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

Mark's Daily Apple

8 Jan

Vegging Out in a Winter Wonderland: Top 10 Vegetables for the Winter Season

Mashed potatoes and steak, mashed potatoes and chicken, mashed potatoes and meat loaf. And we wonder why people pack on the pounds once winter hits. Break out of your vegetable rut with these popular winter wonders:

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7 Jan

Dear Mark: Pregnancy Diet Tips for Inquiring Minds

It’s been a good long while since I opened up the proverbial mail bag. Maybe it’s resolutions for the New Year or the extra time off everyone’s had the last week or so, but my inbox has been working overtime with your questions and comments. They’ve run the gamut—questions about everything from herbal supplements to strength training tips to farm policy.

As always, thank you for your thoughts and questions—and, of course, for reading. I try to answer as many messages as I can, but know that the good folks in the forum community offer great perspectives as well.

This week’s round is for all the expectant moms (and dads) in the MDA community. However many of you fall into this category, I’ve received a string of inquiries lately from the expectant set. Congrats, and here you go!

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7 Jan

Labor Laws: Exercise Tips for Pregnant Women

When it comes to pregnancy, Heidi Klum is the anti-Christ. Not only has she delivered three children in as many years, but her body has rebounded—to Victoria’s Secret’s expectations no less—each and every time. Her secret? A comprehensive fitness routine during pregnancy (and freaky German supermodel genes.)

But even if you don’t plan on strutting down the fashion runway on the way home from the maternity ward, working out while you’re waiting for your little bundle of joy to debut has many benefits. Physically, exercising while pregnant can reduce aches and pains, prevent wear and tear on your joints (which become loosened during pregnancy) and help your body snap back more quickly after delivery (although I can’t promise you’ll ever look like Heidi!). In addition, a good fitness plan can help temper mood swings (not that the hormone-fueled emotional rollercoaster pregnancy invokes isn’t a laugh-a-minute), reduce fatigue and improve sleep. Still need convincing? Women who exercise have shorter and less intense labors.

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4 Jan

Work Out Wearing You Out?

Lack of sleep, stress, not washing your hands, going out the door with damp hair (according to my Mum at least). The common thread? Things that can make you sick.

Now add working out to that list.

Yep, according to researchers at Australia’s Griffith University, elite athletes may be more susceptible to harmful pathogens than their couch potato counterparts.

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4 Jan

Measuring Up: How to Calculate the Quality and Quantity of Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Alright students, you’ve made it through biology 101, mastered the life and times of antioxidants and free radicals (and perhaps learned a little about the latest hip hop rivalry), but now its time to talk math, or specifically, how to measure the value of antioxidant-rich foods.

One method of measuring antioxidant capacity is the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). Developed by the Baltimore-based National Institute of Aging, the calculation specifically measures the oxidative degradation of fluorescein (the stuff that the hotties on C.S.I. spray to detect the presence of blood, though not in this case) as it reacts with an agent called peroxyl radical (a free radical). Seem easy enough? Nice try. The reaction between the antioxidant and the free radical is then measured at 35 minute intervals to create a graphic curve that is then used as the basis for trolox equivalents (TE), or, in non-geek terms, the measure of a compounds potential for absorbing free radicals.

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