Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Simplify Health Fitness

Numerous studies have shown that exercise alone is not effective in battling long-term weight loss. Just look around and see that the fitness revolution of the last 40 years does not work for the general population. Yet, society continues to strive for the Hollywood emaciated celebrity appearance, the miracle transformation from hit TV shows like "The Biggest Loser," or the glam look fueled by Madison Avenue advertisers.
Every health professional will advocate exercise as a part of a weight loss program. The best doctors, however, will tell you that the typical recommendation of long duration, low intensity activities such as walking jogging, bicycling and aerobics up to six days a week is absolutely the worst recommendation for losing weight.
Long-term, low-impact exercise and activities cause a decrease in blood sugar, making you feel hungry and irritable. While aerobics yields some cardiovascular benefits, it fails to build muscle mass. In fact, chronic prolonged aerobic drills often lead to muscle loss and diminished strength.
Weight lost is not just about calories in and calories out. To lose weight, you have to burn fat. The biggest obstacle to weight loss is getting to the fat stores. The key to weight loss is understanding how foods affect hormones. An article I co-authored with Dr. Ronald Grisanti, "Obesity: Why Exercise Doesn't Work," focuses on the effect of sugar in the body and how insulin serves to keep fat stored in the fat cell, blocking the success of mainstream exercise programs.
So how do you get at the fat stores? I recommend a prescribed program of resistance exercises designed to improve strength, endurance and flexibility. Additional benefits include muscle toning, stress relief and weight loss. An effective, simplified approach to weight loss should be a three-prong approach that includes:
1. Education on how foods affect your hormones
2. Demonstration of what effective exercise entails for those only concerned with weight loss and health, not athletic enhancement
3. A way to address the biochemical glitches of the body such as thyroid, estrogen, testosterone etc. that may be leading to weight gain
For the obese and de-conditioned population, there are additional considerations. Athletic performance and weight loss are distinct goals. Many fitness coaches treat overweight and out of shape clients the way they would an athlete: with an overemphasis on core, mobility exercises and endurance training. Experts agree that the best approach for this demographic is to concentrate on exercised that stimulate the metabolism by challenging the largest muscles of the body because as the body ages, maintaining muscle mass is imperative for long-term health and fitness.
Scientific research confirms that stimulating muscle growth can be accomplished in as few as two sessions per week by challenging the larger muscles of the body with sufficient resistance. (Of course, this is based on the client's fitness level. Some may have to start slower than others due to overriding physical factors.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Keeping Fit to Give Yourself a Healthy Future

In today's health conscious world more and more people are taking their health seriously and taking active measures to keep themselves fit and in shape. With the news often dominated by stories of the obesity epidemic that's sweeping the nation, it's no wonder that people want to look after themselves and make sure that theirs and their family's futures are long and happy ones.
For most people, getting in shape means losing a bit of extra weight and this can be a lot harder to achieve than it first seems. By using the right type of fitness equipment you can give yourself the best chance of reaching your ideal weight, and machines such as treadmills and elliptical crosstrainers are some of the best to use. These are both excellent for use at home, as they are simple to use and give a fantastic all-over full body workout. Both machines will exercise most of the major muscle groups in your body, as well as providing an intensive cardiovascular workout. This is the key to losing weight - performing any exercise that increases your heart rate and oxygen intake for twenty to thirty minutes three times a week, will cause your body to start burning calories and therefore you will gradually begin to lose weight.
Once they've reached their ideal weight, many people are well and truly hooked on the fitness bug and look for other ways to improve their physique. Building a little extra muscle and muscle definition is normally fairly high on most people's list, and using the right sports supplements can really help. Protein shakes are by far the most common, and they can make a dramatic difference to any workout regime. By supplementing the amount of naturally forming protein that's found in the body, you give your muscles the very nutrient that it uses during its repair and regeneration process and this is when the muscles increase in strength and size. Taking a pre workout supplement such as creatine can also help by increasing the amount of energy you have during your workout, meaning that you can increase the intensity of, and by extension the gains from, any weightlifting workout.
While you're still getting use to your new fitness regime it can take your body a little time to adjust to the stresses and strains that you're putting it through, and during this time you can be prone to picking up injuries and niggles. Any soreness or injury should be taken seriously, and you should make an appointment at your nearest health clinic to have it checked out. Continuing to exercise can risk exacerbating the injury, putting you out of action for a long time.
So with a little bit of hard work, you can make a worthwhile change to your health and fitness. Picking an exercise routine that you enjoy is the key to making sure that you're as committed in three months time as you were on the day that you started. Before too long, you should start to notice the changes to your body and this can be a real motivator to keeping yourself going when times get tough.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Basics of Used Fitness Equipment

