Friday, January 27, 2017

Surprising Exercise Benefits

Need more workout motivation this month? Research shows that regular exercise not only makes you fit and healthy, it has some surprising wellness benefits, too.

Your Brain Grows
Exercise increases the size of the brain's hippocampus, an area that regulates emotion and memory formation, by 2%. This is related to better recall and decision-making. Strength training can boost BDNF by 77%. This protein promotes the development of neurons and brain tissue.

Your Skin Gets Smoother and Healthier
Doing cardio regularly can take 30 years off your skin. When you work out, your body produces a protein called IL-15 that encourages the growth of mitochondria cell structures that revitalize your complexion. Working out can ease skin conditions like psoriasis because it releases anti-inflammatory compounds to calm the reaction.

Your Vision Gets Sharper
The workout-triggered spike of BDNF, brain-derived neurotropic factor,  helps your eyes. Your retina is actually part of your brain, so BDNF benefits retinal cells. Research shows that regular exercisers are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma.

The body was made to move. Your muscles, heart, lungs, brain .... everything benefits from moving.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food

Friday, January 20, 2017

100-Calorie Food Swaps

Small changes can create healthier eating patterns. Try these simple 100-calorie food swaps. If you do one food swap per day, you could lose a pound a month.

Change up the bagel routine
Swap a 3 1/2 inch bagel with 1 Tbsp each cream cheese & fruity jam for a whole-wheat English muffin topped with a Tbsp of peanut butter and fresh strawberry slices.  Super-sized bagels can contain more than 300 calories and 400 mg sodium. 

Flip-flop your breakfast portions
A generous pour of calorie-dense granola is easy to lose in a deep-bottomed bowl of low-fat milk. Instead, portion out a moderate 1/4 cup over protein-packed non-fat Greek yogurt. Try lowfat granola and get 75% less grams of fat than regular granola.

Go for the whole thing
Peel, segment, chew, enjoy. A 12 ounce bottle of orange juice ideally would be split into three 4 oz. servings. One cup of OJ has 24 grams of sugar - double the amount in an orange. Eat a fresh orange instead and get fiber, too.  

Rebuild the main event at lunch
Pile sandwich fixings on one (8 inch) 100-calorie whole grain wrap, rather than two slices of hearty multi-grain bread. A bonus benefit is that there will be more room for low-calorie veggies in your wrap.  

Start your year off right with simple strategies and healthy choices. 

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Resolve To Move!

This year resolve to move your body everyday. Moderation is the goal here. Intense exercise everyday won't do your body any favors but couching it for your two rest days a week will sabotage all your hard work.

Rest tired muscles
Devote two or three alternate days a week to intense training. The following day, plan to rest the muscles that worked the hardest. For example, if you pushed yourself to crank out an extra set of push-ups one day, the next day work your legs with an uphill hike.

Recoup on the go
Low-intensity exercise can help your body repair itself, thanks to increased blood flow to damaged muscles. Your alternate day can be a restorative yoga routine, a slow 30 minute bike ride or a low-intensity swim.

Say "Yes" to something new
You need consistency in your workout routine but try switching it up at least one day a week with a random act of fitness fun. Work on your tennis rally with a friend. Sign up for an intramural sport. Hike somewhere new. Stave off boredom and a body plateau. Have you played badminton lately?

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Breakfast Breakthrough

We've all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but many find it a challenge to eat first thing in the morning. This easy habit change can have positive, long-term effects. An early meal is important because:

1. A healthy morning meal will stoke your metabolism and get the calorie-burning machines in your body firing.

2. Research shows that breakfast eaters tend to move more and eat less throughout the day.

3. You have the most will-power in the morning so you're more likely to make smart choices.

But I'm not hungry......

You should wake up with the desire to eat because you have been fasting for the whole night. That's why the morning meal is called Break Fast. If you do not, perhaps you either ate too much at dinner the night before or ate too close to bedtime.

Try this to reset your appetite clock: Skip dinner for just one night or eat earlier in the evening (no TV snacks). The next morning you won't be able to resist a healthy breakfast!

Jump-start your appetite clock and create a habit of eating a healthy breakfast every day.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food