Thursday, May 25, 2006

Yoga Your Way to Physical and Mental Fitness by Khieng Chho

Although considered by many simply as an exercise fad, yoga practice has in fact helped thousands of people in improving their physical and mental fitness. Remember the golden rule of never judging a book by its cover; if you think that yoga's all about bending and breathing and nothing else, think again.
The History of Yoga
The practice of yoga has been around for more than four thousand years already. Its origins can be traced back to India where even today, it is considered as a highly valued practice to reach a state of enlightenment. Yoga as a means to receive enlightenment is a central point in several religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
In other parts of the world, the popularity of yoga is caused by its many health benefits and its associated use with asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga as fitness exercises.
Purpose of Yoga and Its Main Components
Besides reaching a spiritual state of enlightenment, yoga can also help individuals reach a better understanding of not only their bodies but their inner selves as well.
When practicing yoga, you'll notice that you'll be concentrating on three main points:
Body Positioning or PostureBreathing TechniquesMeditating Techniques
Advantages of Yoga
Treating Back Injuries - yoga can heal back injuries that you may have by increasing the blood circulation for your injured tissues to heal faster and strengthening your lower back muscles; yoga may also in several cases heal other types of injuries as well
Prevention - Yoga also has the power to reduce chances of re-injuring yourself, shorten the time needed to recover from injuries and serve as a regular exercise technique to prevent disabilities
Mental Clarity and Improved Stress Control - The quiet and deeply relaxing techniques used in yoga would help you have a better state of mind every day at work and better control of your stress levels
Greater Self-Understanding and General Well-Being - Find yourself amazed with how much at peace you feel with yourself when you start practicing yoga regularly
Generally Better Physical Health - Besides getting that ideal toned figure you've been aiming for, yoga will also help in refreshing your kidneys and maintain a better posture
Better Sleep - Rediscover the simple pleasures of sleeping with the help of yoga.
Beginner's Tips for Yoga Practice
Consult Your Doctor - Before launching on to the first yoga step you encounter, make sure that your doctor gives you the go-ahead to do so. Yes, it's true that anyone can technically do yoga but there are certain difficult poses that would be impossible or dangerous to attempt if you are troubled with past injuries or disabilities.
Just to be on the safe side, talk to your doctor and ask him if you can yoga your way to having a sexy figure or not.
Classes or Private Lessons - When you're determined to join a yoga class, make sure that you're joining a class whose level fits yours. Make sure that you join the class on the first day as well to avoid feelings of insecurity when you see others being able to tackle new yoga poses that boggle the mind. Secondly, choose a class schedule that you can regularly adhere to. If you only attend a class or two every two months, that's sort of defeating the point of joining a class in the first place. Lastly, choose the type of yoga class that fits your taste and abilities.
On the other hand, if you're not the social type, you can always attempt yoga practice at home and with the comforts of privacy. The only disadvantage to this however is the chance that you're not doing something right and the possibility of causing harm to yourself. The best compromise, in this case, would be to hire a private teacher for a lesson or two or until you know enough to practice on your own.
About the Author
Khieng 'Ken' Chho - Online Yoga Resources. For more, visit Ken's website:


Webmasters Comments: I myself really enjoy yoga and it really gives me an energy boost, I highly advice that if you are looking for something slightly different you should give it a try! Here is a site that offersa complete guide to beginners yoga: Beginners Guide to Yoga

Monday, May 22, 2006

Motivation, an example!!

Here is a little story that may inspire you to go out challenge you, change your perspective and give you the motivation to complete previously daunting tasks! Okay here it starts; I'm keen on my health and fitness, and enjoy challenges. A couple of days ago, I asked a colleague to give me a challenge, any challenge he wanted. The challenge he gave me was this; do 1000 press ups in a day. For me at first it seemed extremely daunting, especially after my brother assured me that "I had no chance", I had to agree with him, I didn’t fancy my chances. Despite this, I decided to give the challenge a go.
Rather than diving straight in and pumping out a large set I had a think and realised that if I were to break it down and just do 5 press-ups every minute for 20 minutes and that’s 100 press ups done. By doing this it broke it up into easy sets and slowly but surely, the amounts of press ups done increased. Within an hour and a half I was half way. Sure enough before long I got to the 1000 mark proving everyone (including myself) wrong.

Okay so here's the moral of this little story, however big a challenge/target you are faced with, do not fret. You are capable of things that you never would have thought possible. All you need to do is set yourself small, attainable goals (e.g. for me it was 5 repetitions every minute) breaking down what would otherwise seem like an unmanageable, unattainable target, before you know it you will have progressed faster than you could ever have imagined!
Goal setting in life is essential, if you don’t have a clear vision of your goal, you will never reach it, if you don’t set a goal, then you will never achieve what you desire!

So here is my advice, go out into life, embrace any challenges that step your way, break them down into attainable short term goals and amaze yourself as well as those around you with what you can do in the face of adversity. Your body is designed to be pushed and challenged, as is your mind; life is wasted unless you push yourself to your full potential! I hope this helps give you motivation to go out and test yourself!

More Motivational Help!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Glycemic Index, What You Should Know About It by Jim O'Neill

As of late, there has been much mention about the glycemic index. People everywhere talk about it and food advertisements use it liberally to promote certain products. But just what is this glycemic index and what does it mean for you? Why is it that people are resorting to it as a means of weight loss and overall healthy eating choices? What is the reason that the G.I. is becoming the staple food guide of the free world?
The glycemic index is a means of measuring the effects of different foods on your blood sugar levels, in other words, how rapidly carbohydrates (sugars) are absorbed. Foods with a high G.I. release quickly into your blood causing a rapid rise in your blood sugar levels. Foods with a low G.I. release slowly into your blood helping to keep your blood sugar levels more stable and steady.
When a high G.I. food is eaten and blood sugar levels rise rapidly, there is a high response of insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels). The insulin works quickly to deposit this excess blood sugar into muscle cells in the form of glycogen (stored energy), and when the glycogen stores are full, the rest is stored in the fat cells as, yes, you guessed it, fat! Because of the over-response of insulin caused by the over-response of blood sugar, the blood sugar is quickly depleted to lower than normal levels, causing that burst of energy you felt to crash quickly.
Low G.I. foods which release at a slower rate do not cause such an insulin response. This allows for a blood sugar level stabilization over a longer period of time because a slow release of blood sugar means a slow release of insulin meaning that it can regulate blood sugar levels more accurately. And as you may have guessed, there is much less of a deposit to the fat cells also! This is why when you eat a low G.I. food your energy levels stay up longer and you don't feel hungry too soon after eating like you do with high G.I. foods.
The glycemic index is measured by assessing how fast of a release of sugar different foods have into the blood verses the rate of pure glucose (blood sugar itself). A score of 100 has been assigned to the rate of release of glucose. If a food has a release or index of 70 or higher, that means it has a rapid release and is a high G.I. food and should be avoided. If a food has an index of 56 to 69 it has a somewhat rapid release but not an extreme one and is considered a medium G.I. food and should be limited. Any food with an index of 55 or less has a slow release and is considered a low G.I. food and is good to consume any time.
Now combining high G.I. foods with low ones in an overall meal will affect the G.I. of the whole meal. This is known as the glycemic value. If you had a potato with a G.I. of say 90 and a chicken breast with a G.I. of 0, the glycemic value of the meal would be 45, in the low G.I. range. So when you are trying to stay on the low side of the G.I. which you should be, you do not have to completely eliminate all high G.I. foods as long as you only consume them in combination with low ones to lower the glycemic load of the meal as a whole.
Examples of high G.I. foods are any white flour bread, cakes of muffins, white potatoes, ripe bananas and honey. Some medium G.I. foods are red potatoes, jellies and jams, bran muffin's, whole wheat bread and most tropical fruit's. Some low G.I. foods are most vegetables, most northern fruits, yams and sweet potatoes, grain cereals, any meats and dairy products, popcorn and most nuts.
Now keep in mind that calories still do count and that means that just because you are eating foods with a low G.I. doesn't mean that you can eat as much as you want. Staying with mostly low G.I. foods will help keep blood sugar levels stable and will help control your appetite but in the end you still need to watch your overall calorie count to lose or maintain weight and not gain weight.
Jim O'Neill gives you tons of valuable information on the subjects of weight loss, fitness, and nutrition to make it easy for you to live a healthy lifestyle. Sign up now for his free 7 part mini e-course at:
About the Author
Jim O'Neill is a certified personal fitness trainer and also holds a sports nutrition certification. He has been helping people successfully achieve their weight loss and fitness goals for over 15 years by staying on the cutting edge of weight loss and fitness technology. To learn more about how you can benefit from his easy to use weight loss and fitness programs go to:

