Another year means another resolution

Improve your health... not only physically, but mentally

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Now that the holidays are behind us, it's time to kick into your New Year's resolution! …so does 1) "eat healthier" and 2) "exercise more" look familiar? I'm sure it has been on your New Year's resolution list for the last couple years. Especially the older we get. In fact, almost a third of all Americans who make New Year's Resolutions circle around eating habits, losing weight, and exercise! And according to a recent study as few as 8% actually will accomplish their New Year's Resolution. The study says to be successful, motivation for a change has to come from personal desire. So, when you sit down to review your resolutions of ultimately being a healthier person overall and how you are going to get there, keep in mind your mental health is just as important (if not more) as your physical. So important, you should want to make sure you get your mind right before getting your body on point!

Mental and physical health have recently been the center of health insurance marketing campaigns. Most recently, a health insurance company has pumped out a ton of commercials with TV celebrities, encouraging people to take care of their health. Their website not only talks about dietary dangers, but mental health and self-improvement. National Alliance of Mental Illness, over 40 million US adults will experience a mental illness in a year. There are so many mental stressors that can affect your mental health, that's why it is so important to take note of these few simple ideas.

1) Meditate- Whether it's 1 minute or 1 hour, give yourself some "me" time to close your eyes and relax. Research shows how meditation can reduce your stress levels.

2) Sleep- Make sure to get 7-8 hours of good sleep a night. "The top way to improve sleep is to have a consistent bed time and awake time," says Patricia Thornton, a psychologist in New York City. "Don't sleep in on weekends. Don't try to catch up on sleep with naps." You should strive for a consistent seven to eight hours a night. "That will go a long way to helping people feel better," she explains.

3) Stretch- Keep young! Regular stretching improves your health, while protecting you from aches, pains, and strains you would potentially if you didn't stretch!

4) Relax and get off your phone- Become more aware of your surroundings and be present!

  • Don't go down a rabbit hole getting caught up in social media
  • Work emails can just add stress also
  • So if you are going to be on your phone, do get "brain" apps. There are all kind of brain training games you can download, that will help your brain stay alert and be active.

5) Physical health – Tons of research prove that exercise is good for mental health. 30 minutes of exercise a day can also help lower the risk of depression. Remember to start at your own pace, whether it is walking, or speed walking, whatever it is. And make sure that it is a goal that is attainable and desired to achieve.

Last, don't forget to love yourself, and put YOU first. :)

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Keep an eye on Alex Bowman this weekend. Image via: Wiki Commons.

For the first time since July 1984, NASCAR returns to one of its most popular cities in Nashville, Tennessee for the inaugural Ally 400 at Nashville Super Speedway. This track is a 1 1/3rd mile concrete oval that was dormant for nearly ten years and was only used as a testing facility. So it came as a bit of a surprise last season when it was announced that this track would be getting a date. For a lot of drivers, this will be a brand new racetrack, but we will see practice and qualifying, so that will be a huge help for the newcomers that haven't raced here before. Back when the Xfinity and Trucks ran here, this track featured a lot of first time winners. Back in 2008, future NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski shocked the world by jumping in Dale Jr's car and capturing his first win here. There will be a lot of veterans like Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick who have plenty of experience at this track, but it will be tough to compare. It should be fun with everyone coming into this race with minimal knowledge.

Last week, Kyle Larson continued his hot streak by winning the All-Star Race. Overall, while Larson and his Hendrick teammates probably enjoyed the race, the feedback from crews and fans was less than positive. As I was walking through the garage area and talking to a few crew members, a lot of them were very critical of the 450 horsepower motor and the tall spoiler to try and keep the cars bunched up. When I asked one of the crew-members what he thought about the package he told me, "Oh it's awful. The track is terrible, the package makes it impossible to pass and it's super hot out here." On green flag runs, it was the same as it ever was as the lead car would pretty much take off and the only time there was really any "pack racing" it came after there were restarts. The whole race was well-intentioned and the fans showed up as it was nearly a capacity crowd, but the whole thing just didn't make any sense. From the start time being in the nearly 100 degree heat to the wacky full-field invert at the end of each stage. Let's hope that next season's All-Star Race is a lot more concise.

In Silly Season news this week, Truck Series regulars GMS racing announced that they would be fielding a full-time cup series team. The team is currently owned by Allegiant Airlines CEO Maurice Gallagher and his son, Spencer, who used to drive for them in the Xfinity Series. This move seemed to come from out of nowhere as there was never any indication that this was a move they were exploring anytime soon after they turned down the opportunity to purchase Furniture Row Racing in 2019. This is certainly a great sight for the sport as there will be more new teams on the track and with their close relationship with Chevy, it wouldn't be a surprise if they step in and help this team become competitive. The favorite to drive their car has to be 2020 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed. He has easily been their best driver in trucks, and it would make the most sense for him to get the promotion.

This week at Nashville, the driver that I have winning is Alex Bowman. Now while this is a brand new racetrack and he has a grand total of zero starts here, this track suits his driving style perfectly. With the inclusion of this track, there are now four tracks with a concrete surface. Nashville, Bristol, Dover and Martinsville. At the three of the tracks they have run at, he has shown a lot of speed, including a victory at Dover this season and a top ten finish at Bristol. This is also a track where crew-chief Greg Ives said Bowman has gravitated towards during testing. In an interview with Sirius XM Ives was quoted as saying "we used to have a lot of fun testing there," so this is clearly a track that they both enjoy going to. Another big factor going into Sunday will be just how fast these Hendrick Motorsports cars are, they have finished 1-2 over the last four points races. He has watched his teammates Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott have immense success, and now this week I think he is due for a third win of the season. Look for the bright purple #48 Chevy to go to victory lane this week at Nashville.

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