Work-It Wednesday: Christine Quinn’s Mac Attack Bann

7 04 2010

The great thing about fast-food is that it’s quick, inexpensive and you can “have it your way.”  Well, at least for the time being.

With the obesity epidemic at an all-time high, New York City Council President Christine Quinn is aiming her sights on changing the city’s zoning laws to help minimize the number of fast-food joints in neighborhoods with high obesity rates; a.k.a. poor neighborhoods.

While it would seem that Ms. Quinn is trying to take a proactive approach to curbing fast-food-related obesity, she is overlooking two very important factors.  For starters, residents in these areas depend on these companies for jobs to help support their families.  Second, banning fast food isn’t addressing the larger issue.

If you think about it, there is a very good reason for the correlation between neighborhoods with high obesity rates and low income residents.  With the way the food industry is setup, it is cheaper to feed a family junk food than fresh produce.

For instance, you can walk into almost any grocery or retail store and get two large bags of cookies for about five dollars.  Take the same five dollars to the fruit aisle and you’ll be lucky to come out with a small bag of apples.  When you’re trying to feed a family, it’s not always about getting the right food into their mouths, but more important that they are getting enough so that they’re not hungry.  It’s as simple as that.

So sure, you can ban fast-food in these neighborhoods Ms. Quinn, but until we make reform in our food system, you’re only skimming the surface on a much larger issue.

What are your thoughts?  Do you agree with Ms. Quinn?

Photo Credit: whatyoureallyget.com





Work-It Wednesday: PumpOne Launches New FitnessBuilder Workout Plans

31 03 2010

Tomorrow is April 1st and chances are you haven’t maintained the fitness resolutions you made back in December.  Summer isn’t far away, so today is your chance to get back on track with your fitness routine.  But you don’t need an expensive personal trainer or gym membership to get into the best shape of your life.  You just need some weights and your iPhone.

PumpOne, the leaders in step-by-step, image- and video-based workouts for your PDAs/iPods just added six new fitness plans to their FitnessBuilder database, the most comprehensive fitness database in the world.

According to the company’s website, “FitnessBuilder contains the largest library of exercise images & videos, the most challenging workouts across all disciplines, access to a live personal trainer and a complete set of every fitness tool, calculator and tracking feature available.”

Sound too good to be true?  For a minimal investment of $35 a year you can choose from and/or create more than 650 workouts, pull from 5,600 images and videos, share and receive workouts through the network and ask unlimited fitness questions from PumpOnes fitness advisors.  So now you have no excuse not to workout, unless of course you forget to charge your iPhone.


Disclaimer: Samples were received in exchange for editorial review.





National Potato Chip Day

11 03 2010

As part of my day job, I’m always flipping through magazines to stay abreast of what’s hot in the media.  This week, while reading the March issue of Better Homes & Gardens, I was alerted to the fact that this Sunday, March 14, is National Potato Chip Day.  Who knew?  I often participate in awareness campaigns, including walks/fundraisers for breast and prostate cancer, but finally this is an awareness day that requires little from me other than sitting on the couch, popping in a DVD and shoveling in a bag of Doritos (though Doritos aren’t technically potato chips).  What could be easier or more fun?

So, this got me to thinking: What are my favorite potato chips?  One mentioned in Better Homes & Gardens is Golden Flake, a staple of southern snack foods.  Being from Mississippi, I’m all too familiar with this brand.  I can remember visiting my father, who is a parts manager for GM, and always finding a few of the large tin canisters – like the ones filled with popcorn that are so popular during the holidays – around the office. These aren’t for the dieter though.  I recall them being a little greasier than your average crisp, with a heavy sprinkling of salt.  Delicious none the less.

If you prefer a healthier option, let me introduce you to my all-time favorite chips – Popchips.  I first saw these chips about a year ago and immediately started telling everyone about them.  Why the excitement?

