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habits



5 Healthy Habits for Hot Summer Days

By Rachel Berman, RD, Csr, Cdn for Calorie Count

As summer rolls in everyone wants to take full advantage of the longer days and warmer weather. This year, make the most of your summer by focusing on simple, healthy activities that you can do every day of the week!

Get moving together with your friends or family every evening for a walk, jog, or bike ride. This is a great way to enjoy the weather, have some bonding time with your loved ones, and get your exercise in. Working out with others will motivate you and keep you accountable, too. On the weekends, head to the local pool for a great full body workout.

Take a trip to the farmers market and check out what’s in season. You’ll be surprised at the vast variety of fruits and vegetables available, and each week you’ll find something new. Because this produce is recently harvested it will be more fresh and nutritious than produce from the supermarket. Buying from the farmers market also supports the community and local farmers!
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Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater Can Apply to Healthy Living

One thing I noticed on my journey to eating a wheat free/gluten-free diet is that consequences matter. For me, the decision to restrict my diet in this way is mostly about health. I do not have celiac disease, and I don’t believe I have a gluten allergy. For some of my mom friends though if their child got ahold of a single Cheerio or Teddy Graham they could have serious health issues as a result. “Cheating” on the gluten-free diet does not even occur to those moms, even if they are away from their children, but the consequences are less severe for me. We see the same thing on the Biggest Loser over and over when someone is motivated to lose weight after a medical professional tells them their weight is killing them. What are the consequences for you for not sticking to your goal?

If you are good at self-talk and rational (REBT) thinking, you can use the consequences to your advantage. Maybe it won’t hurt me to try the famous sugar cream pie, but how will I ever really track the effects of gluten on my body if I don’t eliminate it entirely for at least two to three weeks? If you are tempted to skip a workout, you probably won’t see a reverse in your progress, but you can remind yourself that you could feel guilty or lethargic or even lose the habit entirely since every time we “cheat” we are practicing the opposite of the habit we want to reinforce.
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The Easiest and Fastest Way to Fix a Trouble Zone

Everyone has a trouble zone, or a certain area of their body that want to change, fix, shrink or enhance. While “spot reducing” is impossible, focusing more energy on that particular area over time will of course head great results. You can’t drop the rest of your workout routine in favor of focusing all your energy on your saddlebags, abs, etc., a little extra effort is going to be needed. You can devote extra minutes in the gym to working out your trouble zone, but this may take time away from the rest of your body, or have you resenting that spot.

You gotta learn to love you trouble zone and give it a little more attention because you are excited to see it change, not because you want to beat it into submission. If you make a habit of working that spot in ways that take very little effort, but on a consistent basis, you will soon have to find a new trouble spot to focus on.

Now when I say habit, I really mean it. Think about it: External cues prompt you to do things every day that you barely think about. A red light turns green, you hit the gas.  Turn on the computer, you check your Facebook. Those are habits. You didn’t always have them, but you developed them over time and now they are second nature. Most experts say that a habit takes about 3 weeks of solid effort to develop, and after that, you barely have to think about it.


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Eat 5, Move 10, Sleep 8 to Improve Heart Health

by Dani Stone

Americans spend a lot of money and time trying to get fit and lose weight. We pour over diet books, hire personal trainers, and pay for diet programs that help us count calories and track miles on the treadmill. Dr. Martha Grogan, a cardiologist with the Mayo Clinic and medical editor for the new book Heart Healthy For Life says there’s a simpler equation we can use to achieve a healthy lifestyle and improve heart health. The answer, she says, lies in the simple equation Eat 5, Move 10, Sleep 8.

EAT 5

Eat 5 refers to eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. “The great thing about eating fruits and vegetables, they have all kinds of beneficial effects to your heart and for your health in general,” says Grogan. Working this number in to your daily routine can be quite easy if you make a conscious effort to do so and maybe even plan ahead when you’re at the grocery store. A typical day could look like this: Have a banana with breakfast, a juicy peach as a midday snack alongside a cheese stick, a salad of leafy greens with cucumbers and green pepper for lunch and for dinner, serve a side of asparagus along with lean meat, fish or chicken. Look at that, we actually got 6 servings in there.

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Healthy Food and Fitness Swaps for World Swap Day

January 21, 2012 is World Swap Day. Originally started as a way to reinvent shopping, it’s a movement that’s gaining national attention and seeing activity across the country. World Swap Day encourages all to share goods, food, clothes, toys, or many other items verses buying them new. Swapping will turn any unused items into things you actually need. Therefore, you don’t spend money and you don’t compile unused stuff around your house.

In celebration of World Swap Day, why not do some personal swapping for your health. Big results have come from small changes. For example, swapping fries for a medium baked potato saves you over 250 calories in your lunch and you avoid all unhealthy oils. Swapping is easy, and good for everybody.

Check out 10 easy swaps you can do to celebrate World Swap Day, and your health.
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