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Add Wow to Water



If you aren’t already sipping water at meals — and throughout the day — drinking more is one of the best things you can do for your body. Unlike soda, sweet tea, or sports drinks, drinking water keeps you hydrated without any negative effects from added or artificial sugars.

A general recommendation is to drink 6 to 8 tall glasses of water each day, though you may need more or less, depending on the weather or how active you are.

An easy way to check your hydration level is by looking at the color of your urine. If it’s a light, transparent yellow, you’re well hydrated. If it’s a darker yellow to amber shade, plan to drink more water.

  • Lemon or lime. Squeeze a slice of fresh lemon or lime into your glass.
  • Orange. Peel a ripe orange or clementine, separate the segments, then freeze them to use as ice cubes.
  • Strawberries. Fill a pitcher with water, add sliced strawberries. Chill overnight.
  • Blueberries or raspberries. Mash some ripe berries in a glass. Pour in sparkling water. Add ice
  • Lemon and ginger. Keep ginger root in your freezer and add a few dime-sized slices to your glass along with some lemon slices.
  • Cranberry or pomegranate. Add a splash of unsweetened cranberry or pomegranate juice to your glass of water. Or make ice cubes out of either juice, and add them to your water.
  • Tea. Brew a big pot of black, green, or herbal tea (avoid over-brewing, which can make the tea bitter), then chill in the fridge. Try mint or chamomile.
  • Cucumber and mint. Make refreshing ‘spa water’ by adding sliced cucumber, lemons, and mint leaves to a jug of water
  • Watermelon. Add a couple of ripe watermelon chunks to a glass of chilled water.

Choose one sweetened drink and make it your go-to.

The strategy: Compare the sugar content of the sweet beverages you like best, and drink only the one lowest in sugar.

Why it’s satisfying: You still drink something you love, it just happens to have less sugar.

Try it with: Cold beverages like soda, sweet tea, and energy drinks. Jot down a list of your top sweet drinks, then do some research. Check the Nutrition Facts label or look it up online to find out which has the least amount of sugar per serving. (Note the serving size of each to make sure you’re comparing equal amounts.) Circle the one with the least sugar. When you decide to have a sweet beverage, make it that one.
Enjoy sweetened drinks every other day.

The Strategy: Pick a sweet beverage that you currently drink daily, and limit it to every other day.

Why it’s satisfying: Skipping that sweetened drink today is easier when you know you’ll have it again within 24 hours.

Try it with: Your afternoon soda. If you drink the same thing at about the same time every day, this method is a simple way to cut back without going cold turkey. On off days, swap it for any calorie-free, unsweetened option. Make a note on your calendar so you’ll remember which day you’re on.

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Muscle Matters



Getting stronger will boost your health in surprising ways.

Strong muscles are a secret weapon in the battle against hypertension. Research shows that adding resistance workouts (aka strength training) on ​​top of your aerobic activity can reduce your blood pressure more than doing aerobic activity alone.

Adding muscle also contributes to diabetes prevention by lowering blood sugar and enhancing insulin sensitivity. And, because muscles burn calories around the clock, strength training boosts metabolism, making it easier to keep off weight that you’ve lost.

Regular resistance exercise has even more benefits, including:

  • Increased stamina
  • Improved posture
  • Better balance
  • Reduced chance of injury
  • Decreased body fat
  • Better mental health
  • Increased confidence
  • Stronger bones

As with all activity, a little is better than none, and doing everything isn’t required. Not ready to add more or different types of activity right now? Read this lesson as an FYI, and come back to it when you are ready.

If you’ve yet to establish an activity routine because you don’t enjoy aerobic exercise, try starting with strength training instead. It engages and challenges you in different ways. You may find that you like it more.

In this week’s lesson, we’ll highlight different ways to strengthen your muscles (there are a surprising number of fun options) plus give you guidelines for staying safe with hypertension.

7 Ways to Build Strength

Weight lifting is fantastic — but it isn’t your only option.

Ok, so you’re convinced that adding muscle will help you reach your health and weight goals. But how do you make it happen?

The short answer is that you have to use the muscles you have now. Pumping iron is one way to do that — and if you try it, you might love it — but it’s not the only way. You can strengthen every major muscle group without ever touching a barbell. Check out the list below for some options.

Whatever you choose to try, start with beginner moves, routines, and classes. Jumping into one of the grueling workouts advertised on late-night TV or taking a “hardcore” fitness class will not only increase your risk of injury, it could result in a cardiovascular emergency. Take it slow!

