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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What Does It Really Mean to Be Overweight?

Obesity is an ever increasing problem in the US now-a-days. Studies show that over 66 percent of Americans can be categorized as either fat or obese, and the medical community is even going so far as to call it an epidemic. However, with today’s aesthetic standards as portrayed by the media and the fashion community, it can be very tough to decipher what is actually a healthy weight. No doctor would recommend trying to be stick-thin, but we all know that obesity is dangerous to the health. So, where is that healthy midline? What, exactly, does it mean to the general public to be “overweight?” Here are the plain facts:


Overweight (Photo credit: just.Luc)

The definition. Being overweight means weighing more than what is healthy. This amount varies from person to person, as it depends on factors that are unique to each person’s build. Therefore, what is overweight for you might not be overweight for someone else.

Overweight compared to being obese. It is important that you understand that overweight does not necessarily mean obese. Healthy (or unhealthy) body weight is graded on a scale, including the categories of “normal weight,” “overweight,” “obese,” and “morbidly obese.” Each level has its own set of qualifying factors and, of course, morbidly obese is the most dangerous. Being overweight means being one step above normal weight, one step below obese, and two steps below morbidly obese.

What factors are used to determine overweight? Your body mass index (BMI) is used to determine where you are categorized on the health/morbidly-obese scale. Your BMI is a measure of your body’s composition, accounting for how much you weigh in relation to your height. There are various different methods to calculate BMI. The simplest is to use an online BMI calculator, but for the most exact figure, it is a good idea to see a doctor or nutritionist. If your BMI falls between 25 and 30, you are generally considered overweight. However, it is important to keep in mind that BMI has no way of accounting for your muscle to fat ratio. This ratio can make a major difference in your overall health, and therefore can change your status as overweight. For example, if you are a serious athlete with a lot of muscle, you may weigh more than someone else your height who is at a “normal” weight, but that doesn’t mean you are overweight.

Overweight is a term that is used loosely, which makes it confusing when determining whether or not you fit into that category. Your best bet is to consult with your doctor to figure out if you are overweight, and if you could benefit from lowering your BMI.

About the Author: Tommye Lounder is a health and wellness specialist who specializes in educating people about their bodies. He enjoys researching common medical conditions, including candida expert opinions, heart health, addictions, and the body’s metabolism.

How I Reversed My Own Heart Disease

How to reverse heart disease. Is it possible? It sounds a little like a dream…

But one of the most amazing things that I have learned on my weight loss journey is that it is possible to learn how to reverse heart disease. It sounds amazing…almost impossible, too good to be true. Especially if you consider that what we are talking about is reversing heart disease without surgery or even medication. I am just talking about someone making the correct lifestyle changes.

But it’s true. It’s been a scientific fact for about 25 years, and is finally getting mainstream approval in the medical community.

First of all, let me go over what the threat is, and then we will talk about the solution.

What is heart disease?

Whether you call it heart disease or coronary artery disease, it is caused by the buildup of fatty deposits along the insides of your arteries. These deposits start to grow, slowing the process of blood passing through your arteries. What happens next is that your blood pressure increases and you have a greater likelihood of heart attack or stroke as a result.

A high fat high cholesterol diet, lack of exercise and subjecting yourself to stress starts to impede the flow of blood throughout your body. It is especially dangerous when your brain or heart are near the blockages.  Ultimately, the buildup leads to high blood pressure and if not treated, a heart attack.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 630,000 people in the United States alone die from heart disease each year. And this is just the toll in human loss of life.

The financial toll on our economy is staggering. It has been estimated between the cost of treatment plus the loss of economic productivity that in the United States alone, the cost of treating heart disease is $675,000,000,000.

Let’s put that currently into perspective. When we see what $675,000,000,000 buy us we begin to understand just how important it is to learn how to reverse heart disease ourselves.

  • In 2011, the current US federal deficit is $1.4 TRILLION. We could wipe out ½ of our budget deficit with the money that is spent on heart disease.
  • The US could almost fund the Defense Department at $701,000,000,000 or Social Security expenditures of $714,000,000,000 with the costs of heart disease on the economy.
  • Ranked against a sampling of countries listed by their Gross Domestic Product (the total amount of goods and services they produce as a nation in a given year), US spending on heart disease would rank as the 19 largest economy in the WORLD! We would beat out the economic output of entire nations such as Switzerland, Poland, Belgium, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Norway, Argentina, etc…

That’s a pretty sobering assessment, especially when you weigh these massive costs against the lifestyle changes that are necessary to learn how to reverse heart disease, which we are going to talk about right…

What are the steps to learning how to reverse heart disease?

