Technology Time-Out: Why You Need It

New Facebook profiles roll out today, and if previous changes are any indicator, it means there will be a lot of groaning and griping. Maybe this is a good weekend to take a break from not only Facebook, but from all your technological crutches.

Yes, that means email, too.

The rise of technology and the Internet is amazing in its ability to connect people around the globe to information and each other, but individuals who make the most of this access often face the adverse effects of overstimulation. We've already discussed the danger of "popcorn brain," but Internet addiction can also limit creativity and deep thought and lead to eyestrain, stress, and sleep deprivation.

The Healing Power of Your Pets

Dogs are known to be man’s best friend, and according to recent studies, they may just be man’s best workout partner, too.

People who own dogs are more likely to walk more, walk faster, and enjoy a more active lifestyle than people who don’t, experts say. The obligation to take the dog out no matter the weather, season, or temperature drives people to get moving when they might not otherwise: “When it’s dark, when it’s raining, the dog needs a walk, every day,” says animal behaviorist Dr. Sandra McCune. Among dog owners who regularly walk their four-legged friends, 60% meet the criteria for regular moderate or vigorous exercise and are far less likely to be obese.

As a key source of primary food, animal companionship has long been known to offer a wide variety of health benefits, largely because pets help people effectively manage stress. Study after study proves it: Owning a pet helped lower the blood pressure of stockbrokers who suffered from stress-related hypertension even better than medication did. Cat owners are one third less likely to have a heart attack. The CDC reports that pets can decrease both your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The benefits go far beyond the physical – pets also reinforce social bonds, stave off loneliness, and help fight depression. Animals don’t judge or ask questions; they simply offer a wordless, unconditional sense of comfort that makes people feel safe and loved. “When children are asked who they want to talk to when they get upset, a lot of times their first answer is their pet,” says Dr. James Griffin, an expert in child development at the National Institute of Health.

Announcing the Integrative Nutrition Scavenger Hunt

It’s officially the first day of the fall season. As you begin to wind down from your fun summer vacations, fall is a great time to focus on health and wellness, and enter a fun contest to win fantastic prizes! Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? But this one has a twist – it will be held virtually, via Twitter!

Who: All our @NutritionSchool Tweeps (our Twitter peeps) 

What: Integrative Nutrition Scavenger Hunt

When: October 3rd through October 30th, weekdays

Where:  #IINHunt

The Fall IINto Action Energy Lives On

Wow! It’s been a few days since our 2011 Fall IINto Action conference and we’re still buzzing with the amazing energy that we, and the 4,000 Health Coaches that joined us from around the world, experienced at the Jacob Javits Center over the weekend!

We had students from Israel, Canada, Mexico, England, France, Aruba, Lebanon, Dubai, South Africa, Iceland, Shanghai, Chile, Turkey, Sweden, and Argentina in attendance!

We heard some incredible speakers including Deepak Chopra, Mark Hyman, MD, Dr David Katz, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Sally Fallon and a surprise visit from Kathy Freston.

Integrative Nutrition Founder Joshua Rosenthal inspired our students and grads to spread health and happiness worldwide.

We’ve heard from many of you already, and the feedback so far has been overwhelming! It sounds like you were pretty IINspired this weekend.

Eating Clean and Living Well With Terry Walters

A common theme rings true among many health coaches, and that’s having pure love and passion for the work they do each day.  Institute for Integrative Nutrition graduate Terry Walters, who completed the Health Coach Training Program in 2000 and currently lives in Avon, CT, perfectly exemplifies this concept.  By embracing her own nutritious lifestyle, she leads by example in her role as a health counselor, published author and food educator.  Urging people to eat clean, one choice at a time, Terry shares her inspiring approach to finding nourishment and wellness through hands-on cooking classes, private health counseling and her two best selling, award-w

Jennifer Cassetta on Stilettos, Self-Defense, and Feeling Your Best

Jennifer Cassetta has one impressive resume: she is an IIN graduate and certified Health Coach, a clinical nutritionist with a Master’s of Science in Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, CT, a NASM certified personal trainer, and last but not least, a self-defense guru with a third-degree black belt in HapKiDo. After spending over six years in NYC building a successful business as a fitness and health coach, Jennifer took her skills and experience to the West Coast and moved to Los Angeles in 2009.

Jennifer has taken LA by storm with the mission to motivate, empower, and inspire people through fitness, healthy eating, and the art of self-defense. She has started her own "Health and the City" boot camps, created a DVD series called "Stillettos and Self Defense" and now works with private clients as a fitness and nutrition coach. Jennifer has been featured on E! TV, KCAL and KTLA news and has been featured in many publications including Women's Health Mangazine, Shape Magazine, and the Huffington Post. Read more about this successful graduate below!

What were you doing before Integrative Nutrition?

We Have Our Finalists!

Thank you so much to everyone who submitted! We loved looking through more than 200 photos of your vacations, adventures, and summer fun

It was a tough decision, but we finally narrowed the field to 12 contestants whose photos best captured our idea of a healthy summer. We hope you enjoy seeing the photos as much as we did!

We've included the 12 finalists' photos in the slideshow below, but for the larger version of the photos with captions, follow the link to our Finalist Page - then vote for your favorite at the bottom of this page!

Voting will be open until 12:00 am EST on September 7. After the winners are announced that afternoon, we'll publish all the submitted photos to our Flickr stream so you can enjoy everyone's photography skills!

Laurie Erdman Fights Chronic Disease with Chronic Wellness

When IIN graduate Laurie Erdman was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she decided not to let the disease get the best of her, her body, or her attitude. Practicing what she calls "radical self-care," Laurie is now symptom-free. As a Health Coach with her own company, Chronic Wellness Coaching, she shares her journey, her advice, and her lifestyle with others struggling with chronic conditions. Read more from this amazing 2011 graduate below!

What were you doing before Integrative Nutrition?

I was an attorney and business development professional for a public company in the online learning market. I loved my colleagues, but hated the stress of being at the beckon call of other's demands and goals. I always seemed to be looking for a something else, but never knew what I wanted to do when I grew up.

What led you to explore Integrative Nutrition's program?

When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009, I went to my shelves of nutrition books (it was always a hobby) and began researching. I changed my diet. I changed my approach to stress and whole outlook on life. The changes were profound. Within 6 months I was symptom-free (and continue so to this day. I also lost 40 pounds and tripled my energy. I knew I couldn't keep this a secret, so I started looking for a way to make this a career. Not having been impressed with nutritionists, I wanted to find something where I could really work with people, not just give prescriptions. I discovered the field of health coaching and then IIN.

Why exercise doesn’t have to be a marathon

Fitting in exercise can be a real chore. Between work, family time, errands, and social lives, there's often little time left over for sleep, let alone for the gym.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate activity every week. For some of us, that's almost hilariously impractical. If only there were 36 hours in everyday.

There's good news, though! According to a study reported on in TIME, even small amounts of exercise can improve heart health.

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