Archive for March, 2009

Reduce Stress with Exercise

Over 70% of people suffer from stress on a daily basis. You do not have to live with anxiety. After work you just need to go straight to the gym to relieve your stress. If you follow an appropriate fitness program, will help you to briefly forget the worries of work will clean your mind and make you feel calm and strong.

Systematic exercise provides many benefits to mental health: It contributes to the production of adrenaline, reduces the production of stress hormones, combats depression and improves self-esteem. Many American university studies show that exercise is the best «pill», acting effectively both on the physical and psychological level.

A recent study was conducted at the University of Wisconsin in male patients with chronic stress. The researchers gave a gymnastics program to those men. Four months later the results were clear: the volunteers who participated showed a significant decline of stress. The findings of this study agree with similar findings of other surveys which have taken place in other American universities.

Exercise is believed to help fight stress, and consequently depression, with five ways: it pushes the body to produce Endorphins, known as «the fertility hormones», which are naturally produced by the brain. Reduces levels of cortisol in the blood (the specific substance is a hormone produced by the body when you feel stress and was found also that plays an important role in developing depression). Exercise also contributes to the production of large quantities of adrenaline. This gives a sense of satisfaction, which helps to increase self-esteem.

Researchers have concluded that all forms of physical activity is beneficial, provided that they are on a sustainable basis. If it is not feasible to work out every day, then you can work out two or three times a week. Apart from the gym, you can also do simple walking, swimming, football or tennis, or anything done to exercise the body and make your soul feel happy.

The secret is not to pressure yourself. Research at the University of Wisconsin found that low intensity exercises raise your psychology more. Try to perform new and innovative exercises which increase the levels of adrenaline in the body. When you perform well, there is a moral and psychological reward.

A common mistake made by people embarking on a weight loss plan is they don’t take the whole scenario into account. A successful weight loss plan is one that takes your whole lifestyle into account and not just your diet. Many people do not recognize the importance of this and in turn many people do not successfully lose weight.

This article focuses on the importance of a healthy lifestyle in tandem with your new diet, merely counting of a number of calories each day isn’t going to cut it if you want to get and stay in shape. There are more aspects to weight loss than the diet alone and you must be firm with yourself if you want to achieve results.

Most weight loss diets only consider your calorie intake. Let me assure you, calorie counting is not the most important thing in your weight loss endeavour. You have to become interested and participate in a healthy lifestyle, you can do this in many ways like reading more on fitness and nutrition, joining an athletic club, starting a workout routine and sticking to it, the possibilities are endless.

There are many important aspects to consider in your new healthy lifestyle but I can’t stress enough how important the main one is: “Routine“. What will guide your success is making a routine and sticking to it. This is fundamental in achieving your goals and without it you will fail.

Changing your lifestyle can be very challenging, you are often tempted to lapse back into old habits. Reminders are everywhere and if you are reminded of an unhealthy aspect that you used to enjoy the temptation can be almost unbearable. There are tactics you can use to overcome these distractions though. Reminding yourself why you are taking the steps you are and what you want to achieve is a good way to stave off the cravings. Don’t make excuses for not doing things as you planned.

Ultimately it is down to you whether you succeed or not, decide for yourself whether you are a winner or a loser. Then when you have done that reconsider your situation and remind affirm to yourself you have what it takes, then go out and achieve your goal.

What you actually need to lose weight

No matter if you are young, old, over-weight, underweight, athletic or sedentary. There is one key element that you must have before you will even begin to train in order to lose weight. You must be ready and willing to change your lifestyle. You must be willing to make changes to your eating habits and exercise on a regular basis. You must be willing to cut back on certain foods and find time in your busy schedule for exercise. I can’t tell you how many people expect major change for very little effort. (hence all of the fad diets and weight-loss-in-a-pill products) Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way! I don’t do diets! I demand that people stop the quick-fix mentality and start investing in permanent lifestyle change. I know that sounds so scary right now but I’m not talking about giving up chocolate cake and pizza for the
rest of your life. I’m talking about moderation and more importantly – BALANCE. So you need to take a hard look at your life, commitment level and the importance of this change in your life. Are you ready?

Food for the mood

Recently there has been a lot of study into whether food can alter your mood and mental well being. Researchers are currently validating this hypothesis to see if there is actually a link between what we eat and how we feel. Changing your diet can affect your metabolism and brain chemistry, scientist have speculated that this may also affect your energy level and mood. Have a read through this article to learn more about these studies and how you can benefit.

