Be happy - like this amazing, personable & friendly duck - Piedmont Park - July 2021. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
Just like the lyrics of a Pharrell Williams’ song, “sunshine she’s here, you can take a break”, I’m “happy because that’s what I wanna do.”
It takes thought and practice but anyone can choose to be happy.
In fact, it takes effort to be unhappy.
People often ask how I can be so happy. I strongly believe that mental health requires just as much attention and concentrated effort as physical health.
The problem is, most people pay very little attention to it.
As with physical health, this neglect will catch up with you eventually, especially in a pandemic.
Here are a few things I practice to keep my mind as healthy and resilient as my body: (Give it a try, you might just find yourself smiling more. )
Every day I meditate for at least 10 minutes, preferably 20.
I started meditating about 5 years...
Enjoy a gorgeous September beach run! Naples Beach, Florida. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
We hear the term ‘holistic health’ a lot these days. This refers to processes that positively impact the mind as well as the body.
When we talk about a holistic approach to health, we might consider physical activity as one element, because we know that regular exercise positively affects the body.
However, this activity can promote dual aspects of our well-being because exercise benefits not only the physical body, but also mental and emotional well-being.
The World Health Organization describes mental health as:
“a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”.
By this definition, it is apparent that mental health and physical health are interconnected
When we are suffering...
A Summer Afternoon Walk in Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
It’s not uncommon to see people in fitness centers laboring away, sweating out every pour on the cardio equipment for up to an hour at a time.
There certainly is nothing wrong with this sort of cardiovascular exercise, to each their own, and at least they are exercising.
However, one of the most common excuses people give for not exercising is ‘’lack of time’.
There is a misconception that if they don’t have an hour to spare, then they don’t feel there is enough time or that exercise is worth their effort.
They couldn’t be more wrong!
Research shows that short periods of exercise but at a higher intensity is just as beneficial as the longer sessions, and sometimes more, depending on your goals.
A recent study from the mayo clinic followed a group of men for 2 weeks.
They measured the fitness levels of participants at the...
A delicious, healthy, immune boosting Greek Salad at Milos in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
Your immune system is your body’s natural defense system - keeping it as strong as possible should be a primary goal.
More people than ever are beginning to realize the importance of improving their health.
The 3 keys to a balanced immune system and better overall health are optimizing your diet, movement and sleep, and reducing stress.
When it comes to diet, an antioxidant-rich, whole foods diet best supports the body’s ability to repair itself and ensure optimal gut health.
Over 70% of the body’s immune cells are in the gut walls, which explains why good gut health is key to robust immunity.
We have immune cells located in the lining of our digestive tract called GALT – gut
associated lymphatic tissue.
GALT is often referred to as ‘the immune system’s brain’.
GALT is the largest area of lymphatic tissue (immune tissue) in our body,...
Blue skies and a walk outside can help you feel better! Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
Wherever we look these days, there’s a reminder of COVID-19 everywhere.
It’s in our emails, on social media, on the radio and in the news.
Unfortunately, it’s also at the forefront of our minds while we’re working from home. But know that you are not alone, and by doing what American’s do best, we will get through this together.
We will be better and we will be stronger because we are resilient.
Consider the adversity this great nation has overcome in just a lifetime.
From the bombing of pearl harbor to the 9-11 terrorist attacks to the global financial crisis in 2008.
We are a country that perseveres and rises, and we will again.
While we weather this season indoors, keep yourself mentally fit.
The bad is always there if you look for it, but so is the good.
You must choose your focus.
Amazing that we can save lives by...
Enjoy a delightful walk, or run, while listening to something you find uplifting, positive & inspiring. Piedmont Park in Downtown Atlanta, July 17, 2021. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
People often use the mind and the brain in interchangeable terms.
However, they are very different.
The brain is the control center for the body. It sends and receives signals from inside and outside the body to help you act, react, and interact with the world.
From a functionality standpoint, the brain enables you to breathe, eat, sleep, move and perform daily living activities.
The mind helps oversee the brain, and establishes the quality of the messages sent from the brain to the body.
The mind processes your thoughts, feelings and emotions, which then influence the signals sent by your brain to your body.
Therefore, the health and state of your mind directly affects your performance, fitness, and overall well being.
Negative messages in the mind can elicit emotions such as sadness,...
A delicious appetizer with celery, curried cauliflower, carrots, sesamed seeds and more - Sternewirth Tavern - Hotel Emma - San Antonio. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
There are so many benefits to a diet that is rich in vegetables.
It doesn’t matter if you are vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, paleo, or a person who eats anything and everything - it is important for good health and vital for strong performance to eat a wide variety of vegetables every day.
If fat loss is your goal, bulking up your meals with low calorie, high volume veggies is a great way to stay full longer.
If hiding veggies in your kid’s food who simply refuses to eat them is your goal, sneaky veggies is the way to go.
Regardless of your current health and fitness goals or situation, learning more ways to incorporate different vegetables is beneficial for all.
How to sneak veggies into your meals:
Add them to your daily oats.
Adding either grated carrot or zucchini to your oats is a...
Enjoy a brisk, moderately paced walk, or run, in beautiful Lakes Park in Fort Myers, Florida. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
The last 18 months have been very different for everyone, with so many struggles and upheaval.
I spoke with a client last week who was just now permitted to leave her home for exercising.
With lots of other things to focus on and the closure of gyms for months on end, fitness and training may not be at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Now that things ‘seem to be’ slowly going back to normal, personal goals and fitness can start to become a focus again.
It’s important however not to go from 0-100. These 5 tips will help you get back to your best while ensuring that you don’t burn out.
Have a Structured Plan
Set your goals and make them realistic, keeping in mind that your body might have changed in the past months. It is always important to have a major goal that you are always focused on but you can also tick off...
Fresh off of a 5k run, enjoying nature at its finest in Lakes Park, Florida. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
As life expectancies continue to rise, quality of life in our later years is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, keeping our minds as well as our bodies healthy is a priority.
Here are 3 strategies you can start today to keep your brain sharp:
1) Exercise your brain.
Like the body, the brain benefits from being used and challenged — from being ‘kept in shape’.
Challenging the brain with new activities can create new pathways within the brain that can act as alternate routes if some neurons (nerve cells) are damaged.
You could try:
Running through the beautiful gardens of Lakes Park, and spotted this beauty -> it's Queens Wreath! Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
It’s much easier to stick to a nutritious, healthy meal plan when you already have all the ingredients at home.
Mapping out a weekly meal plan and writing down what to buy before grocery shopping can eliminate impulse buys and poor food choices.
One of the first steps for anyone on a mission to achieve a healthier lifestyle is to learn how to food shop.
Running through the gardens of Lakes Park in Fort Myers, Florida, spotted this beauty in bloom -> it's Queens Wreath! Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.
Stocking the pantry and fridge with wholesome, nutritious foods provides you with healthy options and provides more variety to mix and match meals and snacks throughout the week.