Cancer Fighting Foods Week

Why are winter veggies are such good cancer fighters?

Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beet, carrot, collards. And some of the best are the orange foods: pumpkin, carrot, and winter squash.

Maybe it’s nature’s way of protecting us when the fresh fruit and veg are in short supply. Thank you mamma nature 🙂

Plus, if you’ve never had a butternut squash soup, your life is incomplete and you need to hop to that! My “Audible Groaning” Butternut Squash Soup Recipe.

Hear Here To Hear More.

 

 

Frigid Fitness Week and The Internal Combustion Engine

Many guys I know — and me as well — tend to “run hot”. I could have the door open to the arctic circle and be just fine. But, in the company of some others, have been instructed to set the thermostat temperature to Solar Flare just to stop them from shivering.

It’s a handy thing to have during the winter, and makes it much easier to get outside because I’m not instantly turning into one gigantic walking goose bump. So the question is, what can you do to stoke your own Internal Combustion Engine?

It’s about your muscles. Other than your brain, muscles burn more energy than anything else in your body. So if you have more tone — you do NOT have to be bulky at all — you will burn more, increasing that internal heat.

This means that your weights don’t have to be super heavy to be effective. Just be consistent with what you have, or with your situps, planks, squats, or whatever resistance work you’re doing.

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Warm Up Frigid Fitness Week With A Slow Burn

Okay, I’m old. Jurassic. Just call me Jerry. Jerry Attric. In fact, I remember when computers were not a thing. Do that math.

One of the outcomes of my advanced age is that exercise affects me differently now than it did when I was still all young and pretty. Before, if I fell down, I’d bounce right back up. Now? I just thud like Randy from Christmas Story, and lay there like a slug to recover.

An outcome of all this is that doing weight training can make it much easier to pull or harm a muscle. SO, the solution is to lighten up on the weight and increase the repetitions.

However. If you want to have more tone, you don’t have to add heavy weights that might strain your muscles. Just change your pace. Do the very same set of movements or actions (whatever they are), but now do them at 1/2 speed and see how that burns your muscles.

This winter, mix it up. Make your simple indoor activities harder once in a while by slowing the rate of the movement. Slower speed = higher EFFECTIVE weight, without the added pounds that can cause injury to your muscles.

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Friendly Fire Today For Frigid Fitness Week

Unless you’re a Yeti or just really dedicated, Winter Walking can be tough to start, and harder to follow through on. One of the reasons for this is because A) it’s cold; B) muscles tighten up; C) it’s cold; D) the color palate of gray on gray just wears you down; AND … F) It’s cold.

Hear Here To Hear More about how to protect your muscles, your face, and even sustain motivation while you’re out there.

The first best solution is to get a walking buddy. Seriously, you can talk yourself out of anything, but as soon as your friend gives you a long glaring pause when you suggest that you guys blow off your walk, you’ll say oh okay, let them know how you were just kidding anyway … really … and then get back out and move.

When you’re done, you’ll be so glad you had your friend to “hold your feet to the fire” so you can go get cold and then come back in and actually hold your chilly feet next to the fire!

Frigid Fitness When The Weather Outside Is Frightful

Of course I say that you should tough it out, layer up, and get outside during the winter. But I don’t live in the tundra of the great white north, where the wind comes a-sweepin down the plains at minus 273 Kelvin.

Under these conditions, even I’d have a hard time braving the grossness until the permafrost melted next spring. So how do you finesse fitness into your life?

Indoor activities that you can do for just a few weeks until there’s no more risk of frostbitten toes. Sounds boring, doesn’t it? Indoor activities?

But honestly, if you do simple stuff, like pushups and situps, each day for one single month it will tone you up, increase your basal metabolism, and therefor burn more of that chicken fried chicken pot pie stuffed potato comfort food-o-rama.

Other great ones are yoga, jump roping, and planking. Seriously, just do these one time. Make it your daily multi-vitamin, your one-a-day, every day. Don’t skip it, and make a solid commitment to follow through just for one month. THEN, I want you to tell me how you feel at the end.

Hear Here To Hear More.

 

Chocolate Week Makes Your Skin Younger

No, no, no, you don’t smear it on the outside — people do the strangest things sometimes — you eat it!!

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Research data show that consistent consumption of high cocoa chocolate protects your skin against UV damage from the sun. It’s like an internal SPF!

