Too Busy For Exercise? Or Too Busy For Life?

In your super busy running all day no time to waste world, exercise is a option you just don’t have.

Really?

Then tell me something, which would you prefer?

An hour of exercise?

or

A lifetime of health problems?

Being too busy for anything is an excuse. What you really mean to say is I have better things to do and exercise isn’t on that list.

But if you choose to continue to be too busy for exercise then you need to prepare yourself for the time when you have to say goodbye to your super busy running all day no time to waste world. Because if you’re not healthy and fit, you’re not going to be running your life anymore.

Here are some effective way to get the exercise you need without compromising your time and to stay healthy:

Bring your walking shoes to work and enjoy a thirty minute walk each day.

Wake up twenty minutes earlier then you normally would and start your day off with a yoga session.

Carve out three twenty minute slots a week — add it to your day planner like you would an appointment. These ‘appointments’ are your strenuous workouts. Cardiovascular and muscle toning should be your focus.

Keep a ‘health drawer’ in your office. The health drawer should be full of healthy snacks such as granola, nuts and other low fat items.
Drink plenty of water.

When you’re on the go it’s easy to grab a soda or coffee. Ignore them and go for the good ol’ fashioned water.

De-stress once a week by engaging in a sixty minute yoga session. Sunday evenings are the perfect time for this session as it gets you relaxed and focused for the following week.

You can never be too busy to be healthy. If you have to, make appointments for your workouts; it will be harder to break that way.

Skinny Does Not Equal Healthy

Americans tend to define ‘healthy’ based on the look and weight of somebody. Being skinny does not equal being fit. Staying within the lines of true fitness is about having the freedom and enjoyment of looking the best you can. But you have to find the boundary line of skinny verses fat and that comes from your Body Composition.

What is Body Composition?

Body composition is made up of your bodies muscle, fat and bone. Most often, the measure between lean tissue and fatty tissue is what makes up your body composition. There are a number of ‘skinny’ people out there who have more fatty tissue then lean tissue. This means that their body fat is too high while their lean muscle is too low.

Exercise and diet is the best way to lose extra body fat. But if you are skinny, yet not healthy, then gaining muscle is more important the losing weight.

Eat, Eat, Eat

Gaining muscle requires that you eat more calories than you burn. Try a few of these suggestions to add more calories to your daily intake.

Eat granola, bagels, avocados, olives, corn, meat, nuts, peanut butter, yogurt and cheeses

Add powdered milk into casseroles

Mix beans, meat or cheese into pasta

Use milk in soups instead of water

The trick is to add calories without adding too much fat.

Lift, Lift, Lift

Once you’ve got yourself eating enough calories, start building those muscles! The best way to gain muscle mass is by lifting heavy objects.

Lift heavier then you think you can handle. It should be difficult for you to do the lifts. Six to seven reps should be the max and the last ones should be extremely hard.

Use spotters to avoid injury

Do cardio workouts a couple days a week to keep your heart in good shape

We all know that muscle weighs more than fat, so for those who are on a diet, you may get frustrated when they don’t see your weight decrease.

Don’t judge how well you are doing based on your weight, go more by how you look and feel.

Never Too Old To Be Fit!

One of the most common reasons people say they can’t start an exercise regime is because they think they are too old.

If you believe that then you are lying to yourself.

Athletes like Brett Favre and Cal Ripken, men who didn’t let age stop them, can be role models to everyone.

The older you get, the more that exercise becomes important. Keeping your bones strong, your weight at a healthy level, your muscles toned and your heart beating what is essential. As you get older, it becomes more difficult.

AT HOME EXERCISE IDEAS TO START

Simple Strength Exercise

Sit in a chair with your back straight.

Keep feet flat on the floor and even with your shoulders.

Hold hands straight down at your sides with palms facing inward.

Raise both arms to side, shoulder height.

Hold the position for 1 second.

Slowly lower arms to the sides. Pause. Repeat 8 to 15 times.

Rest. Do another set of 8 to 15 repetitions.

Simple Balance Exercises

Walk heel-to-toe. Position your heel just in front of the toes of the opposite foot each time you take a step. Your heel and toes should touch.

Stand on one foot. Start by holding for five seconds and switching feet. Gradually increase until you can stand for 30-45 seconds on each foot.

Simple Stretching Exercise

Hold one end of a towel in your right hand.

Raise and bend right arm to drape towel down back. Keep your right arm in this position and continue holding onto the towel.

Reach behind your lower back and grasp bottom end of towel with left hand.

Climb your left hand progressively higher up towel, which also pulls your right arm down. Continue until your hands touch, or as close as you can comfortably go.

Reverse positions.

Repeat 3 to 5 times each session. Hold stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.

Simple Endurance Exercises

Taking a 15 minute brisk walk

Swimming for fifteen minutes

Gardening, mowing, or raking the lawn

Cycling on a stationary bicycle for fifteen minutes

Bicycling outdoors on a level surface for fifteen minutes

It’s important not to overdo it when you are just getting back into the fitness scene. Take it slow and work your way up to where you want to be. The exercises above are a great starting point. Once you have mastered them, move on to a higher level.

Home Gyms on a Tight Budget

So you want a home gym but don’t think you can afford one? You can put together a home gym with items from around your home, costing you zilch. Have a bit of a higher budget, you can have a supreme home gym for $1000. Whatever your budget is you can start it today o and add to it on a monthly basis until you have the gym that you’ve always dreamed about.

Let’s start high and go low.

A Budget of $1000

− Buy a treadmill. The treadmill is great for cardiovascular exercise and can also be used for leg strength training. A treadmill can also easily be adjusted to harder levels as your fitness level increases.
− Add a full dumbbell set with weights ranging from 5 pounds to 50 plus pounds. Dumbbells are perfect for toning and building muscles
− Get a resistance band. A resistance band is another option for strength training. .
− Finally, purchases a step bench. The step bench can be used for both cardio and strength training.

A Budget of $100
If you have a starting budget of $100 then the following can be bought to start your home gym:
–a dumbbell set
–a fitness ball
— a resistance band
— a jump rope
A Budget Under $100
–Three dumbbells sizes – 5lb, 10lb and 15ln
–Resistance Band
–Jump Rope

A Budget of $35
Fitness Ball. A fitness ball can be a total body workout. Using the ball you get upper body workout, a lower body workout and much needed abdominal workout.
If you can’t afford anything else to start your home gym, the fitness ball should be on your list.

A Budget of ZERO
There are many items around your house that you can use for your hoe gym that cost no out of pocket money at all
− Use milk jugs filled with water for weights.
− Stairs for leg toning and strength building.
− Chairs for stretching
− Towels for resistance bands.

Regardless of what you can afford, you can enjoy the benefits of a home gym. Be healthy and fit on a budget!

Never Too Busy For Exercise!

Have you ever had a day from hell and the last thing you want to do is exercise? Or does your work require you to travel a great deal, and you just can’t find the time to fit your daily physical workout in?

Quick and Easy Traveling Exercises

Leg Raise


Lie supine on a mat or padded carpet, feet flat on the floor to help maintain the proper pelvic tilt while you press the lower back into the floor and keep it flat on the floor throughout the exercise. Inhale as you extend one or both legs out and then return your knee(s) back towards your chest. Repeat 20-30 times



Rearward Lunge


Stand with feet shoulder width apart, arms at your sides. Inhale and take a large step backward with the left foot to a point where your left knee is a few inches above the floor (or as close as you can comfortably go) and your right knee does not extend past the toes of your right foot. Your hands remain at your sides, gaze forward. Exhale and step forward with the left leg returning to the starting position. Finish all reps with the left leg before repeating with the right. To make the movement less difficult, alternate legs from rep to rep. Repeat 10 to 20 times

A Day From Hell Exercise

If you had a day from hell then you need something to help you unwind. Sitting on the couch moping or eating a pint of ice cream is not the answer. Release your pent up energy in a healthy way.

Take a brisk thirty minute walk. The exercise and fresh air will renew you.

Use your energy to harden your abs. Ten to fifteen hard sit ups will calm you.

If you have a gym membership, then a date with the punching bag is perfect for you. Head on down and unwind!

Regardless if you are traveling or just having a bad day, there is never any reason for skipping exercise.

