When is the Best Time to Exercise?

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

People who exercise want to utilize their time efficiently and get the most out of their exercise sessions. Knowing the best time to work out for weight loss can help you get faster results in less time. This is not just for athletes but for the average person who wants to use exercise to lose pounds or get in better shape.

Time is just one of the factors that affect your workout performance

As you will read below, there are studies that show when is the best time of the day to exercise for better fat burning results and for muscle building but time is just one of the factors that can affect your workout performance. Many other factors like the intensity and duration of the exercise play a very important role and these should not be neglected.

Best time to work out for fat burning is the morning

When you exercise in the morning your body tends to burn more fat.

The main reasons why this is happening are:

1. Low blood sugar levels force the body to look for other energy sources so it starts converting fat from the reserves to fuel.

2. Some hormones that accelerate fad burning (like cortisol) are at high levels in the morning.

Benefits of exercising in the morning

? People who participated in a study about the effects of morning exercise were more likely to stick to a workout after doing their morning exercise. In other words people who can exercise in the morning are more likely to build a routine and follow that for a long time.

? For some people it is easier to exercise in the morning since in the afternoon they get tired and lose their desire to workout.

? It can be a stressful task for the body. This does not apply to everyone but depending on your hormone levels you may find it very stressful to exercise in the morning.

? Intense morning exercise may lead to muscle loss instead of fat loss. If you exercise on an empty stomach and do a very intense workout your body may end up utilizing muscle mass for energy. That’s why it is important to have a good protein breakfast especially if you plan to exercise hard in the morning.

? If you exercise before breakfast, you may not be able to keep the intensity high since your energy levels are low.

Disadvantages of morning exercise

? It can be a stressful task for the body. This does not apply to everyone but depending on your hormone levels you may find it very stressful to exercise in the morning.

? Intense morning exercise may lead to muscle loss instead of fat loss. If you exercise on an empty stomach and do a very intense workout your body may end up utilizing muscle mass for energy. That’s why it is important to have a good protein breakfast especially if you plan to exercise hard in the morning.

? If you exercise before breakfast, you may not be able to keep the intensity high since your energy levels are low.

Best time to workout for performance is the afternoon

Exercising in the afternoon can give you better performance than exercising in the morning. Several studies analyzed the performance of a group of people exercising in the morning and in the afternoon. The afternoon sessions produced better results in terms of performance, strength and power. Participants reported that their bodies’ response was better and that they were able to push more and achieve more repetitions than in the morning.

What is the best time to workout for weight loss for you?

The different studies and theories are useful and can be used for educating yourself about best practices but when it comes to when is the best time to workout it’s up to you to decide. Some tips to help you out:

1. Try to do some cardio exercises in the morning (e.g. walking for about 10 minutes) and see how it feels. If you think this is something you can do for a long time try to add jogging as well (for 3-5 minutes) in your schedule.

2. If you exercise on an empty stomach and feel tired or weak try to eat breakfast first and then do your workout. Learn more about GI and how to control your blood sugar levels through food.

3. You can always combine your morning and afternoon workouts for better results. For example you can do a quick 10 minute cardio session in the morning and then a 20 minute intense session in the afternoon. This will also have a positive effect in EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption) that will help you burn more calories after exercise.

4 Don’t do very intense exercise in the morning without having a good breakfast, this may lead to muscle loss which is not recommended.

5 Have in mind that too intense exercise late in the afternoon may negatively affect your sleep. It is better to exercise at least 4 hours before going to bed.

Exercise is important for health and weight loss and you should allocate some of your time per day to exercise either in the morning or afternoon.

Bottom line, just do it!!

As always, check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine!

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The Benefits Of Aerobic Exercise

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

Aerobic exercise pumps oxygenated blood from the heart to working muscles. To accomplish that, it stimulates the heart and breathing rates throughout your exercise session. As a rule aerobic exercise can be light-to-medium intensity activities that can be performed for extended periods of time, such as walking, jogging or biking. Whatever your age, weight or athletic ability, aerobic activity is a health booster that gains efficiency as your body adapts and gets stronger and fitter!

What are the benefits offered by aerobic exercise?

Reduces Fat: A study published in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism found that vigorous aerobic exercise such as jogging or brisk walking beats weight or resistance training for reducing belly and visceral fat.

Increases Stamina: Increased stamina improves your overall physical health and the power to endure disease, fatigue, and illness.

Protects the Brain: A new study from the University of Washington School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System finds that regular aerobic exercise can protect the brain and even improve cognitive performance in older adults showing signs of mental decline. It’s important to note that the study found that memory gains may take 6 months or longer to emerge.

Boosts the Immune System: Aerobic exercise activates your immune system. This leaves you less susceptible to minor viral illnesses, such as colds and flu. Aerobic exercise may accomplish this by flushing bacteria out from the lungs, and may even flush out cancer-causing cells by increasing output of wastes, such as urine and sweat. It also sends antibodies and white blood cells through the body at a faster rate, allowing them to detect illnesses earlier than they might normally. Additionally, the temporary rise in body temperature may inhibit bacterial growth, allowing the body to fight the infection more effectively.

Strengthens Bones: In a new study, step aerobics offered the greatest gains in leg, spine, and heel bone density, while hip bones health was heightened most with weight training.

Reduces Health Risks: Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of many conditions, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer.

Strengthens the Heart: Regular aerobic exercise increases the heart’s efficiency leading to a reduced risk of developing heart disease. When a person is aerobically active, more capillaries develop as the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange between blood and cells increases. If for any reason an artery is damaged or blood flow is blocked, the blood can easily be rerouted to deliver the necessary oxygen.

Increases Good Cholesterol, Burns the Bad: Research shows that moderate aerobic exercise increases the number of HDLs in the bloodstream and reduces the number of LDLs by increasing lipid metabolism. Like fat, cholesterol is a lipid that can be oxidized, or broken down, for energy.

Supports Mental Health: Aerobic exercise relieves depression, and promotes relaxation. Exercise also slows down the release of stress-related hormones. Remember, if you’ve been inactive for a long time or if you have a chronic health condition, talk to your doctor before you start.  Begin slowly and build each day.Try walking five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening and add a few minutes each day. Pick up the pace and soon you’ll be  enjoying all the benefits of regular aerobic activity!

As always, check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine!

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Working Hard While You Sleep

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

It’s not surprising that eighty percent of Americans suffer from long-term lack of sleep. When faced with overwork, stress, and tight schedules, sleep is often the first victim of the time budget. Be careful, the results can be harmful to long-term health and reduce your ability to manage day-to-day tasks!

Recent research from the University of Rochester’s medical school shines a new light on the vital role sleep plays in our overall well-being. This research, recently published in the journal Science, found that sleep plays an important role in our brain’s physiological maintenance. Simply put, it cleans out the trash that has accumulated during the day.

Our brains do not use the lymphatic system – the body’s waste removal method. It maintains it’s own system that works with the brain’s blood circulation system and uses cerebral spinal fluid to wash away waste. Additionally, study of mice shows that the brain’s cells shrink during sleep by as much as 60 percent, allowing cerebral spinal fluid flow easily between the cells and flush away waste. This leads researchers to believe that the brain probably has two functional states – processing information while we are awake and cleaning away the material that neurons generate during their normal activity while sleeping.

‘Giving your brain time to clean up’ may not spur you to improve your sleep habits, but there are plenty of proven benefits to a healthy sleep routine.

  • Sharper Memory: Lack of sleep disturbs a person’s ability to focus, learn and consolidate a memory, making it difficult for that information to be recalled at a future date.
  • Longer Lifespan: According to an article published in the journal SLEEP, researchers studied 21,000 twins for 22 years and found that if people slept less than 7 hours a night or more than 8 hours a night, they had an increased risk of death.
  • Lower Inflammation Risks: Researchers surveyed 525 middle-aged adults and found that those who reported six or fewer hours of sleep had higher levels of inflammatory markers. C-reactive protein levels were approximately 25 percent higher than adults who slept between six and nine hours.
  • Improved Performance: A study from Stanford University found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina.
  • Help Maintaining a Healthy Weight: The Nurses’ Health Study followed roughly 60,000 women for 16 years. At the beginning of the study, all of the women were healthy, and none were obese. After 16 years, women who slept 5 hours or less per night had a 15 percent higher risk of becoming obese and had 30 percent higher risk of gaining 30 pounds over the course of the study compared to women who slept at least 7 hours each night.

Let your brain get to work on it’s other job … and get a good night’s sleep!

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Spice for a Healthy Life

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

Ginger has long been used in traditional American cooking, from the wild ginger native Americans added to pumpkin and corn pudding to gingerbread, gingersnaps and Detroit’s famous ginger ale. Ginger can also be found in a wide array of other national cuisines, Thai, Chinese, Lebanese, Moroccan, Italian and many, many more! The great thing about ginger is it not only can serve many purposes as a spice, it has many health benefits.

Traditional Chinese, eastern Indian and native American health practices have used ginger extensively for the treatment of nausea, motion sickness, colds, joint pain, and circulatory problems. Indian Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine use ginger as a warming and stimulating herb to the body’s temperature, thus helping fight infection. Folk medicine has long prescribed ginger to promote circulation and act as a stimulant. Recent interest in Western scientific research has substantiated many of the traditional applications for this root. Gingerol, the active part of fresh ginger, is related to capsaicin and piperine, the compounds that give chili and black pepper their spicy flavor, and are also the active medicinal components in ginger. They contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, which some studies have indicated relieve the pain of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. An animal study at the University of Minnesota suggests that gingerols may even inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells.  The number of health benefits that is stunning:

  • Cancer Treatment and Prevention: A preliminary study conducted at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center indicates that an application of ginger powder induces cell death in all ovarian cancer cells, while research at  the University of Minnesota’s Hormel Institute found that gingerol prevented mice from developing colorectal carcinomas when compared to a control group
  • Morning Sickness Relief: A review of several studies has concluded that ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness.   A review of six controlled trials with a total of 675 participants confirmed that ginger is effective in relieving the severity of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.  Ginger is also safe, without significant side effects, and only a small dose is required.
  • Motion Sickness Prevention: Recent studies have indicated that ginger is highly effective in preventing the symptoms of motion sickness, reducing symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating.
  • Reduction of Pain and Inflammation: Another study showed that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful natural painkiller. These anti-inflammatory properties of gingerol are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly. Two clinical studies involving patients who responded to conventional drugs and those who didn’t, found that 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain and/or swelling.
  • Heartburn Relief: The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger minimize stomach acid, offering natural heartburn relief.
  • Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment: Ginger can help promote healthy sweating, which is important for detoxification. As an anti-inflammatory, it also offers relief to sufferers of stomach flu.
  • Prevention of Diabetic Kidney Failure: A recent study of diabetic rats found that rats given ginger had a reduced incidence of nephropathy, or diabetic kidney damage. Additional findings included heightened antioxidant capacity in the ginger-supplemented rats.

Ginger is in season from March through September, and is sold in the produce section of markets. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks if left unpeeled.  Stored unpeeled in the freezer, it will keep for up to six months. Dried ginger powder should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place.  This is all good news, but don’t forget, always check with your physician before undertaking any new nutritional or fitness regimen.

Add a little spice to your life … it’s really good for you!

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Roots

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

The winter holiday season is over, and we’re all settling down into our normal winter diets. Though we may miss the fresh, clean flavors of fresh fruits and vegetables, the comforting, substantial richness of root vegetables are perfect for January through March weather! Root vegetables are full of fiber, rich in minerals and nutrients from the soil and low in calories. Research also shows that winter favorites such as beets, carrots, parsnips and turnips contain cancer fighting substances called phytochemicals and are rich in vitamins and nutrients to help boost resistance to other health problems. Root vegetables come with short and long term benefits!

  • Boost your energy stores! A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that drinking two cups of beet juice a day for 6 days, participants could cycle 16 percent longer than those who drank a placebo. That beet juice also contains a color pigment called betalain, which has strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, fungicidal and detoxification properties.
  • Lower cancer risks! New research indicates that the betalain in that beet juice may also spur anti-cancer activity, while a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that carrots reduced the likelihood of developing full-scale tumors by one-third in laboratory rats compared to those who were not fed carrots.
  • Get your folate. Root vegetables are an excellent source of folate. Parsnips, with their nutty flavor, contain almost twice as much folate as carrots. Folate is vital for normal nerve functioning, and helps support cell production, prevent anemia and and contributes to healthier bones. Studies indicate that it helps lower the risk of dementia and depression.
  • Raise your iron absorption. Root vegetables are high in the powerful antioxidant, vitamin C, which help the body absorb iron and helps build bones and cartilage.
  • Beta boosters! Carrots, yams, beets and turnips are all excellent sources of betacarotenes, which the body converts into vitamin A. Important for vision and bone growth, betacarotene also helps regulate the body’s immune system.

Last but not least, the high amounts of nutrients and soluble fiber in root vegetables will keep you satisfied longer. Root vegetables – a healthy, tasty way to help lose those holiday pounds!

