Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Article # 601. Health Benefits of Cycling

There are many health benefits that are associated with cycling. Let's look at a few of the major benefits:

Cycling is one of the easiest ways to exercise

You can ride a bicycle almost anywhere, at any time of the year, and without spending a fortune. Many people are put off doing certain sports because of the high level of skill that seems to be required, or perhaps because they can’t commit to a team sport due to time pressures. Most of us know how to cycle and once you have learned you don’t forget. All you need is a bike, a half an hour here or there when it suits, and a bit of confidence.

Cycling builds strength and muscle tone

Contrary to normal perceptions, cycling is not a fitness activity that solely involves the legs. Cycling builds strength in a holistic manner since every single part of the body is involved in cycling.

Cycling increases muscle tone

Cycling improves general muscle function gradually, with little risk of over exercise or strain. Regular cycling strengthens leg muscles and is great for the mobility of hip and knee joints. You will gradually begin to see an improvement in the muscle tone of your legs, thighs, rear end and hips.

Cycling builds stamina

Cycling is a good way to build stamina. It is very effective in doing so, because people enjoy cycling and they wouldn’t really notice that they have gone farther the last time they went cycling.

Cycling improves cardio-vascular fitness

Cycling makes the heart pound in a steady manner and helps improve cardio-vascular fitness.  Studies have shown that cycling to work will increase cardiovascular fitness by 3-7%. Cycling uses the largest muscle groups the legs, raising heart rate to benefit stamina and fitness.

Cycling eats up calories

Cycling is a good way to lose those unwanted pounds. Steady cycling burns approximately 300 calories per hour. If you cycle for 30 minutes every day you would burn 11 pounds of fat in a year. Since it helps build muscle, cycling will also boost your metabolic rate long after you’ve finished your ride.

Cycling improves heart health

According to the British Medical Association, cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. A major study of 10,000 civil servants suggested that those who cycled 20 miles over the period of a week were half as likely to suffer heart disease as their non-cycling colleagues.  

Cycling improves coordination

Cycling is an activity that involves the whole body. Therefore, arm-to-leg, feet-to-hands and body-to-eye coordination are improved.

Cycling reduces stress

Any regular exercise can reduce stress and depression and improve well-being and self-esteem.  Cycling outdoors is also a good way to be one with nature and to feel the breath of the earth. It takes one’s mind out of everyday-life stress and rejuvenates his soul.
When incorporating cycling into an over-all fitness program, there are many aspects to consider. Here are some important things to remember:

Consult your doctor

Most people can do cycling. However, it is still best to consult your doctor when thinking about incorporating a cycling activity into an overall fitness program. They shall advise you regarding your limits and capacities and what you should avoid doing.

Cycling is a base training activity

Let’s say that the doctor says that there is nothing wrong with you engaging into cycling as a part of your overall fitness program, what do you do next? Remember that cycling should be considered as a base training activity.  Base training activities are those, which provide endurance and aerobic training at the same time. Re-align your fitness program such that biking becomes the starting activity for the week. Other activities such as circuit training should be done so as to complement the benefits of cycling.

Start slowly and then increase your cycling

For beginners, they should employ a program wherein cycling is done three times a week. Doing it two times a week is also fine, but this depends on the capabilities of the person undergoing the training.

Increase speeds gradually

Gradual increase in speeds is an important aspect of fitness cycling.  Cycling can also be strenuous to the body and the key towards successful fitness cycling is to be patient and not hurry in increasing your limits.

Better safe than sorry

Cycling is great fun but it is important to get the right equipment for the activity. Head gear, knee-pads, elbow pads should all be in place when cycling.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Article # 600. STRESS


Millions of people are dealing with stress, anxiety and depression today due to a job loss, fear and worry about the economy, relationship issues, financial problems or unruly children that won’t listen or behave. To get rid of stress related to these debilitating issues, many people tend to rely on prescription medications, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety pills. While these prescriptions medications work for a time, they come with several unpleasant or even dangerous side effects, and the benefits wear off over time so eventually you may have to switch to other types of medications.

