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Luis Suarez reckons he is a changed man... and is ready to lead an equally new-look Liverpool to the title.

The superstar striker passionately believes both he and his team have undergone a transformation in recent months that has helped them grow into genuine contenders.

Suarez, who has scored a staggering 22 goals in just 16 Premier League games this season, insists he has found the perfect home on Merseyside now the Reds have displayed their right to join the Champions League elite.

And he reckons the Champions League commitments of their closest rivals will be a bonus for Liverpool in the title run-in.

He said: “All of the clubs ahead of us are in the Champions League so they will be more tired after playing more matches. Obviously the intensity in the Champions League is difficult to handle; it tires you and the stress can change you. So we have to take advantage of this.

“I don’t know if we have what it takes to be champions, but we didn’t deserve to lose either of the matches played recently against the top clubs. We lost at City and Chelsea, but it’s alright, we are playing well and are on the right track.

“I am with a spectacular club that I’ve always wanted to play for. The team is playing well, I feel comfortable on the pitch, I feel comfortable despite what happens in other stadiums. I love playing here in England and that is the only thing I think about.”

Suarez’s brilliance has been mirrored by improved performances from the those around him, with Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson all in superb form.

And that, according to the Uruguay international, has put Liverpool in better shape than at any time during his stay.

He said: “We have shown we have the level to play in the Champions League. That is really important, because in the last two years we haven’t demonstrated that Liverpool can play there. Now we are playing very well, we have really good players and if we continue at this level, we can do it.

“It’s unbelievable for me, but also for Liverpool, because in the last two or three years we have not played very well and not demonstrated our level. Now we are back to that.”

It is not just Liverpool that Suarez believes is finally displaying a true nature, as he warned their title rivals that he is working hard to transform his own character.

After producing an unplayable run of form since his return from a 10-match suspension for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, the striker is adamant he is a new man, with a new attitude that is paying spectacular dividends.

And he revealed that the traumas he has faced at Anfield, after constantly finding himself immersed in controversy since arriving from Ajax, have helped him mature in an attempt to display his real self:

“You work hard for the supporters and the people. It’s important because the last few months were a little difficult for me. Now I’ve changed and it’s okay.

“I have always had that temperament, desire and hunger on the pitch and it will continue to be that way. But I know now I have to control it more.

“I am trying hard, and I have changed. I don’t want to create any controversy or anything - today all I am thinking about is Liverpool. I am more than happy with my life here and my wife and children are very happy as well. We are very content with our life. I’m happy to be in the Premier League which is the best league in the world. This is what matters to me.”

Suarez, speaking to ESPN in South America, believes there are real signs he is a new man.

“About two weeks ago, when I had an open shot at goal and hit the post and it rebounded close to my hand, I was about to go for it and then I stopped,” he revealed. “In the past, I would have gone for it.

"These things stay with me but I tell you I am improving my attitude on the pitch because I know I was wrong in the past and I was creating an image of myself I know wasn’t me.”

The upshot for Liverpool is that Suarez is outplaying even the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, with scoring and assist stats that elevate him to the elite level - with Liverpool on the verge of going the same way.

* LIVERPOOL will visit Bournemouth in the FA Cup's fourth round on Saturday January 25 after the Championship side beat League Two Burton 4-1 in a third-round replay on Tuesday.

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Suarez netted his first Liverpool goal since his return just before half-time against Sunderland and immediately moved to pull up his football shirts.

Beneath it was a was a white t-shirt with a picture of his family and the message 'Los amo', which means 'I love them'.

Suarez had a second child - Benjamin - on Thursday with his childhood sweetheart Sofia Balbi. 'Welcome Benja' was printed above the picture.

They also have a three-year-old girl named Delfina.

Boss Brendan Rodgers earlier this week said Suarez was feeling "on top of the world" after becoming a dad for the second time.

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Manchester United versus Liverpool will always be one of the key rivalries in English football. The balance of power in the north-west is something the rest of the game finds impossible to ignore, so that, even if José Mourinho guides Chelsea to another league title this season, there will still be people convinced he would have been much happier at Old Trafford.

