Class Review Wrap-Up

This year, one of the things I wanted to do was try new things in the fitness world.  I am always reading and researching and learning from the other therapists and trainers at my studio.  I also try to soak up as much knowledge as I can when talking to the great practitioners in my network, but I haven’t actually been out there to try what the other guys are doing in a while.

So, I worked my way around local and online classes that I had always wanted to try.  It was a fun year exploring the different class options that are around Boulder.  Even if the class did not sit well with me, I always learned something, saw things from a different perspective, and, usually, I had fun.

Below is a quick summary of the experiences I had over the last year.  What I loved and what I wouldn’t try again.

My Favorites:

Outlaw Yoga  – The best yoga class I have ever taken.  I had the added benefit of doing it outside, on a beautiful, Colorado morning, with friends, but Mark still rocks no matter what setting you put him in.  This class was fun, challenging, and Mark’s organization and cueing were spot on.

Boulder Movement Collective – My exposure to BMC and the movement training of Ido Portal has made a lasting influence on my own training.  Fluidity and rhythm are now as much a part of my training as alignment, balance, and strength.  It has been a fun and challenging year adding these new elements into my training and I continue to get into the BMC studio whenever I can.

Not My Favorite:

Yoga for Athletes – If you have read my reviews, this should not be such a surprise.  I was deeply disappointed in this class.  I thought I was walking into something that would focus on alignment and posture specifically for an athlete, instead I got an unorganized, very informal class on a cement floor.

Additional Reviews:

 

 

 

Daily Health Checklist

In times of high stress, it is easy to get out of our daily routines.  It is easy for us to feel overwhelmed and defeated, to lose our way, and just feel a sense of “making it through”.  We seem to only have the energy and the focus to get the day-to-day tasks done and our ability to care for ourselves starts to fall to the wayside.  However, it is during these time of high stress that we most desperately need our good habits.  We need sleep and good food to help us regain our strength and energy.  We need a plan we can blindly follow till we right the ship and feel like ourselves again.

I have been there, folks.

Last week, I was reading an article on the importance of a checklist.  The reporter had interviewed a doctor about a recent surgery that had gone bad.  The doctor was able to save the patient’s life, pumping the patient’s heart with his own hands.

“But skill and brainpower were not the reason Mr. Hagerman survived.  (Dr.) Gawande says what actually saved his patient’s life was a plan the surgical team had made before they began the surgery. This plan wasn’t grand or complicated. In fact, it was a humble checklist.”

Pilots, doctors, fireman and other high-stress occupations use (humble) checklists all the time so they can follow a plan even under the most difficult situations.  If these work when something goes wrong while fighting a fire, I am sure I can get one to work for me when my life is crazy.

So, I created my own checklist.  A daily list of reminders that is not too demanding, easy to follow, and allows me to keep my health and self-care a priority as life gets crazy.  Download the following checklist for the next time your life gets overwhelming and be prepared.  Health doesn’t have to be “grand or complicated”.  In our busy lives, simple and easy is the way to go.

Download Your Daily Health Checklist Here

 

Save Time and Stack Your Life

Recently, a client of mine came in for a session and just looked beat-down.  I asked him what was going on and he explained that deadlines at work had caused him and his team to work long hours, miss summer vacations and weekend trips, and basically rescheduled their lives.  He felt overwhelmed and stuck.  There was no time to exercise or take care of his personal life.  His energy was so low that by the time he did get home, he had nothing left to give to his family.

It seems most of us are having a hard time squeezing in all we want to do in the short 24 hours we get each day, myself included.  There just isn’t enough time to get it all done, so we end up prioritizing and letting things slip to the back-burner while we feel a lack of accomplishment at the end of the day.  This can’t be the best way to go through life, but what are the options?  Let me introduce you to the idea of Stacking.

“I aspire to achieve the efficiency of a worker honeybee.  A worker honeybee has one of those jobs with all-day movement packaged in.  The work necessary to meet it’s personal needs for food and movement and to perform it’s particular job on behalf of its community are happening simultaneously.” – Katy Bowman

I was first introduced to the idea of Stacking when I read Katy Bowman’s book, Movement Matters.  She describes, much better than I can, how we humans have lost our natural way and started to separate and segment our lives.  At one point in our existence we needed to forage for food (exercise + grocery shopping), build shelters (learning + problem solving), and we usually did these things with a community or tribe (socialization + babysitting).  In our modern world, all of these needed parts of our lives have been divided out, leaving us with no time to spare.

