Archive for the ‘Exercises’ Category

When You’re Stressed?

Mind and Body When You’re Stressed?

 

Stubborn fat, high blood pressure, poor sleep, heart attacks—these are just a few of the many health problems associated with today’s chronic stress.

Your mental state has significant impact on your heart health.

The sheer number of stress-inducing situations that we face daily makes it difficult to power down the stress response, which has serious consequences for your health.

Best way to calm down your stress levels is to meditate or try relaxation exercises.

Breathing Exercise: Try the following –

 

1.      Sit up straight and place the tip of your tongue up against the back of your front teeth. Keep it there through the entire breathing process.

2.      Breathe in silently through your nose to the count of four, hold your breath to the count of seven and exhale through your mouth to the count of eight, making an audible “whoosh” sound. That completes one full breath.

3.      Repeat the cycle another three times, for a total of four breaths. After the first month, you can work your way up to a total of eight breaths per session.

To your good health.

 

Dan

Which Fitness Device Should You Consider?

Fitness Trackers

Fitness Tracker

Fitness Tracker

A year ago this past May I purchased a Fitbit One and the device is still going strong without any problems to date.

There are numerous brands and models one can choose from; companies like, Fitbit, Apple, Microsoft, Jawbone, Misfit and others.

If you are in the market to purchase one, keep in mind that the average user only stays with any type of program including wearing or carrying a health related device for six months and then loses interest.

Just read a few months ago that the devices with “bands or straps” tend to wear out within a short period of time, some even report that their bands wore out in three to six months.

Personally my Fitbit One is attach to my belt or carried in my pocket.  I realized that since I wear a watch carrying an additional device with band would not work for me.

You can find online numerous reviews from individuals concerning fitness trackers and along with dozens of complaints concerning discoloring, splitting and disintegrating in less than six months.

Bands and Straps are exposed to oils, skin-care products and cleaning agents. It is recommended that you avoid excessive stretching and twisting; clean the band with water and rubbing alcohol after a heavy sweat.

Quote of the Week – “I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done”

 

Stay healthy….

Dan

Hiking in North Carolina

Hiking in North Carolina

Whiteside Mountains

Whiteside Mountains

Personally I try to walk at least 10,000 steps per day, though my minimum goal is 6,000 steps. While staying in the Sapphire, North Carolina I had the opportunity of several days of hiking mountains trails at a variety of parks both state and federal.

Starting with Gorges State Park, the park is set in the midst of plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges. (no fees). You will find a welcome center that is worth a visit.

Offering rugged terrain that will challenge any outdoors enthusiast, visitors who traverse the steep, backwoods trails of Gorges State Park will be rewarded with views of dazzling waterfalls or perhaps an encounter with one of the numerous rare species of the park.

On this trip we hiked to Rainbow Falls and on another day the Raymond Fisher campground trail. Round trip 1.5 miles for the campground trail and 3 miles round trip to the water falls at Rainbow Falls.

On another hike we visited Whiteside Mountain (parking fee of $2.00)

This excellent loop, designated a National Recreation Trail, climbs to the top of Whiteside Mountain, with its spectacular 700′ high cliff walls lofting the hiker for amazing views. Take a camera, as the cliff-top views are lined with beautiful mountain laurel which blooms in mid-June. See relics from the past, when Whiteside Mountain was a tourist attraction. You’ll pass through some pleasant woods along the way.

Last day of my trip I visited Whitewater Falls on the Whitewater River is the last river in the Jocassee Gorge area just before you reach South Carolina. The hike to the falls is moderate walk and can be completed in less than 30 minutes, well worth the hike. Check out the video below of the waterfall at Whitewater falls.

Hiking is a great way to get in your exercise and see mother nature at it’s finest.

Dan

Fitness Trackers

Fitbit One and Microsoft Band

The fitness trackers mentioned above are highly rated by Consumer Reports as best buys for the money. You can spend less than $100 or several hundred depending on a variety of features.

I wrote about the Fitbit One in a previous post, I have been using the product since May of last year. Still use it to this day, though from my understanding most individuals lose interest after six months or so.

The top rated product was the Fitbit Surge at $250 which comes with quite a few workout data with some smart-watch capabilities.

High-end fitness trackers use Global GPS mode to provide a more accurate picture of how far you’ve been running as well as walked.

If you want to monitor your heart-rate, some trackers can do that as well at the wrist. Limiting the need for the chest straps that was previous used during workouts.

Some units like the Fitbit One can measure stair climbing, my Fitbit One though miss counts on some days, calculating flight of stairs not even taken. 10 feet generally equals one flight of stairs, mine is usually 7 to 8 feet.

My tracker usually lasts 8 or 9 days before needing to re-charge; turning off Bluetooth will save battery life and extend your life between charges a few extra days.

Personally I prefer to use a clip-on vs. a band or watch; majority of trackers tested by Consumer Reports are either watch or bands.

To extend the usefulness of the trackers, you will find numerous third party apps as well as apps created by the manufacture of the tracker. These apps can use data from your fitness tracker to evaluate your exercise and food intake.

These apps can also connect you to your friends using social functions which can help you stay motivated.

I have provided the two best valued buys at Amazon below.

Stay fit.

Dan

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga Made Easy

Individuals have practiced its many forms for centuries. Even though it’s simple, it protects your heart just as well as aerobics.

If you are not aware, Yoga grew out of a Hindu religious philosophy of uniting the mind and the body.

Benefits of Yoga:

Yoga reduces stress – Participants who practiced yoga maintained the length of their telomeres over an eight-week period… while those who only had a one-day seminar on stress had shorter telomeres. Telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of your DNA.

Yoga helps arthritis – Yoga relieves stress on your joints, providing relief from arthritis. If you have never done yoga before, sign up for a class.

To make sure you stick with the classes, find a yoga buddy. If you are older than 50; many gyms and yoga studios offer senior-focused practices as well. Instructors design these programs for folks over the age of 50 who may have trouble holding poses for too long or have joint or back problems.

Yoga protects your heart – participants who practiced yoga saw decreases in blood pressure and heart rate equal to the decreases caused by aerobic exercise. Another benefit is the fact that yoga cuts your risk for atrial fibrillation. This condition is an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots in the heart, and strokes.

Yoga strengthens the brain – As we grow older, our brains lose gray matter – where the clusters of nerve cells live. It’s responsible for much of our brain’s functions, including muscle control, memory, vision, hearing, emotions, and decision making.

With all the above mentioned benefits, what do you have to lose, check out a class today and have fun.

Dan