Monday, September 20, 2010

Philadelphia Youth make a difference

PUFFA is truly grassroots with a strong collaboration made up of residents, block captains, youth, community-based organizations, schools, libraries, recreation centers and gardeners. All come together in PUFFA to make the places where they live and work healthier and safer.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation selected Philadelphia Urban Food and Fitness Alliance (PUFFA) to as a grantee in its Food & Community Program effort. The $1.2 million grant, over three years, is one of nine awarded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to community and non-profit groups that are working together to transform how food moves from the farm to the table in Philadelphia and how our communities can have access to safe places for fitness and play. The Health Promotion Council (HPC) administers and staffs PUFFA.

PUFFA’s work focuses on:

* Improving healthy food available for our children at school
* Increasing access to safe and pleasant places for play and physical activity
* Increasing healthy food in our communities

What is PUFFA?

PUFFA (Philadelphia Urban Food & Fitness Alliance) is part of a national movement funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to shape how we feed our children and create safe places where they can be physically active. PUFFA has partners who are community residents and youth; experts in how food moves from the farm to our schools, our grocery stores and our tables; those who transform vacant land into places for safe play and gardening and those who provide opportunities and places for fitness such as dance, yoga and martial arts.

What does PUFFA mean to Philadelphia?

During the Planning Phase, community residents and youth surveyed four Philadelphia communities looking at how easy it was to buy affordable and healthy food or to find safe places for play and fitness. Now PUFFA partners are working with The Enterprise Center CDC in West Philadelphia and the Southeast Philadelphia Collaborative to improve access to healthy food in our schools and our communities and to create safe places for play and fitness.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

3 Vegetables That Fight Abdominal Fat

A unique way that a few specific vegetables can actually stimulate the burning of abdominal fat...

Chemicals that force your body to hold onto belly fat

Something you may have never heard about is that certain chemicals in our food supply and our environment, such as pesticides, herbicides, and certain petrochemicals from air and water pollution, household cleaners, cosmetics, etc can react with your body and make your body store excess abdominal fat.

These chemicals are known as xenoestrogens.

Xenoestrogens are chemicals that you are exposed to (and are hard to avoid in the modern world) that have an estrogenic effect in your body. Excess exposure to these can cause hormone balance disruptions for both men and women. So these can wreak havoc in the body for both guys and gals.

These estrogenic chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis can stimulate your body to store belly fat, along with many other problems (including cancer risks in the long term).

So here's where this specific class of vegetables comes in handy...

One of those cool tricks that I teach my clients that hire me for nutritional counseling is the use of cruciferous vegetables to help fight against stomach fat.

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, etc. contain very specific and unique phytonutrients such as indole-3-carbinol (I3C) that help to fight against these estrogenic compounds...

And by fighting against these belly fat stimulating estrogenic chemicals, this is just 1 more step in helping you to win the battle against abdominal fat!

So there you go... just another excuse to do what mom always told you and eat more broccoli!

I've really learned to like brussells sprouts in the last year too... Melt a little grass-fed cheese on them and some garlic and they're great!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lose unwanted body fat- 5 simple proven ways to burn fat fast in less time.

1. Drink more water throughout the day

Water is used in every physiological process your body undergoes, including vitamin absorption, digestion, and waste removal. In order to make sure these important processes are not disrupted, you want to drink enough clean water.

Drinking water will also help you feel more full throughout the day, so you’re less likely to be hungry and less likely to snack.
One trick to help you eat less during your meals is to drink a tall glass of clean, cold water before you eat. This will help you feel less hungry, so you’ll eat less during your meal.

Try to drink at least a gallon of water each day. Keep a bottle of water at your work desk, in your car, and one handy at home. The importance of water for good health cannot be overstated. You can live weeks without food, but only days without water.

2. Eat five to six smaller meals each day

This will keep your metabolism running smoothly and efficiently. Eating a smaller meal every 3 to 4 hours will help speed up your metabolism so that it burns through food quicker.

Eating one or two larger meals each day will cause your metabolism to slow down. If it’s not presented with food more often, it doesn’t burn fat fast.

Skipping meals altogether will cause your body to hold onto stored fat as a defense mechanism. Your body isn’t sure when it’s going to get its next meal, so it conserves stored fat to use in case of future calorie needs.

Each meal should consist of high protein (builds muscle), moderate carbohydrates (fuel for the body), and low fat (used for energy and organ protection).

Foods like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and milk are good sources of protein. For quality carbohydrates, eat complex sources like whole grains, cereals, breads, vegetables, and beans. Fats should be kept to a minimum and they should come from sources like fish oil, olive oil, flax seed, and whole fish.

3. Do three to four cardiovascular workouts each week

This is how you’ll burn the majority of your daily calories. Cardio increases your metabolic rate, so that you’ll burn more calories throughout the day, even while resting.

30 minutes of cardio, three to four times a week, is enough to raise your metabolism and help burn calories. Any more than that could lead to overtraining.

Choose cardio machines that get more of your body moving. the more you move your body, the more calories you burn. The Stairmaster, biking, and running on the treadmill are all good examples of intense cardio that will move more of your body.

4. Weight train three to four times a week

Weight training will not burn a sufficient amount of fat while you’re doing it. Weight training will help you burn more calories and fat in the future.

When you add more lean muscle tissue to your body, you have to expend more energy (burn more calories) just to maintain that lean muscle tissue. So when you’re at rest, even sleeping, you’ll burn off more calories with this additional lean muscle. The more calories you burn, the more body fat you will lose.

That’s why weight training is an important part of the weight loss equation. The more lean muscle tissue you have on your body, the more calories you will burn off as a result.

5. Begin to slowly reduce your calorie intake

In order to lose body fat, you need to expend more calories than you consume. Or simply put, burn off more calories than you eat.

Begin by reducing your daily calorie intake by 150 to 300 calories. Start cutting out extras like butter, cream, mayo, sugar, and any high-calorie dressings or condiments.

Instead, use spices or low-calories sauces to add flavor to your food.

As you reduce your daily calories, begin to observe in the mirror what effect it’s having on your body composition. This will help you decide whether or not you should reduce your calories again or if you’re making progress where you are.

If you don’t see results after a couple weeks of reducing your daily calories, reduce them again by 150 to 300 calories.

This slow, methodical drop in calories will allow you to find the number you need to keep losing fat, without sacrificing lean muscle tissue. If you eat too few calories, your metabolism will slow down and you’ll also stop adding lean muscle tissue.

Over time, you’ll find the number of daily calories you need to keep losing body fat, without losing lean muscle tissue.

There you have five simple, proven ways you can burn fat fast in less time. The more of these tips you use, the quicker you’ll begin to see positive changes in the mirror.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Exercise and Electricity Generation

A California Fitness Center in Hong Kong, a subsidiary of 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide, is using manpower to generate electricity in its gym. In other words, energy burned off by exercisers is diverted and converted to power lighting fixtures, while excess energy is stored in a battery. The program is called Powered By You. Thanks to French inventor Lucien Gambarota, entrepreneur Doug Woodring and the Hong Kong's California Fitness center we will all soon see a lot of healthier people in a much more sustainable world.

The project works like this: there are 13 step, cycling, and cross-training machines to use, plenty of volunteers and batteries that will store the energy that then turns on the lights. According to California Fitness president Steve Clinefelter, "someone running an hour each day on a machine can generate 18.2 kilowatts of electricity and prevent 4,380 liters of CO2 from being released each year."

When all 13 exercise machines are in use the power generated amounts to about 300 watts. 300 watts is about enough to run three 27-inch television sets or five 60-watt lights. The initial investment cost of this project was $15,000. The center is planning to expand the idea throughout the gym if the project is successful and "economically viable".

