Improve Your Health and Fitness

Over aeons of time, our bodies have adapted to cope with survival in a harsh environment. Although we achieved civilization thousands of years ago, our bodies have not evolved to adapt to this change. If we imagine ourselves back in the distant past we would have eaten less sugar, salt and fat in a year or more than we now eat in a week or less. We would have eaten a diet of meat and fish, mostly vegetable matter, fruit, berries, nuts, seeds and roots. We would only have drunk water, and may have sampled the splendour of honey. Foods would be rich in fibre, some protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals, but low in sugar, salt and saturated fats. We would have been in almost constant motion; playing, working, foraging, preparing food, but rarely staying still. (I think that it is important to remind ourselves that our body is designed to be active, but that we often think of exercise as formal, vigorous, structured pursuits. It can be easy to persuade ourselves that going swimming or playing football twice a week is enough [and so we have an excuse for driving to work and to the local shops]. And although it is great to do these things, we can stay fit and healthy without a gym membership, just by doing everyday movements; walking, cleaning the house, and gardening, and yes I shall say that well-worn phrase- leaving the car at home.)

Don’t think that our person from the past would have been feasting on jumbo mammoth steaks Flintstone-style all day long either. Meat may have been in scant supply for much of the time (have you ever tried to catch a rabbit?) and women and children spent a large amount of time foraging for nuts, roots, berries and vegetable matter. Everyone would have been involved in acquiring food, and all methods of obtaining food would have used large amounts of energy; you have to cover wide areas to provide enough food for a family. Even when farming became a way of life huge amounts of energy would have to be invested in producing the fruits, vegetables and animal products. Animals too would have been reared on a diet of more complex foods rather than modern high-energy processed feeds. It is thought that their meat would have been much less rich in saturated fats and so healthier for the people consuming it.

Food production would have been part of every day life, unlike today where food arrives pre-packed, smothered in cellophane, produced days, weeks or months ago in a factory hundreds of miles away, glazed with wax, identical in size and colour to its neighbour, lacking any aroma, and likely to be lacking in nutrition. Our imaginary person would have experienced real, largely unprocessed food, and a varied seasonal diet (no strawberries at Christmas for Ms Caveperson). It is likely that they would have a relationship with what they had produced. If you ever grow your own fruit and veg you will understand how exciting it is to watch things grow, then how good it feels to harvest and prepare them. People would have wasted nothing- all parts of every fruit, vegetable or animal would be used for something, almost nothing was unusable; today in the UK one third of our food is thrown away and wasted, out of every 2 bagged salads purchased today, one will go in the bin (sounds familiar?).

Another aspect of our imaginary person’s relationship to food is the social aspect. People would have produced and processed the food together, celebrated harvests and abundant times, and eaten together as a family or group. Children would help the adults, and learnt how to grow and prepare food ensuring that they would be able to look after themselves as adults. Meal times may have been the only time when the extended family would be gathered together to swap the day’s news, gossip and stories. This way people eat more slowly, and eat less allowing their body to feel full and satisfied. Food would have produced social bonding and been a central and essential part of social life.

Life would have been hard, and still is for many people today who have to provide their own food, and so I don’t want to over-romanticise this imaginary person. However, I think that this person from the past is a useful tool for understanding what our eating and activity profile should be more like if we wish to be healthier and happier. There would have been no slouching on a sofa in front of the TV, no Chicken Dippas, micro-chips, and definitely (and thankfully) no Pringles. Our imaginary person may not even recognise these things as food.

Underneath it all we are still cave people, our bodies and brains have evolved to take nutrition from simple whole foods, we thrive on human contact and still feel the need to eat together and share food, and our bodies are healthier if we exercise consistently. We need a diet rich in whole foods, in raw foods, and home cooked foods. We should pick foods which are low in sugar, salt and saturated fat. If you are doubtful about the validity of a food, ask yourself how far-removed it is from its natural state, could you make it yourself, would it have existed a hundred years ago or more? If the answer is no then the chances are that it is not very healthy. We need to explore the excitement of foraging for food, growing it and preparing it, we need to rediscover the simple pleasures of podding peas, chopping fresh herbs, picking blackberries, and making pickles and jams.

