Category: Health

Following Your Fitness Intuition

h10The ultimate goal with fitness shouldn’t be to live your life tied down to a super strict meal plan, living on chicken and broccoli, avoiding tempting social situations and/or training militantly with little enjoyment. That feels stifling, and is not really facilitating your best health and life.

Instead, the goal should be to train yourself to live healthfully and in alignment with your fit life values-without having to obsess. You can then trust that you will make wise decisions using your inherent knowledge. I call this following your fitness intuition. To reach this point, some training must be done!

Step 1. “Power is the faculty or capacity to act, the strength and potency to accomplish something. It is the vital energy to make choices and decisions. It also includes the capacity to overcome deeply embedded habits and to cultivate higher, more effective ones.” Stephen R. Covey

Break old, unhealthy habits and install new ones. To do so, you must fully commit to a nutrition and training plan. BUT you should not just follow it blindly. Be engaged, interact with others, and find a friend or family member to join you on your fitness adventure. Staying engaged in the process and learning what works for you builds the foundations for your fit-life future.

Use mindfulness to assess how you actually feel while you are eating certain foods, when you feel hungry or full, energy levels, how certain exercises feel, etc.

For example, when I first started my health and fitness journey I realized that I loved making an omelet every morning and serving it with oatmeal and fruit or toast and fruit. I always felt energetic, satisfied and satiated (comfortably full) after that meal. Few years later and I still start my day off with that combo daily.

Step 2. “All the so-called “secrets of success” will not work unless you do.”

It is so difficult to establish new habits with a wishy-wash work ethic. You must fully commit with your head AND your heart. When you think about why want to change, it should fire you up. “To lose weight” isn’t motivating enough. However, “Feeling confident in my own skin” or “Being able to play with my grandkids” are much more powerful. So, dig deep for you real reason WHY, then get moving don’t look back.

Step 3. “Fear is the path to the dark side.” -Yoda

We have all been there before. Worrying about how vacation would set you back, if you might come unglued at a special event, etc. In effort to control one of these fear-inducing situations, we often create unrealistic expectations of ourselves like vowing to do two-a-days throughout a vacation r slashing calories drastically during an injury recovery. Guess what happens when you do this? We make ourselves miserable worrying about it and/or our fears become a reality. This is not following your fitness intuition, which leads me too..

Step 4. “I believe I deserve to be fit, as healthy as I can be, as well as look my best. All those things make me a more productive human being, and actually able to serve others better than ever before. When I am at my best, it is easier to put my best efforts forward. I’m also taken more seriously because people see that I respect myself.”

At some point on our fitness journey, we must take off the training wheels and realized we can continue to live fit without perfect conditions or following an inflexible plan. We must trust our innate wisdom – the intuition that will set us on the right course if we just tap into it.

Build your fitness foundation. Learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Be open and honest with your trainer, family and friends to help assist you in your goals. Don’t settle for anything less than satisfactory, and the most important advice of all: BE CONSISTENT. Treat each workout session like it was your job. You wouldn’t be late for work or skip a day just because “You were too busy”, find time to better yourself and JUST DO IT!

Follow your heart and believe in what you do.

Calorie Cutting Food Swaps

h9If you’re looking to succeed on your weight loss diet plan, it’s vital that you take a look at some of the simple ways that you can go about reducing your calorie intake so that you can make fast progress without feeling like you’re on a very strict diet.

If the truth is told, for many people there are some very small adjustments they could make to their normal diet intake that would have a huge impact on the fat loss results that they see.

By taking the time to learn what these adjustments are and then getting them in place, you can see for yourself just how powerful they can be.

Let’s give you a few quick calorie cutting food swaps to think about.

Swap: Granola For Oatmeal

The first great swap to make is to exchange out your usual bowl of granola in the morning for some oatmeal instead. Oatmeal is very high in fiber and completely sugar free, which cannot be said for most granola cereals.

By choosing oatmeal instead, you can easily save yourself 200-300 calories in the process.

