Your first name doesn’t need to be Serena, Roger, Maria or Novak to reap the rewards of playing tennis. Anyone can pick up a racquet, whack a few balls and get in great shape in the process.
“This demanding sport helps you build core strength to hit the ball, agility and speed to cover the court and endurance to do it all point after point,” says Declan Condron, HealthiNation’s resident exercise physiologist and co-founder of PumpOne. Sending a screaming neon ball over the net won’t just get you fit, it may improve your bone health, too.
“Weight-bearing exercises, like tennis, force you to work against gravity, which in turn promotes strong bones and reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis,” Condron says.
To give your game – and your health – a home-court advantage, add Condron’s three conditioning exercises to your workout plan once or twice a week. Need a little inspiration? Perform these moves in your living room while watching the U.S. Open Tennis Championships on TV (click here for the complete schedule). The prestigious two-week event kicked off on Monday, August 27th, and will run through September 9th.
Forget to take your multivitamin? Make up for it with this super healthy open-faced sandwich (aka, tartine), which is jam-packed with key nutrients. This simple dish from chef Viviane Bauquet Farre, creator of the e-magazine foodandstyle.com, is easy to make: Just top a French baguette with a creamy avocado (a rich source of vitamins B6, C, E and K, plus potassium, folate, magnesium and more), well-seasoned grilled red onions (full of flavanoids) and fresh basil (an arsenal of antioxidants) drizzled with a zesty homemade vinaigrette.
Voilà! Lunch is served.
Expert on Call: Melissa Nagin, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Here are three fun facts about breastfeeding and shedding baby-weight without even trying.
1. Slim Down Faster: Mothers who breastfeed are more likely to end up in their pre-pregnancy jeans a lot quicker than those who feed their newborns formula. The reason: When the baby latches on and nurses, a signal is sent to the brain to release the hormone oxytocin, which causes your uterus to contract and return to its pre-pregnancy state very quickly. Oxytocin is the same hormone at play in breastfeeding, as it sends those same signals to squeeze milk-producing cells (aka, alveoli) to travel down through your milk ducts and out of the nipple. Both biological actions require energy, causing your body burn up to 500 calories per day without even breaking a sweat.
With Labor Day marking the end of summer in just two weeks, now is the time to cram as much grilling into your schedule as possible. While this high-protein VeggieBelly.com recipe calls for a cast-iron skillet, we think this grilled cheese belongs, well, on the grill. Take this gooey goodness outside and be sure to implement this smart food blogger’s brick trick to get that perfect, panini-like finish.
EXPERT ON CALL: Sharon Richter, R.D.
Cha-cha-cha Chia! Remember the popular 80′s TV commercial that made growing a garden on ceramic pets, like puppies and bunnies, impossibly adorable and fun? Well, those same seeds that made that green bush grow like fluffy fur are back – and nowadays they’re considered a super-food.
Here are five healthy reasons to add these teeny low-cal seeds, native to Mexico and Guatemala, to your diet. Simply sprinkle one or two tablespoons to your morning oatmeal or yogurt (the raw seeds have a nutty flavor) or soak them in fruit juice to make a sweet, thick liquid snack.