Dr. Phil Shares: How to Avoid Eating All That Leftover Halloween Candy

How to Avoid Eating All That Leftover Halloween Candy

Let’s be honest: We all say Halloween candy is for kids, but it’s hard not to reach for a piece — or seven — once it’s in your house. While we can’t come to your house and physically prevent you from housing the whole bag at once, we can offer you some tried-and-true tips to keep your candy binge in check.

7 Ways to Stop Yourself From Eating Halloween Candy

1. Hold Off On Buying Candy

Buy candy for trick-or-treaters as close to Halloween night as you can. “Having treats in the house is a huge temptation and can cost you extra money if you have to go buy more,” says Ann Marion Willis, a R.D. in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

2. Buy Less Candy, Give Out More

Willis also advises that you should “Buy less than you think you will need. This will help you avoid having leftovers hanging around the house. It’s better for you to run out of treats than to be left eating them yourself.” If you find that your Halloween candy bowl is still full as the night goes on, start handing out more candy to each costumed kiddo that rings your doorbell. They’ll be thrilled, and you’ll be saved.

3. Buy the Stuff You Like the Least

One simple way to prevent yourself from eating leftover candy is to buy stuff you don’t like, whether that’s candy corn, atomic fireballs, or Good & Plenty. “Buying what you don’t like will make you less likely to indulge and reduce the urge you have to sample treats as you hand them out on Halloween,” says Willis.

It’s not that I want to be cruel to others by feeding them waxy candy corn. Some kids love it. I just know I won’t eat a single piece.

4. Eat Well

Sugar cravings can strike when you’re hungry and haven’t consumed enough fuel to keep your blood sugar in balance. Eat protein and fiber-rich meals in the days before and after Halloween, advises Willis. It’ll make you feel less tempted to create a dinner out of mini candy bars.

5. Savor a Single Treat

Mindless eating is a good way to eat way more than you mean to — whether that’s nuts, chips, or candy. Rather than sitting in from of your TV munching your way through a bag of chocolate, try mindful eating.

Select the one piece of candy that you most want to eat. Tune out all other distractions and focus on savoring the experience of eating it. Chew slowly, let it melt in your mouth, enjoy the the sweetness, and notice how it makes you feel. Cutting that piece of candy into smaller pieces will make the experience last longer, and may even make you feel like you’re eating more. Make your piece of candy go even further by chopping it into tiny pieces and sprinkling the bits on top of plain Greek yogurt.

6. Keep Your Mouth Minty Fresh

I’ve had adult braces for months and my candy consumption — especially the chewy, sticky stuff like caramels and gummy bears — has drastically decreased. Installing orthodontic hardware just to avoid eating candy is a pretty drastic solution, but brushing your teeth can be a similar deterrent. When you get the urge to unwrap handfuls of Halloween loot, give your pearly whites a quick brushing and see if that curbs it.

7. Just Chuck It

This will likely put you in the running for Worst Parent Ever, but Wills says, “Ask your kids to choose their favorite treats and then donate or throw away the rest. The longer treats stay in the house uneaten, the more likely you are to give in to temptation.”

Some dentists now offer to buy candy off kids in exchange for cash. This way they get a little spending money and you’ll get that calorie-filled temptation out of your house and mind.

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health Guelph

Dr. Phil Shares: The 17 Scariest Halloween Candies

The 17 Scariest Halloween Candies
 

Everywhere you turn, there are bowls of Halloween candy that are full of spooky ingredients like sugar, fat, chocolate, soy lecithin, polyglycerol polyricinoleate, sodium metabisulfate, resinous glaze, and carnauba wax — yum!

OK, let’s be honest — a list of sketchy ingredients isn’t going to stop anyone from hoovering a handful of [insert favorite Halloween candy here]. We’re not here to rain on your candy parade; you can still enjoy the scary good sweet stuff — if you eat them in moderation and if you know which ones you really should avoid (or eat less of).

Use this guide to tally up your sugary treats and don’t let the “fun-size” options fool you: They may be smaller, but the calories, fat, and sugar content still pack a significant punch.

For reference, when it comes to added sugars, the American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons (25 grams) for women and kids aged 2 to 18, and no more than nine teaspoons (36 grams) for men. Per day.

 

The Worst Chocolate Halloween Candies

Whether they’re stuffed with caramel, nuts or coating delicious crispy wafers, chocolate candies are hard to resist. Chocolate taps into our deep-seated love for both sweets and fats. Sadly, it’s not the good kind of fat since most chocolate candies are made with partially hydrogenated fat or palm oil. Beware of these top 10 offenders:

1. Whoppers (1 tube): calories 32, fat 1.2 g, sugar 2 tsp
Ingredients: Sugar, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated palm oil, whey (milk), cocoa; malted milk (barley malt; wheat flour; milk; salt; sodium bicarbonate), resinous glaze, sorbitan tristearate, lecithin, salt, natural & artificial flavors, calcium carbonate, tapioca dextrin.

