nav-left cat-right
cat-right

Fitness Gifts for Home Workout Buffs

These days, working from home is more common and many are shying away from the gym atmosphere. This typically means less activity during the day. How to motivate yourself and others? How about exciting and versatile fitness equipment that takes up little space? Check these options out:

Strength Training Tools

Loop Resistance bands: not new but always highly recommended. They are lightweight, portable and inexpensive. Resistance bands enable you to work all muscle groups. Check out Fit Simplify or LetsFit Loop resistance bands. A set includes 5 bands of varying resistance levels, extra light to extra heavy.

Bowflex SelectTech adjustable weight: not unlike the original SelectTech dumbbells, this is a kettlebell version that replaces a set of 6 kettlebells. Twist the dial on this adjustable kettlebell to transition from 8 lbs all the way up to 40 lbs. Great for accommodating multiple exercisers without taking up too much space.

Suspension trainer: suspension training is a strength training system that uses ropes and webbing to allow a user to work against his/her own body weight. Using vertical or horizontal ‘anchor points’ enables you to increase or decrease resistance with changes in angle and degree. Perform all classic strength training exercises in new ways. Try the TRX suspension training systems or LifeLine Jungle Gym.

Cardiovascular Training Aids

Seated under desk elliptical: while not a full-body workout, this piece of equipment at least allows you to work your legs and get in some exercise. With Zoom meetings and sitting at your desk working from home being much more common these days, mini elliptical trainers are great for increasing activity and offer adjustable resistance. Check out a few of the top-rated models.

Just a pedometer: Looking to increase activity and track steps? Not looking for a pricey watch or ‘smart’ gadget? Try the 3DTriSport Walking 3D pedometer. This basic step counter accurately measures steps, is inexpensive, easy to use and works in any position. It will measure your steps whether it’s upside-down, around your neck or tossed in a bag.

3 Tips for Clean Eating

Eat more plant-based meals: a vegetarian diet requires significantly less water and energy than a meat-heavy diet. Eating a fiber-rich, plant based diet promotes healthy cholesterol levels, and may add years to your life.  Make the meat you choose organic/grass-fed, eat it less often and for seafood, choose sustainably caught. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website section makes it simple.

Clean eating is not an ‘all or nothing’ concept. You can take steps to move your diet in that direction without sacrificing everything. Any of the following practices will improve the quality of your diet and, in turn, your health.

  • Limit processed foods ~ One way to do this is to concentrate on the perimeter of the grocery store when you shop. That’s where you’ll find fresh produce, lean meats, eggs and other minimally processed foods. Of course the middle aisles do offer clean processed foods, such as oils, nuts, canned tomatoes, spices and whole grains, such as oatmeal and quinoa. Minimally processed foods, such as plain yogurt, can be a part of a healthy diet whereas many frozen meals may not fit into a clean eating plan.
  • Cut down on added sugars ~ reading labels and ingredient lists can be helpful in limiting added sugars. Ingredients are listed by weight, with the most prominent first. The American Heart Association recommends keeping added sugars at 25 grams/day or less, which is about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 36 grams/day, or 9 teaspoons for men. Even 50 grams/day would be an improvement over the average adult’s intake of 70 grams sugar/day, or over 17 teaspoons per day. Limit condiments, such as ketchup and BBQ sauce, choose unsweetened beverages, limit desserts. Choose foods with natural sugars for your sweet carvings, such as fruit.
  • Eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables ~ experiment with a variety of whole grains that take you beyond whole wheat pasta and oatmeal. Buy fresh fruits and veggies or minimally processed frozen (without sugar or sauces) produce. To control costs, shop smart. Go for sales and shop in-season when buying fresh produce. If possible, shop at produce markets and/or farmer’s markets where prices on certain items may be lower.

What is Clean Eating?

Eating clean or ‘clean eating’ refers to a popular diet trend characterized by a few key features. Some of these features include eating locally (and supporting sustainable practices), minimizing processed foods, nourishing yourself on whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits and veggies regularly throughout the day. Clean eating also recommends limiting unnecessary extras, such as alcohol, added sugars and sodium. Clean eating is not an ‘all or nothing’ concept. Small changes add up over time and can make a difference in your environment and your health.

One of the key characteristics of clean eating is minimizing processed foods. What is a processed food? A processed food is a food item that has been modified through mechanical or chemical operations to change it. According to the USDA, this includes, but is not limited to milling, chopping, heating, drying, canning…etc. Clean processed foods do exist such as whole grain pasta, whole oats and plain yogurt. However, many processed foods contain sugars and other additives (natural and man made). Part of the recommendation for limiting packaged foods is because of BPA, a chemical found in cans, as well as chemicals in plastic. Explore your grocery store for ‘cleaner’ versions of many packaged and bottled foods, such as condiments.

Clean eating is a trend geared towards minimizing food waste, promoting local foods and sustainable farms and minimizing the ‘junk’ in the American diet. It is not just a diet trend but a food movement.