Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Summer Arms to Dip For

Summer is the best time to show off those arms. A great way to achieve well-defined arms is by performing dips. Dips refer to upper-body training where you are required to lift loads equivalent to your body weight. So, the heavier you are, the more challenging they become. The best thing is that you can modify them as you progress. The benefits of performing dips are worth the challenge.

First, you can build your strength in several layers of upper body muscles at the same time. Dips mostly focus on the triceps, which is the major muscle located at the back of your arm. Your triceps muscle's role is extending the elbow joint. Additionally, when you are pushing up out of the dips, your upper chest and anterior delts support by flexing the shoulders. Other muscles including the levator scapula, rhomboids and latissimus dorsa are also strengthened.
                                                               Compound Exercises

Dips are a compound exercise, in that it requires movements in a number of joints. A compound exercise promotes the development of multiple muscle groups at the same time. Additionally, compound exercises mimic the regular tasks we carry out each day. This means that strength and coordination improve each time you exercise, which makes everyday tasks easier to perform. If conducted the right way, dips reduces the risk of injury to joints while ensuring your triceps, shoulder, and scapular muscles are effectively developed.

For you to practice dips correctly, start by standing between two dip bars. Take hold of each bar with your hands and push your body up such that your elbows lock while your feet hang in the air. Lower your body towards the floor by bending your elbows avoiding letting your feet touch the floor. Continue moving until elbows attain 90-degree angle. Next, extend your elbows and push your body up again. You can repeat the process a couple times a week and gradually increase the number of reps.

As always, consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. If no dip bar is available or you work out a home, try doing my number one favorite exercise, chair dips. No need for fancy equipment, just a wall and a sturdy chair. My arms feel amazing after this workout. Give dips a try and start showing off your summer arms. Leave a comment and let me know your result.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Pantry Extras

When shopping for extras on your heart-healthy grocery list, watch out for high amounts of salt in condiments and sauces. Even small amounts add up fast. Some choices are listed.
  • Barbeque sauce, low-sodium 
  • Ketchup, reduced sodium
  • Mayonnaise, reduced fat or nonfat
  • Mustards: whole grain, honey, Dijon, yellow
  • Soy sauce, reduced sodium
  • Vinegars: rice, red wine, balsamic, apple cider, raspberry; these make delicious salad dressings
Fats and Cooking Oils:  Cut down on butter in your cooking, instead use healthier oils, like olive and canola. 

Snacks:  Stock your pantry with nuts, dried fruit, and whole wheat products for snacks and meals.

Spices vs. Salt:  Too much salt drives up your blood pressure, instead, add flavor with zesty spices and herbs,

Sweeteners:  Cut down on sugar. It's full of calories that will pack on pounds. Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth with healthier options -- although the less you use of any sweeteners, the better.
  • Brown rice syrup for a sweetening alternative in baking
  • Honey (in moderation)
  • Sugar-free or light maple syrup
For more nutritional fit tips, visit Debra Baker Fit

Monday, May 14, 2018

Heart-Healthy Protein

The American Heart Association suggests two servings of fish a week. Eat more heart-healthy tofu and other soy protein, too. Limit fatty cuts of meat. Several choices to buy are:
  • Beef, lean cuts and lean ground round or sirloin
  • Chicken or turkey breasts, skinless and boneless
  • Ground turkey or chicken
  • High Omega-3 fish; herring, mackerel, salmon, trout, tuna
  • Pork tenderloin trimmed of fat, Tofu 
Frozen Foods
When your favorite fruits and veggies are out of season, choose frozen ones for nutritious desserts, side dishes and snacks. Choose fruits without added sugar, such as, frozen blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Vegetables and vegetable blends, without added sauce, gravy or sodium are good choices. Look for frozen soybeans.

Pantry Essentials
Beans and whole grains offer fiber to help lower your cholesterol. Choose from this list of beans, grains, soups and sauces.
  • Barley
  • Beans, canned reduced-sodium assortment of black beans, garbanzo, kidney, navy and pinto, also dried beans
  • Broth, reduced-sodium chicken, beef, or vegetable   
  • Cereals, whole grain
  • Flaxseed, ground or whole
  • Flour, whole wheat
  • Grains
  • Oat bran
  • Rolled oats
  • Pasta sauce, low fat or fat-free
  • Pasta, whole grain wheat
  • Rice, brown or wild
  • Soups, low sodium and fat-free
  • Soy flour
  • Tomato paste
  • Tomatoes, whole or diced, reduced sodium
  • Vegetarian or nonfat refried beans
Visit my Nutrition page at Debra Baker Fit for low calorie recipes. In my next blog, I will focus on  heart-healthy condiments, oil, and yes, snacks.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Healthy-Heart Grocery List

Healthy eating starts with having the right kind of healthy foods in the kitchen. Heart-healthy foods help to lower cholesterol and keep blood pressure in check. If you are not sure what to buy, print this blog and take it to the grocery store.    
Refrigerator Essentials   

Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and nutrients. They also have fiber which lowers cholesterol and improves heart health. Try to get five cups of combined fruit and vegetables a day.
Great choices are apples, berries, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, dark leafy, greens, eggplant, grapes, kale, oranges, pears, squash, tomatoes, and zucchini.
Dairy and Calcium Products

Dairy is a great source of calcium. Just skip the heavy cream and choose low-fat options. Your choices are buttermilk, cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, cream cheese, nonfat creamers, skim milk, sour cream and yogurt.

Soy milk, almond milk and other non-dairy products may also be options. Check the labels to see if they are fortified with calcium and other nutrients. Remember, when shopping for these drinks, choose unsweetened products to avoid added sugar.

In my next blog I will list healthy meats, fish and pantry essentials. Happy heart-healthy shopping.   More fit tips on my website debrabakerfit.com.http://www.debrabakerfit.com