Archive for September, 2010
National Women’s Health and Fitness Day is observed on the last Wednesday of September.
It is organized by the Health Information Resource Center and the purpose is to encourage women of all ages to develop healthy habits.
Events take place all over the country in locations such as schools, churches, community centers, and health clubs. Activities vary by location and can include exercise demonstrations, health screenings, seminars, etc.
This year 40,000 – 100,000 women are expected to participate in National Women’s Health And Fitness Day across the country. For more information, go to
They make lovely decorations but do pumpkins have any nutritional value? Why, yes, they do! Read on!
The pumpkin is a vegetable in the same family as squash and gourds. You can eat the flesh and the seeds, and both are good for you. The flesh can be prepared by baking or boiling. I suppose you could microwave it, although I’ve never tried it. I actually prefer to use the canned version of pumpkin because it is already cooked and pureed!
As soon as you notice the bright orange color of a pumpkin, it’s obvious that it is rich in beta-carotene, just like carrots. Studies show that beta-carotene can help protect against some types of cancers and heart disease, and even has some anti-aging properties.
Pumpkin is very low in calories and high in fiber. It contains no fat or cholesterol, but does have vitamins A, C, E, and some B vitamins.
Pumpkin seeds are also very nutritious. They are a good source of iron, protein, and fiber. They can be eaten raw but are usually roasted. The easiest way to do this is to spread the seeds on paper towels to dry, then put them in a single layer on a pan, spray lightly with olive oil spray, and roast until done. Give them a stir every 15 minutes or so to keep them from sticking.
Of course the seeds can also be planted so you can have your own pumpkin patch. But be careful – they like to spread. When we were kids, my sister planted a few pumpkin seeds and the vines took over half of our backyard!
There are lots of ways to serve pumpkin other than just pies. It makes delicious soups and casseroles. A spoonful or two of canned pumpkin tastes delicious stirred into plain yogurt and topped with cinnamon!
This fall, use your pumpkin for more than just a decoration. You and your family might even develop some new fall traditions!
If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your followers and friends! Thanks!
“Can I be on a diet and still lead a normal life?”
This question might sound kind of funny at first but it is a serious concern for the person who is devoted to their weight loss program and doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize their chances of success.
Most people who ask this question are really asking if they can eat out while trying to lose weight. And my answer is, of course you can, as long as you use some common sense! Here are some things you can do to stay on course when eating at a restaurant or someone else’s house:
- Eat something filling and healthy, such as an apple, before going out to eat.
- Try everything but take small servings of the high calorie dishes.
- Spend more time talking to the people you’re with than eating.
- Drink water between bites to make yourself feel fuller.
- Try to limit eating out to once per week.
Think of it this way: you eat 21 meals a week. If you over do it at one of those meals, you probably won’t sabotage yourself. However, if you find yourself going out for a big burger or sub for lunch 5 days a week, you might not really be committed to your weight loss program.
If you truly want to succeed, hoping to lose weight but clinging to your old eating habits is not going to get you where you want to be – that’s what got you where you already are!
When I visited Lynn’s blog the other day and followed her link to this article, I immediately knew I wanted to share it with you! Enjoy!
How to Maximize Weight Lifting Effectiveness
By Lynn Hahn
Weight lifting is extremely important. Having good muscle mass increases your metabolism and makes you strong. It also changes the appearance of your body. Most women do not want to get large muscles but instead want to get firm and toned. That can be achieved by weight lifting.
There is some conflicting information about the proper way to lift. There also are some truths that most trainers agree about.
Starting with your largest muscle groups is one rule that most trainers use. It really is common sense when you stop to think about it. If you start lifting with your smaller muscles those muscles will not be able to support the weight the larger muscles need to be challenged.
Starting with the larger muscles in the buttock and chest is the most effective way to lift weights. If you workout your biceps first they will not be able to assist the other muscles in your arms when you lift the heavier weights needed to work your chest.
I start my clients with buttock exercises. That is really the best muscle group to start with, especially for women. Then I use a couple of different methods. I may workout the large muscles in the thighs next, to the lower legs and then begin working the upper body beginning with the chest and working down to the smaller muscles in the arms. The other method is rotate between the upper and lower body starting with the largest muscles and working down to the smaller muscles. Either of those methods are very effective.
