Jun
17
2014

Study Shows Benefits to High-Protein Breakfast

A recent study may give another reason why breakfast can be your most important meal of the day, especially for women. 

Study conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia resulted in the conclusion that a high-protein breakfast helps women maintain their glucose control. Why is this beneficial? Eating naturally increases glucose levels. However, too much of an increase can lead to poor glucose control, possibly resulting in diabetes or other health complications.

"Protein-rich breakfasts led to lower spikes in glucose and insulin after meals compared to the low-protein, high-carb breakfast," says Kevin Maki of Biofortis Clinical Research. Protein is found in many popular breakfast items such as eggs, oatmeal, and cottage cheese and if this study is any indication, we may be better off reaching for these items in the morning compared ones higher in carbs such as certain cereals or juices. 

Link: University of Missouri-Columbia 

Mar
12
2014

Hit the Ground Running

On my calendar is a bright red circle around March 20th. If you, like me, are tired of being stuck in the house due to continuous snow storms and other inclement weather, it’s time to prepare for warmer temperatures, improved weather, and longer days ahead!

What better way is there to enjoy the beginning of spring than by hitting the ground running, literally! Outdoor running can be refreshing and great for a cardio workout, but without the right preparation, technique, and gear, the new spring in your step could also result in injury. Use the tips below as you begin your running season:

Take Your Time: If this is your first time running in a while, doing too much too soon could lead to injury. Learn to pace yourself early, when it comes to how fast you’re running as well as the distance travelled.

Must Be the Shoes:  Unlike running indoors, running outdoors includes being on harder surfaces and at times different terrain. Make sure that you have the right shoe that blends comfortability, durability, and support.

Preventative Maintenance: Stretching is vital when you are preparing for a run. It warms up the muscles that you will be primarily using while you’re running. Also, if a part of your body is quicker to get injured than others, chances are it is a trouble area for you. Strengthening that area can help prevent injury and improve your overall performance.

If you have any other tips or advice on running outdoors, feel free to leave a comment in the box below. 

Links: Shape.com, Active.com 

Jan
14
2014

Which Gym is Right for You?

Is your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight and be healthier in 2014? You’re not the only one. According to a study by the University of Scranton, 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, with 38% of those resolutions being weight-related. That means that losing weight is the number one resolution of 2014, topping the likes of getting organized, quitting smoking, and falling in love.

One of the first steps many of us take (me included) in achieving those weight-related goals is to sign up for a gym membership. However, how do you know which gym is right for you? There are positives and negatives to every gym and making sure you choose the one that fits your needs will be essential to sticking with your resolution. So what do you need to know? What are some of the things you need to think about before choosing a gym?

Determine Your Needs- What you want in a gym is probably the most important question you have to ask yourself. Consider your budget, types of equipment/activities you’re looking for, if it offers private training/assistance, the atmosphere, and more. Make a list of what you want and what you need and evaluate your options

Proximity- Whether it’s close to your house or close to work, choosing a convenient, accessible location increases the likelihood you’ll maintain your new routine. Driving by the gym on your way home from work means you’ve removed the “hassle” of making a special trip to get there.

Give it a Chance- Many gyms offer free trials where you can go for a day (or more) to give it a test run. Take advantage of it! Get a tour of the facility. See if it is suitable for what you want. Evaluate if it meets your wants and needs list. Is it clean? What kinds of classes do they offer? How is the staff? How are the other members? What are the hours?

Eventually the excitement of the New Year will fade away, but the motivation is what needs to stay. Choosing the right gym for you is a VERY BIG first step in the right direction. Remember, achievements are reached through commitment. Like a relationship, the only way this will work is if you are fully invested and are willing to do what it takes to make it work. Make this year a great one!

Source: Fitday

Health.com

Forbes

Dec
4
2013

Burn Calories with Common Holiday Activities

This holiday season, as your social calendar fills up and you find less spare time to fit in a workout, look for ways to burn extra calories in many of the activities you already plan to partake in. Use these non-traditional activities to help burn off the extra calories consumed in some of your favorite seasonal snacks. 

Hanging Lights: Turn this holiday activity into a low-impact workout by focusing on using your core to stabilize you, isolating different muscles and working on your balance.

Amount burned in 1 hour of stringing lights: About 200 calories 

Ice Skating: Take your friends and family over to the local ice rink for a fun filled winter treat. Your laps around the rink are a great way to burn a substantial amount of calories.

