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Keeping a Fitness Journal Can Help You Get Truly Fit

Taking two minutes a day to update a fitness journal will help you perform better.
For many people getting fit and staying fit can feel like an impossible task. But a fitness journal will help keep you on track and make sure you see progress. While this may not be the most glamorous subject, it’s important to keep a record of what you’re doing and how you feel about it, because you’ll be amazed to look back six months later and see how much you’ve improved.
Keep reading and I will share a few common fitness roadblocks and help you to overcome them through a process of self-discovery. I firmly believe that keeping a fitness journal will help you on your quest to become fitter and healthier.
Did you know that fitness plans can yo-yo just like a diet? People often tell me how they start a fitness plan with great enthusiasm only for it to tail off, or they approach fitness in fits and starts and then end up feeling frustrated. I hate to hear about people sabotaging their health and fitness levels and advocate a slow and steady approach to exercise. Please try keeping a fitness journal for six weeks. I have high hopes that it won’t just keep you on track, it will also help you become more active and even happier.
Why athletes keep a fitness journal
When I was competing as an athlete, I kept a detailed fitness journal. My coach required all athletes on our team to keep a training journal, and he would review ours with us once a month. There are some coaches who review their athlete’s fitness journal on a consistent basis like my coach, and other coaches who only request it when there is a problem, such as injury or poor performance.
The four key reasons competitive athletes keep a fitness journal are:
• To help them stay accountable to their training regimen.
• To assist coaches and trainers with injury prevention.
• To monitor progress.
• To help the athlete and their coach reflect and research factors that are contributing to success or failure.
Fitness journals aren’t just for athletes
If you’re saying, “I’m not an athlete so this doesn’t apply to me,” don’t worry. I’m no longer a competitive athlete, but I still use a fitness journal to keep my fitness and nutrition goals on track. I’ll show you how you can simplify an athletic journal to suit your needs, regardless of your current fitness level. I believe that keeping a fitness/activity journal can help people with any of these goals.
• Getting fit
• Staying fit
• Losing weight
• Prioritizing fitness
Why a fitness journal will work for you
A fitness journal can help everyone. But if you’re not yet convinced, here are my top two reasons why an activity diary will improve your approach to fitness:
1.A fitness journal will help you be honest with yourself on a daily basis and understand why you are reaching, or not reaching, your goals. This will help you continue to push yourself and make progress, whatever your fitness level.
2.A fitness journal will help you keep moving forward. If life or injury gets in the way of your exercise plan, then a fitness journal will help you easily retrace your steps and get back on track.,
If you’re wondering how you’re going to find the time to keep a journal when you can barely even find the time to workout—relax. I don’t need an essay. Just jot down these five things every day:
• Day and date. You can use a snazzy app, a diary, a desk calendar or add a note in your Outlook calendar.
• Feelings. Always do this at the end of the day. A simple happy, sad, or indifferent will do (you could even use smiley faces!), or if you wish to elaborate you can. In this section, add any special notes or major events.
• Activity. List the time, duration, type and intensity of the activity.
• Body assessment. Do you feel any pain or excessive tiredness? Did a particular exercise feel uncomfortable, or do you feel amazing?
• Nutrition. Did you eat well? Put down a number from 1-10, with one being terrible and ten meaning you were perfectly on target.
So, you’re keeping a fitness journal – what next?
After keeping a journal for at least six weeks you get to play the role of detective. It can be fun to look through and evaluate patterns in your behavior. With a fitness journal it’s simple to detect problem areas or successes at a glance. Let me share some common fitness roadblocks and patterns that people discover when keeping a journal.
Exercise patterns. Try to find a pattern of which days are your most successful activity days. Many people discover that Monday workouts are essential. If you look at your journal and see that weeks that start out with a Monday workout consist of more total workouts for the week, then you should try to always make time for a workout on the first day of the week.
Decline in activity. If you notice that your activity level declines as the week progresses, then it is important for you to discover why. Is it because you are sore, tired or just busy? Your fitness journal notes will help you to create a plan to stay consistent.
Distractions. Life can be hectic and full of surprises, but do you notice that a certain family member or friend is disrupting your workout plan? If this is the case, you need to ask them for support or invite them join you.
Emotions. Certain types of exercise can affect your emotions. Maybe you’ll notice that each time you do a particular type of workout you end up feeling uplifted for the rest of the day. Now that you know, you can try to fit in a quick blast of your favorite exercise style to turn your day around if you are low or lacking motivation. Alternatively, if you see that on gym days your mood is not so positive, you could try skipping the gym and adding a workout outside or at home instead. Finding what works best for you is the key to prolonged success.
Your fitness journal is all about you
Your individual success is based on you, and once you begin to keep a regular and honest account of your fitness you’ll ensure yo-yo activity levels are a thing of the past. I believe that my role as a fitness professional is to help people take control of their fitness, and keeping a fitness journal will help you discover how to work with your personality and time commitments to be more successful.

