Now that the weather is cooler, it’s the perfect time for one of my favorite exercise activities – hiking. Hiking is wonderful for the body and the mind. You can get a great workout and forget your cares while spending time in nature. Here’s some advice for how to take your workout off the beaten path.
You’ve probably heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine.” It’s true that laughter does affect our health in a positive way. Do you know what else has a positive impact on our health? That’s right – exercise! Exercise is one of the most effective, accessible, and affordable “medicines” we can use. See why more and more doctors are “prescribing” exercise as means to cure what ails us.
Cable curls, barbell curls, chin-ups, concentration curls – these are just some of the exercises you can do for your biceps. But which ones are best? A recent study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) put eight biceps exercises to the test. The bottom line: concentration curls are king when it comes to developing stronger biceps; however, to improve your functional fitness, you’ll need to include other biceps exercises in your routine as well.
It’s hard not to be calorie-conscious these days. But should you count calories if you’re trying to lose weight? Some professionals say yes, and others say no. Personally, I’m in the “no” camp. I do believe it’s important to have an understanding of the caloric content of foods. However, instead of counting calories, I recommend focusing on getting the right number of servings of healthy foods from each food group. To decide whether or not calorie counting is right for you, see how two registered dieticians “weigh in” on the debate.
We get our calories from three main sources: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. But are all of these calories the same? According to the laws of thermodynamics, the answer is yes. However, the way the body breaks each type of calorie down and the subsequent effect those calories have on the body differs. Learn why it’s important to include all three macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein, and fat – in your diet.
Regular physical activity plays an important role in maintaining a healthy body weight and promoting good health. However, many of our modern conveniences have engineered physical activity right out of most people’s lives. While regular exercise is best, even small amounts of physical activity can provide positive health benefits. Here are eight ideas for increasing the opportunity to move throughout your day.
According to a study published in the Journal of Marketing, the answer is yes. Among participants who were watching their weight, people ate significantly more calories of a fitness-labeled snack versus the same snack with a regular label. These people also exercised less after eating the fitness-labeled snack. Read more about the sneaky way “fitness” foods can hinder your weight loss efforts.
Continuing on the mental health theme, did you know that fruit and vegetable consumption is tied to mental health? According to a recent study led by researchers at the University of Warwick Medical School in the UK, high and low mental well-being were typically associated with a participant’s intake of fruits and vegetables. The findings suggest that fruit and vegetable consumption may play a potential role as a driver of mental well-being.
Feeling stressed? Moderate exercise has been shown to have a significant effect on anxiety and mood. It reduces the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, stimulates the production of feel-good endorphins, and increases activity in the serotonergic system. So, whether you struggle with occasional anxiety or a diagnosable disorder, exercise can help. Here are three tips to get you started.
Lisa Fleming is a professional Health Coach who is certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE). She is the author of "Exercising Mom." She lives in Virginia with her husband and three children.