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    Discover positive articles, with new ways to look at life and live healthy.

    • HealthDiscovery
      Exercise as an antidote to depression and anxiety is not a new concept. In the 18th century Scotland, doctors in mental hospitals prescribed heavy farm chores as "the best medicine" for their patients and documented marked improvements in mood and behavior.
        Now scientists are studying the link between exercise and mood changes at close range and coming up with some fascinating results.
      One expert in the field says "exercise is clearly associated with mental-health benefits." And moderate exercisers show lowered blood-pressure levels and a resultant positive mood. The key is moderate exercise, performed a minimum of 30 minutes, three or four times a week. Brisk walking, swimming, lifting weights, and bicycling - all achieve good results.
      People who exercise regularly, even at something as simple as walking or bicycling, are more flexible. They experience less stress on the muscles and joints when they do bend down the wrong way. Conditioned muscles recover faster, too. It's the couch potato who hauls himself erect one Saturday afternoon to rake the leaves or shovel snow who has trouble.
      The big problem we all face these days is living a stressful life. All families seem to be too busy to sit down together and share the joys and pleasures of life. The little things that once mattered are no longer important and now there is a race for more money, more time and more material possessions.
      By using simple relaxation techniques, exercising and making changes in our lifestyles, we can manage stress and take control of your lives! Once you have become aware of stress, it's time to relax! There are many techniques for relaxing (and no one method is better than another), but the most basic is deep breathing. One of the body's automatic reactions to stress is rapid, shallow breathing. Breathing slowly and deeply is one of the ways you can "turn off" your stress reaction and "turn on" your relaxation response.
      Still another relaxation technique that can help you reduce stress is "clearing your mind." Since your stress response is a physical and emotional interaction, giving yourself a mental "break" can help relax your body as well. When you clear your mind, you try to concentrate on one pleasant thought, work, or image and let the rest of your worries slip away. A short and quiet walk can do wonders and just a walk around the block will clear your head and often give you a new spurt of energy.
      Muscle and joint aches and pains are a common complaint for many of us, living as we do in a sedentary, high-stress society. The cliché warning us to "use it or lose it" isn't far off the mark. Our bodies pay the price for long hours slumped at our desks or nestled in a soft chair watching television. And if you think some of our aches and pains are just another consequence of ageing, you're wrong - more often, it's a result of inactivity and weaker muscles.
      Doctors now say that walking is one of the best exercises. It helps the total circulation of blood throughout the body, and thus has a direct effect on your overall feeling of health. There are things such a aerobics, jogging, swimming and many other exercises which will benefit a person both physically and mentally. Researchers agree that exercise helps to ease anxiety and lift spirits.

    • HealthDiscovery
      "Just do it"
      This is a great phrase for those already "doing it" and are feeling a moment of laziness. The phrase backfires, however, with people who aren't in the "action" stage of behaviour change.
      "It's because change doesn't begin with action", remarks James Prochaska, psychologist and head of the Health Promotion Partnership at the University of Rhode Island. He says that there's more anxiety around change than there needs to be. That's because there's been so much pressure to act-- regardless if someone is ready for it.

      In his book Changing for Good, Dr. Prochaska outlines the stages of behaviour change.
      "By consciously dealing with change in stages...it's easier to apply appropriate strategies at the appropriate times".
      1. Pre-Contemplation Stage
      Pre-Contemplators aren't willing to consider making a change ("I've never exercised, and I have no desire to start now").
      Consciousness-raising activities are important--a doctor's warning about a patients health risks that are due in part to lack of physical activity; a life event such as the birth of a grandchild or one's 50th birthday; reading the Surgeon General's report, Physical Activity and Health.
      2. Contemplation Stage
      Contemplators know they need to change and begin to think seriously about it. The problem is that people can get stuck in this stage for years. Some people wait for the magic moment (you need to make the moment) or engage in wishful thinking (hoping to get healthier without changing behaviour).
      Write down the benefits you hope to obtain from physical activity. Next list the perceived roadblocks and how to get past each one. More consciousness-raising is in order, not to convince you that you need to change, but to propel you into the next stage.
      3. Preparation Stage
      Most people in this stage are planning to take action within a month" says Dr. Prochaska. "They think more about the pros of a new behaviour than about the cons of the old one."
      Develop a firm, detailed plan for action. Set a date to begin and make this public. When making your plan, it's important to choose an activity that you'll like and that will fit in your schedule. Time saving tips: record your TV programs. If you watch 2 hours per day, you'll save 1/2 hour in commercials--use this for your physical activity. How about getting more organized with your meal planning and go shopping only once a week--you know what to do with that extra time!
      4. Action Stage
      People in this stage have begun to make the changes for which they have planned. It's easy to let perceived excuses turn into roadblocks, then to relapses and then a move back to the Contemplation Stage. (See related articles Beating the Dropout Odds and Staying on Track.)
      It's a good idea to do your physical activity with others, at least until the behavior becomes a habit. Round up co-workers, friends, or relatives and form a walking group (even if it's only you and a partner). Make a ground rule that the only excuses for not attending are being sick or injured. (When travelling, take your walking shoes and walk wherever you are).
      By the time you are in the Action Stage, the phrase "Just do it" will have more meaning for you.
      Article by:
      Deborah Mullen

