health

How Exercise Benefits You

exercise-and-happinessHaving  a well balanced lifestyle is currently the new trend, with many individuals enabling themselves to include exercise in their everyday living. This comes as no surprise especially because of the rise of well known diseases that are commonly associated with lack of exercise, which leads us to the question, “What are the benefits of exercise?”

A lot of claims have been formulated from studies all over the world and despite the differences, all are clear to reveal that exercises do more good than harm. Below are just some of the ways that prove how beneficial exercise can be in everyday living.

 

Exercise develops health and fitness

A regular exercise routine means that the basic foundations of your well being are taken into consideration. Those starting to exercise will initially notice a decrease in excess body weight and a better capability to keep the heart and lungs working well, increasing a great amount of stamina. Also through exercise muscles improve endurance and strength and eventually, flexibility is also developed.

 

Exercise improves mental capacity

The opportunity to exercise for a given period of time develops focus and concentration. Exercises require people to coordinate movement patterns from the brain onto the rest of the body. This may seem to be a very simple process but being able to incorporate this capacity onto other parts of life clearly establishes it as a beneficial trait that can be used daily through step by step procedures .

 

Exercise increases confidence and relieves stress

Once a regular exercise regimen is taken into consideration, these rigorous programs and exercise protocols bring physical challenges that increase the levels of endorphin, known as the happy hormone, making the world seem to be a better place after every exercise session. Joining the cycle of happiness is the amount of confidence that is achieved through proper exercises especially when skills improve from beginner to advance.

 

Clearly there are numerous advantages of keeping exercise as a regular part of life. The journey of daily living becomes an easier task through exercise. And as a bonus it enables many people to live a happier and longer life.

Simple Ways To Boost Energy

Ok – so we all want to boost energy so we can be more success leaders, parents, friends, and CEO’s… but most of us are under a lot of stress, which means that every organ, cell and system goes into a hyper-vigilant state, meaning it is basically ‘on guard’ at all times – and that can drastically reduce both your mental and physical energy level.

Normally, this response would only happen in short bursts, when the body perceives danger for example.

When stressed however, these systems are literally on 24-hour watch; specific chemicals and hormones are secreted in an attempt to help your body cope, readying your body to ‘fight’. Over time, this not only weakens the internal workings of the entire system allowing disease to develop and fat to accumulate on your body, but eventually, it wears out your body and your metabolism. It’s like revving your car while in park – 24-hours a day.

How long do you think the engine will last… Not long!

Today, I’d like to give you several tips to reduce stress and boost energy in your life – some of these tips you may already be familiar with, and some may be completely new to you – but no matter what, you should implement each of them into your life to protect yourself from the harmful effect of stress.

– Proper Diet: I have gone into great detail about diet in the Energy Factor television show found below, so I will only say here that eating live, whole foods (like vegetables) and drinking plenty of distilled water are essential to any anti-stress lifestyle.

– Exercise: Again, I have discussed the benefits of exercise in the Energy Factor as well, but it’s worth noting here that exercise also serves to distract you from any stressful event that may be happening around you or in you life. As well, when you’re healthy and fit, any adverse effects you may experience as a result of stress will be less dangerous. A fit and healthy body can handle these negative effects much easier than an unhealthy body. So, when you feel yourself becoming stressed even if you just take a quick walk, you’ll be doing your body a huge favor; it will also allow you to get away from the stress for a moment, often giving you a new perspective in the situation.

– Identify the Stressors in your Life: the old adage, “you can’t fight what you can’t see” applies here. Start by identifying the major sources of stress in your life. If you keep a daily journal, this is a great place to record the things during the day that trigger stress reactions. For instance, the neighbor’s dog went to the bathroom on your lawn again. Record the event (the dog went to the bathroom on your lawn) and as well, the physical or mental reaction this had on you (you felt your blood pressure rising and your heart pounding etc.). Sometimes stress can result from a good source as well. For instance, maybe you won an award at work and you had to make a speech in front of the entire office. For some people this could be even more stressful than a negative event. List these good stressors as well.

– Set Your Priorities: First, after about a week, go through your journal and review your entries. Put them into two columns: those you have control over and those you don’t. Then, look at those stresses you do have control over. Let’s use the example of the neighbor’s dog. What could you do to remove this stress from your life? You could nicely talk to the neighbor and ask him to keep his dog out of your yard, but if this doesn’t work, what else can you do? You could become more persistent with the neighbor, although this may in itself cause you (and him) more stress, or possibly, you could decide to put up a fence for instance. It may seem a little drastic at first, but the end result is that you have removed the stressor and one less health risk to your body.

Now, let’s look at those situations in which you do not have control. Let’s use the example of a nasty co-worker. You may not have control over how he or she treats you, but you do have control over how you will react to that treatment. You can get very angry or upset or you can ignore them or even try being nice back to them, whatever the case, it is your choice.

I am in no way advocating at this point that you allow people to bully you or treat you badly, what I am saying, is that how you choose to react inside is your choice. If the things the co-worker is doing or saying are out-of line, then by all means take the appropriate actions, like reporting them, but do it without getting upset or stressed. Your health needs to be the number one priority in your life.

