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Benefits of Cycling
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Events not to miss
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Wellness articlesBuddy up for a better workout
Did you know you’re more likely to stick to your exercise goals if you work out with a fitness partner? It’s true, especially because you become accountable to someone. No more sleeping through that Saturday morning run; after all, your workout partner is waiting for you. Read moreDon’t be SAD this winter!
Beat those winter blues before they get the best of you
Are you feeling crankier than normal these days? It’s not your fault. You could be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
SAD is real. It happens to many of us, especially during the winter months, when the sun stays behind the clouds and every day seems, well, dreary-looking.
But there’s no need to spend your winter grousing about life and huddling under the covers!
Here are a few proven ways to beat those winter doldrums:
- Get outside! Even if it’s cloudy and gray out there, you’ll still benefit from the fresh air and natural light.
- Go for a walk while you’re at it. The brisk exercise will release endorphins, a.k.a. our internal happy-makers.
- Buy a full-spectrum light, available at mass merchandisers everywhere. These babies really work to simulate the sunlight you’re craving.
- Eat right. This is no time for overloading on chocolate! Your body needs a healthy diet, especially when the weather’s cold and gray.
Want more info about SAD? Visit http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=341 or http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34509511/ns/health-mental_health/t/lighten-how-beat-back-winter-blues/#.UMIQOY7nA5s
Metabolize to the max – from A to Zinc
No more “it’s my metabolism” excuses for not losing weight. Even your super-slow-motion metabolism can be “sped up” with these easy tips! Read moreBerries on the brain
People in North America eat a total of 200 million pounds of blueberries each year. That’s because there’s a lot to like about them, beyond their great taste and versatility. Blueberries are considered a “superfood” because they have incredible health benefits. Here are a few reasons why we love blueberries, and you will, too!
They help the brain work. According to recent research, berries of all kinds help protect brain cells, staving off dementia and memory loss. Some research indicates they may even boost your ability to learn.
They may help prevent high blood pressure. One study showed that blueberry supplements decreased the activity of ACEs, a type of enzyme that contributes to the hardening of the arteries.
They reduce the risk of diabetes. If your body is resistant to insulin, the pancreas has to work harder. Eventually, the pancreas could stop working and diabetes develops. Blueberries improve insulin sensitivity.
They are nutritious. A one-cup serving of fresh blueberries contains 14% of the daily recommended fiber for women and 10% recommended for men. They are rich in antioxidants, which help prevent cancer, and in vitamins (A, B, C, E, and K) — all for only 84 calories per cup
Blueberries alone can’t prevent high blood pressure or diabetes, nor can blueberries alone give you all the vitamins and minerals you need. But when they are part of a healthy diet and a lifestyle that includes regular exercise, blueberries can boost your health and help you shine on this summer!
Vacation fitness calls for some new moves
Some people wouldn’t dream of giving up their morning run or noontime yoga, even on vacation. Then there’s everyone else. We exercise (or know we should) but we’re happy to take a vacation from our routine when we go on vacation. Read moreFive diet “fails” to avoid on vacation
Watching your weight is tricky territory on vacation. Cut loose! Go wild! You deserve it! The vacation mindset is not exactly conducive to weight loss or even weight maintenance. Avoid these diet fails and the only extra baggage you’ll bring home is vacation swag.
Fail #1: Unrealistic expectations. Losing weight on vacation is a lot to ask of yourself. Shoot for maintaining your weight instead and plan to get back to your weight loss plan as soon as you return.
Fail #2: No plan. Without a general plan, it’s easy to underestimate how you’re doing. At the beginning of the day, make a plan. If a luau is on the agenda, go easy on your breakfast and lunch. If you’re hiking to the top of Kilimanjaro, eat, eat! (But don’t abandon the principles of good nutrition.)
Fail #3: Skipping breakfast. You know this drill. You think it’s the easiest way to save calories for later. But research shows that when you skip breakfast, your brain thinks your body wants higher calorie foods. Eat a breakfast that includes protein (low fat yogurt or a scrambled egg) and it’s more likely you’ll be able to resist that cinnamon roll mid-morning.
