4 Best Weight Bearing Exercises to Work out Your Legs

COD Nursing student Samantha Brezinski shares that weight bearing exercises are important for building and maintaining bone density. Weight bearing exercise also helps prevent osteoporosis which is a big issue for older women. Talk to your doctor before beginning to work out if you haven’t in a while or have any concerns. It is recommended to get about 30 minutes of weight bearing exercise in on most days of the week. You can do more or less depending on how you feel. An area that most women want to work on is their lower body. There are 4 great exercises that I am going to list that will help improve strength and increase muscle mass.

  1. Squats- Squats are a really good way to help strengthen your legs and butt. You can do them almost anywhere; whether you’re at home cleaning or at the gym squats are a great workout. According to bodybuilding.com, stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your feet facing forward. You can extend your hands straight out in front of you for balance or you can hold some weight for extra resistance. You want to make sure to keep your back straight and you begin to lower down to when your thighs are parallel to the floor. In this position you want to make sure your knees don’t extend out past your feet and to make sure your back is straight. Repeat this exercise as much as you can without hurting yourself. As your body gets use to this workout over time it is a good idea to gradually increase the weight to help strength your lower body.1
  2. Lunges-Lunges are another good way to help strength your legs and butt. According to bodybuilding.com, stand upright with a straight back. Take one foot and step forward; both toes should be facing forward. Begin to lower your back knee towards the floor but do not touch the floor. In this position make sure you’re back is straight
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It’s Heart Month

healthy heart

This month reminds us to make “heart health” a priority.  There are a number of things we all should do every single day to ensure we are living to our best potential:

  • Get the recommended number hours of sleep
  • Enjoy healthy/positive social relationships (and not social media)
  • Maintain a “healthy weight” or be on your way to such
  • If you smoke, QUIT
  • Brush twice a day and floss daily
  • Smile and laugh often throughout the day. If you can’t, find ways to make this a reality.
  • Have a positive attitude about all that you encounter each day
  • Help others. It’s good for your heart and theirs
  • Eat foods that ward off cancer and disease
  • Get up and get moving…at least 20 minutes a day
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Alleviate Your Migraine and Headache Pain

PTWLogoRemix_Blue_250x200(2)Healthy Lombard Partner and acupunturist Jenn McGrath from Points to Wellness in Oakbrook Terrace asks, “Are you plagued by chronic headaches?” More than 45 million Americans (one in six) suffer from chronic headaches, and 20 million of them are women. Scientific research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches.

The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives. Acupuncture is a widely accepted form of treatment for headaches, and it can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause. Headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes, have been treated successfully with acupuncture and Oriental medicine for thousands of years. They can be used alone in the management and treatment of headaches, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine do not recognize migraines and chronic headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, a variety of techniques — including acupuncture, tui-na massage, and energetic exercises–aim to restore balance in the body and treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual. Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend on a number of variables. In diagnosing your individual issues, you may be asked a series of questions, including:

  • Is the headache behind your eyes and temples, or is it located more on the top of your head?
  • When do your headaches occur (i.e. night, morning, after eating)?
  • Do you find that a cold compress or a darkened room can alleviate some of the pain?
  • Is the pain dull and throbbing, or sharp and piercing?

Your answers to these questions will help your practitioner create a treatment plan specifically for you. The basic foundation of Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Oriental medical theory, illness or pain arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced.

Acupuncture stimulates specific points located on or near the surface of the skin to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions that cause aches and pains or illness. The length, number, and frequency of treatments will vary. Some headaches, migraines, and related symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

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Cheese triggers the same part of the brain as hard drugs, say scientists

cheeseLiz Connor for Evening Standard found that researchers from the University of Michigan have revealed that cheese contains a chemical found in addictive drugs.

Using the Yale Food Addiction Scale, designed to measure a person’s cravings, the study found that cheese is particularly moreish because it contains casein.

The chemical, which is found in all dairy products, can trigger the brain’s opioid receptors, producing a feeling of euphoria linked to those of hard drug addiction.

00 students were asked to complete a questionnaire to identify food cravings, as part of the study, with pizza topping the list as the most addictive food of all.

In addition, they found that the top-ranking foods on the addiction scale were those containing cheese.

Scientists studying dairy products found that in milk, casein has a minuscule dosage. But producing a pound of cheese requires about 10 pounds of milk — with addictive casein coagulating the solid milk fats and separating them from the liquids.

As a result the super-strength chemical becomes concentrated when in solid dairy form, so you’ll get a higher hit of addictive casein by tucking into a cheese sandwich than you will in your morning bowl of cereal.
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3 protein mistakes even healthy eaters make

nutsJulie Mazziotta in Health.com wrote that you always prioritize good carbs, like brown rice and sweet potatoes. You toss a full range of veggies in your salad (plus shredded cheese for, um, calcium). But are you getting enough protein in your day?

The average woman needs between 40-50 daily grams of protein, which helps you build and maintain lean muscle and is an essential component of every cell in the body.

The good news is, “most women don’t have trouble getting this much,” said the Nutrition Twins, Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos, RDN/CDNs and authors of The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure.  “But the problem is, needs vary so much from person to person. Active women require more, for one, and as you go up in age your protein needs increase—which means those people are often missing the mark.”

Luckily, getting your protein fill is completely doable (hey, that feta in your salad even packs a decent amount). Read on for the three most common fails and the easy fixes, so you can fuel up the right way.

