Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"Honey, I'm headed to the gym (aka the living room)."

Whether you love it or hate it, the gym is a great place to get in a good sweat session and burn some calories. Although, the expense and travel time required to use a gym may be reasons keeping you from getting in your workout.

 Here are 5 fun ways to turn regular household objects into your own personal gym equipment.

Chairs: These can used to help maintain balance while doing squats, leg swings or lunges. They can also be used to hold onto for tricep dips. Be careful not to dip below a 90 degree angle for joint safety.

Cans of food, bottles of water, milk/juice jugs: All of these can serve as free weights! The best part is, you most likely have a few of these items already, giving you a range of weights. If you need more of a challenge, try filling an empty bottle or jug with sand for added weight. A gallon jug of sand weighs about 30 lbs.

Tables/Counters: Depending on the height of the table, these can also be used for tricep dips. Regardless of the height, tables and counters work great for push-ups. Make sure you keep your abdominals tight and your belly button pulled back toward your spine throughout the move.

Towels: While holding one end of a towel in each hand, put your arms over your head and pull as hard as you can in opposite directions and hold it. Maintain for several seconds and repeat. This will help build muscles in your arms and shoulders. Towels can also be used to help you stretch at the end of your workout - wrap them around your calf, ankle or foot, and pull toward you for a deeper stretch.

Walls, Stairs and Door Frames: Don’t forget the house itself! You can do wall sits, and walk or hop up and down stairs to work your lower body. Also, try standing in the center of a door frame, place your hands on either side of you, pushing on the frame. Push and hold at intervals for an upper body workout. Make your house work for you!

Getting in a great workout does not have to be time consuming or expensive. Get creative and look for ways you can turn everyday household items into your new favorite workout equipment. These tips also come in handy if you are traveling and want to get in a workout, without leaving your hotel room.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The secret of change....

What can you do to make change a reality?

- Start Small: The worst thing you can do when trying to make a big change in your life is biting off more than you can chew. This can lead to feelings of failure, disappointment and a lack of motivation to persist.

- Write Down Your Motivations: If you know why you are making a change, it is a lot easier to do the hard work to see the results. These can also serve as reminders when it gets tough to continue (because it will!) and help you to persevere.

- Pick Milestones: By picking smaller goals, you can make incremental progress and see how you are moving towards your ultimate achievement. Before you know it, you are well on our way to seeing the big change become a reality.

- Be Consistent: It is often said it takes 21 days to create a new habit or to break a bad one. Pack Your Persistence! As you power through and dedicate your efforts to making changes, that are important to you, you will find they become habit, even second nature. The longer you are consistent, the easier it will be to sustain.

- Be Patient with Yourself: Nobody has ever said change is easy, and if they did, they are lying. It is possible making a new change will be something you have to work at, so don’t be hard on yourself when progress does not come at the pace you have envisioned. If you fall short, keep going! As long as you are striving to move forward, progress will happen.

Change may be difficult, challenging and even scary. However, you have it within you to achieve the impossible. In the words of Audrey Hepburn, “Nothing is impossible.  The word says I’m possible.”

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Your Vitamin Dictionary

Which vitamins do what? What foods can you eat that have those important nutrients? Here is a breakdown of common vitamins and their food sources:

Vitamin A: This is essential for healthy eyes, skin and immune system.
Sources: Sweet potatoes, carrots, liver, eggs, milk, cantaloupe, peppers, herring, mangoes, broccoli.

Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin): This assists with converting carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy sources. B-1 is also necessary for healthy heart and nervous system.
Sources: Lean meats, whole grains, oysters, green peas, broccoli, soy foods.       

Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin): This is important for growth development, producing red blood cells, and also breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Sources: Meats, eggs, legumes, nuts, dairy products, green veggies - asparagus and spinach.   

Vitamin B-3 (Niacin): This is necessary for the release of energy from carbohydrates. Niacin is also needed for healthy skin, creation of red blood cells and some hormones.
Sources: Meat, poultry and fish.

Vitamin B-6: This is required for proper brain and nervous system functions. It assists in breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats. B-6 helps to break down amino acids - the building blocks of proteins.
Sources: Potatoes, bananas, beans, seeds, nuts, red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, spinach, pork, oats, whole wheat products.

Vitamin B-9 (Folate): This is needed to make DNA and produce blood cells. Also, B-9 is essential for healthy pregnancies.
            Sources: Liver, yeast, leafy green vegetables, asparagus, orange juice and legumes.

Vitamin B-12: This is helpful with processing of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It is also necessary for nervous system health.
Sources: Meat, poultry, fish, milk, dairy products and eggs.

Vitamin C: This is well known for being essential for healthy bones, teeth and gums. Also, it helps with the production of collagen in cells, wound healing, brain function and healthy blood vessels.
Sources: Citrus fruits and juices like oranges, papaya, honeydew, guava, pomelo, and broccoli, sweet peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, snow peas, cauliflower, leafy greens such spinach, kai lan, chye sim, bok choy.

Vitamin D: This assists the body to absorb calcium to create strong bones.
Sources: Sunlight! Your body is able to manufacture Vitamin D on its own. Food sources include fortified milk, margarine, eggs and butter.

Vitamin E: This helps to protect the cells and Vitamin A in the body from damage. Also, it is necessary for healthy red blood cells.
Sources: Vegetable oils, nuts, green leafy vegetables, avocados, wheat germ, and  whole grains.

Vitamin K: Helps to regulate blood clotting.
            Sources: Sunlight, fortified milk, margarine, eggs and butter.