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

Mark's Daily Apple

17 Jan

Sting Like a Bee…

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

So much good stuff. And a lot of funny stuff, too. Here’s the fresh mix:

1) Cheer Up, It’s All Okay!

Sometimes it’s tempting to throw your hands in the air and say “Hey, why bother? Everything’s unhealthy!” We hear you. Today, let’s put things in perspective a bit. For example, recently headlines have been popping up with the news that denser breast tissue doubles a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Yikes! Doubles?!? Double yikes!

Guess what? The overall breast cancer likelihood of, say, a typical 50-year-old woman is about 2.5 percent. For a woman with dense tissue, yes, it’s “double” – 5 percent. But doesn’t a five percent risk sound less scary than double the risk? That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the way these studies are presented. Sometimes – many times, unfortunately – medical news gets sensationalized to get to the head of the headline race. Breast cancer is scary enough – we don’t need to be dramatic about it, too! Let’s breathe a collective “whew”. And ladies, get your mammograms. Here’s the clickativity.

betterribbon
2) We’re Going Down, Down…

Cancer is down for the second year in a row – and not just breast cancer. Colon cancer and lung cancer, too! Smoking rates are on the decline, and awareness about colon screening (everyone’s favorite) has spread. Good news is so clickative. And this cancer can now be prevented with a simple vaccination.

3) Good Switch, Starbucks

First they do away with trans fat. Now they’re eliminating hormones in the milk. If only they’d stop with the sugar. After all, as Mark has been saying, sugar is the new trans fat.

coffee

Oddballs:

A Nation of ‘Girly Men’?

And Here We Thought BK’s Chicken Fries Were Weird

Square Melons Are Less Stressful or Something?

squaremelon
17 Jan

Blogging for Health

On the surface this week’s Aaron’s Additions may not seem like traditional MDA fare. You might say, “Hey Aaron, we know you bring us the latest in cool health-related tools, gadgets and tech, but you’ve gone a bit too far with this entry. What the heck does it have to do with our health?” Well dearest apples, this entry has everything to do with health. It just depends on how you look at it.

Mark’s Daily Apple is concerned with people’s health ultimately for the quality of life it represents. Leading a healthy lifestyle encompasses more than what you do for your body. As we pointed out in last week’s entry it also requires attention paid to the health of your mind. A healthy mind is one that is active, productive, and as uninhibited by stress as possible. Which is why a tool that can help you stretch your mind, make your life less stressful and cluttered, and connect you with your friends and loved ones is well worth a mention. This wonder gizmo is the new blogging platform Terapad.

Obviously you are familiar with blogs (hint: you are reading one right now), but have you ever considered writing your own? It allows you to chronicle your daily thoughts, digitally publish your novel, or convey your opinions to thousands or readers. Blogging can be a perfect way to express your creative side and communicate with people (these are the active and productive bits). But building your own blog page can seem like a daunting task. Terapad (the less stressful bit) to the rescue!

This new platform makes designing and maintaining your own virtual writing space as easy as ever and has dozens of handy features to boot. With a built-in news and RSS feeder, job and resume search, and an events calendar Terapad delivers tools that help organize your life. Share your writing, pictures and video. Sell your products, host forums, and engage in a lively discussion with your readers. The possibilities are nearly endless and Terapad offers a format that is highly customizable, an interface that is a cinch to use, and a price tag anyone can handle… it’s free!

If you are looking for a new way to engage your mind in some healthy communication, check out Terapad. Take it from us. Reaching out to a community of people with similar interests is often times therapeutic and always rewarding.

17 Jan

Morning Hits

Who Needs Caffeine When You Can Check Out This Clickativity?

(Okay, you might still want your coffee.)

Hey, Pessimists: Don’t Worry, It’s Only Bad for Your Health

Hate Flossing? Hate Cancer More

“Healthy” Donuts? It’s Still a Donut

The Motherland Continues to Annoy (but they do have an interesting point)

Seriously? Also in the news this a.m., the trend of giant handbags for women appears to have bad musculoskeletal health implications. Dolce & Gabbana could not be reached for comment.

bigfatpurse
17 Jan

The Buckler Brief

EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT: PANTOTHENIC ACID

WHAT IT IS: Part of the B-complex of vitamins, Pantothenic Acid is a water-soluble vitamin. This particular B is unique because it forms two co-enzymes, making it a vital component of good supplementation.

WHAT IT DOES: Pantothenic acid helps to oxidize fatty acids and sugars (part of the fueling process that gives us energy). Pantothenic acid also serves many other important functions.

To name a few: synthesizing fatty acids, lipids, cholesterol, hormones, proteins and ketones (the unfortunate byproduct of proteins). Especially for athletes and those who consume large amounts of protein, pantothenic acid is essential. Fortunately, it’s difficult to become deficient in pantothenic acid, but many people do not derive enough from their daily diets.

STUDIES SHOW: Pantothenic acid is a cofactor, which means it assists in a variety of essential enzyme functions. Because of its role in metabolizing fats and cholesterol, pantothenic acid is thought to help reduce high cholesterol levels.

Pantothenic acid may also help to increase energy, especially in aerobic exertion, because the acid may help to break down lactic acid, which often builds up in muscles. Experts also think that pantothenic acid may be one of the key cofactors involved in ATP production.

WHY WE LIKE IT: There are many reasons to make pantothenic acid part of your supplement regimen. Aside from helping to reduce cholesterol and the potential energy-boost, pantothenic acid is thought to be an excellent therapy for those suffering from arthritis. Many experts also think people suffering from anxiety, depression, and stress may benefit from simply upping their pantothenic acid intake.

