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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. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tips to Stay Healthy Over the Holidays

The season is upon us when homes become all a buzz with conversation and laughter as families and friends gather together to give thanks for life and for one another. This time is filled with joy, but it is also full of temptations that can derail your efforts to be healthy. Fortunately, you can still enjoy the sweet and savory treats of the season without negating your healthy ways. By following the suggestions below from Leah Britt, a personal trainer at the five star fitness boot camp resort, Premier Fitness Camp in Park City, Utah, you will be able to stay on track this holiday season:
  • Remember Your Goals To Stay Healthy: Write down your goals and note any obstacles that may interfere with them during the holidays. Next, come up with a few solutions to help you stay the course. Then, put them into action.
  • Portion Control: The key is to balance your calories. It is okay to eat pie, but keep it to one slice (if you can't decide between the pecan and pumpkin, take a half slice of each).
  • Schedule Your Workouts in Advance: If you do not specifically plan for exercise, it can be all too easy to say "I'll just take the day off," especially amidst the hub-bub of the holiday season. To prevent this from happening, set aside a specific time of day that you will stop doing everything else so that you can go exercise. Or, make exercise a part of your celebration (e.g., walk/run in a holiday road race, etc.).
  • Be Selfish With Your Health: Often, peer pressure is prevalent during celebrations. Don't allow others to tempt you in to getting second and third helpings. Put your well-being first. It is okay to say "No thank you, I am full."

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Alcohol Drinkers May Be More Likely To Exercise

If you drink alcohol regularly, chances are that you engage in exercise more often than your teetotaler counterparts. A study published in the September/October 2009 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion found that drinking alcohol was associated with a 10 percent increase in the likelihood of engaging in vigorous exercise for both men and women. Researchers from the University of Miami and Cornell University studied 230,856 individuals between the ages of 21 and 65 who were part of the 2005 cross-section of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System--an annual, state-administered telephone survey devised to assess behavioral risk factors in the U.S. adult population.

Subjects were divided into four categories based on their frequency of alcohol consumption:
  • Abstainers: No alcohol consumption within the 30 days leading up to the test date.
  • Light Drinkers: Females who consumed 1 to 14 alcoholic drinks and males who drank 1 to 29 alcoholic drinks in the preceding 30 days.
  • Moderate Drinkers: Females who drank 15 to 45 alcoholic drinks and males who consumed 30 to 75 alcoholic beverages in the 30 days prior to the interview date.
  • Heavy Drinkers: Females who consumed more than 46 alcoholic beverages and males who drank more than 76 alcoholic drinks within the 30 days leading up to the test date.
The results of the study showed that:
  • Women drinkers exercised approximately 7.2 minutes more per week than female abstainers and that male drinkers exercised an estimated 5.5 minutes more than their teetotaler counterparts.
  • Ten extra drinks per month increased the likelihood of engaging in vigorous exercise by 2.0 percent.
  • Light, moderate and heavy drinkers exercised 5.7, 10.1 and 19.9 minutes more per week, respectively, than abstainers; and, they were 9.0, 14.3 and 13.7 percent, respectively, more likely to engage in vigorous exercise than their abstaining peers.
The researchers suggest the following causes of the positive relationship between alcohol drinking and exercise:
  • Risk-loving individuals follow a sensation-seeking lifestyle which could include both heavy drinking and participation in high-risk physical activities (e.g., mountaineering, deep sea diving, etc.,).
  • Group sports participation often results in socializing post-game, which frequently includes gatherings where alcohol is served.
  • Knowledge that alcohol is highly caloric may result in engaging in exercise to offset the extra calories consumed.
Researchers' conclusion:
  • Although increased alcohol consumption is associated with a greater probability of engaging in health-promoting exercise, the risks of problematic drinking can outweigh the benefits of physical activity. Care still needs to be taken to drink in moderation and responsibly.
AM J Health Promot. 2009; 24(1): 2-10.

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