Monday, January 31, 2011

Hot Yoga

Bikram Yoga.. also knows as Hot Yoga
Classes usually run for 90 minutes, the room is typically around 105F/40C and 40% humidity.
The room is hot and the work out is intense so your body warms up really fast, and trust me- you sweat.
The purpose of the hot room is to heat up your muscles to help them be more efficient and to increase flexibility.
For the last few weeks I have been doing on Monday mornings
And I am actually enjoying it.
The work out is hard - if anyone tells you yoga is easy, or its just stretching.. they obviously haven't done it.
Your legs are shaking, you are sweating, your muscles will be sore the next day.

And besides the physical benefits, a lot of people practice yoga for the spiritual benefits. The class I go focuses on self love - and while at first it seems hokey - maybe its not such a bad thing to spend 90 minutes on monday tell yourself that you love yourself and your body.
The meditation period at the end it relaxing, and rejuvenating.
If you are looking for a new type of exercise I would definitely look for a class.

Before you go here are some things to consider:

-Start with a class suitable for beginners - and make sure the instructors know you are new
-It's definitely beneficial to be in a class with an assistant/adjuster who can help you with your poses
 -Despite some reports you wont burn 1000 calories a session - you will burn lots, like any strength class -but not that much
-And any weight that you've lost immediately after a work out is WATER WEIGHT - all you did was sweat -out a bunch of water and now you are dehydrated.
You should be drinking at least 3 cups of water during your work out
and 3 cups for every pound you lost during your workout!

Remember - like with any new work out program you need to check with your doctor first
Especially since the heat - if you have issues with blood pressure, or don't do well in the heat I would consider doing a non-heated class.

Have you ever done yoga, power yoga, or hot yoga? What did you think?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tips for a Good Spine

Dont be a slouch - maintain a neutral curve in your low back while sitting. Avoid over cushioned chairs and put a foam roll in the small of your low back
Watch repetitive lifting - doing a lot of lifting in the same manner and direction can injure your back over time by execeeding the endurance of the back soft tissue
Stay strong - a well supported back depends on strong muscles. A few simple exercises can tone your abdominals and sides of the trunk - click here for 4 moves for a stronger core
Dont sit still - if you have a job that requires you sit for a long period of time remember to get up and move around. This helps boost circulation to your spine. Try to get up for a couple minutes at least every hour
Dont lose sleep - make sure you have the right mattress - it shouldnt be too firm or too saggy. Most research generally support a relatively firm mattress
Dont stress - stress can magnify your back pain - so try to relax

{source:lifemark healthier you newsletter}

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fight the Flu Part 4

Sick of hot water with lemon?
Drink hot water with 1-2 Tbsp of Brewers Yeast

It might be pretty gross and bitter BUT it can help fight off the flu, diarrhea, and respiratory illness.
It is packed full of B vitamins - B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), and H or B7 (biotin).  (but no Vit.B12 -which is found in meat products)
It can also help support the nervous system, help maintain the muscles used for digestion, and keep skin, hair,(it may even prevent the graying of hair) eyes, mouth, and liver healthy.

If you are taking any medications though, make sure to talk to your doctor before you start taking brewers yeast because it can interact with a lot of medications.
It also has not been tested on children - so maybe still with the hot lemon for the kids!

source for the past four tips
and the Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick

Monday, January 17, 2011

Flight the Flu Part 3

How to fight off Colds and Flu


Drink lots and lots of hot liquids
Whether its tea, hot lemon water or coffee the hot beverage can help boost your immunity.

Hot lemon is especially good because along with the immunity benefits, it can help increase liver function to release more digestive enzymes, it also has vitamin C, antioxidants and calcium
So boil the kettle, slice up a lemon and drink up!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fighting the Flu part 2

how to fight off colds and flu
Eat a clove of raw garlic

Garlic is great for its antimicrobial properties.
So when you feel a scratchy throat coming on - head to the kitchen and chew on a piece of garlic
Maybe it doesn't sound that yummy but it could help prevent your sore throat from getting worse
if you think that sounds too gross - try crushing the clove and swallowing it whole, mixed with apple sauce, or have something to eat right afterwards

Garlic can also relax blood vessels, increase blood flow, and prevent blood clots and oxidative damage.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stay healthy during cold and flu season

Cold and Flu season is here
Everyone is back to work, the kids are back to school
and everyone is sick!

