7 Health Benefits of Apples

Do apples make you skinny? That’s what I have heard from some time. Whether they do or not, apples are in abundance right now, and I love cooking and eating them. My daughter, Leigh, fractured her foot last week at dance (this is the 3rd fracture she has had in a year-ughhh). I told her yesterday, “Maybe you should start eating apples since they are good for bone health”, and it made me think of writing this post on the 7 Health Benefits of Eating Apples:

1. Apples make you feel full (or skinny?)-I heard that apples can make you skinny, but perhaps it’s the fiber in an apple that keeps you feeling full longer. There are about 95 calories in a medium-sized apple, and they take our bodies longer to digest since they are made with complex fiber. One component of an apple’s peel is something called ursolic acid, which was been linked to a lower risk of obesity in a recent study in mice. Also, applesauce is also a great healthy substitute for baked goods. Try substituting it for half of the butter and oil in many dessert pr baked recipes.

2. Apples can lower cholesterol- Apples are one of the top fruits with plenty of pectin, a soluble fiber that reduces cholesterol. Pectin prevents cholesterol from building up in the lining of blood vessel walls, thus reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis and heart disease.

3. Apples are a good memory booster- Apples have quercetin which may protect brain cells, help improve your memory and lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s.

4. Apples help reduce blood sugar– The polyphenols in apples can influence the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and help achieve normal glucose levels.

5. Apples have anti cancer benefits- Studies have showed that apples can also help protect against colon cancer from a chemical in apples. Another in 2007 also found additional compounds, called triterpenoids, which seem to fight against liver, colon, and breast cancers.

6. Apples can protect bones-Apples contain phloridzin that is said to increase bone density and boron that strengthens bones.

 7. Apples can help reduce and prevent Asthma– Studies link a higher intake of vitamin C with improved asthma. Another study, discovered adults and children who consumed apples or apple juice every day also reduced their risk of asthmatic attacks.
Also studies show that women who eat plenty of apples are less likely to have children with asthma.

Fitness Friday: Alison Sweeney’s Top 5 Tips for a Body Makeover

Who watches the Biggest Loser and wants a body makeover? Alison Sweeney is more than just the host of The Biggest Loser—she lives the show’s healthy lifestyle. Alison Sweeney built an exclusive 30-day plan for Health magazine featuring her favorite tips, moves, and recipes, including lessons she’s learned from celebrity trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels. Here are Alison’s top 5 tips for a body makeover:

1. Scrap all unrealistic expectations.

“I’m not a fan of having a supermodel on your refrigerator…Nobody is going to all of a sudden, at 40, look like an 18-year-old model. Set your goals to positive things. Instead of thinking, ‘I need to work out because I want to lose weight,” I’m thinking, ‘I have to run a 26.2-mile race, so I have to run. Today. Now.’”

2. Don’t put off what you can do today.

“When I do one thing that’s good, I immediately start to feel better. I don’t wait for Monday. I don’t wait for a holiday. I don’t wait for my birthday. I don’t wait for January 1. I start right now.”

3. Make Alison’s chopped salad for dinner.

“A friend of mine brought over a vegetable salad that was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Just cut up cooked broccoli, asparagus, green beans, raw carrots, and roasted corn into neat little chopped bits and add cilantro and avocado, then toss it. The fat from the avocado and a little bit of salt – that’s the dressing. It’s so good and so refreshing!”

4. If you crave sugar tonight, go to bed early.

“One thing I learned from Jillian [Michaels] is that when you’re tired, you crave sugar because your brain needs sugar to sustain itself. So when you’re tired, one of the first symptoms is that you’ll look for something sugary to eat because you’re trying to stay awake. So think of it that way, instead of, ‘Oh, I’m so weak-willed.’ It’s not that. Close your eyes! You need rest.”

5. Put out your sneakers tonight to taunt you tomorrow.

“If my sneakers are out, they’re like, ‘Pick me, pick me!’”

