Thursday, October 26, 2006

Top 5 Reasons To Take Naps

Thomas Edison, Napoleon Bonaparte, Salvador Dali, Winston Churchill, and Presidents Kennedy and Reagan had something in common? In fact, each of them enjoyed a regular nap.

While small children typically take naps in the afternoon, our culture generally frowns upon mid-day sleep; however, many people feel a mid-afternoon slump in mood and alertness, especially after a poor night of sleep. Many believe that this slump is caused by eating a heavy lunch. However, in reality, this occurs because we were meant to have a mid-afternoon nap.

Several lines of evidence, including the universal tendency of toddlers and the elderly to nap in the afternoon and the afternoon nap of siesta cultures, have led sleep researchers to the same conclusion: nature intended that we take a nap in the middle of the day. This biological readiness to fall asleep in the mid-afternoon coincides with a slight drop in body temperature and occurs regardless of whether we eat lunch. It is present even in good sleepers who are well rested.

Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of sleep and how a power nappower nap can help you:

1. Increased Alertness And Productivity

Although many people believe that midafternoon drowsiness is caused by eating a heavy lunch, the new research shows that is not the case. The midafternoon dip in alertness and intellectual ability occurs whether or not people eat lunch, said Roger Broughton, a professor of neurology at the University of Ottawa. He said it depends purely on the time of day rather than on eating.

“It seems nature definitely intended that adults should nap in the middle of the day, perhaps to get out of the midday sun,” said William Dement, director of the Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Center at Stanford University.

Also David Dinges, a sleep researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, found that “If you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, an afternoon nap will improve your alertness and give you a feeling of more energy, so you can take on more tasks”. Among the mental abilities sharpened by naps are the capacity to pay sustained attention to a task and to make complicated decisions.

2. Less Stress

Curling up in a sunny patch on the floor or even lying your head down on your desk for a quick snooze brings relaxation.

So find a quiet, comfortable spot and take a nap. Even a short power nap can leave you feeling refreshed, renewed, and more focused. Studies have shown that people who spent 30 minutes each day napping had one third less heart disease than those who didn’t nap.

3. Improved Memory And Learning

Naps aren’t just for the very young, old, and slothful. Daytime dozing may enhance a person’s capacity to learn certain tasks. That, at least, is the eye-opening implication of a new study in which college students were challenged to detect subtle changes in an image during four different test sessions on the same day.

Participants improved on the task throughout the first session, says psychologist Sara C. Mednick of Harvard University and her colleagues. The students’ speed and accuracy then leveled off during the second session. The scores of the participants who didn’t nap declined throughout the final two sessions. In contrast, volunteers who took a 30-minute nap after completing the second practice session showed no ensuing performance dips. What’s more, 1-hour nappers responded progressively faster and more accurately in the third and fourth sessions.

“Napping may protect brain circuits from overuse until those neurons can consolidate what’s been learned about a procedure,” says neuroscientist Robert Stickgold of Harvard Medical School, a coauthor of the new study.

4. Increased Coginitive Functioning

In a recent study, researchers at NASA showed that a thirty to forty-minute power nap increased cognitive faculties by approximately 40%! Tests carried out on one thousand volunteers proved that those who continued working without rest, made lower scores in intelligence tests like the IQ test.

Also Dr. Sara Mednick (scientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies) has found through MRIs of nappers that brain activity stays high throughout the day with a nap; without one, it declines as the day wears on.

5. Better Health

Napping in general benefits heart functioning, hormonal maintenance, and cell repair, says Dr. Sara Mednick who is at the forefront of napping research. A power nap, says Mednick, simply maximizes these benefits by getting the sleeper into and out of rejuvenative sleep as fast as possible.


9 Most Easiest Weight Loss Tips

Obesity is just like any other disease that needs treatment. To cure this disease one needs to lose weight. One should not feel any kind of shyness. Indeed one should seek expert guidance in order to cure this. Weight Loss Help is available at almost all health clinics and medical establishments. One can seek proper weight loss help from one's own medical adviser also. Some weight loss tips that are simple yet vital are given below:

1.Measure your hunger on the scale of ten. Start eating when your hunger has reached the mark of four and stop eating when your hunger has reached the mark of eight. As time passes the mark of seven will become the scale of ten. Again follow the same rule. This weight loss tip forms an essential part of weight loss help programme.

2.Eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that you’re full. Place your fork down between bites and swallow before taking another bite.

3.When you want to snack when you’re not truly hungry, take a walk, call a friend, or hop in the tub. This will help you distract your mind from the hunger pang.

4.Use smaller dishes to make portions look bigger.

5.Another sure-shot way that helps in weight loss is exercise. Exercise is almost a key to good health. It increases your metabolic rate and the excess fat accumulated in the body is burned up in this process. There are a number of health clubs and spas opening up everywhere. You can join any of them and lose weight in a healthy and social way.

6.If you prefer a more private way to lose weight then you can do this by either walking or running. Human body requires some kind of activity to lose weight and particularly these exercises and movements help in weight loss in a natural manner. The modern health spas offer all kinds of sophisticated equipments which stress on overall exercise and weight loss rather than concentrating on only one part of the body.

7.There are a lot of weight loss supplements that are available in the market. It is advisable to take such supplements only in proper manner and according to the instructions of a registered medical practitioner.

8.The best and the most natural ways to weight loss have always been activities like walking, jogging, swimming and playing.

9.However, some novel ways have also surfaced that help you in losing weight. One such product is Green tea. Green tea is an indirect way of losing weight. It works as an antioxidant and destroys the free radicals that are generated inside your body. The free radicals can prove to be harmful for your blood vessels. Things like selenium, beta-carotene, green tea extract, grape seed extract, Vitamins C, E, and Alpha-Lipoic Acid are helpful against them.

Follow these easy weight loss tips and lose weight in a healthy manner to your success.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Top 10 Tips To Feel Great In The Morning

Does it take you forever to wake up? Do you find yourself being a zombie for the first few hours of the day? One major contributing factor is blood flow and oxygen circulation in the body after sleeping all night. With a few stretches and muscle strengthening techniques, you can get your body moving and improve how you feel every morning!

  1. Start with some easy stretches. Bend over and touch your toes. It is good to hold a stretch for at least 10 seconds. You should push yourself to feel tension, but not pain. If you need to, you can do this sitting down as well.
  2. Stretch each major part of your body: neck, arms, back, and legs.
  3. Rotate your arms like a windmill one at a time, or at the same time, as it feels comfortable.
  4. Do a few push-ups and sit-ups. You don't have to do lots; just a few to get your blood circulating.
  5. Hold each foot behind your lower back (one at a time), which should stretch your major leg muscles.
  6. Go to a wall and push your toes up as far as they can go against the wall. On a step, stand with just your toes on the step, with your weight pushing down. Let your feet relax and your toes will get pushed up. You should feel tension in back of your lower legs, called your calf muscles.
  7. Once you have your blood pumping, you may feel a bit thirsty, or hungry. This is a good thing. Make sure to eat something clean and healthy. Fruits, or simple proteins work best in the morning. Eggs, cheese, yogurt, or cottage cheese are good options for morning meals. Avoid eating a large portion or heavy carbs.
  8. Try to drink 2 glasses of water before you leave in the morning. During the day, if you can, try to drink a few bottles of water, and at the end of the day drink another 2-4 glasses with dinner, etc. This may seem like a lot at first, but your body actually does need 8-10 glasses of water to stay correctly hydrated. You may have to use the restroom more than usual when you first start. This is only temporary! As your body gets used to having all the water it needs, it will absorb into your system and your restroom visits will return to normal.
  9. Go to bed early the night before, so you won't fall asleep in your breakfast or anything.
  10. Sleep for at least 6 hours in a single cycle.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Top 10 Tips To Lose Weight Without Losing Mind

So you have decided to lose weight. Almost all of us go through it at one point or another. But, with so many different diets, pills, advice and information, how do you go about it without going crazy? Here are some tips that worked for me and some others.

  1. Figure out your starting point. How much weight do you want to lose? What kind of shape are you in now? What are your eating habits? Once you realize where you are starting from, you will get a better idea of what program will work best for you. If you dont exercise at all, then starting out with a two hour extreme workout, might cause you to give up early when it turns out to be too hard. If you love carbs and eat them three times a day, an Atkins diet might be too frusterating. Pick a plan that makes sence for you.
  2. Take baby steps. Start out by making small changes to your daily life. Taking a walk after dinner, or in the morning. Light streching or yoga. Start replacing "bad" foods with good foods. Try something new. Instead of regular milk, try soy milk, hummus instead of mayo, low carb bread, veggie burgers,a different healther cereal, a new kind of fruit. There are many many food choices out there and you might be surprised at what you end up liking. Try different brands and combinations. When you start eating and treating your body better, you will be more motivated to make other changes.
  3. Water, Water, Water. We all know how important water is to our body. It helps flush your system and makes you feel full. If "plain" water is too boring for you, try putting some lemon slices or other fruit in it, or mixing a small amount of healthy juice in it to add some flavor. Try to avoid sodas and other hidden calorie drinks.
  4. Check calories and fat content. But dont go insane counting them. Sometimes all it takes to make a different choice is to check the label. When you see how much fat and calories are in some of your favorite food and drinks, that might just be enough it to make you look for a different option. There are some great healthier snack choices that dont always have to fruit or celery. Look around your store and, again, give something new a shot.
  5. Don't be so hard on yourself. What happens when you do eat a piece of chocolate cake? Or really needed to give into a big mac craving? It's ok. It happens. Dont punish yourself with exercise, or by starving yourself the next day. Its ok to indulge once in a while, as long you dont find yourself induging too often.
  6. Dont expect immediate results. You arent going to wake up in the perfect body. But you are going to feel better and be proud of yourself for taking better care of your body. Everything will fall into place and you will start to look better as long as you keep with it.
  7. Avoid the trap of diet pills. Dont think that you can take a magic pill and your weight will melt away. You still need to eat better and exercise. Even those people that you see in all those great before and after shots in diet pill ads all did the same thing, the ate better and exercised. The pill did not and will not do all the work. It is better to avoid taking them with the hopes that they will.
  8. Ditch the scale. Many scales are inaccurate. Weighting yourself daily or even weekly will just make you feel upset and frustered. Also, if you are working out, you might be gaining muscle and replacing fat, so you wont see to much of a change on the scale. Your best judge of how you are doing is yourself. Are your clothes fitting better or different? Are you noticing changes in your body? Use that as your guide.
  9. Take a multivitamin. The more good things you put into your body, the more small steps you take to filling yourself with nutrients the better you will feel and look.
  10. Take all advice with a grain of salt. Everyone is going to have some tidbit of information for you. What worked for them might not work for you. Take it all in stride and work with what is getting results for you. Trying to do everything everyone says will only cause overload.

