3 Ways to Stay Motivated to Meet Your Health Goals

We’ve all been there before. It’s the start of a new year, so you set some lofty goals for the year. You tell yourself it’s finally your time, you can be a whole new you. Then you start out full force, overhauling every aspect of your life.

But then comes the end of January. And that initial enthusiasm is starting to fizzle. Sound familiar?

I see this cycle in my clinic day in and day out. One of the most difficult aspects of my work as a physical therapist is helping my clients maintain motivation to meet their health goals.

The cycle almost always looks the same. When someone first adopts any new health practice, there is initial positive progress. And then a plateau. Which is normal.

And this is when it gets tough. Plateaus happen on our way toward reaching any goal. And they make us want to stop because the effort to change doesn’t seem to amount to anything. But the only way to get past the plateau is to keep moving forward.

It...

Continue Reading...

Your Attitudes About Aging Can Predict Your Future

“One of the most interesting study findings has to do with attitudes toward aging itself. Young middle-aged people (in their forties and fifties) with positive feelings about growing older- gaining wisdom, freedom from working, opportunities to travel and learn more- tended to enjoy better health, and better cognitive health later in life.” — Bill Gifford

I spend a lot of my day talking about how our attitudes impact our aging and health. Coming from a young person, I get a lot of dirty looks and people telling me I don't understand reality.

But this isn’t just some delusional thinking coming from what I would like aging to be. No. Our attitudes and beliefs influencing our health as we age are actually backed by research. 

What Research Doesn’t Tell Us

The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging is the longest-running study we have on aging today. It’s produced a huge volume of data that’s been sifted through by researchers to develop a...

Continue Reading...

Treat Your Health Like Your Retirement Investing

I was listening to a podcast the other day related to business and there was one statement on the dangers of adopting a victim mentality that stuck with me.

“If you have a victim mentality, you’ll only get victim results”. -Mignon Francois

This can be applied to any area of our life, including health. And we are all guilty of adopting a victim mentality at one point or another. One of the most common pitfalls I see others making when it comes to health is holding onto this mentality with a death grip.

The reality is you’ll get out of your health what you’re willing to put in. And investing in yourself means admitting that you have control over your circumstances. This starts with shedding victimhood.

You would never expect your retirement account to grow if you aren’t making incremental investments over time. If you feel like a victim of the system you probably wouldn’t start investing in the first place. And you can’t expect your...

Continue Reading...

7 Habits All Healthy People Have in Common

My years as a physical therapist specializing in helping older adults age well have given me insight into the daily habits all healthy people have in common (and all the habits unhealthy people have in common, but that’s a story for another day).

The reality is, their habits have more to do with their mindset than any specific approach they take to their health.

I’ve seen healthy people who lift, run, or have no formal movement practice. Some are yogis and some swear by Tai Chi. Some are vegetarians while others are keto or low carb.

So if the answer to health doesn’t lie in a specific approach, then where can you find it?

It’s all about the ways in which you view the world and what you have control over. Health stems from a mindset.

Here are the 7 habits all healthy people have in common:

1. They embrace discomfort

"The less convenient, the more it pays." -Seth Godin

You can’t be healthy unless you’re willing to experience discomfort....

Continue Reading...

For Healthy Aging, You Have to Embrace Discomfort

“He or she who has the greatest capacity for discomfort rises the fastest.” -Brene Brown

I’m currently about 6 months pregnant, which is the phase of pregnancy where almost every movement starts to become uncomfortable and more challenging by the day. There are moments where it’s tempting to allow myself to seek comfort where I can. But I know making the choice to continue to move even when it isn’t an easy choice will lead to a more comfortable final few months of pregnancy and recovery post-partum.

So what does this look like?

Choosing to sit on the floor instead of curling up on the couch. Squatting to pick something up instead of bending over. Walking and taking the stairs as much as possible. Instead of looking at my ever-changing body as an inconvenience, I can see it as an opportunity for strengthening and being creative in adapting my movement.

While it sounds silly to make these small choices, they make a huge difference over time. And...

