Saturday, September 29, 2012

Health Foods With Harmful Ingredients

Sometimes we all probably feel like we are walking through a nutrition mine field. What one person or organization calls healthy is deemed unhealthy or even deadly by another. So what is a person to do when faced with the idea of trying to improve food choices in order to achieve a healthy fit body?
Luckily there are a few things that we are absolutely certain of and these things are the focus of this article. There are a lot of everyday, common foods and food storage items that most people don't give a second thought, but that in actuality could seriously affect their overall health and quality of life.
This first unhealthy substance isn't actually a food, but it is something we commonly store foods in. Even health food stores sometimes place their "healthy" food in containers made of this cancer-linked substance. In June 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report saying that styrene has a high probability of causing cancer. Now, given the fact that I've been in the fitness industry for quite some time, this is not news to me, but perhaps it is to you. Styrene is everywhere and it's a challenge to avoid it. Here are some very common products containing this potentially cancer-causing substance.
  1. Styrofoam cups and plates
  2. To-go boxes from restaurants
  3. Foam packing material
  4. Industrial emissions
  5. Second-hand cigarette smoke
  6. Floor waxes
  7. Paints and varnishes
Fortunately for us wisdom is power in this case. There are very simple alternatives to styrene these days and glass food and liquid containers are your best bet for ensuring the things you put in your body are not contaminated with unwanted and in some cases, deadly ingredients.
A second potentially harmful issue surrounds farm raised salmon (tilapia also). When we think of salmon we think of a beautiful vibrant fish leaping over small water falls in order to spawn, you know, just like we see on the Discovery Channel. Well, this isn't the reality for farm raised salmon. Instead envision tiny ponds densely packed with fish that have never felt a day of freedom. If this doesn't make you feel uneasy, the rest of the story will. Farm raised salmon are malnourished due to the fact that they are fed cheap sources of food in order to keep costs at a minimum. Feathers are a staple in the farm raised salmon's diet because it's a cheap source of protein. Because they are so poorly fed, their skin is a drab shade of gray. Since this wouldn't sell very well, these farm raised salmon are injected with the colorant Canthaxanthin in order to produce that healthy-looking pink color. Farmed salmon contain much higher levels of Poly-Chlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins that do their wild-caught cousins. Research has shown that even a small amount of these compounds may cause irreparable brain development damage in children. Moreover, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced that ingesting more than a single serving of farm-raised salmon in a given week may cause a person to exceed the maximum intake level for these substances according to the World Health Organization. So many people eat salmon in an effort to be healthy and get those essential fatty acids found in this fish's oil. Unfortunately they are being deceived because not only do these fishes have lower quality oils than their wild-caught cousins, but they also have tissues (meat) fed with potentially harmful substances.
Here is a list of some of the substances farm-raised salmon ingest:
    Antibiotics Flesh dye (Canthaxanthin) Animal feces Blood meal Magnesium sulphate Bird feathers Animal bone meal Cane molasses Potassium iodide Sodium carbonate Soy Zinc oxide Di-calcium phosphate Yeast Copper carbonate Fowl organs Cobalt sulphate Cellulose
Unfortunately this story only gets worse but you get the picture. Farm-raised fish is a huge issue that has health conscious and environmentally conscious people up in arms over these practices.
Always look for "wild caught" fish whenever possible.
Be on the lookout for catchy names that are meant to trick you. For instance, many restaurants serve "Atlantic Salmon." This is another way of saying that these fish are farm-raised. Be careful when selecting fish at the grocery store or restaurant. I recommend you choose "wild caught" whenever possible.
Another troublesome "health" food has been a part of many American's diets for decades. This food is the one we know as microwaved popcorn. While this is certainly a tasty snack, it seems there could be some real drawbacks to using microwaved popcorn instead of popping it the old fashion way (in a pan using cooking oil).
The potentially harmful substance under scrutiny is called diacetyl. This chemical is used to give microwaved popcorn that wonderful buttery aroma. Popcorn companies have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in claims to workers who are exposed to the dangerous fumes given off by diacetyl in the factories where the popcorn is produced. Unhealthy, life altering evidence abounds where this chemical is concerned. While the scientific community readily admits diacetyl exposure in the work place is a dangerous thing, much of the science stops there without going into the homes of people who frequently eat this supposedly "healthy" snack.
It's not a reach to assume that anything causing serious problems to the workers dealing with it could also cause problems to someone actually eating it. Over time, who knows how potentially serious the health ramifications could be. My recommendation is to take a few extra minutes and enjoy popcorn the old-fashioned way, cooked on a stove, in a pan with cooking oil using real butter as a topping.
The three food items mentioned in this article are highlighted primarily because of their tremendous presence in our everyday lives. Every store is packed with farm-raised fish, styrene stored foods and microwavable foods containing harmful chemicals. Be on the lookout for harmful substances in many of the foods you think of as healthy.
Here's a few tips for those of you that are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the situation:
  1. If the package crackles when you pick it up, it's probably processed and loaded with chemicals.
  2. If it has more than five items in its ingredient list, it's probably junk.
  3. If you cannot pronounce any number of the ingredients, you can probably assume they are substances that your body was not designed to consume.
So I wish you well in your quest of living a healthy, fit lifestyle and hope you'll expand your awareness and knowledge of those foods that do benefit you and those that masquerade as health foods in order to lure you to the check-out counter.
Jared Meacham, MS.Ed., CSCS.
Jared is a fitness entrepreneur, personal trainer and recognized weight loss expert. He is creator of the Body Fat Meltdown weight-loss program for women. He is also owner of Precision Body Designs, LLC., and creator of the Dirty Fitness Training Program.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fitness Routines

