Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Stress

The holiday season should be a fun time, but for many, it can also be chaotic and stressful. One common response to stress is overeating. We often don’t even realize that we are doing it. If you find the demands of shopping, holiday parties and family obligations to be a little overwhelming, consider these stress-reducing tips:

1) Make a list and prioritize the important activities.

2) Be realistic about what you can and cannot do.

3) Make time for yourself to do things you truly enjoy!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Aerobic Activity Improves Sleep, Mood, And Vitality

Looking for a drug-free way to increase the number of zzz’s you get at night? Start pounding the pavement. In a recent small study of sedentary adults 55 and older with insomnia, those who embarked on a regular exercise program improved both their sleep quality and duration. Sleep problems increase with age, but sleep medication can pose risks for older adults. Seniors are more likely to be taking other drugs that could potentially interact with sleep medication. Seniors are also at greater risk of falling, so pills that cause grogginess or sedation can be particularly dangerous. Over the course of 16 weeks, the study’s participants exercised for 30 to 40 minutes four days per week. In addition to reporting better sleep, exercisers said they felt less depressed and more alert during the day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Evaluating Weight Loss Programs

Are you about to purchase a weight-loss product or service? If so, be sure to do your homework and ask plenty of questions! Be extra cautious when you see the words breakthrough, revolutionary, miraculous, effortless, quick, or secret. Safe and successful programs are based on regular physical activity and an eating plan that is balanced, healthy and easy to follow. Lasting weight loss requires permanent change. Be a savvy consumer and invest wisely in your health!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Eating Fruit In The Winter

Do you find it difficult to get a variety of fresh fruit in the
winter? If so, consider adding dried fruit to your diet as a healthy alternative. Like fresh fruit, dried fruit provides fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium and folate. Dried fruit does have more calories per serving, so watch your portions if you are trying to keep calories down. Try adding your favorite dried fruits to salads, breads and
cereal for added flavor and nutrition.


Source: American Dietetic Association

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Diabetes

More than 25 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes and 7 million people are unaware they have the disease. Type 2 diabetes is the most common and can go undiagnosed for years. Early detection of diabetes can decrease the chance of developing complications. Individuals should consult with their doctor if they have some or all
of the following symptoms: frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, increased fatigue, irritability and blurry vision.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Stretching

Starting with Stretches


Want to start your day off right? A stretch routine first thing in the morning is a great way to wake up your muscles and get your blood flowing.



While you may want to hit that snooze button over and over, a better way to start your day is with a few early morning stretches. Besides feeling good physically, stretching is mentally and physiologically beneficial as well. It improves your flexibility, circulation, coordination and balance, posture, and your mood.

With just 10 minutes of stretching added into your morning routine, you'll be prepared to face the day. Here are a few easy stretches to get you going.

Breathe Deeply

The simplest stretch to get started with is deep breathing. Sit up straight in a chair or even on the side of your bed. Rest your hands on your stomach and breathe in deeply. Exhale normally and notice the movement of your stomach. Repeat this exercise a few times, all the while breathing evenly, and progress slowly up to 12 repetitions.

Loosen Your Neck

Still sitting (or standing if you'd rather), keep your neck straight and move your head slowly forward as far as you can. Then slowly lean your head backward as far as you can. Repeat this movement a few times. Then smoothly and slowly roll your head in a circular motion. This will loosen up your neck muscles.

Relax Your Shoulders

Moving down your body, it's time to stretch your shoulders. After sleeping on your side, they may be especially tense. While sitting or standing in a balanced position, slowly and steadily lift your shoulders upward toward your ears, and lower them smoothly. Repeat several times. For another shoulder stretch, place your hands on your shoulders, move your elbows close together, and rotate your arms in a circle.

Stretch Your Sides

To stretch your side muscles, stand straight with your arms by your sides. Place your right hand behind your head and point your elbow out to your side. Bend your waist to the left, keeping your left arm straight, and reach down toward the floor. Hold this position for a couple seconds then stand up straight again. Repeat this stretch a few times and switch sides.

Loosen that Lower Back

This stretch will loosen your lower back and buttocks muscle. Lie on your back and bend your knees. Rest the ankle of your left leg on your right knee. Hold your right thigh and pull your leg toward your chest. You will feel a definite stretch. Hold this for a few seconds then relax. Repeat and hold for another 15–20 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

Stretch Your Hamstring

Another important muscle to stretch is your hamstring, which runs from your buttocks down to below your knee. While lying on the floor, take hold of the back of one thigh and pull your leg to a 90-degree position, keeping your leg as straight as possible. Hold for 20 seconds, slowly lower your leg back to the floor, switch legs, and repeat.

Help Your Hips

One last helpful stretch to get you going in the morning is the seated knee raise, also known as seated marching. When done right, it improves your hip stability and your range of motion. Sit up straight in a chair and lift and lower one knee at a time as if you are marching. Lift both legs at least 10 times.

One Size Does Not Fit All.

Not only are stretches important before you exercise, they are also beneficial to start your day off right. However, you shouldn't expect your stretch to look identical to someone else performing the same stretch. Adjust your stretches to meet your needs according to your age and level of fitness. If you've had injuries in the past, take precaution and check with your doctor before beginning any new routines.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Healthy Weight Loss

Experts agree that a diet containing very few calories can slow your metabolism. As a result, your body starts to burn fewer calories each day than might be expected, making weight loss harder and weight gain easier. Healthy weight loss is about making lifelong lifestyle changes by gradually altering your eating habits and getting more exercise. Not only will this approach help you lose weight safely, it is also easier to maintain simple lifestyle changes with better long-term results.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Not Enough Time To Exercise?

Is your schedule so full that it's hard to find time to work out? Here are six times to squeeze in some exercise.



You know exercise is vital to your health and well-being, and you've tried to fit it in. So why is it so difficult to make regular exercise a priority in your schedule? It probably has something to do with life. From work to kids to meals to errands to chores to sleep, fitting in anything else is virtually impossible.

But no matter how busy your life may be, you can find time to add more activity - if you're willing. Though a minimum of 30-minute increments of exercise are recommended, as little as 10 minutes can still make a difference. Squeeze in 10 minutes a day every day, and you'll rack up 300 minutes or five hours a month. How do you do it?

Fitting in Fitness at Home

Vacuuming, mopping, and scrubbing the bathroom. Like it or not, you probably spend time each week doing household chores. What great ways to be active! Instead of getting it over with as soon as possible, turn on your favorite dance tunes and work at a pace fast enough to get your heart rate up. Even while folding the laundry or making dinner you can stand on your tiptoes or do squats. And don't forget outdoor chores such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and gardening. These are excellent ways to burn extra calories all while doing normal activities around the house.

Lunch Break = Exercise Break

Tired of staring at the computer screen all day or dealing with cranky clients? Take a quick walk outside during lunch or other break times. If you'd like company, find a coworker to join you. Even better, if there is a gym near your workplace, use lunchtime to get in a quick workout. You'll return to work feeling energized to finish the day, unlike your coworkers who are ready to go to sleep.

Parking Lots and Elevators

Do you find yourself circling the parking lot to find the closest spot or standing in line waiting for a slow elevator? Turn these moments into exercise opportunities. Why not take the farthest parking spot and walking the distance to the door? You may actually end up saving time by walking instead of searching for a closer space. It's also a good idea to skip the elevator and use the stairs. You'll burn a few calories and don't have to worry about someone sneezing on you on the way up.

Get off the Couch

After a long day at work, relaxing on the couch and watching television or talking on the phone catching up with a friend is rather appealing. While it's fine to rest after a busy day, don't forget to take advantage of these exercise opportunities. Grab a couple canned goods out of the cabinet to use as hand weights. Sit on a stationary bike and pedal away while you watch your favorite sitcom or talk on the phone. Get on the floor and do some leg lifts, push-ups, sit- ups, stretches, or yoga positions. Also, get rid of the remote control. It'll force you to get off the couch to change the channel or better yet - it will make you want to turn off the television and get active.

Include the Kids

If you have children, you may find your time divided between taking care of kids and taking care of yourself. Why not do both at the same time? Involve your whole family in exercise. Get out and take a walk or ride bikes together after dinner. Instead of a family movie night, plan a trip to the zoo or go hiking in the mountains. Play a game of kickball or soccer together at a park. If possible, walk with your kids to school in the morning. Another fun activity is to take a fitness class along with your children. You may even want to join in their karate or tennis classes. Many gyms now offer "mommy and me" swim or exercise classes for mothers with new babies, so take advantage of them.

