Archive for August 2012

Friday Fitness: Team Physical Activities

As we approach the start to the fall and winter months, I’d like to take a moment to talk about group physical activities. Sports or group activities such as indoor soccer, volleyball, hockey, basketball, etc. can play a huge role in spicing up your fitness and social life, while potentially fighting off dreary weather.

A few tips on how to get involved:

  1. Do your research. Ask your friends, family and neighbors if they know any leagues or active clubs in your area. Adult soccer and basketball leagues are available in most towns and you won’t have to fight the weather if your particular sport is played indoors.
  2. Register before it is too late. Most teams, leagues or clubs have deadlines on signing up. For example, if you want to join a particular team in November you would most likely have to register sometime in the beginning of October.
  3. Try something new. I recently played pickle ball for the first time. Two words come to mind: COMPLETE BLAST. I had never tried this before, but the “regulars” were extremely welcoming and taught me the ground rules.
  4. Have fun with your co-workers. A lot of companies and organizations are trying to incorporate new healthy activities outside of their daily jobs. Be the one that organizes a “team” or invites someone to “sub” in your own activity.

Check out what H3 does on a Wednesday nights:

If this looks like fun and you’re interested in starting a corporate wellness program for your company, contact Alicea Glover at and she’ll help you get started!



Study Finds Obesity Increases Cancer Risk

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research 1/3 of the most common cancers could be prevented through diet, physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight. By not smoking another 1/3 can be eliminated.

Two new studies support the weight/cancer connection. The first has to do with breast cancer reoccurrence. Previous studies have found there is a relationship between obesity and the development of breast cancer, as well as the reoccurrence of breast cancer in women who have already been diagnosed.  This study, published in the journal Cancer, was based on research sponsored by the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Compared to women of normal weight, obese women were 40% more likely to have a breast cancer reoccurrence. The connection was especially strong for women with estrogen receptor-positive cancer, which accounts for most cases of breast cancer. View this video discussing the study linking obesity with increases risk of breast cancer.

The other study looked at the relationship between obesity and the development of pro inflammatory chemicals. Long term exposure to these chemicals has been associated with a number or chronic diseases including heart disease and some forms of cancer. Excess weight, especially in the belly (visceral fat) is known to produce these pro-inflammatory chemicals. The  study published in the May issue of Cancer Research, found that overweight, post-menopausal women who lose just 5% of their body weight significantly reduced the levels of inflammatory chemicals thought to be associated with the increase risk.  While a weight loss of 5% (10lbs for someone 200lbs) may not seem very impressive, from a cancer risk perspective it certainly is. Other studies have found a similar relationship between a 5% weight loss and the reduced risk if heart disease and diabetes.

While weight management certainly plays a role in reducing the risk of cancer, there are several other factors as well. Check out this infographic from the American Institute for Cancer Research on cancer prevention:  



Get H3 Inspired: Leigh

I am 49 years old. I have been overweight my entire life. This is very difficult to write about because it is very personal. I have been generally successful in everything I have done in my life that is important (such as, I have a wonderful family and a great career); the exception of my success has always been my repeated failure at weight loss. This has caused me enormous frustration and heartache over the years. Beginning in my early teens until I came to H3 last September, I tried every diet and failed miserably over and over again. Making it more difficult for me to succeed at weight loss is that my husband is a gourmet chef and everything he cooks includes butter and cream. Everything he cooks is so delicious and sadly, I loved great food and hated exercise.

Last September [2011] I went to Hilton Head Health. At that time, my only exercise was walking from my car in my office’s garage to my office. In addition, my lifestyle was very unhealthy. I have a stressful job and I worked about 70-75 hours a week, slept maybe 5-6 hours per night, and only ate one meal a day. This combination was my recipe for being overweight and unhealthy (and probably a recipe for an eventual heart attack). When I arrived at H3, all my blood tests (cholesterol, diabetes, etc) were in the high range, just a bit over, but still over the “high” mark. My doctor wasn’t overly concerned except that he was worried about pre-diabetes. I decided that I needed to diet and needed a “kick start” to a diet. All I wanted to do was lose 20 pounds since I understood from Adam in one of his seminars that losing 10% of body weight would result in significant health improvements. (Yes, I was over 200 pounds at that time, which is now very hard to believe.)

During my first week (of two that I stayed at H3) I met Jeff. He was leading Treading. I happened to select a treadmill in front of Jeff (he had not arrived when I selected my treadmill). I thought I was going to die in the class or at least have a heart attack. I asked Jeff if he knew CPR. I will never forget that hour … Jeff was yelling, in an encouraging way, at the class and doing all kinds of crazy stunts but between all that craziness, he was talking to me very softly and compassionately. He was encouraging and telling me what to do so I could keep going. By some miracle, I finished the class (albeit on a very remedial level). Because I took the treading class, I started training with Jeff. It was hard, he pushed me and he was very tough on me. It is what I needed. I decided to train with him two more times and never tried another trainer.I left H3 and Jeff was my H3 at Home health coach. Health coaching started in early October 2011 after I left H3.

