Fit Tip #11

April 30, 2014
I just posted on the Get Healthy High Point FACEBOOK page (click on it) an article about perfectiioism.  perfectioniism.  pefectionism  perfectionism!  Whew!  The bad news is that it could be bad for you. 
According to Dr. Danielle Molnar, a psychologist at Brock University in Canada, perfectionism, though laudable, can cause psychological stress as well as physical harm such as irritable bowel disease (IBS), insomnia, heart disease and even death.
perfectionist-grassIt’s estimated that two-in-five display tendencies to be perfect.  Gordon Flett, a professor of psychology at York University, also in Canada, says it’s OK to want to be perfect like at your job, but when being perfect becomes an obsession in most aspects of your life, that’s when the health issues arise. 
There appears to be 3 types of perfectionism; self-oriented perfectionists who focus on their personal standards of perfection; other-oriented perfectionists who have exacting standards for those around them; and socially prescribed perfectionists who believe other people, such as your parents, bosses or colleagues, demand perfection from them.  Which type are you?
Says Flett to those perfectionists, “Lower your standards and accept the occasional failure as an essential ingredient on the road to success.”  You can read the entire article, as it gets into the stress response and more detail about each type, by going to the FACEBOOK (click on it) page.  “Like Us” while there to get notices of when I do post these informative articles about health and wellness.

Fit Tip #10

April 30, 2014
It’s been awhile since we talked about gait, your stride – how you walk/run, and I think it’s time we kicked it around again.  After all, an improper gait can result in chronic aches and pains all the way up the chain from your feet, to your knees, hips, lower back, shoulders, neck and head.  If you’ve got one of those and it’s been difficult trying to figure out where it’s coming from. . . have your gait checked. 
pronation impactThe normal stride is characterized by an outer heel foot plant and a big toe push-off.  This natural rolling-in of the foot is called pronation.  It’s common for people to over pronate, which is seen as an excessive rolling-in of the ankle.  Over pronation, as seen in the picture on the left, causes misalignment of the skeleton, which over time can cause trauma to the body.  As mentioned above, this can create discomfort from the point of contact in the foot all the way up the body. 
A second scenario, which again is common, is a lack of rolling-in of the foot, otherwise known as supination.  With supination, the individual keeps their weight on the outer part of the foot as they stride forward.  This, like over pronation, can cause issues with alignment and lead-up to discomfort.      
A quick way to determine if you’re gait is improper is to look at the wear pattern on the bottom of a pair of shoes you’ve worn for awhile.  If you note the outer heel and inner toe box worn, you’re gait is good.  If, however, you see wear only on the inside (medial) border of the shoe, you over pronate and if only on the outside (lateral) border, you supinate. 
Relatively inexpensive inserts can be purchased to place inside your shoes to balance out your gait.  Specific type of walking/running shoes can also be purchased that will add more support if you do roll-in your foot and more flexibility if you don’t.  A knowledgeable shoe salesperson can help you with which type is appropriate for you. 
We do offer a gait analysis here in the Fitness Center, which assesses your stride and offers recommendations as to what type of shoe you should buy.  There is a fee for this analysis.   

Fit Tip #9

April 30, 2014
family activeAt the American College of Cardiology’s upcoming 63rd Annual Session, it will be reported that roughly one out of three kids between the ages of 9 and 11 will have borderline or elevated cholesterol levels.  That’s unbelievable and should be unacceptable.  We’re talking children here who will be at risk for cardiovascular disease at a young age.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t recall any of the kids I went to elementary school, or for that matter middle and high school, worrying about their cholesterol levels.  It was something that happened to you when you got old.
I do feel this is directly related to the fact that kids aren’t as active these days as electronic gadgets have taken over for play and walking to school or a friend’s house is no longer a part of growing up.  As a result, and to no fault of their own, our youth are more sedentary.  Just like what used to happen to kids in the old days when they grew up, got jobs, and didn’t have as much time to play.  The consequences of an inactive lifestyle is rearing its ugly head and is doing so at a younger age.  The incidence of type II diabetes, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes, but not anymore due to the fact that a lot more kids are developing it, should be another wake-up call. 
There’s probably not a whole lot we can do about technology, it’s just going to keep moving forward, but we can be good role models to our kids by partaking in an active lifestyle ourselves.  Let your kids, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren see you active, time and time again.  It may not get them up on their feet right away, but it will have an impact.  You may even have them join you in some of those activities.  It could be a great opportunity to spend some time with each other.

Fit Tip #8

April 30, 2014

happy 2When is the last time you practiced being happy?  There are some who are better at certain “happy habits” than others.  That according to Professor Karen Pine, a Psychologist from the University of Hertfordshire.  Yeah, I had to look it up, too.  It’s in the United Kingdom, north of London. 

Giving (How often do you make an effort to help or be kind to others?) topped the list of happy habits, followed by Relating (How often do you put effort into the relationships that matter most to you?).  Self-acceptance, the habit that corresponds most closely with us being satisfied with our lives overall is often the one we practice least. 
Exercising is another happy habit that, according to Dr. Pine’s survey, often gets overlooked.  The average answer to How often do you spend at least half an hour a day being active? was just 5.9 out of 10, with 45% of respondents rating themselves 5 or less.  Where do you fall on the scale?  Pine states, “Exercise is also known to lift mood so if people want a simple, daily way to feel happier they should get into the habit of being more physically active.”
The ten keys to happier living developed by Action for Happiness based on the latest research about what really affects mental well-being:
Giving: do things for others
Relating: connect with people
Exercising: take care of your body
Appreciating: notice the world around
Trying out: keep learning new things
Direction: have goals to look forward to
Resilience: find ways to bounce back
Emotion: take a positive approach
Acceptance: be comfortable with who you are
Meaning: be part of something bigger

Fit Tip #7

April 30, 2014

A study published in the March edition of Mayo Clinic Proceedings flat out stated that poor health was linked to waist circumference. Period! Body Mass Index (BMI) did not matter. Pooling data from around the world, including over 600,000 people, they found that men with waist circumferences 43 inches or greater had a 50% higher mortality risk than men with waists less than 35 inches. For women, the risk was 80% higher for those with waist circumferences 37 inches or greater than those with waistlines 27 inches or less.

Two key waist measurefindings were:
– the elevated mortality risk with increasing waist circumferences was observed at all BMI levels, even among people who had normal BMIs, and
– the risk increased in a linear fashion such that for every 2 inches of greater circumference, mortality risk increased approximately 7% in men and 9% in women.

Dr. James Cerhan, M.D., Ph.D, a Mayo Clinic epidemiologist and lead author of the study indicated that “BMI is not a perfect measure. It doesn’t discriminate lean mass from fat mass, and it also doesn’t say anything about where your weight is located. We worry about that because extra fat in your belly has a metabolic profile that is associated with diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.”

He also stated, “The primary goal should be preventing both a high BMI and a large waist circumference. For those patients who have a large waist, trimming down even a few inches – through exercise and diet – could have important health benefits.”

Fit Tip #6

March 12, 2014

OK, this time it’s for real. Winter is now officially over. Let it be written. Let it be done!

Did you know today is National Registered Dietitian’s Day. Go and hug a Registered Dietitian.

Speaking of which, we have a great FREE workshop coming up on the 21st. It’s title is MEAL PLANNING and our very own RD, Susan Steelman, will be conducting the session. An excellent way to get into better eating this Nutrition Month. The 1-hour session starts at 12 noon and will be held here in the Fitness Center. Call 878-6221 to reserve a seat. Bring someone you love. It’s open to everyone.

Nutrition Counseling is offered at our 2 Fitness centers with Susan. Individual sessions or packages are offered. I’ve attached a flyer below.

Fit Tip
happy eatingI just posted an article on the Get Healthy High Point FACEBOOK page about how your mood influences your eating habits. Yeah, this study came out of Cornell, so you know it must be pretty credible. Ivy league and all that. Brian Wansink, a professor in Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and a co-author of the paper, “Better Moods for Better Eating: How Mood Influences Food Choice,” published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, says “People use food to either maintain a good mood or regain a good mood, and if you’re already in a good mood, you tend to eat more healthfully than if you’re in a bad mood.”

So then more than just rhyme, food and mood go together and your mood will basically impact what and how much food you’ll eat. So before seating down for that next meal, go to your happy place and get yourself into a good mood, as that will help you eat healthier.

