Cutting down on salt

Everyone knows that cutting down on salt is advisable. Men’s Fitness has a good article on the subject with 5 helpful tips. Here’s two of them:

- Always ask for the sauce on the side: For example, 1 tablespoon of Teriyaki sauce contains 1/3 of the daily recommended amount (1 tsp of salt). One portion of Chinese takeout often has over five times this amount

- Stay away from frozen meals: One Lean Cuisine has about 500 mg of sodium (about 1/3 of the daily recommended amount)

Check out the rest of the article for more, along with previous posts on low sodium diets.

Get in shape for golf season

If you’re looking forward to the upcoming golf season and are planning a trip to a luxury golf resort, you might want to think about whether you’ll be in good enough shape to really enjoy it. Many of us eat to much and do too little exercise over the holidays, so there’s a reason why people start thinking about fitness when they make their new year’s resolutions.

But think about how much golf you’ll be playing on a golf vacation, and you’ll want to get in shape before you go to maximize your endurance and also help your scores. Think about hitting the treadmill for endurance, and think about some weight training to get your muscles in shape.

Of course you don’t need to build serious muscles like Tiger Woods did. For the casual player that will probably hurt your game, as Tiger has professional help making sure that he also gets in the proper stretching so he keeps his range of motion. But strength can be very important, especially if you want to hit the ball well off the tee. Do some research and look for exercises tailored to golfers.

There are so many great golf trip ideas out there, from US masters golf packages to European travel to American golf holidays at spectacular courses. If you put the work in ahead of time, you’ll have so much more fun as you blast off on the tee shots and then keep your energy for the later holes. Get in shape and win the golf bets with your friends!

Power and defense still matter in the NFL

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (L) is tackled by New York Giants Michael Boley (C) and Corey Webster (R) in the third quarter during their NFL NFC Divisional playoff football game in Green Bay, Wisconsin, January 15, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Hauck (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

This has been the year of the quarterback and the passing game in the NFL. Speed and precision were the sexy characteristics this season as the NFL altered the rules to take away some of the more physical aspects of the game that were causing serious sports injuries like concussions. Drew Brees was setting records, while Aaron Rodgers was drawing comparisons to Joe Montana.

Yet this weekend seemed to be a reminder that power and defense still matter as the Giants upset the Packers in Green Bay and the 49ers stopped the pass-happy Saints. Everyone seemed to be questioning the old NFL axiom that defense wins championships, but now we have a reminder that even with the new rules power and defense are very important.

That should please all our readers out there who love getting to the gym and pumping iron. Football has always beena bout strength. The Giants put on a display like they did in 2007 as they put a pounding on Rodgers and the Packer offense. Then they also hit them with their power running game.

The only pass-happy team still in the hunt is New England, so perhaps the speed and precision people will get the last laugh. Yet you have to look at how the Patriots play, with two huge tight ends in their passing game. Strength and power are still important ingredients to their success.

It will be a great weekend of football as we hash out who will face off in the Super Bowl. You can check this website for online betting sites as you get ready for all the fun this weekend. Hopefully you can host a great party or make it out to Las Vegas. After a bitter offseason, the NFL has provided some great entertainment for us all this season.

Diet and supplements for the new year

As you’re looking to the new year, like most people you’re probably thinking about some resolutions, and that will almost certainly involve diet and fitness. It’s only natural, and you should take advantage of this impulse. Yet try to make this something permanent. Don’t jump on a fad diet. Instead, if you’re going to try a diet, try one that can transform your lifestyle without a radical, unsustainable approach.

With rankings of the best diets of 2012, the Dash Diet got the nod for the best overall diet for 2012 according to U.S. News and World Report. There’s a reason for this. Basically, this isn’t a fad diet. It’s a diet built around lowering blood pressure, but the essence of the diet is overall health. It’s really about a common sense approach to eating, and if you can work towards this type of diet, you can accomplish many things from lowering blood pressure to improving your overall health.

The diet starts around the premise of lowering sodium intake. This is harder than you might think. You would be shocked to find how many foods in America are loaded with sodium. Start reading labels. Basically, most processed foods at the supermarket are loaded with sodium. Things like soup and lunch meat are also big problem areas.

The other premise is a significant increase in the fruits and vegetables you will be eating every day. This dovetails with the point above about processed food. Look, we’ve become lazy in this country. Most of the food we eat is fast, whether it’s from a drive-through or a processed meal from the grocery store. Go back to the basics – REAL FOOD.

Do your research and you’ll see if this diet is for you. Of course there are many other things to consider along with your basic diet. Workouts are critical, and you might find yourself shopping for a drugstore in Canada to get the supplements and vitamins you want to use as part of your fitness and health strategy.

The key is to get motivated but avoid the quick fix. Build up and get healthy for the long term. You’ll build good habits that are hard to break!

Is Angelina Jolie too skinny?

Angelina Jolie at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards. (Beverly Hills, CA)

With the Golden Globes last night, everyone is commenting on the various celebrities as they prance around the red carpet and present awards on the stage. Everything from celebrity fashion to fitness is discussed, and everyone has an opinion. Usually, overweight celebrities get a ton of attention as that’s a very common problem in the country. But with actresses, we often have issues come up around actresses who get too skinny. This often happens as young starlets get older, and the try to get super fit and super cut in order too keep up their looks. Madonna and Demi Moore come to mind.

Last night it was Angelina Jolie’s turn to get the scrutiny. Tons of comments came through on Twitter suggesting that poor Angelina needed a sandwich. Judge for yourself, but she looks fantastic to us. Yes, she’s definitely gotten thinner, and none of us want to see Angelina’s curves go away, but the thinner look works well on her at this stage of her career.

This is the time of year when everyone is obsessed with weight, fitness and appearance as people face the new year and contemplate all sorts of New Year’s resolutions. The concerns tun the gamut from angst about waistlines or dry skin to concerns about hair loss for women. We project onto celebrities our own concerns and insecurities.

The key is to be comfortable in your own skin, while also being self-aware enough to be honest about areas where you can improve your appearance and your health. That’s really the first step, and then you have to be willing to make the changes to achieve your goals.

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