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Archive for January 2010

Creative Ideas That Inspire

The William G. White Jr. YMCA in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, “warns” members that they will definitely get results with Metabolic Effect, which includes 30 minutes of “controlled-intensity weight training and athletic cardio drills.” The online description challenges participants to combine push-ups, lunges, squat jumps, sprints and other exercises to get the “strong physique you’ve always wanted.”

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Kettlebell Comeback

Despite the kettlebell’s rich history, dating back at least to the 1700s, there are many people who have not yet heard of this tool. Only recently has the product caught the attention of mainstream fitness folks. Fitness pros and enthusiasts, both men and women, ranging from young to not so young, nonathletes to superstars, are starting to find use for the cast-iron tool that has its roots in Russia. The kettlebell may not be a new product, but creative programming using the age-old device is certainly “swinging” into action.

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Sample Class: Intervals Stepped Up

Take a break from choreography and give your students this athletic challenge on the step. The interval format is easy to teach and can be adapted for all fitness levels. Interval training is a valuable tool for re-energizing students and increasing their fitness levels, and it fits in nicely with other popular “metabolic training” programs. Also, because of its intensity, this class combines well with other formats such as weight training, yoga or mat Pilates.

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maintain your resolve in restaurants

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and sweethearts everywhere will be flocking to their favorite restaurants for a night of romance and risotto. You may
be crazy in love, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your good sense
and your resolve when it comes time to order off the menu. Here are some strategies to employ that will keep you dedicated to your diet:

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10 riskiest foods

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) recently issued a list of the top 10 riskiest foods regulated by the FDA, based on the number of related outbreaks of food-borne illness
reported since 1990. Although it may seem counterintuitive, the list of offenders included a fair share of “healthy” foods, such as spinach, berries and tomatoes.

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cauliflower tip

Cauliflower is often overshadowed by its more flashy and colorful cousin broccoli. Although broccoli is slightly higher in nutrient content, the lowly cauliflower does supply nearly the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, while also providing folate and fiber. To amp up the nutrients, choose the orange-hued variety of cauliflower, which is now available in most areas of the country: it has about 25 times more vitamin A than the standard white version.ask the RDquestion:

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cheap tricks: more cost-cutting tips

Use these helpful hints to stretch your food budget
in this down economy:
Take to the Internet Highway. Click on websites
such as www.tipnut.com for low-cost recipes or even www.amazon.com for inexpensive bulk items that are nonperishable.
Abandon Brand Names. Switch to private-label brands, which are usually a good deal cheaper than name brands.

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weird winter fruit

Although exotic fruits have long been seen in specialty supermarkets and health food stores, a growing number of mainstream markets are now offering an array of unfamiliar produce. Here is a look at three “new” and unusual fruits that are now becoming more widely available.

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vitamin D & growing bones

According to a recent study published online by the journal Pediatrics, at least 1 in 5 kids in America under the age of 11 doesn’t get enough daily vitamin D, which can have a negative effect on proper bone growth.
The problem is particularly widespread in minority groups: almost 90% of African American children and 80% of Hispanic kids may be deficient in vitamin D, the researchers estimated.

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see no evil

We all know that parents and other role models, such as teachers, can influence a child’s lifestyle and food choices. Until recently little was known about the dietary habits of elementary-school employees, a key target group for improving school nutrition.

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anorexia in girls affects brain function

A recent study conducted in the Canadian provinces found that adolescent girls with anorexia nervosa may suffer from lifelong brain damage and loss of cognitive function—even if they ultimately return to a normal weight later in life. Until now, little was known as to the long-term effects of this disease in female subjects with adolescent-onset anorexia nervosa.

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smart choices program suspended

In late October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a strong warning that the agency was considering taking regulatory action against food manufacturers that make inaccurate and misleading health claims on product
labels.

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gents and grains

Men who want to lower their risk of developing hypertension may want to up their daily intake of whole-grain products, according to a study in the September 2009 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers who followed more than 51,000 men (aged 40–75 in 1986) enrolled
in the ongoing prospective Health Professionals Follow-Up Study found that those with a higher whole-grain intake,
especially total bran, had a lower risk
of becoming hypertensive.

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location, location, location

Where you live may actually contribute to your risk of someday developing type 2 diabetes, says a study published in the October 12, 2009,
issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers conducted
the first multisite prospective study
to examine if residential environments that support more physical activity and healthier diets may contribute to
a lower incidence of the disease.

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Mental Imagery Enhances Motor Skills

While use of mental imagery has been widely promoted as an effective complement to physical training, the scientific evidence to confirm that visualization enhances motor skills performance is only now emerging. Recent studies comparing motor skill acquisition by physical practice alone, by mental practice and by a combination of both have used functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine how these methods activate the brain. The studies have shown that mental imagery and motor skill performance produce activation in overlapping, but not identical, areas of the brain.

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Working May Enhance Retirees’ Health

Engaging in bridge employment—
defined as part-time, temporary or self-employment—as a transition to permanent retirement may enhance the health of older adults, according to a study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology (2009; 14 [4], 374–89). Data analysis from 12,189 retirees
enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study formed the basis for this finding.

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What’s Good for the Body Is Good for the Brain

Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten why you were there? Diminished cognitive health—from this type of mild decline to more serious dementia—can have profound implications for overall health and well-being. Sustained brain health and enhanced lifelong learning are vital parts of aging and improve quality of life. Cognition, which includes mental processes such as intuition, judgment, language, remembering and the ability to learn new things, has a key role in wellness.

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