NEW! Healthy Workplace Accelerator Program
Live Well @ Work's Healthy Workplace Accelerator Program is the perfect way to support your employees in achieving their wellness-based New Year's Resolutions. Follow the steps on the online platform to access free resources and develop your organization or company's personalized Healthy Workplace action plan
We are joined by Dr. Ankur Bindal of KMG Psychiatry for a quick look at how to tackle the first week’s challenge - mindfulness.
During a time when people are staying home and social distancing, maintaining — and even enhancing — our social connections remain as important as ever.
“With the technologies we have available today, we can stay home and protect against COVID-19, but still remain socially connected with people we love and care about via text, phone call, video and many other platforms,” says Leah Welch, Phd, a psychologist at Scripps Health.
Whether you’re a phone-only kind of person, or dialed in already with popular video platforms, there are many ways to stay socially connected while we shelter in place. It makes no difference whether the people you want to engage with live across the street or across the world.
7 ways to narrow divide during time of social distancing. Here are some creative things people have been doing to bridge the physical divides:
1. Virtual happy hours: You and your friends can get together after work to decompress and share stories of the day and about your experiences during these challenging times. You don’t need to do this in-person. You can do it virtually.
Choose a platform. Some of the most popular video platforms are FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts and most recently House Party. Create a meeting time, send out invites to friends or loved ones, include an agenda, if any and get started.
“Talking to each other about our experiences and observations helps to make these unusual times feel a little less strange,” Welch says.
Alcoholic drinks are optional. Make sure to drink responsibly if you go this route.
2. Stay social with online gaming: Video games today can be played across long distances. It’s no wonder online gaming is seeing a boom during the COVID-19 pandemic as people strive to stay social while practicing social distancing.
Popular games include Fortnite, Minecraft and JackBox Games, which can be played on multiple platforms. “If you don’t know how to get started setting up or playing video games, this is a perfect time to flip the tables and let a younger person be the expert,” Welch says.
The gaming industry is doing its part to help protect our safety by teaming up with the World Health Organization (WHO) in support of its #PlayApartTogether messaging campaign. The campaign uses video games to promote the importance of social distancing and other safety measures during the pandemic.
3. Try online exercise programs: Missing your workout partner? A lot of major exercise franchises have made all or part of their platforms free in response to the pandemic. Whether you do CrossFit, yoga, dance cardio or Pilates, you and your workout partner can still arrange to meet at a certain time, log in together and do your workout.
4. Virtual class reunions, family reunions: Is your annual family reunion, or high school or college reunion scheduled for this year? You don’t need to cancel any of these time-honored events. You can do it online rather than gathering in-person. You can be the host or an attendee in a virtual event.
“There are ways to convert most in-person activities into virtual gatherings and make them really fun and creative,” Welch says.
Event organizers, such as Eventbrite, have expanded their offerings to help people change their reunion from live to virtual.
5. Watch free concerts online together: Many musicians and celebrities are putting on events for their safe-at-home and essential-worker fans. Whether you like rock, R & B, alternative, country, classical, opera, or anything else, it’s out there for the finding.
You can get started by Googling keywords for your favorite genres along with “free online concert.” Well-known musicians participating include John Legend, Pink and Chris Martin of Coldplay.
For children, celebrities have been offering virtual story times, too. Jimmy Fallon, Oprah Winfrey, Rami Malek, Melissa Gilbert and Betty White are among the celebrities who have taken the time to read to our kids. You might enjoy the stories too!
6. Take virtual tours: You can still go to the zoo. You can go to many incredible museums around the world if you desire and still stay home. Many zoos and museums have made their virtual tours available for free to support the public during the pandemic. You may see footage of zoo animals encountering each other for the first time, something not usually possible during business as usual.
So, hop on your desktop, tablet or smartphone with your friend and visit a zoo or museum or take a virtual tour anywhere that you’d like to go.
