Archive for the ‘health’ Category

The popularity of yoga has increased for the last few years. Whether you have seen yoga classes being advertised in your neighborhood or have passed by yoga DVDs in the supermarket, yoga is slowly becoming a popular exercise and relaxation activity in the world today. Although there are many fitness equipment you can have for yoga, you only need a few to get started.

Yoga clothing

Comfortable clothing is crucial when you are doing yoga because of all the stretching performed in the routine. Yoga is also performed barefoot, so you don’t need to invest in footwear. Find stretch, elastic clothes for your yoga classes. Stretchy pants or loose fitting pants will let you stretch your legs easily. Find yoga pants that are made from cotton or spandex blend. Find shirts that are comfortable to wear even when you are sweating.

Yoga mats

Yoga mats or sticky mats are helpful for enhancing your workout’s stability. Made from thin materials, yoga mats make your steps stay in place and gives you padding from the floor. You can find sticky mats that are up to 72 inches long. These mats are made from synthetic materials to provide higher traction. If you are planning to take your yoga mat to a studio, you might need a yoga bag.

Yoga ball

Popularly known as the stability ball, a yoga ball is used in performing seated yoga poses. Yoga balls come in different sizes and you can select a ball based on your own height.

Yoga block

There are yoga poses where you need to reach your hand on the floor. But if you are unable to do this, you can always use a yoga block. With yoga blocks, you will have a sturdy spot to place your hands until you are flexible enough.

 

7 Steps for a Happiness Makeover

Posted: June 8, 2012 in health
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Life is okay, for the most part. But if you are feeling depressed and sad lately, then you might need a happiness makeover. Small tweaks to your everyday activities such as dancing and housework can combat depression and enhance your mood. Here are a few practices that will help contribute to your happiness makeover.

Clean the house

According to a study conducted by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, getting at least 20 minutes of activities like gardening or household chores can improve emotional health. Depression is usually caused by congesting feelings of fear, guilt, anger, or sadness. Housecleaning is a great way to take action against these pent-up emotions.

Forgive and forget

Research studies have shown that there is plenty of power in forgiveness, enough to enhance physical and emotional health like decreased blood pressure, reduced risk for depression, and less stress.

Volunteer for a more optimistic outlook

When you give to the community, you actually get more. According to a research conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service, people who volunteer usually have less incidence of cardiovascular diseases, greater longevity, and reduce risk for depression.

Dance the blues away

Hitting the dance floor is a great way of improving your happy quotient. A study done by the Turkish students showed that individuals who danced three times weekly have lower levels of depression compared to wallflowers. Dancing also reduces stress, improves energy levels, and is a great way to socialize.

More fruits and produce

When your dopamine levels get zapped, you are more likely to be depressed. Increase the “happy” neurotransmitters in the body by eating more fruits and vegetables. Include produce rich in antioxidants such as apples, cauliflower, and berries.

A dose of sunshine

Improving the brain’s serotonin levels is as simple as going out for a walk. Research has shown that a dose of sunshine is enough to minimize depression, especially in seasonal affective disorder. Go out on the streets during your break or take an afternoon walk at the park daily.

Think happy

Replace negative thoughts with optimistic ones and live longer. If you change your mindset, you will start to change the way you feel about things and circumstances as well. Swap negative thoughts with the more positive ones starting today.

Gray hair, wrinkles and brown spots? When it comes to signs of aging, a lot of women are well informed of the popular suspects. But there are still unexpected factors that will make you appear older than you realize. Here are a few weird things that make you look older.

Circles under eyes

Crows feet get this bad rap but circles under eyes are equally as aging. As you get older, your skin also loses volume. This can result to a deep depression on thin layers of skin. In addition to that, there are women who have natural pigmentation on their eyes, while some have prominent blood vessels that appear as purple lines.

High school hair

Long locks may appear like the image of youth but here is an important reality check—even if you are dyeing them, having the same haircut that you used to wear in high school add years to your appearance. Longer hair drags you down. Nothing says an old woman than an outdated haircut.

Droopy earlobes

A lot of women brace themselves for some amount of sagging, but they are probably not aware of its effects on the earlobes. Skin loosens and become more lax as you age and this can result to floppy earlobes. Piercing also gets longer as the earrings are snagged and pulled.

Funky feet

As the saying goes “You can tell a woman’s age by viewing her hands but the feet tell a story of their own”. All the years of walking on high heels, flip flops and other unsupportive footwear can take toll in the form of bunions. It is similar to wear and tear phenomena.

Too sparse eyebrows

A lifetime of thinning and plucking eyebrows may result to long term sparseness. Since the brows thin out as we age, women tend to end up with an unattractive shape and arch. Try to avoid overplucking as early as you can.

What are the things that you should look for in a weight loss or fitness program? Here are easy tips to help you find the best program that will work for your body.

Safety should always be your priority.

Whether you personalized your own fitness program or go ahead with a commercial one, make sure it is something safe. Come up with a diet plan that includes all the necessary minerals, vitamins and protein sources. In general, women should have at least 1000 calories daily and 1200 calories for men.

Go for slow and steady weight loss.

Choose a program that goes for slow and sustained weight loss unless your physician feels that your health condition will benefit from rapid weight loss efforts. Try to set realistic expectations from yourself as well. Don’t expect to lose ten pounds in a week or two. There could be a significant weight loss during the initial week but this is largely fluid loss. A healthy weight loss should be around one or two pounds in a week.

