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Archive for the ‘exercise’ Category

Do you think that your life leaves little time for exercise?

Having little time to fit exercise into your schedule cannot be used as an excuse to not keep fit when there are lots creative ways to do so. Here we look at some of the small but significant ways to add more exercise time into your life.

Finding time to exercise can be a challenge when you seem to work all of the time, not just at your job but at home as well! The good thing is that there are lots of ways to include physical activity into your day that do not involve going to the gym. If you think exercise can only take place if you make time for the gym then you need to go back to your fitness basics and relearn a few things!

What to Do:

Take your children for a walk in the park or around the neighborhood. If you prefer get out the bicycles and go for a bike ride instead (or do both!). If you have young children then take a walk with the stroller or pull them around in a wagon. In the winter months when there is snow on the ground a toboggan can replace the wagon.

Doing chores around the house will provide you with exercise and will burn calories and help to increase your metabolism. Do your dusting, mopping, sweeping and vacuuming and do not be afraid to be vigorous about it! If finding the motivation to perform housekeeping duties is not always in you then put on some music to add some enjoyment to the tasks. Before long you may find yourself dancing as you go about your otherwise mundane household chores!

Doing outdoor work can also provide you with the exercise you require. When you garden, mow and rake the lawn, clean out the garage and wash the car you expend energy doing this. For that reason you should roll your sleeves up and keep doing it. Perhaps your garden could use some weeding or your shed needs some cleaning.

Do some stretching exercises or even some light yoga moves when you are cooking supper or talking on the telephone. When you are watching television use the commercial breaks to your advantage. Instead of groaning because you hate commercials do some sit ups, push ups, jumping jacks, abdominal crunches, lunges, leg lifts or jog on the spot. This will really get your blood pumping and you will be fit before you know it!

Now no more excuses! Get to work… er … exercise!

Samantha

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You have been given the disturbing news that you have ovarian cancer.

After the initial feelings of shock have washed over you and you have realized that you have a lot to cope with you then need to acknowledge the significance of taking care of your health in every way possible. You need to help your body prepare for the journey of healing that is ahead for you.

You need to eat as nutritiously as possible and you must remain physically active.

Good nutrition and making the healthiest of food choices is very important for ladies who are in the process of receiving treatments for cancer. When you are receiving radiation treatments or chemotherapy you may feel sick following your treatments and food may be the last thing on your mind. Some women experience nausea, vomiting and sores in their mouth. Be aware too that food may not taste as good as it did before your started the therapy.

It is important that you remember that good nutrition can strengthen your body. As well eating healthy can keep your energy and stamina up and it can help to keep infections and illnesses at bay. When you are having treatments for cancer you also need to maintain a healthy body weight. This is not the best time to drop pounds as it can contribute to more health issues that you do not need.

Choose foods that are high in protein. Some examples of protein-rich foods that you need to consume as often as possible include fish, lean meat, eggs, poultry, cottage cheese, beans, lentils, peanut butter and yogurt. Foods that are made up of a large percentage of protein are so beneficial because they aid the body in building and repairing tissues.

If eating a normal sized meal or the size of meals that you used to eat is not easy for you then be gentle on yourself and do not force yourself. What you want is to maintain a healthy relationship with food. If you prefer and if it is easier on your stomach then snack throughout the day instead of eating meals per se.

You should keep an ample supply of raw vegetables on hand. This includes carrots, celery, cucumbers, broccoli and tomatoes, just to name a few. You should do the same with fresh fruit.

Keep enough around that you can munch whenever you are hungry. Some good choices include apples, berries, kiwis and melons. Whole grain crackers and granola bars are other nutritious health selections that are wise for the lady who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Eating is significant but so is physical fitness. Staying active is something that all ovarian cancer patients must make an effort to do.

You do not have to go to the gym for an hour or two a day but you should do your best to do some form of exercise every day or every second day. Go for walks or go swimming. Exercise keeps your muscles in good working order and it also keeps fatigue at a low level. It also helps to fight anxiety and depression. Always stretch before you exercise.

You might even want to incorporate yoga into your routine to further help yourself mentally and physically as you go through your cancer treatments.

Samantha

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Here’s a wild theory being touted by Dr. Daniel Lieberman, a professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University, and repeated by Christopher McDougall in his national best seller “Born to Run” – the modern day running shoe is killing us! Yes, literally.

