10 Healthy Fast Food Options

1. Healthy fast food at Chipotle

chipotlevia chipotle.com

Burrito Bowl with steak, fajita vegetables, lettuce, and tomato salsa: 200 calories, 6 grams fat, 4 grams fiber, 22 grams protein

The beauty of Chipotle is that they have so many healthy fast food options. They make it so easy to create your own meal. To keep both calories and carbohydrates in check, skip the burritos and go for a burrito bowl. A steak burrito bowl with minimal toppings will still provide a balanced meal that keeps calories in check. However, beware of adding rice, guac, and cheese—these fat-laden options will make your calorie count soar. “Guacamole is an excellent heart-healthy fat source but can still add up in calories quickly,” says Kristen Smith, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “If you must go for the rice, choose the brown rice option and limit to a one-half cup serving.”

Here are 10 other nutritionist-approved eats at Chipotle and other fast food joints.

2. Healthy fast food at Burger King

burger kingvia bk.com

Grilled chicken sandwich without mayo: 360 calories, 7 grams total fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 6 grams fiber, 36 grams protein

Contrary to popular belief, Burger King actually offers healthy fast food options that are non-burger entrees—and the grilled chicken sandwich is always a good alternative for healthy fare. However, nutritionists stress ordering this one without mayo. Maegan White, RD, urges omitting mayo and cheese to save calories and asking for salad dressing on the side. If you want to be even healthier, choose vinaigrettes in place of creamy dressings.

3. Healthy fast food at McDonald’s

mcdonaldsvia mcdonalds.com

Regular hamburger: 250 calories, 8 grams fat, 1 gram fiber, 13 grams protein

Sorry to all you cheese lovers out there, but an extra slice of cheese can make quite a difference in your calorie and fat intake. While the cheeseburger has 12 grams fat and 300 calories, eliminating the saturated fats from the cheese portion gives the burger 250 calories and only 8 grams fat in comparison. There’s not much to the classic hamburger, but with its nutrition stats, it’s guaranteed to fit into almost any calorie-controlled eating plan. Make sure to hold off on the sugary sauces and extra condiments. These are the healthiest things to eat at 25 fast food restaurants.

4. Healthy fast food at Subway

subwayvia subway.com

Veggie Delite: 200 calories, 2 grams fat, 5 grams fiber, 9 grams protein

If you want something a little more substantial than a salad, Lanette Kovachi, Subway’s in-house dietician, recommends one of their 6″ Fresh Fit subs. All of them weigh in at less than 400 calories, are low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and are free of artificial trans fats. “It’s a great source of fiber when made on nine-grain wheat bread and topped with all the fresh veggies,” she says. “It also has 20 percent of daily recommended iron and vitamin C.” At just 200 calories, the Veggie Delite is the lowest-calorie option and offers wiggle room for tasty toppings like honey mustard.

5. Healthy fast food at Chick-fil-A

chick fil avia chickfila.com

Eight-count grilled chicken nuggets: 140 calories, 3.5 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 25 grams protein

with …

Superfood side salad: 140 calories, 8 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 3 grams fiber, 4 grams protein

Chick-fil-A is one of the best fast food joints to visit if you are craving a quick and healthy dish. Their eight-piece chicken nugget meal holds enough protein to keep you full, and adding the side salad (featuring kale, broccolini, dried cherries, and nuts) will provide the necessary vitamins and nutrients to complete the meal. According to Amy Goodson, board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, “Grilled chicken will typically always have fewer calories and fat than its fried food counterpart. In addition, choosing a nutrient-rich side item like fruit, yogurt parfait, or salad will add nutrients and take away added fat that is found in the typical french fries side item.” Don’t miss out on 14 other nutritionist-approved eats you can find at Chick-fil-A and other fast food restaurants.

6. Healthy fast food at Arby’s

arbysvia arbys.com

Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad: 230 calories, 13 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 22 grams protein

This one doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but it’s always a great choice if you want to as few calories as possible. While Arby’s may “have the meats,” their light and delectable salad option isn’t a bad idea either. Even with the greens, you’ll attain a solid dose of protein and fiber, all for less than 250 calories.

