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  1. I tested 7 other platforms before making the choice, plus the 2 we were already running... Definitely one of the best, for us, out there. The old platform stopped adding new features many years ago. Now we are cool, and hip, and with the times. Anyways - If you see posts that look messed up. Don't panic until tomorrow, afternoon-ish. It is still going through and rebuilding the threads - which will take all night. I'm going to bed though, goodnight, enjoy, will check back in the am!
  2. To find your exact B.M.I. you can use our other chart, or a calculator. Use This Link to Open the Body Mass Index Chart
  3. Use This Link to Open the Body Mass Index Calculator
  4. This is an older list of WW point foods, from the 90's compiled by Denise. Should be good for the "Momentum" plan iirc? (correct me if I am wrong), or plans that used the "old Points". These were recently recompiled to a single page for better readability. If anyone has an updated list, will gladly redirect there. 1 serving = 1 point, from each food item on this list. FRUIT Apple, dried, 1/4 cup (3/4 oz.) Apple, fresh, 1 (4oz) Apples, crab, 2 oz or 1/2 cup Apples, mountain, 3 (2" x 1 7/8") Applesauce, unsweetened, 1 cup (8 oz) Apricots, 6 dried halves (3/4 oz) Apricots, fresh, 3 (4 oz) Blackberries, 1 cup (5 oz) Blueberries, 1 cup (5 oz) Boysenberries, 1 cup (5 oz) Breadfruit, uncooked, 1/3 cup (3 oz) Cantaloupe, 1/4 melon (8 oz) or 1 cup (5 1/2 oz) Cherries, fresh, 1 cup (5 1/2 oz) Cranberries, fresh, 1 cup (4 oz) Currants, fresh, 1 cup (4 oz) Dates, fresh, 2 (3/4 oz) Elderberries, 1 cup (5 oz) Fig, dried, 1 (3/4 oz) Fig, fresh, 1 (2 oz) Gooseberries, 1 cup (5 oz) Grapefruit sections, 1 cup (9 oz) Grapes, 1 cup, 20 small, or 12 large Green papaya, 1 cup Guava, 1 (4 oz) or 1/3 cup pulp Honeydew melon, 1/8 (6 oz) or 1 cup Kiwi fruit, 1 (4 oz) Kumquats, 10 small or 5 medium (3 oz) Mandarin orange, fresh, 1 (6 oz) Melon balls, 1 cup (6 oz) Mulberries, 1 cup (4 oz) Nectarine, 1 (4 oz) Orange sections, 1 cup (6 oz) Orange, 1 (5 oz) Papaya, 1/2 (8 oz) or 1 cup (5 oz) Passion fruit, 3 (3 oz) Peach, fresh, 1 (6 oz) Pear, fresh, 1 (5 oz) Plums, 2 (4 oz) Prickly pear (cactus pear), 1 (5 oz) Prunes, 2 (3/4 oz) Raspberries, 1 cup (4 oz) Strawberries, fresh or frozen (unsweetened), 1 cup Tangelo, 1 (7 oz) Tangerine, 1 (6 oz) Watermelon, 2" slice or 1 cup (5 1/2 oz) Snacks Crackers, 7 fat-free crackers (3/4 oz) Popcorn, light, microwave-popped, 3 cups Popcorn, plain, hot-air popped, 3 cups Pretzel sticks, 23 Pretzel twists , 8 small Seeds, pumpkin or sunflower, 1 Tbsp Cereals Cereal, cold, bran flakes, 1 cup Cereal, cold, high fiber (10g or more fiber per 1/2 cup) Cereal, cold, puffed, 1 1/2 cups Cereal, cold, shredded wheat, 1 biscuit Quaker Corn Bran, 3/4 cup Sauces & Soups SAUCES Barbecue sauce, 1/4 cup Chili sauce, green, 1/4 cup Chili sauce, red, 1/4 cup Cocktail sauce , 1/4 cup Duck Sauce , 1 Tbsp Gravy, beef, chicken, or turkey, canned, 1/4 cup Pizza sauce, 1/4 cup (2 oz) Spaghetti sauce, bottled, any type, reduced-fat, 1/2 cup (4 1/2 oz) Spanish sauce, 1/2 cup Teriyaki sauce , 1/4 cup SOUPS Chicken noodle soup, canned, 1 cup Chicken soup, without matzo balls, 1 cup Egg drop soup, 1 cup Breads Bread, high fiber (3 grams or more dietary fiber per slice), 1 slice (1 oz) Breadsticks, 2 long or 4 short Cocktail (party-style) bread, any type, 2 slices (3/4 oz) Crisp breads, 3/4 oz Flat breads, 3/4 oz Matzo farfel, 1/4 cup (1/2 oz) Melba toast, all varieties, 6 rounds or 4 slices (3/4 oz) Oyster crackers, 20 (1/2 oz) Pita, any type, 1 small or 1/2 large (1 oz) Reduced-calorie, any type , 2 slices (1 1/2 oz) Rice cakes, any type, 2 (3/4 oz) or 6 mini Spreads & Condiments Almond butter, 1 tsp Butter, regular or whipped, 1 tsp Chutney, 1 Tbsp Cream cheese, light or whipped, 2 Tbsp (1 oz) Cream cheese, nonfat, 4 Tbsp (2 oz) Cream cheese, regular, 