How to Cure a Cold in a Day (or Two)

ktadmin Posted in Control, Fitness, Recipes and Health Facts,Tags: , , ,
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Mid-February I was scheduled to have surgery.  A few days before the surgery, 3 days to be exact, I came down with a terrible head cold.  Two days before surgery I was miserable, the doctor said we would probably have to reschedule if I wasn’t better and I saw no way that was going to happen.  However I was very determined not to reschedule, I was stronger than any cold!  FIrst thing I did was hit the cold with a strict regiment of Sudafed (the good kind), Robitussin and Tylenol, in addition I was drinking 3-4 16 oz glasses of fluid an hour, plus Airborne several times a day.  Since my stomach was fine, I could eat so I consumed the hottest, spiciest food I could get.  It was painful but amazingly helpful for the congestion!

Basically I created what I like to call a hostile work environment for whatever bug had taken up residence in my body.  To my wonders, it worked.  Less than a day and a half after I began my super cold regiment I had surgery with just a tinge of remaining congestion, which surgery seemed to clear up, probably from the oxygen and anaesthesia.  From past experience I have no doubt that if I had not been so aggressive my surgery would have been rescheduled.  Was it the regiment, a sort lived cold or just dumb luck?  Guess I won’t know for sure until the next time I get a cold, though I am in no hurry to find out!

Here are some of the resources I found to help me come up with my cold remedy regiment:

Get Rid of a Cold Naturally Fast
How to beat a cold in 24 hours
10 remedies that do not treat a cold
Cold Remedies

Here are two other neat health tricks that helped me out:

Clear Nose Congestion

While Sudafed works it isn’t always practical, especially at night.  Here’s an easier, quicker, and cheaper remedy to relieve sinus pressure:  Alternate thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then pressing between your eyebrows with one finger. Basically you are massaging or rocking the vomer bone in your nasal passage back and forth which helps loosen and breaks up your congestion.  It takes about 20 seconds for your congestion to start to drain and you to feel some relief.

Cure a Tickling Throat

A healthy remedy for that tickle in your throat that can cause you to cough and gag.  There is a better way to scratch your throat itch other than a lozenges:  Scratch your ear!  That’s right scratching your ear creates a nerve reflex in your throat that can relieve the tickle causing muscle spasm.

As always, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, drink plenty, get plenty of sleep, exercise, eat healthy; basically live a healthy lifestyle, this is the best way to prevent a cold.  But when the inevitable happens, hope these help you as much as they have helped me.

Nutritional Facts…?

ktadmin Posted in Diet, Fun Stuff, Recipes and Health Facts,Tags: , , , ,
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For those of you who watch what you eat, here’s the final word on nutrition and health. It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans…

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION:
Eat and drink what you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Relax, it’s Saturday…

The Reality of Dieting

ktadmin Posted in Diet, Fitness, Recipes and Health Facts, Video,Tags: , ,
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At some point in our lives we all have to watch our weight.  I was blessed with a great metabolism and could literally eat anything for most of my life.  Time, work and life have slowly changed that and in doing so changed how I view food.  For some people this is a struggle they have for most of their life.  It is also a problem that women struggle with more than men due to the way our bodies differ.  Regardless of when or how you begin to “watch your weight” or what your motivation is, the struggle is the same for all of us.

I for one do not diet.  Mostly I do not think it is necessary unless there are underlying medical conditions like diabetes.  By diet, I mean eating special foods or eliminating certain foods (aside from junk food).  I do believe in portion control, something most of us know nothing about.  We eat like Lions, meaning we gorge ourselves until we can not eat any more, for guys this is often a rite of passage.  Women do this too, the proof (sorry ladies) is easiest seen in pregnant women who love to tell everyone they are eating for two, even though the second person is the size of a quarter…

Often we eat when we are thirsty because we cannot tell the difference between thirst and hunger.  A good tip is to have a glass of water the next time you are hunger and then wait a little bit, you might just forget you are hungry!  So those are my big tips, drink water and eat smaller portions.

