Rice

Rice, in one form or another, is one of the most important staple foods in the world and has been for possibly thousands of years. Today, it supplies around 20 percent of the world’s food energy. The Asia-Pacific region of the world produces and consumes 90 percent of the rice on the planet, and in the U.S., rice is a $2.2 billion -a-year-industry in exports alone.

Today, basmati rice from India, jasmine from Thailand, and Arborio from Italy are growing in popularity among the more than 40,000 types, including long-, medium-, and short-grain white, as well as brown rice, yellow rice, purple, red, black, and shades in between, each with subtle textures and flavor variations.

These aromatic varieties can cost twice as much as plain white rice.

You may have heard brown rice is better for you than the white version. Technically, that’s true, but how it’s grown should also be taken into consideration, because it’s extremely important to keep abreast of new information and to know the path foods have taken on the way to your table.

Wild Rice Provides Superior Macronutrients Compared to White

White rice provides more thiamin (25 percent of the recommended daily value, DV), folic acid, and calcium, but wild rice has a more extensive nutritional profile overall, imparting 10 percent of the DV in folate, vitamin B6 and niacin, and eight percent each in riboflavin in every one-cup serving.

Comparatively speaking, wild rice is more nutrient-dense, plus it has significantly fewer calories and carbohydrates than white rice.

At the same time, it provides three times the fiber of white rice and an impressive amount (and higher quality) of protein due to essential amino acids such as methionine and lysine.

“Essential” means they can’t be synthesized by the body and must come from an outside source.1

Lysine has been referred to as one of the building blocks of protein, vital for optimal growth and converting fatty acids into energy, as well as lowering cholesterol and forming collagen for developing strong bones, tissues, tendons, cartilage, and skin.

It also prevents the amount of calcium lost in the urine and may even help prevent the bone loss known to occur with osteoporosis.2

Methionine, too, is important for forming cartilage, and can be particularly helpful for arthritis sufferers by boosting sulfur production. It has a number of other positive uses throughout the system, such as dissolving fats in your liver. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, and reduces pain as well as hair loss.3

Minerals are another major attribute in wild rice. That same single-cup serving provides 15 percent of the phosphorus you need in one day, along with the same amount of zinc (both essential for optimal heart, nerve, and muscle function) and magnesium.

Wild rice is a better choice for people wanting to lose weight, because it makes you feel full longer.

How Does Brown Rice Stack up to White Rice?

Ten percent of the daily recommended protein, as well as 14 percent of the fiber, is contained in a one-cup serving of brown rice. Brown rice also contains very healthy amounts of selenium, magnesium, and phosphorus, along with niacin, vitamin B6, and thiamin.

It’s the manganese content, however, that’s over the top – 88 percent of what you need in one day is present in just one serving. This mineral turns carbohydrates and proteins into energy, supports the nervous system, and produces cholesterol to generate sex hormones.

Manganese is also part of a key enzyme called superoxide dismutase, located in the mitochondria, and plays a vital role in protecting cells from free radical damage.

What other benefits do these nutrients in brown rice have for your body? According to researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH):4

“Brown rice is beneficial to the cardiovascular system, digestive system, brain, and nervous system. It is loaded with powerful antioxidants which provide relief from a range of ailments such as hypertension, unhealthy levels of cholesterol, stress, mental depression, and skin disorders.

High nutritional content in brown rice proves effective in various medical conditions such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, and insomnia. It has anti-depressant properties and helps maintain healthy bones and stronger immune system.”

Exchanging White Rice for Brown May Help Lower Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk

White rice is much more plentiful and available on supermarket shelves than brown, black, or wild rice, and it’s less expensive. But, studies find that eating white rice four or five times a week is linked to heightened type 2 diabetes risk, while eating two to four servings of brown rice had the opposite effect.

Many are unaware that replacing white rice with the brown variety could help lower their type 2 diabetes risk. HSPH also noted:5

“Brown rice is superior to white rice when it comes to fiber content, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals, and it often does not generate as large an increase in blood sugar levels after a meal.

Milling and polishing brown rice removes most vitamins and minerals. In addition, milling strips away most of its fiber, which helps deter diabetes by slowing the rush of sugar (glucose) into the bloodstream.”

If Brown Rice Is Good, Is Black Rice Better?

