Want to improve your golf swing?  Break a faster time at your next marathon event?  Experience a faster and easier labor?  Keep weight off, ease pain and slow the aging process?  Easy…practice yoga!  Yoga encompasses breathing exercises, lengthening, strengthening and stretching muscle groups, massages the bowels and increases the length of telomeres in our bodies (these are parts of the chromosomes that affect the aging process).  I’ve been practicing yoga for years and have taught yoga to private clients and martial artists, but honestly, I have never said ‘let’s go do some yoga…it’s so much fun!’  Rather, I have been practicing yoga for over 20 years because it has always allowed me to participate and perform so much more effectively in any other sport I have engaged in over the years – tennis, golf, triathlons, rollerblading, skiing, competitive and full combat Muay Thai kickboxing.  There are many benefits to practicing yoga.  Yoga can help us breathe better, slows aging, can ease muscle and joint pain, help you sleep better and reduce your stress, improve flexibility and increase balance.  You would be very surprised to know how many top athletes have been practicing yoga for years (LeBron James is just one)….and it is a practice.  Practice makes perfect and the more we practice yoga, the more perfect we can make our minds and bodies.  So, how to start your practice?  Form is everything in yoga.  If you are athletic, find a Hatha or Vinyasa yoga class.  Hatha is your basic poses (asanas) in a very precise order that will take your body from head to toes from stiff to supple.  Vinyasa is often called ‘flow yoga’ because we move from one pose into another gracefully and without stopping.  If you’re not the most athletic type or you are recovering from an injury or illness, try a Restorative or Gentle Healing yoga class.  Props are used during these classes to ease you into poses and help you settle into the poses for optimal results.

I don’t practice yoga because it excites me….I do it because it’s GOOD for me!  so, JUST DO IT!  For more information about yoga, click on this site http://www.yogamagazine.com/ and find out why YOU should be practicing yoga.  Namaste!

I’ve had 25 year olds crash on me during a boxing session many times over this year.  They complain they’re ‘out of shape’.  I tell them ‘just wait ’til you get to be my age….get up!  I’m old enough to be your mother!’  That’s when they ask me how old I actually am and what I eat for breakfast…No folks, I don’t eat nails for breakfast.  Typically, I eat fresh oatmeal (overnight cold or cooked) with fresh fruit, or a dollop of greek yogurt over fresh fruit. A hard boiled egg with a slice of toast and fruit is nice on a weekend when there’s more time.   If you’re over 50 years of age and want to elevate yourself to super hero status, read on….

Contrary to some beliefs, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It literally means ‘break fast’, because way back in the olden times, there was a gap from the last meal of the day to the next day’s first by approximately 12 hours.  Breakfast literally meant to ‘break the fast’ from the prior evening.  The American Heart Association has concluded that people who ‘eat breakfast daily are less likely to have high cholesterol and blood pressure, and people who skip breakfast — about 20 percent to 30 percent of U.S. adults — are more likely to be obese, have inadequate nutrition, show evidence of impaired glucose metabolism or be diagnosed with diabetes.’  This means a HEALTHY BREAKFAST!!  http://newsroom.heart.org/news/meal-planning-timing-may-impact-heart-health  But eating a healthy breakfast doesn’t give you a ‘free ticket’ to eat poorly for the remainder of the day.  Here are a few tips to help you be fitter, faster, live longer and healthier:

Eat your larger meals earlier in the day:  this allows your body to metabolize and use those calories throughout the day.  This also allows your body to process glucose more effectively and efficiently.

Don’t eat during late night/overnight hours:  unless you are working the overnight shift, you should be resting and sleeping, not eating during the late evening hours.

Schedule your meal times:  this gives your body a routine for processing nutrients.  This helps your digestive system and overall metabolism.  At the end of the day, your waistline will thank you for it.  If you have difficulty wrapping your head around the concept, give this some thought:  babies and children  are fed at certain times of the day and only given healthy snacks intermittently (we only hope!).  There is something to be said for this school of thought.

Portion control:  you are what you eat.  Recently, I travelled to the great state of Texas.  I was appalled at the breakfast menus at any given restaurant….3 eggs with 3 types of cheese – fried, ham, bacon and sausage and your choice of fries or home fries…oh yes, the buttermilk biscuits – all on one plate.  Can we say obesity, cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease?  Many Texans are ‘big’….now I know why.

