August 18, 2009

Are you getting too much sodium in your diet?

Filed under: By Tamra Rosenfeld — Administrator @ 12:02 am

Tamra Rosenfeld Tamra Rosenfeld

Too much salt in your diet can lead to high blood pressure which can put you at risk for stroke. 1/3 of Americans over the age 20 already have high blood pressure.

Current recommendations are to consume less than 2400mg of sodium per day – the equivalence of 1 teaspoon of salt. Added salts are just part of the problem. You can easily consume more than the daily recommendations during 1 meal by eating at a restaurant or by eating processed, packaged, and canned foods. Many people consume up to 4 times the recommended sodium amount.

Here are some tips that can help reduce the sodium in your diet:
1. Use salt substitutes for cooking such as Mrs. Dash.
2. Cook with plenty of herbs and spices (staying away from items such as garlic salt, and all seasoning spices)
3. Marinade foods with lemon juice, oil and vinegar, and spices instead of bottled marinades
4. Use oil and vinegar on salads instead of salad dressings
5. Choose fresh foods instead of pre-packaged and canned foods
6. If using canned vegetables or beans rinse them off prior to using
7. Read labels and look for lower sodium options
8. Most cheeses, processed meats, and smoked foods are very high in sodium such as hot dogs, cold cuts, sausages, and bacon
9. Soups and broths are high in sodium – even the reduced sodium varieties
10. Frozen meals, and packaged rice with spice sacks are high in sodium
11. When eating out it is difficult to know how much sodium is in your meal. Avoid sauces when possible and eat plenty of fresh vegetables or salads. Choose baked potatoes instead of mashed potatoes or French fries so you are aware of how much salt you are adding.

August 10, 2009


Filed under: By Paul Jason — Administrator @ 11:03 pm

Paul Jason Paul Jason

A little more about the exercises: For those of you not familiar with the concept, a lunge is performed by placing one foot at a long stride in front of your other foot (and slightly to the side for balance), pushing up slightly on the rear toe. The front leg is bent so that the ankle-knee plane is at 90 degrees. The back is arched and the head is tilted slightly towards the ceiling. Then, keeping that front leg at 90 degrees, you slowly bend your rear knee and lower it to the floor. Then you slowly bring that knee up to its original position. Do that six times with each leg in the front position. When you’re comfortable doing that, increase the number of repetitions, and then start holding free weights in your hands while you’re doing the exercise.

I also learned how to do squats, standing with my feet about fifteen inches apart, arms at my sides, back slightly arched, and head slightly tilted towards the ceiling. You slowly lower yourself (derriere thrusting backward) into a sitting position, with the plane of your ankles-knees as close to 90 degrees as possible (i.e., you can’t let your knees protrude forward). Once you reach what you perceive is a sitting position, you slowly stand back up again, keeping your back arched and your head slightly tilted upward. Then you do it over again, ten or fifteen times!! It’s great for your quadriceps.

Once you are comfortable with this exercise, try doing it with free weights. After three months, I was doing it holding up to forty pounds in each hand (the heaviest dumbbells they had at the rehab center).

After awhile, I was taught how to do squats while standing on balance discs. Balance discs are made of a strong, flexible, plastic-like material. They are shaped like little flying saucers, about twelve inches in diameter. They’re smooth on one side and have blunted spikes on the other. They get inflated to about two-thirds of their capacity so that they are soft when you stand on them. To do the squats I mentioned, you place the discs on the floor, smooth-side down, stand with one foot on each disc, back slightly arched and head tilted upward. Then, slowly lower yourself (derriere thrusting backward) into a sitting position, with the plane of your ankles-knees as close to 90 degrees as possible.

Of course, the lower your rear-end goes, the better. And, also, of course, the fact that the discs are soft makes them unstable, so you really have to concentrate on your balance while you are doing the exercise. You can hold your hands out in front of you to assist in the balancing act. Once you reach what you perceive is your lowest possible point you slowly rise to an erect position again. Then you do it over again, five or six times!! It’s great . . . for your quadriceps, for your body core, for your balance, for your concentration and, most of all, for your confidence.

Balance discs are also great for enhancing simple exercises. For example, if you are comfortable doing biceps curls with free weights (10, 20 or more pounds), then you should try doing them while standing on the discs. It adds a whole new dimension. Now you not only exercise those arm muscles, but you have to contract your body core (for better balance) and your leg muscles get into the act as well.

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