as your own gym and do pulls, tricep dips, etc right there while you watch your kids play!

If you want something more structured, people just get a gym membership. But what I recommend doing is purchasing a home fitness system (like P90X, Insanity or TurboFire) and then you have it forever. Now wait before you all get riled up because “those products are just too expensive!!” read below for the math breakout. Let’s take the new P90X2 which is set to drop sometime before the holidays as our base for our cost comparison.

Gym Membership: for our cost comparison, I’m going to use 24 hour fitness’ “24 Hour Fitness Active” monthly price out of San Francisco.
First Month Fee: $83.98
Monthly Fee: $39.99
First Year: $523.87
What you get: Access to a limited circle of the 24 Hour Fitness Classes,Cardio Machines, weight machines, classes
Now if you want personal training, well there’s going to be yet more fees for that too!

Now if you were to purchase the new P90X2 which gives you an awesome 90-day home fitness system AND a nutritional plan/guide it’s going to cost you:
P90X2: $119.85 (or pay in 3 monthly payments of $39.95 if you can’t front the whole cost) + sales tax
Shipping: $19.95 (but FREE if you pre-order)
Total Cost: 139.90 + tax
What you get: 13 rocking exercises that are guaranteed to get you totally ripped!, Fitness Guide, Nutrition Guide, & 90 day program calendar.

But the best part? If you don’t love it you get your money back!  You can’t say that about a gym membership!

So for me personally? I will always recommend getting an at-home fitness system.  You can even get multiple systems (like P90X2, P90X, Insanity, & Turbo Fire) and still not have spent as much on a gym membership!

Do you need motivation to succeed on a home fitness journey?  Fear not!  If you make me your coach I will be with you 100% of the way giving you the support and motivation YOU need! I will be starting P90X2 when it comes out! Join me and together we will become EXTREME!!!

For more information or to sign up for your FREE team BeachBody account or to pre-order P90X2 (if you pre-order through me you’ll get FREE shipping, 2 free workout DVDs, AND it’ll get there by the holidays!) visit my site: www.beachbodycoach.com/coachlindsey01

As always, you can email me with any questions, I love to hear from you! BeachBodyCoachLindsey@gmail.com

Keep Sweating!

Get Ripped with P90X2

Introduction & Get Sweaty!

21 Sep

Welcome to my blog! I’m Lindsey and a beachbody coach (hopefully YOUR beachbody coach)! I absolutely LOVE all things health & wellness! Although in the effort of full disclosure I am something of a “born again exercise nut”. Continue reading below for the full story…

I was a major athlete growing up. In high school I competed in 2 varisity sports for all four years and absolutely loved it. But then college came and I stopped working out as hard and hit the keg and all-you-can eat cafeteria a little too hard. Before I knew it I’d put on more than just the freshman 15! 😮 I had a rude wake up call when my family went to have our family portrait taken and nothing in my home closet fit me anymore. That was it…I’d had enough. I shed about 20 lbs before I found Beachbody through exercies and diet. But then I hit a plateau and for about a year couldn’t lose anything, just maintain (which is really just your body’s way of telling you to take a weight loss break for a bit while your body adjusts).

Then, I tried my sisters Insanity DVDs and I was hooked! I loved them so much that I ordered my own set. The weight started coming off again. But the piece that is so great about Beachbody is that the peer support system that is provided is so important and then you know you’re not alone! And don’t feel like you need to buy beachbody products to join Team Beachbody. Here’s the secret…it’s FREE. Of course, I would like to encourage you to buy a workout system because they really do work, but if you just want to see what it’s all about, sign up today and I’d love to be your coach:

I’m a big believer in eating well rounded and nutritiously, yet not starving yourself and participating in sweat-inducing sessions. I’m still on my weight loss journey, but I know that I love supporting my friends and family in their own health goals and I want to help YOU! Whether it’s toning up, losing weight or just trying to not be “skinny fat” (you know what I mean!)I’m here to support you in every aspect not just fitness! You also don’t have to be a Beachbody fan to get my help! Just shoot me an email or read my blog!

Just remember it’s 80% what you eat and 20% moving! So drop that cheeseburger and grab some weights! Let’s go!

Note: I hold a full time position completely unrelated that demands much of my attention during the week. Have patience my friends I will blog as often as I can and respond to emails as quick as I can!! 🙂

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