Last but not least….MOVE AND MAKE MUSCLES!!!  For my fellow 50+ fans out there, read this:  as we age, men lose bioavailable levels of testosterone and women lose estrogen.  This affects muscle mass.  Muscle mass burns more calories than fat, so the less muscle mass you have, the more fat your body will accumulate.  I’ve seen many a person over 50 complain that they eat like birds, do cardio until they drop, but cannot seem to lose that extra 2 inches around their waist.  Belly fat runs deep and can cause insulin resistance, inflammation (which can affect the joints), and cause your cholesterol to leap to new heights.  WEIGHT TRAINING twice weekly in addition to cardiovascular exercise thrice weekly can help you build muscle mass and thereby burn more fat.

So, there you have it.  All you need to get yourself fit and fabulous in no time.  I’m wearing the same size dress I wore 15 years ago and in the same ‘walking around weight’. Obviously at 55, I’m slower than I was at 40, but there’s no grass growing under my feet and I can still hold my own at any gym.  It’s all about lifestyle, folks.  Life is short….don’t watch it go by from the sidelines.  Get back in the game.  Remember, Winners don’t quit.  Quitters don’t win.  Losers never try.  See you at the gym or I’ll just see you out there!



Today is the first day of Spring!  Here in the Northeast Corridor of the United States, we’re crawling over the finish line of winter and looking forward to the warmer weather ahead.  It’s time to get that new hairstyle, new running shoes for the warmer outdoor runs, that new golf club and begin thinking of sunscreen.  Spring is also a good time for your annual physical.  Most people will get a “good report card” from their md, but some folks will be on the receiving end of a “gentle reminder” that if some lifestyle changes aren’t made, they will be classified as “pre-diabetic” or “diabetic”.  The lecture of diet, exercise, and the use of medications to control insulin levels might be jolting enough to kick start action in a positive direction for a few folks.  For others, it goes in one ear and out the other with the mindset of “a pill a day will cure it all”.  Not so……read on….

I’m going to talk to you today about type 2 Diabetes and why it is so important that we all maintain a healthy lifestyle and be mindful of our glucose and cholesterol levels and our weight.   According to the Center For Disease Control, here are a few facts (I am giving you a direct quote from the link):

“Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, and type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5%. The health and economic costs for both are enormous:

  • Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2013 (and may be underreported).
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and adult-onset blindness.
  • More than 20% of health care spending is for people with diagnosed diabetes.

People who have one or more of the following risk factors should talk to their doctor about getting their blood sugar tested:

  • Being overweight.
  • Being 45 years or older.
  • Having a family history of type 2 diabetes.
  • Being physically active less than 3 times a week.
  • Ever having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds.

Race and ethnicity are also factors: African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at higher risk than whites.” https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/diabetes.htm

Type 2 diabetics run the risk for blindness, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and nerve damage.  During your annual physical, you are asked to ‘fast’ for 12 hours prior to having blood drawn.  This is done so that your base level of blood sugar can be determined (eating before a blood glucose test dramatically alters test results).  If you have been diagnosed as being  pre-diabetic, this means that you have sugar (blood glucose) levels that are abnormally high, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.   You’re a little late in the game, but it’s not too late to do something about your condition and reverse the tide.  The American Diabetes Association has found that persons who were at a high risk of type 2 diabetes could lower their blood glucose levels without medication by adapting the following lifestyle changes:  losing weight, eating smaller portions and adapting a healthy regime of fewer starches, fats and sugar in general, and consuming more vegetables, fruits, legumes and low fat sources of protein, walking briskly for 30 minutes each day for 5 days per week http://www.diabetes.org/.   If ‘staying in the game’ is difficult, there is help for you everywhere – online sources include the American Diabetes Association where you can find a plethora of free information and counseling to Wellness Programs designed specifically for you.   If exercise is a burden, join a gym and participate in the many different types of classes being offered.  Hire a nutritionist and/or personal trainer if that is what will keep you motivated.  Weight Watchers Int’l https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/article/im-prediabetic-what-do-i-eat has online personal coaching, or you can attend weekly meetings where you can share with others who are participating in healthy lifestyle changes…it’s all about accountability at the end of the day.  If you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes and would like to learn more about what you can do to get on track with lifestyle changes that will help to make big changes, email or telephone my office and schedule a consultation http://kelleymondesire.com/contact/ .