Thanks for checking in! Some new updates on my other website www.takeoncollege.com. New blog posts are released each week that focus on college student peak performance. In addition, you can now access and download Take On College podcasts on iTunes!
I'm thrilled to announce the launch of a new company, Take On College!
Take On College is a peak performance coaching service for college students. We develop strategic partnerships with students and assist them in discovering, developing, and mastering peak performance strategies so they can define a fulfilling college experience. More information can be found by visiting http://www.takeoncollege.com
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Happy to announce the opening of my second office location in Westfield, NJ.
Now accepting new patients!
Great article written by Mark Sisson discussing the link between exercise and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Really supports the options offered by the Center for Psychological Health & Fitness.
Dr. Joel’s Tips on Maintaining 2014 Fitness Resolutions
1. Take advantage of personal training: Your personal trainer can help hold you accountable, vary your workouts, and keep you goal focused.
2. Focus on form & technique: The most valuable part of investing in a good personal trainer is that he or she makes sure you are correctly performing exercise movements. This minimizes injuries, challenges you, and keeps you on target for making fitness gains.
3. Shift your emphasis on numbers: Rather than emphasizing a number of pounds you desire to lose, emphasize the amount of time you will increase participating in exercise.
4. Practice short-term goal thinking: Focus on the current week, reflect on your accomplishments, and reset your goals for the following week. Repeat.
5. Keep yourself guessing: Emphasize this to your trainer. If you workout alone, make a list of 5 workouts on separate pieces of paper, fold them, then shuffle them. Each day pick one and open it once you arrive at the gym. That’s your workout for the day.
Best wishes in 2014!
I am excited to announce the opening of my second practice in Westfield NJ. Details about scheduling and availability are coming soon.
Wanted to let visitors to my website know that I recently earned a certification as a Fitness Nutrition Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). This will enable me to provide more education and guidance to those interested in discussing nutrition during fitness training and psychotherapy sessions.
Why Boys' Pursuit of the Perfect Body is as Dangerous as Girls'
1 month ago
Effort to achieve the 'ideal' body can become unhealthy obsession.
"For many years boys seemed less susceptible to wanting those unattainable perfect bodies," said Nancy Brown, Ph.D. and education projects manager at Palo Alto Medical Foundation. "But now, we see more of the historically female issues in boys—starving, binging, purging, orthorexia, comparing their prepubertal bodies to the early developing or more athletic peers, and doing bizarre things to achieve things they never will. The preoccupation with their appearance limits their self-perception and identity to the outside, and creates a culture of feeling 'less than.'"
And, like girls, Jessica Drummond, a certified clinical nutritionist and health coach, suggests media, magazines and models can have an unfair influence on boys as well.
['Reverse Retouching' is Just as Damaging, Dummy]
"Men are being increasingly used in advertising messages in ways that were once reserved for women," said Drummond. "For decades, women have been objectified and sexualized in media images with the definition of beauty and power being very singular and narrow. And just as women are beginning to fight back against this, men and boys are being exposed to more images of the tall, muscular, youthful body as being ideal for them. They're being just as harmed by their pursuit."
Despite the fact that supplements and steroids can, in fact, stunt boys' development and pose a danger to their developing bodies—the latter can stop testosterone production--Joel Ingersoll, psychologist and personal fitness trainer, says that for boys, the perceived benefit of attaining 'the perfect body' far outweighs the established risks.
"They may begin to base their sense of self on how they look rather than other important attributes, like intelligence," Ingersoll said. "Many young men believe that their success with dating, making friends, and self-confidence hinges on 'needing to look like that guy' on the magazine cover. What is most troubling is when excessive exercise regimens and use of supplements are overlooked [with] the perception of 'Wow, that's a strong, healthy kid.' It's critical that parents, teachers, coaches, healthcare providers are aware of these risks and are having informed conversations with them about the balance between healthy exercise and appreciating other self attributes."
Experts say changing thought and behavior patterns is the first step to better health
Monday, October 22, 2012 BY SACHI FUJIMORI STAFF WRITER The Record Print | E-mail
Like eating your broccoli and sitting up straight, we know that dropping even a few pounds is good for us, but often, we don't do it.
