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How to choose the best down comforter

Everybody knows how important of the sleep. The sleep of just is the best way to rehabilitate the energy to after the tiring working or studying day. Thus, a sleeping bed plays a very significant role. To make the bed more comfortable and look expensive, you should have a suitable down comforter. However, before buying one, you need to consider these things:

downcomforter1

Your budget

If your down comforter budget is tight, of course you are not able to buy an expensive one at the moment. Thereby, you ought to think carefully which one is the most suitable for your budget. On the market, there are a lot of different kinds of down comforters with many price levels. Remember that, the best down comforter is the most suitable for you, not the most expensive one.

Size

You should the one which has the perfect fit with your bed. Firstly, you need to know which size of your sleeping bed, and then choose the comforter that has the same size. On the market, there are usually these basic sizes of the down comforter:

  • The custom German size
  • The Twin size
  • The queen size
  • The super queen size
  • The king size
  • The super king size

The material

goose-duck

The material is the key that makes the down become famous for its warmth.

Some down comforter’s material is the feathers of ducks and geese or the soft undercoat that make the down bedding breathe and be able to wick the moisture off the body.

So, if you have the allergic reaction with feature of poultry, maybe you can choose a hypoallergenic down comforter or one made from a blend of polyester.

Warmth

Among several of kinds, the down comforter seems to be the most popular one using in almost houses because of the warmth that no material or alternative product can compare to.

The fill power of the comforter is the main element that not only makes the price, but also creates the warmth level. Therefore, if you want to get extra warmth, you need to choose the one that has a higher rating fill power.

Besides, do not forget to choose the warmth level of the down that is suitable for the temperature of your bedroom.

Stitch

downcomforter2

One more another factor that you have to concern when choosing a down comforter is its stitches.

Not every comforter is stitched well, so it is rather essential to check these carefully. Alongside the fill power, the stitching also plays a momentous role in rating the quality of the comforter. The one that is well stitched, the filling will not be able to shift inside.

Besides, its baffle box design which helps to hold its shape well for many years is an especially central feature, you must consider whether it can be washed by machine washing or not.

And don’t forget to buy the down comforter from the reputable company to avoid the fake product and be offered a warranty. Also, follow the structure on its label when caring for your down comforter.

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Healthy people 2010: a report on the nation’s health

Remember when chips, candy, soft drinks, and sweet tea were removed from school vending machines a few years ago and replaced with low-calorie, low-sugar, and low-fat chips, trail mix, juice, water, and yogurt? Ian Lash remembers. The “swap” took place at his school, Walter L. Sickles High School, in Tampa, Fla. “The students were really up in arms because school officials were taking away our freedom of choice.” But since then, Lash has changed his point of view. “Now,” says the 24-year-old University of South Florida student, “I realize what was going on wasn’t a food issue or a choice issue. It was a health issue.”

school vending machinesThe swap that occurred at Lash’s school and schools across the country was due to a huge amount of health data–on food intake, the number of overweight people, and the like–from the Healthy People 2010 initiative. Every 10 years since 1980, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other government agencies concerned about Americans’ health have been collecting information on 28 focus areas: everything from heart disease to workplace accidents. Altogether, the data gives a picture of the nation’s health. And it is used by groups such as city and county health departments, 4-H Clubs, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving to create programs that help people become healthier.

It All Adds Up

How can numbers improve health? Simple: They help public health officials target important issues. “Having the numbers guides–and funds–what gets done,” says Dr. Matthew McKenna, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.

foods-in-the-vending-machinesIn 2000, when Healthy People 2010 was begun, numbers showed where the nation stood with regard to 467 important health issues. For example, numbers indicated that there were

* 91 accidental deaths for every 100,000 adolescents between ages 10 and 19,

* 65 percent of ninth to 12th graders who were physically active,

* 17 percent of kids and teens between ages 6 and 19 who were overweight or obese,

* 51 births for every 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 17.

Those numbers represented real people: a high school senior who died in a car crash on prom night; a girl who dropped out of high school to care for her baby. And the numbers were used to come up with targets for where health officials hoped the nation’s numbers–and people–would be in 2010. By now, officials hoped we would

* decrease the number of accidental teen deaths to 57 for every 100,000,

* increase the number of high school students getting enough physical activity to 85 percent,

* drop the number of overweight and obese children to 5 percent,

* cut teen pregnancies to 39 births for every 1,000 girls.

Government agencies have used the information to spread the word about health trends and habits, prompting health departments, communities, and schools to try turning bad numbers into good ones. For example, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District in Ohio is helping students tackle diet and weight problems with its Balanced Choices program. Students in that district are now getting healthier meals and snacks in the cafeterias and vending machines, supplied by the foodservice company Chartwells. In class, they’re learning more about nutrition so they can make healthier choices outside of school.

Leading Health Indicators Lead the Way

With so many different numbers, health officials try to focus their efforts on the most important issues. Healthy People 2010’s Leading Health Indicators (see “Main Measures”) are the 10 health issues that affect the most people. “Eight of them are things kids can take direct control of or actively avoid,” says Roy Grant, research director at the nonprofit Children’s Health Fund.

overweightThe top two indicators are physical activity and overweight/obesity. Low activity levels and excess weight cause problems for adolescents, such as obesity, bone and joint injury, and depression. And they put teens on the path to adult problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer. With the increase in overweight and obese adolescents that Healthy People 2010’s data shows, there is “important work to undertake,” says Corinne Ferdon, a senior CDC researcher. To improve your numbers, Ferdon suggests doing an hour each day of physical activities that get the heart pumping, strengthen muscles and bones, and burn calories.

