Cardiovascular Fitness and Improved Mental Health

Gym training outdoorsWhat is cardiovascular fitness and how can we benefit from it? Cardio workouts are good for our hearts. Our hearts are at the center of everything so we must take care of it in order to live a long healthy life. Cardio work outs of course require motivation to lose weight. Not just that, doing cardio work outs over time will improve your breathing. (Image by uonottingham via Flickr)

In simple terms, the phrase refers to the ability of the body’s heart and lungs to pump blood, and therefore oxygen, to the working muscles and the ability of these muscles to utilize the oxygen i.e. A person with a high level of cardiovascular fitness is able to efficiently transport and utilize oxygen.

Routinely participating in sustained physical activity helps to maintain cardiovascular fitness and results in the following benefits:

Improvement in functional and exercise capacity:

 

  • Increased submax and max cardiovascular exercise capacity
  • Increased anaerobic threshold (the point at which lactic acid starts to accumulate in the muscles)
  • Improved performance of activities of daily living and daily activity levels

Improvement in psychological well-being:

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Self-efficacy
  • Insomnia
  • Quality of life

Reduction in cardiac risk factors:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Visceral and general obesity
  • Hyperinsulinemia (excess levels of insulin circulating in the blood)
  • Insulin resistance

Improvement in symptoms:

  • Claudication (discomfort in the legs)
  • Angina
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

Improvement in peripheral skeletal muscle structure and function:

  • Muscle mass (Progressive Resistance Training only)
  • Strength (Progressive Resistance Training only)
  • Glycogen storage
  • Glucose transport
  • Blood flow, capillary density
  • Amino acid uptake and protein synthesis
  • A-V O2 extraction (how much oxygen is taken from the blood to be used by the cells

Improvement in pathophysiology of disease

…More at Benefits of Cardiovascular Fitness | Healthfix Blog

All work out programs should start out with some type of cardio so that you can start producing a healthier heart. A healthy heart equals a healthy life.

Healthy Food Decisions and the Definition of Nutrition

 

Healthy Food DecisionsWhen beginning a good health regiment you always want to know exactly what something is so that you know that you are making the right choices. We have spoken about nutrition and eating healthy in the past, but it is time to know the actual definition of what nutrition is if you have not understood it yet. We are always here to help you understand and kick start your journey. 

Nutrition is formally defined as “The provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary in the form of food to support life”. Nutrition as a whole is studied as the process in which nourishing food is eaten, digested and assimilated by the body to help it grow and stay fit.

Nutrition provides the body with the strength and ability to pursue our work. The protein nutrition helps the body build and repair cells. It is required to build and maintain the organ systems. The carbohydrate’s intake is broken down into glucose, which provides energy to the body to perform. The fatty acids help the body gain energy and also supply essential nutrients to organs, skin and hairs. Vitamins and minerals obtained from all foods are required for physical and mental growth of the body.

The fiber intake from fresh fruits and vegetables help the body maintain its cleanliness. The water content is one of the most important factors that keep the body hydrated. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are together called as macro nutrients and the vitamins and minerals are called as micronutrients. The combination of these two nutrients is required to build immunity and to fight against infections and illness.

With an increase in the awareness for health, nutrition is a science that is witnessing a huge growth as more people are getting aware of this fact. People are going to professional help to keep them fit and realize their full potential in their chosen area of work. The definition of nutrition is not just mere sustenance; it is about the realization of the full potential of the human body. It has been proven beyond doubt that any person’s full potential cannot be discovered without the proper nutrition in them. The nutrition in people varies mainly based on their age, height, weight, location and area of work.

…More at Definition Of Nutrition That One Should Know for Better Living

Nutrition as we see is important for our bodies. We need to know the nutrition analysis of the foods that we are eating so that we make sure we are getting the vitamins and so forth that we need. We all want our bodies to be running at their best at all times so that we can be at our best at all times. Nutrition is more than just eating the proper foods, but it is about making sure those proper foods produce a better you from your attitude to your fitness.

Creating and Implementing Wellness Plans

Living that healthy lifestyle is what we are all working towards. We all have our own idea of what healthy is and how we are going to work to achieve that, whether it be physical wellness or mental wellness. Setting up your own beliefs for your own wellness plan will get you headed towards achieving your goal or goals. This video should assist you with making your own wellness plan that you can follow and implement in your life on a daily basis.