Part of the allure, at least in recent decades, has been the unprecedented level of dominance each side has achieved when in the ascendancy. Brilliant as Mourinho undoubtedly is, he will have to go some at Chelsea to match the staggering list of Liverpool accomplishments in the 70s and 80s, or turn an 18-7 title deficit into a 20-18 lead in the space of 20 years.

Sir Alex Ferguson did not just knock Liverpool off their perch, he left them spitting feathers. Small wonder David Moyes is finding it hard to be quite as ruthless but what gives Sunday's encounter its special piquancy is not just that United might be on the slide but that Liverpool appear to be on the rise. Steven Gerrard said at the start of the season that he did not expect to be in a position to win a title in the playing years still left to him. He did not think Liverpool could mount a serious challenge quickly enough and he will have been delighted to have been proved wrong.

Liverpool may not win the title this season, may not even beat United this afternoon, but they are certainly mounting a serious challenge. But for Mourinho coming back to London they would be out in front by now, with not only more points but more goals scored than anyone else.

Ferguson could not have envisaged that happening, though it might be a mistake to imagine it is only the old fire‑breather's departure that has given Liverpool their chance. Brendan Rodgers took over at Anfield with a remit for gradual, sustainable improvement and the Liverpool manager claims that, while results were not instant, the graph began to curve upwards before the end of last season. "If you look at the last 38 games, the 10 from the end of last season and the 28 we have played in the league since, which would be a full season worth of games, we would be 12 points ahead of Manchester United with 91 goals scored opposed to 64," Rodgers says. "So over that period, including Fergie's time as well, we have shown progress. That's all I'm saying. We are going there to win, not to kill off their Champions League hopes or open up a bigger gap. We are looking upwards rather than downwards and we feel we have a great chance in every game we play. I'm not going to be shouting about winning the league. That is not the dignified way to do it. It's not mind games or anything like that. It's just letting the players do the talking. That's what they have done."

No one has talked louder, in this metaphorical sense at least, than 24-goal Luis Suárez. Rodgers inherited a player who kept talking himself into trouble, whether upsetting Patrice Evra with racial remarks or making it clear last summer that he would rather be playing Champions League football. But Liverpool kept him to his contract, encouraged him to concentrate on his football and play as a member of a team rather than as an individual and have never looked back.

Even Moyes in the United camp is prepared to acknowledge the significance of Suárez's season. "It was a major coup for Liverpool when they kept Suárez," Moyes says. "I think that was a real big deal for them. It has really worked to their advantage. Daniel Sturridge has done really well too and Raheem Sterling, they have a really good attacking force."

Arsenal can vouch for that – and Tottenham. And while United have a big game against Olympiakos to worry about this week, Liverpool arrive fresh and rested after a weekend off. Suárez can expect some stick from the Old Trafford crowd but Rodgers is sure he will cope with it. "Don't underestimate Luis. He's a hard man," the Liverpool manager says. "We've seen plenty of hard men in football over the years but they are usually tough, aggressive centre-halves or midfield players who put their foot in.

"Luis is a striker but he is a hard man. He gets battered, he gets kicked, he gets baited by opposing supporters but he is the toughest player mentally I've ever come across and I've worked with some big players. He is relentless in his desire. We've all seen that in his time here and now he is more mature as well, which is great. There's not much rattles him and playing at Old Trafford will only inspire him."

Naturally Rodgers thinks Suárez should be a contender for the player of the season awards. "Some players have been outstanding this year but I think the way Luis has played, after everything he has gone through, means he would be very deserving of it." Few would disagree for, while what Suárez has gone through was all his own doing and should not really influence the judges, what he has produced on the pitch ought to be enough and there is probably more to come.