Here are 7 different ways to get stronger:

  1. Body Weight Exercises
    Lunges, squats, crunches, push-ups, planks, wall-sits… body weight exercises don’t require a gym or any gear at all. The resistance your muscles are working against is gravity, and it’s easy to adjust moves to suit your fitness level
  1. Free Weights
    The most common free weights include barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells. Weights are relatively inexpensive and highly versatile. Because you can incorporate them into countless exercise moves and workouts, you’re not likely to get bored.
  1. Pool Workouts
    In the pool, water creates resistance that challenges your muscles. Pool workouts are low-impact, making them easy on your joints and unlikely to lead to injury.
  1. Medicine Ball Workouts
    Medicine balls are heavy, padded balls that vary in size and weight. The explosive movement required to toss them at a wall or smash them into the ground is great for building muscle, releasing pent up stress, and feeling like a kid again
  1. Resistance Bands
    Some bands are looped, others have handles at each end for easy gripping. Both types can be used dozens of ways to work your muscles. Bands are also cheap, lightweight, and highly portable (you can easily keep them at work or take them on a trip), making them a favorite among both beginners and experts.
  1. Strength-Training Classes
    These include basic strength training, bodypump, bodysculpt, Pilates, and power yoga. Some classes, like circuit training, combine strength-training and aerobic activity.

Strength-Training Basics

Follow these guidelines to stay safe and comfortable.

First and foremost, talk to your primary care provider (PCP) before you start strength training. Strength training is highly recommended for most people with hypertension, but it’s important to ask about your specific condition.

Some medications for hypertension (for example, alpha blockers, calcium channel blockers, and vasodilating drugs) can raise the risk of a cardiovascular event if exercise isn’t followed by a cool down to gradually reduce blood pressure. Other medications (beta blockers and diuretics) can increase dehydration in hot, humid weather.

At any point during exercise, if you experience pain, dizziness, nausea, or shortness of breath, stop what you’re doing. Sit or lie down until you feel better. Only resume exercise if you feel perfectly well again, and be sure to start slow. Schedule an appointment with your PCP to discuss any symptoms.

If you have chest pain that does not go away after a few minutes, call 911, or go to a hospital emergency room.

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Add Flavor with Less Salt



Enhance and balance flavors with herbs, spices, and more.
Making healthy, nutritious meals taste delicious can feel like a challenge. How do you
add flavor without drowning your dish in salt? It takes some creativity and a willingness
to experiment. See below for tips on turning a boring plate into something scrumptious
with the help of herbs, spices, and other flavor enhancers.

To add flavor without salt, you may need to stock up on new ingredients. Here are some
basics to start with:
• Herbs: basil, bay leaf, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, marjoram, mint, oregano,
parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme
• Spices: caraway, chili powder, cinnamon, clove , cumin, curry powder, ginger,
nutmeg, pepper, paprika, turmeric
• Other flavor boosters: broth, citrus, garlic, low-sodium soy sauce, mustard, miso,
onion, sesame seed, vinegar, wine

The most delicious dishes contain a balance of different tastes. For the yummiest results,
use ingredients from each taste category below, and make sure that no one overpowers
the rest. To do that, take sample bites as you cook, and adjust the seasoning as needed.

• Bitter: celery, coffee, cocoa, olives, herbs and spices, greens like arugula,
kale, radicchio, and romaine lettuce
• Salty: low-sodium cheeses, seaweed, seafood, low-sodium soy sauce
• Sour/Acid: citrus, tomato, vinegar, wine, yogurt, fermented foods like pickles
and sauerkraut, fruits like grapes and apples
• Sweet: beet, bell pepper, carrot, coconut milk, corn, fennel, fruit, milk, peas,
onion, squash, sweet potato, tomato
• Umami/Savory: beans, low-sodium broth, low-sodium cheese, fish sauce, lentils,
meat, mushroom, nuts, seafood, tofu, tomato, fermented foods like low-sodium
soy sauce and miso

To prepare a meal that’s sure to be bursting with flavor, try using one of these classic,
cultural combinations:
• Chinese: garlic, ginger, green onion, low-sodium soy sauce, mushroom, rice
vinegar, sesame, star anise, rice wine
• French: bay leaf, carrot, low-sodium cheese, eggs, garlic, rosemary, sage,
tarragon, thyme
• Greek: dill, feta cheese, garlic, lemon, mint, oregano, wine, yogurt
• Indian: chilies, coconut, coriander, curry, garam masala, garlic, ginger, lentils,
mustard seed, nutmeg, turmeric
• Latin American: avocado, bell pepper, black beans, chillies, corn, cumin, lime
• Middle Eastern: caraway, cinnamon, clove, cumin, hummus, mint, nutmeg,
parsley, tahini, turmeric, yogurt

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Guía de ejercicios físicos para principiantes



Es un error común pensar que un entrenamiento efectivo o de alta calidad solo puede ocurrir en un gimnasio o estudio donde se tiene acceso a equipos grandes y sofisticados. Otros creen que avanzar hacia los objetivos de acondicionamiento físico debe costar una fortuna tanto en dinero como en tiempo. Estas son algunas buenas noticias: puede realizar un entrenamiento de calidad en casa utilizando su propio peso corporal como resistencia.