How to be Happy.

Getting to Happy

 

 

No Cop, No Stop, I Don't Care *Explored*In order to be happy, there are certain things that you; yourself has to stop doing in order to get happy. We all have flaws that in turn affect us, rather it be talking about someone or always being late. These flaws do affect our mood and whether or not we can be happy. These issues are usually an underlining source to something else that is bothering us. Here are 10 things that you can stop doing that will make you more happier: (Image by Sean Molin Photography via Flickr)

Blaming

People make mistakes. Taking responsibility when things go wrong instead of blaming others isn’t masochistic, it’s empowering—because then you focus on doing things better or smarter next time. And when you get better or smarter, you also get happier.

Impressing

No one likes you for your clothes, your car, your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Those are all “things.” People may like your things—but that doesn’t mean they like you. Sure, superficially they might seem to, but superficial is also insubstantial, and a relationship that is not based on substance is not a real relationship. Genuine relationships make you happier, and you’ll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress and start trying to just be yourself.

Clinging

Holding on to what you think you need won’t make you happier; letting go so you can reach for and try to earn what you want will. Even if you don’t succeed in earning what you want, the act of trying alone will make you feel better about yourself.

Interrupting

Interrupting isn’t just rude. When you interrupt someone, what you’re really saying is, “I’m not listening to you so I can understand what you’re saying; I’m listening to you so I can decide what I want to say.” Want people to like you? Listen to what they say. Focus on what they say. Ask questions to make sure you understand what they say. They’ll love you for it—and you’ll love how that makes you feel.

Whining

Your words have power, especially over you. Whining about your problems makes you feel worse, not better. If something is wrong, don’t waste time complaining. Put that effort into making the situation better. Don’t talk about what’s wrong. Talk about how you’ll make things better, even if that conversation is only with yourself. And do the same with your friends or colleagues. Don’t just be the shoulder they cry on. Friends don’t let friends whine—friends help friends make their lives better.

Controlling

The only thing you really control is you. If you find yourself trying hard to control other people, you’ve decided that you, your goals, your dreams, or even just your opinions are more important than theirs. Plus, control is short term at best, because it often requires force, or fear, or authority, or some form of pressure—none of those let you feel good about yourself. Find people who want to go where you’re going. They’ll work harder, have more fun, and create better business and personal relationships. And all of you will be happier.

Criticizing

Yeah, you’re more educated. Yeah, you’re more experienced. Yeah, you’ve been around more blocks and climbed more mountains and slayed more dragons. That doesn’t make you smarter, or better, or more insightful. That just makes you you: unique, matchless, one of a kind, but in the end, just you. Just like everyone else. Everyone is different: not better, not worse, just different. Appreciate the differences instead of the shortcomings and you’ll see people—and yourself—in a better light.

Preaching

The higher you rise and the more you accomplish, the more likely you are to think you know everything—and to tell people everything you think you know. When you speak with more finality than foundation, people may hear you but they don’t listen. Few things are sadder and leave you feeling less happy.

Dwelling

The past is valuable. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others. Then let it go. When something bad happens to you, see that as a chance to learn something you didn’t know. When another person makes a mistake, see that as an opportunity to be kind, forgiving, and understanding.

Fearing

We’re all afraid: of what might or might not happen, of what we can’t change, or what we won’t be able to do, or how other people might perceive us. So it’s easier to hesitate, to wait for the right moment, to decide we need to think a little longer or do some more research or explore a few more alternatives.

…More at Want to Be Happier? Stop Doing These 10 Things Right Now and Happiness In Seven Steps by Lee G Lovett

With these tips in hand start turning your life around and start being happy. When someone is happy people are likely to be more open to you and want to be around you more so that it rubs off on them.

Best Tricep Exercises

If you are looking to find a good tricep exercise or two, you have come to the right place. This video will show you 5 great tricep work outs that you can do with just your body weight. These exercises can be done at home, in the park, or anywhere (even in your office space if you have some down time). The best tricep exercises that you can do with just your body weight are: tricep pushes, single arm side tricep push, reverse close grip pushups, dips, and close grip pushups. As always, a good diet will show the bet result alongside these exercises.

