Thursday, September 30, 2010


"The reward of a thing well done is to have done it"

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nutrition Tip

Got an incurable sweet tooth? You can train your taste buds to crave less sugar by gradually decreasing the sweets you eat.

Human beings are remarkably adaptable creatures. We can adjust to just about anything life throws at us. The same goes for our food preferences. If you’ve never had a swig of soda in your life, you’d probably cringe at how sweet it is. Drink it every day and you’d barely notice it. If you have an insatiable sweet tooth and want to cut back, do it slowly with small, imperceptible changes. That way, your palate can have time to adjust to the new flavors. If you’re a cola fanatic, switch to seltzer and grape juice. Each week, increase the amount of seltzer and reduce the amount of juice until you’re just using a splash of grape juice. Instead of candy, dried fruits, like prunes, are a nutritious way of satisfying a sugar craving. If you need something crunchy, go for cinnamon- or chocolate-covered almonds.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Exercise Tip

Middle-aged people who are physically active during leisure time could be up to 52 percent less likely to develop dementia and up to 62 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s later in life than their sedentary counterparts, according to a recent study. To help reduce
risk, Alzheimer’s experts recommend engaging in moderate to vigorous exercise for 20-30 minutes, two to three times per week in combination with a healthful diet and regular social interaction.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wellness Tip

Take out your contact lenses before bed. Extended-wear lenses carry a greater risk of infection than daytime-only ones do.

If you wear contact lenses, give your eyes a rest by taking them out before you go to sleep. Keeping them in for long periods of time increases the risk of serious eye injury. According to a study in the Archives of Ophthalmology, one in 100 people who wear contacts will develop a serious eye infection over a 30-year period. A serious infection is defined as an infection involving the cornea of the eye that can result in loss of vision. The longer you’ve been wearing contact lenses, the greater your risk, say researchers. Single-use daily disposables are your best option for preventing infections. Other ways to reduce your risk: Wash your hands with soap and water before handling your lenses; replace your contact lens case every three to six months; and when cleaning your contacts, rub and rinse them, even if you’re using a no-rub solution.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Health Tip

Did you know that excessive alcohol intake can increase calcium loss from bones, making them weaker? One way that alcohol negatively affects bone health is by interfering with the balance of calcium and the production of vitamin D, both essential nutrients for healthy bones. In addition, alcohol can irritate the intestinal tract, aggravating conditions such as ulcers and heartburn. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Moderation is one or fewer drinks per day for women, two or fewer for men.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fitness Tip

Make your strength-training regimen work even harder. Post-workout stretching can help build muscle strength.

Adding a stretching routine to your workout may help build muscle faster. That’s according to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. In the study, all participants performed weight-resistance exercises three times a week. Half of them did two 30-minute stretching sessions a week, in addition to the strengthening routine. After eight weeks, those in the stretching group showed twice the improvement in muscle strength as those who did weight-resistance exercises alone. According to the study’s author, exercise physiologist Jason Winchester, Ph.D., stretching should always be done at the end of your workout, after you’re warmed up.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Health Tip

Keep your joints healthy by mixing up your workout routines and taking it easy if you’re in pain.

Being physically fit doesn’t protect us from joint injuries, according to the Cleveland Clinic’s chief wellness officer, Michael Roizen, M.D. Many professional athletes, from baseball players to bodybuilders, will suffer injuries or arthritis in their lifetime. To protect your joints, refrain from doing the same activity day in and day out. By varying your workouts, you can prevent overuse injuries, which can lead to arthritis. It will also help you avoid muscle imbalances, which can put extra strain on joints. Runners who don’t cross-train, for example, tend to have weak gluteus (butt) muscles. This can lead to increased pronation of the feet, which can affect the joints all the way from the feet to the hips. When doing strengthening exercises, don’t neglect a muscle group because you think it’s not important. Your whole body is working together to keep you stable and upright.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fitness Tip

Finding workouts that fit your personality can improve the odds that you will continue to exercise. If you're competitive, consider trying a team sport such as basketball. If you're playful or creative, try dancing. If you enjoy being alone, solo hikes, runs or bike rides may be your cup of tea. Whatever your personality, try to find activities that keep you motivated.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Health Tip

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), too much saturated fat can increase cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease. Foods high in saturated fat include whole milk and whole-milk dairy products, lard, coconut oil, palm oil, bacon, fatty cuts of beef, cream, and butter. The AHA recommends limiting saturated fat to less than 7 percent of your total daily calories. If you need 2000 calories per day to stay at a healthy weight, that means holding saturated fat to less than 16 grams per day. For comparison, one tablespoon of butter has 8 grams of saturated fat.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Health Tip

Did you know that prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the U.S., affecting one in six men! According to the American Cancer Society, age is the strongest risk factor for prostate cancer. In fact, more than 65 percent of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over age 65. Other important risk factors are family history and ethnicity. Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men than in men of other races. Talk to your doctor about your risk for prostate cancer.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fitness Tip

Brisk walking, jumping rope, dancing, lifting weights, and doing yoga are all examples of healthy physical activity.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Health Tip

How to protect your knees now to prevent problems later: Lose excess weight, choose low-impact workouts and strengthen your core.

