Friday, May 13, 2011
Whether you are contemplating cutting meat out of your diet to try and lose weight, be more friendly to animals, or because you just don’t enjoy a big, juicy, burger anymore, there are eight essential nutrients you are going to have to ensure are in your new meatless meal plan. Many times, when people decide to go all green and stop eating meat, they wind up depriving themselves of important nutrients. There are those who replace meat with hearty vegetables, beans, legumes and nuts, while others replace meat with potato chips and cakes. Either way, it is important to maintain a balanced diet to stay healthy.
According to Eating Well Magazine, calcium is one of the most important nutrients to maintain. If you are planning on taking your vegetarian goals to the extreme and cutting out dairy as well, vegetables like bok choy, broccoli, and kale are great sources of calcium. Iodine is essential for metabolizing food into energy, but since seafood is a primary source of the nutrient, vegetarians are often lacking. Sprinkle a little extra iodized salt onto your next meal to make up for it! Iron, probably one of the most prevalent nutrients found in meats, can be found in legumes, whole grains, and dried fruits. Vegetarians are advised to consume 1.8 times the amount of iron daily than non-vegetarians. Eating iron-filled foods with tea, coffee, and chocolate can help increase absorption. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain development and heart health and are abundant in fish. Eating foods like walnuts, flaxseed, and soy can increase amounts in your diet. Vegetarians should have no problem getting enough protein in their diet as it is in nearly every food, but for extra cell building power, foods like beans, whole grains, and nuts provide an extra serving. Veggie lovers will, however, have some trouble finding Vitamin B12 in any natural foods. Because this vitamin is only found in animal foods, vegetarians must look to processed foods that are fortified with it such as cereals and soy milks. Aside from just sitting in the sun all summer to soak up enough Vitamin D, try adding fortified cow’s milk and soy milk into your diet to increase bone health. To avoid getting sick this season, zinc is a vital nutrient to keep your immune system healthy. Bountiful in meats such as beef and pork, vegetarians should look for legumes, beans and soy products to make sure they are fighting off and illnesses this summer. Read more of the article titled Eight Key Nutrients Vegetarians Need for more information on the nutrients as well as delicious and nutritious vegetarian meals. Maybe after trying out some of these recipes you’ll find you enjoy your meals meatless. I’m not sure I could turn down steak tips and burgers at summer barbeques, but the vegetarian burger recipe might bring out my inner omnivore.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
As an athlete in high school, at the first sign of injury or pain, I was always asked, “how old are your shoes?” Many times, they were too old. However, as the years of college have moved on, new running shoes are not something I often think of, until recently. I was running on the treadmill and all of a sudden had pains in the arches of my feet. I tried to run through it, but after a few minutes had to stop. After taking a look at my shoes, I realized it was time for an upgrade.
Whether you wear running shoes or walking shoes, keeping your exercise shoes current is extremely important to prevent injury. When shoes become worn out, they lose stability and shock absorbency. A shoe that is too old can cause various injuries, feet or leg pain such as shin splints, soreness, and painful blisters. Often when shoes lose stability or begin to wear, the first layer to go is the midsole, which you don’t actually see. This is one of the reasons people often don’t know that their shoes are no longer doing what they should be! As the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine recommends, running shoes should last between 350-550 miles. That may seem like a lot of miles for some, but if you think about it, if you run about 3 miles, 4 times per week, that is 12 miles/week. That is already a little over 300 miles in 6 months! Replacement of shoes can also vary within the mileage range based on:
- racing and running requirements
- surfaces such as trails, pavement, or indoors
- style of running
- body weight
When it comes time to purchase new shoes, it is important to find a good shoe store where you are allowed to test the shoes. Many shops will have a treadmill set up or even let you take the shoes for a test run. Although shoes may be expensive, it is important to find the right shoe for your foot and running style in order to prevent injury and keep you a happy runner!
Friday, May 6, 2011
Looking for a new, creative way to get into shape for bathing suit season? How about aquacising? Water fitness classes are available to all UNH students. These classes provide basic aerobic exercise in shallow or deep water, and are low impact but with the same intensity as a land-based aerobic class. This is great for people with knee or ankle problems and is a sure bet way to get you ready for bathing suit season. Each class is set to music and starts with a warm-up, proceeds into an aerobic segment, and ends with a cool-down accompanied with stretching exercises. Classes are approximately 30 minutes in duration and are free to all UNH students and members of the Hamel Recreation Center and Pool Pass Holders. All others interested in the class pay a minor $5.00 fee per class.
Aquacise classes take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:10 – 12:45 pm; the Monday class in shallow water and the Wednesday class in deep water. Also available are the Bikini Boot Camp and the Liquid Challenge, which take place Mondays and Thursdays from 5:30 – 6:30 pm, respectively, both in shallow water.
For more information on water fitness classes at UNH, please click here.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
We all have our personalized exercise plans when we lace up for a workout. There are the muscle men that spend their entire gym sessions lifting weights, while there are others who hit the roads for long runs. So who is more effective at working out? When discussing lifting weights versus cardio, is one really better than the other? Well, Women’s Health Magazine says that it depends! The battle of strength versus cardio is squashed as research and experts dish out advice on when to hit the track and when to pick up the pounds.
It takes a lot of hard work to achieve your ultimate body, and once you’ve reached your goal it can be even harder to stay there. Recently exchanged five pounds of fat for long lean muscle by logging miles around the track each day? Congrats! But the same old workout isn’t going to cut it if you want to maintain your physique. While cardio does technically burn more calories than strength training, lifting weights is actually going to become your new favorite hobby in the weight loss world. Your metabolism spikes for an entire hour after your regular strength training workout, meaning you’re burning an additional 25% of the calories you already burned by just being you! The heavier the weight and the less rest you take results in even more calorie torching. So after adding strength training into your routine, you’ve started to build some muscle - here comes even more great news - according to PhD Wayne Westcott, for every three pounds of muscle you build, you burn an additional 120 calories a day. Amazing right? This is because muscle requires more energy to maintain.
The tables are turned however if you’re tying to trump stress levels. While little research has been conducted on the stress reducing effects of weight lifting, participating in just 15 minutes of cardio a day can cut fatigue in half, lower anxiety, and increase your serotonin levels. Ever heard of strength training or cardio to build confidence? How does that work? Well aside from the high confidence levels that arise from the sense of accomplishment among cardio fitness gurus such as swimmers, sprinters and cyclists, lifting weights may boost your confidence even more! Blood swells to your muscles after an intense lifting session which gives them a toned appearance and after weeks of training can significantly improve confidence levels. Read more of Women’s Health Magazine’s “Face Off” article to find out which wins the duel when it comes to trying increase your speed, enhance your endurance, or even avoid an irritating knee inflammation.
Monday, May 2, 2011
“Stress” is a word heard often, especially around a college campus. Common stressors include school, family, relationships, work, money…the list goes on. At times, because people may be too busy, or too stressed, they don’t even realize the extent of stress and anxiety on their overall mental health. Stress is on the rise, not only for college students but all Americas as well. According to an American Psychological Survey in 2008, 30% of Americans rated their average stress levels as “extreme” or having “a great deal of stress.” Furthermore, results from Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index reported that 52.2% of Americans report their overall well-being as “struggling.” Because of the negative impacts and effects of stress on the body, these results can be frightening.
However, Mental Health America encourages individuals in their live your life well campaign, to evaluate stress levels and use coping measures. The website offers a short 5 minute stress screener. The questions relate directly to eating, sleeping, and personal habits. Even though it was a short quiz, the screener helped me to actually stop for a moment and contemplate my stress levels and well-being. It made me think about how stress could possibly be affecting me and others. Based on your results, or if you’re just looking for some new coping methods the website offers tools to enhance the way you live your life and strength your mental health. There are 10 great and easy tools which include:
- Stay positive
- Get physically active
- Eat well
- Create joy and satisfaction
So even though you may feel like you don’t have much time for anything, take a few minutes to evaluate your stress levels and find out ways to keep your mind healthy.
Don't forget- Healthy UNH's Frazzle Free Finals events are coming up May 10th-12th!
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