Category: Living Well Written by Charlotte Evans, BDO Staff Writer , blackdoctor
New research shows that small everyday habits make a big difference in your ability to cultivate a healthier body and mind.
Here are some of the little things that healthy women do every single day…
They drink green tea. People who drink 4 or more cups of green tea a day are 44% less likely to be depressed than those who sip it less often. Its amino acid theanine may spur the release of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin.
They eat their fruits and veggies. Pack your plate with fresh fruit and veggies, in addition to fish and whole grains. Limit fried, sugary, or processed foods to occasional treats. Women who eat this way have lower odds of depression, an Australian study found.
They stay active. Exercise endorphins are potent mood lifters. A single session (as short as 20 minutes) can boost spirits for up to 12 hours.
They get enough iron. For best absorption, take your vitamin supplement with food and make sure it has 18 mg of iron if you’re premenopausal (up to 16% of women in this group are deficient). Female soldiers who took iron supplements scored better on mood tests than those on a placebo, a study found.
They write in a journal. Every night, write down three things that went well for you that day, no matter how minor. (In fact, 39% of people say catching up with family at night is the highlight of their day, according to a Coca-Cola Global Happiness Survey.) Be descriptive and note the role you played in making each happy moment happen. You’ll be increasingly mindful of how much control you have over the bright spots in your life.
Last Updated on Monday, 12 November 2012 11:44
Category: Living Well Written by Lucas Johnson, BDO Staff Writer , blackdoctor
Calories have a bad reputation when it comes to weight loss. But, calories are actually an important source of fuel that your body can’t live without.
“Your body needs calories for energy,” says Kimberly Lummus, MS, RD. “Calories are the force behind everything we do, including eating, sleeping, and breathing.”
But do you know how calories work, and how many you really need?
Here are five facts about calories…
Calories equal energy. Calories are how much energy your body gets from the food and beverages that it consumes.
Most food sources are composed of some combination of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and each of these nutrients contains calories.
There’s no such thing as a “bad” calorie. Your body processes each calorie the same. But Lummus adds that some foods are far more nutritious than others, so you should try to limit “empty” calories, such as those in soda. “We should strive to make our calories the most nutrient-dense that we can, meaning that we are packing in a lot of nutrition,” says Lummus.
Every person has a magic calorie number. You must find the right balance of calories every day, depending on your overall goals. The number of calories a person needs depends on many individual factors, including age, weight, height, and activity level. When dieticians counsel clients on calorie needs, they take all of these facts into consideration and come up with a suggestion for how many calories are needed to maintain, lose, or gain weight.
This number is generally between 1300 and 2400 for most adults. Talk to a doctor or nutritionist about figuring out your perfect number.
Eating too few calories can make you gain weight. Consuming less than 1,200 calories per day can be harmful to your health. Eating below 1200 a day may trigger your body to go into starvation mode, causing your body to actually hold onto calories, and add up to more weight gain later.
Children’s calories vary tremendously. For example, teenage boys may require up to 3,000 calories per day, while teenage girls usually need around 2,200 calories each day. “For children, calorie needs are going to change a lot more because they are growing so rapidly,” Lummus continues. She says that infants 5 to 12 months of age need around 850 calories daily, 1- to 3-year-olds need roughly 1,300 calories daily, 4- to 6-year-olds need about 1,800 calories daily, and 7- to 10-year-olds require 2,000 calories daily.
“Counting calories is usually not necessary for children,” says Lummus. “You just want to make sure that your child is getting all of the requirements from all of the food groups.”
The Bottom Line About Calories
Both children and adults should get the bulk of their calories from a variety of healthful foods, including low-fat or fat-free dairy products, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources — the building blocks of a nutritious diet.
Last Updated on Monday, 05 November 2012 09:00
Category: Living Well Written by CNN
During spinning class, I often find myself wishing I was in a pool. For one, water would make the sweat dripping down my back less noticeable. Two, it has to be easier to sneak a break when the instructor can’t see your legs below the surface.
A new study presented this week at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress suggests there might also be other - more important - benefits to hydro-spinning.
