Cardiovascular Health

Pilates Body Fitness: Points You Have To Know

Pilates Body Fitness: Points You Have To KnowPilates Body Fitness: Points You Have To Know by Gina G. Stewart

When you talk about pilates body fitness, a lot of things can come inside you mind. You can picture the sticks you are using, or the large balls you're squeezing and you can simply imagine yourself on the reformer table for the pilates exercise. There are also some things related to this exercise such as pregnancy, health conditions, and losing weight.

Generally, there are really a lot of things that you can talk about when you say the word pilates. Below are some of the most important things discussed together with a pilates body fitness program. Reading the items given below may help you know more about the exercise.

Pilates Body Fitness and The Benefits You Get

There are plenty of benefits which you can obtain from pilates body fitness program. Aside form losing weight, you can get a healthier and leaner body by doing specific pilates exercises. You can also obtain a good heart because some exercises are meant for cardiovascular purposes.

Some pilates exercises also benefit pregnant women. To sum it all up, there are actually a lot of advantages you get when you enroll on a pilates program. You just have to comply regularly with your pilates schedule so you can achieve the perfect body you want.

Pilates Body Fitness and Pregnancy


A lot of doctors say that exercise is one key to having a good and easy pregnancy. However, pregnant women are usually cautious about their condition because most exercises, except for walking, provide them with more stress. But with a pilates body fitness program, a pregnant woman can attain relaxation and at the same time exercise.

Specifically, it relaxes the body's pelvic muscles which aid the woman to a smooth and fast delivery of her baby. When you perform the seated leg exercise with a pilates magic ring, you can actually perform the Kegel's exercise which is recommended to most pregnant women.

However, you need to consult your doctors first before enrolling yourself in a pilates body fitness program. Additionally, you need to have a professional pilates fitness instructor to assure you of the right and proper exercise that you need to have.

Pilates Body Fitness and The Reformer Equipment

One of the most popular equipment used in the pilates body fitness program is the reformer tool. It has springs, ropes, and a gear system which help you meet the resistance you need. It allows for proper body positioning which basically helps you maintain or align your body the right way. If used properly, you can be assured of a good exercise that won't cause you pain or injuries later on.

If you love this article, you will also love another article written by this article's author on exercise bike parts and life fitness exercise bike.

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Walking Your Way To Better Health

Walking Your Way To Better HealthWalking Your Way To Better Health by Lucille Lathroppe

Walking is a part of everyday life for almost everyone, yet few people realize the potential health benefits they can receive by simply increasing the amount of walking they do throughout the day. You don't need to spend hours slogging it out at the gym to achieve your health and weight loss goals. Instead, try working a simple exercise such as walking into your daily routine.

If you've never exercised before, walking can provide an excellent introduction to working out. It's a simple activity that requires no special skills or gear. Walking promotes weight loss by offering a low impact way to increase activity for someone who isn't ready for more intense workouts. It's important for beginners to take it slow at first and gradually increase the length and intensity of their walks.

Take it slow. Start with some stretches and a slow warm up pace to get your body and muscles ready to work out and to reduce the possibility of injury. If physical activity hasn't been a part of your routine before, limit your first walk to about ten minutes and try to avoid exerting yourself too much on hills.

Plan ahead. Determine which days of the week you'll do your walking. Start with ten minutes a day on three different days. Evaluate how you feel at the end of the week. If you're not exhausted or sore at the end of your walk, increase your walking time by five or ten minutes for the next week.

Walk with a buddy. A walking partner will keep you motivated and will provide some exercise accountability. Plus, it's just more fun to exercise with a friend than by yourself. Choose a buddy whose fitness level is close to yours and challenge each other.

Don't give up. You may see immediate results as your begin your new routine, but after a few weeks those results may taper off. Kick start your efforts again by changing up your plan and making small adjustments to your lifestyle and diet. Healthier choices such as having an apple instead of a cookie can add up to big results.

