Friday, November 30, 2007

Workouts for every mood. . .

Don't let your emotions sabotage your workouts.

By Michele Stanten , Michele Stanten, Prevention's Fitness Director, is a certified group fitness instructor and counselor in the areas of weight control and stress management.

No matter how much you love your exercise routine, it can be hard to get yourself up for a salsa dance class when there's been another round of layoffs at work or your mother's ill. But studies have shown that even mild exercise--about 40 percent of your max heart rate--can lift your mood.

"Lots of people skip working out when their mood isn't ideal because they don't have the mental energy to switch gears," says mental health and exercise expert Jack Raglin, PhD, of Indiana University. "But the trick lies in finding the right workout to match the mood you're in." For example, some workouts have a calming effect, while others are stimulating. Here's what Raglin recommends to keep you exercising no matter what your state of mind:

When You're Angry "As tempting as it may be, skip the kickboxing," he advises. "You can't punch away anger. Instead, do something that involves your mind and keeps you from focusing and ruminating on what has you angry. Play racquetball, or take an aerobics class you've never tried. Learning new moves will free your mind from what's been upsetting you."

If You've Got the Blues
"Studies have shown that even mild exercise, about 40 percent of your max heart rate, can lift your mood," says Raglin. "So, if you're not up for the usual high-energy stuff, do some leisure activity you enjoy, such as digging in your garden or walking in a park. View it as mental recreation, not exercise."

If You're Feeling Bored "Being around people is a quick and easy way to beat boredom. Playing a sport with them is even better," says Raglin. "Try some tennis or golf. Get together with a group that walks or goes for bike rides on a regular basis. Being outside with other people is invigorating and engages your mind."

When You're Stressed Out "When your brain is overwhelmed and anxious, you need to turn to a mindless activity to settle it down. Something repetitive such as swimming or walking on a treadmill requires little mental input and is most effective at reducing feelings of stress and increasing calmness," he says.

If You're on Cloud Nine A happy mood can sideline a workout as easily as a sad one, especially if you feel too "up" to do your same old routine. "Take advantage of good moods to go out and challenge yourself. See if you can run one more mile than usual, or add another set to your weight routine. Use that energy to feel even better," advises Raglin. If you don't have the time or opportunity to do something new, alter your usual workout. Let your mood be your guide.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bites of Heaven...

Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chunks

I'm a sucker for peanut butter and chocolate‑‑lucky for me they're both pretty healthy, if eaten in moderate amounts. Peanut butter is a good source of vitamin E and magnesium and contains mostly monounsaturated fat, which may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Serving size: 3 cookies

Calories: 141

Time: 25 minutes + cooling time

Servings: 12

1/4 c + 2 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar

1/3 c trans‑free spread or vegetable shortening

1/4 c chunky natural peanut butter

1 lg egg yolk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 c all‑purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

2 oz semisweet baking chocolate, broken into 36 sm chunks

1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.

2. COMBINE sugar, spread, peanut butter, egg yolk, and vanilla extract in large bowl and mix until well combined. In medium

bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture and stir until well combined. Divide dough into 36

cookies, using 1 generous teaspoon per cookie, and place on baking sheets. Lightly press each cookie down with fingers until

slightly larger than a quarter and about 1/4" thick. Bake until lightly golden, 9 to 11 minutes.

3. REMOVE cookies from oven and immediately press a chocolate chunk onto center of each. Cool completely on baking sheet

or place in refrigerator 15 minutes to firm chocolate.

Nutritional Info Per Serving

(3 cookies) 141 cal, 2 g pro, 15 g carb, 1 g fiber, 8 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 17 mg chol, 105 mg sodium

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Support group for PCOS!

Finally! A support group for those with PCOS!

I've been a member of an online support group called for Becca's headache problems. It has been a wonderful source of information and comfort to know that others are going through the same thing she is. They have over 600 different support groups available!

I noticed that they didn't have one for PCOS, so I wrote to the owner to ask about it. He told me that several other people had asked about it as well, so they've recently added it!

So, you can go to PCOS Support Forums and join in on the discussions there! Hope to see you there!