Walking

5 Reasons Thermophore “Just Ain’t Your Grandma’s Heating Pad”

5 Reasons Thermophore "Just Ain't Your Grandma's Heating Pad"The benefits of moist heat therapy are undeniable and highly impressive. Moist heat can relieve stiffness and improve circulation by opening blood vessels, while relieving pain caused by a multitude of things. However, it seems that many people are under the impression that heating pads are for the elderly. Perhaps you guys have not been properly introduced to the Thermophore Moist Heating Pad. If you have not, that is perfectly okay. I will have you all acquainted very shortly. The Thermophore Moist Heating pad is nothing short of a miracle in a box. While it is true that moist heat is an excellent pain remedy for those suffering from arthritis, Raynaud’s Syndrome, fibromyalgia, and even Berger’s Disease, moist heat is also great for sore necks, sprained ankles, and pre-workouts. Check out 5 Reasons Thermophore “Just Ain’t Your Grandma’s Heating Pad”:

Joint Injuries
Moist heat allows an increased movement in stiff joints by providing better mobility and range of motion from the affected joint. This allows you to exercise the joint a little easier, making the workout more effective. The next time you’re on the basketball court, and you notice pain in your knee, first wait 48-72 hours before applying heat, as this can promote swelling. In fact, during this time you should avoid all things that might increase swelling, such as hot showers, hot tubs, hot packs, or alcoholic beverages and remember the acronym R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate). After the initial 48-72 hours have expired, apply your Thermophore Moist Heat Pad. Do a few gentle exercise with the aid of moist heat to help restore and maintain flexibility. If you need a heat treatment while on the go, check out the Good2Go Microwave Heat Pack.

Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms are an involuntary contraction in the muscle tissue. Moist heat opens your blood vessels, bringing more nutrients to the area which promotes healing. Putting ice on muscle spasms would cause more pain than relief. Ice would cause you to shiver, tightening the muscles, while the moist heat soothes them. Usually, you want to keep the heat directly applied to the sore area for 15-20 minutes per session.

Ankle Sprain
Moist Heat can be great when treating a sprained ankle. A sprained ankle is a stretched or torn ligament, which results in pain, swelling, and instability of the ankle. As with Joint Injuries, when you initially sprain your ankle, you want to follow the R.I.C.E acronym. According to the University of Virginia, you should begin to apply heat once you have pain-free ankle motion and you have no new swelling. Check to see if the injured ankle feels like the same temperature as the uninjured ankle. Apply moist heat for 20 minutes per session, as often as possible. If you notice that the heat is causing swelling, stop the heat and try using our Ice It ColdCOMFORT. This may save you soccer and football players a trip to the ER.

Stiff Neck
I’m sure we’ve all slept in that awkward position, or had a long flight or car ride, that caused us to wake up with a stiff neck. If you were thinking that a Thermophore can help with this, you would be absolutely correct. The moist heat penetrates the painful area, increasing blood circulation due to the dilation of blood vessels. The increase in blood flow reduces inflammation, allowing extra oxygen and carrying away waste and toxins. As this process takes place, pain will subside. Since an awkward sleeping position can happen to anyone, at any time, why isn’t a Thermophore in your closet?

Muscle Pain
Because of a chemical called lactic acid, overworked muscles tend to become sore. Lactic acid builds up when the muscles are put under stress and stripped of oxygen. Because of this reduced blood flow, the lactic acid builds up, causing a traffic jam, which results in muscle pain. Moist Heat Therapy helps to restore the flow of the blood, and speeds up the removal of lactic acid. Moist heat therapy can also be used before you exercise to warm up and prepare your muscles for movement, possibly reducing the likelihood of an injury. That’s something to think about before doing your next Cross fit routine.

Fact is moist heat therapy is one of the simplest, safest, and most effective home remedies for injury, pain, or discomfort in muscles and joints. Moist heat can help to loosen injured muscles before you begin any activity or simply stretching. Icing afterward, can minimize pain. If you have a chronic injury, moist heat therapy can relieve pain and stiffness and improve circulation. Moist heat therapy can also be used before beginning to exercise or to warm up and prepare your muscles for movement. If you’ve experienced an acute injury however, apply cold therapy and do NOT use moist heat therapy. Remember, Thermophore Moist Heat Pads “Ain’t Just Your Grandma’s Heating Pad,” reaching a maximum temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Please, be sure to always read the warning label.

