Some brief thoughts on “wellness”

It used to be that “if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything at all.”  Now that we find ourselves tethered to our smartphones at all hours of the day/night, spending our lives at our desks or in the car chauffeuring our children to various after-school activities, “health” appears to be the furthest thought from our mind.  Our lives are about speed and expeditiousness.  We need to learn to slow down and take a little “me” time. So, a few thoughts on best practices to help you begin to think about “wellness”.  “Wellness” is a neutral term.  It’s more of a concept of finding good health and fitness in an environment that reduces stresses found in everyday life.  It’s an internal dialogue you have with yourself to determine how well you feel.  There is no “one” answer to “what is wellness?”  Exercise a few days a week for at least 30 minutes to get your heart rate up.  When you get sick, you will recover better.  This is regardless of your weight.  Eat a diet high in good fats (nuts/fish), fiber, and whole foods (not processed).  You will feel better, have more energy, which will inspire you to move more.  Don’t dwell on items that bother you.  Schedule time in your schedule to deal with them and walk away from your troubles when that time is up.  Don’t allow those stresses to work themselves into your entire life.  Enjoy your life!  When you want to make changes, and they’re many in number or large in scope, break them down to small goals.  Take pride in reaching those small goals, as this will help inspire you to keep going.  Challenge yourself to eat more!  Change what “eating more” means from volume of food to types of food.  Eat more fruit.  Eat more greens.  Eat more new foods.  Be mindful of what you’re eating and challenge yourself to make small changes each week.  Drink water!  Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning.  Your body needs it to function correctly.  Drink water throughout your day.  And drink water during your exercise routine.  Basically, drink water and avoid those sugary drinks! Greg Georgis is the Owner/Founder of FitMe Wellness, a health club offering a holistic approach to health, fitness and wellness. In addition to state-of-the art fitness equipment, group classes and private training, FitMe Wellness provides a variety of nutritional and wellness counseling opportunities to its members so they have the tools they need to reach long-term health...

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6 Tips for Better Wellness

1) Get Started.  The single most important part of wellness is simply getting started.  Everything else will follow.  The self satisfaction that comes from just getting going will motivate you to keep going.  You’ll feel better about yourself, your appearance, and most importantly, how you feel.  Build from this starting point.  Stop saying “I’m going to start tomorrow.”  Or “I’m going to start Monday.”  Stop it.  Start moving more and eating better today! 2) Get Moving.  Humans are made to move.  Think about our hunter and gatherer ancestors.  But for the last several decades, we’ve been spending more and more time seated for long periods of time at work and sedentary while at home.  We must make movement a daily priority.  Select activities that help you achieve higher levels of fitness and that keep you motivated to keep doing it.  You must commit to making purposeful exercise like incline walking, running, strength training, and interval training at least 2 hours per week. 3) Relax.  Our lives are ever more complicated and busy.  But we need to pull ourselves away from that and clear our minds.  Meditation and Yoga are wonderful activities that help calm the mind, body, and spirit.  Also, sleep is often overlooked when we discuss health and wellness, but a good nights sleep is often the best medicine. 4) Prevent.  The adage of “The best offense is a good defense” is certainly true in regards to wellness.  Simply moving more and eating better is a key element of this.  People should remain within roughly 10lbs of their weight from their early 20’s (assuming you were at a healthy weight at this age).  As you age, if you keep your weight within this 8-10lb range, your risk of Type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and a multitude of other ailments can be mitigated dramatically.  The idea of eating better is that the quality of the diet is often as important as the caloric intake.  A recent study showed that monkeys that were on a 5% calorie restrictive diet, but fed fresh food made from fresh vegetables and lean proteins, experienced the same beneficial effects as monkeys that were on a 30% calorie restricted diet made up of processed foods. 5) Eat Real Food.  Diets that emphasize fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains provides the best nutritional and health balance.  Controlling the amount of animal fats and restricting processed foods from your diet is key to maintaining a healthy weight, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, and having increased energy to pursue more vigorous exercise, will put you on a virtuous circle of better health and wellness. 6) Be a Role Model.  Be an example for others to follow.  By trying to pursue better health and wellness, you become a role model for your children and grandchildren.  Your friends and family will notice the changes in be inspired to join you in your journey. Greg Georgis is the Owner/Founder of FitMe Wellness, a health club offering a holistic approach to health, fitness and wellness. In addition to state-of-the art fitness equipment, group classes and private training, FitMe Wellness provides a variety of nutritional and wellness counseling opportunities to its members so they have the tools they need to reach long-term health...

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Cheese – A Health Food?

Is it my imagination or is cheese consumption on the rise?  Cheese seems to be in about everything we eat from appetizers to vegetables. No, it’s not my imagination.  Americans are consuming an average 33 pounds of cheese a year – three times more than in 1970. But that’s good, isn’t it? Cheese a healthy food – right? Let’s take a closer look. Yes, cheese is a good source of calcium and protein. Cheese is also a good source of fat, sodium, and cholesterol. On average, a one ounce of cheese (2 cubes or one slice) is about 120 calories and 70% fat, with nearly two thirds of the fat being the artery-clogging saturated fat. It has more sodium than a one ounce size bag of potato chips found in vending machines, and more cholesterol ounce for ounce than a baked chicken breast.  According to the Physicians Center for Responsible Medicine, cheese is the #1 source of saturated fat in the American diet. Are we eating more cheese? Yes.  Is it a healthy food? No.  The amount of fat, sodium, and cholesterol found in cheese is far worse than the amount of calcium and protein cheese provides.  Better sources of calcium and protein include cooked spinach, broccoli, collards, beans, sesame seeds, fortified soy milk, lentils, vegetables, and beans. An additional benefit of these foods is they contain nutrients that will help our body fight disease. Next time make a choice that will keep the arteries open and the blood pressure within normal range. Take a pass on the cheese and instead, add an extra helping of vegetables.  ...

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