La pandemia reciente dejó en claro cuán cruciales son los entrenamientos en casa para las personas que trabajan desde casa, no tienen acceso (o tiempo para ir) a un gimnasio y padres ocupados que simplemente no tienen suficiente espacio en su día (mental o físicamente) para tomar más de una hora para hacer ejercicio.

Los entrenamientos en casa que no requieren equipo y en un espacio limitado pueden ser rápidos, simples y efectivos. Esta es su guía para comenzar con una rutina de ejercicios en casa.

Este entrenamiento tarda unos 38 minutos en completarse, pero puede alargar o acortar el circuito ajustando la duración de cada ejercicio. También necesitarás:

Espacio para moverse de un lado a otro. Una distancia de seis a diez pies es suficiente, pero también puede hacer estos ejercicios mientras se está parado. Limpia el espacio del desorden.

Lo que se necesita:



Vestimenta y calzado de entrenamiento cómodos

Un temporizador configurado para 30 segundos

Tapete (opcional)

El entrenamiento

Tómese de cinco a 10 minutos para calentar marchando o trotando en el lugar, haciendo saltos de tijera, lanzándose de lado a lado y moviendo los brazos en círculos amplios tanto hacia adelante como hacia atrás. El punto es calentar los músculos y prepararse para el entrenamiento que se avecina.

Este entrenamiento está diseñado para incluir movimientos que apoyan la aptitud muscular, la resistencia cardiorrespiratoria y la estabilidad del núcleo, e incluye ejercicios de peso corporal para todos los grupos musculares principales. Un ejercicio básico completa cada grupo. Estos ejercicios se seleccionaron para apuntar a los grupos de músculos que usamos en las actividades cotidianas, como subir y bajar escaleras, recoger a los niños, llevar la compra, salir del coche, etc.

El entrenamiento consta de seis grupos de cuatro ejercicios que suman un total de 24 ejercicios diferentes (cada grupo de ejercicios se realiza dos veces antes de pasar al siguiente grupo). Cada ejercicio dura de 20 a 45 segundos. Realice este circuito una vez a los 30 segundos por ejercicio y vea cómo se siente; si necesita reducir la intensidad un poco, reduzca el tiempo de cada ejercicio a 20 segundos.

Grupo 1: dos series (4 minutos en total)

Sentadillas con el peso corporal (vaya tan profundo como se sienta cómodo)

Flexiones (esto se puede hacer de rodillas o elevado con una superficie resistente)

Saltos en cuclillas

Grupo 2: dos series (4 minutos en total)

Supermujer con extensión de brazo y pull-down

Estocada lateral

Burpee modificado (ponerse en cuclillas, salir, saltar, levantarse con la punta de los dedos de los pies).

Puente de glúteos

Grupo 3: dos series (4 minutos en total)

Estocadas alternas hacia adelante y hacia atrás

Perro boca abajo para hacer flexiones (la flexión se puede hacer en las rodillas)

Saltar estocadas (si necesita ayuda, coloque las yemas de los dedos sobre una superficie estable, como una encimera o la parte superior de una silla resistente).

Plancha lateral (modificar manteniendo las rodillas en el suelo)

Grupo 4: dos series (4 minutos en total)

Caminata en plancha lateral (para hacer este ejercicio más desafiante, asuma una postura de oso con las rodillas dobladas y debajo de las caderas)

Sentadilla dividida

Los alpinistas

Supermujer o nadadores (alternando brazo / pierna opuestos).

Grupo 5: dos series (4 minutos en total)

Peso alterno con un solo brazo (el brazo izquierdo se extiende hacia adelante y hacia abajo hasta la parte media de la espinilla derecha cuando la pierna izquierda se levanta del piso)

Inmersión de tríceps

Sentadillas para levantar la pantorrilla

Ruleta rusa

Grupo 6: dos series (4 minutos en total)

Sentadilla de sumo

Golpe de tabla (asume la posición de tabla y golpea el hombro opuesto con la mano opuesta)

Saltos de patinador


Una vez que haya completado dos rondas de cada grupo de ejercicios, tómese al menos cinco minutos para enfriarse y llevar su ritmo cardíaco y respiratorio a los niveles previos al ejercicio. Asegúrese de estirar los cuádriceps, los isquiotibiales, las pantorrillas, los flexores de la cadera, los hombros, el pecho, la espalda y los brazos.

Completa este circuito tres veces por semana (en días no consecutivos). En otros días, considere la posibilidad de dar una caminata rápida o practicar una rutina de yoga en casa para mejorar la flexibilidad y respaldar aún más el equilibrio y la fuerza.

Si tiene alguna afección preexistente o problemas de salud, asegúrese de consultar con su proveedor de atención médica antes de realizar cualquier cambio en su rutina de ejercicios.

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