    • HealthDiscovery
      Tired of paved roads? Want to go where there aren't any speed limits? If you answered yes, then your vehicle of choice could very well be a mountain bike.
      Ever since a group of friends took a fast-paced ride down a steep incline in Northern California, mountain biking has been an exciting challenge to off-road riders. Its inclusion as an event in the 1996 Olympics confirmed what riders already know: Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, both in popularity and participation.
      Many riders say it's the freedom. After all, destinations are unlimited on these machines built for rough terrain. If you've never been on a mountain bike you might wonder what all the fuss is about. Many riders say it's the freedom. After all, destinations are unlimited on these

      The Right Equipment
      Mountain bikes are sturdier than your average 10-speed or hybrid bicycle so they can withstand rough roads. They have wide tires that grip the trail, and cantilever brakes, similar to those found on a motorcycle. When purchasing a mountain bike, be sure that it isn't too large. You should always be able to put a foot on the ground to steady yourself. A helmet is a must, and knee and elbow pads are sure-fire scar preventers.
      Your Body On A Bike
      Riding a bike is one of the best cardiovascular exercises around. Not only does it provide an aerobic workout, but it strengthens the large muscles of the lower body, including the thighs, hips and buttocks, without putting a lot of stress on the joints. The upper body and arms come into play when climbing hills. Always warm up before you begin your ride. Pedal in a low gear over flat terrain until you begin to sweat or feel warm.
      This usually takes about five to 10 minutes. And don't neglect to cool down when you come to the end of your ride. Gradually lowering your heart rate can help prevent the pooling of lactic acid in the muscles. Again, pedal slowly in a low gear.
      On The Trail
      Practice makes perfect isn't a cliché when it comes to handling a mountain bike. Once you start heading up hills and mountains and over rocks and steep falls, you'll need to rely on your instincts, which, if they don't come naturally, develop through practice. One of the first things to do is to get a feel for how the brakes work. The front brake on a mountain bike usually has more power than the back, and pulling it alone may send you flying over the handlebars. Practice quick stops before you hit the trail so you can feel how your weight may affect how you stop. Cantilever brakes are stronger than those on other bikes, allowing riders to control factors such as their rate of decline. When descending a hill, lightly squeeze and release the brakes - a technique called feathering - to prevent the wheels from locking. Change gears as it becomes necessary in order to keep a steady cadence. Use a low gear when you need power, and a high gear when you want speed.
      Climbing requires a shift in your weight that will control the tires' grip on the ground. Short, steep hills may require out-of-the-seat pedaling to garner more power. If you try this on a long climb, however, you'll likely tire before you reach the top. Shift your weight forward, off the seat if necessary, to gain the power you need.
      Get Pedaling
      You can obtain information about trails in your area from your local library or mountain-biking group. The sooner you start pedaling, the sooner you can test your limits - those set by both your body and your mind. Article prescribed by:
      The American Council on Exercise
      The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is the largest nonprofit fitness certification, education and training organization in the world.

    • HealthDiscovery
      A complete fitness program must include aerobic exercise, muscular strength and endurance conditioning, and flexibility exercise. Aerobic exercise does good things for your cardiovascular system and is an important part of weight management. Muscular conditioning can improve strength and posture, reduce the risk of lower back injury, and is also an important component of a weight management program. Flexibility exercise is needed to maintain joint range of motion and reduce the risk of injury and muscle soreness.