Make time to do things for yourself. Take extra long weekends if you can or vacations when possible. Above all else, change your attitude about life and the stresses it invariably deals out. Have fun and enjoy each day.

– Keep Positive: A positive attitude will not only boost energy and reduce the number of stressful situations you encounter in life, but it will go a long way to changing how you view these events. Try the “glass is half full” attitude – always look for the positive in every situation you come across. Everything in life truly does happen for a reason and if you can find a positive reason for these sometimes-stressful events, you will find you get through them much quicker and much easier.

– Use Relaxation techniques: Things like massage, deep breathing, meditation, biofeedback, yoga, Tai Chi or even power napping are great ways to combat stress and to shut off the “fat storing genes”. There are a variety of natural therapies available these days. Find one that works for you and make it a regular part of your life. You will quickly find that things that used to bother you in life simply don’t matter as much anymore.

– Laugh a lot: I think this is so important that I have devoted an entire chapter to it in my newest book. Laughter actually reduces the level of stress-related hormones in your body and when these hormones are reduced, your body begins to stop storing unnecessary fat and it begins burning any extra fat you currently have on your body. A good sense of humor will take you a long way in life, and help you to look a lot better during that life.

Health Coaching – Top 10 Reasons to Hire Or Be One

Health Coaching is a relatively new profession which focuses on helping people making positive changes in their health, physical, mental and emotional lives, that they have not been able to do for themselves. Its about people deciding that the personal cost for not making some changes has become too high. They are willing to trade pain for gain — so to speak. Here are ten “pain for gain” reasons to hire (or become) a health coach.

1. Health Coaching and Weight Loss

One of the most challenging (and discouraging ) behavioral changes that people try to make is losing weight and keeping it off. We are all aware of the health risks associated with being overweight. Many people have been on the weight loss and gain it back yo yo ride for years. What can make the difference and break this vicious cycle is a trained professional to guide you how to take it off and keep it off. This can be done with a few key lifestyle changes which are easier than you might think especially with the support of a health coach. What would it mean to you to lose 20-40 pounds and never gain it back. Visualize yourself at your ideal weight. What does that feel like? What does it look like? See yourself there now. Feels great doesn’t it?

2. Health Coaching and Eating Habits

A second behavior change that is tied to and often more challenging than weight loss is our eating habits. We love to eat ( and eat and eat and eat) And most of us are addicted to some form of junk food. Mine is chocolate. How our lives could change if we could make a few basic improvements in our daily diet. More energy, better sleep, less illness because of a boosted immune system, healthier skin, look better, feel better. So how do we do it. A health coach can introduce and effective program that makes sense and is easy to do if you are motivated to make a few changes and reap the rewards.

3. Health Coaching and Stress

Stress can literally destroy people’s lives. The pace today is hectic and people are paying the price. Marital break ups, illness, child abuse, addictions, mental ill health, low self esteem, the list is endless. The price is high and robs us of a quality of life.. We live a fast paced life with multiple responsibilities. Learning to manage stress can literally save your life. What a different life you could lead if you could tame the tiger and learn to channel stressful events so they worked for you rather than against you. A health coach can show you how to do that.

4. Health Coaching and Positive Relationships

Positive nurturing relationships are vital to a healthy life. How well we get along with others including our own family often will determine our level of emotional and mental health. Lots of people are challenged in this area because they have not learned the social skills it takes. Ongoing conflict with people at work or at home can and not knowing “how to fix it” can really compromise your quality of life. The solutions to these kind of difficulties are easier than you might think. There a few “learnable” skills that can make a huge difference in your relationships. Ask yourself what it would mean to you to have much more positive and enjoyable communication and relationships with someone at work, your family, your spouse or your kids. Health coaching can make the difference.

5. Health Coaching and Communication Skills

I hear this all the time. ‘We can’t communicate, we argue all the time, he/she doesn’t listen to me, we’re not on the same page, i wish i could tell him what i think, I just don’t know what to say. Perhaps one of the greatest failures of our educational system is not teaching basic communications skills, how to connect with people, how to listen, how to say what you think or feel so people will listen. Probably the #1 reason for failed relationships is people not knowing how to communicate effectively with each other. There are basic effective easy to learn talking and listening skills that would resolve most misunderstandings and health coaching can teach you them easily and quickly.

6. Health Coaching and Exercise

Exercise. A four letter word for some. The fact is just a little more routine exercise in our daily lives could have a significant impact on our health. I like to walk and jog and lift light weights. It could be bike riding, swimming or flopping on the floor during commercials and doing some light stretching. A lack of exercise can ruin your health. A health coach can get you started towards a more active existence and help you stick with it long enough for it to make a significant difference. Go for it.

7. Health Coaching – Preventative vs. Curative

A distinct advantage of health coaching is that it is preventative as opposed to curative. Would you rather have someone help you prevent diabetes or some other debilitating disease or visit a doctor to get treated after the fact. That is the choice a lot of people are facing but the point is you have a choice and if you don’t choose for yourself, life will choose for you. Make a wise choice and choose the path of prevention. You will reap the rewards of better health and health coaching can get you there.