Tobacco use is the number-three indicator. One reason it’s a list topper: Getting hooked on tobacco as a teen is easy because “the brain is still developing,” says McKenna. Another is that it causes health problems for teens, such as lung damage and restricted blood flow, that lead to deadly conditions–heart attacks, lung disease, cancer–in their adult years. Healthy People 2010 shows the progress that has been made in reducing teen smoking: A nationwide antismoking media campaign, community smoking bans, and the federal government’s decision to raise taxes on cigarettes all helped push cigarette use by teens from a high of 40 percent to the current low-20 percent range. “This is good news,” stresses McKenna, “but the ultimate target, 16 percent tobacco use among adolescents, won’t be met.”

Is the Program Working?

When final numbers were tabulated in December 2009, many of Healthy People’s other teen-focused targets also weren’t met. So the question becomes: Is the Healthy People initiative working?

Yes, says McKenna. “Because of Healthy People 2010, in a relatively short time, we made tremendous progress in bringing down the teen smoking rate, especially in New York City below 9 percent. In the next 10 years, we need to duplicate programs that have accomplished such huge drops in other cities.”

Yes, says Grant. “Healthy People provided data that made people more aware and motivated.” He adds, “Getting junk foods out of schools was greatly due to Healthy People targets.”

Yes, says Lloyd Johnson, a University of Michigan researcher who coordinates teen-focused surveys for Healthy People 2010. “It got many sectors of society focused on the health needs of youth and young adults,” he points out.

Yes, says Lash. Referring to the swap that took place at his high school, he says: “The goal of all the changes was for people to become a bit more healthy, a bit more aware. And it happened.” The effect has spread beyond schools, Lash adds, noting that several restaurants serving only healthy options have opened in the Tampa area: “Things are definitely moving in the right direction.”

Main Measures

These are Healthy People 2010’s Leading Health Indicators, the principal categories for judging how healthy the country is.

* Physical activity

* Overweight and obesity

* Tobacco use

* Substance abuse

* Responsible sexual behavior

* Mental health

* Injury and violence prevention

* Environmental quality

* Immunization

* Access to health care

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Cause and effect? Your parents and your choices

Kinzie L., 15, of Cambridge, Minn., plans not to smoke or drink because her parents regret doing so when they were her age. Other teens have parents with different backgrounds but the same idea. Molly Mahoney, 18, who lives in Roseville, Calif., says her strict parents didn’t drink or use drugs as kids, and they expect her not to, either. Josh G., 17, also of Roseville, doesn’t want to repeat the mistakes of his dad, who recovered from substance abuse.

Dealing-with-Frustration-in-Teens

Your parents’ influence–whether they currently drink or use drugs themselves, or did so as teens, and how they communicate their values–still matters most when it comes to your own choices. “Research shows the strongest influences on teens are, first, their family; next, their friends; and next, the culture at Cynthia Kuhn, a professor of pharmacology at Duke large,” says University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and author of several books on teens and drug use. “Most people assume it works in the opposite direction.”

‘My folks let me get trashed at home.’

Contrary to what you’d expect, not all parents are hard-liners. Teens at the most risk for substance abuse problems are those whose parents allow them to use drugs or alcohol in the home so that the situation can be monitored. “Letting us have free rein of alcohol is like hoping for Jus to be an alcoholic,” Josh believes. “I really don’t think it’s right.”

A recent survey of teens by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) called the behavior enabling. Underage drinking parties supervised–and approved–by parents “harm the parent-child dynamic,” says Chelsea Jurman, 18, a freshman at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. She completed a research project on parents’ influence on teens and drinking as a high school senior in Roslyn Heights, N.Y. “They think they’re being the cool or lenient parent, but teens need someone telling us it’s not OK and that we’re not allowed to do that.”

A closely related risk factor is parents who get drunk in front of their children or whose children are otherwise aware that the parents drink heavily. Behavior speaks volumes about what is acceptable, Kuhn says. The CASA survey found that teens who have seen their parents drunk are more than twice as likely to get drunk themselves, and three times more likely to use marijuana or smoke cigarettes. On the other hand, teens are less likely to make unwise choices if their parents model responsible behavior–moderate drinking with dinner, for instance.

‘My parents said they got high when they were my age.’

A parent’s past underage use of alcohol or drugs may also play a role in their children’s choices. If teens believe their parents had used alcohol when they were young, Jurman’s research shows, the teens themselves are much more likely to drink. Why? One possible explanation: Teens mar get the impression that their parents turned out OK, so they will too. “Sometimes kids don’t fully understand what parents are saying and can take it in a different way,” Josh notes. In other words, your folks may be trying to warn you away from the stuff, but all you hear is that they experimented and they don’t seem worse for wear.

The most important thing for you and your parents to do is to focus on your health. Drugs and alcohol affect the development of adolescent brains in ways that weren’t understood when your parents were young, Kuhn explains. “What your parents did is not relevant to your health,” she says.

‘My mom and dad are strict. They keep me on a really tight leash.’

The flip side consists of parents who lay down the law. That strategy may backfire, Kuhn says, because it sends the message that what they care about most is their own authority, not about what a teen may be struggling with.

Most teens need a “trust, but verify” approach from parents, according to Kuhn. That’s when your parents ask about your friends, where you’ll be, what you’ll be doing, and when you’ll be home. And they listen.

teen-parentsJurman’s research confirms that that type of parent-teen relationship works. She found that teens who thought they were being monitored by their parents were less likely to drink. Those who said their parents support them emotionally were also less apt to think drinking is cool and less likely to make other questionable decisions to look cool to their friends.

