Do you remember the Hula Hoop? I am telling my age, but I used to love the Hula Hoop as a child. A couple of years ago, I was reintroduced to the Hula Hoop. This reintroduction centered around hooping for exercise and weight loss as opposed to fun. I purchased a weighted Hula Hoop. Yes, a weighted and grooved Hula Hoop. My entire abdominal area hurt like the dickens for days after my first session. The Hula Hoop was retired to the closet. LOL
My daughter found it yesterday and decided to use it. Tee hee hee. Today, I am nodding my head in understanding at seeing her grimace at every move… This Hula Hoop is no joke! I purchased my Hula Hoop (Sports Hoop, excuse me) here: http://www.sports-hoop.com/indmain_sportshoop.aspx
I jogalked 5.5 miles this evening, so “The Hoop” will have to wait until tomorrow. I definitely plan to give it another try. Hooping will be the next addition to my exercise regimen. I refuse to be defeated! LOL
Jen Moore lost 40 lbs. in 3 months after beginning a Hula Hooping exercise program. Here is her story…
Weight loss with a twist: How one woman lost 143lbs…by learning how to hula hoop
Losing weight is always a question of mind over matter but for one morbidly obese wife and mother, getting healthy was easy and fun.
Jen Moore, 31, weighed 288 lbs. when she took up hula hooping as an effort to slim down. Now, thanks to the childhood sport, she is a trim 145 lbs. and has become an instructor for the company that helped her shed the weight.
Mrs. Moore, who measures 5ft. 5in., credits the low-impact activity with toning her core right from the beginning when she found she had to keep bending over to pick up the fallen hoop from the ground.
Let’s twist again: Jen Moore, 31, lost 143 lbs. when she took up hula hooping and changed her diet.
Writing about her experience for the Huffington Post she explained how within three months of learning the skill, she had lost a whopping 40 lbs. and had begun to enjoy the twisting thanks to instructional DVD’s from Hooopnotica.
Mrs. Moore’s fitness kick began in 2008 after she was asked to leave a fairground ride when the safety bar would not close over her stomach.
Addicted to eating, she and her husband, Keith, had to re-examine their approach to food and the way they mindlessly ate out of boredom, as well as their lazy lifestyle.
Recalling past attempts to lose weight the hula-hoop instructor said: ‘We had both tried dieting in the past; I was the queen of yo-yo dieting. It just didn’t work.’
But after the humiliation of the fairground incident, Mrs. Moore was determined to lose weight and provide a better example for her then baby girl.
Happy family: The couple and their two children now approach their eating from a different perspective and enjoy eating fruits and vegetables instead of chips and sugary foods.
‘That day, I pledged to return to the theme park with my child the following year,’ she remembered. ‘This time as the healthier, slimmer, hot mom!’
Mrs. Moore started gently and privately, taking a hoop to the local basketball court and trying to familiarize herself with the movement.
‘It took me over two weeks just to be able to keep the hoop spinning around my waist, but from day one, I felt a tremendous difference in my core strength, confidence and energy,’ she gushed on the healthy living blog.
The reinvigorated exercise fan also changed her diet, splitting her Starbucks skinny Frappuccinos with her husband and reaching for grapes instead of chips when she was reading or watching television.
Explaining the difference in her routine she said: ‘We eat healthy now and make sure our kids do, too. We are cultivating our kids’ taste buds to like healthy foods. We don’t want our kids to become obese and suffer like we did for so long. We are empowering our kids to make the right food choices.
I take Epsom Salts baths for the relaxing feeling it provides and the therapy it provides for sore muscles. Magnesium has many more benefits for us that sore muscle therapy and relaxation.
Take a look at this very informative article:
I could easily write a whole book on Magnesium and its very powerful healing properties. Indeed, many books have been dedicated to the subject, and I encourage everyone to read them.
If you think that the amount of Magnesium you obtain from your food is sufficient without supplementation, then I would say thinking is for people who don’t know. Be sure by having it tested. And when you do have it tested, aim to have optimum levels of Magnesium, not just meeting the minimum.
Remember that even organic soils are depleted of minerals. And non-organic farming has virtually no nutrients in it. Furthermore, there are many ways in which Magnesium is lost from the body, e.g. alcohol, coffee, black tea, grains, soy, most pharmaceutical drugs, calcium supplements.
