Health, Diet, and Fitness Tips
Here are some great tips on Health, Diet, and Fitness to help keep you on track!

Health and Diet

• Try low-fat granola. It's long had a "healthy" reputation, but believe it or not, some granola can be sky-high in calories and fat. Luckily, there are low-fat versions like this one that cut the fat by as much as two-thirds. Add fat-free milk for a crunchy breakfast, or sprinkle some on yogurt and fruit (as always, keep an eye on portions -- it still has 200 calories per serving).

• Look for foods with FDA approval to claim "Good source of..." These items contain 10-20% of the recommended daily value for the stated nutrient. "Excellent source of..." or "High in..." indicates this item contains 20% or more of a nutrient's daily value. Items "fortified" or "enriched" contain at least 10% or more of the daily value of the specified nutrient.

• Do you know your label lingo? "Reduced" means an item has 25% less fat/sodium as compared with the regular version of the same food. "Light" is used when an item has 1/3 fewer calories, or 50% less fat than the original. "Low" indicates frequent consumption of a food will not exceed Daily Values of a particular nutrient..

• Enjoy a cup of Fat-free cocoa. Many successful weight losers rave that a cup of this warm, chocolaty beverage can kill a mammoth chocolate craving, especially since you can sip a soothing cup for much longer than it takes to devour a piece of chocolate. Look out for the sugar-free versions, which are even lower in calories, such as Nestle Carnation Diet drink. They provide only 20 to 50 calories per serving.

• The American Dietetic Association correlates the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids with cardiovascular health. One to two servings of fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, or herring offers cardiovascular benefits. Non-fish eaters can also benefit from omega-3 fatty acids by consuming walnuts, soybeans, canola oil, flaxseed, or wheat germ.

• Fat-free cooking spray. This is a dieter's pantry staple, since you can keep food from sticking to pans and add the flavor of olive oil, herbs and butter, while you eliminate the need for cooking fats that add up to excess calories and fat. A one-second spray, compared to a tablespoon of oil, is enough to coat the bottom of a pan and this will save you a massive 115 calories and 7 grams of fat.

• Wraps (tortillas, tacos, and pitas) are everywhere.. and they're stuffed with everything you can imagine. Check out the size of the wrap. Are the fillings grilled or fried? Be wary of the sauces that are added. They're often laden with calories and sodium. Make your own. Load them with fresh vegetables, lean meats and use sauces sparingly. If you're ordering out try splitting it with a friend.

Fitness

• Having the right technique is crucial. The single most important thing you can do to correctly train your abdominals is use proper form. Here's the proper technique for abdominal workouts: Cradle your head in your hands and keep the elbows back. The chin should be a fist's distance from your chest.

• Preparing yourself for a workout following an injury is important. Having the right shoes, support devices and gear can be instrumental in reducing the risk of injuring the same area or possibly a new area. It's important to keep in mind that there are some pieces of equipment that you may not be able to use after an injury.

• Instead of exchanging an endless supply of complaints about the world with friends and colleagues around you, collect jokes and silly stories you have heard or read, and shift the tone of these gripe sessions. Wouldn't you rather hear a funny story?

• Keep going you're making progress. If you exceed 15 repetitions and the weight is too light; gradually increase. Gallon milk containers make good weights; just fill to increase weight. Dumbbells and cuff weights are right for some people. At first, you will be increasing the weight every week or so.

• Make a commitment. Exercise will take some time and effort. Expect to strength train 20 to 45 mm two or three times each week. You may be a little sore for the first week, but it will pass. Join a club, work with a trainer or buy home equipment. Expect costs, but they can be minimized.

• Working out is a great way to manage your stress. Regular activity makes you feel better, physically and mentally. Find activities that you enjoy and engage in them regularly. Being active will enhance your self-confidence and self-esteem. You'll gain a more positive outlook and fine-tune your coping abilities.


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