Tip of the Week 2013

The Unbelievable 4-Minute Cardio Workout

How long does it take to get in a great cardio workout? Not as long as you might think. That is, unless you think the answer is four minutes.
Seriously. These 4-minute workouts are all based on the "Tabata protocol."
For background, the Tabata protocol is a training method that was originally used by the Japanese Olympic speed skating team, and named for the scientist -- Izumi Tabata -- who studied its amazing effect on a group of male college students. The study subjects were all fit P.E. majors, and most were members of various varsity sports teams.
You might think it sounds too simple -- and short -- to work: On a stationary bike, the university students did seven to eight 20-second, all-out sprints, each separated by just 10 seconds of rest. Total time: 4 minutes. (They also did an easy 10-minute warmup before each session.)
The results were fantastic: After doing the routine 5 days a week for 6 weeks, the college kids boosted their aerobic fitness by 14 percent. By comparison, another group -- who performed a steady but moderate pace on the bikes for 60 minutes -- increased their aerobic fitness by only about 10 percent.
The upshot: The high-intensity 4-minute workout was more effective than an hour of moderate cycling. Even better, the Tabata participants saw a 28-percent improvement in "anaerobic capacity" -- a measure of how long the men could exercise at their top effort. The second group saw no such improvements.

The Best Tea for Every Ailment

Got a problem? Tea can fix it! Use this guide to find the best tea prescription for whatever's bugging you.

If your tummy is upset...sip peppermint. Peppermint relaxes the muscles responsible for stomach cramps. It may also help with gas and diarrhea.

If you need to wake up...sip yerba maté. "Yerba maté has the highest caffeine content of any tea; it's comparable to a cup of coffee. Yerba maté also contains substances that stimulate the nervous system, boosting alertness.

If you have a sore throat...sip licorice root. "Licorice root soothes mucus membranes in the throat. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce swelling and irritation.

If you need to relax...sip chamomile. "Chamomile contains a chemical called chrysin that works as a natural sleep aid. Sip a cup 45 minutes before bed, or anytime you crave some calm.

11 Anti-Aging Drinks

1. Pink Grapefruit Juice for Smoother Skin
2. Alcohol to Ward Off Alzheimer's Disease
3. Cocoa for a Healthier Heart
4. Beet Juice to Beat Dementia
5. Green Tea to Quell Inflammation
6. Soy Milk for Firm Skin and Fewer Wrinkles
7. Milk to Build Muscle Mass and Strength
8. Carrot Juice for Memory
9. Coffee to Protect Against Skin Cancer
10. Water for Better Breath
11. Orange Juice for Eye Health
5 Reasons Your Workout Isn't Working

1. Your workout routine is making you eat too much. 
Is your workout causing you to use the "I burned it, I earned it," excuse when it comes to your diet? Studies show that people tend to eat more calories when they take up exercise. 
The solution: Make your workouts count by pairing them with a healthy diet that stays within the appropriate calorie range your body needs in order to lose or maintain your weight. Write down what you are eating to keep track of calories consumed, and then subtracting the calories you burned, for your true daily number. 

2. Your workout completely wipes you out.

That 5:00am killer boot camp class seemed like a great way to get in shape, so why aren't the pounds dropping off? If your workout leaves you feeling completely drained, exhausted, sore, and just wanting to lie on the couch for the rest of the day, it could be doing more harm than good. While your workouts should be challenging, pushing your body too hard can have the opposite affect on your body. Over training can cause everything from sugar cravings, a weakened immune system, and insomnia-all of can contribute to weight gain.

The solution: Follow a workout plan that is appropriate for your current fitness level-one that will still challenge your body without completely draining it. Not sure what's best for you? Try scheduling a session with a Personal Coach to review your goals and the best plan of action to reach them.

3. Your workout burns fewer calories than you think.

Feeling pretty righteous when the treadmill says you've torched 800 calories? Not so fast. An unusually high calorie burn reading is rare. Most machines overestimate readings by as much as 30 percent.

