Author Archives: Danielle

About Danielle

Participating in an active and healthy lifestyle is a top priority for Danielle Lagow, and she puts those ideals into action every day. She is a senior at Wichita State University, and splits her free time between gigs at DietsInReview, a local health club, and training as a bodybuilder.

A Beginner’s Guide to CrossFit

One of the most popular fitness trends of 2012 was the CrossFit phenomenon. Dedicated gyms gave followers a place to perfect their WOD (workout of the day) while finding motivation from like-minded men and women. CrossFit is not going out with the old but will be very much a part of this new year. If you’ve thought about joining the craze, let us be your guide.

What is CrossFit?

In the year 2000, Greg Glassman created a workout program that has become known as CrossFit. This program is a short workout that involves high intensity functional movements for the entire body. The idea is to push one’s self as hard as possible for a short amount of time, sometimes even less than 20 minutes.

CrossFit involves many dynamic exercises such as plyometric jumps, Olympic lifts, sprinting, rowing, jump rope, flipping tires, body weight exercises, weightlifting and even climbing a rope to the top of a ceiling. If you’ve been to a bootcamp, it looks very similar. In terms of weight lifting, we aren’t just talking about your average dumbbell, but other non-traditional weight lifting equipment. Some of these might include sand bags, kettlebells, water-filled containers, and suspension systems.

The goal during this very high intensity workout is to perform a certain number or repetitions in a certain amount of time. Some athletes who take CrossFit classes are even scored and ranked in order to encourage competition and to track progress. For those who are more advanced, some will even compete against one another in person and then post their results on the CrossFit website. (more…)

Qsymia Sales Increasing, but Support Still Varies

The new weight loss pill Qsymia may have started off with slow sales, but it has started to see those numbers rise. Prescriptions filled for the recently approved weight loss drug have climbed to about 2,000 prescriptions per week.

Qsymia was the first weight loss drug approved by the FDA in 13 years when it got the OK this summer. It was approved for adults with a BMI of 30 or more – categorizing them as obese – and for those with a BMI of 27 or more who have been diagnosed with at least one obesity-related illness, such as high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes. The pill, which went on sale this past September, was made to suppress the appetite and cause weight loss – as much as 10 percent body fat – for obese individuals. It’s combined with phentermine and topiramate, which are two different drugs made to suppress the appetite and give more of a full feeling in the stomach. Qsymia is prescribed to be combined with regular exercise and a healthy, calorie reduced diet. Whether it’s a miracle drug or a disaster varies from person to person. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drills: Yoga for Holiday Stress Relief

With the holidays here and nearly at their peak, we can only image how busy and stressed most of you must be scrambling to finish all of your shopping and gift wrapping before you either hit the road or relatives arrive at your home. Stressed is exactly where we’re at, but we have a solution.

We often get so caught up in all the hustle and bustle that we forget to take time off and just relax. And working out? Is there really enough space on your to do list for that, too? Here’s an idea: Kill two birds with one stone by adding some yoga to your routine this Saturday morning (before hitting your ever-growing to do list). We promise it will provide both relaxation and a refreshing workout in one session.

Studies have found yoga to provide benefits such as stress reduction, increased flexibility, weight management, total body toning, improved balance, increased strength and decreased chances of injury. And that’s not all –  it can also aid in managing chronic health conditions such as depression, pain, anxiety, cancer, insomnia and fatigue. It can even help reduce heart rate and blood pressure! Good luck with coming up with any reasons why not to give this extremely beneficial practice a try. Now, let’s get started.

View Saturday Morning Drills: Yoga for Holiday Stress Relief Slideshow

Also Read:

Yoga For Babies

The Yoga Bible

Yoga For Anywhere

Diet Pepsi’s New Sweetener is Still No Reason to Drink Diet Soda

There’s a new Diet Pepsi in several cities around the U.S., which now lists a new ingredient on the cans and bottles. It’s called acesulfame potassium, also known as Acesulfame K or Ace K.

This quiet change is apparently not going to change the taste of the soda, but is meant to add shelf life by allowing the “fresh” taste and flavor to last longer. The project’s goal is to give the old/current base sweetener (aspartame) a jump kick because of its sensitivity to heat and susceptibility to breaking down. Ace K has proven to be less sensitive to heat.

So what exactly is Ace K? Acesulfame potassium is another form of an artificial sweetener that is calorie free and about 200 times as sweet as everyday table sugar. Due to its slightly bitter aftertaste, it is often mixed with other artificial sweeteners (in this case it was mixed with Diet Pepsi’s aspartame). It’s often found in many baked goods, processed foods and other soft drinks similar to Diet Pepsi.

“Aspartame breaks down during storage especially when the temperature is high (that’s why you can’t bake with it) and so this is a good move on Pepsi’s part,” said our resident dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD. “The move has nothing to do with the safety of aspartame, which has been found to be safe in scientific studies time and again.”

That might be one positive factor, but is it enough to make it OK to be consuming the other harmful ingredients listed on the back? (more…)

PepsiCo Has No Plans to Remove Brominated Vegetable Oil from Gatorade

UPDATE 1/29/13: After more than 200,000 signatures on a Change.org petition, PepsiCo has announced it will remove the flame retardant it currently uses in Gatorade. However, the company doesn’t not plan to issue a recall on products in market that still contain the BVO, or Brominated Vegetable Oil.

About a month ago, a 15-year-old teenager named Sarah Kavanagh was looking forward to the Gatorade she had stored in her fridge for after her long afternoon of playing outdoors in the humid heat in Hattiesburg, Miss.

With Sarah being the dedicated vegetarian that she is, out of habit she checked the ingredient list on the drink before popping open the top. While making sure none of the ingredients were made from any type of animal, she noticed it contained brominated vegetable oil. Though it had the word vegetable in it, Sarah still felt like investigating further.

“I knew it probably wasn’t from an animal because it had the word vegetable in the name, but I still wanted to know what it was so I Googled it,” said Sarah. “A page popped up with a long list of possible side effects, including neurological disorders and altered thyroid hormones. I didn’t expect that.”

Needless to say, Sarah threw the drink away without a sip or hesitation. She then began an online petition on Change.org where she now has nearly 200,000 signatures. Sarah’s hoping that she can get enough supporters that will persuade Gatorade’s maker, PepsiCo, to make some changes to the recipe. (more…)

How Heavy Weight Lifting Benefits Women

When you walk into the gym and step on the treadmill, you probably have one thing in mind: You want to lose some body fat. It may be 5 pounds or it may be 25 pounds; whatever that number may be I’ve got some advice for you: Step off of the treadmill. Listed below are just a few of the many upsides heavy weight lifting has for weight loss and essential health.

Weight Lifting Burns More Fat Than Cardio
While cardio has been found to be essential for good heart health, it can also burn muscle along with fat which is something you don’t want to happen.

This negative effect happens because the more muscle your body has the more fat your body burns. For every pound of muscle you gain, your body naturally burns an extra 35-50 calories per day, just by obtaining muscle! Therefore, a weight lifting session continues to burn calories even after your workout is over with where as cardio stops burning calories the second it’s over with.

“The more lean muscle mass an individual has the more calories burned at rest, therefore resistance training helps to burn fat while developing a lean, toned physique,” said Kalene Smith, certified personal trainer, lifestyle coach and owner of GoTimeTraining.com.

When you look at from in this perspective, one of the last things a woman wanting to lower her body fat should want to do is get rid of the muscle she already has. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drills: Seven Squats to Sexy Sculpted Legs

If you’re the least bit interested in health and fitness, there’s a good chance you’ve done a few squats in your life. But have you ever really thought about how beneficial they are for your body?

First and foremost, squats aid in adding muscle to your frame. The more muscle you have, the more fat your body burns. For every pound of additional muscle you gain, your body burns another 50-70 calories per day. Squats also help maintain mobility and balance, boost your sports performance so you can do things like jump higher and run faster, and even help prevent injuries. They’re also the exercise that works the most muscles at the same time, targeting your legs, entire core and of course, your backside.

This morning as you get up and around to do your weekend chores, take a few minutes to get a quick leg workout in. All you need is about 20 minutes to go through this entire squatting routine. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Also Read:

Saturday Morning Drill: Bikini Body Blast

Top 5 Quad Exercises

The Perfect Squat

The Ultimate Zumba Gift Guide

If you’ve got a Zumba fanatic on your holiday shopping list this year, look no further. We’ve gathered a list of goods that every Zumba lover out there would be ecstatic to receive.

Exhilarate Body Shaping System (DVD set of 5)

These at-home workout DVDs will get their body dancing into shape. The original set contained only four DVDs, but this bonus set includes a fifth (20 minute warm up) plus a set of toning sticks. Each DVD contains a different workout with multiple intensity levels for the beginners, intermediates, and advanced. Also included is a 10-day weight-loss program for the Zumba lover to take advantage of. What a deal!

(more…)

Best Black Friday Deals for Fitness Gear

We’re only a few days out from the biggest shopping day of the year. That’s right, Black Friday is just two days away. Have you made your shopping list?

You probably never thought about the calories you burn during your Black Friday extravaganzas, but you should because it can actually be a beneficial workout to help burn off your Thanksgiving indulgences. A 140-pound person can burn up to 226 calories just by standing for three hours, and some of those door-buster lines will no doubt last that long. That same person can burn up to about 982 calories when shopping for five hours (this includes the average estimated standing time as well). Needless to say, going out on Black Friday could be a way to help burn off the estimated 3,000 calories we consume on Thanksgiving Day.

To reduce your chances of holiday weight gain even further, we combed through the Black Friday ads and found impressive deals on fitness gear, kitchen appliances, and more that will help you stay on track with you health and fitness goals.

Aspire Yoga Products: 25% off at Sports Authority. We’re giving away a yoga prize pack valued at $240!

Wieder 3-Piece Kettlebell Kit
: Found at Sears for only $29, which saves you $20.

BodyFit Medicine Balls: BodyFit will be 50% off at Sports Authority

Sodastream Geness Soda Maker
: With the purchase of this item at Target you will receive a $20 gift card. The flavors, which are sold individually, are also on sale for buy two flavors get one free. (more…)

Los Angeles Adopts Meatless Monday for the Health of its Citizens

Los Angeles has become the largest city in the U.S. to partake in what’s known as Meatless Monday. It’s been a mostly social media-driven national effort by The Monday Campaigns to get people to eat vegetarian meals every Monday.

Friday, November 9, the LA City Council unanimously approved a resolution to adopt Meatless Monday for the city. The council resolution gives statistics showing that more than half of LA County residents are obese or overweight and states that reducing meat consumption can decrease the chances of having health issues. Councilwoman Jan Perry encouraged the motion due to growing health issues such as heart disease and cancer.

“We can reduce saturated fats and reduce the risk of heart disease by 19 percent. While this is a symbolic gesture, it is asking people to think about the food choices they make. Eating less meat can reverse some of our nation’s most common illnesses,” said Perry. “The issue is, how does a local municipality engage in this and how do we create change? If we do it one plate at time, one meal, one day, we are ratcheting down the impact on our environment. We start with one day a week and then, who knows, maybe we can change our habits for a lifetime.”

Here’s a list of a few restaurants/business in the L.A. area that plan to actively participate in the resolution every Monday (some may even offer Meatless Monday discounts). (more…)