1 Tbsp (1/2 oz) Fruit butter, any type, 1 Tbsp Jam , jelly or preserves, 1 Tbsp Ketchup, 1/4 cup Margarine , fat-free, 4 Tbsp Margarine, reduced-calorie (tub), 2 tsp Margarine, reduced-calorie (stick), 1 1/2 tsp Margarine, regular, 1 tsp Margarine, squeeze, 1 tsp Mayonnaise, fat-free, 4 Tbsp Mayonnaise, reduced-calorie, 2 tsp Mayonnaise, regular, commercial and homemade, 1 tsp Olives, 10 small or 6 large (1 oz) Peanut butter, 1 tsp Pickles, sweet, 2 large Salad dressing, fat-free (except Italian), 2 Tbsp Salad dressing, reduced-calorie, Italian, 2 Tbsp Sour cream, light, 3 Tbsp Sour cream, nonfat, 1/4 cup Sour cream, regular, 1 Tbsp Spreadable fruit, 1 1/2 Tbsp Sweet and sour sauce, 2 Tbsp Protein Sources Anchovies, 6 (3/4 oz) or 1 tsp. Paste Bacon, 1 slice crisp Beans, dry 1/3 cup or 2 1/2 oz cooked or 3/4 oz uncooked Bison/Buffalo meat, 1 oz. Cheese, 1 fat free slice Cheese, cottage, 1%,2%,or nonfat, 1/3 cup (2 3/4 oz) Cheese, hard 3 Tbsp. Shredded, 2 Tbsp. Grated or 3/4 oz Cheese, Neufchatel, 1 Tbsp (1/2 oz) Cheese, nonfat, hard or semisoft, 1 slice, 1 (1") cube, 3 Tbsp Shredded, 2 Tbsp grated, or 3/4 oz Cheese, pot, 1/3 cup Cheese, ricotta, nonfat, 1/3 cup Cheese, soy, nonfat, 1 slice, 1 (1") cube, 3 Tbsp shredded, 2 Tbsp grated, or 3/4 oz Chicken drumstick, cooked, without skin (with bone), 1 (1 1/2 oz) Chicken roll luncheon meat, 1 slice (1 oz) Chickpeas, dry, 1/3 cup or 2 1/2 oz cooked or 3/4 oz uncooked Clams, cooked, 1/2 cup (2 oz) Crabmeat, cooked, 1/2 cup (2 oz) Crayfish, cooked, 1/2 cup (2 oz) Egg substitute, fat-free, 1/4 cup Egg whites, 3 Fat-free luncheon meat, 6 slices Fish, fresh, flaked, 1/2 cup Frankfurter, beef, pork or turkey, fat free, 1 Gefilte fish, 1 piece (1 1/2 oz) Goose, wild, cooked, 1 oz Lentils, dry, 1/3 cup or 2 1/2 oz cooked or 3/4 oz uncooked Lobster meat, cooked 1/2 cup (2 oz) Luncheon meat, lean (less than 2 grams fat per oz), 1 slice or 1 oz Mussels, cooked, 1/2 cup (2 oz) Oysters, cooked, 1/2 cup (2 oz) Peas, dry, black-eyed, 1/3 cup or 2 1/2 oz cooked or 3/4 oz uncooked Peas, dry, split, 1/3 cup or 2 1/2 oz cooked or 3/4 oz uncooked Pheasant, cooked, 1 oz Quail, cooked, 1 oz Salmon, smoked, 1 oz Sashimi, 4 pieces (except salmon or mackerel) Scallops, cooked, 1/2 cup (2 oz) Shrimp, cooked, 1/2 cup (2 oz) Smelt, cooked, 1 oz Soybeans, dry, 1/3 cup or 2 1/2 oz cooked or 3/4 oz uncooked Squab, cooked, 1 oz Sweetbreads, cooked, 1 oz Tempeh (fermented soybean cake), 1/4 cup (1 oz) Textured vegetable protein, 1/3 cup (3/4 oz dry) Tripe, cooked, 1 oz Turkey roll, 1 slice (1 oz) Vegetarian breakfast patty (sausage-type), 1 (1 oz) Venison, cooked, 1 oz Whitefish, smoked, 2 oz Starchy Vegetables Chestnuts, 6 small (2 oz) Corn on the cob, 1 small ear(5") or 4 oz Corn, baby (ears), 1 cup Parsnips, cooked or uncooked, 1 cup or 6 oz Peas, green, cooked or uncooked, 1 cup or 6 oz Squash, winter, 1 cup or 7 oz cooked Water chestnuts, 1 cup (4 1/2 oz) Prepared Foods Beans, 1/2 cup fat free refried Beets, pickled, 1/2 cup Onion soup mix, 1 cup prepared or 1/2 envelope Poi, 1/3 cup cooked (3 oz) Potato flaked (instant mashed potatoes), 1/3 cup (3/4 oz) Uncooked Potato pancake, frozen, 1 (2 oz) Potatoes O'Brien, frozen prepared w/o fat) 1 cup (4 1/4 oz) Potatoes, hash-brown, frozen (no fat added), 4 oz Sushi, maki (vegetables and rice rolled in seaweed) 4 pcs. Yogurt and cucumber salad, 1/4 cup Sweet Stuff Biscotti, 3 sm. (1 regular) fat free Candied fruit, any type, including citron, pineapple, And gingerroot, 1 Tbsp or 1/2 oz Cookies, gingersnap, 2 (1/2 oz) Cream, whipped, 1/4 cup (1 oz) Fortune cookie, 1 Fructose, 1 Tbsp Fruit juice bar, frozen, 1 Fruit juice bar, no sugar added, frozen, 2 Fruit pop, frozen, 1 bar (1 3/4 fl oz) Honey, 1 Tbsp Ice cream cone, plain or sugar, 1 small Ladyfingers, store-brought, 1 large or 2 small (1/2 oz) Lollipop, 1 (2 1/4" diameter) Marshmallows, 2 medium (1/2 oz) Molasses, light or