Here are some fitness hints and facts that have been
useful to me and I wanted to share them with you.
Motivated to Exercise
Question: Every time I start an exercise program, eventually
it fades out of my life and I stop doing it altogether. Any ideas on how
to avoid this? Is it bad to start again, stop again, start again, stop
Answer: Sticking with your exercise program regularly and
consistently is your best bet for overall health. While there's no specific
danger in starting and stopping over and over again, it's important to
set personal goals and identify what motivates you to exercise. Even if
there's been a long lapse in your
sessions, you should do your best to get back to regular exercise as soon
as you can.
Identify What Motivates You
For some, it's disease prevention. If a close family member
has been affected by heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis,
or cancer, that may be what motivates you to stay healthy and avoid the
same path. Regular exercise reduces your risk of developing these and
other diseases and will help you maintain a healthy body weight.
For others, living longer could be a motivator. Research
has shown that exercise may extend the years of your life. It can greatly
enhance your quality of living, too, by making regular day-to-day physical
activities such as climbing stairs, carrying groceries, and vacuuming
How you start an exercise program may greatly determine
whether you stick with it. If you have started programs in the past only
to quit a month later, pay careful attention to the following tips:
- Set realistic goals. Don't try to run a marathon or lose 10 pounds
in a month. Begin slowly and try a number of different exercises.
Limit the length of each session.
- Use visualization daily: Picture yourself enjoying your workout
and then feeling great when you've finished.
- Schedule exercise and make it a top priority in your life. Write
it down on your calendar and keep a daily exercise log.
- Identify one exercise that you enjoy doing on most days. If you're
traveling, maintain some kind of routine. Find a fitness center at
the hotel, go for a swim, or take a long walk. You can also try strengthening
exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, calf raises, and lunges.
- Don't feel guilty when you miss a session or two. Negative feelings
will only hinder your motivation. Getting back on track will make
you feel better.
- If boredom is hindering your routine, try doing new exercises, pick
a new sport, or recruit an exercise partner. The key is finding something
you like and sticking with it. Distractions -- such as reading,
listening to music, or watching television while you work out -- can
also help keep you motivated.
- Try exercising at a different time of day, or break up a workout
schedule to include aerobic exercise in the morning and strength training
Other tips include:
- Buying an exercise tape that you find entertaining.
- Scheduling several sessions with a personal trainer.
- Joining an exercise class that has a lively instructor.
Overall, it's important to not get discouraged if you miss
a week or two of exercise. It's never too late to get started again. When
your program gets derailed, try to figure out what went wrong and learn
from your mistakes. Best of luck and keep exercising!
10 Tips For Fending Off Food Cravings by Marlene
We've all been there. You're having a great diet day when suddenly --
out of nowhere -- comes the haunting cry of your favorite fatty snack
food. It starts out faint, then builds in intensity until you feel like
there's no way not to give into this demon desire for chocolate, chips
You can lessen the lure of this siren from the snack aisle. Simply soak
up these proven Top 10 tips for fending off cravings and you'll no longer
be an easy mark for diet-sabotaging snacks or unhealthy fast food feasts.
Special thanks go out to veteran nutritionist Marlene Lesson, who's been
serving up healthy and hearty meals for visitors to North Carolina's Structure
House Center for Weight Control & Lifestyle Change since 1983. Lesson
has provided this lesson on curbing the craving.
1.Make sure you have three healthy meals each day. When you skip a meal,
you will be more likely to experience cravings between meals.
2.Eat an adequate number of calories of well-balanced foods. A healthy
weight loss is no more than 1% of your weight per week. Often food cravings
can simply be a result of hunger.
3.Understand that cravings are a normal response to living in a food-faulty
environment. Eliminate as many food cues from your environment as possible.
For example, do not keep problem foods in your house. Reduce exposure
to tough situations like dining with eating buddies and patronizing restaurants
that are known for huge portions.
4.Realize that overindulging is not due to lack of willpower or self-control.
Problem solving is more effective that berating yourself when you overeat.
Making value judgments when you are unstructured is very self-defeating
and only perpetuates the problem.
5.Be aware that cravings pass. The urge to eat is like a wave. It grows
gradually before peaking and subsiding. Visualize yourself as a surfer,
riding the wave until it diminishes.
6.Put time, distance and an activity in between you and food. When the
urge to eat hits, wait 20 minutes before indulging. Physically distance
yourself from the food. Engage in another activity to get your mind off
of food. The urge to eat will often disappear.
