We all know that regular exercise is essential for both a healthy mind and body. According to the Mayo Clinic, taking regular exercise helps to prevent and improve a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. Indeed, research also shows that exercise can have a positive effect in reducing anxiety and improving mood.
4 Fitness Tips to Get Your Mind and Body in a More Positive Frame
Mindful living is a journey we all have to take one step at a time, with every turn and every circumstance challenging us to respond in a more positive manner. If we are to be honest with ourselves though, sometimes (or maybe oftentimes) we just want to let loose and give ourselves a “break”.
What I have noticed is that the days when I feel like giving the mindful living a break and instead give people a piece of my mind, are also usually the days when I feel really tired and crappy. No matter how I try to zen out, I still get just a bit (or a lot) cranky and are easily irritated when I’m feeling ill. Of course, I know that I’m not alone in this.
As humans living in a body that experiences both pleasurable and uncomfortable, even painful, sensations, it is inevitable for our mood to be affected by our physical health. This is why keeping healthy and fit is important to anyone who’s on the quest for greater mindfulness. If you wish to better control your thoughts and emotions, you’d try to be as fit as possible to help you stick to a better frame of mind.
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How to Inspire Yourself to Continue Exercising
Photo credit: sjr60
Exercising on a regular basis is important because it provides several short-term and long-term benefits. Some of those benefits are staying in shape, losing weight, and reducing health risks such as heart attacks and strokes. Studies have found that one of the top reasons that people often quit exercising is that they become bored. There are, however, several ways to keep you on the right track of exercising regularly. Here are some ways to inspire your mind to alleviate boredom during exercise.
Change Up Your Exercise Routine
Continuing to do the same exercise routine day after day is a good way to become bored during exercising. You should try to change up your exercise routine on a regular basis to prevent getting bored. For example, if you mostly walk for exercise, try to alternate between walking and jogging every 20 minutes if possible to change it up. Not only does changing up your exercise routine help with boredom but it can also help your body lose more weight by burning more calories. [Read more…] about How to Inspire Yourself to Continue Exercising
Why Exercise is NOT the Key to Losing Weight
photo credit: John Steven Fernandez
Six months ago I weighed 93 kilograms (204 pounds). Today I weigh 83 (182 pounds). In just six months I have dropped a solid 10 kilograms and feel healthier than I have since high school. So how much exercise did I do to achieve that goal? Almost none.
In this post I am going to share with you how I lost the weight and why I am convinced that weight loss has very little to do with the exercise that you do. If you have your own weight loss experiences I would love to hear about them in the comments.
Why my teeth helped me lose weight
So here is the confession. About six months ago I got a new form of orthodontics called Invisalign. Invisalign is basically a series of invisible plates that you wear all day that move your teeth one by one. Every two weeks you change to the next plate and at the end of the series your teeth have gone from crooked to perfectly straight. Which I badly needed.
Anyway, the real kicker is that you can’t eat with them in. You take them out to eat (and drink) and you can only have them out for around 20 minutes at a time. Say goodbye to snacking, sugary drinks in between meals and, of course, say goodbye to second helpings after dinner.
These changes that have been “forced” upon me are the reason I lost 10 kilos so quickly. The secret to lasting and healthy weight loss is not exercise, it is the amount of food you are taking in.
Why exercise is not the answer
Prior to getting these plates I spent a lot of time exercising trying to lose weight. I didn’t have much luck. I would lose one or two kilos but the weight would always come back on as soon as I stopped the intense work outs. Why? Because I was still taking in way too many calories.
Let me show you some maths that I have been thinking about:
One can of Coke has around 155 calories in it.
Running on a treadmill for 20 minutes burns around 150 calories.
That means that after 20 minutes of exercise you have burned off one sugar drink and hardly any fat stores.
As you can see by this simple bit of maths, exercise is not the best way to lose weight. Diet is. It is your diet that will make or break your progress. It is simply too hard to burn off all the calories you need by exercise alone.
Why portion sizes will help you lose weight forever
I am now a firm believer that your portion sizes are one of the most important things when it comes to losing weight. And to prove this we can use a simple example and a bit of maths again.
Let’s say you use an extra large bowl for your dinner every night and fill it up so that you get 100 more calories than if you used a smaller bowl. Now, over a year that is 36,500 extra calories that you wouldn’t have had if you used a smaller bowl. There are 3500 calories in a pound of fat so in one year you have added around 10 pounds of fat. And that is just from dinner.
It is really important to control your portion sizes and think of it as extra calories that add up over a year or over ten years. By just making your dinner smaller you will essentially save 10 pounds of fat in a year. It is very powerful.
Why you have to keep exercising
After all this diet stuff is said and done it is still vital that you keep exercising on a regular basis. The exercise helps to increase your metabolism and thus will assist your weight loss progress. It isn’t the main thing, but it will make a massive difference to the way you look and feel. This is especially true if you want to add a bit of muscle or tone – diet can’t do that. Exercise also helps you to feel better about yourself due to the large amount of endorphins that are released. These feel good chemicals go a long way to keeping you healthy.
Does anyone have any weight loss stories to share? I would like to know what has/hasn’t worked for you.
Heart Disease Hope: 13 Ways to Live, Eat and Work for a Healthy Heart
photo credit: timparkinson
Every 34 seconds someone in the United States dies from heart disease. That is 2,500 people a day! In my opinion there is not enough attention placed on the dangers of heart disease. Most of us are concerned about breast, prostate and skin cancer but these diseases kill far less people than heart disease. So why aren’t we more worried? Heart disease kills more people than any other condition. That is a fact.
This post is going to show you 13 ways that you can live, eat and work for a healthy heart. Each one of these tips is a powerful way to reduce your risk of a heart attack and help you improve the strength of your ticker. I hope that some of you take these tips to heart.
13 ways to live, eat and work for a healthier heart
1. Get out and move your body
Exercise is without a doubt the best thing you can do for your heart. This is a scientifically proven fact that no one can debate. It is vital that you get at least 20 minutes of exercise everyday if you want to have a healthy and fit heart.
You see, the heart is a muscle. And like any other muscle it needs to be exercised. If you don’t work out your biceps they soon go soggy and old and you run a greater risk of damaging or tearing them. The same is true of the heart. If you don’t get it pumping on a regular basis you are more likely to suffer a heart attack or some other form of heart disease.
Start by walking. Everyone can do this. You can park your car 20 minutes away from the office and walk the distance each day. That way it becomes part of your routine and is more difficult to avoid. Or, if you want to get really fit and healthy you can start jogging, doing martial arts, swimming or going to the gym. All of these things are a fantastic way to help your heart.
2. Start tackling your stress
We all get stressed. It is unavoidable. But if you do not start dealing with your stress it could wind up causing you some pretty serious problems. Research has shown that people who are highly stressed run a greater risk of heart attacks and coronary artery disease.
Scientists aren’t actually sure why stress causes heart problems. They know there is a link but they aren’t sure what it is. Some people say that stress itself is a direct cause for heart attacks while others say that stress makes other factors like cholesterol or blood pressure worse. Whatever the hard science says, it is clear that there is a link between stress and increase heart disease.
I have written many articles on stress as it is something I am constantly trying to deal with myself. The things that have helped me the most include meditation, exercise and overcoming procrastination. But these methods might not work for you. It is important that you learn how to deal with stress in your own way. It could be the best thing you ever do for your health.
3. Stop smoking right now
photo credit: bradleygee
I am going to speak honestly here. I hope I offend some people. Smoking is a filthy habit. I feel really sorry for smokers as they are willingly and knowingly inhaling poison – poison they know is killing them. This is not the 1920’s. We know that smoking causes cancer and heart disease. So if you are a smoker and you are reading this post then stop right now because all the tips in the world are going to be 100% ineffective if you keep smoking cigarettes.
Cigarettes contain over 4,800 dangerous chemicals. Can you imagine going into your chemical cabinet in the basement and sniffing 4,800 of them? You just wouldn’t do it. So why keep smoking cigarettes? Now, I am sorry for sounding so judgmental and harsh but it is because I care. I don’t want you to die an agonizing and painfully slow death of lung cancer. I don’t want you to die of a heart attack before you get to say goodbye to your children. I want you to live a long and happy life. So I am saying it like it is.
There is an upside. The upside is this: If you are a smoker you have an advantage over everyone else. You have the power to make one change that will massively improve your heart’s health. All you have to do is quit smoking. If you quit smoking today you will add years on to your life. Literally… years. No other “healthy heart tip” is as powerful as this one. You might have known by now that there are several cessation programs and devices(I have heard vaping is a very good way to start on the path of quitting) you can use but it all starts with the mindset and will power to abstain from puffing that death stick. Give those nicotine patches or portable vaporizers (like the ones at www.DaVinciVaporizer.com) a try. That would be a good start for you.
4. Make your diet mostly fruits and vegetables
Many years ago when I was in high school I read a book that talked about the advantages of eating a diet mostly based around fruits and vegetables. In that book the author spoke about all the people and cultures throughout history who did this and all the benefits that they enjoyed. And now science is backing up this information by telling us that fruits and vegetables help keep a healthy heart.
In today’s modern world we eat a lot of processed foods. Chips, candy, soda, take out, etc. All of these foods are full of sugar, salt and a thousand types of preservatives all of which are bad for your ticker. It is time to switch to a natural diet made of mostly fruits and vegetables. This will help you avoid heart disease and other illnesses like cancer and diabetes.
It is not as hard as it sounds. Think about all the beautiful things you can make from fruits and vegetables – potato curries, fruits salads, Caesar salads, roast vegetables, Asian stir fry and so much more. And the best thing is that you always feel amazing after eating them. No feelings of heaviness of bloating.
5. Lose weight – especially fat on your stomach
There is a massive campaign going on in Australia at the moment which is trying to educate people on how dangerous it is to be fat. In particular, the commercials are telling us that new science has shown that belly fat in particular can dramatically increase your chances of having a heart attack. Take a look: [Read more…] about Heart Disease Hope: 13 Ways to Live, Eat and Work for a Healthy Heart