Keep it low impact. Walking is easy on your muscles bones and joints because it doesn't have the jarring impact of running or jumping. Older individuals, people just getting started in fitness, and people recovering from an injury can all benefit from the low impact activity of walking.

The Weight Loss Plans website offers diet tips and tricks as well as reviews of some leading weight loss programs. Check it out at www.weightlossplans.net!

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Seared Sesame Encrusted Ahi Tuna Steak Recipe

Seared Sesame Encrusted Ahi Tuna Steak Recipe  by Ralph Serpe

Tuna is truly an amazing food with a number of benefits that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Tuna is rich in Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and has been known to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is also low in fat and cholesterol making it a great alternative to beef. Not only is tuna a powerhouse of nutrition, it is also one of the most delicious sources of lean protein that you will ever sink your teeth into.

Tuna is also easy to cook. Its a hardy fish and holds together well on the grill, in the oven, or on the stove top. The following recipe is one of my favorites and is fairly easy to prepare.

I made this particular dish the other day and it was absolutely wonderful. My wife, who normally does not eat big portions, cleaned off her plate and wanted more, so that is a very good sign.

The thickness of the tuna steak you use really depends on how rare you like your tuna. Because you are only searing the outside of your tuna steak, it will not be in the pan for very long. So the thicker the steak, the more rare the center will be.

I personally do not like my tuna too rare, so I usually make this recipe with thinner cuts of tuna. This is just a preference, not a requirement. Many people, including chefs say the only way to eat tuna is rare. I guess you will have to be the judge.

Let us move on to the recipe shall we?

Seared Sesame Encrusted Ahi Tuna with a Cilantro, Garlic and Lime sauce..

I should mention one thing before we begin this recipe. I do not follow exact measurements in recipes. I measure everything by eye, so the following measurements are only to be used as a guide. So don't get too mad at me!

This is optional, but I like to toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan first before I put them on the tuna. The seeds become nutty and aromatic when you toast them. This is highly recommended if you have the time and is quite easy to do. Simply heat a dry pan over medium heat, then add the seeds shaking the pan occasionally. You may have to do this in batches, depending on how many seeds you are toasting. You do not want to overcrowd the pan. Keep an eye on the seeds and make sure they do not burn. Toast them until they darken a bit and start to become fragrant. Remove and let them cool before adding them to the tuna.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 Cup Black Sesame Seeds
1/4 Cup White Sesame Seeds
1 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
2 - 6 ounce Ahi (Also known as Yellow Fin) Tuna Steaks
Salt and Pepper to Taste

MARINADE/ DIPPING SAUCE

1/ 2 Cup of Low Sodium Soy Sauce (Who needs the extra sodium, right?)
1 Lime (Juice and Zest - If you want more lime flavor, add another)
1- 2 Cloves of Garlic Minced
2 Tablespoons of Honey
1 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons of Freshly Chopped Cilantro Leaves

1) Prepare the marinade. Add all marinade ingredients to a small bowl and mix well. Reserve half of this marinade in a separate container to use as a dipping sauce.

2) Get a glass baking dish or other non-reactive container to marinade the tuna in. You want the tuna steaks to fit snuggly in the dish so that they are surrounded nicely with the marinade. Pour the marinade into the dish and put the tuna steaks in and kind of swirl the marinade around so that you coat the fish well. Cover with some plastic wrap and refrigerate. Another option is to pour the marinade in a large zip lock bag, add the tuna, and then squeeze out the air. Marinade for 30 minutes to an hour, turning the tuna about half way through.

3) Remove tuna from fridge and let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes or so.

4) Remove tuna from marinade, shaking off any excess marinade and dry on paper towels.

5) Heat a saute pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. The oil should be hot but not smoking.

6) While the pan is heating, arrange your sesame seeds on a flat dish. Roll the tuna around in the seeds pressing down as you roll ensuring the seeds are packed into the tuna nicely.

7) Add the tuna to the hot saute pan and shake it a bit to make sure the tuna does not stick. Sear for 30 to 40 seconds on both sides.