Don't like the gym. How about dancing or walking to power up? Two projects under development are The Sustainable Dance Club and The Facility:Innovate. The Sustainable Dance Club, a nightclub in Rotterdam, is a dance club/project where you can dance and power up the floor all at the same time. It is a project created by the Dutch environmental group Enviu and the architecture firm Döll. The Facility:Innovate, a London design firm, harvests power from footsteps to light up things like iPods or even street lamps.

It is amazing what can be done with our bodies to spark a little electricity and I don't mean it in a dirty way, but rather in a clean renewable way. It is a rational and simple solution to long time problem of obesity and high electric cost. Did I mention it makes exercising a lot more appealing and motivating?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4 Tips For Effective Treadmill Weight Loss

"A good diet will account for about 80% of an individual's success or failure..."

Nutrition is the cornerstone to any weight loss program. In fact, a good diet will account for about 80% of an individual's success or failure when it comes to shedding body fat. The proper foods in the right combinations can make time spent on a treadmill extremely effective by setting up the body hormonally for weight loss. The key to this is to limit complex and simple sugars and to focus on eating lean protein and fibrous fruits and vegetables. Keeping carbohydrate intake to a minimum and increasing lean protein will create an environment that will literally force the body's metabolism into burning fat for fuel. This is because carbohydrate is the primary fuel source for working muscles. The body will always choose to burn carbohydrate over fat because of its ease in making it readily available energy. If a limited amount of carbohydrate is available through proper diet partitioning, the metabolism must increase the consumption of fat stores to meet the fuel demands of any given treadmill workout. By increasing protein intake, the ability to recover from work outs is increased and new muscle tissue may be created that in turn will require more calories and fuel.

2.Treadmill Workouts

"An individual needs to bring his or her heart rate up to between 55%-80% of it's max and keep it there for at least thirty minutes."
Daily workouts on the treadmill are very strait forward and consist of more coherence than anything else. An individual needs to bring his or her heart rate up to between 55%-80% of it's max and keep it there for at least thirty minutes. Thirty minutes is the absolute the minimum required, but if physical activity is something new to the individual at hand, it would be good to keep it light for a few weeks to condition the body and prepare it for more vigorous activity. Intervals, or small bouts of intense exercise every few minutes during the duration of time on a treadmill can really boost overall calorie consumption. For more advanced users, the incline can be raised to provide greater stress and faster results. The key is to raise the metabolic rate and keep it there for a length of time that really allows the body to dig deep into its fat stores and release energy for fuel. If the diet recommended above is followed, this can make way for a very effective work out routine.

"The amount of water in an individual's system can have dramatic effects on it's ability to metabolize and burn body fat."

The amount of water in an individual's system can have dramatic effects on it's ability to metabolize and burn body fat. Water is needed for nearly every single bodily function and weight loss is no different. Water helps shuttle fat from stores on the body to hard working muscle cells and also aides in the transportation of oxygen from the lungs. Water even works as an appetite suppressant that can help avoid overeating at a meal. Simply drink 8-12 onces before sitting down to eat and the amount of food consumed can often be cut in half. Don't overlook this vital nutrient in your weight loss program. Also, drinking more water helps to reduce water retention by stimulating the kidneys. Numerous studies have shown that if an individual is overweight, they should add at least 1 glass of water to their daily intake for every 25 pounds over their recommended size.

Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can actually inhibit the body's ability to burn fat. The reason this happens is because sleep deprivation can lead to a hormonal imbalance which may throw the metabolism out of whack. As a result, fat burning is greatly diminished and work outs become far less effective and can make results far harder and longer to achieve. If an individual is going to take the time and energy to work out and eat correctly on a regular basis than he or she should strive to get the most out of each exercise session by getting plenty of sleep. 8 hours a night is the recommended amount of sleep by most experts. In recent years however, that number has been reduced somewhat and now many are stating that between 6-8 hours is plenty. Whatever the case may be, make sure to get plenty of rest during any physical fitness program.

So there you have it. Four tips, that if followed correctly will help aide in fat loss. Always consult your physician before beginning strenuous physical fitness program and always be sure to build up your time on the treadmill.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Anti-Inflammatory Diet.To supplement anti-inflammatory nutrients while continuing to ingest pro-inflammatory substances is counter-productive.