Without a doubt, getting into a regular physical fitness routine is one of the best things a person can do to encourage good health, as well as a more attractive physical appearance. Combined with a healthy and well-balanced diet, daily exercise can take years off of the condition of your body's muscles, bones, skin, and internal organs. It can also lower body fat, help prevent life-threatening conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, and give you the energy and enthusiasm you need to keep up with your busy lifestyle. Yet, despite the many clear benefits of physical fitness, many Americans still only get a portion of the exercise they need, falling victim to a sedentary lifestyle involving too much stress, poor diet, and sitting in a chair 8 to 12 hours a day. It's no wonder that current projections estimate that by 2015, 80% of Americans will be considered either overweight or obese, and the current generation of children is the first in history not expected to outlive their parents.
As obesity and lifestyle-related diseases are on the rise and the average life expectancy is suddenly falling, it's a fairly loud wake-up call for many adults that are neglecting their health and fitness. While there are a million excuses for not making it to the gym, everything from kids and a demanding work schedule to a complete lack of time and energy, the truth is that virtually everyone can find 15-30 minutes throughout the day for at least light, low-impact exercise. This could mean walking during a lunch break, doing yoga after dinner, or even playing Frisbee with your loveable dog. These little changes won't put you in marathon shape anytime soon, but they contribute to your overall health and well-being, something that's even more important to you and your family.
One of the best ways to find the motivation to make positive changes is to skip the gym, and invest in used fitness equipment. Having a treadmill, stationary bicycle, or rowing machine in your home means no more excuses for why you were just too busy to work out, or too low on energy to make it to the gym. Put a piece of used exercise equipment in your living room or rec room so you can work out during the news or a favorite TV show, or turn your basement into a home gym without the hassle of the drive or feeling self-conscious in skimpy workout gear. If strength training is your thing, add hand weights and a punching bag to your home gym, and keep your gym membership for when you're in the mood for some serious lifting. Keeping used fitness equipment in your home means you're more likely to actually use it, making it a more sensible long-term investment than paying not to go to the gym.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Don't Just Try to Look Good in a Swim Suit

A lot of people approach losing weight as either a competition or as a way to prove to themselves and others that they are worthy. Small wonder, listen to popular songs and you hear that men fall in love with women because of their sexy bodies. Movies generally depict "beautiful people" as the winners in love and finances. We want others to approve of us; we want to live up to some standard of beauty; so we decide that we have to lose weight for perhaps superficial reasons, like looking good in a swim suit. Unfortunately when we focus on reasons outside ourselves for losing weight our results are short-lived at best. For true, permanent, weight loss success we must look inside ourselves for both approval and the reason(s) why we want to drop weight in the first place.
If your goal then is to get off the weight loss roller coaster and truly lose weight permanently, it takes a shift in mindset. Instead of thinking about what others say, about what weight or size they think you should be, about what you have to look like to be popular, you must begin to think about what YOU want and how you feel.
Look, we all know that eating right and exercising are part of being healthy. That should be no surprise to anyone. What not everyone realizes is that "eating right" and "exercising" do not look exactly the same for every person! There is a lot of flexibility in these terms-which is good news because it allows us to create our own health system...one that is tailor made for us with our likes and dislikes, our goals and ambitions in mind!
How do you create this system? First take some time and really think about what your health and fitness goals are. If you think in terms of "health" rather than "weight loss" then you will guide your mind and body in the right direction and you will lose weight as a by-product of your actions!
Start with some simple questions that are an either/or answer. For example, "Do I want to run races or do I want to walk around the City?" Which one feels better for you? Go with that one. Then ask yourself another question. If you answered, "Walk around the City", to the first question then it might be you'd rather walk then run...so your next question might be, "Do I want to walk around the City or walk in the mountains?" Continue with these types of questions until you find something that really hits deep in your heart...then you know what-at least for now-your immediate health and fitness goal is.
It might be that you want to be able to walk in the sand at the beach, hike in the mountains, or run and play soccer with your kids. Perhaps your goal is to swim the English Channel or across the local pool, or ride your bike to work or across the country. It doesn't matter how big or small your goal is. What matters is that it is YOUR goal. Do not let anyone tell you that your goal is too big or small...and don't be afraid to let the goal grow and evolve as you do! Today your goal may be to walk around the block and tomorrow it might be to have the energy and balance to roller blade for an hour!
By placing the focus on something that YOU want you will dramatically increase your chance at weight loss success. Whenever you begin to wonder why you are eating better and taking care of your body you can refer back to your goal. When that health and fitness goal is achieved or no longer inspires you, then you can find a new goal.
As humans we come in a glorious variety of shapes, sizes, abilities and desires. We can achieve our health and fitness goals and weight loss success best when we focus on what inspires us rather than trying to live up to someone else's ideas about what is best for us.