“If you had a vacation that needed to be rescheduled due to the pandemic, go anyway with Google Earth,” Welch says. “Of course, it’s not the same, but you’ll still see things you haven’t seen before, guaranteed.”
7. Write letters: Is there a senior citizen in your life (or even a non-senior) who would appreciate an actual physical card or letter? Of course, there is.
Spending extra time indoors with our kids gives us a chance to teach them how to write interesting and heartfelt words on paper by hand. Many consider handwriting a forgotten art but it doesn’t have to be.
While it’s certainly sobering that cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in this country, the good news is that this is a health condition that’s largely avoidable. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is largely preventable if someone prioritizes regular exercise and a healthy diet. But “healthy diet” is so…vague. It certainly doesn’t help someone decide between having oatmeal or eggs for breakfast or whether it’s still cool to load your enchiladas up with extra cheese.Demystifying a heart-healthy diet was the focus of a lecture by cardiologist Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University, at a recent health summit hosted by The Well. In his talk, Dr. Mozaffarian highlighted which foods were protective foods (aka linked to protecting against heart disease), foods to eat in moderation, and foods to minimize (because they are being detrimental for heart health). This simple framework helps make putting together a heart-healthy diet a bit easier. Keep reading for the full details.
Protective foodsFruits, nuts, fish, veggies, plant oils (such as olive oil, avocado seed oil, and flaxseed oil), whole grains (such as quinoa, brown rice, barley, oats, millet, farro, sorghum), beans, and yogurt all form “protective” end of the food map; these are foods Dr. Mozaffarian says actively help prevent cardiovascular disease. “Many of these foods give rise to new life, planted in the ground under the harshest of conditions, they nurture a new plant life into being. The thousands of trace [polyphenols] and other nutrients in these foods, needed to nourish a new plant as it is born, are what our bodies need as we age,” Dr. Mozaffarian says, primarily referring to fruits, vegetables, and beans. Polyphenols benefit heart health because they increase protective HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) and help lower inflammation.
Dr. Mozaffarian adds that plant oils and fish both contain healthy fats, and yogurt contains active probiotics, which support gut health. To his point, nutrients in food aren’t just beneficial for one part of the body; what’s good for your heart is good for the body in other ways too, such as brain health and gut health. Healthy fats, for example, are also important for brain health. And one study showed that participants who ate more than two servings of yogurt per week were 20 percent less likely to experience heart disease or strokes, showing it’s a food that benefits the gut and the heart.
Foods to eat in moderationDairy, poultry, eggs, and unprocessed red meats all make up the middle of Dr. Mozzaffarian’s food map. In moderate amounts, these foods won’t negatively impact heart health, but if you eat too much of them, it could put unnecessary stress on your heart.
The reason why dairy is recommended in moderation is that it has more saturated fats than unsaturated fats—and saturated fats, in excess, aren’t good for heart health. The same goes for red meat, which has more saturated fat than fish or plant-based proteins, like beans. The verdict on eggs is a bit more complicated. Some studies show that eating an egg every day can actually help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. But eating more than that may be too much of a good thing—which is why Dr. Mozaffarian recommends enjoying them in moderation.
Foods to minimizeRefined grains, starches, sugars, processed meats, and high-sodium foods all make up the “harmful” red section of the heart-healthy food map. “Refined carbs and starches are rapidly digested, leading to spikes in glucose, which harms the liver, increases insulin and triglycerides, and lead to central weight gain and diabetes,” he says. “These carbs are also fully digested in the stomach and small intestine, starving the gut microbiome in the large intestine, leading to further health problems.”
As for high-sodium foods—which Dr. Mozaffarian says often include packaged foods and processed meats—they are linked to raising blood pressure, which creates scarring in the blood vessels, heart, and kidneys. “Processed meats may also have other preservatives that could increase the risk of diabetes,” he adds, a condition that is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. A good rule of thumb is to keep your sodium intake under 2,300 milligrams a day.
