Age-defying Menu Items

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
Summer brings a cornucopia of age-defying goodness along with beautiful weather for outside activities … boost the results of your summer workouts with some healthy food items with long-lasting results! Why do these foods make onto our menu for youth? The list is long, but most are rich in anti-oxidants, protecting you from the damage caused by free radicals. Protect your skin, your eyes, and your immune system with these great summer treats … you may even be able to control the number of fat cells your body produces! You’ll not only look and feel better, you’ll be healthier!
Asparagus is a natural detoxifier and diuretic; it is a good source of Vitamin K and C, folate, and phytonutrients – especially glutathione an important antioxidant. A great source of fiber, asparagus also offers inulin, a prebiotic that helps the probiotics in your digestive tract flourish. Get your fresh asparagus locally from May through June.
Avocado‘s oleic acid give it a starring role on the health roster. Various studies indicate that this monounsaturated fat can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and boost levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol). They’re an excellent source of carotenoids, delivering high-quality vitamin A for eye health while supporting the immune system and promoting healthy functioning of the reproductive system. They’re also a good source of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins C, K, and folate!
Basil can help suppress inflammation, it is also rich in orientin and vicenin, two water-soluble flavanoids that protect cell structure and chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage. The beta-carotene found in basil may help to lessen the progression of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis while protecting cells from further damage. Get the most out of basil by eating it fresh on salads or in pesto!
Blueberries seem to make all the ‘healthy food lists here, but that’s only because they’re a known superfood with a wide variety of benefits. Years of research have linked anthocyanin, the flavonoid that gives blueberries their color, with improved memory. Good news … recent studies show that we can freeze blueberries without losing the anthocyanin antioxidants!
Garlic and its relatives -— including onions, chives, leeks, and shallots — contain sulfur compounds that may protect blood vessels and help prevent heart attacks and stroke along with cancer-fighting properties. Early research suggests that garlic consumption may actually help to regulate the number of fat cells that get formed in our bodies!
Kale is filled with carotenoids and flavonoid, giving it particularly high marks for fighting disease, particularly cancer. Kale is a great source of fiber and sulfur, which makes it a great detox to keep your liver healthy! High in vitamin K, it helps protect against various cancers, aids in normal bone health and the prevention of blood clots … increased levels of vitamin K can even help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease!
Thyme contains a variety of flavonoids, including apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin which increase thyme’s antioxidant capacity, it’s also a very good source of manganese, giving thyme a high standing on the list of anti-oxidant foods. Additionally, thyme’s volatile oils have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can neutralize disease-causing pathogens, including some strains of E. coli and staphylococcus.
Salmon is not only an excellent source of omega-3s, it’s packed with the carotenoid astaxanthin that protect eyes and joints, boosts the immune system, and helps prevent heart disease and cancer. Recent studies find that In particular, adults adults who ate fatty fish twice a week had a 35 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease!
Eating fresh produce and fish not only tastes great … you get huge nutrition returns that help you live healthy, youthful and fit for all those summer plans!
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Muscle Cramps

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
Cramps — also called charley horses – afflict 39 percent of marathon runners, 79 percent of triathletes, and 60 percent of cyclists at some time, but they’re not alone! Cramps can occur anywhere and to anyone. Whether you’re young or old, extremely active or usually sedentary, chances are you’ve experienced a muscle cramp. Researchers have found that infants, the elderly, the overweight, and athletes are at the greatest risk for muscle cramps, which demonstrates how wide-spread they are!
During common cramps, muscles of your calf or foot suddenly become hard, tight, and extremely painful. They are are caused by muscle spasms, involuntary contractions of one or more muscles. While most common in the foot and calf muscles, the front and back of the thigh, the hands, arms, abdomen, and muscles along the rib cage are also common locations for cramps. They occur during, immediately after, or as long as six hours after a workout.
The specific factors that lead to muscle cramps has not been clearly defined, however there are several possible causes, including:
• Strain on the calf muscles while exercising.
• Insufficient stretching before working out.
• Muscle fatigue.
• Dehydration.
• Magnesium and potassium deficiencies.
• Spinal cord injuries.Pinched neck or back nerves.Poor blood circulation in the legs.
If you find yourself grimacing with charley horses there are a few things you can try!
• Eat foods high in vitamins and magnesium and calcium.
• Drink plenty of water and stay well hydrated.
• Stretch properly before exercise.
Muscle cramps usually go away in a few minutes, but if you experience them frequently for no apparent reason you may want speak to your doctor. Your body may be try to tell you something!
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Simple Steps for a Healthier Summer