That is Mahoney’s experience. Because her parents grew up in small towns, “it’s hard for them to understand what my experience is like,” she explains. But Mahoney can talk honestly with them, and that is the key. “I don’t want to disappoint them,” she says. “But they want me to know it’s always safe to talk to them.”

It’s Up to You

If you’re not sure what your parents think about alcohol and drugs, ask. Right now, chances are they don’t believe that you care what they think or that what they say makes any difference in your life. But you do and it does. And the last thing most parents want is for you to drink or use drugs just because they did.

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Get To Know More About Stroke

When people become older, they tend to have several health problems such as heart attack, cardiovascular and stroke. To illustrate, stroke is one of the reasons which can cause disability for most young people in the United States, according to ASA.

stroke

Kinds

There are two kinds of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic.

Ischemic: this type of stroke accounts for 90% of the situations. In addition, it happens when a blood vein stops the blood vessels.

Hemorrhagic: the brain blood vessel is broken and result in bleeding inside.

Symtoms

For some people who haven’t known about the symptom of this disease, read the information below to understand more:

  • Suddenly feel numb or weak on the face, you can’t show up the facial expression. In addition, individual may find it hard to move one side of the whole body.
  • Suddenly confuse or find it hard to speak and understand
  • Cannot see through both eyes.
  • Suddenly experience several headaches without reasons.

Also, there are some symptoms which rarely happen (however, they sometimes happen in women)

  • Suddenly vomit badly
  • Having confusion or convulsion. This person will have hiccups and faint immediately
  • Hurt various muscular parts on the fact and legs, hands
  • Find it hard to breathe and hurt your chest.

You can utilize 3 easy tests below to consult these issues:

  • Ask this person to smile. Do you see whether one side of the face droop or not?
  • Ask this person to raise his arm. Does this arm drift upside down?
  • Ask this person to make one simple and easy sentence. See whether if this sentence is correct or not?

Some simple steps to deal with the situation

stroke2

On the other hand, this article also suggests some simple steps to deal with the situation when somebody is having a stroke.

1. Call 911 as fast as you can. With this health problem, do not wait for the symptoms to subside. When this person was taken to the hospital, they will be treated carefully with various medical attention. As a result, you will have better result.

2. Patients who are transported by EMS are treated better than people who are delivered by a normal taxi or car. And of course, you cannot drive if you have a stroke at that time. On the other hand, even the symptoms disappear, you ought to call the doctor as well.

3. Pay attention to the time when these symptoms happen. In fact, there are some types of drug which cannot be used based on the time frames.

 4. Don’t let your patient drink the aspirin. Remember that stroke is an issue which related to the brain, not a heart attack. People cannot figure out which kind of stroke they are having. Therefore, it is better if you go to check with doctors.

How to avoid having stroke

There are 2 main solutions for limiting the risk of taking this disease.

1. Eating healthy:

People should eat more green food. For example, fruits, vegetables and a variety of grains. Study has shown that eating these types of food will reduce the risk of taking this disease up to 40 percent.

2. Do exercises regularly:

It is better if you work out at home every day. It is not only convenient, but safe for individual as well. There are different models of machine for you to pick up include spin bike, recumbent bike or treadmill… Why don’t take a look at these best spin bike reviews here http://exercisebikesexpert.com and pick up one for yourself.

Through this article, you can get more information about the stroke symptom. It is very useful because you can deal with the situations for yourself and people around.

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Breaking 100-90-80: your monthly guide to the scoring basics

Get Fit to Go Low

All it takes is one look at Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam to realize how important fitness has become to the game of golf. Good players understand that if your fitness level improves, your game will, too. Not only can being fit help prevent injuries, but improvements in strength, flexibility and endurance can be the difference in breaking 100, 90, 80–or even 70.

A great stretch–if you do it right

I cringe whenever I see golfers put a club behind their shoulder blades and start twisting back and forth. No fitness expert I know has ever proved how this helps your back. Instead, stand in your normal address position, grab each end of a golf club and extend it horizontally in front of you. Turn back and through as if you were making a golf swing–feel the stretch in your spine and shoulders. Hold the backswing and finish positions for a few seconds.

BREAKING 100

The biggest problem many new golfers face: There are motions in a golf swing their bodies simply won’t allow them to perform. Even the best teacher can’t help you if your body isn’t pliable enough. Here are some stretches that will help.

Use your time wisely

When you pop the trunk to get your clubs, put a foot up on the bumper to stretch your groin. Repeat with the other side.

No ice, please

ice

Ice-cold water on a hot day sounds good, but it shocks the system and slows the digestive process. Drink lots of water when you play, at least four or five cups, but make sure it’s closer to room temperature than the freezing point. Save the ice-cold drinks for the 19th hole.

Down for the count

Instead of performing a stretch for a specific amount of time, do each one for the length of time it takes to hold one deep breath. The last thing a golfer needs to worry about is more numbers.

Stretch Your Ability

Before the round: Loosen up your shoulders

There’s not much of a health benefit to be gained from riding in a golf cart, but before your round starts, you can use a cart for an important stretch. Stand next to the canopy post, your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab the post with both hands, keeping your arms fully extended. Pull away from the post and hold the position for the length of one long breath, then repeat facing the opposite direction. This will stretch your shoulders and back and get you ready for the first tee.

At home: For golf fitness, start at the back

Let’s be honest, if you can’t perform the most basic of back stretches, you cannot make a proper swing. Try this one: Lie on your back with your legs extended. Raise your knees toward your chest, holding your kneecaps or shins and keeping your knees as close together as you can. If you can raise your knees to your chest and hold that position for the length of one long breath, you are more flexible than 90 percent of the golfers who visit my fitness center for the first time.