By taking extra strain off your joints, you can reduce your risk of arthritis later in life. One of the best things you can do is lose any extra weight you might be carrying around. According to William Bryan, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at the Methodist Center for Sports Medicine in Houston, every step you take puts three times your body weight on your knee. Running applies five times your weight, while jumping applies a whopping seven times your weight onto your knees. That means a modest weight loss of 10 pounds could take 30 to 50 pounds of pressure off your knees when you walk or run. What’s more, research shows that losing weight may actually improve knee health, even if you already have arthritis. “If you are experiencing frequent knee pain, lifestyle changes might be in order,” Dr. Bryan said in a news release from the Methodist Center for Sports Medicine. Weak core muscles — that is, your abdominals, back, glutes and pelvis — can also contribute to knee issues. By strengthening them, you can improve balance and stability during everyday activities.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Health Tip

Nine percent, or 2.4 million, of U.S. children ages 8-15 meet the criteria for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD). AD/HD is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often persists into adulthood. It is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. It is a chronic disorder that can negatively impair many aspects of daily life, including home, school, work, and interpersonal relationships. To learn more, visit the National Resource Center on AD/HD at

Monday, September 13, 2010


"The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority"

Harry S. Truman

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fitness Tip

The use of stability balls can provide an inexpensive, lightweight and fun means of improving core muscles and balance. Stability balls range from small to extra, extra large. Choose a ball size that allows you to sit on it with an upright posture and keep your hips and knees at 90 degrees based on your height and leg length. It is important to follow a proper exercise progression to reduce your risk of injury and gain optimal training benefits. Consult an exercise specialist for proper training guidelines.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Food Tip

Why you might want to pass on the organic cookies: People eat more junk food when it’s labeled as organic.

If they’re organic, they can’t be bad for you, right? Wrong. A study at the University of Michigan shows that people often believe that organic snack foods have fewer calories and are okay to eat more often. However, just because a bag of sweet potato chips or cream-filled cookies is organic does not mean it’s better for you. They often contain just as many calories and grams of fat as their conventional nonorganic counterparts. As with any snack food, eat them sparingly when you’re craving a special treat. Or better yet, skip the processed food and go straight for the organic apples or veggies for a healthier, satisfying snack.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Food Tip

Broccoli, which is low in calories but rich in nutrients like dietary fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C, is a nutrition powerhouse! Choose bunches that are dark green. Good color indicates high-nutrient value. Florets that are dark green, purplish, or bluish green contain more beta-carotene and vitamin C than paler or yellowing ones. Choose bunches with stalks that are very firm. Add to your next salad, pizza, lasagna, pasta dish, omelet, stir-fry, soup or casserole.

Fitness Tip

Many adults complain about lower-back pain. One cause is tight hamstring muscles. Here’s a safe, simple way to stretch them. Sit tall on the floor with legs extended in front of you, feet neutral. Keeping your chest open and back long, lean forward from your hips and slide your hands toward your ankles until you feel slight tension in
the back of your legs. For additional assistance, loop a towel around your feet and pull yourself toward your ankles. Avoid rounding your back or locking your knees. Hold stretch for 15-30 seconds and repeat four to five times, three days per week.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fitness Tip


Exercising outdoors when air pollution is high can be hard on your lungs and heart. Watch the weather reports. When air quality is poor, opt for indoor gyms or malls. This remains true, even for moderate exercise such as brisk walking. If you must exercise outdoors during high-pollutant days, exercise in the early morning or in the evening.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Food Tip


Did you know that the average American eats close to six meals or snacks outside of the home each week? And nearly three-quarters of total restaurant visits are at fast-food and other chain restaurants. Experts believe that more “away from home” eating can contribute to excess weight. People generally underestimate calories when eating out, particularly high-calorie foods. With fast-food eating, the key is to make infrequent stops and healthier choices, such as a side salad with low-fat dressing, grilled items, and water or unsweetened tea.

Wellness Tip


Strains and sprains are among the most common injuries during exercise and sports. A strain involves a tear or rupture in the muscle fibers. A sprain involves the stretching or tearing of connective tissue, such as the ligaments surrounding a joint. If you injure yourself while exercising, stop and seek treatment. Far too often people ignore initial pain, swelling or discoloration. This can lead to worse problems and longer recovery times. To reduce exercise-related injuries, warm up and cool down properly, and above all, listen to your body!