Tag Archives: books

Looking for Healthy Balance? Check out Fit Forever: The Next Step

FIT FOREVER The Next Step is a uniquely designed lifestyle book that focuses on daily consistency in leading a healthy life. 

This second book in the FIT FOREVER series helps people find healthy balance through nutrition and exercise. Look no further… this is a no-nonsense book helping you daily live a healthy lifestyle.

You should read FIT FOREVER, The Next Step if…

You are looking to find balance in mind, body, and spirit
You want to look and feel younger than you are
You are looking for healthy, easy to fix recipes
You are committed to advance to the next step in your Fit Forever Journey.

This simplistic book offers three sections: Be Well, Eat Well and Live Well.

Be Well opens with 180 daily motivational studies that highlight topics of the ten chapters from book one entitled FIT FOREVER.

Eat Well shows a healthy approach to eating, including food lists, and eating plans.  This section also includes healthy recipes from a Whole Foods Nutritionist with 28 years experience.

Live Well gives workouts and illustrated pictures of weight training exercises at three levels: beginners, intermediate and advanced.

The author says, “On my quest in helping people find healthy balance I have discovered that regardless of our age, genetics, or body type we all have within us the power to change.  We must remember that we will only receive one body in the span of our life, and it’s up to us to do all that we can to take care of it.  Welcome to ‘The Next Step’ of your Fit Forever Journey.”

For more information on the FIT FOREVER SERIES simply click “Store” on this web site.

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Do You Sleep Much?

Millions of people across the world suffer from lack of sleep, never knowing how it affects their health on a daily basis. Most people have no idea how important sleep is to healthy living.

Neil Stanley, of the Research Unit at Surrey University says: “We know good sleep is central to good health. It is wrong to perceive sleep as a passive state of unconsciousness.  The body is doing an awful lot while we sleep.”

The circadian rhythm, otherwise known as the “body clock,” coordinates our daily wake/sleep cycle. When your circadian rhythm is disrupted, your body becomes stressed, causing loss of muscle tone and weight gain. Sleep is not “down time,” but rather an active and vital part of your daily life.

There are at least five stages of sleep. Each stage is essential for rest and hormonal releases that help build muscle and strengthen the immune system. The refreshing sleep you need requires a consistent pattern of sleep and wake times. By not maintaining a consistent sleep routine, you are robbing yourself of your body’s natural healing abilities.

Many proudly proclaim that they can exist on five to six hours a night and catch up on sleep later on.  The fact is, not one really ever catches up on sleep that is lost. Sleep that is lost is never regained.

When you don’t get enough sleep it is impossible for your body to perform as it was intended to. Your mind has a tendency to be dull, easily distracted, and struggles to concentrate on task.  While sleep deprived you are less patient, more irritable and less productive.

The good news is, there are a number of things you can do during the day to improve your night’s sleep! Assuming there are no underlying causes like a sleep disorder.  (Man, can I tell you about that…Check out my NS Reds Nocturnal Sleep Related Eating Disorder.)

Here is my top ten list for sleeping better at night:
1. Keep it relatively quiet while you sleep. If you need to drown out noise use a fan or a white noise device that generates calming sounds. These devices help drown out disruptive noises. Phone ringers should be turned off completely until morning.
2. Take a long warm bath or shower.  These can help you de-stress and increase your chances of sleeping well. Relaxed muscles mean relaxing sleep.  Also, many people find that reading for a short time helps them get to sleep.

3. Develop a regular bedtime routine allowing 8 hours of sleep. Maintain your sleep schedule on your working and non-working days. You will feel better if you don’t completely change your sleep times. Alter your sleep and wake time by only a couple of hours on your days off. Your body clock is negatively affected when you change up your sleep patterns.

