Health doesn’t Have to Be Hard
Little changes every day, like crowding out soda and sugary drinks with water and green tea, replacing cheese and chips with veggies and hummus, and walking after meals instead of sitting in front of the TV, can make a big difference in your health. This month’s blog is an especially happy read because health doesn’t have to be hard!
New study shows walking better than running for diabetes prevention
Health doesn’t have to be hard, according to a new study from Duke University http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-016-4051-z?view=classic that finds walking might protect against diabetes more than running does. It studied the effects, on pre-diabetics, of walking 13.8 miles a week for 6 months verses running the same distance. (According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 out of every 3 Americans is pre-diabetic, with elevated blood sugar but not as high an amount as diabetics).
Researchers found that the walkers had 6 times more improvement in their glucose tolerance than the runners did. One theory on the improvement is that walking burns more fatty acid than running does, and too much fatty acids make it harder for your body to process insulin. If you can’t use insulin, your cells can’t absorb blood sugar from the bloodstream, which leads to pre-diabetes and full-blown diabetes.
Whether going for a walk down the street, in a park of on a hiking trail, or just marching in place in your living room with a walking workout video like the NikkiFitness Anti-aging Walking Workout (Amazon or iTunes) there are many options to work walking into your week. You can add some fun music, a guided meditation, audio-book, a pet, significant other or best friend and getting healthy will also get you happy!
Week 1 – Walk ½ mile or 10 minutes M-F. Rest Saturday, do yoga/pilates/lift weights Sunday.
Week 2 – Walk 1 mile or 20 minutesM-F. Rest Saturday, do yoga/pilates/lift weights Sunday.
Week 3- Walk 2 miles or 30 minutes M-F. Rest Saturday, do yoga/pilates/lift weights Sunday.
Week 4 – Walk 3 miles or 40-45 minutes M-F, Rest Saturday, do yoga/pilates/lift weights Sunday.
One Mantra: Work out because you can!
(And for all those who cannot because of injuries/disabilities/life limitations.)
Health Coach NikkiFitness giving a nutrition talk to 1-3rd graders in NYC!
One Must Have: A Health Coach
Health coaches are a growing trend, but what are they? A health coach is part life coach, part nutritionist, part personal trainer, part cheerleader, part accountability partner… and all effective. They may talk about incorporating better foods, finding ways to naturally make you well if you’re experiencing a lot of ailments that could be stemming from your lifestyle, adding more exercise, and exploring weather roadblocks to your wellness may be related to unhappiness in career, relationships, lack of spiritual experiences, etc.
Health coaches are different based on their background, so you’ll want a full list of credentials and certifications, and to make sure that they are not simply a “health coach for company/shake/supplement/meal plan X.” They should not be representing or selling a certain product, just selling a happy, healthier life. They won’t prescribe or take you off prescriptions, but they will work in conjunction with your doctors to see if food and lifestyle changes might improve your health to the point where things like diabetes, arthritis, rashes, allergies, inflammation and weigh gain could be the result of a food allergy or intolerance. Holistic and integrated lifestyle improvements could get you off these prescriptions in the long run when you, your health coach and your doctor are a support system working together.
Generally, a health coach will conduct a health history with you in your first complementary session and then they usually work in 6-month agreements. Sessions could be in person, over Skype or Facetime, or over the phone. They may involve meal diaries, emails or texts with your coach, and group sessions depending on the package and geographical situation.
Disclosure: I am a health coach with a certification in personal training and group fitness instruction from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, 200 hour Registered Yoga Training (RYT) from YogaFit, and health coach certification from the Institute of Integrated Nutrition, as well as an author, writer and national media fitness expert. You may find coaches who are registered dietitians with less fitness background, or someone who was once a therapist and expanded into nutrition and fitness in other ways. Each health coach comes to this growing career in different ways, and could even be a new career for you. Look into it and find someone with the right background and demeanor for you!