Posts tagged fitness
You no longer have to climb up a palm tree and slice open a coconut to find coconut water; it can now be found everywhere. This product was put on shelves about 5 years ago but recently had its media outburst. Overall coconut water has the highest amount of potassium and the lowest amount of sodium, and lower amounts of sugar and calories compared to sports drinks and energy drinks. Although according to Liz Applegate, director of sports nutrition at UC Davis, coconut water is not the ideal drink to consume after a strenuous work out, because of the low sodium value. When you have a strenuous work out you lose more sodium because of the amount of sweat lost. Coconut water will best replenish your body after a short non strenuous work out. Even though coconut water is new to the shelves in the U.S., it has been used in tropical coastal areas for decades. Here at FITzee Foods, we sell ZICO coconut water and have fully bought into the coconut craze!
According to U.S. News Coconut water has a long list of health benefits:
- Regulate body temperature
- Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells
- Replenishes body fluids after physical exercise
- Raise metabolism
- Promote weight loss
- Boost your immune system
- Fight viruses
- Cleanse digestive tract
- Control diabetes
- Help fight viruses that cause flu, herpes, and AIDs
- Balance PH and reduce risk of cancer
- Treat kidney and urethral stones
- Boost poor circulation
The FITzee Team
The gym is supposed to be the mecca of health, a place where you go to reach optimal physical condition. However, in a season where germs fill the air, the gym can be the very place you catch that bug that keeps you home for days. Here are 9 easy ways to avoid the germs that can make you sick at your gym.
Check out the gym before you join. Make sure it is well ventilated and appears clean and well kept.
Don’t go barefoot. Keep your feet covered in showers, saunas, and other areas where you could pick up germs.
Don’t share gear. Avoid sharing things like bars of soap or deodorant. Sharing these items can facilitate the sharing of germs.
Use a band-aid. Be sure all open wounds are covered before entering the gym.
Disinfect. Bring sanitary wipes to clean off equipment before use.
Wear a towel in the locker room. Wearing a towel while sitting on benches and in the steam room will protect your body.
Use your own water bottle… and don’t share. Keep your water to yourself to prevent germ sharing.
Avoid touching your face while working out. Your hands touch equipment, door handles, etc. and you are much better off if you can avoid touching your face while working out.
Shower after workouts. If you don’t have enough time to shower after working out at least wash your hands thoroughly. Singing “Happy Birthday” for the duration of your hand washing ensures that you scrub long enough to be effective.
You hear about different foods and how they can offer whopping amounts of nutrients that are essential to your daily intake. Almonds, blueberries, fish oil; I’m sure you’ve heard of plenty of different super foods that are ultra powerful in boosting your health. Here’s one to add to the top of your list, and even double star or underline while you’re at it!
The Aztecs and other warring civilizations consumed chia seeds regularly, and were able to perform at an optimal level because of the energy and nutrients they delivered. Fiber, antioxidants, protein, vitamins and minerals; these are all found in chia seeds in plentiful form, unlike other foods that claim to be a source yet barely include a minimal amount of these benefits.
Add two tablespoons of chia seeds to your daily diet, and find yourself taking in more Omega-3 than Atlantic Salmon, more antioxidants than fresh blueberries, more fiber than bran flakes, and more calcium than 2% milk. These seeds provide nutrition and energy and can help reduce cravings because they absorb high amounts of water and soluble fiber. They digest easily, and can be consumed in several forms. Whether you eat them from a bag, add them to a salad, or mix them with a drink, chia seeds will not let you down.
The easiest foods to add chia seeds to are cereal, yogurt, salad, muffins, cookies, pancakes, cottage cheese, soup, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, oatmeal, salsa/dips, and smoothies. Of course, you are welcome to get creative when adding them to your recipes.
Another form we love is Mamma Chia drinks, available at FITzee Foods in Point Loma,CA . They’re tasty and loaded drinks that give you all these great results while keeping calorie consumption to a mere 110 per serving
To Your Health!
The FITzee Team
We are sure you have heard the keys to losing weight: eating less and exercising more, but in today’s society that isn’t easy. If you are able to follow these 10 tips you are sure to get on the right path.
1. Drink plenty of water! If you’re not a water drinker try other calorie free beverages. People often confuse their thirst for hunger, so next time you think you’re hungry just have a glass of water and if that doesn’t work then have a mini snack.
