Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Exercise Makes the Difference

We all know it.

Even if study after study hadn’t showed that exercise makes the difference in being fit, fat, or naturally thin; we know it intrinsically. Our bodies were made to move.

So what does this mean for you? It means that sticking with your regular exercise routine - no matter how difficult it may be at times - isn't just a good idea for your good looks. It makes all the difference in your good health and well-being, too.


“But how hard do I have to work out?” is a question my clients often ask. Well, the answer is that it depends on your goal. I know is sounds like a cop-out, but it’s true. Previously, I wrote about studies of individuals that were put on exercise routines that burned off 500 calories for men and 400 for women each day.

However, these were overweight individuals who could safely lose a substantial amount of weight. If you're already at a healthy weight and want to take your overall fitness to the next level, you may need to step things up a bit to burn even more calories. Just remember to do it safely, eat plenty of healthy foods every day, and be sure to get adequate rest to rejuvenate yourself each day. Only then can you get the fullest rewards of putting exercise to work for you

Oh, and one last thing. If you want to get a handle on how fat or fit you are? You'll need to work with a health or exercise professional. Because while knowing your body mass index is helpful, it does not give a full picture of your overall health. Hint; I’m always available for you. ; )

Now go; Live Your Life Well!

John Aaron Villarreal
johnaaron-massage.com

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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Understanding Overweight and Obesity

What should you set your eyes on?

It seems that television and fitness magazines would have you thinking that becoming as lean as a fitness model is the only goal of anyone who works out. But obviously that isn’t true. What should YOU set your eyes on? Well, I have always believed that if you focus on fitness, the rest will follow. The “rest” being; a lean body, strength, energy etc.

If you have ever wondered how to view the division between fit and fat, you are certainly not alone.

Ideally, every person will weigh the proper weight that allows him or her to function well throughout their normal day. Since being underweight or overweight can do significant damage to the body's organs, bones, and joints, obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight is paramount to overall good health.


Unfortunately, very few people in the developed world are underweight…. In fact, the issue most people face with regard to their weight is being overweight or even obese. In some parts of the world - the United States of America primarily - the number of people who weigh more than they should has grown to such numbers that a national epidemic has been declared.


In case you aren’t familiar with the way the Body Mass Index works, here is a quick synopsis: When an individual's body mass index (BMI is a measure of body fat based on a comparison of your height and weight) is 25 or higher, the individual is deemed overweight. A BMI of 30 or higher indicates obesity. Falling into either category greatly increases an individual's risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and countless other diseases.


Bear in mind that this is only a “rule of thumb” type of measurement and is intended to evaluate a generalization of the population. Extremely fit people may be quite lean, but because of their muscle weight, they will incorrectly be categorized as obese. Likewise, some underweight individuals may be considered “normal,” but their lack of muscle in proportion to their fat weight would actually indicate obesity. Yes – you CAN be normal weight and “fat!”


It’s best to hire the help of a professional to best determine you standing: fit or fat.


Until next time; Choose to Live Your Life – Well!


John Aaron Villarreal
johnaaron-massage.com
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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What Makes You Fit?

Thanks to a recent study published by the American College of Sports Medicine, the view of what it means to be fit may be changing. That's because the study found that while being thin is nice, it does not mean you're fit. Rather, being fit requires some effort.

During the study, three groups of overweight individuals were told to do three different things. Group one was told to keep doing what they were doing, group two was put on a diet, and the third group was put on a diet and given an exercise regimen to stick with throughout the duration of the six-month trial.


When the study was complete, the two groups of people that changed their habits lost weight. Researchers expected this, as did the general public. What is surprising many people, though, is that losing weight was found to not be enough to improve a person's overall fitness.


Only the group that dieted and exercised regularly improved the function of their internal organs and thereby enjoyed increased overall fitness. In other words, both groups who dieted dropped weight (approximately 10 percent of their overall body weight), but exercise was the deciding factor in whether an individual improved his or her blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and cardiovascular fitness.


Go Live Your Life Well!

John Aaron Villarreal
johnaaron-massage.com

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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Death Costs...

Today I would like to take a side step from writing tips on living life well and discuss the inevitable topic of death. The business of dying is a painful and difficult one that will be experienced by each of us.

After losing several friends and family this year, I’ve more closely examined my own mortality and the funeral process. If you thought living was tough, have you considered the high cost of finding your final resting place?

For example; while publishing an obituary in your local paper is a good way to remember a loved one and to alert family and friends of the death, some newspapers may run an obituary for an average of $50. Other cities may charge hundreds of dollars depending on the length of the obituary.

Then, there are the costs of the funeral home and services; but not all funerals and funeral services are created equal. What’s the difference? Well, most funeral homes gain a loyal clientele based on family tradition. But you shouldn’t be married to any particular facility, especially if you are limited on finances. Instead, remember that different funeral homes can come with different price tags.

Believe it or not, while they may provide the exact same services and the same quality, two funeral homes located just minutes apart can be separated by thousands of dollars in fees.

On top of embalming and using the funeral home for the service, you'll be charged for limousine rental and other fees. To cut total costs as much as possible, I have personally opted for direct cremation which eliminates many costs and allows a dignified “memorial service” to be held anywhere.

I can imagine that it is often difficult to think straight about funeral plans immediately after a loved one's death. However, take a moment to pause and consider the options at your disposal, and ask for help when you need it.

In the event your loved one was employed at the time of death, his or her employer may owe the deceased loved one a paycheck. Social security and life insurance may also be due at the time of death. Having financial resources like these available will ease some stress and allow you to focus on your grief and not whether you can afford the funeral.

Death is probably the last thing on your mind right now, and that’s fine. Living life to its fullest should always be your first priority. So, until next time; go live your life – well,

John Aaron Villarreal
johnaaron-massage.com
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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Wilted and Waning… and Deadly

It’s the fourth of July today. The national birthday for the USA and, like most people, I have outdoor plans. However, most people seldom remember that the Houston heat can be a dangerous thing until it’s too late.

Alright, so I don’t plan on jogging or challenging friends to a game of…., well… anything, but I do plan on being outdoors grilling and spending time with friends and family. That alone can put a stress on your body; especially for us “over forty” crowd.

But, that’s not gonna be us because I’m prepared to give you my combat plan to fight the heat and still enjoy the traditional holiday.

First, don't neglect one of your body's most basic needs: water.

Since more than half of your body is made up of water, you should always be drinking enough of it to keep your body well hydrated. And, you should strive to increase your normal intake during the hot weather season

This doesn’t mean you must forgo your favorite summer beverage (alcoholic or not), but you should supplement your intake with water, too. Especially when you consider those drinks often contain extra sugar and calories that can negate your good health.

Another trick I use is to roll some ice in a clean hand towel and drape that around my neck. Since your brain is most susceptible to the heat, this little trick can do wonders for making your outdoor stay more bearable. It doesn’t hurt to stay in the shade, or wear a good brimmed hat either.

Finally, if you are near an air-conditioned space, be sure to take a break! Rotate your outdoor time with indoor time and allow your body to cool down a bit before venturing out again. No one’s gonna call you a “wimp!” In fact, you will probably start a trend for the other guests, and for good reason; heat can kill.

Dizziness, nausea, severe head-aches, body cramps and fainting are just a few of the symptoms of heat stroke and dehydration. So, if you experience any of these, get somewhere cool fast. Ignore these symptoms and you could be ending the holiday with an expensive hospital stay being treated for heat exhaustion.

Instead, use these tips to enjoy the summer and live your life – well.

John Aaron Villarreal
johnaaron-massage.com

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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Food for Exercise

Every day, you eat three square meals; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Or maybe you've discovered the benefits of eating 4 to 6 smaller meals spread throughout the day. No matter if you're stuck on a traditional three-meal-a-day routine or have moved into the five- or six-meal plan, it goes without saying that you need to eat the right stuff.
There is one thing that I would like you to have one your mind while enjoying your next meal and that thing is this: Exercise. Why would ask that of you? Well, there are several reasons. For one thing, I want you to consider how much work you’ve put into you time at the gym and decide if the food choices you have made get you closer or further away from your overall wellness goal.

Consider the Amount


Yes, food gives you energy. The unfortunate reality is that eating lots and lots of food doesn't necessarily give you lots and lots of energy; Quite the opposite. For example, eating too much immediately prior to your workout can cause you to feel heavy, sluggish, or in need of a bathroom break. On the other side of the eating spectrum, not eating enough will cause you to feel weak and unable to complete your exercise routine.


Neither is ideal.


Keeping your body fed evenly throughout the day, avoiding prolonged periods of fasting, or skipping meals is optimal not only for managing your weight, but for maintaining your energy levels.


When clients have asked me about eating before their exercise session, I usually advise they be careful not to eat a meal less than one hour before exercising. So, if a hunger pain should hit you within an hour of your impending workout, take care of it with a healthy snack (a glass of low-fat milk or an apple should suffice).


And if you can’t help but have a large meal, make sure you have it three or four hours before you plan to hit the gym (or within 1 hour after completing your routine).


Until next time – Live Life Well,


John Aaron Villarreal
www.johnaaron-massage.com

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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.