So you've decided to be proactive and start a fitness routine but before you begin take time to set realistic goals. It's worth considering how your age, sex, genetics, present and past health and lifestyle will shape your approach. This could be the key to sustainable fitness.
Here are five things to consider:
1. Why do you even want to start a fitness routine?
Asking yourself this question is a great place to start, as your motivation will affect how you deal during those days when you feel as if you're getting nowhere and your enthusiasm wanes. Some of us want to be super ripped like the couple with the unnatural pose on the cover of a fitness magazine but this motivation will only endure long-term for some. They'll never tell you about the countless hours at the gym or how their diets were radically modified for that one shot.
In the real world I'd say reasons like trying to lower cholesterol and blood pressure or trying to get healthy so you can enjoy your kids are two brilliant reasons of many.
2. Past and Current Health
Before beginning any fitness routine consult your physician. It has been said thousands of times by many a fitness professional and it litters the fine print of run of the mill gym contracts but very often people ignore this advice... sometimes to their own detriment. Having your doctor assess your past and current health will help point you in the right direction when setting fitness goals. Remember, fitness goals don't have to be static so as your fitness level improves your doctor could give you clearance to run a few more miles or lift a few more pounds.
The last thing you need is to collapse in your gym's weight room or to pass out in your living room, next to your brand new treadmill, because you didn't consult your doctor!
3. Do You Have Time
So you've seen your doctor and you've been given the green light to exercise. You're chomping at the bits and you're ready to do it but have you considered how much time you have available to commit to achieving your fitness goals? The majority of us who hold jobs don't have the privilege of twiddling around all day and going to the gym whenever we'd like. We have kids and long commutes. So what's the good news? It's called a 30 Minute Workout. One of the biggest exercise myths out there is that you have to workout for at least and hour to stay with the game.
4. What Gets You Motivated?
At any given time of day, at the gym where I have a membership, there are at least 20 to 40 people in the building. Some are doing cardio, some are in the weight room, some are in aerobics classes and some are spin classes. The people at the gym who are not motivated are easy to spot. They're the ones who do one set on the ab machine, then walk over to the weight room and stand there contemplating what to do next... finally deciding to go do cardio. They eek out a ten-minute slow-paced walk before hitting the stop button.
We don't want this to be you. So before you go crazy spending on a home gym system or buy a gym membership, get a sense for what motivates you. Personally I feel a lot more motivated at a gym where other people are really going for it because I feed off their energy. I'd never last more than two minutes at home.
5. Do You Have Family Support?
Because they're family doesn't guarantee they'll support you with your fitness goals. From my experience, it's not easy when everyone decides they're having Chinese and you feel left out or like you're the one inconveniencing everybody else.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Six Great Sources For Fitness Information

Looking for good fitness information can be a challenge today, with the avalanche of news sources, publications, and television programs coming from every direction. Here are six great sources to start with as you begin your journey to learn about great fitness approaches.
1. Fitness Magazines
The market for fitness information is so large that a number of magazines are available to meet this eager market. Many of these publications are specialized to target specific markets. You may want to get the advice of a trainer or workout specialist to sort through the many options
2. Specialty Magazines
Many fitness magazines are focused on particular activities. Running and Jogging each have several publications. Free weight or gym machine training have many titles to choose from. Sports exercise such as golf, swimming, or tennis have their specialized information as well.
In these magazines, be cautious about new programs being promoted by celebrities. These stars are usually not exercise experts, and their claims on the effectiveness of their programs need to be taken with a grain of salt.
Another caution is the dramatic headline. Claims of 10 pounds or more lost in a week sound too good to be true. The reality is that these claims really are inflated, so don't get sucked into programs of this type.
If the articles do not back up their claims with testimony from recognized experts, or a study that shows the program is repeatable, this should raise a red flag. Pass on this article, and look for something more real.
The last key here are the ads included in the magazine. Many times the products reviewed in the articles are heavily promoted in ads throughout the magazine. In many cases, the ads are structured to look like articles themselves. Be alert and do not be fooled by this.
Hospital groups and university research labs often put out newsletters on their programs, These provide quick insight into the range of activities they are involved in, and give you a good background on nutrition, exercise and wellness. Good sources include the University of California, Penn State University, and the Mayo Clinic
4. Newspapers
Major metropolitan newspapers often have specialty sections where topics such as fitness and wellness are covered on a weekly basis. These articles often will lead you to more specialized publications, and can help you stay abreast of emerging trends.
5. Books
The shelves of the bookstores groan with the wide range of exercise, diet and nutrition programs. Many are based on programs developed by physicians, sports medicine clinics, and universities. Others are promotions by celebrities and elite athletes. Seek out the advice of a personal trainer or other experienced exercise authority to help you sort through the many options. Many "secret" programs are just common knowledge recycled by the author. In general, look for programs that help you move toward your goals, and leave the rest.
6. The Internet
This is an even wider field than the bookstores. The ease of setting up your own website allows a wide range of groups to promote lots of different programs. You can often start the sorting by searching on a particular type of exercise in one of the search engines. Good information on general fitness and diet programs can be obtained from health association sites or government research groups like the National Institutes of Health.
Magazines have also established an internet presence. Fitness magazines such as Men's Health and Self share their print info as well as review other fitness sites. Check out a few of these to see what might appeal to you.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Right Way of Buying Yoga Pilates Equipment and Installing Them at Home

