Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Losing Weight by Body Type

At times it can be a struggle to lose weight. In general it is because of an imbalance in calories in and calories out, or it can be your body is just having a week where it plateus. But if it continues to be a challenge, it could be because you aren't exercising for your body part. There are lots of exercises that work for everyone, but it is good to know what type you are and what works best. So, brought to you from the wonderful, here is an overview of body types and weight loss.

You were born with a genetic predisposition to grow into a certain frame, according to Dr. William H. Sheldon, who in the 1940s introduced the concept of Somatotypes. Sheldon said that you either fit into one of three body type categories or you might have characteristics of some or all of them. Whatever your body type, there are exercises and diets that can help you lose pounds.

Step 1
Determine your body type and shape. Dr. Sheldon's Somatotype theory described three basic human body types: the endomorph tends to store a lot of body fat and has trouble burning it off; the mesomorph is generally shorter and more muscular with stocky arms and legs; and the ectomorph doesn't have a lot of fat or muscle. You also fit into a distinct body shape category, based upon the size of your features and the proportions of your body. Men tend to be either rectangular or cone shaped, and women tend to be pear, apple, hourglass or ruler shaped. While weight loss techniques can focus on specific combinations, this article will focus primarily on weight loss for the three main body types.

Step 2
If you're an endomorph: Because people with endomorph body types tend to store body fat easily, they usually struggle with weight loss. To keep their metabolism burning at a high rate, endomorphs should eat five or six small meals, mainly lean protein and green vegetables, every few hours throughout the day. A combination of fast-paced weight training and 30 minutes or more of daily moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise are needed to burn more calories. Exercising and eating first thing in the morning can help rev up the metabolism from the get-go.

Step 3
If you're a mesomorph: Mesomorphs are generally more muscular than endomorphs and ectomorphs, and they can also gain and lose weight more readily than other body types. When mesomorphs do cardiovascular exercise, they have the advantage of being able to lose fat while maintaining a muscular physique, which enables them to burn even more calories. However, they should avoid being lazy with exercise and eating junk foods, because they can gain that weight back about as quickly as they lost it. Mesomorphs benefit from doing combinations of workouts that include circuit training, high-intensity cardiovascular activity, moderate weights, strength and core training. They should also should eat six small protein-rich meals to help sustain energy and muscle bulk. Moreover, they should eat more complex carbohydrates than simple carbohydrates, and make fats and oils no more than 20 percent to 30 percent of their diets.

Step 4
If you're an ectomorph: Ectomorphs are mainly tall, thin people who have fast metabolisms. This causes them to have trouble gaining weight and muscle, no matter what measures they take to bulk up. However, not all ectomorphs (or ectomorphs combined with another body type) stay skinny as they get older; they just have the predisposition to have thin frames. Ectomorphs should be careful when trying to lose weight, because cutting too many calories can cause them to burn muscle to a greater degree than other body types. Doing too much cardiovascular exercise (more than two or three days per week) can cause ectomorphs to lose more calories than they should, so loss of fat should be accomplished through muscle building exercises under guidance from a trainer or medical professional. Just like endomorphs and mesomorphs, ectomorphs should eat healthy and balanced diets that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, while reducing intake of junk foods.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Vacation Diet Tips

We all start summer with a renewed desire to exercise, eat well and enjoy the outdoors. But along with summer comes summer vacation, and that desire suddenly is pushed aside with eating out, little time to exercise and long days of traveling. The best thing to remember before vacation is to remind yourself of all the hard work you put in before. As much as vacation is a time to enjoy and relax, don't let those hours spent in the gym go to waste. Daphne Oz, Dr. Oz's daughter, gave some fabulous tips on how to get the most fun and health out of your vacations!

