Archive for July 2011

If You Can See It, You Can Achieve It

We talk a lot at H3 about setting up your environment for success—making sure you have the tools and items around you to facilitate a healthy lifestyle. It is true that if you build up the space around you to be successful then you are more likely to perform the behavior. Convenience is crucial when it comes to diet, exercise or any other health behavior. We are much more likely to work out if our gym is on the way home from work as opposed to going out of our way to get there. We are more likely to eat healthy foods if that is what we stock our pantry with. It’s hard to find the apple if it is hiding behind the bag of potato chips! If you see something, it is easier to choose that as an option. A great way to set up your environment for success is to make the best options easier to see.

Below are some methods that H3 @ Home members have used to set themselves up for success by placing visual reminders in their environment.

  • Place vitamins next to the coffee maker. It’s the first thing most of us stumble to in the morning. Having the vitamins there will increase your chances of seeing them and can making them part of your daily routine.
  • Lay out your workout clothes the night before. We call is “laying out your body”. Put on your floor all of the clothes you need the next day for your physical activity (this is most effective when arranged in the shape of your body). Making it easy to throw them on, as well as remind you in the morning that it’s a gym day!
  • One former H3 guest uses their H3 water bottle at work to stay hydrated. It’s a great reminder throughout the day to stay active as well as the commitment made here at H3 to “get serious”.
  • The sticky note is a powerful method for placing visual reminders around your environment. Use it to place your goals on the fridge to be reminded throughout the day of what you are working to achieve.

Those are some methods that others have used to visually remind themselves of their commitment to living a healthy lifestyle.
What are a few that you can use for some of the goals you have set for your life?



The Gym Fear: Taking the First Step

I recently joined a new gym and even though I have been a member of many different gyms throughout my life, I have to admit that I was nervous when walking through the doors for the first time. At Hilton Head Health we have Guests from all fitness levels; some actually work in the health field and just want to be re-invigorated and others who are being introduced to fitness for the first time. I would like to encourage everyone to take that first step and to not let your fear of feeling like an outsider keep you from making your health a priority—to join and actually visit a gym that’s right for you. It can be intimidating joining a new gym—figuring out their equipment and getting accustomed to their fitness instructors.

Here are a few tips to help you take that first step in finding a gym that’s right for you:

  • First, choose a gym that works with your schedule. 24 hour gyms are popping up everywhere so if you have a hectic schedule, this might be right for you. Also, ask for a group fitness class schedule before deciding to join. Pick a gym that offers classes at times that work for you. Remember, don’t be afraid to try something new!
  • Once you’ve joined, ask for a tour of the facility so you feel comfortable in the new environment. Many gyms offer a free initial consultation, during which an instructor will show you how to use each machine and help you come up with a fitness routine.
  • If you are interested in getting a trainer at this gym, do your research. Here’s a post on what to look for in a good trainer.

This post was inspired by an article I read on one man’s journey to losing 175 pounds after being scared into changing his lifestyle. His story is quite inspirational and I encourage you to read the article here. No matter what your obstacle, don’t let your fear of failure keep you from success.



Friday Fitness: Perfecting Running Technique Pt. 2

Alright H3 Runners, I hope you’ve been practicing your running technique. By now, you should be ready for part two of our running technique series. The focus today is going to be on the fall and midline of our POSE running technique. If you remember from the last video, we focused on drills to improve our foot strike and I introduced you to using the hamstring versus the hip flexor by pulling your foot off the ground versus pushing in back. The word today is MIDLINE STABILIZATION.

With the three drills given today, we’ll focus on the feeling of falling forward while maintaining midline stability and not breaking at the hips. The drills will enforce your ability to work with gravity and to remain comfortable while leaning forward and running. What we are attempting to create in our form is a tight midline with simply a slight lean (5% or less). Watch closely and then perform the following until our Running Technique Part 3 premieres in a few short weeks.

We are closing in on 8 weeks out from Devin’s Dash so practice, practice, practice and show me your POSE when you arrive!!

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Om Your Way to Better Health

 beach yoga 2

Because of its impact on the circulatory system, stress is linked to cardiovascular disease. Emotional stress can contribute to a wider spectrum of physical stress, i.e. muscle tension and constricted breathing. Efforts to alleviate these physical and emotional stressors will help you in reducing your risk of heart disease as well as other risky illnesses.

Yoga, like many forms of physical activity, can help relieve stress. Yoga reduces stress by encouraging deep, rhythmic breathing. It physically increases the flow of blood and oxygen to each part of the body, which in return promotes decreased muscle tension, and overall relaxation. Emotionally, obstacles encircling weight management can sometimes bring with them a great deal of unkind self-judgment. In conjunction with physical stress alleviation, yoga also has many psychological benefits.

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Get H3 Inspired: Huntley Galleher

Huntley Galleher

I am a 50 year old man who has been in the education field for 26 years. I was once a math and science teacher, as well as a football and tennis coach for 13 years. In all my years of being a coach, there were only four of my players that could beat me in a set of tennis. I have always considered myself an athlete, and I still do today! However, I did not realize how out of shape I had allowed myself to become these last 12 years. Then 7 months ago my weight truly became an issue. I needed to walk from one location to the next, which I had done many times before but had not walked this exact path in several years. My mind said no problem, but after several minutes I realized it was going to be a challenge to get to my destination.  My breathing became irregular and my lower back was in excruciating pain. I found my whole torso hunching forward. I knew right at that point that my weight was the number one issue. That day I found myself thinking of all the issues I had been dealing with the last several months, and some the last several years. Every morning I had been waking up knowing that once I stepped out of bed I was going to be dealing with pain in my legs, feet or my back.