blackstrap, 1 Tbsp Sugar, any type, 1 Tbsp Syrup, low-calorie, 2 tbsp Syrup, regular, any type, 1 Tbsp Topping, fudge, regular or fat-free, 1 Tbsp Topping, pineapple or strawberry, 1 tbsp Topping, whipped, dairy or nondairy, 1/4 cup (1/2 oz) Weight Watchers chocolate mousse bar, 1 Beverages Apple juice or cider, 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz) Beer, nonalcoholic, 1 can or bottle (12 fl. oz) Cappuccino, 5 oz Clam-tomato juice, 1 cup (8 fl. oz) Cocoa, hot; instant, fat-free, 6 fl. oz Cocoa, hot, instant, no sugar added, 6 fl. oz Cranberry juice cocktail, low-calorie, 1 cup (8fl. oz) Cranberry juice cocktail, regular, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Fruit juice, combined, any type, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Grape juice, carbonated or noncarbonated, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Grapefruit juice, any type, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Hot chocolate, 1 cup fat free Nectar, any type, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Orange-grapefruit juice, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Orange juice, any type, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Pineapple juice , 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Prune juice, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Tangerine juice, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Wine, light, low-alcohol, or nonalcoholic, 1 small glass Or 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Miscellaneous Bran, all varieties 1/3 cup (3/4 oz uncooked) Breadcrumbs, dried, 3 Tbsp (3/4 oz) Cornmeal mix, self-rising, 2 Tbsp (3/4 oz) Cornmeal, uncooked, 2 Tbsp (1/2 oz) Cream, light (coffee/table cream), 2 Tbsp. (1 fl oz) Creamer, nondairy, 1 Tbsp powder Creamer, nondairy, 2 Tbsp liquid (1 fl oz) Creamer, nonfat, flavored, 2 Tbsp liquid (1 fl oz) Flour, any type, 3 Tbsp (3/4 oz) Half and half, 2 Tbsp (1 fl oz) Vegetable oil, 1 tsp Vegetable shortening, 1 tsp Wheat germ, 3 Tbsp (3/4 oz) Wonton skins (wrappers, 5 skins (3"x3" squares )
  5. Nutrition charts can help guide healthy eating decisions at restaurants. It's easy to see which menu items contain a lot of fat, calories, and carbohydrates. It's also easy to pick out the ones with very little. Plus the fiber, protein, and other good nutrients can all be seen together. Something the regular menus do not provide. Use this Link to Open the Restaurant Nutrition Guide
  6. Weight Watchers started calculating their dietary intakes using the Points system as part of their weight loss plans. In later years, they have extended the original Points system with "improved" computations of macro-nutrients. Basically they took a closer look at calories, and split it into two more factors. No more muffins loaded with fiber to stay at 1 Point! If you're still trying see how the "old Points" calculations may have worked, or just comparing numbers - the old Points system was simple. Calories ~ Fat ~ Fiber = Points Use this Link to Open the WW Points Calculator *Calculator provides estimated points and may not be accurate, it is not an official Weight Watchers calculator. The formula in use is an empirical match obtained from public sources.
  7. In November 2010, Weight Watchers announced that the Point system was being replaced by a new PointsPlus system. The old system used calculations based on calories, fat, and fiber content. The new PointsPlus system replaced calorie calculations with protein and carbohydrates. Carbs ~ Protein ~ Fat ~ Fiber = Points+ This calculator based on Weight Watchers "Points Plus" system. Also know as Points+, Pts+, PlusPoints, or PointsPlus. Use this Link to Open the WW PointsPlus Calculator *Calculator provides estimated points and may not be accurate, it is not an official Weight Watchers calculator. The formula in use is an empirical match obtained from public sources.
