10 Secrets to Optimizing Your Exercise Plan

Keeping up with your exercise routine is more than just having the right motivation. In fact, this might only conquer half the battle. If you are having a hard time achieving your exercise goals on time, keep in mind these tips the next time when a situation threatens to veer you out of your path.

Gym Free-weights Area Category:Gyms_and_Health...

Gym Free-weights Area Category:Gyms_and_Health_Clubs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. Know your body.

Before anything else, you need to assess you body. Go to a local clinic or take some fitness tests so you have an idea on the current state of your body. From here, picking out your goals along with the exercise routines should be easier.

  1. Book yourself.

The people around you might not understand why exercise is very important for you but do not be wavered and still keep this as a priority. Place this in your datebook so you can always that you have a prior commitment if someone attempts to take this time away from you.

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5 Busted Weight Loss Myths

Losing weight is no simple feat.  Besides figuring out what you should eat, what you shouldn’t be eating and what workouts will best work for you, it’s hard to discern what diet tips are true and what diet types are completely false.  Online sources, books and media may be telling you one thing, when in reality it’s the exact opposite.  Before you go about your weight loss plan, here are 5 common weight loss tips that are actually just weight loss myths:

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Swimming: A Low-Impact Path to Weight Loss

Once a person has decided to lose weight and get into shape it will be a life changing decision. The first step is to see your doctor and let him/her become involved in your weight loss and fitness plans. Get the go ahead from them first, and share some realistic weight loss goals through sensible swimming sessions to lose weight.

swimming pool

swimming pool (Photo credit: freefotouk)

It doesn’t matter if one has a few pounds or a hundred or more pounds to loose, if you are not in the habit of exercise you need to take it slow and easy and work up to a more rigorous swimming exercise routine. Along with exercise comes a difficult challenge to everyone, and this is to make a lifestyle change with the foods eaten. It is not a good idea to make so many lifestyle changes all at once, however a more nutritious diet plan and an exercise plan go hand in hand. Be aware that when one is on any exercise/healthy eating plan you will initially see a weight loss and then, as the body starts to break down the excess fat, you may see a weight increase. Just keep with the exercise and nutrition plans as scheduled and know that this is normal.

One good way to step into the exercise arena is through swimming. Above ground pools are not expensive to purchase and if one already has an above ground pool then they are ahead of the game. Swimming for weight loss calls for a slow and easy swimming session of five to ten, fifteen or twenty minute sessions. One can increase the sessions by five minutes per week if this is comfortable. As one becomes more attuned to exercise then they can increase the number of workouts per week from three to five. Listening to your body is important, as pushing yourself too hard can cause over-exertion and even injury to your muscles.

Once in the pool be sure that a constructive swimming workout is being done. Any number of swimming patterns can be done such as freestyle, backstroke, doggy-paddle or whichever you prefer.. Just remember to do it consistently for the number of minutes needed to accomplish the session, and don’t play around. Start out for a few weeks with low-impact swimming and work up to a more intense and rigorous swimming session. While both slow and fast sessions will burn fat and calories, fast sessions are what will really give those calories a punch.

In addition to swimming if you incorporate weight training you will help strengthen the muscles and improve your swimming sessions. Above all do not get discouraged because the weight is not coming right off. The weight did not come onto your frame overnight and it is not going to disappear overnight.

Everyone must decide in their own mind to make healthier food selections and exercise; no one can do this for them. People should strike the word ‘diet’ from their vocabulary. Diets have a beginning and an end. Diets usually stop when weight goals are met. Diets are never lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes are just what they say, ‘lifestyle’. They will continue for the life of that person.

Following  the recommended daily allowances from all five food groups ensures that you’ll get all of the correct nutrients needed for each day. Incorporating the right amounts of grains, fruits, vegetable, proteins and dairy into three meals and three snacks per day will sufficiently feed the body what it requires daily.

One should drink at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day, and when working out one will need more fluids, coffee does not count. Avoid sodas, energy drinks and decaffeinated products, and cut down on caffeine. Most people say they are hungry when in fact they are lacking sufficient fluids.

If you incorporate a realistic daily swimming routine and a more nutritional food plan in their life then you are bound to lose those excess pounds and calories. The only side effect to these plans is a healthier, fit body.

 

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Is Paleo For You?

It seems like a new diet is hitting the marketplace every other day, and every new diet seems to be dubbed as the one that works. There are so many diets out there, that if you want to lose weight, it can be hard to decide where to begin.
The latest dieting craze to hit the marketplace is called Paleo, and many people are wondering if they should give it a try.

What is the Paleo diet?

The Paleo diet basically refers to only eating the foods that our historic ancestors ate, which includes fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and nuts. This means that you should cut out legumes, grains and dairy. Basically, you want to eat only those items that can be hunted or gathered and refrain from eating anything that has been processed or sealed (so no canned vegetables). Fresh foods contain more vitamins and nutrients than those that have been processed, and they’re more healthy for you than those that tell you they’re healthy.
What’s the point of the Paleo diet?

The Paleo diet doesn’t cut out fat or carbs. Instead, it relies on you eating a healthy amount of food in order to maintain a decent body weight. Eating these foods will increase your metabolism and give you more energy throughout the day. And since you tend to eat more fruits and vegetables than whole grains, you may actually cut out a good deal of the carbs you eat on a regular basis.
Along with keeping you at a healthy weight, the Paleo diet is also known to reduce the risk of major diseases, such as heart attack, stroke and diabetes. By keeping your food intake simple, you are not clogging your body full of supplements or processed foods.

What are the benefits of the Paleo diet?

The Paleo diet doesn’t require you to count points, read labels or consume a great deal of protein shakes. The foods used in the Paleo diet are simple and real, and you know exactly what you’re getting.
Preparing Paleo-approved meals is simple. Choose a meat, choose a vegetable and you’re done. There is no need to read a ton of cookbooks or think too long about what to prepare for dinner. This will also help you decide what to eat more quickly when dining out at restaurants. Rather than spend a great amount of time reading over the menu, you can choose the option that fits best with the Paleo diet.
Is the Paleo diet right for me?

The Paleo diet hasn’t hurt anyone, so as long as you’re okay with eating meat and vegetables and cutting out dairy, grains and  legumes, trying the Paleo diet shouldn’t be that hard to accomplish. And since there is not counting points or reading labels, you can choose Paleo-approved foods more easily than other diets. People have been using the Paleo diet for years. If you start the Paleo diet, you will see an increase in your energy levels, and you’ll start to look better too.

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Physical Fitness for Senior Citizens

The baby boomers are the largest generation in our history.  As they start to turn to senior citizens, talking the important steps to maintain their health will become more and more important.

Doctor Parking (Photo credits: www.myparkingsign.com)

So to help those who are turning 65…or who have already done so…I wanted to put some simple to follow steps together so that those who wish can regain their strength and vitality.

Step 1: Get a thorough physical exam from your physician.  You need an honest appraisal of your health with your doctor to determine what your current condition is.  From this, you will learn not only what you current medical condition is [ie: if you are diabetic, high blood pressure, need to lose weight, etc…] but also have a conversation with your doctor to find out some of the weight loss tips you will need to follow in order to get in shape.

Step 2:  I am going to recommend the best overall exercise you can do…WALKING!  Why would I say so…because walking:

  • Can be done anywhere
  • Is free to do
  • Anyone can do it
  • No special equipment needed

And so long as you do it long enough…30 minutes at least…and strenuously enough…aiming to reach a 4.0 mph pace…this is one of the best workouts you could consider.

Step 3: Perhaps the biggest misnomer about exercise is that it has to involve ‘working out.’  Just because you are not sweating in a gym doesn’t mean that you aren’t exercising.  Here are a few ideas…

  • Playing with your grandchildren
  • Washing your car
  • Home remodeling
  • Dancing
  • Gardening
  • Yard work

All of these will get your heartbeat up without you going to the gym.

Step 4: Strength training-The best way to build muscle, lose weight, maintain strong bones, ward off osteoporosis and fight off the effects of age is by strength training.  Now, men won’t have the problem that women will have with that.  But just think about things this way…

The key to losing weight and regaining your health is to increase your metabolism so that your burns more calories when you are not working out.  And the only way to effectively do, as I said, this is to speed up your metabolism.  To do this is a natural and holistic fashion; there is one way to accomplish this…to add muscle to your frame.

