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October 2013 Archives

How long should you workout each day to see results?

If you had to guess, do you think an overweight adult would lose more weight by exercising 30 minutes a day or an hour a day?

Common sense would tell you that the longer you workout, the more weight you lose. A new study, however, has shown that this may not be the case. The study’s results show that just half an hour of exercise a day may be just as effective—if not more so than a whole hour of exercise each day.

If you’re overweight and are seeking to lose weight through diet and exercise, keep reading. You might just save yourself a lot of time and lose yourself a lot of weight.

Study Results

When 60 overweight men were followed for three months as they sought to lose weight, researchers were surprised at their findings. During the study, 20 of the men performed moderate aerobic exercise each day for half an hour, 20 underwent a high-intensity exercise routine that included activities such as cycling or running for an entire hour each day, and another 20 men remained sedentary. The men all wore calorie counters and heart rate monitors.

What did this study show? After 13 weeks, the overweight men who did 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day lost, on average, 8 pounds.

Those men who did high-intensity exercised for an hour only lost an average of 6 pounds.

Baffling results to say the least. Somehow those who exercised for less time burned more calories than would be expected for the type and amount of exercise they performed. The men who exercised longer and more vigorously lost less weight than expected for the number of calories they burned.

Why would this be the case? There are two theories. One possible explanation may be that the men who only exercised for half an hour had more desire and energy to do more physical activity throughout the rest of the day.

A second possible explanation could be that the men who exercised for longer periods of time were hungrier during the day since their bodies required more energy. They may have compensated by eating calories that countered the calories they burned.

Can You Trust It?

Interesting as this research may be, these are the findings of just one study. Other studies show different results. Obviously, more research is needed in this area, and you may not want to change your routine just yet.

But remember that each person loses weight at a different rate. To stay healthy and maintain your weight, aim to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week. Then remain active during the rest of the day.

The best exercise to help you lose weight is whatever exercise you’ll actually do on a regular basis. If your main method of exercise is running and you hate to run, then you probably won’t have much luck sticking with it. Your best bet is to find a few cardio exercises that you enjoy and then rotating them and varying the intensity.

If strength training is your exercise of choice, know that you burn more calories during cardio exercise, but they are both part of a well-balanced exercise routine. Also take comfort knowing that by adding extra muscle, you’ll be burning more calories when you’re not working out.

You my need to experiment to find what weight loss strategy gives you the results you desire. A personal trainer can help you determine how much exercise you need and what types of exercises are best for you to reach and maintain your weight loss goal.

Always remember that your goal is attainable! Whether you exercise 30 minutes, an hour, or two hours a day, you can reach your goal.

Time Matters

There are 24 hours in a day, 168 in a week, and 61,320 in a year. How many are you spending to work out?

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The numerous health benefits of garlic might be worth the bad breath.

A rose may look beautiful, but what if it smelled awful? The same goes for garlic. Earning the nickname “stinking rose,” this herb may not be beautiful, its odor is anything but pleasant, but its health-promoting effects can’t be denied. Related to other allium vegetables such as onions and leeks, garlic contains a high amount of sulfur compounds. Sulfur may smell pungent, but the body uses it for optimal functioning. In addition to sulfur compounds, garlic is also high in essential vitamins and minerals including manganese, selenium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.

Don’t let the fear of bad breath keep you from enjoying the flavor of garlic. You may be missing out on amazing health benefits.

Good for Your Heart

Garlic has been found effective in treating many conditions related to the cardiovascular system. From high blood pressure, heart attack, and high cholesterol to heart disease and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), garlic fights it all.

The sulfides in garlic work to dilate blood vessels and have the potential to reduce your blood pressure by seven to eight percent. Garlic can also lower your blood triglycerides and total cholesterol by five to 15 percent. And the compounds found in garlic protect your blood vessels from damage and inflammation, reducing the risk of plaque buildup and heart attack.

Decrease Your Risk of Cancer

The unique properties of garlic have been found effective in warding off certain types of gastrointestinal cancers, such as stomach, colon, esophageal, pancreatic, and rectal cancers. All these benefits, however, are experienced when individuals eat garlic—not when they take garlic supplements.

Garlic has also been used to treat prostate and bladder cancers. Currently, research is ongoing in garlic’s role in reducing one’s risk of breast and lung cancers.

What is it about garlic that lends such powerful effects? It may be its antibacterial properties, the way it limits cancer-causing substances, its ability to enhance and repair cells, or its power to induce cell death.

Treat Skin Infections

Many people have found garlic oil or gels containing garlic helpful in treating fungal infections such as jock itch, ringworm, and athlete’s foot. In fact, garlic seems as effective as over-the-counter anti-fungal creams when it comes to the treatment of these common maladies.

