Friday, February 29, 2008

What's Your Eating Type?

DVDs and books by Denise Austinby Denise Austin
Part of overcoming your struggle with weight is understanding how it began. Need some help getting started? See if you can recognize your overeating type. Keep in mind that you may be a combination of these:
  • The Indulger: For indulgers, eating is used to nurture and reward. While you should be good to yourself, that doesn't have to come with calories attached. Think of some nonfood rewards instead. How about a bubble bath, pedicure, or some new flowers from your garden, for example?
  • The Critic: Critics are always telling themselves that they're never going to be good enough — so why bother? "You can't, you won't, you aren't…" And on and on it goes. Remember, being fit isn't about being perfect. It's about doing your best and getting back on track when you derail.
  • The Rebel: Rebels eat "bad" foods to feel good. But remember, unhealthy eating doesn't "get back" at anyone. In fact, the only one you're hurting is yourself. So dye your hair, listen to alternative music, or wear red when everyone else is wearing gray, but skip the chocolate cake!
  • The Victim: The voice inside the victim's head says, "You just can't stop yourself. You're helpless." You eat and eat, then tell yourself it wasn't your fault. There's always an excuse. But the reality is, the only one who can control your eating is you. So stop feeling powerless and start taking charge!

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pedometers Help You Get Healthy

Pedometers help people count steps to get healthy
By Michelle L. Brandt

The pedometer, a small and inexpensive device that counts the number of steps walked per day, could be key to ramping up a person's physical activity.

Researchers at the School of Medicine have found that the use of a pedometer is associated with significant increases in physical activity and weight loss and improvements in blood pressure.

"Much to my surprise, these little devices were shown to increase physical activity by just over 2,000 steps, or about 1 mile of walking per day," said the study's lead author, Dena Bravata, MD, MS, a senior research scientist in medicine. "This goes a long way toward helping people meet the national guidelines for daily physical activity."


See pedometers at Amazon.com


Read more at Stanford.edu

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sexy Arms This Spring!

Denise Austin is a long time favorite of both Sue and Mikeby Denise Austin
Warm weather and sleeveless tops are just around the corner! So here's an oldie-but-goodie exercise that will give you sleek, sexy, arms — bicep curls!

Here's how:
  • Sit on the floor with your feet crossed in front of you.
  • With an underhand grip, hold a weight in each hand to your sides with your arms extended.
  • Exhale slowly as you raise your arms toward you, bending at the elbows.
  • Feel the movement in your biceps — the muscles Popeye is famous for!
  • Hold the position momentarily before returning to the starting position, inhaling.
  • Repeat two sets of eight to 12 repetitions each, resting for 15 seconds between sets.

Keep in mind that to get results from this and other weight-bearing exercises, you need a weight that challenges your muscles enough that they have to grow to keep up. Need help finding the right load? Start with weights you can lift without difficulty (perhaps 1- or 2-pounds). If you can easily complete the two sets and still keep going, move up one weight size. When you find a weight that leaves you feeling that two sets is all you can possibly do — but isn't so heavy that you can't complete both sets — you've found your match! When that weight becomes easy-breezy, move up again!

Training materials by Denise Austin

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Monday, February 25, 2008

High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an exercise strategy that is intended to improve performance with short training sessions.

A HIIT session involves a warmup period, several short, maximum-intensity efforts separated by moderate recovery intervals, and a cooldown period. The period of alternating effort and recovery intervals typically lasts a total of 15 minutes.

Studies by Tabata [1], Tremblay[2], and others have shown this method to be more effective at burning fat and maintaining, or building, muscle mass than high-volume, lower intensity aerobic work-outs. According to a study by King [3] , HIIT increases the RMR (resting metabolic rate) for the following 24 hours due to EPOC (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), and may improve VO2 max more effectively than doing only traditional, long aerobic workouts.[4][5][6][7] Long aerobic workouts have been promoted as the best method to reduce fat, as fatty acid utilization usually occurs after at least 30 minutes of training. HIIT is somewhat counter intuitive in this regard, but has nonetheless been shown to burn fat more effectively. There may be a number of factors that contribute to this, including an increase in RMR, and possibly other physiological effects.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_interval_training

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

After-School Program Teaches Girlpower

DVDs and books by Denise Austinby Denise Austin

A former female Ironman triathlete says she's found a way to help young girls successfully navigate the hormonal minefield known as puberty — hit the track! Molly Barker, founder of the Girls on the Run program, set out to counter the tendency of girls to leave sports behind once they enter puberty. Barker says she remembers all too well the pressures she felt as a young girl to fit into what she calls the girl box — an idealized image of femininity that didn't include being an athlete.