Definintion of Wellness

 

Butterfly flying free from cupped handsBefore jumping in and starting all these fitness regiments many people question, what exactly is wellness? What is physical wellness and how do I reach this? Well now you will finally learn what wellness is and maybe put your own twist on it. (Image by Beverly & Pack via Flickr)

As best as I can tell, there is not a universally accepted definition of wellness. Therefore, neither is there only one way to measure wellness. The medical model focuses mainly on the absence of illness, disease or disability. The holistic model encompasses all aspects of the person, including environment.  Where can we find the middle ground that helps us make an accurate assessment of our own health?

My personal definition of wellness is one that I have created over the years through my studies and my work: Wellness is much more than the absence of disease or infirmity. Total wellness includes individuals assuming personal responsibility for shaping and adopting healthy lifestyles, in order to achieve optimal levels of health (physical, spiritual, mental, emotional), including social well being and economic productivity.

How do you define wellness?

…More at How Do You Define Wellness? – Transforming Lives From the Inside …

This is what I believe wellness to be, do you agree, or do you have your own definiton after reading this? Either way I hope that you are able to achieve wellness is your life some how, some way.

More Reading

Cardiovascular Health

Fish Nutrition Facts

Fish Nutrition and SafetyIf you did not know it, eating fish produces many good benefits. Yes, there are many people out there who are cautious of eating fish because of the fact that now day’s fish has a lot of mercury in it. We need fish in our diet, so you should check which types of fish have the most mercury in them so you know to stay clear of that type of fish. (Image X AudreyMagazine.com)

Fish is considered one of the most power-packed foods for a healthy diet. It is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to prevent a huge range of diseases. Read on to know how:

1. Protects against Heart Disease
Several studies that have been conducted reveal that eating a regulated dose of fish every week reduces the risk of heart disease and increases the chances of survival after a heart attack. Fish oil is also known to reduce the stickiness of the blood, thereby limiting its tendency to clot.

2. Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer
A study carried out in Sweden states that selenium, contained in most kinds of fish, helps fight cancer.

3. Helps Avoid Depression
As stated above, fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids, and these are known to increase the levels of serotonin in the human brain. Therefore, the mind stays more optimistic and happier, leading to lesser instances of depression and low moods.

4. Prevents Alzheimer’s
The consumption of fish helps limit the risk of high blood pressure. Therefore, the chances of dementia get greatly reduced. Moreover, the brain cells suffer lesser risk of damage due to the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acid in most kinds of fish.

5. Fights against Arthritis
Not only arthritis, but most types of inflammatory conditions are very well combated with the help of the Omega-3 fatty acids.

6. Enhances Skin
diet that contains fish such as salmon is known to act as a skin-enhancing regime. The regular, yet moderate consumption of fish has anti-aging, anti-wrinkle effects, thereby making the skin younger-looking.

7. Asthma
In children, especially, the risk of asthma gets greatly reduced if they are given a regular diet of fish. Fish is rich in protein, making up for a lot of nutritious components required during the period of growing up.

…More at Health News Centre: Health Benefits Of Eating Fish

I can agree with these benefits of fish because I eat fish once or twice a week. So if you are looking to become healthy and reduce your chance of getting the above named disease, I definitely recommend adding fish to your diet.

 

 

How to be Happy.

A Happy Spirit – Change Your Mood and Change Your World

letter c

To be a better you, you must change your mood. Being happy and not dwelling on situations that don’t go in your favor is the first start to getting on the path of joy and happiness. Your happiness is vital to your health and accessing a better you, so change things up and start by finding the positive in everything to bring out your happy spirit. (Image by Leo Reynolds via Flickr) Lee G Lovett’s, Happiness in Seven Steps will also shed new insight on how to be happy. Click HERE to read it now. 

The Alphabet of Happiness is a reminder of the many ways to access happiness in your life now. Though at times it may appear to be elusive, happiness is all around you — especially if you know where to look! The good news is that the more you focus on happiness, the faster you can activate the neural pathways that bring you more. Here are three ways to explore your own happiness that start with the letter “C.”

