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Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category


Incline Walking

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Looking for a workout that will let you burn the maximum amount of calories in a minimum amount of time? Treadmill walking or walking up an incline might be the solution. The benefits are impressive!
 
• Increase Your Calorie Burn Rate. It’s simple, walk for 30 minutes at 4 miles per hour and you’ll burn 145 calories… raise the incline for the same distance and time and you’ll burn 345 calories!
 
• Improve Cardiovascular Health. Walking on an incline increases the workload on your system, and increases your the heart rate!
 
• Burn Fat. When you walk on an incline, your body uses a greater percentage of fat. Studies have shown that walking 3 miles per hour on an inclined raised between 16 and 18 percent will burn 70 percent more fat than running on a flat surface.
 
Treadmill walking on an incline works the muscles of the calves, hamstrings and glutes. For optimal benefits increase the incline fifteen percent or more!
 
Incline walking is stunningly effective! A one hundred and sixty pound man walking a treadmill at just two and a half miles per hour burns around four calories a minute. That burn amount surges up to seven calories a minute when walking up a ten percent grade and ten calories a minute when walking up a twenty percent grade! Help yourself succeed. Start off slowly and work your way up! If you use your treadmill effectively and gradually increase the incline, it could give you just the kind of lift you’ve been dreaming about to help shed those unwanted pounds!
 
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Winter Roots

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
The humble beet, often used as a colorful garnish on the table, is a terrific source of nutrients for your winter diet. Rich in natural sugar, sodium, sulphur, chlorine, iodine, copper, it’s also a terrific source of vitamins B1, B2, C and bioflavonoids. This tasteful root vegetable’s health benefits have been known for generations. A fibrous root, it’s also an excellent source of bulk fiber, and the fresh beet offers all this for 30-58 calories per cup! Are you interested yet? The beet is also high in folic acid, potassium, calcium and antioxidants, and that’s just the beet roots, the leafy beet greens can also be used for juicing, or cooking as you would any other green. In fact the beet greens contain significantly more iron, vitamin A, potassium and calcium than the roots!
 
Beets are not only delicious, they offer excellent health benefits:
 
• Detoxification – The Encyclopedia of Healing Juices states that the beet is a blood-building herb. It detoxifies blood and renews it with minerals and natural sugars.
 
• Fighting Cancer – Early research in Hungary indicated that beet juice slows the development of tumors. It’s thought that betaine, an amino acid in beet root, has significant anti-cancer properties. Studies show that beet juice inhibits formation of cancer-causing compounds and is protective against colon and stomach cancer.
 
• Blood Building – The high content of iron in beets regenerates and reactivates the red blood cells and supplies fresh oxygen to the body, while the copper content in assists in iron absorption, helping in the fight against anemia.
 
• Lowering Cholesterol – Beets help to keep bad cholesterol at bay. Studies show that eating beets on a regular basis can lower LDL cholesterol by as much as 30 percent.
 
• Regulating Blood Pressure – In a British study of 14 healthy volunteers, half drank 2 cups beet juice and half drank 2 cups of water within 30 minutes. Their blood pressure was checked every 15 minutes for one hour before and every 15 minutes for three hours after drinking the beet juice. They were also checked every hour for six hours with a final check at 24 hours after drinking the juice. The results were amazing! Compared with the water drinkers, blood pressure dropped one hour after the volunteers drank the beet juice. It reached its lowest point 2-1/2 to 3 hours after ingestion and continued to have an effect for up to 24 hours.
 
Roasted, boiled or juiced, beets are great winter superfood!
 
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Aerobic Fitness

[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!
 
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Cold Weather Workout Tips

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Winter weather can wreak havoc on your workout schedule, but don’t give up! That winter weight gain isn’t all tied to eating more or lack of exercise. New research shows how important exercise is … especially in the winter. In this study, researchers from the University of Colorado followed a group of twelve women and six men in both summer and winter. They discovered that their production of ATLPL (Adipose Tissue Lipoprotein Lipase), the chemical that promotes fat storage, almost doubles during the winter and dropped during the summer. They also found that the increase of muscle enzymes gained from exercising can help to counter the increase of ATLPL, and help the battle against those extra winter pounds.
 
