Saturday, 28 December 2013

Four Benefits of lifting weights

Here are some important  benefits you will gain from lifting weights

Balanced Hormones
Continuous and non-stop strength training will help reduce chronic inflammation and  reduce the possibility of having diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. A rigorous weight lifting compared to a moderate cardio exercise plan can help lessen hunger, junk food cravings and abrupt energy drops according to Jill Coleman, co-founder of Metabolic Effect in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Superior Aging

Strength training improves your body natural release of human growth hormone that helps in creating muscle and bone, improves metabolism and support a healthier body composition as you get older.

Better Overall Health
Base on a 2010 study, subjects that lift weights have sharper memory, better sleep and self confidence.

Greater Resistance to Disease
Those who lift weights for more than four months have a better immune defense in the skeletal muscle tissue after training, a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Consistent resistance workout improves white cell counts which can help deter various infections.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Junk Foods can make you Dumb

Junk food makes you dumb
Time to skip those junk foods in the supermarket and fast food. Consistently eating junk foods can help decline your brain power according to the latest Australian research.
After that amount of time, rats that ate high-fat, high-sugar foods performed worse on special memory tests, and couldn't locate things as well as rodents fed a normal diet. These rats had problems noticing if an object had moved; for you, that’s like when you can’t find your keys.
We know what you’re thinking: another rat study. But the results likely apply to humans as well, says study coauthor Margaret Morris, Ph.D. In fact, a 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed healthy people who ate junk food for 5 days performed worse on cognitive tests measuring attention, speed, and mood.
Researchers aren’t sure what’s causing the memory problems, but they suspect a poor diet may produce inflammation in the brain—specifically the hippocampus, the region that’s associated with memory and special recognition, says study coauthor Margaret Morris, Ph.D. Even worse: Damage to the hippocampus can mess with hunger and fullness cues, leading to weight gain and obesity. 
Even though the holidays mean sugar cookies and pigs in a blanket being pushed in your face, this study shows that just a few days of poor eating can be bad for your brain. Balance the no-so-healthy party food with the good stuff: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean protein.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Eating Peanuts in Pregnancy May Protect Kids From Nut Allergies

Expectant mothers who eat lots of nuts during pregnancy are less likely to have children with peanut or tree nut allergies.

 A new study of 8,205 children revealed that children who nonallergic mothers who ate nuts five or more times a week had the lowest risk of developing nut allergies. 

However, this benefit was not found in children of mothers who had a peanut or tree nut allergy. 

"Our study supports the hypothesis that early allergen exposure increases the likelihood of tolerance and thereby lowers the risk of childhood food allergy. Additional prospective studies are needed to replicate this finding," researchers wrote in the study. "In the meantime, our data support the recent decisions to rescind recommendations that all mothers avoid P/TN during pregnancy and breastfeeding."

Experts said that the latest findings suggest that expectant mothers should not avoid eating nuts.

"Frazier and colleagues report a strong inverse association between peripregnancy nut intake and the risk of nut allergy in children among mothers who did not have nut allergies," Dr. Ruchi Gupta of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who was not part of the study, wrote inan accompanying editorial.

"Although the dietary surveys were not specific for the actual dates of pregnancy, these findings support recent recommendations that woman should not restrict their diets during pregnancy. Certainly, women who are allergic to nuts should continue avoiding nuts," Gupta added.

"For now, though, guidelines stand: pregnant women should not eliminate nuts from their diet as peanuts are a good source of protein and also provide folic acid, which could potentially prevent both neural tube defects and nut sensitization. So, to provide guidance in how to respond to the age-old question 'To eat or not to eat?' mothers-to-be should feel free to curb their cravings with a dollop of peanut butter!" he concluded.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Man Devours 8,000-Calorie Sandwich

The Gigantwich challenge at Mangetout Bistro, in Southend-On-Sea, England is an insane 8,000-calorie, 5.5-lb sandwich consisting of six pieces of bread, 8 kinds of meat, cheese, an omelet, and several condiments. Gigantwich challengers have 45 minutes to clean their plate or else they have to pay for the almost $30 sandwich. 116 people had tried and failed the challenge until one man, James Bretell, came along and conquered the monster this week. Congrats, James! How are you feeling?

Saturday, 21 December 2013

How Heart Rate Is Related to Fitness and Longevity

The human heart can beat only 220 times per minute, and that maximum can only be attained by a young child. The maximum number of times your heart can beat declines with age for reasons that are not clearly understood. The decrease in the number of beats per minute with age has nothing to do with stamina or fitness. Marathon runners often peak in their late 30s despite their hearts beating less times per minute than a 10-year-old or a 20-year-old.

