Diet and Nutrition

Keeping the Holiday Bulge At Bay

During the holidays, it’s incredibly easy to put on extra weight, and even keep it on. The holidays only come once a year, so why not splurge, right? Splurging isn’t necessarily the worst thing you can do this holiday season, but it’s important to consider the following before chowing down on that lion’s share of sweet potatoes.

Keeping the Holiday Bulge At Bay

 

  • Get Active!  Create a calorie deficit by exercising off those extra calories before you even sit down for your holiday meal. Before the family comes over for your holiday celebration, lace up those running shows, strap on that heart rate monitor and beat the holiday bulge before it has a chance.
  • Don’t skip breakfast! Many people think that by skipping meals throughout the day justifies binging on their holiday meal. However, by starving yourself throughout the day, you’ll be more inclined to over indulge with sweets and other undesirable foods.
  • If you’re the cook of the house, consider altering your favorite holiday dishes to be a little healthier and waist-band friendly.
  • Try and resist the temptation of seconds. By eating one balanced plate, you’ll have more room for a delectable dessert, and feel less guilty doing so.

 

When it comes to the holiday season, enjoy yourself, but consider making healthy decisions to ensure you don’t succumb to the dreaded holiday bulge.

 

How You can Manage Holiday Stress with a Specialized Fitness Program

Find out how exercise can help you decrease the holiday stress and get you back into the swing of things!

During the holiday season, stress is almost inevitable for most of us – from the shopping, to the wrapping, to the travelling. But what if we told you that having a specialized fitness program, just for you, could help cut down on this stress and keep your ticker healthy too? We have some tips on just how much exercising during this busy season can help to keep you happy and healthy.

  • Making time to exercise during the holidays can help to boost your endorphins, which is the feel-good hormone that your body produces when less stressed out.
  • By exercising for 30 minutes a day, whether you’re walking or running can help to clear your mind and make time for your brain to catch up with the rest of your body.
  • Feeling good about yourself when you work out is a great way to boost your mood, self-esteem, and overall outlook on life.
  • Exercise also helps your brain function better, producing neurohormones that have been linked to activate and stimulate your brain.
  • Along with the way your brain functions, exercise also helps to improve your body’s reaction time to stress as well.
  • Yoga, among other types of exercise, can help to control your breathing during times of stress, as well as increases blood flow to various parts of your body.

Have more tips on how a specialized fitness program can help beat your holiday stress? Leave it in a comment below!

6 Heart Healthy Tips for Using Up Leftover Pumpkin

Find out some heart healthy uses for this seasonal treat!

Getting overly excited about the fall season happens to the best of us, and at Heart Rate Monitors USA, we know that you have stocked up on all those seasonal treats it has to offer. Our favorite out of all these autumn specialties is – you guessed it – Pumpkin. Whether it’s from a can or still in its natural form, we have some tips on how to use this heart healthy vegetable to your benefit without being wasteful.

  • Mixing pumpkin in with some chickpeas and garlic can result in a healthy, tastier version of traditional hummus.
  • Add pumpkin to your spread, whether it’s butter or margarine, for some extra flavor on a bagel.
  • Partial to a bowl of heart-healthy oatmeal before you start your day? Stir in some pumpkin for a seasonal and weight-friendly taste. Plus – it’s chocked full of vitamins, so it will help to start your day with even more of a kick start!
  • Have a whole pumpkin at your house that hasn’t gone bad yet, but has not quite made the transformation to a Jack-o-Lantern? Dig out the seeds and roast them for a healthy, protein-filled snack.
  • Perhaps you’re looking for an alternative to marinara sauce on your pasta. Try out some pumpkin puree, a bit of nutmeg, a pinch of salt, and some skim milk for a delicious and unique way to jazz up a traditional dish.
  • Saving your seeds from the pumpkin you have lying around and planting them for next year is a fun, resourceful, and easy way to recycle.

Have any more heart healthy pumpkin uses for our list? Share it with us in a comment below!

Stay Healthy All Season Long

A refreshing nip in the air and fall foliage all around means that autumn is finally here and in full bloom.  The holidays are right around the corner but so is flu season. If you want to keep healthy over the next few months, consider these helpful tips:

fall health tips

  • Stay active! Being regularly active is an amazing immunity booster. There’s no better time to strap on that heart rate monitor and lace up those running shows than during the fall. The weather is brisk, the scenery beautiful, and now is the time to enjoy the great outdoors before snow shows its ugly head.
  • Get enough rest! Not necessarily a tip that’s restricted just to the autumn season, but getting proper amounts of rest is the key to having a strong immune system all year long.
  • If you’re prone to catching the flu, consider a flue vaccination. Flu vaccines are especially important for children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with chronic medical conditions.
  • Think smart when the holidays roll around! It’s easy to over-do it with food and drinks, but gaining weight can wreak havoc on your immune system. Counteract holiday treats with regular exercise!
  • Get your fill of sweet potatoes! Sweet potatoes are the perfect super food for the colder seasons. Full of antioxidants; phytochemicals, vitamins C and E, folate, calcium, copper, iron and potassium, these delicious treats will help keep your immunity strong.