BREAKING 90

By now, you should be serious enough about the game to realize that flexibility and strength will help you in your quest to break 90. Buy some basic fitness equipment to use at home, and look for opportunities to stretch any chance you get.

Relax when you stretch

The worst thing you can do is try to motor through a series of stretches before playing. The strain on your body could actually be worse than not stretching at all. Take your time and relax.

Use your weight

push-up

You don’t have to join a gym to get in better shape. You can benefit just as much from exercises that use body weight–pushups, crunches, etc. When you do push-ups, you have to engage and stabilize your whole body; most gym machines isolate just one muscle group.

Heat before, ice after

If you’re sore after a round, you need to apply ice, not heat, to the affected area to reduce inflammation. If need be, you should apply heat before a round to increase blood flow to the muscle.

Make It a Habit

At home: To become more flexible, have a ball

First things first: Buy an inflatable stretch ball ($20-$60 in most sporting-goods stores). This low-tech piece of equipment gives you the added benefit of having to maintain your balance while performing a number of different exercises. Here, I’m doing a great catchall exercise that improves the strength and flexibility of my abdomen, shoulders and arms. It even helps the lower back. Grab a light weight, a gallon water jug or whatever is handy, and try to do a motion similar to a sit-up while keeping your arms extended. You’ll really feel this in your abs.

Before the round: Make full use of the locker room

Opportunities to stretch can be found at almost every turn, even in a locker room. Take a few minutes to stretch your hamstrings (top right) and your lower back (lower right). Leg strength and flexibility is often ignored by golfers, but getting those hamstrings worked out is a must, especially for golfers who walk. Extend each leg on the bench, and don’t rock as you lean forward to grab your toes (if you can’t reach your toes, try for an ankle). For your back, the best thing to do is lean forward and give your thighs a hug. This stretches the back and elongates the spine.

BREAKING 80

Most skilled golfers adopt some form of preshot routine. You know consistency is a key part of the game; it should be a key component of your fitness plan as well. If you want to break 80, develop a fitness routine with help from a trainer and stick to it.

Nutrition bars are OK

nutrition-barsChoose health bars that are nutritionally balanced with protein, carbohydrate and fat, rather than high-carb or high-protein versions.

Hit below the belt

When you’re flexible enough to start strength training, I suggest spending the majority of your time working on your leg muscles. Studies have shown that up to 70 percent of a golfer’s power is generated by the large muscles in the legs. Big biceps are more for show.

Don’t bounce

It used to be that fitness instructors taught bouncing, ballistic movements in stretching. Today, we are teaching slower, consistent movement with an emphasis on being in the correct posture. So if you want to stretch your back, don’t bounce. Gradually stretch until you reach your limit.

Work Out a Plan

At home: Compound your stretches

I love exercises that allow you to work two or more parts of the body at the same time. With this stretch, you can work the hips, back and shoulders.

Here’s how: Lie flat on the floor and grab one arm and pull it across your body. Now rotate your hips so your belly button is pointing in the opposite direction of the extended arm. Bend your legs so both knees are touching the ground; try to hold this position without lifting your shoulders.

Some of the elite golfers I work with start their day with this exercise. You can even do it in bed. How convenient is that?

Before the round: Increase the difficulty

At the beginning of this section, I showed you the stretch every golfer should do before teeing off. But there will come a time when you’re flexible enough to do that with little difficulty. That’s when you should try this:

(1) Put a club behind your back and grab each end. Extend your arms upward and bend at the hips, keeping your spine straight.

(2) Rotate your torso back and forth, mimicking the golf swing. Once you can’t turn any farther, hold that position.

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Cool down and enjoy injury-free training regime

Fitness expert James Murphy’s top tips to help new runners maximise their workout and minimise mishaps.

IN THE second instalment of our six-part series, model Teodora Sutra shares her training regime for The Rock’n’Roll Dublin halfmarathon, which takes place on August 4. This week coach James Murphy, pictured above with Teo, advises on how to avoid getting an injury…

INJURY is a common concern for anyone who regularly runs or competes in any sport. Anyone considering running a long-distance course such as the Rock’n’Roll half marathon must make themselves aware of how injuries occur, and the steps they can take to prevent them.

Teodora has to be extra careful with her body. If she incurs any injuries, it could easily mean she is unable to work as a result.

She experienced brief spurts of shin splints one of the most frequent injuries sustained by runners at the beginning of her half-marathon training.

Shin splints is an intense pain on the front of the lower leg, sometimes accompanied by swelling. This can occur from over-training, wearing the wrong running shoes or running on unstable ground.

running-shoesThere are endless varities of running shoes available, so it is important to make sure you are wearing the right shoe to suit your foot and running style. The best way to choose the correct running shoe is to have your gait analysed. This service is offered in sportswear stores all over the country.

It involves being monitored as you run on a treadmill to determine which shoe is best suited to you.

Teo found high-arched running shoes helped her, as they give support to the lower back and cushion the pressure going through the arches of the foot to her ankle.

Other common injuries, such as pulled muscles, tendonitis or runner’s knee, can be avoided by warming up and cooling down properly. Before setting out on any run, no matter what distance, you should first spend about five minutes walking at a brisk pace.

This will warm up and loosen your muscles.

During a warm-up, I also get Teo to do some dynamic stretching.

