Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Oprah Winfrey Now Weighs 200 Pounds - What She Did and Didn't Do and What Can You Learn from Her

According to a recent AP news, Oprah admitted that she has gained weight for the four years and now reaches 200 pounds.

I'm sure with Oprah's celebrity status, she'll be on the cover of every tabloid and magazine everywhere.

Winfrey's weight and height put her body mass index at 31.8, which is obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says people who are obese are "at higher risk for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol."

"I'm embarrassed," she writes. "I can't believe that after all these years, all the things I know how to do, I'm still talking about my weight. She says she's added 40 pounds to her frame since she weighed 160 pounds in 2006.

Now she set her goals to be strong, healthy and fit instead of being thin. Good for her!

Winfrey was disapponited to write that "I'm talking the talk but not walking the walk." "I definitely wasn't setting the example."

Can you relate to Oprah's embarassment and frustration?

Does her yo-yo dieting and weight loss struggling story sound familiar to you?

With a team of personal trainer, health and diet experts by her side, how can they let Oprah gain 40 pounds in 4 years?

Does nobody really pay attention to her weight gain for the past four years and advise her? Come on!

With her being a weight loss expert in some respect, how can Oprah miss it without taking actions?

Why didn't Oprah and her team of experts get together and figure out a plan?

As a personal trainer and fitness coach, here is what I think and suggest:

1. You have to do your pushups for yourself.
This is one of the mottos I cite in my training principles . YOU ARE your best trainer. Hiring a personal trainer to "motivate" you or to yell at you like a drill sergeant is just an external force. It works for the short term. As a trainer, I can't do your pushups for you. You have to do them youself if you want to get some values out of it.

2. You have to hold yourself accountable.
Many people hire personal trainers and count on them to do everything they can to help them. It's true that a personal trainer can help people in many aspects in fitness training, weight loss, nutrition education, motivation, etc. But a trainer or coach can't be with you 24/7 to "motivate" you. After two hours of personal training sessions a week, you as a client are ultimately responsible for your own body for the rest of 166 hours of the week. You have to hold yourself accountable for doing cardio exercise, following the eating plan, etc.

3. You have to find your social support and mastermind group.
For Oprah is the queen and sits on top of the celebrity rank, she has to able to continue to find support, inspiration and motivation. She has to to be humble to listen to advice. Her team of experts and advisors should not feel guilty of making suggestions and telling the truth. The audience and fans should truly support her in many ways. You have to find a mastermind group (like-minded people) who are mutually support each other in healthy living habits.

4. You have to set clear goals.
And more importantly, after you reach your goals, you have to continuously set new goals. Many people, including Oprah, set goals in losing weight. The big question after reaching your weight loss goal is that, now that??

Weight maintenace is even more challenging than weight loss. The "before" and "after" testimonials in the advertisements are all very nice. The problem is that most measurements and pictures were taken right after they reached their goals. The success of weight loss should be measured by at least 3 to 5 years far out, not just one day. Studies show that 95% people put the weight back on in a year. So you have to continue to set new goals.

Another key element in goal setting is to ask yourself WHY you want to set these goals. What do you really want out of these goals? You want to bring out the enthuiasm, passion and emotion associated with these goals. They serve as the foundation or source of strength on days when you don't feel like exercising or eating healthy. They help you back on track when you're falling off the wagon.

5. You have to have a working plan to stick with.
A plan is better than none. But a poor plan that you can't stick with won't get you where you want to be. The best plan is the one that you can stick with for the long term in the areas of healthy lifestyle and habit, regular weight training and cardio exercise and balanced nutrition and eating plan.

No plan is perfect. You have to keep track and monitor your progress periodically. Make sensible changes or modifications if needed to support you to reach your goals.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

After Hundreds of Upper Abs and Lower Abs Crunches ...

Yeah, you guess right. You still have no visible abs after hundreds of upper abs and lower abs crunches.

Ab training has been done to death but it's time to take another look. Why? Because people are still training their abs wrong so all that ab training information must not be doing the right job.

Here are top 3 tips about abdominal training that you should know and follow.

1. There's no such thing as spot reducing.
Endless crunches will not melt away the fat from your midsection. It just doesn't work that way. And despite the "burn" of high rep ab exercises, you barely burn any calories while doing those endless crunches. Your fat burning time is best spent elsewhere on more effective cardio training.

2. The Abs are muscles and should be trained as such.
You don't need high reps and lots of sets to work your abs. This just leads to over training. Now, abs are a more endurance oriented muscle so slightly higher reps may be more effective. However, you should keep the reps at 20 or lower and work on increasing the resistance and variety in your training. Yes, you should be increasing the weights on ab exercises, just like your other exercises. The stronger your abs, the better they will look when the fat is stripped away. Ever see a really thin guy with a flat stomach but no abs? In that instance, the abs haven't been trained and aren't developed enough to stand out even when the fat is stripped away.

3. Don't train the abs more than necessary.
Your abs get a lot of indirect work from other exercises so you really won't need more than a couple of hard sets of weighted crunches to work your abs. Your abs are a factor in exercises such as squats, dead lifts, seated or standing presses, dumbbell pullovers, pulldowns, etc.

Next time you work out, do a few hard sets of standing stiff armed pulldowns on the lat machine and tell me your abs aren't sore the next day. If you want to develop a flat stomach with your abs visible, you need to treat your abs the same as your other muscles.

The number of ab machines constantly coming to market is mind boggling. Especially considering that they aren't needed and won't give you the results that you want unless you begin training your abs like regular muscles rather than like a machine that needs 100 reps to get primed up.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Goal Setting 101

How to Set Healthy Goals

1. Set an optimal goal, an ambitious goal and a minimum goal.
Many people follow the SMART goal setting approach. The "S" means specific. But it doesn't mean just one unchangeable inflexiable goal. This gives you some room in defining success. Otherwise, you're corned yourself to Yes-or-No, All-or-Nothing goal. Not everything will go smoothly as planned. You need to give yourself some latitude to adjust and get yourself back on track.

2. Stop thinking or visualizing you're shrunk overnight.
Setting a big goal for the whole year is great. But the time frame could be too long for you to focus on weekly and daily planning. So you should also set smaller incremental goals over a week and a month. Review your progress at the end of the week and month. Adjust your exercise and nutrition plan accordingly.

3. Ignore the "Before" and "After" advertisements.
I know, the picutres in these ads are very enticing and empowering. But these comparison ads also raise unrealistic expectations. Read the fine print at the bottom. It always reads "xxx's resutls are NOT typical." or "Results will vary."

4. Don't focus exclusively on one goal.
There are times when you just want to be yourself.

5. Lose just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight.
That may be enough to reduce your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

9 Lessons from the new U.S. President-Elect

As appeared in Men's Health magazine as one of the heroes of health and fitness, the U.S. President-Elect Barack Obama is busier than anyone else.

He makes a difference by showing how health and fitness can drive your success. You can learn from him for his 9 lessons in balance, love and leadershp.

Here are the lesson highlights:

Lesson 1: Learn from your father, even if he wasn't a good one

Lesson 2: Be there for your family, even if you're not around

Lesson 3: Make the future your focus

Lesson 4: Turn early lessons into big successes

Lesson 5: The government isn't your nursemaid

Lesson 6: Quit smoking (as often as you need to)

Lesson 7: Show others the way to common ground

Lesson 8: If you want to avoid disappointing others, don't disappoint yourself

Lesson 9: Don't let 'em see you sweat

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How a Former Skin Guy Helps You Build Muscles

Are you frustrated with not making consistent gains?

