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For December 13, 2018

  • Pre-Workout Snacks: What's the Best?
    Pre-Workout Snacks: What's the Best?

    (Prevention Magazine) Many exercisers wonder if they can get a pre-workout energy boost from food. But what can you eat that won't slow you down? And how much is too much? We asked the experts to compare two favorites -- energy bars and bagels. Here's what they found:

    Bagels: Cheap, easy to find, satisfyingly crunchy (if you toast them).

    Energy bars: Shiny wrappers, cool names, make you feel really athletic.

    Which should you choose as your workout partner?

    Performance: In a small study, David Pearson, PhD, of the Ball State University Human Performance Lab in Muncie, IN, failed to find a performance difference between cyclists who ate a bagel and those who ate a sports bar for breakfast before a workout on an exercise bike. "There was no recognizable benefit from the energy bar versus a common complex carbohydrate (i.e. bagel)," he says (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, November 1996).

    To explore this issue further, we collected some information and did a little testing on a typical bagel and two popular sports bars:

    Frozen Bagel PowerBar Clif Bar
    Size and Type 3.5 in. (plain, poppy or onion) 2.25 oz (banana) 2.4 oz (apple-cherry)
    Price: $0.33 $1.69 $1.29
    Calories 195 230 250
    Fat 1 g 2 g 2 g
    Calcium 5% Daily Value (DV) 30% DV 4% DV
    Iron 14% DV 35% DV 10% DV
    Vitamin C 0% DV 100% DV 0% DV
    Bagel Energy Bars
    Size: Fits in purse or gym bag Fits in pocket, purse, gym bag
    Sit-test: Uncomfortable to sit on, gets crushed, leaves crumbs on pants Barely noticeable when sat on. Virtually invulnerable to crushing

    Conclusion: If you like the taste, convenience and the extra nutrients of the bars, fine -- just keep an eye on their fat (some have more than 2 g.) and calorie content. But if you want an inexpensive source of carbohydrate energy for your next workout, the lowly bagel is up to the challenge.

  • How to Make Exercise Automatic - Part 2 of 2
    How to Make Exercise Automatic - Part 2 of 2

    (Prevention, August 1999) - Part 2.

    Continued from previous article...)

    Step three: Assign a time

    To make exercise a habit, it needs to be on the agenda in a specific time slot, not on that "to do" list that you turn to "when you have a minute." Where on that list? Any time that you'll do it. Some people prefer a walk and a bath as a nightcap. Others find that noontime workouts free them from finding a sitter for the kids.

    As far as making exercise a habit, however, science is on the side of the early birds. People who work out in the mornings are much more likely to stick to their programs than people who leave it until later -- when spur-of-the-moment meetings or family responsibilities can knock the best intentions off balance.

    Don't be so quick to roll your eyes and groan that you're not a morning person. Neither are most of the people who exercise at or before the crack of dawn. They're just people who have gotten up and gone exercising; they're not necessarily out there humming "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'." Some morning walkers have found that it's not that much more difficult to get up 30 minutes before the alarm usually goes off. Says one convert who never thought she'd exercise in the morning: "Getting up is difficult whether I do it at 6 a.m. or at 7 a.m. So I just get up early and do it."

    Your morning schedule might not even need much revising to include exercise. "I tell people to let their [offices] know that Monday through Friday, they're not going to be seeing people until 8:30 a.m. instead of 8. You get up at the same time, but you have your workout done by the time you get to work," says Tedd Mitchell, M.D., medical director of the Cooper Wellness Program at the Cooper Aerobics Center, Dallas.

    No matter what time of the day you don your walking shoes, keep it consistent. "One way to make something a habit is to have the same environment, the same situation every time you exercise," says Dr. Courneya.

    "I tell people to consider exercise as part of the workday, just as you consider getting up and getting dressed to be part of the workday," says Dr. Mitchell. That process of donning the workout gear at a designated time is far more important than how long or how hard you work out, he says. Once the consistency is ingrained in your routine, you can pay more attention to the quality of your workout.

    Step four: Do it

    Now that you know where you're going to put the exercise in your day, figure out what kind of workout you're going to do in that slot. Let hedonism be your guide. Why do something that's no fun? (Isn't that why you quit last time?) Use your creativity to boost the fitness potential of activities like walking the dog that you might not even consider "exercise." Then, be reasonable about how much exercise you're really going to be able to do five days a week, every week, all year long.

    Start by promising yourself 30 minutes of exercise per session (20, if you're new to exercise). Wimpy? Nope. Realistic is more like it. When you have a breakfast meeting every day and special dinners and meetings all week, you'll find a 30-minute workout manageable and a 90-minute one nearly impossible.