10 Ways to Help You Maintain a Healthy Heart

10 Ways to Help You Maintain a Healthy HeartCupid will be a mighty busy guy this weekend, running around making sure he shoots everyone in sight with a heart arrow. It’s his job to make sure that every valentine receives the gift that was meant for him/her. It was then that I thought, what if you’re your own Valentine this year? Loving yourself, and treating yourself doesn’t require tons of gifts, roses or chocolates. In honor of February being American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day falling in the same month, here are 10 Ways to Help You Maintain a Healthy Heart:

Exercise Daily
Try to exercise daily. Challenge yourself to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. If you do 30 minutes each day, 5 days a week, this should be easy. Fit in a workout anywhere you can. Try wearing a Garmin Forerunner 210 GPS Heart Rate Monitor (Black) with Premium Strap, and track your results.

Eat Fish
Make fish a part of your diet. Including this high protein which is high in omega 3 fatty acids. Mackerel, tuna, and salmon are an excellent source of this, which helps protect against heart disease.

Walk More
If you’re feeling a bit tense or under pressure, go and take a walk. Walking allows you to clear your mind and collect your thoughts, which in turn can reduce tension. When you get the urge to take that walk, grab your Pedusa PE-771 Tri-Axis Multi-Function Pocket Pedometer and Clip, and see exactly how you helped yourself while on the go.

Reduce Cholesterol
Cholesterol is found only in animal products, such as meat, poultry, dairy products and eggs. Lean and low-fat foods can still be high in cholesterol. Check Nutrition Facts on the labels to keep track of the cholesterol in your food and consume no more than 300 mg daily.

Avoid Stress
Staying stress free is easier said than done. However, avoiding stress when possible is crucial. How you handle stress may directly affect your heart. Too much stress can lead to medical issues such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you’re constantly feeling stressed or overwhelmed, talk to a health care specialist about better ways of dealing with these issues. I would also recommend keeping an Omron BP742N 5 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor in the home, allowing you to closely monitor your blood pressure.

Drink More Water
We can never stress how important it is to stay hydrated. Take a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. To make it easier, I’d purchase a Camelbak Eddy .75l BPA Free Bottle.  It’s spill-proof, so it’s a handy bottle to take on walks, hiking or to the gym.

Eat Healthy
Make it your business to eat healthier. Revamp your refrigerator, placing all healthy items to the front, and removing anything that may stop you from changing your healthy eating habits.

Eat More Fiber
Include fiber in your diet. Oats, whole-grain rice, beans, and potatoes are excellent sources of fiber. Be careful when choosing processed foods, as many of them have large amounts of sugar. As always, be sure to drink plenty of water, as it will prevent constipation.

Sleep Well
Poor sleeping patterns can result in heart disease, just as having heart disease can interfere with sleep. Products such as caffeine and nicotine can heighten these risks. According to the Harvard Medical School, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help you improve your sleep habits.

Cut Back on Salt
Consuming too much salt can cause high blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension increases your risk of developing coronary heart disease. Try avoiding items that are too salty such as chips, pizzas, salted nuts, canned vegetables and soups. One thing you can do to help you curb your intake of sodium, would be to check the ingredient levels of your packaged food, before adding them to your shopping basket.

Now that you have the necessary information to maintain a healthy heart, go make cupid jealous. After all, Cupid’s arrows are supposed to bring you the gift of love. By eating healthy and exercising daily, you gift yourself a longer, healthier life.

Fun Fitness Moves to Keep You in Shape on Game Day

Fun Fitness Moves to Keep You in Shape on Game DayThe Big Game Day is quickly approaching. February 1, 2015 is the day that we’ll see football fans, and even non football fans come together for a day of fun, partying, food, and just a little trash talking (depending on which team you’re routing for). Millions of people will watch this Sunday, to see who will be labeled the champion for the 2015 year. The individuals on the field put themselves through vigorous training and fitness routines, in preparation for this one day. Since they put themselves through such extreme training for this day, why would you allow your training to dwindle? Afterall, you’ll most likely be taking in tons of carbs. Here are a few Fun Fitness Moves to Keep You in Shape on Game Day:

Each Time You See This…     You Do This!

