There are two types of balance: static and dynamic. Static balance is the ability to remain stable and in equilibrium when you aren’t moving. Dynamic balance is the ability to remain stable when you’re moving. Both are important for sports performance and functionality in everyday life.
One way to improve dynamic balance is to do plyometric drills that involve lateral movements. Place a resistance tube on the floor. Stand on one side of the tube and jump to the other side using both feet. Keep jumping back and forth, varying the speed and height of your jumps. Single leg lateral hops are another good exercise for developing dynamic balance and power.
With lateral plyometric drills you’re building power, burning calories and improving balance at the same time. Pretty good deal, huh?
Take Advantage of Opportunities to Work on Balance
You can work on balance while you’re standing in line or cooking in the kitchen. While you’re washing dishes, raise one leg off the ground and hold it up. For an even more challenge, close your eyes. It’s much more difficult to balance on one leg with your eyes closed because your brain doesn’t get input from your visual system. If you can stand on one foot with your eyes open for a minute or more, you’re doing well. When you do exercises on mat, try to get up from a sitting position without using your hands. It may take strength and balance to do this and it’s a good way to challenge yourself.
The Bottom Line?
It’s easy to neglect balance exercises when you’re busy strength training. The good news is you can modify strength training moves to add more of a balance challenge. Don’t underestimate the importance of improving balance as you age. It reduces the risk of sports injuries and helps to prevent injuries when you play sports and when you do your daily activities.
One more year is coming to a close, the pads come out and the resolutions begin. January is actually the busiest time in the fitness and gym industry. February and March are probably the quietest with most people having given up on the weight loss and fitness effort…well until the bikini time comes around again. Setting New Year’s weight loss resolutions is no different than setting other goals. Your goals need to S.M.A.R.T, in other words: Simple-Measurable-Achievable-Realistic-Timely, but most importantly you need to have the desire and willpower to work hard towards your targets. In this article we share 7 tips for setting your New Year’s resolutions in such a way so they are achievable and realistic.
1. SET LIFE GOALS
Instead of making a resolution list of the things you want to do make a list of the things you want to have and/or achieve in your life. For example a resolution list of the things you want to do could look like this:
Resolution List 2012
1. Lose weight
2. Join the gym
3. Change my job
Instead think ‘what do I want to have in my life’? For example:
Life Resolution List 2012
1. Look good and feel healthier
2. Be happier in my job
3. Be less stressed
Then think how you can achieve each one of them. Weight loss and exercise can then be a process of achieving to look good and feel healthier but is not the end to all means. In addition, there are other ways to achieve your goal such as eat healthier, or cut down on takeaways and sweets.
If you just concentrate on losing weight you will join the gym and get the next diet regime in the hype of the times. Then you will soon lose sight of why you are torturing and depriving yourself from food. No surprise most gym memberships are sold in January to never be used again by February with maybe small exceptions when preparing for the bikini season.
2. COMPARE YOUR LIST WITH LAST YEARS
What did your resolution list look like last year? Do you automatically list the obvious things which are expected to be in your list? For example I used to be a smoker and for about 10 years in the top of my list was I will cut smoking. Smoking was bad for me and I knew I had to give up so every year I expected myself to try and stop smoking and then feel depressed as I had failed myself.
In addition think why you didn’t follow your last year’s resolutions. Did something affect you? Did something change? Finding the reasons why you didn’t do what you wanted last year it may be a way to help you avoid the same mistakes or help you plan for this year.
3. BE REALISTIC
Christmas and New Year can be emotionally charged times. The end of an era and the beginning of a new one it can make us make decisions based on emotions and not reality. Don’t forget to also ask yourself if you are realistic in what you want. My resolution could well be finding a gold bucket at the end of a rainbow but no matter what I do it may not quite reach fruition.
4. GET OFF THE DIET WAGON.
Another problem with concentrating with dieting is that you are likely to grab the next diet regime, book etc that looks good. Does it work? You may lose some weight in a few weeks but you will have to stop dieting at some point and then what? Have a break until the next diet or is it that you never stopped.
The weight loss industry is a very lucrative business and it does bank on the fact that you are looking for quick solution. I will go back to my first point which says make life goals and not a dieting commitment. Therefore, weight loss would be part of the life changes you want. Undoubtedly not everybody can do it by themselves, however try to pick that weight loss solution which will help you to learn about healthy eating, give you tips for your everyday life and support in what you are trying to achieve.