2. Milky Way (1 mini-bar): calories 38, fat 1.6 g, sugar 1 tsp
Ingredients: Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, skim milk, chocolate, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, artificial flavor), corn syrup, sugar, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, skim milk, less than 2 percent milkfat, cocoa powder processed w/alkali, malted barley, lactose, salt, egg whites, chocolate, artificial flavor.

3. M&Ms (1 fun-size pack): calories 67, fat 2.3 g, sugar 2 tsp
Ingredients: Milk chocolate, sugar, cornstarch, less than 1 percent: corn syrup, dextrin, coloring (includes blue 1 lake, yellow 6, red 40, yellow 5, blue 1, red 40 lake, blue 2 lake, yellow 6 lake, yellow 5 lake, blue 2), gum acacia.

4. Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme (1 mini bar): calories 67, fat 4 g, sugar 1.6 tsp
Ingredients: Sugar, vegetable oil, nonfat milk, corn syrup solids, enriched wheat flour, lactose, 2 percent or less of cocoa, whey high fructose corn syrup, chocolate, lecithin, baking soda, salt, natural flavor and artificial flavor, tocopherols, PGPR (polyglycerol polyricinoleate, a compound that reduces viscosity).

5. Kit Kat (1 fun size bar): calories 70, fat 3.7 g, sugar 2 tsp
Ingredients: Sugar, wheat flour, nonfat milk, cocoa butter, chocolate, palm kernel oil, lactose, milk fat, contains 2 percent or less of: soy lecithin, PGPR, yeast, vanillin, artificial flavor, salt, sodium bicarbonate.

6. Snickers (1 fun size bar): calories 80, fat 4 g, sugar 2 tsp
Ingredients: Milk chocolate, peanuts, corn syrup, sugar, milkfat, skim milk, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, lactose, salt, egg whites, chocolate, artificial flavor.

7. Twix (1 cookie): calories 80, fat 4 g, sugar 2 tsp
Ingredients: Milk chocolate (cocoa butter, chocolate, skim milk, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, PGPR, artificial flavors), sugar, enriched wheat flour, palm oil, corn syrup, skim milk, dextrose, less than 2 percent of food starch-modified, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda, soy lecithin, artificial flavor.

8. Almond Joy (1 snack size): calories 80, fat 4.5 g, sugar 2 tsp
Ingredients: corn syrup, milk chocolate, coconut, sugar, almonds, 2 percent or less of vegetable oil, cocoa, whey, salt, hydrolyzed milk protein, lecithin, sodium metabisulfite.

9. Butterfingers (1 fun-size bar): calories 85, fat 3.5 g, sugar 2 tsp
Ingredients: Corn syrup, sugar, ground roasted peanuts, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, cocoa, molasses, and less than 1 percent of dairy product solids, confectioner’s corn flakes, nonfat milk, salt, soy lecithin, soybean oil, cornstarch, natural flavors, TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone, a preservative) and citric acid (to preserve freshness), annatto color.

10. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (1 cup): calories 67, fat 2.3 g, sugar 2 tsp
Ingredients: Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk fat, corn syrup solids, soy lecithin, PGPR, emulsifier), peanuts, sugar, dextrose, salt, TBHQ.

 

The Worst Straight Sugar Halloween Candies

Straight sugar candies are mostly made with sugar, sugar, and more sugar, and dressed up with artificial flavors and dyes. These types of candy provide a quick sugar rush since they’re uninhibited by fat or protein, which can slow down their digestion.

11. Smarties (1 roll): calories 25, sugar 1.5 tsp
Ingredients: Dextrose, citric acid, calcium stearate, natural and artificial flavor, color (red 40 lake, yellow 5 lake, yellow 6 lake, blue 2 lake).

12. WarHeads Extreme Sour Hard Candy (4 pieces): calories 50, sugar 2 tsp
Ingredients: Corn syrup sugar, microencapsulated malic acid (malic acid, hydrogenated palm oil), citric acid, gum acacia, deproteinized soybean oil, ascorbic acid, artificial flavors, carnauba wax, corn starch, blue 1, red 40, yellow 5.

13. Sour Patch Kids (1 treat-size bag): calories 55, sugar 2 tsp
Ingredients: Sugar, invert sugar, corn syrup, modified cornstarch, tartaric acid, citric acid, natural and artificial flavoring, yellow 6, red 40, yellow 5, blue 1.

14. Airheads (1 bar): calories 60, sugar 2 tsp
Ingredients: Sugar, corn syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, modified food starch (corn), partially hydrogenated soybean oil, less than 2 percent of: citric acid, water, artificial flavors, artificial colors, red 40, blue 1, yellow 6, yellow 5.

