SmartyPantz - Body for Life

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

This is a great article!

Boosting Metabolism: 10 Tips That Work

by Susan Woodward for MSN Health & Fitness

Metabolism. Simply put, it’s the process by which the body makes and uses energy (calories) for everything from the cellular absorption of nutrients to running a marathon.
Sounds like pretty boring science on paper. Except that knowing how to efficiently metabolize calories could translate into a healthier body.
Whether you’re trying to lose extra pounds or preparing for the inevitable metabolic slowing that comes with age, here are some surefire ways to boost your metabolism to keep your energy pulsating and your body in shape.

1. Build lean body mass. As mentioned above, metabolism slows as we age – by as much as two percent a year! But there is something you can do to counterbalance nature. “Muscle is the single most important predictor or how well you metabolize your food, how well you burn calories and burn body fat,” insists Shari Lieberman, author of Dare to Lose. Strength training with dumbbells or resistance bands at least twice a week is essential to boosting your metabolism. Repeat – essential. And here’s the really good news: Your metabolism stays pumped for many hours after you finish your workout.

2. Get moving. You know the drill, but here’s a reminder. At least 30 to 60 minutes of walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or some other form of aerobic exercise a minimum of three times a week is the other half of the exercise equation. “People don’t like to hear it but you have got to exercise,” says Lieberman.

3. Eat. It may sound crazy to those trying to lose weight by severely restricting their daily caloric intake, but the problem with this old school of thought, explains Michigan dietician Julie Beyer, is that it actually slows metabolism. “Every cell of the body is like a flashlight bulb,” she explains. “When our bodies don’t get enough food, or fuel, every cell burns less brightly.” Recent studies show that eating smaller meals every three to four hours aids metabolism and weight loss.

4. Ditch the sugar. Of course, you still have to make good choices about what you eat. “When you eat sugar you throw your metabolic switch into fat storage mode,” says Lieberman, who suggests a predominately low glycemic index diet, meaning foods that, unlike sugars, are broken down gradually to help maintain an even blood-sugar level.

5. Don’t skip breakfast. It’s a fact that people who eat a healthy breakfast are skinnier than people who don’t. And try to think outside the box. A breakfast bowl of vegetables and brown rice is a great way to kick-start your metabolism for the day.

6. Include hot foods. If Mexican and Thai are favorites, you’re in luck. “Spicy food that has hot peppers in it appears to boost metabolism,” Lieberman says.

7. Drink green tea. “There are unhealthy things that can boost your metabolism, like a really strong cup of coffee, or nicotine, but I would never say go have a cigarette!” says Michelle Streif, a personal trainer in Nebraska. Nor overdo it on caffeine, which also has undesirable side effects. Instead, go for green tea, says Lieberman, which is known to stimulate metabolism longer and more effectively than coffee.

8. Don’t forget H2O. Staying well hydrated is essential to flushing the body of toxic byproducts that are released when fat is burned. Cold water may also give your metabolism at least a small boost because energy is required to heat the body.

9. Avoid stress. At all costs. “Stress can actually cause weight gain, particularly around the tummy,” says Lieberman. Why? Because physical and emotional stress activates the release of cortisol, a steroid that slows metabolism.

10. Sleep. Research shows that people who don’t sleep for seven to eight hours a night are more prone to weight gain. Additionally, we now know that lean muscle is regenerated in the final couple of hours of sleep each night, says Beyer. Which takes you right back to tip number one!

Susan Woodward lives in Olympia, Washington. She writes on topics that include health and indigenous cultures, and she works with the non-profit international health organization Amazon Promise. Her writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Times.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I'm thankful for...

I’m thankful for….

My family – I have a wonderful family and I don’t always appreciate them.  
  • I have a great husband; I have known this man most of my life and his is my best friend.  Sure we have our arguments and things aren’t always perfect but I cannot imagine my life without him.