Do you want a hard, ripped, rock-solid body that will make everyone stare when you walk by?

Are you fed up with all the conflicting bodybuilding information?

Then stop bodybuilding magazines. Stop this endless cycle of buying into the lies that the publishers don't want you to know.

Dirty Little Lie #1:
"Train like a bodybuilder to become a bodybuilder..."

Dirty Little Lie #2:
"If you want to increase your strength and have spectacular muscle growth, just follow the magazines..."

Dirty Little Lie #3:
"The body of your dreams is locked inside this liquid... this powder... or these pills."

After thousands of dollars in the drain and countless hours in the gym, Vince Delmonte, a former skiny guy, has transformed himself into a fitness model champion and highly sought-after fitness coach.

His No Nonsense Muscle Building program for skinny guys offer a totally different approach and view from the main street sponsored muscle building distortion.

If you're a hardgainer or skinny guy and want to build sizable muscles naturally drug-free, you've got to check out his new program. Vince also has a companion program for women as well.

If you want to build lean muscles, shed fat, flatten your mid sectoin and carve a set of six pack abs, go to Vince's site and check him out.

Click Here to Start Your Muscle-Buliding Program Today!

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In this program, you get...
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  • The truth about training to failure - Is it really necessary to go to failure, or are you actually digging your own grave? (I can't wait to tell you this!!!)
  • EXACTLY how much and how little to train - Train too long and your Testosterone levels will drop like a rock. How long is too long? I'll show you.
  • The hidden truth about High Intensity – I'm handing you the simple formula to measure your workout intensity. With just this alone, others will think you're a professional trainer!
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  • A sneaky “trick” to get more recruitment from your muscles – This is guaranteed to wake up more muscle fibers than ever before. Don't get scared if you feel like your skin is going to rip!
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Stop looking. Start moving!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pre-Hallowen Pumpkin Workout

This is a fat loss workout using pumpkin as the training tool demonstrated by Holly Rigsby (as Olivia Newton John singing Physical) at FitYummyMummy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why Flat Stomaches are Good for You

In addition to looking good, feeling great, the ultimate quest to flat stomach or six pack abs has its health benefits.

You are

50% less likely to develop heart disease,

16% less likely to die of a first heart attack,

50% less likely to have erectile dysfunction,

70% less likely to develop high blood pressure,

35% less likely to develop kidney cancer,

90% less likely to suffer from gallstones,

14% less likely to develop osteoarthritis,

19% less likely to die in a car crash,

if you have a flat stomach.

Are these reduced health risks enough to get you going?

>>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Basic Bodyweight Training #5

Well, definitely not basic at all!!

Basic Bodyweight Training #4

All right. It's so basic now.

More jumping in the air. Catch your breath when you can.

Tuck Jump => Clapping Pushup => Burpee

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Basic Bodyweight Training #3

It's getting a little more challenging!

A little more jumping, a little more plyometric ... to keep you airborne against the gravity!

Put your muscles to use ... power, speed and stamina!

Jumping Squat => T-Pushup => Jumping Split Squat

Basic Bodyweight Training #2

A little more variations in Basic Bodyweight Training #2.

Overhead Squat => One-leg Pushup => One-leg Romanian Deadlift => Forward/Reverse Lunge (same leg)

You can progress from Basic Bodyweight Training #1 and combine with #2 as a circuit training routine.

Basic Bodyweight Training #1

My first training video.

Basic Bodyweight Training #1

Squat => Pushup => Romanian Deadlift => Lunge

Just crank up as many as you can do for one minute in each exercise.

Enjoy the sun and sweat!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Top 5 Weight Loss Traps

When you're dieting, you know that you should have and could have done to save the calories, but then surrender in the last minute. What went wrong?

Here are 5 dieting traps and how to avoid them.

1. Feeling pressured to eat in social functions.
Simply eat something before you show up. Tell the host or hostess that you enjoy the party very much but just have a big meal before you come or you're leaving soon for another function. Nibble on healthy appetizers.

2. Two for One - Sabotaged by your partner
When you want to shape up or eat healthy, but your significant other doesn't. That's tough. And it could cause trouble in your relationship. Suggest that you work out together or find mutually enjoyable activities to do. Find alternate healthy menu. Reduce the portion size.

3. Visualizing you're thinner than you really are
After all, more than 2/3 of Americans are either overweight or obese. Yet only 40 percent of them believe themselves to be too fat. When you're surrounded by so may overweight people around you every day, your brain thinks that you're one of them even if you're not. So take a picture of yourself. Know your BMI and body fat%. You can measure using a scale or get a personal trainer to measure for you. Your image in the mirror won't always register in your brain. But an actual real picture of yourself will.

4. You're stressed out
When you're stressed out, you're more likely to resort to binge-eating due to a brain hormone called cortico-trophin-releasing factor (CRF). Your ability to manage your stress and put it under control has a great deal to do with your overall health. Take deep breaths for a minute focusing on the center of your chest. Your breathing helps your mind to calm down and relax.

5. You're a perfectionist
Many people adopt hung-ho all-or nothing approach to weight loss. It's a sure-fire prescription to disaster. There is NO perfect weight loss solution. The perfect one is a regime that you can stick it, follow through and see results. If you give yourself 10% chance of slacking off, you'll still be on track without derailing. That's, if you're good 90% of the time in your exercise and nutrition plan, you'll be perfectly okay. Think long term - 3 years, 5 years from now. In fact, it's life-long journey and commitment.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

How to Eat Healthy in Economic Slowdown

The global economy and stock market has been down, down and down more .....!!!

Many people start to get sick from changing weather and faltering retirement fund. Your immune system is weakened from worries and stresses. You will pay for it later. But you can invest in your health NOW! The short-term and long-term returns are guaranteed!!

A strong immune system is one of your best defenses against infections from bacteria and viruses. And, a healthy immune response helps protect against other health problems such as arthritis and certain types of cancer. Good nutrition is essential to maintaining the immune system’s ability to function at optimal levels.

Follow the advices from the American Dietic Association. You can eat your way to better health and out of this economic slowdown and market meltdown. You'll be prepared when the conditions turn better.

1. Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Total nutrient intake for the day is usually higher for children and adults who eat breakfast. A breakfast of whole grain cereal, milk and 100 percent orange juice can provide 100 percent of the vitamin C, 33 percent of the calcium and a good supply of folate and other nutrients for a day.

2. Swap whole grains for refined grains. Simply changing to whole grain alternatives adds more nutrient-rich foods to your diet. Whole grain breads, brown rice and whole grain cereal can help enhance fiber intake while providing protective antioxidants. Be sure to check the ingredients label to make sure a food contains whole grain. Snacking on whole wheat crackers or popcorn is a quick way to get the nutritional benefits of whole grains.

3. Trouble-free veggies: Grab a bag of pre-washed salad greens and a variety of pre-cut veggies for a quick, nutrient-rich salad. Toss chopped, steamed or sautéed vegetables with your favorite pasta or on top of pizza to add more nutrition to your favorite meals. Color your plate with a variety of vegetables—red, orange, green, and yellow—to get key vitamins and minerals such as potassium.

