Saturday, August 24, 2013

Your Thyroid and Weight loss – The Connection is Real

Your thyroid dictates much of your metabolism, any malfunction or disease afflicting this area may cause you to have problems in metabolism leading to a drastic problem with your weight – you may either gain weight, lose weight, or may find that losing weight is harder than usual.

Those that plan diets do not take into consideration how their thyroids and metabolism may affect their weight loss program. Most experts and even the media pitch in and recommend that the best way to lose weight is cut calories.

Those with a condition called hyperthyroidism suffer from an overactive thyroid leading to one having his or her metabolism skyrocket. If this is the case, then you will probably lose weight fast. This is a nice proposition for some who wish to lose weight. However, this is actually hazardous to the health.

Aside from the medical difficulties such a disease brings, one will also notice weight problems as a result. These people have trouble keeping on weight and may notice weakness and bulging of the eyes. This disease may need special treatment from doctors.

Hypothyroidism on the other hand works in the other direction – slowing metabolism until the body gains weight at an incredible rate. Like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism causes a general weakness in the body. It too may need special treatment and may cause serious health problems if left unattended.

While cutting calories in itself can be very hard for most people – imagine, the people involved in life and death struggles at the supermarket regarding whether to buy that extra box of sweets, some have exactly the opposite problem.

Instead of eating too much calories – which is a problem in itself, they eat too little calories instead.

Problem? What Problem
The problem with some is that they believe that since the experts say that they have to cut calories, cutting calories to an inordinate amount will reap greater results. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. While cutting calories helps diets, consuming too little calories pushed the body into a hoard mode, the body’s metabolism slow to adapt to the lesser amount of available energy.

If your body enters this mode, your body will work at such slow metabolism that losing weight becomes impossible.  The technique here should be to reduce calories without the body slowing its metabolism. Only then can losing weight become easier.

Another problem that can arise from decreased metabolism is that when your metabolism slows due to a drastic reduction in metabolism, and then you suddenly eat a good, hearty, calorie-filled meal, you are bound to gain more weight owing to the increased surplus of energy.

This is why an imbalanced meal is highly discouraged among those that seek to lose weight. The sudden loss and increase of calories will cause an imbalance in one’s energy consumption directly affecting fat deposit.

Here is a simple computation to help you get to the right amount of calories you will need per day so that you get your nutrients in the right balance.

First of all, multiply your weight in kilograms by 30. If you only know your weight in pounds, divide it by 2.2 to get to its English equivalent. We divide this number by 30 because that is the number of calories you need to maintain your weight per pound of weight.

For example if your weight in pounds is 150, divide it by 2.2. That will give you a figure of 68.18. This is your weight in kilograms. Multiply this by 30 and you will arrive at the amount of calories you will need per day to maintain 150 lbs.

You may consult a nutritionist to help you come lose weight. In the end it all comes down to math. If you consume more that your body needs, it stores it as fat. Now is probably a good time to start studying the back of those grocery cartons.

Try to keep your diet at a 40% protein, 25% fat, and 35% carbohydrate meals at 300 calories per meal. Spread out these meals in a day for optimum results.

While it may be simple computation to get at numbers, do not forget the earlier mentioned fact that the body adapts to its condition. Expose it to extreme ones and you may find yourself getting results you never wanted. Consult a nutritionist for more advice.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Why You Can't "Spot Reduce"

People have problem areas. Even people, who have achieved their ideal body weight, will still have problem areas. It could be the love handles, the flabby arms, the sagging skin or the hips. Then you will find the market offering all sorts of products, from creams and applications to get rid of the fats to gadgets and machines to tone the arms, thighs or the abs.

However, there is one reality check you have to make. You cannot spot reduce. The attempt to do so is not going to work and it will not be for your good.

Why Can’t I Spot Reduce?

The market misinforms the public of the benefits that can be expected from their so-called revolutionary products when in fact there really are no revolutionary results to look forward to.

1. Healthy Diet Is Important
Diet is an important element to get rid of the undesirable body fats. The foods that you eat have calories and cholesterols that get stored in your body, probably amassing on those problem areas of yours. The diet is the main culprit for presence of fats.

So no matter how much you depend on those gadgets in the market, it will remain defenseless if you keep indulging in sweets, fatty foods or junk foods.

