Archive for the ‘CRISP — health’ Category

bikinibodyAcross campus and around the world, core muscles are a known issue for everyone. “Do they exist?” “How can I make them bigger?” “I’ll never get to see them!” “They’re behind the keg!” Everyone loves to hate their abs, but most don’t realize just how important those muscles really are. While getting them in shape can be a nightmare, actually doing so helps you look good, feel good, and think better.

And so to help you on your fitness journey, let’s hear it for Bikini Body Mommy, the personal trainer mommy who lost 100 pounds, and has great advice to show for it. The great thing about her site is that she has photos to go along with the workouts, as well as other fitness choices and ideas.

#1: Bikini Twist

1.) Lean back and prop your upper body up on your elbows (your back should remain lifted), palms facing down. Brace your abs in tight and lift your legs into a 90-degree angle (knees should be touching), toes pointed.

2.) Slowly lower your legs over to the right (knees should stay together). Keeping the 90-degree angle, lower your legs & then lift them up to the left. That is one rep. Perform 20 reps.

#2: Pike Plank

1.) Sit with your legs slightly bent, feet flexed up, and hands just outside of your hips, fingertips facing forward. Draw your abs in tight and press down through your palms to lift your hips up off the ground a couple of inches.

2.) For this one, focus on lifting your hips with your abs. Use your arms and legs to brace yourself. Fully extend your legs, and try to push your hips backward. Hold this for two seconds. Bend your knees, and return to the start position. That’s one rep. Perform ten times.

*Wrist issues? Perform this move on your knuckles, or lay back onto your elbows.

#3: Walking V-Plank

1.) Begin in an elbow plank with your hands clasped, and feet about hip-width apart.

2.) Keeping your knees locked, walk your feet in towards your hands as far as you can, until your hips end up in a high “pike” position. Slowly inch back out, reversing the way you walked in, until you return to the start.  That’s one rep.  Perform ten times.

There are a few other workouts available on Bikini Body Mommy’s site as well as recipes and other things fitness. Check it out!

-Brooke Leone

greek

Going Greek has become the latest trend this year, and I don’t think many people will be going back to regular yogurt anytime soon. Not only is it exotic and trendy, it also seems to be the healthier option between the two types of yogurt out there. Greek yogurt has removed much of its lactose, liquid whey, and sugar –all while packing double the protein, cutting sugar in half, and containing the same amount of calories that regular yogurt has.

Not sure which side to take in this battle? Here are the nutrition facts of both Chobani yogurt and Yoplait yogurt.

Chobani: plain flavor

Calories: 140

Fat: 0 g

Protein: 23 g

Calcium: 30%

Sugar: 9 g

Yoplait: plain flavor

Calories: 170

Fat: 1.5 g

Protein: 5 g

Calcium: 20%

Sugar: 27 g

Here is a closer look at why Greek yogurt is nutritionally better for you.

Fat.

Well there is none. Nothing in the world is more appealing than food with no fat. Compared to the regular yogurt, which has 1.5 grams of fat, it is obvious why Greek would win.

Protein.

As shown in the nutritional facts, Greek yogurt contains five times the protein that regular yogurt contains. Protein helps promote fullness and repair muscles and is vital to your diet.

Calcium.

Greek yogurt contains 30% of your daily intake of calcium, whereas regular yogurt only contains 20%. Although there is not much of a difference, it still accounts for that extra 10% that your body needs everyday.

If you want to add some more healthy goodness into your Greek yogurt, add some fruit and granola to it. You can also use Greek yogurt as an alternative in baking recipes, substitute for sour cream, salad dressing (with added spices), and much more!

Happy eating!

-Chelsey Perry

cat

Just like last year, the year before that, and the year before that, we all welcome the New Year with high hopes of becoming a healthier person. Whether it’s going to the gym four times a week, making healthier dinner choices, or cutting back on ordering Dominos every weekend, most of us find ourselves not sticking to our healthy goal. According to Shape Magazine, less than 10% of people actually stick to their resolutions throughout the year.

Whether it’s because we lack motivation, support, or because we find every excuse under the sun, we just can’t seem to stick to these resolutions. But some of these resolutions, we should be sticking to for more than one reason.

#1. Being more active/Going to the gym

Important? Yes, very. Not only does working out or staying active help you maintain or reach a healthy weight, it also helps your immune system. Especially now that we are suffering seven-degree weather, it is important that you stay healthy. How do you stick with it? Sign up for a gym membership or a fitness class. If you are spending the little money you actually have, you may feel more obligated to actually go. Better yet, find a pal who is a gym rat and will make you feel fat and lazy for not going everyday.