For starters, these chips aren’t fried or baked.  Just like the name implies, they are popped.  Using the same technology found in popcorn, the creators replaced the corn inside the kernel with potato, so when the kernel explodes, it creates this perfectly round, delicious chip that is a healthy alternative to regular potato chips.  In fact, each serving has 120 calories, with 35 calories from fat.  Not bad.

The chips look a lot like a mini rice cake, but they are packed with flavor.  You can choose from seven flavors including Original, Barbeque, Sour Cream & Onion, Cheddar, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Parmesan Garlic, and my favorite, Salt & Pepper.  They are a little more than a regular bag of chips, but well worth it.

What do you think?  Are you going to try Popchips?  Add a comment and let us know your favorite chips.





Your Best Body in One Hour: Workouts from Men’s Health

7 01 2010

It’s seven days into the New Year, and you still haven’t started your workout routine?  What are you waiting for?

Jumpstart your nutrition plan and workout routine today, begining with these gym-free workouts from Men’s Health.  In just one hour, you could be on the path to achieving your best body ever.

Move No. 1: Warrior Lunge

Stand with your feet together, then move your left foot forward about 12 inches and your right foot back about the same distance. Raise your arms straight overhead.

Finish: Keeping your head and chest up, bend both knees to lower your body. Shift your weight forward until the front of your right thigh feels stretched and your right knee is an inch or two off the floor. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds, then return to the starting position. Do three to five repetitions on each side.

Men's Health Workout: Warrior Lunge

Move # 2: Sumo Squat To Stand
Stand with your feet spread wide and angled out. With your knees flexed, bend at the waist and wrap your fingers under your big toes.

Finish: Holding your toes, straighten your legs as much as you can without losing the natural arch in your spine. (In other words, if your back rounds, you’ve gone too far.) Move at a slow pace. Do one or two sets of 12 to 15 reps.

Men's Health Workout: Sumo Squat to Stand

Move # 3: Kneeling Hip-Flexor Stretch
Place one foot on a bench behind you and your other foot flat on the floor. Lower yourself until your back knee touches the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Mens Health Workout: Kneeling Hip-Flexor Stretch

Move # 4: Lying Chest Stretch
Lie faceup on a foam roll with your head supported, your arms bent 90 degrees, and your upper arms parallel to the floor. Your palms should face the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds.

Men's Health Workout: Lying Chest Stretch

Injury-Proof Your Body
Perform one or two sets of eight to 10 repetitions of the following exercises.

Move # 5: Glute Bridge
Lie with your knees bent, with a rolled towel between them. Pull your toes toward your shins. Squeeze your glutes and raise your body.

Finish: Lower your hips to the floor, but don’t touch it.

Men's Health Workout: Glute Bridge

Move # 6: Lateral Tube Walk
Slip exercise tubing around your ankles and move it above your knees. Stand with your knees slightly bent and place your hands on your hips. Sidestep to your right, then to your left.

Finish: Sidestep to your right, then to your left.

Men's Health Workout: Lateral Tube Walk

Move # 7: Swiss-Ball L
Lie on a Swiss ball as shown, with your chest off the ball.

Next: Bend your elbows 90 degrees as you raise them to the level of your shoulders, so that your arms create a pair of L’s.

Finish: Rotate your forearms upward 90 degrees. Retrace the pattern to the start.

Men's Health Workout: Swiss-Ball L

Move # 8: Swiss Ball Y
Assume the same starting position as for the Swiss-ball L.

Finish: Glide your shoulder blades back and down, and lift your arms up and to the sides at 45-degree angles till you form a Y. Return to the starting position.

Men's Health Workout: Swiss Ball Y

Move #9: Swiss-Ball T
Use the same starting position as for the Y. Pull your shoulder blades in toward your spine and extend your arms straight to the sides to create a T with your torso. Then reverse the move back to the starting position.

Men's Health Workout: Swiss-Ball T

To view a slide show of these workouts, visit the MSN health section by clicking here.

Photos & Content provided by MensHealth.com.