"We won a big battle to keep him here.There was a lot of work to convince him that the club was going forward," Rodgers says. "Everyone was determined and happily it all worked out. You never know what will happen this summer, with it being a World Cup year, but Luis was happy to sign a new contract and he'll continue to play a lead role in what we are trying to do here. We haven't got money like Chelsea or Manchester City. We have to develop players and do it through coaching. I think that's why people enjoy watching us. It's great to be regarded as everyone's second- favourite team but we will see over the next 10 games what we are capable of."

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Wayne Rooney says stopping Luis Suarez will be Manchester United's priority against Liverpool on Sunday, feeling he has developed into one of the world's greatest players.

Suarez has scored 24 goals for Brendan Rodgers' side this season and his burgeoning partnership with Daniel Sturridge is one of the main reasons behind their Premier League improvement.

Liverpool sit second in the table with 10 games remaining and head to Old Trafford on Sunday 11 points ahead of their fierce rivals.

Scoring goals has been the biggest difference between the sides with Liverpool having hit the net a league-high 73 times, some 27 more than United as Rooney and Robin van Persie went through their struggles with form and injury.

And Rooney knows United's defence is going to have to be at its best to cope with the twin threat Suarez and Sturridge have provided on a regular basis.

"Suarez, for me, is up there with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the best players in the world," the United striker told MUTV.

"He has been that good and the two of them together have been in great form this season. We will have to do everything we can to stop them on Sunday.

"I think they are both fantastic players and obviously it is good to see Sturridge doing well because he has never really had a chance at his previous clubs.

"Brendan Rodgers has given him a chance and he has taken it with both hands. That is good for England as well."

Rooney and Van Persie have scored 11 goals apiece this season but the England striker hopes their strike-rate will improve now they are back to 100% fitness.

"We can do better and if we are not at the top of the league then that will get looked at and we understand that," Rooney added.

"We can score more goals and we know we can. We are working hard to do that, we have to keep going and hopefully that will come."

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Liverpool owner John Henry has admitted striker Luis Suarez had a £40m buy-out clause in his previous contract but that the club refused to sell anyway.
Arsenal bid a pound over £40m for the 27-year-old last summer, believing it would force the Reds into a sale.

"Arsenal offered £40m and one pound for him and triggered his buy-out clause," said Henry.
"Since apparently these contracts don't seem to hold, we took the position we're just not selling."
Suarez has since signed a new four-and-a-half-year deal with the Anfield club and is currently the top-flight's leading scorer with 24 goals, helping Liverpool to second in the Premier League.
"It's been great for Luis, it's been great for us," added Henry.
A buy-out clause in a contract typically allows a player to leave a club if a stated minimum transfer value is met - but Liverpool insisted last summer that there was nothing in Suarez's contract obliging them to sell the player.
The Uruguayan, who had called on the Reds to let him leave for a club playing in the Champions League, considered putting in a formal transfer request and taking legal action if the dispute was not resolved.
At the time of Arsenal's offer, Henry tweeted: "What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?"
But speaking as part of a panel at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at the weekend, the 64-year-old American said: "I don't know to what degree I should go into this - but [Suarez] had a buy-out clause of £40m.
"But what we've found over the years is that contracts don't seem to mean a lot in England - actually not in England, in world football.
"It doesn't matter how long a player's contract is, he can decide he's leaving.
"We sold Fernando Torres for £50m. We didn't want to sell but we were forced to.
"For the first time [with Suarez] we took the position that we weren't selling."
Of Liverpool and Suarez's future prospects, Henry added: "What will happen at the end of year, I think we're going to make Champions League and we have a small chance of winning the Premier League this year.
"We have three gentlemen up front - Suarez, [Raheem] Sterling and [Daniel] Sturridge. Those three are young, and I think [they] could be together for a long time."

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Luis Suárez has calmed fears he will quit Liverpool this summer if they fail to qualify for the Champions League, insisting his future “isn’t dependent” on that.
Despite appearing to commit to the club long-term in December by signing a new contract, it was said the deal included a £70 million buyout clause which activates if they finish outside the top four in the Premier League.
Suárez admitted he was desperate to play Champions League football and would even trade his place as leading scorer in England for a spot among Europe’s elite.
But the Uruguay striker said he had no plans to walk away from Anfield if title-chasing Liverpool collapsed in the final 10 games of the season.
“I’d actually prefer not to win this Golden Boot and for Liverpool to qualify for the Champions League this season,” said Suárez, speaking in an interview in the April edition of FourFourTwo magazine.

