Stress Less: How Breathing Fights Stress, December 2019

How Breathing Fights Stress What’s the first sensation you notice in your body when you face a moment of stress? Are you shaky? Does your heart race? Do your palms sweat? Maybe your breath becomes quicker and shallower. These physiological changes are all regulated by the autonomic nervous system, which continually works to regulate heart rate, respiratory rate, and digestion. When we face any stress, whether big or little, the sympathetic branch (better known as [...]

Try a New Move: Prevent Knee Problems with Step-Ups, December 2019

Prevent Knee Problems with Step-Ups Many people with knee problems end up avoiding exercise altogether, but many resistance exercises, like step-ups, strengthen lower-body musculature resulting in improved knee function and decreased knee pain. Step-ups (with or without weight) Stand with your feet hip-width apart. If you’re using weight, hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand with your palms facing inward. Step your left foot onto a platform, such as an aerobic stepping box, plyo [...]

Try a New Food: Seasonal Side Dishes, November 2019

Seasonal Side Dishes Fall has arrived, and with it comes an abundance of hearty, seasonal produce. What are your favorites? Pumpkins and apples might get the spotlight, but so many other fruits and veggies hit their prime once colder weather arrives. Look out for some of the highest quality cruciferous veggies, squash, root veggies, pears, grapes, and pomegranates in the coming months. Seasonal fruits and vegetables tend to pack the most flavor since they’re often [...]

Try a New Move: Core Strengthening for Everyone, November 2019

Core Strengthening for Everyone What are your fitness goals? Some of us want to run hundred-mile races or squat twice our body weight. But most of us have simpler goals like getting to a place where taking the stairs or getting down on the ground feels comfortable, and that’s OK! Wherever you are in your fitness journey, build a foundation that allows you to move how you want. An excellent place to start is building [...]

Stress Less: Indulging Without Overeating, November 2019

Indulging Without Overeating Just when life feels stressful enough, the holidays arrive. For many, this time to unwind and relax, yet people commonly describe their stress levels as “very” or “somewhat” elevated from mid-November into the New Year. Pressure from finances, buying the right gifts, and a disrupted eating and exercise routine can drive some people to seek comfort or distraction in food. As a result, plans for an occasional indulgence may turn into an [...]

Healthy Holidays: Holiday Food Safety Quick Tips, November 2019

Holiday Food Safety Quick Tips When hosting friends and family—particularly our older loved ones, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and pregnant women—safe food handling should be top of mind. When mishandled, protein-rich holiday centerpieces, like the Thanksgiving turkey, can harbor severe amounts of illness-causing microorganisms. Here’s a plan to facilitate a safer and enjoyable holiday meal. Fresh meat, poultry, and fish Before you bring home a fresh turkey, ham, goose, roast, or fish, make [...]

Stress Less: Visualization, October 2019

Visualization Do you ever find yourself mentally visiting a serene beach or favorite vacation spot when things get stressful? Visiting your “happy place” can’t help you escape all your troubles, but it might provide temporary relief from stress and anxiety. Even just imagining a peaceful setting is shown to convince the body and unconscious mind that you are in a safe, beautiful, and therefore relaxing environment. This practice is called visualization, and like other meditative [...]

Healthy Holidays: Healthier Halloween, October 2019

Healthier Halloween Halloween is synonymous with candy, lots of it! Unlike other holidays, Halloween treats tend to linger well past October 31st, making plans for an occasional indulgence more of a challenge. Not to mention, Halloween is shortly followed by numerous other food-centered holidays that altogether cause the average American adult to gain 1-2 pounds each year! Instead of banning the treats or making them off-limits, start the holiday season mindfully by balancing candy with [...]

Try a New Food: Plant-Based Red Meat Considerations, October 2019

Plant-Based Red Meat Considerations You can now find ultra-realistic plant-based hamburgers at national fast-food chains, and soon, realistic replacements for chicken and seafood. These foods offer critical environmental benefits since their production requires up to 99% less water, 46% less energy, and 93% less land than an equal amount of animal-based protein, according to industry-funded research. Still, their swift introduction into the marketplace didn't give enough time for well-designed scientific studies to assess their impact [...]

Try a New Move: Soreness Reducing Dynamic Stretches

Soreness Reducing Dynamic Stretches Almost everyone who’s started an exercise program can tell you about how sore their muscles felt a day or two following their workout. Fitness professionals call exercise-related soreness delayed onset muscle soreness, commonly abbreviated to DOMS. DOMS might catch you by surprise because you feel fine the day you worked out, but very stiff and sore 24 hours later. DOMS is an entirely normal body response to exercise and can last [...]

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