The one thing most people don’t know and are not told by their doctors is that for most issues that result in bouts of stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as, fear, worry, sadness and anger is that you already have the tools inside of you to completely get rid of stress once and for all, and without the use of medications and their unpleasant and even dangerous side effects

What Causes Stress

Stress is natural response mechanism to difficult situation, and in some situations stress is actually helpful. I am sure you are now asking how can stress be helpful. Stress over getting a good grade in a class can motivate you to study harder and focus in class. When interviewing for a new job, stress will motivate you to learn about the company and managers you are interviewing for, write and ask good questions, have a perfect tailored resume, dress sharp and arrive on time. In these situations, stress is temporary and will usually subside after the event, and the associated energy continues to flow through you. When a person feels stress, this increases the production of stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol.

In normal situations, as the stressors are eliminated the production of stress hormones is reduced to normal levels. Stress becomes a problem when the energy associated with the stressors becomes stuck and no longer flows through you. The stuck energy presses against organs and tissue, and results in more serious health issues such as anxiety, insomnia, anger, depression and even disease when stress becomes chronic.

A common cause of stress and anxiety today is workplace productivity demands on employees and feeling devalued by managers and demanding bosses. Employees feel stress to perform well at work or risk being fired, which can lead to stress, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

Rather than taking dangerous prescription medications to reduce stress, you can actually eliminate stress and the causes of stress naturally. Subscribe to my blog to get the tips on how to eliminate stress completely.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Article # 599. Tips to Fight Fatigue

Many cases of unexplained tiredness are due to stress, not enough sleep, poor diet and other lifestyle factors. Use these self-help tips to restore your energy levels.
Eat often to beat tiredness
A good way to keep up your energy through the day is to eat regular meals and healthy snacks every three to four hours, rather than a large meal less often.
Perk up with exercise
You might feel too tired to exercise, but regular exercise will make you feel less tired in the long run, and you’ll have more energy. Even a single 15-minute walk can give you an energy boost, and the benefits increase with more frequent physical activity.
Start with a small amount of exercise. Build up your physical activity gradually over weeks and months until you reach the recommended goal of two-and-a-half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.
Lose weight to gain energy
If your body is carrying excess weight, it can be exhausting. It also puts extra strain on your heart, which can make you tired. Lose weight and you’ll feel much more energetic. Apart from eating healthily, the best way to lose weight is to be more active and do more exercise.
Sleep well
It sounds obvious, but two-thirds of us suffer from sleep problems, and many people don’t get the sleep they need to stay alert through the day. Expert advises going to bed and getting up in the morning at the same time every day; avoid naps through the day, and have a hot bath before bed (as hot as you can bear without scalding you) for at least 20 minutes.
Reduce stress to boost energy
Stress uses up a lot of energy. Try to introduce relaxing activities into your day. This could be working out at the gym, or a gentler option, such as listening to music, reading or spending time with friends. Whatever relaxes you will improve your energy.
Cut out caffeine
It is recommended that anyone feeling tired should cut out caffeine. It says the best way to do this is to gradually stop having all caffeine drinks (this includes coffee, tea and cola drinks) over a three-week period. Try to stay off caffeine completely for a month to see if you feel less tired without it.
You may find that not consuming caffeine gives you headaches. If this happens, cut down more slowly on the amount of caffeine that you drink.
Drink more water for better energy
Sometimes you feel tired simply because you’re mildly dehydrated. A glass of water will do the trick, especially after exercise.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Article # 598: Health Benefits of Running