Sometimes called “purple” or “forbidden” rice, black rice is an Asian heirloom variety that brings the same benefits as brown rice, but along with those you also get a set of powerful antioxidants.

Black rice has an outer shell like brown rice, making it a little more time-intensive to cook than white rice, but soaking it for an hour helps speed up the process.

Interestingly, it’s possible that the darker the rice, the more potent its nutrients. Black rice, as an example, has been found to contain anthocyanins with nutritional attributes similar to those found in blueberries and blackberries.

That’s really good news, since studies show that anthocyanins fight a number of serious health issues, such as cancer and heart disease.6

Researchers tested black rice bran and found it was a “useful therapeutic agent for the treatment and prevention of diseases associated with chronic inflammation.” Black rice also decreased dermatitis symptoms in studies, while brown rice did not.7

A Scary New Play: ‘Arsenic and Today’s Rice’

In 2012, following the release of a report discussing arsenic being found in apple and grape juice, Consumer Reports8 conducted numerous tests on rice:

“In virtually every product tested, we found measurable amounts of total arsenic in its two forms. We found significant levels of inorganic arsenic, which is a carcinogen, in almost every product category, along with organic arsenic, which is less toxic but still of concern.

Moreover, the foods we checked are popular staples, eaten by adults and children alike.”

Foods tested included Rice Krispies cereal, which had relatively low levels of arsenic at 2.3 to 2.6 micrograms per serving, and Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Pasta Fusilli, which tested higher – from 5.9 to 6.9 micrograms per serving.

Perhaps most disturbing is that “worrisome” arsenic levels were also found in infant cereals for babies between 4 and 12 months old.

A 2009 to 2010 EPA study lists rice as having a 17 percent inorganic arsenic level behind fruits and fruit juices, which had 18 percent, and vegetables with 24 percent.9

While the USA Rice Federation says there’s nothing to be concerned about because inorganic arsenic is a “natural substance,” the Consumer Reports article maintains that:

Inorganic arsenic, the predominant form of arsenic in most of the 65 rice products we analyzed, is ranked by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as one of more than 100 substances that are Group 1 carcinogens. It is known to cause bladder, lung, and skin cancer in humans, with the liver, kidney, and prostate now considered potential targets of arsenic-induced cancers.

A Center for Public Integrity article also reported:

“EPA scientists have concluded that if 100,000 women consumed the legal limit of arsenic each day, 730 of them eventually would get lung or bladder cancer.”10

How Did Arsenic Get into the Rice?

The arsenic in rice is due to the rice being grown in contaminated soils. How arsenic got in the soil is a study in history. More often than not, farming operations have involved the addition of harmful toxins in pesticides and herbicides (not to mention the confined animal feeding operations – CAFOs – which in recent decades have made food production a far different scenario from the local, sustainable farm model most informed food consumers would hope for.

As the Consumer Reports article explains:

“Rice absorbs arsenic from soil or water much more effectively than most plants. That’s in part because it is one of the only major crops grown in water-flooded conditions, which allow arsenic to be more easily taken up by its roots and stored in the grains… (The) south-central region of the country has a long history of producing cotton, a crop that was heavily treated with arsenical pesticides for decades in part to combat the boll weevil beetle.”

Rice Recommendations

Due to the health benefits provided by all types of rice, it may not make sense for everyone to eliminate it from their diets entirely. A recommendation, however, would be to reach for organic varieties as often as possible, whether it’s organic white, brown, or wild rice, and if you’re not sure of the source, limit your consumption to two servings per week to minimize your risk of arsenic exposure.

Also, ensure all your carbohydrate sources are as unprocessed as possible, free of pesticides and chemical additives, and not genetically modified.

By Dr. Mercola

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Nitric Oxide ‘Dump’ Workout

Nitric Oxide ‘Dump’ — A Revolutionary Workout Strategy

Fitness science is getting more and more focused on efficiency — gone are the days when fitness was thought to require several hours of running each week. Research reveals that by maximizing efficiency you can dramatically reduce the amount of time needed to stay fit and healthy. The Nitric Oxide Dump is one such revolutionary exercise. This four-minute workout, done three times a day, capitalizes on your body’s release of nitric oxide, which plays an important role in muscle development and growth.