Man’s evolution has required we hunt and avoid being hunted. For thousands of years we rose to the top of the species because of our ability to run distances. For most of those thousands of years we ran barefoot but then progressed to covering our feet with rudimentary soles of different materials.

Even prior to 1970’s athletes set world records and achieved Olympic gold on nothing more than thin-soled gym shoes. Then in 1971 Nike invented the modern running shoe and our days of strong feet and low incidence of knee injuries became a thing of the past.

Today you can’t talk to a runner or jogger without hearing stories of injuries and pain. It’s almost as if they expect it as part of running. It’s as if we’ve all been brainwashed into believing these super-cushioned pronation-controlling $200 running shoes are needed if you want to exercise with your feet!

But the truth seems to be the reverse. Studies in Australia at University of Newcastle conclude the modern day running shoe offers no more protection at getting fewer injuries than the old pre-1970’s vintage shoes. Others go further and believe the modern running shoe has contributed to more injuries.

Dr. Lieberman believes if modern day running shoes never existed more people would be running, and if more people ran, fewer would be dying of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and many other western ailments.

Even world renowned track coaches noted a difference in athletes running faster with fewer injuries going barefoot.

So where does all this lead?

Well, as you know I’m a great proponent of exercise for weight loss, and continue to utilize the PACE Exercise Program to help with achieving weight loss on just 20-minutes a day. The PACE Exercise for Weight Loss program is ideal for going barefoot when running and walking your intervals. Of course you need to do this inside the track on the grass or on your own treadmill.

But before you go barefoot let me offer to be the Guinea Pig. I’ll be doing this over the remainder of this summer, and I’ll check in with you in a few weeks to let you know how it’s going for me.

So don’t throw your running shoes away yet, but consider buying the cheapest pair of running shoes you can – the less support the better! And start using them on your own exercise program. See how it goes and give it time to toughen up your feet.

Don’t be reckless, and if you struggle to adjust to your new “El Cheapo” shoes then revert to your original expensive models.

It may take a little time and feel strange for awhile, but try it and let me know how it’s going for you by leaving a comment below.

Watch this space for further updates on my progress.

Becca

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Riding a bike can be an enjoyable and beneficial way to lose weight. Many men prefer it to running as it’s easier on the knees and causes fewer injuries.

Cycling is excellent for the health of your heart and can provide a way to get around your neighborhood that’s cheaper than taking your car everywhere you need to go! Cycling can be fun too. If you can find a form of physical activity that provides a pleasurable form of recreation then staying motivated is much easier to accomplish.

Start your cycling routine with some simple breathing exercises that will prepare your lungs for the workout to come. Then cycle for an average of 20 minutes at a time and intersperse the time with interval training on the bike. This steps things up a notch and challenges your body to work harder to burn calories, and avoids the trap of trying to burn fat during your exercise.

Causes of Weight Gain:

Weight gain can be blamed on three factors. The first cause or factor is a reduced level of energy that comes about due to decreased activity. The second cause is when a lack of physical activity is coupled with not changing the amount of food you eat on a daily basis. The third cause is simply eating the wrong foods on a consistent basis.  Do you see yourself in any of these causes?

In order to lose weight a man must expend approximately 3293 calories week (which is equal to an estimated one hour of moderate exercise daily) while taking in no more than 1500 calories per day. By adding cycling into your daily routine you can lose the weight you want to.

Physical activity when combined with a healthy diet can work wonders for your weight. Making cycling a part of your life can increase both the calories you expend as well as your energy input. It can also suppress your appetite and help to maintain lean body mass. The fat you have can turn to muscle and it may not take very long at all if you are a dedicated and consistent cyclist! Physical activity can also increase your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) or your Resting Energy Expenditure (REE).

Cycle at a Moderate Rate:

The key is to cycle at a moderate speed, as previously mentioned. Your current body weight and the intensity of the riding that you do will determine how many calories you lose. In general a 30-minute bike ride will have you burning anywhere from 200 to 250 calories at a time. While it may not sound like a huge amount at a time consistency is key for exercise.

