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FITNESS NEWS:
 
More Incentive to Exercise:  A new study has found that overweight women may have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's, which is also believed to be linked to vascular factors such as hypertension and diabetes.   Regular exercise can reverse and sometimes rid several developing health problems.  It's never to late to start a program. 
 
Also, new findings on Alzheimer's:  According to a recent study, older people who consumed lots of folate, a nutrient found in leafy green vegetables, fruits and fortified breakfast cereals reduced their risk of developing the disease by more than half.  The study found that people who reported getting at or above 400 micrograms of folate a day (the recommended daily amount) had a 55% lower risk than people who were consuming less than that amount.  Folate reduces blood levels of homocysteine, a substance that when elevated can damage brain cells.   Foods rich in folate include whole-grain breads, oranges, broccoli, spinach and bananas.
 
More Breaking News
The U.S. government has considered a "National Walking Program" promotion to motivate people to get moving for improved health.  The national obesity rate has skyrocketed in recent years and regular walking is being recommended by top researchers as the easiest way the majority of our inactive citizens can make positive health changes. 

Walking has many hidden health benefits.  Regular walks will help you to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight when combined with a sensible diet.  It strengthens your cardiovascular system; tones all of your major muscle groups; helps the body resist disease by strengthening your immune system; and reduces stress to promote an overall sense of well-being.

Walking is your body's most natural form of exercise, so if you don't get into doing regular work-outs, at the very least get up and walk.  You'll burn calories and contribute to the longevity of good health.

 Research consistently shows that regular physical activity, combined with healthy eating habits, is the most efficient and healthy way to control your weight.
For the greatest overall health benefits, experts recommend that you do 20-30 minutes of activity 3-5 times per week.
 
Why Weight Train?  (Time-Saving Fact Below)
 
Muscle strengthening activity should be included 2-3 times per week.  For each pound of muscle you gain, you'll burn 30 to 50 extra calories daily by boosting your metabolism.
In other words, by replacing 5 pounds of fat with muscle, you will burn up to 250 calories more throughout the day than you do now, in addition to the calories burned during the workout!
Did You Know???
By Building muscle, you will burn more calories even while sleeping!
 
How To Build the Muscle You Want
 
For Bulk - Use Heavy Weights and 5-8 Reps per Set
For Toning - Use Moderate Weights and 10-12 Reps per Set
Need to Lose 30+ Pounds? - Use Light Weights and 15-25 Reps per Set

Time Contraints?
Experts say that 1 good resistance work-out per week gives you 50% muscle-building benefit; 2 work-outs give you 90% and 3 give you 100%.  This means that you can get away with 2 "45-Minute Miracle" work-outs per week and still cash-in on 90% of the muscle-building benefits when you can't spare the time for the 3rd day.  However, 3 days per week is still highly recommended for the optimal aerobic fat-burning benefits.

NUTRITION TIPS:

Eat smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day to curb hunger and sweet cravings.  This will also regulate your metabolism and keep it running smoothly all day instead of slowing down when you take long breaks between meals.

Keep in mind each meal should be no more than 300-400 calories each. 

Forget fat-free - most are full of sugar, which turns to fat   Get most of your fat from fish, nuts & seeds and extra virgin olive oil.

Use no-calorie cooking sprays whenever possible.  Stir-fry lots of your favorite vegetables with various stir-fry sauces on the market.  But watch the sodium content on some.

Eat more Fiber - Whole grain breads (Avoid "Enriched"), whole fruit & veggies - will whisk calories through your body!

Drink More Water--The body is over 70% water.  Getting sufficient Water is one of the most effective means of weight control and will flush fat through the body.
 
Drink unsweetened teas, especially if water is not your thing.  Tea has healing properties and acts as water does to hydrate the body.  Sweetened tea calories can add up fast.
 
Don't want to measure foods?  Fill at least half your plate with fresh veggies, 1/4 with meat or beans, the other 1/4 with whole-grain bread or pasta for a fool-proof healthy eating plan.
 
Replace that bagel in the morning with a half peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread and a piece of fruit.  You'll gain fiber and lose pounds (most bagels are enriched and sweetened).  The protein from the peanut butter will keep you feeling full longer than the carb-only bagel. 
 