If you want to determine your maximum heart rate, or the maximum number of times your heart can beat per minute, subtract your age from 220. Say, for example, you are 40 years old. Subtracting 40 from 220 leaves 180, the maximum number of heart beats per minute for a 40-year-old.

Your maximum heart rate helps you determine what sort of a workout is best for you from an aerobic standpoint. If people were to push their heart rate to the maximum for their age, they would quickly tire and have to stop and rest. Many believe that the ideal maximum heart rate for a workout should be about 80 percent of the maximum for your age. In other words, multiply your maximum heart rate by .80 and you'll get the ideal heart rate for a workout, also known as your target maximum heart rate. So for the aforementioned 40-year-old, his target maximum heart rate would be 144 beats per minute, or 180 x .80.

If this 40-year-old were doing a serious workout -- such as running at a good pace -- he might want to hover around 144 beats per minute for much of the workout and slowing down or speeding up as needed.

However, many people prefer workouts that are not this intense but still effective. They might want to target 60-70 percent of the maximum beats for their age as an ideal number. Still others like to vary their workout intensity from day to day or even within the same workout, such as walking a bit, then jogging a bit, then walking and so on.

Whatever works for you is best. However, workouts less than 60 percent of the maximum for your age may not be intense enough to promote good cardiovascular fitness.

What Your Heart Rate Reveals About You
Did you ever wonder why your doctor takes your pulse? Well, it's a quick indicator of how fit you are. The average person has a resting pulse rate of between 70 and 75 beats per minute. Fit people who get lots of aerobic exercise having resting pulse rates in the 50s and 60s. Some professional athletes have resting pulse rates as low as the upper 30s. On the other side, unfit people have resting pulse rates of 80, 90 or more beats per minute.

Any of you who take up regular aerobic exercise will notice that your resting pulse rate will drop over time -- meaning that your heart does not have to work as hard and beat as many times per minute to get nutrients and oxygen distributed to all of your body.

The best time to measure your resting pulse rate is when you first wake up in the morning and are still in bed. Even light walking will cause the heart to beat a little faster, and drinking coffee or soda with caffeine will artificially raise your pulse rate by a great deal. During the night, your body flushes out most caffeine, so taking your pulse the next day is the best true indicator of your resting pulse rate.

If you have ever had a cardiac stress test done, this test is controlled by your heart rate. You are initially at rest on a treadmill with an apparatus hooked up to you, which monitors your heart rate and provides EKG readings, among other things. The treadmill is gradually increased in both speed and incline. This continues until you reach a heart rate that's 80 percent of the maximum for someone of your age. Then the test stops.

People who are sedentary and unfit might get to their maximum in less than 5 minutes of very slow walking. A very fit runner might be on the treadmill for 30 minutes, and at the end of the test the treadmill forces the person to run fast and the incline is high. So the stress test determines how fit you are in addition to abnormalities in your heart.

How Many Beats Do I Have Left, Doc?

There's been some thinking among researchers that your heart has only so many beats in it. It will beat a certain number of times and no more. This is similar to -- and perhaps connected to -- the Hayflick limit, which has shown that most of the cells in our bodies can divide a certain number of times and no more.

There can be a dramatic difference in the number of times a person's heart beats if they are fit and unfit. Say, for example, that a fit person's heart beats 55 times per minute and an unfit person's heart beats 85 times per minute, a difference of 30 beats per minute. That difference amounts to 1,800 heartbeats per hour, 43,200 beats per day, and more than 15 million heartbeats per year. Over 20 years, the fit person's heart will save approximately 315 million heartbeats over the unfit person. That's about 11 year's worth of heartbeats!

It has never been proven that the heart has only so many beats in it because the research is impossible to do, but this idea makes sense to many. It would certainly be nice to have millions of extra heartbeats in your savings account if there is any truth to the idea.

It HAS been shown that people who get regular aerobic exercise live longer than those who don't exercise, and have other benefits such as: less cardiovascular disease, less cancer, less hypertension, less diabetes, weight loss, better brain functioning, and still many more.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Breast cancer study sees exercise benefit

SAN ANTONIO - Exercise might help women beat breast cancer. Researchers found it can ease the achy joints and muscle pain that lead many patients to quit taking medicines that treat the disease and lower the risk of a recurrence.

The study is the first major test of an exercise program for women on aromatase inhibitors. These estrogen-blocking pills, sold as Femara, Aromasin, and other brands, are recommended for five years after initial breast cancer treatment for hormone-driven tumors, the most common type.

The pills also increasingly are being used to help prevent breast cancer in women at high risk because of family history, bad genes, or other reasons.

A separate study found that one of these medicines - anastrozole, sold as Arimidex and in generic form - cut this risk by 53 percent. It's the second aromatase inhibitor shown to lower risk that much.