Exercising daily trains your body to be the best it can be. When you break a date with your body, your body is what loses out. If your body fails you, nothing will save you.

A tribute to Jack LeLanne

Many times referred to as the “godfather of fitness,” world-famous Jack LeLanne was the epitome of role models for fitness and health. As we mourn his recent passing, we remember and reflect upon his great achievements throughout his life. His positive and endearing image remains behind for all of us to remember and to emulate, especially for Baby Boomers. He is someone who lived life to the fullest and never missed an opportunity to make exercise fun and enjoyable, especially to his students.

LeLanne’s life is especially inspirational to the Baby Boomer population because he maintained impeccable health well into his years. His longevity attests to the fact that over the course of his long life, he took care of his body. He advocated health for everyone and especially stressed that senior health is just as achievable as that of much younger generations.

Over the course of his life, LeLanne couldn’t help but keep talking about the importance of physical fitness and good nutrition. For the Baby Boomer population, these top five LeLanne guidelines for life are more important now than ever:
Exercise is enjoyable. On his fitness show, Jack showed how fun fitness can be. He said that people want to make excuses of how grueling exercise can be. So, he would just call it something else. One of his words for it? “Trimnastics.”

Anyone can exercise. LeLanne advocated exercise for everyone, whether they were elderly, disabled, young or tired. Whatever age or condition, exercise is almost always possible. LeLanne proved this as he accomplished major feats when he was the same age of many Baby Boomers today. In fact, at age 70 he pulled dozens of boats loaded with people for one and a half miles in Long Beach Harbor. Oh, and that’s not all: He swam against unruly currents while handcuffed and tied up.

Good nutrition makes you feel better. That’s basically what he said to his wife, Elaine, when they first met. He also once said, “The food you eat today is walking and talking tomorrow.” It’s all about putting in good stuff and getting good stuff out. At age 15, he turned to good nutrition and advocated it for the rest of his life.

Exercise and good nutrition go hand in hand. LeLanne said, “Exercise is King, nutrition is Queen, put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.” He knew that one couldn’t truly exist without the other, and when you match them up you are bound to have a healthy and fulfilling life.

If you put your mind to it, you can do it. LeLanne was not only a fitness guru, but he was also the master of positive thinking: “Anything in life is possible if you make it happen.” He dedicated his life to healthy living and passing his knowledge and passion on to others. To LeLanne, everything can be an achievement if you let it be an achievement – a timeless piece of advice to anyone, but especially to Baby Boomers.

Home Gym Verses Gym Membership

Should you have a home gym or buy a gym membership? There are pros and cons to each, so let’s break them down.

HOME GYM

The Advantages of a Home Gym

Convenience
The convenience of being able to work out whenever you please is a plus. Because it is your own home you are free to play whatever music you want and enjoy your privacy. As an added bonus, there is no travel involved.

Hygiene
You never have to worry about how clean the equipment is or when the last time the showers were cleaned.
Expense
Home gyms can be pretty inexpensive. Many items needed can be found at yard sales or through online sites, second hand. In the long run, even buying a home gym new will save you money verses a gym membership.

Disadvantages of a Home Gym

Lonely
Some people just do better in a social setting. It motivates them and it kicks their completive streak into high gear. If this is you, then a home gym may not work well.

Distractions
Having a home job is a great idea; if you can handle it. It is so easy to get distracted when your home. The laundry needs doing, a quick check of the email, the kids want to play. Unless your highly disciplined, distractions are easy.

GYM MEMBERSHIP

Advantages of a Gym Membership

Range of weight training equipment
There is more equipment to work with, to cover a larger range of exercises and training a wider selection of specific muscles and muscle groups

Supervision
All gyms require certified fitness trainers to supervise and safety check exercise execution but also to provide advice on how to use weight training equipment properly and avoid injury. Having that expertise available to you if you are a beginning to intermediate weight training enthusiast can be worth the expense of a gym membership

Amenities
Besides having the usual changing rooms and showers, a lot of gyms also offer amenities such as a sauna, and indoor pool with a Jacuzzi pool as well. It can be an added benefit if you like to relax that way after exercising

Disadvantages of a Gym Membership

Crowds
Although gyms have a large amount of equipment, it is useless if the gym is overcrowded and your spending more time waiting for a machine then on the machine itself.