Since I have never had a weight problem and do not consider myself an expert I thought it a good idea to include a different perspective.  Enter, Marina Kamen.  I have never met Marina, though I have exchanged a few emails with her manager and found her video interview a refreshing perspective.  Marina is a normal person.  What I mean by that is she isn’t so rich that she has people cook for her, take care of her kids, clean her house, etc.  She is normal, like us.  She has also overcome a weight problem and stayed in incredible shape.  But don’t take my word for it listen her, here, this is one of three segments but it says a lot I think everyone can relate to.

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dt3C1IPcTg[/tube]

Refreshing, no?  This is why I do not diet, plus life is to short to feel guilty all the time! It boils down to the basics: Eat less, burn more.  Eat to live, instead of living to eat.  Weight control is just basic math, addition (eating) and subtraction (exercise).  SO don’t only practice your Martial Arts at the Dojo, practice at home too!  Those are my thoughts for now, hope you found something useful!  Let me know if you did.

You can find out more about Marina Kamen and her products here.

Crazy Diets – more than weight loss

ktadmin Posted in Diet, Fitness, Recipes and Health Facts,Tags: , , ,
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We live in an instant gratification world where we rarely have to wait for anything, so why should weight loss be any different?  For those who want instant results they are prone to believe anything, hence the success of Crazy Diets that promise fast results.  Want to shed some extra pounds quickly?  Bad idea for your health but you may get the figure you need for that special event or date.  To many of us look for short term gains.  Short term gains usually are very costly in the long term.  Look at the economy!  Dieting is no different.  Any diet that promises instant, quick or fast results is probably a bad idea.  Remember the Cabbage diet?  Or the Steak diet?  Nothing to the extreme is a good thing.  True dieting takes time, commitment and desire, often they also require you change the way you view hunger and food.  Do you eat to live or live to eat?  The answer is important to understanding yourself and finding a way to manage your weight.

At some point most of us live to eat.  The reasons are plentiful why we do this, age, boredom, stress, complacency, excuses, self-pity, frustration, or simply because you love to!  Did you notice how most of the reasons in that list were… negative?  When we are involved in something we enjoy we tend to forget we are hungry.  Funny isn’t it?  Most hunger stems from two things, the first is boredom/stress the second is dehydration.  You see the human body cannot (has a hard time) distinguish between hunger and thrist.  So your first step should be to have a glass of water the next time you feel you *have to* eat something.  If you are still hungry (15-20 minutes later) then you probably should eat something.

Moderation.  We have all heard ‘everything in moderation’ and while there is some truth to that it seems, well like a load of garbage.  Yes, yes I understand how it intended but how do people use it?  People use it as an excuse for that next candy bar or piece of cake.  “Well I am only having a little…” which often turns into a relative statement.  The piece of cake was small “relative to the entire cake”!  What I am saying is that moderation statement can to often be used as an excuse to ‘cheat’.  How quickly would we attain things in life if everything was done in moderation?  That 1500 mile drive might take 5 days!  How long would it take you to get your Black Belt?!  Life is filled with excess, we work to much and play to hard, but think about what you remember?  Do you remember the moderate times or the extreme times?  Do you remember that refreshing 1 mile run or do you remember that sense of exhaustion and triumph from your first 7 mile run?  We humans live for those extreme moments.  But there is safety to consider.  Yes it is extreme to base jump without a parachute but also incredible stupid and short sighted!  If we are going to get into shape we want to push our limits without causing damage that will prevent us from continuing.  As a martial artist our training teaches us to push our limits, to go farther and do more then we thought we were capable of, getting in shape is no different.  Yes I am for safety and I am still vehemently opposed to fast/fad/crazy diet techniques but let us keep the whole moderation thing in check.  Can an alcoholic moderate their way to sobriety, one drink a day Johnnie!  Similarly, is it so any easy to stop at one Oreo when there is a whole bag sitting there?  For many the answer is no, because two or three is still considered moderation.  The question is why?  For many people, myself included, it is because we never learned portion control.  Our access to food is to easy, to convenient.  We are very fortunate but that fortune has to some extent turned into a problem.