  8. Put Your Calories IN: Put Your Calories OUT Put Your Calories IN Then Shake 'em All Around! After you've done the hokey-pokey, and turned yourself around...You'll have burned approximately, 10 calories! That's what it's all about! Use the calorie calculator to find out how many calories you burn when doing other activities, and a ton of other caloric information. Simply enter your body weight and the time you spent doing one of the exercises or activities, and click on "Calculate Calories Burned". Use this Link to Open the Calculator for Calories Burned The calorie calculator can be used to discover how many calories are typically burned doing the any of the following activities: Aerobics Bicycling Rowing Ski Machine Weight Lifting Basketball: playing Bicycling Football Frisbee Golf Golf Handball Hiking Horseback Riding Ice Skating Martial Arts Racquetball Racquetball Rock Climbing Rock Climbing Rollerblade Skating Rope Jumping Running Skiing Snow Shoeing Softball Swimming Volleyball Walking Water Polo Whitewater Rafting, Kayaking Chopping & Splitting Wood Gardening Housecleaning Mowing Lawn Using Snow Blower Children's Games: 4-square, etc. Raking Lawn Intercourse Shoveling Snow Disclaimer: The information given on the Health Discovery Calorie Calculator is designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice or treatment that may have been prescribed by your physician.
  9. A man's ideal healthy body weight depends on his height. To calculate the ideal weight for a man, you'll only need to know the gentleman's height. Use This Link to Open the Men's Ideal Body Weight Calculator
  10. For Men 25-59 years of age. Height in Feet&Inches Small Frame Medium Frame Large Frame 5'2" 128-134 131-141 138-150 5'3" 130-136 133-143 140-153 5'4" 132-138 135-145 142-156 5'5" 134-140 137-148 144-160 5'6" 136-142 139-151 146-164 5'7" 138-145 142-154 149-168 5'8" 140-148 145-157 152-172 5'9" 142-151 151-163 155-176 5'10" 144-154 151-163 158-180 5'11" 146-157 154-166 161-184 6'0" 149-160 157-170 164-188 6'1" 152-164 160-174 168-192 6'2" 155-168 165-178 172-197 6'3" 158-172 167-182 176-202 6'4" 162-176 171-187 181-207 FRAME SIZE If you have always wondered what size frame you are, here is the method the insurance company used. This will be easier with the help of a friend. Extend your arm in front of your body bending your elbow at a ninety degree angle to your body. (your arm is parallel to your body). Keep your fingers straight and turn the inside of your wrist to your body. Place your thumb and index finger on the two prominent bones on either side of your elbow, measure the distance between the bones with a tape measure or calipers. Compare to the medium-framed chart below. Select your height based on what you are barefoot. If you are below the listed inches, your frame is small. If you are above, your frame is large. ELBOW MEASUREMENTS FOR MEDIUM FRAME Height in 1" heels Elbow Height in 1" heels Elbow Men Breadth Women Breadth 5'2"-5'3" 21/2"-27/8" 4'10"-4'11" 21/4"-21/2" 5'4"-5'7" 25/8"-27/8" 5'0"-5'3" 21/4"-21/2" 5'8"-5'11" 23/4"-3" 5'4"-5'7" 23/8"-25/8" 6'0"-6'3" 23/4"-31/8" 5'8"-5'11" 23/8"-25/8" 6'4" 27/8"-31/4" 6'0" 21/2"-23/4"
  11. A woman's ideal weight depends on her height. To calculate ideal weight for women, you'll only need the lady's height. Use This Link to Open the Women's Ideal Body Weight Calculator
  12. For Women 25-59 years of age. Height in Feet&Inches Small Frame Medium Frame Large Frame 4'10" 102-111 109-121 118-131 4'11" 103-113 111-123 120-134 5'0" 104-115 113-126 122-137 5'1" 106-118 115-129 125-140 5'2" 108-121 118-132 128-143 5'3" 111-124 121-135 131-147 5'4" 114-127 124-138 134-151 5'5" 117-130 127-141 137-155 5'6" 120-133 130-144 140-159 5'7" 123-136 133-147 143-163 5'8" 126-139 136-150 146-167 5'9" 129-142 139-153 149-170 5'10" 132-145 142-156 152-173 5'11" 135-148 145-159 155-176 6'0" 138-151 148-162 158-179 FRAME SIZE If you have always wondered what size frame you are, here is the method the insurance company used. This will be easier with the help of a friend. Extend your arm in front of your body bending your elbow at a ninety degree angle to your body. (your arm is parallel to your body). Keep your fingers straight and turn the inside of your wrist to your body. Place your thumb and index finger on the two prominent bones on either side of your elbow, measure the distance between the bones with a tape measure or calipers. Compare to the medium-framed chart below. Select your height based on what you are barefoot. If you are below the listed inches, your frame is small. If you are above, your frame is large. ELBOW MEASUREMENTS FOR MEDIUM FRAME Height in 1" heels Elbow Women Breadth 4'10"-4'11" 21/4"-21/2" 5'0"-5'3" 21/4"-21/2" 5'4"-5'7" 23/8"-25/8" 5'8"-5'11" 23/8"-25/8" 6'0" 21/2"-23/4" If your having trouble using the weight charts to find your healthy weight, you can always use a calculator.
