Wednesday, June 11, 2008

No Time to Exercise?

As a Health and Fitness Coach, one of the most frequent question and problems I’m asked by new clients is: “What should I do Larry, I just don’t have time to exercise?

In our very fast paced world today with many of us balancing multiple roles, as an employee or business owner, parent, spouse, household manager, and responsible citizen, finding time for exercise can be a real problem. As a result, our health and fitness goals often get put on the back burner.

Most of us realize that regular physical exercise is absolutely necessary for us to maintain our overall health and fitness, keep our weight down, to look and feel great, and to stay young longer. So what’s the answer?

Well I have good news for you. Several studies, including one published in The Journal of Physiology, clearly show that short bursts of intense exercise, equivalent to only a few minutes per day, can produce the same or even better results than traditional cardio endurance training or spending hours at the gym lifting weights.

You may not have time to go to the gym, but everyone can find just 7-10 minutes per day to exercise at home. So time really does not have to be an issue, if you are really want to lose weight, get in great shape, and improve your health.

The key is to first make a decision to make taking care of your health and fitness a top priority, and then the taking steps necessary to fit a few minutes of exercise into your schedule at least 4-5 times per week. Once you’ve made that decision, you’ll find there are lots of ways to accomplish your health and fitness goals in just minutes each day.

If you don’t have time to go to the gym, get a small bench or fitness ball and a set of dumbbells for your strength training exercises. There are also many effective body weight exercises you can do, as well as short intense interval cardio exercises that will burn lots of calories, help you lose weight, and strengthen your cardiovascular system.

You could also find ways to include exercise as a part of your daily schedule. Go ahead and make a list of all the times, places and ways that you could fit in some kind of physical activity into your day.

Are there are there stairs in your office or apartment building? Go ahead, and climb them for five minutes a day.

When you go on a short errand, can you walk instead of taking the car? Do so.

Do you take a lunch hour? Use 10-15 minutes of it to walk, stretch, meditate, do push-ups, crunches, squats, lunges or dips.

The bottom line is that regardless of how busy your daily schedule is, a lack of time doesn’t have to keep you from losing weight, and getting really fit, slim, and healthy. And, in fact, ongoing exercise research is clearly showing that short intense strength training and cardio exercise is actually far more effective than long slow cardio or spending hours in the gym.

For More Information and Review of a 7 Minute Exercise Program Click on the following link:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Should You Take Daily Vitamin and Mineral Supplements?

Many people wonder whether vitamins and nutrition supplements are really necessary?

Vitamins are organic substances that are necessary for the proper growth and functioning of our bodies. Unlike protein, fat, and carbohydrates, vitamins provide no calories. They are, however, needed for the normal chemical reactions inside our bodies.

Vitamins must be obtained from food because the body cannot produce them. The exception is vitamin D, which can be produced by the skin when it is exposed to the sunlight. Diseases in the body can occur when the intake of vitamin(s) is insufficient due to poor nutrition, restricted diets, or inadequate absorption of the vitamins.

The problem is that today the nutritional value of our foods has been declining for many years due to the depletion of our soil, and our foods no longer have the high vitamin and mineral content they once had. So today it is much more difficult to get all the essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need from our normal diets.

For example virtually every major health organization now recommends eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day to maintain health, and the USDA recommends consuming 2-1/2 cups to 3 cups of vegetables a day. Yet, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, less than nine percent of American adults consume the recommended number of servings.

So in reality, most adults just do not consume anywhere near these minimum amounts, and thus the need for high-quality nutrition supplements for optimum health.
High quality nutrition supplements are also much more than just your normal vitamins and minerals.

The bodies of both women and men also need a number of anti-aging natural supplements such as amino acids, antioxidants, bioflavanoids, neuronutrients and specialized substances such as L-Carnosine, alpha lipoic acid and acetyl L-Carnitine.

As we live longer we want those added years to be active ones full of energy and health. The basis for good health is a lifestyle that includes a good healthy diet along with vitamins, minerals, and nutrition supplements.

We are very fortunate that today, there are many manufacturers that provide high quality vitamins nutrition supplements at reasonable prices. There are also very good low cost distributors of high quality vitamins and minerals on the internet.

For optimal health it is therefore necessary to combine a good health diet with a good compliment of supplements to make sure that you have all the necessary building materials your body needs to fight off disease, maintain good health, and help you stay younger longer.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

5 Scientic Fat Loss Secrets

Exercise science and research has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years’, and has confirmed some key fat loss secrets.

