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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Workouts for Beginners and Couch Potatoes

Image in Public Domain courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 Four Simple and Fun Exercise DVDs that Will Get You Off the Sofa!



When it comes to establishing an exercise program, getting started is the hardest part. And since most people dread the idea of "exercising", ranking it right up there with a dentist appointment, it's important that beginners start a routine that doesn't knock them out of the game after one workout.

Often, when a couch potatoe decides to start a get-in-shape program, they will tackle an advanced workout with gusto, using rusty joints and surprised muscles. The result? They can barely get out of bed the next morning and don't do it again. A better approach is to incorporate thirty minutes of exercise into their day, choosing a workout that will get their heart pumping and work their muscles, but at a level their body can handle.

The right strategy is to incorporate a daily exercise routine into an already busy schedule in such a way that it will become a habit. As their level of fitness increases, they can intensify their workouts by adding in more difficult moves or hand weights, or tackling a longer workout.

Workouts for Beginners
Here are four exercise routines that beginners can use to begin their journey toward a lifetime of fitness. They'll be energized after each of these workouts and feel it in their muscles the next day, but not enough to dread doing it again. No equipment is needed with any of these routines, and for a complete review of each workout, click on the titles below.  (Continue Reading Workouts for Beginners and Couch Potatoes here.)

Review of the Slim Down Calorie Burn Workout



Image in Public Domain courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
 
Rev Up Your Exercise Engine with Kendell Hogan



It can be hard to find a good cardio workout that isn't too difficult, but the Slim Down Calorie Burn workout from the Enviga Calorie Burn series is just the right blend of aerobic intensity and simple moves. It
competes well with the walking exercise videos for beginners, but provides enough of an aerobic challenge that those with a higher level of fitness and workout experience won't be bored.

Exercise Video Reviewed: Slim Down Calorie Burn

Instructor: Kendell Hogan
Exercise Level: Beginner to Mid-level
Total Workout time: 35 minutes (includes warm-up)
Equipment needed: Just your athletic shoes!
Estimated calories burned (using Calorie Count's Database): Approximately 190
To purchase or see an example of the workout, go here: Slim Down Calorie Burn

Rating of Workout Video (1-5 stars, 5 is best)
*Easy to follow: 4 stars
*Fun moves: 5 stars
*Total body workout: 5 stars
*Motivating: 5 stars
*Music: 5 stars

What to Expect from the Slim Down Calorie Burn Workout

I found Kendell Hogan to be a motivating instructor as he leads a series of exercise steps that feels much like a high energy line dance. (Continue Review of the Slim Down Calorie Burn Workout here.)

My Personal Experience with Hoodia

Weightloss Help or Hype?


Every person on a restricted diet looks for ways to ward off hunger. Is it possible that the Hoodia gordonii plant grown in Africa is the answer? Here's what I found out.

What is Hoodia?
Hoodia is a species in the flowering plant family Apocynaceae. Wikipedia describes it as a "cactiform" because of its succulent characteristics that make it similar to varieties of the cactus family (although not botanically related). Most Hoodia species are protected, and have been used over the years for medicinal purposes. It grows naturally in South Africa and Namibia, and has garnered wide interest over the years for its possible benefit as an appetite suppressant.

Uses of Hoodia Gordonii
The South African populations have used Hoodia for many years to treat indigestion and infections. But it is their use of the plant for centuries as an appetite suppressant that has companies around the world taking notice. The claim is that during times of famine or when African Bushmen set out on long hunting trips in the Kalahari Desert, they chewed on the meat of the succulent plant to stave off hunger.

Hoodia Gordonii: Dieting Hype?
According to Wikipedia, it was in 1977 that the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) isolated the ingredient in Hoodia, known as P57, which is credited with suppressing appetite. The Sans tribespeople retain the rights to Hoodia, and will share in all profits from the sale of Hoodia products across the planet.

What should you know about Hoodia?
(Continue reading about My Personal Experience with Hoodia here.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Preventing Cancer with a Low Calorie Diet

Image by beglib/morguefile.com

Eat Foods on the Low End of the Glycemic Index to Live Longer!


Cutting back on calories may be the silver bullet when it comes to cancer prevention. Why, and what foods are best?
 
Cancer Prevention Factors

According to the book, The Okinawa Program written by Bradley J. Willcox, MD, D. Craig Willcox, PhD, and Makoto Suzuki, MD, there are eight factors that protect against hormone-dependent cancers:

1. Low Calories

2. Vegetables and Fruits

3. Good Fats

4. Low glycemic index and High-fiber foods

5. Flavonoids

6. Moderate alcohol consumption

7. Low body fat levels

8. High level of physical activity
The doctors have placed "low calories" as the number one factor for a reason.!
Low Calorie Studies

The National Institute on Aging has conducted studies of primates in regard to a low-calorie diet. Their studies show that a low-calorie diet improves blood sugar control, provides mental sharpness and creates a younger looking and leaner body.

During their study, the research group for The Okinawa Program, monitored caloric intake in Okinawans in an effort to understand the secrets of this population who they herald as being the "world's longest-lived people" who have achieved, "healthy longevity". They found that Okinawans traditionally eat 40 percent fewer calories than North Americans. Their caloric reduction has been noticed by the New England Journal of Medicine, which suggests it to be one of the reasons that Okinawans have such a long-life expectancy.

Continue reading "Preventing Cancer with a Low Calories Diet"

5 Health Websites Worth Bookmarking

Online Medical Resources that Will Help You Stay Informed and Healthy


When you need information on health-related topics, the internet is a powerful tool. Whether you need quick emergency information, detailed explanation of a recent medical diagnosis or recipes for a special diet, it's easy to get answers with just a few clicks. Here are five websites that will help you find valuable medical information fast!

MayoClinic.com

The Mayo Clinic describes itself on its website as follows: "The Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of virtually every type of complex illness." Mayo Clinic has physical medical facilities in Rochester, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Florida and Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, but no matter where you live, you can access their expertise any time of day online! Their website provides health information and medical opinions regarding a wide variety of diseases and their symptoms, drugs, and nutritional supplements. They explain medical testing and procedures, offer first aid advice, and are a free healthy lifestyle advisor. I highly recommend using the Mayo Clinic Health Manager as a tool to maintain your health records and obtain your health risks for various conditions.

Wellsphere.com

Wellsphere employs the expertise of a long list of knowledgeable partners and medical experts in an effort to help their readers live healthier and happier lives. Their WellPages section acts as the centerpost for finding information on almost every health topic imaginable. Just enter your medical concern into the search box to be connected to the section that relates to your issue. There you can review articles on the topic, review the most popular Q&A's, join a community or watch a related video. If you are going out to dinner, you can review menu choices through their Wellternatives tool to determine the healthy-eating rating of the restaurant and the nutritional values of your typical menu choice. If there is a healthier alternative it will be recommended.

Continue Reading "5 Health Websites Worth Bookmarking"

Good Food Sources of Vitamin A

Staying healthy isn't just about our weight! Read up!


Image courtesy of frenchbyte/morguefile.com

Vitamin A: An Essential Nutrient for Eye Health


Vitamin A is required for healthy eyes, specifically the retina. It is also required for for strong teeth, healthy skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes and skin. Additionally, it plays an important role in reproduction, immune function, cell division and hormone synthesis.

How Much Vitamin A is Required for Good Health?

The recommended dietary allowance for Vitamin A depends on a person's age and gender, and increased amounts are required during pregnancy and lactation. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that 3 cups of dark, leafy green vegetables and 2 cups orange vegetables will easily meet your required daily dose of Vitamin A. To determine your personal daily requirement check MSN's Nutrient Library chart here.

Vitamin A Deficiency Symptoms

One third of children under five have Vitamin A deficiency, which equates to approximately 670,000 children around the globe! The largest incidence of Vitamin A deficiency occurs in Southeast Asia and Africa, and according to Wikipedia, 500,000 children become blind each year due to this deficiency.

Continue reading "Good Food Sources of Vitamin A")

Join the Healthy Halloween Movement

Image courtesy of cohdra/morguefile.com

Childhood Diabetes and Obesity Scream Out for More Spooky and Less Candy!


Halloween is the night when ghouls and witches are allowed to roam the neighborhood for a reward of candy and treats. But with diabetes and obesity nearly epidemic in the U.S., it's time to look at ways to keep the spooky alive while focusing less on unhealthy sweets.

Diabetes and Obesity Statistics

Halloween can pose a medical dilemma for millions of people who want to participate in the scariest of all nights!

Diabetes: The American Diabetes Association website states that 23.6 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes (almost 8% of all Americans) with another 57 million people pre-diabetic. Additionally, one in every 400 to 600 children has type1 diabetes, with another 2 million children aged 12-19 pre-diabetic.

Obesity: The CDC has stated that obesity in the U.S. has increased dramatically over the past twenty years with thirty-three states claiming 25% of its population as obese. 17% of children and adolescents under nineteen are obese in our country, with an astonishing 10% of children between the ages of 2 to 5 considered obese!


NYC: Healthy Halloween and Green Halloween Team up

Last year on October 1, 2009, a Healthy Halloween pilot program was launched in New York City in response to the childhood diabetes and obesity epidemic our country faces. It was called Green Halloween in NYC, which included street parties, complete with a gala costume affair, street artists , DJs, parades and floats. Their goal was to put the kabosh on "sugary snacks" and "cheap throwaway plastic decorations", replacing them with creative fun and healthy food.

Continue Reading "Join the Healthy Halloween Movement" here.)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Workouts for Beginners and Couch Potatoes

Four Simple and Fun Exercise DVDs that Will Get You Off the Sofa!


When it comes to establishing an exercise program, getting started is the hardest part. And since most people dread the idea of "exercising", ranking it right up there with a dentist appointment, it's important that
beginners start a routine that doesn't knock them out of the game after one workout.
 
Often, when a couch potatoe decides to start a get-in-shape program, they will tackle an advanced workout with gusto, using rusty joints and surprised muscles. The result? They can barely get out of bed the next morning and don't do it again. A better approach is to incorporate thirty minutes of exercise into their day, choosing a workout that will get their heart pumping and work their muscles, but at a level their body can handle.


The right strategy is to incorporate a daily exercise routine into an already busy schedule in such a way that it will become a habit. As their level of fitness increases, they can intensify their workouts by adding in more difficult moves or hand weights, or tackling a longer workout.

(Continue reading here)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Have Sex and Lose Weight?

A Steamy Lovemaking Session Can Burn 200 Calories!
Image courtesy of Jacob Appelbaum/wikimedia commons

Everyone knows that losing weight requires eating less and exercising more. So, can sex help a woman in regard to both? The answer appears to be yes!


Almost every woman has experienced losing weight after beginning a torrid love affair, right? The reason for this involves three things: the euphoric high that a new passionate relationship creates, a busier schedule that leaves little time for eating, and the thermogenic energy of all that body heat!

More Sex, Less Food?

Often the start of a new love affair involves fitting a relationship into an already hectic schedule. Somewhere between homework and laundry, kid's soccer practice and teacher nights, a 50-hour workweek and yard work, lovers must carve time for a budding romance and steamy trysts!

Often this busier schedule diverts attention away from the refrigerator, and toward preparation for a date or cuddling on the couch with that new love interest. Attention quickly shifts from boredom-filling activities like nibbling on popcorn, with more time spent on personal hygiene, changing the sheets and shopping for that perfect outfit!


Oprah.com's May 2009 article, "The Easier Way to Diet" by Martha Beck, supports this sex-over-food theory. Beck says, "If you've ever fallen in love, you probably did this (lose weight) by accident. In the throes of new romance, our beastie brain is focused on bonding and mating, not food. Emotional eating? Who needs it? Staying active? No problem! 'The pounds just melted off,' people say of their falling-in-love phase."

(Continue reading "Have Sex and Lose Weight?")

Pasta Alternatives for Weightloss

Whole Grain, Low Carb and Healthy Spaghetti Substitutes
Image courtesy of DoceurCosmos/wikimedia commons

What is better than a plateful of spaghetti and meatballs? How about a plateful of a healthier pasta alternative that tastes just as good, but won't run your diet in the ditch? There are lots of pasta options today that can reduce the calories and carbs in your favorite dishes. So, if you crave pasta dishes, but are trying to lose weight, read on for ideas to stay on track!

First, a Reminder About Refined Grain Products


A majority of Americans today eat a diet full of refined grains lacking much nutritional value. When dieting, cutting out the refined "white" foods from your diet is an effective way to lose weight.

The Care2 website gives healthy and green living tips. Their article, "Whole Grains Vs. Refined Grains" explains how most of the nutrients are removed when grains are milled. "Modern milling of whole cereal grains puts the kernel through a high-heat milling process that removes the germ and bran (which contain 90 percent of the nutritional content of the kernel), leaving only the endosperm (starch). The starch is then ground into different sizes for different purposes. The result is "refined" flour." They tells us that refined wheat flour is so nutritionally insufficient bugs die eating it in silos! Also, foods that contain refined grains are higher on the glycemic index than whole grains, which can play havoc with blood sugar levels.

(Continue Reading "Pasta Alternatives for Weight Loss")

Monday, March 15, 2010

Can Hot Chili Peppers Help You Lose Weight?


by Jan Peterson
(Image courtesy of xandert/morguefile)

Pop a Few Jalapenos and Boost Your Metabolism!

Hot chili peppers are used in many dishes in the United States Southwest where they are served up almost everywhere, from the corner taco stand to the trendiest restaurants. And while many dishes that include hot peppers can be greasy and fattening, the peppers themselves can actually encourage weight loss!

Hot Peppers Contain Capsaicin

Capsaicin is an active component in hot peppers, including jalapenos, chili peppers and red peppers. The Jalapeno Madness website states that Capsaicin is thermogenic, stimulating the body's fat burning furnace thereby increasing metabolism. Wikipedia's Capsaicin entry supports this, saying "According to animal and human studies, the oral intake of capsaicin may increase the production of heat by body [sic] for a short time."
And luckily, in the food preparation or storage process that might be involved when using chili peppers, it is helpful to know that capsaicin can survive both the cooking and freezing processes. Hot peppers are low on the glycemic index and can also provide satiety, helping you feel full quicker!

Continue reading "Can Hot Chili Peppers Help You Lose Weight?"

Friday, January 29, 2010

Salad Dressing Choices: Which Are Best when Dieting?

 Image courtesy of beglib/morguefile.com

 Low Fat, Low Carb, Low Calorie?


The typical situation is this: the scale number is up and the jeans won't zip, so the diet is on! We resolve to eat smarter and exercise more. But as good as our intentions are, how do we do that? What is eating smarter? And which salad dressing is best?

Pick a Diet, any Diet

The answer to which salad dressing is best, is: "It depends."

Obesity and the diet business is a multi-billion dollar industry. There are many types of diets today and many of us have tried a few. So, when picking specific foods, the first place to start is to decide whether your diet approach will be low fat, low carb, or simply low calorie. It's up to you and your dietician or doctor to determine which approach might be best for you.


For me personally, leaning toward low carb works best for me. But I learned while dieting on the Medi-Weightloss program, whereby I lost 40 pounds, that calories and portion size are just as important. So, I've learned to adjust my thinking away from believing that just because something is low carb it will make me skinny. Having said that, you know how your metabolism works. You know how you've lost weight in the past. Pick the diet that gets that scale headed in the right direction and makes you feel good. If you haven't found a diet that does that, read up, pick one and stick with it to give it a chance to provide results.

Continue reading, "Salad Dressing Choices: Which are Best when Dieting?"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Valentine Gift Ideas for Ladies on a Diet


Image courtesy of Cohdra/morguefile.com

Valentine's Day is when lovers express their adoration of each other, often by a heart-shaped box of chocolates. But if that special lady is dieting, what's a guy to do?

If a woman is dieting when Valentine's Day rolls around, a smart man won't even bring up the fact that his lady is on a diet. He will just find an alternative to those chocolate covered cherries that she'll love even more!