3 Tips for a Healthy School Year

It’s back-to-school time! Here are some tips from Callie, P50’s Registered Nurse, for a healthy school year!

Develop a Sleep Routine
Getting enough sleep is critical for a child to be successful in school. Children who do not get enough sleep have difficulty concentrating and learning as well as they can.

  • Set a consistent bedtime for your child and stick with it every night. Having a bedtime routine that is consistent will help your child settle down and fall asleep. Components of a calming pre-bedtime routine may involve a bath/shower, reading with them, and tucking them in and saying good-night to them.
  • Have your child turn off electronic devices well before bedtime.
  • Try to have the home as quiet and calm as possible when younger children are trying to fall asleep.

Insufficient sleep is associated with lower academic achievement in middle school, high school and college; as well as higher rates of absenteeism and tardiness. Here are your target for optimal amount of sleep:

  • Younger children need 10-12 hours of sleep per night
  • Elementary kids need 9-12 hours of sleep per night
  • Teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep per night
  • Parents need 7-8 hours of sleep per night – you being rested is important too!

 

Wash Hands, Sing a Song

According to Mayo Clinic, the most effective way to avoid spreading or catching germs is hand washing.

To encourage kids and make sure they’ve spent enough time on this healthful task, ask them to sing the alphabet song or “Happy Birthday to You” from start to finish as they wash the fronts and backs of their hands and in-between fingers.

Simple soap and water is best, but hand sanitizers will do when soap and water aren’t available.

Remind your children to always cough or sneeze into the crooks of their elbows or into their sleeves.

 

Food is Fuel
Teach kids that fuel for playing and learning comes from the food they eat.

Fruits, vegetables, protein, complex carbohydrates are all important to growing bodies and expanding minds. Start with a healthy breakfast – yogurt & fruit , oatmeal. Keep the fridge stocked with fruits, vegetables, string cheese for after-school snacks.

We know dinner can be chaotic, but it can also be a great time to disconnect so you can reconnect as a family.

Callie Stein
Registered Nurse
Proximal50 Life Center
callie.stein@proximal50.com

What IS a “Wellness Coach”, anyway?

What IS a “Wellness Coach,” anyway?

If you’ve been following Proximal50 for any duration of time, you likely know that what part of what sets us apart from any other “gym” is our list of professional services. Our list includes Physical Therapists, a Registered Nurse, a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, certified personal trainers, a licensed massage therapist…and a Wellcoaches(r) Certified Health and Wellness Coach (hereinafter referred to as “wellness coach”). What exactly IS that and how can she help you? 

Our clients come to us in search of better health – wanting to start an exercise program, wanting to make better food choices, wanting to treat chronic pain, wanting to better manage chronic illness, and overall just wanting to FEEL BETTER. The tricky thing is that it’s not necessarily that people don’t want to be healthy or innately know more or less what to do. Often they do know, but then will try the latest diet or intense exercise strategy as a quick fix. The problem is that these solutions don’t stick and people end up feeling frustrated, defeated, and alone.

You likely know our Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist is going to help you with what you eat. Our massage therapist is going to massage your muscles. Our personal trainers are going to take you through a workout. What does a wellness coach do? A wellness coach guides clients through the process of creating a vision for their health and well-being. A wellness coach helps a client develop a healthy mindset and helps with them work on actually implementing healthy habits (instead of just thinking about them). A wellness coach works to encourage and empower the client every step of the way, always from a judgement-free zone, to reach their personalized goals.

Simply put, our wellness coach has a different tool belt than our other professionals, she is specially trained to help clients CONSTRUCT a plan to reach their goals, equipped to dredge up emotion to make clients feel CONNECTED to their goals, and help BUILD the motivation to get them there. Coaching is about having an accountability partner who will support and encourage even when you feel ready to quit (ESPECIALLY when you feel ready to quit).

Are you wondering if YOU could benefit from some wellness coaching? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have trouble sticking to health-related goals?
  • Do you struggle to keep a calm and positive mindset?
  • Are you always low on energy and motivation?
  • Do you struggle with work-life balance?
  • Do you find it difficult to prioritize your health?
  • Do you rarely let yourself relax?
  • Do you want to make healthy changes to your lifestyle but you’re not sure where to start?

If you answered yes to any of these questions and are READY to make some changes, wellness coaching would be a great option for you. Contact Lindsey to schedule a free consult today! 

Lindsey Peterson
Certified Wellness Coach
lindsey.peterson@proximal50.com
701-751-2974

Take a Better Bite: Healthy Grain Bowls

Healthy Grain Bowl = Grain + Green + Protein + Produce + Enhancement 

 

Pain. The Good. The Bad. What’s the Difference?

