Fitness and Exercise Blog - October 2005 fitness blog

 Finding Time For Exercise

I often hear people saying that they have no time to exercise. I hear all sorts of excuses from "I'm too busy taking care of the kids" to "I'm too busy at work" and there's plenty more... There's always time to exercise and there are numerous health benefits as well as intangible benefits why you should exercise. You just have to figure out a way to fit exercise into your lifestyle. 

For example, if your children prevent you from finding the time to exercise, why not involve them in a family exercise activity. Go cycling or inline skating as a family on a Saturday or Sunday when you are free. One day a week is better than no exercise at all!

Find some time during the week to go to the gym or work out at home. These days there are so many gyms that you could always join one that's close to work or a gym that has a daycare facility for your children included in the price of your membership. So there's really no excuse for: "Who will take care of the kids". Two to three times a week of exercise for 45 minutes to an hour is adequate.

The other alternative is to buy a home gym. You can obtain basic good equipment at reasonable prices. For a list of basic weight training exercises click here.

Posted on: Friday October 21, 2005 11:33 am

Whey Protein Powder Supplement

With so many supplement companies producing their own brands of protein powders, it's difficult to decide which brand to choose. So which one is right for you?

Designer Whey which I am currently using at the moment, in my opinion, is the best overall product on the market. Designer Whey seems to produce the quickest lean muscle gains in the shortest amount of time, has faster workout recovery times for your muscles - I'm rarely sore after hard workouts - and in the long run, helps you to increase your power and strength. It's also 97% lactose free. It comes in several great flavors, it is easy to mix and tastes great - either alone in water or mixed with fruit juices. I prefer mixing it with cranberry juice. 

The complete article on Whey Protein can be found here. It discusses in depth why I prefer Designer Whey Protein and the reasons provided by the manufacturer why it is effective in providing lean muscle gain.

Posted on: Wednesday October 19, 2005 9:21 am

Tip on beating the common cold or flu

If you do feel the symptoms of a cold, flu just coming on or if you're in close contact with people who are ill you may want to consider taking Echinacea (Purple Coneflower). In the past, Echinacea was used by North America's Native Indians to treat fevers and by early settlers to North America for treating colds and the flu.

Forget about taking over the counter cold and flu medications because they do not work and they are expensive. Echinacea is most effective when it is taken just when you feel symptoms of a flu or cold. By taking it at this stage, your symptoms will either disappear entirely or the symptoms will be very mild, almost unnoticeable. Taking Echinacea once the cold or flu has gotten worse will not help relieve your symptoms.

If you are in close contact with sick people, you may want to take Echinacea to keep your immune system resistant to the flu or cold. I prefer using capsules from a quality manufacturer of Echinacea. However, it should not be used for a prolonged period of time because it will lose its effect of boosting your immune system and be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions. A detailed article on avoiding the cold or flu can be found here.

Posted on: Monday October 17, 2005 6:52 am

How to Substitute Fat in Your Everyday Diet

Fat is a nutrient that is a contributor to the increasing problem of obesity in the world today. It's stored in the fat cells of the body. The number of fat cells is estimated to be around 50 billion for the average person. It can be up to 100 billion for the obese person.

Fat cells are like storage tanks of energy to be used for later use. It has been shown that obese people who binge eat may stimulate baby fat cells to sprout to increase the number of fat cells they have.

Fats are found in foods such as butter, margarine, oils, fats, dripping, nuts and oil seeds. Research conducted indicates that good fats such as fish oils especially deep sea fish, olive oil, canola oil, avocado and nuts contain important fatty acids which if taken by people aged 65 plus reduced the risk of a fatal heart attack by 44%.

Other names for fats include: lard, animal shortening, coconut oil, palm oil, vegetable oil, butterfat, whole milk solids, copra, tallow, chocolate chips, shortening, margarine, cocoa butter.

There are three types of fat to found in the diet.

Saturated fats - are found mainly in animal products and do the most damage and are the most related to the build-up of cholesterol in the arteries. Research has indicated that saturated fats in the diet can increase LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, which is the unwanted cholesterol and should be avoided. The following foods contain this type of fat:

Cakes, biscuits and pastries

Monounsaturated fats - Monounsaturated fats help to decrease the cholesterol and LDL levels in the blood. The following foods contain this type of fat:

Olive Oil
Canola Oil
Peanut Oil

Polyunsaturated fats - Polyunsaturated fats in small quantities can help to decrease total cholesterol. Examples of polyunsaturated fats are vegetable oil and palm oil.

