Archive for June 2010

All About Bob

h3 images 441 300x198 All About Bob

Everyone who’s visited Hilton Head Health (H3) knows Bob Wright.  His wealth of knowledge and passion for education is memorable, not to mention his notorious phrases—or as we call them around here, “Bob-isms.” We all know and love Bob, but do you know when or why he came to H3?

 

Born in the South but raised in North, Bob spent the majority of his childhood in Pennsylvania. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education from Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, and his master’s degree in Health Education from the University of South Carolina. Upon obtaining his master’s, Bob accepted a position with the Department of Public Health in Beaufort, SC. It was during his time there that Bob learned of H3, formerly known as the Sea Pines Behavioral Institute. A few years later—in 1981, as society’s trend shifted away from disease prevention towards health promotion, Bob made the transition and joined the H3 Team. (It’s easy for him to recall his start date, as his daughter was just two weeks old.)

 

Bob’s dedication and motivation to educate guests over the years comes from seeing “the positive changes within our Guests. Even one week in our program creates a lasting impact on the quality of their lives.” Bob’s role here at H3 includes both one-on-one sessions and group education classes. He provides Health Habit Reviews, Dining Wright outings, Smart Cart excursions, as well as a wide-variety of seminars (Planning Healthy Meals, Portion Control, Maximizing Your Metabolism and Living Young—just to name a few).

 

If Bob could encourage all our Guests to remember one thing when they return home, it would be to keep in mind that “there are degrees of ‘on’—get rid of the all-or-nothing mindset and do what you can! You should never underestimate the impact of small changes.”

 

When he’s not educating Guests at H3, Bob enjoys fishing, attending local sporting events and spending time with his family.

 

Healthy Vacation Planning

carnival cruise ship 300x225 Healthy Vacation Planning

Having just returned from vacation – a cruise with over 30 family members – I was reminded how much vacation planning can affect your normal routine.  It’s not just the days you are away – it starts prior to traveling – long days at work trying to “get ahead” so that you don’t come back to a mess; packing; arrangements for flowers to be watered or pets to be fed; bills paid up, etc. 

Then comes the sacred vacation days that you fill with as much as possible so that you “get the most of your vacation” (not to mention half the time is spent behind the lens of a camera capturing the memories), followed by a return home to reality with mounds of laundry and if your email inbox wasn’t virtual, a similar heaping commitment. 

If the laundry and emails weren’t a big enough burden on your shoulders, you’ve also got the guilt that comes with completely obliterating any ounce of willpower during your time away, with the fear of weight gained and fitness lost in such a short time span.  If this sounds like a typical vacation routine in your world, I hope you will find the following tips helpful in planning for your next healthy, relaxing vacation:

 

Wiggle room.  Determine what kind of “wiggle room” you are going to allow yourself on your vacation, in regards to your nutrition and fitness plan.  For example, if you’re going to allow yourself desserts, set some type of limitation to it (i.e., allow yourself dessert after dinner… not at breakfast, lunch, nor in between).  On my cruise, there was a “spa” option every night at dinner – and I must say, they were delicious!  I did not feel that I was making any sacrifice by choosing that option.

 

Fun.  Brainstorm some fun activities you’d like to include in your vacation (for example: walking tours, jet skis, snorkeling), as well as a few last resort options (resistance bands, crunches, etc.) in case a day does not allow for an exciting activity. Doing something at least helps maintain your commitment level.

 

Appointment.  Sign up with your personal trainer or make plans with a friend for the week you return home – this appointment will help ensure you will get back to your fitness routine quickly.  Don’t allow the stress of returning from vacation prolong you from getting back to your routine – have faith that everything will get done.

 

Plan ahead.  Prior to leaving, prepare a meal plan for the week you return.  This will allow you to get your grocery shopping done quickly and successfully without unnecessary cravings from vacation appearing on the list.

 

Express yourselfCommunicate effectively with fellow vacationer(s) so that you are not dealing with unnecessary temptations nor the food police.  You do not need the nightly temptation for a glass of wine, or the nagging of why you chose to have that piece of chocolate cake.  Remember, often the other person is trying to make your vacation enjoyable or be supportive, but it is up to you to communicate whether or not they are being successful at that. 