This is using a build-up of momentum to extend her range of motion. For example, as part of a warm-up, Teo does leg swings (swinging one leg forward and backwards, increasing the height each time), and inch worms (starting in a push-up position, she walks her feet in as close to her hands as she can, then walks her hands out to return to the push-up position).

It is just as important to cool down as it is to warm-up.

When you have finished your run, it is unwise to simply come to a stop. You should spend about five or ten minutes gradually slowing your pace to a gentle walk.

This will allow your body to recover and it will also prevent muscle soreness. Stretching is also a vital part of a cool down. At a very minimum, you should aim to stretch your thighs, hamstrings, calves and buttocks.

Here’s how:

| THIGH stretch: bend one leg behind you and, using your hand, pull your foot towards your bum while pushing your hip forward.

| HAMSTRING stretch: stand with one leg slightly ahead of the other. Bend your back leg, keeping the front leg straight with toes pointed up.

| CALF stretch: Step one leg in front of the other and bend slightly. Keep your back leg straight and push your heel into the ground.

| BUTTOCK stretch: Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet on the floor. Cross the right leg over the left, and with your hands at the back of the left thigh, gently pull in towards your chest.

Each stretch should be held for a minimum of 15 seconds on each side so this part of your cool down will take only two minutes, leaving no room for excuses.

Finally, if the idea of running of a half-marathon seems too much and the distance is putting you off or you are worried about injury, I would suggest trying the 1.5 mile fun run instead, and building your fitness from there.

running

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Physical Activity, Part I – Start With a Walk

walkingThat physical activity is good for us is hardly a new idea. The ancient Greeks and Chinese, for example, prescribed physical activity for a healthier and longer life. Nowadays, we have hundreds of medical studies to confirm that it works. Physical activity can lower our risk for a wide variety of conditions, including heart disease, colon cancer, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, and depression. It also improves immune, joint, cardiac, and brain function. Yet 30% of American women are completely sedentary in their leisure time. Another 50% do something, but not – according to public health researchers – at a level that would yield optimal health benefits.

Part of the problem is a lack of specifics. We know that exercise can improve our health, but we’re not always sure what level or kind of exercise would be best. As a result, we may not settle on any form of regular exercise.

In addition, official recommendations may have discouraged sedentary women from even starting. In the 1970s and 1980s, “no pain, no gain” was a popular catch phrase. Official recommendations shared that outlook. Sustained, vigorous exercise – such as running or aerobics, three to five days a week – was considered necessary to raise the heart rate and oxygen intake to levels sufficient for cardiac fitness.

By the mid-1990s, recommendations had become less demanding, partly to encourage more people to exercise. Updated federal guidelines advised all adults to accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (brisk walking is the typical example) on most days of the week. Both old and new recommendations would expend approximately 1,000 calories per week, but many people, including researchers, still wonder whether moderate activities offer the same health benefits as vigorous activities.

How to Burn an Extra 150 Calories

We measure energy expenditure through physical activity in calories. Light activities – such as casual walking, bowling, and yoga – do not burn calories as quickly as vigorous exercise like jogging and singles tennis, so they require more time to burn an equivalent number of calories. Current federal health guidelines for physical activity call for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking on most days of the week. A 30-minute walk at a 3-4 mph pace expends about 150 calories. Here are some other ways for a 150-pound woman to accomplish the same thing.

Activity – Approximate Time (in minutes)

Bicycling (6 mph) 38

Canoeing 50

Croquet 38

Gardening 30-45

Golfing (carrying bag and walking) 26

Hiking (40-pound pack) 22

Jogging (5.5 mph) 12

Running (7.5 mph) 11

Raking leaves 35

Skating (ice or roller) 30

Swimming (slow crawl) 17

Tennis (singles) 23

Walking (3 – 4 mph) 30

Weight training 20

Exercise times are calculated for a 150-pound person. If you weigh less than 150 pounds, you’ll burn fewer calories per minute and will have to work out longer to expend 150 calories. If you weigh more than 150 pounds, you’ll burn 150 calories in a shorter time.

Physical Activity and Women

brisk-walkingMuch of the data has come from epidemiological studies showing an inverse association between physical activity and coronary heart disease (CHD). Although this subject has been less thoroughly studied in women than in men, an increasing body of evidence over the past decade indicates that active women have lower CHD rates than inactive women. We also know that physical activity helps us live longer: the more physically fit we are, the lower our risk of dying, not just from CHD, but from all causes. This is as true for women as it is for men.

Recent research has focused on the kinds and intensity of physical activities that are associated with lower risk. The Nurses’ Health Study, for example, found that women who walk briskly three hours a week are as well-protected from heart disease as women who spend one and a half hours a week in more vigorous activities, such as aerobics or running. Women in the study who engaged in either form of exercise had a rate of heart attacks 30%-40% lower than that of sedentary women.

Now a new study suggests that walking even one hour per week can lower risk for CHD among relatively sedentary women. This should be encouraging news to those women who have been unenthusiastic about – or unable to begin or stick with – a more vigorous exercise program.

An Intriguing Study

Harvard Medical School researchers with the Women’s Health Study reported in the March 21, 2001, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on the association between CHD and physical activity in nearly 40,000 healthy women, ages 45 and over. The Women’s Health Study is a randomized, controlled trial of aspirin and vitamin E for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

At the start of the trial, participants were asked to estimate how much time they spent each week on activities such as walking, jogging, running, bicycling, aerobic exercise, tennis, and lap swimming. They also reported their usual pace of walking and the number of flights of stairs they climbed each day. Researchers calculated calorie expenditure for all of these activities. They also took into account other factors that influence CHD risk, such as weight, smoking status, diet, medical history, and use of postmenopausal hormones. The women were followed for five years, while the researchers tracked coronary events and deaths from CHD.

