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Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Get a Better View of Your Fitness Level with iFIT Vue

Put a Fitness Band on your Holiday List for a Fitter 2016.
The holidays are approaching and for many of us, that means a little extra food and drink. With so many events vying for our time, it can be difficult to stay on our fitness goal. It’s at times like these that we need a little incentive to get moving, whether in the form of a friendly competition or simply setting a target and monitoring your progress. Many have found the additional impetus to exercise by purchasing and constantly wearing fitness bands, including the iFit Vue. These devices have turned once passive exercisers into fitness enthusiasts who are making a concerted effort to get fitter.
What I like about the iFit Vue is that it allows you to track your goals and check your progress toward that goal throughout the day. For example, you may wish to walk 10,000 steps or run five miles. You can check your progress at any time during the day and adjust your activities – such as going for an after-dinner walk or getting on the treadmill – accordingly.
Keeping Track
The iFit Vue features MoveReady technology that, in addition to detecting your specific types of movement patterns, it also knows when you switch activities, such as if you’re walking versus running or swimming versus sleeping. This means you’ll get accurate data and feedback that’s meaningful to you. By the way, yes, you may wear the iFit Vue while swimming without fear of damaging the product.
In addition to tracking activity, the iFit Vue can help you track calories. They can be entered on the wearable device using the built-in calorie counter, allowing you to quickly log your meals when you’re at home or on the go. Since at its most basic level a healthy lifestyle requires expending more calories than we take in, the iFit Vue provides you with your net calories (calories taken in minus calories burned). It shows your net calories in real time and your progress percentage toward your goals. The iFit Vue even tracks your sleep and sleep patterns and sends and receives message to keep you motivated.
One really nice feature is the ability to sync your smartphone to the iFit Vue, allowing you to see caller ID and read text messages on your fitness band. Another bonus is exceptional battery life. According to the company, the battery in the iFit Vue will last through seven days of continuous use and can be recharged using the included USB charger.
The iFit Vue can also be connected to an optional Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) strap, enabling you to constantly monitor your heart rate right on your wrist.
The various data are shown via an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display. The use of OLED technology ensures the data is visible even under the most difficult light conditions. Touch the screen to toggle through the data, such as the amount of calories consumed and steps taken.
The iFit Vue even sends you quick and friendly messages, reminding you when to move or when it’s time to wake up. A gentle vibration and the OLED display provides you with the motivation you need to achieve your goals.
Get the App
There’s an app for nearly everything nowadays and the free iFit app greatly enhances the iFit Vue experience. For example, you can use the app to enter your meals, snacks and drinks from a wide-ranging food library or by using the built-in barcode scanner, ensuring greater accuracy and convenience.
The app provides a wealth of information: calories, proteins, sugars, saturated fat. Once wearers understand their behaviors during the day, including what they’re consuming, they can then see where they’re struggling and adjust their activities for a healthier lifestyle.
You can also use the app to set your goals and get notifications when those goals are achieved. The app further provides in-depth details of your day, as well as easy-to-read charts of your activity.
The iFit app is available for Android and iOS platforms.
Other iFit Products
The iFit Vue is one of many iFit products available at your local Dunham’s Sports, including the less-expensive iFit Link. Think of the iFit Link as the minimalist version of the iFit Vue. Rather than numerals shown on an OLED display, for example, iFit Link uses four lights to display your progress. As you reach 25 percent of your goal, the first light illuminates. When you reach 50 percent, the second one lights up and so on.
For optimal convenience, iFit Link can be worn a wristband or as a clip on. The wristband is ideal for most situations, while the clip on option is handy for those times when you want to be more discreet. Either way, the choice is yours.
Every year, millions of Americans make a resolution to get fit. Go beyond promises by actually doing something about it. In addition to healthier eating choices, exercising will deliver the most benefits toward that goal. One way to get motivated is with an iFit band available at your local Dunham’s Sports store. Visit with one of our knowledgeable fitness representatives and take the first step (or 10,000 steps) toward a healthier you.
Happy Holidays.
-Fitness Fanatic
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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!
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[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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Controlling Your Body Temperature