I am going to relate this to my own personal story.  But when I was 36, I was at my worst physically, 252 pounds, never exercising and eating awfully.

And then I had my first health scare. I started getting stabbing pains in my chest, and I knew this wasn’t normal. I was in trouble and needed to change what I was doing quickly before I became one of those statistics I mentioned above.

I knew I needed to eat better and exercise, and set about trying to educate myself on all of the best nutritional ideas I could find.

And then I came across a book that truly changed my life.

It was “Eat More, Weigh Less” by Dr. Dean Ornish. I strolled past it on the shelf at the library and thought the title was interesting. Little did I know how this book would change my life, forever, and for the better.

Not only did it talk about how to eat more and weigh less, it chronicled Dr. Ornish’s 20-year journey to get the medical community to understand the body’s power to heal itself but also how to reverse heart disease.

After all, a typical doctor will either recommend a statin drug like Lipitor to lower cholesterol, an angioplasty (inserting a balloon into the diseased artery to open the path for blood) or a bypass operation to a heart disease patient. But take the time to learn how to reverse heart disease? Come on…

Instead, Dr. Ornish tapped the body’s ability to heal itself, if we will only allow it to. In the book, you will see pictures of his patient’s hearts and arteries where you can see the blockages. Then anywhere from 6-12 months later, you can see that the blockages DISAPPEAR on their own, proof that the body can heal itself, if we allow it to.

Dr. Ornish has a three step process to learning how to reverse heart disease, but before I go into this, please remember that if you are currently suffering from coronary artery disease that you should be under a doctor’s care and supervision. Take any medications your doctor recommends and follow any restrictions in terms of diet and exercise that your doctor may place on you:

  • Follow an EXTREMELY low fat diet.While there are no calorie restrictions in his program, you are limited to eating foods that contain no more than 2g of fat per serving and 2 g of sugar per serving. Granted, this eliminates about 95% of the foods out there, but remember, we are talking about how to reverse heart disease.If you are just looking to lose 10-20 pounds you don’t necessarily have to follow this to the letter. You can sneak in the occasional cheat meal on the weekends. But if you have blockages in your arteries and may be facing a bypass operation, then it would make sense to follow the program the letter. After all, what is the better option?

    a) Understand how to reverse heart disease and change your diet to allow your body to heal itself, or…b) A bypass operation, which is a surgery where the doctor cuts open your chest cavity and inserts a vein or an artery from your leg into your heart muscle to bypass the blockage that coronary artery disease has caused.

    Now, have you ever seen a picture of a heart bypass operation? Just check for an online picture of a bypass operation.  See that guy lying there with his chest wide open and his heart stopped by the doctor’s so they can perform the bypass. Now, is it really that tough to make that change and eat the Ornish way?

    No, I didn’t think so. Trust me. Making the right changes and studying how to reverse heart disease is the much easier choice. I did it and I will explain how when I finish with Dr. Ornish’s program.


  • The second phase of Dr. Ornish’s program is 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day. In his book, Dr. Ornish describes this as walking at a quick enough pace where it is tough to carry on a conversation but you are not out of breath. Personally, when I made the commitment to lose weight I put in 45-60 minutes a day, and not only did cardiovascular exercises but also strength training exercises as well.But your goal should be to get that thirty minutes of walking in a day, no matter what. Walk the dog, skip a TV show, walk around the soccer field while the kids are at practice, do laps in the parking lot at work during lunch, park farther away at the shopping mall (3-10 minute power walks is acceptable).


  • The final part of Dr Ornish’s plan is stress management, and to combat this he recommends yoga and meditation. Now, I have to admit that the first time I saw this I had the typical ‘guy reaction’ to Yoga, something like…

That’s stuff the chicks do. Guys don’t do that. I’ll just head to gym one more time.

And that is the way I felt until I eventually tried it. After 10 minutes worth of poses, I was done. I couldn’t believe how much of a workout you could get without moving off of a 2’X6’ mat. So after eating a healthy dose of humble pie that first time, I started to look into yoga and what I found was that yoga is probably the best overall exercise on the world for you.

That’s right guys. You heard me right. The women were right on this one (certainly not on EVERYTHING but on this one they are dead on!). Yoga is the only exercise that combines all three aspects of physical fitness at the same time (other than gymnastics): strength training (when you do a Vinyasa correctly you get a major upper body workout), cardiovascular benefits (you can feel your heart pounding when you are holding those poses) AND flexibility.

So by combining all three elements Dr. Ornish was able to demonstrate how to reverse heart disease without pills, medications or surgery. Lifestyle changes were all that was needed in order to learn how to reverse heart disease.