Be Social

The final way to add activity into your busy schedule is to include exercise in your social life. Join a dance club with a friend sign up for a softball team through the local recreation department. Not only is being part of a team a great way to stay committed and motivated to exercise, it is also a great way to have fun with friends.


Start Slow.

These five exercises are the most popular workouts for developing your lat muscles. As usual, if you've had previous back injuries or pain, be sure to check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. And to prevent injury and strain, start slowly and work your way up.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Are Calorie Counts On Menus Accurate?

Shocked by the staggeringly high calorie counts on the menu at your favorite restaurant? Then you’ll like this news even less: 20 percent of the menu items tested in a recent study contained significantly more calories than what was listed. On average, those foods — all of which fell into the low-calorie category — averaged 100 calories more than what the restaurants claimed, with one hiding an extra 1,000 calories in its dish. Researchers collected samples of 269 food items from national fast-food and sit-down chain restaurants, then compared their laboratory measurements with the restaurants’ stated calorie counts. Sit-down restaurants tended to be less accurate in their estimates, because the food is prepared and portioned out by workers, whereas fast-food joints measure their dishes mechanically at a factory. While 100 extra calories may not sound like much, that can add up to 10 pounds of weight gain over the course of a year. Since the average American eats 34 percent of their calories outside of the home, those unaccounted-for calories can add up quickly.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Slim Down To Increase Vitamin D

Lose weight to gain vitamin D. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, overweight or obese women with low vitamin D can bring their levels up significantly by dropping 15 percent of their body weight. Why should you care? Well, vitamin D may be something of a nutritional superhero. Not only is it crucial for healthy bones, it may also play a role in keeping illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers at bay. To say that it’s important to get adequate amounts for your health is an understatement. Unfortunately, vitamin D can be somewhat tough to come by, because it’s present in only a few foods, like fatty fish and fortified milk. People who are overweight or obese (that’s 64 percent of us!) appear to be even more likely than the rest of us to have less-than-optimal levels of the nutrient. Taking off weight the healthy way takes patience and persistence (along with good eating habits and daily exercise).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wine & Sleep

Don’t turn to wine to help you get your zzz’s. Drinking might make you drowsy, but it does nothing for your sleep quality. Alcohol disrupts deep sleep, meaning you’re less likely to sleep through the night. Women may be even more vulnerable than men to the negative effects of alcohol on sleep. Women who drank to intoxication were more likely to report fewer hours of sleep, worse sleep quality, more frequent awakenings and longer periods of being awake throughout the night. According to research, having more than two drinks can get in the way of a good night’s sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping through the night, skip the alcohol and institute a relaxing bedtime routine instead. Yoga, meditation, a warm bath or a good read can all help you wind down after a stressful day. Stress is often the root cause of intermittent forms of insomnia. If sleep problems persist, ask your doctor about other treatments for insomnia.

Monday, September 19, 2011

MAKING HEALTHY TREATS

Ice cream is loaded with fat, and sorbet is often full of sugar. Cool off with homemade frozen fruit pops instead. You can make your own by pureeing your favorite fruit combinations in a blender and freezing in ice pop molds or five-ounce waxed paper cups. If using cups, cover each one tightly with plastic wrap and then insert a Popsicle stick through the plastic (it’ll keep the stick centered). For extra-sweet treats, add white or purple grape juice to the pureed fruit, or if you like a creamy texture, add yogurt. It’s a fun and delicious way for kids to get a daily serving of fruit. Some of our favorite combos include: mango-banana-pineapple and watermelon-honeydew with lime and white grape juice.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Engaging In High Levels Of Activity Can Reduce Stress

How do you dispel nervous energy and anxiety? Sweat it out. A new study suggests that regular exercise can help dissolve panic in people who suffer from anxiety. Researchers found that when faced with an anxiety-provoking situation, people reacted with less fear and panic if they had been working out beforehand. If you have problems with public speaking, starting a vigorous exercise program may help alleviate some of your symptoms. Even if you don’t have anxiety, regular physical activity offers a host of emotional benefits. It can help boost mood in people with and without depression. Past research has shown that people who scored highest in negativity experienced the most profound benefits, meaning those with the most emotional difficulties may get the biggest boost from their workouts.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Do A Good Deed

Doing a good deed — or just picturing yourself performing one — may increase your physical and emotional stamina. A study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that even the thought of helping others led to increased willpower and physical endurance. According to the researchers, we regard do-gooders as courageous, competent and less sensitive to discomfort. By putting ourselves in that role, we see ourselves as embodying those traits as well. Whether you’re on a diet and trying to steer clear of doughnuts or gathering the courage to speak in front of a crowd, helping someone beforehand could help you find the strength to succeed.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

P90X2 Pre-Order NOW!

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

GROUPON CAMP GLADIATOR

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WEEKEND WORK HAS TO STOP

Americans have cut back a little on time they previously spent relaxing, according to the 2010 American Time Use Survey. The survey shows that work-life changes since 2009 affected women more than men: Women worked more hours overall than they did two years ago, especially on weekends. Now a survey from the University of Rochester shows how that affects health. From Friday night to Sunday afternoon, study participants were in a better mood, showed greater vitality, and had fewer aches and pains, among other things, a phenomenon known as “the weekend effect.” Why such positives only on weekends? The research explains that having the freedom to choose one’s activities and having opportunities to spend time with loved ones are top reasons. The researchers suggest working some of the weekend effect into your workweek: Make time for friends and loved ones, participate in a hobby, and do your best to relax.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

AN EASY WAY TO CUT ADDED SUGAR

Skip flavored yogurts and top plain yogurt with antioxidant-rich honey and fruit instead. Don’t get sabotaged by sweeteners. Even seemingly healthful foods like yogurt, cereal and energy bars can be crammed with added sugar. Most Americans get more than 22 teaspoons (88 grams) of added sugar a day. That’s almost three times the amount recommended by the USDA. The 2010 guidelines recommend no more than eight teaspoons, or 32 grams, of sugar for a 2,000-calorie diet. Even if you don’t indulge in soda or junk food, it’s easy to reach your limit from processed and packaged foods. Flavored yogurts, for instance, can contain up to 21 grams of sugar in a single serving. Other sugar shockers include whole-grain cereals, which may have up to 17 grams of sugar, and condiments like spaghetti and barbecue sauce, which routinely contain 15 grams of sugar per serving. Whenever possible, go the unsweetened or unflavored route and add your own sweetener instead. A packet of honey, by comparison, has just 11 grams of sugar and is loaded with healthful antioxidants; refined table sugar has none.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

SUMMER FRUITS

Summer is a great time to enjoy seasonal fruits when they are at their peak. Consider a refreshing and tasty fruit salad made with blueberries, strawberries, grapes, cherries, melons and peaches. These are just a few of the many seasonal fruits you can enjoy in the summer months. For more ideas on ways to prepare summer fruits, visit:
www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

DEHYDRATION

Dehydration can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness and other symptoms. Do not wait till you are thirsty to drink water. Drink regularly.

Monday, August 8, 2011

PRACTICING GOOD POSTURE

If you spend several hours a day at your computer, maintaining a proper workstation layout and practicing good posture can help minimize the risk of injuries, aches and pains. Use these ergonomic tips to help your body assume a neutral, strain-free position: Sit upright — no hunching or slouching — with your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Your back should be fully supported by your seat, with lumbar support. Keep your shoulders relaxed, allowing your upper arms to hang naturally. Your elbows should be close to the body and bent between 90 and 120 degrees. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor, and your knees should be close to the same height as your hips. Keep your monitor about an arm’s length away; the top of the screen should be eye level, so that you can read it without craning your neck up or down. Also, be sure to stand up and walk around several times an hour to allow your body to stretch.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

NUTRITION TIP

Make eating purposeful, not mindless. Whenever you put food in your mouth, peel it, unwrap it, plate it, and sit. Engage all of the senses in the pleasure of nourishing your body.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

MUSCLE STRENGTH BETWEEN AGES 50-70

People lose 30 percent of their muscle strength between ages 50 and 70. Combat muscle loss with resistance training 3 to 4 times per week.

