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March 2011

What Should You Do If You're Bored With Your Gym Workout?

Group of Young Women Exercising in a Gym
Group of Young Women Exercising in a Gym

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You've been faithful to your word. You head to the gym as soon as you get off work. You've got your routine down pat: cardio and strength training. This has been your routine since the beginning of the year. For the first couple of months, it was fun. You had fire in your belly. You had power. You had energy. You were making gains.

But now, it's all over. About one month ago, something changed. Nowadays it's become harder to make time for exercise. You can barely get through a 30 minute workout without daydreaming about something else. Exercise isn't fun anymore. What happened? It's simple, really. You're bored


Change Your Routine To Keep Workouts Interesting

Activities that were once heaps of fun lose their appeal when boredom sets in. The way to alleviate boredom is to shake things up. When your workouts go from amusement to chore, it's time to make some changes. When you come to expect the same old thing to happen again and again, the lack of surprise dulls enthusiasm. Check out this routine:

Mon - Fri: morning jog, evening upper body resistance training using machine weights

Sat & Sun: off

This is a terrible routine. This is what I call a "cruise control" routine - you experience early gains with no plan for where you'll wind up. You might feel good early on but it would be short-lived, boredom would set in before long.  There's too much emphasis on upper body training and not enough variation in cardio exercise. A better routine would be this:

Mon. : morning jog, evenings chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders using machines and free weights

Wed. : morning jog, evenings legs, glutes, upper back using free weights and machines

Fri. : morning jog, evenings abdominals, lower back using free weights and machines

Tues & Thurs.: off

Sat. & Sun. : morning jog only

The above is an example of a split routine - the workout is more varied, strength training is shifted from five days per week to a three day schedule with exercises that target specific muscle groups. Cardio workouts continue five days per week, but taking two days off during the middle of the week.  


Vary Your Cardio Routine

I used jogging in the above two examples to illustrate how cardio could be successfully incorporated into a strength and conditioning program. Cardio exercise is good for the body, a mere 150 minutes per week doing some form of aerobic activity can prevent cancer. But you might lose interest if you're constantly doing the activity over and over again.

The body quickly adapts to repetitive action and learns to conserve energy reducing the physiological benefits of the exercise. You can prevent this from happening by choosing from different aerobic activities. Here's an example of one such cardio program:

Week 1 -  Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat., Sun. activity: 30 minutes of walking

Week 2 - Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat., Sun. activity: 30 minutes of bicycling

Week 3 - Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat., Sun. activity: 30 minutes of stair climbing

Week 4 - Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat., Sun. activity: 30 minutes of elliptical training

Week 5: Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat., Sun. activity: 30 minutes of jogging

Week 6 - Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat., Sun. activity: repeat week 1

Each week you perform a different exercise repeating the cycle every six weeks. This accomplishes a couple of things: it keeps the body guessing, and gives you a mental change of pace. Bear in mind that these are merely examples of the many different aerobic activities that you can choose from.


Vary Your Strength Training Workouts To Maximize Gains and Relieve Boredom

You should make regular adjustments to your strength training program. Three day splits and four day splits are very important for developing strength and mass. This is because you're targeting certain muscle groups on pre-selected days. But every six weeks, you should consider rotating out some exercises while adding in new ones or de-loading the amount of weights lifted.

For example, every six weeks the flat bench press can be briefly rotated out for the decline bench press. This allows you to target the middle pecs for first six weeks, and the lower chest for the next six weeks. Another way to approach it is to alternate these every other week; this causes muscle confusion and promotes strength gains. There are other ways you can vary your exercise routine.  Take a look at this tip from the Medical University of South Carolina regarding a periodization training routine:

  • vary the number of sets you perform each week
  • vary the amount of rest time between sets
  • vary the order of exercises performed 

I hope that you take home at least one message from this post: exercise doesn't have to be boring. Mix it up to keep things interesting. Remember to consult your physician before starting any nutrition of fitness program.