15. Apple Pops (1 pop): calories 60, sugar 2.5 tsp
Ingredients: Sugar, corn syrup, palm oil, skim milk, heavy cream, malic acid, whey, salt, artificial flavors, sodium caseinate, soy lecithin, artificial color (includes FD&C blue 1, FD&C red 40), turmeric coloring.

16. Skittles (1 small pack): calories 67, sugar 3 tsp
Ingredients: Sugar, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, less than 2 percent of: citric acid, tapioca dextrin, modified corn starch, natural & artificial flavors, colors (red 40 lake, titanium dioxide, red 40, yellow 5 lake, yellow 5, yellow 6 lake, yellow 6, blue 2 lake, blue 1, sodium citrate, carnauba wax.

17. Candy corn (19 pieces): calories 140, sugar 7 tsp
Ingredients: Sugar, corn syrup, confectioner’s glaze (shellac), salt, dextrose, gelatin, sesame oil, artificial flavor, honey, yellow 6, yellow 5, red 3.

The 17 Scariest Halloween Candies

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Dr. Phil Shares: How Cooking at Home Can Help You Lose Weight

Lose weight at home, weight loss, cooking for weight loss

But that convenience can come with a high-caloric cost. One simple — and usually less expensive —way to block those extra calories heading for your waistline? Cook at home.

Science backs it up, too: A 2014 study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that people who eat more meals at home consume 200 fewer calories at meals than those who eat out on the regular. And when these home cooks do eat out, they pick healthier options.

Find why firing up the stove can help you lose weight, and tips to make cooking at home easy and doable.

Lose weight at home, weight loss, cooking to lose weight

 Why Cooking at Home Can Help You Lose Weight

It’s not good enough to just eat at home, though — you have to make those meals, too. And remember: Just because you cooked something at home doesn’t automatically make it healthy. (Sorry, but those “homemade” double-chocolate fudge brownies don’t count.)

But if you stick with healthy recipes, then you’re definitely giving yourself the home advantage. “The bottom line is that eating at home is healthier for you because it gives you so much more control,” says Meg Hagar, M.S., R.D., and author of Little Book of Kitchen Wonders. You know exactly how much salt or fat or sugar is going into your dish; you also have the power to swap ingredients in (and out) to fit your nutritional and caloric goals.

And eating healthy at home doesn’t have to cost more: A study from researchers at the University of Washington found that home-cooked dinners were lower in fat, calories, and sugar — but not higher grocery bills. The study also found that people who eat at home are more likely to meet U.S. government guidelines for a healthy diet.

The control you get with cooking at home extends to other facets of your health as well: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six Americans get sick from food-borne illness each year. Of course, food poisoning can happen anywhere, but when you’re preparing meals at home, you know exactly how food is being handled — and how clean the kitchen is.

Lose weight at home, weight loss, cooking to lose weight

Master the Art of Meal Prep

 One of the biggest reasons people eat out is for convenience. But that convenience comes at a hefty price: According to data from the USDA, Americans spend almost $3,000 a year eating out.

We get it: It’s easier to just pick something from a menu versus shopping, preparing, cooking, and cleaning, especially if you’re crazy busy. But if you arm yourself with some smart shopping tips and time-saving meal plans, you can lose pounds and gain some cold, hard cash.

“I’m a huge believer in batch cooking, or preparing multiple servings of a meal all at once,” says Hagar. “The best part is that I only have to cook a few times a week and I get to eat my own homemade meals all week!”

Sounds easy, but the reality of it can be overwhelming. Start slow, like cooking three dinners at home one week. Then, the following week, add two home-cooked breakfasts. Keep building on each subsequent week until it becomes a habit to cook at home, instead of eating out.

Pro tip: If you need a kick in the pants to get your healthy habits started, a fitness and nutrition program like 21 Day Fix can get you going.

How to Eat Healthy at Home

Restaurants use everything from color to music to influence what you eat — and how much you spend — at their establishments. Follow their lead by creating an environment at home that supports healthy eating and habits:

  • Put your meal on a plate before you sit down to eat; no eating out of bags or boxes of food.
  • Keep healthy foods like fruits and nuts easily accessible and tuck the less-healthy temptations in the pantry or cupboards.
  • Put away all electronics — be mindful of what you’re eating and how much. “At home, you can turn off distractions while eating, allowing you to really tune into our hunger signals and avoid overeating, ” says Hagar.
  • Use portion-control containers to make sure you’re eating a balanced meal. “Load up on veggies and lean proteins plus a small amount of complex carbohydrates to make your plate look more full of food,” she advises.

How to Eat Healthy While Eating Out

While we’re definitely fans of eating at home, that doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit who never enjoys a meal out. With a few tips and tricks in your back pocket, you can stay on track and eat out with friends and family with zero guilt:

  • Scope out the menu online beforehand to see which meals will fit your goals. Chain restaurants are required to list calorie counts and other nutritional info, making the search for the right dish a lot easier.
  • Read the fine print on the menu: Stay away from foods that are described as “crispy,” “pan-fried,” “buttered,” or “stuffed,” and stick with healthier preparations like “broiled,” “baked,” or “steamed.”
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions, or for dressings and sauces on the side — or not at all.

