Technology can boost your fitness in a number of ways. With online groups and apps to help you, you can be on your journey to a better overall wellbeing in a matter of mouse clicks. However, for 12-year experienced Certified Personal Trainer Yarixa Ferrao, NASM, CPR/AED, technology is actually hampering teenage wellness. She notes, ‘With all this technology, kids and teens are losing connection with their bodies and have become more sedentary because of it. And when they start seeing themselves gain weight they may attempt joining the gym or just continue to gain it because they have no idea what to do. Plus, in the gym, unless they have a personal trainer there’s no one there to instruct them and they end up doing what their friends do. In the end, they spend hours on the treadmill, which will amount to not a whole lot of progress.’ Therefore, Ferrao has created a workout routine especially for teenagers. Ferrao explains, ‘I know the importance of building a solid body foundation, especially as a developing teen. This is also a time to build self confidence, be mentally focused, reduce stress (teenage years can be stressful with all the expectations from parents and teachers while finding your own voice) and enjoy these years to the fullest, instead of worrying about appearance and lacking self esteem. I worked with three teens for a show on MTV called I Used to Be Fat in which the kids were desperate to lose weight, feel great, and lead a happier life. The result: They lost a lot of weight, got stronger, and gained self confidence! They also were able to experience a completely different life and a different perspective, from very down and negative, to up, open, and positive.’ Ferrao recommends focusing on the core, combining bodyweight movements (styles such as yoga, functional training, Pilates, animalistic movements, Karate), and locomotion (or running, hiking, biking, sprinting and walking). She provides the following workout routine (once you’ve got the OK from your doctor and have done five to 10 minutes warming up, of course): 1. Cardio: Ferrao instructs, ‘Instead of just doing hours on end on the treadmill, do short burst of sprints (run as fast as you can). Warm-up first for five minutes or until you feel the body get a bit sweaty. Then increase the speed to go as fast as you are able to for 20 seconds. Take a 20 second break and then repeat your 20 second sprint. Do this for six minutes and up to 12 minutes, allowing your rest periods to be longer if you need extra time to be able to perform the full 20 second sprint. Preferably do it outside. The treadmill is the next best choice. 2. Work on that core: ‘To increase your metabolism, gain muscular endurance and a stronger core, don’t just go out and run miles and miles and then do a ton of crunches,’ Ferrao urges. ‘This won’t help much unless cross country is your sport.’ Instead, once you finish your warm-up and sprinting, do the following routine:
All kids have a bit of puppy fat, but, as parents, you can tell when your child’s weight becomes a cause for concern for their wellbeing. If your child’s wellness is affected by shortness of breath, inability to concentrate, depression, and/or emotional eating, it may be necessary to talk to your child about their weight and visit the doctor. Bringing up the topic of weight with your overweight child can be difficult, so here are a few guidelines to help shape the conversation. 1. Fix your own health challenges: We could all use a little boost to our diet and exercise regime, unless you’re an Olympian or something, so set an example for your child. Whether seeing you take control of your own wellness inspires your child to make a few of their own, or forces them to ask you why you’re doing it, you can be the change you want to see in your kid. If nothing else, it will start a dialogue and show your child that you know how it feels to change your lifestyle. 2. Encourage athletics: Participating in sports, whether at school or an after-school club, helps kids to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and have fun at the same time. Doing sport also bolsters self-esteem, which is crucial to your child’s weight loss efforts as well as their overall sense of wellbeing. If your child is too heavy to participate in competitions, or is worried about joining a team of much healthier classmates, why not start doing activities as a family until your child’s confidence is stronger. 3. Don’t be blunt about weight loss: When talking about your child’s wellness, say "get healthier," not "lose weight." Children and teenagers don’t need tough words; they’re aware of their sizes. Your focus should be on helping your child reach a healthier BMI, rather than some vague ideal weight goal. The difference is in building muscle and making healthier food choice, not just cutting calories and making the number on the scale go down. Your child shouldn’t be aiming for a certain look; he or she should be after a certain health level and feeling. 4. Keep unhelpful concerns to yourself: We all know that kids can be cruel, and so you may be concerned that your overweight child won’t be socially accepted, especially if you have a daughter. However, despite these valid concerns, they aren’t the best motivators for weight loss and can wreak havoc on your child’s self-esteem. Your child needs to lose weight for herself or himself, not for the acceptance of other people or you. 5. Reward healthy behaviours: Adding a little light at the end of the tunnel can motivate your child to keep going. Offer to reward healthy behaviours, such as eating two portions of vegetables at dinner or exercising regularly. It’s important to emphasise the healthy behaviours themselves, rather than the outcomes – the actual number of pounds lost will take care of itself once your child has those healthy habits in place. The vague goal of "losing weight" is rarely helpful for obese or overweight young people; you need a specific system of mini goals and rewards. 6. Get to the root of the problem: There’s a tremendous amount of pressure on young people – both girls and boys – to look thin, so if your child is severely overweight then there’s likely an emotional cause. There may be pain for your child to get through, a self-worth issue to work out, or a habit of eating to relieve stress. Again, don’t focus on the weight itself but what is causing the excess eating and lack of self-love. Journaling, regular conversations, and healthy social outlets can help your child come to terms with the cause of the problem.
