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Sunday, June 28 2015

Success lies in faith & perseverance…

Success comes from a strong will,

a relentlessness to excel and accomplish a goal.

It’s largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.

You’re not finished if you fall down…

you’re only finished if you quit.

The most important quality essential to success

 is Faith & Perseverance.

It overcomes almost everything.

Have the courage to stick it out,

follow your heart and

allow me to guide you,

motivate you and challenge you…

by doing so,

 YOU WILL ATTAIN YOUR GOALS!

By keeping your eye on the target and believing

without allowing yourself to be distracted from success…

You will SUCCEED!

Stay the course…

Don’t ever give in!

Follow through on your commitment to be your best!

I am here to fulfill my commitment to you.

I am here to insure your Success!

Your Personal Trainer,

Aline

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, June 28 2015

If you really want to see that number on the scale drop, then you have to think twice about what you put in your mouth. People who simply cut calories to slim down lose about 2 pounds a week. At the same time, people who exercise but don’t restrict calories drop less than half a pound in the same period.

Why doesn’t physical activity produce the same pound-dropping results as calorie restriction? One thought is that though exercise burns calories, it doesn’t rev your metabolism. It also doesn’t prevent your metabolism from slowing as you lose pounds. As you slim down, via any method, your metabolism slows incrementally with your weight loss, and despite what many believe exercising doesn’t keep that from happening. As you lose weight, you burn fewer calories through exercise alone. For example, a 150-pound person who works the elliptical for 30 minutes burns about 306 calories. After losing 10 pounds, that person will burn about 286 calories doing the same workout. So to burn 306 calories, you’d need to extend your workout.

Think diet and exercise combined equals more weight lost? Not so, research shows people who diet and exercise for weight loss drop the same amount of weight as people who only diet. Yet, research reveals that people who are larger or have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest. Likewise, those who diet and exercise are more likely to keep the weight off than their counterparts who simply eat less.

Bottom line: slimming down for the long term, you need to create an energy deficit by eating fewer calories, and by increasing the number of calories you burn through physical activity.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, June 27 2015
  • Increased muscular strength
  • Increased strength of tendons and ligaments
  • Strength Training properly improves flexibility (range of motion of joints)
  • Reduced body fat and increased lean body mass (muscle mass)
  • Potentially decreases resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure
  • Positive changes in blood cholesterol
  • Improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity
  • Improved strength, balance, and functional ability in older adults
  • Reduce the risk of premature death
  • Reduce the risk of developing and/or dying from heart disease
  • Reduce high blood pressure or the risk of developing high blood pressure
  • Reduce high cholesterol or the risk of developing high cholesterol
  • Reduce the risk of developing colon cancer and breast cancer
  • Reduce the risk of developing diabetes
  • Reduce or maintain body weight or body fat
  • Build and maintain healthy muscles and joints
  • Increases Bone Density (builds and maintains strong bones)
  • Reduce depression and anxiety
  • Improve psychological well-being
  • Enhanced work, recreation, and sport performance
Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, June 27 2015

I‘m often asked, “As a vegetarian, where do you get your protein.” And, “Do you get enough protein?” Why do people think that the only source of protein is animal-based? And why is so much emphasis given to protein?

Let’s me address the first question.

There are many sources of plant-based protein. Ample amounts of protein are thriving in whole, natural plant-based foods. For example, spinach is 51 percent protein; mushrooms, 35 percent; beans, 26 percent; oatmeal, 16 percent; whole wheat pasta, 15 percent; corn, 12 percent; and potatoes, 11 percent.

Do I get enough protein? Of course I do! What’s more, our body needs less protein than you may think. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average 150-pound male requires only 22.5 grams of protein daily based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, which means about 4.5 percent of calories should come from protein. (WHO recommends pregnant women get 6 percent of calories from protein.) Other nutritional organizations recommend as little as 2.5 percent of daily calories come from protein while the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board’s recommended daily allowance is 6 percent after a built-in safety margin; most Americans, however, are taking in 20 percent or more.

Moreover, plant-based protein is better for you. More plant sources of protein will also offer more health benefits including more fiber and nutrients. There are lots of nutrient dense foods with high protein content.

There are also health concerns of animal-based protein, for the average American consumes well over 100 grams daily—a dangerous amount. But if you eat a plant-strong diet, you’ll be getting neither too much nor too little of protein, but an amount that’s just right.

Why is protein so potentially harmful? Your body can store carbohydrates and fats, but not protein. So if the protein content of your diet exceeds the amount you need, not only will your liver and kidneys become overburdened, but you will start leaching calcium from your bones to neutralize the excess animal protein that becomes acidic in the human body.

Tell me – when was the last time, you knew of someone who was hospitalized for a protein deficiency? Likewise, look around in nature, where you will notice that the largest and strongest animals, such as elephants, gorillas, hippos, and bison, are all plant eaters.

IT’S A FACT: A Plant-based diet is a diet rich in everything you need for optimal health!!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, June 27 2015

“I want to lose weight.” Nine out of ten times this is what I hear when I ask clients what is their most important goal? When I delve deeper into why they want to lose weight. Here are some of the most revealing reasons.