#2. Quit smoking

No offense but research has shown that smoking does indeed lead to cancer and can kill you, so why do it? So instead of saying “this will be the year I finally stop smoking,” actually do it. Find a friend or family member to do it with you for moral and emotional support. There is nothing better than cutting a not-so-healthy habit out of your everyday routine that is basically chopping days off of your life expectancy.

#3. Eating both healthier, and more often

Even though everyone on the planet says that they will start eating healthier (tomorrow or Monday), and eating 6 meals a day, they usually don’t. Whether your class and work schedule stop you from reaching this goal, it really isn’t a valid excuse. Before you go grocery shopping, make a grocery list so you are not purchasing three bags of Lay’s chips when you are sad and depressed over the boy who doesn’t like you back. Don’t grocery shop? Skip the waffle and pizza bars in the dining halls, and make yourself a healthy, hearty salad instead!

Bada-bing, bada-boom.

Best of luck!

-Chelsey Perry

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Losing weight has been the topic of discussion all around the world since adult and childhood obesity was brought to our attention. While obesity was present before the test results, losing weight was a closeted topic. Now, everyone and their brother are trying to lose weight quickly, and hopefully healthily. But what those diet plans and nutrisystem meals aren’t telling you, is that you need to go back to the basics.

Drinking 8 cups of water a day is elementary when dieting, yet we all struggle to get it into our bodies. I personally hate drinking water, and try my hardest to get four cups a day. It’s difficult, but that doesn’t mean that you give up.

Taralynn McNitt runs a blog titled Undressed Skeleton, where she shares her healthy story along with ideas and plans for eating, exercising, and lifestyle tips. She, too, has issues with drinking water, and has found a plan that works. So go get your water bottle and a sharpie, because  we’re about to time out your drinking ability. Yes, I said timing.

All you have to do is write on every 8-ounce line with the time you wish to complete it. If the bottle doesn’t have ounce increments on it, pour a cup of water at a time in the bottle, and mark the line. Simple as that.

In the picture above, there are two water bottles; one for the morning and one for at night. Taralynn wrote down hour increments per cup and that’s what I personally think is a great idea. I’ve written on my water bottle just to keep myself on a schedule, and it’s been nothing but beneficial.

Yes, you can still drink coffee in the mornings and during the day, but remember that those 8 cups of water are just as important, and might even give you more of an energy boost than that cup of coffee.

Water helps your body function and it can help you lose those extra pounds your trying to shed. Try it out and get on a schedule. I bet it will make a difference.

-Brooke Leone

Yoga for Desk Dwellers

Posted: November 28, 2012 by jerkmagblog in CRISP -- health
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Whether you think that yoga is just a fad or a complete waste of time, let me first start off by saying that you need to effing relax. Even if you’re not into the extremities of hot yoga or PiYo (yoga/pilates) you can still use yoga to simply relax and/or stretch your muscles, which is something everyone needs. This exercise is great for flexibility and getting those frequent kinks out of your body that come with your every day schedule.

Like any other exercise routine, yoga takes a lot of time out of your daily routine. As students, professors, part-time employees or whatever other occupations you have, finding a minute to yourself seems nearly imposible. I get that. But the great thing about yoga, is that you can do something as simple as a sun salutation for five minutes in the morning, or on your break, and be satisfied for the rest of the day. You don’t have to go to an hour-long class to feel good or to feel like you’ve exercised. You can do it right at your desk. You’ll be feeling so great that you CAN afford skip the gym, since you’re searching for excuses not to go anyway.

I found this great yoga work out for desk dwellers (students, office workers, professors) that will help your back, hips, shoulders, and probably your neck. We are all familiar with those aches and pains we get from staying up late hunching over our computers and not sleeping, so hopefully this will help relieve these pains.

Here are two poses I found from fitsugar.com under the title: Best Yoga Poses For Office Workers: Postwork Yoga Sequence For Desk Dwellers

Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose: This forward bend variation will open tight shoulders and hamstrings.

  • Stand with three to four feet between your feet. Turn toes in slightly and interlace the fingers in a fist behind the back.
  • Inhale to engage the abs and pull hands away from the shoulders. Exhale to fold at your hips, keeping the legs and spine straight.
  • Hold for five deep breaths, trying to lower the hands toward the floor. Then come to stand at the front of your mat with both feet together.

Lizard Pose: Tight hip flexors can put strain on the lower back, so here’s a pose to target that commonly tight area.