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When you’re one of the best footy players in the world, it’s a fair bet you don’t have to buy your own boots and kit.

But that doesn’t stop Liverpool FC striker Luis Suarez popping in to the Adidas store in Liverpool One anyway, even if it is just to browse.

Reader Nichola Cannon spotted the Reds superstar striker shopping there, child-free but with his wife Sofia, and tells Insider he was more than happy to stop and pose for a snap with her son Callum and niece Paige.

“He was so nice, and stayed for a few photographs then signed autographs for them,” Nichola says.

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Luis Suarez has revealed the important role Steven Gerrard played in persuading him to stay at Liverpool.

The Uruguay striker had been pressing for a move away from Anfield last August before finally accepting the Reds' refusal to sell him.

Speaking to the April issue of FourFourTwo, Suarez said Gerrard "played a massive part in convincing me to stay".

"He didn't talk about me, or through me, in the press, but in person," Suarez, 27, said.

"In those moments I forgot that he was 'world football great Gerrard', a Liverpool legend, but as a humble person who spoke to me with all his heart for hours.

"He said I was the best forward he'd ever played with, which given the amazing strikers that he's played with at Liverpool, was amazing for me to hear.

"I'll never forget that."

Suarez knuckled down and has played a starring role in Liverpool's pursuit of a Champions League spot with 23 league goals so far this term.

When Gerrard was injured in December, Brendan Rodgers handed Suarez the honour of captaining the Reds.

"It was weird – strange," he added. "I'd never imagined myself as Liverpool skipper. After everything that had happened with me, to retain the support of the club, the coach and my team-mates showed me they were happy to forget and forgive.

"It proved that my commitment to the club and to my team-mates is genuine and that I'm giving the maximum.

"Everyone here lives to help the club. Being Liverpool captain is something that validates you and makes you feel appreciated because there have been some fantastic leaders here."

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Det har vært et år med jubileer: 50 år siden The Australian finansielle gjennomgang ble daglig, 30 år siden den flytende av dollar, 21 år siden rådet av australske regjeringene erstattet på spesielle premierer konferansen og 15 år siden starten av nasjonale kraftmarkedet.


I Fin anmeldelsen selv-gratulere jubileum opplag - angivelig, papiret førte til mikro-økonomisk reform egenhendig - en av mine gamle sjefer, Vic Carroll, gjorde et poeng de fleste av oss har glemt, hvis vi noen gang visste.


Før Paul Keating begynte åpning Australia til verden i 1980, måtte vi først bryte ned barrierene mellom seks statene å få ett nasjonalt marked. I teorien har vi hatt et felles marked siden føderasjon; i praksis starter ikke det før 1960.


Vi hadde egen børser og selv store selskaper tendens til å holde seg til sin egen stat. Coles og Woolworths begynner ikke å invadere hverandres hjem stater til sekstiårene. De store bankene var konsentrert i deres hjem stater inntil åtte flettet bli fire i 1980.


I mange år definert bryggere mye av Riverina som en del av Victoria og dermed out of bounds to Sydney-baserte tann og co Det tok Trade Practices Act av 1974 å gjøre avtaler på konkurranse-reduserende territorielle skjære-ups ulovlig.


En viktig rolle COAG har vært å få avtalen mellom statene å justere sine regulering av markeder og på andre måter gjøre grenseoverskridende handel. Fremgangen har vært svært tregt og på fredagens møte det ga opp å prøve å innføre en nasjonal yrkesmessig lisensiering ordningen.


Men det gjør COAGS initiativ for å etablere nasjonale kraftmarkedet (dekker alle stater bar WA) i 1998 mer bemerkelsesverdig. Før det hadde vi seks separate, statlige loddrett integrert monopoler.


