by Panama Jackson, The Root Blackness is complicated and always will be, Very Smart Brothas’ Panama Jackson says, so it’s no surprise that the definition of “black love” isn’t simple. If two Black people are dating or married and in love, does that, by default constitute Black love? Is seeing a woman pick up her son and give him a kiss on the cheek … is that Black love? Or two good friends doing the Black man handshake-hug combo that I’ve seen so many other ethnicities f*ck up with tremendous aplomb. Seriously, why is that sh*t so difficult. I’m not saying that we, The Blacks, are just more dexterous and athletic than everybody else, but we definitely have coordination on lock. You know what, we’re more athletic too. It takes a real athlete to do some of these handshakes we do. In high school, me and two of my best friends had a 15-step handshake. It was as ridiculous as it sounds. I promise. Is that Black love? I mean the dedication and loyalty we exacted in order to efficiently bust out that handshake? We were committed to one another because who the hell else would we be able to do that? That’s got to be it right? In truth, I think the entire concept of Black love is just that … a concept. [It’s] those horrendously cliche ass pictures that you see being sold in mall kiosks with some naked, rippled Black man holding some naked nubian black woman with their bodies intertwined. While I’d never ever put that type of picture up in my house — my tastes are a bit more discerning than that — I get why they exist. Black love is the ideal of unity and togetherness. It’s this ideal of strength shared between two people attempting to reach a common goal
You’ve probably already heard that cardio alone only does so much, and that it’s better to combine strength and cardio to burn the most fat.
However, new research from Duke University put that theory to the test and found that for weight loss, cardio alone is still the most effective route to weight loss.
The researchers, reporting in the Journal of Applied Physiology, randomly assigned more than 200 overweight adults to one of three, 8 month workout programs: Some performed vigorous cardio alone, others stuck solely to weight training, while others did a combination of both. At the end of the study, the cardio group lost both fat mass and overall weight. The strength-training group? Not so much. Yes, they gained muscle, but didn’t lose any fat mass or weight. Those who combined cardio and strength training—meaning they performed three days of cardio plus three days of strength training ever week—didn’t lose more fat or weight than those who did cardio alone.
Willis and her colleagues aren’t dismissing the value of strength training, she notes. But because the majority of American adults could reap significant health benefits from reduced body fat, researchers suggest that the best option may be to focus more on aerobic training.
“When you lose fat, it is likely you are losing visceral fat,” Willis says. “Which is known to have great health benefits.”
How To Make Cardio Work For You
No matter how outstanding your playlist is, cardio can be DULL. Here are some ways to keep things a little more interesting:
Do Cardio Circuits. Break up your jog with a quick set of 10 burpees or mountain climbers every minute. Including explosive moves like burpees and mountain climbers engages different muscle groups and maximize how your body burns fat, giving you a full-body workout.
Do Something New. Your body quickly becomes acclimated to a workout if you do it everyday. Try Tabata—a method characterized by short bursts of intensity followed by recovery. Why? This method allows your body to continue to burn calories at a faster rate even after you stop exercising. How do you do this? It can be done on any cardio equipment, but let’s use a treadmill as an example. After warming up, walk or run as you normally would for a few minutes. Then, for two or three minutes, walk or run as fast as you can. Return to your normal pace for five minutes or so. Keep alternating between fast and normal intervals for the remainder of your workout.
Take A Gym Class. Unlike cardio equipment, which can seriously become very boring after a while, fitness classes are designed to challenge and motivate you, as well as make exercising feel a little more fun than it otherwise would. Try exploring different classes that your gym offers until you find the ones you like the most.
Can’t Go To The Gym At All? Buy a few cardio-focused exercise videos, or put together your own routine at a local park. Throw in an extra challenges such as adding sprints, doing sets of push in between intervals, doing a set of push-ups at the top and a set of squats at the bottom.”
How healthy choices can help boost your energy and your productivity
If you’ve ever eaten ice cream while standing at the freezer—or hit the snooze alarm instead of getting up to work out—you might have thought, I have no willpower!
You have it—we all do. But, sometimes it can seem difficult to find, or it appears to have abandoned us completely.
