No Time For Exercise? Try This!

“Fitness” is an elusive term covering a vast array of attributes: flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, strength, power, balance, coordination, body-fat percentage and more. While its generally accepted that multiple 30-60 minute sessions per week are optimal for producing results, the truth is that it’s possible to do a great amount in far less time.

EVERYONE has five minutes a day…the only question is, can anything really useful be done in just 300 seconds?

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The answer is a resounding “yes”, but we need choose our exercises carefully. If there is such a limited amount of time, the best choice is to pick the most important muscle group. Chest? Back? Shoulders? Legs? All wrong. The abdominals are the most important muscles in the body. In no particular order, they:

1) Protect the low back.

2) Are vital to sports performance, transferring power from the lower to upper body.

3) Aid digestion, and massage the internal organs.

4) Are important for proper, healthy sexual function.

5) Are “the window of health”—we judge fitness and health more rapidly with a glimpse at the waistline than any other single indication.

6) Are vital for posture, which increases physical energy and mood.

7) Are the linchpin of your entire fitness program. You’ve never seen someone with toned abdominal muscles and flabby arms and legs, have you? The reverse is not true.

8) Are the most important muscle group for physical attractiveness in men or women. No matter the wonderful definition of arms or legs, if your gut is sagging, you have a problem!

There are other reasons, but one of the best is the fact that of all body parts, the abs tend to be the least favorite body part to work. They’re hard! That reason alone should be enough to motivate you: anything other people don’t like working is a golden opportunity for you!

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But how can you do anything useful in just five minutes? One daily approach is to perform five minutes of the toughest ab exercises you can find, and a fantastic tool for this is a “Roller Wheel” available for five dollars at any sporting goods store. Not the fancy ones, just the simple get-on-your-knees variety. Try this: perform one rep, and take a breath. Then do two reps, and take two breaths. Then three, and take three breaths…and so on until you can’t go any higher. Then, drop back to one rep, and start climbing again. When that gets easy, take one breath for every two reps.

An even better method is to break up your exercise into multiple daily sessions. The roller wheel is useful here as well, but you might want to investigate some of the powerful “Vacuum” exercises from yoga, or the dynamic-tension style “stomach flattening” exercises. In these, you exhale all air, and flex the abdominal muscles for several seconds. Believe me, if you do these properly, even without aerobic exercise your waistline will decrease!

While there is no serious disagreement that longer sessions produce better, and more balanced results, the busiest man or woman on earth can find five minutes a day…and sometimes, that toehold is what it takes to get you started on a new, healthier lifestyle.

New Year’s Resolution: Walk Your Way Fit!

“It requires a direct dispensation from Heaven to become a walker.”
~Henry David Thoreau

With the new year upon us, everyone I know is looking for a fun and easy way to get fit. Here’s a solution I’ve developed that doesn’t involve costly equipment or a ton of time.

Before you commit, first ask yourself: Would you like to:

• Lose weight?
• Improve endurance?
• Tone muscles?
• Enjoy long range health?

Did you know that you can reap these benefits (and more) just by walking? You can! But, what most people don’t know: In effort to achieve a certain result quickly, it pays to use a specific program (or a combination of them).

After you’ve make the commitment to a walking program, next you’ll need to establish your goals. Ask yourself: “What’s my main fitness priority?” Then you’ll need only match up your goal to one of these five programs. Choose from: weight loss, cardio conditioning, muscle toning, long term health or a combination of all of these.

Here’s a thumbnail sketch of each simple program:

Weight Loss:

Benefits: Flatten tummy, shrink hips, tighten thighs, reduces excessive fat.

Type of walk: Moderate; 45-60 minutes, daily.

Calories expended: 2,000-2,500 per week.

Cardio Conditioning:

Benefits: Strengthens heart, improves aerobic endurance, helps you perform better during other aerobic activities and helps you recover more quickly from physical exertion.

Type of walk: High intensity, brisk pace; 20-30 minutes 3-4 days per week.

Calories expended: 800-1,000 calories per week.

Muscle Toning:

Benefits: Improve muscle strength, endurance, body firmness and increase metabolism.

Type of walk: Moderate, with resistance; 20-70 minutes 2-3 days per week.

Calories expended: 500-3,000 calories per week.

Notes: Use hand weights-light hand or wrist weights and swing them in a controlled manner. When doing so, flex your arm muscles, keeping them as close as possible to your upper body.

Long Term Health:

Benefits: Done consistently, this walk will increase energy, reduce stress and fatigue, improve risk of heart disease, improve mood, improve self-esteem and ad years to your life.

Type of Walk: Consistent walks; 30+ minutes, daily.

Calories expended 2,000 per week.

