How to Get More Involved In Your Community 

Sometimes one of the simplest actions to boost your mood and feel empowered is to get social. Research shows that having positive social interactions can be crucial to maintaining good mental and physical health. Understandably though it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin when you've made the decision to become more active in your community. It’s important to take into consideration your interests, skills, and hobbies when you’re looking to engage in a new social activity or community organization. Consider the following suggestions for ways to get involved in your community and decide on one that might best suit you and your interests! 

Join A Club

This type of social engagement is great for persons with a variety of interests. With websites such as meetup.com, you can narrow down what you’re interested in participating in from cooking classes to hiking groups or book clubs. You can find plenty of groups that are nearby, and you can even start your own group dedicated to your personal interest! This is a great way not only to get active in a new community activity but to also meet new people with similar passions and hobbies.

Volunteer For A NonProfit

What many people may not realize is that nonprofits are in need of more than just monetary donations and that they are often in search of hands-on volunteers. Consider joining a cause close to your heart or one that you would like to learn more about. Do some research online and you can usually track down the contact information for a nonprofit's Volunteer Coordinator. Or if you’d rather go directly to where the help is most needed, check out immediate volunteer opportunities on VolunteerMatch.com or consider serving on a Board for a nonprofit. Volunteering can help you get more active in local causes, and can also help you gain a great sense of satisfaction from taking on responsibilities that directly impact people's lives. 

Get involved in Local Politics 

Acquire new leadership skills and meet other active citizens in your city by getting involved in your local political party. Start by attending your town hall or city council meetings and pursue a social issue that you feel connected to. You might even consider joining a campaign for a local politician who advocates for a certain change that you would like to see in your community. If you have children you can also get to know your local School board and have a more direct impact on their education by joining your local PTA

Attend a Professional Networking Event

By attending a networking event or joining a networking group related to your profession, you’ll not only be connecting with your peers, but you’ll also be able to stay on top of the latest trends in your field. By connecting with professional groups or leadership programs, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable insight, make new connections and possibly meet a new mentor. 

Become A Mentor 

While you’re searching for your next mentor, why not become a mentor to someone else in need of guidance. There are a variety of ways to get involved in mentorship programs that can range from mentoring an emerging professional in your field to engaging with at-risk youth. Use a search engine like mentoring.org to find an opportunity that best suits you.

By connecting yourself to your community you can increase your sense of belonging and benefit your surroundings with your time and skills. Most importantly, you’ll be increasing your social interaction which can help decrease feelings of isolation, put you in a better state of mental health and may even increase your longevity. Take the first step today to improving your health and maintaining a healthy mindset by getting socially active and involved in your community! 

 

 

Why You Shouldn’t Underestimate the Power of Walking

Exercise is an essential part of healthy living—and walking is one of the easiest ways to get and stay fit. If you’ve been less active than you’d like to be, walking is an ideal way to get moving and make a difference in your health. Plus, you can do it almost anywhere, anytime.

Whether you’re looking to move more, take up a group fitness class, or complete a 5K one day, here’s how you can use the power of walking to step into fitness and reach your goals.

Health Benefits of Walking

Daily walking can benefit your physical and emotional well-being in many ways. It can help you:

• Keep your weight in check

• Curb sugar cravings

• Manage stress and anxiety

• Sleep better and feel more energized

• Strengthen muscles and ease joint pain

• Reduce risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes

• Decrease risk of developing breast cancer

• Boost creativity and brainpower

• Improve your ability to do daily activities

Walk Your Way to Fitness

So, how can you fit more walking into your busy life? Ideally, you should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. If fitting in that amount of activity into your busy life seems daunting, don’t worry. All you need is 5 – 10 minutes of at a time to reap the health benefits of walking.

Here are some ideas for you to try:

• Do active chores. While doing housework isn’t traditionally considered a workout, all that activity can certainly help you get in shape. Plenty of chores involve walking about or racking up steps, such as mopping the kitchen, vacuuming the carpets, raking up leaves, mowing the lawn, washing the car, gathering up items for donations—the list goes on and on!

