Hypnotic Weight Loss

Can hypnotism help you shed extra pounds without your knowledge?

There are tricks, gimmicks, and do-it-quick schemes for nearly everything in life. But there is one exciting technique for losing weight that is as controversial as it is fun at the local comedy club. That technique? Hypnotism. So what is the skinny on this fat-stripping method, and is there any chance it could help you lose some weight on accident?

Understanding the Technique

Hypnosis isn’t always about making you act silly or do something you’ll regret. With hypnosis that leads to weight loss, the goal is to get into your subconscious and encourage you to take on new, healthier habits. How does this occur? With a couple of steps.

The first step is to hypnotize you, so that you’re ready to accept the new ideas that are going to be planted in your brain. To get you in this ready-to-receive mindset, a hypnotist will use some of the tricks of the trade that you’ve seen on stage. Once you are fully relaxed and ready to receive what your hypnotist has to say, here is what you’ll hear: “High-calorie, fatty, sugary foods are bad.

Fruits, vegetables, and lean meats are good.” According to hypnotists and individuals who have benefited from their services, the end result can be dramatic weight loss. Instead of running to the doughnut store to satisfy cravings, hypnotized individuals fulfill their hunger in the fruit aisle.
But the question on everyone’s mind remains the same: Does it really work?

So, Does It?

Unfortunately, answering this question isn’t as easy as you may think. Because while some people would be quick to shout the praises of hypnosis, there are others who would condemn it as tomfoolery. That’s because hypnotic weight loss, like many other weight-loss techniques, does not work for everyone and cannot work on its own. Sure, you may spend an hour at the hypnotist’s office, but you’ve got to allow yourself to listen to your new subconscious thoughts before you’ll get any results.

That means when your brain tells you to get an apple, grab an apple and not a piece of apple pie. Hypnosis-induced weight loss also requires something else from you. You’ll need to do the same thing your non-hypnotized peers are doing for good health. You’ve got to get to the gym and work out. For the biggest bang for your hypnosis buck, exercise for at least 30 minutes a day three to five days a week.

But Be Careful

Think you’re ready to get into the hypnotist’s chair for a round of hypnosis? Before you put yourself in the hands of a hypnotist, do your homework first. Opt for a hypnotist who is also a healthcare provider, such as a physician or psychologist. This way, you can be confident that your hypnotist has your overall health in mind and will not do anything to take advantage of you.

Additionally, if you’re tired of spending money on weight loss techniques that don’t reap results, you may want to shy away from hypnosis. Though it may work for you, it may wind up spending you more money than you feel it’s worth. And since there is very little scientific proof that hypnosis is effective in helping you lose weight, you may be better off shedding pounds the old-fashioned way. Get to the gym and consult an exercise professional about your goals and how you should go about reaching them.

After Weight Loss

Have some other issues you’d like to deal with through hypnotism? Go to the right hypnotist, and you may be able to get a number of health issues under control. From sleep disorders and depression to nausea and ulcers, hypnosis has helped many people enjoy improved health. Hypnosis has also been used to improve athletic performance and help victims of abuse cope with their feelings.

Complex Exercise is Best for Fat Loss

I’m often approached and asked to pin down a single exercise as the one that will help lose the most fat and sculpt the quickest. That’s not an easy question to answer.

You see, I’m very aware of the fact that though an exercise may be perfect for Client A, it may not be the best choice for Client B—hence my hesitation to label any exercise as the universal best.

That being said, some exercises are definitely better than others. And, yes, there are even a few that I would call the best.

What makes an exercise the best?

When you decide which exercises to include in your routine, it is important to consider the type of movement involved. The simpler the movement, the fewer calories you’ll burn and the fewer muscles you will strengthen. On the other hand, the more complex the movement, the more calories you will burn and the more muscles you will strengthen.

To put it simply, exercises that use complex movements will deliver better results than exercises that use only simple movements. Complex movements recruit multiple muscles, some to stabilize and others to perform the movement. This process keeps your heart rate higher than a simple exercise would, giving you a more intense workout.

