3 Shortcuts to Exercise Success

10/04/2011

from the Healthy Living area

Are you losing interest in physical activity because you’re not seeing quick results from your efforts?

While there are no magic pills for becoming more fit (and staying that way), some exercises are more effective in less time than others. Check out these three ideas for burning more calories and strengthening muscles faster:

  1. Switch back and forth: It’s called interval training, and it boosts your results by stepping up the intensity or duration of your activity, on and off, throughout your workout. Interval training works like this: Instead of walking for 10 minutes at your usual pace, start by walking at your normal exercise pace for the first two minutes, then increase your speed for the next two minutes, followed by two minutes of your usual pace, and so on. Adapt this system for any length walk. The interval time may vary as well. Your body goes into “active recovery” during the lower speed segments, so you can continue exercising with less risk of injury, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Yet you gain quicker benefits from the higher intensity intervals.
  2. Squat: Pear-shape alert!You’ll strengthen more muscles at one time by doing squats. This exercise works the major muscles in your lower body—the gluteals, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. When asked to list the most effective exercises, the majority of 17,000 ACE-certified fitness professionals put squats at number one. Make sure your form is correct: with feet at shoulder-width and back straight, bend your knees as you lower your bottom. Don’t let your knees move out over your ankles. If you are doing squats with weights on a barbell (which increases intensity), be sure to have a spotter or trainer check your form.
  3. Rev your engine: All activities are not created equal. For a 135-pound woman, 30 minutes of brisk walking burns 130 calories. In that same 30 minutes, you can lose 258 calories with freestyle swimming or 322 calories by running at a 6 mph pace. Include higher calorie-burning exercises in your activities to boost speedy results.

For more information on the health topics mentioned in this article visit the HealthyWomen.org areas below.

Fitness: www.healthywomen.org/ages-and-stages/healthy-living/fitness

Diet and Fitness Health Center: www.healthywomen.org/condition/stress

Weight Management: www.healthywomen.org/condition/weight-management

© 2011 HealthyWomen All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from HealthyWomen. 1-877-986-9472 (toll-free). On the Web at: www.HealthyWomen.org.

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De-Stress Your Environment

09/26/2011

from the Healthy Living area

by Pamela M. Peeke, MD, MPH

It’s usually easy to tune out the minor irritants our work and home environments throw our way. Most irritants aren’t major health risks. But, watch out. When minor environmental irritants turn toxic, your surroundings can make you more vulnerable to chronic stress.

Take a minute now to look around the room you are sitting in. Use all your senses to detect any of these common environmental stressors:

  • Clutter
  • Too much noise
  • Unpleasant odors
  • Uncomfortable furniture
  • Bad lighting
  • Poor ventilation

How many have you identified?

Now, look around for things you easily can change and do so.

Many of us can’t make significant changes in our surroundings, particularly at work. So, we need to use our stress-solving skills to buffer ourselves against toxic environmental stress.

Try these problem-solving suggestions for the following environmental stressors:

Climate Control-Your Office or Theirs?
If you have a client or co-worker who loves extreme temperatures -either freezing or tropical — that interfere with your productivity or attention span, suggest that you have meetings in your office.

Scent-sational?
If someone in the office consistently comes to work bathed in the latest perfume, anonymously suggest to the office manager that you adopt a “scent free” office (we have this policy and it works well).

Clutter Control
You are sure to feel overwhelmed if your surroundings are cluttered. To combat clutter, keep only your current project materials in view. You will feel more confident and be better able to concentrate.

Re-Arrange Stress
Consider rearranging the furniture so that you face away from the line of sight, if you work in an office cubicle. With your desk turned around you have more control over when people can catch your eye. Your co-workers may be less likely to needlessly interrupt you.

Ear Protection, Please
Bring earplugs to work, if your office is noisy, or try to escape to an empty conference room for a temporary “noise break.”

When de-stressing your surroundings, you can’t address all the stressors at one time. Carry a notebook with you and write down environmental sources of stress when you notice them. Just having that list will empower you. You might even enlist significant others in your life to help trouble shoot solutions with you.