It bears repeating that cardiovascular disease is largely preventable. What you eat now will impact you well into the future—and as this food map shows, there’s still plenty you can keep on your plate.
Start the ‘20s With a Certified Personal Trainer at Home
If you’re one of those people who sees the start of a new year as a time to make life changes, you may be especially excited to have the chance to turn over a new leaf in a new decade. What’s on your list of New Year’s resolutions? If you’re like most people, two of the items — often the top two — are exercise more and lose weight.
If it was only that simple — to resolve to do something, and make it happen. Alas, according to numerous sources, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. Why? “Unless you first change your mind, don’t expect your health goals to materialize,” notes an article from U.S. News & World Report. “As the saying goes, it’s not the horse that draws the cart — it’s the oats. It’s not the gym, Pilates class or diet that will change you — it’s your mind.”
Psychology Today finds there are four common reasons New Year’s resolutions fail:
Those first three are beyond the scope of this blog, but let’s focus on overcoming the issue of having unclear goals.
Setting SMART Goals
The concept of SMART goals has been around since 1981. While the acronym has evolved to mean different things to different people, it most commonly is defined as follows:
SMART goals eliminate the issue of vagueness. The method helps push you to achieve your goals by giving you a sense of direction. Consider the “exercise more” resolution; that vague statement is one reason so many January-bought gym memberships or pieces of exercise equipment go unused once February rolls around. If you take the time to set SMART goals with respect to fitness, you’ll find having direction causes you to keep going and be successful. And once you reach your original goals, you simply go through the process again — maintaining your focus to the point where exercise becomes a normal part of your life you can’t do without.
Finding Your Why
While setting SMART goals in your quest to be among the 20 percent who keep New Year’s resolutions is one piece of the inspiration puzzle, it’s not the only one. Another important component is your why — something you need to keep you motivated and on track.
Your why is your source of intrinsic motivation, behavior driven by internal rewards that’s naturally satisfying to you. Once you have your SMART goals, Life by Grit suggests starting the process of finding your why by brainstorming: “List everything that comes to mind when you think of your goal. How will you feel? What will change about your life? What makes the goal appealing to you? What are the benefits of the goal?” Trim your list to the items that really resonate with you — and you have your why.
Here are a few why possibilities relating to an “exercise more” goal:
I think you get the idea, so now it’s time to move on to the how — finding and working with a personal trainer to help you reach your fitness goals in a timely and effective manner.
Working With a Personal Trainer
Regardless of how much motivation you have, there is simply no substitute to working with a personal trainer to achieve your fitness goals. A professional personal trainer will do a lot more than hold you accountable; he or she should be able to customize a nutrition plan and workout to meet your specific needs — and adjust course as needed based on regular reassessments.
How do you choose the personal trainer who’s right for you? Begin by deciding where you want to train. Are you comfortable in a gym setting or more interested in personal trainers that come to your home? Then, consider the following criteria:
A HuffPost article about choosing a certified personal trainer ends with this sage advice: “Above all else, trust your gut. Look for a knowledgeable and experienced personal trainer who feels like the most natural fit. That's the one to hire because [that person] will not only help you reach your goals, but will also keep you feeling comfortable, motivated and inspired throughout the process.”
Why Choose GYMGUYZ®?
Since 2008, GYMGUYZ has been providing in home training for people who are committed to fitness, starting on the East Coast. The first San Diego franchise has been operating since 2018, and there are many reasons to check it out, including the three Cs:
Most importantly, GYMGUYZ delivers results, because your fitness program is created to fit your abilities and help you reach your goals. We keep you motivated and accountable — plus we keep records of your workouts and progress so we can periodically reassess your fitness level.
Are you aware that people who work out with a personal trainer are 50 percent more likely to reach their fitness goals? GYMGUYZ can’t help you achieve all your New Year’s resolutions, but we can certainly address “exercise more” — and help you get fit for the ‘20s. Ready to go? Call us at 619-832-1656 to get started or book an in home consultation here.