Touchdown                               10 Push-Ups

First Down                                60 Second Plank

Running Play of 25+ Yards      15 Leg Lifts

Passing Play of 25+ Yards       15 Heel Raises

Female Performer on Stage     Thriller Dance (Michael Jackson)

Timeout                                     Run Up and Down the Stairs

Interception                               50 Crunches

4th-Down conversion                25 Squats

Extra Point                                30 Second Knee High Jog

Personal Foul                           15 Sit Ups

Instant Replay                          45 Second Wall Sit

Puppy in Commercial               25 Jumping Jacks

Field Goal                                 25 Reverse Crunches

Beer Commercial                     10 Walking Lunges

Fumble                                     30 Second Jog in Place

Offsides                                    20 Push ups

2-Point Conversion                  10 Burpees

Delay of Game                         10 Single Leg Squats

Reverse                                    10 Pull Ups

Interference                              10 Wall Push Ups

Holding                                      20 Chair Dips

Sack                                          15 Dips

Face Mask                                 30 Second Head Stand (With or without the wall)

Safety                                        10 Squats

If you really want to maximize your performance, grab a heart rate monitor, and track your progression. “It’s Good!”

7 Outdoor Activities To Get You in Shape

7 Outdoor Activities To Get You in ShapeThere is no denying the healthy benefits of daily physical activity. We all see our friends checking into the gym to get into top physical shape. The good news is that you don’t always have to hit the gym to gain physical health. Everyday outdoor activities can be much more fun, convenient, and have the same benefits. Here are 7 Outdoor Activities To Get You in Shape:

Golf
Golf is a leisure activity, enjoyed by many people of all ages. When taken at face value, the health and fitness benefits can seem minor. However, if you take a step back and examine your approach, you’d see that there is ample opportunity for fitness. One option is to skip the golf cart and walk. The average golfer can walk up to four miles in a single round of golf, with potential for more if you have to chase the balls. After playing a couple of games the fitness benefits can be obvious. Carrying or pulling your golf clubs can be a very effective way to promote muscle toning and good cardiovascular health. Golf provides a stimulating mental challenge. You’re already a golfer? Try using the rugged and waterproof Garmin Approach S4 Golf Watch.

Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking is a great outdoor sport for kids and adults of all ages, making it a great exercise that families can do together. One primary health benefit of riding a mountain bike is the improvement of cardiovascular fitness. Mountain Biking makes the heart pound steadily, which increases your heart’s fitness by three to seven percent, decreasing the risk of having coronary heart disease. Riding a mountain bike also builds, strengthens and tones your muscles. If you do ride regularly, the muscles on your legs, thighs, buttocks and hips will strengthen, helping to protect your hip and knee joints. Studies have shown that riding a bicycle for at least 20 miles in a week can reduce your risk of having coronary heart disease by almost 50%.

Running
We all should have expected good old fashioned running to make this list. Running is not only a great way to stay in shape, but can also benefit almost every other part of your body, including your mood. Studies have shown that running can raise your levels of good cholesterol, while also increasing your lung use, and boost your immune system. In women, running has also been known to actually reduce your risk of breast cancer. Being one of the best forms of losing and maintaining weight, running can also provide a nice boost to your self-esteem and confidence. Get the most from your experience by tracking your results using the Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS Personal Trainer with Heart Rate Premium Strap.

Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is a great exercise for cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that the only way to improve your cardiovascular system is by participating in exercise that stresses the heart and accessory organs. Walking, bike riding, and rock climbing are just a few examples of these exercises. Rock climbing is also a great way of promoting weight loss. Rock climbing at a moderate pace for around one hour can burn around 400 calories, while also toning and increasing muscle mass in the arms, chest, back, and legs.

Swimming
People often underestimate the health benefits of swimming. Swimming is a great way to help you to build your heart rate and blood flow, while helping to maintain a healthy weight. Using the water as a tool can also be a great way to tone your muscle, breath better, and even become more flexible. Because water is denser than air, swimming is a far more effective way of toning your muscles than any other form of cardiovascular exercise that you can do on land. With a swimming exercise regimen, you also get the benefits of a cardio workout, while simultaneously working on developing an even body tone. Working out in water provides a certain amount of water resistance, which has a similar effect as using a light weight on a resistance machine at the gym.

Soccer
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, and is played in several countries. Playing soccer can be lots of fun, and is also a great workout. It’s quite a challenge pointing out the main benefit of playing soccer, when there are several. Soccer increases aerobic capacity and cardiovascular health, lowers body fat and improves muscle tone, builds strength, flexibility and endurance, increases muscle and bone strength, and improves health due to shifts between walking, running and sprinting.

Hide and Seek
Sure Hide and Seek could have perhaps fit into the running section, but I think it’s great to point out specific ways in which you can get the children involved in being active. Put together a play date or take the children to the park for an old school game of hide and seek or freeze tag. Start to make outings like this more frequent. This allows you to sneak in a workout, while promoting child fitness at the same time. The beauty about it is your little boys and girls will never see it as a workout. If you really want to get them involved, give them an iBitz Powerkey Activity Tracker for Kids and make it a contest to see who can take the most steps during the game. Now you’ve really got their attention!

Remember that physical fitness does not have to be a chore. Find ways to include the family in your outdoor activities, and make them fun. Always be sure to stay properly hydrated during any routine. I’d suggest strapping on a Camelbak Unbottle Hydration Pack, or carrying something like the Avex Wells AutoSpout Water Bottle 32 Ounce with you. Always be sure to consult your physician before initiating any new routine.

6 Tips for a Healthy New Year

6 Tips for a Healthy New Year:Healthy eating has been on the top of the top New Year Resolution for eons. It is also one of the most forgotten resolutions, along with quitting smoking, once the New Year comes in. Preparing for your personal resolutions prior to January 1st. is one of the best ways to make sure you stick to your goals. Try these 6 Tips for a Healthy New Year:

1. Clean House
The first step to moving forward with healthier eating habits would be to clean out the pantry and refrigerator of anything containing high amounts of salt, carbs, fat, and calories. If you have three boxes of cookies, give two away. Keeping such items will only make you want them more. Try replacing those cookies with a bag or two of grapes or a delicious Florida Oranges.

2. Replace One Beverage a Day With Water
If you’re anything like myself, you have a strong addiction to soda. Try replacing at least one glass of soda with a nice cold glass of water. Feel free to add in a slice of lemon or even a cucumber, for flavor. Soda, is really not good for you with all the different sweeteners that they use. Try two glasses of water, if possible.

3. Eat More Omega-3s
Taking in more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help you keep your blood pressure down. Research also shows that omega-3s can help improve your mood. Shoot for two servings of fish a week, primarily fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and some types of tuna, which are rich in omega-3s. Not a fish lover? Walnuts and flax are also a great source.

4. Have a Fruit or Vegetable at Every Meal
Including fruits and vegetables into your meals is something you should be doing already. If you’re like cereal in the morning, top it off with a banana or strawberries, or maybe try adding blueberries to your yogurt. Skip the cafeteria, and pack a healthy lunch. Be sure to include some extra vegetables or an apple for dessert.

5. Portion Control
You will never reach your target size or weight if you do not curb overeating. The mission is never to stop eating, but do so in a healthy manner. Studies have shown that smaller portions do actually promote weight loss. Don’t forget to wash it down with water.

6. Sodium Consumption
Studies show many Americans consume close to twice the recommended limit of sodium, which is a teaspoon daily. Sodium can raise blood pressure. Those who usually have a lower sodium diet usually have a decreased risk of heart disease. This in turn promotes lower hypertension and better weight management.

Are you ready to prove to yourself that you are capable of reaching your goals? Whether you’re looking to lose 5 pounds or 30 or just eat healthier, be sure to have a plan. Take the appropriate steps to implement that plan, and enjoy the benefits of healthy eating. Have a Happy, Safe, and Healthy New Year!

Here are 5 Great Calf Exercises (with and without equipment) That Tone and Shape Your Legs

Are you bulky, toned, with abs of steel up top, but unable to get the same effect for your calves? Chances are you’re the guy that constantly gets called out for skipping leg day. Some of us really don’t care about the mismatch between legs and arms, figuring they’re never really seen. Then there are those of us who do try to get our calves in tip top shape, but are either stumped at what exercises to do or where to start.

