Educate Yourself! Tips for a Healthier You!

BY KATIE KOZLOFF-BANKS

Health-and-Fitness-Blog-Educate

There’s so much access to everything nowadays. Between what you can find on the internet and what you see on social media, it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s not. This is especially true when it comes to the health and fitness industry.  Here are my tips to educating yourself while you navigate your fitness journey:

  1. There is no magic pill, really! There are so many products claiming they can give you a quick fix with little to no work. This is not true! While these pills make lots of fantastic claims, they are really just a waste of your money. I have actually seen before and after pictures stolen and used in advertisements from a few fitness professionals that I follow.
  2. You can spend a lot of time and money searching for the right supplements. These are to assist you with your health and fitness program, not be the quick fix. But you really need to do your research and learn about the different products. Take the time to learn about what you are taking, what is in the products, think about your reasons and your goals for taking them.
  3. Do not be fooled by before and after pictures! Recently, a few bloggers showed how just changing the angle of your body, the size of your clothes and how close you are to your camera can really effect the way you look in your pictures. So although those before and after pictures are always so enticing, remember how they can be easily manipulated. People who are proud of their transformations are excited to show the true before and afters, companies trying to get you to buy their products may use manipulations to get you to purchase.
  4. Be careful who you listen to for information. You can find many people giving out all sorts of health and fitness related advice on social media. It’s great to have access to info, but unless they are certified in their category, remember that they are not an expert. Yes of course there are experts who give bad advice, but there are also tons of people acting as experts who’ve never been trained in that area. I think it’s great that so many people share their health and fitness journeys, but remember, they are sharing their experience and advice based on that, not from being officially trained in that area.
  5. Be wary of fad diets. It seems there’s always some new, hot way to eat. I do feel each fad starts from some truth, but it gets blown up and promoted as an absolute. Try to educate yourself about nutrition and learn what works for you.

Think of all the money and time you could spend trying to get a quick fix. If you just put in the work and educated yourself, you’d be able to learn and make that change. Take the time to learn for yourself or find people you respect and trust.

How Men & Women Exercise Differently

How Men & Women Exercise Differently

BY KATIE KOZLOFF-BANKS

Men and women are different in many ways. But do we also have an opposed approach to working out? Although I can find many exceptions, I find the following generalities to be pretty true. Men and women seem to approach fitness and their healthy lifestyle in different ways:

  • The Why: I think both sexes are interested in the physical benefits of working out. But it does seem that men are far more interested in building muscle and strength. Where a woman may start out on a new healthy routine in order to look better in front of the mirror or fit into her clothes, but ends up enjoying seeing her strength and abilities increase.

  • The Ask: Women are more likely to seek advice and are more likely to hire a trainer. They tend to be easily coachable and are willing to listen to the advice of these experts. Men seem to naturally feel more comfortable in a gym or workout scenario. They may occasionally seek advice, but are less coachable.The

  • What: It seems any gym class is made up of nearly 100 percent women. Women enjoy the social aspect an exercise class provides. While you occasionally find men in a class, they seem to be more interested in getting a workout done outside of the studio. I think the exception to this is spin and crossfit. For gyms like crossfit, I think it is fun for both sexes because of the camaraderie of a group that helps support and push you.

  • How Much: Men seem to get in longer workouts and spend more time at the gym. But that doesn’t mean they are any more intense or effective. Women feel more pressed for time, but they find ways to make working out a priority.

  • Variety: Men tend to stick to a few standard routines: running, weight lifting and crossfit-type classes. Women are usually more open to trying new classes or workouts. It seems women want a variety of ways to exercise, where men are happy with their routines.

Overall, we can both learn from the opposite sex. Often, men tend to push themselves harder and will grab that heavier weight or see if they can do one more rep. Although I know plenty of competitive women, I can see this being pretty true as a general statement. Men can teach women to push themselves and work harder than the think they can. On the other hand, women seem to really enjoy fitness and make it a social experience. Women seem to be more willing to diversify their workout and their routine, such as by taking a weekly spin class, yoga class, boot camp and TRX. Therefore, women teach men working out can be fun and to expand their exercise horizons.

