All entries for March 2012

"The Science of Habit"

March 18, 2012   

Three hours of snowboarding in the Colorado Rockies.

Another interesting article caught my eye in the April issue of Men's Journal. "The Science of Habit,” by Mark Healy reviews a new book by Charles Duhigg, Power of Habit, which explores how and why we form good habits.

For example, Duhigg describes a person who is attempting to form a running routine. Initially, the runner places his running shoes by his bed to give him a cue to run when he wakes and then has a piece of chocolate after the run to reward himself.

After awhile, the runner does not require either the cue or the reward. The theory behind this is endorphins are naturally forming in his body that make him feel good which replaces the chocolate as a reward and develops a want to keep running.

Even more interesting, other good habits then become easier to form. We become more pliable and flexible Duhigg says. So now we start to eat more healthy and add many more positive habits to our arsenal.

Lastly, it is found that people who are more friendly at the gym, tend to go more often. Then, we become happier and our self worth grows, which encourages us even more.

So place those stinky running shoes close to your bed, pop some chocolate, say “Hi!” to everyone at the gym and you will be well on your way to plenty of good health habits.

Stay Active, My Friends


"Colleagues Who Can Get You Fat"

March 17, 2012  

Five hours snowboarding in Colorado Rockies

I read a great article in the Wall Street Journal by Sue Shellenbarger titled, “Colleagues Who Can Get You Fat.” She tells us the stories of a few office workers who are diligently losing weight but are harassed by their co-workers. The article points out that 29% of workers who are attempting to eat responsibly are pressured by their colleagues to cheat on their diet. Here are three amazingly ignorant quotes some people were tempted with:

"Come on, one bite won't kill you."

"You can't avoid cake the rest of your life."

"You must try a brownie, I made them myself."

Why must we torture our fellow workers? Do we fear that they will lose weight and leave us to eat all the birthday cake?

One Human Resource Director came to the rescue of an employee by drawing an interesting analogy. She suggested that we wouldn't attempt to coax a colleague who is a recovering alcoholic to have just one small drink, so why do this to an overweight friend who is working so hard to lose weight?

Why does misery want company around they table?

The article goes on to point out how some companies are sponsoring weight loss competitions and rewarding employees. Other employees are taking matters into their own hands by organizing healthy group lunches of salads and fruit which, not surprisingly, have been met with much grumbling.

Workers who report the most success with weight loss also report the most supportive co-workers.

So leave the leftover birthday cake at home or better, in the trash, and bring in some apples and bananas if you find it necessary to feed your colleagues. And please remember, that one brownie...yes, it could really kill them.

Stay Active, My Friends



Avoidable Diseases

March 14, 2012  

Yoga, 45 minutes on eliptical and free weights.

I watched the British Prime Minister David Cameron speak at the White House today and he used an interesting phrase; "avoidable diseases." He was referring to AIDS and Polio, however, I believe we can borrow this phrase for the Lifestyle Diseases I write so much about. 

Weight gain, type II diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and high cholesterol are all diseases that are avoidable. I like the idea of referencing them as “avoidable diseases” because it sounds so achievable. Similar to avoiding bumping into someone on the street, or a car accident by simply turning the wheel a little, or dog poop your neighbor forgot to pick up, there are things we can do to avoid these diseases.

Now most of us who work so hard each day on our fitness, eating right and maintaining our motivation, know that avoiding Lifestyle Diseases is not simple at all; but we do know it’s achievable. 

So, let's start referring to them as "Avoidable Diseases" and casually walk around them just as we do our lovely neighbor's "land mines." 

Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.

Stay Active, My Friend.


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