Click inside for the weekly health page with items on ditching the personal trainer and keeping yourself motivated, properly lifting objects to avoid back pain and the facts on students consuming caffeinated alcoholic beverages. Or check out these links:
A personal trainer is a great investment in your health, but if working with one doesn't fit in your budget or schedule this winter, follow these tips from the exercise experts at Life Fitness to take on the role yourself.
Eliminate excuses. Fitness professionals have heard it all when it comes to reasons a client can't attend their exercise session. When you are your own trainer, disciplining yourself can be difficult. Take time to journal all of the excuses that could sabotage your workout, then add positive solutions for each negative excuse. Hold yourself responsible for your fitness commitment.
Make exercise fun. If you don't enjoy your workout in the winter, it's not going to last long. If your regular treadmill workout bores you, change it up. Add intervals, incline or hand weights. Or better yet, try one of the programs on your treadmill console. Let the machine act as your trainer and alternate intervals, hill angle and speed with the push of a button.
Grab a partner. The benefit of a trainer is the accountability factor. Ask a reliable, inspiring friend to partner up with you and keep each other focused. It's easy to blow off a workout if you don't have a friend to ask you about the missed time. Another benefit of a partner is the support and praise they can offer when specific goals are met. Schedule workouts as rigidly as appointments to ensure consistency. Whether it's an early morning jog, a noontime walk or an evening class at the gym, you are more likely to show up when you are meeting a friend.
Intensify your workout. You must challenge your body in order to get results. To see improvement, try boosting repetition, increasing weight and intensity levels or decreasing rest time between sets. Small changes can make a big difference in your results.
Use technology. There are many fitness applications you can take advantage of that will supplement your training efforts. LifeFitness.com offers tutorials on how to better utilize fitness equipment, and they also offer a virtual trainer tool, which allows you to compare different workout parameters like calories, distance, time and average heart rate.
Reward yourself. Analyze your plan and track your progress. Whether you want to build muscle, lose weight or just get healthier, take time to gauge your work and celebrate your achievements.
New Research: Americans are vitamin D sufficient
The Institute of Medicine recently released a report saying that the majority of Americans do, in fact, have sufficient vitamin D levels. It was previously thought that the average American had vitamin D deficiency, and this may have been because of lack of standardization in lab tests.
Did You Know?
A recent analysis by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality revealed that from 1999 to 2006, hospitalizations for eating disorders in children under 12 increased by 119 percent.
Health Tip: Lift properly, avoid back pain
Whether you are lifting heavy equipment or a laundry basket, pay attention to your posture to prevent back pain. Never lift anything in a rush, get close to the object, always bend at the knees and lift with your leg muscles.
-- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Number to Know
79,000: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 79,000 deaths occur annually as a direct result of excessive alcohol use.
Children’s Health: Risks of caffeinated alcoholic beverages
Today, there are multiple state bans on caffeinated alcoholic beverages and there has been U.S. Food and Drug Administration warnings to four energy drink companies to remove their products from the marketplace.
Combining energy drinks with alcohol became popular when marketers promoted the perception that energy drinks counteract the sedating effects of alcohol and suggested that caffeine will increase enjoyment by allowing one to party longer.
According to a 2006 survey, 24 percent of college students reported mixing energy drinks with alcohol in the past month. Another compelling study concluded that students who consumed CABs had approximately double the risk of experiencing or committing sexual assault, riding with an intoxicated driver, having an alcohol-related accident or requiring medical treatment.
Of the 577 caffeinated beverages listed on the Energy Fiend website in 2008, at least 130 contained more than the .02 percent caffeine limit for soft drinks imposed by the FDA.
-- American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Senior Health: Reduce your risk of diabetes
The Diabetes Prevention Program followed more than 3,000 overweight, pre-diabetic men and women. The study found that people age 60 and up can cut their risk for type 2 diabetes by 71 percent if they stick with an exercise program (30 minutes for five days a week) and lose even just a little weight.
However, it is a myth that just because you are overweight, you are going to contract diabetes. As evidence, 34 percent of adults age 20 and older are obese, but just 10.7 percent have diabetes.
Expected to be available in 2011 for those who do have diabetes is the Finesse insulin patch-pen, which is an alternative to insulin injections. The pens are disposable and more affordable.
GateHouse News Service