Petting is Healthy…

Pet catPets are a commitment and a responsibility but health wise they can be extremely beneficial. Something as simple as the act of watching a fish can lower the stress hormone cortisol. Tests have shown that pet owners have lower resting heart rates in general. Lower cholesterol rates are recorded in pet owners possibly attributed to the fact that pet owners are forced to get more exercise. Benefits extend also to recovery after a serious illness. Rates of recovery are much quicker and long lasting. Therapists prescribe pets for those suffering with depression. Fewer strokes have been recorded with cat Pets girlowners especially due to their calming effect on circulation. Introverted people will find themselves mingling more. Dogs are conversation starters. Babies born to households with pets have stronger immune systems and suffer from fewer allergies. Dogs are now trained to detect significant drops in blood glucose in people with diabetes. They can also detect the warning signs of an oncoming epileptic seizure. Because pets have a calmer energy field, they will sometimes leave an area where arguments are occurring or become alarmed reminding us of an unpleasant atmosphere we may be creating. Children with ADHD can gain better focus having the responsibility Pet wheelchairof caring for a dog. Young people disconnected by autism have had their senses stimulated by the feel, sound and smell of both dogs and horses. Pets can also provide heat if a person is suffering from painful joints or fibromyalgia. Those confined to wheelchairs can gain more independence from dogs that are trained to aid in household chores. Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts when they have a pet present. We may sometimes take for granted that these little friends are in tune with us. If you find that owning a pet can cause too much of a change in your lifestyle, spend a little time at a shelter or walk a neighbor’s dog. Plan to go on safari, snorkeling, scuba diving, horseback riding or visit a farm. As little as 20 minutes can have a positive effect on your well being.

Green Olive Pesto…

 Ingredients: olive pesto
– 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios
– 1/4 cup pitted green olives
– 1 cup cherry tomatoes
– 2 garlic cloves
– 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
– 1 cup fresh, flat parsley leaves
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– Pinch of red pepper

– Put all ingredients into a food processor until uniformly minced

(Recipe taken form Nutrition Action Newsletter by Kate Sherwood)

Concussion Detection…

   New advances in technology can possibly help us protect our athletes from serious head trauma.Checklight beanie The first is called the “Checklight Beanie” which is designed by Reebok. Its purpose is to detect concussions. This washable beanie notes blows, twisting or forward motion of the head. It can be worn under a helmet or on its own. Upon impact an LED message is sent on the outside of the cap. Red (severe), yellow (moderate) alerting coaches immediately so a decision can be made whether or not to continue playing. The second is called the “X-Patch” created by Biosystems. It is worn X-patchbehind the ear and is another way of possibly notifying coaches from the sideline wirelessly of a possible concussion. Neither one of these has been widely tested nor are they readily available yet. Although it is a bit premature, the possibility of such devices preventing severe concussions would be a great asset.

Healthy Weight Loss Tip #19…

Choose a Basket over a Shopping Cart..

 Shopping Basket#2Shopping carts are now getting bigger so as to encourage Shopping Cart#2shoppers to buy more. In a test done by marketing consultants carts were doubled in size resulting in consumers buying 19% more food. Using a basket will limit the amount of items being purchased to those that are essentials. Also the weight of carrying a basket amount will help you think twice about overloading


Bamboo Fabric…

The softness of bamboo has been compared to the feeling of cashmere. It is highly sustainableBamboo Stalks because its vast, fast growing root system does not require replanting after harvesting. Its complicated root system is also beneficial in that it prevents soil erosion. There are two ways to produce this fabric, one is mechanically and the other is chemically. The mechanical way is far superior. Bamboo is broken down into mush using natural enzymes and then spun into fabric. The chemical way is much quicker but involves using toxic chemicals that have been linked to nerve damage. When checking labels make sure the product is environmentally friendly.  Some reputable labels are Oeko-Tek, Soil Association, SKAL, KRAV or any brand that is certified organic and sustainable.

