Today is National Walking Day!

Ready to move? Physical inactivity is a leading cause of heart disease and can be more dangerous than smoking. To combat this, the American Heart Association has named the first Wednesday in April as National Walking Day.

Americans are encouraged to walk for at least 30 minutes today — and every day. Statistics from the AHA show that one in two men and one in three women are at risk for heart disease.

For more information about walking, check out our walking post here

Spring is here and it’s the perfect time for a 15 minute walk!

Did you know a 15 minute walk can change your body?

Most people are well aware of the countless benefits from regular exercise, however, most Americans simply choose not to exercise or workout in their spare time. Yet, studies show that exercise can buy you three to seven additional years of life! Exercise in the form of walking becomes an antidepressant; improves cognitive function, and there is now evidence that it may retard the onset of dementia.

1. Exercise can lower the risk of diabetes: A Harvard Nurses’ Health Study showed that women who walked for a half-hour daily experienced a 30% lower risk of diabetes. Walking was also found to be able to shrink dangerous abdominal fat, which can result in diabetes.

2. Walking lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease: Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System discovered men aged of 71 – 93, who walked more than a quarter mile daily had half the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in comparison to participants who walked less.

3. Walking reduces high blood pressure: Researchers found that moderate walking lowers the risk of high blood pressure.

4. Walking helps digestion: Cancer Treatment Centers of America maintains that walking can improve your gastric mobility.

5. Walking reduces pain and enhances mobility: The American Heart Association published an article showing walking on a daily basis can improve mobility in people with PAD (peripheral artery disease).

6. Walking enhances bone health: People who exercise or walk on a daily basis have healthier and stronger teeth, boost bone density, strengthen their bones and lower the risk of osteoporosis, fractures, and spine shrinkage.

7. Walking improves cognitive performance: Studies show that regular walks boost cognitive performance in both children and adults.

8. Walking leads to longevity: Numerous studies have proven that regular walking lowers the risk of mortality.

9. Walking improves mood: A 2016 study showed walking at least 20 minutes daily boosts self-confidence and attentiveness, and reduces feelings of anger and hostility.

With benefits like these and warmer weather, there’s no reason not to get out and walk!

Here are some useful walking tips:

  • Pick a suitable pace, in order to burn calories, you need to walk about 3.5 miles an hour.
  • To burn more calories, try an incline walk (walking up Fairways Blvd. to the Clubhouse is an incline and my Fitbits register that walk as walking up six flights of stairs!)
  • Always wear flexible, low-heeled, cushioned, comfortable shoes
  • Walk with the shoulders down, the chin parallel to the ground, and looking straight ahead
  • Swing the arms while walking, bend them at 90 degrees and pump the shoulders.

You can start walking more by making some tiny changes into your daily routine:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Go for a short walk after lunch or dinner (walking with friends makes it more enjoyable)
  • Get off several bus stops before your destination when taking public transport
  • Always park your car a bit further and walk to the destination
  • Take your dog for a walk (my dog insists on walking three to five miles over the course of a day)
  • Listen to your favorite podcast or music and walk.

It’s recommended to use a pedometer or one of the wearable fitness trackers, to keep track and find out how far you normally walk. At first, you may be surprised to realize just how little you move each day. Tracking your steps can also show you how simple and seemingly minor changes to the way you move around during the day can add up. Plus, it’s motivating to see your steps increase throughout the day.”

We may never avoid becoming completely old, but we may delay the time we become old. We may look younger when we’re 70 and may live into our nineties.

Take a hike!

Today is officially National Take A Walk In The Park Day.

After a long busy day, a calming and therapeutic way to relax would be a nice, leisurely walk in the park. Taking a walk at a local park is an excellent way to clear one’s mind from the stresses of the day, re-energize and at the same time, to improve your health.

During a walk, you can capture a beautiful photograph, compose an original poem, have an uninterrupted conversation, lose track of time and run into a familiar face. How fun is that? Just think, when you take a walk in the park, all sorts of pleasant surprises can occur.

Go out for a walk in the park, you really don’t need to take a hike to enjoy nature’s beauty and being outside.

#TakeAWalkInTheParkDay

Great news for coffee fans!

You can now justify every cup of coffee you drink because of its official health benefits. On average, coffee drinkers live longer than those who don’t.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “how?” Well, new data has the answer for us! Coffee has several effects which directly improve our chances of living longer, including reducing the risk of certain dangerous conditions. Find out what coffee can do for you—and how much of it you should be drinking—so you can be a healthy, long-lived coffee drinker!