Firstly, it is important to understand how your food can boost energy. Basically there are three types of energy providing foods; those that do so by providing sufficient calories, stimulant types of compounds in food such as caffeine and foods that cause your metabolism to convert the food to energy more efficiently. When we want to take our mood into account we must consider what happens in our brain and body to make us feel good, these are chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.

Carbohydrates may be the fad of many diets but they are our bodies preferred source of food. They are slow releasing energy level boosters and they affect our mood. Avoiding sweets and sugar filled treats helps to regulate our blood sugar levels avoiding fatigue and moodiness. Nuts are also a great source of magnesium and protein. Magnesium plays an important role in our body’s chemistry and helps to convert sugar into energy. Nuts were one of the staple diets of hunter gatherer ancestors and play a safe and nutritious part of our diet.

Lean meats such as skinless chicken and turkey, lean pork and beef contain good amounts of protein. These proteins contain amino acids that help to increase your level of dopamine and norepinephrine. Lean meats also help to combat insomnia and depression by being a great source of vitamin B 12.

Fish is one of the healthiest foods on our planet and can work wonders on your physical and mental health once it is consumed in moderation. Fatty oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are rich in Omega-3 essential acids. Some studies claim this may be useful for combating depression  but its main benefit is in aiding heart health.

Leafy, dark vegetables are another source of omega-3. These include spinach, romaine lettuce, Brussels’ sprouts and celery.  These vegetables are also a great source of folate which is thought to combat the risk of depression. Nuts and fresh fruit are also a source of folate.

The next item in the list is; you guessed it, Water. This really should have been number one but for some reason I left it until the end. Dehydration goes hand in hand with almost every negative condition you can think off. Dehydration causes fatigue, energy loss, slows metabolism and some studies even suggest depression. The solution though is simple as you all know; I’ll mention it just in case. Drink a glass of room temperature water every hour during the day.

Are you in the process of trying to lose weight and get rid of those love handles around your waist? Are you wondering why when you finally do lose some weight it seems to come back overnight? Well if you want to know the secret of losing that weight and keeping it off for good then read on.

The main reason people put weight back on as soon as they lose it is because they choose a diet program that is unsustainable in the long run. In order to lose the weight and keep it off for good you must educate yourself on eating habits. Most fad diets just teach you the first part, how to lose the weight quickly but do nothing to educate you on healthy eating and on keeping that weight off. These diets set you up to fail and it is a wonder to me how they have become so popular.

A real diet should not revolve around eating rabbit food for 8 weeks straight or not having dinner for a month. With a proper diet you will learn what types of food are suitable at what times. This is the secret to getting and keeping the body shape you want.

By learning this you will still be able to eat all the foods you eat now and lose weight at the same time. You will learn how the body processes food and when its ok to eat that sugary treat. Yes it is possible to lose weight without sacrificing what you love but it does require a few changes.

Fortunately there are some really good exercise and nutrition programs on the market that will definitely help you lose that belly fat and love handles for good. When educating yourself for losing weight, always get information from trusted sources and professionals and never listen what every so called “guru” is telling you. Some Testimonials of real people that lost their stomach fat and got slim are always a good motivation factor.

Diet does not necessarily mean starvation. With these 7 simple tips you can lose weight without depriving yourself from anything.

1. Eat a male breakfast
Forget the corn-flakes, you need protein and fat. An omelet with a piece of cheese will keep you filled certainly more than a croissant.

2. Eat more
We are talking about three main meals and three snacks. No, you will not lose weight if you insist eating only once a day. Increase your metabolism and cut hunger by eating small meals and snacks all day.

3. Say no to processed carbohydrates
Foods such as white bread, pasta and sugar makes you fatten. Prefer to eat whole meal bread and pasta, but in moderation.

4. Lift weights
You need to do some gymnastics. Lifting weights will not only give you better performance, but will activate your metabolism, so you will be burning more calories even after workout.

5. Think well before eating
Don’t just feed your mouth with a stale cheese pie because you found it on the kitchen table. Eat what you like and what is healthy to your body and try to eat slowly.

6. Get out of your healthy plan every now and then
If you are deprived all the time, then you will be fed up and stop all your efforts. Eat some unhealthy food very rarely, but do it in moderation.

7. Do not fear the fat

Eating a meal without fat makes you hungry again very soon. The fat in our diet is not only necessary for your health, but helps to absorb vitamins and minerals. Also, it helps you to control your appetite. Therefore do eat some fat, but only good quality fat (like grilled meat for example).

