Consumer Savvy: Reading Food Labels to Make Better Choices

We’ve been trying to improve our diet and lifestyle, exercising more and eating healthier. But the truth is that many people don’t know how to improve their diet. There are so many claims out there that it is hard to keep track of what is actually good for you versus what is just pure baloney. I’m sure that by now you already know the dietary recommendations by heart: eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean cuts of meat, while reducing saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium intake. We are supposed to eat fewer energy-dense processed foods and more nutrient-dense whole foods. But let’s face it: we live in times where most food comes in boxes, cans, or packages. That’s why learning to interpret the data available on food labels is so important.

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Say Yes to Exercise

Finding Meaningful Reasons to be Physically Active

You already know that regular exercise is important for the maintenance of good health. But even with all the evidence, you still don’t seem to be able to lead an active lifestyle, do you? You are not alone. A large percentage of the American population does not engage in physical activities on a regular basis, and this is especially true for women. I don’t believe that women don’t exercise because they are simply lazy, but because they can’t find meaningful reasons to change.

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Healthy Eating 101

Are you tired of trying every new fad diet that appears? Every year new books are released promoting a new wonder diet. It is always the same story: a specific food (or nutrient) is chosen to be blamed for all modern ailments, thus having to be banned from our tables. The problem is that researchers don’t seem to agree on which nutrient is the “real culprit.” Some say that “carbs” are the bad guys, others say that it is fat or meat; and while they keep fighting each other to see who is selling more books, you are left without guidance.

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Structured Exercise Program for Beginners

You’ve been trying to live an active lifestyle. You go for a walk every now and then, but you feel that you are ready to take it to the next level. You want to engage in a regular exercise program but you are not sure how. Advice from fitness magazines is questionable and the exercises are hard to follow. The truth is that there is too much information out there, and it is hard to figure out what is appropriate for you. That’s ok, I’ve been there and I know how you feel. Do not despair; I’m here to help you get started.

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SOS! Save Me from a Boring Exercise Routine

I don’t know who came up with the concept that to be fit, we have to create a routine and stick to it. It is not that I don’t understand why. After all, practice makes perfect, right? The only problem is that routines are BORING, and if we can’t find joy in an activity, we’ll ditch it sooner or later.

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Realistic Goals for Beginners

When starting a new exercise program, we usually expect big results. We tend to focus on the pounds we want to lose, the dress sizes we wish to drop, the super-toned legs we intend to get, or the killer arms we desire to build. What we hardly ever realize is that these are long-term goals, meaning that they won’t happen in a week or two of training. The problem is that we never seem to stick to a program long enough to actually experience those changes. This creates feelings of failure and frustration. But don’t think that you’ll never be able to overcome this barrier. All you need is some guidance.

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Nutrient of the Week: Iron

Iron is considered a trace mineral[1] because our body needs only small amounts of it when compared to other nutrients. However, it is an essential nutrient, and inadequate intakes can lead to body malfunction. Even though it is needed in tiny doses (around 18 mg for women and 8 mg for men), many people still can’t manage to get enough of it through diet. That’s because iron absorption is relatively low – around 10% to 15% of the total iron content of the food.

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Motivation and Maintenance

Starting a new exercise program is easy when compared to maintaining an exercise routine for the long run. That is so true; we do it every year. When the holiday season ends and a new year begins, many of us decide that it is time for a change. We make big plans and get all excited about them. And it works really well for the first few weeks. We push ourselves hard and never miss a training session. We tend to think that if some exercise is good, then more is better. But unfortunately, this leads to overtraining, fatigue, and sometimes injuries. Exercising is not fun anymore and it becomes a burden. We lose the interest in healthy activities, and nothing seems to motivate us anymore. We start using anything as an excuse to skip workouts, and when we least expect, we are back to our old not-so-healthy lifestyle. Why does this happen?

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Low-Back Training for Beginners

Our back muscles are important structural components of our core. While these muscles are responsible for trunk mobility, they also play an important role in stabilizing the spine, the shoulder blades, and the hip bones in order to maintain posture and body alignment during activities of daily living.

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