Archive for the ‘motivation’ Category

A sense of fun to stay fit

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

If the stuffy gym just isn’t doing it for you anymore, and you find yourself putting off exercise because you are bored with routine or too busy during the holiday season, don’t give up just yet.

We all know the holidays can be stressful, rushed, and filled with decadent treats and overindulgence, which is why this time of year is especially important to keep on top of your fitness regime.

But how?

The weather is much cooler now, but what better time to seek out fun activities you can do with your friends?  Check out your local ice skating rink.  Grab some friends and practice your figure 8’s and Axel jumps.   Or bundle up and take a walk or a hike in a nearby park.  The cold will make you move faster while you enjoy the beautiful winter scenery.  And if you’re lucky enough to live close to a ski resort?  Well, you know what to do!

Give a gift that keeps on giving.  Why not buy a series of yoga classes for you and a friend as a special gift that is good for both of you?  The class will keep you both committed, and will allow you plenty of hang out time while attempting downward facing dog or the plank.

By being creative and adding some social components to your workout routine, you’ll be much more likely to keep up some kind of physical activity during this hectic holiday season.  And hey, even holiday shopping at the mall can count.  Just make sure to take the stairs!

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exercise your right to be healthy!

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Every little bit helps. We’ve heard that piece of sage advice our whole lives.  Whether we’re discussing saving a few dollars, or cutting out excess fats or sugars in our diet, the little changes can really add up.

So why not extend this theory to physical activity? Small efforts like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking during your lunch break, or riding your bike to the grocery store can add up to big, positive changes in your health and waistline over time.

Don’t self-sabotage.  If you can’t set aside an hour a day for the gym, a walk or bike ride, don’t blow off exercise entirely.  Try taking a power walk for 15 minutes instead.  Getting your blood pumping and enjoying being outside can only benefit you.

Got 10 minutes at home between work and dinner?  Try doing 25 sit-ups, 10 push-ups, and then either running around the block or working out with free weights for 5 additional minutes.  10 minutes of vigorous exercise is great for your heart, immune system, and will help to tone your muscles.   And as little as 10 minutes of brisk activity can keep your metabolism revved for up to an hour!

By incorporating exercise and physical activity into our daily lives, we not only stay fit, we achieve better health.  And we can all agree that being healthier is a wonderful thing!

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Less is Plenty

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

I tried something crazy last month.  At first, it was simply impetuous, but now I’ve continued to do it and have actually seen results.  I’m wearing things I had no hope of squeezing into before and feel better than I have in years.

I take my dinner plate, and I cut it in half.  Yep. That’s the secret.  I load up with all the food I think I want and then divide half of it into Tupperware to take to work the next day for lunch.  Not only does this save me roughly $50 a week in lunch costs, but I’ve also lost about 6 pounds with minimal effort.

I don’t feel deprived-I’m eating what everyone else eats for dinner.  But I’m eating less.  And I’ve discovered something fascinating.  Less is actually plenty.

I’m enjoying another unexpected result from this food experiment.  I have more energy.  I no longer experience that stuffed feeling of remorse as I push away from the dining room table, ready for a nap on the couch.  Because the better I feel and look, the less I want to gorge myself.  It’s a very simple concept.

In addition, I feel so good that I find I want to do more to enhance my health.  I am starting to actually look forward to going to the gym-albeit with trashy magazine in hand-and am dedicated to cutting down on the caffeine, alcohol and sugar in general.  My sleep patterns have improved, and frankly, so has my outlook on life.

Sound dramatic?  Maybe.  But it’s working.

Are you ready to find your catalyst for better health?  Try something unexpected and see what happens.  You may just find yourself $200 a month richer and a size or two smaller.

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To have and have not

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Do you ever find yourself unhappy, dwelling on the fact that you don’t own a Bentley or a house on Lake Como?  It’s natural to feel mildly envious of others’ good fortunes, but it’s important to keep that envy in check.

One of the secrets to happiness is to remind yourself of what you do have.  You may not jet off to Brazil every year for Carnival, but that annual camping trip you go on with friends or family is just as wonderful in its way.  And one thing we can all be thankful for is good health.

Encourage your body to be as healthy as it can be by eating well, exercising as much as possible, cutting down on stress, and allowing yourself to enjoy a little R & R when warranted.

At Solanova, we have many ways to help you ensure continued good health.  Take a look at our health concern articles, with heart health, and everything in between.  And our highly absorbable, quality vitamins and nutritional supplements will help keep your health humming.

So the next time you feel a little jealous that you don’t have that 3- karat diamond ring or house in the Hamptons, put it in perspective.  You have your friends, family and hopefully very good health to be thankful for-and therefore already possess the best things in life.  Enjoy these last weeks of summer!