• Have a Netflix and workout night: Like most of us, there are likely some nights when all you want to do is crash on the couch and binge-watch your favorite shows. But who says you can’t get hooked into the story and get your workout on? Challenge yourself to spend the first 10 minutes of every half an hour marching, side-stepping, or jogging in place. Be sure to pump your arms as you go to really get your heart rate up. Or you might look into investing in a home treadmill to keep you moving instead of sitting.

• Add variety to your walking routes: Following the same route every day can get real boring, real quick. Keep your walks interesting by picking out a few different routes you can take around your workplace, in your neighborhood, or at a nearby park. Look for long-stretches of sidewalks, paved walking paths, or well-maintained dirt trails for even more scenic variety.

• Go for a walking meeting: Does your mind tend to wander during humdrum meetings? Walking can strengthen your memory, giving you better recall of what important details were covered in that meeting. If you’re having a one-on-one check-in with a direct report, go for a stroll and breathe in some fresh air as you catch up. Or if there’s a conference call and you’re able to dial in, grab your cell phone, put on your walking shoes, and step to it. (Tip: Instead of holding your phone up to your ear, use your earbuds during the call—many brands offer inexpensive earbuds with built-in microphones, so you can talk while you walk.)

• Make the most of business travel: It may seem impossible to squeeze in a workout when traveling on business. But the good news is there are a few ways you can get in a short walk and keep your momentum going away from home. If you can, walk from your hotel to the conference or meeting you’re attending, and do a little sightseeing along the way. Or call ahead and see if the hotel offers an onsite gym and start your day with a brisk walk on the treadmill. You could also plan to stick around an extra day and wander around a nearby museum or two.

• Find ways to sneak in extra steps. Getting in a few extra steps throughout the day really adds up and can even increase your endurance and stamina for those longer walking workouts. Park your car at the back of the parking lot. Take a walk break on your lunch hour with a coworker. Get off the bus a stop or 2 earlier. Go on an easy hike with a friend or group. Leash up your dog and go for a quick walk around the block together.

Ready, Set, Walk!

Have you been putting off exercise? There’s no better time than now to get your heart pumping with a walking activity. Start out at your own pace to avoid injury and increase your fitness gains. And above all else, have fun with it! Remember, everything you do to work toward a more active lifestyle will also help you to live your best health ever. 

Ways to De-Stress Before Bed to Ensure a Good Night’s Sleep

You experience varying degrees of stress all the time. And getting enough sleep is a great way to cope with that stress. When you wake up feeling recharged and alert, you are better able to handle the demands of work, home, and life. 

But what if your daily stress is keeping you from getting the restorative shut-eye you need? Too much tension and anxiety can affect your body and disrupt your sleep in several ways. That’s because the stress you experience during the day doesn’t end the minute your head hits the pillow. Your body produces stress hormones, which can linger in your body and stimulate it well into the night.

Here are a few scenarios you might experience:

• Your mind is racing, making it hard to fall asleep.

• You remain in a light sleep, rather than reaching deep sleep.

• You wake up often, finding it hard to stay asleep.

How to Wind Down Before Bedtime

The good news is that you can overcome sleeplessness by learning a few easy relaxation skills you can do before bed. You can even do some of these techniques should you wake up in the middle of the night and need help falling back asleep. Not only do these skills help you ward off daily stress responses and improve the quality of your sleep, they may also reduce your need for sleep medications. Ensure a good night’s sleep with these relaxation skills.

• Take a deep breath: One of the easiest ways to manage stress and anxiety is to simply breathe deeply. This technique goes by a few names: diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, or belly breathing. It may seem like a new skill you have to learn, but it’s really your body’s natural way of breathing. By taking slow, deep breaths, you inhale more oxygen and exhale more carbon dioxide (CO2). The benefit: a slower heart rate and lower blood pressure. Just 10 minutes of deep breathing is all you need to help your body relax before you hit the hay.

• Brew a cup of evening tea: Hot or iced, sipping a cup of tea in the evening makes for a calming and refreshing bedtime ritual. As it becomes a habit, the familiar act of sipping your evening tea can signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down for the night. There are many soothing and delicious teas out there, like Yogi Bedtime Tea and Teavana Lavender Dreams White Tea. Just be sure to drink it at least an hour before you turn in, so you don’t find yourself getting up to use the bathroom multiple times in the night.