7. Healthy fast food at Wendy’s

wendysvia wendys.com

Small chili: 170 calories, 5 grams fat, 4 grams fiber, 15 grams protein

Don’t underestimate the soup as one of the healthy fast food options on the menu; the small chili has 15 grams of high-quality protein and 4 grams of satiating fiber, all for less than 200 calories. Make this a complete meal by pairing it with a side salad. Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, recommends adding the chili right on top of the salad in place of the dressing and an easy way to increase veggie intake. That way, you’ll increase your potassium and get a boost of carbohydrates while you’re at it. Just make sure you don’t order these 9 foods from fast-food restaurants that nutritionists would never eat.

8. Healthy fast food at Taco Bell

tacobellvia tacobell.com

Soft fresco taco with steak: 150 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams fiber, 10 grams protein

Janis Isaman, nutritional coach and owner of My Body Couture, deems Taco Bell as her favorite fast food chain for their high level of customization. “Thanks to the use of nutritional powerhouse beans and the inclusion of vegetables, these meals have a healthy dose of protein, taste delicious, and pack in a mountain of nutrients while keeping you full,” she says. Moreover, this place is concrete proof that chicken isn’t always the healthiest option on the menu. The steak version of the fresco soft tacos less fat and more protein than the chicken option. And for 150 calories per taco, don’t feel bad about splurging and ordering two.

For More Options Visit Hana Hong’s Complete List at Reader’s Digest:


Why Some People Can’t Do Push-Ups


A day ago, New York Times asks, “How Many Push-Ups Can You Do?” and reports pushups may be a a good predictor of your heart health.


Their source is Journal of the American Association (JAMA) Network Open.

Some took this to heart and started sharing videos on Facebook of themselves doing pushups.


Some men shared themselves doing 40 pushups and challenged friends to do the same. Why 40?

According to the New York Time’s article by Gretchen Reynolds, men who could get through 40 or more push-ups had a 96% less risk of heart problems in the next 10 years than those who quit at 10 or fewer.

Push-up capability proved to be a better predictor, statistically, of future heart problems than the treadmill tests. If you can’t do the full 40 — 11 works as a minimum.

Men who could complete at least 11 push-ups had less risk of developing heart problems in the following decade than those who could complete fewer than 10, they found.


Read complete New York Times article click here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/well/move/how-many-push-ups-can-you-do-it-may-be-a-good-predictor-of-heart-health.html

But not everyone can do pushups.  According to TrainingCore.com there are just as many, if not more reasons you may find them frustrating. Things like weak wrists or unstable shoulders.


Push-ups are one of the biggest determiners of your upper body strength. They are intense, they make your arms shake, and there are 50 reasons why some people can’t do them.  Here are some reasons compliments of TrainingCor.com

1. You have a desk job

When you sit at a desk all day, your body sits in a compromised position, and you rarely get up and get moving. There is also a slight chance that you eat at your desk, too. Your desk job is killing your fitness routine, and as a result, your push-ups are lacking.

Think about the tasks you perform at your desk, none of it has to do with strength training or significant movement. You sit like a stone, doing the same movements, and you allow your body to collapse. Your desk job is destroying your body. The tips here will help you not only improve your push-up, but improve your desk-job body as a whole.

2. You work only your arms

Your push-up involves more than your arms. Sure, they shake like crazy when you go down and push yourself up, but they are not the only muscles working to complete a push-up, so they should not be the only muscles you strengthen to improve your push-up. Plus, you probably aren’t working your arms in the best way anyway.

When working your arms, work the biceps, triceps, and your deltoids. Here are a couple exercises to get your started.

  • Tricep dips
  • Arm circles
  • Plank shoulder tap
  • TRX Shift and Pike

3. Your core is weak

Yes, you do push-ups for abs, but you need to help out a little. If you are struggling to do a push-up to get the core you want, work on the core you have to get the push-up you want.