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Backyard Tourist

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

While all of your jet-setting friends are traveling to the Caribbean, Rome, or another enviable destination, you may feel forlorn at having to sit at home and watch the proverbial paint dry.  But instead, perhaps this is an opportunity-an inexpensive one-to celebrate a stress-free “staycation”.

If you have some time to burn, but not a lot of money with which to burn it, take advantage of the familiar.  And no, that does not mean catching up on the laundry, dishes, garage clean-up etc.  Instead, give yourself permission to eschew everyday life stresses and indulge in vacation-like decadence.

Eat take-out from your favorite Chinese restaurant.  Read trashy magazines and watch silly movies that are fun, but not heavy.  Give your brain a break.  Hang out with friends or family, and whip up something cold and sweet in the blender.  Sit on your porch or out in your backyard.  Take a leisurely stroll through a park-not necessarily for exercise-just do it because it’s a lovely day.  Pack a picnic and take it somewhere pretty, like a local beach, pond, or lake.

Be a tourist in your own town.  Is there a museum you’ve always wanted to check out?  A bar or coffee shop you’ve always meant to try?  A deliciously touristy destination you’ve been meaning to see? (I’m talking about you Alcatraz Island, Mt. Rushmore, Brooklyn Bridge, St. Louis Arch et al)  These places aren’t any less cool just because they’re in our backyards and easily accessible.  So join the local tourist ranks and enjoy a stress-free, inexpensive “staycation”.

As they say, “When in Rome…” Do as the locals do.  Bon Voyage!

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summertime can feel like a “big” deal

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

The birds are singing and the sun is shining brightly.  So why are you feeling down again?  Is it because you can’t squeeze yourself into your bathing suit, no matter how much sun tan oil you slather on?  Or is it that your summer shorts make you feel like a stuffed sausage?

Yep. We’ve been there.

When the hot weather hits and the layers of winter clothes come off, there’s no place to hide.  It’s frustrating we can’t shrug off the extra winter pounds as easily as our heavy overcoats.

However, the great news about summertime is that it stays warmer and lighter in the evenings.  Even if you’re working like the dog days of summer, there’s still enough daylight to take a walk after work, or depending where you live, swim or even hike.

And if you live somewhere really warm, chances are your appetite may be affected.  You may crave things like cold salads for dinner, and choose to eat lighter based upon what your body tells you and not just predilections for certain foods.  You’ll undoubtedly drink more water and other liquids too, which can help fill you up and facilitate weight loss (as long as they’re not too sugary).

Keeping your immune system strong is key.  By eating as healthy as possible, getting plenty of sleep and taking quality supplements, you are providing your body with the fuel it needs to hike, bike, swim and workout.  Beware of insidious summer colds-nothing is more miserable than lying in bed on a beautiful, sunny day.  Strive to stay healthy and active and you’ll be surprised how quickly those shorts and bathing suits magically become the right size for you again.

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quick-change artist

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Ever heard that expression, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”?  I want to tweak that slightly: “the more things stay the same, the less chance they will EVER change.”

The cold, hard fact is this: If we want to change our less-than-stellar health habits, the time is now.  We all have to actually make some sort of concerted effort to do things differently in order to expect different results.

This idea is elementary, I know, but it’s amazing how many of us (myself included) don’t practice what we preach.  Here’s an example:

Last year I noticed that my favorite jeans were becoming harder and harder to button.  I blamed the dryer and the hot water I accidently washed them in one time (months before). Because I didn’t own a scale, I was in relative denial about my gradual weight gain.  I continued to eat my-ahem-nightly bowl of ice cream.  I didn’t have a lot of energy, which lead to me skipping the gym most days.  The less I exercised, the more lethargic I felt and the more I ate (to keep my energy up).  This became a classic vicious cycle.

One day I could no longer deny it and my favorite jeans were banished to the back of my closet, along with the other clothes I couldn’t squeeze into anymore.  That day was my breaking point, my “moment of clarity” if you will.  I forced myself to the gym that afternoon, and most evenings after work.  I stopped eating my beloved ice cream (except on weekends), and tried my best to get enough sleep so I didn’t need to rely on food to enhance my energy.

Everyone has their breaking point, their moment of clarity.  Find yours and then act upon it.  It may take a little while to see some results, but you absolutely will.  Changing your bad habits can ultimately change the course of your health-and life-for the better.  Good luck!

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Older, Wiser…but not larger

Monday, April 5th, 2010

omega-gel omega-3 fatty acid

As we grow older, it can become increasingly more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.  Our metabolism is slower, and we tend to lose muscle mass, if not motivation.  But recent research has shown that something as simple as taking quality vitamins and supplements can help battle obesity.

