Posts Tagged ‘Fitness’

Put a little Jump in it…

ktadmin Posted in Fitness, Technique, Training notes,Tags: , ,
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Just put a little Jump Rope in your workout today…Stamina, Strength and Jump Strength!

 

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.

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.

FitDeck Playing Cards for Combat Sports and more

ktadmin Posted in Fitness, Products, Training notes,Tags: , , , ,
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I came across these really cool fitness cue cards.  They are simple to use and give a concise description and visual representation of each exercise.  Here is an example the “Firefighter Lunge with a Twist” card:

firefighter lunge with a twistEveryone knows how fond I am of Lunges as a training tool, so you can look forward to these!!

With fitness card (FitDeck) for almost every application from Prenatal to Combat Sports and Yoga to Pilates, there is a training aid for everyone!  With most decks costing around $15.00 this is truly a valuable addition to your training routine.

For all you Martial Artists, check out the FitDeck for Combat Sports

Learn more and find the deck that is perfect for you at www.fitdeck.com

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.

Cholesterol – The Unseen Enemy

ktadmin Posted in Articles of Interest, Diet, Fitness, Recipes and Health Facts,Tags: , , ,
0

High Cholesterol runs in my family so I am always (read: try to) watching what I eat.  I also get tested every year or so, to see how I am doing.  The last test I had showed a 8 point increase over 2 years, still in the healthy range, however, near the top of where my levels should be for my age/gender.  Basically I take it seriously but not so seriously that I don’t enjoy what I eat.  I’ve been cut open enough times to understand that if it can be avoided it should!  If you don’t believe me, please take my word for it.  With that in mind you can imagine my surprise when my brother-in-law (visiting from out of state) announced that his Cholesterol level was around …700!  What can I say, it surprised me he had a pulse!!

That is when I decided to write this article, not as an expert (I am not), but from my practical experience.  I do not take medication and will resist taking any for as long as possible.  I am not adverse to medication but do believe less is better.  So I focus on natural ways to lower cholesterol, my doctor may not agree with me and wish he could get the commission from the prescription, but I have at the least maintained my levels through personal effort.  I also realize every one’s body chemistry if different and you should listen to your doctor and yourself, not me.  You need to understand the differences between the good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol, I leave that up to you.  But if you find a few useful tips here, my effort is not wasted.

It is important to note that cholesterol is actually necessary for several very critical functions in the body.  However, excess cholesterol in the blood stream can be deposited in arteries and can cause plaque formation as well as harden arteries. Heart disease, heart attack and stroke may then result.

How do you reduce your Cholesterol naturally?  Basically you have to alter your lifestyle and diet.

Is it easy? Not always.

First of all, you need to maintain a healthy body weight.  While thin people can have unhealthy levels of cholesterol being overweight usually indicates an unhealthy lifestyle (to much food not enough activity).  Being overweight raises your LDL (bad) levels and lowers your HDL (good) levels.  That is why the first step to lowering your cholesterol is to loose weight.  Often this only requires a change in the foods you ingest.  The side benefit of this is you will feel better and have more energy!

There it is, Step One: Get to and Maintain a Healthy Weight.

Weight loss in general requires one thing, burning more calories then you consume.  The fastest way to lose weight is to reduce your calories and increase your level of exercise.  What is interesting about this process is the more you exercise the less hungry you will be…sound ridiculous but unless you are starving yourself it’s true!  Junk food can be quiet addictive (and bad for your cholesterol levels) so you may not feel this is true immediately, but stick with it and you will.

We need exercise for a lot of reasons, mostly we humans were not meant to be sedentary.  Like it or not you need to move around and get some exercise!  Exercise expends energy and pushes toxins out of your body, but it also forces your body to create more HDL (good) and convert/burn some of that bad cholesterol (LDL) into energy.  Imagine that.  As a Martial Artist, exercise also lubricates your joints, improves your flexibility and  heightens your awareness…sparring anyone?

The rule of thumb is a minimum of moderate exercise of about 30 minutes three to five times per week.  This will improve not only your cholesterol levels but will improve your heart health.  So many benefits!

Here is a no-brainer, stop smoking.  Smoking is stupid so you should stop.  Smoking is bad for you, and stupid, so you should stop.  Smoking increases LDL (bad) cholesterol, and it is stupid, so you should stop.  If you are still smoking, you are stupid…and, why are your reading this?!?

You are now exercising (or thinking about it) so how should you change your diet?

Obviously our diet is important to any aspect of our health.  To coin an old programming saying: Garbage In, Garbage Out.  However that doesn’t accurately depict the human body, probably more accurate would be: Garbage In, Garbage Stays…  If we consume a lot of cholesterol then our bodies are going to retain a lot of cholesterol.  Therefore it is critical to couple diet management with exercise.

There are different dietary factors affecting your body’s cholesterol stores:

Soluble Fiber binds to cholesterol and removes it from your body, making it a great way to naturally lower your cholesterol.  Soluble fiber is found in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.  Basically eating natural foods is better…duh!