  • I hate looking at myself in a mirror.
  • I want to feel I can do this and to keep the weight off.
  • I hate myself in a bathing suit. I don’t even like going to the pool with my kids.
  • I want to feel good about myself again.
  • I want to feel better physically.
  • I want to be happier.
  • I dread having my picture taken.
  • I will be healthier.
  • So I won’t die young like my dad, my mom.
  • I want be a good example to my children.
  • I want to learn to eat healthier food, therefore, my family will eat healthier.
  • I want to feel less winded when walking stairs.
  • I want to live longer and enjoy my life more.
  • I don’t want to be afraid of the scale any more.
  • I want to look better and feel better.
  • I want to look good at my class reunion.
  • I want to look good at my son/daughter’s wedding.
  • So my back won’t hurt.
  • So my feet won’t hurt.
  • So people won’t think I’m pregnant.
  • So I won’t have to come up with new excuses for being overweight.
  • So I won’t feel depressed to just get dressed in the morning.
  • So I can feel comfortable in a car, or at the theater, or on an airplane.
  • I want to wear smaller size clothing.
  • I want to be smaller.
  • I want to be able to shop in regular size clothing stores.
  • I want to be able to run, play and do things with my kids/grandkids.
  • I want to dance again.
  • I want to feel better about myself.
  • I want to be happy!

Isn't it time that you enjoy and live your life to its fullest and truly, truly be happy?!?!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, June 27 2015

Clients often ask me what is a healthy snack other than the “perfect snack “of fresh fruit and vegetables. My answer to them, it all depends. Are we asking about easy snacks of convenience or just healthy, nutritional snacks in general.

If we’re at home, we certainly have more snack options, for obvious reasons you have your refrigerator and pantry.

On the other hand, at work and in travel, they’re fewer options. To keep this brief, let’s look at one easy snack option, a nutrition bar. Still not all nutrition bars are created equal. Let’s look at what makes for a healthy snack bar.

I set the “bar” high. A healthy snack bar should have more than 3 grams of protein; more than 3 grams of fiber; most of the fats should be heart-healthy fats (unsaturated fats); and carbohydrates should be mostly whole grains with 10-20 grams of sugar. I’m not going to name specific brands, for that’s your job to read nutrition information.

However, I will point out the things you should avoid. You should avoid, like the plaque, such things as trans-fats, hydrogenated oils, sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.

In understanding trans-fats, it’s pertinent to know that these fats are artificially produced and cause far more damage to your body than any other fat and they are often disguised as hydrogenated oils. Read the nutrition facts and the list of ingredients carefully. Read more: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/trans-fat/CL00032

Another ingredient in all products not just snack bars that you should look for is the words “sucrose”, “fructose” and “high fructose” corn syrup. What exactly are these? They’re sweeteners. Sucrose, commonly called table sugar, is an organic compound composed of fructose and glucose. Sucrose is made from cane or beet sugar and can be powdered or granulated. Sucrose is considered empty calories providing only energy without nutritional value. Sucrose is metabolized in the liver and has a variety of beneficial and detrimental health effects.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/517473-the-effect-of-sucrose-on-the-liver/#ixzz2LqTWIzEW

Fructose, often called the fruit sugar, is a type of naturally occurring sugar found in many fruits, vegetables, and honey. Fructose is nearly twice as sweet as sucrose (table sugar) and can give a similar rise in blood sugar as sucrose. Fructose is commonly used in processed foods partly because it is less expensive to produce than sucrose and it takes less of it to produce the same level of sweetness. Fructose is often consumed in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which is fructose that has been combined with corn syrup and chemically treated to increase the concentration and sweetness of the fructose. High fructose corn syrup, a sweetener in its worst form, is found in many of our food and beverage products. Researchers have found evidence that indicates the consumption of fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup contributes significantly to weight gain and possible insulin resistance.

So if you’re looking for healthy snack bars beware of the artificial “weight gaining” ingredients!! I will discuss in my next blog other healthy snack options as well as other detrimental ingredients to be aware of. Healthy snacking to you!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 26 2015

Sometimes, I wonder how we live civilly with one another. What sets us apart from an uncivilized society? Wow! That’s an oxymoron. Living civilly – having a civic responsibility to play by the rules carries over to all aspects of our lives which includes the gym.

Understanding and embracing good gym etiquette will make for a more positive exercise experience for all. And for the sake of brevity, I am only going to discuss the gym floor, which excludes the locker room, the group classes, the pool area, the racquetball courts, etc.

If I were to sum up the most irritating, most inconsiderate things people do or don’t do in the gym, it would be the following.

(1) Clean up. My biggest pet peeve is someone who walks away from a machine, leaving a slimy pool of sweat behind. No Thanks! Always bring a towel with you and wipe the machines down when you’re finished. Most gyms offer wipes or sprays strategically located around the gym for this purpose.

