Saturday, October 26, 2013

SIMPLE CHANGES Posted October 25, 2013

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                             MAKE SIMPLE CHANGES IN YOUR LIFE STYLE

"The unfortunate things about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones."  according to Somerset Maughm.

Instead of exercising for the sake of exercising, make change in your life style.  Exercise to live a healthier, happier life. Walk or ride a bike once in awhile rather than driving your car everywhere. When you are looking for a parking space, choose one further from the entrance to your destination.  Take the stairs rather than the escalator or elevator.  Load your groceries into your car rather than having the store employee getting the exercise. 

Read the nutrition labels before deciding what to buy at the grocery store.  Manufactures are finally offering foods that are lower in fats, carbs, and calories.  Read the labels and make informed choices. Make a conscious decision to take charge of  your food intake.  Choose thin sliced bread; yogart over ice cream; turkey burgers over regular hamburgers; oven backed chips over fried chips; low fat or skimmed milk over whole milk; and cut down on your food portions. Don't go for the larger box of popcorn or soda just because they are only fifty cents more. Moderation is the key to healthy choices.

Studies show that if we chew our food well and eat slowly, we will consume less.  Don't wait until you are really hungry to eat - you tend to eat faster and more when you are hungry.
Don't deny yourself foods.  If you want something "fattening" - just cut the portion in half.  That way you have satisfied your craving and avoided the feeling of "being punished."  Many studies recommend eating small meals six times a day rather than three large meals, daily.  Avoid eating after 8 p.m. Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day.  Don't skip meals

We all know what we should basically be doing - we have heard it forever.  And yet, we find ourselves dealing with an Obesity Epidemic!  A culture that condones obesity, whether consciously, or unconsciously, undermines any attempt to convince people to lose weight! We got caught up in fast foods and super sizing.  And we got super sized!  Now we need to get back to basics and a common-sense approach to our bodies. 

We should eat balanced meals that include fruits and vegetables.  There are countless books  that tell us which foods are better for us than others, how to substitute ingredients for a healthier outcome, and various ways to prepare these foods.  And, let's not forget the internet and television shows that offer unlimited information on all topics. Always avoid extremes, fads and "unbelievable" promises.  If it  sounds too good to be probably isn't true!  Choose the sensible approach. doesn't have to taste bad to be good for you and exercising does have to hurt to get results!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

HOW TO RIDE A BIKE Posted October 17, 2013

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                                                       HOW TO RIDE A BIKE

There are a variety of stationery bikes available for exercisers.  I personally use a recumbent bike, where my knees are above my heart, and my bottom low to the ground.  I find it provides a good workout and does not put any stress on my back. Almost all these bikes have the abilities to adjusted the tension for stronger workouts, tracking your speed and calculating your calorie burning. 

While riding a stationery bike, some people like to listen to music, to audiobooks or watch television.  Some bikes have the DVD capability to take you on a virtual bike ride.  Choose the capabilities that make the ride the most enjoyable and gets the best results for you.

Sit in the bucket seat, place the balls of your feet on the pedals, adjusting the distance of the wheel from the seat by pushing against the pedal with foot until that leg is almost straight, with your toes pointed straight up.  There should be a slight bend to your knees.  Tighten the wheel in place to maintain the distance.  Slowly begin pedaling, with your back against the back of the seat. 

Warm up, at a slow pace for five minutes.  After the five minute warm up, begin pedaling faster for five to ten minutes, every other day.  Add one to two minutes each day, until you can pedal comfortably for thirty minutes, five days a week.  Allow time to warm up and cool down.  At the end of your ride, slow the pace for five minutes.  If you are not comfortable pedaling for thirty minutes, you can split your time into shorter intervals.

How do you gage your speed?  If you cannot carry on a conversation while riding your bike, you are going too fast.  If you can sing while pedaling, you are going too slow.  I recommend this "test" of speed when you are also walking for exercise.

If previous blogs I have discussed walking and swimming as other forms of exercise.  You can vary the three activities to keep some variety in your routine.  If you live in an area where weather becomes an issue this time of year, look into indoor facilities nearby.

The important points are to discuss your proposed exercise routine with your doctor, allow for warm up and cool down periods, maintain a reasonable pace,  wear comfortable clothing, wear appropriate shoes and listen to your body - if it hurts, STOP!

I will post the next blog October 25, 2013.

Friday, October 11, 2013

GAGE WEIGH LOSS Posted October 11, 2013

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                                              THE BEST  WAYS TO GAGE WEIGHT LOSS

Physicians, Physical Education Teachers, Health Educators and Nutrition Professionals say the best way to measure weight loss, while on a diet, is to weigh yourself daily.  Two other ways to gage your weight are 1.)  Look at your refection in the mirror; and  2.) Be aware of how your clothes fit. 

Dan Buettner wrote "BLUE ZONE - Lessons for Living Longer From People Who've Lived The Longest."  In this New York Times Best Seller Book, Buettner sites a two-year study of more than three thousand women trying to looses weight and keep it off.  The study found that after two years, the women who weighed themselves daily lost an average of twelve pounds.  The women who never weighed themselves gained five pounds... a seventeen pound swing. 

Your weight will vary on a daily basis but you can track your weight loss trend over a period of time.  Do not get discouraged if you gain a pound or two one day, stay the course.  Your weight will go down! If you find, after a couple of months, that you are not loosing weight, you may need to cut down your meal portions, and/or increase your exercise minutes. The scale will let you know how things are working.

If you find that you need to loosen your belt or undo the top button of your waist band... take those as warning signals,  If your clothes feel uncomfortable and you need to buy a larger size...those are warning signals. If you start thinking that certain clothes make you look fat...that's a warning signal.  If you start making excuses about the way manufactures are cutting clothes more skimpy or that this shirt must have shrunk in the wash...those are warning signals.  Do not ignore the red flags!

