Monday, April 26, 2010
I like to read all I can on health, fitness, and nutrition studies from reliable sources, and I ran across this recent information on dementia and Alzheimers. I was not surprised to learn that the most healthful diets, those that are low in red meats and dairy and those high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, fish, seeds and Omega 3/Omega 6 fatty acids may also help to reduce the incidence of brain atrophy such as Alzheimers. That is amazing. If we need another reason to change our diets, this is another one to add to the list.
Read more about this for yourself in these articles:
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
It's been about eight weeks since my last blog posting. I fell off the blog wagon. Now that I have a new gym membership, now is a good time to get back on that wagon.
Okay, so today, I decided to find a new gym. Iíd been a member of Bally Total Fitness since about September 2006. I chose that one because of the location. It is close to home and was decent. But somewhere along the way they got new management and things changed.
First off, the cleanliness factor went way down. The club itself, the area out front, and the menís locker room werenít kept up very well. But the thing that really did it for me and made me decide to change gyms is the due to the poorly maintained equipment. There always seems to be a couple of machines out of order. When I go after work, itís busy enough when all machines are working, sometimes making me wait to use a machine. The last thing they need is a down machine. Thatís probably the main reason why my gym visits became more infrequent.
Well I had been thinking about other local gyms. Not too many to choose from but I definitely need one thatís close to home, and Goldís Gym got chosen. When I walked in I was immediately sold. It was clean all over: the front of the building, the lobby, and the locker room. A good selling point was that Gold's, unlike Bally's, has a Jacuzzi and sauna.The Bally's near me was what they (Ballyís) calls a dry gym: no sauna, jacuzzi, or swimming pool. But Goldís is a wet gym. The young lady who processed me was done in a half hour, and that included time spent showing me around the facility. The Ballyís rep took more than an hour to sign me up. Go figure.
So far, Iím pleased and although I pay about $8 more with Goldís, there are gym features I get that Ballyís didnít offer. Iím glad I made that change. Iím working on taking care of these love handles that crept up on me over winter. Iím ready to get physical again.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Itís American Heart Month. February was first declared American Heart Month back in 1963. This is a good time to focus on the importance of maintaining healthy living for a stronger heart. So what does that mean? There are some things you can do with your diet and your behaviors to help improve the functioning of your heart. Here are three key things you can do:
See a doctor
Many people donít see a doctor unless they end up in the emergency room following trauma or some other urgent medical need. Itís not just because they donít have health benefits. Even many people with benefits donít always get their proper check-ups. A regular check-up is an important step to keeping your heart healthy and identifying any potential problems. So, if it has been a while since your last exam, make an appointment as soon as possible. If you donít have health insurance and cannot afford the out-of-pocket expense of seeing a doctor, donít underestimate the worth of a free or discounted health clinic run by your city or county or state.
Be mindful of the fats in your diet
Fats in your diet can have some long term effects to your health. You should be seeking to reduce the amounts of bad or unhealthy fats (such as saturated fats Ė those that are solid when cold and liquid when heated), which generally come from animals. You should be increasing your good or healthy fats (Omega 3), which you can get from walnuts, avocado, flaxseeds and flax oil, some fish, hemp seeds. This is a short list of foods that contain these healthy fats. Omega 3 fats can help to improve heart functioning.
Increase your physical activity
Itís not necessary to do a rigorous routine for your heart to reap the benefits. Going for a walk every day can help immensely. In addition, take the stairs over using an elevator as much as possible. Grab your significant other and go bike riding, skating, or walking in a park. Throwing a Frisbee back and forth or tossing a ball around is also helpful. Anything you can do that gets your body moving and increases your heart rate is all you need.
So, take some time to focus on your heart health. Incorporating some simple little things into your life on a daily basis can help make your heart stronger, and a strong heart can contribute to a healthy body.
Friday, January 22, 2010
So, what do you think about "The Biggest Loser?" I am not a big fan of reality TV shows. Many of them, in my humble opinion, seem to make a fool of the participants, using them as a source of entertainment without giving them much of a reward in return. But I think ďThe Biggest LoserĒ is quite different. It is a good and practical health show. In fact, I would go so far as saying that this show is one of the most monumental health and fitness television programs I have seen in a long time, and the reward is immeasurable.
Although Iím not a regular viewer, I completely support the premise of the show and its approach toward better health. It focuses on lifestyle changes for a healthier mind and body, something that I strongly advocate. But in addition, there is something else about the show that sets it apart from many other weight loss shows.
Many weight loss programs show svelte, well-built and in-shape models who flash a before picture of themselves 100 pounds heavier while they tell you how they lost their weight. Frankly, I donít think thatís very effective. If you are sitting at home with 100 or 60 or 200 (or whatever) pounds to lose, it is not very helpful to see a fit, well-defined model telling you how you can look that way too.
ďThe Biggest LoserĒ shows you real people at the beginning of their weight loss journey and takes you through their daily lives, through their ups and downs. You see for yourself the progress they make; you also get to see when they donít make progress, and thatís the missing piece that other programs fail to show. Itís that missing piece that I believe can better help people who struggle, so they feel connected and can recognize that they are not alone and not the only ones who backslide.
You get to see the frustrations they experience when theyíve maintained their diet and followed their exercise regime yet they still didnít lose any weight since their last weigh-in, and you even see some people who did everything right and they may have even gained a pound or two since their last weigh-in. Thatís how it is sometimes in real life with real people, and you realize that no matter what method you choose to use to lose weight, youíll have good days and not-so-good days.
ďThe Biggest LoserĒ shows you not just the before and the after, the way other weight loss programs do; it shows you the beginning, the middle, and the end. It is no wonder this show has been on for nine seasons. Much kudos to the ďBiggest LoserĒ execs for a job well done.
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