Monday, February 27, 2006

Related Tips on Fitness and Health


Dancing is so much fun and whether you enjoy a slow, Ballroom dance or a nightclub packed with people all moving to heart-pumping techno, as long as you are moving, it really does not matter what type of dance or music. The whole idea is to move your body. Dancing has long been recommended as an avenue to fitness.


If you have a VCR or DVD, rather than just using it for your favorite comedy or action-packed movie, try sticking in some good workout tapes. Even taking 15 minutes every day to workout will get you started. Try that for two weeks and you will be surprised at the results. Once you see that 15 minutes a day makes a difference, you will be encouraged to increase the time spent.

Before it’s a Problem

Instead of taking an injury through rehabilitation after it is an injury, why not rehab before. You can actually take preventative measures before you indulge in a sport or activity by ensuring you stretch properly. This will help strengthen as well as stretch muscles, which in turn, helps reduce unnecessary injuries.

Quality Matters

While finding that great bargain on poorly made running or training shoes may be tempting, it would be far better to put your workout on hold for a couple of weeks while you save the money needed to purchase a good pair. That does not mean you have to pay a fortune, but always ensure you are working out with the proper shoes. Wearing shoes that have a poor design or poor durability can actually cause injury.

Get Ready to Run

Before any workout, always warm up. If you are a runner, before you go out for your actual run, take two to five minutes to jog in place to prepare. You will find that you have a better run.


The next time you work out try adding some resistance to your routine. You can use special rubber bands or other devices designed specifically as a way to help you with isometrics, thus get better results.

Taking a Break

If you are actively involved in a workout regimen but you are getting ready to go on vacation for two weeks or have an extra heavy workload for your job over the next couple of weeks, instead of just stopping your routine completely during that time, just cut back. Even reducing your workout by 50% will give you the break you need but also make it much easier to get back to full speed than if you just stopped altogether.

Walk the Dog

Instead of just opening the back door to let the dogs out, put them on a leash and go for a nice walk. They will appreciate the new scenery and you are doing yourself a great justice.

Set Goals

Set a goal for yourself, perhaps four to six weeks. By breaking up your time into workable chunks of time instead of looking out an entire year, you will have a much easier time meeting your goals and staying on track as well as encouraged.

Interval Training

As a way to improve your fitness in a speedy manner and lose weight, try interval training. This means that you where your workout intensity varies. This is beneficial to your workout and fights workout boredom.

Know your Age

While you are only as old as you feel, keep in mind that young people can very easily leap over an obstacle in the garage or take a nice jog through the neighborhood with no problem. However, as people age, it is crucial to stay fit and healthy and pay attention to your age. Something that might have been easy for you when you were young may now cause injury or illness. If you find you can no longer perform one activity, do not be discouraged; just substitute one activity for another.

Friday, February 24, 2006

10 Tips To Avoid The Holiday Bulge - And Inner Thoughts About Them

10 Tips To Avoid The Holiday Bulge - And Inner Thoughts About Them
Do you find it almost impossible to stay conscious and contentious about weight and nutrition during the holidays ? Of course you do. More than half of all Americans are overweight. All American's are in this together.

You can take heart from a new government study which shows most Americans gain about a pound over the holiday. You're not alone. The study shows that during the holiday period, for the people in the study, two main things influenced the holiday weight gain: level of hunger and level of activity. Those who reported being less active or more hungry had the greatest weight gain.

If you can stay focused on dealing with just those two things, you'll probably win.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of weight gain," according to Dr. Samuel Klein. He is Director of the Center for Human Nutrition as Washington University in St. Louis, MO. "Preventing the increase in weight is a lot easier and better than actually gaining weight and then trying to get it off again."

The answer is simple. Eat less and exercise more.

The good news is that most of the people overestimate how much they had gained. Fewer than 10% gain 5 pounds or over.

The bad news is that although the one pound gained seems like a small amount, that weight WAS NOT LOST during the rest of the year and those single pounds accumulate over the years and add up to obesity.

Here are some helpful hints and tips put together by skinny people to help you avoid the tiny little weight watching issues you face during this joyous season.

1). Don't eat while you cook. Those little "tastes" can turn into 1000 calories before you've blinked.

2) How can you keep the pounds off at calorie rich parties? Stay away from the food! Literally ... stay on the other side of the room from the buffet table or appetizers tray.

3). Keep up your food diary ... every day of the holiday ... it will help you pinpoint your special weaknesses. Just one 150 calorie chocolate chip cookie each day will add up to an extra pound in only 3 weeks.

4). Portion size is the real secret. Keep salad portions large and all other portions extra small. When it comes to sweets, think quality, not availability. Just because the candy corn is there doesn't mean you have to eat it. Don't be afraid to cut off "just a bite" of a high calorie treat. Put the rest back on the serving tray. If you're the hostess, pre-cut high calorie items into tiny portions to help your friends. Just a bite may be plenty to satisfy you.

5). You SHOULD stay active, darling. The best thing for you to do is to stick to your regular schedule and routine.

6). Only eat things you really want and care about. So what if your neighbor brought okra au gratin everyone's raving about? Use that space on your plate for a homemade roll, hot from the oven. Put real butter on it. Life is choices. Treat yourself to what you want and LEAVE THE REST IN THE SERVING DISH.

7). Wear clothes which are slightly tight and your favorites. You'll think twice about the third helping if you can't let your belt out a notch. Always remember there's about 8 pounds between dress sizes.

8). Don't let yourself get hungry. Don't arrive at the party starving. Be sure you eat your normal, healthy meals, especially breakfast. A protein rich breakfast "resets" the body and starts it off not hungry. Don't starve yourself, thinking you can "save up" calories. Fill up before the big holiday feasts with healthy vegetable snacks.

9). You don't need to be stressed. Take Time for You. Get a massage or a nice facial. Sit down and slip your shoes off.

10). Drink water instead of alcohol which has empty calories and lowers will power. Avoid sugary sodas which throw your metabolism into pendulum swings.

Well, that's all 10 pieces of holiday advice.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Plan to Eat and Eat Your Plan

Plan to Eat and Eat Your Plan

Poor nutrition has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and many other diseases. We can reduce our risk by choosing well-balanced meals. Balance, moderation and variety are the keys to eating well to maintain a sound mind and body.

Fast foods and eating out in restaurants have become so prevalent in our society that eating healthy meals are somewhat difficult. Understandably, it is easier to take the kids to a fast food restaurant or drive through after an exhausting day at work. No doubt there are more convenient choices but they are killing us and our families. Like with any change, it is challenging to adopt a new way in the early stages, but not impossible.