The National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University teamed up to analyze data on coffee-drinkers as well as the long-term study of half a million people in the United Kingdom, ranging in age from 38 to 74 by UK Biobank tp determine health benefits.

Keep in mind that the research shows a noted correlation, rather than a direct causal connection. But due to the broad spectrum of people and other evidence provided by the study, we can still say that coffee is a good thing for the following reasons.

  • Cut the Pain: Two cups of coffee can cut post-workout muscle pain by up to 48%. From the Journal of Pain, March 2007 (link)
  • Increase your fiber intake: A cup of brewed coffee represents a contribution of up to 1.8 grams of fiber of the recommended intake of 20-38 grams. From the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (link).
  • Protection against cirrhosis of the liver: This is a good on, of course, you could just cut down on the alcohol intake. From the Archives of Internal Medicine (link). Another more recent study also showed coffee’s liver protecting benefits. link. Yet another study showed that both coffee and decaffeinated coffee lowered the liver enzyme levels of coffee drinkers. This study was published in the Hepatology Journal.
  • Lowers risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Those who consumed six or more cups per day had a 22% lower risk of diabetes. From the Archives of Internal Medicine (link). A recent review of research conducted by Harvard’s Dr. Frank Hu showed that the risk of type II diabetes decreases by 9% for each daily cup of coffee consumed. Decaf coffee decreased risk by 6% per cup.
    Lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease: There is considerable evidence that caffeine may protect against Alzheimer’s disease. From the European Journal of Neurology (link). A recent study also isolated the compounds in roasted coffee that may be responsible for preventing the build-up of the brain plaque believed to cause the disease. 
  • Reduces suicide risk and Depression: A 10-year study of 86,000 female nurses shows a reduced risk of suicide in the coffee drinkers. From the Archives of Internal Medicine (link). Another study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who drink four or more cups of coffee were 20% less likely to suffer from depression. Study link.
  • Protection against Parkinson’s: People with Parkinson’s disease are less likely to be smokers and coffee drinkers than their healthy siblings. From the Archives of Neurology (link). Research out of Sweden revealed that drinking coffee reduces the risk of Parkinson’s even when genetic factors come into play. link. Yet another study (published here) found that caffeine combined with EHT (a compound found in coffee beans) provided protective benefits to rats that were genetically predisposed to developing Parkinson’s.
  • Coffee drinkers have lowered risk of heart disease: Korean researchers found that study participants who consumed three to five cups of coffee a day were less likely to show the beginning signs of heart disease. The studyOther dietary factors should also be noted as Koreans typically have a different diet than do Westerners. A more recent study conducted in Brazil found that those that consume at least three cups of coffee a day tend to develop less calcification in their coronary arteries.
  • Coffee drinkers have stronger DNA: A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition showed that coffee drinkers have DNA with stronger integrity since the white blood cells of coffee drinkers had far fewer instances of spontaneous DNA strand breakage. Study abstract.
  • Lower Risk of Multiple Sclerosis: Recent research showed that at least four cups of coffee a day may help protect against the development and reoccurrence of MS. It is believed that the coffee prevents the neural inflammation that possibly leads to the disease developing. The study was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry
  • Coffee reduces colorectal cancer risk: Even moderate consumption of coffee can reduce the odds of developing colorectal cancer by 26%. This protective benefit increases with more consumption. The study is described in detail here.

So it’s a safe bet to stick with coffee.

Living longer with coffee?

Feel free to pour yourself a cup of coffee before reading this — even if you’ve already had some today.

A study of half a million people found more evidence that drinking coffee is associated with a longer life


Yet another study has found that drinking coffee is associated with a longer life and lower risk of an early death. This adds to a significant body of research indicating that coffee has positive effects on the heart, liver, brain, and more.

The latest study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, reveals that people who drink more coffee have a lower risk of death even if they drink eight or more cups per day. The study, also found that even people who metabolize caffeine slowly are less likely to die early if they drink more coffee.

The study looked at 500,000 people in the UK for three decades., of whom 387,494 were coffee drinkers. The group studied was 54% female and had an average age of 57. Ten years after the start of the study, 14,225 people had died. The results suggested that people who drank two to five cups of coffee in a day were about 12% less likely to die than non-coffee-drinkers over the 10-year time period in the study. People who drank six to seven cups were 16% less likely to die, and people who drank eight or more cups were about 14% less likely to die.

