Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What Does Your Body Weight Really Tell You About Your Health

Your dietary habits significantly affect your body weight, body composition, and physical health. Recent studies show that over 60 percent of Americans are overweight or obese predisposing them to various diseases and degenerative problems.  But what does overweight really mean?  By public health standards being overweight is weight that is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height as determined by your Body Mass Index or BMI.  Categories for BMI fall into the following:

Underweight =  less than 18.5  
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

It is generally assumed that people in the overweight and obese BMI categories are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and a host of other degenerative problems. But, does BMI give the best indication of the health risk associated with your body weight?  I think body composition is a much better indicator for associating body weight with health risks because it takes into account both muscle weight and fat weight. Please click here to see the entire post

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Low-Fat Diet Fraud

For decades, the mantra for healthy eating has been “eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.” Touted as a way to lose weight and prevent heart disease and other chronic conditions, millions of people have followed this advice. Seeing a tremendous marketing opportunity, food companies re-engineered thousands of foods to be low-fat or fat-free. The low-fat approach to eating may have made a difference for the occasional individual, but as a nation, it has nether helped us control our weight nor become healthier. In the 1960s, fats and oils supplied Americans with about 45 percent of their calories. About 13 percent of the population was obese and less than one percent had type 2 diabetes. Today, Americans take in less fat, getting about 33 percent of calories from fats and oils; yet 34 percent of the population is obese, and eight percent has diabetes (mostly type 2). (Source: Harvard School of Public Health).

Research has shown that the total amount of fat in your diet isn’t linked with weight or disease. What actually matters is the type of fat in your diet. Trans fats and saturated fats increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats do just the opposite. But then you ask, “what about cholesterol in food?” The answer is, for most people the mix of fats in their diets influences cholesterol in their bloodstreams far more than cholesterol in food. Click here to read the entire post.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Maintaining a Steady Blood Sugar Level is Important in Your Effort to Lose Weight

Maintaining a steady blood sugar level is not only important for your health, it's also a critical component in your effort to lose weight. While your body breaks down all digestible carbohydrates into blood sugar, some are converted into blood sugar faster than others. Thus, some carbohydrates cause a spike in your blood sugar level causing you to feel hungry faster and to crave more sugary foods. Other carbohydrates are converted into blood sugar more slowly, leveling out your blood sugar and resulting in less hunger and food cravings.

For this reason, the Glycemic Index (GI) was developed to classify how quickly
your body converts carbohydrates into blood sugar as opposed to pure glucose. Glucose has a GI of 100, and all other carbohydrate-based foods are ranked against it. Foods with a score of 70 or more are considered to as have a high GI, while those with a score of 55 or less are considered low. Please click here to see entire post...

Friday, September 22, 2017

Over 40 Beginner's Strength Training Program

Whether you are 40 or 90 it’s never too late to begin strength training program  People in their nineties can still build muscle and become stronger.  My oldest client started working out at age 90.  Here is a perfect strength training program to start building muscle and getting stronger.

In this strength training program, you will work all the major muscle in your body.  This routine is designed for you to do every third day.  For example do this program Monday, Thursday, and Sunday etc…  Spacing out this routine is important to give your body a chance to recuperate between workout sessions.  Strength training tears down muscle fibers, so your body needs the proper recovery time to rebuild those fibers stronger.

You should do each exercise for two sets of 10 repetitions with at least one minute but no more that two minutes between each set.  For each exercise select a resistance with which the last three repetitions are difficult to complete.  Do this routine for two months.  Click here to see the entire post

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Two of My Favorite Exercises for Strengthening and Developing Your Chest

No other muscle is as prominent in a youthful and fit appearance as a strong and developed chest.  What most people consider as the chest is composed of two muscles, the pectoralis major, and the pectoralis minor.  Below is a brief description of these muscles and their primary purpose.

The pectoralis major is a large, substantial, fan-shaped muscle that makes up the majority of the chest muscle mass. It originates at your clavicle, ribs, and sternum, and inserts into the upper portion of your humerus (upper arm bone from elbow to shoulder.)  The pectoralis major helps flex the shoulder joint, and moves your arm toward and across your chest. This is the muscle that gives the chest that strong and fit appearance in a front and side profile.

The pectoralis minor is a thin, triangular muscle that is found underneath the pectoralis major. It attaches at the 3rd, 4th and 5th rib, and it reaches to the scapula (shoulder blade.).  It is not a very large muscle but is gives the pectoralis major more prominence when it is developed and strong. Its job is to help pull the shoulder forward and down.

When exercising the chest I like to use a heavy movement to develop the pectoralis major followed by a lighter shaping exercise to target the pectoralis minor.  Thus, combining an exercise to build mass with a movement to shape and define the chest.  Below is a video of two of my favorite exercises to accomplish this task. Click here to see video

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Why Strength Training Is so Important for Optimal Health, by Dr Joseph Mercola

Below is an excerpt from an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola, osteopathic physician explaining the importance of strength training for optimal health. This is one of the best articles I’ve read on the benefits of weight lifting. It’s a must read.

Research confirms that exercise is the best “preventive drug” for many common ailments and chronic diseases, from psychiatric disorders and pain to heart disease, diabetes and cancer. As stated by Dr. Timothy Church, director of preventive medicine research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.

“Exercise strengthens the entire human machine — the heart, the brain, the blood vessels, the bones, the muscles. The most important thing you can do for your long-term health is lead an active life.”
Unfortunately, many make the mistake of focusing on cardiovascular exercise to the exclusion of everything else. Strength training is overlooked by many for a number of different reasons. Women may think they’ll bulk up and look manly, the elderly might worry about it being too strenuous or dangerous, and parents might think weight training is too risky for their children for these same reasons.

The truth is, nearly everyone, regardless of age or gender, will benefit from strength training. Working your muscles will help you shed excess fat, maintain healthy bone mass and prevent age-related muscle loss, the latter of which can start as early as your 30s if you do not actively counteract it. As noted in a recent Time magazine article.

Please click here to read the entire article.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

What Image Do You Hold About Age

Ever hear someone complaining about the aches and pains of getting older, or hear someone say, "I just don't heal as fast as I did when I was younger" ?  What mental image do you hold about age?  I believe your health is shaped by what you think about the aging process.

Most people believe in a decline in their mental and physical health as they age.  However, contrary to this belief, your body is designed to be healthy and strong all the days of your life given a positive mental attitude, proper nutrition, and regular exercise.   Do you know your body completely rebuilds itself every 11 months? That's right, within a year every worn out cell is replaced by a new healthy cell.  Click here to see the entire post...