8) Remove and serve with the reserved dipping sauce.

For side dishes with this recipe I usually keep things pretty bland as I don't want anything to compete with the flavors in the tuna. So I usually prepare a side of steamed green beans with a bit of butter, salt and pepper or other vegetable along with some lightly seasoned jasmine or basmati rice.

There you have it. I do hope you enjoy this Seared Sesame Encrusted Ahi Tuna recipe. I am not a big wine drinker, but for those of you who like a glass or two with dinner, I heard a nice Pinot Grigio goes quite well with Tuna. Buon Appetito!

Ralph Serpe is a passionate home cook and founder of http://www.chefability.com. Chefability.com offers great recipes and cooking tips for aspiring chefs and home cooks. Visit us today for more healthy seafood recipes.

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Cardio - Long and Easy or Short and Hard?

Cardio - Long and Easy or Short and Hard? by Ben Greenfield

Even if you've got the greatest abdominal workout in the world, it's not going to slim your waist unless you also burn off the fat. Trust me...there are many of people out there who have great muscular tone and balance in the mid-section, but don't even know it because those nice abs are covered in a layer of fat. Remember, a combination of three factors is necessary for a slim waistline: a good abdominal workout, smart cardiovascular exercise, and proper nutrition. In this article, I'm going to explain how to choose the proper cardio workout structure for burning the most amount of calories and burning the proper ratio of carbohydrates and fat.

When it comes to cardio, the question I probably receive most is: long and slow or short and fast? This question actually reflects the most important concept behind a good cardio routine. The truth is, it depends. Let's begin by looking at total amount of calories burnt.

Say I ask you to travel a mile on foot. I don't care how you do it - walk, jog, or run. Many exercise professionals will tell you that you'll burn the same number of calories any way you do it, as long as you're covering the same distance. This is simply not true. Studies have shown that the faster you cover that distance, the more calories you burn, period. There is a higher metabolic cost to moving quickly than to moving slowly. So you're going to burn the most calories by pedaling, running, rowing, swimming, or doing any other cardio you do as fast as possible. The added bonus is that the faster you move, the higher your post-exercise metabolism becomes, meaning that you burn more calories throughout the day after your workout than if you had moved at a slower pace.

Here's the catch - the faster you "move" across that mile, the more you rely on carbohydrates for energy, and the less you rely on fat. Although burning carbohydrates is beneficial, your body should also be learning how to efficiently use fat as an energy source. The "fat-burning" zone varies from person to person, but a good rule is that when breathing becomes labored or the muscles begin to burn, you've crossed the threshold to utilizing carbohydrate as a primary energy source. The basic science behind this is that it takes more oxygen to burn 1 calorie from fat than it takes to burn 1 calorie from carbohydrate, so as your body begins to work harder and get lower on oxygen, it turns more to carbohydrate as an energy source.

So here's the application part. If you are pressed for time in your workout, go short and fast (i.e. 10-20 minutes, at an intensity level of 8-10). You will burn more calories, both in your workout and throughout the rest of the day. Ideally, however, if you have the time, you should also be incorporating long and slow cardio workouts into your routine (i.e. 20-60 minutes, at an intensity level of 6-8), essentially "training" your body to burn fat as a fuel. Often, I have my clients work in both zones by performing their short and hard cardio efforts prior to weight training on their "difficult" days, then performing their slow and long cardio efforts on their "easy" days. The added bonus is that the slow and long cardio efforts allow the body to recover more quickly from the previous day's difficult efforts, which means better results.

Let's finish with a sample workout that will keep you in both zones during the same workout. This is an "interval" routine. Here's how it works:

5 minute graded warm-up, gradually working up to a hard intensity by minute 5

1 minute hard-fast effort (labored breathing)

2 minutes easy-medium effort (conversation possible)

2 minutes hard-fast effort

1 minute easy-medium effort

repeat 1x


3 minutes hard-fast effort

3 minutes easy-medium effort

4 minutes hard-fast effort

4 minutes easy-medium effort

repeat 1x


5 minute cool-down, gradually working down to a very easy effort by minute 5.