As pointed out before, consuming fats is the major culprit that leads to fat being on the human body mainly because fats are high in calories. I recommended that people eat less than 20% of total their total calories from fat.

We also know that eating too much fat leads to health problems and weight-gain, but we do need some healthy fats in our diet. Fats are a source of soluble vitamins A, D and E.

Fats provide hormone production and skin health and protection of vital organs and insulation. Too much fat in the diet however, can increase the risk of a number of lifestyle diseases that are common in the western world.

So please limit the saturated fats in your diet which includes butter, cream, full-fat dairy products, fatty meats, cakes, pastries and fried foods. Choose lean meats where possible and trim visible fat and skin before cooking. Select low fat dairy products where possible. Be aware of the hidden fats in processed foods and foods high in salt. Choose liquid fats over solid fats e.g. olive and canola oil over butter.

Include amounts of unsaturated or 'good fats' in your diet. Sources include fish, olive and canola oil, nuts and avocado. Also try to include the good omega-3 fats daily - fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines are good sources.

Posted by Maximum Fitness

Posted on: Tuesday October 11, 2005 7:35 am

Proper Nutrition and Exercise

Nowadays we are inundated with diet programs and diet pills that claim to help you lose weight quickly. It can be really confusing for you or any person when it comes to choosing which one is best for you and the most important question that you should be asking yourself is: Do these diet programs and pills really work? 

Recently due to the death of Dr Atkins, the Atkins Diet came under scrutiny. Now Dr Phil's Diet is in the news. He's being sued because his diet is not helping people to lose weight like it’s supposed to. I will not discuss the details of this litigation. The purpose of this article is that I feel that you should be wary of a fad diets even those endorsed by celebrities! Since these diets are highly visible, the temptation always exists to try them because it worked for a certain celebrity.

Unfortunately there is no easy 'miracle cure' for weight loss. You know that people spend a lot of money on these diets and there is no scientific proof that they will work and keep weight off for you in the long-term. People often look for quick and easy ways to lose weight. Like any thing in life, weight loss takes a little effort and commitment on your part. The only proven way to lose weight safely and effectively is through proper nutrition combined with regular exercise. Your body must be able to burn off more calories than it consumes. 

The only way to keep from gaining weight permanently is to keep eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. Many people after they lose weight, they stop eating properly and stop exercising on a regular basis and end up gaining weight again. There are a lot of reasons this can happen. They may create excuses for themselves that they do not have time to exercise. My answer to this is that there is always time for exercise. You must set aside some time, at least 2 to 3 times a week, for exercise. When you do this, exercise becomes part of your life and not a chore that you must do. In the long run you will feel healthier without being over weight and exercise will be enjoyable. You will feel confident and positive that you accomplished a goal that you set out to do in a natural way without being a slave to all those commercial diets that eventually fade into the oblivion.

There are a lot of good books on the market that discuss proper nutrition an exercise as the means to your weight loss goals, but which one should you choose? Hiring a personal trainer is expensive and that person may not possess the required knowledge about proper nutrition to help you lose weight. One all-inclusive and comprehensive fitness and health program that I do recommend is the Fast Track To Fat Loss Program. Here you'll receive a customized fitness and nutritional program suited to you and created by fitness and nutritional experts.

Posted by Peter.

Posted on: Saturday October 5, 2005 8:50 am

Although this article is written for women and the research was conducted using female participants, the points mentioned also pertain to men. I know that weight training is equally important for men as they age. Not only will lifting weights as part of your overall fitness routine help you lose excess weight or control your weight, but your body will feel stronger and healthier.

Weight Training and Its Effects on Aging - What Research Shows
By Janet Ford, President, PowerFit LLC

Everyone gets older. How you get older is up to you.

The Research: In 1994, Dr. Miriam Nelson and other researchers from Tufts University uncovered unexpected results from a study performed with women in their 50's and 60's. These women were given a weight lifting program to perform twice a week, one half hour each time. The women did not alter their diets or try to lose weight during the study.

The Results: After one year, measurements of the women's lean muscle mass, cardiovascular fitness, coordination and bone density were comparable to younger women in their 30's and early 40's! In addition, the women dropped one or two dress sizes (again without dieting). Beyond the researchers' wildest predictions, the women were able to turn back the clock 15 to 20 years, just by lifting weights twice a week! Comparable results were not found with aerobic training or walking.

Prior to the Tufts University research, it was thought that frailty was an inevitable part of getting old. If you think of it, we do not normally associate heart disease or clogged arteries with our images of old age - generally we see in our mind's eye a wobbly woman, leaning forward, walking with a hesitant gait, no muscle tone, brittle bones. Sadly, many women curtail their activities as they get older, precisely because they fear losing balance, falling and breaking a bone. Remember the commercial - "I've fallen and I can't get up!", depicting a poor pathetic older woman who was fortunate to have purchased an electronic, emergency notification device to wear around her neck. Life does not have to get this way.

Many studies since the Tufts University Research confirm, if you lift weights, there is no reason to "slow down" as you get older. It is in fact possible to remain vibrant and active throughout your entire life span.

The Conclusion: You decide how you want your future to be. If you are not already following a consistent weight training program, consider doing so now.


Nelson, M., M. Fiatarone, C. Morganti, I. Trice, R. Greenberg and W. Evans (1994), "Effects of high-intensity strength training on multiple risk factors for osteoporotic fractures"Journal of the American Medical Association 272:1900-1914.

Strong Women Stay Young, M. Nelson, S. Wernick (Bantam 1997).

Janet Ford, is President of PowerFit LLC.

Posted by Janet Ford.

Posted on: Tuesday October 4, 2005 7:30 am

Why Do We Gain Weight as We Get Older - or - What is Sarcopenia?
By Rich Fitter - Certified Trainer, A.C.E.

Sarcopenia Sarcopenia is the age related loss of muscle. Most people have heard that our metabolism changes after we hit the big 3-O. The reasons why, and what we can do about it is often misunderstood. After the age of 30, the average person begins to lose 1/2 lb. of muscle per year. One reason for this is related to the loss of nerve stimulation to the muscle and decreased protein synthesis (a necessary process for muscle development). Other factors include dietary changes such as dieting, under-eating, poor nutritional choices, hormonal changes and decreased physical activity. Muscle is a very active tissue much more active than fat tissue. In some instances one pound of muscle may burn up to 500 calories per week. As we lose muscle and gain fat, therefore, we automatically gain weight, unless we do something different to challenge our body and improve our diets.

While it is possible through proper nutrition and strength training to continue to build muscle well into later life, Mother Nature requires we work at it. Let's say at age 30 a woman gets into the best shape of her life. Her diet is perfect and she exercises regularly. She then decides she will keep doing the same things for the rest of her life, expecting to stay in perfect shape because of it. The following year, 31 rolls around and she loses 1/2 lb of muscle. The year after that, another 1/2 lb is lost, and so on. Even though this person is doing the same things she did at 30, by the time she hits 38, she will have lost 4 lbs of lean muscle and her body will be burning 2000 calories less per week. One pound of fat contains 3500 calories. Because this woman's body is burning this many calories less every 10 days, in a one year period she may gain approximately 30 lbs of fat!

Performing her same exercise program over and over for years is not effective in halting this weight gain because your body has not only adapted to it, but has also increased its need for greater challenges. Following the same eating patterns also is not logical because your needs for calories and nutrients are also different as you get older.

The Solution - Avoid Very Low-Calorie Diets; Do Challenging Strength Training Programs

Overall, the factors that most affect a person's metabolism are age, gender, size, body composition (fat to lean mass ratio) and physical activity. The above-mentioned factors minus our physical activity determine our resting metabolic rate. Our resting metabolism is the number of calories our bodies expend performing the most basic physiological functions such as breathing, temperature, circulation and respiration. Surprisingly, our body uses about 65% of our daily calories doing just these necessary tasks. This is one of the primary reasons very low calorie diets do not work well for losing body fat. You need to provide your body with adequate calories for energy and nutrients to perform at the very least these functions. If you fail to do this, your body will fear starvation and lower its heart rate, respiration and temperature to burn less calories. In the absence of proper nutrients your body will feed off of its own muscle and bones, further slow metabolism and contribute to muscle loss. Depriving your body of calories and nutrients is not the answer. 

A challenging and varied weight training program, in combination with good diet, helps to prevent muscle loss as well as increase protein synthesis and metabolism. Overall, proper eating and increased physical activity is the answer to life long fitness and wellness.

Author:  Rich Fitter, A.C.E. Certified Trainer, Weight Lifting Champion, WNBF Body Building Champion, is an expert consultant.

Posted by Janet Ford.

Posted on: Monday October 3, 2005 7:23 am

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