Building Killer Arms

Flabby arms are a nightmare for most women, and many won’t even wear a sleeveless shirt because of that. This common condition is caused by fat deposition on the posterior part of the upper-arm, and when it is paired with poor skin elasticity, the fat tissue stretches the skin, giving the arms a flaccid appearance.

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Nutrient of the Week: Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin essential to the maintenance of health. It plays many roles in the body, but it is especially important for the health of epithelial cells. These cells cover the surface of the body (skin and eyes) and body cavities (such as lungs, intestines, mouth, and stomach), serving as barriers to infection. Many of these cells secret mucus, a thick fluid that acts as a protective lubricant, and vitamin A is fundamental to this process. Vitamin A also participates in other processes such as growth, body development and reproduction. Vitamin A deficiency, rare in the US, can lead to blindness, and may impair immune function, increasing the risk for infections.

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Coping with Stress

A recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association showed that the majority of Americans live with moderate to high levels of stress[1]. Money, work and the economy were the most often cited sources of stress. And the modern lifestyle is not helping. Consider, for instance, our current life pace. It is hard to think of someone that is not repeatedly overwhelmed by all the tasks, chores, and appointments with which one has to deal in one day.

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Fitting Exercise into Your Life

Americans are becoming more and more sedentary[1]. Working at a desk, watching television, playing videogames, and driving everywhere are just a few examples of common sedentary behaviors.   What I mean is that most of us are not physically active at our jobs, during our leisure-time or any other time of the day, just because we don’t need to. We are not even walking anymore. Did you know that a sedentary person may only take between 1,000 and 3,000 steps a day[2]? This is way less than the Surgeon General’s recommendation[3]. I know that many American cities are not exactly walking-friendly. Think about where you live for a second. Are there stores within walking distance, or do you have to drive to the closest grocery shop? My point is that unless you are willing to exercise, you probably won’t run errands on foot.

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The Modern Lifestyle – What Went Wrong?

The way of life changed considerably during human evolution. When our species appeared on Earth, humans were hunters and gatherers and had to work hard for their food. It was common to move from place to place, looking for provisions and shelter. Also, food preserving was precarious (canned food was not available!), and they never knew when they would be able to find fresh supplies. These tough conditions contributed to an important body adaptation: any energy consumed but not promptly used was stored, mostly as fat. This was a fundamental factor that guaranteed the survival of our species. So fat used to have a vital function to us – it was supposed to save us from famine.

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What is the Truth behind “Toning Shoes?”

Since their release in 2009, the so-called “toning shoes” quickly became a fad. With compelling claims such as burn more calories while performing daily activities, or tone your buttocks and thighs by simply walking, these shoes seemed to be an amazing fitness solution.

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America’s Weight Obsession

American society wants you to lose weight. The cultural standards of beauty and self-worth praise extremely thin bodies that are not a reality for most Americans. At the same time, the social prejudice against fat people increases every day. We’ve been taught that we have to be thin to be healthy, socially accepted and loved. But what America’s weight obsession really taught us is to hate our bodies.

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2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is a set of nutritional recommendations for the general public living in the United States that focuses on health promotion and disease prevention. It is a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Guidelines are revised and updated every five years; the last one was published in 2010. Policymakers, healthcare providers and nutritionists use these recommendations to design educational materials and nutrition-related programs.

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I Want You to Take Over Control

How many times have you started (and given up) an exercise program? Don’t be ashamed; you are not alone. According to ACE (American Council on Exercise) data, 50% to 65% of persons beginning or returning to a standard exercise program will drop out during the first six months. Even though the statistics are not encouraging, don’t give up just yet. You are not set up for failure unless you believe so. Your mind is a powerful tool; it can work for or against you. All you need to learn is how to use it in your favor.

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Welcome to Body Pep Talk, Where Information Meets Motivation!

Hello, girlfriends! My name is Carla, and I’m a fitness trainer. I’ve gotten so tired of seeing misleading information about exercise and diet out there that I’ve decided to take the matter into my own hands. Here you’ll find information about fitness, healthy eating, stress management strategies and more. My goal is to give you the tools for building a healthier body. This is an interactive page, so feel free to post any questions, comments, or concerns, and I promise to get back to you as soon as I can.

Have a fit day!

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