Thursday, October 20, 2011

How You Can Make Fitness and Nutrition a Lifestyle.

It's hard to admit this but, many years ago my diet consisted of diet coke and licorice or gummy bears.  I was in my 20’s and 30's and didn’t think a thing about it at the time.  Little did I know what my diet was doing do my bones, my major organs and my health.  

If only I could go back in time and start over with the knowledge I have now.
When I turned 40 (many years ago), I decided to make major lifestyle changes.  I've always loved to exercise, but never really thought too much about what I was eating.  I started teaching fitness in my 40's.
I stopped eating sugar, drinking soda pop, energy drinks, basically anything white, accept sea food.  I focus on what fuels my body for energy and nutrition.  Doing this will change your life and your children’s life.  Teach your children young the value of good nutrition.  Today. I make a conscious choice to eat a healthy diet.   I'm still teaching and love it.  
'How do you find the time to work out?' You don't: You make time. If you wait until you find time, you'll never work out.
If you are just starting to exercise, entering the world of fitness machines, exercise, diet and nutrition can be difficult.
After a few moments of peddling, your lungs gasp for air as the body screams, “What are you trying to do? Do you hate me?” Horror sets in as you realize how far your health has deteriorated. After only 20 minutes, you drive home to collapse on the sofa. Images from the gym haunt your mind: sculpted muscles and tanned, sleek bodies. “I could never look like that. This is me, so I might as well accept it.” Desperation calls for action. Staring wide-eyed at your vacuum cleaner, you consider Liposuction. But that’s just too radical.
Most people connect discipline with pain. It’s no fun forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do. But if you are achieving an important goal, discipline becomes much easier. An athlete training for the Olympics does not have a grinding battle with willpower every day. Although there are battles, it becomes easier as the routine becomes a lifestyle.
Discipline in changing your eating habits becomes easy when you are doing it and difficult when you are not. But with patience, the right attitude, and keeping your mind on the goal, discipline becomes second nature. You don’t have to force yourself. It just comes naturally. That is the way it should be.
To gain discipline, you have to face pain. The more you face it, the more you gain confidence and determination. It is an exhilarating high to run five miles after you’re conditioned to running. It hurts to start, but as your training progresses, there is a feeling of freedom and joy.
Facing Challenge
Challenge is exhilarating. We love competition for that reason. It challenges us to give our best.
We need challenge to grow. The greater the challenge, the greater the growth. That is why dreams are important; they bring us to the edge of challenge.
Decision Power
When you ate the donuts, you made a decision. They comforted you and led you down the path of sugar-coated, chocolate-dipped, cream-filled pleasures. When the alarm clock rang and you went back to sleep, you made a decision. When you ate another piece of pie, you made a decision. 

When you are laying on the couch watching TV instead of exercising, you made a decision. Each decision was a path, the easy road where you decided to give into your cravings, urges and laziness.
Most people make New Year’s resolutions. They decide to quit smoking, start exercising and lose weight. Four days later, they’re drowning in nicotine, pizza and reruns. Their resolution failed the test.
Where is the point where you have finally had enough and you make those resolute, I’ve-had-enough, never-go-back-again decisions? The ones that endure pain and stand the test of time. Those are the decisions that change our lives. We don’t argue with those decisions because we know the answer is, NO! They are resolute. Gandhi stood resolute and unbending before threats of pain, and freed India. That is the power of an unmovable, unshakable, unbending, uncompromising decision. 
It is the power that shakes empires and inspires millions.
Life-changing decisions don’t pop into our heads while watching TV. They are decisions that are made deep within us. You make hundreds of decisions each day. Most are decided by habit. Don’t do that. Make your decisions, conscious of the path on which they are taking you. Choose decisions that challenge and cause growth. Make the decisions that force change for the better.
How badly do you want to be free from food addiction?  Are you willing to face the ugly giant called hunger? You have the power to form life-changing decisions, but only if you are willing to face the challenges.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stress Can Cause Weight Gain & Effect Your Health Here's How.

