By Lori VanderVeer
Chances are, if you are reading this newspaper, then you are someone who is driven and business oriented.
Probably somebody who is an entrepreneur or someone who is committed to achieving the highest levels in their profession. I understand that mindset completely. I am that person too.
That is why I am so passionate about helping people achieve their best selves. It all starts with your health.
Oftentimes, it is the most driven people who tend to be the most unhealthy. Working as a physical therapist for over 30 years has exposed me to disease and illnesses that result from poor nutrition, stress and unhealthy habits. Over the last 15-20 years, the population of people I treat has increasingly shifted from simple orthopedic injuries to more complicated cases of patients who are simply “sick” with obesity-related medical illnesses and physical dysfunctions.
Illnesses and disease states that are completely preventable can creep up on you when you least expect it. Illnesses like diabetes( is your A1C rising?), heart disease( do you need to take just a “little” bit of blood pressure meds?), GI problems (reflux?), sleep apnea (do you snore?) can result in chronic pain, neuropathy, heart surgery, COPD, kidney failure and more.
There is a direct correlation between health and performance in the workplace. It is one of the reasons why so many workplaces now have their own health clinics on site.
I have also experienced the stress-cycle that results in weight gain, joint pain, and chronic fatigue. When I got my nutrition in check, everything else followed: increased energy, quality sleep, weight loss and clarity of mind.
That is why I decided to become a certified health coach. I discovered I could significantly impact lives by helping people regain their health and eliminate preventable disease states. As I dove further into coaching, I witnessed clients eliminate their diabetic meds, blood pressure meds and more. Clients began to get back to living their best lives free from the constraints and limitations of poor health. Quality sleep, weight loss, mental clarity, and increased energy translate into every aspect of our lives including our workplace.
My role as a certified health coach is to provide support, education, and structured information to clients. I love teaching simple healthy habits that amount to big changes long term. My goal is not just for clients to lose weight, but to empower them to live their best lives. I am able to impact people as a health coach in a way I am not able to as a PT, because I am able to help prevent clients from limiting disease states.
Here are some simple healthy tips. Try to add at least one of them to your day so that over time, it will become a healthy habit:
1. Start your day with a big glass of water. Your body will crave the first thing you give it, so if you have a glass of water first, you’re off to a good start. Also, when you wake up, your body is dehydrated and needs the water for cells to function efficiently
2. Eat every two to three hours. This will help prevent blood sugar levels from dropping which can result in cravings.
3. Manage stress. Mental health has a direct effect on physical health. Find an outlet for managing stress. It can be as simple as taking a walk with a friend. Or seek counseling. There is no shame in talking with a professional that can give you effective tools for managing your stress.
4. Get enough sleep. When we are lacking sleep, cortisol levels increase and this increases cravings.
5. Make a point to move every hour if you sit at a desk. Try parking in the last spot of the grocery parking lot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
6. Reach out to a health coach to help you on your quest.
By Lori VanderVeer