For the full plan, please visit Health Magazine 

5 Best Drinks for Hydration: Fitness Friday

It’s so warm this summer, so if you are exercising or just in the heat, keep hydrated and drink up. Here are some of the best drinks for hydration that seem to work for me. Also, see my recipe for Blueberry Spritzer for something a little different.

1. Coconut Water: Coconut and coconut water is so popular these days. I love the idea of coconut water as a natural electrolyte source. This category has grown from one product to many and from plain to fruit-flavored. Drink them as they are, mix them into your favorite smoothies or even add them to popsicle recipes.

2. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: You probably haven’t thought about the water content of fresh produce, but there is a hydration benefit that comes from consuming fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Consider cucumber, watermelon and even iceberg lettuce for their high water content. While these foods shouldn’t replace your other fluids, making them part of your meals and snacks is a good idea.

3. 100% Fruit Juice: 100% fruit juice is a good alternative to artificially sweetened drinks. However, too much juice throughout the day can add up to too many calories in your diet. Combine one or two ounces of juice mixed with seltzer or sparkling water for a refreshing way to hydrate.

4. Iced Coffee or Tea: Good news for those who drink caffeinated drinks. Caffeine is not dehydrating like it was once believed to be, as long as you don’t overdo it.  Of course, what you put into iced coffee or tea greatly affects the nutritional quality of the drink. Aim for non-fat milk and hold off on the sugar.

5. Water: Water is still the best drink choice. I try to drink a liter of water after my workouts before consuming my morning coffee. Remember to drink water throughout the day, and you are sure to stay well hydrated.

 

 

Thanks to www.guidingstars.com for sharing some of this information. All other advice is from me.

Fitness Friday: At Home Workout & No Equipment Needed

Last week I found this At Home Workout Circuit posted on Pinterest by Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers,and I had to share it. I love this because no equipment or weights are required. Just take yourself outside, and give it a try!

Quote above via Piccsy

Fitness Friday: How to Get Toned, Sexy Arms for Summer

Summer is here, and that means breaking out summer clothes such as sundresses, tank tops, and bathing suits. If your arms aren’t ready yet, New York City personal trainer, Hannah Davis, has a plan that will get you toned and tight in plenty of time. “The trick is that most women focus on single-joint exercises, like biceps curls, which work primarily one muscle. Doing complex moves recruits more muscle fibers and works your upper body to total fatigue, says Davis. That means you’ll burn more calories and shed arm fat faster, so your arms, shoulders, and upper back will be sleek in time for their big reveal.” See more for an easy great looking arm workout at Women’s Health.

Fitness Friday: Burn More Calories Trail Running

Need some new ways to blast calories? Since it’s warmer outside, head to the trails. Try some of these three fun, fast-paced trail routines designed by Vindum and Nikki Kimball, three-time winner of the prestigious Western States 100-mile endurance race. I love all of three trail running suggestions.

1. Circuit Play
Why: Mixing walking, running, sprinting, and strength work transforms a hike into a full-body workout.

How: As you move along the trail, vary your pace: Go easy for two minutes, pick it up a bit for five, then sprint or speed-walk hard for 15 to 60 seconds. Recover at a slow pace until your breathing returns to normal. Then launch into a strength move (pushups and triceps dips on a log, calf raises on a rock, squats with one foot propped up on a rock) for 60 to 90 seconds. That’s one cycle. Do four to six cycles, switching up the strength moves and your speeds throughout your workout.

2. Cardio Hill Blast
Why: Running and hiking uphill increases your leg strength and improves your cardiovascular fitness while also torching fat—win, win, win! For each degree of incline, count on at least a 10 percent increase in calories burned, according to New York City nutrition and metabolism expert Jana Klauer, M.D., author of The Park Avenue Nutritionist’s Plan: The No-Fail Prescription for Energy, Vitality & Weight Loss. So running up a 5 percent grade (a gentle hill) will burn 50 percent more calories than running on a totally flat surface for the same amount of time.