7.Assume responsibility for your eating behaviors. Believing that carbohydrates
are "addictive" may be a way of giving yourself permission to
overeat. Determine what is making you want to eat and take appropriate
8.Exercise rather than eat when you are stressed. When you eat fat/sweet
combination of foods, such as chocolate, endorphins are released in the
brain, which induce euphoric or pleasurable feelings. The same brain chemicals
are released in response to aerobic exercise.
9.Allow yourself the opportunity to change food preferences. My clients
often report that they have less desire for fat, sugar and salt after
eating a healthy diet for a period of time. The brain chemical galanin
increases our desire for fatty foods. Research shows that eating less
fat reduces galanin levels and the desire for fatty foods.
10.Most importantly, examine the rest of your life. If the urge to eat
is insurmountable you may need to look at psychological issues. Are you
using food to deal with emotional problems? You may want to enlist the
help of a psychotherapist to deal with these issues.
Marlene Lesson has been the Nutrition Director
at Structure House for the past 17 years. In addition to teaching numerous
classes and workshops on various aspects of nutrition, she is a registered
dietitian and member of the American Dietetic Association. Lesson has
a graduate degree in Human Nutrition and Foods from Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University and an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts
and Art History at the University of Maryland in 1973. She has published
articles on sports nutrition in the popular press and is a co-author of
a professional paper, "Weight Loss Expectations of Obese, Residential
Treatment-Seeking Men and Women," which was presented at a meeting
of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
: Researchers have found that following these states
can lead to a successful change:
- 1. Precontemplation. Get information about how
your bad habits can affect you.
- 2. Contemplation. Weigh the benefits of change.
Get specific, monitor yourself. Keep a record of how much you eat,
drink, or smoke.
- 3. Preparation. Begin making small changes: for
example, give up you early morning cigarette or some other habit you
want to change. This is the time to make a firm decision.
- 4. Take the action. Give yourself all the help
you can. Substitute a healthy habit, like exercise, for a bad one,
like over eating. Cultivate new interests.
- 5. Maintenance. This is the hard part. You're into
your new life. Most attempts at change don't work on the first try.
For most people, relapses are part of quitting. If you relapse, learn
from your experience. Start over! Keep at it!
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Still would like to loose 10 pounds but nothing seems to work.
Take a suggestion from the The
Ultimate Lean Routine : 12-Week Cross Training & Fat Loss Program
(ISBN: 1565302036) by Greg Isaacs. Elevate your heart rate with
aerobic interval training twice a week. Run on a track. Jog
a lap to warm up; then for the next several laps, sprint on the straight-aways
and job the corners. A sample training program:
Body Chart: focus on the various muscles groups to achieve the look
Sets x Reps
||Shrugs, Upright Rows
||3-6 x 12-15
|Sterno Cledo Mastoid
||Front Neck Raises
||3 x 10-12
||Military Press, Lateral
Raises, Bent-Over Laterals
||3-6 x 8-12
||Bench Press, Declines,
||3 x 8-12
||Dumbbell Curls, Wide-grip
||3 x 8-12
||3 x 8-10
||Reverse Wrist Curls
||2-3 x 15-25
||4-6 x 10-12
||One-Arm Cable Crunches,
Crunches, Reverse Crunche
||2-4 x 15-25
||2-4 x 15-20
||2-3 x 8-10
||3-4 x 8-15
||Standing Calf Raises,
Seated Calf Raises
||3-4 x 12-15
||Seated Rows, Parallel
Pulldowns, Seated & One Arm Rows, Bent-Over Rows
||3-6 x 8-12
||Squats, Leg Press, Leg
Abduction, Lunges (walking Lunges are the best)
||3-6 x 6-12
||Leg Curls, Stiff-Leg
||3 x 10-12
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- Monday & Friday - cardiovascular conditioning - long duration,
- Tuesdays & Thursdays - strength training.
- Wednesday & Saturday - cardiovascular conditioning - high intensity
- Sunday - stretching or yoga.
Back to the top.
you know, basketball is primarily a running game, but strength and jumping
ability are also important assets. You must be aerobically fit for continuous
play; you must also possess speed for short bursts and endurance to
play the whole game.
Running is the backbone of training for basketball players. You should
run at least 15 miles a week in the off-season. Most of this running
can be aerobic jogging at 65% of your target pulse; perform interval
work once a week - running repeat 220 or 440 yard sprints at 85 to 95
percent of maximum speed.
Strength training with the home type weights and bench would be ideal
for doing circuits - try this workout 3 times a week for about 4 weeks.
