THANKSGIVING REFLECTIONS Gratitude for Family
November is one of the best months of the year because one of America’s favorite holidays, Thanksgiving, takes place. Many people look at Thanksgiving as a time to feast and watch football, but it’s important we don’t forget the reason for this holiday — showing appreciation and gratitude for the many blessings and gifts we each receive. While I’m certainly thankful to have a roof over my head and a career I love, I’m thankful for my family more than anything. My family typically celebrates with the usual Thanksgiving activities. We like to stay local and host Thanksgiving unless my dad decides to host. The typical feast features turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, and all the other great foods we normally eat only on this day. Having the entire family together makes it easy to recognize how lucky we are to have each other, even if we’re just watching football or simply enjoying our time together. Like many parents of athletes can probably relate, we did have to miss a family Thanksgiving for a sporting event a few years back. My daughter had a soccer tournament in San Diego over a Thanksgiving weekend that we turned into a special occasion: We went to Disneyland in Anaheim! This was definitely our most unusual Thanksgiving, though we did still have a great dinner. We actually just moved my daughter into college this past month. For the longest time, we were unsure about where she would decide to go. It always seemed like she was going to settle on a school farther south in California. Of course, we wanted her to stay close to home so we could see her more often but would support whatever decision she made.
As the time to decide drew closer, she started to consider schools closer to home. My wife and I both went to University of California, Davis and encouraged her to apply there when she first started looking, but it didn’t seem like this was going to be her final choice. She got accepted to plenty of schools, but we were shocked when she asked if we could tour UC Davis. When the time to make a decision came, she decided to go there. One of her best friends had also decided to go there, which I think helped influence her decision. Nevertheless, I couldn’t be happier. Unfortunately, this Thanksgiving will be a little more difficult than the last few. My mother passed this past August, and this will be the first Thanksgiving without her. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my memories with her lately. I’m extremely thankful for the time she gave me when I was growing up. She always made the effort to support me and never missed any of my sporting events. She was also a wonderful grandmother, and I’m thankful she got the opportunity to spend time with my children. I know they will cherish those memories for the rest of their lives. As you sit down to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal, remember there is more to the holiday than just food and football. It’s a great time to reflect on all those who encouraged us and feel grateful for their love and support.
OVERCOMING THE IMPOSSIBLE TASK Improving Your Mental Health One Step at a Time Almost everyone at some point has encountered a task that is seemingly simple, but no matter what they do, they can’t complete it. These tasks can be as straightforward as making the bed or something bigger, like cleaning an entire room. For many, this is an obstacle that they may want to do but can’t, which weighs heavily on them and becomes detrimental to their mental health. It’s important to understand that the impossible task is not a sign of laziness; depression and anxiety can make any task feel much bigger and more difficult than it actually is. If you find yourself unable to do the things you need or want to do, try these techniques to help overcome your obstacles. BREAK UP THE TASK. When the overarching task feels daunting, breaking it up into smaller segments can help you manage it. If you’re cleaning the kitchen, clean for only a few minutes at a time before taking a break. It might take longer, but the space will be clean at the end of the day.
MAKE THE TASK MORE ENJOYABLE. Play music or involve your pet in some way to make the task fun or create a reward system for yourself. For example, tidying a specific area of the house or folding a basket of laundry may earn you time to play video games or watch TV. Alternating tasks and rewards is a great way to overcome any task, big or small. It can help to consider why the task feels so impossible, especially if you used to enjoy it. Try to remember what made it enjoyable and see if you can return to that state of mind. If the objective is not so urgent, determine its importance and if the task can be saved for another day. When all else fails, you can always ask someone for support or even pay someone else to do the task for you. No matter what you decide, there are ways to defeat the impossible task.
3 BENEFITS OF MORNING EXERCISE THE EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM
AVOID DISTRACTIONS If you exercise in the morning, you’re less likely to find distractions or impediments to exercise. After a long day of work, you may not have the mental fortitude to talk yourself into exercising. Even if you make it to the gym, you may feel bogged down with thoughts from your day that
There is no “best time” to exercise. Everybody is different, and the best exercise routine is the one you can do consistently. For many people, exercising at night is a great way to blow off steam after a long day of work while also getting your workout in. Others may prefer working out in the morning to give themselves a boost to propel them through the day.
prevent you from maximizing your workout. Increase your likelihood of getting an effective, focused workout by getting it done before you do anything else.
While there might not be a “best time” to exercise, a few added perks may come with exercising in the morning. Here are three of the best benefits.
