Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Check It Out, I Made The News

Thinking I was on TV or maybe under investigation for bootcamps workouts that are too tough? :-)

Nope but I was featured in the article below on forming good fitness habits. What are your tips? Please leave a comment below.

Beat the post-holiday blahs
Renew, revitalize, refocus, and bid bad habits adieu

Intelligencer Journal
Lancaster New Era
Jan 18, 2010

You've shopped till you dropped, sated yourself with sweets and treats, temporarily given exercise the boot and indulged, indulged, indulged.

Ah, the joys of the holidays.

"We put our minds and bodies into a 'go, go, go' state and simply wear ourselves thin during (this) time of year," said Julie Elrod, a local health counselor and nutrition educator.

Once the holiday hype fizzles, she said, people find themselves fatigued, sluggish, depressed and stressed over weight gain.

But to take healthy steps forward, forgive yourself for the "sins" of the season, and embrace a fresh new year.

What can help you revitalize, reenergize and refocus so you can start 2010 with a bang, and not a whimper, and keep the love alive with your self-improvement efforts?

Here are some tips from area health and wellness professionals to help beat the post-holiday blahs and bid adieu to bad habits.


When it comes to resolutions (FranklinCovey, a time-management company, found that improving financial situations and losing weight topped those for 2010), many people bite off more than they can chew.

Small bites can be more realistic.

"I believe New Year's resolutions become successful only when they are reasonable and manageable," said Herb Landis, a therapist at Samaritan Counseling Center. "A small goal like sharing a latte with a friend or making sure you laugh every day is equally significant to exercising every day or quitting smoking."

Co-worker Linda Crockett, a certified life and wellness coach at the center, will kick off a mind-body coaching group Jan. 28.

"I think it helps to get people focused on their intention — 'what is it you really want?' — this is what gives people the energy to reach whatever measurable goal they set," Crockett said.

For example, "I want to lose 20 pounds by March 30" is a good enough goal, and it can be achieved with carefully constructed smaller "action steps" and accountability check-ins with a peer or coach, she said.

Rather than setting a specific weight loss number, focus instead on the intent and reasons behind the goal, she said.

"It might be, 'I want to feel healthy and vibrant' or 'I want to experience the joy of having a trim, fit and healthy body.' "


Start by "cleansing" your body from the sugar overload of the holidays, which sets up a cycle for cravings for more sweets.

"A wonderful way to break this 'sugar cycle' is to eat dark green, leafy vegetables," said herbalist Sarah Campbell, of Herbs from the Labyrinth.

Alcohol, which stresses your liver, is another holiday indulgence.

Herbs that support the liver in its work of cleaning toxins from the blood are the woody dandelion root, burdock root, birch bark and ginger, said Campbell, who simmers them for tea-making. Campbell has even created a "Love Your Liver Tea" which also includes cinnamon, sarsaparilla and orange peel.

In the long term, proper nutrition — including attention to appropriate portion sizes — is the blueprint for wellness, said Mickey Glick, owner of Body & Soul Fitness Studio.

Exercise is great, but you can't "out-train" a bad diet, she said.

But change takes time. Think lifestyle makeover, not a diet that ends when goal weight is met.

"No infomercial ab gadget or quick-fix diet will get you where you ultimately want to be," Glick said.

Elrod offers tips to remember: Try to avoid refined or processed sugars; beef up intake of complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and veggies; drink plenty of water; minimize alcohol consumption and eliminate empty liquid calories (soda, fruit drinks); eat five to seven servings of fresh vegetables and fruits every day; cut back on fast foods.

"Treat your body more like your car," Glick said. "If we tried to run our cars on the same quality of fuel that most of us put in our bodies, they wouldn't perform at all."

If you haven't exercised in years, set small goals and dump the "all-or-nothing" mentality, Glick said.

"You can even start out with 10 minutes a day but do not allow yourself to crawl into bed until you have completed your daily exercise."

Small, consistent changes are much more productive than big, sporadic ones. Seek instruction and support at fitness facilities or with an at-home fitness coach, she said.

And, most of all, believe in yourself.

"Do you truly believe you can improve your health and discard excess body fat?" Glick said.

"If not, you need to change that mindset."


Don't forget to rest and reconnect.

"Talking with friends prevents the isolation that creeps in over the cold winter months," Landis said. "Plan time with friends or someone you would like to know better."

Self-care will lift your mood.

"After all of the rushing around, we need to slow down, and get back to a routine that nurtures us," Campbell said.

Take a walk or hot bath, get a massage, listen to music, sip camomile tea before bed or read your favorite book.

"When you are feeling down, stressed out, overly tired or sick … take ten long, deep breaths and fill the abdomen with oxygen," Elrod said.

In the evening, Campbell likes to make a pot of herbal tea (usually some combination of camomile, oatstraw, motherwort, lemon balm, catnip, linden flower and passion flower). She pours one cup in her mug, and the rest goes in her bath water.

"This way I inhale the healing vapors of the herbs and take in their soothing properties through my skin."


Renew your faith and outlook.

"Stop throughout the day and ask 'Where have I seen love or where have I experienced love today?' " said Mary Etta King, executive director of Kairos: School of Spiritual Formation.

"Other questions could be, 'What has given me life?' And, 'What has taken life out of me?' "

Be on the lookout for spiritual renewal workshops, retreats and services, she said.

"Simply paying attention to our breathing renews our souls. Taking time for silence each day helps us to focus too."

Absorb the colors and sounds of nature.

"Spirituality is connecting to nature, a simple walk in a snow-covered hay field and observing and being mindful of the present and then to imagine the aroma of the first fresh cut of alfalfa … " Landis said.

Keep it simple.

"Spirituality for me is connection with people," Landis said. "As we can look inward we can look outward and it becomes a complimentary dance then that allows us to fully participate in life beyond ourselves."


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