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Listen to Your Heart By Bentley Thompson

If I were your (sweet) heart I would most likely be yearning for your attention right now. To make my point, I invite you to take this allegorical trek with me. Pretend that your heart - your one and only sweet heart that lives inside your chest - could actually talk to you. What would it have on its "mind" right now?
The heart of the problem
We treat our hearts like the wheels on a Daytona 500 racecar. But when it wears out we can't pull into the pitstop and snap on another one. We've only got one. Like other internal organs, we often ignore our hearts. We live our lives satisfying our desires, and forming habits that endanger the health of our heart, and our lives as well.
Unhealthy heart habits you can avoid
Now I speak to you from the heart (literally). You pretend you do not realize how your actions hurt me day by day. You neglect to exercise. Haven't you seen the volumes of scientific evidence that tell you how much I benefit from aerobic exercise?
Will you wait until you feel that burning in your chest, then you go for an aspirin? That might be too late. And how about all those chemical stimulants you subject me to every day? The caffeine in your coffee makes you feel good, but it makes me work harder. And the alcohol. That affects me too. Narcotic drugs... oh, those are even worse. You don't even go there.
From the first time you tried smoking, I knew you were not thinking about me. Don't you know that I suffer whenever your other organs are damaged. It's more difficult to pump blood through damaged lungs and clogged arteries. You are killing me. When will you cut down on your animal fat and cholesterol intake? You're killing me, and you need to realize this fact: When I die, so do you.
Help change the statistics - Exercise
Research is showing that approximately 1,200,000 "new and recurrent" coronary attacks occur per year. Don't you realize that heart disease (696,947) is the leading cause of deaths in America. And most of this could be prevented by regular physical exercise.
Compare this to the number of deaths from cancer (557,271), stroke (162,672), chronic lower respiratory diseases (124,816), accidents or unintentional injuries (106,742), and diabetes (73,249). And I (your heart) suffer whenever any of those other conditions happen as well... I die from strokes too (cry, cry, cry).
Tell me, can't you control your blood pressure and lose some weight? I don't want it to have to end like Nellie did. She grew up a beautiful young girl of normal weight. Then she became lax in her eating habits and did not exercise. For years I overworked myself pumping blood past body fat and through partially clogged arteries.
She thought about her weight and how she looked, but never about me. Her main concern was how she could fit into her favorite dress again. I couldn't take the neglect anymore. I attacked her one morning. She died at age 45.
Now, I don't want to have to fail you that way. I am your one and only sweet heart. I've been working for you from before you were born. I have been taking care of you even while you sleep. Take care of me, please. Won't you?
Ple-e-e-ease... just listen to your heart, now!

References:Das, S.R., et. al., (2006). Increased Cardiovascular Risk Associated With Diabetes in Dallas County. American Heart Journal, May; 151(5);1094-1100.Luddington, A., Diehl, H., (2002). Health Power. Hagerstown: Review & HeraldNational Center for Health Statistics; Deaths-Leading Causes, URL:
Copyright © 2006 by Bentley Thompson
Bentley writes about lifestyle-related conditions such as diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular diseases. He advocates the anti-diabetes diet which he describes on his website. You may visit his website and blog using the following URLs: and
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Webmasters comments:
Wise words indeed, i thoroughly suggest that you read the article and put into practise and follow the advice given, all those bad habits such as smoking, junk food, not exercising, kick them into touch get fit and become a healthier person.