INCREASED ENERGY Daily exercise is a great way to boost your
JUMPSTART YOUR DAY By working out in the morning, you will boost your mental focus and mood for the rest of the day. Physical activity causes our brains to release endorphins, the “feel-good”
energy while reducing fatigue. When we work out, nutrients and chemicals find their way to our heart and lungs, greatly increasing our energy output. Stamina, endurance, and heart health all get a major boost from working out in the morning, and you’re more likely to stay energized throughout the day.
www.campuscommonsphysicaltherapy.com 2 chemical. This will help start your day with a positive outlook and keep anxious or negative thoughts at bay. A study published in 2019 by the British Journal of Sports Medicine also found that morning exercise improves attention, visual learning, and decision-making. If you have trouble getting your day off to the right start, try working out when you wake up.
Even with these added benefits, remember that what works for some will not work for all. To get the most out of your exercise, find a time that works best for you and stick to it.
PREVENT INJURY AND MAXIMIZE RESULTS WARM UP BEFORE YOURWORKOUT
KEEP IT SHORT. Your warmup is supposed to prepare your body for a more intense workout, so overexerting yourself beforehand is not helpful. Your warmup should not extend over 15 minutes and should be relatively light. Start with the lowest intensity possible before progressing to higher-level activities. You can break a sweat, but your warmup should never interfere with the actual workout.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your exercise, it’s essential that you warm up beforehand. You prepare your body for the incoming workout so it’s not caught off-guard. Whether it’s because of time constraints or a mistaken belief it doesn’t matter, many people forgo warmups. This is a mistake. Experts in physical health agree that warming up will help you maximize your workout. As we grow older, our muscles become less adaptable. Warming up is the best way to prepare your body for movement and reduce the risk of injury.
PREPARE YOUR MENTAL FOCUS. While your workout will focus on your physical aptitude, you need to ensure your mind is ready for exercise. During the warmup, think about what your goals are for the workout and why you are making the effort in the first place. You will be less likely to quit during your workout because you have reminded yourself of all the reasons it’s worth your time and energy. You’ll likely enjoy it more, which will hopefully reduce distractions, too.
Not all warmups are created equal, though. Here are three tips to ensure your warmup adds something positive to your exercise routine.
USE DYNAMIC MOVEMENT. While stretching is great for limbering up your body and improving flexibility, it’s not the ideal preparation for a workout. Instead, engage in a low-intensity physical activity similar to the activity you’re preparing to perform. For example, if you’re going out for a run, walk for a few minutes beforehand. If you’re going to lift weights, start with a much lower weight before beginning your intense workout. The goal is to get your blood pumping through your body while increasing your heart rate. These less intense movements will help prepare your body for the upcoming workout.
TAKE A BREAK
Easy Cranberry- Apple Salad
Inspired by CookieAndKate.com
Want the taste of fall without the calories? Try this quick and easy salad, topped with homemade apple cider vinaigrette.
For the salad: •
For the dressing: •
1/4 cup dried pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cups salad mix
• • • •
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Granny Smith apples, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
DIRECTIONS 1. In a skillet over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds until fragrant, then set aside. 2. In a small jar or bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients, then set aside. 3. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing until lightly coated, then toss and serve!
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Reflecting on Gratitude for Family
Overcoming the Impossible Task
3 Benefits of Exercising in the Morning
Warm Up Before Your Workout
Easy Cranberry-Apple Salad
Do Customizable Vitamins Work?
Everyone knows it’s important to get their vitamins. But do people need the same amount of certain vitamins, or does it vary? Some researchers say it varies, so vitamin supplement companies, like monthly vitamin subscription service Care/of, customize their pill offers based on your personal health and/or goals. But do these services actually work? Since supplements aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, how do we know whether their packages contain the vitamins and minerals promised? VITAMINS MAY NOT HELP AS MUCH AS YOU THINK. Johns Hopkins researchers found that for many illnesses (especially heart- related), taking supplements didn’t make a big difference. One study involving 450,000 people found that multivitamins did not reduce risk for heart disease or cancer. Another study tracking the mental functioning and multivitamin use of 5,947 men for 12 years found that multivitamins didn’t reduce risk for mental decline such as memory loss or slowed-down thinking, either. The only exception? Young women. Larry Appel, M.D., director of Johns Hopkins Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, says that supplemental folic acid for women of reproductive age may be helpful. “Folic acid prevents neural tube defects in babies when women take it before and during early pregnancy. That’s
why multivitamins are recommended for young women.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends women of reproductive age to intake 400
micrograms of folic acid daily, and the amount of iron in a multivitamin may be also beneficial.
BUT CAN CUSTOMIZED VITAMINS MAKE A DIFFERENCE? If you’re a young woman, or you have a doctor’s orders to get a multivitamin for certain conditions or treatments, the bad news is that right now, hardly any customizable vitamins have a third-party certification for quality and accuracy. If the vitamin or brand doesn’t have ConsumerLab.com, NSF International, or U.S. Pharmacopeia certification, you simply can’t know what you’re getting. So, the best multivitamin is the one designed for your age group with third-party certification. Even if it’s a $10 bottle from Target, it’s likely more effective than what’s trending online.
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