Social Media Can Promote Healthy Eating!

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You’d be amazed at how social networking can affect your healthy eating plan. A healthy eating plan is not about a strict diet, depriving yourself of the foods you love. It’s about feeling great, having more energy, getting that essential support from communities, all of which can be achieved by social networking.

Learn How To Eat

Healthy eating begins with learning how to eat, which can defend you against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and depression, and can boost your energy, sharpen your memory and stabilize your mood. You can find people on health related social networking sites discussing a range of healthy food choices and you can learn how to plan ahead to create and maintain a satisfying, healthy diet. Such topics discussed include healthy eating tips.

  • Eating with others has many social and emotional benefits than eating in front of the TV or computer.
  • Take time to chew your food slowly and enjoy mealtimes.
  • Ask yourself if you are really hungry or actually really thirsty. Have a glass of water to see whether you are only thirsty instead of hungry. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full.
  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, be sure to eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day.

Drink More Water

People found on health related social networking sites advise others to drink more water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated, causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated leads to a healthier lifestyle.

What About Exercise?

When it comes to preventing, controlling, or reversing diabetes, consider exercising. Regular exercise maintains your weight and can improve your insulin sensitivity. One of the easiest moderate-intensity activities is walking for 30 minutes five or more times a week, swimming or riding a bike. You can discuss with others on social networking sites your exercise achievements and compare results.

Eat In Moderation 

The most common advice seen on social networking sites is not to deprive yourself of the foods you love, but eat them in moderation. Try not to think of certain foods as off-limits. When you ban certain foods or food groups, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. Think smaller portions. If you are drawn towards sweet, salty, or unhealthy foods, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating them as often. You may find that you are craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.

Eat The Rainbow

Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Colorful and deeply colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and different colors provide different benefits.

  • Greens, such as broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are just a few of the options, all packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.
  • Sweet vegetables, such as corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, and squash
  • Fruit such as berries, apples, oranges and mangos, are satisfying way to fill up on fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Healthy Carb Options

Healthy carbs are digested slowly, helping you feel fuller for longer, while keeping your blood sugar and insulin levels stable. Healthy carbs include whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables.

Unhealthy carbs digest quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar levels and energy. These include white flour, refined sugar, and white rice that have been stripped of all bran, fiber, and nutrients. Blogs found on social networking sites document peoples experience on carb intake.

Eat Healthy Fats

Eating healthy fat nourish your brain, heart, hair, skin, and nails.  Foods rich in certain omega-3 fats can reduce cardiovascular disease, improve your mood, and help prevent dementia. Unhealthy fats like saturated fats and trans fats should be reduced or eliminated from your diet. There are various healthy fats to consider and remain in your diet, and these include:

▪    Monounsaturated fats that are derived from plant oils like canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans, and seeds such as pumpkin, sesame.

▪    Polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines oil supplements. Other sources of polyunsaturated fats are unheated sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, flaxseed oil, and walnuts.

Guidelines To Protein

Protein aids to the building blocks of our body that provides growth and energy, while maintaining cells, tissues, and organs. A lack of protein can slow growth, reduce muscle mass, lower immunity, and weaken the heart and respiratory system. The different types of protein include beans such as black beans and lentils, nuts such as almonds and walnuts, and soy products such as tofu and soy milk.

Calcium Equals Healthy Bones

Calcium-rich foods are one of the key nutrients that your body needs in order to stay strong and healthy. The recommended calcium levels are 1000 mg per day, 1200 mg if you are over 50 years old. Good sources of calcium-rich foods include dairy products such as milk and cheese, vegetables such as leafy greens and celery, and beans such as black beans and kidney beans.

Visit health related social networking sites to see what people are discussing on healthy eating options!

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Best Workout EVER!

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This is a post about my current workout routine and update on my 8 week running plan. By week four of running my knee began to excessively hurt like it used to when I was a runner. I believe that people should work through discomfort but not through pain. I still wanted to try my best to stay on track so I began finding various workouts on the elliptical. I hate how the elliptical has such a “girly” stereotype… it’s actually a fantastic workout and not nearly as damaging to your joints as running is.

Anyways, the point of this post is that I found a new machine at my gym called the Lateral X by Octane. You can do anything from vertical stairs to a skating/skiing motion. It is so much fun and is an overall fantastic workout. I’ve been telling all my friends and family about this machine. It is on the pricey side so try to find a gym that has these machines. They really give you a kick ass workout and don’t put any strain on your joints. I do about 10 miles and 7000 steps on this and I feel incredibly invigorated afterwards. Give it a try!

Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Fitness Lovers!

Here are a few of my suggestions, feel free to comment with any of your ideas!
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A Cute Gym Tote Bag
Every girl needs a cute bag to haul gear to and from the gym, and this girl has been using a cheap-o-falling-apart bag for too long. The ideal gym bag should be as cute as it is durable.I’m personally wishing for a Timbuk2 Women’s Skylark Tote ($99). The thing that sold me on it? The water bottle pocket! (I’m tired of my water bottle falling over and leaking on my other gear.)

It also has a yoga mat holster, detachable backpack straps and interior pockets for your keys and credit cards. Cute and functional, they’re sure know what a girl wants!

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Cold Weather Accessories ($2-$60)
It’s not easy to stay active once the weather gets cold, but having cute and functional cold weather accessories sure helps. I especially recommend a pair of “tech gloves.” These handy little guys let you change your workout music on your phone without having to take off your gloves! They come in a wide variety of brands and price ranges (as low as $2) to fit your style and your budget. Tech gloves were a big item on sale on Black Friday last year, and I predict we’ll see even better deals on them this year, so keep an eye out! The North Face Women’s Etip Gloves ($45, pictured right) can give your winter wardrobe a pop of color to energize a dark and blustery day.

And if your ears tend to get cold, I highly recommend a product called Earbags. Don’t let the strange name throw you, these little guys are a lifesaver on a cold day. The small, ear-shaped bags fit tightly around your ears to keep you warm, and they’re small enough to fit in your pocket (unlike traditional earmuffs).

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Foam Roller ($5-$65)
Another thing that’s great for achy muscles? A nice deep tissue massage! But if you’re like me, you probably don’t have the cash to splurge on a massage every time your muscles are sore. Foam rollers can give you a lot of the same benefits of a massage without the price tag. You can get one for as little as $5, or if you’re looking for something a little more special, you might want to try out The Grid Foam Roller by Trigger Point Performance ($25-$65).

Just like massage therapists uses different parts of their hands and arms to massage different muscle groups, this little roller has different sized ridges to relieve pressure in different spots. I haven’t tried it, but it’s got great reviews on Amazon, and that’s usually a pretty good sign.

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Cute Workout Shirts ($15-$30)
What do you get for the fitness nerd who has everything? Clothes! You can never have too many cute workout shirts. I personally love Nike dry fit or anything Lululemon!
Fitbit One ($99) …..Nike Fuel Band
So this one isn’t technically on my list, but my mom gave it to me for my birthday last month, and I just have to share. I’m a fitness nerd in the truest sense of the word. I love being able to track my progress and see improvement (or get a kick in the pants if I start slacking off). That’s why the Fitbit One has been great fun!

I already have a GPS watch to track my distance when I’m running, but I do a lot of activity during my regular day that I wasn’t tracking. I could walk to Starbucks or do two hours of shopping and have no data to see how far I’d gone. The Fitbit One is no simple pedometer; this little guy also tracks how many flights of stairs you climb in a day, how many calories you burn, and it monitors your sleeping patterns.

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And it’s easy to use! You don’t have to tell it when a new day starts, it automatically knows, and it wirelessly connects to your phone so you can see neat little graphs of your activity. You can also log your calorie intake (a feature I don’t really use, but it could be helpful if you have specific weight loss goals).

Plus, it’s fun! It displays little motivational messages every once in a while to boost your spirits (this morning when I woke up it told me “you rock!”). And you can compete with friends who have Fitbit to see who can take the most steps in a week. Plus you can earn badges when you reach fitness milestones. It automatically emails you when you’ve earned a badge, and then it will give you a goal of the next badge you should work toward getting. You get a weekly progress report showing you how far you’ve gone, what your least active and most active days were and more! And if you don’t want all of that information emailed to you, you can always change your email preferences.

You can also log other activities (like spin class or weight training) from the smartphone app or on your computer. I highly recommend this tiny wonder for anyone who wants motivation to get active in their everyday life.

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Dance Central 3 for Xbox Kinnect ($25)
Working out doesn’t necessarily have to feel like work. I personally love playing active games on my husband’s Xbox Kinect or Wii. Both of those systems have workout games, but I much prefer dancing games (that just so happen to also give you an awesome total body workout).

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Single-Serve Blender ($20-$200)
There’s no better post-workout snack than a fresh fruit smoothie, but it can be a hassle to break out the blender (and clean it out afterward). I much prefer having a single-serve blender.

Social Media… Don’t overdo it

Social media is fantastic for tracking your progress and coming up with new regimens but how much is too much?