In addition, for women strength training has the added benefit of strengthening bones so that the effects of ailments such as osteoporosis can be lessened or eliminated.

Now, I am not suggesting to anyone here that they have to start lifting heavy weights or compete in the World’s Strongest Man competition.  Quite the contrary, I am suggesting that you develop the discipline to do 20-30 minutes of resistance band and body weight workouts…from home…2-3 days a week.  Done properly, if you do resistance band exercises from home you will be able to obtain the same workout without having to go to the gym.

Step 5: Yoga…this one the guys will resist, but don’t knock it until you have tried it.  Yoga increases strength, flexibility and endurance.  And because it is a very low impact workout it is great for people with joint problems.

Step 6: Explore other avenues of cardiovascular endurance.  If you are bored with walking…especially if you do it on the treadmill at the gym…here are a few alternatives for you.

  • Elliptical machine [cross country skiing]
  • Step machine
  • Swimming
  • Step aerobics
  • Kickboxing
  • Rowing machine, etc…

There are plenty of options for you to choose from to get your heartbeat up.  The choice is up to you.  Find something you enjoy to do and start moving.

Step 7: Eating right.  I will mention it here even though your doctor probably talked to you about changing your diet and adding less processed foods at your physical.  Make sure to listen to your doctor’s recommendations regarding your intake of sugar and salt, as well as saturated fat that can raise your cholesterol.

About the author:

Tony Rovere is an advocate for senior citizens and elder health issues having to deal with the complexities of the Medicaid process following his mother’s heart attack.

He now shares his insights on care giving and senior issues on his blog, StuffSeniorsNeed, which was created to help senior citizens and baby boomers who have become caregivers.

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Tips to Help You Stay on Your Diet

Everyone knows, it’s easy to go on a diet. And that the hard part is sticking with it for a long period of time. Every year, millions of people resolve to eat differently. They want to shed some pounds, and reevaluating their eating habits is an essential way to achieve their goal. However, old habits die hard, and it can be tough to stay on a diet, no matter how well you do in the beginning. If you’re determined to eat differently, here are some tips that will help you stay on your diet and meet your goals.

weight-loss-tips

Enlist Some Support

Don’t go at your diet alone. If you live with other people, speak with them about your diet, and ask for their support. Maybe they’ll want to do it with you. If you’re accountable to more people than just yourself, it can really motivate you to stay on track. If you can’t find support within your friends or family, find a weight loss group in your area, like Weight Watchers, or an online community.

Define Your Diet

Figure out exactly what your diet is going to be, and set clear rules for yourself. Know exactly which foods you can eat and which you can’t. Determine the main purpose of your diet. Is it to stick to a certain number of calories? Is it to eat on a regular schedule? Is it to limit certain foods or food groups? Try to anticipate what breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks will look like.

Set Realistic Goals

If you feel discouraged by your diet, it will be easier for you to stray. Do not set goals for yourself that are not realistic, because you may quit if you don’t feel you’re progressing enough. The trick is to set small, realistic goals. Once you reach a small goal, you should set another small goal that’s a little more difficult. Do not try to do it all at once.

Keep a Food Diary

When you write down the things you eat, you’re more likely to stay on track with your diet. A food diary will help you see how you’re doing and how you can improve. It will be tangible proof of your habits, and it’s a great way to evaluate your progress.

Reward Yourself

Your diet won’t work if it’s all work and no play. Understand that it’s alright to cheat on the diet every now and then. You should enjoy eating. You won’t derail all your progress if you have a small dessert now and then. Try to reward yourself with treats here and there. It will help you stay on your diet in the long run.

Rethink Success

Are you too preoccupied with the number on the scale? When you’re dieting, you’re going to see more results than just shedding the points. If you’re eating healthier, you should notice an increase in your energy level and self-esteem. You may notice some of your health problems have improved, such as having lower blood pressure. Anything can be a measure of your success. If you notice all the benefits of your diet, you’ll have more reason to stick with it than just losing weight.

Katherine Taylor is a therapist and avid writer who loves to spend what time she can traveling the world. She already has a wonderful summer trip booked at a beach hotel in Mauritius. She wants to mix with the locals, practice her french, and see as many beautiful beaches as possible while staying at her hotel in Mauritius.

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