Category Archives: Tips

Resistance arm workout

Would you like a short, effective arm exercise that doesn’t require much to perform? Well here is your chance to perform a challenging, arm workout using nothing more than a towel. In the video, I use a resistance tube, but you can perform it with a towel. Check out part 1.

Part 2 will be here in a couple of days. Be sure to come back and visit or subscribe to my channel through the link. Check out part 1.

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Reduce Pressure on Knees

Did you know that losing weight reduces knee joint pressure?

According to a study conducted by Dr. Stephen Messier, 1-lb. of weight loss equals 4-lb. reduction in the knee joint load. Also suggested, individuals that lose 10-lbs would reduce up to 48,000 pounds of pressure for every mile walked. The results are a compelling case for weight loss associated with improving knee pain. Consider the workload over time, it can result in making a significant difference in knee joint damage, reducing overall pain throughout your life in the future.

Knee pain is a frequent issue that continues as people age. One factor that compounds this issue is weight.

Are you training with weighted vests?

After reading the facts about pressure on the knee joints, it makes me question the safety of wearing extra weight on stair climbers or while running. Over the years I have seen many types of training that I, myself, would not be comfortable with. Performing cardio with weights (hand weights, weighted vests, etc.) is one of them. The added weight will most certainly add to joint pressure. If it affects the knee joints, what about the hip joints?

As we age, those joints age right along with us. Will this strategy help everyone; probably not, especially if there are other factors weighing in:

  • arthritis
  • disrupted cartilage in the knee joint
  • cartilaginous breakdown
  • torn meniscus
  • etc.

Each case is different and everyone should consult with physicians before starting any diet and exercise program. If you have any of the mentioned concerns above, your medical professional can give you advice on which type of workout is best for your body type. I, personally, love to swim when I have joint pain. (click here to see reasons why swimming is a smart choice) It helps relieve the pressure rather than add to the pressure. There are many facilities now offering water aerobics for clients that suffer from arthritis and other joint related illnesses, especially hospital-based facilities.

What about foot pain?

I have a client and friend who has been on a weight loss journey for a year now and has had great success as a result of lifestyle changes. Her goal was to lose 40-lbs and she is currently 1-lb away from hitting her goal. We had a discussion about reducing knee pressure which struck a chord with her regarding her journey. She mentioned that she recently wore a pair of wedge heels that would normally cause the ball of her feet to hurt by the end of the day. After losing 39lbs, her feet did not hurt as she had come to expect it to when wearing those shoes. That’s a win in my book!

Do you have any pain reduction stories related to weight loss? If you do have any stories, please share them with us by leaving comments. They can be success stories or no results, don’t feel constricted on the topic.

Catherine Bares

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Why Drinking Water is Important

5 Major Functions that Water Aids in

  • In the blood, water transports oxygen, glucose, and fats to working muscles and carries away metabolic by-products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid.
  • Water helps urine eliminate metabolic waste products.
  • Water aids saliva and gastric secretions, which helps digest food.
  • It lubricates joints and cushions organs throughout the body.
  • In sweat, it dissipates heat through the skin.

Did you know that your body will retain less water if intake is sufficient?

How can water help weight loss?

  • When water takes place of sugary beverages or juice, it results in a reduction of total calorie intake.
  • Drinking a glass of water before meals and snacks can help an individual feel full and consume fewer calories.
  • Maintaining sufficient amounts of water can help the body to function more efficiently, especially in the areas of maintaining ideal body temperature during exercise and increasing fat utilization.
  • Its common to mistake thirst for hunger. Click here for my recent post: are you hungry or thirsty
  • Drinking water helps decrease the desire for other sugary, high calorie drinks.

What type of Water is Best?

Water that does not contain sugar or artificial sweeteners is best. Excessive consumption of artificial sweeteners can stimulate hunger. When that happens, it can derail your health goals and eating plans as a result.

How Much Water is Enough?

Making changes gradually can help reduce the daunting affects and help contribute to permanent success. Start making small increases. See what works for you. A doctor or registered dietitian can help you determine the amount of water that is right for you. I have included a quote from the Mayo Clinic’s website below as a reference.

How much water do you need?

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.
What about the advice to drink 8 glasses a day?

You’ve probably heard the advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” That’s easy to remember, and it’s a reasonable goal.
Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than eight glasses a day might be enough. But other people might need more.