4. You are a runner

It is not uncommon for runners to have incredible speed and endurance, but lack upper body strength. Many runners cannot do push-ups, or good ones at least. Runners often need to incorporate cross-training and strength training into their daily workouts.

5. Your head isn’t in it

push-ups require more than a strong upper body. They require a clear and strong head, too. To train your body, train your mind. Intense mental training can enhance your endurance and performance, and it can improve your dedication. Mental training will transform your performance outside of the gym, too.

6. You thought a 30-day challenge was the answer

The infographics are appealing, but the results on the 30-day challenge everyone shares is not the answer to the perfect push-up. This is not realistic if you are learning how to do push-ups or improve your push-ups. This plan also lacks variety and instruction.

2016-05-20 30-day challenge print screen

7. Your breath is off

Breathe!!! Too many people forget to breathe when doing push-ups because they are too focused on the movement. Use your breath to guide your movements. Always keep air moving. Inhale when you go down, and exhale when you push up. During any workout, always exhale on the hardest part.

8. Your diet still sucks

There’s that. You have to change your diet if you want real results. A healthy diet provides your body with the nutrients and fuel necessary for your workouts. A healthy diet also helps improve your recovery time after hard workouts. You don’t need a smoothie fad, weight-loss pills, or miracle cures. You need the tools necessary to help you make better choices about the types of foods and amount of food that enters your body.

 9. You ignore your triceps

What does your arm day look like? For many, it involves workouts that work only the biceps. Don’t ignore the triceps. Not only will working your triceps prevent the underarm flag, but it assists in extending and retracting your forearm. Try these bodyweight exercises for stronger triceps.

10. Your shoulders are unstable

Work on shoulder stability with these exercises.

11. Your form is off

When doing a push-up, your body must be straight. Envision a ruler from the top of your head that runs down to your bottom. Remember this during every push-up movement.

12. Your butt is in the air

Your butt should not thrust up into the air. Squeeze your glutes and tighten your core to keep your butt from sticking out.

13. Your hands are too far apart

Your hands should be shoulder-width apart. Don’t try different hand positions until you can master the standard push-up. Having the arms too wide will increase shoulder stress when you can’t control your body.

 14. You are too ambitious

You cannot hit the ground running when you start push-ups or when you improve your push-ups. Set realistic expectations that keep your form controlled and your body free from injuries. By the end of the week, try to get your first good one done, and then add a couple more each week after.

15. Your back is weak

Strengthen your back muscles, focusing on the lower back as much as the upper back.

16. Your elbows are kicked out to the side

Your elbows should be at a 45-degree angle at your side. When you go down, do not flare them out. Envision yourself pushing a refrigerator away from your body. How would you do it? Now, do the same on the floor.

17. Your fingers are together

For stability, spread your fingers apart. This gives you more surface area on the ground.

For More Reasons Visit https://www.trainingcor.com/50-reasons-cant-push-ups/

No worries if you can’t do one today. Time, patience, physical therapy or a personal trainer can assist you to work up to doing pushups slowly and with proper form.

Image result for Proper way to do a pushup
photo credit: www.TNation.com



Exercise Recovery: Hype vs. Science


From sports drinks to protein powders, from compression therapy to cupping — there’s a whole industry of products and services designed to help our bodies recover from intense exercise.

But does any of it work?  ​Christie Aschwandan explores it all from electrolytes to power bars to the dangers of over hydration while exercising. Turns out, symptoms for dehydration and over hydration can feel similar.

Click here to learn more and which recovery approaches are most effective.




For more check out Christie Aschwanden’s new book below, which examines the latest athletic trends, rituals, and training practices to determine if any help the body recover and achieve optimal performance.

Good To Go

What The Athlete In All Of Us Can Learn From The Strange Science Of Recovery


Good to Go

Hardcover, 302 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, List Price: $27.95



Exercise Better Predictor Of Longevity

           Can exercise predict how long you’ll live?