If you’ve been sedentary for some time now then don’t get too enthusiastic and run out and buy a bicycle today and start riding it like crazy. For the sake of your health schedule a physical and tell your doctor of your intended plans to lose weight by cycling. Once you are given the okay to do so then you can proceed with your cycling plans but take it slow. Here is where the word moderation comes into play once again.

You cannot make up for months (or years!) of being a couch potato in a matter of days or weeks by biking to get yourself back into shape. The body needs time to become use to the changes you are imposing upon it.

Take your time. Start out with a five minute bike ride around your neighborhood and then work up to 10 minutes. Give yourself as much time as you need to do this. You are not in a race by any means. But don’t pound out mile after mile for more than 30 minutes if losing weight is your goal.

Adapt the PACE exercise program for weight loss program for cycling by biking for two minutes relaxed and then speed up for a minute and then slacken off for another two minutes before increasing speed for another minute. Continue to do this for 30 minutes and at the end you should be tired and know you’ve exercised.

Cycling is a wonderful activity and if you can get a few male buddies hooked on it then it can be a great way to spend time with friends, and interval training adds a little competitive edge to it for us guys. Some of my buddies are runners and if cycling isn’t your sport then here’s information about Running and Weight Loss for Men.

Jed Richards

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If your winter and spring weight loss plans didn’t work out how you expected to fit into that target swim suit then don’t despair but don’t stop either.

This spring has been hectic for me as well and I didn’t get to achieve all my goals yet. I’ve even missed getting my regular blog posts up each week for the last month and this makes me feel like I broke a promise – like I didn’t keep my word.

You see I made myself a promise I’d do one post at my various blogs per week and up until March I was doing well but then I got overrun with family stuff. Keeping my word is the most important thing to me. And breaking your word to yourself is just as damaging for your well-being as breaking it to somebody else.

I’ve come to realize when we make a promise to ourselves – like blogging every week – or sticking to a diet – or exercising 2/3 times per week – and we break it, then it impacts so much more in our life. We start to feel like we can’t be trusted and it permeates everywhere.

Okay. Enough of this self-trash talk. As my mom would say just get back on the cycle and pedal forward to regain your momentum.  Life happens and gets in the way of our plans. So you made a detour and just need to get heading in the right direction again.

I think I have about four mixed-metaphors in the last sentence – but you get my drift.

If your weight loss plans didn’t go so well then here’s how to get back “on the cycle.”

1. Stop beating yourself up today and make a promise that’s realistic for you to keep. Yes, most of us are guilty of over committing – so don’t.

2. Choose a form of exercise you enjoy. Don’t go running to keep fit and maintain weight if you hate running. If walking or swimming is an activity you enjoy or even skipping, you can make a great workout out of any of these. Maybe you found the exercise took too long or got in the way of your hectic schedule? If you did review the PACE exercise program for 12-20 minutes workouts a few times a week.

3.  Take a long hard look at your diet plan you had? Was it too bland or not satisfying for you? There is no one diet plan for everybody. Even choosing a low carbohydrate diet plan requires going through a few to find one containing foods you know you’ll enjoy. Personally, it’s taken me a few attempts to get to one that works for me.

4. Don’t use the summer to skip out of your goals. I know it’s tempting with kids at home and lots of activities as we make the most of the warm weather but keep your word to yourself. The sooner you get back to keeping your word the sooner you’ll feel good about yourself. Again, be realistic about what you can promise yourself.

Do these four things for yourself and you’ll make progress.  Now progress may not be size 10 before Labor Day and depending on your exercise program you may not lose a lot of weight but instead create muscle but lose a wait size – this is all good and great progress.

Make a promise to yourself and keep your word. It is life changing.

Samantha

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If you are trying to lose weight but are not succeeding and are feeling discouraged then either insulin resistance or leptin resistance could be to blame.

Both of these health syndromes can impede your ability to shed unwanted pounds. If you are struggling to lose weight or to control your weight then for you weight loss assistance may take the form of modifying your diet, adding more exercise to your routine and taking certain medications in order to combat insulin resistance.

Leptin resistance can be overcome with adequate exercise. While increasing the amount you exercise does not work for long-term weight loss, a proper diet and a greater level of physical activity can serve to correct a problem with leptin levels.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a health condition in which the body creates insulin but is not able to use it in the proper manner. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. It works with the body to use glucose for energy. Glucose is a type of sugar that is the body’s primary source of energy. Insulin supports the body into turning glucose into fat. It then makes it possible for the fat from the cells to be blocked from being released into the bloodstream.

