Fitness Resources


12 Heart-Healthy Foods to Add to Your Grocery Cart

February 4, 2016
12 Heart-Healthy Foods to Add to Your Grocery Cart
By Becky Duffett
You might be surprised to learn that heart disease is now the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And with more Americans being diagnosed with cardiovascular-related issues every year, it’s important to understand what you can do to better protect your heart. Fortunately, healthy habits and smart food choices can make a big difference. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends keeping calories in check, eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods, and limiting saturated fats and trans fats.They also say to go easy on red meat, salt, added sugar, and alcohol.


Need a few tasty suggestions? Add these hard-working, heart-healthy items to your grocery list to help keep your ticker in shape.


1. Salmon

Fish is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, which has been shown to reduce the risk of irregular heartbeats, lower blood triglyceride levels, slow the buildup of artery-clogging plaque, and lower blood pressure. Experts recommend eating two servings of omega-3-rich fish per week, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines. Prep tip: Rub salmon with olive oil, garlic, and lemon zest before grilling.




2. Oats

All dietary fiber is good for you, but soluble fiber in particular has been shown to reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels. And ordinary oats happen to have more soluble fiber than any other grain. Prep tip: Try easy overnight oats for breakfast.





3. Walnuts

Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, antioxidants, and fiber. Eating a small handful of nuts regularly reduces the risk of developing heart disease. Walnuts are the highest in omega-3s, but almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios are also smart choices. Prep tip: Sprinkle walnuts on a salad.





4. Black beans

Beans and other legumes are rich in protein, high in soluble fiber, and contain no saturated fat. Enjoy any variety of beans, chickpeas, or lentils, but black beans get extra points for heart-healthy antioxidants. Prep tip: Serve beans with brown rice, avocado, and salsa.




5. Extra-virgin olive oil

There are a number of healthy reasons to make extra-virgin olive oil your go-to. First among them, olive oil contains monounsaturated “good” fats that can help reduce your LDL cholesterol levels. Extra-virgin varieties also contains antioxidants, for an added boost. Prep tip: Use a drizzle of olive oil instead of butter when sautéing vegetables or scrambling eggs.




6. Blueberries

All colorful fruits and veggies contain phytonutrients and offer health benefits, but dark-skinned blueberries are especially high in disease-fighting antioxidants that can help prevent heart disease. Prep tip: Fold blueberries into oats, smoothies, and salads, or munch them straight out of hand for a sweet snack.




7. Kale is hot for a reason. The dark crinkled leaves contain antioxidants, fiber, and a bevy of beneficial vitamins and minerals that have been shown to support heart health. Not into kale? Spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, turnip greens, and collards are good for you, too. Prep tip: Slip raw greens into fruit-based smoothies.






8. Yogurt

Yogurt packs protein and calcium, and as it turns out, what’s good for your gut may be good for your heart, too. Recent research indicates probiotics may help lower blood pressure. Skip the flavored options and enjoy plain, unsweetened yogurt instead. And consider adding other probiotic-rich fermented foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi, and sour pickles, to your diet. Prep tip: Top Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, or go savory with cherry tomatoes and basil.





9. Avocado

Creamy avocado contains more potassium than a banana, which can help regulate blood pressure. It also has high levels of monounsaturated fats, folate, and fiber, making it a heart-health powerhouse. Prep tip: Spread avocado on your sandwich instead of mayo.





10. Tofu

Made from soy beans, tofu is a satisfying source of plant-based protein. High in polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, but low in saturated fat, tofu is a heart-healthy alternative to meat. Soy butters, nuts, and burgers are also great options. Prep tip: Toss cubed tofu into a veggie stir-fry.




11. Experts have gone back and forth for a long time, but with the latest dietary guidelines, the USDA points to research that shows coffee may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Just be careful with added fat and sugar (sorry, venti caramel macchiato lovers). Prep tip: Sip that morning mug of home brew.




12. Dark chocolate

Chocolate contains flavonoids, an antioxidant found in plants, which may help to improve circulation. Your doctor probably doesn’t want you to use that as an excuse to binge on sweets, especially if you’re at risk for diabetes. But dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cocoa) can be an acceptable treat in moderation. Prep tip: Break off one or two squares (about 1.5 oz/45 g), and savor them with a handful of berries or cherries.

Didn’t see your favorite food on this lineup? Keep in mind that there’s no one secret ingredient for heart health, and think about general categories. “Broccoli is a great example of a good choice, but if it doesn’t make your list, don’t worry about it. Choose vegetables you enjoy, eating green beans, kale, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts, too,” says Alice Lichtenstein, professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University. “The same for fruits, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. The point is to make healthy foods choices that you enjoy, and make it a lifelong habit.”

Senior Balancing and Coordination Exercises

Individuals of all ages should work on balance and coordination exercises.
Seniors primarily due to muscle loss, lose the strength to perform daily activities such as picking something off the floor. Practice by balancing on one foot and bending over to pick something up. This movement can be modified by starting to pick something off a chair or bench. Once that is accomplished then the object can be laid on the ground to be picked up.

