Survive the Ups and Downs of Walking for Fitness

Let’s face it. Walking is a popular low-impact exercise. Now, new iPods are equipped with pedometers, half-marathons are packed with walkers and MapMyWalk.com and other apps can map and measure walking routes. But even with all of these new innovations, you’ll still want to pay attention to basics.

The national recommendation for regular physical activity to stay healthy is actually rather attainable. Adults are encouraged to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week or more. This means that walking the dog, hiking, biking or walking to the metro instead of hailing a cab all count as exercise.

Beat the Winter Blahs

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – For many of us, sticking to our health routine can be difficult. Morning runs outside get replaced with snuggling under the covers, and healthy eating goes by the wayside as sweets become the norm. Well, you can indulge and still stick to a healthy routine with just a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle. Valerie Waters, celebrity fitness trainer and contributor to publications like In Style, Fitness, Self and People, offers motivational tips just for you:
1. Get your Omega-3s, even if you don’t like fish. The body produces low levels of Omega-3s, and the average diet contains insufficient amounts, so supplementing is important. Omega-3s have heart, brain and eye benefits. For those who would rather not swallow a giant pill, the makers of Centrum just launched ProNutrients, a new line of supplements from the most trusted multivitamin, with an Omega-3 that comes in a concentrated MiniGel.
2. Eat dinner earlier. When you eat dinner between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., you are less likely to munch early or eat something late at night.
3. Eat seasonal fruits and veggies. Pick the brightest fruits and veggies and experiment with new flavors. Fresh produce improves your skin, gives you more energy and builds up your immune system. Options include butternut squash, kale, sweet potatoes and grapefruit. Complement your choices with a multivitamin, especially one for your specific health needs. Recently launched, Centrum Specialist multivitamins with heart, vision, energy or prenatal benefits gives you confidence you’ve made a smart nutritional choice.
4. Quench your thirst before you feel it. Dry rooms and extra heat cause you to lose more water in the winter. If your lips are chapped or you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Drink a glass of water during each meal and while you workout to help stay hydrated.
5. Get off the couch, but stay close to it. If you don’t want to go outside to work out, modify your routine to exercise indoors. Squats, lunges, planks and pushups can all be done in your own home. Aim for at least 15 to 20 minutes a day. Also, park farther away while shopping at the mall, and use the stairs when possible.
For more of Waters’ healthy living tips, visit www.facebook.com/Centrum.

Turn Your Winter Blahs Into Winter Ahs

For many of us, sticking to our health routine in the fall and winter can be difficult. Morning runs outside get replaced with snuggling under the covers, and healthy eating goes by the wayside as sweets become the norm during the holidays. Well, you can indulge and still stick to a healthy routine with just a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle. Valerie Waters, celebrity fitness trainer and contributor to publications like In Style, Fitness, Self and People, offers motivational tips just for you:

Add Essentials to Your Diet With Avocado Oil

Health nuts and fitness enthusiasts, take note. New research from Europe shows that avocado oil can be a significant source of the vitamin CoQ10.

The research shows that Olivado cold-pressed, extra virgin avocado oils contain significant quantities of CoQ10, a much desired vitamin-like substance that has been shown to produce significant health benefits.

CoQ10, also known as “ubiquinone,” plays an essential role in the conversion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy. This much sought-after substance has been shown to produce serious health benefits. CoQ10 in supplement form is one of the fastest-growing products on the market.

Four Tips to Help You Look Ready for the Red Carpet

Not everyone gets to walk the red carpet, but life as a non-A-lister still provides plenty of moments in which one wants to shine. Of course, celebrities have personal stylists, trainers, dietitians and image consultants, so it’s impossible for the untrained person to look that good. Right?

Valerie Waters, trainer to the stars, would disagree. “Getting in shape is no different for super stars or super moms; it is all about making your mind up to eat right, snack smart and get active—regardless of whether you are preparing for a movie premiere, your 20-year class reunion or a milestone birthday,” says Waters. “Feeling your best for life’s special occasions is a matter of consistently making wise choices.”

