I have been a fitness and health nut for over 40 years! I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. And I’ve been humbled by the fact that there are some thing that work for some people and not for others. So here I share all I know.
Another reason I started this bog was to wade thru the masses of journals and newsletters and studies available nearly every day packed with information about exciting new ways to improve your health and live longer. This site will save you time.
Only research-based information is presented here. And there’s no sales pitches.
So enjoy! And come visit us often because this site changes often.
Oh, one more thing. Please feel free to contribute if you have found something not mentioned here that improved your health.
This is hands-down the easiest way to lose some weight and improve your heart health – don’t eat between meals! It’s hard, I know, but you’ll be inspired by this latest research!
It’s a new scientific study recently conducted by researchers at San Diego University in cooperation with the Salk Institute.
These researchers discovered that when they simply limited the amount of time that fruit flies could eat – not the amount of food! – they prevented heart problems!
Other researchers had previously discovered that people who eat later in the evening increase their risk of developing heart problems than those who eat earlier.
In this latest study, a group of 2-week-old fruit flies was allowed to eat as much as they wanted and anytime they wanted. The other group of fruit flies also ate the same food as much as they wanted but were only allowed to eat 2 times a day.
After three weeks, the results were so surprising that the researchers didn’t believe it! Flies on the feeding schedule had better sleep, did not gain as much weight and had much healthier hearts than the group of flies that ate anytime. Plus the flies that ate only 2 times a day didn’t eat any more than the ones who ate anytime.
These results were so dramatic that researchers thought they made a mistake! Shubhroz Gill, Ph.D. and the head of the research team said, “We had to repeat the experiments several times to become convinced that this improvement was truly due to the time-restricted feeding.”
Try it! I’ve stopped eating between meals, eating late, and eating after my last meal in the evening and it’s made a big difference in my weight in just a week!
The benefits just keep mounting for mindfulness meditation. Previous studies showed decreased stress levels after just one period of meditation.
The latest study on meditation reported in the journal Psychological Science shows an increase in cognitive function! That’s right! Meditation has now been proven to increase brain function.
Here are the fascinating details about the study. One group of college students were trained in meditation for 2 weeks and another group learned nutrition. The result was a 16 percent increase in scores on the Graduate Record Exam among the students who learned meditation compared with no change among those in the control group. The score amounts to the difference between an A and C on the test!
So start meditating! It’s easy: simply find a quiet place to sit on a cushion or in a chair and focus on the inhale and exhale of your breath When the mind wanders as it naturally will, gently bring your attention back to your breath. Do this for 20
minutes. You will find after just a few sessions that your mind wanders less and you feel calm. Starting and/or ending your day in this way can make a huge difference!
First of all, most people simply don’t eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables. The minimum daily requirement established by nutritional science is 5 to 7 servings per day. A serving is about a half cup for most fruits and veggies. Now who has the time to purchase, prepare and then eat all that fresh food? No wonder most of us reach for the quick and easy alternative – processed food! Unfortunately, processed food is the major cause of obesity and many chronic illnesses. And these problems are increasing at an alarming rate everywhere in the world that processed foods are available.
Just one cup of fresh juice or a smoothie contains over a pound of fresh produce. Thus just one glass gives you all the recommended daily requirements of fruits and vegetables quickly, conveniently and easily!
A Better Multivitamin
Fresh fruits and veggies are so packed with nutrients that just one glass gives you all the vitamins and minerals you need daily. You can stop purchasing expensive supplements. Imagine your savings!
Recent studies are beginning to cast doubt on the effectiveness of nutrients in a pill form.
Other research shows that nutrients have what is now called ‘synergistic’ properties. This means that when you combine certain nutrients, the effect is greater than either of the nutrients alone. So drinking all the nutrients found in fresh fruits and veggies delivers an incredible synergistic effect.
Every plant contains much more than just vitamins and minerals. All of these other nutrients are called ‘phytonutrients.’ And it turns out that they play an amazing role in protecting us from diseases, fighting the aging process and boosting all the systems in our bodies such as digestion, memory, sleep, energy, understanding and even creativity. Every fruit and veggie contains hundreds of phytonutrients, and nutritional science is just beginning to discover what they all do!
One of the ways you can keep up with all this new research is to sign up for free daily news and tips about juicing and smoothies provided by a wonderful Facebook site – you can find it by clicking here.
By the way, in a future post we’ll talk about adding a little wheatgrass to every juice and smoothie recipe – it’s a ‘superfood.’
Better Than Bottled
Commercially-sold beverages, even the best organic brands, simply do not contain even a fraction of the nutrition you can get from juicing or blending your own fresh fruits and vegetables. Most commercial beverages are made from concentrates and not the whole food. Plus, commercially-sold beverages are all pasteurized, a process which heats the beverage to destroy harmful bacteria. Unfortunately, pasteurization also destroys many healthy nutrients. Finally, simply storing juice destroys certain nutrients – enzymes, for instance, last as little as a couple minutes.
You can quickly and easily make delicious and nutritious fresh juices and smoothies at home. You can even create your own recipes to suite your own taste and address your particular health needs. The best book of juicing and smoothie recipes for fighting diseases based on the latest nutritional discoveries is Juice & Smoothie Recipes That Heal!
As if all the above benefits weren’t enough, here’s my favorite and the most incredible of all the many juicing and smoothie benefits! You can use them to prevent and even fight diseases. Here are just a few examples.
Cabbage juice fights ulcers. Cranberry juice treats urinary tract infections and prevents kidney stones. Grapes contain nutrients that prevent heart attacks as effectively as low-dose aspirin. These are just a few examples of the healing power of fresh fruits and veggies – all backed by hard science!