Do you have any tips that have helped you to keep your workouts interesting? Tell us about it in the comments.


Always rejoice in the Lord who has created all things!

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Elliptical Trainers vs Treadmills - Which Gives You The Best Overall Workout?



Aerobic exercise is one of the hallmarks of a quality fitness program. If you visit most gyms, it's not uncommon to see people exercising on the treadmill or elliptical trainer - two of the most popular fitness machines that have ever been invented. But which machine gives you the better overall workout? 

This article is going to answer that question by comparing the two machines.



Elliptical Machines Recruit Multiple Muscle Groups   

769px-Elliptical_machine wikipedia
(The image "Elliptical machine" is supplied by wikipedia)

Elliptical training is an example of a compound exercise because this machine requires the use of leg, shoulder, abdominal and arm muscles to propel motion. Depending on the quality of the machine, it's possible to change the incline and striding motion.

Some models also allow you to increase the muscular challenge of the exercise by adjusting the resistance. This allows you to modify your level of intensity. This is very good in terms of preventing exercise plateau, which happens when the body becomes accustomed to particular movements and intensity.

When you reach an exercise plateau, your body has learned how to conserve energy because it does the same action over and over again which means, in terms of fat loss, the more energy that the body conserves, the less it burns off.

The user's feet are secured on pedals, thus elliptical trainers are low impact machines, which could offer advantages to people with joint problems. By contrast, running, jogging and even rapid walking, (exercises which can be performed on treadmill) place added stress on joints. So, if you're looking for a safe, low impact workout, you might consider exercising on the elliptical machine. 



Treadmill Machines Focus On Strengthening and Toning The Legs

446px-Treadmill NSF Kristan Hutchinson 
(image credit: property of the NSF, Kristan Hutchison photographer) 

Treadmill workouts are great for toning the legs. Users can choose to run, jog or walk depending on the speed setting of the treadmill machine. Because treadmills primarily train leg muscles, this may be ideal for people searching for a light form of cardiovascular exercise.

Most treadmills allow you to adjust the level of incline. People who take advantage of this feature and increase the incline level, can enjoy a workout that roughly simulates hill climbing. When compared to training on a horizontal plane, exercising at steeper angles increases cardiovascular exertion  i.e. the steeper the incline, the harder the body must work to continue moving forward (or uphill). In other words, you'll burn more fat if you exercise at an incline.


Which Machines Gives The Better Cardio Workout?

Although both the elliptical machine and treadmill improve cardiovascular fitness, the elliptical trainer gives you a better overall workout.

For example, training for sixty minutes on the elliptical machine will burn more calories than if you exercised for the same amount of time using the treadmill. * This is because elliptical training recruits different muscle groups, and each group uses up a lot of energy in performance of the work. You might think this gives ellipticals an advantage as a fat burning/weight loss tool, and it does.

But if you're particularly overweight, obese or very sedentary, take note that elliptical exercise is quite demanding. Regardless of which machine you choose, do not push yourself too hard. Remember to consult your physician before starting any fitness or nutrition program. 

Have fun.


Don't run away from your problems. Remember that God is always in control. He knows what's going on and will work it to the way He sees fit.

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*Administrator's note: this is based on personal calculations using WolframAlpha.

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Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate: Which Is Healthier For Your Heart?

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Chocolate covered Easter bunnies, chocolate sundaes, chocolate milk, and chocolate candy bars. We can't seem to get our fill of chocolate. You may have even heard that chocolate is good for your heart. But is it true? Well, that depends on the type of chocolate you happen to be eating. Not all chocolates are created equal. In this article you're going to learn a bit about chocolate and decide for yourself if this food is healthy for you.


