Archive for February, 2011

Exercises for the Working Girl: What you can do Around the Office

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

As much as you’d like to spend hours on toning your glutes and improving your sexy abs at the gym, the truth of the matter is you just don’t have the time—you’re a working girl. Add the additional responsibility of taking care of a family and chances are your sports bra won’t ever see the light of day. Fortunately there are a few exercises you can do around the office to help keep you in shape. To find out what they are, continue reading.

On Your Way to Work

Before you even get to your place of employment there are tons of simple exercises you can do to help keep you fit. The first is to ditch your car and trade it out for a bicycle or some walking sneakers. Granted not everyone will be able to drastically change the way they commute to work, but if the distance permits, try to ride your bicycle or walk to work a few days out of the week. It won’t only help keep you in shape, but it’ll help you save on gas money and help reduce your carbon footprint as well.

If you prefer to take your car to the office, you can work on your abs while driving. A good way to do this is whenever you reach a red light, squeeze your abs and hold them for about 10 seconds and then release. Continue doing this until the light turns green. The same exercise move can work to tone your butt—just squeeze and then release your glutes in 10 second intervals.

If you usually park in a garage, make it a habit of using the stairs, not the elevator. When climbing back up the stairs at the end of the day, make sure to take double steps—it’ll work out your legs more. If you park in a lot, make sure that you park far enough that you can do some good walking before you clock in.

Around the Office

If you are predominately glued to a desk and computer, chances are you don’t get enough blood circulation. A good way to change that is by making it a priority to move around every 30 minutes or so. This could be as simple as going to the restroom. But to make it a little bit more challenging, try to use the restroom on an entirely different floor and use the stairs to get there. Remember to take double-steps on your way back up. Or, if you have a message to deliver to another co-worker or boss, get up and deliver the message in person instead of using e-mail or Instant Messaging. Some employees are even known to purposely leave important documents or their lunches in their cars so that they can have a reason to get out of the office and move around a bit. With that said, any little excuse you have to get up and move around you should take advantage of.

At Your Desk

If you have a very traditional office job you will most likely spend all of your time sitting at a desk. One of the easiest ways to simultaneously work on your fitness and your job duties is to switch out your office chair for a stability ball. It may seem a little impractical since there is nothing to support your back, but that’s pretty much the whole point. Since you will be working on keeping your balance, your abs, legs and back will constantly work (and get toned in the process) to keep yourself situated on the ball. You don’t have to use the stability ball every day if you don’t want to but a few days out of the week can do wonders.

Calf raises are also another popular exercise move to do at your desk. All you have to do is sit in a chair (or stability ball) and use the balls of your feet to lift your legs off of the floor. You should feel your calf muscles stretch. Once you feel that your calves can’t stretch anymore give them a good squeeze. Hold for 10 seconds and then release. Typically women prefer to do this exercise move until they begin to tire, but you can give yourself specific goals. For example, you can tell yourself “after I’m done with this report” or “after this phone call is complete” I can move on to another body part.

Arm raises are equally as affective. All you have to do is raise your arms above your head or to the sides. Do it with a full water bottle in hand to make it a bit more challenging. This simple move will not only help tone your arms but will also help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

This guest post is contributed by Kitty Holman, who writes on the topics of nursing colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: kitty.holman20@gmail.com.

Straight from the Headlines: Less Sugar in Select Breakfast Cereals

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

According to an article on msnbc.com, Post Cereal LLC recently announced that as of the beginning of 2011 they have reduced the sugar content in their popular cereals, Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles in order to provide healthier breakfast food options to children and parents.

The cereal maker is the most recent food company to take action by reducing sugar content as a way to address heightened concerns regarding childhood obesity. The sugar content in Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles was reduced from 11 grams to 9 grams.

The article also states that Post Foods decided to join in with other companies like PepsiCo Inc. which announced that it is launching new instant oatmeal with 25 percent less sugar. General Mills is also taking a stand against childhood obesity by cutting the amount of sugar in 10 of its cereals to single-digit grams of sugar per serving.

In addition to lowering the sugar content, Post Foods announced that both cereals will also now be certified gluten-free.

Post Foods does remind consumers that both Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles are already cholesterol free and low fat, and will still offer the same great taste that fans of Pebbles have loved since the early 1970s.

Stay Healthy This Winter by Following these Nine Simple Tips

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Winter time is synonymous with cold and flu season. But this year you can help to ward off the winter sniffles by following these few simple health tips. Keep these in mind to quickly and easily boost your immune system and keep you healthy right through spring.

1. Exercise- Exercise, in moderation, is a great way to boost your immune system for the winter. Because exercise improves your circulation, immune cells are able to get around your body better to target viruses.

2. Sunshine- Vitamin D, which is produced in the skin after exposure to the sun, is a great boost for your immune system and cell defense. Even getting outdoors when the sun is shining, despite the cold weather, will do wonders for your body.

3. Echinacea- According to a study put out last year, Echinacea, an herbal medicine, could reduce the risk of you catching a cold by half. The study also looked into its effectiveness in treating more serious respiratory infections, as well. Echinacea is said to regulate the immune system’s response to infection.

4. Water- According to Suite101, you should be drinking, in daily ounces, half your body weight in pounds (i.e. body weight in pounds, divided by 2 = number of ounces of water per day. Drinking plenty of water will ensure healthy food metabolism, it will eliminate toxins or wastes from your body, carry vital nutrients, and regulate your body’s temperature.

5. Diet- What you eat and what vitamins and minerals that food contains is also a huge boost to your immune system. Many doctors agree that a balanced and varied diet is key to help ward off sickness. A diet rich in vitamin C, zinc, iron and selenium will give your immune system that boost.

6. Stimulants- Be aware of the amount of stimulants that you put into your body. Where no research shows that an abundance of stimulants have an adverse effect on your immune system, moderation should be used when dealing with caffeine, alcohol and over-the-counter drugs. If you are looking for a stimulant that could help you immune system, try green tea instead. The antioxidants in green tea will help to prevent illness in the long run.

7. Sleep- If you are looking for a surefire way to help ward off a cold and the flu this year, be sure to get your seven hours a sleep per night. Sleep is extremely important and many doctors agree that lack of sleep can have a negative response on our immune system and our body as a whole.

8. Meditation- Even just 20 minutes a day of peace, quiet and relaxation can have a major impact on your immune system and can help to ward off winter colds. If you are able to put your body into a meditative state at least once a day, your bodies’ cells will be able to rejuvenate tremendously. Meditation is also a good stress reliever and can allow you to re-energize.

9. Mood/Stress- Being positive and avoiding stressful situations are both excellent immune boosters. While everyone’s mood and stress levels are different, studies have shown that chronic stress and depression have been linked to a weakened immune system. It’s important to find the stress in your life and work to deal with that stress in a positive way or to eliminate the stressful situations entirely.