While it is unrealistic for a lot of us to start growing or foraging our food by tomorrow, we can apply the principles of Stacking to our everyday lives.  In the simplest of terms, we can find a way to accomplish two things at once.  I am not talking about checking your emails while you are eating breakfast.  I am talking about changing your mindset so that you are actually doing less but fulfilling your needs more.

“Multi-tasking involves trying to accomplish many discrete tasks at once.  Stacking your life involves the search for fewer tasks that meet multiple needs, which often requires that you’re clear on what your needs actually are.” – Katy Bowman

Assuming we already have shelter and sleeping pretty much requires that you are only sleeping, let’s look at some of our other basic daily needs:

  • Food
  • Exercise
  • Transportation
  • Family/Friend Time – Childcare, dog care, parent care, etc.
  • Employment
  • Play

Now, I am a person that always goes for the low-hanging fruit first.  I am a believer that small accomplishments are the only step-stools that will get you to the large accomplishments in life.  So let’s start easy…

Let’s look at the idea of a “play-date”.  It is the epitome of Stacking.  Parent’s socializing, children playing.  However, what if we could also do a play-date on our bikes?  Or at the park?  Now we have stacked socialization, childcare, and exercise in one.  Now, why don’t you all bike down to the local fruit stand?  OMG – Socialization, childcare, exercise, transportation, and grocery shopping all in one!

Now, I know this is not as easy as it sounds, but you will be surprised at how many options there are to Stack your life if you just start getting into the mindset.  Opportunities will arise without a lot of work.  Let’s go back to my client that I mentioned at the beginning…

During our session, this same client mentioned he would be traveling to California on business and he was even more overwhelmed by the idea that he would lose more time to work.  I mentioned to him to look for ways he could make his day better.  So, I asked him what CA had that CO does not.  Easy answer – the Ocean.  We decided he could rent a bike to get him from his hotel to his work each day, taking a longer way home that would go by the beach.  Just the thought of getting a little play and exercise into his day, seemed to relieve some tension in his shoulders.

One little adjustment in our days can completely change our attitude.  That change in attitude has an exponential effect on our perspective, our approach to our lives and our interactions with others.  Bottom line, stop getting less and doing more and get more by doing less.

“Thinking differently is a process not so distinct from learning to move your arm or leg in a particular way to get a muscle to grow; your thoughts shape your choices.” – Katy Bowman

 

Bike Retreat in the San Juan Islands

Every year, I have the fortunate opportunity to take people from all over the country to play in my home state.  I spend a week biking, hiking, and kayaking all around the San Juan Islands with the most amazing, interesting, and strong women.  It is an annual tradition that reminds me that we are stronger when we lift each other up than when we tear each other down.

This year, I had the added pleasure of having 4 people from my studio join me.  To have people on the trip that our close friends and clients, gave the trip an extra special feeling.  It warmed my heart to see these women out of the gym and in nature, challenging themselves, and allowing themselves to have new experiences.  I believe it takes a lot of guts to head to a destination you have never been, with a group of almost all strangers, and attempt things that are unfamiliar and out of your comfort zone.  I also believe that it is in these spaces and experiences that we grow and surprise ourselves.

To say that this trip is just a biking trip, would not be complete.  Yes, we bike.  We bike everyday, but that is just a catalyst to the magic that actually happens.  If you are a cyclist, you have already experienced the intimacy you feel when you discover a place on two wheels.  On a bicycle, you experience everything.  The change in temperature, the smells, the mist on your face, the sounds of the birds, the sunshine and the shadows.  You see the landscape at a slower pace so that you notice painted mailboxes, a small metal statue, old-growth forests, and in the case of Orcas Island, faces on trees. Riding a bike gives you the feeling of being a kid and the independence to move at your own pace.  This feeling creates the foundation for the retreat, a space that is about your feelings in the present, the amazing qualities of the people that surround you, and the joy that can be found when we remove the daily stressors from our lives.