Have It All! Mix And Match:

Type of walk: Choose one program each day, 4 times per week or check out some of the great walking videos here:

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My Mom’s story: When I was a teen-ager my mother and I used to exercise together. After some years, however, my Mom’s priorities changed and she found herself about 30 pounds overweight. Once she made the commitment to make a change, she used the combination of a daily walk and a sensible diet. The result? She lost one pound per week for 30 weeks and is back to her thin self once again!

A couple things before you begin. Most importantly, before you begin any fitness program, check with your doctor. Also, to make your walking workout a positive experience by investing in proper footwear. You will want to have flexible sneakers, walking shoes or (what I usually recommend) “cross-trainers.” They are available at all sporting goods stores: make the investment, you’ll be glad you did!

And speaking of proper form, most people also do not realize that there is a “way” to walk for the greatest benefit. It’s easy! First, strike the ground with your heel, rolling your foot to your toe. Then, push off with your toe. Repeat this with your opposite foot.

That’s all there is to it! With a little effort and your new flexible shoes “made for walkin'” you are well on your way to reaching your healthy goals for the new year!

New Year’s Diet Resolution Tips

For many people, the coming New Year will involve resolutions to get on a diet and lose weight. While slimming down is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, it is often easier said than done. Making the switch from the calorie and fat laden temptations that lure us during the six week long holiday fest can be quite difficult. If you’re planning to start your new year off with a pledge to lose weight, keep these tips in mind to help you ease into your resolution the healthy way.

Cutting everything out cold turkey is one of the most common techniques for approaching a diet; however, doing so may well spell disaster for a good intentioned diet. Instead of putting yourself on such a restrictive diet right after the holidays, consider options that will allow you to ease into a healthy eating regimen. This will increase your chances of sticking with your diet resolution and achieving success.

Start by opting for foods that are grilled, roasted, baked or broiled instead of fried. This one technique will allow you to cut out a large amount of calories as well as fat. If you don’t care for the somewhat blander taste of grilled or roasted meats, don’t be afraid to add a little zing with some low-fat or fat-free sauces. Herbs and spices can also go a long way toward livening up grilled and roasted foods.

Most people do not eat nearly as much fruits and vegetables as they should. Besides the fact that fruits and veggies are rich in healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber; they are also a good way to fill up without loading up with calories and fat. Look for ways that you can incorporate fruits and vegetables into your eating regimen. Vegetable soups make a great dinner or lunch solution on a cold wintry day. Salads are easy and quick to pack for lunch with a low-cal dressing. Top it with some grilled chicken and you’ve got a quick dinner solution as well.

After indulging in holiday sweets, cutting out the treats may be one of the most difficult aspects of starting a new diet. Increase your chances of sticking with it by substituting fresh fruit for calorie rich treats. Stock up on plenty of apples, oranges, berries and whatever other type of fresh fruit strikes your fancy. This is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without sabotaging your diet.

Finally, resist the temptation to reach for a cup of coffee, tea or even a diet cola and grab a bottle of water instead. Even if you’re using an artificial sweetener with your beverage, your diet and your body will respond much better if you opt for plain water. This much needed essential nutrient helps your body to flush out toxins; and in the end, it can help you to lose more weight faster.

By easing your way into your new diet instead of torturing yourself with an overly restrictive or fad diet, you’ll find that you’re more likely to stick with your resolution and by next New Year’s Eve will be ready to show off your slim new shape.

New Year – New Diet – New You?

Are you about to make yet another new year’s resolution, as you see out the old year, along with it’s broken promises and failed, good intentions?

Fresh with new-found conviction, after the gross excesses of the Christmas period and our usual failure to control ourselves, we arrive at the new year’s resolution, an annual triumph of hope over reality!

Hope, that this time you will have the single mindedness to succeed, where last time you failed. I’m not suggesting for a moment that you do not want to succeed, I’m sure that your desire to lose weight is genuine, but here’s the reality, it’s a hope, a dream and what’s the point in having dreams if you’re not going to make them happen?

You may dream of winning the lottery and yes, you could win! But it’s down to chance and you have a better chance of flying to the moon, than of winning the lottery.
Making a real change to your life? Well that’s a dream you can, make happen! And you can start right here, right now.

The problem with new year resolutions, lies in the forward planning. Moving towards a significant target date in your life, to contemplate doing something that you know is going to be a struggle.

Of course you’re not looking forward to it! What do you expect? As you begin to experience a steady build-up of expectations, leading up to the big day when you’re finally going to start putting right everything that’s wrong with your life! No pressure there then! I’m sure you’ll feel ready to start on that day!

In the meantime of course, you now have the perfect excuse to behave badly, because it doesn’t really matter if you let yourself go over Christmas does it? You can do everything to excess. It won’t matter if you put on a few extra pounds! After all, you deserve to have one last binge before the deprivations of the coming year ahead!

