Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Better Family Diet

Denise Austin is a long time favorite of both Sue and Mikeby Denise Austin
How can you get your family to enjoy eating healthier foods? Don't change their diet all at once. That's the advice of experts at the American Dietetic Association — they say it's easier to stick to small changes than drastic overhauls.

Try to limit changes to one or two small things at a time: for example, switch from white bread to 100 percent whole wheat, and substitute sweet snacks with real fruit. Once these changes have become the norm in your household, add a few more. Write down your goals for your family's diet, and keep a log of what family members eat every day to track their progress.

And make sure you pour on the praise! Encourage all attempts at eating right, and try not to criticize when things don't go as planned. Learning to eat healthy isn't about perfection — it's about persistence. Remember — bad habits won't be broken in a day, but good habits are built one day at a time!

DVDs, books and more by Denise Austin

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Keep Your Heart Healthy!

DVDs and books by Denise Austinby Denise Austin
If you were asked what the number-one cause of death among American women is, you'd probably say breast cancer, right? If so, you'd be wrong. It's cardiovascular disease that holds that title, and on average, 1 out of every 2.6 American women loses her life to this silent killer.

There are things you can do to prevent heart disease, though — including quitting smoking if you smoke, eating a healthy diet, and losing weight if you're overweight. Physical activity also plays a crucial role in keeping the heart healthy, and the American Heart Association recommends exercising for 30 minutes each day at a moderate-intensity level. Your heart is a muscle, and like any other muscle, it needs sufficient exercise in order to stay fit and healthy! Regular exercise helps you to maintain healthy blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. It's the key to maintaining a healthy weight.

DVDs, books and more by Denise Austin

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mind your manners at the gym

1. Take A Towel
2. Put Equipment back in its place
3. Don’t expose yourself
4. Do not chat with other gym members while they are exercising
5. Don’t drop weights
6. Don’t hog equipment
7. Got a cold? Stay Away
8. Keep the noise in check
9. Mirrors are there for a reason
10. Don’t leave your dirty clothes in your locker

Read more

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Get the exercise ball rolling with these DVDs

10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!
Perfect for someone who doesn't have a lot of time for strength training.

Bell Express 15 Cardio Fitness Kit
This DVD comes with a stability ball and jump rope.

Billy Blanks Tae Bo Amped

The new set of five workout DVDs comes with a weighted bar. Blanks' energy is contagious.

Get Ripped & Chiseled With Jari Love
She does tons of repetitions, so you really exhaust your muscles.

Jennifer Kries New Body Pilates
Informative and very well-taught, this workout is a great introduction to Pilates.

Ellen Barrett Fat Burning Fusion
The fun hybrid barefoot workout integrates muscle toning with ballet, Pilates, balance and athletic movements.

Rockin' Body Cardio Jam by Michelle Dozois
This is great straightforward cardio workout with no tricky choreography.

Element Yoga for Beginners
Clear directions and a fluid series of easy-to understand postures make this a perfect class for someone new to yoga.

Jeanette Jenkins: The Hollywood Trainer 21 Day Total Body Circuit Workout
Great for beginners. The moves are all ones you've seen before crunches, push-ups, lunges but have modifications to keep them from being boring.

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How to Elevate Oatmeal to Superfood - RealAge

"Drink a glass of this with your oatmeal to help elevate your breakfast to superfood status: orange juice. Why? The nutrients in oatmeal and OJ work synergistically to provide double the benefits you'd expect from simply adding their powers together."

Read more

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

20 Years of Expanding USA Waistlines

Fit Nation: The Obesity Fight - Special Reports from

Obesity in USA from 1985 to 2006. Graphic displays a map with the transformation of obesity statistics for all 50 USA states.

Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 0r more. For a person 5'4" that is approximately 30 lbs. over healthy weight.

Here is something to ponder:
In 2005, CDC scientists revealed that the risk of mortality does not rise in a meaningful way
until BMI reaches 35. Some interpret that to mean that a BMI of 35, not 25, should be the cutoff between healthy and unhealthy weight. In 2005, only 6 percent of the adult population had a BMI of over 35, compared to 57 percent who had a BMI over 25.

Check out
Fat Devils and Moral Panics
News Reporting on Obesity Science
October 2005

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Alzheimer's helmet therapy hope

BBC NEWS | Health | Alzheimer's helmet therapy hope: "In tests in people with dementia using infra-red lasers, eight out of nine people showed some improvement, said Dr Gordon Dougal, a GP and director of Virulite, a medical research company based in County Durham.

Infra-red helmet

Trial participants will wear the helmet for 10 minutes a day

However, in order to safely deliver the treatment through the scalp, he developed a helmet which bathes the brain in low levels of infra-red light and would only need to be worn for 10 minutes a day."


Body fat scales, analyzers and calipers

There is much disagreement about how to best measure body fat. I preferred using calipers, when I had a good personal trainer who measured me once a month. Interestingly, the numbers came out pretty close to those I received at

The one problem with the website is you need to take a couple measurements, waist and forearm for men.

