Hula Hooping Your Way to Health

Remember those young hula hooping days? PGX says get your hula hoop on today!

Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. Just grab a hula hoop (or two or three or even four) and start moving!

Not only does it make a great workout, playing with hula hoops can be a lot of fun! No wonder kids are in such great shape. It’s not just all that energy they seem to be bursting with, it’s their choice of activity. The hula hoop is a great way to get your body moving.

What does this kind of activity do for you? With just one hula hoop, you can have a low-impact, calorie-burning workout that doesn’t require a gym membership. The movement that keeps the hoop spinning around your waist is excellent for toning your core, strengthening your back, and improving your balance and flexibility. Plus it’s way more fun than running on a treadmill, watching a TV station that the person next to you picked.

If one hula hoop can do all that for you, imagine what two or three or four can do! Want to know how many calories you can burn with a hula hoop?

The Chicago Tribune’s Joan Cary has got the numbers and a little bit of hula hooping history for you.

Happy Hula Hooping!


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Three ways to rev up your metabolism

Not all of us are blessed with naturally fast metabolism. Add other uncontrollable factors like the fact that men tend to burn more calories than women, and that our metabolism slows down after we hit 40, and it can all seem like a cruel joke. The good news is there are ways to speed up the rate at which your body burns calories. The better news is that it can take less effort than you think.

Here are some new ideas to get your metabolism moving without trying too hard:

Stand up more at work

It?s time to start poking your head over that cubicle wall a little more. Studies have found that long periods of inactivity, such as sitting at a desk, can basically shut down an enzyme that controls your metabolism. To try and prevent this, try standing up every time you make a phone call, or walk over to a nearby co-worker to ask a question instead of emailing them.

Add some ice to your water bottle

Your body needs water to process calories, but did you know that drinking cold water can actually raise your metabolism so that you burn about 50 more calories a day? Researchers believe the increase comes from the work it takes your body to heat the water once in your system. If you drink at least six cups of cold water daily, that can equal up to five pounds lost in a year.

Fill up on more fiber

Fiber can increase your metabolism by as much as 30 percent. Recommendations vary, but aim for getting around 25 grams of fiber each day. PGX is a great source of soluble fiber that you can add to any snack or meal throughout the day. Beans, raspberries and artichokes also have high fiber content.

Now if you are willing to put in the extra effort, activities such as weight lifting and cardio workouts can also help boost your metabolism. The key is to keep increasing your intensity level so your body doesn?t get stuck in a workout rut.

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The world?s easiest weight loss tip

You probably already know that PGX helps you feel fuller faster, but you should also know that slowing down while you eat enhances your satiety even more, and offers additional benefits!  Do you even remember what you ate for breakfast this morning? Or were you in such a mad dash to get out the door that you just grabbed some mystery bar from the cabinet and called it good? We live in a fast-moving society, but it?s worth slowing down while eating. Taking your time to finish a meal has many benefits, and can be a huge factor in helping you succeed on your weight loss journey.

Here are the top five benefits of pacing yourself at the dinner table:

1. It helps prevents overeating. It takes your brain about 20 minutes to register that your stomach is full after a meal.  Many Americans can wolf down all the food on their plate in less than five minutes. That means there is a lot of extra time to refill that plate with second and third helpings before your body has a chance to realize it?s full. Take longer to eat your food and you?ll be less likely to overeat.

2. Chewing your food is a workout! Did you know you are burning calories by working your jaw and tongue to grind up your food? The longer is takes you to chew, the more of a ?workout? you are getting.

3. It?s a chance to relax. With your demanding work and family schedules, meals may be the only time of the day you have to actually sit down and relax in peace. Make it last as long as possible! Take a cue from many European cultures, where meals can last for hours. Friends and family sit around the table and eat, drink, and talk late into the night.

4. You make better choices. Eating slowly allows you to pay better attention to what you?re putting in your mouth, which will help you make healthier food choices. You can also taste your food more- meaning you can savor the flavor of that roasted sweet potato or the juicy pineapple chicken you just pulled off the grill.

5. It aids digestion. Slowing down gives your stomach time to start breaking down your food. If you send an entire meal down your throat in a matter of seconds, you could find yourself suffering from indigestion.

Learning to eat slowly may take a little practice. Try setting down your fork between bites or using smaller utensils. The less food you can fit on your fork or spoon, the less you can gobble up all at one time. You can also try eating with other pokey eaters. People have an unconscious tendency to imitate the people we are around, so sharing a dinner table with people who graze around their plate more may help you pick up the good habit.

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Get your body spring and summer-ready with these weight loss tips

Summer will be here before we know it, and if you?re looking to shed a few pounds and have a beach-ready body, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Tone your muscles, train your heart: Research has shown that the ability to lose weight is directly related to a person?s muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have, the more fat you burn. Implement a strength-training program and supplement the program with aerobics and flexibility exercises to get the maximum benefit from your physical efforts.
  • Rev up your metabolism: Metabolism plays a vital part in weight loss. By keeping a close watch on your caloric intake and the amount of calories you burn each day, you can help maintain that perfect metabolic balance. Other natural calorie burners that have been clinically proven to boost metabolism are green tea, red pepper, garlic and ginger. Incorporate these ingredients into your diet and they?ll do wonders.
  • Program yourself for success: Because self-esteem is so strongly related to body image and our society?s perception of what is attractive, it is often our own attitudes that cause a weight loss program to fail. You can reverse this self-defeating trend by taking steps to build your self-esteem now. Create a positive goal statement, keep a personal success journal, and fuel your progress with positive affirmations. A healthy mental attitude will lead to a healthy body.
  • Blood sugar balancing: Fluctuations in blood sugar levels throughout the day are the root cause of cravings and energy slumps, and exacerbate the production of fattening hormones. Nighttime blood sugar dips can interfere with sleep. Maintaining even blood sugar levels makes it much easier to lose stubborn abdominal fat

To maintain even blood sugar levels, avoid high-glycemic index foods such as sugar, white flour, pop, juice and other sugary drinks. Eat regular meals (try to include protein, lots of fiber and a little fat in each one) and don?t skip breakfast! It sets the tone for your entire day. It may also help to take a soluble fiber complex such as PGX, which may help stabilize blood sugar and help you feel fuller.

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