Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How to Stay Fit and Trim During the Holiday Season

The holiday season has started and the waistband on your favorite pair of slacks isn’t infinitely adjustable. You don’t have to limit yourself to drinking water and munching on celery sticks while everyone else is diving into the crab dip. With a little strategic planning, your slacks will still fit on New Year’s Day.

You have to be a little sneaky with your body at this time of year. The winter solstice means there are fewer hours of daylight and you may be tempted to skimp on exercise. Exercise is your friend. It keeps your metabolism working at a quicker pace while working off stress. Keeping your holiday stress under control also keeps your appetite in line.

No time for the gym? You’ve probably heard about parking your car on the far side of the parking lot at work and walking a few more steps. Pack your lunch in an insulated bag or cooler and leave it in your car. Walking out to the car at lunchtime uses up a few extra calories and gives you a chance to unwind.

You can use this same strategy when you’re doing your holiday shopping. Opt for a visit to a retailer’s brick and mortar location rather than doing all your shopping online. Look for a parking space near the entrance at one end of the mall. Walk to the farther end and shop back toward your car. Put those purchases in your trunk and make another trip if required.

Eating something before going to a holiday party takes the edge off your hunger and boosts your blood sugar. Keep a pack of crackers or peanuts in your desk drawer to nibble during the afternoon before a party. Your blood sugar level stays nice and steady and you won’t be starving when the spinach dip and croustades call your name from the buffet table.

Central heating dehydrates your body, so drinking lots of liquids is always a good thing. A glass of water also eliminates space otherwise reserved for crackers piled with cream cheese. Alternate a glass of water garnished with a slice of lemon with your favorite alcohol-spiked drink. You’ll be consuming fewer empty calories and drinking responsibly at the same time.

Give yourself a little reward for being so good or compensate for being not so good. A cup of hot chocolate made from this easy do-it-yourself mix soothes your frazzled nerves.

Not-So-Guilty-Pleasure Hot Cocoa Mix
1 cup nonfat powdered milk
1 cup nonfat dairy creamer powder
1 cup Splenda
½ cup cocoa powder
Mix ingredients well and store in a jar. Add about four or five tablespoons to a mug of hot water and stir.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fight Cancer by Choosing Organic Foods

Cancer is a growth in our bodies of cells that don’t contribute to our well being and shorten our life span. For example, those who are diagnosed with terminal cancers have a life expectancy of four months to a year and a half.
However, cancer is not a hopeless condition. Whether you are fighting breast cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer or any other type, in the battle to be well, food matters. Some foods strengthen the immune system and improve your disease fighting ability. Other foods, including processed foods, are best avoided.

Does eating locally grown food help cancer a patient? It seems to help everyone with physical and emotional problems. Integrating into your surroundings or “being in the present,” is part of the health cycle, and consuming locally grown food is a part of that process.

diet that focuses on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, less meat and uses unsaturated fats helps fight cancer. Proper choice of foods can increase your antioxidants. Colorful foods are high in phytochemicals, which are fighters and boosts the immune system. Tasty, strong flavored spices like garlic, curry powder and basil have cancer-fighting nutrients. Meats lack fiber, and fiber helps keep the digestive system healthy.

Organic farming means the food is not exposed to fertilizers such as raw manure, and livestock is not fed plastic pellets, animal byproducts or formulas that contain urea or manure. Generally, herbicides and pesticides can stay in the environment and in our bodies for a long time, so they are not used.

Farming organically creates a natural magnet for wildlife, insects and birds. Proper soil conservation practices can prevent erosion. Food grown locally means the distance between where the food was grown and your dinner table is not far, so the effects of packing materials on the food is minimal. A wider variety of foods can be grown because the farmer is not limited to varieties that have a long shelf life.

All this adds up to foods that are fresh, tastes great, and contain high levels of nutrients, such as Vitamin C. Phosphorus; iron and magnesium levels are higher. Cows milk has elevated amounts of conjugated linoleum acids, a link in cancer prevention.

