Stress And Diet!


Think of all the things you do in a day.  Perhaps feeling tired, irritable, or nauseous can be stress related.  Too much stress without some relief can cause some serious health issues for you now and later in life.  Heart disease and high blood pressure can be a result of being stressed-out.  In you already have been diagnosed with diabetes, stress can worsen it.  Those headaches that you may often get, can be related to stressful situations. How about that depression and/or anxiety you sometimes or often times feel?  Don’t be surprised that chronic stress is also related to more frequent episodes of depression and anxiety.  

I mentioned nausea earlier.  Stress can make ulcers worse, cause heartburn, and even irritable bowel syndrome.  Other culprits of too much stress in your life worsen asthma and Alzheimer’s, interrupt sleep, accelerate aging and even cause premature death.  

So, now that you have realized that you have some of these symptoms, what do you do about it?  Here are some ways you can fight back.  Try breathing deeply, as just a few minutes can calm you.  You don’t need any special equipment or location for this.  You can do this while at work, while driving, cooking, or anytime you start to feel stress taking over.  

Focus on the present.  Don’t get too anxious about what you are going to next or feel guilty about something you may have forgotten to do.  Take some “me” time and perhaps a walk, a stretch, or healthy snack break will bring your focus away from stressful things occurring.

I have found that when I am in traffic, I try use the time as an opportunity to catch up on the news, listen to some soothing music, or listen to an audio book.  It takes my mind off of the traffic and really does lessen the stress.  

Once you begin making some of these changes in your life, look ahead to some bigger changes that can become a new way of life for you.  Start a regular exercise routine, as studies show that this can elevate your moods and give you more energy.  Learn some techniques such as yoga or meditation which will relax you. Not only will you will your mood improve, but the long-term health benefits can be quite significant.



Strength Training Benefits

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are over and the New Year is often a time where we can sort of hit “reset” on ourselves and commit to new goals. The days may feel colder and darker, and perhaps, your clothing may feel a little more snug.

Like many people, if you are committing to increasing your physical activity this year, congratulations! Daily physical activity can be very important in maintaining, managing, and losing weight. Often times when we exercise or increase our physical activity we focus on activities like walking, jogging, using a treadmill, or use other cardio-type machines. We focus on those activities that are only aerobic. But did you know that research tells us that people tend to lose and maintain more weight when they combine aerobic activities with strength activities?

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When we engage in both activities, we burn more calories than when we focus on just one activity instead. The combined activities help us burn calories (lose fat) and build muscle. As a result we tend to feel stronger and leaner, and our clothing may feel a little more snug because of our big muscles! No, I joke with you. Unless you are doing strength activities with heavy, heavy weights, you will not “bulk up.” Instead, strength training activities will help you to tone your body.

To read more about the benefits of strength training and to watch short, easy to follow how-to videos, checkout .



Making Strength Training “For You”

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As I’ve gotten older, physical activity has become an important part of my daily routine. Over the last five years I have been able to incorporate a consistent routine of aerobic activities into my weekly schedule. However, I’ve often neglected an important component: strength training.

When I think of the phrase “strength training”, my mind goes to images of 1980s’ Arnold Schwarzenegger workout videos. I see big-muscled men and women in spandex uniforms lifting heavy weights in a gym with terrible music playing in the background. Now this may not be an image that comes to your mind. But for me, I see this image and think, “that’s not for me”.

I know strength training is important. Research suggests that it can be very powerful in reducing the signs and symptoms of numerous diseases and chronic conditions, among them: arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, back pain, and depression (

So, over the last few months I have been working to change that image of, “that’s not for me”.  As I’ve seen, strength training doesn’t need to be big, heavy weights in a gym. You don’t even need spandex! But you should have a goal or a set of goals to help you stay motivated and a plan for how you will follow through. Here is a worksheet that you might find useful: Also, be sure to check with your physician before you get started.

I’ve started slowly with my strength training routine by adding simple strength-building activities following my aerobic activity at least twice a week. I have a space in my home where I lay out a mat, a few free weights, and play my own music. I follow a routine I found on a free app for my phone. Most of the activities I do don’t require extra equipment. I use my body weight as resistance, and it can be quite challenging!

For ideas of what you might do, you can find strength training activities all over the internet and “how-to” videos too. One list I like is: .

For added resistance, you can use a resistance band as shown here:

One thing to remember is that strength training is for you. It’s an important piece to your overall health. When you see activities that are “not for you”, seek out the ones that are or can be for you. Spandex is optional.

For more information about strength training: