The 3 Benefits of a Fitness Lifestyle

A fitness lifestyle is defined as a daily exercise and nutrition regimen that helps you enhance your aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition. There are many reasons for you to develop a fitness lifestyle but I believe 3 are especially important:

1. Enhanced Health and Decreased Risk of Disease . According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two out of every three Americans are overweight and one-third is clinically obese. This obesity is widespread throughout the US As of 2009, 49 states had obesity prevalence rates of more than 20% (Colorado is the lone exception). The number of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980. This is due, at least in part, to a lack of exercise. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), less than half of all Americans get the recommended amount of exercise (about 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days). 25% of us never exercise at all. This has significant ramifications for our health since there is a direct link between a sedentary lifestyle, obesity and many deadly diseases. Specifically, overweight and obese people are at a greater risk for hypertension, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, some cancers (endometrial, breast and colon), sleep apnea, and respiratory problems. A 2005 study by the CDC and the National Institutes of Health reports that obesity kills more than 100,000 Americans each year. Therefore, the greatest benefit of a fitness lifestyle is improved health and a potentially longer life.

2. Improved Work Performance . Yes, being fit and healthy can improve your work performance, and save you and your employer money. In a 2005 study reported by ACSM, researchers found that when workers used their company gym, they were more productive and got along better with their co-workers. Ratings for mental and interpersonal performance as well as the ability to manage time and output demands were much higher on exercise days. In addition, other studies have shown that corporate exercise programs can pay off in reduced health care costs, absenteeism and stress, and higher morale and productivity.

3. Increased Psychological Well-Being . A variety of studies have shown evidence that people who exercise experience less depression, anger, distrust and stress than those who do not exercise. In addition, those living a fitness lifestyle tend to experience improved mood, enhanced self-esteem, increased personal satisfaction, improved body image, increased energy and enhanced confidence in their physical abilities.

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How to Live a Successful Fitness Lifestyle

Dear Deborah

Question From Ann, NewYork City: Every time I begin a fitness program, life gets in the way, I start stalling and before I know it I've fallen off the wagon and gained 5lbs. I can't really afford a personal trainer but I can see how they can help you stay on track. I've tried DVD's and classes with no success. Is there anything out there that can help me?

Answer: Thank you Ann for your honesty, I know many women have similar frustrations while pursuing their fitness lifestyle. There's a lot of new research out there in the Fitness world and from that dearth of research is a new hybrid of personal trainers. They're called Fitness Lifestyle Coaches, they can provide both exercise and behavioral guidance and they are a cheaper alternative to a Personal Fitness Trainer. I will address your question in the mindset of a Fitness Lifestyle Coach so you will catch a glimpse of how the lifestyle fitness coaching process can work.

So, lets get down to basics and define fitness, which includes three elements. First you need a cardio challenge where the heart and breathing rate are significantly raised. The second ingredient is strength training where the muscles are challenged with resistance work. Thirdly is Flexibility, muscles need to stretch to maintain mobility. Remember, you get stiff then you get old. Trying to take on all 3 elements in the beginning may feel daunting, so don't.

Pick one element you enjoy; All three are equally important so choosing one can be the key to starting a lifestyle in which you can consistently participate. Once one element becomes a habit, because you enjoy it, which usually takes 28 days, you can add another. Add each element gradually and in small doses so as not to overwhelm your self. Of course, if you enjoy two or even all three fitness elements, dedicate a small amount of time to each so you experience success with the designated time for each element. Be realistic in your time allotment, if you can't live up to it you'll feel like a failure, so choose smaller time frames and experience success. Think 'do a little less and emphasize success' and it builds self-confidence.

You need to find what motivates or turns you on, so to get motivated you need a Fitness Vision. This vision entails using your imagination to project into your future. Ask yourself what it would look like to see yourself living your fitness lifestyle successfully after a year or two? Visualize how you'll look, act, eat, sleep etc. until you can feel it, see it, smell it, breathe it. By making it as real as possible to yourself you'll start to feel the excitement bubble up in you. Now that's getting your mojo working for you.

Now set goals for you to make that vision happen. Where am I now? How can I get closer to that vision in 3months / 6months? On a weekly basis, what do …

3 Tips To Reaching Your Health and Fitness Goals With A Busy Lifestyle

Life has this sneaky way of creeping in and throwing curve balls left and right. Life will always happen. There will always be a busy day at work or family problems or relationship highs and lows or sick children. Once conflict arises, it seems like health and fitness routines go haywire. We seek comfort food or we just don’t feel like moving. These are the things that help us stay clear and balanced in both body and mind though! So what do we do when conflict smacks us in the face (and it happens to everyone so if you’re reading this – you’re not alone)? Avoiding the conflict is not reasonable because we can’t always control what comes at us. Figurine out how to navigate through any issues is what needs to happen to stay on track.

I think so many times we approach health and fitness goals with an “all or nothing” mindset. For example, you might think your day is ruined because you veered off of your diet with an unhealthy meal or snack. Or, you decided not to workout today because you couldn’t do the allotted 60 minutes that you had planned for. Instead of doing something, you may have chosen nothing at all. You gave up on day two of 30 days of clean eating. Do any of those sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing and something is better than nothing. My tips below might give you some perspective on how to reach your health and fitness goals even when life throws you a curve ball.

My philosophy is nourish, movement, mindset. If we can work on nourishing our bodies, moving them mindfully and maintaining a healthy attitude, we can function a little better day by day, week by week, month by month and eventually get into the healthy habits on a regular basis that we need to achieve total body balance.

1. Nourish.

Focus on one small thing at a time. Start simple and work from there. Don’t expect to change your eating habits overnight. Small changes executed day after day, week after week and so on can lead to really big change. So pick one small nutrition action and practice it for one to two weeks before adding in a new change.

Examples: Work on portion control (without regard to food quality), add one colorful food in at each meal, take 15 minutes to meal prep tomorrow’s healthy food or omit your sugary after dinner snack (swap it out with a healthy alternative). You could eat slowly and chew your food completely or focus on balancing your meals so that you have protein, carbohydrate and fat at each meal. Omitting processed foods at one to two meals per day is also another great option. These are just some examples but it’s up to you to figure out which little step you can take to improve your nutrition.

2. Movement.

Take advantage of the time that you DO have. Carve out …

American College Of Life-style Medicine

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