Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Boost Your Mental Health And More With These 4 Flavonol Benefits

The flavonols are a group of health boosting phytonutrients that can be found in fruits, vegetables and tea. They have been linked with cancer prevention, reduced inflammation and more. In this article I will be taking a detailed look at these plant based nutrients and outlining 4 key flavonol benefits.
Mental health is often neglected when it comes to health and fitness. People often focus on how healthy eating will affect the way they look but they never consider the effect that certain foods can have on their mental health. Eating the flavonols can give your brain a serious boost by preventing depression and possibly treating mental disorders.
Cancer is a seriously unpleasant disease which causes your cells to grow in a rapid, uncontrollable way. Ultimately, this leads to the formation of a tumour which may become cancerous. If the tumour does become cancerous it damages the surrounding cells and moves to other areas of the body. The good news is that 1 of the brilliant flavonol benefits is cancer prevention. Research has revealed that these health boosting nutrients all have cancer fighting properties and can protect you from this nasty disease.
Inflammation is a controlled process where your body responds to infection, injury, irritation or stress. It causes the affected areas to become hot, painful, red and swollen as your body fixes the problem. Whilst it is unpleasant, in most cases inflammation is a good sign as it shows your body has responded and is dealing with any potential damage. However, sometimes an external factor causes unnecessary inflammation which is dangerous and can also damage your body's cells. Fortunately, the flavonols can help you avoid this by acting as anti-inflammatories (substances that reduce unnecessary inflammation in the body).
The immune system is 1 of the most important protective structures in your body. It keeps you safe from diseases, foreign bodies and infections. Another of the amazing flavonol benefits is that they can strengthen this impressive system and improve your ability to fight disease and infection which can help you stay healthy and disease free all year round.
The flavonols are a brilliant example of the power of plant based foods. Not only are fruits, nuts and vegetables rich in essential vitamins and minerals but they are also a brilliant source of non-essential, health boosting nutrients such as flavonols. Apples, almonds, berries, peppers, spinach and tea are all excellent sources of these plant based foods. So have a look at the list and make sure you consume at least some of these foods on a regular basis.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Benefits of Getting Fit

We can grow old graciously fighting the aging process and winning. Exercise and good nutrition are critical to our well being, today and in our later years. Let's find out...
Muscle Endurance & Strength Training Many physiologists and researchers consider muscle conditioning to be the true fountain of youth, the "magic pill" to reverse or prevent a significant portion of the aging process. A good number of the changes people experience as they age are due to a loss of muscle mass. If we can maintain a significant amount of muscle tissue, we can expect to age much more slowly. Research indicates that general strength training can achieve the following results.
How Can It Improved Your Fitness With a well-planned fitness program and a good diet with good nutrition supplements can increased our strength by up to 226.7 per cent. This is a huge boost for you.
When you have done eight weeks of physical and strength training, your lean tissue would increased by 1.3 kilograms (about 3 pounds). It's estimated that each half kilo of muscle that you have on your body will burn an additional 30 to 40 calories every day. This will definitely raises your metabolic rate, in fact, by seven per cent. If you gain 1.5 to two kilos of muscle, you will be burning 90 to 160 extra calories every day just by having more muscle on your body. This makes it so much easier for you to maintain your body weight and keep your body fat levels at a minimum.
After three months of strength exercise, you could lose about two and half kilos of fat in weight while eating 15 per cent more calories.
After four months of strength exercise you could increased your bone mineral density. The result of a good health and fitness program could result in you reducing the risk of osteoporosis. This is good news for women who over the age of 40. Those who engage in strength training not only do not lose bone mass but actually experience a one per cent gain in bone mass.
What Could Regular Strength Training Do For You?
  • Help to increase your walking speed and climbing power.
  • Help you to have a good body balance and result in you decreasing the risk of falling. A study of women over the age of 40 found that the sedentary subjects experienced an eight per cent decline in balance, while those who practiced strength training demonstrated good improvement.
  • Could help to reduce your blood pressure after 2 months
  • Improved your blood lipid levels, especially for those who have high cholesterol in their blood.
  • Reduced arthritic pain
  • Reduced low-back pain after 10 weeks of specific strength exercise.
  • Those who have postural problems could be treated by following a structured muscle conditioning program. This will result in improving your posture.
On top of all these benefits, muscle looks good, and it improves our posture so that we carry ourselves better and with more confidence. We move differently, with greater coordination and agility, and our performance in recreational pursuits is enhanced significantly."Knowing is not enough: we must apply! Waiting is not enough; we must do." Johann W. Goethe
Kylie Hong is an fitness enthusiast.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What's In and What's Out in the World of Weight Loss and Fitness

I'm under the impression that the health and fitness world wants to keep the information that I'm about to tell you as a guarded secret. Why? So we don't lose our jobs! If everyone one knows what's new and hot in the industry, who needs to fitness professional, right?
Well, I'm willing to take the chance and actually give you the information--burst the bubble and tell you what the buzz is in our little world--so you can get a quick start in 2007 on your fitness and health goals and get yourself in the shape you've always dreamed of.
There's always new and incredible products on the market and believe me some of these things are absolutely awesome! But others, as I'm sure you know are complete duds... how many of you still have the Thigh Master?
Which diet should you try? Which supplements should you buy? Where is everyone exercising this year?
This year it looks like some of the old standbys, I mean thousand year old standbys, are in, while some of the fads of 2006 are fading fast--soon to be outdated and replaced with what REALLY works!
So without further ado, here's a list of what's in for 2006 and what is old new from 2005.
Atkins is OUT
Sorry, no more pepperoni and sausage pizzas sans crust. The Atkins company went under last year after operating briefly without it's fearless leader, Dr. Robert Atkins, who died of complications from a fall on the ice in 2004... which certainly is something I've always found fishy... considering the heart risks that come with his diet. Could something like an MI cause a sudden collapse on a slippery sidewalk? Hmmm.
The Atkins Diet helped people lose record weight, but also caused greasy skin, raised cholesterol and increased the chance of the yo-yo diet by promoting a way of eating that at best could be called "grossly unnatural".
Raw Foods IN!
Carol Alt is our new leader. The raw food revolution has taken its hold due to her persistent work and promotion. More people are recognizing the benefits of raw foods and how they can increase your health.
Diets full of raw foods--30-40% is OK, 50-60% is excellent--will help lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar levels, help you lose weight and get you healthy in no time.
What's so special about uncooked foods? Much of the cooked and packaged foods we eat are completely depleted of nutrients because of the way they are prepared. Raw foods not only keep the nutrients intact--just as nature wanted--they also carry live enzymes that your body needs for great health and fitness.
Get out and buy a book or two on how to cook (sorry... "prepare"!) raw foods, incorporate them into your diet once a day and you'll see the difference immediately!
Bench Press OUT
Sorry, Muscleheads, the bench press is old news. Keep piling on the weight and watch your shoulders and rotator cuff disintegrate. Other exercises that are definitely out for the recreational lifter are: Leg Curls (Quad and Hamstring), Dead Lift and Military Press.
Each of these exercises are too often abused and cause a large number of gym injuries every year.
If you do them, be sure you have a trained fitness professional help you with your form... but even then be wary, they were most likely trained in the old school.
Body Weight Exercises IN!
Could you believe that exercises over 5000 years old could be making a comeback?!?!
There's a reason they are still around... they work!!!
Exercises like the Upward Dog/Downward Dog, Hindu Squat, and the Sun Salute are coming back big time because exercise professionals have seen their benefits over and over and over again.
These exercises don't isolate, they give you a full body workout stimulating all your muscle groups, your GI system, your nervous system and your heart. Talk about efficiency!
Hydrogenated Oils OUT!
No more Trans-Fats! We won't take it anymore!
For those of you who don't know, trans-fats or hydrogenated oils are what the big food companies have been putting in your snack foods since the 1960's to extend the shelf life of their products.
These are modified oils that can take a serious toll on the body--scaring arteries and causing heart disease.
You body reads these fats just like it would other fats and distributes them accordingly... problem is, the trans-fats don't do the same functions that the regular fats do... in fact they do NOTHING except hang around and clog your arteries.
Next time you pick up any packaged food, look at the ingredients. If you see hydrogenated oils (or partially) put it down and try a new product without them! Beware, this might be a trying task. Many of the foods we eat have been loaded with this stuff for years.
But if you stick it to the trans-fats, your body will thank you!
Cod Liver Oil... IN!
You heard me right. Cod Liver Oil is IN!