Keeping our muscles from going flabby isn’t just a matter of vanity. Our muscles help us perform everyday activities and allow us to stay mobile and independent as we get older. We lose 30 percent of our muscle strength between the ages of 50 and 70. However, we can thwart physical deterioration by practicing progressive resistance training — weight-bearing exercises that gradually become more difficult as our body adjusts to the effort. Research in people over the age of 60 found that participants reaped the most physical benefits when resistance training was performed at higher intensities. To increase muscle strength, reduce the risk of falls and improve coordination, the study recommends performing three sets of eight to 12 repetitions per muscle group three or four times per week.

Monday, August 1, 2011

UP YOUR ENDURANCE

Tired of running out of steam before the end of the race? It's time to up your endurance.



You've got a triathlon. You're trying to lose a few pounds from your midsection. You want to see how hard and long you can push your body. No matter what your reason for exercising, your body won't get the full benefit of working out if you don't have enough endurance to push a little bit longer and harder today than you could a year ago. But how do you teach your body to do more than it currently will?

By building your endurance. And it all starts with a few tried-and-true steps.

Step 1: Prepare for Discipline

If you want to make gains in your endurance, you can't hit the gym on an inconsistent basis. You'll need to be disciplined in order to give your body opportunity to make advances in its ability to endure. This may mean going from three to four hard workouts a week. Or maybe it means a little bit more time spent at the gym during each workout. Know your body and your schedule well enough to know the most effective way for you to build your endurance, and then stick to it no matter what.


Endurance is patience concentrated
- Thomas Carlyle

Step 2: Know What Endurance Is

Depending on your level of athleticism and health, endurance may mean something different. After all, if you're already benching 200 pounds 15 times without trouble or running 25 miles without breaking sweat, your idea of improved endurance will be dramatically different than someone who has a hard time curling 20 pounds or jogging a mile. If you're already a gym rat, you can increase your endurance by lifting heavier weights and completing your runs at a faster pace. On the other hand, if you're new to this whole exercise thing, your endurance goal may be to push your body for 45 minutes instead of 30.

Step 3: Try Different Methods
Every body is different. As a result, your body will respond to endurance-building exercises in a different way than anyone else's. Hence why you shouldn't give up if your friend's endurance-boosting exercise routine leaves you feeling a little flat. Talk with your trainer or other exercise professional to find out some other ways to boost your endurance in the weight room, track, or pool. Don't quit trying out new ways until you find something that works. Then in a few months be prepared to try something different, as your body may grow so accustomed to the new routine that it doesn't give you the endurance improvement it initially yielded.

Step 4: Consider Going Slower
While your endurance goal may be to go faster or lift more weight, reaching that goal may not always come about by lifting heavier weights or running harder every day. Rather, you may need to take some time to slow things down. By pushing yourself to about 80 percent of your abilities, you're able to train for a longer period of time, which may ultimately help you up your endurance. As an added bonus, you're less likely to suffer many of the injuries that occur when you're pushing yourself to give your all on a regular basis.

Step 5: Listen to Your Body
There are a lot of people who can give you tips to improve your endurance. The trick is listening to the one voice that tells you what is working well. That voice? Your body. When you pay close attention to what your body is telling you during and after each workout, you can fine-tune your endurance-building routine to do its job well and consistently. Some of the methods that wind up working for you may be a bit unorthodox, but if it works, go for it!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

GETTING ENOUGH FRUITS AND VEGGIES?

Not sure if you’re getting enough fruits and vegetables? Make sure they take up half your plate at every meal.



Scratching your head over how many cups of spinach or broccoli equal a serving size? Forget the food scales and measuring cups. The new USDA healthy-eating icon MyPlate is making it easier than ever to figure out how to create a healthful and balanced diet. According to the new directive, 50 percent of the food you eat should be a fruit or vegetable. Think of produce as your main dish and meat as the accompaniment (25 percent). Fill the remaining quarter of your plate with whole grains or starchy vegetables, like brown rice, quinoa or sweet potatoes. For breakfast, choose a bowl of fruit with a dollop of plain, low-fat yogurt and a sprinkle of low-fat whole-grain granola. For lunch, think grilled chicken (without the skin), veggies and hummus on a 100 percent whole-wheat pita, along with a side salad. Dinner could be grilled fish with roasted red potatoes, corn on the cob and a cucumber and tomato salad.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CHOCOLATE MILK: IS IT THE NEW SPORTS DRINK?

Serious and recreational athletes alike are returning to a childhood favorite—chocolate milk—in place of more common sports drinks. When pitted against commercial sports recovery drinks, several new studies have found that chocolate milk is the superior beverage when it comes to post-exercise recovery and fluid replacement. Chocolate milk is 90 percent water, so it’s ideal for rehydration. It also has the perfect combination of carbohydrates and protein to refuel a tired athlete’s body, and it’s packed with many other nutrients including calcium and vitamins A and D.


Source: Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism

Monday, July 25, 2011

FLAXSEED

Food Tip: Adding ground flaxseed to your diet could slow the growth of prostate cancer cells.



What’s good for the heart may be good for the prostate as well. Adding flaxseed to the diet may help keep prostate cancer in check by slowing down its growth. For 30 days, researchers supplemented the diets of men about to undergo surgery for prostate cancer. Those who received 30 grams of flaxseed (about four tablespoons) daily showed the slowest rate of tumor growth. Taking it in conjunction with a low-fat diet proved even more beneficial than simply adding it to their usual diet. Sprinkle ground flaxseed on your cereal, yogurt or salad, or add it to a peanut butter sandwich or smoothie.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

EXERCISING WITH YOUNG CHILDREN

Consider using family time to get more physical activity. While out for a walk or jog, have your kids ride their bikes alongside you. While walking around a school track, your kids can play on the infield. Being with your children can go hand-in-hand with keeping fit. An added benefit is that they see that you value physical activity.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How to Build and Maintain Motivation

Common recommendations for building and maintaining exercise motivation include the
following:

• Set a goal or vision. Having a clear picture of your desired outcome (your destination) makes you much more likely to achieve it. Clearly specify how you will know when you’ve reached your goal. You might take a picture of yourself now and every four weeks, so you can see how you’re progressing.

Strategize
—Develop a realistic action plan. Create a clear, logical and achievable action plan that includes frequency, intensity and duration of cardiovascular exercise, strength training and stretching. Include realistic short- and long-term goals.

—Use environmental cues. Put your gym bag by the door, so you remember to take it to work. Or schedule your workouts into your calendar or planner and set electronic reminders on your cellphone or computer.

—Have fun. Find an activity that you enjoy and will stick with, along with an environment that is supportive, safe and comfortable for you.

—Make it convenient. Exercise at home to fitness DVDs if you don’t have time to drive to the gym. Exercise at the time of day when you have time and you enjoy doing it.

—Record your progress. Keep a written record of your exercise (weights, sets, reps; distance walked, run, or biked; flights of stairs climbed; etc.)

—Build a social support network. Find a buddy with whom you can work out regularly. You can help and encourage each other, rely on each other for moral support and accountability, and share in your accomplishments. If you need additional help and accountability, you can hire a personal trainer. Look for a trainer who is credentialed by a well-known organization.

—Reward yourself. Treat yourself to something that is compatible with your health and fitness goals (e.g., not a piece of chocolate cake, but something else you enjoy, like a movie, flowers or new exercise
clothing).

• Believe in yourself. You can implement a strategy and achieve your vision.

• Persist. Making good exercise and nutrition choices day after day can be challenging. If you have momentary setbacks, accept them and get back on track.

Source: ACSM

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

WHERE IS THE SALT?

Did you know that most of the salt (sodium) we eat comes from processed foods, like baked goods, crackers and canned products? One way to reduce the salt in your diet is by eating more fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Also, read product labels for sodium content. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010), healthy adults should consume less than 2300 milligrams of sodium per day (about 1 teaspoon of salt). Certain populations (older adults; African-Americans; those with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease) should limit themselves to about 1500 milligrams per day.


Source: Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Have an Impact Today....

Have an Impact Today...

...Create a legacy for tomorrow.



You've got one life to live. Do it right, and when you're gone, your legacy may continue to benefit those who come after you.

So how do you ensure your legacy is a positive one that impacts future generations? By taking action today! Here are a few steps to have an impact today that will leave a lasting legacy that does not only benefit your good name.

Step 1: Stop Waiting

Want to help others live better lives? The first thing you're going to have to do is to stop waiting around and start acting now. While you may think helping others and building your legacy can wait until you retire or the kids move out of the house, think again. Every day of your life, there are things you can be doing to make a difference in your community and working on your legacy. Only when you're ready to take the bull by the horns today will you be ready to move on to the next step.


Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. - Horace Mann


2: Get Hunting

Once you're ready to help others, you'll need to find appropriate ways to make it happen. Instead of forcing yourself to do something you despise, think of your strengths. If you enjoy visiting with elderly people, call local nursing homes to find out when you can visit and if there are particularly lonely individuals you should visit. Prefer helping kids? Get plugged in with your local Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, or other like-minded organization. Good with a hammer and saw? Seek out local non-profit organizations that build or repair homes for less fortunate individuals and get to work.

Step 3: Make and Keep Promises

It's not uncommon for people to get excited about helping non-profit organizations, only to forget about their initial excitement a short time later. Don't let that happen to you. Find an organization you believe in and promise to yourself to spend a certain amount of time helping the organization each week. Then grab your calendar and write down when you're going to help your organization of choice. By noting it in your calendar, you're more likely to fulfill your promise, as it goes from being something extra to get done to something that a regular part of your life.

Step 4: Bring a Sidekick

Like many things in life, helping others is often done best alongside likeminded individuals. Know someone who is interested in helping others? Don't let him or her stand on the sidelines looking in. Take your family member or friend along on your outings and get him or her involved by your side. Or talk with a likeminded individual before committing to an organization and choose one together. Either way, you'll have more staying power if you help others with others by your side.

Step 5: Don't Sweat the Legacy

Think helping others and putting yourself last will ensure your legacy? Think it will encourage future generations to speak your name in awe and respect? Hopefully it will. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. But your generosity and selfless acts will be noticed by those you directly affect. To them, you will be the superhero you hope to be remembered as. So instead of worrying about the entire world knowing about what a wonderful person you, focus in on the people around you. Let their gratitude be enough to tide you over. And if you find yourself impacting people who don't seem to care about the work you're doing, suck it up and find satisfaction knowing you're doing the right thing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beachbody & The Presidential Active Lifestyle Award

Beachbody has been recognized as an advocate of the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA), created by the Presidential Council on Fitness.



How it works:

Between July 15th and August 17th, the Presidential Council will recognize:
■All customers who buy a Beachbody fitness program or order Shakeology®
■All current Coaches
■All new Coach signups

Each of these Coaches and customers will receive a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award issued by the Presidential Council.

Presidential Perks:
■Conversation starter. Let your contacts know through email, Facebook®, Twitter®, and in person: If they buy through you between July 15th and August 17th, they'll also receive a signed award.
■Credential booster. Once you receive YOUR digital award, proudly display it on your blog and other social media accounts to exude professionalism.
■Sales fuel. During the dates mentioned above, make sure to let your customers know they too can be a part of this program if they purchase Shakeology or a fitness program from you.

Beachbody has been recognized as an advocate of the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA), created by the Presidential Council on Fitness.



How it works:

Between July 15th and August 17th, the Presidential Council will recognize:
■All customers who buy a Beachbody fitness program or order Shakeology®
■All current Coaches
■All new Coach signups

Each of these Coaches and customers will receive a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award issued by the Presidential Council.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

EAT MORE CHERRIES

There are all kinds of reasons why you should eat more cherries. The most important is your health!



It's nothing new to hear that in order to stay healthy and trim, you need to eat more fruits and vegetables. So it shouldn't be any surprise to hear that cherries are good for you. How good are they? Some consider this sweet and sometimes sour fruit to be one of the healthiest foods that you could possibly eat! They are fat-free; low in calories; packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, melatonin, and other beneficial enzymes; and look great on top of whipped cream.

Ready to learn more about this gorgeous fruit? You've come to the right place.


Neither give cherries to pigs nor advice to a fool."
- Old Irish Saying

The Basics

Cherries are in the same fruit family as apricots, peaches, and plums, and come in two varieties. Depending on your taste buds, you will either prefer the wild, sweet cherries that are grown mainly in Michigan and on the east coast or the sour cherries grown in Michigan and the Pacific Northwest. Both are harvested during the summer months and only provide a small window for growth and harvesting. Additionally, both types can be prepared and consumed however you like, whether cooked, raw, canned, dried, or in juice.

When it comes down to what is inside of cherries, you can rest assured that every bite or sip is full of vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin B, and the mineral potassium. So with a handful of cherries, you give your immune system, heart, and eyes a healthy boost (a few of vitamin C's benefits); promote healthy cell metabolism and cell growth, while helping your body maintain its muscle tone and gorgeous skin (courtesy of vitamin B); and ensure the proper functioning of your kidneys, heart, muscles, nervous and digestive systems (thanks to potassium).

Even More Cherry-Colored Benefits

Just like most fruits, cherries - especially the dark red, tart variety - are full of antioxidants. And in case you've not heard, antioxidants play a key role in your ability to fend off three of your most dreaded foes: heart disease, cancer, and aging. Prefer getting your antioxidants via blueberries? Would you change your mind if you learned that tart cherry juice and dried cherries have more antioxidants than blueberries? Less concerned with long-term benefits and want something to help you right now? You may be interested to learn that 20 tart cherries contain the same amount of pain relief that is found in ibuprofen or aspirin.

It has also been found that the enzymes found in cherries provide a number of perks. They ease the symptoms of arthritis and gout by reducing the amounts of uric acid circulating in the body, and if you drink the juice from Montmorency cherries, your muscles will be given the power to recover faster from strength-training sessions or other strenuous physical exercises.

Sleep and Live Better

Having trouble sleeping? Cherry time! It has been discovered that tart cherries contain a high amount of melatonin. A hormone that is produced naturally by the body, melatonin helps regulate sleep and slows the process of aging. So if you've been having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, try some cherry juice before bed!

In the event you're still not convinced that cherries are a must have in your diet, here are a couple more cherry-tastic benefits that researchers have discovered. Eat more cherries and you may be able to better manage your diabetes, lower high blood sugar levels, reduce your risk of colon cancer, lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, and prevent dementia.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

WHAT IS MYPLATE?

MyPlate is the new graphic symbol recently released by the United States Department of Agriculture that replaces the USDA’s MyPyramid image. The MyPlate icon is a simple circle split into four sections that include protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables; a circle shape next to the plate represents dairy products. The sections are different sizes to reflect the portions that are recommended. The new symbol is intended to be a simple visual cue that supports the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

Friday, July 1, 2011

ADD AVOCADOS

Tossed into a summer salad or served as a creamy dip, the avocado can complement any meal while also adding plenty of good nutrition. One-fifth of a medium avocado (1 ounce) has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, as well as phytonutrients (parts of plants with disease-fighting compounds). Avocados, due to their high monounsaturated fat content, are also a healthy substitute for foods rich in saturated fat. Avocados are a bit high in calories, however, so eat them in moderation.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

JUMP FOR JOY

Down in the dumps? Jump for joy — literally (for about 20 minutes). VigorousWhen your spirits could use a lift, get up and jump (after you’ve consulted with your physician, of course). According to preliminary research presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference, high-intensity workouts can put a bigger grin on your face than less-strenuous ones can. This small study, which was composed of 11 participants, found that 20 minutes of anaerobic activity — think jumping rope, sprinting or hill climbing — was better at boosting people’s moods 20 minutes after the exercise period than moderate aerobic activity, like brisk walking. That’s not to say there are no mood-boosting benefits to less-strenuous exercise. Past research has shown that 30 minutes of walking at least three days a week can help combat mild depression. But if you’re in search of a quick burst of bliss, alternating your walk with sprint sessions may help pull you out of the doldrums faster. Exercise boosts mood better than less-strenuous kinds.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

WORKING ON GOALS

Don’t give up on your goals. Working hard to accomplish something leads to greater long-term happiness. “No pain, no gain” may be a fallacy when it comes to working out, but research shows it’s good advice when seeking happiness. According to a study in the Journal of Happiness Studies, working hard to master a new skill, though it causes significant momentary stress, leads to greater long-term contentment. Setbacks and frustration often cause many of us give up on our goals. But, when it’s for something we care about, pushing ourselves to overcome obstacles helps us achieve more satisfaction in life. Even if your dream feels impossible, go for it anyway.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Frozen Treats

Are you craving something creamy and cold? Summer is a time when many people enjoy frozen sweet desserts. When you head out to the local ice-cream shop with the kids, consider a low-fat or fat-free frozen yogurt. At about 100 calories per half-cup serving, they are lower in calories and saturated fat than most ice creams. If you are interested in a higher protein dairy snack, consider refrigerated yogurt. It is nutrient rich and can be fat-free and sugar-free.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Feeling Run Down?