Swap: Beef For Fish

The next quick swap that you may want to consider is exchanging fish for beef. While beef definitely is a good protein source in your diet, fish would be a superior option.

Fish is lower in calories and completely fat free, so when you’re really trying to get the weight off quickly, it’ll help you get there faster.

Allow beef once per week to help keep your iron intake up, but then have fish or chicken the remaining nights instead.

Swap: Juice For Real Fruit

Another smart swap for faster weight loss is to exchange juice for real fruit. Juice is very high in calories and will produce a rather rapid spike in blood glucose levels due to the lack of fiber it contains, while real fruit is the opposite.

Real fruit is going to be high in fiber and nutrients and will fill you up much more quickly and help to keep you satisfied. Many people make the mistake of thinking that juice is a very healthy selection, but that’s not the case.

Swap: Pasta For Spaghetti Squash

Finally, the last swap that you should consider adding into your diet plan is spaghetti squash for pasta. Pasta is another very high calorie food is and is very easy to overeat on. If you want to maintain that reduced calorie intake for faster weight loss, then squash is the superior choice.

This vegetable can be eaten in much the same way as normal pasta would be, but will help shave off 200 calories or more from that meal.

Basics and Principles of a Kinesiology

h8Kinesiology is commonly defined as a scientific study of non-human and human body movement. It mainly addresses biomechanical, physiological and psychological mechanisms of a particular movement. There are also many applications of this to the human health. These include orthopedics and biomechanics, conditioning and strength, rehabilitation methods and sport psychology. There are also many studies of animal motion and human motion that include a lot of measures from tracking systems of the brain and muscles. However this should not be confused with an applied Kinesiology. This is a very important field. It also has certain applications, basics and principles that are extremely important for our survival.

Basics of kinesiology

It is basically the study of nonhuman and human body movements, function and performance by applying the science of anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, neuroscience and psychology. The applications of this in human- health can also include the rehabilitation professions, a physical education teacher such as occupational and physical therapy. It is also a scientific study as it does not prepare the individuals for a clinical practice. The term which is used to describe this profession is Kinesiology and it is neither a nonprofessional nor a licensed designation.

Principles of Kinesiology

An adaptation with the help of exercise is a key principle related to kinesiology. It helps a lot in improving your fitness as well as wellness and health in clinical proportions. This exercise is established and simple intervention for many muscle related conditions and movement disorders. There is also a therapeutic exercise that can improve your neurometer control as well as motor capabilities.

The different types of exercises that can be applied here are normal, athletic and clinical populations. An aerobic exercise intervention can help to improve the endurance of your cardiovascular condition. There are also many programs for anaerobic strength training that can increase the strength of your muscles, lean body mass and power. There is also a much decreased risk of falls and an increase in the neuromuscular control that can be attributed to the balance of your intervention programs. There are also certain flexibility programs that can increase the functional range of the injury and also reduce the risk of your injury.

6 Tips That Can Help You to Maintain Good Health

h7Maintaining good health is easy at times, but more often than not, there is a chance that you will end up failing this process. This is because, maintenance of health requires an extremely good amount of care. There is no denying the fact that health is wealth and paying attention to your health means that you are bound for success. Thus some important tips have been briefly explained below.

1. Quit habits like smoking and drinking

Drinking and smoking are two common habits that can hinder your lifestyle and put your overall health at risk. Thus it is important that you avoid these habits and if you are a current smoker, make sure that you kick the butt as soon as possible. This will increase your life span also by a significant margin.

2. Get yourself checked up regularly

Always think of your doctor as he is your ally and he can keep you in good shape and health and not just any person who treats you when you are sick. Regular screenings and checkups are extremely vital especially if your family members or forefathers have a history of deadly diseases.

3. Watch your weight

Those extra pounds on your body can cause you a lot of trouble in the long run. Your heart will face a lot of strain and this can affect your overall health. Eat foods rich in fiber along with fruits and vegetables. Also reduce fat from your diet and this can take you a long way.

4. Avoid drinking in excess

Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can be fine. On the other hand, heavy drinking can lead to serious issues with your liver and also other similar risks to your health. Make sure you get help if you are a heavy drinker.

