Adriane Horn, earning a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Engineering
We are currently living in the Anthropocene epoch. This probably means nothing to you but allow me to explain its significance.
The Anthropocene epoch is denoted as the geological period in which human activity has had the greatest impact on climate and the environment. This literally means that our geological age is named after how much we influence the climate and the environment!
Unfortunately, this prodigious influence does not mean good things for the human population or our home planet. Between the exponentially growing population and the constant demand for more goods and services, we are fast approaching the earth’s speculated carrying capacity despite major advances in technology.
It impacts the health and quality of life for people of all colors, shapes, and sizes. Like it or not, this is actually one thing we all have to fight together, simply because it is a problem we have caused, and deal with, together.
What is Climate Change
The Webster Dictionary definition of climate change is:
A change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.
We have all heard about greenhouse gases and how they trap heat, causing the Earth’s overall temperature to rise and the ice caps to melt.
Well, I don’t know about any of you, but I have yet to feel any temperature increases because I’m still freezing and it’s May.
That is because climate change encompasses more than the warming of the planet. It also accounts for the extreme weather changes seen across the globe.
Think droughts, wildfires, hurricane clusters, and so on. Climate change basically means that the weather we typically experience on an annual basis is on steroids and hits much harder than normal.
Why Should we care
Aside from the fact that the weather is more hot and cold (literally and figuratively), and can become uncommonly nasty, climate change poses significant health threats as well.
There are countless ways climate change can affect human health, but a few significant causes include:
1. Spread of disease
2. Poor farming conditions
3. Overall Quality of Life
With this in mind, climate change needs to be a priority for global leaders, and unfortunately it would seem Mr. Trump does not care enough at this time, let alone believe it's even true. Perhaps it's not good for business.
What You Can Do
As you may know there are countless things you can do to decrease your carbon footprint. Yet, the crown jewel of pollution prevention is source reduction.
Recycling and reusing items is great, but it still requires energy to break down and separate recycled products into another usable form. Therefore, reducing consumption at the source is really the best way to prevent personal materialistic pollution and also, indirectly, help prevent fossil fuel consumption expelled during the manufacturing of the product.
1. Reusable bags
2. Avoid packaged, processed foods
Help yourself and other people we share our beautiful planet with by implementing some of these methods. The world thanks you!
“Ditch Your Plastic! 25 Reasons to Use Reusable Grocery Shopping Bags.” ReuseThisBag.com, 30 July 2018, www.reusethisbag.com/articles/25-reasons-to-go-reusable/.
Earth Policy Institute. (2014). Plastic Bags Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.earth-policy.org/images/uploads/press_room/Plastic_Bags.pdf
You may have heard the common phrase of "Abs are made in the kitchen", but how much truth is there actually to this? There is a massive amount of misinformation out there regarding nutrition, and fitness for that matter, which leaves many of us on health journeys confused on which direction to take. As a result, it is always best to ask a professional and in this case we ask our dietitian, Kylie, to share her expertise on the topic of building a healthy core through nutrition.
Let's debunk a myth right away: Your body does not selectively rid itself of fat in problem areas, specifically. For example, you cannot go to the gym for an hour and purely work on core, expecting this to reduce unwanted belly fat. Although abdominal exercises can help firm and tone your muscles, they alone won’t aid in weight loss around your stomach. Your body pulls from all fat stores as you move and burn calories.
This has been a buzzword the last few years, but what exactly does it mean?
"Mindful eating is a process and journey, a self-study of understanding your thinking patterns, emotional moods, appetites and habits without judgement. Nothing is off limits. We can also call this intuitive eating." - Elizabeth Kovar, M.A.
Some advice that I recognize causes many to become nervous, is that I recommend making all foods apart of your journey – in moderation, of course. Yes even cookies. The basis for this can be found in the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating, which is outlined in the infographic below.
Direct experience mode
Being in the present moment is a valuable practice taught in Tai chi, yoga, and meditation. When it comes to life application, mealtime is a great time to put this practice to work. Functioning in this zone requires our nervous system to switch from sympathetic (what is mostly engaged under stress) to parasympathetic. If our bodies are under constant duress from things like work, school, and just plain life, we won't cannot enter this parasympathetic, or rest and digest state, as easily without conscious effort.
The consequence of losing this ability is actually quite surprising as it increases nutrient excretion resulting in specific deficiencies of Vitamins B, C, iron and selenium. We can more directly think of iron deficiency as being anemic, a term you may have heard thrown around amongst your overworked friends who complain of "feeling tired all the time, I must be anemic."
Break The psychological Prison
Food is friend, not foe! Dietitians, exercise specialists, yogis, and all walks of health professionals agree, mindful eating is the antidote to fad dieting and in building a healthy relationship with food. One ACE exercise professional elaborates on her experience during a unique experience with mindful eating:
"We have something called slow conscious eating, and this is something I experienced while studying Buddhist meditation in Thailand. A bunch of us Westerners entered a room and were presented with a plate of food smaller than we have in America. The rules were that you were not allowed to talk and you would take your fork, put a piece of food in your mouth, place the fork back down and put both hands on the table. Once you were done chewing and your mouth was completely empty, you were then allowed to pick up the fork again and eat.
Now, by no means am I suggesting that we all need to practice such an extreme form of eating, but it is very common and easy for us to place more food in our mouths before we are done chewing the previous bite. Try paying attention to this the next time you have a meal! It is important to consider your overall health, family health history, cultural and and personal food preferences. On top of this, it's essential to be realistic. Are you really going to give up sugar, pasta, bread, pizza, and your soul? Making your goals a lifestyle versus running with the next best fad diet will help you establish habits to meet your long term goals; rather than tossing in the towel after a couple months, and getting no where.