Monday, October 16, 2006

How To Lose Weight While Eating 5 Meals a Day

A lot of fad diets rely on depriving the body of food, but if you look at creatures in nature you will see that you need to eat regularly for healthy dieting.
While you need to eat regularly you need to know about portion size in relation to your body for healthy dieting and this is relationship is explained below.
Understand the concepts of regular eating and portion control and you can enjoy healthy dieting, lose weight and never feel hungry.
Let’s look at these concepts in more detail.
3 meals a day is a man made concept
If you look at healthy eating three meals a day (or less on many diets) is not ideal, you should be eating five meals a day.
Some simple examples from nature will illustrate this point.
Bears are creatures that eat huge meals infrequently to sustain them. They carry a lot of body fat to feed them over time i.e they are binge eaters.
If you look at animals such as dear, elk and horses they graze and have similar proportion of body fat to humans.
These animals are eating every few hours, our ancient ancestors did and you should to for healthy dieting.
There are reasons why you should, that are linked to our body and how it functions.
By eating frequently you achieve the following:
1. Eating frequently prevents hunger pangs and curbs over eating.
2. Eating more often keeps your metabolism working quickly so you burn calories more efficiently.
3. Food is also absorbed more efficiently and quickly when we eat regularly.
In affect you will feel healthier and have more energy as you will be using your metabolism as nature intended.
This is what healthy dieting is all about:
Creating the ultimate conditions to burn fat, in the most efficient way and never feeling hungry.
OK I can eat 5 meals a day how much can I eat?
Here you need to know about portion control.
Eating five times a day means you can eat enough to satisfy you, but its important to know how much you can eat in relation to your body size and there is a very easy way of doing this.
You can count calories, but let’s be frank who has the time or inclination to do this?
The trick is to use your hand.
A portion should be the size of your fist or the size of your palm.
Want a baked potato?
Get one the size of your fist
Want some fish?
Get a portion the size of your palm
Eat naturally for healthy dieting
Now you need to eat quality fat carbohydrate and protein.
The trick here is to eat “naturally from the earth” and avoid additives and sugar.
For example, a meal should contain the three groups how about Salmon, brown rice and veagatbles? Or maybe a baked potato Turkey and vegetables?
Follow the above and you can eat 5 meals a day.
If you are in a hurry make your other two meals up before hand, some nice tasty salads (go easy on the dressing) some rice and fish.
Other healthy dieting tricks
Make sure you eat breakfast (the most important meal of the day) and get as much fibre as you can, as a lot of it is not absorbed and passes through the body. It also makes you feel full and has generally less calories than other foods.
The other trick is to drink lots of water ice cold. Many hunger pangs are simply thirst pangs, so get plenty of water by drinking it ice cold.
Your body has to heat it to body temperature and you will burn 400 calories a week!
Now you have done the above you will feel healthy and control your weight as nature intended.
Don’t forget a bit of exercise and by this we don’t mean hours in the gym. Simply do some brisk walking don’t take the lift try and walk up the stairs etc
Add in some swimming or cycling twice a week, its not to hard and remember, we were not born to just sit around were active beings.
Healthy dieting made simple
The above diet tips will help you burn fat efficiently, eat as your supposed to, feel healthier and fitter which is what healthy dieting is all about.
Simply think about how we evolved through time and you will see the logic of the above.

Sacha Tarkovsky,

Top 3 Tips for Building Massive Biceps Quickly

Building big biceps are a “must” for everyone trying to build muscle mass. And if you’re trying to build bigger “guns” on your arm then you need to make sure you train them the “right” way, other wise you’re just wasting your time. And believe it or not it can actually take a very long time before you start seeing results if you’re training your biceps the wrong way.
So to help you build bigger biceps extremely quickly I’m going to share 3 top tips I use to build my biceps in no time flat.

  1. Hit ‘em From ALL Angles.
    Your bicep muscle is made up of two main parts. To keep things simple I’ll just refer to them as the inner bicep and the outer bicep. The good thing is most bicep exercises allow you to work both parts simultaneously – which is very good for us.
    In order to build big biceps you have to hit ‘em from all angles. Which means you have to make sure you train your lower bicep (the part closest to your forearm), your outer bicep, your inner bicep (the part that’s closest to your chest) and your upper bicep.
    Make sure when you workout your biceps you train all of it’s parts if you want to build bigger, stronger and more massive biceps fast. The key to building “fuller” biceps is training each part “specifically”. So be sure to do exercises that work out each part of your bicep individually and also exercises that work out all or most of your bicep muscles simultaneously as well.
  2. Focus On Form First.
    This is key for weight training period, focus on your form first. If you focus on “doing” the exercise correctly, big biceps will definitely follow.
    When you don’t use proper form, you don’t stimulate the “deep” muscle tissues needed to build bigger biceps. With poor form you actually start using other muscles instead of specifically targeting the one you want to train (your biceps).
    Remember, it’s not quantity but quality. Think about it, you could lift 30 pounds ten times with poor form or 30 pounds six times with proper form, and you would notice much better results with the latter example. So remember, focus on form first and big biceps will soon follow.
  3. Don’t Cheat – “Only When You Have To”.
    When you’re training your biceps, it’s important “not to cheat” only when you have to. Cheating on your biceps is very common and odds are you have been doing it or will do it if you don’t pay attention.
    Remember to lift the weight “at your biceps” and only at your biceps, don’t throw your shoulder into it to help you with the workout. In order to build big biceps you have to isolate the bicep, which means only use your biceps to complete your reps.
    So when do I cheat? – Well, unless you have a spot while you’re doing bicep workout, you can get away with cheating but only in one situation.
    And that situation is once your biceps have already failed. In other words, once you have worked your biceps to failure and you’re trying to complete more reps, then you can cheat your way through 1 or two more reps. But only once your biceps have failed “using proper form” are you allowed to cheat.
    If you’re ready to build big biceps and quickly just follow these 3 simple tips and you’ll be on the road to a big biceps in no time flat.
Richard Knight,

Why Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a vital nutrient. Without it, sailors up until the 18th century in the British navy suffered from scurvy. Why? Vitamin C is responsible for the formation of collagen, which makes up the structure of connective tissues. Without collagen, tissues begin to break down, and the gums start to bleed. When the navy started to bring limes and other citrus fruits on their voyages, scurvy disappeared as a major cause of death.

It is also useful as an antioxidant, protecting the body from free radical damage. Eating large amounts of vitamin C hasn't been found to be that helpful, but it is not too dangerous since vitamin C is water soluble so it passes through the body easily. Birth control pills and aspirin have been found to lower levels of vitamin C though so more might need to be taken when on those medications.

Food Sources

Drink orange juice or eat oranges (70-75 mg) or strawberries (82 mg) for your daily dose of Vitamin C. Vitamin supplements are also a good source. The Linus Pauling Institute recommends a daily minimum dose of 400 mg for young, healthy adults. Linus Pauling was well known for advising large doses of vitamin C to combat the common cold, but little evidence for its efficacy has been established.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Top 5 Ways to Exercise While Watching TV

Don't have time to go to the gym but still want to lose weight? Here's how to put those muscles to work even when your eyes are glued to your favorite soap opera or sitcom.

  1. Start by lying on your back, head flat on the ground/couch/bed (ground preferred) and pulling your knee up towards your chin (they do not have to touch), then SLOWLY pushing it flat. Do not let your leg touch the floor. Do this 25 times each leg.
  2. Lie on your side, make your bottom leg straight and the top leg lifted a few inches in the air, bent at the knee. Now lift your leg up until it won't straighten any more. Do this 30 times each leg.
  3. Take the weights; depending on your strength, take one or two (five pound recommended; if you don't have weights, anything heavy like soup cans that will fit in your hands will do) and stand up and put your arms over your head. Bend at the elbows so the weights and your hands are behind your head. Do this 25 times.
  4. Lay down on your back with one weight in each hand. Start with your arms an inch or two over your chest. Lift all the way up and all the way to the sides (your left arm to the left and your right arm to the right). Don't let your arms touch the ground. Do this 25 times.
  5. Lie on your back and hold the weights to your chest. Lift your back several inches off the ground (do not use your head to pull yourself up--your back needs to be off the ground, not your head). Do this 25 times at least twice a day. If you cannot do 25 crunches in a row, then do three, take a breath, then three more. Do at least 10 sets.

Additional Tips:

  • Doing this every time you watch TV will help, especially if you make a habit of exercising during commercials. Don't skip!
  • Another thing you can do is find a good music channel and dance to every song that comes on. Dance with your whole body!
  • You don't have to do every exercise; mix it up and do different ones during each commercial break.
  • Don't eat while watching TV.
  • Sit on a stability ball instead of the couch while actually watching the program. Bounce a little to keep your body warmed up between commercial breaks.
  • Use commercial breaks as an opportunity to do pushups or other exercises that take your eyes permanently from the TV. Keep the volume on if you find yourself constantly looking to see if the commercials are over.
  • Work yourself hard during the commercials, and then stretch for a short time when the commercials are over. After stretching, continue your standard excercises.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

10 Easy Ways To Knock Weight Off Quickly!

The tips below will help you lose weight fast and make sure that you do it quickly and in a healthy manner.
There are no fad diet tips below like the Atkins diet or no carbs all the tips are sensible and will help you lose weight fast be healthy and happy. So here are your proven tips.