And don’t beat yourself up if you eat out more than you plan to. Just roll with the punches and know that making the switch to healthy cooking and eating, like with any new habit, takes time to master.

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Dr. Phil Shares: How to Bring Mindfulness to Work

How to Bring Mindfulness to Work

You may ask yourself, “How do I bring mindfulness to work?” Mindfulness is something you practice as a being, as a person. And then it brings itself to every situation you’re in, every role that you play: at work, being a parent, being a wife, being a friend. So it’s more about how to bring mindfulness to your life.

What Is Mindfulness?

Let’s clarify what mindfulness is. For me, one of the ways I talk about it is how to be less reactive, more loving, and more present in how I act in a given situation, or how I decide not to act in a given situation as opposed to a knee-jerk reaction based on what we are conditioned to do.

The beauty of mindfulness is that the situations that come up that are challenging or could create a knee-jerk reaction are the actual situations that can bring mindfulness into your life.

How Can I Become More Mindful in My Life?

When you get triggered, you can use the situation as an opportunity to identify the types of situations that trigger you. And, rather than reacting, you can take a deep breath and allow the breath to center you.

With some practice, you become more aware and realize that when you’re reactive, you actually create more problems. So, these high-stress situations, where you feel you are not being mindful at all, serve as the best learning opportunities because you can “catch” yourself and make the shift from reactivity to mindfulness in the moment. With continuous practice, you can become a more mindful person.

It’s kind of funny, isn’t it? The very thing that you feel is disrupting your peace is the very thing that can create more peace in your life.

Any situation brings to you an opportunity to being mindful. It really forces you—if you are intent—to stop these constant, crazy reactions that just exhaust you. These reactions cause you to have bad days, then terrible weeks… as if the week is having you. But, you are the week, you create it. The week is not coming to you and saying, “This week is going to be horrible, so just enjoy the ride.”

This process has become fun for me over time—it’s a sort of game with myself. When there are situations that are quite challenging for me, I know they are also my gateway—my way in—into mindfulness. 

How Can I Bring Mindfulness into My Work Life?

Rather than thinking about how you can bring mindfulness to work, try and see it more as how mindfulness is being brought to you from work. Each time something challenging happens that brings on anger, frustration, resentment, jealously, envy, disappointment—all these emotions that come and go—you are presented with an opportunity to cultivate mindfulness within yourself by how you respond to these emotions.

Let’s say someone at work doesn’t take responsibility for something that wasn’t done or your opinion about something is not in harmony with theirs. The moment you get triggered is the moment you can take a beat and take a deep breath rather than react.

You can slow down and become a little more aware. That’s mindfulness.

You can think to yourself, “Here’s a situation that usually creates uncomfortable emotions in me and I usually feel attacked and then I react. But, instead I’m going to see this situation as an opportunity to step into mindfulness.” So, rather than speaking with frustration or running away, see your trigger as an indicator of how your mind works, then take a breath and bring mindfulness to the situation.

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Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

Dr. Phil Shares: 10 Reasons Heavier Weight Training is Great For Women

Benefits of Strength Training for Women

Many women believe the only way to lose weight is to do cardiovascular (aerobic exercise), but without adding weight training to their workout routine, they are missing a key component to weight loss.

When you’re weight training, you shouldn’t rely exclusively on the scale to gauge your progress. You can use a body fat tester or a tape measure to track how many inchesyou’re losing. The size of your body will shrink as you shed fat and build muscle, but your weight may not change as dramatically as you expect. Besides, what’s more important, the number on the scale or how you look in your selfies?

If you’re still not convinced that you need to lift weights, here are 10 reasons you should reconsider.

1. Burn More Fat

Researchers at Tufts University found that when overweight women lifted heavy weights twice a week, they lost an average of 14.6 pounds of fat and gained 1.4 pounds of muscle. The control group, women who dieted but didn’t lift weights, lost only 9.2 pounds of fat and gained no muscle. When you do an intense weight-training program such as A WEEK OF HARD LABOR, your metabolism stays elevated and you continue to burn fat for several hours afterward. During regular cardio exercise, you stop burning fat shortly after the workout.

2. Change Your Body Shape

You may think your genes determine how you look. That’s not necessarily true. Weight training can slim you down, create new curves, and help avoid the “middle-age spread”. Just look at the amazing body transformations of the women who’ve completed Body Beast. So, no, you won’t bulk up—women don’t have enough muscle-building hormones to gain a lot of mass like men do. If you keep your diet clean and create a calorie deficit, you’ll burn fat.

3. Boost Your Metabolism

The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism will be. As women age, they lose muscle at increasing rates, especially after the age of 40. When you diet without doing resistance training, up to 25 percent of the weight loss may be muscle loss. Weight training while dieting can help you preserve and even rebuild muscle fibers. The more lean mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you’ll burn all day long.