Posted on

Heart Health: 5 Ways Healthy Living Impacts Your Heart

Eat well. Exercise. Get enough omega-3s. Chances are, you’ve heard tips on making heart-healthy choices before. But how do your good decisions affect heart function? Read on to discover how common advice has an extraordinary impact on heart health.
Dr. Louis Ignarro, a research pharmacologist andNobel Laureate*in medicine for my research intoNitric Oxide.
He has spent the last decade focusing on educating others about the impact of nutrition and lifestyle on the heart, and you know what he found?
Many people don’t understand how their good decisions affect heart healthand overall bodily wellness. And for good decisions to have staying power, it’s important to understand the impact they’re having.
When you lose weight, you can see the difference. But the results of a healthier heart are more difficult to measure.
Let’s take a look at five healthy choices and how they impact your heart.
Heart healthy choice: Exercise
Impacts: Blood flow
We all know activities like running, cycling, and swimmingare good for you, but why are they heart-healthy choices?
Along with improving overall bodily health, exercise helps blood vessels relax and widen, or dilate. Relaxed blood vessels allow blood to flow efficiently and nourish the heart, which it stimulates Nitric Oxide (NO)production in the body.
Since Nitric Oxidecontrols, regulates, and protects the cardiovascular system,the result is clear: more exercise equals more Nitric Oxide, which results in a healthier heart.
Heart healthy choice: Eating a balanced diet – especially omega-3s
Impacts: Cholesterol and overall health
A healthy diet is as good for your heart as it is for your taste buds.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains give your body the energy and nutrients it needs to maintain overall health.
Foods like fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, and tuna), flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and soybeans are jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and consumption of EPA (eicosapantaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Not only is fish a great substitute for foods like beef, which is high in saturated fats, but the omega-3shelp to support a healthy cardiovascular systemby maintaining cholesterol and triglyceride levels already within the normal range.

Heart healthy choice: Lowering stress
Impacts: Blood pressure and cholesterol levels
If you think activities like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing aren’t for you, think again.
Doing stress-relieving activities can do more for your body than you might think. A recent study found that chronic stress is linked to coronary heart disease and that stress management is an important part of heart health.
While there are a lot of theories on how lowering stress can help keep the heart healthy, many researchers believe that increased stress levels can worsen other states in the body.
For example, if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, stress can cause these levels to rise even further.
Stress may also impact the way blood clots, which may increase the risk of a heart attack. People with lower stress levels may be more likely to exercise and eat well, both of which are important for a healthy heart.
So, lowering stress not only helps you feel better, it also keeps your body balanced and supports healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Heart healthy choice: Losing weight
Impacts: Blood circulation and overall heart health
Did you know that even moderate weight loss can have a huge impact on the health of your heart?
A healthy weight lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes—not to mention positively impacts overall physical health. But how does it do this?
While there are lots of benefits of weight loss, it especially impacts blood circulation.
One study found that when body weight—especially belly fat—is within healthy range, arteries are better able to expand, which results in better blood flow. And since optimal blood flow is one of the keys to a healthy cardiovascular system, weight loss (or maintenance, if you’re at a healthy weight), can be one of the most important steps toward supporting a healthy heart.