Running Health Benefits:
You’ve probably heard it said that exercise is medicine. Well, it’s not just a saying; it’s the truth. There’s a raft of scientific evidence that proves that regular exercise (150 minutes per week, which is about 30 minutes five times per week)—and running in particular—has health benefits that extend well beyond any pill a doctor could prescribe. Studies have shown that running can help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers, and a host of other unpleasant conditions. What’s more, scientists have shown that running also vastly improves the quality of your emotional and mental life, and even helps you live longer. Here’s how:
1. Running makes you happier. 
If you’ve been working out regularly, you’ve already discovered it: No matter how good or bad you feel at any given moment, exercise will make you feel better. And it goes beyond just the “runner’s high”—that rush of feel-good hormones known as endocannabinoids. In a 2006 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers found that even a single bout of exercise—30 minutes of walking on a treadmill—could instantly lift the mood of someone suffering from a major depressive order. In a May 2013 study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise in which rats and mice got antidepressant-like effects from running on a wheel, researchers concluded that physical activity was an effective alternative to treating depression.  
And even on those days when you have to force yourself out the door, exercise still protects you against anxiety and depression, studies have shown. Moderate exercise may help people cope with anxiety and stress even after they’re done working out, according to a 2012 study published in Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise. A 2012 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health proved that just 30 minutes of running during the week for three weeks boosted sleep quality, mood, and concentration during the day.  
Ever heard someone call running their “drug”? Well, apparently, it actually is pretty similar. A 2007 study in Physiological Behavior showed that running causes the same kind of neurochemical adaptations in brain reward pathways that also are shared by addictive drugs.
2. Running helps you get skinnier.
You know that exercises burns calories while you’re working out. The bonus is that when you exercise, the burn continues after you stop. Studies have shown that regular exercise boosts “afterburn”—that is, the number of calories you burn after exercise. (Scientists call this EPOC, which stands for excess post oxygen consumption.) That’s kind of like getting a paycheck even after you retire.
And you don’t have to be sprinting at the speed of sound to get this benefit. This happens when you’re exercising at an intensity that’s about 70 percent of VO2 max. (That’s a little faster than your easy pace, and a little slower than marathon pace.) 
3.Running strengthens your knees (and your other joints and bones, too).
It’s long been known that running increases bone mass, and even helps stem age-related bone loss. But chances are, you’ve had family, friends, and strangers warn you that “running is bad for your knees.” Well, science has proven that it’s not. In fact, studies show that running improves knee health, according to Boston University researcher David Felson in an interview with National Public Radio.
“We know from many long-term studies that running doesn’t appear to cause much damage to the knees,” Felson said. “When we look at people with knee arthritis, we don’t find much of a previous history of running, and when we look at runners and follow them over time, we don’t find that their risk of developing osteoarthritis is any more than expected.”
4. Running will keep you sharper, even as you age. 
Worried about “losing it” as you get older? Working out regularly will help you stay “with it.” A December 2012 study published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review concluded that the evidence is insurmountable that regular exercise helps defeat age-related mental decline, particularly functions like task switching, selective attention, and working memory.  
Studies consistently found that fitter older adults scored better in mental tests than their unfit peers. What’s more, in stroke patients, regular exercise improves memory, language, thinking, and judgment problems by almost 50%. The research team found “significant improvements” in overall brain function at the conclusion of the program, with the most improvement in attention, concentration, planning, and organizing. 
5. Running reduces your risk of cancer. 
Maybe running doesn’t cure cancer, but there’s plenty of proof that it helps prevent it. A vast review of 170 epidemiological studies in the Journal of Nutrition showed that regular exercise is associated with a lower risk of certain cancers. What’s more, if you already have cancer, running can improve your quality of life while you’re undergoing chemotherapy. (Want to know more about this? Read first-hand accounts of this and see our full cancer issue here.)  
6. Running adds years to your life. 
Even if you meet just the minimum of amount of physical activity—(30 minutes, 5 times per week), you’ll live longer. Studies show that when different types of people started exercising, they lived longer. Smokers added 4.1 years to their lives; nonsmokers gained 3 years. Even if you’re still smoking, you’ll get 2.6 more years. Cancer survivors extended their lives by 5.3 years. Those with heartdisease gained 4.3 years.  

Friday, January 2, 2015

Article # 594. New Year Resolution 2015

  • Get back the healthy diet in place 
  • Stop indulging towards bad fat foods
  • No more cheat diet 
  • Stocking protein foods
  • Avoiding unhealthy snacks (Pastries, Cookies, Ice-creams, Chocolates etc.)  
  • Not skipping any meals 
  • Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts (with emphasis on beans and nuts).
  • The bulk of food consumption should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
  • Control portion sizes; eat the smallest portion that can satisfy hunger and then stop eating.
  • Avoid eating a large meal before sleeping to decrease gastro esophageal reflux and weight gain.
  • Avoid using grease or frying foods in grease
  • Get enough sleep – 7 Hours minimum
  • Exercise can be broken up into smaller 10-minute sessions.
  • Start slowly and progress gradually to avoid injury or excessive soreness or fatigue. Over time, build up to 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day.
  • Do some mind exercises (read, do a puzzle occasionally during the week).
  • Try to focus on a process intensely and complete a segment of it over one to several hours, then take a break and do something relaxing (walk, exercise, short nap).
  • Try to make some leisure time to do some things that interest you every week (hobby, sport).
  • Run or Jog or Walk daily for 20 to 30 min’s daily
  • Spend time with family – work life balance 
  • Avoid over stressing and tension