  • I have three great kids.  They aren’t perfect and for that I am thankful.  Its amazing watching them make mistakes and learning from them, they are growing into such wonderful human beings and it humbles me to think that I’m having something to do with that.

  • My parents are the best.  All I can say is that I hope when my kids are grown we have the same kind of relationship as I have with my parents.

  • My in-laws, what can I say, I love them to death.  They have always made me feel like I’m one of their kids, I have been truly blessed.

  • Sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews – being an only child I am so thankful for the family I gained when I married Tim, again I have been truly blessed.  I love being a part of a big family!

  • Extended family – It warms my heart to know that our extended family is so close.  We keep in touch throughout the year and always get together during the summer at the family reunion.  Our ancestors would be proud of the legacy that we have continued.
My friends – We have wonderful friends.
  • Our family is truly blessed to have such wonderful friends!  Whether they are near or far they are always in our thoughts and hearts.
My job – I may complain about my job a lot but I realize that I am blessed to have such a good job with such a good company.
My health – I have always taken this for granted but now as I get older I realize that I need to take better care of my health and be thankful that I am able to wake up in the morning, get out of bed and head to the gym.
My community – Not just my neighbors but the whole community, I love the area we live in, the neighborhood, the town, the county, the state, there is nowhere else that I would rather live!
My country – No it’s not perfect but it’s mine and I love it, and yes I support it!

To my online friends – I hope each and every one of you has as much in your life to be thankful for and I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Im feeling great.

I’m feeling great.

Eating was clean yesterday and this morning Clint and I went to the gym and did our cardio….50mins while listening to “Queen of the Damned” by Anne Rice.  Audiobooks really make the time on the treadmill fly by which is a good thing cause I usually stare at the time and count the seconds till I’m done.

Things are just kinda falling in place….it makes a huge difference to have a plan to know what you are going to cook and to have everything ready.  Why did I ever stop this???

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Daily Tips: Saturday October 22, 2005

Health and Diet
Start your day with an orange! Oranges are packed with nutrients and fiber. Oranges are rich in potassium, folate, thiamin, vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin and magnesium. Plus, they're low in sodium. They're portable and make a great on-the-go snack. You can also get calcium-fortified orange juice which helps build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.

The best piece of exercise equipment to buy is the one you are going to use. Consider renting one for a month from a store that sells reconditioned equipment. This way you can try before you buy.

Daily Tips: Friday October 21, 2005

Health and Diet
Eat up culture. Music feeds the soul. French fries only fill your tummy. If you've been listening to the same Beach Boys album for twenty years, hit the record store and sample some new music. Remember what it's like to really love a song? Put your feet up and listen to your new selections instead of flipping on the tube to unwind. And check out your area performing arts centers for live events.

Doing too much too quickly is why weekend warriors become couch potatoes during the week. Start out your exercise program slowly. Walking is one of the easiest ways, but any activity you enjoy will do. Your heart rate is one good indicator to determine if you are working too hard. Start out with 10 - 15 minutes and after a week or two gradually increase your time.

Daily Tips: Thursday October 20, 2005

Health and Diet
Eat smaller, frequent meals. The magic number of meals for the study participants seemed to be five. Rather than consuming three large meals and trying not to snack in between -- which may make you hungrier by the end of the day and more likely to binge -- spread out your food intake over the course of the day.

If you have arthritis, here are some tips for relief. Maintain good posture to equally distribute stress throughout the joints. Don't overdo it as arthritis is an inflammatory condition and overuse can cause flare-ups. Use proper muscle groups when lifting. Store things at a comfortable level. Exercise frequently to prevent muscles and joints from getting stiff. Remember to rest.

Daily Tips: Wednesday October 19, 2005

Health and Diet
Trade your best players. Lettuce and tomato on your tuna sandwich -- good. Baby spinach, roasted red peppers and sliced pickled ginger? Utterly inspired. Try switching up your usual salad dressing with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, a splash of aged balsamic vinegar or a spritz of fresh lemon juice, too. Top cereal with fresh cherries instead of banana, and mix dried fruit into brown rice.