Certified Health Coach
Did you know your body has the capacity of healing itself? Do you want to lose weight and not gain it back? Our divine and complex design is composed of trillions of regenerating cells. Our body is a self-healing organism, that’s what Well-Being is all about! In order for our bodies to renew themselves, regenerate, combat disease, and lose weight for real, the right conditions need to be present.
TOXINS IN OUR WORLD
We live in a very toxic world. We are surrounded by toxins and we are exposed to pollutants in our environment on daily basis. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the cleaning products we use and even the cosmetic products we use contain toxins.
TOXINS AND WEIGHT LOSS
Toxins prevent you from losing weight. Since most of the toxins are fat-soluble, the body stores them in the fat cells. Fat protects the vital organs, so when our toxicity levels increase, we produce more fat as a “Protective Mechanism”. This is the reason for the rebound weight-gain and yo-yo dieting.
If you want long term results and achieve a healthy weight, you have to cleanse your body and nourish it with the proper nutrition simultaneously before losing weight.
CLEANSING YOUR BODY
Cleansers have been around for a long time. There are many different programs out there and it could be confusing and overwhelming. You have to be careful in choosing one for your needs. Make sure is natural and you pick one that does not deplete you from nutrients but instead replenishes you with appropriate nutrition while cleansing.
EAT REAL FOOD VS. PROCESSED FOOD.
Get back to basics and eat more real food. Processed foods that come in containers are full of additives, chemical preservatives, endocrine disruptors, toxic metals, and other substances that are hazardous to your health.
Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and help you combat free radicals and protect your body against disease and premature aging. That is why is recommended to consume nine to thirteen servings a day and to eat color variety, like the rainbow! Each color has its own healing properties when consumed.
Buy local and organic produce that is free of pesticides and chemicals when possible. Support the locavore movement or even grow your own produce by becoming an urban farmer with an aeroponic growing system.
The key is to EAT REAL AND CLEAN FOOD!
ARE YOU READY TO DETOX?
This is the perfect time of the year to start! If you are interested in learning more about cleansing and you would like to start a detox program, contact me. I can help you get started on your journey to health and weight loss.
You can search the internet for 5 minutes and find wildly different research on the benefits or dangers of caffeine intake on the body. But, the truth of the matter is, caffeine is generally safe for most people. When used properly it can be an effective productivity booster also.
It is generally accepted that it is ok for an adult to consume 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. That is about the amount in 2 small cups of coffee.
But, that being said, some adults will experience side effects from that much caffeine and should cut back. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you should reduce your intake if you experience sleeplessness, jitters, nervousness, stomach upset or a fast heartbeat.
As a rule of thumb, use caffeine sparingly to make sure it does not interfere with your body’s natural energy levels and your ability to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. But, the bottom line is having a coffee or two can provide a good energy boost and there does not seem to be side effects for most people.
As with caffeine, you can find wildly different research on the benefits or lack thereof of drinking water. But, I can speak from personal experience with hundreds of clients that it can make a very positive difference in helping you fight your food cravings, and keeping you energized throughout the day.
When it comes to food cravings, most people do not realize that they are experiencing mild dehydration and are not actually hungry. If you tend to experience cravings for certain foods at certain times of the day, keep yourself hydrated and watch those cravings slip away.
Also, water will provide you an energy boost during the day. Feeling tired is usually one of the first signs of dehydration and having a glass or two of water will help perk you up. CITE
When it comes to how much water you should be drinking each day, it really depends on your activity level, weight and goals. As a trainer, I suggest to my clients to drink between 2-4 liters each day, so begin there and find what feels right for you.
Vitamin & Sports Drinks
Unfortunately, most vitamin drinks are just huge marketing hype machines. These companies will put words like “immune boosting” or make claims specific to one nutrient and its purported benefits. Unfortunately, most of these claims go well beyond conventional nutritional data. Any vitamin drinks that have purported health benefits written on the bottle, are probably not worth the $4 price tag. While you may not be doing any damage to your health with these drinks, make sure to pay attention to the sugar content- it can be as bad as soda.