Australsk energi markedet Kommisjonen har feiret nasjonale markedets 15th jubileum av igangkjøring KPMG konsulenter å forberede '' en studie i vellykket mikro-økonomisk reform''. Ideen var å registrere innsikt av sentrale spillere før de ble kjørte ut til gamlehjem.


Det tok åtte år med forberedelser før markedet begynte. Steg én var for hver stat å bryte monopol elektrisitet kommisjonen i separat eide kraftprodusenter og separat eies elektrisitet forhandlere, forlater det transmisjon og distribusjon nettverket ('' polakker og ledninger '') som irreducible naturlig monopol.


Generatorer kan være laget for å konkurrere med hverandre (og sannsynligvis privatisert) og forhandlerne gjort å konkurrere med hverandre (og privatisert) ved å gi dem lik tilgang til nettverket.


Den harde delen var å sette opp kontinuerlig trading engros auksjonen markedet som konkurrerende generatorer levere strøm til konkurrerende forhandlere. Når staten nettverkene hadde fysisk koblet til et enkelt rutenett, ble dette gjort mulig av '' fungibility'' av elektrisitet. Hvis en enhet av makt er identisk med andre, trenger jeg ikke å faktisk generere strøm jeg ender opp selge deg.


Det er hendig, men det gjør markedet, med alle dens derivatkontrakter, horrendously komplekse. Glatt operasjon er en bemerkelsesverdig hyllest til the economist er kunst: det er en ganske kunstige, geek-designet, regjeringen startet og regulert marked. T. Abbott og andre skeptikere Merk.


Undersøkelsen skal være en nyttig guide til potensielle reformatorer. Et tips er at denne radikal endring ble oppnådd gjennom mange små skritt. Hver stat definere sin egen markedet før de flettes inn etter mange prøve simuleringer.


Om den føderale regjeringen hadde ikke ansvar for strøm, det var sterkt forpliktet til mikro reform og, siden det ville ha nytte av høyere skatt samlinger, overført disse statene som incitament betalinger for reformer oppnådd.


Ingen forretningsfolk eller økonomer må fortelle at mange finner penger svært motiverende. Premiere mer enn de fleste. Men studien advarer '' det er risiko for at insentiv blir betaling maximisation i stedet for politikk optimalisering ''.


Likeledes, etablere en konkurranseutsatt industri struktur må overstyrer gjør ting for å maksimere inntektene fra privatisering. '' Incitament betalinger ikke er en erstatning for gjensidig forpliktelse til politiske resultater,'' fortalt vi.


Nøye planlegging, omfattende konsultasjon og gode prosesser er alle nødvendige, men studien understreker nøkkelrolle forpliktet ledere. På det politiske nivået ble reform presset av Bob Hawke og Nick Greiner, Paul Keating og Jeff Kennett, så av John Howard.


Men den som fortjener største bifall var leder av National Grid Management Council, John Landels, tidligere av Caltex. Hans styrke var han var takknemlighetsgjeld til ingen, holdt styret fokusert samtidig teknokrater komme videre med detaljene, og han hadde trekk med statsministre og premiere. Og jeg tviler han gjorde det for pengene.


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The usual advice still holds—cut down on salt, quit smoking, eat lots of fruits and veggies, and do cardio exercise—but some of the new recommendations are even easier to follow.


blood pressure

1. Eat low-fat, low-sugar yogurt


People who ate one or more 6-ounce servings of yogurt twice a week over 14 years were about 31 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than people who didn't eat yogurt, found a recent study.


2. Lift weights


In a study, women who pumped iron cut systolic blood pressure (SBP; the first number) by 5 points and diastolic (DBP; the second) by 9 points—and the effects lasted longer after the workout than for women who did cardio. Get the best of both worlds by doing both kinds of exercise, alternating days


3. Eat a healthy diet

Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg. This eating plan is known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.

