Saturday, January 24, 2009

Apple Cider Vinegar

I am amazed if I haven't already wrote about apple cider vinegar in this blog. I LOVE IT! It is an amazing power supplement to add to your arsenal against aging, disease, and obesity!
Perhaps you've heard of it? Apple cider vinegar has been around for eons and rightly so. Because it works!!! It is claimed that apple cider vinegar is helpful in ailments such as constipation, headaches, arthritis, weak bones, indigestion, high cholesterol, diarrhea, eczema, sore eyes, chronic fatigue, mild food poisoning, hair loss, high blood pressure, obesity, along with a host of many other ailments. Hundreds of years of usage can't be wrong!
If you choose to give ACV a try, make sure to go with the organic unfiltered kind which will have brownish tint to the liquid. It may also appear to have web like particles floating about, in it, but that simply ensures that it is a high quality and still retains many nutrients.

The best way to have the vinegar is first thing in the morning. Mix two tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of water and drink it. This solution may taste slightly acidic, and may not seem to be the best way to start your morning, but once you know of the immense benefits that follow, it will not feel all that bad. Many find that following this routine first thing in the morning helps in eliminating constipation, which is one of the prime causes of many diseases. Constipation is also sometimes the cause of headaches - leading to a bad mood, deprived sleep, and a lethargic feeling the whole day. Once the constipation problem is solved, all the other symptoms vanish immediately, making you fresher and extremely active whole day long. Following this morning regime helps minor skin rashes vanish and the skin texture too improves, leaving you radiant and glowing naturally.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Flat Abs?! Yes please!

Pilates has definitely been a buzzword in the celebrity fitness world as of lately. Everyone from slim Gwyneth Paltrow to hard body Madonna seems to be doing Pilates. Apparently, it works!
Pilates focuses on strengthening your body's core muscles (abs, back, etc..) which help to keep the body more balanced and promote good posture. Not only will this help you function better in your daily life, but as a result your abs will be tighter and mightier than ever! Regularly doing Pilates has shown amazing results time and again, resulting in greater weight loss, improved muscle tone, and decreased back pain!
Pilates is simple enough for even the most inexperienced beginners and difficult enough for the biggest fitness enthusiast.
I hate to admit, but I definitely was humbled by a doing a few bouts of Pilates. I weight train and do cardio consistently and pretty intensely. I definitely take my training quite seriously. I'm no stranger to core training, I understand the components of a thorough core workout and regularly incorporate them into my workouts. As a result, I have a flat belly, with increasingly lovely ab definition. (Which I am quite proud of!) So, I think that this Pilates will be a walk in the park. It definitely appears decieving with it's relaxing "yoga-like" feel. After being lulled into a false sense of security, I began to proceed through several workout DVDs. Throughout the workout I was fine, probably as a result of regularly using my core already, but let me tell you, the next day and week after invoked the most pain I have ever felt in my abs. EVER! A good pain though...the pain that reminds you of how worthwhile a workout really is!
It is amazing experience for those of you newbies who may have been curious about it. And as for you hard core gym goers- if you want an awesome new workout to complement to your ab and core workout, toss this wild card in there!

More good news- Pilates is safe and beneficial for ALL ages! Which means, if you are a mommy and you feel you don't have time to exercise, you can certainly invite your little ones to join, and still get an amazing workout in just 20 minutes if you're really pressed for time! You can show your kids that being healthy is fun, easy, and makes them feel good! If you can promote a healthy lifestyle in your children while they are still young, then the chances of them maintaining that lifestyle as they get older is much greater, which will reduce their risks of developing high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, and it will help them maintain a healthy weight and mind! :)

Seniors have something to get excited about when it comes to Pilates too! Many older folks tend to avoid any structured exercise for fear of not being able to do them. There are however modified workouts developed those over 50! Pilates can be extremely beneficial to the older community by strengthening core muscles as well as the entire body. By doing so you are also reducing the odds of any bone fractures, reducing arthritis pain, increasing flexibility which can increase mobility for those who have a hard time getting around. Of course always consult your physician before beginning any workout problem, especially is you have any pre existing health conditions.

