Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Geri Parrish loses 113 pounds  |

Geri Parrish loses 113 pounds |
Read this article is you want to be inspired to make healthy changes in your life!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to Stay Forever Fit and Firm - Part 5, Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise just called cardio by most in the fitness profession is associated with numerous health benefits and is therefore an invaluable part of any fitness program. Cardio exercise is any activity which increases the work of the heart and lungs. Activities such as brisk walking, running, training on the elliptical machine, biking, and working on the Stairmaster are some of the better known forms of cardio.

During cardio exercise you repeatedly move large muscles in the upper and lower parts of your body and your body responds by breathing faster and more deeply to provide increased blood flow to these muscles and back to your lungs. Your small blood vessels widen to deliver more oxygen to your muscles and carry away waste products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Your body also releases endorphins which are natural pain killers that promote an increased sense of well-being.

So, regardless of your age, cardio exercise is good for you. As your body adapts to you cardio routine your heart and lungs will get stronger and more efficient in performing their activities. The following are additional benefits of cardiovascular exercise.

  • Helps to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Combined with strength training and a healthy diet cardio helps you to lose weight and to keep it off.
  • Increase your stamina. Cardio may make you tired in the short term but, over the long term you’ll enjoy increased stamina and reduced fatigue.
  • Ward off viral illnesses. Cardio activates your immune system thus, making you less susceptible to minor viral illnesses such as colds and flu.
  • Reduce health risks. Cardio combined with strength training reduces the risk of many conditions, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer.
  • Manage chronic conditions. Cardio combined with strength training helps to lower blood pressure and to control blood sugar.
  • Strengthen your heart. A stronger heart doesn’t need to beat as fast and it pumps blood more efficiently. Consequently blood flow is improved to all parts of your body.
  • Keeps your arteries clear. Cardio boosts your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol and lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. Thus, resulting in less plaque buildup in your arteries.
  • Boost your mood. Cardio can ease the gloominess of depression, reduce the tension associated with anxiety and promote relaxation.
  • Stay active and independent as you get older. Cardio combined with strength training keeps your muscles strong which helps you maintain mobility as you get older. Cardio also keeps your mind sharp. At least 30 minutes of cardio three days a week seems to reduce cognitive decline in older adults.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

How to stay Forever Fit and Firm - Part 4, Strength Training

In my opinion strength training is the best thing you can do to improve your health and fitness level as you age. Strength training is so important because around age 40 you start to experience muscle loss. “If you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you’ll increase the percentage of fat in your body, “says Dr. Edward Laskowski, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Left unabated you can lose up to 10 lbs of muscle each decade starting at age 40.

The reason that loosing muscle is so detrimental to your fitness is because muscle is the component of your body that burns the majority of the calories you consume each day. Therefore, when you lose muscle your body requires less calories to function and consequently those extra calories you consume are stored as fat around your waist ,hips, and other places.

Your body constantly burn calories, even when we’re doing nothing. This resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily. That small difference can add up over time. In addition, after a bout of resistance training, muscles are activated all over your body, increasing your average daily metabolic rate.

Fortunately strength training can mitigate and even reverse the loss of muscle at any age. Thus, increasing the amount of calories you need to function. That’s why you hear some people say that after they have been strength training for awhile their appetites increase. This is a sign that they are starting to build muscle.

Increasing your metabolism isn’t the only benefit of strength training. It also, helps you:
  •  Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

  • Control your weight. As you gain muscle, your body burns more calories more efficiently which can result in weight loss. The more toned your muscles, the easier it is to control your weight.

  • Reduce your risk of injury. Building muscle protects your joints from injury. It also helps maintain flexibility and balance which is crucial to remaining independent as you age.

  • Boost your stamina. Building muscle helps to increase your energy level.

  • Improve your sense of well-being. Strength training can boost your self-confidence, improve your body image, and reduce the risk of depression.

  • Sleep better. People who strength train on a regular basis are less likely to have insomnia.
  • Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, back pain, depression, diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis.
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