I share anything that works no matter what the source – anything that can lead to a happier and healthier life! There is so much information out there it’s often overwhelming and I for one often just throw up my hands in confusion and do nothing!
So this website seeks to change all that by reviewing all the latest info and boiling it down to simple and easy things that you and I can actually use in our everyday lives! Nothing complicated. Nothing time-consuming. It’s going to be a fun ride. For instance, read my short post about the myth of drinking 8 glasses of water a day – finally some clarity and you’ll be surprised by the truth!
Visit often because new discoveries happen nearly every day in the areas of health, fitness and nutrition.
Oh and by the way, I accept guest posts on anything that helps you live a healthier and happier life.
New research finds that the way u talk to yourself affects your
Saying to yourself, “You can do it!” rather than “I
can do it!” will give u a better workout.
“Using the second person seems to emulate the type of direction
and support we received from family and teachers growing up,” says
coauthor Sandra Dolcos, a postdoc research associate at the U of
Illinois. We are conditioned by our past to perform for others.”
There are a few mistakes most all of us make as beginner exercisers. And as long term exercisers, too! Here’s what they are and how to avoid them!
1. The biggest mistake most of us make is this: sports drinks are mostly a waste! Anytime you workout for less than 60 to 90 minutes at a time, a sport drink is of absolutely no value. Water and some fresh fruit are just as good and far healthier for you.
2. If you’re trying to lose weight with exercise, be aware that there is a tremendous tendency to eat more after a workout. If weight loss is your goal you simply need to resist this impulse otherwise your weight loss efforts will fail! Studies show that people who workout tend to consume not only more food but also lower quality food. Don’t be that person.
3. Most people who workout don’t drink enough fluids! Thirst is not always the best gauge of hoow much water your body needs. Studies show that even experienced exercisers such as professional bike riders and runners underestimate when their body’s need water 70% of the time! So the best strategy is to drink more than you think you need. Or try this trick often used by the pros: weigh yourself before your workout and then after. For each pound lost drink 2 cups of water.
10% of adults have neck pain and the numbers are growing due mostly to our increasing use of computers.
Most neck pain is mild with symptoms of dull pain or stiffness in the back of the neck or upper back. It is triggered mostly by overuse and the forward leaning of the head while working in front of a computer screen, over a workbench, or long hours driving. It is usually not a serious problem, but can be annoying and interfere with daily tasks and concentration.
More serious but rare neck pain is caused by joint and disk degeneration.
Surprisingly, the best care for neck pain is regular exercise particularly gentle stretching. The most oft prescribed are three quick and simple but very effective exercises: 1. Head rotation: slowly rotate the head from side to side keeping the chin level. Hold it at the further end of each rotation for at least 30 seconds. 2. Neck tilt: tip the head to one side and hold for 30 seconds. Now do the same on the other side. 3. Neck bend: bend your neck forward as far as you can go and hold for 30 seconds. Do the same bending back.
Keeping your head upright in a proper posture is also key to relieving neck pain. Interestingly, this is one of the key principles of Pilates, a form of exercise I have found to be extremely effective for the relief of neck and back pain. We practice using the ‘long neck’ which can be applied outside of your Pilates workout while you sit at a desk, drive a car, wait in line at the supermarket, and even while you stand in the shower.
Be sure to consult your doctor before applying these exercises to your neck pain.
This is an excellent recent article I just found that finally clarifies how much water we REALLY need each day! You’ll be surprised! And it’s all research-based. The bottom line? Just drink when your body tells you your thirsty! But this brief article is just so intelligent and interesting that I’ve reproduced it here. For more of Katie’s outstanding blog go to www.theactivetimes.com. She posts nearly every day on fascinating health and fitness issues – highly recommended!
“We’ve all heard the advice, “drink at least 8 glasses of water a day” to stay hydrated and healthy. In fact, you’ve probably heard it as many times as you’ve been told to look both ways before your cross the street or brush your teeth before bed.
However, according to Andy Blow, co-founder and Sports Scientist at Precision Hydration and a Red Bull High Performance partner, this rule that everyone and their mother loves to tout is probably not the best guide for achieving optimal hydration.
“It’s a bit like the ‘how long is a piece of string’ question. It depends a lot on your size, activity level, sweat rate and so on. The range of potential fluid requirements amongst people is huge,” says Blow.
In other words, everyone’s fluid requirements are different and the amount of water you should drink on a daily basis depends on a range of individual factors. But if this is true, then how can you figure out an appropriate amount to drink?
“I think what it is best to say is that if you largely drink according to the dictates of thirst, and try to make sure the vast majority of your fluid intake comes from water you won’t be very far wrong,” says Blow.
He also recommends adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet because of their high liquid contents.
“If you can include a lot of these into your regular diet you will be doing your hydration levels a favor, as well as your general health,” he says.
When it comes to athletes and avid exercisers, Blow says that even though most are primarily concerned with avoiding dehydration, over-hydration is actually a much more common problem.
“This can be especially problematic if athletes drink excessive amounts of low sodium fluids over several hours, usually immediately before and during an event, and end up diluting the levels of sodium in their blood,” says Blow “If it goes unchecked, this can result in hyponatremia, a potentially deadly condition where the brain swells due to having to absorb excess fluid from the blood.”
