My client, Kimberly-Clark Healthcare, has required that I learn all about healthcare associated infections (HAIs) — both how to treat them as well as how to prevent them. There’s a renewed interest in MRSA and other super-bugs that are making people sicker than they were when they initially entered the hospital in the first place. RID and MyOptumHealth have stellar lists on what patients can do to reduce their risks before and during a hospital stay. Most of these are perfectly normal, reasonable requests even though the hospital staff might not be readily happy to comply, they should be doing these things anyway! Also, if you’re interested in this, NPR had an amazing show on a recent Talk of the Nation called Bacterial Infections Defy Treatment that you need to listen to.
I was reading through my Google Reader this morning and have discovered a delicious and useful list of things I need to return to in my journey back to optimal health and fitness — becoming sexy Chris again — from Kari Henley‘s Top 10 Tips From A Personal Trainer on The Huffington Post:
- Your mental image of yourself defines what you will work toward. What is your reason for getting out to exercise in the first place? Is it so your clothes fit better, or to be able to ski this winter without dying on the slopes? Developing a strong mental image that is specific and positive will help motivate and guide your decisions.
- Nobody eats enough good food. This one is huge, as most of us are on a perpetual diet, and pride ourselves by not eating, or skimping along with a minimal meal in order to splurge later. Wrong! “By 1pm, you should have already eaten breakfast, a snack, lunch, and be getting ready for another small snack,” said O’Hara. “You need to take a counter intuitive approach to your diet and until you start eating, the diet cycle can trap you.”
- Your body adapts to everything. This applies to your diet and exercise, or lack of it. If you start walking a route in your neighborhood and think you can just do that forever- wrong! Ever noticed you start on new cardio equipment at the gym and it is hard to get through 20 minutes, but after a month you are hardly out of breath? That means it is time to mix it up and do something new. Try rowing, or stairs.
- The word “Carbs” is a misnomer for dieting. If you are taking all carbs out of your diet, you are depriving yourself of one of the four necessary nutrients for your body, as well as vital B complex vitamins and critical fiber. Complex carbs contain valuable nutrients responsible for energy production. Cut out the simple processed carbs like cookies or crackers, and replace with plenty of whole grains, oatmeal, or brown rice.
- Memories dictate bad habits. Ever wonder why you buy the same things over and over again at the store? Do you buy chocolate Oreos because your mother did? “Time to change up the menu,” says O’Hara. “Replace those frozen waffles with homemade with fresh blueberries, or forget the top ramen and make a quick soup that is simple and delicious.”
- Face up to your personal statistics. This one really woke me up. Rather than just knowing your weight on a scale or your size of clothes, do you know your body fat percentage, your basic heart rate or the number of maintenance calories you should be eating for your age? “For less than $100, you can hire a personal trainer one time, to help you assess exactly what you need to know,” said O’Hara. Or, for absolutely free, O’Hara steers clients to the website: sparkpeople.com to get all your info and ideas on exercises to do. Check it out and get informed!
- All or nothing exercise gets you nowhere, (or hurt). Lots of people are like me; the pants just get WAY to tight, so we all fired up about working out again, go out and buy new sneakers, and start running everyday like we are old pros. Then after a week, shin splints kick in, and then we quit. Others may hear about a new type of exercise, and try it without building up first, and get injured. O’Hara encourages starting with a solid, organized plan that can keep your progressing and organize a workout schedule you can use for the rest of your life.
- We are not supposed to get weak and incapacitated as we get older. It is not true that we should stop being physically active as we age, but continue with cardio, resistance training and core building for a lifetime. Tennis, swimming, golf, yoga and power walking can be done forever.
- It’s all about PUSHUPS baby! Come on, be honest, how many “proper” pushups can you do? “If you can’t do a push up properly, it means you lack core strength,” explains O’Hara, “and that is the most important area to maintain for posture, back support, and ongoing health.” For the ultimate challenge (and one that I am going to start myself) check out the One Hundred Pushups website for a full six week program to help you reach the seemingly impossible goal of being able to do 100 consecutive pushups. Wow!
- There is a fountain of youth! “Strength in life is the fountain of youth,” said O’Hara, “strength in keeping the muscles strong and building them, strength in what you choose to eat, strength in your character – it is the absolute secret to a long life.”