Take a hike

Exercising doesn’t have to be mundane; especially in the warmer months! There are plenty of ways to get your workout in and get some sunshine at the same time. Over the past year I began going on hikes and I found that I really enjoy it. You can find hiking spots by searching state parks in your state. At most sites, there are different paths to choose from based on your physical activity level.

Hiking is great exercise because you are walking for at least a mile at different inclines. It does not even feel like exercise but rather more of a challenge to get to the top! And the scenery can’t be beat.

Here are some pictures from my last hike in upstate New York!

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Exploring!

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View from the top!

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Waterfall!

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Beach Body Workout

After having one too many scoops of potato salad this weekend I am trying to get myself back on track for my summer body. With the threat of thunderstorms, however, I could not go on the two mile run that I had planned on. Instead, I turned to the internet to provide me with a new workout that I could do in my living room. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a rigorous workout. Boy, was I wrong. I decided to try a workout I saw on Self Magazine’s twitter: The 16- Minute Beach Body Workout. By minute seven I was most definitely sweating. This workout is great because it does not require any equipment and it targets a lot of muscles, such as your shoulders, abs, back, and many more. The workout contains eight different exercises done for one minute each, and then repeated. I found myself working a lot harder than I expected and I definitely felt the burn. If you find yourself struggling, you can always resort to regular crunches or a plank for the remainder of the minute.

Its great to try new workouts as they challenge you in different ways and also introduce you to new exercises and techniques. Will you try the 16-Minute Beach Body Workout? If you do, let me know what you think!

Got milk?

Add calcium to the list of super-nutrients for women! Researchers at McGill University found that women who get up to 1,000 mg of calcium per day live longer. These women had a 20 percent lower chance of dying compared to women who had over or under the recommended amount. Researchers suggest calcium supplements to women to ensure getting the correct amount of the nutrient but incorporating calcium into your diet naturally is truly best. Don’t like milk? Don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to get calcium:

  1.  Kale
  2. Almonds
  3. White beans
  4. Oranges

What’s your DNA?

Would you want to know your risk level for every disease? It may seem like a question from a futuristic science fiction world, but our technology is getting closer and closer to making this question a reality. According to medical researchers, genetic sequencing (the ability for doctors to analyze your genes through a blood test) will soon be a part of your yearly check-up.

But is this a good thing? Would you want to know if you have a higher risk of developing breast cancer even when it is possible that it would never develop? On the one hand, genetic sequencing would allow for people to be more knowledgeable about their health and take preventative measures against certain diseases. On the other hand, the news could cause an increase in stress and even in your insurance rates. It is certainly a question to think about as it is becoming closer to a real decision that you will have to make.

Exercise for estrogen

The benefits of exercise seem to be growing every day! And this recent finding should definitely get you off the couch and onto the treadmill. New research shows that exercise can lower a woman’s risk of breast cancer. The study found that women who exercise five days a week had changes in their estrogen metabolism, which lowers the chance of breast cancer. In fact, women who participated in any kind of exercise at all had a six percent lower chance of developing breast cancer. Even more powerful: Mothers who exercised at least 10 hours a week during their reproductive years had a 30 percent lower risk. Exercise now not only reduces obesity and strengthens your heart, but can also lower your chance of developing breast cancer! You can reap the benefits from just 30 minutes, five times a week so do it!

The hot new vitamin

Vitamin E might not be a vitamin that you consciously try to include in your diet but it should be. According to a new study, Vitamin E can improve your overall health. For example, consuming foods with Vitamin E can help prevent obesity as well as liver failure  and some kinds of cancer. The vitamin can also help improve the lung health of past smokers. It is also beneficial in preventing heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers suggest 15mg per day and that you eat natural forms of the vitamin rather than Vitamin E supplements. Here are some Vitamin E rich foods that you can easily add to your diet:

  1. Sunflower seeds
  2. Almonds
  3. Cooked Spinach
  4. Kale
  5. Avocados

With all the health benefits why wouldn’t you add these foods to your shopping cart?

Put it out

Even teenage girls who never smoke a cigarette could still be at high risk for health problems. A new study done in Australia found that secondhand smoke is more dangerous to teenage girls than teenage boys. Girls who were exposed to secondhand smoke growing up had lower levels of HDL cholesterol (the good kind). This can lead to heart disease later in life. Similarly, women who smoke are 25 perecent more likely to develop heart problems. With all the knowledge we have now on the dangers of smoking (as well as the dangers of second hand smoke) everyone should put out their cigarette and turn to a healthy alternative. For example, going for a walk every time you feel the need to smoke is much better for your overall health.