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If you are looking for something different to do to change your typical workout routine, pick up a set of resistance bands and give some of these exercises a try!

 

Front Squat - Stand on a tube band with the feet slightly wider than your shoulders and center of the band between the feet. Holding a handle in each hand, bring the top of the band over each shoulder, securing the band in place by crossing your arms at your chest. Sit straight down, chest up, abs firm, pressing your knees out over your toes. Rise back up to start position and repeat for 8-12 reps.

Bent Over Row - Stand over the center of the band with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend slightly at the knees and hinge at the waist, keeping your hips back. Grasp each handle with hands facing the outside of your knees. With elbows bent, pull the band up toward your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Lower and row for 10-12 reps.

Bench Press - Anchor a tube band on the bench legs, and lie on the bench, face up. Grabbing a handle in each hand. position them at shoulder height (so your thumbs touch the front of your shoulders). Extend the arms straight up overhead to full extension, moving your hands toward each other at the top. Lower back down and repeat for 10-12 reps.

Overhead Press - Stand over the center of a tube band with feet shoulder-width apart. Grip each handle, positioning your hands at shoulder level with palms facing each other so your thumbs touch your shoulders. Press straight up, rotating your palms forward as you fully extend your arms. Lower back down slowly and repeat for 8-10 reps.

Russian Twist - Sit on the floor with legs extended, wrapping the center of the band around the bottom of your feet. Hold the free ends in each hand. Slightly bend your knees, keeping your feet on the floor, and lean back at a 45-degree angle. Rotate the band right by bringing your left hand across your body and your right hand down by your right hip. Contracting your oblique muscles, bring the band toward your right hip while keeping your middle and low back neutral. Return to starting position and rotate left then right for a total of 10-12 reps on each side.

In a recent animal study, it was found that diets that included canola oil rather than corn oil had less of a chance of growing colon tumors. 

One of the reasons that gives canola the edge is the high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, where corn oil is higher in omega-6 fatty acids.  In the animals tested, researchers charted the size and number of colon tumors and tested their blood for its fatty acid amount.  When comparing animals whose diets contained corn oil verses canola oil, the animals whose diet included canola oil had fewer tumors and much smaller tumors on average.

While researchers will next attempt this same study on humans, researchers and nutritionists alike agree that only good can come from including more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.

  • Plums, and their dried version known as prunes, are very high in phytonutrients, which function as an antioxidant and provide much benefit to the body.
  • Eating plums helps in the production and absorption of iron in the body, thereby leading to better blood circulation leading further to the growth of healthy tissues.
  • Consuming plums on a regular basis will help prevent macular degeneration and other eye infections.
  • Researchers have also found that plums contain anti-cancer agents that prevent the growth of cancerous cells and tumors.

Recipe: Chicken Breasts with Plum Salsa and Basmati Rice

  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ pound plums, pitted and chopped
  • ½ medium red onion, minced
  • 3 habanero peppers, seeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh minced cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 

Place water in medium saucepan and stir in rice. Bring to boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and fluff with fork.  In a bowl, mix the plums, peppers, onions, cilantro and sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Season chicken with rosemary, salt and pepper.  Heat vegetable oil in skillet over medium-heat. Place chicken in oil and brown 1 minute per side.  Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 5 additional minutes per side.  Serve over rice with plum salsa.

Recipe: Fresh Summer Fruit Salad

  • ½ cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
  • 15 seedless grapes, halved
  • ½ orange, sectioned
  • 10 fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 1 plum, pitted and sliced
  • 15 pitted Bing cherries
  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries 

Bring water and sugar to boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the rhubarb, turn heat to low, cover and simmer until rhubarb is soft, 10 to 15 minutes.  Mash and chill in the refrigerator about one hour.   To serve, mix the grapes, orange, strawberries, apple, peach, plum, cherries, and blueberries with 2/3 cup of the rhubarb sauce.  Stir gently, but thoroughly to coat.  Refrigerate for at least two hours for all of the flavors to blend well.

 

For more than 120 years, experts have been researching the benefits of massage therapy, and besides the obvious stress-free feeling that people have following a massage, there are plenty of other benefits to this ancient healing procedure. 

One major benefit of massage therapy that researchers have found is that people who get massages on a regular basis have noticed a decrease in their blood pressure.  

Massages also help to alleviate the pain of those who suffer from migraine headaches. 

Massage can also: reduce your heart rate, increase blood circulation and lymph flow, relax your muscles, improve your range of motion, and increase endorphins. 

Research has also shown that while massage therapy does not increase your muscle strength, it can stimulate your weak and inactive muscles and can thereby aid muscles that you may not have worked out in quite some time. 

Some other physical benefits of massage therapy include relieving muscle tension and stiffness, alleviating discomfort during pregnancy, reducing

muscle spasms, promoting deeper and easier breathing, enhancing the health and nourishment of your skin, and improving your posture. 

Massage therapy, while a physical act, is not all about physical benefits.  There are plenty of mental benefits that having a massage can give you. Some of these mental benefits include promoting mental alertness, relieving mental stress, reducing levels of anxiety, improving motor skills, creating   body awareness, and fostering a feeling of well-being. 

While this article only touches on a few benefits of massage therapy, both physical and mental, there are plenty more out there that researchers are learning about each day.  

So, whatever your reason may be, pamper yourself today and reap all the benefits of a great massage.

It’s getting warmer and it’s almost time for picnics, barbecues, and outdoor parties! But just because you aren’t choosing all of your meals, that doesn’t mean that you have to pack on the pounds this summer. 

Keep these tips in mind at your next picnic:

  • Choose lean ground meat when making burgers. You should also try low-fat hot dogs, sausages and bratwurst and other grilled favorites.
  • Seafood and chicken are great grilled foods and are both still healthy picnic options.
  • Don’t forget your greens and mix in a salad to your picnic or party menu.
  • Remember your veggies as they are also great on the grill and in side dishes, especially summer time veggies like squash and zucchini.
  • Instead of chocolate desserts, think fruity desserts instead, and take advantage of a season when fruits are plenty.