Also, you surely have seen commercials’ that show elite pro athletes with eight pack abs guzzling sports drinks before, during and after their workouts, right? So why shouldn’t you drink them, too? Plain and simple, you don’t sweat and move enough. All the excess sugar from these drinks is going to result in body fat storage for you. These drinks are formulations of electrolytes and sugar to replenish the body after a long, strenuous workout or to give you a boost to get a first down with one minute left in the game. They are certainly not formulated to have with your salad at lunch. There is too much sugar in these sports drinks and you will sabotage your health and your workday if you drink them. So stay away from sports drinks, unless you are a competitive athlete, and even then, use them sparingly.
Many individuals find losing weight easier than keeping the weight off after a diet.
Why? Because short-term solutions don’t last. Successful weight loss involves a permanent lifestyle change.
So, let’s look at the top reasons why diets fail:
Inability to stick to the diet
Statistics show that 40% of the individuals quit within the first seven days, 20% last about a month and 20% last about 3 months. Only 20% stick to a diet for a longer period.
Not feeling good
Strict diets can cause mood swings, headaches, brain fog, physical and mental fatigue.
The lack of calories or the infrequent meals can cause hunger making it very challenging to follow the diet.
Restricting certain foods in addition to hunger will create the need to cheat to be successful and stick to the program.
Most of our eating takes place in a social context, we eat with family, friends, co-workers, etc. Dieters that turn down food are guilted to eat foods that they need to avoid.
Lack of results
Depending on our expectations, we can get frustrated with the amount of weight loss and the length of time is taking to lose weight.
If the diet is too rigid and complicated, most likely we will not stick to it.
Budget or Lifestyle
Our budget dictates the groceries we buy. If we have a busy life, we travel or do not cook at home, it will hinder the diet success.
Lack of variety and food choices will cause us to fail.
Consider making a positive Lifestyle change instead of going on a diet. Most diets will help you lose weight but cause you to lose nutrients and have harmful rebound effects.
There are a couple of steps that will help you achieve your weight goals permanently.
Determine why do you want to lose weight
Do you want to look better? Get healthier? Have a medical condition? or perhaps a combination of all of them? Whatever is your why, own it, know your motivation.
Decide to make small simple changes
Start by taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle, like adopting healthier food substitutions. Make one simple change every week, this way you will be making positive choices in your nutrition and improving your overall health one step at a time.
Incorporate a support system
Having a friend, family member or a coach to provide support and encouragement will create accountability and will guarantee success in making positive changes.
Behavioral Changes – Behavioral changes are not just dietary, you need to incorporate physical activity into your routine. The best exercise for you is the one that you will do. The best probability of sticking to an exercise routine is by doing what you enjoy, so pick a sport or physical activity that you really like.
As a Dr. Sears Wellness Institute Certified Health-Coach I promote a healthy lifestyle that is build on the four pillars of Health: Lifestyle-How we live; Exercise- How we move; Attitude- How we think and Nutrition-How we eat.
Don’t overcomplicate yourself with short-term solution diets, instead, adopt simple solutions that will guarantee long-term success, make you healthier and happier.
Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the recommendations of a medical professional.
Certified Health Coach
Building Happy Healthy Lives
The Chamber knows that healthy and happy employees are key to a productive and successful workforce. That's why we've partnered with Kaiser Permanente to bring the Get Fit 30-day Challenge to all San Diegans.
Move Your Body – Skate, dance, run, walk, hop, whatever, just move that glorious body of yours.
Sleep More – Even an extra thirty minutes can go a long way. You don’t want to end up like this guy.
Create a playlist – Music makes everything better. Use Spotify to create a playlist to fit your workout or use on of their many playlists. We’re partial to their Beast Mode playlist.
Now that you’ve got the goods, sign up for our 30-Day Get Fit Challenge starting January 8th.