This article appears in the June 2015 issue of Berks County Living

Healthy Family Time

We all learn through example. Being active and healthy is a life-long habit. Participating in healthy activities as a family will teach youth that being healthy and active can be fun and enjoyable. Whether you are just getting your family to start being active or it’s a regular part of your routine, here are some tips for creating healthy habits:

  1. Get walking. Walking or hiking are great ways to spend time together as a family. A few minutes in and you are talking to each other and are free from technology. I love taking walks with my husband through Wyomissing Meadows. We end up talking about everything and anything. And between the fresh air and the discussion, we always come to a new outlook. We use it as a time to connect and go over whatever is on our mind. Going for a walk is a great opportunity for you to connect with your family, discuss anything and get moving together, all at once!
  2. Make it a game. I recently saw a post on Facebook about a mother making her workout into a game for her children. I thought this was so smart. She was able to get her workout in and by including them; they were learning the benefits of being active. You can set up a circuit and run from each spot. For example, set up 5 “stops” and do something different at each location: 15 squats, 10 pushups, 30 jumping jacks, 15 tricep dips and a plank with twists (get creative; there are so many options). You can have your kids do each of these or come up with different things they can do at each spot. Do the circuit a few times and you get in a good workout with your kids and make it super fun for everyone.
  3. Find a family class. Nowadays, many gyms offer kids or family workouts. This is a great way to show your children what you do when you talk about going to the gym. They get to try out the activities and see what it’s all about. Being active becomes fun if it is enjoyable, so finding a class that your child likes is key.
  4. Cook a meal together. Health isn’t only about being active. Making good food choices and setting up healthy eating habits is something we all need to learn. Pick a new healthy recipe to make as a family. Go to the store, find all the ingredients and cook together. This is a fun way to incorporate everyone into the process.
  5. Make it a family effort. I know that when one of us falls off the healthy wagon, it’s hard for the other to stay focused. On those days when I don’t want to workout but my husband does, I will get an extra boost to exercise from his motivation. It’s the same with healthy eating. Most of the time, we both want to cook or eat healthy. But when one isn’t feeling it, it’s important for the other to motivate the other to stay on track. We all learn through example, so setting a good example for your family is important. Inspiration and motivation can come and go, but not for everyone at the same time. And sometimes knowing you have to be the driving force will give you an extra boost to push others when you know they are relying on you.

Looking back, I feel we were pretty active as a family, in addition to the organized sports I was involved in. We all learned to play tennis and would play against each other on vacations. There were intense games of whiffle ball with our cousins. The neighborhood kids would always get together to play football, SPUD or Kick the Can. As we got older we played a lot of basketball, especially at family get-togethers. It was always so fun to run around and play with everyone. Having everyone participate bonded us and made a positive association with being active. Even to this day, when fitness is fun, it doesn’t feel like work!


BY KATIE KOZLOFF-BANKS

This article appears in the May 2015 issue of Berks County Living

Get Fit and Environmentally-Conscious

Many of us don’t realize the great advantages nature provides us. We are so accustomed to using products or machines in our daily lives that we forget sometimes that simple is great! This can be true in all aspects of our lives, even with fitness and health goals. Here are some ways you can be healthy and active, without creating a huge carbon footprint.

