Top Cardio Exercises

sneakersWith the weather now warm, everyone's getting going. This is a great time to step up your fitness regimen with more cardio workouts. What can you do? Well, here are some of the top cardio workouts to get your heart and lungs in shape.

Cardiovascular fitness is important. Heart disease doesn't just affect the heart but the vessels of the body as well. Peripheral vascular disease can lead painful joints and fluid retention in the tissues - or worse. The best way to keep this from happening is to keep the body healthy.

If you are looking for cardio exercises, here are some options:

Aerobics - Like the name says, it uses oxygen to improve your fitness level. As you get better, you will lower your heart rate and blood pressure while increasing your oxygenation throughout the tissues. That means less lactic acid build-up in the muscles, which causes cramps. But aerobics is a general name for several types of activities such as kickboxing, dancing, step aerobics and more.

Bicycling - This can be done outside or inside. When done inside it is called spinning. This is a low-impact, high-energy workout that takes you up and down hills by adjusting the tension on your bike. Music keeps you moving even when your legs want to give out. Outside, you can bike trails and even go mountain biking. To get the most out of your workout, choose the appropriate bike for the terrain. Wear light breathable clothing, a helmet and comfortable shoes.

Swimming - Unfortunately swimming does more for men in the way of a weight-loss exercise than it does for women. It doesn't heat your body up enough in the cold water to burn fat, but it does give you an excellent cardiovascular workout. We are not talking about doggie paddling here. Swimming freestyle, backstroke and butterfly laps all require power and good lung capacity. You will increase your ability to swim further and faster with practice.

Jogging - Jogging is a cross between running and walking fast. For those who have trouble with their knees and can't stand the impact, you can get the same jogging workout on the elliptical trainer. It increases your heart rate, uses the arms and all without wear and tear on your joints.

Walking - This is one of the best overall exercises. You can walk up hills, down hills, over rough terrain and on flat surfaces. Pumping your arms increases the involvement of your heart and lungs. Anyone can do it at any age. It strengthens your entire body and burns calories.

Are you looking for a way to increase your cardiovascular fitness and still have fun? Try some of these exercises to get started.


Keep Your Hands Looking Great All Summer Long

handsIndividuals who have great looking hands are more likely to have hands that people want to hold. Perhaps your wedding is coming up. There is no telling the number of people who will want to see your ring and in turn get to see your hands. On the other hand, you may find that your hands are the focus of pictures. You will need to take steps to ensure that your hands look great. Even if it is not your wedding, you want to take a bit of time to take care of your hands.

Where To Start...

You may be wondering, what elements of your hands should you be concerned with? When it comes to beauty tips, people often do not think about their hands, but if you have ever shaken the hand of someone who has bad skin or otherwise poor hands, you likely have remembered it.

Here are some tips to help you to improve the quality of your skin on your hands specifically.

  • Wash hands properly and often. When it comes to keeping your hands healthy, one of the first steps is t keep them clean. Use a nail brush under your nails and on top of them. Use a quality, but not harsh soap when washing your hands.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol used on your hands. There are a wide range of products that, with one squirt, are able to kill all the germs on your hands. Many are alcohol based and while a good choice, can dry out your hands. Use these limitedly.
  • Do use lotions and moisturizer. The hands are continuously exposed and need a layer of moisturizer to protect the hands from the harsh elements it meets.
  • Tackle skin problems. If you have any type of skin problem, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get them taken care of by your doctor or dermatologist. Since the hands are so exposed, this is very important.

When it comes to your hands, do take care of them. This will make a considerable difference in the quality of your skin overall too and it can prevent you from illnesses since nail beds are one of the worst places for bacteria and pathogens to lurk.

Take time to consider your hands: they do matter in terms of what your first impression is with individuals you are just meeting.


Exercising Joint Pain Away

exercise_jointpainIf you suffer from joint pain you already know that doing the things you love is tough enough without adding exercise to the equation.

But, exercise is not the enemy; on contrary, it can actually be your friend. You see, regular exercise as part of an overall pain relief program can help increase circulation and the strength in painful joints for a stronger body. It's for this reason that I recommend to all my joint pain patients some form of light activity to be performed every day.

Here are some suggestions:

Aerobics - those who participate in impact sports can strengthen their bones.  This is good for women who are prone to osteoporosis.  Strong bones strengthen joints.  Play a game of basketball or take an aerobics class.  Work at your own pace and you will still see the benefit of your efforts.

Dancing - you don't have to be spinning and hopping all over the dance floor.  Dancing classes like salsa, ballroom dancing, foxtrot and others are less demanding than some of the dances people are doing these days.

Ride a bicycle - bicycling provides a relaxing way to exercise.  Your legs go through the full range of motion as you pedal.  Adjust your bike seat so that you aren't leaning over too much and hurting your back and also so your legs get a full stretch.

Weight training - this comes up often.  There are very few conditions that weight training won't help.  Increasing muscle mass and strength is good for maintaining health.  Muscles attach to bones and aid movement.

Walking - walking burns calories and stretches your body.  Some joint pain sufferers have weight issues and walking can get that weight off to lessen the pressure on the joints as you strengthen them.  Walk with comfortable shoes and on even terrain like the school track or on a treadmill.  Walking on rocky or uneven ground can do more harm than good because you can fall or twist an ankle.

Those who suffer from joint pain are suddenly limited in what they can do.  Fortunately, exercises can help.  Moving your body will increase flexibility, strength while reducing some of the weight bearing in your joints


Staying Healthy During Pregnancy

N_pregnant_woman_250x188Everyone knows when you're pregnant you eat for two but your diet isn't the only thing that affects your baby.  Paying special attention to your health will reduce the likelihood of problems for your child, and it will make you more comfortable during this physically taxing time.

Getting Proper Nutrition:

Pregnant women need about 300 more calories per day than they did before they were expecting.  These extra calories provide the fuel for your baby to grow.  If you don't eat enough, however, the baby will usually get what he needs anyway.  You will be the one who is left with less energy.

It is very important to get in enough nutrients for yourself and your baby.  Some of the most important are calcium, iron and folic acid.  These aid in the development of baby's bones, blood, and brain and spine, respectively.  Eating foods rich in these nutrients is the best way to get them, but it may be difficult to get as much of them as you need.  That's why it is important to take your prenatal vitamins.

Things to Avoid:

There are a number of things that we need to avoid during pregnancy.  Your doctor has probably told you to quit smoking and drinking alcohol if you do those things.  And drugs, of course, are strictly off limits.  But there are some other things that are bad for your baby that might surprise you.

Caffeine is one habit that many an expecting mother has trouble kicking.  But it can increase the risk of miscarriage, so it is wise to avoid it.  If you can't just drop your favorite caffeine-filled beverages, cut down significantly or switch to decaf.  Chocolate contains small amounts of caffeine, but you don't have to give it up completely.  Moderation is the key.

Pregnant women should avoid certain types of fish.  These include shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.  These often contain high levels of mercury, which can cause brain damage in your baby.  Other foods that should not be included in your diet include unpasteurized cheese, milk, and juice, foods containing raw eggs, and undercooked meat.

It is important not to take any medications during pregnancy without first consulting with your doctor.  Even herbs and over-the-counter medicines can present a danger to your baby.  Ideally, the only medication a pregnant woman should take is a good prenatal vitamin.  But if you feel that you need treatment for pain or other conditions, talk to your doctor.  He may be able to recommend an alternative treatment or a safe medication.

Pregnant women should also avoid contact with cat feces.  If they don't, they put themselves at risk of contracting toxoplasmosis.  This usually causes no symptoms in the mother, but it can have devastating effects on her developing baby.  These may include prematurity, brain damage, and other problems.

Staying healthy should be a priority at all times, but it becomes much more important when you're pregnant.  Keeping yourself in good health and avoiding certain foods and substances will help your baby grow strong and healthy.


Signs of Emotional Eating

N_fast_food_300x268Stress is a reality in most people’s life. When stress grips you, there's no time to stop for it. Unfortunately, besides the direct effects stress can have on your health (e.g. hypertension, heart disease), it's the number one cause of overeating. So the next time you're under a lot of stress, before hitting the fast food restaurant, learn whether you were driven there by your emotions.

What is emotional eating?

It occurs when your feelings dictate whether you are hungry or not. Also, you eat to soothe your feelings when something is wrong.

Remember, eating is a pleasurable activity and stimulates the same center of the brain that releases those “feel good” endorphins. Wouldn’t you know it; celery is not a comfort food that makes you feel good. You will rather eat foods like macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, potato chips, ice cream and anything made from dough.

The way to counter emotional eating is to focus on your body. Recognize that you are stressed or upset or sad. Pay particular attention to how and what you eat when you are on the emotional rollercoaster.

1. You are hit by hunger all of the sudden. You may have eaten not long before. Instead of reaching for the chips, think about what may be causing your perceived hunger.

2. You eat and eat without ever feeling full. Emotional eating can be mind-numbing. You continue to shovel in the food even if you are not hungry. It is a mechanism to cope with your emotions instead of facing the situation that is causing the problem.

3. You are making food choices that you wouldn’t normally make. Remember those comfort foods? If you were set to make dinner for the family, stopping off at drive-thru and buying pizza or a greasy hamburger could be due to emotional issues. Experiencing depression can lead to eating unhealthy foods and feeling guilty later.

Stress gets to everyone. Don’t let it ruin your healthy routine. Recognize when you are in the midst of an emotional crisis and watch what you eat.


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Body Focus System Weight Loss Success

I'm a 40 something year old guy that over the last 10 years has slowly but surely gained weight. I have never been the type of guy to diet, but after having to go for sleep apnea testing, starting medication to control my high blood pressure, and being 40 pounds overweight, found it was time to do something.

I went to a Body Focus System seminar to hear what they had to say and I was surprised. The Detox is what really got my attention. I had always wanted to try a detox, but did not like the thought of having only liquids or having to drink some crazy mixture that tasted like who knows what.

I decided to sign up and give this "diet" a try. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I did! Let me first tell you about the detox. I started with the fruit detox in August and from the first day there was more to eat than I ever expected. I always assumed a diet would be about eating food you don't like and trying to forget about how hungry you are. With the detox, there were days that I was eating a snack before I was even hungry. I lost over 7 pounds during the detox eating fruits that I like and not feeling hungry at all.

Read More

Alex D. / Columbia NJ

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