Friday, June 30, 2017

Be Stronger, Live Longer

You can control how young you look and feel by tapping into your cell's power sources. Telomeres, tiny protein sheaths on the ends of your chromosomes, help keep your DNA in prime condition. Our 21st century lifestyle can cause our telomeres to deteriorate. Make these small changes to strengthen these DNA safety caps.

Exercise increases levels of telomerase, making telomeres longer and healthier. Switch up your activity. People who participated in two, three or four types of movement were less likely to have short telomeres compared to those who did none. Different forms of exercise will have the biggest impact on telomere length.

Meditative yoga practice can increase activity of telomerase by 43%. This enzyme lengthens telomeres. Find a type of exercise that reduces chronic stress to prevent deterioration of your telomeres.

Move all day to lengthen telomeres. Biologically speaking, a person who sits more than 10 hours a day is considered eight years older than someone who moves every hour. Take your phone calls standing up, go for short walk every hour, get up and do a few stretches. Each hour you move reduces your risk of short telomeres by 7%.

Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber help fight inflammation. Chronic inflammation makes your cells divide faster, wearing down telomeres. Your body converts omega-3s into hormones that moderate inflammation. Fiber prevents the insulin spikes that fuel inflammation. In addition, vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables protect cells from oxidative damage which can shorten telomeres. 

Keep your telomeres durable and resilient to ensure you stay healthy for a lifetime.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Snack Swaps

Sometimes small changes can add up to big differences. Here are a few changes that give you more nutritional value for your calories.

Instead of reduced-fat peanut butter with pretzels
Choose full-fat natural peanut butter with carrots

The dark brown color of the pretzels may make them seem filling and fibrous but they contain mostly refined flour. Look for natural peanut butter with no added sugar. 

Instead of a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese
Choose sprouted whole-grain bread with avocado

Bagels can be nutritionally empty and high in calories. The sprouted grain toast delivers protein with less calories. Add avocado and you also get healthy fats and fiber.

Instead of a cup of fruit
Choose chia pudding topped with almonds and berries

Fruit by itself will only dampen those hunger pangs for a little while. Get protein from the chia pudding, healthy fats & fiber from the almonds and low sugar sweetness from the berries.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food    

Friday, June 16, 2017

Enjoy the Outdoors this Summer

Summertime is here. I love to sit out on the deck in the balmy evenings. I don't like mosquitoes, though. Here are a few ways to keep the little critters at bay:

1. Hunt for breeding grounds
Mosquitoes can breed in something as small as a soda bottle cap. Look for kids' toys, rain gutters, and flowerpots filled with a bit of stagnant water. Ask neighbors to check, too. The insects might be breeding next door and visiting your yard.

2. Blow them away
Mosquitoes are weak fliers. Any breeze stronger than 1 mile per hour is enough to deter them. Bring a plug-in fan out to the deck to create air movement around your legs and feet. Mosquitoes fly low to avoid the wind, so a fan on your face won't protect your feet.

3. Wear the atheleisure look
Reduce your risk of getting bitten by covering exposed skin. Avoid loose-weave fabrics and choose synthetic and athletic fabrics that are tougher for mosquitoes to bite through.

4. Wear repellent
During the dawn and dusk hours, when mosquitoes tend to be more active, spray yourself even if you're just going out for a minute. For a backyard evening, try Picaridin at 15 to 20%. It is safe for kids under 3 and has a light feel that is comfortable to be worn daily.

Enjoy outdoor evenings this summer and avoid the itches!

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food

Friday, June 9, 2017

Powerful Pushups #3

So far, I have discussed hand and arm position and pelvic position for pushups. This week I will share a technique to progress your pushup practice to a full range pushup. Many of us struggle to fully lower the body to the floor while maintaining the "toes on the floor" plank position. We cut the movement short and settle for the half-rep pushup.

The negative pushup might be just what you need to move from knee plank pushups to full toe pushups.


   Give it a try during your next workout session.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Powerful Pushup Position #2

Previously, I discussed hand and arm position for pushups. This week I will focus on the pelvis.

The push-up naturally encourages anterior pelvic tilt (APT) and an arched back due to forces on the body induced by gravity. Contraction of the abs is required to prevent an arched back and keep the hip region in neutral, but further contraction of the glutes and abs will take you into posterior pelvic tilt (PPT), or tucking your hip under. Whether you should enter into PPT is up for debate.

Most trainers would agree that doing push-ups in APT is unwise. As long as you can keep a neutral posture, then all is well. However, some coaches believe that the push-up should be performed with a maximal glute and lower ab contraction to facilitate a strong PPT.

The PPT push-ups have three distinct advantages over the traditional push-up.
  • Since it requires a strong butt and lower ab contraction to create the tilt, it serves as a static glute activation exercise. This allows you to kill two birds with one stone by improving the neural drive to the glutes while working the upper body.
  • By shifting the pelvis forward with your glutes, you're no longer hanging the front of your hips down to the floor. This requires a stronger abdominal contraction as now you're using active muscles to keep you stable rather than passive muscles and ligaments.
  • The extra muscle force from the abs and glutes makes it a more effective core exercise and makes the push-up a "total body exercise."
  • Third, it "locks you in" so there's really no chance of losing core stability. In other words, you maintain a straight line from your shoulders to ankles while you perform push-ups. 

Power out those pushups during your next workout with the mind engaged
 and the body working as a unit.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food