 

I hope you find these tips helpful before embarking on your next journey!  I wish you a vacation filled with the perfect balance of adventure, relaxation, and rejuvenation – that’s what VACATION is all about!

 

Single vs. Multiple Sets: The Strength Debate

If you’ve been keeping even a distant eye on the strength training community, you’ve likely come across discussions on the issue of single vs. multiple sets.

Single set training, a variation of which is referred to as HIT (High Intensity Training), is characterized by maximal efforts performed in one set. Multiple set training, also termed “volume training,” is lifting which involves multiple sets of usually sub-maximal efforts.

For the casual observer and the less seasoned lifter, the question might simply be “How many sets are optimal for strength gains?

Now obviously there are many permutations of each method which complicates things from a “which one’s better” perspective. Compound that with differing needs, goals and a near-infinite amount of periodization methods, and you have a recipe for a complicated discussion.

Thankfully, there are people out there who are way smarter than I to navigate through the subject, look at the data through a fine-toothed comb, and come up with some conclusions.

In this case that individual is James Kreiger, M.S., whose findings are published in the October 2009 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.  Here are some snippets of his findings.

The issue with previous meta-analyses (compilation of studies) on the subject is, that many of the studies included did not control diligently enough for variables.

This analysis only included studies that met very strict criteria – most notably those studies that compared only single vs. multiple sets, whilst keeping other variables constant.

When things were whittled down, 14 studies with 30 treatment arms made the cut. Here is what the data revealed:

-  The 2-3 set groups experienced 46% greater strength gains than the 1 set groups.

-  These strength gains were attained in both trained and untrained individuals (which contradicts previous research).

-  No further benefits were observed beyond 3 sets – although the author was cautious here noting that there were very few well controlled studies that looked at 4+ sets.

Practical Application

-  When training to get stronger, strive for 3 sets.

-  The author notes that single sets can improve strength and save time, but may not be optimal for improvement.

-  What about performing a single set of 3 different exercises for the same muscle group? According to Krieger, his analysis did not show a significant effect. He notes that if you want to improve a certain lift, you are most likely to improve by performing more sets of that exercise.

Final Thoughts

Any strength training effort is beneficial. In the end you have to look at what you are trying to accomplish. This analysis makes a very compelling case for using multiple sets vs. a single set for optimal strength gains. And presumably if you are lifting weights, strength gains are a good thing!

 

H3 Recipe: Strawberry Mockarita

As promised, here’s another special mocktail that’s sure to cool you down this summer.  This mockarita is a simple soothing treat that will replenish and revitalize your body.  It’s a great option for your next summer picnic – or even just a refreshing drink to have in the morning. 

Chef’s Note: To switch it up, try using raspberries and lemon juice, and make yourself raspberry lemonade.  First, be sure to strain the seeds from the raspberries – or you might find some crunch in your drink.

H3 Strawberry Mockarita

Ingredients:

            3 cups               Strawberries, fresh, cleaned  (20 strawberries)

            1/3 cup              Lime Juice, fresh squeezed (6-8 limes)

            2 T.                   Splenda

            2 cups               Water

            2 cups               Ice

Preparation:

Place all ingredients in your blender.  Put on Crush mode, and blend until smooth.  Serve with a fresh strawberry and lime slice for garnish.

Serves: 6-8 

Serving Size: 8 ounces

Calories: 40

 

Craving Control: Ride the Waves

Food cravings—intense desires to eat a specific food—come in waves, building in intensity.  If you don’t give in to the craving, it will subside and then gradually build again.  One effective way to manage cravings is to “ride the wave”—distract yourself until the craving passes.  Cravings usually last  no longer than 15-20 minutes.  To manage your cravings, start by delaying the decision to eat for 10 minutes.  During that time, do something that keeps your mind and/or hands occupied: 

- Exercise
- Do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle
- Polish your nails
- Play the piano
- Work in your garden
- Wash your car
- Call a friend
- Take a shower or bath
- Walk your dog
- Organize something
- Send an email
- Clean your house
- Practice tai-chi or yoga
- Knit
- Play solitaire

When the 10 minutes have passed, decide whether you still want to eat that food you are craving.  If so, decide what you will eat (perhaps a lower-fat, lower-calorie version would satisfy your craving) and how much you will eat.   Then measure the appropriate amount and eat slowly and mindfully.

 

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