Exercise to reduce risk of chronic disease

The World Health Organization just updated their recommendations related to exercise.

In adults, physical activity confers benefits for the following health outcomes: improved
all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, incident hypertension, incident sitespecific cancers, incident type-2 diabetes, mental health (reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression); cognitive health, and sleep; measures of adiposity may also improve.

For those 65+, regular physical activity is recommended. “As part of their weekly physical activity, older adults should do varied multicomponent physical activity that emphasizes functional balance and strength training at moderate or greater intensity, on 3 or more days a week to enhance functional capacity and to prevent falls.”

The guidelines stress that some activity is better than none – start small with something that you’re comfortable with and build on that…over time you can increase the frequency, intensity and duration of your workouts.

***This isn’t medical advice, always check with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program and consider working with a trainer to make sure you’re using proper form***

Plan To Eat

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

I’ve been using Plan To Eat for a couple of years & it has really simplified my meal planning! It’s really easy to clip recipes I see online both on the computer or via the app. From there, I plan out 1-2 recipes for lunches and 4-5 for dinner for the week, then it automatically generates a grocery list. Quick & easy!

Click the link to sign up & you’ll be linked to my account so you’ll have access to all my recipes! Now 50% off Nov 27-30th!

Why Keep a Journal?

Do you journal? This is one that I resisted for a long time. Once I started seeing benefits for myself, I started implementing it with some of my patients to rave reviews. If you’re a skeptic like I was, worry that the effort isn’t worth the time, or just need a little nudge to get started, here are some of the myriad benefits:

  • Stress relief : See here and here
  • Improved memory: Journaling can boost memory and comprehension, as well as working  memory capacity, which may reflect improved cognitive processing. Source
  • Clarifies goals and courses of action to achieve them: “Journaling about your goals helps you clarify what you want and encourages you to consider the why and how, not just the what.” Source
  • Promotes creativity
  • Encourages a sense of gratitude
  • And many more!

Here’s a quick journaling exercise as a place to start. I strongly recommend pen & paper over a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Hunger vs Craving

Today, one of my clients asked “Why am I so hungry all the time?”, which prompted me to ask the following:

  • Describe ‘hungry’ – is your stomach growling, do you feel lightheaded, weak or really grumpy?
  • What do you reach for when you feel this way?
  • If you eat something small & healthy, does that do the trick or do you want more?
  • What have you had to eat so far today?

She’s been really consistent about water intake & staying hydrated, so I knew that – for her- it wasn’t thirst. For many people, though, thirst can be confused with hunger – so that is usually my first recommendation. In this case, it turns out that she wasn’t really hungry, she was craving.

One major set up for cravings is processed foods. Many packaged foods may seem fairly healthy at first glance and even look OK from a calorie & macronutrient persepective. Unfortunately, so many of the additives in processed food can really increase cravings. And what do they make you crave? More processed foods.

Do I eat processed foods? Yes, but very rarely. There’s a huge range between a piece of Ezekiel Bread and an Oreo. The bread is processed and not ideal (but it is organic, has some fiber, and you can pronounce all the ingredients). The Oreo is an edible product – it’s not immediately poisonous , it’s vegan – BUT it has artificial ingredients and inflammatory oils – putting it in the category of ‘food-like product’ for me. Processed foods are generally more calorie-dense and less nutrient-dense, meaning you get more calories and less nutrition. That’s not going to nourish your body and certainly won’t help if you’re looking to lose weight.

So if you’re feeling hungry, drink something and/or eat! Just make sure it’s not just a craving. Or even if it is a craving, try eating whole, unprocessed food first.

Stay Strong to Fight Cognitive Decline

I’m at the top of my game – I don’t need to worry about cognitive decline yet. And what does my leg strength have to do with my thinking??
Whether you’re a surgeon, attorney, CEO, or golf-game-perfecting retiree, we all want to perform at our best.

The time to reduce your risk of cognitive decline is before that decline starts. Age related factors like hormonal changes in both men and women – as well as the aging process itself -can contribute to ever-so-subtle cognitive changes (decreased processing speed /increased reaction time, decreased focused and sustained attention, mild memory lapses (misplaced items, “why did I walk into this room”). And we’re not just talking about getting dementia or Alzheimer’s. How about up- leveling performance at work and improving your golf or tennis game?
Studies show “the age at which cognitive decline begins is relevant to the optimum time to implement interventions designed to prevent or reverse age-related declines. “
“What does appear clear is that several different types of results converge on the conclusion that age-related cognitive decline begins relatively early in adulthood, and certainly before age 60 in healthy educated adults.

The Goal Fit Method membership offers tons of research-backed content, and easily implemented lifestyle strategies aimed at maintaining physical and cognitive vitality as we grow older. Growing older is a gift, but I’m not settling for the decline in function I see so many suffer. And you don’t have to either. Here’s an example – LEG STRENGTH!

Wait, I thought we were talking about cognitive decline??

Studies support that interventions targeted to improve leg power in the long term may help reach a universal goal of healthy cognitive ageing”- noting “a striking protective relationship was found between muscle fitness (leg power) and both 10-year cognitive change and subsequent total grey matter.” Source

Groundbreaking research shows that neurological health depends as much on signals sent by the body’s large, leg muscles to the brain as it does on directives from the brain to the muscles. Using the legs, particularly in weight-bearing exercise, sends signals to the brain that are vital for the production of healthy neural cells, essential for the brain and nervous system. Cutting back on exercise makes it difficult for the body to produce new nerve cells — some of the very building blocks that allow us to handle stress and adapt to challenge in our lives.” Source

My favorite leg-strength exercises you can do at home include: squats, all the lunges, deadlifts, leg lifts, walking and hiking.

Join our community and grow stronger and more vibrant – make every day count to live a life that is truly good to the last drop!