    The point isn't to do "lite" exercise. It's to shift your thinking from "this is what I'm going to have to do to get in shape" to "this is a habit I have." If you've been sedentary for a while, even 20 minutes of exercise every day is going to have you feeling great in no time.

    In the first few weeks, however, don't under-schedule yourself. A 30-minute workout means 30 minutes of moving around. Not 5 minutes for finding your shoes, 1 for tying them, and 15 for looking for your shades, applying sunscreen and pulling yourself together afterward. So be realistic; schedule an hour if that's what you really need to accomplish a 30-minute workout. Eventually, you'll get more efficient at preparation and re-entry, and you'll have more time to exercise.

    The key is setting yourself up to be successful at your new program. Success breeds success, reminds Ronna Kabatznick, Ph.D., psychological and motivational consultant to Weight Watchers Magazine. Small successes are what give you the belief that you can keep going and that you can manage larger challenges, she says.

    Step five: How long till it's a habit?

    There's no magic number for how long it takes habits to take hold. But there are strong hints that it can happen as quickly as six to eight weeks. "I always tell people that after the first few months, my job becomes very easy -- I don't have to tell people to exercise any more," says Dr. Mitchell. "Once they feel the benefits of it, they'll establish it as a lifestyle." You'll soon see that a routine is anything but routine. It's simply a matter of following a format that makes you feel good; about making promises to yourself and keeping them.

    "Making a change isn't really about deprivation," says Dr. Kabatznick. "Sure, there are impulses you're not going to follow. But you're making a decision on your own behalf that will improve your life."

    It's a sign that you're keeping commitments to yourself that you know are smart. That you're on your way to having exercise become automatic. That you're getting stronger. Making things happen. It takes a little effort every now and then. But why wouldn't you want to work to your full potential?

  • Headaches: Your Nutrition Prescription
    Headaches: Your Nutrition Prescription

    (Phys, August 1999) - Eliminating tyramine-containing foods is the first line of treatment for migraine headaches. If headaches persist after following a tyramine-free diet, then other foods thought to aggravate the condition should be eliminated one at a time to determine the source of the problem. This type of elimination diet should be monitored closely by a physician and/or a dietitian.

    For other headaches, you should avoid CAFFEINE-containing beverages, alcohol, and tobacco smoke; eat frequent, small, NUTRIENT-dense meals throughout the day; and obtain regular and adequate sleep. Finally, effective coping skills are also helpful to reduce the stress associated with headaches. Make sure your diet contains at least recommended dietary allowance levels of all VITAMINS and MINERALS. chronic trouble with headaches should be reviewed by a physician.

    Additional information on services and educational materials can be obtained from the National Headache Foundation (www.headaches.org) and the American Council for Headache Education (ACHE) (www.achenet.org).

  • A High-Protein Diet May Increase Need For Calcium
    A High-Protein Diet May Increase Need For Calcium

    From Musclemag.com, by Edmund R. Burke, PH.D.

    A Japanese study confirms earlier reports that a high-protein diet, especially from meat, may lead to an increased rate of calcium excretion in the urine, according to a study of 755 Japanese men and women. This means that those who eat diets high in protein, especially animal protein, may need to consume more calcium than those who eat less protein-rich diets, study author Roichi Itoh of the Tokyo Kasei Gakuin University in Tokyo reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    If individuals with a high meat intake do not also receive enough calcium, they may be at increased risk of developing osteoporosis, Itoh noted. The study confirms the results of previous studies indicating that diets high in protein, especially animal protein, adversely affect calcium retention, she said. It has been hypothesized that calcium is lost with high-protein intake because of the increase in the glomerular filtration rate and the decrease in renal reabsorption of calcium, according to the study authors.

    Oatmeal for Energy Studies show momma's stick-to-your-ribs breakfast powers your workout. Many mothers have given their children hot oatmeal before sending them off to school because they know that the oatmeal would stick to their ribs and keep them warm and alert till lunch. Well, chalk up another point for mother's wisdom. The latest study has shown that oatmeal can boost exercise capacity, increase endurance and extend workout time. Women who ate oatmeal 45 minutes before exercising on a stationary bike were able to maintain a designated speed for 15 minutes longer than those who ate a sweetened breakfast cereal. Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber and thus its carbohydrate energy is released into the body slowly.

    Carbohydrates that are quickly absorbed into the blood will cause insulin levels to rise quickly and result in hypoglycemia when the sugar is cleared from the blood. Because oatmeal is slowly broken down into carbohydrate, this slow release prevents a rapid rise in insulin and the accompanying hypoglycemia.The high concentration of protein in the oatmeal may also help slow the breakdown of the carbohydrate. So for anyone who needs long-lasting fuel for prolonged exercise and endurance sports, oatmeal may be the breakfast of choice. This natural wholesome food kept you going strong as a child and it will do the same thing for you now.

    The fact that protein increases glycogen storage to get a more dramatic insulin response protein intake during the post-exercise phase has received more attention recently in a article published in Training and Conditioning. Jean Storlie, R. D. states that combining protein with carbohydrate in the post-exercise meal increased glycogen synthesis. The maximum response from carbohydrates is between 0.55 - 0.68 grams per pound. By adding protein, you get a more dramatic insulin response which, in turn, stimulates glycogen synthesis. Consequently, the article now recommends including a protein source at 40 percent of the carbohydrate dose immediately post-exercise and at two-hour intervals to enhance glycogen repletion.

  • Self-Confidence Tied To Exercise 'high'
    Self-Confidence Tied To Exercise 'high'


    NEW YORK, May 13 (Reuters Health) -- Part of the well-being or 'high' some people feel after a good exercise workout may be related to their sense of mastery over their exercise routines, report researchers in the May issue of the journal Health Psychology.

    The findings suggest that increasing people's self-confidence about exercise may encourage them to stick to exercise regimens, the investigators conclude.

    Edward McAuley, professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and colleagues recruited 46 women undergraduates and divided them into two random groups. None of the young women exercised more than once a week and all were categorized as 'low-active.'

    All were given individual fitness tests on a stationary bicycle. Regardless of how they actually performed, women in one group were told that their test results were excellent, while the other group was told that their performance was below average.

    Several days later, the women were asked to exercise again, and each woman was reminded of how well or poorly she had done previously. At intervals during the 20-minute workout on the Stairmaster, researchers asked how the study participants felt.

    McAuley's team found that women who believed they had performed well the first time responded far more positively than the women who had been told they had performed poorly.

    The findings suggest that the exercise experience can be improved by providing information that enhances self-confidence, say the researchers -- and this may help people stick to an exercise program. 'That becomes important particularly if the enjoyment, the emotions that are expericenced in exercise, are implicated in getting people to do it again,' McAuley said in a statement.

    SOURCE: Health Psychology 1999;18:1-7.

  • Great Weight-Loss Expectations
    Great Weight-Loss Expectations

    What�s Realistic?

    (MSNBC News Services, September 10 1999) � �It just isn�t working,� you say, and you give up on an important diet or exercise resolution. It�s tempting to toss in the towel when you don�t get results fast enough. One way to overcome this temptation is to develop healthy habits that don�t feel like torture. Equally important, however, is to have realistic expectations in the first place.

    STUDIES SHOW that exercise is one of the main influences on long-term weight control. But for most people, exercise works slowly. For someone who has been a �couch potato� for a number of years to start a walking program is a big accomplishment. Yet each pound of fat loss requires burning an extra 3,500 calories more than are taken in. Research shows that a person who weighs 180 pounds and walks three days a week for 30 minutes at a medium-paced three miles per hour would take almost four months to lose a pound. Someone hoping to lose a few pounds a week would have given up long before that.

    Exercise can produce greater results. The acronym FIT � for Frequency, Intensity and Time � tells you how to increase the benefits. Instead of walking three days each week, which is considered the minimum for maintaining your current level of fitness, walking five or six days a week will allow the calorie-burning to add up more quickly. Or once you�ve conditioned yourself to walking three miles per hour, you can increase that to a brisk four miles per hour and burn about an extra 50 calories a session. Interval training, in which you periodically push a bit harder, is a great way to burn more calories and increase your level of fitness. Or, if you can manage an hour instead of just a half hour of walking, you double the calories you burn. The hour can be broken up and spread through the day.

    Studies show that even by combining these strategies, it would take you five to six weeks to lose a pound. Your average weight loss would be eight to 10 pounds per year. This is plenty to improve fitness and gradually reduce your weight, but if you feel a need to lose weight a little faster, add some other strategies.

    Weight-training exercise to increase muscle is one way to burn more calories. Muscle tissue burns more calories than does body fat. In studies of weight-training programs, in about 12 weeks people who add three pounds of muscle (while losing fat) can burn an extra 120 to 200 calories per day.

    Look at your eating habits, too. By cutting back on portions or skipping a snack that was purely habit, many people can easily eliminate 200 extra calories a day without going hungry at all. That 200 calories daily can mean loss of almost half a pound a week.

    By combining these strategies, weight loss can proceed at the rate of a half to one pound per week. This is the rate experts recommend to safely lose mainly fat tissue, without loss of muscle tissue or slowing down metabolic rate. A year from now you�ll be a lot better off than the people who spend the year stopping and starting less sensible exercise and diet resolutions.

    These types of exercise and eating changes have been shown in many studies to produce a wide range of other benefits long before weight loss stacks up. You�ll find it easier to carry things and climb stairs. You�ll have more energy and feel less stressed. Notice and celebrate these and other changes in how you feel, and the temptation to forsake your resolutions will simply fade away.


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