4. Choose fresh, whole fruit. Opt for fresh fruit as a convenient on-the-go snack or a naturally sweet dessert. Smoothies are another easy way to add more fresh fruit to your diet. Just whip up some fresh or frozen fruit, low-fat yogurt, fat-free milk, and orange juice in a blender for a cool, refreshing drink that’s great tasting and packed with nutrients.

5. Sneak in some beans. Whether they’re pinto, kidney, black, or navy beans—even chickpeas— all beans provide fiber, folate, and flavonoids which are important to maintaining overall health. Try them in salads, soups, burritos, mixed with rice or pasta, or just plain baked.

For a lifetime of better health:

  • Choose more nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Be physically active
  • Minimize stress
  • Get plenty of sleep

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Healthy Snacking

In an earlier post, I suggest three simple eating strategies to help you avoid energy slump, control your cravings and boost your metabolism.

Let's go the detailed plan of attack on what to eat and when to eat to keep your energy levels stoked all day long. Healthy snacking on the right foods at the right times keeps you from indulging in often high-sugar and high-fat comfort foods.

7:00 AM Jump-Start Your Day
Breakfast meanss "break" your "fast" for not having eaten for 8 hours. Your blood sugar level is low. It's time to refuel your body with lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy essential fats.

Good Ideas: fiber-rich cereal, 2% milk; trail mix of nuts, raisins and chocolate chips; cottage cheese and fresh fruits.

10:30 AM Keep Your Engine Going
It takes your body 2 to 3 hours to digest a meal. Going longer that, your body and energy level starts to dip. It's time to have a light heathy snacks to keep your metabolism from waning.

Good Ideas: fresh fruits with peanut butter, lightly sweentened or unsweentened tea.

12:00 PM Have a Power Lunch
It's time to catch up for the morning and prepare for the afternoon. You need to stock up to keep your engine running longer and efficiently.

Good Ideas: mixed salad, green vegetables with olive oil topped with lean protein sources (tune fillet, chicken, ham or hard-boiled eggs); bean burrito with hot sauce.

3:30 PM Beat the Afternoon Slump
This is the time to separate the disciplined ones from the weak.

Good Ideas: light yogurt, crackers with peanut butter.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

The #1 Secret to a Healthy and Fit Body

10. Join a gym
9. Go on the most popular diet
8. Get a personal trainer
9. Find your family and social support
8. Run on the treadmill 5 to 7 times a week
7. Lift weights 3 to 5 time a week
6. Stop smoking
5. Eat breakfast every morning
4. Drink plenty of water
3. Eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables
2. Buy the best training program and workout routines
1. ??????????????

What's the #1 secret to a healthy and fit body??

All the above are important and great strategies. But if you miss one vital ingredient, you wouldn't achieve your goals to a healthy and fit body and more important, a high-performance, active and healthy lifestyle. That's, Discipline.

Lack of which, you're doing the quick-fix, short-term shot-gun approach that wouldn't last long. Many people have no motivation to exercise or never exercise to begin with. Lack of time is another issue, which I don't think it is. Doing the wrong exercise (or worse, in the wrong way) is a bummer that could get you injured and set you backward. Others are waiting for something, sometime or someone to start. Excuse? Excuse! Excuse.

Why are people thinking that they can do a few good things sporadically in a few weeks and expect miracles? Just like anything else that you want to learn, do well, excel and see results, you'll practice over and over until you're really good at; any school subjects, sports, musical instruments, etc. You may even need some talents in these areas.

To get a healthy and fit body, all you need is a healthy and positive mindset, have a plan of attack, implement a step-by-step strategy and follow through. Ask for professional help when needed. There is no ONE secret. The secret is that there is NO secret.

It all comes down your commitment to your health and fitness. You have to hold yourself accountable for your own in the long run. Ultimately, it's your body anyway. You're in charge. If you to have to ask around, consult others or wait for the stars to line up, it's not gonna happen.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How to Avoid Energy Slump and Boost Your Metabolism

Your energy management and weigh loss success are counting on insulin regulation. Cravings are all about blood sugar control. And it's about keep your metabolism up and high to burn fat all day.

How do you avoid energy slump, control your cravings and boost your metabolism?

Eat smart. Eat often. Eat and snack the right foods at strategically right times. You'll keep your energy levels all day long.

Here are three simple strategies:

1. Eat regularly - about every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. This ensuresyour constant insulin level and energy level so that you won't get to the energy slump and trigger your cravings.

2. Have some lean protein and healthy fat in every meal. Protein has 10 to 15% thermic effect of foods. It helps slow the digestion of carbohydrates which minimizes spikes in blood sugar.

3. Eat whole grain for your carb. Choose complex whole grain carb sources in your bread, pasta or rice. The fiber helps your blood sugar regulation.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

One More Rep and Squeeeeez!

If you've been training with me and hear me outloud "One more rep and squeeeeze, squeeze harder," that's that extra rep (or forced rep) makes all the difference. That's the extra rep doing the magic that could transform your body. I'm here to spot you. Don't quit on me!

The best results always occur one step past where most people just give up. The secret (or no secret, really) to successful weight training and body transformation is discipline.

What's discipline?

Discipline is that you still go ahead to do it according to your training plan even though you don't "feel" like doing it. Nothing would ever happen if you think or wait until everything is right. --- wait 'til you got time; wait 'til you get off from work early; wait 'til ... etc. etc. etc.

Be a doer, not a thinker or talker.

When I do my workout, there is no so called easy day. I treat every workout seriously, long or short. I keep the intensity up high. Or you might as well rest, recover so that you can come back to train at your best level of intensity and focus.

Granted, there are times I "feel" like not working out. But I know once I focus on my long term goal in mind, I start to feel the pump and surging inside me; or pschy myself up.

There are times that I feel soooo sore that I would just stop at 10 reps when I should do 12 reps. I would focus on one rep at a time and squeeze the muscles I'm working on hard and harder. There are times that I went to 15 reps. That's focus. That's discipline.

If you're doing what everyone else is doing, that's average or mediocre at most. Magic doesn't happen when you're just average. Magic happens when you go for that extra rep or two for youself. Most (average) people stop short of that extra rep where it could do the wonder.

In fact, when you're weight training, whatever you do in the first 2 or 3 sets for whatever number of reps is really preparing you for those last 2 to 3 reps. You get most of your results from these last few reps that fatigue or almost fail your muscles.

Far too many beginners (or returning beginners) quit on themselves when they're just about ready the tast the magic. The first bottleneck is typically month 3. This is the time when they finally get into some kind of training routine and start to see some results. It's a true test in their discipline.

You don't have to be 50% or 100% better then everyone else when you're working out. Just do 5% better. Persist past your desire to stop exercising.

Do a little bit more today. Do one more rep. Work out 15 minutes longer. Drink one more glass of plain, fresh water. Eat one more large bowl of salad (without a lot of dressing). And encourage one more person to exercise with you.

Success belongs to those who take the extra mile (or do the extra rep).

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Is Cardio Safe to Your Heart?

I have rephrased a question asked by one of my newsletter subscribers. The rumor has it that cardio is dangerous and may even cause death from heart attack.

I think the concern arises from a few incidents in recent years that even some elite marathon runners died during a run or race. The incidents were overblown and led to unfair conclusion to running and cardio-related activities and sports.

Cardio or cardiovascular exercise is supposed to strengthen and train your cardiovascular conditioning, not the other way around. Running is definitely the most popular cardio exercise.

In addition to strengthening your heart and your body, running has many other health benefits including your brain and creativity.

