Tuesday, September 29, 2015

4 Great Benefits of Exercise for Seniors

Exercise helps keep senior citizens fit physically ... and socially, emotionally and psychologically as well. You receive so many benefits when you exercise. Your heart becomes strong and it works effortlessly. It easily pumps oxygen throughout your body, which allows all of your different internal and external systems to work properly.

Since all of those systems are interconnected and controlled by your brain, you enjoy more than just physical benefits when you stay active as you age. If you need motivation to exercise and you are over 50 years of age, take a look at these wonderful nonphysical benefits of staying active that just may change how you think about physical fitness.

1. You Feel Better About Yourself

When you exercise, "feel good" chemicals and hormones are released by your brain. That's right, there is a physiological reason you feel great after you exert yourself physically. You truly do feel good about yourself as a person when you exercise on a regular basis.

2. Your Social Life Benefits

Humans are social animals. Most of us feel better in social settings where our friends, family members and other like-minded individuals spend time with us. When you exercise after you turn 50 years of age, you promote independence and positive self-worth. This leads to a richer social life. Many exercises and other forms of physical fitness are also social in their very nature, like hiking clubs and cycling or dance and yoga classes.

3. Your Brain Is Sharper and Your Memory Recall Improves

Studies have shown that frequent exercise actually improves your recall. A physically fit body leads to a sharp mind and excellent memory. Your elevated heart rate pumps blood and the aforementioned oxygen to your brain as well as every other part of your body. This keeps your brain healthy. In studies of men and women over 50, those who exercised regularly were able to recall and remember people, objects and events better than their non-exercising counterparts.

4. Exercise Defeats Depression and Anxiety

Once again, exercise shows an enormous nonphysical benefit. A depressed individual can make very bad life choices, even going as far as suicide. Isn't it amazing then that simple exercise on a consistent basis has proven an effective treatment for depression and anxiety? In studies of older individuals (men and women over 50) regular physical activity has been directly linked to reduced episodes of anxiety, stress and depression when compared to sedentary people the same age.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

[Video] Yoga for Women: Gentle Menstrual Relief Session

This 15-minute yoga session is designed to help relieve cramps, stress, and PMS during your menstrual cycle. This is a relaxing, calming set of exercises, so you can still keep up with your yoga practice even during this low energy time of month.

Do this morning or evening - or twice a day if desired. It's very gentle, so it won't hurt to repeat it more than once.

This workout helps to loosen and stretch tight and achy areas of your body. Go at your own pace and listen to your body. Tune into your body's needs, and enjoy this calming yoga set just for you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Yoga for Women: A Non-Violent Approach to Exercise

Many women pile up an array of small violences against themselves from the moment they wake up - caffeine, cigarettes, abrasive exercises or no exercise at all. Lots of faddish fitness programs today have this violent approach - do 50 leg raises or pound your body jogging on the pavement or jump around to a rhythm not of your own making. Is it any wonder we don't like to exercise?

For a happier, healthier life, your approach to fitness and well-being and to life in general should be nonviolent one - working smoothly with concentration and determination at your own pace without competing with anyone else. Don't be ruthless with yourself and you won't be ruthless with other people.

See: www.falundafa.org/eng/exercises.html
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Yoga is a great way to start off your day on a peaceful note.
First things first, when you roll out of your bed, sit onto a mat on the floor and hug your knees to your chest. Then raise your legs in the air and stay bottoms up until your head clears. Next stand up and drop your forehead to your shins until you feel ready to tackle the toothbrush and get on with your day.

Your morning yoga routine should center on postures drawn from the 5,000-year-old technique whose name comes from the Sanskrit for sun, moon and join together. The exercises can range from deep breathing to pretzel-like stretches.

Yoga can be strenuous, but it should not be painful. It can be gentle and easy, or challenging. It helps you relax, but it can also give every inch of your body a terrific workout.

Yoga helps you maintain flexibility, build strength and muscle definition. Ideally, you could try spending 60 to 90 minutes on your yoga routine, before breakfast, five to six days a week, but as little as 10 minutes a day can really help start your day off on the right foot.

Don't space out during workouts. Use that time to tune in to your body and have a private conversation with yourself: 'How do I feel physically, mentally?' 'How is my balance and coordination today?' 'Is there something I should pay special attention to?'

Practice yoga in the early morning or early evening at least one hour after a light meal or three to four hours after a main meal. If you are hungry before practice, try tea, milk or fruit juice.

Following these basic yoga tips on a regular basis can help women obtain a more healthy and balanced life

Thursday, September 17, 2015

[Video] Cardio & Abs Belly Fat Loss Workout

This high-intensity workout is designed to focus on your core to help build strong core muscles, and tone and flatten your belly. The core exercises alternate with 30 seconds of cardio to help burn fat and increase your metabolism.

This type of workout, including both cardio and toning exercises, provides the ultimate fat-burning effect, so you can show off those newly toned abs in no time!

No equipment is required for this body-weight workout, other an an exercise mat if desired. This workout does not include a warmup or cool-down, so you will want to make sure to do these on your own.

