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Health and Fitness Blog 101

Let's Get Healthy Together

Get Healthy Now and Enjoy Your Life

Posted by larends on September 28, 2014
Posted in Health and Fitness 

view from a hike.

view from a hike.

secluded beach after a hike.

secluded beach after a hike through the dunes.

Did you know that forty percent of Americans will contract diabetes in their lifetime?  Diabetes can be prevented by exercising and eating healthy.  Almost Twenty nine percent of the deaths in the U.S. are caused by heart disease.  That’s almost 1/3 of deaths.  Those deaths could be prevented by exercising and eating healthy.  These 2 statistics should be big motivators to getting in shape, but surprisingly it’s not enough to motivate many people.

It’s not easy to start exercising when you’ve never exercised before or it’s been a long time.  I get it.  I went 2 weeks without exercising and it was hard to get back into it.  It’s so easy to stop exercising, but after 2 weeks without it, I could tell a difference in how I felt.  I would be out of breath after walking up the stairs.  It’s hard and time consuming to exercise, but it will make your life easier in the long run.  It’s better to work hard now when you are in control than to let your health go and suffer the consequences later.

Sometimes people are intimidated by the word exercise.  You can ease into it by doing something fun that doesn’t feel like exercise.  I played tennis with my son, the other day.  We had so much fun it didn’t even feel like exercise, but I was tired out later that day, so I knew it was beneficial.  The next day we went to play again and I had more energy than the time before.  Each time we play it gets easier.

When we went to Frankfort, Michigan this summer for vacation we enjoyed hiking in the woods, riding bikes and walking on the dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes (one of the most beautiful places in America).  It brought back a lot of memories from when I was a kid.  I used to love walking in the woods out behind our house.  I remember riding bikes into town and all around the neighborhood.  I also loved going to the beach.  We had so much fun in Frankfort and the activities were great exercise.  You can start out doing things that are fun, that don’t feel like exercise.  Just get moving and gradually do more and exercise and activities will start getting easier.

I talked to a lady in the grocery store that was 86 and her husband was 87.  We somehow started talking about eating healthy and she said that if men don’t take care of themselves, the wife usually has to take care of them when they are older.

She committed to eating healthy years before and that’s how she still looked good at 86.  The average life expectancy in the United States is 78.7 years old, so this woman and her husband both exceeded this by eating healthy.

Of course there are cases where someone lives longer even though they didn’t eat healthy and exercise, but what is their quality of life like?  Can they still get around on their own without pain?  Try to visualize what your life will be like when you are 60 or 70.  Will you be active or will you be stuck at home because you have too much pain in your knees or back.  Will your heart be strong or will you be limited to short activities because you have shortness of breath, fatigue or dizziness from a weakened heart?  You have the choice now to determine how you will feel when you are older.  I hope you choose health.


Be Kind. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

Posted by larends on September 18, 2014
Posted in Health and Fitness 

personOnBeachBenchThis well known quote is over 100 years old, but still resonates today.  Not everyone posts everything that happens in their life on Facebook.  A lot of people like to keep their life private.  Many people that have bad things happening in their life don’t want anyone to know.  They keep it inside and smile on the outside, so no one will know what they are going through.

Life can be difficult and everyone has things they have to deal with at some point.  That person you see every day could be worried about health issues, suffering from depression, dealing with abuse, struggling financially, coping with family issues, going through a divorce, mourning a loved one that is ill or passed away, or enduring pain.  These are major life issues, but people you know could also be dealing with other stressful things that can make it seem like their world is falling apart.

Most people that are dealing with life’s problems continue to go to work, go to school or carry on with life as usual.  They try to hide their problems because they don’t want anyone to know what they are going through.  Many people put a smile on their face and go about their daily business even though they are falling apart inside.

We often don’t realize when others are going through difficult times.  If you’ve heard the news lately, you may have heard about Ray Rice, the professional football player who hit his fiancé and knocked her unconscious.  No one knew about it until much later when someone found it on a video surveillance camera.  His fiancé didn’t want anyone to know about it.  I once worked with someone that was abused by her husband.  No one knew there was a problem and she came to work every day and seemed happy until one day she broke down and decided it was time to leave him.

Think about a time that you were going through a difficult period.  When you felt like your emotions were in turmoil and it was difficult to do any normal activities without falling apart.  When we are feeling like this, we are less tolerant and less patient with other people.  The slightest provocation can push us over the edge.    Life is hard enough without people adding to our pain. We need to remember to be kind and considerate of others.  You never know what struggles they are going through.

Why Protein is Important

Posted by larends on September 7, 2014
Posted in Health and Fitness 

chicken+saladProtein is an important nutrient that helps control weight, curbs hunger, helps you feel full longer, and boosts your metabolism.  Protein is also important to build and repair muscle, build strong bones, build tissue, maintain energy level, support the immune system and stabilize blood sugar.  Experts recommend that we get 10% -35% of our calories from protein.

Getting enough protein is a key factor when trying to build stronger muscles.  In order to build muscle you must do exercises such as weight lifting, squats, lunges, and changing your exercises to put fatigue on your muscles.  These exercises break down or damage our muscle fibers, which is necessary to building stronger muscles.  This is why we feel sore or feel a burn when we work our muscles.  After we work out, the process of rebuilding the muscle fibers begins and this causes our muscles to grow and become stronger.  In order to rebuild and repair itself, the muscle requires protein, vitamin D, water and plenty of rest.  It’s important to get these nutrients and rest soon after your workout to start the process of rebuilding.  It will also help alleviate the soreness faster.

Some of the best foods that provide protein include:

  • Meat (red meat, poultry)
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Beans
  • Low fat dairy

Here are a couple of my favorite recipes that provide great protein and are delicious:

Almond Encrusted Salmon
Soak the salmon filet in a pan of milk for an hour or two.  Spray 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.  Spray salmon lightly with butter or margarine.  Shake garlic powder lightly over salmon.  Crush almonds and a few crackers together and sprinkle over salmon.  You can use any kind of nuts in place of the almonds.  I had macadamia nut encrusted salmon in Hawaii and that’s where I came up with the recipe.  Broil in oven for about 15-20 minutes.  This tastes really good.

Chicken Salad for Sandwiches
Cook chicken breast and cut into small pieces.  Add Marzetti Poppy Seed dressing (enough to coat chicken).  Add some cut up onion, cut up celery, salt, pepper, sliced almonds, and cut up red seedless grapes (you can do as much or as little of these ingredients as you like).  You don’t need much salt or pepper.  I love this chicken salad.

These are great recipes that provide the protein that is vital to your health.  Enjoy and healthy eating.