  • Get outside. Go for a hike, walk, run or bike ride. Fresh air can alleviate stress and increase happiness. Getting outside will help reenergize you and make you feel great. I know that going for a walk or run helps me clear my head. I love the way I feel after taking in some nature.
  • Hit up a playground for circuit training. A playground has all the equipment you need – and it’s free – so use it! You can do pull-ups on the monkey bars. Use a bench for dips or step-ups. Put your feet in a swing and work your abs with a simple plank or make it harder by bringing your knees to your chest while in plank position. Have fun and do the rings without touching your feet to the ground. The options are endless! Be creative and you can turn any area into a great spot for a tough workout.
  • Travel by bike or foot. Biking or walking to work is a great way to incorporate some extra exercise into your life. It’s also a good way to give yourself time to prepare for the day ahead and to end your day and reflect as well. You will have time to think, listen to music or an inspirational book. But mostly, it gives you important time with yourself.
  • Outdoor Boot Camp. There are a lot of fitness instructors who run their own outdoor boot camp classes. This is a fun way to be outside but get in a workout. Do it with friends or meet new people.
  • Participate in local races. Many cities and towns have runs. I think there are seasons here where it feels like there is a race every weekend. Participate in these to help raise money for charity. Almost every run store coordinates its own weekly running group. Join in and meet people, push yourself and develop your skill.
  • Join a local team. I loved playing in adult sports leagues. It was great getting my workout in without it ever feeling like it was a workout. It was a fun way to be a part of a team and fulfill that competitive desire.

This article appears in the April 2015 issue of Berks County Living

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Tips for Stress-Free Travel by Katie

I travel a decent amount for work. Sometimes it’s to cities I’m very familiar with and comfortable in and other times I’m taken to a totally new place. Traveling can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some of my tips to take make traveling hassle free and enjoyable:

  1. airbnb.I have recently fallen in love with airbnb. I attend a trade show in Utah and the hotels book up quickly and are very expensive. Last year, we decided to try airbnb instead of getting a hotel room and I was pleasantly surprised. I rented the basement of a woman’s house that was converted into a full apartment. There was a living room, kitchen, full bathroom and two bedrooms. Since there were two of us on this trip, it was great for each of us to have our own room and space to decompress after a long trade show day. It was half the price of the hotel room, but offered so much more. We even had access to a washer and dryer! Staying in a house made the trip seem much more relaxing and comfortable. We are doing the same for the trade show this month.
  2. Priceline. I love a good deal. I use Priceline to book hotels in areas I’m familiar with or when I don’t feel comfortable using airbnb. I think of airbnb for longer trips, not when I just need to stay over one night in a place like NYC. I feel pretty comfortable with the different neighborhoods in NYC and know that all I need in NYC is a place to sleep that I can trust. I always bid for my own price and offer very low. Usually, I end up with a cool, fun hotel for a great price.
  3. Uber. I’ve started to use Uber when I’m traveling in cities that I don’t know well. Through an app on your phone, the service allows you to hail a cab, private car of participate in a rideshare. Last year, I was in Seattle for the Miss Plus USA competition and had no clue how to get around the area. I didn’t know if cabs were easy to hail and where I should go for one. So I used Uber. My friend made me sign up when I was visiting her in Chicago in case I ever had trouble, and it came in handy in Seattle. The best part is that the app just adapted to my location and I could use it in a different city. I felt like I had a safe and easy way to get around no matter where I was.
  4. Loyalty Programs. I’m really trying to be better about being loyal to one brand. It makes so much sense to work toward something; I love feeling that I’m getting something in return for choosing them. I think I see this most with airlines and hotel chains. Sometimes it doesn’t work out to only fly one airline or stay in a certain hotel. But in the long run, the miles and points add up and they will reward you with upgrades, discounts and other perks.
  5. Public Transportation. My sister and brother-in-law taught me the subway system in NYC when I stayed with them for a summer. And I love that I know it and feel comfortable using it. In the last few years, my Chicago friends have had me taking the bus or L to meet them. I love using public transportation in big cities! Not only do you feel like you’re not a tourist, you save money too. I love that I can navigate a city using their great public transportation services and not feel like all I’m doing is spending money to get places. Now most major cities have apps to help you get around, making it even easier.
  6. Yelp. I always find it hard to know where to eat when you’re traveling in a new city. Recently, I’ve been really in to using yelp to find a particular style food near to me. It also has great reviews and info on restaurants. This was really helpful on our trip to Utah; we even found a food blogger and started following her suggestions. There’s more than just food recommendations on Yelp. Maybe you need a manicure before a meeting or you want to book a massage after your stressful day. You can find in-depth information on almost any service.
  7. Talk to locals. To really get the best information, it’s great if you can get input from someone who is a local. This could be someone you met on the flight or in a restaurant. Most locals will have a suggestion for a certain type of food you want or service you’re looking for. For the most part, people seem to be happy to help and suggest great spots to check out when you visit their city. Plus they usually know the best kept secrets!