For help to quit smoking Click Here!
For help to get fit with a lightning speed fitness program: Click Here!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Stride Length or Cadence: Which Makes You Faster? By Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

The best way for competitive runners to train to run faster is to strengthen their leg muscles by running very fast in practice, running up hills and perhaps using strength training machines.
There are two ways to run faster. You can move your legs at a faster rate, called cadence, or you can take longer steps. A video at the New York City Marathon showed that the top 150 runners had the same cadence, taking 92 to 94 steps a minute. The difference between the top runners and the others was that the best runners took longer strides.
Trying to lengthen your stride slows you down. Your most efficient stride length is determined by what feels most comfortable to you. Your heel hits the ground with great force. The tendons in your legs absorb some of the energy and then contract forcibly to help you regain about 60 to 75 percent of that stored energy. When you try to take a stride that is longer than your natural one, you lose a great deal of this stored energy and tire much earlier in a race.
You will run faster in races by strengthening your leg muscles so they drive you forward with a longer stride. Competitive distance runners strengthen their legs by running very fast in practice two or three times a week and by running hard up and down hills once or twice a week.
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Dr. Gabe Mirkin has been a radio talk show host for 25 years and practicing physician for more than 40 years; he is board certified in four specialties, including sports medicine. Read or listen to hundreds of his fitness and health reports at
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Article Source:,_M.D.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Don't Run Before You Can Walk! By Roy Palmer

Most of us assume we know how to run, after all it’s just putting one foot in front of the other, just like walking only a bit faster – right? Well, not quite. Although walking and running are quite different activities, you can learn a lot from the act of walking that will help your running.
Whether an experience runner or beginner, we all have bad ‘movement’ habits that will show up in our running technique. But because they are habits (subconscious conditioned reflexes) they are not easy to see for yourself. Walking, rather than running, provides you with a good opportunity to assess your concept of movement. What you learn from observing your walking technique can be taken into running.
Try the following experiment.
1. Go for a gentle stroll in the park and leave your competitive runner’s attitude at home.
2. As you walk be aware of the movement in your hip, knee and ankle joints. Please note your hip joints are at the front of your pelvis and not the sides. Allow your legs to swing from the hip and let your lower leg swing from the knee without effort – like a pendulum.
3. See how much effort you can take out of the act of walking and just allow your limbs to swing.
4. Think about releasing muscles and joints rather than the effort involved.
5. Be aware of the ground beneath your feet and think of ‘walking tall’ by using the upward thrust from the ground in response to your body weight coming down.
6. Start slowly and start to build up speed but not by trying harder. To increase your speed let your arms swing a little faster but without lifting your shoulders. If you can leave your legs alone they will increase speed to match your arms so you will be moving faster without the effort you probably think is necessary.
The purpose of this experiment is to appreciate gravity’s role in movement. You are pulled down towards the planet but then there is 8000 miles of solid rock beneath you that pushes back up (Newton’s 3rd law – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). So let the ground push you up and let your legs stroke the ground away from underneath you like a giant treadmill.
If you can learn to walk with minimal effort and lessen the strain on you joints and muscles, you can learn to apply the same principles to your running, Lighten up and let your limbs flow to propel you forward and up without the tension many use in a misguided effort to run faster. Running becomes a whole lot easier, and more enjoyable, if you can let your body move as nature intended.
Roy Palmer is a teacher of The Alexander Technique and has studied performance enhancement in sport for the last 10 years. In 2001 he published a book called 'The Performance Paradox: Challenging the conventional methods of sports training and exercise' and is currently working on a new project about The Zone. More information about his unique approach to training can be found at
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Note: Like most things in life, without the basics, you will never reach your full potential!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

"7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using High Intensity Interval Training, Especially If You Want To Get Really Lean!" by by Kyle Battis CSCS, ATC, NSCA-C

I am a big fan of being lean and helping other people get lean. I have helped hundreds of people shed fat from their body to reveal a leaner, stronger, more empowering physique. One of the most powerful tools that I have used in creating lean bodies is called HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training. Have you heard of it before? Well, I think you are crazy if you have not been working this powerful tool into your training program. Below you will find 7 compelling reasons why should be using HIIT in your exercise program.