  • From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot forward between your palms, keeping your hands on the floor.
  • Lower your left knee to the floor, and release your elbows to the floor as well. Either rest your palms facing down on the mat, or bring your hands together in prayer position.
  • Continue to squeeze your right knee toward your body and keep your gaze in front of you to encourage your hips to lower toward the floor.
  • Stay here for at least five breaths. Come back onto your hands, tuck your back toes, and step your right leg back. Take a vinyasa and step your left foot forward to repeat this pose on the other side. Then work your way back to Down Dog.

You can find more poses to try at www.fitsugar.com. Each workout provides photos so you know how these things should look.

Happy stretching!

-Brooke Leone

Just because the weather has reached incredibly low temperatures, there is no need to stop your usual routine of heading down Euclid for a daily run. I used to think that running outdoors during this time of year was unhealthy for my body, because I overheard once that “running in temperatures this low can harm your lungs.” Ha, it’s okay, you can laugh at me.

But actually, running outside in this colder weather is actually better for your body than you might think. Tom Holland, the author of The Marathon Method, says “The colder the weather, the less heat stress on the body, which makes it significantly easier to run. Running in hot and humid weather is extremely taxing on the body–there is a reason why the majority of marathons are held in October and November.”

Although it is good for your body to take a run outdoors during winter months, you must take precautions before you do. For instance, you better make sure your head is warm and dry. Up to 40% (or more) of your body heat is released from your head, so wearing a hat or ear muffs, is important for your health.

Another important part of running outside other than keeping your head warm, is keeping the rest of your body warm, but not TOO warm. When preparing your outfit for an outdoor run, dress in layers. This will help your body maintain a healthy temperature so you do not get too cold, or too warm.

Your first layer should consist of clothing that will absorb any moisture; for example a cotton t-shirt, or some Under Armour, because Under Armour always works.

Your second layer should insulate your body in order to keep it warmer than the temperature outside, so try a fleece or cotton sweatshirt.

Last but not least, you have your third layer. This layer is your outer layer, which should coordinate with the weather. It should be made of waterproof material in case it starts to rain or snow so you don’t get wet and cranky.

Happy winter and happy running!

-Chelsey Perry

Carbohydrates: good or evil?

Posted: November 8, 2012 by jerkmag in CRISP -- health
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Breaking news! You no longer need to deprive your body of god’s gift to earth any longer! Carbohydrates have been depicted as a “dangerous” food by fad diets for the past decade or so, but in reality, you shouldn’t deprive your body from them any longer.

What people don’t know is that some carbohydrates are actually good for your body and that your body needs them to survive. They provide your body with fuel for physical activities, proper organ function and are an important part of a healthy/balanced diet like that pyramid thing you learned in like fifth grade. Ideally, 45-60% of your daily calorie intake should be from carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates come in all different shapes and sizes. They’re not necessarily only breads and pastas, but are vegetables, fruits, and beans. If you do choose to snack on some bread or make a turkey sandwhich, try switching to whole wheat or whole grain. These white breads are processed, bleached and do not contain the original nutritional content of the grain and the fibers, ultimatley being a poor food choice.

Still don’t believe that you can actually enjoy a hearty piece of bread? The next few reasons should help.

1. Carbohydrates are high in fiber. Fiber is an essential part of your diet and it helps you stay fuller longer, provides your body with energy, lowers your cholesterol levels and helps assist your body in removing toxins that you don’t need.

2. Carbohydrates contain a low glycemic index which in simpler terms, stabilizes loos sugar levels and insulin production. Which yes, is very important for your health.

3. Carbohydrates are full of nutrients your body needs every day. They contain natural vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients.

So moral of the story is that instead of cutting carbs out of your diet entirely, try eating healthier carbs instead. Stop reaching for that blueberry muffin in the morning and try eating a whole wheat english muffin with some jelly instead. Your love handles will thank you later.

-Chelsey Perry

Jerks Need Sleep Too!

Posted: October 25, 2012 by jerkmagblog in CRISP -- health
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With the past four weeks being all about midterms, it’s no secret to anyone that sleep hasn’t exactly been top priority. Exams, papers, horrible group projects, and those small tedious “this will only take a second” homework assignments your professors think won’t matter in the grand scheme of things, seem to take over our lives. If they only knew what students really wanted to vocalize in those classes, chances are, we wouldn’t have as much work to do.

Considering how important sleep is and the fact that it’s become a long-lost friend these recent weeks, let’s just make sure it’s not looking for a reunion during your midterm exam or during that time before class that is perfect for a quick snooze, which eventually sneaks into class time because you’re that exhausted. Don’t let your grades or health slip just because of a paper or assignment that could be done during the daylight.

Many students say they feel they’re some kind of nocturnal. Obviously this isn’t true, but it certainly feels like it. For whatever reason, they get that second wind at night time, and can’t shut off the light/computer/cell phone.

