Archive for September, 2013

25
Sep
13

Controlling post-workout hunger


For many who are starting (or re-starting) an exercise program, one of the challenges they face is post-workout hunger pangs.

This is a natural reaction to the body burning calories. The problem is that if you ignore those pangs and let yourself get TOO hungry, you can trigger the urge to overeat, thereby undoing what you’ve done.

You can control the hunger brought on by exercise by eating light before and after your workout.

Before exercise

Knowing what type of workout you’re doing can help determine if – and what – you should eat before your workout. You have enough energy stored to make it through a short morning workout. If you plan on a long session, it’s a good idea to give yourself something to help make it through a long workout. A piece of fruit is always a good idea.

Eating after exercise

Unless you’re a competitive athlete, drinking high-calorie sports drinks or consuming those energy gels is unnecessary and adds calories to your intake that you don’t need. Stick to water for hydration.

Having a small snack that includes carbs and protein will replenish your muscles and help you to avoid a post-workout splurge. It is recommended that you go for 3 grams of carbs to 1 gram of protein. Here are some good choices for a post-workout snack or light meal:

  • Low-fat Greek (higher in protein) yogurt with a piece of fruit and granola
  • Wholegrain bread with a teaspoon of peanut butter
  • Chicken breast wrap with plenty of fresh veggies
  • Wholegrain cereal, low-fat milk and sliced banana
  • Fruit smoothie

Timing is important

After your workout, waiting too long to eat something can trigger those intense hunger pangs, which could lead to overeating or poor food choices. It’s best to eat within an hour of working out.

Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water is vital to our exercise and diet program. For starters, you’re going to sweat during your workout. That’s a no-brainer. But in addition, many of us mistake hunger for thirst, which means that staying properly hydrated is that much more beneficial to our diet and exercise program.

Controlling what you take in after working out is essential to the success of your exercise regimen. After all, you don’t want to undo what you just did at the gym by overdoing it at the table.

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18
Sep
13

Talking to your kids about healthy eating


First Lady Michelle Obama has made it her mission to help improve the health of children in America. By using her influence and time in the spotlight to talk to kids, you may be put in the situation where you will be talking to your child about their weight, eating habits and living a healthy lifestyle.

Weight can be a very sensitive subject for children and teens. How you approach weight issues with them can affect them their whole lives. Make sure that both parents are on the same page – agree on goals. It is absolutely essential that you avoid sending mixed messages.

Lead by example

For younger kids, the best way to help them is to see you making good decisions about food and exercise. Make lifestyle changes as a family and make fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks readily available. Look for ways to be active as a family. The earlier in their lives kids are exposed to a healthy lifestyle, the more ingrained in them it becomes. They’re less likely to have weight problems as adults.

Make it unemotional and constructive

Don’t threaten or punish children about their weight, food choices or physical activity. Turning these issues into battles can be disastrous to the child’s mental relationship with food, up to developing an eating disorder or the habit of overeating.

Seek advice

Chances are, you’re not a dietitian. Don’t be afraid to talk to your child’s pediatrician or to see if their school has someone who can help you with advice about weight management for children. Ask them for ideas about making positive changes in your family’s eating habits, activities and exercise. It may even be covered by your health insurance plan.

Focus on health, not weight

Helping kids with the big picture – overall health and fitness – is more important than them losing a few pounds. Compliment them on lifestyle behaviors and the choices they make.

By helping them to understand how to live healthier and setting a good example for them, these tips can help you talk to them and confronting the issue in a constructive manner and guide them toward making good decisions on their own.

11
Sep
13

Burn calories without going to the gym


Many people prefer not to go to the gym. They may not like to spend the money, they’re self-conscious about exercising in front of others, or they simply may not have the time. If that describes you – take heart. You can get some exercise by doing some common activities without going to the gym.

Dancing

Yes, you can take dance lessons, and that’s great. But simply putting in a CD, turning on the radio or tuning into a dance station on Pandora are all great ways to get your feet moving.

Walking

Doctors, exercise experts and non-experts alike have been talking about setting a goal for yourself to take 10,000 steps a day. Take steps (no pun intended) to increase the distance you walk each day.

Getting a new hobby

Just getting out of the house to do something new and exciting is enough to burn calories.

Playing with the kids

The program to fight childhood obesity encourages kids to spend 60 minutes a day at play. Join them!

Working around the house

Painting a room burns more than 200 calories for every half hour. It’s a great arm workout, and you’ll give a room new life.

Getting exercise when you can

If you’re watching TV, do jumping jacks or sit-ups during commercials. Some people even use a treadmill while watching their favorite shows.

Working in the yard

The perfect combination of strength and cardio training, mowing burns more than 500 calories and raking burns more than 350 calories per hour.

Going skating

It offers you a terrific opportunity to get out and relive your childhood.

Jumping rope

There’s a reason boxers and wrestlers do it. It puts your metabolism in overdrive, burning 450 calories per half hour.

Getting some exercise doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg or require you to sign an extended contract at your local gym. The secret is getting some exercise when you can with a variety of everyday activities and exercise.

You can get more information here about how many calories you’ll burn without going to the gym. (Link to http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities.htm)

04
Sep
13

Mind, body, sprit – The Physical and Mental Symptoms of Depression


“I’m depressed” is a term that’s thrown around to describe anything from a bad week at work to a relationship breaking up. But clinical depression is a downward spiral that can be physically and mentally debilitating. There are specific symptoms and signs that can tell us if what we’re feeling is temporary, or if these problems persist and we should seek help.

Emotional signs of depression

Most people know how depression can affect the emotion and mental state of those suffering from it. These can include:

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Losing the pleasure or enjoyment out of things you love
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Persistent feelings of guilt, worthlessness and helplessness
  • Overwhelming feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Uncontrollable emotions that can change at a moment’s notice.
  • Thoughts of suicide

Physical signs of depression

Depression can be associated with many physical symptoms, too. In fact, many people with depression suffer from chronic pain or other physical symptoms.

  • Headaches are a fairly common sign of depression. If you suffer from migraines, they may seem worse
  • Change in sleep patterns – for some, it can be excessive sleeping; for others, it could be insomnia.
  • Exhaustion and fatigue
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Any kind of chronic pain, such as back pain, muscle aches and joint pain, can be worse
  • Fluctuating weight is a sign that can go either way. Some people eat when they are depressed; others lose their appetites
  • Cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
  • Depression can contribute to the discomfort associated with chest pain

Diagnosis and getting help for depression

Understanding the emotional and physical symptoms can help you to determine if you’re just down temporarily or if you’re suffering from clinical depression. If you have had some of these symptoms for more than two weeks, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional who can help you with a variety of treatment options, including lifestyle changes to medications. The first step, and the most important, is getting help and not letting it get into that downward spiral where you lose control.