5. Watch your back

Arthritis and bank injuries are a leading cause of physical disabilities. Hence you can reduce your chances of injury by losing a significant amount of weight. For this purpose, you must do a gentle amount of stretching before a rigorous workout. Also practice the sound techniques of weightlifting. It is one of the important things to remember.

6. Become safety conscious

Incidents that can cause a disability arise only when you are least expecting them. Thus, be conscious while you are driving, wear seat belts and drive slowly. While walking on the roads, always keep in mind that there are rash drivers around you.

I’m So Confused

h6My mom was diligent about feeding us a balanced lunch and dinner. Lunch was at school because she felt that the sandwiches she would have made wouldn’t be as healthy as the hot lunches cooked and served. My classmates and I always made up names for the different foods, trying to gross each other out (cherry cobbler became known as Baby Bird Eyes, for example). The food nourished our bodies and imaginations.

An home, dinner consisted of a vegetable, fruit, starch, and meat. And sometimes dessert.

When Mom discovered Adelle Davis she was pleased that her approach to feeding us balanced meals was the right path. I read the books too and felt even more jazzed about the way we ate.

My energy was strong all of my life. For example, it was nothing for me to ride my bike a couple of miles to swim practice, swim hard for an hour, and then ride back home again. Running and playing hard all day was a cinch. Was it the food we ate? Probably.

In college I enjoyed experimenting with my eating regime: food and meal timing were up to me, within reason. I found that my body was happiest with brunch and dinner, rather than three meals a day. I stuck with the vegetable, starch, and meat approach to lunch and dinner as best I could. Pizza has all three in one delicious package, right?

When I entered the work world I tweaked things since brunch wasn’t as easy to accommodate on an 8-5 schedule. So, I ate breakfast, a snack for lunch, and a variety of light meal options for dinner. All was well, for awhile.

I don’t recall exactly what changed, or when things changed, but they did. I started struggling with my weight, and it seemed the harder I tried to lose weight the worse the struggle. Weight is only one marker for health issues. Cholesterol is another marker, and mine started creeping up. Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and even some cancers are other markers. My interest in nutrition took on a new focus.

Some of the diets seemed obviously wrong to me. How can cutting out a whole category of food – like carbohydrates or fruit – be healthy for you? Atkins and South Beach do just that.

Why does the Mediterranean Diet or the Paleo Diet work for some and not others? Is any form of fasting healthy, or does juicing “juice things up for you” in a good way, and what about vegan?

Here is a list of some of the more “interesting” fad diets I found online: Werewolf (or Lunar), Master Cleanse (aka Lemonade), Cotton Ball, Five-Bite, Grapefruit, Cookie, See’s Candy (my husband’s personal excuse, I mean weight loss program), Baby Food, Liquid, Sleeping Beauty, and Tapeworm. These approaches may lead to weight loss, at least temporarily, but what do they do to your overall health? How does your energy fair with these?

That list makes these diets seem reasonable: Caveman, Raw Food, NutriSystem, Zone, Candida, Weight Watchers, Primal, Juicing, Blood-Type, Body-Type, and Volumetrics. The question remains, though, which of these supports a healthy, energetic body?

To add to the chaos and entertainment factor, I have promoted the Color Groups diet, which I still think holds merit. Its premise is that if you eat foods from the various color groups – red, blue, green, yellow, brown, orange, and white – you balance all the nutrients and flavors you need for healthy living. You see the problem in that one, don’t you.

I have read a wide variety of books and watched numerous documentaries about our food and our health. It gets increasingly difficult to know who to believe with what information.

One big question is: what is your dieting goal? Are you striving to be to rid of a specific disease or health issue, lose weight, gain longevity, or improve your energy levels?

