Use Bodyweight Exercises to Build Fitness Fast

I love using bodyweight exercises and I prefer them to weights and machines in the gym. They can be done anywhere, you are lees prone to injury and they are much more fun.

I found a great article about using bodyweight exercises and you can see the full article here: Source Article

Bodyweight exercises are great because you can do them anywhere, anytime, at your own pace and level, alone or with a friend. They don’t cost a penny, because your own body provides all the resistance needed to challenge your muscles.

There’s no equipment necessary and no gym needed, yet by doing a variety of bodyweight exercises, it’s possible to train every muscle in your body while also getting cardiovascular benefits. [Read more...]

Healthy Living Means Getting Enough Sleep

Getting plenty of sleep should never be underestimated. Having too little sleep can have a serious effect on your health. I found this article on Dr. Mercola’s website and I have included some of it here. You can go to his site and read the full article.

One very important factor to take note of is the excessive amount of blue light you are exposed to from mobile devices, computer monitors and TVs. I hope you enjoy it.

Sleep deprivation is a serious health concern that many simply choose to ignore. The price for doing so can be steep. Research tells us that lack of sleep can contribute to everything from diabetes, obesity, and heart disease to physical aches and pains and irreversible brain damage.

According to sleep researchers,8 people now get one to two hours less sleep each night, on average, compared to 60 years ago. A primary reason for this is the proliferation of electronics, which also allows us to work (and play) later than ever before.

The blue light emitted from electronics such as TVs and computers suppresses your melatonin production, thereby preventing you from feeling sleepy. What you may not realize is that even if you don’t feel sleepy, you need sleep. You’ve simply artificially disrupted your body clock; you have not in any way altered your body’s biological needs. As noted by Oxford University Professor Russell Foster:

“We are the supremely arrogant species; we feel we can abandon four billion years of evolution and ignore the fact that we have evolved under a light-dark cycle. And long-term, acting against the clock can lead to serious health problems.”

For example, research shows that sleeping less than six hours per night more than triples your risk of high blood pressure, and women who get less than four hours of shut-eye per night double their chances of dying from heart disease.10 The following infographic, created by BigBrandBeds.co.uk, illustrates how your electronic gadgets wreak havoc on your sleep when used before bedtime.

Tips for Improving Your Sleep to Improve Your Health

Besides maintaining a natural circadian rhythm, there are a number of additional ways to help improve your sleep if you’re still having trouble. Below are half a dozen of my top guidelines for promoting good sleep.

Avoid watching TV or using your computer or smartphone at night
Or at least about an hour or so before bedtime—as these technologies can have a significantly detrimental impact on your sleep. TV and computer screens emit blue light, similar to daylight. This tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, thereby shutting down melatonin secretion. Under normal circumstances, your brain starts secreting melatonin during something called dim light melatonin onset. If the light in your environment doesn’t dim, because of multiple artificial light sources, melatonin won’t be released and this affects sleep timing, quantity, and quality.

Sleep in darkness
Refrain from using night-lights, cover up your clock radio, cover your windows — I recommend using blackout shades or drapes, or use an eye mask—and don’t turn on a light if you have to go to the bathroom at night. You don’t need to sleep in complete darkness. The intensity of light needs to be at a certain level (different levels depending on the spectrum) to suppress melatonin production. Complete darkness is probably best, however.

Keep the temperature in your bedroom less than 70 degrees F.
Many people keep their bedrooms too warm. A reduction in core body temperature is a part of the sleep-initiation and sleep maintenance process. A room temperature that is too warm or too cool can prevent your core temperature from lowering to its ideal place for good sleep. Aim to keep your bedroom temperature between 60 to 68 degrees, and identify the best room temperature for you through trial and error.

Take a hot bath or shower 30 minutes before bedtime
The hot bath increases your core body temperature, opening up the blood vessels in your limbs. When you get out of the bath, heat can leave your body easily (if the room temperature is cool), abruptly dropping your core body temperature, making you drowsy and ready for great sleep.

Check your bedroom for electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
These can disrupt your production of melatonin and serotonin, and may have other negative effects as well. To do this, you need a gauss meter. You can find various models online, starting around $50 to $200. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to shut down all power in your house.

Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed
If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably at least three feet. This serves at least two functions. First, it can be stressful to see the time when you can’t fall asleep, or wake up in the middle of the night. Secondly, the glow from a clock radio could be enough to suppress melatonin production and interfere with your sleep. Cell phones, cordless phones, and their charging stations should ideally be kept three rooms away from your bedroom to prevent harmful EMFs.

Here is a video with Dr Mercola interviewing Dan Pardi about Sleep

 

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Paleo Diet or Paleo Lifestyle?

The Paleo Diet seems like it is becoming more and more popular these day. And for good reason. It works and works well to eradicate, or at least lessen some of man’s most deadliest diseases. But that’s not the whole story. It can also help get rid of your excess weight, reduce your allergies, improve your sleep and balance your energy throughout the day.