Questions to Ask

When choosing a commercial fitness program, make sure you get detailed statements of costs and fees from the company. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Do they have professional health professionals in their staff like exercise physiologists, doctors and dieticians?
  • Are their food choices suitable and flexible?
  • What is the average weight loss for people who finished their fitness program?
  • What percentage of clients has had problems or adverse effects?

Check out 24hour fitness reviews for fitness programs that might work for you. Being obese is often viewed as a temporary issue that can be treated for a few months with exercise and strenuous diet. But in reality, weight control is a lifetime commitment. To be effective and safe, any fitness program must focus on a long term approach or it will only be a waste of time, money and effort.

Total Gym Reviews

Posted: April 11, 2012 in health
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If you are searching for a compact and affordable way to exercise right in the comfort of your very own home, the Total Gym 1100 could be right for you. In comparison to the classic home gyms, the Total Gym 100 is made up of an ergonomic board that conveniently slides back and forth to strengthen and stretch the muscles. Your body weight provides the resistance and the device is equipped with hand and leg attachments for a complete body workout. The equipment weighs a total of 54 pounds and easily folds away for storage.

Christie Brinkley and Chuck Norris pitched the Total Gym exercise machine, a device that can perform different exercises for the body. A person sits or lies on an inclined board that easily glides on tracks, using pulleys and that person’s body weight to work chest, arms, legs, abdominals and other parts of the body. Reviews for a lot of home fitness equipment are quite iffy, but experts have found plenty of Total Gym reviews saying that it works well for beginner and intermediate exercisers, although it does have its own share of drawbacks (like the high cost).

A lot of owners appreciate the fact that the equipment is already fully assembled. A lot of beginners report that they are able to use the device right away, although there are others who find it pretty tricky to get on and off it.

Pros

ü  Offers a wide variety of exercises

ü  Great for beginners

ü  Little to no assembly required

ü  No electronics or complex parts to breaks

Cons
  • May not be challenging for some
  • Hair often gets caught up in the machine
  • Awkward or cumbersome folding
  • Expensive accessories

How to Find the Best Fitness Gym

Posted: April 11, 2012 in health
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If you are looking to get in shape this year, then finding a good gym is crucial. Finding the right fitness club can be a hard task. Today’s gyms aren’t just places to sweat. For other people, they are investments for a healthy lifestyle and other people think they are social clubs where you can meet people with the same interests. So how do you choose the right fitness club? Aside from reading gym reviews online, here are some of the things that you need to consider when looking for the right club.

Location

Do not kid yourself into believing that you can drive halfway across town just to visit the gym. When a fitness facility is closer to your home or workplace, you are more inclined to visit it. You might also want to check for cost effective parking lots, safe neighborhood and access to public transport.

Gym Reviews

Know what other people think about the gym. You can check out plenty of gym review sites online or perhaps Yelp. Ask friends, colleagues and family members for recommendations.

Price Matters

It all boils down to the cost. If a gym provides state of the art machines, experienced coaches and different classes, then an expensive monthly fee is something that you can consider. But make sure you don’t go broke with it. Negotiate your gym rates and ask for promotions.

Take it for a Test Drive

Do they offer trial membership? If you are able to try out their facility even before you commit, then you will have a good idea if the gym is right for you. Some questions you should ask yourself—are the machines always packed? Are the dressing rooms clean? do they have a sauna?

Workout Specific vs. General Fitness Gyms

If you like yoga and can’t imagine yourself do the rowing machine or treadmill, then you might want to consider enrolling in a yoga studio. It can be cheaper to sign up for a 6-month long class than pay montly gym fees.

Also called as a weight loss camp, fit camp, or diet camp, a fat camp is a place where children and adults can go to for certain duration of time with weight loss goals in mind. A fee is usually paid by participants to stay in a place and healthy meals and weight loss activities are also provided. Exercise is designed to be more fun and exciting in fat camps and dietary guidance is also given. Sports are included to suit the needs of every individual. Other fun activities offered by these camps include racing, swimming, canoeing and other team sports. Conventional techniques of exercising may be included along with other stress management strategies.

Weight loss achievements are recognized and campers are also given guidance and support to help them follow a healthy lifestyle. And at the end of their fat camp stay, campers usually bring with them lots of fun memories and learned healthy habits. Kids tend to renew their self esteem because of the accomplishments that they have made along the way.

Choosing the Best Fat Camp

When choosing a fat camp for your child, it would be helpful to initially list down the things that you want in a camp. Jot down the most important features on top. Call these items ‘deal breakers’. Place other desired features on the bottom of the list.

Here are examples of deal breakers:

  • Must allow contact with child
  • Trained medical staff on site
  • Verifiable references
  • Must have good experience with children
  • Personnel must have experience with kids who have allergies and life threatening diseases

Examples of less important fat camp features:

  • Camp should have a swimming pool
  • Camp must include field trips outside camp
  • Camp should have a safe playground

When it comes to cost, don’t forget to include the camp location and how you’ll get your child to and from the location. Don’t hesitate to ask the camp manager for references. Credible camps usually boast their success stories and will share their reviews on their website. You can also check out the Better Business Bureau site for any complaints on a certain company.

Don’t hesitate to arrange for a visit and quick tour at the camp. Interact and ask questions to the staff while on tour. Start your search by looking at a fat camp directory online. You can also find fat camp listings on yellow pages and other journals.