United Preference Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness tailored for the consumer

Leave a comment

Does Eating More Really Help You Lose Weight?

Most people assume that eating less is the most effective way to lose weight. As logical as it may seem, eating less is not the solution. Food is the fuel of the body and eating less depletes the body of essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary to maintain a healthy diet. In fact, you should be eating about every three hours. As crazy as that sounds, there are several reasons why it is beneficial

-First, eating more speeds up your metabolism. Eating less sends a message to you’re brain that you are in starvation mode, which causes the body to store fat as a form of survival. Eating every three hours provides your body with what it needs to speed up your metabolism.

It enables to body to burn fat faster and more naturally. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly builds lean muscle and muscles eat fat as a source of nutrients. In other words, muscles burn fat in order to maintain itself. Coupled with resistance training, eating proteins builds muscle mass and the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn.

It gives you the energy needed to exercise. Eating gives you the fuel you need to maximize your efforts in the gym in order to gain lean muscle mass. Depriving yourself of food can cause you to perform slower, more sluggishly, and decrease your stamina.

Certain foods eliminate toxins, as well as burn fat. Vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins are packed with fiber, which is very beneficial to the body because it helps eliminate toxins in the body. So not only will you see the results you have searching for, your body will feel healthier too.

Eating 5-6 smaller meals a day is much more beneficial than eating 1-3 normal sized meals a day. You do not have to depress yourself and eat less in order get to your desired weight. It’s what you eat, not necessarily how much you eat. So instead of just cutting back on portion sizes and decreasing your caloric intake, choose healthier options and eat away.

Leave a comment

Pedometers Promote Physical Activity

Research has shown that wearing a pedometer promotes physical activity and helps with weight loss.

“Just as a watch can’t make a person be on time, a pedometer can’t make a person active,” said Dr. Barbara Bushman, an exercise specialist and personal trainer with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). “But it’s a good tool for promoting physical activity.”

A summary of 26 different studies showed that pedometer users walked at least 2,000 more steps each day than nonusers, according to the Harvard Health Letter, produced by experts at Harvard Medical School. Also, using a pedometer helped them increase overall physical activity levels by 27 percent.

For most healthy adults, 10,000 steps per day is a reasonable goal, according to ACSM.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/12/us-fitness-pedometers-idUSBRE8AB0CZ20121112

Leave a comment

The Growing Walking Movement

6 in 10 Americans are now walking every week, and they’re three times more likely to get the recommended amount of exercise than people who don’t take strolls.  In a new report, the CDC finds that more and more Americans are taking up the simple act of walking for exercise, and that those who get out there and walk are about three times more likely to meet physical activity requirements.

CDC director Thomas Frieden said, “Fifteen million more Americans were walking in 2010 compared to 2005″…“There really is no single drug that can do anything like what regular physical activity does and that’s why [walking] really is a wonder drug. It makes you healthier and happier. Even if you don’t lose any weight, getting regular exercise will decrease your risk of getting sick, getting diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and many other conditions.”  In addition to that walking can reduce the power of weight-gaining genes.

Walkers were defined as those who engaged in at least one bout of walking in the previous week for at least 10 minutes; the walk could have been undertaken for any reason, such as transportation, fun, walking the dog, relaxation or exercise. Americans living in the West and Northeast logged the most walks, but Southerners made the most strides in terms of increasing their walking prevalence, with 49% reporting walking in 2005, compared with 57% in 2010.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6131a4.htm?s_cid=mm6131a4_w

Leave a comment

Exercise Helps Treat Depression in Heart Failure Patients

Exercise is not only a great way to combat weight loss, but it also can treat depression.  Up to 40% of people suffering from heart failure are clinically depressed.  Recent findings show that exercise can help battle depression for those people.  This is yet another example of exercise being an incentive for not only improved physical health, but in this case, improved mental health.

Lead study author James Blumenthal, a psychology professor at Duke University Medical Center, recently said that exercise has been shown to be safe for people with heart failure, and that exercise does not need to be strenuous or a huge time commitment for patients to see a difference.  “It doesn’t require intensive training for a marathon to derive benefits,” he said. “We’re talking about three, 30-minute sessions for an accumulated 90 minutes a week. And the results are significant improvements in mental health, reduced hospitalizations and fewer deaths.”

Blumenthal and colleagues warn that the improvements are “modest” for the most part, however results may vary from patient to patient.

Source: http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/01/more-evidence-that-exercise-may-help-treat-depression/#ixzz22JwcRZE9

Leave a comment

Reasons to try Yoga

Just a decade ago Yoga was viewed as being unconventional and it continues to move towards becoming a normal facet of peoples lives.  It has been around for more than 5,000 years and today over 11 million Americans practice it.   Generally it focuses on strength, balance and flexibility, but there are many different styles and types of that can focus on things like meditation.  Yoga eases stress, lowers blood pressure, slows heart rates, and increases flexibility.

Here are some benefits of Yoga that often fly under the radar:
1) Increased compassion
2) Mindful eating
3) Improved strength
4) Higher confidence
5) Better relationships
6) Better sleep
7) Steamier sex
8) Improved posture

You can find a Yoga Class near you here.

Leave a comment

Slowing the attack of Alzheimer’s

Recent studies presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference show that exercise not only can benefit the elderly physically, but also mentally.  Both aerobic and strength training helps improve memory for adults over the age of 65, delaying signs of alzheimer’s and increasing healthy brain function.  Dr. Kirk Erickson of the University of Pittsburgh lead this research and said, “Our findings suggest that the aging brain remains modifiable, and that sedentary older adults can benefit from starting a moderate walking regimen”.

Adding a healthy diet to the equation also helps.  In fact a recent study shows that cutting back on fats and sugars improves memory test scores.  Researchers fed 20 healthy adults either a diet that had a high glycemic index and lots of saturated fat or a low glycemic index and little saturated fat for four weeks. They then gave the participants a memory test. Those who ate the low-fat, low-glycemic-index diet performed better on the memory test, and also had lower blood levels of certain markers of Alzheimer’s disease. A similar experiment in 29 adults who already had some signs of cognitive showed similar, though not quite as impressive, results.  Keep in mind that certain fats, like those found in fish oil, nuts, and vegetable oil promote healthy brain function.  So it is important not to eliminate all fats from your diet.