Reason # 1. Research has compared hour-long, boring cardio workouts to 4-minute HIIT workouts and they found improvements in VO2 Max by about 14% and Imporvements in your anaerobic capacity increased by a remarkable 28%! In only 4 minutes!

Reason #2. HIIT does not chew up your muscle mass like excessive endurance exercise does. Have you ever seen a jacked marathon runner? Me either... Long slow cardio does force your body to get rid of metabolically-expensive muscle mass. That's a real problem if you want to stay lean and attractive.

Reason #3. So you can lose more subcutaneous fat than the standard long slow cardio exercise

Reason #4. Lose NINE TIMES MORE FAT for every calorie burned during exercise!

Reason #5. HIIT causes your body to burn more calories and fat AFTER the workout is completed. This means that after you finish your workout, hit the showers, and are on your way back to your home your body is burning fat stores right off of your body!

Reason # 6. Sprint intervals can be more beneficial than traditional cardio especially for middle-age and older adults. Due to the tremendous increases in growth hormone which is suspected to be a strong factor in fat loss

Reason #7. Save you time! A complete high intensity interval training workout session can be completed in only 4 minutes! Compare that to doing an hour of cardio. I don't know about you, but I don't have the time to fit in a thorough warm-up, weight training workout, an hour of cardio, a cool down and stretching.

If you want better fat loss results, faster then you should incorporate these intervals into your training program. They will help to add some much-needed variety to your training program, they will allow you to get more done in less time, and they will train your cardiovascular system in new ways that will spark renewed progress.

About the Author

Kyle Battis is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Strength Coach through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. His mission is to help people enrich their lives by embracing better health and fitness! To learn more about the time-saving benefits of interval training and to learn 20 sample HIIT workouts then visit:

Monday, May 15, 2006

What Foods should you give up to lose weight?

Okay well this is a huge misconception, to lose weight you do not need to stop eating chocolate, fried eggs, or any other food for that matter. Don't get me wrong if you indulge in fatty foods, you are likely to gain weight, and the key to it all is MODERATION! If you go out and try and give up all unhealthy, fatty foods, then you will fail, and end up over indulging and doing yourself no favours. Eat in moderation, cut down on those vices, rather than having a chocolate bar, ration yourself to half, apply this to all unhealthy food that you tend to eat, or try and replace unhealthy snacks for fruit or something similar and your far more likely to succeed!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Add 10 Years To Your Life!!!

To those who smoke reading this, it is just a plea for you to stop. Smoking has been shown in tests to cut on average 10 years off your life! It is the number one cause of respiratory diseases! For those who smoke, it is never too late to quit! Those who quit when by the age of 50 reduce the chances of dying early by 50%, those who quit by 30 almost remove any chance of dying early as a result of smoking! This shows that it is always worth giving it a shot to quit!
Here are 2 very helpful sites to help you quit smoking!
Stop smoking now

Click here to help you quit

Meditation: The Art Of Self-Recovery

What you focus on determines your reality because your mind becomes active in acquiring and bringing into your reality the things that you focus on.

You bring into your experience what you focus on.

If you focus on lack, limitation, negativity, and scarcity, then that is what you bring into your experience.

If you focus on abundance, expansion, positive things, and plenty, then that is what you bring into your experience.

A moment of introspection will make this obvious.

Why, then, if it is that easy to switch our reality, from one of suffering to one of joyful experience, do we persist in injuring ourselves?

It is because we are not in charge of our minds. Rather our minds are in charge of us. We, a conscious being, are dominated by our conditioning.

This is why the practice of meditation is important.

Every time we meditate, we dissolve more and more conditioning. We get off autopilot and take over the path our ship is cruising on.