But finally, I want to talk to you about the toughest of the three steps when it comes to learning how to reverse heart disease…Part 1. You remember the part where you were initially excited about no calorie restrictions but then groaned when you saw that you couldn’t eat anything with more than 2g of fat or sugar per serving. How do you pull that off?


Well, as Dr. Ornish says, it is all a matter of degrees. Meaning if you are just looking to lose weight you can have that cheat meal on the weekend. Go ahead and indulge. But…

If you are facing a triple-bypass the time has come to get some discipline in your life. Either that or face life-altering surgery. The choice is yours. So I wanted to talk to you about what I did so that you can see how to reverse heart disease. These are the steps I took:

  • Started looking for food swaps. I used to be a big red meat eater. Instead, I ate the same amount and at the time switched to being an all white meat eater. This meant consuming chicken and turkey. Now, I know what you are saying. Dr. Ornish advocates being a vegetarian why eat the chicken and the turkey?Because the chicken and turkey I was eating had less than 10% of the calories from fat, which is one of the benchmarks Dr. Ornish uses when you read was Eat More Weigh Less. These were lean meats and even though I wasn’t following his program to the letter, I was following it enough where I was typically eating a diet of 13%-15% of my calories from fat. This was good enough because within 60 days of eating like this and exercising, the chest pains disappeared and I haven’t had one in almost 4 years!
  • Load up on water.I quit the sugary drinks, alcohol and even the diets sodas. I don’t care if they are only 1 calorie and have ‘no sugar’. The manufacturer is putting something in there to make it sweet, and whatever that something is, it isn’t good for you.
  • Load up the fruits and veggies. The advantage to doing this is that fruits and vegetables are very nutrient-dense yet calorie-poor foods that are loaded with the vitamins and minerals you need for optimal health. And there’s another advantage. You can eat a ton of them and not put on a pound. And that is very important when you are looking to change your lifestyle up.The reason that people fail on any diet, and it is particularly bad when you are learning how to reverse heart disease, is because you feel deprived.Think of it this way. You are used to having a nice 16-ounce steak for dinner. But when you go on your diet, you say that you are only going to eat an 8-ounce steak. You will immediately feel deprived and it isn’t going to take long, just a matter of days in all likelihood, for you to backslide and go off the diet.

    Instead, you need to replace that 16-ounce steak with at least 16 ounces worth of nutrient-dense but calorie-poor foods that will fill your stomach so that you don’t feel like you are missing something.

By taking all of these steps, I was able to lose 60 pounds in 6 months and completely regained my health.  It’s been four years now and I have never felt better.

About The Author:

Tony Rovere regained his health, strength and vitality by losing 60 pounds and managing to keep it off for over 4 years.

This is why he shares his weight loss tips at health-and-weight-loss-tips.com, where he shares his passion for health and fitness with others so that they can accomplish the same goals that he has achieved.

Considering Laser Liposuction

Going for liposuction surgery is now not something you need to hide or be ashamed of, for our image-obsessed trend nowadays approves of anything you do that will help you look and feel better about yourself. Sure, liposuction may just be a plastic surgical procedure that won’t give the same healthy benefits as eating right and exercising properly, but as long as you’re willing to pay upwards of a thousand dollars and bear some pain and bleeding the few days after the surgery, you can end up having a slimmer body and a higher self-esteem. And with the popular new techniques available for liposuction, you can even encounter fewer risks while the fat is removed and better results after the surgery!

Laser liposuction is one of the most sought after new liposuction procedures. This special kind of liposuction surgery involves the aid of laser technology, which is beamed at fatty tissues to liquefy them and make them easier to suck out. It is also said that the laser lights stimulate collagen growth on the skin for a smoother result, and that the blood vessels will be less engorged with blood due to the effect of the lasers, so you will get less bruising as compared to the other liposuction techniques.

However, there are also other studies that show the effects of laser provide little or no benefit during liposuction. Laser liposuction is definitely more expensive than other more traditional methods due to the extra expense of using laser technology, and some critics say that the higher price is not worth it and that you may even be paying more money just to get a higher risk of side effects, like blisters and burns, that can occur due to the laser. How much does liposuction cost? Laser liposuction can cost a maximum of around six thousand dollars on part of the body, while standard liposuction is estimated around four thousand dollars. So is getting laser liposuction worth it, or will you be better off saving more money and risking fewer side effects with standard liposuction instead?