Health before moderation.  Like the ‘Common Cold’, there is no ‘Miracle’ diet that will help you transform your body.  If there were we would all be athletes, fitness instructors, and swimsuit models!  Some of us are fortunate to be born with good genes that predispose us to “thinness”  some are not.  Regardless of your body shape or size there is your health to consider.  The first thing you need to do is get the magazine images out of your head, that is not real and not realistic for normal people (all not normal people should seek a different blog, this blog is for normal people with lives).  People tend to put the cart before the horse, they are concerned with the image in the mirror, they should be concerned with how they feel.  Perhaps that is because we use the term “Getting into Shape”.  First set a non-weight specific goal for yourself, like run a mile or climb 5 flights of stairs without getting winded.  If you do this the weight will take care of itself.  Watching your weight will lead to overeating, you will get discouraged and go back to your old ways doing this, you will set yourself up to fail.  Often when you start working out you will gain weight.  Yes, because your body has a memory and when you increase your activity and decrease your eating your body thinks…”Oh My God!  We aren’t getting enough to meet the demand!!”  That is the game plan but your body doesn’t get it right away.  You are also prone to retain water at first again because your body thinks there is a need.  After a few days or more your body will realize you have enough food and water and go back to doing its job and stop interfering.

Wow, I’ve gone off track here but hopefully it has been beneficial.  Back to Fad diets.  In case you still aren’t convinced… Using Fad diets can actually make you gain weight.  Read that last paragraph again, that’s right because your body thinks you are starving and will want to store up some fat in case it happens again.  Moreover fad diets tend to mess up your metabolism.  Certain fad diets can have adverse effects on almost every organ in your body, especially your heart and nervous system.   Why?  Because many starve your body of the nutrients it gets from a normal, well balanced diet.  Fad diets can lead to nutritional imbalances (like anemia, etc.), Electrolyte disorders, increased risk of disease, adverse effects on the nervous system, metabolism, etc..   For those of you who repeatedly turn to fad diets your oscillating weight (repetitive cycles of weight gain and weight loss followed by weight gain and) usually has a negative impact on overall longterm health.  Literature shows a 70% increase risk of heart disease and negative effect on long-term metabolism.  Women are also at risk of osteoporosis through lower intake of dietary calcium.  Frequent events of oscillating weight can have similar effects as eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia.  The way to avert these negative health effect is *duration*.  You have to stick to it and improve your health (and in the process your weight) for the duration.  No moderation there!

The science behind Fad diets are pretty simple, they are usually centered on increased fat and protein consumption while significantly reducing or completely cutting out carbohydrates.  The lack or reduced carbohydrates bring about rapid weight loss.  This rapid weight reduction is due to the loss of water in stored glycogen is only temporary.  Your fats are still present and when you stop the fad diet, your body regains the water it lost.  Weight is put back on as fast as it was lost.  We need carbohydrates as they are a major source of energy for work.  Fad diets seek to remove that source so your body will start using stored fat, breaking it down.  This sounds like a great way to get rid of excess fat but it is not.  Without carbohydrates fats cannot be completely oxidized and put to work for your body.

Another unspoken danger of fad diets is muscle loss.  When you starve (even perceived) your body the last thing it consumes is your fat.  If you are not actively making muscle that means that your body will consume muscle before fat!  In a previous article I spoke to the importance of creating muscle to burn fat.  Building muscle will turn consumption more quickly to the fat you wish to lose.  Here is where that word moderation comes into play.  You need to get your body adjusted to the new life style you are creating.  You do not want to throw your body into shock!  Ease into at a reasonable pace, moderate your progress in an honest fashion to keep yourself moving forward.  For many I highly recommend seeking professional help in the form of a good Person Trainer…or Sensei!

Keep reading and as always… Train Hard, Stay Safe and Have Fun!


Warning!  Before starting a diet you should first have a complete medical examination (check-up), and according to the results, we follow a diet and exercise plan that meets our needs.

Crazy Cereal

ktadmin Posted in For Kids, Fun Stuff, Products, Recipes and Health Facts,Tags: , , ,
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When you go to the grocery store and stand in the cereal isle you can’t help but think…I must be crazy!  Well you just might be right but not because of the ridiculously high price of cereal or the low nutritional value of most cereals or even the sugar content.  No it turns out you/we might actually be crazy!  You see on February 19, 1906 William Kellogg established the Battle Creek Toasted Cornflake Company, selling breakfast cereals.  But you might be crazy because he originally developed as a health food for psychiatric patients!!  Something to think about the next time you hear…a balanced breakfast!

