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Retailers Can Enhance the “Weekend Warrior” Mentality

Many of us truly care about health and wellness. However, we get so entrenched with our weekly activities, including work, taking care of the kids and other essential duties, that health and wellness tend to be low priority. Nonetheless, many often dedicate their weekends to health and wellness and genuinely make every effort to be healthy on the weekend.We often refer to these people as “Weekend Warriors.” In my experience talking with natural products retailers, the “Weekend Warrior” mentality is very common among their customers.

The challenge lies in somehow devoting time during the week in an effort to bridge the gap between weekends with periodic healthy activities, including exercise, healthy eating and taking dietary supplements.

The “Weekend Warrior” often begins with exercise, which is a great place to start. Exercise not only helps you manage your weight, it also improves mood; combats chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (among others); significantly boosts energy; promotes quality sleep; and can dramatically improve libido. The challenge is making that long-term commitment and getting it done at least four times a week for 30-60 minutes. That being said, the secret to a long-term commitment to exercise is not to overdo it. However, many people do not heed this warning and eventually give up because it becomes too intense.

Retailers should be knowledgeable about healthy exercise and should offer advice as a value-added part of their business. Counsel your customers to start slowly and gradually build their fitness levels. When your customer’s fitness level increases, exercise becomes easier and when they begin to experience the benefits, it will actually become fun. Again, the key is to develop a routine that will promote a long-term commitment. And when I say long-term, I mean forever.

For people that loathe exercise, there are little things they can do to increase physical activity. For example, the next time your customer drives to a local market or health food store, suggest that they park in the back of the parking lot and walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.Avoid the remote control and change the channel. Take the dog for a walk.Work in the garden. There are many painfree daily activities to move the body.

Retailers and their staff should also be knowledgeable on eating a healthy diet that includes avoiding processed foods.These foods are commonly found in chain supermarkets and should be avoided.The list below of processed foods to avoid, of course, is not all-inclusive:

• Canned foods (lots of sodium)

• White breads and pastas made with refined white flour (eat whole grain breads and pastas instead)

• Packaged snack foods, such as chips and cheese snacks

• Frozen fish sticks and frozen dinners

• Packaged cakes and cookies

• Boxed meals

• Sugary breakfast cereals

• Processed meats 

Processed food is all around us. How do you find foods that are truly healthy? For one, encourage your customers to do their food shopping at health food stores rather than chain supermarkets.Health food stores have fresh, organic foods, the highest quality vitamins and supplements, and a source of reliable nutrition information.

Dietary supplements have become even more critical because of the proliferation of processed foods. And you must have a “whole-body” approach because consuming processed foods is almost inescapable in today’s world. I recommend the following as a start—all are easily found in health food stores.

Some Supplement Choices for the Weekend Warrior: 

CoQ10 (ubiquinol): Ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10 and the most highly absorbed form of CoQ10.Ubiquinol is directly used in human metabolism as a lipid-soluble antioxidant.While standard CoQ10 (ubiquinone) supplements can be converted into ubiquinol in the body, this conversion can be less efficient in some individuals, based on age, genetics, blood sugar status or level of oxidative stress.

Fish Oil: The mainstream media has been reporting on the benefits of fish oil for years. Studies have shown that the omega-3s found in fish oil helps prevent and fight heart disease, as well as cancer, depression arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, ulcers, diabetes, hyperactivity and other diseases. Omega-3s can be found in flaxseed, walnuts and a few other foods.However, the most beneficial form of omega-3s, containing two fatty acids— EPA and DHA—can be found only in fish. Be aware to take fish oil products from companies that follow strict procedures to eliminate environmental contaminants to assure the highest purity of its fish oil supplements.

Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine (GPLC): 

According to the scientific research detailed on www.glycocarn.com1, GPLC has been shown to assist the body in a number of ways, including:

• Energy: GPLC increases nitric oxide levels in the human blood stream resulting in the optimization of endurance, stamina and recovery. GPLC 1) assists in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients through vasodilation; 2) encourages blood flow; and

3) helps the production of ATP energy while diminishing harmful free radical buildup in the body.

• Recovery: Through its antioxidant properties, GPLC aids in muscle recovery by not only speeding up post workout recovery, but also recovery time during training. This helps increase both endurance and stamina.

• Cardiovascular Health: Studies show that GPLC increases nitric oxide retention, which is important to the regulation of blood circulation while improving the vasodilatory ability (increased blood flow capability) of blood vessels.

Multivitamins: With processed foods being so prevalent today, taking a daily multivitamin is a must. There are 13 essential vitamins (A, C, D, E, K, B12, and the seven B-complex vitamins) that regulate crucial body systems. For obvious reasons, we need to avoid nutrient deficiencies. Talk to your health care professional about which multivitamin is best for you.

Probiotics: There are many foods that contain probiotic bacteria all of which can be found in health food stores nationwide.Yogurt is perhaps the best-known food that contains probiotics. Kefir, fermented vegetables, and some cheeses are examples of other probiotic foods.The good bacteria contained in probiotic foods will help establish or maintain a population of “beneficial” bacteria in the gut that will keep the gut in balance.

There are also many probiotic supplements on the market. These probiotic supplements contain a different balance of good bacteria for both the large and small intestines. They include probiotics such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These microorganisms are found in large numbers in the normal healthy intestine. Retail staff should understand the different strains that are available, potency, etc., as all probiotics are not created equal.

Research on digestive health and its influence on overall human health are growing. It is estimated that up to 20 percent of the population suffers from significant gut symptoms, including problems with stool and abdominal pain and discomfort.2 Current research supports a number of health benefits of probiotics and fiber for improved gastrointestinal (GI) health, as well as for helping with immune function. 3-5 

When all is said and done, retailers should preach a serious commitment to a health and wellness regimen. In today’s world, there are so many landmines.How do you minimize your intake of processed foods? This is where a hardwired routine can really be an ally. At the end of the day, there are no excuses.Your customers can live a vital, vibrant, long life if they are truly committed. You, the retailer, can be a part of that. 

References: 

1 www.glycocarn.com 

2 National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). Irritable Bowel Syndrome (NIH Publication 07-693). Bethesda, MD. 2007.

3 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Health and nutritional properties of probiotics in food including powder milk with live lactic acid bacteria. 2001.

4 Macfarlane GT, Cummings JH. Probiotics, infection and immunity. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2002. 15(5):501-506.

5 Van Loo JA. Prebiotics promote good health. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2004. 38 (SuppI 2): S70-S75.

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