Heart healthy choice: Supporting the endothelium
Impacts: Nitric Oxide production, blood flow, and blood pressure
Many people are taking steps to support the endothelium but don’t even realize it.
In fact, you may have never even heard of this important organ before.
Our bodies contain 6 trillion endothelial cells, which line 60,000 miles of blood vessels in a single layer; together, those 6 trillion cells make up an organ known as the endothelium.
As I found in my research,Nitric Oxideis one of the most important molecules in the cardiovascular system. Increased Nitric Oxideresults in increased blood flow to the organs, which supports healthy blood pressure and a healthy cardiovascular system. But for all this to happen, the“production house”of Nitric Oxide– the endothelium – needs to be supported.
Doing the things, we’ve already discussed – exercising, eating a healthy diet, lowering stress, and losing weight – all contribute to endothelial health.
Supplementing with targeted nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, CoQ10, krill, garlic, and green tea also help keep your endothelium healthy by providing the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
And a healthy endothelium results in healthy Nitric Oxide levels, which impacts blood flow and blood pressure – not to mention the functioning of the entire body.
Keep Up the Heart-Smart Lifestyle
You can’t always see the results of your hard work, but now you know the impact your heart-smart decisions are having on your cardiovascular system.
So, keep making healthy choices, and remember that each good decision you make does take you one step closer to a healthier heart.
Written by Louis Ignarro, Ph.D.

Posted on

Nutrition for Skin Health

A healthy diet is essential to the health of your body, but it’s also essential to the health of your skin.
A variety of nutrients, including protein, antioxidants, vitamins and collagen can help improve the way your skin looks. Healthy skin is easily recognizable because it’s usually glowing.
Here are 3 nutrients to consume for healthy, glowing skin:
Eat Protein
A diet low in protein, over the course of many months, can cause a loss in skin tone. Your skin may start to sag and wrinkle beyond what would be reasonable for chronological age. Proteins are essential for tissue repair and the construction of new tissue. Cells need protein to maintain their life, so the body uses protein to “replace” worn-out or dead skin cells. Including proteins in your diet from sources like chicken, meat, fish, soy or tofu will help you solve that concern. Meal replacement protein shakes are also great options for protein consumption.
Importance of Antioxidants and Vitamins
While protein is essential to achieving healthy skin, antioxidants A, C and E are also crucial. Deficiencies in any of these nutrients can affect the health of your skin. The skin easily shows the effects of oxidative damage, and antioxidants have been shown to be potent in protecting the skin from oxidative damage. Make sure your diet includes fruits like blueberries, strawberries and apples, and vegetables like broccoli, spinach and kale. Additionally, a multivitamin is an excellent way of ensuring that you are providing your skin with what it needs to look healthy.
Collagen Consumption
The human body’s collagen accounts for 25% to 30% of its total protein, of which about 75% is skin collagen. Collagen is located primarily in the connective tissue, and it’s responsible for giving the dermis its firm structure. Look for products with hydrolyzed Verisol®collagen. Verisol® collagen works from the inside out to support the structure of the skin.* Verisol® collagen supports skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles. For added benefits, there are products in the marketplace that also contain antioxidants and minerals to support healthy nails and hair.* During the aging process, which starts in your mid-20s, the skin suffers from a progressive loss of moisture and becomes increasingly dry. When this happens, the dermis becomes thinner; the connective tissue loses its firmness and elasticity, and wrinkles and sagging start to occur.
A healthy diet can support healthy skin. It’s the best way of looking and feeling great. When you nourish your body from the inside out, with the proper food and nutrients, your body will thank you with youthful and radiant skin!

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7 Easy Tips to Look Your Best at Work

You spend so much time working. Isn’t it worth the effort to look your best? Looking and feeling great will boost your confidence and perhaps your productivity, too.
Today, it’s pretty easy to point out a lawyer, banker, barista or digital artist based on how they’re dressed. Some co-workers are focused on being on trend and up with the latest fashion, while others are less concerned with their look. No matter where you fall in this spectrum, it’s important to at least think about how you want to showcase your personal brand in the office. Here are seven ways to help you look your best at work.
Have a good skincare routine
Office lighting can be draining to skin tones and accentuate dark circles. If that’s the case where you work, then simply accept it. At the very least, you know everyone in your office is in the same boat.
What can really help is creating a good skincare regimen to develop flawless, healthy-looking skin. Remember to cleanse your face morning and night, and invest in a quality face mask for midweek use to keep your skin looking fresh.
Take a break
It’s likely you won’t look your best at work if you spend all day trapped indoors. Follow the golden skincare rule of wearing sunblock, and try to get outside for a short break. And, no, popping out for a cigarette does not count. A walk around the block can make a world of difference to your skin.
Get up and move
If you have no time to take a break, then fitness expert Samantha Clayton recommends stepping away from your email and walking over to a colleague’s desk instead. She encourages the movement, and I encourage the face-to-face interaction.
That’s not all: Talking, laughing and gesturing will make you seem more approachable among your colleagues and stop you from blending in with the scenery.
Look away from the computer
Staring at a computer monitor for hours does not help us look our best at the office. Do yourself a favor, regularly look away from your monitor and you’ll benefit your eyes and your work.
Take care of your hands
I cannot stress enough the importance of moisturizing. Keep some hand moisturizer at your desk and remember to use it.
If you don’t like the feel of greasy hands, then try this technique: squirt a little moisturizer onto the back of one hand and use the back of your other hand to rub in the hand cream. With this method, you’ll avoid getting moisturizer across your keyboard, mouse and phone.
Stay hydrated
Check your office policy and see if you’re allowed to use a mini humidifier. A humidifier will help combat dry air, which is a common side effect of constant air conditioning. If bringing in electrical appliances is a no-no, take a low-tech approach and remember to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated from the inside out.
Dress right
Whether you have a specific office dress code or you can relax with a more casual look, make sure you’re always comfortable. If you have straps digging in or if you can’t walk in those shoes, then choose another outfit. No matter how good an outfit looks when you first put it on, you won’t look your best at work if
you’re distracted and uncomfortable all day.
Ditch anything that’s worn out. This one can be hard if you love a certain item, but wearing something that’s frayed or has seen better days isn’t going to help you make a great impression. You don’t need to break the bank to look your best at work, but keep your clothes clean, ironed and neat.