Here is a list of the key benefits of doing Pilates:

Tone and build long, lean muscles without bulk.
Reduce stress, relieve tension, and boost energy through deep stretching.
Restore postural alignment.
Create a stronger, more flexible spine.
Increase joint range of motion.
Improve circulation.
Heighten neuromuscular coordination.
Offer relief from back pain and joint stress.
Correct over-training of muscle groups which can lead to stress and injury.
Enhance mobility, agility and stamina.
Compliment sports training and develop functional fitness for daily life activity.
Improve the way your body looks and feels.

While Pilates is an amazing workout, I do recommend using it in addition to a workout plan consisting of resistance/weight training and regular cardio. Don't forget to try to maintain a healthy diet and nutrition program which will enhance the efforts you are making in your weight loss goals!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Shut Up Oprah!

Who doesn't like Oprah? I even confess to secretly indulging in her show if it happens to be on. I am not a die hard fan, but even a non- follower of Oprah knows about her overly publicized weight loss battle. She's skinny, then fat, then skinny, then chubby, etc... her weight yo-yos up and down so often, I am amazed that people are so willing to take her weight loss advice as gold! She is a normal person, so of course she is easy to relate to. She has her weight issues like many other people. But, that is because... SHE IS MAKING THE SAME MISTAKES AS EVERY OTHER OVERWEIGHT HUMAN BEING!!!
I'm sorry this is a bit of a vent, but I am tired of seeing all these people who want, and sometimes desperately need to lose weight and get in shape, not just for the aesthetics, but for their overall health! If I have to hear one more "miracle weight loss solution" from Oprah, so help me God....
Obviously, the woman hasn't gotten it right yet, so think about that before you jump on her next bandwagon for acai body cleansing or whatever crapola she claims is the answer. Here is a little secret- THERE IS NO MIRACLE WEIGHT LOSS SOLUTION! Sorry. There simply is not. The reason you cannot lose weight is the same reason everybody else can't lose weight. You are making the wrong choices regarding eating and exercises. It is not a difficult concept. In fact, it is one of the easiest and healthiest changes you can make.
Keep in mind---If you want to lose weight, and KEEP IT OFF, you need to start living a healthier lifestyle.

The only things you need to do for total body transformation are:
1- Eat right
2-Move more
3-Love yourself
4-Realize that only YOU have the power to change your body and your health. And trust me, you DO have the power.

You have to hold yourself accountable.
Often times, people are their own worst enemies, and they don't even realize it. If you don't think you can squeeze in that workout and push yourself, then it is your own fault. If you don't think you have the motivation to stick to a healthy diet, you are WRONG! You are the maker of your own destiny, and after you realize this and begin to take control of your own life and body, you will finally be able to achieve anything!
This is the truest thing I know! 'Cause I've been there. I've been overweight and clueless like 90% of people out there. I've felt I was powerless to control the fate of my own weight and even my very health! Luckily, I stuck to my guns, and thank goodness for a little willpower, I managed to find that "magical solution" which is no solution at all, it is simply to live your best life, and to live it for YOU!

Heat up your Metabolism!

Cayenne pepper.
You probably have it in your kitchen. You probably didn't know that it held a multitude of health benefits including weight loss! Cayenne’s benefits are derived from the active ingredient capsaicin. Capsaicin gives cayenne its heat. That's where the weight loss comes in- by ingesting this pepper you are literally heating up your body's fat burning furnace! Your metabolism can skyrocket and your energy levels will too! Did I mention that it can curb food cravings?!
The recommended way of taking this awesome spice is approximately 1 tsp of pepper mixed in a glass of water. You can use more or less depending how well you can tolerate it. There are capsules if you wish to go that route, but from what I have heard, they aren't quite as effective.

Ok, I understand that the idea of chugging down a glass of water with cayenne pepper may not sound too appealing to most people. I understand. I, on the other hand, am crazy enough to have tried it. I gotta say, it is definitely worth it! I like to take it right before I go to the gym to help me burn more calories and fat, and let me tell you, it definitely perks you up! Maybe instead of reaching for that morning coffee, do your body a favor and down some pepper water for that wake up jolt!!!

In addition to it's evident weight loss benefits it is also touted as a wonder spice for digestion and circulatory health! In fact, it is so powerful, that it can stop a heart attack within seconds! Regularly downing this fire water will also reduce your chances of blood clots, because it actually dissolves them! Pretty amazing stuff! It may seem a bit extreme for some, but given all the benefits and posititve reviews I have found on it, I would say give it a shot! You've got nothing to lose, it will only make you healthier!