Some folks promote garlic’s ability to treat corns and warts, but there’s insufficient evidence that garlic is truly helpful.

Other Possible Benefits

Garlic’s strengths don’t stop there. Many people eat extra garlic as treatment for colds, flu, asthma, bronchitis, coughs, fever, headache, stomachache, diabetes, hay fever, gout, rheumatism, stress, fatigue, snakebites, and as a natural tick repellent.

How Much?

To receive the full health benefits of garlic, the World Health Organization recommends adults eat approximately one clove of garlic, 300 to 1,000 milligrams of garlic extract, 0.4 to 1.2 grams of garlic powder, or 2 to 5 milligrams of garlic oil a day.

In order to get the goodness from garlic, you’ve got to eat it when the clove has been crushed or chopped. This method may release the unwanted, strong smell, but it also initiates the chemical reactions that produce the good sulfides. Wait 10 to 15 minutes after crushing or chopping before exposing the garlic to heat so the compounds have time to form.

Chopped garlic bought in jars and garlic stored in the freezer both still maintain their potent sulfur compounds. Aged garlic may not smell as strong and therefore be more appealing, but remember that this type of garlic loses its potency and is less effective than fresher garlic.

Final Tips

Before taking any supplements, including garlic, talk with your doctor. Garlic is known to interact with certain medications and may cause a dangerous reaction or cause the medication to lose its potency. If you decide to take a garlic supplement, find one that is coated so it will be able to pass through your stomach and into your intestines before dissolving. And to neutralize the sulfur compounds, wash down garlic with a glass of milk.

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Looking to shed a few pounds? Who isn’t? By making a few small changes in the types of food you eat, you can save your waistline from a lot of calories. Many foods have simple substitutes that taste similar, if not better. Take a close look at what you typically eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Then think of what you could swap for lower calorie options. You may be surprised.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Breakfast

What does the first meal of the day look like for you? Do you even eat breakfast? Well, if losing weight is on your to-do list, you should have breakfast each morning. If you typically grab a sweet roll, muffin, or donut, switch to an English muffin or whole grain bagel with light cream cheese.

Granola may sound healthy, but it can be high in calories. Go for some bran flakes or reduced fat granola in low fat yogurt. For something hot, grits and oatmeal are great options that you can prepare on the quick.

Rather than using one- or two-percent milk on your cereal, save on calories and go for skim. Better yet, try unsweetened almond milk, a tasty option that has 62 fewer calories than one-percent milk.

Eggs and bacon on the menu? Swap the real stuff for Canadian bacon or lean ham. Also, only use egg whites or egg substitutes.

In the event you can’t do without your morning coffee and you enjoy creamer or half and half, you’ll need to make yet another breakfast change. Swap your creamer and half and half for low-fat milk or fat-free dry milk powder.

Lunch

In today’s fast-paced world, eating out for lunch has become the norm. But you should know that it’s much easier to eat healthily and watch what you eat if you fix your own food. So pack up your lunch and you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.

For sandwiches, choose low-fat cold cuts and reduced fat cheese. Rather than tuna packed in oil, buy the kind that’s packed in water, and then rinse to reduce the sodium content. Regular mayonnaise is hard to pass up, but you should recognize that it’s high in calories. Use light mayonnaise to reduce your calorie intake. Instead of using two slices of bread, use one piece of whole-wheat flatbread and reduce your calories by 120.

Salads are a great lunch option, but calories can add up even on a salad. Drizzle on reduced-calorie or fat-free dressing or make your own with lemon juice, herbs, and wine vinegar. Cheeses, nuts, and croutons are all yummy salad toppings, but like so many things, they’re high in calories. So pile on the veggies instead. Be picky about what you add to your salad.

Dinner

The last meal of the day is usually the biggest. Be on the lookout for ways to cut back. Here are some easy dinner swaps.

Fat from meat can pile on extra calories fast. Swap out regular ground beef for extra lean ground round or ground turkey, and eat chicken or turkey without the skin. Rather than a 4-ounce rib-eye steak, choose a lean pork chop that’s about the same size and save 182 calories. Save even more calories by changing your cooking technique. Rather than frying your meat, grill, bake, or broil it instead.

When it comes to sauces, always choose red sauce over white. Replace sour cream with low-fat yogurt. You can save an amazing 160 calories by eating one cup of tofu shirataki noodles rather than a cup of cooked pasta.

Snacks

When everything else seems to be right in place, snacking still has the power to cause your diet to fail. Calories pile on fast with mindless or frequent snacking. Stick to single servings or pre-portioned snacks to keep your snacking safe.
Also, swap out baked goods or candies for fresh fruit. Dried fruits are healthy, but they have up to four times as many calories as fresh fruit. Rather than going with the full-fat snack foods, choose low-fat options, such as cheese sticks yogurt, and crackers.

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