Saturday, August 16, 2014

Heart Disease by the Numbers: Facts, Statistics, and You

Healthline recently put together an infograph showcasing heart disease statistics and facts to help someone understand their risk for a heart attack or other heart-related issues.  You can see this very informative and powerful information at Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health 

Please help by sharing this very important information with you family, friends, and loved ones.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Prevent Muscle Loss With Strength Training

I believe 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.

I recommend that you build your fitness program around strength training by doing 3 weight lifting sessions each week in which you target all your major muscle groups. Always allow at least one day of recovery between sessions to prevent injuries and over-training.  If you are new to weight lifting, find a qualified fitness professional to help you design your program and to show you the proper lifting techniques.  Also, click on the My Publications link above where you can find my personally designed strength training programs that you can download.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Practice Balance for Long-term Weight Loss

I have to be honest and tell you that more than 75 percent of the exercise required for long-term weight loss involves your fork and knife. No amount of exercise can compensate for poor dietary habits. A successful weight loss plan is one that you can integrate into your lifestyle and live with for the long-term.

Fad diets don’t work because they are too restrictive for most people to follow and to incorporate into their daily lives. How many times have you seen someone lose a lot of weight in a short period and hear people say, “Have you seen so-and-so, since she’s been on that new diet? She looks so good.” Then you see that person a year or so later, and she is heavier than ever. That’s the typical outcome of a fad diet because sooner or later you will start to feel deprived and then you will return to your old eating habits.

The key to eating healthy and maintaining your weight loss over the long-term is balance and moderation in the foods you consume daily. You can eat any food you desire as long as it is in moderation and balanced with the rest of the foods you consume. For example, I love brownies, so when I have a brownie for dessert I only have one. I also balance the carbohydrates and sugar in the brownie by not having bread with my meal.

The first step in learning balance and moderation in your diet is knowing how to classify foods into their basic sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fats as well as how they are used in your body. The second step is mastering portion. Knowing how many calories you consume from each food source and what your serving sizes are enables you to balance your meals. Eating this way can be easily incorporated into your lifestyle - it’s a plan you can stick with for the long-term.