5. GET SUPPORT
Studies have actually shown that people who have support tend to lose more weight and adhere to diet regimes. Support which comes from your immediate family environment is always the best. However, if for any reason you can’t make that work support could come from friends, weight loss buddies, and even weight loss clubs and online weight loss services.
There are plenty of choices out there so you can find the one that works for you.
6. MOVE EVERYDAY
Physical activity and exercise is a bonus for your health and weight management. Make a pledge to move every day. You don’t have to necessarily pay big monthly subscriptions to a gym. Make a pledge to move a little bit every day.
Go for a walk, or run in the park, go shopping and walk around the shops, have a spring clean, play a game with the kids, have a swim and so on. All you need is commitment and imagination.
7. START LIVING
Once you set your life goals and resolutions all you have to do is start living. This is my new year’s mojo. Stop dieting and start living. I am sure I’m not the only one who says that but I am loving it.
The holidays are a time to indulge in delicious food, but too much snacking and calorie-filled beverages can lead to major weight gain come January. There is a way , however, you can enjoy your favorites without all that fat. iMag went to registered dietitian Sari Greaves, who has tricks to keeping trim throughout the holiday season.
Tip # 1: Practice Damage Control
This is not the time of year to go on a strict diet; it's a time to try to maintain your weight.
Tip # 2: Bring a healthy dish to the holiday party
Here are some easy potluck contributions:
- Hummus platter with vegetable crudite
- Mixed green salad topped with any type of beans and balsamic vinaigrette
- Shrimp cocktail
- Quinoa with vegetables
Tip # 3: Jazz up your grains
It's easy to give your grain dishes more of a nutritional boost. Quinoa, which is an easy pot luck idea mentioned above, is a whole grain that is high in protein (which will help you feel full on fewer calories). By stretching this dish over vegetables you slash half the calories and add nutrients.
Tip # 4: Never go to a party hungry!
You never want to eat something too small or too large before the holiday party. Go for a dish that contains a little bit or protein and carbs and is under 200 calories. Try a small apple with a scoop of peanut butter or Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of nuts.
Tip # 5: Beware of your beverage intake
Limit yourself to 1 - 2 party drinks. One standard drink is a 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or an ounce-and-a-half of 80 proof liquor.
Sari Greaves works as a registered dietitian at Step Ahead Weight Loss Center in Central New Jersey where she provides nutrition counseling to a wide variety of patients seeking weight loss and healthy lifestyle modification. As a national spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, she appears regularly on television and has done interviews on ABC News, New York 1, MY9 News, NBC News, Fox News, CW11 News and Bloomberg News. She has been quoted in a variety of print and Internet publications including the Wall Street Journal, Daily News, New York Post, Newsday, Food & Fitness Advisor, Self Magazine, Shape Magazine, MSN News, Men's Health Magazine, Women's Health Magazine, Prevention Magazine, Consumer Reports on Health, Fitness Magazine, Health Magazine among many others. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tricks to Treating: Healthy Halloween Tips for You and Your Family
OCTOBER 26, 2011
by Elise Truman, MS, RD eligible
Chocolate bars, jelly beans, and taffy, oh my! Since January we’ve made strides to keep a healthy diet during the year’s festivities. We limited our chocolates on Valentine’s Day, we kept Easter dinner portions a reasonable size, and we held to a one hotdog maximum on the Fourth of July. But next thing we know its October and there are unavoidable candy
bowls tempting us everywhere we look.
And while it’s okay to occasionally indulge in a bite-sized treat, the problem lies when one turns to two and two turns to…well, you get the idea. Eventually, we find ourselves with unintentional weight gain and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! Meanwhile, the threat of an increase in hyperactivity and cavities in our children is giving us a bigger headache than our neighbor’s talking pumpkin.
Like in all things health and nutrition, careful planning is the key. Nutrition Lately has pulled together some simple tricks to help you and your family successfully ‘treat’ this Halloween.
TRICK: PREPARE THE TROOPS
Eating a healthy meal pre-‘trick-or-treating’ is your first defense against overindulging later. We often turn to candy first because our blood sugar is low and as a result we feel hungry. Before leaving home, serving a high-protein, high-fiber meal for you and family should keep temptations at bay for the next 2-3 hours.
A suggestion would be grilled chicken breast, wholegrain rice, broccoli florets, a glass of skim milk, and apple slices for dessert. Drinking plenty of water is also important for keeping cravings at bay. Revert back to your MyPlate guide for other suggestions and tips.
