Eve's Health & Fitness

DOB: October 27 CURRENT RESIDENCE: North Eastern Oklahoma OCCUPATION: Certified Group Fitness Instructor HEIGHT:5'1"; WEIGHT:105 lbs.; BF%:14.3% bodyfat FAVORITE BODY PARTS TO TRAIN: Back, abs FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL: Mexican and any dark chocolate CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Featured as a fitness role model in Chad Tackett's Global-Health & Fitness website: http://www.global-fitness.com/ DESCRIBE MYSELF: Competitive, energetic, persistent, focused, consistent, and driven.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cholesterol

Cholesterol: The Good, the Bad, and the Whole Picture


All this talk about cholesterol, lipids, and "good" and "bad" can be so confusing! Cholesterol and fat were things that we thought were always unhealthy, but research has shown that there are different types, some that increase the risk of heart disease and some that are actually protective! To check your risk of heart disease, your doctor may order a lipid profile test. This checks the levels of at least four lipid — fat — components in your blood:
  • Total cholesterol: This is the total amount of cholesterol floating in your bloodstream, some of which may offer protection against heart disease, and some of which may increase your risk. Your total cholesterol level should be less than 200 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter).
  • LDL cholesterol: LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, cholesterol, usually labeled "bad," tends to adhere to the inside of blood vessel walls, building up blockages that can cause a heart attack. You want your LDL level to be low — ideally, less than 100 mg/dl, according to the American Heart Association. Between 100 and 129 is considered "near optimal," 130 to 159 is considered "borderline high," 160 to 189 is considered "high," and 190 and above is considered "very high."
  • HDL cholesterol: This type of cholesterol is the one many people think of as "good" cholesterol. Instead of sticking to the lining of blood vessels, HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, cholesterol (the so-called good cholesterol) is brought to the liver to be removed from the body — so it reduces your risk of heart disease. You want your HDL level to be high — at least 60 mg/dl or higher. A low HDL level (less than 40 mg/dl for men; less than 50 mg/dl for women) increases the risk of heart disease.

  • Triglycerides: These fats are also included in a lipid profile. Although it's not clear whether high triglyceride levels are a risk factor for heart disease by themselves, they usually go hand in hand with other risk factors, such as high total cholesterol or low HDL. If you are obese, inactive, drink a lot of alcohol, or follow a diet very high in carbohydrates, you may have high triglycerides. Your triglyceride level should be less than 150 mg/dl.

Have you gotten your lipid profile report? If not, make an appointment within the next seven days and commit to getting one. If you've already gotten the results and your lipid profile is good, that's excellent, but it doesn't mean you can eat whatever you want! You need to continue eating healthfully so those lipid levels can stay great!

Keep your Heart Healthy for your Valentine!

Cheers,

Eve :-)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Foods That Promote Brain Health

The act of thinking is hard work, and your brain needs plenty of fuel to keep you alert, walking, talking, learning and remembering. Evidence is growing that food and dietary choices made today may influence brain health and efficiency now and in the years to come.

To maximize brain health, the brain needs an abundance of healthy cells (neurons) sending and receiving electrical signals at lightning speed. During the normal aging process, the brain makes fewer new neurons, and the connections (synapses) tend to lose the flexibility that enables the cells to communicate effectively. However, diet can have a role in maximizing those neurons over the years, thus promoting brain health.

For the Short Term, Think “Sugar” – But Not That Kind
Like all cells, those in your brain run on sugar – glucose – but a steady, constant supply rather than peaks and valleys of surplus and deficit can help produce optimal brain health.

Glucose comes from carbohydrates, but simple carbohydrates – like table sugar and corn syrup – hit the bloodstream in a hurry, causing a spike and rapid decline. Complex carbohydrates are typically found in high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They allow glucose levels to rise slowly and taper off gradually. Adding a high-quality protein can help keep blood sugar and mental sharpness at most advantageous levels even longer.

Many people reach for foods high in simple carbohydrates when they’re looking for a quick breakfast and/or snack. Try to resist this temptation. As a mother of four, my days usually start very early and it would be easy to grab a sugary pastry. But I rarely do so; I’ve personally found that a breakfast high in complex carbohydrates and with some protein – like lox with some fruit – is the best fuel to kick-start my often long days.

