Are You Burning as Many Calories as You Think?

Are You Burning as Many Calories as You Think?

Every morning you crush your treadmill session and revel in the total number of calories burned glowing on the screen. Sorry to damper your post-workout spirits, but that number is probably incorrect.

POTENTIAL CAUSES OF INACCURATE READINGS

“Machines in gyms aren’t very accurate when it comes to calories burned, distance and other such metrics — they’re rough estimates at best,” says Brandon Mentore, a strength and conditioning coach from Philadelphia. “If two people weigh 200 pounds, but one is 5’3” and the other 6’1”, the amount of calories burned and the demand is vastly different.” This holds true even if the cardio equipment accounts for age and body weight.

Everyone has different metabolic rates as well. Mentore explains that athletes, for example, generally have a more efficient metabolisms that will actually burn fewer calories for the same effort and duration as someone with an average level of fitness.

The amount of calories you burn also depends on your lean tissue versus fat mass. “The leaner you are, the higher your metabolic rate and burn will be for the same effort and duration relative to someone who is less lean,” says Mentore.

In addition, the inaccuracy of caloric count could be related to the machine itself. Its age, calibration, elevation (for example, certain treadmill brands on a 0% grade are still not totally flat) and general maintenance upkeep all can keep it from displaying a more proper reading.

For those looking to lose or gain weight, these incorrect counts make it more challenging to try to gauge your daily caloric output. Most of us guess, but the odds of guessing correctly are slim to none.

THE SOLUTION? FITNESS WEARABLES

Wearables employ accelerometer and altimeter technology to detect your steps throughout a day — whether you are working out, or you’re simply walking from your car to work. Some trackers can even detect power output, making for super accurate results of your activity level.

“When it comes to calorie counting, wearable fitness gear has given the user the ability to track calories instantly, rather than rely on memory, providing better results and more reliable data,” says Junior Leoso, a personal trainer from San Diego. “It’s provided an entirely different aspect to training, as it’s given data to a world of people who typically only care about the end result.”

Wearables also come with other benefits to entice you to spike your movement levels. “[They] can give you reminders when you haven’t been active in a while, as well as keep track of your data, enabling you to do weekly and monthly outlooks on calories burned and overall activity level,” says Mentore.

These devices aren’t limited to a younger, more technologically-savvy generation either. According to Rock Health, the first venture fund dedicated to digital health, no demographic variables had any significant effect on digital health. Seniors and millennials are equally as likely to use wearables.

The market for this technology is astoundingly healthy. Statistica, a statistics portal for market data, says wearables are expected to reach a value of $19 billion in 2018, more than 10 times its value in 2013. In addition, 27% of consumers expect to purchase a wearable fitness device within the next 12 months (2016 data).

The behavior toward fitness technology has shifted. It’s no longer viewed as a passing trend, but something that’s here to stay. It’s empowered people to improve their lifestyle behaviors in unparalleled fashion — from walking more to monitoring sleep to lowering heart rates. The impactful data created by wearables appears to motivate people to take charge and produce positive changes, making them worth their cost.

We are lucky to live in an age when technology can help solve challenges. Expect wearable fitness to continue to make individuals healthier for decades to come.

What to Eat for a Run (and When)

What to Eat for a Run (and When)

We’ve all been there — you’re in between meals, but it’s time for a run, and your stomach is growling. You know it’s not good to run on an empty stomach, but if you eat the wrong thing, the whole run could turn into a disaster. You need to find a snack that’ll give you energy but can last through the entire workout. But what do you look for? How do you choose a snack that won’t upset your stomach?

It’s important to note that everyone is different. Some people have a more sensitive stomach when it comes to running, so what works for one person may not work for another. “Runners should play around with what works best for them,” Lailina Wisoff, RDN. It’s also important to try out any new snacks before a regular run, not before a race. Also, staying hydrated goes a long way, so regardless of what and when you eat, make sure you’re getting enough water throughout the day.

CARBS, YES, CARBS

Especially for runners, carbs are not the enemy. When narrowing down your snack choices, start with carbohydrate-rich foods, says Wisoff. She recommends “fruit, juice, crackers or a bar with a protein-and fat-rich food like peanut butter, string cheese, yogurt or a smoothie.”

