By Tyler Farrish …
We’ve all seen news reports about the safety of local market produce: “Fruits & Vegetables from Your Local Grocery: How Safe Are They Really?” Despite sometimes using scare tactics, these news pieces often bring up important food-related topics for us to consider as we get into the summer outdoor market season.
Pesticide use, natural germs and bacteria, too much sunlight, etc–if you haven’t given serious thought to how to best avoid these contaminants from making their way to your dining room table, here’s 3 big keys for staying safe with market produce:
1) Shop Organic & Buy Local whenever possible, especially for the 12 most porous fruits and vegetables, aka the “Dirty Dozen”: Apples, Celery, Strawberries, Peaches, Spinach, Nectarines, Grapes, Sweet Bell Peppers, Potatoes, Blueberries, Lettuce, Kale, and Collard Greens.
2) Wash Everything, even “pre-washed” produce. For leafy produce: Soak in room temperature water, rinse, and blot or use a salad spinner to dry. For hard produce: Clean with a firm-scrub brush under lukewarm running water. Peeling will also decrease microbial load. For soft produce: Soak in cooler water, rinse, & dry in colander or with towels.
3) Keep Your Kitchen Workspace Clean. Keep your kitchen countertops, refrigerator, cookware, & cutlery clean after each use. Especially avoid cross-contamination of uncooked meats with fresh produce, or unclean produce with clean. And don’t forget to wash your hands!
4) Limit Storage Time & Cook Minimally. Keep your produce in the refrigerator when possible. Cook produce minimally to maintain water-soluble vitamins—and if you’re cooking in water, you can reuse cooking water in soups & stews. Avoid washing/cutting/trimming of produce until right before use to limit exposure of nutrients to oxygen degradation.
Please check out the sources for this article below. There is lots of great info!
By Christina Perinhas …
Here are some great reasons to make your food choices local and seasonal this spring!
VARIETY: Think of all the different varieties of locally grown, delicious foods that are available throughout the year. For the Spring and Summer, there’s an abundance: arugula, asparagus, beets, carrots, all kinds of greens, sweet peas, corn, peaches, artichokes, apricots, cherries, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, radishes, rhubarb, strawberries, zucchini, green beans and more.
TASTE: When food is not in season locally, it’s either grown in a hothouse or shipped in from other parts of the world; both things will affect the taste. When crops are transported over long distances, they must be harvested early and refrigerated so they don’t rot during transportation. They will not ripen as effectively as they would in their natural environment, and as a result they don’t develop their full flavor.
NUTRIENTS: If you harvest something early, so that it can endure long-distance shipping, it’s not going to have the full complement of nutrients it should have. Also, transporting produce often requires treatment–such as zapping the produce with a burst of radiation to kill germs and using preservatives like wax.
COST: When produce is in season locally, the relative abundance of the crop usually makes it less expensive.
QUICK RECIPE: Here’s one of my personal favorites for asparagus, which is best during the spring season. Simply sauté your asparagus in two tablespoons of olive oil for five minutes, tossing in a pinch or two of ground pepper. That’s it! You have a delicious asparagus meal (or side).
Go check out your local farmer’s market and enjoy!
by Keith Paine …
Especially living in New York City, as I do! Culturally, we put more value on what we do, and much less value on the sleep we get. Well, have you considered the negative toll that sleep loss may put on your body and mind? Everyone’s individual sleep needs vary. In general, most healthy adults are built for 16 hours of wakefulness and need an average of eight hours of sleep. Recent surveys have found that more people in the U.S. are sleeping less than six hours a night, and that sleep difficulties visit 75% of us at least a few nights per week. Chronic sleep loss will contribute to health problems such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and a decrease in your immune system’s power. And if you are an exerciser, sleep is a key part of your program— recovery. Sleep gives your muscles time to repair and rebuild after each sweat session.
Here are six really good reasons to catch those Zs :
1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation.
2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain, by affecting the way our bodies process carbohydrates and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
3. Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and critical mistakes such as medical errors and road accidents.
4. Mood: No one likes a grump at work! Also, sleep loss can also leave you too tired to do the things you really like to do (go for the run, go out with friends, etc), which will affect your mood even further.