Winter workouts carry their own dangers, here are a few tips to protect you on the coldest days.
 
• Wear layers. Insulate yourself against the wind and cold with a layered barrier rather than a single, bulky garment. The first layer that’s directly touching your skin should be a lightweight synthetic or polyester material. It will dry quickly and wick away moisture. The second layer should be wool or polyester fleece. The outermost layer — worn in the rain, snow, or wind — should be lighter weight and water-repellent to help you stay dry.
 
• Keep your head covered. It is believed that between 50 and 70 percent of body heat is lost when your head is unprotected in cold weather. Wearing a hat can help your body retain heat.
 
• Protect your feet and hands. Keeping hands and feet warm is vital. Your body concentrates on keeping your internal organs warm in cold weather. Gloves also help prevent skin damage and frostbite. To keep your feet warm, make sure your torso is properly insulated and keep feet dry with winter athletic socks that have an inner layer that moves moisture away from the skin to an outer absorbent layer.
 
• Wear a face mask or scarf in frigid temperatures. A loose layer over your nose and mouth can warm cold air before you inhale and protect your lungs.
 
• Drink Water. You don’t feel as sweaty as you do in the summer, but water is just as important in winter months. It even keeps you warm by helping the body retain heat!
 
• In extreme cold, which we’ve seen this winter, move your workout indoors to the gym. Can’t make it to the gym? Develop a workout regimen you can do at home, take the stairs at work or speed walk through the mall!
 
• Finally, consider some traditional warming foods. Ancient Chinese medicine advised adding fresh ginger, garlic and cayenne to your food as a way to boost the immune system! Eucalyptus and juniper also stimulate the circulation and help protect the immune system.
 
It may seem more difficult to exercise when the weather gets cold and days seem shorter, but it’s important to work against the natural increase in fat storage that occurs during the winter months!
 
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Keeping Your New Year Resolutions

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
The new year is a time to reflect on our lives, to embrace the opportunity for change a new year brings and to look forward with hope to the future. With hope for the future in mind, millions of Americans make New Year resolutions. If you’re one of them, try these seven helpful pointers to help reach your goal!
 
1. Decide on realistic goals. Realistic goals can help you stay on track and reach your target. Weight control experts use the term ‘false-hope syndrome’ for unrealistic expectations about how long it will take to lose extra weight. Planning realistic goals can be applied to all situations, set a target that is attainable, reaching that will spur you on to greater heights
 
2. Make a plan. Be specific. Whether you’re going to be counting calories, making more time to spend with your family or quitting smoking — give yourself a plan. How you will deal with the urge to skip a workout, have potato chips instead of celery, or have just one more cigarette? This can be as simple as breathing deeply while you count to ten, calling a friend, or having a list on-hand to remind you of the positive effects of sticking to your plan.
 
3. Write down a “pro” and “con” list. Writing and seeing a list of of the positive effects of keeping your resolution and the negative effects of continuing as you are on paper strengthens your resolution. Keep the list with you to help you through the rough periods.
 
4. Practice mindfulness. Alan Marlatt, director of the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington, offers a quote from author and Holocaust survivor, Victor Frankl. “Between stimulus and response, there’s a space, and in that space is our power to choose our response, and in our response lies our growth and freedom.” Recognizing the triggers to actions you want to stop gives you the choice to respond positively.
 
5. Keep track of your progress. Remember, your larger goal is at the end of a road of small successes. Breaking a large goal into smaller segments or timeframes will help guide you, give you a ‘checking mechanism’ and keep you motivated. Break a weight-loss regimen into 5 pound segments, keep a work-out diary for your fitness regimen or a phone log for those old friends and family members you reach out to.
 
