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FROM THE DESK OF
CAN YOUR GUT AFFECT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH? You may have heard that all health starts in the gut. Did you also know that your mental health can be affected by your gut as well? Digestion can slow you down and draw blood away from your brain, causing those low points between 2 and 5 in the afternoon. Poor gut health can actually mess with your emotions as well. According to a recent study by researchers at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a probiotic bacteria found in the gut, called Lactobacillus rhamnosus, contains a neurotransmitter called GABA that helps regulate brain activity and can calm anxiety. While more studies and testing must be done, it seems that having a healthy gut can actually help level out your moods, calm your emotions, and keep your brain firing on all cylinders. So, the next time someone asks why you’re drinking that kombucha, tell them it’s for your mental health!
Over the years, the paradigm of workout strategies has gradually changed. In the ‘70s, Arnold Schwarzenegger popularized the sport of bodybuilding, and weightlifting went mainstream. In the ‘80s, fitness was all about spandex, Jane Fonda aerobics videos, and ankle weights. Fitness trends blended in the ‘90s: Tae Bo — a hybrid of boxing and taekwondo — and Herschel Walker’s body-weight workouts were the rage. By the early 2000s, boundary-pushing fitness trends like CrossFit and spin classes became popular. Today, gritty old-school gyms battle for dominance on Instagram with aerobic workouts like Zumba and Prancercise. All good workouts boil down to the same general concepts, however. The exercises of the ‘70s and today apply the same principles to achieve their goals. These regimens haven’t become more involved — they just apply the same building blocks in a different pattern. As long as you understand the basics of fitness, you can choose a program or put together one of your own! AEROBIC EXERCISE The foundation of programs like Jazzercise and Zumba are based on the same idea as Jane Fonda’s famous tapes: With regular aerobic exercise, your cardiovascular endurance improves, allowing you to exercise for longer periods of time. This is cardiovascular training at its finest. Exercising aerobically is also one of the best ways to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF EVERY FITNESS PLAN What Is Your Workout Made Of ?
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seen the most significant change in the last 10 years. Where dynamic activities used to be almost exclusively for aerobic workouts, we’ve now seen a substantial increase in anaerobic activities being paired with dynamic movements. The most significant example of this is none other than CrossFit, which combines weightlifting with agility training and speed. DIFFERENT BODIES REACT DIFFERENTLY TO EXERCISE As information about these fitness modalities becomes more commonly accessible via research and social media, opinions on the “right” or “wrong” way to work out become more polarized. Exercise has been a constant game of Ping-Pong with the American public for the last 50 years. Perhaps it would be healthiest to view the topic as being more like a telephone switchboard. Most fitness programs encompass at least some of the fundamentals, so you can mix and match them to find a philosophy that
works for you. The key is understanding that everyone’s body reacts differently to exercise, and different modalities achieve different results. Some people require static exercise to protect old injuries or build large quantities of muscle. Others prefer dynamic movements like cardio in order to build endurance or become leaner. No one fitness program will work for everyone, so there will always be a “new wave” in exercise programs. Finding out which modalities work for you takes time and effort. With these basic concepts laid out, you can better understand how workout programs are built. Investing in a personal trainer, even on a short-term basis, can be invaluable when trying to evaluate your needs. Once you’ve discovered what works best for your body and your goals, you can begin to reap the benefits of your personalized fitness plan.
Powerlifting, sprinting, and other types of exercise that involve short bursts of high-intensity movement are defined as anaerobic. This translates to “without air,” and it’s the basis of the muscle-building workouts Schwarzenegger made famous. Unlike aerobics, these workouts rely more on muscle strength than cardiovascular endurance. While the terms “aerobic” and “anaerobic” are used to differentiate the systems your body relies on, “static” and “dynamic” simply describe whether or not the exercise requires movement. Static stretches, in which you extend the muscle and either hold the position or relax slowly, are typically characteristic of anaerobic workouts, such as stretching and heavy weightlifting. Dynamic exercises, which are characterized by more movement, are where we have STATIC VS. DYNAMIC MOVES
Your 21st-Century Workout intense CrossFit workout. Download Keelo to feel the burn outside the gym. Zombies, Run! adds a little fun to your run by putting you in a “Walking Dead” episode, and Charity Miles donates to charity as you burn calories. Check your phone’s app store and find one that best suits you. FIND SUPPORT WITH SOCIAL MEDIA No, not by posting progress selfies every week. Look into joining a support group online. Support groups are a proven way to accomplish your goals and create better habits. The American Heart Association states, “Seeking out like-minded people will help you make progress and keep you motivated and accountable to your physical activity program.”Whether your goal is to lose weight, get back into running, or simply exercise on a regular basis, there are plenty of online communities full of people eager to share tips, support you through struggles, and celebrate the big wins. Working out can be difficult at first, but these resources can make it easier. What are you waiting for? Craft a workout plan that’s perfect for you, and start sweating! Technology to Get Back in Shape
Exercising is great! Going to the gym or paying for an expensive personal trainer? Not so much. Stop relying on old-school methods to get in shape. The internet is full of free resources to help you get a great workout without ever having to set foot in the gym again. GET RIPPEDWITH YOUTUBE Looking for a specific kind of workout? YouTube has you covered. Personal trainers in every field post videos online. It’s like those Jane Fonda videos from the ‘80s, only with far more options. Build muscle with the ScottHermanFitness channel, find a full-body workout on Blogilates, try a fun dance workout with REFITREV, or take a yoga class on Yoga With Adriene. Most of these workouts require little more than a yoga mat or hand weights, making them perfect for a living-room workout. APPS FOR YOUR PERSONAL BEST Adding a fitness app to your phone is the best way to take your workout anywhere. There are apps for all workout types and experience levels. Get started with the popular Aaptiv, a personal trainer and playlist in your pocket. Or maybe you’re ready for an
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3 of History’s Bravest Moms Mothers Shape the World
IRENA SENDLER (1910–2008)
Moms make the world go round. After running the gauntlet of childbirth, they raise and guide us throughout our lives, shouldering the tremendous burden and responsibility of motherhood. Mothers are in turn formidable, kind, powerful, gentle, wise, fierce, patient, supportive, empathetic, driven, and full of love. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are three historic moms who never stopped fighting for what they believed in.
