Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Archive for the ‘ Fitness ’ Category

12 Feb

The Weekly Health Challenge

Yo, Apples! It’s time for a little pre-spring cleaning. This week’s challenge is to clean out the (kitchen) closet. Empty your fridge, your pantry, the cabinets, and the deep freeze out in the garage. If it’s not healthy, if it’s not recognizable, if it’s older than the Clinton administration, toss it.

Don’t save unhealthy stuff “for the kids”, either. They don’t need that junk any more than you do. If you feel it’s wasteful, donate the items to your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen.

One of the easiest ways to be healthy and lose weight is to avoid turning your home into a minefield of temptation. Restaurants and movie theaters aren’t going to change anytime soon, but you can control what goes on under your own roof. So from now on, fill the freezer with frozen chicken breasts and veggies. Stock the cabinets with vegetable-based soups, low-sodium broth, canned tomatoes, almond butter, and olive oil. And make sure the condiments in the fridge are low in saturated fats, salt, preservatives, and sugars. As always, ask the Bees for help if you’re unsure about a particular item.

7 Feb

It’s a Runner’s World

image tool smartcoach

All you runners out there need to sprint on over to Runnersworld.com to take advantage of the numerous free training calculators and coaching tools. This site offers a pace converter and a cool tool that projects your finish times for a number of distances based on your current time for a given distance. It also provides a tool they call SmartCoach that will put together an entire training program for you depending on your level of fitness, what your goals are and how long you have to attain them.

Additionally, there are tons of other running resources that cover everything from stretching and recovery to nutrition and gear.

Whether you are training for a full marathon, or are a beginning jogger with aspirations to simply finish a charity 5 K, these useful tools can help you realize your goals.

5 Feb

Mark’s Weekly Health Challenge

This week, bust your butt to bust your gut. Exercise every day. Park your car way out of sight. Surprise the dog with an extra-long walk. Make television commercials your own personal sit-up special. Bike with the kids. Walk after every meal. Make activity your middle name this week. Now get moving!

2 Feb

Do Anti-Cellulite Shoes Work?

Several Apples have written in wondering about MBT and other supposed jiggle-reducing shoe brands, so in the interest of truth and avoidance of unattractive footwear, let’s set the record straight. Do anti-cellulite shoes work?

No, no, and no. Here’s a great article that debunks this ridiculous shoe trend. Not only are the numerous health and figure-fix claims about cellulite shoes total baloney, these kicks are expensive and super-ugly.

MBT, the main anti-cellulite shoe maker, even has an African myth of sorts to complete the marketing lure (check out Mark’s post on hoodia for another example of emotional bait).

These sneakers will make you wobble, feel dizzy, and possibly fall (so you can have a big bruise in addition to cellulite). What they will not do is cure cellulite.
MBT

Unfortunately, there’s just not really a “cure” for cellulite. It’s genetic, like bone density, skin tone and hair color. Of course, you can lift weights to build bones, fry in a tanning bed, and dye your hair, right? Ah, modern technology. There are things you can do to reduce the appearance of cellulite – but it will never go away with a magic cream or a funky pair of shoes.

If you’re really in angst come bikini season, these things can help:

- My personal theory: lay off the sugar, processed foods and trans fat, and make real fat your friend. Fat does not cause cellulite, but eating weird, unhealthy and processed foods does do weird things to our cells. I’m not saying sugar causes cellulite, but it certainly doesn’t help, either. Enough with the fat-free dairy, ladies (which just has sugar in place of fat). Sugar stores itself as fat and expands existing fat cells. Aha!

- The appearance of cellulite can be reduced if you have good, lean muscle tone and less flabby fat. So yes, you need to work out once in a while. Plenty of muscle tissue on that booty of yours will help “smooth” the external layer of skin and fat cells a little bit. Men don’t tend to have cellulite because they have more lean muscle mass, and their fat cells tend to be smaller and more flexible. So, reducing your overall body fat and increasing muscle mass will help in your quest to be as smooth as a baby’s behind.

