Friday, October 30, 2015

Don't be a Turkey - Join Us!

Did you know? More Americans participate in races on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year! Join the crowd and start your holiday on the right foot by participating in the Burbank Community YMCA Turkey Trot. This family friendly 5K/10K race is open to runners, walkers and stroller-pushers. Costumes welcome! There is a Kiddie Run and Fun Zone for the little ones. In addition, you'll get a wicking-fabric race shirt to exercise in all around town throughout the year. Everyone will know you did the race Thanksgiving morning.

The Turkey Trot is a great Burbank community day with people from all areas of city life coming together to get their sweat on before sitting down to dinner. It's fun to see so many friends gathered for the event. John and I will be power walking the 5K course with Sadie Mae. Don't miss my turkey feather headband and John's turkey hat! Last year, we even got on the TV news.

 Pre-register before race day to save $5 at

Stay Active, Keep Moving 
Have Fun

Friday, October 23, 2015

Trick or Treat Temptations

Don't eat the whole treat, just go for your favorite part. For example, if you love the tops of cupcakes best, eat just them; there's no rule saying you must also eat the base of the cupcake. It's not a free ride -- you're still consuming calories and fat -- but you're slimming down your totals with the smaller portion.

Get rid of additional servings of Halloween candies. It's not budget-conscious, but it is belly-conscious. For example, if you love mellowcrème pumpkins but can't find them in a single-serving pack, set aside your allotted amount, then sit and nibble at each one, slowly, attentively. Then toss what remains.

Chew gum. Sugarless gum gives your mouth a burst of sweet sensation for very few calories. Studies have shown that gum chewing satisfies a sweet tooth, overcomes the urge to eat candy, and helps manage hunger pangs to hold you over until your next meal.

Sip on a low-calorie beverage. Keep your hands and mouth busy by drinking a zero-calorie cup of hot tea or glass of sparkling water. Light hot chocolate can satisfy your sweet tooth for fewer calories than most fun-size chocolate bars.

Clear candy out of the house when the calendar says November. Give it away to some deserving teenager or throw it away.

Enjoy a Candy, just not the Whole Bag

Friday, October 16, 2015

Is Texting Harming Your Health?

The average person sends or receives 50 texts daily. That doesn't account for the rest of the time we spend on our phones - talking, surfing the Web or using apps. All that fiddling with our phones can have a negative effect on our bodies.

Breathing Issues
Forward-leaning posture can impede breathing. Dropping the head and rounding the shoulders makes taking full, deep breaths harder. The position decreases our heart's and lung's ability to function effectively. In addition, researchers have found that individuals hold their breath or breath shallowly while texting.
Take a break now and then to breath slowly and deeply. Get up and stretch. Set a timer if you need to.

Aching Neck and Sore Back
Texting's habitual head-down posture can put dangerous pressure on the spine. An adult head weighs 10-12 pounds and, as we tilt it forward, it exerts up to 60 pounds of pressure at a 60-degree angle.
Raise your phone so your ears are directly above your shoulders.

Texting Thumb
Gripping and holding a cell phone can constrict our flexor tendons. Because our thumbs do not have the dexterity of our other fingers, excess texting can result in pain. The pain is usually on the outside of your thumb around the wrist. You may also suffer from a decrease in grip strength.
Use your phone's voice recognition feature rather than manually texting. Try using other fingers.

Text Claw
Because texting requires fine-motor activity, it may lead to "text claw". This is habitual clenching that can lead to repetitive stress injuries such as tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Regularly stretch and move hands through their full range of motion. 

Be Aware of Your Body While Texting Today
And remember, never text while driving

Friday, October 9, 2015

Grab a Leash and Get Moving!

This past summer I was devastated to find out our 2-year-old dog, Mattox, had cancer. I was sad to say goodbye to him at the beginning of August. Last week, I welcomed a 5-month-old Black Mouth Cur puppy, Sadie Mae, to my family and have added daily dog walks back into my routine.

Research shows that dogs are actually nature’s perfect personal trainers—loyal, hardworking, energetic and enthusiastic. And, unlike your friends, who may skip an exercise session because of appointments, extra chores or bad weather, dogs never give you an excuse to forego exercising. Consistency is the key with any exercise program and this is where your dog can help.

A survey of dog owners, conducted at the University of Western Australia, revealed that dogs are great motivators for walking because they provide a strong motivation to maintain exercise, are good walking companions, and provide good social support while exercising.

The exercise is beneficial for your dog, too. A fit dog is healthier and a tired dog is calmer for the rest of the day. In addition, daily walks are a great way to bond with your dog. A closer bond will help your dog to be more responsive to your commands. An obedient dog becomes a blessing, not a curse.

How can you include dog-walking in your day? Establish a walking schedule; plan to walk 30 minutes each day. This might include a 10 minute neighborhood walk in the morning and a 20 minute walk in the park in the afternoon. Or maybe three 10-minute walks fit better into your day. Don't count your dog's potty stops as a walk. Make sure these times are exercise for both of you. If dog-walking is scheduled into your day, you'll feel more responsible for sticking to your program. Plus, your dog will get used to the routine and will remind you when "it's time"!

I really enjoy walking in different neighborhoods, exploring parts of Burbank I rarely visit. I like to take advantage of the hills above the city and hike in Stough or Wildwood Canyons. It is fun to have a partner to go with as I explore pocket parks and cul-de-sac neighborhoods I don't usually drive through. After a hard workout, my muscles can get sore and stiff. Walking with the dog is just what I need to loosen up and stretch those muscles a little bit.

Add dog-walking to your weekly exercise program, 
Enjoy your canine companion and 
Stay active.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Your New BFFs (best fiber friends)

Most people are familiar with the fact that fiber is an important part of a healthy diet. You may not know that different kinds of fiber exist, each with different functions.

Insoluble Fiber keeps you regular and stengthens your intestinal muscles. This strong fiber is found in plant cell walls and cannot dissolve in water or be digested, so it passes through while giving you a plethora of benefits. This type of fiber can prevent constipation, reduce cardiovascular and Type 2 diabetes risk factors, help maintain healthy weight, and curb appetite.
brown rice, wheat bran, beets, bananas, apples, pumpkin, all leafy greens

Soluble Fiber helps to regulate blood glucose, lower blood pressure and supports good bacteria growth which keeps your immune system strong. This fiber dissolves in water and swells up, forming a gel that grabs bile and eliminates it. This forces the liver to pull more cholesterol out of the blood, indirectly reducing "bad" LDL cholesterol.
beans, oat cereals, Brussel sprouts, oranges, flaxseed

Resistant Starch resists digestion, quickly passing through while promoting good-bug flora that produce cancer-fighting butyrate fatty acids. This fiber helps the body resist colo-rectal cancer by killing precancerous cells and reducing inflammation that can promote cancer. Interestingly, it is recommended that these foods be eaten at room temperature to reap the cancer-fighting benefits.
cooled pastas, potatoes, legumes, oatmeal, rice, under-ripe bananas

Functional Fibers are isolated and added to processed products. Nutrition labels list insoluble and soluble fibers. Know the function of the fibers you choose. For example, wheat dextrin controls blood sugar but, unlike psyllium, cannot reduce cholesterol. For detailed information:

Fiber supplements are great; food is always better. Isolated ingredients cannot replace the abundant benefits that consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables seeds, nuts and whole grains can give.

Eat Well and Enjoy Your Food