How: Run up gradual hills at a strong but comfortable pace (you’re breathing hard, but you can still say a few words). Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders relaxed and down. On steep grades, switch to a quick walk, using medium to long strides. If the route you take has only one or two hills, do repeats: Run or walk the hill, jog back down, then take the climb again. Aim for four to eight total hill climbs.

3. Power Up, Race Down
Why: When you do squats, lunges, and other strength moves uphill, and then run downhill, you’ll get a balanced lower-body workout. The uphill exercises target the glutes, calves, and inner and outer thighs, while downhill running works your quads. Bonus: Doing strength moves on an incline requires more energy, so you’ll burn more calories, and managing uneven ground as you descend improves balance and coordination.

How: When you get to a hill, work in a few strength moves. Then run down the other side (or the same side). If the climb is long enough, perform 20 reps of each exercise on the way up.

Read more of this story at Women’s Health

10 Health Benefits of Kiwifruit

My kids absolutely love kiwifruit, and I am so glad because they have so many amazing health benefits. One kiwi has 45 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrate, 0.5 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber. Here are the top 10 health benefits of eating kiwifruit.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Kiwi:

1. High in Vitamin C-Kiwi contains a remarkable amount of vitamin C, a water soluble antioxidant that has been proven to fight against cardiovascular disease and cancer. Kiwi contains 2 1/2 times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

2. High in Fiber-Kiwi has a high fiber content which helps improve diabetes, controls blood sugar and protects against colon cancer.

3. Preventing Asthma, Wheezing and Coughing-Studies of 18,000 children have shown that children consuming more kiwi aided in their respiratory tracts and helped prevent asthma, wheezing and coughing.

4. Good source of potassium-One serving of kiwi has more potassium than a banana, ideal for fluid and electrolyte balance and energy during exercise.

5. Improved Vision-Studies show that not just carrots are good for your eyes, but kiwi too. Kiwi fruit is an excellent source of the phytochemical lutein which helps contribute to age related blindness. Consuming three kiwi a day can lower your risk of eyesight loss.

6. Improved Cardiovascular Health-Studies are showing consuming a few kiwi a day can lower your chances of blood clots as well as reduce your triglycerides, protecting against cardiovascular disease.

7. Source of Vitamin E-Kiwi fruit is one of the fat free sources of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps boost immunity and helps lower cholesterol.

8. Good Source of Zinc-Kiwi’s zinc content can help promote testosterone in men and promote healthy skin, hair, nails and teeth.

9. Source of Folate-Kiwi has 10% of the recommended daily amount of folate which pregnant mothers need for a healthy pregnancy, baby and prevention of birth defects.

10. Low Glycemic Index-Kiwi has a low glycemic index of 52 which is safe for diabetics, is low in carbohydrates and aids in weight loss.

Tuesday Travel: Turnberry Isle Miami Triathlete Program

Wow this really caught my eye. I have always wanted to attempt a triathlon. Honest! When I saw this awesome training program from Turnberry Isle Miami, it really got my even more interested. Turnberry Isle Miami offers a new fitness program designed to train beginner and amateur triathletes. A first of its kind at a South Florida resort, the new Tri-Turnberry program was designed by lead Fitness Director Tait Smith and Spa Director Kirstie Bolitho—who are both avid triathletes—to cater to one of America’s fastest growing sports. This program combines new Schwinn bikes, a tranquil lap pool, winding paths around two championship golf courses and a scenic 2.9 mile jogging trail, “We thought about all the beautiful surroundings at Turnberry Isle and asked ourselves how we could incorporate all the features into a workout that’s suitable for all fitness levels,” said Smith. “For triathletes, this is a course that is sure to test physical endurance and will get proven results.”

The cost to participate is $25, and triathletes can choose difficulty and speed from three different categories: Elite, Sport and Beginner. With admission, participants also receive unlimited classes and compete in a final race held at the end of each month.