10 Minutes to Get in Shape!

ktadmin Posted in Diet, Fitness, Recipes and Health Facts, Technique,Tags: , , , , ,
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We all have busy schedules and to be honest there often isn’t enough time in the day to get a good workout in.  All the exercise programs, DVDs and clubs make it sound so easy, well honestly when it is your job it is easy!  But I am assuming most of us are not getting paid to workout and stay in shape!!  So what is a busy person with a real life to do?  How are you supposed to go to work, take care of the kids, clean the house, cook the meals, shop for the essentials, do the laundry, find a few minutes to relax, and still find the time to workout and get in shape?!

Well I am tired just thinking of all those mundane chores that need to be done, but that is part of the solution…stop thinking!  Seriously you are wasting valuable energy thinking about the daunting list of tasks you need to attend to.  Baby Steps.  Now that your mind is clear, you should be able to find roughly extra ten minutes you use to spend thinking (worrying) about all your responsibilities.  What to do with that ten minutes?

Get in Shape of course!  In ten minutes?  Yes, it is your first step towards getting in shape.  It is best if you can use do your ten minutes first thing in the morning, before the demands of the day start to give you excuses for not having ten minutes!

Ten minutes of exercise per day can get rid of extra pounds, but you have to be committed to giving ten minutes per day (every day) for three months.  Doing this will yield stronger muscles, weight loss and a more relaxed body.  Ten minutes a day can get rid of those extra pounds you are carrying.

Remember you have to do this for three months, not just a week or two.

The first thing you want to do is warm your body up.  Do this by performing 4 minutes of cardiovascular exercises.  (Run/Walk fast on treadmill, run in place, briskly climb the stairs, stationary bike, jumping jacks, jump rope, etc).

Now that your body is warmed up you will perform 3 minutes of strength exercises.

Here you want to do push-ups (wall push-ups for the beginner), squats, lunges, arm squats (hands on the seat of a chair, feet on another chair, lower yourself and then back up).  Whatever exercises you choose should give work to the various areas of your body want to target.  These need to be resistance based exercises, if you have weights you can use them during this 3 minute period.

We are now 7 minutes in to our ten minute workout!

Next we will spend 2 minutes working on your abdominals and core muscle groups.

Here you can do sit-ups, planks, upward leg lifts (lying on your back).  Again the exercises you choose are fine just make they focus on your abs and core muscle groups.

One minute left and we can get back to our busy lives!  We will spend this last minute stretching and breathing, yes stretching and breathing!

Perform deep breathing exercises while you stretch while sitting on the floor.  With you legs spread, your back straight and arched, stretch your arms above your head, palms up.  Next stretch your arms, finger pointed directly in front of you.  Now stretch down the length of each leg reaching as far as you can.  Finally stretch your arms, fingers interlocked, behind you raising your arms as far as is comfortable.  Remember to take deep slow cleansing breaths with each stretch.  Proper breathing increases the blood flow thereby helping in the remove of the fat and toxins your exercise just released.

That’s it, you are done.  Now you can start your day feeling invigorated, stress free and relaxed. Now all those things you needed to do also don’t seem so daunting.  Stay Safe and Have Fun.

Burning Stomach Fat – Work that Core

ktadmin Posted in Fitness, Recipes and Health Facts, Technique, Training notes,Tags: , , , , ,
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There are many exercises we can employ to help us burn fat, but as we discussed in this previous post we need to build muscle if we really want to burn those fat cells off!  Many people think they need to work their abdominals to get their six-pack abs but the forget the curtain of fat that is sitting in front of their stomach muscles.  We need to strengthen our whole body, not just our abdominals and in the process of getting stronger we will be reducing that padding that is hiding our six-pack abs.  As a Martial Artist you need to make sure you are also strengthening the muscles supporting your abdominals, this will give you more power and help you to better “take a hit”.

Here are a couple exercises to get us started as we work into a stronger body.

