Monthly Archives: August 2012

Exercising for Weight Loss: The Best Ways to Lose Weight

If somebody asked you right now what is the best way to lose weight, what would you say? If you are like a majority of people, you’d probably answer cardiovascular exercise or respond with a quick “I’m really not too sure.” However, the best exercises for weight loss may just be any type of exercise you are willing to participate in. There are two things that stop people from achieving their weight loss goals, according to strength and conditioning coach and physical therapist Ben Quist, PhD, NCSA. These two things include boredom or injury.

In reality, the most important part of exercising is creating a calorie deficit – burning more calories than you take in. So whether you can run a 7 minute mile or take 30 minutes to walk a mile, the important thing is that you are exercising and sticking with it. If you don’t like running, there is no need to engage in a running program to lose weight. You have plenty of other alternatives. The other crucial element to an exercise is that you are performing an exercise in proper form. Improper form can lead to injuries, which can mean additionally sedentary time.

Ideally, a successful exercise program will include the following key components:

  • Aerobic/Cardiovascular Activity: Aerobic or cardiovascular activity is an essential aspect of a fitness program. Aerobic exercises are exercises that are strenuous enough to temporarily speed up your heart rate as well as your breathing.
  • Maximum Heart Rate: Your maximum heart rate is based on your age. It is estimated that your maximum heart rate can be obtained by subtracting your age from the number 220.
  • Flexibility Training or Stretching: Flexibility training is a crucial component of any fitness program. This type of training helps to enhance the range of motion of joints. This is important because age and a sedentary lifestyle can cause muscles, tendons and ligaments to become shorter and more susceptible to injury over time.
  • Strength, Resistance or Weigh Training: Females can lift weights. Strength, resistance and weight training are aimed at improving the strength and function of your muscles. Exercises can be completed to target each muscle group.
  • Sets: Sets are a key component, especially when it comes to strength training. Sets refer to repeating the same exercise a particular number of times. For example, when completing push-ups, you may complete 25 push-ups at a time. As a result, you may perform one set of 25 push-ups.
  • Repetitions: Repetitions are also referred to as reps. Reps refer to the number of times you complete a particular exercise during a set. For example, you may perform one set of 10 repetitions

Everything You Need to Know About Organic Foods

It’s no secret: the organic-food industry is a booming business. According to the Hartman Group, a marketing research firm, approximately 70 percent of Americans buy organic food products from time to time. Nearly one-quarter of Americans purchase organic foods on a weekly basis. For some, organic foods are the healthier way to go. For others, organic foods are bought just because they like the taste of a particular product. Regardless of why you decide to go organic, there is a significant price increase that comes along with going organic – up to a 50 percent price hike. As a result, it is important to understand what you are buying before you make it to the checkout line in your local grocery store.

What exactly is organic food?

Before going organic, it is important to understand what organic foods are. Organic foods are allowed to be produced with certain synthetic ingredients, provided they adhere to the standards set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture when it comes to organic foods. Generally speaking, organic foods are made from crops that are grown without synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, biotechnology or irradiation – which is a form of radiation that is used to kill bacteria on crops. On organic farms, the animals eat organically grown feed. Additionally, these animals are not as confined as animals you would find on a traditional farm. Another important to understand regarding organic foods is that animals on organic farms are raised without the use of synthetic growth hormones or antibiotics, thus making organic products more natural.

Are organic products really better for me?

Organic foods come without the pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals than conventional foods do. As a result, a majority of researchers will tell you that organic foods have a higher nutritional value. Research has shown that pesticides in our foods can cause everything from birth defects to cancer to headaches. However, many experts will tell you that the levels of pesticides and fertilizers in regular, conventional food products are safe for a majority of healthy adults. On the other hand, exposure to even small amounts of pesticides can be dangerous to children as well as unborn fetuses – this is due to weakened immune systems. Pesticides can also be dangerous to pregnant women as pesticides can place excessive strain on already strained body parts.

Some researchers will tell you that pesticide contamination is not as much of a concern in meat and dairy products as the antibiotics that are given to a large number of farm animals. Why? Many of these antibiotics are the same antibiotics that humans use should they develop a bacterial infection. When a human takes too much of an antibiotic, they can become resistant to it. As a result, antibiotics can become less effective in fighting infections, according to Dr. Chuck Benbrook, a chief scientist at the Organic Center.

Are organic products worth it?

If you can afford it, go for it. Buy local and organic products. If you cannot afford to purchase all organic products, aim to purchase some products that are organic. The Environmental Working Group strongly recommends purchasing grapes, lettuce, strawberries, peaches, cherries, apples, pears, spinach, celery, sweet bell peppers and potatoes organically.