Regular supplementation is a reliable way to boost your magnesium levels. For more information on what kinds of magnesium supplements are well absorbed and utilized, see my website.
Benefits of Magnesium:
1. Better sleep – The sleep regulating hormone melatonin is disturbed when Magnesium is deficient. Furthermore, Magnesium brings balance and controls stress hormones. Stress and tension are often reasons why people suffer from insomnia in the first place.
2. Relaxes the nervous system – Serotonin, which relaxes the nervous system and elevates mood, is dependent on Magnesium.
3. Bigger, stronger muscles – Magnesium allows the body to produce more Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1), which is a major contributor to the growth and strength of muscles. Furthermore, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the cell’s energy store, and is created with help from Magnesium.
4. Better flexibility – Magnesium loosens tight muscles. Without Magnesium, muscles do not relax properly and cramps occur. Magnesium is important for flexibility, because low Magnesium results in a buildup of lactic acid, causing pain and tightness.
5. Bone integrity and strength – Magnesium helps to fix calcium properly. It may blow some people’s mind that the calcium supplements they’re taking are not only useless, but are actually contributing to osteoporosis! There are actually about eighteen essential nutrients that contribute to bone health; Magnesium is definitely one of the most essential, because it stimulates a particular hormone called calcitonin. And, it also suppresses a hormone called parathyroid that breaks down bone.
6. Remineralizes teeth – Magnesium deficiency causes an unhealthy balance of phosphorous and calcium in saliva, which damages teeth.
7. Alkalizes the body – Magnesium helps return the body’s pH balance. Magnesium reduces lactic acid, which is partly responsible for post-exercise pain (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
8. Hydrates – Magnesium is a necessary electrolyte essential for proper hydration.
9. Helps to relieve constipation – Magnesium can be used to cleanse the bowels of toxins.
10. Enzyme function – Enzymes are protein molecules that stimulate every chemical reaction in the body. Magnesium is required to make hundreds of these enzymes work and assists with thousands of others.
11. Diabetes – Magnesium enhances insulin secretion, which facilitates sugar metabolism. Without Magnesium, glucose is not able to transfer into cells. Glucose and insulin build up in the blood, causing various types of tissue damage, including the nerves in the eyes.
There are many other benefits of Magnesium: It helps prevent stroke, heart disease, period pain, and more. You can check out my website for further information on Magnesium and how exactly to increase magnesium levels effectively.
Published July 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM
About Marcus Julian Felicetti
Marcus became a Yoga teacher soon after discovering Yoga at University. His classes are fun and passionate and often intense. They offer students the chance to go deep within and connect with their breath and release their emotions. Marcus communicates his love of yoga through guiding each student with insight and compassion, weaving ancient wisdom with simplicity and an emphasis on the student’s experience. His primary objective is to teach a system of yoga that fully integrates the body, mind and spirit, and channels that energy to its highest potential and
purpose. Marcus continues to grow his own yoga practice everyday while passionate about helping others connect to theirs. He teaches private one-on-one yoga in Sydney.
Facebook: Bodhi Yoga
If you are like me, you struggle with adequate water consumption. I do very well some days, but always seem to fall sort of the recommended 64 ounces. It’s not that I am drinking soda or fruit juice (Coffee, yes), I just cannot seem to consume that amount of water. It makes me full. Our bodies are 70% water and it is important to replace lost fluids to prevent dehydration and a host of other serious ailments. You can survive without food, but not without water.
I have decided that I have been trying to consume 64 ounces at once, failing, then giving up. I can consume this amount when hiking with no problem, otherwise it’s an uphill battle. So, I will try to implement some of the ideas in the article below; another challenge for myself. Drink the darn water, it’s good for you T! How much water do you consume daily?
10 Tips for Drinking More Water
By Roxy Bargoz
I hate to pry, but I have to ask: is your urine clear? If not, chances are, you’re not drinking enough water. We’ve all probably heard plenty about the importance of drinking water. And you might already know about the 8×8 rule of thumb (try to drink eight 8-oz glasses of water a day – and even more if you’re working up a sweat or drinking alcohol). And while I’ve always bought into this advice, what I’ve struggled with is actually doing it.
