HEALTHY RESPONSES TO UNHEALTHY LIFE EVENTS

There are lots of reasons to care for your health as you age. Whether you are 19 or 60, what you do the next 10-20 years of your life with the health choices that you make will matter more than what you did the last 10. And I am not just speaking about your physical health. How you care for your emotional, mental, and spiritual health will also matter. There is more and more research listing the importance of self-care in today’s world of stress and unhealthy temptation around every corner. The pressures of career, family, and education can be overwhelming at times. I work with many clients that have high pressure 60 hour a week jobs, others who are working on their PhD’s., and many others who combine work, school, and family commitments into a weekly calendar. We all know of the consequence of stress on the body. High blood pressure, heart issues, and other unhealthy outcomes are the result of stress not handled in a healthy manner. Depression also causes us physical problems if not addressed in a healthy way. The outcome is similar to stress on the body and will eventually lead to coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Stress, depression, and anxiety can even increase some people’s chances of developing dementia and other mental disorders prematurely. Thankfully there are healthy options to help those who are suffering from too much stress, depression, and anxiety.

Not Being Judgmental

With my background in mental health, I fully understand that people have different issues in life. I watch people with “great jobs” that are under a tremendous amount of stress who know the importance of self-care. I work with people who have experienced tremendous trauma or loss in life that are happy in all areas of life. Really? Yes really. I have also studied extensively self-care practices and have found that people who respond in the healthiest ways are similar in many of their daily practices. I have compiled a short list of what I have discovered.

  1. They all exercise. You do not have to work out with the latest insanity program to practice self-care with exercise. Moderate strength training, walking, hiking, yoga, bicycling, swimming or any other form of healthy exercise can have benefits for the brain, the body, and the physical impacts of stress, anxiety, and depression on the body. Try to get 20-50 minutes of exercise daily and see it as beneficial and you will have a healthier physical response and quality of life as you get older.
  2. They all do things unrelated to food, drink, or television that bring pleasure. Reading, playing with pets, gardening, helping others, creating something and spending quality time with friends and loved ones will lead to better health in response to life’s stress. Be proactive about doing things that bring you pleasure and you will be healthier in the long run of life.
  3. They all continue to move forward. Ruminating on past negative life events will serve only negative health consequences. I am not trying to downplay past traumas. There is research where as many as 85% of us have suffered from some sort of trauma. That is almost all of us. Whether you need professional help or are able to accept those portions of your life that have been difficult to go through, it is healthier to move past the things that have happened to you and “give energy” to the present and how you can be successful with good health and happiness for the future.
  4. They all are resilient. Everyone that I have witnessed respond to life in healthy ways all understand that things happen in life that we would not like to happen. People who are the best with self-care continue to “get back on” no matter how many times they have fallen off. And you can too.

If you continue to struggle in areas of your life that you wish to change for the sake of happiness and health then I beg you to do so beginning today. What you do today can affect you in a positive or negative manner when it comes to your health. Your health impacts those who love you and how happy you will be as you age. Treat yourself with care and your physical health will respond with the quality of life you deserve. And you do deserve to BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

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Prayer For Your Health

 “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”         1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Prayer:                                                                                                                                                  My most wonderful and loving God,                                                                                              You are my strength as I begin this new journey of health. I will do my best every day to better care for the beautiful gift of this body that You have given me so lovingly. I thank You God for the second chance to care for my health and will not take it for granted. Thank You so much for bringing me to this point and for giving me the strength to work my way to better health. Thank You for every gift that I have to grow and learn. I will honor You by treating my health and life as a gift from You.                                                                                                                            In Jesus Name, Amen            

Since the beginning of time, believers have sought ways to please God.  We pray to make the right choice and we seek wisdom as we make those choices. As the centuries increase, the number of choices we have also increases. One of those many choices in life is the way that we treat our body. With so many emotional events surrounding food and the advertising dollars spent to touch those emotions in ways that will manipulate us, we continue to grow in our waistline but not in our relationship with God. Food has become both medication and celebration for many of us. The temple where God dwells in many of us is crumbling from our own demolition. Thankfully, God gives us the ability to change and use our will to honor Him.

The Greatest Commandments According To Jesus                                                              When asked what the greatest commandment in the law is Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:36-40). Jesus commands us to love and honor God with everything we have. This should include our body, the temple that God has given us. God creates many wonderful gifts for us. He gives us scenic views, our abilities, a child’s laugh, and the strength to work through struggles. One of the greatest of all of these gifts is the gift of our overall health. We could not do many of the things we often take for granted without our health. So why do we appreciate and thank God for the gift of a job, a nice home, and a beautiful car and treat the very gift we have been given to earn those things worse than “the things” themselves? Do you TRULY want to love and serve God with all of your mind, body, and soul? Is love just something you say or is it the way you live? Do you actually show your love for God through sincere actions? You can sincerely display your love for God by caring for your health. You can honor God by making choices that treat your body as a gift from God. You can say thank you to God by beginning some form of exercise and healthy nutrition program. Just as it has been since the beginning of time, it will be your choice to care for the beautiful body that you have been given. You can do so STARTING TODAY! BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

           

Cool and Interesting Health Facts

Thank you http://crazyhealthfacts.com/interesting-fun-facts/fitness-and-nutrition/ for the cool info.

