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Did You Know?

This is a collection of facts and tricks that can make living a healthful lifestyle a little easier.

  • Swinging light dumbbells at your sides while walking adds almost no calorie burn. But adding broad, sweeping arm movements with no additional weight (like snow angels and sweeping salutations) and modest hills to your walk can more than double the fat you melt.
  • Dirt-cheap packaged ramen noodles have very little nutritional value by themselves, but folding in an egg while the noodles are boiling and then frozen peas or mixed veggies makes it a doubly filling, healthy, complete meal.
  • You should allow at least two to three days between strength training the same muscle groups.
  • Eating a Granny Smith apple with a cheddar cheese stick is not only delicious, but more balanced, healthy and filling than eating either one alone as a snack.
  • Core exercises are not intended just to firm and tone your midsection. They also improve balance, coordination, biomechanical efficiency with everyday tasks and help lower your risk of back problems.
  • If more than half of the liquid you drink is water or herbal tea (white and green are good too), you’re less likely to gain weight than if a good portion of your beverages are juice, soda or alcohol.
  • Swimming may be the best mix of aerobic challenge and minimal joint stress, but the elliptical trainer, rowing machine and stationary bike with added arm movements are close behind: Watch this video.
  • A variety of lean protein sources from dairy, meat and legumes is ideal since each have different and complementary nutrients. Meat is iron-rich, dairy has a good concentration of Vitamin D and calcium, and legumes are a great source of fiber.
  • Coffee and a pastry, instead of a healthful breakfast of lean protein, whole grains and produce, can masquerade as a decent meal because the water in the coffee fills your stomach and stimulates your nervous system, and the pastry elevates your blood sugar (briefly). But you get almost none of the nutrients and usually many more calories.
  • Static, or held, fixed-position stretches are best to do immediately after a particular strength exercise or at the end of a cardio workout. They should not be substituted for the much more appropriate light-progressing-to-moderate intensity cardio warm up.
  • You can make a very healthy, lower sugar and higher protein smoothie — without protein powder — at home for a small fraction of the cost of getting one at a smoothie place. Check out this recipe.
  • Five minutes meditating at the beginning or end of your day can lower your stress and improve your outlook. Watch this video.

Want more useful information on how to eat well and get in shape? Contact Dan at http://trivalleywellness.com.

Cameron Sullivan June 08, 2011 at 03:45 PM
Great suggestions, Dan. I've tried the arm-"sweeping" in your first point on my long walks and jogs... I look like an orangutan (or a freak), but it may even be helping strengthen my slipping-sliding swimmer's shoulder. Fortunately, I'm not the overly self-conscious type!
Dan Taylor June 08, 2011 at 08:52 PM
Thanks Cameron - The sweep is actually one segment of a physical therapy rotator cuff rehab circuit. Hope it does help. and i heard this somewhere (but not sure who to credit): "Don't worry so much about what other people are thinking about you, because they're not!"

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