First begin with a plan. You have heard many times that if you fail to plan, then, you plan to fail. It is the same with eating. Plan your meals at the beginning of the week. Breakfast is as simple as whole grain cereal, whole-wheat toast, fruit, low-fat yogurt, 100% juice, and skim milk. Pack your lunch the night before so you will not make excuses or be tempted to run to the hotdog vendor. Pack leftovers from dinner, a veggie or tuna sandwich with low-fat mayo, fruit or soup. Purchase ready-made salads [without dressing mixed in] for a quick and easy dinner. Store readily available vegetables with low fat dip for easy snacking. Children love to dunk food into dips, this is a great way to get them to eat a healthy snack.

Prepare meals that can be stored in the freezer such as casseroles, pasta dishes, etc. Before you go to work, take a dish out of the freezer to thaw out. When you come home from work, all you need to do is throw the thawed dish in the oven for about 35-45 minutes and dinner is served without much effort.

Eating healthy on a regular basis does take planning and discipline. At first, it may seem rigorous because you are learning how to prepare meals. Grocery shopping may also feel like a chore. But, within a couple of weeks, it will become a habit and second nature. You will feel more in control knowing exactly what ingredients are being used. Therefore, you do not have to worry about hidden fats or too much salt, that are likely present in most restaurant foods.

Be a good role model for your family. You will be serving them by providing both healthy meals and educating them about leading a healthy lifestyle. This is huge because you are setting the example for your kids and passing it on to their kids, and down the line. So, if there was any evidence before of family history health problems, feel well that you decided to take charge and end the madness or at least decrease the risk for your family's future generations.

The goal here is to enjoy nutritious and tasty foods. Remember, moderation is key so do not be too obsessed or restrictive as you may sabotage your success resulting in binge eating. Many of you can probably relate to forcing yourself not to eat a certain type of food such as a cookie, only to find a whole box devoured later. Have the cookie to prevent overeating down the road.

Plan your meals to incorporate servings of protein, whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. RDA suggest for daily intake of carbohydrates: 55-70%, fats: 20-30%, proteins: 15-20% and the World Health Organization suggests 40-50 grams of fiber daily. A varied diet is essential to good health. Concentrate on foods that are high in vitamins, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, unrefined carbohydrates, high fiber, low in sugar, low in fat, low in sodium, and limit alcohol consumption. Eating well and limiting your use of salt, sugar, caffeine, fats, can reduce stress and disease. American Cancer Society has stated that as much as 60% of cancer is related to diet.

You must start by making a decision to live a healthy, less stressful life by developing good eating habits. Come up with a plan and include your family by asking for feedback. Find out what healthy foods they want to try. Get them involved. It is easier to change when you are supported. Eating well will help you manage stress, reduce risk of disease and illness, control weight, and provide energy.

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

10 Easy Tips to Eat Your Way to Lower Cholesterol This Month

10 Easy Tips to Eat Your Way to Lower Cholesterol This Month

So you have high cholesterol and need to lower it? That is no surprise considering how many people have high cholesterol these days. To help lower your cholesterol, here are 10 tips you can get started with today.

As with anything health related, diet and exercise are the two crucial components. What you eat is critical to lowering your cholesterol levels, so that is what is included here.

One thing you should know is the difference between LDL and HDL cholesterol. Simply think of HDL as "healthy" and LDL as "lousy." HDL can actually help carry cholesterol out of your blood vessels while LDL allows it to deposit inside your artery walls.

The good news is that you can change your cholesterol for the better. Here is how to do just that:

1. Avoid fast food like french fries and anything else from the deep fryer. Those foods will raise your cholesterol like crazy, so stay away from the burger joints if you can.

2. Avoid Trans fats! Not only do they raise the lousy LDL cholesterol, they can also lower your HDL levels! Stay away from foods like margarine, shortening, and processed foods containing partially hydrogenated soybean oil.

3. Use the grill. If you're going to have steak or burgers, grill them at home and use lean meat. This practice avoids the grease, is fun, and the meat tastes great.

4. Go ahead, go nuts! Look for walnuts mainly but also try almonds, macadamia nuts, cashews, and pecans. Nuts are high in fat, but it's the good kind. (Also, use natural peanut butter instead of the normal kind which contains unhealthy Trans fats.)

5. Find a new salad dressing. Most of them are full of Trans fats and cholesterol. Olive oil is good, and maybe add vinegar or lemon juice. Also, skip the bacon bits, croutons, and egg yolks.

6. Have a nice sandwich on whole wheat bread or a pita with some lean turkey and lots of fresh veggies. Skip the hot dogs, bologna, and salami, and hold the Mayo. All of those are highly processed and filled with fat and cholesterol.

7. Limit desserts and try to eat only the healthier ones like angel food cake, graham crackers, Jell-O, and fat-free frozen yogurt.

8. Eat foods that are high in fiber. Examples include whole wheat bread, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, beans, and some cereals. (Look for the boxes that say "may help lower cholesterol.")

9. Go overboard on fruits and vegetables. They contain no cholesterol and they have lots of nutrients like antioxidants.

Here are some examples: green peas, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, oranges, mangos, papaya, pineapple, tomato, garlic, onions, spinach, water chestnuts, bananas, apricots, blueberries, and kiwi.

10. Fish, like salmon, is good. Look for wild red salmon varieties, which are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids (good fat.) Also, flax seed is a good source of Omega-3s.

11. Bonus tip: Use spices like pepper and oregano to add flavor to your dishes. They are a healthy alternative to other toppings like Mayo.

That was easy, wasn't it? Just make some of these changes and get plenty of exercise like walking, jogging, swimming, or playing basketball. You will have lower cholesterol in no time!

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Starting a Lifelong Running Program

I don't think you'll find too many fitness experts who don't feel running is one of the best exercises you can do to keep in shape.

The criticism is the stress on the body. The knees and leg muscles do take a beating. But . . . there are plenty of runners in their 60's and 70's who have been running for years and continue to do so.

Running is simply too great of an exercise to dismiss. Here's a way to make running a lifelong exercise with minimal injuries.

First, warm up is very important. Ideally you should walk at a brisk pace for 5 minutes of more. After the body starts to get warmed up, some stretching exercises will help loosen the muscles and prepare them for the workout to come.

A continuous steady stretch should be used. Do not bounce!!

Forget distance - think time. We want to work up to a nice 30 minute workout.

Before you try to progress, the first goal will be walking at a brisk pace comfortably for 30 minutes. If you can do this now, you can move to the next step. If not, work towards that goal.

Once you reach the 30 minutes of brisk walking, you can move to the next step. Warm up as stated for no less than 5 minutes. Now you're going to begin to walk briskly and then run at a slow pace until you become winded. Then walk briskly until you recover. Begin running again.