5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels and irregular heartbeats.
6. Disease Prevention: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s “killer“ cells. Conversely, catching up with sleep helps all immune function, so your body will fight disease better.
Remember, the proper amount of sleep each night is necessary to face the world with your best foot forward. Sleep will help you on the road to good fitness, good eating and good health!
This simple math equation has helped many of my clients improve their eating habits and balance their overall diet. The formula is simple: Consume at least two (2) vegetables in two (2) of your daily meals, in four (4) out of the seven days of the week. That’s it! As simple as it sounds, you still end up consuming a minimum of 16 servings of vegetables a week. As you’ll see below, that’s a really good thing.
“Why only 2 vegetables and why with just 2 of your meals?” Well, to be frank, because it’s an easy plan to remember and to implement (2+2=4). There’s nothing complicated about it, and when you’re trying to install new health habits, you’ll be more inclined to stay consistent if it’s simple. If you are already eating this way then, bravo, pat yourself on the back. Chances are, if you have a busy schedule, you aren’t. Think about it. How many vegetables do you really consume on a daily basis? Adding two servings of vegetables to a couple of your meals will instantly improve your eating habits and your overall health.
“Antonio, how is your 2+2=4 food plan really going to improve my health?”
First of all: Fiber. Most vegetables are packed with fiber. That’s important because a fiber-rich diet can help you keep your weight in check. Many of us overeat, yet we never feel satisfied–we’re a product of our environment and the overabundance of processed food that fills us up but doesn’t deliver nutrients we crave. Fiber makes us fuller and stays in our stomach longer, therefore slowing down our rate of digestion. In addition, fiber contributes to better elimination.
Second: Vitamins & Minerals. The best place to get your vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients is not from a bottle, but from your food, especially vegetables! Nutrients in vegetables are vital for every bodily function. Without them, our health breaks down. All this means is eat your veggies. You’ll get an abundance of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber along with a delicious meal.
Third: Awareness & Behavior Change. When it comes to wellbeing, good choices and consistency are what lead to success. It takes some weekly planning to make sure your meals contain at least two vegetables. Think about the plan, for instance, when you’re in a restaurant and looking at the menu. Unless it’s a vegetarian place, you generally aren’t focusing on the vegetables that come with your entrée. (More often than not, it’s some form of potato!) Veggies are often an afterthought. The same can be said for ordering lunch on the go. Ordering a fresh turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread sure sounds healthy, but where are the vegetable nutrients? Even a salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and grilled chicken is just a start, not a solution. The easiest place to make sure you get enough servings of vegetables will be at home. Since you’re the one who’s going to purchase and prepare the food, you can pre-plan what to eat and make sure there’s a variety of healthy vegetables ready for your table. This makes you more aware of what and how you eat.
Here’s a final thought. Not all vegetables are created equal. It’s important to mix up your vegetables to ensure you get all your essential nutrients. Some vegetables provide less nutritional value than others. Sure, you can consume them, but as far as I’m concerned they don’t really count towards your daily intake of vegetables. (Sorry, but the lettuce and tomato on that turkey sandwich doesn’t cut it!) What’s great about this food plan is that there are literally hundreds of varieties of vegetables found in your average supermarket. Even if you’re a picky eater, you’ll have plenty to choose from. On that note, here’s a list of low-nutrient veggies that you should exclude from my 2+2=4 food plan:
• Iceberg lettuce
However, that’s really the whole point of my math-inspired diet–to make you think about what you are (or aren’t) eating! After all, the more healthy stuff you have on your plate (aka vegetables), the less room there is for the not-so-healthy stuff. It’s going to be right there in front of you. Remember- 2 vegetables with 2 of your daily meals, at least 4 days out of the week. Try it for a few weeks and see how much better you look and feel.
In good health,
by Tyler Farrish …
As a trainer who has found that eating gluten & dairy free works best for my system, I am often asked specific questions about the foods & meals I choose to put into my body. When I first began the journey of dietary self discovery, I had a lot of questions. When you start to remove food categories from your diet, it can seem as though you don’t have enough foods to choose from! However, I found that honing my diet was an experience that ultimately broadened my food horizons, helped me discover new meals, and helped steer me towards “cleaner” foods.