It’s important to choose easily digestible carbs and to avoid heavy foods that are high in fiber, or anything too spicy or fatty. “Avoid too much fiber, fat, or calories as they take longer to digest,” Wisoff suggests.

It’s also important to look at a food’s glycemic index value. The higher the GI value, the more that food is going to spike your blood sugar and give you a quick energy boost. If it’s close to your run, you’ll want something higher on the GI. If you have more time, you may want something that’s lower on the GI because your body has more time to absorb it. Some coaches also recommend eating a food with a high GI score as soon as you finish a hard workout because the insulin boost that comes with it can help recovery.

TIMING MATTERS

Choosing the right snack also depends on how far you plan to run and how long before the run you eat. If you are heading out the door immediately, eat 100–150 calories of something that scores  middle-to-high on the glycemic index. Good options include a banana, apple (or unsweetened applesauce), a few orange slices or a piece of toast.

If you have an hour or more for your snack to digest, sports dietitian Jan Dowell, MS, RD, recommends consuming up to 300 calories. You can also add in a little bit of protein to help fuel recovery.

Try foods like oatmeal and fruit, a cup of cereal with milk, two toaster waffles with maple syrup, a rice cake with peanut butter, a couple slices of turkey on a tortilla, or carrots and hummus.

Don’t like those options? Wisoff reiterates the importance of finding what’s best for your body. “It also depends on digestion and how quickly a person can assimilate what they are eating without ending up with stomach cramps or feeling weighed down,” she says.

Original Post on MyFitnessPal.com

4 Exercise Machines That Help Burn Fat and Build Muscle

4 Exercise Machines That Help Burn Fat and Build Muscle

If you’re a fan of the exercise machines at your gym, you might put more thought into how to time your visit so there’s actually one free than to what you do when you’re on it, or how it’s benefitting your body. The truth is, getting the most out of a machine takes strategy, and if you’re looking to maximize your time at the gym, some machines are better than others.

If a low-resistance stationary bike session or leisurely elliptical hour feels easy, that’s probably because you’re not expending as much energy as you could be. There are plenty of benefits to going slow and steady — it’s great for cardiovascular health, and can help build your endurance and speed — but it’s not going to give you a hardcore calorie burn.

Quick note here: If weight loss is your goal, burning calories through cardio work alone isn’t going to do it. You also need to build lean muscle through strength training, and most importantly focus on eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and managing your stress.

With all this in mind, here are the ultra-efficient, expert-approved exercise machines you should focus on if your goal is to hit the gym, hit it hard and hit the road.

1. ROWING MACHINE

Rowing machines have become gym-floor mainstays, and are excellent tools for raising your heart rate and strengthening your legs, arms, and core—all while sitting down! Not that it’s a walk (er, row?) in the park. “Because the entire body is working at once, energy expenditure is very high,” Jeff Halevy, CEO of Halevy Life in NYC, previously told SELF.

“They challenge the user to be powerful and efficient,” adds Crunch master trainer Ariel Iasevoli. They work using wind or water resistance, so the more effort you put in, the harder it becomes (she recommends setting it at a level five to start).

The key to the cardio and strength benefits, though, is making sure you’re using the machine the way it’s designed to be used. “Yes, you can hop on one and use it incorrectly and still get an OK workout, but learning the proper timing and technique will provide an even greater workout,” explains Iasevoli.

  • Start seated near the front of the machine with your legs bent and holding the handles in your hands and with a slight lean forward.
  • Push back powerfully with your legs then follow with your arms by bringing the bar to your ribs and lean back slightly. Pause here for a moment.
  • Straighten your arms back out, then bend your knees to bring your body back to the starting position (repeat: legs, arms, arms, legs).

It’s all about control and power — if you’re speeding through, you probably aren’t using proper form. “A great rower looks like they’re are going ‘slow.’ Every stroke is powerful, so they don’t need to rush,” says Iasevoli. This will help prevent you from getting exhausted too quickly.

2. STAIR CLIMBER

Using these machines (often known as StepMills or StairMasters) is like climbing a set of stairs that just never ends. It’s not pleasant, but it’s effective. “I like the stair climber because the user is standing the entire time, is time efficient, and it forces the user to keep moving the entire time,” says Iasevoli. It’s cardio on cardio on cardio.