National Kale Day: How this Leafy Green Can Help You Be Heart Healthy


Healthy eating or not, there’s one green vegetable that can make your life better: kale. In honor of today, National Kale Day, we have some of the most heart healthy benefits for you so that you can kick off October the right way!

  • Not only is this tasty superfood a treat for many, but it is also packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Kale is filled with iron, which is an essential for your blood’s health. Actually, kale has more iron per serving than beef. This is also good for your heart too, keeping it in tip-top shape with the best blood pumping through it.
  •  It’s a great snack for when you’re feeling a little low on energy. Since it’s pumped full of fiber, Kale can keep you full for a longer period of time.
  • Not only does kale make a great, healthy snack, but it also helps to fight inflammation throughout your body. This comes in handy if you suffer from arthritis, Crohn’s disease or any other IBD, and asthma.
  • Kale has high levels of Vitamin K, which help to prevent blood clotting. This is especially healthy for your heart to keep it pumping regularly, efficiently, and without any problems.
  • This delicious green vegetable has more vitamin C per serving than an orange. So when you’re feeling like you may be getting a cold, take the kale over the citrus!

Want more heart healthy facts and recipes? Visit our blog today at blog.heartratemonitorsusa.com!

14 Life Hacks to Lose Weight

Today’s guest post comes from Tom Hines. He is the Co-Founder of NutritionGeeks.com, a retired USAPL powerlifter, a youth wrestling coach, the father of 3 amazing boys, and interested in all things health.

Dropping weight is more than running 10 miles a day and counting every calorie.  We need lots of little life hacks that fit our personalities.  Let’s be honest, thousands of small, insignificant decisions got us unhealthy, so let’s turn the tables.  Here are some weight loss life hacks in no particular order:

Go to a farmer’s market – This has the opposite effect as walking into a convenience store… just try walking out of there without buying something good for you.  There’s also something special about meeting the people who grow your food, it’s a connection you can’t with your cereal box.

Keep an activity and food journal – If you’re like most of my friends, you’d say you have GREAT memory.  I have news for you, you probably don’t.  Writing down how poorly you’re really eating, can be the reminder you need.  You might be shocked at just how many sodas you drank last month, or how many times you went thru the drive-thru.  Plus, you might find yourself making better choices…I mean who wants to have to write down “1 supersized burger, large fries, and a jumbo soda”?

Bench your office chair – Using a stability ball is great for your core, and you can’t help but move around more.  While strengthening your core is great for your lower back, too much ball too soon will likely leave with a sore back, so ease into it.  Standing at your desk is another great option and you don’t have to buy a special desk to get started.  Just find something to set your keyboard, mouse, monitor on.  Just think how lazy everyone else will feel.

Go to bed at the same time every night - Most of us need 8-9 hours of sleep each and every night to function at our best.  Not only are you less likely to make an effort when you’re tired, but sleep is directly associated with metabolism and appetite.  Sleep deprived people are hungrier… really, I’m not making this stuff up.

Get a dog (if you like dogs) - Dogs are like live-in personal trainers.  “Walk with me.” “Play with me.” “Go outside with me”.  I will nag the crap out of you, but in the cutest way and you will love me for it!

Stop drinking soda and fruit juice completely - It’s just a wild guess, but I’d bet at least 10% of overweight Americans could lose the weight if they just stopped drinking soda.  A 24 ounce bottle has 80 grams of sugar.  Fruit juices may sound healthier, but they’re not.  And neither is diet soda.

Drink more water - If straight water is just too boring, try lemon water or a cranberry drink sweetened with stevia.

Use a diet supplement – Diet supplements are NOT the silver bullet, nor are they snake oil.  Used correctly, diet products offer a nice edge in your favor.  Some of the products I’d look at are blends like Synedrex, or individual ingredients such as green coffee bean extract, alpha lipoic acid, CLA, green tea extract, and garcinia cambogia.

Take a cooking class - The less processed food you can eat the better.  It’s just that simple.

Enter a 5K run - Or better yet, enter a 5K with a group of friends or co-workers.  It’s motivating to have something tangible to work for, other than just losing X pounds.  It’s only 3.1 miles, you can do this.

Cut out all refined sugars for a month – You’ve already stopped drinking soda, how hard could it be?  I’m not talking about a low carb diet.  If you’re not already, this will really get you in the habit of reading labels.

Park next to the RVs at the back of the parking lot - You will never have to fight for another parking spot and the walk will do you good.

Use a pedometer - Now that we’re parking so far away and recording our daily activity, it only makes sense to buy a pedometer.  Challenge yourself each day and work toward the coveted 10,000 steps per day mark.  Here’s a great pedometer for under $10.00.