Gym rats
Every gym has them and everybody hates them. People with poor hygiene in the changing rooms, people who hog the weight training equipment and people who are there because they have nothing better to do.

Expense
Renewing a gym membership year after year can get costly.

Everybody is different and while one may love the idea of a home gym, the other may know that the only way exercising would work for them is if they joined a formal gym. Do what suits you and your personality best and you can’t go wrong.

A Healthy You Starts With Food

As I was walking in the park today I happened to notice an overweight man puffing through the park, obviously in a hurry. He was sweating and red in the face and he was shoving what looked like the remains of a street vendor hotdog down his throat.
I stopped to sit on a bench for a bit and started paying attention to the other pedestrians enjoying the sunny fall day. As I watched I saw another man, older then the first one, walking his terrier and eating a pretzel. You know what I’m talking about? Those huge ones that you dip in cheese sauce? As I watched him I noticed two things. One he was overweight. Two, so was his dog. I guess walking and eating junk doesn’t work. For man or beast!

I scanned the park looking for one person who was eating something healthy, and there she was. The woman every man dreams about. She was dressed as a business woman, but that didn’t hide the fact that she had a greatly toned and fit body. I tried to see what she was eating, but her bench was a ways down from mine. As nonchalantly as I could, I walked to her way. I just knew she was going to be eating something healthy and sure enough, there she was with a bag of carrots, almonds and celery. I tried not to stare, but I had to. She was eating those vegetables as if they were pieces of chocolate! She was enjoying them!

Before she could yell stalker, I continued my walk through the park, but my mind wasn’t interested in the surroundings anymore. I was thinking about what people eat and how it shapes who they are.
It seemed that anybody I saw who looked to be in good shape was eating or drinking something healthy. Those who were overweight or just had a flabby and unhealthy look to them, were eating some type of junk food.

A walk for exercise is a great thing; any type of exercise is a great thing. But if you’re not eating healthy then none of that matters.
A good balance of grains, wheat, vegetables, fruit, dairy and meats is the healthiest way to eat. Need to eat on the run? Keep granola, yogurt and fresh cut veggies handy. You don’t need to go hungry to be healthy — in fact, that is very unhealthy! You just need to find the right balance.

A perfect plated meal should look like this:
Half of your plate should be full of fruit, vegetables or a salad
A quarter of your plate should be a lean protein, such as fish or chicken
The remaining quarter should contain a healthy carb, such as whole wheat rice
Top your meal off with fat free milk and your full AND healthy!

Recharge Tip #1: Sleep

For the next three articles I’m going to concentrate on three really great tips to help you to recharge. Now as you know, your body needs time to rest, rejuvenate and recharge. It’s absolutely essential – even when you are eating a healthy balanced diet and getting a good dose of physical exercise.

That’s because when you rest and recharge, your body gets to work to keep healthy. Cells are replaced, viruses and infections are flushed out and your body almost becomes new again.

The first important recharge tip that I will discuss here in this article is sleep.

Why is sleep so important?
Sleep is of critical importance to our physical health and wellbeing and it’s for the following reasons:

When we sleep, our brain recharges: During this time neurons are repaired.
Parts of the brain reset: A fine tuning of synaptic connections happens and the brain will sort information and discard information not needed. It stops us from overloading ourselves.
Our heart and lungs relax: There is a reduction in blood pressure and our heart rate drops.
It gives the body a chance to repair: The body will replace chemicals and repair other parts of the body that need it – muscles, tissues, aging or dead cells.
It can strengthen the immune system
Growth hormone is released during sleep: For children and young adults still growing, the growth hormone is released during sleep.

On the whole, a good quality sleep for the right amount of time refreshes us. We wake up energetic in the morning and ready for action. We also function on all cylinders after a good night sleep.

If we don’t get enough sleep:

We can experience memory loss, slower reaction time, greater stress and irritability.
By losing only one hour of sleep, our chances of having a car accident increase 7-8%.
If we lose 15 minutes of quality sleep, we can lose 15% of efficiency.
Our wellbeing plummets because of greater stress and depression associated with that.