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Despite how effective the drugs are, many women shun them because they can cause aches and pains, hot flashes, and other side effects. About 15 percent of U.S. women have enough risk to merit considering the pills to prevent breast cancer, yet less than 5 percent take them, said Powel Brown, a doctor who is a prevention expert at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The exercise study involved 121 postmenopausal women taking various aromatase inhibitors to treat breast cancer who complained of achy joints on a pain survey.

About half were assigned to two supervised strength-training sessions a week plus at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. The rest got advice on the benefits of exercise and did their usual activities.

After a year, joint pain scores fell 20 percent among exercisers and 3 percent among the others. The severity of pain and how much it interfered with daily live also declined more in exercisers.

The exercise group improved cardiorespiratory fitness and lost weight - nearly 8 pounds versus a slight gain in the others. Eighty percent stuck with the program, helped by free access to a gym and a personal trainer.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Truth about Post-Workout Shakes

You probably heard one of the basic tenants of getting bigger and stronger: Eat protein within an hour after exercise to fuel muscle growth. It’s called protein timing, and the idea behind it is this: Resistance training increases amino acid delivery to muscles as well as absorption. Therefore, the sooner you consume protein post-exercise, the bigger the stimulation in muscle protein synthesis. In theory, proper protein timing leads to bigger long-term gains in strength and lean body mass. 

Here are three truths you need to know about protein timing:

1. The “magic window” is longer than you think
Some experts say that you should consume protein 20 minutes post-exercise, while others claim it’s an hour. The reality: You’ve got longer. Studies show muscles’ elevated sensitivity to protein lasts at least 24 hours, says Aragon. In fact, one 2012 review study by McMaster University showed that muscle protein synthesis may continue for 24 to 48 hours post-workout. “The effect is higher immediately after exercise and diminishes over time, but that certainly doesn’t imply a magical window closes after an hour,” says Aragon. That means, theoretically you would want to eat protein right away—but because there’s not a huge post-exercise drop off in muscle protein synthesis, you don’t have to rush to pound a protein shake. Why? See our next point. 

2. Total protein intake matters more
For the average active guy looking to be healthy and lose weight, protein timing won’t make a difference if you don’t meet other nutritional needs first, says the leading researcher and a big advocate of post-exercise feeding, Stuart Phillips, Ph.D., of McMaster University in Ontario. Not that timing isn't helpful, just that it’s not the most important factor in building muscle and weight loss. What is? Along with consistent workouts, you need to consume an ample amount of protein during the day. 

Spacing out protein intake may maximize its effects: One of Phillips’ 2012 studies published in Nutrition & Metabolism found that consuming 20 grams of protein (roughly the amount in a container of Greek yogurt) every three hours four times a day was better at helping men build lean body mass than eating protein more often (10 grams of protein eight times a day) or less frequently (40 grams of protein twice a day). Moderate amounts may more effectively stimulate muscle protein synthesis, researchers note. “In addition to the muscle benefits, protein is remarkably satiating, so this will also help with weight loss,” says Phillips. The good news: Most of us eat three or four times a day anyway—just make sure your meals are well-rounded and include protein. Sick of chicken?

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The Shocking Truth About Protein Bars, Shakes & ‘Enhanced’ Foods

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Dad's diet can influences baby

Women are told to take folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy, and a new study suggests men may want to do the same: Researchers found male mice deficient in B9, or folate, had a higher likelihood of producing offspring with birth defects.

A father's diet influences the health of his offspring, according to a study published on Tuesday that suggests men, like women, should plan to eat and live healthily in the run-up to conception.

Researchers led by Sarah Kimmins at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, looked at what happened when male lab mice had a diet that was poor in vitamin B9.

B9, also called folate, is present in green leafy vegetables, cereals, fruit and meat.

Women often take folic acid supplements, before and during pregnancy, to reduce the risk of miscarriage and birth defects in their offspring.

But Kimmins' team were startled to find that male mice that had a B9-deficient diet also fathered mice with a higher rate of birth defects, compared to counterparts which had eaten sufficient folate.

"We were very surprised to see that there was an almost 30-percent increase in birth defects in the litters sired by fathers whose levels of folates were insufficient," said one of the team, Romain Lambrot.

"We saw some pretty severe skeletal abnormalities that included both cranio-facial and spinal deformities."

The problem, according to the investigators, lies in the sperm's epigenome, or the "switches" that turn genes - the protein-making codes for life - on and off.

This switchgear, influenced by diet or other life experiences, deregulates key genes during the embryo's development, according to their theory.

If the findings in rodents also turn out to hold true for humans, there are important implications for men's diet, said Kimmins.

"Despite the fact that folic acid is now added to a variety of foods, fathers who are eating high-fat, fast-food diets or who are obese may not be able to use or metabolize folate in the same way as those with adequate levels of the vitamin," she said.

