Monday, December 26, 2016

How To Approach New Years Resolutions

Let me guess: You want to lose weight in 2017, or maybe just eat healthier. Perhaps you want to spend less money or spend more time with your friends and family.

Self-improvement, or at least the desire for it, is a shared American hobby. It's why so many of us—some estimates say more than 40% of Americans—make New Year's resolutions. 

But for all the good intentions, only a tiny fraction of us keep our resolutions; University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year's goals.

Why do so many people fail at goal-setting, and what are the secrets behind those who succeed? The explosion of studies into how the brain works has more experts attempting to explain the science behind why we make resolutions—and more relevantly, how we can keep them.

Keep it Simple
Many people use the New Year as an opportunity to make large bucket lists or attempt extreme makeovers, whether personal or professional.

That's a nice aspiration, experts say—but the average person has so many competing priorities that this type of approach is doomed to failure. Essentially, shooting for the moon can be so psychologically daunting, you end up failing to launch in the first place.

It's more sensible to set "small, attainable goals throughout the year, rather than a singular, overwhelming goal," according to psychologist Lynn Bufka.  It is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.

Make it Tangible
Setting ambitious resolutions can be fun and inspiring, but the difficulty in achieving them means that your elation can quickly give way to frustration. That's why goals should be bounded by rational, achievable metrics.

A resolution to lose some weight is not that easy to follow… It is much easier to follow a plan that says no potato chips, fries, or ice cream for six weeks. Be specific. Don't say you're "going to start going to the gym" in 2017—set a clear ambition, like attending a weekly spin class or lifting weights every Tuesday or Thursday.  If you can't measure it, it's not a very good resolution because vague goals beget vague resolutions.

Make it Obvious
Experts recommend charting your goals in some fashion, although there's no universal strategy for success. For some, making a clear to-do list is enough of a reminder; others rely on vision boards or personal diaries.

An emerging tactic: share your goals with your friends and family. It's another way to build accountability, especially in the Facebook era.

For example, after a woman named Anna Newell Jones ran more than $23,600 into debt, she made a New Year's resolution to work her way out of it--and publicly. As part of that effort, Newell Jones launched a blog, And Then We Saved, to chronicle her attempt to go from shopaholic to spendthrift; in less than a year and a half, she'd paid off her debt.

Rivka Friedman, who authors a cooking blog called Not Derby Pie, used a similar tactic several years ago: She posted her kitchen resolutions. You can still see them on the right-hand side of the blog, as Rivka either crossed off her accomplishments or hyperlinked to blog posts, like her efforts to learn how to make kimchi or fillet a fish properly. Sharing resolutions is a good way to keep oneself accountable and social media can be used as a motivator.

Keep Believing You Can Do It
To be clear: Simply setting a goal does raise your chances of achieving that goal, significantly.  But within weeks or months, people begin abandoning their resolutions as they hit bumps in the road that throw them off their stride.

More often than not, people who fail to keep their resolutions blame their own lack of willpower. In surveys, these would-be resolvers repeatedly say that if only they had more self-determination, they would've overcome any hurdles and achieved their goals.

There is an emerging body of research that points out that willpower is malleable. In one study led by a Stanford University psychologist, scientists gauged whether test subjects believed they could exhaust their willpower, and sought to convince them otherwise. The researchers found that people "performed better or worse [on tests] depending on their belief in the durability of willpower."

You have as much willpower as you think you have, essentially. Which means that on some level, your journey toward self-improvement will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Tips To Reduce Holiday Stress

While the holiday season can be a fun and joyous time, it can also be very stressful. The combined effort of shopping, attending social events, and entertaining guests can quickly become too much to handle. A poll by the American Psychological Association shows that 8 out of 10 people  anticipate increased stress over the holidays. In some cases, the increase in stress and anxiety may even lead to depression. The Mayo Clinic reports that depression is often an unwelcome guest during the holidays.

Though the holiday season can be a difficult and stressful time, there are several ways to minimize stress and anxiety so you can thoroughly enjoy this festive time of year.