I have been a quest to resolve my hypothyroidism. I have explored many different approaches to eating. Doctors and nutritionists alike have told me once you have that autoimmune disease you have it forever. I have “modestly” told them they are wrong and that nobody has yet found the “cure”. That quest has had me follow a variety of “diets”:

– Primal, where I ate meat, vegetables, and fruit, while avoiding grains, legumes, sugar, and processed foods

– Avoid specific foods that an allergy test told me my body was reacting negatively to

– Cut alcohol consumption

– And cut or reduce, depending on the day and week, sugar intake (that means the highly processed condiment, not fruit)

– Blending different eating approaches, like alkaline/acid, primal, juicing, and vegetarian

Things I’ve learned are that two weeks of sugary, tropical drinks spiked your triglyceride levels; increasing meat and fat while decreasing vegetables increased my LDL and decreased my HDL; and cutting sugar, alcohol, and grains dropped my weight. But, my hypothyroid disease hasn’t change dramatically through all of that. My energy level has fluctuated some, but I wasn’t wearing my “scientific hat” so didn’t connect food to energy sufficiently.

My underlying belief, even with my experimenting, is that if you eat whole, organic foods and make the primary serving on your plate vegetables (like 60%) and the rest starch and protein, you will be healthy. Variety is important to that balance too. Be your own lab and test what really works for you. Get your blood tested to learn what’s happening inside you, for confirmation of your observations.

While I’m more confused than ever as to what will get rid of my hypothyroidism, or what’s really a healthy regime for the long and vibrant life I’m planning on, I’ll continue to experiment yet stick to my main underlying belief about healthy eating entails.

Mistakes When Opting For Family Chiropractic Clinics

h5When getting rid of body pains and problems, there are numerous options individuals can choose from. You must be aware of these treatments to ensure optimal results. One of the most effective options today is opting for treatments from family chiropractic clinics. Some individuals make mistakes when choosing a clinic. To avoid this, below are some of the most common mistakes individuals make when looking for a clinic.

Simply choosing the cheapest and nearest clinic in the area

One of the main concerns individuals need to keep in mind is to never choose the cheapest and nearest clinic in the area. When it comes to treatments, it is important to have easy access to clinics. However, there are some clinics in the area which offer insufficient treatments. Not to mention, cheap treatments are often ineffective and may even cause simple aches to become more serious health problems. Therefore, invest time to check the credibility of the clinic before getting their services.

Directly opting for a treatment without consultation

The next mistake individuals need to be aware of when opting for family chiropractic clinics is never to directly select a treatment without proper consultation. As of now, there are numerous chiropractic techniques individuals can choose from. So, it is important to locate the right technique that can match their need. The best way to accomplish this is to have a consultation with experts. During consultations, experts will determine which treatments are needed to help you get rid of your issues. Because of this, you can obtain better results, which can help improve your health and lifestyle.

Treatments which are not suitable for the right patient

Another mistake individuals usually commit when searching for a family chiropractic clinic is getting treatments which are not suitable for the right patient. It is important for individuals to take note that there are certain techniques which are suitable some patients. For instance, when seeking for treatments for kids, you need to make sure that the clinic can provide the right treatment to help your child. This goes when you are looking for chiropractic treatments for adults.

Opting for non-accredited experts

Finally, never forget to assess the expert. This is another important task individuals must do since in order to become reliable chiropractors, aspiring individuals need to enroll in courses from trusted institutions. After completing the course, individuals can obtain a certificate to ensure that they have the right skills and knowledge about chiropractic treatments.

Annual Medical Checkups Are They Necessary

h4In recent years, however, much has been written about annual medical checkups – a long list of tests one must undergo every year, especially after turning 40. Considering the cost and time involved in conducting these tests, a question that arises is – Are these tests actually beneficial? And are they necessary?

The fact of the matter is that there is no one-package-suits-all solution. Pre-determined exhaustive checkups are neither necessary nor beneficial. Furthermore, such checkups are not cost effective and, in some cases, cause unnecessary additional testing and anxiety. What is critical is the time spent with one’s physician – to better determine their individual risk for certain diseases, something that may require testing in the present, and could pay off in health care savings down the road.

