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Avocado Toast

Category : Healthy Eating

Who knew mashing avocado on toast was trendy? Certainly not me…I’ve been making avocado toast for years because it’s quick, easy, delicious and nutritious.

I was very surprised to learn from a client (who travels a whole lot more than I do) that avocado toast is “a thing” on both coasts and here in the mid-west we’re missing out!!  I accidentally invented avocado toast (for myself) years ago because it’s a great substitute for some less desirable condiments such as mayo or butter.

Please, don’t worry about how many calories are in an avocado. The health benefits of the avocado far outweigh any concern you may have about the fat content… it’s monounsaturated fat which is “heart healthy” plus a little fat goes a long way toward helping you feel full longer so you will actually consume less calories throughout the day.

What’s so great about avocado?

  • They have more potassium than bananas
  • They are high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a “heart healthy” fatty acid that is believed to be one of the main reasons for the health benefits of olive oil.
  • A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of avocado contains 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the recommended daily amount.
  • Numerous studies have shown that eating avocado can improve heart disease risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, as well as blood triglycerides.
  • Avocados are high in antioxidants, including Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These nutrients are very important for eye health and lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • They are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as B-vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E and vitamin C.
 
  • One of my favorite breakfasts...avocado and egg sandwich

    One of my favorite breakfasts…avocado and egg sandwich

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Beat the Heat

Category : Active Living, Healthy Eating

Is summer vacation and hot weather challenging your weight loss efforts?

Too Hot to Cook
  • It’s tempting to eat out when it’s too hot to cook If you do eat out, remember to eat reasonable portions and eat all your vegetables. Try to avoid fast food all together.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables This is the BEST season for fresh produce…plus you don’t have cook it. Whether you visit a farmer’s market or stop by the salad bar enjoy delicious fruits and raw vegetables EVERY day. Remember, the USDA recommends 3 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables daily.
  • Grill healthy foods Grilling out will keep your kitchen cool. Prepare veggies (zucchini, colorful peppers, onions, and mushrooms tossed in olive oil) in a grill basket. As for meat, stay away from the brats and burgers and opt for lean cuts of meat or fish.
  • Avoid traditional picnic food Chips, mayo-based “salads” (such as potato salad and coleslaw) and meat on a bun are not good choices. If you are invited to a “cookout” offer to bring a salad or fresh fruit.
Too Hot to Exercise
  • Drink Water Always a good idea…zero calories. Avoid drinking calories from soda, ice coffees, and sports drinks except as a special treat.
  • Workout indoors The great outdoors is usually a great option here in Wisconsin, however, if we’re experiencing a heat wave exercise indoors.
  • Stay cool in the pool Swim, chase your kids, walk in chest-high water or try deep water running for awesome low impact exercise.
  • Exercise early The sun is up early in the summer, but the couple of hours after sunrise are cool and quiet. A perfect way to beat the heat!
  • Get Acclimated If you know you will be participating in an event that will require you to exert yourself when it is hot outdoors it is best to exercise in the heat for short periods so that your body can adjust to it. For more information: http://www.acefitness.org/fitnessqanda/fitnessqanda_display.aspx?itemid=281
Heat Emergencies (from the American Red Cross) Generally, illnesses caused by overexposure to extreme temperatures are preventable. The easiest way to prevent illness caused by temperature extremes is to avoid being outside during the part of the day when temperatures are most extreme. The signals of heatstroke include:
  • Hot, red skin which can be dry, or moist from exercise
  • Changes in consciousness
  • Pulse is rapid,/weak
  • Breathing is rapid,/shallow
  • Vomiting
  • Body temperature is very high—sometimes as high as 106°F
What to do for heat stroke: Heatstroke is a life-threatening situation. If you suspect someone is suffering from heatstroke, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately:
  • Move the person to a cool place
  • Loosen tight clothing
  • Remove perspiration-soaked clothing
  • Apply cool, wet cloths to the skin
  • Fan the person
  • If conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink*
  • Place the person on his or her side
  • Continue to cool the person by using ice or cold packs on the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and in the armpits
  • Continue to check breathing and circulation
 The signals of heat exhaustion include:
  • Cool, moist, pale, or flushed skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion
  • Body temperature normal or below normal
What to do for heat exhaustion
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths, such as towels or sheets soaked in water
  • If the person is conscious, give him or her cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes*
  • Let the person rest in a comfortable position
  • Watch carefully for changes in his or her condition
 *Do not give liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine because they can cause further dehydration, making conditions worse. Ensure 9-1-1 or the local emergency number is called if the person refuses water, vomits or starts to lose consciousness.