  • It is estimated that only 22% of American adults participate in regular, sustained physical activity for at least 30 minutes 5 times a week
  • On average, it takes about 12 weeks after beginning to exercise to see measurable changes in your body.
  • Approximately 25% of American adults are sedentary
  • There is a plant based supplement, rhodiola rosea, that can naturally combat and alleviate whatever stress response (anxiety, fatigue, stress, etc) your body is under.
  • No matter how poor your current level of fitness, you can start an exercise routine and become fitter and healthier at anytime.
  • Walking at a fast pace burns almost as many calories as jogging for the same distance.
  • The word ‘gymnasium’ comes from the Greek word “gymnazein”, which literally means “to exercise naked.”
  • It is scientifically suggested that walking at a fast pace for 3 hours or more at least one time a week can reduce your risk for heart disease by up to 65%.
  • Just adding any type of movement into your daily routine can increase your level of overall health and wellbeing.
  • Strength training involves training both the muscles and the nervous system. Together, they make what is called the “neuromuscular system.”
  • Men who workout with a female partner are shown to lift heavier weights and get better results.
  • Wearing steel toe boots will burn more calories than normal shoes.
  • To lose one pound of fat, a person has to burn roughly 3,500 calories.
  • When the body is at rest, it takes in about 10 litres of air per minute.
  • There are over 640 muscles in your body.
  • Muscle is about three times more efficient at burning calories than fat, even when at rest.
  • You should always breathe correctly when exercising. It is said that underwater swimming is the only time you should hold your breath during physical activity.

Fitness consists of 4 main components:

  1. The body’s ability to use oxygen as a source of energy.
  2. Muscular strength.
  3. Endurance
  4. Flexibility and body composition
  • Since your brain is distracted by what you are hearing when you listen to music, you don’t concentrate on what you are lifting. This causes you to lift more weight.
  • Exercise is more effective at increasing your energy levels than caffeine.

 

  • It takes about 12 weeks after beginning to exercise to see measurable changes in your body.
  • You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.
  • An Italian research team found out in 2003 that people who ate pizza on the regular were far less likely to develop esophageal, colon and mouth cancer.
  • Seafood is a nutrient rich food that is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals.
  • Eating breakfast regularly will also help keep weight off because it gets your metabolism going
  • One can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Experienced bodybuilders do it in two phases. First, they build up body bulk, including some fat, by overeatingand weight training. In the second phase they trim the fat and maintain the muscle with a carefully constructed diet while continuing their muscle development program.
  • The average American adult drinks 500 cans of soda every year.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  does not require manufacturers to list trans fats if they are present in amounts less than .5 grams.
  • An unhealthy diet can lead to diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, certain cancers, obesity, and micronutrient deficiencies.
  • You can drink too much water. “Hyponatremia” is when a person consumes too much water, usually during endurance sports, which causes their sodium levels to be very low and can even result in death.
  • Ten healthy, filling snacks…banana, hard boiled eggs, nuts (almonds & pistachios), peanut butter, oatmeal, cottage cheese, plain greek yogurt, sunflower seeds, apples and watermelon, and natural fruit smoothies.
  • A study done by American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition states that eating a bowl of  ice cream 2 hours after a workout triggers your insulin, which is a hormone that is essential in the muscle building process.
  • One gram of alcohol equals 7 calories.
  • Half of the carbs you consume should come from whole grains.
  • Weight can have an effect on a woman’s ability to conceive.
  • Need a quick healthy snack at the gas station? Bananas, raw almonds, beef jerkey, pretzels, string cheese, protein bar and a giant water.
  • Bottle water contains more bacteria than tap water.
  • Olive oil can help in lowering cholesterol levels and decreasing the risk of heart complications.
  • An unhealthy diet leads to diseases like diabetes, hypertension, certain cancers, obesity, and micronutrient deficiencies.
  • Over 1/3 of adults and 12.5 million children and teens in the United States are considered obese.
  • In 2007, heart disease was the leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Examples of iron rich foods are red meat, fish, chick peas, tofu, beans and lentils.
  • There is the same amount of sugar in a McDonald’s fruit smoothie as in four Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
  • 8 foods you should consume on an everyday basis: yogurt, red tomatoes, walnuts, spinach, oats, carrots, blueberries, and black beans.