On the Web MD site, a study is reported of people who received both laser liposuction and standard liposuction on different sides of their abdomen, and the conclusion was that people with loose skin may benefit more from laser liposuction such as SmartLipo, for the laser devices used can actually increase skin tightening after recovery from the surgery.

Liposuction procedures differ all the time; techniques like water-assisted or Vaser liposuction may be better for you than standard or laser. To get the best results, always visit an experienced surgeon who is properly licensed. Good plastic surgeons can also evaluate which liposuction technique will suit your body best, and provide for you before and after pictures of their former patients so you can be more assured of the quality of their work.

Keeping Healthy When Visiting Hot Countries

When taking a holiday in a hot country it is important to take account of the weather conditions, whether you are taking a beach break in the Mediterranean or a shopping trip to Adu Dhabi, over exposure to heat can cause serious health risks.

Effects of heat

Spending too much time in the sun, no matter how appealing, can have serious effects on your health. The main result of over exposure to the sun is the risk of burning. Although the idea of sun tanning is to nicely bake yourself, each year many people overdo their sun worshipping and have to be treated for serious burns or heatstroke and with the added risk of skin cancer if you expose yourself to the sun for a prolonged period.

The other effect of too much sun is dehydration, which can cause nausea, fatigue, muscle cramps and headaches. If you become seriously dehydrated your body could suffer seizures, vomiting, muscle spasms and delirium.

Tips for keeping yourself safe and healthy when taking a holiday in a hot climate include:-


1      Keep hydrated, drink plenty of bottled water, make sure they are sealed tightly when you buy them as well. This is the main way of avoiding dehydration; also remember that infants and children may suffer the effects from a lack of water a lot sooner than adults.

2      Cut down on soft drinks, sugary drinks, alcohol and caffeinated drinks such as tea or coffee during the hottest parts of the day. These liquids have the opposite effect to hydrating the body.

3      Avoid ice in drinks as it is normally made from tap water.

4      Avoid over exertion, light exercise is obviously good for you but strenuous games of beach football in 40-degree temperatures can be damaging.

5      Stay clear of direct, midday sun, the hottest part of the day is between 11am and 3pm.

6   Make sure that you have all the recommended inoculations for the country to which you are travelling.

7   Wear light clothing, sunglasses and a hat to protect you from the harmful effects of the sun.

8   Apply the correct factor sun block, at least, sunscreen protection factor SPF 30.

9   Find a cool shady place to sit or spend midday indoors in a cool air-conditioned place.


For mild cases of dehydration you simply need to replace the lost fluids, electrolytes and salts from your body. You can also purchase over the counter sports drinks, which normally contain the right balance of electrolytes for your body. Where people are suffering from more serious levels of dehydration they may require medical assistance and the administration of intravenous fluids.

If you do spend too much time in the sun the best course of action is to take painkillers to help the pain, a cool shower or a bath will also help alleviate the discomfort. Drink lots of water to keep you hydrated and taking moisturisers or after sun creams on holiday with you; especially ones that contain aloe vera is a good idea.  In the case of sever sunburn a trip to the local hospital or doctor may be necessary to receive the appropriate treatment.

Jim Dean is a keen travel blogger and writes for Etihad airways who can offer you flights to Abu Dhabi as well as many other great (and hot!) places.

Do’s and Dont’s for Detox Juice Recipes

Detox Juice Recipes

We live in a hectic world. People do not even have time to prepare their own meals anymore because most Americans have more than a single job or have very demanding jobs. There are also people who no longer have time to exercise. Aside from the hectic life and the unhealthy food people are eating, there is also the air which is full of particles not good for the body. It is crucial that we detoxify our body every now and then so we can get rid of the toxins in our body. For this reason, you can see a lot of detox juice recipes. Not only is juicing refreshing, it can also be very good for the body.

Juice Diet Recipes

If you are thinking about detoxifying your body, you should be informed of the best detox diet foods. Fruits are one of the best options. Not only are they naturally sweet and healthy, they are also very easy to find. You will be able to see a lot of fruits juice diet recipes all over the Internet today. Fruits juices have lots of nutrients, minerals and vitamins which our body needs.

Vegetables are also great. We all know just how much children detest vegetables and most of them refuse to eat vegetables. With juicing you will be able to introduce countless vegetables to your children and have them eat it too. Juicing can allow you to blend vegetables and give them a new taste which your everyone will love. The whole family will be able to get the great benefits of detoxifying through juicing.

However, you should remember that not everyone can embark on a juice fast. There are certain people who should avoid juice fasting and they are children, pregnant women, diabetics, people with kidney disease, cancer and other terminal illnesses. You should only go on a juice fast under the supervision of a physician.