If you adopt a regular exercise routine and healthy eating habits as your life style, you will see the benefits when you get on the scale and when you look  in the mirror.  Your health and attitude will improve.  You will feel better about yourself.  It is a long-term process and a life-time commitment! 

My next posting will be October 17, 2013.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

HEALTHY CHOICES Posted October 4, 2013

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                                                           HEALTHY CHOIICES

The World Health Organization states that the three most common causes of chronic disease in our "senior years" are: 1.) Unhealthy diet  2.)  Lack of physical activity   3.) Tobacco use.

We Americans used to suffer early death due to infectious diseases.  But we have improved our nutrition and hygiene; and medical advances have extended our life expectancy.  Now we have to deal with chronic illness.  More Americans are now dying from Strokes, Diabetes, and Heart and Lung Diseases.  Experts have proven that these chronic diseases are preventable.  We can control what we eat and don't eat.  We can control how much and what kind of physical activity we do every day.  And, we are free to choose to smoke or not smoke.

These three simple life style decisions can help us avoid a slow, painful, crippling death by chronic disease.  My own brother, one of the most gifted athletes I have ever seen, took decades to smoke himself to death.  It was a miserable death for him, and sad, maddening torture for his friends and family.  His death could have been prevented.  Thirty hellish years of chronic lung disease could have been avoided and replaced with thirty years of a healthy, happy life, filled with love and joy.

It was his choice, but it was a course that affected all that loved him.  We all make choices daily. When you are aware of living a healthier life, it has rippling affects.  We start eating better and exercising more.  As we see and feel the positive benefits, we are encouraged to continue. We will feel better physically and mentally; willing and able to get up and enjoy life! The choices are simple and they are yours to make!

We cannot choose how we will die.  But, we can choose how we will live!

My next blog will post on October 11, 2013.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

ME TARZAN! Posted 9/28/2013
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                                          POOL    EXERCISE

You do not have to know how to swim in order to get good, painless fun exercising in the water.  You    don't even get your hair wet!  You can take pool classes or just do them with a buddy.  You stay in the shallow end of the pool or even sit on the pool steps to work your legs.  
As a beginner, use the water as the only resistance against your body.  When you get comfortable exercising in the water, you can add resistance by wearing webbed-style swim gloves or holding almost weightless dumbbells, made for the water.  Both are available at sporting goods store and are relatively inexpensive. 

The water takes away most of the gravity pull on your body.  Another pleasant sensation is the hydro-massage yogurt as you move through the water.  To begin, wade in the shallow end of the pool, waist high. Be sure you check space around you.  Make sure you can extend your arms without hitting the edge of the pool.  

Place your feet shoulder width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other, for stability.  Bend your knees so that the water is chest high.  You can do a variety of exercises in this position.

You can now do various swim strokes in place: the crawl, butterfly, or breast stroke.  Cup your hands to create some resistance.  These movements will exercise your shoulders, upper back, and chest muscles.  Do 15 repetitions a set, 3 sets for each stroke.

To exercise the upper arms, place arms at your sides and by flexing your elbows, bring your palms to the surface of the water, keeping your elbows close to your sides.  Palms up on the way up.  Roll your palms over at the top of the water and push down to the start position, under water.   The upper ward movement works your biceps and downward, you work the back of your upper arms.  Do 15 reps a set, for 3 sets.

Another exercise, keeping your feet stationery, push your arms straight out from your shoulders; again working your triceps.  15 reps a set, for 3 sets.

Next, extend your arms, bringing palms together in front of your knees, as if you are clapping under water.  This works your shoulders and chest.  15 reps.

You can hold on to the side of the pool to exercise your legs / flutter kicks or butterfly.  You can also set on the edge of the pool steps and do flutter kicks. 

Walk in place for five minutes to cool down and stretch the muscles you exercised.
Remember, this is not a competition.  If you get tired, STOP!  
Do the upper body routine twice a week.  Rest those muscles for at least 48 hours between sessions.             

                            IF IT HURTS...DON'T DO IT!
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Thursday, September 12, 2013

ME TARZAN! Posted 9/13/2013  to order your autographed copy of "ME TARZAN! YOU TRAIN! WITHOUT PAIN!"

                                        MOST DIETS DON'T WORK!

Many of us  know people that, during their lifetime, have lost 900 pounds.  What the usually means is that they gained and lost the same 30 pounds about 30 times! They did not adopted a reasonable and fun routine for loosing weight so they don't stick to the plan.  Think about it.

I recommend a sensible plan of healthy eating and exercise.  I also recommend Dr. Andrew Weil's "News Diet."  It takes the weight of the world off your shoulders.  You will find that you get more rest and feel more relaxed when you restrict the amount of negative/bad news you listen to everyday. And, you will sleep better.  Clear your mind and make room for more positive thoughts.

The media concentrates on the negative approach to the news.  We get besieged with political scandals, financial problems, terrorist attacks and more pain and suffering locally and worldwide.  Even the sports world leans toward the negative. The plan is to eliminate all negative news sources that you listen to, watch or read for an entire week.  See how that feels.  The next week limit the news input to two days.  The next five weeks, add one additional day.  At the end of each week, evaluate how you feel.  Then make a decision on how much negative news you are willing to live with on a daily basis.

I am not suggesting you be a Pollyanna.  I am suggesting that is a way to help clear your mind of the static of bad news.  A diet of mainly bad news causes fear.  Fear is that little dark where negatives are developed.

I encourage you to take charge of your life.  You will feel a lot better about yourself and your lifestyle!
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