More and more of us find ourselves unable to juggle overwhelming demands and maintain a seemingly unsustainable pace. Paradoxically, the best way to get more done may be to spend more time doing less.
The New York Times
These genius tricks will help you drop pounds and sculpt muscle in record timeIt flies. It’s tight. You rarely feel like it’s on your side. Of course, we’re talking about time. You can blame it–or more accurately, the lack of it–for standing in the way of many things, but scoring the body of your dreams is no longer one of them. The latest research shows that sculpting lean legs, a tight tush, and flat abs doesn’t require extra hours at the gym. (more…)
Walking has more health benefits than most people realize.
Can you really walk your way to better health? Research continues to show both the physiological and psychological benefits of the exercise, yet many individuals continue to underrate walking as a health booster.
“The studies are overwhelming; the data is there to show that walking provides all of these health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer, as well as reducing blood pressure and enhancing mood,” said Dr. Edward Laskowski, co-director of and specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Rochester, Minn. (more…)
Exercise can reduce your risk of getting, or dying from, certain cancers. It can delay or avert Type II diabetes and it can help maintain your cognitive function into old age.
ONE AFTERNOON not long ago, a friend and I were talking at her dining-room table, and I’ll admit it, we were feeling a bit self-righteous.
We’d gone bowling with her parents, and we both noticed her mom could barely roll the lightest ball down the alley. She struggled with a lot of other tasks, too. We didn’t think of her as an elderly person. But there she was, looking feeble.
“Well,” my friend said, shaking her head, “she doesn’t really exercise.” I nodded knowingly.
The way my friend and I see it, there are two kinds of people: exercisers and everyone else. We — the exercisers — prefer to sweat, not sit. They — we’ll call them “the relaxers” — prefer to read, not run. They think we’re nuts. We think they’re slowly letting themselves wither.
We’ll call this The Great Divide, and my friend and I patted ourselves on the back for being on the right side of it. Then we got up to leave.
“Ouch,” I winced, grabbing at my hamstrings.
“I’m sooooo sore!” she groaned.
And as we hobbled away, we felt decidedly less smug.
ARE YOU laughing at us? Nodding sympathetically? Either way, we’ll hazard a guess: Whichever side of The Great Divide you’re on, you can’t imagine living the other way.
“People internalize an image of themselves as an exerciser or not,” says David B. Coppel, a sports psychologist at the University of Washington.
So before we go any further, I’ll confess. I used to think people like me — who exercise four, five, six times a week — were crazy. Three years ago, in the pages of this very magazine, I described my physical condition as being “what you might expect for someone who types for a living.”
Lots of muscles don’t make you the picture of health. For one, your fingernails say a lot more.
By Shannon Clark,
As more and more people are starting to take action to improve their health, it’s helpful to have a few standards to which to compare yourself in order to see how you’re doing.
One error many males make is mistaking their “health” to be how they appear on the outside. While a high level of muscle mass definitely does represent a high fitness level, health encompasses much more than that.
In order to feel and function your best, you also need to focus on the body as a whole. The following signs are good guidelines to use to determine where you stand and if there are any areas upon which you need to improve.
Familiarize yourself with the following and periodically self-check to monitor your progress.
You have a resting heart rate of around 70 bpm
The first health check to look at is your resting heart rate. Ideally your resting heart rate should be around 70 beats per minute or lower. If it’s higher than this, take it as a sign it may be time to devote a little more time to your cardiovascular training to make your heart stronger and more efficient.
You have firm pink nails
While you’d never think your fingernails are a sign of good health, they are very telling of your current health condition. You ideally want them to be pink in color, firm to the touch and have a smooth surface.
If you have white spots or a few ripples, it may be time to speak to your doctor, as this could point to diabetes. If your nails are yellow, this can indicate respiratory disease, so take care immediately.
Your urine is the color of a manila folder
While it may be the last thing you want to do, checking the color of your urine after you use the washroom is a great way to tell if you’re hydrated. If your urine is a deep yellow color, you’re not taking in enough clear fluids.
Additionally, if you notice any change in odor or any spots of blood in the urine, this is definitely reason enough to seek out a physician.
You can perform 20 pushups
One great health standard is how many pushups you can perform in a row without rest while maintaining proper form.
Performing 20 straight full pushups, maybe even during a lunchtime workout at the office, is a good benchmark of what a typical male should be able to complete. If you come in at less than this, it might be time to devote a little more effort to your strength-training routine.
You can run a mile in under 15 minutes
To test your cardiovascular fitness on the other hand, try a one-mile run. If it takes you longer than 15 minutes to complete, you’re below average in your fitness level. The faster you can run the mile and the lower your heart rate after running, the better physical conditioning you’re in.
You have bowel movements at the same time daily
In a body that’s healthy and functioning properly, bowel movements should be a very regularl thing, occurring each day at the same time.
If yours only occur periodically or are often too hard or soft, it may be cause for alarm. Check your fiber intake, make a few changes as needed and then reassess the situation before seeking medical advice.
You are able to wake up without an alarm at approximately the same time daily
Staying well rested is very critical to good health, as not only does lack of sleep cause you to feel mentally fatigued during the day, but is a sign you may be at risk of having a stroke, obesity or heart disease.
If you’re well rested, your internal rhythm should be functioning effectively, and you should easily be able to wake up naturally without an alarm at around the same time each morning.
If you can’t remember the last time you woke up without a buzzer ringing in your ear, it may be time to consider calling it a night a few hours earlier. Remember that making up for sleep on the weekends is not an effective strategy to overcome sleep deprivation.
You’re within 10 pounds of your ideal body weight
Your body weight is the next health standard that you must assess if you want to check your overall health level. A great idea is having your BMI assessed, as this is the medical standard that places you either in the underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese categories. Additionally, you should also have a body-fat test taken.
These two together can be much more telling than the BMI alone, which can place more muscular individuals in the overweight category. A healthy male under 40 should have 8-19% body fat and those over 41 should be in the 11-22% range.
After a cardio session, your heart rate returns to normal within 5 minutes
Our next quick and easy assessment of your health is to time how long it takes for your heart rate to return back down to normal after completing a cardiovascular session.
The sooner it springs back down, the better shape you’re in. Ideally, it should return to resting in five minutes or less.
You know the date of the last time you had a full medical
Last but not least, ask yourself if you know when you had your last medical. A full medical is something that far too many men put off for years, and this is one big reason why unexpected health concerns come about.
While it may feel like a nuisance to do and something you dread, it’s a must. If you can’t remember your last date with your doctor, it’s time to schedule one.
So there you have some of the top signs that you’re a healthy guy. If you’re falling short on any of these, it’s time to look at making a few changes to your diet, workout or lifestyle to get yourself in better overall shape.
By MELINDA BECK
The advice sounds very simple. The best way to survive a heart attack is:
1. Recognize the symptoms.
2. Call 911.
3. Chew an aspirin while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.
But every year, 133,000 Americans die of heart attacks, and another 300,000 die of sudden cardiac arrest—largely because they didn’t get help in time. (more…)
First Line of Defense Is Lowering Risk, Even When Genetics Isn’t on Your Side
By RON WINSLOW
Here’s the good news: Heart disease and its consequences are largely preventable. The bad news is that nearly one million Americans will suffer a heart attack this year.
Deaths from coronary heart disease in the U.S. have been cut by 75% during the past 40 years. Hospital admissions for heart attack among the elderly fell by nearly 25% in a five-year period during the last decade, a remarkable feat when many experts had expected the aging population to cause an increase in the problem.
How to Survive a Heart Attack
Still, cardiovascular disease remains the leading killer of both men and women. Doctors worry that the steady progress from an intense public-health campaign beginning in the 1960s is in jeopardy thanks to the obesity epidemic and rising prevalence of diabetes. Only a relative handful of people are fully compliant with recommendations for diet, exercise and other personal habits well proven to help keep hearts healthy. (more…)
By Olivia Putnal, Woman’s Day
When it comes to working out, getting to the gym on a regular basis is only half the battle. The other half? Making the most of your time while you’re there. By paying closer attention to your form, routine, nutrition and more, you’ll be better able to achieve your fitness goals, not to mention avoid injury and weight-loss plateaus. Read on to make sure you’re not committing any common fitness flubs, and if you are, learn how to fix them.
Mistake #1: Not Eating Enough
Keeping yourself properly fueled is vital to a successful workout. Yvonne Castañeda, group exercise manager and private trainer for The Sports Club/LA in Miami, says that many times, when first embarking on a weight-loss journey, her clients skimp on meals. “Working out with little to no food in your system is like embarking on a 300-mile road trip with only a quarter-tank of gas,” she says. “Too often we make the mistake of thinking fewer calories will lead to optimal weight loss. But being properly fueled is essential to making the most of your training.” (more…)
By Heather Bauer, RD,CDN, REDBOOK
Whether you’re trying to shed some lbs or just stay fit, these tricks to increase your metabolism from nutritionist Heather Bauer, RD,CDN, will help you reach the finish line even faster.
1. Keep Hydrated I’m sure the general population thinks dieticians sound like a broken record when it comes to the whole water thing, but it really is important. Drinking the recommended eight cups of water a day will help your body function at peak performance levels. (more…)
By Bill Phillips and the Editors of Men’s Health
Ask 10 experts for their definition of fitness, and you’ll hear 10 different answers. That’s because how you define the word depends on the type of performance you expect. Some athletes need to develop a particular type of fitness over all others—powerlifters at one extreme, marathoners at another—but most of us are at our best when we achieve balanced fitness. In other words, we’re good at everything a healthy, active man needs to be able to do. (more…)
Want to get serious about health and wellness? Right now is the best time to start. Dr. Mehmet Oz, New York Times best-selling author and host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” reveals his top tips for diet, fitness and more. Even better, some take just a few minutes! Find out how to start transforming your life today…
You don’t have to wait till the New Year to dump bad habits and make healthy changes. You can start today, and it’s easier than you think.
Where to begin? We asked Dr. Mehmet Oz, New York Times best-selling author and host of “The Dr. Oz Show” to share his favorite quick tips for healthy living:
1. Develop a short morning routine. (more…)
Posted by Don Shelton
If you’re a Seattle runner like I am, you’re no stranger to running in cold, rainy weather. But the kind of bone-chilling temperatures and ankle deep snow that’s hitting the area now is a different matter.
We’re here to help. If you’re looking for some advice on how to stay safe and avoid a pratfall or injury, look no further. Here are 10 tips for runners to weather any kind of nasty extremes, courtesy of running coaches Jess Cover and Sam Davis from RunVermont. These folks seem to know their cold-weather stuff.
So read up and run on.
1. Layer, layer, layer: Layering clothes provides the perfect balance needed for winter running to avoid over- or under-dressing. When done properly, layers will trap the air warmed by your body while still allowing moisture and sweat to be wicked from your skin. Choose layers that can easily be tied around your waist once you begin to warm up; it’s important not to overheat while running since this can put you at risk of hypothermia. (more…)
MAN IN THE MIRROR - you’ve got to get it right while you’ve got the time
This morning I had a call with a client who had tearfully told me how she wished that she had known how important our food choices were, when she was younger. You see her father passed when he was 36 from Cancer. And after doing some research she came to realize how important diet and lifestyle habits are , and how him changing his habits earlier in his life could have very well saved him. Because of this, she is making changes in her own life and seeing me for Health Coaching/ Nutrition Counseling.
This was immensely meaningful to me. It reaffirmed that I love what I get to do daily, help people improve the quality of their own lives by the little choices we make. I could also relate to her, as I became a health coach after realizing that my friends and family members were suffering from depression, cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. Are these diseases preventable – absolutely !
We are a product of all our Movements. Every step and reach you make, every gulp and bite you take , even the thoughts you think – make up your well-being!
I get to help people become healthier, happier and achieve their goals – by working on all these little movements they make. I help people improve the quality of their own lives- how cool is that? !
I know this post is a little cheesy/ Oprah like, but I wanted to share that with you
It also led me to put on my favorite song – ” Man in the Mirror” – Michael Jackson. We all know it but have you really listened to the words? I have them in my next post- mostly if inspires me because it is so true – and confirms that by being our best we have the power to change things around us. There is no glass ceiling – only the one you create.
Yours in Health,
20 reasons why sugar ruins your health
Read on to find out how sugar affects us in so many ways (refined sugar, not natural sugars) Don’t know what that means?
By Jeannette Moninger
Ever wonder why you always seem to come down with a life-interrupting virus this time of year, while other women you know sail through the season sniffle-, cough-, and ache-free?
We canvassed the research and talked to top experts to uncover these key, study-backed secrets for staying well, even when you’re surrounded by germs. The docs’ number one tip: Get the flu vaccine, ASAP. Then, follow these simple steps to boost your virus protection even more.
Make friends with fresh air
Common wisdom has it that staying indoors, where it’s warm and toasty, is easier on your immune system than being outside in the cold. Problem is, being inside puts you in close constant contact with other people—and their germs.
Does your treadmill workout make you feel like a rat on a wheel? Then it’s probably time to change up your routine. And not just because you’re bored. “The human body wasn’t designed for conveyor-belt training or repetitive, one-dimensional movement,” says Dan John, a fitness coach in Burlingame, California, and the author of Never Let Go. So try one of John’s novel cardio drills below. Or better yet, try all three. You’ll blast fat and improve your fitness quickly. And the best part: You won’t have to find ways to distract yourself during these workouts — you’ll be too busy getting in shape.
A torn knee ligament is one of the most debilitating injuries that routinely hit young athletes. Now, medical researchers are deciphering why women are at much greater risk for the problem than men and how it can be prevented.
An estimated 90,000 varsity high-school and college athletes a year suffer an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, which connects the thigh bone to the shin bone. Women are between four and six times as likely as men who play the same sports to be injured, partly because they rely more on ligaments to compensate for less-developed muscles, researchers say. The riskiest sports for ACL tears are soccer, basketball, volleyball, football and skiing, all of which involve sudden stops, changes in direction and jumps.
New Orleans Saints cult hero Steve Gleason battling ALS
Today is the five-year anniversary of the highlight of Steve Gleason’s football career — his epic blocked punt against the Atlanta Falcons in the official reopening of the post-Katrina Superdome. It was a seminal moment in his life, the exclamation point to an inspirational eight-year career that saw him rise from relative obscurity to cult hero status in the city he would eventually call home.
The New Orleans Saints invited him to serve as a ceremonial team captain for today’s game against the Houston Texans at the Superdome. He’ll handle the coin toss and initiate the ceremonial Who Dat chant before kickoff.
He’ll undoubtedly receive a thunderous ovation from the sellout crowd of 73,000 but many fans won’t understand why Gleason is moving so slowly on the field.
Gleason has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a rare terminal disease that damages the nerves that control voluntary muscle movement.
By Meredith Melnick Tuesday, August 16, 2011 |
U.S. fitness guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. But increasingly, evidence suggests that even half that amount can extend significant health benefits.
Only about a third of Americans currently meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines for physical health, which advise a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, plus additional strength-training.
Now here’s the good news for the rest of us: even just 15 minutes of moderate exercise a day (or 92 minutes per week) was associated with a three-year increase in life expectancy and a 14% reduction in risk of death by any cause, compared with a sedentary lifestyle, according to a new study.
Each additional 15 minutes of daily exercise (up to 100 minutes a day) reduced the risk of death by an additional 4%, the study found, and people who got 30 minutes of activity a day added about four extra years to their life expectancy, compared with their sedentary peers.
The observational study involved more than 400,000 people in Taiwan, who were followed for an average of about eight years. Researchers gave participants a questionnaire asking about their medical history and lifestyle habits, including how much leisure-time physical activity they got. Based on the answers, researchers divided them into activity intensity groups: light (walking), moderate (brisk walking), vigorous (jogging) and very vigorous (running).
People were characterized as inactive if they got less than one hour of exercise per week. Compared with this group, those who got even small amounts of moderate activity daily lived longer.
“The 30-minute-a-day for five or more days a week has been the golden rule for the last 15 years, but now we found even half that amount could be very beneficial,” lead author Dr. Chi-Pang Wen told ABC News. “As we all feel, finding a slot of 15 minutes is much easier than finding a 30-minute slot in most days of the week.”