What is a complex movement?

A complex movement is a multi-joint movement that recruits large portions of the body to complete the exercise. Let’s compare a simple movement leg exercise with a complex movement leg exercise:

The leg extension machine uses a simple, isolated movement to work the quadriceps. You’re in a seated position moving only your knee joint. There isn’t much involvement, if any, from other muscles and it doesn’t burn very many calories.

Now let’s look at a free weight walking lunge. You start by standing with your feet together and a dumbbell in each hand at your sides (or a barbell across your shoulders, or a medicine ball held at your chest, or even with no weight at all). You take a large step forward and lower your back knee, keeping your front knee at a 90 degree angle. Now you push off your front foot and pull your back leg forward, repeating the movement.

How many muscles did you utilize while performing the lunge? Probably too many to count.

You certainly worked your quadriceps, gluteus, hamstrings, calves, abdominals, supporting muscles in your shoulders, arms and back- just to name a few. You also raised your heart rate and really kicked your metabolism into high gear. That’s what I call a great exercise.

Other ways to increase intensity

Using complex movements are just one of many ways to kick your workout intensity up a notch. Try incorporating a Super Set into your routine. To do so simply perform two or more exercises in a row and then take a short rest.

Or how about a Compound Set? Perform one exercise, rest, then perform an exercise with opposing body parts. To find exercises that compliment one another, choose ones that have similar but opposite motions such as a chest press and a row.

The key to finding the best exercise is to find the ones that bring your workout intensity to a whole new level.

I’d be shortchanging you if I named any exercise as the best. The fact of the matter is that it is a combination of changing your workouts up, using interval training, and even some good old cardio that will ultimately see you to your goal.

These methods will help you to burn more calories, increase your metabolic rate, and will stimulate the production of more fat burning and muscle toning hormones. Of course, there is more involved to achieving your fitness goals. You need to incorporate fat burning into your routine. You need to consistently challenge yourself during workouts. You need to take control of your eating habits and to get your diet dialed in.

Protect Your Neck

What you can do to keep your neck out of harm’s way when pumping up in the gym.

Everyone who has spent much time working out has felt some neck pain now and then. However, with a few small precautions, you can help your neck avoid carrying the brunt of your workout burden. Here are a few things you can do to keep your neck from feeling the strain and pain of your routine.

Focus on Technique

Unless you’re performing exercises that are supposed to work out your neck, you should not feel stress on your neck. One of the main reasons you may experience neck stress when there should be none is improper technique. To get over this pain, you’ll need to pay closer attention to how you perform each repetition of every exercise.

Sit-ups are a common exercise resulting in neck pain. By using only your core muscles to lift your body toward your legs, you can protect against neck pain. The same is true with other exercises, such as the military press. Keeping your head in the right place at all times and using proper form allows you to take great strides away from potential neck pain.

Get Neck-Centric

It’s important to pay attention to your entire body when working out, and that includes your neck. Though you ought to be careful not to cause undue stress to your neck when working out other body parts, you can help your neck handle the stress by exercising it appropriately. This will strengthen your neck and help you avoid neck pain brought on by other exercises.
For stronger neck muscles, try the following exercises:

  • Chin to Chest – Sitting on the floor with your legs extended straight out, lock your hands together and put them behind your head. Next, pull your head to your chest in a gradual, fluid motion. Once your chin is touching your chest, hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Isometric Neck – Standing upright, place your right hand on the right side of your head. Use your hand to slowly push your head toward your left side. As you push, tighten your neck muscles to stop your head from moving. Continue pushing and fighting the push for 10 to 15 seconds, return your hand by your side, and repeat with your left hand on the left side of your head.
  • Rolling Neck Stretch – Holding a neck roller with both hands, place the roller behind your head at the top right side of your neck. Carefully roll the muscle roller down your neck muscles, holding for 10 to 30 seconds wherever you feel tension in your neck. Repeat for the left side of your neck. If no neck roller is available, a rolling pin works fine.

