To Live a Long Life, Walk your Way to Fitness

While reducing calories will help you shed those unwanted pounds, you can help them stay off by walking. Would you say losing weight is easy … how many times have you lost 2, 3 or maybe 4 pounds? The difficult part is keeping that weight off and this is where walking helps.

Hippocrates said ‘Eating alone will not keep a man well; he must also take exercise.’

A couple of generations ago most people incorporated sufficient physical activity in their normal daily lives to make separate exercise unnecessary. The same cannot be said today with our sedentary lifestyle packed with labor saving devices.

We have to make an effort to exercise our bodies as it is simply not happening,  during a normal working day … for many of us anyway!

If you’ve been restricting your calorie intake to lose weight, you may have lowered your metabolic rate. Your metabolism is your body’s engine and like all engines it needs fuel (food). When the fuel is in short supply (when you are on a diet) the engine slows its burn rate to conserve energy so you actually start burning fewer calories and the rate at which you
lose weight slows and plateaus.

Walking for 20, 30 minutes – or an hour if you have time – each day will help to increase your metabolic rate back up to a normal level. This in turn means your body has to look elsewhere for fuel and this is when it will start to raid those fat stores.

The beauty of walking is that you can start without buying special clothing or equipment besides a good pair of shoes of course …  you can do it wherever you are in whatever time you have available … running up some stairs or walking from the far end of the parking lot!

Our body was programmed to move and walk! For thousands of years that is how people moved from one place to the next … and they probably did not get fat!

You could buy a treadmill or walking machine so you could walk indoors – weight loss equipment can be really useful in keeping you to your weight loss work out routine – provided you use it for the purpose for which it was designed and don’t leave it in the corner of your bedroom to be used as a clothes rack.  As a matter of fact, you probably get one the many treadmills abandoned in garages for a very good price!

In addition to helping you maintain your weight loss, walking has been shown to reduce the risk of suffering from diabetes, stroke, a number of cancers and heart disease.

If you don’t have time to go for a walk be creative and think about the opportunities you have to incorporate walking into your normal daily routine.

Walking is free, it’s eco friendly and it’s good for you.

Walking conditions and strengthens muscles, increases fitness levels, boosts circulation and has been shown to boost those naturally occurring brain chemicals that ward of depression.

A lot of weight problems can be attributed to comfort eating caused by depression and the blues. Walking helps to lift the mood thereby reducing the need to eat chocolate and other serotonin containing foods.

So now that you are convinced of the benefits of walking, before you pull on your walking shoes,  stop and ask yourself if you need to check in with your doctor before starting an exercise program?

You might want to re-read the previous article about Dr. Mirkin’s advice on training and fitness.

Always remember to gently warm up those muscles before striding out and gently stretch the muscles as you cool down after your walk and remember t0 take a bottle of water with you.

Be safe – think about your route, let someone know which way you will be walking or find a walking buddy. Remember walking around a mall, a zoo or a park, while your children play, is all walking  … take the time to keep track of your progress – this will be very motivating on those off days when you lose your walking mojo. Being able to look back and see how far you have progressed can be inspirational.

Design your own walking weight loss program to suit your current fitness levels and combined with a healthy eating plan you’ll find the weight is not only lost but it stays off too.

Besides you have trained yourself to include walking or some form of daily exercise in your life!

This free report explains the connection between fitness and metabolism … Click this link to download the report:

Special Metabolic Fitness Report

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. New technology and techniques with exercise will ensure weight loss
3. Fixing the middle age spread
4. Increase metabolism naturally to speed fat loss
5. A growing problem – a silent epidemic called metabolic syndrome
6. A growing waistline is a dangerous situation
7. Get a metabolism advantage by increasing the calories you burn
8. How we can use proper exercise to help us stay in shape
9. Strength training exercise for long term permanent results
10. High metabolic fitness includes an elevated use of fat at rest and during exercise
11. Use strength training exercise to create metabolic fitness
12. Learn More

The Real Meaning of Fitness by Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

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I suscribe to Dr. Gabe Mirkin’s weekly e-zine and he encourages his readers to share his e-zine, so since I want to write here about achieving fitness for life, I’m glad to have re-discovered this article dated 8.31.08 about the real meaning of fitness.

Here is what Dr.Mirkin advocates:

The latest research shows that exercising three times a week for 30 minutes will not necessarily make you fit, nor does exercising for 60 minutes seven days a week.

When you exercise intensely, your muscles stretch and tear. It’s the tearing that causes the burning during exercise, and leads to the soreness that you feel for the next day or two.

When your muscles heal from these tears, they are stronger than they were before. So it’s the burning during exercise that causes the tearing that causes the next-day soreness.

So it’s the burning during exercise that causes the tearing that causes the next-day soreness. Then you take days off or go slowly so you can recover; your muscles heal, which gets rid of the soreness, and with healing, the muscle is stronger than it was before you did the exercise.