If you’ve gained weight as a secondary school student or since you’ve gone to college, there are many ways to change your lifestyle to see great weight loss results. To begin with, exercise is hugely important and doesn’t feature very prominently in most teens’ schedules. There are so many benefits though, not just to your weight - you’ll have an improved sense of wellbeing, lower risk of diabetes and stroke, and better cardiovascular health. Most people dread the thought of working up a sweat and building their heart rate up, but the benefits are so huge. Exercise can be as intense or slow paced as you want, depending on what you choose, but as long as you’re moving and your heart rate has quickened, anything goes - from jogging around the block to dancing in your living room! The best way to motivate yourself is to make your workout fun, so try different things out to see what you like. You can also make changes to your everyday routine such as using the stairs instead of the lift or walking to work and college. Get a friend involved and you’ll not only enjoy it more but you’ll also stay motivated to keep it up.
Where your diet is concerned, the best tip you can follow is to not go on a diet - in other words, diets that are designed to offer quick results usually fail. The best way to lose weight and be healthy at the same time is to simply cut down on the fatty and sugary foods, and replace them with healthy, homemade alternatives. Teens are notorious for eating fast food and unhealthy snacks, but these make it so much easier to gain weight. You are what you eat, so make your meals healthy and nutritious. Opt for healthy snacks such as homemade popcorn, yoghurt, pretzels and granola bars. Fruit and vegetables are also fantastic snack foods, offering a healthy boost of energy. Replace all of those cans of fizzy drink with water or the occasional glass of fruit juice, to give your body the hydration it needs without a constant supply of sugar. The body also needs protein, so make sure you get plenty of meat and dairy products, as well as peanut butter and legumes.If you’re going out with friends, you don’t need to feel as though you can’t join in, but simply act in moderation. If you’re getting a pizza, try not to eat the whole thing - share with a friend or just eat a few slices and stop when you’re full. At the cinema, opt for the freshly made popcorn instead of the branded types that are laden with toffee. And you can treat yourself to an ice cream at the beach, just limit those visits to once a month rather than every week. Weight loss and a healthier lifestyle is simply about willpower, balance and forward-planning - once you have that covered, it’s easier than you think. If you're unsure how to go about it, gather a great support group in the form of your family and friends who will ensure you stay motivated even when you don't feel like it. Maintaining a healthy weight can do wonders for your self esteem and confidence, as well as ensuring that weight-related health concerns are reduced. Your GP can offer advice if you're not sure how to go about changing your lifestyle - if you're new to exercise and are making drastic diet changes, it may be useful to run it by them to make sure it's safe.