Stay cool, stay fit and have great summer!

Yours in health & fitness,

Karin

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Motivation in March

Category : Exercise

January is a distant memory…what about your New Years Resolutions? If they’ve fallen by the wayside, don’t worry…it happens to the best of us. Do you need to get moving again? Here’s what to do:

 

Keep track on a chart

It may seem silly, but most grown-ups are just as motivated as grade-schoolers by something as simple as a chart on the wall with stickers or smiley faces. Try this at home: Place a calendar which is dedicated to keeping track of your workouts in a prominent location such as your refrigerator. Everyday you workout draw a smiley face (or give yourself a sticker) on the calendar. Everyday you do not workout draw a big red “X” on the day. That way you have a visual. More than two red X’s in a row and you will know you better get a move on! Any week you have more smiley faces than X’s reward yourself!

   

Schedule four workouts per week.

Take a few minutes each weekend to look ahead to the coming week and figure out which four days and times you will exercise. Scheduling four may seem like a lot, but consider the fact that “something will come up” on one of those days and you will have to cancel. In that case, at least you will get three workouts in. Consider that fourth workout as a “bonus” workout. If you complete it reward yourself!

   

Find an exercise buddy.

Exercising with a friend is more fun. It also makes it harder to cancel your workout because you have someone to answer to. You may even want to wager a friendly bet: Anytime you or your friend skips a planned workout the one who cancels has to put $5 into the jar. At the end of the month the person with the best track record gets all the money in the jar.

   

Register for an event.

Starting in April the calendar is literally exploding with opportunities to participate in everything from a 5K walk/run to an Ironman Triathlon. Pick an event which will be challenging, but not ridiculously so. Check out www.active.com Having an event out there on the horizon you know you will have to stick to your workout in order to be ready in time. Many event websites post a workout schedule which you can follow; if not, a personal trainer can help you organize your workouts so you will be prepared for your event.

   

Try something new.

Perhaps you are tired of the same old, same old. Try a new activity, get some new workout clothes or shoes, buy some new music or a new exercise DVD. A small monetary investment may be all you need to get yourself moving again. Wouldn’t you feel guilty if you let those new shoes just sit there collecting dust?

   

Remember, Spring is just around the corner and you want to be in great shape by then! Pick one of these ideas and give it a whirl. Let me know which one you try and how it is working for you karin@xofitness.com. I would love to hear from you!

   

Karin Jennings is a certified personal trainer and co-owner of XO Fitness, LLC in De Pere.

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February’s Fitness & Food Challenge

Category : Upcoming Events

February’s Fitness & Food Challenge

Designed to help you make heart healthy lifestyle changes

 

How?

 

ACCOUNTABILITY!

 

EVERY DAY:

Complete the Fitness & Food Tracking Sheet

 

EVERY WEEK:

Hand in Fitness & Food Tracking Sheet at the front desk

 

What do you need to do?

 

Register no later than January 31st!

Pick up your Fitness & Food packet at the front desk

Cost: $10

Includes cardio membership, Fitness & Food Log, chance to win great prizes!

 

Fitness Challenge

4 week challenge…turn in fitness log weekly for prizes!

(You can exercise with us or on your own.)

Complete 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days per week

 

OR

 

Complete 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise 3 days per week

 

AND

 

Complete at least 2 days per week of strength training

 

Food Challenge

Eat 4-5 meals/snacks each day including breakfast for 4 weeks

and complete the weekly challenges listed below!

Turn in Food Log weekly for prizes!

Week 1

Drink a glass of water with every meal/snack

Week 2

Eat a Vegetable or Fruit at each meal/snack

Week 3

Eat a Protein at every meal/snack

Week 4

Avoid fast food & processed foods

Challenge begins February 1st

Register no later than January 31st

 

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Protein Quality and Quantity

Category : Healthy Eating

I’ve been a big advocate of protein over the years and have written plenty of articles about the benefits of protein and how to get more protein into your diet. There’s always more to learn though, so I wanted to share what I recently read in this month’s IDEA Fitness Journal called “Tapping the Power of Protein” by Christopher R. Mohr, PhD, RD. This article emphasizes eating high quality protein at least three times per day.

