14 May

Fitness and Health

For most of us from the government schools, PE (physical education) was in the school curriculum. So we had no choice but to comply and treat it as one of the school subjects. For the outdoor initiated, the PE lessons were great as it gave many an outlet for all the youthful hormones to exert themselves. For those of us who dread PE (including myself), our main thoughts were more like “what is the use of PE when it doesn’t improve our exam scores.” We were so wrong then. Continue reading

10 May

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.

30 Apr

Why Diet Fitness Often Fails

We all know that people fail on their diet fitness and sometimes we wonder why. After all sometimes the people that fail the worst are the people you would have thought would make it.

There are a number of factors why diet fitness either works or doesn’t. One in three adults are trying to lose weight at any given moment and while not surprising that we are very good at attempting to lose the weight we are not so good at succeeding.

Even for those that achieve their weight loss within five years almost all dieters will gain back the weight they lost and sometimes they will gain back even more.

Weight loss researchers have been spending a great deal of time trying to discover why diet fitness has such a high failure rate and although each of us finds success and motivation our own way they have come up with some ways to maximize your rate of success.

1. Don’t set unrealistic goals – if you want to set yourself up for failure all you need to do is set goals that are simply not achievable. Remember a slow and steady pace wins the diet fitness race.

2. Lack of future planning – another common mistake is to not have planned in advance. It’s a proven fact that no matter what the goal is when you make a when, where, and how plan you have a 75% chance of success. When you know what your goal is you are much more likely to stick to your diet fitness plan.

3. Socializing – this is one of the top three reasons that a person will fail with their diet fitness plan. People’s social lives come first and when diet fitness interferes socializing wins out.

4. Deprivation – when a person feels deprived of a certain food and the diet fitness food takes longer to prepare, costs more, or isn’t as tasty as the less healthy food the unhealthy food will often win out.

5. Portion Size – another big pitfall in the diet fitness game is that it is common to underestimate the actual calorie count in foods and to overestimate the number of calories you have burned through your exercise program.

Studies have shown that diet fitness plans that are simple and easy to adhere to have the highest success rate. Studies have also shown that women are much more likely to be successful than men simply because there is a much greater stigma for women that are overweight than for men.

Studies have also shown that those that have the most success with their diet fitness plan concentrate more on increasing the burn of calories and less on the reduction of calories. This just makes good sense since to rapid a reduction of your calorie intake will scare the body into starvation protection mode.

A coach or mentor is also an excellent way to stay on top of your diet fitness. There’s no need for your coach to be a nutritionist, or a personal trainer. It can be a doctor, spouse, friend, or anyone else that you feel support your goal and will help lift your spirits and keep you on track.

25 Apr

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.

19 Apr

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.

18 Apr

Finding a Fitness Trainer

The decision to get fit is a great goal to set for yourself, but it can be hard knowing where to start. A Fitness Trainer can assist you by discussing what you want to accomplish from your efforts. Some people want to lose weight, some what to tone their body, and others want to build their muscles. There are specific exercise programs that a Fitness Trainer can recommend to help you in the area you choose to work on. They can also show you the correct way to do each of the exercises so that you get the maximum benefit from your workout.

Finding the right Fitness Trainer for you is easier than you think. If you belong to a gym or fitness center, ask about a personal Fitness Trainer program. For those of you who want to work out on your own or who don’t have a gym in your area, you will have to search a little bit harder for a Fitness Trainer. Ask your doctor, friends, and family members if they can recommend anyone to you. The internet is a great place to locate any in your area as well as give you some basic information on what a Fitness Trainer can do for you.

Fitness trainers are going to vary in their methods. You will want to talk openly with a Fitness Trainer regarding their philosophy, training, and consulting methods. You will also want to discuss their educational background and certification as a Fitness Trainer. Of course, the cost of their service is going to be an important factor to discuss as well.

Ask them why they became a Fitness Trainer. Ask for references who you can contact regarding their experiences with the Fitness Trainer. Since you are going to be exercising in your free time, you are going to have to discuss a schedule that works well for both of you. Make sure you share your fitness fears with the personal trainer and see how they react. They should also be made aware of your fitness level and any health concerns that are going to need to be considered while getting fit.

After talking, you should feel comfortable with the Fitness Trainer. If you don’t feel like you are compatible then keep looking. You need the time and money you spend with a Fitness Trainer to be well spent, not stressful. Trust your instincts when it comes to being around this particular individual. It is a good idea to talk with at least three potential Fitness Trainers before you make a final decision based on what each has to offer you.

Getting fit is easier when you have the expertise of a Fitness Trainer behind you. They are great for motivating you as well as giving you personal attention to meet your fitness goals. Make sure the Fitness Trainer you choose to work with has your best interests in mind as you work together to devise a challenging yet rewarding fitness program that are going to give you the results you having been hoping for.

4 Apr

Join 24-Hour Fitness Clubs – Best Way To Keep Fit

If you want to have and keep a healthy well-toned body, a good gym or health club can offer you a variety of equipment and services to help you meet your goals. But remember that not all fitness clubs are equal.

You want a fitness club that’s in it for more than your cash. It should be fully committed to health and quality service so that you see positive results as quickly as possible. It should offer an informed professional staff that can guide you through your workouts and show you how to use new equipment. And it should offer a variety of programs that focus on different aspects of fitness and health. Having a professional nutritionist on staff is another important feature you should look for.

One health and fitness club you can count on is 24 Hour Fitness, with have five types of clubs to meet your unique needs. The Ultra Sport club offers all the amenities and is set up for every type of workout you can imagine, from basketball and volleyball to saunas and spas. You can even sharpen your rock climbing skills. There’s a kids’ club, so you won’t have to hire a baby-sitter and a complete juice bar for dietary health. After your workout, you can get a wonderful massage or visit a tanning booth. 24 Hour Fitness’ Super Sport Clubs include many of the same amenities, without the massage or rock climbing. Similar to the Super Sport, the Sport Club doesn’t offer tanning. The Active club type focuses on the basic – weight training, cardio workouts, sauna, steam room, and a kids’ club. Finally, the Fitlite club offers a complete cardio workout and some group classes.

Operating since 1983, 24 Hour Fitness is the biggest privately owned and operated fitness center chain in the world with over 385 clubs. For years, they’ve maintained a expert staff to help their clients get the most out of their exercise program, and they use qualified nutritionists to complement working out with great advice on the foods you should – and should not – eat.

Signing up to a new club only to find that they have incomplete facilities and gaps in their equipment offering is a real disappointment and a waste of time and money. You won’t be disappointed at 24 Hour Fitness. They maintain state-of-the-art fitness equipment for every workout need. You’ll never have to stop your workout because the equipment broke down, and you won’t have to wait until a machine becomes available to get the exercise you need.

They offer team sports facilities and group classes to help you learn new skills and enjoy your friends at the same time. 24 Hour Fitness classes cover a wide range of exercise interests, such as pilates, strength training, aerobic workouts, yoga, and water workouts. Their worldwide instructor team includes over 7000 professionals, and 24 Hour Fitness keeps them up on the latest techniques by offering in-house training for Group Trainers.

You can choose from a range of membership types to meet your schedule and your budget at 24 Hour Fitness. Four types of all-club memberships give you privileges at facilities everywhere, and three different one-club options allow for savings, great workouts, and short-term fitness programs.

Since they have facilities all over the world, travelers will want to take advantage of the Passport Program, where you can workout at other private fitness centers as part of your membership in 24 Hour Fitness. All you need is your 24 Hour Fitness Passport Program ID and a reasonable fee to get a great workout at any Passport Program member’s facility.

In 2000, 24 Hour Fitness made a bold move when they entered into partnerships with five world-famous athletes to advocate fitness and make fitness a way of life for all of us. Representing the qualities 24 Hour Fitness values (determination, hard work, persistence, and a positive attitude), these sports super stars are role models and living proof of the benefits of exercise and good health. Lance Armstrong, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Andre Agassi, and Jackie Chan signed on to represent 24 Hour Fitness and bring good health to the people.

In 2004, 24 Hour Fitness became the first official fitness center sponsor for U.S. Olympic Teams, offering grants to help Olympic hopefuls follow their dreams and upgrading Olympic Training Centers across the country. Their commitment to good health is clear.

Your workout at 24 Hour Fitness will be fun, easy, and personally rewarding. You’ll find a wide range of exercise options and equipment, complete modern facilities and amenities, and a professional staff to help you achieve your goals in record time.

4 Apr

Buying Lifetime Fitness Equipment

Lifetime fitness equipment may not be a term that you are familiar with when you look into buying fitness, but after you look around a little bit you will realize the importance and meaning behind lifetime equipment. Lifetime fitness equipment is another way to say that the equipment you are buying has a lifetime warranty, and you want that! As you are probably aware, you are not easy on the equipment that you exercise with. Over time it is very common for equipment to break down and no longer function like you need it to so that you can achieve the very best work out. Continue reading

29 Mar

LDS Missionary Health & Fitness

If you are planning on going on an LDS mission in the near future, or if you have a child planning to go, it is important to be prepared. You will be gone for two years, leaving the comforts of home behind you and living out of two suitcases. One thing to consider is your health. A mission is exhausting and you have a very busy schedule to follow, so you need to be healthy.

On a mission you do a lot of walking and many missionaries also do a lot of bike riding. If you are not physically fit, this can be really hard on your body and you could suffer a great deal. Before you go on your mission you should have a fitness plan and exercise each day to prepare for what is ahead. Even going walking every day for 30 to 60 minutes is great, especially if you wear the shoes you’ll be wearing on the mission. By doing this you can break in your shoes and it will prevent you from getting horrible blisters out in the mission field.

While on your mission you can also exercise. Missionaries are supposed to wake up at 6:30am each day and do their personal and companionship studies. You are allowed to wake up 30 minutes early at 6:00am and do some exercising. Take advantage of these 30 minutes. Although you might be walking or bike riding a lot on your mission, you still need to get some good cardio exercise and strength training. All you need is a good exercise plan to follow and you can keep yourself strong and fit throughout your entire mission.

Many missionaries come home from their missions having gained 20 pounds or more. Some will write home asking for larger clothes because the ones they have are starting to get too small. Take the time to exercise each day and avoid losing weight and feeling gross. If you have a plan and you stick to it, you will be blessed with increased energy and stamina and you might even come home a bit thinner than when you left.