This year, our group was one of the most humble and strong groups we have ever had.  They were understated and kind.  Helpful and supportive.  Grateful and generous.  It seemed that each woman’s personality and natural character lifted and supported the group as a whole.  One woman mentioned that she was starting to get tired on the hike, so decided to start a conversation with the woman next to her to take her mind off of the work.  That sparked an incredible story about travel and adventure that energized both ladies to make it to the top.  On another day, at the end of a long day, one woman’s energy burst and laughter made the ride home from the ferry feel like a breeze.  There are dozens of these stories from the week.  When we allow ourselves to be true and allow others to be themselves, we lift each other up without even trying.

6 days with these ladies felt like 6 years, and I mean that in the best way. It felt as if we were old friends, like we had accomplished and done so much together (it may be that we do A LOT on these trips), that we knew each other so well that we could make each other laugh with just a look.  Biking around these stunning islands, having conversations about our thoughts not our to-do lists, and playing with the whales, the seals, and all of nature brings you back to a place of joy and opportunity.  Every day feels like a new occasion to celebrate rather than time to just get things done.  For me, this acts as a reset button.

So THANK YOU to all the women who joined me this year and to Colleen Cannon, Jacqueline Stanford, Tracy Byrnes, and Women’s Quest for helping make this dream trip come true.

Beat the Bloat

The summer season is full of backyard BBQs, family vacations, and rooftop happy hours.  This invasion to our regular routine can lead us to consuming not only more food, but food that we don’t usually eat.  It also leads to us consuming more alcohol.  All of this leaves our bodies feeling groggy, sluggish, and bloated.

At least once a week during the summer, I have a client come in and complain about the “icky” feeling of his or her body.  They follow this up with a story about an extra slice of wedding cake or too much wine and a “What was I thinking?”.  These derailments of our regular healthy routines happen to the best of us.  Without a little splurge here and there, life would just not be any fun.  The good news is, you can jump back on track, and the sooner you do it, the better.

Bloat can be caused by a variety of things – overeating, consuming hard to digest or unusual foods, dehydration – just to name a few.  It can be as big of a discomfort as it is a blow to the ego.  Overeating usually leads to bloat of the stomach, leading to a visual distention or swelling of the abdomen while consuming irritating foods will produce gas in the intestine leading to the inevitable release of those gasses (that’s a nice way to talk about farting).  Both types of bloating can increase levels of inflammation in the body, potentially causing pain in the low back, and of course, it  can be embarrassing.

The first thing you can do to beat the bloat, is to start changing your habits ASAP.  Try these 4 things below to get your body back on track and back to it’s lovely, non-swelled self.

  1. Drink Water – Tons and tons (not literally) of water.  Water can help “flush the system” helping you decrease the water retention in your body.  Water and hydration is the main thing you can do for not just bloating, but for helping limit inflammation in general.
  2. Eat Mindfully – This means eat slowly and in portion sizes that are appropriate for you.  It takes about 20 minutes for your body to realize it’s full so will want to stop before you fill “stuffed”.  Eat till you are satisfied, not full.  The fullness will shop up a few minutes later.
  3. Eat your Fruits and Veggies – Yes, some of the things that cause bloat are fruits and veggies, but they also help “cleanse” the body.  So if you know you are sensitive to a certain vegetable (usually it is the hardy ones such as cabbage or broccoli), stay away from them.  However, leafy greens are little “fat grabbers”.  Most of the greens are fat soluble, so they utilize fat in our body to digest which leaves your digestive system feeling clean and clear.
  4. Move – Walk, jump, run, lift weights, laugh hard, it really doesn’t matter, just get your heart pumping and your systems moving.  Wake up your digestive and lymph systems so they can start processing that excess bloat and pump it right out of you.

Summer has lots of activities and events that take us a little off course of our usual healthy eating.  Jumping into the 4 tips above can help limit the amount of time you hang on to extra water, extra weight, and that uncomfortable bloat.

*Note – Bloating and belly fat are 2 different things, avoid reading articles that claim they are the same.  They are definitely not the same, however, following the tips above can help with both.

Stop Stressing

STRESS.  Everyone has had it, felt it, been overwhelmed by it, failed at overcoming it, and have had it rule moments in their lives.  High stress can lead to an array of health problems including obesity, heart disease, and depression.  And just to add to the irony, when we worry about what our stressful lives are doing to our health, it makes us more stressed (my blood pressure is rising just writing these words).  How do we stop this cycle?

The stress we feel in our daily lives springs from multiple factors.  Stress can rise due to poor eating habits, environmental toxins, anxiety or worry, high pressure situations, our relationships with other people, our financial security and many other things.  Due to this multi-front attack on our stress levels, we need to have a defense that is just as layered.