Fat That’s Good for You
Brain cells also need some dietary fat, and the best choice appears to be omega-3 fatty acids. DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, salmon, tuna and sardines, is the main component of brain synapses, and a lack of omega-3 has been shown to diminish cognitive performance. Walnuts, flaxseed oil, soybean oil and canola oil also are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. If fish and nuts are not a regular part of your diet, I highly recommend taking a purified omega-3 supplement daily.

Fruits and Vegetables for the Long Run
Within the past few years, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers have focused a great deal of attention on extracts from vegetables and fruits – particularly berry fruits – and their apparent ability to reverse age-related brain cell deficits and improve cell-to-cell signaling. They are a great source of antioxidant phytochemicals, which could help protect the brain from free-radical damage.

Although there is no single miracle food that will prevent or reverse brain disorders, it appears that choosing a balanced diet that includes a variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, may promote brain health and make a difference over time.

To a long and healthy mind.

Cheers,

Eve :-)


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Diabetes-Proof Your Life

12 Ways to Never Get Diabetes

1. Nudge the Scale

Even extremely overweight people were 70% less likely to develop diabetes when they lost just 5% of their weight—even if they didn’t exercise. If you weigh 175 pounds, that’s a little less than 9 pounds! Use a calorie calculator to see how many calories you consume—and how many you need to shave off your diet—if you want to lose a little.


2. Pick the Right Appetizer

In an Arizona State University study, people with type 2 diabetes or a precursor condition called insulin resistance had lower blood sugar levels if they consumed about 2 tablespoons of vinegar just before a high-carb meal. "Vinegar contains acetic acid, which may inactivate certain starch-digesting enzymes, slowing carbohydrate digestion," says lead researcher Carol Johnston, PhD. In fact, vinegar’s effects may be similar to those of the blood sugar—lowering medication acarbose (Precose).
Before you eat that fettuccine, enjoy a salad with this dressing: Whisk 3 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons flaxseed oil, 1 clove garlic (crushed), 1/4 teaspoon honey, 3 tablespoons yogurt, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. (Makes four 2-tablespoon servings.)

3. Ditch Your Car

People in a Finnish study who exercised the most—up to 4 hours a week, or about 35 minutes a day—dropped their risk of diabetes by 80%, even if they didn’t lose any weight. This pattern holds up in study after study: The famed Nurses’ Health Study, for example, found that women who worked up a sweat more than once a week reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 30%. And Chinese researchers determined that people with high blood sugar who engaged in moderate exercise (and made other lifestyle changes) were 40% less likely to develop full-blown diabetes. Why is walking so wonderful? Studies show that exercise helps your body utilize the hormone insulin more efficiently by increasing the number of insulin receptors on your cells. Insulin helps blood sugar move into cells, where it needs to go to provide energy and nutrition. Otherwise it just sloshes around in your bloodstream, gumming up blood vessel walls and eventually causing serious health problems.

4. Be a Cereal Connoisseur

Some tips: Look for the words high fiber on the box; that ensures at least 5 g per serving. But don’t stop there. Check the label; in some brands, the benefits of fiber are overshadowed by the addition of refined grains, added sugar, or cholesterol-raising fats.
Decode the grains:
Where that fiber comes from matters too, so check the ingredient list to find out exactly what those flakes or squares are made from. Millet, amaranth, quinoa, and oats are always whole grain, but if you don’t see whole in front of wheat, corn, barley, or rice, these grains have been refined and aren’t as healthy.
Watch for hidden sugar:
The "total sugars" listing doesn’t distinguish between added and naturally occurring sugars; the best way to tell is scan the ingredients again. The following terms represent added sugars: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, sugar, and sucrose. Skip cereals that list any of these within the first three ingredients (which are listed by weight).

5. Indulge Your Coffee Cravings

After they studied 126,210 women and men, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that big-time coffee drinkers—those who downed more than 6 daily cups—had a 29 to 54% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes during the 18-year study. Sipping 4 to 5 cups cut risk about 29%; 1 to 3 cups per day had little effect. Decaf coffee offered no protection. Caffeine in other forms—tea, soda, chocolate—did. Researchers suspect that caffeine may help by boosting metabolism. And coffee, the major caffeine source in the study, also contains potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants that help cells absorb sugar.
But before you become a VIP at Dunkin Donuts, remember that a medium chain-store cuppa is about 14 to 16 ounces—right there, that’s 2 "cups" by standard measures.

