Health Tip of the Week: Nature

18 11 2013

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Exposure to nature-based environments is associated with lower blood pressure and reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol…and is also responsible for higher levels of activity in the branch of the nervous system responsible for calming us down. – excerpt from This is Your Brain on Nature by Eva M. Selhub, MD and Alan C. Logan, ND

Research on the effects of nature on our bodies and brains is amazing! We know that exercise is good for us, but outdoor, nature-based exercise is exponentially more effective for decreasing mortality, decreasing sick-days, decreasing stress, and improving mood. I would like to talk for a long time about all the studies and their results but since this is a health-tip, I’ll save the details for a book review or article at a later date.

This week, despite the onset of winter conditions, go outdoors and walk for at least 20 minutes per day. It’s important to start this habit now because it gets harder to start if you wait for the arctic-feeling temperatures of January’s resolutions.

Get out there!!

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Health Tip of the Week: Cut the Sugar

15 11 2013

My apologies for the late posting of this week’s tip! Since it will be a shorter “week” I have decided to challenge you!

Cut the Sugar!

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Halloween is over and, although I’m sure there are still lots of sweet, sugary foods snacks lying around, now is the time to cut them out. Not only will decreasing sugar consumption lower your risk for developing diabetes, it will also decrease your risk for high cholesterol, hypertension, and weight gain! Another bonus? Sugar has been shown to decrease your bodies ability to fight colds and flus so cutting it is like a natural flu barrier! I hope I’ve motivated you because I’ve definitely motivated myself!

For the next 4 days say no to any food that has added sugar, glucose, fructose, cane syrup, agave, honey, etc.

As an added challenge for the ultra ambitious, do not consume artificial sweeteners in place of the real deal. This will help your taste buds get used to foods that are less sweet and have a longer lasting impact on the amount of sugar you crave!

4 days! Go!





Health Tip of the Week: 90 Seconds of Exercise

5 11 2013

Didn’t you mean 90 minutes?!

NO! You heard me right. 90 seconds of exercise after each meal is a grand total of 4.5 minutes of daily exercise. This may sound ridiculous but 90 seconds of muscle building, blood pumping exercise after meals will boost your metabolism and allow your muscles to use the sugars digested from the carbohydrates in your meal rather than have them converted into fat. Here’s the exercise:

Time yourself and do 90 seconds of squats after each meal

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That’s it! Easy.

Ready, set, go!