Archive for October 2012

Get H3 Inspired: Karen McCarty-This Place Rocks

Here’s a treat from Karen McCarty! You may have seen Kerrie’s testimonial video on the H3 website, but today she’d like to update you on some of the progress she’s made since visiting H3 in 2011. Thanks for sharing, Kerrie. We’re so proud of you!


After my three-week stay at Hilton Head Health (H3) in 2011, I knew I would visit again and this year I returned for the last two weeks in June. I saw so many familiar friends that I met from last year, it turned into a great reunion!

I’m thrilled with the success I’ve experienced from my visits to H3, which has made it easier to stay motivated and on track with my meal and exercise plans. To date, I’ve lost 12% of my weight and my glucose levels remain in the Normal range. By adopting H3 healthy lifestyle changes, I’ve learned to manage my diabetes without taking medication. I’ve seen a significant improvement this year compared to 2011.

But a vacation at H3 is more than a return to health. It’s a return to our childhood! Where else do you find 20 adults on “noodles” in the pool, belting out oldies as we move and groove? Or taking a bike ride, playing golf, or kayaking? And don’t even get me started on Zumba in the Pool or Wii Dance!

The food and cooking classes are fabulous and the new H3 Healthy Kitchen is beautiful, with a large display screen so we can see everything the Chefs are preparing (my favorites are Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Peach-Chili Sauce and Eggplant Caponata).

They are constantly updating the program with new exercise classes and seminars. “Creating a Wellness Vision” and “Mastering Motivation” are two of my new favorites. The staff at H3 are brilliant at what they do, and they give us the tools to take home with us to ensure our success.

All I can say is, This place rocks.

-Kerrie McCarty, Portland, Oregon

If you’d like to pay it forward and share your Hilton Head Health story, please contact Alicea Glover at



Strength Training for Aging Adults

At Hilton Head Health, we have several aging adults who come to me with concerns about safe exercise. Check out these functional exercises targeted specifically for those ages 50 and older. Functional exercise is important for this age group to increase mobility and keep joints from stiffening.

 Balance Exercises:

  1. Walk The Line. Find a flat surface, preferably one with a visible line you can follow, such as tiles on the floor. Try your best to walk straight for about ten feet, then walk back. Focus on standing tall and straight while walking with one foot in front of the other, heel to toe.  Repeat this 2-4 times. This exercise will help to challenge your balance and everyday functional fitness.
  2. Standing on one Foot. Stand tall with both feet on the floor. Focus on a fixed point ahead of you, eye level or above. Slowly raise one leg. As the raised foot maintains dorsiflexion, invite the leg to raise higher. Perform this by inviting in the quadriceps muscle integration. Ideally, hold your balance for 30-60 seconds, lifting the leg higher each 10 seconds. If you currently struggle with balance, use a chair or wall to help stabilize yourself. Once you have completed two to four rounds of the 30-60 second hold, switch to the other foot and repeat the series. Be mindful as it is okay if you wobble a bit or have to drop your leg for a second.  Adjust, re-center and simply pick it back up and continue the 30-60 second set. This exercise, if done regularly, will help to challenge your core strength and balance.

Leg Exercises:

  1. Chair Squats (2 sets/12-15reps). Start seated with your feet flat on the floor, legs in a 90 degree angle. Without using your hands, stand up from the chair- sit back down, and repeat. Be sure to push up through your heels, however adhere to a soft flat foot stance when standing up to avoid injuring your knees.  This exercise works your quadriceps, hamstrings, and core, as well as helps to strengthen weak knees and inspire everyday functional activity.
  2. Seated Leg Extensions (2sets/12-15 reps). While sitting in a chair, raise one leg in the air so it is in line with your hips. Keeping your foot flexed (dorsiflexion) while lifted. This will help to invigorate your quadriceps. Gently lower the leg back on the floor. Repeat this movement for 12-15 reps with your right leg, then switch legs. This exercise works your entire lower body and core, as well as it helps with functional balance.
  3. Standing Calf Raises. (2 sets/15-20 reps) Stand tall with both feet parallel and toes facing forward. Slowly raise your heels off the floor, thus lifting onto the balls of your feet. Hold at the top then slowly lower back down. You may want to stand next to a chair or wall for support if you find yourself having trouble with balance. To add variation, try pointing your feet outward (toes out to corners, heels in) and inward (toes in towards one another and heels out) thus, targeting various areas in the calves and/or place one foot hooked behind calve and raise one single leg. This exercise works your calves as well as help to promote balance and ankle flexibility/stability.

