Why Weight Training Matters

It’s not just for good looks.

Your heart needs oxygen, so you do aerobics and cardio. But you should also add in some weight training to your routine. No, lifting weights isn’t just a way to beef up your pecs and make your thighs harder than granite (though weight lifting is a great way to do both). Weight training also gives your body and your brain some other perks that are equally as gratifying.

Here are a few of the reasons you need to spend some time with weights in your hands.

Reason #1: It Keeps You Balanced

Obviously, you need plenty of cardio to keep your body going strong. But to keep it going its strongest all the time, you’ll need to lift weights. You don’t have to bench 450 pounds and squat 2 tons. You just need to add weights to your routine on a regular basis. This will ensure your body and brain are well balanced and able to perform at their peak at all times.

Reason #2: It Fights Osteoporosis

At the same time lifting weights helps your muscles grow denser, it does the same for your bones. Instead of waiting for a fracture to cause you to realize your need for weight training, get started with the weights today. Grab a small dumbbell and start pumping away while you sit in your living room chair or walk around the neighborhood.

Reason #3: It Burns More Fat

In order to trim off extra fat from your body, you’ll need to get sweating with some good cardiovascular exercises. But to make your body burn more calories during your cardio and when you’re going about your regular daily routine, you’ll need to add some muscle weight to your body. The best way to do this? Lift weights.

Reason #4: It Helps You Sleep

Nearly everything you do requires an adequate amount of sleep. From mowing the lawn to writing a poem to answering the telephone to balancing your checkbook, if you don’t get enough shuteye, you won’t be able to complete these tasks as well as your well-rested peers. A great way to increase your likelihood to get a good night of sleep is to lift weights. So head to the weight-lifting section of the gym, do your thing, and get ready to hit the hay.

Reason #5: Your Body Does What It Should

More than likely, you’ve never had to chop wood with an axe or walk to school, and you can’t remember the last time you opted for stairs over the elevator. While life is more convenient than it was during the good old days, new technologies have resulted in you putting fewer demands on your muscles. Weight training allows your muscles to do what they were created for – moving and working.

Reason #6: Go Longer, Stronger

Feel worn out at the end of the day? Then you must not be lifting weights. Getting regular weight training helps you grow your stamina so you can go strong all day, no matter what you come up against. In addition to going longer, lifting weights helps you go stronger as well.

Use Your Body

Though weight training is usually thought of as requiring hard, metal plates, it doesn’t always. Actually, you carry around all the weights necessary to keep your body in pretty good shape.

If you can’t make it to the gym and don’t have room to keep a weight set at your house, you can perform exercises that pit you against your body weight. How? By performing some of the most basic exercises in your repertoire. Push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, sit-ups, and leg squats all force you to work against your body weight and give you many of the same results of using barbells, dumbbells, and strength resistance machines.

Heat up to work out in cool temps

U. OREGON (US) — Heat acclimation may be the best thing to improve athletic performance, not only in warm environments, but in cool ones as well.

Heat acclimation exposure is beneficial to athletes in cool conditions as well as the expected performance benefits in a hot environment. Researchers believe the findings could also have implications for people with cardiac limitations. (Credit: iStockphoto)

via Futurity.org – Heat up to work out in cool temps.

Is obesity a threat to national security?

CORNELL (US) — Nearly 12 percent of women and 35 percent of men of military age are ineligible for duty because they are overweight or obese.

Almost one in four applicants to the military are rejected for being overweight or obese, according to a new study, which also finds that the military spends more on obesity than what it spends on treating tobacco- and alcohol-related illness combined.

Futurity.org – Is obesity a threat to national security?.

12 Tips for a Safe and Scary Halloween

If your little ghost, goblin, witch, or fairy is getting ready to head out for a trick-or-treat adventure this season, be sure he or she knows that safety always come first – no matter how cool your son or daughter’s costume may be. Here are a few hip tips to instill in your trick-or-treaters this Halloween.

Halloween should be a fun time for your children, but it’s up to you to keep it that way. Fortunately, all it takes is a little common sense to keep your trick-or-treaters healthy and safe for years to come. Encourage your children to have a spookily safe Halloween with these tips.

• Look for a costume that doesn’t drag on the ground. This way, your child won’t trip and fall when wearing his or her new identity. Also, ask your child to wear his or her own shoes, since another person’s shoes (especially if they’re too big) can create a tripping hazard.

• Remind your children that cars always have the right-of-way on the street. Therefore, trick-or-treaters always need to look both ways before crossing the street. As it only takes a second for a car to come around a corner, spending an extra moment to ensure cars aren’t coming may make the difference between safety and grave danger.

• Only cross the street at the corner.

• Never hide or try to cross the road between parked cars.

• Wear light-colored clothing or attach reflective strips so your child is more visible in the dark. Also, be sure to make costume accents like bikes, skateboards, or brooms visible with reflective tape, too.

• Make sure that all scarves or hats are tied and fit appropriately so they do not slip down over your child’s eyes.

• All swords, knives, or similar costume accessories should be flexible.

• If your children go trick-or-treating with friends, be sure they plan a route and tell you where they are going and when they plan to be back. Also, take advantage of technology by asking your kids to carry a cell phone if possible. Make sure your child knows how to call 911 and what situations may require that call to be made.

• Encourage your child to carry a flashlight.

• Look for costumes that are marked as flame retardant. However, remind your child that costumes can be flammable and they should avoid getting too close to fires or candles.

• Only visit homes with porch lights on. Do not go up to houses alone.

• Accept treats at the door but never go into a stranger’s house.

• Opt for face paint rather than masks that can cover your child’s eyes and make it hard for him or her to see. If a mask is a must with your child’s costume, make sure the eye holes are big enough to see out of adequately.

• Always use caution around animals and strangers you don’t know. Do not give anyone you do not know any personal information about you.

• Encourage your children to wait until getting home to eat any of the candy collected. That way you can go over it together and pick out anything that has a broken seal or looks like it has been tampered with in any way. Most communities also offer free candy screenings at fire and police departments.

2009’s Coolest Costumes

Here are 2009’s top 10 costumes, according to a CNBC poll.

10. Athlete
9. Disney princess
8. Batman
7. Pumpkin
6. Star Wars
5. Pirate
4. Spiderman
3. Hannah Montana
2. Witch
1. Princess

Adults can get in on the fun, too. Here are the top 10 costumes for grown-ups.

10. Angel
9. Ghost
8. Political character
7. Batman
6. Nurse
5. Fairy
4. Cat
3. Vampire
2. Pirate
1. Witch

Share This Article

Eat Your Age

What your age does to your need for calories and how you can help your body respond appropriately.

When you were a kid, you only ate when you were hungry. Everyone said you ate like a bird until you became a teenager. Then you couldn’t eat enough. By the time you hit your 30s you stopped listening to your stomach and started listening to your eyes. But you were working out enough to keep off unwanted pounds. But now you’re starting to see the effects of eating too many calories.

So how can you avoid age-related weight gain? By keeping these three age-appropriate tips in mind the next time you decide to grab your favorite fattening treat.

1. Age Changes Everything

You may feel like a teenager, but when you’re out of your teens and into your 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond, your body tells a different story. Whether you’ll admit it or not, you realize that you can’t move quite as quick in your 50s as you could in your 20s. Likewise, your body can’t burn through calories like it could a few years ago. With that in mind, the need to curb your calorie intake as you age makes sense. Because if your body can’t use all the calories you’re eating, consuming excessive calories only leads to excessive weight.

Live your life and forget your age. – Norman Vincent Peale

2. Activity Takes More Effort

When you were a kid, getting out and about for a two-hour game of neighborhood football was no problem. Ever since you started working at an office, stuck behind a large oak desk, getting physical activity has become more and more difficult. Thanks to this increased difficulty of getting a work out, your body’s metabolism has dropped dramatically since your skinny high school days. Ideally, you should get at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise five days a week. Since this isn’t always possible, you’ll need to chop even more calories from your diet to make sure the calories you eat are being used rather than stored as fat.

3. You Have to Cut

Regardless of how much exercise you get, you’ll probably need to reduce the amount of calories you consume as you age. A good guide to help you understand your calorie need is to start with 1,800 calories for women age 31 to 50 and 2,200 for men of the same age. If you’re younger than 31, add another 200 calories. The over 50 crowd should subtract 200. With certain levels of activity, you can also add calories to your diet. However, since every person’s caloric needs are different at every stage in life, you should consult with your physician before making any minor or major changes in your diet. To get a more precise idea of how many calories you should eat each day, a number of calorie calculators are available on the Internet. Using your age, height, weight, gender, and level of activity, these calculators help you have an idea of how many calories it will take for you to maintain a healthy weight. If you find the amount of calories you’re eating isn’t helping you meet your weight goals, modify your diet as needed.

Junk It Up

Along with all those healthy calories that you chow down on each day, you may be wondering how many of the delectable and not-so-healthy calories you can eat on a daily basis.

An easy way to keep your bad calorie consumption in check is to have no more than one-eighth of your calories come from foods that offer no nutritional value. This includes cookies and cakes, potato chips and bonbons, and those sugar-filled drinks that you can’t live without in the morning and afternoon.

Share This Article

What to Do With Shoulder Injuries

Know them, catch them, treat them.

Though you may ignore your shoulder on good days, that all changes if you suffer a shoulder injury. Pain from a shoulder injury can be so severe that you become unable to do tasks you take for granted, such as driving a car, waving to your neighbor, and even hugging your loved ones. So how can you make sure shoulder injuries don’t leave you down and out?

Know Them.

Very few shoulder injuries affect the bones. Most injure the ligaments, tendons, and muscles on and around the shoulders. While athletes are prone to experiencing shoulder injuries, people who perform repetitive motions that use the shoulder are at increased risk.

Though there are several different shoulder injuries that may affect you, they all fall into two categories: instability and impingement. An instability shoulder injury is the result of a shoulder joint being forced out of place or moving out of its natural position on its own. These injuries often cause dislocated shoulders and make it painful to even raise your arm. Impingement shoulder injuries, frequently brought on by repetitive reaching overhead, are caused by the shoulder muscles rubbing against the top of the shoulder blade.

Catch Them.

The secret to helping your shoulder overcome any injury is catching the problem fast. Otherwise, your problem will grow worse and more difficult to treat effectively. Three of the most common signs of a serious shoulder injury that requires medical evaluation are the following:

  • feeling that your shoulder could pop or slide out of your shoulder socket with ease
  • lack of strength to perform activities of daily living that require you to use your shoulder
  • shoulder stiffness that makes it difficult or even impossible to rotate your arm as you normally would

If you suffer any of these symptoms, don’t wait to find out if your shoulder will feel better in a few days. Rather, seek expert medical evaluation from your primary care physician or an orthopedic surgeon.

Treat Them.

When shoulder pain begins to affect you, your physician may recommend a series of exercises to strengthen your shoulder and prevent further injury. Common exercises include wall push-ups (stand in front of a wall with your hands on the wall and perform push-ups on the wall), tying elastic tubing to a doorknob and pulling on the tubing gently, and shoulder press-ups (sit upright in an armchair and push yourself off of the chair using your arms, keeping your feet on the ground).

In the event your pain doesn’t subside with exercise, anti-inflammatory medication is frequently prescribed to reduce swelling and help your shoulder recover from injury. If your injury is severe, you may require corrective surgery. Thanks to innovations in orthopedic surgery, many shoulder surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis, allowing you to undergo surgery and recover in the comfort of your own home.

Shocking News

When chronic shoulder pain sets in, physicians have a number of tools at their disposal. One of them is shockwave therapy, which sends low or medium energy waves to the injured tissue. However, a recent study shows that it may be time to hang up the shockers when it comes to shoulder therapy.

During the study, 104 18- to 70-year-old men and women were broken into two groups. One group was given shockwave treatment every week for four to six weeks, and the other undertook 45 minutes of supervised exercise twice a week for as many as 12 weeks.

At the end of the study, nearly two times as many people in the exercise group had reduced pain and disability, and more exercisers were given the okay for getting back to work. As if to add insult to treatment-prolonged injury, more individuals in the shockwave therapy group had to continue undergoing treatment after 12 weeks than those in the exercise group.