You can find tons of articles on how to build muscle mass. There are hundreds more on proper eating, not including the millions of diet options found on the internet, and millions more on how to get the perfect abs. But when it comes to leg or calf exercises, it usually requires a lot more searching.

 

Movedownload (9) Your Legs
Something that we should already be doing is going for walks, jogs, and runs. You can tour your neighborhood, walk the dog an extra few blocks, or even walk/run/jog in place in your home. Anything that strains and gets your legs moving. The stairs in your home can be treated as built in exercise equipment. Go up and down a couple of times, if you’re not up to being outside. It’s important to work a little bit harder with every workout. Try including a Polar Loop into your walk, and track your steps and distance. Challenge yourself to go further and achieve more steps in the next walk. If you repeat the same routine, you won’t get the results you want.

download (10)Cycle a Lot
A bike is exercise equipment, and can usually be found in many households. If you have a sunny day, ride your bike to work for the day and leave the car at home. It’s a great way to target the muscles in your calves. Switching gears can heighten the intensity of your bicycle workout, as well as riding over hills and rougher surfaces like grass instead of pavement. Another advantage of biking is that you’ll save on gas.

 

                                          Calf Raises 

Calf-Raises-BasicAnother great calf exercise is the calf raise. Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, your back straight and your hands at your sides. Contract the calf muscles, while lifting your heels off of the ground so your weight is on your toes. Hold for a second, then release back to the floor.
Repeat for twenty raises, or until you can feel a sore strain in your muscles.

 

Seated Calf Raise

or_bc95b316126642248312988This is a workout that is necessary for the calf muscles to reach their maximum capacity. While this movement is similar to the standing calf raise, the seated calf raise will actually target the lower muscles of the calf. Sit with the machine pads resting on your thighs. Again, drop your heel to 2-4 inches depending on how flexible you are. Raise again and squeeze the calf muscles once you reach the top. The rep range for this workout, as well as the standing calf raise, should between 10 and 20 depending on the needs of your body and what you can tolerate.

 

                                         Jump Rope
jumping-ropeWe’re going to go back to the basics. Get yourself a jump rope and perform either timed sets or sets for a specific number of reps. Bounce on the balls of your feet and keep your ground contact time as short as possible. Make it a game, or a competition with the family. First see who can jump the longest. Another fun game is seeing who can get more jumps in.

When working on building muscle in the lower legs, it’s important to remember to take in the proper amount of nutrients and protein to sustain your exercises. Give your body the appropriate time to rest and recover between each workout session. Never push yourself beyond your daily limit. Damaged muscles don’t serve any purpose.

Fitness and Supplements

The supplement in384x324-images-stories-supplements_702_277_s_c1dustry has become inundated with ineffective supplements, with false claims of helping you reach your fitness goals, making it even harder to figure out which supplements actually work. It is vital that we do our research and consult our physicians before adding any supplement to our diets. While you gather your questions for your next doctor visit, we’ll take the hard part out… The research. Here’s a list of supplements that can actually help you reach your fitness goal.

Whey
Whey tops the list of mass-gain supplements because it’s the most crucial for pushing protein synthesis. Whey is a milk protein that has a high level of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs, No. 4 on our list). Bottom line: Whey takes the crown because it digests fast and gets to your muscles rapidly to start building muscle. Whey also contains peptides (small proteins) that increase blood flow to the muscles. This is why we always recommend consuming whey protein immediately after training.

Green Tea
Green tea fights fat. Animals who are given the extract in studies gain less weight and burn substantially more fat than animals getting a placebo. You can drink the tea, experts ideally recommend about eight glasses a day-or go the easier route and just take a supplement. Aim for 90 milligrams three times daily.

Creatine
Creatine is perhaps the most efficient supplement if you’re doing a high-intensity activity. There are very few supplements that have the solid scientific foundation available that creatine has. Experts say that creatine is beneficial to 80% of the people who have used it. Since creatine is found naturally in meat, the more meat you eat, the less likely you’ll need creatine supplementation. However, vegans or those who rarely eat meat can get huge boosts from these supplements.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids is the one type of fat you don’t want to cut back on. Two crucial ones — EPA and DHA — are primarily found in certain fish. ALA, another omega-3 fatty acid, is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds. Not only does your body need these fatty acids to function, but also they deliver some big health benefits. Fish oil supplements can lower elevated triglyceride (Blood fat) levels. Having high levels of this blood fat puts you at risk for heart disease. Omega-3s also help prevent several types of cancer, including breast and prostate cancers.

