4 Things Frogs Teach Us About Slimming Down

May 13th is Frog Jumping Day. As the name of the date states, frogs jump, but they have many other ways of moving around. If we humans applied these methods to our daily routine, we might lose weight. Here are 4 things frogs teach us about slimming down.

frog-1Mix Up Your Routine

Frogs jump, run, walk, climb, glide, and swim to get around. Doing a variety of workouts gives your body a chance to heal. Working a set of muscle groups one day and working a different set the next day allows your muscles to recuperate and recharge. This can reduce the risk of injury. Varying the routine also helps you get the most out of your routines. Bodies tend to plateau if you only have one method of exercise.

Breathe

We need oxygen to produce energy – every move we make requires oxygen. Frogs breathe constantly. They have lungs, but they also take in oxygen through their skin when they’re under water. While frogs breathe involuntarily, it can be voluntary or involuntary for humans. When we put in a hard workout, it’s sometimes hard to breathe enough involuntarily, so we have to remember to breathe voluntarily to maximize our energy and workout.

frog.1Eat with Your Eyes

Unlike humans, frogs use their tongues and teeth to grab prey rather than to chew and swallow their food. Frogs use their eyes to swallow food. The eyes retract into their heads to help push the food down their throat. This is why it looks like frogs are blinking when they eat. Human eyes don’t have the capability to sink low enough to help us swallow, but eating with our eyes can help us stay trim. A study published in the journal Appetite shows people will likely enjoy food more if looks appealing. So if you make your chicken and broccoli beautiful and make your pizza look unappetizing, you’ll likely make the healthier choice.

frog-3Stay Hydrated

Frogs need water to keep their skin slick which protects them from everything – as a guard against bacteria to making them too slippery for predators to hold on to. It’s not a surprise frogs use a lot of energy to stay hydrated. Some frogs are nocturnal to avoid water loss; others secrete a waxy coating to prevent water loss; some even have a special stance that slows down evaporation. While humans need water to keep organs functioning and to stay alive, we don’t have the same sort of defense mechanisms on auto-pilot to keep us from losing water. A day in the life of a frog may be the reminder we need to have another glass of water.

Frogs are amazing little creatures. They might not be wise, we can learn a lot from them.

Walk to Work Day: 5 Benefits of Walking

Man-walking

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It’s National Walk to Work Day. We know that even a little bit of exercise can benefit your health but it does a body good in ways you’ve never heard ? even if walking doesn?t make you sweat or make you feel like you got a great workout in. Here are 5 benefits from adding a few extra steps to your day that you didn’t know about.

Long Life

In a study published in the Public Library of Science the faster you walk, the better your chances are at having a long life. Researchers followed the walking and lifestyle habits of more than 38,000 people over nine years. By increasing your pace one minute per mile, they found it gives you a better chance at longer life and overall health. In short, pick up the pace.

Brain Power

A study done at the University of Pittsburgh shows men and women over sixty can slow down brain shrinkage by talking regular walks. Scientists suggest the mental decline we often think of as inevitable can be reduced with starting an exercise routine ? even late in life.

Walking

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Weight Loss Walking

It doesn?t seem like much, but according to Iowa State University, by walking just 20 minutes a day, you can burn up to seven pounds of fat per year. That doesn?t mean you can eat what you want, walk 20 minutes and get rid of that spare tire, but if you watch what you eat and incorporate that walk, you can lose those unwanted inches.

Energy in, Energy Out

The more you walk, the more energy you have. In a study out of the University of Georgia, researchers found people who aren?t very active improved their energy by 20% and decreased fatigue by 65% by walking. Walking also increases circulation so that all of your organs get the blood and oxygen it needs for normal function. You might not want to walk now, but if you take that walk, you might feel like taking another one.

Merry March

Walking can actually make you happy. The Harvard Medical School did a review of studies showing regular exercise can ease depression in people with moderate symptoms. They also believe walking could be effective in treating people with severe depression. The only catch is that you have to walk more than 35 minutes five days a week for good results. 35 minutes isn?t such a big commitment if it means being happy.

Walking-group

Image credit: mindbodyandsoul.ca

With the weather warming up, you can make every day Walk to Work Day. Be happy, live longer. Walk to work.

5 Ways Running Can Relieve Stress

trackWe all experience stress in our day to day lives. It?s normal. If left unchecked, however, stress can cause a number of problems, including depression, fatigue, and headaches. Cardiovascular exercises like running have been shown to be some of the most effective, if not the most effective, ways of relieving stress. As little as 20 minutes of running in fitness clothing has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels in the body, leaving both body and mind feeling

Kinesiologists, neurologists, and scientists have been spent thousands of hours exploring how exercises like running help to relieve stress. Through their research, they?ve discovered a number of ways that running helps to reduce stress levels in both the body and mind. This article will list 5 ways running can relieve stress.

1. Running releases endorphins
Endorphins are nature?s happy drug. When released into the brain, they make you feel happy, joyful, and excited about life.When running, the brain triggers the body to release large amounts of endorphins to counteract feelings of muscle tiredness and exhaustion. These endorphins, if released in large enough amounts, can trigger a ?runner?s high?, making you feel happy and elated while reducing feelings of stress.

2. Running reduces stress hormone levels in the body
Stress causes the release of cortisol and other stress hormones into the body.
In small amounts, these stress hormones provide a number of useful health benefits, including increased energy, improved cognitive function, and improved pain suppression. In large amounts, however, they hinder more than they help. They impair thyroid function, increase blood pressure, and cause feelings of anxiety and despair. Running helps to purge the body of excess amounts of stress hormones. It signals the brain to stop releasing these hormones, thereby reducing stress levels overall.

3. Running improves sleep quality
Scientific research has found that the more active your body is during the day, the better your quality of sleep will be at night. Better quality of sleep comes with a number of important health benefits, including lower blood pressure, reduced amounts of stress hormones in the body, and a more relaxed body and mind. These health benefits, in turn, help to reduce stress levels, leaving the body feeling more refreshed and energized in the mornings.

4. Running relaxes the mind
Running gives you some alone time with your thoughts. It gives you time to connect with your mind and forget the difficulties that plague your life. This meditative effect has been shown to calm the mind, massively reducing levels of stress hormones in the body.

5. Running strengthens the mind against difficulty and adversity
Running is not easy. It?s mentally and physically demanding, and it requires a lot of mental fortitude to do well. Running trains your mind to better deal with adversity and difficult conditions. It makes your mind stronger and less resistant to life?s daily pressures, which reduces the amount of stress hormones being released into the body.

Summing Up
Running has been scientifically proven to be one of the best ways to combat stress. If you find yourself feeling stressed in your day to day life, start running a few times a week. It might just turn things around.

Aimee works in the city in a highly stressful job. She loves running and cannot emphasize enough the fantastic mental and physical benefits of exercise.