Save your face when exercising outdoors. Apply sun screen with UVA and UVB protection prior to going out to exercise. Choose brands that are waterproof. Re-apply after sweating or swimming. Avoid outdoor activities at midday and wear a hat to protect your face from wrinkle-forming rays.

Daily Tips: Tuesday October 18, 2005

Health and Diet
Dine out daringly. Grilled chicken or salmon is a sensible choice, but wouldn't you rather sup on sea bass or a buffalo burger for a change? As long as you're choosing a lean, low-calorie alternative from the menu and the preparation method keeps the fat down, it's OK to veer from the usual. Dare to be different. Just avoid dishes that are prepared in fattening sauces.

Take up race walking to burn calories, trim your waistline, strengthen your legs and torso, shape your calves and stimulate circulation. There is considerably less impact to your ankles, knees, lower back, shoulders and neck when race walking as compared to running.

Daily Tips: Monday October 17, 2005

Health and Diet
America's favorite vegetable is the potato! Not only is it fat and cholesterol free, it's also high in potassium and vitamin C. Potatoes can be the center of a meal or used as a side. Leave the skin on for an extra boost of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Skip the butter and sour cream. Instead load up on salsa, cottage cheese, ham, scallions or Butter Buds.

Strive for about 3 serious training days a week where you give it your best effort and go all out. On the other days, engage in activity that is challenging yet pleasurable. Remember this is a journey, so enjoy it.

Daily Tips: Sunday October 16, 2005

Health and Diet
Did you know magnesium is an essential mineral that activates more than 300 enzymes in your body? Some of these enzymes are responsible for releasing energy from food sources, preventing muscle cramping, promoting growth, and protecting against heart disease, stroke, kidney stones and hypertension. Include food sources such as green leafy vegetables, fortified breads, cereals, beans, nuts, oysters and scallops.

When we set out to achieve a goal, it is helpful to have the support of friends, family and co-workers. Working out with a friend may inspire you to reach a new level of fitness. You can sweat away the pounds together.

Daily Tips: Saturday October 15, 2005

Health and Diet
Shop smarter. When you return home from the supermarket with a fresh stash of goodies, are you tempted to rip open every bag and have a taste? Keep just one or two snack options, say, fat-free cookies and pretzel twists, in the pantry and you won't rack up calories from sampling each one. If there are snacks you have a hard time resisting, leave them in the store.

Depending on your size and effort you can burn 400 - 1000 calories an hour cycling and you won't pound your ankles and knees into submission like you would running.

Daily Tips: Friday October 14, 2005

Health and Diet
Picky kids? If you're accommodating fussy eaters, you might be tempted by their differing plates. Get around it by serving "like" foods: fat-free vanilla pudding for one child and low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt for another, for example. When it comes to healthy, delicious foods, there is something for everyone. Replace chips and cookies with the healthy versions of these snacks.

Stay out of harm's way when exercising on vacation. Make sure you are aware of the traffic laws, know where it is safe to bike or run, try to stick to hotel fitness centers, rent equipment from reputable establishments and remember that you may be under the jurisdiction of a foreign government.

Daily Tips: Thursday October 13, 2005

Health and Diet
There's nothing fishy about it - certain foods can directly affect mood. Evidence suggests that regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, the class of fats found in seafood, can benefit a depressed mood. These fats help our arteries and hearts operate smoothly, and help to bolster the immune system. Studies now indicate they play a significant role in brain function... something to think about.

For sustained energy release during a long cardio workout, go for an energy bar that has a complex source of carbs such as rolled oats or puffed rice.

Daily Tips: Wednesday October 12, 2005

Health and Diet
Are you giving up chocolate because of caffeine? Believe it or not, chocolate does contain caffeine, but not much. Compare chocolate with regular-brew coffee. A one-ounce milk chocolate bar contains about 5 milligrams of caffeine compared with 115 milligrams of caffeine in 5 ounces of coffee. So if caffeine is what you are avoiding, eliminate the coffee first.