The solution: Try using a 'distance covered' read-out to more accurately gauge how many calories burned. For instance, if you want to burn 300 calories, jogging 3 miles, walking 4 miles, or cycling about 10 miles on a bike are known to burn this amount.

4. Your workout's not balanced.

Variety is not only the spice of life, but the key to getting a better, leaner, stronger body. There is not one single activity that can give you everything you need. Doing only cardio workouts or the same strength workout over and over means you are sacrificing the opportunity to build lean muscle mass and challenge your body in new ways (translation: burn more calories doing something new), and you may plateau because of it.

The solution: Create a weekly program that rotates through different modalities of exercise (cardio, strength training, flexibility, core) in order to keep your mind, and body, engaged and changing. Fit in at least three strength sessions and three to five cardio sessions per week for best results.

5. Your workout is totally stale.

Why is it so important to switch things up? Doing the same workout routine over and over means your body doesn't have to work as hard to perform it after a few weeks. We 'learn' how to do any activity and movements. "The more 'learned' we are, the easier the activity is to our bodies, which means you will actually burn fewer calories than you did when the activity or your routine was new to you.

The solution: Whether its trying heavier weights or adding more resistance during cycling class, changing up the intensity and style of your workout can help kick up your calorie burn to start losing weight again. Even adding workouts like yoga and Pilates that don't typically burn a large amount of calories, if they are new to your body, will create some nice changes in your physique simply from being a new challenge to your movement and workout patterns.     

5 Bad Eating Habits You Should Break

  1. Bad Habit to Break: Keeping Tempting Foods Around
It's hard to resist temptation when it's staring you in the face. When office workers were given candies in clear dishes to place on their desks, they helped themselves to candy 71 percent more often than a similar group that was given the same candy in opaque dishes so that the candy wasn't visible, according to research by Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab in Ithaca, New York. "We're all on the 'see-food' diet," he says, "so don't let yourself see what you don't want to eat." Do yourself a favor and keep tempting foods out of your sight. If you're going to keep snacks at home, stash them inside a cupboard; keep apples out on the counter.

2. Bad Habit to Break: Skipping Breakfast
You might think that skipping breakfast-a whole meal!-would help you cut calories, but the research says that eating breakfast can better help you lose weight. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and are more successful at losing weight-and keeping it off-than those who skip the meal. What's more, people who typically eat breakfast also get more fiber, calcium, vitamins A and C, riboflavin, zinc and iron-and less fat and dietary cholesterol. Perhaps it's because they often eat cereal, which is fortified with vitamins and minerals, and fruit, which is naturally nutrient-rich. Not hungry when you first get up? Don't worry. Eating breakfast doesn't have to be the first thing you do each day. Just make sure that when you do eat, your meal is something that will sustain you for a few hours-it should include some fiber and protein. 

3. Bad Habit to Break: Distracted Eating
You're eating alone, so you reach for your smartphone and text, scan social-networking sites or play games. Or you read the paper, watch TV or use your computer. All of these distractions take your attention away from eating and make it harder for you to really experience and tune in to how satiated/full you are. That can lead you to eat more than you're really hungry for, either now or later. A recent study showed that playing solitaire (on the computer) dampened people's memories of lunch, which, in turn, may have caused them to eat 125 calories more when they snacked later.

4. Bad Habit to Break: Eating Straight Out of the Bag
If you're noshing directly out of the package-whether you're eating chips, crackers, cookies or ice cream-it's easy to eat several servings without realizing it. A key step when you're trying to lose weight is literally watching what you eat-being aware of what and how much you're eating. That's why keeping a food journal is so effective. Get a handle on runaway portions by measuring out a serving…if you want more, measure that too. Being conscious of what you're eating will help you meet your weight goals.

5. Bad Habit to Break: Eating on the Run
Eating in the car, snacking at your desk, drinking a high-calorie smoothie or latte while walking around-it's all too easy to take in excessive calories if you're eating on the go. To curb this type of distracted eating, sit down to eat.

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