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Health and Finance Planning

on Tuesday, 08 October 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

October 14th commemorates the journey of Christopher Columbus to the New World. Use this long weekend for a little extra time to chart your own journey to financial and health goals.

Here’s one way you can ramp up to bigger savings:

  • Start by saving a dollar in the first week; follow with two dollars the second week.
  • Keep increasing by one dollar weekly for an entire year.
  • By the end, you’re setting aside over fifty dollars weekly, and your piggy bank contains a bountiful $1,378.
  • The fall is a great time of year to start this project. Your savings obligation remains small during the busy and expensive holiday months, and by the next fall, you’ll have both a holiday nest egg and an ingrained habit.

Need to jump start your health?

  • Increasing water intake can help power almost any health and fitness goal. The old adage of eight glasses a day can be a great first step although it may not cover your optimal amount.
  • Drinking the right amount of water can address common health complaints including fatigue and headaches that may be caused by dehydration.
  • Water lacks calories, so by replacing one soda or other sugary drink with water each day for a year, you would save nearly 55,000 calories. That’s enough to lose up to 15 pounds. You might even find you crave sugary drinks and treats less as you consume more water. 

It might not be sailing off into the unknown, but you don’t have to wait for New Year’s Day to begin a new positive habit. Start your journey this Columbus Day with a single step in the right direction; the destination may surprise you!

 

Portion Control

on Tuesday, 01 October 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The latest reports are in, and it’s official. Americans continue to pile on the pounds. Nearly 20% of American youth are overweight or obese, and a staggering 68% of American adults tip the scales as overweight or obese as well. Food costs are on their way up too, and it’s tough work to feed a family well while sticking to a budget.

One common factor can help trim the fat from your waistline and your grocery budget: portion size. 

You’ve just hauled the groceries in from the car, and before you can get everything put away, the kids tear into the cookies and the chips. Within a day, the goodies are gone. Measuring cups and small serving dishes can help everyone get a grip on oversize eating. Prepare your portion by measuring or counting your serving before you begin eating to make sure you don’t eat more than you intend. Eating just the serving size will stretch out those pricey packages.

Easy Resources:

Even with healthy fruits and vegetables, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right amounts. The CDC maintains a useful resource in their “What Counts as a Cup?” webpage. You’ll learn how to gauge the right serving amount of fruits and veggies with just a quick glance. No more guesswork to know if you’ve got enough of the good stuff. You can also head over to ChooseMyPlate.gov to get a healthy eating plan tailored to anyone in the family.

Do what’s good for your health and your wallet this fall.

  • Correctly size your meal plan by paying careful attention to portions.
  • Look online for useful tools to manage your daily diet without actually dieting.

Before long, you’ll see the results of better health and a more flexible budget.

 

Take a Hike!

on Tuesday, 24 September 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Hiking is a great way to get active this fall while checking out the changes of the season and enjoying the crisp fall weather. Take a moment to review these hiking tips before heading out to blaze your trail.

Be sure to choose the appropriate attire.

Getting dressed for a hike involves a little more than choosing your favorite t-shirt. Account for the time of day, length of your hike, and any changes in elevation when choosing clothing. For comfortable hiking in the fall, consider dressing in layers. As you warm up on the trail, you can shed layers.  If it cools off late in the day, pull a layer back on.

Also pay careful attention to your shoes.  Supportive, well-fitting shoes are a must for hiking. If you spring for a new pair of shoes, don’t rush right out to hike. Shoes and boots should be broken in to avoid blisters and other damage to your feet.

Hiking is more fun when you take a friend, and it’s safer too.

Hiking with at least one companion gives you back-up if there’s an accident on the trail. They can perform first aid and go for help if necessary. Whether alone or in a group, make sure someone at home knows your plans as well. Tell them where you’re hiking and what time you will leave and return. Cell phone coverage can be spotty at best in prime hiking areas, so don’t count on your phone to get you out of a jam.

Take the right supplies.

Even for a short day hike, take a light pack with snacks and plentiful water. Water is the most critical supply, and if you’ve planned a longer hike than you can comfortably carry water, you might choose to invest in purification supplies. Once you’re on the trail, don’t use everything up at once. Save some to get you through the final stretch.

Pull on your boots and gather a group to explore your surroundings. You’ll challenge your body physically and recharge mentally. Get out of here, and take a hike!

Outdoor Family Fun

on Tuesday, 17 September 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The temperature is finally dropping, and it’s nearly fall. Now is the time to head outdoors and get active. Old Man Winter will be here before you know it. Here are some ideas for outdoor family fun.

 

  • For an inexpensive and fun activity, grab a Frisbee or a ball and head to a park to play. Toddlers to teens will enjoy running, catching, and throwing in the mild fall weather. You’ll have a blast, and no one will notice that it’s exercise too.

 

  • Road races and bike rides provide an enjoyable way for the whole family to be active together. These events often support charitable causes through entry fees and other fundraising efforts. Whether you walk, run, or roll, children and parents can set fitness goals and train together. Then when race day comes, engage in a little friendly competition to spur each other on to new achievements.

 

  • Rake some leaves together. Fall’s changing colors eventually carpet the yard around your home. Take the drudgery out of this annual chore by having everyone chip in so the work gets done fast. Be sure to save a huge pile for jumping in and rolling around. No one is too old for this classic fall fun!

 

Playing sports and spending time outdoors provides a low-key way for parents and kids to stay connected. As the school year starts up, plan some fun fall activities into your schedule. The conversations, fun, and laughter will last for a lifetime.

Remember and Serve

on Tuesday, 10 September 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

On September 11, 2001, the nation grieved together for lives lost and for lives forever changed. In the succeeding years, individuals and community organizations sought to overcome the hatred and horrors witnessed that Tuesday morning by uniting in service to remember the victims of September 11th. Congress officially recognized the date as a National Day of Service and Remembrance in 2009. Come together with friends and neighbors to make a positive impact in your community by participating in service and remembrance activities this year. 

If you want to find a place to volunteer, you can start your search at United We Serve. You can search for activities by specifying a cause or interest that you have, or you can search for volunteer opportunities by location. You can also register an event to publicize it to other potential volunteers.

You may have seen an opportunity to make a difference in your community. You can be the start of positive change by coordinating a special event for remembrance in your neighborhood. Bring your friends and family together for a simple dinner and meaningful discussion. You might initiate a drive to raise resources for a local food bank or a homeless shelter.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 shocked and enraged people around the world. It would be easy to become consumed by fear and anger in the aftermath. Americans should choose to reach out to one another and build solidarity in their towns and cities. Become a part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance to heal the wounds of tragedy and to find a way forward together.

After School Snacks

on Tuesday, 03 September 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

It’s late afternoon. The kids come home from school. They’re hungry. They’re ready for video games and a TV marathon. How can a family stay on track with healthy choices?

Organic? Gluten free? Low carb? Choosing snack foods can be a tricky business with all the latest health tips and diet crazes. The easiest rule to follow: Eat the right amount. Even sweets and treats can be a part of a healthy diet when you pay attention to the serving size. Take care not to serve children adult size portions. Overfilling their plates, then expecting them to clean their plate is the perfect recipe for overeating.

You might know that the average can of soda contains ten to twelve teaspoons of sugar. Many people are surprised to know that many fruit juices contain nearly the same amount of sugar and calories as sodas, and fruit juices generally don’t have the same nutritional benefits as actually eating a piece of fruit. Extra sugar, therefore extra calories comes in some sneaky packages sometimes. Make water the go-to beverage in your house. A glass of chilled water refreshes better than soda pop, fruit juice, or sports drinks, and it’s the perfect partner to a light afternoon snack. 

Physical play helps children burn calories and develops their growing bodies. Encourage children in active play when they come home from school. Bike riding, running and walking, and organized athletics all get kids moving. Exercise curbs the appetite from too many before-dinner snacks. Studies show physical activity increases an individual’s ability to concentrate. If your normal order is homework before playtime, it might be time to switch things up.

Today children hear mixed messages every day about what to eat and how to exercise. Even parents get confused about how to address complicated issues of childhood obesity and eating disorders. Making healthy choices doesn’t have to be hard. Learning simple rules about nutrition and health creates an easy path for children and adults to follow.

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