I love traveling and checking out new cities. It’s fun to enjoy local hot spots and get to know what makes each city great.

Follow Katie K Active’s board Active Living Tips from Katie! on Pinterest.

Katie K Active Active Living Posts via Berks County Living

Katie K Active Active Living Posts via Berks County Living


This article appears in the February 2015 issue of Berks County Living

Katie’s Top 5 Fitness Apps Revealed!

It’s a new year, which usually brings feelings of a new beginning. Maybe you you want to make new goals for this year or just step them up from last year. Either way, the excitement of a fresh start is everywhere. With all this fitness inspiration swirling around, I wanted to share some of my favorite apps with you:

1.  MapMyFitnessThis is an easy to use app that will record a variety of activities, but I use it for running. Using GPS it then shows you a map of the route. It also displays length, time and distance of your activity, as well as your pace, maximum speed and calories burned.

A post where I used Map My Fitness

A instagram post where I used Map My Fitness

  1. MyFitnessPal: Keep track of what you are eating with this great app. It even has a barcode scanner, so you can scan the packaging of the food. The database of food is impressive, which gives you information on almost any food. You can customize how many meals and snacks you eat. It also enables you to set your fitness goals and track of your exercise and water intake. Follow friends or share with your trainer to keep accountable!
  1. Bit Timer: This simple timer is easy to use and effective. I love using a timer for run/walks (1.5 min run, 30 sec walk). I also use timers for workouts, especially when I’m short on time or traveling. For example, I will pick 8 exercises and do each one for 50 secs with a 10 sec rest, and then repeat it a few times. Or I’ll set it and do a Tabata workout. There are so many ways to use a timer, it’s a great resource to have.
  1. Pocket Yoga: I’ve always wanted to do yoga outside of a studio, but I’m still a beginner and don’t really know what I’m doing. Pocket Yoga comes with detailed voice instructions as well as videos on hundreds of different poses. There is information on the proper execution and benefits too. You can also choose your difficulty, practice and duration.
  1. Workout Trainer: This app provides you with a library of workout routines, including step-by-step audio and video instructions. Customize your own experience and recommended regimen, while also having access to create and edit your own personal workout routine.

These are apps that I use, but there are many more. I really should track my heart rate. Heart rate gives you a more accurate picture of endurance, fitness and calorie burn. I’m just doing my research to find the best one for me.

You can find an app for almost anything! So if you’re looking to revamp your health and fitness goals, consider using an app.

As the saying goes “What gets measured gets managed”. 

Follow Katie K Active’s board Active Living Tips from Katie! on Pinterest.

Katie K Active Active Living Posts via Berks County Living

 

5 Style Tips to Stay Fashionable in the Winter

It can be difficult as the weather gets colder and winter approaches to continue being your fabulous, fashionable self. Staying warm this winter, does not mean your fashion sense has to go out the window too. While sweats are certainly a comfortable and often affordable option, they aren’t always the best option. I have listed 5 tips that I believe with still keep you warm and fashionable in the winter.

Cute-winter-fashion-wallpaper-style

1. Layers

Layer, layers, layers. They might be my best tip for you as layers allow us keep warm without having to resort to bulky sweaters. You can even work your summer wardrobe into the mix by layering tanks with your winter ensemble such as cardigans and lighter sweaters. Leggings are also not only extremely stylish but they will keep you incredibly warm.