You underestimate your needs

A 130-pound woman requires about 46 grams a day—which isn’t tough to hit—to keep her body humming.

“About 3 ounces of chicken breast is 26 grams, so bump it to 5 ounces and you’re set for the day,” the Nutrition Twins said.

But if you weigh more than that or are super active, that target number soars. To find your ideal daily goal, multiply your weight in kilograms (not pounds) by 0.8 if you’re inactive, 1.3 if you’re active or pregnant, and by 1.8 if you’re extremely active (meaning you’re hitting the gym six times a week for at least an hour per session). Continue reading

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4 HABITS OF HEALTHY PEOPLE

runJacob Warwick shared in the Health and Technology Blog that it’s generally pretty easy to spot someone that is living a healthy life and it’s usually pretty admirable—they seem to smile a little brighter, they always appear to be happy, and they are constantly on-the-go and productive. Learn about four of the most common habits that these people have mastered and how you can emulate these to improve and build upon your own fitness regimen.

They are Actively Aware of Their Food Choices

Healthy people know exactly what type of food they put in their body and often make sacrifices to help keep their bodies running optimally. This means, when they go out to eat with friends, they won’t always be delving into a large serving of nachos or ordering that extra round.

They always read nutritional labels and scan for artificial sweeteners, tricky food additives, and preservatives, because they prefer avoiding over processed foods when possible.

While they are not always 100% perfect with their nutrition, healthy people often abide by general rules of thumb, such as, no alcoholic beverages during the week, no more than one soda a month, or other methods to do their best to avoid food that is unhealthy.

What this doesn’t mean, is that they are over top or obnoxious about their habits—they choose to lead by example. To start developing this healthy habit, pay close attention to the foods that you eat. Keep a food log that documents what sort of foods you eat and how often you eat them. If you noticed any questionable or unhealthy food choices, work on weaning them out of your diet.
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5 ways you’re sabotaging your weight-loss resolutions

ResolutionsJennifer Van Allen in the The Washington Post stays that weight loss and exercising continue to be among the most popular New Year’s vows, according to a Marist Poll.

But, many people get frustrated in their attempts to lose weight. Here are some common weight-loss traps and how to avoid them.

You do too much too soon

Many people try to overhaul their diets while simultaneously logging monster workout sessions at a pace that’s unsustainable.

“People get all excited about counting calories, they overexercise and undereat, and it ends up being too much restriction,” says exercise physiologist Jenny Hadfield, founder of coachjenny.com. “Three weeks after they start, they can’t manage it, and the scale tips the other way.”

Without adequate fueling, workouts become a waste of time; with no energy to push their bodies faster, harder and longer, people can’t make substantial fitness gains.

And the body rebels, Hadfield says. “When we drastically reduce calorie consumption and combine that with higher levels of exercise, the body adapts by lowering our metabolic rates.”

So you may drop pounds at first, but eventually you regain the weight, and then some.

And there’s new evidence that excess restriction messes with the body’s hunger mechanism. In a study published in the December 2015 issue of eLife, when rats’ meal times were limited, levels of the fullness hormone ghrelin plummeted and they ate twice as much.

Hadfield says baby steps are often more effective. With exercise, do a variety of workouts: short easy aerobic efforts, endurance-building long sessions, strength and cross-training. And make one to two small dietary changes at a time.

Give yourself time to adjust to each change before making another. “Even just a glass of wine can be the difference between maintaining and losing weight,” says White. Continue reading

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Elite Athletes Try a New Training Tactic: More Vitamin D

vitamin dRachel Bachman shared in a  Wall Street Journal article recently that professional and college sports teams think they have found a cutting-edge advantage hidden in one of the most basic nutrients: vitamin D.

With millions of dollars at stake, elite teams are tracking player health more precisely than ever to make sure their athletes keep playing. As part of this push, teams in all U.S. major leagues, some college athletic departments and the U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams have started monitoring players’ vitamin D levels and intake. A few are even recommending more time in the sun, which helps the body produce the nutrient.

The focus on vitamin D is part of a growing emphasis on player wellness, from proper sleep to carefully planned nutrition, to maximize performance. Team officials also are acting on eye-opening research that suggests vitamin D deficiency might increase an athlete’s risk of injury.

A study of the Pittsburgh Steelers published in 2015 in the American Journal of Sports Medicine was especially striking. It found that vitamin D levels were significantly lower in players with at least one bone fracture. Players who were released during the preseason due to injury or poor performance also had significantly lower D levels than those who made the team, the study found.

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Acupuncture Basics

acupunctureAcupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve function. This is done by inserting sterilized, stainless-steel needles (that are as fine as a human hair) into specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to treat a wide variety of illnesses.

Traditional Chinese Medicine views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. Unlike Western medicine which attempts to isolate and separate a disease from a person, Chinese Medicine emphasizes a holistic approach that treats the whole person.

Your practitioner will make a Chinese medical diagnosis based upon a thorough examination and consultation. The examination includes the assessment of the pulse and tongue. Once a diagnosis is made, your acupuncturist will choose the most appropriate acupuncture points for treatment.

Qi – The basic foundation for Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is called “Qi” (pronounced chee). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked.

Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity that have been shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems. They have been mapped out by the Chinese over a period of over 2000 years.

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