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Inside & Out: Eat and Move as if Your Health Depends Upon it

by Lauren Salapatek | February 24, 2015

Hairdressers today are getting smarter about their food, more serious about their workout and never picking up the smoking habit  to begin with. You are, after all, your clients’ wellness and beauty role models.

“At minimum, we all need to eat a balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner to function effectively,” says Sara Pirok, chief marketing officer at Fromm. “I realize this sounds simple, but I spent most of my early career skipping breakfast, lunch or both. I finally realized in my late 20s that I was burning out by 3 p.m. and relying on sugar and caffeine just to make it through the day. I knew I needed to change.” who pointed out the unhealthy routine, which led Pirok to a solution that she’s followed ever since.

“Every Sunday I do all my grocery shopping and prepare a meal plan for the work week,” she explains. “I pre-make and label as many meals as possible, using glass containers to avoid potential toxins from plastic. Commit to trying it for seven days, and by the end of the you will feel healthier and happier.”

Great Clips CEO Rhoda Olsen points out the stress- fighting benefits of good nutrition. “When you’re stressed or depressed, you need more vitamins and minerals,” Olsen notes. “But you are likely to crave foods rich in fat and calories. These comfort foods actually work—they make you feel and function better in the short term. However, they’re killers in the long run. In stressful situations, try to eat foods high in vitamins and fiber—poultry, fish, beans, legumes, low-fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and cereals. Don’t skip meals; getting too hungry will only make you reach for the wrong foods when your blood sugar drops. And avoid caffeine, alcohol and stimulants in medicines and beverages.
 

BUST A MOVE

Salon pros also are more aware than ever that staying active will help them to have a long career in hairdressing. Maybe you walk daily with a staff member, or your salon culture motivates you by placing value on healthy living. The gym is not the only option. Celebrity stylist Sacha Quarles, artistic director at Obliphica Professional, is typical of today’s stylists who incorporate activities they enjoy into their everyday lives in order to meet the physical and mental challenges of salon work. “I do yoga at least three times a week, I hike at least three times a week and, when I take a vacation, I surf,” Quarles says. “Those activities allow me to free my mind from life’s daily stressors and be in the moment.”

3 Easy Nutritional Changes
Colleen Camp, director of education at Obliphica Professional, shares the three areas of nutrition that have improved her health and mood:

1. Eliminate/reduce processed sugar. “Sugar makes you crave sugar and offers only empty calories,” says Camp, who finds her sweet tooth vanishes when she replaces sweets with high protein foods. For early success, she suggests substituting a handful of mixed nuts for a candy bar.

2. Satisfy hunger with protein. “As hairdressers, sometimes we have only two minutes to eat,” Camp says. “Try some peanut butter on apple slices. If I have to eat fast food, I choose grilled chicken without sauce. If I’m extremely hungry, I’ll ask for double chicken and skip the bun.”

3. Eliminate caffeine. “It took about two weeks to get it out of my system,” Camp concedes, “but once I achieved a caffeine-free point, the rewards were so worth it. I don’t wake up tired or feel I must have caffeine to begin my day. On rare social occasions I might have a small caffeinated drink, but I don’t need it anymore to bring me up or get me going.”

Regular Exercise is the Gift to Yourself that Keeps Giving

According to the CDC, people who are physically active for about seven hours a week have a 40 percent lower risk of dying early than those who are active for less than 30 minutes a week. In addition to weight control, the CDC lists multiple benefits of physical activity:

  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. People who devote at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week to moderate-intensity aerobic activity lower their risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. That same 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobics lowers the risk of these related conditions.
  •  Reduced risk of colon and breast cancer. Preliminary research also points to exercise lowering your risk of endometrial and lung cancer. For cancer survivors, regular physical activity has been shown to improve quality of life.
  • Strengthen Bones and Muscles. Aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities can slow the loss of bone density that comes with age, with the risk of hip fracture reduced for people who do 2-5 hours of at least moderately intense aerobic activity. To build muscle strength, slowly increase the amount of weight and number or repetitions.
  • Improve Your Mental Health and Mood. A mix of aerobic and muscle strengthening activities 3-5 times a week for 30-60 minutes can help keep your thinking, learning and judgment skills sharp as you age, as well as decreasing your risk of depression and helping you to sleep better.
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