• Perform Shavasana: There’s a good reason many yoga sequences end with a 5-minute Shavasana—this basic move can help you calm your mind and lower your heart rate after a good workout. But you don’t have to attend a yoga class to reap the benefits of the pose. You can practice this “deeply quiet posture” before bedtime to release the day’s stress and tension. All you have to do is lie back on a comfortable surface, close your eyes, focus on finding any tension in your mind and body, and then let it go. Experience total relaxation with these step-by-step Shavasana instructions.

• Go for a stroll: It’s hard to find the energy to exercise when you’re exhausted, but maintaining your fitness can help you sleep better and restore your energy. If you’re feeling too depleted for a full workout, go for a 10-minute stroll after dinner with your spouse, kids, and/or dog. Keep your pace slower than normal; the idea isn’t to get your heart rate up but to release pent-up emotions from the day. This is also a great time to practice a little mindfulness, taking in the scenery, sounds, smells around you.

• Create positive mental imagery: As the saying goes, what goes up must come down—and that’s as true of gravity as it is your stress level. Negative thoughts can boost your stress response, while positive thoughts can help you keep it at bay. Lowering your stress levels as you get ready for bed can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep—and that’s where positive mental imagery comes in. Give it a try: Picture yourself someplace that feels peaceful and serene to you. Perhaps it’s a footpath winding through a lush forest, a quiet beach on a tropical shoreline, or a horizon lined with awe-inspiring red rock formations. This kind of visualization can encourage your mind to relax. And who knows, you may find yourself being whisked away to those very places in your dreams.

• Drift off with binaural beats: Listening to soothing music is a nice way to go to sleep, but any tunes with lyrics can be distracting and keep your mind busy. Want to try something new and different? The relaxing rhythm and repetition of binaural beats may be just what you need to turn off your mind at night. While the beats themselves may not lull you to sleep, listening to them could help you to feel less stressed and anxious, leading to a more restful slumber. Tune into this free playlist and find out if binaural beats work for you.

Snooze the Night Away

How do you like to unwind before bed? Can you think of other relaxation skills you’d like to try? Let us know how you’ll make relaxation and better-quality sleep part of your healthy lifestyle.

Simple Salad Recipes

You don’t have to be a chef extraordinaire to put together a tasty and filling salad! You might need an easy go to lunch or something to complement your dinner but you’re overwhelmed by all the complicated recipes online. These simple salads are made up of only 5-6 ingredients and feature healthy options for salad dressings that you can make from your own kitchen. If you’ve got a busy schedule this week, try mixing together a larger batch of each salad, double the dressing recipe and set aside the dressing and salad mix in Tupperware to take with you on the go! 

Greek Salad 

Ingredients:

2 chopped heads of romaine lettuce
1/2 sliced purple onion
2 sliced roma tomatoes
1 sliced cucumber
1 cup sliced Kalamata olives
2 tbsp feta 

Greek Salad Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil 
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 minced garlic clove 
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Walnut & Strawberry Spinach Salad 

Ingredients:

2 handfuls of fresh spinach
1 cup sliced strawberries 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts 
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Italian Mixed Greens Salad 

Ingredients:

2 handfuls of mixed greens 
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes 
1/2 cup sliced black olives 
1 cup garbanzo beans 
1/2 chopped purple onion

Italian Salad Dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Also,  try adding your favorite protein to any of these salads and make sure to let us know which is your favorite! 

Photo Cred: Food Network, Cookie+Kate, WeightWatchers

How to Incorporate More Superfoods Into Your Nutrition

Achieving your best health ever a lot easier when you incorporate superfoods into your nutrition. But what are superfoods? Superfoods are considered nutritional powerhouses because they are low-calorie whole foods that pack loads of nutrients into every bite.

Ready to expand your palate? Not all superfoods are as exotic or hard to find as you think! Here are 6 everyday superfoods you should try, plus easy ways you can fit them into your healthy eating plan.

Almonds

Why it’s super: When it comes to weight loss, almonds and other nuts often get a bad rap for their high fat and calorie content. But almonds are a rich source of heart-healthy, unsaturated fats—just be sure to eat them in moderation. Not only are they nutritionally dense, almonds are a good source of fiber and protein, plus minerals, like iron, magnesium, and calcium.

