Making Healthy Grain Bowls

One-dish meals are a great way to get your nutrition in a convenient way. Grain bowls are a terrific idea for maximizing the convenience and healthfulness of this concept, as well as providing an enjoyable eating experience. Note that all ingredients should be prepared and fully cooked before adding to the bowl.

Grains are the basis, but not the only ingredient. Any prepared grain (or mix of grains) is fine. It is OK to substitute some kinds of seeds which are not true grains, such as quinoa or amaranth. A variation of texture is nice, this can be done with the grain or non-grain ingredients.

Nutritional balance is important. Deep colored vegetables, particularly green or yellow, are good additions. Nuts, fruits, mushrooms, etc. may be added as desired.

A protein source is essential. This can be meat, poultry, eggs, or fish. My friend Tom usually goes with fish, but that’s not really my preference. Legumes, such as tofu, beans, peas, or lentils would work well in a vegetarian bowl as their amino acid profile complements that of grains.

Lastly, appropriate sauces or condiments will round out the dish’s flavor and provide moisture. Soy sauce in moderation (due to its high sodium content), Sriracha, and flavored vinegars are options.

Using Fitness Age to Determine Life-Expectancy

Would you go for a group swim with all your coworkers?

If the question makes you squirm, don’t apply for a job at Gatorade. While the company has a long history of offering incentives to employees to be fit, their latest program offers three intense tracks: endurance, strength training and fitness.

While the Gatorade employees exercise to put themselves in the shoes of customers, there’s new reason for the rest of us to exercise too. Norwegian researchers have recently identified what they call “fitness age” — a measure of age that isn’t taking into account how many years you’ve lived, but rather how fit you are.

Fitness age is determined by the body’s ability to take in and utilize oxygen, a process called VO2max. By using a complicated algorithm that considers factors like your height, age, waist size and exercise routine, they’ve developed a website that will tell you your fitness age.

Since they’ve discovered that people with higher fitness age than average for their group — say, a 40-year-old with the fitness age of a 60-year-old — have a much higher chance of dying sooner, there’s good reason to get moving. Exercise is the simple, easy way to start reducing your fitness age, like Marnie has been doing for the last decade or so, and she’s never felt better.

Exercise and Aging

How old are you? I am 90 years old. In addition to good genes from my parents, I often attribute my longevity to exercise, having started jogging at the age of 50 and maintaining a regular exercise program for 40 years. Then I heard about fitness age. The theory behind fitness age maintains that one’s cardiovascular condition is a better indicator of longevity than chronological age. Fitness age is determined by VO2max, which measures how well your body utilizes oxygen. The ability to handle the input and output of oxygen decreases with age. For example, my VO2max is estimated at 36, a figure normal for a man of 64 years of age. My fitness age based on VO2max would be 64, rather than my chronological age of 90. While your VO2max is best measured by treadmill, there is a series of simple questions which can be answered to estimate your fitness age.

Recent studies have shown that the relationship between fitness and chronological age is significant in determining longevity. Therefore, I have determined to increase my exercise routine. For the past several years, I have exercised using what is called High Intensive Interval Training, featuring spurts of high energy activity followed by shorter periods of less energetic effort. Fitness experts say that this method of exercise is more effective than exercising at the same rate of effort. I know Alexei Beltyukov has experienced a huge jump in his physical fitness, and endurance because of interval training.

So what is our fitness age? I don’t recommend starting a vigorous exercise routing if you are not accustomed to it. But starting type of exercise program might extend your years. Could fitness age be the new fountain of youth?

Study Shows Sports Gels Can Improve Marathon Time

Although avid marathoners have looked to carbohydrates as a source of fuel to enhance their running time for decades, it may be time for them to turn their attention towards sports gels. According to a new study on nutrition for marathon runners, these sports gels can enable average runners to attain notable results when taken at the right moment.

Exercise scientists and professional runners typically aren’t shocked to learn that the food one eats (as well as what time it is consumed) can dramatically impact performance. Years ago, physiologists demonstrated that runners who eat plenty of carbs during the week that precedes their race are considerably less susceptible to growing enervated throughout the event. However, newer research findings have curbed enthusiasm for this mode of eating as science and the empirical evidence of runners demonstrates that carb-loading prior to a race can cause unwanted (though just short-term) weight gain as well as gastrointestinal stress throughout the marathon.

Runners interested in optimizing marathon performance without experiencing the unwanted side effects brought on by carb-loading will be happy to note that the study regarding sports-gel packets is promising. Twenty-eight runners were analyzed for it. While half of them were given no specific instructions regarding how to eat and drink for the marathon, the other half were told exactly what to do. Specifically, members of the second group were told to take two packets of the sports-gel as well as one or two glasses of water 15 to 20 minutes prior to the race start time. The runners were also told to consume their second sports gel packet 40 minutes following the onset of the race and every 20 minutes until crossing the finish line. Finally, the runners were instructed to drink one to two cups of water at each of the race’s 10 water stops to help facilitate speedy digestion of the sports gels. Each sports gel packet included about 4 teaspoons of carbohydrates (as glucose and maltodextrin) in addition to small amounts of caffeine and sodium.

Although all 28 of the marathoners completed their race, the study found that the runners who followed the scientists’ instructions finished (on average) about 10 minutes faster than members of the other group. When you’re looking to improve your performance time Keith Mann and runner everywhere, you may want to take these research findings to heart.

