October 11, 2011 [Volume 5, Issue 20]
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In this issue of To Your Health:
Is Fast Food Getting Any Better?
Keep Fit With Circuit Training
The Wonderful World of Yoga

Is Fast Food Getting Any Better?

TYH image Back on April 27, 2010, the Santa Clara County (California) Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance banning the use of toys to encourage children to eat unhealthy meals offered by restaurants. This was the first move by a government body to try to address the obesity epidemic that is plaguing America's children. Then on Nov. 2, 2010, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 to require that kids' meals meet certain nutritional standards before they can be sold with toys. This law sets the bar for healthy children's meals as those "that have less than 600 calories, contain fruits and vegetables, and include beverages without excessive fat or sugar."

A year later and apparently feeling the pressure from these and other government regulations, the McDonald's organization is beginning to make concessions. It recently announced its "Commitments to Offer Improved Nutrition Choices." This announcement included the decision to do the following:

  • By March 2012: provide apples in every Happy Meal (with a smaller serving of French fries)
  • By 2015: "reduce sodium an average of 15 percent overall across its national menu of food choices"
  • By 2020: "reduce added sugars, saturated fat and calories through varied portion sizes, reformulations and innovations."
    "[Increase] customers' and employees' access to nutrition information."

A review of the current McDonald's kids' meals menu reveals that of the current 24 meal combinations offered, five still exceed 600 calories; specifically some of the meals with cheeseburgers and a hamburger, fries and low-fat chocolate-milk meal. The nutritional information for the new menu that includes meals with apples and fewer fries is not out yet. But the company seems to be moving in the right direction. One source suggests that the new Happy Meals will have 6 fewer grams of fat and between 110 and 120 fewer calories.

It's no secret what a healthy meal should include. The high sugar content, lack of whole grains and lack of meaningful vegetables in most kids' meals are still at issue. As a food source for millions of children, McDonald's cannot ignore its responsibility to offer healthier meals to children, regardless of what children will eat or parents will buy.

If you or someone you know is overweight, don't be afraid to ask your doctor for help. They can outline a plan for losing the weight that includes sensible nutrition, regular exercise and regular chiropractic adjustments. Your doctor can also provide information on what your family should – and shouldn't – be eating to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle.

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Keep Fit With Circuit Training

TYH image Circuit training is doing a number of exercises back to back (short exercise bursts with intensity) including a short recovery or break between exercises. This type of exercise is known for numerous health benefits including helping you achieve your fitness goals faster. You can add in cardio exercise including running in place, jumping rope, or using equipment such as a treadmill, elliptical or stair-stepper. It's a great technique to focus on strength and cardiovascular training to sculpt your own body. You can experiment with a large variety of exercises and equipment at whatever intensity you choose. You compete only with yourself, and you don't have to be in sync with others. Use these 10 examples to jumpstart your new workout routine.

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The Wonderful World of Yoga

TYH image Originated in ancient India, the practice of yoga helps many achieve spiritual insight and peace from their hectic lives by challenging the body to go beyond its current limitations through a series of poses. Over the years, yoga has evolved to include many different variations, providing a wide range of mental and physical benefits. Regardless of the type of yoga style you choose, expect any yoga class to provide a serious mind/body workout well worth your time. Here are 3 types of yoga classes you can try.

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