So I began my search for a change – I started first by asking my diabetic doctor for the opportunity to have lap band surgery. After a long discussion she actually convinced me to make a different decision. Her message was that my last blood test showed considerable progress and she told me that surgery was considered the last option. I listened and I took her advice; she and I even discussed Hilton Head Health in that conversation. So I was out the door, on my computer that night and looked into about eight different facilities throughout the country. Hilton Head Health kept coming up in my searches, and the stories and examples of the people that had been guests at Hilton Head Health continued to impress me. On March 2, 2011, my 50th birthday, I decided Hilton Head Health was the place for me and I was not going to let this opportunity pass.

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Strength Training for Kids?

pocket hercules 308

For years now the fitness industry has warned parents against starting their child too early in strength training.  The concerns were injury, stunted growth, and bone growth plate damage.  According to a new position stand, there is no evidence of these adverse affects, and in fact, it is believed that strength training may enhance muscle development, improve bone density, body composition, and even lipid profiles in youth.  The authors of this new position stand (the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology) suggest age 7 or 8 as a general rule for starting an adolescent on a strength training program. 

The program prescription is very similar to that of a general program for adults – eight to twelve exercises targeting all major muscles groups, 1-2 sets of 8-15 repetitions using a light to moderate load.  Warm up and cool down periods, stretching, and periodic variations in the program are also recommended. 

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H3 Recipe: Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin Kebabs



Teriyaki Sauce:

1/4 cup Low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup Mirin (Rice wine vinegar)

2 tablespoons Sugar


1 pound Pork tenderloin, cleaned

1 cup Red onion, large chop

1 cup Yellow squash, large chop

1 cup Zucchini, large chop

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Coaching Corner: Produce the Positives

Wellness CoachingA majority of the time we don’t give ourselves enough credit for what we’re actually accomplishing. Raise your right hand if you ARE your toughest critic. My hand’s up. For many successful people, this is all too of a familiar story. We look at the negatives before realizing the positives. We look at what we didn’t do versus what we did. Sometimes it only takes one negative to overshadow all our positives. The fact of the matter is that each of us is doing many things and we have much to be grateful for. Optimism radiates positivity, awareness of strengths, and positive perspectives create a stomping ground for everything else to follow and for success to become imminent.

What has been the most positive part of your week? Did you land a new account? Exercise four out of five days at six in the morning? Whatever you did, fight through the fog and find it; it’s there. Give yourself credit. Let us take this mindset one step deeper.

In coaching, we work on developing weekly goals and at the end spectrum these goals produce the positives. Today, I challenge you to look back and produce the positives in your life. At the end of ten positive productions in your life, write down the one negative overshadowing you right now. How much better can you see now?

(Check out my personal example below and reproduce your own. I like to go in descending order leading all the way down to the biggest current positives so it’s nice and close enough to stack any negative. The negative is usually hard to come up with when you get there.)

10. Renting an awesome affordable beach house on Hilton Head Island

9. Have the opportunity to meet new, motivated, and inspiring people every Monday morning

8. In a healthy mindset, can afford healthy food and equipment to supplement my training passion

7. Fortunate enough to have been born with an athletic talent (Can’t always choose our VO2 Max)

6. All my five senses and limbs are working in full capacity

5. Run over 50 races in front of family, friends, and Hilton Head Health Guests and still can to this day

4. Blessed with a passion to inspire others and lead by example

3. Will be seeing my family and participating in my first ½ Ironman in 3 weeks (Very current positive)

2. Have people who support me: incredible friends, coworkers, and family

1. Have the opportunity to change lives every single day … My job isn’t a job at all

Unfortunately, I got to the bottom of the exercise and my negative got demolished. Go ahead and produce your positives… by the end, see if you are even able to come up with a negative.



Make the Fur–Fitness Connection

walking the dog

Remember the movie Must Love Dogs (boy meets girl at a dog park with borrowed dogs)?  Well, that scenario isn’t just a Hollywood fantasy.  Dogs really can be good icebreakers.  Volunteers in the Washington (DC) Humane Society’s P.A.C.K. (People & Animal Cardio Klub) program gather on weekends to walk or run in area parks with shelter dogs.  Singles meet on Thursday nights at Pets Alive, a no-kill animal sanctuary in Middletown NY, to walk the shelter dogs.  What great ways to meet other dog lovers while getting some exercise and helping the dogs!  Several studies have shown that walking with a dog leads to more conversations and helps people stay socially connected.

Social interaction is just one of the many health and wellness benefits that pets provide.  Studies have shown that …

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Friday Fitness: Attack the Hills!

I am a HUGE Tour de France fan and for those of you who don’t follow along, le Tour is in full swing right now!! Today is stage 19 from Modane Valfréjus to Alpe-d’Huez. This is known as “the stage everyone is afraid of”. It is the last stage before the individual time trial and then the Tour’s conclusion on the cobblestones of the Champs- Elysees in Paris on Sunday!

 le tour

Today’s stage is a short one (by Tour de France standards) but it is steep!  These guys are incredible to watch, and to anyone who has ever clicked into a lighter gear to make it up an upcoming hill, you know how hard they are working.

For today’s Fitness Friday workout, inspired by le Tour, we are taking on hill intervals! You don’t have to be training for the Tour de France to get a huge benefit from including these intervals into your workout routine.

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