6. Treat yourself to something special. Go out to a movie or sports event, have lunch with a friend … celebrate your success by treating yourself to something you enjoy that does not contradict your resolution!
 
7. Be forgiving. Relapse is a common part of changing behavior. If you have an occasional slip, learn from it and keep going. Make the best of each day, and take each day as it comes. It takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit, and about 6 months for it to become part of your personality. With a little patience, new habits will become second-nature in no time.
 
Good luck on your resolutions! Wishing you a Healthy and Happy New Year!
 
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Spreading Holiday Health!

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Are you taking a dish to a holiday a holiday potluck? Having friends over? Share the gift of healthy food for your friends and loved ones! Whether making your traditional seasonal treats or experimenting with new and adventurous dishes, you can create a great, even indulgent holiday spread while protecting against growing waistlines and rising cholesterol levels.
 
Try some new ideas for the healthiest holiday foods to add to your table!
 
• Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Brussels sprouts have come roaring in from the culinary cold! Sweet and piquant, brussel sprouts are as tasty roasted as they are simple to prepare with an added nutty flavor. Simply toss with olive oil, a touch of garlic and salt, then roast until crisp on the outside. Easy to prepare, tasty and packed with nutrients, roasted Brussels sprouts are an extremely healthy dietary choice.
 
• Collard Greens: Collards offer exceptional nutritional value with low caloric overhead and are a popular dish on any dinner tabl. Sadly, the traditional method of cooking greens with fat-back or bacon overwhelms the benefits of this great veggie. If you crave the flavor of traditional collards without the cholesterol-causing bacon or fatback, try using smoked turkey wings and a drizzle of olive oil!
 
• Green Beans: One of America’s favorite vegetables, green beans are one of the healthiest holiday foods. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K (important for bone health) and manganese. They’re generous in vitamin A, dietary fiber, potassium, folate, and iron. Unfortunately, that yummy green bean casserole served with traditional holiday meal is high in calories due to the butter, cream of mushroom soup and cheese. Try tossing with sauteed fresh garlic and top with toasted almond slivers. It’s your next, healthy holiday favorite!
 
• Pecans: Sprinkle pecans over salads with dried cranberries or cherries, or gently roast for a pre-meal snack. Pecans are a great source of vitamin E and magnesium. They’re also packed with fiber, protein, and the same “good” fats that are found in olive oil.
 
• Winter Squash: If winter squash isn’t a staple in your winter nutritional regimen, it should be! Try an apple and squash casserole as a tasty and healthy replacement for mashed potatoes. Pumpkin empanadas with whole wheat crust are a great appetizer that will disappear off your buffet table as fast as you get them there!
 
It’s the rich desserts and cookies that will really catch you, but there’s plenty of ways to make those holiday favorites healthier while retaining the flavor.
 
• Use whole grains like oatmeal, dried fruits and nuts in holiday cookies and breads.
 
• Make a low-fat ricotta cheesecake!
 
• When baking gingerbread and deep-hued cakes and cookies, replace half the flour with whole-wheat flour to increase the fiber, they will fill you up quicker and make you feel full longer.
 
• Try using an egg substitute to cut cholesterol.
 
• Add the simple elegance of baked, poached or roasted fall fruits to the dessert menu. Making tarts? Reduce the amount of sugar and let the fruit flavor shine! Decorate with some fresh mint leaves and cranberries for that seasonal touch!
 
Let you creativity shine through! You’ll not only share a loving feast made with the well-being of your guests in mind … you may create a new holiday tradition to share for years and years!
 
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Cardio Crossover

As long as there is fitness, there will be a constant flow of fads that people will latch onto. From aerobics in the ’80s to Pilates in the ’90s to Tae Bo in the early 2000s, there will always be a “latest and greatest” form of exercise that will guarantee results.
 
