Articles from May 2008

Why Lose Weight?

weightloss 300x200 Why Lose Weight?First of all, there is no food group that should be cut out of your diet totally. Your body needs a diet that includes complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein and some fat. A complex carbohydrate is a baked potato, fat is the sour cream and butter you should not put on it. Fiber is vegetables, fat is the oil you should not fry them in. Protein is a lean cut of meat, fat is the gravy you should not pour over it.

Do not get caught up in the whole fat-free trap. One of the greatest delusions to hit the industry is that no fat means not fattening. The truth is, you are often getting just as many calories from the no-fat version, even if the calories are not coming from fat. The term fat-free can be a trap if you trick yourself into believing that you can eat any amount of the foods that are advertised that way.

Never skip a meal in favor of eating snacks it is is the worst thing you can do if you are trying to control your eating habits and weight.

Why do we spend so much time talking and thinking about our weight? This is because there so many benefits to be gained from loosing those excess pounds.  Here are a few of the remarkable advantages;

Loose weight to prevent high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

Excess weight creates a breathing ground for these three conditions. In fact heart disease and stroke are one of the primary reasons for disability and death in both men and women in the US.  Excess weight leads to higher levels of cholesterol in your blood stream as well as triglycerides. Heart disease as we know can lead to sudden death.

Experts say that by reducing your weight by a mere five to ten percent could positively decrease the chances of you having or developing heart disease or having a stroke.  Improvement would also be seen in the functioning of your heart, improvement in your blood pressure as well as cholesterol and triglyceride count will decrease.

Loose weight to prevent type 2 diabetes

Apart from jeopardizing your life type 2 diabetes also affects the quality of your life due to the resultant complications associated with the disease. Both types, 1 and 2 linked are with excess weight. If you are already a diabetes sufferer, then loosing weight in addition to your regular medication can help to control your blood sugar levels.

Loose weight to reduce cancer risk

Links have been identified between excess weight and certain types of cancers. This is especially so for women. The common types of cancers facing overweight women include ovarian, uterine, colan, breast, and gallbladder.  This is for information purpose, not to scare you, after all, knowledge is power.

Loose Weight to reduce or eliminate sleep apnea

This is a condition where a person stops breathing temporarily then continue to snore heavily.  This can lead to a feeling of lethargy and listlessness. Being overweight can exacerbate this problem.

Loose Weight to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis

Excess weight exert double or triple pressure on the joints, knees, hips and lower back as you go about your daily activities of walking and moving around.

The most important thing to realize is that no matter what the specified weight is for your height, you need to work on achieving “your” ideal weight – a weight where you are comfortable with your body and feel like you have the energy and fitness to do the things you want to do with your life. This means you need to focus on healthy weight loss, you’re not trying to be that girl in the magazine who’s had 20 pounds airbrushed off of her; you’re just trying to be your very best YOU.

Fitness Audit

Now is the time to take stock of your health and fitness and this is about more than the number on your scale, more than just Body Mass Index. It’s more about how you look and feel,  so be honest with yourself as you answer these questions. They will help you asses your mental and emotional health as well as your level of fitness.

Prior to beginning the assessment, please answer the following questions:

  • Are you or could you be pregnant?
  • Do you have heart or lung disease?
  • Do you have high blood pressure, asthma or any other breathing problems.
  • Do you have dizzy spells or faint when exerting yourself.
  • Has it been a long time since you have regularly exercised?
  • Are you being treated by a doctor for a medical condition?
  • Have you been prescribed medication that may interfere with your ability to exercise?
  • Are there other circumstances that make it difficult for you to exercise?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, please consult with your physician before engaging in any of the assessment or suggested exercises on this website.

Physical Fitness
Can you:

  • run up and down the stairs (at least 10 steps) two times and still

conduct a conversation without difficulty?

  • bend over and touch your toe 15 times without being winded?
  • put your hand behind your back and reach up to undo your bra clasp?
  • do 15 reps. of bicep curls (on each arm) using an 8lbs.weight or 1 liter

bottle of juice?

  • stand on one leg without support for 15 seconds (test both legs)?
  • - do ten pushups within a minute?
  • - Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you and touch your toes?
  • - do 20 situps within one minute?

More than 3 no answers in this section indicate a need for a focus on fitness.

Emotional Fitness

Are you:

  • lacking in energy?
  • easily angered, flustered, brought to tears?
  • feeling more stressed than you used to?
  • always worried?
  • sleeping poorly at nights?
  • grinding your teeth?

Do you:

  • change your eating habits when you are upset?
  • neglect to make time to hang out with your girlfriends?
  • feel anxious, overwhelmed, angry, or sad more than two times during a week?
  • withdraw from people or find yourself feeling isolated?

More than 3 yes answers in this area indicates a need to focus on emotional fitness.

Diet

Do you:

  • grab fast food on a regular basis because there is no time to cook?
  • skip meals in favor of completing some task.
  • give in to your cravings for sweets, salt snacks?
  • skip breakfast?
  • eat very little fruits and vegetables?
  • eat mayonnaise, butter, or other fats daily?
  • have a pattern of weight gain over the past 6 months?

More than one yes answer to this section indicates a need to focus on diet.

Now that you have completed the fitness audit, you can use this website to get some ideas on how to proceed with the areas you would like to focus on.

Fitness Blueprint

Many women want to improve their health and well being but don’t know where to start.  It can seem so overwhelming.  Searches on the internet bring up millions of different options, and it can become so daunting that you just put it off for another day.  Unfortunately, if you’re already approaching 40, you can’t afford to put off your health.  You need to start focusing on you.

fitness blueprint 300x220 Fitness Blueprint

One of the best ways of getting started is to create a personal fitness blueprint or map.  This fitness map is a plan that will encompass some of the areas of health that a woman would need to consider, including physical needs like exercise and flexibility as well as mental and emotional health considerations.

In Building your own fitness map, a great place to begin is with our fitness audit.  If you have not already taken the fitness audit, you can do so here. The audit will help you identify areas of focus – and don’t worry if every area is an area of focus for you.  This is an ongoing process, there is no hurry. To truly love yourself, you should focus on every aspect of your health, well-being, and happiness.

Within your fitness blueprint, you should focus on areas for flexibility, strength training, nutrition, diet, cardiovascular fitness, emotional fitness, and mental health.  Under each of these main sections, you can develop specific goals.  For instance, if you are more focused on weight loss, you might develop your cardiovascular and diet and nutrition areas of your map more than other areas.  If you are experiencing a great deal of stress, you might focus more on the mental health areas.

Ultimately, as you conquer sections of the fitness blueprint, you will develop other areas, until you have a well-rounded, all-encompassing plan for maintaining your health as you age.  You’ll develop new goals as you accomplish the old ones and change goals that become less important as other aspects in your life change.

Your fitness blueprint should be a very personal thing, that is, it should look like what you want it to look like.  Your fitness blueprint may not look like mine.  You may want to keep yours in pages of a journal; you might be a list maker or use spreadsheet software to develop your plan.  However you decide to create it is great as there is no wrong way.  It’s in the making of the blueprint that you learn the most about what you want and need to improve your health.