1. Tailor Your Exercise: find ways to make your exercise new. You are going to a new place, so make the most of it! If there are places to go rock climbing, hiking, swimming in the ocean or outdoor classes, look at those as opportunities to try something new and get your exercise in for the day.
2. Eat Off the Land: Whenever you're traveling somewhere with beautiful, fresh produce, try sticking to "real" foods that haven't been overly processed or slathered in sauce. Not only will these whole foods be some of the freshest and most vibrant flavors around, they will help you to crowd out some of the less healthy alternatives
3. Get Cultured: Eat plenty of yogurt while on vacation. This will ensure you have a healthy balance of intestinal flora to help fend off invading bacteria from the food or environment in a new place
4. Sample the Local Flavor: try new foods that you don't get at home. More than likely these foods will be quite exotic, which will allow you to only want small portions :)
5. Fiber Up: Do you routinely experience "traveler's constipation"? It's probably a result of too little fiber and water intake. To make sure everything flows smoothly, travel with fiber supplements and to be sure to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water every day
6. Be Aware of the Time: Eating too late can really upset your digestive system and your metabolism. Make sure to plan to eat your last meal several hours before bed. If it ends up you can't go out until late, then make sure your portions are small...opt for appetizer portions instead of a full meal!
7. Eat Carbs Early: To minimize the weight gain from simple carbs, try to eat them earlier in the day. This gives your body a chance to use up the sugar (calories) they offer up to your blood stream so readily. Try to skip bread and other simple carbs at dinner and then enjoy your pastry again in the morning, guilt-free!
8. Take in the Sights: If you have the opportunity to go to fairs, farmers markets or hiking in beautiful rain forest, take it! The walking will help you get in your exercise, and getting fresh food is always better than anything else.
9. Pack the Right Clothes: This includes the right shoes. If you don't have clothes to sweat in or shoes to walk in, chances are you won't make time for any physical activity. Prepare for exercise just like you pack for any other activity.
10. Relax!: It's important to not let yourself go, but it is vacation. Make sure you enjoy it and don't push yourself too hard, or else your motivation will be gone when you get home.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Swim Off the Pounds

We all know that in order to lose weight we have to create a calorie deficit. The great thing is, there are many ways to do that! In general, the best way to get the most out of the time you spend exercising is doing things that require the bigger muscles in your body to work. Physical exercise, particularly cardiovascular work that makes your heart beat faster and that utilizes the large muscles of the body, is recommended to help you create a greater daily calorie burn. U.S. Masters Swimming notes that swimming is a fun, healthy and challenging form of exercise appropriate for all fitness and experience levels.

 Here are some advantages of hitting the pool for your daily work out:  
Calorie Burn - Swimming uses lots of muscles in your body, including the major muscles, so you burn a lot while swimming laps
Low Impact - This is especially nice for people with joint problems or a recent injury. You don't have to stop exercising all together if you get hurt! Swim gentle laps or walk laps in the pool while moving your arms. The water reduces stress on joints.
Builds Lean Muscle Mass - Water provides 12 to 14% more resistance than air. The act of swimming -- kicking and moving your arms against the water's resistance -- helps build lean muscle mass and improves overall body composition. Adding kickboards to your swim can help increase muscle gain as well!

It's also a great activity to do with kids or friends! You can take water aerobic classes if laps is too difficult to start out with. Just mix up the water work out, and you'll be sweating even though you feel cool! So next time you are trying to mix up your work out, hit the pool! You'll be happy you did

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Today I Will Make a Difference

Although many people measure health by how much you exercise and what you eat, an overall healthy lifestyle involved balance between the mind, body and spirit. One of the best ways to improve your life and your mood is to serve people, and to make an effort to do something good today. Read this fabulous quote, and decide to make a difference. It will bless your life and the lives of people around you!

"Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a difference.
I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.
I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It's OK to stumble...I will get up. It's OK to fail...I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.
I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.
Today I will make a difference."

Max Lucado

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Elliptical Tips

Ellipticals are a great option for days off for runners, or for anyone who wants a good workout and calorie burner, but running isn't really for them. There are certain ways to enhance your workout on the elliptical, and here are some tips to make your workout better than ever!

Start and End Slowly
Though you may have all the energy in the world to project toward your elliptical workout, start and end slowly. When you begin on the elliptical, start at a slow and steady pace, then increase your speed in increments. When your muscles feel warmed up, it's time to kick up your workout for most of the duration. When you're three to five minutes away from concluding your workout, start going more slowly until your heart rate is at a lower level. This ensures too much stress isn't placed on your heart as you adjust from the elliptical machine to the rest of your workout, or as you leave the gym.

Target Problem Areas
The elliptical machine can work many different muscle groups. You just have to know how to use the machine properly. If your buttocks are your problem area, pressing back on your heels with the elliptical machine can help to tone the thighs. If you're hoping to build muscle in your legs, particularly your quadriceps, propelling forward with your toes can help.

Move In Reverse
Although you may be accustomed to the forward motion of an elliptical motion, you can reverse the circular motion of an elliptical machine. This means you can work different muscle groups, such as the hamstrings, when performing your exercise. Change your workout by moving forward for five minutes, then moving in reverse for five minutes, and continuing throughout your routine.

Don't Neglect Your Arms
Elliptical machines can have moving arms that allow you to adjust resistance--or sometimes they don't. Regardless, you can use your arms to enhance your workout. If you do have moving arms, throw your body into each. Push with your biceps when moving forward, then pull with your triceps to boost your arm muscles. If your elliptical doesn't have moving handles, go hands-free, according to You can place your hands on your hips while continuing on the elliptical, which can enhance your balance and provide a greater workout for your abdominal and back muscles.
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