  1. Use the cabbage soup diet to start
    We all need motivation and want to see results quickly and this diet that lasts for just a week is an ideal way to get started. It is guaranteed to help you.
    Many people knock off up to half a stone and you can to.
    This is not a long term diet, just to get you in the mood and show some quick results.
    Now your started, here are your tips.
    Note: Eat what you want within the guidelines and you will lose weight fast.
  2. Eat 5 meals a day. 3 main meals breakfast lunch and dinner and two snacks in between
    This will help you avoid hunger pangs. Make sure you eat breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day.
    Man is a grazer not a binger and we need constant nourishment throughout the day.
  3. Portion Size
    While you can eat 5 meals a day keep in mind portion size!
    The way to guage portion size is look at your fist.
    Want some rice? Then that’s the amount you can have same goes for meat & fish and vegetables
  4. Drink water
    Drink two – three litres of iced water a day.
    Many hunger pangs are simply thirst pangs, so to keep you hydrated and full drink plenty of water.
    Water helps your body metabolize fat by helping the kidneys flush out waste.
    When you don’t drink enough water the liver which works to provide stored fat for energy also takes on the role of helping the kidneys flush out waste and is then less effective at metabolizing fat.
  5. Eat carbohydrates, protein and fat
    Don’t ignore any group.
    When eating remember to eat "naturally from the earth", the less processed the food is the better.
    What this means is eat healthy carbohydrates such as brown rice or potatoes, rather than pizza.
    With fat it’s the same unstaturated rather than saturated fats. When consuming proteins make sure its lean protein.
  6. Eat fibre and lots of it
    Eating lots of foods rich in fibre helps keep food moving through your bowels.
    Fiber bulks you up and makes you feel full.
    The average person could lose around 10 pounds a year just from doubling their fiber intake. Start your day with a high fiber cereal and keep eating all day.
  7. Lean protein
    Protein can help you lose weight fast tool because of the immediate satiety factor it provides.
    Protein also balances out carbs by stopping insulin spikes that can lead to low energy and sugar cravings.
    Finally, protein helps maintain muscle mass which is important in the fat burning process.
    At least 20% of calories per day should be in the form of lean protein.
  8. Keep healthy food on hand
    With our busy lives its easy to simply grab some junk food, so make sure you have healthy food always at hand so you can make a quick tasty snack.
    Canned fish is ideal such as tuna, mackerel sardines or Salmon. Open the can, do a baked potato in the microwave, add some vegetables and you have a quick nutritious meal in under 10 minutes.
  9. One day a week eat what you want!
    One of the reasons most people fail on diets and don’t lose weight fast is they are to strict.
    When you are deprived of something you want it even more, so one day a week ( it doesn’t matter which ) treat yourself.
    Fancy a pizza go ahead, two Big Macs maybe? Do it and don’t feel guilty.
    Keep dieting in perspective.
    If you are eating healthy food the majority of time treating yourself will do you no harm and also keep you on the right track.
    Eating is one of the pleasures of life so don’t deprive yourself totally of things you like.
  10. Be realistic
    If you follow the above guidelines you can eat what you want and lose weight fast.
    Keep in mind once you are doing the above your weight will go down quicker than with any fad diet.
    Don’t starve yourself this wont help.
    Crash dieting is unhealthy and the pounds soon come back on.
    Stay with the above and you will soon lose weight fast and reach the weight you desire in a healthy manner.

Source: Sacha Tarkovsky,

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Why You Shouldn't Exercise Hard To Lose Weight

People seek ways to lose weight for a number of reasons. They could be healthy but they weigh more than the ideal indication. Their intentions are to prevent from getting into health problems that can be caused by over-weight. Or, they have no other choice because they have already developed complications such as diabetes or heart disease as a result of the extra weight they have.

“If we exercise hard enough, we can lose weight faster.” This is the impression that most people will have. But, in reality, exercising intensely may not necessarily be effective in losing weight.

It is believed that if our heart rate is kept at 60 to 70 percent of its maximum rate during exercise, we will be converting relatively more fat than carbohydrates into energy. However, if we exercise with a heart rate more than 70 percent of the maximum, more carbohydrates rather than fat will be burnt. Although our cardiovascular fitness will be higher than someone exercising at a slower heart rate, we will be burning less fat and thus losing less weight. As a rule of thumb, your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age.

Although the proportion of fat burnt at higher exercise intensities is less relative to carbohydrates, the absolute amount of fat that is burnt is still higher than the amount of fat burnt at lower intensities, since the overall rate of energy expenditure is higher. Hence, you will burn actually fat at a substantial rate if you exercise at high heart rates.

Besides intensity, duration will also determine whether the exercise is effective. If you are able to exercise at a high heart rate for a long time, you will utilize a lot of fat. This does not mean that high-intensity exercise is advisable for those desperate to lose that flab. Most people are unable to exercise intensely for a long period of time.

The key is then to strike a balance between intensity and duration. It is recommended to exercise at a level where calories can be burnt at a substantial rate. For most people, this balance is achieved at an intensity of 70 percent of the maximum heart rate – the ideal pace for burning a good proportion of fat.

Your total expenditure will not be high if you push yourself to 95 percent of your maximum heart rate, then stop 5 minutes later due to fatigue. But this should not be taken as an excuse to slack off on your exercise regime. Exercising too lightly can cause you to pack on those pounds.

To lose weight, we need to incur an energy deficit, forcing the body to remove and burn body fat to make up for the deficit. This deficit should be substantial, because if it is small, the body can compensate by lowering the metabolic rate to conserve energy to the extent that it does not even have to draw on the body fat.

Ng Peng Hock,

5 Reasons to Lose Weight in Saunas

There are many health benefits to using a sauna. This method of relaxation and health maintenance has been in use for several thousand years, and cultures like the ancient Romans and the Scandinavians recognized the advantages of a good, regular sweat. The mental and physical benefits to using a sauna are plenty, and if you have the opportunity to use one, you should take advantage of it!

There are many health benefits to using a sauna. This method of relaxation and health maintenance has been in use for several thousand years, and cultures like the ancient Romans and the Scandinavians recognized the advantages of a good, regular sweat. The mental and physical benefits to using a sauna are plenty, and if you have the opportunity to use one, you should take advantage of it!

Some benefits of using a sauna include:

  1. It works as a stress reliever by helping you to relax and unwind. Relieving stress can lower blood pressure, decrease headaches, and elevate you mood. This will make you more productive, and more pleasant to be around!
  2. Saunas cause your body to burn calories. Your sweat glands produce sweat, which requires energy, and therefore increases caloric expenditure. Saunas should not be solely relied upon, however, as a weight loss system.
  3. Saunas raise your body temperature slightly, which gives the effects of a fever. This prompts the body to fight off any viruses or bacteria that can cause illness, thus boosting your immune system.
  4. Saunas provide a slight cardiovascular benefit in that the heat and steam require the heart to work a little more to send more blood to the capillaries
  5. Saunas are an effective way to rid the body of toxins that we ingest from the environment around us through sweating, such as mercury, lead, sodium, and sulphuric acid.
When you take a sauna, you lose a great deal of fluids through the sweating. This might cause a sudden loss of a few pounds, but it is only fluid loss. When you re-hydrate (and you should take in liquids before, during, and after a sauna) your body, the weight will return. There are certain sports that require athletes to make a certain weight class in a very short period of time. These athletes often use saunas as a means of rapid weight loss. Any type of weight loss through dehydration is not safe.
The use of a sauna should be moderate. Sessions should only last for about 20 minutes, due to the increase of body temperature. And older people, or those with heart conditions should consult a physician before trying a sauna.
Using the sauna provides a variety of health benefits, and can be included as part of a sensible diet and exercise program. It can help you maintain your weight, it can rid your body of toxins, keep your complexion clear and bright, and it can help to reduce stress. Saunas are an effective method of health maintenance, if used moderately and properly.

Wayne Mcgregor,

Monday, October 09, 2006

5 Steps to Exercise Your Breathe

Breathing correctly is a very important, not only to be able to perform strenuous tasks, but to allow the lungs to fill up with air, and aid in controlling the heart rate. The benefits of proper breathing can assure you of not getting pneumonia when you have a bad cough, by clearing the air passages to the lungs. Proper deep breathing also can assist you in relaxing before doing things that cause you to be stressful and nervous.

  1. Before starting this breathing excercise, take your pulse. If you are extremely nervous, your pulse rate will probably be faster than normal.
  2. Inhale deeply though your nose, keep your mouth closed, and hold it a few seconds. You will feel your chest expand.
  3. Release it by blowing it slowly out through your mouth.
  4. Do this a few times, and take your pulse again, and you will be amazed to find a normal heart rate, and a feeling of being relaxed. The nerves and butterflies seem to have gone.
  5. This excercise is also used in Yoga.

Additional Tips:

  • You should be doing this sitting with your back straight.
  • Practice this excercise at least once a day, in the comfort of your own home, or in your car.
  • Normal breathing is done by breathing in and out through your nose.


Why Green Tea Helps to Lose Weight

Recent studies show that green tea can help greatly in the process of losing weight. It does it by increasing the body's metabolism. If consumed regularly, it can help you burn as much as eighty calories extra. In a year, that’s about 8 pounds; you lose that much just by drinking, even without diet and exercise.
To further enlighten you as to how green tea works, read on below:
  1. Green tea slows down the absorption of fats and regulates glucose. The same substance, cathechin polyphenol, restrains the transition of glucose into fats. By doing that, experts believe that green tea is an effective glucose regulator. It effectively prevents insulin spikes and slows the rise of blood sugar after every meal. Insulin, as specialists agreed upon, promotes the storage of fats as it deals with the body’s blood sugar.
  2. Green tea has the ability to reduce appetite. Because green teas have regulating effects on the blood sugar, people who drink it are observed to eat food as much as 60 percent lesser than usual. This particular hypothesis was proven when green tea was injected into laboratory rats for experimentation. Researchers believe that it has the same effects on humans.
  3. Green tea is a good alternative to coffee. If you drink tea instead of coffee in the morning or throughout the day, your body gets fewer calories in the long run. The sugar and the cream included in your daily cappuccinos add inches and bulges to the waistline. But with green tea, instead of accumulating fats, you are actually reducing its build up.
  4. Green tea affects the bodily systems positively. A parallel research about green tea brings forward its overall effects in the body. The systems benefiting from it include cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, nervous, urogenital, immune, lymphatic, and musculoskelatal systems. With this, green tea shows to have a very broad effect on the body. Only a few types of food can boast of this characteristic.

Anthony Lee

Top 7 Best Myths About Losing Weight

A lot of myths about weight loss exercises go around. Here are the top 7 of most common misconceptions.

  1. Crunches will lose fat from the belly
    Doing a lot of crunches to train the abdominal muscles will get you strong muscles, but won’t give you a nice six-pack. To get a six pack you need to both train the abdominal muscles and lose the fat on your belly. You will not lose fat around the spots you are training.
  2. The more exercise the better.
    A lot of people think that the more you exercise the better it is for your health. This is not true, if you exercise too much your body is unable to recuperate. When exercising to long, you can also burn you muscle tissue instead of fat tissue. Half an hour exercise a day is good for most people to get and stay fit.
  3. You need to sweat during exercises
    It is not necessary to sweet during exercises to burn fat. You will start sweating whenever your body is not able to lose the heat produced during your exercises. But if you are is a cool room or outside sweating is not necessary for losing the heat.
  4. If you don’t use your muscles it will turn to fat.
    You muscles can not turn to fat, but if you stop exercising your muscles might shrink a little. If you eat more calories then you burn during a day your body will store it as fat. But more muscle will not produce more fat if you stop exercising.
  5. Low intensity exercises are best for weight loss
    Low intensity exercises are known to burn more fat then heavy exercises. But for weight loss it doesn’t matter whether you burn fat or carbohydrates, it only matters how much calories you have burned during the day compared to the number of calories you have eaten.
  6. To burn fat you need to exercise on an empty stomach.
    To burn fat you need to burn more calories then you eat. It doesn’t matter when you exercise or what you have eaten before the exercise as long as you burn more then you eat over the day. Some people don’t like exercising just after they have eaten and prefer to wait two hours.
  7. Wear Sweat Suits to lose more weight
    To maximize weight loss during exercises people used to wear a sweat suit. Wearing a seat suit, you will probable sweat more during the exercises, but after you drink water to compensate lost fluids, you have not lost more weight then without the sweat suit.

Den Fransen

5 Strategies to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Heart disease may be the leading cause of death for both men and women, but that doesn't mean you have to accept it as your fate. Although you lack the power to change some risk factors — such as family history, age and race — you can always control your lifestyle choices.

Take steps to avoid heart disease by not smoking, getting regular exercise and eating healthy foods. Prevent heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today. Here are five strategies to get you started.

  1. Don't smoke or use tobacco products

    "If you smoke, quit," advises Sharonne Hayes, M.D., a cardiologist and director of the Women's Heart Clinic at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. "That's the most powerful, preventable risk factor for heart disease."

    No amount of smoking is safe. Smokeless tobacco and low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes are also risky, as is exposure to secondhand smoke.

    Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,800 chemicals. Many of these can damage your heart and blood vessels, making them more vulnerable to narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis can ultimately lead to a heart attack.

    In addition, the nicotine in cigarette smoke makes your heart work harder by constricting blood vessels and increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces some of the oxygen in your blood. This increases your blood pressure by forcing your heart to work harder to supply enough oxygen.

    Women who smoke and take birth control pills are at even greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke than are those who don't do either. Worse, this risk increases with age, especially over 35.

    The good news, though, is that when you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease drops dramatically within just one year. And no matter how long or how much you smoked, you'll start reaping rewards as soon as you quit.

  2. Exercise, exercise, exercise

    You already know that exercise is good for you. But you may not realize just how good it is for you.

    Regularly participating in moderately vigorous exercise can reduce your risk of fatal heart disease by nearly a quarter. And when you combine exercise with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater.

    Regular exercise helps prevent heart disease by increasing blood flow to your heart and strengthening your heart's contractions so that your heart pumps more blood with less effort. Physical activity also helps you control your weight and can reduce your chances of developing other conditions that may put a strain on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Exercise can also reduce stress, which may also be a factor in heart disease.

    Federal guidelines recommend that you get at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity most days of the week. However, even shorter amounts of exercise offer heart benefits, so if you can't meet those guidelines, don't simply give up on exercise entirely. And remember that things like gardening, housekeeping, taking the stairs and walking the dog all count toward your total. You don't have to exercise strenuously to achieve benefits, but you can see bigger benefits by increasing the intensity, duration and frequency of your workouts.

  3. Eat a heart-healthy diet

    Consistently eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products can help protect your heart. Legumes, low-fat sources of protein and certain types of fish can also reduce your risk of heart disease.

    Limiting your intake of certain fats is also important. Of the types of fat — saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fat — saturated fat and trans fat increase the risk of coronary artery disease by raising blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fat is the more worrisome offender because foods containing this type of fat are more prevalent in typical American diets. Major sources of saturated fat include beef, butter, cheese, milk, and coconut and palm oils.

    Heart-healthy eating isn't all about cutting back, though. Most people, for instance, need to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet — with a goal of five to 10 servings a day.

    "There's a huge amount of data to suggest that fruits and vegetables are highly effective in preventing not just cardiovascular disease, but cancer and other diseases as well," Dr. Hayes says.

    Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, may decrease your risk of heart attack, protect against irregular heartbeats and lower blood pressure. Some fish are a good natural source of omega-3s. However, pregnant women and women of childbearing age should avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish because they contain levels of mercury high enough to pose a danger to a developing fetus. Omega-3s are present in smaller amounts in flaxseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil and canola oil, and they can also be found in supplements.

    Following a heart-healthy diet also means drinking alcohol only in moderation — no more than two drinks a day for men, one a day for women. At that moderate level, alcohol can have a protective effect on your heart. Above that, it becomes a health hazard.

  4. Maintain a healthy weight

    As you put on weight in adulthood, you gain mostly fatty tissue. This excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease — high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

    How do you know if your weight is healthy? One way is to calculate your body mass index (BMI), which considers your height and weight in determining whether you have a healthy or unhealthy percentage of body fat.

    BMI numbers 25 and higher are associated with higher blood fats, higher blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

    The BMI is a good but imperfect guide. Muscle weighs more than fat, for instance, and women and men who are very muscular and physically fit can have high BMIs without added health risks. Because of that, waist circumference is also a useful tool to assess abdominal fat. In general, men are considered overweight if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches. And women, in general, are overweight if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches.

    Even small reductions in weight can be beneficial. Reducing your weight by just 10 percent can decrease your blood pressure, lower your blood cholesterol level and reduce your risk of diabetes.

  5. Get regular health screenings

    High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your cardiovascular system, including your heart. But without testing for them, you probably won't know whether you have these conditions. Regular screening can tell you what your numbers are and whether you need to take action.

  • Blood pressure. Regular blood pressure screenings start in childhood. Adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every two years. You may need more frequent checks if your numbers aren't optimal or if you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury.
  • Cholesterol levels. Adults should have their cholesterol measured at least once every five years. You may need more frequent testing if your numbers aren't optimal or if you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Some children may need their blood cholesterol tested.
Prevention pays

Heart disease is often avoidable. Following a heart-healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be complicated, and it doesn't mean you need to live a life of self-deprivation. Instead, find ways to incorporate heart-healthy habits into your lifestyle — and you may well enjoy a healthier life for years to come.

Source: MayoClinic

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Top 70 Tips to Quit Smoking

John R. Polito, editor of WhyQuit (, compiled this list. WhyQuit is the Internet's oldest free forum devoted exclusively to the art, science and psychology of abrupt nicotine cessation. John also presents bimonthly nicotine cessation programs at the College of Charleston.

The list was developed primarily from recent medical studies and from Joel's Library (, an insightful collection of 90 short quitting articles written by Joel Spitzer of Chicago. Joel's Library is available for download as a free electronic PDF book at WhyQuit. Aside from daily management of WhyQuit's free online support forum (Freedom from Tobacco), Joel Spitzer presents regular quitting programs for the Evanston and Skokie Health Departments.

Be sure to share this list with friends and loved ones who smoke. Not being able to discover the law of addiction through the school of hard quitting knocks is a horrible reason to die.

WARNING: The below information is NOT MEDICAL ADVICE and you should IMMEDIATELY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN should you experience ANY condition or symptom that causes you concern or alarm, including continuing depression. The information provided is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your physician. Do not rely upon any information on this list to replace individual consultations with your doctor or other qualified health care provider.