Try to keep it simple. Think “Eating Clean”: good quality meats, vegetables & fruits from the healthiest sources you can find (ie: farmers markets, organic produce groceries) & non-glutenous grains such as quinoa, amaranth, and wild rice. Experiment and have fun with your new journey to your bodies nutrition. It is an opportunity to break free of your “go-to” meals that we all cycle through and become better acquainted with your kitchen, your markets & your body.
So, here’s a sample menu of some of my own daily meal options might help serve as a starting point to see how delicious a gluten & dairy-free meal can be!
*I wake up every morning & have a warm glass of water with lemon & follow with my breakfast about 30 minutes later.*
- Two hardboiled eggs, sprouted tricolor quinoa with ½ sliced avocado, and tomato.
- Scrambled eggs & steamed broccoli
- Cinnamon & dried cranberry GF Steel-Cut Oatmeal cooked with almond milk & sauteed shredded rainbow swiss chard (with olive oil).
- Superfood Smoothie: Chlorella, Maca powder, pure ground vanilla beans, chaga mushroom tea, cacao beans, blueberries, raw honey, & coconut water
- Spanish frittata with spinach, garlic, olives, diced sauteed onions, & red/orange/green diced peppers
- Baked chicken breast with pesto & roasted root vegetables
- Ginger-Maple Glazed Salmon & kale salad with sprouted pine nuts & balsamic vinegar dressing
- Ahi Tuna Poke with re-hydrated seaweed & toasted sesame nuts &
- Grilled Chicken Plato with wild rice, black beans (pre-soaked), & guacamole
- Grilled Mahi-Mahi with jicama & pineapple salsa
- Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken, apples, chickpeas & soaked walnuts
- Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Roasted brussel sprouts & cauliflower
- Black bean burgers in a collard green wrap with guacamole, wild rice, and tomatillo salsa
- Miso Soup with wakame & miso (ideally fermented for 6 months-2 years)
- Stuffed Portobello with parsnip, carrot, butternut squash, sweet potato, walnut, date, egg & parsley
- Sprouted almonds or other sprouted seeds/nuts
- Vegetables & Natural dips (hummus, guacamole, white bean, sweet almond pâté, etc)
- Fruits (grapefruits, berries, pomegranates, cranberries, etc)
- Fermented cabbage & cultured vegetables
- Dehydrated Kale Chips
by Tyler Farrish …
Many a New Year’s resolution centers around achieving desired weight-loss goals and feeling higher energy levels daily. What if I told you that by setting a goal of completing just one daily task, you could reach both these goals? Ready to step up to the plate in 2013?
Goal: Eat Gluten-Free, every day, for 1-month…
We’ve all heard the euphemism “you are what we eat”; Now I’d like to dive into the “what” we’re eating & how it affects our system. For starters, retrace what you’ve eaten today. Now take 10 minutes & determine how much of what you’ve consumed contained gluten. The most common sources are grains such as wheat, barley & rye. Some not-so-well-known-sources include sauces, marinades, dressings, lunch-meats, imitation meats and the list could go on. You will be shocked about how much you inadvertently consume on a daily basis. Thought you were living the “everything in moderation” lifestyle?
So, why gluten free? Here’s our thinking:
For Weight-Loss Goals
- Avoiding gluten naturally forces us to make smarter choices in the marketplace, helping us gravitate away from highly processed foods in favor of nutrient dense foods. (Fast Facts: the “Gluten-Free” options at the grocery are often just as highly processed– so stay away from these items for now!)
- In return: blood sugar begins to stabilize, metabolism starts to regulate itself, decreased desire to binge-eat because prolonged satiation from nutritious foods.
For Higher Daily Energy Levels
- For starters, these energy levels are dependent on our average amount of sleep, quality of nutrition, proper functioning of Gastrointestinal System, Thyroid health, etc.
