Welcome back to another round of the best health and fitness articles from last week. For those of you who don’t know, I pick out five of the most interesting or informative articles that pass through my inbox so you can keep chipping away at your weight loss goals without having to worry about which blogs to read.
This week we dig into 6 ways to stay cool that are easy on your wallet, a tip to help you lose weight, tabata training, how matcha is replacing coconut water, and how tart cherries can help take the edge off of your breathing post-run.
Best Health & Fitness Articles From Last Week
6 Budget-Friendly Ways to Cool Off This Summer
The sun is your worst enemy when you’re trying to stay cool.
With summer in full swing and the mercury rising, it’s hotter than ever and it can be tough on your wallet to stay cool during the blazing heat waves. What can you do besides sitting still and sweating? Plenty! Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do as it helps make your body’s natural cooling more effective. Staying out of the sun and keeping the sun from shining into your home / apartment will keep you cool and keep your A/C from overworking itself. Eating spicy foods, though counter intuitive, will help cool you down by opening up your pores allowing cool air to enter your skin and force you to chug water to cool you down.
Wetting & freezing a towel then wrapping it around your neck or head is a quick and easy way to make your own A/C! Soaking your feet in a bucket of cold water will lower your body temperature as blood circulates through your feet which will keep the rest of you cool. If you have to go outside, wearing light clothing will reflect sunlight so you don’t absorb its heat.
This Simple Tip Could Help You Lose Weight
Think back to the meals you’ve eaten in the past week. When you eat, are you sitting down or standing up? Do you grab something while you’re on the way to work and eat it in the car / bus / train? Do you wolf it down in as few bites as possible to move on to the next item on your daily agenda or do you treat your meals like a break from your day and take them slowly? Well, if you’re in a rush when you eat your meals, you might weigh a bit more than you should.
Simply putting your fork down between bites could help you eat less and enjoy your meals more.
A recent study published in the ADA Journal showed that people who ate slower consumed fewer calories per meal, felt full sooner, and consumed more water than those who rushed through their meals. It turns out that if you’re a fast eater, your brain isn’t getting the signal that you’re full (when you actually are) and you could be consuming up to twice the amount that you need! By slowing down and putting down your fork between bites, you can consume dozens less bites and hundreds fewer calories each day that will help you achieve your goals on your weight loss journey.
What is Tabata Training?
With how busy our lives are these days, it can be tough to cram a workout into our schedule. However, Tabata training is a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout regimen on steroids! Following the Tabata method, you can get a your daily workout in the span of 4 minutes! I know, that’s a tall order and you have to wonder about the results, but the Tabata method has been used by speed skaters and incorporated into many Beachbody workout programs.
Tabata is a four-minute form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that follows a cadence of 20 seconds of exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. This cycle is repeated eight times.
Dr. Izumi Tabata created the workout regimen in the mid-90’s and tested it on a group of speed skaters and compared it against another group that followed a normal workout regimen. Those in the normal group improved their aerobic fitness, but their muscle growth did not change. The group that followed the Tabata regimen saw gains in both areas. It’s important to note that HIIT should not be attempted by everyone. For a lot of people, you’ll have to build your strength up to be able to start this style of workout.
What is Matcha?
Matcha (from the Japanese “ma” meaning powder and “cha” meaning tea) is a powdered version of green tea whose leaves are dried indoors or in the shade.
Coconut water has been the big “thing” for the past couple of years, and for good reason. However, Matcha is poised to dethrone coconut water from its healthy throne. Matcha is all the rage in New York where mixologists are making new drinks left and right and restaurants in LA are working this into any dish they can get their hands on (from donuts to noodles).
Because Matcha comes from tea leaves, the taste can be somewhat bitter, but the cool thing about it comes form the amino acid L-theanine. This acid can help make you relaxed and focus with an even boost to energy that lasts between 4-6 hours as it contains a natural form of caffeine. As with most green teas, it’s action packed with antioxidants and 100 times the EGCG that common green teas have.
Could Tart Cherries Prevent Post-Run Respiratory Discomfort?
Ever go for a long run and get a case of the wheezes afterwards? That’s because your respiratory pathways are inflamed (swollen) from being put through the ringer. Recent studies have shown that runners who drank a blend of apple and tart cherry juice before and after running a marathon didn’t have any upper respiratory issues that those who didn’t drink the blend ended up having. The anti-inflammatory phytonutrients found in tart cherries have been linked with reducing the swelling in your lungs after prolonged exercise sessions.