Running – A Simple Way To Improve Mental Well-Being

 

You probably know that running and similar exercises result in physical well-being, help in weight management, and encourage an active lifestyle, but did you know running also provides mental and cognitive benefits?

Studies show that running causes the body to release endorphins that can result in a general sense of happiness. It has been used for years to treat addictions and clinical depression of all types. Less fatigue, less tension, and less depression are just a few changes a person experiences from a regular running program.

Apart from running being a great way to naturally lift your energy and release all the negative feelings, it has several other psychological benefits. Here are a few of them:

Improve self-confidence

On a basic level, running can develop a positive self-image. Regardless of your weight, size, age, or gender, this exercise activity can quickly elevate your perception of your self-worth/attractiveness.

Even if you don’t develop a lot of muscle or lose a lot of weight while following a regular running program, you are likely to tone your body and increase stamina. Seeing such results can make you feel better about your appearance and bolster your self-confidence.

Reduce cognitive decline

Though unpleasant, the reality is that our brains get hazy as we grow older. The brain shrinks due of aging and diseases like Alzheimer’s kill brain cells and causes a loss of important brain functions.

While running and following up a proper diet can’t cure existing diseases, they can help prevent the cognitive decline by shoring up the brain, especially in individuals between 25 and 45 years of page. Running helps in boosting the chemicals in the brain that dampen hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory) degeneration.

Boost memory

Running increases your ability to learn new things by boosting the processing power of your memory. The generation of sweat increases hippocampus cell production that is responsible for learning and memory. For this particular reason, brain development at an early age has been associated with the level of physical fitness.

But exercise-based brainpower is not just for early age brain development; exercise can boost memory function among grown-ups, as well. Running sprints has been found to improve vocabulary preservation among healthy individuals, according to the results of a study.

Developing a routine

Everyone has a unique ability to run. The outcome, of course, is to learn the quirks of our bodies and play by its rules. Luckily, there are some principles you can follow to develop an active running routine to stay motivated, and run strong session after session:

Start small

Running isn’t about how many miles you can go; it’s about finding the right balance, and types of workouts that get you the mental benefits without exhaustion or injury. Experiment with different distance level on alternative days and develop weekly distance goals.

Then, see if you reach your goals weekly. When you start finding it easy, increase the distance or add an extra day or two for your sessions.

Stay small during an injury

If you’re carrying one of those common running injuries, give yourself a reality check; in coming back from all the time spent in cross-training, retain the perspective and skip the miles greed.

Also, you can wear recovery clothing such as compression shorts to feel productive even if you’re not able to run much. The product info on Tommiecopper.com explains that these shorts actually stabilize muscles and help in enhancing muscle and joint mobility. So you’ll be getting the benefit of faster recovery while you run those miles.

Aim for consistency

Whether you are working towards your weekly goal or recovering from a running injury, consistency is the most important factor in training. You won’t improve by running once a week, or running hard for a week and taking the next week off. Developing a regular routine comes from consistency, which also doesn’t mean you have to train all-year-round.

Structured training, with months of balanced miles, helps you avoid injuries and develop mental fitness towards this activity. What you can do is maintain a minimum running target, even if its 30 minutes 2 days a week, and preferably run in the morning as the mind is fresh at the start of the day. Plan your ‘lazy’ months for the time when you know it’ll be difficult to run – exam time, winter weather, and lifestyle changes.

Be patient

Piling on the miles with intensity won’t get you anywhere faster, but it might get you out of action. So whether you’re running to reduce stress or lose weight, increase quality and quantity gradually.

This translates into increasing your weekly distance target by 10 percent a week. Apply this increase to more than one run. So if you run 10 miles a week, you could add 2 miles to a long run in the next session, while keeping your intensity the same.

Avoid increasing intensity and distance together; individuals new at running should focus on going farther rather than faster.

 

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Raspberry Shrimp Salad Recipe and Redpack Giveaway

raspberry-shrimp-salad

Raspberry Shrimp Salad

Raspberry Shrimp Salad – Makes 4 servings:  Prep Time 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 small red onion

10 ounce bag salad greens

2 cups grilled shrimp or frozen cooked shrimp. thawed

1 mango, peeled and diced

1 (28 ounce) can REDPACK diced tomatoes or 2 (14.5 ounce) cans REDPACK Petite Diced tomatoes, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup raspberry walnut vinaigrette

1 cup fresh raspberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

This is the original recipe. I made this salad on Monday morning before I went to work. My grocery store did not have fresh red onions or raspberries. I omitted the red onions and substituted the raspberries with blueberries.  In addition, I added carrots and  used spinach as my greens. I would try this recipe again and use either arugula or mixed greens. I found the spinach that I bought in the farmer’s market too bitter for me. It was a good combination of flavors with the blueberries and mangoes. The bitterness of the spinach combined with the sweetness of the fruits made this an interesting salad. I made the salad again on Tuesday and tried Italian dressing and I prefer the strawberry vinaigrette I used on Monday instead.