For various reasons the body may become less sensitive to its own level of insulin which causes more fat to be produced. It also makes it more difficult to lose and/or control weight.

To combat this problem dietary modifications are in order. A diet that is low in sugar and low in carbohydrates will keep blood sugar levels where they were supposed to be. Exercising on a regular basis will increase insulin sensitivity. This makes the body’s insulin that much more effective. In some instances a physician may suggest that a patient take medication in order to lower their blood glucose levels.

Leptin Resistance

Obesity has been connected to low levels of a hormone called leptin.

Leptin resistance is when the wrong signals are sent to the brain. In other words, low levels of leptin send a message to the brain that the body is not full. A person who has a low leptin level never feels satiated, no matter how much food they consume. This leads to binge eating, emotional eating and difficulties losing weight. What happens is that the hormone stops doing what it is supposed to do and it transmits a message to the brain to eat more and more food.

If you have never heard of leptin before then you need to know that it is a hormone that is responsible for controlling energy levels.

Leptin suppresses appetite, regulates body temperature and increases energy in the body. Leptin is associated with body fat. It tells the brain how much energy the body has and how much it requires. When you know that you are full or are still hungry that is the leptin doing its job.

Researchers have discovered that a proper diet and regular exercise have the greatest effects on reversing the damage done by leptin resistance. Low carbohydrate and high protein diets are beneficial as is a diet that contains good fats. This can facilitate weight loss and help to fight leptin resistance.

Snacking as little as possible is recommended as is eating three nutritious well-balanced meals throughout the day. Eating plenty of protein with every meal can help to control cravings as well as to regulate blood sugar.

Samantha

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An active lifestyle which includes regular exercise and eating a balanced diet can help everyone to maintain a healthy weight especially if you have diabetes.

The reason for this is because your weight can have an impact on the disease you have. This works in the reverse as well. In other words, diabetes can influence your weight. Exercise does not have to be long and intense and in fact many exercise for weight loss programs include walking and just 12 minutes of workout.

Type 1 Diabetes and Your Weight:

Diabetes is something you can develop at any age. However type 1 most commonly develops in children and teenagers while type 2 is most commonly seen in people who are over the age of 40.

Type 1 diabetes (formerly known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes) if it’s undiagnosed or untreated can cause a person to lose weight. In this case the body has ceased to produce a hormone called insulin which is required to use glucose. Glucose is the main kind of sugar that is found in the blood. Glucose is something that our bodies are supplied with through the foods we eat. It is also the body’s number one source of energy.

When the body is unable to use glucose in the manner that nature intended then it flushes the glucose out of the body through the urine. This can also be said for the calories in the body. What this means for the type 1 diabetes sufferer is that they will lose weight even if their appetite is as normal as ever. However once a diagnosis is made by a doctor and treatment begins then the loss of weight is generally no longer a concern.

Type 2 Diabetes and Your Weight:

A large number of people already have weight issues when they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A person who is overweight or obese runs a higher risk of developing this disease. In the same way if a person who already has the disease puts on weight this makes it more difficult for the body to control blood sugar levels.

Those who have type 2 diabetes have a health condition known as insulin resistance. What this means is that their bodies are able to produce insulin but cannot adequately move glucose into the cells of the body. This causes the level of glucose to increase in the bloodstream. The pancreas responds to this by working harder to produce more insulin. This in turn puts added stress on the pancreas which may eventually reach a critical point where it is no longer capable of making enough insulin to keep the blood glucose level as normal as possible.

Due to all of this, individuals with insulin resistance often suffer from a weight problem and do not tend to engage in much physical activity. The good news in all of this is that insulin resistance can be reversed by exercising regularly, eating nutritious foods, controlling the size of portions eaten as well as losing weight and keeping it gone.

All of these things help the body to reach and maintain target blood sugar levels. Those who are overweight but have not developed type 2 diabetes can cut their risk of developing it by losing weight and exercising on a regular basis. This is something that they can start doing immediately and are highly encouraged to do!

For more information on this topic see this article for diabetes and weight issues – taking care of your health.

Becca

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