February 2017 Newsletter

10 Tips For better Heart Health!

Your heart works hard for you nonstop for your whole life. So show it some TLC. Making small changes in your habits can make a real difference to your ticker. You don't have to work on all 10 steps at once. Even if you improve just one or two of these areas, you can make yourself less likely to get heart disease. Of course, the more tips on this list you follow, the better. So let’s get started.

  1. Aim for lucky number seven.

The next time you're tempted to stay up later than you should, remember how comfy that pillow will feel -- and how good a full night's sleep is for your heart.

In one study, young and middle-age adults who slept 7 hours a night had less calcium in their arteries (an early sign of heart disease) than those who slept 5 hours or less or those who slept 9 hours or more.

The type of shut-eye they got was important, too. Adults who said they got good-quality sleep also had healthier arteries than those who didn't sleep soundly.

If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, or if you don't feel refreshed after a full night in bed, talk to your doctor about how healthier sleep habits might improve your slumber.

  1. Keep the pressure off.

That cuff squeezing your arm at every doctor's visit is important. It measures the amount of pressure flowing through your arteries with every heartbeat.

If your blood pressure gets too high, the extra force can damage artery walls and create scar tissue. That makes it harder for blood and oxygen to get to and from the heart. The heart has to pump harder and gets worn out faster. If it can't get enough oxygen, parts can start to die.

Get your blood pressure checked every 3-5 years if you’re 18-39. If you’re 40 or older, or if you have high blood pressure, check it every year.

Cut back on salt, limit alcohol to no more than one to two drinks a day, favor healthy eating habits (think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein) manage your stress, and work out. These changes are often enough to bring your blood pressure back down into the normal range. If not, your doctor might recommend you also take medication.

3. Slash saturated fats.

To help your heart’s arteries, cut down on saturated fats, which are mainly found in meat and full-fat dairy products. Choose leaner cuts and reduced-fat options.

Also, totally quit trans fats, which are found in some processed foods. They drive up your “bad” cholesterol level. Check ingredient lists for anything that says “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” -- those are trans fats.

If it’s been 5 or more years since your last cholesterol blood test, you’re probably due for one.

4. Find out if you have diabetes.

Millions of people do and don’t know it. That’s risky because over time, high blood sugar damages arteries and puts you at risk for heart disease.

Your doctor should test your blood sugar if you are 45 or older, if you are pregnant, or if you're overweight and have other risk factors for diabetes.

If you find out that you do have diabetes, work with your doctor on your lifestyle (diet and exercise) and any medicine that you may need.

If you have borderline high blood sugar, also called prediabetes, take action now to turn things around.

One simple swap is to trade processed carbs (like white rice) for fiber-rich whole grains (like brown rice). Every positive change you make in what you eat and how active you are will help. Over time, you’ll be able to do more.

5. Move more.

To keep it simple, you can aim for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of moderate exercise. That includes any activity that gets you moving around and breaking a slight sweat.

“If you're doing nothing, do something. And if you're doing something, do more," Lloyd-Jones says.

Also, pay attention to how much time you spend seated, whether it's at work, in your car, or on your couch at home. You want to cut that time down.

Break up long periods of sitting, and stand or walk while doing things like talking on the phone or watching TV.

6. Clean up.

Your heart works best when it runs on clean fuel. That means lots of whole, plant-based foods (like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds) and fewer refined or processed foods (like white bread, pasta, crackers, and cookies).

It’s time-tested wisdom. "The latest fads get overplayed by the media. But the core of what makes a heart-healthy eating pattern hasn't changed for decades," Lloyd-Jones says.

One of the fastest ways to clean up your diet is to cut out sugary beverages like soda and fruit juice, which lacks the fiber that’s in actual fruit.

7. Think beyond the scale.

Ask your doctor if your weight is OK. If you have some pounds to lose, it’s not just about calories and exercise.

Sure, you’ll probably want to change your eating habits and be more active. But there’s more to it than that.

For many people, “emotional eating” is where they find comfort and stress relief, and how they celebrate. So if it’s hard to change those patterns, it can help to talk with a counselor to find other ways to handle those situations.