Set a Spending Budget

The holiday season and spending go hand-in-hand. Between buying gifts for your children, spouse, and relatives, you can drop hundreds of dollars between Black Friday and Christmas Day. A 2015 Galllup poll reported that shoppers around the United States were planning to spend an average of $830 on gifts over the holidays.
Although spending money during the holiday season may be unavoidable, you can control how much you spend. Some of the stress you feel over the holidays may have a lot to do with financial pressure. To help prevent stress over money, plan ahead, review your finances, and come up with a realistic budget for gifts. Buying gifts shouldn’t affect your ability to pay your bills, nor should it result in costly credit card debt. 
Don’t let others pressure you into spending more than you can afford. Using a credit card is tempting, but it can also complicate matters. It might take several months or years to lower the balance. Decide on a maximum amount and stick to that budget. You can even have a discussion with friends and family and agree to only spend up to a certain amount. You can also get creative and think of gift ideas that don't involve money. A friend or family member might appreciate the gift of time better than an actual item. For example, perhaps you can offer to watch a friend’s child for a weekend so she can spend some alone time with her partner.

Get Plenty of Exercise

When you’re running around during the holiday season, exercise might be the last thing on your mind. What you may not realize, however, is that being active can elevate your mood and help you cope with stress.
Exercise and other types of physical activity stimulate the production of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are brain chemicals that function as a natural painkiller. They can trigger a positive feeling in the body, boosting mood and reducing feelings of anxiety and stress.
Understandably, you might be busy and have little time for physical activity during the holidays. However, it doesn't take much time to maintain a calm mental state. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a minimum of three times each week. Find an activity that works for you and your lifestyle. You may want to consider:
playing sports

Keep It Simple

The holiday season is particularly stressful when you have too much on your plate. This might be the case if you're welcoming out-of-town guests and hosting family festivities. You don’t necessarily have to cancel your plans, but make sure you’re not setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to do everything yourself. Get your family involved and delegate. For example, instead of taking on the responsibility of preparing an entire meal alone, ask everyone to bring a dish. Or, if you feel that hosting an event at your home is too much, don't feel obligated to entertain relatives and friends. Know your limitations and learn how to say “no.”

Pick Your Battles

Being in close quarters with some of your family members for long periods of time can be stressful in itself. You all have your own personalities. Because of your differences, it may be easy to rub each other the wrong way. Remember that if you let every remark get under your skin, you’ll be miserable and stressed out the entire time. Set aside your differences, and agree to disagree. This is easier said than done. But if you can learn how to let go and pick your battles, you’ll have less anxiety. Don’t let the actions of others rob you of your joy.

Even if you’re a calm and collected person, the holiday season can still be a trying time. Your stress level can still skyrocket. These practical tips may minimize your stress and anxiety, and help you cope. However, don’t be afraid to speak with a doctor or mental health professional if you’re having a difficult time. They may help you improve your coping skills so you can get through the holiday season with a smile on your face. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

How Do You LIke Your Eggs?

The truth is that eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. Just think of the egg as the ultimate source of life – it contains all the ingredients required to develop a single cell into a live baby chicken.  In order for that to happen, the egg has to pack all of the essential life-enabling nutrients in a very tight space. Isn’t that pretty amazing? Kudos for mother nature.

But the best part is that all of this nutritive goodness can be also used to complete your healthy diet with a variety of precious vitamins and minerals. And let’s not forget to mention the most famous feature of eggs – they are one of the best sources of high-quality-protein on the planet – and the cheapest one, as well! They provide your body with the whole package of amino acids required for building muscle mass and repairing tissues. Nutrition experts even recommend eating three whole eggs per day for a well-balanced diet.

Worried About Your Cholesterol Levels? There’s No Need For That
While it’s true that the egg yolk contains a high amount of cholesterol, things are a bit more complex than that.

First of all, studies have never found a connection between normal egg consumption and coronary artery disease. And do you even know what cholesterol really is? From a nutritive standpoint, it’s not exactly the one-dimensional bad guy that popular magazines describe it to be. It’s actually a structural molecule that is an essential part of the cell membrane – of every single cell in the body. It’s responsible for the production of testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol, all of which are very important for the normal functioning of the body.

Besides getting it from food, our body produces its own cholesterol in the liver. And when we eat foods that are rich in cholesterol the liver simply starts producing less of it, so the total amount of cholesterol in the body changes very little, depending on our diet.

On top of that, there is the “good” (HDL) and “bad” (LDL) kind of cholesterol – according to the American Heart Association, the second one contributes to the production of thick, hard deposits that can clog arteries and make them less flexible, increasing the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, the “good” cholesterol actually helps remove the LDL cholesterol from the arteries by carrying it back to the liver, where it gets broken down and passed away from the body, therefore protecting the heart’s health.

Eggs actually contain high amounts of HDL cholesterol, while trans fats found in overly processed and deep fried foods contribute to rising levels of LDL cholesterol. So consuming whole eggs will not only bring vital benefits to your health – it can also reverse the negative effects of your junk food choices.