4. Sleep in a dark room. Darkness tells your body that it is time to sleep. Don’t go to sleep with the television on, as this interrupts deeper sleep cycles. Even dim lights can rob your ability to sleep. In the morning slightly open blinds to let natural light enter the room. This will help signal the body that it is time to wake. Sit in front of a large window for half an hour or so during breakfast. The sunlight signals your circadian cycle into the wake phase, increasing metabolic activity and alertness.

5. Exercise more, as it reduces anxiety and aids in sleep.  A number of recent reports suggest that even moderate exercise can improve insomnia.  Aerobic exercise like walking during the day helps to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. Being active helps maintain circadian rhythm and encourages deeper sleep.

6. Don’t eat a big meal right before bed.
Many sleep experts believe that eating a big meal before bed can cause insomnia. Larger meals should be consumed earlier in the day. Ideally, a light snack of less than 150 calories of an evening is best.

7. Cut Caffeine later in the day.
Caffeine intake of an evening can lead to difficulty sleeping. Limit coffee to one to two cups early in the day.  During the evening, instead of caffeinated sodas have a warm, relaxing decaf herbal tea.

8. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. According to James Maas, author of Power Sleep, staying hydrated helps the body heal and recover more quickly. This is yet another reason to drink at least six 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Avoid caffeinated beverages, such as cola, which can not only keep you awake, but dehydrate you at the same time.

9. Try wearing ear plugs. Earplugs block noise from entering your ears, and can allow you to relax your breathing patterns.  Most earplugs are an inexpensive remedy and help a lot of people get to sleep faster.  I swear by them!

10. Don’t rely on sleep aids. While sleep aids could work for a time, they are at best a short term fix.  Insomnia is often a part of a larger lifestyle picture that can be addressed and fixed once and for all.  Experts say that reducing stress and late night calories, and increasing physical activity may be the best long term solutions to restful sleep.

So go ahead and give these a try. You have nothing to lose and much rest to gain! They are proven to give you the rejuvenating sleep your body needs for a healthier and happier you.

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Healthy Kids Make for a Healthier America

Considering one-third of the children in America is considered overweight or obese most of us would agree that something needs to change.  But where do we start?

First, we must put our finger on the pulse of America’s health. Due to our fast food lifestyles more than twenty-five million children are showing signs of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

That’s more than ever before. A recent study by the Ontario Medical Association found that three-quarters of obese kids will likely grow up to be obese adults and face heart trouble, diabetes, and other related medical conditions.

The U.S. spends $150 billion a year dealing with the issues of obesity that I have already mentioned.  Health-care premiums have risen more than three times faster than wages, largely because of the unhealthy choices of today’s society. We are one of the most intelligent civilizations ever, and yet we are blowing it when it comes to our health.

Unfortunately these problems won’t fix themselves.  They will continue to plague us until we find a way to change the patterns of “fast food” America.  These toxic habits and lifestyles will only continue to follow on to future generations if something is not done soon.

I agree with Dr. Sasson Moulavi, of Smart For Life Weight Management Centers. He said: “My worry is some parents will sit back and wait for the government to come up with a magic plan. It is not going to happen. Parents need to realize they must take the initiative now. They have to stop waiting for a solution to fall from the sky. That’s just magical thinking.”

He could not be more right.  It’s up to America’s families to “pass the torch” of health to the next generation. Bottom line: it’s time for someone to take the responsibility to make a difference.

Parents and Community Leaders, let’s get started!

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The New Drew Carey 70 Pounds Lighter

Check out the new improved Drew Carey!

For newly slim, Drew Carey losing weight was a heavy decision.

“I always thought I was going to die before I was 60,” the comedian, 52, tells Parade Magazine this week. “My father died of a heart attack in his 40s. I’m not an idiot. The writing was on the wall.”

Not wanting to fall victim to the heart disease that runs in his family, the Price Is Right host traded his “daily hamburger” for a healthy lifestyle of good nutrition, daily exercise and willpower.

Dropping more than 70 lbs. since November, Carey now weighs in at 182 and is still working towards his goal – weighing 170 lbs. by Oct. 31.

“The hardest diet I was ever on was the one when I was fat,” says Carey of his once 262-lbs. frame, “You can only wear fat clothes, you don’t feel good, your sex life gets damaged, you don’t have energy for anything. It’s horrible.”

Another reason for Carey’s transformation was inspired by his fiancée, Nicole Jaracz’s 5-year-old son, Connor. Feeling winded after only a few minutes of playtime, he simply couldn’t keep up with the boy.
Carey said, “I’d be like, ‘Connor, I can’t,’ and he’d say, ‘C’mon!’ That was a terrible feeling. I thought, I’m never going to see him graduate high school.”

Carey is now committed to staying healthy.
“Eating crappy food is not a reward – it’s a punishment.” He adds, “I look in the mirror and I feel like I’m in my 20s again. “I feel like I have my whole life back. I could live to be 100 now.”

Today can be the first step to a new you!

Join the revolution to help America get Fit Forever one day at a time!

Begin by subscribing to this site to receive the latest health news, articles, and Fit Forever Resources.  (click “Store” to learn more)
As always I welcome any feedback you’d like to give to create a healthier America in body, mind and spirit.

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You CAN be fit forever!

I love what I do, because I get to wake up every day and help improve the quality of lives of people in body, mind and spirit!

That’s why I’m so excited about the newest book in my series, FIT FOREVER The Next Step. It is a uniquely designed lifestyle book that focuses on daily consistency in leading a healthy life.

This simplistic book offers three sections:

Be Well opens with 180 daily motivational studies that focus on topics of the ten chapters from the first book Fit Forever, Discovering Your 21st Century Fountain of Youth.

Eat Well shows a healthy approach to eating, including food lists, eating plans and healthy recipes offered by Whole Foods Nutritionist Sharon Stroud.

Live Well is the exercise section that gives illustrated pictures  of weight training exercises for beginners, intermediate and the advanced.

Why did I write this book?

This project is my life’s work.  Leaving a legacy of health is my way of trying to make a difference in the unhealthy world we live in.  I’ve seen the principles that make up this book transform people inside and out.  In spite of the many opportunities to speak to audiences, I’m limited to how many I can reach.  The simple fact is that books will long outlive the span of my lifetime and continue to help people for decades to come.

So many people want to see change take place, but they just don’t know how to do it.  This book gives them the proper tools and motivation to succeed on their journey.

After all, we only have one body for this journey.  Isn’t it time we started taking care of it?

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Let’s Get Moving!

“My idea of exercise is a good brisk sit.”   Phyllis Diller

…A pretty funny line, but the Surgeon General thinks otherwise.

According to his report, here are his major conclusions:

  • People of all ages, both male and female, benefit from regular physical activity
  • Low levels of activity, resulting in fewer calories used than consumed, contribute to weight gain and the high prevalence of obesity
  • Significant health benefits can be obtained by including a moderate amount of physical activity on most days of the week
  • Additional health benefits can be gained through greater amounts of physical activity
  • Physical activity reduces the risk of premature mortality in general, and of coronary heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and diabetes mellitus in particular
  • Physical activity may favorably affect body fat distribution
  • Physical activity also improves mental health and is important for muscles, bones and joints.

“Exercise is good for your mind, body, and soul. Not to mention your wallet.”    Tom Hopkins

Different things motivate different people to make a change in lifestyle.  This one is for those who are motivated by the almighty dollar.  According to recent studies, physically active individuals had lower annual direct medical costs than did inactive people, with a cost difference of $330 per person.

According to Centers for Disease Control:

• Physically active people require fewer hospital stays and physician visits and use less medication than physically inactive people.

• If all inactive American adults became physically active, the potential savings could amount to around $76.6 billion dollars.

• Americans 15 years and older who engaged in regular physical activity (minimum of 30 minutes of moderate or strenuous physical activity three or more times a week)  had average annual direct medical costs of $1,019 versus costs of $1,349 for those  who were inactive.

