Who wouldn’t love a 10-minute walk on a day like this!
Does the thought of taking a 30-minute chunk of exercise time out of your busy day to improve your health put you off doing anything at all? What if you broke it down into three 10-minute sessions? Could that also have a positive impact on your health? More and more studies indicate that multiple short sessions of exercise provide the same health benefits as a comparable workout completed in one go. And some studies indicate that shorter sessions are better!
Better health backed by science
A number of universities from around the world presented research results in May at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting. A few highlights:
Researchers in China compared arterial benefits in men riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes to men doing two 15-minute sessions. They discovered that the benefits provided by the shorter sessions lasted longer.
In a 2012 study on exercise and blood pressure control, researchers found that among adults with borderline hypertension a 30-minute afternoon walk or three 10-minute walks spaced throughout the day improved overall blood pressure just as effectively. However, the 3x 10-minute routine also reduced later spikes in pressure.
Scientists also reported almost identical endurance improvements in college students, whether they jogged for 30 minutes on the treadmill or broke it down into 3 sessions.
Don’t let the ’30-minutes of exercise advice’ scare you off!
If you think 30 minutes of exercise is too much – or if it takes up too much time – break it down. Head out for a brisk 10-minute walk or bike ride. Or jump on that treadmill, elliptical trainer or stationary bike haunting you from the corner. You may need to bundle up against the cold. Or depending on your choice of exercise, you may not even need to put on your sweats! Opt for three short sessions, morning, noon and night.
Do you go for long or short workouts? What’s your favorite 10-minute workout?
Served with a salad Chickpea Falafel Burgers make a tasty meat-free meal
Full of exotic aroma’s and flavor, these fiber-filled Chickpea Falafel Burgers are a favorite vegetarian alternative at our house. They’re packed with all the wonderful health benefits of chickpeas and rich, aromatic spices. They go together quickly and easily – and while you’re at it, you can make extras to freeze. Adapted from something we saw years ago on the BBC. 4 servings and take around 30 minutes. You’ll need:
For the sandwich
15-ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, chopped
½ cup parsley (flat leaf, handful)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon harissa paste or chili sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons chickpea flour, or regular all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
4 whole wheat pita breads
For the sauce
½ cup nonfat plain yogurt or nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 garlic clove (minced)
To prepare sauce:
Combine yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, parsley and salt in medium bowl.
To prepare burgers:
Pat chickpeas dry with paper towel. Tip into a food processor along with the onion, garlic, parsley, spices, flour and a little salt. Blend until fairly smooth, and then shape into four patties with your hands. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the burgers, then quickly fry for 3 minutes on each side until lightly golden. In the meantime, toast your pitas. Serve the Chickpea Falafel Burgers with toasted pitas, garnish and perhaps a green salad.
According to our calculations, each serving has about 400 calories and almost 8 grams of fiber.
Facebook brought me into contact with an old friend after a gazillion years and we were delighted to discover that we were on similar weight loss journeys. We shared food plans and supported each other along the way. Both of us succeeded in shedding more than 75 pounds through healthy eating and exercise. We were within sight of our goals.
Unfortunately, as we approached our magic weight loss numbers, health issues brought both of us to a standstill at almost the same time. Having dealt successfully with those, we now face a daunting new task. Too many pounds have crept back onto our new-found slim frames. And we’re struggling. Yesterday, she said:
‘I really need to get back into good eating and exercising, and just basically taking better care of myself.’
I couldn’t agree more. So here’s my plan of action. I’ve stopped lying to myself about why I gained the weight. It wasn’t because I couldn’t work out the way I did before. It was because I didn’t adjust my diet to match my reduced activity level. Simply put: I was consuming more than I was burning. And I know what I need to do for weight loss. It’s back to:
1,500 calories per day – tracked and recorded, preferably before I’ve eaten them. And then I can indulge in that ooey-gooey treat if I budget for it!
Weighing and measuring my foods – so know I have portion control under control
3-5 workouts a week – with 30 minutes of cardio and around an hour of machines, calisthenics and (body) weight exercises
Getting up and walking around every hour – preferably around the block instead of to the kitchen!
A weekly weigh-in – every Monday morning in my birthday suit
Pep-talks – with my sisters, my girlfriend, anyone who will listen, on a regular basis
I may not get it all right every single day, but I’m moving back to what I know works. This tracks at 1,510 calories and it’s all on today’s weight loss menu:
½ cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon of cinnamon or cocoa powder
½ cup blackberries
2 cups of skim milk (0% fat)
3 cups of coffee
Surprisingly filling lunch
2 Wasa Thin Delicate crackers (sesame or rosemary)
1 medium baked potato topped with 1 tablespoon of plain nonfat Greek yogurt
Desert: ½ cup of same Greek yogurt, ½ cup raspberries, 1 teaspoon honey
1 medium banana
2 tablespoons of GA Gorp – mixed unroasted nuts and dried cranberries
Top it off with 3 quarts/liters of water and I’m good to go.
I know if I follow this meal plan, it will be a step in the right direction. And I know that if I take enough of those steps it’ll be easier to walk away from that chocolate donut! Are you doing something special today to take care of the most important person in your life? You!
Forget heavy and fattening cream and butter based salmon pasta. This flavor-packed take on a classic recipe is a whole lot healthier and will carry you straight to the seaside in Italy! Serve it with steamed asparagus or a leafy green salad and enjoy.
Time 30 minutes | Serves 4
6 ounces/200 grams thinly sliced smoked salmon
8 ounces/250 grams whole wheat spaghetti
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oi
2¼ cups/415 grams seeded tomatoes chopped into small blocks
½ cup/175 ml dry white wine
3 tablespoons/30 grams large capers, drained
1½ teaspoon dried dill
1½ teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup/50 grams parmesan, freshly grated
Flat leaf parsley, chopped for garnish
Slice salmon into ½ inch wide strips and put aside
Cook pasta according to package directions
While pasta cooks, heat oil and sauté garlic over medium heat until garlic is golden.
Add tomatoes, wine, capers, dill weed and basil. Cook until mixture is hot.
Drain pasta and toss in large serving bowl with sauce mixture.
Add salmon and parmesan. Toss gently and garnish with parsley.