News You Gals Can Use
Ladies, how many of you are constantly fighting the upper arm jiggles? Well, a recent study by the American Council on Exercise focused on determining the most effective exercises for toning the triceps. Their study, “Terrific Triceps,” found that triangle push-ups, kickbacks, and dips are the three best exercises for targeting this area. The great thing about these exercises is that they don't really require any special equipment—the floor, light weights or filled water bottles, and a sturdy chair are all you need so you've got no excuses! Check out the study write-up for detailed instructions for all three exercises.
It shouldn't be news to you that exercise is beneficial to postmenopausal women, but a new study in the journal Menopause provides some additional motivation. It found that postmenopausal women who performed both cardiovascular and resistance exercises were able to lower their blood pressure and heart rate, as well as increase their muscles strength. The authors conclude that, “This study provides evidence that combined training may have important health implications for the prevention of hypertension and frailty in postmenopausal women.”
On a related note, a study published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology found that exercise with nutritional supplementation is more effective than exercise alone in building lean body mass (muscle) and decreasing blood pressure. Each participant in the exercise and nutrition group was given a nutritional shake containing 24 g of protein and 36 g of carbohydrate immediately after each workout. Additionally, they were given multi-vitamins containing 500 mg of calcium and 1200 IU of vitamin D to help maintain bone mineral density. The take-home message from this study is that having a nutritious snack that contains both protein and carbohydrates shortly after finishing a workout will help you get the most benefit from your time spent in the gym.
Finally, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published an article titled, “Hiding vegetables to reduce energy density: an effective strategy to increase children's vegetable intake and reduce energy intake.” In plain English it means: if you puree vegetables and hide them in other recipes you can get your kids to eat them, and they will actually consume fewer total calories. This is a great strategy for picky adults as well! Some easy ideas: cauliflower in mashed potatoes, peas and carrots in meat loaf, red peppers (and practically any other veggie) in spaghetti sauce, and zucchini bread.