When the Nazis invadedWarsaw in September of 1939, Irena Sendler, a 29-year-old social worker andmother of two, hatched a scheme to rescue Jewish children from the brutal ghettos. Along withmany friends and colleagues, she smuggled out nearly 2,500 Jewish orphans, hiding infants on trams and garbage wagons and guiding kids through a labyrinth of secret passageways beneath the city.
SOJOURNER TRUTH (1797–1883)
EMMELINE PANKHURST (1858–1928)
Before she escaped fromNewYork slaveholder John Dumont, Sojourner Truth had at least three of her children sold away fromher. When Dumont went back on his promise to emancipate Truth and her infant daughter in 1826, she took the girl and fled to an abolitionist Quaker family, but she was forced to leave her other daughter and her 5-year-old son, Peter, behind. Soon after, she learned that Peter had been illegally sold by Dumont to a slaveholder in Alabama, so she went to court and secured his safe return. It was the first successful case brought by a black woman against a white man in American history. Truth went on to become a prominent abolitionist and a speaker for women’s rights, delivering her famous impromptu speech,“Ain’t I aWoman?”in May of 1851.
Despite being a wife and the mother of five children— two of whom died tragically young—Emmeline Pankhurst became one of the fiercest advocates for women’s suffrage in the late 19th century. After founding theWomen’s Social and Political Union in 1903, she and her cohorts adopted an aggressive strategy to raise awareness for the issue; they began by buttonholing politicians and staging rallies, then progressed to vandalism, window smashing, and arson. She was instrumental in the movement. Pankhurst lived to see women gain the right to vote in 1928.
Take a Break
Zucchini and Squash With Feta
Zucchini and summer squash are arriving on grocery store shelves. Here is a great way to take these humble, delicious vegetables to the next level. This easy dish is perfect for early summer.
• 2 teaspoons fresh thyme • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese • Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 zucchini • 1 summer squash • 1/2 medium red onion • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch-thick semicircles. Dice onion. 2. Heat a large skillet to medium high. Add olive oil, onion, and thyme. 3. Once onion is soft (about 2 minutes), add zucchini and squash. Season with salt and pepper; cook 4–5 minutes until squash barely begins to caramelize. 4. Place in serving bowl and top with feta.
Recipe courtesy of thekitchn.com
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Dr. Henry PAGE 1 A Complete Breakdown of Fitness Plans PAGE 1 Download Your Next Workout PAGE 2 3 of the Most Formidable Moms in History PAGE 3 Take a Break! PAGE 3 Sautéed Zucchini and SquashWith Feta PAGE 3 The Key to a Memorable Vacation PAGE 4 The virtues of buying locally sourced food and supporting small businesses have been widely extolled. But we rarely think to apply the same practices when we travel. Many Americans spring for all-inclusive packages when planning their next summer vacation, but doing so means they’ll miss out on some of the best aspects of the culture they’re visiting. Part of the joy of traveling is having new experiences you can’t have at home. Whether you’re in another state or another country, you owe it to yourself to seek out the unique aspects of that location. But to find the character and quirks of your destination, you’ll have to explore beyond the hotel lobby. FOOD Why have a cheeseburger from a fast- food chain when you can try a local favorite? A great way to start is by asking your taxi driver or hotel concierge about
Buy Local When You’re Abroad
their favorite place to eat. You’ll discover new foods and flavor combinations, and the locally owned restaurant is sure to appreciate your business! ART Just as your town probably has local artisans who produce unique and interesting work, the same is true for your vacation destination. Anyone can get a gift shop bauble that was mass-produced somewhere else. Take the time to peruse market stalls and craft fairs while you travel. It can lead you to some truly special souvenirs, and you’ll support the arts and traditions of the region! PEOPLE While you’re out sampling local restaurants and exploring local markets, you’ll meet plenty of local people. Don’t be afraid to strike up a friendly conversation. You can make new friends around the globe and learn about their unique experiences. One
of the most enriching experiences in life is meeting new people and gaining new perspectives. MEMORIES Treasured memories are the best souvenir you can bring home from any vacation. So you owe it to yourself to get out and explore!
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