Amount burned in 1 hour of ice skating: About 534 calories 

Shopping: To give is to receive. In buying presents and lugging shopping bags around the local mall, you’ll burn calories and strengthen your arm muscles. So remember, the heavier the bag the better the workout.

Amount burned in 1 hour of shopping: About 274 calories 

Stacking Firewood: Stock up on firewood to have on-hand for a cold winter night. Lifting and piling can burn a few calories and make snuggling up with a warm hot cocoa near the fire even more rewarding.

Amount burned in 1 hour of ice skating: About 190 calories

Do you have any calorie-burning holiday activities? Leave them in the box below and spread some holiday cheer!

Source: Robard Corporation

Oct
31
2013

Healthcare Providers Should Aggressively Treat Unhealthy Lifestyles

In a statement made by the American Heart Association (AHA) earlier this month, healthcare providers should treat unhealthy behaviors as aggressively as they treat high blood pressure, cholesterol and other heart disease risk factors. Behaviors such as smoking, unhealthy body weight, poor diet quality, and lack of physical activity can all lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. The AHA believes that an increased focus from providers can help improve these unhealthy behaviors that people may have, and be able to steer them towards a healthier lifestyle.

This change could mean a more comprehensive evaluation of someone’s health, urging physicians to use the “Five A’s” when caring for patients, which are:

  • Assess a patient’s risk behaviors for heart disease.
  • Advise change, such as weight loss or exercise.
  • Agree on an action plan.
  • Assist with treatment.
  • Arrange for follow-up care. 

This is all part of the AHA’s “2020 impact goals” which are to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent. 

What impact do you think this could have? Do you feel that your healthcare provider evaluates your behaviors enough, or should they be doing more? Let us know in the comment box below. 

Source: American Heart Association

Sep
5
2013

Make Healthy Habits and Keep Them!

Have you made being active a habit? If not – it’s time to! When something becomes a habit, it can be hard to change (which is what makes turning unhealthy habits in healthy ones so hard). But, starting new, healthy habits takes time, patience, practice, and about three months of repetition, according to experts.  

During this time, and even after, slip ups are inevitable. Instead of feeling guilty or angry, work to overcome the barriers and get back on track. One way to do this is to plan for them in advance. Sit down and come up with a list of possible barriers – and solutions to these barriers – so that if they happen, you’re prepared. For example: 

Barrier: I might be too busy.

Solution: My back-up plan will be to break up my normal routine into two shorter periods of activity that I can do throughout the day.

Barrier: I might get bored.

Solution: I’ll continuously change the playlist on my mp3 player to keep it fresh; I’ll enlist a friend or neighbor to join me in my activity. 

Barrier: It might rain.

Solution: I’ll buy a good rain jacket; I’ll use a DVD or exercise equipment in front of my TV when the weather is bad. 

If you encounter a situation that isn't on your list of barriers – stay calm, think out the problem, and come up with a solution, or leave a comment in the box below to see if someone has any suggestions. And remember, you can always turn to a friend, family member, or your counselor for help.

Links:

http://www.robard.com/Content/default.aspx?id=844b5150-dd05-4260-a372-35ca9e397bdb&t=10001&gn=

Aug
15
2013

12 Ways to Sneak More Activity Into Your Day

If you think a gym workout offers your only regular chance to exercise, you need to explore the everyday opportunities to sneak more physical activity into your life. Try to incorporate even a few ideas into your daily or weekly schedule to boost your activity level.

  1. Go for a family walk after dinner.
  2. Whenever you drive, park your car as far away from the entrance as possible.
  3. Play with your kids in the backyard—shoot some hoops, play catch with a football, toss a Frisbee or even play tag.
  4. Record a yoga or other exercise program on TV, then participate in the comfort of your own home at a time that is convenient for you.
  5. Put on some after-dinner music and dance.
  6. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  7. Get a pedometer to track the number of steps you take each day. Set a goal to slowly increase your number of daily steps.
  8. Make an "activity date" with your family or friends once a week to do something fun and active together, such as ice skating, swimming, or cycling. Regularly rotate the activities.
  9. Pick up the pace around the house and in the yard as you vacuum, dust, rake and do other household chores.
  10. Plant a garden and regularly weed, fertilize and prune it.
  11. If you've got a dog, take him for a nightly walk. If you don’t own a dog, offer to walk your neighbor’s dog a few times a week.
  12. Ask your spouse or a neighborhood buddy to walk with you a few mornings each week before work.
If you have any other ideas for activities or exercises you don't need a gym for, leave them in the comment box below!
 
Links:
 

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