Popular culture generally paints an unfavorable portrait of bikers and motorcycle riding in general. Even as mainstream culture becomes more accepting of motorcycling as a primary means of travel, many people still dismiss bikers as rough hooligans who are looking for trouble or have just gotten out of jail. However, motorcycle riding can be anything but troublesome if you approach it with the right amount of respect and anticipation. In fact, motorcycle riding can be quite beneficial to your health in several important ways. Motorcycle Riding Provides Mental Stimulation Riding a motorcycle is quite different than driving a car. When you drive a car, you generally do not have to exert too much thought about your actions unless you are in heavy traffic or traveling around curved roads. You may be like many people and simply use the cruise control while you are driving. However, riding a motorcycle requires mental effort to control your ride. You must be ready to weave in and out of traffic as needed and always think ahead to make sure you control your cycle safely. Motorcycle Riding Provides Exercise Benefits As one Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer states, "motorcycles are both fun and practical, and many people enjoy using motorbikes for commuting or simply for the pleasure of the ride.'' Along with being stimulated mentally, you also can be challenged physically when you ride your cycle. Motorcycles are quite heavy, even though they look small and compact. As you control the handlebars, shift the gears, and manipulate other components of the bike, you may find that your arms, legs, and torso are worked out quite extensively. Motorcycle Riding Provides Social Interactions Bikers everywhere form a unique brotherhood that welcomes fellow riders often without question or hesitation. Even if a person starts out riding alone, he or she may easily find new friends as that person starts attending cycle shows or meets other bikers out on the road. Bikers typically form fast friendships that last a lifetime and are more supportive than mainstream friendships formed at school or work. Motorcycle Riding Relieves Stress and Depression Many cyclists report being in vastly better moods once they climb on their cycles and take to the road. When bikers head out on the open road, they are capable of finding relief from their everyday worries and stresses and even experience relief from depression and fatigue. Their moods are elevated because they feel free and at ease on the open road. Motorcycle Riding Requires that You Take Care of Your Safety If you have always been someone who neglected your personal safety, cycling can help you become more concerned with your physical wellness. When you are out on your bike, you must pay attention to avoid crashes and becoming injured. As you learn to take care of yourself, you can learn to appreciate your own wellness and the need for you to remain safe at all times. Many cyclists experience a boost in confidence and self-awareness after they take up motorcycle riding. Motorcycling is anything but the deviant hobby that the public may readily dismiss it as. You can improve your mental and physical health in several important ways when you take up riding a motorcycle. Writer Melanie Fleury loves a ride on a motorcycle on occasion. This does not mean that she is oblivious to the possible dangers. However, as Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, an Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer, state on their website, ''the dangers are more due to careless or dangerous drivers that are near the motorcyclists.'' She makes sure that she keeps a distance between herself and those that can be a potential risk to her. Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elsie/4983322551/
We all have that fantasy – apart from that one about Ryan Gosling – to lose weight and have better wellness minus the effort of dieting, exercise or surgery. While this seems like nothing more than a pipe dream, your effort-free, weight loss wellbeing may me just around the corner, thanks to a revolutionary treatment called Vanquish that even usually sceptical doctors are excited about. According to David McDaniel, a leading researcher and an assistant professor of clinical dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, who has been conducting an independent study on Vanquish, ‘I've seen a lot of fat-removal techniques; some procedures are painful or take too long; some are effective only on small areas of body fat that can be sucked up through a small vacuum. Vanquish addresses all those problems. It can treat a large surface area uniformly. It's fast, efficient, and comfortable…I've been doing this for 30 years, and most advances have been little baby steps. This is a big technological breakthrough.’ The treatment, which will become usable by an elite corps of doctor's offices this month, targets your fat cells through radio frequency waves which heat the cells and kill them off without damaging your muscles or skin. As the applicator is suspended over your abdomen about an inch above your skin, Vanquish is non-invasive, and there’s no downtime or ridiculous price tag. In the US, a 30-minute session goes for $450 (£282) to $800 (£501), and it’s recommended that you have four sessions. During these sessions, you may feel a warming sensation, but there should be no pain. The only risk to watch out for is a hot spot near to a bone, which your technician can readjust and fix without a problem. The FDA approved Vanquish earlier this year for deep-tissue heating, which can help your muscles to recover and heal. However, the FDA is awaiting further results before giving the device the seal of approval for fat reduction. Still, the current research is impressive; animal studies have shown that Vanquish killed 60% of the fat cells treated with it, and a subsequent Prague study done on people with love handles showed visible results within two weeks, revealing an average loss in waist circumference of 2.23 inches after two months. Robert Weiss, an associate professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the lead researcher of the aforementioned animal study, notes, ‘This new technique is a real game changer—it's the safest, easiest way yet to remove fat.’ ‘As the panels heat up, the radio frequency waves they transmit differentiate between fat cells (which are denser and hold less water) and skin and muscle cells,’ Weiss explains. ‘The heat causes cell death in the fat cells; some die instantly, some in a matter of weeks…I've seen patients lose several inches after four treatments without changing their diets.’ McDaniel continues, ‘The results are not as dramatic as liposuction, which can remove large volumes of fat,’ adding that Vanquish does not carry the risks of surgery or anaesthesia. However, Adam Kolker, a plastic surgeon and an associate clinical professor of surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital's Icahn School of Medicine in New York, asserts, ‘I've seen a lot of people who've undergone various non-surgical fat-reduction treatments who were underwhelmed with the results.’ Still, Kolker allows, ‘It may be appropriate for small-scale changes as long as the patient's expectations are well managed.’ Nonetheless, Patricia Wexler, a dermatologist to New York's A-list, believes that expectations will be high for the procedure. She points out, ‘It's great for women who are in good shape, within 5 to 10% of their ideal weight, and don't want to go through surgery. A lot of women exercise and don't have a lot of weight to lose, but they've had children or seen changes in their core for other reasons.’
With obesity rates rising, doctors have been scratching their heads over the best – and safest way – to combat the disorder that seems to claim so many. Around the corner however, a new and mercifully-inexpensive augmentation may be key to curbing misbehaving appetites. You may be used to science fiction telling you the wonders (or the dilemmas) of microchips, but a small (“smaller-than-the-tip-of-your-finger” small!) one attached to your nerve may be key to quelling your need to over-eat. "This is a really small microchip and on this chip we've got the intelligence which can actually model the neural signals responsible for appetite control," Chris Toumazou, professor at Imperial College London and one of the inventors of the chip, told the BBC. The microchip would be attached to your vagus nerve – this is the nerve that controls your desire to eat, digest, heart rate and more. It's a very extensive range. In hindsight, Toumazou explained that the project was originally designed for children suffering from disorders such as cerebral palsy and epileptic seizures. The microchip in this case, used a piece of technology called MIMATE, which reads chemical signatures in the brain. Taking that very same technology, the microchip was then developed into something that could be beneficial for weight loss. What changed about the weight-loss microchip was that the chip didn't send stimulating impulses, but rather submits readings and signals to suppress the urge to eat. "As a result of monitoring these signals we can stimulate the brain to counter whatever we monitor," Toumazou said. "It will be control of appetite rather than saying don't eat completely. So maybe instead of eating fast you'll eat a lot slower." That's right – whether you know it or not, your body would be telling your brain off for eating more than you should! Creepy or creative? Inspiring or frightening? The microchip is still in development, but for many suffering from obesity, it may be the next best thing.
Article Author: Eleanor de Bruin Anyone can lose weight. They can do this slowly through a calorie reduction diet, or quickly through a crash diet. Some people find success with so called ‘fad’ diets and others increase their exercise and burn off the weight gradually over the weeks. Although it may seem like an extremely hard task indeed, the truth is that losing weight is the easy bit – it’s maintaining the weight loss that is the tricky bit, once you are over the first few pounds. People make the mistake of thinking that weight management is all about keeping on track of the calories or trying to stick to certain eating plans very strictly, when, in fact, to make a significant difference to your long-term wellness, a diet has to be more of a lifestyle change than simply following a set of rules until the weight comes off. If you do a fad diet it will be very exciting to watch the pounds dropping off, but realistically you are not going to be able to live on cabbage soup, or only meat or whatever it is that the particular diet requires, long term. It’s usually at this point that people slip off track, and then they give up and pile all the pounds that they’ve just lost back on again. How many of us can identify with the term ‘yoyo dieting’? This yoyo dieting is not very good for your wellbeing. The best way to manage your weight is to lose weight slowly and sensibly by changing your eating habits and your entire attitude to food, and then keep it off, through your new relationship with food. The LighterLife programme is a diet that aims to help you lose weight in a sensible long-term way, no matter what your lifestyle. Individual programmes are tailored to you and all the meals are family friendly, meaning you don’t have to make separate diet food for yourself. In this way, your entire attitude towards food can be reversed.
Article Author: Eleanor de Bruin Taking care of your diet is not just a simple case of avoiding junk food and cutting down on calories. To truly take care of your wellbeing, you need to actively be avoiding certain foods that can have a detrimental effect on your wellness. Fortunately, these food types are pretty easy to identify, once you know what you are looking for, and can be eliminated from the diet to make sure that you are on the right nutritional track to have a body you can be proud of. The first type of food is one that you pare probably aware of: sugar. So many different products contain sugar – from fruit to syrup – and all of them can be bad for your health. The obvious ones – like having a lump of sugar in your tea – can be the easiest to avoid, but the hidden ones – such as fruit sugar – can be trickier. Although fruit is low in calories, it does contain fructose, as you should stick to low-sugar fruit like apples, berries and bears if you are on a diet and attempting to avoid sugar. The next one may come as a shock to you: rice cakes. Although you probably think of these as a diet food, and they are low in calories, they are actually high on the glycaemic index. In addition to this, rice cakes tend to leave you feeling hungrier than a high fibre snack, so you eat more of them, thus negating the point of a diet food! White rice is also high on the glycaemic index and is a carbohydrate. It actually stimulates your appetite, prompting you to want to eat more. Swapping it for brown rice is a good move if you are on a diet. Carbonated drinks are often loaded with sugar, and even the lower calorie versions do not fill you up the way a simple drink like water will do. Water is very good for you, whereas soda contains no health benefits whatsoever.