8. Ditch the cigarettes, real and electronic.

Smoking and secondhand smoke are bad for your heart. If you smoke, quit, and don't spend time around others who smoke as well.

E-cigarettes are popular, but they’re not completely problem-free. "They don't contain the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, and they can help some people wean themselves off of smoking," Lloyd-Jones says. "But they still do contain nicotine, so your goal should be to quit completely, not just switch to a less toxic version."

9. Do more of what you love.

Make it a point, too, to spend time with people you’re close to. Talk, laugh, confide, and enjoy each other. It’s good for your emotional health and your heart

10. Celebrate every step.

Making changes like these takes time and effort. Think progress, not perfection. And reward yourself for every positive step you take. Ask your friends and family to support you and join in, too. Your heart’s future will be better for it!

Source: http://www.webmd.com

5 Weight Loss Tips You May Not Have Known

  1. Rethink Portions

So many dieters underestimate how much they’re eating. Tools and gadgets can help, such as “MyFitnessPal” app which can gauge serving sizes. Also, try a portion control plate which helps for healthy servings of protein, vegetables & starches.

  1. Eat Three Squares

Grazing is good for cows; it may not be for people. Despite the barrage of advice about eating five or six times throughout the day instead of three large meals, research shows this strategy doesn’t always work for weight loss. Noshing often can make it way too easy to overeat and keeps you focused on food all day long (when all you want to do is stop thinking about it)

  1. Don’t Skip Breakfast

While the scientific verdict is still mixed on whether eating a morning meal aids weight loss, there is nothing negative about starting your day with a healthy bowl of cottage cheese and berries, or green yogurt and granola. Eating soon after waking jump-starts your metabolism and also helps you avoid the 11AM munchies that make a muffin or doughnut so tempting.

  1. Get Cooking

Research shows that people who prepare most of their own meals consume fewer calories, carbs, sugar and fat than those who cook rarely. If you insist you’re too swamped, try whipping up a big batch of something healthy like soup in a slow cooker on one of your non-busy days. Then, you can eat it throughout the week!

  1. Add Fiber & Fat

Fiber expands in your stomach and also takes time to digest, both of which help you feel full for longer. Good sources include whole grains, veggies, and whole fruit (not juiced). Healthy fats like olive oil and nut oils – in moderation – improve flavour, give you energy and help your body use certain nutrients.

Source: Womens Health Magazine

Capture

Healthy Transformations

Chicken & Asparagus
Ingredients
 •3 spears asparagus
 •2 oz skinless chicken breast
 •¾ cup rice, brown cooked
 •1 ½ tsp oil, olive

Spices / Flavoring
 •¼ tsp salt, lite
 •¼ tsp black pepper
Preparation:
Wash spears in cool water to clean any residual soil or sand from the tips.

Bend the spears and they will snap at the natural breaking point, to remove the woody bottoms.

Boil asparagus in 1 inch of salted water in a wide skillet for 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately rinse them under cool water to stop the cooking and preserve the bright green color.

Cook rice as directed on package.
Add Chicken and oil to skillet
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Serve and enjoy!

Note: You may also grill or broil chicken.

Per serving: 311 calories, 20g protein, 11g total fat, 33g carbohydrates.
Source: Healthy Transformations Recipes

10 Tips For Making Winter Wake Ups Easier

Now that winter is upon us, the sun is rising later and setting earlier. Waking up in the dark isn’t always the easiest! Your mind is still in sleep mode, and naturally doesn’t want to get out of bed. However, with a few of these simple tricks & tips it may not have to be that difficult!

Have a drink

Drinking water as soon as you wake up will help stimulate the body and help you stay awake. Always keep a glass of water on the nightstand, ready for that morning sip.

Program the coffee maker

Relatedly, programming the coffee maker to go off so that coffee is ready in the morning is a big help. The sound of the grinding and the scent of the coffee are big pick-me-ups. If it's still too tough to rouse yourself for a cup, put the pot near your bed. There's nothing wrong with having a bit coffee in bed as long as you actually wake up to drink it and refuse the impulse to linger there for hours.

Drink something before you sleep

By the time your alarm goes off, you will probably have to use the bathroom and won't be able to go back to sleep comfortably.

Don't allow yourself to reason with yourself

Resolve the night before to wake up early. You can convince yourself of a hundred different reasons to stay in bed when you're still tired, even if it's not really the best course of action. Try to shut off all that "logic" and force yourself to make getting out of bed a physical, automatic routine. Train yourself to respond immediately to the alarm without relying on conscious willpower.

Have something to look forward to

It's much easier to get out of bed when you focus on something you actually want to do instead of on the drudgery of what you must do. Try setting aside a few minutes in the morning for a ritual that will help you look forward to waking up. Maybe it's coffee in bed, the time to flip through a design magazine, or a shower with a special soap. Whatever it may be, try to give yourself something that will help you start the day right.

If you wake up before your alarm goes off, get out of bed

If you go back to sleep or wait for the alarm, chances are, you'll feel drowsier. Follow your natural sleep cycles, seize the day, and embrace those extra minutes if your body tells you it's time to get up.

Do something active

You may not have the time or energy for a full-blown exercise routine every morning, but get your body moving somehow. Bop around a bit more than usual while you get ready in the morning or add a few minutes of jogging in place to the routine. Try taking three minutes to dance to whatever pop tune is striking your fancy. If you can't even muster the energy to get out of bed, just force yourself to wiggle around under the covers or tense and un-tense your muscles several times to get your body in gear.

Take a shower as soon as you get out of bed

The water and change in temperature will get your circulation going. Try a shower gel with mint or some other invigorating scent to help make you more alert. Keep a peppermint or lemon by your bedside to help facilitate the wake-up process through aromatherapy.

Remind yourself of what you have to do

Fixing these things in your mind at night might make it harder to relax and get to sleep, so it can be helpful, both as nighttime catharsis and morning wake-up, to note your to-do list on a small whiteboard or a piece of paper kept on the nightstand. It will help you feel at night like you have those things handled, or at least noted, for the following day, and it will give you more reason to get up in the morning.

 

Source: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/10-tips-for-making-the-winter-wake-up-easier-181095

.

The Benefits Of Routinely Riding A Stationary Bike

Calorie Burn

A half hour on a stationary bicycle helps up your daily calorie burn. Burning a greater number of daily calories means that you will have an easier time managing your weight. If you go at a moderate pace for 30 minutes and weigh 155 pounds, expect to burn about 260 calories. If you weigh more, or work at a higher intensity, you'll burn even more.

Joint Friendly

Many types of aerobic activity, such as jogging or team sports, can be hard on your joints because of the impact involved. A stationary cycle enables you to get your heart pumping without putting undue stress on your joints. The Cleveland Clinic notes that a bike is especially good for people who are more than 50 pounds overweight because it reduces mechanical stress on the back, hips, knees and ankles -- even when compared to walking. You can indulge in daily exercise with a lower risk of injury.

Cardio Benefits

Riding a stationary bicycle counts as cardiovascular exercise. Regular cardio exercise helps lower high blood pressure, regulates blood sugar and may prevent heart attacks, especially if you've already suffered from one. According to the Mayo Clinic, regularly riding a stationary bike helps your heart become more efficient at pumping blood. It also increases the amount of good cholesterol while lowering the amount of bad cholesterol in your system to result in less plaque build-up in your arteries. The simple act of riding a stationary bicycle 30 minutes a day, five times per week may even extend your life.

Strategy

Gradually work up to longer rides if 150 minutes per week is too much to start with. Although riding a stationary bicycle is an effective cardiovascular activity, consider cross training with another activity once or twice per week to challenge different muscles and prevent burn out. The elliptical trainer or swimming laps are examples of other low-impact activities that can also help you burn calories and improve heart health

Source: http://livehealthy.chron.com/health-benefits-routinely-riding-stationary-bike-1809.html

6 Surprisingly Energizing Foods You Need To Eat This Winter

Starting to feel the lack of energy as the temperature is dropping? With these 6 energy proving foods, you should be provided with a boost along with other great health benefits!