"Our research suggests that fathers need to think about what they put in their mouths, what they smoke and what they drink and remember they are caretakers of generations to come."

The study appears in the journal Nature Communications.

A Man in Pink Tutu

A loving husband found a unique and heartwarming way to help his wife get through chemo. This video tells the story of Bob Carey, a professional photographer, who traveled the world taking beautiful photographs of himself in a pink tutu just to put a smile on his wife Linda's face. Linda, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, describes the pink tutu as Bob's own version of a super-hero's cape.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Regular Exercise Could Boost Creativity

Cast Iron Tanks

Here's one more thing people who regularly exercise can add to their brag list: They may be more creative!
A new study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience shows that regular exercisers do better on tests of creativity than their more sedentary peers.
Specifically, researchers noted that regular exercise seems to be associated with improved divergent and convergent thinking, which are considered the two components of creative thinking; the former involves thinking of multiple solutions for one problem, while the latter involves thinking of one solution for a problem.
"Exercising on a regular basis may thus act as a cognitive enhancer promoting creativity in inexpensive and healthy ways," study researcher Lorenza Colzato, a cognitive psychology at Leiden University in the Netherlands, said in a statement.
To determine the association between exercise and creativity, researchers had 48 athletes (who exercised at least four times a week) and 48 non-athletes (who didn't regularly exercise) do a creativity test. For the first part of the test, the participants had to think of alternate uses for a pen and write them down. Then, the participants were presented with a series of three words and asked to find the link that connected them (for instance, "long" connects the words "time," "hair" and "stretch").
Researchers found that the regular exercisers did better on the second task compared with those who didn't regularly exercise.
Past research has identified other unlikely factors that seem to be associated with creativity. Messiness, for instance, has been tied to innovation and willingness to try new things in a Psychological Science study published earlier this year. Being bored at work could also spur creativity by providing more daydreaming time, researchers from University of Central Lancashire found.

Winter Workout Tips That'll Keep You Motivated Through The New Year

Push Pull Grind Black Jacket
Wintertime brings cold temperatures, darker days, rain and snow, so it makes sense that most Americans are retreating from regular exercise in favor of things like hot chocolate by the fire and other equally toasty activities.
But not you, brave warrior. Armed with these tips from fitness experts, you'll be downward dogging and burpee-ing your way straight into the New Year, while your stiff and sore friends will be dusting off their workout shoes for the first time in weeks come January.
Besides, there's always time for hot chocolate -- after your run.
1. Make An Investment
Maybe the cold is weighing a little too heavily on your mind. It could be because you're not wearing the right clothes. Celebrity fitness trainer Lacey Stone recommends investing in a hat and hoodie to keep your head and chest warm, plus gloves.
"Buy the right workout apparel," Stone tells HuffPost Healthy Living. "You don't want to stop just because of the elements." Plus, ear muffs and scarves have a serious cuteness factor!
Or maybe the investment isn't in gear. Consider splurging on a personal trainer for a month of two. "You invest in a lot of things in your life," says Stone. "Why not a coach?" Or sign up for a challenge: It could be a month of Spinning rides, a winter race or a competition at your gym. The Sweat Garage in Los Angeles, for instance, is holding "December Challenge" classes in which trainers will record your two-mile runs and reps on exercises like pushups, burpees and crunches. By the end of December, you'll see some noticeable gains.

2. Make The Season Work For You

Corin Safe, an Olympic weight lifting coach who works at a CrossFit gym in Chicago, grew up in Minnesota and is no stranger to extreme weather. During the winter, Safe goes snow-shoeing, sledding and ice skating with friends -- all the activities that are pretty much impossible to do any other time of year. Her favorite activity, though, is a simple winter walk.
"I am a huge fan of going on a walk, no matter what the temperature is," says Safe. "Put on your boots and get out there. After 30 minutes, you'll feel awesome, because walking reduces stress and promotes a little bit of meditation."
"Plan one active outing for every holiday celebration," says Elle Penner, MPH, RD, who works for the weight loss app MyFitnessPal. "While you're adding those holiday parties and dinners to the calendar, pencil one active outing into your schedule as well."

3. Take Stock Of Your Exercise Routine

Safe also likes to ask her clients to take a step back and mentally reassess their fitness goals. "What do you want to get out of it? How committed are you?" she asks. List the reasons you have for prioritizing exercise, and think about everything you've achieved in 2013. How are you going to keep it going or take it up a notch in 2014?

4. Think Ahead

Taking stock of your exercise goals also means forecasting ahead to sunnier times. Ryan Ford, who owns the Parkour gyms APEX Movement in Colorado and California, encourages students to train with their spring and summer goals in mind.
"What are your goals for spring or summer? Half-marathon? Tough Mudder? Parkour in Paris?" asks Ford. "Whatever it may be, training with that forward-thinking mindset can make [exercise] a little less depressing and a little more exciting. There's no pressure now to perform or compete."