It's time to clean out your sock drawer. Yes, technology has even hit the sock industry. If you are still wearing the same old crew socks, it's time to get sport specific. There are socks for hiking, walking, running, weight training and even water sports. Your feet will thank you.

Daily Tips: Tuesday October 11, 2005

Health and Diet
Successful blood glucose control depends not so much on what you eat, but rather how much. Your body has the ability to turn ALL caloric foods into glucose. Overeat foods with low sugar content and you can still spike blood glucose levels! Mixed meals containing complex carbohydrate, protein, and fat is a better way to maintain blood glucose control.

Stretch and Grow Stronger. Researchers in Quincy, Mass found that beginner exercisers on a 10 week program who did simple 20 second stretches after completing their sets gained an average of 19 percent more strength than subjects who did not stretch.

Daily Tips: Monday October 10, 2005

Health and Diet
Eating raw seafood? High-quality, fresh seafood is important. At a restaurant, it must be sushi grade or high quality, and prepared by highly-trained chefs who know how to buy and prepare raw seafood for safety and sanitation. Individuals with impaired immune systems, liver and gastrointestinal disorders, kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, pregnant woman, etc. should not eat raw or partly-cooked fish. !

Oxygen is the gift of life! Take a few moments out of your hectic schedule to take several deep breaths through your nostrils and fill your lungs to capacity. Slowly exhale through your mouth. Remember to breathe naturally during exercise to enhance your aerobic benefit. Never hold your breath!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Daily Tips: Sunday October 9, 2005

Health and Diet
HALT! This acronym fits the four times a person is most likely to rely on food. Arm yourself with a healthy snack if you experience HUNGER between meals. ANGRY? Get it out with a brisk walk, journal, or seek comfort from your pet. LONELY? Be around people! Go to the mall or visit a friend. When TIRED, take a quick shower, go for a walk, or catch a catnap!

Stretching consists of relaxing and natural movements that help to alleviate stress and reduce muscle soreness. It increases flexibility, which reduces stress injuries associated with overexertion in sports and exercise. Stretching should be performed on a regular basis during the cool down after your workout.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Daily Tips: Saturday October 8, 2005

Health and Diet
Tantalize your taste buds and make dinner a sight for sore eyes. Contrast color and texture in your meals. Add something red, green, yellow, and orange on your plate. Experiment with flavor combinations and contrasting food temperatures. Add to the visual appeal of the meal with various shapes... sliced carrots, pepper strips, shredded cheese, brown rice, and diced chicken.

If you are on a long road trip, take the time to stop and stretch. Walk around at rest stops and other places. Set aside some time for a healthy break. Use that time to jump rope or kick around a soccer ball.

Daily Tips: Friday October 7, 2005

Health and Diet
Folate, or folic acid, is used by the body to regulate cell growth. Research shows folate may prevent birth defects, reduce the risks of cervical or colon cancer, and may decrease the incidence of heart disease. Dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, orange juice, wheat germ, fortified grains and cereals are excellent sources.

Relieving stress and neck pain: Here is a simple stretch. Bring your chin to chest and then your ear to your sternum. Repeat the series on the other side. Also try stretching the muscles of the upper back and neck. Gently roll your head from shoulder to shoulder in the front, but do not make a complete circle to the back.

Daily Tips: Thursday October 6, 2005

Health and Diet
"Lettuce" live right! Romaine lettuce is a terrific source of beta-carotene, while arugula is a great source of calcium. Endive provides fiber and folate while mustard greens add tyrosine. Get vitamins A and C from bok choy, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxthanin from spinach. Mix up these potent greens for a garden-variety style salad! The more the merrier!

Because the body uses muscles in a variety of different ways for different activities, the end result of crosstraining is that more muscles are being challenged and developed. These muscles can be used on a daily basis for activities like running, reaching, squatting, scrubbing and lifting -- to name a few. Furthermore, the individual has an improved level of endurance, strength and stamina.