6. Ditch the Drive-Thru

That’s what University of Minnesota scientists found after they studied 3,000 people, ages 18 to 30, for 15 years. At the start, everyone was at a normal weight. But those who ate fast food more than twice a week gained 10 more pounds and developed twice the rate of insulin resistance—the two major risk factors for type 2 diabetes—compared with those who indulged less than once a week. In addition to the jumbo portions, many fast food meals are loaded with unhealthy trans fats and refined carbohydrates, which may raise diabetes risk even if your weight remains stable. A better bet: Keep a baggie of DIY trail mix in your purse/backpack at all times in case hunger pangs come on. Nuts are known blood sugar—lowerers.

7. Go Veggie More Often

Women who ate red meat at least 5 times a week had a 29% higher risk of type 2 diabetes than those who ate it less than once a week, found a 37,000-woman study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. And eating processed meats such as bacon and hot dogs at least 5 times a week raised type 2 diabetes risk by 43%, compared with eating them less than once a week. The culprits? Scientists suspect the cholesterol in red meat and the additives in processed meat are to blame.

8. Spice Up Your Life

German researchers studied 65 adults with type 2 diabetes who then took a capsule containing the equivalent of 1 g of cinnamon powder or a placebo 3 times a day for 4 months. By the end, cinnamon reduced blood sugar by about 10%; the placebo users improved by only 4%. Why? Compounds in cinnamon may activate enzymes that stimulate insulin receptors. The sweet spice has also been shown to help lower cholesterol and triglycerides, blood fats that may contribute to diabetes risk.

9. Unwind Every Day

When you’re stressed, your body is primed to take action. This gearing up causes your heart to beat faster, your breath to quicken, and your stomach to knot. But it also triggers your blood sugar levels to skyrocket. "Under stress, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, raising blood sugar levels to prepare you for action," says Richard Surwit, PhD, author of The Mind-Body Diabetes Revolution and chief of medical psychology at Duke University. If your cells are insulin resistant, the sugar builds up in your blood, with nowhere to go—leading to chronically high levels. The good news is, simple relaxation exercises and other stress management moves can help you gain control over blood sugar levels, according to a study conducted at Duke University. Try these proven relaxers:

  • Start your day with yoga, meditation, or a walk.
  • Take three deep, slow breaths before answering the phone, starting the car, serving the kids lunch, or any other activity.
  • Reclaim your Sundays as a day of rest or fun with your family, relaxing, worship, etc. Try to avoid spending the whole day on obligatory errands such as mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, or catching up on work.

10. Get a Perfect Night’s Rest

A Yale University study of 1,709 men found that those who regularly got less than 6 hours of shut-eye doubled their diabetes risk; those who slept more than 8 hours tripled their odds. Previous studies have turned up similar findings in women. "When you sleep too little—or too long because of sleep apnea—your nervous system stays on alert," says lead researcher Klar Yaggi, MD, an assistant professor of pulmonary medicine at Yale. This interferes with hormones that regulate blood sugar. A Columbia University study found that sleeping less than 5 hours also doubled the risk of high blood pressure. For a good night’s rest, avoid caffeine after noon, leave work at the office, and skip late-night TV. Oversleeping may be a sign of depression or a treatable sleep disorder, so talk with your doctor.

11. Keep Good Company

Women who live alone are 2.5 times more likely to develop diabetes than women who live with a partner, other adults, or children, according to a study published in Diabetes Care. Researchers examined what role household status played in the progression of impaired glucose tolerance to diabetes among 461 women, ages 50 to 64, and found higher risk among women living alone.
But don’t freak out if you live solo: Lifestyle factors could explain this finding. Women who lived alone were also more likely to smoke and less likely to have healthy dietary habits or consume alcohol.

12. Have a Blood Test

A simple blood test can reveal whether sugar levels put you at risk for the condition. People with prediabetes—slightly elevated blood sugar levels, between 100 and 125 mg/dl—often develop a full-blown case within 10 years. Knowing your blood sugar levels are a little high can put you on a track to steadying them—with simple diet and exercise changes—before diabetes sets in and medications may be necessary.
Everyone 45 and older should have their blood sugar levels tested. Younger people who have risk factors such as being overweight, a family history, and high cholesterol and blood pressure should ask a doctor about getting tested sooner. If results are normal, get tested again within 3 years. If you have prediabetes, blood sugar should be tested again in 1 to 2 years.