As you can see, I don’t totally follow the recipes as directed but I think if you have favorite salad items, why not add them.   Here is a pic of my salad. The shrimp was so good!

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The shrimp is on tip and the yellow are mangoes and next to them are blueberries and walnuts. The tomatoes and carrots are peeking out.

REDPACK has other recipes and a promotion via their Facebook page.  From June 11-July 2, Redpack is inviting my readers to like their Facebook page.  Redpack is giving away 1,000 Redpack reusable grocery totes every week via a random drawing.  The Grand prize winner selected at the end of the promotion will receive a gourmet picnic gift basket worth $350. In addition to the gift basket are all of the tools you need to spin, chop, toss, dress, and mix your favorite summer salad.  The promotion is called Toss in the Flavor promotion on the Redpack Facebok page.  Share your salads on our Facebook page or on Twitter and Instagram using the #TossInTheFlavor #Redpackrecipes.

Good Luck!

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BodyArmor Review

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 Hydration is essential for optimal health. The recommendation for most people is to drink 1/2 their body weight in ounces daily.

I  love flavored drinks but don’t like the extra calories. I am very hesitant to drink soda but sometimes I need flavor in my drinks as water can be oh so boorrrrrinnnnnnngggggggg.  I like to keep myself hydrated especially in the warmer summer months. I seem to be constantly thirsty all the time and no I do not have diabetes.

The human body is 75% water so its important to keep our bodies hydrated.  I stopped drinking soda twelve years ago when I moved to NYC since soda was super expensive, I resorted to drinking water. Like I wrote before, water can get very boring in flavor and sometimes I need extra flavoring. I am not one to add those flavored powders to my drink as I will forget to put it in my lunchbag.

I was given the opportunity to try out BodyArmor; a new sports drink on the market.  I have tried the mango orange, mixed berry, tropical punch, grape, and mixed berry.  The flavoring is pretty good. Its not sweet at all and quenches my thirst. The size of the bottle is pretty generous and I can’t drink it in one sitting because the few sips I have,  I am well hydrated.  I like there are many choices of flavors as I get bored with the same flavors if I drink it all the time.

Now, your next question is what are the ingredients to BodyArmor that I am well hydrated after a few sips?  Here is a description from the company:

BODYARMOR is a premium sports drink that provides superior hydration and is loaded with electrolytes, vitamins and coconut water. In fact,  BODYARMOR has 2.5 times the electrolytes of other sports drinks. I’m sure you’re aware of the importance of proper hydration, especially during the hot summer weather. BODYARMOR is high in potassium and low
sodium and contains no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners –and it tastes great – making it easy to enjoy and stay hydrated.”

How does BodyArmor compare to Gatorade? After reading the description above, thoughts of Gatorade entered my head. This post is not a comparison of BodyArmor versus Gatorade. I have not drank Gatorade in many years as I heard the drink causes enamel loss in your teeth.  I have not done any research on this and was simply through hearsay.

I do know the ingredient that Gatorade lacks is coconut water, which maybe  is the ingredient that quenches my thirst!  BodyArmor contains 10% of coconut water, in addition to B3, B5, B9, B12, antioxidants, A, C, and E.

Here is the best part to BodyArmor:  there are no artificial flavors, colors. or sweeteners.   No caffeine, no preservatives, gluten-free (Yay!), nut free, and certified kosher.  It can’t get any better than this?  My gluten-free friends can drink BodyArmor!

 

If you would like to know where to purchase Body Armor, here is the website:  http://drinkbodyarmor.com

If you would like to follow or Like BodyArmor, here are the social media links:


https://www.facebook.com/drinkbodyarmor
http://instagram.com/drinkbodyarmor
https://twitter.com/DrinkBODYARMOR

 

DISCLAIMER:  I was given some Body Armor samples in order to write this review.  This review is my own opinion and I am not receiving any monetary compensation.

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Pre-Father’s Day Gift – Free Men’s Health Screening on June 14

In-club screenings available to members and open to the public

Saturday, June 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

June is a time when we celebrate the men in our lives with Father’s Day. June is also Men’s Health Month, offering families an important opportunity to help a man they love take charge of his health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease are among the top health risks for adult males in the U.S.; however, a few simple lifestyle changes can help prevent these serious health issues.1 Sam’s Club is dedicating its free health screening event on Saturday, June 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to helping more men learn about risk factors and how to stay healthy.

