Friday, 10 August 2007

Are bottles harmful to babies?

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Parents have been feeding their babies with plastic bottle for years, but new evidence is emerging that clear plastic bottles may be harmful to a baby's health. It all comes down to a checmical known as bisphenol A, which The National Toxicology Program Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction is concerned can cause problems to fetuses in utero, including birth defects. The full report won't be available until later this year but they've provided a brief summary.

Meanwhile, bottle manufacturers have been quick to point out that the findings so far don't mention many major risk, so they're telling us to keep using plastic bottles. Do you think it's a good idea, or should we switch to something else in the interest of safety?

10 easy ways to drop 10 lbs

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When I see headlines on articles like 'Lose 5 pounds easily', I always cringe because it's not easy and anyone whose ever tried to lose a few pounds knows that it takes a lot of work to work off that weight. So I was skeptical when I read this headline from eDiets, on 10 painless way to lose 10 pounds. Here's what they suggest:
  • Read the fine print and make the choice that's got the least calories
  • Make your own low-cal desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth
  • Commit to some sort of exercise most days of the week and stick to it
  • Every time you get a phone call, get on the stationary bike if you have one
  • Substitute cooking spray for the butter or margarine that you use when cooking
  • Switch unhealthy snacks for healthy ones
  • Avoid happy hour
  • Pack up leftovers and have them instead of fast-food for lunch
  • Frozen meals will have much fewer calories than restaurant ones so when you don't feel like cooking, use the microwave.
These do sound pretty easy, but do you think they can lead to long-term weight loss?

Ashley Tisdale on staying slim in Hollywood

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Ashley Tisdale of High School Musical is just one of the many stars to claim that she wants more curves, according to US Magazine. Oh please. As if anyone in Hollywood is going to gain 20 pounds just in the interest if getting some curves, if you ask me. Anyway, she's sounded off about her diet and exercise routine, saying things like:
  • "I like to work out two times a week. I do cardio for 30 minutes then I do weights. I used to have a trainer but I just moved gyms. I'm really into eating healthy and working out."
  • "I watch what I eat but then I will have days where I will eat whatever I want like a donut. I don't really limit what I eat but I just watch it. I don't like to eat carbs after 3 pm."
  • ''I am always wearing skirts or shorts because I like my legs. They are very in shape."
It sounds like she has a fairly healthy routine, but she's also quick to point out that she's naturally thin to begin with. What do you think?

(Via Fitsugar)

Who's happier: 40-year-olds or 70-year-olds?

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My experience with people older than me is they tend to give me the once over and with a far-off look in their eye, tell me, 'those were the days, when I was young like you'. I visit my great aunt in a nursing home on a weekly basis and encounter many a wheel-chair bound person looking glancing at me with envy, jealous that I can come and go as I please and navigated the hallways and life with the ease of youth and good health. But happiness and youthfulness don't go hand in hand as the following study shows.

According to recent findings, more people in their 70s claim to be happy with their lives than those in their 40s or 60s. On average, 89% of those in their 70s said they were happy, compared to 87% of those in their 60s and 78% of those in their 40s. Why do you think this is? If I had to guess, I'd say that retirement plays a big role -- people in their 70s finally have a chance to slow down and enjoy life after years of hard work. But I'm sure there's more to than that. What do you think?

Breast implants put you at a great risk for suicide

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Women with breast implants are three times more likely to commit suicide than those without, a new study shows. However, this increased risk does not appear to take affect until 10 years after implantation. Nonetheless, plastic surgeons are being urged to assess a patients risk of suicide before surgery. In addition, the study also found that,women with breast implants also have a much greater risk of dying from alcohol or drug overdoses than those without.

This seems to say a lot about plastic surgery -- perhaps women who have issues with their body image or who are self-conscious about their looks are more likely to be depressed and/or be addicted to drugs or alcohol. But I am by no means an expert and perhaps there are other underlying factors here. What do you think?

Fat is the new normal

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It's estimated that 50% of the population is now obese or overweight, and that number will only rise, perhaps as high as 75% in 2015. So considering all this, I guess it's not surprising that being overweight is now considered normal, according to a study. Researchers have determined this based on the fact that while the average weight of women has risen over the years, so has the average ideal weight of women.

Whereas in 1994, the average woman wanted to weigh 132, now an ideal weight is considered to be 135. And while 135 isn't an unhealthy weight to aspire to, it seems that as our weight creeps up and we see less and less healthy figures, we change our ideas of what's normal and healthy. As the needle on the scale gets a bit higher every week, that goal weight seems further and further away, until we give up on it all together. I think this is a bit sad, and I hope we can change our attitudes and eating habits before it's too late. What do you think?

Geri Halliwell looks hot!

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Fitsugar recently posted these photos of Geri Halliwell in a bikini, and I have to say, she looks really good. We all know she's been working out really hard the past few months, and her dedication has paid off in the form of 6-pack abs, which she has hard work and her huge personal trainer to thank for.