Ben Greenfield holds bachelor's and master's degrees in sports science and exercise physiology (University of Idaho), Ben is the owner of Pacific Elite Fitness www.pacificfit.net online multi-sport coaching,personal training service and is director of sports performance for Champions Sports Medicine www.champsportsmed.com He is also available as a private wellness coach. E-mail elite@pacificfit.net

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Why Intense Cardio is Much More Efficient at Burning Fat

Why Intense Cardio is Much More Efficient at Burning Fat  by Luke Johnstone

For years, it was common knowledge that you had to stay in the target heart rate zone to efficiently burn fat. However, the last few years have seen a rise in the popularity of shorter, intense cardio workouts to burn fat.

Training in your target heart rate zone came about when it was revealed that lower intensity exercise (like walking) burns a greater percentage of fat calories during the activity. More intense work on the other hand burns predominantly carbohydrates. So people would try not to train too hard, because if they did, their body would switch from burning fat, to burning carbohydrates. What most people don't realise though is that you cannot rely on calories burnt during an activity to lose weight.

Calories burnt during the activity do little to help us lose fat. The critical component of successful fat loss relies on our metabolism and certain hormones flowing through our body. This is why shorter more intense workouts are much more efficient.

Training at a lower intensity burns calories only during the activity. As soon as you stop you will stop burning calories. This is because this form of training hardly raises your metabolism. Also longer, less intense cardio sessions hardly stimulate our body to release hormones which will help our fat loss progress. If done long enough though, you can actually stimulate a hormone that works against us…cortisol. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone which actually eats away at muscle. This is obviously a bad thing!

On the other hand, shorter, more intense cardio workouts release certain hormones, most importantly Growth Hormone. The amazing thing about growth hormone is that it helps us build muscle, and does its best to stop fat from storing on our body. We could eat as much as we want and we won't put on any fat. (However if you got an absolutely voracious appetite, you might, at worst very slowly put on some fat.) That's why if we got the hormones flowing in abundance in our body, an occasional pig out day, or binge isn't going to hurt our progress.

Another great benefit of intense training is that it raises our metabolism substantially, for up to 48-72 hours afterwards. Seeing how it keeps the metabolism elevated for up to 3 days afterwards, imagine what would happen if you did these cardio workouts every other day. Your metabolism would be like a fat destroying furnace!

A good real world example is to compare the difference in physiques between marathon runners and sprinters. Which physique would you prefer? How do you think they train? Marathon runners do hours upon hours of long distance running, whereas sprinters train intensely and explosively. No matter what training we do, our body works by adapting to the stress and making it easier.

So with all the training marathon runners do, cortisol will be running rampant in the body, destroying muscle. This is simply the body adjusting to the workload and making it easier for itself. Too much muscle will only hinder the athlete's performance (and joints mind you!). That's why marathon runners have very little muscle.

On the other hand, if we trained like sprinters, with short explosive bursts our body will actually want to keep muscle and burn fat. This is because we need our muscles to better perform the workouts we are subjecting the body to. Also, the body, when exposed to this type of training actually wants to rid the body of its excess fat. This is because the fat on the body is simply hindering its performance. Hence, this is why short, explosive training stimulates hormones like growth hormone which help us build muscle and burn fat.

Well then how should you train? It depends on your goals. Do you want to look like a marathon runner or a sprinter?

If you want to be as thin as a rake, go running for hours on end.

However, if you want that lean, muscular physique much like a sprinters, here are a few suggestions:

30-100m sprints: Set out a distance and sprint all out for the set distance. For recovery, walk back to the starting line. As soon as you get back, sprint again. I wouldn't do more than 8 total sprints in a workout. For example you could do 6 x 60m sprints.