How to enjoy it: Grab a small handful (about 100 calories) and pair them with a serving of dark chocolate for a delicious afternoon snack. Or try sprinkling slivered almonds over your salad for a crunchy alternative to croutons.

 

 


Kale

Why it’s super: Kale is a cruciferous vegetable that’s bursting with nutrients. In fact, kale is more nutrient-dense than nearly any of other whole food. It’s packed with antioxidants like carotenoids, flavonoids, and isothiocyanates, which may lessen the risk of certain cancers. It’s also a fantastic source of vitamin A for eye health, fiber for a healthy gut, and omega-3 fatty acids for blocking inflammation in the body.

How to enjoy it: Serve sautéed kale with caramelized onions as a side dish for dinner. Or liven up lunch by tossing raw kale into your salad. 

 

 

Apples

Why it’s super: Crunchy, delicious, and easy to munch on when you’re on the go. What’s not to love about apples? They’re chock-full of antioxidants and other health-promoting nutrients that help the body to fight inflammation and many chronic diseases. Eating the fruit whole, rather than juiced, can aid in blood sugar control and may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Plus, they contain soluble fiber, which promotes weight loss because the stomach will feel fuller for longer.

How to enjoy it: Eat whole as a hand fruit or add apple chunks to your fruit cup for a savory snack. You can also pair apples and cheese as healthy party appetizers.

 

 

 


 

Garlic Cloves

Why it’s super: Garlic is often used to make prepared foods taste better, but it has also been used as a plant-based medicine for thousands of years. Garlic contains bioactive sulfur compounds that have the potential to fight certain cancers, such as those in the breast, stomach, or colon. It can also be used to treat metabolic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases like arteriosclerosis and hypertension.

How to enjoy it: Purée fresh or roasted garlic cloves and add them to homemade hummus dips, sauces, and soups!

 

 

Avocados

Why it’s super: Not only are avocados teeming with vitamins and minerals, they may help to boost the absorption of nutrients from other whole foods as well—meaning you get double the health benefits. Avocados are a good source of healthy fats that promote weight loss. And because avocados are a high-fiber fruit, they naturally increase good cholesterol levels (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL).

How to enjoy it: No matter how you take your eggs, add a few slices of avocado to your plate for a powerhouse breakfast. Or try substituting mayo on your sandwich for slices of creamy and buttery avocado. 

 

Dark Chocolate

Why it’s super: A nibble of dark chocolate a day may play an important role in helping the mind age well. That’s because dark chocolate is powered by cocoa flavanols, which promote healthy blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Better circulation also leads to improved cognitive function and can enhance learning, memory, and focus. And good circulation may lower the risk of stroke by encouraging the heart to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

How to enjoy it: As an occasional treat, a square or two of dark chocolate can be a tasty way to indulge a craving without the guilt. You can also mix dark chocolate cocoa powder with Greek yogurt for a high-protein snack that will fuel your body after a workout. 

 

 

 

Superfoods may be good for you, but the magic happens when you make them part of a well-balanced diet. Be sure to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fats and proteins, and other foods to get all of the nutrients your body needs. How will you work more superfoods into your meals and snacks? Let the community know in the comments below!

 

 

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese by Nourished Balance

When you're first implementing healthier alternatives to your diet and nutrition, you can start to have some serious cravings for those go-to meals you used to make on a regular basis. This is especially true for those comfort foods we crave after a long day, like a big bowl of mac & cheese. This is why we love this recipe here at Boundless Health, it's the perfect healthy alternative to your classic mac & cheese that still satisfies your appetite for something cheesy and delicious. Thank you to Nourished Balance for our favorite "mac & cheese" recipe! 

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese 

Ingredients

  1. 5 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite size pieces
  2. Sea salt and pepper to taste
  3. 1 cup coconut milk
  4. 1/2 cup chicken stock (or homemade broth)
  5. 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  6. 1 organic egg, beaten
  7. 2 Tbsps Nutritional yeast
  8. 2 cups organic mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a baking dish with unsalted butter
  2. Place cauliflower pieces in steamer basket, add a pinch of salt. Steam until al dente (not too soft, not too hard)
  3. Spread cauliflower pieces evenly at the bottom of the baking dish
  4. In a saute pan over medium heat, heat up the coconut milk- add a pinch of salt and pepper
  5. Add the broth and keep stirring- then add the coconut flour heat until simmering
  6. Take pan off the heat, add the egg and nutritional yeast to the sauce and stir with a fork until well incorporated
  7. The sauce will thicken- pour over the cauliflower. Add the cheese evenly and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  8. Turn the oven onto broil for 3-5 minutes to get a nice brown coloring on top.

