Exercise DVDs for the new year
It's the new year, with its countless resolutions to lose weight and get fit. To help those eager to embark on a new exercise plan — or shake up an old one — Acacia has released a slew of workout DVDs and box sets. "Dr. Lisa: Yoga Blast" is a compilation of three 20-minute workouts featuring Lisa Masterson of the TV show "The Doctors." Masterson and her trainer lead yoga workouts interspersed with strength and cardio.
"Ultimate Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners" combines strength and aerobic training using kettlebells, a type of weight that resembles a cannonball with a handle. The DVD includes safety tips, step-by-step instructions and three workouts.
"Bethenny's Skinnygirl Yoga Workouts" is a collection of reality-TV star Bethenny Frankel's yoga-based workout DVDs, including "Body by Bethenny" and "Bethenny's Skinnygirl Workout." Another compilation of yoga workouts is "Shiva Rea: Daily Energy Collection," which includes 14 20-minute practices that can be done on their own or mixed and matched to create longer workouts.
Stress-busting tips for caregivers
AARP the Magazine, December-January
When caring for others, it's all too easy to lose track of caring for ourselves. We might turn to fast food, lose sleep and forgo moments of relaxation in favor of making sure our loved ones are as comfortable as possible.
But experts say managing stress, which is a key aspect of staying healthy, is especially important for caregivers. AARP the Magazine has six tips for caregivers: (1) Cook all-in-one meals, such as stews, in large batches, and stash them in the freezer. (2) Take time out to meditate daily; even 12 minutes a day has been shown to dramatically improve mental health, the magazine says. (3) Stockpile healthy snacks such as fruit, vegetables, a handful of almonds or a peanut butter sandwich. (4) Don't rush: By slowing down while doing basic tasks such as showering or cooking, you can reduce distractions and avoid injuries. (5) Volunteer. You're already giving your time to help a family member, but supporting a different cause in a different setting can be therapeutic. (6) Sleep! Sleep deprivation depletes energy and increases anxiety, the last thing you need when dealing with the demands of caregiving.