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
The American Institute for Cancer Research has come up with some great summer ideas that will make a big difference in your overall health and reduce your risk of cancer. They’re small, targeted steps, but they can do a lot to change the big picture! Staying fit and healthy can be difficult anytime, but these simple changes are great steps to ease positive changes into your lifestyle!
• Trade in the soda and sugary drinks for water and fruit-infused water. Despite all the warnings about soda, 48% of Americans consume soda daily … and they’re drinking 2.5 glasses a day! These calories can contribute to excess weight gain, a factor in cancer risk. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice with a few strawberries into a glass of ice water … it’s more refreshing and healthier!
• Having a hard time scheduling a traditional gym workout? Go for several breaks throughout the day. It has long been accepted that inactivity plays a part in cancer risk and new research indicates that sitting for long periods of time can increase cancer risk even among people who exercise daily. Rev up your day with walks, take on a few flights of stairs during your break, stand up while you’re on the phone … get creative! The American Institute for Cancer Research advises at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
• Drop the full-fat ice cream and opt for a fruity berry/yogurt parfait, frozen yogurt or sorbet. Make fruit the star of dessert. Ice cream can come with the hefty price tag of 270 calories and 18 grams of fat into half a cup! You’ll not only slash the number of calories you take in, you’ll receive the nutritional bonus that comes with berries and fruit juices!
• Go for the home-cooked meal instead of dining out. It may seem easier and faster to eat out and cooking can be draining in this weather, but people consume 50% more calories, fat and sodium when eating out instead of at home! Dining out also limits the variety, availability and amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other vitamin-rich “super foods” that reduce the risk of cancer.
• Expand your salad horizons! Replace that iceberg lettuce with nutrient-rich like spinach, arugula, collards, and kale. Many consider greens the number one food you can eat regularly to help improve your health. They provide fiber, phytochemicals, and antioxidants and research shows that dark leafy greens can protect against cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and stomach.
• Say ‘no thanks’ to white bread. The important nutrients found in whole grains have been removed from refined grains. The outer layer of a grain is rich in minerals, vitamins and important phytochemicals and they’re rich in dietary fiber to protect against colorectal cancer.
• Love barbecue but concerned about the carcinogens created when meat chars? Try veggies .. grill up a portabella mushroom or a veggie kabob. Veggies don’t create carcinogens when they brown. For extra flavor, marinade your veggies first. If you don’t have time to marinade, brush lightly with olive or canola oil for that great, carmelized flavor. Not only are veggies rich in nutrients and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, they will help you cut down on red meat. Remember, consuming too much red meat raises the risk of colorectal cancer so try to restrict your red meat intake to no more than 18 ounces per week.
Try these simple ideas and have a happy, healthy summer that will give you a lift year-round!
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Head-to-Toe (and Mouth) Protection for your Football Player