There’s hope, though. You can learn how to boost—and better tap into—this inner strength to help you meet your weight-control goals
Like a car, willpower hums along best with good fuel, smooth roads and proper maintenance. Keep yours tuned up with these five tips:
1. Don’t run on empty.
Willpower uses mental and physical energy. Research shows that exerting it actually causes drops in blood glucose. And, being hungry andtired can be a worst-case scenario when it comes to our ability to use willpower. That’s why you’ll have an easier time making good choices if you eat healthfully, don’t skip meals, and stay rested.
2. Pave the way for a smooth ride.
By planning ahead, you can reduce the number of decisions you face each day. That way you’ll have willpower when you really need it. For example, it might help to:
- Make sure you have good choices available. Plan a week’s worth of nutritious meals, and buy all the ingredients in advance. And, keep healthful snacks and treats on hand.
- Plot out your workout sessions for the week at the times you’ll be most likely to follow through.*
- Find a workout buddy, someone who will be counting on you to show up.
3. Keep your eyes on the road.
Staying focused and calm can be a boon to willpower. One way to do this: Practice mindful eating. That means slowing down, savoring every bite—and hitting the brakes before you feel full.
4. Brace yourself for rough patches.
Of course, stress can bump self-control right into the ditch. If you’re struggling, try to focus on what you can do. And, tell yourself not to worry about things you can’t control.
And, don’t go it alone. Ask for support from others. When we feel disconnected or lonely, it can be difficult to stay strong and motivated. Share your goals with friends and family. And, celebrate your successes with them, too!
5. Shift into park.
Here’s one final tip for the road: When faced with an unhealthy temptation, stop for a minute. Ask yourself: Does this choice support my health goals?
A little time may be all you need to ride out an impulse. When you do, give yourself credit. When you don’t, give yourself a break. Don’t worry about perfection — be happy with continuing to make progress.
*Talk with your doctor before significantly increasing your activity level.
By Arleen Fitzgerald, L.I.C.S.W., and Melanie Polk, M.M.Sc., R.D., F.A.D.A.
Content courtesy of UnitedHealthcare
Indeed, in today’s post-election world, if your stock portfolio has one weakness, one vulnerability, one negative financial field force that is sapping it of its normal strength, it is the long list of dangers related to the nation’s well-publicized fiscal woes.
They carry the threat of recession and the potential for higher tax rates on stock profits and dividends. And that is putting investors’ finances in a weakened state — just as Kryptonite does to Superman.
The fiscal cliff is the one-two punch of tax hikes and deep, mandated spending cuts set to kick in automatically on Jan. 1 unless a divided Congress can agree on a deal to avoid, or at least minimize, the damage that the roughly $600 billion fiscal drag would inflict on the economy.
Fear that Democrats and Republicans won’t get a deal done by year-end — when the investor-friendly Bush-era tax cuts will otherwise expire — has already resulted in a sizable hit to investors’ stock portfolios. In the eight trading days since Election Day, a vote which resulted in a status quo political power structure and more divided government, the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index has fallen 4.8%.
A report of some progress and an improved tone of cooperation gave stocks a lift Friday, avoiding another down day. But some investors fear a market meltdown similar to the one that occurred in the summer of 2011, when a divided Congress brawled publicly over raising the nation’s debt ceiling. The partisan bickering dragged on so long that it resulted in a credit-rating downgrade for the USA’s triple-A rating, the first in history, a blow that dented investor confidence and resulted in a one-day plunge of nearly 635 points, or 5.6%, for the Dow Jones industrial average on Aug. 8, 2011.
“The market will be choppy until investors get clarity on the fiscal cliff issues,” says Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.
The direction of the market is one thing, but among other problems, arguably the biggest headache facing investors is how to protect their portfolios from a potential hike in tax rates on capital gains and dividends.
If lawmakers let the Bush-era tax cuts expire at year-end, investors will see the tax rate on capital gains, or profits from stock appreciation, rise to 20% from 15%. And for individuals with income of $200,000 ($250,000 for households), an additional 3.8% investment income tax will be tacked on starting Jan. 1 to help defer the costs of President Obama’s health care law. That means high-income folks will see their capital gains rate rise to 23.8%.