- Today given the statistics, we can estimate that at least 90% Americans have a compromised GI system, either due to parasites, candida fungal overgrowth, frequent antibiotic use, stress, etc. This can cause sleep-restlessness, inflammation of the GI, decrease the Immune system, decrease Thyroid functioning, arthritis, etc.
- By avoiding gluten: the GI system will get help & time to repair, gut microflora will start to rebalance itself, you will reduce the stress on your thyroid, driving your energy levels up while increasing your immunity at the same time!
Good luck & feel free to contact us at any time for a great Gluten Free diet recommendation!
by Daniel Lucas…
Welcome to the third installment of our Nimble leg exercise series! We’re now going to progress to a few power movements. These moves are important, because as we age, our physical power is one of the first things to decrease. If we don’t train consistently, we gradually lose our ability to move quickly and change directions while under load. Remember, power exercises should be progressed into after you have gone through a conditioning and strength phase of training.
These three exercises are meant to be part of a full workout, but if this is all the time you have, take it! The video below demonstrates these three exercises:
*multi-planer mini jumps / 10 jumps for each direction.
*Lateral to 90 degree squat jumps. (6-8 reps)
*lunge jump (8 reps per leg)
When training for power, it’s best to keep your repetitions low and your reactive energy high. If you find yourself fatigued and unable to react quickly to your next repetition, then it’s time to rest. I usually suggest around 6-8 repetitions, but more can be performed if you have that reactive energy and timing. Depending on your conditioning and the stress of the exercise you’ll probably need up to 1-3 minutes of rest between sets. Train smart and always listen to your body! It does not lie.
“Water is a critical element of the body, and keeping the body adequately hydrated is a must to allow the body to function.” – Melissa Stöppler, MD, on MedecineNet
As most of us know from junior-high school biology, our bodies are made up of mostly water. So, knowing how much water we need to drink to stay properly hydrated can seem confusing. If we have so much water in our bodies, then why do we have to keep replenishing it?
The answer, in part, lies in the fact that our bodies use water on a cellular level. That means that every ounce of tissue, every muscle, every organ—basically almost everything in us—is composed on the most basic level by water. As our bodies are always changing and evolving (or the opposite), our hydration levels can vary greatly. Here are some of the key ways we are constantly losing water :
• Breath! Humidified air leaves your body every time you exhale.
• Sweat—especially when you exercise.
• Eliminating waste.
So, if we’re losing water all the time from basic body functions, common sense tells us we have to constantly replenish. Here are some basic daily water requirement levels. Since most adults weigh between 100 and 250 pounds, these standards from MedecineNet should give you a good general idea on how much water to drink daily:
• If you weigh 100 pounds – 50 ounces minimum, a quart and a half a day
• If you weigh 150 pounds – 65 ounces minimum, 2 quarts daily
• If you weigh 200 pounds – 70 ounces minimum, over half a gallon a day
• If you weigh 250 pounds – 75+ ounces minimum
And so on. Keep in mind these are minimum daily requirements. And if you add in other factors like exercise, sickness, dehydration from diuretics such as coffee and tea, we all definitely have some hydrating to do. On more factor: winter air is dryer air, so it probably makes sense to kick up your hydration this winter. If you have additional questions, email us at email@example.com, or find us on Facebook.
by Antonio Sini …
It can only happen if you ask yourself the honest questions. What do I mean by that? Well, as a fitness professional working with people on their personal health, one of my challenges is to help each client find out what they really want to achieve, and then implement effective ways to bring out the changes they desire. Creating a safe and effective exercise program is actually relatively “easy.” The harder part is actually identifying everyone’s underlying motives for positive change. If those motives are not uncovered, then the exercise program is often ineffective. This leads to frustration, temporary failure, and often a regression back to poor health habits.
What if we all took a look at what we value at the start of an exercise program, rather than simply looking at what specific exercises you want to do. Discovering the value that you place on your health, and how your entire being will benefit, has a far more lasting impact than just going through the motions of exercise.
Here is an example of what I mean: Let’s say you’ve just purchased a gym membership. How would you take advantage of it? Some typical answers are: “I would start exercising with a trainer”; “I’d take classes to get in shape” and so on. However, what would your answer be if we turn that question around: How does it feel to have a gym membership and exercise regularly? The answers here would be very different: “Happy”; “Less stressed after I work out”; “I feel so much more energetic.”