TRICK: BE THE NEIGHBORHOOD HERO
There are several alternatives to passing out candy on Halloween. Here are some suggestions that will make your neighbors both admire you and think twice about what they hand out next year:
TRICK: SET A POST-TREATING PLAN
When kids get home from trick-or-treating, allow them to use their newly acquired candy as a sort of currency. First, have kids pile through and choose favorites and non-favorites. Then, make a wager with them that for every piece of candy they fork over they get a penny or nickel. Then kids can use their newly acquired money to buy something (non-food focused) at the store. With the candy that is left, be sure to immediately stash out of sight. Allow kids to choose one piece a day and preferably after a meal.
TRICK: MAKE THE BEST CHOICES
Not all candy is created equal. When you do indulge, try to pick out the lowest calorie and sugar options available. Check out our list for some suggestions:
3 Musketeers Miniatures- 24 calories– WINNER!
Milky Way Mini- 28 calories
Snicker Mini- 42.5 calories
Two Twix Bars- 160 calories
Peanut Butter Pumpkin- 180 calories
Almond Joy/Mounds- 200 calories
Include dark chocolate when possible for an antioxidant boost
Choose hard candies, which you can’t eat as quickly
Opt for the sugar-free candies, if provided
For more nutrition tips, suggestions and family friendly recipes, visit Kids Eat Right.
In the recent Obesity journal, investigators outlined some of the ongoing research to find a specific connection between obesity and the increased risk of certain types of cancer. Although no direct link has been found as yet, the investigators believe that the link may have to do with the increased insulin levels found in obese patients, due to insulin resistance often found. This may increase the growth of some of the abnormal cells that are found in cancer. Also, more inflammatory cells are found in obese individuals and these may also lead to the growth and production of some of these cancers. What we do know, is that individuals with obesity and/or metabolic syndrome have an association with many serious medical conditions and cancer is among them. Exactly why we see an association with cancer is not known but we are getting closer to finding out the answer.
Unfortunately, the jury is still out but the search is ongoing with vigor!
Calorie counting is one of the simplest and most effective methods for losing weight. Knowing how many calories you are burning helps you to keep track of your daily calorie allowance and calorie expenditure goals. Here are 10 simple ways to burn 100 calories.
1. Clean the windows Spending just 20 minutes cleaning the windows of your house burns approximately 100 calories. Depending on the size of your house, and the state of your windows, you could be burning off your breakfast while performing this household chore.
2. Weed the garden Gardening burns up to 100 calories in just 15 minutes, depending on the tasks you’re performing. Vigorous jobs like pulling up weeds and turning soil will burn the most calories, while smaller jobs like pruning roses and picking apples will still burn a significant amount of calories.
3. Play with the family dog Throwing a ball or Frisbee for a dog can burn up to 100 calories in 25-30 minutes. Make it a family activity to help get the whole family in shape. Incorporate it into a walk around your local park, and you’ll increase your calorie burning potential even further.
4. Do the ironing Ironing is a household chore that most people would prefer to avoid, but it is also an effective way to burn calories in the comfort of your own home. Ironing your clothes burns approximately 100 calories in 25 minutes.
5. Decorate the house Painting and decorating can burn up to 100 calories in just 15 minutes, depending on how strenuous the work is. Painting large walls and hanging rolls of wallpaper will burn the most calories, while light painting jobs will burn 100 calories in 25-30 minutes.
6. Wax the car Waxing the car is arduous work and burns around 100 calories every 15 minutes. Save money at the car wash by washing the car yourself, and burn off excess calories at the same time. The vigorous rubbing involved in waxing a car will burn the most calories.
7. Try aerobics High-impact aerobics can burn 100 calories in less than 10 minutes, making it one of the most effective ways to burn calories. For those who prefer more gentle exercise, aqua aerobics is a less strenuous way to burn off those extra calories.
8. Walk Walking really is one of the best forms of exercise and suitable for almost everybody. It is also free, easy, and something you can do alone or in a group. Walking at a brisk pace will burn 100 calories in approximately 15 minutes.
9. Cycle to work Cycling can burn 100 calories in 10-20 minutes, depending on the speed you are travelling. Gentle cycling on a flat surface will burn around 100 calories in 20 minutes, while cycling at a moderate pace will burn the same amount of calories in half the time.
10. Swimming Swimming, like walking, is one of the best forms of exercise for improving your overall health and fitness. Doing a few laps at the swimming baths is an excellent way to burn those excess calories. Swimming for just 15 minutes will burn 100 calories.