Accurately Measure Your Fitness Success with the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale

If you’ve set fitness goals, it’s essential to be able to accurately and regularly track your progress. The Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale is a useful and highly advanced scale that will help you better reach your fitness goals. The Fitbit Aria takes your body mass index as well as your weight to help give you an accurate and better understanding of your fitness. Using a scale such as the Aria can help you better understand your fitness program, and help decide what to change in order to better reach your ultimate goal. Weight can be measured in pounds, stones or kilograms with the Fitbit Aria.

Track your progress with the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale!

One of the most impressive features of this amazing scale is its ability to upload your statistics via Wi-Fi. With impressive charting capabilities and the potential to create up to 8 accounts, the Fitbit Aria is a great fitness tool for the whole family. With a coordinating smartphone app, you can easily log food, other acitivities and closely monitor and keep an eye on your fitness goals. As you progress toward your fitness benchmarks, you have the potential to win awards and badges that are great at boosting your motivation to continue down the path of great health. If you’re looking for the most accurate and high tech way to track your fitness progress, consider the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale!

Why You Should Never Miss Breakfast

You more than likely probably remember your parents reminding you every morning to eat your breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day. The truth is, breakfast is an extremely important way to begin your day and the perfect piece to overall great health. Sadly, more than one-fifth of adults are breakfast skippers!  One thing regular breakfast eaters share: a smaller waistline. Not only is breakfast an important meal to help lose weight and keep it off, but there a variety of other health benefits to starting your day off with a healthy balanced meal!

 

  • Your heart: People who skip breakfast are more common to have higher cholesterol and be at a higher risk for heart disease and diabetes. Breakfasts that are fiber rich and balanced are excellent for heart health.
  • Concentration: After sleeping throughout the night, your body is hungry. After waking or not eating for a long period of time your body begins to go into famine mode by storing the energy it has left. An empty stomach can lead to concentration issues and loss of focus. Fueling your body in the morning can lead to an overall more productive day.
  • Impulse control: Filling up on a healthy breakfast can actually help fight cravings, which leads to lower body weight. Without breakfast, you’re more likely to reach for that bag of chips.

Breakfast is an essential meal that is more important than many believe, however not all breakfasts are created equal. Try to eat a variety of fruits, egg whites, low-fat dairy and whole grains. Stay away from foods that are high in sugar, like doughnuts and high carbohydrate breads. A healthy exercise regimen combined with regular breakfast eating is an excellent way to create an overall healthy lifestyle.  A day without breakfast is like a work out with a heart rate monitor–incomplete!

Heart Healthy Snacks to Keep Your Ticker Ticking

Get your heart in shape with the help of these heart-healthy foods!

At Heart Rate Monitors USA, we want you to be as physically fit as you can be, but we know that’s not possible without a strong, healthy, and properly functioning heart! Your ticker is important to your overall health, that’s why we have some great heart-healthy foods for you to keep in mind when you’re trying to achieve a wellness-based lifestyle!

  • Oatmeal: This yummy breakfast food is high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which are excellent for your heart!
  • Red wine: Everything in moderation of course, but red wine’s antioxidants are great to keep your heart healthy and beating!
  • Beans: Whether Kidney beans, Lentil beans, or Garbanzo beans are your favorite, these legumes are a great source of protein. Protein builds stronger muscles, and can help build a stronger heart!
  • Nuts: These tasty snacks are a great way to get your Omega-3 Fatty Acids in! The highest in these would be almonds and walnuts.
  • Sweet Potatoes: These yummy substitutes for regular potatoes are loaded with beta carotenes, which are awesome for your heart as well as the rest of your body!

Have more heart-healthy foods that we missed? Leave us a comment below and share it with us!

Why you Should Own the Fitbit Flex

When it comes to heart rate monitors and other neat fitness gadgets, there’s nothing more exciting than the products being put out by Fitbit! Their tiny fitness gadgets are impacting fitness in a big way, and we’re proud to carry the new Fitbit Flex. This amazing pedometer is worn around the wrist and tracks how many steps you’ve taken, distanced traveled, calories burned, and even how much sleep you get. Staying on track with your fitness goals has never been easier or more high tech! The Fitbit Flex is priced extremely low, making it affordable for any fitness freak or novice fitness beginner. Here are just some of the amazing features of the Fitbit Flex and why you should get one today!

  • The Fitbit Flex allows you to set personal goals, and syncs to all devices in real time! You’ll never have an excuse for missing your fitness goals ever again!
  • Fitbit Flex allows you to track all progress through your computer, phone, or tablet device! Now that’s integration!
  • Fitbit Flex is worn around the wrist and is comfortable and stylish. Its low-key appearance makes it not stand out.
  • Unlike other pedometers of the same nature, the Fitbit Flex is priced much lower. Affordability and functionality make the Fitbit Flex the perfect fitness tool for everybody.
  • Unlike ordinary pedometers, the Fitbit Flex is always with you and always tracking. Because it tracks sleep quality, you’ll never have to take it off. The Fitbit Flex is a fitness revolution!