We need to be able to prevent, combat, and recover from stress to help us lead healthy and more manageable day-to-day lives.  Below are suggestions of some easy things you can add in to help reduce your stress levels and avoid stressful situations in the future.

Prevent Stress

  • Daily Calm – Spend at least 5 minutes each day in a calm and quiet state.  This doesn’t have to be a full meditation session, just a few minutes for you to focus on your breathing, let you thoughts float in and out without reaction, and allow your heart rate and nervous system to settle down.  This is just as important as brushing your teeth or getting a workout in.
  • Eat Well – Poor food choices are going to lead to a crash and burn feeling in your mind and body.  Nobody can stay calm in stressful situations if they are already fighting their bad mood.  Keep blood sugars level, eat right, eat at consistent times, and keep yourself hydrated to avoid moodiness, headaches, and exhaustion.
  • Set Yourself up for Success – If you look at the calendar for your week and you know it is going to be stressful, don’t drink a glass of wine, sit on the couch, and begin to worry and get apprehensive.  Get your toosh up and set yourself up for success.  Think about going into a stressful week the same way you would think about facing a strong opponent in a match.  Prepare.  Get whatever you can get done ahead of time, rest up and eat right (put the wine down) so your body and mind are strong.  Go over the most challenging parts of your week and think about ways to de-stress those situations.  The days and weeks are coming whether you are ready or not.  Get prepared so you can be your best.

Combat Stress

  • Breathe – During a moment of high stress and anxiety, a couple breathes can go a long way.  When you start to feel overwhelmed, stop, and take control of your nervous system by controlling your breathing.  After a few moments, you will have more clarity and be able to approach the situation calmly.
  • “Not Right Now” – Have a hard time saying “No”?  This can lead you to feel out of control of your life.  Even though we know we can’t do something or we don’t have time or don’t want to do something, we still feel the pressure to agree to do it.  It is a mistake made over-and-over.  If you have a hard time saying “No”, try the more friendly and polite version of “Not Right Now”.  It will get you out of the things you know you shouldn’t be doing anyway in a subtle, cool, dare I say, charming way.

Recover from Stress

  • Learn from your Reactions – If you are feeling bad about the way you handled the last stressful situation you were exposed to, take some time to review what happened and learn from it.  What triggered you?  Where was your head space?  Was it the person, time of day, the fact you went out the night before?  Try to find what caused you to move into a high-stress situation and take note of those triggers in the future.
  • Active Relaxation – It sounds counter intuitive.  Active and Relaxation?  What I mean by this is be PROactive in your recovery from stress.  Make sure there are gaps (big ones) in your busy schedule where you can give yourself some space to recover from stressful days, weeks, or events.  Plan vacations, a nice dinner, or some time at the spa.  Or just make sure you take whole days, or at least mornings, off from your stressful schedule. “Downtime” will not just appear, you need to make it happen.
  • Be Grateful – Sometimes when we are caught up in the stress of life, we forget to look around and see how blessed we are to have so much abundance in our lives.  Make sure to take the time to enjoy everything you get to do each day.

8 Daily Habits to Maintain Your Health

At 26 years old, I weighed 186lbs.  I currently weigh 135lbs.  Over the course of 5 years from age 26 to 31, I lost over 50lbs and I have kept it off for the last 7 years.  Over the years, a lot of my clients have asked me for my “secret” or praised my discipline and focus, but the truth is, I am just a regular person, trying to make healthy choices, one at a time.

Setting big goals is great and necessary to progress.  However, I find, it is the small, daily choices and actions that help us move towards being the healthy person we all want to be.  Small changes over time, lead to the big changes we are ultimately after.

My success is due to my consistency in making those healthy choices.  I take every day and every choice one at a time.  I try to make the best choice each time, sometimes I fail, but I only allow myself to think of the choice in front of me, not what I did earlier or what I might do in the future.  This is the “secret” to successfully becoming the best version of yourself.

Over the years, there are healthy habits I have tried to make part of my daily routine.  It makes them feel more regular, something not special or hard to do each day or that I have to remember to do.  I just set an expectation and choose a place or specific time to plug it into my day.  I attach the new habits I am trying to form to  already established routines, like brushing my teeth or letting the dog out, so that it becomes easy to move from one thing to the other.