Intervals: Pick an exercise you like, (running, swimming, cycling, boxing, skipping etc.) and give a near maximum effort (80-100% Max) for 20 seconds, followed by 40 seconds of rest or light exercise (40-60% of max). Repeat 5-6 times. No more than 10 reps is necessary. If you can do 10, focus on going more intense in each interval. I personally like doing these with shuttle runs over a distance of 10-20m.

10 minutes constant max effort: Pick an exercise (running, swimming, cycling) and go as hard as you can for approximately 10 minutes. Try to outdo yourself. You could do 10 minutes every time and try to beat the distance every time you do it OR you could have a set distance and try to beat the time every workout. I personally go down to the oval and time myself over 8 laps of the track.

In finishing, for maximum fat loss, I would recommend doing no more than 4-5 sessions a week. That equals, at most to 60-70 minutes of training time a week. I know it doesn't sound like much, but if you spend every single one of those minutes going as hard as possible, your metabolism as well as those hormones will melt the fat off your body in no time.

Luke Johnstone is a former long time yo-yo dieter who has struggled with his weight ever since he was a little kid. Fed up with dieting he decided to devise a plan which enabled him to eat more food everyday, eat whatever he wanted, 'pig out' a few times a week and exercise a total of only 90 minutes a week. He managed to get in the best shape of his life and now has a website to help others struggling with diets to lose weight. You can check it out at http://www.lukesfatlosstips.com

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The Benefits Of Regular Jogging

The Benefits Of Regular JoggingThe Benefits Of Regular Jogging by by Dennis Clay

Jogging is good for your overall health due to several reasons. It provides your body with a good cardiovascular workout while strengthening and toning your muscles at the same time. Jogging on a regular basis generally puts you in better overall physical condition and provides several benefits for your mental and emotional health as well.

Many people are concerned about the possibility that regular jogging may cause some damage to their joints, especially the knees, ankles, and hips. If this is a concern of yours as well, you can rest assured that the risks posed by regular jogging are minimal, especially if you approach the exercise sensibly and use jogging shoes of good quality. Furthermore, the benefits that you get from jogging certainly outweigh the risks.

As a matter of fact, jogging has been proven to strengthen the muscles in your legs, hips, and back. It also helps increase your bone density. If you notice, runners generally have very strong legs, even if they appear too thin. Their lean appearance is due to the fact that running and jogging do not produce bulky muscles like other workouts do.

Another benefit that you get out of regular jogging is weight loss. This form of exercise helps you burn fat and calories, while increasing your metabolism. This means that when you jog regularly, you will be losing more calories than you consume, thereby shedding that unwanted excess weight. This may be the solution that will finally help you get rid of that stubborn belly fat you have long wanted to burn off.

If you are currently suffering from poor appetite then jogging is also advisable for you. Just like any other form of exercise, jogging increases your body's need to refuel. Therefore, the longer you run, the more your body will require food for refueling. The irony with regular exercise is that you may actually be eating more while losing weight. Jogging can also relieve you of digestive problems, which you may have developed while leading a sedentary lifestyle. Regular exercise speeds up the digestive process and helps make it run smoothly.

Because it provides your body with a good cardiovascular workout, jogging also effectively strengthens your heart. It improves blood circulation as well as the overall condition of your respiratory system. Jogging may also counteract depression, primarily because it helps you sleep better and become more active during the day. A good quantity and quality of sleep is essential for both your physical and mental well-being, and being more active can help open up more opportunities for personal and professional growth.

When done properly, jogging can make you feel less tired after finishing a session than before you started. It is a great way to get away from your usual environment for a short while and is a lot more pleasurable than spending hours at the gym. Just remember that jogging is supposed to give you both physical and mental pleasure, so don't overdo it! Turn it into a refreshing activity rather than an exhausting workout.

Please visit if you would like to read more great writing. Currently, featured articles are about jogging, jogging accessories, and much more.