Here is what you need to keep in mind before you decide on what annual checkups could mean to you:

1. Analyzing the need:

The tests you need depend on your age, health, gender, and your risk factors. Risk factors might include family history, such as having a close relative with cancer, and lifestyle issues, such as smoking. Cholesterol screening, for example, is recommended for people who have a family history of early coronary artery disease. If you are at risk for a disease, you and your doctor together will decide whether you should be tested for it.

A good examination should include a detailed history, a review of systems, a social history, past medical history and family history, a complete physical examination, and then age-appropriate screening and blood work.

2. Quality over Quantity:

It is difficult to say what tests are routine since an examination by the physician can reveal different health issues for different people. However, there are some tests that are beneficial for all and these are explained below:

Routine blood tests include:

– Complete blood count (CBC): screens for infections, anemias, and other hematological abnormalities
– Fasting Blood Sugar/Glucose: screens for diabetes and predisposition to diabetes
– Lipid profile: provides information on the status of your cardiovascular system and screens for diabetes, and coronary artery disease
– Urine analysis: a simple test that tells you a lot – urine infections, diabetes and other disorders
– BMI – Body Mass Index – can tell you if you are at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems among other conditions

Special tests include:

– Prostrate specific antigen (PSA), only for men: screens for prostrate cancer. Annual PSA testing is recommended after age 50. Men who are at high risk should begin at age 40-45
– Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH): this test is the best for assessing thyroid function. Hyper or hypo thyroidism has multiple effects and need to be monitored
– Vitamin B12 and D3: especially for vegetarians since the diet does not provide enough natural sources for these vitamins. Low levels have multiple effects and need to be monitored

X-rays, mammograms, electrocardiograms (ECGs) and other such procedures should only be undertaken under the advice of your physician.

3. Choosing the right pathology laboratory:

With so many pathology laboratories coming up in cities, the choice is overwhelming. Look for one with a good reputation, run by a qualified MD pathologist, using latest technology and most importantly, one with high levels of quality control. Blood collection should always be done with sterile disposable needles and syringes. Good laboratories always retest abnormal values and reports are always signed by a registered pathologist.

High Intensity Interval Training for Enhanced Fitness

h3There are many different types of fitness training, and someone embarking on the search for a new exercise regimen may find themselves facing an array of choices and some tough decisions. If you’re looking for results, High Intensity Interval Training may be one style to consider.

High Intensity Interval Training (known as HIIT) is alternating short, vigorous bursts of exercise with short (or slightly longer) recovery intervals, which are less intense. It’s great cardiovascular exercise, and a session can last from four minutes to thirty minutes. Many athletes use this type of training, especially for running. It can improve your glucose metabolism and maximize your fat burning.

A typical HIIT session might start with a warm up, then three to ten intervals of the high intensity exercise and recovery period of exercise, followed by a cool down. The intervals should be tailored to the participant’s level of exercise, and it’s best to have a trainer guide you on this-at least for one session. You should also get your doctor’s approval before beginning any new exercise regimen, especially given the intensity of this workout style.

For example, after warming up, you might run very hard for thirty seconds, followed by thirty seconds of a light run, then thirty more seconds of hard running, then thirty seconds at a light run again, and so on. The level of intensity and the length of each interval should be chosen with your fitness level in mind.

Traditionally, the sprints were done at a 2:1 ratio, such as thirty seconds of hard running followed by fifteen seconds of walking or jogging. But it isn’t necessary to stick to that. An out-of-shape or overweight person might only start with a light run for thirty seconds, followed by sixty to ninety seconds of at a walking pace to recover.

This strategy isn’t only good for running-you can use it on an elliptical machine, a rowing machine, a bike, and for other forms of exercise. Just let your body-and your personal trainer, if you have one-be your guide.

Because a HIIT session often lasts approximately 30-40 minutes, it can be an excellent way to fit an effective workout into a busy schedule. It also can be more fun for people who tend to get bored with gym routines-it mixes things up a bit, and allows the person to get out of the gym faster, instead of seemingly endless, monotonous runs on the treadmill.