2. Think what you can add to your diet, not what you should take out! There is a new food guide pyramid out which many people don’t know about, try looking at that and see what you’re missing. Another great alternative is getting your recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables. This is also a great snack because you are less likely to add in another meal when you don’t need one, fruits and vegetables displace fat in the diet. The more vegetables you add into your diet the better.
3. Are you really hungry? Remember not to eat too much at once. Always eat enough so that you are only 80% full. The stomach is only the size of your fist, so it doesn’t take much to fill it. When you are done eating you shouldn’t feel bloated or stuffed.
4. Be picky about nighttime snacks! Most of the time after dinner many people do something called mindless eating because you sit and relax and realize you want something to snack on. Instead of sitting in front of the TV with a bag of chips try those 100 calorie pack snacks!
5. Enjoy your favorite foods! If you starve yourself from your favorite foods, you are only going to trigger ‘rebound’ overeating. Know your limits and enjoy the foods you love!
6. Eat several mini meals during the day! There have been studies shown that people who eat 4-5 meals or snacks a day are able to control their weight much more. You should divide your daily calories throughout the day and out of all the meals dinner should be the smallest and the last!
7. Eat Protein at every meal. A new way to control your weight is by eating more protein which will satisfy you in the long run than having carbohydrates and fats. Protein will help preserve muscle mass and will help with fat burning while still feeling full. Make sure you are including healthy protein such as yougurts, cheese, nuts, and eggs.
8. Spice it up! I bet you didn’t know that if you add spices or chilies to your food it can help you feel satisfied.
9. Stock your kitchen with healthy convenience foods! The best things to have in your kitchen are ready to eat snacks, but healthy ones. If you don’t have healthy snacks you will be munching on chips and cookies all day. Some of the best ideas are: frozen vegetables, bags of pre-washed greens, whole grain wraps or pitas, pre-cooked grilled chicken breasts and pre-cooked brown rice.
10. Order children portions! As mentioned before, you want to try and have mini portions throughout the day! So, next time you go out with your friends or family to a restaurant try ordering from the children’s menu. Restaurant plates have grown at least 2 inches in the past couple years, which means larger portion sizes. Never eat anything bigger than your head!
To Your Health!
The FITzee Team
Snack foods can be positive or negative- if done well snacks are an important tool in helping to maintain a proper weight, proper focus, and good energy. But picking the wrong snacks can lead to weight gain, fluctuating blood sugar levels, and trouble concentrating. Brad Sterl, CEO of Rustic Crust, argues that “Americans snack too much and too often, and usually on processed food made with artificial colors and flavors”. Having the right information to make proper snacking choices is necessary to enjoying tasty, fulfilling snacks that help you get through the day with energy and focus. Read through these tips to ensure that you and your family are making the best healthy choices.
The most important thing to remember is to keep portions sensible and nutritional quality high. Nutritious snacks become even more important when you have a fast-paced lifestyle and rely on them instead of meals. “The best choices are high fiber, high protein and low glycemic with low naturally occurring carbs” notes Doug Foreman, CEO of Bean Brand Foods. While any healthy choice is better than fast food or sugary snacks, some snacks are particularly beneficial at certain parts of the day.
When hunger starts to strike between breakfast and lunch, reach for anything high in protein and fiber, “which helps to keep hunger in check and gives your body good fuel to burn”. A good source of protein should give you energy for several hours, and fiber will help you feel full and stave off hunger. Other good options that pack energy and help brain function include: nuts, nut butters, dried fruits, whole grains, whole fruits, and natural fruit/vegetable juices. (For children, stick with lower-carb, low-sugar snacks so they can focus on their school work; carbs are better for after school and before sports).
As energy starts to drop in the afternoon its important to choose a nutritious snack that doesn’t spoil your appetite for dinner. Junk food can be especially tempting in the afternoon, so chose 100-calorie packs to satisfy your cravings. Portion sized snacks that are high in flavor will also satisfy your taste-buds without fulling you up or weighing you down. (For children, Gail Orr of Once Again Nut Butter recommends nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Fruit slices dipped in nut butter or freeze dried fruit are healthier snacks that also taste good to kids).
Loading up on sugar or caffeine at night will ruin a good night’s sleep. “Eating a bedtime snack that combines a concentrated dietary source of trytophan with a healthy carbohydrate-rich food” may help promote sleep. Make sure the carbs are not white or refined, as they turn to sugar quickly. Complex carbohydrates can offer long-term energy and promote a calming state. Reach for: a couple slices of turkey, brown rice, etc.