Your grandmother might be proud to hear it... but many people think gross, gross and more gross!
But what's great is that you can get the oil in pill form for those of you how don't like the thought of swigging a tablespoon of this miracle oil every morning.
Why is it good for you?
Vitamin E and Omega 3 Oils are essential for your circulation and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease! Good fats work wonders for your heart.
In the winter, get a product like Carlson's that has vitamins A and D added. The A will help with your skin, eyes and mucus membranes. And since you're probably away from the sun more often than not in the cold months, you can get the D from the oil for strong bones and calcium absorption!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is Taking Care of Your Health a Christian Responsibility? (Part II)

Let me relay a real life story. When I lived near Atlanta I attended a medium size church of 400 to 500 in attendance. This church had a pretty vibrant service program. I was riding to one of our community service ventures with a well respective gentleman from the church. This fellow was in his early 40s. He had the build of a one time football player. He was strong, he had huge hands and a handshake that felt like a vice. He was also a very kind and soft-spoken person who helped out with the churches service program quite a bit.
Unfortunately, this once well conditioned man was fairly oblivious to good dietary and fitness habits and his health was beginning to show it. He just about always seemed tired. Knowing him fairly well as I did, I don't think he had been involved in much, if any, exercise in quite a while. On our way to this charitable function we came upon one of the popular fast food restaurants. His eyes lit up as he told me that he just didn't have time to eat breakfast at home thiat morning, so if it was all right with me we would just stop in here and get a quick bite. Besides, the least of things he wanted to do was to be late. He didn't have time to eat a healthy breakfast at home. After all, he was too busy attending to what he felt was his "Christian responsibility".
Let's pause here and cogitate for a minute. What is our Christian responsibility? Would it have been better for my friend to take an extra 15 minutes and ate a decent breakfast? Maybe he would have been 10 minutes late, but maybe he would have had the strength to work 20 additional minutes. Or maybe if he would have been practicing good health and fitness habits he may have felt better, got up earlier and arrived 10 minutes ahead of time.
Our health is so important, not only to us but to everyone around us. When we feel good we demonstrate a far more pleasant attitude and we are able to help people more and better. The beauty of it is that for a large part, the choice is ours. Our health, to a great extent, is a function of the health and fitness habits that we practice on a daily basis. Often times we hear Christians saying that they don't have time to exercise; they are too busy serving others. Or, they are so occupied with charitable projects that they seem to believe they need to eat unhealthy food more than they should. Or that their serving is somehow going to make up for their poor health and fitness habits. I think that such people are sadly mistaken. Or do I dare suggest that maybe, just maybe, some people are taking the easy way out? After all, it is nice to be thought of as the mercenary who is so caring that he helps others at the expense of himself or herself.
The good news is that if you find yourself following a path that leads away from good health you can change your course. Good health and fitness habits are not a matter of some mysterious arcanum that only a reserved few have insight into. In fact, most of these habits were taught to us when we were children. Let's keep the big picture in mind. Which path is going to help people the most and inconvenience others the least over the long haul?
Jesus did teach us to "love our neighbor as ourselves." Notice the word "as". Was Jesus telling us to only moderately love our neighbor? I think not. The obvious implication is to love our neighbor greatly, as we do ourselves. If we love ourselves we really should do our best to take care of our ourselves. To be in the best health we can so we can enjoy life and help others. I firmly believe doing our best to maintain good health is our Christian responsibility and it is one that we should not take lightly.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Exercise and Fitness: You Don't Need to Feel Good to Feel Good

You have probably heard the old saying, "It takes money to make money."
It is absolutely true that if you already have some money, you can use it to make more.
However, what do the experts say if you don't have any money to make money with?
They tell you to do something to get the money you need. They recommend taking an extra job, asking for a raise, getting training in a better paying field, changing jobs, and other possible steps. Financial advisor Dave Ramsey, and others, also recommend getting "more money" by decreasing expenditures.
In other words, they tell those who are interested in learning how to have more money to make changes in the way they do things. They tell them to make substantive changes in many different areas of their lives to achieve their financial goals and dreams.
Many who follow this sort of advice get out from under the crushing burden of debt, find new pleasures and joys in life, and some even achieve the status of "millionaire" after years of being deeply in debt.