The first answer tells me what actions you would take with the gym membership. The second reveals more of what you value in your life – a stress free environment, happiness, feeling less fatigued. So in finding out what you value, your actions which follow have a far more significant impact on the changes that you wish to make. That’s really how you really stay motivated to succeed and how you truly change.
By Daniel Lucas …
I feel like a large percentage of our society thinks about exercise all wrong. The most talked about benefits are well known, but the one that I feel is the most interesting and inspiring of all is rarely mentioned–Soul Activation! Every time we move, there is the potential for healing, for strengthening and for shifting our potential. The way we experience our life through our body and brain is far greater than we may currently understand. A person who moves in a specific way that affects their individual arrangement of tissue, bones and organs can experience something more than just physical–what I call a soul activation. A yogi might describe this experience as true presence or bliss.
Our neuro-fascial tissue can be seen as one large, fluid LCD system, constantly giving and receiving information. When a new alignment or energetic use of our tissue occurs, it can create a sense of space within ourselves. This new space allows us to tap into our souls on a much deeper level. The results can be profound: elevated consciousness, deeper intuition and a sense of peace. Can you imagine a stronger reason for making movement/exercise a part of your life? It is extremely important! Longevity, strength, personal power, connecting on a more intimate level with your soul—all of these can become available to you through moving your body. Change your perception and everything changes!
by Tyler Farrish …
We’ve all seen news reports covering topics like: “Local Produce: How Safe Is It Really?” Prominent concerns about our fruits and vegetables include pesticide use, germs & bacteria, and food-borne illness. How can we best avoid these contaminants from making their way onto our dining room table?
If you have seen reports about contaminated produce, have your methods of preparation changed? Many of us habitually treat our produce as we always have, even thought we know the dangers. Here are Nimble’s top 3 keys to bringing cleaner produce from your market to your table:
Shop Organic & Buy Local when possible, especially for the 12 most porous fruits & vegetables:
Here’s the “Dirty Dozen”…Apples, Celery, Strawberries, Peaches, Spinach, Nectarines, Grapes (Imported), Sweet Bell Peppers, Potatoes, Blueberries, Lettuce, Kale & Collard Greens
Clean Your Kitchen Workspace:
Keep your kitchen countertops, refrigerator, cookware, & cutlery clean. Avoid cross contamination of uncooked meats with fresh produce & don’t forget to wash your hands!
Wash Everything, even “pre-washed” produce:
• Leafy Produce: Soak in room temperature water, rinse, and blot or use a salad spinner to dry.
• Hard Produce: Clean with a firm-scrub brush under lukewarm running water (peeling will also decrease microbial load).
• Soft Produce: Soak in cool temperature water, rinse, & dry in colander or paper towels.
And one more tip! The three natural destroyers of vitamins in fruits and vegetables are heat, light, and oxygen.
• Limit storage time & keep produce in refrigerator when possible
• Cook minimally to maintain water-soluble vitamins (if cooked in water, try to reuse cooking water in soups & stews)
• Avoid washing/cutting/trimming of produce until right before use to limit exposure of nutrients to oxygen degradation.
By Tyler Farrish …
When I first became a member of the team here at Nimble Fitness, I was asked by one of the owners if I understood the importance of breathing. I answered yes without hesitation. I understood the anatomy and physiology behind breathing, knew the vitality of air, and had personally come to terms with knowing that my own country-grown lungs would suffer a bit living in New York City. However, to truly understand how breath is connected to everything we do–to be honest, I had never slowed down enough to really think about it.
Here’s what I found out: Breath is energizing, revitalizing, nourishing, and detoxifying. It can be harnessed to relieve physical and mental stress, by triggering our Para-Sympathetic nervous system, and used to provide new-found energy. Rhythmic breathing clarifies thought and helps you to be present in the moment.
Use these steps below to aid you in finding and developing your breath—it can be done anywhere, anytime! To practice, begin by finding an area or space where you can lay-down comfortably.