Fail #4: Not picking your poison. When you splurge, do so on an item of food or a margarita. Each drink has anywhere from 150 – 400 calories, all of them empty. And as long as we’re talking about drinks, go for the zero calorie option (sparkling water, unsweetened tea, diet soda) frequently, if not always.
Fail #5: Too much lounging about—at the pool, on the beach, on the tour bus, or in front of the fire. Get up already! Walk to dinner, swim a few laps, dance until 2 a.m., try something new, like ziplining.You’ll feel better, look better, and create some great vacation memories.
Finally, if you have a smartphone, check out the apps that can help you stay on track, no matter where you are. There are apps that tell you how many calories are in that sandwich you’re eating, if you’re doing sit-ups correctly, and map your run (or walk) for you. Happy vacationing!Three cures for the workout doldrums
Even people totally dedicated to working out get bored sometimes. Here are three activities that are sure to change things up for you and keep you interested.
Zumba is an easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, dance fitness routine that incorporates moves from a variety of dance traditions, including hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, mambo, merengue and martial arts. It’s upbeat and fun, and you can generally find different levels of the class (including beginner) so it won’t matter that you’ve never done it before. Half the fun is learning with others who are also new to it.
Tandem biking is a new twist on an old favorite and allows you to socialize, exercise and take in some scenery all at the same time. The “captain” sits in front and is responsible for steering, and the “stoker” sits in back and pedals. Tandem bikes can be pricey and the riders need some cycling chemistry, so you might want to rent or borrow first and see if this sport (and your partner) will work for you.
Ga-ga ball is a form of dodge ball played in any enclosed area, such as a ga-ga ball court, racquetball court or even an empty room. Five or more players use a soft ball (like a kickball) to eliminate each other one at a time by hitting anywhere below the knees. If a player hits another above the knees, that player is eliminated. Players bounce the ball off the walls as a strategy to try to hit a player from behind. The game is fast-paced and lots of fun for large groups.Five easy steps from prone to peppy
Spring is all about fresh starts. Nature gets to start over — flowers bloom and trees bud — and so do we! If you’ve never exercised regularly before or if you have but are out of the habit, now is a great time to reboot. Here are some tips for getting started, which is the hardest part.
1. Choose something you like. It sounds obvious, but many people think that exercise has to involve the gym and spandex. Not true! Walking, dancing, biking, rollerblading are examples of exercise you can do right at or from home in sweats and a T-shirt.
2. Make it your goal to simply create the habit. For now, don’t think about losing weight or even getting healthy. Just create the habit. It takes 4 to 6 weeks to form a habit, so commit to doing it for 6 weeks. On days when you don’t feel like it, promise yourself that you can revisit the whole idea at the end of those 6 weeks, but for now you still have to do it.
3. Choose your exercise timeslot wisely. That means choose the time that’s least likely to compete with other your other priorities. Take an honest look at your weekly schedule and see where exercise really could fit. Pick a time, block it on your calendar and think of it as “attendance required, not optional.”
4. Show up — even if it’s just for 10 minutes. There will be days you don’t want to exercise. On those days, tell yourself you only have to do it for 10 minutes. Since getting going is the hardest part, chances are good that after those 10 minutes, you’ll be up for the rest of your workout.
5. Give yourself some credit. If you showed up, even for 10 minutes, acknowledge your effort. You got up off the couch! You’re taking steps in the right direction and if you keep taking them, you’ll get to a healthier, more energetic you sooner than you think.Texts from the heart: What your pulse says about you
Your heart beats about 100,000 times a day. During the course of a lifetime, it will beat 2.5 billion times. But you probably don’t think about it unless you’re having heart-related health issues—or unless seeing your significant other still makes your heart skip a beat. Read moreFive sure-fire ways to get fit
Re-evaluate your life and make changes for the better!
Forget all those abandoned resolutions “to eat better” or “to exercise more.” Here’s a goal-setting technique that will help you eat right and get fit. Read more