It isn't easy to change your eating habits, but with these tips, you can adopt a healthy diet:


  • Keep a food diary. Writing down what you eat, even for just a week, can shed surprising light on your true eating habits. Monitor what you eat, how much, when and why.
  • Consider boosting potassium. Potassium can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. The best source of potassium is food, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements. Talk to your doctor about the potassium level that's best for you.
  • Be a smart shopper. Make a shopping list before heading to the supermarket to avoid picking up junk food. Read food labels when you shop and stick to your healthy-eating plan when you're dining out, too.
  • Cut yourself some slack. Although the DASH diet is a lifelong eating guide, it doesn't mean you have to cut out all of the foods you love. It's OK to treat yourself occasionally to foods you wouldn't find on a DASH diet menu, such as a candy bar or mashed potatoes with gravy.

4.Reduce sodium in your diet

Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg. The recommendations for reducing sodium are:


  • Limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less.
  • A lower sodium level — 1,500 mg a day or less — is appropriate for people 51 years of age or older, and individuals of any age who are African-American or who have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

5.Limit the amount of alcohol you drink

Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. In small amounts, it can potentially lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg. But that protective effect is lost if you drink too much alcohol — generally more than one drink a day for women and men older than age 65, or more than two a day for men age 65 and younger.

Also, if you don't normally drink alcohol, you shouldn't start drinking as a way to lower your blood pressure. There's more potential harm than benefit to drinking alcohol.


If you drink more than moderate amounts of it, alcohol can actually raise blood pressure by several points. It can also reduce the effectiveness of high blood pressure medications.


The good news: There are plenty of out-of-the-box ways to bring your numbers down. While these aren't giving you license to abandon your healthy eating habits or doctor-prescribed meds, these tips are license to enjoy life—and lower your BP while doing it.Supportive family and friends can help improve your health. They may encourage you to take care of yourself, drive you to the doctor's office or embark on an exercise program with you to keep your blood pressure low. Talk to your family and friends about the dangers of high blood pressure.








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12 organic foods

The benefits of eating organic food go straight to the farm, where no pesticides and chemical fertilizers are used to grow the organic produce shipped to grocers. That means workers and farm neighbors aren't exposed to potentially harmful chemicals, it means less fossil fuel converted into fertilizers and it means healthier soil that should sustain crops for generations to come.

See various organic food supplements availaible online here.



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Dietary Supplements Benefits you need to know
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Besides keeping you hydrated, drinking water on the regular, according to recent studies, can aid with weight loss. Filling up on water before a meal helps encourage portion control, and eating foods that contain a lot of water (like fruits and veggies) will fill you up faster, causing you to eat less. A small study even found that drinking cool water can speed up metabolism and discourage cravings for sugary drinks like soda and juice. Now, that's a reason to stay hydrated!

A 15-minute stroll is better than nothing, but don't expect to see dramatic weight-loss results. You've got to kick it up a notch — big time — and do at least 30 minutes a day of heart-pumping exercise. Big calorie and fat burners include running, spin class, interval training, hiking, and circuit training.

Nuts, avocados, whole wheat pasta, olive oil, and dark chocolate are all natural and healthy, but they aren't void of calories. You still need to watch how much you eat of the good stuff. For example, avocado offers a ton of health benefits, but an entire fruit is over 200 calories. F 

Making time for your workouts can mean less time for sleep, but it's important to get enough Z's if you're trying to lose weight. You need extra energy to keep up with your exercise routine, and skimping on sleep can affect your body's ability to control its appetite: not enough shut-eye increases appetite-stimulating hormones.

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Fitness Tips

When I had a crappy job, I was more likely to hit the liquor store than the gym after a rough day of listening to the sniveling of a boss with a double-digit IQ.

Some of us are good at developing secret tips and tricks and even playing mind games with ourselves to push ourselves not just to go work out, but to do it harder and longer than we really want to.

I’ve got a few personal tips I’d like to share to get you started,

Here are some that have served me well:


Just get dressed. I’ll be hammering away on the computer or suffering inertia on the couch and not really want go for a run, but if I take just a few minutes to get changed into the appropriate gear, then that run is going to happen. Eventually. It may take an hour of staring at those dorky and not terribly comfortable running socks on my feet, but once they’re on, the shoes are going to follow and I’ll be out the door.