Other Interesting Fitness & Nutrition Facts

  • Most American models are thinner than 98% of American women.
  • 1,668 gallons, on average, of water are used by every single person in the S. daily.
  • Drinking normal amounts of beer can gives you a healthy dose of silicone, which will help strengthen your bones and teeth.
  • On average, it only takes three years after one quits smoking to have their chance of having a heart attack the same as someone who has never smoked before in their lifetime.

 

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF WHAT WE FEED OUR MIND

It is such a crazy world right now. Political and religious conflict. Racial and economic tension. Something changing all of the time to continue or grow the conflicts. It is a tough time for America, the world, and for people who desire a world of peace and cooperation. For those of us who desire to be happy on a daily basis, it can be a tough task to maintain happiness and peace in a world of conflict. And as we know, happiness is healthy. Just as what we eat and put into our body matters, what we put into our mind also matters. I personally struggle and have struggled with depression since childhood. I have learned through much suffering that what I put into my mind first thing in the morning and throughout the day really matters to my daily happiness. First thing in the morning when I feed myself negative things like world conflicts, personal battles, past wrongs, or future worries I struggle all day with sadness, anxiety, anger, lack of clarity in my mind, and conflicts. I also tend to binge eat, become unproductive with my time, and consumed with self-pity. I can go so many directions based on what I watch, listen to, read, or feed myself with self-talk.

Intentional Feeding of The Mind

I had a close friend ask me once why I had quit exercising like I once did. Since I own a gym and design exercise programs, the importance of getting enough exercise is paramount to me. The answer I gave my friend was that I was too depressed and lacked the energy to exercise. And it was true because that is what I fed my mind with my own self-conversation. When this happens to most of us, me included, it is an autopilot action and not intentional. And that is the key to managing the things we put into our mind; it has to be intentional. Like finances, business operations, weight loss programs, and addiction recovery, the way we manage what we put into our mind through media and self-talk HAS to be intentional. If we operate with reactionary auto-pilot behavior, our chances of struggle grow. If we plan what we are going to read first thing in the morning, how we are going to manage negative self-talk in our work day, what we listen to in the car, and how we are going to spend our free mind time after work, our chances of being happy, fulfilled, and healthy also grow. Before going to bed each night, plan on how you will begin the day tomorrow with things that will feed your mind positive food. I currently start each day with the 20th anniversary edition of Chicken Soup For The Soul, and The Bible. Both have positive messages and reading helps to engage and activate my brain which helps me with clarity. I spend 10-15 minutes or so reading (5 minutes of each) before heading out for my walk/jog. During the exercise time, I try to intentionally focus on gratitude and things that are great in my life. For years I have had foot pain and this helps me to focus on the good and not the pain. On my way to work, I listen to audio instructional or motivational material that will help me to grow as a person, communicate clearer, improve my business, or focus my energy. Intentionally feed your mind good food.

Help Yourself To Some Good Food

I do not share with you how I begin the day because I am great. I am certainly no better than anyone who struggles in life. I have just studied and learned through experience how to manage my struggles differently. And I hope you do too. Intentionally feed yourself good mind food from the beginning of each day. Intentionally monitor when you are feeding yourself things that oppose your happiness and change that to the things that do. Intentionally take care of you. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

                        www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

HOW TO BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE

darla2

As most of you know, “Be Your Own Miracle” is what I end every blog with and what defines our mission. The words are self explanatory and has individual meaning to all of the people who choose miraculous over lifelong behaviors. Darla is a prime example of how one person’s health journey becomes a miraculous celebration of a strong and high functioning life. Darla was told to walk only short distances and to “take it easy” with exercise due to knee, back, and shoulder issues. She decided to take a different approach and to see how exercise could benefit her and not hurt her. She sought to lose weight, get stronger, and reduce pain. She struggled at first due to her age, metabolism, and being new to resistance training. And even though she ate perfectly, she did not lose one single pound for three months. Darla became her own miracle when she decided to NEVER give up on her goal of strength and great health. She kept fighting and slowly began to lose weight. She remained consistent and gained physical strength she had not experienced in years. Darla eventually lost about 70 lbs and is feeling much less pain than she has in years. She walks daily and still works as a teacher, helping adults new to this country read and write. And she did all of this after age 65. What does it mean to be your own miracle? Darla defines it and you can too. Please take care of your health and stay as strong as you can. There are many like Darla out there. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

STRESS, OPTIMISM, AND YOUR HEALTH

I work with many different types of people. Some are athletic and have a history of exercise while others are just beginning. Some eat healthy most of the time and others struggle to manage food and drink with boundaries. There is no question that exercise and what we eat are important to our health but that is just part of being an overall healthy person. There are so many factors that impact our health in a positive or negative way and we do not include these factors enough when addressing our health. And these factors do not matter if you have exercised your whole life or have always eaten in a healthy manner. Here are just a couple of things that deeply impact our health.