Now, the mid-2010s have brought us CrossFit, a brand of exercise so popular and followed that it’s generated its own Olympics-like event each year. A combination of strength training, plyometrics and cardiovascular exercise, CrossFit is a fantastic alternative for those who want to achieve both results and health while keeping the routine mixed up.
 
CrossFit-Cardio Comparison
 
With all of the various exercises CrossFit offers, not to mention the expensive per-month costs for classes, is it a better alternative than your typical cardio exercise? According to fitness guru Peter Nielsen, they’re both great options—as long as everyone has a game plan of what they want to accomplish in the long run.
 
“Cardio training is taking the most important muscle, the heart. Cardio exercise also helps with bone density and can burn excess body fat,” Nielsen explains. “Walking, riding bike or elliptical, you’re in control. You’re the CEO of your body.”
 
Nielsen also suggests finding the right piece of equipment for you; find something you enjoy and are able to use. Also, if you’re also integrating a strength training plan, a good tip is to do the cardio exercise after lifting weights to burn glycogen storage, which then taps into the body fat.
 
CrossFit, however, is a great way to mix it up, especially if you’re not crazy about going to the gym. It’s a way to keep from getting bored, get through the winter or take fitness to the next level.
 
“People like CrossFit because most people don’t like to exercise. It breaks up the monotony,” said Nielsen. “A lot of people get injured when they get into it and they think it’s an answer to everything.”
 
The Answer Lies Within
 
“People need to have a vision and a game plan of what to accomplish,” said Nielsen. “To maintain, build strength, lose weight, CrossFit is a good option. For toning and focus on body parts, get body fat to lowest, cardio is a more methodical approach.”
 
Nielsen reiterated that the real decision people need to make about starting any exercise program, including cardio and CrossFit, comes from within.
 
“People need to find something they enjoy and find reason why they want to do this,” Nielsen stressed. “Everyone asks, ‘How do you lose weight and gain muscle?’ You could Google it and be three clicks away. You have to ask yourself ‘Why?’ Dig deep and find the right reasons.”
 
The Price of Fitness
 
A big consideration that those debating CrossFit over a regular cardio routine need to factor is cost. CrossFit classes can cost around $125 a month, and gym memberships can be pricey as well. An alternative to shelling out the monthly fee for classes or a personal trainer would be picking up a piece of equipment. For those who have a better idea as to what works for them, picking up a weight set, elliptical or treadmill can save money over the long haul.
 
As someone who’s operated several health clubs, Nielsen suggests starting your own program, some of which are totally free and can be very effective.
 
“You could do a walking program, ride a bicycle, snowshoe, cross-country ski. It’s wonderful when knowledge is power and you don’t have to spend a lot of money,” Nielsen explained.
 
“Intensity is King”
 
The key to keeping your heart healthy and burning fat is the intensity of your workout. According to Nielsen, “Intensity is king.” The amount of intensity, be it with CrossFit, cardio or a strength workout, is the determining factor in how much it works.
 
The example he used is if someone walks a mile and another person runs it, the person who runs will burn more calories and spend less time working out. It also burns more than someone who’s lifting weights, takes a break, takes a drink, talks to their friend and gets back to lifting. Intensity is the key.
 
“I’ve seen the best of the best get sick because the intensity was too much, and they were professional athletes in great shape,” told Nielsen. “Intensity is king when it comes to getting in shape.”
 
There are countless pros and cons to both cardio and CrossFit exercises. While cardio can be more customized to someone’s physical ability and overall goal, for some people, it could become monotonous. CrossFit, conversely, will constantly keep it changing, which is good for people who might not necessarily like going to the gym and using the elliptical for an hour each day.
 