You can create smoothie and juicing recipes with concentrated disease-fighting properties focused on your particular health issue.
Get all your minimum daily requirements of fruits and veggies quickly, easily, and conveniently.
Stop buying expensive nutritional supplements.
Get more nutrients than you will find in any supplement.
Conveniently make your fresh and nutritious juice or smoothie in your own home or office.
Get more nutrients than bottled juice, plus no preservatives or added sweeteners.
Fresh juiced fruits and veggies taste so good!
There are juice and smoothie recipes that truly help treat diseases based on sound scientific research.
Start a healthier you today with fresh juice or smoothies. Another great resource for free recipes, tips and nutritional updates is the ‘Juicing Expert’ at About.com.
What Does Your Body Really Have to Do for a Healthy Workout?
According to recent fitness studies, physical activity has to be done for a minimum of 1 hour a day to reap healthy results. And not just any activity. According to the experts in the field of fitness and health, we need three very different kinds of physical activity – stretching, strength training and aerobic exercise. Each of these three distinct types of exercise offers different and vitally important health benefits. In addition, some should be done daily but others not!
Hold on, I know this sounds complicated, but stick with me – it will become very simple.
Lets look at each of these distinct exercises briefly. But before we go any further, be sure to talk to your doctor before embarking on any exercise routine, especially if you’re a beginner or have any medical issues.
There are several terms for aerobic exercise including cardiovascular conditioning and cardio. Aerobics is defined as any activity that increases your heart rate to a certain level for at least 10 minutes at a time. 20-30 minutes a day is the recommended amount of cardio. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends at least 2.5 hours of aerobics over the period of a week. This can be moderate aerobics such as brisk walking. if you step it up to intense cardio such as running, hiking, rowing or swimming, the recommended amount is only 75 minutes a week.
The research is clear that more is better, and especially if you do a certain type of aerobics during just one of your weekly cardio periods. Studies show that more benefits occur when one does a longer period of aerobics or increases the intensity (known as ‘high intensity interval training’ or HIIT). HIIT in particular has become the subject of intense scrutiny due to several surprising results not found in any other exercise such as increased burning of calories in less time, and a very surprising increase in a natural hormone in our bodies that’s linked to a decrease in aging – HGH (human growth hormone).
Other important benefits of cardio are:
Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight
Protecting the heart
Strengthening the lungs
Decreasing the risk of diabetes and heart disease
Increasing brain function
It’s important to remember that to achieve the benefits of aerobics you must raise your heart rate to a particular level called the ‘Target Heart Rate’ (THR). This rate is not the same from one individual to the next. You can buy cool gadgets that will tell you your THR. There’s also a formula: for men it’s 216-93% of your age multiplied by 50-69% for a moderate workout and 70-90% for an intense workout. The formula for women is different: 200-67% of your age multiplied by the same percentage as men for moderate and extreme workouts. As an example, I’m 61 years old and male. Thus my THR is 80 to 110 beats per minute for a moderate cardio session, and 111 to 143 for an intense one. Now, since I don’t have any health issues and I exercise daily I can and should go for the 111-143 level.
If you use a cardio machine such as a treadmill or staionary bike, THR is calculated for you.
But there’s a much easier way! And it’s very effective! It’s called the ‘Talk Test” and there’s no easier way to find your THR. According to researchers it’s surprisingly accurate. Here’s what it’s all about. If your can talk in a sentence during your workout, you’re aerobics is not hard enough. If you can only say one word, that’s your perfect intensity. If you can’t talk at all, that’s too intense.
Let’s look at the second vital type of exercise.
Strength Building Exercise
In my opinion this is the most important one of the three, especially as we age. Here’s why. Beginning at about age 30, both males and females start to lose muscle all over the body. This is a natural part of the aging process. And this muscle loss process increases the older we get. It’s known as sarcopenia. More and more doctors consider this condition a greater threat to our health than the one we hear the most about – bone loss. This is because muscle loss leads to injuries from falls which are now the leading cause of death among seniors. Cardio and stretching exercises simply do not create muscle.
Muscle is vital for our balance and stability. Muscle strength not only makes better athletes, but also makes our everyday activities easier such as carrying our groceries, walking up and down stairs, getting in and out of the car – everything we do. Other benefits of muscle building and toning exercises are:
Weight loss — muscle burns more calories than fat even during sleep!
Remember this important point. Strength building exercise should not be done every day. The body’s process of building muscle requires a period of recovery which takes about 24 hours. This doesn’t mean no physical activity for a day, just strength building exercises. You can do cardio and stretching without disrupting the muscle recovery process.
Flexibility is not something you can get with cardio or strength training. It is the stretching of muscle tissue so that your body moves comfortably and efficiently. It also prevents injury. There are generally 3 different kinds of stretching:
Dynamic — stretching while you move
Static — stretching without movement
Ballistic — stretching by bouncing
Ballistic stretching is discouraged because it has the greatest risk of injury.
A Word About Combining Them!
A few exercise methods combine some and even all these 3. For example, the popular workout method for women known as Curves combines aerobics and strength building exercise followed by a brief stretching session after each workout. Swimming combines aerobics and stretching, and if you swim hard you can even add cardio. Pilates is also unique in this regard. The mat Pilates method is a series of core exercises that combine aerobics, strength building and stretching in one quick 30-minute workout. Here’s a brief video that reviews its many other fascinating benefits.
Be sure your exercise routine includes aerobics, stretching and muscle building. And be sure to check out mat Pilates, one of the very few exercise programs that combines all 3 into one program for a great home workout.