16 Jan

The Tuesday 10

The Top 10 Tips for: Getting Fit

Wanna get fit? If you’re just starting out, keep in mind it’s not going to happen overnight…but you can be lookin’ pretty good by next month with these tips. The reason most get-ripped regimens fail is because we simply expect way too much, way too soon. Big changes in your body require big changes in your lifestyle. Period. It took your whole life to be the way you are now, right? It’s going to take more than two days to start making changes to that. But these 10 pointers will get you started – and you’ll notice some very pleasant effects if you stick with them. You’ll be surprised that very few of them have anything to do with lifting so much as a finger. Fitness is many factors coming together – it’s a lot more than just hitting the gym (thank goodness).

1. Cut calories the lazy way.

To shape up, you must reduce your fat so your muscles can start doing their thing. This is actually very, very easy to do: every time you go to put something in your mouth, don’t. No, no, just kidding! You have to eat.

Here’s what to do:

- in restaurants, eat half the plate and get the rest to go. Don’t eat it when you get home – let the dog or the neighbor kid with hollow legs enjoy it.

- immediately run out and get yourself some 7″ plates. Those are now your dinner plates. Preso, portion sizes reduced.

- Don’t eat anything crunchy, creamy, pale or fried. This pretty much takes care of all high-calorie, unhealthy foods. Examples: chips, ranch dressing, bread sticks, chicken nuggets. We know, veggies are crunchy. It’s not an absolute rule. Just a guide.

- Switch all snacks to cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks or broccoli florets. Depending on how much you snack, you’ll save 200 to 600 calories a day doing this.

koshernosh

2. Don’t drink your calories.

A little coffee or tea is one thing. But soda, shakes, iced coffee drinks, juices and energy drinks are overflowing with calories, which you don’t want, right? Don’t waste precious caloric intake on liquids that don’t fill you up.

3. Absolutely no drive-through or delivery food.

McDonald’s likes to run those “Mommy and me” ads that show slender young Mommy eating salad while her ringlet-bedecked tutu-wearing darling is busy dipping apples into some sweet sap. Please. This stuff is generally more marketing than meaningful, so read the ingredients and avoid anything sweet or fried. Best to stick to fresher fare.

tutu

4. Move it!

You don’t have to become a gym rat. You don’t have to sign up for the local 10K. But you need to move. Simply put, any movement that is more than you currently do is going to be effective. If you don’t ever work out, walking around the neighborhood for 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week is going to start having an impact after just two weeks. If you work out once in a while, step it up with a weekly weight session, a longer run, or some quality time with the treadmill. Do whatever you like – maybe you have a real problem with the layer of dust that’s accumulated on all the baseboards and you want to scrub them clean. That’s a workout. Maybe you like to dance for the mailman. That’s questionable, but it’s a workout just the same. No one’s judging – just move, Apples! Every day. Whether it’s a little or a lot, just do it.

5. Get addicted to feeling good.

Things that are healthy are going to make you feel good – it just takes a little longer. Instant gratification is just that – instant. Nachos are great until the heartburn hits, right?

You know your particular weaknesses. However, this isn’t about being perfect or beating yourself up. Everyone likes an instant payoff – we’re humans. But try the ten-minute trick (easy: just wait 10) next time a craving or a lazy mood hits – and push through those ten minutes. Think about what will make you feel good long term, not short term. Give yourself an extra moment or ten to start a new craving – health. Just wait ten minutes.

clock

6. Drink More Water.

We don’t necessarily buy into the whole 10-glasses-a-day rule. We’re just not that militant. Hey, if you’re thirsty, drink something. If you’re not, don’t worry about it! You know that myth that goes something like: “By the time you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated”? Yeah, well, it’s a myth. Dogs and cats only drink when they are thirsty. Are they perpetually dehydrated? And as long as you replenish yourself as soon as you do start to get dehydrated, what’s the big disaster?

But the title of point 6 is Drink More Water. We digress. If you have trouble with controlling your portions, or if you tend to crave high-calorie, salty snacks, try drinking a big glass of water whenever a craving hits. This can help you shed a pound a week, easy!

7. Join a sport or group activity.

There is literally something for everyone in almost every community – whether you’re young and active or golden and gracious. And if there isn’t a physical activity to suit your tastes, why not start one in the community? Even one session a week of a sport or activity can go a long way to get you fit over the course of several months – and when you’re having fun, you’ll forget all about the workout part. One of our Worker Bees joined a hiking class and was amazed that just two weekly hikes whipped her into great shape after only three months. The social interaction is also healthy for your brain, which contributes to general fitness far more than you might realize.

hoops

8. Focus your activities around activities and games, not just food or drinking.

A lot of social gatherings revolve around food, beer, and hanging out. That’s great, and it’s an important part of being emotionally healthy, but try to mix it up a little. Maintain a variety of relationships so some activities are physical, some are food-based (edible sounds a little…strange…), and so on. This is really healthy for your emotional well-being and your body. And that produces a nice little synergistic effect: when you are less stressed out and enjoying variety, guess what? Your body chemistry hits a better balance, cortisol drops, and your system stops clinging to fat for dear life. So bust that stress, Apples!

9. Find a Way to Unhook.

This might mean literally taking the phone off the hook. A lot of us are on-the-go from the time we get up until we hit the pillow at night. This is stressful, unhealthy and a great way to be fat and unhappy (it’s true!). Be a little bit selfish and find some time to pray, meditate, take a hike, or soak in the tub. Find a little time every day to unwind – just 20 minutes will make a huge difference in your health over the long-term. Just stop. Breathe. Relax. Feel how strong your body is? A relaxed body is a happy, strong body. You’ll get more out of your workout now (because we know you are moving it as instructed in step 4).

bath

10. Report Back!

Tell us what your goals are. We will help you! We’ll check in on you. We’ll even nag you. So keep us in the loop (just click on Ask Anything up there to the right of Mark’s big blond head).

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© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple