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Thursday, April 21, 2011

How to Spot a Fitness Fraud

"Turn your body into a super fat-burning furnace!"
"Washboard abs in just 5 minutes a day!"
"Exciting new development!"
"Research proven!"

If It Sounds To Good Too Be True, It Probably Is.
How many times have you heard this? Yet, ads and infomercials can be so seductive, you really want to believe the wild claims they promise, so you may be tempted to suspend good judgement and buy into the fantasy. Substandard and fraudulent products hurt more than just your wallet. When a product doesn’t do what it claims to do, you’ll feel let down. This can lower your self-confidence and can even lead you to believe that your fitness goals will never be achieved. This article will help you to identify fitness frauds and give you tips and resourses on so you’ll be able to make better decisions when buying fitness products.
Buyers Beware ChecklistQuackery is not easily detected. Use this checklist before purchasing a product advertised in a mail-order catalog or on TV.
bulletIs the product supported entirely by testimonials?
bulletIs there any controlled, randomized scientific evidence supporting the sales claims?
bulletDo the experts associated with the program have the proper credentials?
bulletIs the person selling the product believable?
bulletDoes the promotion use any pseudomedical jargon?
bulletDoes the promotion boast a secret formula or answer?
bulletDo the claims seem miraculous or far-fetched?
bulletIs the product appealing to your vanity?
bulletDoes the suggested use of the product seem out of keeping with the desired outcome (e.g., "just three minutes a day toward slimmer thighs")?
bulletDoes the fine print contain any disclaimers?
bulletDoes the offer include additional free prizes?
(Buyers Beware Checklist from "Consumerism and Quackery", IDEA Magazine, May 1998 by Len Kravitz, PhD.)
Online Buying TipsYou need to have confidence in the company and product you’re buying online. Does the company have your best interests at heart? If in doubt, search for clues as to their reliability. Do they have a phone number? You may want to call to check them out further. Ask a question by e-mail and see how long they take to respond. Ask the company for independent research that substantiates their claims and promises. You can check out the company on the Better Business Bureau’s Business Report page. Their page states "The Better Business Bureau collects and reports information to help prospective buyers make informed decisions in dealing with business and charitable organizations."
If In Doubt, Ask An ExpertThe media is quick to announce the latest health/fitness discovery, regardless of the source. Unfortunately, this new claim may later be retracted when proper studies are made. But quacks will use (and misuse) questionable data to convince you to buy their product. What should you believe? If you don’t have the time to sort through information dispensed from reputable sources, you should ask an expert. A certified fitness instructor should be able to separate fact from fiction.
Your Tax Dollars At Work
The Federal Trade Commission says that "consumers waste billions of dollars on unproven, fraudulently marketed, and sometimes useless health care products and treatments." They advise all workout "wannabes" to exercise good judgment when evaluating advertising claims for fitness products. Be sure to check out these two articles by the FTC:
The Muscle Hustle: Test Your Exercise I.Q.
Pump Fiction: Tips for Buying Exercise Equipment
Avoid the lure of fitness-product charlatans and increase your skills at making educated buying decisions. Try not to buy the hype and stick to "if it sounds to good too be true, it probably is."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How to Get Energy and Build Stamina Naturally

Do you wake up feeling tired and lethargic and do you wish that you had more energy. Well there are a few things that you can do to help yourself gain more energy naturally. If you are feeling tired and drained out then the first body part to hurt and ache would be your feet and if your feet hurt then obviously so does the rest off your body. You use your feet the entire day to move from one place to another and you wear them down by the time the day is over. It is important to give them a boost and pamper them a bit. In a bucket of cool water mix one cup of Epsom salt and about 5-6 drops of peppermint oil. Soak your feet in this water between thirty to sixty minutes.
Tips to Boost Energy
1. Control stress.
Stress-induced emotions consume huge amounts of energy. Talking with a friend or relative, joining a support group, or seeing a psychotherapist can all help diffuse stress.Relaxation therapies like meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, and tai chi are also effective tools for reducing stress.
2. Lighten your load
One of the main reasons for fatigue is overwork. Overwork can include professional,family, and social obligations. Try to streamline your list of “must-do” activities. Set your priorities in terms of the most important tasks. Pare down those that are less important. Consider asking for extra help at work, if necessary.
3. Exercise
Exercise almost guarantees that you’ll sleep more soundly. It also gives your cells more energy to burn and circulates oxygen. And exercising causes your body to release epinephrine and norepinephrine, stress hormones that in modest amounts can make you feel energized. Even a brisk walk is a good start.
4. Avoid smoking
You know smoking threatens your health. But you may not know that smoking actually siphons off your energy by causing insomnia. The nicotine in tobacco is a stimulant, so it speeds the heart rate, raises blood pressure, and stimulates brain-wave activity associated with wakefulness, making it harder to fall asleep. And once you do fall asleep, its addictive power can kick in and awaken you with cravings.
7. Use caffeine to your advantage
Caffeine does help increase alertness, so having a cup of coffee can help sharpen your mind. But to get the energizing effects of caffeine, you have to use it judiciously. It can cause insomnia, especially when consumed in large amounts or after 2 p.m.
8. Limit alcohol
One of the best hedges against the midafternoon slump is to avoid drinking alcohol at lunch. The sedative effect of alcohol is especially strong at midday. Similarly, avoid a five o’clock cocktail if you want to have energy in the evening. If you’re going to drink, do so in moderation at a time when you don’t mind having your energy wind down.
9. Drink water
What’s the only nutrient that has been shown to enhance performance for all but the most demanding endurance activities? It’s not some pricey sports drink. It’s water. If your body is short of fluids, one of the first signs is a feeling of fatigue.

