April 15, 2013
by LifeSpan
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Understanding Your Metabolism

Metabolism is the amount of calories your body burns to maintain itself. It is affected by your body composition (i.e., muscle uses more calories to maintain itself than fat). If you have two women who weigh exactly the same, the woman with a greater percentage of muscle (and lower percentage of body fat) will have a higher metabolism than the woman who is less muscular. Appropriate exercise will help you create a body with more muscle and less fat, resulting in a higher metabolism and a body that uses more calories every day just to sustain itself.

metabolism

Calculating Your Daily Calorie Needs:

Discovering how many calories your body uses in a day, known as your “Daily Energy Expenditure”, unlocks the mystery behind weight loss.

To calculate how many calories your body needs in a day, you calculate your basal metabolic rate (the number of calories your body burns while at rest), then determine your daily calorie needs to maintain your current weight.

Metabolism — The amount of energy (calories) your body burns to maintain itself. Whether you are eating, drinking, sleeping, walking, cleaning or doing other activities, your body is constantly burning calories to keep you going.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) — The number of calories per day your body burns while at rest, regardless of exercise. It changes with age, weight, height and gender.

Daily Energy Expenditure (DEE) — The number of calories your body needs in a day to maintain your current body weight, based on your age, weight, height, gender and activity level.

Daily Caloric Intake — The number of calories you consume in a day by eating and drinking.

April 11, 2013
by LifeSpan
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Making Exercise a “Habit”

For some people, exercise is as much of their daily routine as a morning cup of coffee. For others, the mere thought of exercise makes them cringe. We all want to be healthy and happy, but sometimes we try to make exercise a little too complex. The good news is that if we can stick with a fitness routine long enough, exercise becomes a habit that is second nature. Here are four simple tips to help get you started.

1. Keep it simple. Sometimes we think creating an exercise program is complicated, almost like there is a scientific equation for success. The secret to success? Move. It’s just that simple. Whatever it is you love to do physically, make time in your day to do it. Focus on making the program simple and straightforward so you don’t become frustrated and give up. An example of keeping things simple is going for an evening or morning walk with your partner, or incorporating some stretching and jumping jacks a couple of times during the day.

2. Commit to 30 days. Thirty days! Yes, it has been shown that it takes thirty days to create a habit, whether that habit is around exercise, nutrition, biting your nails, or anything else. In the beginning of a new program, it is important to stick to it for thirty days, or four consecutive weeks. This does not mean exerting yourself physically every single day. But as you have created a simple routine, repeat it for thirty days. If you choose walking as your form of exercise, set a goal that you will walk at least three days per week for 20 minutes for thirty days. You will be amazed at the results, both mentally and physically.

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April 8, 2013
by LifeSpan
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12 Habits of Successful People

  1. Create and pursue S.M.A.R.T. goals — S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
  2. Take decisive and immediate action – Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action.
  3. Focus on being productive, not being busy – In other words, work smarter, not harder.
  4. Make logical, informed decisions – Think things through before making life-changing decisions.
  5. Avoid trying to make things perfect – The only way to get things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time.
  6. Work outside of your comfort zone – Embrace all moments of opportunity for personal growth and success.
  7. Keep things simple – Rather than evaluating every last detail of every possible option, choose something you think will work and give it a shot.
  8. Focus on making small, continuous improvements – Soon you’ll find yourself on a spiral of changes – one building on the other.
  9. Measure and track your progress – Step back and assess your progress regularly so you know what needs to be done to excel and accelerate.
  10. Maintain a positive outlook as you learn from your mistakes – Look for the silver lining in every situation.
  11. Spend time with the right people – You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with.
  12. Maintain balance in your life – An imbalanced lifestyle will hold you back from reaching your full potential.

April 2, 2013
by LifeSpan
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The Benefits of Cycling

  1. Improves heart health – cycling 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%.
  2. Improves coordination – cycling is a whole body workout. Moving both your feet in circles whilst simultaneously steering with both hands, or in the case of a bike desk, typing or writing with your hands.
  3. Reduces stress – like any other form of exercise, cycling can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
  4. Burns calories – cycling can burn up to 300 calories per hour helping you trim your waistline.
  5. Easy on the joints – cycling, like swimming, lets you exercise without putting too much strain on your joints therefore preserving cartilage.
  6. Boosts immune system – “moderate exercise makes immune cells more active, so they’re read to fight off infection,” says Cath Collins, chief dietician at St. George’s Hospital in London.
  7. Increases life expectancy!

Benefits of Cycling Infographic

 

March 27, 2013
by LifeSpan
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Sedentary Lifestyle Statistics

graphic-woman-office(1) Sedentary lifestyle is responsible for an estimated $24 billion in direct medical spending.
(2) It is estimated that physical inactivity is responsible for almost 200,000 or 1 in 10 deaths each year.
(3) Walking 10,000 steps a day causes a 90% reduction in heart attacks (American Heart Association), a 30-70% reduction in cancer rates (American Cancer Association), a 50% reduction in type 2 diabetes (American Diabetes Association), and a 70% rate of stroke reduction (American Heart Association).
(4) Only about 22% of Americans report regular sustained physical activity (activity of any intensity lasting 30 minutes or more 5 times a week). 15% of Americans report vigorous activity (activity intense enough to make the heart beat fast and hard breathing for at least 20 minutes or more 3 times a week).
(5) Just over half of all adults accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity one day a week, but only 5% of adults manage to accumulate the recommended 150 minutes through the week (The Canadian Health Measure Survey (CHMS)).
(6) According to World Health Organization, 60 to 85% of people in the world—from both developed and developing countries—lead sedentary lifestyles.
(7) Diabetes accounts for more than $98 billion in direct and indirect medical costs and lost productivity each year.

REFERENCES

  • Hu FB. Sedentary lifestyle and risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Lipids. 2003;38(2):013.
  • King AC. Environmental and policy approaches to cardiovascular disease prevention through physical activity: Issues and opportunities. Health Education Behavior. 1995;22(4):499.
  • Weiler R, Stamatakis E, Blair S. Should health policy focus on physical activity rather than obesity? Yes. BMJ. 2010;340(7757):1170-1171.

March 26, 2013
by LifeSpan
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National Walking Day 2013

National Walking DayThis year the American Heart Association has set aside April 3rd, 2013 as National Walking Day. The goal is to encourage everyone to briskly walk for a minimum of 30 minutes.

The driving force behind the day is the current increase in the number of American’s whom are not fitting in enough physical activity into their day. Currently, less than 50 percent of adults are getting enough daily exercise as recommended by the American Heart Association, this being a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. This amount of exercise will allow you to see the health benefits brought on by physical activity, benefits such as weight loss, lower blood pressure, a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and some types of cancers. By fitting in more time for physical activity and living an overall healthier lifestyle you will see drastic positive changes in your life.

National Walking Day serves as the perfect starting point and motivational factor for those looking to get started on leading a healthier lifestyle.

For more information, visit the American Heart Associations website.

March 19, 2013
by LifeSpan
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The C3-DT3 LifeSpan Bike Desk

C3-DT3 Bike DeskTo compliment our line of treadmill desks, we are now introducing our new C3-DT3 Bike Desk. This upright bike complements our let you pedal while you work, giving you another option to bring physical activity back into the workplace.

The C3-DT3 places each user in a relaxed and comfortable position without the need to lean forward and supports the use of computer and other common office productivity tools without placing extra weight on your arms or stress on the lower back and shoulders.

C3-DT3 Bike DeskThe compact console sits on your desktop and gives you easy access to the control buttons and workout readouts without getting in the way of your work. The LED digital display shows resistance level,time, calories burned, distance traveled and pedaling speed. In addition, this new console is Bluetooth-enabled so you can connect wirelessly to your Windows or OS X computer to automatically track results while you exercise. Once you’re done pedaling, sync your data with your LifeSpan Fitness Club account to retain your exercise history online. The console also comes with one USB port for charging portable devices.

Like all other DT-3 desks, this model does not come with a desk allowing you to use an existing standing desk.

February 28, 2013
by LifeSpan
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Reducing the Sugar in Your Diet

sugarA high sugar diet has a number of adverse health effects. Sugar isn’t just white, refined table sugar; sugar comes in many forms such as glucose, fructose, lactose and sucrose. Fruit, milk, honey, jam and maple syrup are all some of the sources of sugar in our diets. The average American consumes two to three pounds of sugar per week, and all that sugar has harmful health effects. Keep reading to discover why you should limit your daily sugar consumption.