Always Be On Guard

Neck strains and pains may be most notable after a hard workout in the gym, but they don’t start there. Rather, they typically begin during your normal daily activities. With that in mind, you ought to pay particular attention to how you go about everything in your day-to-day routine.

Do you have poor posture while sitting at your desk working on the computer? Do you often slump on your couch for an hour of television? Do you sleep in a position that leaves you hurting in the morning? Do you participate in aggressive sports and have little care for how you absorb hits from other players? All these can lead to neck pain that becomes more obvious during your time working out at the gym. Taking steps to protect your neck’s good health during the day will go a long way toward your ability to fend off neck strain in the gym.

Feel the Burn

If you’re working out in the hot summer sun, you are at risk for another painful problem with your neck: sunburn. Keep your neck from feeling the burn by spreading plenty of sunscreen on your neck before heading out for your routine. For extra protection, wear a wide-brimmed hat.

The Short and Sweet Routine

The fastest way to keep your exercise routine regular.

If you’ve spent some time away from the gym, you may feel like taking on the world at your return. Sure, a three-hour marathon workout may make you feel like you conquered the world, but it takes regular exercise to get your body in good shape, so bite off a little at a time.
Need a little more convincing? Read on to get a few reasons why a short routine may be the best way to get and stay strong.

It’s Easier to Maintain

The thought of a prolonged workout may be intriguing at first, but getting to the gym the third and fourth time for an equally long workout won’t be easy. Nothing is as easy the second or third time – especially if it involves draining yourself of all energy with hours of nonstop exercise. Do yourself a favor by going for the short, the sweet, the manageable.

It Fits in Your Schedule

Along with a short routine being easier to maintain, it also fits into your schedule with greater ease. This means that while you may think you’ve not got time in your busy day to squeeze in a trip to the gym, you actually do. On those days when it seems impossible to hit the gym, it’s much easier to make it happen if your routine only requires 20 or 30 minutes, compared to some of the more time-intensive workouts.

It Gives You Variety

Short routines may seem stifling on your creativity. But if done right, they can provide a great amount of variety in your routine. Shoot for four exercises during each session and choose different ones every day. Go for two arm and two leg exercises one day, one arm, two legs, and an abdominal exercise the next. Keep things switched up by tossing in an all-aerobic day or a full body workout in the pool.

It Helps You Focus

One of the big problems of staying in the gym for too long is the ease with which you can lose your focus. You may have shown up with grand plans, but two hours into it, you realize you’ve been standing around shooting the bull more than you’ve been working out. By sticking to a short routine, you know exactly where you’re going from your first step into the weight room to the final lap in the pool, ensuring your body gets a workout throughout your time at the gym.

It Gives You a Partner

Finding yourself in the midst of a marathon weight-lifting session gets old fast for you and your workout partner. To make sure your spotter will always be there by your side to offer encouragement and join you on the road to better health, use a shorter routine. It’ll help you both stay on track.

Into the Long

Wonderful as a quick workout is, it’s not always the best choice. In fact, a longer routine may be called upon to help you meet your goals. So when is longer better?

Typically, a longer routine is best suited for body builders and people training for something that requires spectacular endurance. If you’re training for a triathlon, marathon, or other endurance sport, you should learn how to push your body as hard and as long as will be necessary to compete well during your chosen athletic event.

However, unless you’re a body builder, you probably shouldn’t spend all of your time in the gym. You would be better off maintaining a short routine under the barbell and pushing your limits outside of the gym, practicing specifically for your chosen sport. That means learning how to swim for a mile without stopping, running for 15 miles or more, and riding your bicycle so you’ll be ready when the gun is fired at the starting line.

Treating Shin Splints

A Pain in the Leg!

After last night’s soccer game, your daughter complained that her shins hurt, so you iced her legs before she went to bed. Her legs felt fine after a good night’s sleep and you sent her off to school this morning with a kiss and soccer practice clothes in her backpack. Now she’s calling and saying that her legs hurt again. Could it be something more than simple pain?