The screenings are free and available to the public at all Sam’s Club locations with a pharmacy (590 locations). The free health screening event features tests valued at up to $150, including2:

  • PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test for men 40 and over – This test is used to screen men for prostate cancer by checking the blood level of PSA, a protein produced by the prostate gland
  • Blood pressure
  • BMI (body mass index)
  • Total cholesterol
  • Glucose
  • HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Risk Ratio
  • Vision Screenings/Testing

“Men’s Health Month is a great reminder of the unique health risks men face,” said Jill Turner-Mitchael, senior vice president, Sam’s Club Health and Wellness. “The free health screenings at Sam’s Club make it easy for men and their families to be proactive in learning about their health. It’s a tool everyone should take advantage of as a way to gather information that can benefit them for years to come.”

In addition to monthly health screenings, Sam’s Club pharmacies provide savings and preventive care to each community it serves, such as year-round immunizations for adults ages 18 and above. Licensed pharmacists can administer walk-in flu shots and nine other important immunizations recommended to help protect against serious diseases like pneumonia, shingles and whooping cough. Sam’s Club also offers $4/$10 generic prescription prices to the public, and Sam’s Plus and Sam’s Business members receive an additional 8 percent savings on name-brand prescriptions, 40 percent savings on generics not part of the $4/$10 generic prescription program, and access to more savings through the Extra Value Drug Program, featuring 10 to 30 percent savings on select name-brand and generic prescriptions. Restrictions may apply.

Information about Sam’s Club health and wellness offerings can be found at SamsClub.com and in the Sam’s Club exclusive bi-monthly wellness magazine, Healthy Living Made Simple, which reaches approximately eight million members.

About Sam’s Club®

Sam’s Club®, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is a leading membership warehouse club offering superior products, savings and services to millions of members in 635 clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. To learn more about Sam’s Club, visit the Sam’s Club Newsroom, shop at SamsClub.com, and interact with Sam’s Club on Twitter and Facebook.

The Mayo Clinic. Men’s health: Prevent the top threats. August 17, 2013. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/mens-health/in-depth/mens-health/art-20047764.

Limited quantities available. Screening types

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The Pros and Cons of Hot and Cold Canapes for Parties

One of the key elements of any party is the food. Get this right and everyone will thank you for it. This article focuses on hot and cold food ideas and the pros and cons of focusing on either or both.

 

Here’s a question for you – do you prefer your party food to be hot or cold when served? While most dishes will be cold (ideal for being prepared well in advance if need be) some are perfect when served hot. Typical examples include mini toad in the holes and mini burgers. There are many other more exotic and innovative ideas that are best served hot too.

 

This is an area you will need to think about when you are planning a party. Hot food is a nice addition especially in the colder months of the year, but it does mean it must be cooked just before the party so it can be served immediately. Either that or it should be cooked and kept warm. The most important thing is to ensure the food is still safe to serve. The last thing you want is to host a party where your guests fall ill with food poisoning.

 

It’s probably fair to say there can be disadvantages with preparing purely cold food too. This does have the advantage of being able to be prepared in advance – sometimes perhaps a day in advance – but it also means you have to find room to store everything safely. Again, most of it will need to be kept in the fridge and you may not be able to fit it all in there. In some ways it can be better to have a mix of hot and cold canapés so you can appeal to everyone while still ensuring the food is safe and tasty. It does mean cooking on the day but if you are well organised you may not mind doing this.

 

There are also dishes that can be cooked through in minutes with little preparation that do not mean you’ll be tied to the kitchen for long periods of time. This means you can pop something in the oven before your guests arrive, do some socialising and then take it out and serve it right on time. Just be sure you don’t easily get distracted otherwise the smell of burning is likely to alert you.

 

Canapés for parties can be daunting for some people. This may be the case for you if you have never catered for a party before. Perhaps the best way to solve all the issues that can arise is to hire someone to do this bit of hard work for you. They will be able to provide the perfect mix of hot and cold canapés that are all served at the right temperature – and you can get on with being the perfect host and meeting and greeting everyone who attends.

 

We all have our favourite party foods. Some love hot dishes while others prefer cold. There are also all kinds of options for a good mix of tastes and flavours to enjoy. Whether you decide to cater for the party yourself or not, you cannot deny this is a type of food most of us really do love.