Here are a few known endurance sports-related deaths or incidents:

- The Godfather of running, Jim Fixx, author of the Complete Book on Running, died in 1984 during a run at age 52.
- President Jimmy Carter collapsed during a 10K race in Catoctin Mountain Park in 1979.
- In 2007 Chicago Marathon race, Chad Schieber collapsed and died at age 35. In the same race, 302 people were taken to the hospital on that day due to excessive heat (over 90 degrees) and humidity (94% humidity).
- A U.S. running national champion, Ryan Shay, died less than 10K into the U.S. Olympic Trials race at age 28.
- Alberto Salazar, age 50, a winner of the NYC Marathon, has recently suffered a series of heart problems.
- John Hobgood, 52, of Princeton Junction, NJ died in the New Jersey State Triathlon.

The question arises as to how much running is too much. Do all runners need to see a cardiologist and a stress test before entering a race? The cost and time are probably not feasible. Even stress test can't pick up some pre-existing or hereditary heart conditions.

Dr. Norb Sander advises runners to use common sense. Dr. Sander is the only doctor to even have won the NYC Marathon race. Testing your body response in different running conditions. It's the athlete's responsibility to realize the inherent risks of the sport. Running is healthy. We're naturally and genetically built to walk and run.

Just like any sports, there bound to be some uneventful incidents or deaths from running. Perhaps some people were pushing too hard beyond their limits. Every person's body is different. There is a distance for everyone - 100 meter, 5K, 10K, marathon or ultra-marathon.

Dr. Sander rebutted the direct link of deaths to running by citing a statistics from the London Marathon. There had only nine deaths out of nearly 1 million runners over the last 27 years. This is not bad at all.

With the popularity of endurance sports, distance runnings, marathons and triathlons in recent years, the odd rare death may become more common partly from ill prepared athletes and under trained weekend warriors. Tragedies are a part of life and part of sport. Don't let these unfortunate events scare you from exercising and running.

Listen to your body. Use common sense. Properly and progressively train and condition your heart and other muscles. Too-much-too-soon caveat applies here as the #1 no-no. The health benefits from running have more upsides than death scare.

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

More Weight Training Techniques to Revive Your Workouts and Break the Plateau

You should know that it takes discipline and dedication to follow workout routines to produce results. After a while, even the "best" workout routines are getting old and boring. You stop lifting heavier weights and more reps. Your strength staganates. Your muscles stop growing. Like I say all the time:

"Everything works. But nothing works forever.
You got to change it up!"

In an earlier post, I have provided 7 weight training variations to a classical straight-set workout routine. They are very effective and useful alternative workout routines to help you change up your weight training program.

Let's re-visit the training variables you can manipulate for weight training (resistance training):

  • Selection of exercises
  • Order of exercises
  • Weights (resistance)
  • Sets
  • Reps
  • Tempo (rep speed)
  • Rest interval
  • Loading pattern
  • Periodization program
What else can you do about these variables beyond the straight-set routine and the other 7 variations??

Let's use the same classical straight set routine as an example.

Classical Straight Set for Hypertrophy (Muscle Building)
Chest Bench Press: 10 reps x 3 sets, 2-0-1 tempo, 1 minute rest

Here are 7 more variations you can do to change up your weight training program.

1 1/4 Reps
Clean the weight up to top fully extended position. Slowly lower the weight to the chest. Press up a quarter of the way, then lower the weight down to the chest. Now press the weight up to full extension to the top position. That's one repetition, which is actually one-and-quarter rep. Repeat for 6 to 8 reps. Rest a minute before repeating for another one to two sets.

This is one of the old-time bodybuilders' favorites. A typical weightlifting movement has three phases. The concentric phase (or positive, push or pulling phase) is when you contract (flex or squeeze) your muscles. The eccentric phase (or negative, returning or lowering phase) is when you stretch the muscles you just contracted. There is a neutral mid-point between concentric and eccentric phase where your muscles are not contracted nor stretched. Sometimes it's called the "sticky point."

With 21s, you'll do 21 repetitions in one set. You need to cut the weight you can normally do 7 reps by about 40 to 60%. So do bench press from the lowest stretched position up to the chest for 7 repetitions. Then do another 7 reps from the chest up to full extension at the top position. Finish the set with 7 regular bench presses. Rest for 2 minutes before repeating for another one or two sets. You should feel the "burning" sensation on your pec muscles.

Super Slow Reps
It's another old-time favorite. This is not for the beginners or less conditoned lifters as the super slow reps may produce extra sore feeling on the muscles.

Super slow reps are another variation to the tempo and tension manipulation. Tempo is also called rep speed as to how quickly you lift the weight (concentric or "positive" phase) and lower the weight (eccentric or "negative" phase).

The 3-point tempo prescription of 2-0-1 means that you take 2 seconds to lower the weight, zero second pause at the bottom (stretch), and take one second to lift the weight. A more complicated 4-point tempo prescription adds the 4th digit for the time to hold (contracted) at the top of lifting.

Super slow reps produce a prolonged period of muscle tension. Isokinetic studies show that more muscle force is generated at slower movement speeds to develop maximum strength. The greater muscle force produced at slow speeds is due to greater recruitment of muscle fiber.

Use 30 to 40% less weight than normal. The tempo for super slow reps is like 5-0-10. So take 5 counts to lower the weight to the chest. Then slowly press the weight up over a period of 10 seconds. Repeat for 4 to 8 reps.

Partial Reps
By all means, you'll do just "partial" repetitions not the standard full range-of-motion repetitions. Partial reps allow you to lift heavier weight only through your strongest range of moitoin, which is typically the last few inches before completing the lift for a full-range movement.

It's safer to perform partial reps on a Power Rack, Smith Machine or with the help of an experienced trainer or spotter. You can typically lift extra 10 to 20% more weight than normal. Start with the top fully extended position. Lower the weight only for 2 to 3 inches before pressing the weight back up.

Forced Reps
This is another "forced" scheme that requires due dilegence from both the weightlifter and the spotter for safety reason. The purpose is to fatigue the muscle fibers that you wouldn't otherwise perform the "forced" reptition by yourself.

You'll perform the standard full range-of-motion repetitions. This is done when you want to push that extra last half rep or a few inches to complete another full reptition. The spotter would only help you for the part where you can't complete by yourself.

Drop Sets
This scheme can be done with barbell, dumbbell or machine. It's helpful to have someone help you with the weight plates or dumbbells.

For example, say you want to perfrom drop sets with barbell bench press. Load up weight plates on both sides. Replace the last 25-lb or 45-plate plate with a few 10-lb and 5-lb plates. You'll perform a set of 10 reps of bench press. Immediately have the helper take off some weight (e.g., 10 lbs) and do another set of 10 reps at a lower weight. Again, take some some more weight (e.g., another 10 lbs) and do the third set of 10 reps at 20-lb lower weight. If you can handle it, drop another 10 lbs and do the fourth set of 10 reps at 30-lb lower weight. That's literally a 40-rep set and would produce tremendous damage and soreness on your pec muscle fibers.

Rest and Pause
This is a scheme that helps you crank up another 2 or 3 reps at the end of a normal set of workout. You feel sore because your muscles are under sufficient load (stress) for a period of time (tension). You can't complete the 11th rep beyond the 10 reps because your muscle fibers can't "fire up" fast enough to generate the strength to lift the weight. In biochemical term, the ATP can't break down fast enough to generate ADP and the "energy" to activate the muscle fibers. Or the ATPs are depleted momentarily. If you rest for a few seconds, the ATP reserve in your body is called out again to provide the necessary energy to activate or "fire up" the muscle fibers.