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Fitness Program for Monday and Tuesday: Aerobic

Fitness Program for Monday and Tuesday: AerobicFitness Program for Monday and Tuesday: Aerobic by by Rebecca Marli

Maybe you can`t go to the gym every day but you may try these exercises at home and won`t take more than twenty minutes per day. The practice brings something different each day so you won`t get bored and is specially designed for each muscle group. The result of this workout is increased resistance to effort, a better coordination, and more flexibility.

Exercises for arms, shoulders, and chest:

Start with ankle exercises, then keep your arms straight with a two pounds weight in each hand, and do four series of eight rotations forward each and then do the same thing backward. Stay with your arms laterally bend, with your ells at your shoulders and bring your bend arms in front.

These exercises are meant to reduce the amount of fat in the belly and may also increase the resistance of back muscles:

Stay with your legs spread and a two pound weight in each hand. In this position, bend your trunk to the right, then to the left, in four series of eight exercises each. Stay straight with your legs easy bend, your arms crossed in front of the chest, the ells also bend, and twist your body to the right and left, in four series of eight exercises.

These exercises are specially designed to increase the strength of your thighs, hips, and shanks:

Keep your legs spread, your hands on your hips, and your knees easily bend. Raise and lower your heels from the ground, while you keep your back straight.

Exercises for your belly:

Lay on your back, with your hands at your neck, your legs a little spread, and lift your body while you keep the ells laterally. Stay on your back, with your arms around your body and slowly lift your legs at ninety degrees, and then lower them. Repeat this exercise in four series of eight exercises.

Exercises for your thighs:

Stay on one side, on your left arm, and keep your left leg bend upon the other and make four series of eight short lifts with your left foot, then change and repeat with the other foot.

After these exercises you should have relaxing exercises. For instance, cross your legs, take your arms to the back, and bend your body forward. Keep this position for almost eight seconds. Keep your legs stretched, bend your body forward and try to reach your ankles. Stay in this position for ten seconds.

(c) Project Weight Loss 2008. All rights reserved.

For free weight loss tools and diets, visit Project Weight Loss, a growing weight loss community featuring BMI Calculator, calorie counter, carbs counter, diet planner, workout planner, and many other weight loss tools.

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All Of The Truths Of Muscular Confusion

All Of The Truths Of Muscular ConfusionAll Of The Truths Of Muscular Confusion by by Corey Andalus

When you're thinking of which exercise regimen to adopt, it is normally essential to consider first both one's actual physical capabilities and limitations. Working with a professional personal trainer is a crucial move in identifying the forms of workout that may provide the utmost reward. An individualized technique is always best.

What is Muscle Confusion?

Even though there are certain exercises made around the approach, it is really a training principle and not really a specific workout. The idea could be applied in various ways, based upon the qualifications of the instructor. The plan is that the best advantage of working a particular group of muscles might be restricted with too much repetition.

The muscle groups may level, leading to further effort in that spot to become repetitive. The identical frame of mind is getting bored, impatience, or unbearable pain. Certainly, it is the major problem that keeps a lot of people from being focused. The nice thing about it is that this is easily avoided by applying concepts of proper moderation and activity modification into your exercise plan.

In the past, training had been based upon the belief of a severe work out. The result was that a lot of instructors became conscious of a fitness limit; the constraint of improvement for any given training. It became a point of frustration that many people figured just needed to be pushed through, and could have given rise to the expression, no pain, no gain.? Muscle Confusion was developed in effect to these issues, so that the muscles couldn't get a chance to adjust to a set exercise pattern.

Personal trainers may use many routines in order to work towards their customer's workout plan. Another concept is reciprocal muscle inhibition. It is the theory that the 2 parts to a muscle lever, the agonist and the antagonist, will not both be really working at the very same time. Whenever one side shrinks entirely, the opposite end should unlock.

For instance, whenever the quadriceps are contracted, or tightened, the hamstrings are forced to extend. This idea is often practiced to minimize muscle cramps, but can also be applied for purposes of Muscle Confusion also. This feels like a deep opening in the back of the leg, and is a wonderful way to prepare for toning routines.