Here’s what I learned:

Be sure to eat protein throughout the day, but particularly at breakfast.

Americans tend to eat most of their protein later in the day, however we should really be eating in for breakfast. According to Stewart Phillips, PhD and professor at McMaster University, “It’s a good idea to aim for around 20 g of protein if you’re younger or 30-40 g if you’re older.” Also, in a 12-week study conducted by Heather Leidy, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri it was discovered that a high protein breakfast (35 g of protein) reduced daily hunger and  led to voluntary reductions of about 400 calories in daily food intake.

Also, not all protein is created equal…

I learned about an amino acid called leucine. When this amino acid is present muscle protein synthesis will occur. So which foods that are high in leucine? IDEA fitness journal’s article mentions the following: cottage cheese, chicken breast, ground beef, wild salmon, whole egg. I searched online for more options because I felt that list was very limited for vegetarians. Here are some good choices: soybeans, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, and white beans. The goal is to eat 2.2-3 g of protein with each meal.

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Holiday Hours

Category : Upcoming Events

Christmas Eve…Closing at 12pm

Christmas Day…Closed

December 26th &  27th…Closed

Monday, December 28th…Open 5 am- 7 pm

Tuesday, December 29th…Open 5 am- 7 pm

Wednesday, December 30th…Open 5 am- 7 pm

New Years Eve…Closed

New Years Day…Closed

January 2nd & 3rd…Closed

See you Monday, January 4th

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Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon

Category : Healthy Eating

by Karin Jennings
I recently read a very interesting article about the nutritional benefits of watermelon. I have always been a fan of this fabulous fruit because it’s refreshing and sweet, but I learned there are even more reasons to enjoy watermelon!

Why eat watermelon?

  • First of all, it’s a great source of vitamin C, Vitamin A and potassium.
  • Secondly, it will help you stay hydrated because it is 92% water.
  • Also it contains citrulline and lycopene, according to Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a professor of horticulture in the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University. (She has been studying watermelon nutrients for 15 years!!)

How does citrulline benefit your body?

I hadn’t heard of this non-essential amino acid prior reading about it last week, but here’s what found out: It is involved in producing nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure which benefits the both the brain and heart. It also helps to flush the kidneys.

How does lycopene benefit your body?

The tomato industry has been touting the benefits of lycopene for a while now (I see it on every bottle of ketchup), but it turns out that lycopene is more abundant and easily absorbed from watermelon than from tomatoes. (That’s good…I like watermelon better!) Lycopene reduces plaque build up in arteries and helps prevent prostate cancer.

For those of you who prefer lists…watermelons will improve the following:

  • muscle pain after workouts
  • blood pressure
  • plaque build up in arteries
  • inflammation of the prostate
  • erectile dysfunction
  • menopause symptoms
  • acid reflux

Watermelon is a very healthy snack…here’s the nutritional information:

Two cups of watermelon contains:

  • 80 calories
  • 21 grams of carbohydrates (mostly sugars)
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of protein

What about all the sugar?

Don’t worry, according to Perkins-Veazie there is an enzyme present in watermelon which regulates the glucose. It is much healthier than any pre-packaged, processed snack you can buy off the shelf!

Go ahead, enjoy your watermelon!!

 

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When to buy Organic

Category : Healthy Eating

This is great time of year to buy fresh produce…But the burning question is: When to buy organic?

A nonprofit organization call the Environmental Working Group looked at 51,000 pesticide tests for 53 popular fruits and vegetables and then ranked them based on how much and how many different pesticides were found. The Dirty Dozen is their list of the 12 foods shown to have the highest levels. Whenever possible, buy the organic versions of these 12 fruits and vegetables.

Dirty Dozen

Apples

Strawberries

Grapes

Celery

Peaches

Spinach

Sweet Bell Pepper

Imported Nectarines

Cucumbers

Cherry Tomatoes

Imported Snap Peas

Potatoes

Giving credit where credit is due: This information adapted from an article by Dr. Mark Roussell PhD

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Poisonous Plants

Category : Active Living

Don't let these poisonous plants ruin your summertime fun!

A couple of poisonous plants that are very common in Wisconsin include poison ivy and poison parsnip.

Poison Ivy...leaves of three, let it be

Of course, avoiding contact with poison ivy is the best case scenario, so being able to identify it is important. In the picture below you can see smaller light green leaves and more mature darker green leaves of the poison ivy plant.
Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy along the Fox River Trail

If you do come in contact with poison ivy  wash your skin as soon as possible...experts recommend within 30 minutes of exposure. Use soap and water to remove the oils. If you are out in the the middle of nowhere with no soap available rinsing in a lake is a good alternative. Also, wash your clothing and bathe any pets you suspect may have been in contact with it.

How to treat Poison Ivy

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following:

Take short, lukewarm baths. To ease the itch, take short, lukewarm baths in a colloidal oatmeal preparation, which you can buy at your local drugstore. You can also draw a bath and add one cup of baking soda to the running water. Taking short, cool showers may also help.

Consider calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. Apply calamine lotion to skin that itches. If you have a mild case, a hydrocortisone cream or lotion may also help.

Apply cool compresses to the itchy skin. You can make a cool compress by wetting a clean washcloth with cold water and wringing it out so that it does not drip. Then, apply the cool cloth to the itchy skin.

Consider taking antihistamine pills. These pills can help reduce itching, however use with caution. You should not apply an antihistamine to your skin, as doing so can worsen the rash and the itch.

According to WebMD:

The rash usually takes more than a week to show up the first time you have a reaction to the oil. It develops in a day or two on later contacts. The rash may form in new areas over several days, but you will only get a rash where the oil touched your skin. The rash usually lasts about 10 days to 3 weeks. But it may last up to 6 weeks in more severe cases.

Poison Parsnip

I had never heard of this until Ryan cam in contact with it about 10 years ago during an adventure race. Somehow we had never noticed it before, but now I see it everywhere I travel in Wisconsin.
Poison Parsnip along the Fox River Trail

Poison Parsnip along the Fox River Trail

According to the Wisconsin DNR:

When sap contacts skin in the presence of sunlight, it can cause severe rashes, blisters, and discoloration of the skin (phytophotodermatitis).

Once exposed, your skin will turn red within 24 to 48 hours. In many cases, after the skin reddens, blisters appear--some of them pretty big. Sometimes the area that was burned takes on a dark red or brown discoloration that can last for as long as 2 years. The good news is, while it might hurt for awhile, the burning feeling will go away in a day or two. This is different from poison ivy where the itching can last for weeks.

You can treat blisters with cool compresses. Try to keep blisters from rupturing as long as possible. If blisters do rupture try to prevent infection. Clean the sores with soap and cool water. Apply an antibiotic ointment with painkiller and a sterile bandage to keep contaminants out. Change bandages twice a day or as needed to keep the area clean and dry.

Have fun & enjoy to the great outdoors, but be careful out there!

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Flip flops are bad for you

Category : Active Living

by Karin Jennings

I see flip flops everywhere I go during the summer, but honestly, I can’t stand them!

I don’t like the feeling of the thong between my toes.
I don’t like the way my arches cave inward because they have zero arch support.
I can’t walk normally in them because I have to grip with my toes in order to keep them on my feet.

All of this got me wondering: Is it just me or are flip flops actually bad for your feet?

I did some research…Turns our my gut feeling about flip flops was right: Flip flops are bad for you!

Here is what I found out:

In 2008, Auburn University conducted a study led by biomechanics doctoral student Justin Shoyer. The researchers speculated that the altered gait could result in pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back.
“When people walk in flip-flops, they alter their gait, which can result in problems and pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back. Variations like this at the foot can result in changes up the kinetic chain, which in this case can extend upward in the wearer’s body.”

Other problems with flip flops include:
  • Tripping by catching your toes
  • Injuring your toes because they are completely exposed
  • Sun burning your feet
  • Exposing your feet to bacteria and fungus
  • Difficulties driving because they can get caught under the pedals

If you are going to wear flip flops:

Check out these better choices in the flip flop world

Here’s to your happy, healthy feet!

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Avocado Toast

Category : Healthy Eating

Who knew mashing avocado on toast was trendy? Certainly not me…I’ve been making avocado toast for years because it’s quick, easy, delicious and nutritious.

I was very surprised to learn from a client (who travels a whole lot more than I do) that avocado toast is “a thing” on both coasts and here in the mid-west we’re missing out!!  I accidentally invented avocado toast (for myself) years ago because it’s a great substitute for some less desirable condiments such as mayo or butter.

Please, don’t worry about how many calories are in an avocado. The health benefits of the avocado far outweigh any concern you may have about the fat content… it’s monounsaturated fat which is “heart healthy” plus a little fat goes a long way toward helping you feel full longer so you will actually consume less calories throughout the day.

What’s so great about avocado?

  • They have more potassium than bananas
  • They are high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a “heart healthy” fatty acid that is believed to be one of the main reasons for the health benefits of olive oil.
  • A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of avocado contains 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the recommended daily amount.
  • Numerous studies have shown that eating avocado can improve heart disease risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, as well as blood triglycerides.
  • Avocados are high in antioxidants, including Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These nutrients are very important for eye health and lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • They are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as B-vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E and vitamin C.
 
  • One of my favorite breakfasts...avocado and egg sandwich

    One of my favorite breakfasts…avocado and egg sandwich

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Beat the Heat

Category : Active Living, Healthy Eating

Is summer vacation and hot weather challenging your weight loss efforts?

Too Hot to Cook
  • It’s tempting to eat out when it’s too hot to cook If you do eat out, remember to eat reasonable portions and eat all your vegetables. Try to avoid fast food all together.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables This is the BEST season for fresh produce…plus you don’t have cook it. Whether you visit a farmer’s market or stop by the salad bar enjoy delicious fruits and raw vegetables EVERY day. Remember, the USDA recommends 3 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables daily.
  • Grill healthy foods Grilling out will keep your kitchen cool. Prepare veggies (zucchini, colorful peppers, onions, and mushrooms tossed in olive oil) in a grill basket. As for meat, stay away from the brats and burgers and opt for lean cuts of meat or fish.
  • Avoid traditional picnic food Chips, mayo-based “salads” (such as potato salad and coleslaw) and meat on a bun are not good choices. If you are invited to a “cookout” offer to bring a salad or fresh fruit.
Too Hot to Exercise
  • Drink Water Always a good idea…zero calories. Avoid drinking calories from soda, ice coffees, and sports drinks except as a special treat.
  • Workout indoors The great outdoors is usually a great option here in Wisconsin, however, if we’re experiencing a heat wave exercise indoors.
  • Stay cool in the pool Swim, chase your kids, walk in chest-high water or try deep water running for awesome low impact exercise.
  • Exercise early The sun is up early in the summer, but the couple of hours after sunrise are cool and quiet. A perfect way to beat the heat!
  • Get Acclimated If you know you will be participating in an event that will require you to exert yourself when it is hot outdoors it is best to exercise in the heat for short periods so that your body can adjust to it. For more information: http://www.acefitness.org/fitnessqanda/fitnessqanda_display.aspx?itemid=281
Heat Emergencies (from the American Red Cross) Generally, illnesses caused by overexposure to extreme temperatures are preventable. The easiest way to prevent illness caused by temperature extremes is to avoid being outside during the part of the day when temperatures are most extreme. The signals of heatstroke include:
  • Hot, red skin which can be dry, or moist from exercise
  • Changes in consciousness
  • Pulse is rapid,/weak
  • Breathing is rapid,/shallow
  • Vomiting
  • Body temperature is very high—sometimes as high as 106°F
What to do for heat stroke: Heatstroke is a life-threatening situation. If you suspect someone is suffering from heatstroke, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately:
  • Move the person to a cool place
  • Loosen tight clothing
  • Remove perspiration-soaked clothing
  • Apply cool, wet cloths to the skin
  • Fan the person
  • If conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink*
  • Place the person on his or her side
  • Continue to cool the person by using ice or cold packs on the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and in the armpits
  • Continue to check breathing and circulation
 The signals of heat exhaustion include:
  • Cool, moist, pale, or flushed skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion
  • Body temperature normal or below normal
What to do for heat exhaustion
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths, such as towels or sheets soaked in water
  • If the person is conscious, give him or her cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes*
  • Let the person rest in a comfortable position
  • Watch carefully for changes in his or her condition
 *Do not give liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine because they can cause further dehydration, making conditions worse. Ensure 9-1-1 or the local emergency number is called if the person refuses water, vomits or starts to lose consciousness.

Stay cool, stay fit and have great summer!

Yours in health & fitness,

Karin

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Motivation in March

Category : Exercise

January is a distant memory…what about your New Years Resolutions? If they’ve fallen by the wayside, don’t worry…it happens to the best of us. Do you need to get moving again? Here’s what to do:

 

Keep track on a chart

It may seem silly, but most grown-ups are just as motivated as grade-schoolers by something as simple as a chart on the wall with stickers or smiley faces. Try this at home: Place a calendar which is dedicated to keeping track of your workouts in a prominent location such as your refrigerator. Everyday you workout draw a smiley face (or give yourself a sticker) on the calendar. Everyday you do not workout draw a big red “X” on the day. That way you have a visual. More than two red X’s in a row and you will know you better get a move on! Any week you have more smiley faces than X’s reward yourself!

   

Schedule four workouts per week.

Take a few minutes each weekend to look ahead to the coming week and figure out which four days and times you will exercise. Scheduling four may seem like a lot, but consider the fact that “something will come up” on one of those days and you will have to cancel. In that case, at least you will get three workouts in. Consider that fourth workout as a “bonus” workout. If you complete it reward yourself!

   

Find an exercise buddy.

Exercising with a friend is more fun. It also makes it harder to cancel your workout because you have someone to answer to. You may even want to wager a friendly bet: Anytime you or your friend skips a planned workout the one who cancels has to put $5 into the jar. At the end of the month the person with the best track record gets all the money in the jar.

   

Register for an event.

Starting in April the calendar is literally exploding with opportunities to participate in everything from a 5K walk/run to an Ironman Triathlon. Pick an event which will be challenging, but not ridiculously so. Check out www.active.com Having an event out there on the horizon you know you will have to stick to your workout in order to be ready in time. Many event websites post a workout schedule which you can follow; if not, a personal trainer can help you organize your workouts so you will be prepared for your event.

   

Try something new.

Perhaps you are tired of the same old, same old. Try a new activity, get some new workout clothes or shoes, buy some new music or a new exercise DVD. A small monetary investment may be all you need to get yourself moving again. Wouldn’t you feel guilty if you let those new shoes just sit there collecting dust?

   

Remember, Spring is just around the corner and you want to be in great shape by then! Pick one of these ideas and give it a whirl. Let me know which one you try and how it is working for you karin@xofitness.com. I would love to hear from you!

   

Karin Jennings is a certified personal trainer and co-owner of XO Fitness, LLC in De Pere.

Comments Off on February’s Fitness & Food Challenge

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February’s Fitness & Food Challenge

Category : Upcoming Events

February’s Fitness & Food Challenge

Designed to help you make heart healthy lifestyle changes

 

How?

 

ACCOUNTABILITY!

 

EVERY DAY:

Complete the Fitness & Food Tracking Sheet

 

EVERY WEEK:

Hand in Fitness & Food Tracking Sheet at the front desk

 

What do you need to do?

 

Register no later than January 31st!

Pick up your Fitness & Food packet at the front desk

Cost: $10

Includes cardio membership, Fitness & Food Log, chance to win great prizes!

 

Fitness Challenge

4 week challenge…turn in fitness log weekly for prizes!

(You can exercise with us or on your own.)

Complete 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days per week

 

OR

 

Complete 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise 3 days per week

 

AND

 

Complete at least 2 days per week of strength training

 

Food Challenge

Eat 4-5 meals/snacks each day including breakfast for 4 weeks

and complete the weekly challenges listed below!

Turn in Food Log weekly for prizes!

Week 1

Drink a glass of water with every meal/snack

Week 2

Eat a Vegetable or Fruit at each meal/snack

Week 3

Eat a Protein at every meal/snack

Week 4

Avoid fast food & processed foods

Challenge begins February 1st

Register no later than January 31st

 

Comments Off on Protein Quality and Quantity

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Protein Quality and Quantity

Category : Healthy Eating

I’ve been a big advocate of protein over the years and have written plenty of articles about the benefits of protein and how to get more protein into your diet. There’s always more to learn though, so I wanted to share what I recently read in this month’s IDEA Fitness Journal called “Tapping the Power of Protein” by Christopher R. Mohr, PhD, RD. This article emphasizes eating high quality protein at least three times per day.