By taking advantage of these few seconds of window of opportunity, you're able to lift for another 2 or 3 reps. At the end of 10th repetiton in your bench press, hold the weight (in extended or locked-out position) and pause for a few seconds. Then you're able do a few more reps until fatigue. It's wise to use a spotter when you first try out this scheme.

Try to mix up with any of these 7 new variations when you need a boost in your workout routines. Do them spargingly. Don't try them all together. Don't go overboard in these special training methods to avoid injury or overtraining.

Changing up your weight training routines is necessary to keep you from being bored, stop from making progress in strength or muscle growth. That's how to revive your workout routines and break the plateau.

>>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Benefits of Drinking Green Tea to Slow Breast Cancer Growth

There have been many studies and reports on the benefits of green tea to health and weight management.

A new study presented at the Experimental Biology 2008 conference showed that the green tea antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) significantly slowed breast cancer growth in female mice.

The researchers found that green tea's anticancer effects may be largely due to its high content of EGCG. This antioxidant ingredient helps the body's cells from becoming damaged and aging prematurely.

According to the researcher Jian-Wei Gu at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, the green tea antioxidant may work against breast cancer by suppressing blood vessel growth in breast tumors as well as slowing the proliferation and migration of breast cancer cells.

Follow-up studies on human tissues are required. In the meantime, green tea is a healthy beverage providing caffeine-alternative and many antioxidant benefits.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Michael Phelps Record Olympic Gold Medalist 12,000 Calorie Diet

There were a lot of exciting record-breaking swimming events in 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Michael Phelps went a perfect 8-for-8 in Beijing, breaking Mark Spitz's single-Games record for gold medals. He swam 17 times over nine days and broke the world record in four of his five individual swims. His three relay teams also set world marks.

Michael Phelps is now acclaimed as the best and most decorated modern Olympic medalist. He is a really swimming sensation.

His secret to success? "Eat, sleep and swim. That's all I can do. Get some calories into my system and try to recover the best I can." according to Michael in an interview with NBC.

His "some calories" is not the average man's 2000 calorie a day. According to New York Post, Michael eats about 12,000 calories a day in staggering 3 big meals.

Here is the breakdown of Michael's diet:

Breakfast (4,000 calories)
Three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise.
Two cups of coffee, a five-egg omelet, a bowl of grits, three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar and three chocolate-chip pancakes.

Lunch (4,000 calories)
One pound of enriched pasta and two large ham and cheese sandwiches slathered with mayo on white bread plus 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks.

Dinner (4,000 calories)
One pound of pasta and an entire pizza plus another 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks.

He burns all these 12,000 calories and still maintains his lean, cut, Olympian swimmer physique. He needs all the calories to fuel his body and supply the energy for his five-hours-a-day, six-days-a-week swimming regimen.

His 12,000 calorie-a-day diet is not something for the ordinary deskjocky who is sitting all day without much moving.

What can we learn from 12,000 calories-a-day diet?

Plan your nutrition and calorie intake around your daily activities and workouts. The calories are to fuel your body and support your training. If you burn more than taking in, you'll lose weight. Likewise, if you eat more than your body can burn off, you'll gain weight. Calorie and energy balance is just that simple. Too many people (including fitness industry) are making weight-loss so complicated.

Friday, August 08, 2008

2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Grand Opening

Let the games begin .................

No matter which country, sport or athlete you're rooted for, you can be your champion and Gold medalist.

In the game of life, you're competing with youself. Be the best you can be.

We all can learn from the Olympic spirit of the greatest athletes.

Click here for Olympic Games update.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How to Recession-Proof Your Health and Fitness

I know. That big R word.

I don't want to think about it or talk about it. It's so negative in your thoughts that you'll attract more of it to your life.

The abundant thinking is to manifest what you REALLY want, not what you don't want. The law of attraction plays in your favor.

But you know what. By the time everyone is talking about it and the media is all over about it, we're probably half way through it already.

When the government data confirms it, it's at least six months behind. And we're looking forward to recovery and the next boom market.

When the R hits the economy and job cut announcements are everywhere, people feel the stress and tension. All the non-essential or non-life-threatening expenses are normally cut out first.

Ask youself these questoins.

Is health and fitness essential or non-essential to you?

Is your health life-threatening or not?

Is health and fitness part of your core values?

Do you value the benefits of being healthy and fit?

Do you know the cost of NOT being healthy and fit?

You make the choice.

All I can tell you is that my training business has been prospering in the past months. I have signed up new clients. Current clients renewed their contracts and continue to train. They see and feel improved in their body and mind. I don't see or feel recession in my training business.

All my clients keep their jobs. They're fit in their body and sharp in their mind through regular training and exercise. And they're fit on their jobs as well.

They highly value the benefits of health and fitness. They don't simply cut out training because of the main-street's recession talk. They invest in their health for the long term.

Do you want to be one of them who continues to succeed and prosper in recession?

Let me put it this way. Never let your health and fitness slip into recession.

So my words of advice to you as to how to recession-proof your health and fitness are:

1. Don't short-change your health and fitness because you need it and you're in it for the rest of your life.

2. Adopt a healthy and active lifestyle that's working for you.

3. Keep working out. Continue your training and and even kick up a notch.

4. Regular exercise helps you relieve the stress and put things in perspective.

5. Eat healthy and balanced meals and snacks to fuel and recharge your body.

I have addressed these topics in my training and coaching program. Click here to ask me about your challenges and become my clients.

>>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Flat Belly Diet??!!


Another new weight-loss regime? or scam?
When can the health industry teach the public the right ways?

I guess not. It's all about weight loss buzz, marketing and making money out of the public's desperation.

Here is the list of the top 10 most popular diets:

Weight Watchers
South Beach Diet
Atkins Diet
Lemonade Diet
Low Carb Diet
Cabbage Soup Diet
Mediterranean Diet
3-Day Diet
Detox Diet
Flat Belly Diet

They all seem to work for a while --- 3 days, one week or a month.

But when you get on a diet, you have to get off. That's when you fall off from the dieting wagon and re-gain part of the weight if not all the weight back.

Wanna learn the right ways?

>>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Can You Change Your Genes to A Healthier You?

The answer is positive according to a recent study.

But it takes a complete approach including healthy lifestyle changes, regualr exercise, proper diet and stress managment, as I always advocate to the public and educate my clients.

In a small study, the researchers tracked 30 men with low-risk prostate cancer who decided against conventional medical treatment such as surgery and radiation or hormone therapy.

The men underwent three months of major lifestyle changes, including eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and soy products, moderate exercise such as walking for half an hour a day, and an hour of daily stress management methods such as meditation.

As expected, they lost weight, lowered their blood pressure and saw other health improvements. But the researchers found more profound changes when they compared prostate biopsies taken before and after the lifestyle changes.

After the three months, the men had changes in activity in about 500 genes -- including 48 that were turned on and 453 genes that were turned off.

The activity of disease-preventing genes increased while a number of disease-promoting genes, including those involved in prostate cancer and breast cancer, shut down, according to the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This is an exciting no-excuse news to many people who blame their genes for overweight or obesity. In just three months, you can change hundreds of your genes to become healthier by changing how you live and what you eat.

>>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Teleclass: Real Secrets to Create Real Abundance

Alright, I ain't no expert in this area.