Dark Chocolate Contains Chemicals That Are Good For Your Heart 

Chocolate is produced from cocoa beans. Cocoa beans are chock full of powerful polyphenols called flavonoids. As a matter of fact dark chocolate contains very high amounts of flavonoids, much more than you would find in milk chocolate. Research suggests that flavonoids may protect against cardiovascular disease in part because it possesses anti-inflammatory properties, can lower blood pressure, and improve blood flow.

Dark chocolate also contains saturated fat- most notably stearic acid. Many of us are aware that saturated fats contribute to heart disease and we know to minimize our consumption of this potentially dangerous fat. On the contrary, stearic acid has been linked to improved cardiovascular health. Although studies on the subject are limited, there is evidence that stearic acid improves blood pressure. But that doesn't mean that you should just eat a lot of dark chocolate. Stearic acid is still a saturated fat and although some experts believe that it can improve heart health, there is no definitive conclusion on the subject.


Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate And Your Heart

Milk chocolate is less healthy than dark chocolate. It contains less polyphenols than the dark variety. And the addition of milk reduces its benefits even further. This is because milk interferes with absorption of flavonoids in the small intestine. But it is much healthier than white chocolate which, despite its pleasant taste, doesn't have a lot of nutritional value.

As a matter of fact, white chocolate just doesn't measure up in terms of anti-oxidants. Due to the way white chocolate is produced, it is virtually devoid of flavonoids meaning that they won't be of much benefit for heart disease prevention.


So, Is It Okay To Eat Chocolate?

Chocolate is fattening. Just 43 grams of milk chocolate contains 227 calories and 43 grams of dark chocolate has 244 calories. If you eat too much of the stuff, any potential benefits to your cardiovascular system could be offset by increased risk of becoming overweight or obese. So as with anything else in life having too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. Don't be greedy, eat chocolate very sparingly.


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Article Sources 

Ding et al: Chocolate and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review. Nutrition & Metabolism 2006, 3:2.


White Chocolate.

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Time Your Carbs For Weight Loss

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Okay, you've decided to get into shape. You're exercising regularly and eating right. You look good but you want to look even better. You're not satisfied with the trim look. That's not enough. You want a lean, muscular body. You want to shed excess body fat. For this to happen you've got to work hard - get lots of exercise, plenty of rest and eat healthy foods. You know all of that. But what about carbohydrates? Can you really eat carbs and still lose weight? The answer is yes. And this article is going to tell you how to do it.


You Can Eat Carbohydrates And Still Lose Body Fat Weight

People usually lose weight when they restrict the amount of calories they consume. For most folks that's the whole idea behind dieting. The problem comes in, though, when they wind up burning up muscles instead of fat. That's why I wrote the article "How Do You Shred Body Fat While Building Muscle?" It was written primarily for overweight to moderately obese folks who want to become healthier. If you haven't read it, I suggest that you do.

Carbohydrates are not the enemy. That's a myth created by people who have a misunderstanding about how the body functions, the body can't survive for very long if it is deprived of carbohydrates. And the body will go to great lengths to stay alive including the conversion of protein to glucose. In other words, to stay alive your body can and will break down muscle and use it as fuel. This is unsafe and unsustainable. But most folks don't have to worry about this because we get more than our fair share of carbs.

Many of the foods we eat are high in calories and low in nutritional value. We eat more carbs than our body can handle, so we store most of it as fat. That's how we tend to gain weight. But I'm going to let you in on a little secret that trainers and bodybuilders have known about for a long time: you can actually eat carbs and still lose body fat. The secret to accomplishing this is timing.


Time Your Carbohydrate Intake To Help Your Body Lose Fat

Perhaps you've heard this piece of advice: "Don't eat dinner after six p.m." It essentially comes from the notion that the body will stop burning fuel after a certain time and the food you eat will become stored as fat. That idea is incorrect.

The body is always burning fuel in a process known as basal metabolism, we require energy to power activities such as breathing, pumping of blood to all of the cells of the body, nervous system activity, waste removal e.g. liver and kidneys and other basic functions. Since these are basic, life sustaining functions they don't need a lot of energy. You burn up less fuel when you're asleep than you do while sitting on the sofa watching television.