But that’s no excuse to scrape by with minimum effort. And it’s certainly no reason to scale back if you’re already working out for at least 30 minutes a day. When it comes to exercise, more is better. As anyone who has ever embarked on a new exercise regimen knows, the hardest part is starting; the longer you stick with it, the easier and more enjoyable it becomes. Over time, as you get fitter, your exercise goals will become easier to attain.
The new study had some limitations. For one, the questionnaires involved self-report, which always carries a measure of inaccuracy. The study was also observational, so it’s not clear whether people’s health outcomes could be attributed to factors other than exercise (though the researchers accounted for other factors like smoking, drinking, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and history of disease), or whether it was inactivity that caused poor health or vice versa.
Still, there is no shortage of existing evidence that increasing physical activity leads to all-around improvements in health, mood and well-being. And the new results suggest that even small amounts of moderate exercise — think biking, walking briskly or dancing — may mean significant benefits.
“The knowledge that as little as 15 minutes per day of exercise on most days of the week can substantially reduce an individual’s risk of dying could encourage many more individuals to incorporate a small amount of physical activity into their busy lives,” wrote Dr. Anil Nigam and Dr. Martin Juneau of the Montreal Heart Institute and the University of Montreal in an accompanying editorial in The Lancet, which published the new study online on Aug. 15.
By David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding
Jul 27, 2011
There’s a scene in the 1973 movie Soylent Green where food shortages cause people to riot in the street, and the throng becomes so unruly that front-loading construction machines roll in and begin shoveling people up into big metal buckets. These people are hungry—no, ravenous—for a food called soylent green. But here’s the twist: They know that they love soylent green, but they have no clue what it’s made from.
Sound familiar? It should. That’s basically how we eat today. Pick up a random package in the supermarket and look at the ingredient list. Chances are you won’t know half the ingredients. Take a look at the downright frightening facts Eat This, Not That! has uncovered. You may never look at food the same way.
1. Nutritious food costs 10 times more than junk food.
University of Washington researchers calculated the cost discrepancy between healthy food and junk foods and found that 2,000 calories of junk food rings up at a measly $3.52 a day. Yet for 2,000 calories of nutritious grub, the researchers plunked down $36. To add insult to fiscal injury, out of every dollar you spend on food, only 19 cents goes toward the stuff you eat. The other 81 cents goes toward marketing, manufacturing, and packaging. Think about that the next time your grocery bill jumps into the triple digits.
DID YOU KNOW? You don’t need to make big changes to your diet to lose 10, 20, or even 30 pounds. You just need to make the right small tweaks. Change how you look and feel—fast and forever—with this must-see report on the 25 Best Nutrition Secrets Ever!
7 Yoga Exercises That Help Osteoarthritis
By Kate Hanley, Special to Lifescript
Are you fed up with the back pain and misery of osteoarthritis, a painful degenerative joint disease? Regular yoga practice can help. Here are 7 easy exercises to improve mood and mobility, build strength and stability and increase circulation for osteoarthritis sufferers. Plus, how much do you know about yoga? Take our quiz to find out…
What do yoga and osteoarthritis have in common?
Osteoarthritis is an age-old, degenerative joint disease that takes a toll on your physical and emotional health. Yoga is an ancient therapy that can restore both. Recently, science has begun to connect the dots between the two.
A 2008 randomized, controlled study revealed that dozens of women eased their chronic low-back pain by participating in a one-week intensive yoga program to help osteoarthritis.
“By its very nature, yoga is good for arthritis because it relieves the disease’s major disability” – reduced range of motion – “without causing further trauma to joints,” explains Loren Fishman, M.D., co-author of Yoga for Arthritis (W.W. Norton).
- Builds strength, which provides greater stability to joints.
- Improves posture, which minimizes joint trauma caused by misalignment.
- Increases the circulation of synovial fluid, which nourishes and protects joints.
- Promotes a confident attitude, and reduces anxiety and irritability.
“The key is practicing regularly,” says Ellen Saltonstall, a New York City yoga teacher and co-author of Yoga for Arthritis, who also has arthritis in both hands, one foot and lower back.
The best part is you can do yoga on your own whenever you have time. To help osteoarthritis, aim to complete at least one pose each day, she suggests. If that’s too ambitious, make it every other day.