Don’t sacrifice sleep. Getting less shut-eye is linked to a lower resistance to colds. Though we usually associate colds with the winter, you can come in contact with one of the 200 viruses that cause the common cold year-round. One place where you’re likely to be exposed: long-haul flights. The more people on the plane and the more time you spend in their presence, the greater your risk of infection. According to research in the Archives of Internal Medicine, you can reduce your risk of illness by getting enough shut-eye. People who get less than seven hours of sleep a night are three times as likely to get sick after being exposed to a cold virus as people who snooze for eight hours or more. If they slept poorly, they were five times as likely to get sick. According to the researchers, a good goal to aim for is between seven and eight hours each night.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Slim Down Now To Stay Sharp

Packing on the pounds now could up your risk of dementia later. People who were overweight or obese at midlife had an 80 percent greater risk of later-life dementia, compared to those with a normal body mass index. That’s according to a study published in the journal Neurology. It can be especially difficult — and dangerous — to lose weight as you get older. Seniors may lose muscle and bone mass, along with fat, when they diet, which boosts their risk of frailty. Getting your weight in check now can help ensure that your golden years are ones to remember. Incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity into your weight loss plan to boost your chances of success — and to keep bone loss to a minimum.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fast Food Choices

Many of us choose fast-food restaurants as a dining out option in place of higher-priced venues. Fortunately, many fast-food restaurants have expanded their menus to include more healthful selections. When dining out, think about ordering entrées such as a regular-size hamburger or veggie burger, grilled chicken sandwiches, baked potatoes with light sour cream or salads with grilled chicken and light dressings. Skip the high saturated fat add-ons such as cheese and bacon. Instead of fries consider side salads, fruit, reduced-fat ice cream and low-fat milk to round out your meal.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

VITAMIN MYTHS

Taking vitamin pills will not give you energy when you are tired. Vitamins do not supply calories, which are the true sources of energy for your body. Calories come from food in the form of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Some vitamins act like helpers that work to transform calories from food into energy your body can use. The best source of vitamins is a well-balanced diet. To keep energy levels high, maintain an adequate intake of both calories and vitamins by eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lean meats, low-fat dairy foods and healthy fats every day.


Source: American Dietetic Association

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE SUN

“Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap” is a catch phrase that the American Cancer Society uses to help you remember to protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays. These four simple words help us to remember to slip on a shirt; slop on sunscreen; slap on a hat; and wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and sensitive skin around them. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.


Source: American Cancer Society

Thursday, June 2, 2011

PLAN YOUR ASTHMA MANAGEMENT

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects 20 million Americans. For people with asthma, having an asthma management plan is the best way to prevent symptoms. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, an effective plan will allow you to be active without having symptoms; sleep at night without symptoms; attend work regularly; and have no emergency visits or stays in the hospital. If you have asthma, talk to your doctor about your asthma management plan.


Source: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Friday, May 6, 2011

PRE-EXERCISE EATING

Eating an easy-to-digest high-carbohydrate breakfast two to four hours before morning exercise is recommended because it will help restock liver glycogen after an overnight fast. Use these guidelines to design your meal or snack: enough fluid to keep you hydrated, low in fat and fiber, high in carbohydrates, and moderate in protein. Select foods familiar to you. However, eating prior to exercise does not work for everyone; be sure to do what works best for you.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

NICOTINE

Did you know that the stimulant nicotine is the only addictive chemical in cigarettes? Research suggests that nicotine is as addictive as heroin and cocaine. However, there are more than 4,000 other chemicals, including many that can cause cancer, in cigarette smoke. Using nicotine gum or patches to help yourself or a loved one quit smoking will not cause cancer and may help you be more successful in overcoming the addiction.

Sources: American Lung Association

Monday, May 2, 2011

TELEVISION AND EXERCISE

Did you know that by age 65, the average adult has spent the equivalent of nine years watching television? Make your TV time work for you. Combine it with physical activity or stretching. Ideas include floor exercises (push-ups, sit-ups, etc.), stationary cycling or treadmill walking, working with hand weights, resistance bands or balls, or performing a series of upper- and lower-body stretches.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

EARLY CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health measured children's height and weight at ages 2, 3, 4.5, 9, 11, and 12 years. They found that children who were overweight at least once from ages 2 - 4.5, were five times more likely to be overweight at age 12, than those who were not overweight at ages 2 - 4.5. Starting good habits early in life can help prevent childhood obesity.


Source: National Institutes of Health

Monday, April 18, 2011

Be A Beachbody Coach

RUWellness and I are looking for like minded, Fitness oriented, motivated people to join our Beachbody Coaching Team. We answer questions for new Coaches every day. Wouldn't it be great to have one on one mentoring from us on how to build your Beachbody Coaching Business? Learn how to get Fit, have Fun, and get Paid to help others get healthy. All you need to do is join our RUWellness Team! Contact us today & start building towards the future you DESERVE! Please go to http://www.startcoachingtoday.com/ruwellness

Sunday, April 17, 2011

TIME TO DESTRESS

People often say they are “stressed” when their normal coping mechanisms have been overwhelmed. If you need to decrease stress and improve coping, consider taking at least one five-minute, destress break each day, preferably more. You can try different five-minute activities throughout the week. These include stretching, daydreaming, deep breathing, reading a few pages of a novel, doodling, listening to your favorite song, or going for a quick walk. These mini "me" times provide a quick break and give you a chance to regain emotional and mental control in difficult situations.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

IRRITABLE BOWL SYNDROM

You might be surprised to know that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects about 1 out of 10 people in the United States. The exact cause is not known. Abdominal pain or discomfort is the key symptom of IBS. For persons with IBS, it is important to be aware of what factors “trigger” symptoms. For many, symptoms can be exacerbated or triggered by stress. IBS can often be managed with changes to a healthier lifestyle, or dietary changes such as modifying the consumption of “trigger” foods. Talk to your doctor if you have IBS
symptoms.


Source: International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal
Disorders

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

MAINTAINING WEIGHT LOSS

Check out the National Weight Control Registry (www.nwcr.ws) to learn a variety of ways that people have maintained at least a 30-pound weight loss for one year. Most people report continuing to maintain a low-calorie, low-fat diet and doing high levels of activity. On
average, 90 percent exercise about one hour per day; 78 percent eat breakfast every day; 75 percent weigh themselves at least once a week; and 62 percent watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.


Source: The National Weight Control Registry

Monday, April 11, 2011

WHOLE GRAINS: MORE THAN FIBER

The benefits from eating whole-grain foods go way beyond dietary fiber alone. Whole-grain foods, like whole-wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice, are also rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, iron and antioxidants. Most importantly, a diet rich in whole-grain foods has been linked to reducing the risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease, and helping with weight maintenance. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we should aim to eat at least half of our grains as whole grains.


Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

BUDDY UP FOR BETTER STRETCHING


  • When done properly, working with a partner can be a great way to stretch your muscles. A partner can often help you get a more complete stretch than you can get on your own. A disadvantage is that the partner does not feel what you feel. To reduce the risk of injury, make sure that your partner stretches your muscles at a slow, steady pace and that you communicate with him or her. Stop immediately if you feel significant strain or pain.

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    EXERCISE FOR GOOD HEALTH

    Current guidelines say that, for health benefits, we should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. You can also combine moderate and vigorous activities. If this is too much for you right now, consider starting with shorter bouts, such as 10 minutes and work your way up. Do a little more each time. Once you feel comfortable, do it more often. Every little bit can make a difference in your health!

    Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    FRISBEE FOR FITNESS

    Have you ever used a Frisbee, one of those big flying plastic discs, arching through the sky? If not, give it a try! Frisbee is a great form of exercise. It is also a social activity that can be played by two people or by 20. It can be done anywhere (beach, park, back yard, indoor gym), and is easy to learn. Young and old alike can enjoy
    this simple and inexpensive activity. The cost of a Frisbee is usually $5 to $15.

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    NATIONAL DONATE LIFE MONTH

    Did you know that one organ donor can save up to eight lives? Currently more than 86 million people in the United States have signed up to be a donor. Consider joining them to help reach the goal of 100 million designated donors. Become an organ, tissue or marrow donor and give the extraordinary gift of life. To learn more, visit www.organdonor.gov.


    Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    WHAT'S THE STORY WITH SUGAR?