Fatty Fish

Contains: Omega 3 Fatty Acids Benefits: Lift Your Mood & Brain Health!

Oatmeal (Non-Instant)

Contains: Slow Release Carbs Benefits: Keeps You Full Longer With Lasted Energy

Green Tea

Contains: Unique Amino Acids (L-Theanine) Benefits: Keeps You Focused & Mentally Engaged

Probiotic Yogurt

Contains: Probiotics Benefits: Lower Stress Level

Dark Chocolate

Contains: Antioxidants Benefits: Increases Happiness On A Dreary Day

Bananas

Contains: Vitamin B6 Benefits: Energy Booster

 

See More: http://www.bicycling.com/food/nutrition/11-surprisingly-energizing-foods-you-need-to-eat-this-winter

Healthy Transformations

Quinoa Salad
quinoa salad with beans and assorted peppers
Ingredients
 •2 tsp sherry
 •2 tsp soy sauce, lite
 •1 tsp garlic
 •¼ tsp ginger
 •1 ¼ oz beef, lean
 •¼ cup beef stock
 •2 cups broccoli
 •1 ½ cups mushrooms
 •1 cup snow peas
 •½ cup scallions
 •½ tbsp cornstarch
 •¼ cup rice, brown cooked
 •½ tsp oil, sesame
 •½ tsp oil, high oleic safflower
Spices / Flavoring
 •¼ tsp black pepper

Prepare rice as directed on package while stir frying.

Slice beef into thin strips and marinate beef in soy sauce, sesame oil, sherry, and cornstarch for, at least 10 minutes (overnight is okay).

Slice broccoli into smaller pieces.

Heat wok or deep pan. Add high oleic oil and stir to coat sides. Add meat (with marinade). Stir and fry until barely pink - about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set meat aside.

Add minced ginger and garlic to wok. Stir briefly. Add the vegetables. Stir 2 minutes over high heat. Add beef stock, cover and lower flame. Simmer 5 minutes.

Increase heat, add meat to vegetables. Toss (stir fry) until juice is thickened.

Enjoy over hot rice!

Per serving: 310 calories, 25g protein, 10g total fat, 30g carbohydrates.
Source: Healthy Transformations Recipes

10 Tips For Making Winter Wake Ups Easier

Now that winter is upon us, the sun is rising later and setting earlier. Waking up in the dark isn’t always the easiest! Your mind is still in sleep mode, and naturally doesn’t want to get out of bed. However, with a few of these simple tricks & tips it may not have to be that difficult!

Have a drink

Drinking water as soon as you wake up will help stimulate the body and help you stay awake. Always keep a glass of water on the nightstand, ready for that morning sip.

Program the coffee maker

Relatedly, programming the coffee maker to go off so that coffee is ready in the morning is a big help. The sound of the grinding and the scent of the coffee are big pick-me-ups. If it's still too tough to rouse yourself for a cup, put the pot near your bed. There's nothing wrong with having a bit coffee in bed as long as you actually wake up to drink it and refuse the impulse to linger there for hours.

Drink something before you sleep

By the time your alarm goes off, you will probably have to use the bathroom and won't be able to go back to sleep comfortably.

Don't allow yourself to reason with yourself

Resolve the night before to wake up early. You can convince yourself of a hundred different reasons to stay in bed when you're still tired, even if it's not really the best course of action. Try to shut off all that "logic" and force yourself to make getting out of bed a physical, automatic routine. Train yourself to respond immediately to the alarm without relying on conscious willpower.

Have something to look forward to

It's much easier to get out of bed when you focus on something you actually want to do instead of on the drudgery of what you must do. Try setting aside a few minutes in the morning for a ritual that will help you look forward to waking up. Maybe it's coffee in bed, the time to flip through a design magazine, or a shower with a special soap. Whatever it may be, try to give yourself something that will help you start the day right.

If you wake up before your alarm goes off, get out of bed

If you go back to sleep or wait for the alarm, chances are, you'll feel drowsier. Follow your natural sleep cycles, seize the day, and embrace those extra minutes if your body tells you it's time to get up.

