Moms With A Mission

October 11, 2011


Week #8:  Bottled water is less regulated than tap water and can contain chemicals leached from the plastic. Use a stainless steel or aluminum reusable water bottle.



Spot Training: The Monster, the Myth, the Legend

October 10, 2011
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Over the last year, you may have done thousands of sit-ups and still not been able to whittle your middle. If that’s the case, you probably feel frustrated, distraught and defeated.

The bad news: Spot training doesn’t work to help you achieve your overall long-term goals. The best way to lose fat from one particular area is to lose fat overall, then concentrate on toning individual parts of your body. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t (or at least you shouldn’t) take diet pills without also incorporating other healthy lifestyle changes—like healthier food habits and adding exercise—to your routine. If it’s losing weight you’re after, you have to think in terms of not only weight loss, but also weight maintenance.

The good news: Your sit-ups weren’t in vain … and there are three simple steps that do work.

  1. Eating a balanced diet can help regulate how much fat your body stores and eliminates. As a general rule, eliminating 250 calories from your diet each day will yield a recommended weight loss of one pound every two weeks — but don’t worry, you may not have to eat less, you just may have to start eating better.
    • Make sure the calories you’re eating come primarily from nutrient-dense foods that offer more nutrition for relatively few calories, such as whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.
    • If you eat dairy products, choose low-fat or nonfat options, and if you eat poultry, beef or other meat, try to choose leaner cuts.
    • A healthy eating plan will prevent you from storing fat in unwanted places and will help build muscle mass at the same time.
  2. Cardio Exercise is an effective way to burn calories from your daily diet, if you burn 250 calories each day, you will be on the road to a healthy weight loss. If you combine the tactics, you could lose as much as one pound a week.
  3. Strength Training. Should you eliminate the sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts or other isolating strength activities you’ve taken on to “spot train”? While you can’t whittle away the fat on your belly only with sit-ups, you can tone those muscles so when you melt off the overlying fat through a healthy diet and exercise, your gorgeous abs will shine through. Plus, strong muscles have their own benefits …
    • Strong abs help support your back: improving your posture. You’ll look taller and reduce your risk of back injury.
    • As an added bonus, one pound of muscle burns 35-50 calories a day — even when you’re not doing anything!
    • Try more resistance and fewer repetitions to build strength. Do the opposite to build endurance.
    • A healthy diet, adding dietary supplements as appropriate, and cardio and strength training—combined, these are your best defense against fat all over your body and will help you fight fatigue and mood swings.

Moms With A Mission

October 4, 2011


Week #7:  Leave the dirt at the door. Wiping our shoes off and leaving them at the door reduces the amount of lead contaminated dirt tracked in.

The Squat!

October 3, 2011




There are many myths and misconceptions about exercise and most of them center around weight training. One of the most popular myths is that doing certain exercises will help you get rid of trouble spots. Despite evidence that spot training does not work, you might see people frantically doing crunches to get rid of a tummy pooch, or doing leg lifts to get rid of saddle bags.

While it is true that these exercises will strengthen and tone muscles, they don’t do much about the overlying layer of fat. The body draws energy from everywhere, not just the muscle you’re working at the moment, so the the only way to get rid of fat is to burn more calories than you take in.

If you want to tone up your backside, you’ll need strength training, cardio and a healthy diet, but there are great exercises for working the glutes, hips and thighs. Ask any fitness expert and they’ll probably agree that the squat is the best exercise you can do for your butt.

The reason squats are so effective is because it’s a compound exercise that works more than one muscle group. The muscles involved in a movement, the more calories you burn and the more weight you can use. Using heavier weight is how you build lean body tissue. The more lean body tissue you have, the higher your metabolism and the more calories you burn on a regular basis. In addition, you’re targeting every major muscle in your upper leg, up to and including your quadriceps (front of the thigh), hamstrings (back of the thigh), and gluteal muscles (the muscles in your rear).

Moms With A Mission

September 27, 2011


Week #6:  Reduce exposure to chemicals in personal care products.  Search

4 Exercise Myths That Won’t Go Away

September 26, 2011

by Beth Shepard, M.S., ACE-CPT, ACSM-RCEP, Wellcoaches Certified Wellness Coach

The fascinating — and sometimes frustrating — thing about science is that new evidence is constantly unfolding, changing and often disputing what we think we know about exercise. It’s easy to get stuck, holding on tight to what we’ve always done or believed, even when research clearly shows otherwise. Freshen up your fitness knowledge by taking a new look at some old myths:

Myth 1: Stretch first.

Many of us were taught to perform static stretching before a cardiovascular or strength-training workout — it was part of the warm-up and believed to help prevent injuries. Yet, there’s no scientific evidence linking reduced risk of injury or post-workout soreness with a regular stretching routine. Recent studies indicate that pre-event stretching can actually impair performance in sports requiring explosive power, like jumping or sprinting. While flexibility training helps maintain a full range of motion around joints — for optimal results, stretch after your workout.

Myth 2: Don’t let your knees go past your toes while doing a squat or lunge.

Avoiding excessive forward movement of the knee during a squat or lunge is important. However, in everyday activities such as climbing stairs, the knee and torso naturally move forward slightly in parallel with each other for balance — and to propel the body forward and upward. Restricting this movement when performing squats and lunges increases hip stress and could increase the load on your lower back. For more details, read Knee Movement & Proper Form During Lunge Exercises by ACE exercise physiologists Fabio Comana and Pete McCall.

Myth 3: To burn fat, exercise at a lower intensity.

Forget the “fat-burning zone” — just get out there and move. Your body burns both fat and carbohydrate calories to meet the demands of exercise. The proportion of fat or carbohydrate burned in a given workout depends on exercise intensity and duration, but when it comes to weight control, the type of calories burned with exercise doesn’t really matter. If you burn more calories than you consume, you’ll lose weight. If you don’t, you won’t.

Low-to-moderate intensity exercise can be sustained for longer periods than higher-intensity exercise, which burns more calories per minute. Base your exercise intensity on your goals, your fitness level, health status and how it makes you feel. Don’t worry about whether you’re burning fat or carbohydrates. For weight control, the key is to choose an intensity level that makes your exercise program sustainable.

Myth 4: Strength training will make you gain weight.

If you’re concerned about preventing weight gain, strength training is actually something you should be doing. On average, adults who don’t engage in any strength training exercises lose about 4-6 lbs. of muscle tissue per decade, silently chipping away at their resting metabolic rates. Unless caloric intake is also reduced, fat weight tends to increase.

Alternately, regular strength training on the major muscle groups at least twice a week helps prevent loss of muscle tissue, and can even help to restore it. Adults who strength-train at levels recommended for fitness gain about 3 lbs. of muscle weight on average in the first 10-12 weeks, with men gaining slightly more and women gaining slightly less. Greater muscle weight gain is not typical, even with continued training. If you spend hours bodybuilding in the gym each day, then you may put on some additional weight within your genetic limits. But if you’re strength training for fitness, your weight gain should be very modest and could be offset by fat loss.

Moms With A Mission

September 19, 2011

Week #5:  Pesticides are linked to hyperactivity, behavior disorders, learning disabilities, developmental delays and motor dysfunction. Use non-toxic methods to manage pests and weeds.