Category Archives: Health

Is running a magic pill? The pros and cons of running.

runner girl

We have all seen those fit, agile people pounding the pavements in all weathers with their monitors strapped to their hands and the ever present bottle of water in their hand. Those who love running hail it as the greatest thing since cut bread, those who don’t shudder at this sight and carry on strolling along. Running is one of those Marmite exercises; you love it or hate it, but is it a magic pill in terms of fitness? Here are few pros and cons of running.

Built to run

As with all sports there are those who have the natural physique to run and those who don’t. This may sound patronising but think about it. Athletes tend to be wiry as the aim is to get the foot on and off the pavement, road, track as quickly as possible. Those who are overweight or unfit who take up running as a way to get fit barely achieve their objective as they are simply the wrong body type to be able to run far enough without being out of breath to make a difference.

Injuries

Even the most expensive shoes in the world cannot protect your joints from impact injuries if you should not be attempting running. Every your foot slams down on that pavement you are putting stress on your ankles, knees and hips. Even top athletes suffer injuries to their joints, so why should you be any different? These injuries can be very painful and if it would mean you have to take a long time off work to recover, is it really worth the risk? UK based personal trainer Adam from Adam Wilson training, who offers PT for all sorts of sport’s people in Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks advised us, “A good pair of trainers with a quality in-sole is a necessity, particularly if running on roads or pathways. The human body is not built for such surfaces”.

Endorphins

Running enthusiasts claim there isn’t a feeling in the world like it, but there is. Adrenaline and other feel good endorphins are naturally released into the body whatever exercise you are undertaking if you go at it full on. So if you prefer swimming, badminton, cycling you will still get that buzz.

Cost

Running is free; there are no memberships to pay. And the freedom of the road is yours; literally. However, the shoes needed for road running that offer the maximum resistance to impact injuries don’t come cheap. You can wear whatever else you like to run in as long as it as comfortable and lightweight as possible, but if you want to look the part there are shorts, top, monitor and maybe a watch that incorporates a stopwatch if time is as important to you as distance.

Sociable

Running has always been thought of as a solo sport; just you against the clock. It can also be very sociable too however as there are running clubs right across the length and breadth of the UK. Over in Europe it is not unusual to see packs of runners streaming down the huge cycle lanes attached to main roads, but as this is sadly lacking in the UK, you are on your own once you actually start to run. The socialising will be at the beginning and the end of the run, not during the actual run itself.

Healthy Smoothie Recipes For A Healthy Life

healthy smoothie recipes

There is a health epidemic going on right now. The majority of the US population is overweight. Being overweight and unhealthy is linked to killers such as diabetes, kidney disease, and even cancer.

If someone could hand you a magic drink that you could have everyday to help you lose weight, feel better, provide more energy, clear your skin, help you sleep better, and lengthen you life… wouldn’t you take it? Especially if it tasted good? Well, that magic drink is a healthy smoothie.

My name is Drew and I am a health coach and healthy food crusader. My mission in life is to get people to start making healthier food choices and hopefully save some lives along the way. In my experience the average person is not too excited about eating fruits and vegetables. I could sit here and tell you to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day but would you really do it? The average person has barely one serving a day and that still is questionable because that iceberg lettuce on your Caesar salad for lunch does not count. The worst part is that instead of fruits and vegetables people are consuming pounds and pounds of sugar and refined flour products that just add to the health problems. So that is where smoothies come in.

What is a healthy smoothie?

I know you’re idea of a smoothie is probably the one you get at Jamba Juice that has all sort of extra sugar in it (ask them what the liquid is they use to make the smoothie) or something with a handful of fruit and 3 scoops of ice cream in it. Well this is not what I am talking about. A healthy smoothie is all the healthy things that you are supposed to eat but don’t, all blended up into a great tasting shake. They taste amazing and will make you feel amazing. The fact that they taste great is one of the major reasons to give them a try. And all it requires is a blender and few ingredients.

Why can’t I just eat my fruits and vegetables?

The recommended serving of fruits and vegetables per day is not realistic for most people. It’s actually hard to find a lot of places that sell vegetables on your lunch break. And in the morning, you are probably more concerned with sleeping in and getting out the door than eating anything healthy. So that is where smoothies come in. They are quick and easy to make and give you all the health you need in a glass. Instead of having to eat 2 bags of spinach for breakfast you can have a delicious healthy smoothie instead.

What sort of Blender do I need?

You will need a blender that is capable of at least crushing ice. This will ensure that it can also blend up greens and fruits. For more information on blenders and blender recommendations for smoothie making see this article Best blender for smoothies.

I have a blender, now what?

The first thing to do is cover the basics of smoothie making. It isn’t too complicated but there are certain steps you should be aware of. Read all about the basics of smoothie making here.

Healthy Smoothie Recipes

Now it’s time to try out some smoothie recipes and see just how good they actually tasted. Pick any smoothie that sounds good and give it a shot.