      Aerobic exercise can be as simple as walking.
      Walking is a weight-bearing aerobic exercise. So are jogging, rope skipping and dance-exercise. Aerobic exercise is any activity that uses large muscle groups in a continuous, rhythmic fashion for sustained periods of time. There are also non-weight-bearing aerobic exercises, such as bicycling, stationary cycling, swimming and rowing. Keep the pace comfortable.
      A very important aspect of your exercise program is the intensity. You should exercise at a comfortable pace. You can measure your exercise heart rate to check the intensity of your exercising, or you can take the 'talk test.'

      To measure your heart rate, take your pulse as soon as you stop exercising. Count your heartbeat for 10 seconds, then multiply that by six to convert it to a one-minute heart rate. If you keep your exercise heart rate within a range of 55 percent to 80 percent of an estimated maximum heart rate (220 minus your age), you're doing well.

      The talk test is easier to accomplish. Just exercise at a pace that allows you to carry on a conversation while you're exercising. How often should you exercise?
      Three to four days of aerobic activity is fine for general health maintenance. If you're trying to lose weight, aim for four or more days a week, being sure you take off at least one day a week. How long should you exercise?
      Work up to 20 or more minutes per session for general health maintenance. For weight loss, gradually work up to 45 minutes or longer at low to moderate intensities in a low- or no-impact activity. Strength conditioning gives you a choice.
      Pick calisthenics, free weights or machines. Just be sure that your strength training includes exercises for every major muscle group, including the muscles of the arms, chest, back, stomach, hips and legs.

      Start with a weight that's comfortable to handle and keep it up for eight repetitions. Gradually add more repetitions until you can complete 12 repetitions. For greater strength conditioning, add more weight and/or more repetitions, in sets of eight to 12, when the exercise becomes easy. Stretch for flexibility
      Proper stretching involves holding a mild stretch of 10 to 30 seconds while you breathe normally. Always warm up before you stretch. Like strength conditioning, flexibility exercises should include stretching for all the major muscle groups. One last thing to remember . . .
      Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, especially if you're over 40, or have cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or a family history of heart disease. Article prescribed by:
      The American Council on Exercise
      The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is the largest nonprofit fitness certification, education and training organization in the world.

    • HealthDiscovery
      Kids are more unfit than any other time in our history! There are so many distractions for kids NOT to exercise - From video games to computers, and the fattening of America taking place at an ever increasing pace.
      In major studies during the last ten years, children from the ages of six to 17 scored extremely low in areas of strength, flexibility, and cardio respiratory endurance.
      Television watching, electronic games, and inactive parents were implicated as major sources of the lack of exercise.
      Children, teenagers, and adults need to accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate activity each day. However, it's estimated that only one in three American children participate in daily physical activity. And about one-fourth of all adults and young people from the ages of 12 to 21 are getting no vigorous exercise at all.
      Kids need to learn at a young age that fitness can be fun! Children have a short attention span (20 minutes) when it comes to fitness, yet an unlimited capacity to watch the monitor or TV.
      Kids fatigue in a shorter time, and become both over-heated and dehydrated in a shorter time than adults.
      Fitness has to be fun and diverse to peak a child's interest and turn physical activity into a "looked forward to" time of the day.
      One of the best ways to increase the overall fitness of a family is by exercising together. Variety of activity is the key to keeping all family members enjoying exercise. The older the children, the more important it becomes for exercise to be "fun". Motivation must come from Mom and Dad through example, creative activities, and persistence. Physical activity sessions do not need to last longer than 30-45 minutes but should be scheduled on a regular basis.
      Everyone should enjoy the sessions, and they should not be rigid or competitive in nature, especially where young children are involved. Family physical activity time results in family bonding. As each family member enjoys the activities, it should become easier to schedule the sessions. One of the most important results is the teaching of good health habits that can continue for a lifetime.
      We have two children (8-10) who have been involved in fitness with us since they were 3-4. How?
      Going for walks, playing at the park, beach. Learning how to ride bikes, swimming (year round-indoor or outdoor). We purchased a mini-tramp then a larger one for the kids to bounce on, and would jump with them.
      Taking the kids to the gym so they could watch us exercise for short periods and then letting them use light weights at home. Rolling balls across the floor and chasing them on all fours.
      Now as the kids are older, they are involved in team sports (soccer and softball). We still take the dogs for walks together, and choose to take small vacations that always include swimming, biking and some walking.
      For kids to get excited about exercising, parents have to be excited. Get out and be active with your kids. Children live what they learn.
      Article By
      Mark Occhipinti