 

 

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Some Cooking Tricks to Use in a Healthy Kitchen

Healthy Cooking

 

Kitchen is the most important place in a house. It is not just essential to have a lovely kitchen and it’s simply not enough to adorn it with the best accessories. Your kitchen will never be a wholesome place if it does not have the best of all kitchen supplies. Your kitchen is not complete unless you have the best of them.

We all are careful at buying the best cutlery, the best dinner sets, and other dishes but no one really pays attention to get the disposable dinnerware. Have you ever considered getting a pack for your home use? Probably not! If you don’t have it in your kitchen, you are missing some essential supplies my friends. Every kitchen must include elegant disposable dinnerware.

People do not just have limited knowledge of kitchen supplies but they also have limited knowledge about ways to cook too. You think you know how to cook but are you sure you know how to cook healthy? People today are techno savvy and smart but most of them don’t really know how to boil an egg. That’s why they have never come to realize that home cooked food is always best than the food we buy from outside.

If you are guilty of this, then it’s time to change. When you have a kitchen in your house, you have every right to cook meals for yourself in order to enjoy the benefits of healthy eating.  Don’t you think it’s our habit of eating out that makes us obese.Well, here are some cooking tricks that you must adopt in your kitchen to enjoy the benefits of healthy eating:

  • Healthy cooking involves food with low fat. While you are cooking, make sure that you choose such ingredients that are less fattening. When you are using cooking oil for sauté or even for frying, make sure that the fat is mono-saturated. You can use olive oil. It’s best for all types of cooking.
  • It’s not just eggs that you can poach. You can poach white meat and red meat in chicken stock and vegetable stock too. You can use this flavored liquid to cook other dishes too.
  • Braising is a good technique that can come in handy. Two steps are involved in braising food. Firstly, you have to cook the food in pan and then add broth. You can also use any flavored liquid from poaching. Leave the food to cook on low heat.
  • Don’t use much salt in your food. A report shows that excessive use of salt can make you prone to high blood pressure, heartburn, ulcers, and even osteoporosis.

Cooking is not such a hard job. Whether it is about men or women, both can do it really well. When you have a kitchen in your home, why not make use of it in the best way? Even if you are busy because of your work routine, you can still prepare food without wasting much time. You just need to be aware of the cooking tricks that will do the work for you.

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Post Pregnancy Beauty: Rediscovering Your Confidence

In today’s world, post-baby bodies are a hot topic. With celebrities losing their baby weight in record (and sometimes unhealthy) times, there’s a lot of pressure to fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans. Good news for you, you’ve got a lot of things going in your favor. You’re young, you have a gorgeous, new baby and with a little extra work and a lot of confidence, you can lose the baby weight in a healthy way, while feeling good about yourself along the way.

First thing to remember: you just had a baby. Weight gain is an inevitable part of the process; we all get it. The most important thing postpartum is that you’re healthy, physically and emotionally. Even though you are not at your target weight doesn’t mean that you’re not beautiful. Chances are, even with the stress of having a little one, this is one of happiest times of your life, which can really shine through if you let it.

With a boosted self-esteem, there are some easy tips and tricks that can “disguise” your extra weight and make you feel good about yourself, even if you’re not exactly where you want to be yet.

Get Active.

Whether you load up baby in the stroller and commit to taking a walk each day or start by taking a gentle yoga class to get back into working out, it’s important to stay regularly active. If you’re not comfortable in the gym, there are tons of at-home workouts you can buy or glean off the internet. Another great tip is to get a personal trainer. This gives you a little break from mom duties, and an expert can help you get back into shape in a safe, healthy way. They can be a great resource even if you just go for a few sessions then continue to workout on your own.

Add Some Shine.

Let’s be honest, while taking care of baby, you don’t need a full face of makeup. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t put on a couple coats of mascara and some lip gloss. Try visiting a makeup counter or mass retailer to get a few new products to accentuate your post-baby glow. Believe us, a little primping goes a long way in the self confidence department, even if you don’t plan on leaving the house that day. Give yourself a smile in the mirror and treat yourself to a sparklier version of your reflection.

Love Yourself.

Learning to love your body is a big part of feeling confident and good about yourself. You don’t have to be confined to sweatpants just because you’re a mom now. Spice it up a little with a babydoll nightie or cute, short little robe to get yourself back into the lingerie game. If you don’t want to visit the store or don’t have a sitter, there are tons of online lingerie retailers like Yumdrop. Browse around, take some risks and get something that will make you feel good about your body, and maybe even, dare we say, sexy!

By combining exercise, primping and a little sass in your life, you’ll feel better about your current weight and maybe even more motivated to get where you want to be. Just remember, take it easy on yourself and focus on the things you like about your body and know that you still can be flirty and pretty as a Mom.

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