Posts Tagged ‘health’

Exercise Your Way Young?

April 17, 2014

1952800078

We all know that exercise benefits our health in many ways, but a new study shows it might also help us look younger too.

Researchers at McMaster University in Canada found that mice became ill when sedentary, but thrived when given access to a running wheel. The theory was then applied to humans, with positive results.

A group of  men and women ages 20-84 were split into 2 groups; the first exercising vigorously for 3 hours per week, and the other less than 1 hour per week. It was discovered that after age 40, those who got more exercise also had thinner and healthier status cornuems and thicker dermis layers, a skin composition more similar to those aged 20-30.

They also studied a sedentary group of people over the age of 65. After three months on an exercise programs, the participant’s skin was found to be similar in make up to that of 20-40 year olds, and they looked visibly younger.

4552300489

Instead of investing in costly lotions and potions to battle the visible signs of aging, perhaps it’s time to start working out. You heart, lungs, bones and skin will thank you.

photos: Glasshouse Images

Like us on Facebook, follow us on TwitterTumblr, Instagram and Pinterest too!

 

Sports Beer

February 21, 2014

4849d3_51488692a72700a7e951d5dc18dcb401.png_srz_355_660_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srz

Generally speaking, drinking a beer after your workout is not the best choice. It’s dehydrating, bloating, and has enough calories to negate the effects of the workout. Unless it’s a Lean Machine Ale that is.

Canada’s latest entry into the world of breweries, is not only a healthier option to traditional ales, but it also marketing itself as a sports drink!

Aside from having a low alcohol content, it contains antioxidants and electrolytes that aid in recovery, and replenish vital nutrients often lost during high intensity exercise. One 77 calorie can,contains 7 grams of protein, and 7 different vitamins. It is shown to boost the immune system, and is gluten free.

For those of you in the states looking to give it a try, the company is offering a 24 pack, for $150, which comes with shares in Lean Machine, a hat and tee shirt, and an invitation to a local launch party. Why not give it a try?

Like us on Facebook, follow us on TwitterTumblr, Instagram and Pinterest too!

Hot Tips Tuesday: Relieving Muscle Cramps

August 20, 2013

Everyone who does any type of physical activity has experienced leg cramps and side stitches. Today’s tips will help you beat them in no time.

New runners are often plagued by side stitches; those gripping cramps that form at the side of your waist. It happens when the overworked diaphragm begins to spasm.

To ease the pain, slow your pace, and exhale forcefully each time the foot opposite from the painful side strikes the ground. It can also help to massage the area until the pain subsides.

Avoid them by eating lightly at least 1 hour before running. A full stomach can trigger side stitches.

1279800342

Leg cramps and toe cramps are other painful side effects of working out, or even walking in high heels all day. They often hit in the middle of the night, and can be absolutely excruciating.

For a “Charley horse,” deeply massage the area until you can get up and walk it off.

For toe cramps, pull the toes towards you until the muscle starts to relax and the worst of the pain subsides.

Muscle cramps can often signal dehydration. Be sure to drink enough water when you work out to help prevent them.

You might also try keeping tonic water on hand. The quinine in the beverage has been known to relieve the spasm.

Doing dynamic stretches to warm up, and stagnant stretches to cool down will help prevent muscle cramps post workout.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Like us on Facebook, follow us on TwitterTumblr and Pinterest too!

Wine and Workouts

July 31, 2013

4093602496

Could that glass of red wine negate the effects of your workout? A new study suggests that it might be.

Red wine, touted for its antioxidant powers from resveratrol, is thought to have a positive effect on cardiac health. A study published in the Journal of Physiology followed 27 men over the age of 65. All followed an intense workout regimen, but half of the men were given a resveratrol supplement, while the others received a placebo. The placebo recipients were found to have lower body fat, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol than the resveratrol users. This contradicts the findings in previous studies, which linked the antioxidant to improved heart health.

“We were surprised to find that resveratrol supplementation in aged men blunts the positive effects of exercise training on cardiovascular health parameters, in part because our results contradict findings in animal studies,” said Dr. Ylva Hellsten, the leader of the project, in a statement.

The caveat to the study is that the dose of resveratrol was 100 times higher than what is found in a glass of red wine.

So until further notice, keep working out hard, and enjoy your wine in moderation.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Like us on Facebook, follow us on TwitterTumblr and Pinterest too!

Here Comes the Sun

July 17, 2013

It’s hot here in New York City, and the blazing sun beating down on us during our walk to work isn’t doing us any favors.  Slathering on the sun block ( and deodorant!) and donning a hat are good habits, but a recent article from the Greatist suggests that what you eat can provide some serious protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

2117900105
Salmon and other foods rich in omega- 3 fatty acids, can protect the skin from free radical damage, and have been shown to prevent some types of skin cancers.

Cacao Beans with Chocolate Pieces

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which help guard against UV rays. They also keep the skin hydrated and boost blood flow. While chocolate and bikinis seem a bit counterintuitive, a little of this delicious treat could help prevent sunburn.