New research shows this may be true.

A new study suggests an ‘estimated age’ based on an exercise 
stress test may be a better predictor of how long a person 
will live compared to their actual age.

"Age is one of the most reliable and consistent risk factors 
for dying --the older you are, the higher the risk," according
to Serge Harb, M.D., a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist and study author. 


“In this study, we showed that an estimated physiological 
age, based on your exercise performance, is an even better 
predictor on how long you will live.”


Dr. Harb and his colleagues studied medical records from 126,356 
people who had been referred for an exercise treadmill 
stress test between 1991 and 2015.


Researchers studied how people performed during the stress test, 
including how long they exercised, their heart rate response to 
exercise, and how they recovered afterward. 


Based on these results, researchers were able to predict 
the person’s estimated age. The participants were then 
followed for about nine years.


Data shows that estimated age, based on the treadmill performance, 
was a better indicator of life expectancy than actual calendar age. 


For example, a 50-year-old who performed well during a stress test, 
and had an estimated age of only 45, could live longer than what is 
expected by his actual calendar age.


Dr. Harb says he hopes the study helps people understand that 
exercise can add years to their lives. 


“The key take home message for patients is to exercise  
more, improve exercise performance, and for health care 
providers to use this physiological age as a way '
to motivate their patients to improve their 
exercise performance,” he says.


Dr. Harb believes the estimated age calculated in this research may 
be an easier and more practical way to communicate the results of a 
stress test to help people better understand their risk. 


Complete results of the study can be found in the 
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.


              SOURCE: https://journals.sagepub.com/toc/cprc/0/0

Related: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190215082429.htm

Marriage Quality Impacts Your Health

Healthy couples create an atmosphere of emotional safety 
for each other, which in turn, keeps their minds and 
bodies healthy.


Healthy couples aren't without conflict. In fact, conflict is 
normal in healthy relationships.  


The difference is outstanding marriages have two outstanding 
communicators who respectfully resolve conflict.


Healthy couples are open, honest and deal with issues, even 
difficult ones as they arise. 


They don't involve other people, unless it's a professional, 
and they make their relationship a positive priority.


That keeps the relationship healthy, and benefits their own 
emotional and physical health.


The opposite is detrimental to both, especially when chronic.


When a couple has constant, unrelenting stress --it takes
a toll on their emotional and physical health.


Stress without relief can disturb the body’s internal balance,
which may lead to headaches, stomach upset, high blood pressure 
and even chest pain. 


Stress is also linked to heart disease and cancer, among other 
health problems. 

Cleveland Clinic’s Ted Raddell, Ph.D., says the quality of a 
marriage is important to the quality of overall health. 

“Headaches, stomach issues, certainly the common 
things, muscle tension, but if that persists, you have 
unremitting stress then it affects our immune 
functioning and then we’re more vulnerable to all kinds of 
potential physical problems,” says Raddell. 

One recent study links marital conflict and depression to poor 
digestive health. 

While another study suggests strained relationships may be 
connected to an increased risk for heart disease. 


Dr. Raddell said this mind-body connection is well known among 

He says stress, in general, produces a ‘fight or flight’ 
response which is designed to help in emergencies, but it's
constantly activated it can cause wear and tear 
on the body --both physical and emotional.

Dr. Raddell says the impact on health is greatest when 
relationship stress becomes chronic. 

“The longer the time distrust persists, over the course of 
months versus weeks, is probably where you’re 
more likely to see some of those physical 
symptoms,” he says.


Dr. Raddell encourages couples to seek help sooner rather than 
later if they’re struggling and in distress. 

He says when a spouse 
create an atmosphere 
emotional safety for their partner, 
the nervous system shifts 
“rest and digest" mode 
all body systems 
function optimally.
stroke5Trust and 
are keys 
to feeling 
and physically 
within a 

More tips on how to have an outstanding marriage below.


SOURCES: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30098513



Related Reading

source: http://www.allprodad.com

If you want to have an outstanding marriage, you have to be an outstanding communicator.

