Fran Undurrago is feeling gratitude in the new year, judging by her social media updates. Undurrago posted a picture of herself at the beach, wearing a bright neon bathing suit as she stood in the surf. "Photo taken by mom not the best but love it that she took it. How nice it is to have parents alive. Thank you God! ??," she captioned the post.
Undurraga enjoys delicious, healthy eggplant-based dishes—especially lasagne. "The wonderful health benefits of eggplants are primarily derived from their vitamin, mineral, and nutrient content," says John Staughton, BASc, BFA. "According to the USDA, eggplants have a high water content with almost no cholesterol or fat and are a source of vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, and manganese."
Undurraga is a dab hand in the kitchen, whipping up red peppers stuffed with cheese and black beans. "Red peppers contain more than 200 percent of your daily vitamin C intake," says Julie Daniluk, R.H.N. "Besides being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps the proper absorption of iron. If you are iron deficient, try combining red peppers with your iron source for maximum absorption."
Undurraga loves to use an exercise ball to mix up her workouts. "The gym ball is so versatile it can be used to help someone who is just starting out in the gym as well as experienced exercisers," says Stephen MacConville, Nuffield Health's fitness lead. "A gym ball can be used by beginners to work on their squat technique. If they place the gym ball between the wall and their lower back, it can be used to support their back and help increase the range of movement in the squat."
Undurraga lifts weights as part of her workout routine. "Numerous studies have shown that strength training can play a role in slowing bone loss, and several show it can even build bone. This is tremendously useful to help offset age-related declines in bone mass," says Harvard Health. "Activities that put stress on bones can nudge bone-forming cells into action. That stress comes from the tugging and pushing on bone that occur during strength training (as well as weight-bearing aerobic exercises like walking or running). The result is stronger, denser bones."
Undurraga occasionally uses resistance bands for her exercises. "Studies show that there are no benefit changes between machines, free weights, and resistance bands," says Hayden Steele, NSCA-C.P.T., C.S.C.S. "Optimally, they would all be used together [in a training regimen], but when you look at strength benefits, you can't say that dumbbells are more effective than resistance bands. They just offer the same benefits for less money." (Wed 18) Views: 1,118
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