Monday, January 17, 2011

Measuring Your Way to Success!

“Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.” ~ Galileo

One of the biggest reasons that people experience “fall off” from their intended programs or routines is that they haven’t made their goals MEASUREABLE. As the adage goes, “What gets measured , gets done” – setting a way to quantify your progress lets you know how you’re doing along the way and sets the stage for means to identify potential areas for improvement. Think about it this way, one of the ways that a parent keeps track of their child’s growth along the way is to periodically have that child stand against a wall and make markings to identify how tall he/she is. Financially, we determine the strength of a stock by how well it performs each day and subsequently looking at trends over time whether it is weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly.

Whatever way you look at it, measurements help us track progress. The same applies when it comes to our health and fitness. When setting your goals ask yourself this question “Is this measureable?” If it’s not, then make it so. Here’s an example:

GOAL: “I want to have more energy?” This statement alone is not measureable, but it can be made into something that can be measured by going deeper and asking more questions of that goal such as: “How can I measure my energy levels so that I know that my energy has increased?” “How many flights of stairs can I climb before I get winded, or how far can I walk or run before it becomes too much to handle?” By doing this, you begin to set the parameters for making your overall goal MEASUREABLE which ultimately leads to your success.

Monday, January 3, 2011

What Is Your Vision for 2011?

“Without a clear vision, every road seems like a destination” ~ David Winston.


The month of January is the first month of the New Year and for this reason is associated with “new beginnings”. After all, the month of January is named after the Roman god Janus, who himself was the god of new beginnings. So as we start out 2011 and begin to wipe the 2010 slate clean and start anew, the one thing that must be stressed is the need to have a clear vision in mind before you set your goals or resolutions for the year.

If your desire is to get a new job, focus on what that job is, begin to network now so that you have people in your resource pool that can help to identify potential jobs for you and act as an advocate. Find mentors or advisors, people who can help to determine what your areas of strengths or weaknesses are so that you can improve yourself and be prepared for that next opportunity.

If your desire is to go back to school, know what skill sets you will need to learn so that you can be an effective student. Likewise, if your desire is to get healthy and fit, enlist the help of someone like a Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor or Dietian who can help you. But first and foremost, have a goal in mind so that you are not wandering aimlessly and lose your way along the journey. This is one of the main reasons why people don’t stick to their goals; they didn’t have a clear vision from the start. So think about your vision, consider the question “What does success look like to you?” and begin to design a step by step plan of attack to execute that vision. This month, we’ll devote all of our Fitness Tips to making certain that you know how to set SMART goals and how to make them even SMARTER. So what is your vision? It’s now time to transform it into a reality. Are you ready? Let’s GO!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mrs. “O” – 5; Childhood Obesity – 0 - The First Lady Gains another Win with New Legislation

This week, the House passed “The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act”, legislation that would increase the reimbursement rates for school lunches by about 6 cents per meal allowing more children to become eligible for school meals and would also set nutritional standards for all foods that are served in public schools. Under this legislation, the Agricultural Department would set the standards that would require that foods served during school hours meet at least the minimum nutritional guidelines which would include leaner cuts of meat, fresh fruit, veggies and whole grains. Foods that are currently popular amongst students like hamburgers and pizza would not be removed altogether, but would also now have to meet these healthier standards. This would also mean that the candies and cakes often found in vending machines will now be replaced by healthier snack options and less high calorie/high sugar soft drinks. In addition to the above, this bill would help to provide the much needed funds to serve over 20 million more after-school meals each year to children in every state who for many, now only receive snacks instead of a full balanced and nutritious meal.

This piece of legislation has become a major part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to combat childhood obesity in the US.  Way to go FLOTUS! Thank you for helping to keep America’s children healthy.

For the full press release click here:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

PLAYLIST WEDNESDAY - Week of December 1st, 2010 - The BOY BANDS

It’s Playlist Wednesday again and we’re back with a new list of songs.  This week is the week of the Boy Bands or as some would be preferred to be called “Male Vocal Groups”.  Spanning a variety of genres and generations, these groups have given us great tunes over the years.  In recent years, groups like New Edition, Menudo and New Kids on the Block have revived their fan base by performing reunion tours.  From the ultimate Boy Band, the Jackson 5 to today’s modern heartthrobs the Jonas Brothers, this week’s list will bring back memories and keep you bopping at the same time.  Enjoy! 

Body Beautiful Playlist – Week of December 1st, 2010 - The Boy Bands –
  1.  ABC – The Jackson 5
  2. SOS – The Jonas Brothers
  3. Pop – NSYNC
  4. Ven a Volar – Menudo (The Reunion Tour)
  5. If It Isn’t Love – New Edition
  6. Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) – The Backstreet Boys
  7. Cuando Seas Mia (Salsa Version) – Son by 4
  8. Right Stuff – New Kids on the Block
  9. MotownPhilly – Boyz II Men
  10. One More Chance – Jackson 5

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere But How Much of It Do I Drink?