Fit Flop No. 1: Posting the following on Facebook: “The plan: 3-mile run/walk splits on Monday, 45-minute swim on Tuesday, Zumba class plus 20 minutes on the Erg machine on Wednesday, 8-mile bike ride on Thursday, rest on Saturday, Hatha yoga on Sunday. PUMPED for this week!!!”

A better way: Put your money where your mouth is by logging your workouts at Gympact, where you’ll have to pay up if you don’t follow through. If you really want to broadcast this stuff regularly, make a blog about your fitness journey, mmkay? Post a pretty Instagram from your a.m. run.

And start with a lot of embarrassing photos of you overweight and looking pale and out of breath. People love Befores as well as Afters.

Fit Flop No. 2: Linking your fitness tracker of choice (Fitbit, Up, Nike+, etc.) to all of your social media channels.

As more and more people get on the fancy-pedometer bandwagon, the programs threaten to become like Spotify — no one really remembers linking Spotify with their Facebook accounts, and now other people’s embarrassing 11th playing of “Countdown” have overrun your newsfeed.

Instead of telling your device to automatically post your steps taken and staircases climbed to Facebook and the like, just swap stats with the online communities that are almost always built into the products’ online dashboards.

Fit Flop No. 3: Posting a graph of last night’s sleep cycles on the Internet.

No seriously, this is a thing. Sleep monitors such as the app SleepCycle and the soon-to-be-released Renew SleepClock, which sits on your nightstand and uses bat-sonar-like technology to monitor your movement as well as your breathing, much like an overly enamored suitor or a bed intruder, include an option of publishing a visual of your slumber to social media channels. “Look, Ma! Almost 90 minutes of deep sleep!”

Being able to keep an eye on your sleep patterns is awesome. And if you can show your nocturnal habits to your doctor on your iPhone, all the better.

But showing the world all the intimate details? That’s about 2.5 steps away from proudly posting pictures of your healthy BM. A pretty good rule of thumb: Whatever happens between the sheets shouldn’t wind up on the Web.

Lululemon Controversy #mytwocents

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Recently there has been a lot of press regarding Lululemon’s CEO blaming women’s bodies for the wear and tear on their pants. Once again, leave it to Facebook to see everyone’s thoughts and opinions.

In the articles I read, the pressing issue is that the CEO of Lululemon claims that the reason clothing articles are wearing out quickly is not because of the quality of the material but because some women simply do not have the body for their products. This has created a huge negative uproar online and through other forms of media that Lululemon will struggle to get their trusted brand back. Their once revolutionary marketing tactics have now been tainted by the CEO, who is no longer aligned with Lululemon’s core values.

This recent news has created informal discussions among consumers in a negative way about the company and Lululemon is struggling to make a come back. I do not feel Chip Wilson approached the situation correctly, and because of his outright blunt comments people will weigh this negativity heavier than any positive feedback resulting from this. The reality is that Lululemon is a fitness apparel store that promotes healthy/balanced lifestyles and women over a certain weight do not necessarily fit with that motto. Granted there are many exceptions, but I feel that they have the right to market themselves as a fitness company as apposed to a company like Abercrombie and Fitch that says you have to be skinny to look good. Consumers will dwell on this negativity because it is all around them and they trust what their peers have to say. Lululemon is clearly less credible now and people on social media have spread this information to a large amount of people quickly.

Recent negative press will also hinder people from being seen with the Lululemon logo and will create a dissociative group. People will not want to be apart of the Lulu lemon phenomenon simply because they will not want to be associated with their “poor” values.

I believe that the company will have to leverage its loyal consumer tenure to help them create their positive attitude again. Lululemon has provided consumers with superb, quality clothing since inception and have created a huge fitness trend among young adults. I know myself and many of friends still stand by them.

Other than quality assurance, Lululemon should provide consumers with the tools they need to live a healthy lifestyle and find clothing that is right for them. In the store, have a sales associate assist people in finding items that have the correct fit for their body type. Lululemon has already created an empire in which people view their ideal self-concept and have aspirations to be apart of the Lululemon world. There are many admirable stories online about women who strive to get fit and become a part of Lululemon. The company always helps them on their journey and reward them once they reach their goals. This should be publicized!

To come back from this debacle, Chip needs to apologize sincerely or resign as CEO. He has lost the company millions of dollars, and not to mention many customers. People love Lululemon and I believe that potentially launching a viral campaign showcasing their values along with creating forums online for people to talk on would help turn them around. Even a celebrity figure could assist people in wanting to be apart of the group again. People have a brand attitude towards Lululemon and I think it could be restored through this campaign and the removal of the root problem.