Check out our FACEBOOK page for other informative postings.
I just posted an article on the Get Healthy High Point FACEBOOK page about how your mood influences your eating habits. Yeah, this study came out of Cornell, so you know it must be pretty credible. Ivy league and all that. Brian Wansink, a professor in Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and a co-author of the paper, “Better Moods for Better Eating: How Mood Influences Food Choice,” published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, says “People use food to either maintain a good mood or regain a good mood, and if you’re already in a good mood, you tend to eat more healthfully than if you’re in a bad mood.”

So then more than just rhyme, food and mood go together and your mood will basically impact what and how much food you’ll eat. So before seating down for that next meal, go to your happy place and get yourself into a good mood, as that will help you eat healthier.

Check out our FACEBOOK page for other informative postings.

Fit Tip #5

March 12, 2014

Just when you thought ‘ol man winter was done, zap! Well, spring is only a little more than 2 weeks away.

Speaking of spring, don’t forget about our free Nutrition Workshop on MEAL PLANNING coming up on Friday, March 21st at 12 noon here in The Fitness Center. Call 878-6221 to reserve your seat. Bring someone you love.

And since this is Nutrition Month, I just posted an article on the Get Healthy High Point FACEBOOK page about why dark chocolate is good for the heart. Click on the icon to take you there. Give us a “Like” while you’re there.

BTW, we are offering a membership promotion this entire month. We’ve dropped our enrollment fee to $17/pp in celebration of
St. Patty’s Day cause everyone’s Irish in March. The regular fee is $75. So come on in and discover your end of the rainbow.

Fit Tip
How much water do you drink during the day? Drinking sufficient amounts is vital for health. After all, we’re made up mostly of water. Plain water has no calories, but serves an important role in the way we feel and look. Drinking water prior to and/or with your meals will provide a feeling of fullness so that you don’t overeat. In a typical day, try to consume at least 8 to 10, 8-ounce glasses of water. Two to three of those should be consumed in the morning to get you started right for the day. Be careful of some flavored waters, vitamin waters, and sport and energy drinks as many of them will have some pretty high sugar level content. Plain tap water is your best bet and most economical. If you don’t currently drink enough water, give it a try and see how much better you’ll feel.

Fit Tip #4

February 26, 2014

Well it appears that obesity is not just an American problem any more. The World Health Organization (WHO) this past week announced that Europe’s teen population is at risk with about a third of them heavier than recommended. To blame? You guessed it, lack of exercise and “a culture that promotes cheap, convenient foods high in sugars, fats and salt,” stated WHO’s regional director, Zsuzsanna Jakab.

The good news here at home is that children under the age of 5 have seen a 43% decrease in obesity rates over the past 10 years according to the Centers for Disease Control. No specific reason can be found, but health experts theorize that fewer calories are being consumed, more women are breastfeeding, and campaigns such as the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” is having an impact.

Unfortunately, what we didn’t hear from that CDC report was that obesity rates for the other age groups were either unchanged or have increased. Americans in the 12 to 19 year old age group, for example, saw an increase from 17.4% to 20.5%; 40 to 59 year olds also increased from 36.8% to 39.5%; and women over 60 increased from 31.5% to 38.1%. These are not good stats.

I guess it’s good that the toddlers are catching on. Maybe taking the cookies away from the Cookie Monster is doing some good. The rest of us, though, have some serious work to do.

I posted an article today on the Get Healthy High Point Facebook page about how strawberries have been found to lower cholesterol. Check it out at and while there, Like Us. This way, you’ll receive notices when I post related articles. Feel free to add one yourself.

Also, check out the FREE workshops coming up in March by clicking on the attached Calendar of Events. One not listed is a MEAL PLANNING seminar, which will be offered on Friday, March 21st at 12 noon here in the Fitness Center by our very own Registered Dietitian, Susan Steelman. Call 878-6221 to reserve a seat or two.

