I was just in Washington, DC, at a fitness conference this past week and attended a lecture by one of the authors of this article, Brian St. Pierre. He did a great job explaining how easy it is to watch food intake by using your hand instead of counting calories. Read this article and see how sensible it is to follow.
This is a great question and the article below does an excellent job in answering it. Read it and put it to use in your future. I spend so much of my day trying to convince my clients to bend their knees so they utilize more leg muscles. Most people have a tendency to keep their legs very stiff and straight; which causes the low back, neck and knee joints to carry the burden. Going up and down stairs makes you bend the knees and wake up those leg muscles!!!
Ask Well: A Long Walk or a Short Stair Climb?
By Gretchen Reynolds (The New York Times)
Q Every morning I have a choice: climb 60 stairs to get to my office, or walk down the hall, take the elevator to the third floor, and walk back – about 200 steps total. So which is better for my health, steps or stairs?
In the broadest terms, there is no wrong selection here, since both walking — even a few hundred steps — and climbing the stairs are better for your health than avoiding physical activity altogether.
But if you want to get picky about which is healthier, go for the stairs, says Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. “The relative effort required to ascend the stairs would be higher than for walking on flat ground,” he said.
In fact, according to recent estimations, slowly climbing stairs demands almost twice as much energy per minute as does walking along a flat surface at an everyday (not brisk) pace. In practical terms, those numbers mean that you can burn nearly twice as many calories per minute climbing the stairs as strolling down the hall.
Even descending the stairs requires more calories, per minute, than walking over flat ground.
The added intensity of stair climbing also increases cardiovascular fitness more effectively than the same amount of time spent walking, Dr. Gibala said. Plus, you activate and strengthen more muscles in your legs and back while climbing and descending stairs than you do while strolling, and may subtly improve your balance.
Over all, Dr. Gibala said, “when you climb stairs compared to when you walk along a hallway, you get more ‘bang’” from the same number of minutes spent moving.
Here are the next 5 diet foods that are just as deceiving as the first ten I published. Learn to read the food label before buying many products at the store. Stay away from products that have less than 2 g of fiber and no more than 35% of the calories for a product should come from fat.
Instead, choose Dole Completes Light Caesar Salad Kit at 100 calories and 7 g fat per serving. If you splurge and eat the whole package, you’ll only net 300 calories and 21 g fat.
2. Frozen yogurt – Many people think of frozen yogurt as a tasty, low-cal dessert.
Surprise! There are some shockers in the freezer case. Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Frozen Yogurt, for example, has 400 calories and 9 g fat per cup. Hardly a diet dessert!
Instead, by shopping smart, you can really zero in on frozen yogurts that help you stay within calorie goals, such as Edy’s Fat Free Vanilla Frozen Yogurt at just 180 per cup (marketed as Dreyer’s brand in certain states).
3. Bran Muffins – A freshly baked bran muffin from your local bakery would seem to jump start your
morning (and your bowel function!)
Surprise! There is usually no nutrition facts label to clue you but sometimes there is an ingredients list, which often shows there’s more oil, sugar and refined white flour than bran. In general, large bakery muffins pack more than 325 calories!
Instead, have a cup of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran (187 calories, 8 g fiber) or take along 1 ¼ c of dry Wheat’n Bran Shredded Wheat (200 calories, 9 g fiber) to eat at work
4. Bags of air-popped popcorn – Air-popped popcorn is one of the healthiest low-fat snacks, right?
Surprise! The problem with the kind you buy is the fat they add after the air-popping is done. A 1-oz serving of Smartfood White Cheddar Cheese Flavored Popcorn that claims to be “totally natural, air-popped popcorn” sneaks in 160 calories and 10 g fat—more than potato chips at 152 calories and 10 g fat!
Instead, air-pop your own popcorn or buy the light microwave kind.
5. Fruit and grain bars – Sounds like the perfect quick and healthy breakfast for people on the run.
Surprise! There’s practically no fruit in there—so little, in fact, that there’s less than 1g of fiber. Bestselling brands’ top ingredients are sugar and high fructose corn syrup, which can leave you hungry and tired just an hour later.
Instead, have two slices of whole wheat bread with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Wash it down with a cup of high-calcium orange juice for a quick, nutrition-packed breakfast.
