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Archive | March, 2018

A Workout For People Who Don’t Want To Work Out

There’s good news for people who want to watch their weight without giving up watching TV. Now there’s a new workout for couch potatoes and people who think they’re too busy to find time to stay fit.

With time at a premium, many Americans are turning to creative forms of exercise. In a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the North American Spine Society, three out of four people said they used the stairs rather than the elevator at work, 58 percent said they started parking their cars far away in parking lots and almost half reported walking while on the phone.

At the same time, however, 46 percent of people described themselves as couch potatoes–a major contributing factor to being overweight. Many adults say they have procrastinated working out in order to do other activities, such as watching television, sleeping in, doing household chores or working.

Approximately three in four adults say they would exercise more if they could fit it into their daily routines, however, and a majority of adults say they would exercise more often if they could do it at home. Among noncouch potatoes, 80 percent would like to get more exercise, but say they don’t have the time.

Meanwhile, more than 4 million Americans suffer disc problems. One out of four Americans over 30 will have recurring back pain, and one in 14 will seek medical care for back or neck pain this year, totalling almost 14 million visits per year. Back pain is the second most common reason that people visit a physician. Back and neck pain result in more lost workdays than any other condition. Due to absenteeism, medical and other related expenses, the cost of back injuries exceeds $80 billion each year in the United States. Exercise is one way to avoid back problems.

That’s why it’s important to find time to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. In addition to things such as climbing stairs and parking farther away, there are a number of fun ways to make your daily tasks opportunities to exercise:

Feet Alphabet. This exercise can be done anywhere you are sitting, except while driving. It should not be hard to find a place. Simply write the alphabet in the air with each of your feet and ankles. You can do the letters in capitals or small letters and, for that matter, in any language you would like. Doing this two or three times on each ankle will begin to strengthen the ankle and maintain or improve motion.

Doing the Dishes Neck Circles. This exercise is easily done while doing the always fun task of washing the dishes. As you are standing there at the sink, slowly rotate your neck in a clockwise position, trying to extend the tip of your head out as far as possible. After three or four rotations, repeat the exercise in a counter-clockwise position. Remember, these rotations should be done slowly and in a pain-free range of motion. Besides increasing the flexibility of the neck, these exercises can pass the time of doing dishes.

Overhead Laundry Toss. Put the laundry basket directly in front of you and have the washer or dryer directly behind you. Grab a piece or two of dirty clothes, reach over your head slowly and drop the laundry into the washer. Again, start with dry clothes, then progress to wet clothes from the washer into the dryer.

Remote Wrist Lifts. This can be done on any Sunday afternoon watching multiple football games. Simply take the remote control (use the biggest one you have from the pile of remotes) and, while sitting watching your favorite team or movie and with your arm pointing toward the TV, aim the remote at the ceiling, moving your wrist only. Hold it there for 10 seconds, then aim it at the floor, again only moving the wrist. Repeat this three to four times during every commercial. Be careful not to accidentally change the channel when doing this exercise or it may irritate people who are watching TV with you.

These are just some ideas from “The Couch Potato Workout: 101 Exercises You Can Do At Home!” by Joel M. Press, M.D., president of the North American Spine Society and medical director of the Spine and Sports Institute at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. “The Couch Potato Workout” describes numerous practical and functional exercises people can do to build strength, balance and flexibility as part of their normal daily routine.

Guide To Healthy Weight Loss


Low-cal diets and aerobics have been the typical “prescribed solution” to healthy weight loss. However, with numerous fad diets and a multi-billion dollar industry dedicated to weight management, shedding a few kilos should be easy. Sadly, the weight lost by dieters is almost always recouped. Consequently, many users fall into the “yo-yo trap,” a recurring cycle of weight loss and gain. There are several reasons why this occurs and why food restriction for the purpose of healthy weight loss should be circumvented. Each time the body is deprived of essential nutrients, whether from fasting or dieting, it guarantees survival by diminishing the metabolic rate in order to reimburse for fewer calories. Energy is stored so efficiently in fatty tissues that someone of normal weight can survive for weeks without eating.

Furthermore, the desire to binge after food restriction, although disheartening to dieters is another built-in survival mechanism intended to click on after a famine. Our cellular metabolism is too innocent to tell the difference between self-imposed starvation and life-threatening famine. One of the most healthy weight loss ways to treat obesity is to combine exercise with proper diet. It is not a matter of how much an individual eats, but what they eat is important. Rather than restrictive dieting, simply learning how to eat in a healthy and balanced way can have a major impact on weight control. Incorporating healthier eating habits into your lifestyle can improve your overall health and help you achieve a permanent and healthy weight loss.

Both natural alternative and conventional medicine agree that we should consume whole foods with less fat and animal protein, with the minimal amount of processed, adulterated, fried, or sweetened preservatives, and eat more complex carbohydrates, especially whole grains rich in fiber, and at least five servings daily of fruits and vegetables. Lowering dietary fat and increasing physical activity are the two key factors to realize healthy weight loss. Eating well-balanced meals at regular intervals during the day (usually four to five hours apart) stabilizes blood sugar and helps you manage your appetite.

Whole dietary fiber foods can have a major impact on weight gain as evident by the almost complete lack of obesity in cultures that consume a diet in fiber. Fiber has been shown to not only reduce serum cholesterol, but to also pull dietary fat from the body into the feces. Other benefits of roughage include increasing chewing time, thus slowing down the eating process and inducing satiety, preventing constipation and stabilizing blood glucose levels. Whole grains (wheat, oats, rice, rye, barley, millet) have the highest level of fiber, followed by legumes, nuts and seeds, root vegetables (potatoes, turnips, beets, carrots), fruits, and leafy, green vegetables.

To attain healthy weight loss alcohol should be shunned or minimized, since it has been found to act like a fat in the body and promote weight gain. Cigarettes, which are smoked by many people to control their weight, also appear to shove extra flab to the abdomen. Medical and scientific data also point to the advantages of moving towards a vegetable-based diet. A diet low in animal protein, along with exercise and stress-reduction measures, can actually reverse cardiovascular disease.

In short…

Healthy weight loss yields a positive psychological gain, increases overall body fitness, tones the muscles and rouses self-confidence. Positive mental health is an essential part of the concept of total health. Healthy weight loss improves psychological health, which eventually, helps in sustaining the correct weight. It offers a general dietary and lifestyle pattern that favors weight maintenance even without strict calorie counting.

Importance of Warming Up Before Exercise

Since a lot of people are involved in physical exercises, it is imperative that the importance of warming up before any strenuous activity should be discussed. Many have repeatedly ignored going through the warm up stage before working out, not knowing the consequences in doing so.

Why warm up? Several changes takes place in the body once physical activity is initiated. A person’s respiratory rate, blood flow, and oxygen and nutrient levels delivered to the cells increases. The rate of increase should be regulated in a steady pace to prepare the body for the physical stress that exercise will demand. If one foregoes this priming procedure, the body will function less efficiently and the workout will produce less quality results. Warming up preps up the nervous system, heightens mental awareness and alertness, and loosens up joints and muscles to make them less prone to injuries. Warm ups jump starts the fluid located in the joints, minimizing the risk for wear and tear of the muscles. It gives the heart a suitable period to adjust and pump up blood and nutrients into muscles.

This is vital for older people, since they have tissues that are less supple; they have joints with less fluid, and weaker hearts. Sudden exercise can produce heart attacks to older people.

How does a person warm up properly? Initially, it can be done in any procedure that enables the heart to beat faster. One can simply walk and jog, or if a cardiovascular equipment is available, such as rowing machine or a bicycle, it can be utilized. Start at a gentle pace, and then slowly increase the pace until heart beat rate increases and the body temperature rises. It important to note that the pace should be in accordance to one’s current fitness level, where the activity will leave the person energized and not exhausted.

After working up a light sweat (suggested time is 3-5 minutes, longer if the person is working out in a cold environment) one should do dynamic stretching. Stretching helps in developing overall flexibility, particularly in the spine, shoulder, and hip areas. The kind of stretching depends on the type of activity a person plans to engage to. For instance, if one is about to play sports, the recommended kind of stretching would be the ones that mimics the movements that will be done in the court or field. If one is about to do martial arts, light sparring can be done in the quarter of the normal speed, or just simply do the movements in slow motion. Be certain that the major muscles groups are stretched for 8 seconds minimum. It is necessary to remember to keep feet moving or do leg exercises whenever the upper body is stretched to keep prevent blood from pooling in the legs. Remember, one should only do stretching if the muscles are already warmed up. Do not bounce while stretching. It leads to a contraction that can result in muscle tear or pull.

For weight-lifters, this is what should be done after the initial warm up. Load the bar with about 50-60% of the heaviest weight to be done for the session and perform the number of repetitions that will be done for the heavy sets. For the second set, the weight will be increased to 80%, then eventually to 90%, decreasing to 2-3 repetitions. Afterwards, rest for about 30 seconds, then repeat the steps. After this warm up, one can now proceed to the heavy lifting for the day. The advantage of doing the procedure is that the heavy sets will feel less daunting and can now be performed with considerably less stress.

After warming up and proceeding to the main workout, it is equally important to cool down. When a person suddenly stops exercising or lifting weights, blood gathers in the muscle and oxygen is blocked. When this happens, a person runs the risk of having a heart attack. So cooling down should have the same importance as warming up.

Exercise is good for the health. Everyone is encouraged to pump it up, just remember to remember all the necessary precautions not only to maximize the workout, but also to stay safe and healthy.

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