Oct 31

The Three Biggest Mistakes You Make at the Gym

Photo: advancingyourhealth.org

Photo: advancingyourhealth.org


Here’s something to help burn off all that Halloween candy you’ve been eating.  According to Health.com these are the top three mistakes personal trainers see people make at the gym . . .


1.  Leaning on the handlebars when you use a treadmill or stationary bike.  It makes it easier, but you don’t get as good of a workout.  It prevents you from engaging your core muscles and your glutes.  So you should mostly use the handlebars for balance.



2.  Not taking deep enough breaths.  Your stomach should go out, not just your chest.  Otherwise you don’t get enough oxygen in your bloodstream.  And it also matters WHEN you breathe . . .



Like if you’re doing a bench press, breath out while you’re pushing up.  If you breathe in or hold your breath, your blood pressure spikes and you feel dizzy.  And when you’re running, try to breathe out every time your right foot hits the ground.



3.  Only working out your glamour muscles.  Meaning the ones you look at in the mirror, like your biceps and abs.  People tend to concentrate on those, and forget about the muscles in their back.  So do more exercises where you’re pulling instead of pushing.




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Oct 10

Five Ways to Relax in 30 Seconds


If you’re having a hard Monday, here are five things that can help you relax in about 30 seconds.


1.  Laugh.  Studies have shown it releases tension, reduces blood pressure, and can even lower your blood sugar levels.


2.  Eat an orange, or anything else with vitamin C.  Which mostly means other types of fruit, like blueberries or strawberries.  Studies have found foods that are high in vitamin C can lower your blood pressure and calm you down.


3.  Go outside.  A recent study in Scotland found that being in nature helps you relax, even if it’s just a tree-lined street.  And a study in 2010 showed that walking around in fresh air can boost your mood in less than five minutes.


4.  Rub on some rose oil.  A recent study in Thailand found it lowers blood pressure and slows down your breathing.  And it’s not just because of the smell.  It even worked when people wore masks and couldn’t smell it.


5.  Walk into another room.  A 2011 study at Notre Dame found that when you change your environment, your brain essentially resets itself.  So if you’re stressed about something, just walk into another room and see if it helps.



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Jul 16

Four Side Effects of Sleeping on Your Back, Side, and Stomach



Do you sleep on your back, your side, or your stomach?  Whichever one it is, there are specific consequences you might not know about.  Here are four side effects that have to do with the way you sleep . . .

1.  Sleeping on your stomach can cause back pain, because your spine isn’t supported.   And it makes you sleep with your head turned to one side, which is hard on your neck.



2.  If you sleep on your back, you’re more likely to snore.  But as long as you don’t prop your head up with too many pillows, it’s better for your spine than sleeping on your side or your stomach.



3.  Sleeping on your left side puts more strain on your internal organs, including your liver, lungs, and stomach.  Doctors usually tell pregnant women to sleep on their left side though, because it increases circulation to the baby.



4.  Sleeping on your right side can cause heartburn.  It’s not clear why, but several studies have found you’re more likely to wake up with heartburn if you fall asleep on your right side, opposed to your left.



Regardless of how you sleep, using an extra pillow for support can help.  If you sleep on your back, put it under the arch of your spine . . . if you’re a side sleeper, put it between your knees . . . and if you’re on your stomach, put it right under your hips.



(Daily Health Post / NY Times / Business Insider)

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Jul 14

The Eight Worst Things You Can Eat for Breakfast

ThinkstockPhotos-480691698 (1)


The website EatThis.com put together a list of the worst things you can have for breakfast, in different categories.  So, things like the least healthy cereal, and worst fast food breakfast sandwich.  Here’s the list . . .

1.  Worst cereal:  Honey Smacks.  One bowl has 15 grams a sugar, which is more than Frosted Flakes or Cap’n Crunch.  And it’s coated in partially hydrogenated oil, which has trans fat.



2.  Worst donut:  Dunkin’ Donuts Blueberry Butternut.  It has 35 grams of sugar, and 420 calories, which is more than any other donut on the menu.



3.  Worst breakfast burrito:  Taco Bell’s A.M. Crunchwrap with Sausage.  710 calories and 47 grams of fat.



Unless you’re eating a whole 12-pack of their Cinnabon dessert things, the A.M. Crunchwrap has more fat than anything else on the menu.



4.  Worst fast food breakfast sandwich:  The Monster Biscuit from Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.  It has as much fat and calories as the A.M. Crunchwrap, but TWICE as much salt.



5.  Worst breakfast that SOUNDS healthy:  A Dunkin’ Donuts Multigrain Bagel with Reduced Fat Strawberry Cream Cheese.  It’s 500 calories, has 17 grams of fat, and is pretty much nothing but carbs.



6.  Worst pancakes:  Denny’s Peanut Butter Cup Pancake Breakfast.  They’re stuffed with chocolate, and have hot fudge and peanut butter on top.  You also get sausage, eggs, and hash browns, so it’s 1,670 calories, with 105 grams of fat.



7.  Worst omelette:  The Chorizo Fiesta Omelette at IHOP.  1,300 calories and106 grams of fat.  And you can add pancakes, which is another 700 calories.



8.  Worst overall breakfast:  The Cheesecake Factory’s Bruleéd French Toast.  It has 2,780 calories, and as much saturated fat as six cheeseburgers from Sonic.




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