However, it takes effort, commitment, and often sacrifice for them to reach these new levels of wealth and prosperity. It requires them to make a decision to change from the paradoxically "comfortably uncomfortable" lifestyle that they assumed was "how things are" to a new, uncomfortable (usually temporary) lifestyle which they soon learned was a better, more enjoyable one than what they had previously known.
The same is true for such areas as health and fitness, which are, to my way of thinking, more important kinds of wealth than mere money.
Another old saying you may have heard of is, "If you keep doing what you've been doing, you'll keep getting what you've been getting."
As with money, when it comes to things like exercise, an important part of being healthy and fit and feeling good, people feel trapped. They feel they need more energy to exercise, but it's exercise which will give them the energy they need.
Often, people get a burst of "energy" from some motivational kick in the pants. Maybe they have a class reunion or wedding coming up and want to lose weight or look younger. Maybe the event was last week and they were devastated by how they felt, and felt they looked!
However, motivational events such as these seldom result in the permanent lifestyle changes necessary to create a new, improved model of the person who has lived life a certain way for years. It may be enough to get them to knock off a few pounds, but, eventually, life returns to the comfortable patterns which have long produced uncomfortable results.
In changing one's financial health, it is necessary to make uncomfortable choices and find ways to somehow reach beyond current capabilities in order to arrive at new levels of financial fitness. The same is true of personal health and fitness. You MUST reach beyond what you are currently doing, and believe you are ONLY capable of doing, and move physical activity to a new level.
That's the bad news!
The good news is that, no matter how far down the exercise and fitness ladder you find yourself, it is entirely possible to create a personal exercise program which begins to move you along the pathway to levels of health and fitness which you presently can only dream about.
Many people feel they have to "exercise" at the recommended levels outlined in books, and on videos and TV fitness shows, to actually get the health benefits of exercise. As a result, they feel completely overwhelmed. If they do try to work out at those levels, they either fail immediately, or they heartily regret their efforts over the following days. They begin to fear their exercise program and decide, consciously or not, that they would "feel better" feeling the way they did before they began to exercise.
The truth is that your exercise program should always be just above your current capabilities...unless you are in training for the Olympics or for some fitness competition of some kind. In that case, you may have to adopt the "no pain no gain" philosophy and just tough it out. Also, when you have reached certain levels of fitness, you can and should challenge yourself to reach new goals at faster speeds.
This is how you will continue to lose weight, get fit, and become more physically capable of participating in, and enjoying, life. However, if you are a normal person, presently overweight and out of shape, you need to stay within, or near, some sort of "comfort zone" while gradually increasing the demands and expectations you present to your body...and your mind.
In my 40+ years of studying exercise, health, and fitness, again and again I have encountered the stories of people who started lifelong exercise and fitness programs by walking out to the mailbox, by walking in place during TV commercials, or by doing a few simple exercises to firm or tone a specific body part. Over time, these people gradually challenged themselves to greater levels until they eventually became full-fledged exercisers, running marathons or participating in fitness competitions.
Heck, I know of two women in particular who became championship level bodybuilders, posing in bikinis, and lookin' good, in their 70's and 80's. One started in her 50's with exercises to firm up the backs of her arms and was so impressed with the results that she gradually progressed to the entire body. The other, when in her 70's, had a problem with a big bag of cat litter and took the steps which eventually resulted in her winning numerous bodybuilding and fitness awards, traveling worldwide spreading the word about health and fitness for seniors, and appearing on many TV shows.
You don't need to become a professional bodybuilder, however. You don't need a ton of energy at your disposal, either. You only need to do a little more each day than you are doing now, and, as that becomes easier for you, do a little more. Make this a regular part of your life, and, in a shorter period than you can presently imagine, you will be healthier and more physically fit than you can presently believe.
Donovan Baldwin is a 65-year-old amateur bodybuilder, freelance writer, certified optician, and Internet marketer currently living in the Dallas - Fort Worth, Texas area. A University Of West Florida alumnus (1973) with a BA in accounting, he has been a member of Mensa and has been a Program Accountant for the Florida State Department of Education, a Business Manager for a community mental health center, and a multi-county Fiscal Consultant for an educational field office. He has also been a trainer for a major international corporation, and has managed various small businesses, including his own. After retiring from the U. S. Army in 1995, with 21 years of service, he became interested in Internet marketing and developed various online businesses.