Get Red Carpet Ready in 2011

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Not everyone gets to walk the red carpet, but life as a non-A-lister still provides plenty of moments in which one wants to shine. Of course, celebrities have personal stylists, trainers, dietitians and image consultants, so it’s impossible for the untrained person to look that good. Right?
Valerie Waters, trainer to the stars, would disagree. “Getting in shape is no different for super stars or super moms; it is all about making your mind up to eat right, snack smart and get active — regardless of whether you are preparing for a movie premiere, your 20-year class reunion or a milestone birthday,” says Waters. “Feeling your best for life’s special occasions is a matter of consistently making wise choices.”
Waters has teamed up with California Raisins to offer fitness and health advice. She offers the following tips for making wise choices in 2011:
1. Make a commitment. Every health and fitness journey starts with making daily changes — not just when you can fit them in your schedule. The first step toward achieving your health and fitness goals is simply making the decision to set them.
2. Eat breakfast every day. Beginning your day with a nutritious meal jump starts your metabolism and sets you up for eating right the whole day. For healthy breakfasts that don’t take much time, try plain instant oatmeal with one scoop of chocolate protein powder and a tablespoon of raisins or a piece of whole-grain toast with a tablespoon of all-natural peanut butter and banana slices.
3. Snack smart. No workout in the world can compensate for consistent unhealthy eating choices. Plan ahead and make nutritious lunch and snacks that include plenty of veggies, whole grains and fruits. Raisins are a great on-the-go snack; just a quarter cup of California Raisins equals a full serving of fruit, plus they are fat- and cholesterol-free.
4. Consistency is key. A short workout is better than no workout, so even if you only have 10 minutes to spare, move your coffee table to the side and make some space to do an at-home workout. And when our time is limited, avoid working out only your problem areas, like your stomach. Instead of doing crunches, which burn very few calories, work out as many muscle groups as you can in the time you have available.
For more tips, information and fitness videos, visit the website www.loveyourraisins.com.

Tips to Spring Into Fitness

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – As the temperature starts to warm, many Americans think about lacing up their running shoes or pulling out their tennis rackets. But don’t let spring fitness fever corrupt your good judgment — if you haven’t exercised all winter, it’s better to ease into physical activity.
Not sure where to start? Here are some tips:
* Start slow. Attempting too much too soon will result in an injury or “hitting a wall” — reaching a point where your body can no longer recover from exercise. It takes about three weeks for your body to adjust to a new exercise routine and about six weeks before you’re ready for more aggressive activity. If you’re running, start with exercising three days a week. If you’re walking, you may be able to handle four or five days of exercise from the start. Increasing the duration or intensity of exercise by more than 10 percent each week puts you at a greater risk of injury, so be sure to progress gradually.
* Get the right equipment. Wear clothes that wick sweat — you’ll be much more comfortable. If you’re a runner, proper footgear will help your legs avoid unnecessary strain. Likewise, a well-fit bicycle can help cyclists avoid knee and other injuries.
* Don’t push through pain. Most exercise injuries are overuse injuries, meaning they occur when athletes push their muscles, tendons and bones past their limits. One sign that you’ve reached your limit? Pain. If you experience real discomfort, it’s better to take a few days off or see a doctor than risk worsening an injury.
Of course, some muscle pain is perfectly normal for those starting up an exercise routine. Schedule recovery days — days in which you either don’t exercise or engage in very light activity — to give your muscles a chance to rebuild between workouts.
If you experience routine muscle soreness, a topical product may help speed your recovery. For example, one product, Absorbine Jr. (www.absorbinejr.com), contains natural menthol and herbal extracts. The liquid pain reliever creates a penetrating warmth to soothe sore muscles, aching joints, arthritis and back and foot pain. Because it increases blood flow to sore muscles, Absorbine Jr. actually helps muscles heal as it provides pain relief. Absorbine products were initially formulated to soothe the strong muscle pain in horses. This inspired Absorbine Jr. for humans.

Gift Trends This Year? Give Experiences, Not Goods

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – As the holiday season approaches, shoppers face the annual challenge of finding the perfect gift in the right size at the best price. Shopping online can save both time and money, but can also overwhelm consumers with the endless list of options to choose from.
This year, experts recommend harnessing the national trend of collective buying to ease shopping woes and save money in the process.
“Collective buying sites streamline the holiday shopping process by connecting users with creative gift suggestions at unbeatable discounts,” said Andrew Mason, founder and chief executive officer of Groupon.com, a shopping website that offers daily deals on the best local goods, services and cultural events in more than 250 markets around the world. “It’s become just as easy to give someone the gift of a great unique experience as it is to send them a sweater.”
Groupon provides some top picks for 2010 gifts, proven to be best-sellers this year:
Health and Beauty: Pamper loved ones with a trendy no-chip manicure or relaxing massage package. Sites like Groupon.com provide incredible deals — sometimes as high as 90 percent off — that make it possible to be extra generous this holiday season.
Cultural: For a thoughtful option that can be reused, gift an annual membership to a favorite museum. Some of the country’s top institutions are discounting their individual and family memberships by half-off this year.
Fitness: Give a friend’s New Year’s resolution a boost with the gift of fitness. Popular deals, including gym memberships and yoga classes, are conveniently packaged and allow the recipient to start their trial when they’re ready.
Dining: Need a gift for a foodie? Many high-end restaurants offer discounted packages worth $50, $75 or $100 towards the final bill.
Experiential: While a traditional gift is wrapped neatly in a box and tied with a bow, gifts like rock climbing, skydiving or wine-tasting classes provide one-of-a-kind experiences that recipients won’t soon forget.
By consolidating the best gift options at prices that beat out door-busters, daily deal websites are a smart choice this holiday shopping season. Deals are redeemed with printable vouchers that only show the actual service value, not the discounted price paid for the gift! Not a subscriber? Visit www.groupon.com to sign up for free and start receiving your daily deals.