It’s hard to believe, but in those few minutes, you can get the same benefits as if you’d worked out in the gym for an hour. The exercise was developed by Dr. Zach Bush, whose triple-board certification includes expertise in internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolism. According to Bush, the workout is anaerobically efficient and the more you do it, the better it works. This short series of exercises could be called a new version of high-intensity interval training.

Above, I demonstrate a slightly modified version of this exercise. Start with three sets of 10 repetitions, incrementally increasing your reps until you’re doing 20 reps for each exercise. At the end, you’ll have completed 240 movements. Here’s an important stipulation, however: As you exercise, don’t breathe through your mouth. Keep your mouth closed and breathe only through your nose as this helps keep your carbon dioxide levels in the healthy range.

What This Four-Minute Workout Can Do for You

While intended to be done about three times a day, you’ll want to wait for at least two hours in between sessions, because that’s how long it takes for nitric oxide to synthesize in your body for subsequent release and optimal benefit. Nitric oxide is a soluble gas and free radical stored in the lining or endothelium of your blood vessels that can catalyze and promote health. For example, nitric oxide:

  • Dilates your blood vessels, which can help lower your blood pressure
  • Improves immune function
  • Thins your blood and decreases its viscosity, which helps lower your risk of platelet aggregation that can result in a heart attack or stroke, two common causes of death
  • Is a powerful anabolic stimulus that can help you increase lean body mass, which in turn triggers your body to burn more fat. Nitric oxide feeds your muscles, and the reason your muscles start to ache when exercising is because you’re running out of oxygen. Nitric oxide is released to make up for this lack. Once it moves through your bloodstream, your blood vessels dilate to deliver more oxygen and nutrients, resulting in muscle growth

Bush explains the revolutionary theory behind the Nitric Oxide Dump as follows:23

“Our blood vessels actually only store about 90 seconds’ worth of nitric oxide before they need to manufacture more, so working each major muscle group out for 90 seconds gives you the most efficient workout to tone and build muscles.The body has the ability to regenerate nitric oxide every couple of hours, giving you the opportunity to release it multiple times a day. What that means is the most effective way to increase your muscle function is to work out very briefly every few hours.”

Standing, Walking and High-Intensity Exercise — An Excellent Combo for Health

The take-home message is that while regular workouts are important for optimal health, they cannot sufficiently compensate for the damage incurred if you’re still sitting for hours on end. So, perhaps the most important strategy to protect your health is simply avoid sitting as much as possible. It is at that point that all the extra exercise you do will really start to pay off. If you’re currently sedentary, following this step-by-step progression into greater amounts of physical activity will likely do wonders for your health and well-being:

  • Start by reducing your sitting to three hours or less per day. A stand-up desk can help you achieve this goal. For additional tips and tricks to get more movement into your workday, see “Tips for Staying Active in the Office.” Remember, you likely need to work your way into increasingly longer periods of standing, so be patient with yourself. Don’t give up and abandon the practice altogether just because you cannot stand for eight hours straight
  • Add more walking into your day, with the ultimate aim of walking 10,000 to 15,000 steps daily. A fitness tracker can be helpful to measure your progress
  • Incorporate the Nitric Oxide Dump into your daily routine. It’s one of the best ways to start toning your body’s systems, and it’s free. Ideal times could be first thing in the morning and again in the evening, after work. Depending on your situation, you might be able to do a third set during your lunch hour. It doesn’t really matter what you’re wearing, as long as your clothing allows you to move freely
  • Once you’re walking and doing the Nitric Oxide Dump regularly and you feel ready to do more, devise a well-rounded fitness routine that incorporates other types of exercises. To get you started, see my free online Peak Fitness Plan

If you’re elderly, infirm or have severe mobility challenges due to some other condition, give some thought to how you can move about more. Do what you can each day.

Something is always better than nothing.