Choice

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” — Victor Frankel

While we cannot choose the challenges that life presents, we can choose how we deal with them. Choice is one of the greatest strengths people possess. By the thoughts you think and how you frame a situation, you can choose to be victim or survivor. By daring to dream and the little steps you take towards those dreams, you can reshape your future. You are more powerful than you know. Now, you can choose to use that power purposefully:
Choose to notice and focus on the good that is already in your life.
Choose to count your blessings instead of ruminating on your losses.
Choose to create your future rather than have circumstances determine your fate.
Choose to honor your gifts and share them with others.
Choose to be around people that nourish you.
Choose to be there for others, too.
Choose to focus on love over fear.
Get up each morning and say, “I choose to be happy.”
And choose to appreciate when happiness shows up in subtle ways throughout your day!

Connection

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” — Chief Seattle

Connection is one of our fundamental human needs. It’s also one of the building blocks of genuine happiness. Just looking at babies, it’s clear that human connection and love are just as important as food for the very survival of the species. We are social animals and we depend on one another to flourish and grow. Connection has others aspects too, and each one adds a new dimension. 

Creativity

“The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” — Alan Alda

Did you know that there is a well of creativity in you? People are not born creative or not — everyone has the capacity. Picasso says, “The chief enemy of creativity is ‘good’ sense.” Give yourself permission to just play with an idea.  And if self-doubt creeps in, (as it’s been known to do), the antidote is refocusing on why you’re doing it: for fun, for curiosity, for the love of being in the moment. Embrace your creativity however it presents itself. It will revitalize you, and remind you of who you are.

…More at The Alphabet of Happiness: ‘C’ – Huffington Post

Creativity is how I access my happiness. By creating something so beautiful and new fills me with a sense of tranquility and that feeling makes me happy to just sit back and look at a beautiful work of art I produced. Which of the three words starting with a “C” from the Alphabet of Happiness fuels you or will you begin to use?

Is Dairy Safe?

Important Milk Nutrition Facts

Milk PoolYummm milk! Well I know that I am a lover of 2% milk. I cannot get enough of it for some reason. This article focuses on all types of milk and what they bring to the table so that you can decide what type of milk is best suited for you, or not just that, so you can know exactly what you are drinking and is it good for you. (Image by TangYauHoong via Flickr)

Is drinking milk good for you, or not? Is organic milk healthier than conventional? Is raw milk safe? Is it legal? Skim, 2 percent or whole…which one should I drink?
Here are some milk nutrition facts for you to make up your own mind whether or not you should drink milk. Asking the question, “Is drinking milk good or bad for you?” is controversial. A Google search for ‘why is drinking milk good for you’ yields 18.2 million search results. Why it’s bad pulls up 12.7 million links.
Why is milk so controversial? Vegans and other opponents of drinking milk point out that humans are the only species to drink other species’ milk (With the exception of some orphaned animals).
Taking it a step further, they argue, all other species stop drinking milk after weaning off of mother’s breast milk. Other opponents blame milk for the following reasons, among many:
I thought ‘Milk Does the Body Good’? Assuming one cup of milk contained no contaminants or harmful ingredients, what beneficial nutrients could we get from (cow) milk?
  1. Calcium: One 8 oz. cup of milk contains about one-third of our recommended daily value, regardless of the fat content. Calcium, of course, strengthens bones and may help prevent osteoporosis. But the Harvard School of Public Health recommends limiting dairy intake to two servings per day. Find your calcium from other sources, the school recommends.
  2. Dietary Fat: Whole milk has 8 grams of total fat, 5 of them saturated; 2% milk contains 5g fat, 3 of them saturated; there’s 2 grams of fat in 1% milk, both grams saturated; skim milk checks in at under 1 gram of fat. The official government stance: those trying to lose weight should restrict calories and drink skim milk. But many nutritionists would argue that the fat in a moderate portion of whole milk, or at least 2%, would make people feel fuller and reduce cravings for more food. As for saturated fats, this is a very controversial subject. Harvard’s School of Public Health suggests limiting saturated fat intake; others blame refined carbs for heart disease, not saturated fats.
  3. Protein: Milk, regardless of fat content, usually has 8 grams of protein. Milk has two main proteins: whey and casein. In human milk, whey makes up about 60-80 percent of the milk protein. In cow’s milk, whey only accounts for about 20 percent. Protein is critical for growth, but is milk protein critical for good health? For some, it could be, but for the estimated 30-50 million Americans with lactose intolerance, at least one, if not both of these milk proteins can’t be broken down.
  4. Carbohydrates: Nearly all varieties of cow milk have 12-13 grams of carbohydrates, all of which comes from the milk sugar, lactose. One reason some nutritionists would caution against skim milk, even though it has less calories and fat, is that foods with natural dietary fat can help prevent blood sugar spikes and insulin intolerance. If you drink skim milk, consider eating some foods with natural fat to buffer the blood sugar spike.
  5. Calories: The calorie count of one cup of skim, 1%, 2% and whole (3.25%) is roughly: 90, 100, 120, 150, respectively. For the estimated one-third of American adults who are obese, should they drink skim milk? Again, assuming that the milk comes from a safe, humane source, even someone who is obese still needs to consume at least 1,500 calories to be able to function.
  6. Vitamins and Minerals: Many types of milk are fortified with Vitamin D, supplying roughly one-quarter of the daily value. There’s also about a 25 percent suggested daily value of Vitamin B2 as well. One cup of milk also supplies about one-fifth of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin B12, a vitamin lacking in some vegan and vegetarian diets. In addition to being loaded with calcium, milk is also high in the following minerals: phosphorous, potassium and selenium.
I like milk. Should I drink organic? What about raw?
Some research suggests that organic milk is healthier. Raw milk proponents claim that promptly-refrigerated, unpasteurized, grass-fed milk poses no health risks and can produce numerous health advantages, such as better immune function. But most states outlaw the sale of raw milk. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions whether or not you should drink milk (or suckle directly from a cow).
With all this milk information at hand, what do you plan on drinking from now on? What do you believe about milk? Whatever it is that you do I hope that you have done some research before coming to your conclusion and weighed the pros and cons.

