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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
During the winter months, the average American gains 5 pounds. Between the extra holiday eating and the difficulty exercising outdoors, it is easy to pack on the weight. However, if you can get outdoors during the winter, you can avoid this trap. Outdoor exercise is the best way to beat the winter doldrums, and keep yourself healthy.
If you're like a lot of people, just thinking about exercise is a drag. But if you are trying to lose weight, you know that burning more calories will help the process. The key is to make burning calories fun! Here are seven winter activities that can burn a lot of calories. You can enjoy the beautiful, sparkly snow, get some fresh air, and keep fit without having to drag yourself to the gym.
Go ahead and take advantage of these winter activities while you can. For every additional 500 calories burned each day you can lose another pound each week! If you're trying to maintain your weight, this means you can eat an extra few hundred calories and enjoy knowing you've already burned them off!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Laurie_Beebe
Beginning Runners Program
What’s on your list to accomplish in your lifetime? I believe it was called a “bucket list” in a recent popular movie. Maybe you have lofty goals like running a full (26.2 miles) or half (13.1 miles) marathon. Maybe your goals are simply to improve your health or to lose some of the winter pounds that sneak onto the scales.
Five years ago my goal after walking out of the doctor’s office and being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes was that I didn’t want to be on meds for the rest of my life. To accomplish my goal I knew that exercise and diet would be the key. I started walking and then gave running a try. I also learned what a proper portion of food was. The pounds came off and the diabetes meds are history. I know that there are lots of ways of exercising but for me running was the answer.
Maybe your goal is to run a 5K (3.1 miles) race before that “magical” birthday sneaks up on you. How do you get started? That’s easy! The Asheville Track Club in conjunction with Asheville Parks and Recreation offers a 12 week Beginners Running Program. It’s a great way to guide you to fulfilling your running and exercising goals.
The program will be starting in May and is conducted at Carrier Park, which is located off Amboy Road in West Asheville. The group meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:00pm and on Saturday morning at 8:30am. Maybe you haven’t run since grade school or maybe you are recovering from a running injury. It doesn’t matter! We start with one minute of running followed by two minutes of walking and repeat this six times. As the program progresses your running time increases and your walking time decreases. The culmination of this program is the running of a local 5K race.
This system works! Last year we had 80 people complete the program and the 5K race. One bonus of the program is that each week there is a guest speaker. Subjects covered include: injury prevention, exercise motivation, proper footwear, trail running, hydration, stretching and cold weather running. Another bonus of the program are the coaches. They are runners who are there each week to answer your questions and help you complete the program.
If you have questions about this training, please contact me, Tom Kingsbury via e-mail or by phone at 665-7526. Learn more at http://ashevilletrackclub.org/programs/beginning-runners-program/
Healthy Holiday Eating
According to a recent Weight Watchers report, the average American will gain 7 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Of course, this is all contingent upon the choices you make. I put together some holiday eating tips that will still enable you to enjoy your holiday feasts and parties, without gaining a belly full of jelly.
Don't go to a party hungry. Start the day with a wholesome breakfast consisting of protein and fiber. This will keep you satisfied and help keep your cravings in check. Also, try to eat a sensible and healthy snack shortly before going to your party.
Watch your portion sizes. Although this rule should apply year round, it is especially important during the holidays because we are exposed to so many wonderful extras that we usually eat only once a year. Instead of eating a full serving of your favorites, try sampling each of them. And if you use a smaller plate, you can save yourself from over indulging.
Avoid high-fat foods such as fried foods, cream-based soup, cheese-filled casseroles, desserts and processed meats such as salami and sausages. Try to eat more fruits and veggies and foods that are closest to their natural state. And remember; eat a little bit of lean protein with each of your sittings.
Make sure you drink plenty of water. For each plate of food you consume, you should drink at least one full glass of water, and wait about 20 minutes before going back for seconds. Water will help you feel fuller and more satisfied. If you add lemon to your water, it can also help with excess bloating and water retention.
Participate in a physical activity that involves the whole family. Make a family of snowmen for your yard. Or if the weather isn't cooperating, play a game of Pictionary or Charades. Make sure that the entire family gets involved.
New Year's Eve is always a festive time all across the globe. It has always been a time for looking back to the past and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's that time of year when many people make their New Year Resolutions that they will abide by in the following year.
Most people have a basic idea of what resolution they want to make. Others are a little less sure of where to begin. While some go overboard trying to change everything all at once (which rarely works!), the remaining lot just doesn't bother making one because they feel it will not materialize. Here is a list of suggestions for this year:
1. Lose Weight
Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions. But majority of the people give up by the first month's end. Setting reasonable goals and staying focused are the two most important factors in sticking with a weight loss program. Weight loss isn't about what you do on one day; it's about what you do today, the next day, and the day after that. The first step to losing weight in the New Year is to decide a realistic goal for you. A 3-4 kg (around 6-9 pounds) weight loss per month is the recommended rate at which you should lose weight.
2. Quit Drinking/Smoking
This is perhaps the most popular New Year resolution made by men. Making this resolution (just like any other) is easy; following it is quite difficult because it's a drastic change in the lifestyle. Even if you've tried to quit before and failed, don't let it get you down. The key to achieve this goal is not to eliminate all at once but to gradually reduce the consumption. Experts believe that you are more likely to achieve it if you are in a team with a concrete plan. The relationship between smoking/drinking and a whole range of diseases is well known thus there will always be benefits from stopping.
3. Exercise Regularly
This should be your most important resolution because it's a key to resolve all health related problems. One study reports that walking 30 minutes a day adds 1.3 years to a person's life. Another study found that walking can decrease hypertension, lower bad cholesterol levels and help you lose weight. Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. It keeps the muscles in good working order, stimulates the flow of blood and makes you feel better both physically and mentally. If you think 'Regularly' is a tall order try at least 3 times a week for about 30 minutes. Get exercise during your regular daily activities by walking at lunch, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking short distances instead of using your car.
4. Eat Healthy
To stay fit one must follow a good exercise regimen coupled with good diet. What you eat has a great influence on the way your body works. A balanced diet is vital to good health. In the day to day diet, some things are good, while others are bad. On the "good" list is fiber from fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and whole grains. On the "bad" list are excess salt, refined grains, refined sugar and fatty foods. Reduce the amount of saturated fats (found in animal products such as meat and butter, and processed foods) and Trans fat (found in partially hydrogenated oils, vegetable shortening, and some types of margarine, French fries, and processed foods) in your diet.
It's easy to overestimate the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat, and overlook the fatty foods or extra portions you had. Get a notepad and write down what you eat for a week. Just knowing what you are eating on a day to day basis can inspire you to eat healthier.
5. Reduce Stress
In this modern day life, everyone leads a stressful life. Chronic stress can lead to hypertension, poor digestion, a weakened immune system and many other conditions. Thus everyone needs to de-stress. Spend some more time with your family and friends or on your hobbies. Take a break if the stress is too hard to handle. Other methods of coping include proper breathing and meditation techniques. Stress contributes to many severe health problems, so it is important to deal with stress earlier, rather than later.
6. Get Good Sleep
Sleep and rest are essential to wellness. Sleep deprivation has been linked to stress, depression, immune-system suppression, and obesity. According to a published study, people who sleep an average of six hours a night have a 42% higher chance of developing hypertension than those who get seven. The prescribed amount of sleep required is seven hours. However, each person needs slightly different amounts. Studies suggest that it can boost your energy, immune system and helps your blood circulation to allow your body to mend after the day's activities. If you are tired, get some rest. Exhaustion can lead to many illnesses.
7. Drink ample water
This one is pretty easy to follow. Water is essential for everybody, and it is also the key to losing weight. Drink approximately eight glasses of water per day (not carbonated drinks). It regulates your body temperature, lubricates your joints, boosts your energy, eliminates waste and provides fluoride for your teeth. Other fluids, such as milk, juice and decaffeinated herbal teas, can also tally up.
8. Increase Your Health Awareness
To achieve a happy and healthy life, knowing about many aspects of health can go a long way. Knowing about common health problems, their symptoms and prevention techniques, along with things like important vitamins and minerals, proper skin care and correct posture, will allow preventing many diseases for the rest of your life.
9. Regular Medical Check-up
This is one of the most ignored aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Health should not be avoided and a visit to the doctor should not be procrastination. A good idea would be to take regular health checkups and screen yourself for potential health ailments. After all, prevention is better than cure.
Turn off the television (or the computer) and try to open yourself up to new people. Research suggests that loners are twice as much susceptible to any diseases. Don't just sit at home alone. Get out and meet people, make friends even better, go on a date. You can even start with social networking. And while you're at it, tell those closest to you how much they mean to you. Don't wait until it's too late.
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About our Newsletter
Dr. Curran and the staff at Pisgah Family Health are proud to publish the Pisgah Family Health News to our patients. Our goal is to provide regularly updated information about the office and current medical topics. We plan to publish a new issue each quarter with breaking news. The newsletters will also be archived on our website, http://www.pisgahfamilyhealth.com/.
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