And don't forget to eat mindfully so you truly enjoy each bite of this savory meal! 

5 Exercise Classes to Try Out

Have you been wanting to try out a new exercise class, but you’re not sure where to begin? There are plenty of group fitness classes out there for you to get your sweat on and achieve your health goals in a fun and exhilarating way. The key is to pick the ones that interest you and give them a whirl!

Whether you’re just starting out or starting over, here are 5 beginner-friendly exercise classes to try out* and kick start your fitness journey.

Cardio Kickboxing

Kick, punch, and jump your way toward a stronger you with an action-packed cardio kickboxing class. You’ll power your way through this high-intensity workout by doing a variety of kickboxing combinations, all choreographed to heart-pumping music. You can work at your own pace and modify any kickboxing moves to fit your current fitness level. Classes usually last 30 – 60 minutes. 

  • Why it's good for your health: Cardio conditioning classes like kickboxing give you a sneaky high-intensity interval class. You may not even realize it (because you are having so much fun) but all that punching and kicking provides a full body workout that gets your heart rate pumping. That can improve overall fitness, help improve your glucose and insulin sensitivity, and of course add to extra calorie burn.
  • Why might you enjoy it: Need to wrangle a bad mood or slash stress after a long day? All that punching and kicking can give you a blissful and mood-boosting endorphin high.

 

Mat Pilates

Mat Pilates takes you through a series of dynamic movements and breathing techniques that focus on your body’s natural powerhouse, the core. Aside from a cushy mat, no equipment is required. You’ll use your body weight to strengthen and stabilize muscles. Classes usually last 45 – 60 minutes.

  • Why it's good for your health: Maintaining a strong core can ease lower back pain and improve posture. Pilates also works in a functional capacity to help you perform better in your other weekly workouts and your daily activities.
  • Why you might enjoy it: Low on energy? Take to the mat for a gentle but demanding workout that will engage your muscles and power up your core.

 

Spinning®

Spinning, or indoor cycling, is a challenging workout that helps you shed fat, build muscle, and boost endurance. You’ll ride a stationary bike that allows you to control your pace and resistance as you pedal through intervals and recovery periods. Some classes may even include imagery that simulates various outdoor terrain, adding a sense of adventure to your experience. Classes usually last 45 – 60 minutes.

  • Why it's good for your health: Not only does indoor cycling promote better heart health and greater lung capacity, it can help you manage the stress and anxiety of daily life. Low and high interval phases work your body in different ways: pedal faster to burn calories, or turn up the tension to strengthen your leg muscles more.
  • Why you might enjoy it: Unlike outdoor group rides, you don’t have to worry about lagging behind the pack. You can stay at a pace that suits your fitness level and still reach your destination alongside the rest of the class. Plus, there is no car traffic to worry about!

 

Yoga

Yoga is a mind-body workout that connects breath with movement. A zen-like atmosphere is created through dim lighting and soft music. Intensity level depends on the form of yoga you choose. Gently-paced classes like Hatha and Vinyasa are a great place to start and include basic yoga flow poses and stretches. Some classes may include guided meditation. Classes usually last 60 – 90 minutes.

  • Why it's good for your health: Yoga helps you hone your focus and boost your brainpower. Over time, you may find it easier to let go of worries and embrace a new sense of calm. You don’t have to be “bendy” to do yoga—with regular practice, you’ll improve flexibility and restore balance, which in turn helps you to prevent injury.
  • Why you might enjoy it: Whether you’re looking for a holistic approach to fitness or an active recovery workout between tougher exercise classes, you’ll walk away from a yoga class feeling more relaxed and empowered to take on the rest of your day.

 

Zumba®

Zumba is a high energy, dance-inspired fitness class that moves you to the rhythm of South American beats. You don’t need dance experience to get started; all you have to do is follow the leader and feel the music. Some classes also infuse interval training and resistance training. Classes usually last 60 minutes.