Before starting, consult your doctor and an experienced yoga teacher to learn the right alignment. To find a qualified teacher, ask a chiropractor, acupuncturist or other trusted health-care provider for referrals, or search the website of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
Here are 7 easy yoga exercises for low-back pain adapted from Yoga for Arthritis by Fishman and Saltonstall. (Reprinted by permission of W.W. Norton.) During each pose, breathe slowly through your nose.
Mental toughness, according to military fitness trainer and former Navy SEAL Stew Smith, may be inherent in the personalities of some people. For the rest of us, it is a skill that can be developed. Mental toughness is the result of belief in your ability to reach your goal, your determination to persist despite difficulty and your willingness to endure discomfort along the way. Building mental toughness can help you reach your weight loss goals and will translate to other endeavors in life, too.
Why do you want to lose weight? It has to be your own desire, not because someone else wants you to do it. JoAnn Dahlkoetter, Ph.D., a sports psychologist and author of the book “Your Performing Edge,” explains motivation must be intrinsic. “The goals must be ones that you have chosen because that’s exactly what you want to be doing,” she says.
Any endeavor begins with a vision that sparks your desire and enthusiasm. “The more clearly you can see that picture in your mind,” Dahlkoetter says, “the more likely it is to become reality. Staying mentally tough during weight loss requires using your desire to propel you through the rough spots and keep you working toward your goal.
Mental toughness is largely the ability to make a decision and make it a priority. Once the commitment is made, you have to stand strong against anything that distracts you from the goal. “To notice significant growth, you must live this commitment and regularly stretch what you perceive to be your current limits,” Dahlkoetter says.
Focus on Results
Slow progress, temptation and temporary setbacks can be discouraging, but mental toughness means focusing on the results, not the obstacles, according to certified fitness coach Garrett J. Braunreiter. “Winners dwell on the rewards of success,” he says. “Do what’s necessary now.”
There will be days when you’d rather sleep in than run your 2 miles in the rain, when double chocolate cake seems to be calling your name, when you forget how much your goals mean to you and you want to chuck the whole idea. These emotional dips are temporary; your mind and your will are the tools that get you past the hump.
Mental toughness is built on confidence and self-esteem, according to Smith, who said he became even more resilient during the course of his challenging Navy SEAL training. The willingness to endure discomfort in pursuit of your goal, the knowledge that you have what it takes, and the satisfaction that comes from accomplishing each small step create a positive mindset.
Brush up on your sun smarts and safe summer workouts will be no sweat.
Don’t spoil the disease-fighting, mood-boosting benefits of outdoor exercise with a carefree attitude about sun damage and dehydration. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, five or more sunburns (over the course of a lifetime, not a single summer) double your risk of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. Shield yourself from damaging UV rays — and ward off sun sickness — with these nine sun safety tips for summer walks, runs, rides, and water workouts.
Slather on a shot of SPF
Use a broad-spectrum sweat-proof sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for outdoor exercising, says Brian B. Adams, MD, director of the University of Cincinnati’s Sports Dermatology Clinic.
“Remember, though, that no sunscreen withstands intense workouts for prolonged periods,” he says.
Under conditions of extreme sweating or during in-water workouts, SPF should be reapplied every 45 to 60 minutes. With light outdoor exercise or tasks like gardening and yard work, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, says Colleen Doyle, RD, director of nutrition and physical activity for the American Cancer Society. One ounce (enough to fill a shot glass) should cover the arms, legs, neck, and face of the average adult, she says.
Up your gear’s UPF
“Athletic clothing should not be cotton, but rather synthetic moisture-wicking clothing that pulls away sweat and keeps your skin cool and dry,” says Adams. “Darker-colored clothing blocks more UV rays than white, so go for the darker colors.” Although darker colors absorb more heat, the sweat-wicking fabric will balance things out and keep you cool. Also look for athletic clothing with built-in sunblock, labeled with an ultraviolet protection factor, or UPF, says Adams, adding that you can also wash your clothing with a UPF enhancer. Wear longer shorts and sleeves instead of exercising shirtless or in a sports bra, advises Doyle.