Cheers,

Eve :-)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Sexier Arms

4 Exercises That Stop the Jiggle!

Today we begin with a simple exercise. Your right arm should be at the side of your body. Please lift it up and out to the side so that your shoulder and hand form a straight line. Next, simply shake your right arm. Is fat bouncing all over the place like a bowl of Jell-O? Congratulations, you officially have bat wings. Let's face it... you're carrying too much body fat.
As always, you have to perform cardio and strength training to make changes because these are the most efficient methods to improve muscles and burn body fat.

Here's my formula for sexy arms...
1. Antagonist Workouts: Antagonist training refers to working opposing muscle groups in the same workout. There are many ways to manipulate workout parameters, but I've had great success performing a biceps exercise immediately followed by a triceps exercise (also called a superset). One then rests for a specified time and repeats the cycle. This not only increases blood flow into the entire arm, but also challenges the cardiovascular system to some degree.

Antagonist supersets allows you to use more weight because the opposing muscle group gets a bit of a rest as you work the other muscle. This is my all-time-favorite way to work arms, and I've had my greatest success using this method with clients.

2. Time Between Sets: Arms respond quite well with a 45-second to 60-second rest between supersets when performing antagonist training. After performing the biceps and triceps exercise, one would wait no more then 45 to 60 seconds and then repeat the cycle. People tend to wait a lot longer than they realize, or they repeat a set too soon. There has to be some time allotted for recovery, but not so much that you begin to get stale. This allows you to do more work in less time and pumps blood volume into the arm.

3. Lower Body Fat: You won't get great-looking arms with elevated body fat levels. Sometimes new members tell me that they hate the flab on the back of their arms and want to know which exercises will make the arms sleek. It doesn't quite work like that. As you perform your arm exercises and as you reduce body fat through a slight calorie reduction with added cardiovascular exercise, you'll see your arms develop the way you want them to. The muscles will develop slightly from your workouts, and your reduced body fat will then display sleek muscles.

Balance is vital. A healthy nutrition program combined with a slight calorie deficit, cardiovascular exercise and weight training is essential. A proper nutrition program will send just the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and monounsaturated fats into your body and help your arms (as well as your entire body) look lean. Cardio will accelerate the fat burning process, and weight training will stimulate and develop your muscles so that when the fat comes off, you're left with a lean and tight body and beautifully sculpted arms.

For four weeks, add the following program to your upper-body weight training sessions. Place it first in the workout, and then follow with all of your other muscle groups (chest, back and shoulders). Yes, your arms will be fatigued when performing the other exercises, but this allows you to prioritize the arms. The muscles that are worked at the beginning of a workout usually respond the quickest to changes.

The Workout

A1. Fitball Supine Triceps Extension

Starting Position:

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Sit on the ball and walk your feet out until your head, neck and shoulders are supported on the ball with the knees at a 90-degree angle.
  • Raise your hips in line with the knees and shoulders like a tabletop. Maintain the tabletop position throughout the exercise.
  • Holding the dumbbells, extend your arms toward the ceiling with a slight bend in the elbows.

    Movement:

  • Slowly lower the dumbbells toward the shoulders by bending the elbows stopping just short of the dumbbells touching the shoulders.
  • Contracting the triceps muscles, slowly return to the starting position stopping just short of the arms being fully extended with a slight bend in the elbows.

    Key Points:

  • Inhale while lifting the weights.
  • Exhale while returning to the starting position.
  • The upper arms should remain stationary throughout the exercise.
  • A2. Barbell

    Double Biceps Curl(stand with your back against a wall for better isolation of the biceps)

    Starting Position:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in the knees.

  • Hold the barbell with both hands shoulder-width apart, a slight bend in the elbows and palms facing away from your body. The barbell should be resting lightly on your thighs.
  • Keep your shoulder blades contracted throughout the range of motion.

    Movement:

  • Contracting the biceps muscles, raise the barbell toward the shoulders keeping the upper arm stationary and elbows close to the body stopping just short of the barbell touching your shoulders.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

    Key Points:

  • Exhale as you raise the weight.
  • Inhale while returning to the starting position.