(2) Pick up. Another pet peeve is the person who leaves excessive weight on the leg press machine. I don’t know, maybe I look stronger than I am. Or your mother isn’t doing her job. The point is, always put your weights back when you’re finished. Likewise, not returning weights to their rack is frustrating for other members looking for a specific dumbbell, especially if there’s only one pair for each weight interval. Putting them away is just common courtesy. Why do some people find this so difficult?!?

(3) Share. If you’re doing multiple sets on a machine, it’s common courtesy to let others work in during your rest periods. This may not always be practical, but offer to share whenever you can. If you’re doing sets on a piece of equipment and resting between each one, don’t sit on the machine while you recover. I’ve seen people sit for three to five minutes while someone else is waiting to work in a set. And if you see someone waiting for your machine, offer to let him or her work in while you rest. Even if there isn’t someone in line, try to limit your recovery time when seated on the equipment to 30 seconds; it’s better for your heart rate and for those around you. In the same way, don’t hog the treadmill! Many gyms have time limits on cardio machines during busy hours. And no, throwing your towel over the display doesn’t fool anyone!

(4) Use the machines properly. I’ve seen people doing crunches on a leg press machine. If you don’t know how a machine works, either look at the diagrams on the machine or ask someone to show you how it works. Most gym-goers are happy to help. Likewise, use good form. Some inexperienced member may be looking at you and wondering is that how I’m suppose to do it? Good form is different depending on what exercise you’re doing but, however, in general, good form means:

Don’t swing your weights. Unless you’re doing a sports specific workout, use slow and controlled movements. If you have to heave the weight up, it’s too heavy macho-man!
Don’t drop or throw the weights down. That’s a great way to break a toe–yours or someone else’. If you’re using a heavy weight, have a spotter nearby to help you.

(5) No personal belongings on the gym floor, please. Your gym bag on the floor takes up space, but moreover it’s a hazard, since someone can trip on it. Use a gym-provided locker or another provided space to stash your bag.

(6) Talking on a cell phone. Hearing someone gabbing away on the machine next to you is always distracting. It’s amazing how many people wear phone earbuds and carry on a full conversation while you’re trying to work out. Keep your phone stashed in your bag or locker while on the gym floor. If you find yourself tempted to make a call, remember that if you’re able to talk easily while you’re exercising, you may not be exerting much effort.

Above all, always respect the people around you and follow any posted rules that your gym may have. If you see someone blatantly breaking the rules, ask them politely to correct the behavior or talk to the facility manager about the problem. If you’ve noticed a situation, others probably have as well. Getting along with others at the gym just takes a little common sense. By following the rules of gym etiquette, you—and the exercisers around you—can all enjoy a great workout with minimal aggravation.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 26 2015

What does it mean to care for your body? As children we are taught good oral hygiene, to eat your veggies, get out and play and get some exercise. These things are true; but, why is it then when we have choice as adults, we choose NOT to take care of our bodies. Having a healthy diet and exercising regularly is the best thing we can do for our bodies.

Research has validated without a shadow of a doubt that you can lower your risk for the most serious diseases by following a healthy diet. According to a recent study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine, healthy eating can ward off 25% of all cancers and, combined with exercising regularly and not smoking, can prevent possibly 90% of cases of type 2 diabetes.

However, ironically, for most of us, when it comes to taking care of our cars, we adhere religiously to regular, timely maintenance. We provide our cars the proper care at the regularly scheduled times. We do this to ensure a safe, dependable car. I ask then, why don’t we do the same for our bodies? If we expect to function at our best and have a quality healthy life, wouldn’t it make sense for us to take care of our bodies as meticulously as we do our cars?

I have preached almost exhaustively on this topic over the years. That’s what I do for a living. Teach good health & fitness. It’s something I take very seriously and so should YOU! None of us is guaranteed tomorrow, but you can rest assured that if we have a tomorrow – for many of us because we have NOT taken care of ourselves, will be one of pain and suffering – one of diminishing poor health. Isn’t it time to make those changes that will better your chances of living a long, healthy life?

Embrace Health! Embrace Life! Take Care of Your Bodies!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 26 2015

Most people want to start exercising and eating healthy but are completely overwhelmed at where to even start.  So hopefully these tips will help to point you in the right direction.

First and foremost, you need to write down the biggest reason you want to get healthy. What’s your motivation?  If you find this task overwhelming, perhaps, it’s time to seek a professional who can help you with the process. In an earlier blog, I spoke about what to look for in a qualified personal trainer (August 2011). Now let’s take it a step further and look at what a personal trainer should do for you! A qualified personal trainer (Qualifications of a Personal Trainer August 2012) other than exercising you, he or she should be doing the following:

  1. Helping you with the initial process of goal setting. Right at the onset, goals should be put in place. You want to be healthy, but what exactly do you want to accomplish?  You need to make these goals measurable and realistic.  For example, “I want to look good” is not a good goal. We all want to look good!  Looking good, what does that mean to YOU? Looking good is different for everyone.  Do you have a goal to lose 30 lbs, or to lose 2 sizes? You might be happy with your current size but just want to tone?  Whatever it is, it needs to be a something you want badly enough. This articulate, written and realistic goal will be a constant reminder for you while you’re embarking on this journey.
  2. Taking baseline measurements. Once you have your goals, the next step is baseline, starting measurements: weight, body fat and pictures.  I know, I know, pictures – eeewwww!   Yet pictures serve as a source of motivation and a visual to your progress. Likewise, tracking progress through weekly measurements, strength charts and short-term and intermediate goals are a necessity for accomplishing the ultimate goal of looking GOOD!
  3. Monitoring a food diary. You need to be aware of what you’re eating so you know where to make changes. Your food log is a way for your trainer to help you pick out foods that may not have been the best choice and find a way to replace them with healthier options. And learning how to read nutrition information goes a long way.
  4. Providing a variety of interesting and challenging workouts. A good trainer will take in consideration the health and exercise history of clients even before exercise. Just ask me and we’ll discuss your goals, your time limits, concerns, etc and find the most challenging and interesting workouts that are right for you.  And keeping your workouts fresh
  5. Demonstrating exercises with detail to good form.
  6. Tracking progress in a training log.
  7. Having a support network. Find someone to help you.

So those are my tips to get started.  You need to be realistic with your time and make an effort to plan.  Believe me, even the most fit and healthy people you know today at some point where were you are right now.  If it were easy, we’d all be looking good!  So if you want this badly enough, you will do what it takes to meet your goals.  Just be consistent; stick with it; and realize that yes, things will come up that will throw you off track; however, the most important thing you can do is to get back on track! That’s what your trainer and your support network are there for. The best to YOU!!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 24 2015

MYTH:
Muscle Turns to Fat When You Stop Working Out.

FACT:
Lack of exercise causes the body to burn fewer calories and may lead to weight gain. The muscles may reduce in size without exercise. This means that muscle is NOT turning to fat, but it becoming smaller while more fat covers it. You can prevent this through a healthy diet and regular exercise.

MYTH:
NO PAIN, NO GAIN

FACT:
Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. A good exercise program puts a reasonable demand on the cardio respiratory and musculoskeletal systems and may be uncomfortable but should not hurt.

MYTH:
Spot Reduction is Possible.

FACT:
Contrary to popular belief you cannot “burn fat” from just one area of your body by exercising that body part. Regular exercise and a healthy diet will help you lose extra body weight, which you’ll lose from your entire body, NOT from one spot.

MYTH:
Women Who Lift Weights Will Get Big Bulky Muscles

FACT:
Most women to not have the genetic potential to get as big as men do when strength training. So don’t worry!! Strength training is good for your bones, muscles, and overall health.

MYTH:
Doing lots of Crunches Will Make My “six pack” Visible.

FACT:
Doing crunches will build the abdominal muscles, but you won’t necessarily see them until you get rid of the layer of fat covering them. To have visible abs, you will need to have a balanced diet and proper exercise to lose fat.

MYTH:
You will burn more fat if you exercise for longer period at a lower intensity.

FACT:
The most important idea behind weight loss is burning more calories than you consume no matter if those calories come fat or not. The faster you walk, run, bike, etc, the more calories you burn per minute. Try some interval training to pick up the intensity in your workout!!

MYTH:
There is a Quick Fix Out There to Make Me Lose Weight

FACT:
In reality, there are no quick fixes. Weight loss is not easy, and requires a balanced diet and regular exercise. If the newest diet pill seems too good to be true, that’s because it is.

MYTH:
Muscle Weighs More Than Fat

FACT:
A pound of fat and a pound of muscle weigh the same, a pound! However, muscle is denser and takes up less space than fat. Replacing some poundage of fat with muscle will make you seem smaller, when you really weigh the same

MYTH:
Eating After 8pm Will Make You Gain Weight

FACT:
Your metabolism doesn’t know what time it is. To gain weight you must consume more calories than you expend. You can eat any time and not gain weight as long as you don’t over-consume calories that day

MYTH:
The More Protein I Consume, the More Muscle I’ll Gain

FACT:
The body uses protein, carbohydrates, and fat to build muscle. An excessive amount of protein will end up unused by the body and expelled as waste.

MYTH:
To Lose Weight, I Should Eat as Little as Possible

FACT:
The less you eat, the more the body believes it’s being starved, and will hold onto its precious fat stores. In order to lose weight you must expend more calories than you consume. A deficit of 3,500 kcal/week will result in 1-lb of fat loss. It is best to try to reduce by 500 kcals/day through diet and exercise. A healthy amount of weight to lose per week is 1-2 lbs. Also eating 5-6 small meals/snacks throughout the day will help keep your metabolism active, and an elevated metabolism equals weight loss

MYTH:
If I Really Want To Get Bigger, Leaner or Better I Should Exercise As Much As Possible

FACT:
Too much exercise can lead to overtraining, which will greatly hamper the results you are trying to achieve. The body needs adequate rest and recovery time in between workout sessions.