Except for the stretching, do 3 sets of each exercise - for the weight
exercises do 1st set 12-15 reps, 2nd set increase the weight do 8-10
reps, and 3rd set increase the weight do 6-10 reps. Always increase
1) Warm-up doing general stretching and lower extremity stretching
- heel cord, quadriceps and hamstring stretches.
4) Bench press.
5) Rope skipping.
7) Military press.
8) French curls.
9) Biceps curls.
Remember that to look "cut" the layer of body fat between
your muscles and skin must be almost none existent. If you look at my
contest pictures - I'm between 8 and 9 percent bodyfat.
Today, you can see my muscles but my body fat is at 10.6% the definition
is not as sharp. You can see my abs and I'm not "smooth" but
my look today is not as "cut" as those contest pictures. Also
remember that the models you see in the magazines have trained and dieted
specifically for those photo shoots. What I'm trying to say in a long-about-way
is to be realistic about the look you want to achieve and where you're
Aerobics, diet and weight training are the keys to achieving a toned
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are three keys to getting into shape:
- (1) Don't work out so much that you stop, but keep on a regular schedule.
Make sure that you get plenty of rest, i.e., allow your body to recuperate.
- (2) Diet - Make sure you're getting enough calories to maintain your
health. If you eat too little your body is going to think you're
starving and it will hold on to the body fat. Cut out the complex carbohydrates,
i.e., breads, cakes, cookies, snacks - you know what I mean. Now, I
don't mean never have complex carbohydrates just enjoy them occasionally
as a treat. Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. Think
about how much the food has been processed. Start writing down what
you eat and when - helps you see your patterns. Again it's vital that
you don't become discouraged or make it a chore. If you eat a donut
at work, acknowledge that you've eaten it, think about why and see what
you can do to change your response. (I make sure I bring health food
to work and that I'm not hungry. If I'm not hungry I won't eat the donuts.)
The more processed the food the more you stay away from it. Eat smart!
- (3) Aerobics - good for your heart and good for your body. You can't
lose body fat any other way. Running, Stairmaster / climber, Ski
machine, etc., are all good. Make sure you don't over train and get
burnt out. Just keep at it!
Back to the top.
Fat % Chart
Click here to see my Body
Fat % stats .
||11 & Under
||16 & Under
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is a "V" taper? Broad shoulders narrow waist and hips. Improving
your "V" taper depends on four things:
- Increasing Shoulder Width: Seated lateral raises
- bend forward slightly - palms facing backwards throughout the movement
- 5 sets 12 reps. Upright row / barbell press - alternate
these two exercises with rest - 4 sets 10 reps each (moderate weight).
- Improving Lat Width: Widegrip chins behind neck / Lat pulldowns
- perform a set of wide grip chins until you cannot complete another
repetition, then immediately go to the lat machine and continue a
further 12 reps. Perform 3 sets of each exercise. Rest for two minutes
after the pulldowns.
- Decreasing Hip and Waist Size: Avoid sidebends with weights. The
oblique muscles will gain too much mass. Avoid heavy flat-footed squats
with excessive forward leaning.
- Losing Fat: Include aerobics in your workouts, such as rope jumping,
jogging, stair-climber, stationary bike, or step machine workouts.
Cut down on fat-dense foods such as creams, cheese, red meat, etc.
- Hint: "V" shape is accented by posing out the lats in
front of a mirror. Devote 5 minutes per day.
- Hint: Hold a sturdy upright with both hands and endeavor to pull
the lat muscles out by sheer force relax and repeat.
- Hint: Endeavor to isolate the shoulder blades by pushing back and
out with your hands placed at the back of your hip bones. Work both
shoulder blades equally.
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if you did 5,000 sit-ups a month? A study at the University of Massachusetts
showed that even men who did 5,000 sit-ups over the course of 27 days
had no significant loss of fat in the abdominal area. The whole idea
of spot-reducing is a myth. To lose body fat, you must burn more calories
than you take in - a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose a pound.
The Crunch is a better way to strengthen abdominal muscles (the rectus
abdominis and the external and internal obliques).
- Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Contract the abdominal muscles while pressing your lower back into
the floor, which will cause your upper body to lift up slowly.
- Come up to no more than a 30 - 40 degree angle.
- If you're just starting to do crunches, keep your arms straight
at your side as you sit up. To increase the difficulty of the exercise
as you progress, cross your arms over your chest, or place your hands
behind your head or near your ears.
- Slowly lower your back to the ground.
- Prevent arching, always keep your lower back pressed into the floor.
- Beginners should start with three sets of five crunches with a brief
rest between sets. Try this three to five times a week. Gradually
work up to three sets of 15 crunches per session. Remember take them
slow and easy.
- Stop if you feel discomfort in your lower back.
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Waist-to-Hip Ratio: To evaluate your risk of developing disease based
on your fat distribution, determine your waist-to-hip ratio.
- Measure your waist at the navel, then your hips at the greatest
circumference around the buttocks.
- Divide the waist measurement by the hip size. This is your waist-to-hip
- A waist-to-hip ratio greater than 1.0 for men and 0.8 for women
indicates an increased cardiac risk. Ideally a man's waist shouldn't
exceed that of his hips; and a woman's waist shouldn't measure no
more than 80% of her hips.
get the most from aerobic exercise, you should exercise at your training
heart rate. To compute your training heart rate subtract your age from
220 (that's your Maximum Heart Rate [MHR]) then take 60 percent and
80 percent of that number (multiply the number by 0.6 and by 0.8). The
results are the upper and lower end of your target rate per minute should
fall somewhere between these two numbers.
Rate per minute
- 1. Warm up before you workout - for instance, run
or walk for a few minutes. Stretch gently.
- 2. Start with light weights - ones that you can lift
comfortably 10 to 15 times. You can gradually increase the weight and
as you increase the weight you may have to decrease the repetitions.
- 3. Rest between sets for a minute or two to allow
the muscles to recover.
- 4. Workout slowly and smoothly through the entire
range of the muscles.
- 5. Exhale while you lift and inhale when you bring
the weight down. Breathe evenly.
- 6. If you feel pain during an exercise, stop immediately.
A pain is a warning that you're causing damage.
- 7. Isolate the muscle group that you're working.
Try to move only the muscles that are involved with the exercise. Avoid
arching your back when you lift.
- 8. Work the large muscle groups first, such as the
legs, chest and back.
- 9. Design a balanced workout. Don't overemphasize
one body part over another. Sad to see a guy with great chest and arms
and skinny little chicken legs!
- 10. Pair your exercises. Each muscle group has an
opposing one - for example, the quadriceps and the hamstrings (front
and back of the thigh). An imbalance between opposing muscles increases
the risk of injury.
- 11. Cool down after the work out. Repeat your warm
up routine and stretch gently.
you're 35 or older or have heart disease or another medical condition,
you should check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
never too late to start strength training. A study at Tufts University
found that an eight-week weight-training program allowed frail 90-year
olds to build muscle mass and thus become, as the researchers pointed
out, more mobile and self-sufficient.
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Anchorage Alaska we rarely have smog but it does happen. If you exercise
outdoors in smog, breathe through your nose, not your mouth, as much as
possible. This will reduce the amount of pollutants reaching your lungs.
Work out in the early morning when there's less car exhaust and ozone.
you're alone and start choking, do the self-administered Heimlich maneuver.
Make a fist and place the thumb side against your abdomen, above the navel.
With the other hand, grasp the fist and press in and upward with a sharp
thrust. Another anti-choking maneuver: press your abdomen (just below
the ribs) forcefully against the back of a chair, table, sink, or railing.
Repeat until air is forced through the airway and the food is expelled.
the taste of skim milk? Add a few tablespoons of nonfat dried milk to
each cup. Not only will this make it thicker and richer-tasting, it will
boost the protein and calcium.
no! Did you know that a cheese Danish can contain as many calories and
fat as a hamburger?
potatoes contain no more calories than white potatoes and virtually no
fat. They also provide nearly half the RDA for vitamin C and three times
the recommended amount of beta carotene, plus a fair amount of fiber.
easy to become dehydrated when exercising in cold weather. Drink as much
fluid in the cold as in the heat. You lose water from sweating and breathing
and because of your stepped-up urine production.
off: on pancakes and waffles, use syrup instead of butter. One tablespoon
of syrup has about 50 calories and no fat. Butter has 100 calories per
tablespoon and is virtually pure fat.
contain 20% more beta carotene than cantaloupe and 50% more than apricots.
They also have about half as much vitamin C as oranges.
all the cheeses, cream cheese is the highest in fat! Ninety percent of
its calories come from fat.
sports drink: Here's a recipe from The New York City Marathon Cookbook,
by Nancy Clark. In a glass, dissolve 1 tablespoon sugar and a pinch (1/16
teaspoon) salt in a little hot water. Add 1 tablespoon orange juice or
2 tablespoons lemon juice and 7.5 ounces ice water.
of thirst, as we age our thirst mechanism becomes less efficient. On average,
the body loses about two to three quarts of fluid daily. We must replace
this fluid. Don't wait until you're thirsty, drink fluids before, during
and after your workout.
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