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
Working out in the heat creates additional challenges for our ability to maintain fitness regimens. After a cold winter of longing for summer, we can find ourselves overwhelmed when summer really kicks into high gear. That’s because of how we normally regulate our temperature. Knowing how your body regulates its temperature can help you make better choices for your summer workouts.
When your body is cool, vasoconstriction — the narrowing of blood vessels to skin capillaries — keeps blood away from the surface of the skin, reducing the loss of heat from the skin. If your body is too warm, blood vessels leading to the skin capillaries dilate, allowing blood to flow near the surface. Heat is then released through the skin by radiation. To further reduce body temperature, sweat is produced by the sweat glands and evaporates, cooling the skin. The importance of your body’s ability to regulate temperature becomes even more important when your muscles produce more heat during exercise and the environment becomes hotter, causing radiation to become less effective in reducing body heat.
Any time we exercise, the working muscles call for more energy through an increase of blood supply and oxygen. The heart works harder to accomplish that. Additionally, the working muscles also create heat by using the oxygen in your blood’s hemoglobin to convert the glucose in your bloodstream into usable energy. This increase in core body temperature can put the the functions of the your central nervous system and muscle cells at risk, especially when heat loss is challenged by warmer environmental temperatures that make it difficult for the skin to cool.
At this point, our bodies direct more blood to the skin for cooling at the same time it is needed for the increase in the muscular workload when you’re working out. Skin and working muscles compete for the limited blood flow (think oxygen) that the heart produces, raising the risk of heat stroke or muscle fatigue. The good news is, we can acclimate to the weather and improve our overall performance at the same time.
Professional and high-level athletes often exercise in warm conditions to improve performance and prepare different climate factors. For people engage in light or medium-level exercise or have increased risk of heat-related illness, avoid exercising in peak heat. Instead, develop a gradual and incremental workout that increases your cardiovascular and thermoregulatory tolerance.
Take precautions to reduce the likelihood of heat illness.
• The time of day is important. Avoid exercising from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s the hottest part of day. If the weather is particularly hot, the best time of day is early morning.
• Wear loose, light-colored clothing. Lighter colors help reflect heat. Cotton material helps sweat evaporate. Try some running shirts and shorts that are designed specifically for working out.
• Protect your skin. Use sunscreen with SPF of 45 or 50.
• Cool off with water sports. Swim some laps a couple days a week instead of running. The variety will refresh you in more ways than one!
• Stay hydrated. Before you go out, drink a glass or two of water. Carry a bottle of water. Take a drink every 15 minutes, even when you’re not thirsty and When you’re done with your workout, have a few more glasses of water.
• Check the weather forecast before you start your workout. If there’s a heat, pollution or high ozone advisory, protect your lungs and think of working out indoors.
Listen to your body. Stop immediately if you’re feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous. Take precautions and have a great workout!
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Feeling The Heat!

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
Temperatures are rising and it is important to remember that exercising in hot weather can put additional stress on your body. If you don’t take care when exercising in the heat, you can endanger your long-term health.
You may want to tweak your workout to prevent heat-related problems such as heat stroke or heat cramps while keeping active. Here are a few important pointers to keep in mind:
• Drink Water. We sweat more when the temperature’s hot, especially when working or exercising in the heat. You also burn more calories working out in hot weather due to the extra cardiovascular effort required to cool the body when blood is pumped to the skin — this results in increased perspiration. It’s important to drink water to replenish the fluids lost by any excessive sweating.
• Acclimate. Give yourself time to adapt to the heat and take it easy at first when you exercise in the heat. As your body adapts to the heat over the course of one to two weeks, gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts.
• Eat regularly. Your appetite may be reduced on hot days, so try eating 5-6 small meals throughout day. Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, they’re in season and nutritious.
• Watch the humidity. There may be days when it’s just too hot and humid for you. Heat combined with humidity increases the risk of a heat-related illness, so consider other exercise options when temperatures spike.
• Avoid the midday sun. Plan your outdoor sessions before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.
• Know your medical risks. Some medications or medical conditions may increase the risk of a heat-related illness. Talk to your medical adviser about precautions!
However, there is new, very interesting research being done on heat and fitness. A recent study from the University of Oregon followed the performance of twelve extremely high-level cyclists over a 10-day training period in 100-degree heat. The participants included 10 men and 2 woman and had a 2-day break during the program. A control group followed the same exercise regimen in 55-degree room. Both groups worked in the same humidity — 30 percent humidity.
The findings? The cyclists who worked through the heat saw a 7% improvement in their performance, while the control group showed no improvement. Additionally, the group that worked out in the 100-degree heat not only acclimated to the heat, they also improved their performance in cooler weather.
It’s a fine line, pace yourself, be mindful of your environment, and have fun with it!
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Mix Up Your Workout with Prints