Keeping healthy snacks and food in the house is a great start, but you can’t always control what your kids (especially pre-teens and teens) eat at school. Teens are prone to eating sugary snacks- and do the most snacking of all Americans- because they fall victim to emotional eating rather than out of hunger. It is extra important to reach out to pre-teens and teens, giving them nutritional education as they start to make their own decisions about food. So as you offer these healthy options to your children, make sure they understand why they are healthy and how a decision to eat poorly or properly affects their day.
We know that you care about good health and good food, so now go reap the benefits of healthy snacking!
Source: “Who are America’s Biggest Snackers?”. Whole Foods Magazine, April 2011. pgs 14-16.
To Your Health!
The FITzee Team
With so many distractions for kids not to exercise, from video games to computers and the fattening of America taking place at an ever increasing pace, kids are more unfit than any other time in our history.
In major studies during the last ten years, children from the ages of 6 to 17 scored extremely low in areas of strength, flexibility, and cardio respiratory endurance. Television watching, electronic games, and inactive parents were implicated as major sources of the lack of exercise.
Children, teenagers, and adults need to accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate activity each day. However, it’s estimated that only one in three American children participate in daily physical activity. And about one-fourth of all adults and young people from the ages of 12 to 21 are getting no vigorous exercise at all.
Kids need to learn at a young age that fitness can be fun! Children have a short attention span (20 minutes) when it comes to fitness, yet an unlimited capacity to watch the monitor or TV.
Kids fatigue in a shorter time, and become both over-heated and dehydrated in a shorter time than adults.
Fitness has to be fun and diverse to peak a child’s interest and turn physical activity into a “looked forward to” time of the day.
One of the best ways to increase the overall fitness of a family is by exercising together. Variety of activity is the key to keeping all family members enjoying exercise. The older the children, the more important it becomes for exercise to be “fun”. Motivation must come from Mom and Dad through example, creative activities, and persistence. Physical activity sessions do not need to last longer than 30-45 minutes but should be scheduled on a regular basis.
Everyone should enjoy the sessions, and they should not be rigid or competitive in nature, especially where young children are involved. Family physical activity time results in family bonding. As each family member enjoys the activities, it should become easier to schedule the sessions. One of the most important results is the teaching of good health habits that can continue for a lifetime.
We have two children (8-10) who have been involved in fitness with us since they were 3-4. How?
Going for walks, playing at the park, beach. Learning how to ride bikes, swimming (year round-indoor or outdoor). We purchased a mini-tramp then a larger one for the kids to bounce on, and would jump with them.
Taking the kids to the gym so they could watch us exercise for short periods and then letting them use light weights at home. Rolling balls across the floor and chasing them on all fours.
Now as the kids are older, they are involved in team sports (soccer and softball). We still take the dogs for walks together, and choose to take small vacations that always include swimming, biking and some walking.
For kids to get excited about exercising, parents have to be excited. Get out and be active with your kids. Children live what they learn.
To Your Health!
The FITzee Team
How you chose to fuel your body might be the most important choice you make when it comes to brain health and optimal cognitive functioning. In fact, glucose is the primary source of fuel for the brain. Though it takes up about 2 percent of our total body mass, the brain utilizes about 20 percent of the glucose and oxygen in the bloodstream. To keep this energy demanding organ functioning at its best, it is critical to keep glucose levels steady throughout the day and to boost brain health with foods that nourish both the structure and function of the brain.
Brain-boosting foods are those that provide specific nutrients that enhance brain health. These nutrients are found in lean protein, complex carbohydrates and fat. Recently the NIH published a study confirming that a Mediterranean diet is the best choice for optimizing brain function and preventing, or prolonging, the development of cognitive decline and dementia. This type of diet is high in protective antioxidants, which can decrease inflammation and minimize potential damage from unhealthy fats and refined carbohydrates. Brain healthy foods included in a Mediterranean diet are fish, nuts and seeds, olives and olive oil, fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, and wine, coffee and tea in moderation. An easy guideline to keep in mind for optimum brain health is what is good for the body is good for the brain.