The study analyzed cardiovascular data from 33 young, healthy participants who performed the same workout on a dry land stationary bike and on a water stationary bike.
Also called hydro-riders or aqua bikes, water stationary bicycles are anchored to the bottom of a pool so that cyclists are submerged up to their shoulders. Resistance can be added by changing the pedal size or, in some bikes, the angle of plates in the wheels.
Researchers found that participants’ oxygen consumption and average heart rates were lower while riding in the water. In other words, their cardiovascular systems were working more efficiently to do the same amount of exercise.
Study author Dr. Martin Juneau is director of prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute in Canada. The institute’s EPIC center offers “Aquavelo” fitness classes and opens its water stationary bicycles up to members during open swim. Juneau says the bikes were so popular they had to start printing tickets to reserve workout times.
Aqua bikes were originally created for rehab of knee injuries in athletes, Juneau says. But because water makes us virtually weightless, hydro-spinning is also used for obese or arthritic patients who want a low-impact workout.
“Patients love it,” Juneau says. “They feel it’s easier, but when you look at the increase in (aerobic) capacity, it’s just as good as land training.”
The researchers believe hydrostatic pressure (or the pressure of the water) on the body makes it easier for your system to return blood to the heart. This reduces the number of times your heart has to beat – lowering the average heart rate and amount of oxygen needed to sustain an intense workout.
The study needs to be duplicated with more participants to confirm the results, Juneau says. Further research is also needed to see if the effects are the same for older and/or overweight cyclists.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 11:39
Category: Living Well Written by Brittany Gatson, BDO Staff Writer
Besides being “in,” yoga is an incredibly beneficial activity for all ages and abilities. The health benefits of yoga are great, and many people are much happier as a result of their practice.
If you have never stepped onto a yoga mat, or if it has been a while since you’ve taken a yoga class, the following reasons why you should get with the program may inspire you to make it a priority.
1. Yoga training can help reduce muscle soreness after a strength workout
A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that after a bout of eccentric training (workouts that cause muscle soreness the next day), a single bout of yoga significantly improve soreness the the next day. While I know some people enjoy feeling muscle soreness the next day after a workout, some people do their best to avoid it. If you want to reduce your muscle soreness try yoga out. It may also be helpful for those who have a race or competition coming it. It is important to continue to train but soreness can hinder performance.
2. Yoga can improve posture
There are three main factors you want to consider when trying to improve posture and yoga addresses all of them. First, you need chest opening stretches to release tight muscles such as the pectorals and lats. Next you need core integration. A strong core builds the foundation for solid posture. And finally you need back strengthening exercises. Yoga will help improve all three of these resulting in much better posture.
3. Yoga reduces back pain
A study took a group of individuals who suffered from low back pain. Some where the control group who did nothing and two other groups either took yoga classes or were given a yoga video to do on their own. After 12 weeks the group who took the classes and those who followed the videos at home saw significant improvements with lower back pain compared to the control group.
4. Yoga improves balance, flexibility, and muscular strength
Another study took a group of people who never performed yoga before. They completed two sessions per week for 8 weeks and saw significant improvements in balance, flexibility, and upper and lower body muscular strength. Another similar study found that yoga even helped improve muscular endurance. Although there were no significant changes in body composition these were pretty amazing results.
5. Yoga can help with depression
While if you are suffering from serious depression you should be seeking help from a professional therapist, we all have suffered from times when we are feeling down. A study was conducted with cancer survivors who complete 7 weeks of yoga training. They found that after the 7 weeks those who did the yoga experienced positive changes in emotional function, reduced depression, and reduced mood disturbances. One of the most beneficial aspects of yoga is its ability to help reduce stress. If you are feeling run down, depressed, or just stressed out, give a yoga class a try and see how you feel after.
6. Yoga can give you better body awareness
Having a keen sense of your body has a plethora of benefits. For starters, you will be less likely to overeat, you’ll know exactly which foods serve your body best, you’ll respect your body’s need to get more rest or get more exercise, and you’ll experience heightened sensual pleasure during sex.
Last Updated on Monday, 22 October 2012 09:49
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