MYTH:
I Want to Get Defined Muscles, so I Should Lift Lighter Weights with Higher Repetitions

FACT:
You may have increased muscle size through strength training. All the weight lifting in the world isn’t going to reveal it if it’s hidden by a layer of fat! That’s where diet and cardio come into play. A balanced diet and regular cardiovascular activity will help display that hard earned muscle. Also lighter weights with higher reps will just lead to muscular endurance. An increase in lean tissue is best achieved through a repetition range of 6-10 over 3-5 sets. Also it is recommended to perform 3 or more exercises per muscle group!

Source: Wilmore, J & Costil, D (1999) Physiology of Sport & Exercise. Human Kinetics

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 24 2015

A new report from Harvard Medical School says middle-aged and older women need to worry about certain health concerns – osteoporosis, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and microvascular disease, which is a type of disease more common in women.

What can women do to better their chances of not being afflicted with these health concerns? According to the report, A Guide to Women’s Health Fifty and Forward, 10 steps to a longer and healthier life is made available.

They include:

  • Shun cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoke that is inhaled causes lung cancer, sinus disease and chronic obstructive lung disease; and increases the risk of strokes and heart disease.
  • Keep moving. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests every adult get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. Sessions should be at least 10 minutes in length.
  • Follow the Mediterranean diet pattern of mostly plant foods, limiting animal protein to fish and poultry, using olive oil as the principal fat and using wine in moderation.
  • Mind the body mass index. Obesity increases the risk of diabetes 20 times and substantially boosts the risk of developing blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and gallstones.
  • Lift the glass, but only one. Alcohol’s effects become more insidious as women age because the body’s water-to-fat ratio declines over the years.
  • Don’t run up a sleep deficit. Medical evidence suggests we need seven to nine hours of sleep daily, but more than 60 percent of women fall short of this.
  • Be your own best advocate on health issues. Know what’s best for you and just do it!
  • Keep connected. Older women who remain socially active live longer, healthier lives than their solitary counterparts.
  • Avoid stress. Find techniques to reduce stress and its effects.
  • Use supplements selectively. Experts agree the best way to get nutrients is through food. Only calcium and vitamin D are recommended supplements.
Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, June 23 2015

Research Finds ElliptiGO Produces Comparable Heart Rate and Energy Expenditure Response to Running, Meets Fitness Industry GuidelinesSAN DIEGO, June 18, 2015—Since their debut in 1990s, elliptical cross-trainer machines have steadily ranked among the most popular cardio options by gym-goers, but their one drawback is that users are trapped indoors. The ElliptiGO, a bicycle and elliptical hybrid, provides an outdoor option for elliptical devotees. Intrigued by this machine, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) commissioned an independent study to determine the effectiveness of a workout on the ElliptiGO and how it measures up to accepted fitness industry guidelines for improving cardio respiratory fitness and body composition.

Source: ACE® Study Evaluates the ElliptiGO Outdoor Elliptical Bicycle

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:56 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, June 21 2015

Most Americans eat an animal based diet often times with little or no plant based foods. Most “meat-eaters” actually get too much protein, which can lead to a vast amount of health problems.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) on food packages lists protein requirements at 10 percent. Americans, however, average around 15-16 percent of calories from protein. According to respected nutrition researcher Professor T. Colin Campbell, “Only 5-6 percent of dietary protein is required to replace the protein regularly excreted by the body (as amino acids).

Most people do not realize that every whole food contains protein, carrots contain protein, celery contains protein. The protein consumed from a balanced plant-based diet appears to be plenty. Animal products are not the only source of protein. As a matter of a fact, the research shows that an animal-protein diet contributes to diseases of nearly every type; and a plant-based diet is not only good for our health, but it’s also curative of the very serious diseases we face.

Abundant evidence suggests that the most healthful diets set aside animal products and also reduce fats in general, while including large amounts of vegetables and fruits. Eliminating meat and dairy products from your diet is a powerful step in disease prevention and premature death!

For further readings on the topic, I highly recommend, The China Study, by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Planeat, by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:54 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 19 2015

Healthy Aging

 What is healthy aging? How does one effectively offset or slow the effects of aging? In other words, how does one age gracefully? Obviously many factors can influence how we age: genetics, environment and lifestyle. In this blog, I would like to look at what the research points to as the biggest determinant of healthy aging, which is lifestyle and physical fitness. Several studies have clearly shown that physical fitness is an important predictor of both cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. In addition it is a good predictor of being able to live an independent life at old age.

 Physical Fitness

However, before we delve into the subject of physical fitness, it is important to differentiate between three different but inter-related concepts: physical activity, physical exercise, and physical fitness. Physical activity refers to any body movement produced by muscle action that increases energy expenditure. Physical exercise refers to planned, structured, repetitive, and purposeful physical activity. Physical fitness is the capacity to perform physical exercise. Physical fitness makes reference to the full range of physical qualities, such as, aerobic capacity, strength, speed, agility, coordination, and flexibility. Thus, daily exercise should be orientated towards increasing daily physical activity and improving physical fitness.