Diet And Fitness Programs

Diet refers to the intake of food and nourishment for the growth and maintenance of the body. Dieticians or nutritionists consider a diet as a balanced meal that contains appropriate portions of all nutrients. A good diet helps a person to maintain good health. Fitness is the overall well being of the body. Diet is a therefore an important part of fitness. Continue reading

Everyday Is a Health and Fitness Resolution

Keeping physically fit requires resolve! Nothing is more important than deciding to follow a fitness plan. Around the holidays so many of us make a New Year’s resolution to get fit and healthy, but I’m here to tell you that everyday is the time for a health and fitness resolution! Though we often blame outward circumstances for our poor health (e.g. office treats, fast food, “the holidays,”) in reality, the true barrier to preventing us from reaching our fitness goals is our own procrastination.

How often have we told ourselves, “Someday I’ll fit into that dress,” or “I’ll get back to my college weight eventually”? Time and time again we delay our health a fitness resolutions until a future date. It is time to stop this incessant procrastination because all we end up doing is having a perpetual desire… endless wanting. Make the resolution to turn these dreams into a reality. The time for delay has come to an end. As Shakespeare says, “Defer no time; delays have dangerous ends.”

The secret to living a healthy life is rooted in the realization that tomorrow never comes! Our tomorrow is nothing but the consequences of decisions that we make today. When we think about it, it becomes obvious that today is all that we have. The past no longer exists. The future has yet to come. The present is all that exists! The person you want to be in the future, therefore, will only come into existence when the person that you actually are resolves to do something… NOW. Again, everyday is a health and fitness resolution!

To reach your long-term fitness goals requires a commitment. There are no short cuts! What this will entail is different for each person. The best way to maximize your time and efforts is to work with a personal trainer. He or she will help determine which exercises and diet is best for your physical make up and life situation. It is much easier to reach your fitness goals when you have an everyday plan directing you how to get there.

Despite the numerous gimmicks, fad diets and fancy exercise plans, reaching your optimal health and fitness goals is really quite simple. It requires two ingredients; 1) an exercise plan that fits your body type and goals, 2) your determination and resolution to follow this plan, each and everyday! I’m not saying you have to train every day, it’s the mentality that you want to be on top of. Armed with this two-pronged attack, physical fitness will lose its mysterious and elusive quality. Exercise and diet plans are out there. Finding a program that works for you is very possible. The real question that you must ask yourself is this; “Do I have the resolution and determination to work towards my goals each and every day?” Do I sincerely desire everyday to be a health and fitness resolution?

The great secret to happiness in life is the realization that today is all that we have. The seeds of the future you are present in the little decisions that you make today. Each and everyday is an opportunity and invitation for you to become the new and improved you. You want to be healthier? You want to increase your level of fitness? Then make the resolution today, and everyday, to do what is required! Make everyday a health and fitness resolution.

A Look on Diet Fitness

Many people nowadays are very much conscious about their own health and fitness. In addition to that, these people, and many others as well, are now having that desire to sculpt their bodies to ahieve that magazine-cover look. As a result, gyms, health spas and other fitness centers have proliferated all over to cater to the needs of the fitness buffs and afficionados.
Even on television exercise machines, weight loss products, and other paraphernalia to improve fitness have more or less gained control over the airwaves and made their way into the households. But exerise is not the only way to build that body beautiful. It also entails certain amount of responsibility on the foods one chooses to eat. Being healthy and fit requires one to observe diet fitness.

Diet fitness is as essential as exercise itself. Diet for fitness provides the essential nutrition one needs to restore worn-out muscles and for healthy growth. Diet fitness should never be taken for granted. With the popularity of keeping fit, many different views, methods, programs and dieting strategies have been formulated by many professionals. Among these are high carb diets and high fat diets. Whih one is more effective and which one should one choose to follow?

First thing to know would be the fundamental differences between these two diet approaches. As the name implies, high carb diets concentrates on taking in carbohydrate-rich foods while high fat diets endorses fat-rich foods. High carb diets are utilized to glycogen stored in the liver and muscles. Glycogen is a glucose complex that provides large amounts of energy ready for use in anaerobic exercises.

Fats, on the other hand, is well-nown for being the richest source of calories. It actually contains 2.5 times more calories than carbohydrates and proteins alike. Studies also show that it takes the body 24 calories to metabolize carbohydrates while it only takes 3 to burn down fat. So which one to follow? A person can follow a high carb and low fat fitness diet or the other way around. It is absolutely not recommended to follow both at the same time; unless of course if you want to gain body fat.