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

4 Ways to Stay Slim for the Holidays

The eating season is upon us.

You'll see and hear statistics suggesting people gain as many as 10 pounds during the holidays. Likely you won’t put on double-digit weight, but a recent study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that devourers of turkey and Christmas cookies gain an average of 2.2 pounds from mid-November to New Year’s Day. Obese people were even more likely to gain extra weight. 

The problem is compounded because the bulges accumulate over the holidays and the years. 

This season, though, can be different. Here are four steps to avoid the belly-ballooning this holiday season and start January 1 ahead of the game.

Exercise in the Morning 
Instead of losing track of your exercise program among all the festivities, get your training out of the way well before party time. One study from Appalachian State University showed that a vigorous morning cycling workout helped average guys burn an extra 190 calories over the ensuing 14 hours—on top of the 500 calories they burned during the workout. Researchers credit the post-exercise metabolism boost to the workout using more fat and less carbohydrates for energy. (Try this intense 4-minute cardio routine to really kick-up your heart rate.)

Need more motivation to get going Thanksgiving morning? Sign up for a local Turkey Trot. T-Day is the most popular holiday for road racing (676,000 finishers in 2011, according to Running USA, a nonprofit organization that tracks road racing trends) and it’s a great addition to your holiday gameplan. 

Dissect the Buffet 
Whether it’s a work event or a party with friends, there's usually a buffet. Rather than blindly grabbing a plate and heading to the front of the spread, survey the scene first to decide what you really want. Otherwise you'll just heap everything on your plate as you come to it. 

And if you’re the one putting out the food, keep the healthy options together and place them front and center. A new study from Cornell University found that when healthy foods like fruit, yogurt, and granola are offered at the head of a breakfast buffet line, only 39 percent of eaters grabbed higher-calorie dishes like cheesy eggs and bacon. When eggs, bacon, and potatoes were positioned first, 78 percent of people tossed them on their plate. 


Will Snacking Between Meals Make You Gain Weight?

Yesterday, we reported on a study that found eating mini meals throughout the day may not be the best weight-loss strategy. And today we've got evenmore evidence to support the finding that snacking may not help you keep off pounds. A new study from Drexel University, published in the journalAppetite, found that people who skip snacks before a meal eat roughly the same amount at the meal as those who eat something beforehand.
For the study, researchers divided participants into two groups: The first group had a protein shake, and the second group didn't eat anything. Then, researchers told both groups to eat a regular meal roughly four hours later. Guess what? Those who'd fasted didn't eat any more than those who'd had the shake.

End those Muscle Aches with Berries

The burning sensation during strenuous exercise may be related to the build-up of lactic acid in our muscles (see Reducing Muscle Fatigue with Citrus), but that’s different than the delayed onset muscle soreness that occurs in the days following a bout of extreme physical activity. This post-exercise soreness is thought to be due to inflammation caused by muscle cell damage (little micro-tears in the muscle).
If it’s an inflammatory reaction then might anti-inflammatory phytonutrients help? The bioflavonoids in citrus might help with the lactic acid buildup, but we may need to ramp up to the anthocyanin flavonoids in berries to deal with the inflammation.
We know, for example, that if you eat about 45 cherries a day you can significantly reduce the levels of inflammatory markers like c-reactive protein in your bloodstream. Mushrooms (Boosting Immunity While Reducing Inflammation), nuts (Fighting Inflammation in a Nut Shell), and purple potatoes (Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Purple Potatoes) may also reduce inflammation (along with plant foods in general, see Anti-Inflammatory Antioxidants and Aspirin Levels in Plant Foods) so much so that plant-based diets can be used to treat inflammatory conditions. See, for example, Dietary Treatment of Crohn’s DiseaseDiet & Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Potassium and Autoimmune Disease. Animal products on the other hand (paw?), may increase inflammation through a variety of mechanisms, including endotoxins (How Does Meat Cause Inflammation?), arachidonic acid (Chicken, Eggs, and Inflammation), and Neu5Gc (The Inflammatory Meat Molecule Neu5Gc).

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Saturday, 9 November 2013

Death by Bacon

Don’t hate the messenger: according to a study earlier this year, death by bacon may be a real possibility. A study published in the journal BMC Medicine of 448,568 people found that eating processed foods like bacon, sausage, ham, and other processed meats increases the risk of dying prematurely. The massive long-term study followed people in 10 European countries for 12.7 years.
After adjusting for smoking, inactivity, other dietary factors, and other lifestyle factors, researchers concluded that, “significant associations with processed meat intake were observed for cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and ‘other causes of death.’”