4-Minute Daily Workout

Story at-a-glance

  • A communication molecule stored in your blood vessels that feeds your muscles is the basis for an exercise sequence known as the Nitric Oxide Dump, which could be called a new version of high-intensity interval training or Peak Fitness
  • The three- to four-minute workout consists of four basic exercises including squats, tin soldiers, snow angel and military press, which work all 16 of your major muscle groups
  • The Nitric Oxide Dump workout should ideally be done multiple times a day, but it’s important to wait at least two hours in between workouts for nitric oxide to synthesize in your body for subsequent release
  • A typical workout using this method entails three sets of 10 reps, but you can gradually work toward 20, focusing on form and speed, and when you’re ready, you can increase it over time

By Dr. Mercola

Four-minute workouts done several times a day — as many times a day as you want (within reason) for maximum benefit — are a new concept for fitness that’s designed to use nitric oxide for muscle growth. Dr. Zach Bush, whose triple-board certification includes expertise in internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolism, says his four-minute workout is efficient anaerobically and the more you do it, the better it works. He developed the Nitric Oxide Dump workout; I demonstrate a modified version further down this article.

While intended to be done about three times a day, you’ll want to wait for at least two hours in between sessions, because that’s how long it takes for nitric oxide to synthesize in your body for subsequent release and optimal benefit. It’s hard to believe, but in those few minutes, you can get the same benefits as if you’d worked out in the gym for an hour.

This short series of exercises could be called a new version of high-intensity interval training. It’s designed to stimulate the release of nitric oxide, which is actually a soluble gas and free radical stored in the lining or endothelium of your blood vessels that can catalyze and promote health.

One reason it’s not wise to indiscriminately take high doses of antioxidants is because you do need some free radicals. Nitric oxide is one that causes your blood vessels to expand and dilate, which can lower your blood pressure. It also improves your immune function, stimulates the thinning of your blood and decreases its viscosity, which in turn decreases platelet aggregation.

When your platelets are sticky, it can cause the development of a blood clot, which could then cause a heart attack or stroke, two very common causes of death. In addition, another benefit of nitric oxide is that it’s a powerful anabolic stimulus that can help you increase lean body mass. One reason this is considered so important is that when you increase muscle mass, you’re able to burn more fat.

Nitric Oxide, a ‘Communication’ Molecule

Nitric oxide is a molecule your body makes that feeds your muscles, so when you run out of oxygen when you begin exercising, your muscles start to ache, Bush explains. When nitric oxide is released to make up for it, it moves through your bloodstream, your blood vessels dilate to deliver more oxygen and nutrients, and that’s how your muscles develop. According to Bush:

“Our blood vessels actually only store about 90 seconds’ worth of nitric oxide before they need to manufacture more, so working each major muscle group out for 90 seconds gives you the most efficient workout to tone and build muscles.

The body has the ability to regenerate nitric oxide every couple of hours, giving you the opportunity to release it multiple times a day. What that means is the most effective way to increase your muscle function is to work out very briefly every few hours.”1

In that four minutes, you work 16 of the largest muscles groups in your body. Bush calls it one of the best ways to start toning your body’s systems, plus it’s free and so easy nearly anyone can do it. Another convenient part of the concept is that you really can complete a quick workout multiple times per day. You can do it whether you’re on vacation, at work or at home, plus it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, provided you can move freely.

The Nitric Oxide ‘Dump’ — A Very Efficient Workout Strategy

What these short workouts do is increase the opportunity for muscle to build, Bush says, adding, “The cool thing is that you rebuild that nitric oxide every couple of hours.” If it’s released three times a day, you have the added benefit of your muscles deciding when it’s time to grow, feed and breathe. A typical four-minute workout entails three sets of 10 repetitions or “reps,” but you can eventually work toward increasing it to 20.

Hand weights aren’t necessary or even recommended at first, although you can also work toward using them later if you’d like. By focusing on form and speed, you run out of oxygen at your large muscle groups at the joints. It’s a new level of fitness, but form is important and only once you’ve mastered form should your pace increase over time.

Here’s the drill for each of these movements. Again, start with three sets of 10 repetitions. As you feel comfortable, move to 20 repetitions with each exercise. At the end, you’ll have completed 240 movements. Here’s an important stipulation, however: As you’re exercising, don’t breathe through your mouth. Keep your mouth closed and breathe only through your nose.

Squats: Legs — Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, Calves — and Abs

“A good squat is your butt going back and looking like it’s going to sit in a chair. It’s not just a simple knee bend,” Bush explains. Further, your arms have to be held forward in front of you to maintain balance, especially as your weight shifts backward; first you “sit down,” then you straighten back up again.