Here are more stress-busting ideas to use to de-stress your environment:

  • In the office, take breaks to look out the window. Don’t have one nearby? Take a break once an hour, find a window and look outside. Focusing your eyes at a distant view will cause your eye muscle to relax. Looking at nature also has a proven calming effect.
  • At home and work, use calming pictures and muted pastel colors to soothe you.
  • Play soft music in the background — whatever you like. It’s quite calming and can act as “white noise” to neutralize toxic noises in your environment.
  • Personalize your office space with family photos and pictures of pets and favorite vacation spots. Look at them often.
  • Combat clutter. At home, if you haven’t used something within the past year consider tossing, selling or giving it away.
  • At home, impose a TV-time limit on yourself (and others). TVs in the living room are the ultimate noise pollution. Try moving the TV to a new location where you don’t see (and turn it on) so readily. Definitely get the TV out of the bedroom – watching TV in bed can interfere with your sleep patterns and cause you to develop sleep-related problems.
  • Decorate with soothing objects to look at — things that give you pleasure to see every day. These things are important to have in your living and working space.

Choose low-end ways to de-stress your surroundings if high-priced solutions are out of reach. If that $500 ergonomically correct chair isn’t realistic, what about a beautiful $10 pillow to sit up against? Or, a small stool to support your feet and ease your lower back? Do you have a comforting screen-saver? A beach view or the universe works nicely.

Be creative! See if you can make your surroundings a bit less stressful today.

For more information on the health topics mentioned in this article visit the HealthyWomen.org areas below.

Managing Stress: www.healthywomen.org/ages-and-stages/healthy-living/managing-stress

Stress: www.healthywomen.org/condition/stress

Anxiety and Depression Center: www.healthywomen.org/healthcenter/anxiety-and-depression

Mental Health Center: www.healthywomen.org/healthcenter/mental-health

© 2011 HealthyWomen All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from HealthyWomen. 1-877-986-9472 (toll-free). On the Web at: www.HealthyWomen.org.


Healthy Teeth Can Mean a Healthy Heart

06/11/2010

 

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal was conducted on almost 12,000 adults in Scotland and found that people with poor oral hygiene had a 70% higher risk of developing heart disease as compared to those who had healthy gums and brushed twice daily.

Gum disease causes and increase in inflammation within the body which can lead to an increased risk of developing heart disease.  Smokers have a 135% increased risk of heart disease as compared with the 70% increased risk with gum disease.  Although the amount of people having serious heart problems during the study was low, 555 out of 11,869 people, the effect of brushing your teeth regularly was significant.  So while other risk factors like smoking and high cholesterol are more serious, gum disease can indicate an added risk.

Blood tests drawn on people with poor dental hygiene exhibited elevations in two markers of inflammation, c-reactive protein and fibrinogen.

Once again, a very simple lifestyle change can dramatically decrease the chance of developing heart disease. So, make sure you are brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist twice a year!!

 Visit www.heart-strong.com for valuable information about keeping your heart healthy!


“Good morning, it’s your healthy wake-up call!”

06/06/2010

Why not join us for a cup of java or cup of tea (both are healthy drinks which we will discuss) and listen to a free health seminar.

“Good morning, it’s your healthy wake-up call!”

Board Certified Nurse Practioners and authors Margie Latrella and Carolyn Strimike will discuss simple steps you can take to improve your general health and lower your risk for heart attack, stroke and diabetes.  One person dies every minute of every day from heart disease!!  Don’t be the next one!

About 80% of heart attacks and strokes are PREVENTABLE by making simple lifestyle changes.  Come and learn what they are!

The discussion will be held at the Fine Grind at 101 Newark-Pompton Turnpike, Little Falls on June 23, 2010 at 9:30am

Our two books will also be on sale at the event.  Hope to see you there!


Health benefits Associated with Whole Grains

06/04/2010

Below are Some of the Key Highlights from Putting the Whole Grain Puzzle Together: Health benefits Associated with Whole Grains:

 

Whole Grain Dietary Intake (presented by Dr. Lisa Harnack, University of Minnesota): Despite the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations that individuals consume at least 3 servings of whole grains daily, most Americans are getting less than 1 serving of whole grains. There is an ongoing need to improve access to whole grain foods to improve whole grain consumption and to better communicate their health benefits.

Whole Grains and Weight Management (presented by Dr. Nicola McKeown, USDA-Tufts University): Diets high in whole grains have been associated with lower body weight, BMI, abdominal fat, smaller waist circumference, less weight and abdominal fat gains. Possible ways in which whole grains may play a role in weight management include: satiety effects, regulation of gut hormones and appetite, influence on glucose and insulin metabolism, modulation of gut microbiota thereby influencing energy homeostasis. Substituting whole grain foods for refined grain foods can help lower energy density, improve carbohydrate quality, increase dietary fiber and whole grain phytonutrient intake, which can play a role in body weight management.

