Healthy Tips

10-13-2015

Find the best fitness friend
A workout buddy is hugely helpful for keeping motivated, but it's important to find someone who will inspire—not discourage. So make a list of all your exercise-loving friends, then see who fits this criteria: Can your pal meet to exercise on a regular basis? Is she supportive (not disparaging) of your goals? And last, will your bud be able to keep up with you or even push your limits in key workouts? If you've got someone that fits all three, make that phone call.

Little moves, big results
Being healthier doesn't have to mean overhauling your entire lifestyle. Sometimes all it takes is a few simple changes. From eating more carrots to watching puppy videos (that's right, puppy videos), these quick-and-easy tweaks to your daily health regimen can make a huge difference in the way you feel.

Grab your toes and pull
"This boosts circulation after your feet have been cramped in shoes all day," says Michele Summers Colon, DPM, a podiatrist in El Monte, California. "Without proper circulation, the muscles and nerves in our toes don't work properly. And that can cause pain in your knees, hips, and back."

Wash the linens
Dust mites, a major allergy trigger, love to hang out in your bed. Zap 'em by laundering sheets and pillowcases every week in hot water. Also smart: Use mattress and duvet covers designed to keep mites out.

Don't lose sleep
Are your nerves keeping you up at night? "When my mind starts racing in bed, I think about the next day's challenges. Then, I take long breaths, thinking, Breathe in, breathe out," says Olympic swimmer Rebecca Soni. "It takes practice, but if you do it regularly, your body learns how to relax."

Munch on carrots
The humble carrot never got much attention, but it's now a nutritionist favorite, thanks to its high vitamin A content—just one half cup has almost double the amount you need for healthy eyes. They're hot with chefs, too, making it easier to get your good-vision fix

Beet Greens
Beet roots’ edible leafy tops are brimming with vitamin K, which is linked to a lower chance of getting type 2 diabetes. One cup provides nearly twice your daily requirement. Cooking tip: Saute a bunch of tender beet greens with some olive oil and garlic for a healthy side dish. Or chop them and add to frittatas, soups, or pasta dishes.

Microgreens
Great things come in small packages. The baby versions of radishes, cabbages, kale, and broccoli can be higher in nutrients like vitamins C and E than the regular, mature plants. They range in flavors from peppery to tangy. Cooking tip: Try adding a handful of microgreens to sandwiches and salads, or use as a garnish for soups

Swiss Chard
Two main varieties of Swiss chard are found on store shelves: one with multicolored stems and veins, often called rainbow chard, and another with white stems and veins. Both are great sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, an antioxidant duo that's good for your eyes. At only 7 calories a cup, the green giant is waistline-friendly, too. Cooking tip: To preserve its nutritional might, lightly steam chard and toss with vinaigrette. You can also use the leaves instead of tortillas when making soft tacos.

Swimming
There are a number of benefits associated with swimming. Your cardiovascular fitness gets a real boost when in the pool because swimming works the entire body. Major muscle groups also go through an exhaustive workout, depending on how much you swim. Your posture and flexibility improve over time since swimming utilizes the whole body through movements that can only be done in the water. Another benefit is perhaps what swimming does not do to your body. Namely punish your joints, bones and ligaments. The natural resistance from the water protects areas such as the knees and elbows from any jarring.

Biking
Just 40 minutes of bike riding can burn up to 500 calories, according to the Adult Bicycling website. Indoor cycling classes at fitness studios are specifically designed to burn a high amount of calories to help people achieve their weight loss goals. Biking helps tone leg and back muscles, while shaving off those love handles. Regular bike riding also greatly improves cardiovascular fitness and cuts down the chance for heart disease. Like swimming, biking is easy on joints and bones, since it is a low-impact sport. This makes biking ideal if you have limited range of motion or have knee problems