At least 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders, with around 60 per cent of adults in America having sleep problems several nights each week.

That’s compared to 69 per cent of children suffering from sleep problems several nights each week.

How to sleep well
Because sleep is so important to our health and wellbeing, I recommend:

Getting into a sleep routine: Do this every day. The same bed time and get up time every day. Even on weekends.
Have a dark room: Light can interrupt your sleep.
Don’t go to bed too hungry or too full: This will stop you from getting the sleep you need. Wait at least three hours after dinner, before sleep.
Make sure you’re comfortable: Make sure your neck and back are comfortable for sleep.
Make sure you maintain your mattress: Turn it over every few months and aim to replace after 5-7 years of using it regularly. Make sure your mattress is comfortable – no sore necks or backs or it might be time to replace it.
Exercise: If you are too sedentary and don’t exercise enough, chances are it’s interfering with your sleep. Regular exercise – at least 3 days per week – will help you have a better quality sleep. Don’t exercise just before bed though!

So there you have it! Tips to help you sleep better and feel much better for it!

In my next article I’ll share my second recharge tip for you.

Why Fiber is so Important in Our Diet?

All this talk about aging and aging well wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t look at the influence of diet in the aging process as well. As you know, having an active lifestyle helps us to age well, and so too does having a healthy, balanced diet.

Part of a balanced diet requires fiber. But why is fiber so important to us?

In this article, I’m going to talk about fiber and why it’s so important to include in our diet because of its many health benefits.

What exactly is fiber?
Fiber is pretty interesting. It is a carbohydrate but it has special properties that allow it to pass through the human digestive system without being broken down through the digestive process.

There are two types of fiber: insoluble fiber which is made of plant cell walls and cannot be dissolved in water and soluble fiber, made up of polysaccharides which can dissolve in water.

Fiber plays a really important role in the digestive process. It:

Makes us chew our food well: And by taking the time to chew, we don’t wolf down food quickly and feel fuller quicker. So it’s a great weapon in the fight against obesity.
It gives us the experience of food being more satisfying: It sits in our tummy for longer and makes us feel full.
It helps our blood sugar levels: That’s because it slows down the digestive process and slows down the absorption rate of glucose or sugar, into our system.
It helps our colon: It is in our colon where fiber is broken down through a bacterial process called fermentation. In this process, organic acids are produced which help in the nourishment of the colon lining.
It helps fuel our body: The acids produced through the fermentation process help to fuel our body.

Fiber plays an important role in our metabolism as well, making it a pretty important part of our diet!

The many health benefits of fiber
If that wasn’t enough, fiber provides us with the following health benefits. It helps to reduce the risk of:

Certain cancers: Colon cancer is one of the cancers a high-fiber diet can help to reduce. Research has suggested it may play a role in helping to reduce breast cancer as well, but this has not yet been confirmed.
Digestive disorders: Insoluble fiber adds to the bulk of stools, so it speeds the process of fecal material passing through the gut. In other words, it helps us to avoid uncomfortable constipation and can reduce the risk of diverticulosis which is caused by straining during bowel movements. For those who already suffer diverticulosis, the symptoms which include constipation and/or diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal pain and blood or mucus in the stool can be alleviated through fiber consumption
Diabetes: This is because soluble fiber slows the absorption of sugar into the blood stream.
Heart disease: A healthy diet with soluble fiber can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, due to the fact that is lowers cholesterol. Studies have also shown that soluble fiber can slow the rate of cholesterol manufacture by the liver.
Heart attack: Several studies in men have found that consuming fiber can reduce the risk of heart attack significantly.
Obesity: Due to the fact that insoluble fiber cannot be digested it will pass through our system without being broken down. Therefore it provides us with few calories. Because it makes us feel full, we don’t tend to overeat when we consume fiber. All of this helps us avoid obesity.

What to eat to get fiber benefits
Make sure you include the following types of food to really reap the benefits of fiber:

Wholegrain breads
Natural cereals
Fruits
Vegetables
Beans
Nuts

Start including fiber in your diet today and you will feel so much better for it. Oh, and don’t forget to mix it with a healthy dose of physical activity. Your body will thank you for it in years to come!