Upping the Ante

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
Having trouble with those few extra pounds? You’re not alone.
Recent research on worldwide obesity was published in The Lancet. The study found that the proportion of men who were overweight or obese rose from 28.8% in 1980 to 36.9% in 2013, while the proportion of women who are obese or overweight increased from 29.8% to 38%! That translates to 2.1 billion obese or overweight people around the globe in 2013!
Public health experts point out that the cumulative effect of even a few extra pounds is serious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that the excess weight increases the risk of life-threatening conditions, including coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancer. A 2010 study, also published in The Lancet, estimated that 3.4 million deaths worldwide were caused by being overweight or obese in that year alone! It seems to be getting harder and harder to keep in shape! If you’re having a problem, take a good look at your fitness regimen.
Increasing the intensity of your workout routine will help. New research from the Scripps Research Institute found that intense exercise changes the body and muscles at a molecular level in ways that less vigorous exercise doesn’t. The study adds to the growing evidence that to reap the greatest benefits from our workouts, we need to challenge ourselves and that exercising at the proper intensity helps you get the most out of your workouts.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services we should fit both aerobic and strength training in our fitness regimens.
• Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity — brisk walking, swimming or mowing the lawn — or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity — running or aerobic dance routines, or a combination of both per week.
• Strength training. Add twice a week strength training sessions. Include free weights, weight machines or activities that use your own body weight — such as climbing or heavy gardening.
Gain the most from your workouts by keeping your exercise intensity at a moderate or vigorous level. You can gauge the intensity of your workout by your heartbeat, by the way you feel or a mixture of both methods. For the heartbeat method you need to be able to pinpoint your maximum heart rate! To do that, subtract your age from 220. For example, if you’re 50 years old, subtract 50 from 220 to get a maximum heart rate of 170. That is the maximum number of times your heart should beat per minute while you’re exercising.
Some basic guidelines for a healthy person to gauge exercise intensity are:
Moderate intensity exercise is somewhat hard.
• Your breathing quickens, but you’re not out of breath.
• You develop a light sweat after about 10 minutes of activity.
• You can carry on a conversation, but you can’t sing.
• Your heart rate is 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate-.
Vigorous intensity exercise is challenging.
• Your breathing is deep and rapid.
• You develop a sweat after a few minutes of activity.
• You can’t say more than a few words without pausing for breath.
• Heart rate is 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Exercise intensity is different for everyone. It’s up to you to decide if your intensity is too low, or if you need to slow down. Your current state of health, different medications and level of your current workout program all effect what the proper intensity level is for you!
Extra weight has been definitely linked to some cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. Weight loss is beneficial to your health, up your intensity and maximize your results!
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Vital Skin Care News

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
The United States Surgeon General announced the need for immediate action against skin cancer, calling it a major public health problem. The American Cancer Society reports that skin cancer is now diagnosed more often than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer cases combined each year. Close to five million people are treated for skin cancer annually — and according to the National Cancer Institute –melanoma is the most common form of cancer in adults ages 25 to 29 and second most common for young adults aged 15 to 29. Much of it is preventable.
Sunscreen is a vital weapon against skin cancer. Be sure to choose a product that offers the best protection. The sun has two types of invisible rays: ultraviolet A (UVA), and ultraviolet B (UVB). UVA rays are longer and their penetration into the skin is deeper than the UVB rays. They 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.
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 not only decrease your risk of skin cancer, you’ll prevent those facial brown spots and slow down the premature aging of your skin.
While preventing sun’s damage with sunscreen, take some positive steps to support healthy skin!
Eat protein to repair skin cells. Good sources are turkey, fish, boneless skinless chicken, egg whites, sprouts, seeds, grains, and nuts.
Eat fatty fish to boost the condition of cell membranes, the building blocks of healthy skin.
Almonds, olive oil and rapeseed oil are high in antioxidant-rich monounsaturated fat and aid in rejuvenating skin cells.
Keep your skin hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.
The vitamin C in citrus fruits, berries, broccoli and cabbage provides collagen to heal your skin.
Vitamin E promotes healing and prevents dry skin and the formation of age spots.
Relax and and enjoy some carefree fun in the sun – but remember to block the rays and ruduce your risk of skin cancer!
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Hot Weather Tips

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
We all embrace the warm weather after a long, hard winter, but we also need to keep in mind that changes in temperatures call for changes in our workout regimens. An average of 618 heat-related deaths occur each year in the United States. It’s a grim statistic, but with a little planning, you can avoid dangerous hot weather health issues!
Start by making adjustments to your fitness workout routine to prevent heat-related problems 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.
• Work out during the milder times of day. The combination of hot temperatures and dehydration can lead to serious heat-related illnesses, so don’t try to maximize your regimen when temperatures and humidity are high! Try to fit the most demanding parts of your regimen in early morning or evening hours.
• Wear sunscreen. It reduces the risk of long-term damage to your skin, and protects the ability of the epidermis to do its job — regulate temperature.
• 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.
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:
Try speed-walking and stair-climbing at a local mall with air conditioning. Join your local exercise club.
Have a cool room at home? Pull out your workout DVDs you’ve been looking at, open up the strength training or Pilates book that has been sitting on the shelf!
What could be more refreshing than swimming on a hot day! Look for water aerobic classes at your local public pool or include a water routine in your current regimen.
Find a gym that works for you. Local gyms come in all shapes and it’s easier now than ever to find one that fits your budget… with or without a contract!
Whatever option you decide to embrace, pace yourself and enjoy your workout. A hot summer day can give you a new appreciation for the value of sweat equity!
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Strong Safety

As the most popular sport in the United States, football has been undergoing some safety upgrades in both equipment and rules over the last few years. The concentration on concussions and keeping players generally healthy that started in the NFL has since trickled down into youth leagues, so there are some things to look out for both on the field and in the store.
The National Federation of High School Associations made some rule changes for 2014, including some that have already taken effect in higher leagues. Rules prohibiting the “targeting,” or taking focus off the ball to hit a player, and protecting “defenseless” players, as well as a provision to clarify the forcefulness of a hit, are all changes in store for 2014.
While these offenses are penalties, it’s unlikely they’re intentional. So how can players better protect themselves? Thanks to companies like CHAMPRO Sports, there are some padding options aside from the helmet to keep players safe.
“Dunham’s has an increasingly broad line of compression garments and accessory sleeves with integrated pads systems, particularly Champro’s TRI-FLEX products,” said Ryan Hunt, vice president of marketing and product development of CHAMPRO Sports. “These items are more form fitting and move with players’ bodies better than previous generations of rib cage and arm protection.”
And these protective devices aren’t only for safety – they’re built for fashion, too. Hunt says that if a protective device is fashionable as well, there’s a better chance the player will wear it more often.
“We want to design protective equipment that looks good and that kids want to wear. If kids feel cool and comfortable when they wear their gear, they’re more likely to have it on when they need it,” Hunt said.
If the risk of injury is too much for you or your child to bear, there’s a safer option: flag football. Programs like USA Football and NFL Flag, through the NFL, teach young players all about topics like sportsmanship, injury prevention, concussion awareness and nutrition. With these types of programs, players of all ages have the ability to learn football the right way from the equipment, to play on the field, all the way to the handshake after the contest, and there’s a greatly reduced chance of injury.
Whether you or your child are learning how to make a proper tackle or how to pull off an opponent’s flag, Dunham’s has the gear to keep players safe from head to toe. And thanks to the innovations from companies like CHAMPRO Sports, America’s favorite sport will only grow safer.
-Laces Out
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