4. Get Stronger and More Confident

Lifting weights increases functional fitness, which makes everyday tasks such as carrying children, lifting grocery bags, and picking up heavy suitcases much easier. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular weight training can make you 50 percent stronger in 6 months. Being strong is also empowering. Not only does it improve your physical activities, it builds emotional strength by boosting self-esteem and confidence.

5. Build Strong Bones

It’s been well documented that women need to do weight-bearing exercise to build and maintain bone mass. Just as muscles get stronger and bigger with use, so do bones when they’re made to bear weight. Stronger bones and increased muscle mass also lead to better flexibility and balance, which is especially important for women as they age.

6. Improve Mood

You’ve probably heard that cardio and low-impact exercises such as yoga help improve mood, and weight lifting has the same effect. The endorphins that are released during aerobic activities are also present during resistance training.

7. Improve Sports Fitness

You don’t have to be an athlete to get the sports benefit of weight training. Improved muscle mass and strength will help you in all physical activities, whether it’s bicycling with the family, swimming, golfing, or skiing…whatever sport you enjoy.

8. Reduce Injuries 

Weight lifting improves joint stability and builds stronger ligaments and tendons. Training safely and with proper form can help decrease the likelihood of injuries in your daily life. It can also improve physical function in people with arthritis. A study conducted at the University of Wales in Bangor, United Kingdom, found that mildly disabled participants who lifted weights for 12 weeks increased the frequency and intensity at which they could work, with less pain and increased range of movement.

9. Get Heart Healthy

More than 480,000 women die from cardiovascular disease each year, making it the number-one killer of women over the age of 25. Most people don’t realize that pumping iron can also keep your heart pumping. Lifting weights increases your “good” (HDL) cholesterol and decreases your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. It also lowers your blood pressure. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that people who do 30 minutes of weight lifting each week have a 23 percent reduced risk of developing heart disease compared to those who don’t lift weights.

10. Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

In addition to keeping your ticker strong, weight training can improve glucose utilization (the way your body processes sugar) by as much as 23 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 weeks of strength training can improve glucose metabolism in a way that is comparable to taking medication. The more lean mass you have, the more efficient your body is at removing glucose from the blood.

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Dr. Phil Shares: The Unexpected Reason We Tend To Be Healthier In The Summer

SHUTTERSTOCK / RIDO

Seasonal changes in gene activity mean that the immune system revs up inflammation in the winter, researchers found. This may help explain why the symptoms of inflammation-related conditions — such as heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis — often worsen in winter, and why people tend to generally be healthier in the summer.

“Our results indicate that, in the modern environment, the increase in the pro-inflammatory status of the immune system in winter helps explain the peak incidences of diseases that are caused by inflammation, by making people more susceptible” to inflammation’s effects, said study co-author Chris Wallace, a genetic statistician at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

In the study, researchers examined genetic data from blood samples and fat tissue of more than 16,000 people who lived in both the northern and southern hemispheres, in countries that included the United Kingdom, the United States, Iceland, Australia and The Gambia.

The researchers found that the activity of almost a quarter of all human genes — 5,136 out of 22,822 genes tested in the study — vary over the seasons. Some genes are more active in the summer, whereas others are more active in winter, the researchers found. [11 Surprising Facts About the Immune System]

These seasonal changes in gene activity also seem to affect people’s immune cells and the composition of their blood, the researchers found.

For example, during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter, the immune systems of the people living there had pro-inflammatory profiles, and the levels of proteins in their blood that are linked to cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases were increased, compared with their levels during the summer.

This may explain why the incidence and symptoms of some diseases tied to increased inflammation — including cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases such as diabetes and psychiatric disease — peak in winter, according to the study.

In contrast, one gene, called ARNTL, was more active in the summer and less active in the winter. Previous studies on mice have shown that this gene suppresses inflammation, which may also help explain why people’s levels of inflammation tend to be higher in the winter than in the summer, the researchers said.

The seasonal variation in the immune system’s activity may have evolutionary roots, Wallace said. “Evolutionarily, humans have been primed to promote a pro-inflammatory environment in our bodies in seasons when infectious disease agents are circulating,” she told Live Science. This pro-inflammatory environment helps people fight infections, Wallace added.

“It makes sense that our immune systems adapt to cope with variation in infections as these are thought to be the main cause of human mortality for most of our evolutionary history,” Wallace said.

But even though this immune response helps fight off infection, it worsens other conditions related to inflammation.

It is not clear what mechanism brings about the seasonal variation of human immune system activity, the researchers said. However, it may involve the body’s so-called circadian clock, which helps regulate sleeping patterns and is partially controlled by changes in daylight hours, the researchers said.