Bicycle Crunch:

This exercise like so many is all about having the proper form.  Bicycle crunches were deemed the best ab exercise by the San Diego State University.  This exercise will work all the muscles in your abdomen including those supporting your six-pack.

  • Start by lying on your back on the floor or mat
  • Lie on your back with knees bent and calves parallel to the floor
  • Cup your ears loosely with your hands
  • Move your legs in a bicycle motion (elbows to opposite knees)
  • Keep your heels four inches off the floor
  • Every knee touch equals one repetition

Don’t try to do these really fast, keep a steady pace, remember you will only be cheating yourself.  Remember to alternate sides so you get a balanced workout.

It is important that you do not pull your head forward as this can cause injury or stress to your neck. Notice in the image that the hands are not interlocked, they are touching the side of the head to prevent you from accidentally pulling on your neck.  You’ll feel this one working right away.


This next one always makes me smile because it reminds me of a toddler throwing a tantrum!  When I was first introduced to this exercise I have to admit to mocking the value of this exercise, then I tried it…I’ve been a believe ever since!

Alternating Superman:

This exercise gets its name from the initial position because you lie on the ground like Superman flying in the air, minus the cape (hopefully).  Now you are ready to start…

  • Lying face down on a mat with your arms stretched above your head (like superman)
  • Raise your right arm and left leg about 5-6 inches off the ground (or as far as you comfortably can).
  • Hold for 3-15 seconds and relax.
  • Repeat with the opposite arm and leg.

Notice that you keep your head down during this exercise. Do not raise your head and look up, this will potentially injure or strain your neck.

If you find this to difficult you can modify this exercise by doing it on all fours (knees and hands).  From this position raise your opposite arm and leg out as straight as possible.  You should form a straight line from foot to hand.  Eventually you will get strong enough and can switch to the lying position.  As the exercise becomes easier, increase the amount of time you hold the position until you reach 60 seconds.

This one is great for your abs and your lower back.  While this is easier on your lower back then some exercises, if you have back problems start slow and see how your body handles it.


Keep reading as I will be posting more exercises to help you build muscles and burn fat.

Some of these exercises to reduce abdominal fat may make you wish that you had never set out to learn how to burn stomach fat in the first place, but the results will make it all worth it in the end!

Please check with your doctor before beginning any health and fitness program.

The Real World is Outside…

ktadmin Posted in Fitness, Fun Stuff, Products, Recipes and Health Facts,Tags: , , , ,
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Some times we need a reminder to be part of the real world…

To many of us are so connected (via technology) that we are disconnected from the real world and real world experiences.  While I love my computer and video games it disturbs me when I hear people replacing legitimate activities like going to the gym or a karate class for playing on the Wii, PS3 or xBox!  Yes they do increase activity though the way most people use them they are not a form of exercise.  And don’t even get me started on texting over having a real conversation!!  Don’t forget there is a real world out there, despite what your computer or video commercials may tell you.

True Enjoyment

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Diet, Fitness, Quotes, Recipes and Health Facts, State of Mind,Tags: , , ,
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“True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body;
the two are united.”
Alexander Von Humboldt

Given the recent posts on diet and exercise I thought I should find an appropriate quote to exercise your mind as well.  As a Martial Arts student you should have figured out by now that your mind and your body are connected.  Check, that was easy.  But which is stronger?  I mean can your mind get you off the couch and make you exercise?  Can your mind stop you from eating those fatty brownies your co-worker brought to work?  If not then your mind and body are not on the same page.  Think about that.  Your mind isn’t in control.  Isn’t that one of the first lessons you learn when you become a Martial Arts student?  That your mind is not in control of your body.  In this case your body is the spoiled child who just wants what he/she wants!  Give me those brownies…or else!!  Because your mind is not in control, your body wins, eat the brownie.  Oh, your mind thinks it’s in control!  You are an adult, you can eat what you want, you are hungry, you are stressed, you will exercise this off later, and the seductive list of excuses goes on and on…  They are excuses that make your mind feel better for letting your body run the show.  Your mind is deluding itself so it doesn’t have to face reality, it isn’t in control!

Luckily we Martial Artists learn to control our bodies, to master them, to help the mind to take control.  So prove it, find true enjoyment by uniting the two with the mind in control and the body in motion…exercising!