8. Health Coach – Being a Role Model

Be a trend setter, be a role model for others. Just think of the impact you could have on other peoples lives especially those you care about most. What if because of changes YOU made your mother, father, sister, brother, child or friend made a significant change in their health. What would that feel like? You often see people make dramatic changes after the heart attack. Well those same changes can be made right now and have the effect of preventing a disastrous heart attack or stroke. What if because of the changes you made it prevented a family member or friend from having a serious illness. This scenario is quite possible. Because I have started to run on a regular basis both my kids and my wife have started walk/jogging. What a thrill for me. Who knows how that will benefit them in the years to come. So be a trend setter in your family. Your family will love you for it and you will feel great about yourself for doing it.

9. Health Coaching and Self Esteem

A lasting benefit of health coaching is how you feel about yourself when you succeed at making important changes in your health. This is because of the positive feelings and feedback you get from family and friends ( and when you look in the mirror ). You’ve lost weight and people notice and comment. You’re not as stressed out and it feels good. You have more energy and you are more active. You’re sleeping better and you look more rested. Your relationship with your spouse and kids has improved. People around you will often mirror your mood and energy. You’re more fun to be around, not as irritable, short tempered or demanding. Your doctor notices and commends you for your efforts. You just feel good about yourself and you’re not going back to the way it was. Never!!

10. Health Coaching – It Could Be For You

One of the things that happens for some who go through health coaching and derive significant benefits from it, is they get exposed to the process and see how much it benefits others and how it could be a powerful change agent for people ‘stuck in the muck’ and suffering the consequences. It can often influence them enough to consider being a health coach themselves. Health coaching is a rapidly growing profession and is open to most people as an income choice, part time or full time, who have a genuine interest and desire to help others. Not to mention that the average hourly for a session ranges from 100 to 200 dollars for a session. A rather ‘healthy’ income.

So in summary, these are just a few of the benefits for hiring ( or becoming ) a health coach. Decide that you deserve excellent vibrant health and if you can’t achieve it on your own or would like to speed up the process consider hiring a health coach. A healthier, happier life awaits you.

Celebrity Personal Trainers

Personal Trainer to the Stars!!

Celebrity Personal Trainers!!

Who are these amazing personal trainers that train the stars, professional athletes, celebrities, rock musicians, and the rest of the rich and famous?

Well, being a personal trainer and a perfectionist, I did some research to find out who they are and how one becomes a personal trainer to the stars. The research I uncovered about these so-called celebrity personal trainers that charge fees of $300+ per hour for their expertise indicates that, like the rest of the personal training industry, there are no requirements of any sort to become a celebrity trainer. Most of these celebrity trainers simply happened to be in the right place at the right time.

I had a close friend who was in a car accident. Since the insurance covered it, he went to see a chiropractor after the accident. During the first few visits, he and the chiropractor got to talking, and they hit it off. The chiropractor happened to know some celebrities, and just by knowing him, my friend got a gig training a star. Fortunately, my friend had a good knowledge base and was great at working with people, although the chiropractor had no real way of knowing this at the time. There was something in it for the chiropractor, though, in that he got a cut for recommending the my friend to the celebrity.

Mangers of celebrities would be doing their star clients a favor if they used a little more caution when hiring personal trainers and the like. As with any referral, a thorough screening and background check are in order before simply hiring a trainer on some other celebrity’s say-so. Unfortunately for the client, the endorsement by another famous person is often all it takes for an unqualified musclehead, who knows virtually nothing about how to work with people or train the human body, to get in the door.

Just Because They’re Famous Doesn’t Mean They’re Knowledgeable

I want to state that I am by no means bashing personal trainers who work with stars, or any individual’s personal trainer — although it’s always important to find and hire a trainer with the highest level of education, experience, and certifications. Unfortunately, it’s not necessarily the people with the best qualifications, but rather those with the best marketing and biggest mouths who usually get all the attention. Take note: This DOES NOT MEAN they know a hill of beans about training. The thing about the lack of regulation in this field is that you don’t really have to be very well-qualified to get a job doing it. If you’re good at causing a big commotion and conveying confidence about your ability to make people feel good, you will succeed in the business, whether or not you can actually deliver on your promise.

Take a look at the industry and you’ll see that celebrity personal trainers are a dime a dozen now. All the biggest stars — Britney Spears, P‑Diddy, J‑Lo, Oprah, Madonna, Tom Cruise — have personal trainers. Even the trainers themselves are getting famous now, just because of their celebrity clients. Two of the most celebrated personal trainers are Bob Green, Oprah’s trainer, and Gunter, trainer to many celebrities.

I have watched many of these personal trainers on the news and listened to their advice about which diets work and which are the best nutrition products on the market. Trust me, their biggest gift is their ability to get in front of a camera to sell their products, because their advice is questionable, at best. Still, no one can argue their ability to generate millions of dollars because of their proximity to the rich and famous. The sad part is that they’re making a large portion of their money by exploiting millions of uneducated, unmotivated people, playing on their unrealistic desires to look like the next celebrity on the big screen.

We’re Not All Going to Look Like Supermodels or Professional Athletes

Let’s say you work really hard and you’re in the best shape of your life, but you still don’t look like your idealized image of the perfect man or woman. People, let’s be honest with each other. Not everyone is going to look like Pamela Anderson or Brad Pitt. Genetics play a big role in our looks, not to mention the cosmetic enhancements created through plastic surgery, air brushing, and camera tricks. Being healthy and fit doesn’t mean you will never have a little fat on your body. Looking great and feeling great without the aid of drugs, cosmetics, and surgery will take you to better places than any amount of fame will ever give you.

Before you decide you want to look like a cover girl or a superjock, it’s really important to get comfortable with yourself exactly as you are. Sure, you’re going to feel better as you lose weight and build muscle, but the you inside is going to be the same. Yes, your shapely new build may inspire confidence, but the raw materials of your personality are going to be exactly the same. Are you fundamentally happy with your life and who you are now — or are you waiting around for external improvements to make you feel better on the inside? Just like the roots of a plant determine the quality of its fruit, it’s the invisible, internal stuff that determines the happiness of your external life.

Celebrities Whine & Complain Just Like Everybody Else

As a society, we’ve been trained to look up to people whose job it is to pretend everyday to be someone other than who they are. And because of the glitz and glamour associated with their Hollywood lives, we put them up on pedestals and give extra weight to what they say — for no reason other than the fact that they’re famous.

I hate to break it to you, but I have trained some celebrities and stars — and the truth is they are no different than you or I. Granted, it’s their job to look great all the time, so they spend a ton of time and money making sure they keep on looking good. But they whine and complain just as much as the rest of us. Wouldn’t you love to get paid to look good, rather than paying someone to help you look better?

Once upon a time, only celebrities hired personal trainers, in part because only celebrities could afford them, but also because looking good was viewed primarily as the arena of the famous. It’s good to know we regular folks are getting smarter, in that we’re beginning to realize just how important personal training is in the lives of everyone, not just famous people. If you think about how important a healthy body is to every aspect of your life, you might come to realize that a good trainer is more important than your hair dresser, your CPA, or even your mechanic. In fact, a personal trainer is a mechanic — only the machine he or she works on is not a car, but the most important machine you will ever own: your body.

Personal trainers help keep you healthy by motivating you — and the celebrities — to get in shape and keep off the fat.

The Results of Quick-Fix Shape-Up Programs Never Last

I am constantly amazed when I hear celebrities and their personal trainers promoting their diets and/or nutritional products. If the alleged “professionals” holding the media limelight still don’t know how the body functions (and far too many of them don’t), it’s no wonder our nation just keeps on getting fatter. There are two significant problems with quick-fix formats for training and nutrition. First, these extreme exercise and diet regimens that quickly get stars in phenomenal shape for a movie role or a tour are terrible for the body. Yet many celebrities are willing to do whatever it takes to get in shape as quickly as possible because they know their jobs could be on the line. Secondly, regular people, fans of these fabulous-looking stars, try to follow the celebrities’ diet and exercise programs, only to wind up failing, both because they cannot keep up the extreme regimens and because the programs are unnatural and impossible to sustain for any length of time.

Remaining super-lean year-round can be challenging, especially if you’re on an exercise program that leans you down in as little as 8 to 12 weeks, such as a bodybuilder’s diet and exercise regimen. This process can get you looking phenomenal for a day or two, but I guarantee it won’t last much beyond that, because our bodies simply cannot function at that level for any sustained period of time. However, you can achieve these results and stay super-lean year-round with a lifestyle change that incorporates healthy meals and regular exercise. A program like this is geared to burn fat as opposed to primarily building muscle, unlike the regimens celebrity personal trainers often put their star clients on.

The thing is, short-term training programs to get in shape for a one- or two-day event (like a bodybuilding contest) do work, but because they occur at an unnaturally rapid pace, they cannot be carried out for any real length of time, at least not without doing serious harm to the body. But sure enough, most celebrity personal training programs are designed around this quick-fix process because so few personal trainers really understand anatomy and human kinetics, the science of how the human body functions. There are well-educated trainers — they just happen to be unfortunately rare. I have worked in the industry for many years, and seldom encounter other trainers who have degrees or even quality certifications, or who continue to develop their education and expand their knowledge about human function and performance. In this unregulated industry, no one is checking to see if personal trainers are performing any kind of continuing ed — and I promise you, most are not.

All this is not to say that you should not hire a personal trainer. Hell, even personal trainers who know hardly anything about creating a quality exercise or nutrition program still can create an environment where you can get in great shape. They can motivate you to achieve better health and make much further progress than you would likely ever accomplish on your own. Almost any personal trainer is better than no personal trainer. Almost.