But we all can learn from the real experts as to how to create real abundance in every area of our life.

In a few days, you'll have the opportunity to learn from a Master Certified Coach, The Guru of Coaching(SM), Terri Levine, about her 10 real secrets to create real abundance.

The FREE teleclass is hosted by Hueina Su, a Certified Empowerment Coach, the Creator of Rx for Balance(TM) program and founder of Beyond Horizon Coaching.

Date: Monday, August 4, 2008
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 pm Eastern/New York Time (11:00 am Central, 9:00 am Pacific)
Cost: None, except for your own long-distance telephone charge

This Teleclass will be recorded, and you will receive the recording afterwards

Sign up for the Teleclass here: www.beyondhorizoncoaching.com/terrilevine.html

This is what you will learn, in Terri's own words:

Whatever your financial situation, health situation, love situation, spiritual or emotional situation, I can shift you to earn and keep masses of money, and create abundance in all areas of your life.

You have just landed upon the most important information to help you build REAL abundance in your life with endless financial profits in rapid time and at the same time MORE FREE TIME and GREATER LOVE and WELL-BEING!

Now you can learn directly from Terri what her secrets are and use the 10 steps she will teach in the Teleclass to create REAL ABUNDANCE in every area of your life!

How do you feel when you achieve all these in your life??

Click here for more information and to sign up for this FREE Teleclass!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Energy Drink Trap

Can you really party like a rockstar?

Energy drinks have been a high-flying beverage market ever since people are more conscious about sugar-loaded soft drinks.

Even the youth athletes playing soccer, football or baseball are drinking from those cans. They (or the parents) think that these drinks would give them the energy to play hard and get bigger, faster and stronger.

These so-called "energy drinks" are loaded with sugar and supplemented with herbal stimulants to give you the instant energy boost. Your energy doesn't come from the external sugar. It should come from your internal generation through training.

The sugar gives you the instant sugar rush. The stimulants help you pump up your heart rate. So you think you have the energy. In fact, it will give you the sugar crash when the sugar wears out after few hours. The stimulants put excess burden on your heart function. Overtime, you could even develop Type II diabetes. The simple sugar goes straight to your system. Any excess calorie is stored as fat.

Think twice before you gobble down the energy drink. Better yet, read the nutrition label. That's your best defense against overdrinking, overeating and overweight.

Check out this brand of energy drink.

It looks like a soda can, about 6 inches tall. The nutrition label could be deceiving, thought. Most people will find the 140 calories per serving first. But read closely again. This can contains two servings. So if you drink down the whole can, you just load up your body with 280 calories of pure simple sugar. That would of course keep you high for a while.

But keep reading. It also has a few vitamin B's and a couple of herbal supplements. You can take a vitamin B complex to get at least the amount of %Daily Value. The herbal supplements just overload your body and organ functions.

All in all, the energy drinks in the market are not real energy-producing drinks. They would sap your energy after a few hours and put your health in long-term danger. They don't protect you from the free radicals released by your stressed body and exhausting lifestyle.

So what can you do? How do you get your energy and feel revitalized and rejuvenated?

Why? Read here for details about why NingXia Red is the most potent antioxidant drink in the market that helps you fortify, replenish and rejuvenate your body.

One serving of NingXia Red contains only 19 calories of natural sugar from the fruits. There is artificially added sugar.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Read the Label Before Ordering Your Food

Three years ago, New York City Board of Health banned smoking in restaurants.

Then the Board initiated the move to ban trans fat from all of their food.

Early this year, the Board required the city’s chain restaurants with more than 15 units nationally to list nutritional information and calories on menus and menu boards. These include TGI Friday’s, Outback Steakhouse, Chipotle, Quiznos, Wendy’s, Starbucks, Subway, Auntie Anne’s, Jamba Juice and Chevys chains.

Now these restaurants are required to list the calories along with prices of the foods on the menus to comply with regulations. Click here for details.

When you eat out, it's difficult control the ingredients in the food and how it's prepared. It's likely that you don't know how much you're eating. Now you get a chance to know the calorie and price of the item on the menu. Many people got this whooping calorie shocking reaction in addition to the price-sticker shock.

The typical reaction is ...

"Wow...!! I couldn't believe a small muffin has that many calories."

"I thought I'm eating healthy by just eating salad. But that plate of salad with everything on it cost me 1300 caloires?!"

"That Grande Frappuccino is 430 caloires?! and loaded with fat!!"

Now get this ...

Taco Bell Border Grande Taco Salad with Taco Beef = 1,450 calories

Outback Bloomin' Onion = 2,310 calories

Wendy 3/4 Pound Triple with Cheese = 980 calories

Chiptole Mexican Grilled Chicken Burrito = 1,179 calories

Chili Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream = 1,600 calories

McDonald's Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips with creamy ranch sauce = 830 calories

Starbucks Pecan Magic Bar = 450 calories

The so-called "low-calorie" or "low-fat" meals in restaurants may not be that low as you would think. Read more about the 16 secrets the restaurant industry doesn't want you to know.

... just food for thoughts ... and think twice before you replace your order.

>>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Are Squats Better Than Lunges?

Both squats and lunges are great exercises to train your leg muscles - quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. They are multi-joint compound exercises that work more than one muscle at a time. So they are the basic exercises to help you build muscle or develop strength.

Both your feet are firmly planted on the floor when you squat. You're able to squat more weights than do lunges. When you do lunges, your glutes have to contract harder to control the deceleration on your way down. In addition, lunges are close to most sports and real-life situations where your feet are in the front-and-back stance or position.

You can incorporate both squats and lunges in the same workout session. It could be too demanding to your muscles and central nervous system. One option is do squats for a few workouts and switch to lunges for several other workouts.

You can always change up your training routines by varying the sets and reps through weight variation. Click here to learn how to change up your weight training routine.

>>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Can You Really Sleep Off Your Fat?

This is a hot topic in recent months.

More research studies showed that lack of sleep or sleep deprivation make you crave for sweet of fatty foods and eat more calories.

Although it's a long debate as to how much sleep is enough, it likely depends on each individual's need. Some feel fine with 5 to 6 hours of sleep while some others need 9 to 10 hours to feel awake.

A new research study conducted at Laval University in Quebec, Canada showed that only 5 to 6 hours of sleep makes it hard to lose fat. On the other hand, too much sleep doesn't help either.

According to the study, 5 to 6-hour short sleepers are 27% more likely to become obese, gain 124% more body fat and 35% more likely to gain 11 pounds.

9 to 10-hour long sleepers are 21% more likely to become obese, gain 94% more body fat and 25% more likely to gain 11 pounds.

So how much sleep is just right?

7 to 8 hours of sleep seems to be just right.

When you engage in strength training or competitive sports, properly and timely recovery is very important so that you come back to train harder or compete in the games. A good night sleep is definitely your best strategy.

You may not be able to sleep 7 to 8 hours every night. Your sleep most likely fluctuates from day to day (or from night to night). If you don't catch with your sleep, it will catch up with you.

>>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ride the Wave like Olympian Dara Torres

A returning Olympic medalist in swimming, Dara Torres could be one of the most covered athletes in 2008 Olympic Game. Her story is so inspiring to anyone who's complaining just about everything in achieving healthy and fit body.