  13. There are many things that could cause your workout routine to lose it's excitement. Luckily, there are just as many ways bring your motivation levels back up! You shouldn't be avoiding the mere thought of breaking a sweat... but if you are: Here are some of the best ways that you can get yourself back in the groove! Switch It Up! If your current workout routine seems as though it's not working anymore, or you've lost the initial excitement of working out. You'll need to switch it up and find a new routine! Start by compiling a list of exercises or activities that you DO enjoy. Which muscle groups do they the focus on? Are you getting enough cardio with them? Be sure that you are targeting all of your muscle groups, and alternating between them each day that you workout. You'll want to give each group some time to rest while you work the other muscles. Find the Right Intensity You'll know you're over-training if you start feeling tired all of the time, are having trouble sleeping, or feel sore most of the week. If that happens, you'll want to reduce the intensity of your routines. At some point, when you have gained strength and endurance, you may find your current workout routine is too easy (sometimes this will show itself as boredom). You're body is ready for more, and you should intensify your workout routine. Add Variety There are many ways to add variety to your workouts. Try a unique exercise that you've never tried before, get a new piece of equipment or workout dvds. Maybe there's a hiking trail nearby that you've never been down. Go and check it out! Always try to keep yourself 'in the game' with workout routines that you can tolerate. Find Support Moral support can be just the ticket you need to keep on keeping on with your workout routine. Find a family member or friend to workout with you. Join an online support group, like our Boot Camp Buddies, that you can check in with. Having others that are working out with you, makes you accountable for any missed workouts. Don't leave them hanging at the gym alone! If you find a good partner, they won't leave you hanging either.
  14. When any workout or specific exercise causes you pain, pay attention. Knowing how to react can help you avoid a serious injury. Strength training can cause several types of pain including: Muscle Soreness When you use muscles you have not used for a while or try a new exercise or training technique, it is normal to feel a dull ache of soreness in the muscles that were trained. This pain is caused by microscopic tears in the fibers of the connective tissues in your body--the ligaments that connect bones to other bones, and the tendons that connect muscles to bones. This microtrauma may sound harmful but is in fact the natural response of your muscles when they experience work. This is the primary reason it is so important that you get enough rest between specific muscle workouts. Each time you work out with weights, you cause this "damage"--these tiny tears in your muscles; they need ample resting time to rebuild and become even stronger, bigger, and more firm. Pain During or Just After a Workout During a workout, repeated contractions cause lactic and other acids, as well as proteins and hormones, to build up in muscle tissue. This can cause pain even without injury. But if you experience a sharp, continuous pain, or pain accompanied by a burning sensation, stop lifting and get it checked. Cramps These happen when muscles, often in the calves or feet, knot up in intense contractions. Cramps occur most commonly in endurance sports like cycling and running, where the athlete loses a lot of fluids through sweating. This is why it's very important to stay well-hydrated during exercise. If you do get cramps, the best way to stop them is to gently stretch the cramped muscle. Injury When working out with weights you need to be in full control of both the weights and your own body as it lifts and uses the weights. Careless weightlifting can result in injury. Not warming up, attempting to lift too heavy a weight, using momentum or jerky movements, letting the weights drop, not using correct form, or forgetting to stretch or cool-down after your workout can indeed result in injury. The following injuries can occur as a result of carelessness: Tendonitis: This is inflammation of the tendon and can occur if you begin your first set with too heavy a weight and/or are not properly warmed-up. Rest is the best treatment for this painful injury. Fascia injuries: Can occur if you suddenly jerk or pull the weight. Fascia is basically the packaging tissue of muscle. When fascia is torn, it becomes inflamed and the pain is severe. The injury should be treated with cold packs and wrapped with an ace bandage. Ligament injuries: Can occur when people use momentum and jerk the weight to accomplish a lift. This injury is treated by using cold packs and rest. Sprains or muscle tears: Are uncommon if you warm-up, stretch, and cool-down properly and implement the safety precautions and principles we teach. For injuries, R.I.C.E. is nice. Any time you do have inflammation or swelling, use the R.I.C.E method of reducing damage and speeding healing. Rest: When you are hurt, stop your workout immediately and take weight off the affected area. Ice: Wrap ice in a towel and hold it against the injury for 10 to 20 minutes, three or four times a day until the acute injury diminishes. Compress: Wrap the injured area in a snug, but not tight, elastic bandage. Elevate: Raise the injured limb and rest it on a pillow to reduce swelling. Strength Training Benefits Strength training provides many important benefits that cannot be achieved by any other exercise or activity. However, when enjoying this great form of exercise, be sure to pay attention to pain and soreness so that your program is not only effective, but safe as well. Good luck: I hope you enjoy all the wonderful benefits of a safe and effective strength training program. Article by: Chad Tackett Chad Tackett is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and the president of Global Health and Fitness. Offering the best online programs and guides to meet your fitness goals.