Omega-3 Fatty Acids can also lower cholesterol levels, these can be found in flax seeds and flax seed oil as well as cold fish such as tuna, sardines, salmon, herring, and mackerel.  An interesting note about flax seed oil, it is one of the few oils that does not change it’s molecular make up when heated!  Many oils change when heated thereby reducing or eliminating their beneficial properties.  Olive Oil is another great oil which not only is thought to reduce cholesterol but has antioxidant properties as well.

In case you didn’t get the memo:  Saturated and trans fats are bad for you, as they can raise your total cholesterol.  You can determine if a product has trans fats by reading the label.  Most will identify trans fat in the percentage area, however, even if they say 0%, if they contain partially hydrogenated anything, they contain trans fat!  Basically most processed food contains trans fat, store bought cookies/cakes/etc.  Again natural and home made is better!  Saturated fats are found in meats and some oils, such as red meats, processed meats and poultry skin.

If you have a cholesterol problem you should also avoid dairy products, fried foods and surprising to most, some seafood, especially shell fish.

Well that pretty much seems to rule out most available foods that we tend to enjoy…!  Not true, unless you exist on Devil Dogs and Yoohoo!

Basically I go back to my earlier comment, eat (and cook with) more natural foods.  Don’t buy a box of cookies, make them from scratch.  I actually think it is cheaper to do that now given rising costs.  Cut the recipe’s sugar in half, don’t use margarine, substitute apple sauce for butter/margarine.  I am sure you can find many more tips via google.

To summarize the basics:

  • Get up and moving…exercise!
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Avoid junk foods
  • Avoid/reduce dairy products
  • Avoid all trans fats
  • Eat more natural foods

Easy right?  It actually is, the hard part is the change in behavior and mind-set that it requires.  Like all change it takes some work and effort.  However, I have never heard of denial lowering any one’s cholesterol…

Some people will go to extremes and become vegetarians (not that there is anything wrong with that!) personally I like meat to much for that and it really isn’t necessary.  There are also some herbs (garlic, green tea, psyllium, red yeast rice) that can also help in lowering your cholesterol, but there is no magic potion or secret trick regardless of what you may read online.  Beware of snake oil salesmen/women .

Any gains you will make in lowering your cholesterol by changing your diet are normally made within 3-6 months.  Aside from that you need to listen to your doctor and if necessary take a prescription drug to aid in your fight to lower your cholesterol.  Regardless there is no substitute for a healthy lifestyle and it is never to late to change your ways and start living a healthy life style.

Good luck.

Goals & Resolutions

ktadmin Posted in Awareness, Diet, Events & Holidays, Fitness, Recipes and Health Facts, State of Mind, Training notes,Tags: , , , ,
0

A few days ago most of us made some type of resolution for the new year.  You may not admit it to anyone but it is there in the back of your mind, something you’d like to change or do different this year.  Call them Goals or Resolutions they equate to the same thing, a struggle with yourself, often a battle of endurance which requires willpower!  The most common resolutions focus on our personal selves, weight loss, getting into shape, attaining our next belt, other involve our careers or station in life, we will focus on the former here but what we will look at applies to both.  The problem with the resolutions most of us make is, they require hard work and effort.  Let’s face it if they didn’t we wouldn’t need things called resolutions or goals!

I don’t normally go in for a bunch of motivational gimmicks but I found this one that actually makes sense, SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely
    (Get more in-depth details about Smart Goals here)

Basically this boils down a combination of “keep it simple stupid” and “being realistic and truthful”.  You can’t change if you set unrealistic goals, like I am going to loose 50 lbs next week, that is setting yourself up for failure, which if simply an excuse not to try.  I have known so many people who take this path, actually everyone takes this path eventually if they are not truthful with themselves.  We can learn a lot from addicts in this regard since it is easier to deny the problem then to deal with the problem.

So how do we get on track with our diet and fitness resolutions?  First keep reading this blog!  Secondly take the baby step method, I remember watching this in the old movie “What About Bob”.  You know what, it makes sense.  Break your bigger goal into achievable smaller goals, take small steps.  It may take longer to achieve your goal but the results will be lasting.  Nothing leads to short gains and long term losses then fad diets and an excessive ‘must have it now’ mentality.  The catch here is to make the goals achievable but useful, don’t be so easy on yourself that you aren’t moving towards your goal!  If you are trying to lose weight and you didn’t lose any last week, don’t have the attitude, “well at least I didn’t gain any!”  If you do, you will be saying “well at least I only gained a pound this week” before you know it.  Be honest with yourself but not easy!  This is training, no wimps allowed!!

I will leave you with this interesting study at the University of Hertfordshire which showed that the people most successful at keeping their New Year’s Resolutions did at least three of the following things:

  • broke their goal into smaller steps
  • rewarded themselves when they achieved one of these
  • told their friends about their goals
  • focused on the benefits of success
  • kept a diary of their progress.

There you have it, simple advice that will hopefully help you achieve your goals, regardless of when you set them…unless…

but you’re not that deluded…are you?