Nowadays water is plentiful. If you can't get it from a faucet, fountain or a natural body of water, you can definitely buy it. But why is water necessary in the first place? It has a critical value as far as our body is concerned. Just as a 70% of the earth is comprised of water, about 60% of our bodies are also made up of water. Water is a natural detoxifier removing toxins from our bodies that could harm us or deteriorate our health if allowed to remain and build up. Water carries vitamins and nutrients through our body via the bloodstream to ensure that our muscles, tissues and organs are properly hydrated in order to maintain maximum functionality. As a result of hydration, water also allows our skin and eyes to glow and our hair to shine. Water is important in every aspect of our being, without it dehydration sets in which could lead to energy loss, organ shut down and in extreme cases, as in diseases like Cholera, death. Over the years research has provided us with so many rules about daily water consumption that it's hard to keep up. There are many factors involved that can determine your personal water intake: where you live, climate, overall health, physical activity, height, weight, age etc. So what are some general guidelines to follow for daily consumption?

The recommended daily fluid intake is 8 - 8oz glasses of fluid. This could be water, coffee, tea, juices, soda etc. For more specific recommendations that are tailored to you specifically, consult your physician or a Registered Dietitian/Licensed Nutritionist. Although beverages such as wine, beer and soda contain water, it's best to go to the actual source and drink the water itself, making it your beverage of choice. Water contains no calories, no fat or sugars, it's readily available and it's relatively inexpensive.  Below are good indicators to help you know if you are consuming enough beverages, more specifically water:

• You should rarely feel thirsty - a general rule is that if you're thirsty you're already feeling the effects of dehydration
• In addition, your urine should be as clear as possible. If it is a bright yellow with a strong odor, chances are that you need to consume more water. As a side note, some vitamins and medication can produce bright yellow urine, but once those items have passed through your body, the urine should also return to clear with a tint of yellow.

Here are some easy ways to keep water as a major part of your lifestyle:
• Drink a glass of water with each meal and between each meal.
• Hydrate before, during and after exercise.
• Substitute sparkling water for alcoholic drinks at social gatherings, pour it in a fun glass and garnish it to make it more festive

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tomorrow Is Another Day to Begin Anew -

“Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom...” ~ Hannah Arendt

We all know about what it means to forgive others with respect to moving forward with our lives in a positive manner. But what about forgiving ourselves? Sometime forgiveness of self is the most difficult lesson to learn and one of the hardest things to do. We've heard the phrase many times that we are often our own worst critic. We're harder on ourselves because of the expectations that we have set. If for whatever reason we don't amount to those expectations we beat ourselves up, and in many cases, this can get in the way of us meeting our ultimate goals.

When offering recommendations and tips for achieving fitness goals, an item that is consistently on my top 10 list is to "Be gentle with yourself".  If you miss a time in your workouts or if you fall off the "clean eating" wagon, that's okay, re-start your program and get back into it. The most important thing is to not bash yourself with self-deprecating thoughts like "I'm so stupid, I'm such a failure, I can never seem to do this etc…" Remember, we become our reality as our thoughts dictate our actions. So forgive yourself for falling off and say that tomorrow is a new day. Start anew. But this time around, evaluate how, where, when and why you fell off your program to begin with; learn from those experiences and move on to a better and newly improved YOU!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

You’ve heard the saying: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Well, throw in physical activity and sleep with that apple and you’ve got a winning combination. Although the findings are not exactly new to those in the Health and Wellness fields, it’s great to know that we remain on the right track in advising the public on the overall health benefits of fitness besides just the desired goal of “weight loss”. Time and again, research continues to show that regular exercise, rest and a proper diet strengthen the immune system and stave off illnesses such as the common cold and flu. In many cases, if illness does occur, the duration time is shortened and the symptoms are much less severe than those who don’t live a healthy lifestyle. So give your doctor a break this season by staying well. ;-)

Highlights to the most recent study:
 • The average adult can expect to catch a cold 2-4 times a year while the average child can expect to catch a cold 6 – 10 times each year.

• On November 1st, the British Journal of Sports Medicine posted results of a recent study that followed 1000 women and men from ages 18 to 85 over a 12 week period during the fall and winter of 2008. The researchers tracked the number of upper respiratory tract infections suffered by the participants as well as their physical activity, dietary habits, levels of stress and overall lifestyle.
  •  The researchers noted that those who exercised at least 5 times a week experienced colds up to 46% less than those who either didn’t exercise or worked out only once a week.
  • The researchers also tracked that for those who exercised frequently and did catch colds, the duration of their colds was actually 41% lower than those who did not exercise
  • In addition to a shorter duration, the symptoms experienced were 32% - 41% less severe than for those who were sedentary.

Check out the full article for more information on this research.