Do something active

You may not have the time or energy for a full-blown exercise routine every morning, but get your body moving somehow. Bop around a bit more than usual while you get ready in the morning or add a few minutes of jogging in place to the routine. Try taking three minutes to dance to whatever pop tune is striking your fancy. If you can't even muster the energy to get out of bed, just force yourself to wiggle around under the covers or tense and un-tense your muscles several times to get your body in gear.

Take a shower as soon as you get out of bed

The water and change in temperature will get your circulation going. Try a shower gel with mint or some other invigorating scent to help make you more alert. Keep a peppermint or lemon by your bedside to help facilitate the wake-up process through aromatherapy.

Remind yourself of what you have to do

Fixing these things in your mind at night might make it harder to relax and get to sleep, so it can be helpful, both as nighttime catharsis and morning wake-up, to note your to-do list on a small whiteboard or a piece of paper kept on the nightstand. It will help you feel at night like you have those things handled, or at least noted, for the following day, and it will give you more reason to get up in the morning.

 

Source: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/10-tips-for-making-the-winter-wake-up-easier-181095

.

The Benefits Of Routinely Riding A Stationary Bike

Calorie Burn

A half hour on a stationary bicycle helps up your daily calorie burn. Burning a greater number of daily calories means that you will have an easier time managing your weight. If you go at a moderate pace for 30 minutes and weigh 155 pounds, expect to burn about 260 calories. If you weigh more, or work at a higher intensity, you'll burn even more.

Joint Friendly

Many types of aerobic activity, such as jogging or team sports, can be hard on your joints because of the impact involved. A stationary cycle enables you to get your heart pumping without putting undue stress on your joints. The Cleveland Clinic notes that a bike is especially good for people who are more than 50 pounds overweight because it reduces mechanical stress on the back, hips, knees and ankles -- even when compared to walking. You can indulge in daily exercise with a lower risk of injury.

Cardio Benefits

Riding a stationary bicycle counts as cardiovascular exercise. Regular cardio exercise helps lower high blood pressure, regulates blood sugar and may prevent heart attacks, especially if you've already suffered from one. According to the Mayo Clinic, regularly riding a stationary bike helps your heart become more efficient at pumping blood. It also increases the amount of good cholesterol while lowering the amount of bad cholesterol in your system to result in less plaque build-up in your arteries. The simple act of riding a stationary bicycle 30 minutes a day, five times per week may even extend your life.

Strategy

Gradually work up to longer rides if 150 minutes per week is too much to start with. Although riding a stationary bicycle is an effective cardiovascular activity, consider cross training with another activity once or twice per week to challenge different muscles and prevent burn out. The elliptical trainer or swimming laps are examples of other low-impact activities that can also help you burn calories and improve heart health

Source: http://livehealthy.chron.com/health-benefits-routinely-riding-stationary-bike-1809.html

6 Surprisingly Energizing Foods You Need To Eat This Winter

Starting to feel the lack of energy as the temperature is dropping? With these 6 energy proving foods, you should be provided with a boost along with other great health benefits!

Fatty Fish

Contains: Omega 3 Fatty Acids Benefits: Lift Your Mood & Brain Health!

Oatmeal (Non-Instant)

Contains: Slow Release Carbs Benefits: Keeps You Full Longer With Lasted Energy

Green Tea

Contains: Unique Amino Acids (L-Theanine) Benefits: Keeps You Focused & Mentally Engaged

Probiotic Yogurt

Contains: Probiotics Benefits: Lower Stress Level

Dark Chocolate

Contains: Antioxidants Benefits: Increases Happiness On A Dreary Day

Bananas

Contains: Vitamin B6 Benefits: Energy Booster

 

See More: http://www.bicycling.com/food/nutrition/11-surprisingly-energizing-foods-you-need-to-eat-this-winter

Healthy Transformations

Quinoa Salad
quinoa salad with beans and assorted peppers
Ingredients
 •2 tsp sherry
 •2 tsp soy sauce, lite
 •1 tsp garlic
 •¼ tsp ginger
 •1 ¼ oz beef, lean
 •¼ cup beef stock
 •2 cups broccoli
 •1 ½ cups mushrooms
 •1 cup snow peas
 •½ cup scallions
 •½ tbsp cornstarch
 •¼ cup rice, brown cooked
 •½ tsp oil, sesame
 •½ tsp oil, high oleic safflower
Spices / Flavoring
 •¼ tsp black pepper

Prepare rice as directed on package while stir frying.