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Keeping a Fitness Journal Can Help You Get Truly Fit

Taking two minutes a day to update a fitness journal will help you perform better.
For many people getting fit and staying fit can feel like an impossible task. But a fitness journal will help keep you on track and make sure you see progress. While this may not be the most glamorous subject, it’s important to keep a record of what you’re doing and how you feel about it, because you’ll be amazed to look back six months later and see how much you’ve improved.
Keep reading and I will share a few common fitness roadblocks and help you to overcome them through a process of self-discovery. I firmly believe that keeping a fitness journal will help you on your quest to become fitter and healthier.
Did you know that fitness plans can yo-yo just like a diet? People often tell me how they start a fitness plan with great enthusiasm only for it to tail off, or they approach fitness in fits and starts and then end up feeling frustrated. I hate to hear about people sabotaging their health and fitness levels and advocate a slow and steady approach to exercise. Please try keeping a fitness journal for six weeks. I have high hopes that it won’t just keep you on track, it will also help you become more active and even happier.
Why athletes keep a fitness journal
When I was competing as an athlete, I kept a detailed fitness journal. My coach required all athletes on our team to keep a training journal, and he would review ours with us once a month. There are some coaches who review their athlete’s fitness journal on a consistent basis like my coach, and other coaches who only request it when there is a problem, such as injury or poor performance.
The four key reasons competitive athletes keep a fitness journal are:
• To help them stay accountable to their training regimen.
• To assist coaches and trainers with injury prevention.
• To monitor progress.
• To help the athlete and their coach reflect and research factors that are contributing to success or failure.
Fitness journals aren’t just for athletes
If you’re saying, “I’m not an athlete so this doesn’t apply to me,” don’t worry. I’m no longer a competitive athlete, but I still use a fitness journal to keep my fitness and nutrition goals on track. I’ll show you how you can simplify an athletic journal to suit your needs, regardless of your current fitness level. I believe that keeping a fitness/activity journal can help people with any of these goals.
• Getting fit
• Staying fit
• Losing weight
• Prioritizing fitness
Why a fitness journal will work for you
A fitness journal can help everyone. But if you’re not yet convinced, here are my top two reasons why an activity diary will improve your approach to fitness:
1. A fitness journal will help you be honest with yourself on a daily basis and understand why you are reaching, or not reaching, your goals. This will help you continue to push yourself and make progress, whatever your fitness level.
2. A fitness journal will help you keep moving forward. If life or injury gets in the way of your exercise plan, then a fitness journal will help you easily retrace your steps and get back on track.,
If you’re wondering how you’re going to find the time to keep a journal when you can barely even find the time to workout—relax. I don’t need an essay. Just jot down these five things every day:
• Day and date. You can use a snazzy app, a diary, a desk calendar or add a note in your Outlook calendar.
• Feelings. Always do this at the end of the day. A simple happy, sad, or indifferent will do (you could even use smiley faces!), or if you wish to elaborate you can. In this section, add any special notes or major events.
• Activity. List the time, duration, type and intensity of the activity.
• Body assessment. Do you feel any pain or excessive tiredness? Did a particular exercise feel uncomfortable, or do you feel amazing?
• Nutrition. Did you eat well? Put down a number from 1-10, with one being terrible and ten meaning you were perfectly on target.
So, you’re keeping a fitness journal – what next?
After keeping a journal for at least six weeks you get to play the role of detective. It can be fun to look through and evaluate patterns in your behavior. With a fitness journal it’s simple to detect problem areas or successes at a glance. Let me share some common fitness roadblocks and patterns that people discover when keeping a journal.
Exercise patterns. Try to find a pattern of which days are your most successful activity days. Many people discover that Monday workouts are essential. If you look at your journal and see that weeks that start out with a Monday workout consist of more total workouts for the week, then you should try to always make time for a workout on the first day of the week.
Decline in activity. If you notice that your activity level declines as the week progresses, then it is important for you to discover why. Is it because you are sore, tired or just busy? Your fitness journal notes will help you to create a plan to stay consistent.
Distractions. Life can be hectic and full of surprises, but do you notice that a certain family member or friend is disrupting your workout plan? If this is the case, you need to ask them for support or invite them join you.
Emotions. Certain types of exercise can affect your emotions. Maybe you’ll notice that each time you do a particular type of workout you end up feeling uplifted for the rest of the day. Now that you know, you can try to fit in a quick blast of your favorite exercise style to turn your day around if you are low or lacking motivation. Alternatively, if you see that on gym days your mood is not so positive, you could try skipping the gym and adding a workout outside or at home instead. Finding what works best for you is the key to prolonged success.
Your fitness journal is all about you
Your individual success is based on you, and once you begin to keep a regular and honest account of your fitness you’ll ensure yo-yo activity levels are a thing of the past. I believe that my role as a fitness professional is to help people take control of their fitness, and keeping a fitness journal will help you discover how to work with your personality and time commitments to be more successful.