Barker's after-school program has helped some 40,000 preteens stay active and build their self-esteem through their successes on the field. A second program,
called Girls on Track, focuses on encouraging middle-school-age girls to keep moving. And guess what? It's working! Girls who participate in these programs report feeling better about their changing bodies and more comfortable in their skin.

If you have a young woman in your life, encourage her not to give up sports and other "sweaty" activities just to fit in! Being a woman doesn't mean sitting on the sidelines. It's a lesson that will serve her for life!

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Good and Bad Fats: The Ultimate Guide

Remember when any fat was bad fat? When the only difference between a croissant and a donut was snob appeal? Now science has found that some fats are good fats.

TOP FATS: THE OMEGA-3s

Among the best fats on the planet, omega-3s add years to your life by dramatically reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. They may also stave off arthritis, depression, and some cancers, and might even tame menstrual cramps, postworkout soreness, and give you clear, soft skin and great hair!

Eat these frequently:
  • Fatty fish, such as wild salmon, sardines, herring, and tuna
  • Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
  • Walnuts

GOOD FATS: THE MONOS


All monounsaturated fats are kind to your heart because they raise good HDL cholesterol and lower bad LDL cholesterol (the kind that clogs arteries). But virgin olive oil, the MVP of monounsaturates, does more. For starters, it contains micronutrients that are needed for hormone and enzyme production. But olive oil also boasts compounds that may fight breast and colon cancer as well as boost the cancer-fighting power of other foods.

Delicious sources are:
  • Olives
  • Virgin olive oil (be sure it's virgin; processing destroys nutrients)
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut and other nut oils
  • Nuts
  • Avocados

PRETTY GOOD FATS: THE POLYS

Most polyunsaturated fats are heart-friendly, but, with the exception of omega-3s, they don't have the star power of other healthy fats. Also, poly fats contain omega-6s, which are healthy unless you get too many of them -- and most Americans get up to 25 times more omega-6s than they need. Omega-6s should be eaten more sparingly because they can overwhelm the superstar omega-3s. Overall, try to get most of your polyunsaturated fats from omega-3 sources.

Find them in:
  • Corn, soybean, safflower, canola, sunflower, and cottonseed oils
  • Fatty fish (canned light tuna counts)

LOUSY FATS: THE SATS

Saturated fats are mainly trouble because they raise blood cholesterol to artery-clogging levels. In one study, eating a single slice of carrot cake and drinking a milkshake that were high in sat fat hindered the body's heart-protective functions. Loading up on saturated fats may also harm brain molecules that help form memories, raising the risk of dementia.

Skimp or skip:
  • Meats, particularly with visible fat
  • Poultry skin, fat, and dark meat
  • Whole-milk dairy foods, including butter, full-fat cheeses, ice cream, sour cream
  • Most hard margarines (those in stick form)
  • Coconut and palm oils
  • Lard and shortening

DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT 'EM: TRANS FATS

These fats are so scary that they're being banned in some cities, and food manufacturers and restaurants are working fast to find substitutes. Trans fats boost bad cholesterol, decrease good cholesterol, gum up arteries, and set off inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger a host of problems, from stroke to diabetes.

Bypass completely: Be suspicious of any fast or processed food that's not labeled trans-fat-free (packaged-food labels must now list trans fats), including:
  • All deep-fried foods -- chips, French fries, onion rings, donuts, etc.
  • Many fast foods
  • Candy
  • Commercial baked goods -- cookies, pies, cakes, rolls, muffins, etc.

Bottom line: Stay away from trans fats the way you'd avoid highways on the day before Thanksgiving. Clog city.

Read more from RealAge.com

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Strength Training Interval Program

Source: strength-training-woman.com
  1. Chest Press
  2. Bent Over Row
  3. Squats
  4. Lunge
  5. Bicep Hammer Curl
  6. Tricep Skullcrushers
  7. Ball Crunches
Sequencing of Events During Your Interval Strength Training Routines
  • 1 Set of 10-20 Reps of Chest Press
  • 1-2 Minutes Rest
  • 1 Set of 10-20 Reps of Bent Over Row
  • 1-2 Minutes Rest
  • 1 Set of 10-20 Reps of Squats
  • 1-2 Minutes Rest
  • 1 Set of 10-20 Reps of Lunges
  • 1-2 Minutes Rest
  • 1 Set of 10-20 Reps of Bicep Hammer Curls
  • 1-2 Minutes Rest
  • 1 Set of 10-20 Reps of Tricep Skullcrushers
  • 1-2 Minutes Rest
  • 1 Set of 10-20 Reps of Ball Crunches
  • 1-2 Minutes Rest
Do this sequence a total of three times. This is just one example of how to set up interval strength training routines. Basic weight lifting rules apply. Change something in your routine every 4-6 weeks. You can change the exercise, the strength training method or the intensity level. Use interval strength training routines to jump start your program.