Whole Grains and Heart Disease (presented by Dr. Chris Seal, University of Newcastle): Observational studies have consistently demonstrated the association between high whole grain intake and reduced risk of heart disease. Proposed mechanisms of action include: changes in blood lipid profiles, body weight control, improvement in vascular function, blood pressure and insulin sensitivity, changes in inflammatory status.

Whole Grains and Diabetes (presented by Dr. Simin Liu, UCLA): Observational studies have consistently demonstrated the association between high whole grain intake and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Increasing intake of refined foods that contain rapidly available carbohydrates can influence metabolic responses and increase risk of type 2 diabetes.

If you’re looking for whole grain education resources, please visit www.bellinstitute.com/wholegrain

If you are looking for more heart healthy info please visit www.heart-strong.com


Women and Heart Disease Across the Lifespan Part 1 (Young Women)

05/26/2010
This is the first of a three part series titled “Women and Heart Disease across the Lifespan.”  On this show we will concentrate on heart conditions that are more likely to affect young women. We will discuss the following conditions: palpitations, tachycardia, pericarditis, conditions that may occur during pregnancy, and premature heart disease.


May is National Salad Month

05/17/2010

 Well I have to admit this is the first time I ever heard of “salad month” – seems like everyone and everything has a month these days.  I am a fan of the salad so I figured why not write a short post to help celebrate National Salad Month.

Not all salads are created equal. Choose lettuces that are darker in color than ordinary iceberg lettuce. Romaine, Boston, baby spinach and other leafy greens can give a salad a nutrient boost as well as variety.

Be careful about salad dressings, though. Some dressings can pack a calorie and fat gram wallop. Choose lower fat and lower sodium dressings, or use a sprinkle of good olive oil and vinegar. Even simple lemon slices squeezed over a fresh salad can give it a special twist, as well as the extra nutritional boost that a quick shot of vitamin C can give you.

So why not join us and celebrate National Salad Month, here are a few healthy salad recipes to try…

White Bean Salad

Serves 7
Serving Size:  1/2 cup

1-15 oz can navy or cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz Red Bell Pepper, diced
2 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp Scallions, sliced
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Clove Garlic, minced
Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together.  For the best flavor, let salad sit in refrigerator for an hour.

Calories:  77
Fat:  0.3g

Grilled Asparagus & Sweet Pepper Salad

Servings – (4)

Ingredients
1 pound of fresh asparagus spears
1 medium orange bell pepper
1 small or medium red onion
1 lemon
1 lime
1 orange
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons of dijon mustard

Method:

·         preheat grill to 375 degrees

·         prepare vegetables for grilling by trimming off rough ends of asparagus, cutting the pepper in half and removing the seeds, and slicing the onion.

·         grill asparagus for only 2 or three minutes. (you still want it crunchy).continue grilling the onion and the pepper until they are flavored but still crunchy. place in refrigerator to cool down.

·         zest the lemon, lime, and orange and set aside.

·         squeeze juice from the lemon, lime, and orange and set aside.

·         combine vinegar , dijon mustard, salt, pepper, citrus juices.

·         chop the onion and pepper then cut the asparagus into thirds.

·         combine dijon vinaigrette, citrus zest, and vegetables, then toss until evenly coated.

64.25 Calories
3.18 grams Protein
.78 grams Fat

Egg Salad

Ingredients

8 ounces Egg Beaters
2 ounces Fat Free Mayonnaise
1/8 tsp White Pepper
½ tsp Red Wine Vinegar

Method:

1.        Scramble egg beaters according to package directions

2.        Cool eggs for 30 minutes

3.        Combine egg beaters, FF Mayonnaise, white pepper, and red wine vinegar.

Yield: 5 – 2 ounce servings

Nutritional Information:

30 Kcalories
4 grams Protein
.06 grams Fat
2.75 grams Carbs:

Keeping your family happy and health is important, and at Wellspring, they make it easy to enjoy a delicious meal without the guilt!  This May for Salad month, try these healthy salads or visit the Wellspring website for more delicious recipes!

For more heart healthy info visit www.heart-strong.com