As expected, the more that women exercised, the lower their risk for heart disease. Those who expended at least 1,000 calories per week – the amount recommended by both the old and new guidelines – experienced a significant reduction in CHD risk compared with the least active women. Vigorous activity in particular reduced the risk by 37%. The researchers analyzed walking separately in the 58% who didn’t engage in vigorous exercise. They found that women who walked at least an hour a week had a CHD risk about half that of women who didn’t walk. Moreover, at this level of exercise, pace was not an important factor.

In a separate analysis, the researchers found that the benefits of physical activity are not confined to women at especially low risk. The inverse association of physical activity and CHD risk was also found in women who smoked, were overweight, or had elevated cholesterol.

Some Implications for Sedentary Women

It might seem surprising that as little as one hour a week of even casual walking could lower CHD risk. Part of the explanation lies with the study population. Women in this study were fairly inactive. We know from other research that the greatest observable cardiovascular gains are made when a sedentary person becomes moderately active. Among people who are already active, more vigorous exercise is needed to see additional benefits.

How to Get – and Keep – Going

Most of us are short on time. But physical activity is so valuable to our health that it pays to figure out how to fit more of it into our lives. Even if you can’t manage the recommended 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days, don’t give up. Try exercising for shorter amounts of time, spread throughout the day. Here are some other strategies:

  1. Set aside a certain time every day for exercise – even if it’s only 10-15 minutes – and keep your “appointment,” just as you would a doctor’s or dentist’s appointment.
  2. If possible, schedule your exercise for the time of the day when you feel most energetic. But even if you’re tired, remind yourself that being active will give you more energy.
  3. If you’ve been inactive, start slowly and build up gradually. Perhaps start by walking just 10 minutes a day, and gradually work up to 30 minutes a day. Over time, increase your pace, e.g., from 2 miles per hour (mph) to 3-4 mph.
  4. Take a walk during your lunch break.
  5. Do outdoor activities with your children: take a walk, ride bikes, hike, or play Frisbee, volleyball, or basketball.
  6. Set up a regular walking time with a buddy. It’s harder to back out when someone else is involved.
  7. Rake leaves in the fall. Garden in the spring and summer.

The Women’s Health Study participants were bunched at the low end of activity, with few women in the higher end. Consequently, the gains comparing moderate activity to inactivity jumped out of the data. The JAMA study is the first to suggest a benefit at lower-than-recommended levels of activity, and the study’s authors caution against changing official recommendations until these findings are duplicated by others.

Still, the findings are encouraging. I-Min Lee,M.B.B.S., Sc.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School – and the study’s lead author – explains: “Our public health problem is at this low end of the spectrum of activity. If clinicians can say to women who are sedentary, ‘Just walk an hour a week,’ I think that’s relatively easy for them to accomplish. Once they reach this level, they’re more physically fit and more confident in their ability to exercise. I wouldn’t stop there, at least based on this one study. I would encourage them to go beyond that, to gradually do more, so that they reach the level of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week that meets current recommendations.

“The study’s finding that one hour a week of walking reduces heart-disease risk among inactive women doesn’t mean that physically active women should relax their efforts. The study’s more active women were less likely to be overweight, or to have hypertension, elevated cholesterol, or diabetes. Other research looking at risk factors suggests that the more you do in terms of activity and intensity, the better off you’ll be. But women who previously engaged in no physical exercise will enjoy the greatest gains by simply starting some physical activity – such as one hour of walking per week.

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Waterworld

The constant supply of water during exercise is important to maintain optimum performance. Dehydration during exercise can be prevented by taking a total of 14.5 glasses of water a day. Rehydrating fluids and sports drinks can be taken as supplements. Drinking water during training will also prevent water loss.

8-glass-water

What’s the best ergogenic aid? It’s free and probably in your bottle

It doesn’t supply calories, vitamins or minerals – but water is essential for virtually every bodily function. It aids digestion, cushions organs, and keeps body temperature from rising to lethal levels during exercise. In fact, [H.sub.2]O is so important it accounts for 55-65% of your weight.

When involved in cycling, your muscles produce 30-100 times more heat than when you’re at rest. The body extinguishes this inferno primarily by increasing seat rates. In summer, you can lose more than 2 liters (about 67 ounces) of fluid per hour on a really hot day. If you don’t replace it, power output declines in about 30 minutes. A study of trained cyclists found they could barely finish a 2-hour ride at 65% V[O.sub.2] max without fluids. According to Bicycling Fitness Advisory Board member Arnie Baker, M.D., in ultra-endurance cycling events such as the Race Across America, dehydration and saddle sores are the leading reasons cyclists drop out.

Studies by Edward Coyle, Ph.D., director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Texas and Bicycling FAB member, reveal that cyclists who lose a quart of fluid experience a rise in heart rate of 8 beats per minute, a decrease in cardiac function, and an increase in body temperature. Dehydration, says Coyle, may cause increased metabolic stress on muscles and faster glycogen depletion. It also wreaks havoc on your internal thermostat by decreasing blood flow to the skin, slowing sweat rates, and increasing the time needed for fluids to absorb into the bloodstream. What’s worse, by the time you feel thirsty, your body has already lost around 1-2% of body weight – about a quart of fluid.

Got your attention? Mouth feeling dry just reading this? Here are 6 ways to beat the dehydration monster.