So what's so great about Dara Torres:
  • She's 41 years old - a generation older than most of her competitors. She won medals in her first Olympics in 1984, before many of them were even born.
  • She will go the Beijing Olympics as the oldest ever member of the US swim team.
  • She's a mother and still has maybe the most impressive abs I've ever seen on a women.
  • She's about as all-American wholesome and attractive as could be.
  • She's considered to have the purest and most efficient swimming stroke of any woman in the world.
  • She's medaled in four consecutive Olympics. Beijing will be her fifth, and she's favored to at least medal, possibly win the 50 meter freestyle.
  • She owns 8 Olympic medals.
  • She retired from swimming after 2000 Olympics in Sydney and now she's BACK!
  • she is amazingly fit. If she medals, which is almost a foregone conclusion, she'll be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. If she gets the gold, maybe even Time magazine.

You're never too old to exercise and get fit!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Shoulder and Triceps High-Volume Superset

Superset #1 (3-4 sets, 60-sec rest interval)
1A. Smith-Machine 85-degree Shoulder Press x 8-12 reps
1B. Dumbbell Lateral Raise x 12-15 reps

Superset #2 (3-4 sets, 60-sec rest interval)
2A. 1-Dumbbell (2-arm) Overhead Triceps Press x 12-15 reps
2B. Dumbbell Front Raise x 12-15 reps

Superset #3 Triple Dropset (3 sets, 60-sec rest interval)
3A. Rope Triceps Pressdown x 6-8 reps
3B. Rope Triceps Pressdown x 6-8 reps (next lower weight)
3C. Rope Triceps Pressdown x 6-8 reps (further next lower weight)

>>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Monday, June 30, 2008

How to Relieve Muscle Tension and Emotional Stress with Essential Oil Roll-Ons

Feeling muscle soreness from your hardcore workout?

Too much stress and tension from sitting all day at your desk?

Neck and back pain?

Tension headaches?

No breathing room from your hectic daily schedule?

Energy drain from a bad day at the office?

Out of balance in your body, mind and spirit?

Not a problem.

Essential Oil Roll-Ons are coming to rescue.

Three new unique essential oil formulations offer pleasant relief to your tension and stress.

The Roll-Ons provide portability and convenience in no-mess application.

Deep Relief Essential Oil Roll-On is a proprietary blend of oils specially formulated to relieve muscle soreness and tension. Peppermint, Wintergreen, Copal, and Palo Santo essential oils as well as others play an integral part of healing in this blend.

Simply apply on the affect areas where you feel muscle and body discomfort. For head tensin, roll across over the temples and on the forehead.

Tranquil Essential Oil Roll-On is a proprietary blend of lavender, cedarwood and roman chamomile essential oils formulated to calm and relax the body and mind. Using the new roll on application, Tranquil provides convenient and portable relaxation.

Transquil is an ideal alternative to prescription medication that can leave you feeling tired and groggy.

Apply liberally on temples, neck and wrist for immediate stress relief.

Valor® Essential Oil Roll-On is an empowering combination of therapeutic-grade essential oils that works with both the physical and spiritual aspects of the body to increase feelings of strength, courage, and self-esteem in the face of adversity. Renowned for its strengthening qualities, Valor enhances an individual's internal resources. It has also been found to help energy alignment in the body.

Apply generously to feet, wrists or back of the neck and feel your self-doubt drain away as you inhale its revitalizing aroma.

For more information and to order products, please visit:
http://www.truehealingoils.com for items #3534, 3533 and 3529.

Caution: Keep out of reach of children. If pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult a healthcare practitioner prior to use.

Friday, June 27, 2008

How a Fitness Guru Got Ripped!

Many people think or blame that those fitness models, experts or gurus were just naturally born with good genetics and great bodies.

It may well be true. But one thing in common among them is that they still train hard, eat well and find their own programs or systems that work for them.

One of the most renowned fat loss expert and natural bodybuilder Tom Venuto posted a story about how he got ripped for the very first time.

In his story, Tom detailed his journey from a good weightlifter to a champion natural bodybuilder with a set of most envied six pack abs.

Tom summarized the 7 lessons learned from his journey.

1. Set the big goal and go for it.
2. Align your values with your goals.
3. Do the math. Stop looking for magic.
4. Get social support.
5. Be consistent.
6. Persist through difficulty and self doubt.
7. Redeem yourself.

Click here to read Tom's story.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Less Learned from Tim Russert - How to Avoid Sudden Heart Attack

On Friday, one of the most influential people in broadcast journalism, Tim Russert, passed away. He died of a heart attack at age 58.

I watched Larry King and he interviewed a few cardiovascular experts asking them about Tim Russert's heart attack. Tim had a stress test in late April. But the test didn't reveal that he had heart disease.

Larry King asked one of the doctors as to how else could Tim have known he was at risk for heart disease. And the doctor said, his waist circumference. The size of your waist is a very valid predictor of your risk of heart disease.

"The Size of Your Waist is a Very Valid Predictor of Your Risk of Heart Disease."

I have repeatedly talked about the danger of excess belly fat and its link cancer, heart disease and many other diseases.

Although getting your lean and sexy abs makes you look great on the beach, the reality is that a flat stomach can help save your life!

Here is a quick calculation you can do to see if you are at higher risk for heart disease. This came from one of the doctors on Larry King.

Take your height in inches. Measure your waist at the level of your belly button using a tape measure. If your waist size is more than half of your height, then you may be at risk for heart disease.

Try the calculation and see what you come up with. If your waist is too big, you probably know what you need to do.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A New Workout Routine to Chisel Your Chest Muscle

Tri-Set Chest Workout Routine (3 sets, 2-minute rest interval)

Dumbbell 45 deg. Incline Press x 8-12 reps
Dumbbell Flat Bench Press x 8-12 reps
Cable Cross-Over x 20 reps

* The key is do all three exercises using proper weight to finish the prescribed rep ranges. You'll need to reduce the weight that you normally perform each individual exercise by 15 to 20% to start with.
* You can replace third exercise "cable cross-over" with dumbbell flyes or dips in subsequent workout sessions.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How to Sculpt Round and Well Defined Shoulders

Superset #1 (3 sets, 60-sec rest interval)
1A. Dumbbell Shoulder Press x 8-12 reps
1B. Dumbbell Bent-over Rows x 8-12 reps

Superset #2 (triple dropsets, no rest)
2A. Dumbbell Rear Delt Raise x 6-8 reps
2B. Dumbbell Lateral Delt Raise x 8-12 reps

* Perform 2A and 2B exercises with proper weight to reach the rep range. Then pick the next lower weight and continue 2A and 2B exercises. Drop the weight again. Do the third superset of 2A and 2B exercises.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer Strength and Cardio Combo Workout

Tri-Set (3 sets, 90-sec rest interval)
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift x 8-12 reps
Dumbbell Front Squat x 8-12 reps
Bulgarian Split Squat x 8-12 reps each side

Combat Fitness (Bodyweight, 2-minute rest interval)
Jumping Pullup + Burpees
x 8-12 reps

4-miniute Tabata
Kettlebell Swing x 20 sec + 10 sec rest
x 8 intervals

Monday, June 09, 2008

Summer Tri-Set Workout Routine

Tri-Set Routine #1 (4 sets, 60-sec rest interval)
1A. Lat Pulldown x 8-12 reps
1B. Rear Delt Dumbbell Rows x 8-12 reps
1C. Rear Delt Dumbbell Raise x 8-12 reps

Tri-Set Routine #2 (4 sets, 60-sec rest interval)
2A. 45-deg Dumbbell Press (neutral/revese grip) x 8-12 reps
2B. One-Dumbbell Behind-the-Head Triceps Press x 8-12 reps
2C. Triceps Pressdown x 8-12 reps

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Why Antioxidant? Why NingXia Red Wolfberry Juice?