10 Ways To Improve Communication In Marriage

1. Model respectful listening

Top of the list – take responsibility. Don’t wait for your spouse to make the first move – step up and listen already. Good listeners tend to get listened to in return.

2. Choose to be genuinely interested in what your spouse has to say

Yes, it’s a choice. You say you love her? Then don’t tune her out when the conversation is not about something you like. Make the effort to attend that PTA event together – you might have something to talk about. Read that Jane Austen book she loves so much; watch her favorite HGTV home makeover show with her; walk hand in hand around the art show; show some interest in her friends. Make the choice to be interested.

3. Write your spouse a note that reinforces your message

  • “I’m looking forward to our date on Friday!”
  • “Here are some things I want us to talk to Junior’s teacher about. What do you think?”
  • “Thanks for bringing me lunch yesterday; I love you so much!”
  • “I enjoyed shooting the breeze with you. Let’s meet for coffee and chat some more.”

4. Schedule regular, media-free family mealtimes

This applies to both communication in marriage and the family dynamic. Meals can be communication opportunities par-excellence. They are informal family meetings and workshops where parents both teach manners and model as examples. Plus mealtimes are an awesome ongoing opportunity – with or without children – to keep communication flowing.

5. Keep the television turned off. TV as constant background is

  • An invitation to tune out relationships
  • A strong message about what is important (and unimportant) in a home
  • A distraction that will always suck attention away from one another
  • An excuse to avoid communication

6. Make eye contact when you are talking

Also make good use of touch, responsive and reflective feedback, and body language (smiles, gestures, head tilts, raised eyebrows, nods, etc.) to demonstrate that communication is actually occurring.

7. Do not look at your phone while interacting with your spouse

It sends a clear message of priorities.

8. Avoid surface level or single word responses

When talking with your spouse, it’s too easy to brush off real communication, squash first-order interaction, and signal your spouse that you are not really interested.

9. Designate a central location for all important reminders, dates, and messages.

Maybe a large calendar on the refrigerator – or a bulletin board in the kitchen – or a white-board by the front door.

10. Include your spouse as a Friend in all your social media lists.

No one should get more of your time than your spouse. Include one another as primary contacts, keep one another “in the loop”, send one another messages every day, and act as if you are each other’s best friend. Chances are, you will be.

source: http://www.allprodad.com

Outstanding communicators in a healthy marriage translates to great health



5 Valentine Hacks




Stay healthy! 

Comments? Health Tips? Write to: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com


“The secret to a happy marriage is if you can be at peace with someone within four walls, if you are content because the one you love is near to you, either upstairs or downstairs, or in the same room, and you feel that warmth that you don’t find very often, then that is what love is all about.” -Bruce Forsyth

Healthiest Companies To Work For

Free water, a decent desk chair, a few days off when you have the flu—and that’s it, right? Not for these 44 companies.


All of them make employee health and wellness a number-one priority.


We’re talking rock climbing walls, healthy snack stashes, meditation rooms, and team bonding retreats.


Of course, there are lots of companies on this continent that offer outstanding health benefits.


But everyone on this list offers at least basic health insurance for employees and makes some accommodation for fitness, whether that’s an on-site fitness center or discounted gym memberships.



Read on to find out who made the list of 44 healthiest companies in America to work for: check out the full list on Greatist.com.

Should your company be on the list? If yes, we want to hear about it. Write to us.

Or should your company be on the unhealthy list? Does it still only offer stale pizza and half-eaten donuts in the kitchen and soda? Does it contribute to you eating unhealthily while at the office? Does it only offer unhealthy choices in vending machines? Let us know. You may share anonymously.


Stay healthy!

Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Athletic Success and Sleep Habits


We can’t talk about athletic success without mentioning Quarterback Tom Brady. Congratulations on his win. Part of Tom’s health regimen includes early bed time. The six-time Super Bowl winner says he goes to sleep at 8:30 p.m. or 9 p.m.

“Tom Brady says he can only work as hard—or perform as well—as his ability to recover. And he considers sleep the best way to recover, exactly why he strives for eight to 10 hours of uninterrupted zzz’s every night. ‘We push our bodies so hard and our bodies need time to rejuvenate,’ says Brady. ‘It is something I have been doing for a long time and is really important.’”

Tom’s other healthy habits regarding what he eats, drinks and avoid are documented in his book. One health reporter says Brady’s claims aren’t “evidence-based.” Really? He’s   41-years-old, looks 25 and just won his 6th Super Bowl.  Plus, I know first hand maintaining an alkaline and anti-inflammatory state works. He’s right.It usually takes evidence-based science ten years to catch up.Meanwhile, another choice Tom is right about is the need for a good night’s sleep for peak athletic and mental performance.

The following is informative if you’re a student athlete, professional athlete or anyone who wants to be healthy. As I always say, it’s not a fad. It’s not something you brag about on social media. It’s a lifestyle.

Learn how promoting a culture of proper sleep health can boost academic, athletic success for student‐athletes

When student‐athletes tell coaches or athletics staff they’re tired, they’re likely to encounter the brushoff, with responses like “I’m tired, too. We’re all tired. Now let’s get going.”

When student‐athletes tell coaches or athletics staff they’re tired, they’re likely to encounter the brushoff, with responses like “I’m tired, too. We’re all tired. Now let’s get going.”

Instead, coaches and staff should treat fatigue complaints just as seriously as nutritional concerns. That’s because lack of sleep has far‐reaching impact on health, safety, and well‐being, as well as academic and athletic success, according to Roxanne Prichard, scientific director for the Center for College Sleep at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

She spoke about sleep health as part of a panel at the annual convention of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Jack Ford, correspondent and host with 60 Minutes Sports and PBS, moderated the panel, which also included Kim Record, AD at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Tommy Doles, a student‐athlete at Northwestern University.

Poor sleep health impacts more students than you think, Prichard noted. In fact, many students graduate high school sleep‐deprived, so they don’t see why that should change when they reach college, Ford noted.

Prichard agreed. “A generation of college students are so exhausted they don’t know what it’s like to not feel exhausted,” she noted.

The first step to improving sleep health among student‐athletes is to raise awareness by providing student‐athletes, coaches, and staff with accurate information about sleep, the panelists advised. And everyone involved in athletics should learn to recognize and address the signs of poor sleep health, they said.

You can start by asking student‐athletes “Are you tired when you wake up?” If your own reaction to this question is “Aren’t we all tired? We’re so busy!” or if your student‐athletes respond in a similar fashion, that only confirms the need for sleep education and awareness, Prichard said.

“You should wake up when you’re fully rested, and when you’re done sleeping,” she noted. “Sleep is just like nutrition,” she added. And just as student‐athletes already know the importance of monitoring their food and liquid intake, they should also learn to monitor their sleep habits, she advised.

Prichard and the other panelists shared other tips on how to handle common pushbacks and barriers regarding student‐athletes’ sleep health.

For example, student‐athletes tend to present such arguments as “I can’t afford to get enough sleep because I need the extra time to devote to my studies and workouts. Sleeping more would mean I’m taking that time away from something.”

But the reality is actually quite the opposite — they can’t afford to skimp on sleep, Prichard said. “Students who sleep well have higher GPAs. When you’re well‐rested, it takes you half the time to do homework. Sleep benefits your academics and athletics. When you sleep enough, you feel strong, you’re quick,” she noted.

Student‐athletes are likely to counter with such comments as “The stakes are higher and it’s tougher now. I’m a junior fighting for a position on the team and I need to bring my grades up,” Ford acknowledged.

But coaches and staff should respond by challenging the student‐athlete to just try sleeping more for a week to see the difference it will make before giving up on the importance of sleep health, Prichard advised.

When coaches or athletics administrators hear about a student‐athlete who’s struggling (whether academically, athletically, behaviorally, or health‐wise), athletics administrators should look for the underlying cause, starting with inquiring whether the student‐athlete is sleeping and eating well.

