"25 Ways to Get Healthier in One Minute" Review

If you're reading this, you're probably overwhelmed with a million tasks on your list. Have no worries! I chose the best ways to improve your health in just a minute (from the weight loss list "25 Ways to Get Healthier in One Minute")!

DRINK A GLASS OF WATER


The Institute of Medicine suggests that as much as 75 percent of the population is dehydrated at any given time. Unfortunately, drinking inadequate fluids can make you feel hungry, put a strain on your kidneys, and can make it harder for your intestines to effectively and expeditiously digest food.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: What is the proper amount of water that we need? While the general recommendation of 8 cups per day may be an adequate guide and goal, ultimately you need to be mindful of your physical self to determine your true need. Chances are that you'll never feel a burst of energy with enough water. On the other hand, you will feel tired or experience cramps when dehydrated. Check-in with your body every hour and assess your need before there is a deficiency.

STAND UP


Those long hours behind a desk are no friend to your waistline or health in general. However, it only takes a minute to combat the deleterious effect of this all-too-common habit. Researchers in Melbourne, Australia have discovered that alternating sitting and standing, as opposed to lengthy periods of just sitting, can reduce blood sugar highs and lows that can lead to hunger pangs, so if you’ve got a little time on your hands, stand up.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Is there enough research to support this claim? I'm not sure yet. One thing we know for certain: Your hip flexors tighten while seated and may tilt your hips in a compromising position. Translation: Give your back some relief and extend your body from its sitting, flexed position.

GIVE SOMEONE A HUG


If you’re into it, and they’re into it, go ahead and give someone you love a big bear hug! Not only can giving your sweetie a squeeze burn a few calories, it can also improve your overall health. In fact, researchers at the University of North Carolina and the University of Pittsburgh have discovered that hugging can reduce your heart rate and blood pressure.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Nevermind the miniscule amount of calories burning hugging someone (a little weird). No doubt about it: Giving hugs can lead to more positive interactions in your life...which may lead to less negativity and stress

TAKE A DEEP BREATH


Got a minute? Go ahead and take a few deep breaths. Mindful breathing is an easy way to relax when you’re feeling stressed, and research suggests it can help improve surgical outcomes, keep your heart rate steady, and lower blood pressure.

DO A ONE-MINUTE MEDITATION


All it takes is a minute to get a clearer mind and healthier body. Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that meditation can relieve anxiety, physical pain, and even some symptoms of depression, so if you find yourself with a minute to spare, try channeling your inner om.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Breathing...meditation...mindfulness...know these terms-they're probably missing from your life. Anytime a personal training client exhibits a limited range of motion or tightness in a stretch I always ask them to take a deep breath. You might be surprised how this simple strategy will reduce tension in the body and increase the range of motion. Just imagine what a collection of deep breaths and a focus can achieve during meditation!

SIP SOME TEA


Not a coffee drinker? Not a problem! Sipping a glass of green tea can help increase your energy level and may even help you slim down faster. Just make sure you're opting for an unsweetened version — many of the green teas you'll find at the supermarket are loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: How many hyperactive tea drinkers do you know? They always seem relaxed to me...especially as they sit, relax, and sip. Take note: You may need to slow down your life to improve your health. Don't forget that not all tea is the same. Read the box!

REST YOUR EYES


A mere 60 seconds definitely isn’t enough time for a nap, but it’s plenty of time to give those peepers a break. The American Optometric Association recommends taking regular breaks from staring at your computer screen to prevent eye strain, so if you’ve got a minute to spare, give yourself some shut-eye.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Most strain to any part of the body isn't good. The same principle applies to your eyes.

How else can you improve your health in one-minute?

Picture Credit:
Zerobelly.com-Is the key to better health in your cup?

More to Read:
Are you ready to try a few weight loss tricks from a personal trainer in Chicago? Check out 6 Things 'Successful Diets Have In Common.

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Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " 25 Ways to Get Healthier in One Minute " on Zerobelly.com.
"25 Ways to Get Healthier in One Minute" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

"Is Stress Making You Fat? Science Finds a New Link" Review

Have you changed everything from your diet to your fitness regiment and still haven't lost weight? The answer may be the amount of stress you endure. Check out this very convincing article on why we should limit the emotional burden we bear (from the recent weight loss article "Is Stress Making You Fat? Science Finds a New Link").

Health.com: Is Stress Making You Fat? Science Finds a New Link


Sure, your life is bananas. And maybe you feel like you can manage it all just fine. But here is a powerful reason to pencil in some me time: Feeling stressed for months at a time can up your risk for obesity, according to scientists from University College London.