If it's 15 seconds, fine. 30 seconds - go for it. The idea is to gradually build up your running time.

Start out doing this 3 - 5 times during your exercise. You can do more if you have been exercising regularly.

Here's the good news. Just doing that will be a good exercise routine. Even walking for 30 minutes but getting to the point where you throw in 5 - 1 minute runs is great! You get your heart beat to climb and when you drop back to walking, the rate stays elevated for awhile.

Now, if you're up to it and are so inclined, start increasing the running. Again, a little at a time. If you injure yourself, not only do you have to stop the exercise for a time, but you also might be less likely to pick it up again.

So walk and then begin running for a couple minutes at a time. Or jog at a slow pace for as long as you feel comfortable.

Here's another tip to remember if your routine works up to running the entire time. If you run at a steady pace, then throw in faster runs of 30 seconds or more, and return to running at a steady pace to recover, you will actually get more benefit in your running routine.

The sprints (not all out but we'll call them sprints to make it easy) will force your body out of it's comfort zone. You will become much fitter than you would by running at a slow and steady pace for your entire routine.

Now, if you want to break the boredom, run some hills. You'll feel it in your shins and the front of your thighs as you run up the hill but, and this is good news, it's actually less strain on your knees.

However, be careful and slow it down while running down the hill. Here's where your knees can really take a beating. There's a tendency to pick it up while running downhill as you have great momentum.

Ignore that tendency.

Obviously if you are training for a racing event or such, this type of routine will not apply to you; unless you are just starting to run. But this running routine is something you can do to keep yourself fit while minimizing the risk of injury.

You will have less chance of injury and you're more likely to do it for a lifetime!

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pound for Pound - Every Little Bit Helps

The world is overweight, especially in the United States. Every year we seem to get lazier and fatter.

People who have put on a few extra pounds typically fall into one of two categories. They are either obsessed with dieting and losing weight or they just do not seem to care. They are both doomed to fail.

The former group will likely fail because of their unreasonable expectations, while the latter group thinks that weight loss and fitness are just too difficult, so they give up without even trying.

If you belong to either group, you need to put things into perspective. You will probably never develop a supermodel figure or bodybuilder physique. But the good is that you do not need to.

Fitness is not about hourglass figures or washboard abs. Just losing a few pounds can add years to your life and make those years much more enjoyable.

Excess weight can reduce your stamina, put stress on your joints, and even cause illnesses, such as heart disease or diabetes.

So start each day with the intention of eating better and getting just a little exercise. Do this one day at a time and you will find it to be much easier than you expected.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Eat a lot of fresh fruit. They are an excellent source of nutrition and many contain the extra fiber that your body needs. You probably know what a lack of fiber can do to you.

2. Control your sweet tooth. Sweet usually means sugar, which translates into calories. Too much sugar can harm you in many other ways, as well.

3. Stay away from fried foods. Even if the oil is drained away, there is still a lot of hidden oil, which adds fat and calories.

4. Start your day with a tall glass of cold water. Not only is it a great way to start the day, but you feel less hungry, so you will eat less.

5. Keep a food diary. Write down everything that you eat. At the end of the day, you may be surprised, even shocked by what you have written down.

6. Do not forget the vegetables. Try to eat at least one salad every day. When you feel the urge to snack, try some celery or carrot sticks. Some people seem to have a phobia about veggies, but they really are good when you give them a chance.

7. Do not be a couch potato. There are several little things that you can do for exercise. Walking instead of driving. Bike riding. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you just stop for a moment and think about it, you can come up with dozens of ideas.

8. Try to eat breakfast within an hour of getting up in the morning. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but you should not wait until you get really hungry or you may be inclined to eat too much.

So start with small goals and find how much easier it gets every day.

And let's face it, is that not that what you are looking for? Easy?

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Tips for Losing the Most Stubborn Pounds

Tips for Losing the Most Stubborn Pounds

Here are several tips that will help you shed that unwanted weight and create a more healthy and attractive figure.

Weigh Yourself Monthly

Don't weigh yourself too often and become discouraged by the up and down variations from day to day. Weigh yourself at the same time every month to better see long term trends in your weight.

Increase Protein

When you diet, keep your protein at 55% of your calories. This will help you maintain your muscle mass and keep your metabolism elevated. Eat low-fat protein sources like chicken breasts, egg whites, and fish.

Eat 75%

When you sit down to eat, look at your plate and leave 25%, eating only 75% and thereby cutting as many as 300 calories from every meal.

Have Your Thyroid Tested

If you are adding weight, have joint and muscle aches, have unusual facial puffiness, or are unusually tired, this could be the sign of a sluggish thyroid slowing down your metabolism, causing weight gain. This can be remedied by taking the right medications.

Lift Some Weights

Do a small 20 minute program of lifting weights twice a week along with cardiovascular exercise to build up muscle strength, replacing fat with muscle.

Buy A Pedometer

This is a very accurate way to make sure you take at least 10,000 steps a day to help you reach and maintain your weight loss goals as you walk to do your various errands and activities.

Move Around More

An obese person spends an average of 2.5 hours more daily in a chair than a thin person. Try walking back and forth while talking on a cell or cordless phone, use the steps rather than the elevator, and park farther away and walk to your destination.

Reduce Stress

When you are stressed, your adrenal gland generates the cortisol stress hormone, which increases your appetite and triggers release of the insulin fat-storing hormone, causing your body to hold onto fat, even if you are eating less.

But often, stress makes you overeat comfort foods like chocolate, ice cream, potato chips, cookies and donuts. Those high carbohydrate goodies raise your serotonin levels, boosting your mood in a form of self-medication. Salty snacks raise blood pressure, which also raises cortisol levels, contributing to a vicious cycle of overeating.

To break this cycle, you should set a fixed eating schedule and stick to it. Schedule your three meals and three snacks throughout the day so you always have something to eat every three or four hours. Savor every bite instead of gulping down too much before your brain tells you that you are full. Regular exercise and relaxing meditation can also relieve your stress.

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

Is a Vegetarian Diet Safe for My Child?

Is a Vegetarian Diet Safe for My Child?

If you are a vegetarian parent you have probably considered putting your child on a vegetarian diet. Not only would it save you time and make meal planning easier, but for dietary reasons or ethical reasons you may believe it is the best choice for your child.

Conversely, you may not be a vegetarian but you may have a child who is at a vegetarian phase where he or she is rejecting meat but doesn't eat enough healthy foods to compensate for the nutritional gap.

Whatever the case may be, you may be wondering if a vegetarian diet is a sustainable, healthy choice for your child. Or, perhaps you have heard that a vegetarian diet could potentially stunt the growth of your child.

These concerns probably prevented you from putting your child on a vegetarian diet up to this point.

You should be aware that these concerns are in-fact legitimate issues and that if a vegetarian diet is poorly planned, it can cause serious long term and short term deficiencies especially in children who do not have sufficient stores of vitamins and minerals in their bodies as yet.

If you have not done sufficient research and are not well-prepared for the task of putting your child on a vegetarian diet, then you probably should not. However, if you've done your research and are aware of the kind of nutrients that vegetarian diets lack, then you know that these problems can easily be over-come with some meal planning.

You will probably be aware that putting your child on a vegetarian diet can greatly improve his or her health and limit the exposure to animal products that are often linked to hormones and preservatives.

To begin your child on a vegetarian diet you should make sure that you your meal-planning ensures enough of the following elements that vegetarian diets lack:

1) Protein - make sure that your child is getting enough protein from additional sources such as nuts and soybeans.

2) Calcium - ensure that your child is getting enough calcium in his diet by including lots of green leafy vegetables to his diet.

3) Iron - add more iron to your child's diet by increasing beans, soybeans, tofu and cereals.

4) Zinc - enhance your child's Zinc intake by increasing, nuts, peanut butter, and mushrooms.

If you concentrate on compensating for all of these common deficiencies that vegetarian diets lack, then, you can absolutely put your child on a vegetarian diet without any negative consequences.

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

Friday, February 10, 2006



Vitamins (combination of two words: Vital Amines) are the complex organic substance essential in small quantities to the metabolism (nutrition) in most animals. These are found in minute quantities in food, in some cases are produced by the body, and are also produced synthetically. The human body needs them to work properly, so that we can grow and develop just like we should. Their deficiency results in many serious disorders.

Vitamins are divided into two major groups: the ‘fat-soluble vitamins’ designated as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K, and the ‘water-soluble vitamins’ which include vitamin C and the group of molecules referred to as the vitamin B complex. Each of them has its own special role in the development of human body.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin, plays a really big part in eyesight and helps us to see in dim light and also at night. Vitamin A is also involved in the formation and maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and mucous membranes. In addition, it is necessary for proper bone growth, tooth development, reproduction and for the development of epithelial cells (that line any opening to the body e.g.; nose, throat, lungs, mouth, stomach, intestines and urinary tract).

Vitamin A can be found in eggs, milk, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, fish oil, liver (pork, lamb, chicken, turkey or beef), butter, broccoli, apricots, nectarines, cantaloupe, and orange or yellow vegetables or fruits.

The deficiency of vitamin A can cause two major disorders like: night blindness and drying of skin.

Vitamin B
Vitamin B itself is a complex of different vitamins like: B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, folic acid, biotin and pantothenic acid. These B vitamins are very important in metabolic activity and in facilitating the red blood cell (which carry oxygen throughout your body). They also help your body make protein and energy.

The sources of vitamin B are leafy green vegetables seafood, beans, peas, citrus fruits, whole grains (such as wheat and oats), poultry, meats, eggs and dairy products (like milk and yogurt). Some bacteria in our large intestine also prepare some type of B-vitamins.

The deficiency of vitamin B can cause the disease “Beri Beri”, cracked lips, weak muscles, malformation of red blood cells, affects normal growth and disturbs the nervous system.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a water-soluble, antioxidant vitamin that is vital to the production of collagen, a protein that gives structure to bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. It is important for keeping body tissues, such as gums and muscles in good shape and it helps in quick healing of wounds. In addition, it helps protecting the fat-soluble vitamins A and E as well as fatty acids from oxidation.

The vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits (like lemon & orange), cantaloupe, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage and in other fresh fruits and vegetables.
The deficiency of vitamin C affects the healthy skin; poor wound healing and can lead to a disease called “Scurvy” which causes bleeding in gums, easy bruising, bumps of coiled hair on the arms and legs, pain in the joints, muscle wasting, and many other problems.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that regulates the formation of bone and the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestine. It helps to control the movement of calcium between bone and blood, and vice versa. It is this vitamin you need for strong bones and teeth. In addition it helps your body absorb the amount of calcium it needs.

Vitamin D can be found in fish liver oil, egg yolks, milk and other dairy products fortified with vitamin D. It is also produced in our body in the presence of ultra violet light and sunlight.

The deficiency of vitamin D can cause weak bones and bowed legs (in children). And its excess can cause loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, headache, depression and deposits of calcium in the kidneys.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, is essential for the inhibition of oxidation in body tissues, formation of red blood cells, and also prevents breakdown of body tissues. It maintains the body tissues and protects the lungs from becoming damaged by polluted air.

This vitamin can be found in whole grains (such as wheat and oat), wheat germ, leafy green vegetables, sardines, egg yolks, nuts, bread, cereals and seeds.
The deficiency of this vitamin can cause many diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)



Minerals are the inorganic substance that occurs naturally in rocks and in the ground and has its own characteristic appearance and chemical composition. The three main functions of minerals are as constituents of the skeleton, as soluble salts which help control the composition of the body fluids, and as essential adjuncts to the action of many enzymes and other proteins. There are many different types of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc, and chromium picolinate.

Calcium is a major mineral essential for healthy and strong bones and teeth. It is also ensures the proper functioning of muscles and nerves and even helps your blood clot. It is of very much importance for the growing children.

The sources of calcium are milk, cheese, eggs, dairy products, fruits, green vegetables, almonds, seaweeds (such as kelp, wakame and hijiki), nuts, beans and pulses, breads and fish.

The deficiency of calcium can affect bone and teeth formation, while its excess can lead to kidney stones.

Magnesium is an important mineral that helps the body to maintain muscles, nerves, and bones. It is also used in heart rhythm, energy metabolism and protein synthesis.

The major sources of magnesium are spinach, nuts, seeds, whole grains, water, fruits and vegetables.

The deficiency of magnesium can cause sensitiveness to noise, nervousness, irritability, mental depression, confusion, twitching, trembling, apprehension, insomnia, muscle weakness and cramps in the toes, feet, legs, or fingers.

Potassium is a mineral that serves as an electrolyte and is involved in the balance of fluid within the body. It is important in controlling the activity of the heart, muscles, nervous system and just about every cell in the body. It regulates the water balance and acid-base balance in the blood and tissues. Our bodies contain more than twice as much potassium as sodium (typically nine ounces versus four ounces).

The major sources of potassium are bananas and orange juice. Some other sources include breads, cereals and other grain products.

The deficiency of potassium can cause your muscles not to work properly and you will feel weak. The excess of potassium can cause an irregular heart beat.

Selenium is an essential mineral that functions largely in the form of proteins, called seleno-proteins, which act as enzymes and help prevent damage to cells in the body by oxidants in the environment or those produced by normal metabolism.

The sources of selenium are seafood, some meats (such as kidney and liver), and some grains and seeds.

The deficiency of selenium causes “Keshan” disease, a fatal form of cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease). While its excess can cause reversible balding and brittle nails, give a garlic odor to the breath, and cause intestinal distress, weakness and slowed mental functioning.

Zinc is an essential mineral essential which is involved in the manufacture of protein and in cell division. It is also a constituent of insulin, and is concerned with the sense of smell.

The sources of zinc are eggs, cereal grains, meat, liver, seafood and nuts.

The deficiency of zinc can cause short stature, anemia, increased pigmentation of skin, enlarged liver and spleen (hepatosplenomegaly), impaired gonadal function, impaired wound healing, and immune deficiency. The excess of zinc can cause gastrointestinal irritation (upset stomach) and cause copper deficiency.

Chromium Picolinate
Chromium picolinate is an essential mineral which plays a vital role in processing carbohydrates and fats. It also works with insulin (a hormone, produced in the pancreas) in assisting cells to take in glucose and release energy; that makes blood sugar available to the cells as our basic fuel.

The sources of chromium are meats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fats and vegetable oils.

The deficiency of chromium can cause anxiety, fatigue, glucose intolerance (particularly in people with diabetes), inadequate metabolism of amino acids, and an increased risk of arteriosclerosis

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)



Herbs are the culinary and medicinal plants. These are the low-growing aromatic plants which are used fresh or dried for seasoning, for their medicinal properties, or in perfumes. There are a wide variety of herbs such as super kelp, garlic, parsley, green tea extract, horse chestnut, milk thistle and oregano oil.

Herbs are very useful in strengthening the body and in treating the diseases. However they contain active substances that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. So, they should be taken on the advice of an herbal practitioner.

Super Kelp
Super kelp (also known as “Sea kelp” and “Sea wrack”) is a sea herb that is one of the best sources of natural iodine and trace elements. It is also used as the principle agent in cures for obesity. In addition, it cleans out the kidneys and stimulates the thyroid and pituitary gland to produce growth hormones.

Garlic is a natural anti-biotic and is used to disinfect wounds, treat ear infections, cholera and typhus. This herb is anti-fungal and anti-oxidant agent and can help lower cholesterol. It may also be beneficial for risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and cancer. The excess of garlic can cause upset stomach/flatulence, occupational asthma, postoperative bleeding, bloating, bad breath, body odor, and skin irritation. People with bleeding disorders should not use garlic.

Parsley (Petroselinum) is one of the best known, diuretic and most nutritious herbs which contain large quantities of vitamins A, B, C and minerals calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium. It’s very useful for kidney and urinary problems and water retention. Its usefulness can be judged by the saying: “if parsley is thrown into fishponds it will heal the sick fishes therein”.

Green Tea Extract
Green tea extracts are one of the nature’s most powerful anti-oxidants. It helps prevent both heart disease and cancer by helping prevent vascular blood clotting and reducing cholesterol. It possesses antimicrobial properties that support immune-system health and protects against digestive and respiratory infections. The excess of green tea extracts may cause irritability, insomnia, heart palpitation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and loss of appetite.

Horse chestnut
Horse chestnut supports the vessels of our circulatory system and helps strengthen capillary cells and reduce fluid breakage. It is believed to be an excellent antioxidant to prevent wrinkles. It also helps in the treatments of phlebitis, varicosity and hemorrhoids.

Milk Thistle
Milk thistle has some active substances that helps maintain healthy liver function by protecting the liver from damage caused by viruses, toxins and alcohol. It is a herbal remedy for anthrax, asthma, bladder stones, cancer, catarrh, chest ailments, dropsy, fever, bleeding from the lungs or bronchia, hepatitis, rabies, jaundice, vaginal discharge, malaria, melancholy, piles, plague, pleurisy, spasms, and spleen and uterus problems. Taking excess of milk thistle may cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, rash or other skin reactions, joint pain, impotence, and anaphylaxis. It should not be taken in pregnancy and while nursing.

Oregano Oil
This herb has healing, antioxidant and anti-microbial properties. It is used to treat a mildly upset stomach, bronchitis, nervous tension, insect bites, rheumatism, earache, toothaches and even athlete's foot. It is also useful in relieve bloating, gas, urinary tract problems, rheumatoid arthritis, swollen glands, and lack of perspiration. In addition, it is as powerful as ‘morphine’ as a pain killer.

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Health Advice

Do you like grapefruit ?

The interaction between grapefruit juice and some medications can cause negative effects, especially on kidney level, and sometimes it can be fatal. A woman that uses birth control pills and then suddenly drinks too much grapefruit juice can get pregnant because this juice makes the effects of the pills disappear.

Grapefruit juice is not indicated to drink while taking anti-depressing medication, antibiotics and medicine for cardio-vascular diseases. A person that takes anti-depressives and adds to that grapefruit in huge quantities can feel that he has all of a sudden too much or too little energy, depending on the pills taken. Combining it with antibiotic can cause stomach sickness or can extend the illness you are taking medication for because the antibiotics will diminuate their effect. Heart drugs don’t work anymore, the blood pressure stays up and the heart beat irregularly. For those that love grapefruit juice, witch is more concentrated than the fruit itself, a recommendation would be to restrain from drinking it while they are taking medication.

Doctors try to raise attention upon avoiding and combating the combination of grapefruit with medicine especially because in some diets grapefruit juice is recommended in huge quantities.

Grapefruit is benefic to organism if used properly. It belongs to that class of aliments that burn calories, because it takes more calories to digest them than they have. Eating the fruit is not a problem, nor is drinking a glass of juice once in a while. The problem appears where human reasoning disappears. Wanting to loose more weight faster, people weaken their bodies and eat only grapefruits. It is efficient for a diet, but it also loosens the imunitary system. They become more vulnerable, more tired and nervous and if taking any medications they are risking their health in this combination.

So use this aliment wisely, go ask a specialist of its precise effects in your case and don’t abuse drinking grapefruit juice. Abusing something has never brought anything good, and it won’t in this case either. If you want to go on with your diet and keep your health find an alternative solution or make sure this does not affect your organism.

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Looming Vitamin Crisis

The Looming Vitamin Crisis

You and I are facing a critical vitamin and mineral shortage. This health crisis has been growing at an alarming rate since the early 1900's. Of particular concern are folks on weight loss diets - especially low carb diets.