2. Spot Reduction Is a Mere Myth
It is not healthy to believe what those people say about the productivity of spot reduction efforts. The products you see on the market require nothing but merely attach or apply them on the problem areas. What about your other body parts? What about the other requirements of the body?

In any healthy endeavors, you must be on the top of your physiology. You should know what it takes to achieve a goal. For example, if you want six-packs in your stomach, you have to know what it takes to get them.

Some people out there would claim that if you want to improve the look of your stomach, you simply have to concentrate on abdominal exercises or use the gadgets that will do the exercise for you. Again, you cannot spot reduce. You cannot achieve the goal with simply doing that one abdominal exercise.

The fat can not just come off on its own by just using a gadget. Genetics has to do with it. Diet has to do with it. Lifestyle has to do with it.

The truth is, before you can even aim for the six-packs on the stomach, you will have to take away the fats first.
So doing 500 crunches a day will only exhaust you but it will not get rid of those fats. Your body will not burn the fats stored in that spot you are targeting. Actual workouts can actually address this. With this, the fats are burned one at a time, and not just in one area. It has a more integrated system of reducing the fats in the body.

Then you will also have to gain body mass. At this point, the only way you can only get rid of the fats and get some body mass is to have a healthy diet and do cardio exercises.

Only after surpassing the diet and cardio requirements can you focus on the abdominal exercises. This is the only proper time to really focus on working out for the six-packs.

3. There Are No Shortcuts
Miracle diets, pills and potions are mere shortcuts that will lead you to a dead end. If a healthy body is aimed, you have to work for it. You have to earn it.

We truly are living in a fast world with the advancement of technology, but your body still is very much natural. Thus you will still have to be grounded to what is naturally required by the body, healthy diet, regular exercise and considerable amount of time to develop that desirable state.

4. Health and Fitness Require Commitment
Your dedication to the health of your body is a lifelong commitment. Even if you achieved a good body now, it will not remain so forever if you abuse on your diet and lifestyle. It needs to be loved and taken care of, regularly.

That is why if you will depend on the spot reduction claims, it will really bring you nowhere. You can only hope, but you cannot expect. So if you aim for the healthy body; get an exercise program for your self and make some changes in your diet. Give your self a holistic development. Improve not only the body, but your outlook in life as well.

Do It the Proper Way

With all these points raised, the bottom line is to simply get healthy the proper way. The saying still holds true. No pain, no gain. So do not be a victim of the misleading information and empty promises thrown upon you. Simply know the proper options. Take the matter into your own hands and enjoy the benefits of a healthy body.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why Muscles Get Sore

As people age, they begin to complain more of pains in their muscles and joints. They seem to stiffen up with age, and such commonplace activities as bending over for the morning paper can make them wince.

Such pain can grip so fiercely that they are sure it begins deep in their bones. But the real cause of stiffness and soreness lies not in the joints or bones, according to research at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, but in the muscles and connective tissues that move the joints.

The frictional resistance generated by the two rubbing surfaces of bones in the joints is negligible, even in joints damaged by arthritis.

Flexibility is the medical term used to describe the range of a joint’s motion from full movement in one direction to full movement in the other. The greater the range of movement, the more flexible the joint.

If you bend forward at the hips and touch your toes with your fingertips, you have good flexibility, or range of motion of the hip joints. But can you bend over easily with a minimal expenditure of energy and force? The exertion required to flex a joint is just as important as its range of possible motion.

Different factors limit the flexibility and ease of movement in different joints and muscles. In the elbow and knee, the bony structure itself sets a definite limit. In other joints, such as the ankle, hip, and back, the soft tissue—muscle and connective tissue—limit the motion range.

The problem of inflexible joints and muscles is similar to the difficulty of opening and closing a gate because of a rarely used and rusty hinge that has become balky.

Hence, if people do not regularly move their muscles and joints through their full ranges of motion, they lose some of their potential. That is why when these people will try to move a joint after a long period of inactivity, they feel pain, and that discourages further use

What happens next is that the muscles become shortened with prolonged disuse and produces spasms and cramps that can be irritating and extremely painful. The immobilization of muscles, as researchers have demonstrated with laboratory animals, brings about biochemical changes in the tissue.