According to the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health, some 30 to 40 percent of adults suffer symptoms of insomnia within a given year.

So here are a few steps to take before bedtime to ensure that your night’s sleep will be satisfying.

Yoga therapist Kate Vogt offers the following practices to help you invite your mind and body to rest.

Say Goodnight: Create a bedtime ritual to signal to your body and mind that all activity is done for the day and it’s time for rest. Finish eating two hours prior to bedtime, and turn off the TV or put aside your cell phone and laptop at least a half an hour before retiring. Literally start to check out and unplug before going to bed. It will make sleeping stress-free a little easier.

Stretch and Yawn: Rest on your back to contract and stretch your muscles from head to toe. Flex your feet, spread your toes, and then curl them under three times. Stretch out one foot and reach the opposite arm overhead. Gently squeeze and release the leg and arm muscles three times. Change sides. Hug yourself and shrug your shoulders toward each other. Hold for three or four seconds and release. Change the cross of your arms and repeat. Rest the base of your palms above your eyebrows and place your thumbs on your temples. Slide your fingertips along your hairline and circle the thumbs lightly on your temples. Yawn three times.

Let Yourself Melt: Lie flat on your belly, resting your forehead on your hands. Feel your navel expand toward the floor as you inhale and pull back as you exhale. With each exhalation, imagine releasing tension from your body. Do this for 10 breaths. Roll slowly onto your back. Rest your fingers on your belly, feeling it rise and fall as you take 12 more breaths. With each exhalation, let yourself melt and be absorbed into radiant love. Then, curl into a fetal position on your right side and rest. You may even drift off to sleep.

To see more tips and tricks to a good nights sleep or to gain more yoga knowledge, visit www.yogajournal.com

Happy sleeping!

-Brooke Leone

A bra can do miraculous things. They help secure the twins during an intense run, give you great cleavage and keep them perky instead of down near your waistline. The bra already does so many things for our busts, but can you imagine a bra that detects the early signs of breast cancer?

Lifeline Biotechnologies has developed a bra called “First Warning Systems” that will provide us with accurate screenings for abnormalities in our breast tissue. The bra would no longer require regular visits to the doctor office for mammograms due to its convenience and user-friendliness. The bra can be worn any time of the day, washed in a house-hold washing machine, and all information is sent through the sensors to a computer program that reads the information for you.

Even though technology has surprised us in many ways with its incredible developments, how can a bra detect something as complex as breast cancer? Well, the bra is lined with precise sensors, which measures the change of our cell temperature. This change in cell temperature is a result of blood vessel growth, which is scientifically linked to the development of cancerous tumors.

Thus far, the First Warning Systems has accurately detected tumors 92% of the time in a trial of over 700 women.

Although this product seems to be short of a miracle, Dr. Deanna J. Attai, spokeswoman for the American Society of Breast Surgeons, said, “The technology of the bra is promising but I’m a long way off from recommending it, we need a lot more comparison to other screening technologies, and we need to follow women over a much longer period of time to determine if this is actually a reliable test.”

Even if the bra is put on the market, getting your hands on it will cost either an arm or a leg. Lifeline Biotechnologies says that if the bra conducts more successful clinical trials and is approved for retail, we will be able to purchase the bra as early as 2014 and will be coughing up around $1,000.

That seems like an awful lot of dough for a bra made of cloth, but there is no price too high to help prevent the diagnosis of the number one killer among women today.

-Chelsey Perry

Eat That Leaf

Posted: October 20, 2012 by jerkmagblog in CRISP -- health
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What’s crisper than a nice crunchy piece of lettuce? Not much. That’s why you should ditch the bread and start using it.

Take those amazingly addictive lettuce wraps at P.F. Changs as an example for a much healthier snack.  You could put your very own at-home spin on them, which is not only healthy but also cheap!

Now I’m a complete advocate for all things lettuce: salad, wraps, toppings and any everything else. I just don’t think people realize how great this is, so here’s a recipe that I love that is healthy, delicious, and doesn’t fill you up so you can eat a few of these and not feel like a fatty.

James Duigan: Ultimate Clean & Lean Lettuce Wrap
(Brought to you by me with help from www.sheerluxe.com)

Ingredients
4 leaves iceberg lettuce
4 slices roast turkey
½ cucumber, sliced
250g hummus
Sprinkle of paprika

Put the toppings on the lettuce as if it were bread and roll it up! You can place a toothpick in the wrap to hold it together for easy keeping or just while you’re eating. You can also add other ingredients such as: cheese, garlic, seasonings, other meats, no meat, beans, etc.

If you try this out, comment below and let me know how it goes!

-Brooke Leone