For die-hard cyclists, the resort also has introduced a new Tour de Turnberry program, which takes place at the Fitness Center on New Tour de France bikes powered by Google maps with 21 stages of the tour. The bikes feature tilting mechanism and a simulation of hugging tightly to the road.

It’s $200 to participate in the Tour de Turnberry program and each participant has 30 days to complete the program and can earn prizes at each stage, such as the popular yellow and king of the mountain polka dot jerseys normally associated with the Tour de France, for having the fastest time or best climb.

Two spaces are available at the top of every hour, Monday- Friday, and then between a period of four hours on Saturday and Sunday. For inquiries, call 305-933-6930.

 

Tri-Turnberry Class Categories:

ELITE CLASS: 20 laps in the pool, 18-mile bike ride and 5k run

SPORT CLASS: 12 laps in the pool, 12-mile bike ride and 5k run

BEGINNER: 8 laps in the pool, 8-mile bike ride and one-mile fun run

Fitness Friday: 7 Reasons Why to Hire a Personal Trainer

Should you hire a personal trainer? l have so many friends who always ask if they should or shouldn’t, and I asked Matt Crane, owner of L.I.F.E. Fitness why anyone should hire or need a personal trainer Here’s what Matt had to say, “I’m not a fan of the title, “Personal Trainer.” Technically, I am one, but that is such a small part of what I do. “Coach, therapist, counselor, and friend are only a few of the titles that comes from being a “trainer.” I pride myself in improving and reshaping my clients quality of life while helping them live life to the fullest, full of purpose, meaning and with boldness. The name of my business, L.I.F.E, means Living in Fitness Everyday, and I have a passion to spread this message to as many people as I can.

1) Personal Trainers create safe, effective, and efficient training programs: First and foremost, your health and safety should be at the forefront of any exercise plan. I see it all too often. People get excited about working out and getting in shape and try to do it on their own, but commonly end up with frustration, feeling lost, or worse, injured. My clients go through an extensive initial assessment to identify areas of weakness/strength, fill out medical/past injury/background information, and complete a par-q (physical readiness questionnaire).  Taking all of these variables into account, I sit down with everyone and devise a customized plan designed specifically for the clients’ unique needs, goals, time constraints, and other influencing factors.  Once you have a plan in place, a trainer can ensure that you are getting maximum results out of the effort you are putting in.  By following a challenging, dynamic, and efficient training plan, you are ensured to constantly be evolving and overcoming plateaus when you reach them.

2) A trainer can provide guidance with your nutrition: Regardless of your goal, nutrition is by far the most important piece of a successful training program, easily being 75-80% of what will determine if you achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

3) A trainer helps you set REALISTIC and attainable goals: Many times people set goals for themselves that aren’t feasible.  When they fall short, they get disappointed, discouraged, and can lead to their quitting the program altogether.  A trainer, through experience and knowing your individual needs, can help you set, adjust, and track your progress through a number of different ways.  By setting realistic, attainable goals for yourself, you set yourself up for success by achieving small milestones that add up to big change.  I preach to my clients, “SMALL CHANGES, BIG RESULTS!”

4) A trainer provides accountability:  As with anything else we do in life, when you have someone you are accountable to, you are more likely to complete the task at hand.  Having that person there (that you have paid for), waiting for you to show up is a huge motivating factor for making it to the gym to get your workout in. Let’s face it, there never seems to be enough time in the day and we can always find an excuse NOT to do something, it is crucial to have that built in accountability.

5) A trainer provides guidance and knowledge beyond the gym:  The reality is that we only get to see our clients an average of 3 hours or so per week, so the overwhelming majority of your success depends on how prepared you are the other 165 hours during the week.  By having a trainer who helps you during those crucial hours outside of the gym, you are going to be much more likely to make the right choices.