Today’s life is faster than ever, filled with constant change, uncertainty and stress.

Because of the constant demands placed on us at work, at home, or we may really be in danger, our bodies respond like we're about to be harmed and need to fight for our lives. Our bodies respond to this need with a burst of energy, shifts in our metabolism, blood flow, and other changes.

STRESS not only affects your weight, but your health.

The stress hormone called cortisol is one of the reasons. While under stress, the fight or flight response is triggered in our bodies, leading to the release of various hormones.

We've known for a long time that depression and chronic pain are closely related in many ways. Both conditions share some of the same underlying biochemistry (related to stress hormones such as cortisol and inflammatory compounds such as cytokines) and people with depression tend to experience more episodes of chronic pain (and vice versa). Indeed, physical pain can undoubtedly make psychological pain (depression) worse - likely due to the finding that inflammation is known to worsen and perhaps evencause depression in many people. You might find it interesting to know that cytokines (inflammatory hormone-like chemicals produced in the body)

Conventional wisdom would suggest that controlling depression might also help to control pain - and that reducing pain would help to alleviate depression. However, the research findings in the PNAS article suggest that painkiller drugs may actually interfere with the activity of antidepressant drugs - potentially making depression worse.

4 ways Chronic stress can raise cortisol levels which contribute to weight gain and effect your health are:

Metabolism -- Too much cortisol can slow your metabolism, causing more weight gain than you would normally experience. This also makes dieting more difficult.

Blood Sugar -- Prolonged stress can alter your blood sugar levels, causing mood swings, fatigue, and conditions like hyperglycemia. Too much stress has even been linked to metabolic syndrome, a cluster of health concerns that can lead to greater health problems, like heart attacks and diabetes.

Fat Storage -- Excessive stress even affects where we tend to store fat. Higher levels of stress are linked to greater levels of abdominal fat. Unfortunately, abdominal fat is not only aesthetically undesirable, it’s linked with greater health risks than fat stored in other areas of the body.

If you remain in the state of chronic stress for a long period of time your health becomes at risk. One being high blood pressure, a potentially dangerous health condition.
“Stress can actually cause weight gain, particularly around the tummy,” Why? Because physical and emotional stress activates the release of cortisol, a steroid that slows metabolism

When your body is under the stress response, your cortisol and insulin levels raise. These two hormones tend to track each other, and when your cortisol is consistently elevated under a chronic low-level stress response, you’ll likely notice that you have difficulty losing weight or building muscle.

Food Cravings -- People experiencing chronic stress tend to crave more fatty, salty and sugary foods. This includes sweets, processed food and other things that aren’t as good for you. These foods are typically less healthy and lead to increased weight gain.

Other Ways Stress and Weight Gain are connected.

Emotional Eating – Not only can increased levels of cortisol make you crave unhealthy food, but excess nervous energy can often cause you to eat more than you normally would. Have you ever found yourself scouring the kitchen for a snack, or absently munching on junk food when you’re stressed, but not really hungry?

Fast Food -- One of the big reasons we’re seeing more obesity in our society today is that people are too stressed and busy to make healthy dinners at home, often opting to get fast food a the nearest drive-thru instead.

Too Busy to Exercise -- With all the demands on your schedule, exercise may be one of the last things on your to-do list. If so, you’re not alone. Americans live a more sedentary lifestyle than we have in past generations, yet our minds seem to be racing from everything we have to do. Unfortunately, from sitting in traffic, clocking hours at our desks, and plopping in front of the TV in exhaustion at the end of the day, exercise often goes by the wayside.

Today’s so-called solutions including prescription drugs, energy drinks, coffee, etc. aren’t combating the problem, they’re compounding the problem.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to reverse the pattern of weight gain and actually reduce your stress level and waistline at the same time. I recommend you take a yoga class 3 times a week, meditation on a regular basis and lots of good deep breathing.

A natural solution without side effects, Eleviv is NOT A DRUG
Learn more about Eleviv click here.