1. Decrease or eliminate red meat and dairy products. Some arthritis patients also appear to react to poultry.
2. Decrease or destroy refined sugar.
3. Eliminate caffeine (including coffee, black tea, cola drinks, and chocolate).
4. Eliminate any expected food allergens during the initial three or four weeks such as gluten grains, citrus fruit, and dark shade vegetables (tomatoes, white potatoes, red and green peppers, eggplant, paprika, and tobacco). These foods can be added fund into the diet one at a time (one new food every third day) while obligingly observing the effect. Forms are available to variety it easier to monitor the effect of these foods.
5. Drink plenty of pure water. Chlorine is an antibiotic and can diminish our friendly gut flora. Studies enjoy associated chlorine in drinking hose down with increased risk of some types of cancer. It is probably best to drink at smallest a half hour in the past the meal and no sooner than a hour after so the digestive juice won't be diluted.
6. Increase your consumption of fresh, raw or insubstantially steamed fruits and vegetables. Good fruit choices include apples, bananas, grapes, mangoes, papayas, peaches, pears, prunes, kiwis, and other sub-acid fruits. Use discretion if the patient have blood sugar problems although fruit often does not raison d`être a problem if the diet is low fat and soaring fiber. Good vegetables include asparagus, spinach, zucchini, parsley, artichoke (without the butter), kelp and other sea-veggies, okra, snow peas and many more. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower as all right as onions, chives, and peppers are terrifically nutritious but may create digestive difficulties for some people. The solution is repeatedly simply chewing the food better and possibly adding supplemental digestive enzymes such as Metazyme or Beano. Spices such as garlic, tumeric, etc. are also unbelievably healthy and should be used regularly if okay tolerated.
7. For snacks, consider raw vegetables, fruit, nuts and seed. The fruits and veggies contain lots of enzymes, bioflavonoids, and other phytochemicals, while the raw nuts and seed are rich in essential fatty acids, especially flax nut, pumpkin and sunflower seed, walnuts and almonds (almonds can be allergenic to some people). Raw seed like sesame and flax necessitate to be ground for proper digestion. An electric coffee grinder works well.
These on top form snacks can be combined e.g. raw vegetable sticks dipped contained by tahini (ground sesame seeds) or almond butter.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Am I a fitness softy?

The opposites are "extreme": Smoker or non-smoker, too fat or too thin, fit or unfit (since 2002) or fitness softies! In our modern society of lazy, fat, idle and (sooner or later) ill people for whom the others, including myself, will eventually have to foot the bill, I sometimes cannot help but making my point clear in an equally "extreme" way! Remember the saying from the bible? "You shall love your neighbour as yourself". Then what's so bad about trying to encourage people to do something beneficial for themselves, for their body and for their health? Nothing! Granted, I do sometimes go a bit overboard verbally – but that's only because nobody will listen to nice, well meant advice anymore.

Even politicians are now increasingly advocating the use of tougher educational methods, including at schools. Many things have gone wrong and it is hard not to notice the indifference and lack of concern exhibited by some parents – many youths roam the streets, bored, often looking for a fight, with no respect for people and their property. Looking for some sort of "support" they easily get tied to dubious gangs. And all this is happening just because their parents neglect their duty of care towards their children.

Fat parents = fat children, lazy parents = lazy children, athletic and fit parents = athletic and fit children. We – you and I – are the role models for our children and our society. Softies exist everywhere, but people who own or manage a gym and instructors in our fitness industry must be fit.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Several Tips to Change your diet and Increase your overall Fitness Decorum

A healthy diet can help you to keep your medical costs down, but how do you justify the added expense of healthy foods? Try these simple tips and you won't have to:
1. Buy Reduced Produce
It's no secret that fruits and vegetables are good for you, but the price of fresh produce isn't nearly as good for your budget. To stretch your shopping dollars, look for a reduced rack at the grocery store. You can often pick up super ripe produce for a fraction of the regular price.