Do it first thing. The day piles stress upon stress that gives you excuses not to work out. When I had a crappy job, I was more likely to hit the liquor store than the gym after a rough day of listening to the sniveling of a boss with a double-digit IQ. First thing in the morning, the day has not yet provided you with any excuses not to work out, and research shows that morning exercisers have the highest adherence rates.


Go when it’s busy. Now I know some people hate crowded gyms, but I find there is a kind of energy you can feed off of. When it’s a little crowded and there are a lot of people around you working hard (especially if some of them are nice to look at), then there is an added motivation to push.


Put it in your calendar. I used to lift weights at lunch time and actually had a calendar reminder to help prevent people from booking me for lunch meetings. It also helped skipping out on the high-calorie lunch and forced me to bring something healthy from home instead.


Go outside. When you’re on a stationary bike or a treadmill, you can hit “stop” at any time. Go outside to run or ride, and not only will you enjoy it more, but you only have to be motivated for the first half. Once you decide to turn around, you need to get back home somehow.

OK, brain trust, it’s your turn. Let’s hear your best fitness tips.


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Omega-3 fatty acids

These healthy fats help fight inflammation, a known trigger of aging and disease, and they’ve been tied to a host of health benefits, from reducing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression, to maintaining healthy skin and supporting brain function. But new research has found that too much omega-3 may alter immune function, and disrupt the body’s ability to fend off viral or bacterial infections. Scientists are particularly concerned about a “layering” effect that occurs when people eat seafood, take fish oil supplements, and also consume foods fortified with omega-3s, like eggs, orange juice, and cereal. To avoid overload, talk to your physician and/or personal dietitian about your diet, so he or she can determine if you need to supplement or fortify your intake at all, and if so, exactly how much you should aim for.


Vitamin C

In addition to supporting immunity, vitamin C is needed to heal wounds, maintain healthy bones, teeth, blood vessels, and skin. It also acts as a major antioxidant, to stave off aging and chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. For adults, the upper limit, or maximum advised intake, from both food and supplements combined, is 2,000 mg a day. While some people may be fine taking in this amount or more, megadoses of vitamin C supplements have been shown to trigger bloating and digestive upset, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, headaches, insomnia, and kidney stones. To keep your intake in check, aim to get your fill from naturally vitamin C rich foods, which include red and green bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, kiwi, papaya, strawberries, and pineapple.



Zinc is found in every cell in your body. This important mineral supports immune function, as well as healthy vision, smell, taste, blood sugar regulation, metabolism, healing, and proper thyroid function. The upper limit, or daily maximum for zinc is 40 mg per day. Research has shown that less than this amount is safe to consume daily over time, but if too much zinc is taken long-term, side effects may include digestive upset, a metallic taste in the mouth, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, increased sweating, loss of muscle coordination, alcohol intolerance, and hallucinations.

In addition, very high doses of zinc may actually weaken immune function, lower “good” heart-protective HDL cholesterol, and raise “bad” LDL cholesterol, the type tied to an increased risk of heart disease. Like omega-3s, the chances of getting too much increase if several sources are consumed, like zinc-rich foods (red meat, shellfish), on top of a supplement, and products fortified with zinc, such as nasal sprays or throat lozenges. If you think you may be exceeding your needs, talk to your doc or dietitian. Sometimes when I ask my clients about their supplement regime, they have absolutely no idea how much they’re taking.



Much of the iron in your body is found in your red blood cells, where it helps to carry oxygen to every cell. This key mineral is also is involved in producing energy for cells, and is an integral part of many proteins and enzymes needed for optimal health. Premenopausal women lose iron from monthly blood loss, but men and postmenopausal women need to be more mindful of their iron intakes, because once iron is absorbed, very little is excreted. That means excess iron can build up in tissues and organs, including the liver and heart. 