Arm/Core Exercises:

  1. Supermans. (2 sets/12-15 reps). Place a mat or towel on the floor. Lying down prone (on your stomach-head down, forehead center on mat), simultaneously raise your right arm and left leg. Try to keep your spine in line, and focus the attention on length vs. height. Once lifted, pause for a moment then slowly lower yourself down. Switch sides every repetition, therefore alternating the opposite arm and leg. This exercise works your spine, lower back, and lower core. If emphasis is on length, the exercise can help to strength upper back, lats, hamstrings, gluteus and core.
  2. Plank. Start in all fours with hands and knees on floor. Place your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. When ready, extend one leg back and plant the ball of your foot into the floor.  If you are comfortable here, plant the other foot into the floor and press up into a push-up starting position. If this is too challenging, drop to your knees. Be sure to engage your core and keep your tail bone tucked downward, however do not hyperextend. Your bum should be level with your body, as the body should be in a “plank” position.  Reach back through your heels to invigorate the upper leg muscles. Hold this position for 10-30 sec to start, then work your way up to one minute. Repeat 2-4 times per session.
  3. Wall pushups. (2sets/12-15 reps) Stand with about one to two feet between you and a wall. Place your hands on the wall in pushup position. Rise up on your toes, tuck your tailbone under and pull your lower belly in. Slowly lower yourself closer to the wall then push yourself away. The more distance you place between you and the wall, the more challenging this exercise will be. This exercise works chest muscles, biceps, triceps and core.
  4. Seated Chair Dip. (2sets/12-15 reps) Start by sitting in a chair. Set your feet as far away from the chair as you can and place your palms on the edge of the chair- fingers pointing to your bum. Slowly lower yourself so your backside almost touches the floor and or your elbows bend to a 90 degree angle. Press into your palms and use your triceps to raise yourself back to the starting position, elbows straight but not locked. This exercise works your triceps.
  5. Arm Circles. (2sets/25 reps) Standing or sitting tall, hold your arms out on each side. With your thumbs pointing up, slowly move your arms in a forward rotation. Then, point your thumbs down and move them in a backward rotation. Perform small quick circles. Do 2 sets of 20 -25 repetitions rotating forward as well as rotating back. This exercise works your shoulders. To integrate more balance, try standing on one foot!


Healthy Recipes: Turkey Chili


2 teaspoons Olive oil

2 Cups Water

6 Cloves garlic, minced

2 cups Onion, chopped 2 cups water

1 cup Green bell pepper, chopped

1 cup Red bell pepper, chopped

1 can (16 oz.) Kidney beans, drained

24 ounces Ground turkey breast or beef tenderloin

1 ½ Tablespoons Chili powder

1 can (15 oz.) Black beans, drained

1 Tablespoon Dried oregano

1 can (14 ½ ounces) Diced tomatoes, undrained and no added salt

1 Tablespoon Unsweetened cocoa

1 teaspoon Ground cumin

1 can (14 ½ ounces) Vegetable broth or stock

2 Chipotle chilies, canned in adobo sauce, minced

2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded, reduced-fat


  • Pre-heat oven to 375°F
  • Heat oil in saucepot.
  • Add garlic, diced onion, green pepper, red pepper, kidney beans, ground turkey and chili powder.
  • Stir and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add water then the next 7 ingredients.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 10 minutes and stir occasionally.
  • Spoon half of bean mixture into the bottom of a 13 X 9 inch baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese.
  • Top with remaining bean mixture.
  • Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 375°F.
  • Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Serve with baked tortilla chips or one 6” corn tortilla (60 calories, 0 grams fat)

Number of servings: 12

Serving size: 1 ½ cups

Calories per serving: 214

Fat grams per serving: 3.3



Coaching Corner: Forging through Failure

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot…and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s precisely why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

The environment out there is set up for us to look at our failures. It’s inevitable that we’ll focus on what we’re not doing first, rather than what we’re doing. I found an article recently called “The Ten Reasons Why We Fail” by David DiSalvo and with it I learned a lot. I am asking you to now look at your approaches to failures. Not tomorrow, but today.