As always have fun, stay safe and be well.

Burn That Stomach Fat!

ktadmin Posted in Diet, Fitness, Questions, Recipes and Health Facts, Training notes,Tags: , , ,
4

No Surgery, No Pills Necessary!

The one thing that most people don’t know is that even if you can’t see them, most people have a six-pack under that cover.  The fat cells lay on top of your stomach muscles.  That isn’t to say that, that fat layer doesn’t weaken you or your abdominals.  But it means if you get that fat layer out of the way, everyone will be able to see your tight abs!  Hmmm, so what is the super secret recipe for getting that fat free belly?  Simple: first, cut down on fatty foods you consume, way down, and secondly, exercise to force your body to burn some of the that energy reserve you are carrying around.  Funny how an energy reserve can become an energy drain!  I guess to much of anything is bad.  Notice in that last sentence I said “Simple”.  That is because the solution is easy, it is the implementation that gives people the most trouble!

It starts with a thought, an image really, in your mind of what you want to accomplish.  Visualizing is very important to helping you stay focused and committed, we humans tend to have short attention spans, visualizing helps.  Of course you would not be reading this if you weren’t ready to commit, so let’s get started.  While visualization will help you stay committed one thing helps more then all the others, having fun.  No one likes a chore but everyone loves to have fun!  So let’s have some fun!!

We are going to cut down our intake of fatty foods and increase our exercise.  The type of exercise we engage in is very important.  We can easily get on the treadmill or eliptical for hours on end and never loose that belly fat (or any other fat for that matter).  The reason for that is those are cardio exercises and while they do burn calories, they are not great for building muscles.  If you want to burn fat, you need to build muscles.  The way our bodies work, muscles burn fat.  Given this fact, the more muscles you work and build the more fat you will burn and the faster you will see results.

Back to having fun… Since it is important to build muscles it is important to find fun activities to accomplish that.  Some exercises you will just have to learn to enjoy.  Experience has taught me that learning to do an exercise correctly makes doing it more enjoyable and definitely more rewarding.  Most of the time we dread exercise because we are not or don’t feel we are in good enough shape.  Unfortunately that mindset will keep you from achieving your goals.  To combat that, start out slowly and if possible with some professional assistance so you learn to proper technique for the various exercises you will need to do.  You don’t need to hire a professional consultant there are plenty of resources on-line, including here on this blog.

Variety is the spice of life…and Life requires balance.  As a Martial Artist balance has special meaning from both practical and philosophical perspectives.  When we are striving to get into shape we also need balance, in our diet and in our activities.  The Martial Arts provides a nice mixture of strength and cardio exercises but I always encourage my students to incorporate additional strength and cardio exercises outside of class.  While many a Martial Artist gets obsessed with their training it is good to add other fun activities like swimming or racquetball.  You will find that doing this keeps you more active, helps your body build different muscles and as a result burn more fat!  Even before you begin to notice your weight loss and diminishing layers of fat, your body will be getting stronger and more agile.  By the time you do notice the benefits of your work you will begin to find new motivation!

I want to stress again the two simple rules, improve your dietary intake and build muscles.  That is it.  I have know a lot of people who workout extensively yet never seem to reduce their weight or attain their goals.  90 percent of the time this is due to the simple fact that they do not understand those two rules.  They feel simply increasing activity (treadmill, etc) will get the “in shape”, they don’t realize or don’t take it to the next step and work on building muscle which will burn the fat.  Don’t make that mistake.  It is difficult but like anything if you stick with it for long enough it will become a part of your life and easy to continue.  Above all have fun (so you don’t get bored), take your time (it is a long race) and stay safe by doing things right (proper technique).

As you begin to cut down on the fats in your diet and exercise you should see some immediate results, these will slow or become less noticeable as you continue your training, don’t get discouraged.  Our bodies heal from the inside, out and part of this process is repairing the damage done by an unhealthy lifestyle.  Keep that in mind when you feel that you are not making any progress.  Good Luck and please let us know how you are doing in the comments!

I’ll post some exercises that will help build muscle and burn that fat soon so stay tuned and read often.