But the basic premise isn't wrong: time the intake of the foods you eat so that you can get the most use out of them while shedding body fat. That's what carbohydrate timing is all about. So this means that if you know that you're going to be less active during the evening and night time, do not eat carbohydrates during those hours.

Carbohydrates are an excellent energy source but they also cause insulin levels to rise which slows metabolic activity. To make the best use of carbs, they must be used for fuel, otherwise most of their energy will be stored away as body fat.

When you're an active person, you need to eat carbohydrates during those peak hours of physical activity. If you're strength training at the gym, roller blading in the park, or walking on the treadmill, carbs in the system will improve your performance. In this case you would choose a high fiber vegetable or high fiber fruit to help give you energy for your workout.

Most of the energy for your workout, though, would come from proteins and healthy fats. Then after you've finished your workout you would choose from whole grains, sweet potatoes, even some starchy foods e.g. corn or white potatoes. But only after you've finished your workout. These foods will help your body to get the carbs it needs while sparing protein as a fuel source.

That's it. You continue to eat proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates but you restrict most of the carbs to when you need them the most. Remember that carb timing isn't the only way to burn body fat while exercising. 

If you don't want to go hard core, you can still shed fat by eating more carbs throughout the day provided that you balance it with strength training three days per week and cardio five days per week.  If you take the timed carbohydrates option, you may reduce the amount of time spent on cardio exercise because you don't want to risk muscle loss.

Remember to consult your physician before starting any exercise or nutrition program.

Rejoice in the Lord and His ever loving kindness. God is God!

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How Do You Shred Body Fat While Building Muscle?

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Last week I wrote about adding muscle to a thin frame. The tips in that article should help people who have trouble gaining weight get off to a good start. But lots of people have just the opposite problem, they're either overweight or obese and want to lose the unwanted fat. Of course, it's not enough to just lose weight, if you go about it the wrong way, your body will lose muscle and you'll actually be worse off than before. So this article is going to look at how people can shred excess body fat while continuing to add muscle.


To Get Real Results, Forget About Fad Diets

What I'm going to discuss in this article is not a plan for people who believe in fad diets for weight loss. If you want to lose fat it is going to take hard work, you'll need to change your mindset and commit yourself to a plan for the future i.e. a lifestyle change.

You won't be successful if you don't accept the fact that you must be mentally prepared before you get on board. Please keep in mind that the suggestions in this article may not be suitable for people with cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes or other medical condition. Remember to consult your physician before starting any fitness or nutrition program.


Do It Right - Nutrition, Cardio and Strength Training to Burn Fat and Gain Muscle

If you want to shed fat while adding muscle, you must combine proper nutrition with cardiovascular exercise and strength training. There's no way around this if you truly want to get in shape and maintain it for the long haul. This probably won't be very easy for those of you who are accustomed to eating a lot of food but getting very little exercise. But if you believe in yourself and stay focused it will get easier with time.

You've got to choose a sensible diet plan that consists of lean meat, poultry, low fat dairy, healthy fats that are high in omega-3, and - now this is the very crucial part - low glycemic index carbohydrates, while minimizing your intake of high glycemic index foods. This last part is absolutely crucial because if you don't pay attention to your carb intake you will sabotage everything. (I'll provide examples of low glycemic index and high glycemic index foods in a few minutes.)

You'll also need to perform 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every week, that breaks down to 30 minutes per day. Low impact aerobics e.g. walking, leisure biking, stationary bike are ideal for this sort of thing because you don't want to burn up muscle for fuel (which can happen if you do excessive cardio) or damage your joints.

If possible do your cardio in the morning hours before breakfast because this activates fat burning reserves. You can give the body a little nudge by consuming a slice of fruit or a fruit juice rinse just before you exercise. This will get the body to think there is sugar in system and improve performance and boost your metabolism which will be very important for fat burning throughout the day.

If you can't do your cardio in the mornings, then perform it when you have free time later in the day (but by this time you should have already had at least one meal, you do not want to skip meals).

Finally, perform no less than two and no more than four days of strength training each week. Time the workout sessions to last for about thirty minutes. Make use of heavy weight, low repetition exercises. This stimulates muscle growth which requires a lot of energy.

Your body will repair muscle tissue even when you're not exercising (this is also why you should not overtrain), and some of protein from the food you eat will go toward this process. Building muscle keeps your metabolism high contributing to a calorie deficit and fat loss.


Give Yourself One Cheat Meal Each Week

Six days each week you should focus on eating foods that are low on the glycemic index (GI). Such foods will be high in nutritional fiber and require a lot of time to digest. This allows the body to get more use out of such foods. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, cauliflower, beets, collard greens, brussel sprouts, apples, strawberries and plums are examples of low glycemic index foods.

Include low GI foods in every meal. Foods that burn energy quickly rank high on the glycemic index. Oranges, tomatoes, honey, white rice, potatoes, fruit juice drinks, soda pop, ice cream, french fries, and cookies are examples of high GI foods. These foods are high in calories so you must be careful and limit their intake.

One day each week allow yourself to have one high glycemic index food. Some people refer to them as "cheat foods" but I disagree. Humans evolved a taste for sugar, our hunter-gatherer ancestors quickly realized that honey  and fruits were a source of energy and that information has been passed down to us.

Very few people can go without some sweets so rather than punish yourself by barring sugar from your diet, just limit their amount. Eating sweets in moderation allows you to satisfy your sugar cravings while preventing a sugar binge. And this is great for fat loss because if you're not binging on sweets, you're less likely to put on extra body fat.

If you follow the tips you should notice a gradual reduction in body fat. Your muscles will be more defined and you'll look slimmer and healthier. Just remember to stick with it and be patient.


“For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).


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Article Source

Jeukendrup et al: Oral Carbohydrate sensing and athletic performance. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. July 2010; 13 (4): 447 - 451.

"How Do You Shred Body Fat While Building Muscle?" copyright © 2011 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.


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Relieve Computer Vision Syndrome!

Relieve Computer Vision Syndrome!
By [,_M.D.]Mark Rosenberg, M.D.

If you're like many of my patients, perhaps your job requires you to spend a great deal of time in front of a computer every day. If so, you've likely experienced a form of eyestrain associated with prolonged computer use called computer vision syndrome. I'd like to talk to you about some ways you can reduce, or even eliminate, the symptoms of this common condition.

Facts About Computer Vision Syndrome

The American Optometric Association reports that 70-75% of Americans who spend a lot of time in front of a computer have computer vision syndrome! That's right. Most people, however, do not attribute the symptoms of this condition to computer use. They include:

•Eye strain
•Blurred vision
•Shoulder and neck pain
•Dry, scratchy red eyes

Your eyes do not respond to reading print on a computer screen the same way they do reading printed material from, say, a newspaper or magazine. That's because words in printed material stand out from their background much more distinctly than words that appear on a lighted computer screen. With the glare that comes from the lighted computer monitor screen, your eyes constantly have to focus thousands of times trying to read computer screen text.

Also, you blink less often reading computer text than regular text, in fact 5 times less, and this causes the eye to become dry and irritated. In addition, the eye muscles become overworked and that's where all the strain, headaches, and neck pain comes from. Standard vision tests fail to properly diagnose computer vision syndrome because they only show how well characters are seen up close and far away. Computer vision syndrome falls somewhere in the middle.

Can You Remedy Computer Vision Syndrome?

The question most frequently asked by my patients when we discuss their eyestrain is, "how can I avoid this condition if I have to work all day on a computer?" Unfortunately, you can't completely avoid the eyestrain symptoms of working on a computer all day. However, you can do several things to prevent, or ease, some of the symptoms.