Failures are the exact reason why people do succeed. Not just the Michael Jordan’s of the world, but for every successful person out there attached are plenty of failures. With every change you make in your lifestyle, there will be at least one failure.
What I am getting here is that forging through failures comes down to how you look at them. How you make your approach. Maybe you’ve never been successful at controlling your night time eating or the steady exercise plan has never been a part of your playbook. Those are only missed shots and with every miss, there will always be that next opportunity.

What I am saying is that if you choose to see a failure as positive; a learning experience – you will grow stronger, better and wiser. Failures are learning experiences that will fuel your success. Get up this weekend and take another angle on something you’ve failed at. Maybe use the backboard this time or ease it in for a layup. Remember that not everyone can slam dunk, but once you look at your failures differently that hoop will open up.



Friday Fitness: Strength Training on the Treadmill

Many guests come to H3 and find that one of their favorite classes is treading. This is a great cardio workout that can be done at home, in the hotel gym, or on any piece of cardio equipment. But for today we are going to focus on the treadmill, and how to add an element of strength training to your workout.  I have 3 moves for you that will increase the challenge and benefit of your workout. Check out the workouts below and enjoy. These workouts are guaranteed to give you some looks of admiration from other gym goers.

Use the treading workout routine that we have posted here on  Instead of doing the speed intervals, add in the strengthening exercises.

Workout Option 1

After Hill 1: 10-15 pushups

After Hill 2: 8-12 squats

After Hill 3: 1 minute of lunges

Workout Option 2: Advanced

After Hill 1: 10-15 pushups, 10-15 squats, 1 minute of lunges

After Hill 2: 10-15 pushups, 10-15 squats, 1 minute of lunges

After Hill 3: 10-15 pushups, 10-15 squats, 1 minute of lunges



Taking A Stand For Health

We’ve talked about the toll sitting for too long can take on our bodies before. Adam even shared an eye-opening Infographic that really helped put things into perspective. Today, I’d like to share an update on the subject. I ran across this clip from CNN on the danger of sitting or standing for too long, which got me thinking. I spend most of my workday behind a desk and have to force myself (and admittedly sometimes skip) working out when leaving the office. I came to the realization that on days when I go for a walk during my lunch break, I don’t have to convince myself to exercise after work as much. In fact, on days when I’m running back and forth, from one location to the next, I have more energy and am more eager to exercise. Coincidence? I think not. Among the countless health benefits of exercise, it also makes you more alert and energized throughout the day, which in turn can mean you don’t have to rely on as many snacks or cups of coffee to be present in each moment. Take a moment to watch this feature on CNN and ask yourself how you can fit more steps (or even just standing more) into each day.



Keeping Fitness FUNKY

Bethany Myles, Program Intern Fall 2012

As we settle into fall, I realize, we are fortunate to live in a time where being fit is not just for athletes and celebrities; it’s essential to improving our quality of life. Health initiatives and increase of chronic illness have helped to shed light on the benefits of being physically active. As a result, there has been a boost in the fitness industry to create new forms of activities; how can one keep up with the trends. I personally love to see all the new dance crazes that come along. Whether it is Latin, hip hop, or jazz dance inspired,Americais moving to some beat and I love it!! You may not be a seasoned dancer or ready to join the fitness dance craze but have no fear, I am here with 10 ways to keep your fitness routine fresh and FUNKY! So take a moment… close your eyes and put your thinking cap on because we are going on a FUNKY ride.

1) Treat yourself to some new funky fitness attire. A little retail therapy won’t hurt especially, if it will bring a spark to your workout. Make a statement with some colorful shoes for that morning run or groovy pattern top for your next yoga class.    

2) Join a local recreation sports league. Many gyms, local recreation centers, and community organizations currently offer adult sports leagues and clubs. It is a great way to try something new, broaden your social network, and stimulate your competitive edge all while having fun. It may take a little research to see what is available in your area but it will totally be worth your while.

3) Try a new class or equipment at the gym. Do you go to the gym that same time everyday just to use your favorite piece of equipment? Take the same aerobics class because you know the instructors teaching style so well it feels like your own? Over time our bodies adapt to certain movements, although it feels comfortable can be a hindrance to maximizing your workouts. Go ahead, bite the bullet and open yourself to something new. Who knows you might love it!!

