Move to the music.

Does the music we exercise to really matter? According to an article in the NY times and a study published last year, it really does matter. Participants rode a stationary bicycle at a pace they felt was comfortable enough to maintain for thirty minutes for three separate rides. On each ride the same six songs were played but on each ride the tempo of the songs changed, either slower or faster than the original tempo without the riders knowing it. As you can imagine when the tempo slowed so did their pedaling, mileage, heart rate and even their level of enjoyment for the song. When the tempo speed increased; their speed, mileage and heart rate increased. Surprisingly their level of enjoyment for the music, the same music, increased.   Unfortunately the tempo of the music didn’t change the comfort level of the exercise. But it did seem to motivate participants to push harder and go faster. The article in the NY Times states that multiple experiments have found that your body responds to the beat of the music, which results in you moving faster or pushing yourself harder. Our bodies want to synchronize to the music we listen to. We naturally want to tap our feet or sway to the beat when we hear music. Take advantage of this phenomenon and let it help you increase the tempo of your workout.  So next time you plan for a run, load up your playlist with some up tempo Justin Bieber and leave the Jack Johnson behind. Our bodies are made to move to the music. So let’s move.
NY Times article referenced is titled: Phys Ed: Does Music Make You Exercise Harder? By Gretchen Reynolds.

Are you looking for a park in your neighborhood?

Check out this link to find all the parks and amenities in your zip code!


Brown bag twist!

The summer is slipping away at a rapid pace and if you have kids or you are a teacher , that leaves you thinking about the coming school year. There is always a lot to be done when it comes to getting your child ready for the upcoming school year and you might feel the last thing you have time to worry about is packing healthy school lunches.  Kids get bored of the same old thing so here are some ideas for how you can mix up lunch. Food is art….so let’s get creative!
Try PB Spirals. Take a whole wheat tortilla, spread on some peanut butter and add sliced banana. Drizzle a little honey.  Roll the tortilla and cut into bit size pieces.
Take chunks of chicken, add a little BBQ sauce, fill whole wheat bun with BBQ chicken.
Bored of a regular sandwich, try a wrap. Add turkey, lettuce and tomatoes to a whole wheat tortilla. Roll tortilla and cut in half.
Try a handful of whole-wheat crackers with four one-inch cubes of low-fat cheddar or Swiss cheese,  a serving (about a third of a cup) of egg salad made with a hard-boiled egg and a tablespoon of regular mayonnaise, and a cup of reduced-sodium V-8 juice.
For sides to go with these items try cups of fruit, celery sticks, baby carrots, or string cheese.

It passed!!!

The Healthy, Hunger- Free Kids Act of 2010 PASSED and achieved a rare, bipartisan consensus on the senate floor! We would like to thank all of you who contacted Senator Reid and showed your support. Your efforts were heard! You can look forward to healthier school lunches for our children and eventually the removal of junk food from school vending machines. This is a huge step forward to changing the health of our future!

Why muscle-strengthening activities?

We know we’re supposed to get moving…walk, bike, run, swim, and play! But what about muscle-strengthening activities? What does that even mean? It means exercising your muscles against a resistance. This resistance  could come from lifting weights or from your own body weight such as doing pushups or leg squats. Without muscle-strengthening activities in your workout plan, you start to lose muscle and bone density in your older age. Strength training can stop bone density loss and rebuild some lost muscle. The earlier you start to focus on strengthening your muscles the better! Do muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week.
Some examples of strength training activities include:
•  Lifting weights
• Working with resistance bands
• Doing exercises that use your body weight for resistance (i.e., pushups, sit ups)
• Heavy gardening (i.e., digging, shoveling)
• Yoga