Friday, October 27, 2017

I Can See Clearly Now

Blue light is part of our daily life from morning until evening. Most of us average about 11 hours a day staring at the screen. Blue light can damage the retina, and that exposure can lead to problems like eye strain, eye fatigue, and headaches. Blue-violet rays that emanate from our ubiquitous screens can penetrate into the retina, where they induce photochemical stress that directly damages retinal cells and indirectly leads them to self-destruct. Looking for ways to offset the damage? Keep reading!

Replacing the carotenoid pigments in the eye’s protective layer is an effective means of quenching much of the photochemical damage done by blue light. Lutein and zeaxanthin are key carotenoid nutrients needed to protect your eyes. They are deposited in the center of your retina and absorb a lot of this blue light. Start looking in the produce aisle for foods rich in these eye-boosting nutrients

Begin with leafy greens like cooked spinach, kale, Swiss chard or collard greens.

Move on to veggies like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, peas or corn.

The egg is a powerhouse of the disease-fighting nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin. Make sure to add in this tiny miracle food for only 75 calories but 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals and carotenoids. 

It sounds like the beginnings of a Buddha Bowl or Super Bowl to me! Check out my blog post about those new power foods from a few weeks ago. Be sure to include amazing carotenoids in your diet each day to give you a sharper view for the years ahead.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Can I Run Faster Than a Turkey?

Two weeks ago, I reminded you that the Burbank YMCA Turkey Trot is coming up. You may have started the 7 week training schedule then. Today I want to share a couple of tips to get you running faster.

Humans run one leg at a time. We don't usually think of it that way, but there is a moment of balance or suspension between each stride. Because of this, unilateral power movements are especially effective at building speed.

It's important to remember that single-leg power moves increase the force affecting your lower legs. With running and jumping, some people may experience shin pain. Take care to land softly when jumping. If you feel pain, it may be helpful to increase your recovery time between sessions.

Single Leg Bound
Standing on your right leg, swing arms back and bend knee. Swing arms forward and jump off your standing foot. Land softly, slightly bending your knee. Repeat movement for no longer than 20 seconds. Switch legs.

Box Hops
Imagine a Four Square box on the ground in front of you (or draw one with chalk). Using a single leg, hop from box to box in different patterns. Forward and back, side to side. Mix it up. Switch legs.

Leap & Hold
Leap from foot to foot laterally as wide as you can, swinging arms and bending the hips and knees as you land softly to each side. Complete five seconds, then hold on one side balancing on one leg. Continue leaping five more seconds, this time holding and balancing on the other leg.  Repeat for ten rounds.

Hop on one foot side to side for no longer than 20 seconds. Repeat with opposite leg.

Unilateral moves can strengthen your legs, fine-tune your balance and help you run faster! 

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food


Friday, October 13, 2017

Halloween Candy Horrors!

October is here and that means Halloween. Halloween means candy - and lots of it. When you are on trick-or-treat duty, it's hard to resist dipping in, but those fun-sized bars can add up to hundreds of calories. Here are four tricks to fend off those little treats:

Put empty wrappers on display. A Cornell University study found that people who left these visual reminders ate nearly half as many candies as those who tossed them out.

Don't buy your favorites. Stock a treat that you don't particularly love, so you won't be so tempted to go overboard.

Promise yourself a future treat. In exchange for avoiding the candy you don't really like, promise yourself that you will get to eat a fun-sized version of the treat you REALLY want at another time. And then, keep your promise!

Hide the candy. Use an opaque container with a lid to stow your stash so you won't snag a piece each time you walk by. Make it more difficult to get to the candy so choosing one piece is a conscious choice.
I've posted this blog before but the tips are so good I want to share it with you again this year. You can be successful in conquering your sweet-tooth this Halloween. Identify the cues that lead to nibbling Halloween candy, make a plan and follow through! 
Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food! 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Get Ready for the Turkey Trot!

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, stroller-pushers and pets. Costumes welcome! There is a Pre-Race Expo for all and Kid's Fun Zone for the little ones. In addition, you'll get a commemorative tech T-shirt to wear around town throughout the year. Everyone will know you did the race Thanksgiving morning.

You have seven weeks to prepare and achieve your 5K or 10K goal. There are lots of "Couch to 5K" apps and programs to follow. Click here to try one from the Mayo Clinic. The general idea is to start with a short distance and alternate walking and jogging. Each time you head out for a run, you increase either the jogging time or the distance. Eventually, you can run the entire distance!

The Turkey Trot is a great Burbank community day with people from all areas of city life coming together to move their bodies before sitting down to dinner.  It's fun to see so many friends gathered for the event.  John and I will participate with our family, including a stroller and two dogs, while wearing turkey headwear and Pilgrim hats.  Look for us!

Save $5 by using the code SMILTT5 when you register: Burbank YMCA Turkey Trot

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food