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September 6, 2008

Healthy Exercise and Weight Loss Advice

When you are trying to transform your body, there are some exercises that will work better than others. The part of the body that you want to focus on also matters. One of the most sought after part of the body to sculpt are the abdominals. Everyone wants a six pack of a washboard. While the six pack may be a ways off, you can help move towards the washboard look by doing Pilates.

Pilates is a set of movements that works to condition the entire body. Jospeph H. Pilates created this body conditioning system in the 1920’s. Ballerinas and patents were the first people to come to know the benefits of these movements. That was of course after Joseph Pilates himself created the exercise and helped himself. He was a fragile and sickly child. He constructed sets of exercises to help himself become stronger. The strength Joseph Pilates built up made him capable of becoming a very accomplished athlete in many different sports.

During world War I when Pilates was interned on the Isle of Man, made exercise machines out of hospital beds. The patients in the hospital were not able to move around much so he constructed springs to hospital beds to create machines. The moves the Pilates taught to these patients would come to be known as the movements that we know as Pilates.

Pilates has caught on in the athletic world and Hollywood. Ballerinas were doing Pilates from the time Joseph and his wife came over from Europe. This is why dancers have such smooth but strong muscles. Lately other athletes, such as football and hockey players have been getting in on the action. Anyone can have a tight supple body full of flexibility if they are willing to practice Pilates on a regular basis.

There are Pilates machines that increase the effects of the exercises but you could also do Pilates without any machinery. If you are looking to get familiar with the exercises you need to understand what body mass index is.

Body Mass Index: What does it mean and How effective are the results?

Body Mass Index is a relatively recent tool that was developed by The National Institute of Health. In 1998 BMIU was introduced to help people get a estimation on their risks for a number of different health risks. The majority of people will get a better understanding of what their weight related health risks are. However, BMI should be taken into consideration along with several other factors. BMI alone will not give you the exact picture of your health. It is just one of the many tools that you can use to help figure that out.

Body Mass Index estimates that amount of body fat you have. If your number is above 25 then you fall into the unhealthy category. However, your blood pressure and other health issues should also be examined along with this reading. While having a BMI over 25 might put you at risk for some health ailments such as heart disease or stroke.

It is important o remember than Body Mass Index is a measuring tool. Scientists need ways to understand and compare data. So there will be instances where someone who is active, healthy and at a decent weight for their height will have a BMI over 25. You need to know what your body fat is, in addition to body weight. If you get on a scale and use your weight as a gauge, you won’t get a good reading.

If you want your body fat measured, you will need to use lab equipment like underwater scales, dual energy x-ray absorptiometry tools. Of course, most of us are not going to go out and pay high prices to obtain these tools. Not to mention, lab technicians will need to be present to actually work the tools. This is not a practically method of measuring body fat.

Determining BMI can be done with a person’s height and weight alone. You don’t need anything else to get a BMI number and many particulars can be lost in translation. That is why this is a great tool for research but not necessarily for the everyday person. Remember that the problem is being over-fat. There are some people that are overweight but not necessarily over-fat. If you exercise regularly and eat healthfully, the BMI reading may not be that important.

Then again, if your BMI is over 30 you may need to worry a bit. The Centers for Disease Control websites says that most people who have a BMI over 30 are over fat. However, if you are fit and fat, you are in better shape than being unfit and very thin. This is an interesting find because so many people get wrapped up in appearances. Health should be the main driving force of your workout and diet program.

Looking For Easy Exercise? Start Walking

Exercise does not have to be difficult or costly. You don’t need a ton of gym memberships or home equipment to get in shape. Walking is one of the simplest ways to lose weight. If you are not motivated to do any other exercise, start a walking routine and watch the pounds fall off.

The rate at which you walk, length of walk and the amount of time will effect how much weight you lose and how fast. A 30 minutes walk every day of the week is a great way to burn calories. Exactly how many calories is hard to say. If you are new to exercising, don’t focus on the amount of calories being burned. Just get used to the feel of walking for 30 minutes everyday.

Some rough estimates of how many calories people burn when they are walking can be gauged. The gauges are based on your weight and the amount of time you are walking. If you are looking to actually lose weight, you will probably need to do more than just 30 minutes of walking. 60 to 90 minutes is the way to go if you are looking to lose weight. Break it up into intervals if you like. That way you won’t need a big chunk of time set aside.

The thing to take into consideration is that there are 3,500 calories in one pound fat. That means that you need to burn that much to see some lose. So you could walk 60 minutes a day, everyday of the week at a steady pace.

Strategies For Keeping the Weight Loss Going

One of the best ways to keep those weight loss goals in tact is to do some Storyboarding. This is a great way to line up your goals and re-motivate yourself when things are not going that well.

Storyboarding is a way to sketch out plans. Directors do this when they are building movies frame by frame. They create the plot in parts before they ever start filming anything. Think of storyboarding as a blueprint. Set your goals and build s timelines that goes week by week. Include the foods you are going to eat, any challenging social events and the exercises you are going to do.

It is also helpful to visualize your success. You have to be able to see what you want to look like in your mind before you get there. If you have pictures for years ago when you were at your ideal weight, you should take them out. Build a vision board of weight loss goals and some of the different things that will get you there. Clip out motivational quotes from magazines. Find pictures of people that are the size you want to be. Use the power of visualization and the reinforcement of a vision board to help get you to your weight goal.

Don’t wait for others to praise you, do it yourself. Don’t just focus on the scale. Take time to make note the other positive changes that are happening with your body. Every month take your measurements and notice the inches you are losing. This will give you a more accurate measurement of your weight loss. Sometimes the scale gets stuck and it can seem like you are wasting your time trying to lose weight. If you know that you are losing inches and dropping clothing sizes, even if the scale is not going down, you know you are on the right track.

Keep a weight loss journal. When you have wins right them down. What may seem like a simple feat, like not have birthday cake at a party is really a huge victory. It means that you are more important than food. You are willing to not have the birthday cake in order to see your long term weight loss goal. This is a major step in the quest to have a healthier mindset about food. Write it down and celebrate this victory.

If you want more support, find a friend that is working to lose weight as well. Having a buddy that is experiencing some of the same things you are can be very helpful. E-mail one another at the end of the week or share your weight loss journals. Weight loss struggles generally are very similar. Having a friend that understands can be such a relief. Other people that are not dieting may not be able to really understand what you are experiencing.

Weight Loss Surgery Is Only for the Morbidly Obese In Most Cases

There is a disturbing trend of turning to surgery or medication to fix health problems. The weight loss surgeries that are available are used as a last resort for obese people. There are some people that have body index masses that are between 35 and 40 that have the surgery but their health is typically very compromised. That means that they have Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease or severe sleep apnea.

The other groups that qualify for weight loss surgeries have BMI’s of 40 or more and are usually about 100 pound overweight. Women who qualify for the surgery have BMI’s of and are 80 pounds overweight.

Weight loss surgery is one of the most important steps a person can take. The bariatric surgeon that you choose will help you make the right choice when it comes to which surgery you choose. Be sure that bariatric surgery is a last resort. It can have a number of different unpleasant side effects.

Keep Your Heart Healthy

In addition to having a great body and more energy, exercise improves the health of your heart. Women especially should be careful when it comes to heart attacks. Even though breast cancer is the disease women seem to be the most educated about, cardiovascular disease kills and women who have heart attacks are twice as likely to die from them than men are.

In America the number one cause of death for women over 25 is heart disease. Every year nearly 500,000 women die of some type of cardiovascular disease. That is 57,000 more women than men. Most women have no clue they have any form of cardiovascular disease. Close to a third of women could have heart disease, the American Heart Association estimates.

The good news is that heart disease is preventable. Two of the major contributing to heart disease are hypertension and cholesterol can be controlled. Also, both factors can be prevented of you are careful.

Exercise is necessary if you want to keep the heart healthy. 20 to 30 minutes of keeping the heart rate up will help. Some of the exercises that work best are walking, cycling and swimming. You want to sustain the heart rate for a long time. Aerobic workouts are the best way to do that. Add in some strength training and your entire body will receive a good workout.

To determine whether or not you are getting your heart rate up enough, you can think of exercise intensity as a scale. 1 is the lowest intensity and 10 is the highest. You want to get up to about a 6 or 7 when it comes to your heart rate. Everyone will have a different level or intensity that works for them. In order to find out what your target heart rate is, subtract you age from 220 and multiply by 0.6. The number you get will be the moderate intensity level.

If you are sedentary and out of shapes, check with your doctor. It is true that exercise is true that exercising too hard, if you are not used to doing much physical activity can cause a heart attack. The scary stories about people dying on Treadmills during stress test are true. Don’t try to do everything at once. Over time to the intensity level that keeps your heart healthy.

Eat heart healthy food. Apples are an easy food to get in everyday and they are good for your heart help to slow the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and reduce the amount of plaque build up that occurs. Omega 3 fatty acids found in deep water fish are great for heart health. The Omega 3’s lower triglyceride level. Another heart healthy fruit is the grapefruit. It is packed full of antioxidants and soluble fiber, both of which have been shown to help cut down heart disease risks. Legumes also work to reduce LDL cholesterol. Get them in by eating low sodium black beans, beans or hummus.