As we let go of more and more of our reflexive thinking, we start to take charge of our own minds, and our reality, slowly, creakingly, turns around for us.

Of course, this is not easy.

Yet, it's not much fun living a scattered and chaotic life either.

Until our awareness comes to the surface, we can't really expect to improve our health, boost our finances, or be able to calm the storms of a relationship. Our dreams are always one step ahead of us, lost in the mist of "someday I will…"

The path is simple. Learn a method of meditation and practice it.

The path is also difficult. You have to learn and you have to practice.

The reward, however, is immense. Increased self-awareness, increased control of your mind, and increased appreciation and meaning of your own self and life.

In many religious traditions, we are often said to be asleep.

What exactly does this mean?

It means that we are almost wholly unconscious. We think and act in ways that are not in our best interests.

A conscious person is an aware person and awareness is something that comes when we release the subconscious programs that run our lives.

A brief review of yesterday will show you how your notion of self-control and inner mastery is pretty much an illusion.

If meditation is not your thing, then try contemplation, sitting in silence, quietly reflecting on who you are and what it is that is important to you.

A daily routine where you work on raising your awareness will do you a world of good. It will, in fact, change your world, placing you in one more favorable to your interests.
Saleem Rana - EzineArticles Expert Author

Saleem Rana would love to share his inspiring ideas with you. Hunting everywhere for a life worth living? Discover the life of your dreams. His free book tells you how.

Copyright 2004 Saleem Rana. Please feel free to pass this article on to your friends, or use it in your ezine or newsletter. It's a shareware article.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

How to avoid stitches

Okay, stitches are probably the most annoying things that you can get when your running, second only to getting cramp.
The best method to avoid getting a stitch is very simple, it is this: Simply do not eat or drink within 2 hours of going for a run. If you follow this advice you should not get a stitch, or at least much less likely to! if you do need a drink, only drink little sips!

Follow this and enjoy your running!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Lengthen Your Life, Reduce Your Stress

It has been reported that over 50% of sick days off work are due to stress, it is a pretty established fact that it really isn't good for you, and leads to several health problems. Firstly, stress leads to high blood pressure which in turn leads to heart disease, it also encourages strokes! Furthermore all young men should be aware that high stress can lead to impotence, as well as leading to depression, lethargy as well as stomach ulcers and indigestion!

So this is today’s top tip, everyday, set about an hour of your time at least to de-stress, everybody releases stress in different ways, exercise is an obvious choice at it helps you keep fit while reducing endorphins! Other methods could include hitting a punch bag, listening to music, having a relaxing bath, also perhaps just getting a few hours extra sleep a night; not getting enough sleep contributes to this!

By unwinding daily, you are likely to suffer less heart related problems later in life, as well as feeling much more energetic from day to day as well as much more productive at work!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Try Something New

Today’s health and fitness tip is to go out and do something new. For example try something you wouldn’t usually do e.g. rock climbing. By doing a new activity, not only will you be burning calories, you'll also be working muscles that may get omitted by your usual workouts and exercise, and as a result help you get the balanced body that you desire.
Furthermore by strengthening muscles that are usually ignored, you are reducing the risk of injury for when you may need to use that muscle group!

So get out, try a new activity, do something new and expand your horizons, you never know, you may just enjoy it!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Welcome to Health and Fitness for you!

Hi, and welcome to Health and Fitness, the goal of this blog is to provide you with up to date and innovative health and fitness tips, from trying different techniques in the gym, to maybe a new recipe that you could try at home to maximise your energy, and hopefully, the goal of the site being to: - help you improve your health and fitness by implementing the ideas that I shall share with you!

So here it starts, today’s tip:
1. It is wrong to believe that if you want to lose weight around your midriff then you should do 100's and 100's of sit-ups and crunches, the truth is, that when you exercise, you weight you lose is from an even distribution across your body! So my advice is this, if you want to lose weight from one particular area, don’t just focus on one exercise that works that area, do some circuit training, exercising various, different muscles allows you to burn more calories than if you were just to concentrate on one area and overwork that area and risking possible injury!