Over the years, the former Spice Girl's gone from curvaceous to scary-thin and has spent lots of time bouncing between the two. But now it looks like she's put crazy diets behind her (hopefully) and realized that the key to having a healthy body is eating right and getting active. Maybe becoming a mama has something to do with it? What do you think?

What does the future hold for food?

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According to the folks at CNN, who recently attended a conference put on by the Institute of Food Technologists, the new buzz words in food are nutraceuticals and functional foods, the latter of which is predicted to become a $600 Billion industry. So just what are they?

Nutraceuticals and functional foods are foods that are eaten for health purposes. And while I suppose that many foods are made with some sort of health benefit in mind (think of all those Omega-3-fortified items in your grocery store), these will be foods that are designed for a specific purpose, to fight fatigue for instance. One example that's already on the market is vitamin-infused candy. Though to me such candy, while I'm sure it's done a lot of good in helping kids get their nutrients, seems like a cop-out -- we shouldn't be letting our kids eat candy instead of vegetables, even if the candy has vitamins in it. Is that the future for food -- dressing up the healthy stuff as non-healthy stuff just to get people to eat it? I have to say I favour the approach of teaching kids and adults healthy habits instead of trying to sneak vitamins into their unhealthy meals. Plus, it seems as if we're all on so many medications already -- do we really need them in our food?

To me, this sounds like genetic modification taken to a whole new, very scary level. What do you think?

Fit Factor: Blast back fat

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I work weekends as a wedding photographer and during the summer, strapless dresses are all the rage. I love the strapless look but there's often a bit of flab hanging out over the top of the dress in the back, which means some stealthy editing ahead for me. Even without strapless dresses, we sometimes can see a bit of fat hanging over the top or bottom of a woman's bra, or some rolls on the backside of her waist, even though she's wearing a shirt. We often don't think of our back as being flabby because unlike our stomachs, our hips and our thighs, we don't see our back when we look in a mirror. But just because we don't see the flab, doesn't mean it's not there. A little bit of toning in your back can make the difference between flab-overhang and totally fab.

Continue reading Fit Factor: Blast back fat

Daily Fit Tip: Know what you need in a sports drink

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Depending on how long you workout and exactly what kind of exercise you're doing, your body needs different things from you. Hydration is important across the board, but when it comes to drinking fluids there's a big difference between water and sports drinks. Do you need the calories and electrolytes? What about protein? Is plain water better in some situations?

Experts say that if you're exercising for an hour or less at one time all you really need is water. Only when your body is subjected to long endurance-type activities for more than an hour is it in need of a calorie boost and electrolyte replacement. If you're drinking calories during or after a shorter workout you're really just canceling out all the energy you just burned!

That's Fit Weekly Podcast #22: August 10th, 2007

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We're always looking for fresh and innovative ways to blog about news and trends fit for helping you live a healthy life. Now, thanks to Saturn, we bring a new voice to our efforts with the launch of our That's Fit Weekly Podcast. Each Friday, we'll go from blogger to broadcaster as we discuss topics relevant to pursuing your health and fitness goals.

This week we begin our new Motivation to the Max series. Motivation to the Max is packed full of educational information and action tips to get you revved-up and motivated so you can achieve your maximum life potential.

So what do passion and motivation have to do with each other? Dr. Stephen Covey, the author of the book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People says, "Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly."

Ready to light a fire within you? Listen on...

Have comments on our current shows or ideas for future podcasts? Or, do you have a burning health and fitness question you'd like answered on an upcoming installment? Comment right here and we'll do our best to provide the helpful information you're looking for!

There are several ways to receive the That's Fit Weekly podcast: Subscribe to our RSS feed, through iTunes, or just hit the MP3 file directly -- your choice!

Receive That's Fit Weekly Podcast using one of these methods:
[RSS] Add The That's Fit Weekly Podcast feed to your RSS feedreader and have it delivered automatically
[MP3] Download the podcast directly
[iTunes] Subscribe to the podcast directly in Apple iTunes

Host
Laura Lewis

File Format

6:05:00 length, 5.53 MB size, MP3 format (128kbps)

August 17th, 2007 Program: Join us next week to hear about seven "Fit Formulas" to keep you motivated to work out!

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The Daily Turn On! Good vibrations

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Life is too short not to be fully "tuned in." The Daily Turn On! is designed to wake up your senses, all six of them: smell, taste, touch, hearing, sight and intuition! Everyday The Daily Turn On! with That's Fit Life Fit expert Laura Lewis will awaken your mind, your body and your life!

Did you know ...
We are emotionally, physically and spiritually impacted by what we hear? Every molecule in the universe (ourselves included) is in a constant state of vibration. Every single organ, tissue and bone in our body is constantly communicating through vibration. When our bodies are vibrating harmoniously with one another, we are in a state of health. A disconnect within our vibrations is indicative of disease.

We can actually utilize our sense of sound to create harmonious vibrations within the body by projecting the correct resonant frequency of the particular body part that is out of balance. Music can play a key factor in healing through sound, as it has a direct influence on the limbic system, which is the area of the brain that governs emotions.