To help you do that, your feet should also be placed as far apart as your shoulders, and if it bothers your knees or back, you just make the movements more shallow. You’ll get the same activation in your quadriceps. The goal is to keep that muscle engaged, but your speed is actually more important than the depth of your squat.

  • Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart, feet parallel, toes pointing forward and the weight of your body distributed evenly between your heels and the ball of your foot.
  • Perform 10 squats in rapid sequence, keeping your quadriceps engaged.

If you have knee problems that make squats problematic, get into the seated position by placing your back flat against a wall for 30 to 60 seconds or until your thighs begin to ache. Bush’s video, above, shows you how to do it.

Tin Soldier: Shoulders — Deltoids and Triceps

To start, swing your arms at a simple 90-degree angle, which helps work a number of muscles in your deltoids, which are the rounded, triangular-shaped muscles on the uppermost part of your arm and the top of your shoulder (hence, the name “deltoids” after the Greek letter delta, which is shaped like an equilateral triangle).

In fact, the arm swings from your waist, alternately right and left, go in front of you to shoulder height and encompass other muscles in your shoulders and back. Your hands should make loose fists and be pointed downward. In addition, it’s important to keep your form tight and maintain muscle control rather than just flapping your arms up and down, Bush says.

  • Alternately, achieve 90-degree elevation in each arm.
  • Begin standing straight with your arms at your sides. Lift your right arm in front of you to a 90-degree elevation, then swiftly drop it back down to your side while raising your left arm, also to a 90-degree elevation.
  • Alternate left and right, repeating 10 times each side.

Snow Angel: Back — Lats, Traps, Deltoids, Rotator Cuffs

This part of the workout is basically a jumping jack without the jump to work your latissimus dorsi muscles (lats), whose name means “broadest muscle of the back,”3 and trapezius muscles (traps), the large muscle that extends from the back of your head down your neck and into your upper back. Again, make sure you don’t get sloppy, but “click” your fists together both at the bottom and again at the top to get the full range of motion and the full benefit of the workout in your shoulders.

A modification if you have shoulder problems is to simply move in the opposite direction: Start at the center, hands clasped in a prayer position in front of your face, reach up in the center over your head and bring your arms downward on each side. “It’s almost like you’re doing the breast stroke. It’s amazing; even if you have frozen shoulder how that can break things loose and loosen it up,” Bush explains.

  • Begin standing straight with your arms down, fists touching in front of your pelvis.
  • Use a broad rotation, circle your arms upward on each side to touch your fists over your head.
  • Circle back down to hit fists at the bottom and repeat 10 times.

If you have shoulder problems with your rotator cuffs, try this variation instead:

  • Start with hands at a prayer position in front of your chest.
  • Keep hands pressed together lightly as you extend them above your head.
  • Circle your arms out to the sides to release before bringing them back to the prayer position. Repeat 10 times.

Military Press: Shoulders and Arms — Traps, Neck, Deltoids, Triceps

You could call this next exercise the “invisible pullup.”

  • Bring fists above your shoulder to either side of your head, elbows bent.
  • Extend arms straight above your head.
  • Return to position with fists just over your shoulders and repeat 10 times.

Then, without breaking your tempo, return to start the second exercise set in the same sequence: Squats, tin soldiers, snow angels and military presses, until you complete three sets. Bush notes that at the end of the four-minute exercise, it’s important to mentally regroupto allow your body to catch up to the enormous increase in blood flow. What you’re feeling is the liberation of nitric oxide.

“Resting with your hands at your sides, close your eyes and experience the sensation in your extremities. You may feel tingling or sense increased blood flow as all your blood vessels dilate, delivering oxygen and fuel for optimal health.

Relax, shake it out and feel your fingertips. You’ll feel a little tingling and a little puffy over the next 20 seconds. That’s the nitric oxide effect. You’re dilating all those blood vessels, oxygenating everything from your brain to your kidneys and everything else in your body, and you’re building muscle for the next couple of hours.”4

If you repeat that three times a day, you’ll find a change in your metabolism and muscle capacity so you can strengthen and maintain that lean muscle, Bush adds. It essentially changes the number of calories you burn even while you’re sitting still. It’s an exciting shift in our concept of exercise.

