Sur­pris­ing Keys to ALL-DAY EN­ERGY

Closer Weekly - - Forever Young -

Here’s wel­come news: Slack­ing off a bit on your well­ness rou­tine can ac­tu­ally boost your vi­tal­ity! “I was able to lose 20 pounds and feel so much stronger with a high­in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing pro­gram.”

Queen Lat­i­fah, 47

Some­times our good in­ten­tions have us try­ing too hard — even when it comes to stay­ing healthy. Case in point: an­tibac­te­rial soaps. When they emerged about a decade ago, we were ea­ger to add them to our germ-fight­ing arse­nal. “Prob­lem is, we now know an­tibac­te­rial soaps don’t of­fer any health edge,” notes Stu­art Levy, M.D., di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for Adap­ta­tion Ge­net­ics and Drug Re­sis­tance at Tufts Univer­sity in Bos­ton. “They’ve shown no ben­e­fits over plain soap and wa­ter when it comes to pro­tect­ing against ill­ness.” In fact, the FDA has now banned soaps with the an­tibac­te­rial chem­i­cal tri­closan, which con­trib­utes to an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance and has been linked to thy­roid trou­bles.

Skipping an­tibac­te­rial soap isn’t the only ex­am­ple of how eas­ing up on strict stan­dards can be ben­e­fi­cial to your health, notes Dr. Levy. Read on for two more let-it-slide strate­gies that will help op­ti­mize your en­ergy and your well-be­ing.

SHORTEN YOUR WORK­OUTS

Lengthy sweat ses­sions may seem like the gold stan­dard for health, but in ad­di­tion to leav­ing you feel­ing to­tally burned-out, re­search shows they aren’t the most ef­fec­tive get­fit strat­egy. What is: brief bursts of ex­er­cise. As fit­ness ex­pert JJ Vir­gin, Ph.D., au­thor of The Vir­gin Diet, ex­plains, “Just 60 sec­onds of ex­er­cis­ing at max­i­mum ca­pac­ity cre­ates an oxy­gen debt the body has to re­pay, which it does by burn­ing more fat.”

The pay­off: Stud­ies show that high­in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing helps women lose nine times more fat than en­durance ex­er­cise. In­ter­vals also help con­trol blood sugar, ward­ing off the dips that sap en­ergy. To get the perks, Vir­gin sug­gests jump­ing rope or do­ing jump­ing jacks as in­tensely as you can for 60 sec­onds, then rest­ing for 2 min­utes; re­peat 4 to 6 times.

RE­LAX YOUR DIET

Avoid­ing pro­cessed fats and veg­etable oils like corn, soy and canola is smart since they trig­ger in­flam­ma­tion linked to weight gain, heart dis­ease and more—but be­ing too strict a fat cut­ter can back­fire. “Your body uses fat to make hor­mones, pro­vide en­ergy and ab­sorb fat-sol­u­ble vi­ta­mins, so fa­tigue and weight gain can oc­cur if you don’t get enough,” says Vir­gin. She ad­vises en­joy­ing two to three serv­ings of healthy fat at each meal in the form of av­o­ca­dos, olive oil, oily fish, grass-fed meats and seeds. She adds that there’s no need to count or mea­sure fats when they come from a va­ri­ety of whole foods.

Also smart: Choose frozen fruit and veg­eta­bles over “fresh” off­sea­son pro­duce, which is picked be­fore it’s ripe and hasn’t reached op­ti­mal nu­tri­ent con­tent.

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