Here’s what I learned:

Be sure to eat protein throughout the day, but particularly at breakfast.

Americans tend to eat most of their protein later in the day, however we should really be eating in for breakfast. According to Stewart Phillips, PhD and professor at McMaster University, “It’s a good idea to aim for around 20 g of protein if you’re younger or 30-40 g if you’re older.” Also, in a 12-week study conducted by Heather Leidy, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri it was discovered that a high protein breakfast (35 g of protein) reduced daily hunger and  led to voluntary reductions of about 400 calories in daily food intake.

Also, not all protein is created equal…

I learned about an amino acid called leucine. When this amino acid is present muscle protein synthesis will occur. So which foods that are high in leucine? IDEA fitness journal’s article mentions the following: cottage cheese, chicken breast, ground beef, wild salmon, whole egg. I searched online for more options because I felt that list was very limited for vegetarians. Here are some good choices: soybeans, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, and white beans. The goal is to eat 2.2-3 g of protein with each meal.

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Holiday Hours

Category : Upcoming Events

Christmas Eve…Closing at 12pm

Christmas Day…Closed

December 26th &  27th…Closed

Monday, December 28th…Open 5 am- 7 pm

Tuesday, December 29th…Open 5 am- 7 pm

Wednesday, December 30th…Open 5 am- 7 pm

New Years Eve…Closed

New Years Day…Closed

January 2nd & 3rd…Closed

See you Monday, January 4th

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Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon

Category : Healthy Eating

by Karin Jennings
I recently read a very interesting article about the nutritional benefits of watermelon. I have always been a fan of this fabulous fruit because it’s refreshing and sweet, but I learned there are even more reasons to enjoy watermelon!

Why eat watermelon?

  • First of all, it’s a great source of vitamin C, Vitamin A and potassium.
  • Secondly, it will help you stay hydrated because it is 92% water.
  • Also it contains citrulline and lycopene, according to Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a professor of horticulture in the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University. (She has been studying watermelon nutrients for 15 years!!)

How does citrulline benefit your body?

I hadn’t heard of this non-essential amino acid prior reading about it last week, but here’s what found out: It is involved in producing nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure which benefits the both the brain and heart. It also helps to flush the kidneys.

How does lycopene benefit your body?

The tomato industry has been touting the benefits of lycopene for a while now (I see it on every bottle of ketchup), but it turns out that lycopene is more abundant and easily absorbed from watermelon than from tomatoes. (That’s good…I like watermelon better!) Lycopene reduces plaque build up in arteries and helps prevent prostate cancer.

For those of you who prefer lists…watermelons will improve the following:

  • muscle pain after workouts
  • blood pressure
  • plaque build up in arteries
  • inflammation of the prostate
  • erectile dysfunction
  • menopause symptoms
  • acid reflux

Watermelon is a very healthy snack…here’s the nutritional information:

Two cups of watermelon contains:

  • 80 calories
  • 21 grams of carbohydrates (mostly sugars)
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of protein

What about all the sugar?

Don’t worry, according to Perkins-Veazie there is an enzyme present in watermelon which regulates the glucose. It is much healthier than any pre-packaged, processed snack you can buy off the shelf!

Go ahead, enjoy your watermelon!!

 

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When to buy Organic

Category : Healthy Eating

This is great time of year to buy fresh produce…But the burning question is: When to buy organic?

A nonprofit organization call the Environmental Working Group looked at 51,000 pesticide tests for 53 popular fruits and vegetables and then ranked them based on how much and how many different pesticides were found. The Dirty Dozen is their list of the 12 foods shown to have the highest levels. Whenever possible, buy the organic versions of these 12 fruits and vegetables.

Dirty Dozen

Apples

Strawberries

Grapes

Celery

Peaches

Spinach

Sweet Bell Pepper

Imported Nectarines

Cucumbers

Cherry Tomatoes

Imported Snap Peas

Potatoes

Giving credit where credit is due: This information adapted from an article by Dr. Mark Roussell PhD

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Poisonous Plants

Category : Active Living

Don't let these poisonous plants ruin your summertime fun!