    Instruction: Perform A1 for 10 reps and immediately go to A2 and perform 12 reps (superset). Wait 45 seconds and perform the superset two additional times for a total of three supersets.

  • .

    B1. The Triceps Extension

  • Starting Position:

  • Stand with a dumbbell in your right hand and your left hand on your hip.
  • Press the weight over your head until your right arm is almost straight with a slight bend in the elbow at the top position.
  • Do not allow the weight to touch your head or neck area.

    Movement:

  • Slowly bend your elbow, lowering the weight until your arm forms a 90-degree angle behind your head stopping before the weight touches your back.
  • Contracting the triceps muscles, slowly return to the starting position.

    Key Points:

  • Exhale while returning to the starting position.
  • Inhale while lowering the weight.
  • After completing the set on the right side, repeat on the left side.
  • This exercise is not to be performed with large dumbbells. The technique is more important than the weight.
  • You can also perform this exercise while seated on a bench.

  • B2. The Biceps Curl

    Starting Position:


  • Sit on a bench or chair with both feet in front of your body and your back straight.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms at each side and palms facing forward.

    Movement:

  • Contracting the biceps muscles, raise the weights toward your shoulders stopping just short of the weights touching the shoulders.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

  • Key Points:

  • Exhale while lifting the weights.
  • Inhale while returning to the starting position.
  • Your upper arms should remain stationary throughout the exercise.

    Instruction: Perform B1 for 12 reps and immediately go to B2 and perform 12 reps (superset). Wait 45 seconds and perform the superset two additional times for a total of three supersets.

    Perform the workout on three alternate days of the week. Beginners should perform only one superset of each cycle.

    Believe me, the program is not easy -- but it will produce results when combined with your nutrition program. Time to get to work.

    Please check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

  • Train hard. Expect results.
    Cheers,
    Eve :-)

    posted by Eve @ 2:45 PM 1 Comments

    Tuesday, January 05, 2010

    How to Burn Calories

    Burn 100 Calories Anywhere

    If you can't fit in a full-on workout, here's a list of activities that will burn around 100 calories. As an added bonus, most of these motions have to be done anyway, so by tweaking them just slightly you'll be burning more calories while cleaning your house, yard or car.

    How to Clean and Burn Calories
    Do these chores at a brisk pace. Try not to take breaks and use some elbow grease to get things sparkling. It might also help to turn on some tunes and time yourself, trying to do it a little faster each week.

    Washing Windows -- 30 minutes will burn about 150 calories.

    Doing the Dishes -- Skip the dishwasher and do them yourself to burn 75 calories in 30 minutes.

    Rearranging Your Room -- 30 minutes of moving furniture burns 225 calories.

    Vacuuming -- Burn about 100 calories in 30 minutes.

    Painting -- Tired of your beige bedroom? Pick a new color and burn roughly 100 calories per 20 minutes of painting (think Karate Kid).

    Fat-Burning Fun in the Sun
    Cutting the Grass -- Mowing the lawn will burn 160 calories in 30 minutes, as long as you're pushing the mower yourself.

    Washing the Car -- Burn about 150 calories in just 30 minutes (bikini optional).

    Gardening -- The digging and raking you do are big-time calorie burners. You can burn up to 100 calories in just 15 minutes, plus you'll have fresh healthy produce to show for your effort.

    Biking -- A leisurely bike ride (approximately 10 mph) will burn more than 100 calories in 40 minutes. Grab the family and get pedaling!

    Swimming -- No need to go all Michael Phelps here. Just a 15-minute slow swim will burn about 100 calories.

    Frisbee -- A fun 30-minute Frisbee toss with your kids or friends will burn about 100 calories and hardly seem like exercise at all.

    Pushing a Baby Stroller -- Pushing a stroller burns about 60 calories in 20 minutes. Don't have a baby? I'm sure your relative, friend or neighbor will be happy to lend you theirs.

    Walking -- It's one of the simplest ways to burn calories because you don't need anything to get started. Fifteen minutes of brisk walking will burn approximately 100 calories. A brisk daily walk at lunch time or after work will make a difference.

    Dancing -- Who doesn't love to shake it? 20 minutes of dancing at a moderate pace will burn 100 calories. As Lady Gaga says, "Just Dance!"

    *All of these numbers are based on a 150-pound individual.

    Cheers,

    Eve :-)

    posted by Eve @ 9:05 PM 1 Comments

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