But to make the right choice, a person really needs to look deep within themselves to find out what their long-term vision and goals are. Cardio or CrossFit, you ask? You tell me.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
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Tips to Good Health This Winter

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
It’s been unusually cold the last two winters, which can wreak havoc on your workout schedule! Don’t give up. That winter weight gain isn’t all tied to eating more or lack of exercise. New research shows how important exercise is … especially in the winter. In this study, researchers from the University of Colorado followed a group of twelve women and six men in both summer and winter. They discovered that their production of ATLPL (Adipose Tissue Lipoprotein Lipase), the chemical that promotes fat storage, almost doubles during the winter and dropped during the summer. They also found that the increase of muscle enzymes gained from exercising can help to counter the increase of ATLPL, and help the battle against those extra winter pounds.
 
Winter workouts carry their own dangers, here are a few tips to protect you on the coldest days.
 
• Wear layers. Insulate yourself against the wind and cold with a layered barrier rather than a single, bulky garment. The first layer that’s directly touching your skin should be a lightweight synthetic or polyester material. It will dry quickly and wick away moisture. The second layer should be wool or polyester fleece. The outermost layer — worn in the rain, snow, or wind — should be lighter weight and water-repellent to help you stay dry.
 
• Keep your head covered. It is believed that between 50 and 70 percent of body heat is lost when your head is unprotected in cold weather. Wearing a hat can help your body retain heat.
 
• Protect your feet and hands. Keeping hands and feet warm is vital. Your body concentrates on keeping your internal organs warm in cold weather. Gloves also help prevent skin damage and frostbite. To keep your feet warm, make sure your torso is properly insulated and keep feet dry with winter athletic socks that have an inner layer that moves moisture away from the skin to an outer absorbent layer.
 
• Wear a facemask or scarf in frigid temperatures. A loose layer over your nose and mouth can warm cold air before you inhale and protect your lungs.
 
• Drink water. You don’t feel as sweaty as you do in the summer, but water is just as important in winter months. It even keeps you warm by helping the body retain heat!
 
• In extreme cold, which we’ve seen the last two winters, move your workout indoors to the gym. Can’t make it to the gym? Develop a workout regimen you can do at home, take the stairs at work or speed walk through the mall!
 
• Finally, consider some traditional warming foods. Ancient Chinese medicine advised adding fresh ginger, garlic and cayenne to your food as a way to boost the immune system! Eucalyptus and juniper also stimulate the circulation and help protect the immune system.
 
It may seem more difficult to exercise when the weather gets cold and days seem shorter, but it’s important to work against the natural increase in fat storage that occurs during the winter months!
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now

Bicycling

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Bicycling is a popular activity — especially in the summer — and it’s gaining popularity. It’s a great, low-impact, aerobic exercise that can be just as effective as running, without the knee pain. A 135-pound woman who bikes 6 miles a half hour burns 242 calories in a half hour, add another mile to that and you’ll burn 311 calories in a half hour!
 
Cycling works the hamstrings, back of the thighs, and quadriceps.The core muscles help with control and balance, while they power your turns. Calf muscles help you pedal. Stand up and cycle for some intervals, it will add some intensity and extra work for your glutes! Try riding up steep hills while pulling up on the handlebars to really activate those glutes and biceps! As always, there’s more!
 
• Think Clearer. A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that people scored higher on memory, reasoning, and planning tests after 30 minutes of spinning on a stationary bike than they did before they rode … and they finished the tests faster!
 
• Get Energized. A study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that bike riding improved energy levels by 20 percent and decreased fatigue by 65 percent by triggering the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
 
• Prevent Heart Disease. The American Heart Association suggests a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week. In a recent study, 32 women cycled three times a week for a minimum of a half hour at moderate to high intensity. The study found that the women had lowered their blood pressure, their LDL cholesterol and increased their aerobic fitness.
 
• Sleep Better. A study out of Stanford University School of Medicine had sedentary insomnia sufferers cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day. As a result, participants found the time it took for them to fall asleep was reduced by half, and they slept for an hour more!
 
New bike lanes on thoroughfares make it easier for cyclists to commute to work and beautiful bike paths in parks offer a calming and enjoyable outdoor environment for your fitness routine. Give it a try … you’ll be stronger, fitter and happier!
 
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