Meditations that incorporate mantras and specific sounds, such as om or aum, utilize self-created sounds to enhance spiritual and emotional well being. Vowel sounds and harmonics seem to be especially effective on the limbic system for healing.

Next time your friend says she will send you some good vibes -- listen up! You just may feel better.

Try it out ... Next time you feel stressed out (even if you are at work) go to a quiet place, close your eyes and listen to soothing music -- I recommend Mozart. Or, even better, close your eyes and softly hum the om mantra. As awkward as you may feel at first, you will almost instantly feel better!

How did it work? Tell us about your experience. What music or sounds help you to relax. What are your favorite meditations? Is there advice you can offer based on your own experience with sound therapy?

Turn On your senses ... Live a fit life!
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Life Fit Chat with Laura Lewis: Sniff your way to good health

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Life Fit Chat with That's Fit Life Fit Expert Laura Lewis brings conversation provoking tidbits to your table, served up with a touch of spice! Byte-sized information that pack some punch, brought to you every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday!

Did you know ... Aromatherapy is a very complex and integral part of holistic medicine in which essential oils derived from healing plants are used to create healing and wellness in the body. Aromatherapy is an alternative medicine.

Aromacology should not be confuse with aromatherapy. Aromacology is the study of scents and their effect on one's mind, mood and health.

Try it out ... Use one to two drops of therapeutic grade lavender oil for healing cuts, scrapes, burns and insect bites or place six drops in a warm bath to aid in sleep. Apply Rosewood topically for eliminating fungus. Rosewood will also enhance memories of childhood joy. Tea Tree oil is great for the skin and can be used with a carrier oil for massage purposes. For the purest, pharmaceutical grade essential oils, I recommend the Everyday Kit from Flower Road Natural Therapies.

Action Tips ...
  • Be sure to always use high quality, therapeutic grade essential oils.
  • Use essential oils mixed with almond or other vegetable oil base if you are going to apply it directly to the skin.
  • Enhance the atmosphere by putting a few drops of your favorite essential oil in a bowl of water and let it evaporate slowly.
  • For jet lag, rub a few drops of lavender, basil and tangerine on your temples.
  • Place a few drops of eucalyptus or rosemary in your bath water to clear your sinuses.
  • Do your research. Using too much of an essential oil can sometimes have the reverse effect you desire.

Working in the Workouts: Not HIIT, but better?

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owen and mommyEach week, Debbie will share her goals, challenges, successes and tips on how to fit in fitness when caring for a rambunctious toddler.

A while back, I had written that I was toying with the idea of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) training, but was concerned I was not in good enough shape for it.

While I still don't think I have the stamina, a new study validates a rest period between workouts, showing that resting in-between actually burns more fat than a continuous workout.

OK, take a breath.

Maybe I get strangely excited over little things like this, but do you know what that kind of research means to busy people, moms and others just trying to sneak in workouts?

My walks to the playground, albeit shorter than the thirty-minute workouts in the study, have new meaning.

I know if I couldn't find a continuous chunk of time in which to do a cardio workout, I would tend to dismiss it as not worth it. Now, knowing the break in-between could actually help me burn more fat, I will be more apt to take the trek. Add an extra loop each way, and I can maybe get close to the thirty minutes of the study.

How about if I do some playground workouts of my own while we are there? Yep, I could lower myself to do the monkey bars. And really, how embarrassing would a few chin-ups really be?

So it isn't HIIT, but it is a start, one with research to back up the worth of it. Who knows the infinite fat-burning potential of walks to the playground?


Kroger to offer more organics

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Kroger stores nationwide will soon start carrying their own brand of organic goods under their store label Private Selection. They'll start with 65 products and instead of placing them all in an organic section, they'll mix them in with conventional product in the grocery aisles. The addition is in response to consumer demand, and will be advertised as "Organics for Everyone." Though the items will likely be more expensive than non-organic goods, Kroger says they'll be cheaper than name brand organic products.

I don't know what Kroger stores nationwide are like, but the one near me definitely has the best selection in town for organic products, with the exception of produce. They're also outrageously expensive, however, so much so that I'll only buy from them when there's a good sale, so it'll be interesting to see how this store label line develops. Many leaders of the organic industry frown on big box stores taking on organics, saying that they choose profits over organic principles, but yet there's a growing group of people out there who'd like to buy organic but can't afford it. It's an interesting debate....what do you think?

Can cookies give you bigger breasts?

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This post from our friends at Slashfood made me laugh. In the States, there are all kinds of functional foods on the shelves that promise to do everything from curing your digestive problems to boosting your immune system, but a cookie that promises to give you bigger breasts? That's a new one! The F-Cup Cookie claims to contain 50mg of an herb that builds bigger breasts, a dubious claim at best, but doesn't mention what snacking on the cookie will do to the rest of your body. (And an F-cup? Isn't that overkill?)

Short of surgery, experts say there isn't any product out there that will increase your breast size, but there are a few exercises you can do to firm and tone your bust, and I'm guessing exercise would be far more effective than any cookie you eat!