There is a sort of spectrum when it comes to how people interrupt pain: there are those that do not tolerate discomfort of any kind and then there are those that don’t think they are going to see progress until they work themselves into an injury. There is a fine line between these two groups and it is that sweet spot that we find strength, flexibility and endurance to tolerate all of our desired activities.

When working on flexibility and strength, we must push past our current level of strength and flexibility which leads to muscles burning from fatigue or muscles straining because of an increased stretch. This will likely cause some muscle soreness the following day showing that your muscles were challenged in a way that will encourage them to build. It is important when working on an exercise program to differentiate these types of discomfort from true and harmful pain.

On the other side, if you are repeatedly performing activities that cause sharp, shooting or pinching pain, you are inevitably going to hurt that muscle/joint leading to restricted motion all together. Too often, we meet with new physical therapy patients to learn that they continue to perform the exercises that hurt them simply because they think that is normal. We cannot say it enough: PAIN IS NOT NORMAL. When it is more than just discomfort, when it comes back again and again, when it just doesn’t go away – that’s the harmful type of pain. The good news is, we can help. Not only can physical therapy relieve pain but it can be help avoid pain in the future!

Call 751-2974 to schedule a consult with a P50 Physical Therapist

3 Ways to Find TIME for Fitness

As a Certified Wellness Coach and Exercise Physiologist, one of the biggest barriers I commonly hear with starting or sticking with an exercise plan is TIME. We live in a fast-paced, busy world and it can be daunting to think about how exercise can or will fit in with all your other obligations. Luckily, there is a 3-step process you can go through to make regular exercise a part of your reality.

1. FIND the Time
The first step is to map out your regular routine on a weekly planner or calendar, ideally one that is broken down into thirty-minute blocks. Begin by filling in your regular obligations – work (including any breaks!), sleep, recurring appointments or meetings, etc. Once you’ve filled in all of your regular obligations, look for the empty chunks of time. Notice where you may have an extra thirty minutes or an hour and look at these spaces as opportunities for fitness. This is the first step of finding time for fitness.

[Note: this could and should be done on a weekly basis so you can set yourself up for success. If you have a busier than normal schedule one week, you may realize you might not have time to get to the gym, but you might be more inclined to take a 20 minute walk around the block (and lose the “guilt” for not going to the gym because it wasn’t part of your plan!) On the flip side, your next week might not be as busy and you have more time to get to the gym. It really is all about balance, even when it comes to our time!]

2. MAKE the Time
Next, examine where the gaps in your schedule are and how these might align with some of the activities you are interested in. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try Yoga, your work schedule is flexible and you notice your gym has a Wednesday Body Flow class over the lunch hour (hint, hint!). You might notice you have a gap every day when you get off work at 4:15 and before you pick the kids up at 5:30 that there’s a 30 minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class you could hit up (pun intended) at 4:30pm (another hint hint!). Or, you might see you have time for a 15 minute walk with the kids a few nights per week. Once you have found some activities that interest you, and that would fit into your schedule, make the time for them.

3. TAKE the Time
Now that you’ve identified free time in your schedule and decided on the fun fitness activities you would like to fill it with, it’s time to commit to your plan. Treat each workout with the same priority that you would an appointment for something important. Just like you need to show up and be prepared for others, it is vital to show up for yourself. Do whatever you need to do in order to keep these important appointments with yourself, whether it is setting reminders on your phone, having a workout buddy, or a wellness coach or personal trainer to hold you accountable (hint hint!)

Remember to frequently reflect on WHY you’ve decided fitness should be a priority in your life (wellness coaching can help with that!) so that you are able to maintain your focus. Repeat this process as often as needed for continued success!

 

Lindsey Peterson is a Certified Wellness Coach at Proximal50 Life Center. Lindsey coaches her clients to create sustainable lifestyle changes and to help them improve their overall well‐being. She provides support for creating realistic goals and navigating the challenges & obstacles that often get in our way.

Mental Health Monday: Gut Health

#4Mind4Body Mental Health Month Challenge

Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. So much of what we do physically impacts us mentally –it’s important to pay attention to both your physical health and your mental health, which can help you achieve overall wellness and set you on a path to recovery.

This May is Mental Health Month; Proximal50 Life Center is raising awareness about the connection between physical health and mental health, through the theme Fitness #4Mind4Body. The campaign is meant to educate and inform individuals about how eating healthy foods, gut health, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in making you healthy all around.

