Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Outdoor Exercise... Safely Brave the Elements this Winter

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Dec 29, 2014 @ 07:04 AM

There are so many benefits to outdoor exercise so don't let harsh winter weather push you off your exercise bandwagon this winter.  You can safely exercise outside by following these Fitness Training cold weather tips.

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Winter can frustrate the most motivated exercisers. And if you’re not so motivated, it’s all too easy to pack it in when the weather gets cold.  But keeping up your exercise routine in cold weather can be rewarding and keep you feeling energized and healthy all winter long. 

For one thing, outdoor exercise is a sure cure for cabin fever and the winter blues.  For many of us, lack of sunshine and fresh air lowers our energy level and leaves us feeling a little depressed and unmotivated.  Aerobic Exercise outdoors combats the winter blues, increases energy and elevates our mood which is often times sapped by gloomy weather.  Exercise also bolsters your immune system — studies show that moderate exercisers get 20 to 30 percent fewer colds than nonexercisers do.  So staying on track with your Fitness Training this winter is a win-win!

Taking it outside...
Here’s how to safely get the most out of your cold-weather workout:

* Dress in layers that you can remove as soon as you start to sweat and then put back on as needed. Start with a thin layer of synthetic material such as polypropylene, which draws sweat away from your body. Avoid cotton, which stays wet next to your skin. Next, try fleece for insulation. Top this with a waterproof, breathable outer
layer.  If it’s very cold or you have asthma, wear a face mask or a scarf over your mouth.

* Protect your extremities.  Try wearing a thin pair of gloves under a pair of heavier gloves or mittens lined with wool or fleece. You might want to buy exercise shoes a half-size larger than usual to allow for thick thermal socks or an extra pair of regular socks. And don’t forget a hat or headband.

Remember sunscreen. It’s as easy to get sunburned in winter as in summer

Head into the wind. You’ll be less likely to get chilled on the way back if you end your workout — when you may be sweaty — with the wind at your back.

Drink plenty of fluids. Drink water or sports drinks before, during and after your workout — even if you’re not thirsty. You can become just as dehydrated in the cold as in the heat.

If you prefer to stay inside this winter but are feeling bored with the eliptical or treadmill, check out your local gym's group exercise class schedule.  Group exercise classes are a great way to make new friends, burn a ton of calories and have a lot of fun.  Some great high calorie burning, energizing classes are spinning, hot yoga and bootcamp.

To make sure you stay on track, use a pedometer to count your steps and calories burned throughout your workout and your day.  Following the 10,000 Steps Program is a great way to ensure you burn approximately 500 calories every day through physical activity.  This a great benchmark number to hit as you continue on your fitness journey.

The bottomline... stay motivated. When it’s cold outdoors, there’s no need to hit the couch. With a little knowledge and fortitude, you can meet the challenges — and reap the rewards — of winter exercise. For many people, the solitude and quiet alone are reason enough to brave the elements.

 Learn more about how you can make lifestyle resolutions with our personalized program. Click below to start the journey to a healthier, new you with the support of a medical doctor, registered dietitian, and certified personal trainer.

Optifast 4 Week Membership

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Deborah Neiman MD, Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT

49 U.S. Highway 202 Far Hills, NJ 07931 908-470-2235

 

 

Tags: medical weight loss solutions, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Fitness, winter blues, Lifestyle tips

Check Out This Killer Indoor Leg Work Out!

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Dec 09, 2013 @ 06:50 AM

While the weather outside is frightful, indoor workouts are delightful!  Check out this killer leg workout you can do wherever, whenever!  No equipment is needed.

 

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Let Step Ahead Wellness Center meet all your fitness, healthy weight loss goals... See our website at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com for our latest special weight loss offer.

 

Email our fitness director, certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com for more fit tips.

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FDA to Ban Trans Fat in Foods

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Nov 08, 2013 @ 10:40 AM

FDA to Ban Trans Fats in Foods

The artificial additives are linked to heart trouble, doctors say

U.S. health officials announced Thursday a plan to phase out heart-harmful trans fats in processed foods and restaurant fare.

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U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said the proposed restrictions on the use of trans fats could prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths.

"The agency has made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils, a major source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not generally recognized as safe for use in food," Hamburg said during a morning news conference. "This is an important step for removing harmful trans fats from processed foods."

Many food companies and restaurants have eliminated trans fats over the past decade, in part because of FDA nutrition label changes enacted in 2006. And some local governments, including New York City, already prohibit their use.