  15. Consumers are faced with so many options that the task of choosing a pair of athletic shoes has become increasingly complicated and confusing, not to mention expensive. If you've tried to buy a pair of athletic shoes recently, you probably realize that the canvas sneakers of the past have been replaced by high-tech, state-of-the-art athletic gear of the present and future. By attaining a good working knowledge of athletic footwear, you will be less likely to fall for the latest gimmick or be coerced into spending above your budget. Know What You Need When shopping for athletic shoes, the most important step is deciding what sport you will be using them for. Most sporting goods stores carry a variety of shoes for activities such as running, walking, tennis, basketball and aerobics. Multi-purpose shoes such as cross trainers may be a good alternative for those who want to combine several sports or activities, such as bicycling or other exercise equipment, and weight training, in a single workout. Once you have decided on the particular type of shoe you need, it is important to know how to get a good fit. Remember, no matter how popular a shoe is or how good it may look, it won't do you any good if you have blisters after the first week of wearing it. Guidelines For Buying Shoes When purchasing shoes for a specific sport or fitness activity, you must consider your foot type. People with high-arched feet tend to require greater shock absorption than those with average feet. High-arched (cavus) feet also suffer from lateral instability and are more prone to ankle sprains. Conversely, people with low-arched ("flat") feet require shoes with less cushioning but greater support and heel control. After considering the type of shoe needed for a particular activity and evaluating your needs based on your foot type, use the following information to ensure you get the best fit: Choose an athletic-shoe store or specialty store with a large inventory. They will have a variety of sizes available. Try to get fitted for footwear at the end of the day, when foot size is at its maximum. It is not unusual for an individual's foot to increase one-half a shoe size during the course of a single day. Allow 1/2 inch, or the width of your index finger, between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe. If one foot is larger than the other, buy the larger size. The shoe should be as wide as possible across the forefoot without allowing slippage in the heel. If the shoe has variable-width lacing, experiment with the narrow and wide eyelets to achieve a custom fit. Some Final Considerations Athletic shoes no longer require a breaking-in period. However, they will lose their cushioning after three to six months of regular use. It is important to be aware of when your shoes need to be replaced because, if they are no longer absorbing the pounding and jarring action of the sport, you are more likely to sustain knee and ankle injuries. A final consideration when buying athletic shoes is price. It is possible to spend anywhere from $19.99 for no-name brands to more than $170 for Reebok's or Nike's latest technological wonder. Be sure to consider both your budget and your fitness needs before spending a small fortune on shoes. Finally, though purchasing may be a big investment, it is not a long-term one. If you spend a fortune on the latest style today, a new style will probably replace it tomorrow. It would be more practical, unless you are at a competitive level, to spend a reasonable amount and get the most for your money. 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.
  16. "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"). Strategies: 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). Strategies: 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." Strategies: 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.) Strategies: 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. The popularity of walking as a fitness activity is growing by leaps and bounds. Low risk and easy to start, walking has proved its health benefits in numerous studies. An eight-year study of 13,000 people found that those who walked 30 minutes a day had a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercised. A regular walking program can help: Reduce blood cholesterol Lower blood pressure Increase cardiovascular endurance Boost bone strength Burn calories and keep weight down Get Ready! A walking program is simple to start. All you need are comfortable clothes and shoes. Layer loose clothing, keeping in mind that exercise elevates the body's temperature. Shoes specifically designed for walking are best. Every workout should begin with a brief warm-up and a few simple stretches. Walk around the house or in place for a few minutes to get the blood flowing to the muscles before you attempt to stretch them. Although walking primarily works the major muscles of the legs, don't forget to stretch your back, shoulders and arms. This will help to loosen up any tension you may be carrying and make your walk more enjoyable as well as more effective. Get Moving! Beginning walkers can make their workouts less strenuous by limiting how fast and far they walk. Keep in mind the following: Walk short distances. Begin with a five-minute stroll and gradually increase your distance. Forget about speed. Walk at a comfortable pace. Focus on good posture, keeping your head lifted and shoulders relaxed. Swing your arms naturally, and breathe deeply. If you can't catch your breath, slow down or avoid hills. Be sure you can talk while walking. If you can't converse, you are walking too fast. Get Fit! Walking is one fitness activity that allows you numerous options. Once you have reached a point where you can walk a few miles with relative ease, you can start to vary the intensity. Walking hills, in addition to increasing your cardiovascular endurance, is a great way to tone the legs. Concentrate on lengthening your stride or increasing your speed. And don't forget to reward yourself after each workout with a few minutes of relaxing stretches to help prevent sore muscles. Listening to lively music while you walk is also a great way to energize your workout. But if you wear headphones, keep the volume down and watch out for traffic that you may not hear. Keep track of your progress. Many experts recommend that you walk a minimum of 20 minutes a day. But there are no hard and fast rules. Fit walking into your schedule whenever you can. That may mean two 10-minute walks each day, or even hour-long walks two to three times a week. The best schedule is one that keeps you walking and keeps you fit! Article 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.
  20. Even the most dedicated exercisers occasionally get bored with their routine. Waning motivation, cutting short and not having your old enthusiasm are signs of a stale exercise regimen. But that doesn't mean you can't re-energize your routine. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has worked out the following 10 tips for staying motivated to stay active. Vary your routine or change your scenery! A new variation on your favorite activity -- cardio kickboxing instead of Step aerobics; power yoga instead of working on machines -- may be enough to reinvigorate a stale routine. If you've always exercised indoors, move your workout outside for a welcome change of scenery. Try something entirely new! Make it something you never dreamed you'd do. If you've always stuck to solitary pursuits, sign up for a team sport. Or tackle something you've shied away from... maybe even rock climbing! Find a workout buddy! Exercise companions add a social element to any routine. Ask a friend to be your workout partner -- you won't skip a workout if someone is waiting for you. Set a new goal! Working out to stay in shape is fine, but setting a goal -- such as finishing a 10k race or completing a rough water swim -- will give your daily workouts more meaning. Treat yourself to a workout gadget or accessory! Heart-rate monitors, aquatic toys and other exercise gadgets can make your workouts more fun and challenging. Keep an exercise log to track your progress! Unsure if your making progress toward your goals? Then start a workout log. It allows you to keep track of your goals, monitor your progress and adjust your routines as necessary. Don't berate yourself if you miss a workout! Life is full of obstacles. Unexpected appointments, illness and setbacks are bound to happen sooner or later. Don't let a few missed workouts turn into a month of unfulfilled resolutions. Reward yourself! Reaching a fitness goal or milestone is a great excuse to treat yourself to something new. A massage, an evening out, or some other "indulgence" may be the key to staying motivated. Focus on how good exercise makes you look and feel! You know that incredibly satisfied and healthy feeling you get immediately after a workout? Remember it! And use it to motivate yourself the next time you're thinking about blowing off that next workout! If all else fails... Take a break from exercise! Sometimes a lack of motivation is your body's way of telling you to take a break. If anything hurts, or if your energy is running low, take a break for a few days before resuming your workouts. A little "R&R" may be just what your body needs to renew your motivation. 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.