Factors that influence water needs

You might need to modify your total fluid intake based on several factors:
Exercise. If you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It’s important to drink water before, during and after a workout. If exercise is intense and lasts more than an hour, a sports drink can replace minerals in your blood (electrolytes) lost through sweat.
Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional fluid intake. Dehydration also can occur at high altitudes.
Overall health. Your body loses fluids when you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Drink more water or follow a doctor’s recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Other conditions that might require increased fluid intake include bladder infections and urinary tract stones.
Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. The Office on Women’s Health recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.4 liters) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters) of fluids a day.

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Thanks for taking the time to read my blog,

Catherine Bares


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Are you thirsty or hungry? You may be thirsty.

Mixed signals

Years ago, I discovered that when I feel cravings for food come over me it was really my body dehydrating and was sending me mixed signals.  I went looking for an article that can help explain the process and found one on

“Thirst Occurs when your body needs water.  When you do not drink enough water, your body receives mixed signals of hunger.  Dehydration causes you to believe you need to eat when you really need liquid intake.  Sometimes you eat food out of boredom.  Keeping track of what you drink and eat will help stop overeating.  It will also clue in to how much you drink a day, and what your liquid needs are.”

“Dehydration Symptoms”
“Dehydration symptoms include constipation, thirst, dry skin, a sluggish feeling, dizziness, dry eyes and decreased urine output.  Drinking eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day will help prevent dehydration.  If you have these symptoms, seek medical help.  Symptoms of diabetes include dehydration.”
“Feeling Tired”
“If you do not get enough to drink on a daily basis, you will feel tired.  You will feel hungry because your body thinks it needs food for energy.  This sense of feeling tired relates to your body not taking in enough fluids, which help your body function better.  Your body’s organs need water just as a car’s engine needs fuel to run efficiently.”

Seek Medical/Nutritionist advice

I am not a nutritionist, I am sharing information that I think helps me feel better.  When something feels off in my body, I try to listen and seek advice on how to overcome it. Always seek medical advice when you experience changes in your health.

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#Exercise is a Potent Mood Booster

I am a firm believer in exercise helps reduce depression symptoms.  I came across an article in  Shape Magazine, April 2018 issue, that supports the feelings I get when I exercise on a regular basis.

“The Happiness Workout” article says, “However you slice it, exercise is a potent mood booster, according to findings in the American Journal of Psychiatry.  In the largest study of its kind, which followed more than 33,000 adults over 11 years, researchers determined that just 60 minutes a week of exercise could significantly cut your risk of future feelings of depression, no matter how intense the workout or how you break it up. “Because we followed people who didn’t initially have depression over time, our results suggest that exercise could prevent depression”” says study author Matthew Hotopf, PhD

Catherine Bares

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Better Understand #Cravings

Happy Halloween Everyone.

I came across an article, “Outsmart Your Cravings” by Jacqueline Andriakos,  in Health Magazine’s, May 2018 issue.  I thought it was interesting so I wanted to share.

According to the article,  “Cravings are driven by a number of factors, including hormones, emotions, and even your surroundings”.  There are “biological and psychological pathways of cravings”.  “it becomes a lot easier to stop them before they get out of control” says Ethan Lazarus, MD, director of the clinical Nutrition Center in Greenwood Village, Colorado. What are some “common craving provocateurs and the mechanisms behind them?”

  • Your stressed out
    • “When you’re under a lot of pressure, it drives cortisol up, which in turn can stimulate cravings for foods high in fat or sugar.” “Your body wants foods that may trigger the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain to help you feel better…”
      • solution: “replace the craving with something else that makes you fell good.”  “This could be a hobby you find joy in, like yoga or reading.”
  • Hormonal shifts such as PMS
    • “some women go through cycles of low serotonin, which can intensify cravings…”
      • solution: “you’ll want to do activities that boost serotonin so you don’t go looking to do that through food.  “that could be a workout, or increasing your light exposure (which ups serotonin naturally) by spending more time outdoors.”
  • Sleep Deprivation
    • “while we sleep, our fat cells produce hormones like leptin and adiponectin, which reduce appetite and insulin resistance.”  Dr. Lazarus explains “if we rob our bodies of the sleep we need, even by 30 minutes, we get up hungry the next day and wanting carbs.”
      • Solution: “You can short-circuit munchies born from sleep deprivation by having a healthy breakfast as soon as you wake up that combines unrefined carbohydrates with some protein and good fat in order to stabilize your blood sugar, and in turn, help prevent out-of-control snacking as the day goes on.”
  • You’ve Created Bad Habits
    • “Many cravings occur because we connect memories with particular foods.” “These types of yearnings are usually more psychologically driven then physiologically driven.”  “cravings are sensory, so the harder you ruminate over it, or smell it, or actually see the food you’re wanting, the more you will think you have to have it.”
      • Solution: “This may mean keeping these foods out of your home.” “Sometimes the very act of identifying a psychological-based craving is enough to overpower it.”
  • Dieting
    • “Strong urges typically happen after periods of limiting yourself.” Allegra Gast, RDN, owner of Aloha Nutrition in Oahu, Hawaii states that “for some people, it’s possible that their body is looking for a nutrient that it’s not getting enough of.”
      • Solution: Dr. Lazarus says, “don’t let your gas tank get empty.”  “I recommend people eat fives times a day.” and also suggests “having at least 15 grams of protein at every mini meal.