However, there are some serious problems with training for real fitness. If the force on your muscles during exercise is greater than the strength of your muscles, they will tear too much and you will be injured.

If your muscles are still sore from a previous workout and you try to exercise intensely, you can cause a serious injury
. You must learn to tell whether the burning is the good burning that causes muscle growth or the bad burning in which you put too much force on your muscles and tear them so you can’t exercise at all.

The program I recommend for fitness applies only to healthy people. It could cause heart attacks in people with damaged hearts. Before trying this, check with your doctor.

The rules for fitness are that you should spend several months exercising at a casual pace and not going for the burn. After a few months, you should be able to exercise 30 minutes every day and not feel sore.

Then you are ready to start training.

If you are a runner or a biker, go out and run or ride very fast until your legs burn, slow down until the burning goes away.

Then when your muscles feel fresh again, pick up the pace. When your legs start to stiffen, stop the workout.

On the next day, either do nothing or go slowly and do not try to do another intense workout until your muscles feel fresh.

Then when your muscles feel fresh, you take another hard workout.

Remember, trying to exercise intensely on sore muscles will only injure you.

Now that I’ve prepared you about the proper ways to

start a fitness program, I think you will be able to

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About Advice for Life and Sunscreen

I just watched this video on an interesting blog ‘Advice For All‘ after someone from that blog entered a comment on this blog
‘I Want to Be Energetic and Healthy’

I hope some of you will enjoy it as much as I did!

Fran :)

Quick Healthy Dinner

Picture of red kidney beans
Image via Wikipedia

Gabe’s Famous Bean-Eggplant-Tomato Casserole – Quick Version

2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 green peppers, chopped
2 28-oz. cans plum tomatoes, chopped
2 T. fresh oregano or 2 t. dried
1 T. fresh thyme or 1 t. dried
2 bay leaves
1/4 t. cayenne, or to taste
2 eggplants (select very young, firm, shiny ones)
3 cans kidney beans, undrained

Bring the onions, garlic, pepper, tomatoes with their juice, and the seasonings to a boil and simmer while dicing the eggplant. Add eggplant to the pot and simmer 10 minutes. (You can peel the eggplant if you wish; I never do.) Stir in the cooked beans and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

10-12 servings freezes well!

Extra-Quick Version: Substitute 2 bags frozen pepper/onion mix for the onions and green peppers.

Southwestern Version: Add 1 tablespoon Southwestern Spice Mix or 1 tablespoon mild chile powder.

You’ll find lots of recipes and helpful tips in
The Good Food Book

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To Live a Long Healthy Life, We Need to Reduce Stress

MIAMI BEACH, FL - JUNE 11:  Brittany Ganson (L...

Many try meditation, but few stick to it long enough to adapt to the kind of techniques that would be best suited for them …   this is unfortunate in our age of ever increasing stress and stress disorders.

The ability to learn relaxation techniques can have an significant impact on improving ones health, both body and mind, while increasing joy, calm, confidence and self-compassion.

Being in the present moment during stressful experiences is key to reducing levels of stress hormone and once you master meditation, you’ll discover that you will be able to do it almost anywhere when you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress.

On its website, the Mayo Clinic describes meditation as an ancient practice that originally helped deepen one’s understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life, but nowadays the Mayo Clinic recommends meditation for stress reduction, especially as it is simple and inexpensive, does not require any special equipment, and can be practiced almost anywhere.

Benefits of meditation

Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. And these benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and improve certain medical conditions.

The emotional benefits of meditation include:

Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
Building skills to manage your stress
Increased self-awareness
Focusing on the present
Reducing negative emotions

Emotional benefits include fewer negative emotions, more self-awareness, being ‘in the now’, and a new perspective on dealing with stress.

In another post I will relate more information about the practice of meditation, as a means to help living a longer life by controlling the production of stress hormone

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Changing a Habit Takes Time and Some Incentive

Toyota Yaris crash in Uetersen, Germany
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Nothing leaves you more refreshed and full of energy than a good night’s sleep. But now, it has been proved that sleep is crucial for a long and healthy life.

There has been mounting evidence from recent studies that getting the right amount of rest can do much more than perk you up in the morning.

Lying in bed for more than eight or nine hours every night is also now considered a ‘marker’ for ill health. Cut down on alcohol, fatty foods such as butter, grease, or oil, and “junk food” like chips or candy.

It’s well worth the effort to change some habits when you consider that when you’re in a good state of mind, you make good decisions for yourself about your job, your lifestyle, and your health.

Being sleepy reduces your concentration, increases mood swings, and causes many car accidents.

I think that improving the chances for a long and healthy life should be a big enough incentive for some insomniacs to change one or more habits …

What do you think about that?

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