Bulletin: Coffee Might be Killing You

That headline probably caught your attention.

That’s because the average consumer drinks 2-3 cups of coffee per day. And it’s safe to assume that you’re probably one of them.

I already discussed how coffee affects the body, but recently I came across an interesting study that made me think twice about how much coffee I consume and when I consume it.

Here’s the scoop.

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Bulletin: Running is the new Fountain of Youth

I’m all about good news. So when I read this interesting study I knew I had to share it.

Researchers at McMaster University (thank you Canada) recently did a study where they forced mice to run on a treadmill (moderate intensity) for 45 minutes three times per week.

Their findings, you ask?

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Bulletin: Canadians are Getting Fatter!

We are all aware of the obesity epidemic and, according to scientists and medical researchers, it will take decades to see any signs of reversing.

In 2008, nearly 1.5 billion adults were overweight, including 500 million who were obese. There has been no sign of slowing down either.

These are dangerous numbers, my friends.

But I want to share with you something that has really peaked my interest – a statistic that I find quite jaw-dropping to say the least.

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Guest Post: Why Eating Local will Make you Healthier

Besides all the good you’d be doing for your local farmers, the nation’s food industry, and good old Planet Earth, shopping at your local farmers’ markets is a great way to revamp your struggling diet.  Eating seasonal produce keeps your focus on vegetables instead of meats and carbs—not to say that you can’t get both from the market or that your body doesn’t need them.

Grocery shopping at your local farmers’ market has the following perks for your body:

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Bloom to Fit Welcomes Miss University Canada

Bloom to Fit has recently partnered with Miss University Canada to help contestants prepare for their competition.

Miss University Canada goes beyond the hair, the make up, the dress and shoes. They go beyond every stereotype you thought you knew and it goes beyond the crown. They go so far beyond beauty that they will represent the real woman for who she truly is and what she is capable of.

Miss University Canada is a competition for the woman who is looking to go somewhere in life, the one who is striving to achieve, and the one who will show the passion and dedication towards winning.

And Bloom to Fit will be there with them every step of the way.

Check them OUT @ MissUniversityCanada.com

Together, we are creating a series of health and fitness videos with simple tips to help you get you in shape. See our intro video:

 

 

In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing one tip each week. These tips will help you improve your strength training, cardio training, flexibility and eating habits.

To check out the videos, visit the Miss University Canada blog!

The Benefits of Yoga and the Power of 100

My friend is a Zen Master. For months he’s been telling me about the power of meditation, the importance of understanding your true inner self and the unreal benefits of yoga.

He’s started a new journey now – the Power of 100.

What is the power of 100? In his own words:

“It is a retreat. A 100 days Yoga retreat. Right here, right now. No need to fly to India or Tibet, right here in the middle of everything. Its also a cleansing journey, both body and mind. Exactly 100 days of Yoga, every single day. No break.”

Insane? Well, maybe. 100 days of yoga – same postures, same order, same studio, same teachers. No change. As my friend claims, “For the true self, absolute heaven. For the mind, absolute boredom…”

So why pursue such an immense task? To understand this, we need to take a deeper look. What are the true benefits of yoga? And what can the power of 100 do for your mind and body?

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Danger Below – Visceral Fat vs Subcutaneous Fat