As mentioned, the Nitric Oxide Dump, when done correctly, entails starting at 10 reps and working up to 20, paying attention to your form, and completing the sequence two or three times a day, every day. You can do it no matter where you go — I even do it at the airport as I’m waiting for my luggage. You may look a little odd, but remember, it’s an extremely effective workout and totally free, and best of all, it will help you take control of your health.

Desk Exercises

10 SIMPLE EXERCISE TIPS AND WAYS TO STAY HEALTHY AT THE OFFICE

The scientific evidence is in for what we all knew to be true: sitting too long is a major health hazard. Over the last decade, research has revealed prolonged sitting messes with your metabolism, accelerates obesity, increases lifestyle related disease and can potentially shorten your life span.

That’s why more office workers are choosing to buy a versatile sitting to standing desk (like VARIDESK®), which allows for a greater variety of movement throughout the work day. Sit/stand desks provide for better focus and productivity for your important work, as well as the opportunity to stay healthy and fit.

So what can you do to stay fit with a sit/stand desk? Let’s take a closer look at 10 effective and easy desk exercises that anyone can do throughout the day at a stand up desk, so you can give your best to both your business and your health.

Standing Desk Exercises

  1. Extend Yourself: A great way to start your desk exercises is while still seated with some leg extensions.
    • Sitting upright, place your feet on the floor with your knees at a right angle
    • Extend one leg at a time, until the leg is straight and the quads are contracted.
    • Hold for 3 seconds, and then slowly lower.
    • Repeat on each side 12-15 times, and repeat 3 sets.
  2. Core Values: While you’re sitting it’s a good opportunity to work in some abdominal exercises. An office chair with wheels is perfect, as it allows you to target the oblique abs with its swivel action.
    • Hold lightly onto the edge of the desk with feet off the floor and swivel from side to side, controlling the movement with your abs.
    • Swivel up to 15 times for a stronger core.
  3. Stay On Your Toes: Now it’s time to switch the game up by converting your sit/stand desk from the sitting position to the standing position. Then you can start by encouraging the circulation from the lower extremities with calf raises.
    • With your feet hip width apart, slowly lift your heels up off the floor. Balance on your toes for 3 seconds while contracting the calf muscle, then slowly lower.
    • Perform 12-15 reps of this exercise, and up to 3 sets.
    • Want to take it to the next level? Perform the exercise on only one leg at a time.
  4. Right on Point: Let’s keep the legs moving with a bend and point exercise.
    • With legs slightly apart, bend the knees a little until you feel the quads tighten up.
    • Lift your right foot off the ground and extend it forward, pointing the toe if you wish.
    • Hold for 3 seconds, then bring the right foot back in without letting it touch the ground, extend again out to the side.
    • Repeat this process extending the foot to the back as well, then bring the foot back in and relax.
    • Repeat the whole exercise on both legs from 3-5 times depending on your leg stamina!
  5. How About a Raise?: A leg raise that is! Strengthen hamstrings and gluts by performing a standing leg curl at your sit/stand desk by starting with legs close together but not touching.
    • Slowly bend one leg at the knee and raise the heel, aiming to touch it to the back of your thigh. Once again, the key here is to perform the exercise slowly for maximum benefit.
    • Repeat this one 10-12 times, and perform 3 sets on each leg, taking a little break between sets.
  6. Lots of Squats: The gluts are some of the largest and strongest muscles in the body, so just because they’re ‘behind’ don’t leave them out of mind.
    • Perform a desk squat by keeping feet about shoulder width apart and slowly bending your knees while pushing the buttocks backwards.
    • The aim is to keep the knees behind the toes, so take a quick glance down to check on this.
    • Perform 12-15 squats, have a rest then repeat up to 3 times.
  7. Put Your Hands in the Air: You don’t have to wait until Friday to let off a little steam! Put your hands up with a shoulder press.
    • Starting with hands at shoulder height, lift them above your head.
    • Use a small weight or a water bottle to add a bit of resistance.
    • Repeat 12-15 reps and complete up to 3 sets.
  8. Biceps that mean Business: Give your arms a workout on something other than a keyboard with a bicep curl.
    • Holding a water bottle, stapler, or another heavy small item, place your arms by your side, palms forward.
    • Slowly lift the heavy item, bending your arm at the elbow, until your hand is about 5 inches from your shoulder.
    • Slowly lower and repeat 12-15 times on both arms for 3 sets.
  9. Hot Off the Press: Keep those biceps balanced with a tricep press for the back of the arms.
    • While still holding the small weight, lean forward slightly, and raise your hand so your elbow is bent with the hand resting at about your waist level.
    • Slowly extend the hand backwards, straightening the arm, then slowly return to the starting position.
    • Perform 12-15 times on both arms and repeat 3 sets.
  10. March: With our muscles warmed up and strengthened, let’s get into a bit of cardio with a stationary march.
    • If you really want to step it up you can jog or jump on the spot.
    • The higher you lift the knees, the stronger the burn!