But then diet fitness is not all about losing fat, one must also consider his diet in order to keep fat away. Research shows that sustainable loss of weight can only be achieved on a diet which suits the individual food preferences, lifestyle, medical profile and satiety signals.

Diet programs all over can help you shed off excess pounds, but only one diet can help you stay sexy, and it is the one that satisfies you most. Other important aspects of having a fit diet are moderation, balance and variation. One must be careful not to leave out important nutrients and other substances necessary for healthy body functioning. health organizations are clear about the amounts of nutrients an individual should have in the body.

Low fat high carbs, high carbs low fat; the question is not which diet program will work out but which is it that will work for you. Striving for a sexy and healthy body does not have to burden an individual, diet fitness does not have to mean sticking to the same kind of food for life. One may even try to be adventurous and try out new foods out there. Who knows? one may even discover spinach interesting.

How to Live a Successful Fitness Lifestyle

Dear Deborah

Question From Ann, NewYork City: Every time I begin a fitness program, life gets in the way, I start stalling and before I know it I’ve fallen off the wagon and gained 5lbs. I can’t really afford a personal trainer but I can see how they can help you stay on track. I’ve tried DVD’s and classes with no success. Is there anything out there that can help me?

Answer : Thank you Ann for your honesty, I know many women have similar frustrations while pursuing their fitness lifestyle. There’s a lot of new research out there in the Fitness world and from that dearth of research is a new hybrid of personal trainers. They’re called Fitness Lifestyle Coaches, they can provide both exercise and behavioral guidance and they are a cheaper alternative to a Personal Fitness Trainer. I will address your question in the mindset of a Fitness Lifestyle Coach so you will catch a glimpse of how the lifestyle fitness coaching process can work.

So, lets get down to basics and define fitness, which includes three elements. First you need a cardio challenge where the heart and breathing rate are significantly raised. The second ingredient is strength training where the muscles are challenged with resistance work. Thirdly is Flexibility, muscles need to stretch to maintain mobility. Remember, you get stiff then you get old. Trying to take on all 3 elements in the beginning may feel daunting, so don’t.

Pick one element you enjoy; all three are equally important so choosing one can be the key to starting a lifestyle in which you can consistently participate. Once one element becomes a habit, because you enjoy it, which usually takes 28 days, you can add another. Add each element gradually and in small doses so as not to overwhelm your self. Of course, if you enjoy two or even all three fitness elements, dedicate a small amount of time to each so you experience success with the designated time for each element. Be realistic in your time allotment, if you can’t live up to it you’ll feel like a failure, so choose smaller time frames and experience success. Think ‘do a little less and emphasize success’ and it builds self-confidence.

You need to find what motivates or turns you on, so to get motivated you need a Fitness Vision. This vision entails using your imagination to project into your future. Ask yourself what it would look like to see yourself living your fitness lifestyle successfully after a year or two? Visualize how you’ll look, act, eat, sleep etc. until you can feel it, see it, smell it, breathe it. By making it as real as possible to yourself you’ll start to feel the excitement bubble up in you. Now that’s getting your mojo working for you.

Now set goals for you to make that vision happen. Where am I now? How can I get closer to that vision in 3months/ 6months? On a weekly basis, what do I do? Start with small weekly goals, so you can feel a sense of accomplishment every time you meet your goals. Then every week, add a little more challenge and because you are living up to your goals successfully, your self-confidence grows.

We all know how life gets in the way, that progress is never linear. So get creative and for see possible problems. In your mind play out how these obstacles can stop you and how you can find ways to work around them. This way when the problems come up your not caught off guard and you’ll be better prepared to deal with the situation and stay on track with your fitness lifestyle.

Yes, hiring a trainer makes it easier to stay on track with your fitness, but doing it yourself can be satisfying, rewarding, and even more empowering because you have thoughtfully come up with your own solutions instead of just following orders.

A Personal Trainer shows up with exercise programs that challenge you and keep you progressing to higher levels of fitness. Where as a Lifestyle Fitness Coach challenges you to get creative, problem solve, know yourself better and break through barriers, helping you break old habits, building confidence to develop healthier new ones so you can maintain a fitness lifestyle independently.