8 isn’t enough

Conventional wisdom says drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids daily – but that’s for non-exercising couch potatoes. Cyclists have different fluid needs depending on fitness, sex, size, and conditions. A rule of thumb from Mitch Kanter, Ph.D., director of the Gatorade Sport Science Institute: Drink one milliliter of fluid for every calorie you burn. “At about 3,500 calories a day, you’ll need around 3.5 liters. That’s 14.5 [8-ounce] glasses of fluid.” Kanter advises, however, that it’s best to gauge hydration by monitoring 5 simple markers:

  • * Do you go to the bathroom less than 3 times during an 8-10 hour workday?
  • * Is your urine dark yellow? Does it have a strong odor?
  • * Do you get headaches toward the end of a long ride or shortly after?
  • * Do you drink less than one water bottle per hour while riding?
  • * Do you lose more than 2 pounds during rides?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, your body is heading for a drought.

Pre-hydrate

hydrated

Drink plenty of fluids every day, but before a race, long ride or tour, start hyper-hydrating at least 24 hours in advance. Many pro cyclists carry water bottles all day during the racing season to stay hydrated. Avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine because both act as mild diuretics causing the body to excrete more water. If you have trouble meeting your calorie needs, use sports drinks, recovery drinks, or other liquid supplements. If you’re weight-conscious, quaff calorie-free or low-cal options such as diet soda, diluted fruit juice, water, or seltzer.

Sipping schedule

To negate fluid lost to sweat, practice drinking strategies during training. Determine your sweat losses per hour by weighing yourself before and after rides. (Every pound lost equals 16 ounces of fluid.) Then figure how much fluid your stomach can tolerate per hour and the best drinking schedule to replace it. According to Kanter, set your sports watch to alert you to drink 4-8 ounces every 15 minutes regardless of whether you’re thirsty or not. It takes practice to drink more than a quart per hour without intestinal discomfort. A hydration-bladder system, such as those made by CamelBak (800/767-8725), provides easily accessible water and will help you drink more.

Rehydrate

After you’ve ridden for several hours, pump down fluids. What you drink makes a difference. In a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, Coyle compared the effects of drinking nearly 2 liters of water, sports drink, or diet cola in dehydrated athletes 2 hours post-exercise. Results revealed diet cola replenished 54% of fluid losses; water, 64%; and sports drinks, 69%.

Eat some salty snacks, too. Sodium makes your blood sponge-like so you absorb more water and excrete less. “Each liter of sweat saps 500 to more than 1,000 milligrams of sodium,” notes Lawrence Armstrong, Ph.D., of the University of Connecticut Human Performance Lab. Coyle suggests athletes drink plentifully with meals and snacks because food naturally contains many times more sodium than sports drinks or energy bars.

Diet helps

diet-helps

Around 60% of your daily fluid comes from the food you eat, but some foods increase hydration better than others. For instance, fruits and vegetables are great fluid sources – they’re 80-95% water by weight. Eating the recommended 5-9 daily servings of produce means you’ll get a lot of extra water in your diet. If you’re downing protein supplements, you should drink more. Kanter warns, “You’ll need more water to metabolize and excrete the extra protein.” He adds that fat and water don’t readily mix, so many high-fat foods provide little additional water.

Sports drinks vs. water

Most popular sports drinks contain sodium, potassium, and other electrolytes. These are recommended for exercise lasting more than one hour. Whenever you plan to cycle for several hours, make sure you have 2 bottles of your favorite. Sports drinks are also useful for shorter workouts that include high-intensity riding such as sprints and intervals.

Whatever you choose, make sure you like the way it tastes so you’ll be motivated to drink. Also, cool fluids taste better and may be absorbed more rapidly than warm ones. Ed Burke, Ph.D., director of Project 96 and Bicycling FAB member, tells cyclists to carry 2 bottles (one frozen). As you drink from the first bottle, the frozen one melts so the liquid is cold when you need it.

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Reasons To Get On A Bike That You May Not Know

Spring is an ideal time for individuals to participate in different outdoor activities. Just make use of this time; otherwise, you will have to spend a whole summer inside with the air-conditioner. Riding a bicycle is one of the great ways to enjoy the cool temperature while staying active during this time.

RIDE-A-BIKEThere are lots of advantages when riding a bicycle regularly. It not only strengthens your bones and joints, but build the muscular parts as well. If you are still confused whether you should ride a bicycle or not, read out this list of reasons.

DO EXERCISES ON A NICE DAY

There are various exercises to do during the spring season, riding a bike the most common way to utilize your favorite time. According to NutiStrategy, cycling will burn more calories in the body than jogging around your neighborhood. For instant, riding a bike will burn up to 300 calories while jogging burns approximately 150 calories.

CREATE A SENSE OF EXCITEMENT

In fact, people often want to give up sometimes. However, if you practice exercises seriously, you will get good results. Individual starts to love and appreciate the practicing process when they received good results. On the other hand, this type of exercise also make people want to do for other activities. For example, some people decide to ride a bike to office rather than using the car.

RARELY GET SMALL INJURIES

Riding a bicycle is a low-impact activity which helps strengthen both the bones and legs. On the other hand, running will affect the whole body. Therefore, when you continuously pumping your legs on the bicycle, this will create a form of low-cardio. It is very good for people who have recovered from a slight injury.

EASY TO DO FOR THE WHOLE LIFE

For people who have a shape body, different types of exercise may not easy to do during their life time. The best thing about bicycling is that you will be able to do it for the rest of your life. In addition, there are lots of people switch to bicycling after hurting their calves from working out in the fitness centers.

REDUCE STRESS

 Researches have shown that practice regularly with your bicycle will help reducing the stress after a hard-working day. Individuals are more likely to breathe faster, lack of oxygen and have fast heart-beat when they are suffering from serious stress.