Even better, the polyphenols found in cocoa can increase the blood flow to the skin. This brings more oxygen and nutrients to the dermal layers. In addition to this being much more healthy for the tissue, it also results in greater skin moisture and therefore less wrinkling.

Seriously. Eat the chocolate. Make it dark. Don’t overconsume.

Frigid Fitness Week. Think Different.

“Winter exercise” sounds awful.

It’s just really bad branding because the first thing most people think about is how grindingly terrible it would be … especially compared to couch + fuzzy socks + comfy quilt + literally-anything-else-in-the-world.

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That’s why it’s bad branding, because the first thought it conjures is awful. We have it in our heads that way and that’s how everyone in our culture thinks about it as well.

But it’s time for us to change the culture. Change the behavioral norms. Change winter activity from something that is too much of a PITA to do, into something that’s we love to do.

That starts with us, making a decision to think about it differently. Getting outside to walk or play or run or move about is brisk and refreshing (I hear your snort, but that’s just the sound of our cultural norms coming out of your nose 🙂 ). Also, when you get back inside from your outdoor activity you actually feel GREAT.

Again … we know this is all true when we hear it, but we normally resist getting out there and doing it. That is because we’re coached by this culture to view winter activities as too much trouble. What we’re going to do this week is turn that around.

Make a decision. Don’t do what is programmed in, do what is right. Find something you enjoy doing outside, and get out there this winter (of course, layer up, be safe, and don’t be dangerous). When we do this, we are starting the process of improving the cultural norms — and our own health!! — in a more positive direction.

One Is The Loneliest Number That You’ll Ever Do

“They say” that exercise can be a great stress reliever. But there are often mixed data on this — whether it is or is not a stress reliever. Given that, there must be some other factor that’s mucking up the data.

This study looks at one of them. When you exercise in a group, your stress levels are reduced by 26 percent, compared to those who brave it all by themselves.

Why would that be?

  • Are they just grumpy that no one wants to work out with them?
  • Are they more stressy because they can only mutter to them selves on their little angry runs?
  • Or do they report being less calm because they wanted to be in the “group exerciser” arm of the study, and do understand why the universe is conspiring against them?

The world may never know the reasons why group activities lead people to report higher quality of life, but it may be because we’re human. Just thinking out loud here, but we ARE social animals. If we go against that essential nature, it’s just not going to go well.

So, find a group to walk or ride or talk or play ping pong or whatever with. If you do this, it’s not only better for your muscles, it’s better for your heart and mind as well.

This research was originally pubbed here.

Researchers found working out in a group lowers stress by 26 percent and significantly improves quality of life, while those who exercise individually put in more effort but experienced no significant changes in their stress level and a limited improvement to quality of life, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

“The communal benefits of coming together with friends and colleagues, and doing something difficult, while encouraging one another, pays dividends beyond exercising alone,” said Dayna Yorks, DO, lead researcher on this study. “The findings support the concept of a mental, physical and emotional approach to health that is necessary for student doctors and physicians.”

Dr. Yorks and her fellow researchers at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine recruited 69 medical students — a group known for high levels of stress and self-reported low quality of life — and allowed them to self-select into a twelve-week exercise program, either within a group setting or as individuals. A control group abstained from exercise other than walking or biking as a means of transportation.

Every four weeks, participants completed a survey asking them to rate their levels of perceived stress and quality of life in three categories: mental, physical and emotional.

Those participating in group exercise spent 30 minutes at least once a week in CXWORX, a core strengthening and functional fitness training program. At the end of the twelve weeks, their mean monthly survey scores showed significant improvements in all three quality of life measures: mental (12.6 percent), physical (24.8 percent) and emotional (26 percent). They also reported a 26.2 percent reduction in perceived stress levels.

By comparison, individual fitness participants were allowed to maintain any exercise regimen they preferred, which could include activities like running and weight lifting, but they had to work out alone or with no more than two partners. On average the solitary exercisers worked out twice as long, and saw no significant changes in any measure, except in mental quality of life (11 percent increase). Similarly, the control group saw no significant changes in quality of life or perceived stress.

“Medical schools understand their programs are demanding and stressful. Given this data on the positive impact group fitness can have, schools should consider offering group fitness opportunities,” said Dr. Yorks. “Giving students an outlet to help them manage stress and feel better mentally and physically can potentially alleviate some of the burnout and anxiety in the profession.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by American Osteopathic Association.