Differing Levels of Training Experience — and Results

Certainly there are people reading this who feel they can do it — the fitness program and healthy diet — all on their own. More power to anyone who can create a healthy eating plan, incorporate a weight training routine, and practice a regular cardio regimen on their own. Please know, however, you are the extreme exception. For many people, the problem isn’t in creating the program or even finding the discipline to commit to it. The problem is that in trying to do it all themselves, they are creating the wrong program for the results they wish to achieve. These are the folks who train regularly, yet see little or no results. They then get frustrated and quit, thinking they have tried everything when it comes to losing fat, that they simply must not be disciplined enough — when, in reality, discipline has very little to do with it.

There also are those who think they know a lot because they’ve achieved great results on their own, when in actuality, they’ve just been blessed with good genes and would benefit by doing almost any kind of exercise. Most of your models, movie stars, and celebrities fall into this category, so any exercise and nutritional program a personal trainer gives them is likely to work like a charm. Under the guidance of a knowledgeable personal trainer and certified nutritionist, these people would see more and better results than they had ever dreamed possible. And the best part would be that the results would last, rather than simply providing the short-term fix they’ve become used to.

Lastly, of course, are the people who don’t care about their health, don’t have time to exercise, or never exercise, because exercise hurts, they hate to sweat, or their self-esteem is in the toilet and they figure it’s a waste of time to even try. While this sort of personal apathy toward preserving one’s health through exercise and proper eating may seem like no one’s business but the individual’s, it really is a very selfish act. Treating your body well, including getting regular exercise and eating healthy food, is the most unselfish thing you can do. Think about it — if you don’t take care of yourself now, sooner than later, others will have to take care of you. Since you were too lazy, busy, or depressed to invest the time or energy in staying healthy, you will, inevitably, make others suffer.

A Qualified Trainer Will Tailor a Program to Meet Your Needs

If companies and governments were wise, personal trainers would be mandatory and health insurance would cover them. Well, a guy can dream, can’t he? Seriously, even if you only see a trainer once a week — or even once a month — to check in and make sure you’re performing your exercises properly, it’s better than not seeing one at all.

Take the time to do the research, and then invest in a qualified trainer who is knowledgeable about how to help you achieve your personal goals. If you have a special need — a back injury, joint problems, limited range of motion — find someone who can address your issues specifically. Don’t jump on the latest celebrity trainer bandwagon, just because the person is a trainer to the stars. Find a personal trainer who knows how to train your human body and get you results.

Fame Doesn’t Equal Expertise — Particularly in the Health & Fitness Industry

Celebrity personal trainers, spokesmodels, movie stars, athletes, and other rich and famous people probably got where they are because they’re great at what they do. That does not mean you should follow their advice about health and nutrition. You probably wouldn’t ask a plumber advice about how to change your car’s oil, would you? Likewise, celebrities may look good, but that doesn’t mean they — even celebrity trainers — know anything about proper exercise and nutrition. Hire a health, fitness, and nutrition professional. They are the only people whose advice you should take regarding these subjects. Even medical doctors generally are not the best advocates for proper fitness and nutrition, because they are trained in specific fields and seldom are aware of how all the parts of the body work and move in cooperation.

Have you ever noticed how some of the famous people dishing health advice are not even in that great of shape? Why would you take advice from someone who isn’t in peak physical condition? That’s like getting your hair cut by a stylist with a bowl cut or having a gap-toothed orthodontist install your braces. Not to mention that anyone can look great, but still feel terrible because they achieved their looks through an unhealthy method.

Research Pays Off When Searching for a Qualified Trainer

The thing is, you don’t know what you don’t know. As a result, many people fall into the trap of buying the baloney stars like Britney Spears, Oprah, and Dr. Phil are selling. And even though a star might actually have a fabulous, incredibly knowledgeable trainer, a lot can be misinterpreted between the time the trainer offers exercise or diet specifics to his celebrity client and the time that celebrity repeats the info to his or her adoring public. It’s like that game of Telephone you played when you were a kid — by the time the information reaches you, it has turned into misinformation.

How do you know who to believe anyway? One star says they got great results by simply lifting weights and eating fewer calories. The next celebrity says they lost tons of weight by eating a low-fat diet high in protein. Another famous somebody swears by a daily swim, lots of veggies, and whole lot of good carbs. Arghhhhhh!!!! It all sounds confusing as hell. And, in a way, it is.

A program that’s right for a size-2 supermodel probably is not right for a heavy stay-at-home mom who is just now learning to incorporate any exercise into her day. The proper program for an individual depends on his or her biochemistry and the specific way their body functions. Understanding human kinetics is not as easy as A-B-C. When it comes to the human body, there may be many underlying reasons why one person begins a simple walking program and, voila, they look phenomenal, while another person runs, lifts weights, and kills themselves in the gym, only to step on the scale and find they’ve gained another pound.

The human body is awash in mysteries, and a good personal trainer will help you solve yours so you can lose all the fat you want and add all the muscle you desire. Again, personal training is all about you and your results. And even if all your exercise and effort don’t drop a pound off you — if you see no noticeable changes — know that the exercise is benefiting your body and your health, and it would be stupid to discontinue your program. Rather than quit, find someone to help you fine-tune your regimen so you can begin to see the results from all your hard work.

