Walking is Good for Your Physical and Mental Health

As you set goals to get healthier, walking is probably one of the first activities you will add to your schedule. It’s one of the most common forms of exercise, and even though it’s easy, it can be very effective at burning calories and supporting a weight loss plan.

But did you know that going for regular walks is also good for your mental health? Your walk can help you feel better in multiple ways, such as…

  • Giving you time to de-stress by meditating during the walk
  • Taking a break from a hectic office environment or the demands of parenthood
  • Changing the route frequently breaks you out of a rut, both physically and mentally
  • Serving as your alone time, allowing you to recharge
  • And of course, a quick walk in the middle of the afternoon can energize you for the rest of the day’s tasks

For many people, working out alone can feel strange at first. Maybe you’re accustomed to workout classes, or prefer to walk and chat with a partner. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with either of those things! But when you work solo walks into your routine, you can take advantage of the alone time to fit in some self care techniques. For example, you can perform the following activities during a walk alone:

  • Breathwalking – syncing your breath with your stride is calming and builds a stronger mind-body connection
  • Listening to your favorite music can boost your mood or help you relax
  • Listening to a podcast, self help book, or novel can add knowledge and entertainment to your routine
  • Taking time to mull over important decisions or plans for the future
  • Challenging yourself to a faster speed or more hills, or even jogging intervals (without feeling self conscious about a partner hearing your huffing and puffing)

And of course, we know that exercise in general produces endorphins, which boost your mood and help you to feel more energetic. So give it a try! Focus on self care during your next walk. And if you have any other questions about exercise or your weight loss plan, call us to schedule a consultation.

How Do You Use a Hunger Scale?

Ask yourself why we eat, and the answer seems obvious at first: Because we’re hungry, of course. But we all know there’s more to it than that. If we only consumed food as an answer to hunger, and then stopped eating when we were full, most of us wouldn’t struggle so much with weight gain. We probably wouldn’t ever need a weight loss plan, either. Yet, most of us need assistance with nutrition and weight loss at some point.

Why? Because human beings eat for many reasons other than hunger. We eat for social reasons, emotional reasons, or even boredom. Sometimes sleep deprivation triggers cravings. So if you’re following a weight loss plan, one of your first tasks should be to learn about the different reasons you eat, and how to identify and manage those situations.

A hunger scale can help you with this task. On the hunger scale, 0 means you’re absolutely starving and 10 means you’re uncomfortably full. At most times you should fall somewhere in between those two extremes. Nevertheless, using the scale to identify emotions and then eat in a conscious manner can prevent you from overindulging in unhealthy or unnecessary snacks. Here’s how to use the hunger scale.

Before eating… Rate your hunger on a scale of 0 to 10. Obviously, you shouldn’t even eat if you’re feeling above a 5 or 6. But if you rate yourself 0-2, remember to eat mindfully. When you’re starving it can be easy to eat too quickly, and become overstuffed without meaning to.

Stop eating halfway through, and rank yourself again. You should stop eating once you begin to feel full (a 6 to 8) so that you don’t reach a 9 or 10 (uncomfortably stuffed). This step is especially important to those of us who were raised to “clean our plates”, so that you can learn to recognize your own fullness signals.

Rank yourself again when you finish. If you do continue to eat after the halfway point, rank your feelings again when you finish the meal. On the occasions that you find yourself overly full (a 9 or 10), refrain from judgement but do use the situation as a learning opportunity. Why did you continue to eat past your comfortable fullness point? What can you do differently next time?

This strategy might sound a bit unnecessary, but it can be a helpful tool early in your weight loss plan. By learning to recognize hunger and satiety, as well as other emotions regarding your eating habits, you can start to eat more mindfully and break old habits. Call our office to schedule an appointment, and we will discuss your weight loss plan in more detail.

 

6 Daily Habits for Better Health

We often talk about how a weight loss plan is not a temporary “diet”, but a permanent lifestyle change. After all, you want your results to be permanent, so you must permanently change your habits as well. Each of these habits only require a few minutes of your time each day, but can set you up for success. Read more

Can Botox Be a Preventive Treatment?

It’s a fact of life: As we age, we develop lines and wrinkles on our faces (and other places). This happens due to a number of factors, some of which we can control to some degree, and some that we can’t.

One of those factors is the repetitive folding of skin due to everyday facial expressions. This is why we see perpetually unhappy people with “frown lines”, or by contrast, happy people who develop “laugh lines”. You really can see – to some extent, anyway – a person’s life experience literally written on their face! Read more

The “Healthy Habit” That Might Not Be So Healthy

Every morning, Debra wakes up, goes to the bathroom, and then steps on her scale. She’s been trying to lose a few pounds, because she knows that maintaining a healthy weight is one of the biggest keys to long-term health. So naturally she feels that these daily weigh-ins are holding her accountable, and encouraging healthy food and activity choices. Read more

Skipping Breakfast: What’s the Big Deal?

Your mom always said that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. And yet, here you are, a fully grown adult who regularly skips breakfast. Some of you are just too busy in the morning and can’t be bothered, while others skip breakfast on purpose, thinking that skipping meals will help you lose weight. But not only will skipping breakfast not help you drop pounds; it can also be hurting you in other ways. Read more

The Connection Between Sugar and Aging

If you’ve ever gone on a diet, sugar was most likely one of the main things you had to reduce in order to meet your weight loss goal. Sugar is basically just empty calories, so if you eat a lot of sugar you end up consuming more energy than you need while reaping no nutritional benefits. The end result is excess weight coupled with some degree of malnourishment. Your body won’t get the vitamins and minerals it needs when you subsist on a high-sugar diet, unless you add even more foods to meet those needs (and therefore, even more calories). Read more

11 Reasons for Medical Weight Loss

Some people are able to lose weight quickly and easily, without much trouble. For the other 99 percent of us, though, weight loss can become a difficult struggle. For a few of us, it can even be dangerous. If you have experienced difficulty losing weight in the past, it’s possible that you have an underlying health condition that is complicating your efforts. Read more

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**Please Note: Although we always try to accommodate walk ins, we do require you to be seen by our Provider in order to start any medical weight loss program. Please give us a call to check availability.


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