2. Go frozen
Frozen vegetables are usually fresher and cheaper than anything that can be found in the produce and canned sections of the store. Cruise down the frozen food aisles, and you'll find big bags of veggies at bargain prices – sometimes as little as $1 a bag.
3. Shop locally
Your local produce stand or farmer's market can be a great source for healthy bargains. For the best deals, shop often and look for reduced produce or end-of-the-day specials.
4. Grow Your Own
Slash your produce prices even further by growing your own healthy eats. Start a plot in your backyard or a container garden on your patio, and enjoy homegrown fruits and vegetables all season long. Like fresh herbs? Grow your favorites in small pots by the kitchen window, and take a snip whenever you need it.
5. Substitute Oil
Slash the fat grams in your cakes, muffins and other baked items by replacing the oil in recipes with an equal amount of no-sugar-added apple sauce. It won't change the taste of your recipe, but it will change the healthfulness of it.
6. Substitute Eggs
Reduce your cholesterol consumption by substituting the eggs in baked goods with a tablespoon of soy flour. You can pick up a bag for as little as $2-3, and it will last you for quite a long time.
7. Skip the Salt
Sodium lurks in lots of foods, and it's just not something that your body needs a lot of. Limit your consumption by purchasing no-salt-added or low-sodium versions of canned foods. This switch won't cost you a dime, so it's probably the simplest switch of all.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Aerobic exercise is all that really matters.

If you want to lose weight go for the Cardio

FALSE. Science no longer supports this claim. Some of the newest information out there proves that Strength training and Metabolic training (High intensity intervals of Strength Exercises and Cardio) have been shown to be much more effective for weight and fat loss than Cardio.

Women who strength train are bound to bulk up.

Exercise helps you sleep better.

If you exercise you will reach your fitness goals

You can eat whatever you want if you exercise enough.

Abdominal exercises will flatten your stomach.

Aerobic exercise permanently speeds up your metabolism.

When it comes to Fat Burning Intensity Matters

Variety Matters

The more you sweat, the more fat you’ll lose.

What is an elliptical trainer?

An elliptical trainer (also called a cross trainer) is a piece of exercise equipment that simulates walking and running with less impact on your ankles, knees and hips.

Elliptical trainers also offer the option of a total body workout by using the handles during exercise.

Is an elliptical better than a treadmill?

Both elliptical trainers and treadmills allow you to perform cardio vascular exercise. This type of exercise raises your heart rate and allows you to burn calories ensuring weight loss. Other advantages to exercising with an elliptical trainer are:

Running and walking on a treadmill are high impact exercises, meaning they place strain on your ankles, knees, hips and back. Elliptical trainers offer a low impact alternative cardio workout.
Elliptical trainers give you the option of having a total body workout so you will burn more calories than you would just running on a treadmill.
Elliptical trainers are specially designed using biomechanics that align your posture correctly when exercising.

What muscles does an elliptical work?

Depending on how you choose to use your elliptical, you can have cardio vascular exercise along with a complete body workout.

If you are using the just the foot pedals, you will work your lower body:

Hip Flexors
By using the handles you engage the muscles of the upper body:

What exercises to perform to strengthen your mid section and core muscles:

Core (stabilizing) muscles.

How do I use an elliptical trainer?

What is a treadmill?

Treadmill is an exercise fitness equipment that allows running or walking indoors, while staying in one place. A treadmill is a motor driven conveyor belt. The speed and elevation (angle) of a treadmill can be adjusted to increase or decrease resistance varying the difficulty of the exercise

Which is better, a treadmill better or an elliptical trainer?

Both treadmills and elliptical trainers allow you to perform aerobic or cardio vascular exercise. This type of exercise raises your heart rate and allows you to burn calories ensuring weight loss. Elliptical machines provide a total body workout as they come with handles and arms to enhance upper body workout as well. On the other hand, treadmills are used specifically for running and walking. Choose between the two based on your specific needs.