Thursday, 7 November 2013

What Chocolate Can Do For You

By Jena Pincott
Katharine Hepburn reportedly said of herself, "What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.” Inspired, we broke that down into hours, weeks, months and years. Here’s what a fix can do….
Within 90 minutes…your neurons are humming.
One way in which scientists test for alertness and mental stamina is by asking their subjects to do math in their head -- counting down by 3s and 7s, for instance -- tasks so tedious they’re prescribed for insomnia. But 90 minutes after people drank cocoa, they rattled off correct numbers, found a study at the U.K.’s Northumbria University. Credit goes to flavanol, a plant antioxidant that has been found to widen blood vessels and increase blood flow in the brain. How much flavanol you get depends on origin, harvesting and processing, says one of the study's authors, Crystal Haskell-Ramsay, PhD. The most flavanol-rich options are usually the darkest and bitterest, like cocoa powder and baking chocolate. To match the study’s cognitive sweet spot, she says, we’d need roughly 7 grams of special, enriched high-flavanol cocoa powder or a 3.5-ounce chocolate bar with at least 70-percent-cocoa content. (The cocoa powder in the study was CocoaPro; it's in CocoaVia and Dove Dark Chocolate products.)
Within two and a half hours…you can resist a pizza buffet. 
Even if Mario Batali invites you to dinner tonight, you might be surprised by your own restraint. About 2.5 hours after eating 70-percent-cocoa chocolate (a 3.5-ounce bar), volunteers at the University of Copenhagen consumed 17 percent fewer caloriesat an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet than if they had eaten milk chocolate earlier on. Sweet, salty or fatty foods just didn’t have the same draw, they said. Other research confirms: Dark chocolate—perhaps because it’s so intense -- decreases levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin and is more filling. And here’s the surprise: Even the smell of it made people less hungry.
Within three hours…it’ll start to protect your heart. 
This is when cocoa begins working like a class of hypertension drugs called ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors, found researchers at Sweden’s Linköping University. The dose: about 2.6 ounces of unsweetened 72-percent-cocoa dark chocolate, which decreased the blood-pressure regulating enzyme (ACE) by 18 percent in three hours. Other research found that by the two-month mark, a daily dose of high-flavanol chocolate led to a drop of 2-to-3 mm Hg in blood pressure, which may translate to an 8 percent lower risk of stroke. While no cardiologist is (yet) prescribing chocolate in lieu of pharmaceuticals, research is ongoing. Chances are, patient compliance would be high.
After two weeks…your gut feelings start to change. 
People who call themselves “high-anxiety” types experienced a dramatic shift at this point, found a study published in the Journal of Proteome Research. Before they started eating dark chocolate (about 1.5 ounces) daily, their urine and blood samples showed high levels of stress hormones. After two weeks on the regimen, those hormones dropped significantly. The scientists also noted changes in gut-bacteria metabolism, which suggests that microbes in the colon got better at processing -- and maximizing the benefits of –- flavanol and other healthy polyphenols. Flavanol is also a known prebiotic; it supports the “good guy” bacteria like Lactobacillus that you’d get if you ate that other “soothe-food”: yogurt.)
After one month…hard-earned benefits are rolling in. 
Great news for those with the steely discipline to eat chocolate every day, all month. By now, your ratio of “good” (HDL) to “bad” (LDL) cholesterol may have improved,as it did in volunteers who ate about 2.6 ounces of either dark or high-flavanol chocolate every day. The benefits may be cumulative, helping to prevent old-lady haze in the first place: People in their seventies who say they habitually eat some chocolate each week (along with polyphenol-rich wine and tea) scored significantly higher on cognition tests than abstainers. And, after a month of high-flavanol cocoa (we’re talking 500 mg of flavanols a day, no less; which is in 7 grams of high-flavanol cocoa powder or a 3.5-ounce bar of intensely dark chocolate), subjects reported feeling significantly more serene.
After two and a half months…no one knows you eat like a teenager.
At this point, you might scarf down hamburgers and cheesecake every day -- yet have less inflammation and a lower insulin level than expected. Cocoa-eating mice seem to, at least. When they ate the human equivalent of 10 tablespoons of (low-sugar, low-fat) cocoa powder daily, their insulin levels dropped to almost one-third less than that of non-cocoa-eating mice on the same fatty diet. That’s almost as low as that of mice on a low-fat diet. And they lost -- lost! -- weight to boot. One theory: Prebiotic flavanols in cocoa may improve the gut barrier, thereby preventing endotoxin, a junk-food-thriving bacterium, from leaking outside the digestive system and triggering the inflammation and insulin resistance that precede obesity and type-2 diabetes. (The researchers think humans will benefit similarly; stay tuned.)
After three months…your skin looks 13 years younger (without fillers). 
Okay, maybe not a decade younger, but at least it may be suppler, smoother and plumper -- found a German study that compared women’s skin on and off a high-flavanol cocoa regimen. For those who drank a high-flavanol (329 mg) cocoa drink (comparable to most of a 3.5-ounce, 70-percent-cocoa chocolate bar) every morning for 12 weeks, the rate of blood flow to the epidermis doubled compared with a low-flavanol group. As a result, their skin became, on average, 16 percent denser, 11 percent thicker, 13 percent moister and 42 percent less scaly than before the experiment. Plus, it was 25 percent more resistant to the skin-reddening effects of UV rays -- comparable to a mild sunscreen. There they are again, flavanols and other antioxidants saving our hides.
After a year…you may feel thinner. 
Chocolate poses an intriguing paradox, found researchers at the University of California at San Diego. Of the 1,000 adults they followed, those who regularly ate the stuff more than twice a week turned out to be slightly thinner than those who ate it less frequently. And, no, they weren’t exercising more. The mystery may be explained by rodent studies in which cocoa’s flavanols subtly retuned metabolism and increased sensitivity to insulin -- resulting in the seemingly impossible: exercise-free, diet-free weight loss. But before you go hog-wild, note that the chocolate lovers didn’t necessarily eat chocolate every day or very much in a serving. It’s an energy-dense food, says Haskell-Ramsay—especially when sugar is added. To prevent your habit from leading to weight gain, she recommends making sure that the chocolate is consumed in place of -- rather than in addition to& -- something else.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Mediterranean diet linked to longer lifespan and better health