Article Author: Eleanor de Bruin Many people feel that the hardest thing about keeping on top of healthy diet and nutrition is to avoid the urge to snack. The good news is that snacks can actually be beneficial for your wellness and wellbeing, as long as you choose the right snacks. If you are shovelling handfuls of crisps or slabs of chocolate into your mouth, you will probably find that you gain weight and that your health is not at its best, but there are other ways to snack. For example, you could try snacking on a small handful of almonds. Almonds are extremely good for you, and are packed full of energy. Many supermarkets now sell various different types of flavoured almonds, such as spicy ones, wasabi ones or honey glazed ones. Make sure that any additional sugar is kept to a minimum, and you will find that a few of these nuts keep the hunger pangs at bay and keep your wellness boosted. If you’re looking for something with a bit more carbohydrates, you could try snacking on a multi-grain waffle with natural fruit preserves spread on top. Alternatively, you could substitute the fruit preserves for honey or fresh berries. This tasty and nutritious snack should help keep the hunger pangs at bay and leave you feeling refreshed and energised. Cheese can also make a good snack, and you could try eating a one-inch cube of a hard cheese (such as Gouda) alongside a few pieces of dried fruit. Cereal can also help you keep going during the day, so when you feel yourself reaching for the biscuits, instead try grabbing a bowl and help yourself to a cup-sized portion of something like bran flakes or oat bran. Alternatively, a small bowl of pureed tomato soup can also be delicious and nutritious, and you can add a dollop of low fat soured cream.
Article Author: Eleanor de Bruin It’s important to build fitness into your day-to-day routine, but with an increasingly busy modern life to contend with, this can be easier said than done. People have to devote so much time to their careers these days that it barely leaves time for their home, chores, family and other commitments, let alone actually building in any time to safeguard their wellness and wellbeing. Fitness is vitally important, however, because without your health, you would be unable to work, commit to your home life or do anything else for that matter. Your health is the most important thing you have, and maintaining it should be your number one priority at all times. People fall into traps such as not exercising enough because they feel that they have no time, grabbing an unhealthy snack here and there rather than eating proper meals because they feel they don’t have time and falling into similar unhealthy habits. Research has shown that fitness is really the key to every other healthy change in your life. By exercising, you will be empowering yourself to make all the other healthy changes that are needed, so it is definitely the area to tackle first. Start by making a small change in your exercise routine. You can easily build in a little bit of fitness to each day, such as by going for a 10 minute walk, doing a few squats or ending your day with a few pushups. The other six ways to build a little more health into your life are: 1) Replace calories lost through exercise with healthy food – don’t assume that because you’ve had a workout you can then eat whatever you like. 2) Exercise in a fun way i.e. by doing something you enjoy, be that a dance class, yoga or playing tennis. 3) Follow the 80/20 rule – aim to eat healthily and exercise 80 percent of the time and don’t worry about the other 20 percent, to ensure a balanced lifestyle. 4) Buy a kettlebell. This type of weight will allow you to do all kinds of different weight-bearing exercises. 5) Eat more coloured food. Brightly coloured food is bound to be packed with antioxidants, and different colours link to different types of nutrients. 6) Get into a routine. Write yourself a daily exercise schedule and stick to it.
Article Author: Eleanor de Bruin Everybody knows that fitness is a vital part of wellbeing, but sometimes the thought of putting on a tracksuit and heading down to the gym can be very unappealing indeed! The good news is that there are lots of little things you can do to improve your wellness, as well as your overall fitness, and you can do them on a daily basis without thinking about them too much. We’ve compiled a list of small tips that you can take on board that will help to improve your life. First of all, in order to enjoy fitness as part of your life then you need to make sure that you do not suffer from any injuries or accidents while exercising. As soon as you hurt yourself, you will then be unable to exercise and your fitness will be negatively impacted. It might sound like a small thing, but having a good pair of trainers can really make a big difference. You may feel like your trainers are fine, but often people use the same pair for years, not realising that there are much better options out there. When you first get a new pair of shoes, write the date on the sole of the trainer. That way you will be aware of how long you have had the shoes, so will know when the time is right to replace them. An easy way to tone muscle without even really thinking about it is to swing your arms as you walk along. This helps to strengthen the arms, improve muscle tone, improve your posture and help to burn calories. Standing on one foot is another good way of incorporating a little easy fitness into your day. Stand on one foot for a minute, holding onto a chair or wall for support if you need it. Breathe deeply and then change feet after one minute. This can help build your balance and coordination, which will help you in all areas of your fitness.