- Increase circulation. This is where those creams and gels come in. Most of them “work” by temporarily stimulating circulation to fat cells that go so long without seeing so much as a blood platelet, they wouldn’t know what to do if one stopped by. (Okay, my doctor friends are rolling their eyes right now, but you get the idea.) If you can increase your circulation – often a problem with women (cold feet, anyone?) – you can potentially help nourish and smooth those outer cells a bit more. But no amount of cardio is going to totally eliminate cellulite.

Two things to remember:

1) If you’re reasonably fit and healthy, just revel in that figure. Do what you can, and don’t stress the rest. Guys really don’t care as much as we think they do. Seriously, they don’t – men’s eyeballs are wired differently, and detail is not a strong suit (they have better depth perception, while women see certain colors and details better). Whew.

2) As Cindy Crawford once famously said, “Even I don’t look like Cindy Crawford in the morning.” There are very few photographs that are not airbrushed to perfection these days. Women on the covers of magazines are beautiful, yes, but perfect? Nope.

29 Jan

We Take the Sting Out

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

All the news you want to click!

1) There’s something worse than a donut, actually.

There’s a caffeinated donut. No cops were hurt in the making of this product. The rest of us should just stay away.

nonut

2) Cure for diabetes!

That’s no joke. There is a very simple, free, enjoyable way to prevent – even cure – many cases of diabetes. It’s called exercise, and people aren’t doing it. In fact, diabetics seem to studiously avoid exercise, according to this clickativity.

Guess what? Diabetes is a stupid, made-up disease. We invent it from a combination of sloth and sugar and stress. It’s not even an interesting or worthy disease. If health problems were softball, diabetes would be the one shuffling around in the dust while all the other problems got chosen first. Why? Because they matter. Because they strike innocent people. Because they need research and cures. Diabetes is a big joke compared to diseases we should be worrying about.

Which is why, in our softball game, diabetes would go home crying. Over milk and cookies, little diabetes’ mother would explain: “Junior, 99% of the time, you’re simply not a disease deserving of any attention – not when there are so many other real diseases that don’t have cures and can’t be prevented. You just don’t need to exist. You’ve been needlessly invented and you have no excuse. In fact, your father and I haven’t quite known how to tell you this, but…you’re just a big, pointless waste of our health, time and money. In fact, I have to remind myself not to exercise, dear, or you’d simply vanish. Poof.”

softball

Just imagine if we ate caffeinated donuts.

3) Counting Calories? Don’t Read the Label

Companies have all sorts of ways of making labels reflect the amount of calories they feel like their food contains, as opposed to how many calories the food actually contains. Slate brings us an excellent investigative piece on some of the crazy chemistry adventures of the food industry. May we point out: who really cares about calories? If you are eating a diet high in vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and some good fats, you won’t exceed your caloric needs. Another tip-off to too many calories: feeling stuffed. That’s a definite indicator.

We’re not opposed to nutrition and caloric information on food products – the more information, the better. But rest assured, if there’s a rule or a regulation, companies are going to find a way around it. Trans fat gets banned? No problem – they’ve just come up with a new refined fat that’s even worse. People don’t like the word “lard” on their ingredients’ list? That’s okay – just change it to mono- and di-glycerides and fool ‘em all! It shouldn’t be a big surprise that calorie information is often misleading. Fortunately, if you eat fresh, whole foods, you won’t have to worry about calories. Cool, huh?

ImpossibleCalorieAward

4) A Dangerous Cocktail

Antidepressants, kids, and pharmaceutical companies: it’s a deadly combination. In this case, it’s been revealed that GlaxoSmithKline lied about teen suicide risk. If they can lie, it appears, they will. Way to go, guys. You realize how you earned those second homes, don’t you?
gsksucks

And It’s Clickative:

I feel pretty, oh so pretty…

© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple