Black Friday

group of people

Well, today is the day that many people have been waiting for, the day that the big box stores sell off their old stock at what appears to be huge discounts. My first experience of this day led me to believe that there were just too many people out there that were very easily influenced. People who could be enticed to sleep outside stores all night in order to grab the best deals, people who were willing to place themselves in the middle of large jostling, aggressive, greedy crowds just to “save” a few dollars on some shoddy electronic garbage that the don’t need anyway, people who love the chaos of the initial openings of these stores. I will not be partaking, I never have and I never will. I don’t like crowds and I don’t want to tempt fate by putting myself in a position that tests my patience. Cyber Monday is more my style, but it is very unlikely that I will buy anything on that day either.

 

It is interesting that there is a field of study called consumer psychology and the behaviour of some “bargain hunters” suggests some form of mind control to me. I don’t know the origins of this event but there is definitely some manipulation of public perceptions going on. I do believe that it is a chance for retailers to sell off their aging stock before they take delivery of newer updated products of the same type.

 

Maybe I am just not a good little consumer, but I would rather do my own thing on this day, even if it means that I miss the chance to buy some item at a discount.

I must admit that I don’t like shopping at the best of times and this could be a reason that I am not attracted to Black Friday. The whole affair is somewhat distasteful to me.

 

If you do enjoy Black Friday, I wish you well and hope that you get the deals that you hoped for but be nice and don’t compromise your character  just to save a few dollars.

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Benefits of DIY

beige wooden d i and y freestanding letters

There are many jobs that we once did ourselves but find that we now pay people to do for us. Assuming that you are in reasonable health, there may be some good reasons to go back to completing these tasks yourself.

 

There are some tasks that we come across where we have a knowledge/skill barrier but by using books, and especially the internet, just about any small task is achievable. From a knowledge perspective, large tasks are also possible in theory, as long as we have enough people to assist or enough time and money to rent or buy the required equipment to take the place of helpers.

 

The internet, especially YouTube is a wonderful resource for gaining the required knowledge to complete a physical task. Completing tasks yourself increases your knowledge, independence and skill level. Doing the job yourself also saves you money in most cases but sometimes when you count the time spent on a task, materials needed and time spent learning a new skill, it may not be as much as expected.

 

The best example I can think of here is changing the oil in your vehicle. You need to buy the oil, a drain pan, a ramp or jack, an oil filter and an air filter, and tools that will do the job. This will all cost more than the quick oil change garage, but the upside to this is that when you have done it once you will have the knowledge, and the next time, you will be faster. The tools (hand tools are all that are needed), drain pan and ramps are a one time expense. You will also be confident that your oil has actually been changed, your oil and air filters have really been replaced and the threads on your oil plug haven’t been stripped.

 

Another example is taking care of your own yard. The advantages are that you will get some exercise and at the most basic level of cutting and edging the lawn, it is not hard and the initial outlay is worth it as lawn care companies are very expensive now. Maintaining the lawn mower can also become “interesting”. I have a gas operated walk behind mower that has powered wheels, front and back. The wheels are powered by drive belts and they tend to stretch, fray and sometimes break, this results in no power being transferred to the wheels and you end up with an extra heavy human driven push mower. The first time that this happened, I went online to see if there was any information on fixing the issue as I hadn’t come across the problem before, because I used to pay a lawn service. I found all the information that I needed to replace a drive belt and gained knowledge. It doesn’t take me any time at all now to replace a drive belt because I know how it works and what bolts and screws to remove to get to the parts that I need. My most recent front and back yard is modest but not tiny, the quote I got from a local lawn care company for cutting the lawns and edging  was $130 twice a month and that is just too much when I am able-bodied and I can easily do it myself. I have never been a garden enthusiast but it does seem to give me some sort of satisfaction to do it myself. I am also increasing my knowledge about plants and landscaping topics to make the property attractive.

 

A while ago, I took on a project that took me some time to research. I built a new shower stall in my bathroom. There was an existing stall, but the base was leaking and it was getting moldy. The tiles were also getting moldy too quickly and were not very attractive. The glass shower door was about 20 years old and did not look good at all. I had to research the project in stages as I hadn’t completed this task before. I found all the information that I needed online.

The job began by ripping out the old stall, down to the wall studs and then rebuilding it, stage by stage. It did take a while, but it was completed 100% by myself, so it was slow going.

The end result was very attractive and while there were places that could have been better on the tile work, I was the only one who noticed. I increased my knowledge and skill level and I was very pleased.

As for the money saved, I may have saved a few hundred dollars by doing it myself and I also know that I could do the job faster and better if I had to complete another similar task.

 

Any task around the house can be completed by the homeowner with the knowledge that is freely available online. The only things that I will not tackle at present are electrical rewiring and work involving gas lines. I have confidence in my abilities but I will leave those to the professionals due to liability issues.

 

There are other topics that we can look at, such as stop ordering carryout or going out to eat all of the time and start cooking. Once again, if you aren’t very knowledgeable about cooking there are plenty of books on the subject and a load of information online. You will be able to choose your own menus and ingredients for health and taste reasons. Everyone has a cooker and refrigerator in the house and if you use it, you will be getting your money’s worth out of it.

 

I have also been my own plumber, plasterer, drywall installer/repairer, concrete work repairer and more. I didn’t know much about any of these issues until I researched them and then put that knowledge into action.

 

The main point of the topic is not so much “saving money”, although completing tasks yourself will achieve that in many cases, it is more a quest to increase knowledge about practical work and become more self-sufficient. Other benefits are that it gives a person a sense of achievement, which is good for mental health, and practical issues involve physical exertion, which is always good, especially if you earn your living in a sedentary occupation.

Flaxseed For Weight Loss

bunch of nuts served on bowls

Flaxseed is considered a “superfood” as it is nutritionally dense. It has been used for nutrition since ancient times. Flaxseeds contain high amounts of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, These are the fats that are considered beneficial. Lignans, which contain plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed has 75 to 800 times more lignans than many other plant foods. Fiber, flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.

 

Studies have suggested that flaxseed may protect against:-

Breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.

Cardiovascular disease and promotes lower blood pressure.

Lowers LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol.

Helps regulate blood sugar.

Reduces inflammation.

Reduces the incidence and severity of hot flashes.

The studies are not conclusive, but seem to hold a lot of promise.

 

Flaxseed contains:-

55 calories for each tablespoon of whole seeds.

This breaks down as 42% fat, 29% carbs and 18% protein.

It is generally considered more effective to take flaxseed rather than flaxseed oil and it is also better to take ground flaxseed as the whole seeds can pass through the body in their whole form. This results in the flaxseed being unable to pass on it’s beneficial components to the body.

Flaxseed can be bought in ground form or you can grind it yourself using various methods. The simplest method is to grind the seeds in a blender or coffee grinder for a few minutes.

The ground flaxseed is sold under various names such as milled, ground or flaxseed meal, they all mean the same thing.

As always, buying organic is preferable.

 

Daily Intake

At this time the suggested dose is 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed 2-3 times per day.

 

Side Effects

Taking large amounts of flaxseed could block the intestines due to the laxative effects of flaxseed. Flaxseed should be taken with lots of water to prevent this from happening. It is best to check with your doctor before taking flaxseed if you are taking medications for any condition. For a full list of possible side effects and drug interactions, CLICK HERE

 

Benefits of Flaxseed For Weight Loss

Inflammation hinders  weight loss and flaxseed can help reduce inflammation.  Flaxseed is high in phytochemicals including several antioxidants. The fiber content in flaxseeds can help to regulate the digestive system and possibly make you feel fuller for longer. Fiber can also help to regulate blood sugar, which has an effect on weight when it is not stable.

Flaxseed promotes good nutrition, which is essential for healthy weight loss.

 

How To Take Flaxseed

Ground flaxseed can be added to whatever foods you wish, but would be a useful component in a meal replacement shake, combined with other ingredients such as Chia Seeds, Protein Powder, fruit etc. You can also take flaxseed oil.

 

Flaxseed is another supplement that can assist you in losing weight. Like anything else, it is not a solution on it’s own. Flaxseed may help with weight loss due to the theory that proper nutrients balance the body, and when the body is in balance, it will be much easier for you to lose weight naturally and safely.  

The 40 Hour Work Week

gray scale photo of gears

The 40 hour work week is not a permanent fixture.. Although it is now commonly accepted and people are so used to it that anything less is seen as part time when working for an employer, and  is penalized. Lower pay, no benefits, no sick time, no vacation time, no overtime pay and the list goes on.

 

The 40 hour work week came into being during the industrial revolution, when people were previously working up to 100 hours per week  on tedious, dangerous, repetitive tasks while being paid a pittance. The 40 hour week was seen as wonderful.

 

Before the industrial revolution, people worked a more nature based schedule, because many were involved in agriculture and there was also a lack of good artificial light. The work day would begin at first light and finish at last light. The work conditions were physically intensive, but at least people could work surrounded by nature rather than the miserable, dangerous, depressing and unhealthy conditions of the industrial revolution factories. When I read of the conditions that many people had to live and work in, “living death” is the only thing that I can think of.

 

There seems to have been a golden age of the employee, roughly between the early 1940s and the early 1970s. Well paid work was plentiful and while not always satisfying, it would offer a good lifestyle to many, one person could support a whole family of 4 or 5 on their pay and people seemed happier with the 40 hour work week model. I don’t know what happened, but that age is long gone. Real wages have been stagnant for a long time, while prices have risen and job security is a thing of the past. Something has messed up the benefits system where you now find that your employee medical/dental/vision insurance is becoming worthless but premiums have risen dramatically.

 

It seems that we have been in the tech revolution for a while now. Since the advent of computers, many jobs that were once considered industrial are now technology based and require fewer people and less or different skills. A good example is  the printing industry which was very labor intensive and was seen as a skilled and well paid occupation not so long ago. It required many people who specialized in different skills such as typesetters and book binders, machine operators etc. Technology has led to a 43% drop in print industry employment in the last 20 years alone. Part of this decline can be attributed to digital books and digital methods of communication, desktop publishing, where a person can now produce his/her own business cards at home, direct to press typesetting systems where a computer operator can design the print job on screen and then send the job direct to a printing press, cutting out several jobs in the process. The industry was very unionized, but even the powerful print unions couldn’t disrupt advancements in technology.

 

It seems that some time soon, we will be forced to rethink our relationship with work and the 40 hour work week. The technology to shorten the work week exists now in many areas of work but the issue is that in today’s society,  less hours mean less paycheck. Artificial intelligence and robots are developing rapidly and once an android type of machine like “data” in Star Trek can be built, it will be able to put a lot of humans out of work. There is already a lot of speculation about driverless vehicles, personal, taxis, trucks and the like. Some testing is already underway. One could speculate that a passenger aircraft could now fly itself but the public is not ready to trust such a machine yet. Pilots, don’t get too complacent and elitist about job security.

 

What can replace the 40 hour work week? What can replace work itself?.  It is not so much a question of what activities will replace work but what will allow us to earn money. Many European countries already have a less than 40 hour work week, generous vacation allowances of  a minimum 25 days and they still find that business can be profitable. A universal basic income is attractive in theory, but because humans are human, they will find a way to mess that up somehow for the benefit of a few, to the detriment of many.

 

The 40 hour week model is at least 100 years old now and probably needs to be revised. Most people dislike work and dislike being there, although there are plenty of people who can convincingly lie that they like their work, very few do. I haven’t got a solution yet,  but I think that earning money will not look like the current 40 hour week model 100 years from now. As for the androids, we will have to discover their limitations and exploit those limitations to earn a living.

 

I think that the two words that sum up the current trend is “greed” and “need”. The ones that “have” are greedy and the ones that don’t have, still need to earn that pittance in order to survive. It is up to the individual to find his/her solution to this. If you are waiting for politicians, (of any flavor) to find a solution for you, you will be waiting forever.

 

An additional thought, I acknowledge that the industrial revolution sweatshop system of production still exists in many parts of the world and I feel for them. Part of the blame is us in the developed world wanting and buying the products that are produced, and ignoring the fact that these companies have offshored their operations for only one reason, to maximize already record profits….are there any limits to greed?.

Manifest Your Desires, The 2 Cup Method

clear water drops

There is a method of manifesting your desires called the 2 cup method. The method is based upon the idea that we have many different parallel realities running at the same time and the idea that in quantum physics, a particle can be in more than one place at the same time.

There is also the strange situation that the outcome of a quantum experiment can change, depending on whether or not the person decides  to measure some property of the particles involved. This suggests that it is the observer that is exerting control over the behaviour of particles. Quantum theory also hold that an entity can be particle and wave at the same time.

 

Dr Masaru Emoto conducted studies on  water for a long time He published a series of photographs in his book which are said to be frozen water crystals that have been subjected to human intentions/thoughts, some positive and some negative. The crystals subjected to positive thoughts appeared attractive and intricate. The crystals subjected to negative thoughts appeared ugly, polluted and unhealthy. This finding led Dr Emoto to conclude that thought can affect matter.

 

I have seen several variations in the manner of conducting the 2 cup method. The consistent factors are:-

 

one should get 2 cups, fill one cup with water and think about your present situation regarding what you want to manifest.

 

One should then pour the water slowly and deliberately into the second cup.

 

Once the water is in the second cup, the person should then concentrate on what he/she wants to manifest regarding the situation.

 

Once a person thinks that they have projected the positive outcome into the water, drink it all in one go.

 

Other variations include writing the current situation on a sticky note and putting it onto cup number one. Write the desired outcome on another sticky note and put it onto cup number 2 and then continue as above.

 

If you are going to do this, I would suggest using glass cups and use spring or purified water. I haven’t found these suggestions mentioned, but it makes sense to me that if you want the best results, you should do your best to ensure that impurities in the water and the receptacles are minimized.

 

Does it work?

I have tried it once recently, and while the immediate result wasn’t exactly what I wanted, I did get a communication the following day,  that will lead to the desired manifestation. Without that communication, the manifestation could not hope to come true. I had been waiting for such a communication for several weeks. I can’t say for sure that the 2 cup method brought this about, but it certainly appears that way to me.

 

The information that I have seen on this method generally states that you shouldn’t expect immediate results, although it is possible that you could get them. Be patient and don’t keep repeating the 2 cup method too frequently, give it a few weeks to manifest first.

 

The theory is that by transferring thoughts of your current situation into one glass of water, and then pouring the water into another glass and stating your desired outcome of the situation, you have completed a shift into another parallel reality where your desire does exist, a quantum leap.

 

Make of this what you will, it won’t hurt to try it and the least you will get is a positive………one of your eight, eight ounce cups of water that you should be drinking every day for health.

Maybe we could try this for weight loss too!

Security, How To Stay Safe

vehicle security tips

Everyone needs to take responsibility for the safety and security of themselves and their families. There are many things that you can do to minimize your chances of becoming a victim of crime. These steps are usually small and reasonably effortless. I will cover several areas of concern over a series of posts.

It is all very well to say that you pay for police protection via your taxes but the reality is usually that the police are not around when crime occurs. There are various reasons for this, most are not the fault of the police. It is rare for a police officer to have a crime occur in front of him/her The criminals are looking out for a police free area to commit the crime in the first place and it is easier for the criminal to see the marked police vehicle than it is for the police officer to see the criminal.

A venue with security is better than one without, but professional criminals know that on the whole, the security officer is there to observe and report rather than prevent and apprehend, so the well prepared criminal can commit a crime without too much concern over (immediate) arrest.

 

vehicle security and safety

Today’s post will concentrate on vehicles.

Your vehicle feels like an extension of your residence, but it is not. First and foremost, don’t have provocative car stickers or license plates. Strangers don’t need to know what you support or like. The worst type of sticker to have on your vehicle is the pro gun sticker, the gun range sticker, the gun manufacturer sticker or any other hints that you support firearms. The major reason for this is that criminals love guns and pro gun stickers lead them to suspect that you have a firearm in your vehicle. Criminals will break into your vehicle just on the chance that they may find a gun. Political bias stickers or license plates may invite vandalism or worse. The same principle applies to this, why tell strangers who you are and what you are thinking anyway.

 

prevent criminals breaking into your car

Christmas shopping season is not so far away. When you go to the Mall, try to complete all of your shopping in one go. Don’t go back to your vehicle multiple times, loading it up with merchandise on every trip back to the car. If you don’t follow this advice, at least make sure that the items that you buy are not visible in the unoccupied vehicle. Put the items in the trunk, or at least cover the items up to hide what they are if you put them in the passenger compartment. You can be sure of this one thing, someone is watching. It is all common sense, but you would be very surprised to find out how many people have never thought of such simple preventative steps. Of course, always lock your vehicle when you are away from it, always, no excuses, regardless of how close you may be to the vehicle.

 

stay safe when driving

Lock your vehicle doors at all times when you are driving. Most vehicles now do this automatically and you have probably never thought about it. Check the doors the next time you drive your vehicle, see if they lock automatically and if they don’t, get into the habit of locking them. It would be wise to check the doors anyway because some auto locks are a little quirky. If you are a passenger and stay in a parked vehicle alone, as may happen if the driver makes a pit stop at a store etc, lock the doors while you are in it.

 

park  your car in a safe place

When you park your vehicle in a public place, try to park as close to the building doors as possible. This ensures a constant flow of people past your vehicle, criminals don’t like this and they will go to an easier target in a more quiet area. In the evening or at night, also find the area with the most light. Directly under a light is best. Security cameras are ok, but they don’t deter criminals as much as you may think.

 

check out your parking space for suspicious people

When you approach a place that you will be parking your vehicle, be aware of who is around, if you feel at all suspicious, keep driving. Although this post is about vehicles, it also involves  driver and passenger safety. Sometimes the criminal is interested in people rather than property and sometimes people are just mentally ill and will do the unexpected for no reason at all.

 

How to avoid road rage

Don’t insult other drivers on the road. Don’t give them hand signals that convey your displeasure, no matter how much you think they deserve it. This also goes for verbal messages, yes, the other driver can not hear you, but most derogatory words when accompanied by facial expressions can cause offense, and your message is easily understood. This behaviour can sometimes result in a violent response, even from otherwise law-abiding people.

 

Don't go to suspicious gas stations

When you park up at the gas pump, don’t leave your purse, cell phone, wallet or any other desirable item in plain view on your passenger seat, and make sure that your doors are locked while you are filling up. If you don’t like the vibes of the gas station that you pull into, trust your instinct and go somewhere else. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is.

 

Why you should park in your garage

If you have a garage at home, use it. It will add an extra layer of protection to you vehicle. When you park in your garage, close the garage door before you get out of your vehicle.

 

Don;t leave your car running

Don’t ever leave your vehicle running when it is unoccupied, regardless of where you are. There is no reason for this and it is an offense in most places anyway.

 

 

My advice is to drive an inconspicuous vehicle, do a little research into areas that you may have to go to, ones that you don’t know well, and be aware of what is going on around you. Take simple precautions like locking the vehicle, keeping packages out of view and keeping your doors locked, and remember that everything is always alright until, suddenly it isn’t, especially in areas that you know well and feel comfortable in.

 

In the next post, I will look at home security.


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What Can Help You To Lose Weight?

close up measure measurement number

 

What can help you to lose weight?

As I have mentioned before, the major principle for weight loss is to expend more energy than you receive. In this post I will look at some consumable substances that may aid healthy weight loss. None are proven to be effective for every individual because each person’s body responds to different inputs in a unique way.

 

 

woman girl silhouette jogger

Traditional Exercise

Not a consumable, but very important, exercise has always been a major component of weight loss programs, in combination with diet. The practice adheres to the major principle, as it burns off large amounts of energy. A person who is significantly overweight may have to start with an exercise regime that is not too severe at first. Walking, swimming and light weight training is ideal, and build up to more strenuous exercise if desired.

For a person who only wants to lose a few pounds and is reasonably fit, jogging (progressing to running) aerobic classes and weight training should produce good results.

It is not necessary for a person to drive himself/herself into the ground with exercise, the main function of exercise when considering weight loss, is to help get the right balance of energy input/output by following the major principle of expending more energy that one receives.

The chosen exercise program should be used in conjunction with a sensible diet plan that contains healthful supplies of all of the main components, carbohydrates, fats and proteins. I advocate a diet that is not so severe that it completely cuts out one of the three elements although such diet plans have worked for some people, and as always you will have to experiment and see what your particular body likes. One of my concerns for such diets is the fact that they may not be sustainable in the long-term which is why I prefer the more traditional approach. There is a great Diet plan called “Beyond Diet”, it is not really a diet plan as we think of them, it is more of a total long term eating lifestyle change. I am not an affiliate of Beyond Diet, I just think that it is very sensible and one of my family members uses it to good effect.

Your food should be as healthy and natural as you can possibly get it, and be sure to double-check the claims of “Organic” and “Non-GMO” on all of your food.

Diet and exercise should be the foundation of any weight loss program. The following is a list of extra assistance that may or may not be of use to you, depending on your psychological tendencies and things that your individual body responds to.

 

 

clear glass mason bottles with apple juice

Apple Cider Vinegar

The major active ingredient of ACV is acetic acid. Drinking ACV diluted in water, is said by some to reduce hunger pangs and reduce fat storage. Studies on rats that were given acetic acid seems to have shown a reduction of belly fat. ACV is said to have many benefits, I personally use it as a treatment for spots and it works great. The reader will need to experiment with ACV to see if it works for them, but remember to get the natural unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar containing “the mother” . The mother is a cloudy weblike substance within the vinegar which is believed to hold the key to the substance’s properties.

For more details click here

 

beverage breakfast caffeine close up

Green Tea

Green tea is said to have several health benefits, and it is believed to be very effective for losing weight. Green Tea has a high level of catechins, natural antioxidants that can improve metabolism and increase the burning of fat.

It also contains the substances caffeine and EGCG, which can have a positive effects on

metabolism. Other components in green tea increase the levels of hormones that are responsible for fat burning in our system and they release more fat into the bloodstream.

 

 

assorted spices near white ceramic bowls

Herbs That are Believed to Assist With Weight Loss

 

Fenugreek, believed to reduce appetite and food consumption.

 

Cumin, believed to accelerate the burning of fat and thus assist weight loss.

 

Cayenne Pepper, a form of chili pepper containing capsaicin, which is believed to increase metabolism, it may also reduce hunger and calorie intake.

 

Cinnamon, made from tree bark, this popular spice is high in antioxidants and could reduce blood sugar levels, resulting in appetite and hunger suppression.

 

Ginger, may help lower weight by increasing metabolism and fat burning and may also decrease fat absorption and appetite.

 

Ginseng, frequently used in traditional Chinese medicine for many complaints. It may encourage weight loss, slow fat absorption and modify fat formation.

 

Oregano, This herb contains a substance called Carvacrol. Animal studies have suggested that mice taking Carvacrol showed less weight gain and less fat gain than mice who were not fed the substance.

 

Black Pepper, is a common kitchen ingredient. It contains a compound called piperine which is believed to have a positive effect on weight loss.

 

 

yellow health medicine wellness

Weight Loss Pills

There are many pills on the market that claim to promote, assist or cause weight loss. The wise potential buyer would research each brand to discover the ingredients and read reviews. Some pills contain herb extracts and some contain a lot of caffeine. There are prescription pills for weight loss and they may be effective but the ingredients and side effects should be reviewed before taking them.  

 

 

basket board calcium cheese

Foods For Weight Loss

Real butter from grass-fed cows, full fat dairy products and beef (preferably grass-fed) all contain high amounts of a compound called conjugated linoleic acid, CLA, which is a polyunsaturated fat. The human body does not make this substance. CLA is believed to be beneficial in weight loss because it may decrease body fat mass and increase lean body mass. These food also find approval with myself, as I believe that some full fat foods have gained an undeserved bad reputation over the last 30 years or so. People who lived 100 years ago were eating all of these full fat products and there was not an obesity problem like there is today. The CLA found in food is thought to be superior to supplements containing it. AS always, try to eat organic and natural products.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids and it can  help the body burn fat for fuel and use up more energy. Coconut oil have also been found to be very satisfying for hunger and may support thyroid health, which is important for keeping your metabolism working correctly. I use coconut oil exclusively when I need to cook food in oil. The oil comes in a solid form but melts under heat and can be used for frying. I cook my burgers and eggs in coconut oil and they taste wonderful.

Foods High In Protein

These foods make the body work harder to break them down than low protein foods and that requires more energy. As you are eating you are also burning energy. High protein foods also help to make you feel full so you may eat less.

 

 

sliced lemon fruit in glass picher

Water For Weight Loss

Water is essential for everyone, so you are going to have to drink it regardless. Most studies suggest that a normal healthy water intake is 8 ounces, 8 times a day. If you are exercising, then you may need more.

Water is said by some, to be a nutrient in it’s own right and it performs various functions, such as eliminating waste via urination, perspiration and bowel movements. Water keeps your temperature normal, lubricates and cushions joints and protects sensitive tissues. Water is also believed to boost metabolism. If you are in a weight loss program, all of the above functions of water are extremely useful to you.

I believe that the type of water that is consumed is also important. Distilled water has its uses but I would not recommend it for a weight loss program. Despite the fact that in general, plastic bottles are used to supply us with the natural spring water found in stores, I believe that this is the best option for drinking water. Filtering your own water is probably the ideal, but the equipment is very expensive if you want to do it right.

 

 

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

So, what can you do with all of this information?  Here’s a suggestion:

 

  • Sit down and either buy a diet plan or formulate your own, incorporating several of the foods that are discussed above. In my opinion, the food and drink must be as natural as you can get in order for the plan to work to best effect. Because of the modern way of life, if you are formulating the plan yourself,  it is advisable to plan out every meal for the whole week, every week.

 

  • Research exercise routines, pick one that you like the sound of and start it. I would recommend some aerobics and also a weight training routine because muscle burns more energy than fat and the aim is to burn energy. You don’t necessarily need to invent your own plan, you can look for existing plans that incorporate aerobics and weights and buy the plan.

 

 

If after a few weeks, the plan isn’t working for you, add something to it or replace an element of the plan.

 

It takes a lot of effort and knowledge for a person to effectively devise their own weight loss plan. The easy way is to buy a diet plan, buy an exercise plan and incorporate the herbs and foods (all or some) discussed above, into the plans.

 

The bottom line is that whatever you do, you have to follow the plan. You will also have to tweak the plan to fit your body, expenses and schedule.

 

I also think that a mindful approach to weight loss will help enormously. Meditation, affirmations and yoga are all great.

Yoga

backlit beach dawn dusk

Yoga is believed to have  originated in India several thousand years ago, before any religious systems.  The word Yoga is said to be Sanskrit. Sanskrit is a language of ancient India with a documented history of nearly 3,500 years. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, and the main philosophical language of Hinduism. Some Buddhist and Jainism texts are also in this language.

The word Yoga means to join, yoke, unite, referring to the unity of mind and body and also that of man and the universe.

Most people associate Yoga strictly with Hatha Yoga and the Asanas, but these are only components of Yoga. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a collection of 196 sutras or general truths/principles. Yoga is a very large subject and many people have written books on this subject alone.

women s white top and orange floral skirt

 

The Popular Hatha Yoga Types

Hatha Yoga is the term for physical Yoga practices, most popular in the West.

 

Iyengar Yoga

A slow style of Yoga that grows strength, flexibility and awareness.

 

Restorative Yoga

Practising stillness or slow movements and mindfulness for therapeutic purposes and to center the mind and body. Props are used to assist the body in each pose.

 

Hot Yoga

Carried out in a heated room, normally in a class situation. The heat encourages detoxification by sweating out the toxins. Hot Yoga is said to increase the heart rate and ease arthritis and joint pain.

 

Vinyasa Yoga

Flowing movements of the body, synchronized with breathing,  producing a type of moving meditation sequence. There are no set sequences.

 

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a style of yoga created  by K. Pattabhi Jois in modern times. It is considered as an up to date form of classical yoga. Ashtanga means eight limbs or branches, of which asana/physical yoga posture is only one branch, breath/pranayama is another. All eight limbs are practiced in six set sequences and have various stages.

 

Kundalini Yoga

Is both spiritual and physical and is supposed to release the kundalini energy in your body that is trapped in the lower spine. This style works your body and breathing with fast paced postures and breathing exercises. The practice can also incorporate chants, mantra, and meditation.

 

Yin Yoga

A slower style of yoga with seated postures that are held for longer periods of time. Each posture can be held for up  to two minutes. As this type is slower, meditation can also take place while practicing the postures.

 

Bikram  Yoga

Bikram Choudhury developed this type of yoga. Classes are held in a heated room. You will work  through a series of 26 poses. Bikram always follows the same sequence, although a Bikram sequence is different from an ashtanga sequence. Bikram is very popular and is an easy class to find.

adult balance barefoot concentration

 

The 8 Limbs Of Yoga

At the heart of Patanjali Yoga Sutra is the eight-limbs that create the framework for the practice of yoga. No one element holds more importance than another . Each limb makes up a system which is said to bring a completeness to the practitioner as they find their connectivity themselves, nature and the universe.

 

Yama:   Universal morality

Niyama :  Personal observances

Asanas :  Body postures

Pranayama :  Breathing exercises

Pratyahara :  Control of the senses

Dharana :  Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness

Dhyana :  Devotion and Meditation

Samadhi :  Union with the Divine

man wearing white pants under blue sky

 

The Benefits Of Yoga

  • Helps with mood and depression issues.
  • Increases spinal flexibility.
  • Improve chances of conception for females.
  • Improves cardiovascular function.
  • Eases the symptoms of asthma
  • Helps ease the symptoms of arthritis
  • Eases insomnia.
  • Can increase flexibility, strength and posture.
  • Promotes weight loss.
  • Increased energy.

 

Yoga can be practiced by people of any age and can be completed in a class setting with a teacher,  leader or guide or you can study the topic and become your own guide and maybe even adapt the principles to create your own system.

There is no doubt that people who have practiced Yoga, feel that they have derived great benefit from the practice.

Most of the hatha Yoga programs seem to be aimed at women, especially the class based Yoga sessions, but they can be practiced just as effectively by men.

 

Resources

Yoga Burn

Shapeshifter Yoga

Progressive Yoga, From The “World’s Smartest Workout ” Coach

6 Week Beginners Guide To Yoga

Alignment For Healing: Yofa Jhe Sessions

Meditation Expert

Weight Loss For Women And Men

blue and black measuring tape wrapped around a silver metal fork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the one major  principle for weight loss, “ expend more energy than you gain from your food and drink”. I have a suspicion that modern food additives don’t particularly help a person keep to a healthy weight.

What is a healthy weight?, a weight that you feel good about, doesn’t cause any health problems and also makes you feel positive about the way that you look. The way a person looks is important and it is not just vanity, because looking good helps confidence, and therefore encourages psychological health. The normal quoted height/ weight ratios found in medical journals and websites do not tell the whole story, especially for males who work out. A 6ft male who weighs 190lbs with a 33 inch waist is considered overweight according to the Mayo Clinic BMI calculator. If the male works out however, this weight is on the low side and doesn’t take the exercise into account. I would not consider such a person as overweight, I would expect that this person looks good and has an attractive muscle tone. Generally, the average suggested weight range for a 6ft male is 155lbs -170lbs, which appears to be on the light side to me.

For the ladies, the average female height in the U.S.A. is said to be 5ft 4 inches with an ideal weight of 120lbs. The height quoted, seems to be somewhat less than I would expect, but it is an average of several different races of people. Ladies tend to concentrate on their looks over health when considering weight. This does not matter, as a healthy weight will result in both good looks and health.  A woman can carry more weight than the height/weight and BMI charts quote and still be very attractive, so don’t stress out over ideal weight charts and media publications on perfect weight and body type and such things.

Weight Loss, Men Vs Women.

Men lose weight more easily than women for several reasons,

  • Muscle – men have more muscle than women and because of that, they burn more calories.
  • Estrogen –  reduces a woman’s ability to  burn the energy off, after eating.
  • Stored fat –  men and women store fat in different areas of the body and it is easier for men to lose their belly fat that it is for women to lose the fat stored around their hips and thighs.
  • Water loss –  men lose water more easily, glycogen and water are stored in the body together. Glycogen is stored carbohydrates and when the energy in glycogen is used, it also releases the stored water.Men use more carbohydrates during exercise than women. Water is heavy and because men burn more carbs than women, they lose more water because of this.
  • Comfort eating – this more favored by women and comfort foods tend to be high carb, processed foods.

These are physiological facts and nothing can be done about it, however, studies show that after a few months of a dedicated weight loss program the different results between men and women begin to even out, so at the end of the day it is possible for both men and women to lose as much weight as they wish, just don’t get into a weekly weight scale competition with a man in the early stages of a diet plan.

 

Natural Body Type

The three body types commonly used are the Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph.

As with everything, most people can be a some of one type and a little of another, but identifying your body type in general terms can sometimes assist you in your choice of weight loss program, including physical exercise, and will help you to know what to look out for during the course of your program.

  • Ectomorph – Slim/thin in looks, with long slender limbs and no signs of accumulated fat or much muscle, they can eat what they like in as much quantity as they wish and still won’t gain weight. The type of body that female supermodels posess. It looks good on a woman but not so flattering for a man.

 

  • Mesomorph – Muscular and solid looking without gaining fat too easily. The bones are of a medium density and they are the middle ground between the ectomorph and the endomorph. The mesomorph can gain muscle easily. A great body type for a man.

 

  • Endomorph – These body types have wide waists and big bones, they tend to gain weight easily and don’t gain muscle very quickly. Not so good for either men or women, but these minor disadvantages can be overcome.

 

The basic body types are very generalized and only give a person a simplified guide as to their natural tendency. Most people have a mixed body type that only favors one of the major types to a greater extent but also has qualities of other body types to a lesser extent such as a man with mainly ectomorph qualities who also adds muscle to his body reasonably easily.  Nothing is absolute, and it is perfectly possible for an ectomorph to gain muscle and an endomorph to lose weight. Good eating habits and the correct physical exercises can achieve whatever result that you wish, to a large degree.

 

Age and Weight Gain.

Many people gain more weight as they age and there are many possible reasons. It could be that they are less active. This is an easy fix, just be as active as you can.  I have noticed lately, that I see more older people who look slim and fit and more younger people who look like they have been on a diet of chips, soda and candy for their whole lives. We could also speculate that younger people generally don’t get a full serving of exercise anymore during the course of a normal day and the fit looking younger people are the people who have to expend energy at the gym in their own time after work to stay fit.

Some scientists suggest that age effects our eating habits and that older people can become less perceptive about their body’s nutritional needs , specifically effecting the mechanism that stops us from continuing to eat when we are full.

As we age, our metabolism slows and this leads to fewer calories being burned. Burning calories can be achieved by exercise, so older people who don’t want to gain weight can take as much regular exercise as their health allows.

Loss of Muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat and as we age, we lose lean muscle if we don’t exercise.. Weight training can counteract this aging effect and also boost strength and flexibility.

 

Food Quality

Food quality is as important as the type of food eaten, this should be remembered when selecting your diet plan ingredients. The best approach if you haven’t got a diet plan yet, is to minimize highly processed foods, drinks and anything that states that it is a diet or low-fat product unless it is naturally low in fat, make your meal size smaller than your usual size and cut out the snacks. The grocery stores are normally laid out with the fresh foods around the perimeter and the processed foods in the aisles, so minimize eating foods found in the aisles, which are normally canned or dehydrated.

Organic foods should be chosen over anything that does not state that it is organic. Non-GMO labelled products are preferred. If you wish to grow some vegetables, make sure that you buy Non-GMO seeds.

Studies on groups of animals have suggested that GMO foods caused them to gain weight when compared to groups that were fed Non-GMO foods over a period of months. Studies have also shown that GMO crops are between 10% to 25% lower in nutrients than they were 50 years ago, so a weight loss diet with a high level of GMO ingredients is counter-productive. Even if you don’t trust the studies, do you want to risk sabotaging your diet by ignoring the possibility that the studies were correct?.

 

Surgery For Weight Loss

I would not advise this approach unless it is the only option in a life threatening situation. I don’t believe in any surgery that is not for emergency purposes. The surgery itself is not necessarily dangerous, but It is tempting fate to allow someone to perform invasive surgery for a problem that could probably be solved by dietary change, exercise and determination. Surgery is also very expensive as it is usually considered cosmetic.

 

Exercise

There are people who can lose significant weight without exercise but I believe that exercise should be an integral part of any weight loss program. Weight training is ideal because it builds muscle and muscle burns more calories than fat. This results in a win-win situation, you get to look more toned and lose weight more effectively. A whole body approach is advisable for weight loss, meaning that you should exercise every part of your body in each session, chest, shoulders, arms, back, legs and abdominals. A body builders approach can be used, where you break the training sessions into two or more body parts per session, such as chest/back one day, legs/shoulders another and arms on another day but this requires more dedication. A full body approach to weight training ensures that you keep your muscles in balance and you can’t skip the less appealing exercises such as legs for the men and upper body for the ladies. Don’t worry ladies, you won’t end up looking like Arnold, (it takes a huge amount of effort, among other things, to produce those results) but you will look very toned. With weight training, the body continues to burn calories long after completing the session.

Cardiovascular exercise is also good for burning calories and it keeps you fit. The exact exercises will have to be a personal choice, but running is good, circuit training in a gym class is good, including the popular boxercise and martial arts inspired classes.

The bottom line on this is that it is wise to include an exercise plan along with your diet plan for best results. Pick an exercise regime that you enjoy because this will help you to stick to it.

 

Mental Approach

Determination is needed to be successful in weight loss, this is why I suggested earlier that it would be beneficial to experiment with finding the diet that suits you, psychologically and physiologically.

A desire to succeed and a positive approach are needed. Aids to this can be visualization techniques, affirmations and meditation. I believe that many high performing athletes use some or all of these techniques to perform at their best, as do many high performing people in all walks of life. It might sound New Age, Hippy, Weird etc, but it can’t hurt, and if you discover that it works, you have found a new assistant, one that was in your own mind all along.

 

Types Of Diet

There are many diets available, the trick is to discover which diet your body responds to best. I would also suggest that a weight loss diet does not have to be boring, painful or debilitating. The expert official advice is not always the best advice to take and I believe in researching and experimenting for yourself, because where diet and exercise are concerned, you are the expert regarding your own body. The saying that “one man’s meat is another man’s poison” is very apt here, and it should be considered when choosing your diet plan. Find out what works for YOU, keep notes and use the information to improve the quality of your life and achieve your goals.

If you have known medical issues, I would advise checking with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.

Most diets plans will work if the programs are followed accurately (no cheating). I have listed some interesting ones below but there is no guarantee of success on any of the plans listed, it’s up to you to test them out and see if one of them works for you!!

 

the-perfect-fat-burn-diet-3d-book-cover

The PFB Diet uses modern science to help you reach your absolute highest possible fat burn rates WITHOUT destroying any of your lean body mass. It relies on a specific combination of foods that have been proven to REDUCE your hunger and cravings even as you enjoy insanely high fat burn rates.

 

The 4 Week Diet

 

 

revenge diet

A secret that reversed my Type 2 diabetes…

A secret that had me shed 40 lbs in 3 months without drugs or dangerous surgery.

A secret that left my “know-it-all” doctor absolutely shocked and questioning everything he learned in medical school…

A secret that gave me the ENERGY I had as a teenager and the sex drive I thought I’d lost for good…

A secret that didn’t just “save” my marriage, but had my husband come crawling back to me, treating me like a queen… practically worshipping the ground I walked on…

 

 

smoothie diet

 

CLICK HERE to learn more

 

 

diet for men olgo

DOES IT WORK?

Customized Fat Loss for Men is a weight loss program exclusively for men because it consists of unique nutrition and training strategies designed to work with the male metabolism in order to support healthy weight loss and optimize the release and effectiveness of naturally occurring male hormones.

Now, it’s important to understand this weight loss program is not some kind of supplement and has nothing to do with silly exercise gizmos, pills, powders, potions or anything of that nature whatsoever. And this program definitely isn’t some kind of crazy crash diet or celebrity fad of the week. Rather, with Customized Fat Loss for men you’re provided a complete nutrition and training program along with a custom nutritional software designed to help your body optimize fat loss by systematically allocating calories and macronutrients at specific times based around you as an individual….

The amount of calories you consume, when you consume them, and the macronutrients they’re comprised of are all determined by various personal factors like your age, weight, height and most importantly your body type. Your customized training program is also individually determined by all of the above personal characteristics along with your exercise history and capabilities.

Customized Fat Loss For Men uses a unique 3 phase approach designed to provide a healthy, natural and fully customized solution to help men achieve their weight loss goals.

 

 

 

Full Throttle Weight Loss

full throttle weight loss

This is the end of your fat loss journey, and the beginning of your new lean self.
You’re going to watch your body change, you’re going to feel your joint pain
disappear, and you’re going to experience more confidence than you
EVER have before!!

 

Freedom

white seagull flying on sky

 

What is freedom?

 

The dictionary definitions go something like this:

  • The absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.
  • The quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous.
  • The power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.
  • A political right.
  • Absence of slavery.

And several similar definitions.

I don’t really think that anyone feels that they have 100% freedom. Freedom to me means a total absence of any type of pressure or influence that compels me to do, say or think anything against my wishes and the absolute ability to do anything ( that does not negatively impact any other being) that I wish to do. For me, there are three main components to freedom.

 

Total financial independence

I believe that this is the most important source of freedom in the modern world, and if a person has this, they are well on their way to achieving total freedom. Work, the traditional source of money, is not enjoyable for many people and although it is true that in the western world, everyone is theoretically free to choose how they earn their money, there are many barriers to actually working in the field that one loves, and if one loves their work, it isn’t really work as we have come to understand it. Barriers can include education, intelligence (which is not the same as education), temperament, childhood influences/indoctrination from many sources, the financial situation that one is born into, mental outlook and many more barriers and influences that have an impact to a varying degree. The ideal situation is to have a multi million dollar bank account, but I suspect that even multimillionaires would object to me saying this and that they would cite many reasons why their money does not give them freedom. The one thing that nobody can deny, is that wealthy people certainly have more potential to achieve freedom than people without money and if they can’t achieve a large degree of freedom by using their money then they are not using it wisely.

According to various recent studies, 50%-70% of people hate their jobs. Most people end up tying themselves down to a job or field of work by accumulating debt as soon as they begin to earn money. Once the person is in debt, they have to continue the work that they come to dislike or hate, in order to pay the debt off, while also supplying cash for everyday survival. They continue on, hating and resenting the job or jobs for their whole lives. My experiment with freedom began with downsizing my job so that I have more time and energy to explore more fulfilling methods of securing financial freedom. I believe that financial independence is the key factor to freedom. The saying that “you need money to make money” is very accurate. If you don’t believe this, then you have never attempted to generate money,  independent of a “job”.

 

Mental Outlook

The manner in which a person views the world plays a huge part in how free he/she feels. One person could feel trapped and imprisoned, yet another person can feel free and fulfilled in exactly the same situation. Some people feel doomed from their first remembered thought, others feel empowered. I don’t know why this is, but I believe that the less optimistic mind can be trained by the individual to become more productive. A negative mind attracts negative things. The law of attraction is real. Even if you don’t believe this, Wouldn’t it be better to think positive thoughts rather than negative ones?. Affirmations, meditation and manifestation techniques can be employed to set your mind free. Try not to watch the news, most of it is propaganda anyway. If you study news broadcasts, some form of agenda becomes apparent, and it is not healthy for a person to subject themselves to this. Take some form of exercise regularly, physical exercise is good for mental outlook and it also helps your body to function as an effective tool for personal freedom.

 

No Unwarranted Obligations to Others

This is a hard topic to balance properly. Any decent parents will always feel an obligation to their children, and rightly so, as they are responsible for bringing the child into being.  If the parents are lucky, the child will also feel an obligation to minimize those obligations for the parent. A person should not settle for a life of drudgery, misery or mediocrity because of any other person’s expectations or behaviour. I have always found that if mutual respect is present between people, that the weight of anything that can be considered an obligation is reduced considerably, almost to a negligible degree. A parent that attempts to forcefully mold their child into something that the child doesn’t want to be, especially where work or marriage are concerned, is basically claiming the child as their property. I do not consider wise advice as part of this, as advice is given freely and can be acted upon, or ignored by the recipient.  

People who are conscious in their efforts to restrict you do not have your best interests in mind and ways to free yourself from such people should be made a priority. Obligations to others are accepted by people constantly, and if you feel that your service is worthwhile and makes you happy then it is not the type of obligation that I am referencing here. The particular freedom restricting element can more accurately be called an imposition.

bullion gold gold bars golden
Freedom?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I most definitely consider the possession of enough funds to be free of the shackles of “work” to be paramount. When I use the word “work”, I am referring to a job as an employee that one does not want to do by choice, but is compelled to do, in order to pay the bills, buy food, survive etc. Money seems to be a dirty word for many people, probably because they don’t want to be considered a mercenary individual. The world is organized around money however, and the more of it you have stored away somewhere, the more freedom of choice you have.

A person could always just go to a remote area of the world and live off the land of course, and if this idea is attractive, you could possibly find freedom without money, but opportunities to live like this are not very abundant today and most people from the developed world would miss their gadgets and labor-saving devices, but It is a possibility.

 

Quotes

  • “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” – Henry Ford

 

  • “The mind is everything. What you think you become”. – Buddha

 

  • “Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves”. – Friedrich Nietzsche

 

  • “The desire of gold is not for gold. It is for the means of freedom and benefit”. –  Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

  • “No one outside ourselves can rule us inwardly. When we know this, we become free”. –  Buddha

 

  • “ A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself”. –  Jim Morrison

 

  • “Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self”. – Nathan W. Morris

 

  • “Financial Freedom is less about Financials and more about freedom”. – Manoj Arora

 

Powerful Program By Self-Made Entrepreneur
And Master Trainer Reveals…

“How To Have TOTAL Wealth Abundance By Automatically Training Your Unconscious Mind!”

Exercise With Dumbbells

bodybuilding close up dumbbells equipment

Dumbbells are about the most versatile piece of exercise equipment you’ll ever use or own. You can train any body part with them, they’re suitable for anyone-beginners, intermediate and pros-and can be used by people of any age to get fit. They’re also the ideal, regardless of your fitness goals. So whether you’re just looking to trim down, maintain or even build mass, dumbbells can be the right piece of equipment for you. Assuming that you’re doing the movements properly, when you train with dumbbells you mimic the body’s natural movements, considerably reducing the risk of injuring yourself.

The point today is to present a few little known, but highly effective dumbbell exercises-it’s always good to do something new. When the body’s muscles get too accustomed to the same routine day after day, week after week, month after month, your routine’s effectiveness is diminished. That’s why knowledgeable guys change things up every now and then so they can keep seeing gains and achieving the results they want.

Here are a few dumbbell training exercies that you probably haven’t heard of.

Dumbbell thrusters (legs, shoulders): Works the glutes and shoulders at the same time. Place an exercise ball behind your legs. Stand straight holding two dumbbells at shoulder height with palms facing each other about even with your shoulders. Squat down until your butt touches the ball, then thrust upward raising your arms towards the ceiling, while maintaining your palms facing the same direction. Squat down again lowering the dumbbells to the starting position, then repeat.

Dumbbell hamstring curl (hamstrings): Lie face down on a flat bench with your knees hanging over about two to three inches. Have someone tuck a dumbbell vertically between your feet-if you’re limber and not too clumsy, you can manage it yourself. Grasp the front two legs of the bench for stability. Then, without lifting your waist from the bench, keep your knees together tight and raise your toes (and the dumbbell) towards the ceiling until your shins are perpendicular to the floor.

Dumbbell ab crunch (abs): Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, holding a dumbbell with both hands (one hand over each end of the dumbbell) close to your chest just below your chin. Keeping your butt and lower back on the floor, slowly roll your upper back off the floor, keeping your neck neutral. Pause and hold for a second or two and then return to the starting position and repeat.

Low dumbbell crossover (chest): This awesome move can completely isolate and pump up your pecs. It’s like the Low Cable Crossover but done with dumbbells to further isolate the pectoral muscle. With one foot forward for stability, grasp the dumbbells (hands facing forward), spread your arms until they’re at about a 45-degree angle and your hands are a few inches behind your hips. Lean forward slightly. Bring the dumbbells up and together, using a sweeping arc motion, stopping right in front of your lower chest. Pause for a full second, return to the starting position and repeat. Keep your arms slightly bent to be sure that you’re fully isolating the pecs.

Dumbbell press and fly combo (chest): This double-duty exercise keeps the pectoral muscles under tension throughout the movement. Position yourself for a regular dumbbell chest press. When your arms are fully extended, instead of dropping them back down to your chest, then slowly arc them out in a fly movement-without changing the position of your hands-until you get a nice stretch. Pause, return to the starting position and repeat.

Zero impact dumbbell row (back): Stand with your knees somewhat bent and lean over slightly, keeping your back straight. Hold the dumbbells so they’re in front of your thighs (palms facing your legs). Your elbows should be slightly bent. Bring the dumbbells out, back and up behind you in an arc, swinging your elbows back like a pendulum but maintaining control of the weight, keeping your back straight. Focus on contracting the back muscles. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Reverse incline hammer curl (biceps): Use fairly light weights for this one-it really isolates the bicep. Sit backwards on an incline bench adjusted to a 60- to 70-degree angle. With your arms hanging straight down, hold the dumbbells with your thumbs up, palms facing each other (hammer curl position). Curl the weights up until the just touch your shoulders. Squeeze, pause and repeat. If you pull your elbows back just a bit, it will put more emphasis on the long head of the biceps, which can otherwise be tough to train.

Wrong way tricep pullover (triceps): Lie sideways (perpendicular) with your upper back on a flat bench as though you were going to do a dumbbell pullover for your chest. Grasping one dumbbell with both hands, bring your arms up and behind your head-again, as though you are going to do a dumbbell pullover. But instead of trying to keep your arms straight, stretch your arms back, maintain the upper arms in a fixed position and bend your elbows down, lowering the dumbbell and stretching the triceps. Pause, squeeze, return to the starting position and repeat.

By Mike Westerdal 

Mike is the creator of the illustrated guide, “Dumbbell Routines & Exercises eBook”, that will Help You Increase Your Muscle Size And Improve Your Physical Fitness In 90 Days Or You Get To Keep This Breakthrough eBook FREE! More information Click Here

 

Inversion Therapy For Health

woman doing anti gravity yoga

Inversion therapy involves holding the body upside down or at an inverted angle for a period, usually for a few minutes at a time. The act of inverting the body is believed by many people to have beneficial health benefits.

There are several methods to achieve inversion. The most popular method is to use an inversion table, a specially designed piece of equipment that allows a person to clamp the ankle and lay back on a supporting bed. The bed can then be tilted to the desired angle. Other methods include gravity boots, headstands, handstands, hanging by the legs from a horizontal bar, hanging from strap supports and Yoga inversions such as the downward dog position.

The most well known benefit of inversion therapy is the relief of back pain. I have an inversion table and it works for me. I have had experience of lower back pain after certain exercise routines and my inversion table takes the pain away and seems to help the injury to heal faster.

Benefits Of Inversion

Some of the reported benefits of inversion therapy are:

  • Relief of back pain
  • Relief of joint pain
  • Strengthen ligaments, which results in strengthening  bones.
  • Maintain height
  • Regulate blood pressure
  • Improve posture
  • Control indigestion
  • Improve heart function
  • improve brain function
  • Assist the lymphatic system function
  • Improve mood, relieve stress and depression
  • Increased flexibility

I have found that regular inversion helps to relieve back pain from injuries and helps the injury to heal faster, It appears to help normalize my blood pressure, helps my muscles to recover faster from exercise, gets rid of headaches and neck/shoulder pain and makes me feel better in general. My inversion therapy session consists of full inversion daily, for 5-10 minutes per session on my inversion table.

I find that a good quality inversion table is the most convenient method for regular inversion therapy in the home. Most tables can be folded after use to minimize floor space and most tables allow the user to set the inversion to various angles, ranging from a few degrees right up to full inversion. It is wise to work up to full inversion slowly when beginning  a program because full inversion is very intense if you have not inverted before.

 

Precautions Before Starting Inversion Therapy

If you are considering inversion therapy and you have heart and circulation problems, eye conditions or any other conditions that requires regular doctor’s visits and/or medication, you should consult with your doctor before starting an inversion routine. Pregnant women and obese people should consult with a doctor before beginning inversion.

Diet For Weight Loss

woman girl fat fitness

There are so many weight loss diet plans available that it is difficult to decide which one to use. The guiding factor should be to find a healthy plan. The generally accepted figure for healthy weight loss is 1-2 lbs a week which equates to about 3,500-7000 calories. Using these figures, a person who wishes to lose 2 lbs a week should cut about 1000 calories from their daily diet. Calorie counting however, can become very tedious very quickly.

There are many diet plans claiming that if you use their system, you can lose much more than 2 lbs a week. The claims may or may not be true, I don’t need weight loss diets myself, but I do research them for others. I have seen all types of diets work for some people and I have seen the same diet plan work for one person but not another. As with most physically related things, I think It all comes down to body type and dedication (or lack of dedication).

Weight loss can be achieved without a purchased diet plan but you have to do the research for yourself and this can be very time consuming. Basically, sugars and starchy foods should be cut back substantially, make sure that you eat foods containing protein and fats, and make sure to exercise. Eat fats for weight loss? the short answers is that fats are not all the same and some are beneficial to health. Saturated fats can occur naturally in meat and dairy products, unsaturated fats come from plants, vegetables, olives, nuts, and seeds and some fish. Trans fats can occur naturally in certain foods and meat. The artificial trans fat (hydrogenated) in some foods, normally heavily processed, is not healthy and should be avoided. I work on the theory that naturally occurring fats in food can’t be all that bad, but everything should be done in moderation and be wary of any processed food that has “light” or “low fat” printed on the packaging.

Weight training is a great exercise for weight loss. To lose weight, a body must burn more calories than it uses and after a weight training session, the body continues to burn calories. As you add more muscle, you should find it easier to attain and keep to your target weight because muscle burns more calories than fat during the day.

Men seem to lose weight more easily than women and this observation is backed up by science. Men have more lean muscle tissue than women and the muscle tissue burns more calories than fat. Studies have found that the different results, between men and women are very obvious at the start of the diet program but tend to even out over the longer term.

Another issue with weight loss in the present day, is the quality of our food. Science has been tinkering with natural produce and the results on food quality are not really fully known. We can only do our best to find the most natural of products to consume.

The conclusion I have arrived at regarding diets is to stay away from a diet program that promotes  only one type of constituent such as fat, protein or carbohydrates while cutting out others almost completely. I tend to like the programs which have a more balanced approach and also suggest that exercise should be completed along with the dietary component. My key components to a great weight loss program are healthy food with a traditional balance of protein, carbs and fats, exercise, primarily resistance training and the determination to succeed.

 

 

Water For Health

clean clear cold drink

Is drinking water necessary for good health?, the answer is yes, but the water that you drink needs to be as pure as possible. It seems that obtaining untainted food and drink is virtually impossible today but just by attempting to obtain the most high quality, natural food and drink products will help.

Water makes up approximately 60% of the male adult body and 55% of the female adult body. We are constantly losing water from our bodies throughout the day and this needs to be replaced. An average human loses 4.5 to 6.5 lbs of water during the day through exhalation, perspiration, urination and consumption of heavily processed foods.

 

How Much Water?

The general health industry advice is 8 ounces of water, 8 times a day. There is a wide range of views on daily intake from independent researchers but the 8 ounces, 8 times a day seems to be a minimum. Studies have shown that we cannot survive more that a few days without drinking water but we can survive for a few weeks without food. The required daily water intake for maximum bodily efficiency is (as is most everything else in life) highly dependent on the individual.

Can I Drink Too Much Water?

Studies say yes. The medical term for this is Hyponatremia ( low sodium in the blood) and this can occur due to the amount of water you drink over a short period of time rather than the total amount during a day. In basic terms, a large amount of water consumed in a short period of time will lower blood sodium levels and could, in the most severe cases, lead to death. I would think that moderation is the key to avoiding this issue.

The Purity of Water

There are many factors affecting the purity of our drinking water. The Municipal supply to our houses and businesses has chemicals added to it due to the “purification process” and the pipes carrying the water can also add unwanted chemicals into the supply. Fluoride is added to many Municipal water supplies. The Fluoride is added to prevent tooth decay but there are rumors that it is not effective in preventing this. Some Countries have banned, rejected or stopped fluoridation of their water supply. China has banned it’s use, most Western European countries have stopped fluoridation and Japan has rejected it’s use due to it’s toxicity. My opinion?, I would rather that Fluoride was left out of the water supply and I’ll take care of my teeth myself.

Obtaining Pure Water

I have researched this topic in a casual manner on and off. I buy bottled “spring” water from the local grocery stores to drink and use for cooking but I know that the quality ranges from good, to variable, to suspect.  The “spring” water is usually packaged in plastic bottles and the chemicals in the plastic can tend to leech into the water. The claim of “pure spring water” in bottled water products has been shown to be suspect in certain cases and the Fluoride content is unknown. I think that the only sure way of obtaining the purest water is to filter it yourself. There are several companies that supply whole house filters for residential use and these filters can remove heavy metals, pharmaceutical residue, fluoride, bacteria and more. The best, most effective filter systems are expensive but do I aim to install one eventually.

Conclusion

The body needs water and at the end of the day, drinking any water ( that is not infected) is better than not drinking it. We should strive to drink the purest, most untainted water daily, but this can be expensive, time consuming and involve much research. My personal opinion is that drinking water in it’s basic form, not in the form of coffee, tea, flavored drinks etc, is essential. If you are carry out fitness training or have a physical job, then my experience tells me that you need more than the 8 ounces, 8 times a day in order to function efficiently. It is a pity that we can’t get the pure drinking water that we need to function at optimum performance easily, but “it is what it is”.

Quit Smoking

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The ultimate smoking alternative is quitting, it is not an easy option however. I have attempted to quit several times but I admit that I did not try very hard. One attempt involved hypnosis and this did not work at all for me. The hypnotist did manage to make smoking taste bad for a few days but I worked through it. Another attempt was with the use of nicotine gum. The gum took the edge of the craving but was not satisfying enough to replace a cigarette.  The thing that worked for me was electronic cigarettes. I count this only as a partial quit because I still get my nicotine through a vapor but I don’t get any of the tobacco by-products, such as tar. The vapor has unknown health effects at this time but so far, studies seem to indicate that the vapor is significantly less dangerous than tobacco smoke.

Nicotine is said to alter the balance of two chemicals, dopamine and noradrenaline in your brain. Nicotine changes the levels of these chemicals in the brain and many smokers find this effect enjoyable. When you inhale the nicotine, it rushes to your brain, where it produces feelings of pleasure and reduces stress and anxiety.  Many smokers enjoy the nicotine rush and become dependent on it. Other substances that may be added to the tobacco could also be addictive.

I have known former smokers who have successfully quit “cold turkey”, used nicotine gum or patches, received hypnosis treatment, have used self-hypnosis and affirmations or started with nicotine e cigs and scaled down the nicotine content over time to nothing. Whatever method the smoker used, it worked for him/her. The conclusion I have arrived at is that every person is different, with a different physiological and psychological makeup, so the successful smoking cessation method must match the individual. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another and it is a case of trial and error for the individual to find the successful method of quitting.

Some experts believe that nicotine is more addictive than heroin and cocaine, if this is true, then it is not surprising that it is so difficult for most people to quit smoking. I have known people who are occasional or social smokers, but they are few and far between.

Another factor to consider regarding smoking is the fact that companies are beginning to impose a substantial nicotine surcharge on the medical insurance of employees who smoke or use nicotine in any manner. It is not a good idea to assume that you will not be tested for nicotine and state that you do not use nicotine in order to avoid the surcharge because you face the possibility of being caught out and losing your medical coverage at a critical time for you. The only choice is to pay the surcharge if you are wise. I came across this issue once. The wording on the document was “are you a smoker”, I knew what they were up to, so I asked the benefits department if they counted vaping as smoking. Within a week, the wording on the document had been changed to “are you a nicotine user” and the surcharge was changed from a “tobacco surcharge” to a “nicotine surcharge”. This seems to be discrimination against smokers, and it is, but don’t worry, some other group is the next target, probably the overweight, just follow the money to ascertain the reason that these surcharges are appearing everywhere.

If you are considering quitting, good luck on finding the right method for you. I hope that you find your method fast, without wasting too much money on approaches that don’t work for you.

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Apple Cider Vinegar

red apple fruits

A nurse that I knew once, told me that the best way to treat a sore throat was to fill a glass with warm water, add a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to it, stir the mixture, gargle the mixture then swallow. I tried it and it worked. I have used this ever since for fast effective treatment whenever I have a sore throat. It kills any pain almost instantly and the treatment can be repeated if needed.

The substance has to be APPLE cider vinegar and it has to contain what is termed “the mother”. This is a cloudy substance that is removed from the vinegar if it is filtered. Anyone who intends to try this remedy must ensure that their apple cider vinegar is unfiltered and that it contains “the mother”. Apple cider vinegar with “the mother” is easy to find at large grocery stores.

Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits.

Hiccups. One teaspoon (straight)  can cure hiccups

Weight loss. Apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight. The theory is that the acid reacts with the metabolism to aid weight loss.

Dandruff. Once again, the pH of the apple cider vinegar is supposed to react with the skin to kill the enzyme responsible for dandruff.

ACV for energy.  Amino acids in the apple cider vinegar react with the fatiguing acids that the body builds up when subjected to exercise and stress and cancel out those acids that cause the fatigue. The apple cider vinegar also contains potassium and some enzymes that help with fatigue.

There are many more uses for apple cider vinegar. I can say without doubt that it works with sore throats but for the rest?, you will have to experiment for yourself. The good thing is that even if it does not work for you, it will not do any harm.

There are whole books of apple cider vinegar remedies and recipes, CLICK HERE for more information