The white, mild flavored flesh of cod is a wonderful substitute for meat protein with versatility making it easily adaptable to all methods of cooking. Cod is found in the cold, deep, Arctic waters, where they reproduce and grow. Cod is an excellent low-calorie source of protein yielding about 52% of the daily need for protein for only 119 calories. Cod also contains nutrients shown to be useful in a number of different health conditions. Nutrients found in cod include tryptophan, selenium, protein, vitamin B6, phosphorus, vitamin B12, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin B3 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Cod is a wonderful promoter of cardiovascular health thanks to it’s omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. These nutrients keep a dangerous molecule from damaging blood vessel walls which can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Niacin is also found in cod, which is often used to help lower high cholesterol levels which can also lead to heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids can also protect against fatal heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats), by improving the electrical properties of heart cells. In addition, eating baked or broiled cod is not only healthier than frying, but a Harvard study published in the July 2004 issue of Circulation showed that eating baked or broiled cod may reduce risk of atrial fibrillation (the most common type of heart arrhythmia).
A Canadian study published in the April 2004 issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention suggests that eating servings of fresh fish more frequently during the week may lower the risk of leukemia, multiple myeloma, and Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Data drawn from the study of 6,800 Canadians (among them fishermen) indicated that those consuming fish decreased their risk of leukemia by 28%, their risk of multiple myeloma by 36%, and their risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by 29% for an overall decreased risk of all lymphomas by 30%.
Although not the number one fish for hair growth (salmon carries the highest amounts of the above mentioned nutrients), cod can still help to foster healthy scalp and hair growth, thanks to the B vitamins, omega -3 fatty acids, and protein. Cod can be baked or grilled to be served alone, or in fish tacos (with whole grain tortillas) or on a bed of fresh greens to turn a salad into a hearty meal. Try baking cod with fresh herbs and lemon juice for a zesty and tasteful center piece for your meal.
ZUMBA Fitness- A Party and Workout All In One
Since 2001, there has been an explosion of parties all over the world. Several times a week fitness enthusiasts pile into group fitness rooms, community centers, church fellowship halls, dance studios, and even night clubs. Participants line up in anticipation of the heart pounding, electrifying, infectious Latin and world rhythms. Once the music begins to play and the rhythms seep into bones and soul, and the energy becomes explosive. Bodies begin moving to the rhythms of salsa, cumbia, merengue , and so much more. Hearts are pounding, sweat is flowing, and the calories are burning. People are smiling and actually enjoying their workout (who would have thought?!). For thirty minutes to an hour (sometimes more) the party rages on and when it’s all over a feeling of complete and utter exhilaration sets in coupled with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. This is a live ZUMBA Fitness class.
Since its creation, ZUMBA Fitness has literally taken the world by storm and it’s no wonder. ZUMBA Fitness classes combine Latin dance moves with upbeat, party-like music and resistance training providing an intense workout regardless of your fitness level. The moves don’t require participants to be a seasoned dancer to pick up the steps as the moves are simple (with a splash of fitness variations) and repetitive. All you have to do is listen to and follow the instructor and dance like nobody is watching!
As a certified personal trainer and licensed ZUMBA Fitness instructor the question that I most often get is, “Will this help drop the pounds or keep the weight off?” The answer to that is yes. Studies have shown that in a 45-minute session of a ZUMBA Fitness class, participants can burn about 400-500 calories or more (depending on how intensely you move). The entire body is incorporated into the workout, targeting every major muscle group, which drives up the calorie burning. ZUMBA Fitness classes also help to train your core by helping to target the abdominal area, thanks to the Latin flavor of the moves. Adding just one ZUMBA Fitness class a week to your regular workout routine can give you a leg up on your fitness and weight loss goals (in addition to putting a smile on your face).
ZUMBA Fitness has designed programs/classes to reach a wide range of participants. There is literally a party for everyone! The various types of ZUMBA Fitness classes include:
- ZUMBA: This is the traditional ZUMBA class that includes rhythms like merengue, salsa, cumbia, reggaeton, belly dance, samba, African dance, and others.
- ZUMBA Gold: This class is designed for the active older adults and other participants who are beginning their journey to a new healthy lifestyle. This lower-impact class focuses on the anatomical, physiological, and psychological needs specific to these populations.
- ZUMBA Toning: This class mixes body-sculpting techniques and specific ZUMBA moves all into one class focusing on calorie-burning and strength training. In this class participants use weighted maraca-like ZUMBA Toning Sticks to enhance rhythm and build strength.
- Aqua ZUMBA: This is literally a “pool party”. This class is designed for ages 14 up and is similar to water aerobics (with a ZUMBA flare). This is perfect for those with joint issues.
- ZUMBAtomic: This one is for the kiddies! This class is designed for ages 4-12. It incorporates urban dance styles like hip hop, reggaeton and pop with focus on coordination, discipline, confidence and teamwork. This is a great and fun way to get the kids up and moving.
- Curves Circuit with ZUMBA: This program was just launched this past fall. This class is where the party meets the Curves Circuit. This 30-minute workout combines the high-energy moves from ZUMBA with the strength training exercises at timed intervals from the Curves Circuit. This class is usually exclusive to Curves members.
If your interest has been peaked thus far or if your interest has been peaked in the past, here are a few tips you want to consider when starting or taking a ZUMBA Fitness class:
- Wear dance fitness sneakers, aerobics shoes, or cross trainers. I highly recommend staying away from wearing running shoes as they are designed for forward movement and not the side-to-side and pivoting motions you will find in a ZUMBA Fitness class. Running shoes grip the floor and can cause problems in the joints and restrict mobility. If you don’t want to spend the extra money on dance sneakers (believe me they can get expensive!!) I also recommend Slip-on Dancers to participants in my classes. They slip on over any athletic shoe to create an instant dance surface and can be purchased for $10-15 per pair. Of course if you’re taking an Aqua ZUMBA class this won’t be an issue.
- Bring plenty of water or a low calorie sports drink. You WILL sweat and you’ll need to replace lost fluids.
- ZUMBA Fitness classes can be tricky for anyone dealing with knee or low back problems. The pivoting and twisting can often aggravate these problems. So if you’re having trouble with your knees or low back make sure you speak with the instructor and ask how the moves can be modified.
- Be sure to check with your physician before starting or changing your fitness routine.
- Finally…..HAVE FUN!!! Dance like nobody is watching (which should be easy as everyone will be watching the instructor). Don’t worry if you don’t get all the moves the first time, just keep moving, do your best and enjoy the party!
If you would like more information on ZUMBA Fitness or to find a ZUMBA Fitness class near you check out
www.zumba.com and click on the FIND A CLASS link.
For more information on the Slip-on Dancers head over to
Until Next week…