Would you like to be more physically active, but are unsure if you can do it because of your size? Large, small or somewhere in between, physical activity can give you more energy, lower your stress and help you feel better about yourself. If you feel self-conscious about exercising, try doing something in the comfort of your home, like gardening or dancing to music, or consider a walking group with friends that you are comfortable with. It is always a good idea to talk with your health care provider before starting any physical activity.
Many times people overestimate the calories they burn with exercise, and they may reward themselves by eating more. If you run for an hour and then go out for a large high-calorie coffee drink with a large muffin, you probably consumed more calories than you burned. This may not be a problem if you are trying to maintain your current weight, but if your goal is to shed a few pounds, be cautious of feeling "entitled" to eat more because of your exercise. You could sabotage your efforts.
How much fruit should you eat? Depending on your calorie needs, current government recommendations suggest eating between 1 and 2.5 cups of fruit per day. What counts as a cup? A cup of fruit equals 1 whole piece of most fresh fruits; 1 cup of chopped fresh fruit or fruit packed in water or its own juices; 1 cup of 100 percent fruit juice; or ½ cup of dried fruit.
Exercise is crucial for building strong bones. Weight-bearing activity determines bone strength, shape and mass. For children and teenagers, some of the best weight-bearing activities include team sports (e.g., basketball, volleyball, soccer and softball). Studies show the absence of physical activity, especially for long periods, results in a loss of bone mass. Making sure children and teenagers get enough calcium (1300 mg per day for ages 9 to 18), preferably through calcium-rich foods, is also essential to bone development and overall health.
There are 336 30-minute blocks of time in one week. The American Heart Association recommends that you commit five or more "blocks" to exercise. Don't have a full 30 minutes? Divide your time into two or three segments of 10-15 minutes per day and you will still receive the healthy benefits of exercise.
Tempeh is a tender cake of cooked soybeans made of all whole soy beans or combined with grains, legumes and seeds. It has a nutty, mushroom-like flavor and can be found in the freezer, refrigerator or fresh produce section of your grocery store. Try tempeh as a healthy replacement for meat in stews, casseroles, grilled sandwiches, kabobs or stir-fry. Marinated or barbecued tempeh makes a great main dish.
Tempeh is an excellent source of dietary fiber, soy protein, and also a good source of folic acid, potassium, and iron.
Did you know that pets can suffer from heatstroke? Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice that your pet is displaying any of these symptoms after being in the summer heat: excessive panting, staring, anxious expression, refusal to obey commands, warm and dry skin, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, or collapse. If you suspect heatstroke, stay calm and act quickly by applying towels soaked in cool water to hairless areas of the body to help bring your pet to a more stable state.
Taking one- to two-minute breaks from sitting throughout the day could help trim waistlines and reduce levels of C-reactive protein, an important inflammatory marker for heart disease, according to a study in the European Heart Journal. This study examined the health effects of prolonged sitting in sedentary and active people. If you find yourself sitting at your desk or in front of the computer for hours at a time, try scheduling brief walking breaks into your day or even just get up for a minute or two.
Running on a treadmill is generally easier than running outside because there is less wind resistance and variation in terrain. To get the same workout as you would if you were running outside on level ground, set the grade (incline) to 1 percent. Used to running on varying types of terrain? Try adjusting the treadmill incline a bit higher for part of your workout and then bring it back down to 1 percent again.
The popularity of children's sports continues to grow as parents recognize the benefits of having their children participate in sports and recreational activities. But parents need to take necessary precautions. More than 2.3 million children ages 14 and under suffer medically treated sports injuries each year. It is estimated that half of all sports- and recreation-related injuries can be prevented.
Getting a physical, using protective equipment (e.g., helmets, face masks, shin guards, knee pads and mouth guards), staying hydrated, warming up/cooling down and not playing when injured are all important for playing it safe.