4) Hire a personal trainer. If you aren’t already, personal training is a perfect way to keep your fitness routine funky! The knowledge and expertise of a trainer will keep your body doing things you never thought possible. For those who are already seeing a trainer, I suggest talking to your trainer about incorporating some new training tools into your sessions; TRX bands, sand bags, BOSU ball, and that’s just the beginning.

5) Throw a Pinterest party. Pinterest is a social phenomenon taking images to different heights. The health and fitness category is full of inspirational quotes, workouts, and new suggestions for pinners to try. Invite a few friends to bring one workout from Pinterest to share and collectively take turns leading each workout. After the hard work and a few laughs (there will be some), reward yourself with a healthy snack from Pinterest as well. If you don’t have an account, its easy to browse for free or request one. A good place to start would be the Hilton Head Health Pinterest page.

6) Support a cause. Fall marks the beginning of walks and 5K runs that donate money to local and national charities. Our success with Devin’s Dash afforded us the opportunity to raise thousands of money to send kids to Happiness is Camping.  Registrations are often affordable and come with great t-shirts as a token for your support. If you feel inspired, you can create a team with co-workers, friends, or family to raise monies for the cause. An amazing way to make a huge impact!!

7) Volunteer with a youth sports team. Do you enjoy working with youth? Or looking for a way to give back to your community? Youth sports are always looking for coaches to volunteer their time and talent. As a youth track & field coach, I often enjoy motivating my athletes by doing drills and workouts with them. They get a kick out of racing me in 80 meter sprints. So imagine the possibility of playing basketball with an 8 year old half your size. If he shoots over your head while being in full defense stance you might have the next Michael Jordan in front of you!!

8) Revisit your childhood. Coaching youth is one way to visit your childhood. Another is playing game of kickball, foursquare, or freeze tag will make any adult feel 30 years younger. Round up your kids, grandkids, nieces or nephews and show them how you played back in the day before Wii and iPads!!

9) Discover the community attractions of a neighboring city. Larger and smaller communities are becoming more fitness friendly by adding bike trails, parks, and social events. It might take a little research and preplanning but the change of scenery will be rewarding physically and mentally.

10) Plan a Family Fitness Retreat. When was the last time your family did something creative together? Have you ever considered turning your home into a mini H3 for a weekend? Clear all your weekend plans and put the kids to the challenge by planning and preparing the events for the weekend. This is a great opportunity for family bonding and educating the kids on why your family chooses to live a healthy lifestyle. You will be AMAZED with what you find around the house to make this an inexpensive and memorable event. Have fun and take lots of pictures!!

Keeping fitness Funky will assist in enjoying the journey to achieve your weight loss and fitness goals. Hope you enjoyed the FUNKY ride, good luck!!



Lessons Learned: Plan Ahead…. But Not Too Far

This weekend was Hilton Head’s annual Bridge Run. For the past seven years (excluding last year when I was expecting) I have run this 10K race. The weather is beautiful this time of year, and the run always draws my mind to all that has happened over the past year, and even since my first Bridge Run.

This year I was not looking forward to the event the way I usually do. My journey in rebuilding my fitness level has been slower than desired after this last pregnancy, and frankly, I was worried that feelings of embarrassment or disappointment might overwhelm me when race time came. After some stern self-talk followed by a few reluctant clicks of my mouse, I was signed up for the race. Ready or not, I was committed.

I ran the bridge a couple times in order to help prepare my mindset…it was too late for it to make much of a difference in my physical performance.  I prepared myself for a realistic finishing time, and because I had not run a full 10K prior to the race, I’d also given myself permission to walk for 2-3 minutes two times over the course (although my heart wasn’t really okay with that). I had a fear that I would push too hard early in the race and then not be able to finish with the strength I hoped to. I showed up that morning a little discouraged and fighting an inner battle of disappointment in myself before the race even began. I decided to slow my mind by just taking the course one mile at a time.

