Fitness Tips

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Eggs (and we’re not talking just the whites).
You probably knew the whites are high in protein, but the yolks are one of the best sources of choline, a nutrient that’s essential for heart and brain function. Try to crack open a half dozen each week.

Booze
Limit your alcohol intake to one drink a day; two or more can increase your risk for dementia later in life. After you’ve downed your daily allowance of tequila sunrises, try nipping an unsweetened iced tea instead.

Brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash Yes, again. On nights when you’d rather just collapse into bed, chew on this: According to an article in the The Journal of the American Dental Association, your mouth harbors 400 to 800 species of bacteria–and they’re making a beeline for your tooth enamel.

Turn off the TV and close your laptop an hour before bed. The glowing screens emit a blue light that keeps you up by suppressing melatonin, a hormone that regulates your body clock.

Crank Corinne Bailey Rae, take a warm bath, or slurp a cup of herbal tea: Calming pre-bed rituals like these can help you decompress both mentally and physically. Do them every night and they’ll start to cue your brain that it’s snooze time, making you nod off faster.

Set your coffeemaker Java is the No. 1 source of cancer-fighting antioxidants in our diets, and studies show that a good brew can help you perform better on tests that measure concentration, memory, and learning and even help protect against ovarian cancer. Limit yourself to two or three cups a day–or decaf–to avoid jitters and late nights staring at the ceiling.

Work out before work
Early workouts are easier to squeeze into your hectic schedule, and they save you the need to shower twice. That saves up to 72 gallons of water each year. And the good news continues: Studies also show that AM exercisers are more likely to stick with the program than those who hit the gym later in the day.

Unplug
Researchers from the University of Minnesota found that people who spent five or more hours of free time each day working on the computer, watching TV, or playing video games exercised 11 fewer minutes a day than people who didn’t. Pulling the plug may help you downsize not only your ass but your carbon footprint too: 25 to 40 percent of all electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are plugged in but switched off.

Mash up your workouts
Logging 20 minutes on the elliptical, then 20 minutes in the weight room, then 10 minutes on a yoga mat may sound like a kick-ass workout, but it doesn’t mimic how we use our bodies in the real world. (Shoving that heavy box of winter boots into the upper reaches of your closet, for example, requires you to use balance, flexibility, and strength…at the same time). So make your workouts like your favorite DJ Shadow CD and mix them up: Try a short burst of cardio exercise, then jump right into a quick power strength move, immediately followed by a flexibility drill. Repeat. You’ll see results sooner.

Add intervals to your cardio
Interval training (alternating short bursts of high-intensity activity with lower-intensity activity) has been proven to fry body fat and boost cardiovascular fitness more quickly than working out at a constant, moderate pace. Try a 30-second sprint for every five minutes of treadmill time, or in the pool, one lap of speed after a few laps of slower strokes.

Reach for it
If you spend your days stuck in Cubeville (Population: You), you’re losing mobility, and that sets you up for muscle strains and tears when you finally get out from behind the desk. Your hamstrings, calves, and pectoral (chest) muscles tend to be the most drum-tight. Abide by the wisdom of the American College of Sports Medicine and stretch them out two to three days a week. Aim for four 10- to 30-second reps per muscle group.

Sidestep knee injuries
Studies show that women are more likely than men to be weak in the knees. Your joint-saving solution: hips of steel. The stronger you make the muscles around your hips, the better you can control your femur (the thigh bone), which helps stabilize your knee. One easy hip-strengthening move: Tie a resistance band around your ankles, squat slightly and step side to side with as wide a stride as you can manage.

A multivitamin
While national surveys show that up to 80 percent of Americans think they eat well, only 1 percent actually meet minimum standards for a balanced diet. Choose a multi that contains at least 100 percent of the daily value of vitamins A, C, and E and folic acid.

Vitamin D
Studies show that popping 1,000 IU each day cuts your risk of breast and ovarian cancers in half.

Fish oil
Your breath may smell like the seafood counter at Kroger for a while, but these gill pills work wonders on the body–inside and out. Fish oil not only keeps your skin and hair healthy but also reduces the risk of heart disease, helps squelch inflammation and reduces stress hormones. Experts suggest one gram per day.

Munch wet snacks, not dry ones Water-rich, fiber-packed foods like fresh fruit, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, corn on the cob, broth-based soup, or baked potatoes pack fewer calories into bigger servings so you feel full on less. On the flip side, dry foods like chips, crackers, candy, bagels, pretzels, and granola bars cram lots of calories into itty-bitty servings. Can you say snack attack?

Toss salads with Romaine, not iceberg. It may not provide the same satisfying crunch, but the darker leafy green has twice the fiber, B vitamins, folic acid, calcium, and potassium and seven times the vitamins A and C of iceberg.

Sip a skim latte, not black coffee Studies show that caffeine may contribute to osteoporosis by increasing calcium loss. But you can sidestep this risk by adding milk to your brew: Even two tablespoons will offset the negative effects on calcium. Sneaky, eh?

Drink coffee, tea, and red wine between meals, not during them These beverages all contain tannins, which compromise your body’s ability to absorb iron from food.

Use regular, not antibacterial, soap It KOs just as many germs, and some scientists argue that using too many antibacterial cleansers may tamper with the effectiveness of some antibiotics.

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WARNING: All information on this site provided is of a general nature and is furnished only for educational/entertainment purposes only. No information is to be taken as medical or other health advice pertaining to any individual specific health or medical condition. You agree that use of this information is at your own risk.

One Response to “Fitness Tips”

  1. {Tee|Gruentee|Zubereitung} Says:

    I agree… greentea will give you power.. its like whole wheat bread compared to the analogy of coffee.. green tea is just the best legal stimulant booster :)

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WARNING: All information on this site provided is of a general nature and is furnished only for educational/entertainment purposes only. No information is to be taken as medical or other health advice pertaining to any individual specific health or medical condition. You agree that use of this information is at your own risk.