Fatty fish are a great source of lean protein and also supply our body with essential fatty acids, especially omega-3s. Our brain is dependent on dietary fat intake because it helps to protect it from oxidative damage. The EPA/DHA form of omega-3 fat found in fish has also been shown in many studies to help stabilize mood, improve cognitive functioning and enhance immune functioning while reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Cold-water fish fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Nuts and Seeds
Another great source of healthy fat can be found in nuts and seeds. These nutrient-packed foods are rich in monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to decrease the unhealthy cholesterol in the blood and reduce inflammation. Nuts and seeds also contain magnesium, which is a critical nutrient for cognitive functioning. In the U.S., 68 percent of the population consumes less than the recommended daily allowance of magnesium. Walnuts and flaxseeds also contain nutrients that are converted into omega-3s in the body.
Fruits and Vegetables
Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables neutralize destructive molecules called free radicals, which our bodies produce as a by-product of normal energy metabolism in the body (6). These scavenger molecules can also be created as a result of exposure to environmental pollutants and other irritants such as illness or disease. Antioxidants are created within living foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes in order to protect them from their environment. Foods with the highest antioxidant value include wild blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, plums, prunes, apples, sweet cherries, pecans, artichoke hearts, russet potatoes, black beans, pinto beans and red kidney beans (6).
Beans and Legumes
In addition to being an excellent source of brain protective antioxidants, beans and legumes are a very lean source of quality protein. Beans and legumes are also a high fiber food, which can benefit both the heart and brain by helping to keep blood sugar levels steady throughout the day. The soluble fiber in beans and legumes may also decrease unhealthy LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Wine, Coffee and Tea
Flavonoids are a type of antioxidant found in fruits, vegetables and certain beverages such as wine, coffee, and tea. Particular flavonoids found in these beverages, such as resveratrol and quercetin, have been shown to have health benefits such as delaying or preventing the onset of many diseases. Flavonoids have antioxidant properties, and have also shown to boost immune functioning and decrease inflammation (7).
The Spice of Life
Spices, especially tumeric, ginger, cinnamon, saffron and garlic, have been shown to boost brain health and may prolong or prevent the development of dementia. Doctors at UCLA’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center have found that curcumin, found in tumeric and curry, directly inhibits the production of amyloid plaques, the sticky substances that cause Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric, which acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body, seems to cut the number of plaques in half. This can be beneficial in healthy aging, as many any age-related diseases are caused by excessive or unnecessary inflammation.
To Your Health!
The FITzee Team
Check out these awesome exercise tips from www.fitwatch.com
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to afford all of that fancy equipment used in the gyms? Well, as nice as it sounds, it just isn’t an option for most people. And since exercise is so important, you need to find exercises that are effective and don’t require any equipment at all.
Now you have no more excuses! Here are 10 great exercises that you can do at home, without the need for any equipment:
1. Walking – If the weather is nice, it’s wonderful to get outside and enjoy the scenery around you while you exercise. However, if the weather has other ideas, you can just as easily get an effective walking workout at home. If you have a flight of stairs, go up and down them a few times. (You could even grab a load of laundry as you’re going that way anyway!) This will help to tone up your legs, while getting some low impact aerobic exercise as well. If you don’t have any stairs available, just walk around the house a few times – it may not be very exciting, but it will do the job!
2. Jumping Jacks – These are always fun, as they bring back memories of being a kid! Who hasn’t done jumping jacks for fun as a child? Well, surprise – they are also great cardio exercises, and good for warming up, too.
3. Pushups – These are probably not the most favorite exercise of many people, but while they can be hard to do, you can find easier ways to do them. You don’t need to pretend you’re “Rocky”, and do them with one hand; just do what works for you. Do them on your knees, instead of keeping your legs straight. Or, do them standing up against a wall. You will be building up arm strength and working out muscles in your chest area.
4. Leg Lifts – These are great for building up strength and muscles in your legs. If you find it hard to do the exercises with your legs straight, try bending them slightly.
5. Crunches – The best exercise for building up and strengthening abdominal muscles. When you’re just getting started, don’t worry about getting your head all the way up. So long as you’re going up until you feel the stretching of the muscles, you will see some benefit.
6. Jogging In Place – Jogging is a great exercise for your heart. You can jog in place at home while watching TV or listening to music. The only equipment you will require is a good pair of shoes, to eliminate any stress to your legs.
7. Squats – These are wonderful exercises for your legs and buttocks. You can even just try these by sitting and standing up again from a regular chair, if you’re finding them to be too difficult. As long as you’re able to do a few repetitions, you will be providing some benefit to your body.
8. Light Weight Lifting – No, you don’t need to go out and buy expensive weights for this! Just use whatever you can find in your house. Start out with something lighter, such as a can of peas, and work yourself up to heavier items. You can use milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles or even water jugs.
9. Dancing – Dancing is a wonderful exercise, which is great for your heart. Not only that, but it can lift your spirits as well, and give your overall feeling a boost.
10. Step Exercises – Using the steps in your home, you can do repetitions which will tone your leg muscles. (Just remember to be careful!)
Getting some exercise is important, but you don’t need to go out and join a gym, paying a large amount in membership fees each month. You don’t even need the expensive equipment in order to give your body an effective workout. Use what you have in your house, and work out in the comfort of your home. You will be more likely to keep up with the exercises when you’re comfortable, so just get up and start exercising!
To Your Health!
The FITzee Team
These easy do’s and don’ts will help you run harder, longer, and stronger! Refresh your running IQ with these tips provided by shape.com.
DON’T: Run heels first- avoid striking the pavement with your heels.
It is fine for power-walking, but when running you should maintain a weightlessness in your stride. Running with a heel landing can contribute to back and knee pain.
DO: Land on the Midsole of Your Foot.
Landing on your forefoot (instead of your heels) allows your muscles to catch the weight of your body in flight, reducing the harsh impact on joints and bones.
DON’T: Use a Long Stride.
Leaping forward is inefficient and a waste of energy. Instead, stand tall and lean forward, and when you feel like you are going to fall, step forward just enough to catch yourself. It takes less energy to fall forward than to reach your foot in front of you.
DO: Take Short Effective Strides.
Using a shorter stride while running reduces the movement within joints (those of the ankles, knees, and hips), and less movement means healthier and longer lifespan for these joints.
DON’T: Wear Shoes That Are Too Comfortable.
If your support is coming from an external source (like shoes!) then the muscles designed to support the foot (i.e. the arches), will eventually fail to work, making the foot weaker and your body more prone to injury.
DO: Invest In Barefoot Running Shoes.
Less support is more! Build up to wearing shoes with minimal support, like NIKE Free or Vibram Five Fingers to help strengthen and develop the natural muscular support in your foot and ankle.
DON’T: Run as Hard As You Can.
Pushing for faster is not necessarily better. Set your heart rate monitor to keep your running at a desired pace, and then don’t exceed that. Your body will adapt, and then you’ll be able to run more comfortably at this pace, eventually running faster without pushing any harder.
DO: Work Up to Running Farther, Faster!
Intervals are key. Build your run up one block or minute at a time. Walk between running intervals and recover actively. Work on speed and technique during “work” intervals, and then recover with an easy jog or power walk in between. Interval training can provide you with faster results in the same amount of time.
DON’T: Get Stuck on the Odometer.
Tracking distance does not really tell you if there is progress in your running. Instead, track the amount of time that you’re running and monitor your intensity using a heart rate monitor.
DO: Run for Time.
Try to improve covering the same distance in less time. The more you train, the easier it will become. You can either cover the same distance with greater ease, or maintain the same intensity and run farther in the same amount of time.
To Your Health!
The FITzee Team
It’s Perfect day to cozy up with some tea! Not only soothing, herbal teas contain healing properties that contribute to numerous health benefits. Certain teas can benefit you in very specific ways, even acting as natural remedies for ailments. Drinking tea is also a great way to stay hydrated throughout the day, and a healthy replacement to sodas or other sugary beverages. Take a look at these four teas and how they can help improve your health.
To Fix Allergies: Stinging Nettle
This flowering shrub is an anti inflammatory that may inhibit the production of histamines, substances that trigger allergy symptoms, says Christy Westen, founder of Simply Vibrant in Rockville Center, New York.
For Stress Relief: Chamomile
Chamomile contains a compound called chrysin, which experts believe has a relaxing effect on the nervous system. Drinking chamomile can calm you down and keep anxiety levels in check.
For Better Sleep: Valerian
Research suggests that this herb increases levels of gammaaminobutyric acid, a brain chemical that helps induce relaxation and sleep. Sip after dinner to promote a good nights rest.
For a Stomach Ache: Peppermint
Not only does this beverage freshen your breath, but it can also aid with digestion, says Westen. “It relaxes the stomach muscles and eases bloating.” Sipping after a meal or at any time in the day will help you digest food and feel great.
To Your Health!
The FITzee Team