Mouth Guards and Gloves Go High Tech!
Back in the days (when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and TV was black and white), we didn’t wear gloves to help us catch the tight spirals or mouth guards to prevent repeated visits to the orthodontist. Luckily – for athletes and parents – times have changed.
Flavorful Protection
Speaking of evolution, plain mouth guards are as passé as landlines and portable CD players. Extremely popular with today’s athletes are flavored mouth guards.
“We see players wearing mouth guards even in non-contact sports because they help prevent injuries,” said Tom Hoey of MoGo Sport. “We have developed technology that allows us to take natural flavors, embed them in the polymer and have the flavor last for the life of the product.”
Mogo Sport mouth guards are available in six flavors: blue raspberry, fruit punch, lemon, mint, orange and bubble gum.
“With other mouth guards, you see athletes removing them to take in water. Our flavor technology helps generate saliva, pre-venting dry mouth. This ensures kids wear their mouth guard properly and longer,” Hoey said.
Mogo Sport mouth guards are available in junior (11 and younger) and adult (12 and older) sizes. The company also makes special mouth guards for kids with orthodontics or braces.
Tacky in a Good Way
Yep, football gloves are tacky … meaning they can help junior (or senior) make more catches.
“All of our football gloves feature Armour Grabtack, providing the best tack in the industry. They give any player a slight edge,” said Ryan McGrath of Under Armour.
Extremely popular for summer football are the company’s gloves with HeatGear technology in back. It wicks moisture away from the hands, keeping the player cooler. New for 2013 is Under Armour’s Highlight glove. It features a long cuff that extends approximately three inches from the wrist.
“The Highlight glove delivers enhanced performance and unique styling,” McGrath explained.
Under Armour gloves are available at your local Dunham’s in four men’s styles and one youth style and in a variety of colors. Under Armour’s most popular style, the F3, can be found at all Dunham’s stores in both adult and youth sizes. The Renegade and Highlight adult gloves are available in limited stores.
If you’re considering football gloves, McGrath offers the following advice: “The glove shouldn’t be too loose. The fingers should comfortably go to the edge of the fingertips. I hate to say it, but it should fit like a glove.”
Protect Your Quarterback
and the Rest of Your Team with the Proper Equipment

Let’s face it, modern athletes are much bigger than yesterday’s counterparts. For example, today’s NFL quarterbacks, tight ends and even some wide receivers are bigger than offensive linemen from the 1960s. The average player is also faster, making full-speed impacts all the more jarring and potentially damaging. That evolution in size and speed is also evident at lower levels, including youth ranks. That’s why it’s extremely important to make sure young football players are outfitted with the proper pro-tective equipment.
High-Tech Protection
Just as players have evolved, so has protective equipment. It’s lighter, more comfortable and provides better protection.
“Protective performance apparel has come a long way,” said Steve Arensdorf of Stromgren Athletics. “Today, girdles, padded arm sleeves and padded compression shirts are made of closed-cell EVA foam. They can be laundered daily and the pads don’t need to be removed prior to washing.”
Here’s something else that’s sure to make any parent – and any sibling riding home with the athlete – much happier: the mate-rials used in the protective equipment are antimicrobial and moisture-wicking. That should cut down somewhat on the need to ride home with windows down and noses out the windows.In addition to ensuring the protective equipment is appropriate for the child’s age and size, Arensdorf offers the following advice when shopping for your child: “Make sure it’s a quality product; it should have antimicrobial and moisture-wicking properties. Check out the quality of the pad; squeeze it to see how it feels. Our pads are also perforated to help them breath, making them more comfortable,” he said.
However, just as your child is likely to outgrow his or her shoes in the span of a season, protective equipment is not meant to last forever. In addition to needing a larger size, there are limitations to how long the antimicrobial properties will last.
Choosing the Right Equipment
“Typically, football equipment will last through the fall and spring football seasons and should be replaced the following sea-son. We also don’t encourage that schools hand down garments from one child to another. We recommend new ones for each athlete,” Arensdorf explained.
A team’s best chances of winning any game is to have the best 22 kids on the field. That takes the best protective equipment.
“If it prevents an injury, protective equipment more than pays for itself,” Arensdorf concluded.
For the best in football protection, visit your local Dunham’s where you will find a range of products in a variety of sizes to help protect yourself and your teammates this championship season.
-Laces Out
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