Article Author: Chloe Satchell Who has time to exercise these days? Sure, you’d like to lose a little weight or take care of your wellbeing a little more, but where are you going to fit in fitness? Luckily, you don’t have to spend hours at the gym or run for miles; you can do a lot with the little time you have. According to Judd Handler, author of Living Healthy: 10 Steps to Looking Younger, Losing Weight and Feeling Great, ‘The best way to maximize your workout if you’re short on time is to do shorter bursts of moderate to moderately vigorous exercise. There are highly effective and relatively simple exercises you can do that will help you burn more fat than if you were to do a much longer workout, say a 60-minute jog.’ In fact, research shows that you’re likely to burn more fat by doing shorter bursts of more intense exercise. Writing in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Japanese researchers concluded, ‘[R]epeated bouts of exercise cause[d] enhanced fat metabolism compared with a single bout of prolonged exercise of equivalent total exercise duration.’ So what can you do to maximise your wellness benefits against the clock? 1. Choose the right exercises: Pick movements that will utilise as many major muscle groups as possible. 2. Get your heart going: With your doctor’s clearance, and with the time it takes to build to the right level of fitness, you should aim to have your heart rate a level where maintaining a conversation is slightly difficult. 3. Cool down properly: Let your heart rate come down until you feel almost fully recovered. 4. Bring everyone together: Instead of alternating cardio exercises with muscle-builders – both of which are important factors in health and weight loss – try to find activities that combine strengthening and stretching movements, as well as stimulating your cardiovascular system. 5. Challenge yourself: If you don’t have much time, you need to push yourself a little more than you otherwise would. However, you shouldn’t exercise until you’re completely exhausted, as that will stress your body. With these top tips in mind, let’s see how you can achieve the workout you need with just 20 minutes of time. Firstly, take three to five minutes and make sure you warm-up properly. Handler advises, ‘Warm up by moving major joints around in different directions such as hip circles, arm swings, knee lifts, ballet leg swings, shoulder rotations, etc. These movements are called dynamic stretches and will help lubricate the joints better than stationary or static stretching.’ Contrary to what some contemporary studies might say, static stretching will not hinder your muscle performance. However, one study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise notes that this is only true if the stretches are under 60 seconds. Once you’ve warmed-up, start your 15-minute workout by climbing a deep flight of stairs. Handler recommends, ‘Skip every other step and make sure you are pushing off with your entire foot and activating the buttocks and hips as you push off. If your heart is pounding at the top, rest for 30 seconds until your breathing is back to normal or almost back to normal. Perform a set of push-ups until near failure at the top of the steps (modified if necessary, for example, on the knees). Run back down the stairs. Immediately come back up.’ When you’ve mastered this activity, try sprinting up a segment of steps until your breathing is significantly laboured, pause wherever you are until you get your breath back, and keep going until you reach the top.
Many people want to lose weight for aesthetic reasons, but there is more to maintaining a healthy weight than looking good. Perhaps you should be more concerned about the risks to your health, and especially to your heart. How Weight Can Cause Heart Problems There are many ways that being overweight can have a negative effect on your heart. One of the biggest risk factors for the heart is heart disease. When you are overweight, the extra weight can put a strain on the heart, increasing your risk of heart disease. Extra weight around the waist can be particularly risky because midsection fat is different from other fat in the body. Visceral fat is particularly bad for the heart, especially in women. Even dropping as few as 10 pounds can lower your risk of heart disease, so if you are currently overweight, now is the time to act. Cholesterol is another risk factor for heart disease if it becomes too high. If you have too much in your blood, it can build up in the arteries, causing them to narrow. This slows the blood flow to the heart, which can cause serious problems. Cholesterol can be especially problematic because you may not be aware that it is high, so check your cholesterol levels every few years. You don't need to be overweight to have high cholesterol, but being overweight can certainly make it worse. High blood pressure can also become worse if you are overweight. This can increase the risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. You can easily get your blood pressure measured, and if it is too high, you should do something about it. Although being overweight can affect blood pressure, eating too much salt and not doing enough activity can also affect it. If you are overweight, you may have a faster heart rate because the heart has to work harder to pump blood around your body. Over time, this can cause the muscles of the heart to thicken, known as hypertrophy, and this can lead to heart failure. Are You Overweight? Work out your Body Mass Index (BMI) to find out if you are overweight. You can do this by using a simple calculation:
Weight loss isn’t just about getting the right diet and exercise regimen – although those things are important; it’s about having the right attitude in place. Without the mindset you need, you’re never going to see the results you want. However, according to wellness expert Dan Trink, certain things in your lifestyle might be warping your mindset. 1. Bad Relationships: ‘Bad relationships lead to stress,’ Trink explains. ‘And there are few things worse for your body composition than stress. This applies to much more than romantic relationships. Overbearing parents and in-laws, an abusive boss, and needy co-workers, friends, and acquaintances, can stress out your system and cause you to hold onto fat, especially in the abdominal region. Cutting bad relationships can be difficult – sometimes impossible. You’re pretty much stuck with the parents and in-laws, and unless you switch jobs, the boss and co-workers aren’t leaving either. But make an effort to cut as many toxic people out of your life as possible and you will be happier and healthier for it.’ 2. Intolerance: Trink asserts, ‘This one is a real kick in the pants. You eat everything you’re supposed to – eggs, fish, lean meat, gluten-free whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables – and yet, you can't shake those last five pounds of fat. You could have a more stealth version of a food allergy: a food intolerance. Such an intolerance causes inflammation in the body. Not a full-blown, swollen-faced allergic reaction, but low-level inflammation that keeps your system from running smoothly…Things such as food intolerance tests (performed through blood work) and elimination diets can identify the culprits. Eliminating these foods might be all you need to jump start your training programme.’ 3. Pollution: ‘Remember Britney Spears?’ asks Trink. ‘She wasn’t exactly a rocket scientist, but she might have been on to something when she sang, “You’re toxic!” Environmental toxins -pollution, cigarette smoke, cosmetics, metal tooth fillings, prescription drugs, and mercury in fish – are stored in fat cells, and have the potential to wreak havoc on your body. Since your body is smart, and prioritizes survival over ripped abs, it refuses to use these fat cells for fuel. Doing so would release these toxins into general circulation. Essentially, you are holding onto these fat cells so the toxins don't make you ill. So how do we get rid of these unwanted guests, become less toxic, and drop that last chunk of stubborn body fat? You could take measures ranging from infrared saunas, detoxifying foot baths, chelation therapy, all the way to liver and GI tract detoxifying diets. These methods can help you remove metals and toxins from your system. Such measures can be fairly dramatic depending on the source of the toxicity. Consult a specialist before taking on any type of intervention, to determine what, if anything, is appropriate.’ 4. Not Working Hard Enough: Trink points out, ‘Just because you’ve been working out consistently doesn’t mean you are getting the most out of your training. If showing up is half the battle, the other 50% is the effort you bring to the gym. Most people do not realise what their bodies are capable of enduring. Are you leisurely working on a cardio machine while reading a magazine or talking on the phone? Do you continue to do the same workouts long after your body has adapted to them? If so, take a look at the folks in your gym who appear to be getting results. Chances are, they’re pushing themselves, working at a furious pace, and continually undertaking new regimes. There’s a reason those people have better body compositions than you do. It’s not by accident or genetics; they’re busting their asses – and you can too. You’ve already done the hard part by dedicating the time and showing up. Now just commit to working harder.’
To lose weight, you need to eat less and move more – you don’t need a wellness expert to tell you that! So why, then, are we Brits not in amazingly good shape? Often, it may be a sign that you mental wellbeing is plagued by subconscious baggage that’s weighing you down. Clinical hypnotherapist Belinda Hulstrom explains, ‘There are a couple of things that need to happen for us to make changes: we have to want the benefits of that change, and we have to want them enough that we're prepared to do whatever it takes to get them. We also have to believe that change is possible and that often involves overcoming the obstacles that our mind has set up for us.’ This is where hypnosis comes in. You spend your life surrounded by negativity, be it from the media, or even your family and friends. According to clinical hypnotherapist Mark Stephens, creator of the Think Slim programme, this then creates a self-fulfilling prophecy which prevents you from losing weight on a permanent basis. ‘People use a lot of negative self-talk,’ says Stephens. ‘They'll say, “I'm a yo-yo dieter”, or “Diets don't work”. But hypnosis can take away the mental prison bars they've made for themselves.’ You often eat for the wrong reasons because of your negative emotions. Stephens points out, ‘People will eat when they're sad, lonely, bored or angry – and then they'll feel guilty and beat themselves up afterwards, creating a downward spiral.’ In order to lose weight, then, you need to make a change to the way you think. ‘No amount of emotional eating will help repair yourself,’ Stephens warns. ‘We need to get on top of the negative emotions and learn how to feel happy.’ With the help of a hypnotherapist, you can break the negative cycle and replace these thoughts with positive ones. Stephens comments, ‘With hypnosis you're bypassing the analytical and reasonable part of the mind and going straight to your subconscious, where all your memories are, and feeding it with positive suggestions. Hypnosis can help by changing people's mindsets.’ The mindset you need to adopt is one of a long-term goal, rather than a short-term obsession. It’s easy to lose weight on a short-term basis; what’s tricky is keeping it off – and that’s how hypnotherapy can help. In 1995, a study published in the Journal Of Consulting And Clinical Psychology showed that ‘the addition of hypnosis substantially enhanced treatment outcome’ in six studies relating to obesity and weight loss. The patients who underwent hypnosis continued to lose weight, even after the treatment had ended. Hulstrom echoes the fact that you need to change the way you think about weight loss. She notes, ‘It's not about losing weight but about getting rid of something we no longer need or want and about creating a whole new relationship with food and our bodies.’ You also need to train your brain. Hulstrom concludes, ‘Probably the most powerful message hypnosis can get across is that you always have the power to choose. You can have that piece of chocolate cake, but you don't have to have it. Hypnosis can help create a relationship with yourself that's more honest.’ This is why the Think Slim programme gives participant the following verse to memorise: I am tomorrow what I eat today, before each meal that's what I say. The more water I drink, the more inclined I will feel to only eat a nourishing, healthy, slim meal. Between main meals I drink water or tea, between each meal I stay snack-free. Excess fat I burn with every step I take, I have no desire for chocolate, ice-cream or cake. Whether it's a walk, a swim or a sport I play, I aim to be active twice every day. I stay focused on my goal and the body I deserve, and it all boils down to each meal that I serve.
Obesity isn’t a just a people problem; dogs are getting fatter too. While shocking statistics reveal that 53% of dogs in the United States suffer from obesity – according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention – what’s more concerning is that 22% of dog owners characterized their pet as normal weight when they were actually obese. Your furry little friend is counting on you to take care of his weight wellness. Otherwise, you could be putting his wellbeing at risk for other illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis. So how can you help keep your dog’s weight in check? 1. Be realistic: Setting a reasonable goal is the primary step in helping your pup shed a few pounds. You don’t want to overwork your dog or overdo his diet. Therefore, you need to consult a vet about the most compassionate and caring when plan for your canine, determining how much weight your pet needs to lose to achieve a healthy weight and a moderate, patient way in which to get there. These things take time, so don’t rush it. 2. Try to squeeze in a little exercise every day: Exercising is one of the most effective ways to lose weight, whether you’re person or pooch, so try to get your dog moving every day. Taking him for a daily brisk walk will work wonders for the both of you. The PPET (People and Pets Exercising Together) Study showed that working out with your dog enables you to stick with your diet plan better than non-dog owners. Just remember to gradually build up the routine. Once your dog is comfortable with a brisk walk, go for a quick jog or play a game of fetch in the park. 3. Get him to eat little and often: Portion control is vital to helping dogs lose weight, but how do you know how much your dog should actually be eating? It’s easy to overfeed your pet, so take pains to check your dog's food package for the proper amount suggested, and feed him on the lower end of that suggested amount. In 2002, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine found that a calorie-restricted diet helped canines to live nearly two years longer than dogs consuming additional calories. The best thing to do is divvy up your dog’s daily calorie needs into smaller portions – just like eating little and often is recommended for humans who want to lose weight. Feeding your dog at least every 12 hours improves his digestion, and also makes him less likely to binge during one big meal. 4. Choose the right foods: It’s not just how much you give your dog and when, but the kinds of foods that are the solution to your canine's weight loss journey. Again, look on the label of your dog food package – what order are the ingredients in? The earlier the ingredient is listed, the more of it there is in the dog's food, and so you should be seeing high-quality ingredients at the top of the list. Dehydrated dry foods are often bad examples of this, and your pet will find fresh proteins, carbohydrates and fat sources to be more energetically useful to. To dilute your pet’s calories and add more fibre, add steamed or pureed vegetables such as broccoli or carrots to his packaged meal. 5. Give him fewer treats: You love your dog and want to show him how much, but giving him treats is a bad way to do it. Those tiny snacks can really add up in the calorie department, and so you’re doing your pooch no favours. Don’t let treats equal more than 10% of your dog's daily calories, unless you’re dishing out healthful treats such as fresh fruits or vegetables. Carrots, cucumbers, green beans and apples are all good choices.