Eleviv is a combination of 4 herbs that work synergistically together to bring your body back into balance. Not a false energy, like many energy drinks or stimulants Under Stress Your Cortisol and Insulin Levels Raise.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Change Your Life, Just 20 Minutes of Exercise a Day,

Just 20 minutes of regular exercise every single day can have a profound effect on your life, your health and your lifestyle.

With just 20 minutes a day, you can promote weight loss.
With 20 minutes a day, you can decrease how much stress you experience.
With 20 minutes a day, you can achieve the goals you set out for yourself.

Changing Your Life

Making a change in your life is about exerting a form of control over your life and your choices. 20 minutes a day is one of those changes that you can make and it's one that most of us - even at our busiest can find 20 minutes for.

"Our health always seems much more valuable after we lose it." -Unknown Author
5 Ways to get motivated to walk!

1. Get a Walking Buddy

Keep each other motivated no matter what the weather or other excuses is imperative. The conversation and protein smoothie after are great ways to make even a boring walk a lot of fun.

2. Get New Gear
Nothing is more motivating then getting some brand new walking shoes, a great outfit, that new ipod to make the time go quickly. Pedometers, speed and heart rate monitors can also get you moving because we all want to know how far we walked, what our target heart rate is and how many calories we burned. Walking gadgets can make walking a little more fun and give you a reason to get out the door to achieve your next goal.

3. Get committed!
Register for a Charity Walk or sign up for a fun run (no one says you need to run, you can walk instead) so that you have a goal and a commitment. By telling others you will ten be more likely to stay the path and will be more motivated towards your goal knowing that you must train to endure the event.

4. Keep a Walking Journal
Keep track of your walking minutes, steps, or mileage in a journal. Total up each week to see how you are progressing. Set yourself a reasonable goal and you will find that attaining that goal will motivate you enough to maintain your walking schedule. There is even various software applications available to do all the calculations for you.

5. Choose the Right Time and Have Fun!
What is the best time to walk? Many people find that if they commit to early morning walks, there are fewer distractions as may commonly pop up in the afternoon or evening. But if you hate mornings and feel most energetic later in the day - that should be your walking time. To stay motivated, analyze your habits and choose the time that will work best for you. Keep it realistic and most of all fun, and you'll find walking the best route to good physical fitness and health well into your elder years.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

3 things to include in your fitness to Slow Down the Aging Process.

You can't stop yourself from growing old,
but you can keep your body in great shape as you get older!

Studies have now proven that the natural aging process can be slowed and even reversed under the right conditions. 

People between the ages of 30 and 70 with many of the symptoms; conditions that were traditionally associated with normal aging are in fact the result of sedentary lifestyles.  

Our life expectancy in this day and age is much longer.  50 is the new 30, and while you may be eligible for some senior citizen discounts, you don't have to think of this stage of your life as the beginning of the end.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have finally proven that when you are over the age of 50 you can continue to exercise with great benefits to your health.  In fact, many of the effects of aging can be slowed down through a good exercise program and balanced diet taken in combination.   

1.  Cardiovascular exercises:  take a brisk walk in the park, go swimming, dancing, jogging, recumbent bicycles  and even a few jumping jacks.  Try a fun dance class, Zumba is so popular and burns lots of calories.

2.  Strength exercises are an effective way to build muscle mass and maintain your body’s weight. Did you know that there are roughly 300,000 cases of broken hip bones due to elderly people losing their balance and falling over? 

Doing a few balance exercises can help to strengthen those muscles responsible for supporting you body and keeping you mobile.  It’s important that you work with a professional that can help you to put together a strength training program designed for you.

3.       Stretching and flexibility exercises are needed to keep your joints working smoothly and stop them from ceasing up. These particular exercises help to increase the amount of movements that your body can perform. Warming up the muscles and joints should be done before any workout to prevent injury and decrease the amount of pain you feel in your muscles.

It’s important along with exercise to have a Healthy Diet.  What you are putting into your body has a great effect on your health.   Many people believe that they don’t need to eat healthy or watch their diet because they don’t need to lose weight. This couldn’t be further from the truth! 
You should put only the best foods in your mouth no matter how much you weigh, what size you wear, or how fit you look.

Gaining muscle fast cannot be achieved if you continue to lift the same weights each workout.

91-year-old bodybuilder Charles Eugster is proof we can continue to be healthy and strong into our 90’s and it doesn’t end there.

At 85 Charles had a crisis. He looked at himself in the mirror, and saw an old man who was overweight, his posture was terrible and there was skin hanging off of him.  Charles said “I looked like a wreck’ Read Charles inspirational story here:

You can read Charles entire story by clicking here.

If you are starting an exercise program, I recommend you consult your doctor first to make sure you are of sound body. This is especially true for seniors who may have weaker bodies. When exercising, start out slow and gradually build up to a long and more intense workout as you gain strength. If you have pre-existing medical conditions, you should definitely make your personal physician aware of you decision to start working out.

"It's never too late to begin"  here's another great article about  Charles Eugster 90-year-old bodybuilder  by Hugh Esling a fitness professional he shares more tips on senior fitness

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How to Stay Motivated to be Healthy and Fit.

Nothing is a better motivator than a positive attitude. 
If you feel good about yourself and your ability to accomplish things it will be much easier to make the choice to exercise when you may not feel quite up to it.  

Muscle burns fat…..that’s why starvation diets don’t work.  They depleat your body of escential muscle that will burn the calories we consume.

To be healthy and fit people "really know what to do" but it does take commitment and changing habits.  It does take a lot hard work and effort.  Great advice from NIKE 3 words  " Just DO IT."

If you find your workouts are hit-or-miss and that you give in to temptation a bit too easily, your weight loss may not be happening.   For exercise to work, you have to do it on a regular basis. Once your body adapts to your program, you then need to change it to keep your body challenged.   If you skip too many workouts, it's almost like starting all over every time.

Do you know anyone that has worked out for years and looks exactly the same?  They are pushing themselves day after day and not making any positive changes.  There is a reason for this, they may not be working hard enough, or they may be working too hard. 

One thing many people don't understand about exercise and weight loss is this: you have to work hard if you want to change the shape of your body. That means a balance of medium-high intensity cardio exercise along with challenging strength training workouts.   Our Diets are a key factor in weight loss.

For weight loss, you'll need to get about 3-5 cardio workouts each week at a medium-high intensity for at least 30 minutes. If you're a beginner, it's best to start slow and work your way up but, if you're in good condition-challenging yourself with harder workouts is the best way to burn more calories.   Interval training is a good choice because studies show you continue to burn calories even after you've stopped exercising.

Strength Training In addition to your cardio workouts, you'll need to lift weights for all your muscle groups at least 2 non-consecutive days a week. And, by lifting weights, that means using enough weight that you can ONLY complete the desired number of reps.  For example, if you're doing 12 bicep curls, you need to use enough weight that you can only do 12 bicep curls and not one more. Most people don't lift enough weight to really challenge their muscles. If that sounds familiar, check out Weight Training 101 and my Workout Center to learn how to lift weights and get some workout ideas.

Sticking with exercise starts with finding a program you enjoy and that fits in with your lifestyle, goals and needs. That means being realistic about what you'll really accomplish each week rather than going by what you think you should be doing.  If you know you are not going to be consistent going to a fitness club, then learn what you can do out home out for a walk or jog and include strength training outdoors or in your home.
Some common reasons for plateaus include:
·                        Doing the same workouts over and over. Your body needs to be challenged to progress, so make sure you're changing some part of your program every 4-6 weeks.

·                        Not eating enough calories. If your body doesn't have enough fuel to sustain your level of activity, you can actually stop losing weight.

·                        Overtraining. If you exercise too much, the body sometimes responds by decreasing the amount of calories you burn during the rest of your day.

Healthy eating has to  become a lifestyle.