Fasting Your Way to Better Health and Fitness

When I was younger, I used to sing a great deal in public and earn from it. A bad cold, therefore, meant harmed voice, equals no income. In those days, I believed a great deal in the curative powers of medicines and so every time a cold attacks, I did the usual “stuff a cold and starve a fever”. What was worse was that it usually took me too long to recover from a single attack that left me unable to perform and earn a living. There was this very important concert then that I had to perform in along with others. I was so excited because this was no small-time concert. All forms of advertisements were exhausted for the event and the venue had been long prepared. Suddenly, three days before the anticipated performance, I caught an awful cold.

I went to the manager of the affair and reported my sad predicament. Fortunately, the manager was a doctor who was not overly convinced by the curative powers of medicines. And he was the one who introduced me to the “fasting cure” which he, himself practices when he’s afflicted with one. I was advised to starve and eat nothing but I can drink all the water I can until my pulse and body temperature returned to normal. I was also advised to rest in bed for about three days and he promised me I’d be as good as new after that. I was told not to listen to my family, relatives and doctor if they tell me to eat to gain my strength back. He assured me that I would not grow weak for lack of nourishment in a three-day fasting. I also learned about not being able to digest food well if the person has a fever, so it is advisable, really to fast.

I took his advice and the results were exactly as he had stated. After the end of the three-day fast, I was able to join a last rehearsal in the afternoon of the big event. And that night, I sang my numbers without a trace of the bad cold! In three days I was able to recover fully well from a bout of cold through fasting, which would have normally taken me much longer if I had succumbed to purely medical solutions.

Digestive disorders are caused by many factors. Eating a lot and eating more than what is required is quite a common cause. Other factors include hurried and improper eating. These two alone cause about 80% of digestive disorders. Then there’s the tobacco or after-meal cigar, “treats” and the business-first-before-meal attitude.

I have a very good appetite or digestion though some things could cause it to falter once in a while. In those cases, I eventually resort to fasting to give my stomach a few days’ rest. For my fever, catarrhal problems and bad cold and glandular disorders, fasting never fails to restore me up. Fasting can help clean the digestive system. It can be done through the supervision of a capable nurse without inducing any other commercial medicine. Under these conditions a satisfactory cure is almost certain.

My summary of the matter is, as I have stated, that the difference between starving and fasting lies in the mental attitude. The beneficial effect of fasting is that it gives the stomach needed rest from any digestive disorders. While in “bad colds” the clogging rubbish or surplus matter is burned up or eliminated from the body and glandular structures very much in the same way that this end is accomplished by prolonged systematic exercise.

The only danger in the fasting system, if not of too long duration, seems to lie at its termination. Taper off gently and don’t gorge yourself. Do this and no harm will result. At the end of the four days’ fasts I have taken, I ate in moderation; grape juice, well-boiled rice, green peas and carrots. The next day I ate anything I liked, provided I chewed it properly and slowly.

Working Out for Extreme Fitness

Many people think about building muscles as abandoning life outside the gym and devoting hours in the gym like a monk in a monastery. Perhaps the only way to chisel the body into a hot muscular physique is by toiling hour by hour over the rusty iron day in, day out and year in, year out.
This need not be so. Although hard work is truly required, extreme fitness demands one to be a slave of the iron weights. Full-body work outs can make one progress and it easily fits in one’s schedule. This is very convenient if one is looking forward to achieving extreme fitness but finds it hard to hold on to a single work out routine.

Genuine full-body work outs done by athletes with an aim in mind makes for maximum muscle contraction using heavy weights, makes room for full recovery so one can actually grow and continue to train hard plus it also prevents burnout which is inevitable due to excess training.

So if one is ready for extreme fitness, here is all there is to know about full body work out:

Full-body work out is a time saver. The biggest plus about having the whole body trained all at once is probably having to go to the gym less frequently; perhaps around two to three times for every seven days would be enough.

Another advantage of working out the entire body all at once is that one need not spend two or more hours of strenuous exercise in the gym for every session; one only spends one hour in the gym for every session. So that’s just three to four hours per week in the gym right? With full-body work outs, it is all about the quality of exercise one does for session and not the quantity, nor even the amount of time you allot per session.

Full-body work out boosts the cardiovascular system for extreme fitness. One must allot two to four sets for every body part into the one hour session. Jam packed with exercising, each one hour session then gets the heart and the rest of the cardiovasular system pumping and up to speed in a flash.