HIIT training has been shown to burn fat more effectively, in spite of the shorter workout time. HIIT can increase your resting metabolic rate, lower your insulin resistance significantly, improve your glucose tolerance, and enhance your skeletal muscle fat oxidation.

The HIIT method of training is great on its own, but if you add in High Intensity Strength Training-guided by a properly-trained personal trainer-you can boost your body’s fat-burning capabilities and maximize the health benefits of your training routine. If you choose to use both methods, you can do the strength training two to three times a week, and do your HIIT routines on any or all of the other days.

5 Tips to Aid in Daily Living

h2As we age, we often encounter a variety of health issues or ailments that can slow us down. And, while some of these ailments may be minor, inevitably they cause us to make adjustments to our standard of living. For some of us, it may be no more than a change in lifestyle or habits. However, for many people it means learning how to use an assortment of aids for daily living.

These aids for daily living can take many different forms. For some it can be as simple as re-arranging furniture so limbs are not bruised or perhaps changing ones diet and exercise routine to help improve bone and muscles strength, while for others it may involve adding safety features such as support bars or benches for the tub. In more extreme cases, it may mean moving to a new residence or either bringing outside help, but regardless of the actions, these ease of living actions typically mean a richer life than expected.

However, the aids for living life to its fullest are not always about new residences, or adding numerous safety features to the home (though these are great recourses to take!) but they may also be accomplished in the way things are communicated. Here are some important factors when thinking about ways that independent living can be more easily achieved.

· If at any time your treatment doesn’t seem to be working, let your healthcare professional know, so they can reassess things. For instance, if the new diet is making you feel worse, or the medicine schedule is too complicated or having adverse effects, don’t suffer in silence – speak up.

· Before embarking on a new exercise or diet plan, talk to your healthcare provider.

· Look for items that make life a bit easier. There is no shame in using a tool designed to keep you from injuring yourself.

· Do you need to lose a few pounds? Then endeavor to do so. Your doctor will be thrilled, and you will feel so much better. And who knows, you might even discover a new activity that makes you smile!

· Do you smoke? Then ask for help to quit. There are so many great products out there to make this easier than before.

Whether it be through items such as non -slip flooring, specialty tools, or through intentional conversations with your healthcare providers it is vital that you take advantage of as many aids for daily living as possible. After all, you want your “golden years” to enjoyable – not an increasing number of doctor’s visits.

6 Useful Diet Tips That Can Safeguard Your Health

h1Your health is something that can be deteriorated easily if you don’t pay enough attention. Your regular diet can determine your overall health in the long run. It is important to pay due attention to your diet so that your health can be safeguarded. Thus we have listed and explained a few important diet tips that can take you a long way forward.

1. Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables should not be consumed on a seldom basis. It should be part of your everyday diet because of the health benefits associated with them. You need to choose a variety of these items because of the different combinations of minerals and vitamins that they contain.

2. Fish

You need to aim for at least two portions of fish per week. If one of these fish is oily, you will benefit more. An oily fish is said to be a very rich of vitamin D. it is also important for the health of your bones. These include fresh tuna, salmon, trout and mackerel.

3. Cut down saturated sugar and fat

We obviously need some sugar and fat in our diet. However too much of these can complicate our health condition. There can be an increase in the risk of tooth decay when it comes to regular consumption of sugar. Too much of sugar has never done at good to any person in this world.

4. Consume less of salt

High amount of salt intake is associated with a very increased risk of development of high blood pressure which can put you at a much greater risk of developing heart disease and stroke. This intake is mostly from processed foods and not on salt that is added while cooking.

5. Water, never get thirsty

Save yourself from the thirst. Consume equal amounts of water at regular intervals in order to avoid thirst throughout the day. You need to aim for at least 8 glasses in a day. Water is an essential for all of us and there is no reason for us to avoid it.

6. Breakfast- the most important meal of the day

Skipping breakfast can do you a lot of harm in the long run. It can improve your appetite and keep you healthy. If you skip breakfast, the other healthy activities you follow the rest of the day will not be very useful. You will also not be any productive and efficient. It is one of the important things to remember.