Posted on

Heart Health: 5 Ways Healthy Living Impacts Your Heart

Eat well. Exercise. Get enough omega-3s. Chances are, you’ve heard tips on making heart-healthy choices before. But how do your good decisions affect heart function? Read on to discover how common advice has an extraordinary impact on heart health.
Dr. Louis Ignarro, a research pharmacologist andNobel Laureate*in medicine for my research intoNitric Oxide.
He has spent the last decade focusing on educating others about the impact of nutrition and lifestyle on the heart, and you know what he found?
Many people don’t understand how their good decisions affect heart healthand overall bodily wellness. And for good decisions to have staying power, it’s important to understand the impact they’re having.
When you lose weight, you can see the difference. But the results of a healthier heart are more difficult to measure.
Let’s take a look at five healthy choices and how they impact your heart.
Heart healthy choice: Exercise
Impacts: Blood flow
We all know activities like running, cycling, and swimmingare good for you, but why are they heart-healthy choices?
Along with improving overall bodily health, exercise helps blood vessels relax and widen, or dilate. Relaxed blood vessels allow blood to flow efficiently and nourish the heart, which it stimulates Nitric Oxide (NO)production in the body.
Since Nitric Oxidecontrols, regulates, and protects the cardiovascular system,the result is clear: more exercise equals more Nitric Oxide, which results in a healthier heart.
Heart healthy choice: Eating a balanced diet – especially omega-3s
Impacts: Cholesterol and overall health
A healthy diet is as good for your heart as it is for your taste buds.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains give your body the energy and nutrients it needs to maintain overall health.
Foods like fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, and tuna), flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and soybeans are jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and consumption of EPA (eicosapantaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Not only is fish a great substitute for foods like beef, which is high in saturated fats, but the omega-3shelp to support a healthy cardiovascular systemby maintaining cholesterol and triglyceride levels already within the normal range.

Heart healthy choice: Lowering stress
Impacts: Blood pressure and cholesterol levels
If you think activities like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing aren’t for you, think again.
Doing stress-relieving activities can do more for your body than you might think. A recent study found that chronic stress is linked to coronary heart disease and that stress management is an important part of heart health.
While there are a lot of theories on how lowering stress can help keep the heart healthy, many researchers believe that increased stress levels can worsen other states in the body.
For example, if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, stress can cause these levels to rise even further.
Stress may also impact the way blood clots, which may increase the risk of a heart attack. People with lower stress levels may be more likely to exercise and eat well, both of which are important for a healthy heart.
So, lowering stress not only helps you feel better, it also keeps your body balanced and supports healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Heart healthy choice: Losing weight
Impacts: Blood circulation and overall heart health
Did you know that even moderate weight loss can have a huge impact on the health of your heart?
A healthy weight lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes—not to mention positively impacts overall physical health. But how does it do this?
While there are lots of benefits of weight loss, it especially impacts blood circulation.
One study found that when body weight—especially belly fat—is within healthy range, arteries are better able to expand, which results in better blood flow. And since optimal blood flow is one of the keys to a healthy cardiovascular system, weight loss (or maintenance, if you’re at a healthy weight), can be one of the most important steps toward supporting a healthy heart.

Heart healthy choice: Supporting the endothelium
Impacts: Nitric Oxide production, blood flow, and blood pressure
Many people are taking steps to support the endothelium but don’t even realize it.
In fact, you may have never even heard of this important organ before.
Our bodies contain 6 trillion endothelial cells, which line 60,000 miles of blood vessels in a single layer; together, those 6 trillion cells make up an organ known as the endothelium.
As I found in my research,Nitric Oxideis one of the most important molecules in the cardiovascular system. Increased Nitric Oxideresults in increased blood flow to the organs, which supports healthy blood pressure and a healthy cardiovascular system. But for all this to happen, the“production house”of Nitric Oxide– the endothelium – needs to be supported.
Doing the things, we’ve already discussed – exercising, eating a healthy diet, lowering stress, and losing weight – all contribute to endothelial health.
Supplementing with targeted nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, CoQ10, krill, garlic, and green tea also help keep your endothelium healthy by providing the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
And a healthy endothelium results in healthy Nitric Oxide levels, which impacts blood flow and blood pressure – not to mention the functioning of the entire body.
Keep Up the Heart-Smart Lifestyle
You can’t always see the results of your hard work, but now you know the impact your heart-smart decisions are having on your cardiovascular system.
So, keep making healthy choices, and remember that each good decision you make does take you one step closer to a healthier heart.
Written by Louis Ignarro, Ph.D.
To Learn more about how Healthy you are to start your Heart Health Program.

Posted on

Nutrition for Skin Health

A healthy diet is essential to the health of your body, but it’s also essential to the health of your skin.
A variety of nutrients, including protein, antioxidants, vitamins and collagen can help improve the way your skin looks. Healthy skin is easily recognizable because it’s usually glowing.
Here are 3 nutrients to consume for healthy, glowing skin:
Eat Protein
A diet low in protein, over the course of many months, can cause a loss in skin tone. Your skin may start to sag and wrinkle beyond what would be reasonable for chronological age. Proteins are essential for tissue repair and the construction of new tissue. Cells need protein to maintain their life, so the body uses protein to “replace” worn-out or dead skin cells. Including proteins in your diet from sources like chicken, meat, fish, soy or tofu will help you solve that concern. Meal replacement protein shakes are also great options for protein consumption.
Importance of Antioxidants and Vitamins
While protein is essential to achieving healthy skin, antioxidants A, C and E are also crucial. Deficiencies in any of these nutrients can affect the health of your skin. The skin easily shows the effects of oxidative damage, and antioxidants have been shown to be potent in protecting the skin from oxidative damage. Make sure your diet includes fruits like blueberries, strawberries and apples, and vegetables like broccoli, spinach and kale. Additionally, a multivitamin is an excellent way of ensuring that you are providing your skin with what it needs to look healthy.
Collagen Consumption
The human body’s collagen accounts for 25% to 30% of its total protein, of which about 75% is skin collagen. Collagen is located primarily in the connective tissue, and it’s responsible for giving the dermis its firm structure. Look for products with hydrolyzed Verisol®collagen. Verisol® collagen works from the inside out to support the structure of the skin.* Verisol® collagen supports skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles. For added benefits, there are products in the marketplace that also contain antioxidants and minerals to support healthy nails and hair.* During the aging process, which starts in your mid-20s, the skin suffers from a progressive loss of moisture and becomes increasingly dry. When this happens, the dermis becomes thinner; the connective tissue loses its firmness and elasticity, and wrinkles and sagging start to occur.
A healthy diet can support healthy skin. It’s the best way of looking and feeling great. When you nourish your body from the inside out, with the proper food and nutrients, your body will thank you with youthful and radiant skin!

Posted on

What Do YOU See When You Look in the Mirror?

No, Really, “What do you see?”