If you are trying to “get healthy” try adding one new habit from the list below.  Take your time, moving one day at a time.  It does not matter how long it takes you to get towards your goal, just as long as your are moving in the right direction, getting better with each day.

Here are 8 things I do everyday to maintain my health:

  1. Drink 16oz of water as soon as I wake up.  Drinking water first thing in the morning, after your body has been “fasting” for the past 8-10 hours is one of the best things you can do for your organs.  It can also make you “crave” water throughout the day which acts as a little reminder to keep yourself hydrated.
  2. Move.  I move every single day.  It does not mean I workout everyday, but I move.  This could be as small as a 15 minute stretch session or a 4 hour bike ride or anything in between.  The important thing to me is to use my body each day.  To move it in ways it was designed to move.  Walk, jog, jump, lift, play – do whatever feels good to you.
  3. Give myself time.  I HATE to rush and I don’t like being late.  In order to avoid this, I wake up earlier than I need to which means I go to bed earlier than I need.  I want enough time in the morning to talk with my husband, pet my dog, make my breakfast and prepare my lunch, and even take in some news or answer emails.  I want to enter my day prepared and organized, not scattered and overwhelmed.  If waking up an extra 20-30 minutes earlier is what I need to do, that is fine by me.
  4. Eat my vegetables.  I try to eat some sort of vegetable at every meal and snack.  I put spinach in my eggs in the morning, usually have some sort of salad at lunch, and prep roasted vegetables for dinner.  If you are trying to eat healthier, stop thinking about what you need to take out of your diet and start adding vegetables in.  It will automatically make you eat less junk, crave better food, and smooth out your blood sugar spikes.
  5. Reflect.  I don’t always have time to meditate or even sit still, but there is always time to reflect.  Sometimes I only have time on my drive into work.  I turn the radio off, think about my day and what challenges I may encounter, and start to think of solutions to any problems that may occur.  Again, I like to enter the day calm and prepared.  10 minutes of “prep” can go a long way in helping me make clearer decisions and prioritizing my responsibilities.
  6. Read.  I like to read, so this is easy for me, but I didn’t always like to read.  If you are not a reader, it is an acquired taste, like coffee.  It may be something you don’t enjoy at first, but after a while, you look forward to it.  Reading helps us get out of our “bubble” and exposes us to alternate places, schools of thought, and people.  It is an easy and convenient way to expand your mind.
  7. Take a probiotic.  I take a few supplements like Vitamin D and C and others, but the most important for a healthy gut is going to be a good probiotic.  A healthy gut leads to a healthy immune system, higher energy levels, better food processing, and more.  It is a very easy thing to add in to your daily routine.  Consult with your doctor, nutritionist, or dietician to find one that works best for you.
  8. Sleep.  No shocker here.  I have talked about it on my podcast, I have written about it, I take slack for the fact that I have been known to go to bed at 830pm.  I need sleep to function and perform at my best.  I work with clients on a one-on-one basis who deserve my full attention and my full brain power and there is no way I can give it to them if I am sleep-deprived.  On top of that, getting an adequate amount of sleep helps lower stress, blood pressure, and improves your focus.  Get the sleep you need, so you can be your best the next day.

When making changes to your regular routine, add a little at a time.  It is too much to demand of yourself changes in multiple areas.  Pick one habit you want to add in to your daily routine and give your self 1-3 months to get it established before moving on to the next habit.  Remember, it does not matter how fast you move towards your goal, only that your are moving in the right direction.

 

Resolution Reboot – A Plan for Success

So how are those New Year’s Resolutions going?  If your answer is “not so great”, you are not alone.  80% of people have given up on their resolutions by February.  But don’t worry, this is not failure, just a temporary set-back.  It is also not an excuse for YOU to give up.  With a little organization, re-motivation, and of course, a PLAN you can continue to work towards your goals.  Let’s get you back on track.

Grab a pen and paper and play along with me.

Identify Priorities

The first thing we need to do is establish your priorities in life.  What things are most important?  Where do you want to put your focus?  A lot of people come up with resolutions that do not coincide.  Establishing a connection between your goals and resolutions with your priorities in life will give you a much better success rate.

Answer these questions:

Who are the most important people in your life?

What are the biggest things you want to accomplish in this lifetime (you can be vague)?

How much time do you want to spend on yourself versus on/with others?