In two studies, one a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 45 obese non-consumers of supplements participating in a 15-week weight-reducing program, and the second a cross-sectional study involving consumers and non-consumers of vitamin and/or dietary supplements, results indicate that use of dietary and/or vitamin supplements may be associated with lower body weight and reduced appetite. In the cross-sectional study, male consumers of vitamins and/or minerals had lower body weight, fat mass, body mass index, and a tendency for greater resting energy expenditure, compared to men in the placebo group. The results were similar in women, although statistical significance was not reached. In the placebo-controlled study, the participants received an energy-restricted diet along with a placebo (placebo group) or multivitamin and mineral supplement (active group) for 15 weeks. Fasting and postprandial appetite ratings were significantly reduced among women in the active group, compared with the placebo group. Thus, the results of this study suggest that intake of vitamins and/or dietary supplements may play a role in weight reduction and inhibition of appetite.

If we can encourage each other to commit to healthier lifestyle choices like exercising regularly, eating properly, and taking healthy supplements, we can fight back against the hands of time and the extra pounds that can accumulate too!

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Discover a healthier you!  Try some of our powerful nutritional supplements and antioxidant vitamins for better overall health and improved weight control.

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/36960, “Multivitamin and dietary supplements, body weight and appetite: results from a cross-sectional and a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study,” Major GC, Tremblay A, et al, Br J Nutr, 2007 Nov 1; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Division of Kinesiology, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Laval University, Quebec, G1K 7P4, Canada).

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Do what you want…sometimes

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

A Healthy Life Sign

We spend the majority of our lives enduring other people telling us what to do.  Teachers, bosses, and parents have filled our lives with no-no’s, admonishments, and well-meaning advice.  But here’s a radical idea-just do what you want.  If you want a chocolate bar, have one.  If you want to take a nap, go ahead.  If you feel like skipping down the street…you get the idea.

Something occurred to me after many sweaty hours at the gym, rifling through health magazines and reading countless advice columns.  Maybe obsessively counting calories and other deprivations work for some people, but they certainly don’t work for me.  In fact, it seems to have the opposite effect.  When I tell myself I can’t have something, I want it all the more.

Such is the human condition.

So I’m trying a different approach.  If one afternoon all I can think about is eating a hamburger with fries, I actually allow myself to go and get one.  Two things are accomplished.  Once I give into my craving, I am thereby sated.   Instead of eating everything else in its place and then still wanting the burger, I just have what my body wants and in the end I am convinced that I consume fewer calories overall.  After I’ve indulged in the “treat”, I don’t feel deprived and therefore will eat healthier over the next few days (or weeks in some cases).

I am absolutely not advocating a burger-large fries-pitcher-of-beer-a-day existence.  But I think cutting ourselves some slack once in a while is mentally healthy and can go a long way.  At the very least it can help us to manage our stress.  Because deep down, we all know what the healthy choices are.

Remember, eat as healthy as possible, get plenty of exercise, and catch up on as much sleep as time permits.  It’s your healthy life.  Now go enjoy it!

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To learn more daily health tips, please read our health archives.  Some of our favorites supplements that can boost your immune system, improve sleep patterns, and can promote heart health are found on our products page.

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You are what you eat

Monday, November 9th, 2009

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Have you been feeling down lately? Moody?  Depressed?  Well don’t blame the cold weather or the flailing economy for your poor outlook on life.  In fact, the catalyst  might be closer than you think.  Try your pantry, your fridge or the nearest fast food establishment.

In a study involving data collected from 3,486 middle-aged subjects (26% women, mean age: 55.6 years), higher odds of depression (assessed via results of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies – Depression scale) was found to be associated with consumption of a “processed foods” diet (heavily loaded by sweetened desserts, fried food, processed meat, refined grains, high-fat dairy products) (OR=1.58), while consumption of a “whole foods” diet (heavily loaded by vegetables, fruit, and fish) was associated with a decreased odds of CES-Depression (OR=0.74). These results highlight the importance of diet and its impact on mood disorders, such as depression.

So trade in that doughnut for an apple or a lean turkey sandwich.  Eating a proper and balanced diet, getting regular exercise and committing to a healthy lifestyle can not only affect your waistline, but also your overall mental health.

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Read more about healthy choices in our Health Concerns section of Solanova.com.  And stay tuned for more health information and special offers from us!

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/38623, “Dietary pattern and depressive symptoms in middle age,” Akbaraly TN, Brunner EJ, et al, Br J Psychiatry, 2009; 195(5): 408-13. (Address: Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK. E-mail: tasnime.akbaraly@inserm.fr ).

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