Merritt Clubs Blog

   

Lori O'Donnell

Recent Posts

Dream a Little Dream

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Jun 12, 2019

When people talk about health and wellness, the conversation generally turns to diet and exercise. And yes, what you put into your body and how you move your body are important. But have you ever considered how important sleep is to your overall well-being? We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, and sleep is vital to overall body health, regulation, and restoration. Lack of sleep not only affects mood, productivity, and performance, but also can increase your risk for high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, irregular hormonal function, and obesity.

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I Get by With a Little Help from My Friends

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

May 8, 2019

There was a discussion this morning in one of my Facebook groups about asking for help. A new member had taken a class and was reluctant to tell the instructor that she was having difficulty with some of the moves. The discussion made me think about asking for help in general. Why is it so hard for us as humans to reach out when we need help? Is it fear of embarrassment, of not seeming competent, being perceived as “less than”? Do we think asking for help makes others think we are weak? Or, do we simply not want to burden anyone else with our problems?

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Topics: help, health fitness tips

Put the Beat in Your Feet

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Apr 10, 2019

Whether we are conscious of it or not, our lives have rhythm. We hear the tick-tock of the clock on the wall. When we walk or run, our gait has a certain tempo. There’s rhythm in our daily patterns, the way we move, the changing colors of the traffic lights, the drip of a faucet. As many studies have shown, a certain rhythm can make people walk, run, swim, paddle, or pedal faster.

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Topics: exercise tips

Brain Fog is Real

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Mar 27, 2019

If you’re feeling a little fuzzy and forgetful, and not as sharp as in the summer months, you may want to blame it on the colder weather. According to a 2018 study from Columbia University, for many people, especially older adults, the cold weather can create a significant enough effect on the brain that they go from scoring in the normal range on a cognitive test to qualifying for a dementia diagnosis. Study authors found that when cognitive tests were given during the winter, participants functioned as if they were more than four years older as compared to performance during the summer.

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Topics: mental health, brain health

Can Cardio Help You Live Longer?

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Jan 16, 2019

Well, it’s mid-January: that time when resolutions begin to lose their shine and real life becomes once again…well…real life. Did you make any resolutions for the new year? How’s it going? If one of your resolutions was to get to the gym more often or to simply start working out, here’s some news that may give you a little push in the right direction. According to a recent study completed by the Cleveland Clinic, not exercising can be more detrimental to your health than smoking, diabetes, or hypertension (high blood pressure).

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Topics: cardiovascular health, cardio workouts, cardio training, heart health

Don't Get Scrooged for the Holidays

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Dec 12, 2018

This is the joyful season, that time of year when we’re supposed to be happy, giving, and thankful. But hosting guests or traveling and being a guest in someone’s home for any length of time can cause the opposite reaction. If you’re hosting, getting the house ready, maintaining it in guest-ready condition for the duration of the visit, preparing holiday (and other) meals, and keeping the guests entertained can all be stress and anxiety inducing. If you’re traveling, you may be eating unfamiliar foods, sleeping in uncomfortable beds, and keeping irregular hours. Before your eye starts twitching uncontrollably, take a look at these tips for surviving your role as either a host or guest.

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Topics: holiday tips, coping with stress

Fit for the Holidays

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Nov 14, 2018

Thanksgiving is next week! It’s hard to believe. It seems like Halloween was just a couple of weeks ago and now we’re gearing up for the December holiday season. People are already having a tough time getting to the Club to workout. It’s cold. It’s dark early. It’s been raining for months. We’re all tired and stressed. And did I mention it’s cold, it’s dark early, it’s been raining for months? How are we to cope with the upcoming holidays while maintain our healthy lifestyles? Below are some strategies that will keep you active through the holidays and into the winter months.

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Topics: thanksgiving, holiday tips

Sitting is Killing You

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Oct 9, 2018

Are you sitting down? Are you comfortable? That’s too bad, because it’s probably killing you.

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Topics: health tips

Core Like a Ninja

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Sep 12, 2018

This summer I became obsessed with American Ninja Warrior. OK, maybe “obsessed” is a little strong, but face it, the show is entertaining. I like how all the athletes have different nicknames that represent exactly who they are. I like the backstories about the competitors. I like how friends and family come out to support their athletes and cheer every little victory. I like how the announcers get more excited than anyone else. And, I like that the entire family can watch it together.

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Topics: stronger core

Do you Have Dead Butt Syndrome?

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Aug 8, 2018

Your butt might be dead. Yes…that’s correct. Gluteal amnesia or dead butt syndrome is a real condition in which the gluteal muscles stop firing correctly. Recent research suggests that the majority of Americans can spend up to 15 hours a day sitting. This is associated with some major health problems as well as an overall shorter life expectancy. But, your glutes are responsible for so much more than just sitting.

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Topics: glutes workout, glutes exercises