Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

15 Great Inspirational Health and Happiness Quotes

Here is a list of some of my favorite inspirational quotes. Hope you enjoy.

If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want.  ~Elbert Hubbard

The future depends on what we do in the present.  ~Mahatma Gandhi

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  ~World Health Organization, 1948he future depends on what we do in the present. - Mahatma Gandhi The 
He who takes medicine and neglects to diet wastes the skill of his doctors.  ~Chinese Proverb

When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no "I'll start tomorrow."  Tomorrow is disease.  ~Unknown

I think you might dispense with half your doctors if you would only consult Dr. Sun more.  ~Henry Ward Beecher

Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit.  When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.  ~B.K.S. Iyengar

 Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.  ~Josh Billings

A healthy body and soul come from an unencumbered mind and body.  ~Ymber Delecto

Adam and Eve ate the first vitamins, including the package.  ~E.R. Squibb

Health is a large word.  It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;... and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man.  ~James H. West

From the bitterness of disease man learns the sweetness of health.  ~Catalan Proverb

If you don't take care of yourself, the undertaker will overtake that responsibility for you.  ~Carrie Latet

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.  ~Arabic Proverb

So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.  ~A.J. Reb Materi, Our Family

The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body.
The more efficient your body, the better you feel
and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.
~Anthony Robbins

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quick Tips: Practice Good Hygiene at the Gym

Going to the gym can be one of the most rewarding activities in ones life. Just about every day I go to the gym, and unlike many other gym rats I know I hardly ever get sick. Is it because I have a better immune system? No, it's because I practice safe gym hygiene. I'm by no means a germaphobe, I'm just aware of my surroundings. I don't mean to gross anybody out, but gyms are one of the most germ invested places you'll ever visit. The good news is that by practicing the few tips below you can seriously decrease your chances of catching something.

1) Bring your own water.
When you bring your own water to the gym, you are assuring the quality of the water your consuming. Filtered water is much safer than the unfiltered tap water usually found in the water fountains at the gym. Also, by using your own bottle of water you are able to avoid having to use the public fountain which can  be a breeding ground for germs. I suggest when choosing your water bottle you make sure it's not the type that requires you to pop it open by hand as you will be spreading germs from your hand onto the mouthpiece. Instead choose either a screw top bottle or a sports bottle with a built in straw.

2) Always Wipe Down Equipment Before And After Your Workout.
Even if you always see gym staff wiping down the equipment it's a good idea to do it yourself. At the gym I go to they offer sanitary wipes throughout the gym which makes it easy to quickly disinfect the equipment. I've been to other gyms however where I had to bring my own wipes. You don't necessarily need to disinfect every piece of equipment you use, just be aware when you don't that you will be in contact with germs, so don't touch your face or put anything in your mouth until you thoroughly wash your hands.

3) Use Shower Shoes
If you take a shower at the gym I highly recommend using a pair of shower shoes. A showers warm moist environment makes it the perfect breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. Athletes foot, toenail fungus, and plantar warts are some of the dreadful infections you can contract if your not protected.

4) Always Wash Your Hands
I almost always have a little snack halfway through my workout. Before I put anything near my face I give my hands a good washing. To assure you get your hands thoroughly clean make sure to use soap and rub your hands together for 20 seconds, then rinse with fresh running water. Turn off the faucet using a paper towel if possible otherwise use your elbow. Then dry your hands with a fresh paper towel or air dryer.

Going to the gym should be an enjoyable safe experience. By practicing good gym hygiene you are not only helping to protect yourself you are setting a good example that others are sure to follow.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Health Benefits of Lap Swimming

It's been about two weeks since I got back in the pool to do some lap swimming and I gotta tell you, I'm already addicted. As a youngster growing up I swam on year around swim teams for about 6 years. Throughout that time I was one of the healthiest kids in school. When it came time for my schools annual physical fitness test I was always in the top of my class. Other kids would ask me why I was in such good shape. I would tell them it was because I swim everyday. Most kids couldn't understand how swimming was actually exercise.

As an adult I've mostly stuck to cycling as a my preferred form of cardio, and weight lifting for building muscle. It's been great, but at times maybe a little hard on my body. The long distances I ride can sometimes leave me feeling very stiff and sore in my lower back. Now that I've re-introduced myself to swimming however, I have noticed some very positive changes in both my physical capabilities as well as the amount of pain I experience post workout.

Swimming is a very low impact sport that can be continued throughout your life into your golden years. Even if you suffer from an injury, chances are a doctor will always recommend swimming as a form of rehabilitation. Why? Lap swimming is not only a great source of cardio, it helps to strengthen your heart and lungs, and is a great way to tone your entire body. Because it's so low impact on the joints you'll be able to workout without having to endure the pains associated with other types of exercise.

I've heard every excuse why someone would choose not to lap swim. Here's the two most common reasons I hear.

  • "It's too cold to go swimming". Most athletic facilities that offer a lap pool keep it heated at about 60 to 70 degrees. After the initial shock of jumping in you'll quickly warm up within a minute or two of starting your swim.
  • "I don't want anyone to see my body". If your worried about your physical image, don't be. There are more people who are out of shape than in shape in this country. If it really bothers you just go out to the pool with a towel or two around your body. Once you jump in nobody will even notice you, not that they were concerned about it anyway.