“Given that our immune systems appear to put us at greater risk of disease related to excessive inflammation in colder, darker months, and given the benefits we already understand from vitamin D, it is perhaps understandable that people want to head off for some ‘winter sun’ to improve their health and well-being,” study co-author John Todd, a professor in the department of medical genetics at the University of Cambridge, said in a statement.

The new study was published today (May 12) in the journal Nature Communications.

By: Agata Blaszczak-Boxe
Published: May 12, 2015 01:05pm ET on LiveScience.

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

Dr. Phil Shares: Are You Fit to Drive?

Have you ever considered how fitness training could be beneficial to your skills as a driver? According to a new study, simple exercises

woman drivingcan enhance your ability to drive, keep you safe on the road, and extend the years that you are able to drive.

The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence and the MIT AgeLab found some fascinating results in their research on the connection between daily exercise and driving. Drivers in the study reported benefiting from some of the most challenging physical aspects of driving:

  • Greater ease in turning their heads to see blind spots when changing lanes or backing up;
  • More rotation in their torsos to scan the driving environment when making right hand turns;
  • Increased ability to get into their cars more rapidly.

The participants ranged in age from 60-74. They followed an exercise program for 15-20 minutes a day over eight-to 10 weeks which focused on four areas:

If you include these types of exercises in your training program, you will surely have new confidence next time you need to parallel park!

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Dr. Phil Shares: 6 Important Things to Do After Your Workout

 

6-Important-Things-to-Do-After-Your-Workout

So, you had an intense workout. You legs are shaking, your mouth is dry, and your shirt is drenched. All you want to do is collapse on the ground and not move until you stop wheezing and your face stops beating bright red.

But before you call it a day and throw in the sweat-soaked towel, there are a few crucial things you need to do to jumpstart your recovery process, prevent injury, and make sure you’re prepared for your next workout.

Don’t worry, these post-workout tips aren’t complicated and they won’t add too much time to your exercise regime. Plus, you may even seriously enjoy a few of them! (Hint: there’s chocolate involved.)

These six tips will help you cool down, refuel, and recharge after your workout so you can be ready to give it your all the following day.

1. Keep moving.

It’s tempting to just plop down on the couch or jump in the shower the second you finish your final rep, but our bodies need time to transition back to our natural resting state. That’s where the cool down comes into play.

There are two different ways to cool down – dynamically and statically. Dynamic cool downs keep your body moving, and include walking or light jogging. This helps lower your heart rate, reduce post-workout soreness, and promotes healthy blood circulation to carry nutrients and oxygen to the muscles you just exercised, says Meghan Kennihan, NASM Personal Trainer and RRCA and USAT Run Coach. She recommends five to 10 minutes of light jogging or walking after your workout.

2. Stretch and/or foam roll.

The second way to cool down is by doing static stretches. Your muscles are constantly contracting during exercise, which leaves them tight unless they’re properly stretched out. Too much tightness in your muscles can set you up for injury down the road.

Kennihan recommends doing some basic stretches for your back, chest, hips, quads, hamstrings, and calves for 30 seconds each after you finish exercising to loosen all your muscles.

To further reduce tension in your muscles, try foam rolling. “As you reduce tension, you’ll boost blood flow, which will help speed up recovery,” says Trevor Thieme, C.S.C.S. and Beachbody Fitness and Nutrition Content Manager. “Don’t just roll the muscles you targeted in your workout — give every muscle group at least five rolls, starting with your calves and working your way up your body.” Don’t have a foam roller yet? Get one here.

3. Hydrate.

“One of the most critical things to do after you workout is to rehydrate effectively and fully replenish any fluids and electrolytes lost,” says Priya Khorana, M.S. and ACSM-accredited Exercise Physiologist.

Water is the best option for hydration, but if you’re significantly dehydrated, Khorana recommends sipping a hydration formula to replenish your salt and electrolytes. Beachbody Performance Hydrate provides both electrolytes and carbohydrates to maximize absorption to keep you properly hydrated during and after your workouts.

4. Refuel.

How you refuel your body after a workout is key to the recovery process.

“Post-workout, your mission is to supply your muscles with the building blocks (amino acids) they need for repair and growth,” says Thieme.

Endurance athletes should also replenish glycogen, which Thieme describes as “the stored form of glucose — your body’s go-to fuel source.”

Beachbody Performance Recover is ideal for both these purposes. This post-workout supplement is full of fast-absorbing whey protein, pomegranate extract to help reduce exercise-induced soreness, and “just enough carbs to give you a head-start on glycogen resynthesis,” says Thieme.

If you want to eat whole foods after your workout, Denis Faye, M.S. and Beachbody Senior Director of Nutrition, says it’s important to eat something balanced with not too much fat. Think of tasty snacks like chocolate milk, a turkey sandwich, or cottage cheese with chickpeas.

5. Record your progress.

Before you mentally check out after a workout, take a couple minutes to record what you did. Along with specific details about what the workout entailed (heaviness of the weights, number of reps, distance, etc.), include notes about how you felt before, during, and after exercising.