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Peter’s Principles on Resistance Training

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

While nutrition is paramount in achieving an ideal body composition, exercise is every bit as important in helping you reach and maintain your goals. When designing an exercise program, there are three components that need to be addressed: cardiovascular exercise, resistance training and stretching. No fitness program is complete without all of these vital parts.

In this edition of Let’s Get Physical, Get in the Game looks at anaerobic, weight or resistance training.

Resistance Training

Muscle is the thermostat that controls your metabolism. The more lean tissue you have, the more calories you burn in a day. The best way to build muscle is through regular resistance training. This can include free weights, machines, elastic tubing or even manual resistance. Because they are fairly inexpensive, readily available and easy to use, we chose to demonstrate with free weights such as dumbbells.

The Routine

Try to do two to three sets of 10-15 repetitions (reps) per exercise for the upper body and two to three sets of 15-20 repetitions for the lower body. For larger muscle groups like the chest, back and legs you should do two to three different exercises per workout. For smaller muscle groups like the shoulders, biceps and triceps you can do one to two exercises per workout.

Achieving Success

Don’t be afraid to increase the weight you are using. Once you can perform all of the reps in a given set with good form, raise the weight. However, don’t increase the number of repetitions beyond what is listed in our examples shown here. This will increase endurance, but not help in building lean muscle tissue and boosting metabolism. Don’t worry; you won’t build big muscles just by lifting heavier weights.

One word of caution—if you are just starting out, make sure not to overdo it! Remember, the key to any new workout program is to start off easy, and in no time, you will see fabulous results.

CHEST

Incline Dumbbell Press

Using a bench, set to a 45 degree angle, lay down so your head and back are supported. Grasp the dumbbells so they are slightly wider than shoulder width . Your upper arm should be almost perpendicular to your body. Extend the arms and press the weights straight towards the ceiling. Stop just short of locking your elbows. Lower the weights at a controlled pace and repeat for 10-15 repetitions. This exercise is great for the upper part of the chest, the triceps and the front of the shoulder. For variety, you can set the bench to a flat position.

3 Sets; 10-15 Reps

BACK

Arm Dumbbell Rows

Position yourself so your left knee and left hand are on the bench. Holding a dumbbell in your right hand with your right foot on the floor to keep you stable, position yourself so your shoulders are back and squared to the floor. Lower the weight towards the floor while keeping your shoulder square. Raise the weight back to the starting position while squeezing the shoulder blades together. Switch to the right hand and knee on the bench to work the left side. This is great for the upper back, rear shoulders and biceps.

3 Sets; 10-15 Reps

TRICEPS

Laying Dumbbell Extensions

Stand with your left foot forward and your right foot back. Bend forward at the waist and rest your left hand on your left knee. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and raise your elbow so your upper arm is close to parallel to the floor. Extend your lower arm so the weight rises towards the ceiling. Do 10-15 reps and repeat on the left side. This works the triceps.

2 Sets; 10-15 Reps

BICEPS

Dumbbell Preacher Curls

Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms by your side. Bend at the elbow and bring your hand up towards your chest. Lower slowly and repeat 10-15 reps per side. This works the biceps.

2 Sets; 10-15 Reps

SHOULDERS

Side Laterals Shoulders

Stand with knees slightly bent, dumbbells hanging at your sides. Bring dumbbells up to shoulder height, no higher or you can pinch a nerve. Blow out on exertion on the way up; this is the hardest part of the exercise. Then slowly bring them back to starting position at sides. Do this 10 reps, for 2 sets. This will tone and strengthen your delts and shoulders.

2 Sets; 10-15 Reps

LEGS

Lunges – Legs

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and dumbbells in your hands. Step forward with your right leg and bend at the knee until the upper leg is parallel to the floor. The knee should form a 90 degree angle. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg. This works the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes.

3 Sets; 15-20 Reps

Exercise is a physical activity that has potential physical risk. Peter Nielsen, his staff, Get In The Game magazine and all their affiliates are not responsible for an injury that could occur from exercise.

NOTE: Before starting any exercise program, you should first consult with your doctor. Peter Nielsen is providing exercise, nutritional, motivational and educational materials to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is a physical activity that has potential physical risk. Peter Nielsen, his staff, Get In The Game magazine and all their affiliates are not responsible for an injury that could occur from exercise.

All materials © P.N. Enterprises, 2009. All rights reserved.