The problem with calipers is that you need the same well trained person to do your measurement every time. Otherwise your reading will be less accurate, and not useful for comparison with previous measurements.

The problem with scales and other body fat analyzers is that you need to use them according to their directions, usually the first thing in the morning. Their advantage is that you have a number to go by, without a lot of caliper or tape measurements. Then you can see if you are going up or down in body fat, even if it isn't 100% accurate.

Whatever your device indicates as your body fat, work toward a more healthy percentage. It could be that your body fat percentage is too low!

Check out body fat scales, analyzers and calipers at


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Some Fats Make You Hungrier

Fri, 18 May 2007 by

That fatty bacon cheeseburger may be loaded with calories, but at least it stomps out your hunger. Right?

Not necessarily. Compared to low-fat meals with the same number of calories, meals high in saturated fat will produce lower levels of leptin -- a hormone that turns off appetite. Here's how to get leptin levels up.

All fats, saturated and unsaturated, have 9 calories per gram. Because they provide equal amounts of energy, you'd think all fats satisfy your appetite in the same way. But they don't.

To get leptin levels up, you need to eat healthful unsaturated fats. You'll find them in nuts, seeds, olives, fish, avocados, and vegetable oils.

And while you're cutting back on hunger-amping sat fat, watch your alcohol intake, too. Alcohol also inhibits leptin.

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Achieve success with quotes by Bonnie Blair

Five-time Olympic gold medalist speed skater Bonnie Blair said,
I never could have achieved the success that I have without setting physical activity and health goals.

I'm definitely going to miss hearing the sound of that gun.

My parents put skates on me at age 2, the way it should be if you're serious, and I've always liked it.

No matter what the competition is, I try to find a goal that day and better that goal.

The sport I love has taken me around the world and shown me many things.

Winning doesn't always mean being first. Winning means you're doing better than you've ever done before.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stay Safe in the Sun!

Playing in the sun

Hot, sunny weather can be dangerous. We enjoy exercising outdoors, but high temps can be dangerous without proper precautions. Experts at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommend lowering your risk of heat injury. Keep their tips in mind when you play outside:

  • Drink plenty of water. Don't wait until you become thirsty — keep yourself hydrated throughout your workout.
  • Take breaks, especially if you're trying a new activity or if you weren't active during the colder months.
  • Schedule your workouts in the morning or evening, when it's cooler. Avoid working out during the hottest part of the day — between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Slow your pace on hot days. Your workout may take longer, but heat exhaustion can come on quickly when you exercise at an intense pace. Take it easy!
  • Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics; light colors will help reflect the sun's heat.
  • If you suspect heat exhaustion, stop what you are doing immediately. Move to a shaded area, remove excess clothing, fan or wet your body to reduce your core temperature, and seek medical care immediately.

Keep safe outdoors, and stay cool this summer!

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Ten tips to keep fit at home

The American Heart Association gives us these ten tips to stay fit at home. Their expert's tell us it's convenient, comfortable and safe to work out at home. It allows our children to see us active, setting a great example for them and our spouse. We can combine exercise with other activities, such as watching TV. If we buy good quality exercise equipment, it's a one-time expense that the whole family can enjoy. It makes it easy for us to have short workouts several times a day.
  1. Do housework ourself instead of hiring someone else to do it.
  2. Work in the garden or mow the grass, not with a riding mower! Rake your leaves, prune, dig and pick up trash.
  3. Take a short walk before breakfast, after dinner or both! Start with 5-10 minutes and work up to 30 minutes.
  4. Walk or bike to the corner store.
  5. Pick up the pace when walking. Walk a hilly route. When watching TV, sitting up. Walk on your treadmill or pedal on your stationary bicycle while watching TV. Hide your remote controls. Don't ask someone to bring you a drink, get up off the couch and get it yourself.
  6. Stand while talking on the telephone.
  7. Walk your dog.
  8. Park farther away and walk the extra distance with a smile. Wear comfortable shoes and sneak in an extra lap or two around the mall.
  9. Stretch to reach things in high places and squat or bend to look at items at floor level.
  10. Keep your exercise equipment repaired and use it!

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Exercise: The Mood Booster!

DVDs and books by Denise Austin

by Denise Austin

While it's not news that exercise is good for the body, researchers say it's also good for the brain! One study divided a group of depressed patients into two sets — those who walked on a regular basis and those who took medication. To their surprise, researchers found those who walked recovered from their blues just as well as the antidepressant group!

Even if you're not clinically depressed, regular exercise will strengthen your mental reserves against the stresses and strains of everyday life. While scientists don't understand exactly why this is, they know exercise sets in motion many chemical reactions in your body that work to your benefit. So when you're feeling overwhelmed, try taking a walk instead of a nap! You'll be surprised how much calmer and in control you'll feel!

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