Moral of the story? If your physician recommends a shocking treatment for shoulder pain, exercise your right to say no!

Share This Article

The Power of Change

Do you wish you could change something about your life right now?

I’m here to argue that change can happen in an instant.

I know this goes against popular thought. Most people believe that change has to be worked at for months or even years. We expect to try and fail numerous times before we ultimately give up or succeed.

How many people do you know who struggle with their weight? They want to make a healthy change by getting in shape, but the change never seems to take hold.

Is there something in your life that you want to change? Do you have weight to lose? Do you have high blood pressure? Do you have a pair of pants that you wish you could fit into?

What is keeping you from making a positive change in your life?

According to professional speaker and author, Anthony Robbins, it’s the getting ready to change that takes time. In the end there’s a single instant when the change occurs. Robbins goes on to outline three specific beliefs that you must have in order to instantly create a lasting change.

Belief #1: Something must change.

Do you sort of want to get into shape, or do you absolutely have to lose the weight? Does dropping a few pounds sound nice, or is living another day in your current body unbearable? In order to make a lasting change you must be convinced that the time has come.

Belief #2: I must change it.

It is vital that you take full responsibility in making the change. Sure, others may assist you, but in the end you are the one who is going to make it happen. You have to need this change enough to make it your personal mission—no one else will do it for you.

Belief #3: I can change it.

Don’t let past failures get in your way. The truth is that you do amazing things when you put your mind to it. Believe that you are capable of losing weight or making any other positive change in your life.

Why do most people fail to make lasting change? They leave it up to willpower. This works for awhile, but you’ll always revert back to what’s comfortable. The solution?

Change what you’re comfortable with.

You’ve probably heard that humans are motivated by two things: 1) to avoid pain and 2) to gain pleasure. When you want to change a behavior pattern the key is to associate pain with the behavior that you don’t want and pleasure with the behavior that you do want.

You know that you want to lose weight and that to do so you need to quit eating comfort food late at night. You also know that you need to start exercising on a regular basis. Up until this point your brain is trained to associate pleasure with eating comfort food late at night and to associate pain with exercise.

It’s time to retrain your brain to feel good about exercise and to feel bad about eating late at night. Think about all of the negative things about being overweight and connect these unpleasant thoughts to your late night snack. Now think about all of the wonderful things about being in shape and connect these pleasant thoughts to exercise.

You are capable of making a big change in your life. Start by calling or emailing me for your no obligation fitness consultation.

Remember, change can happen in an instant.

Smartsize Your Weight Loss

Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., R.D. shared her favorite food fact in her book, The Portion Teller Plan. “You can lose 10lbs a year by cutting back on 100 calories a day.” To do this simply trim your portions:

  • Choose a 12oz beverage instead of a 20oz.
  • Eat only half of an energy bar.
  • Use 1 Tablespoon of salad dressing instead of 2 Tablespoons.
  • Eat half of a sandwich instead of a full one.
  • Eat prepackaged bag of pretzels instead of eating out of a large bag.
  • Order a tall drink instead of a grande at your next Starbucks visit.
Herb-Coated Halibut with Zucchini and Whole Wheat Couscous

Not only is this meal delicious, it’s also incredibly healthy. A tangy herb paste coats both the fish and zucchini, which roast on the same pan. The entire meal is ready in 30 minutes – perfect for busy weekday dinners.
Servings: 4

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped, peeled fresh ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 zucchini, cut into spears
  • 4 skinless fillets firm white fish
  • 1 cup dry whole-wheat couscous
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Throw the scallions, cilantro, mint, oil, ginger, coriander and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a food processor and pulse until a coarse paste forms. Season with pepper.
  2. Toss zucchini with 3 tablespoons herb paste in a bowl. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 5 minutes.
  3. Rub remaining herb paste onto both sides of fish fillets. Push zucchini to edges of baking sheet, and arrange fish in center, leaving about 1/2 inch between each fillet. Roast until fish is opaque and semi-firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare directions. Serve fish and zucchini over couscous.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 354 calories, 10g fat, 29g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, and 32g protein.

Spread the word. Use the “refer a friend” link below to forward this info to your friends, family, and coworkers.