Stress

It is so important to manage emotional reaction to stress and the thought processes you have when placed in a stressful situation. You notice I did not say that we should manage stress differently. I read a lot where we should manage stress differently but I like to be more direct and specific. The stress will never go away. From my experience and what I observe of others, there will always be stress no matter who we are. The way we manage our response to stress impacts our overall health in either a positive or negative way. For years I would get upset when stressful situations would arise, trying to control the situation instead of my response to the situation. It did not work well. Learn to manage your stress response for your health. Each healthy practice that we engage in will help to manage our stress response but it begins with intentional mindfulness and self-awareness that the way we are reacting to stress could be healthier.

Optimism

There are so many health benefits to an optimistic view of life. Pessimists tend to have more depression, physical ailments and disabilities, and struggle to work through life’s problems in a healthy manner. There is a direct correlation between depression and many diseases of the body including heart disease and many cancers. The ability to respond in a healthy way to difficult events in life such as a health scare will also be impacted by your outlook. Your overall quality of life and functioning improve with optimism.

“In a study on a population of elderly subjects of both sexes, aged between 65-85 years, Giltay et al. noted that dispositional optimism predicted less probability of mortality in general and of cardiovascular mortality in particular. These data have been confirmed in a subsequent longitudinal study on a population of males aged between 64 – 84 years in which an inverse correlation was reported between dispositional optimism and the risk of cardiovascular death.”

“It has been demonstrated that in the presence of severe pathological conditions, optimistic patients adapt better to stressful situations compared to pessimists, with positive repercussions on their quality of life. For example, in a sample of patients who underwent an aortic-coronary bypass, optimism was significantly and positively associated with quality of life in the six months following the operation [39]. The optimistic patients in fact presented a more rapid clinical improvement during the period of hospitalization and a quicker return to daily routine after discharge from hospital.”

Optimism is not what people traditionally consider positive thinking but rather a true belief system where the individual trusts that there will be a good outcome from events in life. Optimism has even been the key to people living healthy in horrible conditions such as concentration camps or as a prisoner of war. Believe that you have the skills to work through life’s curves and remember that you have worked through things in the past that were difficult.

It is so important to take care of your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. I was told once that our lives are like a table, with those four areas the legs that hold us up. When one of those legs are out of balance, the whole table (our body and mind) is out of balance. Please exercise and stay as strong as you can. Manage your emotional responses to life events by being present with yourself and by management from the inside out. Improve your mental health with the first two, through study of self and by being honest with what you struggle with. Be careful with what you give energy and focus to and check yourself often to make sure you are giving energy to love, success, service, and learning. If you struggle get help like I did. Do it as soon as possible. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

WHY YOU SHOULD EXERCISE IF YOU STRUGGLE WITH SMOKING, WEIGHT, AND OTHER UNHEALTHY THINGS

More and more research is coming out about the importance of exercise especially if you struggle with things like weight, smoking, and other unhealthy habits.                   Exercise Benefits to Those Who Smoke                                                                                      In smokers, exercise in numerous studies has shown to reduce the risks of lung disease, heart disease, and mental decline. Research also shows that if you exercise regularly, quitting smoking becomes easier. In addition, you can actually begin to reverse the damage done to your body by smoking within just a few days of quitting.

Exercise Benefits to Those Who Battle Weight Issues                                                              It is no secret that obesity is unhealthy and leads to chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, mental decline, high blood pressure, many cancers, joint problems, and depression. Many people struggle with weight and approximately 30% of our population is classified as obese. Personally this is a lifelong struggle for me as well. If you struggle with managing your weight, exercise is vital to maintaining your health in the long term. Exercise will:

  • Reduce your risk for chronic disease. Exercise reduces high blood pressure, increases healthy cholesterol and decreases unhealthy cholesterol. The combination helps reduce plaque on artery walls and gives us a healthier heart.
  • Reduces impact and risk of type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance goes down when you exercise, and your cells can use the glucose more effectively. Exercise can also reduce complications from diabetes like heart disease.
  • Improve mood. If you struggle with an unhealthy depressive mood, exercise will help if done correctly. You can actually exercise in a way that treats the depression and reduces depressive episodes. Exercise can also improve self-esteem and give you a sense of accomplishment. The key is to not overdo exercise and to approach each exercise session with self-talk that will lead to success.
  • Help you sleep. Poor sleep is associated with multiple health conditions including obesity. Exercise helps you fall asleep faster and deeper which will also improve concentration and your ability to make healthy decisions.
  • Keep you physically strong. Many of us battle things like binge eating and addictions. Being physically strong is so important to combat the damage done by the unhealthy habits. Keep battling what you struggle with but exercise.

Our health choices impact us and those who love us in so many ways. If you struggle with habits that are unhealthy, please exercise while you do battle against them. Your loved ones, your happiness, and your body will thank you for it. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com