As a partial result, nutritionally driven chronic diseases have reached epidemic proportions. About 95% of people over 40 will suffer from one or more of these chronic diseases by the time they reach retirement. Diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, vision loss - to name a few. That's 95 people out of every 100.

For decades the medical community poo-poo'd the nutrition "fanatics" when they mentioned the importance of vitamins and minerals as a basis of our vital health.

Then, a real shocker.

In the June 19, 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association they announced: "Suboptimal intake of vitamins should be seen as a risk factor for chronic disease, especially in the elderly."

This tells us that today our food contains MUCH LESS nutrition and yet our needs for vitamins and minerals are MUCH GREATER than ever before in human history.

You'll discover, in this article, how this can be possible. And some simple steps you must take to protect yourself and your loved ones.

PLANTS ARE THE SOLE SOURCE OF ALL VITAMINS AND MINERALS FOR EVERY LIVING CREATURE. Even animals that eat nothing but meat - the vitamins came from somewhere down the food-chain - from an animal or fish that eats plants.

PLANTS CREATE BODY-READY VITAMINS AND MINERALS FROM NUTRIENTS IN THE SOIL. The richer the soil, the more vitamins and minerals are packed into the plants. On the other hand, vegetables grown in poor soil will have far lower levels of vitamins and minerals.

AND THE SOILS ARE BECOMING SAND - DEPLETING AT A VERY RAPID RATE. Commercial farming really started to expand as the ability to transport the produce to new markets increased - trains, then trucks. This was a boon for consumers. Now they didn't have to grow their own vegetables. And they could enjoy produce that was either out-of-season or wasn't able to grow in their area.

As commercial growers keep using the same fields year after year, the soils keep losing their rich nutrients. And, as soils deplete, so does the vitamin and mineral content of the vegetables grown in that soil.

Chemical companies have come to their aid by providing chemicals that will force the plants to grow in poor soil.

A couple problems with this.

The vegetables look great but contain far less vitamins and minerals they once did. They also absorb some of these chemicals. Now our body needs even more vitamins to deactivate these toxins.

The vegetables we consume today give us far less nutrients than 100 years ago - yet create the need for more. A double whammy.

Genetic engineers have created vegetables that are more disease resistant, that grow faster, are more visually attractive, and are easier to harvest. For example: a new tomato was developed for growers primarily to take a 5-mile-per-hour impact from the faster picking machines. Tough skin tomatoes - you've probably had some. Nothing is being done to increase the nutrient levels of the plants - or to enrich the soil.

Some vegetables and most fruits you buy in the store are picked before they're ripe, and often chemically treated so they ripen on the way to the grocer's shelf. This gives the produce a lot longer shelf life - less waste. As you probably know, produce picked at it's ripe peak contain maximum nutrients - but spoil quickly. Vine ripened, fresh produce can be quite unprofitable for the grower and grocer.

On top of all this, consider the higher levels of air and water pollution, lower oxygen levels in the air we breath, and our fast paced, fast food societies of today. You can easily see that our wonderfully created bodies are being taxed to the max - and need more protection than ever before.


1. Make fresh, whole fruits, vegetables, and grains a larger part of your daily diet. These are the absolute best quality vitamins and minerals you can buy. Eat them raw, uncooked as much as possible. If necessary, cook slowly at low heat to keep the nutrients at the highest possible levels. Simply put - the less processing the better. Most people do not eat even the minimum recommended amounts, yet we all need much more than that today.

2. Look for organically grown produce at your grocery store or health food store. Generally this produce will contain the much higher levels of nutrients - as they did a century ago - without the chemicals. They cost more but you get a LOT MORE nutrients and much more succulent flavor than commercially grown produce.

3. Grow some of your own produce - in a yard garden, patio pots, or inside the home in window pots. It's fun, very easy, decorative, puts oxygen in the air and the taste and nutrition is just tons better than store-bought.

4. No matter how perfect our diet, we ALL need to invest in a GOOD vitamin supplement today. Even nutrition experts, who eat an "ideal" diet, take vitamin supplements. A good vitamin will require you to take 3 large tablets or six medium size tablets or capsules per day minimum. Anything less is a waste of money.

You'll find good quality vitamin supplements at most reputable vitamin or health food stores. Best bet - buy online for the best price and selection of high quality vitamin supplements.

Financially speaking, this is a critical part of our retirement program. If we don't have good health at retirement, nothing else will matter. Vitamin supplements are, by far, the cheapest health insurance and wisest retirement plan we can invest in.

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Low Carb Diet Plan

Low Carb Diet Plan - When More Is Better

When most people want to lose weight the first thing they usually do is start a diet. And a diet to most people means "stop eating".


A healthy diet should consist of eating less of the foods that contain calories from simple carbohydrates (sugar and processed flour) and more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and good sources of protein. This is the basis of a good low carb diet plan.

As a matter of fact, a good diet should have you eating more instead of less! Not more food, but more often.

The body's a wonderful mechanism. It's geared towards one important goal. Survival. When your body feels threatened by the lack of food it automatically assumes that you're starving.

To combat this condition the body will start breaking down muscle to use as energy and saves its fat stores for the last ditch effort to save itself from what it thinks is immanent death.

This is bad on two fronts.

First, by using muscle tissue for energy you're losing precious lean mass which is metabolically active. This means that you need energy to support muscle which helps to keep your metabolism running at a higher pace. Higher metabolism means more calories burned even in a resting state.

Fat, on the other hand, doesn't need any energy to support it. It's simply "dead" weight.

Secondly, the body will start storing more fat because it's preparing itself for the worst. Your survival is your body's most important concern so it'll do whatever it can to stay alive.

So what can you do if you want to eat less without starving yourself and sending your body into this defense mode?

Eat smaller meals more often throughout the day.

This works on two levels.

By eating more often you won't get hungry as quickly and your metabolism will stay raised because you'll be digesting food more often. Digesting food uses calories just like any other physical activity.

So here's the plan. Eat four or five meals a day. Not what most would consider a meal (main course with two sides and dessert!), but a small portion of protein along with some fresh fruits and veggies.

This can be accomplished with a little planning and preparing in your spare time.

Cook your weeks worth of meals - skinless chicken's an excellent source of protein and can usually be purchased in a big pack or value pack from your local grocery store - and refrigerate it in separate packages, one for each meal.

Egg whites are a very good source of protein too. By mixing three or four whites with one yolk and tossing it into the microwave for approximately 90 seconds, whipping it and tossing it back in for another 60 seconds, you can have some nice fluffy scrambled eggs practically anywhere. Without all the cholesterol!

Buy your produce and clean it, separating it too into meal size portions. All this can be done in a few hours on the weekend.