However, other factors trigger sore muscles. Here are some of them:

1. Too much exercise

Have you always believed on the saying, “No pain, no gain?” If you do, then, it is not so surprising if you have already experienced sore muscles.

The problem with most people is that they exercise too much thinking that it is the fastest and the surest way to lose weight. Until they ache, they tend to ignore their muscles and connective tissue, even though they are what quite literally holds the body together.

2. Aging and inactivity

Connective tissue binds muscle to bone by tendons, binds bone to bone by ligaments, and covers and unites muscles with sheaths called fasciae. With age, the tendons, ligaments, and fasciae become less extensible. The tendons, with their densely packed fibers, are the most difficult to stretch. The easiest are the fasciae. But if they are not stretched to improve joint mobility, the fasciae shorten, placing undue pressure on the nerve pathways in the muscle fasciae. Many aches and pains are the result of nerve impulses traveling along these pressured pathways.

3. Immobility

Sore muscles or muscle pain can be excruciating, owing to the body’s reaction to a cramp or ache. In this reaction, called the splinting reflex, the body automatically immobilizes a sore muscle by making it contract. Thus, a sore muscle can set off a vicious cycle pain.

First, an unused muscle becomes sore from exercise or being held in an unusual position. The body then responds with the splinting reflex, shortening the connective tissue around the muscle. This cause more pain, and eventually the whole area is aching. One of the most common sites for this problem is the lower back.

4. Spasm theory

In the physiology laboratory at the University of Southern California, some people have set out to learn more about this cycle of pain.

Using some device, they measured electrical activity in the muscles. The researchers knew that normal, well-relaxed muscles produce no electrical activity, whereas, muscles that are not fully relaxed show considerable activity.

In one experiment, the researchers measured these electrical signals in the muscles of persons with athletic injuries, first with the muscle immobilized, and then, after the muscle had been stretched.

In almost every case, exercises that stretched or lengthened the muscle diminished electrical activity and relieved pain, either totally or partially.

These experiments led to the “spasm theory,” an explanation of the development and persistence of muscle pain in the absence of any obvious cause, such as traumatic injury.

According to this theory, a muscle that is overworked or used in a strange position becomes fatigued and as a result, sore muscles.

Hence, it is extremely important to know the limitations and capacity of the muscles in order to avoid sore muscles. This goes to show that there is no truth in the saying, “No pain, no gain.” What matters most is on how people stay fit by exercising regularly at a normal range than once rarely but on a rigid routine.

The Importance of Working Your Core Muscle

Suppose that at a distance you see a short, stooped figure walking with short, slow steps. Most likely, you will conclude that the person is old. The hunched posture gives you the clue.

Why does aging contort so many bodies in this way? The reason is that many people, throughout their lives, never extend the neck to its full range, and so the muscles shorten. Long hours of reading, sewing, typing, or standing at a workbench take their toll. Eventually deposits of calcium salts in the joints complete the process of immobilization. Once this calcification takes place, nothing can be done to reverse it.

Fortunately, older persons can take action before it is too late. The best action is regular exercise that stretches the muscles and improves flexibility, with special considerations on the core muscles. This kind of response is relatively important for a number of factors that when taken for granted will only lead to serious health problems.

What Are Core Muscles?

Core muscles pertain to the muscles found at the obliques, abdominals, lower back, and the glutes. These four areas of the body are the ones that usually frame the posture of a person. Hence, a good posture reflects the good condition of these muscle areas.

What people do not know is that core muscles are actually the “core” or the central part for all the strength that is needed to boost carry out different physical activities. This only means that if an individual’s core muscle is physically powerful, it will maintain equilibrium on the body and will stabilize the system every time the person is working out and moving.

Strengthening Core Muscles

The main responsibility of the core muscles is to provide enough power to the body in order to enable it to cope up with the dynamic challenges of every physical activity that a person encounters.

For this reason, many health and fitness experts have realized that it is relatively important to strengthen the core muscles than with the other muscles in the body. Through some series of experiments and research, they have found out that having a stronger core can lessen a lot of health problems concerning posture.

For instance, a well-conditioned core muscle can project good posture. It can also improve the endurance of the back all the way through the day.

Why? Because muscles that are included in the group of core muscles are actually the ones that initiate the proper stabilization of the whole upper and lower torso.

