Health Hack: Step it Up

“Being active also is important to a healthy lifestyle. And it’s important in preventing serious problems like heart disease and diabetes. However, before you increase your activity level, talk to your doctor. Your weight is determined by the balance between the energy you take in (what you eat and drink) and the energy you use (physical activity). Every step counts. Studies have shown that every step you take helps you manage your weight and improve your overall health. You may want to track your steps with a step counter (pedometer) or an activity tracker. This can encourage you to increase your daily activity. The more steps you take per day, the better.”

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Health Hack: Fuel Your Body With The Right Stuff

“Not getting enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can compromise your health and your performance. Yet fueling up for activity is as easy as following the well-established rules of a healthy diet: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, consume lean proteins, eat healthy fats, get your whole-grain carbohydrates, and drink plenty of fluids, especially water.”

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Health Hack: How Much Should You Exercise?

Exercising regularly, every day if possible, is the single most important thing you can do for your health. In the short term, exercise helps to control appetite, boost mood, and improve sleep. In the long term, it reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, depression, and many cancers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following:

  • At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking or 75 minutes of rigorous exercise like running (or an equivalent mix of both) every week.  It’s fine to break up exercise into smaller sessions as long as each one lasts at least 10 minutes.
  • Strength-training that works all major muscle groups—legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms—at least two days a week.  Strength training may involve lifting weights, using resistance bands, or exercises like push-ups and sit-ups, in which your body weight furnishes the resistance.

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Health Hack: Are Eggs A Healthy Choice?

Okay, so what if we do the experiment and assign people randomly to eat eggs or not to eat eggs? This type of a study (randomized controlled trial or RCT) will allow us to determine causation. Many studies have been completed, and a complete review is beyond the scope of this article; here are the results of a representative study.6 Participants ate 3 eggs a day for four weeks and had their cholesterol assessed. The results showed an improvement in HDL (the “good” cholesterol) function and an improvement in LDL size. As a bonus, plasma antioxidant content was also increased, because the egg contains several nutrients that are amazingly good for the body and brain. As further evidence, another group completed a meta-analysis of the egg research up to that point (2013) and concluded that eggs are not related to an increased risk in cardio-vascular disease, unless the consumer is diabetic.7 Thus, the egg is a great addition to a diet for healthy individuals.

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Health Hack: Fruits & Veggies Your Go To Choice

Did You Know Fruits & Veggies May Help Fight Cancer and Heart Disease?

Skimping on fruit and vegetables is becoming a worldwide issue, according to preliminary findings of a Tufts University study. . . . The study found that insufficient fruit and veggie consumption may be linked to millions of deaths from heart disease and strokes each year. Fruits contain fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals, and they get their sweetness from natural sugar. Fruit can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent certain types of cancer, among other benefits . . . Vegetables are low in calories and fat, high in fiber and cholesterol-free. They provide a variety of essential nutrients, including vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber and folate. In addition to their nutritional value, non-starchy vegetables like spinach, arugula and other leafy greens promote weight loss,

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Health Hack: Fuel Up Before Your Workout

Did You Know: What’s the best thing to eat before a workout, game, or race?

(a) a candy bar or other sugary food 15 minutes before,

(b) a protein shake or bar 30 minutes before,

(c) a low-­fat, high-­carb meal or snack one to four hours before,

(d) nothing; you should fast.

The answer is usually (c), but it depends on the type, length and intensity of your activity, what you ate on previous days, your metabolism and your personal preferences. If you’re just walking briskly or cycling for 30 to 60 minutes, it doesn’t matter what you eat beforehand.

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Health Hack: Indoor Plants Clean the Air You Breathe

Did You Know Indoor Plants Remove Pollutants from the Air in your Home?

Living plants provide more than decoration: Research has shown that greenery in the home and workplace can lower stress, positively affect your mood, and even affect the cleanliness of the air you breathe. . . . They improve indoor air quality. The air purifying benefit of plants was originally discovered by NASA, which set out in 1989 to determine whether plants could detoxify the air in its space stations and, by extension, in energy efficient buildings with little outside ventilation. The researchers found that numerous types of indoor plants effectively removed formaldehyde, benzene, and other indoor pollutants from air in a sealed experimental chamber.

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Health Hack: Want to Get Fit?

Did You Know Being Fit Give You a No Quit Attitude!

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recently surveyed 1,000 ACE-certified personal trainers about the best techniques to get fit. Their top three suggestions: (1) Strength training. Even 20 minutes a day twice a week will help tone the entire body. (2) Interval training. “In its most basic form, interval training might involve walking for two minutes, running for two, and alternating this pattern throughout the duration of a workout. (3) Increased cardio/aerobic exercise by accumulating 60 minutes or more a day of low- to moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking, running, or dancing.

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Health Hack: Losing Weight & The Right Kind of Exercise

Did You Know Doing Only Cardio Slows Your Metabolism?

If losing weight conjures up visions of hours of mindless treadmill workouts, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. It’s not an efficient way to lose weight, says Robert S. Herbst, personal trainer, coach and powerlifter. “When you just do cardio, your body slows down your metabolism to conserve energy (calories).” Instead, Herbst recommends a combination of interval training (alternating bouts of high and low intensity) and weight training. “These activities rev the metabolism because the body spends calories to repair and build new muscle as it recuperates from exercise,” he says. The new muscle also burns more calories at rest, boosting your metabolism all day long.

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Health Hack: Take Time to Strengthen Your Core

Did You Know Core exercises improve your balance and stability?

Core exercises are an important part of a well-rounded fitness program. Aside from occasional situps and pushups, however, core exercises are often neglected. Still, it pays to get your core muscles — the muscles around your trunk and pelvis — in better shape. Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities. In fact, most sports and other physical activities depend on stable core muscles.

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