Mind Exercises Improve Your Emotional Well-Being

The Season Is Changing and So Are The FlowersTo keep a good mind you must keep feeding it new knowledge, the nutrition that it needs and an ample amount of sleep. Your mind must be exercised at all time so that it does not go to waste. Keep reading to learn more about bettering you mind and keeping it healthy. (Image by Rockin Robin via Flickr)

Well-being encompasses the mind, body, spirit, and heart. This means we are responsible for every aspect of our being. We should be able to nurture and nourish everything that we would like to have. It’s not easy and it never is just one thing because everything is just related. These are definitely something that one should be responsible for. It’s not an easy thing to do but we can definitely do it and we should be able to do it.

For our bodies, we need to have the right diet so that it will get proper nourishment. With our bodies functioning well, then we can be sure that one is able to stay fit and healthy. It is proper to always mix it with exercise because this will keep the body strong and healthy. They are many people who love to play sports and go to the gym. They want to be able to make sure that they can build muscles and burn fat.

Then, when it comes to our spirit, one should try to invest in their own religion and other things that they would like to have. This is to allow to connect to their spirit and even their soul. These allow them to feel relaxed by meditating and concentrating on thinking on being calm. It allows them to be able to focus on internal energy so that they can make sure that they have what it takes to be able to connect to a higher being. Also, it does help them get some clarity and they are able to feel good about themselves.

Emotional well-being is definitely important because you would want to have motivational thoughts done and felt. This is to help them with their start in being able to take care of themselves. They also need to see to it that they can believe that they are capable of feeling great and be able to make sure that they can do it. They need to have faith in themselves and really believe. They may ask help from many people to help them feel great about themselves and fee good too.

And lastly, mental health is important because they need to start changing their thoughts to positive ones so that they can keep up with what they would like to do. If one is filled with positive thoughts, then they can be sure that they can easily do what they would like to do and even visualize it. With that, they are capable of seeing to it that they have the discipline and focus that they need to do what they have to in order to achieve their goals. And these are what a lot of people need so that they can stick to what they need to do. There are many tips about this and one of which is to always get proper sleep.

Sleep is definitely important to one’s mind because it is the time that it organizes thoughts and memories while you are in slumber. This is the time that the mind can organize these and feel refreshed once you wake up. That is what is important when we do the things that we need to do. It is really important that one is capable of doing these things in order to make sure that they are taking good care of themselves. We should definitely be able to make sure that we can do these things.

…More at Stay Healthy Through Mind Exercises | Celebrating Wellness Fest

Now that you have the tools to keep your mind’s juices flowing, use them, and use them all the time.