To read the entire article, find the May 2018 issue of Health Magazine. You can find them online, ask people on social media if they have a copy or check with your local library.

Catherine Bares

Remember: follow me, share me, talk about me (you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and/or YouTube through the links below.)


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A green two-way street sign with arrows and the words You Decide

Happiness does not come without Stress, Hardships, Heartaches and Regrets.  It comes In-Spite of them.

You have to make a decision to let yourself drive towards happiness and not let all of the ugliness of your life drive you. It takes:

  • Daily meditation of positivism
    • reading inspirational books
    • looking for positive quotes each day to focus on
  • Setting goals in your life
    • Starting with today.  What do I want to get accomplished today?
  • Keeping your eye on the prize
    • you decide what the prize is; completing your to do list, accomplishing a long term goal, etc.
  • Removing negativity from your life. (sometimes that may be a person)
  • Realize that when people are snapping at you or being rude, that is usually a symptom of their problems (don’t make them yours)
  • Celebrate the successes no matter how small or large they are
    • tell a friend who you share your struggles with
    • turn on a happy song and dance while reciting “I did it!”

We celebrate with children when they accomplish something small and large.  When my one year old grandson has developed a new motor skill, such as walking, we clap and say “yay”.  That becomes culture and when he does something that he thinks deserves a celebration, he starts clapping and says “yay” while anticipating that I will celebrate with him.  And I always do.

Along the way to adulthood we tend to lose that mentality and focus on the things that we and other people do wrong.  In the most severe cases this can lead to depression and other health problems.

Changing this mentality, that has slowly become culture, takes effort; sometimes it takes a great deal of effort.  But, when you put forth the effort, it then becomes habit which leads to a newly developed Culture.  Get started today by looking for the bright side of every situation you find yourself getting aggravated with and build on it.

Catherine Bares

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#Reasons Why Swimming is a Smart Choice

According to the August 2016 edition of Louisiana Health and Fitness Magazine, “10 Reasons Spending More Time in the Water is a Seriously Smart Choice.”

  1. Total Body Workout
  2. Easy on the joints and improves posture
  3. Increase lung capacity
  4. Burn serious calories
  5. Perfect cross-training workout for any activity
  6. Great for all ages and abilities
  7. Workout while traveling
  8. As social or solitary as you like
  9. Water is calming
  10. Opens up the door to other activities

Click on the link to bring you to the digital edition for the entire article.

Catherine Bares

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Achieving a Healthier Lifestyle

I came across an article that discussed a recent paper published by the Mayo Clinic (Loprinzi et al.2016).  This paper shows that fewer than 3% of American adults are living a healthy lifestyle.

“Despite the billions of dollars spent on gym memberships, diet programs and low-fat food options, Americans don’t seem to be getting any healthier.”

The study does an excellent job of providing four steps you can take to achieve a healthier lifestyle:

  • Become a nonsmoker
  • Be sufficiently active
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Achieve a recommended body-fat percentage

The study included 4,745 adults:

  • 2.7% of the participants had all four characteristics
  • 11.1% had none of the characteristics
  • 71.5% did not smoke
  • 37.9% consumed a healthy diet
  • 9.6% had a normal body-fat percentage
  • 46.5% were sufficiently active

Women were more likely to not smoke and to eat a healthier diet but, were less likely to be active, compared with men.

Older individuals were less likely to smoke and to eat a healthier diet but, less likely to have a normal body-fat percentage and be less active compared to younger adults.

Check the list and determine what you do well and pick one area to make a change.  Once you have accomplished the change, add in another until you are following those four steps to live a healthier life.

Catherine Bares

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Bad Running Habits

Did you know that there are bad running habits that can slow you down and drain energy?

Not that I am a huge runner but, I did dabble in running during my triathlon days.  Plain and simple; I did not like running, I tolerated it to accomplish my goal.

According to The BeachBody Blog, here are “5 bad running habits that are slowing you down:

  1. Poor Arm Carriage
  2. Excessive Bounce
  3. Shuffling
  4. Looking Down
  5. Hunching Forward

The Article and subsequent links

We all know that bad running habits are hard to break. When you’ve been running a certain way for a long time, it’s difficult to identify quirks. Inefficiencies become second nature.
Fortunately, the majority of runners make the same five bad running habits. Once you learn to recognize them in your own gait, you can start to eliminate them. The result: more energy, fewer injuries, greater power, increased endurance, and extra strength in every stride.
Bad Running Habits You Need to Break
1. Holding your arms wrong
Running might be a lower body exercise. But how you move your arms can have a huge impact on performance.
Case in point: If you swing your arms across your body as you run, you expend significantly more energy with each stride than someone who doesn’t.
“Over-rotation of the trunk is a common cause, and is often the result of weaknesses elsewhere in the body,” says Steve Gonser, a physical therapist and founder of RunSmart Online. “Runners should look to address muscle imbalances through the spine and hips.”
To determine whether you have weak hips, take the single leg squat test, suggest Australian researchers in a study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.
From a standing position, lift your right foot off the ground behind you. Then lower your body as far as you can toward the floor on your left leg (keep your back flat and chest up). Repeat on your right foot. Ideally, the knee and ankle on each leg will remain aligned.
If either knee rolls inward, you’re likely lacking strength and stability in your hips.
Here are five exercises to strengthen your hips.
And five more exercises every runner must do.
2. Bouncing too much 
There will always be some upward movement as you push off with each stride. And some runners may naturally demonstrate more bounce than others. But the goal is to travel the maximum distance horizontally, not vertically, says Gonser.
If you’re a “bouncer”—another of those common running habits—you’re likely wasting a considerable amount of energy that could otherwise be directed toward sustaining or increasing speed and endurance.
“In such instances, I either cue a runner to ‘quiet’ their feet (i.e., land more softly with each step), or simply increasing their step rate, assuming velocity is kept constant,” explains Chris Johnson, a Seattle-based physical therapist and running coach.
To increase your stride rate, count your normal steps for one minute, and then multiply that number times 1.1, adding 10 percent.
3.  Shuffling instead of running
Instead of bouncing with each step, some runners gravitate toward the other end of the spectrum, barely picking their feet up off the ground. It’s one of those running habits it’s easy to fall into.
“The main issue here is that such runners don’t transition away from their slower running gait once they start to run faster,” explains Gonser.
If you’re a “shuffler,” consciously fire each knee forward and pull it up as you run.
“Try to envision your leg taking the shape of the number ‘4’ with each stride,” suggests Gonser. “The figure four posture that is adopted by driving the knee and lifting the heel will feel awkward at first, but the more you do it, the less you’ll have to think about doing it.”

4. Looking at the ground
Since the rest of the body follows the head, it’s important to maintain a forward gaze, rather than a downward one.
“A runner looking down typically biases the entire spine into flexion, resulting in a closed airway and chest wall,” says Gonser. “A neutral head that looks forward can help you maintain proper alignment, which is not only important for breathing, but also for proper muscle function throughout the gait cycle.”
Running with your head tilted down or back (indeed, anywhere but neutral) can also increase your perceived effort. It can make every run feel harder than it actually is, according to a recent study in the International Journal of Exercise Science.
Bottom line: Focus on the horizon instead of your feet. Once you get in the habit of keeping your head up, other aspects of your posture will fall into place—especially if you also eliminate the next mistake.
5. Maintaining poor posture
One of the worst running habits is all too easy to fall into—if your posture isn’t dialed in, you can spring energy leaks anywhere (or everywhere) along your kinetic chain, which is all of the interconnected bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons that allow you to run.
“When it comes to recreational distance running, proper posture ultimately comes down to a [stable trunk], a steady head carriage, and short ground contact times, while synchronizing opposing arms and legs movements without over-striking and over-striding,” says Johnson.
That might sound complicated. But it really comes down to following the advice in the previous tips. And adding a slight forward lean to your gait.
Not only can that lean enhance your posture and boost running efficiency, it can reduce the load on your knee joints, reducing your risk of injury, according to a report in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy.
“Avoid an over-exaggerated lean where you end up jutting your chin out and hunching forward,” says Gonser, adding that you should never round your back. “Hinging forward at your hips will protect your spine and place your glutes in a better position to fire—a great thing for runners.”
All this sound familiar? Chances are you’ve got a few bad running habits. Now you’ve got the Intel you need to break them.


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