If you believe that, then you’re delusionary. You’re just fooling yourself because it makes you feel better at the moment. It’s the high, before the deep low that will inevitably follow and damage your self-esteem, sabotaging your chance of success even before you start.

Wake up and smell the coffee!!

Do you really want to lose weight? Then do something about it, NOW!
Clear the cupboards of all the things that you know are bad for you, NOW!
Don’t eat them! If you think waste is bad, box them up and give them to charity.
Do it NOW – as you read this article.
Don’t put it off until tomorrow, because tomorrow never comes!

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How we think and feel about ourselves is often the difference between happiness and success, or frustration and failure, therefore success and real lasting changes, only comes from changing the way we think. We are all products of our own thinking.

So, every thought we think has an impact on us. We respond to our negative thoughts and to our positive thoughts. If you have a history of failing to live up to your own expectations, your memories are loaded with negative programming.

No matter how much conscious effort you put into changing your habits, your subconscious mind is flooding your body with negative messages that have been ingrained for years.

You can however, change the way you think about losing weight using the help of hypnotherapy DVD’s.
Many people trying to lose weight struggle to maintain willpower. They feel that they need help and are often too embarrassed to admit to anyone that they have a problem. Now, many sufferers of low motivation and low self-esteem, are benefiting from hypnotherapy treatment, which can literally change peoples lives for the better.

Your life will improve if you begin to believe in yourself and your abilities, you will feel respected, giving you that extra boost to increase motivation, and your enthusiasm will increase noticeably. Some people say it feels like magic because it is so easy to make powerful changes. Hypnotherapy simply allows you to access the resources you already have in your subconscious mind.

Desire to make changes is good. Taking action to start something is even better. Let’s assume that you’ve decided right now, to start making the changes that you want. If you have tried before and failed, you need a support structure put into place as quickly as possible, to help you to maintain your resolve and to keep your thought processes focussed on your goals. A hypnotherapy DVD programme for home use can help. You certainly don’t want to be obsessing about food all the time.

You can lose weight and I’m sure that your eating programme of choice will be right for you. You will have success this time if you make sure that you put an effective support system into place as soon as possible.

So, don’t wait to make any new year resolutions at midnight on the 31st of December, decide to start making the changes that you want to make in your life, now!

Do something different this time.

Need To Lose Weight Fast For a Special Occasion?

If you have just a little weight to lose, and want to take it off fast (say, so you can fit into those great pants for your cousin’s wedding), there are a number of diets that you can use. Most of these wouldn’t be recommended for long-term weight loss, as they substantially restrict your intake of some essential nutrients, so using them habitually may not be healthy. But if you’re normal diet is healthy, and you just want a quick boost to drop 8-10 pounds quickly, or to kick off a new diet with a bang, the Cabbage Soup Diet actually works.

The cabbage soup diet has been around for nearly 30 years. It’s based on the notion that your body actually uses more calories to digest cabbage than the amount that it derives from cabbage. It’s a so-called ‘negative calorie diet’, and includes many foods that, like cabbage, are high in fiber and very low in calories.

The base of the cabbage soup diet is – what else? Cabbage soup. There are several recipes for cabbage soup available. Essentially, the soup is made with onions, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, celery and spices to taste. You’ll be eating the soup every day – as much of it as you want.

In addition, there is a seven day routine of foods to supplement the cabbage soup.

Day One: All the fruit you want (except bananas) along with all the soup that you want. No caffeinated beverages or sodas. Drink only water, tea and cranberry juice.

Day Two: Eat all the vegetables that you want, but avoid dried beans, peas and corn. Eat veggies raw, fresh or cooked. No fats, no sauces, no butter. At dinner, you may have one baked potato with butter – and of course, all the cabbage soup that you want!

Day Three: Eat all the fruits and veggies that you want from day two and day three – but NO baked potato.

Day Four: Bananas and skim milk – yes, all the skim milk you want, plus up to eight bananas, along with — you guessed it, all the cabbage soup you want.

Day Five: Eat ten to twenty ounces of beef (or skinless chicken, or broiled fish). Drink at least 10 glasses of water, and eat up to six fresh tomatoes. (if you substitute for the beef today, you may not tomorrow)

Day Six: Eat all the beef, vegetables and cabbage soup that you want. No baked potato. Lots of leafy green vegetables.

Day Seven: You can have all the unsweetened fruit juices, brown rice, and vegetables that you want – and at least one bowl of soup.

That’s it. Remember – this diet is NOT recommended for long term weight loss, or long term use. It doesn’t contain enough complex carbohydrates to be healthy for longer than a few days. But if you just need a jump-start or a quick fix, it’s a good way to pick up the pace for a week.

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