The main thing is this: Don’t follow someone’s advice just because they claim to be a personal trainer to the stars or charge $300 an hour. None of that means their program will get you the results you want. There are no healthy quick fixes. Get on a quality exercise program and eat properly, period. Don’t waste time, money, or energy, only to become frustrated. Do the research and hire a professional who can give you sensible advice that will get you on your way to looking good and feeling great.

Finding a Health Club That’s Right For You

Some people are self proclaimed gym rats.

Others would be happy to never step foot in a gym. Either way, many people see the benefits associated with a fitness club membership. The International Health, Racquet Sports Club Association reports that nationwide 21 million Americans currently belong to health club of some type. This figure is projected to reach 40 million by the year 2010. If you are one of the 19 million who will join a health club in the next four years, there are some simple criteria and steps that will help you make the right choice.

Criteria For Choosing A Health Club

1) Location

– Choose a health club that isn’t too far from home and work so that you don’t have an extra excuse not to go. Think about how far you are comfortable driving for other tasks in your life such as the grocery store or the dry cleaners. Choose a club that is located within your driving comfort area, and you’ll be more likely to add a trip to the gym into your daily or weekly routine.

2) Programs

– Examine your fitness goals and preferences, and choose a club that offers what you desire. If you need to lose weight, choose a club that offers programs on weight loss and nutrition. If you enjoy swimming and tennis but don’t want to perfect your dead-lift technique, a local swim and tennis club or YMCA might be right for you.

3) Staff

– Find out if the club hires professionally certified fitness instructors. Also, if you are interested in nutrition counseling, massage therapy or physical therapy, see if the club offers trained professionals in those fields.

4) Equipment

– Choose a club that has a wide variety of well-maintained equipment. Consistent fitness often relies on variety, and you will want access to several types of machines and workout tools such as mats and fitness balls.

5) Maintenance

-The entire club should be clean and safe. Make several visits to the club to see how well-lit the parking lot is. Examine the locker rooms to make sure they are well staffed and cleaned regularly. The club should provide cleanser and towels in the workout area so that members are encouraged to clean up after their workouts.

6) Contract Terms

– Health Clubs vary greatly in their contract offerings. While some clubs will ask you to sign a contract for a year (or more), many clubs offer month-to-month memberships if you sign up with an automatic monthly payment. Determine what your ideal contract term would be before signing on the dotted line.

7) Child Care

– Many clubs offer free child care. If this is a concern for you, choose a club that hires trained child care professionals, and has a clean, well-maintained child care facility.

8) Hours

– Many clubs are open 24 hours a day, and offer discounted rate for those who will come at off peak hours. Examine your schedule and determine when you are most likely to work out. Visit the club at several different times during the week to determine the busiest hours, and whether there will be a wait for equipment.

Steps To Take To Find A Health Club

1) Research

– Ask your family, friends, and co-workers about their health clubs. Does any club stand out with a good or bad reputation? Also, conduct an internet search on health clubs in your area. Are there any new, innovative clubs? If you prefer a national chain, is there one nearby? If you prefer a small, locally owned club, where might you find one?

2) Prepare A List Of Questions

– When you go to visit the gym for the first time, make sure it is clear that you are interviewing the sales person and not the other way around. The following list was prepared by Mayo Clinic for prospective gym members. Don’t be shy about asking the following questions:

a) How old is the exercise equipment?

b) How often is the equipment replaced?

c) What type of continuing education is provided for or required of staff?

d) What are the busiest times? What fitness areas are most crowded? At what times?

e) Are class sizes limited?

f) Are any additional fees imposed, for example, for towels or the swimming pool?

g) Does the facility offer amenities such as free parking or on-site child-care services?

h) Is entertainment available, such as televisions or personal music stations?

i) How many interactions during a workout can you expect from staff?

j) What types of personal consulting services are available? For example, are there personal fitness trainers or nutrition consultants? What qualifications do these staff members have?

k) Is the facility equipped to handle emergencies? For example, are staff members trained to give first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation? Do they know how to use an automated external defibrillator?

l) How much does membership cost? What are the opt-out policies? What are billing cycles?

3) Get A Temporary Pass

– Most gyms will grant a two week pass upon request. Get as many days as you can for free, and use the gym just as you would if you were a new member. Does the location work with your routine? Are there any pieces of equipment you wish you could use? Are there classes that fit your schedule?

4) Follow Through

– Once you have signed up for your membership, it is your responsibility to get yourself to the gym. Some clubs offer buddy systems, personal trainers or group classes that will keep you motivated to work out. It might be worth an extra initial investment to ensure that you will visit the gym regularly once you are a member.

One reason gym membership has soared in the past few years is that there is a wide variety of fitness clubs. Some clubs are small, neighborhood establishments with a more cozy setting and back-to-basics equipment. Other clubs offer such varied amenities as SPA treatments, gourmet meals, child care, rock climbing, squash and tennis. The sky is the limit with today’s facilities. The hardest part of your new workout many be narrowing down the field and finding the club that’s right for you. Ask the right questions, and you’ll soon find your match.

