Fitness & Wellness

Healthy Facts

Healthy Facts


It’s time to take a look at some healthy facts that you might not already know. If you’re living a sedentary lifestyle or eating unhealthy foods, these may be facts that will save your life. If you’re already on the road to fitness, you’ll probably find some of these interesting or inspiring and help you stay firmly on the path to good health.

Did you know that for every minute you participate in moderate exercise, you gain seven minutes of life. Your life is not just longer, it’s healthier too.

That fact came from a study called,”Leisure Time Physical Activity of Moderate to Vigorous Intensity and Mortality: A Large Pooled Cohort Analysis,” published November 6, 2012. People who participated in brisk walking gained 1.8 years, while those who had more than the recommended 150 minutes of activity gained a healthy 3.4 to 4.5 years. Those who were active and of normal weight gained 7.1 years.

According to the CDC, regular exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health.

Not only does exercising help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and even osteoporosis, it can help control those conditions if you already have them. It helps lower blood pressure, makes your muscles more sensitive to insulin so you absorb more glucose from the blood and strengthens the heart muscle so it pumps more efficiently. Because your heart pumps more efficiently, all cells in your body reap benefits from the oxygen laden blood that flows to them. It also boosts your immune system, which can help fight both serious and minor diseases.

Obesity has now taken over as the primary cause of preventable deaths.

While smoking will still shorten your life, there’s another, more serious condition that will cause illness and death, obesity. More than one third of our nation is classified as obese and the additional medical cost of that obesity in 2008 was $147 billion dollars in the US. Even without obesity, diet and lack of exercise alone accounted for 18 percent of preventable deaths, a number that was up from 14 percent 20 years previously. The good news is that you’re never too old to start making lifestyle changes by adding regular exercise and a healthier diet.

Several studies show that weight bearing exercises and strength training can be more effective to build bone density and slow bone loss than most medications.

Exercise is a stress buster. It burns off the hormones created by stress that can play havoc with our bodies. Since these hormones prepare the body for flight or fight, a good workout makes sense to eliminate them.

Regular exercise can improve how well you think. It not only helps you sleep better and clears away the cobwebs caused by stress, it also helps build new brain cells and connections.

Exercise and a healthy diet can slow aging and even improve your sex life!

As you become fitter, you’ll also start to see your self-confidence rise. You’ll have plenty of confidence to break down other barriers and never feel stuck again.

Does Workout Gear Matter?

Does Workout Gear Matter?

Workout Gear

Workout gear is important, but doesn’t necessarily have to be fashionable or stylish. When you workout, you need clothing that allows you to move comfortably, but also provides support where you need support. It should be layered, so as you warm up and start to sweat, you can remove a layer to remain your most comfortable. Spending an exorbitant amount of money on most of the clothing is unnecessary, except for one item. You should have good shoes that provide support and be made for more than looks. They should be made for action.

Layering allows you to keep your muscles warm until you get warm.

In the chillier months, coming to the gym in shorts isn’t always a good decision. That’s where layering helps. You can wear a short sleeve or sleeveless top under a lightweight hoodie or jacket that will keep you warm until your arrival and warm-up ends. Sweat pants over shorts is also a good idea at that time. As you warm up and the sweat starts to roll, take your clothing down to the shorts and top. Make sure both have fabric next to your skin that draws the sweat away from your body, so you don’t feel cold and clammy afterward or hot and sweaty in the summer.

Match your workout gear to your workout.

In most cases, you’ll be working in the gym, where shorts, sports bra and t-shirt or singlet for women works well and shorts and t-shirt is appropriate for men. If you decide to take your workout outside, you need to dress for the weather. Anyone that runs knows sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, so having emergency rain gear you can carry in your pocket may be a lifesaver and keep you warmer during a winter, spring or fall shower. Of course, again the right type of shoes are important.

Make sure you get quality shoes.

Your feet often take a real pounding during a workout, so having the best possible footwear can be important. In fact, it is far more important than having high fashion workout clothing. There are so many types of shoes from which to choose, unless you have oodles of money and buy them all, you’ll probably have to choose one or two pairs that fit your needs best. Cross training shoes or a comfortable running shoe works in most cases. The heavier you are, the more you’ll appreciate plenty of cushioning.

Since workout clothing is acceptable wear many places outside of a gym. Focus your attention to comfortable clothing inside the gym and save those dazzling outfits for another place to show off your new gorgeous body.

Sweat bands and wrist bands can be as important as other workout gear. You’ll appreciate the head sweat band, especially when you have a tough workout that makes the sweat pour out of you.

If you need a boost of confidence, by all means, get new workout gear. Sometimes, that little boost can make a difference, even if it’s not a necessity.

You’ll see people dressed in all types of workout gear at a gym and not worrying about what others think of their attire. That’s because the reason to go to the gym is for the workout and focusing all their attention to it is what they do while they’re there. Most people seldom notice what others wear as long as it’s not too outrageous.

Time For Transformation

Time For Transformation

Life is short. In fact, it’s too short to waste time feeling sorry for yourself or complaining about your body or energy level. Use that time for transformation, instead. In fact, you can make substantial headway by just being aware of what you want to achieve. If you want to become slimmer, toner or have more energy, you need to make some lifestyle changes. Rather than continuously focusing on what you’re not, start focusing on what you have and what you are. You’ll find some great attributes when you do.

Create a plan of action.

Getting fit may not be the answer to all your problems, but it can help you feel more confident and in control, while also helping you to look your best and be your healthiest. Start by changing your lifestyle. If you smoke, quit. That’s easier said than done, unfortunately. The same is true about drinking alcoholic beverages frequently. The best place to start the transformation is securing the services of a professional or several professionals. Get a physical and talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program. You’ll benefit from using the services of a personal trainer to help map out your transformation into steps you can accomplish.

Stay on track.

Once you have a plan in action, the rest is simple. Follow that plan. If you’re working with a personal trainer, he or she will help you at every step, including creating the plan of action. Make sticking to your plan and exercising on a regular basis top priority. You’ll start to notice many changes after a few weeks. You’ll feel fantastic, develop more energy and notice you look better too.

Learn healthier eating habits and practice them.

Not only will eating healthier boost your immune system and help prevent serious illness, it also makes you feel fantastic and helps you lose weight. Losing weight, if you’re overweight, can be one of the best things you can do for yourself. Obesity is now the leading cause of preventable deaths, even passing smoking. You’ll start feeling better about yourself and have more energy in the process.

As soon as you start a fitness program, you’ll start to feel better about yourself. Studies show that just starting a program for fitness gives a boost to your self-image.

If you’re quitting habits such as smoking, working out is a great way to avoid weight gain. Not only does it help handle the stress of quitting, it gives you a dose of hormones that make you feel more relaxed and happy.

Eating healthier isn’t dieting. It’s making better choices when it comes to food, such as eating whole rice instead of white rice.

You’ll walk more confidently and feel good about yourself after you’ve practiced these lifestyle changes for a while.

Feel Amazing

Feel Amazing

Feel Amazing

If you want to feel amazing, start working out and eating healthier. After the first session, you’ll be tired, but you’ll also feel more relaxed and at ease. That’s because the exercise burned off the hormones created by stress that cause bodily changes for the fight or flight response. Left unchecked, they can cause damage to your body. As you exercise, it triggers the brain to create hormones that help prevent pain, but they also do something else, they make you feel at ease, happier and at peace. There are several types of hormones, with dopamine and endorphin as two of them.

Get your blood circulating.

There’s some long term “feel good” benefits from exercise too. You’ll build energy and put some bounce in your step. That extra energy is just one of the benefits you’ll enjoy. You’ll also feel stronger and ready to take on the world, or at least the house and yard work. Regular exercise sends oxygen and nutrient rich blood to all the cells of your body, making them healthier. It gives you a glow and a more youthful looking appearance.

Eating healthier gives you energy and helps you feel fantastic.

If you don’t provide the right type of fuel for a vehicle, that vehicle won’t run. Just imagine putting sugar in the tank. You could say good-bye forever to that car or truck. The same is true for your body. It needs the proper fuel, with nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. You’ll get all those from a diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables. What you don’t need are the preservatives and other additives often found in processed foods. They’re like sugar in your gas tank. In fact, sugar and white flour should also be avoided. You also don’t need extra calories that can add pounds.

Lose weight with regular exercise and a healthy diet.

A healthy diet isn’t dieting. It’s making smarter food choices that improve your nutrition and lower calorie intake. Exercise burns calories. It also builds muscle tissue and muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does, so it raises your metabolism. Today obesity is the leading cause of preventable deaths, surpassing even smoking. As you workout and eat healthy, you’ll notice you’ll also lose excess pounds. It’s like lifting a weight off your shoulders. In fact, it’s actually no longer carrying weight you’ve carried for a long time. You’ll feel amazing.

Getting plenty of sleep at night not only improves your health, it makes you feel good. Regular exercise helps you sleep better at night.

Practice random acts of kindness, get involved in worthy causes or do something for others. No matter what you do for someone else, you’ll get more out of it. If you love animals, create a bird or squirrel feeder, volunteer at a shelter or become an animal foster parent. Do something for others every day no matter how small it is.

Schedule your workout. If you have a block of time scheduled on your calendar, you’re more likely to keep that appointment. It keeps you on the straight and narrow.

Spend some time outdoors each day. You need to get vitamin D and the best way is from the sun. If you’re fair skinned or haven’t been out in the sun for a time, use skin block to prevent sunburn.

Improve The Quality Of Your Life

Improve The Quality Of Your Life

Improve the Quality of Your Life

Rather than just lengthening your life, you should find a way to lengthen and improve the quality of your life. Making lifestyle changes can help you do both, while also creating a purpose and meaning that will make the world a better place to live. It’s not the quantity of life that counts, but the quality. Lifestyle changes, such as an exercise program, healthier eating habits and a purpose to life can make all the difference. Humans were meant to eat real foods, remain active and remain useful their entire life. You won’t wear out your body by exercising, but it can rust away from lack of use.

You are what you eat.

While you’ll never turn into a bag of Doritos or a fresh tomato, you will have more of life’s energy from eating a fresh tomato. Our lifestyle has become a pattern of eating fast foods, over processed foods and “pretend foods” made of non-edible ingredients that are poisoning our bodies or robbing it of vital nutrients. You can change all that and add years to your life by changing your eating habits. Salt is NOT the only spice or herb you’re allowed to eat, nor is it the most beneficial. Turmeric, rosemary, oregano, chili peppers and cinnamon, just to name a few not only flavor foods, but add valuable nutrients. Healthy fats, such as flax seed oil, coconut oil or olive oil, can help you live healthier, but hydrogenated trans fat doesn’t. Eating whole foods, foods with minimal processing adds nutrients without adding calories. Learning to eat healthier can help you lose weight and regain your youthful vigor.

Regular exercise can clear the plaque from your arteries and give you a more youthful body.

Regular exercise can do so much for your body from making it stronger, adding endurance, creating more flexibility and helping to lose weight to aiding in preventing serious conditions. In fact, some studies show it might even help unblock arteries and does lower blood pressure. Adding a regular program of exercise to your schedule can keep you younger looking, more energetic and healthier.

Cut out stress and mellow out.

Sometimes exercise is enough to burn off the hormones created by stress, but if you are constantly stressing out over everything, it’s time to change your mind. You can learn to lower your stress levels by changing the way you think about things. If someone snaps at you for no apparent reason, you have several options, you can snap back at them, get angry and fret over it or just assume they’re having a horrible day and forget it. If it was caused by something you did, you can apologize and move on with your life. That can help lower stress levels and make you a happier person.

Learn to laugh again. Laughter is the best medicine in many cases. It fills your lungs with oxygen and helps you burn off the hormones created by stress, replacing them with ones that make you feel good.

Do random acts of kindness or take up a worthy cause. Many people don’t have a passion in life or don’t feel fulfilled because they have no purpose. Find a worthy purpose and work toward making it happen.

Stop smoking and/or excess alcohol intake. Both will shorten your life and your enjoyment of life.

Socialize more and meet new friends. People with an active social life often life longer and richer lives.

Firm And Flatten

Firm And Flatten

Firm and Flatten

Whether you want to firm and flatten your stomach, build or tone your muscles, lose weight or just feel healthier, if you follow a program designed specifically with your fitness level, goals and special needs in mind you’ll see results in as little as two weeks. While these results may not be what you eventually hope to achieve, they’re encouraging enough to keep you on the right track and motivated. A program created specifically for your needs gets faster results than any generic workout.

Losing weight may be necessary to flatten your tummy and that means eating healthier.

You’ll notice this says eating healthier, not dieting. Dieting is restrictive and a diet always ends, sometimes when you lose weight and sometimes abruptly. Then you go back to old eating habits and put the weight back on that you lost. Instead of dieting, learning how to eat healthier is a far better solution. A personal trainer can help you learn to make better food choices. It may mean making substitutions, such as eating vegetable spaghetti instead of pasta or cooking food differently, fried vs steamed, broiled or baked. When you learn how to eat healthier, you’ll never be hungry and find you end up loving the new types of foods your eat. It’s not all rice cakes and celery, but delicious savory foods.

All types of exercises are important.

While some exercises burn more calories than others do, you need all types of exercises for a healthier body that looks fantastic. Flexibility training not only works your muscles, it improves your range of motion to help prevent injury that can set any fitness program back for weeks or months. Strength training burns calories and builds muscles and endurance training builds your cardiovascular system and gets oxygen rich blood pumping to all areas of your body. You need all these types of exercise to have a well rounded program that will not only flatten your stomach it will burn calories to melt the fat that hides your firm flat tummy.

Drink plenty of fluid to help flush out toxins.

It might sound simplistic but drinking plenty of water can help you on your goal of a fatter stomach and also improve your overall health. Water not only flushes out toxins when you sweat, it keeps everything working in your digestive and elimination system. That reduces the bloat that may slow your progress toward a flat stomach.

Working out burns off the hormones created by stress. One of these hormones, cortisol, is linked to the development of abdominal fat.

Exercise helps improve your posture. Good posture can help keep your stomach flatter and firmer.

A program of regular exercise makes you feel fantastic. You’ll start looking forward to working out and that positive outlook will make you want to work even harder.

You’ll sleep better at night when you workout regularly and eat healthier. A good night’s sleep helps you from grabbing sugary snacks for energy that can cause you to gain weight or inhibit weight loss.

Raw Foods Diet

Raw Foods Diet

Raw Foods Diet

There’s been a lot of talk about the benefits of a raw foods diet. Some of it is sound and backed by research, but much of it is simply anecdotal and the experiences of one person. In all cases, however, a raw foods diet helps you lose weight, which helps many conditions from high blood pressure to diabetes. When you follow a raw foods diet, you eat organic foods that are not cooked above a temperature of 118 degrees, above that, it destroys nutrients and enzymes. Raw foods diets may lack certain nutrients necessary for a healthy body over the long term, unless you use a modified form.

Your blender takes over where your oven left off.

When you eat a raw foods diet, your best friend and kitchen accessory become the blender. Many of the meals prepared are in the form of a shake, which may contain everything from sprouts and kale to apples and peaches. Using organic foods is important to avoid consuming pesticides that often remain in the fruits or vegetables even after you wash them. Eating out can be a problem, particularly if you’re on a rigid form of the diet.

Consider a whole food diet or modified raw food diet.

While a raw food diet offers any nutrients and enzymes, it also doesn’t have many you need for a healthy life. Cooking actually enhances certain nutrients, such as lycopene and beta-carotene. It also can help kill harmful bacteria and makes some foods easier to digest. Rather than stick to strictly raw foods, using a modified form or a whole foods diet might be healthier and easier to follow. Whole foods are foods that have limited processing. You might not be able to eat shrimp on a raw food diet unless it’s extremely fresh or frozen fresh, because of the dangers of illness and toxins. You do have to insure all meats are processed carefully, such as marinating or smoking them. In most cases, people opt for the easier route of using a whole food diet with only a few foods cooked.

Changing your diet to as many whole or raw foods as possible can renew your body and your life force.

Raw foods provide all the nutrients nature intended for man, but also provides many enzymes necessary for digestion. The foods still contain the life force that cooking eliminates. These unprocessed foods are filling but far lower in calories, which helps you lose weight faster, so by including more into your diet, you have an opportunity to lose weight without the need for calorie counting.

Start any dietary change slowly, making smaller adjustments is far easier than changing everything at once. This holds true for all types of dietary changes, including whole and raw foods.

Consider getting a blender if you don’t already have one. You can make some excellent healthy shakes that have all the nutrients necessary and also taste delicious.

Many stores have a special section for raw foods and there are also many new recipes available so you won’t get bored just munching on fresh fruits and veggies. People who devote themselves to a raw or whole food lifestyle now have a delicious selection of foods for their family.

Some people attest to the health benefits of raw foods for curing everything. There’s no doubt when done right it’s healthy. However, you can ramp up the benefits by also adding regular exercise and stress relief to your program.

Fitness For Women Over 40

Fitness For Women Over 40

When women reach 40, they also approach perimenopause and menopause that throw hormones into a frenzy of fluctuation, causing weight gain, muscle tissue loss and food cravings. That doesn’t mean that you have to succumb to weight gain or an ever growing muffin top. You can fight back with a healthier lifestyle that will also reduce the effects of menopause by balancing your hormones in the process.

Regular exercise can help prevent osteoporosis, strengthen and maintain muscle tissue and keep you healthier.

Even though it’s harder to maintain muscle tissue the older you get, it’s not impossible. Not only does a program of regular exercise maintain your muscle tissue, it also can help you maintain bone tissue too and prevent osteoporosis. In fact, one study showed weight bearing exercise was more effective than drugs. You’ll also keep your entire body healthier, your skin younger looking and your energy levels high.

Eating healthier not only helps you lose weight, it helps you prevent serious conditions.

Eating healthier doesn’t mean dieting, but you will end up lowering your calories. When you eat healthier, you’ll prevent the sugar highs and lows that can plague everyone and cause further binging on high calorie foods. Eating healthier doesn’t mean you should feel deprived either, but just learn to make smarter choices when it comes to food. Making some small changes in your eating habits can reap big rewards. Not only will you help prevent the accumulation of extra weight, you’ll also be preventing many serious conditions, which include high blood pressure and diabetes. Being prepared with healthy snacks for those times you need an extra boost is also extremely important.

What you drink makes a difference too.

If you’re not drinking plenty of water, you’re cheating yourself of one of the most valuable beauty secrets. Water flushes your system of toxins and waste while aiding in rehydrating it. Alcohol dehydrates you, making you look older than your years. It also adds plenty of extra calories. Choose your beverages as wisely as you choose your foods. Water retention is often a problem at this age and you can prevent that with either plenty of water or the powerful backup, unsweetened green tea.

You’ll improve your circulation when you exercise regularly sending oxygen and nutrient rich blood to all parts of the body, including the skin. You’ll not only have a healthy glow, you’ll also help build connective tissues that keep your face firmer and keep wrinkles at bay.

Getting adequate sleep is often neglected as a fitness ritual, but it’s just as important as eating healthy or exercise.

The development of abdominal fat is one problem after forty. Sometimes it’s caused by stress related hormones, such as cortisol. Exercise burns off these hormones and replaces them with ones that make you feel good.

Some foods actually help flush out excess estrogen, such as crucifers and citrus fruit. This can help you balance your hormones and help you stay fit, while also staying calmer and more collected.

Use Your Apps

Use Your Apps

If you haven’t already started, you can use your apps to help you with weight loss and a healthier lifestyle. While I won’t recommend a specific, primarily because there are a number of good ones, with new ones coming out every day, I will outline how you can use them to make your fitness regime more enjoyable and successful.

Get paid for sticking to your goals?

There are a number of apps out there that help you stick to your goals, but some actually pay you for doing that. One new app I found actually pays you for sticking to healthy eating patterns and workouts. You’re making a bet you’ll stick with the program and they bet you won’t. You set the amount you wish to wager and log in everything. If you win, they pay you the amount, if you don’t they debit your account. This type of app isn’t for everyone, but can make fitness more of a game.

Check the calorie count quickly.

Even though eating healthy combined with regular exercise is the only way to lose weight and keep it off, sometimes it helps to know just how many calories each food contains. There are a number of different apps that will help you find out whether to order the fresh salad with ranch dressing or munch on fresh shrimp with a side of veggies. These apps can be a big help when you’re first starting.

See how many calories you’ve burned with an app.

There are a number of different apps that allow you to input your weight and the activity you’ll be doing to let you know just how many calories you’re burning. Remember, these are just an estimate and don’t let you know all the benefits you’re receiving from a workout, but do give you a sense of accomplishment.

Get your favorite tunes to keep you going. Whether you create your own collection of songs to listen to during a workout or use a premade one, it’s easier to workout to music and a lot more fun.

Some apps allow you to track your food intake and calories burned. You’ll see how you’re doing each day.

Find an app to create meals for you. Some actually allow you to input the foods you love and then design meals that will help you lose weight and get healthier.

Find healthier foods with an app to scan the bar code. This app scans the code and then grades the food based on how healthy it is. If you’re in a hurry, you can use it without reading all the ingredients in the package. Of course, the best foods are whole foods, which often don’t have a bar code.

Nutrition Myths

Nutrition Myths

Nutrition myths aren’t limited to internet stories about eating magical foods for weight loss, some of them start right at the USDA food pyramid. Some nutritionists feel the pyramid is slanted in favor of promoting the agricultural industry rather than serving Americans what’s best for them nutritionally. In most cases, the food pyramid fails to differentiate between good fat and bad fat and lumps many types of carbohydrates together, ignoring the fact that some are healthier than others.

Starve yourself and you’ll lose weight is another myth.

While you will lose weight on an extremely low or no calorie diet, you’ll also do one more thing. You’ll throw yourself into starvation mode. That means the body slows down to conserve calories. You can’t eliminate food entirely, so eventually you’ll eat and any weight you lost will return, sometimes it even brings friends and makes it even harder to lose weight the next try.

Fat is bad.

Some types of fat are bad for your health. However, others are essential to keep your body functioning at its best. In fact, some vitamins require fat to go to your bloodstream. Saturated and trans fats are the culprits that give every fat a bad name. At one time, hydrogenated vegetable oil was considered healthier than other types of fat. Now we know it’s the worse offender. Omega-3 fatty acids can actually improve your overall health.

Calories eaten at night make you fatter.

Seriously, it really doesn’t matter when you overeat, so this is a huge myth. If you eat far more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight. While raiding the freezer for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s at three in the morning isn’t going to help your weight reduction program, it would have the same effect if you ate it at three in the afternoon.

Another myth is about food cravings. You don’t necessarily crave foods for their nutrients. Sometimes you crave foods because of a sugar addiction or you just want the flavor.

Some diets restrict carbohydrates or cut them out completely. That’s a dangerous myth since fresh fruits and vegetables fall into that category and are ultimately important for your body.

Some myths about meat can leave you unhealthy. Meat is not the only complete protein. Plenty of plants contain all the amino acids your body needs.

All butter is bad for you. Some butter is better than others. Butter made from the milk of grass fed cows actually has additional heart healthy benefits.