A genetic disorder called hemochromatosis, which affects one in 250 people of northern European descent, ups the risk of iron overload, because it causes iron to be easily absorbed. The daily maximum for iron is set at 45 mg for adults, but most premenopausal non-pregnant adult women generally need no more than 18 mg daily. The needs for men and women over 50 are less than half that amount, at 8 mg per day. To put that level in perspective, a 3-ounce serving of beef or a half cup of lentils each provide about 3 mg, but only about 3 percent to 35 percent of the iron from food is absorbed, depending on the type, as well as factors that either interfere with absorption (like tea) or enhance it (like vitamin C). If you’re taking supplements and you’re not sure if they contain iron, or if so, how much, be sure to check. Manufacturers don’t have to set doses below the advised daily caps.



When you think of calcium, bones probably come to mind, and that’s where about 99 percent of the calcium in your body is found. But this mineral is also needed for proper heart, nerve, and muscle function, and it helps maintain your body’s acid/base balance. Women tend to be highly aware of calcium, due to campaigns about “boning up” to fight osteoporosis, so I sometimes worry about my clients getting too much. I’ve seen women who load up on dairy, in addition to popping calcium chews, taking a supplement, and choosing calcium-fortified foods, from OJ to energy bars. 

The upper limit (again from both food and supplements combined) for adult non-pregnant women and men is 2,500 mg before age 50 and 2,000 from 51 on. Exceeding that amount may lead to high blood calcium, which can trigger kidney problems, kidney stones, and calcium deposits in soft tissues. High calcium intakes can also lead to constipation, and interfere with the absorption of iron and zinc. Getting too much calcium from food alone is rare, but if you think you may be racking up an excess amount from other sources, talk to your health care providers about the best ways to strike an ideal balance.


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A Finnish study is the latest in binge drinking results.

Binge Drinking Linked to Stroke

Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Has Sexual Side Effect

Some wine on Friday, a cocktail on Saturday, and a few game-day brews on Sunday could add up to some damage if you do it all in excess. A Finnish study showed that binge drinking was associated with increased atherosclerotic progression over an 11-year follow-up of middle aged men. The study focused on men who drank 6 drink or more on one occasion—that’s quite a blurry night.


The weirder thing: the risk of stroke increased among men who had at least one hangover per year. We shudder to think about all those headachy, dehydrated Sunday mornings. That risk multiplies if you’re overweight or have hypertension.


The subjects of the study were population based, a sample of more than 2,600 men who live in Finland and participating in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD). The researchers followed up with the subjects over a period of 11 to 20 years. Alcohol consumption was assessed using the Nordic alcohol consumption inventory, and incident strokes were ascertained through the FINMONICA stroke register, which is the Finnish part of the WHO MONICA (Multinational Monitoring of Trends and determinants in Cardiovascular Diseases), and from the Finnish national hospital discharge register and death certificate registers.


While moderate booze consumption has been linked to lower risk of stroke, excessive drinking could do you no favors. Try to keep your Saturday night and game day intake to 3 or fewer drinks. If the room’s spinning, odds are you’ve had more than enough.  


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While some trends are best left alone—harem pants, anyone?—this is one we can get behind: High-intensity interval training will be 2014's biggest workout trend, according to an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) survey of nearly 4,000 fitness pros.


This is the first time high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has appeared on the ACSM's annual list of fitness trends. Survey participants said the short bursts of high-intensity activity are both time efficient and a faster way to get fit. In fact, a recent study found that women who did 12 weeks of HIIT lost more belly fat and more weight overall compared to a group who did moderate exercise.

Body weight training, qualified personal trainers, strength training, and exercise for weight loss rounded out the survey's top five.

Exercises on their way out: Zumba, Pilates, indoor cycling, and stability balls all dropped off of the list in recent years. (This isn't to say they aren't any good, of course.) Yoga is actually making a comeback since dropping off in 2009.


Want to give HIIT a try? Check out this plan from certified personal trainer Jessica Smith, which you can do with any type of exercise you like—swimming, running, or the elliptical.



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