Continue Reading...

The Answer to Healthy Aging is to Focus on Less

The other day I was browsing through the comments in a Facebook group of women over the age of 50 discussing fitness. One caught my eye, and it’s not because it was the first time I had read the sentiment being expressed.

It was a woman frustrated with the amount of conflicting information coming at her from the diet and fitness industry. She couldn't decide where to start. Keto or intermittent fasting? Should I buy books on these approaches? What are macros? What fitness program should I follow? CrossFit or Orange Theory?

The underlying issue was too much information to make a decision. The overwhelm in her plea was clear. And within the comment, she also mentioned feeling the need to purchase a bunch of equipment and supplements before she could even get started.

And therein lies the problem. Our lack of health isn't due to a lack of information. Instead, information overwhelm leads us down a path of not taking action. And that is the most dangerous path of all. 

The...

Continue Reading...

3 Mindsets Preventing You From Improving Your Balance (And What to Do About It)

 

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Does your balance seem to keep getting worse no matter what you do? Never feel like you’re making meaningful progress?

If so, you aren’t alone. The inability to both set realistic health goals, especially for balance issues, and reach them is one of the most common concerns I hear from my clients at their first therapy visit. And as I get to know them, it’s clear why this is a recurring theme in their lives.

Many of us develop the bad habit of holding on to self-limiting beliefs, as Gay Hendricks does an excellent job of highlighting in The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level. These subconscious mindsets have the potential to limit all areas of our lives and are even more dangerous when we don’t realize we are holding onto them. And you may not realize how often...

Continue Reading...

5 Natural Movements You Should Be Able to Do at Any Age

In recent years, research continues to find that physical mobility is one of the strongest indicators of the risk of chronic disease as we age. In hospitals around the country, staff members at all levels are being trained to help screen patients for mobility upon admission and before their return to home. Walking is now considered a 6th vital sign and physicians are increasingly encouraged to screen their patients for their walking ability. 

In the clinic, we often aren’t seeing clients until they’re having a problem with their mobility. It’s our mission to make sure everyone has an awareness of subtle warning signs before there’s a problem. Upon every initial assessment, we screen our clients for 5 natural movements that give us a comprehensive picture of their mobility and help them guide their course of action. 

Below is the list of movements we perform at every initial assessment. If you can perform the 5 below movements AND maintain your...

Continue Reading...

Stop Trying to Defy Aging. Embrace It Instead.

“Ageism is prejudice against our own future selves.” -Ashton Applewhite

We see the phrase “anti-aging” everywhere. It’s obviously at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

But newsflash: we’re all aging.

There isn’t anything you can do to stop it.

And yet all we hear about are the negative aspects of aging. And this constant push to try to put a stop to a process that’s an inevitable aspect of life.

It’s become painfully apparent we live in an ageist society.

If you look around, you’ll notice a pattern. Of all the advertising to buy products or services to “hide” the fact that we’re aging.

And the real danger here is our thought patterns dictate our actions. Both our individual actions and the actions of society. When you take a look around, it becomes obvious we’ve structured world to discriminate against older adults. This TED Talk on ageism by Ashton Applewhite sums this up perfectly.

...
Continue Reading...

Balance: Does Your Perception Meet Reality?

 

Last summer for my 32nd birthday, I thought it would be a great idea to climb a tree. I hadn’t climbed a tree since I was very young, but it’s something I used to do all the time. So I thought nothing of it. Our front yard has a perfect climbing tree I’d been eyeing for some time.

We’ve all climbed trees as kids and felt confident in our ability to do it. The last time I climbed it was no problem and I assumed I would feel that way going into this. In fact, I thought getting myself onto the first branch would be easy. I could see a clear path to climb up a few branches beyond that.

But I think we all know where this story is going.

It turns out, climbing a tree is pretty difficult when you haven’t done it for a few decades. Not only did I need help getting up to the first low branch, once I was there I didn’t feel confident in my ability to stay balanced at all. I found myself staring at the ground, both hands on the branch, feeling as though I...

Continue Reading...
1 2
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.