- Lying on your back, place your hands gently over your lower ribs.
- Take a deep, slow, conscious breath in through your nose.
- Let the breath flow into your abdomen. Feel your rib cage expand into your hands, followed by a gentle lift in your chest.
- Your breath should come ⅔ into your belly, followed by ⅓ into your chest.
- Gently exhale through your mouth. Do not force the air out–just let it go.
- Strive for a “3-D” breath! See if you can feel the sides and back of your rib cage expand with each inhale.
- As you practice, you’ll feel your breath naturally slow down and deepen.
- Practice for 10-15 minutes at a time, as often as you’d like.
Happy Breathing Nimblers!
by Keith Paine …
For most of us, exercise is a compartmentalized activity. It’s a thing we do 2-3 times a week before work. It’s a chance to focus on ourselves and on the way we want to feel. It’s an opportunity to get back into our bodies and away from the stresses of work and life.
Sometimes life rears its head, however, and shakes us out of our routines. When a big storm like Sandy hits, our lives are upended, and we’re reminded of what’s truly important. When that happens, our idea of “fitness” takes on a new meaning.
Fitness could be defined as the ability to walk up and down 23 flights of stairs in the dark with a fully packed bag and bottles of water—as one of our clients did–and realizing that it wasn’t that hard. Fitness could be loading heavy boxes of supplies for a relief effort, as another client did, and finding she could do it for hours without injury. Maybe true fitness is the ability to make better choices. Maybe it’s the ability to act–reaching out to a community when your parents have lost their house, or just offering to help in any way you can.
Being fit enough to help others as well as yourself. Having the ability to overcome stressful situations. Realizing that the training you do has benefits that you weren’t aware of. Maybe true fitness is just being able to handle whatever life throws at us.
by Victor Jackson …
Sometimes we all take on more than we can chew. We want to make everyone around us happy and get as much done as possible. We say ‘yes’ to things that others don’t want to do. And while doing all of these extra tasks, we are just pushing through and not making time for ourselves, even when that’s the one thing we need. And then we quickly realize if we don’t make time for ourselves, and set a schedule where ‘me’ time is involved, then no one else will schedule it for us.
Over this past summer I said ‘yes’ to too many external things, not realizing that I was also saying ‘no’ to time for myself and my own rest and recovery. Eventually my body and mind just shut down and I just couldn’t respond to anything or anyone. It forced me to take break, relax and reconsider my choices.
As a health practitioner and coach people come to me for help everyday. I also realized there are a lot of other people out there that are available in different fields to help me. All I had to do is ask! And as much as I knew that I still felt like I could handle everything, one thing I learned is that I’m not superman—nobody is! It’s OK to ask for help and not be afraid. Just by talking about certain situations, you realize other underlying situations that maybe need a little closure and are subconsciously on your mind. When you just talk about those situations out loud, then they become real and you are able to take that next step. So don’t try and take on the world by yourself. Understand that you are important, your rest is important, time to yourself is important, and if you don’t take that time then the world might just pass you by!
By Grace Shon …
I DID IT! I completed my first marathon! It was a long, tough journey but this whole process taught me that I am much stronger than I ever thought I was. I was thankful that I was even able to run, because I hadn’t been able to train for more than 4-weeks leading up to the race, and was not sure if I could finish.
There were so many things I learned, about running and about myself, during the weeks leading up to the marathon, but here are a few keys I would like to share:
NEVER train in pain. At Nimble Fitness, we strongly believe in this and tell this to all of our clients. The moment you engage in a sport or activity and you experience a pain or discomfort that isn’t “normal” you should stop and assess what you’re doing. You only move ahead when you’re ready and pain free. TRUST ME, I learned this the hard way! If I had done this, I would not have had to take 4 weeks off my marathon training.
Strength training is very important. Your legs carry you through the marathon. Logging in those long runs is important when training for a marathon, but getting your legs strong enough to sustain you through 26.2 miles is equally as important.
Don’t forget to enjoy the experience! Throughout the marathon, I was smiling like a fool because I was just thankful that I was able to run again. Rather than focusing on finishing at a goal time I was savoring every moment of it- the scenery, the crowd and the experience!
SMILE! There were moments during the marathon when I felt exhausted and thought I might not be able to go on. The encouragement of the crowd and putting a smile on my face made me feel good, gave me strength and helped me finish strong.
I wouldn’t have been able to get through the 26.2 miles without the help of the co-founders of Nimble Fitness, Keith and Daniel, who taught me so much along my journey, as well as the rest of the Nimble crew! You CAN do it. This is only the beginning of the first of many marathons I hope to run!
by Antonio Sini …
In the U.S., approximately 20% of our children and adolescents 2-19 years old are obese. That’s 3X as many kids as were obese in 1980. Despite all our ongoing efforts, 13 million kids are severely overweight. Are we really doing everything we can to change our children’s health habits and insure them a healthy and happy future?
You’d think as a nation, helping our kids to be more active would be one of our highest priorities! However, the one place where we should be teaching them the importance of physical fitness, in school, is where phys ed programs are being severely downgraded or eliminated all together. In fact, only 8% of elementary schools, 6.4% of middle schools, and 5.8% of high schools provide daily physical education to all of its students. (READ THIS)
And is it a coincidence that around the mid 1980s, when electronic gaming systems were introduced to the market, we started to see an increase in overweight kids? Statistics show that obesity rates in children exploded during the era of PS3 and Xbox 360. It’s become obvious kids don’t run outside and play like they used to.
As parents, what do we do? Here are 5 tips to help get your kids on a path to long-term health and wellness, and keep them on it!
1. Be a role model. This tip is the most important! Show children physical activity is an important part of your life by enthusiastically participating in it. My 3-year-old son often goes with mommy to the gym and sees me go off to mountain bike on the weekends. Not coincidentally, he now wants to learn how to ride a bike.
2. Participate with your child (e.g., schedule physical activities you can do together: play catch, teach them to ride a bike, go rowing on a lake, etc).
3. Encourage your child to participate on sports teams or join classes. (e.g., Little League, Karate class, gymnastics, dance school etc.) My wife and I enrolled our son in Karate and he loves it!
4. Select gifts that encourage physical activity (e.g., a ball, a bicycle, a pair of in-line skates).
5. Limit television viewing and video game play. In my house we literally save TV time for rainy days. If it’s nice outside we’re in the backyard playing tag or having fun in the park. Have your child “earn” time for video games or watching television by accumulating minutes of physical activity.
There is a powerful relationship between childhood obesity and lifelong weight and related medical problems. Exercise along with a balanced diet provides the foundation for a healthy, active life. One of the most important things you can do as a parent is encourage healthy habits in your children. The earlier on in life, the better but its never too late to start.
By Grace Shon …
It has always been on my bucket list to run a marathon. Every year, I told myself that I would run one but failed to do so– until now! This year, I am registered to run in my very first marathon in Hartford, Connecticut.
I must admit that I had to gather up all my nerve to register. For me, actually signing up for the marathon was the first step to fully committing to running 26.2 miles. Making the decision to run a marathon is a huge commitment that requires a lot of time, energy and hard work. If you tell yourself you will run a marathon and start “training” without signing up, chances are you won’t follow through. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that. You have to take action and do it.
The next step in committing to running the marathon was to tell people. After I registered, I didn’t tell anyone for about two weeks until my colleague Keith asked me if I had gone through with registering. It was hard for me to tell other people that I was running a marathon, because once you say it out loud it becomes real–and the people you tell will hold you accountable. Not to mention you will let them down if you don’t go through with it!
The final step was finding a training schedule that worked for me. There are hundreds of different schedules out there, almost all of which make you run 5 to 6 days a week without any kind of cross training. Luckily, Daniel and Keith from Nimble Fitness had run the NYC Marathon last year and recommended the book “Run Less, Run Faster.” The book calls for a 16-week training program with 3 days of running and 2 days of cross training a week. By running 3 days a week, I am running with fresh legs and able to optimize each run. And by cross training, it helps me to strengthen and prevent injury. I did my first 18 miler last week and felt great!
With the help of the Nimble guys, I feel like I am making great progress. Don’t get me wrong, the first few weeks of training were rough and there are days when I don’t feel like running and have to tell myself “I love to run” over and over. Getting used to running on a set schedule and getting myself to actually do the runs, no matter how tired I am or how hot it is outside, is not always easy to do. What has helped me to actually do the runs is to have people around me keeping me accountable and picturing myself crossing the finish line!
I am eleven weeks into my marathon training and the big day is fast approaching. Now, I actually enjoy each training run! There were a few times where I had to listen to my body and rest, but that’s all a part of the training process. With each run I’m feeling stronger and faster. I will keep you posted on my progress throughout the process of getting to the finish line!
WISH ME LUCK!!
By Tyler Farrish
Food. What is it? What does it mean to you? As this answer will vary from person to person, most of us will think of our latest craving for a particular meal, cuisine or treat. This is completely normal!
However, there’s often little secondary thought given to the experiencing of food—not the what, but the way we consume. We’re often just throwing food down the hatch, and moving as quickly as possible onto the next bite. Oh, the speedy lives we live. Before you move on to your next meal, have you ever stopped to think about how you feel after you eat?
Take this morning’s breakfast for example: How did you feel 30 minutes after you ate? Did your energy levels increase, decrease, remain the same, or did they rise briefly only to be followed by a quick crash? Did this meal satisfy you for 3-4 hrs? Did you notice any physical or emotional changes (i.e.: bloating, lower abdominal discomfort, gas, anxiety, hyperactivity, lethargy, etc.)? How well was the food processed by your body?
The main message I would like to drive home in this brief article is the importance of developing a relationship with your food. There is one nutritional goal we are striving for: To identify foods harmonious to your body. It’s as simple as that! Bio-Individuality states that each fruit, vegetable, meat, & fat will affect your system uniquely. Keeping that in mind, here’s your take-away for this month:
- Simplify Meals – Try to eat simply, choosing one fruit or vegetable with a meal, one source of protein, & one source of healthy fats.
- Make a Food Diary - via whatever is easiest (Google doc, notes on iPhone, journal or email, etc). Keep track of everything, food & liquid. Note how your body responds to different foods.
- Detox & De-Stress your digestive system - Try to drink half of your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. Aim to chew each bite 20-30 times to take stress off your digestive track. Avoid processed foods as much as possible & shop for organics
Now you can start to determine what foods/meal combinations work best for your body. Food is nourishment; it impacts every cell of our being…
At Nimble Fitness, we often talk about knowing your food and eating locally farmed meat and produce. The other day, I decided to shoot a short video interview with Mike, the owner of one of my favorite farms, Flying Pigs Farm. Here are some of the important points we talk about in the video:
*Where is the meat I’m eating coming from?
*How are the animals treated?
*Are they fed properly?
*Are drugs or steroids used with the animals?
Next time you are in the Union Square farmers market, check out Flying Pig’s farmstand. Also, take the opportunity to ask questions, from Mike and the other local farmers. It makes food shopping more social and personal at the same time.
The food we eat is broken down to nurture every cell in our body–I feel it deserves all the commitment, appreciation and respect we can cultivate towards it!
To your health,
Statistics came out a couple weeks ago stating that obesity in America was going to reach 40 percent by the year 2030. That means that almost HALF of Americans will be obese! To say that this statistic is alarming is a huge understatement. On a very basic level, this means that Americans are addicted to processed foods and sugar. The side effects of consuming processed foods and sugar make a long list. Inflammation leads the way, followed by deformed arteries, increased body fat, heart disease and diabetes. This is all preventable! WE NEED TO MOVE AND EAT WELL and it starts with you!
This is a personal mission for all of us. To live a healthy and joyful life is absolutely within your grasp, and the energy your create will inspire others. For instance, a simple meal gathered from your local farmers market is fun, great tasting and a way to get excited about locally produced food. Shifting your eating habits does take commitment, attention and dedication, but anyone can do it. BE THAT PERSON! We’re in an obesity crisis right now, and American society needs all the strong, healthy and happy people it can get. Watch how being that person changes you and everyone around you.