There is a connection between diet and cancer. If you’re close enough, buy your
foods directly from the farm. Get to know the farmer and eat foods that are in season. You can also search out farmer’s markets, or stores that offer locally grown foods. Read labels to find out where the food originated and what is in it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Weight Management

The burning question on many people’s minds is this, “How can I control my weight?” Below, we’ll take a look at some of the facts associated with weight management and, more importantly, what you can do to control your weight.
Let’s be honest. In today’s age, it’s easier to gain weight than ever before. We need look no further than the sheer percentages of overweight and obese individuals in the United States. Why is this so? Why are we now so much more likely to gain weight? More importantly, what can we do to counter it?
Think about the last time you went to your favorite restaurant. Did the amount of food you were served resemble the size of a plate you’d prepare at home? Or did it look more like a “who can eat the most” competition? Portion sizes have become progressively larger in recent years. Perhaps this is due to a common misconception that more is better, or maybe it’s due to restaurants competing for customers.What this creates is a tendency to overeat and to get accustomed to these large serving sizes.
So how do you clean your plate (like our parents taught us) and still maintain a healthy weight? The answer is simple…limit the amount of food on your plate. Try ordering the lunch-sized portion of the meal if it’s offered. You could also split a meal with your date. The goal is to try and keep the amount of food on your plate to a normal-sized portion.
Adding to the obesity epidemic is the ease with which we can go and grab something quick. There seems to be a fast food restaurant on every corner. These meals are ready-to-eat, typically high in saturated fats, and usually lacking in nutrient density. It’s hard in such a fast paced society to take time out to eat healthy. It usually requires some willpower and a little extra time. One way to ensure you control what you eat is to regularly carry healthy snacks with. When you get the urge to throw down a burger and some french fries, opt for a healthy snack instead.
Another problem today is our lack of physical activity. Things are constantly getting easier. When was the last time you got up to change the channel? We take the elevator or escalator instead of the stairs. We park as close as we can to entrance of the grocery store. Even in the office, we opt for a phone call or email instead of the one-minute walk to our co-worker’s space. And the busier we get, the less time we make for working out. This requires a conscious effort to ensure we set time aside for physical activity. Make the decision to do a little more physical activity instead of a little less.
Finally, most people simply aren’t aware of the negative effects of many foods. Advertisements for unhealthy snacks and foods are abundant, but nutrition education is lacking. Seek credible sources of health and fitness information like Jackie’s Arc and TD Fitness.
It can be difficult to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, but small changes can help you make the transition. Your body is the machine you use the most. Do all you can to take care of it and it will take care of you!

About the Author: Terence Taylor is an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, founder and owner of TD Fitness. Follow him and TD Fitness on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Celebrating Women's Health And Fitness Day

Are you ready to celebrate health and fitness? Then get ready to kick off the annual fitness day on the last Wednesday in September. Each year 100,000 women celebrate the annual fitness day. It is hosted in 1,400 different locations worldwide. This year it will be held on Wednesday, September 29th, 2011. The date marks the 10th celebration that has been held for the fitness event. Many different people get involved for the event, and enjoy actively working out to celebrate the annual fitness day. 


This will be the 10th year that the event is held. In the year 2010, the event was held on September 24th. The event was created to help individuals celebrate fitness and learn more about it. It is also designed to help educate people about public health risks and help promote health campaigns and other events. It’s great for those who are interested in learning about fitness and those who would like to celebrate it.

Leading a Healthy Lifestyle

There are many great ways that you can lead a healthy lifestyle today. Exercise, fitness, and other activities all play an important role in a healthy lifestyle. Actively choosing healthy dietary foods is a great way for people to stay healthy. To actively live a healthy lifestyle, know that moderation is the key. Take the time to practice proper moderation in meals and exercise well. Following these two simple tricks can help reduce or even reverse many common health problems. If you're looking for more advice on living a healthy, active lifestyle, be sure to ask your doctor. They can provide you with the best sort of information.

Celebrating The Event

There are many great ways you can celebrate the event. You can take the day off work, and partake in the many different festivities in your town. You can become one of the sponsors for the event to help the event carry on its tradition. When you're looking for information about the event, make sure to search for specific information that is going on in your town. If your town isn't one of the 1,400 locations scattered across the United States that is involved with the women's fitness day, why not start a fitness group in your area? You can make a difference and get fit all at the same time.

Learn more about celebrating this great fitness event today, and bookmark your calendar for this years' event.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Calcium Guidelines

I wanted to share with you all this great article by my friend Greg, he runs Gregorygrovespt.com!