4263000273

Leafy greens and herbs are packed with antioxidants that protect the skin. Studies have shown that eating dark leafy greens can stave off the reappearance of skin cancer.

Multicolored tomatoes

Red and yellow vegetables, such as bell peppers, tomatoes and carrots, are skin protecting super foods. Lycopene and carotenoids are the compounds to thank for reduced reactions to sunburn, and other skin irritations.

1820900093

Cruciferous vegetables are also packed with the ability to fight free radicals. Eat your broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels spouts to ward off cancer.

tea, mornings, breakfast

Top your healthy meal off with a cup of tea. Both green and black tea are strong cancer fighters and one study claims that just one cup of tea per day can lower the incidence of melanoma.

Why not include these foods in your diet on a regular basis? In addition to their skin protecting powers, they all play roles in a healthy, balanced diet.

photos: Glasshouse Images

Like us on Facebook, follow us on TwitterTumblr and Pinterest too!

Don’t Pass the (Star)Buck

June 19, 2013

2107400294

Often, some of the controversial health bills passed in New York City become more widespread in time.  Such is the case with Starbucks, who today announced it would post calorie counts on all of their menu boards, nationwide.

The Food and Drug Administration is looking at having all restaurants with more than 20 locations post the nutritional information publically, allowing customers to make more informed decisions. Starbucks is one of the first to voluntarily post calories in their stores across the country.

In an effort to serve up healthier options the chain began offering sugar free syrups and switched to 2% milk, as it’s standard several years ago. Skim milk is also an option for customized drinks.

Would you pass on that double chocolate chip Frappuccino at 500 calories, and choose a 260 calorie iced Café Mocha, or a Skinny Flavored Latte at only 110 calories, if you were well informed? How about a 240-calorie croissant, instead of the healthier sounding banana walnut bread at a whopping 490 calories?

Informed decisions are generally better decisions, and Starbucks is taking a step in the right direction to make sure that their customers know what they are indulging in.

New York has successfully led the country in kicking the trans fat habit, banned smoking in public places and built awareness of the calories in their food.  Now how about those giant sodas Mayor Bloomberg is fighting to limit? Do you think that will eventually catch on as well?

photo: Glasshouse Images

Like us on Facebook, follow us on TwitterTumblr and Pinterest too!

Nutrition Fiction

May 20, 2013

4330300167

While flipping through a popular health and wellness magazine today, I was a little surprised at some of their nutritional suggestions.

I am an armchair expert, admittedly with no formal training in nutrition and look to articles written by others to provide me with much of my information. Through this process, I have a heightened awareness of what is good for you, and what is not. Clearly, some of what I read falls into the latter category.

First up on the agenda: The 2013 Healthy Food Awards.

In this segment, 175 readers blind tested foods that the editors and contributing registered dieticians selected and deemed healthy.

The winners all came in a package, something that generally doesn’t spell “super food” to me.

With categories like “best potato chip”, “best nuked popcorn” and “best chewy granola bar” on the list, it’s hard to grasp the concept of these foods being healthy.

The next page featured celebrity chefs’ recipes using kale, which they dubbed “the holy grail of health.”

Alex Guarnaschelli’s Kale and Watercress Soup has white potatoes, whole milk and heavy cream. It is 252 calories per serving.

I don’t know about you, but the soups I usually enjoy are closer to 80-120 calories per serving. The potatoes, when pureed, should be enough to give the soup a creamy texture, making the heavy cream and milk unnecessary. Using broth instead of the dairy, would probably add more flavor to the soup, and a fraction of the calories and fat.

Instead of the suggested garnish of low fat sour cream, how about recommending a dollop of fat free Greek yogurt? It is lower in calories and fat than the sour cream, and is higher in protein and contains healthy probiotics.

As an avid and well-informed reader, I am concerned that a magazine of this type, would feature foods that are processed, high in saturated fat, and not the best, healthiest versions available. This is not a food magazine, where the flavor and ingredients take center stage, nutritional aspects be damned.

This is a magazine about healthy eating, fitness and wellness. They owe it to their readers to provide them with informed choices. High fat, high calorie soup is not healthy, just because it has a trendy super-food in it.

Processed foods laden with preservatives, huge amounts of sodium and a few unpronounceable ingredients, often in potentially toxic packages, are not healthy, just because they are organic, or lower in calories than their counterparts.

So how does the average consumer get real information about the seemingly healthy foods that are not in fact, as healthy as they seem?

Let me introduce you to a not so secret weapon called Fooducate.
Fooducate is a website and an app for smart phones that offers nutritional profiles culled from a huge database of supermarket foods.  The free app allows you to scan the food’s barcode, and it provides a breakdown of the item’s nutritional data from a list of ingredients to calories, fat and sodium contents, chemicals and preservatives, information about what makes it a good or bad choice, and sums it up with a letter grade. It is a valuable resource for those who want to make wise decisions in the food aisles. The app also offers daily tips, and can help zero in on gluten free or diabetic friendly foods as well.

