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"We choose to go to the moon not because it's easy, but because it's hard." JFK

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It is very simple—the more healthy habits we employ, the healthier we become.

'Stop smoking and start walking' would make a significant difference in one's health.

Turn the soda into a bottle of water,' and you're well on your way. America is faced
with a health care crisis that can be solved in our lifetime, one healthy habit at a time.

Come on America - take the hard challenge of ending our health crisis

By employing healthy habits, you can actually reduce your health risk. As a population, we can learn to grow younger together. If, at the age of 40, you smoke, are overweight, and do not exercise, you may theoretically have the health-age of a 50-year-old. If, by the time you are 50, stop smoking, normalize your weight, and exercise properly, your health-age could be less than your chronological age. The healthier you are, the less chance you have of incurring a medical incident. The lower the chance of incidence, the lower your health-age.

How do you know if you’re on the right track? Take a simple test.

As you become increasingly fit, you should be able to do more work at the same or a lower heart rate. For example, step up and down on a stair 60 times in two minutes. Now take your pulse. Let's say your heart rate for the exercise is 120. Over time, as you employ healthier habits, you should be able to repeat the same test at a lower heart rate. If this is not so, ask yourself why.

Imagine that very school challenged every child with a simple test to get healthy and fit. There are many different ways to test for fitness, and no child would be left behind. Simple and reproducible, each child would be able to challenge themselves and follow their results. Perhaps, gym class would be a good place to start. I have listed ten healthy choices to help you get started. Let us know how you are doing.

10 Healthy Choices:

1.  Fresh Air:  The most essential nutrient for the body is air. If you don’t believe this, try going without it. It is very important to employ proper breathing techniques. As you breathe in, you should relax your abdomen. As you exhale, you should pull your stomach in. Believe it or not, most people do the opposite. 

2.  Water:  Drinking an adequate amount of water is essential for all bodily functions. Eight to ten 8 oz. glasses per day is the standard. Depending on your activity level, you may need to increase this amount.    

3.  No Junk Allowed:  You are probably aware of the saying, “You are what you eat.” Absolutely no cakes, pies, cookies, candies, ice cream, or soda are allowed. This restriction includes diet soda, which has its own detrimental effects. Do your best, and at least try to minimize this group. 

4.  Good Carb/Bad Carb:  All carbohydrates are not created equal. Some contain high sugar (e.g., bread, potato, rice, and macaroni). These should be limited. Vegetables, especially  green (low glycemic), can be consumed freely.  Although healthy, fruit is sugar and should be regulated by your activity level. 

5.  Good Fat/Bad Fat:  Absolutely no hydrogenated or trans fats are allowed.  Healthy fats, like olive and canola oil, can be used to facilitate the fat-burning process. 

6.  Food Preparation:  Boiling, broiling, baking, steaming, and grilling are all allowed. Deep frying is prohibited. 

7.  Choices:  Chicken, fish, meat, eggs, and cheese are healthy choices to accompany all allowed vegetables. 

8.  Activity:  Aerobic exercise is essential for proper fat burning and overall cardiovascular health. As you progress with your conditioning, more intense anaerobic-type work can be discussed and introduced.

9.  Emotional:  Make time to relax every day. Proper breathing and pleasant thoughts can go a long way.

10. Goal Setting:  What the mind perceives, the body achieves. Know that you will be healthy, and that you will get healthy.