Slice beef into thin strips and marinate beef in soy sauce, sesame oil, sherry, and cornstarch for, at least 10 minutes (overnight is okay).

Slice broccoli into smaller pieces.

Heat wok or deep pan. Add high oleic oil and stir to coat sides. Add meat (with marinade). Stir and fry until barely pink - about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set meat aside.

Add minced ginger and garlic to wok. Stir briefly. Add the vegetables. Stir 2 minutes over high heat. Add beef stock, cover and lower flame. Simmer 5 minutes.

Increase heat, add meat to vegetables. Toss (stir fry) until juice is thickened.

Enjoy over hot rice!

Per serving: 310 calories, 25g protein, 10g total fat, 30g carbohydrates.
Source: Healthy Transformations Recipes

10 Tips For Making Winter Wake Ups Easier

Now that winter is upon us, the sun is rising later and setting earlier. Waking up in the dark isn’t always the easiest! Your mind is still in sleep mode, and naturally doesn’t want to get out of bed. However, with a few of these simple tricks & tips it may not have to be that difficult!

Have a drink

Drinking water as soon as you wake up will help stimulate the body and help you stay awake. Always keep a glass of water on the nightstand, ready for that morning sip.

Program the coffee maker

Relatedly, programming the coffee maker to go off so that coffee is ready in the morning is a big help. The sound of the grinding and the scent of the coffee are big pick-me-ups. If it's still too tough to rouse yourself for a cup, put the pot near your bed. There's nothing wrong with having a bit coffee in bed as long as you actually wake up to drink it and refuse the impulse to linger there for hours.

Drink something before you sleep

By the time your alarm goes off, you will probably have to use the bathroom and won't be able to go back to sleep comfortably.

Don't allow yourself to reason with yourself

Resolve the night before to wake up early. You can convince yourself of a hundred different reasons to stay in bed when you're still tired, even if it's not really the best course of action. Try to shut off all that "logic" and force yourself to make getting out of bed a physical, automatic routine. Train yourself to respond immediately to the alarm without relying on conscious willpower.

Have something to look forward to

It's much easier to get out of bed when you focus on something you actually want to do instead of on the drudgery of what you must do. Try setting aside a few minutes in the morning for a ritual that will help you look forward to waking up. Maybe it's coffee in bed, the time to flip through a design magazine, or a shower with a special soap. Whatever it may be, try to give yourself something that will help you start the day right.

If you wake up before your alarm goes off, get out of bed

If you go back to sleep or wait for the alarm, chances are, you'll feel drowsier. Follow your natural sleep cycles, seize the day, and embrace those extra minutes if your body tells you it's time to get up.

Do something active

You may not have the time or energy for a full-blown exercise routine every morning, but get your body moving somehow. Bop around a bit more than usual while you get ready in the morning or add a few minutes of jogging in place to the routine. Try taking three minutes to dance to whatever pop tune is striking your fancy. If you can't even muster the energy to get out of bed, just force yourself to wiggle around under the covers or tense and un-tense your muscles several times to get your body in gear.

Take a shower as soon as you get out of bed

The water and change in temperature will get your circulation going. Try a shower gel with mint or some other invigorating scent to help make you more alert. Keep a peppermint or lemon by your bedside to help facilitate the wake-up process through aromatherapy.

Remind yourself of what you have to do

Fixing these things in your mind at night might make it harder to relax and get to sleep, so it can be helpful, both as nighttime catharsis and morning wake-up, to note your to-do list on a small whiteboard or a piece of paper kept on the nightstand. It will help you feel at night like you have those things handled, or at least noted, for the following day, and it will give you more reason to get up in the morning.

 

Source: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/10-tips-for-making-the-winter-wake-up-easier-181095

.