If your just getting started, you may want to see if any of the athletic clubs or swim teams in your area offer a beginners class. You'll be pleased to see other people just like yourself making the effort to get healthy by starting a lap swimming routine. Before you go you'll need to purchase a swim suit, a pair of goggles, ear plugs, and a swim cap. Check your local listings to find a swim store near you so you can try on your equipment to assure a proper fit. After that you can probably save a few bucks by ordering your gear online. Once you have the basic gear your ready to get started. Later you may want to expand your gear to include a gear bag, a pair of fins, hand paddles, a  kick-boardpersonal lap counter, and this super cool underwater mp3 player .

Swimming is not only healthy , it's fun. Take it easy at first and don't get discouraged. The investment you make in your health now will pay huge dividends down the road. So what are you waiting for? Start looking for a pool :)

Fun Factoid:
Did you know?
You can burn upwards of 900 calories in just one hour of lap swimming.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Jack Lalanne 5 Things you Should Remember to Stay Fit

Check out this inspirational video of a vibrant 94 year old Jack Lalanne, aka "The Godfather of Fitness".

Jack Lalanne's 5 Things you Should Remember to Stay Fit:
  1. Your never too old to get in shape.
  2. Wear yourself out, don't rest yourself out.
  3. Take good care of your back.
  4. Never stop learning.
  5. What you eat today your gonna wear tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Dog is my Training Partner

Today is my dog Harrah's 4th birthday. So we started out the day like we usually do, with a nice walk. When I first started on my journey towards living a more healthy and happy life, I knew that in order to grow and move in the right direction it was absolutely necessary that I include my dog. I didn't realize it at the time but she would quickly become a great training partner. Not only does she like to go on long walks, she loves running, hiking, and going on new adventures. It doesn't matter if it's 2:00am or 2:00pm she's always ready to exercise. I believe that if you invest in the health of your dog, your dog will become an investment in your health. And she has. Everyday she's a source of  inspiration that helps keep me motivated. Part of what makes us a great team is that she has been properly trained and she knows her role in the family. I owe a big shout out to Cesar Millan, aka The Dog Whisperer for helping me become more aware of how my furry friends mind works. I highly recommend, even if you don't  have a dog, that you watch one of his dvd's, or read one of his books. The psychology behind his work is sure to open your mind to how we communicate with our pets.

My Favorite Gear For 
Working Out With My Dog

How to get a Good Nights Sleep

Sleep is something we all need in order to properly repair our bodies and keep our minds sharp. Although everybody's different, the average sleep required to become fully recharged is between 7.5 and 8 hours a night. A lack of sleep can take a serious toll on our bodies and has been known to cause many health related issues such as an increased risk of heart disease, and depressive disorders. Through research and study I have discovered many proven methods of natural sleep aid. The following is a list of my 10 favorite ways you can enhance your sleeping experience.

1) Exercise

If you don't exercise you will not release the built up toxins and tensions locked within your body. Vigorous exercise will help to induce a deeper sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed in the morning. However, try not to work out too close to your bedtime as it can actually contribute to a sleepless night.

2) Cut Out The Caffeine & Sugar 

No, I'm not telling you to completely give up these two uppers, just try not to consume them after early afternoon. Coffee is a powerful stimulant that can influence your internal system for many hours after consumed, causing sleeplessness. Sugar causes a spike in blood sugar that when consumed near bedtime can cause insomnia.

3) Don't Drink Alcohol Near Bedtime

Although alcohol can sometimes help to induce sleep, studies have shown that the second half of sleep can become more disrupted causing you to toss and turn. The result is waking up not feeling as refreshed as you would have had you opted for a glass of water instead. This can lead to daytime drowsiness that can affect your memory and sociability. Car accidents are also more likely to occur.

4) Turn Off All Electrical Stimulants

Many of us have become accustomed to surfing the internet well into the latter hours of the evening, then fall asleep watching t.v. You should turn off all electronics and dim the lights about an hour before your desired bedtime to help induce sleep. Try snuggling up to a good book under the covers and see how much easier it is to enter dreamland.

5) Natural Herbal Remedies

There are many natural herbs that can help you fall asleep :) The two most commonly used are Valerian and Chamomile. Valerian has long been used as a treatment for insomnia. The only drawback is that it needs to be taken on a regular basis and takes about two weeks to start working. It is usually taken orally about an hour before bedtime. Chamomile unlike Valerian doesn't need to be taken on a regular basis to be affective. It is most commonly made into a tea and consumed about an hour before bedtime. Both of these herbs can be found at your local health-food store.

6) Meditation

Meditation can be one of the best ways to help you clear your mind and relax your body. Although there are many different styles of meditation, I suggest to simply start by closing your eyes and envisioning all your muscles relaxing while breathing steadily in and out. If you're having racing thoughts wile trying to sleep envision a stop sign in your head. This will help put a halt to all that annoying activity.

7) Feng Shui

There are many ways to incorporate Feng Shui into your bedroom to help with sleep. Wall color, the direction of your bed, and the absents of electronic stimulants and paperwork are just some of the ways Feng Shui is used to help aid in a restful nights sleep.

8) Music

Calm music can be a great way to help introduce yourself to sleep. There are many relaxation c.d.'s available online that can help you get your Z's. Some people prefer sounds of nature like the sound of a rippling ocean, while others prefer a more synthetic sound such as octave waves.

9) Sex

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain by the pineal gland from the amino acid tryptophan. Synthetic melatonin is readily available and has been widely used to help with many types of sleeping disorders such as insomnia.