So what can you do to try to stop you from getting sick?
Check back over the next few days for different tips

Take a Cold Shower -
uncomfortable? yes. but research has show that there are multiple benefits during the cold season.
1. this can help your blood vessels adapt to being cold faster, peripheral blood vessels will constrict faster and you can conserve more heat.
2. German research has shown that cold water can help important virus-fighting cytokines (immune system proteins) work better together - that means fewer viral infections for you!
3. The cold water can increase lymphocytes (white blood cells) which help ward off colds and flu
4. The cold water will make you gasp! wondering why this helps? This helps open up closed and clogged air sacs in your lungs called alveoli. That means more oxygen for your body, and open, unclogged alveoli are less prone to infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia
5. The burst of cold water will then lead to increased blood flow to your organs - especially your skin, lungs, heart, and throat. Increase blood flow will help fight off illnesses
6. A cold shower can boost your mood and lower stress which will boost your immune system

start slow by exposing hands and feet to the cold water, and then work your way up
if you are susceptible to high blood pressure check with your doctor

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fishy News

Think fish prepared in any way is healthy?

Think again.

The Boston Globe has reported that people who eat battered and fried fish
have higher heart attack risk

-just the words battered, and fried might have tipped you off - but heres some more detail

- Fish that are typically cooked this way, white fish such as haddock, and cod, are leaner - they have less or the good fatty acids to begin with
-the omega 3's they do have are diminshed by this cooking method - they are actually replaced by cooking oils

so instead: skip the fish n chips and opt for some omega-3 rich salmon or herring

read more here

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Heart Health

Did you know heart attacks are more likely to occur in the morning?
Because in the mornings
-your blood pressure has started to rise, and is much higher than when sleeping
-your arteries are more rigid, making them more likely to rupture
-your blood is thicker

-so what can you do to prevent a heart attack in the morning?
Taking all heart-related meds in the evening before bed - around 10pm
-cholesterol meds- because your liver makes more cholesterol at night
- blood pressure meds can help keep your blood pressure lower in the morning
-taking a baby asprin as a heart attack prevention is more effective if taken at night

-even taking half of your multi vitamin at night is good for you because of the
antioxidant benefits.

So stay heart healthy, talk to your doctor about switching your meds to the evening

{source: Dr. Oz}

Monday, January 3, 2011


When looking for snacks its important to look for something healthy,
with fibre, and protein - they keep you full for longer

So great snacks include cut up fruit, whole grain crackers and cheese

Thats why I was pretty excited when I saw 34-degree crackers
they claim to be whole grains, they are wafer thin, and tons of flavours and look delicious.

I was not so excited after I looked up the nutritional information

it looks good at first - 130 calories for19 crackers, no saturated or trans fat, maybe a bit too much sodium and then I looked at the Fibre... 1g??? For whole wheat crackers. I was suspicious.

To even be considered a source of fibre there needs to be 2g/serving
To be a good source it needs to bee 4g/serving.
and last time a checked... whole grains should have lots of fibre

Then I looked at the ingredients... and there it was
unbleached, enriched wheat flour.
-Not whole wheat flour

these might be a step up from crackers that aren't enriched, but your best bet is to stick with real whole grain crackers like triscuits. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happpy New Years

Happy New Years!

Its a big time for new goals and resolutions.
So I wanted to share a few tips with everyone.

 1. If, like everyone else, you decided to hit the gym in January - here are some things to keep in mind
- the gyms push sales and target resolutioners in January - and pretty much abandon you come February
- because of this gyms can be super crowded during the first month of the year
-so do be frustrated.
instead of joining the gym right away, start small at home
Start by walking 2 nights a week.
During a tv show you watch in the evenings, do push ups, sit ups, or walk up and down your stairs during the commercials
-after a month of success, if you want, start looking in to the gyms. - you'll be more confident, and already be used to being a little more active
-if exercising at home works for you, think about an exercise dvd, add another night of walking, or walk farther or faster.

2. when it comes to making your new years goals here's some tips:

-write them down - and post them where you can see them every day
-tell people about them, sharing them makes you more accountable
-make them very specific, and measurable (ex. instead of "walk twice a week" make your goal "walk Monday and Wednesday evening, for 20 minutes, right after dinner"
-don't be afraid if you have to adjust them after a few weeks - having goals set in stone can make you feel bad if you cant succeed. 

-With New Years its easy to want to set big goals and think about the whole 12 months at a time
but its okay to start small, start with one or two weeks at a time.
it will be a lot less daunting and you will be more likely to stick with it!

What are your goals for this up coming year - health and exercise related and everything else?

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