Thursday, January 29, 2015

Don't Be An Exercise Drop Out & Beware the Super Bowl Feast

The handout for Standing Stretches will be on my website next week under the "Workouts" tab. This is for those of you who spend hours on your feet.  Get creative about where/when you can sneak these in.  

Feedback- Who Ya'Going To Trust  A colleague reminded me of another way to think about the reliability of sources of information.  A primary source describes the original research that was done.  For example, a study on effects of a supplement on exercise.  A secondary source discusses the research and may compare it to other studies.  This might be a professional journal reporting on exercise studies.  A tertiary source might be a popular magazine, newspaper or television report.

Sitting Can Kill You Revisted  CNN reports on an Annals of Internal Medicine  research article - “Sitting Can Kill You”.  This information has hit the mainstream.  The CNN report related that sitting is now classified as the fourth leading cause of death world wide by the World Health Organization.  But you knew that already!

Educators at Montara School in Oakland have taken the message to heart, placing stand up desks in the classroom.   If you missed that early blog post, you can find it here.  The evidence is building – time to set some alerts and get moving!

Third Week Slump.  Have the crowds thinned out at your gym?  The third week of January is the key according to the Wall Street Journal One fourth of the folks who made weight loss or exercise resolutions have dropped out already according to researchers at the University of Scranton.  And only 8% of the 45% of Americans who make resolutions follow through. 

How Not Be A Drop Outmy alter ego - TrainerMom  has some professional advice:

Hit reset – you’re not the worst person in the world for not sticking to your original resolutions.  Forgive yourself and move on.  There’s no law against revisiting those resolution goals and checking to make sure they’re SMART. Choose one or two and break them into manageable chunks, and give it another go.  It's never to late, and any amount can be beneficial.

Make specific plans as to when and where you will act – "after breakfast on Sunday, I will go to the gym". 

Put your workouts on your calendar.   You’ll be more likely to keep the date with yourself.

Lay out your shoes, clothes and get your breakfast or shake ready to go. Likewise, with anything else you need for the day – lunch, change of clothes, and so forth.

Tell a friend you’re doing a work out   Plan to call/meet them afterwards to check in.  Do it, feel good about yourself, and repeat.

Consult a professional.   Yes, I’m in the business, but honestly, doesn’t it make sense to get advice that’s been scientifically vetted rather than pick up a Men’s Health workout that’s way above your ability?  It’s a sure formula for getting injured and giving up your exercise goal.  And by the way, we really have heard all the excuses.  

The folks at Exercise Is Medicine, a branch of the American College of Sports Medicine would like you to consider exercise as medicine in an active form.  You’ll be hearing more about them as the program grows.  Expect to be asked about exercise at your yearly physicals.  Kaiser already has this built into their interview forms so doctors & nurses don’t forget to ask.  

Today’s Recipe
Its Super Bowl Weekend - a potential calorie trap of 925 calories from the first to fourth quarters, according to WebMD.  TrainerMom recommends being aware of your serving sizes and particularly aware of your liquid calories.  That said - get some exercise & enjoy the game!  More recipes and tips can be found on the WebMD link above.

From the good folks at the American Institute For Cancer Research comes this hearty soup packed with flavor and the healthy antioxidant lycopene.  Each serving has only 71 calories and 64mg of sodium.  Serve in mugs, and perhaps with some whole wheat crackers or croutons.

Super-Bowl Tomato Soup
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped scallions, green and white parts
1 (28-oz.) can no-salt added whole tomatoes in tomato sauce
3 marinated sun-dried tomato halves, rinsed and chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup low-sodium tomato juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Garlic croutons, if desired, for garnish

In small Dutch oven or large, heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and scallions, and cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes one at a time, holding each over the pot and crushing it through your fingers. Add tomato sauce remaining in can. Add sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer soup for 20 minutes.

Using immersion blender, food processor or regular blender, purée soup until it is pulpy to smooth, as you prefer. Blend in tomato juice. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, garnished with croutons, if using. Or cool soup and refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.
Makes 6 servings.   Per serving: 71 calories, 2.5 g fat (< 1 g sat fat), 12 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein 2 g fiber, 64 mg sodium.
See the original recipe here.

Super Bowl Bonus - A Guacamole Makeover 
With the Super Bowl coming up, I was looking for a lower calorie guacamole recipe.  With only 76.4 calories per serving (recipe makes 8 servings), this is the skinniest guacamole recipe my research unearthed.  Yes, it still has 6.7 g of fat, but it’s mostly mono & polyunsaturated fat.  The recipe works by diluting the avocado with the cucumber. 

Coach Nicole's Fresh & Skinny Guacamole
2 ripe avacadoes, peeled & chopped
1/3 medium organic (if available) cucumber, chopped
1/3 medium onion, chopped (author used red)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin powder
1 squeeze lemon (about 1-2 Tbsp)
Salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp)

Add all ingredients to blender or food processor & process till desired consistency.  Add salt to taste.  Serve chilled.  Enjoy with your favorite chips or tortillas.
Makes 8 servings.  Per serving: 77.4 calories, 6.7g fat (0.9gm sat fat), 4.7g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, sodium - 143.8mg. Original recipe. 

TrainerMom's Notes:  Its the added vegetables that reduce the calories in the recipe.  Try adding some chopped tomato after ingredients are blended. Reduce amount of salt by using less than indicated.  While chips may never be totally healthy, you might try finding a baked chip.  Or even better, serve with veggies.

Coming Soon - answers to the top two questions a trainer gets – “how do I start” and “what should I eat”.  Hints – slowly, following good advice.  And eat real food, following the Dietary Guidelines.  More detail to follow.

© Fitness Spark Personal Training, January, 2015.

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