 Aerobic Exercise

One aspect of improving physical fitness is aerobic exercise. The results of aerobic exercise, such as, walking are very positive, especially for cardiovascular health. These improvements are independent of race, sex, age, and body mass index. The research shows that a program of regular aerobic exercise of three to six months duration can improve aerobic capacity by 15%–30%. A training frequency of 3–5 days a week is recommended, and the research indicates that it is preferable to avoid single, hard bouts of exercise once a week. Training intensity should be at some 55%/65%–90% of the maximum heart rate, or of the maximum reserve heart rate (maximum HR –rest HR) (ACSM 1998)

 Strength Training

Strength training or resistance training is another aspect of improving physical fitness. Strength training has been shown to be the most effective method for developing skeletomuscular strength, and it is currently prescribed by many major health organizations for improving health and fitness. Research demonstrates that resistance training reduces the risk factors associated with coronary heart disease, non-insulin-dependent diabetes, and colon cancer; it prevents osteoporosis, promotes weight loss and weight maintenance, and likewise, improves dynamic stability, preserves functional capacity, and fosters psychological welfare. These benefits can be safely obtained when an individualized program is prescribed. In the American College of Sports Medicine’s position stand that, “resistance training should be an integral part of any adult fitness program and should be of sufficient intensity to enhance strength, muscular endurance, and maintain fat-free mass. Resistance training should be progressive in nature, individualized, and provide a stimulus to all the major muscle groups.” In essence, it is imperative that you do what it takes TODAY even eliciting the help of a professional in helping you reach a certain level of age defying physical fitness.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 19 2015

“I want to lose weight.” Nine out of ten times this is what I hear when I ask clients what is their most important goal? When I delve deeper into why they want to lose weight. Here are some of the most revealing reasons – and the best reasons to lose weight!

I hate looking at myself in a mirror.

I want to feel I can do this and to keep it the weight off.

I hate myself in a bathing suit. I don’t even like going to the pool with my kids.

I want to feel good about myself again.

I want to feel better physically.

I want to be happier.

I dread having your picture taken.

I will be healthier.

So I won’t die young like my parent, a relative.

So I will be a good example to my children.

I will eat healthier food; therefore your family will eat healthier.

I will be less winded when walking stairs or long distances

I will live longer, and enjoy my life more.

I will not fear the scales any more.

I will look better, and feel better.

I want to look good at my class reunion; my son/daughter’s wedding.

So my back and feet won’t hurt.

So people won’t think I’m pregnant.

So I won’t have to come up with new excuses for being overweight.

So I won’t feel depressed to just dressed in the morning.

So I can feel comfortable in a car, at the theater, an airplane.

I want to be happy!

I want to be able to run, play and do things with my kids/grandkids.

I want to dance again.

I want to feel better about myself.

I want to wear smaller size clothing.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 19 2015

Short cuts are short lived. So why do we feel we can do something for a short time to get lasting results? We feel all we have to do to lose some weight is to diet or to exercise for a set amount of time. Then presto we get the body, the good health we want. Sadly, we repeat this self-defeating pattern of behavior.

Understandably, we all want to look and feel great. But for this to happen, we need to do the RIGHT THING ALL THE TIME not just some of the time or for a short time. Quick results, do not equate to lasting results!

Likewise, we all want to look and feel good about ourselves. Who wouldn’t want to feel confident with their appearance, and have the stamina, strength and endurance to live a quality life? However, we can’t achieve this level of confidence without a plan, a plan of working towards a lasting goal. This goal should be a healthier you.

What does it take to be healthier and to be more fit? EATING HEALTHY AND DAILY EXERCISE. Help Guide provides some practical and helpful hints http://www.helpguide.org/life/healthy_eating_diet.htm.

In essence, you have to change your lifestyle. The weight gain, the health issues, the low energy are all because of the way you are living now. So it makes sense to change your lifestyle to a more productive, positive and healthy lifestyle.

Learning what foods and behaviors are healthy and then establishing a healthy routine requires discipline on your part. No one can make you not eat that fried food or to get out and take a walk. You have to decide once and for all that for a happy, healthier you, YOU MUST MAKE THE LIFESTYLE IMPROVING CHANGES! There’s no turning back. No going back to old behaviors. You have full command of your life, your health!

Living healthy. Living Longer. There’s no short cut to taking care of you!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 18 2015

Eating to Lose Weight & Body fat

While it seems harmless — and possibly even beneficial to weight loss — to skip a meal or a snack from time to time, this common scenario may actually be setting your body up to gain weight.

How is it possible to gain weight by NOT eating?

The first goal of eating regularly every 3 to 4 hours is to eliminate cravings. Skipping meals and snacks causes exaggerated swings in blood sugar, which may encourage these cravings to return. This may cause you to splurge on unhealthy foods, thus reversing your weight-loss progress.
Skipping too many meals can prompt your body to go into starvation mode. In order to conserve energy and resources, your metabolism will start to slow down, ultimately causing your weight loss to stall. You will also lose muscle and not recover from your strength training workouts if you are not fueling your body with quality meals. This loss in muscle will also slow down your metabolic rate and stall all progress.

So what should you do if you’re just not hungry?