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Improve Your Breathing Power

Get Fit When It Really Counts with TrainingMask® 3.0

A long time ago (but not in a galaxy far, far away), I ruptured the ACL in my left knee. The result is that 40 years later, I can’t run for as long as I would like because the knee starts swelling or stiffening. As I’ve explained to my fellow gym members, it’s not the heart or lungs preventing me from longer workouts; it’s the knee. What I’ve been looking for is a way to truly tax my heart and lungs without putting undue strain on my left knee. I believe I’ve found my solution in TrainingMask 3.0.

A Better Training Mask

As Michael Gennusa, TrainingMask COO and CFO, explained, “The idea for the training mask came from the company CEO, who noticed that a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter was using a rudimentary gas mask during training to tax his breathing. This innovative training technique vastly improved his lung capacity, giving him a distinct advantage over his competitors.”

How It Works

The mask is designed to improve sustained breathing power and workout capacity. Think of it like lifting weights. You go to the gym and pick up a 30-pound dumbbell and do multiple reps. The curling motion involved in this exercise loads the involved muscle groups (biceps and triceps). The repeated motion makes it easier for your muscles to perform this action when you have to lift a suitcase, for example. The TrainingMask does the same thing for the breathing muscles.

“We don’t restrict the air flow; we make your breathing system work harder. Just like regular weight training, workouts allow you to move more weight as you get stronger. Similarly, the TrainingMask improves your overall stamina and endurance, which allows you to do more overall work in a given time frame. Your workouts become more efficient, and you perform better,” Gennusa said.

In clinical trials performed by the company, Gennusa stated that participants improved in a number of areas, including ventilatory threshold, respiratory compensation point and even growth hormone levels. (Growth hormone is a potent fat burner and muscle-building agent that the body naturally releases in response to intense workouts.)

Even at its lowest setting, the TrainingMask 3.0 forces you to breathe more deeply. Even sitting still, I felt my breaths getting deeper, and my Fitbit told me my heart rate increased.

A Great Training Aid for Anyone

Gennusa recommends the TrainingMask for anyone. “Anytime we can improve our ability to sustain high-intensity effort for longer periods without getting winded, we will significantly improve our level of fitness,” he said.

Gennusa pointed out a CBS News story about a veteran returning from Afghanistan who had breathing problems from all that he incurred. He needed an inhaler to help him breathe. After a couple of months of using a training mask, he was able to do away with inhalers. However, Gennusa cautioned, “While we get reports similar to this example from happy customers regularly, everyone’s breathing health is different. The TrainingMask was designed as a device to improve how people exercise. Our reports from customers that say it has really helped their asthma are atypical, and if someone has breathing conditions that they are aware of, it’s always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider to make sure you are safe to try breathing training with a training mask.”

“For any kind of performance athlete, the mask will help you perform better,” Gennusa added. “If you’re a general fitness enthusiast, you’ll feel like your ‘wind’ is better; you’ll feel like you can work out harder, and you’ll be able to do longer or more efficient runs. You’ll see a better, leaner, more fit body because you’re able to work out harder than you did before–easier.”

Gennusa does not recommend using it on kids under the age of 16, and he recommends getting acclimated to it before going full bore.

“Take it out of the box, sit in a chair, and breathe to see how it feels. When people buy it, they find it challenging. That’s normal,” he said.

Caring for the mask is easy. Any alcohol-based cleaner can be used on the rubber mask. It’s recommended that the sleeve be put in the washing machine once a month or so. A spray cleaner for the mask portion is also available.

The TrainingMask 3.0 is available in three sizes: small, medium and large. Be sure to consult with a knowledgeable Dunham’s Sports fitness expert to ensure you are properly fitted.

-Fitness Fanatic

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Keep Your Cholesterol Healthy

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

Approximately one in every six adults—17% of the U.S. adult population—has high blood cholesterol! We’re also seeing a sharp rise in children with high cholesterol. This is a dangerous condition, and it comes with a sharp increase of risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. It’s important to know that high cholesterol often can be reduced through regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Add these items to your menu to help lower your cholesterol levels.