The best way to avoid over-hydrating is simply to drink to thirst. If you’re getting ready for a big event or an intense training session you can increase your fluid intake slightly.
“In the final 48 hours before events and big training sessions we advise a lot of athletes to increase their fluid intake by an extra 500-750ml or so on top of their normal intake with some extra sodium in it to help the body absorb more of this additional fluid without diluting the blood,” says Blow.”
Finally some clarity!!! Oh and if you must take that bottle of water to your workout, fill a used one or buy a container so we can all begin to stop buying plastic bottled water – these plastic bottles are now the most prevalent plastic containers in the world!
So many people are turning to juicing and blending to prevent diseases, fight existing illnesses, boost their energy, delay aging and so much more!
Fruit juices and vegetable juices are power-packed with amino acids, enzymes, essential fatty acids, essential vitamins and minerals that you just can’t get from any other source, even the best supplements!
For instance, let’s look at aging and how fresh juice has been proven to make a difference!
As people get older, the body becomes less able to process nutrients. To compensate for this and keep the body healthy and strong, people who are aging need to take in more vitamins and minerals, which can help to delay aging. There are a lot of supplements available today that contain vitamins and minerals; however, fresh fruits and vegetables are still considered the best sources. Compared to supplements, fresh produce provide the nutrients more potently, thus more nutrients are absorbed by the body. Fresh juice provides a concentrated form of nutrients.
When the body has too many free radicals, the health and longevity of a person is put at risk. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices provide the body with antioxidants that defend the body against damage caused by free radicals that lead to chronic degenerative diseases as well as aging. There are particular antioxidants that are considered best for warding off free radicals. These include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid, and carotenoids.
Vitamin C is one of the essential nutrients and is a powerful antioxidant. It’s been proven to reduce the chances of certain age-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cataracts and Parkinson’s disease.
Carotenoids are found in various types of fruits and vegetables, from the carotenes in bright yellow, orange and red produce to zanthophylls in green produce. These carotenoids increase the body’s immunity and lessen the incidence of conditions that are common with aging such as cataracts, heart disease, macular degeneration and stroke.
Proantho-cyanadins or PCOs, which are found in vegetables, are known as powerhouse antioxidants, because they are 20 to 50 times more potent than vitamins C or E. They lower the levels of bad cholesterol known as LDL and prevent the hardening of arteries.
Healthy greens such as barley grass, chlorella, green tea and spirulina are often added to homemade juices and smoothies, because they contain large amounts of antioxidants and nutrients that strengthen the immune system, thus warding off disease and delaying aging.
Gingko biloba is known as a super herb when it comes to anti-aging. It is a powerful antioxidant that promotes blood circulation in the extremities and the brain. It helps increase the brain’s tolerance for oxygen deficiency and it also helps prevent oxygen deprivation to the heart as well as nerve damage caused by toxic chemicals.
Vitamin K also helps ward off certain signs of aging. It reduces the chances of developing bone-related disorders such as osteoporosis. It also helps prevent the incidence of heart disease, blood vessel disorders, stroke, arteriosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
A growing number of the aging population experiences degeneration of mental sharpness, loss of memory and dementia. Studies show that diet plays a huge role in this. Blueberries, for instance, have been found to contain chemicals that actually improve brain function.
Research has shown that special juicing recipes may delay brain aging. In a study, apple juice was found to combat mental decline by protecting the brain cells in normal aging. The relatively high levels of mental acuity or increased sharpness were attributed to the antioxidant levels contained in the juice. Another study, which compared people who drank fresh fruit juices or fresh vegetable juices three or more times a week and those who only drank the juice once a week, found that fresh fruit and vegetable juices may lessen the chances of developing Alzheimers disease by as much as seventy-six percent. They attributed this effect to polyphenols. The skins of freshly juiced fruits and vegetables contain high concentrations of these organic antioxidants, which are delivered quickly to the bloodstream.
These are just a few of the marvelous benefits of juicing and smoothies. Time to stir-up your own juice and smoothie recipes today! Oh, and consider adding a little wheatgrass to every recipe – more about this ‘superfood’ in a future post.
We all know that we need regular exercise for a healthy body. But did you know that we all need certain essential kinds of exercise? If you didn’t know this you are not alone. Few people do!
I wish this were taught in every secondary school. If I’d known this when I first became involved in sports, I would have developed a healthier exercise habit early enough to avoid injuries!
The Essential Exercises
Exercise science has found that the body needs 3 different kinds of exercise to maintain health – strength training, stretching, and cardiovascular conditioning, better known as aerobics or simply cardio. The most important point is that any one of these exercises alone will not keep you healthy! In other words, you may be sweating bullets running daily to keep in shape, but if this is all you do for exercise, you’re in trouble!
Why Are They So Important
If you favor any one of the 3 essential exercises, you place yourself at risk! Here’s why. Let’s look at aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming, hiking, biking – anything that elevates your heart rate. This kind of exercise keeps your heart healthy. Stretching and strength training do not. Aerobic exercise is essential for heart health, but it does not build muscle. This is particularly important because men and women begin to slowly lose muscle tissue all over the body starting in early adulthood.
The importance of muscle cannot be over-emphasized. Muscle protects our joints. If we neglect strength building exercises our joints become vulnerable to injury. This is one of the reasons we have so many back, knee, and shoulder problems.
Muscle also provides balance which prevents falls and injuries. This is particularly important as we get older since most injuries among the elderly are due to falls.
How Much Do We Need?
Cardio exercise is generally recommended for 30 minutes a day. Strength training is best every other day to allow time enough for muscle to recover and build. The most recent research on stretching indicates that as little as 3 times a week is beneficial, but those who stretch up to 6 times a week achieve more range of motion. Additional research indicates that dynamic stretch as found in Pilates and gymnastics may be more beneficial than static stretch as found in yoga. In my experience stretching of any kind is a cure-all, and the more the better!
The important point to remember is that anything you do for a workout program must include all three exercises.
Does Any Program Include All Three
Yes! The Pilate mat routine is one of only a few exercise methods that includes all three. You get stretching and strength training combined in every Pilates exercise. At advanced levels you can go from one exercise to another without pause thereby adding cardio exercise for a complete workout.
It’s Pilates MAT exercise and not the machinery. I don’t mean to discourage Pilates machinery, but it’s very difficult if not impossible to sustain your recommended target heart rate when pausing to adjust machines.
Which Program Is Best
Although I believe that Pilates delivers more benefits than any other exercise method, the better question is not what’s best but rather what exercise does the best job at keeping us exercising? In other words, how do we overcome the single greatest challenge all of us face with regular exercise which is boredom!
No single exercise is the answer. Any and all exercise programs will eventually lead to boredom. The best answer is an exercise ‘Tool Bag’ containing a variety of activities we do for daily exercise. When one becomes boring, grab another. Just keep exercising!
We need 3 distinct kinds of exercise for our health – cardio, strength training, and stretching. Certain exercise programs combine all three into one complete workout. The best is Pilates, but no one exercise is as good as a “tool bag” of many enjoyable activities that keep you exercising on a daily basis – for the rest of your life!
My dad is in his 80’s and still jogs daily. My neighbor Jack is about to turn 101 and still walks a couple miles daily with just a walking stick. However he just announced that he’s going to start using a second walking stick “so I can watch the girls as they pass by!”
Gone are the days when a doctor suggests easing off exercise as you age. It’s now the exact opposite. You are never too old to exercise. But we now know that exercise provides much more than fitness for the older body. Consider these benefits:
Exercise is the best way to reduce the inevitable pain in our aging joints.
It’s the best way to boost our immune system and reduce illness.
It’s the best way to maintain our balance and balance is the best way to reduce the risk of falling and injury, and falls among the elderly often lead to hip fractures which are the greatest precursor to death among the elderly.
Exercise delays the effects of aging everywhere in our body even in the brain by heightening memory and mood.
Let’s look more closely at the many benefits of exercise for the older adult.
Exercising greatly slows down the body’s aging process by constantly strengthening your muscles and your bones. All fitness experts recommend that exercise continue into our elder years – strength training, stretching, and cardio – as it not only improves your body’s overall strength, but it also decreases the risk of back injury and arthritis.
Exercising increases your energy levels by improving your physical body’s endurance. When your body remains inactive for long periods of time, you get tired more easily. Brisk walking or jogging negates this by keeping your body moving, therefore increasing your endurance. Increased endurance helps your body’s cells to produce more energy.
Exercising helps your mind work more efficiently by improving blood circulation, thereby allowing your heart to pump more blood and deliver more oxygen into the brain. Cardio exercises are excellent methods to combat mental illnesses such as Alzheimer’s.
Exercising boosts your body’s immune system, which fights disease and illness, and decreases the time it takes to recover from illness and injury. As exercising increases the oxygen levels in your body, your cells become healthier and are able to function more efficiently.
Exercising decreases the risk of your body developing high blood pressure. By removing the excess fat in your body, your blood pressure stabilizes and allows proper flow throughout all of your body’s organs. If you already have high blood pressure, exercising can improve this condition reducing and even eliminating the need for medication.
Exercising decreases the risk of getting heart disease and stroke. Exercising regularly strengthens the muscles of your heart and improves your blood flow so your heart doesn’t overwork, which is the main cause of heart disease.
Exercising improves your metabolism by activating hormones that stimulate digestion and energy production. Exercise regulates appetite naturally.
Exercising decreases the risk of your body getting diabetes by regulating the insulin producing process of your pancreas.
Exercising helps you maintain your ideal body weight by burning the calories you eat rather than storing them as fat. Exercise prevents excessive weight gain which is a factor for most diseases.
So don’t reduce your exercise as you get older. You needn’t increase it either! Simply increase your intensity. I’m particularly interested in core exercises because they not only keep you healthy but they also restore the muscle tissue that we all lose naturally and slowly but surely as we get older. Core exercises are also an excellent home workout, and the best way to strengthen and maintain balance which reduces the risk of falls and injuries in our later years.