“If you keep a workout journal, it helps you to figure out which exercises energize you, which drain you, and which are the best workouts for your body overall,” says Kennihan. “Also, if you get injured you can look back at your journal and see instances where you may have gone too hard or worked out through soreness or pain.”

If old-school journaling isn’t your style, invest in a watch, fitness monitor, or app that automatically tracks your workouts or lets you log your progress quickly. And if you’re an Apple Watch user, then you can track your caloric burn and heart rate during your workouts by connecting to the Beachbody On Demand app. It then stores the data for you to review later on.

6. Clean up.

Cleanliness isn’t usually high on the list of post-workout priorities — but it should be. Whether you work out at a gym or in your living room, exercise equipment like mats, benches, and weights can be breeding grounds for germs. Before you carry on with your day, and especially before you eat, take a few minutes to freshen up. Check out our tips for cleaning up and killing germs in your home gym.

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health Guelph

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Dr. Phil Shares: 14 Unique Ways to Get Your 10,000 Steps In

 

14 Unique Ways to Get Your 10,000 Steps In

Part of reaching your health and fitness goals is literally putting one foot in front of the other… again and again and again.

We’ve all seen the ominous headlines blaring that sitting will kill you and how sitting is the new smoking. But before you throw out every chair in your house (and office), it’s important to remember that it’s more about the lack of movement than the act of putting your butt in a chair that’s not good for your body.

That said, sitting for extended periods of time isn’t great even for people who exercise on the regular: According to 2015 research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, constant sitting — during your commute, at your desk, or on the couch— may blunt the positive effects of your workouts.

That’s partially because long bouts of inactivity inhibit the flow of blood and nutrients to your muscles between exercise sessions, explains Jason Raynor, C.S.C.S., a Nike Master Trainer with the Spa at JW Marriott Chicago. Performing regular activity like walking throughout the day, however, can help your muscles recover and reduce exercise-induced inflammation, Raynor says.

14 Unique Ways to Get Your 10,000 Steps In

What’s more, outside of your workout, your non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) — the energy you burn doing things like walking from point A to point B — is the biggest source of your daily caloric burn, says Kimberly Mills, owner of FitPossibilities Personal Training and Nutrition Coaching in Missouri. And remember: Hitting 10,000 steps a day is not a substitute for exercise — pair your workouts with regular movement throughout the day.

 

Do You Really Need to Take 10,000 Steps a Day?

“There’s nothing magical about the 10,000 number,” Dr. Campbell says. “The number came from pedometers sold in Japan in the 1960s. They were marketed under the name ‘manpo-kei,’ which translates to ‘10,000-steps meter.’ The 10,000 step count then just kind of caught on since then.”

That said, performing regular movement — taking more steps than you did last week or last month — is the goal.

Research published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity suggests that most healthy adults rack up between 4,000 and 18,000 steps per day, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t even bother making a step recommendation. Instead, it recommends that adults do strength training and 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week, which is roughly 8,000 steps a day, according to Campbell.

 

14 Easy Ways to Take More Steps

1. Get a dog. Nothing will get you out of the house faster than a puppy that needs to do some business. Not sure if you can commit? Check your local animal shelter or pet rescue sites for foster home programs; you’ll be doing your body and a homeless pooch a favor.

2. Take the stairs. At work, at the mall, at the train station, anywhere. If you wear a fitness tracker, you’ll score both steps and flights.

3. Take a moving break. During your lunch break, go on a 15-minute walk around the block. Not only will you get your steps in, but you may feel more focused at work. And remember to get up frequently during the day, not just at lunch.

4. Get a treadmill desk. Check with your company to see if they provide treadmill desks (yes, it’s a thing) for employees. Walking while you’re typing takes some getting used to, but it’s worth it.

5. Park far away. Every couple of hundred steps walking to or from your car adds up quickly. Plus, if you park at the back of the parking lot, you’ll help save your car from dings and dents.

6. Take the long way. When you’re at work and need to go to the restroom, skip the closest one and take a detour. Hit the stairs and use one on a different floor, or just take the longest route there. The same goes for doing errands (on foot) or strolling to a friend’s house.

7. Take a post-meal walk. Put your shoes on after you put down your fork. Taking a 15-minute walk after dinner can help you digest your meal faster, too.

8. Get off the bus or train one (or two) stops early. Two birds, one stone: You’ll help reduce carbon emissions and do your body good at the same time.

9. Play with your kids. Hide and seek can take a lot of steps!

10. Walk and talk. Take your business calls on the go, or skip the conference room and have walking meetings with your colleagues.

11. Don’t fast forward your DVR. The next time you binge-watch “The Walking Dead,” don’t fast forward through the commercials. Stand up and march in place or pick stuff up around the house until the zombies get walking again.

12. Drink up. All of those trips to the water cooler at work—and the restroom—will make a big dent in your day’s step total.