These restrictions have helped reduce trans fat intake among Americans from 4.6 grams daily in 2003 to about 1 gram a day in 2012, the FDA said.

Even so, Hamburg said trans fats "remain an area of significant public health concern." Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The Institute of Medicine concluded that trans fats provide no known health benefits and there is no safe level of consumption of trans fats, Hamburg added.

The medical community welcomed the news about trans fats.

"This represents a very important move by the FDA to help further reduce trans fat dietary intake and improve cardiovascular health in the United States," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, spokesman for the American Heart Association and a cardiology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Many cookies and other baked goods, some microwave pizzas, ready-to-eat frostings and a host of other everyday foods contain trans fats, which are often labeled partially hydrogenated oils.

Trans fats raise total blood cholesterol levels even more than saturated fats, which can lead to heart disease, Fonarow said. They also raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol when used instead of natural oils, he said.

Clinical trials of diets containing trans fats have shown an increased risk of heart attack and premature cardiovascular death, Fonarow added.

Currently, trans fats fall in a category of additives "generally recognized as safe" by the FDA. Under the new proposal, they would be removed from that list and food manufacturers would need to petition the agency before using them. But FDA approval of such petitions is considered unlikely.

Widely used to improve the shelf life, flavor or texture of foods, trans fats are made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil to solidify it.

Many restaurant chains no longer use trans fats, but smaller restaurants may still get trans fats-containing foods from suppliers or use the fats for frying.

The FDA said it would take public comments for two months before setting a timeline to complete the phase-out. "We need to know how much time would be needed for industry to remove partially hydrogenated oils from processed food products should this preliminary determination be finalized," Hamburg said.

Dr. Kenneth Ong, the interim chief of cardiology at Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City, said there are "only a couple of reasons manufacturers use trans fats -- maybe the taste and perhaps the cost. But I am not familiar with any health benefits. In fact, there is much more data to show the opposite."

Samantha Heller, senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, said the only real way to know if a food contains trans fats is to look at the ingredient list for "partially hydrogenated" oils. "This means there are trans fats in that food. Put it back on the shelf and find another option," she said.

Added Rebecca Solomon, a clinical nutrition coordinator at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City: "Nothing good can come from people consuming trans fats. At the end of the day our food technology is sophisticated enough that there are healthier alternatives."

By Steven Reinberg and Margaret Farley Steele
HealthDay Reporters

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about trans fats.



SOURCES: Gregg Fonarow, M.D., spokesman, American Heart Association, and professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Kenneth Ong, M.D., interim chief, cardiology, Brooklyn Hospital Center, New York City; Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., senior clinical nutritionist, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; Rebecca Solomon, clinical nutrition coordinator, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City; Nov. 7, 2013, news conference with Margaret Hamburg, M.D., commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

http://m.healthday.com/iphone_article.htm?CID=0B3F45B2&NFID=C&articleId=681939

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Recipe of the Week: 5-Minute Sandwiches

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Mar 13, 2013 @ 05:11 PM

 

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Tantalize your taste buds with these easy-peasy sandwiches that are bursting with flavor and brimming with nutrients!

Grilled Pineapple & Chicken Buns                                                                             

Makes 4 sandwiches: 333 calories per sandwich. Save 100 calories by swapping out the bun and enjoy chicken filling over a leafy green salad.

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cooking spray

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices fresh pineapple

4 (1.5-ounce) whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted

1-2 teaspoons Light mayonnaise (optional)

4 large basil leaves

1. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Place chicken on grill pan coated with cooking spray; grill 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done, brushing occasionally with lime juice. Grill pineapple 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned.

2. Spread mayonnaise on bottom halves of buns, if desired. Top each with 1 chicken breast half, 1 pineapple slice, 1 basil leaf, and 1 bun top. Serve immediately.

Roasted Red Pepper & Tuna Roll-Ups

Makes 4 servings; 130 calories each.

2 6-ounce cans of tuna packed in water (drained)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup jarred roasted red peppers, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1. In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, pepper, olive oil, peppers, basil leaves, and vinegar. Spread the mixture on a 100-calorie wrap, roll, or sandwich thin for a 230 calorie sandwich.

Adapted from cookinglight.com

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Research Brief: Vitamin D & Knee Pain

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Mar 08, 2013 @ 01:16 PM

vitamin d

If you have arthritis, don't count on vitamin D to ease the pain in your knees. In earlier studies, arthritis progressed more slowly in people with high levels of vitamin D in their blood. But a new study found that the vitamin has no benefit.