High Impact Exercise Is Actually Good for the Bones

We’ve known for a long time that exercise is great for the health, and strength training, in particular, can greatly reduce the occurrence of bone loss and osteoporosis. This is especially true in women in their 40s and older. But many physical therapists and doctors have also said that high impact exercises could be bad for your joints and not particularly good for your bones. High impact exercise includes those activities that involve a lot of jumping, pivoting and hopping. A new study has shown that high impact exercise is actually great for your bones and can make them stronger.

The old studies said that your bones can lose mass when you cause them to undergo abrupt stress. Researchers at the University of Bristol decided to take a closer look. They took a group of female and male adolescents and put activity monitors on them. They also recorded the bone density of their hips. When Mike Livak and the researchers examined the activity monitors a week later, they took a look at how much impact the young people had put on their bones throughout the week. They could do this by examining the G forces that had been recorded with the monitors. Those young people who had higher impacts during the week had better hipbones.

So what does this mean for the average person looking to build the strength of their bones? The G forces measured on those adolescents who had sturdier hip bones were greater than 4.2. This level of impact is akin to jumping up and down from a box that is a little more than a foot off the ground. Running fast also produces these G forces. So if you want to build bone, jump high and run fast. Impact can help strengthen both your bones and your joints.

Convenience Trumps Order Where Workouts are Concerned

I know I heard it from my trainer Jared Haftel. You’ve probably heard if from friends and family: Don’t mix your cardio and strength training! This separation of ‘bike-perch and weight’ has been the going rule of thumb for as long as I can remember, but recent evidence shows that this practice may be fundamentally flawed.

The logic behind the separation of lifting and cardio lies in the assumption that the two workouts interfere with one another on a physiological level; netting fewer total gains than each type of workout would if performed in isolation. However, evidence from recent scientific studies shows that, even on a molecular level, there are no significant differences to cumulative physiological development from cardio or strength training, regardless of whether you perform them together or not.

These findings, however prevalent, do not supplant normal warm-up routines, or the need to rest muscle groups between workouts. What they do suggest, is that you don’t necessarily need to do cardio or lifting for a whole session if you don’t want to. Mixing up your workout regimen can make exercising more fun without sacrificing any of its cumulative effectiveness, so try spicing things up a bit if you haven’t already.

Pistorious Sentenced to Five Years

After a lengthy trial, former olympian and paralympian Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison for the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. In addition to the sentence for the culpable homicide conviction, Pistorius was sentenced to three years on a gun charge. The three-year sentence was, however, suspended. As the sentence was read in court by Judge Thokozile Misipa, Pistorius remained stoic and unemotional. According to lawyer Gianfrancesco Genoso for the defendant Pistorius, it is likely he will actually serve only ten months of the sentence in prison, at which time he would be released to house arrest.

The reactions to the sentencing by the families of the defendant and the victim were surprisingly similar. The Pistorius family expressed that the sentence was fair under the circumstances and that they did not anticipate filing an appeal to the judgment of the trial court. Meanwhile, the family of the victim stated that they felt “justice had been done” and that the sentence was “fair.”

The court rendered the conviction of culpable homicide after a shooting occurred at the residence of Oscar Pistorius on the evening of Valentine’s Day, 2013 when Miss Steenkamp was killed.

Hoka One One Having a Massive Sale on Men’s Running Shoes

Just got a Google alert that Hoka One One is having a massive sale on their men’s running shoes. If you’ve never tried Hoka before, you’ll probably be pretty impressed. While they might not be as well known among runners as Asics, they still produce some damn good running shoes.

The biggest problem with the huge brands, is usually that they cost a fortune. That’s why Jared Haftel and I are always looking for big sales.

That’s where my Google alert came in handy, because I set them up for all major shoe brands. Just kicked in today, and Hoka One One are having a massive sale.

You can check out everything they have here. Let me know in the comments if any of these shoes help you out. They’re definitely perfect for my running style.

3 Ways To Develop A Workout Habit

Some of my friends, Alexei Beltyukov I’m looking at you, have a little bit of difficulty getting a workout routine going. And honestly, it’s not easy.

We all want to sit around and watch television, read a good book, play a videogame, or just go out drinking with friends. Making the commitment to work out instead is a lot more difficult. Requires tons of dedication, and a lot of work in the first place, to form a habit.

First, realize that it takes at least 21 days to form a habit. Until that time, it’s going to be a slog for you to start working out. Realize that you’re in for an uphill battle at first.

Set workouts as appointments in your calendar. Just like you would set an appointment for any other plans that you have, make a workout appointment. There needs to be a time of day when you drop everything, and go to the gym. That will keep you on point in the beginning.

Find something that makes you feel great. Whether it’s a particular type of workout, exercise, doing some strength training. Anything that makes you feel good when you’re all done, is where you want to focus in the beginning. That’s more likely to keep you on point when you’re trying to form the habit.

Use a personal trainer. This is vital in the beginning, because they will help to keep you focused. Most gym memberships come with access to personal trainers, whether it’s meeting with them once a week, or even once a month. Either way, it’s ideal for you to start out with the help of a professional. They will teach you proper form, and help you form the perfect routine.