Sugar Affects Insulin Levels

honeyThe glycemic index measures how foods affect blood glucose levels. Each food is assigned a numbered rating, and the lower the rating, the slower that food is absorbed into your body, providing a healthy, gradual infusion of sugars into the bloodstream. A high rating means that sugars are released more quickly, which stimulated the pancreas to secrete more insulin to lower blood sugar levels.

Sugar, honey, syrups and fruit juices rate high on the glycemic index. When you eat sugar, it causes your blood sugar levels to spike quickly, leading to increased insulin production. Higher insulin levels can inhibit the production of growth hormones and weaken your immune system. High insulin levels also contribute to weight gain, and, over time, the stress on your body can lead to diabetes.

Sugar Weakens the Immune System

Since the 1970s, doctors and scientists have known that vitamin C helps white blood cells kill viruses and bacteria. White blood cells must accumulate vitamin C in order to consume virus, bacteria or cancer cells. But glucose and vitamin C have similar structures, so when you eat sugar, your body’s white cells accumulate glucose instead of vitamin C, leaving less room inside the cell for it to accumulate the vitamin C it needs to fight off pathogens. Sugar, therefore, slows your immune system down.

Sugar Contributes to Disease

The list of physical, mental and emotional disorders exacerbated and even caused by sugar consumption is long. Sugar wreaks havoc with your body’s insulin levels, sending them up and down, up and down, and puts strain on your metabolism, so that, over time, excess sugar consumption can lead to diabetes. Sugars also contribute to weight gain, which can lead to cardiovascular disease, hypertension and arthritis.

Other Harmful Effects of Sugar

Here are some of the other harmful effects of sugar:

  • Sugar contributes to anxiety, depression and hyperactivity.
  • Sugar reduces HDL cholesterol levels and raises LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
  • Sugar can cause kidney damage.
  • Sugar leads to tooth decay.
  • Sugar can cause mineral deficiencies.
  • Sugar can cause headaches and migraines.
  • Sugar can increase fatty deposits in the liver.
  • Sugar can inhibit your ability to think clearly.
  • Sugar can increase your risk of blood clots and strokes.

Eliminating Sugar from Your Diet

It isn’t enough to stop putting sugar in your coffee and tea if you want to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. To limit dietary sugar, avoid processed foods and simple carbs. Products made with high-fructose corn syrup should be eliminated, and you should stick to fresh fruits and fruits juices.

If you have sugar cravings, that means your body’s blood sugar levels are low. Don’t reach for a sweet; instead, eat a protein-rich snack.

January 22, 2013
by LifeSpan
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Stay Healthy, Eat Right

Stay Healthy, Eat Right

  • Sit down for all meals, even snacks
  • Clear kitchen/pantry/drawers of all tempting foods (this is HUGE)
  • Serve food on smaller plates/bowls (pick ones that will be “yours”and always use them)
  • Whatever you put on your plate is all you are going to eat ( NO seconds!)
  • Leave extras in the kitchen so you won’t be tempted (no more “family style”)
  • Eat plenty of raw veggies (not just carrots). Can dip in small dish of hummus
  • Count out 20 raw almonds for a snack (that’s all!)
  • Drink lots of water…can drink carbonated lemon or lime water instead of sodas (no sodas not even diet soda)
  • Drink juice in a tall-thin glass and add ½ water. (not at all is best)
  • NO “tempting” foods on counter or in sight!
  • One string cheese and an apple is a good snack
  • Eat “light” whole wheat bread
  • Try eating a sandwich but roll “insides” in large lettuce leaves instead of bread
  • One hardboiled egg is a good snack
  • Try eating at least 10-15 grams of protein at breakfast. Less cereal, pancakes and more protein. (keeps you full, less cravings)
  • Eggs can accomplish this! Scramble in a glass bowl and can cook in microwave if short on time…they look weird but taste the same!
  • Protein smoothie:  ice, whey protein powder, milk of choice (almond, rice, etc) small banana, tablespoon of nut butter, blend…Drink as a meal replacement
  • Freeze a cup  (literally) of grapes and have for dessert at night
  • Eat slowly
  • Eat to 80% full
  • STRIVE TO MAKE GOOD, CONSCIOUS CHOICES AT EVERY MEAL BOTH IN QUANTITY AND QUALITY