Can your mind affect how you look?

Have you ever thought about how your mind affects the way you look? We've all been in stressful situations in our lives but how is this affecting the way we look and feel about ourselves? Today we're going to cover that.

Imagine this, you've been asked to complete a task by tomorrow's deadline and your boss has expressed that you're job's on the line with this one. You went from feeling anxious last week to feeling like jumping off a cliff would be a better option than having to deal with your maniac boss tomorrow.

Now feeling like this isn't good for your state of well-being or your body. So what happens to our body during these times? Its first response is to give you a shot of energy to increase your focus - this affect will usually only last several minutes before you crash. Following this your body will start a chain reaction of events where you will start to destroy muscle tissue and store body fat. Why don't we want this? Because muscle is what keeps you looking toned and fit - Fat just does the opposite.



Facts and Figures

 Sample Image Facts and Figures
10 Years.
That's how much younger you'll be at a cellular level when you remain physically active.

1 = 2. Every hour spent exercising vigorously adds two hours to an adult's lifespan.

4x. The number of calories per minute children burn more of when playing an actiove video game (such as wii) rather than playing a seated game.
Exercise withdrawal. Taking time off from regular training can contribute to feelings of depression and fatigue. A study revealed that individuals who regularly worked out and then stopped exercising for just one week experienced negative mood changes including fatigue, loss of vigor and increaed tension. After two weeks of no exercise the participants felt even more tired and experienced synmptons of depression and guilt. Decreases in fitness levels also occured. Those with the highest levels of fitness at the beginning of the study had the greatest loss of fitness and felt most depressed. 

 Sample Image 48-72. The number of hours rest required for a muscle group to recuperate after strength training session to maximise muscle recovery.

10%. The percentage of fat cells that die every year with new ones taking their place.

20%. People are more likely to stick to their training if they have support at work such as a keep fit programme or gym facilities. 
11 Minutes. The number of minutes of resistance training done three days a week required to significantly improve your resting metabolic rate.

Milk for endurance. Carbohydrates are important for the capacity to perform prolonged exercise. Researchers at Loughborough University (UK) found milk has a similar conctration of commercially available carbohydrate supplements and contain similar electorlytes and macro nutrient breakdowns. Results showed milk increased exercise duration by 10 minutes. The effects of milk supplementation seem to be similar to those of carbohydrate electrolyte beverages. So if you're on a tight budget, reach for a glass of milk.

Asparagus and Alcohol

Thinking of enjoying a beer or two this weekend? Then celebrate the fact that March is peak asparagus month, as new research suggests the popular spring vegetable offers some protection against the liver damage associated with alcohol consumption. 

Exposure to alcohol can send liver toxicity markers soaring by 250%.But a recent lab study published in the Journal of Food Science found that asparagus extract reduced toxicity by 42%. Asparagus doesn't completely neutralize the health threat but the vegetable appeared to turbocharge enzymes that process ethanol, a benefit not delivered even by commercially sold "hangover cures." Still, exercise moderation to avoid "holiday heart," a dangerous disruption in heart rhythms caused by excess alcohol, which also raises the risk of stroke, brain damage, breast cancer and increased abdominal fat. 

Even teetotalers should embrace asparagus.Its prebiotic fiber helps feed the protective gastrointestinal bacteria which guards against foodborne viruses.The same fiber -- also found in bananas, leeks, onions and artichokes -- helps deter unwanted weight gain and boost bone strength.For a delicious way to enjoy this seasonal vegetable, try our previously featured Superfood Recipe: Broiled Asparagus with Sesame Sauce.

Bonus: If you've overindulged, then have a banana which helps rehydrate and rebalance your system.. 

Blood Orange Prevents Weight Gain

It's basic diet math: Take in more calories than you burn, and you'll gain weight. But startling new research on blood oranges suggests the ruby-red citrus might bend that equation in dieters' favor.

Though results need to be confirmed with human trials, Italian researchers found that mice who drank the juice of blood oranges with their standard diet ended up 13% lighter at the end of three months. Other mice were fed a very high-fat diet complimented by either tap water, blood orange juice, regular orange juice or an anthocyanin extract. As expected, the fat-fed mice got fat -- gaining as much as 23% in body weight -- EXCEPT for the blood orange mice, who gained no weight at all!  

Some previous research suggests the blood orange anthocyanin C3G (also found in strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and red grapes) deserves the credit, by enhancing fat burning and calorie conversion. Yet fat-fed mice on the anthocyanin extract still gained some weight -- yet more evidence that the whole food is always better than the sum of its parts. For example, blood oranges are also high in fiber, which can triple weight loss, and pectin fiber in particular, which helps dieters feel more full. Blood oranges are also high in vitamin C, which also enhances your body's ability to burn more fat during exercise. For a delicious way to enjoy this vibrant citrus, try our Featured Superfood Recipe: Spinach and Blood Orange Salad with Shrimp.

Bonus:  Blood oranges have benefits beyond weight loss. High citrus consumption is linked to a 50% lower risk of cancers of the mouth, throat and stomach.

Combat Iron

Intense Activity Depletes Key Mineral

Military basic combat training is physically grueling, as one might expect. But new research shows it also taxes soldiers' systems in a surprising way: by depleting the body's store of iron.This is important news, not just for recruits -- but anyone undergoing rigorous physical training, say, for an Iron Man competition, which ironically could put athletes at risk of deficiency for that eponymous mineral.

The study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that iron levels of female soldiers dropped 30-35% from baseline during the course of their standard 8-week basic combat training.Iron deficiency (the most common deficiency worldwide) can manifest as low energy, which may explain why the iron-deficient soldiers ran a two-mile track an average of 45 seconds slower than a normal-iron group, and also registered a 45% drop in mood scores (measuring anxiety, anger, etc.). 

Previous research shows that endurance exercise can increase your iron needs by as much as 30%.Why? Workouts that push the body beyond its normal limits can lead to blood loss via profuse perspiration (as with calcium) as well as microscopic tears in muscle tissue and the gastrointestinal tract.The solution is not to scale back on activity, but to pay special attention to deriving iron from healthy sources such as legumes, clams and oat bran.Since the body can only absorb at most 20% of the iron contained in plant sources, double up on foods rich in vitamin C (e.g., peaches, kiwis, broccoli, pineapple) which boosts iron absorption six-fold and prebiotic fiber (e.g. bananas, leeks, onions, asparagus), which can increase iron absorption by 28%.

from Dole Health News

Exercising with baby

  This article is dedicated to all the new Mums who want to get into exercise with their new baby.  Models are my yummy mummy friend Sam and her 14 week old boy Connor - who happens to be my Godson.

Thanks to Summer from for the article! 

New mums are always worried about losing the baby weight after giving 
birth, but finding the time can be an issue with a baby that now 
demands your full attention. Finding exercises that include your baby 
or toddler, and can be completed anywhere, can help keep you on track. 
Plus you are introducing fitness to your child at a very young age, 
helping them develop healthy lifetime habits. Let's look at 5 simple 
exercises that use your baby as weight and inspiration.

Baby Crunch - Begin by laying flat on your back with knees bent. Place 
your baby on your abdomen, allowing him to rest against your legs. 
Place your hands behind head for support, with elbows out, or keep 
them on the sides of your baby to steady them. Contract your stomach 
and lift up while bringing your upper body toward your legs and baby. 
Try to raise your shoulder blades off the ground completely, keeping 
your neck in a neutral, relaxed position with your chin angled toward 
the ceiling. Return to starting position and repeat.


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