Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stress Busters!

Stress is a part of everyone’s life, whether we like it or not. Some stress is good, because it help us get things done and act and work hard. But too much stress can do an incredible amount of harm on our bodies. It can bring on things like hypertension, diabetes, headaches, depression, anxiety, weight gain and addictions.
Learning to manage stress is easy though. So here are some tips to make today a little lighter on the mind and happier in the heart

1. Set believable and achievable goals
2. Take long deep breathes, all the way from the bottom of your belly
3. Talk to yourself, whether you are giving yourself positive feedback or reminding your body to relax
4. Take a time out. If you find yourself in a situation where every muscle in your body is beginning to tense and your mind is going crazy, just step away for a couple minutes, take some deep breathes and clear your mind
5. Finish tasks: start things you know you can finish
6. Meditate or practice yoga
7. Laugh! Have a sense of humor, even if it is about your unbelievable stress levels
8. Socialize
9. Write in a journal
10. Say no…you don’t have to do everything all the time

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Too Busy?

Now that you have decided to give running a go, or any fitness plan, how do you know that life is not going to stop you dead in your tracks? There are all those barricades to success that try to stop us from taking care of ourselves like family, work, community and other interests. So here are some quick tips on how to make running, or any other exercise, a habit rather than a passing fad.
• Pick an event to get ready for. When you finish, pick another one.
• Find a doable training plan and follow it.
• Train with friends or groups.
• Train alone if you need the time to clear your head.
• Keep your weekly training routine consistent regarding when you go.
• Use a baby jogger if needed for your little ones.
• Fall in love with an ipod, especially if you have to put in treadmill time
• Find a cool place to run on your way to/from work so you don’t have to make an extra trip.
• Workout during lunch hour. Bosses are becoming more flexible on this
• Workout during nap time
• Workout early in the day before the chaos begins.
• If you have young children and are a member of a fitness club with a good nursery, use treadmills sometimes.
• Ask your spouse to help out and watch the kids a day or two a week.
• Splurge and use a babysitter a once a week to get a really good workout in, or get with other moms and trade of watching kids while you exercise
• Use a combination of the above scheduling tricks each week if necessary. That is what I had to do for several years. But, the schedule was pretty much the same each week.
• Run on the trails as much as possible they are very refreshing.
• Take rest days when needed. Listen to your body to prevent overtraining although you can still keep your schedule by using the trick below or something like it.
• Make sure all your workouts are treated as appointments. Don’t ask IF you are going to go, just GO!! You can change your workout if you are tired, but KEEP THE HABIT and don’t miss.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Brain Busters!

Here are some crazy facts to try and wrap your mind around!

~ Wheat flour has 470% more fiber than white flour
~ America has more obese people than overweight people
~ 45% of people eat fewer than five home-cooked dinners per week, 17% don’t even eat three
~ Adding blueberries instead of strawberries to your cereal will more than double your antioxidant intake.
~ Frozen produce holds more nutritional value than canned
~ Compared with an 8-ounce glass of orange juice, a single medium orange has half as much sugar and 3 more grams of fiber
~ The number of obese children has tripled since 1980
~ Almond butter has 79% more heart healthy monounsaturated fats than peanut butter
~ One medium carrot has 340% of your daily vitamin A

Friday, April 16, 2010

Feel Younger and Live Longer

Let’s face it, we are all getting older. But just because we can’t control the number attached to our lives, doesn't mean we can't control the body we have. As we age, remember these tips to make life even greater than it already is!

1. For a healthy heart, make sure you are exercising hard enough to break a sweat at least three times a week
2. Make sure you balance cardio with strength training to maintain bone density
3. Add flexibility training through yoga. It reduces stress on joints and your mind, increases strength and encourages inner serenity
4. Get your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar tested regularly. If you stay on top of it you can catch it early, and then eating well and exercise will keep you from having to take medications
5. Eat heart healthy foods, such as nuts, olive oil, or fish
6. Eat “brain food” each day: an ounce of nuts a day, cup of soybeans, 8 oz. tomato juice, or an ounce of cocoa-based chocolate (the darker the better!)
7. Boost your immune system by eating foods like yogurt, garlic and pumpkin seeds. It’s also smart to take a basic multi vitamin daily.
8. Get your sunshine! Walk outside or read a book on your porch for at least 30 minutes. Sunshine gives us the vitamin D we need. If you can’t go outside for allergies or other reasons, make sure to take a water soluble vitamin D supplement.
9. Learn to breathe properly! Doing yoga or pilates can really help with this
10. Make sleep a priority. 7-8 hours a night for men and 6-7 hours a night for women reduce the risk of heart attacks
11. Exercise your brain every day: change the routes you drive, do puzzles, play an instrument or go to classes on something that interests you
12. Daydream! Non-routine thought processes keeps your brain flexible and your cognitive function high.