•Adjust room lighting/screen lighting: Room lighting should be about the same or slightly darker/dimmer than your computer screen. Working in an overhead-lit room with fluorescent lighting will aggravate symptoms significantly. If possible, try to reduce the brightness of overhead lighting.
•Computer ergonomics: Position your screen so it is at or slightly below eye level. Position the screen so that it does not reflect outside light or overhead light. Position monitor close enough so you can read text without having to lean forward into it.
•Blink frequently: You will likely have to remember to blink more often while working on your computer. Some eye lubricant like Artificial Tears can help alleviate irritation.
•Eye Exam: It can help to get a complete eye exam, and if necessary, a prescription for computer glasses than are specifically designed to prevent computer vision syndrome.
•Replace your monitor: Old, CRT (cathode ray terminal) monitors give off a lot of glare. Get a new, LCD (liquid crystal display) to help avoid eyestrain.
•Exercise your eyes: To reduce "focus fatigue", these simple and quick exercises can help reduce spasms of the muscles around the eyes. A. 20-20-20. Look away from your computer every 20 minutes at something about 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. B. 10-10's. Alternative looking at something distant, and something close up for 10 seconds each, repeated 10 times. Blink frequently during the exercises to lubricate the eye.
•Take a Break: Take more frequent mini breaks throughout the day where you get up and move away from the computer screen. Walk to the restroom, break room, or get some water.
•Hydrate: As always, drink adequate amounts of water, at least one gallon a day, more if you are sweating a lot. Eye tissues are predominantly water. If you become dehydrated so do your eyes.
•Supplements: Be sure you are getting enough eye healthy vitamins like beta-carotene, antioxidants C, E, selenium, bilberry, lutein and zeaxanthin either from the food you eat or additional supplements.

In these days of computer-dominated workdays, social media and the Internet, many of us spend an inordinate amount of time in front of a computer screen. Our eyes may be paying the ultimate price for all our computer savvy technologies, however.
To minimize and/or alleviate the symptoms of computer vision syndrome, give your eyes a break from your computer at regular intervals. As I tell my patients, try to use weekends as computer rest time and go without any computer screen usage to rest your eyes completely. Follow at least some of the recommendations above so that your eyes will stay healthy and your vision good long into your golden years!
Mark Rosenberg, M.D.
Institute For Healthy Aging


Article Source: [!&id=6025924] Relieve Computer Vision Syndrome!

Friday March 25 is American Diabetes Alert Day



Friday March 25 is the 21st annual American Diabetes Alert Day. Diabetes type II affects millions of Americans across all racial groups. To educate yourself about risk factors for this disease, take the American Diabetes Association's Diabetes Risk Test.

The test is easy and requires only a minute of your time and will help you to determine your risk of developing type II diabetes. To take the Diabetes Risk Test, talk with diabetes educators, or to learn more about American Diabetes Association events held in your area, visit the American Diabetes Association's website

Remember, type II diabetes is a preventable. Don't short change yourself thinking that it won't affect you. Get the facts. Take the test today.


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What Should You Be Doing If You're Trying To Bulk Up?

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Close-up of a Man Lifting a Dumbbell

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There are a lot of guys smaller guys who dream of putting on a lot of muscle mass but don't know how to go about it. So in this article I'm going to discuss steps needed to put on that extra muscle.

Eat Lots of Food for Bulk

This should be a no-brainer, but there's no way that you can sustain a solid weight without proper nutrition. Some people think that bulking is simply a matter of piling on the calories, eating anything in sight. This is one of the worst things to do because haphazard eating habits lead to serious health problems most notably is obesity.