New research suggests that middle-aged women who follow a Mediterranean diet or similar may increase their lifespan and avoid physical or cognitive impairments and chronic illnesses in older age. This is according to study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The Mediterranean diet follows the eating habits of people living in Crete, many parts of Greece and Southern Italy.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Exercise may help alleviate depression

Orange tank topExercise may help ease symptoms of depression, according to a fresh look at past research.

Researchers who analyzed data from previous studies found people who exercised experienced a "moderate" reduction in their depressive symptoms compared to those who did other activities, such as using relaxation techniques, or received no treatment.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Smoothies and fruit juices are a new risk to health, US scientists warn

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Fruit juices and smoothies represent a new risk to our health because of the amount of sugar the apparently healthy drinks contain, warn the US scientists who blew the whistle on corn syrup in soft drinks a decade ago.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Shocking Truth About Protein Bars, Shakes & ‘Enhanced’ Foods

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“Protein-enhanced” is the new catch-all phrase by food and beverage manufacturers. Everywhere I turn I see another product boasting that it contains protein. But is this growing trend actually beneficial? Not only is it not beneficial, it may actually be harmful, for multiple reasons.  Here are nine reasons to be cautious of protein bars, shakes, and other protein-enhanced foods:

Monday, 2 September 2013

America's Diana Nyad, 64, sets record with Cuba-to-Florida swim

KEY WEST, Florida (Reuters) - American 64-year-old long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad on Monday became the first person to swim across the Florida Straits from Cuba without a shark cage, succeeding on her fifth attempt at the feat.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Tips for finding your stride

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The workout of the day was a 5K. 
After hearing that, I could have had the fastest time running out of the gym.
I’m not a fan of running. A 5K?

Friday, 23 August 2013

Push Pull Grind White Tank Top

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Wear this comfortable Push Pull Grind White Tank Top when going to the gym for a workout but for me  I would definitely use this on my regular run. The cool design and color would surely turn pedestrians head while I run.

 Made of quality material and can withstand frequent use, that is what most active people love, durability on their exercise gears. So easy to hand wash after use.Just soak,wash,rinse and dry. No need to use your washing machine.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

5 Common Yoga Mistakes to Avoid

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During my 15 years of teaching yoga, I have noticed some common mistakes that counter the benefits of yoga and can be downright dangerous. These problem-habits, such as forgetting to breathe, can sometimes reflect and reinforce how we live our daily life. If we rush through life, forgetting to take time to breathe, we will likely do the same in our yoga practice.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Fitness tips to follow without using the gym

white topWe always hear these different methods to exercise but how do we know which ones truly work? Well, not everyone is the same, so not every fitness tip will work. However, there are a few pieces of advice you may actually be interested in following!

Friday, 9 August 2013

On your bike, Runners

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Once you’re hooked on running it can be hard to be convinced of the merits of doing anything different, but in fact variety is the key to making you run better and for longer.

Exercise that is different to running, but enhances it, is called cross training. There’s nothing not to like about cross training if you consider what it’s good for: injury prevention, rehabilitation, improving fitness, promoting recovery, boosting motivation - to name a few.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

The No. 1 Danger of Eating French Fries

If, like me, you love French fries, here’s some essential information you should munch on.

