Blogs > Simply Fit

Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Sweet Secret of Candy

At this time of year, the health conscious warn that there is more to fear than just the goblins and ghouls who will soon make their presence. It's candy season, and that means a shock to the system as excess sugar makes its way into our homes by the bagfuls. But fret not, this sweet temptation doesn't have to be a threat. Its wicked ways can be tamed; and, when eaten in the right quantity and form, it may even benefit your health, according to SELF Magazine.

This month, SELF Magazine's website has posted six ways that candy can enhance your health. Surprisingly, weight management is one of them. Findings from the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that chocolate and candy consumers had lower Body Mass Index values and smaller waist circumference measurements than nonconsumers. Their risk for elevated diastolic blood pressure was also 14 percent lower and chocolate consumers had greater levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (a.k.a. the "good" cholesterol). Note, however, that these findings do not imply that over consumption of candy is good. Rather, it highlights that when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, an occasional treat can promote health. For the full list of health benefits from candy consumption, visit the website of SELF Magazine.

A few guilt-free suggestions given by SELF contributing editors are listed below. For the complete list, visit SELF Mag online.
  • 2 Snack Size Almond Joys (160 calories)
  • 22 Tasty Brand Organic Fruit Snacks (150 calories)
  • 4 Dove Chocolate Promises (168 calories)
Press Release: SELF Magazine Public Relations Department; October 24, 2011

Nutrition Research; February 2011; Abstract: "Candy Consumption was not Associated with Body Weight Measurements..."; Carol E. O'neil et al.,.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Sensory Walk

Awaken your senses for good health with a sensory walk.

Perhaps it is the sound of the gently babbling brook nearby or the glorious scent released from the fallen leaves crunched underfoot. Maybe it is the brilliant sight of the burning bush as its boughs dance in the sunlight. Regardless of the cause, the effect is the same—an enlivened mind and body. Connecting and taking in the natural world around you can promote your well-being, especially when you make it a part of your walking routine.

Taking a sensory walk or hike allows you to experience the natural world in a personal way. It makes participation in exercise more enjoyable as well, because it shifts the focus from the amount of distance traversed to what can be gained and learned through your senses. Sensory walks provide many health benefits and can be taken anytime of year.

Sensory Walk Health Benefits
  • Improved Mood
  • Reduced Stress
  • Decreased Anxiety
  • Enhanced Personal Identity/Self-Esteem
  • Increased Energy/Reduced Fatigue
  • Improved Mental Focus/Attention
  • Increased Mental Clarity
  • Enhanced Creativity 
Tips for a Successful Sensory Walk
  • Make it social. Invite friends and family.
  • Bring binoculars or a magnifying glass to get a closer look at your surroundings.
  • Avoid areas surrounded by high automobile traffic, which may drown out the sounds of nature.
  • Journal your experience. Write down what you hear, see, smell, feel and taste.
Personal Sustainability; May 15th 2010; "This Side of Paradise: Discovering Why the Human Mind Needs Nature;" Eric Jaffe

University of Michigan Michigan Today; "A Walk in the Woods;" John Lofy

SimpleOrganic.Net; July 26, 2010; "The Benefits of Getting Into Nature With Your Kids;" Eren;

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Exercise, Aging and Your Health

Good health acquired from regular exercise provides older adults with the opportunity to enjoy quality time with their grandchildren.

Decreased stamina, memory loss, poor balance...these are a result of "old" age, right? Or are they? Test your knowledge about the effects of the aging process and exercise on your body and mind with this quiz. You may be surprised as to what is really within your control.

A. Falls are an inevitable occurrence as you age.
  1. True
  2. False 
B. Individuals who are 65 years-of-age and older are too old to gain benefits from an exercise program.
  1. True
  2. False
C. Regular exercise will have no effect on cognitive decline later in life.
  1. True
  2. False
D. Older adults can gain health benefits from bouts of exercise that are as short as 10 minutes in duration.
  1. True
  2. False
E. Healthy older adults can safely participate in vigorous-intensity exercise.
  1. True
  2. False


A. False. Personal and lifestyle choices can greatly impact your risk for a fall, according to the National Institutes of Health Senior Health website (NIH Senior Health). In fact, the first line of defense in the prevention and treatment of falls and fractures is to engage in regular endurance, strength, balance and flexibility exercises. More...

B. False. Older adults at any age can benefit from regular exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine reports that individuals who are 65 years-of-age and older are able to experience a similar increase in their aerobic capacity (about 10 to 30 percent) from regular exercise, such as walking, compared to their younger counterparts. More...

C. False. The National Institute on Aging states that regular exercise can help you to coordinate and switch between tasks, formulate plans of action and disregard irrelevant information. Routine physical activity can also help you to keep your "working" memory (i.e., the ability to retain and process information over a short period of time). More...

D. True. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans issued by the federal government reports that health benefits can be obtained from exercise sessions that are only 10 minutes in duration; however, the guidelines stress that sessions of longer duration (e.g., 30 minutes) provide greater benefits. More...

E. True. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans states that healthy and fit adults who are 65 years-of-age and older are able to safely engage in vigorous-intensity exercises, such as jogging. The federal government recommends that older adults participate in vigorous-intensity exercises for approximately 75 minutes per week. (Note: individuals whose fitness levels and health conditions preclude participation in intense exercise can still obtain benefits by engaging in moderate-intensity exercises for 150 minutes per week. More...

Note: A physician's approval should be obtained prior to initiating an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current exercise regimen.

Labels: , , , , , ,