How to Calculate Your Protein Needs

The RDA recommends of 0.8 g/kg to 1.2-1.8 g/kg. If you exercise a lot you will
want to be in the upper range. Here’s how to calculate your protein needs:

1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg
2. Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg = protein gm.
Use a lower number if you are in good health and are sedentary. Use a higher number (between 1 and 1.8) if you are under stress, are pregnant, are recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.

Example: 154 lb male who is a regular exerciser and lifts weights
154 lbs/2.2 = 70kg
70kg x 1.8 = 126 gm protein/day
150 lb female who walks 1-2 times a week.
150 lbs/2.2 = 68kg
68kg x 1.0 = 68gm protein/day.

Protein Counts.

FOOD

Portion Size

Protein (grams)

Milk 1 cup 8
Cottage Cheese 1/2 cup 12
Cheddar Cheese 1 ounce 8
Yogurt 1 cup 9
Egg/egg white 2 Large 7
Tofu 4 ounces 8
Fish 3 ounces 21
Chicken 3 ounces 25
Turkey 3 ounces 24
Pork 3 ounces 23
Beef 3 ounces 25
Pasta 1 cup 4
Rice 1 cup 4
Corn 1 cup 3
Beans 1 cup 5
Bread 1 slice 3
Peanut Butter 1 tablespoon 4

In Part 1 of this post (how to increase your metabolism) we described the importance to increase and accelerate your metabolism. In this post we will see some practical examples how to accelerate our metabolic rate which will help us lose stomach fat (and weight from all over the body) faster.

1. Do 8-15 repetitions in each exercise set:

When performing maximum workout, we usually include one repetition with maximum weight. You may feel strong, but this will fail to define the lines of our muscles. Researchers have shown that performing sets of 8-15 repetitions stimulates hormones that burn more fat than training with fewer repetitions. The difficult part is to find the right weight charge for the correct repetition. You shouldn’t do just 8 repetitions with weight if you can do more. That way you do only 50% of tension which reduces the effectiveness of training. The intensity should be 90% in each set. To understand what the proper weight charge is, the last repetition you make should be done with great difficulty for that particular weight.

2. Perform 2-4 sets of each exercise

Ultimately there is no need to lift several weight pounds to increase your metabolism. Researchers from Ball State University discovered that hormones responsible for reducing fat increased when people completed only one set of exercise. If you do more sets, fat reducing  hormones will increase even more. In a recent survey carried out in Greece, researchers found no difference when doing more than four sets of each exercise. So the best number to get a reduction of fat tissue is two to four sets in each exercise.
For example, you can perform two sets if you just started exercising, and increase that up to four sets after some time.

3. Do not rest more than 75 seconds

If you go to a gym, the first thing you will notice is that most men spent a chat between sets and exercises, getting rest for several minutes. This reduces the effectiveness of training. The rest period should not exceed 75 seconds if you want to get your fat reduction. When doing 8-15 repetitions, you activate the chemical substance of the lactic acid in your blood. The high lactate levels associated with high levels of hormones is what reduces fat. When, however, you rest more than 75 seconds during training, this allows oxygen to counteract the blood lactate, resulting to falling levels of hormones that reduce fat. When doing small breaks between sets, this keeps the levels of lactate high and allows hormones to burn more fat. Conclusion: the smallest breaks you do, the more fat you will be burning during the day.

4. Train the whole body

How much metabolism increase you have depends on how many muscles you exercise during training. Focus your efforts to exercises that train more muscle groups and try to avoid exercises that isolate one or small groups of muscles. For example, it is much better if you run 10 repetitions on projections than if you do 10 repetitions on a machine that trains only one muscle. If you exercise several muscle groups, you will manage to do a full workout for the whole body. Research at the University of Wisconsin showed that if a person trains the whole body with three exercises, like bench press exercise and feet projections, will activate the metabolism for the next 39 hours. Complete an intensive program for the whole body in each workout, three times a week, with at least one rest day between training sessions. This will help you burn calories several hours after the end of exercise.

5. Switching between two exercises

You don’t need to stay more hours in the gym of what is actually required. Try doing a set for an exercise you have in your program, rest and then exercise with another training regime that will train different muscles. For example, you can combine an exercise for the upper torso with an exercise for the chest or your back. After completing a set of each exercise, follow with the same combination until you finish your set repetitions. This switch allows you to exercise some muscles while relaxing others. The big advantage is that high levels of lactic acid will flow in the blood and simultaneously you relieve some muscle.