2. Hats, gloves, + scarves

Luckily, the fashion industry has helped us out a bit in this department by making these necessities more fashionable then ever. Beanies are a favorite of mine but there are those days when I can’t risk a head full of static, or I decide to wear my hair up, in these cases I resort to earmuffs, which are actually quite fun to wear. Scarves of course are the ultimate accessory- no matter who you are. Invest in one- invest in several. The chunkier the scarf, the warmer you’ll stay.

3. Statement Coat

The winter is almost always going to require a coat, and yes a pea coat is classic but if you don’t want to look like everyone else you come across, invest in a statement jacket. Chances are many items in your winter wardrobe are pretty drab so a colorful, somewhat loud coat will really brighten you up.

4. Statement Sweaters

Well, you won’t be wearing your coat everywhere you go. Winter can be very long and dull, help give people something to talk about that doesn’t involve all the snow we’re getting or how badly they wish summer was here. Having a few statement sweaters will set you apart and keep the winter blues far from you and probably those around you too.

5. Boots

Those boots are made for making winter bearable, and are the ultimate accessory- not to mention totally practical. I recommend basic black and brown, but don’t be afraid to go out of the box by adding some contrast. There are many boot styles out there, you should pick what works best for you. Not all boots are made for activity but you can certainly still find fashionable ones that are.

Wishing you all a warm, safe and fashionable winter season!

5 Healthy Ways to Survive the Holiday Season with Fleet Feet Sports

 

 

  

 

5 Healthy Ways to Survive the Holiday Season with Fleet Feet Sports

It’s that time of year again, filled with holiday sweets and cocktails. Did you know that the average American gains about five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years? Below are some tips to help you avoid gaining those extra pounds this holiday season.

  1. Moderate Alcohol Intake: Remember that glass of wine or beer contains calories. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram which means when you grab a cocktail you’re not only consuming calories from the mix but from the alcohol as well. A long island ice tea contains about 543 calories, a 12 ounce beer contains about 150 and four ounces of wine contains about 100 calories. Alternate your drinks with water to cut back on calories and fill you up so you are less likely to overeat.
  2. Balance Your Meals: Filling your plate with sweets will leave you with a sugar rush and your body will miss out on key nutrients. Make sure to fill your plate with vegetables, whole grains and protein. This will provide your body with the nutrients it needs and keep you satisfied making it less likely to overindulge on the dessert.
  3. Eat Regularly: Many people choose to skip lunch so they can overeat at the dinner party, causing them to overeat at the party. Make sure to eat a light healthy snack before heading out to. Try a low fat yogurt, fresh fruit or a small bowl of whole- grain cereal with skim milk.
  4. Think Portion Sizes: Desserts can be part o f a healthful diet when enjoyed in moderation. One serving of pumpkin pie is 1/8 of a 9 inch pie. Imagine making an L shape with your thumb and index finger that is about the size of one slice. Share dessert with a friend and don’t feel obliged to clear your plate. When you feel full, stop eating.
  5. Keep Moving: The holidays are the worst time of year to abandon your exercise routine. Exercise not only helps avoid weight gain but it is a great way to release stress. Write down your exercise plan at the beginning of the week to help you stay on track.

– Kathryn Szklany, MA, RD, LDN, CNSC Registered Dietitian and FIT Professional, Fleet Feet Sports Pittsburgh

Three Formulas for a Great Workout with Katie Kozloff

Three Formulas for a Great Workout with Katie Kozloff


There are so many great ways to create your own effective workout. Drop exercises
in to the following formulas, and you are ready go!

Three Formulas for a Great Workout with Katie K Active 

Tabata: This is 20 second intervals of activity with 10 seconds of rest. Use a timer
(an app can easily be downloaded). Set it for 20 secs work 10 secs rest, for 8 rounds
or 4 minutes. Do one exercise through the cycle, rest and then move on to another.
For example, do squats through the 4 minute cycle and then do pushups as the
exercise in your next 4 minute round. Pick 5 or 6 exercises and you have an intense,
quick, yet effective 20-24 min workout!

AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible): With this formula, you will set a time limit
and complete as many rounds of your workout as possible. Pick 3 to 5 exercises and
the number of reps to complete in a certain amount of time. An example AMRAP
could be to see how many rounds you can get in of: 12 lunges (per side), 7 pushups,
5 reverse crunches in 20min.

Jack Webb: In this format, you complete a few exercises through a sequential number
series. 1 rep of each exercise, then 2 reps of each exercise and so on until you hit you
a goal number, for example 10 reps of each exercise. And then you work you way back down,10, 9, 8 etc to 1. Pick 2 or 3 exercises to complete the series.

No matter where you are, you can use these formulas to create a great workout. Use
body weight only exercises or mix in free weights. You can do resistance band
exercises, kettle bells or a medicine ball to change it up. Do these workouts at a park
and use a bench for steps ups or pushups. Or use a bar for pull-ups. The options for
exercises are endless. Adjust the workouts when you have more time from 10 minutes to 20 or 30 by adding another round or two.

Giving the Gift of Fitness is Okay

If someone (my husband or parent) gave me a fitness related gift, it may make me second-guess his or her intention. I’d wonder: Are they saying I’m overweight? Do they want me to be more active? If so, why?

Then I take a minute and think about it. Is his or her intention to mean, or are they trying to support me? Have I been talking about trying out new classes or workout routines? Have I shared my desires to become more fit and active, and to shed some weight? Was I complaining about my workout gear not fitting well or being old, dingy and stretched out? Maybe they’re actually trying to do something nice for me. Could they be supporting my health and fitness goals by helping me achieve them?

fitness giftI think this is a common thought process when it comes to fitness related gifts – and a big reason why people shy away from it. A husband could get his wife a treadmill after hearing her complain about how she doesn’t enjoy running in the cold weather and the snow. She gets the gift and thinks, “Does my husband think I’m fat?” Really, he was trying to give her a thoughtful gift so she could continue enjoying her workouts, even in bad weather. He knows how much she enjoys being active and that being healthy and fit is important to her. It shouldn’t be thought of as a negative, rather, a positive. He was supporting her desire to be active and healthy.

To that end, here are some great fitness gift ideas as we near the holiday season:

  1. Gym Membership – A traditional gym gives access to multiple activities: a weight training area, a cardio area and one or two studios. You can do a little bit of everything all under one roof. It is a great gift for someone just getting started or someone looking to try something new. I know I love spin class, but I like to try other classes like Zumba, too. I enjoy strength training, but sometimes it’s fun to take a total body conditioning class to switch things up.
  2. Punch Card – In additional to the tradition gyms, there are a variety of “studio gyms.” These usually come with a higher monthly fee, but also offer punch cards to participate in classes as you wish. Pilates and yoga studios are like this, as are many cross fit-type gyms. A punch card is a great gift for someone who enjoys these activities or wants to try them out. They can participate when they want or try something new without committing to a monthly fee.
  3. Personal Training – Since having a personal trainer is definitely more of a splurge, this can be a great gift. Getting a trainer is a great way to kick-start any fitness goal with the help of a professional. He or she can give you nutritional input as well. Maybe a loved one has been complaining that he or she feels stuck or in a rut, or that they don’t know what they’re doing. A trainer will help teach him or her new fitness ideas and work with them to accomplish their goal.
  4. Equipment – depending on who you’re buying for, there are a ton of equipment options that make great gifts. Maybe the person you’re buying for has been talking about a treadmill or stationary bike. Or he or she has a few free weights but would really like to create a workout space in their house. Free weights, kettle bells, bosu, a stability ball and/or a bench would all be great additions to any home gym.
  5. New Workout Clothes – A new item or outfit creates excitement! Everyone wants to use their new clothes and when it’s activewear, that means a little extra motivation to get that workout in. A new workout can even create inspiration to start that fitness goal or give a push to keep going. Having the right gear for an activity helps to be able to accomplish a goal. It’s amazing how an outfit can change your outlook and get you excited to be active.

