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Mindset

For most people who need to lose body fat and gain strength, it can be argued that programming doesn’t matter much and that there is probably not a “best” nutrition plan. Now, I hope everyone knows that I’m not proposing an “eat Twinkies and lose weight diet” or a “sit your way to a 15 minute 5K” plan. What I am saying is that if you’re starting at (or near) zero, there are many things that CAN work. It’s all about your mindset.

Verbal abuse is still abuse

Q. My daughter is being verbally abused by her husband. She says she loves him, and denies that he is abusive, but I have overheard the arguments, and I know she is in denial. He throws things and screams about everything, especially when he’s drinking. She was so self-assured, and now she is scared of everything. What can I do to help her realize there is a problem in her marriage?

All drinks are too many during pregnancy

Q. In one of my college classes, the instructor said that one should not drink alcohol at all during pregnancy. My gynecologist said it was OK as long as I only had one drink. Two other girls in class said that their doctor told them the same thing, and they continued to drink throughout their pregnancies. What is the right answer?

Exercise and eye health

The role of exercise in promoting good overall health is well established, especially in relation to preventing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity. The role of physical activity on good eye health, which was once in short supply, is mounting as well. It is becoming evident that exercise is very important in helping to prevent some of the most common and most serious eye conditions.

Stagger not at the promises

(As it is written, “I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform. (Romans 4:17-21 KJV)

Genetics and Fitness

Here’s a shocker — we’re all different. We have different body types, different cellular reactions from foods, different strengths and different weaknesses. So it should come as no surprise that we each have different behaviors that we’re more likely to succeed in … and that we will have more difficulty in.

Setting boundaries can keep pleasers from being doormats

Q. I am a widow who lives alone. My daughter, who is in her late 30s, asked if a friend of hers, who is going through a divorce, could stay with me for two weeks until her place was ready. It has been two months, her place is still not ready, and she has shown no desire to move out. She also does not cook or clean up after herself. My daughter says I’m being selfish, but I want her out of my house. How can I set a boundary between being helpful and having people take advantage of me?

Putting words in someone’s mouth

I recently saw a silly cartoon that gave me an idea for this column. The first frame showed two siblings sitting on the floor amidst piles of torn paper. The second frame showed the older of the two with a comic bubble showing a lightbulb above his head. He then began sticking bits of paper in the younger one’s mouth, saying, “Chew! Chew! Swallow!” at the younger’s loud cry, the mother rushes in and asks, “WHAT’S going on here?” The older calmly answers, “Aw, nothing, I’m just puttin’ words in Timmy’s mouth.”

Detraining

You have all heard me say that we need to exercise consistently in order to achieve optimal health. But what happens when we take, voluntarily or not, an extended break from physical activity? “Rest” is important, but how much is enough, and how much is too much? Too much rest puts us in a state of detraining. Detraining is when a long enough period of inactivity has passed that health parameters, which were once improving, begin to deteriorate.

Your Best Life - Can exercise make up for a poor diet?

In this column, I have dedicated many words toward convincing readers that exercise is critical to optimum health. Only a few weeks ago I dedicated the entire article to listing some of the numerous benefits. While every one of those benefits is valid, there is something that exercise cannot do. Exercise cannot make up for a poor diet. Although exercise can help offset unhealthy eating by burning more calories than a sedentary lifestyle would, healthy eating will help you achieve your BEST results. An unhealthy diet will undermine your efforts toward better health by making you feel lethargic, and it can cause a variety of health problems.

Grief and the holidays: only do what feels right

Q. I’ve had several close friends and family members die within the last couple of months. I have no desire to celebrate the holidays. My children live out of state, and I don’t even want to see them. I know I am grieving, but I want to put up a good front for the sake of my grandchildren. What should I do?

One hundred year board meeting

Even if you have been living under the proverbial rock, you’re likely aware that this weekend is the 100th anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s birth. I am an unapologetic Sinatra fan. I have been since high school. Oddly enough, my love of Ol’ Blue Eyes may have begun as the result of a magazine offer.

Your Best Life - Which piece of cardio?

Treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bikes are the three main types of machines for cardiovascular exercise. All offer you the opportunity to create aerobic workouts that burn calories and strengthen the heart. All are primarily lower-body in nature, but each works your muscles differently and offers different benefits. Over time your best bet for creating the most effective program would be to use all three.

Riding out panic attacks this holiday shopping season

Q. During this holiday season every time I go into a crowded store, I get hot, sweaty, and my heart starts pounding. I love to go Christmas shopping, but now I begin to panic every time I enter a store. I think these are panic attacks, but I’ve not had them since high school, and I’m frightened. What can I do to stop this so that it doesn’t ruin my holiday fun?