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Sweet news about Chocolate

ImageIf life is like a box of chocolates, it may have just gotton a little sweeter, thanks to recent research. Studies over the past several years have suggested that chocolate may indeed have some heart-healthy properties, assuming it is eaten in moderate amounts.

Now manufacturers are rolling out a slew of "diet candy" designed to appeal to health-conscious chocolate lovers. According to a recent report from the market research firm Packaged Facts, sales of diet candy reached $494 million in 2004.

Read more...
 
Get in Shape and Support your Favorite Charity

Image

The many charity run-walks, relay events, and marathons going on each year are great ways to motivate yourself to train (by yourself or with a friend or team) and get in shape and make a difference by raising money for AIDS, Cancer, MS, Asthma etc.

A “Run-Walk” is typically a 5k (3.1 miles) event where you pay a small registration fee (typically $15-$30) to participate. You can raise more money by having friends, family, and co-workers sponsor you. The organization will usually give out a free t-shirt or hat for the minimum registration fee and have other prizes for larger raised amounts.

A “Marathon” is typically a 26k event where you actually start training months ahead of time with a local team. These events sometimes have higher registration fees ($100 and up). Many participants hold local fundraising events in addition to getting sponsorships from companies and organizations.

A “Relay” is a team event. One person from each team needs to be on the track walking or running for the duration of the event (in many cases 2-days). These can be fun and allow for teams to set-up tents with themes and/or advertise their business or organization.

Here’s an overview of some of the up-coming events and teams you can get involved in:

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FAT-A Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Scenario
Some fats are good, some are bad. In this article, allow me to clear up any gray areas on fat consumption, it's negative effects and it’s benefits.

All fat molecules consist primarily of strings of carbon atoms to which hydrogen atoms can link; in a saturated fat, every carbon in the chain has as much hydrogen attached to it as possible (the fat is "saturated" because no more hydrogen will fit). Unsaturated fats have less hydrogen; trans fats fall somewhere in the middle and are created when unsaturated fats undergo partial hydrogenation, a process which adds some hydrogen without fully saturating the fat.

There are two types of the “BAD” Fats: Saturated and Trans. Nutritionists are still debating whether saturated or trans fat is worse for you. Saturated fats—which you'll find in steak, ice cream, and butter—have been studied for decades, while trans fats—present in doughnuts, fries and margarine—have been under scrutiny for only the last 10 years. Both have been proven to increase low-density lipoprotein, your "bad cholesterol" indicator. LDL transports cholesterol—a waxy substance that helps rebuild cell membranes and create hormones, among other things—from the liver to the rest of the body, where it can accumulate in arteries and cause heart disease.

Read more...
 
Happy Feet
Image With its 26 bones and 33 joints, the foot is a biomechanical masterpiece. But as close as it is to perfection for locomotion, two modern environmental necessities stand in the way of allowing it to main its full nature-given glory: hard surfaces and the shoe. (Remember to replace your worn out stinky pair of shoes every 300 miles.)

During the simple act of walking, the foot absorbs one-and-a-half times the body's weight. In running, it bears two to three times the body's weight.

The most common athletics-related injuries, say sports medicine orthopedic and podiatrists are:

Read more...
 
Does 3,500 calories equal a pound?
ImageIt's an old chestnut of the fitness industry, the notion that for every 3,500 calories you burn you'll lose a pound of fat. As a personal trainer, though, I often see people slogging through week after week of running, walking, lifting, whatever-workout designed specifically to reach that 3,500 calorie per week mark-only to weigh exactly the same when it's over. What gives?

The problem with that old weight-loss formula, researcher's now say, is that it doesn't take into account what might be happening when you're not exercising: the calories you would have burned anyway, the calories you'll add from overeating after overtraining, and the ones you won't burn the next day because you're too sore to move.

The old weight-loss math assumed that your body was like a block of marble and that by systematically chiseling away at it with exercise you could gradually get rid of the undesirable stuff and end up with Michaelangelo abs. But your body's not a block of marble, it's in a constant tug-of-war between consuming and burning calories, whether you're eating, sleeping, reading, or watching TV. So the calculus for getting rid of that pound is far more complex than just subtracting the "calories burned" number from your weekly goal at the end of each workout.

The bottom line: You've got to exercise more than you thought!!

Source: Mens Journal Magazine
 
Weight-Bearing Exercise helps Bone Density
You may know that consuming adequate amounts of calcium (1,000 mg/day for adults 19-50 and 1,200 mg/day for ages 51 and over) helps maintain bone health. But did you know that weight-bearing exercise as part of your workout routine is just as important? Weight Bearing exercise is any type of activity that requires your bones and muscles to work against gravity while they bear your weight.

* Your bones work harder and become stronger in response to the stress.

* Examples include weight lifting, jogging, stair climbing, dancing, racquet sports, step aerobics and power yoga.

* Try to include at least 20 minutes of weight-bearing exercise into your fitness routine two to three times a week.

* Remember, weight-bearing exercise needs to be site specific, so it's important to target both your upper and lower body for optimal bone health.

Source: Idea Fitness Journal (2006)
 
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