Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stay Grounded for Building Strength

Exercising on stable ground builds core stability andincreases lower- and upper-body strength. No study has found that exercising on unstable surfaces improves athletic performance or builds significant strength in major muscle groups better than training on firm ground.An Appalachian State University study led by Jeffrey McBride found stable squatting was superior to unstable squatting for overloading the lower-body muscles. The best total-body strength exercises include kettlebell swings and snatches, squats, deadlifts, standing overhead presses, and plyometrics. These exercises use heavier loads, shorter tension time, and higher speeds than exercises on unstable surfaces. Ground-base exercises have the same force, velocity, and core-stabilizing elements required in most sports and movement skills. The take-home message is to stay grounded for strong muscles.

(International Journal Sports Physiology Performance, 5: 177-183, 2010)

Zippy Cranberry Appetizer

Tart cranberry flavor blends nicely with mustard and horseradish in this out-of-the-ordinary cracker spread. It's quick to fix, too.
Servings: 10
Prep: 20min.+ chilling

-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup pack
ed brown sugar
-1 cup water-1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
-1 to 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
-1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
-1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
-Assorted crackers

-In a large saucepan, bring sugars and water to a boil over medium heat. Stir in cranberries; return to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Cool.
-Stir in horseradish and mustard. Transfer to a large bowl; refrigerate until chilled. Just before serving, spread cream cheese over crackers; top with cranberry mixture. Yield: 2-1/2 cups.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1/4 cup) equals 178 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 25 mg cholesterol, 114 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

(Zippy Cranberry Appetizer published in Taste of Home October/November 2005, p13)

Question of the Week:

Q: Does aerobic exercise suppress a person's appetite? Some experts say it does, others say it doesn't. Who's right?

A: The vast majority of studies have demonstrated that caloric intake is usually unchanged or slightly increased in response to long-term aerobic exercise training.
Energy intake is, however, usually increased below the level of the increase in energy expenditure. This situation results in a negative energy balance (i.e., energy expenditure > energy intake) and, concomitantly, a loss of body weight and body fat.
Some evidence exists, however, that if you vigorously exercise before you eat, you will actually eat less because of an increase in your body temperature and an alteration in your hormone levels.

Keep in mind that the centers for the thermoregulatory system, appetite, and sleep lie right next to each other in the brain stem. When you affect one, you will likely affect the others.

Cedric Bryant