Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cross Training for Fitness and Fat Loss

The numbers on your scale do not indicate whether you are fit or fat. Far more significant than your total body weight is the composition of your body tissue. If a man’s fatty tissue is bigger than 14% up to 15% of his body mass, or if a woman’s is more than 20% to 22%, he or she is overweight, or more precisely, overfat.

A small amount of fat is needed for padding the internal organs and as insulation under the skin. Excess fat leads to such diseases as diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and gallbladder problems. There are very few, very fat persons. The reason is that the fittest, not the fattest survive.

The problem now is focused on how to resolve the problem. The problem with most people who want to lose weight is that they have the propensity to concentrate more on getting those numbers lower than what they are seeing now. What happens next is that they strive harder to achieve a lower weight, according to the “ever reliable” result of the weighing scale.

It would be more important to think of the human body as a heat-exchange engine that works on the basic principles of energy physics. The caloric balance equals the total calorie intake minus the total calorie expenditure.

Some of the calories people ingest are used for basal metabolism. As people get old, their bodies require fewer calories for this basic upkeep. Some calories are excreted as waste products. Some go into “work metabolism,” the energy expenditure required for any physical activity.

Hence, if people take in more calories than are used by these functions, there is a definite caloric excess. By the laws of physics, energy is transformed rather than destroyed. In this case, each excess of 3,500 calories is changed into a pound of fat. If people want to reverse this process, they have to burn up 3,500 calories to lose a single pound.

Winning the War Against Fat

When you think of fighting fat with exercise, you probably think of hours of hard, sweaty exertion. If this is the case, then, you will not get any farther. This is because people who are so much into losing more by exerting more effort tend to get bored easily.

Why? Because experts contend that when people exert more effort than what they are capable of doing creates a tendency to develop weariness and ennui. Hence, they give up, stop doing their routine exercises, and end up sulking in the corner with a bag of chips that seems to have all the bad calories in this world.

Now, you might ask, "What should be done instead?" The answer: cross training.

After some intensive studies and experimentations, health experts were able to come up with the concept of incorporating cross training in order to overcome or break the monotony or dullness in an exercise program.

Cross training refers to the integration of diverse movements or activities into a person’s conventional exercise routine. The main purpose of incorporating cross training into an exercise program is to avoid overdoing excess muscle damages and to put a stop to an imminent boredom.

Three of the most commonly used activities whenever a person decides to engage into cross training are swimming, running, and cycling.

In cross training, distance is one way to extend your activity as your condition improves. For this reason, you need to traverse a measured distance.

If possible, swim the course and measure the distance. If you will be using a running track, such courses usually are a quarter-mile per lap for a complete circuit.

Cross training offers a variety of benefits for fitness and fatloss. It builds up the strength and endurance of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. It has also some tranquilizing effect on the nerves, and it burns up calories as much as it makes your “losing weight” more bearable.

Cross training has three basic components:

1. Endurance exercises to condition the heart, lungs, and blood vessels and to induce relaxation. These begin with a careful planned walking and jogging regimen, depending on fitness level.

2. Exercises to strengthen the muscles, particularly those important to good posture. These include some activities that are selected to encourage some people who are already burnt out with a particular routine.

3. Exercises to improve joint mobility and prevent or relieve aches and pains. These consist of a series of static stretching positions that are safe and effective for most of the people who wish to try to lose some fat.

Indeed, cross training is a great way to modify the concept of exercising and losing fat without having to endure monotonous activities. In fact, the idea of exercising is to like what you are doing, hence, if you engage into cross training, you will be aware of it that you have already achieve your desired weight.

Boiled down, cross training is, certainly, one way of having fun.

Cranberries- The Superfood to Stave Off Bladder Infections

Cranberries may help to fight off urinary tract infections (UTIs). They reduce the power of certain E. coli bacteria to adhere to and penetrate the walls of the bladder.

In about half the cases of UTIs, the E. coli responsible have special little hairy tips called P fimbria. The bacteria use their fimbria to attach themselves to the bladder so that they can multiply and cause an infection. That's where cranberries--which contain a group of chemicals called proanthocyanidins---come in. They bind to the P fimbria of the E. coli and hinder them so they are unable to sticking to the walls of the bladder. As a result, the E. coli is flushed out in the urine instead of causing an infection. And because cranberries remove rather than kill the bacteria, there’s less of a chance for the E. coli to become resistant.

It’s imperative that those who are prone to UTIs eat cranberries or drink cranberry juice on a daily basis, because once the bacteria are able to adhere to the wall, the infection sets in, and the cranberries can’t help at that point.

It’s probably best to use cranberry products twice a day if you are prone, as the effects of the cranberries wear off after about 10 hours.

You should also be diligent about drinking lots of fluids in order to flush the bladder out on a regular basis. Citrus fruits and fresh vegetables high in vitamin C are also good, as they help boost the body’s immunity and germ-fighting abilities. Coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages should be avoided, as well as alcohol. Be sure to complement your diet with plenty of foods rich in vitamin B, such as fortified cereals, lean proteins, asparagus, almonds and bananas, as they all assist the body in the digestive process and converting food to energy, which your body will need if it’s working to fend off a UTI.

Color Your Way to Daily Health

It’s important that we eat plenty of different fruits and vegetables every day. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.

You’ve probably heard about the 5 A Day for Better Health program. It provides easy ways to add more fruits and vegetables into your daily eating patterns. It’s vital that we eat a wide variety of colorful orange/yellow, red, green, white, and blue/purple vegetables and fruit every day. By eating vegetables and fruit from each color group, you will benefit from the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that each color group has to offer alone and in combination.

There’s several different yet simple ways to start incorporating vegetables and fruit into your familiar and favorite meals. You can begin your day with 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, slice bananas or strawberries on top of your cereal, or have a salad with lunch and an apple for an afternoon snack. Include a vegetable with dinner and you already have about 5 cups of fruits and vegetables. You may even try adding a piece of fruit for a snack or an extra vegetable at dinner.

Don’t be afraid to try something new to increase your vegetable and fruit intake. There are so many choices when selecting fruits and vegetables. Kiwifruit, asparagus, and mango may become your new favorite. Keep things fresh and interesting by combining fruits and vegetables of different flavors and colors, like red grapes with pineapple chunks, or cucumbers and red peppers.

Get in the habit of keeping fruits and vegetables visible and easily accessible – you’ll tend to eat them more. Store cut and cleaned produce at eye-level in the refrigerator, or keep a big colorful bowl of fruit on the table.