6) A trainer provides motivation and encouragement:  In times of frustration, disappointment, or lack of will, a trainer will motivate you to keep pushing when you would otherwise give up.  Whether it be that extra pushup, that last 30 seconds of cardio, or simply receiving encouraging words via text or through a phone call, a trainer will encourage you to reach your full potential and not give up when you feel you’ve reached your limit.

7)  A trainer INSPIRES you: Having a trainer will inspire you to work toward your goals, reach heights you never thought possible, and ultimately be an inspiration for someone else.  We can ALL be better, and a trainer should inspire you to be the best YOU that YOU can be!  In doing so, you will begin to make a difference in others live as well.  I always teach my clients that they should give the gift they have been given and inspire others- a sort of “pay it forward” mentality.  You never know who is watching or who may be inspired by what you are doing with your life.  Be, live, and give inspiration!

Matt trains clients at Icon Performance. For more information, you can contact Matt at:

Website: www.lifefitnessbham.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/cranelifefitness

Email:  matt@lifefitnessbham.com

Fitness Friday: What is Corporate Yoga?

What is “Corporate Yoga”? Have you heard about it? I am so thrilled to feature an interview with my friend, Jennifer Berman, Owner of Jennifer Berman Yoga. She is doing what she loves teaching yoga classes in major corporations. I find this trend and her entrepreneurial spirit so interesting, unique and inspiring. I couldn’t wait to share this story on my “Fitness Friday”.

 Why is Corporate Yoga So Important and beneficial?

Corporate Yoga brings not only a yoga class to the workplace, but also brings a healthy mindset and lifestyle. Yoga cultivates mindfulness, and when we are in a state of mindfulness, we become in tune with our bodies and our health. We also start to make healthier choices. Companies benefit when it’s not just an exercise class a few times a week, but when there is a shift in the corporate culture toward a healthier lifestyle. I strive to keep my classes engaging, challenging, and fun so the participants never know what to expect. I don’t think I’ve ever taught a class that is the same. This helps Corporate Yoga classes stay packed, and it keeps their employees coming back for more!

Why are more companies going this route?

Companies are beginning to see the benefits of providing Corporate Yoga. There are many benefits for both the employer and employees. From the employer standpoint, this could mean lower insurance premiums, less sick days, increased productivity, reduced staff turnover, more attractive to potential employees, increased job satisfaction and positive thinking. From the employee standpoint, the benefits are improved health and wellness, less stress, anxiety, and depression; improved memory, focus, weight loss, and increased mental alertness. Also, it’s a great way for employees to get to know each other and promote team building. The benefits just go on and on!

How did you get into the entrepreneurial business side of yoga?

About 4 years ago, I donated a few private yoga sessions for a school fundraiser. The person who bought the sessions referred a friend to me. The friend contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in coming to her office to teach a class. A few weeks later I was leading a packed class at her office in an empty board room. Soon after, one of the women in this class referred me to her friend at a law firm downtown.  Before I knew it,  I was traveling to the law firm and teaching a full class in an empty office. At this point, teaching yoga was my hobby and passion, not a career.  I was still working in sales  full-time but teaching a few corporate yoga classes on the side. A horrible work experience left me without a job unexpectedly.  I was forced to figure out something fast. During this very difficult time, a student referred me to her company to teach a yoga class.  Before I knew it, I was teaching all over town doing what I loved and what I am most passionate about. Sometimes it takes those really difficult situations to push us and motivate us in the path we were meant to follow. I feel so blessed to be in a career doing what I love, inspiring and helping others toward a healthier life!

How many corporate classes are you teaching on a weekly basis?

I travel all over Birmingham bringing yoga to large utility companies, financial companies, law firms, doctor offices, and dentist offices. All of the Corporate Yoga classes are paid for by the companies as a wellness benefit for their employees.  All you need to get started is a board room, empty office, or lobby. I offer morning, lunch-time, or afternoon Corporate Yoga classes, conference break yoga sessions, yoga parties, and private yoga.