And when student‐athletes say “I’m tired,” coaches and administrators need to resist the tendency to flippantly respond “Well, I’m tired, too,” Record advised. Talk to them about good habits and time management, she said.

Athletics administrators and athletic trainers have begun placing more of a priority on sleep among student‐athletes, Record and Doles said. “We’re seeing a trend toward that being more valued,” Doles noted.

But sleep still isn’t getting the attention it deserves, especially in football. In fact, football players and football coaches tend to have the least amount of sleep out of any collegiate sport, Prichard noted.

All student‐athletes need to understand that “when your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it shifts into fight‐or‐flight mode, which means you’re easier to get overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed,” Prichard explained.

When coaches suspect a mental health concern among their student‐athletes, encourage the coaches to look for what’s going on outside their sport, Record advised. Sometimes student‐athletes resist telling their coaches about mental health issues or anything else they fear might impact their playing time, she noted.

Besides, coaches aren’t psychologists, so they do need to refer their student‐athletes to mental health resources, she said. Start by asking the student‐athlete some specific questions, and follow up with “I get it if you don’t want to talk to me. There are resources where you can go to talk to someone.” And then refer them to athletic trainers, academic support, and/or counseling.

You might be tempted to pull their teammates/friends into the situation to try to figure out what’s bothering the student‐athlete you’re concerned about. “But you have to be careful. That puts that teammate in a position where they don’t want to rat on their teammate,” Record warned. She advised that instead you go to the student‐athlete and say “Hey, people are worried about you.”

Athletics administrators and coaches have the responsibility and obligation to identify student‐athletes of concern and refer them to resources, Record stressed. “The last thing you want is having something be seriously wrong and risk overlooking it,” she noted.

Destigmatizing mental health also plays a critical role, Doles noted. He recommended that student‐athletes, coaches, and staff convey the message that “you need to care for your mental health to be mentally tough. Not only because I care about you, but it’s also a competitive advantage,” Doles said.

Another resource Doles recommended is the organization athletesinaction.org.

If student‐athletes feel tired or “are zonked out on the bus and the plane, they’re not getting enough sleep,” Prichard said. That sleep deficit impacts their circadian rhythm and hormone balance, she noted. Prichard recommended taking the following steps to address and prevent sleep problems among your student‐athletes:

  • ❏ Have tired student‐athletes screened for sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.
  • ❏ Look into whether their residence halls are too loud, bright, or hot.
  • ❏ Identify what you can do to improve their sleep environment, with such items as lavender mists, blackout shades, and gravity blankets.
  • ❏ Conduct a point‐by‐point assessment, starting with screening for sleep on pre‐performance.
  • ❏ Develop policies, programs, and procedures to improve sleep habits among student‐athletes.
  • ❏ Encourage student‐athletes to discuss with their roommates — from the outset — what their guaranteed quiet hours will be and how many times they’re allowed to hit the snooze button on their alarm.
  • ❏ Promote a college culture that values sleep as playing a critical role in mental health.

As a senior, Doles said he has become more disciplined with his time and gets more sleep. Although he acknowledged that learning to say no to some things can be difficult, he realizes it’s necessary so he can fit more sleep into his schedule, he said.

For more information, visitwww.stthomas.edu/collegesleep/.

Better sleep leads to better free throws, study shows

One way to convince student‐athletes of the importance of sleep is by showing them evidence that adequate sleep will improve their game, recommended Roxanne Prichard, scientific director for the Center for College Sleep at the University of St. Thomas.

She advises telling your student‐athletes that elite‐level basketball players improve their on‐the‐court performance by increasing their amount of total sleep time, according to the results of a study by the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory involving basketball players at Stanford University.

The results suggest “sleep is an important factor in peak athletic performance,” and “athletes may be able to optimize training and competition outcomes by identifying strategies to maximize the benefits of sleep,”


First published: 15 January 2019


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