Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Healthy Lifestyle Is Key To A Long Healthy Life

People seem to think that once they reach the age of forty, their bodies start to deteriorate , slipping down the slope into old age. They blame their lack of energy, their pudgy appearance, and their aches and pains on “getting old”. Most of these symptoms are however the result of years of negative thinking, lack of exercise, and poor dietary choices. The key to keeping your body healthy, fit, and firm as you age is making healthy lifestyle choices on a daily basis.

It’s a proven fact that people who make healthy lifestyle choices live longer and have a better quality of life than those who adopt unhealthy habits. So, deciding to incorporate healthy habits into your life is the first step to getting and staying healthy, fit, and firm with age. The next step is choosing those activities that are the most beneficial in your quest to stay healthy, fit, and firm.

Those, including myself, who stay healthy, fit, and firm as the years pass find that a positive state of mind, and a proper mix of strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and balanced nutrition is fundamental to getting and staying healthy as you mature. People, such as Jack LaLanne and Al Beckles are examples of the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.

Jack LaLanne is a living icon to the benefits of healthy thinking, eating, and exercise. Over the years he has performed amazing feats of strength and conditioning on his birthday. Jack is now 95 years old, and he still work outs two hours each day devoting one and a half hours to strength training. This is a true testament to the value of strength training as you mature.

Al Beckles is a legend in the bodybuilding world. At the age of 55, Al placed second in the Mr. Olympia competition. The Mr. Olympia Competition is the premier bodybuilding event which thousands of competitors from across the world dream of winning each year. Al Beckles competed well into his sixties because his physique was still phenomenal and better than competitors more than half his age.

While I don’t place myself in the same class with Jack LaLanne and Al Beckles I can tell you the value that healthy lifestyle habits have in my life. I am in my fifties and I keep my body fat at 10 percent or less. My fitness program consists of four strength training sessions each week followed by 20 minutes of cardio. I can chest press 100 pound dumbbells in each hand for 10 repetitions and leg press more than 1000 pounds, neither of which I could do in my twenties.

I’ve written this post with the hope of changing your concept of aging. You can be healthy, strong, fit, and firm regardless age.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Exercise Of The Week; Vertical Knee Raise

Vertical knee raises strengthens and develops your abdominal and lower back muscles. Position yourself on the machine to where your weight is resting on your elbows and your lower back is firmly press against the back rest. This is your start position. Exhale while slowly bringing your legs towards your chest and keeping a slight bend your knees. Lift your legs to a little higher than parallel to the floor and inhale while slowly returning to your start position.

This exercise is more of an advanced movement, so make sure you've been doing your other core exercises regularly before attempting to do this. Then when you are ready, I suggest you start by performing 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Exercise Of The Week; Upright Row

Want strong sexy looking shoulders, try doing upright rows. The upright row strengthens and develops the top portion of your shoulders and trapezius (the muscle at the top of your shoulders that attaches to your neck). Perform this exercise at the cable machine. Attach a straight bar and place the pulley at the lowest level. Grip the bar at a position where your hands are about an inch apart and stand upright with your arms full extended. Position your feet shoulder width, slightly bend your knees, and lift your chest high. This is your start position. Pull your hands to the top of your chest all the while keeping your elbows slightly higher than your hands and then return to the start position. Exhale as you pull the weight upward and inhale as you return to the start position.

I recommend beginners do 2 sets of 10 repetitions of this exercise and those more advanced can do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Healthcare-Associated Infections

None - This image is in the public domain and ...Image via Wikipedia

People are admitted to the hospital to receive treatment for their condition and to get better so they can return home to their loved ones. Now, there many cases where people develop an infection just by being in the hospital.

I'm writing this post to make you aware of a very serious condition that is happening in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The very places where you are suppose to seek for comfort and healing. This condition is called Healthcare-Associated Infection.

When someone develops an infection at a hospital or other patient care facility that they did not have prior to treatment, this is referred to as a Healthcare-Associated (sometimes hospital-acquired) Infection (HAI). Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) are a global crisis affecting both patients and healthcare workers. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at any point in time, 1.4 million people worldwide suffer from infections acquired in hospitals.

A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report published in March-April 2007 estimated the number of U.S. deaths from healthcare associated infections in 2002 at 98,987. The risk of acquiring Healthcare-Associated Infections in developing countries is 2-20 times higher than in developed countries.

Afflicting thousands of patients every year, HAI often leads to lengthening hospitalization, increasing the likelihood of readmission, and adding sizably to the cost of care per patient. Financially, HAIs represent an estimated annual impact of $6.7 billion to healthcare facilities, but the human cost is even higher. Until recently, a lack of HAI reporting requirements for healthcare facilities has contributed to less-than-optimal emphasis being placed on eliminating the sources of healthcare associated infections. However, growing public anxiety regarding the issue and resulting legislation on state and local levels demanding accountability is serving to accelerate initiatives to combat HAIs.

Kimberly-Clark Health Care has launched an initiative called "Not on My Watch," a website that provides tools and information to help facilities eliminate HAIs. To learn more about this effort please visit

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Consistency Is Key To Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

New Year's ResolutionImage by Hryck. via FlickrWe are in the midst of the holiday season, and soon you'll start to think about your New Year's resolutions. Losing weight, and getting in-shape are always two of the top resolutions people make each year. There will be a slew of advertisements on the best fitness plans and diets promising to get you in "tip top shape" in the shortest amount of time.

My advice is not to get hooked by the quick results schemes. Losing weight and maintaining your weight loss, and improving your fitness level is not a short-term goal, it's a long-term process. Consistency in your exercise program, and balance and moderation in your diet are the keys to accomplishing your New Year's resolutions.

In my 17 years of experience as a personal trainer I have never seen any "8 week fitness or weight loss program" work for very long. The reason these quick fixes don't work is because they are impossible to adhere to for an extended period of time. Sooner or later, you will get tired of the strict diet, and the overly intense exercise program, and return to your old habits.

Nothing beats consistency in your exercise program, and balance and moderation in your diet for long-term improvements in your fitness level. I suggest you set some realistic health and fitness goals that you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle.

For example, it's better to set a goal to workout 3 times each week and stick to it, than to set a goal of 5 workouts each week and seldom get them all in. Following the same logic, its better to have a goal to lose 4 lbs a month and achieve it, than to set a goal to lose 10 lbs per month and never attain it.

It's easier to incorporate small changes in your life, and stick with them, than it is to try to make changes that require a heroic effort. Losing weight, and improving your fitness level is not a sprint, it's a marathon. So, start with goals that are easy to accomplish, and you are well on your way to achieving your New Year's resolutions.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Exercise Of The Week; Seated Ball Twist

The seated ball twist is a very good exercise for core development and strength. Sit on the floor with a slight bend in your legs. Hold a therapeutic ball in front of you with your arms fully extended. Lean back slightly, pick your chest up high and pull your naval in. Now turn your shoulders to one side and touch the ball to the floor and then turn to the other side and do the same. A complete revolution counts as one repetition. Be sure you arms stay extended throughout this exercise. Breathing pattern is to exhale as you touch the ball to the floor and inhale as you bring the ball across your body.

For Beginners I recommend you do 2 sets of 20 repetitions twice per week. For those of you who are more advanced, I recommend 3 sets of 30 repetitions three times each week.