  1. Like it or not, if you are a daily smoker or chewer and reading this list then in all likelihood you are a true drug addict in every sense of the word, addicted to a most amazing chemical called nicotine. Canada's cigarette pack addiction warning label reads, "Warning: cigarettes are highly addictive. Studies have shown that tobacco can be harder to quit than heroin or cocaine." There is no U.S. addiction warning label.
  2. Nicotine physically alters and desensitizes the brain. It causes eleven different brain regions to grow millions of extra acetylcholine receptors. Successful quitting is allowing time for re-sensitization, time for reconditioning subconscious nicotine feeding cues, and time to move beyond years of conscious smoking rationalizations and minimizations.
  3. Recent studies suggest that most of us became addicted to nicotine far quicker and while smoking far fewer cigarettes than previously believed possible. Two-thirds of all first time youth smokers will become chemically addicted. A June 2005 study (Kandel) found that 86.8% of students smoking nicotine at least once daily were already hooked solid using dependency standards contained in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 4th Edition.
  4. The law of addiction states, "administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance at the old level of use or greater." Yes, just one powerful puff of nicotine and you'll be faced with enduring nicotine detox all over again. We're not that strong. But adherence to this simple restatement of the law of addiction guarantees success to all ... no nicotine just one day at a time, Never Take Another Puff!
  5. Nicotine dependency is every bit as real and permanent as alcoholism. Don't play games with yourself. Treating a true addiction as though it were some nasty little habit is a recipe for relapse. There is no such thing as just one puff. It truly is an all or nothing proposition.
  6. Quitting smoking nicotine is not impossible. In fact, we have more ex-smokers in the U.S. than current smokers. Whether we eventually learn the power of one puff through the school of hard quitting knocks or in lessons such as this, knowledge truly is power. We can either master our dependency or it will continue to master us.
  7. While 91.2% of successful quitters quit entirely on their own, the odds of any particular uneducated and unsupported on-your-own attempt succeeding for one full year are roughly 5%. But again, anyone is fully capable of quitting so long as they remain obedient to the law of addiction.
  8. Although extremely addictive, like salt, nicotine is simply a chemical with an I.Q. of zero. It cannot plot, plan, conspire or think and is not some demon dwelling within. Although we'll never be stronger than nicotine we don't need to be. Our greatest weapon is, and always was, our vastly superior intelligence, but only if put to work.
  9. Only in an addict's mind would the chemical depriving them of freedom, and gradually destroying their body, be considered a friend, pal or companion. Cigarettes are not our friend. Imagine the sickness afflicting a mind willing to trade five thousand sunrises for one chemical.
  10. Are you having trouble getting started? Is your motivation in need of a boost? Visit and meet Noni, Bryan, Brandon, Kim or Sean, or watch one of eighteen short determination fueling movie clips. If you don't have Internet access visit your local library.
  11. Fear of success is the biggest obstacle to making a serious attempt. Your dependency-conditioned mind is likely terrified at the thought that life without smoking won't be worth living, or that you'll leave part of you behind. But within just two weeks you'll begin to develop a sense of both the gradually emerging beauty that is "you," and a growing feeling that life without nicotine might actually be easier.
  12. Visit, the source of these quitting tips, and make one complete read of Joel's Library before getting started. It's a free collection of roughly 90 short quitting articles, each containing a pearl of wisdom.
  13. Forget about quitting "forever." Like attempting the seemingly impossible task of eating an entire elephant, it's the biggest psychological bite imaginable. Instead, work hard at adopting a more manageable, “one day at a time" standard for measuring victory. If we insist on seeing success only in terms of quitting forever, on which day will we be entitled to celebrate?
  14. Nicotine dependency recovery is a temporary journey of re-adjustment. It transports us home to the richest sense of mental quiet and deep inner calm that we've known since nicotine assumed command and control over the flow of more than 200 of our body's neurochemicals, including dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin.
  15. Nicotine's half-life is two hours. Unless replenished, the amount of nicotine remaining in your bloodstream will be cut by half every two hours. When quitting cold turkey, 100% of nicotine and 90% of its metabolites will be out of your system within 72 hours. It's then that neuronal re-sensitization (to your own acetylcholine) can begin in full.
  16. Regarding withdrawal symptoms, within reason, it's fairly safe to blame most of what you'll feel during the first three days on quitting. But after that you need to listen to your body and if concerned give your doctor a call. Don't blame your symptoms on where you're going but on where you've been. See each symptom as a true sign of ongoing healing.
  17. Each puff of smoke contained more than 500 different gases and 3,500 different particles. One or more of these 4,000 chemicals may have been masking an underlying hidden health problem such as a thyroid condition (iodine), asthma (bronchiodialiators), or even chronic organic depression (nicotine). Your cigarette's chemicals may also have been interacting with medications you were taking and an adjustment may be necessary. Stay alert and if at all concerned contact your physician or pharmacist.
  18. Chemical dependency upon smoking nicotine is one of the most intense, repetitive and dependable relationships you've likely ever known. It has infected almost every aspect of your life. Be prepared to experience a normal sense of emotional loss when quitting. Expect to travel through and experience six different emotional phases: (1) denial, (2) anger, (3) bargaining, (4) depression, (5) acceptance, and (6) complacency.
  19. According to evidence tables in the June 2000 USDHHS Guideline, a smoker's natural six-month odds of quitting "on-their-own" are roughly 10%. Education, new behavioral skills, and ongoing support can easily more than triple those odds.
  20. Talk to your doctor about Zyban or Wellbutrin should you feel the need to slightly diminish early anxieties. Both products contain the same active chemical, bupropion. You may find that your health insurance policy covers Wellbutrin (marketed for depression) but not Zyban (marketed for smoking cessation). In clinical studies, bupropion performed roughly 15 percentage points above placebo at six months. Although its use comes with some risks, including a one in a thousand risk of seizure, they pale in comparison to smoking's risks.
  21. The pharmaceutical industry has not been entirely candid with smokers regarding their odds of success while using nicotine replacement products (NRT). A March 2003 study (Hughes) combined and averaged the seven over-the-counter nicotine patch and gum studies. It found that only 7% of study participants were still not smoking at six months.
  22. Have you already tried quitting with NRT once? If so, it's important to note that only two studies have focused on repeat or second-time nicotine patch users. A 1993 study (Tonnesen) found that 0% of second-time patch users succeeded in quitting for 6 months and a 1995 study (Gourlay) reported a 1.6% rate. Unlike abrupt nicotine cessation, the odds of success generally decline with subsequent NRT attempts.
  23. Little known is the fact that NRT studies measured smoking cessation while all but ignoring nicotine cessation. A November 2003 study (Shiffman) found that up to 7% of those attempting to quit with nicotine gum were still using the gum at six months. It makes you wonder if anyone actually breaks free of nicotine while chewing it. The study also reports that up to 36.6% of all current nicotine gum users are today engaged in persistent long-term use.
  24. More recently, a June 2004 study (Mooney) reviewed 73 double blind NRT studies and found that they were not blind as claimed. Nicotine is a psychoactive chemical producing a dopamine/adrenaline high. The study found that 71% of NRT studies assessing blindness failed their own assessment as "subjects accurately judged treatment assignment at a rate significantly above chance." Would you be able to tell if your nicotine gum was nicotine-free? So could they.
  25. Unlike clinical studies, all real-world quitting surveys to date (California, Minnesota, Maryland, London, Quebec and the UK) have found that those quitting with nicotine replacement products do not perform better than those quitting without them. A survey published in the September 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association concludes, "NRT appears no longer effective in increasing long-term successful cessation in California smokers."
  26. Regarding hypnosis, a 1998 Cochrane Review of nine different hypnosis quit smoking studies concluded that "we have not shown that hypnotherapy has a greater effect on six month quit rates than other interventions or no treatment."
  27. A 2002 Cochrane Review of 22 different acupuncture studies concluded that, "there is no clear evidence that acupuncture, acupressure, laser therapy or electro-stimulation are effective for smoking cessation."
  28. Don't let the above quitting method study findings frustrate you. Instead use them to gauge just how serious the challenge before you is. In 2002 41.2% of U.S. smokers quit smoking for at least one day. Sadly, only 1 in 20 succeeded in remaining quit for one year. But few had any understanding of the amazing chemical they were up against.
  29. Once in the heat of battle, it is normal for your mind to quickly forget many of the reasons that motivated you to quit smoking. Write yourself a loving reminder letter, carry it with you, and read it often. Make it your first line of defense - a motivational tool that you can pull out during moments of challenge.
  30. As with achievement in almost all human endeavors, the wind beneath your recovery wings will not be strength or willpower but robust dreams and desires. Keep your dreams vibrant and on center-stage in your mind and no circumstance will deprive you of glory.
  31. Each puff of nicotine was our spoon, releasing stored fats into our bloodstream. It allowed us to skip meals without experiencing wild blood-sugar swing symptoms such as an inability to concentrate or hunger related anxieties. Learn to again properly fuel your body by spreading out your normal daily calorie intake more evenly. Do not skip meals.
  32. Drink plenty of acidic fruit juice the first three days. Cranberry is excellent and a bottle will cost you about the same as a pack of cigarettes. The acidic juices will not only aid in more quickly removing the alkaloid nicotine but will help stabilize blood sugars. Take care beyond three days as juices can be rather fattening.
  33. Regarding weight, you'd need to gain at least 75 extra pounds in order to equal the health risks associated with smoking one pack a day. Eat vegetables and fruits instead of candies, chips and pastries to help avoid weight gain.
  34. Engage in some moderate form of regular exercise if at all concerned about weight gain. A substantial increase in overall lung function of up to 30% within just 90 days will aid you in engaging in extended periods of physical activity, in shedding any extra pounds, and in building cardiovascular endurance.
  35. Recognize that contrary to popular thinking, smoking nicotine did not relieve stress but only its own absence. Nicotine is an alkaloid. Stress is an acid-producing event capable of quickly neutralizing the body's nicotine reserves. As smokers, we added early withdrawal to every stressful event. You will soon discover an amazing sense of calm during crisis.
  36. You cannot quit for others. It must be your gift to you. Quitting for a child, spouse, parent or friend creates a natural sense of deprivation that will ultimately result in relapse. If quitting for another person, how will an addict's junkie-mind respond the first time they disappoint us?
  37. A positive can-do attitude is important. We are what we think. Take pride in each hour of healing and freedom and in each challenge overcome. Celebrate the full and complete victory each reflects. The next few minutes are all that matter and each is entirely do-able. Yes you can!
  38. Years of smoking nicotine conditioned us to be extremely impatient, at least when it comes to our addiction. A deprived nicotine addict could inhale a puff of nicotine and have it arrive and release dopamine in their brain within just 8 seconds. Realize the importance of patience to successful recovery. Baby steps, just one hour, challenge and day at a time and then celebrate the new found patience you just demonstrated.
  39. Get rid of all cigarettes. Keeping a stash of cigarettes makes as much sense as someone on suicide watch keeping a loaded gun handy just to prove they can. Toying with a 50% chance of depriving yourself of 14 years of life isn't some game. Fully commit to going the distance and seeing what it's like to awaken to an expectation of going your entire day without once wanting to smoke nicotine. Oh, it'll still happen from time to time but such events will become the exception, not the rule.
  40. Amazingly, nicotine somehow doubles the rate by which the body depletes caffeine. Your blood-caffeine level will rise to 203% of your normal baseline if no intake reduction is made when quitting. Although not a problem for most light to moderate caffeine users, consider a caffeine intake reduction if troubled by anxieties or if experiencing difficulty relaxing or sleeping.
  41. You conditioned your mind to expect nicotine when encountering certain locations, times, events, people or emotions. Be prepared for each event to trigger a brief crave episode. Encountering a trigger cannot trigger relapse unless you take a puff. Take heart, most triggers are reconditioned and extinguished by a single encounter during which the subconscious mind fails to receive the expected result - nicotine.
  42. In contrast to conscious thought fixation (the "nice juicy steak" type thinking), no subconsciously triggered crave episode will last longer than three minutes.
  43. A recent study found that nicotine cessation causes serious time distortion. Although no crave episode will last longer than three minutes, to a quitter the minutes can feel like hours. Keep a clock handy to maintain honest perspective.
  44. The "average" number of crave episodes (each less than three minutes) experienced by the "average" quitter on their most challenging day of recovery is six episodes on day three. That's a total of 18 minutes of challenge on your most challenging day.
  45. But what if you're not average? What if you established and must encounter twice as many nicotine-feeding cues as the average quitter? That's 36 minutes of significant challenge. Can you handle 36 minutes of serious anxiety in order to reclaim your mind, health and as much life expectancy as possible? Absolutely! We all can.
  46. Be prepared for a small spike in crave episodes on day seven as you celebrate your first full week of freedom from nicotine. Yes, for most of us smoking was part of every celebration, and also part of every celebration that for one reason or another suddenly turned sour. Also stay alert for subtle differences between crave triggers. For example, the Sunday newspaper is much thicker and may have required three cigarettes to read instead of just one.
  47. The average quitter will be experiencing just 1.4 crave episodes per day by day ten. After that you'll soon begin to experience entire days without encountering a single un-reconditioned subconscious crave trigger. If a later crave episode ever feels far more intense it's likely that it has been some time since your last significant challenge and you've dropped your guard and defenses a bit. It can feel as though you've been sucker punched. If so, see the distance between challenges as a wonderful sign of subconscious healing.
  48. One coping method is to practice slow deep breathing when experiencing a crave episode. Try briefly clearing your mind of all needless chatter by focusing on your favorite person, place or thing.
  49. Another popular three minute crave coping exercise is to say your ABCs while associating each letter with your favorite food, person or place. For example, the letter "A" is for grandma's hot apple pie. "B" is for warm buttered biscuits. I think you'll find that you'll never make it to the challenging letter Q.
  50. Another coping technique is to mentally reach out and embrace your crave. A crave cannot cut you, burn you, kill you, or make you bleed. Try being brave just once. In your mind, wrap your arms around the crave's anxiety energy and then watch as it slowly fizzles and dies while in your embrace. Yes, another trigger bites the dust and victory is once again yours!
  51. Recognize the fact that everything you did as a smoker you will learn to again comfortably do as an ex-smoker. Meet, greet and defeat your triggers, don't hide from them. You need not give up anything except nicotine.
  52. Be extremely careful with early alcohol use during the first couple of weeks. Using an inhibition diminishing substance and then intentionally surrounding yourself with smoking smokers, while still engaged in early withdrawal, is a recipe for relapse. Get your quitting feet under you first.
  53. If you do use alcohol, once ready to challenge your drinking triggers, consider breaking the challenge down into manageable trigger segments. Try drinking at home first without smokers around, go out with smokers but refrain from drinking, or consider spacing your drinks further apart, or drinking water or juice between drinks. Have an escape plan, and a backup, and be fully prepared to use them both.
  54. Don't expect family or friends who have never been chemically dependent themselves to have any appreciation of your challenges or the time required to achieve substantial comfort. It simply isn't fair to them or you.
  55. Recognize that smoking nicotine cannot solve any crisis. There is absolutely no legitimate excuse for relapse, including an auto accident, financial crisis, divorce, job loss, a terrorist attack, a hurricane, or the eventual inevitable death of those we love most.
  56. Unlike a less than three-minute subconscious crave episode, we can consciously fixate on any thought of wanting to smoke for as long as we're able to maintain our concentration. Don't try to run or hide from thoughts of wanting but instead place the thought under honest light. Flavor? Are there any taste buds inside your lungs?
  57. Treat nicotine dependency recovery as if it were no different than alcoholism. Don't debate with yourself about wanting "a" cigarette. Instead, ask yourself how you'd feel about going back to your old level of consumption or greater.
  58. Save the money you usually spend on cigarettes and buy yourself something you really want after a week or a month. Save for a year and treat yourself to a vacation.
  59. Quickly climb from that deep smoker's rut by spending time in places where you couldn't smoke, such as movies, libraries and no smoking sections of restaurants, by engaging in activities lasting longer than an hour, and by ever so slightly pushing your normal limits of physical endurance in order to sample the amazing healing within.
  60. Tell people around you that you have quit smoking. Fully commit to your recovery while taking pride in each and every hour and day of freedom from nicotine.
  61. Avoid crutches. A crutch is any form of quitting reliance that you lean upon so heavily in supporting your quit (yes, a noun) that if quickly removed would likely result in relapse.
  62. Do not lean heavily upon a quitting buddy who quits at the same time as you, as their odds of successfully quitting for one year are extremely small. Instead ask an ex-smoker for support, call your local Lung Association, Cancer Society or Heart Association office, or visit a free online support forum such as's Freedom from Tobacco.
  63. Be prepared for an extremely vivid smoking dream as tobacco odors emitted from horizontal healing lungs are swept up bronchial tubes by rapidly healing cilia, and come in contact with a vastly enhanced sense of smell. See it as the wonderful sign of healing it reflects and nothing more.
  64. Your quitting means thousands of dollars in lost profits to the tobacco industry. They do not want to lose you. See store tobacco advertising and the hundreds of neatly aligned packs and cartons for what they truly reflect - bait. Behind the pretty colored boxes and among more than 600 flavor additives is hidden what many dependency experts now consider earth's most captivating chemical.
  65. Regardless of how long you've smoked, how old you are, or how badly you've damaged your body, it's never too late to arrest your dependency, become its master, and commence the deepest and most intense period of healing that your body and mind have likely ever known.
  66. Study smokers closely. They are not smoking nicotine to tease you. They do so because they must, in order to replenish a constantly falling blood-serum nicotine level. Most nicotine is smoked while on autopilot. What cue triggered the public feeding you're now witnessing? Watch acid-producing events such as stress or alcohol quickly neutralize their body's nicotine reserves. Witness their endless mandatory cycle of replenishment.
  67. There is a major distinction between thinking about smoking and wanting to smoke. Don't confuse the two. After years of smoking you should expect to notice and smell smokers (especially in movies) but it doesn't necessarily mean that you want to smoke. As for thoughts of wanting, with each passing day they'll gradually grow shorter in duration, generally less intense and a bit further apart.
  68. What should you call yourself? Although it's normal to want to consider ourselves non-smokers, there is a major distinction between a never-smoker and an ex-smoker. Only the ex-smoker need protect against relapse.
  69. Don't let complacency destroy your healing and glory. The ingredients for relapse are a failing memory of why we quit and of the early challenges, rewriting the law of addiction to exempt or exclude ourselves, and an excuse such stress, celebration, illness, finances, war, death, or even a cigar at the birth of a baby.
  70. Remember that there are only two good reasons to take a puff once you quit. You decide you want to go back to your old level of consumption until smoking cripples and then kills you, or, you decide you really enjoy withdrawal and you want to make it last forever. As long as neither of these options appeals to you - no nicotine just one day at a time ... Never Take Another Puff!

