Low Cost Fitness!

Staying in shape does not mean having to join a gym to take fitness seriously.  There are plenty of low-cost alternatives that can help you get fit without breaking your budget!  Start taking advantage of everyday opportunities like taking brisk walks outside in your neighborhood or through a local mall.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Park further away from your destination to add in the extra walk.

Household chores can also be considered a great way to get in a workout! Mow the lawn, weed the garden, rake leaves or shovel snow! Even indoor chores like vacuuming and scrubbing count as a workout when your heart rate increases.

Start joining your children while they play for additional exercise! Join in for a game of tag or kickball! Walk them to the park, dance or take a family bike ride!  The choice is about becoming more active with your lifestyle that doesn’t always involve a pricey gym membership.

If you are more interested in fitness equipment, look for used sporting good stores or share costs with a friend for exercise videos, balancing balls, dumbbells, jumping ropes etc.  This way you can also depend on each other as fitness buddies! No matter what-start moving!

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Check Your Symptoms!

The Mayo Clinic provides a symptom checker that allows you to choose a symptom, select related factors and view possible causes to determine what’s going on in your body! Follow the link here to see why you may be feeling under the weather.  Keep the link in your bookmarks bar for easy access each time you want to determine what is causing your symptoms!

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Multigrain, Whole Grain, Seven-Grain, Etc.

It seems that strolling down the bread aisle at the grocery store gets complicated and confusing with the variety of grain options available.  First off, multigrain and whole grain are not interchangeable terms.  Whole grain means that all parts of the grain kernel (bran, germ and endosperm) are used.  Whereas multigrain means that a food contains more than one type of grain, although none of them may be whole grains.  The same goes for seven-grain variations.

Nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky R.D., L.D., from the Mayo Clinic believes whole-grain foods are a healthy choice because they contain nutrients, fiber and other healthy plant compounds found naturally in the grain.  So next time you are strolling down the grocery isle look for products that list the first ingredient as “whole wheat”, “whole oats” or a similar whole grain.

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Juicing vs. Whole Fruit

Is juicing healthier than eating whole fruits or vegetables? According to Mayo Clinic nutritionist, Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D., juicing probably is not any healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables.  Although the resulting liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals-the whole fruit and vegetable’s fiber content is lost in the juicing process.

Juicing proponents say that juicing is better because your body can absorb the nutrients better while giving your digestive system a rest from working on fiber.  But there is no sound scientific evidence, according to Nelson, that extracted juices are healthier than simply eating the entire fruit.  But if you don’t love eating whole fruits and vegetables, juicing can be a fun way to spice up your diet to get adequate vitamins and minerals!

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How Many Calories Do You Need?

Are you interested in knowing how many calories you need in your diet on a daily basis? Take a look at the calorie calculator provided by Mayo Clinic.  The calorie calculator estimates the number of daily calories your body needs to maintain your current weight.  So follow here and plug in your numbers to see how much you should be eating!

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Do Energy Drinks Actually Boost Energy?

The energy drink market is thriving with the desire consumers see in its energy fix for their weekday work life and weekend night life.  Although energy drinks contain a large amount of caffeine for a temporary energy boost, this boost is short lived according to Mayo Clinic nutritionist, Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

Energy drinks can be loaded with sugar causing weight gain and the large amounts of caffeine can cause: nervousness, irritability, insomnia, rapid heartbeat and increased blood pressure.  This does not mean you need to cut your energy drinks cold turkey, however, try to re-evaluate the amount you are drinking.

Try to limit yourself to about 16oz a day.  If you are consistently fatigued-consider a better and healthier way of getting energy.  Make sure you are getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, eating a healthy diet and getting physical exercise in your daily routine.  If you continue to feel fatigued after attempting these strategies-consult your doctor.  Sometimes fatigue is a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as hypothyroidism or anemia.

If you are an avid energy drink consumer-start monitoring the amount of beverages you consume and make sure you aren’t overdoing the sugar and caffeine content.  Energy can be made by making healthy and natural choices, so don’t skip to the short-term energy drink fixes every chance you get!

Energy Zappers

Lack of sleep isn’t the only thing making you tired! Best Health Magazine has comprised a list of the 5 worst energy zappers and how to beat them.  So check out the list below and see if one of these five energy zappers are to blame for your sluggishness!

1.  Eliminating carbs from your diet-Opt for healthy, complex carbohydrates to your diet such as whole grains, legumes and starchy vegetables.

2.  Skipping breakfast-Start off your day with healthy carbohydrates as well as proteins and fruits.

3.  Not eating enough-Healthy grab-and-go snacks such as trail mixes or protein bars can be snacked on throughout the day for optimal energy.

4.  Dehydration-Keep a water bottle with you all throughout the day to take sips on.  Juices and herbal teas can also aid in hydration.

5.  Eating the wrong foods at the wrong time-Combine protein and carbs for your mid-day snack. Munch an apple with a handful of almonds, yogurt with berries or veggies with hummus and crackers for consistent energy without the processed food crash.

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It’s That Time of Day!

Have you taken the time out of your day to simply relax? Even if that time is only 10 minutes, there should be no excuses to missing a much needed “time out”.  Find a quiet place with minimal lighting.  Either lie on your back or sit up straight with your legs crossed.  Take deep breaths and clear your mind of all the stresses of your day.  Some prefer listening to soft music while others simply enjoy the silence.  No matter where and how you decide to take your relaxation break, make sure you are getting that “time out” in every day!

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