Before I started losing my weight when I looked into the Mirror I seen what I used to look like, I WASN’T FACING REALITY! I was seeing what I wanted to see. Can you relate?

A family member took a photo of me and THAT’S WHEN I REALLY SEEN MYSELF! What!! That’s me?? No Way!

I went home, took a new look into my Mirror, A REAL LOOK, and I SEEN MYSELF! It was like seeing how I was for the first time…how huge I had let myself get, WHOA!!

That’s when I faced reality to change my lifestyle…now 5 years later…I’m down 234lbs, got to a standstill and started searching “WHY” and as I looked into my Mirror, I realized that I was doing it again…seeing myself at my goal weight, when I was not there yet and I had allowed myself to come to a standstill…So..I’m back on JumpStart going again…

What about YOU? How do You SEE yourself in the Mirror? Are YOU at your Goal Yet?

Start YOUR Results…www.gailswinson.com/challenges

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Heart Health: 5 Ways Healthy Living Impacts Your Heart

Eat well. Exercise. Get enough omega-3s. Chances are, you’ve heard tips on making heart-healthy choices before.

But how do your good decisions affect heart function? Read on to discover how common advice has an extraordinary impact on heart health.

 Dr. Louis Ignarro, a research pharmacologist and Nobel Laureate* in medicine for my research into Nitric Oxide.
He has spent the last decade focusing on educating others about the impact of nutrition and lifestyle on the heart, and you know what he found?

Many people don’t understand how their good decisions affect heart health and overall bodily wellness. And for good decisions to have staying power, it’s important to understand the impact they’re having.
When you lose weight, you can see the difference. But the results of a healthier heart are more difficult to measure.
Let’s take a look at five healthy choices and how they impact your heart.

Heart healthy choice: Exercise
Impacts: Blood flow

We all know activities like running, cycling, and swimming are good for you, but why are they heart-healthy choices?

Along with improving overall bodily health, exercise helps blood vessels relax and widen, or dilate. Relaxed blood vessels allow blood to flow efficiently and nourish the heart, which it stimulates Nitric Oxide (NO) production in the body.

Since Nitric Oxide controls, regulates, and protects the cardiovascular system, the result is clear: more exercise equals more Nitric Oxide, which results in a healthier heart.

Heart healthy choice: Eating a balanced diet – especially omega-3s
Impacts: Cholesterol and overall health

A healthy diet is as good for your heart as it is for your taste buds.

Fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains give your body the energy and nutrients it needs to maintain overall health.

Foods like fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, and tuna), flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and soybeans are jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and consumption of EPA (eicosapantaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Not only is fish a great substitute for foods like beef, which is high in saturated fats, but the omega-3s help to support a healthy cardiovascular system by maintaining cholesterol and triglyceride levels already within the normal range.

Heart healthy choice: Lowering stress
Impacts: Blood pressure and cholesterol levels

If you think activities like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing aren’t for you, think again.

Doing stress-relieving activities can do more for your body than you might think. A recent study found that chronic stress is linked to coronary heart disease and that stress management is an important part of heart health.

While there are a lot of theories on how lowering stress can help keep the heart healthy, many researchers believe that increased stress levels can worsen other states in the body.

For example, if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, stress can cause these levels to rise even further.
Stress may also impact the way blood clots, which may increase the risk of a heart attack. People with lower stress levels may be more likely to exercise and eat well, both of which are important for a healthy heart.

So, lowering stress not only helps you feel better, it also keeps your body balanced and supports healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Heart healthy choice: Losing weight
Impacts: Blood circulation and overall heart health

Did you know that even moderate weight loss can have a huge impact on the health of your heart?

A healthy weight lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes—not to mention positively impacts overall physical health. But how does it do this?

While there are lots of benefits of weight loss, it especially impacts blood circulation.

One study found that when body weight—especially belly fat—is within healthy range, arteries are better able to expand, which results in better blood flow.

And since optimal blood flow is one of the keys to a healthy cardiovascular system, weight loss (or maintenance, if you’re at a healthy weight), can be one of the most important steps toward supporting a healthy heart.

Heart healthy choice: Supporting the endothelium
Impacts: Nitric Oxide production, blood flow, and blood pressure

Many people are taking steps to support the endothelium but don’t even realize it.

In fact, you may have never even heard of this important organ before.