Read the rest of this entry.



Lessons Learned: The Real Purpose of Time-out

This past week was a milestone week for my family. Hala started pre-school!! So of course we had to do the proud parent thing and take pictures, visit the classroom, ask about her day and what her new friends’ names were… you know, all that first day of school stuff.

What also comes with this exciting new transition??? Change. Our routine changes – now Daddy takes Hala to school and picks her up, while I take the other two to daycare. On Mondays, nap items and fruit to share need to be taken to school, and on Fridays nap items come home to get cleaned. Fundraisers begin, fall breaks to plan, and on and on and on.

In the midst of all this, last night I had to put Hala in time-out for refusing to share with her sister. I thought to myself, man, I wish I could be in time-out. Sometimes it seems as though it’s a luxury to have the time to take a breath between the day’s hustle and bustle. I’m not sure where exactly that transition in thinking changes, but at some point we begin to recognize “time-out” is not as punishment, but a gift of time. It signifies a break in momentum in one direction and an opportunity to redirect our energy toward something better.

Give yourself a “time-out” today and recognize it as a chance to change your momentum. Given this opportunity, what path will you take??

Share it with us! Post a comment on the change you are looking to make today!



Healthy Recipes: Strawberry Compote

8 Strawberries, cleaned and tops snipped, then quartered
1 Tablespoon Sugar
2 teaspoons Cornstarch + equal parts cold water

• Warm sauce pan to medium heat
• Add strawberries.
• Let strawberries cook for about 5 minutes, stir frequently.
• Add sugar. Stir frequently
• Bring strawberries to a simmer until tender and sauce has a slight thickness to it. If more thickness desired, add small amounts of cornstarch in cold water until you have reached desired consistency.
• Serve over French toast, pancakes, whole grain waffles or even on yogurt.

Number of Servings: 4
Serving Size: approx ¼ cup
Calories: 25
Carbohydrates: 6 grams
Sodium: 0 mg
Fiber: 1 gram
Protein: 0 grams




Nothing can banish a bad mood quicker than laughter. It is infectious and once you let it in, it can transform your day and outlook.  Laughter offers more benefits then you might think, it can provide benefits to our physical, emotional and social health

Physical Benefits Emotional Benefits Social Benefits
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Improves memory
  • Increases immunity
  • Decreases pain
  • Releases endorphins
  • Improves sleep quality


  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Shifts perspective
  • Helps to relax
  • Enhances creativity


  • Strengthens relationships
  • Improves trust
  • Enhance teamwork
  • Provide a connection
  • Increases attractiveness
  • Brings comfort to social situations

How to increase laughter and joy within your life:

  • Share one funny thing from your day with a loved one.  Knowing you have to share something, will keep you looking around throughout the day for opportunities to
  • Seek out the humor in situations. Take a lesson from Patch Adams, laughter can be the best form of medicine.
  • Surround yourself with people that make you laugh. This people will help you find humor and being joy into your life. We are naturally attracted to those who lighten our day.
  • Seek humor in conversations: ask others what makes them laugh. Tell a joke or a funny story. Research has show that not only does humor strengthen relationships but it makes individuals more attractive to the opposite sex.
  • Laugh at yourself! You are probably funnier than you think you are. Stay relaxed and don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Fake it till you make it. By simply putting a smile on your face, it’s very hard to resist smiling inside as well. You might find others smiling back at you as well.

Need a quick laugh?  Check out this funny video called Stuff Dieters Say

Check out our Laughter Is the Best Medicine board on Hilton Head Heath’s Pinterest page!



Cracking the Nutrition Label Code

Heading to the grocery store can seem daunting when you are pursuing or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I think of deciphering a nutrition label similar to cracking a code in a top secret investigation!  However, once you get the hang of it, you immediately become a top nutrition detective!

Start Here: Serving sizes are standard among similar food products.  This is in attempt to make it easier for you to compare nutrition facts from one brand to the next. Pay attention here, you will sometimes be surprised by how many servings per container some products have. Example; sodas, cereals, or crackers.

Calories: In general, 40 calories is low, 100 calories is moderate, and 400 calories or more is high, based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Always be aware of this section.  Calories in versus calories out, it is the name of the game!

Percent Daily Value: This helps you determine if a food is high or low in a certain nutrient. The percent values are based off of a 2,000 calorie diet. 5% percent or less is considered low and 20% or more is high.

Limit these Nutrients: Eating too many of these may increase your risk of disease such as; heart disease, cancer, or high blood pressure. Try to aim for low percentages on these nutrients.

Get Enough of These: Our bodies enjoy these nutrients. Eating enough of these will potentially improve your health and prevent illness. Love that!

Footnote: These values do not change from product to product because it shows recommended dietary advice for everybody.

