Without a doubt, physical exercise is important for each and every person on this planet. Unfortunately, some people don’t receive all the benefits of every workout, and may even incur some unwanted side effects. When this happens, it’s usually because of a chosen lifestyle that inhibits the body’s ability to function properly. For example, a lot of smokers believe that exercise can cancel out the negative effects of their habit. This is simply not true.
Everyone knows by now that smoking is dangerous; it causes numerous health complications and even death. Cigarettes affect the body in the exact opposite way that exercise does. All of the hard work you do during a workout is negated by the poisonous chemicals in a cigarette. Besides that, even a mild smoker prevents their organs from performing in top condition and then demands that those same organs support their body during an intense workout.
VO2 max (V-volume per time, O2-oxygen, max-maximum) is typically defined as the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to process oxygen during exercise. This number is useful because it is the most reliable way to determine the fitness level of the individual. By knowing your VO2 max, you can not only compare your fitness level to “standards”, but you can also objectively assess your progress while improving your current overall level of endurance and fitness.
Knowing your VO2 max is also great for setting goals and motivation. Most recreational exercisers really don’t need to know their VO2 max; although I recommend knowing it along with your weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, body fat, and BMI (Body Mass Index). By knowing these numbers, you are able to self- diagnose your current overall state of health and well-being (extremely important if you are over the age of 45). The more oxygen your muscles use, the more efficiently your body works, allowing you to do more work, with less stress on your body. VO2 max is one of those rare health numbers you want to go up, not down. (more…)
Having high blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, both of which are two of the three top causes of death in the U.S. The numbers are staggering: According to the Centers for Disease Control, about one third of everyone in the U.S. has high blood pressure.
While the cause of the vast majority of cases of high blood pressure is difficult to pin down, there are many lifestyle choices that can be made to decrease your chances of developing high blood pressure, or restoring yours to a healthy level if you already suffer from it:
Flax seed oil and chia seeds are filled with nutritional benefits that are essential to your overall health. They are filled with both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot make, so we have to get them from food sources.
There are some cautions to consider with flax seed oil, however. Because it is a fat, it can go rancid, and you must take the necessary precautions to avoid that. You need to make sure that exposure to heat, air and light are all minimal or avoided.
How good can dark chocolate be for high blood pressure? The flavanols found in dark chocolate stimulate the production of endothelial nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to dilate and potentially lower blood pressure. Past studies have reported conflicting results about the benefits of flavanols, but a new meta-analysis published in BMC Medicine examined the findings of 13 studies on the subject. The studies assessed met the criteria of measuring the effects of cocoa as a food or drink on systolic and diastolic blood pressure as compared to a placebo. The new study concluded that dark chocolate, but not milk or white chocolate, did reduce hypertension and prehypertension, equivalent to the effects produced by 30 minutes of exercise. (more…)
A new study has found that heart attacks have dropped by a dramatic 24 percent in a large group of people studied in Northern California. Even more dramatically, there was a 62 percent drop in the most severe type of heart attack, known as an ST-segment elevation heart attack. A coronary artery is fully blocked.
The study’s authors don’t think it’s happened by accident.
“We believe improvements in targeting risk factors are in part responsible,” says the study’s senior author, Dr. Alan Go, M.D., the assistant director for clinical research at Kaiser Permanente, in Oakland, California. “We’ve observed in our population that fewer people are smoking, and there’s better control of blood pressure and cholesterol.”
Matthew - before losing weight
If there is a picture of a slender frame in the athletic community, it is the swimmer. Their bodies are trained for endurance and burning massive amounts of calories. So, that makes today’s weight loss success story all the more intriguing.
Matthew Schonwalder is a former collegiate athlete, a swimmer for the University of North Carolina. In 1994, Matthew was a slender 165 pounds, in his 6′ 2″ frame. But, when he gave up his athletic ambitions to focus on improving his grades, that is when the weight began to skyrocket.
While Matthew stopped swimming, his caloric intake stayed the same (remember, Olympian Michael Phelps admitted to 12,000 calories a day).
In early 2007, Matthew hit 240 pounds, with a total cholesterol of 238. The American Heart Association categorizes anything at 240 mg/dL or above as “high risk.” His blood pressure was high, too.
Many adults have high blood pressure, but until recently, there has been little knowledge as to the origin. A recent study commissioned by scientists at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine has found a substantial correlation between young adults who don’t get enough aerobic, physical exercise and having high blood pressure later in life.
Home fitness is becoming ever more popular these days and having the right equipment is a must. It’s on the rise due to cutting costs, lack of time, parenting, and sometimes comfort levels. Since I am a firm believer in exercise, I am happy that many people today are making an effort, whether at home or in the gym.
I recently purchased a BodyForm Total Fitness Platform to use for my in-home clientele and it’s rather amazing. The BodyForm Platform is easy to use and extremely effective.
The BodyForm Platform is a compact home fitness machine that provides you with a total body workout anytime and anywhere. It is great for the home, office, or even the gym.