Don’t fall into the common trap of mistaking your diminished cravings for diminished hunger. If you’re following the eating plan correctly — eating regular meals throughout the day — you will begin to get hungrier but you won’t feel as ravenous as you did in the past as long as you are eating all of your meals on time. By eating regular meals daily, you will increase your lean mass; increase your metabolic rate and look and feel better than ever!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 17 2015

Your wellness journey starts with you. What I mean by this is that the decision to become a healthier you whether it‘s to lose weight, have more energy or become a better athlete resides with you. You and only you can make that decision.

Most people want to start exercising and eating healthy but are completely overwhelmed at where to start even.  So hopefully I can help point you in the right direction.

For starters, you need to write down the biggest reason you want to get healthy. What’s your motivation?  If you find this task overwhelming, perhaps, it’s time to seek a professional who can help you with the process.

Once you’ve decided that this is something you want to do then the time to start is now! No better time than now. Because a decision isn’t truly made until it’s put into action. That’s where an action plan is created. Again, a professional can help you with the process. However, realize that the process will be ongoing. For good health & fitness is not reaching a goal but continuing to do what it takes to remain healthy & fit. In other words, it’s a lifestyle that you must continue for the rest of your life.

Again, just as important as deciding what needs to be done, is knowing that you need to be realistic with your time and goals and make an all-out effort to plan.  Believe me, even the fittest and healthy people you know today at some point where were you are right now.  If it were easy, we’d all be healthy & fit! Just be consistent with the process; stick with it; and realize that yes, things will come up that will throw you off track; however, the most important thing you can do is to get back on track! That’s what your trainer and your support network are there for to help you stay the course.

I am reminded of the wise words of Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, “Fitness is a journey, not a destination. You must continue for the rest of your life.”

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 17 2015

Here is some helpful information, visuals, regarding serving sizes:

  • Two cups of mixed greens are two baseballs.
  • One cup of raw vegetables is a baseball.
  • A half cup of cooked vegetables, rice, cereal, couscous, bulgur wheat, beans, tofu, or low-fat cottage cheese is a cupcake or muffin.
  • One medium baked potato or sweet potato is a computer mouse.
  • For vegetable or fruit juice, 8-10 ounces is about three-quarters of a soda can.
  • One medium piece of raw fruit is a tennis ball.
  • One cup of berries or chopped fruit is a baseball.
  • A fourth of a cup of dried fruit is a golf ball.
  • A half of a whole-grain 3-ounce bagel, a half of a whole-wheat English muffin, or a half of a whole-grain hamburger bun is a hockey puck.
  • One whole-wheat pita or one whole-wheat flour or corn tortilla is an average-sized saucer.
  • Four whole-grain crackers are four tea bags.
  • Two low-fat whole-wheat pancakes are two compact discs.
  • One cup of milk (skim, low-fat, 1 percent, soy, rice, and nut milks) or one cup of plain, low-fat, sugar-free, or soy yogurt, is a baseball.
  • An ounce of hard cheese is a tube of lipstick.
  • One vegetarian burger or patty is a lid to a mayonnaise jar.
  • One tablespoon of oil (olive, canola, flaxseed, peanut, sesame, walnut, or other oil), salad dressing, mayonnaise, nut butters, nuts, or seeds is one checker.
  • When it comes to meat, I recommend 4 ounces—roughly the same size as your checkbook or a deck of cards—as part of a healthy meal.
Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 17 2015

You’re at that point where you say…”I can’t do this on my own! I’ve tried again and again to lose this weight; to build more muscle, or just feel better…only to be frustrated time again and again! Would hiring a personal trainer be the answer? And what do I look for in a personal trainer? If I’m going to entrust my physical well – being and my health to a stranger, they better know what they’re doing! ”

Well, let’s look at what makes a good personal trainer. A good trainer has the appropriate certifications. He or she has an excellent repetition in the industry and with his/her clients, and he or she has exceptional communication skills.

So what makes for a qualified personal trainer? A personal trainer should be educated and certified through a reputable fitness organization. Remember this person’s job is to assess your fitness level, set up a program for you and keep you motivated. He or she will push you past your comfort level–something difficult for you to do on your own.

Now where do you go to find a “qualified trainer”, an individual who will educate, motivate and inspire you to reach for the sky … an individual that knows his/her stuff… that will protect, motivate and get the results and lifestyle change you desperately want! I highly recommend doing your research before you make that kind of investment, for it can be costly!

A good place to start is the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The NCCA accredits programs that meet its standards.NCCA accredited programs was the only place on the Internet where you can compare accredited personal training certification programs. There, you will soon discover that not all trainers are equal when you compare accreditation and standards in the industry.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 12 2015

Learn how to eat properly based on your goals and your personal profile

Learn to turn your body into a “fat burning machine” – Lose up to 2 pounds a week and keep it off for life!

Find out how you can get maximum results based on the best fitness prescription for YOU!

Find out how to burn fat while you sleep, watch tv or sit at your desk at work

Have the body you’ve always wanted; be in the best shape at 40 or 50 then you were at 20

Regain your pre-pregnancy body; better yet, redefine a better YOU!

Get the motivation, inspiration, and accountability you need to stick with a complete health & fitness program

Learn new training techniques and reinforce training habits

Learn to adapt to a lifetime exercise program

Learn how to exercise properly to achieve goals, rehabilitate injuries, and prevent future injuries

Show your family and friends that you have made the choice to be different from the 60% of Americans that choose to live their lives overweight and unhealthy!

The ultimate goal of befitgal.com is to turn you into your own personal trainer!!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, June 09 2015
  1. Go Veg. Think protein-rich plant foods at every meal. It’s possible to get 75 to 105 grams of protein a day by eating a variety of soy products, beans, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. Add a little peanut butter to your whole grain bread, toss some lentils into your pasta sauce, or add chickpeas, or pine nuts to a salad.
  2. Go Organic. A handful of fruits and vegetables – including spinach, apples, peaches, and strawberries tend to have particularly high levels of residues, so organic may be your safest bet. If you can’t buy organic, take extra care when washing these foods
  3. Good Essential Fats. Your body won’t run well on a totally fat-free diet. We need fat on a daily basis to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, which our bodies can’t process by in isolation. Research further suggests that prostate-boosting lycopene and other antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables are absorbed better when combined with good fats.
  4. The Best Carbs. Slow-burning carbs are high in fiber and are slow to digest. They keep your blood sugar energy, and should be a staple of your diet. Where can you find them? In oatmeal and other whole grains, beans, lentils, fruits, and vegetables. Fast-burning carbs are digested quickly, are low in fiber, and have a greater effect on your blood sugar. They provide a quick hit of energy that’s useful to runners right before working out, but you should eat them in moderation. You can find them in pasta, white rice, white flour, potatoes, and cornflakes.
  5. Slow Eating. Eat slowly if you want to lose weight. It takes 20 minutes for your body to register that it’s full, so it’s easy to load up on extra calories if you’re speed eating. Take the time to savor each bite and watch the pounds melt away.
  6. Nutritious Winter Squash. Winter squash is a nutrition packed food. One cup of winter squash provides 145 percent of your recommended daily intake of beta-carotene and one-third of your daily value of vitamin C. Winter squash also aids in hydration. Most varieties are 89 percent water, and acorn squash boasts 896 milligrams of potassium per cup (nearly double that of a banana). Potassium, an electrolyte lost through sweat, helps regulate fluid levels in the body.
  7. Healthy Carbs. Fresh fruits such as berries, melons, peaches, plums, and nectarines are loaded with carbohydrates – about 15 grams for every tennis ball size serving – and packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
  8. Protein Power. To repair muscle fibers damaged during strength training, eat lean protein sources. Low-free dairy, soy products, legumes, fish, lean beef and poultry, and eggs all supply needed amino acids. Aim for approximately 80 grams of protein per day.
  9. Conscious Indulgences. Indulgences are as necessary as training. If the ice cream cake is for a really special occasion, have a slice, then make a compromise later in the day. Save the nuts and fruit you bought for a snack tomorrow.
  10. The Best Chocolate. Need a chocolate fix? Go for dark varieties. Dark chocolate is differentiated by the percentage of cocoa it contains. The higher the percentage, the more cocoa and the less sugar it has. Choose a percentage of 70 or more for the most antioxidants. If the ingredients include hydrogenated oil, or trans-fats, skip it!
Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:18 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, June 09 2015

We hear it all the time, for good health you must eat healthily and exercise. But what exactly is healthy eating? Healthy eating essentially means consuming the right quantities of foods from all food groups to lead a healthy life. Diet is often referred to as some dietary regimen for losing weight. Diet simply means the food we eat.

A nutritionally sound diet promotes good health. A healthy diet must include several food, groups. The crucial part of healthy eating is a balanced diet. A balanced diet, a healthy diet, means consuming from all the different food groups in the right quantities, so you can have the right amount and mix of the nutrients and minerals your body needs. Nutritionists say there are five main food groups – whole grains, fruit, vegetables, protein, and dairy. I differ in opinion as a vegetarian regarding the food groups, which I have addressed in an earlier blog, but that’s not my emphasis here. My emphasis is a balanced, healthy diet. However, too many in our country do not embrace the guiding principles for good health.

Our country is facing a chronic problem with the increasing rate of obesity in the overall population, which includes adults as well as our children. An abstract from the Journal of American Medicine reads, “ More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese.” The states of Mississippi and Alabama alone have obesity rates above 30% while 22 other states have obesity rates all over 25%. Moreover, the percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate, with 1 out of 3 now considered overweight or obese.

The World Health Organization (WHO) makes the following recommendations.

  • We should aim for an energy balance and a healthy bodyweight.
  • We should limit our energy consumption from total fats.
  • We should also aim for more unsaturated fats and less saturated fats.
  • We should up our consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts. We should consume, as little simple sugars are possible.
  • We should also limit our consumption of salt/sodium.

Isn’t it time, you embrace good health, and a good life?

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:14 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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