Saturday, September 28, 2013

Simple Steps to Healthy Living

I’m sure I’m not the only one to know how stress feels, when the pressure starts to build up and even becomes overwhelming. But, I’ve learned that when that happens, it's more vital than ever to stay in shape both physically and mentally. However, if you aren’t already maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the challenge to get “in shape” can become overwhelmingly daunting. What helps me are the small steps that can be taken every day that can help me stay well balanced through the ups and downs that life can bring.

The first step is to eat well – which doesn't necessarily mean dieting. Eating balanced meals (containing protein, carbohydrates, fruits and veggies) with reasonable portion sizes will ensures that we get the needed nutrients to maintain energy, brain power, and overall health. Getting proper nutrition also keeps me tummy feeling satisfied so that I’m less likely to overeat, which can leave me feeling tired physically and discouraged mentally.

The next essential ingredient is exercise. Sometimes it’s a challenge (even for me) to add exercise to the daily routine, but remember its many benefits – it's good for your heart, helps you maintain a healthy weight . . . and just makes you feel good!  So, to make things easier, I find something I enjoy, like walking, and do it regularly. Small measures can also make a difference – like taking the stairs, parking a distance from where I’m going, walking rather than driving, etc. Every little bit counts!

A healthy lifestyle also involves maintaining a positive attitude. When it comes to stress, outlook is everything. Stop focusing on the negative and think about what you've got going for you! Everyone has problems, even serious ones, but focusing on what's truly important – the people you love, your health, even the simple fact that you have a bed to sleep in at night – can help you manage the challenges that come your way.

Striving to lead a healthy lifestyle every day, not just when under stress, is the key to a well lived life. The more these practices become part of your daily routine, the better you'll feel – and the healthier and happier you'll be. 

How do you practice healthy living? Any idea or tips you would recommend? If so, please feel free to leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

As always – enjoy your life.

John Aaron Villarreal



Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!

The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cutting Calories: 4 Easy Steps

It’s been said that if you want to lose weight, you need to move more and eat less. For some, however, the eating less part is the most dreaded. Yet, cutting calories from your diet doesn’t have to be a struggle and you don’t need to go on some fad or trendy diet to do it. Making small, simple changes can make a huge difference. To prove this point, I’ve outlined 4 simple steps that you can take toward cutting calories today.

Step One: Stop drinking soda
Whether you drink regular soda or diet soda, it’s a good thing to remove from your diet. It’s a lot of empty calories and replacement sugars that you don’t need in your body, and don’t even get me started on the subject of “corn syrup” or artificial sweeteners. If you want to kick your addiction to sodas then cutting them out completely is the best way to do that. You will save yourself money and a lot of unneeded calories by cutting out just this one item.

Step Two: Portion properly
It’s very important to learn what proper portions are so that you do not overeat and gain unwanted weight. If you eat out regularly, always remember that restaurant portions are notoriously large. In fact, they are usually twice the size of a “normal” serving. But, when you finally learn proper portions you will realize how much extra you’ve been eating all this time.

At first it might seem like you’re not eating enough, but that’s normal because you won’t be eating until you get that “over-stuffed” feeling. It’s exactly that “feeling” that causes most of us to eat much more than we really need to. However, if you find the change is too drastic to begin with, start by simply cutting back on what you’d normally be eating and work down to eating proper portions. By doing this you will continue to cut calories, lose weight and build on the momentum of step one.

Step Three: Make desserts a treat
Desserts shouldn’t be eaten every single day. Eating dessert every single evening adds up to many extra calories that you don’t need or want. Instead of eating dessert every night or having calorie-laden snacks, replace those things with healthy foods like fruit, smoothies, or air-popped popcorn.

Step Four: Drink water before meals
It’s an old trick, but it actually works! Drinking a full glass of water before you eat anything will help to fill you up and help you to eat less. Many of us aren’t drinking enough water anyway, so if you make it a habit to drink a glass of water before you eat, you can kill two birds with one stone.

Cutting calories is as easy as the 4 steps above. You don’t have to go through torturous deprivation in order to lose weight and you don’t need to remove the things you enjoy forever. It’s all about balancing your meals to obtain the most nutrition you can while reducing overall calorie intake. 

Do you have any steps you would add to the ones I’ve listed above? If so, please feel free to leave a comment below. I always look forward to hearing from you!

As always – enjoy your life.

John Aaron Villarreal


Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!
 

The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ingredients That can Sabotage Your Waistline and Health

ingredients that can sabotage your waistline and health
It can never stressed enough how important it is that we know exactly what we are eating. With today’s marketing it is so easy to want to what the labels and brightly colored packages of convenience foods say to us, but approach with caution. While a packaged meal may be advertised as healthy, it’s up to you to find out if it really is before you simply buy into a few good words that may or may not be true.

People get very excited when they see that convenience foods are labeled as “healthy” or “low-fat,” (I’ve been guilty about this, too) but some minor research needs to be done before indulging. The following are 3 ingredients that I recommend be avoided as much as possible.

Trans-fats
Trans-fats are found in so many foods that you probably eat on a regular basis. Trans-fats can be found in baked goods, microwave popcorn, fast foods, and frozen foods. These items are all convenient, but they’re not worth risking your health for. Trans-fats can cause an increase in bad cholesterol, cancer, and heart disease.

High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup is an alternative sweetener that can be found in baked goods and beverages to keep them sweet and fresh. High fructose corn syrup has been linked to an increase in heart disease, type-2 diabetes, cancer, and stroke.

MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)
MSG is a flavor enhancer found in chips, frozen entrees, salad dressings, and restaurant meals. MSG can cause headaches and nausea and can also block the absorption of some nutrients.

By avoiding these 3 common ingredients you will not only maintain a healthier heart and trimmer waistline, but you will protect your body from the negative affects they've been shown to have. Remember; convenience isn't always worth the risk to your health.

If you need help developing a nutritional and fitness program that will work for you, feel free to contact me at any time. My number is: 713-562-2474. In the mean time, eat consciously and learn to identify (and avoid) the ingredients listed above.

As always – enjoy your life.

John Aaron Villarreal


Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!

The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Recipe for Building Better Bones

Although it is more common in older people, osteoporosis is a serious health condition that can affect people of all ages. It’s characterized by brittle or fragile bones that easily break or fracture. To date, I've not broken any bones but as I age I am well aware that bone mass naturally reduces as we get older. Thus, the risk of developing osteoporosis can also increase. Add certain health conditions, medications and a lack of certain nutrients, and your risk can go even higher. Fortunately, I've put together a recipe of things you can do to help protect your bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Calcium
Remember being told to drink your milk to get strong bones? As it turns out, there is some truth to this; some truth.

Calcium forms around forty percent of the mineral mass of human bones. So as we get older, in order to keep bones healthy and prevent degenerative bone conditions like osteoporosis, it is essential to ensure adequate calcium intake. However, while milk and dairy products are rich in calcium, and can form part of a healthy diet, dairy is not always essential. Spinach and other leafy green vegetables also contain the bone building stuff. But if your calcium levels are particularly low, supplementation may also be needed. Your doctor will be able to offer advice if you are found to be calcium deficient.

Sunlight
Vitamin D is needed to enable the proper absorption of calcium. Vitamin D is made by the human body when skin is exposed to sunlight. While it is important to protect your skin from over exposure to sunlight, it is also important to spend time outdoors when the sun is shining. In some cases, vitamin D supplementation can also be needed. However, sensible exposure to sunlight is the most convenient way to ensure adequate vitamin D levels.

Vitamin C
Did you know that vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, and did you know that collagen forms an important part of bone development and health? It’s what helps bones have a little “give & bend.” Otherwise, a bone made up of only calcium would snap at every turn! So, for healthy bones, be sure to get your fill of a vitamin C containing foods like citrus fruits, broccoli, kiwi fruit and red peppers. Don’t forget to stay away from smoking. Smokers, in particular, may need to increase their intake of foods rich in vitamin C, as smoking depletes vitamin C stores within the body.

Exercise
Regular exercise is important for maintaining healthy bones and preventing bone disease. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking or jogging, can help to strengthen bones. Most types of exercise will also help to form muscle tissue, which supports and protects your bones, in addition to increasing your bone mass. Regular walking, cycling, swimming or even gardening will help to reduce your risk of osteoporosis.

Weight
While “weight bearing exercise” is beneficial to the body and bones, physically being overweight puts increased strain on your body, including your joints. On the other hand, being underweight can lead to reduced bone mass. Ideally, you should aim to keep your weight within the recommended limits for your age group. A healthy diet and regular exercise is the best way to stabilize weight.

Other Factors
Smoking and excessive alcohol intake can weaken your ability to build and maintain strong bones, as they tend to deplete the body of the required nutrients for maintaining bone health. And be sure to talk to your doctor about the affects prescribed medications can have on your bone health and development.

I’ve personally helped clients with osteopenia and osteoporoses improve their bone density and strength. So, if you need help just contact me at 713-562-2474. They’re your bones, treat them with respect.

As always – enjoy your life.

John Aaron Villarreal


Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!

The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program.