What to do? Don't bother taking vitamin D for arthritis. Instead, exercise more, lose excess weight, and avoid high-impact activities. To protect your bones, though, aim for the current recommended vitamin D intakes: 600 IU a day up to age 70 and 800 IU a day if you're over 70.

Where to find Vitamin D? Fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and fish liver oils are among the best sources. Small amounts of vitamin D are found in beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D in the American diet  For example, almost all of the U.S. milk supply is voluntarily fortified with 100 IU/cup. Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals often contain added vitamin D, as do some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine and other food products

(Based on article in JAMA 309; 155, 2013)

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Recipe Corner: 10-Minute Stewed Italian Beans

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Mar 01, 2013 @ 03:28 PM

 

beans

There's no better way to boost your fiber intake than to eat beans. Here's a simple and delicious dish to add to your repertoire on a chilly winter day. Use red and white (cannellini) kidney beans for color, but you can use any kind. If you use fresh herbs, triple the amount to 1 1/2 teaspoons.

2 stalks celery, diced

1 carrot, diced

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. dried rosemary or thyme

2 Tbs. tomato paste

2 15 oz. can no-salt-added kidney beans

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the celery and carrot in the oil until they start to soften, about 3 minutes.

2. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, and tomato paste, for 2 minutes.

3. Stir in the beans with their liquid and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Season with black pepper and balsamic vinegar.

Per serving (1 cup) Calories: 280 Protein: 11 g Fiber: 9 g

Recipe adapted from Nutrition Action Healthletter, March 2013

 

Interested in learning more about healthy eating for life?

Call NOW to find out about Step Ahead Wellness Center Seasonal Special Weight Loss Programs, Nutrition Counseling Services, and more: 908.470.2235


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STEP AHEAD SKINNY RECIPES OF THE WEEK: MAPLE GLAZED SALMON & BALSAMIC STEAK

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 @ 04:22 PM

If you are craving steak or salmon tonight, enjoy these top picks of the week: these 5-ingredient glazed recipes turn an ordinary meal  into something super-easy and extraordinary!

Maple Glazed Salmon

 http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/maple-grilled-salmon-10000001816349/

Flank Steak with Caramelized Onions & Balsamic Glaze

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/flank-steak-with-caramelized-onions-balsamic-glaze-10000001041929/

 

 

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Step Ahead's Skinny Recipe of the Week: Baby Kale Salad

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Feb 06, 2013 @ 05:01 PM

kale salad

This is on of the few salads you can make hours ahead of time. It gets better as the flavors meld and the kale softens in the dressing. 

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

2 Tbs. minced shallot

¼ tsp. salt

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

½ lb. baby kale, washed (or Tuscan kale)

¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, shallots, salt, and oil.
  2. Remove and discard the large, center stems of the kale. Then, working in batches of about 8 leaves, stack the leaves and cut them crosswise into thin strips.
  3. Toss the kale in the dressing with the parmesan cheese and season with plenty of black pepper.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving (3 cups) 110 calories

Adapted from January/February 2013 issue of Nutriiton Action Healthletter

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Step Ahead Simple & Delicious Bean Soup Recipe: A Taste of Tuscany

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 @ 03:45 PM
bean soup
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped prosciutto or ham (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans (preferable no salt added) or other white beans, undrained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (15.75-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (such as Kitchen Basics, Unsalted)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons sherry (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the prosciutto, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic; sauté for 2 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add the water, beans, bay leaves, and broth, and bring soup to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer soup for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the parsley, sherry, and black pepper; cook for 1 minute. Discard bay leave

Nutrition: 237 calories per cup (makes 6 cups), 20 g protein

Adapted from Cooking Light.com

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Sari's No Cook Recipe

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Jan 04, 2013 @ 05:48 PM
Fruit on ice is just as nice!!! Try frozen berries this winter! Each one cup serving supplies only 60 calories, 35 percent of a day's vitamin C and 4 grams of fiber. 

Step 1) Empty berries in bowl. Thaw in refrigerator for two hours or microwave for four minutes.

Step 2) Pour berries into yogurt, oatmeal, whole grain pancake mix. For an instant smoothie, blend with 6 ounces of fat free plain greek yogurt and 1/2 banana. (220 calories smoothie)
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