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For Your Well Being: Move It

Nov. 6, 2008, Vol. 6 Issue 19

Government guidelines for physical activity – the exercise version of the food pyramid – were released last month by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They are science-based and were created to clear up confusion about how much physical activity is enough, and what kind of activity counts, while making it clear there are lots of ways to achieve it. Unlike the food pyramid, I haven’t seen any controversy about the guidelines (yet!). That’s great news because how active you are may be the most important indicator of good health.

Now I think the idea that daily activities count as physical activity is a really important one because the word exercise itself often gets a negative response. Physical activity is any form of exercise or movement of the body that uses energy. Some of your daily life activities—doing active chores around the house, yard work, walking the dog—are examples. Instead of visions of pumping iron and sweating it out, this report gives people ways to get started and lots of options that can add up.

In fact, the guide they developed for adults is all about fitting physical activity into your life – your way. You can get that guide, as well as all of the other information about the report from the website. The comprehensive set of recommendations is for people of all ages and physical conditions.

Reports are great – especially for substantiating the need to sponsor programs and educate people about wellness behaviors. I believe, however, especially on this topic, that showing is far better than telling.  Zonya Foco, RD, CHFI, CSP, has created a new program that is right on target and in tune with the times.

Finding Fitness in You: E-Harmony Style!

While Zonya Foco is known to many of our long-time clients for her powerful nutrition programs, she has always tooted the exercise horn right along with healthy eating.  In her cookbook, Lickety-Split Meals for Health Conscious People on the Go, she placed over 200 motivational tips, including plenty of healthy doses of exercise encouragement.

“The secret to a lasting relationship with exercise,” she says, “is to find what you love — not just tolerate, but what you absolutely wouldn’t dream of staying in bed to miss or ending your day without. That’s the whole idea behind the talk, ‘Finding Fitness in You: E-Harmony Style.’”

Fitness isn’t just what you might think of as fitness – running, biking, playing basketball or sports she says. There is some activity that will be in harmony with YOUR body and soul. She says it’s all a matter of matching your unique personality with just the right activity that’s the exact match for you. Some people like classes, some like gym equipment, and others like team sports.  You may prefer your exercise indoors or outdoors and that may vary with the season.

In a modern twist, Zonya has melded the idea of trying on (dating) fitness activities with the dating model from E-Harmony. The idea is to get people out of their boxed-in thinking about exercise, and open to choices that will be in harmony for them.

“How about dating your exercise options — your E-choices?”  Zonya says. “Through the power of multi-media, I will take you on dates with all kinds of E-choices you never knew enough about; choices like water aerobics, kickboxing, Jazzercise, Tai Chi, line dancing, armchair exercising, biking and tennis. You’ll learn about people who were just like you before they found their one “true E-love.” With your ‘E-matches’ in hand, you can date your way to finding the one for you.”

I think Zonya must have had ESP when she developed this program!  The Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans were designed so people can easily fit physical activity into their daily plan and incorporate activities they enjoy. The panel that reviewed the data found the regular physical activity can cut the risk of heart attacks and stroke by at least 20 percent, reduce chances of early death, and help people avoid high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer, fractures from age-weakening bones, and depression.

“The easy message is get active, whatever your way is. Get active your way,”  HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, said.

In addition to being a Registered Dietitian, Zonya is a Certified Health and Fitness Instructor (CHFI), and Certified Speaking Professional (CSP).

Learn more about Zonya Foco on our website or give us a call at 503-699-5031.

Retrain Your Muscles for a Pain-Free, Active Lifestyle!

For those of you who like the convenience of a program you can pop in your DVD player and follow at home, Zonya has teamed up with Movement Training Specialist Sherry McLaughlin to bring you this innovative workout program focusing on your core, legs and arms. Sherry and Zonya teach you how to retrain your muscles to work the way they were designed to work regardless of age, gender or athletic ability.

* Learn five facts about your body’s design you never knew
* Regain an active lifestyle currently compromised by pain
* Enhance your fitness program and excel in your performance

The program includes a 15-minute explanation of key movement facts, a 30-minute beginner workout and a 30-minute advanced workout.
Order Zonya’s DVD here.

Celebrating 10 Years: Memory Lane – Part 4

I’d like to tell you that I’ve always been interested in health and fitness but that wouldn’t be true. I hated P.E. in elementary school, never made cheerleader or did team sports (pre-Title IX).  I’m glad to tell you, however, that it wasn’t a health crisis that moved me off my duff. It was pain, plain and simple. It was spring break when I was in my late 20’s and we went skiing in Utah. My muscles got so sore from the sudden shock of downhill mountain skiing that I could barely get in and out of the car — the ecstasy of the skiing must have masked the pain while I was on the hill!  Before that vacation, I hadn’t had time for exercise during the work week – I’d rather meet my friends and co-workers for a beer after work. Now it was time to change my ways. A friend of mine was teaching Jazzercise and I decided to give it a try. I was quickly hooked. A good habit, as Zonya would say, was born.

It was around 1994 that I discovered Nia, the fabulous mind-body-spirit practice that has had such a huge influence in my life. This was when I lived in Lansing, Michigan. By this time, I was ready for a change from Jazzercise. I’d seen flyers for introductions to non-impact aerobic classes (Nia) by Winalee Zeeb, but couldn’t imagine how a non-impact class could be a good workout. Then I dropped my guard and went to a demo class on a Sunday night. I LOVED it. It was amazing to take off those clunky athletic shoes that my feet never liked and dance and play in bare feet. My body AND my spirit soared.

That Monday, I enrolled for the summer term classes 4 nights a week at the local community college. Another good habit was born!  When Winalee announced she’d be training her first White Belt – training to be a Nia teacher and also personal development work – in February 1997, I knew I had to be there. I didn’t end up wanting to teach, but it was definitely a turning point as it was then that the wheels started turning seriously – it was time to take stock, listen to the prodding little voices in my head and make some changes in my life. It’s amazing what a little dancing can instigate.

By the end of the year, I had decided to blast through the excuses, follow my heart, and move to Portland, Oregon. I had visited Portland many times. My brother lived here, and my parents had lived here for a short time after I graduated from college. I’d always said, if I was going to choose a place to live, I’d move to Portland. I gave myself six months to make the preparations, sell my house and decades of stuff, and on June 1, 1998, I was on the road to Portland with my cat and dog in the back seat.

Now I wish I could tell you that it’s been a glorious uphill trek, but this is life, and sometimes we don’t see the orange cones…to be continued in our next issue.

Until next time, take care of yourself, for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,

PLEASE NOTE: The information shared in this e-news is designed to help you make informed decisions about speakers and the programs they offer. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by a doctor. If you suspect you have a medical problem, seek competent medical help.

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