Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

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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Less is Plenty

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

I tried something crazy last month.  At first, it was simply impetuous, but now I’ve continued to do it and have actually seen results.  I’m wearing things I had no hope of squeezing into before and feel better than I have in years.

I take my dinner plate, and I cut it in half.  Yep. That’s the secret.  I load up with all the food I think I want and then divide half of it into Tupperware to take to work the next day for lunch.  Not only does this save me roughly $50 a week in lunch costs, but I’ve also lost about 6 pounds with minimal effort.

I don’t feel deprived-I’m eating what everyone else eats for dinner.  But I’m eating less.  And I’ve discovered something fascinating.  Less is actually plenty.

I’m enjoying another unexpected result from this food experiment.  I have more energy.  I no longer experience that stuffed feeling of remorse as I push away from the dining room table, ready for a nap on the couch.  Because the better I feel and look, the less I want to gorge myself.  It’s a very simple concept.

In addition, I feel so good that I find I want to do more to enhance my health.  I am starting to actually look forward to going to the gym-albeit with trashy magazine in hand-and am dedicated to cutting down on the caffeine, alcohol and sugar in general.  My sleep patterns have improved, and frankly, so has my outlook on life.

Sound dramatic?  Maybe.  But it’s working.

Are you ready to find your catalyst for better health?  Try something unexpected and see what happens.  You may just find yourself $200 a month richer and a size or two smaller.

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To have and have not

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Do you ever find yourself unhappy, dwelling on the fact that you don’t own a Bentley or a house on Lake Como?  It’s natural to feel mildly envious of others’ good fortunes, but it’s important to keep that envy in check.

One of the secrets to happiness is to remind yourself of what you do have.  You may not jet off to Brazil every year for Carnival, but that annual camping trip you go on with friends or family is just as wonderful in its way.  And one thing we can all be thankful for is good health.

Encourage your body to be as healthy as it can be by eating well, exercising as much as possible, cutting down on stress, and allowing yourself to enjoy a little R & R when warranted.

At Solanova, we have many ways to help you ensure continued good health.  Take a look at our health concern articles, with heart health, and everything in between.  And our highly absorbable, quality vitamins and nutritional supplements will help keep your health humming.

So the next time you feel a little jealous that you don’t have that 3- karat diamond ring or house in the Hamptons, put it in perspective.  You have your friends, family and hopefully very good health to be thankful for-and therefore already possess the best things in life.  Enjoy these last weeks of summer!

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quick-change artist

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Ever heard that expression, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”?  I want to tweak that slightly: “the more things stay the same, the less chance they will EVER change.”

The cold, hard fact is this: If we want to change our less-than-stellar health habits, the time is now.  We all have to actually make some sort of concerted effort to do things differently in order to expect different results.

This idea is elementary, I know, but it’s amazing how many of us (myself included) don’t practice what we preach.  Here’s an example:

Last year I noticed that my favorite jeans were becoming harder and harder to button.  I blamed the dryer and the hot water I accidently washed them in one time (months before). Because I didn’t own a scale, I was in relative denial about my gradual weight gain.  I continued to eat my-ahem-nightly bowl of ice cream.  I didn’t have a lot of energy, which lead to me skipping the gym most days.  The less I exercised, the more lethargic I felt and the more I ate (to keep my energy up).  This became a classic vicious cycle.

One day I could no longer deny it and my favorite jeans were banished to the back of my closet, along with the other clothes I couldn’t squeeze into anymore.  That day was my breaking point, my “moment of clarity” if you will.  I forced myself to the gym that afternoon, and most evenings after work.  I stopped eating my beloved ice cream (except on weekends), and tried my best to get enough sleep so I didn’t need to rely on food to enhance my energy.

Everyone has their breaking point, their moment of clarity.  Find yours and then act upon it.  It may take a little while to see some results, but you absolutely will.  Changing your bad habits can ultimately change the course of your health-and life-for the better.  Good luck!

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The simple life

Monday, April 12th, 2010

If you’re anything like me, your day may go like this:  Get up early (acute torture for we non-morning persons), check email, make coffee/breakfast/lunch/kid’s breakfasts etc. Jump in your car with seconds to spare, fight your way through ungodly traffic to get to work, school, or both, squeeze in errands in between meetings, stay late, commute home, try to get to the gym for 40 minutes, come back home, cook dinner, clean up the dishes, throw a load of laundry haphazardly into the machine, and read to the kids and/or pass out in front of the TV.  Get up the next day and start the whole chaotic process again.

This strikes me as no way to live.

So last week I took one day and experimented; I only did the things I absolutely HAD to do.  I did get up, made coffee and went to work, fighting the commute and arriving (basically) on time.  But I forced myself to eat a sandwich somewhere other than my desk, and eschewed all non-essential errands.  I found that I had time to take a walk in a nearby park, allowing myself to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, if only for my lunch hour.  When I got back to my desk, instead of feeling harried and frenzied, I felt centered and somewhat relaxed.  I continued with this idea throughout the day.  I drove home, changed into casual clothes and took the dog for a walk around the neighborhood.  I did not go to the gym.  With that extra hour, I spent some quality time with my pooch and actually had a chance to talk to a couple of neighbors who were also out and about.  When the rest of the family came home, we all cooked together and turned our collective noses up at the laundry piling high in the utility room.  It felt great.

The point is this: give yourself permission to kick around the dust bunnies.  It’s very noble to try to do it all day after day after day, but it doesn’t make for a particularly happy or enriched life.  So let yourself have a day or two off from the gym, the cooking, the laundry, and anything else non-essential.  You will feel more relaxed, centered and ultimately more productive.  And if all else fails, send the laundry out once a month.  Let someone else do your dirty work.  After all, you have a life!