In this study, coffee drinkers seem to gain health benefits from the habit. The study results showed coffee drinkers had a lower risk of death overall, just as many other studies have found.

It didn’t matter whether the coffee was decaf or regular, ground or instant — all were beneficial (though the connection to lower risk of death was weaker for instant coffee).

As with all studies like this in which researchers observe a group of people over time, this study can’t prove that coffee is the cause of the reduced risk of death. It can just say that people who drink coffee are less likely to die early.

Another large study of 500,000 people in Europe showed similar results to the recent UK research: men who drank three cups of coffee per day were 12% less likely to die over a 16-year period than coffee abstainers, and women who drank that much coffee were 7% less likely to die.

Another study of 185,855 multi-ethnic Americans confirmed that result, too. People who drank one cup per day were 12% less likely to die. Consuming two to three daily cups was associated with an 18% decrease in risk for early death. That study is particularly important, as it shows these benefits apply to African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and white people. (People of color are not always as well represented in these types of studies.)

Other research has indicated that coffee drinkers are less likely to develop various forms of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s, dementia, liver cirrhosis, and heart disease.

In many studies, it hasn’t mattered whether coffee was caffeinated or not, which indicates that many benefits may not be connected to caffeine — there are all kinds of other antioxidant-rich compounds in coffee that could have an effect. Still, at least one recent study attributed the lower risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke to caffeine, though those researchers still cautioned that overdoing it with caffeine was possible.

As all this data shows, coffee is likely beneficial for most of us, and at the very least not harmful. So the next time someone says they’re trying to limit their coffee consumption, you can tell them not to worry about it.

My favorite brand of coffee is Mountain Cabin what’s yours?

Healthy snacking

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to constantly deny yourself of all those delicious treats and snacks forever.

Making and eating healthy homemade snacks can be easy with GC Control Brownies and muffins. and… are they ever delicious!

To make basic muffins:
Preheat oven to 350°
1 egg beaten well
1/2 cup milk
1 cups GC Control any flavor
1 tsp. baking powder
Splash of Vanilla
Thoroughly blend all ingredients in a medium bowl.
Prepare muffin pan by spraying or brushing with a non-stick oil
Pour mixture into muffin pan.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Yields 4 – 6 muffins

Breakfast muffins.
I have these for breakfast or as a snack with coffee or tea.
Preheat oven to 350°
2 cups GC Control any flavor ( I used Apple Cinnamon)
1 tsp baking powder 
3 whole eggs
1 cup water or milk 
Bake for 20 minutes.
Yields 12 muffins

Brownies:
Preheat oven to 400°
2 cups GC Control Chocolate
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup 2% milk (can also use fat free)
Mix all ingredients together and pour into baking pan.
Bake for 20 minutes.

GC Control Chocolate Mousse
1 scoop GC Control Chocolate
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Vigorousl shake ingredients until well-blended
Pour into glass.

GC Control Peanut Butter Cup
4 tbsp Coconut oil
8 tbsp GC Control Chocolate
Small amount of Peanut butter or Almond butter
Melt oil and mix with GC Control until smooth
Fill six muffin cups with half the mixture
Place dollop of nut butter in center of each half-filled muffin cup
Fill muffin cup with remaining chocolate mixture
Freeze for 30 minutes and enjoy
Store in refrigerator

Attain Pudding
1 scoop Attain Shake mix (any flavor)
3 tbsp water
Add ingredients to small ice cream size dish
Mix vigorously until thick and smooth.
Freeze for 20 minutes
Enjoy!

Healthy Gingerbread And French Vanilla Cookies
Preheat oven to 400°.
1/2 cup Unbleached Flour
2 scoops GC Control Gingerbread
1 scoops GC Control French Vanilla 
1/3 cup Eggland Eggwhites
1 cup Organic So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut milk
1 TB Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
2 TB Organic Earth Balance Butter
1tsp Organic ground ginger
2 tsp pure baking soda
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon

In large bowl add all ingredients.
Use electric mixer on low for 3-4 minutes.
Put mixture in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to harden slightly.
Spray two flat rectangular trays with non stick Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Yield: 30 cookies.
Each cookie has 28 cal, 3g carbs, 1g fat, 2g protein, 1g fiber and 1g sugar.