But you’re also strengthening your lower body, too. After a few flights you’re going to feel the burn in your quads, butt and hamstrings. “Climbing stairs puts all of your body weight on a single leg at a time in a lunge pattern,” Halevy explains. “The large muscle groups of the legs are being worked, so energy expenditure is very high.”

In addition to expending a ton of energy while you’re on the machine, having strong leg muscles is particularly great for increasing your basal metabolic rate (BMR) — because these lower-body muscles are so big, they’re some of the most metabolically active muscles in your body (muscle mass requires more energy to maintain, so you burn more calories at rest). And when you’re climbing with proper posture your core is working to keep you upright and balanced, too.

To get started, Iasevoli suggests doing minute-on, minute-off intervals for 10 to 20 minutes, alternating between a faster and a slower speed. (Make sure your entire foot hits the stair with each step.)

The cardinal rule of stair climbing, according to Iasevoli and Halevy? No holding onto the arm rails for support. You can lightly rest your fingertips for balance, but for max benefits, don’t put weight into them.

3. TREADMILL

Like the stair climber, “I like the treadmill because it forces the user to keep moving throughout the workout,” says Iasevoli. Two efficient ways to use it for heart-pumping cardio are high-intensity intervals and walking with the incline set high.

Treadmills are one of the simplest ways to incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which is an effective and efficient way to train. Because you’re “revving” your heart rate multiple times during a HIIT session, your body uses more energy to return to a resting state after the workout is over, burning more calories in the process. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), or the “afterburn effect.” (Here are 10 treadmill interval workouts to try.)

There’s no need to drive your heart rate through the roof during every workout session, though. It’s efficient for burning fat, but it puts a lot of stress on your body, so you don’t want to do it every day. Treadmills have an answer for that. Walking at a significant incline is an excellent way to burn fat without putting as much pressure on your joints. The afterburn effect isn’t as great, but because you’re keeping your heart rate in a moderate zone, you’ll still burn more calories from fat than from carbohydrates, explains Iasevoli.

Iasevoli recommends, “Walk at a moderate speed and increase the incline every couple of minutes until you get to about 8. Stay at 8 for 5 to 10 minutes and work yourself back down. You may also do an entire workout at 5 to 7 grade, increasing and decreasing the speed (slow walk to speed walk) every other minute.” Here’s a low-impact, beginner-friendly walking interval workout you can follow along with.

4. FAN BIKE

One of the most challenging cardio machines out there is the fan bike (also referred to as the Assault Air or Airdyne bike). It looks similar to a stationary bike, but it has a large fan as a front wheel, and two handlebars that are higher than the seat. Unlike a stationary bike though, this equipment requires you to move your arms as well as your legs in order to peddle, and since you’re expending more energy to get it done, you’re burning more calories. Like rowing machines, the bikes use wind resistance to create work. “Wind resistance is exponential, so the harder you pedal, the more challenging the workout,” adds Iasevoli.

Because this machine is so intense, Iasevoli recommends starting with 10 seconds of all-out work followed by 50 seconds of rest, and repeat that for a total of 10 minutes. As you get more advanced, you can decrease your ratio of work to rest.

Ultimately, the machine you choose is up to personal preference. No matter what your goal is, the most effective and efficient machines are the ones you can be consistent with. So if you consider the treadmill the dreadmill, no sweat—try the rowing machine. And if you actually enjoy the elliptical, that’s cool, too. It’s all about making sure the intensity is there and putting in the work.

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5 Exercises You Should Never Do

Do You Avoid These Danger Zones?
  — By Dean Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer
Most people believe that all exercises are good, safe and effective. After all it’s exercise—and that has to count for something, doesn’t it?

The truth is that some common exercises aren’t safe at all (especially for people who have muscle, joint, and health problems). Certain exercises require a bit more know-how than the average person possesses. And other exercises are downright wastes of your time.

But before we examine some of the most controversial exercises, I want to make it clear that every exercise on this list isn’t always unsafe or ineffective for everyone. What you should do—or avoid—depends on your goals, fitness level, health history, workout schedule, and other personal issues. An article like this can’t replace your own efforts to identify your goals and needs. That requires you to do some research on your own, talk to your medical professional about any pain or physical limitations you have, and learn how to exercise with proper form and technique.