Monday, April 12, 2010


We have all heard how beneficial it is to have dinner with your family sitting together. It creates bonds, keeps your family close, and opens up communication between parents and children. So I guess we don’t really need more reasons to cook at home. But I have more! Take a look at these nutrition facts from restaurants, supermarkets, and then home-cooked meals.
Pizza (per slice): 210 calories/510 calories/187 calories
Hamburger: 830 calories/350 calories/329 calories
Steak: 655 calories/360 calories/243 calories
Grilled Cheese: 430 calories/590 calories/270 calories
Enchilada: 1,315 calories/380 calories/304 calories
Roast Beef Sandwich: 571 calories/700 calories/245 calories

Obviously these are all average amounts, but you get the point. By all means, still go out to eat. But next time, make sure you are sharing your plate. Or to make that good food last super long, as soon as you get it ask for a box and put at least half of it away for later. Sometimes more than half is even better!

(*info retrieved from Cook This, Not That)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tricks for Eating Less!

1. Don’t Take Your Dishes of Food to the Table: if you cooked it on the stove, take your helping and go sit down. When you have to get up to get seconds, you’ll think twice

2. Use Smaller Plates: smaller plates, smaller portions!
3. Save Fruit for Dessert: Knowing you have dessert, hopefully you’ll eat less at dinner. Then just having fruit will give you the sweetness with less sugar and calories
4. Don’t Multi Task: I know we all like to, but while eating, really concentrate on eating. Don’t watch TV or read or look at the back of the cereal box. That’s mindless, and you’ll end up eating more
5. Put the Box Away: If you really want some crackers, take out one serving and then put the box away. You won’t eat more, and if you’re still hungry for a snack, grab a fruit or some veggies
6. Take It Slow: Eat with your non-dominant hand…try it! You’ll slow down and when you slow down, you realize when you’re satisfied before you’re stuffed. You can even try putting your fork down between each bite.
7. Get That Clean Feeling: Once you feel satisfied and you’re done eating, go brush your teeth, rinse it with mouth wash, or put a stick of gum in. You won’t want to eat with that taste in your mouth!
8. Don’t Miss Meals: Not only does it hurt your metabolism, but for some reason your mind starts to rationalize everything you choose to eat, and underestimate your caloric intake. Usually when people skip a meal, they more than double what they eat their next meal to “make up for it” which hurts you in the long run. Just eat small meals throughout the day and you will stay satisfied
9. Keep Snacks Out of Sight: If you have a treat you really like but it isn’t good for you, put it on the highest shelf or a hard to see place. That way you will only get it if you REALLY want it, and then remember to put the box away after you get a little taste
10. Leave the Evidence: If you’re eating something with trash, like a muffin or chicken wings with bones, leave the trash on your plate until you are all done. That way you can visually see how much you are eating and be less likely to eat more.
Hope this helps! Happy Eating!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Magical #10

When beginning a running or walking program, people often want to know how to increase mileage (or exercise duration) quickly without getting injured. For most people, the expectation should be about 10 percent per week.

For example, if you’re walking or running 10 miles this week (a good mileage to start), don’t do more than 11 miles next week, 12 miles the week after, 13 miles the next week, 14.5 the next week, 16 the next, and so on. It doesn’t take long to get to a mileage that you feel comfortable sticking with.

When you feel ready to increase the intensity or duration of your workouts, you become more at risk for injury. If you’re planning on increasing your intensity during the week, you should back down your weekly mileage by 10 percent.

For example, if you’re doing 10 miles this week, but you want to add a more intense workout to your week next week, back your weekly mileage down to 9 miles to ensure you don’t put too much strain on your body. This allows your body to react to the stress of the added intensity without the added stress of increased mileage at the same time. This helps decrease your risk of injury and allows your body to more fully absorb the benefits of your intense workouts.

The 10 percent rule is designed to allow your body to adjust to this new stress. The body is incredible. It will adjust and respond very well to your exercise, but it can’t do it all at once. If you increase your mileage a little at a time the body will respond and become stronger more quickly.
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