Tips & Tricks
Consider variety, amount, and nutrition. Just like money, all food choices add up. What do you want to spend your calories on? Start with small, realistic goals to adopt a healthier eating style to reward your total body. The bottomline: abs are not JUST made in the kitchen. They must be worked in the gym and throughout our day as well.
Check out It's All in the Foundation on helpful tips on why and how to train your core for optimal results and quality of daily living and the workout to help get you there.
Related topic & Workout
Health Research Funding (HRF). 23 Exceptional Fad Diet Statistics. (2014, October 09). Retrieved January 09, 2018, from https://healthresearchfunding.org/23-exceptional-fad-diet-statistics/
K., E. (n.d.). Mindful Eating: the future of eating for weight loss. Retrieved January 9, 2018, from https://alc.acefitness.org/totara/mod/url/view.php?id=3762
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For each of us individually, the emotional and physical burden of an unhealthy lifestyle can be a lifelong struggle that eventually leads to feelings of unhappiness and chronic health conditions. In the United States, physical inactivity has become a huge health crisis, equated to our generations version of smoking. The social norm of not moving has become so commonplace that currently only 55% of adults get the physical activity they need to be healthy and it is estimated that by 2030, 83.4 million Americans may suffer from three or more chronic diseases and 50% of the population could be affected by obesity¹.
The burden of not trying is heavier than the barbell will ever be."
There are strong correlations between chronic disease and obesity, and both of these epidemics can be traced back to one basic human action: movement.
Currently, the childhood obesity rate for ages 2-5 is 8.9%, which you thin would be fine, right? I mean there is such a thing as baby fat. However, when we see this percentage grow to 20.5% by the time kids are 12-19, we can no longer blame it on normal baby fat, but must admit something bigger is going on.
Introduced in March of 2017, this bill currently has a meager 3% chance of getting enacted (H.R. 1267, 2017). Why is not important to lawmakers? I miss Michelle (Obama). If you find this issue to be relevant and something you would like to advocate for, follow this link to PHIT America's website to learn more about the movement and ways you can help.
So, if you have stumbled on this article because you've found yourself in the 45% category, then you are in the right place. You are obviously not alone in your struggle, and I am here to remind you that you can do anything if you are willing and open to change and commitment to something that will be harder than the convenience of swinging through the drive thru on the way home.
Here are some stories on incredible people who have undergone amazing change in order to reclaim their health and lives. Also, please explore the site, there are countless tools and resources on here that can help you along the way.
1 Cabarles, M. (2018, May 1). How ACE Influences the Cycle of Inactivity. ACE Fitness Journal, 15(5), 6-7.
2 Fritz, J. (2018). Learn About Revenue Streams for Nonprofits and How They Get Income. Retrieved from https://www.thebalancesmb.com/where-do-nonprofits-get-their-revenue-2502011
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How much physical activity do children need? https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/children/index.htm. Accessed 4-21-2017.
4 H.R. 1267: PHIT Act. (2017, March 1). Retrieved May 9, 2018, from https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1267/text/ih
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Gandhi once famously said, “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” The man could not have only been a great civil rights leader, but also an amazing coach, as it is imperative for athletes to understand how closely confidence is linked to success. The following five strategies are things coaches seldom talk about, but when applied to your daily grind can make all the difference in your overall confidence and long-term success as an athlete.
Choose your circle wisely
Who you surround yourself with has a tremendous influence on who you will become and is reflective of who you are now. These will be the people who are either going to the gym with you to get in an extra workout, or the ones egging you on to come to a party with them. They'll be the ones who are skipping class or getting an extra hour of study hall with you. The bottom line is, do they make you better or do they bring you down?
Seek the Truth
It takes a person of high character to actively seek out information that they may not want to hear but need to hear. This is where your circle comes in to play. Surround yourself with people who care about you so much they are willing to tell you something you need to hear in order to help you, even if there is a risk it could make you mad or upset.
Remember, it's never easy to hear difficult things, but opening yourself to opportunities of humility will ultimately make you better overall person and athlete. Here's the kicker though, you must be receptive to what they say and at all costs avoid shooting the messenger! You are enlisting the help of someone to give you a different perspective than your own, which is absolutely critical for your growth as a player and person.
No matter how much or how little success you are having at this moment, do not stop working. You have to believe in your ability to reach your goals and that hard work will pay off, it always does. Now, there is a massive difference between believing in yourself and being entitled to an outcome because you think you've worked hard for it. Again, does your circle keep it real with you?
Have selective hearing
The one voice you need to be listening to, even if you are not in any way spiritual, is the voice of faith. Faith, or believing in yourself, is the voice that silences the critics and fans because they don't know your process. They don't know the sweat, blood, and tears that you put in; they don't know what you are working towards. And really, they don't know you.
Trust the process
If you haven't noticed already, the four lessons before this are all interwoven in some way. Ultimately, these all constitute your process, and when you are confident that you are doing things the right way, which is in accordance with your values and vision, then you must trust that with persistent action and work, you will get to where you want to go.
There will undoubtably be times you are tested on this, and your tests may come at times when you aren't ready for them, that's why it is so important to have good people in your circle you can lean on and to help you through. They are there not only to tell you what you need to hear, but to be positive with you when you are having a hard time doing that for yourself.
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