Here are 10 tips that have helped me win the battle against dehydration:
1. Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning. You’re groggy, your mouth is dry, you need a pick-me-up. Instead of going straight for the coffee (which is my modus operandi, don’t get me wrong), drink a nice, cold, refreshing glass of water first.
2. Carry a water bottle with you at all times and/or keep one at your desk at work. If you have a water bottle literally at your finger tips, you might find yourself unconsciously drinking more water throughout the day.
3. Substitute ice water for soda at lunch (or dinner or any time during the day). Kill two birds with one stone – eliminate that unhealthy soda from your diet and get more water into your system.
4. When the afternoon snack attack strikes, drink a glass of water instead. You might even find that the water quells your craving.
5. Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before every meal. This is an aspirational practice for me. I find it pretty difficult to remember to do this on a regular basis. But when I do, I notice that I don’t chow down as much when I sit down to eat my meal.
6. Go one-for-one at happy hour. When you’re enjoying a cocktail or two at happy hour or dinner or poolside, try to drink at least one glass of water (or, even just half a glass) for every alcoholic drink you take down. (It’s a great way to prevent a hangover the next day too).
7. Drink water with lemon. Let’s face it – water just doesn’t tantalize our taste buds like other drinks do. Try squeezing lemon in your water for a little extra kick. In the interest of full disclosure, this never actually worked for me (see #10 below), but it might work for you.
8. Make it a challenge. Being the type-A New Yorker that I am, I love to take on a good challenge. So if you’re like me and love a little friendly competition, make a bet with yourself (“Self, I bet you can’t drink 4 glasses of water today”) see if you can beat it. You can start low and gradually increase your target.
9. Take baby steps. If you’re struggling to drink even one glass of water per day (which is the point at which I started this uphill battle), going straight for the gold on day one might leave you feeling lousy and defeated. So try to gradually increase your water consumption each day. Maybe you set a goal to drink a glass and a half today. Keep this up for, say, 5 days and then add another half a glass to the equation. And so on.
10. Form a habit. I used to hate drinking water. It just didn’t appeal to me and a couple of drops of lemon juice didn’t really make it any better. But, taking baby step each day, I just forced myself to do it. And slowly but surely, I grew accustomed to it and even began to enjoy it. Now drinking water constantly throughout the day comes second nature to me.
I wish you the best of luck in your journey towards clearer urine. You might find that integrating just one or two of these practices into your daily routine can make a big difference.
I have learned to stay away from the empty calories of sugary drinks. You can consume an enormous amount of calories during the day drinking soda, Gatorade, a Slurpee, bottled ice tea, or any one of the many other bottled drinks in the cooler at the convenience store or the vending machine.
Those calories definitely add up and can cause significant weight gain in addition to causing other adverse health effects on your body. Refined sugar is bad and has no nutritional value.
Processed food manufacturers put sugar into EVERYTHING. I read the nutritional labels of processed foods just for confirmation of what I already suspect -That it is sugar laden for no reason other than to hook the sugar-addicted public. Sugar is even added to food items with no apparent need for sweetness.
Consider the addition of sugar to these products:
Wendy’s Chili Seasoning (it comes in a golden pack that you add to the chili and it is supposed to be spicy, hot). The ingredients are Water, corn syrup, salt, distilled vinegar, natural flavors, xanthan gum and caramel color. What ingredient provides the heat? Why is corn syrup the second ingredient? Hmmm…..
Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt gives yogurt a bad name. Yogurt is nutritious, correct? I will let you be the judge after reviewing the ingredients of this yogurt. The ingredients are Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Low Fat Milk, Sugar, Strawberries, Modified Corn Starch, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Nonfat Milk, Kosher Gelatin, Citric Acid, Tricalcium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Pectin, Colored with Carmine, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3. This translates to:
Serving Size: 1 container/ 6oz / 170g
Calories: 170 (about 8% of your daily max)
Calories from Fat: 15 (less than 3% of your recommended daily max)
No fiber (shouldn’t strawberries have some though?)
Carbs – 33 grams (11% of the recommended daily value)
Sugars – 27 grams (more than 5 teaspoons!!!)
A few vitamins and minerals to boot.