Shin splints are a common injury among athletes – especially runners, sprinters, figure skaters, and gymnasts. The term “shin splints” refers to pain felt in the shinbone or tibia (the large bone in the front of your lower leg) after an athlete has run or “pounded the ground” for a period of time. This force of impact can sometimes cause the muscles around the tibia to tighten, pull, or become inflamed, which leads to pain. Shin splints often respond well to home treatment, but if the pain continues, it’s a good idea to have a medical professional check it out just to be sure it’s not a stress fracture in your shinbone or another serious condition.

Symptoms of Shin Splints

The most common symptoms of shin splints include:

  • Tenderness, soreness, or pain along the inner part of your leg
  • Mild swelling
  • Pain that worsens when you run or participate in other weight-bearing exercise
  • Discomfort in your lower leg that lingers even after you’ve stopped exercising

These symptoms are most likely to occur after you’ve been running downhill, on a slanted or tilted surface, or engaging in sports like basketball or tennis that require frequent starts and stops. You may also experience shin splints if you’re running in worn out footwear, which offer less support for your feet.

Treating Shin Splints at Home

The good news about shin splints is that you can treat the condition at home in most cases. If you or a loved one is experiencing shin splints, try these remedies to relieve your pain.

  • Rest. Most of the time, your legs just need time to recover after high-impact activities like running. However, don’t give up totally on exercise while you’re resting your legs. Try lower-impact sports like swimming or bicycling.
  • Ice. Icing your legs can help relieve pain caused by shin splints. Just apply an icepack wrapped in a towel (to protect your skin) for about 20 minutes up to four times a day.
  • Reduce swelling. If your legs swell when you get shin splints, try elevating your legs above the level of your heart (especially at night).
  • Take non-prescription pain relievers. Several pain relievers, including ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin can help to relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Wear the right shoes. If you think your shoes are causing shin splints, try buying a new pair of athletic shoes. If your foot shape is hard to shop for, ask your physician for tips on what kind of shoe to purchase.
  • Consider arch supports. Arch supports can drastically reduce your risk of shin splints. You can buy off-the-shelf arch supports that can immediately be fitted into your shoe or you can get custom-made arch supports.

Remember, it’s important to avoid overdoing it when you get shin splints. Take a break from your exercise and recover before gradually working back to your previous athletic level.

3 Tips to Prevent Shin Splints

Rather run past shin splints? Here are a few tips to stop the pain in your shins before it ever starts.

Tip #1: Keep up with your shoes. Your footwear is a very important part of preventing shin splints – especially if you’re a runner. Replace your shoes as soon as they begin to get old, usually about every 350 to 500 miles of wear.

Tip #2: Lessen the impact. Instead of running or exclusively participating in high-impact activities, try cross-training with exercises that are easier on the legs, such as swimming or walking.

Tip #3: Add strength training to your routine. Strengthening your shins is key. Try slowly rising up on your toes while you’re standing and then slowly lowering your heels to the floor. Repeat 10 times. If this exercise gets easy, try holding weights in your hands as you perform the exercise.

Kill Cholesterol in the Gym

How you can put high cholesterol to sleep by hitting the gym.

Cholesterol is produced naturally by the body and gets fed to your body through all sorts of food. While a certain level of cholesterol is necessary to keep your body functioning properly, too much can be dangerous, and if it leads to a heart attack, excessive cholesterol can be deadly.

Want to know about one of the best ways to fend off high cholesterol? You’ll need to put on your exercise outfit and head directly to the gym. Keep reading to learn why your lower cholesterol levels may depend on exercise and what you’ll need to do in the gym to keep your levels low.

Lower, Higher

Through the exercise process, your body does two amazing things. It reduces the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in your body and increases the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in your body. Why does this matter, and why do you want more of any kind of cholesterol?

Getting rid of LDL is obviously a good thing, especially if you consider all cholesterol to be bad cholesterol. But in the eyes of your physician, LDL truly is bad cholesterol, since it is responsible for the artery-clogging affects cholesterol is known for. HDL, on the other hand, is actually beneficial to your body. Though researchers are unsure exactly what makes HDL so helpful, it is thought that this kind of cholesterol pushes excess cholesterol out of the arteries, into the liver, and out of the body. Regardless of what makes HDL work, it has been proven to reduce your likelihood of heart attack.

But It Takes Lots

While exercise increases your HDL while lowering your LDL and helping you get better control over your overall cholesterol, it takes a good bit of exercise to really kill off cholesterol in the gym. So if you’re accustomed to stopping by the gym when the mood hits you or when your schedule allows, you’re going to have to change.

Instead of maintaining a rather lax exercise schedule, you’re going to need to spend some time in the gym four or five days a week. Any kind of exercise is good, but spreading your exercise wings is best for fighting cholesterol. Therefore, spend time stretching out, getting plenty of aerobic exercise, and don’t forget strength training. By going to the gym and working out most days of the week, your body will begin to get rid of unwanted cholesterol and create more of the good, heart-friendly cholesterol.

Better With Food

By itself, exercise will definitely have a positive impact on your cholesterol levels. But as great as exercise may be on improving your cholesterol levels, exercise alone will never be enough. For maximum cholesterol-killing ability, you’re going to have to change how you eat.

An easy first step is to look at the labels on the foods you’re eating. If there is a lot of cholesterol, toss it and grab something else. Prefer to not pay attention to food labels? There’s an even better solution. Up your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and start making your own food instead of buying prepackaged goods that are more likely to be loaded with fat and cholesterol. You’ll not only help your cholesterol levels, but you’ll be better able to maintain your weight and will enjoy a sudden boost in energy that prepackaged foods simply can’t offer.

Raising the Bar

Wondering what your exercise routine is fighting for? If you’re unsure what healthy or high cholesterol levels are, use the chart below to find out just the goal you’re trying to reach by pushing yourself in the gym.

Ideal Cholesterol Levels

Total Cholesterol: 200 mg/dL or lower
HDL Cholesterol: 60 mg/dL or higher
LDL Cholesterol: 100 mg/dL or lower

Dangerous Cholesterol Levels

Total Cholesterol: 240 mg/dL or higher
HDL Cholesterol: 40 mg/dL or lower (50 mg/dL or lower for women)
LDL Cholesterol: 160 mg/dL or higher

Get More from Your Body

How you can improve your body’s performance in four steps.

It seems everybody who knows how to exercise has a tip or two on how to get your body to operate at its maximum potential. Which ones should you use? The ones that work for you. Believe it or not, most tried-and-true ways to get more from your body work. At least they work for a certain group of people.

Trying these different techniques will help you determine what it takes to help your body get to the next level of fitness and provide you with a better, stronger self.

Strengthen Your Core:

Just the name of your core should be enough to convince you of your need to keep it strong and healthy. When your core is weak, the rest of your body is at a distinct disadvantage. Add some muscle to your core with sit-ups, double crunches, crunches while resting on an exercise ball, and other core-strengthening and core-stabilizing exercises. The end result will be more than a good-looking set of abdominal muscles. It will be a set of good-looking abdominal muscles that supports you properly and efficiently in all endeavors you undertake – whether walking briskly through the airport with two carry-on bags tossed across your shoulder or going for a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling.

Get Vitamin D:

You’ve known for a long time that vitamin D is important for strong bones, and strong bones are important if you want your body to do its job as well as possible. Did you know that vitamin D is also important for another reason? Recent research shows that vitamin D may play a great role in whether an athlete is able to take his or her performance to the next level. Runners who underwent rigorous training reduced their sprint times by 7.4 percent with the aid of vitamin D, while their counterparts who did not receive vitamin D increased their times by a meager 1.7 percent. So if you want to get the most from your body, take a vitamin D supplement or get out in the sun.

Kick Back:

Taking some time off to relax seems counterproductive when you want your body to be stronger and more efficient. But if you don’t take time to relax and get proper amounts of sleep, your body won’t be there for you when you need it most. Instead, it will be ready for naptime. In addition to getting plenty of sleep, you should also relax your body during the day. By forcing yourself to let your limbs hang loose and your fingers drop carelessly, you stretch out your entire body and reduce your stress levels immediately. Take this time to breathe, and breathe deeply. Deep, focused breathing is a great way to reinvigorate your muscles with oxygen-rich blood, and it’s easy to do. So relax a little now and your body will be ready to help later.

Drink It Down:

Water is one of your body’s main building blocks, making up nearly three-fourths of your body mass. Are you getting enough of it? If not, you’re putting your body at a disadvantage that is difficult to overcome with energy bars and electrolyte-filled drinks. When in doubt, drink water. It will give your body what it needs to stay strong and healthy, keep you from growing weak and faint, and will help you feel fuller faster, all benefits that help your body operate at its peak all the time.

Slow It Down

There are countless ways to keep your body from reaching and operating at its potential all the time. What are a few of them? Let us count the ways…

One one-thousand…sugary sweets
Two one-thousand…focusing only on aerobic exercises
Three one-thousand…focusing only on strength exercises
Four one-thousand…a negative attitude
Five one-thousand…poor posture when standing and performing exercises

Cold Weather Workout

Should you get moving when the weather outside is frightening?

When the weather outside starts to get cold and foreboding, you may be tempted to stay inside by the fire with a warm cup of tea and some comfort food in your lap. However, you should know that heading out the door for some cold-weather workouts will reap great rewards if you take care to stay warm and safe.

Read on to learn how to pump up when the wind is biting and your nose is bright red.

Dress Right.

Running and playing in the cold requires you to be very thoughtful about your wardrobe. Obviously, you can’t take off in a t-shirt and shorts. Instead, you’ll want to wear layers of clothing. As you begin to sweat, remove a layer to keep your sweat from causing you to get cold later. Then put your outermost layers back on when you begin to grow cold. For best warmth, the layer against your body should be polypropylene or another synthetic material, followed by fleece and then something waterproof and breathable on top.

In addition to staying warm, you should remember to stay safe. As it is often darker during the cold months, take precaution to remain visible to oncoming traffic. Wearing clothing with reflective surfaces will help others see you, even from a distance. You should also make sure your shoes have good enough traction to keep you on your feet as you run across various surfaces. And if you’re participating in skiing, snowboarding, or other winter sports, wear appropriate safety gear to avoid hurting your head, knees, and other body parts.

Work the Wind.

Blowing, freezing wind is one of the hardest parts to overcome if you’re trying to force yourself to work out in the cold. Keep the wind beneath your wings by facing the blowing breeze during the beginning of your run or bicycle ride. This way, you’ll be running with the wind on your way back home, making the return trip much more pleasant and making you more likely to want to do it again the next day.

Think Hot.

While you’ll need to plan your wardrobe and your wind sprints with the weather in mind, you’ll need to change your mindset to a warmer climate to ensure your overall good health during a winter workout. Wearing sunscreen in the cold may seem senseless, but the sun still has the power to burn your exposed skin during the winter. Actually, you may be at increased risk for sunburn if you’re working out at a high altitude or in an area with a lot of snow. So be sure to lather up before you head out for your cold routine.

You’ll also need to think hot weather with regards to your hydration. Becoming dehydrated may seem to be a concern only valid during the hot summer months, but you need plenty of liquids in your system year round to keep your system well watered. To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout – even if you don’t feel thirsty yet. Because once you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.

Get Back In

For the most part, you can exercise in the cold and reap only benefits from your routine. Sometimes, however, exercising in the cold isn’t a good idea. If you exercise outside when you shouldn’t, the results can be bone-chillingly bad. When should you get back inside? The following are signs that you need to get inside and stay there:

  • The temperature is below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (or –17.8 degrees Celsius). At these temperatures, you’re at risk for lowering your body temperature, which can have horrid results.
  • You experience frostbite or hypothermia. The initial signs of frostbite include numbness, loss of feeling, paleness, or stinging in the fingers, face, and toes. Hypothermia is recognized by unstoppable shivering, fatigue, loss of coordination, and slurred speech. If these symptoms are present, seek emergency medical attention immediately.