  21. 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
  22. If you’ve decided to join the ranks of treadmill owners, there are a number of factors to consider to ensure that you purchase a machine that meets your needs. There are a multitude of treadmills on the market with prices ranging from $299 to $4,000. You are likely to find that a treadmill’s cost directly reflects its quality. Before you leave your home, measure the space in which you’d like to keep the treadmill. While the average treadmill measures 64 inches long and 28 inches wide, there are machines that fold up to be stored under a bed or in a closet. Drive to the nearest fitness-equipment speciality store where the staff will be knowledgeable and you can choose from a wide variety of machines. Wear a comfortable pair of athletic shoes — the same pair you’ll wear as you exercise on the machine at home. Consider three key elements as you shop: Construction First, look at the treadmill’s motor size (measured in horsepower) to determine the machine’s longevity. Some manufacturers measure horsepower at continuous duty (the motor’s ability to function under a load for an extended period of time), others at peak duty. Look for a motor with a minimum 2.0 continuous-duty horsepower, which will accommodate users who weigh more than 180 pounds. Next, examine the treadmill’s belt and deck. The belt should be at least two-ply, 17 inches wide and 49 inches long. The board thickness should measure at least an inch. The deck acts as a cushion for the joints, legs, back and feet. The most sought-after treadmills feature low-impact decks that flex under the user’s foot plant to absorb the shock without rebounding to cause additional jarring. This feature is essential for individuals with shin splints and foot and back problems. A sturdy frame supports the belt and deck system. Treadmills that cost between $399 and $1900 usually have a steel frame; treadmills with a price of $1900 or higher often are constructed with aircraft aluminum frames that offer additional flexibility for impact absorption. Aluminum frames don’t rust or corrode and are lighter and easier to move. Programming Features Lower-priced treadmills offer basic programming for variable speed, time, distance and calories. However, they seldom utilize user information, and the calorie counters aren’t very accurate. The price rises when you add quality programming features, such as preset programs that automatically vary the workout intensity by raising or lowering elevation and increasing or decreasing speed. Heart-rate control programs are convenient features that consider the user’s age and weight and keep the exerciser at an intensity sufficient to achieve maximum fat-burning or cardiovascular benefits. Other programming options include incline/grade settings. A maximum grade of 10 percent may challenge beginning exercisers, while experienced exercisers may need a treadmill that reaches a 15-percent grade. Warranty Most manufacturers warranty against manufacturing defects only, not normal wear and tear, and if a user weighs more than the machine’s specifications, a warranty may be voided. Many machines come with a lifetime warranty on the frame, while warranties on features and components usually range from 90 days to three years, depending on the machine’s quality. Higher-end machines often come with a one-year in-home labor contract. You can purchase renewable extended warranties that cover everything from parts to labor. Don’t Give the Man Your Money Yet Is the machine loud? Do you like how it looks? Does it offer a smooth ride? Is it easy to operate? Remember, this product will be around for a long, healthy time, so determine what you want and need from it before you begin shopping to prevent a regretful purchase. Why Treadmills Are Ranked #1 The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that, based on a study from the Medical College of Wisconsin and Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Milwaukee, Treadmills provide the most efficient way to burn calories when compared to other popular exercise machines. Researchers asked eight male and five female young adults to exercise on six different types of indoor exercise machines, including a cross-country skiing simulator, cycle ergometer, rowing ergometer and stair stepper. They compared energy expenditure at ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) levels of 11 (fairly light), 13 (somewhat hard) and 15 (hard), and found that subjects who exercised at an RPE of 13 burned approximately 40 percent more calories per hour on the treadmill as compared to the cycle ergometer, which produced the lowest energy expenditure. 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.