How To Choose a Diet Plan For Yourself

Selecting a right diet plan is the first step in your weight loss. But it is not easy to get a plan that suits your needs and helps you stay healthy. Getting a right diet plans could be a mess if you don’t know the common problems outlined here.

In fact choosing a right diet plan for you could turn out to be one of the most complicated things in your life. The market is filled with hundreds of them. You have to save yourself from the bad ones and still choose the right ones. Select the one that suits your requirements.

Still, many a times you may find that even the carefully chosen diet plan is not helping you in loosing the weight substantially. This happens because of several reasons. Sometimes the reason is a lack of determination. Other times the reason may be as simple as the unavailability of certain products that have been included in it.

It is therefore said that choosing a diet plan that suits your individual needs is the most important aspect in the process of loosing weight. Here is a list of things you should keep in your mind while choosing the right plan.

First of all, you have to change your frame of mind. A lot of people will try to discourage you, but you have to stay determined and stick to it.

Secondly, chose something you can stick to and that includes things that are easily available. Also make sure that the diet has is rich in nutrients so that you stay healthy even after loosing the weight. It should not leave you starved and always wanting more. Do not think that the diet plan is something that is temporary. In fact treat it as something that you will have to stick to for the rest of your life.

Thirdly, believe in it and yourself. If you have to stick to a plan and lose weight in the process then you have to believe in yourself and motivate yourself. The best way to motivate yourself is to first write down why you want to lose weight.

Suppose you want to lose weight, so that you can fit into that gorgeous dress then hang the dress in such a place that the dress is the first thing that you see everyday when you get up in the morning. This will keep you motivated.

You can also set short-term goals for yourself, which would be in confirmation with your long term goals. Once you see that you are able to achieve your goals you will be able to stick to it. Make sure that you measure your progress everyday. Little progress daily will motivate you and help you stick to your diet plan.

Lastly, do not forget to use your common sense while choosing a plan. If it does not suit you or it seems that the progress is not as you would have liked it to be, adjust it accordingly. Make all the changes that are necessary to make it work for you.

There are a lot of them out there, choose from many diabetic diets, diet programs, weight loss diet plans. Some people provide free diet plans too. Among the successful and famous of these diet plans are the Atkins diet and the South Beach diet plan. Do check them before others.