A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also play a big role in helping people recover from these conditions.

Getting the appropriate amount of exercise can help control weight, improve mental health, and help you live longer and healthier. Recent research is also connecting your nutrition and gut health with your mental health. Sleep also plays a critical role in all aspects of our life and overall health. Getting a good night’s sleep is important to having enough physical and mental energy to take on daily responsibilities. And we all know that stress can have a huge impact on all aspects of our health, so it’s important to take time to focus on stress-reducing activities like meditation or yoga.

Proximal50 Life Center wants everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is always the goal. Living a healthy lifestyle may not be easy, but by looking at your overall health every day – both physically and mentally – you can go a long way in ensuring that you focus on your Fitness #4Mind4Body. For more information, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.

Call 751-2974 or click here to schedule your free consult and learn how the team of health professionals of Proximal50 can help you.

One More Rep: Lunges!

Ahhh lunges… you either love ’em or hate ’em. But let’s face it, they are one helluva a good way to target your legs.

Three reasons you should be doing lunges in your strength routine:

  1. Lunges mimic several of our daily movement patterns from kneeling down to help a child or tie your shoe to simply walking. Building strength through lunges will help you move better (and safer) throughout your day.
  2. Lunges also train muscular imbalances. In a squat your stronger leg can dominate, but in a lunge you work one leg at a time forcing you to build strength independently in each leg.
  3. Lunges challenge your balance and stabilizing muscles (including your core) important for total strength and injury prevention.

Now this isn’t to say squats and other leg exercises aren’t important too – just make sure lunges are working their way into your training routine.

Below are some trainer tips to get one more rep for a better lunge!

  1. Step forward with toes pointing straight ahead
  2. Lengthen up tall through your spine
  3. Tighten core & lift your chest
  4. Knee over toes – keep the knee stable & minimize side-to-side movement
  5. Drive through your front heel, keeping your weight out of your front toes
  6. Start with body weight lunges to focus on technique

 

 

Trainer Tip: Maximize Your Seated Rows!

The seated row is an excellent way to target your back muscles. Strengthening and developing a strong back side is important for muscle balance & posture. So much of what we do daily – computer work, house work, driving, planking 😉  – involve the muscles in our chest & shoulders. Targeting the muscles in the back counterbalance many of those movements. While it’s important to keep planking for core strength, make sure you are strengthening your back side too! 

Here are a few trainer tips to maximize your next set:

  • Keep upper body movement to a minimum
  • Stay tall through the torso
  • Keep shoulder blades back and squeezed
  • Think about using all your back muscles and triceps
  • If your forearm and biceps muscles burn out before the back muscles then you need to refocus the work to your back muscles

Here are two videos to illustrate the correct and incorrect posture in the a seated row. 

Potatoes – To Eat or Not to Eat?!

Do you know someone who doesn’t eat fruit or yogurt because of the sugar content, yet they will eat pretzels or rice cakes in unlimited amounts? There are so many misconceptions about carbs. If you are going to take one thing from this post: Carbs are not created equal. Here’s just one example – POTATOES!

All potatoes contain beneficial resistant starch. These resistant starches and fiber get fermented in the gut and produce short-chain fatty acids. Short-Chain Fatty Acids:

  • Keep you fuller longer
  • Increase mineral absorption and nutrient circulation
  • Prevent absorption of toxins
  • Decrease inflammation

Are you ready for this… Even. White. Potatoes.

When compared to a sweet potato, the overall nutritional value is similar but the type of nutrients vary. This means a variety of potatoes is important for a variety in nutrients. 

Some people have sworn off white potatoes because of their glycemic index  (a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause an increase in blood sugar levels). But keep in mind that when it comes to the glycemic index and how your body responds, there are many things that come into play. This can vary depending on your cooking method, your sleep quality, genetics, activity level, time of day, medications, gut bacteria and the amount of protein, fiber and fat that’s eaten with the food item. So don’t get so consumed on this number.

Everything in moderation! So yes that means a meat and potatoes meal is not recommended daily (sorry!).  But here are ways to eat potatoes with a healthier twist:

  • Boiled
  • Roasted
  • Baked
  • Topped with olive oil and herbs
  • Topped with salt

Limit potatoes prepared:

  • As chips
  • Fried
  • “Loaded” with all the fixins’
  • With lots of cream and butter

Vanessa Lennick, RD, LRD
Registered Dietitian
Proximal50 Life Center

Want to know more? Ready to ditch the diet and find nutrition strategies that actually work for YOU? Ready to eat real food and enjoy it? Schedule a free consult with Vanessa online:

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