Their new study used hair clippings to measure levels of the stress hormone cortisol in people’s bodies. Hair samples provide more accurate hormonal data than other types of samples, the authors say, making their findings some of the strongest yet to suggest that stress and weight are closely linked.

For the study, published today in Obesity, the researchers collected locks from more than 2,500 men and women over a four-year period and analyzed them for accumulated levels of cortisol. (The samples were cut as close as possible to the scalp, and represented hair growth over about two months.)

The researchers also recorded participants’ weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference over time. And they noticed a clear connection: People who had higher levels of cortisol in their hair tended to rank higher on all three physical measures, as well.

In fact, people classified as obese based on their BMI (30 or greater) or waist circumference (greater than 102 centimeters in men or 88 centimeters in women) had particularly high levels of cortisol in their hair.

These findings support previous research that suggests that high-stress levels can trigger unhealthy habits—like losing sleep and eating “comfort food” high in sugar and fat. Other studies have shown that cortisol levels can affect metabolism and fat storage in the body, implying that weight gain could potentially occur even if a person’s behaviors don’t change.

But most studies have relied on measurements of cortisol in the blood, saliva, or urine—which can vary depending on situational factors and time of day. The relatively new technology of measuring hair cortisol provides more accuracy for long-term cortisol measures, say the authors, and strengthens the existing research.

The association between cortisol levels and waist circumference is particularly important, says lead author Sarah Jackson, Ph.D., a research psychologist in the Department of Behavioral Science and Health since carrying fat around the midsection is a known risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, and early death.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: You can't achieve your most ideal self without looking at every facet of your life including the mental, emotional, and physical parts of you. They are intertwined and require a multi-prong approach. This couldn't be any truer when pursuing a weight loss goal.

Without a doubt, there is no bigger challenge than managing your physical self and the responsibilities of your personal and professional lives. No surprise, you and many others are overwhelmed with stress (and your weight is suffering as a result). While these recent findings may not anything new, they once again affirm an important notion: weight loss requires more than a focus on fitness and nutrition.

The authors noted that their study participants were all 54 and older and mostly white, and pointed out that the study's findings may not apply to a younger or more diverse group of people. They also can’t say which came first: obesity or elevated cortisol levels.

Susan K. Fried, Ph.D., professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said in an email that it’s possible that obesity could trigger higher stress levels. The study’s cortisol measurements reflect exposure over a couple of months, “but the obesity in the people studied likely developed many years earlier,” says Fried, who reviewed the research but was not involved herself.

“Thus, these high hair cortisol values may simply reflect social or biological stress associated with being obese,” she says. For example, stigma and medical conditions associated with being overweight (such as high blood pressure and arthritis) could both cause stress over time.

Jackson agrees that this is a possibility, but says it can’t hurt to be aware of how stress might influence weight gain: “I think the take-home message from our study is really to try and maintain awareness of healthy lifestyle habits during times of stress."

“When we’re stressed out we may find it more difficult to find the motivation to go for a run or resist unhealthy foods, and that’s when it is easier for weight to creep on,” she says. It could also be helpful to identify ways to reduce exposure to stressful situations, she adds, or to find ways of coping with stress that doesn't involve food.

If further research is able to identify a cause-and-effect relationship—that is, show that stress and cortisol levels are directly responsible for fueling weight gain—it could lead to new ways of using stress reduction to prevent and treat obesity, says Jackson.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: What great insight, huh? Not so fast. You shouldn't believe everything you read...at least not yet. More research is needed. With this being said, it's okay to listen to any health and fitness claim, but you need to take responsibility and continue your research. Don't take everything on the surface. Do you really know what this claim is based on? Most health proclamations are backed by studies but what do you know about the studies? Who funded the study? Could there be a conflict of interest? How many people participated? How were they recruited? Are they representative of the general population? Are they representative of you? What was the scientific approach used in the study? Do other studies support or dispute this claim? Why or why not? Reading these types of articles aren't enough. You need to ask the right questions too. I give Health.com professional credit for exploring the study in more depth. Specifically, looking at the participants and whether these findings generalize to the greater population.

Picture Credit:
MSN.com-Is this research a step in the right direction for people trying to lose weight?

More to Read:
Are you ready to try a few weight loss tricks from a personal trainer in Chicago? Check out 6 Things 'Successful Diets Have In Common.

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Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " Is Stress Making You Fat? Science Finds a New Link " on MSN.com.
"Is Stress Making You Fat? Science Finds a New Link" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.