I started the Paleo Diet or as I prefer to call it, the Paleo Lifestyle, a few weeks ago. I am already noticing more energy as well as some steady weight loss without any particular effort. Very happy with it so far and can’t wait to see what other changes are in store.

Following is part of an article by Rob Wolf

Health Benefits of a Paleo Diet

Paleo Diet Benefits Image
Image courtesy of The Primal Palate – http://www.primalpalate.com/

For most people the fact the Paleo diet delivers the best results is all they need. Improved blood lipids, weight loss, and reduced pain from autoimmunity is proof enough.  Many people however are not satisfied with blindly following any recommendations, be they nutrition or exercise related. Some folks like to know WHY they are doing something. Fortunately, the Paleo diet has stood not only the test of time, but also the rigors of scientific scrutiny.

With a very simple shift we not only remove the foods that are at odds with our health (grains, legumes, and dairy) but we also increase our intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here is a great paper from Professor Loren Cordain exploring how to build a modern Paleo diet: The nutritional characteristics of a contemporary diet based upon Paleolithic food groups. This paper also offers significant insight as to the amounts and ratios of protein, carbohydrate and fat in the ancestral diet.

 

[box type="note" align="alignleft"  width="200px"]
Okay To Eat
Fruits
Vegetables
Lean Meats
Seafood
Nuts & Seeds
Healthy Fats

Avoid
Dairy
Grains
Processed Food & Sugars
Legumes
Starches
Alcohol[/box]

Changing to the Paleo Diet can have a profound effect on your overall health and wellbeing. Many diseases have been know to improve dramatically only a shot time after following this lifestyle change.

Does it work for diabetes?

In a head to head comparison between the Paleo diet and Mediterranean diet in insulin resistant Type 2 Diabetics. The results? The Paleo diet group REVERSED the signs and symptoms of insulin resistant, Type 2 diabetes. The Mediterranean diet showed little if any improvements.

Cardio Vascular Disease

Our Paleolithic ancestors and hunter-gatherers showed virtually no heart attack or stroke while eating ancestral diets.

Autoimmunity
Common forms of autoimmunity include Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Vitiligo to name only a tiny fraction of autoimmune diseases. These have been found to improve or disappear on a Paleo Diet.

Watch this video by Dr. Terry Wahls, MD as she describes how she reversed her Multiple Sclerosis with a paleo diet.

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This following video describes the good and bad about the Paleo Diet

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[box type="info" align="alignleft" ]Paleo Diet Further Reading:

http://www.buildabetteryou.com/paleo

http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet

http://www.primalpalate.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleolithic_diet[/box]

Top 6 Anti Aging Tips

Here are Top 6 Anti Aging Tips

The Fountain of Youth is one of mankind’s greatest journeys, from the legendary spring sought by Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, to the modern obsession our society has with cosmetic surgery.  Why, just open your wallet, pay for the surgery, and you can look forever young and beautiful—you know, like Joan Rivers.  Err… I think we need more realistic anti aging tips.

As we’re sure Ponce de Leon once learned and accepted, especially after finding so many retirees living in Florida, no one can stay young forever.  There is no way to ward off lines of grace and wisdom.  What we can do, however, is learn to take better care of ourselves and ensure that our bodies are spared unnecessary stress—both on an internal and external level.  Our “Top Six” list of anti-aging tips covers both tips from health specialists, as well as tips straight from the mouths of dermatologists.

[Read more...]

Heavy Metal Detox – What is It and How Can it Save Your Life?

The Heavy Metal Detox – What is It?

Metallica and Slayer aside, usually nothing good comes from too much heavy metal on or inside your body.  It may perturb you to know that there is already metal in your body, through no doing of your own.  Iron, copper, manganese and iodine, among many other metals, are elements inside your body that make life possible.  In small amounts, all of these metals are necessary to support life.  However, when they accumulate beyond normal levels they become toxic and life-threatening.  The worst of these are known as the heavy metals and you may need to do a heavy metal detoxto get rid of them or at least get them down to a safe level.

Where Do These Heavy Metals Come From?

[Read more...]

Lifestyle Changes That Help You Live Longer

Lifestyle changes are needed more when you head into middle age. The organism that does not adapt dies.  Contrary to popular belief and what the media sometimes implies, aging is not a death sentence.  Aging is merely a change, and a change that we have the ability to adapt to, being such resilient creatures.  The problem is that many seniors stop adapting as soon as they reach retirement age.  They rightfully figure, they’d earned time off after a lifetime of working hard, and they’re entitled to some rest and relaxation.  Indeed, retirement is the golden age of life, and one that should be easygoing and stress-free.  However, our bodies are made to rest up at night so that we can prepare ourselves for some type of work in the morning.  To be active is to be human. Try out these lifestyle changes and choose a great life.