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Kiss Your Treadmill Goodbye

Source CBN.com and The Cardio Free Diet

Author and weight-loss expert Jim Karas says you can kiss your treadmill goodbye. He says cardiovascular workouts burn a few calories, but far fewer than you think. From 1987-2000 the number of people exercising on treadmills increased by 900 percent, meanwhile obesity doubled. Using this and other research, Jim developed a new approach to weight-loss: The Cardio Free Diet.

Your body functions like an equation, Jim says, where we look at calories in and calories out. For too long we’ve focused on the first part of the equation when trying to lose weight. Instead, Jim notes that looking at dieting like that is what has led many people to fad dieting. We need to burn calories and interval strength training is the best way to do that for these reasons:
  1. It provides absolute enhanced heart health. It’s our heart-rate variability that counts, how fast we respond to stimuli. If we’re walking at one pace for 30 minutes on a treadmill, our heart rate is at a steady rate. That doesn’t replicate real life. “We live our lives in spurts, not marathons,” Jim says.
  2. Interval strength training provides greater flexibility.
  3. Interval strength training increases lean muscle tissue and increases metabolism. Jim says that we can lose weight doing intervals of cardio exercise also, but that cardio will not build your lean muscle tissue in the same way that interval strength training does. Jim says cardio can be detrimental. “It kills your time, your energy, your joints, and your motivation.” He says the only people who should ever do cardio are those who really enjoy it. Others should cut it out completely.


Read more more from The Cardio Free Diet include first two chapters: Cardio's Reign of Terror and The Body Weight Equation.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Thwart a Sweet Tooth!

DVDs and books by Denise Austinby Denise Austin
Are you a softie for sweets? The empty calories from sugary treats are a big reason for many people's battle with the bulge. Find out what tricks other Fit Forever! members use to temper a sweet tooth:
  • Cut back gradually: If going cold turkey on sweets only makes you want them more, try cutting out one or two each day over time.
  • Keep a food journal: You'll be less likely to reach for those empty calories when you see in writing how fast they add up.
  • Substitute: If you must have a sweet, pick a small one. Have a Tootsie Pop instead of a candy bar, for example.
  • Clear out: If you can't resist temptation, don't keep sweets in your cupboard at home or in your desk at work.
  • Load up on aqua: Drink a big glass of water when a craving hits, or have a cup of fruit-flavored herbal tea. That's usually all it takes to make it pass.
  • Be active: Take a walk, put on an exercise video, or take a spin on the bike when your sweet tooth strikes. By the time you finish, the craving is usually gone and you've burned calories instead of eating them.
  • Get back on track: Don't beat yourself up or abandon your goal if you slip up. Managing your weight isn't about perfection, it's about persistence!
Books and DVDs by Denise Austin

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Amazing Omega-3 Eggs

Amazing Omega-3 Eggs
source The Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin

High omega-3 eggs are nature's nearly perfect food. Eggs contain all known nutrients except for vitamin C! They are good sources of fat-soluble vitamins A and D as well as certain carotenoids that guard against free-radical damage to the body. They also contain lutein, which has been shown to prevent age-related macular degeneration. When possible, buy eggs directly from farms where the chickens are allowed to roam free and eat their natural diet, or purchase eggs marked DHA or high omega-3 eggs (they contain a healthy balance of omega-3 to omega-6). Despite the unfounded cholesterol scare during the past 15 years, eggs can be a healthy addition to anyone's diet; they can actually help reduce the risk of both heart disease and cancer.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

No Equipment Necessary: Ab Crossover

No Equipment Necessary: Ab Crossover
From the blog:


The Ab Crossover (aka the Ab Chopper) is a great way to work your abs while working your shoulders a little bit too. It's a good alternative to boring old crunches so try it out.

Here's how:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and hands straight overhead, clasped together.
  • Crunch up (contract your abs) while bringing your hands over to the outside of your left thigh. That's is one rep.
  • Lower back to start position and repeat to the outside of your right thigh. That is another rep.
  • Do two sets of 20 reps.

If this is too easy then hold a light medicine ball in your hands. You can also make it more difficult by doing more reps.

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Stealth Health: How to Sneak Age-Defying, Disease-Fighting Habits Into Your Life Without Really Trying

Stealth Health: How to Sneak Age-Defying, Disease-Fighting Habits Into Your Life Without Really TryingStealth Health: How to Sneak Age-Defying, Disease-Fighting Habits Into Your Life Without Really Trying
By Reader's Digest


Discover The Everyday Health Plan - the simplest program available to enhance your health by promoting weight loss while increasing your energy level and strengthening you immune system. This east-to-use plan contains more than 1,200 tiny modifications to make you healthier. The ideas are fresh, unusual, simple, fast, and thoroughly researched and doctor-approved.

This book has changed my life!5
I thoroughly recommend buying this book. Its simple, easy to read guide is well organized and thought out. I've been easily incorporating the changes it recommends in my life without overwhelming me. This is a must read for anyone who wishes to de-stress their lives and add health with ease. Judea Eden

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When Calories Do -- and Don't -- Count

When Calories Do -- and Don't -- Count

Americans have a love-hate affair with calories. At any given moment, more than 4 out of 10 of us say we’re on a diet, yet we are gobbling 300 calories more each day, on average, than we did 20 years ago. And calorie counts sometimes dominate our lives: We choose workouts based on how many calories they burn, shop for calorie bargains at the grocery store, and blame holiday calories for our widening waistlines. But do we really understand when calories do -- and don’t -- put on pounds? Take this true/false test and see how you score.

1. True or False: Women trying to lose weight should eat no fewer than 1,200 calories a day.
True. It’s the lowest, yet still safe, calorie level for weight loss, says Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of 10 Habits That Mess Up a Woman’s Diet.

2. True or False: Most people have a pretty accurate idea of how many calories they consume.
False. People typically underestimate how much they eat -- sometimes by up to 700 calories a day. “But most of us tend to be off by about a third,” Somer says.

3. True or False: Excess calories go straight to your hips.
False. They go straight to wherever your genes tell them to.

4. True or False: Fat calories pack on pounds faster than carb calories.
True, if the calories are excess calories -- that is, more than your body needs.
5. True or False: Calories eaten at night are more fattening than calories consumed during the day.
False. Calories eaten at night aren’t any more fattening -- but they are more tempting.

Read more

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Easy Ways to Lose Weight: 50+ Ideas

Look slimmer, feel trimmer! From Reader's Digest Stealth Health Simple Slimming

Spring is right around the corner and retailers have already begun stocking their floors with warm-weather goods -- including swimsuits. Besides looking great on the beach, commonsense tells us that one of the best things you can do for your overall health is to drop a few pounds. Or maybe more than a few pounds.
Being overweight significantly increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer ... the list seems almost endless. Plus, if you do get sick or need surgery, being overweight can make any treatments riskier.

1. Once a week, indulge in a high-calorie-tasting, but low-calorie, treat.
2. Treat high-calorie foods as jewels in the crown.
3. After breakfast, make water your primary drink.
4. Carry a palm-size notebook everywhere you go for one week. Write down every single morsel that enters your lips -- even water.
5. Buy a pedometer, clip it to your belt, and aim for an extra 1,000 steps a day.

Books about health and diet from Reader's Digest

Read more at RD.com

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Take a Walk! by Denise Austin

Denise Austin is a long time favorite of both Sue and Mikeby Denise Austin
Want to know one of the best deals around on exercise? Walking! You don't need to join an expensive gym or hire a personal trainer, and you can do it anytime, anywhere — with little more than a pair of comfortable shoes!

The American Council on Exercise says walking is probably the best way to get active and stay healthy. After following 13,000 people for over eight years, they found those who walked 30 minutes a day had a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercised. Their advice? Start slowly and build up from there. Even five minutes a day is better than nothing!

Just walk at a comfortable pace, focusing on good posture, and breathe deeply. If you're having trouble catching your breath, slow down and avoid hills until you increase your ability. You'll know you're walking at the right pace if you can comfortably carry on a conversation while you stride. Aim for at least 20 minutes a day, and you'll be well on your way to a longer life! It's as easy as that!

DVDs, books and more by Denise Austin

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Friday, February 1, 2008

AM Fat Burn, When to Do Cardio

AM Fat Burn, When to Do Cardio: "Here are 7 of the additional benefits of doing cardio early in the morning:
  1. It makes you feel great all day by releasing mood-enhancing endorphins.
  2. It 'energizes' you and 'wakes you up.'
  3. It may help regulate your appetite for the rest of the day.
  4. Your body’s circadian rhythm adjusts to your morning routine, making it easier to wake up at the same time every day.
  5. You’ll be less likely to 'blow off' your workout when it’s out of the way early (like when you’re exhausted after work or when friends ask you to join them at the pub for happy hour).
  6. You can always 'make time' for exercise by setting your alarm earlier in the morning.
  7. It increases your metabolic rate for hours after the session is over."

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