Keeping our testosterone levels high when we are training is important for building muscle mass. Testosterone is the leading hormone that is largely responsible for building lean muscle mass and increasing strength. One of the best bodybuilding investments you can make is to consume all natural test boosters.

8 Tips to Maintaining Fitness in the Cold Season

The colder 8 Tips to Maintaining Fitness in the Cold Seasonseason is upon us. For some, that means their workout sessions will slow down, while for others it will come to a complete stop until next season. Don’t allow the cold to frighten you from your daily routines. Exercising in the cold can have its benefits. Sometimes the chill allows you to do a more thorough workout than you would get in the warmer weather. If you’re exercising in particularly frigid temperatures, your body will expend more energy to regulate core temperature, increasing your heart rate and boosting the number of calories you burn during a workout. While it may be a challenge, here are a few tips for getting through a winter workout:

Warm Up Wisely
Before any workout, walk around or jog in place indoors for five minutes, recommends Olympian Jeff Galloway, coauthor of A Woman’s Guide to Running. When you head out, give your body time to adjust to the conditions by taking 30-second breaks every few minutes for the first 10 minutes.

Hydrate
Even if it’s not as obvious as in the summer, you’re still sweating during cold-weather workouts and pushing yourself, so stay hydrated. Mayo Clinic suggests drinking water before, after and during your runs, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Dress Warm
Dress in removable layers, sometimes two or three. Wearing a sweater adds inches to the bar, making it harder on exercises like Front Squats to put the bar correctly. I remove my sweater during work sets, and put it back on between sets. Try also a wool hat to avoid sinus & ear infections from the cold weather.

Don’t forget your hat and gloves
Keeping hands and feet warm is key in the cold temperatures since your body will shunt blood away from extremities to keep your internal organs warm. Gloves will help prevent skin damage and frostbite in sub-zero temperatures. To keep your feet warm, make sure your torso is properly insulated. That will drive blood back down to your lower extremities. About 50 percent of body heat is lost from an uncovered head when the temperatures hit the freezing mark. Wearing a hat will help your body retain heat.

Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia
Symptoms of hypothermia include an inability to think clearly or move easily, shivering, exhaustion, memory loss, drowsiness, fumbling hands, slurred speech, pain in the extremities, a slow and weak pulse, as well as collapse or unconsciousness.

Don’t Overdress
Wearing too many clothes during a workout can cause you to sweat more. In the winter, sweat being soaked into your clothing may leave you feeling a bit more chilled. If you notice that you are feeling colder, immediately remove an additional layer of clothes. Try to stay away from heavy cottons, as they’d promote and soak up more sweat.

Check the weather
knowing the forecast allows you to properly prep for the next workout, adjusting your wardrobe accordingly

 Plan your route
Having a set destination is important for any exercise, regardless of weather conditions. During the colder season, try on planning a route with heavily lined trees or buildings. This allows some protection against the wind. Another great practice is to be sure there is a store or cafe along the way, in case you need to step in and warm up a little.

There are some safety risks to consider when exercising in the cold. The most dangerous conditions to work out in are those that involve extremes in temperature. Cold weather exercise can lead to hypothermic symptoms. When exercising in the cold, you need to think more about your clothing and your exposure to the elements.

 

Halloween Fitness

It’s that timHalloween Fitnesse of year again, the “Fall Season” the smell of fresh leaves in the air, daylight begins to fade earlier each day and of course Halloween will be peaking around the corner. Halloween allows us to dress up as our favorite character, animal, thing, or whatever creative costume you’re able to come up with. We have fun, take pictures, laugh at each other’s costumes, and attend parties and other functions. We also spend a great deal of time walking around the neighborhood, allowing the children to knock on each door one by one, screaming, “Trick or Treat!” Are you ready for this much physical activity? We’ll help get you there.

