Blog Posts by Tips on Healthy Living

  • Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight? 8 Myths About Yoga

    By William J. Broad
    Author of The Science of Yoga

    Yoga (which means "union") is one of the world's fastest-growing health and fitness activities. Practitioners are estimated at 20 million in the U.S. (and more than 250 million around the globe):
    -70-80 percent of practitioners are women, median ages 35-45
    -90 percent have college degrees
    -60 percent are managers

    Here are the 8 great myths about yoga, none of them based in reality:
    MYTH:
    It's old.
    FACT:
    Modern forms date to the 1920s.

    MYTH:
    Its roots are spiritual.
    FACT:
    It began centuries ago as a sex cult.

    MYTH:
    It works miracles.
    FACT:
    It produces changes mistaken for miracles.

    MYTH:
    It can stop hearts.
    FACT:
    It can stop blood flow but not the heartbeat.

    MYTH:
    It raises oxygen levels.
    FACT:
    Fast breathing cuts oxygen levels in the brain.

    MYTH:
    It speeds up the metabolism.
    FACT:
    It slows the metabolism.

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  • 7 So-Called Diet Foods that Are Bad for Your Health and Your Waistline

    By Kristin Sidorov
    Avoiding temptation and trying to eat your daily dose of veggies can be challenging enough. Throw in hundreds of "healthy food" advertising gimmicks, an overload of dieting advice that seems to contradict itself, and confusing ingredient lists, you could find yourself eating foods that are anything but good for you.

    Don't let "diet" foods that are anything but keep you from reaching your goals. We've listed seven of the top unhealthy health foods out there.
    Fruity Fat-Free Yogurt
    Just because it says fat-free doesn't mean it's healthy. Most fruit-flavored yogurts have more than 17 grams of sugar in a 6 to 8 ounce serving. Yogurt is still a great choice for dieters, but it's best to buy plain yogurt (try Greek) and add your own fresh fruit or a dollop of honey. Controlling what's in your food wherever you can is almost always a healthier choice.

    Diet Salad Dressing
    Don't be fooled by the label; look at the ingredient list. You'll be lucky

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  • Friendship Test: Would You Lie for a BFF?

    By Deborah Goldstein
    You'd gladly spot a friend who's short on cash at lunch. Or listen sympathetically while she vents about her significant other (or lack thereof). And of course you'd tell her, discreetly, if she had something stuck in her teeth. But would you lie for her? A new study suggests that people will stretch the truth to help protect a friend's reputation-especially if the friend is present, and if it's a close friend.

    Calling it the "wingman theory," researcher Jennifer Argo, Ph.D. explains that little white lies are often told "when you don't have the opportunity to make yourself look good, so somebody else does it for you."

    Sounds to us like that's just being a good friend-depending on the lie. Posting "Beautiful!" on a pal's unflattering Facebook photo is harmless. But let's say a good friend was interviewing at your company and you knew she wasn't exactly right for the job, but you were in a position to give her a recommendation. Would you? The

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  • No Excuses: 5 Ways to Get Fit for Spring

    By Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN
    Author of The Small Change Diet

    The winter months divide us into two types of people: the fit and the unfit. Fit people keep moving no matter what. They don't use the dreary cold months to deter them from reaching their health goals. Unfit people make excuses, so they can spend more time indoors on the couch. But even a person who claims to be totally uninterested in exercising can find something that excites them enough to get moving.

    Exercise must not be looked at as a chore, because in reality it should be something that makes you feel good before, during, and afterward. Secondly, we need to stop finding the time for exercise, but rather MAKE time for it. It starts with small changes. Presently, if you are doing absolutely nothing then 15 minutes of something is worthwhile. Don't be fooled into thinking that unless you're breaking a sweat and hurting later that your exercise didn't make a difference. Anything is better nothing, and hopefully

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  • Meditation: The Best Stress-Reliever You Haven’t Tried

    By Deborah Goldstein
    You've decided that 2012 is the year that financial worries, cranky kids, your boss-whatever or whoever is causing you grief-will not get the best of you. But how? Try meditation. It doesn't require much time and once learned, doesn't have to cost anything. It offers a respite from stress so effective it's even shown to relieve chronic pain. Shed any new-agey stereotypes you may have and check out this guide to the most popular forms of meditation.

    Prayer
    You might not think of it as meditative, but it is. In fact, it's likely the most traditional and widely practiced form of meditation, so if you're religiously inclined, prayer might feel most comfortable to you. Your pastor, priest, rabbi or spiritual leader can offer ideas on prayers to do at home, but you can pray with your own words, as well.