Whatever you chose, the ultimately result depends on your effort towards it. So set your mind and live a healthy life.

Top 5 Things To Know To Build Muscle

All guys want to look good on the beach with big arms and chests, along with a set of six pack abs. Many also think that only professional bodybuilders can get bodies like this. However, all that is required to achieve your goal is some hard work and the right workout routine.

  1. Do some aerobics for five to ten minutes (cycling, walking, thread mill etc) to get the blood flowing.
  2. Follow the workout below. With each exercise, pick a weight that you can do for the number of reps indicated before you fail to do another repetition of the movement. Do the workout 2-3 times a week with at least one or two days rest between each workout.

    • Warm Up sets (perform each exercise first with light weights first to ensure you don't injure yourself)
    • Pushups: 3 Sets of 25 (if too hard, try on knees)
    • Bench Press: 3 Sets of 10 reps
    • Leg Extension: 4 Sets of 8 reps
    • Military (Overhead) Press: 3 Sets of 10 reps
    • Barbell Rows: 4 Sets of 10 Reps
    • Biceps Curls: 3 Sets of 10 Reps
    • Pushups: 3 Sets of 25 (if too hard, try on knees)
    • Crunches: 4 Sets of 20

  3. Do this workout as a starter, for about two to three weeks. Once you are used to working out, you can begin doing split body exercise days or concentrating on particular body parts per work out.

    • Work particular muscle groups on particular days. For example, you can do chest and biceps one day, back and triceps another, then have a shoulder and abs day, followed by a leg day.
    • Each individual day will consist of at least three different exercises per muscle group. Each exercise will be three to four sets of 8-10 reps per set. These exercises should be basic exercises. You do not need exotic exercises, e.g. dumbbell presses on exercise ball. Simple bench press, arm curls, tri extensions, pull ups, pull downs, leg press, squat, etc. will do. Keep it simple stupid works very well!
    • You can do each body part day any way you want during the week, e.g. Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun, with rest days, or do them consecutively Mon-Thurs. Whatever you desire, just do each split body routine once per week. A good, intense workout should take no more than 45 minutes to 1 hour or so, depending on the socializing you are doing at the gym.

  4. Take your target body weight, multiply by 2 and eat that many grams of protein per day. Do the same with carbohydrate intake. Calculate these numbers, divide by six, eat that much of each every meal. Combine with a veggie and plenty of water. Track them religiously. You must avoid fats, alcohol and junk. They are the culprits to flab and fat, along with too many carbs.
  5. You must have enough of an intake of carbs to fuel your workouts and muscle growth, so eat good carbs. Potatoes, rice, whole grains, bananas are good sources of carbs. Chicken, lean beef, eggs, protein supplements are good sources of protein. Don't forget green veggies and multivitamins. Being very disciplined with food will be the biggest struggle of looking good, but it is key to getting the most of your efforts in the gym.

Additional tips:

  • Always, always do a set with light weights to warm up that region before going for the heavy ones. This will help you avoid injuries.
  • Reps is another word for repetitions, meaning how many times you do the exercises in each set.
  • Wait 60 seconds between each set to recover.
  • Don't use these reps as a strict guideline. Pick an approximate weight where you think you can do between 6 and 12 reps and don't stop until your muscles can't do anymore.
  • This is a beginner's workout, once you get used to your gym and the exercises you can change as stated.
  • The more controlled the movement is the better the results will be. Don't try and lift weights you know you will need help with in the first few reps. This is called having good "form."
  • Don't leave out your leg workouts! They are essential. Leg workouts will actually help your other muscle groups grow and will keep you looking more symmetrical.
  • Remember that a your diet is a must for developing muscle. Eat as described to get the most of your workout.
  • Don't expect to actually see great results in the mirror for about two months, so don't get discouraged. Be disciplined and stick with it and in at least three months, you won't be disappointed.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Top 25 Rules of Running

In most cases, these rules started out as a lightbulb over one runner's head. After a while, that runner told a few running buddies (probably during a long run), word spread, and before you know it, coaches were testing it, sports scientists were studying it, and it evolved from idea to theory to accepted wisdom. Along with each of the rules we present, however, we list the exception. Why? Because, as you also learned in grade school, there's an exception to every rule.

  1. The Specificity Rule
    The most effective training mimics the event for which you're training.
    This is the cardinal rule of training for any activity. If you want to run a 10-K at seven-minute-per-mile pace, you need to do some running at that pace. "Runners are best served by running at goal pace and in the expected environment of that race," says Ann Snyder, Ph.D., director of the human performance lab at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
    The Exception: It's impractical to wholly mimic a race--particularly longer distances--in training because it would require extended recovery. So, when doing race-specific training, keep the total distance covered shorter than the goal race, or run at your race pace in shorter segments with rest breaks (interval training).
  2. The 10-Percent Rule
    Increase weekly training mileage by no more than 10 percent per week.
    Joe Henderson, the first editor of Runner's World, and Joan Ullyot, M.D., author of three women's running books, first popularized the 10-percent prescription in the 1980s. "I noticed that runners who increased their training load too quickly were incurring injuries," says Dr. Ullyot.
    The Exception: If you're starting at single-digit weekly mileage after a layoff, you can add more than 10 percent per week until you're close to your normal training load.
  3. The 2-Hour Rule
    Wait for about two hours after a meal before running.
    "For most people, two hours is enough time for food to empty from the stomach, especially if it's high in carbohydrate," says Colorado sports dietitian and marathoner Cindy Dallow, Ph.D. "If you don't wait long enough, food will not be properly digested, raising the risk of abdominal cramps, bloating, and even vomiting."
    The Exception: You can probably run 90 minutes after a light, high-carb meal, while you may need up to three hours after a heavy meal that's high in protein and fat.
  4. The 10-Minute Rule
    Start every run with 10 minutes of walking and slow running, and do the same to cool down.
    "A warmup prepares your body for exercise by gradually increasing blood flow and raising core muscle temperature," says Jerry Napp, a Tampa Bay running coach. "The cooldown may be even more important. Stopping abruptly can cause leg cramps, nausea, dizziness, or fainting."
    The Exception: It takes less than 10 minutes to rev up on warm days.
  5. The 2-Day Rule
    If something hurts for two straight days while running, take two days off.
    Two straight days of pain may signal the beginning of an injury. "Even taking five days of complete rest from running will have little impact on your fitness level," says Troy Smurawa, M.D., team physician for USA Triathlon.
    The Exception: If something hurts for two weeks, even if you've taken your rest days, see a doctor.
  6. The Familiar-Food Rule
    Don't eat or drink anything new before or during a race or hard workout.
    Stick to what works for you. "Your gastrointestinal tract becomes accustomed to a certain mix of nutrients," says Dallow. "You can normally vary this mix without trouble, but you risk indigestion when prerace jitters are added."
    The Exception: If you're about to bonk, eating something new is probably better than eating nothing at all.
  7. The Race-Recovery Rule
    For each mile that you race, allow one day of recovery before returning to hard training or racing.
    That means no speed workouts or racing for six days after a 10-K or 26 days after a marathon. The rule's originator was the late Jack Foster, the masters marathon world record holder (2:11:18) from 1974 to 1990. Foster wrote in his book, Tale of the Ancient Marathoner, "My method is roughly to have a day off racing for every mile I raced."
    The Exception: If your race effort wasn't all-out, taking fewer recovery days is okay.
  8. The Heads-Beats-Tails Rule
    A headwind always slows you down more than a tailwind speeds you up.
    So expect to run slower on windy days. "I disregard the watch on really windy days because headwinds cost me 15 to 25 seconds a mile, and I only get a portion of that back after I turn around," says Monte Wells, a longtime runner in Amarillo, Texas, America's windiest city. "The key is to monitor your effort, not your pace. Start against the wind, so it's at your back in the second half."
    The Exception: On point-to-point runs with the wind at your back, you'll fly along faster than usual.
  9. The Conversation Rule
    You should be able to talk in complete sentences while running.
    A recent study found that runners whose heart and breathing rates were within their target aerobic zones could comfortably recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Those who couldn't were running faster than optimal.
    The Exception: Talking should not be easy during hard runs, speedwork, or races.
  10. The 20-Mile Rule
    Build up to and run at least one 20-miler before a marathon.
    "Long runs simulate the marathon, which requires lots of time on your feet," says Gina Simmering-Lanterman, director and marathon coach of the Denver Fit training program. "And knowing that you can run 20 miles helps you wrap your head around running 26.2."
    The Exception: Some coaches believe experienced marathoners can get by with a longest run of 16 to 18 miles, while other coaches suggest runs up to 24 miles.
  11. The Carbs Rule
    For a few days before a long race, emphasize carbohydrates in your diet.
    "Carbo-loading" became the marathoner's mantra after Scandinavian studies in 1967 suggested cramming down carbs following a period of carb depletion produced super-charged athletes. Experts now say simply emphasizing carbs a few days before a race over two hours works just as well.
    The Exception: There's a word for carbo-loading during regular training or before a short race: gluttony.
  12. The Seven-Year Rule
    Runners improve for about seven years.
    Mike Tymn noticed this in the early 1980s and wrote about it in his National Masters News column. "My seven-year adaptation theory was based on the fact that so many runners I talked to ran their best times an average of seven years after they started," he recalls.
    The Exception: Low-mileage runners can stretch the seven years to well over a decade before plateauing.
  13. The Left-Side-Of-The-Road Rule
    To keep safe, run facing traffic.
    "While running, it's better to watch the traffic than to have it come up from behind you," says Adam Cuevas, a marathoner and chief of the Enforcement Services Division of the California Highway Patrol. It's the law in California and many other states to run on the left side unless you're on the sidewalk.
    The Exception: The right side of the road is safer when running into leftward blind curves where there's a narrow shoulder. The right side can also be safer if there's construction on the left side.
  14. The Up-Beats-Down Rule
    Running uphill slows you down more than running downhill speeds you up.
    So, you can expect hilly runs to be slower than flat runs. "You don't get all of the energy that you expend going uphill back when you run downhill," explains Nimbus Couzin, Ph.D., a marathon-running physics instructor at Indiana University Southeast. "That's because when your feet strike the ground on a descent, a lot of energy is lost."
    The Exception: When you run point-to-point with a net elevation drop, your average pace should be faster than on a flat course.
  15. The Sleep Rule
    Sleep one extra minute per night for each mile per week that you train.
    So if you run 30 miles a week, sleep an extra half hour each night. "Sleep deprivation has a negative impact on training," says David Claman, M.D., director of the University of California-San Francisco Sleep Disorders Center. "The average person needs seven and a half to eight hours of sleep, so increase that amount when you're training."
    The Exception: The extra sleep may not be necessary for some high-energy folks.
  16. The Refueling Rule
    Consume a combination carbohydrate-protein food or beverage within 30 to 60 minutes after any race, speed workout, or long run.
    "You need an infusion of carbs to replace depleted muscle glycogen, plus some protein to repair and build muscle," says Nancy Clark, R.D., author of Food Guide for Marathoners. "Ideally, the carb-protein ratio should be 4-to-1. Some examples would be 150 to 300 calories of low-fat chocolate milk, a recovery-sports drink, flavored yogurt, or a bagel and peanut butter."
    The Exception: Immediate refueling is less important if you aren't running hard again within 24 hours.
  17. The Don't-Just-Run Rule
    Runners who only run are prone to injury.
    "Cross-training and weight training will make you a stronger and healthier runner," says multisport coach Kris Swarthout. "Low- and nonimpact sports like biking and swimming will help build supporting muscles used in running, while also giving your primary running muscles a rest."
    The Exception: The surest way to run better is to run. So if your time is limited, devote most of it to running.
  18. The Even-Pace Rule
    The best way to race to a personal best is to maintain an even pace from start to finish.
    Most of the 10,000-meter and marathon world records set in the last decade have featured almost metronome-like pacing. "If you run too fast early in the race, you almost always pay for it later," warns Jon Sinclair, the U.S. 12-K record holder and now an online coach (

