Whether you exercise to be healthier, fitter, or to be more competitive there are a few numbers to know that can tell you how you are progressing. Even if you lead an active lifestyle and believe yourself to be quite healthy it’s still possible to miss or ignore signs of a growing deficiency. Knowing what’s what is the first step in making corrective moves. Below are a few self-tests that have been developed to gage your fitness, heart health and overall wellbeing. These tests are not meant to replace regular medical examinations. Use them to quantify your current health and fitness status.
Having extra or too much information about something is rarely a problem particularly when compared to the opposite, not enough information. This is true in most facets of our lives in business, in our relationships and in managing our health. Being unaware or simply ignoring early signs of a health condition won’t make it go away. In fact catching it early and addressing it can usually prevent even reverse major concerns. Without your health, frankly without quality of life what do you really have? Being of unsound health will quickly pervade every part of your life and threaten everything that makes you, you.
A recent study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill led by Dr.Seth Crockett tracked over 2,000 people while assigning participants into 4 groups. One group was given calcium supplements, another Vitamin D, a third group took both and the last group took neither for 3-5 years. On follow-up 10 years after the start of the study those who took calcium alone or with Vitamin D were more likely to have developed polyps.
Who doesn’t enjoy a great glass of wine? It’s fun to share with a friend; it takes the edge off a long day and can be quite enjoyable. Just think of those deep notes of black cherry and plum, fruity yet not too big with hints of vanilla and oak...you get the picture. Well, as if we needed another reason to have a glass of wine, here’s one. A new study cited in the journal “Scientific Reports” shows that small amounts of alcohol can lower inflammation and aid the brain in clearing away toxic waste products including Beta-amyloid (a protein fragment associated to Alzheimer’s).
The desire to aesthetically improve to our bodies is the most common driving force getting us into the gym. Sure for some it’s more about health or sports conditioning, but even they still yearn for that physically hot body. Now if we break the body down into parts the area most of us want to see improvement in is the mid-section or in gym parlance the abdominals. Nothing else seems to impart the image of health, vitality, fitness, youth and sexiness more than flat stomach or ripped abs.
It’s the start of a new year and for many that means new health and weight loss goals. Who doesn’t aspire to be leaner, tighter and hopefully fitter too? As you have probably already seen there are many choices out there competing for your hard earned money. So, as your search for good guidance and great classes begins there is information to consider to help you make the right choices and not fall victim to gimmicks, false claims and age old myths.
A new year is upon us and along with it a host of self-perpetuated goals and stresses. Whether you admit to making New Year’s resolutions or not the fact is we all generally strive to do better, to be better in the New Year. Culturally it becomes a time of renewal a sort of restart button if you will. Some people even have their own rituals they practice such as pulling around luggage at the midnight hour hoping for more travel. Others write letters of emotional baggage they would like to leave behind then throw them into the fire, while still others eat grapes for good luck. Whatever your ritual, whatever your desires this has become the time of year where anything is possible if only we want it enough to make it happen.
Let’s set the scene: You’re invited to an event and now it’s time to get dressed. You open up the closet and reach for a pair of pants you haven’t had to wear since last year. You slide one leg in and then the other, so far so good. Up over the rump and then…hmm, a little tighter than you remember. You suck the gut in and viola, buttoned. You take a look in the mirror and…wait, what’s this hanging over the belt?
It’s crazy to imagine winter is just about upon us again. Is it just me or does every year seem shorter than the previous one? It doesn’t feel like I took down my holiday decorations all that long ago and now it’s about time to put them up again. So, yes the season is changing and with that change our lifestyles also change and not necessarily for the better.
Winter weight gain is an accepted truth. What isn’t accepted is how much on average that weight gain is. Depending on the study that amount can be anywhere from 1 – 5 pounds. Clearly 5 lbs. would be significant, but even 1 lb. if not lost soon adds up. Ten seasons in you’re 10 lbs. heavier and that my friends is not a good thing. In colder climates this gain tends to be worse.
In life we all know there are no guarantees, well maybe except death and taxes. Another cultural likelihood is that something will happen in your life that will make you want to take better care of yourself. Maybe a health scare to you or a loved one, not liking the way you looked in the mirror this morning (okay, every morning) or finally realizing getting winded by a single flight of stairs isn’t normal. For some this could be a fleeting moment, for others something they experience once or twice and for still others a lifelong ritual. Whatever the reason while we have our own best interest in mind we just have to act on it and make it work.
Even though health clubs, spinning centers, yoga salons and personal trainers can be found in pretty much every city we continue to lose the battle of the bulge. The average person is significantly larger than our counter parts 5 decades ago. For instance according to a study by the CDC in the 1960’s the average woman weighed 140.2 lbs. and the average man weighed 165 lbs. Today the average woman weighs 166.2 lbs. or roughly as much as the average man weighed then. Men have fared no better, today the average man weighs 195.5 lbs. that’s an increase or 17.6%. Both men and women are an inch taller today, but that hardly makes up for the weight increase.
For me running is my Zen. It literally grounds me to nature in a way not much else does. Whether you are like me or you just do it for exercise there are great places to run in Los Angeles. Considering the metropolis that is LA there are great getaway spots all over the city where you can put on your sneaks and feel like you are miles away. So, whether you are a beginner or a running veteran here are some of my best recommendations around town.
Summer is almost upon us and with it vacations, beach days, pool parties and generally wearing less clothing. Whether you want to look good enough to impress or just feel more confident here are some tips to help you be your best. Hopefully you already follow a healthy lifestyle, but even if you are a beginner these tips will get you on track quickly.
A team of researchers from the UK are recommending that labels on foods include the amount of exercise required to burn it off. The terminology used is, “activity-equivalent calorie labeling.” Shirley Cramer (chief executive for the Royal Society for Public Health in London) has recently commented on the subject in the British Medical Journal. Calling labels too confusing for most people, she recommends a graphic that would illustrate how much activity you would need to burn off the calories you would consume from the product. The obvious goal would be to encourage healthier choices as a way to combat obesity which continues to grow.
There is little doubt that living in a modern society such as ours comes with a whole host of daily stresses. The stress of taking care of oneself or someone else and earning a living have been around for a long time, but now the very technologies that make our lives in some ways better and easier demand that we be ever present. Cool devices like our tablets and smartphones mean you are always available, always connected. I know people who sleep with their smartphones on next to their beds; it’s the last thing they look at before bed and the first thing they look at when they awake.
Summer may seem likes it’s a long way off right now, but if you consider it’s already February it will be here sooner than you care to think. Along with those summer months also come pool parties, days at the beach, crop tops for girls and shirtless volley ball or something like it for guys. So, whether you want that split in the abs girls or six pack abs and a v-muscle guys then now is the time to get started. Even if all you want is to be just less giggly or less embarrassed then the sooner you start the better your chances.