Always read labels if you buy processed foods and avoid those with sugar. How much sugar to do consume? Reevaluate your sugar intake and get healthy.
I love coconut oil! Anyone that knows me will tell you that I use it for everything. I have found that the best coconut oil can be purchased from Tropical Traditions. It is extracted and packed in the Phillippines.
In a pinch, I purchased the unrefined, virgin coconut oil from Whole Foods Market. It is remarkably close, but more expensive. I have touted the benefits of coconut oil for hair here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h6eycjf29M&feature=player_embedded
Coconut Oil: One Saturated Fat You Should Eat
Posted by: John Douillard DC | December 16, 2009
The local people of Kerala, on the southwestern coast of India, claim that the earth’s very first coconut tree came from their soil. They called it the “tree of life” because every part of the tree—the root, the fruit, the leaves, the trunk—is utilized in a multitude of ways to support the health and survival of Kerala’s indigenous people.
Today, I want to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil, which has been prized as an Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Though ostracized in recent decades due to its “bad-for-you” saturated fat, science is finally convincing skeptical researchers that this ancient oil has unique and essential properties for optimal health.
Do the tremendous benefits of coconut oil have to come at the price of significant risks to heart health? Read on as I explore the science behind this question.
A Functional Food
In Ayurveda, the coconut is considered a “functional food,” meaning that beyond its many useful vitamins and nutrients, the coconut also functions as a medicine. Namely, the oil of the coconut was revered, by many Asian cultures, as a “cure-all”.
But in the west, with the discovery of cholesterol and its link to heart disease, all saturated fats (solid at room temperature) were deemed bad. Thus, coconut oil received a bad reputation, even though it has unique health giving properties that rival the Omega 3′s.
So, how can something with such high saturated fat content be good for you?
Saturated Fats 101
All fats are made up of fatty acids. The size of each fatty acid depends on how many carbon atoms with attached hydrogen atoms are linked together. Some are made up of a short chain of fatty acids (SCFA), others of a medium chain of fatty acids (MCFA) and others still are long chain fatty acids (LCFA).
The vast majority of fats and oils, whether they are saturated or unsaturated (liquid at room temperature), whether they are from a plant or animal source, are LCFA.
In fact, 98 to 100% of all fatty acids consumed are of the long chain fatty acid variety.
And as it turns out, it is the saturated LCFAs that present the health risks associated with “bad fats”, not the MCFA or SCFA saturated fats. In other words, not all saturated fats are bad!
What Makes Saturated LCFA’s so Toxic?
LCFA’s contained in oils such as corn, soy, sunflower, safflower and canola are difficult for the body to digest because of their size and the need for certain enzymes to break them down. As a result, they are easily stored as fat and not utilized or converted into energy.
Additionally, heating or cooking with LCFA’s damages the natural antioxidants inherent in these oils and makes them toxic to the body and a threat to the cardio-vascular system, most notably by raising blood pressure and damaging arterial walls.
How is Coconut Oil Different?
You guessed it: coconut oil is composed predominately of the very rare medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).
Virgin coconut oil has the highest concentration of MCFA outside human breast milk.
Because of its saturated structure and smaller size compared to LCFA’s, it is extremely stable and resistant to oxidation with at least a 2 year shelf life. In fact, many experts agree that coconut is the “only” oil that should be used for cooking, as it is the most heat stable.
Eat Up—These Saturated Fats Are Good for You
The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil are smaller and much more easily digested than LCFA’s. They are quickly broken down by the liver into energy so they don’t have to be stored as fat.
MCFA’s are readily available sources of energy that do not spike blood sugar or insulin levels. Studies show that coconut oil boosts metabolism, helps support weight loss, and balances thyroid function.
Consider this: farmers in the 1940′s tried adding coconut oil to their feed hoping to fatten up the cows. Instead, they became healthy and lean and resisted gaining any extra weight, so naturally they discontinued its use.
Though the oil of the coconut is the most medicinal form according to the studies cited in this article, check out these different ways of reaping some everyday benefits.
Hope for Alzheimer’s Disease
Some of the most exciting research on coconut oil was done by Kieran Clarke of Oxford University, on the benefits of coconut oil on Alzheimer’s disease.