    The Exception: This doesn't apply on hilly courses or on windy days, when the objective is to run an even effort.
  19. The New-Shoes Rule
    Replace running shoes once they've covered 400 to 500 miles.
    "But even before they have that much wear," says Warren Greene, Runner's World gear editor, "buy a new pair and rotate them for a while. Don't wait until your only pair is trashed." Consider shoes trashed when the spring is gone.
    The Exception: A shoe's wear rate can vary, depending on the type of shoe, your weight, your footstrike pattern, and the surfaces you run on.
  20. The Hard/Easy Rule
    Take at least one easy day after every hard day of training.
    "Easy" means a short, slow run, a cross-training day, or no exercise at all. "Hard" means a long run, tempo run, or speed workout. "Give your body the rest it needs to be effective for the next hard run," says Todd Williams, a two-time U.S. Olympian and online coach at Apply the hard/easy rule to your monthly and yearly training cycles by treating yourself to one easy week each month, and one easy month each year.
    The Exception: After the most exhausting long runs and speed workouts, especially if you're 40 or older, wait for two or even three days before your next tough one.
  21. The 10-Degree Rule
    Dress for runs as if it's 10 degrees warmer than the thermometer actually reads.
    To put it another way, dress for how warm you'll feel at mid-run--not the first mile, when your body is still heating up. This means choosing the right apparel. (See the "Dress for Success" table) "On cold days, the new soft-shell tops and tights are light, warm, and breathable," says Emily Walzer, fabrics editor for Sporting Goods Business Magazine. "On warm days, wear a lightweight performance fabric next to your skin, which will disperse sweat through evaporation."
    The Exception: There's a limit to how many clothes you can take off without getting arrested, so if it's in the 70s or warmer, wear minimal lightweight, light-colored apparel.
  22. The Speedwork-Pace Rule
    The most effective pace for VO2-max interval training is about 20 seconds faster per mile than your 5-K race pace.
    The best way to increase your aerobic capacity and long-distance speed is through VO2-max interval training. A pioneer of VO2-max training is Jack Daniels, Ph.D., coach at the Center for High Altitude Training in Flagstaff, Arizona. "By stressing your aerobic system," he says, "this pace optimizes the volume of blood that's pumped and the amount of oxygen that your muscle fibers can use."
    The Exception: The exact pace is closer to 10 seconds faster per mile than 5-K race pace for fast runners, and 30 seconds faster per mile for slower runners.
  23. The Tempo-Pace Rule
    Lactate-threshold or tempo-run pace is about the pace you can maintain when running all-out for one hour.
    This pace is about 20 seconds slower per mile than your 10-K race pace, or 30 seconds slower per mile than 5-K race pace. "The key benefit of this pace is that it's fast enough to improve your threshold for hard endurance running, yet slow enough that you don't overload your muscles," says Daniels. The ideal duration of a tempo run is 20 to 25 minutes.
    The Exception: The exact pace is less than 20 seconds slower per mile than 10-K race pace for faster runners and slightly more than 30 seconds slower per mile than 10-K race pace for slower runners.
  24. The Long-Run-Pace Rule
    Do your longest training runs at least three minutes per mile slower than your
    5-K race pace.
    "You really can't go too slow on long runs," says RW "Starting Line" columnist Jeff Galloway, "because there are no drawbacks to running them slowly. Running them too fast, however, can compromise your recovery time and raise your injury risk."
    The Exception: Galloway says you should run even slower on hot days.
  25. The Finishing-Time Rule
    The longer the race, the slower your pace.
    How much slower? Jack Daniels and J.R. Gilbert spent years compiling a table (see "Predict Your Performance") that shows how much you should expect to slow down from one race distance to the next. "We did some curve-fitting to come up with a formula that generates a pseudo-VO2-max for each race time," says Daniels. They sweated the math; now you just need to sweat the race.
    The Exception: Terrain, weather, or how you feel on race day could all throw off the table's accuracy.


Top 13 Exercises While Sitting at Your Computer

Sitting at the computer all day is not exactly good for the body. If you have to be at a desk all day long, doing some simple things can improve your posture and health.

  1. Sit properly in a good chair designed for deskwork. Your back should be straight, and your head should be looking directly into your monitor. If you have to look down or up, you need to adjust the height of either the screen or your chair. If you keep leaning forward, first get your eyesight checked. If your eyesight is fine use a loose belt or string to tie yourself to the chair. After a while your posture will improve and you'll no longer need this restraint.
  2. Maintain an ergonomic body posture while typing. Keep your legs bent at the knees so that the knees are only slightly higher than your hips. Feet should be flat on the floor or on a step stool of some sort.
  3. Stand up every half hour. Walk around a few steps, stretch your legs, and give your eyes a break from focusing on your computer screen. This will also help prevent blood clots from developing in your legs. Blood clots are very common among middle age people, who generally use the computer a lot.
  4. Roll your head around your neck periodically, but avoid rolling your head all the way back. Do the motion slowly clockwise for 1-3 iterations and then repeat in the opposite direction.
  5. Roll your wrists regularly (this will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome if you spend a lot of time typing).
  6. Recognize that people tend to hunch in front of the keyboard. To counter that, perform the following exercise: open your arms wide as if you are going to hug someone, rotate your wrists externally (thumbs going up and back) and pull you shoulders back. You will feel a stretch in the scapula area.
  7. Contract your abdominal and gluteal muscles, hold them there for a few seconds, then release. Do this all day long while you are in your chair.
  8. Stretch your arms, legs, neck and torso while sitting. This will help prevent you from feeling stiff.
  9. Take advantage of the downtime created by rebooting or large file downloads to get up and try something more ambitious such as doing a few push-ups, sit-ups, and/or jumping jacks. Beware of your snickering co-workers though.
  10. Acquire a hand gripper. They are cheap, small and light. When you have to read something either on the screen or on paper, you probably won't be using your hands very often so squeeze your gripper. It is an excellent forearm workout.
  11. Acquire an elastic band (also cheap, small and light) and use it to do the actions mentioned in step 8 (i.e., when stretching your arms, do it by pulling apart the elastic band). You will not only stretch but it will also work the muscles slightly.
  12. Invest in a large size stability ball or stability ball style desk chair, and sit on it with back straight and abs firm. The actual stability ball is more effective, however the chair is a more viable option for use in an office environment. Sit, bounce or do basic toning exercises while watching tv or talking on the phone as well. Use the actual ball form in moderation when typing, as this is probably not the most supportive seating to prevent carpal tunnel and tendonitis.
  13. While sitting, lift up your legs on the balls of your feet and set them down. Repeat these until your legs are comfortably tired. Then repeat it again about 10 minutes later. Do this whole routine for about an hour or so. This will exercise your calves.

Little additional tips:

  • Don't neglect the health of your eyes! It is detrimental to your eyesight to focus at one thing for long periods of time (i.e. your monitor) so take breaks to look out the window and focus at something at a farther distance away to maintain good occular health. Also consider purchasing an LCD screen which is easier on the eyes. Optomologists recommend following the "20-20-20" rule--For every 20 minutes spent focusing on your computer screen, spend 20 seconds focusing on something else 20 feet away.
  • As long as something is moving, you will be helping to keep yourself in better shape. Constant movement will burn calories and contribute to cardiovascular health. While exercising at your computer is helpful, it is not a substitute for going to the gym or conducting a regular exercise program.
  • Don't sit still. Fidgeting is a good way to keep moving. Even something like tapping your foot. But don't make too much noise--however you fidget, the repetitive noises may bother other people.
  • Always have water nearby to drink.
  • If you're all alone, try shutting off the computer for a bit and exercise. If you're on a cell phone call, get up and do stretches, or leg lifts, anything to keep moving during down time away from the desk.
  • Try exercises that combine opposing muscle groups (flexors and extensors, e.g., biceps and triceps) to get a good workout. Clasp your hands together with palms facing each other. Pull up with one hand while pushing down with the other.
  • Play music while working to provoke body movement and relieve stress. A smaller instrument will be more convenient.
Jocelyn for