Thousands of years ago, humans were always on the go: gathering berries, hunting prey, running from predators. Our metabolisms are still essentially the same as these humans and yet we are lucky if we can get in more than just the walk from our car to our desk and back again. With the rise of desk jobs comes the rise of ultra-sedentary lifestyles, even increased diabetes risk for women who sit too long.
This is not your fault! Plus…You are busy! You work hard! You get home at the end of the day exhausted, and your only remaining energy gets allocated to helping your kids, then maybe watching a quick TV show before your own well-deserved bedtime. And while this movement is no longer built into our survival like our early ancestors, we still need activity for our body to thrive.
Here are 7 Fool-Proof Ways to Move More in Your Day.
Not only does your body deserves this, it needs it. (more…)
It’s all about perspective.
Ten percent can be a large or small amount, depending on the context of what it represents. If we’re talking about unemployment, 10% is unacceptable. If we’re talking about income tax, paying only 10% would be a blessing.
For today, we’re avoiding politics and the economy and instead, talking about the 10% of Americans who use wearable tech fitness trackers to monitor and track their daily activity, food intake, sleep, and exercise. This 10% of Americans make up a group of people that health insurance companies are examining closely to determine more accurate ways of calculating insurance premiums. On average, your premiums fluctuate once each year, which usually means added cost. That added cost doesn’t always have anything to do with you, and is often part of a re-rating of the group pool you’re a part of, like the company you work for.
The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need
What if your premium was calculated based on how you, as an individual, actually live? What if your premium fluctuated because of choices you make regarding your individual health and not because of others in your insurance pool dragging you down? (more…)
Everyone has that dark room food. The one they should literally eat in a dark room in order to hide the finger licking, the hunching over the plate, and the single-minded focus. For some people it’s pizza. For others it’s donuts. For me it’s nachos.
I didn’t mean to eat a whole plate of them. In fact, I had fresh veggies for a salad in my fridge. But I met friends for happy hour and one thing led to another… All of a sudden I was carrying an extra 569 calories. Eek!
How could I have burned off all those extra calories? (more…)
By Gary Ditsch, Retrofit Lead Exercise Physiologist
We’ve all heard the saying, “A little bit goes a long way.” When it comes to weight loss, common advice is to make big changes to get quick and substantial results. While rapid results can be motivating and encouraging, the long-term value of these changes are only observed when they become habits. The process of adopting small changes can can be beneficial when it results in lifelong weight loss maintenance.
In the spirit of making small changes, here are 10 ways to burn an extra 100 calories throughout the day:
1. Walk. Choose to walk instead of drive if you’re going somewhere nearby. 18 minutes of walking will burn 100 calories.
2. Climb. Instead of taking elevators or escalators, take the stairs. A cumulative 15 minutes and 20 seconds of stair climbing can burn 100 calories.
3. Yardwork. Mow the lawn for 13 minutes and say goodbye to those calories.
4. Clean the House. Cleaning, sweeping and other general house work can burn 100 calories in about 19 minutes. (more…)
Fitness tracking technology is a great way to both stay motivated to get enough exercise, and track how well you’re doing. However, I think we all know a few people who take their fitness tracking to an extreme; doing anything in the name of adding extra steps to their daily count. Maybe they walk to the restroom more times than absolutely necessary or pace while brushing their teeth. Perhaps they always take the long way on a walk – no matter how much extra time it adds (or how late it makes their kids for school).
Using a fitness tracker, like a Fitbit, can drive people a little crazy about tracking their activity. Writer David Sedaris takes an entertaining look at the obsession created by Fitbits in this article for The New Yorker.
“‘Every little bit helps,’ my old friend Dawn, who frequently eats lunch while hula-hooping and has been known to visit her local Y three times a day, said. She had a Fitbit as well, and swore by it. Others I met weren’t quite so taken…To people like Dawn and me, people who are obsessive to begin with, the Fitbit is a digital trainer, perpetually egging us on. During the first few weeks that I had it, I’d return to my hotel at the end of the day, and when I discovered that I’d taken a total of, say, twelve thousand steps, I’d go out for another three thousand.”
Portland houses the International Test Garden for roses, which basically means there are thousands of different varieties of the fragrant flower planted in a handful of large gardens around town. Thanks to our warmer than usual weather most of these are already in bloom, so earlier this week I decided to organize a picnic among the roses. To start I made a salad topped with strawberries straight out of my garden (those are already in season too!). For the main I made a tasty dish with campanelli noodles, caramelized onions, fresh herbs, goat cheese, and a little bacon. While I thought of this as a fancy pasta dish my boyfriend pointed out that it was really just fancy mac and cheese. Tom-a-toes Tom-ah-toes, people!
This dish was a hit and simple to make, but healthy it is not. For a 1/2 pound serving (which is a small bowl-full) this dish clocks in at 320 calories. Not awful at face value, but when you factor in the dish contains 7 grams of saturated fat and 850 mg of sodium—basically 35% of your recommended daily allowance of each—you can see why this was a meal I definitely needed to burn off, stat! (Here’s a healthy mac and cheese recipe to try, if the craving strikes.)
How could I melt away those 320 surplus calories? (more…)
There are a lot of things I don’t miss about New York City: The crowds, the noise, the smells, the expense. But there are a few things I do miss after living there for 10 years. While my friends rank high on that list, so do bagels.
In the morning, few things beat a boiled-to-perfection bagel. Glossy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these carb-tastic treats were a mainstay of my life in the city. When I went back for a visit this past week, my former local bagel shop was one of my first stops. I got a whole wheat bagel heaping with strawberry cream cheese. (In New York a “schmear” is more of a gob than a dab.) It was, not surprisingly, delicious.
It was also a total gut bomb. Full of sugars and carbs the breakfast didn’t feel light in my stomach and pretty much zapped my energy for the next hour or so. (Hello food coma!) This tastes-so-good, feels-so-bad treat also came at a high caloric cost. 450 calories, to be exact.
So how could I burn off the 450 calories in this bagel with cream cheese?
Walking is one of the easiest options for shedding pounds, and it can improve your health in a number of other ways, too: Taking a stroll boosts your spirits, adds additional exercise to your life, and apparently, it can spark your creative side.
Multiple studies have proven that exercise helps memory and decisiveness, but the New York Times recently reported on a study from Stanford University that took things a step further: The researchers found that stepping away from your desk, even to walk around the office, can do wonders for your the creativity portion of your mind. (more…)
This week I met up with a couple of girlfriends for a welcome home dinner. We went out for healthy Mexican food at Porque No?, one of my favorite restaurants here in Portland. They have tasty fish tacos, homemade tortilla chips, and delish guacamole. They also make a mean margarita. I ordered one, but I got way more than I bargained for—a margarita served in a full-on pint glass. (As in, way bigger than the one below:)
A pint of margarita means essentially two cocktails in one, at least. Margaritas are already known for being one of the more sugary, calorie-loaded cocktails out there so I knew I was breaking some sort of rule by drinking it. (At least I stopped at one!) When I checked the calorie count for this tequila spiked treat I found that a 3.3 fl oz serving has 153 calories. Not bad, until you factor in that the one I had was around 16 fl oz! Multiply that number by 4 and you’ve got over 600 calories in a glass!
(Too bad they weren’t following our recipe for a Skinny Margarita!
What are a few ways I could have burned off the 612 calories in this big and tasty drink? (more…)
Recently I was lucky enough to spend 10 days in Japan. It was cherry blossom season—and a trip that’s been on my bucket list for a while. I only learned two new Japanese words—”konichiwa” is “hello” and “arigato” is “thank you”—but I figured out at least a few explanations for why Japan continues to rate high in rankings of the world’s healthiest countries. Here are a few tricks that are helping our neighbors to the west—who boast the greatest proportion of citizens over 100—live long and healthy lives:
Fish comes first: Eaten raw, cooked, or somewhere in between, not a day went by that I didn’t have fish during my trip. All of this seafood was good for my body and brain: the blend of lean protein and healthy fats makes fish a staple in many diet and healthy eating programs. I’ve always liked sushi, but this visit gave me a new appreciation for sashimi—basically raw fish any rice: You get all of the benefits of the fish without the calories or sugar of the rice!