Now grab a mat, and let's burn some belly fat!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

5 Healthy Ways to Reduce Belly Fat

The hardest type of fat to lose is belly fat. But it's also the most important fat to lose. Belly fat can be a sign of poor cardiovascular health and can signify (years before it happens) potential onset of diabetes, heart attack and even colon cancer. Getting belly fat under control is of utmost importance. Thankfully, due to science we know more than ever about belly fat and why we have it.

The Cortisol Connection

English: Illustration of obesity and waist cir...
Illustration of obesity and waist circumference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In women and men there is thought to be a connection between cortisol levels and waist circumference. The stress many people have in their modern lives tends to make them produce more cortisol which tends to force them to store extra fat around their bellies. This is the “muffin top” that you often see in otherwise thin women.

1. Reduce Stress
It is critical that women with excess belly fat (compared to body fat) find ways to reduce their stress levels. One way to do that is to find ways to get some “me” time through exercise or other stress reducers. Some people have gotten some results by adding a resveratrol supplement, which is an ingredient found in red wine, grapes, cherries and cranberries. It helps reduce stress, increases motivation and sometimes gives a boost of energy not unlike caffeine.

2. Avoid Processed Foods

Whether it’s “diet food” or out and out “bad” food, it’s best to avoid processed food of all kinds. Sticking as close to nature as possible to get the nutrient-dense foods that your body needs will do a lot to help you because your body will be getting the vitamins and minerals it needs to repair itself. Think low calorie, high nutrition. You can eat a larger volume of food when you seek to limit processed foods and stick to whole foods.

3. Drink Plenty of Water

The truth is the only beverage that anyone should be drinking is water, and some green tea (assuming you can have the caffeine). Don’t drink fruit juice or soda (diet or not) and limit alcoholic beverages. Instead, drink fresh filtered water, about eight glasses per day. If you feel the need for something sweet, eat fruit - don’t drink it.

4. Do Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise will not only help you lose weight, combat stress, and burn calories, but it is also very good for your cardiovascular system. Since belly fat plays havoc on the cardiovascular system, it’s important to find a way to improve your heart health. The only way to truly burn fat is also through aerobic exercise.

5. Eat Regularly

Eat your largest meal in the morning and eat less as the day progresses. Your last meal of the day be your lightest. There are some theories about eating only during daylight but this is usually very hard to do in today’s busy life that women live with work, kids, family, volunteering and more.

6. Eat Anti-inflammatory Foods

Belly fat is often increased due to eating foods that cause can inflammation. These are some of the best anti-inflammatory foods to eat instead:

* Beets
* Berries
* Dark leafy greens
* Garlic
* Ginger
* Nuts
* Onions
* Peppers
* Salmon
* Tart cherries
* Tomatoes
* Turmeric
* Whole grains

7. Get Enough Sleep

There is a big connection between lack of sleep and being overweight, including having excess body fat around the belly. Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. The best way to find out how much you need is to keep going to bed earlier and earlier until you can wake up naturally in the morning at the time you need to get up for work without an alarm.

Even women who are of normal weight but who have round bellies have higher death rates than women who are overweight but do not have excess belly fat. There is a test health care providers use to determine an issue with belly fat which is called the height to waist circumference ratio. This number turns out to be a more accurate indicator of health. You get the number by dividing your waist circumference by your height. Here is a link to a helpful calculator: http://www.health-calc.com/body-composition/waist-to-height-ratio

If you’re under 40 and your waist to height ratio is 0.5 or higher, you are considered to be very unhealthy and it is critical that you get help for your weight issue. If you’re 40 to 50 years old, then you should not be over 0.55 and if you’re over 50, then you should not be over 0.6. If you are above those ratios, seek immediate medical evaluation and start a plan to reduce your waist circumference.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

[Video] 30-Minute Women's Weight Training Workout

This 30-minute weight-training workout is a great way to build strength, boost metabolism, and burn fat. The workout uses simple exercises, so that you can focus on form and control. The use of slightly heavier weights helps to fatigue your body and achieve maximum strength-building effects, with fewer repetitions.

This low impact workout is designed for all fitness levels; for a more advanced workout, simply add more weight. This sequence will work your legs, back, shoulders, arms, core, and more.

You will need a mat and 2 sets of dumbbells - a heavy one, and a lighter one.

Be sure to listen to your body during the workout and use a weight range that is appropriate to your personal strength and skill level.

Let's work out!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

5 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights

There used to be a belief that women should not lift weights. The thought was women would lose the feminine look when they got "muscled up" and bulky. And yes, if you are a female bodybuilder on supplements and steroids, you won't look much different from the men who practice the same weightlifting ideals. But for most women, you are really not likely to get very bulky from lifting weights, as you don't have the same amount of testosterone as men do.

In fact, you really should be lifting weights as a woman, and here are 5 really good reasons why.

1. You'll Burn More Fat

A Penn State study showed what several
other research papers and number crunching fitness experts have revealed. Weight training burns 30% to 40% more fat than diet or aerobic exercise. The Penn State researchers formed 3 groups of dieters:
  • Those who did not exercise at all
  • Dieters who exercised aerobically
  • Those dieters that lifted weights as well as doing aerobic exercise
Across-the-board, an average of 21 pounds was lost by all of the dieters. However, the weightlifting women lost almost pure fat! The dieters who did not exercise, and those that only enjoyed aerobic exercise, saw 25% of their weight loss coming from muscle. Not good.