      Mark J. Occhipinti is the President of AFPA Fitness. Be sure to visit their site for more easy-to-follow fitness articles, tips, and recipes at AFPA Fitness

    • HealthDiscovery
      For many people, holidays and family get-togethers are a time for celebration. These celebrations often involve foods that are high in fat, sugar and calories - and short on nutrition. With a few minor changes however, special occasion foods can be both delicious and nutritious. Eat, Drink, and be Healthy!
      Dairy Products
      Many holiday foods include dairy products. Enjoy these foods during your celebrations, but use skimmed milk and other 'low' or 'no' fat dairy products in your recipes whenever possible. Look for the growing assortment of low fat cheeses, cheese slices and cheese spreads that are now available in your grocery store. For example, use light or ultra-light cream cheese or cheddar cheese with only 7% fat.
      If you use spreads or other products that are high in fat, such as butter, mayonnaise, sour cream, spread them very thinly or use only a small amount.
      Meat Dishes
      Choose leaner cuts of meat for your holiday gatherings whenever possible. As a general rule, white meat is leaner than dark meat - so choose the breast meat of a chicken or turkey rather than the drumstick. Ways to lean out your meat choices: trim the visible fat off of meats. remove skin from poultry. choose fish more often. Cold water fatty fish such as tuna and salmon have 'heart healthy' types of fat in them. prepare meats in ways that reduce the fat content, like broiling, stewing, or baking. drain the excess fat off of meats after cooking. cook meats on a rack so fat can drip away. cool soups, gravies, stews, etc. before serving and then remove the hardened fat that has collected at the top. use vegetable cooking sprays to prevent foods from sticking. when preparing a roast, baste with low fat broth instead of the drippings from the pan. Turkey breast is one of the leanest types of meat. Vegetables
      Fortunately, most vegetables contain little or no fat. It is what we add to the vegetables that increase their fat content. Avoid smothering your vegetables with thick creamy sauces or butter. Potatoes, for example, contain no fat. They also contain very little salt and are good sources of Vitamins B and C and potassium. Potato skins are a good source of fibre (fibre may help lower cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of colon cancer). Try leaving the skins on the potatoes when you mash them. When mashing potatoes, rather than adding butter or sour cream, try whipping the potatoes with skim or 1% milk or low / no fat sour cream or yogurt.
      Feel free to include two or three vegetables with your meal as long as they have been prepared with little or no fat. This can often be done by steaming, baking or cooking them in the microwave. Flavor can be added by using seasonings such as spices and herbs.
      When choosing vegetables, pick the ones that are the darkest in color to ensure maximum nutrition. Dark green vegetables (such as broccoli) and bright orange vegetables (such as carrots and sweet potatoes) are high in the antioxidant vitamins, folic acid and fibre. Antioxidants (as Vitamins A, C, and E) can be protective agents against heart disease and cancer. Folic acid may play a role in helping to reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
      Salads are a great addition to any holiday meal. Be sure to choose a low fat dressing or ask your host to let you add your own so that you can control the amount.
      To prevent loss of flavor and vitamins when cooking vegetables, try steaming vegetables in less water or using a steaming rack. If you do boil vegetables in water, save the water to make gravy. Stuffing
      If you have stuffing with your meat dish and the recipe calls for meat or giblets, replace half of the meat with dried fruits such as cranberries, raisins or apricots. This turns an everyday recipe into a colorful and seasonal dish. Rather than cooking stuffing inside of poultry or a roast, cook the stuffing in a casserole dish or aluminum foil in the oven. This will reduce the amount of fat in the stuffing considerably.
      Making gravy from a low fat broth rather than the drippings from poultry or a roast is a good way to reduce fat. If your gravy recipe calls for milk, make sure to use skim milk. If you choose to use drippings for your gravy, pour or skim the fat off the top of the drippings before using. This can be done easily by letting the drippings get cold and, when the fat has become hard, take it off with a spoon. Or, when the drippings are cool, you can also add ice cubes, to which the fat will stick. Remove the ice cubes before making the gravy.
      Cranberry Sauce
      Cranberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Unfortunately much of the Vitamin C content is lost in the canning process. Luckily homemade cranberry sauce is easy to prepare and the nutrients are retained. Try using cranberry sauce on your turkey instead of gravy. When making cranberry sauce, add sugar after cooking the cranberries to maintain the tenderness of the skin. You may also want to substitute some artificial sweetener for some of the sugar in your cranberry sauce recipe.
      Dinner may be very filling, but what is a holiday feast without eating dessert? Try to make 'wise' dessert choices rather than deny yourself, have a smaller portion and savor every mouthful.
      Here are some healthy suggestions: Angel food cake contains little or no fat and can make a great dessert when served with fruits such as strawberries, raspberries or a fresh fruit salad. When making pumpkin pie – use evaporated skim milk and top with low fat or fat free ice cream or frozen yogurt. Also try our "crust-less pumpkin pie" Mix applesauce with mincemeat to reduce the amount of fat and serve with frozen low fat or fat free yogurt. When you have choices, opt for desserts that are lower in fat and sugar. For example, if faced with a plate of cookies, you may decide to choose the sugar cookies or gingerbread cookies over shortbread cookies as they tend to be lower in fat. Beverages
      Mulled cider or our low-fat eggnog are a good alternative to high fat eggnog. If you choose to have egg nog, have a smaller amount and dilute it with skim milk or use low fat or fat free eggnog. Diet carbonated sodas can make a very festive drink when added to your favorite fruit juice -- try cranberry or grape juice with soda.
      Nonalcoholic or de-alcoholized wines are improving all the time and make a great alternative for the holidays.
      By following these eating tips during the holidays, you are sure to avoid gaining 'too much' weight due to unhealthy food choices. Remember to enjoy yourself, and family. You can always sweat a couple pounds After the Holidays.

    • HealthDiscovery
      Generally, the average person is not 100 percent hydrated. Add exercise and a warm climate, and it spells dehydration in a big way.

      Do not depend on thirst as a signal to avoid dehydration! Your body's drive to drink is not nearly as powerful as its drive to eat, and the thirst mechanism is even less powerful during exercise. Therefore, you must plan to drink early and often.
      How Much Should You Drink?
      Before exercise:
      Drink one to two cups (eight to 16 ounces) of fluid two hours before exercise to make sure you are well hydrated. Then drink another one-half to one cup immediately before exercise. During exercise:
      Drink one-half to one cup every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise. Although this might seem tough at first, once you schedule it into your regular training routine, you will quickly adapt to having fluid in your stomach. In fact, the fuller your stomach is, the faster it will empty. After exercise:
      Replace any fluid you have lost. Drink two cups of fluid for every pound of body weight you lose during exercise. In hot, humid weather, you need to drink more than usual. (But do not forget that dehydration also occurs during cold weather exercise--your body temperature rises, and you still lose water through perspiration and respiration.) What Should You Drink?
      Should you just reach for the water bottle when you need to hydrate, or are sports drinks better? The answer to this question depends on how much and how hard you exercise--and how much you like water! If you exercise less than one hour, water should be fine.
      If you exercise longer than one hour, the fluid should also supply energy to your working muscles. In this case, drink about two to four cups per hour of fluids with carbohydrate concentrations of from 4 to 8 percent. (Most sports drinks fall in this range.)
      The ideal fluid replacement beverage should encourage fluid consumption and promote fluid absorption.
      What About the Sodium in Most Sports Drinks?
      The average exerciser does not need to replace sodium or other electrolytes during exercise. Even well trained marathoners will reserve enough sodium to complete a competition. After heavy exercise, however, it is best to eat a meal that contains some sodium to replace what you may have lost. Follow your cravings--do not worry about restricting the sodium in your food immediately after running a marathon. If you are participating in an ultra-endurance event that lasts four hours or more, you should consume a sports drink that contains sodium. Fifty to 120 milligrams consumed during exercise should be sufficient. (Sodium content in sports drinks can range from eight to 116 milligrams. Read the label.)
      If you are just an average exerciser, you might think sodium in drinks is just a waste. However, sodium may play a different role for you. Sodium helps your body absorb fluid, and along with sugar, sodium may enhance a drink's taste, which can encourage you to drink more.
      Therefore, if you are an avid water drinker, you will benefit little from using a sports drink unless you are exercising for at least one hour. However, if you do not like water, sports drinks that taste good and contain less than 8 percent carbohydrate and some sodium might offer you a performance advantage. At the very least, if they encourage you to drink more, they will have done their job.
      Signs of Dehydration
      It is essential that you are aware of the warning signs of dehydration and heat stress. Early signs include:
      fatigue lightheadedness appetite loss dark urine with a strong odor flushed skin heat intolerance Severe signs include:
      difficulty swallowing sunken eyes and dim vision stumbling painful urination clumsiness numb skin shrivelled skin delirium muscle spasms Be sure to drink plenty of fluids especially if you exhibit any of these warning signs. Article prescribed by:
      IDEA Health and Fitness Association

    • HealthDiscovery
      When shopping for health clubs it's important to look at a number of factors when choosing one that is right for you.     Things to consider: Location
      For your fitness program to be a success, exercising has to be convenient or it won't become a realistic lifestyle change. The closer and easier it is to get to (and park your car), the better. Of course, you don't want to join a health club that doesn't suit you just because it's close to your home or office, but if you're joining a health club that isn't convenient to get to, you're a lot more likely to find an excuse to stop going. Try Before You Buy
      Sales staff are very good at selling the many benefits of their health club, but you need to spend some time trying the equipment and "feeling" the atmosphere. Ask for a day pass or trial membership--health clubs have nothing to loose and everything to gain by this. Be sure to try out the club at the time that you would normally workout--you'll get a better feel for how crowded it is. Notice if there is much of a wait for equipment, how helpful the staff is, and if the equipment is well maintained. You may even ask a few members what they like about the club. Make Sure They Have What You Want
      Make a list of the things that are important to you, such as personal training, childcare, aerobics classes, etc., and make sure the health club has what you need. If classes help to motivate you and the health club doesn't offer the classes you need, sticking with your exercise program won't be realistic. Try the class and make sure it is enjoyable, challenging and educational. Just the same, if you have children, make sure the health club has childcare or it will be tough to make it to the club. Member Profile
      Find out what the members are like; see if the atmosphere is comfortable. If you're a beginner, some clubs may be intimidating. Select a club where you feel comfortable and welcome. Staff
      Make sure there is always someone available to answer your questions, to show you a new exercise, or how to use a piece of equipment. Are they friendly, helpful and knowledgeable? Costs and Contracts
      Find out exactly what the membership fee includes; personal training, classes, pool, towel service, lockers, childcare, etc. Are there extra costs for additional services? This should play a big part in your decision to join a certain health club. Some health clubs have a one-time initiation fee and require purchasing a minimum of three months up front. Depending on your budget, you may want to find a club that allows you to go on a month-to-month basis. In addition, find out if the health club debits the funds directly out of your Visa or checking account. This can make it easier to pay membership fees but make sure that it's easy to cancel if you decide you don't like the club. Be sure you read the contract before you sign so you're not "locked" into paying even if you move out of town or change health clubs.
      Also, have a clear idea of what you can afford to pay and stick to your budget no matter what sales incentives are offered. And don't be afraid to bargain. If they're asking $49 a month and all you can afford is $39, offer $39 (if they've met previous criteria) and let them know you're prepared to join then and there.
      Need help choosing a health club that will best suit your needs?
      The health clubs in the Global Health & Fitness (GHF) directory offer outstanding services: a large selection of high-quality equipment, health and fitness knowledge, and other attractive amenities such as steam room/sauna, Jacuzzi, massage therapy, and more. However, health clubs vary greatly, not only in services and equipment available but also in pricing structure. Many join a health club with great intentions and then windup unhappy and dissatisfied. Starting a health and fitness program is hard enough--don't make it more difficult by joining a health club that doesn't meet your needs.
      Article prescribed by:
      Global Health and Fitness

    • HealthDiscovery
      Boy oh boy, the excuses!
      You know what I mean - 'too tired', 'body aches', 'not enough time'.

      Sometimes we trick our mind and body into premeditated defeat by accepting these excuses ourselves. It really is, 'all in the head' most of the time - and easily overcome, some of the time.

      Here's some easy to follow advise to help you stop the excuses. First, Stop the Excuses
      C'mon, let's shoot shoot down each of those three right now! Let's see, if you're tired, and you start to workout - are you going to fall asleep on the floor doing a set of jumping jacks? No sir, exercise will actually boost your energy levels. You should probably avoid a heavy workout just before bedtime as you will find it harder to fall asleep. Secondly, 'body aches' - well, if your body is hurtin' then you should be workin'.. out. Sorry, that was a terrible attempt to add some humor to this article. It's true though - most cases of muscle and joint pain are caused by sedimentary and inactive lifestyles. The excuses about time are easily countered. Even if you worked out for 60 minutes, you'd still have 1,380 minutes left in the day to do as you please. Of course maybe being healthy just isn't your thing. Maybe you'd just rather be tired and grumpy all the time, have heart disease, get out of breath while you get the mail, and possibly even prematurely 'erhem', croak. Then, Start Working Out
      When is a good time for you? Might as well be right here, right now. Seriously. Go ahead - while your sitting in your chair, put your feet next to each other and squeeze your legs together at the knees tightly. Hold it for 10 seconds, remember to breath, and release. Did ya feel that? Yea, my adductors are weak too! Better not overexert yourself yet. Before starting a workout you need to know what your body can handle. People come from all walks of life, so I am not going to assume the physical condition of anyone reading this. You probably know best what your body feels like, and your physical limitations. Your doctor can give you additional insight when starting a workout regime, but probably won't be there to spot you. Once You've Started
      Following a few basic guidelines will help keep you on track. Take it Easy!.
      As a general and safe rule: If it hurts excruciatingly, don't do it. When you're just starting to workout, you don't want to incur physical injury by trying to jump into P90X, Tae Bo or some other intense workout regime. If you rush yourself to see immediate results, or try to shed pounds like a husky sheds hair in the summer. You're only going to get discouraged. If you're just getting started working out, plan on spending the first month only doing stretches and light exercises. Make Small Goals
      You know, ones that won't take 5 years to accomplish. Maybe to be able to touch your toes, or to do a set number of pushups. Eventually you can amp it up and try to walk a mile, two even. When you do, time how long it takes you and try to do it faster the next time. Keep giving yourself some drive by always try to 'one-up' your best time, or highest number of sets. You'll be surprised how accomplished you feel beating yourself. Small Changes to Daily Patterns
      Start with trying to fit workout activities into your normal preexisting routines. Maybe there's a TV show that you watch religiously M-F at 6PM. Start working out during the commercials. Is there anywhere you go a couple times a week or more that you could walk or bike to? Try it!. Once you've started to workout, you may not ever go back to 'just sitting around'. Why would you want to!? It feels so good being active and in shape. Consistency is key, and don't forget, to forget about the excuses.

    • HealthDiscovery
      What is a 'Diet'? The word diet actually is one of those words that can be used as a noun, or a verb. Which is likely where some confusion takes place. To start, let's take a quick look at the definition of the word, diet.
      : to eat less or according to certain rules in order to lose weight
      : the food and drink that a person or animal usually takes

      So is it either of those, both, or neither?
      We'd say the Weight Watchers Program is both, but maybe neither.... It isn't really like other diets(v. definition), or diets(n. definition) for that matter. It's actually a complete program that takes into account a broader spectrum of the human body and digestive system that goes beyond just limiting food to lose weight. That is where the "lifestyle" phrase comes from, because it takes that kind of change
      Think You Can Do It?
      You CAN! We've seen thousands of people just like you, lose a cumulative thousands of pounds following the Weight Watchers program. Getting started is actually the easy part here. Staying committed is where you need to bite the bullet, get help if you need it, and keep on keeping on. How Can You Get Started?
      It's simple... Just sign up! You've Already Signed Up - Now What?
      Once you've started the program, it's important to attend regular meetings and weigh-ins. If you can't attend the regular meetings or weigh-ins, or even if you just want additional support in between - we recommend you join other Weight Watchers online in our Boot Camp Buddies Forum. For the program to work, it is important to have a daily or weekly support network. So What if You Can't Afford Weight Watchers?
      If you're unable to pay for Weight Watchers, unable to access meetings, or unable to receive official program guidelines - You can still lose weight!

      The Weight Watchers program is based on very firm science, and lots of research. Fortunately, most of this science and research is published publicly. If you can understand the scientific principals behind the program, then you may be able to safely and successfully lose weight using science! Cool huh!?

      Just remember, many people have trouble staying on the already, very easy to follow, guided program that is provided by Weight Watchers. If you think you're super smart, and your commitment is unwavering - you might be able to wing it.

      We don't recommend it, but if you look around, it's easy to learn the way from your peers and there is literally tons of free information out there. Some of it, even right here.

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