Nutritional Profile of One Whole Egg

Calories: 77
Protein: 6 grams
Healthy fats: 5 grams
Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA
Folate: 5% of the RDA
Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA
Vitamin B12 9% of the RDA
Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA
Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA
Selenium: 22% of the RDA

In addition, eggs contain significant amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, and Zinc. They also do the following:

Protect Eyesight

The egg yolks are also packed with lutein, a type of carotenoid that helps prevent macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness. Lutein is also found in green leafy vegetables, but research has shown that the body is able to absorb it way better from eggs. In addition, yolks also contain zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that protects your eyes from the harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Protect Bone Health

Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption and maintaining bone health, so if you don’t get enough of it, you might increase your risk of osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Since VitaminD is naturally present in very few foods, many people aren’t getting enough of it on a regular basis – and here egg yolks come to the rescue yet again. If you don’t have enough time to sunbathe or sunny days are rather scarce where you live, eggs can be a convenient way to supply your organism with a decent amount of vitamin D.

Fight Off Iron Deficiency

In case you’re suffering from an iron deficiency, which is characterized by frequent headaches, fatigue, and irritability, eggs can help you a great deal. Two large eggs contain 2 milligrams of iron, and with frequent consumption, you can significantly improve your intake of iron.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Eating eggs can help you increase feelings of satiety and control hunger easily. Having eggs for breakfast will keep you full longer than most types of food, which in turn will limit your calorie intake throughout the rest of the day, resulting in greater weight loss. The protein in eggs provides a steady and sustained source of energy for your body which doesn’t cause a surge in blood sugar or insulin levels.

Healthy Brain Development

As we’ve stated before, egg yolks are rich in choline, which among other things is an important nutrient for the proper functioning of the brain, especially crucial for healthy brain development in fetuses and newborns. Studies have shown that eating more eggs during pregnancy and lactation can stimulate the brain development and function of babies. In addition, a study from the University of North Caroline found that choline can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 24 percent.

In Conclusion

Eggs have long been considered as the perfect food and as you can see, there are plenty of good reasons for that. Making eggs a staple food in your diet is not only safe – it’s actually more than beneficial for your overall health. Everyone can benefit from increasing the consumption of this super food, including bodybuilders, pregnant women, kids and older adults. And don’t just reach for the whites – the yolk is equally important. Three eggs a day can keep the doctor away!

Monday, December 5, 2016

How To Create A Better You at Fitness With A View in 2017

~ Arrive a few minutes early so you can warm up on your own and get the most out of your training time. 

~ If you have not taken advantage of getting a key card for the Eastside location we encourage you to.  Having the gym available to you will encourage achieving personal goals.  

~ A reminder about our 24 hour cancellation policy.  The earlier you let us know of any issues with your original training time will allow us to offer you a rescheduled time.  We do understand unforeseen circumstances come up… its life!

~ Even though a makeup is not usually offered if a cancellation occurs within those 24 hours we will try our best to accommodate you.   

~ Nutrition is important, that is why we network with Healthletic Meals and Wendie Schneider, The Pantry Doctor.  These are great opportunities for you to focus on convenient clean eating. 
¬ We have the overnight oats and energy bites on hand at the gym
¬ To order Healthletic Meals go to 
o Use coupon code shipfwv for free delivery to the Eastside location. Delivery is at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays & Thursdays

~ Please bring us an updated list of your medications and why they have been prescribed.

~ Recognize the importance of the homework assigned by your trainer.  Do all you can to make it happen, this comes from a sincere spot to help you achieve your goals.  

~ Appreciate your time at the gym.  Our schedules throw variables at us.  To be the best you can be at everything in your life you need to give back to yourself.  Let this time for yourself be the last thing you change on your schedule.  

~ Supplement your weekly workouts and help yourself distress during this holiday season by taking advantage of our yoga classes with Karen.  $10 / class special 
¬ Monday 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
¬ Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
¬ 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month – 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. 

~ Bootcamp is another great way to supplement your weekly fitness routine.  These are held at our downtown location
¬ Monday 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 
¬ Tuesday 12:00 p.m. – 12:30
¬ Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 12:30

~ Massages are an amazing distressor and a perfect way to give back to yourself.  Dawn, our in-house massage therapy has availability during this holiday season.  You can reach her at 864-242-3111 - (We will start placing some option times on the blog each week for Dawn's schedule, so you know available times for the week.)