Lets face it—a workout routine can get boring. There are a lot of ways you can mix it up to keep things interesting. You could try a new class at your gym or start working out with a friend. But have you ever thought of changing up what you wear?
This season, there’s a new trend in workout apparel—prints! And Dunham’s Sports has the gear to keep you in style. The best way to fit new and fun prints into your exercise wardrobe this season is with a new pair of bottoms. Shorts, capris or pants are all great options.
“While printed leggings and capris have been our strongest contenders, we have also seen a huge response to RBX printed running and biker shorts, tanks, sports bras…you name it!” said Jack Eig of RBX.
This summer at Dunham’s, RBX will be offering a wide array of prints as well as solids. This makes RBX apparel ideal for mixing and matching.
“RBX is diving right into bright colors and graphic details,” said Eig. “Printed elements that create the illusion of texture and high contrast patterns are some of the major trends that we chose to focus on.”
You can also find printed apparel from 90 Degrees by Reflex at Dunham’s. They will have styles available for everyday wear to help you lead an active lifestyle. Bob Mait of 90 Degrees by Reflex said that customers can expect to see unique pieces this summer.
Andrea Price, also of 90 Degrees by Reflex, said that advances in the textile industry mean that printed fabrics are easier to make and more accessible.
“Prints are popular because they’re expressive of individual style,” Price said. “Anyone who thinks printed leggings are a here-and-gone trend is crazy. There will be variations of them from here on out for the fitness and fashion industries.”
So why have prints suddenly become so popular? Eig said social media has helped the trend grow.
“The positive response to our prints can greatly be attributed to America’s growing passion for healthier lifestyle choices, as well as the proliferation of social media,” Eig said. “Our customers aren’t just working out, they’re having fun and sharing it online with millions of others every day! It’s contagious and RBX prints show off that positive energy for all the world to see.”
So whether you’re into bright floral or fun animal prints, you can find the workout gear to keep you in fashion this season at Dunham’s!
-Fitness Fanatic
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Healthy Liver

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
Our liver is our body’s main toxin filter. It also helps fight off infection, manufactures proteins and hormones, controls blood sugar and helps blood clotting. Overeating, consuming processed or fried foods, exposure to environmental pollutants and stress can all impede liver functions but there are foods that can help keep you maintain a healthy high-functioning liver!
• Garlic can help activate liver enzymes that assist in flushing out toxins and is an excellent source of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing. A study published in the Internet Journal of Nutrition and Wellness found that fresh garlic extract actually reversed the oxidative stress that causes liver toxicity in mice who were given excessive doses of acetomenaphen.
• A large Japanese study that was published in the 2009 issue of Cancer Causes and Control found that men who drank five or more cups per day of green tea had 37 percent less risk of liver cancers than those who drank one or no cups per day, while women reduced their risk by 50 percent. It’s important that this only refers to those drinking tea and that some people have reported liver problems when using green tea supplements.
• Leafy green vegetables are a powerful tool for cleansing the liver. They are an excellent source of chlorophylls and flush environmental toxins from the blood stream.
• Avocados help the body produce a type of antioxidant called glutathione which is needed by the liver to filter out harmful substances and protect liver cells from damage.
• Cruciferous vegetables increase the amount of glucosinolate in your system, which adds to enzyme production in the liver, strengthening the liver’s ability to flush carcinogens and other toxins out of your system
• Walnuts contain high amounts of arginine which can aid the liver in detoxifying ammonia and waste processing. They are also good sources of both glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, which support normal liver cleansing actions.
• Turmeric helps boost liver functions by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens.
As always, add some exercise to your diet for best results!
Take care of your liver and it will take care of you!
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