To add muscle to your frame make sure to eat four to six meals per day. You must choose nutritious foods that will stave off hunger and provide energy. Here would be a sensible meal plan for a man who wants to bulk up without adding excess fat:

Breakfast: whole grain cereal, whey protein shake, low fat milk, fruit, fish oil, water

Midday snack: whole grain cereal, low fat milk, lean meat or poultry, vegetable, water

Lunch: whole grain cereal, low fat milk, lean meat or poultry, vegetable, water

Snack: nuts, fruit, water

Supper: lean meat or poultry, vegetable, whole grain bread, water

Fruit is a good source of energy and should be part of your regular diet, but choose low glycemic index (GI) fruits because they have fiber and take longer to digest. Apples, pears, mangoes are examples of low GI fruits that will provide you with energy and stop hunger. Sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli  are very nutritious vegetables that fill you up without contributing to wasted calories.


Bulk Up By Lifting Heavy Weights

Healthy bulking means that you add muscle not fat. To develop solid muscle, you have to lift heavy weights three or four times a week. Don't waste time doing isolation exercises e.g. bicep curls, to get real results concentrate on compound exercises. The best exercises for bulking are deadlifts, squats and bench press- all of which belong to a special class of compound exercises known as power lifting. There's little chance that you will develop substantial muscle mass without performing these exercises.

Deadlifts, squats and bench press recruit many different muscle groups which work together to accomplish the lift. These exercises are not easy. From personal experience I can tell you that powerlifts create an incredible demand on the entire body, it will take time and practice to learn proper form. Once you learn how to do them, the benefits are enormous. The feeling that I get from deadlifting 2.65 times my body weight is incredibly satisfying. Powerlifting stimulates testosterone production - a natural growth hormone - which helps your muscles to grow. If you're serious about bulking up, make sure that you perform powerlift exercises. Your body will thank you for it.

I also recommend the clean and press exercise. The clean and press is a strength training exercise which sets it apart from powerlifting. Nonetheless, it is very good for building muscle mass because it draws upon muscles in the legs, abs, shoulders, arms and chest. The amount of power required to execute such a lift is substantial and there are very few people who dare to do them these days. Personally, they're fun and very challenging.

When considering a heavy lifting regimen I would suggest the following:

Mondays - clean and press and bench press

Wednesdays - squats

Fridays - deadlifts

Some lifters use straps and belts when performing powerlifts. I have a personal bias in favor of lifting unassisted. The goal of powerlifting is to build and strengthen muscle. Belts and straps take some of the exertion off the muscles which defeats the purpose of those exercises and will hinder your progress. You have to do them on your own.

If you're unfamiliar with weight lifting, I suggest that you visit Great Chest and Whole Body Workouts. On that website goes into greater detail than this article does. Great Chest and Whole Body Workouts also features how to videos that will teach you proper technique for powerlifting exercises, so go check it out.


One More Thing

Don't forget to rest. You want to bulk up, not mess up. Devotion to training is very important, but you must allow your muscles to grow. Heavy weight training breaks down muscle tissue, and the body needs time to recover. You could seriously harm yourself if you overtrain. If you follow the nutrition and weight lifting suggestions in this article, you should see results. Just be patient.

Remember safety before vanity: consult your doctor before beginning any exercise or nutrition program.


6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; Romans 8:6

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Can You Really Lose Weight And Train Better If You Listen To Music?

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Have you ever wondered why coaches and personal trainers have the radio on during training sessions? Odds are it's not just because they happen to enjoy the music. The reason why this is common practice shouldn't come as a surprise to most of you.

The fact of the matter is this: research shows that listening to music while you exercise can improve the quality of your workout. Yes, it's that simple. You've probably known this for a long time, semi-consciously plugging in your iPod whenever you get ready to exercise.

But what makes music so important to exercise? Keep reading, because you're about to find out.


Benefits of Listening To Music While You Exercise

The human body responds well to positive stimuli. And music can prompt the human body to do amazing things. For example, have you ever felt re-invigorated after listening to your favorite song? If so, then you know how powerful the impact can be. The music produced a multitude of physiological responses within your body.