    Is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) more likely than other sugars to cause weight gain? No, says a panel of experts who reviewed all of the evidence around obesity and the increased use of HFCS. All added sugars, not just HFCS, are contributing to our obesity problem; it’s a matter of overconsumption. Americans simply consume too many foods like soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, desserts and sugar-sweetened drinks, which make up about 60 percent of our added sugar intake.


    Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

    Thursday, March 31, 2011

    LOW FAT BAKING

    Are you looking for a way to lower the fat in baked goods while retaining the moist texture, touch and taste? Try pureed fruit. Experiment by replacing part of the fat in baked goods recipes with pureed prunes, pears, figs, peaches and applesauce. All will provide flavor and moisture with fewer calories, and little or no added fat.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    INCREASE YOUR MILES NOT POUNDS

    Are you a frequent business traveler? If so, it can be a challenge to stick with a healthful eating plan when you’re tempted with large portions, delicious desserts and enticing menus. Consider the following tips when traveling: pack a snack such as dried fruit, pretzels or almonds; air travel can b dehydrating so drink plenty of water; fit exercise into your daily travel schedule; go easy on the
    alcohol, if you drink; skip dessert and look for more healthful options when dining out.

    SPRING CLEANING BURNS CALORIES

    Goodbye winter, spring is officially here--music to the ears of many who endured a harsh winter! And although cold weather may still be lingering where you live, it’s a good time to start planning your spring cleaning. The benefit—besides a cleaner and more organized house, of course—is a calorie burn comparable to walking 3 miles per hour. Even the American Heart Association counts ousecleaning as moderate exercise. But, you need to get in there and really clean—no feather duster allowed. While a bout or two of spring cleaning doesn’t replace structured exercise, it’s a great way to be active.

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    BEACHBODY AND SPANISH

    Beachbody is expanding into the Spanish Speaking Market in April by adding more programs, marketing materials, and websites in Spanish! I am looking to grow my team with more bilingual/Spanish speaking coaches to prepare for the wave of new customers that will be available to us. If you are interested or know of someone that might be please send me their contact info.

    Sunday, March 20, 2011

    OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS

    Omega-6 fats have reclaimed their significance in
    a healthy diet, following some talk in the science community a few years ago that they were bad for your heart. The American Heart Association confirms this is not true. Omega-6 fat, found in a variety of vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, is in fact heart healthy. The good news is that most people get enough omega-6 fat in their diet.


    Source: American Heart Association

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    HEARTBURN

    Heartburn occurs when acidic stomach juices pass upward, into the esophagus. To avoid or ease heartburn: avoid late-night eating; eat small, frequent meals; and drink liquids one hour before or after meals versus with meals. Limit caffeine and coffee (both decaf and
    regular), alcohol, peppermint, spearmint and chocolate Refrain from lying down soon after eating and elevate the head of your bed four to six inches.


    Source: American College of Gastroenterology

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    FRESH-WATER FISH SAFETY

    Fish are an important part of a healthy diet. But, if you enjoy eating locally caught fish, it is important to know that fish from local streams and lakes might carry contaminants that cooking does not eliminate, such as mercury and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). The
    Environmental Protection Agency recommends checking with your local health department for any advisories and safe-eating guidelines before eating fish caught in your area. This is especially important if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


    Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    AVOID PROLONGED SITTING

    Does your job require you to sit for long periods of time? This can be hard on your back. Take frequent breaks, at least every 60-90 minutes, to stand up, walk around and stretch. Even a brief change of position can protect your back and make you feel refreshed and more productive.


    Source: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    KEEP YOUR KIDNEYS HEALTHY

    According the National Kidney Foundation, about 26 million American adults have chronic kidney disease but many more are at risk for developing kidney disease. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes. To keep your kidneys healthy: exercise regularly, control your weight, avoid prolonged use of over-the-counter painkillers, monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol, eat a healthful diet and don’t smoke or abuse alcohol. Talk to your doctor about getting tested if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or a family history of kidney disease.


    Source: National Kidney Foundation

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    FORGET WALKING WITH HAND OR ANKLE WEIGHTS

    Light weights offer no real benefit, and heavier ones can increase your risk of injury. Though it may feel like you’re working harder, strapping on hand or ankle weights while you walk won’t give you the extra burn you’re looking for. And it may just increase your risk of joint problems or injuries. Wearing one-pound weights will not boost your calorie expenditure or get you in shape faster. To torch extra calories, you would need to carry at least three- to five-pound weights — and that is a definite no-no. When you swing the weights, it exponentially increases the force on your shoulder and elbow joints if using hand weights, or knee and hip joints if using them on your ankles. For people with heart disease or high blood pressure, using weights can also cause a temporary spike in blood pressure. Leave the weights at home and boost your burn by walking up hills instead.

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    EXERCISE & OSTEOARTHRITIS OF THE KNEE

    Low-impact exercise (i.e. walking, swimming, cycling, and elliptical trainer) along with proper strengthening and stretching exercises can be helpful for those with osteoarthritis of the knee. Managing your weight is also a key element to reduce pain and further deterioration. A recent study shows that arthroscopic knee surgery for people suffering from osteoarthritis doesn't reduce joint symptoms or improve function compared with other nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy and medication.

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    FITNESS ON THE ROAD

    Everyone knows that business travel can make it more challenging to get a workout. One way to stay active is to carefully choose your accommodations. Many hotels have a swimming pool and fitness center. Or consider a hotel near hiking trails or fitness clubs. Some hotels even have “fitness kits” that you can use to get a workout in the comfort and privacy of your own room. With a little planning, you can stay fit on the road. Just don’t forget to pack your swimsuit and gym shoes.

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    100 PERECENT NATURAL CHICKEN

    Most people know that processed foods are often loaded with sodium. But you may be surprised to learn that some packages of uncooked “100 percent natural” skinless boneless chicken breasts contain a fair amount of sodium too. Processors often inject poultry with up to a 15-percent solution of saltwater or chicken broth to “enhance flavor and tenderness.” A 4-ounce portion can contain 180 to 320 milligrams of sodium compared to 40-75 milligrams of sodium in the same size "unenhanced" portion. Look for the sodium content on the Nutrition Facts panel if you’re watching your sodium or salt intake.

    Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Sunday, March 6, 2011

    ADD MUSHROOMS TO YOUR MENU

    Mushrooms make a delightful addition to the healthy kitchen. They’re skimpy on calories but generous on good nutrition and earthy flavor. There are many edible varieties, including the shitake, crimini, oyster, enoki, portabella and white button. Grill, sauté, stir-fry or stuff mushrooms for a savory side dish. Add them to pizza, pasta, salad, omelets, risottos, fajitas, and other vegetables like green beans or peas. Serve a grilled portabella mushroom cap on a whole grain bun for a “meaty” sandwich. Store mushrooms in their original container or a paper bag for up to one week.

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    CALCIUM—IT'S NOT JUST FOR KIDS

    Did you know that besides building strong bones and teeth, calcium helps to regulate the heart and other muscles? Calcium is also necessary for normal blood pressure and blood clotting. All of us need adequate calcium, not just growing kids! Calcium recommendations vary depending on age and special needs. In general, adults should get 1,000-1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium each day. Good sources include skim and low-fat milk, yogurt, calcium-fortified orange juice, low-fat cheeses, dark green vegetables, soybeans, and tofu.


    Source: National Institutes of Health

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    HERE'S THE BEEF

    Do the numbers 85/15 on a package of ground round mean anything to you? If you think it describes the percentage of the meat that is lean (85) and the percentage that is fat (15), you’re right. But here’s the catch: the numbers refer to the percent lean and fat based on weight, not calories. A 4-ounce portion of ground round contains 240 calories and 17 grams of fat. At nine calories per gram, that’s 153 calories from fat, about 64 percent. Look to the Nutrition Facts panel for detailed nutrition information.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    EATING TOO FAST?

    Don’t forget to come up for air when eating! Chowing down quickly and eating until you’re full triples your risk of being overweight.

