Monday, June 6, 2011

Mall Walking-the latest fitness trend!

A new fitness phenomenon called ‘Mall Walking’ comes to town. Popular in most American cities, mall walking is simply as the name suggests, using your neighborhood mall as a place to exercise. You can walk or even jog in the corridors of the malls. Most participating malls open their doors early for walkers even before the shops open their doors to shoppers.
What are the benefits of mall walking?
• You can walk in any weather: With mall walking, you can never have the heat, rain, snow or the wind as an excuse for not exercising. Since the temperatures in malls are controlled, you have a perfect climate all year through.
• Safety: Since you are walking inside the mall, you don’t have to worry about getting mugged, teased or even hit by traffic.
• Clean and pollution free environment: You don’t have to jump over puddles, or try to avoid stepping on dog poop or worry about your allergies acting up due to pollution!
• No cost: The malls won’t charge you for walking-so that means you won’t be paying a hefty membership or monthly charges.
How to get started?
• As for any exercise routine, ask your doctor or health care provider if you are fit for walking.
• Invest in some comfortable workout clothes-even though it’s the hippest mall around, you can’t be exercising in your skinny jeans.
• Put on your walking/exercise shoes-again stilettoes are a strict no-no for exercising.
• Start with 10-15 minutes of walking at a pace that you are comfortable and then after a couple of days increase the pace and the duration.
• Get a walking buddy (or partner) to keep you both motivated.
What are the disadvantages?
• It could be heavy on your pocket-the main reasons why mall owners are happy about letting you use the mall! Walking by the displays in the shops could make your wallet lighter even if you aren’t a shopaholic!
• If you get tempted by the aromas from the food court, you could be getting in more calories than you burnt! The solution to this would be to walk without your wallet or just get minimum cash (just in case of emergencies).
• Since you aren't paying for it-getting motivated to exercise may be a challenge(money after all,is a great motivator and everyone wants to get his/her money's worth).

Keep in mind that the walking surface is hard,so make sure you are wearing good shock absorbing shoes to protect your joints.

So come summer, monsoon, winter, don’t let the weather bother you too much-just slip on your walking shoes and go ‘mall walking’.

Q) Have you ever tried 'mall walking'? Tell us about it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

4 Reasons Why Soft Drinks are bad for your Health!

Why Soft Drinks are bad for your Health!
Aerated drinks, more popularly known as soda’s, soda pops, fizzy drinks, soft drinks or carbonated beverages are the bane of every dietitian!
Why-you may ask? Well, good question-let’s put up a list of reasons for this:
1) For starters, what you are drinking is water with 8-10 teaspoons of sugar. So, essentially what you get is hydration with a load of unnecessary calories and zero nutrients!
2) That’s not all-what you also get are other chemicals like carbon dioxide (water is infused with CO2 to create the bubbles), phosphoric acid (H3PO4 or E338) and caffeine (C8H10N4O2).
3) Phosphoric acid is commonly used for rust removal-so why are soda manufacturers adding it to the drink? It is used as an acidifying agent to acidify colas and also gives colas their tangy flavor. Various studies have shown that phosphoric acid leaches the calcium from the bones and makes them brittle and over a period susceptible to osteoporosis. Not just that, high phosphorus intake has also been associated with tooth loss, periodontal disease, and gingivitis
4) Caffeine is a stimulant as well as a mild diuretic and has been known to be addictive. This is added to colas to give an instant boost as well as to get you addicted to it.
According to a 2006 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, older women who drink cola (diet, regular or decaffeinated) were seen to have significantly decreased mineral bone density, putting them at increased risk for bone fracture.
Dr. Marion Nestle from his book Food Politics states “The relationship between soft drink consumption and body weight is so strong that researchers calculate that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times.”
Putting all this together: Soda/cola= weight gain+ brittle bones +tooth disease + zero nutrients!

That being said, what are the healthy alternatives to drink-diet soda?
No way-just because they substitute the sugar with artificial sweeteners, doesn’t make it a healthy drink! It still has the rest of the chemicals (phosphoric acid, CO2 and caffeine) along with the chemicals from the sweeteners. Instead, choose from these healthy drinks to quench your thirst:
1) Water- the natural ‘zero’ calorie drink that has no side effects.
2) Tender coconut water- also known as the ‘fluid of life’ is another natural thirst quencher that is loaded with electrolytes to replenish those lost by the body in the form of sweat.
3) Buttermilk/chaas- this one has added calcium which strengthens your bones.

The choice is yours-as the old saying goes “you can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink”!

Q) What will you choose?