Now feeling pumped up, next find out what rules does one have to follow when engaging in full-body work outs:

Training commences only once every two to three days. This is so easy isn’t it? What is great about this is that there is time spared during rest days so that one can indulge in a few cardio exercise sessions instead of depending on cardio execises one normally does at the end of each work out session which after all, are not at all very effective.

Heavy lifting is strongly advised. Contrary to popular belief, especially among athletes. It is not true that it is good to get trapped on training lightly than one actually could so as to conserve energy for the other body parts that will come later in the routine. What is true is that one cannot achieve optimal progress if one is not training heavy, no matter which program that person is doing.

One exercise only per muscle group. This is very easy to follow and is also important. Doing basic exercises which are also intense means you do not have to do another different exercise for that body part.

Keep work out short. Resistance training affects the natural homones of the body connected to muscle building. Intense exercising boosts the testosterone levels and long work outs increase those of catabolic cortisol. Sixty minutes of work out allows you to get the best of both worlds.

Now with this convenient and powerful work out regimen, one can now truly experience extreme fitness.

Fitness For Busy Corporates

Companies of all shapes and sizes are striving to make physical fitness part of their employees’ lives. Aside from the proven health benefits of exercise, physically fit employees can also handle physical work tasks better, deal with stressful situations more easily and tend to be less susceptible to illness and injuries. Companies are discovering the positive benefits of providing workplace fitness programs. Continue reading

The Road To Fitness

For most of us, choosing to be fit is more a test of will than a one time decision. Being “fit” covers a change in our lifestyle much more than just embarking upon a new exercise or diet program. For me, the choice came about 15 years ago. I was about 24 years old when friends of mine convinced me to start going to the gym as a group. At that time, I knew I didn’t really like the way I looked, so I thought it would be a good idea. How hard could it be? Well, it didn’t take long before I knew the answer to that question. Continue reading

Beauty and Fitness

Health is wealth. By being physically fit, it can make a person look lean both inside and out.
There is a lot a person can do such jogging or walking in the morning, playing basketball or any other sport with friends but if a person wants to have muscles and look lean, the best thing to do will be to sign up and workout in a gym.

Just like taking any medicine, one should first consult the doctor before undergoing any form of exercise.

Physical exercise is beneficial because it helps maintain and improve ones health from a variety of diseases and premature death. It also makes a person feel happier and increases ones self esteem preventing one from falling into depression or anxiety. It has also shown to make a person with an active lifestyle live longer than a person who doesn’t.

The best exercise plan should have cardiovascular and weight training exercises. This helps burn calories and increase the muscle to fat ratio that will increase ones metabolism and make one either gain or lose weight.

A person who has never worked out before should do it gradually. Doing it too much for the first time can make one pull a muscle or have an injury making it worse. Endurance will never be built in a day and doing it repeatedly will surely be good to the person.

Focusing on certain portion in the body can help make it improve. A good example is going to the gym and doing a workout more often in a specific area such as the abs can give one a chest pack.

But beauty is not only about having muscles which is what people can see. It is also about enhancing the beauty within.

Here are some things one can do everyday to stay beautiful and healthy;

· Reading books and other reading material more often keeps the mind sharp just like working out keeps the body in shape.

· Work no matter what kind it is produces stress. One can reduce this by taking the time out to do something special like lying in a hot tub, shopping or watching a movie. Studies have shown it is reliever and helps one from looking haggardly.

· Pollution is something people cannot control given the size of the problem. When one goes out, it is best to put some form of protection such as beauty products that contain antioxidants that protect the skin from damage. There are also other beauty products available and choosing the right one with the help of a dermatologist can help the person.

· Another way to stay healthy is to give up some vices. Most people smoke and drink. Smoking has been proven to cause lung cancer and other diseases as well complications for women giving birth. Excessive drinking has also shown to do the same.

· For people who don’t smoke, it is best to stay away from people who do since studies have shown that nonsmokers are also at risk of developing cancer due to secondary smoke inhalation.

· Lastly, it is best to always start the day with a positive outlook. Just as studies have shown that exercise makes a person feel happier, smiling produces the same effect. A smile can do a lot and it is contagious in a positive sense. It brightens the day of not only one but others as well.

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