Music Makes The Pain Go Away

There is scientific evidence that music can affect the listener's attention span and perception. For example, music can stimulates feelings of happiness and distract a person from feelings of tiredness. It can even happen on an unconscious level, and would explain why people who listen to upbeat music tend to exercise more intensely.


Music Increases Motivation and Improves Motor Skills

Researchers observed that female basketball players performed better if they listened to upbeat music prior to their games. Scientists concluded that music decreased anxiety, providing the athletes something different to focus on.

There is also evidence that music improves muscular coordination and coordination. Thus music can be a very effective motivator for people whom might otherwise be shy about participating in exercise. If their minds are pre-occupied with music, it may distract their misperception of physical awkwardness while improving their motor skills.


Music Speeds Up Your Heart Beat and Respiration

Scientists at Liverpool John Moores University discovered that cyclists's heart rates changed with music tempo. Faster music resulted in elevated heart rate, conversely the heart rate slowed when the music was of a slower tempo.

This is an important take home message for people who are interested in getting the most out of their weight loss exercise routine: listen to fast tempo music when performing aerobics.

Aerobics is designed to increase cardiovascular fitness and breathing and music is integral to accomplishing that goal. So, whether you're exercising on the treadmill, jogging, walking or biking, listening to upbeat music while you train will speed up your heart rate, thus helping you to lose weight.    


What's The Best Music For Exercise?

Experts suggest that people should consider the type of activity that they will perform prior to their choice of music. For example, if the goal is a repetitive exercise e.g. interval training then music that matches the tempo and actions of the exercise would be a better choice than a music that merely sounds good to the ears.

On the other hand, if you want to get your heart rate up - a common goal of weight loss exercise - choose music of a fast tempo. The body synchronizes to sound so make sure that you choose your music wisely. 

Now it's your turn. Do you listen to music while you exercise? Do you notice any change in the quality of your workouts? Tell us about it in the comments.


God is always with His children.


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Article Sources 

Music In Sport and Exercise: An Update on Research and Application.

Mesagno et al: Alleviating Choking- The Sounds of Distraction. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. April 2009; 21(2): 131-147.

Waterhouse et al: Effects of Music Tempo upon submaximal cycling. Scandanavian Journal of Medical & Science in Sports. August 2010; 20(4):662-9. 


"Can You Really Lose Weight And Train Better If You Listen To Music?" copyright © 2011 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.



What Your Nails Say About Your Health

800px-Fingernails2 wikipedia
(The image "Fingernails" is supplied by wikipedia)




You may not be aware of this but the color, shape and size of your nails provide valuable information about your health. When medical professionals examine your fingernails, they are looking for signs of illness. In the interests of protecting your own health, it would be a good idea to listen to your body and pay attention to what it is telling you because it could very well save your life.


Health Problems Revealed Through The Nails

The human nail is composed of a protein known as keratin which acts to provide protection and sensory information related to touch. When the body suffers injury or illness, the nail maybe among the first tell-tale signs of trouble. Below is a table listing of nail appearance and their association with common illnesses.

Nail Appearance                                      Medical Condition

White Nails                                                 Liver Disease

Thick, Yellowish nails                               Emphysema

Opaque Nails with Dark Bands              Diabetes

Red Nails                                                    Cardiovascular Disease

Half White, Half Pink Nails                       Kidney Disease

Spoon Nails                                                Iron Anemia Deficiency

Enlarged, Clubbed Nails                         Liver and Heart Disease

 Nail Depressions                                     Psoriasis


If you notice any changes in the appearance of your nails, bring it to the attention of your doctor. The doctor can perform an examination to determine whether or not you have developed a condition that requires medical intervention. Although it's important to bear in mind that nails can change appearance for a number of reasons, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Why not say--as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say--"Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved. Romans 3:8

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Article Sources

What Your Nails Say About Your Health.

Slide show: Finger nails -


"What Your Nails Say About Your Health" copyright © 2011 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.