Buying some disposable storage containers can help keep things convenient and organized.

Try to eat every three hours or so to keep your metabolism and energy up. This'll help you stay away from those snacking binges too.

Also, drink lots of water. Water will help to cleanse your body and make you feel full.

So you see, with a little planning and by adhering to a low carb diet plan sometimes eating more can be better!

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

The First Steps to Curing Obesity

The First Steps to Curing Obesity

Obesity has become an epidemic, especially in The United States. An average of 300,000 Americans die each year and nearly $177 billion is spent on illnesses related to obesity.

Obesity can affect your legs and back. It can raise your blood pressure and even cause diabetes.

We are becoming fat and lazy, but before we can conquer the problem, we have to start accepting responsibility for our own actions. What you are about to read may offend some people, but it needs to be said.

Many people suffer from being overweight. It may result from a stocky build, slow metabolism, or some other physical reason, but it is a fact of life for many people. They will probably struggle with it their entire lives.

But obesity is different. A very miniscule percentage of obese people have medical reasons for their condition. The rest of them just cannot stop shoveling the food in long enough to see the consequences of their actions.

How many times have you been in a restaurant or at a party and watched an obviously obese person shoveling in the food and drinking a diet soda? Do they think the diet soda will make all that fat and calories go away? It doesn't work that way.

Please understand that the following suggestions are only the beginning of a very long and bumpy road to recovery. But even the longest journey begins with a single step.

1. PUT DOWN THAT TWINKIE! Someone, right this minute, is probably reading this article and eating something fattening. If not, it has probably been less that an hour since they have last eaten.

Before they can recover from their problem, they have to admit that they have one. And that Twinkie is the first sign.
If this is you and you feel that you absolutely must eat something, get some fresh fruit or vegetables. They not only contain the essential nutrients that your body needs for good health, but some will actually burn more calories that they replace.

2. See your doctor. If you are more than 50 pounds overweight, only a fool would recommend any diet plan until you are medically cleared by your physician.

Your doctor can also advise you on the best programs to help you get started.

This cannot be emphasized enough. Once you have eliminated the fattening foods, see your doctor before going one step farther.

3. Consider seeing a counselor. Is there a deep seated, subconscious reason for your eating disorder or are you just a pig? The answers may surprise you.

Once you discover the reasons for your self destructive behavior, you will be better equipped to handle them.

If you cannot afford counseling, talk to a trusted friend or, if you are a religious person, perhaps someone at your church.

They may not be able to diagnose your problem, but they can be there for you when you encounter those bumps in the road to recovery.

The bottom line is this. Being fit not only will increase the likelihood of a longer life, it will make that life much more pleasant.

Maybe it's time you stopped looking for sympathy and give yourself a swift kick in the pants.

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

Where's the Beef ?

Where's the Beef ?

There’s a revolutionary idea “growing” in some science laboratories today – which if successful, could take the idea of eating chicken nuggets and other processed meats to a whole new level.

Hailed as a potential answer for the world’s food shortage, agricultural scientists in Maryland have taken the cutting-edge technique of tissue engineering and applied it to food – specifically, meat. They’re growing clumps of meat in the laboratory.

The idea is not a new one, and not as much like something out of a science fiction movie as it seems. In 1932, Winston Churchill wrote an essay and said “Fifty years hence we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium." Although it’s been quite a bit longer than the 50 years he predicted, it looks as if Mr. Churchill’s idea might just have some “meat” on it after all. In experiments done for NASA, small edible portions of fish have already been grown successfully from healthy fish tissues, which is believed to be a viable method of producing fresh food for astronauts during deep space missions in the not-too-distant future.

The process for culturing meat is actually a fairly simple one. Individual cells are placed into petri dishes and then grown into whole tissues. Of course, creating a small sample of fish, grown under specific conditions for a specific purpose is much different from producing enough meat to create even a single steak. That poses different challenges, all together.

In order to produce meat on a large scale for example, the “cultured” meat cells would have to be “grown” on large, thin sheets of membranes. The right combination of cells including muscle and fat would have to be combined, to create the right texture and taste. Another challenge is that, like any muscle, during this process the muscle cells would have to be “exercised” so that they would grow and stretch and not turn mushy.

Once that enough of the right kind of cells were "cultured", they would be removed from the membranes, combined into the right thickness, and then processed into meat products such hamburger.

Other questions that would have to be addressed before the meat was approved for human consumption would include the process used for harvesting the cells, the origins of the original cells, and the “ickiness” factor that would have to be overcome before consumers were ready to “chow down”.

Researchers say that there are many advantages to meat that is grown in a laboratory. For one thing, it is better for the environment, because it would reduce the air pollution caused by raising livestock. (A recent report cited pollution caused by livestock raised for meat as causing 21% of the human-caused carbon dioxide in the world today). This “cultured meat” could also be engineered to be healthier than the meat grown on farms. For example, red meat is high in Omega 6, a fatty acid that causes high cholesterol. Using genetic engineering, Omega 3 could be added instead, which is healthier and better for you. Another advantage would be a reduced danger of food or animal-borne diseases, and none of the pesticides that are found in meat today would be in the lab meat. And finally, another point that researchers believe will be a strong selling point, is that no animals would have to be killed, something that many vegetarians see as “murder” and one of the leading reasons some people choose not to eat meat.

The biggest benefit, these visionaries say, is that some day a single cell could produce enough meat to feed the world for a year. According to one scientist, the demand for meat is growing every year. In China, for example, their consumption of meat doubles every ten years. In India, the consumption of chicken has doubled in only five years.

But don’t expect to be able get tasty, tender cuts of lab-raised meat such as steaks or chops or even chicken-wings at your local grocery store any time soon. What is growing in Maryland right now is a more of a generic type of meat that has no structure and little taste, and at the moment, is extremely expensive to produce.

However, some universities have recently received grants to continue the research into this new possibility, and a group scientists have created a nonprofit organization, dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of food production. So it is entirely possible that in the future, consumers asking, “Where’s the Beef?” may be looking towards the nearest laboratory, rather than Old McDonald’s Farm.

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Revival of Spelt is Good News for Your Health

The Revival of Spelt is Good News for Your Health


Spelt is one of the oldest grains known to mankind. Grown as far back as 5000 BC, the spelt grain has hardly changed from that time until today. In fact, spelt was even referred to in the Bible, mentioned in both Exodus 9:32 and Ezekiel 4:9.

While still common in many parts of the world, including Europe, spelt lost popularity in America as commercial growers looked for higher yield crops to provide for mass production.

It is the integrity of modern spelt to the original grain that has rekindled interest of those looking for a more nutritious alternative to the highly processed grains currently available.