Antioxidant energy drinks have been catching on media advertizement recently. Even the soft drink companies are marketing their own version of antioxidant beverages.

With so many brands to choose from, do you know which one is the best?

Do you know how to compare the antioxidant level based on the ORAC or S-ORAC ratings?

Do you know how to get the most antioxidant benefit from your money? And the price doesn't tell you the whole story.

Do you know how to separte the facts from the marketing spin?

In an earlier post, I have shown an independent laboratory test on various antioxidant drinks in the market. NingXia Red has the highest levels of naturally occurring, age-defying S-ORAC (Super-Oxide Radical Absorbance Capacity) activity to help support immune function, cardiovascular health, and nourish the eyes.

Here is a video showcasing the NingXia Red. Click here to learn how to order the products and start to enjoy the best antioxidant anti-aging, disease-fighting benefits (Product # 3003, 3023, 3043).

Here is another funny video comparing NingXia Red to other energy juices.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Affirmations for Good Health

Day to day, I've seen so many people sabotaging their health and damaging their own bodies. Many of them vow to eat healthy and exercise regularly. In their subconscious mind, they don't believe in themselves that they can do it.

You can "choose" positive thoughts that create a mental atmosphere reinforcing your actions and yielding positive results. The positive thoughts make you feel loved, appreciated and joyful.

Whatever you say and think about your health and body affects your brainwave and your actions, positively and negatively. Here is a list of positive affirmations for health by Louise L. Hay. Hope they'll work for you.

by Louis L. Hay (copyrighted by Hay House, Inc., 2004)

☀ I enjoy the foods that are best for my body. I love every cell of my body.

☀ I look forward to a healthy old age because I take loving care of my body now.

☀ I am constantly discovering new ways to improve my health.

☀ I return my body to optimal health by giving it what it needs on every level.

☀ I am pain free and totally in sync with life.

☀ Healing happens! I get my mind out of the way and allow the intelligence of my body to do its healing work naturally.

☀ My body is always doing its best to create perfect health.

☀ I balance my life between work, rest, and play. They all get equal time.

☀ I am grateful for my healthy body. I love life.

☀ I am the only person who has control over my eating habits. I can always resist something if I choose to.

☀ Water is my favorite beverage. I drink lots of water to cleanse my body and mind.

☀ Filling my mind with pleasant thoughts is the quickest road to health.

☀ My happy thoughts help create my healthy body.

☀ I go within and connect with that part of myself that knows how to heal.

☀ I breathe deeply and fully. I take in the breath of life, and I am nourished.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cost of Overweight and Obesity

For a long while, it's difficult to pinpoint the cost of overweight and obesity and resulting health problems. People are blindsided by the implication of huge future medical cost.

A new study has shown that the savings on medical, fuel, food and other costs would be enough to give every U.S. household more than $4,000 totalling $487 billion dollars.

I'm sure it would give a big boost to the economy and quality of life.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Whole Egg or Egg White Only??

Do you eat the whole egg or egg white only and ditch the egg yolk? - that's a debate.

Americans have consumed whole eggs until early 1970s when studies linked high cholesterol to heart disease. That's the cholesterol in the blood, not in the diet that linked to heart disease. Egg yolk is the major source of dietary cholesterol and immediately causes concern and gets the bad name.

The 212 milligrams of cholesterol in one large egg certainly catch the consumers' attention. They started to cut back on eggs. However, according to Neva Cochran, a nutrition communications consultant that thirty years of research has never linked eggs to heart disease.

Saturated fats and trans fats are the bigger concerns than cholesterol leading to coronary artery disease. Dairy products, meats and oils are potentially loaded with bad fats. So at least you can choose healthier lower fat choices if you don't want to cut them all out.

The American Heart Association's latest nutrition recommendations do not limit the number of eggs intake as long as the total dietary cholesterol is limited to about 300 milligrams per day. So one whole egg a day is good.

Monday, April 14, 2008

You Want to Shape Up Like J.Lo?

According to a report in Closer magazine, the actress/singer Jennifer Lopez (a.k.a. J.Lo) has adopted a punishing exercise regime to get back to her pre-pregancy shape.

Read more here >>

J.Lo gets up 4 a.m. every morning and starts her 3-hour workout, 7 days a week under a team of personal trainers and nutritionists. That's tremendous dedication and commitment.

Granted that J.Lo has her own personal trainers and nutritionists. But she still has to get up every morning at 4 a.m. and does all the 3-hour hard workout. Her trainers can't do the exercise for her. Her nutritionist can't eat the foods for her.

This Latin goddess is just like everyone else. She's not different. J.Lo doesn't have anything special to get in shape and stay in shape. She trains hard and eats well. Can you commit yourself something similar to her regime? You want to shape up like J.Lo? Can you work out like J.Lo?

Don't blame your fat genes!

Today you don't need to be a Hollywood celebrity to have your own personal trainer. Contact Your Dream Body WorkoutXpert to get in shape like J.Lo.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Normal Weight = Healthy Weight ?

Even if your weight is normal (BMI<25.0), you're still susceptible to heart disease, diabetes and other metabolic disorders if your body fat is too high.

According to a recent study lead by Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenz, a cardiologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., more than half (61%) of Americans are suffering from the so-called "normal weight obesity". Their body weights are within normal range (BMI<25.o), but their body fats are higher than 20% for men and 30% for women.

High body fat can affect heart and metabolic health including high cholesterol, high levels of leptin that regulates appetite and high rates of metabolic syndrome.

Normal weight is NOT equal to healthy weight.

Body weight or BMI is not a reliable gauge of obesity or health at the individual level. A muscular person may have high BMI, yet has low body fat and very healthy. On the contrary, a normal-weight person may have high body fat and is not healthy.

"Excess body fat in the belly is a menace, whatever your weight." said Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Lose Belly Fat to Reduce Risk of Dementia

In an earlier article, I have explained why excess belly fat is more deadly than you think. Strategies to reduce excess body fat and fight obesity were also elaborated.

Read more here >>

According to a new research study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, having a big belly in your 40s can increase your risk of Alzheimer's disease or other dementia many years later.

The excess abdominal fat that makes people look like apple-shaped has been shown to link to higher risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Dementia is a new risk of disease added to the list.

The study involved 6583 men and women who were ages 40 to 45 when they had checkups between 1964 and 1973. The researchers checked medical records to see who had developed Alzheimer's or another form of dementia by an average of 36 years later, when the participants were ages 73 to 87. There were 1049 cases.

Here are their findings:
  • Participants with normal body weight and high belly measurement were 89% more likely to have dementia.
  • Overweight people were 82% more likely if they had a low belly measurement, but more than twice as likely if they had a high belly measurement.
  • Obese people were 81% more likely if they had a low belly measurement, but more than three times as likely if they had a high measurement.

It's not yet proven that excess abdominal fat promotes dementia. High insulin levels may help explain them, according to Dr. Jose Luchsinger of Columbia Unversity Medical Center.

The take-away message is that don't wait 'til everything is confirmed by the medical community to start taking actions.

Take charge of your health and fitness through healthy liftstyle changes, regular weight training and cardio exercises and balanced nutrition.

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