Fact: Fat loss programs that require endless hours of long, slow, boring cardio exercises will rarely help you achieve your fat loss goals and can in fact lead to over use injuries. A recent research study done in Australia showed that only interval training helped subjects burn belly fat during a 15-week fat loss study. Plus, the interval training group trained for only half the time of the slow, boring cardio group.

FACT: The fat loss workouts you read about in years’ past are based on out-of-date exercise science. You just don't have to spend an hour, or more, in the gym everyday doing strength training for different "body parts", and then following that up with a 45 minutes to an hour of slow boring cardio. It’s a waste of time, and they don’t work as well as 3 short 20-30 minute more intense exercise sessions.

FACT: Shorter more intense exercise sessions allow you start losing more fat, while building and maintaining lean muscle. And science has confirmed that every added pound of lean muscle burns an additional 35-50 calories per day. So an additional 10 pounds of lean muscle would burn 500 more calories per day. This would enable you to burn more body fat all day long, even while you’re sleeping.

FACT: Traditional fat burning exercise programs typically don't even mention strength training workouts in their instructions because most trainers and clients don't understand how strength training will help fat loss. However, if you want to maximize your metabolism, lose fat, get defined arms, and a flat lean stomach you must include strength training in your fat loss workout exercises.

FACT: More advanced, modern fat burning and strength training methods, will help you burn more calories and more belly fat in and out of the gym. With combined short strength training and interval cardio exercises, you will skyrocket your post-workout metabolism allowing you to burn more belly fat, and excess body fat, quickly become leaner, healthier, and more fit than you ever felt possible.

The research simply does not lie, and these are the bottom line facts. Follow the above guidelines and revise you exercise program to start achieving outstanding fat loss, fitness, and health benefits in the shortest time possible.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Diet Secrets for Weight Loss

Proper nutrition and diet is a critical factor in losing weight and becoming really healthy and fit. You can do everything else right, including an intensive exercise program, but if you regularly eat unhealthy junk foods, you will never really become healthy and fit.

People get fat primarily because of the food they eat…both the type and amount. They often eat the wrong types of food…too much sugar, fat, and carbohydrates, and they eat too much for the often sedentary lifestyles they lead.

So the secret of losing weight and staying slim is not some magic temporary diet, but rather in permanently changing your diet and eating habits. Eat the right kind of foods, in the right amounts, and get some good regular exercise, and your weight will start returning to normal levels…and this can happen rather quickly.

An extreme example of this was recently seen on the nationwide T.V. show “The Biggest Losers”, where people lost 40% to 50+% of their total bodyweight right before our eyes in just weeks. The contrast shown in before and after photos, was absolutely amazing. And while the contestants had professional trainers, financial incentives, and a controlled environment, it clearly shows what can be accomplished with a proper diet and exercise, click on NBC link below:

So, if obese 300 and 400 pound people like those on the Biggest Losers TV show can lose that amount of weight and get fit in just weeks, anyone can do it with proper diet and regular exercise.

It may take you a little longer, as you probably don’t have the time or motivation to exercise several hours per day or stick to an Spartan like diet, but with proper diet, and just 20-30 minutes of exercise per day, you can achieve amazing results in just weeks’.

Also by committing to eating better, you can reduce your risk of many chronic diseases – including heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and certain cancers – while increasing your energy and stamina. Healthy eating can even lower “bad” LDL cholesterol as much as low-dose statin drugs!

A healthy diet helps improves your overall health and well being, helps you feel better, provides you with more energy, helps you stay fit, and helps you fight stress.

Healthy eating can also prevent most cases of heart disease and diabetes and help ward off high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and some forms of cancer.

Healthy eating begins with learning how to “eat smart”. -- It's not just what you eat, but how you eat. Some eating tips:

  • Thoroughly chew your food: Your digestion begins in your mouth. Chewing breaks the food into smaller particles and mixes the food with saliva that contains digestive enzymes. Thorough digestion is also the key to the absorption of nutrients and to good health! Chew your food slowly, savoring every bite. Reconnect with the joy of eating.
  • Don’t eat when stressed out. When you are stressed, your digestion can be severely compromised. So avoid eating while working, driving, or watching TV. And avoid confrontations, serious discussions or worry during meals. If you feel stressed or upset, stop eating and relax before continuing with your meal. Playing soothing music and lighting a few candles is a great way to create a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Learn to listen to your body: Eat slowly and stop eating when you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eating slowly can help you get a more accurate read on this, as well. Eating just enough to satisfy your hunger will help you remain alert, relaxed and feeling your best.
  • Eat early and eat often: Do you remember the saying: breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism. Also, eating five or six small, healthy meals throughout the day, rather than the standard three large meals, can help keep your metabolism going and ward off late night snack attacks.