Originally, my goal was to get over the bridge before breaking into a walk (around 3 miles). At the end of mile-1, I was starting to talk myself into a “pre-bridge walk” so I could save some energy to actually get up the hill. When I hit the mile-2 marker, which was about 1/2 mile before the incline, I said to myself,”I don’t think I have to walk yet, maybe I can make it over the bridge like I originally planned…” I did. I got to the 3-mile mark and, because I hadn’t seen Chef Jen or David (program intern) pass me yet and I didn’t want them to see me walking, I decided to push on to mile 4. As I gained on the 4-mile marker, I noticed that no one else was breaking for a walk and determination set it. I had gotten that far and just knew I would be disappointed with myself if I let up now. I crossed back over the bridge and finished the race without a single walking break. I forgot to mention that I was going about 10% faster than a snail’s pace, but that’s beside the point. I planned ahead and built in some realistic expectations, but I did not fall back on them as outlets and made timely decisions based on how I felt in the moment.

Just as these decisions went in a positive direction, another day they could have easily gone the other way. Folks, it’s a winding road with peaks and valleys. I’m telling this story not to receive affirmations, but to show that it’s important to own your successes just as much as it is to own your failures. We have both, and they are each important to our journeys.  Don’t let unrealistic expectations stop you from achieving your goal. I’m closer today to having a better Bridge Run next year than I would be if I had decided that I wasn’t “good enough” to do it this year. What opportunity will you give yourself today?



Healthy Recipes: Meringue Bones with Bloody Berries

1 ½ teaspoons Pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon Cream of tartar
1 ½ Tablespoon Cornstarch
1 ½ cups Sugar
¾ cup Egg whites, large (room temperature)
Pinch Salt

4 cups Strawberries, sliced
2 cups Raspberries, cleaned
2 Tablespoons Honey

• Preheat oven to 275°F.
• Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
• Portion out vanilla and cream of tartar and set aside.
• In medium bowl, mix cornstarch and sugar.
• Place egg whites in large mixer bowl of standing mixer. Make sure bowl is clean and free of any debris. Use whip attachment for the whipping of the egg whites.
• Start whipping eggs on low speed while adding cream of tartar and salt, then increase speed to medium until soft peaks start to form.
• Move speed up to medium high and gradually add sugar and cornstarch mixture.
• Then add in pure vanilla extract and increase speed to high and whip until meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form. About 4 to 5 minutes.
• Pipe mixture onto prepared baking sheet, making about 20 medium sized “bones”.
• Reduce oven heat to 250°F and bake for about 50-60 minutes. Make sure bones don’t crack or start to turn tan or brown. Lower heat if this is the case by about 25 degrees.
• Prepare topping while bones are cooking. In a saucepot, add berries and honey. Cook on low-medium heat, allowing the berries to become juicy. Remove from heat and allow cooling.
• Once cooled, place ¼ of a cup of fruit in a small bowl and serve with one meringue bone.

Number of Servings: 20
Serving Size: 1 Bone
Calories: 55
Fat: 0
Carbohydrates: 14
Fiber: 0.5
Protein: 1.5
Sodium: 17.5



Coaching Corner: Slowing down

Do you ever find yourself running from one thing to the next? Do you feel like you are just rushing through life? We live in a pretty quick moving world. We want fast internet, fast cars and often times find ourselves settling for fast food as we rush from one thing to the next.
This rushing has a bigger impact on our lives than we think. When we rush, we miss out on the beauty, function, and adventure around us. When we grab quick food and eat on the go, we miss out on the opportunity to taste our food. To give our working bodies the best fuel it needs to function well. When we rush through life we miss out on interactions we could have had, witnessing the scenery and views changing.

I am naturally a fast walker. People frequently comment on how fast I move down the hallways at H3. In an effort to slow down and relax, I started walking a .9 mile loop around my neighborhood in the morning. The goal was to walk slow and walk like I have nowhere to go or nothing I’m late for. It has been an amazing way to start the day! When I slow down my body, my mind slows down too. I have more clarity on what is going on in my life. I use this time to set my intensions for the day.

I caught myself one morning while out on my walk, pushing the pace. I started late and was trying to rush so that I would not be late for work. And just like my steps, my thoughts became rushed and anxious. Once I was aware of this connection and slowed down, I was amazed that the anxiety went away as well. Controlling our anxious and hurried minds could be as easy as slowing down out pace.

How can you slow down today?

Can you take a walk outside, and here is the key, not for exercise?

Can you say “no” to something?

Can you take an extra moment to let someone in, in traffic?

Can you take time to pack a meal at home before heading out for your day?

What is one thing you can do to engage with the world around you?



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