  • The fiber in oatmeal mixes with cholesterol in the small intestine and attaches to the cholesterol molecule, helping to flush them from the body.
  • Eating fatty fish can help lower your blood pressure tthe high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish a week.
  • Pinto beans may actually be more efficient than oatmeal when it comes to lowering cholesterol. A study from the University of Colorado found that eating a half-cup of pinto beans a day for eight weeks resulted in an average drop of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol of more than 8 percent, while eating half-cup of oatmeal will reduce cholesterol 2 percent to 3 percent!
  • Garlic can prevents plaque from clogging your arteries by keeping cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls. Fresh garlic is best.
  • Studies show that macadamia nuts and other nuts are helpful in the fight against bad cholesterol. In one study published in the April, 2008, researchers reported that 1.5 ounces of macadamia nuts eaten daily reduced total cholesterol by 9.4 percent and low-density lipoprotein by 8.9 percent. Walnuts are also excellent for reducing cholesterol levels.

Along with lowering the ‘bad cholesterol’ you want to be sure your ‘good cholesterol’ gets a boost:

  • Foods that are high in soluble fiber, such as flax seed, apples, and oranges will help keep HDL levels at a healthy level.
  • Fatty fish not only lower LDL levels, it helps raise HDL levels!
  • Cranberry juice has been shown to increase HDL levels.
  • Monounsaturated fats such as canola oil, avocado oil, or olive oil and in the fats found in peanut butter can increase HDL cholesterol levels without increasing the total cholesterol.
  • Aerobic exercise has been shown to have a highly beneficial effect on HDL.

The only way to know if you have high cholesterol is through testing. However, the following factors raise your risks of high cholesterol. If any of them describe you, and you haven’t been tested, see your doctor!

  • Lack of exercise)
  • Poor  diet
  • Smoking
  • Specific medications
  • Age
  • Family history of high cholesterol
  • Weight – even a few extra pounds can increase your cholesterol

The American Heart Association states that high cholesterol levels can result in heart attacks, strokes and other preventable diseases. So take control and give yourself a longer, healthier life!

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Sunscreen Facts

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

If you’re going to the beach, boating, playing in the sun or just taking a quick walk… don’t forget your sunscreen! If the higher risks of skin cancer hasn’t convinced you, think of this: Daily use of sunscreen will give you significantly younger-looking skin, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Nine hundred and three participants were divided into four groups. The first group applied a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher on a daily basis and were told to apply it to the head, neck, arms, and hands in the morning and again after extended exposure to the sun or contact with water. The second group applied sunscreen when and if they usually did — without any guidance, the third group took beta-carotene supplements, while the last group took a placebo.

The study lasted 4-1/2 years. The results? People who applied sunscreen daily showed no visible signs of increased aging on their skin! Members of the groups who used sunscreen occasionally or not at all displayed an average of 24 percent more skin aging — dryness, wrinkles, and blotches! The results for groups that used the supplement and placebo were inconclusive.

There are a lot of sunscreen products out there. There are a couple things to remember. The sun has two types of invisible rays: ultraviolet A (UVA), and ultraviolet B (UVB). UVA rays are actually longer, their penetration into the skin is deeper than the UVB rays, and play a large role in tanning, premature aging, loss of elasticity, and wrinkling of the skin. UVB rays main risk is in damage to the superficial layers of the skin — reddening of the skin and sunburns. Both types of rays are associated with skin cancer. Keeping this in mind, remember that sunscreens list their level of sun protective factor (SPF). An SPF of 15 blocks 93 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97 percent and SPF 50 blocks 98 percent. Unfortunately, no system approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration measures UVA protection is available at this time.

Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays, these products will say “broad spectrum protection” or “UVA and UVB protection” on the label. You’ll get a lot of protection for the few minutes application costs you! You’ll …

  • shield you body from harmful rays.
  • decrease your risk of skin cancer.
  • prevent facial brown spots and skin discolorations.
  • reduce the appearance of facial red veins and blotches.
  • slow premature aging of your skin.

Go for it! Relax and and enjoy some carefree fun in the sun – block the rays, and wrinkles and age spots while reducing the risk of skin cancer!

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Sweat Equity

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

More than fifty million Americans are affected by hypertension.  It can lead to a laundry list of dangerous health conditions, including heart disease and stroke! The good news is that you can usually take care of the problem with the right diet and just a little bit of exercise.  Cut down on simple carbs and be sure to reduce your sodium intake. Plus, exercising as little as sixty to ninety minutes a week can do a lot more than you may think! A recent eight-week study shows that patients working out as little as an hour to an hour and a half per week cut their systolic blood pressure by as much as 12 points.  Diastolic blood pressure dropped by as much as 8 points. It’s important to note that test subjects getting less than sixty minutes a week of exercise showed no reduction in blood pressure. That’s a big health payoff for a little bit of effort.

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