Our bodies contain 6 trillion endothelial cells, which line 60,000 miles of blood vessels in a single layer; together, those 6 trillion cells make up an organ known as the endothelium.

As I found in my research, Nitric Oxide is one of the most important molecules in the cardiovascular system.

Increased Nitric Oxide results in increased blood flow to the organs, which supports healthy blood pressure and a healthy cardiovascular system. But for all this to happen, the “production house” of Nitric Oxide – the endothelium – needs to be supported.

Doing the things, we’ve already discussed – exercising, eating a healthy diet, lowering stress, and losing weight – all contribute to endothelial health.

Supplementing with targeted nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, CoQ10, krill, garlic, and green tea also help keep your endothelium healthy by providing the nutrients it needs to function at its best.

And a healthy endothelium results in healthy Nitric Oxide levels, which impacts blood flow and blood pressure – not to mention the functioning of the entire body.

Keep Up the Heart-Smart Lifestyle

You can’t always see the results of your hard work, but now you know the impact your heart-smart decisions are having on your cardiovascular system.

So, keep making healthy choices, and remember that each good decision you make does take you one step closer to a healthier heart.

Written by Louis Ignarro, Ph.D.
 
Start Your Heart-Smart Program Today!

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How to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Last All Year

New Year’s resolutions––don’t make promises you can’t keep.

This year, make a few small changes in your eating habits that can yield big results. 

Do you remember the New Year’s resolutions you made last year? Let me guess: If you’re like most people, you probably vowed to eat better, get more exercise––and maybe floss more often.

So, looking back, how did it go?

Did you accomplish all you set out to do? Or, did you start the year out strong then fall back on your old patterns, so that you’re making the same resolutions again this year?

This may surprise you, but I think that’s okay––and here’s why. If you make the decision every January to shape up, it says that taking better care of yourself is important to you. If it weren’t important, you wouldn’t keep working at it. And just because you make the same promises to yourself every year, it doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t accomplish anything last year. 



Any improvement is good 
Maybe you didn’t exercise as much as you planned or ate as carefully as you intended.

But if you’re still doing better now than you were the year before, maybe it’s because you managed to chip away at a few bad habits. And that’s great – because the little changes to the way you do things every single day can really add up. And you can continue to build on these small successes this New Year.

 

Don’t do too much at once 
It’s great to be ambitious but if you try to tackle too many changes at once, you could be setting yourself up for defeat. Making resolutions is the easy part. Making them stick is what’s hard, because you have to do things differently.

It takes time to undo a bad habit, which is why repetition is so important. But it’s a lot easier to repeat a small, relatively easy task than one that seems positively Herculean.

Plus, you have to figure out what’s getting in the way of your progress, and figure out how to move these obstacles out of your way. 



Let’s say you don’t floss your teeth as often as you should. What’s getting in your way? And what steps can you take to make sure you’ll do it regularly? It’s not really a time issue, it only takes a couple of minutes. But you need to make sure you have the floss in the house. You need to make sure you see the floss whenever you brush your teeth. You need a mirror so you can see what you’re doing. 

Maybe you decide that rather than tossing the dental floss in the back of the medicine cabinet where it gets lost in a jumble of half-used toiletries, you’ll instead make a little ‘dental kit’ for yourself.

Make one that includes your toothbrush, your toothpaste, your floss, and maybe a little dental mirror. With everything conveniently in one place it’s more likely that every time you pull out your kit, you’ll not just brush––you’ll wind up flossing, too.

 

Move obstacles out of your way.

 
Same thing goes with your eating habits. You have to figure out why you’re not doing what you plan to do, and how you can make it easier. It’s easy to say you’re going to eat more fruits and vegetables, but it’s hard to do if you don’t keep them in the house.

But that’s not enough. Once you’ve got them in the house, you have to make it easier to eat them. So, maybe you make sure to keep a stash of fruit in the freezer to add to protein shakes. Or keep a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter to remind you that fruit makes a great snack. Or you keep some cut up veggies handy in the refrigerator where you’ll see them every time you open the door looking for something to munch on. 



Just make sure that whatever changes you plan to make are things you know you can really do.

If you’ve never brought your lunch to work, it’s unlikely you’ll suddenly start doing it every day. So, set a reasonable goal and make it specific. Not “I’m going to bring my lunch to work more often,” but “I’m going to bring my lunch to work twice a week.”

That way at the end of the week it’s easy to determine if you’ve met your goal or not. 


Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., F.A.N.D. – Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.