Lowering Cholesterol Level – 8 Easy Diet Tips

Reality shows are becoming the talk of the town these days with their natural presentation and real emotions with no pre-written scripts like the other television series. They unfold naturally in the course of viewing and inspire you for one and many things. One such hot-seller these days is – The Biggest Loser.

Inspiring its viewers to become healthy and fighting fit once again, the contestants on this show are an interesting bunch of overweight people comprising both men and women, working out thoroughly and following strictly balanced diet. They are working out with full devotion to reduce their weight. At the end of each week, 1 player is eliminated. The winner would be the one who sheds of the most pounds in three months and he/she shall be in for a prize worth $250,000. He/She shall also win over a golden second chance to live a healthy life.

These individual are fighting for much more than money – their own life and health – after all, health is wealth. If you pamper your body well, it can give you much more than what the Dollars can get you.

Work outs are considered to be the healthiest way of reducing fats in the body. This is perhaps the fastest way of cutting down those excess deposits beneath your skin but after the work out what you require is some energy back up. This meal that follows right after the work out must be a real balanced diet with the right amount of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, etc. This meal would repair the damaged tissues of the body, refuel the individual and lower their body’s cholesterol.

While lowering the cholesterol won’t just happen overnight, observing proper diet along with exercises help you lose those extra pounds and considerably cut on the cholesterol levels.

The key cause of heart diseases as the doctors suggest is cholesterol. High cholesterol level in the blood can not only lead to heart attacks but also several weight problems.

Let us first understand what this cholesterol is – It is a waxy fat-like substance naturally made in the liver of our body. Though cholesterol holds a thorough ‘bad guy image,’ surprisingly it serves many vital functions for our healthy living.

The following are some examples that if taken after a workout would help you minimize your blood cholesterol:

1. Those of you who prefer having bread after the work outs, consider substituting the regular bread with wheat bread, as certain ingredients in your regular bread are rich sources of the bad cholesterol. Wheat bread is much healthier.

2. As nuts also help a great deal in lowering the cholesterol levels, try having the sandwiches with low fat peanut butter.

3. Fruits are perhaps the best source to lower your cholesterol levels. The experts advise you to consume the fruits as a whole rather than pealing of the skin or making them in to a juice. Studies suggest that eating the fruit in its natural form keeps their natural fibers intact that add to your health. For instance, apple – just wash it and have it.

4. After your gym session, instead of spending some extra Dollars, simply hold to a home made packet containing Some cut sticks of carrot or sliced tomatoes. These can be made within no time and packed in some plastic container. This made perfect food to push off to your office directly from the gym.

5. Returning back from the work, all of us crave for some filling food. Here have some chicken or fish that is baked in a microwave or simple steamed. The experts explain that fried food is full of cooking oils that tremendously shoot up the cholesterol levels. So try cooking with other means rather than frying.

6. Add a lot of vegetables to your meals.

7. Garlic and onions are quite easy to prepare and these as the studies explain are majorly helpful in lowering our liver’s cholesterol production.

8. The last meal of the day must end with some yogurt in the dessert. This would leave you satisfied and light.

The New Rules of Triathlon Coaching

The paradigm has shifted for triathlon coaches. You may be a triathlete looking for a coach. You may be a triathlete evaluating your current coach. Or you may be a triathlon coach struggling to get better results for your athletes. Whoever you are, it is crucial that you are aware of critical evolutions in the triathlon coaching industry – evolutions that are going to directly effect your success in the sport of triathlon, whether you’re a coach or an athlete.

New Rule #1) Workouts Are Not The Holy Grail.

In the day of training plan wizard writing software, libraries of pre-written triathlon programs, and a glut of free online workouts, it basically takes a chimpanzee to tell a triathlete when to swim, bike and run (that, or good copy-and-paste skills on the computer). With technology, the complete amateur coach can now design training programs that rival the guru expert coaches of triathlon.

So workouts are not the holy grail. Any triathlon coach on the face of the planet can deliver you effective workouts in a timely fashion. But here is the catch: it takes a wise and seasoned triathlon coach to intertwine a triathlete’s swim, bike and run routines with changes in lifestyle, health, social obligations and injury status, and an even more knowledgeable coach to diagnose and correct nutritional and biomechanical deficiencies and errors that are impeding an athlete’s progress.

Do not assume as a coach that because you give an athlete some semblance of a workout plan each week or each month that you are doing a good job. And do not assume as an athlete that because you are paying a few hundred dollars a month you are getting a customized plan. Is the plan periodized? Does it change with an athlete’s changes in fitness and availability? Does it constantly test and evaluate the athlete, and give the athlete feedback?

If not, it is a lazy plan.

New Rule #2) It’s No Longer About GPS and Heart Rate.

Once upon a time, the only data a triathlon coach inspected was distance, speed, power, heart rate, and occasionally a few more advanced factors and mathematical combinations of those.

This is no longer the case.

A triathlon coach needs to be looking at the recovery status of their athlete, and that should include the ability to examine oxygen saturation status, heart rate variability, hydration, testosterone:cortisol ratios, amino acid levels, and caloric balance.