For overall healthy eating I recommend you put a heavy emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, and fish, poultry and beans for protein (though I also find an occasional lean steak or chop delicious).

I’d also suggest you try eating a small fresh salad before every meal to increase your fresh vegetable intake, and help moderate your appetite so you can cut down on the volume of grains and carbohydrates you eat at meal time.

And after a while, I think you’ll find that good healthy foods can be every bit as enjoyable as junk foods and fat or sugar laden foods, especially when you know what you’re eating is actually helping you improve your health and achieve your fitness goals.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

4 Secrets to Losing Body Fat – Speed Up Your Metabolism

As Featured On Ezine Articles

Scientific research has shown that the best way to lose fat is strength training. It works for obese people as well as those just wanting to lose a few pounds and firm up. When we strength train, we add lean muscle mass to our body.

Lean muscle mass burns through 35-50 calories per pound of muscle every single day. Let's take a look at that number from a different point of view. If we have 5 pounds of lean muscle, that muscle will burn about 250 calories a day. Here comes the fun part. If we have 10 pounds of lean muscle mass, then our muscles burn about 500 calories a day. Hopefully you can see why adding lean muscle is the best way to lose fat.

If you're setting up your own program, you'll need to know 4 strength training principles or secrets. These principles will teach you how to make sure you're using enough weight, determine your sets and reps and insure you're always progressing in your workouts, and help you avoid injuring yourself.

  1. Overload: To build muscle, you need to use more resistance than your muscles are used to. This is important because the more you do, the more your body is capable of doing, so you should increase your workload to avoid plateaus. In plain language, this means you should be lifting enough weight that you can ONLY complete the desired number of reps. You should be able to finish your last rep with difficulty but also with good form.
  2. Progression. To avoid plateaus, you need to increase your intensity on a regular basis. You can do this by increasing the amount of weight lifted, changing your sets/reps, changing the exercises and changing the type of resistance.
  3. Specificity. This principle means you should train to achieve your individual goals. That means, if you want to increase your strength, your program should be designed around that goal e.g., train with heavier weights closer to a maximum of just a few reps. To lose weight, however, choose a variety of higher rep ranges to target different muscle fibers and muscle groups. e.g. 8-15 reps per set.
  4. Rest and Recovery. Rest days are also important. It is during these rest periods that your muscles grow and change, so make sure you're not working the same muscle groups more than one day in a row.

Before you get started on setting up a strength training routine, keep a few key points in mind:

Be sure to warm up before you start lifting weights. This helps get your muscles warm and prevent injury. You can warm up with light cardio or by doing a light set of each exercise before going to heavier weights.

Lift and lower your weights slowly. Don't use momentum to lift the weight. If you have to swing to get the weight up, chances are you're using too much weight.

Don't hold your breath and make sure you're using full range of motion throughout the movement.

Pay attention to your posture and engage your abs in every movement you're doing to keep your balance and protect your spine.

Starting out, you should choose about 5-6 basic exercises per session, and do a minimum of one exercise per muscle group per week. The list below offers some examples:

· Chest: bench press, chest press machine, or pushups

· Back: one-armed row, lat pulldowns, or seated row

· Shoulders: overhead press, lateral raise, front raise

· Abs: crunches, reverse crunches, leg pull ups

· Biceps: bicep curls, hammer curls, concentration curls

· Triceps: tricep extensions, dips, kickbacks

· Legs: Quadriceps: Leg press, squats, lunges, leg extension Hamstrings: deadlifts, leg curl machine Calves: calf raises or extensions on a calf or leg press machine.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The 3 Kinds of Exercise for Total Fitness

Following are the 3 major types of exercise:

1. Weight or resistance training: The general definition of weight or resistance training is any type of exercise that overloads the muscles of the body and causes them, and ligaments and bones as well, to grow stronger, firmer, and fitter. Following are the general types of weight or resistance type training.
a. Barbell and dumbbells weight training exercises
b. Weight training machines
c. Exercises with cables or resistance type rods or bands
d. Body weight exercises

2. Cardio exercises: Any type of exercise that elevates the heart rate, ideally to your target heart rate based on your age and fitness level, see below:

220-Age (Non-athletic person)
205-Age/2 (Fit person)

226-Age (Non-athletic)

Typical types of cardio exercise training include: Fast walking, jogging, running, stair steppers, cross trainers, bike riding, and other sports like tennis, soccer, or lacrosse. Weight training can also be an effective cardio exercise, if done with only a short rest between sets.

3. Flexibility exercises: Any type of exercises like stretching and yoga designed to increase and maintain the body’s flexibility. Flexibility is also important to prevent different type of injuries, and help slow down the aging process. I’ve found that it’s also a key factor in recovery from problems with lower back pain.

What Type of Exercise is Best

I feel that all three types of exercise are important for achieving and maintaining maximum health and fitness. The exact type and amount of exercise you choose should be based on a number of individual factors. Following are some things to consider in developing an exercise program that will enable you to achieve your health and fitness goals:

• Do you want to lose weight or fat? If so, how much?
• Do you want to firm up certain body parts? eg. Slimmer waist, flat stomach, firm arms, or six-pack abs etc. to look more attractive.
• Increase the strength and look of certain body parts?
• Improve your overall health?
• Improve your athletic performance in a certain area?
• Avoid aging, and stay younger longer?
• How much time do you have available to exercise? (keep in mind that a lot can be accomplished in relatively short periods of time eg. 15-30 minutes 3-4 times per week)
• Do you have a gym or exercise facilities available to you? (Even if no, there are many effective exercises that can be done in your home or office in a very short period of time with little or no equipment).

Strength Training

Scientific research has clearly shown that the best way to lose fat is strength training. It works for obese people as well as those just wanting to lose a few pounds and firm up. When we strength train, we add lean muscle mass to our body. This lean muscle mass burns through 35-50 calories per pound of muscle every single day.

Let's take a look at that number from a different point of view. If we have 5 pounds of lean muscle, that muscle will burn about 250 calories a day. Here comes the fun part. If we have 10 pounds of lean muscle mass, then our muscles burn about 500 calories a day. Hopefully you can see why adding lean muscle is the best way to lose fat.

If we couple strength training with cardio training and flexibility exercises, you will have a more complete and beneficial exercise routine:
Walking, jogging, and running are probably the most common for of cardio exercises people are doing today. Bike riding, swimming, cross trainers, dancing, or tennis have also gotten pretty popular.
The issue, however, is not so much the particular form of cardio exercise, but the intensity levels and benefits. In order for an exercise to be considered "cardiovascular" or "aerobic," it needs to elevate your heart rate to 60 to 85 percent of its maximum rate (the fastest it could possibly beat). When you're in the aerobic zone, you should be able to talk, but not able to carry on a long conversation.

Cardio Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise has numerous health benefits. In addition to burning calories and lowering your body fat, it will strengthen your heart and lungs.
While many experts feel that cardiovascular training should last for 30 to 60 minutes, recent research has shown that shorter more intense cardio cycles are much more effective at burning fat and improving your lung, heart, and overall cardio capacity and functioning eg. 3-4 minutes of warm up cardio followed by a 2-3 cycles of alternating 2 minutes of intense exercise followed by 2 minute intervals of lower cardio intensity.
Just fifteen to twenty minutes of high intensity interval cardio can increase your aerobic capacity (VO2max) dramatically, maintains lean muscle mass, boosts your metabolism during and after exercise, and burns more fat calories than 45-60 minutes of low intensity cardio.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. One research study showed participants who engaged in short high intensity training lost 9 times more fat than those who performed long low intensity training.
There are pros and cons to various types of cardio exercises eg. some such as jogging and running may be hard on your knees or lower back, while others may be things that you just do not enjoy doing. The most important thing, however, is to choose a form of cardio exercise that is easily available and something you enjoy doing.

Flexibility Exercises

Regular flexibility exercises like Yoga stretching exercises are also very important to prevent injury, and keep our bodies joints, ligaments, and muscles supple and flexible, especially as we get a little older. It also helps prevent and relieve lower back problems and injuries.
Yoga has been known to prevent muscle soreness and promotes faster recovery between whatever training sessions you give it. Yogic stretching is like a constant battery charger.
It loosens tight muscles, which tend to trap lactic acid, the waste product that accumulates in the muscle cells during other hard training sessions apart from yoga that you may like to partake in.
Increasing flexibility is very important. Yoga also has positions that act upon the whole body including those joints that we never consider exercising.
A body which may have been quite rigid at the beginning of learning a stretching or yoga program will start to experience a remarkable flexibility in all parts, even those parts which have not been consciously worked upon.


While this may at first seem overwhelming to you, it really shouldn’t. It really doesn’t have to take much time, it doesn’t have to be expensive, and it’s not that difficult. And you’ll find that just a few short 15-20 minute exercise sessions per week will pay huge dividends in improved health and fitness.

So if you want to lose weight, firm up, look and feel better, and stay young longer, look for ways to integrate the 3 types of exercise into your regular schedule.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Key Step to Health and Fitness

If you are really committed to achieving a high level of health and fitness, you must also be willing to eliminate, any negative and destructive habit patterns that may be contributing to your poor health and fitness.