Putting Weight Training to Cardio Workouts: Health And Fitness Benefits

Cardiovascular exercise stimulates the circulation of essential blood, oxygen and vitamins. Whenever blood moves thru the body, muscles glide better against different muscles and there is normally a feeling of warmth in the limbs. Important chemicals circulate, causing any where from a light to extreme state of euphoria. The unique supply of oxygen invigorates the mind and strengthens the entire body. Most of all, the stored metabolic waste materials are sent through the lymph system, which has a purifying result.

Although these are all ideal outcomes, they are best implemented if added to weight lifting. If cardio exercise is done alternately with weight training, it prevents the feeling of stress or excruciating soreness. The weight lifting will be easier on the joints since these will be lubricated by the cardiovascular warm-up. Muscles warmed by cardio exercises even respond better to weight training exercise.

Nowadays, wonderful personal trainers include many different exercising concepts to the routine both by changing the kind of exercise and introducing new ones. One week, they can concentrate a lot on stretching, lengthening, and yoga positions.

The following week they can shift the routine to highlight an entirely unique set of routines, such as weight training. This allows them to carefully plan your rest period in conjunction with a variety of load, that is placed on alternatively heavy and shallow muscle groupings.

HomeBodies is a great reference pertaining to personal training in NYC. NYC Personal trainers may come to your house or meet you at the gym. They will personalize a fitness program exclusively for you and help you attain the overall health, wellness, and workout goals you would like to realize.

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Live Healthier and Longer

Live Healthier and LongerLive Healthier and Longer by by Sandra Prior

Old habits die hard. If you�re accustomed to heaping a spoon of sugar into your coffee six times a day, and can�t wait to leave the office at lunch time for a toasted sarmie, then you�re not going to like this home grown advice that you probably heard from your mom a million times over; eating more fruit and vegetables is good for you.

There are very Tangible Benefits for Swapping Fast Foods for Fresh

Everybody is so different that you can�t make blanket claims that eating more fruit and vegetables will definitely result in better skin, glossier hair or fewer infections. But we are confident that a healthy diet will affect how bloated you are, and if you�re eating foods with a low GI index, you will have more energy. Cutting out caffeine and alcohol, especially if you are caffeine sensitive, is also bound to result in better sleep.

But if that�s not enough for you to give up your daily diet of comfort food, the following information might be more convincing.

Fruit and vegetables are the only foods which collectively have been consistently associated with risk reduction in several diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and age related macular degeneration. In addition, some new data is emerging to support a protective role for fruits and vegetables in the prevention of cataract formation and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The reason why fruit and vegetables pack such a powerful healing punch has to do with the phytochemicals they contain. Phytochemicals are active compounds in food that prevent disease. Indoles, found in cabbage and Brussels sprouts, have anti cancer properties. Chlorophyll, in green plants, helps to oxygenate the blood and improve energy. Allicin, in garlic and spring onions, boosts the immune system. These are just three of hundreds of the commonly occurring phytochemicals in nature�s pharmacy.

Although many of these are not classified as essential nutrients, they do impact on the chemistry of the body and on our health as significantly as vitamins and minerals. The superheroes in the fight against disease include; aloe vera, berries, blue-green algae (spirulin), carrots, sweet potatoes, watercress, peas, cruciferous vegetables, essential oils such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, fish, garlic, shiitake and reishi mushrooms, quinoa, seeds and nuts, soya products, watermelon, wheat and barley grass.

The exact mechanism that explains the protective role of fruit and vegetables in cancer is yet to be determined, but is likely to be multi factorial. The results of many studies continue to suggest a more complex role for specific micronutrients and non nutritive substances, an area which is being actively and intensely investigated. It�s important to remember that fruit and vegetable consumption may also be an index that reflects differences between individuals who do or do not eat healthily, rather than having an exclusively protective role against cancer.