So what makes an exercise risky? Here are a few red flags to look out for:

  • Any unusual or “unnatural” movement pattern in the exercise
  • Any movement that causes pain or discomfort in any way
  • Any movement that enhances muscular imbalances that are already present
  • Any movement that requires joint flexibility that is above and beyond your range of motion
  • Any exercise with risks of injury that outweigh the potential benefit of the exercise itself

That said, the following exercises pose high risks and are generally considered controversial by reputable fitness organizations and experts.

Think Twice Before Trying These 5 Moves

1. Behind-the-Head Lat Pull-Downs
In the old days, people were actually taught to pull the bar behind their heads when doing a lat pull-down exercise–and many people still do that today. Bad idea.

The problem? Pulling the bar behind the neck puts far too much stress on the shoulder joint, explains Michele Olson, PhD, an ACSM fellow and NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist.

“The amount of outward rotation on the humerus combined with pulling it downward has a very un-stabilizing effect on the shoulder joint. The top of the humerus is actually pushing outward and away from the joint, overstretching the tendons and ligaments on the front of the shoulder,” she explains, which can lead to injury. In addition, almost anyone who spends their days deskbound is likely to have rounded shoulders or poor posture—a symptom of poor shoulder flexibility (among other things). Pulling the bar behind your neck only accentuates this misalignment, making this exercise a no-no.

The Alternative: You can still work your lats without the risk of behind-the-head pull-downs by pulling the bar down in front of you. Sit with your spine straight, abs pulled in, and then lean your torso back slightly, keeping your spine straight. Pull the bar down towards your chest, but not below your collar bone.

<pagebreak> 2. Hovering Leg Lifts
Boot camps, yoga classes and sometimes even your old P.E. class or sports coach probably led you to do this common move: Lie on your back (with your head and shoulders either down on the ground or “crunched” up like the picture shows) and lift your straight legs right off the ground to hover just a few inches from the floor in order to work your abs.

The problem? Sure this engages your abs, but lifting your extended legs straight off the ground “puts an incredible amount of stress on the lower back and can lead to injury,” warns Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, and exercise physiologist and author of Beat the Gym (Williams Morrow, 2011). “The cost-benefit of this move is simply too high,” he says,” and there are numerous better ways to work the abdominals without the risk.”

The Alternatives: Work your abs without straining your lower back by starting with your legs up in the air (not lifting them from the ground) in line with the hips. Then lower your straight legs down to about a 45-degree angle—or only as far as you can lower the legs without feeling any strain in the back and without changing the position of your back (don’t arch or flatten). See a demo of these straight-leg lowers here. You can make this movement even safer if you have back issues by doing it with bent knees. Or work your abs doing standard bicycle crunches or plank exercises.

3. Seated Knee Extensions
This is a very popular exercise for targeting the muscles on the front of your thighs (quadriceps).

The Problem? This exercise poses major risks to the knees when the weight is heavy and when the knees are fully extended. Lifting heavy weights in this position (with all the resistance focused at your ankles) is not what the knee was designed to do. If you have any kind of knee problem, or use a too much resistance during this exercise, you can easily run into big trouble. Here’s why. Fully straightening the knees against this type of resistance “puts an extreme amount of shear stress on the knee joint, which can strain the tendons and overly compress the knee’s cartilage,” says Olson.

The Alternatives: Simple squats and lunges (known as closed chain exercises) with or without added weight, will work your thigh muscles naturally, safely and effectively. If you want to expand on these exercises (to develop explosive force for sports like soccer, basketball, or volleyball, for example), try sport-specific plyometrics. If you can’t do lunges and squats because you lack the leg strength, start with simple ball squats or modified “mini” lunges, and only lower yourself part way, gradually increasing your range of motion as you get stronger.

Olson also suggests that you can modify this exercise to make it safer. Simply lift the weight (extend the knees) just halfway versus all the way up to straight legs. This also gives the quads some direct isolation work while minimizing knee stress. She also suggests lifting a weight that isn’t too heavy—you should be able to do about 18 reps on this exercise. If you can’t do that many, the weight is too heavy to be safe.