<img title=”weight loss” src=”http://www.bloomtofit.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/weight-loss.gif” alt=”weight loss” width=”232″ height=”240″ />When you think of the word ‘fat’, what are some things that come to mind?
Laziness?
Unattractiveness?
Lack of self-confidence?
The list is endless…
What I think is unfair is that people are often judged by their looks. Heavy people, skinny people, ugly people, tall people and any other kind of ‘people’ that society likes to stereotype. Sometimes being imperfect is the true sign of perfection.
My point is that the cliche truly stands: a book cannot be judged by its cover.
However, the point of this article is not about the cover, but what lies within it. For people who carry excess fat, the outside may be what is judged, but it is the inside that is truly dangerous.
I want to point out some things that you will never read on a potato chip bag.
Accumulating fat around the belly does more than cause headaches in front of the mirror. I speak for both males and females. It can cause some major health issues down the road. In simple terms, abdominal fat can be EXTREMELY dangerous to your health.
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<img title=”types of fat” src=”http://www.bloomtofit.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/types-of-fat.jpg” alt=”types of fat” width=”187″ height=”213″ />
There is no point of going into too much detail, so I’ll give you the basics. There are two types of fat. The first is <strong>subcutaneous fat</strong> and it’s located directly beneath the skin and over your abs. The second type of abdominal fat is <strong>visceral fat </strong>and it lies deep in the abdomen underneath your muscle where it surrounds your organs. Visceral fat is what gives men those hard beer bellies.
Both types of fat are dangerous to your health, but it is the visceral fat that can cause serious damage simply because it is so close to your organs. It is believed that visceral fat releases large quantities of inflammatory molecules into your system on a consistent basis, exposing nearby organs to potentially toxic chemicals produced by the fat.
The health risks are numerous.  Excess abdominal fat increases your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea, certain forms of cancer and numerous other diseases [1]. Certain studies further show indication that excess abdominal fat leads to higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator of inflammation within the body that can lead to heart disease [1].
I read an article some time ago that explained how women who pack weight around their waists instead of on their buttocks and thighs have an increased risk of dying prematurely. These results were based on a study done by researchers at Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The study of 45,000 women showed eye-opening statistics. Women with the largest waists – 35 inches or greater – had a 79% higher chance of premature death compared with women whose waists measured 28 inches or less. Women with the largest waists had twice the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease – even if their weight was normal – and a 63% greater chance of dying of cancer compared with women with smaller waists [2]. The report was based on data drawn from the Nurses’ Health Study, which has monitored the medical history of participants since 1976.
With so much scientific evidence out there expressing how dangerous excessive abdominal fat really is, North America is still over-populated with people living with excessive abdominal fat. Maybe people really do get used to living with their weight and simply have no clue how it’s affecting their health.
In my opinion, we are lacking the effort. Even when informed, people choose not to make a change. They want to. They know they need to. But they never do. They give up before they ever start.
The facts are real and it is important that people grasp how important our health really is.
If you want to live a long, healthy life and have time to spend with your family, you need to take that first step forward. If you want to have the energy to play with your kids and pursue all of your dreams, make that strong effort to change. If you want to continue doing the things you love doing then now is the time to take the plunge.
There are many ways to go about it. A simple exercise routine and a tweak in your diet can put you on the right path.
Take the time to find out what works for you and your body will thank you.
References:
[1] <a href=”http://atozfitness.com/wordpress/excess-abdominal-fat-is-not-only-ugly-but-extremely-dangerous-to-your-health/” target=”_blank”>Excess Abdominal Fat is Not Only Ugly, but Extremely Dangerous to Your Health!</a>
[2] <a href=”http://articles.latimes.com/2008/apr/08/science/sci-fat8″ target=”_blank”>Women’s belly fat, early death linked</a>

Visceral fat? Subcutaneous fat? What are you talking about?

To begin, here are a few statistics that you will never see written on a bag of Doritos.

More than one third of U.S. adults (that is more than 72 million people) and 16% of U.S. children are obese. Further, 2/3 of Americans are either overweight or obese. In fact, since 1980, obesity rates for adults have doubled and rates for children have tripled.

Let that sink in for a second.

Obesity is considered having Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater and being “overweight” is defined as having BMI of 25 or greater. BMI, calculated from a person’s weight and height, provides a reasonable (but not always accurate) indicator of body fat that may lead to health problems.

The obesity crisis is here, but hey, we already know that. Here’s what else you should know.

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What Does Coffee Mean to You?

Have you heard about the most recent story about the man named Jimmy Craig who got banned for life from Tim Horton’s. It made me put down my cup of joe and think about what coffee really means to us as a society.

Coffee truly is a daily ritual for many of us and a day doesn’t really start until we’ve had our first sip. The taste, aroma, and the sense of refreshment and energy we get after a cup of coffee brings us pleasure in a way no other drink can.

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Sunday Morning Workout

I recently joined the Strength and Conditioning club at University of Waterloo. I figured it would be a great way to meet some like-minded people who I always seem to see at the gym.

Today was our first event. It was a beautiful morning and I was pumped to get started. A decent amount of people turned out and my competitive juices were flowing.

One of the members put together a short crossfit workout. As much as I’ve read about the unique training style, I’ve never actually done a crossfit workout. But I love circuit training and interval training so I thought it wouldn’t be any different.

But man was I wrong.

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Resistance Training Benefits

Resistance training, also known as strength training or weight training, is a crucial component of your overall exercise routine. There are so many resistance training benefits that I have a hard time deciding where to start.

When I suggest (read: encourage) people to incorporate a resistance component into their workout, I often get some of the following excuses: I don’t want to get too bulky! Don’t I need to do cardio to lose weight?? Don’t I need to be in shape before I lift weights?

These questions often make me shake my head so let me quickly answer these questions before I outline some resistance training benefits.

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