5 Reasons To Have a Personal Trainer

Time to shed the extra winter pounds and head into spring.
You might be surprised at how a personal trainer can help you get back into shape faster than working on your own.

5 Reasons to have a personal trainer:

1. You’ll Show Up
If you’re not in the mood to exercise, it’s easy to skip it. But what’s not so easy is cancelling a workout with your personal trainer.

2. You’ll Get More Out of Your Workout
You hire skilled professionals to help you with other things like car repairs, taxes, dentist, etc. Your fitness is no different – professional personal trainers have the knowledge that will save you time, money and frustration. When you hire a personal trainer, you put yourself on a fast-track to meeting your goal. Trainers know the best exercises, best equipment and best programming for their client goals. It’s what they do.

3. You Didn’t Know You Could
With your abilities and goals in mind, a personal trainer will push you more than you’d push yourself. And it’s enough to make a difference in how fit you look and feel.

4. A Confident Working Out
Hiring a personal trainer takes the guess work out of how to use the exercise equipment. With a trainer by your side, you properly perform exercises and make the most of your time —you can feel confident that you’re exercising like the pros.

5. Starting Your Lifelong Fitness
If you’ve hired the right personal trainer a funny thing may happen: You might look forward to your training sessions! The more motivated you feel to get to the gym, the closer you become to making fitness a lifelong habit.


Fitness Resources is here to help you on your journey, contact us today and let’s get started:

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Biointervention – Make Your Health Span Match Your Life Span

Ponce de León supposedly searched for it in the New World. Herodotus thought it might be near Ethiopia. People have sought a fountain of youth for centuries. Disappointed by the fruitless search for a miraculous pool that could rejuvenate them, people turned instead to elixirs, creams, and cell-rejuvenating drugs—anything that offered glimmer of hope for retaining youth. No one yet has discovered a magic formula that can guarantee a never-ending life span. Diet and exercise researchers, however, have made significant progress discovering ways to extend one’s health span and, thereby, one’s life span.
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Dynamic Hip Flexor Stretch

By using TRX and sliders you can do a dynamic hip flexor stretch. A dynamic movement means that you are moving during the stretch. It activates muscles you will be using during your workout., for example lunges.

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4 Easy Ways to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain


ACE Fit Life December 11, 2015

Most people assume that, to prevent holiday weight gain, they need to forget about enjoying themselves and not indulge at all during this festive time of year. The majority of Americans simply accept that they’ll gain a little weight, but they’ll make it their New Year’s resolution to take it off. Here’s the good news: You can enjoy the holidays and prevent weight gain with these four simple steps.

1. Set limits before you go to parties.

Although this sounds trite, providing yourself with some structure and setting limits prevents mindless eating and keeps you from indulging in an extra cocktail or hors-d’oeuvre simply because it’s offered to you.

If alcohol is your thing, take a peek at the calories in popular drinks and use this list to create your party limits:

  • Hot buttered rum (10 ounces): 418 calories
  • White Russian (4 ounces): 355 calories
  • Eggnog (8 ounces): 350 calories
  • Sparkling cider (8 ounces): 180 calories
  • Beer: between 64 and 198 calories per 12 ounces. Choose light beers and low-carb options to stick to about 100 calories.
  • Gin and tonic: There are 103 calories in a 1-ounce gin and 3-ounce tonic, and it’s easy to get more than 1 ounce of gin in a mixed drink. One ounce of gin contains 65 calories, so just two ounces of gin is 130 calories. Factor in the 3 ounces of tonic and your “small” 5-ounce drink contains 160 calories.
  • Vodka (1 ounce) with Diet Sprite (8.5 ounces): 70 calories
  • Vodka (1 ounce) and diet cranberry juice (8.5 ounces): 70 calories
  • Skinnygirl margarita or sangria (4 ounces): 100 calories
  • Prosecco wine (5 ounces): 100 calories
  • Champagne (5 ounces): 110 calories
  • Low-carb cosmopolitan cocktail (6 ounces): 105 calories
  • Sugar-free whiskey sour cocktail (4.5 ounces): 106 calories

2. Keep a sugar-free mint or sugar-free gum with you.

Pop either of these in your mouth as soon as you reach the food or drink limit you’ve set for yourself. If you can brush your teeth, having a minty mouth works well, too.