6. Keep control of your exercise rhythm

Your objective is to exercises as hard as you can your muscles in every repetition in each set and for all exercises. For this reason, we must control the speed of repetition. When you run a high-speed pursuit this will result in serious muscle tendons. This not only will slow down your metabolism, but increases also the chances of injury.
We must follow the general rule, which says to lower the weight to any exercise, not less than three seconds. So you will manage to exercise the muscles at their maximum.
7. Avoid long distance
It is known that aerobic exercise burns calories, but there are studies that claim that if you watch your diet, there is no need to run long distances. The downside to running is that it stops to activate your metabolism after the end. This does not mean we have to neglect it completely. If you are running with some sprinting in between, this manages to burn more fat. This form of exercise seems to perform much like training with weights. A Sprint of 200 meters exercises the whole lower body region, and its like doing 10 repetitions of projections.

In order to lose the last difficult pounds from your belly and get flatten abs, you need to accelerate and ignite your metabolism. You need to realize that there is a significant difference between losing some extra pounds at your stomach with getting the abdominals of Brad Pitt in Fight Club. You need big sacrifices to lose the remaining unnecessary fat on the lower part of your abdomen region. For starting you need to forget double sandwiches and coffees full of sugar and cream. This is however only the beginning.

The closer you approach your goal, which is a fat-dry body, the more difficult it becomes to lose the last fat inches, especially from your stomach. Sometimes you feel that you do whatever it takes to flatten your stomach, but your body does not comply with your efforts. This is actually because your body gets into a “self preservation” mode. Our body retains the little fat, trying to protect its energy fuel. It should not let its fuel dry. Body Fat is the last source of fuel when the food is finished. This biological behavior of our body is no longer needed nowadays as there is no shortage of food. So, how can you eliminate this behavior of our body? Simply by increasing your metabolism rate.

Learning how to trigger your metabolism and perform a proper training program, you will manage to achieve your objective, which is the reduction of fat and the reveal of the square muscles on your belly. We provide you the knowledge, but you need to put the dedication and hard work. Below you will learn the right way.

It is not so important what exercise you will choose and how much fat you will burn from a training regime of thirty minutes. Surveys have shown that the more you work out, the more your body adapts to exercise, resulting in burning fewer calories with the same training. Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley say that in order for runners to lose unnecessary weight, which depends on the age, should increase their weekly distance training by 2.7 miles for each year. So you need to focus your attention on how much calories you burn during the rest of the day, when sitting in the office or resting on your sofa watching TV. The way to burn more calories during the day is to implement a plan of exercise with weights and cardio. Knowing the appropriate anaerobic and aerobic exercise, the right number of sets, repetitions and duration of breaks, you can create a training plan that will burn the same calories as a 5 km jogging. The advantage of this is that it keeps the metabolism hormones in the body alerted and your body will continue to burn calories all day. So when you sit on the couch or office desk, your metabolism will work with accelerated speed than before, thus burning more fat. In Part 2 of this post I will explain the steps to accelerate your metabolism. Read Part 2 about how to accelerate your metabolism here.

Abs Exercises for getting great abs

If you are tired of the classic crunches exercises, the following 4 abdominal exercises will help you get great and sexy abs! You will see results without endless repetitions. These exercises activate all core muscles of the abdomen and will give you a flat tummy and ribbed abs.

1.      Lie down with one leg bent and the other one stretched in 45-degree angle from the ground. Bend your elbows and bring your hands behind your head. Take a breath and then exhale bringing your shoulders off the ground by bringing one elbow to the bent leg knee. Execute this 10 times, change feet and repeat again 10 times to complete the set.

2.      Lie down with your knees bent towards your chest and arms beside your torso. Take a breath and exhale unstitching your body up to the shoulders, hands from the ground and legs stretched perpendicular to the torso. Repeat 10 times.

3.      Lie down and hold small weight. Your legs stretched at an angle of 45 degrees from the ground. Inhalation and at the end of exhaling unstitch your body up to the shoulders, lifting and pulling hands stretched upwards. Repeat 10 times.

4.      Lie down with legs stretched on the ground in the opening of the basin and the hands stretched back in line with ears. Take a breath and at the end of exhaling take off the torso slightly higher than the shoulders, bringing the hands forward along the ground. Repeat 10 times.

TIPS:

Do not press the neck and not let your head hanging back.
Tighten your abdomen during the execution of exercises.
Breathe properly without holding your breath.
Apply these exercises 3 times a week, making a break of 30 seconds between exercises.