Ingredients: The basic components of a product are listed by decreasing weight. Meaning the first ingredient is the most dominate by weight.

Have fun with deciphering nutrition labels, it will make a huge difference in the long run. You are what you eat!



Friday Fitness: 3 Killer Kettlebell Exercises

The kettlebell is a cast iron weight that resembles a cannonball with a handle.  It was originally developed by a Russian in the 1700s as part of his physical training and conditioning program.  The Soviet army began using the device in the 20th century to help make sure their troops were well prepared.  The device itself didn’t make it to the states until the 1960s when Pavel Tsatsouline started offering instruction and in 2001 began formally training instructors.  You can now find this simple exercise tool at most gyms.  Check out my video for 3 killer kettlebell exercises.



6 Ways To Maximize Your Workout

It’s Thursday, and as our weekend approaches all of us here at H3 are anxiously awaiting our co-worker, Jeffrey Ford’s, first Ironman competition! As many of us sit and contemplate how physically and mentally challenging his competition will be, we express much gratitude for Jeff’s commitment, hard work and determination. Simply stated, we are in awe! Therefore, in the brief moment that we struggle with our own exercise motivation, our minds shift to the thought of Jeff who will be spending nearly 12+ hours on Sunday swimming, biking and running. If he can hold strong for 12 hours, we can do just about anything for 60 minutes. Thus, for those of us who constantly struggle with trying to fit exercise in or finding the motivation to do so, this blog post may help you. Today, paradoxically, I offer you suggestions—all of which hold the intention to help maximize your workout!

  1. Add incline. If you are using cardio machines, biking and/or walking outdoors, hills are your ticket! Hills are a greater challenge and spike more of a caloric burn. In fact, in this week’s Treading class we embraced hill intervals for the entire duration of the class. (Huge shout out to Kevin Weiland! He embraced my hill intervals and climbed strong; in fact, side-by-side with me the entire class!)  
  2. Don’t hold on. Embracing the “death grip” or holding on to the handles or console of a cardio machine feels easier for a reason. It shifts the weight off your lower body, ultimately, encouraging you to not utilize your legs. Legs, being the largest muscle group, help to increase caloric burn when used. When not using your legs, you will not be working as hard. Resist the urge to lean or grip/pull at the machine; simply relax, let go of all tension, and focus on good posture/proper spinal alignment and lower body engagement.
  3. Try intervals. Alternating between higher intensity and lower intensity bursts within a single workout help to improve your fitness level. It also scorches calories; thus, helping to burn more fat than exercising at a single steady pace. To begin, try short intervals: 10-30 seconds of high-intensity exercise, followed by recovery intervals of 1-2 minutes of lower intensity moves. Repeat the intervals throughout your workout.
  4. Get on the circuit train. Keep your heart rate up, stoke your metabolism, and get more done in a single workout by moving quickly from one exercise to the next to diminish downtime (i.e. ULTRA circuit!). 
  5. Use more muscle. Try incorporating combination exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once. This will save you time, as well as maximize your strength set (i.e.: squats with a row; lunges with overhead shoulder press/lateral raise, etc.). 
  6. Lower slower. Use the “2:4” count ration when strength training. Take two seconds to lift (concentric phase) and take four seconds to return the weight to start position (eccentric phase). Research shows that concentrating on the eccentric phase helps to promote strength gains.




Devin’s Dash – One Month To Go!

If you subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter, you already know today marks one month until Devin’s Dash 2012!

This will be my second time attending Devin’s Dash and my first time running in it. Last year I had the opportunity to cheer for everyone as they crossed the finish line. I can’t tell you how impactful it was seeing everyone’s smiling faces and hearing friends and family cheer for their loved ones. I watched as each person received a high-five from Robert Moore and embraced Adam Martin and Kelia Bennett while thanking them for all their encouraging words. Of all the 5K’s I’ve attended, I’ve realized Devin’s Dash is truly one that embraces the spirit of what the race is all about. Not everyone participating knew Devin, myself included, but after all the touching stories from those who did, you can actually feel his energy at the race. For many, Devin’s Dash is a time when they complete something they never thought they could do—their first 5K; for others, it’s a time to reunite with friends; but for everyone, it’s a time to give thanks for all the influential people you’ve come across in life.

I am looking forward to honoring Devin and all those in my family who have faced cancer by running in this year’s race. I am also excited about raising money for such an amazing cause. This year’s event proceeds benefit Happiness Is Camping, a summer camp for children affected by cancer run by a former H3 Guest. Recently, Adam volunteered at the camp and shared some of his pictures below.

If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to register for the race. Registering really is the first step in holding you accountable. I also recommend joining the Devin’s Dash Facebook event page. Every time I check the page I get even more excited about the event! You can also message me at if you would like to contribute pictures to the Devin’s Dash board on Pinterest.

So with one month to go, I bid you happy training and hope to see you on Sept. 22nd!

Adam’s visit to Happiness Is Camping:





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