We know that health experts are not exactly fond of fries, because, well, they’re deep fried potatoes with oozing artery-clogging fat. I delved a bit deeper, and realized they can do worse damage: if eaten often, fries can cause cancer.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

How to Keep Your Quinoa Consumption Ethical

If you follow sustainable food news, chances are you ran across some stories recently about quinoa that made your heart a little bit sad.

The gist of the narrative is that because people in wealthy western nations are eating more quinoa, the ancient grain is getting too expensive for the people who traditionally relied on quinoa as a dietary staple.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson's tips for a healthier life

Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie and Bruce Willis are just a few of the famous faces personal trainer Gunnar Peterson works with every day in his Beverly Hills luxury gym. One of LA's most sought-after trainers, Peterson shared his no-nonsense approach to getting to the gym, eating well, and feeling your best.

Tips for gaining and developing muscle naturally through weights, diet and exercise

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Gym rats. We have all seen them. Those people that seem to live in the gym. They are there when you get to the gym and they are still there when you leave to go home. 24 hours a day, seven days a week; these guys are there.

 They are the ones that help you feel like you are not making any gains. Well, here is a little secret; more than likely, they are the ones not making any gains!

Here are six tips (in addition to weight lifting program) to help you keep your head held high when in the gym.

1. Eat, eat and keep on eating!

A common misconception is that in order to lose weight, a person should cut the amount of meals that they eat. This is not only false, but will hurt whatever weight loss you have made or ever hope to make. In fact, a person needs to increase the amount of meals that they eat until they are eating about five to six times a day. The best way to do this is by eating three meals and three snacks each and every day.

How can you eat so much and lose weight?

The answer is simple and logical when you think about it. Our bodies have defense mechanisms. One of these defense mechanisms is to hold onto body fat during times of food shortages or famine. It will also take what you do eat and turn it immediately into fat because it thinks you have limited resources for energy. 

Your metabolism will also slow down in order to save this energy. What you need to do is to increase your metabolism so that you can burn calories. By constantly feeding your body, you are, in fact, providing your body with the very nutrients and energy it needs.

2. Eat less calories, make them count!

This is where people get confused. You are told, “cut your calories” and you hear “cut your meals.” You are actually expected to reduce the number of calories that you eat at each meal, not the number of meals that you eat. Your metabolism should be able to burn more calories than you consume. A good guideline is to eat about 10 times your bodyweight.

 For instance, someone weighing 150 pounds should eat about 1500 calories. You can increase this amount to 12 times or 15 times depending on how active you are and what your body needs. You can also lose weight by eating what you would at your ideal weight. If you are 150 pounds and want to be 130, eat 1300 calories instead of 1500. Your body will burn more calories than you are eating and you will lose weight.

3. Egg whites, oatmeal, chicken….Protein!

Protein is extremely important when it comes to building and repairing muscle. It is recommended that you eat 1 gram of protein for every pound you weigh. For instance, that 150 pound person would eat 150 grams of protein each day.

A good idea is to purchase a protein supplement instead of having to eat poultry and beef all day. It is a quick and easy way to reach your numbers. Protein whey can be added to drinks or yogurt.

4. What about nutritional supplements?

Supplements make it easy to get all the nutrition your body needs in a convenient way. It should not replace all meals, but is a great way to grab a quick “snack.” Supplements help recovering muscles get what they need to build up stronger and work harder. Supplements come in many forms. There are pills, powder, liquid and foods.

5. Rest

To rest or not to rest? 

This applies to two manners of resting. Resting in between sets and resting in between workout days.

Between sets, you should rest about 30-45 seconds. When you work a muscle group, you must allow at least 24 hours before working the same group. For instance, if you just worked your arms today, do not do them again tomorrow. The muscles need time to repair and recover. When you workout, the muscles are torn. During the resting period, the muscle group previously torn recovers and builds stronger.

 Lifting weights is simply a way to tear down muscles and rebuild new stronger ones. The resting period does not apply to calves. Calves are the one muscle group that can be worked every day. They only need 12 hours to recover.

6. Cardio

Cardio is an important part of your training program because you need to burn fat in order to see your gains you have made with weights. It also helps to increase your metabolism by keeping your body active. The more active your body is, the more you burn, and the faster your metabolism.

These tips are the difference between making gains and staying the same. Gaining muscle takes time. It will not happen overnight. It is worth it to pay a personal trainer to help create a training program for you.

 A training partner is also a great way to get you to push yourself where you might normally have stopped. Before you know it, you will have the body you were dreaming about. Let the gym rats wonder how you can look better then they do but are hardly in the gym!

Top 15 Fitness Motivation Tips

women tank topsWe all know the importance of exercise or physical activity, but it is very difficult to get started.

So, if you want to commence your journey to fit living, follow these tips and tricks to keep yourself motivated.