    Transcendental Meditation
    "TM" requires little effort, making it a good fit for those who find concentrating difficult. It's even been used as

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  • Slow Cooker 101: Tips, How To's, and Recipes

    By Kristin Sidorov
    It's big, bulky, and a little bit scary (after all, isn't leaving a hot appliance on all day a fire hazard?), but trust us, your slow cooker can and will be your new best friend this winter. These miraculous machines have come a long way since your grandma's crock-pot days, and are an easy, fail-proof way to make thousands of amazing and healthy recipes, from classic pulled pork to perfect, fluffy banana bread.

    Your slow cooker is designed to do pretty much all of the work for you, so don't overthink things. It knows how hot to get, how to keep things safe, and, these days, how long to cook and how to turn itself off. Just be sure to keep these basic tips and how-to's in mind before you get started:

    1. Give your slow cooker enough counter space to do its job of getting hot correctly-a few inches on all sides should do.
    2. Your slow cooker should be between half and two-thirds full for best results.
    3. Know your temperatures. You need to
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  • Is Yoga Really Bad for You? Om, Not Sure

    By Kristy Ojala
    It was just after New Year's party hats had been crumpled and candy stashes purged, the unsavory holiday excess pushed aside for fervent detox. My yoga class was full, and the master teacher began his now-nightly speech following the explosive yoga expose posted by The Science of Yoga author William J. Broad in the New York Times. It quickly became the most e-mailed story on the paper's website.

    "Yoga is a tool," my teacher noted. Everyone solemnly nodded. "If you use any tool the wrong way, you can break something." We then began a slow, torturous class in that every pose was careful, calmly illustrated, and very, very safe. Is all this worry about yoga actually wrecking yoga?

    As Broad-a yoga devotee since 1970 and a science writer for the Times-notes in his forthcoming book (out Feb. 7), "Yoga has produced waves of injuries... Overall, the risks and benefits turned out to be far greater than anything I ever imagined." In his article, he not only

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  • Preventive Medicine Can Save Your Life

    When Nightline reporter Bill Weir set out to interview his latest subject, The End of Illness author David B. Agus, M.D., he thought he'd learn a few things about himself. But as the reporter joked on Twitter, " I used to think my job was killing me, until the assignment that saved my life."

    During his interview, Weir-a healthy 44-year-old who works out every day and enjoys the occasional slice of cheesecake-went through a battery of standard tests with Dr. Agus, who was Steve Jobs' doctor and a champion of preventive medicine. It turned out, Weir had a potentially life-threatening condition: A heart lesion that put him at major risk for a heart attack.

    Knowing your family history and being armed with the right physician are of course key, but you have an important role in your own health and longevity. You'll need to have a list of questions, and you should keep track of your test results over time.

    In The End of Illness, Dr. Agus shares some very important advice for your

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  • The 17 Day Diet: 3 Simple Weight Loss Tips

    This is a popular time to start a diet, and a common question is "How do I lose weight?" Here are some guidelines from the 17 Day Diet to help you shed pounds and keep them off.

    Pick a target weight. As you begin the 17 Day Diet, it's good to have a goal of how much you want to lose and what your target weight should be. Even if you don't make your ideal weight, remember: Every pound you take off is a pound your hips, knees, and heart do not have to carry around; even a 10-lb. loss is good for your body.

    How to figure out your target weight:
    If you're a woman, take 100 pounds for the first 5 feet of your height. From here, add 5 pounds for every extra inch. This number represents the midpoint of your weight range. Depending on your frame, you can either add or subtract 15 percent from this number. For men, begin with 5 feet and 110 pounds. For every inch you exceed 5 feet, add 6 pounds. Again, you can add or subtract 15 percent depending on the size of your frame.

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  • Cooking with Curry: Warming Recipes for Winter

    By Kristin Sidorov
    Resolving to eat healthier this year shouldn't mean resigning to boring foods. Adding spices to your dishes is the best way to add amazing flavor without extra calories. And no spice is better this time of year than warm, sweet, and zesty curry. With its bold flavors and dozens of varieties to chose from, it's anything but boring.

    Try these curry-rific recipes to add more heat to your winter diet:
    -Hot Curried Shrimp with Mango Red Pepper Salsa (Will Cook for Friends)
    -Vegetarian Thai Quinoa Chili (Back to Her Roots)
    -Curried Eggplant Soup (Eats Well With Others)
    -Curried Butternut Squash Fries (Healthy Food for Living)
    -Curried Chickpea Salad (A Couple Cooks)
    -Grilled Pork Tenderloins with Vegetable Curry (Delish)
    -Fish Curry from Kerala (The Patterned Plate)
    -Mixed Vegetable and Coconut Curry (Ambika's Kitchen)

    Tell Us: What's your favorite way to spice up your diet?

    Related Links:

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