When our bodies change, it signifies a time for lifestyle changes, adapting to our new environments and new limitations.  Otherwise we run the risk of either overtaxing the body, or not providing any activity or stimulation whatsoever.  Spending an entire day relaxing will signal to your body that although change is taking place, no evolution or adaptation is required.  Death is imminent.

While that may sound bleak that’s exactly what happens when there is a lack of stimulation in your life and a lack of activity—physical, mental and social.  Let’s consider some of the best light physical exercises, the best mental exercises, and the best social activities that will make you happy, keep you healthy, and start living longer.

Lifestyle Changes #1: Light Physical Exercises for Seniors

Keeping physically fit not only helps with heart health and better moods but can also help to keep reflexes and reaction time quick.  On the other hand, over-intensive exercise can have the opposite effect and damage a person’s health.  Cardiovascular exercises in particular can be dangerous if you exert yourself and lead to muscle fiber tearing, excessive cortisol (stress hormone) or even cardiac arrest.

Therefore seniors are encouraged by doctors to exercises regularly but at a light pace.  This includes resistance training, and not merely light aerobic work.  Strength training as well aerobic exercise can all be very beneficial without compromising health. All the lifestyle changes in this article will enhance you life. Start making them right away and you will see what I mean.

Lifestyle Changes #2: What is Meant by Light Exercise?

Lifestyle Changes ImageIt’s actually light-to-moderate, meaning you start out light and progress to moderate once you are on a comfortable rhythm.  The average time for an exercise session is 30 minutes per day, and this time allotment can be split up throughout the day if necessary.  Before starting intensive exercises, a warm up stretching session would be a shrewd idea, just to make sure joints are lubricated internally, which reduces the chance of injury.

Simple Stretching: Sit down and extend your arms for 10-15 seconds until you begin to feel tired.  Practice a series of three extensions within a day.  You can also lift your arms and shoulders upwards, holding for the same motion.  Do the same with your legs, stretching them as far as you can and then bringing them back in.

Simple Strength Training: It is okay to use small weights or even resistance bands.  Hold one weight in each hand and perform curls, with similar repetitions throughout the day as in the last exercise.

Simple Flexibility Exercises: There’s no need to take up yoga, but doing some balancing exercises will only help improve your overall balance.  Practice balancing on one leg at a time for as long as you can.  However, don’t risk falling; you can put one or both hands on a nearby wall for support if needed.

Simple Muscular Endurance Exercises: If you’re feeling all right and want to up the intensity just a bit try doing repetitive wall push-ups about one foot away from the wall.  A few repetitions throughout the day will help strengthen your biceps and triceps.

Simple Cardio Exercise: Cardio is really the only way to lose weight, and is the best exercise for warding off ill health, disease and decay.  As mentioned before however, caution is required not to overtax yourself.  The most common light-to-moderate exercises include brisk walking, swimming, playing sports games with others, and light jogging.

Remember to speak to a physician before you start intensive exercise, just in case you have an undiscovered medical condition.  If your health passes, then there is nothing wrong with some huffing and puffing.

Lifestyle Changes #3: Mental Exercises

Mental exercises keeps your mind in shape, and just as an active body can prevent body devolution, mental activity can protect your memory, maintain cognitive function, and create new synapses, which help to improve daily mental processes.  While many people seem to think that age is what causes the memory to go, it is far more likely that you will lose your memory or thinking faculties by not keeping your brain active.  Instead try these life-affirming activities:

Use Your Non-Dominant Hand: It’s not enough to use your hand; use your hands, plural, teaching yourself to write, draw, click, with your other hand.  When you do this you are actually using a different part of your brain, and that means your brain will have to build neural pathways adapting to the change.

Brain Games: Don’t spend too much time with TV, movies or video games.  Instead, go for the brain games that involve memory, focus, problem solving, mathematics and puzzles. These are games that will help to improve reasoning and concentration.

Don’t Just Learn—Expand: If you know a million types of bugs don’t be content to learn a million more.  Learn something new.  When you learn an entirely new craft or hobby you improve cognition and can actually ward off cognitive impairment that results from inactivity. Mental exercise is one of the more important lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle Image

Lifestyle Changes #4: Social Activities

Lastly, don’t underestimate social activities as its own form of unique exercise. Communicating with other people is not a hobby, not a necessity but a need.  We are “built” to be sociable; when we interact with other people our brains are stimulated, we develop new coping skills, and we learn.  We never stop learning in life until we lose our very consciousness.

Now is the time to challenge your social ambitions.  Make new friends.  Find old friends.  Be a mentor and find a hobby that attracts more people to you.  The most often neglected exercise is social exercise.

When your body thinks life goes on it goes on.  When it is being told that it’s time to wind down, health deteriorates.  Stay healthy, implement the lifestyle changes and keep the wheels turning!

Lifestyle Changes Videos:

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[box type="info" align="alignleft" ]Resources for Lifestyle Changes:
http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/lifestyle-changes.aspx
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/Dr.-Wendie-Trubow/lifestyle-changes_b_1883803.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/reduce-cholesterol/CL00012[/box]