As far as the order goes I am a very firm believer in saving the abdominal muscles and lower back for the end of your routine. Your core body needs to support all the action taking place while the other parts of your body are being challenged. If you start with the abs or lower back they will not be able to do their job of supporting your action as well and may get over stressed resulting in injury.
How often you lift weights is an area of conflict. The courses I have taken suggest lifting 2 to 3 days a week on non-consecutive days. There are some trainers that believe in working a different body part each day.
Your body uses a fuel called glycogen when you lift weights. You do not have a large supply of that fuel. Your body lets you know when you are running a bit low by causing you to breath hard and creating a burning sensation in the muscle group you are working.
The burn that you feel is lactic acid. That is the by-product of burning glycogen as a fuel. The heavy breathing is your body’s way of trying to get more fuel. It is trying to get to your fat storage which requires oxygen to burn. Your body takes about 48 hours to restore its supply of glycogen after lifting weights.
Working different parts of your body is not the best idea. Your body does not take glycogen from some parts and not other parts of your body. It just uses what it can get to. If you do not wait for it to replace that fuel it can lead to problems.
Also, your body builds muscle on your rest day not when you are lifting. If you do not have a rest day your results may not be as good. Even though you are letting the upper body rest and just working the lower body your body is still being challenged.
It is best to drink water and eat a small amount of food about half an hour before you lift. Fruit digests quickly and has the carbohydrates your body needs so that is a good choice. Drinking water and eating some protein within an hour after your workout adds to the effectiveness of your session as well.
So to recap, if you start with your largest muscles, train every other day and feed your body you will maximize your weight lifting.
By Lynn Hahn
My name is Lynn Hahn. I’m certified by the American Council on Exercise as a fitness instructor and a Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant. I’m also a certified Third Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo.
I produce and create very effective fitness DVDs designed for women. Come and visit my website http://www.getrealfit.org to get more fitness information and to see my products!
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!
Many of my readers are work at home moms, self-employed entrepreneurs, or are working toward freelancer status. If you fall into any of these categories, or if you are even considering freelancing, there is a great opportunity for you to learn from some of the most experienced freelancing experts this weekend. The event is called International Freelancers Day and is 100% free to attend! Plus, you don’t have to travel anywhere because it is all online!
Nothing can show you your progress and keep you on track like a weight loss journal. Let’s take a look at how to set up this valuable tool.
Do I need a book made specifically to be used as a weight loss journal?
Absolutely not. In fact, I would advise against using any book that pre-determines how you should use the pages. A journal with blank pages allows you to put whatever you want on any page in any order. This is your personal diary and needs to be designed by you.
Because your journal will be going with you wherever you go, it needs to be sturdy enough to stand up to lots of use and portable enough to fit in your purse.
What should I record in my weight loss journal?
The answer to that question is anything and everything that has to do with your weight loss journey! Here are some ideas:
- Goals. I’m sure you have a long term goal in mind but you will also find it helpful to set weekly goals to reach along the way.
- Progress. Write down your weight and measurements at regular intervals. Maybe you could create a graph to better visualize your progress. Paste in photos of yourself and see how your appearance is changing.
- Foods eaten. What did you eat? What size portion? How many calories? (If you don’t know the calorie count, look it up – don’t guess.) Be sure to write down everything that goes into your mouth!
- Exercise. Did you do an extra amount of walking today? Did you go to the gym? Did you spend Saturday on the couch? Write it down!
- Thoughts and feelings. How did you feel after a particular meal or workout? What time of day were you the most hungry? Were you sore after a long walk? Happy when you saw progress on the scale?
- Inspiration. Include inspirational quotes, clippings, cartoons, compliments you received. You could even paste in the size tag from your new skinnier jeans!
How will my weight loss journal help me lose weight?
By re-reading your journal, you’ll learn things about yourself that you might not have realized before. You’ll be able to see what situations tempt you to overeat or to skip exercising. Once you see these patterns, you’ll be able to plan how to deal with them or even avoid them altogether. You’ll also have a record of things you tried that didn’t work so you don’t end up trying them again!
Have fun with your weight loss journal! Choose a book with a cover you love, use colorful pens, draw funny pictures, be creative! Who knows? This could become a journey of self discovery as much as a weight loss journey!
Be sure to get my 40 Healthy Weight Loss Tips to help you along your way!