Perhaps the experts featured in my magazine might benefit from swiping a few of the foods they list, before awarding them best healthy food status.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Work It Out

April 19, 2013

7794900002

After managing to make it through the flu season relatively unscathed, I seem to be fighting a cold of some sort.

It started with a sore throat, and after a few days, an intermittent, yet hacking cough has joined the party.

I have been working hard to get back to my normal level of fitness after a long gym hiatus due to an injury. The thought of being sidelined again so soon, is daunting.  If I can make it to work, run the household errands, and get dinner on the table, surely I can make it to the gym, right?

It seems counter-intuitive to even ask the question, “When are you too sick to workout?” If you’re sick, you’re sick. But the reality is, a little exercise can boost your immune system to help you recover more quickly.

The rule of thumb seems to be that if the ailment resides above the neck, then it’s ok to do a light workout, if you feel up to it. Sore throat, and sniffles, even a little mild coughing is ok. Chest congestion, fever and stomach ailments are all big resounding “NO’s!”

It is recommended to workout at a reduced intensity to avoid exhaustion; run at a slower pace, eliminate high intensity intervals, and avoid going breathless.

Be cognizant of your fellow gym goers. If you are sneezing and dripping all over the place, perhaps it’s better to keep those germs to yourself.  Be sure to wipe down equipment after use, as an extra precaution, and toss those nasty tissues into the trashcan.

 

(*after coughing through the entire night, I threw in the towel and skipped the morning workout. )

Photo: Glasshouse Images

Eating Outside the Box

March 7, 2013

4330300171

I pride myself in being a generally healthy eater, trying to concentrate on fresh, whole foods that are low in fat and refined carbohydrates. Not my whole household does the same.

When B was a baby, she ate everything I gave her. She loved scrambled eggs, fish, tofu, fruits and vegetables. Stir-fried broccoli from the local Chinese restaurant was greeted with smiles and kicking feet. Then, something changed.

It started innocently, with a chocolate chip cookie baked as a distraction during the days that followed 9/11. She eyed it tentatively at first, then gave it a cautious lick. As a big grin swept over her face, she realized she discovered something delicious. Still, sweets were offered in only in moderation.

Next, there was the hotdog, offered unwittingly by a parent on a play date. Little by little, she was introduced to the fried, the processed and the heavily sweetened. Little by little, she balked at the healthy foods being served to her, and morphed into an average kid, with an average palate.
Now heading into her teens, her poor habits are exacerbated by her ability to go into the kitchen and help herself. I am the enabler, making sure the cupboards and freezer are stocked with foods she likes.

Last night, when I saw the wrappers from the afternoon snacks in the trash, I offhandedly voiced my concern, stating that she was going to end up diabetic if she didn’t clean up her act.

Today after school, B asked me if she is really a candidate for illness, even though she is active and far from overweight. The sad reality is that she is headed in that direction. It was a wake-up call for both of us.
Article after article discusses how sugar, and an unbalanced diet could lead to all kinds of health risks, from diabetes to cancer. Just because those Pop tarts are organic, and the granola bars whole grain and trans fat free, doesn’t mean they are healthy.

By the time we reached home, she had outlined her new eating plan.

Scrambled eggs for breakfast tomorrow, instead of a toaster pastry. Perhaps moving onto oatmeal later in the week.

I have been instructed to stock up on pears, grapes and bananas, as well as cashews, carrots with dip, and the ingredients for an afternoon smoothie to be eaten as snacks or dessert.

Dinner will be a challenge, but if we focus on the foods she likes, it’s a start.

In essence, it’s time she starts eating outside of the box. Literally.

What can we offer up to the pickiest of eaters that comes from the earth, not a package? I intend to find out.

We have all heard of Meatless Monday. Perhaps we need to coin “Try it Tuesday”, “Whole Grain Wednesday” or “Thirsty Thursday”? Even a day called “F$2k It Friday” could exist, because sometimes you just to kick back and have some pizza after a long week.

Let’s see how we do. Can she change her eating habits? Can I avoid buying food in a box? Can I get creative with the foods she likes, in order to make her fresh, healthy dinners that she can enjoy? Time will tell, and I will of course tell it here.

Stay tuned, as we set out to eat outside the box.

Supersize Me

January 16, 2013

With over 37% of all Americans being obese, it’s no surprise that the stigma of being overweight is following people to their graves.
Casket manufacturers have reported an increase in requests for extra large sized coffins!
The standard coffin is 24”-27”wide. Orders for double wide styles which measure 52”and can accommodate up to 1,000 pounds are on the rise. The additional space can cost up to $4000 extra.

With obesity being a major morbidity cause, casket manufacturers can expect a boom to business, if we can’t get this health issue under control.

photo: Glasshouse Images


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 371 other followers