Last week I published 5 diet foods that can wreck your diet. Here are the next 5 diet foods that are just as deceiving as the first 5 I published. I will add another five next week and the following week. Check them out and I hope you pick up some good info along the way.
Instead, follow the American Diabetes Association rules. It’s total carbs you should count, not just sugar, so an occasional small serving of any cookie is fine. Just be sure to count the carbs as part of a balanced meal and don’t use sugar-free cookies as a weight loss food!
2. Granola Bars – These bars sound like the perfect way to pack lots of fiber into a grab=and-go
Surprise! An Apricot Clif Bar packs 5 g fiber, equal to a medium apple. Of course, the Clif Bar also delivers 220 calories (okay if you need a hefty snack before your workout) to the apple’s 81 calories.
Instead, get 7 g fiber for just 163 calories by tossing an apple and a pear into your gym bag
3. Brown Rice Cakes – You would think that these must be the ultimate diet food—packed with
whole grain fiber.
Surprise! Even though brown rice is a whole grain, brown rice cakes offer no fiber. How come? Each cake is composed of puffed grains of rice with not enough grains per cake to add up to anything. Other than a little potassium, you get no vitamins or minerals to speak of for your 70 calories.
Instead, try Ak-Mak Armenian cracker bread. It’s crispy, crunch, 100% stone ground whole wheat and delivers 3.5 g fiber and 6% of your daily iron in each 116-calorie serving.
4. Flavored Instant Oatmeal Packets – The perfect whole grain solution for breakfast eaters in
a rush, right?
Surprise! Most flavors provide only 2 g fiber per 140-calorie serving made with water and that’s not enough food for breakfast. Also, you get about a tablespoon of added sugar per packet.
Instead, microwave the plain version with ½ cup fat-free milk and a mini box of raisins and you will get 3.5 g fiber and 321 mg calcium for just 189 calories. Double the deal…you will have a breakfast that lasts until lunch plus get 37% of your daily iron.
5. Spinach Pasta – What a great way to sneak some healthy spinach into your diet!
Surprise! There’s so little spinach in spinach pasta that the label says no Vitamin A. Yet ½ cup of real, cooked spinach packs so much Vitamin A that eating that small amount four to seven times a week dramatically improved eyesight in people with macular degeneration.
Instead, stir thawed, drained, frozen chopped spinach into your pasta sauce
I recently wrote a healthy tip article on eight go-to foods to help you feel energized all day. Now I’m going to give you diets foods that can wreck your diet!! I’ve been keeping an ongoing list for a while and decided to send about 5 foods each week for you to read about and absorb. In the end, you should see about 15 foods from me that can wreck your diet.
You know what drives me crazy? When one of my clients who is sincerely trying to eat better tells me she’s bought a product packaged with a wholesome-sounding buzzword such as low-fat, sugar-free or all-fruit. It’s a shame that common labels can mislead the public. Instead of saving you tons of fat or calories, they too often trick you into the opposite. Before you get tricked, read my list of some of the worst “diet food” imposters and see what’s really a healthy choice.
Instead, try four reduced-fat Triscuits, made from whole wheat, at 2 g fiber
2. Trail mix – The blend of nuts, seeds and dried fruit sounds like a healthy snack and it’s rich in heart-smart fats and fiber
Surprise! A little 6-oz pack has six servings and each 3-tablespoon serving is at least 130 calories. A whole snack-size bag can add up to 800 calories! For less than 550 calories, you could have ham and swiss on rye with lettuce, tomato, and light mayo, some baby carrots and an apple.
Instead, Have just 1 oz (1/4 cup) at snack time. How about using a tiny paper bathroom cup for measuring.
3. Chicken or Turkey dogs – Compared with fatty pork or beef franks, shouldn’t poultry franks be the way to go if you are watching your weight.
Surprise! These dogs can include the skin and fat of the bird and may range from 10 to 17 g fat and 100 to 185 calories each.
Instead, Avoid hot dogs all together. You never know what is in them!!
4. Reduced-fat peanut butter – Isn’t this the ideal way to have your peanut butter and still cut calories and lose weight?
Surprise! Check the label. Regular and reduced fat peanut butter have the same number of calories per serving because any fat that’s removed is replaced by corn syrup solids; and calories count, no matter where they come from.
Instead, Buy the natural brand instead of the commercial brand. Also, carefully measure your 2 tablespoons and enjoy them with your favorite jam.
5. Salad dressing in single cups – Seems like products such as Hidden Valley’s single cups of light ranch dressing would be a dieter’s godsend.
Surprise! The label serving size is 2 tablespoons at 80 calories and 7 g fat each, which doesn’t sound bad; but each “single cup” contains 2 ½ servings. That’s 200 calories and 17.5 g fat. For that, you could have had four Oreos!!
Instead, don’t pour the whole cup of dressing on your salad, try the fork-dip-spear approach. Dip your fork into the dressing, spear some salad, then eat. Toss out the leftover dressing.
How does a brisk two-mile walk compare to a two-mile run on an elliptical machine? How effective is exercise on an elliptical machine as a weight-bearing workout?
Walking and ellipticalling (which, if it is a word, should not be) are similar in some respects and quite different in others.
According to a number of recent studies, elliptical training results in greater activation of muscles in the buttocks and thighs than walking does, and less activation of muscles in the calf. Elliptical training also places greater strain on the lower back than walking because of how the muscles fire, a consideration for people with back problems.
It also involves less weight bearing. According to a study published this month in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, walking causes 112 percent of someone’s body weight to strike the ground with every step, while only 73 percent does in elliptical training. The less jarring on the elliptical is an advantage for people with sore joints, but less advantageous for those who hope that it will improve bone health.
If, however, you wish to burn calories, walking and elliptical training seem indistinguishable. In an interesting 2010 study, college students were asked to complete two 15-minute sessions of exercise, one on a treadmill, the other on an elliptical machine. In both, they were instructed to maintain a pace that felt challenging but sustainable (the equivalent of a 4 or 5 on a 10-point scale of intensity). Throughout, the researchers monitored the volunteers’ energy consumption and found that it was the same regardless of which machine they were using. Only the intensity mattered — and you control that measure.
If your brisk walk feels less tiring than a session on the elliptical machine, pick up the pace; or alternatively, dial up or down the resistance on the elliptical machine.
Your immune system attacks anything in your body that it recognizes as foreign such as pollen and chemicals. The process is called inflammation. Intermittent occurrences of inflammation protect your health. However, sometimes it constantly persists even when you are not threatened by a foreign invader. That’s when inflammation can become your enemy. Many major diseases have been linked to chronic inflammation such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression and Alzheimer’s.
One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes not from the pharmacy but from the grocery store. Choose the right foods and you may be able to reduce your risk of illness. By consistently picking the wrong ones, you could accelerate the inflammatory disease process.
Not surprisingly, the same foods that contribute to inflammation are generally considered bad for our health such as soda and refined carbs as well as red meat and processed meats. Unhealthy foods also contribute to weight gain, which is itself a risk factor for inflammation.
On the flip side are foods and beverages that have been found to reduce the risk of inflammation and chronic disease. Fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, apples and leafy greens that are high in natural antioxidants are excellent anti-inflammation foods. Studies have also associated nuts in helping reduce inflammation and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Coffee, which contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds, may protect against inflammation as well.
If you are looking for an eating plan that closely follows the principles of anti-inflammatory eating, consider the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish and healthy oils.
A more natural, less processed diet, can have noticeable effects on your physical and emotional health. The bottom line is a healthy diet is beneficial not only for reducing the risk of chronic diseases but also for improving mood and overall quality of life.
Foods that combat inflammation
Whether or not you are exercising or just trying to stay on the healthy track, here is a list of some foods that will help keep you energiized throughout your day.
Do you ever say "I'm just getting old" and feel like you are slowing down more and more and moving less and less. Better read this and start to move it before you lose it!!
These MRI images give a great visual of what happens to our muscles as we age based on the choices we make.
While fruit is a healthy ingredient in most smoothies, people tend to overdo it. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 2 cups of fruit per day for people eating a 2,000 calorie diet but it's best to spread this over the course of the day. Choose whole fruits instead of fruit juice, which lacks fiber and can lead to blood sugar spikes.