This is some great motivation for us to “get moving” as opposed to the “brisk sit” that we all can grow accustomed to.

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America’s Challenge

A look at what’s at stake…

Considering one third of the children in America is considered overweight or obese most of us would agree that something needs to change.  But where do we start?

First, we must put our finger to the pulse of America’s health. This generation is the first ever whose life span is significantly shorter than their parents due to unhealthy lifestyle choices. Not only that…

Due to our fast food lifestyles more than twenty five million children are showing signs of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.  That’s more than ever before. A recent study by the Ontario Medical Association found that three-quarters of obese kids will likely grow up to be obese adults and face heart trouble, diabetes, and other related medical conditions.

The U.S. spends $150 billion a year dealing with the issues of obesity that I have already mentioned.  Health-care premiums have risen more than three times faster than wages, largely because of the unhealthy choices of today’s society. We are one of the most intelligent civilizations ever, and yet we are blowing it when it comes to our health.

Unfortunately these problems won’t fix themselves.  They will continue to plague us until we find a way to change the patterns of “fast food” America.  These toxic habits and lifestyles will only continue to follow on to future generations if something is not done soon.

So where do we start? I like the suggestion from a Canadian Health Promotion Minister, Jim Watson, who declared “Fat is the new Tobacco.” If America’s parents and community leaders agreed with that and got on board as many have about the dangers of tobacco abuse, we might begin to see a difference.  The truth is, the war against tobacco has been very effective. Kids are taught in school that tobacco is a drug just like marijuana and cocaine, and threatens their very lives. Why can’t we come to the striking realization that fat is doing the same thing?

As I talk with people in presentations and workshops about the fact that “Fat is the Enemy” many agree that if a war were created against the killers called “fat and obesity” we would begin to see a difference in America’s health.

So what do we do?  A necessary step in this process is for families and community leaders to step up to make a difference. The only way our kids are going to make healthier choices is if we teach them and show them how to do so.

One thing that must happen is involving our kids in a healthy process for hands on learning.  This could include letting them select healthy foods at the grocery store.  Kids need to know why selecting an orange over a cup cake or Twinkies is the right choice.  Helping our children make good choices today will change the landscape of the “sick and unhealthy” society in which we live.

Kids are made to run and play! They were created by God to move, but many times the average school day, and the TV and video games that follow don’t meet that need.  Physical Education classes and after school sports definitely have their place, but we can’t expect those to fix our health dilemma.

I agree with Dr. Sasson Moulavi, of Smart For Life Weight Management Centers. He said: “My worry is some parents will sit back and wait for the government to come up with a magic plan. It is not going to happen. Parents need to realize they must take the initiative now. They have to stop waiting for a solution to fall from the sky. That’s just magical thinking.”

He could not be more right.  It’s up to America’s families to “pass the torch” of health to the next generation. Bottom line: it’s time for parents and community leaders to step up and assume the responsibility to make a difference.

So, what is the answer?  I believe a good start is finding the proper tools to educate America’s families. This is where my FIT FOREVER Book Series comes into play.  It is my way of trying to make a difference. It is designed to be a simplistic approach to helping families make healthier choices.  It is specifically written to be a simplistic, no nonsense approach for those who want to lead a healthier, more productive lives. 

FIT FOREVER is the perfect tool for parents in knowing how to help their kids make healthy choices. The first two books of this series are book one “FIT FOREVER”, and book two “FIT FOREVER The Next Step”.  Both are designed for interactive discussion for families, church small groups or discussion groups to talk about the “why’s” and “how to’s” of healthy living.

Focusing on solutions is what the great leaders of our world have always done. I agree this is a tough issue. But I’m up for the challenge! I believe that it is achievable and very doable in our lifetime!

Parents and Community Leaders, let’s get started!

What are your thoughts?   I am welcome to any feedback you may have….

To order books in the FIT FOREVER Series check out:  https://tomhopkins6.com/store/

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