  23. What is Tae-Bo? Tae-Bo, a unique and challenging fitness system, is a martial arts/aerobics hybrid created by Billy Blanks in 1975. Tae-Bo combines Tae Kwon Do, boxing and dance disciplines and puts them together in a challenging program set to hip-hop music. A typical one-hour class consists of a series of jabs, punches, kicks and steps, choreographed in a series of eight-count combinations. The name, Tae-Bo, is a combination of other words. "Tae" means "leg" and it relates to the kicks and lower body part of the workout. "Bo" comes from boxing and the upper body punches that are an integral part of the workout. Set to the upbeat music, Tae-Bo can be a very satisfying workout because it engages the entire body. Who can participate? Tae-Bo is for anyone who wants a complete workout. But more than just calorie and fat-burning exercise Tae-Bo offers a workout for the entire body. As with any new exercise program, you should consult your health care provider first before embarking on it. Tae-Bo can be done at your own rate. As you build strength, you can do more and you can increase your level of physical fitness, Tae-Bo officials say. Many women are attracted to the program as a form of strength building. Since Tae-Bo is set to music, it's a lot of fun. You build strength while enjoying yourself. In addition, while Tae-Bo shouldn't be considered a self-defense course, you can learn defensive moves through it because the program uses imaginary opponents as targets. How soon can you see results? According to Billy Blanks Enterprises research, some people report feeling a change in their body the very first time they do Tae-Bo and they begin to see results in as little as three Tae-Bo sessions. Others report change over several weeks. Everybody is a little different and individual results vary. How often should I do Tae-Bo? First, as with any fitness program, check with your physician to make sure you can start an intense workout program. Tae-Bo can be done everyday or a couple of times a week. For maximum benefit, like any other cardiovascular program, you should consider doing the Tae-Bo at least three times a week, according to Billy Blanks' Enterprises. Beginners are advised to start slow and build up their endurance. Tae-Bo is challenging and requires use of your entire body. Don't get discouraged if you get tired quickly in the beginning. The entire idea of Tae-Bo is to maximize the benefits by incorporating the entire body into the workout. Where can you practice Tae-Bo? Tae-Bo is a trademark of Billy Blanks Enterprises. The routines and music mixes have been designed by Blanks. The Billy Blanks World Training Center in Sherman Oaks, CA. is the original setting for Tae-Bo classes. But, if you don't happen to live near the studio, you can get started on your Tae-Bo workout in two ways: Find an instructor who has completed the Billy Blanks Tae-Bo training course. The training program has graduated many instructors from all over the U.S. Beware of copy-cat programs, however. There are many "sound-alike" programs that promise the complete workout, but the Billy Blanks organization says there is no substitute for the original program. Buy a videotape. To buy "The Tae-Bo Way," check out www.taebo.com or watch for the popular infomercial. By watching the tape and following the Tae-Bo routine, you can get the benefits of the whole-body workout in the privacy of your own home. Article by: Billy Blanks Enterprises
  24. Instead of another tie for your dad or music CD for your sister, why don’t you give them a truly unique and invaluable gift? I’m talking about the gift of fitness. The gift of fitness is something that you can give to just about everybody on your shopping list, from your parents, to your spouse, a friend, your siblings, an employee or co-worker, even your children. And it’s a gift that is invaluable to everyone. After all who doesn’t want to look better, feel better, and be healthier? And, it’s a gift that you can truly feel proud to give. When you give someone the gift of fitness, you are helping him open a door to better health (both physically and mentally). I can’t think of a more thoughtful gift that shows the recipient how much you care about their well-being. By giving the gift of fitness you are providing them with unlimited health benefits. Of course, we all know that exercise can help people stay slim and fit. But, do you also know about all the other great benefits of exercising? Daily physical activity reduces stress and can help you sleep better. Fitness has been linked to reducing the risk of some diseases and to warding off depression. Researchers also believe that strength training can help prevent osteoporosis. Not to mention that exercise also improves self-esteem, increases stamina and ultimately helps you be able to do continuous work for longer. I bet a lot of people on your shopping list would find these fitness benefits incredibly invaluable. If the people on your list are like most of us, they’ve probably even mentioned how they want to drop a few pounds of just get in better shape. In fact, experts say that about 62% of Americans are currently on a diet. By giving the gift of fitness you are helping provide them with motivation (which is one of the biggest obstacles in getting fit). They may feel more motivated to actually get fit because they don’t want to feel guilty for ignoring such a thoughtful gift (this is especially true when you give an online personal training gift certificate, which is a great motivator). While fitness gifts are incredibly valuable, they don’t have to be expensive. Gifts can cost as little as $5 or range into the $100s of dollars. Here are a few suggestions in the various price ranges: Under $15: Resistance Band (also makes a great stocking stuffer) Dumbbells Jump Rope (also makes a great stocking stuffer) Exercise Mat $15 - $35 Fitness Ball Online Personal Training Program (custom designed for the gift recipient) Home Exercise Video (also makes a great stocking stuffer) Heart Rate Monitor Over $35 Full dumbbell set Treadmill Bicycle Yoga Kit Giving something that supports health and wellness will be appreciated for years to come and may even turn someone's life around. The gift of fitness will make the recipient feel special – they’ll know that someone cared enough to give them the opportunity to improve their health. And, giving a gift that will help someone lead a healthier life is also one of the most rewarding gifts you can give. So why spend another holiday season searching for the perfect gift only to end up with the same old things like gift certificates or socks or books? Surprise everyone this year and give the gift that comes from the heart and truly keeps on giving throughout the New Year and beyond. And don’t forget yourself – you deserve the gift of fitness too! Article prescribed by: Lynn Bode
  25. 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
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