Belly fat is especially dangerous when it comes to heart health. Abdominals fat is compromised different from other fat in your body. Higher triglyceride levels and lower good cholesterol are associated with excessive belly fat. The best way to get rid of belly fat is through diet and exercise. Neither one by itself works as well.

Eating a well balanced diet is important. Even if you exercise a poor diet can still put you at highest for a heart attack. That doesn’t mean you can never have a piece of cake or an alcoholic beverage. However, it does mean that you need to have a well balanced diet. Stay away from trans fat under 7 percent of your daily calories. Trans fats should be kept to less than 1 percent of your daily calorie intake.

Nutrients That Assist The Body In Getting Rid Of Body Fat

While there are no miracle foods, there are some that will help cut down on fat. All calories are different. There are a number of different ways to configure calories in your diet. Garcinia Cambogia is an Asian melon that helps curb the appetite. It also helps to inhibit lipogenesis and the way that the body stores and makes fat. Gymnema Sylvestre is an herb that causes sugar cravings to be reduced and it’s absorption. L Carnitine is an amino acid that fights fatigue and has a regulatory effect on fat metabolism. It also will help bring down triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

Magnesium is a nutrient that is a co-factor in a number of different biochemical reactions. It is very important to the reactions that are instrumental in metabolic energy production and in protein formation and bowel function. Potassium is also a nutrient that helps in fat reduction. It is a very important electrolyte that assists the body in maintaining water balance and supporting muscles and nerve cells. It also is vital in the production and storage of glycogen and holding energy for muscles.

The best way to take advantage of the benefits that nutrients have to offer when it comes to weight loss, is to eat a well balanced diet. While there are some diet programs that promote nutrient saturation as a way to lose weight, this is not a realistic way to lose weight if you plan on keeping it off. The best way to get all of these nutrients into your diet is to eat foods that contain them.

5 Ways To Boost Your Energy

Having enough energy to get through your busy schedule and still have stamina to workout is important. Many people forgo activity when they are exhausted. There is no need to take something to boost your energy. You can instead follow a few healthy living tips to keep your energy level up.

Sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to maintaining energy and losing weight. If you don’t feel rested, you will be less likely to put in an hour of activity when you get home from the office. You might also find yourself turning to caffeine in the form of coffee or energy drinks which are packed with sugar. Instead of getting your energy from these artificial sources, concentrate on the basics.

Make sure your get a good’s night rest. This means going to bed at a decent hours and getting about eight hours of sleep. Napping can help but it does not completely make up for lost sleep because you won’t be getting deep sleep. You will be able to tell whether or not you get enough sleep based on how you feel when you wake up.

Staying hydrated will also help you with weight loss. When you are dehydrated, even a little bit, your skin, brain and digestive system suffer. Keep track of how much water you are drinking throughout he day. If you find yourself thirsty at any point, you are not drinking enough.

Not drinking enough can also lead to overeating. Ever get one of those cravings that you can not identify? You know you want something but you don’t know what it is? You might end up eating a few different items and not getting satisfied. Your body does not clearly distinguish between hunger and thirst. You may be thirsty and think you are hungry, causing you to eat more than you should.

Breakfast is essential. Although it has been said over and over again, there are still some people that take breakfast for granted. This is one of the most important aspects of weight loss that so many people overlook. If you do not have breakfast your body will have to play catch up all throughout the day. You will end up eating more later on or finding an unhealthy way to fill in for that missed breakfast.

It is also important to eat a well rounded breakfast that includes a fair amount of protein. If you are eating cereal for breakfast you will need to make sure that you have a cereal that is rich in protein. Carbohydrates are important but a cereal that is full of sugar and carbs is not going to fuel your body properly.

Almost half of Americans miss breakfast. This is a bad trend that is likely contributing to the country’s increase in obesity. Time is the most common reason why people skip breakfast. There are a number of options to combat the lack of time when it comes to breakfast.

If you are on the go and feel like you have no time for breakfast. Take it with you. Leave a box of cereal and carton of milk at the office. Get to work ten minutes early and have a bowl of cereal. If cereal is not your thing, get one of the many boxes of low fat, low calorie breakfast sandwiches. A few minutes in the microwave and you have a breakfast that has the carbohydrates, protein and fat that your body needs to start the day.

If you don’t want to hit the microwave for breakfast, keep a few boxes of breakfast bars handy. Find well balanced breakfast bars and stock them at home. Add in some fruit and a glass of low fat milk and you have a good breakfast configured with minimal work.

Make Sure You Are Doing Your Exercises Right

If you are wondering why your jogging is not paying off, there is a chance that you are not doing it right. Jogging is a wonderful way to increase cardiovascular exercise. While walking is great, jogging can help get your heart rate up which is an optimum occurrence. However, you need to know a few things about jogging to before you up the pace. You want to start off with the right practices so that you do not get hurt.

When you first being jogging you want to alternate the pace. Start off with gradual jogging and walking. Eventually your endurance and your body will have a chance to adjust to jogging. You should also test yourself to see if you are able to carry on a conversation while you are jogging. Can you talk when you are exercising? If not take it down a notch. You are jogging too fast.

Pay attention to your joints. Are you feeling any pain after your jogging? What type of surface are you jogging on? If you are jogging on asphalt you may want to switch to a rubberized track or another soft surface. Also keep an eye on your feet. You need to be on the lookout for injury prone obstacles that might be in your pathway. That is another reason why you should watch where you are jogging.

The Abs are a favorite part of the body that people like to workout. The key to getting the most out of abdominal exercises is to start out small. Do not overwork your abs to the point where you are in pain the next day. Begin with one set of crunches and build up to multiple sets. Make sure that you keep the small of your back flat on the ground to avoid lower back injuries.

When you are choosing which exercises to do, make sure you find ones that you can do year round. If you live in Michigan will you still feel like running on those zero degree days? Quite possibly not and even if you do, it might be dangerous to do so. Having something you can do year round is optimum. Having a few fitness DVD’s on hand is always a good idea.

If you switch exercises, start off slowly and work your way up. You don’t want to strain yourself and make it harder for you to get motivated to work out. Your body needs time to get used to what you are doing. Also, make sure that you are always warming up before you begin.

A Few Words About Weight Training

First you need to let your doctor know that you are planning on bulking up. Once you have that you can start building up your muscles. Start off with dumbbell weight sessions. Begin with three dumbbell weight sessions and build up to free weight machines. Keep a few different dumbbell sets around the house. You can work on getting used to them by using them while you are watching television or listening to music.

Circuit training should also be included in your muscle building activities. You should start off with dumbbell weight and incorporate rapid movement in-between each exercise. This regiment will help you working hard enough to build up your muscles.

When you are working on building muscle you need to make sure that your diet is adequate. That means making sure that the right amount of the various food groups are included. You will need a moderate amount of low fat and high fiber foods in your diet. It is also important to include low fat diary opposed to full fat dairy items. Diary is important but full fat options contain a large amount of fat that is counteractive to building and maintaining muscle.

Building muscle should be gradual process. Start off with six days of walking to get your body ready for the increase in activity and muscle building. You will want to take 40 minute walks at brisk pace. You should not be out of breathe but you should be breathing heavy.

On the second day of your workout regiment, you should walk and pick 8 dumbbell exercises. There are plenty of websites ad exercise magazines that will have a variety of exercises to choose from. You will want to do as many sets as you can comfortably do. On the third day, do some circuit training. The Fourth day should be spent walking or 40 minutes. On the fifth day you should return to the dumbbell routine that you did on day two.

Do not reduce your calories too much if you are trying to build muscles. You will end up being too tired to do the activities that work to increase muscle mass. Without the right nutrients for your body, you will wind up wasting all of your muscle building techniques.

Final Words On Weight Loss and Maintenance

No matter what weight you are at or are trying to get, you should be focused on health. Getting into that dress for your brother’s wedding is less important than making sure that you blood pressure and cholesterol are in check. Being able to get in workouts that last between 30 and 60 minutes is more important than running several marathons a year. Taking care of your body and watching your weight for health purposes is more important than impressing others or fitting into certain clothes.

Do not compare your weight loss to others. It is not realistic to expect to lose the exact m amount of weight that your friend loses even if you are eating the same things and have the same workouts. It can be great to have a workout buddy or a diet buddy but it needs to be healthy competition. Not a race to see who can lose the most weight. Make sure that you are losing weight for yourself and not for others.

Works Cited

Austen, Denise. “Denise austin’s morning stretch”.
September 6, 2008. retrieved: September 6, 2008.

Rogers, Paul

10 Weight Loss Myths To Waste Your Time retrieved September 4, 2008.

Schlosberg, Suzanne. Make over your abs. SHAPE January 2005.Volume 24, Number 5

Shepelavy, Roxanne Patel. 8 Steps to a healthy heart. Women’s Health Magazine, January/February 2007 retrieved on September 3,2008

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