    Is your food gone before your dinner date has a chance to taste his or her entree? Many of us inhale our food so quickly, we barely have a chance to register what it is we’re eating. While that might be okay if you’re a competitive eater, for the rest of us, it’s not a winning strategy. Research shows that this kind of turbo approach to eating, along with not stopping until we’re full, triples our chances of being overweight. When we chow down hurriedly, our body doesn’t have enough time to process how much food we’ve consumed. By the time the message that our belly is full reaches our brain, we’ve already eaten too much. According to Elizabeth Somer, RD, every bite we take has about 25 calories. So if you take 10 more bites past the point of fullness, that’s an extra 250 calories every time you sit down to eat. Since all it takes is 3,500 extra calories to gain a pound of weight, you can see how quickly the pounds can add up. Slow, mindful eating, on the other hand, is associated with weight loss. To slow down your meal, chew each bite 30 times. Resist the urge to shovel more food into your mouth by putting your fork down. Try to make your meal last at least 20 minutes.

    NEW DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR AMERICANS

    The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans stress the importance of reducing calories and increasing physical activity. This comes as no surprise since more than two-thirds of adults and one-third of children in the U.S. are overweight or obese. A few simple tips that support the new and improved guidelines include: Enjoy your food, but eat less; make half your plate fruits and vegetables; drink water instead of sugary drinks; and reduce sodium.

    Sunday, February 27, 2011

    TEA FOR HEALTH

    Did you know that brewed oolong, green, white and black teas are good sources of antioxidants called polyphenols? These disease-fighting compounds, also called flavonoids, have been shown to have a protective role against health problems such as certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Try brewed hot or cold tea today in place of your usual beverage. Brew for 3-5 minutes to bring out the beneficial polyphenols and enjoy the natural flavor and aroma.

    Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    ENERGY BARS

    When time is tight, grabbing an energy bar can certainly be better than skipping a meal. But, according to our registered dietitian, many are nutritionally similar to a fortified candy bar—high in sugar, low in fiber and nutrients, and expensive when compared to whole foods. For a healthful on-the-go snack, consider packing away homemade trail mix made with your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruits and whole-grain cereal. A little can go a long way, so try to limit your portion to a handful or two.

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    The San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council

    I am happy to announce that RUWellness has partnered with The Mayor's Fitness Council to help San Antonio become healthier and more active. RUWellness will be hosting Fitness in the Park starting next week. Click the link for our schedule.

    http://www.safitness.org/

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    REPLACE YOUR SHOES

    Wearing worn out shoes to exercise can increase your risk of hip, knee, ankle and foot injuries. How often should you replace them? It is recommended that you replace exercise shoes between 350-500 miles depending on your activity, style, body weight, and the surface you exercise on. A shoe can lose its support and mid-sole cushioning even if the outside looks fine. In addition to tracking your mileage, pay attention to how you feel. New aches or pains in your bones and joints or shin splints might be signs that it’s time to get new shoes.

    Source: Ace Fitness

    FIBER

    Did you know that whole grains provide much more nutrition than just dietary fiber? Whole grains are also an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium and antioxidants such as vitamin E. Some whole grains are not brown, and some brown breads are not whole grain. So don’t go by color alone. Instead, look for the word 'whole’ before the type of grain in the ingredient list, like whole wheat or whole oats. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that at least half of the grains we eat each day should come from whole grains.

    Source: U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans

    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    HEALTHY INCENTIVES TO EXERCISE

    Help stick with your exercise plan by rewarding yourself at special milestones. If you've had a personal best or continued exercising when you might have given up before, consider treating yourself to a reward. Try non-food rewards such as a massage, pedicure, concert, CD or some new workout clothes!

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    SEA SALT

    Sea salt or table salt…what’s the difference? Taste, texture and how each is processed are the basic differences. One advantage of sea salt is that some people may use a little less because of its courser texture and some people prefer the taste. However, the sodium content of each is essentially the same. If you are looking for a low-sodium option, try salt-free seasonings and herb blends instead.

    Source: American Dietetic Association

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    HEALTHY BAGEL SPREADS

    Do you enjoy a bagel for breakfast? While modest portions of whole-grain bagels can be a healthy breakfast option, be careful with your smears. A 1-ounce portion of traditional cream cheese adds about 100 calories and 10 grams of fat with 5 grams coming from the unhealthy saturated type. For a healthier spread, consider this alternative—a blend of silken tofu, cinnamon, vanilla extract and minced dried fruit. But, if you really love your cream cheese simply use less or try a low-fat or fat-free version. Your heart will thank you!

    Source: United States Department of Agriculture

    WINNING IS NOT EVERYTHING

    Is your child involved in sports? If so, it is likely that you already know how much emphasis can be placed on winning at all costs. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it's important for parents to focus on the value of kids' sports for fun and exercise, not only for winning. Unrelenting pressure to win can create excessive stress for young athletes, negatively impacting their health, wellness and even their performance.

    Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    8 TIPS TO EASE JOINT PAIN

    - start stretching
    - try tai chi
    - do low impact aerobic exercise
    - resistance exercise
    - take up swimming
    - add weight bearing exercise
    - get the right intensity
    - seek variety

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Arthritis And Exercise

    For years, people with arthritis and related conditions were taught not to exercise. However, studies now show that exercise can help people with arthritis by reducing joint pain and stiffness, and increasing flexibility, muscle strength, cardiac fitness and endurance. The National Arthritis Foundation recommends gentle activities such as water aerobics, dance or tai chi, which can help increase flexibility and endurance without putting too much pressure
    on the joints. People with arthritis should discuss exercise options with their health care provider.


    Source: The National Arthritis Foundation

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Pace Yourself When Working Out

    Believe it or not, your muscles do not get stronger during your workout; it's after the workout that they grow and develop. Intense strength training places huge demands on your muscles. To adapt to those demands, your muscles need adequate recovery time to rebuild and get stronger. As important as it is to stay the course and not get lazy, it's just as important to know when to cut yourself a break so you don't burn out, and your body has a chance to process all of the work you're doing.

    WEIGHT TRAINING WHILE TRAVELING

    Do you miss weight training workouts while on the road? Consider using portable dumbbells that you inflate with water. A pair of these dumbbells weighs up to 32 pounds when filled and only 24 ounces when collapsed–a practical option for your suitcase. Resistance Bands work as well.

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    PREVENTING YOUR RISK FOR CANCER

    Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S. The American Cancer Society estimates that roughly one-third of all cancer deaths can be attributed to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, or being overweight/obese. It doesn’t have to be this way. Prevention and early detection can save lives and help those who develop cancer to survive. Lower your cancer risk with timely screening tests, good food choices and an active lifestyle. If you’re a smoker, commit to quitting today!


    Source: American Cancer Society

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    HEART ATTACK WARNING SIGNS

    Did you know that 71 percent of women experience a sudden onset of extreme weakness, similar to the flu, as their early warning sign of a heart attack? Some heart attacks can be sudden and intense, but most heart attacks start slowly with mild pain and discomfort. The most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort, but women are also more likely than men to have other common symptoms, such as shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. If you see or have any heart attack warning signs, immediately call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number.

    Source: American Heart Association

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Do you get worked up over sports? If you’re at risk of heart disease, watching a stressful game can raise your risk of a heart attack.

    Does a bad call send your blood pressure soaring? If your emotions often get the better of you, rooting for your favorite team could be doing you more harm than good. Watching a stressful sporting event can raise the risk of a heart attack and even death in people with cardiovascular risk factors. Those include heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking. Many people who are high risk don’t know it, so it’s a good idea to know your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers. With Super Bowl XLV one month away, now would be a good time to book an appointment with your doctor. Overenthusiastic sports fans should also practice anger management techniques whenever they feel their adrenaline surging. That could mean turning off the TV when you’re incensed and taking a few minutes to breathe deeply or go for a walk.

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Superbowl Food

    Let’s face it; Super Bowl Sunday is as much about the food as it is the game. But you don’t have to let the big event sack your healthy eating intentions. Score big with a pot of chili made with ground sirloin or turkey breast, forego the traditional skin-on wings and serve Buffalo-style skinless chicken breast tenders instead. Dish up
    some spicy bean salsa with whole grain chips and vegetables with low-fat dip. Give yourself the winning edge with healthy and delicious
    Super Bowl flare.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    The Best Heart-Friendly Foods

    Salmon: a protein source plus beneficial fats
    Blueberries: a fast-burning carbohydrate source with antioxidants
    Walnuts: another protein source, but with both fiber and beneficial fats
    Green leafy vegetables of all sorts: in vegetables, color implies nutrients
    Brown rice: an easy-to-digest, slow-burning carbohydrate

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    MOTIVATION ON THE TREADMILL

    If you live in a cold climate and have trouble staying motivated to walk or jog on a treadmill, try this tip to keep you going until warmer weather arrives. Start by creating a 25-minute playlist on your MP3 player. Walk or jog for one song and speed up for the next. Continue to alternate for the entire workout and be sure to end with a slower interval to cool down. Add five minutes of music every two weeks to gradually increase your workout and you will be ready to hit the road in the spring!