Here’s a good guide line for calcium, if you’re looking to avoid dairy. Remember that this is just a suggestion. You should always consult with a nutritional expert first!
Calcium tablets are good for supplementing your foods, but only if you’re taking them with the foods they’re meant to supplement. Here's some good ways to make sure that you’re choosing the right brand for you: put one tablet in a cup of warm water for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. See how long it takes to dissolve. If it doesn’t dissolve well, or not at all, then it's probably not a good brand. Your best bets are usually chewable or liquid form; they automatically dissolve. Buy a brand that doesn’t exceed 500 mg's; making sure it doesn’t come from oyster shell or bone meal. Make sure the brand you chose is also a purified brand. Also make sure they don’t cause gas or constipation. If they do, they’re not right for you! Remember: you get what you pay for!
When taking calcium supplements, remember you need to take vitamin D as well (the sun vitamin!). This is especially important for women, because women are at a higher risk of bone density diseases (Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, etc) then men are. With vitamin D, take between 1000 IU's to 1200 IU's per day (closer to 1200 during fall/winter months, as your vitamin D levels tend to be lower). That's usually more than enough. Consult a nutritional specialist to see what’s best for you.
Here's some that are great sources of calcium.
Chose 2 to 4 per each meal, remembering you shouldn’t consume more than 500 mg's per meal. As a rule of thumb: your body can't process or digest more than 500 mg's at a time, so till go to waste, and even make u feel sick.
-One portion of Atlantic sardines: 325 mg's. I know: sardines are nasty, but the soft bones in sardines are an excellent source of calcium. Make sure they’re unsalted/unseasoned, preferably backed in fresh water.
-One cup of fortified soy milk: 200 mg's (this is one of Olivia's favourite ways to get calcium, lol)
-One orange, or one glass of unsweetened orange juice: 48 mg's (my favourite way)
-One cup raw broccoli: 43 mg's
-One cup raw kale: 90 mg's (a little bitter tasting, but great when mixed in salads!)
-Three ounces Atlantic salmon, mackerel, or tuna (be careful with tuna though; there's always the scare of mercury!): all have MORE vitamin D than one cup of milk.
Other foods such as almonds, or almond based products, and whole grain breads and cereals are usually great sources of calcium as well.
Whey proteins and creatine can be horrible ideas for most people. Our bodies usually generate enough creatine through natural foods as it is, and too much can be damaging to your liver, stomach, and your digestive system. And whey protein is dairy based, which on its own can be a bad idea if you’re lactose intolerant. Another issue with whey proteins is usually cholesterol, fat, and sugar. If you insist on using whey based products, I recommend an isolate based brand. I’m not going to go into too much detail here, only because this blog is more about calcium, not protein.

By: Gregory Groves

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Eating Healthy While Battling Cancer

Fighting any cancer proves to be a challenge that requires a person's full energy. If that individual is not eating right and not getting enough nutrients, he or she may lose their battle. In fact, eating right and getting a day's full amount of nutritional elements can improve ones life expectancy. Along with the medical treatments the patient is receiving from his or her doctors, a healthy diet sustains the patient's body and gives that person's immune system extra nutrients it needs to fight the cancerous cells.

In fact, many chemo patients feel drained of energy. This is because chemotherapy drains the body of iron. Iron works in the body to facilitate oxygenation of the body's muscles and tissues. Oxygen molecules bind themselves to iron molecules as iron travels throughout the body. A person with enough iron in his or her body has enough energy to carry out daily activities. Those without enough iron often feel tired and cannot carry out a day's routine. The medical condition for not having enough iron in the blood is known as anemia.

To combat anemia, physicians often recommend that patients eat a diet that is high in protein, particularly red meat. Red meat contains vast amounts of iron that can then be digested and used by the person's body. Most doctors recommend that people receiving treatment for cancer eat at least two meals that include red meat dishes. Popular protein dishes include steaks, hamburgers, stews, and even ethnic foods like tacos or enchiladas.

Protein and iron can also be found in foods like eggs and nuts. In fact, dieticians who help anemic patients strongly urge that they include peanut butter in their diets. Eating peanut butter can be as easy as making cookies out of the snack food, eating it on bagels or celery, or making sandwiches with peanut butter. Eggs also provide needed protein. Cancer patients can enjoy dishes like omelets, scrambled eggs, egg sandwiches, egg salad, or eggs Benedict to get their required iron intake for a single day.

As tempting as some of these dishes may seem to healthy people, cancer patients often do not have the appetite to eat regular meals. Chemotherapy makes people sick to their stomachs and leaves them without a desire to eat. As such, they must force themselves sometimes to sit down and take a meal. Family and friends prove to be vital in this battle. Doctors ask that friends and family members remind patients to eat, even if only a little bit at a time. Eating a healthy diet helps patients recover.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Runner's Prevention Exercises

Guest Post by: Petra Lusche

You're running, everything feels great- the wind is in your hair, you're in your stride, and you're just in the mood to run- when, it hits you. Grinding pain in your knee joint, a common effect of Iliotibial Band Syndrome, or Runners Knee.