(original post)

Tips for Exercise Success

Swimming, cycling, jogging, skiing, aerobic dancing, walking or any of dozens of other activities can help your heart. They all cause you to feel warm, perspire and breathe heavily without being out of breath and without feeling any burning sensation in your muscles. Whether it is a structured exercise program or just part of your daily routine, all exercise adds up to a healthier heart.

Here are some tips for exercise success:

If you’ve been sedentary for a long time, are overweight, have a high risk of coronary heart disease or some other chronic health problem, see your doctor for a medical evaluation before beginning a physical activity program.

Choose activities that are fun, not exhausting. Add variety. Develop a repertoire of several activities that you can enjoy. That way, exercise will never seem boring or routine.

Wear comfortable, properly fitted footwear and comfortable, loose-fitting clothing appropriate for the weather and the activity.

Find a convenient time and place to do activities. Try to make it a habit, but be flexible. If you miss an exercise opportunity, work activity into your day another way.

Use music to keep you entertained.

Surround yourself with supportive people. Decide what kind of support you need. Do you want them to remind you to exercise? Ask about your progress? Participate with you regularly or occasionally? Allow you time to exercise by yourself? Go with you to a special event, such as a 10K walk/run? Be understanding when you get up early to exercise? Spend time with the children while you exercise? Try not to ask you to change your exercise routine? Share your activity time with others. Make a date with a family member, friend or co-worker. Be an active role model for your children.

Don’t overdo it. Do low- to moderate-level activities, especially at first. You can slowly increase the duration and intensity of your activities as you become more fit. Over time, work up to exercising on most days of the week for 30-60 minutes.

Keep a record of your activities. Reward yourself at special milestones. Nothing motivates like success!

FITNESS TIP

Did you know that almost 25% of the population is obese? There are many people around the world who are trying to lose weight so that they can develop a good body physique. Being overweight does not only compromise your appearance but it compromises your health as well. The presence of too much fat in the body makes a person unhealthy and experience ailments such as high blood pressure which might lead to strokes and heart attacks. Smoothies are low in fat and a good way to get a healthy meal without the fat.

If you are obese, you need to lose weight and the way to do this is to avoid using fad diets. Fad diets make your body go into starvation mode. When the body is in starvation it starts to burn muscles instead of fat so that it is be able to generate energy. Due to the loss in muscle a person’s metabolism decreases. When your body metabolism decreases you are unable to burn many calories and this will make you gain weight.

If you want to lose weight you should get rid of your scale. This is the best decision you will ever make as far as your quest to lose weight is concerned. The scale lacks the capability of telling you what you need to know about your body. A scale cannot determine the amount of fat you have plus it cannot tell you just how much fluid you have in your body. It cannot help you determine how much muscle your body has. You should just throw it away.

The other thing you need to do is make sure your weight training program concentrates on techniques which will increase your lean body muscle. The factor that determines your rate of metabolism is your muscles. The more muscle you have the higher the rate of your body metabolism is going to be. That is the reason why men burn faster compared to females. Men have more muscles than females. When you lift weights you are able to increase your muscles. Weight training involves the use of free weights or cable machines. The use of free weights and cable movements require a person to be very skillful compared to the use of machines. The use of free weights and cable movements also requires you to create more muscular balance than the use of machines.

Your general focus when it comes to losing weight should be weight lifting since this leads to a permanent loss in weight.

Take care of your diet and feel great!

America is in the midst of a health craze. Wherever you go, you just can’t escape it. Wherever you turn your confronted with information about healthy foods, exercise and healthier life choices. Undoubtedly, one of the most effective ways to benefit your health is to opt for healthy foods. Wait a minute, I hear you cry, healthy foods are boring and tasteless. Think again! Healthy foods can be foods you eat every day already, sometimes just preparing them differently can make the difference.

Eating habits and healthy foods can be very enjoyable to eat, as well as being particularly good for you. With healthy foods, it’s good to remember that the nearer the food is to its natural state, the healthier it will be for you. You can start by cutting out the number of pre-prepared foods in your diet. Pre-prepared foods are packed with salt, sugars and synthetic ingredients. Although they may be convenient, you can also prepare healthy foods in no time at all when you know how.

Healthy foods can be very easy to prepare, requiring very little time and effort. It does not necessarily take longer or cost more to live on healthy foods. Here’s an example of a really easy meal that is quick and cheap and includes healthy foods and ingredients. Grill lean hamburger patties until they are fairly well cooked. Put the patties on a whole grain natural seeded buns. Serve with tossed salad drenched in olive oil. For desert, include a serving of fresh fruit or a fresh fruit salad. This is so easy to prepare, it can be on your table in under twenty minutes and involves wholly healthy foods. Grilling lean meats, chicken or fish is certainly not time consuming. Tossing a salad can be done during the cooking time. A good tip is also to fill out the meal with some fresh vegetables which again are very good for you and taste great. You can spice up your mealtimes by trying different healthy foods each time, and experimenting with a range of ingredients you’ve never tried before. Even your local supermarket is packed full of these healthy ingredients for you to select, and many even hand out tips and recipes telling you how to prepare thir produce. This can be a great, healthy way to expose your children to healthy foods which not only taste great, but are good fuel for their growing bodies. You can also try to incorporate herbs into your meal which add flavour and are again very healthy foodstuffs.

Healthy foods can easily be used daily in easy, nutritious meals. You can even use healthy foods in more experimental recipes if you have time to spare. Healthy foods can also be prepared before meal times and frozen for a rainy day. When preparing your own frozen foods, you can have peace of mind in the knowledge that they contain no additives or preservatives, and they are purely healthy foods for you and your families. Another good idea is involving your kids in the preparation of the healthy foods they eat each day. Eating healthy foods can be cheap and timely, so there are benefits all round.

So give it a go. By eating more healthy foods in your diet, you will truly feel the difference. You’ll feel and look better physically, as well as having stronger bones, teeth and muscles, not to mention clearer skin. For such little effort, you can really see the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle.

Challenge Yourself

Do you ever get so snug and warm inside your comfort zone that, at some point, you feel like you can’t get out of it? Sometimes you don’t even realize it until you’re in a full-blown rut and you wake up one day and realize, if you have to do that same workout one more time, you’ll probably yank out all your hair.

Getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to push your limits a little. Pushing yourself will make you stronger, not just physically, but mentally and you’ll go back to your old workouts with a fresh perspective and a new appreciation for how strong you really are.

Take the Challenge

I’d like to offer you a challenge. This week, I’d like you to push yourself at least one time. How you do it is up to you – it can be a big challenge or a small challenge but, either way, do something new and see what you’re really capable of. Some ideas:

  • Try a new activity. If you tend to do the same exercises all the time, try something new this week – a class at the gym, a machine you’ve never tried, an exercise you never thought you could do.
  • Try heavier weights. When strength training, many of us don’t lift as much as we could. If that’s the case with you, for just one exercise, pick up those heavy weights and see if you can really fatigue your muscles. Make that last rep difficult, but not impossible. Always make sure you’re safe and have good form, of course.
  • Add a burst of intensity. At the end of one of your usual workouts, tack on some high intensity exercise – run up and down the stairs, do as many pushups as you can, sprint as fast as you can for a minute or try a full minute of squat thrusts. Do something that really gets your heart rate up, even if it’s just for a few seconds.
  • Set a new goal. If you’re really ready for a challenge, set a new goal for yourself – sign up for a 5K race or join a local cycling or running club. You could even set a goal to be able to do a certain number of pushups or chin ups – whatever it is, make it something you’ll really work for.

Obviously these ideas don’t cover every situation and each person has to decide what’s challenging for them. For some, just taking a walk for 10 minutes is a challenge. For others, signing up for a marathon might be a good challenge. Wherever you are, make your goal to challenge yourself this week to see just how far you can go when you put your mind to it.

And the healthiest juice is….

It’s time to start ordering pometinis for your night out – A new University of California, Los Angeles, ranked 10 beverages by their levels of disease-fighting antioxidants – and pomegranate juice came out on top. Here are the healthiest beverage power-houses:

  1. Pomegranate juice
  2. Red wine
  3. Concord grape juice
  4. Blueberry juice
  5. Black cherry juice
  6. Acai juice
  7. Cranberry juice
  8. Orange juice
  9. Tea
  10. Apple juice

Stop by one of our MixStirs locations and try our healthy smoothies today!

Want to stay slim? Go to bed.

When you skimp on sleep, your brain thinks you’re low on fuel and sends a message to  your stomach to start growling. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that among 68,183 women, those who slept for 5 hours or less were an average of 5 pounds heavier than women who snoozed for 7 hours. Want to stay slim? Go to bed…

RUNNING CLUB UPDATE – The Trick to Staying on Track

It’s easy to get motivated to run in the first month of the new year, but how do you keep it going the other 11? Start now by setting goals that guarantee you’ll stay moving throughout the months ahead.

Bribe yourself. Set a mileage goal and treat yourself when you reach it. Vow to run 10 miles per week, perhaps, or 40 miles in a month. Then get yourself a new pair of running tights when you hit the mark.

Combine (running) business with pleasure. Pick a race at a fun destination this spring and make it a minivacation. Register (and request the time off from work) now, so you won’t forget to follow through. One of my favorites is the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon (held this year on May 10). But even making a weekend out of a run in a nearby city can be motivating, too.

Be progressive. Want to build up to running a half-marathon by the end of the year? Train for a 5K this spring and a 10K in the summer. Setting (and reaching!) successive goals of increasing distances will help you keep plugging away throughout the year. Find races near you at www active.com.

Say spa. As the year draws to a close, get away for a recharging run-spa weekend. Choose a spa that offers challenging trails, a wide variety of treatments, and yoga classes to keep you limber. My favorites: the Stepping Stone Spa in Vermont (www.steppingstone spa.com), Red Mountain Spa in Utah (www.redmountainspa .com), and Red Rock Spa in Nevada (www redrocklasvegas .com). Or create the same effect closer to home: Spend a relaxing afternoon at a day spa with a friend after knocking off a long run together.