Using Fitness to Launch You to Better Success

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Your journey through life should begin with one simple question: “What can I achieve with better health?”

“Look 20 years ahead in your life, and you will know there’s no success without health,” says fitness expert Shawn Phillips, author of “Strength for Life” and “ABSolution: The Practical Guide To Building Your Best Abs.” “You can’t sacrifice your health for your success. They are interdependent goals.”

Health and fitness can impact your life, relationships and business ventures. Physical fitness can increase mental and emotional health, giving you more energy and a clearer mind.

Phillips recommends using the following fitness goals to launch your personal success:

* Set goals for the next 90 days, as well as a vision for the next year. Your vision is your ultimate destination — your personal definition of a strong life. Goals form the steps you need to take to realize your vision.

* Don’t narrow your goals to just fitness, but also personal and professional goals. That way, you’re not only getting into shape, but also improving your ability to excel in life.

* Establish two quantifiable goals, such as losing 10 pounds of fat or gaining three pounds of muscle, and two mental health goals, like improving a relationship or pursuing new interests.

* Find ways to reinvigorate your mind and body, including eliminating refined foods, sugar and empty calories from your diet, getting restful sleep and taking up light exercise to help you get used to moving.

“When you are strong, healthy and alive with energy, you are more effective, more confident and more in control,” says Phillips in an interview with SUCCESS Magazine. “Your results in life will improve as you do.”

More of Phillips’ interview can be found by visiting www.SUCCESS.com. SUCCESS Magazine is a publication that gives its readers the information they need to achieve success in all areas of their lives, including the personal and the professional. People looking to push their achievements to new levels can subscribe to the magazine by visiting www.success.com/subscriptions/12i2999/?subkey=9SMH.

Green Up Your Exercise Routine

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – “Green exercise” might seem redundant to the uninformed person — bikes don’t emit carbons, and jogging doesn’t use electricity. But for those Americans who face limited time or occasional inclement weather, exercise machines hold wide appeal. And while exercise bikes, rowing machines, ellipticals and treadmills can provide good workouts, they also consume energy.

Gym owners understand that their clients are becoming more eco-conscious. However, getting rid of old fitness equipment — even 12 power-sucking treadmills that run 12 hours a day — could seriously hurt business. Luckily, some manufacturers are looking to aid the environmentalist gym-rat crowd.

SportsArt Fitness, a designer and manufacturer of cardiovascular fitness equipment, recently launched its Eco-Powr motor system. Treadmills featuring the Eco-Powr motor system use up to 32 percent less energy than conventional treadmills. A gym who replaces 12 treadmills with Eco-Powr treadmills stands to save over $3,000 a year in energy bills. SportsArt also makes self-generating cycles and ellipticals that run without electricity. Their Web resource, http://green.sportsartamerica.com, allows people to calculate what their savings would be by simply switching their equipment to Eco-Powr machines.

SportsArt Fitness offers the following tips to green fitness enthusiasts who want to take steps to improve their health while also protecting the environment:

Commute by walking or biking. The fittest people exercise before and after the gym, too. Choosing to walk or bike will help conserve fossil fuels while also burning calories. If you must commute a long distance, try fitting in walks on your lunch break or at other times of the day.

Choose eco-friendly, physical leisure activities. Gardening helps reduce stress and beautify lawns. Instead of relaxing in front of the television, play catch with the kids or jog or hike along a nature trail. Urban exercise counts, too. Walk to perform simple errands, or find a park in which to exercise.

Find equipment made from eco-friendly materials. Look for resistance brands made from bio-degradable materials. Wear gym socks made from Merino wool or organic cotton, and choose bamboo over foam yoga blocks.

For more information, visit www.sportsartamerica.com.