Positive Thinking…Fitness tip

Fitness” is not only exercise and healthy eating, but having a positive attitude. Or is a positive Glassattitude that which encourages one to exercise and eat healthy? We often hear the positive phrases “look at the glass as half full” or “look on the bright side”. Positive thinking has been shown to enhance the overall wellness of an individual. It does not mean going through life as if you are looking through “rose colored glasses” but instead dealing with the every day problems by making the best of them. An example would be seeking to find the benefit in a bad situation, place or person. Another example would be dealing with negative situations as temporary or short lived. By having a positive outlook on life and whatever it may put in your path we are able to deter stress, especially psychological, from harming us both physically and mentally.

To Breakfast or not to Break the Fast?

Egg frittataThis is a question that is still being debated by the fitness community. What effect it may or may not have on weight. Some believe that skipping breakfast extends the overnight fast and in turn encourages the body to burn fat when energy is needed. Others believe that eating breakfast jump starts the metabolism especially if any activity is planned. Most study results seem to lean in favor of having a substantial breakfast which is a combination of all three macronutrients (fat, protein, carbohydrates). In fact those who ate breakfast seem to be in better control of what they eat for the rest of the day. Those who abstained from breakfast had lower levels of dopamine, the brain pleasure chemical released as a reward for eating a healthy meal.


If the Shoe Fits…Fitness Tip

Having the right shoe for the right activity can mean so much to performance. We are all so differentSneaker basketball physically that so many aspects have to be taken into account. Whatever shoe you choose should be comfortable when you begin your exercise routine. More importantly it is advisable to try shoes after you have completed your workout because feet expand and you could possibly go up as much as a size. Fitness experts suggest a shoe that has heavy soles, cushioning and good support for your arches. First decide if you are looking for a shoe that is specifically for running, walking, cross-training or basketball. Most important before you make your purchase, know your feet. The height of your arches, the flatness of your feet, do you have a tendency to supinate (put weight on the outside of the shoe or pronate (put weight on the inside). If you are unsure work with a good salesperson and remember to replace your shoes at least every 6 months.


Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…

Bones boaSevere bone loss (Osteoporosis) now affects 25 million people in the U.S. Is this condition inevitable as we age or can lifestyle changes stop its progression? Most of the growth of our bone mass happens in our 20’s and 30’s. Afterwards, it is necessary to take steps to prevent bones from becoming fragile and porous. Should we wait until an unexpected fracture occurs warning us that we have weak bones or should we take steps to ensure that we have strong bones until old age? There is great competition for calcium between the blood and bone marrow. An unhealthy diet can cause the body to become too acidicbones ladder causing it to excrete too much calcium. A great deal of emphasis has been placed on consuming dairy to increase our supply of calcium. Is that true? In fact there are more bone fractures in countries that consume large amounts of dairy. What if you are lactose intolerant? Are we overlooking other foods that may be as significantly important for bone health? Let’s look at the structure of bones. They are composed of 65% calcium phosphate salts for strength and 35% collagen for flexibility. With this in mind both factors of the equation need to be nourished. A good supply of calcium, vitamin Bones aerobicsD, as well as magnesium are all important since they support each other. So what steps should we take? We depend on our storage of vitamin D from our summer supply, which by now is depleted, especially for those who live in the northern hemisphere. Green leafy vegetables are an excellent supply of both calcium and vitamin D. Broths made from vegetables, bone or fish combined with seaweed are abundant in necessary minerals. Canned sardines and salmon along with their bones are another source. Healthy fat to help absorption of our mineral intake shouldBones beach chair not be overlooked. Vitamin K, necessary for blood clotting, has been found to stimulate and work well in combination with vitamin D. A good source would be all of your blue and purple fruits and vegetables. When weather permits taking 15 minutes a day of sunlight to increase storage of vitamin D should be part of a daily routine. What about exercise? Low impact running and aerobics but especially weight training have an extremely positive effect on bone strength at any age. In fact tests show that taking up these exercises even late in life can have a reversal effect. So don’t sit back and let life pass you by, but instead take the time to enjoy eating or exercising whenever possible in the sunshine.