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