3. Plan to have an enjoyable, portion-controlled sweet treat at home after the party.

This way, you have something to look forward to and you can either turn down the desserts at the party or limit yourself to a bite or two. Alternatively, some of our clients like to have their dessert before going to the party rather than after to keep them in check. Here are a few to try:

  • Carob Peppermint Smoothie: 125 Calories
  • Skinny Pumpkin Muffins with Pecan Frosting: 82 Calories
  • Skinny ginger cookies: 40 calories/ cookie
  • Skinny Speedy Banana Walnut Cookies: 55 Calories
  • No Bake White Chocolate Granola Balls: 74 Calories
  • Speedy Spiced Oatmeal Cookies: 45 Calories
  • 5-Minute Pumpkin Spice Cookie: 38 Calories
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream: 139 Calories
  • Chocolate Drizzled Granola Balls: 59 Calories
  • Avocado Chocolate Mousse: 85 Calories

4. Don’t forget to hydrate.

You likely hear this health advice all of the time. it’s so simple and repeated so often that many ignore it. But the truth is that simply drinking water, seltzer or another calorie-free beverage and choosing water-rich foods like fruits and veggies helps hydrate and fill your stomach and your body. Plus, the fiber in the produce helps to fill you up. There’s also evidence that drinking water before meals helps you consume fewer calories. Drink water throughout the day (especially a cup or two before each meal and during exercise), and add some colorful produce at each meal. Do this right before heading to a party to take the edge off hunger so that you can make rationale decisions about what to eat.

Find it hard to drink plain water? Try these jazzed up water options:

  • Sparkling Cucumber and Refresh Detoxer: 8 calories
  • Apple Cider Mint “Detox” Drink: 2 calories
  • Citrus Reboot & Detox Flush: 3 calories
  • Slimming Raspberry Mint Detox Spritzer: 8 calories
  • Lemon Mint Detox Drink: 3 calories
  • Orange Lime Sparkling Flusher: 5 calories

The Nutrition Twins The Nutrition Twins ContributorTammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse (“Lyssie”) Lakatos, The Nutrition Twins®, share a passion to teach people how to eat healthfully and exercise so they’ll have energy to live happy lives. The twins have been featured as nutrition experts on Good Morning America, Discovery Health, Fox News, NBC, Bravo, CBS, The Learning Channel, FitTV, Oxygen Network, and Fox & Friends. They co-wrote The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure: Expert Advice and Tantalizing Recipes for Health, Energy and Beauty, The Secret to Skinny: How Salt Makes You Fat and the 4-Week Plan to Drop A Size & Get Healthier with Simple Low Sodium Swaps. The twins are both ACE Certified Personal Trainers, and members of the American Dietetic Association and several Dietetic Practice Groups.


Can four fish oil pills a day keep the doctor away?

July 7, 2015

Fish oil is one of the most popular dietary supplements in the U.S. because of the perceived cardiovascular benefits of the omega-3 it contains. However, scientific findings on its effectiveness have been conflicting. New research in Physiological Reports supports the claims for seniors, reporting that taking omega-3 fish oil supplements every day can improve the cardiovascular health of healthy seniors after 12 weeks of use.

Risk of cardiovascular disease increases with age because the arteries become stiffer. Arterial stiffness affects how blood travels through them and ultimately how strongly the heart needs to pump. The most commonly used measures of arterial stiffness are pulse wave velocity (PWV) and augmentation index. When the heart ejects blood into the blood vessels, pressure increases, creating a bulge in the vessel. PWV is the speed at which the bulge ripples through the arteries. When the pressure pulse hits a fork in the arteries, part of the pressure pulse bounces back towards the heart and combines with the new pulse coming out of the heart. How much the reflected pulse enhances the new one is called augmentation index. High PWV and high augmentation index values reflect stiffer arteries.

Reported cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 include reduced arterial stiffness seen through improved PWV and augmentation index. In this new study, researchers at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine examined whether omega-3 supplements could reverse the effects of aging on the blood vessels in healthy older adults and reduce PWV and augmentation index.

Healthy subjects ages 60 to 80 took two omega-3 capsules twice daily for 12 weeks. Each capsule contained 1000 mg of omega-3 (465 mg eicosapentaenoic acid and 375 mg docosahexanoic acid). The researchers measured PWV, augmentation index and blood pressure before and after the 12-week regimen. The results were compared to young healthy subjects, ages 21 to 35, who also followed the same omega-3 supplement schedule.

The researchers found that 12 weeks of supplementation significantly decreased PWV in the older subjects, supporting improvement in vascular health, although PWV was still higher than in young subjects. While PWV improved, augmentation index and blood pressure did not. The omega-3 supplements also did not improve either index of arterial stiffness in the young subjects.

According to the researchers, “These findings provide support for the concept that increased omega-3 intake may be an efficacious therapy in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in aging humans through effects on central arterial stiffness.” They also noted that “these effects occurred over a relatively short period of time.”

The article “Effect of omega‐3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on central arterial stiffness and arterial wave reflections in young and older healthy adults” is published in the June issue of Physiological Reports, a joint journal of the Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society.

Explore further: A novel method for simultaneously measuring blood pressure and arterial stiffness

More information: “Effect of omega‐3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on central arterial stiffness and arterial wave reflections in young and older healthy adults.” Physiological Reports Published 24 June 2015 Vol. 3 no. e12438 DOI: 10.14814/phy2.12438

Provided by: American Physiological Society search and more info website