No excuses: Five common barriers to exercise

Posted by Jessica Hess, MA, ATC, Ridgeview Rehab Specialties on Oct 16, 2014 11:05:56 AM

Top exercise excuses and how to beat them

Most of us know that regular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and reduces the risk of various diseases. But sticking to a regular exercise program isn’t easy; this is something we can all agree on. Everyone experiences common barriers to exercise, so just how do we get past these roadblocks to a healthy lifestyle?

Fortunately, our sports medicine coordinator at Ridgeview Rehab Specialties, Jessica Hess, MA, ATC, has some great advice to help you overcome your barriers and make exercise a part of your daily life. Jessica examines five of the most common "exercise avoidance" excuses men and women give and explains how to overcome them.

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Topics: Women's Health, Fitness/activity, Wellness

Does healthy food cost more than junk food?

Posted by Ridgeview Staff on Oct 14, 2014 11:36:13 AM

The cost of a healthy diet vs. an unhealthy diet

You may have heard that it costs more to eat a healthy diet, or maybe it just seems that way when you do your grocery shopping. Well, it's true, healthy food costs more than junk food. The cost of eating healthy comes at a price, but the difference may surprise you. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that, on average, a healthier diet costs about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy of diets. Costs were calculated based on a 2,000-calorie daily food intake.

"That $1.50 difference may be less than what many of you had expected," according to the study’s senior author at Dariush Mozaffarian, who is also an associate professor at HSPH (Harvard School of Public Health) and at the Harvard Medical School. Mozaffarian notes that “this price difference is small in comparison to the economic costs of diet-related chronic diseases, which would be dramatically reduced by healthy diets.”

Still, that small daily amount adds up to about $550 per person over a one-year period, or about $2,200 for a family of four. This rise in price can be hard on any individual or family’s budget, but it can represent a significant hardship for lower income families. Additionally, researchers suggested it might be necessary to develop policies to help offset the costs of eating a healthier diet.

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Topics: Diet and Nutrition, Women's Health, Wellness

Eat less, exercise more: fact or fiction?

Posted by Ridgeview Staff on Oct 9, 2014 11:05:00 AM

Is it better to eat less and exercise more to lose weight?

Most of us know the key to weight loss is eat less, exercise more, right? It turns out there’s more to maintaining a healthy weight than simply doing more of the one thing and less of the other. What you eat can make a noticeable difference in whether or not you gain weight, and how much.

Weight gain can creep up on you – typically, healthy non-obese Americans add about a pound a year. Why does this happen? 

A study conducted by researchers at Harvard’s School of Public Health followed three groups of men and women, two groups over 20 years and the third group over 12 years, in an effort to understand the long-term effects of both diet and lifestyle changes on weight gain. They measured lifestyle and diet factors every four years and saw similar results in men and women. On average, study participants gained 3.3 pounds or 2.4 percent of body weight every four years, gaining 16.8 pounds over 20 years. 

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Topics: Diet and Nutrition, Women's Health, Wellness

Stay active with outdoor exercise all year long

Posted by Ridgeview Staff on Oct 7, 2014 2:43:43 PM

Exercising outside is made easy with fitness apps

We all have different ways of staying active and healthy. Some people love to go to the gym to work out, where they have a spot to formalize their fitness goals in an atmosphere that provides camaraderie. Some people prefer to exercise in the privacy of their own home, perhaps with the help of their favorite music or fitness DVD. And some people enjoy getting their exercise outdoors for fresh air and sightseeing.

It can be boring just walking around the block to get outdoor exercise. It might be time to change it up, but how? You may be stumped about alternative locations, or you may think there isn’t anything reasonably close by that matches your ability range. 

If you love being outdoors and have a smartphone, there’s a great outdoor fitness app to help you keep up with staying healthy and active all year long. The app is called AllTrails, and it is designed specifically to help you find nearby locations for your favorite type of physical activity. Not only is it free, but it's also easy to use and is available via the Android Marketplace or the iTunes App Store.

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Topics: Women's Health, Fitness/activity, Wellness

Exercise motivation tips

Posted by Stephanie Smith on Oct 2, 2014 9:33:28 AM

Fitness inspiration comes from motivating yourself

The first step in leading a healthy and active lifestyle comes from motivation. This motivation is always easier when first starting down the path of accomplishing any new fitness and health goals, right? We always start out strong, but the passion and energy driving us toward our fitness goals or actively following a weight loss journey can quickly dissipate and die. As Zig Ziglar says, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Exercise motivation tips

I lay in bed in the morning for up to 10 minutes looking on the Internet (hooray for smartphones!) for exercise motivational quotes until I’m inspired to get up and go work out. It works every time, no matter how tired I am! Reflecting on motivational phrases and seeing how motivation and hard work has paid off for other people pushes me to get up and do better. I suggest you Google, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram “#motivation” to find your own favorite quotes or people to follow that inspire you. Getting "fitspiration" emails or seeing encouraging words from others when you open up your social media pages stimulates you to want to be better. 

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Topics: Women's Health, Fitness/activity, Wellness

Does junk food make you lazy?

Posted by Ridgeview Staff on Sep 30, 2014 10:49:33 AM

Studies show unhealthy eating decreases energy levels

Junk food. We all know it's bad for us, but what about the way it makes us feel? It turns out that unhealthy eating can, in fact, make you lazy. At least indirectly. The consumption of unhealthy "junk food" contributes to obesity, and that in turn, means being overweight. This means having those extra pounds on your frame inevitably leaves you feeling tired, sluggish and unmotivated. These effects create detrimental road blocks in your efforts to reduce obesity or in leading an active, healthy lifestyle

Feeling lazy isn't just a possible side-effect of junk food, there is actually scientific evidence behind this claim. In this final installment of our eight-part series on diet and health, we’ll take a look at the rising evidence of the undeniable relationship between unhealthy eating and laziness. Our results come in from a study conducted by a team at UCLA.

Aaron Blaisdell and his team at UCLA broke down the unhealthy food vs. laziness issue by studying two groups of 16 rats for six months, feeding each group a different diet. One group received a standard diet: relatively unprocessed foods, such as fish meal and ground corn. The second group received highly processed, low-quality foods that contained considerably more sugar: a diet comparable to human junk food.

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Topics: Diet and Nutrition, Women's Health

How to read food labels for healthy eating

Posted by Ridgeview Staff on Sep 25, 2014 11:49:00 AM

Test your knowledge on reading food labels

In today's overloaded grocey aisles, eating healthy and making smart choices toward an active lifestyle is not always easy. Gone are the days of picking up a food item without checking out the label and list of ingredients. Healthy eating can be difficult if you are new to a weight loss journey or are making an effort to change your lifestyle and eating habits. Part of this challenge is knowing which foods to ditch and which foods to keep in your grocery basket. The answer lies in knowing how to read the nutrition facts on your food label.

How savvy are you when it comes to reading food labels? In this seventh installment of our eight-part blog series on diet and health, we're quizzing you on your knowledge, so let’s take the food label IQ test!

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Healthy cooking for one

Posted by Ridgeview Staff on Sep 23, 2014 11:21:33 AM

Easy healthy meals for one

Cooking for yourself can be a challenge if you live alone, you’re a recent empty-nester, you eat differently from mediterranean-346997_1280the rest of your family, you have food allergies or you eat at different times than everyone else. If you’re like a lot of people, the thought of preparing meals for “just you” seems overwhelming or uninteresting.

Instead, you head for the cereal box, the peanut butter, the fast food; whatever is quick and easy. This is not a recipe for healthy eating. And honestly, wouldn’t you rather eat something tastier? Healthy cooking at home doesn’t have to be a big chore.

In this sixth article in our eight-part series on diet and health, we’ll give you healthy cooking tips for one that will turn you into an avid fan of at-home cooking while simultaneously reducing your dining-out expenses. There’s even dessert: When you cook for yourself, you'll feel better about yourself, too.

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Topics: Diet and Nutrition, Women's Health

6 easy portion control tips for weight loss

Posted by Ridgeview Staff on Sep 18, 2014 5:49:00 PM

A healthy diet starts with portion control

Have you ever thought about the difference between portions and servings? Many of us assume they’re the same thing, but this is actually far from true. In this fifth article of Ridgeview Clinics' diet and health series, we will look at why training your brain to think in “portions” instead of “servings” can help towards your nutrition and weight loss goals for leading a happy, healthy lifestyle.

Food servings vs. food portions

So what’s the difference between a serving and a portion? A serving is a specific amount of food or drink, such as a 4-ounce glass of juice or a slice of bread. A portion is the amount of food or drink you choose to consume, either for a snack or for a meal. The distinction between the two can be blurry. This is because packaged food often appears to contain a single serving, when it usually holds several. For example, a 20-ounce bottle of soda contains 2.5 servings and a 3-ounce bag of chips typically contains three servings. You can’t tell without reading the label, so always be sure to check.

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Topics: Diet and Nutrition, Women's Health

Brain health: Studies reveal how food affects brain functions

Posted by Ridgeview Staff on Sep 17, 2014 12:33:00 PM

How your brain plays a role in obesity and health

Your diet doesn’t only affect how you feel, it can affect your ability to think. This is the fourth installment in our series of eight articles on diet and health. Today we’ll consider the latest information about what food does to (or for) your brain, and what that means for a healthy diet.

Extensive studies funded by the National Institutes of Health and others have found new evidence that your brain’s biological mechanisms can play a role in obesity, diabetes, binge eating and even your desire to eat a high-calorie meal. These study results, released in 2012, showed:

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Topics: Diet and Nutrition, Women's Health

Medical and health information presented here is intended to be general in nature, and should not be viewed as a substitute for professional advice. Please consult with a health care professional for all matters relating to personal medical and health care issues. In case of an emergency, please call 911. 

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