Works Cited

Bhasin, Kim. “Lululemon Admits Plus-Size Clothing Is Not Part Of Its ‘Formula'” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 02 Aug. 2013. Web. 07 Nov. 2013.

Collect your Healthy Recipes!

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As much as I would love it if exercising was all you needed to do to stay healthy, the reality is that what you eat has a large impact on your overall health. I have yet to post anything about meal ideas or programs so I thought I would start by introducing a social media website called Recipefy.com.

This platform allows you to browse any type of meal from anywhere in the world to satisfy your cravings. I have a few of these apps on my phone but I enjoy the social network of Recipefy. I love being able to store my favourite recipes and share them with friends. Also, if I find something that works for me I have the ability to post it for everyone to see.

If you are looking for fresh ideas and a community to share your findings with you should check out Recipefy!

Can Social Media Motivate you to Exercise?

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How to motivate you to move your body in order to get fit, stay healthy, and stop chowing down on an unhealthy amount of resources?

Let’s face it, that energy-sapping treadmill (yes, even if it’s never used… but still plugged into the wall!) in the corner is not motivating you to workout. Nor is that ridiculously expensive gym card (the one that supports the insane electric bill and non-green equipment at the gym) that dangles from your key chain. And now that getting “a bikini-ready body” is no longer a goal, what is going to motivate you enough to get your butt in gear and shed some fat? Technology. Social media.

You’re on your computer all day long… including right now. May as well put it to work (beyond your workload) and help you burn off another load (that which resides on your backside). Here are 3 social media forms that can help motivate you to move. Opt for low-impact exercises like yoga and good old fashioned running for the ultimate  workout.

1. Facebook

It has become a space where millions exchange ideas, offer tips, and give insight into their lives in a safe, non-invasive way. When it comes to motivating you to work out, Facebook is a great way to never feel alone, no matter what fitness or diet hardship is sapping your exercise enthusiasm. And for you yogis out there, as you know, yoga is just about the greenest exercise out there (especially if you use an eco mat, or none at all), and Facebook is full of yoga motivating pages like this one: Yoga Journal Pose of the Day, delivering three yoga poses to your inbox daily based on your experience level and interests.

2. Twitter

Motivational tips and mantras are easily expressed and accessed on Twitter. Similar to Facebook, but in smaller doses, the little blips of information can provide you with the perfect ounce size insight or push to help you continue to plow ahead with your fitness lifestyle. It’s a place where anonymous people share their own triumphs and struggles, reassuring you that you’re not alone, whatever you’re going through, someone else has too. It’s also a great tool for you to update your short terms goals and report on your ups and downs, knowing that someone out there is listening and supporting your success. When it comes to yoga, pretty much every studio has updates but men love the tips from Men With Yoga Mats, and we love the tweets about the streaming yoga classes from Yoga Glo in Santa Monica where you can choose to go in and move in person, or move along from anywhere through the streaming classes online. Talk about techno yoga!

3. Youtube

Yes, YouTube is a great place for passive entertainment. But it’s also a place where everyday people post video blogs about their own personal fitness struggles, in addition to self-made exercise videos showcasing what worked for them. The videos are raw, but they are also real. They expose a very human side, one where barriers are broken down and honesty is paramount because for some reason people seem to feel that they can express their true selves on camera, and you get to benefit from it.

The “Thigh Gap”

Recently, my news feeds have been flooded with talk on “thigh gap” and even the National Post has an article on it. It seems everywhere you can find tutorials on how to slim down your thighs and get rid of fat between your legs so you can join the other beautiful women with this gap.

Introducing “the thigh gap”, aka the most desirable fashion accessory to hit social media since sliced bread or cleavage.The thigh gap is a body phenomena flaunted by supermodels, yearned for by plebs like you and I and documented extensively on blogs like this. About four hours ago, as far as I was concerned a “thigh gap” was something anyone could have if they stood up and placed their feet wider than hip distance apart. Wrong. A thigh gap is actually the hollow cavity which appears between the tops of your legs when you stand with your feet together. It’s not a particularly nice looking thing, it looks like someone cut it out on Photoshop.

It also means that your body is underweight. Urgh, this sucks already. Why can’t fit healthy women be in the spot light for once? Maybe it’s time for those guys to seize control of fashion from the remorselessly stick-thin, like how people always say the world would be a better place if women ruled it instead of men.

Anyways, let me know what you guys think!

I know which one I think is sexier…

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