I understand giving a fitness-related gift can be tricky. But giving the gift of fitness is truly a wonderful gesture. You’re saying, “I support your goals and I want to help you achieve them.” Just be tactful with your delivery. If you’re worried about the recipient’s reaction, you can remind him or her how they’ve been talking about wanting the equipment or to try out that new gym or class. See, you were paying attention.

This article appears in the November 2014 issue of Berks County Living.

Active at Any Age

My mother is truly an inspiration, especially when it comes to keeping active as she gets older. For as long as I can remember, she played in a tennis group once a week. When I was in high school, she and her friends would power walk every morning after dropping us off at the bus. In the past few years, she’s only cranked it up.

She now plays tennis four days a week, and even occasionally picks up a fifth day!

Being active has helped my mom be independent, strong and capable. She’s been known to rearrange the furniture in her house for family events all by herself. She never shies away from heavy lifting and labor, helping anyone who needs it. She even takes my nephew (now 15) and niece (now 11) for six weeks every summer. She bikes with them, swims and generally runs around and keeps up with them! I can see how her active life helps her in her everyday life.

Being active is important at any age, but especially as we get older. Staying active will not only help you maintain your independence, but will keep your heart and mind healthy. There’s strong evidence that proves that people who are more active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia. If you don’t stay active, daily life can become harder and you may struggle with everyday activities.

Benefits of being active as you age:

  • Increase Hearth Strength with Aerobics. You’ll have more energy to do the things you like to do. It can increase your quality of sleep and help you fall asleep faster.
  • Strength Strain to Prevent Muscle Loss. It will help keep bones strong and protect your knees and other joints, too.
  • Maintain Independence and Flexibility with Stretching. Daily tasks like tying your shoes or reaching a shelf will become easier. When you are flexible, you have a more natural walking pattern, which decreases your chance of falling. Most flexibility is lost through inactivity or lack of movement, not age.
  • Balance Exercises Benefit Posture. You will improve coordination and also reduce your risk for falls by practicing balance exercises. A simple one is standing on one leg for 10 seconds (using a chair for support if needed).

The list of activities to choose from is endless. Yoga is a great way to work on posture, balance and flexibility. Weight training reduces muscle loss while strengthening your muscles and bones. Running, walking or biking keeps your heart healthy. It’s never too late to start getting active.

While some activity is better than none at all, the goal to get the maximum health benefit is to aim to for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity activity, five days a week. At least two days a week your activity should include something that strengthens muscles and bones. Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle as you age will keep you strong to accomplish daily tasks so you can remain independent. The most important thing is to find something you like, so being active is just a part of your life.

This article also appears in the October 2014 issue of Berks County Living

 

A Healthy, All-Natural Pumpkin Pie Syrup to Add to your Latte (and everything else!)

 As the weather turns cooler and the leaves begin to change, most of us begin to hear ‘the call of the pumpkin.’ From our lattes to our pastries, we are perfectly happy to have this tasty (and healthy) treat in EVERYTHING. Here is a simple and healthier version of pumpkin pie syrup that you can add to just about anything.

pumpkin-pie

2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 c. sugar
1 c. water

  1. Simmer the sugar in the water until it dissolves, stir frequently
  2. Add the spice and puree to the pot and continue to simmer for about ten minutes

It’s that simple.

Now add about 2 oz. of your syrup to two shots of espresso and 8 oz. of the milk of your choosing and you have a yummy pumpkin pie latte. No espresso machine, no problem. You can add 1oz. of the syrup to 6 oz. of drip coffee and 2oz. of milk. Experiment and find a pumpkin pie coffee beverage that works for you.

PumpkinPieLatte

 

You can also add the syrup to:
Oatmeal, cream cheese to top your morning bagel, hot or cold tea, vodka (a one to one ratio) and whatever else you think would be made better with a little shot of pumpkin goodness. Don’t worry, we won’t judge!

Want more pumpkin? Check out this article called 100 ways to cook a pumpkin.