Most of us are well aware of some of the obvious one like smoking, taking illegal drugs, over eating or eating junk, and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, but there are many more which we’ll discuss below.

So now what are some of the unhealthy negative habits you should look at and consider changing, as you start a program to achieve your health and fitness goals? Most of them you already know, but here’s a list of things to think about:
1. Smoking, drinking, drugs, and eating junk food, as mentioned above.
2. Excessive use of salt or sugar.
3. Eating too much candy, sweets, and unhealthy deserts.
4. Not exercising.
5. Not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables.
6. Not taking vitamins and supplements.
7. Skipping breakfast.
8. Eating late at night.
9. Not drinking enough pure water.
10. Failing to deal with excessive stress or anxiety.
Now the big question is: Exactly how do I change my negative habit patterns? You may have tried to stop smoking or eating fattening deserts in the past, but found that you just couldn’t do it! Don’t let that discourage you, I also couldn’t change my negative habit patterns for many years’, but rest assured you can do it, if you really want to. Following are some suggestions:

First Get Really Clear on Your Goals You must have a clear picture of exactly what you want.

If you don't have a clear vision and goal you'll never get there! If it's losing 20 pounds, then picture how you'll look after you’ve lost the weight, picture the clothes you'll wear, and how much better you'll look and feel.

Maybe you want to improve your muscle tone, body shape, or just feel better?

Again...envision it clearly in your mind, as if you're already there. You may have heard this before, but I know it works. I've done it time and time again.

The more clearly you can see your goal as actually having been achieved in your mind, the faster you will achieve that goal.

You’ve undoubtedly heard how top athletes, Olympians, or even the golfer, Tiger Woods, visualize their ‘perfect’ performance in their minds over and over before they actually do it. They see and feel exactly what the heir perfect performance will look like. And then they do it, just as they pictured in their minds.

Get a clear mental picture of yourself after you have achieved your goals….see it, feel it! Imagine how your spouse and/or significant others in your life will react after you have achieved your goals.

Then think about all the other positive aspects of your successfully accomplishing your health and fitness goals. Picture exactly how it would affect your life, your relationships, and your happiness?

Take Full Responsibility remember that we are all 100% responsible for how our lives turn out!

Regardless of your current circumstances or what’s happened to you in the past, no one else has control over your life and the choices you make.
The bottom line is that you are largely the result of the choices you make on a daily, and even hourly basis.

Our minds are going every minute of every day, and the self-talk going on in our heads is too often negative and non-productive. Remember the fact is that we get what we think about, so try to keep your thoughts positive, and productive at all times.

Try to become more aware of your ongoing thoughts and ultimately the choices that result from those thoughts. When you can “in the moment” become aware of exactly what you’re thinking about, and the choices that result from those thoughts, you will be amazed at how you can alter your thinking, make deliberate positive choices, and start achieving the outcomes you want…instead of just acting on old established negative habit patterns.

Use the Pain and Pleasure Principle

Did you ever consider the fact that everything, we do in life is driven by the pain and pleasure principle? If we feel that a particular action will result in more pleasure than pain in our lives, we will do it…but if we feel that action will bring more pain than pleasure we will not do it. It’s as simple as that!

Tony Robbins talks a lot about the “pain and pleasure” principle in his self-help training programs, and the bottom line is that it works. The key to success here is what we focus on in making our pain or pleasure decisions.

For example, imagine you’re out to dinner with some good friends and one of your friends suggests you order a delicious fattening dessert. If you focus on how delicious the dessert will be and how much you’ll enjoy eating it, you will order the dessert…..but if you start to think about how you want to lose weight, how good you’ll feel when you attain your weight and fitness goals, you will decide not to eat it.

What Tony Robbins say's is that we make choices based on pain and pleasure, and until the pain gets big enough, we will not be motivated to make the necessary changes to achieve the goals in our lives.

The great thing is you can put yourself in that state of mind whenever you want. You can do this with EVERY situation in your life.

So when you find yourself taking the easy road, stop, catch yourself and do a "gut check". Create the pain right then and there! Get that pain high enough to take immediate action. This works great for your health and fitness commitments. Every time you want skip your workout, or eat unhealthy food, get the pain to come out and really feel it. It works every time!

This is where the taking 100% responsibility for your life comes in.
Can you now see how you in fact are in control of your outcomes for good or bad? And…it’s not as hard as you think. In fact, once you do it and see you can improve, it gets infectious and you’ll soon become a positive “change-maker” in all areas of your life.