Therefore, riding a bike every day will allow you to breathe deeper which reduce the stress out of mind.

KNOW MORE ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBORS

BICYCLEMost people often fail to know clearly about the place where they are living. If individuals practice outdoor more often, they will explore various route which benefits for the practicing process. In addition, you have more opportunities to make friends with new people who have the same habit. Therefore, you can create a group of people to do exercises which create a sense of excitement.

HAVE MORE FUN

When a kid starts to ride his bike, he will become more independent when growing up in the future. People often get stuck in a traffic jam when using their car; however, biking offers more freedom and fun. On the other hand, children who used to ride a bicycle in their childhood will become confident and have the ability to deal with different challenges.

These reasons above will definitely make individuals interested in riding their bicycle. In addition, this type of exercise brings a lot of benefits to both the health and physical appearance. In winter, we suggest you get a spin bike so you can workout in the comfort of your home. Click here to see top recommendation of spin bikes and detailed best spin bike reviews. Let’s start cycling to get a healthy life today!

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Lower body blast

Most women would do anything to get that body shape they dream of. There are parts of the body, however, that no amount of dieting or regular jogging would trim down such as the abdominal region, the thighs and the buttocks. To cut down fat deposits in these areas, special exercises are suggested.

THESE LOWER BODY WORKOUTS WILL GIVE YOU FIRMNESS WHERE YOU CRAVE IT MOST!

When it comes to our bodies, we all have areas that make us cringe. “It’s perfectly normal, just don’t let trouble areas get you down,’ advises fitness trainer Courtney Barroll of Equinox Fitness Club in New York City (even she has a gripe: her butt). Her advice? “Concentrate on the things you like about yourself and work to improve what you don’t.” Courtney designed these lower-body toning exercises to help nail the parts that tend to bug us women the most. Three times a week, do three sets of 20 repetitions for each move shown; if that’s too many, do what you can and work up. Keep in mind, you can tone up specific muscle regions, but you can’t spot reduce any one part of your bod. Extra flab needs to be taken care of by increasing your number of weekly aerobic exercise sessions and following a sound diet plan.

STANDING LEG ABDUCTOR Works: the butt

standing leg

Stand straight, holding a pole for balance. Rotate your left foot slightly outward and, tightening the muscles throughout your leg, lift it to the side using a smooth back-and-forth motion. Repeat on the other leg.

SQUATS Works: the butt

squatThe real work of this killer classic move happens on the upward motion – really squeeze your butt as you lift up. Important: on the down motion, don’t allow your knees to extend past your toes. Stand with your feet a little wider than your hips. Keeping your back straight and your abs tight, slowly bend your knees and lower yourself as if you were sitting back on a chair. Stop lowering down at the moment your butt would touch a chair seat (see 1b), then raise yourself back up, squeezing your butt as you go. (Imagine a string is pulling you up by the top of your head.)

WIDE LEG SQUATS Works: the butt and inner thighs

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with feet turned slightly outward (see 2a). Place hands on hips and squat about 5 to 6 inches, making sure your bent knees don’t extend beyond your toes. (Note: With squats, it’s not how low you go, it’s how well you concentrate and control your muscles.) Squeeze your butt as you raise yourself back up.

SIDE-LYING LEG LIFT Works: the outer thighs

Lie on your side, cradling your head on your arm for comfort. Bend your legs (see 1a). Slowly raise your top leg upward about 6 inches. (Imagine you are pushing against the air as you lift.) Lower it down, but not all the way – don’t let your knees touch (this is a toughie). Make this a smooth up and down motion. Repeat on the other side.

HIP SLIMMER Works: the outer thighs and the butt

Start by lying on your right side, with your right leg bent underneath you and your left leg extended forward; flex your left foot (see 2a). Contract your abdominal muscles for balance and focus your eyes straight ahead for proper spine alignment. Slowly raise your left 6 inches off the ground and then slowly lower it down. Contract your butt muscles as you do this to help ensure your hip area does the lifting work. Repeat on the other leg.

QUADRICEPS SHAPER Works: the top of the legs

Sit straight with both legs extended straight out. Place your hands behind you for balance. Lift your left leg about 4 to 5 inches (see 3a), keeping your leg muscles tight the whole time. This is a slightly quicker up and down movement. Repeat on the other leg.

KNEE-UPS Works: the lower abs

Lie so your lower back is pressed firmly against the ground and your upper back is slightly raised. Legs should be fully extended and will move together. Start by lifting both legs about 2 inches off the ground. Keeping legs together, lift them upward and slowly, using a controlled motion, pull your knees in toward your chest. (Suck in at your belly button throughout the move.) You should feel your lower abs doing all the work. Don’t arch your back as you pull in or lower your legs. Lower your legs close to the ground – to that 2 inches off the ground pose – then repeat 10 to 15 times, or do as many as you can.

THE DOUBLE CRUNCH Works: the entire ab zone – upper, lower, sides

Crunches are the hands-down, fastest, most effective gut buster around. This version is a twist on the original. Lie on your back with your hands behind your head (your fingertips should be touching, and thumbs should rest behind the ears). Pull your legs up, bending at the knee, then cross your ankles. Throughout the move, imagine pulling your belly button inward, and press your back against the floor. At the same time, lift your hips and upper body off the floor. (Imagine you’re trying to get your rib cage and your hip bones to touch.) Your lower body should only raise an inch or two off the floor. Again, it’s not how far up you go or how fast you do these guys, it’s how well you work the muscle. Do them slowly, exhaling on the up, inhaling on the down.