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    GET YOUR ZZZS

    Research has shown that not getting enough sleep or getting poor quality sleep on a regular basis may increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. There is even evidence suggesting that weight gain is associated with getting inadequate sleep, possibly by disrupting hormones that regulate appetite. Sleep
    needs are different for each person, but most adults generally need between 7–9 hours each night.

    Source: National Sleep Foundation

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    CHICKEN SOUP FOR COLDS

    Chicken soup is a popular home remedy for the common cold but does it really work? Some researchers say that it can help to relieve the symptoms of a cold by reducing inflammation, thus providing some relief of cold symptoms. Also, the hot vapors help break up congestion, making it easier for you to breathe. Soup provides fluid, which is important for fighting infection. Plus, it tastes pretty good when you’re not feeling your best.

    Source: National Institutes of Health

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    6 Ways to Reduce Stress and Protect Your Heart

    1) Build a support system
    2) Recognize your stress triggers
    3) Schedule in 'Time-Outs'
    4) Find fun stress relieving activities
    5) Soothe your soul with music
    6) Learn how to say 'No'

    The American Heart Association (AHA)

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    Manage Extra Weight to Prevent Knee Pain

    Losing weight is an important part of keeping your knees healthy, Shook says. The National Institutes of Health recommends the follow steps for exercising safely.

    Get a consultation - Talk to your doctor if you have any chronic health problems or you're worried that exercise might cause an injury. If you already have knee pain, discuss types of activities with your doctor that might be safe for you.

    Exercise - Good types of exercises for heavier people include walking — even for just a few minutes when you're starting out — bicycling indoors or outside, and strength training to build stronger muscles.Be more active.

    Simply work more physical activity into your daily routine - Walk around while you're talking on the phone (after all, that's why they're cordless!), play actively with your kids or grandkids, and make personal visits at work instead of using e-mail. Weight loss is something you can do on your own, says Shook. It's inexpensive. And it might save you from knee surgery or other health problems down the road.

    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    EXERCISE COOL DOWN

    It is important to cool down after a moderate- to high-intensity exercise session. This prevents sudden pooling of blood in the muscles as well as sudden drops in blood pressure that can lead to dizziness and falls. During the last 5-10 minutes of your workout, gradually decrease your exercise intensity and gently approach your resting
    heart rate before coming to a complete stop.


    Source: American College of Sports Medicine

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    EXERCISING IN COLD WEATHER

    Don’t let cold weather keep you from enjoying an outdoor workout. Keeping warm is a lot easier than you might think. Just follow the three-layer principle: wear an inner layer of wool, silk or a synthetic fabric to wick away sweat; an insulating layer of wool or a synthetic fabric to keep the body warm; and an outer layer to provide protection from wind, rain or snow. Add a hat or headband and some gloves and you will be ready to walk, run, hike or cross-country ski.

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE!

    According to a recent survey, most people donate blood to help others and because it makes them feel good. This is not surprising since a blood donation truly is a “gift of life”. In just one hour’s time, a healthy individual can donate one unit of blood that could help save multiple lives in their community. On any given day, approximately
    39,000 units of red blood cells are needed. The need is great, so consider being a blood donor and saving a life!

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Lose Weight Safely

    If you’re working on your New Year’s resolution to lose weight, be sensible. Stay away from fad diets and other plans that promise quick weight loss. While you may lose weight initially, these strategies are not effective for long-term weight maintenance, and some can be unsafe. Professionals recommend a safe rate of weight loss of 1/2 to 2 pounds per week. Be patient as you practice new behaviors that support healthy eating and active living. In time, you will achieve your healthiest weight.

    Cutting Fat

    Rich in protein, calcium and vitamin D, milk is certainly a nutritional powerhouse. But, consider choosing skim or 1 percent fat milk rather than whole milk. This can mean a nutritional savings of roughly 70 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat for each cup. If taste is a concern, gradually working your way down can help. Start with 2 percent milk and slowly switch to skim milk over time.

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    EFFECTIVELY FLATTEN YOUR STOMACH

    While crunches are effective in building and strengthening the abdominal muscles, they don't address the layer of fat sitting on top of the muscle. To reduce the fat, aerobic exercise is your best bet (such as walking, running, cycling, or using an elliptical machine). Focus on both time and intensity in order to burn the most calories.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    Food Tip

    An egg a day may keep the eye doctor away. Antioxidants in egg yolks can help protect against age-related vision problems.


    Carrots aren’t the only food that’s good for your peepers. Egg yolks are a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that accumulate in the eyes and help protect the retinas from sun damage. Research shows that people with the most lutein and zeaxanthin in their diets have a nearly 60 percent smaller risk of developing age-related macular degeneration — the leading cause of blindness. According to a 2006 study in the Journal of Nutrition, eating an egg a day boosted antioxidant levels in the retinas without elevating cholesterol. While it’s okay to eat eggs as part of a heart-healthy diet, people who are watching their cholesterol should consult their doctor first. Other good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin include green, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens and romaine lettuce.

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    REALISTIC FITNESS GOALS LEAD TO SUCCESS

    Do you expect too much when you try to start or increase your physical activity? Success often leads to more success, but very high goals often lead to frustration. Start slow and set realistic goals for yourself. For example, unless you are already very active, don’t set
    your new goal as 60 minutes of vigorous exercise every day. Instead consider starting with activities such as brisk walking for 10-15 minutes several days a week. By conquering smaller goals first, you are more likely to continue and ultimately reach your larger goals.

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Health Tip

    Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. Luckily, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk by as much as 80%

    Want to slash your chances of ever having a stroke? By maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, exercising regularly and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you can reduce your risk of a first-time stroke by 80 percent, according to the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. Also key in preventing a stroke: keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol down. A healthy diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein. Focus on reducing your sodium, sugar and saturated fat intake. You can do that by cutting back on red meat, full-fat dairy products, baked goods and fried food. Practicing healthy habits won’t just reduce your risk of stroke, it will lower your chances of developing other chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes as well.

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    Wellness Tip

    Do you find it hard to resist those pre-meal all-you-can-eat tortilla chips that are served with salsa at most Mexican restaurants? Chips and other tasty appetizers can add plenty of calories to your meal.
    One basket of restaurant tortilla chips, for example, can contain as many as 1,000 calories and up to 50 grams of fat. When dining out, try to carefully limit or even skip chips and other pre-meal snacks. To avoid temptation, try sipping on a non-caloric beverage such as water or iced tea as you wait for your meal.

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Health Tip

    Folic acid is a B vitamin that everyone needs for good health, especially women in their childbearing years. Folic acid plays a role in preventing spina bifida, a type of birth defect of the baby’s brain and spine. Since about 50 percent of pregnancies are unplanned, it’s important that women who could become pregnant take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. Eating a breakfast cereal with 100 percent of the daily value for folic acid is one way to get enough, but the most reliable way to get that amount is to take a multivitamin with folic acid.

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Wellness Tip

    Basking in the glory of an achievement? Steer clear of your favorite treats. Pride in accomplishments can make us indulge unhealthfully.

    What’s the quickest way to sabotage your healthy eating efforts? Putting yourself in temptation’s way after a job well done. Whether you just landed a promotion or aced a final exam, being proud of an accomplishment can make you splurge on not-so-good-for-you goodies. The reason, according to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research: Pride over success makes us want to reward ourselves. And, unfortunately for our cholesterol levels, most of us would rather choose a sundae over a fruit salad for our celebration prize. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to something special after an accomplishment. But instead of choosing cookies or cake, celebrate with a manicure, a movie or an hour at the driving range with family or friends.

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    Wellness Tip

    It takes more than willpower to stick with your New Year’s resolution. You also have to believe in your ability to succeed.

    Wondering if you’ll achieve your New Year’s resolutions this year? According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, if you want to do well, you have to stop speculating and start believing. While willpower is an important part of sticking with your resolutions, faith in yourself is just as vital for success. Having confidence in your ability to change is key to maintaining your resolutions. According to Alan Marlatt, a psychology professor at the University of Washington, it’s also a good idea to have coping strategies to deal with any obstacles that may arise, and keep track of your progress. And if you mess up, that’s okay. Continue on your quest instead of giving up.