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Friday, July 13, 2018

Fitness Friday

Are You Over training?
It is possible to train too much or too often to receive maximum benefits for your efforts.

     Sometimes when we have a fitness goal we allow ourselves to get carried away. We fit strenuous exercise in wherever we can often to the point of exhaustion. If that wasn't hard enough we then fail to allow our bodies time to recover. If your training performance is becoming diminished you might be suffering from over training, this condition alters the firing of the body's sympathetic nerve fibers. Fitness is important for a healthy lifestyle and necessary to achieve athletic goals, but when does it become too much?
Workout, Racing Bike, Bicycle, Bike

     A study out of the University of Guelph set out to test the theory that "train to the point of complete exhaustion, so that when you rest and recover, you will be able to preform at a higher level". They examined the effects of training on the body's nervous system response, and found a high rate of firing in the muscles nerve fibers. They found this to be a temporary jump as a result of training to exhaustion as the rates don't often change day by day, and the results for athletes who trained at regular intervals fared much better with more consistent results. The conclusion is that when you over train your body, you don't receive all the benefits of a regular exercise program, proving consistency is best.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wellness Wednesday

Is Being Barefoot Better for Children?
Better balance and jumping ability found in children who were barefoot more often.

     After having a baby there are certain essential items you must buy to prepare for caring for an infant. Diapers, bottles, and pacifiers are just a few items parents pick up for their new born, and as the child ages so do their needs, before you know it you're buying highchairs, and often, when the child begins to walk, shoes. It's interesting to see children so young wearing big bulky shoes, especially when most children fight having to wear them. A new study suggests that having your child be mostly barefoot through childhood could improve their physical performance, especially in the category of jumping and balance.
Children, Splash, Asia, Sunset, Thailand
     A study published in Frontiers in Pediatrics followed 810 primary and secondary school children from 22 different schools in South Africa and Germany. They had the children perform a variety of physical tests including balance, standing long jump, and 20 m sprint. They found the children who were normally found barefoot performed much better in the balance and long jump category, but the children who often wore athletic shoes performed better in the sprint. There needs to be more research into why this is the case, one reason may be the surfaces the children were asked to perform the tasks on. These results enforced the hypothesis that adolescent children would benefit from being barefoot more often especially in the 6-10 year old range, where the difference in score was significantly higher. There still needs to be more studies and the studies should use a more uniformed approach to testing their participants.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Motivational Monday

"I didn't get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it. "
- Estee Lauder
Image result for work out picturesLink
Fitness Tip of the Week:
  • Find a fitness buddy!  One that will help you stay motivated and inspire you to do your best..not discourage.  Are they supportive of your goals?  Find someone you will be able to push harder and will motivate you in return.
Smoothie Recipe of the Week:
  • Almond Butter & Jam Smoothie
    • 1 1/2 cups (12oz.) Original Almond Breeze Almond Milk
    • 1/4 cup blue diamond homestyle crunchy almond butter
    • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
    • 1 ripe banana peeled
    • 2 ice cubes
Visit This Link to View the Full Recipe

Lunch Recipe of the Week:
  • Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad
Visit This Link to View the Full Recipe

Dinner Recipe of the Week:

  • Macaroni Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
    • 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
    • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
    • 2 scallions, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
    • 1 ripe medium avocado
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Visit This Link to View the Full Recipe                   

Exercise of the Week:
Mountain Climbers (3 sets of 30 seconds):
Image result for mountain climbers

Stretch of the Week:

Pectoralis Stretch (15-30 second hold):
Image result for pectoralis stretch

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Wellness Wednesday

Diet Shown to be as Effective as Prescription Drugs in Lowering Blood Pressure
People with high blood pressure were able to make a drastic change without the use of prescription drugs by combining the benefits of low sodium and the DASH diet.