  • Why it's good for your health: As you learn new dance routines, you’ll improve agility and coordination, which is important to work on as you age. Zumba can also increase your cardiovascular fitness, similar to other aerobic activities like walking, jogging, and rowing. 
  • Why you might enjoy it: If you’re looking for a calorie-torching exercise class that’s so fun you’ll forget it’s a workout, Zumba is a good choice. 

Even with a busy schedule, you can reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Many fitness centers offer group exercise classes at a variety of times throughout the week. Whether you choose a gym that’s near your work or close to home, all you have to do is look up the group class schedule on your gym’s website and pick a few classes that work for you. 

When you enjoy your workouts, you're more likely to do them regularly. And when coupled with good nutrition, you’ll be well on your way to your best health ever. Let us know which of these exercise classes inspired you to get started on your journey!

*It's always good to consider checking in with your doctor before starting a new workout routine. 

 

 

 

Understanding Health Fads: Juice Cleanses

It’s hard to say when the juice cleanse craze began, but it’s definitely still here and probably not going anywhere soon. Whether it was the early 90s, or in the 2000’s when the internet started pouring out endless health tips, juice cleanses were deemed as the best way to “detox” and “lose weight fast”. Celebrities churn out endorsements for different juicing brands and you can even purchase pre-made juice cleanses sent right to your door step. The question is, are juice cleanses really a benefit to our health?

Let’s break down the two health claims that come from juicing and why they might not be so accurate…

Juice cleanses claim to act as a detox, a method to rid your body of toxins and reset itself to a healthier state. But what your body is actually detoxing from during a juice cleanse might be many of the essential nutrients we need for our body to properly function.

By only consuming fruit and vegetable juice we’re actually stripping out vital vitamins and minerals we need such as Vitamin D, E and B-12 that help power our metabolic functions, such as converting our food into glucose and energy.

And even though fruit and vegetable juices do contain many healthy vitamins such as Vitamin C, A & B, these vitamins need to work in conjunction with other foods to be best absorbed. Removing good fats from your diet prevents your body from processing those potentially healthy vitamins. In the end, you’re wasting your body's chance to absorb these great vitamins by restricting yourself to just vegetables and fruits and eliminating other valuable elements in your diet such as nuts, seeds and, yes even coconut oil (yes coconut oil can be part of a healthy eating pattern!)

Also, it’s important to note our body has its own detoxifying functions to keep you healthy and rid your system of anything it doesn't need. This is what your kidneys, liver and GI tract function as, organs that help rid our bodies of harmful substances. Keep those organs happy and healthy with a well-balanced eating pattern full of real foods and you should be fine functioning with just your own internal detox system!

The second biggest promise a juice cleanse offers is the opportunity to lose weight – fast. In a sense, this claim might actually be true because you are in fact reducing your daily calorie intake, sometimes to as low as just 1000 calories a day. However, if you're looking for a long-term weight loss solution, a juice cleanse will do anything but that for you.

The quick weight loss from a juice cleanse comes predominately from the loss of water weight because as your body is starved for calories it will turn to its stores of glycogen for energy and as your glycogen is depleted so is the water attached to it. So rather than any true fat loss being accomplished, your body is only losing the grams of water in the glycogen that it is burning to keep you functioning on the few calories you’re ingesting. Once you end the juice cleanse and return to your regular diet, your glycogen stores will quickly be replenished, along with the water attached to them, returning you to your initial weight.

If you really want to lose weight fast, you are better off with a fasting mimicking diet full of healthy fats and low carbohydrates. This helps you metabolize your own fat stores rather than burning through your stored glycogen. But even then, short term weight loss is not synonymous with health! In fact, it is usually quite the opposite.

In the end, a juice cleanse won’t deliver on either of its promises, and it will also lead to unpleasant side effects such as headaches, nausea and mood swings on top of faltering energy levels (usually from the lack of fiber and protein in your diet). As you can imagine, these side effects will only slow you down on your path to better health.

It might be appealing to consider a diet that promises to change your life in just 3-5 days, but with a juice cleanse not only is the change short lived, it’s not of considerable benefit to your overall health. To really make a lasting impact on your health, there are no short cuts. So don’t believe it when someone tries to sell you one.

Instead, make a long-term commitment to your health. Implement daily lifestyles that will help you feel better and be better. That involves smarter decisions around nutrition, exercise, mindfulness and more. To learn more and get practical tips on how to accomplish this, consider taking the first step to achieving your best health ever with the Boundless Health Program.

 

8 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Mood

Are you struggling to snap out of a funk? Whether you’re a little grumpy or you’re in an all around bad mood, you don’t have to spend the rest of your day wallowing. Need a few ideas for turning that frown upside down? Here are 8 ways you can instantly improve your mood.

1. Tidy Up Your Spaces

When your spaces are too cluttered, it can have an effect on your mental state. Juggling hectic schedules and constant deadlines means something else has to give, like organization. It’s easier to let things pile up around you when keeping a clutter free zone isn’t your priority. So start with just one thing you would like to tidy up, such as your office cubicle, the laundry room, or the trunk of your car. Set the kitchen timer for 30 minutes and focus on cleaning whatever you can for that amount of time. If you’ve got more time, rummage through your closets and then donate any clothes your family doesn’t wear. Or go through the pantry and donate any food that is no longer part of your healthy lifestyle!

2. Take a Nap

Maybe you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Or maybe you didn’t get enough deep, restful sleep (which is the more likely culprit of your bad mood). Feeling tired can make it that much harder to meet deadlines, be creative, or enjoy time with your family. Kick back for a 20-minute power nap to feel more refreshed and able to take on the rest of your day. Just keep in mind that naps are not a substitute for getting good quality sleep every night.

3. Write It Out

Is your mind’s playlist loaded with worries and stuck on repeat? A quick way to fix that broken record is to get all of those thoughts out of your head. Grab a notepad and organize a master to-do list, then break it down into smaller, more manageable lists. Kick start a project by doing 15 – 20 minutes of research, which can also get the creative ideas flowing. Or try journaling to put any worries or anxieties onto paper. Sometimes seeing them in writing can take a weight off your shoulders and leave you with more energy to take on the rest of the day.

4. Play a Word Game

If you love Scrabble, give Words with Friends a try. It’s a free virtual word game you can download to your smartphone and play to test your skills. Plus, feeling that Triple Word Score victory will definitely have you grinning ear to ear! You can work also in a little brain fitness. Just like your body, your mind needs a regular workout, too. Playing strategy games is an effective way to challenge your brain and keep it smart as you age.

5. Spend Time with Others

Are you communicating more and more by text, instant message, and email? Having real conversations can be a real mood booster. Meet a friend for coffee, or if you just can’t get away from your desk, call each other on Skype and switch on your web cameras for a virtual coffee chat. Go on a hike with your family and talk about what’s happening in each other’s lives. Or walk to a co-workers desk next time you have a question that can be answered with a quick chat.

6. Pump Up The Jams

Turn up the tunes you loved as a teenager (hello, Duran Duran!) and dance like it’s 1985. Not only is it fun, but also moving freely to high-energy music can liberate you from your bad mood. That’s because like running, dancing releases feel-good endorphins that can curb stress and anxiety. Don’t want to dance alone? Join a social fitness class like Zumba or Jazzercise and follow along to the beat.

7. Doing Something Nice for Someone Else

Performing a random act of kindness can go a long way for making your day—and someone else’s. Next time you’re in line at the coffee shop, you could show a “pay it forward” act of kindness by buying the drink of the person behind you. Who doesn’t love a surprise freebie? You could also leave sticky notes on your kids’ bathroom mirror and start their day with an inspirational message. Or you could offer a simple gesture, like giving someone a smile as you pass by. Chances are, they’ll smile back! It’s win-win.

8. Move Your Body

Being physically active is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. But you don’t have to squeeze in a midday workout to reap the mood-boosting benefits of exercise. Just going for a 10-minute stroll by yourself or with a walking partner can get you on the path to feeling happier—and help you work toward your daily goal of 10,000 steps. Is your day packed with meetings? See if there are any you don’t need to be physically present for; you may be able to call into the meeting during your walk and get some stimulating fresh air and vitamin D to boot.

Next time you’re in need of an instant mood boost, give one of these simple techniques a try. You might be surprised just how well it works!

 

 

4 Fitness Apps To Try

Living a healthy lifestyle has many benefits, from taking fewer trips to your healthcare provider each year to managing stress and anxiety with ease. Luckily, getting on the path to your best health ever is right in the palm of your hand. Here are 4 fitness apps you should try today.

MapMyFitness

If someone asked you to choose your favorite workout style, could you choose just one? With MapMyFitness, you don’t have to. Choose from dozens of traditional workouts, like swimming, jumping rope, and weightlifting, to less traditional activities, like bowling, fishing, and horseback riding.

MapMyFitness also offers outdoor training routes near you, which are created and shared by other users. Simply search for a route based on the type of activity you want to do, make sure the app has a good GPS signal, and start your workout. If you’re a creature of habit, you also have the option to add private routes to your profile and do them again as often as you like.

Got a favorite way to exercise outdoors? There are several versions of the “MapMy” apps to choose from:

  • MapMyRun
  • MapMyHike
  • MapMyRide
  • MapMyWalk

All versions work the same way in terms of functionality, but each one provides map suggestions tailored to the default activity.

Charity Miles

Make your workouts meaningful with Charity Miles. Research shows that giving can be good for your mental health. Why not give your mind and body a boost by earning money for charity while you get fit?

All you have to do is pick a charity, select an activity, and start tracking your mileage using your smartphone’s GPS. There are more than 30 world-class charities to choose from, including the ASPCA, Habitat for Humanity, and Girls on the Run. Are you passionate about multiple causes? Charity Miles gives you the option to switch charities at any time.

A donation will be made for every mile you complete, and you can log miles through your choice of 5 outdoor and indoor activities. Once you tap to start tracking, the app lets you know who’s sponsoring your workout. Be sure to stop and save your miles when you’re done or your activity won’t count. (You can always tell the app to send you a reminder.)

Fitbit

Walking is a great way to boost your fitness level, lose weight, and feel healthier. It’s recommended that you get 10,000 steps a day, but how can you be sure you’re getting all those steps in? By tracking your daily steps with a wearable fitness device, like the Fitbit.

The Fitbit family of devices sync with the Fitbit app to give you a real-time look at your day. And you can track more than just exercise—the app allows you to log and monitor your sleep, weight, and food, which all adds up to a healthier and fitter you. Just choose the device that fits your goals, and then register it with the app.

Are you motivated by friendly competition? Get an extra dose of motivation by creating challenges among your Fitbit friends. Choose from fun options like Goal Day, Workweek Hustle, and Weekend Warrior. Or go on a virtual Adventure Race together and see who can reach the finish line first. The Fitbit app also features a community tab, where you can share your wins, join groups dedicated to your favorite healthy lifestyle topics, and connect with other Fitbitters.

MyFitnessPal

Keeping a food journal can help you build healthy eating habits—and what you consume is just as important as what you burn. Based on your fitness profile, MyFitnessPal will suggest a daily net calorie target to help you meet your nutrition and weight loss goals. As you fill up on foods and log your meals, the app will display your remaining calories. It will also show you the distribution of where those calories are coming from, be it fats, proteins, or carbohydrates.

Being mindful of what you eat and drink is a good practice for healthy living. As you create new journal entries, MyFitnessPal shares a snippet of nutrition advice to keep you aware of the healthy (or not so healthy) choices you’re making. For instance, if you decide to go out for an ice cream sundae, the app may alert you about the amount of sugar it contains, along with a reminder of your sugar goal for the day. Likewise, if you opt for a fruit cup, the app may tell you it has lots of Vitamin C.

You can also use the app to track your activity. Depending on how many calories you burned, the app automatically adjusts your net calorie needs for that day. Just sync your daily step counts and workouts from your smartphone or wearable fitness device to the app, and MyFitnessPal will figure out the rest. Another option is to manually log your cardio and strength workouts—the app will estimate your calories burned based on your current fitness profile.

Using an app is a great to get in shape and stay fit. Making small tweaks to your daily routine—like moving more and eating better—can go a long way in helping you live your best health ever. Try out one of these fitness apps today and let us know how it worked for you.

 

 

858-799-0980Dr Bret Scher