Coconut oil, being a MCFA, is broken down into the liver and delivers energy into the bloodstream as ketones—an energy supply derived from fats. In Alzheimer’s, the brain becomes somewhat insulin resistant in that it cannot get its energy from sugar. Ketones provide an alternate source of fuel for the brain to use. More information is available in a new book, Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was A Cure?
Dr. Beverly Teter, a lipid biochemist and researcher, says that the benefits they are seeing with coconut oil on Alzheimer’s could potentially be applied to conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, ALS , epilepsy, dementia, even schizophrenia and autism.
Nearly 50% of the fatty acid in natural coconut oil is in the form of lauric acid, which is a rare and very potent fatty acid. The lauric acid in coconut oil converts to the fatty acid monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin fights microorganisms including bacteria, yeast, fungi, and viruses. It also destroys the lipid membrane of such enveloped viruses as HIV, measles, Herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), influenza and cytomegalovirus (CMV).
Lauric acid is a main component of human breast milk and helps protect children from illness during infancy.
Capric and Caprylic acid, which make up another 7% of coconut oil fat content, also stimulate anti-bacterial and anti-viral activity.
Still Worried about Cholesterol?
Dr. Beverly Teter (above), also points out that while for years coconut oil was criticized for raising cholesterol, scientists have now learned that coconut oil actually lowers the LDL’s, or bad cholesterol, and raises the HDL’s, or good cholesterol.
The Research Is In
It is not surprising that a nut from the tree of life would deliver such incredible health benefits. Still, some experts say they need to see more research before they can condone saturated fats as heart healthy. Well, the research is in. There are now hundreds studies done on coconut oil, making it outdated now to hold on to the myth of coconut oil as an “evil” saturated fat.
Below, I have listed some of the researched health benefits as listed on the Coconut Research Center web site. Reading down the list, we can see why some cultures consider coconut milk a “cure-all”! Please read this list of amazing health benefits and see which ones may apply to you, and use the url below to find pages of associated references.
Anti-Microbial Benefits –
- Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.
- Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.
- Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
- Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
- Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.
Clean Energy and Nutrition –
- Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.
- Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
- Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
- Is lower in calories than all other fats.
- Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
- Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
Blood-Sugar Support –
- Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
- Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
- Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis.
- Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
Digestion and Absorption –
- Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
- Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.
- Improves digestion and bowel function.
- Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
Resilient Skin, Hair, Bones and Teeth –
- Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.
- Helps protect against osteoporosis.
- Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.
- Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
- Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
- Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
- Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
- Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.
- Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
- Helps control dandruff.
Heart Healthy! –
- Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk of heart disease.
- Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.
Anti-Oxidant Power –
- Functions as a protective antioxidant.
- Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.
- Does not deplete the body’s antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
- Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.
Generally Healing –
- Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
- Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Supports tissue healing and repair.
- Supports and aids immune system function.
- Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.
- Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
- Reduces epileptic seizures.
- Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
- Dissolves kidney stones.
- Helps prevent liver disease.
- Supports thyroid function.
- Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.
- Has no harmful or discomforting side effects.
- Is completely non-toxic to humans.
Hiking is good for your health and provides numerous benefits. It is challenging to hike in the summer months here in Phoenix, but you can make it happen. The key is to hike either before the sun comes up or after it sets in the evening. I tackled South Mountain this evening with my daughter and pups (a Shih Tzu and a Standard Poodle) and came across two large coyotes on our way down the mountain. It was my first ever encounter with the wild beasts and I feared they coveted Mason (my Shih Tzu) for dinner.
I quickly picked him up and was prepared for a fight as we descended. We made it safely, but I an not excited about another encounter. Hike with caution in the desert, but surge ahead in other areas!
Guest blogger Catherine Dold, an avid hiker, is a freelance health and environment writer in Colorado. She is creator of the Certified Good Hiker Kit, which teaches kids how to “have fun, stay safe and tread lightly” in the outdoors.
You know hiking is good for your health. But do you know just how good it is?
For adults, regular aerobic exercise such as hiking leads to:
* Improved cardiorespiratory fitness (heart, lungs, blood vessels)
* Improved muscular fitness
* Lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
* Lower risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
* Lower risk of high cholesterol and triglycerides
* Lower risk of colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial cancer
* Increased bone density or a slower loss of density
* Reduced depression and better quality sleep
* Lower risk of early death (If you are physically active for 7 hours a week, your risk of dying early is 40% lower than someone active for less than 30 minutes a week.