Unlike the wheat most Americans have come to know, spelt has not been changed for centuries. Wheat production in America demanded higher gluten for commercial foods and a plant that was easy to grow and harvest. With these changes much of the wheat grown lost its nutritious value and became easy targets to pests requiring pesticides and insecticides to protect it during growth.

Spelt became less popular because of its hard outer husk which made it difficult to process. However, this husk protects the spelt from pests and pollutants and helps the grain to maintain its nutrient value.

The spelt grain is high in fibre and has more protein than conventional wheat. It is full of amino acids and a good source of B vitamins. Spelt is easier to digest than regular wheat and has a subtle nutty flavor that many appreciate.

One of the most desirable qualities of this nutritious and tasty grain is that individuals with allergies to wheat may be able to tolerate spelt grains and products.


Spelt is sold through organic health food stores. You can buy spelt grain, whole grain and white flours. Spelt products also include pasta, hot or cold cereals, cookies, crackers, bread, muffins, cakes and pancake mixes.


When baking with spelt you will need to adapt the recipe to account for the difference between spelt and traditional wheat. Increasing the amount of flour or decreasing the amount of liquids will enable you to use spelt in most recipes asking for wheat.

Spelt needs to be soaked overnight before cooking. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Let it simmer in a covered pot for an hour.


Spelt has many features that make it stand out as the ecologically and nutritionally superior grain available. The tough husk means it can be grown without pesticides and insecticides and helps preserve freshness when stored. Its high nutritional value can't be compared to hybrid wheat currently produced and it appears to be easier for the body to tolerate.

Spelt is not new to the world, but if you haven't tried it before, now is the time to introduce yourself to the oldest secret to healthy eating!

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

About Exercise

Built-in Air-Conditioner

Your body was created with a built in cooling system, called sweat or if you prefer, perspiration.
On television and in magazines, you will find numerous advertisements encouraging deodorant for exercise when in actuality; sweat is a vital key in a good workout.
When your body heats up do to exertion, sweat is doing the job intended – keeping the body cool.
Therefore, do not try to squelch sweating, accept it.

Breath in – Breath out

You might wonder what breathing has to do with fitness and the truth is it has a lot to do with it.
When exercising, there is a proper way to breath that will help you with the appropriate amount of oxygen into the system but will also help you with endurance.
For example, marathon runners will tell you that they use a rhythm when running that allows them to runner longer and healthier than normal breathing.

Be Realistic

It would be great to be able to jump right into a hard workout, feel great, and see instant results.
However, it is important to be realistic about several things. First, you need to understand that you more than likely will not (or should not) start out with a hard workout if you have not been in a regular exercise routine. Start out slow and do not set yourself up for failure by expecting miracles overnight. Getting fit takes time and with commitment, you will reach your goals.

Stretch the Mind

When you stretch your body in preparation for exercise as well as after exercise, you need to stretch your mind as well.
You might be wondering how and why. When your mind is relaxed, your body follows.
To achieve a relaxed mind, listen to soothing music, relax your breathing, and use visualization techniques such as Yoga. Another exercise discipline that are very popular and works is the Pilates program.

Check your Pulse

As you exercise, it is to your advantage to keep track of your pulse rate.
You can pick up an inexpensive pulse measure at any local Wal-mart, K-Mart, or sporting good store. This will measure your heart rate to ensure you are staying within a healthy range.
The rate is measured by counting the beats of your heart in a set amount of time, usually about 15 to 20 seconds, and then multiplying the number of beats to get your number of beats per minute.
For example, if your pulse at 20 seconds were 40, since there are 60 seconds in a minute, you would take 40 times three for a total rate per minute of 120.

Cool Down

Just as warming up for exercise is important, cooling down after exercise is just as important.
Once you have completed your workout, take five to 10 minutes to walk, or stretch to allow your body to cool down.
This is very important for the muscles and joints and for the heart and lung.

(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)

Discover The Secrets Of High-Performance Gymnastics Through Strength Training!

Discover The Secrets Of High-Performance Gymnastics Through Strength Training!

Gymnastics in a unique sport to develop a proper strength training plan for. Gymnasts have incredible neuromuscular connections. Gymnastics requires, strength, power, flexibility, speed, and complete control over the body. The momentum required for gymnastics puts extreme forces and stresses on the gymnasts body. For these reasons, strength training is a MUST for gymnasts.

You must approach strength training for gymnastics in a methodical, sensible fashion.

The following tips should help any gymnast improve their performances in competition.

1. Emphasize The “Gymnastics Muscles”

When you create a strength training plan exclusively for gymnastics, you should emphasize the shoulders, back, chest, arms, abdominals, and thighs. These are the “order of importance” for your workout. The shoulders are used more than any of the other muscles, and therefore are trained first in a workout when your body is fresh.

2. Select Exercises For the “Gymnastics Muscles”

There are many, many exercises that you can perform for each of the body parts. Think about what body parts are sore after a practice or performance and consider exercises that will train that area. Generally, you should try to perform 2 exercises for each body part when designing a sport specific strength training plan for gymnastics.

3. Start Slowly Then Move Faster

For gymnastics training you should start the exercise slowly and methodically. As your muscles start to tire out, you then try to speed up the repetitions. The weight probably won’t move faster at this point, but the increased effort to speed up will tax the muscle fibers more. Continue until you cannot perform another repetition with perfect form. Use a spotter if training with free weights.

4. Train the Individual “Heads” Of the Shoulders

The shoulders have three separate heads or areas. They are the anterior deltoid, the medial deltoid, and the posterior deltoid. It is a good idea to train these heads individually. Front raises, lateral raises, and the reverse pec-deck machine are good choices.

5. Use A Thick Bar

If you want to get maximum muscle stimulation on the gymnastics muscles, try using a thick bar. This is a hollow metal bar that works like a barbell, and loads regular plates on the ends. The thick bar is great for pressing and curls. It forces the muscles to work extra hard. If you don’t have one where you train, you should consider getting one.

6. Do Your Abdominal Work On a Swiss Ball

A swiss ball is amazingly effective for working your abdominal muscles. It allows you to stretch your abdominals before flexing them. Most abdominal exercises don’t allow for a full stretch of the abdominals, and are therefore less effective for a gymnast, who wants very strong abdominals.

Author : Steve Preston. Copyright 2005 Sports Strength

Resource :
Steve Preston is a Sports Performance Specialist in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He specializes in sports-specific strength training programs for athletes seeking improved sports performance. For information on consultations and clinics go to his website at Steve has recently created the Champion Strength Training For Gymnastics DVD Program. You can see it at
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