First, if you’re not usually into fitness, you’d want to start out slow and easy. Simply walk out the door and take a walk for 10 minutes, and walk back. Do this routine every day for a week. When this becomes easy for you to maintain, add five more minutes to your walk the next week. Each week add an additional 5 minutes, until you are walking at a brisk pace for 30 mins. Be sure to keep your posture upright. Hold your head up and eyes forward. Your shoulders should be down, you’re back relaxed. Tighten your abdominal muscles and buttocks and fall into a natural stride.

The quicker you walk, the farther you can go and the more pounds you’ll melt off. An amazing routine you can try is, after warming up for 5 minutes, walk as fast as you can for 10 minutes. I suggest using a pedometer like the Garmin Vivofit, to keep track of distance. Then turn around and walk back at a brisk pace, slowing your speed to cool down as you get closer to your starting point. Each time you do this workout, aim to walk faster and go farther than your initial turnaround point. Get into the habit of logging your time and pace after each workout and you will soon be surprised at what you have accomplished after a few weeks.

Another great way to get walking is shop. That’s right, go to the Mall! Several malls open early for walkers, as do some larger stores. Gather a group of friends, or go alone and make some along the way, and window shop. Check out the prices of the newest items. If your local mall has more than one level, try to refrain from taking the elevators or escalators, and opt for the stairs. Walking the mall allows you to walk in a more social environment, potentially forgetting the fact that you’re even working out. The floors are usually concrete, so you may want to wear a more cushioned shoe than you would for a treadmill. Time your walk to finish when the stores open, especially during the holiday season when the mall will fill up fast with shoppers.

Now the day has arrived, Halloween is here and the little ones are ready to go trick or treating. Even better, so are you! Keep in mind all of the calories in those little Halloween candies. We know you may want to do a quality check on your child’s bag or basket but for their sake and your calorie intake, limit your sampling.

Also, make sure your trick or treaters brush thoroughly after they have had their limit, as that’s plenty of sugar in those candies, but we’ll save that for another blog post. Have Happy, Safe, and Fit Halloween!

Does Exercise Build the Immune System?

As of September 22, 10:29 P.M we have officially said “so long to Summer,” and welcomed in the Fall Equinox. The color of the foliage will offer somDoes Exercise Build the Immune System?e of the most beautiful scenery nature has to offer. Unfortunately, this season usually brings the cold and flu with it. Many people will protect themselves with the flu shot, but did you know that working out can also help to fight off the common cold? Exercise not only helps your immune system fight off simple bacterial and viral infections, it decreases your chances of developing heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer.
Scientists do not really know how exercise increases your immunity to certain illnesses, but different theories are being tested. Exercising regularly improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently. Another theory is physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs, decreasing the chance of a cold and flu, or other airborne illness. This same process may flush out cancer-causing cells by increasing output of wastes, such as urine and sweat. Others may argue that exercise sends antibodies and white blood cells through the body at a quicker rate. As these antibodies or white blood cells circulate more rapidly, they could detect illnesses earlier than they might normally. The increased rate of circulating blood may also trigger the release of hormones that “warn” immune cells of intruding bacteria or viruses.
Be careful of exercising too much. Yes, there is such a thing as too much. “People who already exercise regularly are cautioned not to develop too vigorous a workout program in the hopes of increasing the immunity benefits. Heavy, long-term exercise (such as marathon running and intense gym training) could actually decrease the amount of white blood cells circulating through the body and increase the presence of stress-related hormones,” according to an article published by Medline Plus.
Some scientists are trying to take the next step to determine whether exercise directly affects a person’s susceptibility to infection. For example, some researchers are looking at whether extreme amounts of intensive exercise can cause athletes to get sick more often or somehow impairs their immune function. According to Harvard Medical School, “While some changes have been recorded, immunologists do not yet know what these changes mean in terms of human immune response. No one yet knows, for example, whether an increase in cytokines is helpful or has any true effect on immune response.”
Have a little cold or the flu? Do you usually get the cold or flu like symptoms this time of year? Maybe you don’t have either, but don’t want to take any chances. Grab your Vivofit by Garmin and challenge yourself to a nice 30 minute walk, or maybe you’d like to grab yourself a Polar Loop Activity Monitor and put together a workout routine. Whatever you do, Be Active, Be Fit, Be Healthy!