These 10 simple exercises to use with your standing desk give you a speedy total body workout for the major muscle groups in the body. Performing regular intervals of moving or standing while working helps to reduce your risk of disease, improve your mood and productivity, and keeps your body functioning well and feeling fantastic without even having to leave your desk.

To amp up your results from these exercises, try a few of these healthy tips…

Tip 1 – Banish excess fat, sugar and salt: Your waistline is no match for cupcakes and chips that have taken over your office’s kitchen. While you can’t control what snacks your coworkers bring to the office, you can put them away in the fridge or a cabinet. Out of sight, out of mind!

Tip 2 – Kick your soda habit to the curb: A soda habit can quickly put a damper on weight loss efforts. For a healthy alternative without sacrificing the fizz, opt for sparkling water. The meteoric rise of brands like La Croix and Topo Chico prove that it’s the effervescent sparkle, not the sugar, that helps beat an afternoon slump.

Tip 3 – Check your posture: Whether you’re standing or sitting at your desk, posture is important! Make sure your feet are pointing forward and your back isn’t arched over the desk. Check out our selection of standing desk accessories which can aid in achieving and maintaining proper posture.

Tip 4 – Get outside: During warmer months, the sun stays out longer so you can, too. Take advantage of more hours of sunlight and hit the beach on a summer Friday, join a local yoga practice or take the dogs to the park after work.

Tip 5 – Take your meeting to the streets: Conference rooms are so 2016. Squeeze in a few extra steps by taking your next meeting outside or to a local coffee shop.

Tip 6 – Stay hydrated: It’s common knowledge that being dehydrated can wreak havoc on your body. From debilitating fatigue to increased cravings, skimping out on water, especially when temperatures are soaring, can lead to decreased productivity. Keep a reusable water bottle at your desk and sip throughout the day to ensure you are always adequately hydrated.

Tip 7 – Grab a brown bag: Buying lunch at the local sandwich shop can have a negative impact on your wallet and your waistline. Try packing lunch a few times a week with healthy, fresh ingredients. If they are available in your area, local farmers’ markets are a great way to source cheap, local produce.

Tip 8 – Plan a recipe showdown: Get the whole office involved in your summer fitness goals! Encourage your coworkers to bring their favorite healthy recipes on Friday so everyone can share, compare notes and stay healthy together.

Tip 9 – Take a lap: … Around the office! Burn off a few calories while you give your brain and eyes a break by taking a lap or two around the office.

Tip 10 – Stand up: Last but certainly not least, utilize a VARIDESK and stand up while you work! You won’t believe how quickly standing at the office can elevate your work.

Leptin

New Revelations Support Diet and Exercise to Reverse Leptin Resistance, Thereby Promoting a Healthy Weight

  • Leptin is a powerful and influential hormone produced by your fat cells. It plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure. By acquiring a better understanding of how leptin and its receptor interact, researchers now believe they will be able to find new treatments for obesity and other metabolic disorders
  • Drug treatments are not likely to solve leptin resistance, just as they are ineffective and even counterproductive for insulin resistance. The ideal way to correct leptin resistance is through your diet. A strategic whole food diet that emphasizes good fats and avoids blood sugar spikes will enhance insulin and leptin sensitivity
  • According to recent research, being obese promotes the growth of existing tumors regardless of diet, which may help explain why lean cancer patients often have better outcomes than their obese counterparts
  • Previous research has shown exercise can convert cancer-boosting “white” fat cells to the more health-promoting “brown” fat (a heat-generating type of fat that burns energy instead of storing it)

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Leptin, a hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, may be one of the most important hormones in your body that will determine your health and lifespan. Insulin is another, and the two work in tandem.