* Weight control; hiking burns up 370 calories an hour (154-lb person)
Kids get many of the same benefits, including:
* Improved cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness
* Better bone health
* Less chance of becoming overweight
* Less chance of developing risk factors for heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
* Possibly reduced risk of depression and feeling less stress, more ready to learn in school
* Sleeping better at night
What’s more, hiking exercises almost every part of your body: legs, knees, ankles, arms, hips and butt, abdominals, shoulders and neck. “Hiking exercises your body andyour mind, and nourishes your imagination,” says Ignacio Malpica, a certified fitness instructor and personal trainer in Boulder, Colorado. “It creates awareness in your eyes and ears and the rest of your senses.”
How much activity do you need to reap these incredible health benefits? Experts saygetting active for just 150 minutes a week – doing “moderate-intensity” aerobic exercise such as moderate hiking or brisk walking – leads to most of these benefits (reducing risks of colon and breast cancer requires another hour a week). That’s only 2½ hours a week. And you don’t have to do it all at once. Sneaking in a lunchtime hike up the hill near your office counts toward your total, as long as you’re active for at least ten minutes.
If you take part in more vigorous aerobic activities, such as running, dancing, or hiking uphill or with a heavy pack, you need only half that amount of time, or 75 minutes a week, to get health benefits.
What’s moderate exercise? You can talk, but you can’t sing during the activity. Vigorous? You can’t say more than a few words with pausing for breath. “When you are doing moderate exercise, you can continue for a long time, and you are breathing rhythmically,” explains Malpica. “With vigorous exercise, you can’t do it for more than a few minutes at a time.”
And if you rack up even more time, the benefits keep growing too. For even more substantial health benefits, such as an even lower risk of heart disease, aim for 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, or 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise each week.
Of course, there are other kinds of physical activity. It’s also important to do somemuscle-strengthening activities, such as lifting weights or doing push-ups. The experts say do those at least twice a week. You also need to get in some bone-strengthening activity, which occurs when force on your bones promotes bone growth and strength. Here again, hiking fits the bill.
Another plus: you don’t have to be in perfect shape to start. Even if you are overweight, getting physical can lead to health benefits. But don’t run out and climb a steep peak if you’ve long been inactive. The experts say if you’re 35 or older and have been inactive for several years, or you already have a condition such as high blood pressure, check with your doctor first. “Hiking is a great way to start exercising,” says Malpica. “Start with easy hikes and work up to steeper hikes that work your legs more.”
Kids (age 6-17) need 60 minutes of physical activity each day, mostly aerobic. They also need regular muscle-strengthening (playing on playground equipment, climbing trees) and bone-strengthening (running, playing basketball, jumping rope) exercise.
Track Your Workouts
Keeping track of your activity can help you rack up the minutes. Note what you did as well as the length of each workout, and tally it up at the end of the week. Watching your progress can be a great motivator.
Use a calendar to track your workouts. Or try one of the many online options, such asMapMyHike.com, where you can map your own hikes and share your routes with others.
CONNECT THE DOTS
For more on the health benefits of exercise and to download an activity tracker, see the2008 Physical Activity Guidelines. To learn more about hiking (including a state-by-state directory of parks), see the American Hiking Society site, and read about some enticing hiking trips on Call of the Wild. Introduce your children to hiking safety and trail manners with GoodHiker’s resources. Track your hiking miles on MapMyHike. Find out more about the exercise for kids on MedlinePlus.
Watermelon is great nutrition and great for weight loss. Watermelon is mostly water. Most of us struggle to consume the recommended amounts of water (yes, all sources of water count). Watermelon provided vitamins and great amounts of lycopene (more than tomatoes).
Watermelon averages 40% more of the cancer-fighter lycopene per serving than tomatoes. Lycopene in watermelon is easily absorbed without cooking, unlike that in tomatoes, and is relatively stable when the fruit is stored and refrigerated. A 1-cup serving of watermelon also provides 10% of the daily value for vitamin A, 12% of the daily value for vitamin C, along with vitamin B6, beta carotene, thiamine and potassium—all for just 46 calories.