Or try a low-fat yogurt for fat-burning benefits and a great calcium boost (read above--dairy burns fat)...not to mention it's also a great  an immune system builder!  An apple and a yogurt a day, will surely keep the doctor away.

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WEIGHT LOSS TIPS:

  • When starting a new program make and keep track of small goals, it will keep you motivated. 
  • Instead of going for seconds, make stopping at 1 plate your first goal. 
  • Once you've accomplished that, the next goal is to add more fruits and vegetables with each meal;and last goal,  leave some food behind.  Eat smaller portions for guaranteed weight loss.
  • Concentrate on substituting unhealthy foods for the good stuff, but not all at once.  Don't deprive yourself ... it may drive you to binge on sugary foods.
  • Keep fried and sugary foods to a minimum.  It's not the 'bad for you' foods that adds calories, as much as it is the amount of it you eat. Peel the skin off of fried chicken.
  • Keeping sugary foods to a minimum is not easy, so here's a trick...everytime you want to grab for that sweet, instead take a guzzle of water and a swig of mouthwash to give you a minty taste.  Sweets won't taste so good after that, the water will fill you and your craving will subside, and that equals -0- calories!
  • So you overate today?  Realize you will have minor setbacks, but keep it minor by continuing your eating plan with your next meal.
  • When dining out, eat only half off your plate and enjoy the leftovers as your next meal.  For help with willpower, box half your meal before you begin, you'll be more reluctant to dig into it.

 

Top 5 Foods for a Healthy Immune System:

A poor diet is the biggest cause of a weakened immune system in healthy individuals.  While an all-around healthy diet is the key to stronger immunity, these particular immune-boosting foods can keep your system in fighting condition!

  1. Beef - Think Zinc:  Have you cut out red meat because of it's unhealthy reputation?  That's ok, but Zinc is very important for the development of white blood cells, the immune cells that recognize and destroy invading bacteria, viruses, and assorted other problems.  A 3-oz. serving of lean beef (size of a deck of cards) provides about 30% of the Daily Value for zinc.  But if you just don't want beef, try oysters, fortified cereals, pork, poultry, yogurt, or milk as other sources of zinc.
  2. Sweet Potatoes:  These beta-carotine rich babies protect your skin.  The place which serves as a fortress against bacteria, viruses and other undesirable disease.  To stay strong, your skin needs Vitamin A .  Vitamin A plays an important role in the production of connective tissue, a key component of skin.  Ounce for ounce, sweet potatoes contain more iron, vitamins A and Vitamin E than white potatoes and are an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants.  Some other beta-carotine rich foods (think orange) are :  carrots, squash, canned pumpkin and canteloupe.
  3. Mushrooms - Rev up your white blood cells:  Studies show that mushrooms increase the production and activity of white blood cells, making them more aggressive against disease.   Eat them when you have an infection.  Shiitake and maitake mushrooms appear to pack the biggest immunity punch. 
  4. Tea - Clean up the Toxins in your Body:  As your immune system knocks off bad bacteria, it spits out free radicals, which can bring your cells down and accelerate the stage for diseases.  Antioxidants can mop up those free radicals before they do damage.  Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, but both black and especially green teas are higher in antioxidants than any fruit or vegetable.  So pour yourself a healthy cup of tea!  Jiggle your tea bag in cup for the most powerful dose of antioxidants.  Drink unsweetened iced tea in place of soda to save  calories and refresh the body.
  5. Yogurt - or a fermented milk called kefir.  The  lining of your intestines home trillions of good bacteria that keep harmful germs from invading.  Unfortunately, antibiotics can wipe out these good bacteria from your body letting in diarrhea-causing germs.  Send in reinforcements by eating yogurt or drinking a delicious fermented milk drink called kefir.   Anything that contains active cultures are a good source of healthy bacteria.  Add an occasional low-fat yogurt to your diet daily to reap the benefits of a well-balanced immune system.
  6. Cilantro - A new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that the herb and its sedds, Cilantro, also known as coriander, kill harmful Salmonella bacteria.  Add cilantro to your meals where possible to get rid of any bad bacteria that may be lurking in your intestines.

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