Fit Tip #3

February 26, 2014

Remember a few weeks ago I wrote about how Weight Watchers is having a tough year due to wearable weight loss devices? Well they anticipate that these smart bands are suppose to grow about 350% in 2014. It’s anticipated that 8 million fitness bands will ship this year and increase to 23 million in 2015. That from the consulting firm, Canalys. Weight Watchers is thinking about jumping on the technology bandwagon and coming out with their own device. Perhaps a little too late?! BTW, Nike, Fitbit and Jawbone are among the leading makers of fitness bands, which sell for between $50 and $200. If you wait a little bit, there’s a good chance that price will come down as the bands become even smarter and lighter.

Fit Tip
We already know that eating 5 to 6 smaller meals throughout the day is a good way to manage your weight and even help with weight loss. Choosing healthier snacks plays a big part in that goal. Here are 5 such snacks according to the editors of Runner’s World magazine:

1. Bananas
Why they’re good: Bananas are chock full of good carbohydrates. They are a good source of vitamin B6 and are vital for managing protein metabolism. (Runners need more protein during and after workouts.)

When they’re good: Before, during, or after exercise. They’re great blended into a fruit smoothie. Or simply whip frozen banana chunks with milk in a blender for an awesome recovery shake.

Calories: 105 per medium-sized banana.

2. Carrots
Why they’re good: Carrots are low-calorie but filling, so they’re excellent if you’re watching your weight. They contain carotene and vitamin A, which promote eye health and strong immune function.

When they’re good: Eat them at night when you want something to munch but don’t want extra calories. Or eat them before dinner if you’re famished. This way, you won’t overindulge once you sit down for your meal.

Calories: 30 to 40 per medium-sized carrot.

3. Cereal with Skim Milk
Why it’s good: Most cereals are vitamin- and mineral-fortified, and they’re great with fresh fruit sliced on top. Cereal is a quick-to-prepare, easily digestible, and healthful way to satisfy your sweet tooth. (Even some sweetened cereals are a good low-fat alternative to cookies). Choose cereals that have 5 grams of fiber or more per serving.

When it’s good: Fine as a pre-run snack, a post-run pick-me-up, or even as a trail mix during a long, easy run.

Calories: Between 200 and 500 (per 11⁄2 ounces of cereal plus 8 ounces of skim milk).

Nutrition Tip: A good goal is to eat six meals spread over 16 waking hours–about one every 3 hours.

4. Chocolate Milk
Why it’s good: Chocolate milk is cold and helps keep you hydrated. It also provides plenty of protein, carbohydrates, and B vitamins. The calcium in milk will help keep your bones strong.

When it’s good: An ice-cold shot of chocolate milk is the perfect reward after a hot summer run.

Calories: 160 calories per 8 ounces of 1 percent milk.

5. Cottage Cheese
Why it’s good: It’s packed with protein, which runners need more of than sedentary people for muscle rebuilding and repair. It serves as a good calcium source as well.

When it’s good: Any time except just before running. Great with fruit after an intense workout or race.
Calories: 165 per 1 cup of 1 percent cottage cheese.

The entire article can be found at

Fit Tip #2

February 21, 2014

Fit Tip
I probably should be offering something related to the heart this week and on this day, but you’ve got 3 fantastic options above. So I want to comment on the World Cancer Report 2014 that just came out, which emphasized the need for prevention and highlighted lifestyle behaviors that lead to cancer including tobacco, alcohol, being overweight/obese, and the lack of exercise.

The report contains contributions from 250 scientists worldwide, many leading experts in their respective field. Overwhelmingly, cutting tobacco use was the single most powerful way to prevent practically all types of cancer. The one they are unsure of is breast cancer.

In 2010, it was estimated that alcohol-attributable cancers were responsible for over 334,000 deaths mainly in men and predominantly in the liver.

Excess body fat increases the likelihood of cancer of the esophagus, colon, pancreas, endometrium, kidney, and breast cancer in postmenopausal women. There is a dose-response meaning the more body fat, the greater the risk.

As we know, regular physical activity helps to control body fat and therefore reduces the risk of multiple cancers. A diet high in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains also appears to be protective against cancer.

The evidence marches on regarding the health benefits of managing one’s weight (body fat). It’s been the same message for some time now, which in my book solidifies the proof that regular moderate exercise and healthy food choices are necessary for the management of chronic disease. These lifestyle habits should be regarded by everyone. The reasons are obvious.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!!