13. Go on a walking date. It’s a kind of a throwback, but there’s something charming about taking a stroll, especially a sunset one, with your S.O. (If it’s a first-date-gone-wrong, then you can keep walking — away.)

14. Take extra trips. When unloading grocery bags from the car or carrying laundry to the bedroom, it’s tempting to try to take as few trips as possible. Instead, try taking one more trip than you absolutely have to.

With all the technology and machinery available to move us around with the least amount of effort, it’s easy to get in the “why walk?” mindset. We’re not saying you need to pull a Forrest Gump and traverse the U.S. on foot, but you’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll hit your daily goal (whatever it is) when you use your feet for what they were meant to do.

Dr. Phil Shares: 4 Exercises for Knee Pain That Will Strengthen and Protect

4-Exercises-for-Knee-Pain

Even the fittest of us can experience knee pain during activity and exercise. If you’re feeling discouraged about getting back into shape because of knee pain, you’re not alone: The Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly half of all North Americans will suffer from knee arthritis at some point. That includes two out of three obese Americans.

But don’t let a little discomfort push you off track. Sometimes targeting the area, gently and safely, with some basic exercises for knee pain is the best recourse—as long as you check with a doctor first.

 

Why Do Your Knees Hurt to Begin With?

Many factors can contribute to knee pain—bad posture, certain shoes, and excess pressure on the joints are all possible culprits. But there are also a number of diseases and conditions of which knee pain may be a symptom. According to chiropractor Josh Axe, D.N.M., these include—but are not limited to—chronic knee pain including rheumatic arthritis, Lyme disease, lupus, and even psoriasis. Because of this, we recommend seeing a doctor or physical therapist instead of guessing at the cause of your pain—and potentially exacerbating it.

 

How to Exercise When You Have Knee Pain

Once you’ve met with a doctor and have been cleared to exercise, the Mayo Clinic recommends the following three strategies that may help alleviate and prevent future knee pain.

  1. Strengthen the muscles around your aching joints to help brace them for the load.
  2. Maintain strength in your bones. One of the reasons why you’re in pain may be because the joints aren’t used to being exercised.
  3. Lose excess body weight, removing one potential source of stress from your joints with consistent exercise that’s safe for your knees.

Assuming you get the go-ahead from your doctor, here are some basic exercises for knee pain you can most likely do without causing discomfort or further injury.

 

Stretches for Knee Pain

Stretching, warming up and cooling down are particularly important when training through discomfort like knee pain. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has an insightful guide to stretching out the knees before a workout, including:

Basic Exercises for Knee Pain That Will Protect and Stabilize standing quad stretchSTANDING QUAD STRETCH
You’ve probably done this a zillion times without knowing the benefits: Stand up, bend your right knee so that your heel nears your right butt cheek, and grab the top of your foot. Keep knees close together, press your hip forward, and stretch the front of your hip and knee for 30-60 seconds before you switch sides.

Basic Exercises for Knee Pain That Will Protect and Stabilize hamstring stretchHAMSTRING STRETCH
Stand with your right foot extended about a foot in front of you, heel flexed upward. Hinge at the hip and bend your torso toward the right thigh. Square your hips and straighten the right leg, flexing the toes up. Aim for 30-60 seconds of stretching around the back of the knee. (These will get you ready for a more strength-oriented knee rehabilitation program too.)

 

Leg-Strengthening Exercises for Knee Pain

You might find that the mere act of daily stretching goes a long way toward soothing your achy knees. Weekly strength training will also help you to go an extra mile toward stabilizing the muscles and joints around those precious patellas.

Basic Exercises for Knee Pain That Will Protect and Stabilize half squatHALF SQUAT
For those experiencing knee pain, the half squat—going halfway down and holding the squat for five seconds—can be the best place to start.

• Stand with your feet hip- to shoulder-width apart

• Keeping your back flat and core braced, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body to a comfortable depth.

• Pause for five seconds, and then push yourself back up to the starting position. Do 10-15 reps.

If it gets too easy, hold five- to 10-pound dumbbells. Three sets of 10-15 perfect squats ought to do the trick.

 


Basic Exercises for Knee Pain That Will Protect and Stabilize leg pressRESISTANCE BAND LEG PRESS
You’ll need a strong resistance band for these.

• Lie down and hook your right foot in the band like a stirrup, with the left foot extended on the floor.

• Slowly bring your right knee to your chest, fighting the resistance of the band and keeping your pelvis square, until it’s bent at 90 degrees.

• After a beat, slowly push out to full leg extension. Do 10-15 reps and switch sides for three sets.

Performing these gentle moves and soothing stretches under a doctor’s care may potentially help rehab any minor knee problems without surgery, while allowing you all the benefits of healthy exercise and continued weight loss. Once your health practitioner gives the OK, don’t quit some of your favorite workouts because they can actually help stabilize and protect your knee from pain.

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

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