Both insulin and leptin resistance are associated with obesity, and impairment of their ability to transfer the information to receptors is the true foundational core of most all chronic degenerative diseases.

Metabolism can roughly be defined as the chemistry that turns food into life, and therefore insulin and leptin are both critical to health and disease. Insulin and leptin work together to control the quality of your metabolism, and, to a significant extent, your rate of metabolism.

By acquiring a better understanding of how leptin and its receptor interact, researchers now believe they will be able to find new treatments for obesity and other metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes, as well as inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

According to recent research published in the journal Molecular Cell,1 the leptin receptor has two hinged legs that swivel until they come in contact with leptin.

Once leptin attaches to the receptor, these legs stop swiveling and become rigid, thereby sending a signal to an enzyme called Janus kinase,2 which has the ability to bind inflammatory cytokines. It is believed that inhibiting the Janus kinases might help improve inflammatory and metabolic disorders.

Alan Saltiel, Director of the Life Sciences Institute, told Medical News Today:3

“This study may help solve an important issue we’ve been struggling with for some time… Since leptin is a master regulator of appetite, understanding why resistance to its effects develops in obesity has been a major obstacle to discovering new drugs for obesity and diabetes. Developing a clear picture of how leptin can bind to its receptor may be the first step in overcoming leptin resistance.”

The fact that the primary focus is on developing drug therapies to “fix” leptin resistance is understandable. That’s the only way the medical industry can make money. However, the way to correct leptin resistance has nothing to do with drugs, and everything to do with diet. But first…

Image result for leptinWhat Exactly is Leptin?
Leptin is a very powerful and influential hormone produced by your fat cells. Your fat, by way of leptin, tells your brain whether you should be hungry, eat and make more fat, whether you should reproduce, or (partly by controlling insulin) whether to engage in maintenance and repair. In short, leptin is the way that your fat stores speak to your brain to let your brain know how much energy is available and, very importantly, what to do with it.

Therefore, leptin may be on top of the food chain in metabolic importance and relevance to disease.

If your leptin signaling is working properly, when your fat stores are “full,” this extra fat will cause a surge in your leptin level, which signals your brain to stop feeling hungry, to stop eating, to stop storing fat and to start burning some extra fat off.

Controlling hunger is a major (though not the only) way that leptin controls energy storage. Hunger is a very powerful, ancient, and deep-seated drive that, if stimulated long enough, will make you eat and store more energy. The only way to eat less in the long-term is to not be hungry, and the only way to do this is to control the hormones that regulate hunger, the primary one being leptin.

How Do You Become Leptin Resistant?
You become leptin-resistant by the same general mechanism that you become insulin-resistant – by continuous overexposure to high levels of the hormone. If you eat a diet that is high in sugar (particularly fructose), grains, and processed foods – the same type of diet that will also increase inflammation in your body – as the sugar gets metabolized in your fat cells, the fat releases surges in leptin.

Over time, if your body is exposed to too much leptin, it will become resistant, just as your body can become resistant to insulin.

The only known way to reestablish proper leptin (and insulin) signaling is to prevent those surges, and the only known way to do that is via diet. As such, diet can have a more profound effect on your health than any other known modality of medical treatment.

A strategic whole food diet, as detailed in my free nutrition plan, that emphasizes good fats and avoids blood sugar spikes coupled with targeted supplements will enhance insulin and leptin sensitivity so that your brain can once again hear the feedback signals from these hormones.

So to summarize: Insulin and leptin resistance are core factors in obesity, which in turn is a risk factor for cancer and may boost tumor growth. But the answer lies not in a pill.

To reverse insulin and leptin resistance:

Avoid, sugar, fructose, grains, and processed foods
Eat a healthful diet of whole foods, ideally organic, and replace the grain carbs with:
No-to-low sugar and grain carbs
Low-to-moderate amount of protein
As much highly quality healthful fat as you want (saturated and monosaturated). Most people need upwards of 50-70 percent fats in their diet for optimal health. Good sources include coconut and coconut oil, avocados, butter, nuts, and animal fats. Also take a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil