Category Archives: Over and Under Weight

Finding the right balance of diet and exercise to promote a healthier you.

Water Aerobics Routines for All-Around Fitness

Author: Marjorie SaladawaterWater Aerobics

Water aerobics routines are something that can offer a complete physical workout. A complete workout consists of aerobic, resistance and stretching exercises and all these can be incorporated into a water aerobics routine. The best part about water aerobics is that water exercises will work for groups of people that cannot do other types of exercises, such as; individuals that are morbidly obese and persons that have problems with arthritis.

The water aerobics class I attend from time to time is at a new health club and the nice thing about it is you do not have to be a member of this club to take the class. This class has a huge range of people that attend this workout session. It has almost as many men as women and most of the people are 40 or over. The younger crowd tends to opt more for high-impact aerobics and kickboxing.

We usually warm-up by walking against the current in the lazy river and then changing directions abruptly, causing us to feel like we are walking against a brick wall. If you have ever tried walking against the current when it has momentum, you will find that you do not get very far very quickly. Usually the whole class ends up laughing hysterically, but it is a great warm-up.

Next the instructor introduces that aerobic portion of the workout. This is where you increase your heart rate to target workout rate. This usually includes water walking and other exercises that will elevate your heart rate, such as; jumping jacks and kicking exercises.

Then comes resistance exercises and this is where you work specific muscle groups to build muscle strength. My instructor likes to use swimmers noodles tied in a knot to create resistance as they are dragged through the water. We also use water belts that cause resistance and added weight for strength training.

The class ends with a cool down period that involves stretching the muscles and it feels great. These classes usually have music that makes you feel motivated to move. If you have a good instructor, this can be one of the most enjoyable hours of the week. This class offers a complete workout for anyone.

These are the types of exercise classes that are being offered at many health clubs. They offer complete workouts, making it easy for the busy person on the go to get everything they need out of one class.

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Common Questions and Answers Regarding Fitness

Author: Grace Soongfitness5

Numerous misconceptions and general questions revolve around fitness and training. Below are a five of the most common questions my clients ask of me and the answers I give them:

1. Can I spot train certain parts of my body?  If you are talking about spot training to get rid of the fat (reducing the size of that body part), that will never happen.  No exercise can do that.  When you spot train, you are working the muscle underneath the fat.  To  reduce fat  in certain areas of the body, you must do two things: first, reduce overall body fat through a change in your diet, and second, increase muscle tone through strength training.  Without a doubt, you can spot train to INCREASE the size of a certain area…but never the other way around.

2. Will I bulk-up if I workout?  A lot depends on the type of workout that you do and the principles behind your workout. Genetics, gender, age, diet and the quantity of testosterone your body naturally produces will determine if you’ll have a propensity to bulk up.  Generally, if you are female over 30 years old, it would be difficult to bulk up without the aid of testosterone supplements no matter how heavy you lift.

3. How often and for how long should I workout?  Suggestions by fitness organizations such ACSM, AHA and ACE keep changing as new studies and research are provided. The general agreement, however, is 3-5 days a week for about 20-60 minutes each session. A lot also depends on your goal:  lose weight , maintain your current level of fitness, gain weight or train for a competition or sport. Check with your  personal trainer  for his/her recommendation before you start because too little or too much could hinder your development.

4. What causes muscle soreness after exercise?  Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is caused by a larger than normal burden on a muscle. Originally, it was believed that a build up of lactic acid caused the soreness.  However, research confirms that the soreness is caused by micro tears in the muscle. A release of enzymes from the muscle fibers and the muscle’s response to the larger than normal burden (placed on it) causes the irritation. As the muscles adjust to the weights, the soreness will diminish.

5. What are the best equipment to use?  In general, machines are better for the beginner. They provide more stability than free weights (dumbbells and barbells). They help you maintain form until you can master the moves.  However, machines are two-dimensional exercises (movements are limited to forward and back, or up and down) whereas your muscles are multi-dimensional (they move forward, back, diagonally and sideways). With free-weights and cable pulley machines you activate several muscle fibers at once.  However, they require more skill and control on your part.

Why Stress Causes Obesity?

Author: Albert Leestress-relief-collage

Obesity today is so common that young people are also suffering from this kind of disease. Normally, obesity is diagnosed during middle age. However today, you will normally hear that young people in their 20’s are now suffering from this kind of disease.

The main cause of obesity is overeating. However, not many people know the causes of overeating. And, the answer to this question is stress. Many people today, especially young people, are now living a hectic and stressful lifestyle. Because they live this kind of life, they tend to eat comfort foods to get rid of stress.

Stress can make you feel hungry even though you just ate. Because of this reason, you will tend to eat more portions and fast food chains are serving food portions that are high in fat, sugar and salt 700 percent larger than what is recommended by dietitians and nutritionists.

Over the past two decades, stress has increased in an alarming rate. Studies also found that along with the increase of stress, obesity also followed closely. Try and ask yourself about being stressed. After eating a hearty breakfast, you set off for work. On your way to work, you experience being stuck in a traffic jam. You will see that it will stress you out and it will also make you hungry an crave for food even though you just ate a big breakfast just less than an hour ago.

As you can see, stress is a large contributor to obesity. Because of this, it is very important for you to live a stress free lifestyle as much as you can. You can consider exercising as it can reduce stress or you can also try to meditate.

There is so much you have to change in your life today in order to avoid experiencing stress and at the same time, avoid gaining weight until you become obese. Through exercise and by eating only when you need to, you will decrease stress plus it can also decrease your risk on becoming obese.

Remember this and you will live a happier and healthier life. Defeat obesity by first defeating stress.

Eating Disorders: A Disease Of Perceptions

Author: Gabriel Adamseatingdisorder

Body image is something that young women in America often struggle with on a daily basis. Their minds are flooded with images of rail thin models and celebrities who run the “it” crowd. Unfortunately, this is where many women become obsessed with weight and looks in hopes of making themselves perfect.  Although there is no clear cut cause for an eating disorder, people with a family history of depression or anxiety, obesity, and even social factors are listed as very possible perpetrators for such syndromes.  There are two well known types of eating disorders, Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.

Anorexia is most likely the more well-known eating disorder in America today. Women with Anorexia will have what is called body-image distortion. This means because their views of what is attractive have become so distorted and skewed, what they see in the mirror isn’t necessarily what they actually look like.

So while you may see an attractive and healthy or sometimes underweight and malnourished individual, they will see nothing but flaws that need to be fixed typically their weight.  Some tendencies include; using laxatives or enemas inappropriately, vomiting or excessive exercise routines. This can differ in several ways from the other common eating disorder called Bulimia Nervosa.

Bulimics have similar symptoms, but show different tendencies in their quest for the “perfect” body. While it is still classified as psychological condition dealing with body image this
condition causes the person to binge or overeat greatly on high fat or high calorie foods, and then purge most commonly with laxatives or vomiting. Although both of these disorders are generally categorized as psychological or sociological issues, new studies have shown that some sufferers of Bulimia could have hormonal imbalances specifically testosterone.

Body image matters have really evolved over time and have risen to staggering new heights in America over the last decade. Many will attribute this in large part to the fashion industry and endless media coverage on celebrities. While there is no “cure” for these disorders, anyone who has Anorexia or Bulimia needs treatment. It’s been shown that people who receive treatment at earlier stages have a vastly higher chance of keeping a healthy body and mind.

It is important to be educated about the signs and symptoms of these disorders. If you or anyone close to you is more than moderately underweight, show obsessive or irrational fears of food or gaining weight seek help immediately. These are life threatening diseases, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Correct Weight For Height: Maybe The Ideal Weight For Women Doesn’t Exist…

Author: Cornell Daynehealth_scale

Everywhere you turn there’s this continuous chatter, going on, about the “ideal weight” for a woman. Some claim to know, or have, the solution, but, what does that mean?

Technically, if the chart is your measuring stick, you can be overweight, and look gorgeous rocking your curves, or you can be just a smidge above your ideal weight, and spread like a sack of potatoes. If that’s the case, then ladies what does it really mean to be the correct, or ideal, weight?

There are several factors to take into account when determining what weight you should be:

1. The correct weight for height.

This is an easy one. Someone who is 5’9″ is going to carry 163 pounds—the average weight for women in America—much better than someone who is only 4’11″. Simple logic, of course, yet, so many women strive to attain to a certain number on the scale, ignoring this simple truth.

At 5’3″ and 163 pounds, the average woman could stand to lose about 30-ish pounds; the target weight is 128 pounds for that height.

2. The correct weight for your frame.

Even formal weight charts for men and women split ideal weights into not only height, but small, medium and large frame sizes. This is the difference that people usually refer to as “petite” or “big-boned”. Women are built differently, and you have to take into account, realistically, how you’re built when considering your ideal weight.

Again taking the average height for women, a small frame should be 111 to 124 pounds; medium frame: 121 to 135 pounds; and a large frame: 131 to 147 pounds.

3. The correct weight per your body mass index (BMI).

Your BMI helps you to weigh the health risk factor in your height/weight ratio. Again, it’s important to also look in the mirror and figure in your body frame as well.

But more often these days’ doctors and health experts are using BMI to help people take the scale’s numbers out of the equation, and, instead, focus on the health aspect that’s often forgotten when setting weight loss goals.

There are four BMI categories:

• A BMI if less than 19 means you’re underweight.

• A BMI of 19-25 is the range you want to be in for normal weight.

• If your BMI is between 25 and 30, you’re considered overweight.

• More than 30 BMI is in the obese range, where you are at the greatest risk for weight-related health problems.  The average woman, being 5’3″ and 163 pounds, has a BMI of 28.9, and, because of that, is on the high end of overweight—leaning toward obesity.

There are a variety of ways to determine what the correct weight for height is; they all do a good job of pointing toward the same basic result, which tells you if weight loss is necessary. However, the most important thing to take into account is how you feel about your body, and how you are going to go about achieving the happiness that you deserve.

Men’s Weight Loss Quiz

Author: Deidra Garciafruit_veggie_image

1. Beverages can cause you to gain weight.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: Many men don’t realize that beverages are often loaded with empty calories. Even fortified waters can contain as many calories as a can of soda. In fact, a recent study found that most men don’t accommodate for these extra calories with their meals.  A better bet is to stick to drinking plenty of water, as it keeps your system well-hydrated, helps food break down easier and doesn’t pack on the pounds.

2. Fasting is a good way to drop a few pounds.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: By skipping meals and then playing catch-up, you could end up promoting more fat storage and lowering your metabolism due to fluctuating insulin and blood sugar levels.  You also lose more than fat when you don’t eat…you lose muscle and tissue mass. A better bet is to follow a moderate diet and continue to exercise regularly.

3. Eating more produce reduces the pounds.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: This seems like it should go without saying, but most men don’t get their allotted five servings a day. In addition to containing vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and protein, fruits and vegetables are a low-calorie option that can help you lose weight and improve health tremendously. A few ideas for consuming more are eating a vegetarian meal at least once a week, keeping fresh produce on hand for snacks (even canned vegetables and fruits are valuable as long as they don’t contain heavy syrup or preservatives), and adding more to salads, sandwiches and as side dishes..

4. Drinking a lot of water causes you to lose weight.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: Water is key to fending of dehydration and it helps the body processes. It even helps provide a “full” feeling. But drinking water does not burn off calories, and drinking an excessive amount of water can also add to temporary water weight and make you feel bloated.

5. You need to exercise as well as diet to lose weight.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: Many men think if they eat right they can skip exercising altogether. Or vice versa. Wrong. If you are actively looking to lose weight, you are going to have to regularly exercise as well as follow a nutritious diet. Exercising 3-4 times a week not only improves cardiovascular and overall health, it also helps you burn calories as you build muscle.

6. You can keep your weight down by skipping meals.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: Although experts are divided on how many meals you should eat (3 moderate meals, or several small ones throughout the day), mealtimes need to be kept at the same time every day so your body knows when to feel hungry. Skipping meals can cause you to overeat at the next meal as your body tries to make up for the meal that was missed.

7. Diets that focus on adding or removing only one type of food are the most effective.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: Many fad diets rely on eating a large quantity of or removing one substance or food from your diet (for example: low-carb diet, the cabbage diet, etc.). But the fact is that eating too much of one thing can cause you to miss out on valuable nutrients in other foods (how many fruits contain protein?). And your body needs many components to function well (carbs provide energy, etc.). Instead of drastically cutting or adding an ingredient, try reducing “bad” foods and eating moderate servings of more varied foods.

8. You can still snack and eat your favorite foods as you diet.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: The reason many men fail at weight management is because they try to deprive themselves of their favorite foods…which may not be the healthiest. Unfortunately, when deprived like this, many guys tend to overeat or binge at the slightest waver of willpower. There’s no need to give up desserts or less-than-healthy options…just eat them in small servings and restrict them to only once or twice a week. Even restaurant meals and fast food options can be conquered if you keep the portions small (take half home as leftovers) and you’re aware of what exactly you are consuming, nutrition-wise.

9. How you eat is just as important as what you eat.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: Ever wolf down a huge plate of food and then realize that you weren’t even that hungry to begin with? This happens more frequently than most men think. Men who overeat tend to eat very quickly. This does not allow your stomach time to process food and does not allow your brain time to realize you’ve had enough. A better option is to take your time as you eat: you’ll be able to recognize when you fill full (and then stop) and it will also help with digestion. Not to mention that you’ll be able to savor the flavors much better this way!

10. Nutritional supplements don’t help you lose weight.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: While you cannot rely on a nutritional supplement for all of your dietary needs, they can help you attain significant weigh loss results when coupled with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Just make sure they contain high concentrations of natural ingredients from a trusted source.

11. You always gain weight when you quit smoking.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: Although some men gain weight when they quit, the benefits of quitting smoking far outweigh the risk of putting on a few pounds. And you can avoid that altogether by avoiding snacking on fattening foods. Instead, keep healthier options available (such as veggies, fruit or even sugar-less gum) for when a craving occurs. Exercise can also work out anxiety.


9 – 11 correct: Fitness guru

6 – 8 correct:     A healthy mind set

3 – 5 correct:     Need some coaching

0 – 2 correct:     Get off the couch!