What are the advantages of a treadmill over walking?

Advantages to exercising with a treadmill are:

Available 24/7

Configurable Workout

Workout Monitoring

Progress Tracking

Controlled Workout

Treadmills are a good option for people who are recovering from injury as they allow you to control the pace and angle of your exercise.
If you are a dedicated runner, treadmills allow you to chart your distance, speed and heart rate while exercising.
Treadmills allow you to monitor heart rate, calories burned and the distance you run or walk.
Treadmills allow you to vary the speed and elevation of your exercise by pushing a button.
Because they are indoor machines, treadmills can be used year round, and at any time of day or night. Many people prefer this option for exercise in winter months.
Lower Impact
Running and walking outdoors are high impact exercises, meaning they place strain on your ankles, knees, hips and back. Treadmills offer a lower impact option to running or walking outdoors.

First read the instructions that come with your elliptical before using the trainer. This allows you to become familiar with the settings, programs and display information of your elliptical trainer.
Grasp the left handle with your left hand and then place your left foot on the left pedal.
Repeat with your right hand and foot.
While holding on with one hand, adjust the settings and program of your workout.
Slowly start transferring your weight from one foot to the other as if you were walking.
Keep your head up, your back straight and your hands on the handles for support.
FALSE. The harder you work out, the more calories you’ll burn and the more fat you may lose, but sweating isn’t always a reliable indicator of how hard you’re working. Much of this is your unique genetic make up. Any weight you lose through sweating is almost entirely water. You should drink as much water as you think you may have lost in any workout. Water weight loss is dangerous and may inhibit fat weight loss.TRUE. One of the major things that people do wrong exercising on their own is to find a routine and stick with it. The body adjusts very quickly to any exercise routine. Every 6 weeks you need to switch up your routine and do something different to continue to get results. Hire a trainer, go to a new class, take up a new sport, embark on a new program and you will see the results you are looking for.TRUE. Getting out of your comfort zone equals results. The minute you think "Wow, this is getting easier" you need to switch up your routine, timing, or intensity level to continue to burn fat. See variety matters.FALSE. During Aerobic exercise your metabolism speeds up while you’re exercising and for a short time afterward, but it doesn’t stay elevated all day. Add strength training to your aerobic workouts to build calorie-burning muscle while you’re working off excess fat. Metabolic training (High intensity intervals of Strength and Cardio Exercises) has been shown to elevate the heart rate and metabolism for up to 6 hours after your workout.FALSE. Crunches and other abdominal exercises can help strengthen your abs and improve your posture and abdominal tone, but muscle is muscle and fat is fat. If you have extreme abdominal fat, you won’t be able to see your abdominal muscles no matter how many ab exercises you do. You need to watch calories in vs. calories out and work on overall fat burning before you can see muscle definition under the fat.FALSE. If you consume more calories than you burn in a day you’ll gain weight, no matter how much you exercise. One of the big things people do wrong is chow down after a workout. You do need to eat after a workout but, you need to eat a small balanced meal just like you do 5 other times each day.FALSE. You need to identify your goals and make sure that your exercise program is designed to get you to your goals. All exercise is not created equal.TRUE. Regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Find the time that’s best for you; if you exercise too close to bedtime, you might be too alert to drift off to sleep.FALSE. Thanks to genetics, hormones, and women’s natural body types, most women are unlikely to develop bulky muscles with routine strength training. By strength training you will increase lean muscle mass which can make it easier to maintain a healthy weight. Body weight strength training is the best option for those who feel they may be the exception to the rule.FALSE. A balanced fitness program includes aerobics, strength training, stretching, as well as exercises to improve balance and stability. Some activities give you more than one benefit, for example, walking increases your heart rate while helping maintain balance and building strength in your lower body.TRUE. This is great news so do it! The rest depends on how hard you work. If you are having problems with accountability join a class, small group, workout with a friend or hire a trainer to get you on track. Many people only need a jump start to get them on a regular plan.