Yoga Pilates fitness tools are some of the most sought after physical exercise gadgets nowadays and for very good reason. Pilates can enhance your overall health and can aid you achieve internal balance. With the support of some pilates physical fitness tools, you can tone up your muscles and strengthen your posture.
Unlike other forms of workout tools, most pilates health gadgets will not truly charge so very much. You don't really require state of the art pilates physical fitness gear to perform pilates schedule. In reality, the classic pilates products happens to be only an work out mat. Even so, as the exercising schedule evolved more than time, some experts begin to introduce other kinds of pilates physical fitness equipments. The good news is that most of these pilates equipments are quite affordable.
The exercising mat is considered like a basic tool for pilates workouts. A mat might not really sound very much like a pilates fitness gear to you but it can really do a bunch of issues. Note that the pilates work out program are mostly floor exercises and stretching. Given that you will require to spend a great deal of time on the floor, your exercising mat can be your ideal ally. It is possible to also use your mat as yoga pilates gear.
How a great deal will an exercising mat cost you? You are able to simply find a descent work out mat for less than a hundred dollars. No, you will not need to purchase those expensive work out mats. Those work out mats that are on display at your favorite budget store will nicely.
Physical exercise balls and bands are not actually classic pilates fitness products. When the pilates exercising regimen was invented within the early component in the 20th century, physical exercise balls and bands were not component in the schedule. It was not until recently that work out balls and bands become well-liked pilates fitness tools. Balls and bands are used to boost resistance and make the exercise regime additional fun. A great deal of individuals who are utilizing bands and rings in their exercise program swear that these bands and rings support them tone their muscles quicker. Considering that balls and bands don't truly take up so significantly space, a lot of folks prefer to use these factors over other kinds of physical exercise equipments.
How a lot will these exercise balls and bands charge you? Fortunately, these pilates equipments aren't high-priced. Like the workout mat, you'll be able to very easily get these pilates health tools for less than a hundred dollars a piece. Not a bad price definitely considering the benefits that these balls and bands provide.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fitness is Important

Everyone seems to be in a hurry to get fit but how many people actually understand the importance of being healthy and fit? Just about every news story, talk show, web site, magazine article mentions that it is necessary to be fit and to adopt a positive attitude towards our body and its fitness. Remember, our body stays with us till the day we die so it is essential that we take good care of this valuable asset and keep it fit and healthy. The health of our body also affects our emotional well being and attitude. You don't have to be a marital arts expert to be fit. A few simple exercises and life style modifications tailored according to your age, circumstance and health condition can go a long way in ensuring that you keep fit and healthy. Here are a few good reasons to keep your body fit and going:
  • A healthy body gives rise to a healthy mind. Ones attitude and mental well being depends to a great extent on the state of their body.
  • Fitness is a saving grace when you are faced with a life threatening situation. You will need to be in perfect shape if you ever need to run for your life.
  • A fit and healthy person has a high level of self esteem and will feel confident when compared to his unfit peers.
  • Exercise and fitness regimens are essential to keep the body functioning normally. You can keep problems like diabetes, hypertension, heart ailments etc at bay if you make sure to exercise regularly.
  • Free radicals in the environment and those generated by the body, thanks to unhealthy eating habits take a toll on the body. Exercise helps combat accumulation of free radicals. Your body can handle chemicals and toxins better if you exercise regularly.
  • Exercise is a must to keep your heart fit and pumping. Exercise builds up the muscles for the heart.
  • Exercise ensures bone and muscle strength.
  • If your body is fit you feel energized and your metal sharpness and concentration levels get a boost.
The foods we eat and our lifestyle determine our fitness levels. These are things over which we have a say. It is up to you to make the necessary modification in your diet and lifestyle so that your body stays fit and healthy. Your age or physical ability should not be a hindrance in finding a good fitness plan. Keep your body fit and you will find your self feeling revitalized and happy.