Are you really stressed out . . . excessively uneasy … feel like you’re going to have a panic attack? You may be suffering from anxiety. There’s something you can do without resorting to pharmaceuticals. Here is a handy infographic that offers seven all-natural ways to calm anxiety … [Read more…] about 7 All Natural Ways To Calm Anxiety
When most people say they want to lose weight, they really mean they want to reduce their body fat. “Losing weight” per se, would be to reduce the weight of their bones, muscles, organs along with body fat … most likely not their real goal. Most of us want to preserve all but the body fat part.
So in reality, you want to reduce the amount of body fat you are carrying, but how much is healthy? If you are male, then you want your body fat to be around 10% and for females around 15%.
Why the Scale is Your Worst Enemy
When you first started to eat fewer calories, you probably showed a significant drop in numbers on the scale. But because carbs bind to water, lowering your carb intake reduced the amount of water in your body, so the real loss was not body fat, but water loss – the water had fewer carbs to attach to. If you start eating more carbs again, your weight will go up proportionately due to water hanging onto the additional carbs.
As a matter-of-fact, you can lose body fat, gain muscle and your number on the scale can remain the same, even though you now look better. Why? Because a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat therefore your profile is much slimmer even though you weigh the same.
Measuring Body Fat
The only real way to measure body fat loss accurately at home is by measuring your girth in the same places each time with a pair of body fat calipers – the neck, chest, arms, waist and thighs. Your waist measurement should go down, but the rest of your measurements should go up.
Train for Success
The best overall workout strategy is a mix of cardio and strength training. Cardio burns more calories and thus speeds up fat loss, but it alone is not enough; without strength training, you’ll end up losing muscle.
Through strength training, you’ll tone the muscle you have and build more. And because more muscle means you’ll burn more calories throughout the day, developing muscle mass is the key to long-term weight management.
The varying degrees of your energy level can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Sometimes you have to have the energy to complete a task or activity and other times you seem to have the most energy when you’re trying to relax. If you can learn how to manage your personal energy levels effectively, you can move ahead rather than lag behind.
Here are five ways you can manage your energy levels so that you’re ready for anything – any time.
- Determine the times you’re most energetic. Some people are more energetic in the mornings and others are night owls. You should be able to determine from past experience which time of day you get more done. Those are the times you should schedule the most harrowing or mind bending of tasks.
- Identify what drains you of your energy. Be honest about this assessment. When you know which obstacles and situations keep you from being the best you can be, you can do what it takes to minimize them or eradicate them from your life.
- When you do have energy is it negative or positive? If you have lots of energy, but your output is all about negativity, you are likely in a constant reactive mode rather than a positive, active mode. Negative, but energetic people never seem to have enough time to get things done.
- Use your energy to make headway, not merely survive. We all have increasing demands on our time. The way that we meet it determines whether we go through life just barely getting by or having the energy to advance. Quit rushing through in survival mode simply to get things done. Choose performance over immediate solutions.
- Be consistent in the way you handle situations. When you experience energy highs and lows, you may find yourself reacting to situations according to your energy level. If you’re energetic, you can be positive, but if you’re lethargic you could react in a totally negative manner. Try to be consistent in your reactions and it will help your energy levels to be consistent.
This video offers more tips on how to manage your personal energy levels …
Thomas Leonard, a highly successful financial planner and business entrepreneur says that time is an illusion – “There’s no such thing as time management. There’s only activity management in the time we’re given.” How much activity you get done in that allotted time is directly responsible for how energetic you are.
Make your activities into priorities according to your energy level. Performing low-energy tasks at times when you’re least energetic and high-energy tasks at times when you energy level is highest can help you meet all the demands and expectations and still have time to relax and enjoy life.
Stress can have profound effects on our mental health. It can cause us to lose focus, or it can trigger depression or anxiety. It might affect our memory, and it can have a negative impact on our relationships with others. But did you know that stress can adversely affect our physical health as well?
The Physiology of Stress
In addition to the changes that stress brings forth in our minds, it causes a number of physiological responses. Here is how it works:
1. First, we experience the stress alarm reaction. This is commonly known as the “fight or flight” response. Hormones and chemicals, including adrenaline and endorphins, flood into the bloodstream, and we experience a sudden burst of energy. This increases our blood pressure and breathing rate. Digestion slows down, and blood rushes to our major organs.
2. Once the initial threat has passed, our bodies move into a stage called stress resistance. The body begins to function somewhat normally again, but it is still on alert. It begins to repair any tissue that was damaged during the initial stage of stress.
3. The third stage is stress exhaustion. This occurs when we experience ongoing stress. This stage is where the most damage is done. The immune system may be suppressed thanks to an overabundance of certain chemicals, and the cardiovascular system often suffers.
Effects of Stress on Your Body?
The end results of too much stress can be detrimental to our health. The strain it puts on our cardiovascular system can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure or stroke. We might gain weight due to changes in metabolism or eating habits. Our immunity might become impaired to the point that we get sick more frequently. Stress has also been known to be a major factor in the formation of many stomach ulcers.
Stress can also affect our bodies in ways that are less serious but rather bothersome. It can cause headaches and body aches. It might lead to skin breakouts. It can affect our sleep patterns. It can cause sexual dysfunction. And it can make us more susceptible to allergy symptoms.
Health problems that we already have are often made worse by stress. This is especially true for disorders that are connected to the nervous system, such as chronic pain, digestive problems, and bowel disorders. If these ailments are present, excessive stress can make a bad situation worse.
We all experience stress. It is a normal, unavoidable part of life. But too much stress can cause numerous problems for us. That’s why it is so important for us to learn how to handle stress effectively. Doing so will reduce its harmful effects on both the mind and the body.
Being in good health gives us more energy and a better attitude. But it is important not to take these gifts for granted. We should take steps to maintain a healthy body … and mind. If one is suffering, the other will often follow.
Here are a few things we all can do to keep our bodies and minds healthy:
1 | Kick bad habits. Smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and overeating can all adversely affect our physical health. By putting these habits to rest, we can feel better both physically and mentally.
2 | Eat a nutritious diet. Healthy foods give us the nutrients our bodies need to fight off disease and maintain a healthy weight. They also give us the energy we need to exercise and participate in everyday activities.
3 | Get plenty of rest. If we’re not getting enough sleep at night, we have less energy during the day. Our mental health also suffers. Getting in our 8 hours every night is more important than most of us realize.
4 | Participate in activities you enjoy. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be dull and boring. Finding a sport or other physical activity that you look forward to participating in will allow you to have fun while doing something that is good for your body. And, of course, having fun is great for your mental state.
5 | Work out regularly. Obviously this is good for our bodies, but it is also good for our minds. Physical exercise helps relieve stress, and it can boost our self-esteem. Try to participate in some consistent physical activity at least three times a week.
6 | Keep tabs on your health with regular checkups. Some health problems can sneak up on you, but regular physicals can facilitate early detection and make treatment easier and more effective.
7 | Consider prayer or meditation. If your mind is cluttered or you have a negative outlook, prayer or meditation can help. It can give you a sense of peace, increase your mental clarity and help you stress less about challenges in life.
Healthy Body . . . Healthy Mind
Maintaining our health requires some effort, but it makes our lives longer and more enjoyable. This applies not only to our bodies, but also to our minds. Taking the time to keep our minds and bodies in good shape allows us to be happier and more productive, and to get more out of life.
To kick-start your journey to “well living,” check out the TEN great healthy habits to adopt for a happier, healthier, and potentially longer life. [Read more…] about Your Wellness Kick-Start Plan