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.