So, for those who wish to know and understand why it is important strengthen the core muscles, here is a list of some of the benefits that you can use as references:

1. Strengthening core muscles will improve posture and prevent low back pain of the muscular origin.

This means that as you incorporate stretching exercises in your routine, taking a particular focus on the muscles of the upper and front part of the trunk, including the abdominal and trunk muscles, the activity has the tendency to strengthen the muscles of the back that extend to the spine.

2. It will help tone the muscles, thereby, avoiding further back injury

Exercising your core muscles will strengthen and tones your lower back muscles and buttocks while stretching the hip flexors and the muscles on the front of the thighs.

Achieving this state will deter you from any serious lower back injury.

3. Improves physical performance

Exercising the core muscles with slow, static stretching is just as effective in relieving stiffness and enhances flexibility. Once the flexibility of a person has improved, it follows that he will be able to perform his physical activities at a better state.

4. They do not cause sore aching muscles

Static stretching for core muscles is best for the muscles and connective tissues. And because it employs slow stretches only, it will not cause any soreness, as do the quick, bouncing exercises that rely on jerky muscle contraction.

5. Lengthen muscles and avoid unbalanced footing as you get old

Core muscle exercises lengthen the muscles that have contracted as a result of pain. It also prevents pain from vigorous exercise if they are included at the end of each workout.

Health and fitness experts highly recommend starting core work out immediately and repeating the routine at least 2 times a week. The process can be done after the workout or even during the activity, for about 10 to 20 minutes only.

Indeed, core muscles are absolutely important in determining the good posture of the body. Strengthening them can absolutely eliminate those nuisances of back pains.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Importance of Resistance Training For Women

Many women nowadays are into resistance training. Many get into resistance training programs engaging into sports. Resistance training is important for women. It allows you to be active and have a healthy body. You may also gain the needed strength and physically built muscles.

Before you start lifting weights, you should know the proper ways on how to execute the exercise. Many women seriously encounter injuries when they incorrectly lift weights. It is important that you get rid first of the excess weight that you have by walking or jogging. You may also purchase weight loss equipment such as treadmills, cross bar platinum, and nutrition boo guides for a better health.

Women usually do not have the natural muscle structure that most men have. They may not also have the same strength to carry heavy loads or the same resistance that men have. What more if you get older? Your body may no longer have the same strength when you were still young. This happens because of the lifestyle you have or just because of aging process. Your resistance may have just decreased and your body tends to weaken.

You can benefit many things when you get into resistance training. Even if you are not an athlete or a body-building enthusiasts, you can get into resistance training programs. Having an active body and well-toned muscles can provide you the more strength and good resistance. You can do some workout outdoors like walking or jogging to get a better blood circulation.

You may also do some stretching and warm up exercises to allow the blood nutrients go to the muscles and joints of your body. Muscle stretching also helps in lessening the risks of injuries and muscle pains after the work out. Muscles tend to sore and get strained if you are not well warmed-up and do the proper stretching techniques before the work out.

In addition, muscle stretching also gives you more flexibility. You will be able to execute exercises comfortably and effectively. It is advisable that you do repetitive stretching and warm ups. Repetition of exercises makes your muscles and joints more enhanced and more adapted to the motion you are executing.

When you are ready to lift weights, you should first work on your larger muscles then the smaller ones. You may then finally go to the muscles that are isolated. You may execute push-ups that can enhance the upper muscles of the body. Before doing triceps extension exercises, you should first focus on the larger muscle groups such as the muscle found in your butt. You may execute exercises like repetitive squatting, box step-ups, and lunges.

You may also work on your quads which is the muscle found on the front thigh. You may perform repetitive squatting and lunges as well. You may also use the leg extension machine and the leg press machine for a well-executed exercise.

You should always remember that you work on the opposite muscles. Muscles tend to get imbalanced especially if the amounts of exercises you do are not equally distributed. When performing triceps extension, it is advised that you also do bicep exercises. If you work out on the chest and the stomach area like crunches, it is important that you do back extension exercises to get a balanced upper muscle toning.

Always take a rest after your resistance training work out. Allow your muscles to cool gradually so that you will not feel any sore or strained muscles. After the resistance training, you will see that you are more ready and physically fit for many kinds of sports.