|Hello Humans! |
I don't mind telling you that I have a lot on my kitty mind these days. Unemployment is pushing almost 10%, politicians are being mean and nasty, and the economy is sluggish which makes me sluggish. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and all of this stuff keeps me from sleeping well. But you know what I do? I exercise! And I don't just exercise quietly and by myself. I like to let Ms. Trish know that I am exercising so sometimes I do pushups on her head, in the middle of the night, of course. The uneven surface - one paw on her nose and the other on her chin - is excellent for making an already taxing exercise that much more difficult. But by doing the pushups on her head at 2am, she is apprised of my workout activity and I sleep better. A "win-win", doncha think?
|Exercise and Anxiety|
|Mr. Mojito is absolutely correct in that exercise is a great way to combat anxiety. I still have to work on the 2am pushups on my head though...An article in the New York Times (Mojito's favorite read) describes research at Princeton University (albeit with Mr. Mojito's arch enemy - the rat) that found that active rats responded differently to stressors than their less active friends and relatives. The study showed high brain activity for rats exposed to stressful situations who exercised regularly. Even more importantly, the newest brain cells - which likely came as a result of the regular exercise - seemed to be inoculated against the stress.|
Well-exercised animals appear to be more confident when faced with unfamiliar and potentially frightening situations (think audits, inlaws, and birthdays). Anxiety-induced stress is believed to cause cell death in living creatures. If those animals that exercised regularly were less likely to fall prey to stress and anxiety it follows that they might enjoy longer, more productive lives. This research has great implications for human as well as their animal friends.
Mr. Mojito shares this link for those who want to read more about it: Why-exercise-makes-you-less-anxious
Exercise and Women|
Have I mentioned how much Mr. Mojito enjoys the New York Times? He is a voracious reader. Anyway, shortly after perusing the article about exercising rats, he brought another piece to my attention and it includes some really interesting information that is gender specific. What exercise science doesn't know about women.
It seems science typically relies on those "one-size-fits-all" studies to make determinations about diet and exercise. In most cases, the "one-size" is men. However, after much prodding by females who wished to be included as study subjects, Dr. David Rowlands, of the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health at Massey University in New Zealand, repeated his study which intended to measure the effect of protein on recovery after hard exercise. The results obtained from the female subjects were radically different from the results obtained by research with men only. It is important to remember this is only one study and begs to be duplicated by other independent scientists for verification, but the research indicates that women benefit far less by consuming protein after workouts than man. This is in keeping with earlier research indicating women were less able to absorb carbs from carb-loading than their male counterparts. It may all be linked back to estrogen but again that has not been scientifically proven yet. But these studies should remind us that what's good for the goose isn't necessarily good for the gander and we must all take ownership of our own health and well-being. That may include consultation with your trainer, nutritionist and/or physician to determine what requirements best meet your individual needs.
Exercise and Heat|
Exercising at 2am inside an air-conditioned building like Mr. Mojito does is a surefire way to beat the heat. And while most northerners look at Labor Day as the end of summer, we Floridians know it is really just "halftime" for us, albeit, without a marching band. We still have a few months of really hot temperatures and very high humidity so exercise inside whenever possible. If you must exercise outside just be sure you do it during the coolest part of the day, hydrating repeatedly, avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol, and wearing hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and cool clothing. Taking these necessary precautions will keep you healthy and safe and keep the anxiety down for everyone. And that truly is a "win-win".
Healthy Tailgating Foods|
|Creamy Spinach Dip|
About 2 1/2 cups
Active Time: 15 minutes
1 small shallot, peeled
1 5-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed
1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 ounces baby spinach
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
shallot and water chestnuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
Add cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper
and pulse until just combined. Add spinach and chives and pulse until
incorporated.Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Stir before serving.Nutrition
Per 1/4-cup serving:
3 g fat
(2 g sat, 1 g mono);
10 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 1 g fiber; 222 mg sodium; 102 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (15% daily value).
Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat
"Make sure when anyone tackles you he remembers how much it hurts." ~Jim Brown Sincerely,
Trish Chard Personal Training
PO Box 541050
Orlando, FL 32854