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RivalHealth Team

October 2016
Issue 8
Stay Mentally Strong
Mental Wellness: "The ability to maintain positive mental health by incorporating practices that sustain a person’s well-being."- Dr. Indigo Triplett
With nearly 7% of adults in American struggling with some form of depression and/or anxiety it is vitally important to understand how you can best exercise your mental wellness.

People who suffer from depression may have trouble controlling his or her emotions, tend to struggle with life’s challenges, and often do not recover from set backs as easily. Additionally, healthy relationships may be very difficult to nurture for someone who is depressed. Everyday life happenings can seem too overwhelming and some people who suffer from depression report they simply do not find joy in their life.

The good news is, along with proper treatment and support, regular exercise and healthy eating can improve emotional health.

Exercise releases a feel good chemical in the brain that can change one’s mood in just 5-10 minutes. But exercise also provides many other mental wellness benefits such as providing social interactions, acts as a distraction from worries or stresses, and increases self-confidence. You don’t have to hit the gym or go for a run to enjoy these benefits. Activities like gardening, washing your car, or walking your dog can be just as beneficial. The key is to just get up and move.

The foods that you chose can also support mental wellness. A diet high in processed and sugary foods prevent your body from functioning in the most efficient way so it only stands to reason that it may affect your brain similarly. Doctors say that a healthy diet is an important component (and treatment) for mental health. For instance, complex carbohydrates provide the body with sustained energy and protein contains amino acids, which is what many neurotransmitters in the brain are made up of. Vitamin deficiencies or imbalances can also be a culprit. To simplify, chose a variety of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and organically raised lean meats and avoid prepackaged processed foods and sugary treats.

Most importantly if you feel sad and/or depressed ask for help. Your company likely has an Employee Assistance Program where you can talk to a professional confidentially. That one phone call could make a big difference. Don’t wait.

Overcoming Genetic Barriers
The long over-used, “it’s just not in my genes,” is no longer a viable excuse for unhealthy living. Because, as it turns out…you CAN change your genes!
The study of changing genetic sequences is called, “epigenetics,”and its impact on our desire to LiveFit is substantial. Researches in the field of epigenetics have found that, while we are all born with our own unique genetic code that won’t change through our lifetime, how our genetic code is expressed can change. Furthermore, we can change it!

When we practice healthy living habits such as exercising daily, making healthy nutritional choices, and strengthening our mental health, we initiate an epigenetic process called, “DNA Methylation.” DNA Methylation is a process that forms new methyl groups – whose chemical formations are directly associated with the biological processes that created them (i.e. exercising). These methyl groups stick to the genes of our DNA, and act as “biological magnets,” attracting or deterring specific biochemical signals that activate or deactivate our genes. Essentially, our ability to create and attach different types of methyl groups to our genes allow us to influence the way our genetic code is expressed.

It’s important to note that the formation of these methyl groups can be positive or negative. For example, if you practice healthy living habits (i.e. LiveFit!), you could create methyl groups that activate genes that improve your metabolism, recovery time, or cardiac output. However, if you practice unhealthy living habits, you could create methyl groups that impair these functions – or worse yet, deteriorate them.

Possibly the most important aspect of your epigenetic development is that it can influence the genetic development of your future children! New research shows that changing the way your genetic code is expressed can influence the way your unborn child’s genetic code is developed. So, if you’ve been struggling with “poor genes,” and are ready to take control of your DNA so you can pass on“good genes” to your future children, start creating some positive methyl groups today and LiveFit!
LiveFit with Coach Sophie
Sophie Baer
Account Manager
Fall is here and with it comes many seasonal drinks and treats!

It is perfectly acceptable to enjoy a dessert or festive drink, but be aware of what you are consuming. Most of these items are flavored and colored with chemicals known to increase the risk of cancer, have large amounts of inflammatory sugars, and contain numerous preservatives. One great example is everyone's favorite....the Pumpkin Spice Latte. For starters, good luck finding the ingredients list. It is not provided in stores, on the website, nor can the staff share the full list with you. If you do your research, you will start to wonder - Where is the pumpkin? The latte is flavored with "natural and artificial flavors" and sweetened with numerous corn syrups. Instead of splurging on unhealthy artificial treats, try making your own healthier version with real ingredients. Use our pumpkin spice creamer recipe to indulge your sweet tooth and enjoy that Fall flavor!

Alyssa’s Alternatives
Pumpkin Spice Creamer

1 cup Half and Half
1 cup Almond Milk
4 tbs. Maple Syrup
3 tbs. Pumpkin Puree
1 tsp. Pumpkin Spice
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract


1. Whisk together milk, cream, pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. When mixture begins to steam, remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pour into a glass bottle and store in the fridge.

About Us

RivalHealth is a fitness-based wellness platform that engages employees with daily exercise and nutrition activities and sustains engagement through social interaction, challenges, incentives and outcomes.