Not sure what that means? Well, chances are if you�re eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, you�re also probably the kind of person who doesn�t smoke, drink in excess and exercises regularly. So it could mean that your whole lifestyle offers protection against disease, rather than the fruit and vegetables being solely responsible for your good health.

But until we have evidence to the contrary, it seems we should stick to mom�s advice and eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day.

Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at http://bodybuild.rr.nu.

Article Source: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/Live-Healthier-and-Longer/161784


Are You Fat on the Inside?

Are You Fat on the Inside?Are You Fat on the Inside? by by Sandra Prior

Crash dieters may be storing high levels of internal fat around vital organs. It�s a health risk, but there�s a solution.

Looking slim makes you feel good but it doesn�t mean you�re healthy. Skinny women, particularly those who have yo-yo dieted and don�t exercise, may actually have unhealthy levels of fat on the inside.

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, doctors have found dangerous internal fat in slim people, wrapped around the heart, liver, kidney and pancreas, and streaked through underused muscles. Fit but overweight people with high body mass index (BMI) might actually have less dangerous internal fat than their skinny counterparts. These thin-obese or thin-on-the-outside-fat-on-the-inside (TOFIs) can�t see their fat � they usually don�t know they have any. And even their tiny kilojoule intake is testament to the fact that dieting alone won�t shift it.

Crash and Burn

All these people walking around thinking they�re thin and healthy might be wrong. 40% of women have high levels of internal fat. Excess internal fat can lead to coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and many cancers � including breast and colon cancer.

Stored for a Reason

A woman who crash diets is more at risk, because she can end up with more internal fat than someone whose weight doesn�t fluctuate. Only a small amount of fat is lost from internal stores when you diet. But when you put the fat back on, it�s deposited in the abdominal area first. Starving your body can also eat into muscle, and, once you put the fat back on, the body doesn�t replace that muscle but stores surplus kilojoules as fat � unless you exercise.

For women there are two particularly dangerous times for loading on the internal fat; when they yo-yo diet in their teens, 20�s and early 30�s, and post-menopause, when oestrogen levels drop and fat is deposited internally and abdominally. The biggest risk factor seems to be lack of exercise � an apple shaped body is more dangerous than a pear shaped one.

Other Causes

Other lifestyle factors play a part, particularly smoking and alcohol, which lay down fat in the abdominal region. That may be why, as many women have drunk more over the past 50 years, our average waist size has increased by 15cm, compared with an increase of 4cm around the hips and bust. The kind of fat we eat is important, too; two people of the same weight and height can have vastly different levels of visceral fat because one eats high fat processed foods, while the other eats healthier unsaturated fats. Long term stress also plays a part, triggering high levels of cortisol, a hormone that seems to promote fat storage in the abdominal region. All these factors show that almost anyone can be a TOFI. Even those with a healthy BMI can have large quantities of internal fat.

Good Fat

But fat is not all that bad. Fat produces chemicals, hormones and proteins, and affects every single aspect of the body and brain, two thirds which is made up of fat. This includes fertility, mood changes, our ability to think clearly and our immune response, which is why being too thin might actually make you less sharp, as well as unhappy and unhealthy.

Visceral fat is different from the dimpled, subcutaneous fat that lies beneath the skin, called cellulite. All fat is metabolically active, full of blood vessels and secreting hormones and proteins, which form part of the body�s metabolism. But visceral fat is more active than external fat and more dangerous to your health, because of its position in the body. Internal fat seems to affect glucose levels � and that has major health implications, triggering type 2 diabetes and other chronic health problems.

The Big Shift

Thin or overweight, once you�ve got internal fat, is it possible to lose or shift it to a less dangerous site? Yes, with regular exercise. Thirty minutes of daily aerobic exercise is a good start, then build up gradually. The more active you can be each day, the better.

Experts say that combining a healthy diet with increased exercise is the best way to lose or keep off internal fat.

Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at http://bodybuild.rr.nu.

Article Source: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/Are-You-Fat-on-the-Inside-/154816