In an age when dramatic weight loss has become prime-time entertainment on reality TV shows such as "The Biggest Loser," many of us have become complacent about the small amount of weight we could stand to lose.
"People adopt a mind-set of, 'It's just the way I am. I'm just average,' " said Joe Galasso, a clinical psychologist at Volt Wellness in Glen Rock.
Those looking to lose weight can become frustrated by the fact that everything they read – about consuming the proper amount of calories and burning off the rest through exercise – makes shedding pounds seem simple. That weight-loss equation, however, ignores how small decisions we make throughout the day can lead us to quick fixes that rarely, if ever, result in long-term success.
This is where psychiatrists and other mental health professionals come in. They say that people lose weight – and keep it off – by changing behaviors and thought patterns, not with crash diets or juice cleanses.
Dr. Sharad Wagle, chief of psychiatry at Teaneck's Holy Name Medical Center, offered a simple metaphor: Given two paths, a bumpy one and a smoothly paved one, most people choose the easier route with instant payback – in this case the pleasure of having a bowl of ice cream after dinner or the comfort of pressing snooze and skipping your morning workout. But people don't think about what the better long-term decision is: "How long is that road smooth for? How long is that road rough for?" said Wagle.
Yolanda Santiago of Oakland knew she needed to lose a few pounds, but it wasn't until her doctor prescribed exercise for her debilitating migraines that she found the motivation to change her behavior by going to the gym. "I felt like I needed to lose a bit, but the doctor never said, 'You need to lose weight.' I was lazy," said the stay-at-home mom.
Last May, she jotted down her body mass index (BMI) on her calendar: 27, which put her in the overweight category. A person with BMI over 25 has a higher risk of dying early from heart disease or cancer, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
After enlisting the help of a personal trainer, Santiago began a weekly workout routine with one of her best friends. Six months later she has shed nine pounds and is now at a healthy weight for her 5-foot-1 frame. She needs to wear a belt to hold up her pants, and overall her body feels more toned, she said. "I know it's not a lot of weight, but it definitely feels a lot better," she said.
Shedding those stubborn extra pounds has wider societal implications than fitting into that favorite pair of jeans. New Jersey residents would save $1 billion in health care costs over two decades if they could reduce their average BMI by 5 percent, according to "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future," an annual report commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America's Health. The report projects that nearly half of the state's population will be obese (having a BMI of 30 and over) by 2030 if current trends persist.
An even stronger indicator of the risk for developing obesity-related diseases than BMI is waist circumference, says Dr. Orhan Karatoprak, director of family medicine at Holy Name. "Any excess of abdominal fat is dangerous," he said. Even if your weight is normal, an excess of fat around the belly increases one's chances of having a heart attack, stroke or developing diabetes, he said. For men the risk factor of developing these diseases goes up with a waist circumference over 40 inches, and for women, over 35 inches.
Even losing a few pounds and inches around your waist can swing your health in the right direction. Studies show that patients who drop just 5 to 10 percent of their body weight lower their blood pressure and cholesterol and improve their glucose tolerance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What's commonly known as the "middle-aged spread" is not inevitable. Dr. Joel Ingersoll of the Center for Psychological Health & Fitness in Oradell recommends that middle-aged people establish pragmatic goals and a realistic timeline for achieving them. "Having a realistic perspective may save people from experiencing frustration, self-criticism and possibly sabotaging their goals," he said.
People who are trying to lose a small amount of weight – say 10 pounds – shouldn't obsess over the number, adds Ingersoll. "I deemphasize the number, and rather than thinking I have to lose 10 pounds, I say I'm going to increase my physical activity to 30 minutes three times a week," he said.
For Wagle, the answer lies in exercising the brain as well as the body. If we work on strengthening the intellect, which he defines as our ability "to understand and make the appropriate decisions" for our long-term well-being, we will get better at controlling our desires. "Start with something easy, like waking up earlier, and the next thing like starting to exercise will become easier," he said.
With her BMI down to a healthy 20.8, Santiago says her migraines are gone and she can't imagine going back to her old habits.
"I feel too good to drop off my routine. I had a space where I didn't have workout sessions last week and I felt terrible. I couldn't wait to exercise again."
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