Runner's experience a wide-range of aches a pains, more so then other athletes. The main cause of this is due to the fact that recreational runner's are unique in being really the only athlete who doesn't cross train, specifically in the weight room. A misconception is that, since running is a muscle-degenerative exercise, building muscle in other areas can only lessen the stride. This is not so. Strength training can not only generate more force in your stride, but also can prevent common runner's injuries such as runners knee, shin splints, and ankle sprains. Below are a few exercises that can help make runner's less susceptible to these injuries during their run:

Runner's Knee//
Symptoms/     Pain on the outside of the knee , and tightness in the iliotibial band. This pain normally follows running, particularly when one runs downhill. There is also pain during flexion or extension of the knee, made worse by pressing in at the side of the knee over the sore part. Commonly, there is also weakness in the hip- usually not detected-and tender trigger points in the gluteal area.
Exercises/ The Skater, Leg Cable Abduction, Wall Sits with Squeeze

The Skater/
Equipment/ Cable or Resistance Band
Execution/ Attach right foot to the either the cable or resistance band. Stand on the left leg, body pointed toward the machine, with right foot extended behind you. The movement is a smooth one from right extended backward extension, to a right forward bended knee with a hold of 2-3 seconds, then return back to start. For extra balance, hold on to the cable machine, if necessary. Do 10 times each leg.

Leg Cable Abduction/
Equipment/ Cable or Resistance Band
Execution/ Stand so that you are perpendicular to resistance, outside leg attached to the cable/resistance band. Place hands on waist. Allow the hip attached to the cable to be slightly elevated, and move your leg outward to the side, your foot moving directly away from your body. Hold for 2-3 seconds, and return to beginning. Do 10 times each leg.

Wall Sits with Squeeze/
Equipment/ Wall, and either a towel or Bosu Ball between knees
Execution/ Place back against wall, feet directly under hips and hands on wall for balance with ball/towel in hand. Drop down, like your sitting in a chair, and place ball/towel between knees. Pulse your knees, holding the sitting position, for 20-30 seconds, working your way up to 1 minute. Repeat 4 times.

Shin Splint//
Symptoms/  Involves the tearing away of the muscle tissue that attaches to the front of the lower leg.  The runner that resumes training after a long lay off are most susceptible to this injury.  The connective sheath attached to the muscles and bone of the lower leg become irritated, resulting in a razor-sharp pain in the lower leg along the inside of the tibia or shin bone.  Shin splints can be felt anywhere from just below the knee down to the ankle.  The pain may diminish after warming up but then returns a few minutes after the completion of a workout. Happens when running in uneven terrain, bad shoes, and excessive uphill running.
Exercises/ Calf Raises

Calf Raises/
Equipment/ Stairstep
Execution/ Stand on stair step, heels hanging over side, knees below hips, spine straight. Raise legs into an extended position on toes. Hold for 10-12 seconds. Release. Repeat 12 times.

Ankle Sprains/
Symptoms/ Swelling of the ankle. Also, there is a pain in the ankle area, or the nerves are more sensitive. The joints hurt/may throb. The pain can worsen with pressure, or during walking, running, or standing. It is also not uncommon to see a bit of redness in the area.
Exercises/ Ankle Inversion/Eversion

Ankle Inversion/Eversion
Equipment/ chair
Execution/ Sit up straight with your back against a wall and your feet out in front of you with your knees straight. Slowly turn your left foot inward and hold this position for 6 seconds. Reverse the opposite direction, and hold for 6 seconds. Do this exercise, each way, about 8 times. Repeat on other foot.

As always, the best treatment is prevention, so work these into your pre-running workout, and hopefully you will avoid some of these painful injuries associated with running. Remember! Always make sure you warm up, wear proper shoes, and, if the pain persists/is severe, that you talk to your doctor.

About the author: Petra Lusche is a Health Coach/Personal Trainer from Oklahoma City, OK. She has her Personal Training Certification through NASM, and is working toward her Master's in Dietetics. As a major health nut, she has a through knowledge in health, nutrition, and has been an avid runner for years. For more information and tips, visit her website at http://www.happilives.com/.