The Benefits Of Routinely Riding A Stationary Bike

Calorie Burn

A half hour on a stationary bicycle helps up your daily calorie burn. Burning a greater number of daily calories means that you will have an easier time managing your weight. If you go at a moderate pace for 30 minutes and weigh 155 pounds, expect to burn about 260 calories. If you weigh more, or work at a higher intensity, you'll burn even more.

Joint Friendly

Many types of aerobic activity, such as jogging or team sports, can be hard on your joints because of the impact involved. A stationary cycle enables you to get your heart pumping without putting undue stress on your joints. The Cleveland Clinic notes that a bike is especially good for people who are more than 50 pounds overweight because it reduces mechanical stress on the back, hips, knees and ankles -- even when compared to walking. You can indulge in daily exercise with a lower risk of injury.

Cardio Benefits

Riding a stationary bicycle counts as cardiovascular exercise. Regular cardio exercise helps lower high blood pressure, regulates blood sugar and may prevent heart attacks, especially if you've already suffered from one. According to the Mayo Clinic, regularly riding a stationary bike helps your heart become more efficient at pumping blood. It also increases the amount of good cholesterol while lowering the amount of bad cholesterol in your system to result in less plaque build-up in your arteries. The simple act of riding a stationary bicycle 30 minutes a day, five times per week may even extend your life.

Strategy

Gradually work up to longer rides if 150 minutes per week is too much to start with. Although riding a stationary bicycle is an effective cardiovascular activity, consider cross training with another activity once or twice per week to challenge different muscles and prevent burn out. The elliptical trainer or swimming laps are examples of other low-impact activities that can also help you burn calories and improve heart health

Source: http://livehealthy.chron.com/health-benefits-routinely-riding-stationary-bike-1809.html

6 Surprisingly Energizing Foods You Need To Eat This Winter

Starting to feel the lack of energy as the temperature is dropping? With these 6 energy proving foods, you should be provided with a boost along with other great health benefits!

Fatty Fish

Contains: Omega 3 Fatty Acids Benefits: Lift Your Mood & Brain Health!

Oatmeal (Non-Instant)

Contains: Slow Release Carbs Benefits: Keeps You Full Longer With Lasted Energy

Green Tea

Contains: Unique Amino Acids (L-Theanine) Benefits: Keeps You Focused & Mentally Engaged

Probiotic Yogurt

Contains: Probiotics Benefits: Lower Stress Level

Dark Chocolate

Contains: Antioxidants Benefits: Increases Happiness On A Dreary Day

Bananas

Contains: Vitamin B6 Benefits: Energy Booster

 

See More: http://www.bicycling.com/food/nutrition/11-surprisingly-energizing-foods-you-need-to-eat-this-winter

Healthy Transformations

Quinoa Salad
quinoa salad with beans and assorted peppers
Ingredients
 •2 tsp sherry
 •2 tsp soy sauce, lite
 •1 tsp garlic
 •¼ tsp ginger
 •1 ¼ oz beef, lean
 •¼ cup beef stock
 •2 cups broccoli
 •1 ½ cups mushrooms
 •1 cup snow peas
 •½ cup scallions
 •½ tbsp cornstarch
 •¼ cup rice, brown cooked
 •½ tsp oil, sesame
 •½ tsp oil, high oleic safflower
Spices / Flavoring
 •¼ tsp black pepper

Prepare rice as directed on package while stir frying.

Slice beef into thin strips and marinate beef in soy sauce, sesame oil, sherry, and cornstarch for, at least 10 minutes (overnight is okay).

Slice broccoli into smaller pieces.

Heat wok or deep pan. Add high oleic oil and stir to coat sides. Add meat (with marinade). Stir and fry until barely pink - about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set meat aside.

Add minced ginger and garlic to wok. Stir briefly. Add the vegetables. Stir 2 minutes over high heat. Add beef stock, cover and lower flame. Simmer 5 minutes.

Increase heat, add meat to vegetables. Toss (stir fry) until juice is thickened.

Enjoy over hot rice!

Per serving: 310 calories, 25g protein, 10g total fat, 30g carbohydrates.
Source: Healthy Transformations Recipes