December 14, 2007
Table of Contents
Healthy Hints for the Holidays
SFA author Jim Evans is a 40-year veteran of the health and fitness industry and an internationally recognized senior fitness consultant. Today Jim provides practical solutions for mature adults who have concerns regarding holiday weight gain.
DEAR JIM: It seems the older I get, the more weight I gain -- especially during the holidays. I seem to be able to hold my own during the rest of the year, but I probably gain at least five pounds every year between Thanksgiving and New Year's. At this rate I'll be a blimp by 2010, and I'll only be 69. What can I do to control my weight this holiday season? HEFTY IN HELENA
DEAR HEFTY: The holidays are here again, and the average American can expect to gain from one to 12 pounds during the holiday season depending on what statistics you want to believe. It's the same old story every year. Most Americans will make the same New Year's resolution every year too: to lose weight! How to break the cycle of failure? Try these healthy hints to help you control your weight while still enjoying the holidays:
Considering Your New Year's Resolutions?
If you're thinking of kicking off the new year by kicking the habit, be sure to pause over every magazine advertisement you see for smoking cessation products. Merely looking at such ads seems to make cigarette smokers more likely to try quitting and to succeed at it, according to a Pulse wire report. This is true even when persons seeing the ads don't actually go out and purchase the anti-smoking gum, pill, or patch being advertised.
How and why does this work? Interviewed by the wire service, policy analysis professor Alan Mathios of Cornell University said that the marketing of smoking cessation products appears to have significant spill-over effects. It is believed to reinforce the anti-smoking message coming from public health officials and to strengthen the determination of quitters who keep seeing the magazine ads after they've stopped smoking.
Walk the Walk
Maybe the perfect New Year's Resolution would be launching that fitness walking program you've been meaning to start. If so, www.walkscore.com can help! It ranks neighborhoods according to how many parks, restaurants, businesses, schools, theaters, and other popular destinations are within convenient walking distance.
The website's creators told the Washington Post that walking can be more than a healthful physical activity: It can also provide mental and social exercise that promotes interactions within the community.
If you visit the website and enter your address, you'll see all your nearby destinations and be given their distances from your starting point. Neighborhood "walk scores" range from zero to 100 depending on how many destinations are located within one mile. Come to think of it, this information might prompt you to walk instead of driving to a local shop or cafe. Still, the system is slated to receive future upgrades. "There are a lot of things that make a neighborhood walkable that we're not measuring right now," a Walkscore spokesman told the Post.
The holiday season may not be the most accommodating time to get nutritional advice across, but dietary sodium doesn't take a vacation from contributing to high blood pressure. So here's a short-and-sweet, easy habit to start now and carry through into the new calendar year: To remove some of the excess salt, always drain and rinse your canned vegetables before preparing them.
Keep Stress at Bay During the Holidays
Although this time of year should mean relaxing with friends and family, sometimes the season has a way of turning hectic -- and nerves can get frazzled. In fact, all year through nearly four out of ten Americans report feeling stressed out frequently, according to a recent Gallup poll. Another 39 percent say they are sometimes stressed.
To find ways to relieve all this stress, the Pulse wire service consulted stress expert Dr. Erin Olivo, who provided these helpful relaxation ideas:
As this year draws to a close, we'd like to leave you with a warm thought, a happy thought, and an uplifting thought with which to ring in the new year!
"Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read."
-- Quoted by Francis Bacon in Apothegm
"We turn not older with years, but newer every day."
-- Emily Dickinson
"When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day."
-- Marty Bucella
Year End Savings on all SFA Educational Programs
Until December 21, 2007, SFA is offering special year end savings on all of our internationally respected educational programs. Start now to make 2008 the year that you gain the senior fitness knowledge and professional credentials you need to serve the 50,000,000 Americans aged 60 or more. Please click here for ordering information.
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