4. Inner and Outer Thigh Machine Exercises
These machines are pretty popular in most gyms. Both involve sitting with your knees bent in front of you. The adduction machine is designed to target the muscles of the inner thighs, and the abduction machine helps target the outer thigh muscles.

The Problem? Using your inner and outer thighs to lift weight while in a seated position puts you at risk of straining these relatively small muscles and aggravating lower back and hip problems. In addition, your inner and outer thigh muscles are designed to support movement, not to be prime movers like they are in these types of exercises.

Original Post On SparkPeople.com

The Alternatives: The best way to target these muscles safely is with body weight exercises, such as standing adduction, standing abduction, lying adduction and abduction exercises, Pilates exercises, or similar movements that use resistance bands or the cable cross machines. Always start with a weight you know you can handle, and add resistance gradually.

5. Upright Rows
In this exercise, you stand holding a barbell or weight in the center, with hands close together, and bring your hands up under your chin.

The Problem? Upright rows are controversial because they cause the upper arm bone (humerus) to bang up against the AC (acromion process) joint, according to Olson, which can compress the nerves in the shoulder area and damage the cartilage in the AC joint, which can lead to arthritis.

The Alternatives: The purpose of this exercise is to work the shoulders (deltoids) and upper traps. So instead of standing to perform an upright row, try bent-over rows, bending forward 90 degrees at the hip, holding weight down beneath your shoulders with hands slightly more than shoulder width apart, then lift weight straight up towards your chest until elbows and shoulders form a straight line. You can also try front or lateral shoulder raises, using a modest weight, so that you don’t need to lean back or use momentum for assistance.
Olson also suggests a row variation that keeps the humerus moving behind the AC joint but still targets the desired muscles. This safe variation with a resistance band shows the movement, but you can also perform this exercise standing upright and/or holding dumbbells, palms facing the body.

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4 Signs It’s Time to Step Off the Scale

Does Weight Weigh Heavily on Your Mind?
  — By Jason Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer
It cannot talk yet it speaks to you. Some days it makes you giddy with delight. Other days it puts you into a deep depression. It judges you on a superficial level. The thought of it is enough to worry even the most optimistic person. What am I talking about? The notorious bathroom scale.

What is with this obsession we have with the scale? For most people, the scale can be an adversary or an ally, depending on the day. We often hate what it says or argue with it, but we still feel the desire to use it. When used properly and taken for what it is, it can actually be a very useful tool for weight management. But for many, the scale does more than measure the total weight of all your various parts. It somehow defines who you are as a person. And sadly, it can determine your own self-worth. We read way too much into this single-purposed tool.

Here are four signs that you might put too much weight on weighing in:

1. You constantly worry about weighing in.
When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s normal to experience some hesitation when it’s time for your weekly weigh in. After all, you want to see the numbers go down as confirmation that all of your hard work has paid off. We all want to be rewarded for our efforts, and it can be discouraging when you have done everything right and things still don’t pan out. However, if you find yourself preoccupied with worrisome thoughts of what the scale is going to say tomorrow or the next day, then you might be a little too obsessed with the scale.

2. You weigh in more than once per day.
SparkPeople recommends weighing in once a week (or even less). Ever wonder why it’s not a good idea to do it more often? Your body weight can and will fluctuate from day to day, and change throughout a single day, too. There is no sense in putting yourself on that roller coaster of ups and downs. In the war on weight, if you become so concerned that you weigh yourself daily or several times a day, you are fighting a losing battle and you will be discouraged. If you feel like you can’t control yourself or stop yourself from weighing in each day, then you could be headed for trouble.

3. You can recite your weight to the nearest fraction at all times.
This is a sure sign that you are relying too heavily on the scale. Anyone who can tell you not only how much she weighs each day, but measures her weight loss to the nearest quarter of a pound is probably weighing in too often. There is nothing wrong with wanting to see a lower number on the scale, even if it’s a quarter pound lower, but remember that weighing in is more about trends (an average decrease or consistency in weight over time).

4. The scale determines how you feel about yourself for the day.
When the number is down, you step off the scale singing and have a jump in your step all day. When the number goes up (or stays the same when you expected a loss), you feel like Charlie Brown walking around with a rain cloud above your head. To me, this is the saddest situation of all—to let the scale dictate how you should feel. How would you feel about yourself if you hadn’t weighed in that day? What other ways would you determine your self-worth if weight didn’t exist?

If one (or all) of these situations sound familiar to you, it’s time to step away from the scale. Go cold turkey. Or at the very least, weigh in less often. But what’s a “compulsive weigher” to do?

Instead letting the scale alone determine whether you’re a success or failure, use more reliable measures to determine your progress. My philosophy is that weight loss is not a goal, but the result of healthy habits like a better diet and regular exercise. When you do step on the scale and don’t see the reading you had hoped for, ask yourself these questions: Am I doing what I am supposed to be doing? Am I making healthy food choices most of the time? Am I exercising consistently? If you are, then rust that your body is making positive changes, and the results will come. If you are not, then resolve to be consistent in healthy behaviors to see the results you want.

Weighing yourself is definitely helpful and it has its place. Just make sure you don’t go overboard and give too much credence to this one measurement! After all, other measures (like how much energy you have, how much easier it is to climb a flight of stairs, or how well your clothes fit) might not be as precise or scientific, but they’re sure to make you feel happier and more successful than a scale ever can.

Original Post on SparkPeople.com

60-Second Health and Fitness Boosters

Simple Ways to Improve Your Health–Almost Instantly!
  — By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor
When it comes to losing weight or making healthy choices, you probably think that it takes hours at a gym plus long nights preparing and planning nutritious meals. What you may not realize is that quick and easy changes can really improve your immediate health and wellness.

So just how quick is quick? One minute—that’s it! Try any one of these 60-second activities to easily reap the healthy benefits.

1. Drink a tall glass of water. We all know the many health benefits of drinking water, but did you also know that even mild dehydration can cause fatigue? So, the next time you feel your energy waning, grab a glass of cold water and guzzle it down!

2. Twist it out. So many of us spend every weekday seated in front of a computer. Not only can sitting all day wreak havoc on your posture, but it can also compress your spine and exaggerate its curvature. Not fun. A simple twist can help undo this. As you sit in your desk chair, simply twist your upper-body to one side, hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side. If you have the space to sit on the floor, try this torso twist stretch. It’s guaranteed to make you feel better!

3. Take a deep breath. How often do you think about breathing? If you are like most people, you probably don’t think about it often enough. For a quick pick-me-up, simply take five deep breaths. Slowly inhale for at least five seconds and exhale for 10 seconds each time. Your body will thank you for the extra oxygen.

4. Do 20 jumping jacks. Research has shown that long periods of sitting can be detrimental to the body and our overall health. So get up out of that chair and jack it out! Just one minute of jumping jacks is an easy way to get your heart pumping and blood flowing.

5. Smile. Smiling can actually make you happier. So go ahead—smile!

6. Go outside. You’ve probably heard the health buzz about vitamin D lately. Preliminary research suggests that vitamin D helps regulate the immune system, supports heart health, can help normalize blood pressure and promotes healthy aging. Vitamin D has also been linked to improved mood. If you have a minute to spare, step out into the sunshine!

7. Put on a favorite song. There’s nothing quite like your favorite music to perk you up and get you feeling good. Listening to music has been shown to improve immunity and release endorphins. Bonus points if you dance along!

8. Sit up straighter. Did you know that bad posture can put unnecessary stress on your low back? Take a minute to focus on sitting up straight with your shoulders down and back. Don’t you feel better already?

9. Be grateful. Write down five things you’re grateful for, no matter how large or small (your hair, your family, your morning cup of Joe—whatever). Do you feel more thankful, generous and overall happier after? Funny how a little reminder of what we have can turn a frown into a smile.

10. Tell a joke. Awake your inner child and tell a silly joke—whether it’s a knock-knock joke or even a funny line from a movie. Anything that gets you laughing is enough to get your happy endorphins flowing!

11. Do 10 pushups. Being strong is important, but having functional strength is even more important because it makes everyday activities easier to accomplish. A push-up is a great, quick exercise for building functional strength. Drop down and give me 10—or as many as you can do in 1 minute.

12. Encourage someone. Isn’t it interesting how you always seem to feel better after helping someone else feel better? Whether you post a supportive comment on a SparkFriend’s page or write a few kind words in a card or an email, taking a minute out to help someone can quickly boost your mood.

13. Set a goal for the day. Fact: People who set goals have more success than people who don’t. So why not take a few seconds and write down what you want to do today? Then, just commit to making it happen!

14. Focus on one thing you love about yourself. At times, we put so much effort in focusing on what we don’t like about ourselves that we fail to see the good. Take 60 seconds to think about what you like about you. Is it your eyes? Your strong legs? Your giving nature? Thinking about how great you are will instantly increase self-confidence.

15. Wash your hands. It seems like cold and flu season is always in full force (or just around the corner).  One of the simplest and easiest ways to stay well year round is to wash your hands. All you need is warm water, soap and 20 seconds of rubbing to rid your hands of unwanted germs.

16. Compliment a stranger. What better way to make yourself feel good than to unexpectedly brighten someone else’s day? The next time you admire someone’s clothes, positive attitude or eyes—say so!

17. Try aromatherapy. A number of different smells can have a positive effect on your mind and body. For example, peppermint is known to calm the stomach while its smell can energize you through a workout. And the scent of jasmine has been shown to reduce anxiety. To benefit, grab some scented lotion and either take a whiff from the bottle or rub some on your hands.

18. Salute the sun. Sun salutations are a well-known set of yoga poses that are said to warm up the body and increase blood flow and flexibility. So grab your mat and do one or two sets—rain or shine!

19. Give yourself a mini-massage. Massage has a number of health benefits, including reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and speeding muscle repair. While you may not be able to spend the time or money getting one at a spa, pampering yourself with just 1 minute of self-massage by rubbing your own hands, feet or shoulders can do wonders.

20. Be absolutely present. When we are wrapped up with work, to-do lists, and just getting by, sometimes we can forget to focus on what we are doing in the here and now. Try spending a minute just being. Focus on sounds, smells and whatever else is going on around you; instead of thinking ahead to what you’ll do next, think about what you’re doing right now. You’ll be amazed at how peaceful you feel. Just be!

See? In the quest to be healthier, you don’t have to spend a lot of time. Even if all you have is a few spare seconds here and there, you can make a positive difference in your overall health!

Sources:
Clean Hands Save Lives, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Fight Fatigue with Your Fork, from Psychology Today
Here Comes the Sun, from Yoga Journal
Highlights from the Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness, from University of California, Davis
Peppermint, from University of Maryland Medical Center
Research Briefs: Did You Know? from NammFoundation.org
Vitamin D Research, from National Fluid Milk Processor Education Board, GetYourD.com

Original Post on SparkPeople.com

3 Bedroom Home in Hillside – CORRECTION

Please excuse my earlier post.  This property is available to OWNER OCCUPANTS ONLY until March 3.

$155,000.00

125 Virginia Street, Hillside, NJ  07205

Call Robert for details and showings 609-474-0360.

HUD Home – 3 Bedroom, Deck on back of home, nice backyard, Laundry room. Property currently available for owner occupants only.   Bid deadline is March 2, 2017.  Property is Sold “AS IS”. Buyer may be eligible for $100.00 down payment ask how. If home built before 1978 a LBP addendum is included. FHA financing UI (uninsured) 203K Eligible. Case # 352-579312   For property condition report, forms, disclosures, availability and to place a bid please visit http://www.hudhomestore.com. Buyer to verify all information.

3 Bedroom Home in Hillside

$155,000.00

 

125 Virginia Street, Hillside, NJ  07205

 

Call Robert for details and showings 609-474-0360.

 

HUD Home – 3 Bedroom, Deck on back of home, nice backyard, Laundry room. Property available for all bidders.   Bids are accepted daily until a winning bid is selected.  Property is Sold “AS IS”. Buyer may be eligible for $100.00 down payment ask how. If home built before 1978 a LBP addendum is included. FHA financing UI (uninsured) 203K Eligible. Case # 352-579312   For property condition report, forms, disclosures, availability and to place a bid please visit http://www.hudhomestore.com. Buyer to verify all information.

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