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Older, Wiser…but not larger

Monday, April 5th, 2010

omega-gel omega-3 fatty acid

As we grow older, it can become increasingly more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.  Our metabolism is slower, and we tend to lose muscle mass, if not motivation.  But recent research has shown that something as simple as taking quality vitamins and supplements can help battle obesity.

In two studies, one a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 45 obese non-consumers of supplements participating in a 15-week weight-reducing program, and the second a cross-sectional study involving consumers and non-consumers of vitamin and/or dietary supplements, results indicate that use of dietary and/or vitamin supplements may be associated with lower body weight and reduced appetite. In the cross-sectional study, male consumers of vitamins and/or minerals had lower body weight, fat mass, body mass index, and a tendency for greater resting energy expenditure, compared to men in the placebo group. The results were similar in women, although statistical significance was not reached. In the placebo-controlled study, the participants received an energy-restricted diet along with a placebo (placebo group) or multivitamin and mineral supplement (active group) for 15 weeks. Fasting and postprandial appetite ratings were significantly reduced among women in the active group, compared with the placebo group. Thus, the results of this study suggest that intake of vitamins and/or dietary supplements may play a role in weight reduction and inhibition of appetite.

If we can encourage each other to commit to healthier lifestyle choices like exercising regularly, eating properly, and taking healthy supplements, we can fight back against the hands of time and the extra pounds that can accumulate too!

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Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/36960, “Multivitamin and dietary supplements, body weight and appetite: results from a cross-sectional and a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study,” Major GC, Tremblay A, et al, Br J Nutr, 2007 Nov 1; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Division of Kinesiology, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Laval University, Quebec, G1K 7P4, Canada).

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Trim the Fat

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

weight and your good health

You already bought the Costco sized supply of carrot sticks.  You’ve thrown out all of the chocolate in the house.  You have eschewed your newspaper subscription in favor of walking three blocks to the corner store and back in order to purchase one.  You are trying desperately to eat right, to integrate exercise into your normal daily routine, and you are seeing some weight loss results.  Slowly.  Painfully slowly.

What you need is some sort of leg up.  According to creepy legend or Urban Myth, back in the old days you might garner weight loss aid from a tapeworm purchased from an overzealous magazine ad.  But now there is something much easier and infinitely safer for you to swallow.  It is an Amino Acid called L-Carnitine and it has natural fat burning and energy producing elements.

Many studies have been conducted on the positive effects of L-Carnitine on weight loss.  One such study found that while a balanced diet can deliver 100-300mg of L-Carnitine, supplementing with up to 2 g of L-Carnitine could produce far more favorable weight loss results.  This study took 18 obese adolescent subjects and followed them for 3 months.  The adolescents who supplemented with L-Carnitine experienced a 25% greater loss in body weight, their body mass index dropped by 1.5%, and their total cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels were significantly reduced.  It was also observed that the subjects had fewer sugar cravings, were less hungry, and had markedly more energy than their control group counterparts.

L-Carnitine supports optimal fat oxidation, which can result in body weight reduction.  It can also play a key role in cardiovascular function, improved neurotransmitter function, energy production and fat metabolism. Coupled with a healthy diet and exercise regimen, you could be ready for beach season early this year.  Grab your bikini, and L-Carnitine supplements.  Spring is almost here!

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Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/28430, “L-Carnitine Supplementation-A Natural Approach for Weight Management,” Schaffhauser AO, Gaynor PT, Ann Nutr Metab, 2000;44:94-95.

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Happy (Tea)totalers

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

smallgreentea

Depression can sneak up on even the happiest among us.  But some groups seem to be more susceptible than others.  A recent study involving a group of older Japanese men and women who live in communities discovered that drinking green tea several times a day can significantly decrease incidence of depression in the group.  Green tea is also heavy on antioxidant properties and light on caffeine and is thought to be very good for overall health.  And now it can add “natural anti-depressant” to its roster of good attributes.

Of course choosing to live a healthy lifestyle can also make you happy, just as experiencing health problems can precipitate depression in many people.  Exercise can help release endorphins into your body, causing feelings of wellbeing and calm.  And seeking out feel good foods can also contribute to feeling happy (and healthy too).  Foods like wild salmon (rich in omega-3’s and vitamin D), lowfat or nonfat milk, (high in vitamin D and B12), blueberries and strawberries (high in antioxidants/great source of vitamin C) can all help fight free radicals that can cause cell damage and in turn compromise health.

Ideally we’d all eat healthy, vitamin and antioxidant rich food every day of our lives.  We’d train for marathons regularly, bicycle to and from work, and enjoy the requisite eight hours of sleep a night.  But most of us don’t live in this kind of world.  So do the best you can.  Take a walk after dinner.  Eat organically whenever possible.  And take your vitamins and supplements that help to fill in the nutritional gaps from your less-than-ideal-lifestyle.

And at the end of a particularly stressful or bad day, unwrap a little bit of dark chocolate (full of antioxidants), make yourself a cup of green tea, and end your day on a happy note.

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Learn health tips including how to achieve better cardiovascular health.  Read our health articles here.  We also carry natural stress relief solutions.

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/38595, “Green tea consumption is associated with depressive symptoms in the elderly,” Niu K, Hozawa A, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2009 Oct 14; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Division of Biomedical Engineering for Health and Welfare, Tohoku University Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Sendai, Japan).

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