Archive for November, 2010

A sense of fun to stay fit

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

If the stuffy gym just isn’t doing it for you anymore, and you find yourself putting off exercise because you are bored with routine or too busy during the holiday season, don’t give up just yet.

We all know the holidays can be stressful, rushed, and filled with decadent treats and overindulgence, which is why this time of year is especially important to keep on top of your fitness regime.

But how?

The weather is much cooler now, but what better time to seek out fun activities you can do with your friends?  Check out your local ice skating rink.  Grab some friends and practice your figure 8’s and Axel jumps.   Or bundle up and take a walk or a hike in a nearby park.  The cold will make you move faster while you enjoy the beautiful winter scenery.  And if you’re lucky enough to live close to a ski resort?  Well, you know what to do!

Give a gift that keeps on giving.  Why not buy a series of yoga classes for you and a friend as a special gift that is good for both of you?  The class will keep you both committed, and will allow you plenty of hang out time while attempting downward facing dog or the plank.

By being creative and adding some social components to your workout routine, you’ll be much more likely to keep up some kind of physical activity during this hectic holiday season.  And hey, even holiday shopping at the mall can count.  Just make sure to take the stairs!

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exercise your right to be healthy!

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Every little bit helps. We’ve heard that piece of sage advice our whole lives.  Whether we’re discussing saving a few dollars, or cutting out excess fats or sugars in our diet, the little changes can really add up.

So why not extend this theory to physical activity? Small efforts like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking during your lunch break, or riding your bike to the grocery store can add up to big, positive changes in your health and waistline over time.

Don’t self-sabotage.  If you can’t set aside an hour a day for the gym, a walk or bike ride, don’t blow off exercise entirely.  Try taking a power walk for 15 minutes instead.  Getting your blood pumping and enjoying being outside can only benefit you.

Got 10 minutes at home between work and dinner?  Try doing 25 sit-ups, 10 push-ups, and then either running around the block or working out with free weights for 5 additional minutes.  10 minutes of vigorous exercise is great for your heart, immune system, and will help to tone your muscles.   And as little as 10 minutes of brisk activity can keep your metabolism revved for up to an hour!

By incorporating exercise and physical activity into our daily lives, we not only stay fit, we achieve better health.  And we can all agree that being healthier is a wonderful thing!

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Put vitamin “d” in your diet!

Friday, November 5th, 2010

A new study shows that consumption of calcium and vitamin D while on a diet regimen, actually helps to facilitate further weight loss:

In a study involving an analysis of data collected from a 2-year trial involving 322 subjects (mean BMI: 31 kg/m(2), mean age: 52 years), of which 126 were followed for 6 months for serum vitamin D changes, higher dairy calcium intake and increased serum vitamin D were found to be associated with greater diet-induced weight loss. According to multivariate logistic regression modeling adjusted for age, sex, baseline BMI, total fat intake, diet group, vitamin D concentration, and dairy calcium, a 1 SD increase in dairy calcium intake increased the likelihood of weight loss >4.5 kg in the preceding 6 months (OR=1.45), and a similar increase was seen for serum 25(OH)D at 6 months as well (OR=1.7). The authors conclude, “Our study suggests that both higher dairy calcium intake and increased serum vitamin D are related to greater diet-induced weight loss.”

In addition, vitamin D & calcium can offer some protection against Osteoporosis and are thought to enhance the immune system.  So get plenty of exercise, eat a healthy, low fat diet, drink milk, and be sure to take a highly absorbable calcium/vitamin D nutritional supplement for stronger bones and better overall health.  Your bones, waistline and health will all thank you!

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Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/39386, “Dairy calcium intake, serum vitamin D, and successful weight loss,” Shahar DR, Schwarzfuchs D, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2010 Nov; 92(5): 1017-22. (Address: S. Daniel Abraham Center for Health and Nutrition and the Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. E-mail: dshahar@bgu.ac.il ).

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