Looking at 2018, what do you want to accomplish over the next 10 months?

Identify your “Why”

Now that you have your priorities established, it is time dig into why you made your New Year’s Resolutions.  Knowing the root of your motivation to change will help carry you through the tougher points of your transition.  It will also help you identify if your goals truly represent what you want.  Establishing your “why” can help you modify your goals so they reflect what YOU want for YOURSELF rather than what you think the world wants of you.

Answer these questions:

How will your life be different when you accomplish your goal?

Who will benefit from you accomplishing your goal?  Yourself, family, work?

What will you lose out on or miss if you fail or give up?

What areas of your life will improve when you reach your goal?

Is your goal a final destination or a step in a larger process?

How will you feel once you accomplish your goal?

Why did you choose to change this year?

Make REAL Goals

With your “Why” established, you can now make real goals that fit with your life.  At this time, it is also important to recognize if you need to adjust your goals to match your life and priorities.

Answer these questions:

What is your goal for 2018?

What are 2 or 3 smaller goals that would help you move towards your 2018 goal?

Can you imagine yourself accomplishing this goal?

Is there anything you need to do to prepare or before you start working towards your goal?

Make a Plan

Now you have real goals, that fit within your lifestyle, and your “why” to keep you motivated.  All that is left, is a solid plan.  Success is not solely based on discipline and hard-work.  Trying to make major change without a plan is like running a race without knowing the route.  You can go as fast as you can, hour upon hour, and never reach the finish line.

Answer these questions:

What can you do TODAY to work towards your goal?

What obstacles are there to accomplishing your goal?

What are 2-3 solutions you can think of to help you overcome your obstacles?

What can you do on a daily basis to help you reach your goal?

What can you get done in the next 2 weeks to work towards that goal?

What can you plan now, to help you work towards your goal in the next 3-6 months?

What are good indicators that you have accomplished half of your overall goal?

Change is hard, but it is much easier when you know why you are changing and have a clear road map.  Do some work up front so you don’t find yourself struggling later down the line.  As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry stated, “A goal without a plan, is just a wish”.

Heart Health

February is National Heart Health month.  Did you know that heart disease is the number one cause of death in both men and women and is responsible for over 1 million deaths annually?  Don’t panic, there are some things you can do to help prevent heart disease and keep your ticker in tip-top shape.

  1. Get Regular Check-ups – High blood pressure and cholesterol are major risk factors for heart disease.  Keep yourself informed about your levels, adjust your lifestyle to help keep your levels in a safe range, and avoid foods heavy in saturated fats.
  2. Maintain a Healthy Weight – We are not talking about being “swimsuit ready”.  Obesity is linked to many other health factors which can lead to heart disease including high triglyceride levels.  Maintain a healthy weight and especially avoid extra weight around the belly/mid-torso area.
  3. Limit Alcohol and Smoking – Overconsumption of either of these will increase you blood pressure and ultimately increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.  Studies suggest no more than 2 drinks per day for men, and 1 drink per day for women.
  4. Eat a Healthy and Balanced Diet – Avoid foods high in saturated fat, foods with high sodium levels, processed foods, and sugar.  Whole foods should make up the bulk of your diet with fresh vegetables being the star at every meal.  Balance your plate with a fat, protein, and carb at every meal.
  5. Exercise Regularly – You don’t need to be a marathon runner, you just need to move every day.  Try my at-home beginner’s workout or my beginners HIIT workout to start.  Exercise helps strengthen the heart and improve circulation.
  6. Get Your Sleep – Lack of sleep comes with an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.  Start creating better habits to get more sleep.  Check out my post on sleep for ideas on how to set yourself up for a more restful and restorative sleep session.
  7. Manage Stress – High stress levels can lead to high blood pressure and high cortisol levels.  Those high cortisol levels can lead to an increase of belly fat.  Take time out of everyday to breathe, calm yourself down, and relax.  Even 2 minutes of deep breathing can help interrupt the stress cycle.
  8. Know Your Risk – Get clear on your family health history and your genetic risk.  Be proactive in the care of your body, don’t make it a guessing game.

Healthy hearts equal healthy bodies.  The great “side-effects” of taking care of your heart are weight-loss, clearer skin, more energy, less aches and pains, and more.  Improving your diet, moving everyday, and taking some time for yourself can have lasting results that will not only improve your heart function, but improve your overall health.