2. You Will Build Stronger Bones

A back extension.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Weight resistance training for 12 to 18 weeks delivers bone growth of 15% to 20%. Strength training with weights over time on a consistent basis makes your bones stronger and healthier. This is especially important for women, who suffer a naturally greater tendency for weaker bones and poorer bone density as they age.

3. You Can Wear More Complementary Clothing

We have already seen that weight training is an awesome fat burner. Between the ages of 30 and 50 women lose 10% to 20% of their muscle naturally. Your body weight usually goes up during this time, in the form of fat gain. A consistent weightlifting regimen helps you regulate a healthy waist size, keeping embarrassing fat deposits from limiting your clothing choices.

4. You Will Adopt a More Nutritious Diet

For any number of reasons, it appears that women who work out with weights frequently often improve their diet as well. It just makes sense. When you see and feel yourself becoming stronger, looking sexier and burning fat, you want to keep the process going. Not only does your body burn more calories as a result of a weight training program, but you mentally find it much easier to stick to a nutritious diet when you like the way you look in the mirror.

5. You Will Be More Successful, Productive and Happy

When women lift weights as a part of a healthy lifestyle, they can see the results in the mirror. This makes them feel good about themselves, and exercise even triggers the release of "feel good" chemicals in your brain. As a result of looking and feeling great, you begin to fuel your body with healthy food as opposed to fast food, sugary sweets and processed garbage. All of these steps combine to make you more productive because you are filled with so much natural energy. This leads to success in all areas of your life, and what woman wouldn't be happy with that outcome?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

[Video] 8-Minute Morning Fat Burning Workout

Want to get fit and burn fat, but don't have a lot of time to hit the gym? This fast-paced morning workout is perfect for you! In just 8 minutes, you will rev your metabolism, get your blood pumping, and your body warmed up so you will burn more fat all day long.

With these 4 quick and intense exercise sets, you will be all set for the day and ready to go have a great one. And if you prefer to work out in the evening, no problem. Just knock this out in 8 minutes when you get home, and you'll be feeling great and burning fat all night!

Follow the demo to see how to do each exercise, then set your timer for 8 minutes, and GO!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Should You Take a Fat-Burning Supplement?

Some studies have shown that certain supplements actually do work to help burn fat for women, along with regular exercise. Some of the studies are done by universities and some are done by the companies themselves, so do your due diligence to be sure of what you are taking. Some people enjoy supplements with caffeine but others cannot deal with it. So read all ingredients before you try - check with your doctor first.

Here are some of the supplements in question.

1. Green Tea – This is a long known supplement addition or a diet addition that you can enjoy on its own. Green tea has been enjoyed for ages by people who realize that it can help with lowering BMI and increasing calorie metabolism.

2. Calcium – Some studies show that it’s possible that a calcium supplement can aid in weight loss for some women. However, it is important not to overdo the calcium supplementation because scientists still aren’t sure whether ingesting too much calcium is harmful or not. If you already eat a high amount of calcium in your diet, it’s important to consider that, and always remember to take magnesium as well, as they work together for bone strength.

3. Vitamin D – The best way to get vitamin D is actually naturally via the sun, but so many of us use sunscreen that vitamin D deficiencies are quite common. A deficiency can contribute to obesity and even back and other body pains. Have your levels checked by your doctor. If your levels are low, find a good quality supplement like this one from Metagenics.

4. Vitamin B12 – Whether you’re a meat eater or a vegan or someplace in between, another chronic deficiency today is vitamin B12. Being short of this vitamin is very serious and can lead to mental problems and weight issues. Unless you ask for your levels to be checked, your doctor may not do a test. Have it checked and if you have a shortage, consider using the sublingual methylcobalamin version over the cobalamin type due to arsenic issues.

5. Antioxidants – You can take supplements that contain antioxidants or just eat food with antioxidants. These help ward off free radicals which can cause your body to be unbalanced. You can find antioxidants in fruits and vegetables too.

6. Caffeine – Even though it’s not the healthiest supplement for most people, it does actually aid in weight loss. It boosts your metabolism and gives you extra energy. But, you should use it with caution because it is addictive. The effects wear off and you need more and more of the supplement to get the same results.

7. Resveratrol – This is found in red wine, dark red and purple berries and now available in supplement form. Many people who have taken it say that it reacts on their body a lot like caffeine. Others report more motivation to get more done in the day. It’s worth trying one of the new resveratrol supplements.

8. SHREDZ for Her – This is a supplier that purports to help women boost their fat burning by giving your body some of the vitamins, antioxidants and minerals that it needs. It claims to break down carbohydrates and help make your workouts more efficient. This supplement has most of the above ingredients included.

Use any supplements with caution. Consider talking to a doctor first, or at least inform them before they prescribe any medications. Definitely ask your doctor if you are already being prescribed any medications.