A couple of poisonous plants that are very common in Wisconsin include poison ivy and poison parsnip.

Poison Ivy...leaves of three, let it be

Of course, avoiding contact with poison ivy is the best case scenario, so being able to identify it is important. In the picture below you can see smaller light green leaves and more mature darker green leaves of the poison ivy plant.
Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy along the Fox River Trail

If you do come in contact with poison ivy  wash your skin as soon as possible...experts recommend within 30 minutes of exposure. Use soap and water to remove the oils. If you are out in the the middle of nowhere with no soap available rinsing in a lake is a good alternative. Also, wash your clothing and bathe any pets you suspect may have been in contact with it.

How to treat Poison Ivy

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following:

Take short, lukewarm baths. To ease the itch, take short, lukewarm baths in a colloidal oatmeal preparation, which you can buy at your local drugstore. You can also draw a bath and add one cup of baking soda to the running water. Taking short, cool showers may also help.

Consider calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. Apply calamine lotion to skin that itches. If you have a mild case, a hydrocortisone cream or lotion may also help.

Apply cool compresses to the itchy skin. You can make a cool compress by wetting a clean washcloth with cold water and wringing it out so that it does not drip. Then, apply the cool cloth to the itchy skin.

Consider taking antihistamine pills. These pills can help reduce itching, however use with caution. You should not apply an antihistamine to your skin, as doing so can worsen the rash and the itch.

According to WebMD:

The rash usually takes more than a week to show up the first time you have a reaction to the oil. It develops in a day or two on later contacts. The rash may form in new areas over several days, but you will only get a rash where the oil touched your skin. The rash usually lasts about 10 days to 3 weeks. But it may last up to 6 weeks in more severe cases.

Poison Parsnip

I had never heard of this until Ryan cam in contact with it about 10 years ago during an adventure race. Somehow we had never noticed it before, but now I see it everywhere I travel in Wisconsin.
Poison Parsnip along the Fox River Trail

Poison Parsnip along the Fox River Trail

According to the Wisconsin DNR:

When sap contacts skin in the presence of sunlight, it can cause severe rashes, blisters, and discoloration of the skin (phytophotodermatitis).

Once exposed, your skin will turn red within 24 to 48 hours. In many cases, after the skin reddens, blisters appear--some of them pretty big. Sometimes the area that was burned takes on a dark red or brown discoloration that can last for as long as 2 years. The good news is, while it might hurt for awhile, the burning feeling will go away in a day or two. This is different from poison ivy where the itching can last for weeks.

You can treat blisters with cool compresses. Try to keep blisters from rupturing as long as possible. If blisters do rupture try to prevent infection. Clean the sores with soap and cool water. Apply an antibiotic ointment with painkiller and a sterile bandage to keep contaminants out. Change bandages twice a day or as needed to keep the area clean and dry.

Have fun & enjoy to the great outdoors, but be careful out there!

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Flip flops are bad for you

Category : Active Living

by Karin Jennings

I see flip flops everywhere I go during the summer, but honestly, I can’t stand them!

I don’t like the feeling of the thong between my toes.
I don’t like the way my arches cave inward because they have zero arch support.
I can’t walk normally in them because I have to grip with my toes in order to keep them on my feet.

All of this got me wondering: Is it just me or are flip flops actually bad for your feet?

I did some research…Turns our my gut feeling about flip flops was right: Flip flops are bad for you!

Here is what I found out:

In 2008, Auburn University conducted a study led by biomechanics doctoral student Justin Shoyer. The researchers speculated that the altered gait could result in pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back.
“When people walk in flip-flops, they alter their gait, which can result in problems and pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back. Variations like this at the foot can result in changes up the kinetic chain, which in this case can extend upward in the wearer’s body.”

Other problems with flip flops include:
  • Tripping by catching your toes
  • Injuring your toes because they are completely exposed
  • Sun burning your feet
  • Exposing your feet to bacteria and fungus
  • Difficulties driving because they can get caught under the pedals

If you are going to wear flip flops:

Check out these better choices in the flip flop world

Here’s to your happy, healthy feet!