     The reality when watching TV today is the surplus of prescription drug commercials which inevitably end with a long list of side effects. Some of the potential side effects sound way worse than whatever they are claiming to help. While there isn't always another option in the case of high blood pressure there is. Diet, it almost sounds too simple right? Well studies show changes in diet can be as effective in lowering blood pressure as prescription medications without all the awful side effects. 
Salt Nature Eat Food Spice Salt Salt Salt

    Researchers from John Hopkins University conducted a study consisting of a low sodium and healthy eating diet also known as the DASH diet. The DASH diet focuses on eating lots of healthy fruits and vegetables, is low in fat and sugar, and promotes poultry, fish, seeds, and nuts. Although these diets have been shown to lower HBP in the past this study focused on the combination of both diets in those with lower levels of HBP. Researchers followed 412 people with blood pressure ranging from 120-159 and 80-95. for 12 weeks. Participants were given 50, 100, or 150 mmol/day of sodium. They were further separated into 4 groups based on blood pressure readings 120-129, 130-139, 140-149, and 150+. Those in the 150+ category with a sodium intake of 50mmol/day saw the greatest change in their blood pressure over the 12 week period. This study gives hope to people who don't want to be on medication, HBP can be managed just by changing your diet.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Motivational Monday

" Develop success from failures.  Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success "
- Dale Carnegie
Image result for exerciseLink
Fitness Tip of the Week:
  • Eating smaller portions is key.  To help, eat slower by putting your fork down after every bite.  It sounds simple, but we tend to indulge before our stomachs can figure out that we're full.
Smoothie Recipe of the Week:
  • Wake Up Call
    • 50g mango
    • 50g strawberries
    • 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
    • Squeeze of lime juice
    • 200ml almond milk
    • Handful ice cubes
Visit This Link to View the Full Recipe

Lunch Recipe of the Week:
  • Apple Curry Turkey Pita
Visit This Link to View the Full Recipe

Dinner Recipe of the Week:
  • Grilled Fish Tacos with Chipotle-Lime Dressing
Visit This Link to View the Full Recipe                   

Exercise of the Week:
High Knees (3 sets of 30 seconds):
Image result for high knees

Stretch of the Week:

Side Lunge (15-30 second hold):
Image result for stretch for inside of thigh

Friday, June 29, 2018

Fitness Friday

Health Risks and High Temps
Staying safe during the rising temperatures of summer.

     I think it is safe to say Summer is here in full effect, pool parties, cookouts, and hikes are just a few outdoor activities we all look forward to. With all the fun it is easy to forget the health risks associated with higher temperatures such as fainting, dehydration, and heat stroke. Some signs to look out for when playing or exercising outdoors include:
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Feeling Lightheaded 
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • and Clouded or Loss of Vision
    Planning ahead is your best defense against these heat induced health risks. Check the forecast and try to avoid activities in the middle of the day when the sun is hottest namely between 10 AM- 3 PM. If you are outside wear loose fitting, light colored clothing, and maybe invest in a good large brimmed hat to shade your face and shoulders. Drink plenty of water and possibly sports drinks to replace salts and electrolytes your body loses in sweat before during and after outdoor activities. If you are new to exercise, take it slow so your body can adjust to the extreme temperatures, and again consider exercising either really early in the day or later in the evening. Also think about taking advantage of an air-conditioned facility if the forecast is especially grim, walk the treadmill at an indoor gym or even take a lap around a local mall. Most importantly listen to your body, look for the warning signs, take a break and sit in the shade, one workout isn't worth risking your health for. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Wellness Wednesday

Looking For a New Way To Lose Weight, Try the 16:8 Diet
A study shows fasting for 16 hours, then eating in an 8-hour window helps with weight loss.

     There are many odd diets people jump on to help them lose weight. Usually, these diets consist of unrealistic lifestyle changes and lots of restrictions on what you can and cannot eat. A new craze as of late is called intermittent fasting or the 16:8 diet. It involves eating all your calories in an 8-hour window and then only water or calorie-free drinks during the other 16 hours of your day. It might sound a little intimidating but considering you are sleeping 8 of those hours and are getting your recommended calories, it's really not that bad.

Lose Weight Fat Slim Diet Loss Losing Weig

     Researchers from Illinois took 23 obese volunteers who averaged 45 years old and a BMI of 35. The participants were asked to eat from 10 AM to 6 PM, anything they wanted in any quantity, but were only allowed calorie-free drinks the rest of the time for 12 weeks. They then took these results and compared them to other weight loss studies finding participants in the 16:8 diet on average ate 350 fewer calories a day, lost about 3 percent of their body weight, and saw a drop in blood pressure. While these findings haven't been tested on a long-term basis, they show this diet may be a good alternative for people who don't wish to restrict calories. Everyone has to find the lifestyle change that works for them and imagine what the results could be if this method was combined with a healthier eating habit. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Motivational Monday

"Don't watch the clock.  
Do what it does. 
Keep going. "
- Sam Levenson
Image result for work out pics running
Fitness Tip of the Week:
  • Here's a fun fact! 200-400mg of caffeine, one to two hours before your workout, increases fat burning and helps to achieve more reps.  Caffeine supplements showed better results than using caffeine from coffee.  
Smoothie Recipe of the Week:
  • Banana Ginger Smoothie
    • 1 banana, sliced
    • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Visit This Link to View the Full Recipe

Lunch Recipe of the Week:
  • Greek Salad Wrap
Visit This Link to View the Full Recipe

Dinner Recipe of the Week:
  • Quinoa Avocado Salad
Visit This Link to View the Full Recipe                   

Exercise of the Week:
Kettlebell Squat (3 sets of 12 reps):
Related image

Stretch of the Week:

Wrist Stretch (15-30 second hold):
Image result for wrist stretch

Friday, June 22, 2018

Fitness Friday

Exercise Can Help Reduce Inflammation
Obese people can reduce the amount of inflammation found in their blood with regular exercise.

     Obesity is diagnosed as a person rating over 30 on the BMI scale (to find your BMI click here) otherwise defined as having more than 30 extra pounds. It increases the risk of many diseases such as diabetes and heart failure. Often when people hit a certain weight they deem themselves hopeless and think nothing can change that fact and it's just who they are, but that just isn't the case. We have seen time and time again studies that show no matter your size or age starting an exercise program can reap huge rewards, improving quality of life. One of the latest studies is one that shows you can reduce the damaging effects of long term inflammation in the blood.
Blood Cells Red Medical Medicine Anatomy H

     A study published in The Journal of Physiology studied the effects of exercise on inflammation in the blood in both people of a healthy weight, and those who are Obese. Inflammation is a normal response brought on by trauma, but has been found to be a long term condition found in obese people creating the risk of cell damage. Researchers took a group of lean adults and obese adults who are other wise healthy, put them through an exercise program testing their blood for an inflammatory response before and after for six weeks. They found a reduced number of inflammation producing stem cells after an exercise session. They hope to use this information to see if other people with chronic inflammation would benefit and if the reduced inflammation affects the efficiency of muscle tissue.

The Physiological Society. "Exercise makes the blood of obese people healthier." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2018. <>.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wellness Wednesday

Kitchen Towels Linked to Growth of the Pathogens Responsible for Food Poisoning
Depending on the size of your family and hygienic practices in the kitchen, you could be putting your family at risk of contamination.

     Most people have cloth dish towels in their kitchen, some use the same towel for 24 hrs, some households for days at a time. Certain family members might grab a dish towel to dry wet hands or fruits after washing, others might use the towel to carry a hot plate of food, or wipe off eating utensils. This leads us to ask one important question, "Are our kitchen towels as clean as we think and could they be potentially harming my family?".
Tea Towels, Kitchen Towel, Dry, Textiles
     Researchers from the University of Mauritius set out to find out if kitchen towels were contributors to cross-contamination, and what factors influenced bacterial growth. They found 49% of the 100 towels collected had bacterial growth. Those households with children and more family members using the same kitchen were particularly vulnerable. Damp multipurpose towels in non-vegetarian households were most likely to carry E-Coli and other bacteria usually found in the human intestine. This data indicates that kitchen towels could be responsible for cross-contamination of foods potentially leading to food poisoning. Researchers suggest avoiding damp towels, and bigger families with children and elderly present should be extra vigilant of proper hygienic protocols in the kitchen.