A coach needs to be looking at the internal performance factors of their athletes, and that includes iron levels, vitamin D levels, magnesium and electrolyte status, fatty acid ratios, body acidity, candida or yeast, and food allergies and intolerances.

A coach needs to be able to see and give specific direction to fix locked sacroiliac joints, imbalanced muscles, weak shoulder stabilizers, hypoxic tissue areas, and power deficits.

Can you as a coach do this? Do you as an athlete have these options from your coach? Every parameter I mentioned above is 100% testable and 100% sharable with a coach, whether or not a coach lives in the same town as an athlete. If a coach is not providing these as options to an athlete, the athlete is getting the short end of the stick.

New Rule #3) Teams Are Paramount.

A triathlon coach cannot and should not be a lone wolf. Every coach should be surrounded by a team that can help the athlete get results, and that team should include a sports medicine physician and/or orthopedic surgeon, a chiropractic physician, a registered dietitian or sports nutritionist, a massage therapist, and when necessary, a naturopathic physician.

A coach must have full access to a team with collective expert knowledge that goes far beyond what you could provide to an athlete on their own. A coach must be able to call a doctor on the phone and ask them about an athlete they are coaching, check in with a nutritionist to deliver a triathlete’s logged meals, and refer an athlete to a higher power when necessary.

If there is no evidence that a triathlon coach has the ability to reach beyond their knowledge and speak about an athlete’s status with experts in specific healing and nutritional fields, then there is no evidence that the triathlon coach is fully equipped to get ideal results.

New Rule #4) Experience Matters.

Triathlon coaching is becoming quite sexy, and, as a result, throngs of young sports science graduates and multi-sport hobbyists are rushing to obtain certifications with the equivalent of a few local sprint triathlons under their belt. Once a website, a sandwich board, or a Yellow Pages advertisement has been posted, the triathlon coach can then sit back and wait for gullible triathletes to hire their smiling face – the triathletes completely convinced that the word “certified” denotes “expert status”.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In evaluating a triathlon coach, an athlete should look at how many triathlons the coach has done, the distance of those events, the final results of those events, the number of years spent coaching, the number and range of athletes coached, and even the time spent traveling and experiencing the unique changes travel can impose upon circadian rhythm, hydration status, and performance levels.

When it comes to triathlon, a piece of paper or certification stamp means next to nothing. If a coach can’t tell an athlete what to do when they drop their electrolyte capsules during a race and need an alternate salt source without flipping their gut, the coach needs to go do a few more races and spend a bit more time in the trenches.

New Rule #5) Communicate Or Die.

A triathlon coach must be able to respond within 24 hours to changes in the triathlete’s health, injury status or social life and make instant changes in that athlete’s program to allow the training plan to effectively continue without interruption of the final goal. The coach must also be able to dynamically program an athlete’s workouts on a weekly basis, constantly moving and shuffling the swimming, cycling and running workouts based on the athlete’s needs, while still achieving the big picture goal.

In the age of the internet, Skype, e-mail, text messaging and cell phones, there is no excuse for a triathlon coach to not be able to communicate with an athlete and instantly respond to an athlete’s needs. Do you, as a triathlon coach, provide this type of communication to your athletes? Do you, as an athlete, get this type of communication from your triathlon coach? If not, then a line needs to be fixed or replaced.

So those, folks, are the new rules of triathlon coaching. The triathlon coach should take these words to heart and examine their business model to determine whether they are doing everything possible to get the best results for the athlete, and the triathlete should give serious thought as to whether the money being spent on a triathlon coach is getting them everything they need…or just a plan in a can.

Becoming a Personal Fitness Coach – The Internet Way! Huh?

Becoming a personal fitness coach for many starting about 2 years ago has a whole different kind of twist to it, if you are speaking about doing it online. In the online model which is quite revolutionary one is just designated as a “personal coach”. Technology such as the internet has provided huge opportunities for people to get fit, stay fit and make some serious cash along the way.

Special Note: If you are one of those you are looking for a personal fitness coach then might I suggest looking into becoming a personal fitness coach for yourself and look at the potential of helping other get fit as you are getting fit.

We all have recommended a product or service to someone along the way in life. This is no different! The idea is that since you are getting fit and healthy, you can become a shining star example to others and get compensated for it!

No Special Education: No special degrees, education or certifications are required for becoming a personal fitness coach and the extra income that it could generate for you can be represented by quite a dramatic increase in income to you bank account!

24 hour Product Store: The true power behind taking advantage of what the internet now offers is that you will also be provided with a 24 hour fully operational store for your customers to buy from. And, of course you can buy you health product and a severe discount, since it is your store!

Ready to Go Help: For you as well as others that you may refer they will have access to online menus, diets, special insider tips, videos and a whole array of fitness and help oriented products, goods and services that could you and your customers get blow out result!

An Income for You: Most such opportunities pay you on the basis that as long as you have customers buying from you, they are permanently yours! But, hold on a minute it could get even better for you!

Customers Provided: Yes, you read that right! IF you qualify some of these new and refreshing opportunities give you customers every month who are already buying product. This obviously is quite exceptional!