Essential Skin Beauty Tips

It is sad but true, more than 90% women looking for the ultimate beauty formula end up spending money on mediocre products. A recent survey by a leading beauty magazine reveals that very few women are satisfied with the products that they buy, especially with the skin beauty tips they receive from the experts.
6 Essential skin beauty tips
1. Food - Watch what you eat because your foods affect how your skin looks like. If you load your body with greasy junk foods, you shouldn't be surprised to see acne and other blemishes on your skin. So, eat healthy and make sure you take enough fruits and vegetables; these will help to fortify your body with the antioxidants it needs to fight free radical and make your skin look youthful and beautiful.
2. Sleep - If you want your skin to look beautiful, you need to get enough sleep/rest; the truth is that your skin gets nourished and rejuvenated while you sleep. That is because cells renewal is faster when you are asleep; make sure that you get at least 7 hours of sleep a day.
3. Cleansing - This is one of the basic skin beauty tips; cleansing helps to remove dirt and grime, thereby unclogging your pores so that your skin can breathe and get revitalized. Cleanse your skin with products that contain natural ingredients like Kaolin and Bentone Gel; avoid cleansers that contain soap because they strip your body of natural oil and cause dryness and irritation.
4. Moisturizers - Ensure that your skin is adequately hydrated with good moisturizers; you should not use moisturizers that contain mineral oil (liquid paraffin, petrolatum or paraffin wax). It coats your skin and clogs your pores, leading to allergic reactions, breakouts (acne) and even dryness. Look for natural moisturizers such as Babassu, Shea butter, Maracuja and Avocado oil; these ingredients will help make your skin supple, smooth and velvet-like.
5. Anti-aging - Using skincare products that contain anti-aging ingredients is another vital skin beauty tip; look for effective natural ingredients like Cynergy TK, Natural vitamin E and Phytessence Wakame. These ingredients are proven to help remove visible signs of aging like wrinkles and age spots, thereby making your skin look younger and flawless.
6. Make-up - Use make-up to add some color and glow to your face, but use it sparingly because heavy make-up covers your pores and prevents your skin from breathing; you should always remove makeup before going to bed. Go for mineral make-up brands because they do not contain harsh ingredients; in fact you should avoid any skin beauty product that contains harsh chemicals like parabens, fragrances and alcohols. Natural brands are your best bet.

How To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

The holiday season is undoubtedly a time for rejoicing. Unfortunately, the average adult does a little too much celebrating during this time of year, which leads to extra baggage when the New Year rings in. Festivities that include indulging in extra helpings, snacking on seasonal treats, and little to no workout time all contribute to the increase in dieters in January.
So, this holiday season buck the trends and avoid the Seasonal Seven (the average weight most of us will gain between Thanksgiving and the New Year). That's one trend you don't want to participate in!
Even though this time of year may bring upon additional stresses and challenges, there are ways to find balance and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Though at times it may seem impossible to bypass the season's traditional foods, there are many ways to partake in the fun without increasing your pant size. The festivities don't have to be eliminated or avoided. You can have a fabulous time while also maintaining your weight and your fitness regimen.
Moderation is the word of the season. It's the secret to achieving a fun but also healthy holiday time. With a moderate approach both to what you eat (or don't eat) and how much exercise you do (or don't do), you can avoid packing on weight AND also partake in all the fun of this time of year. So this season, get a head start on the New Year instead of starting January with extra pounds to lose.
Here are some tips to help you during those hectic holiday weeks:
  • Create a plan ahead of time. Before the holidays sneak up on you, create a plan for incorporating fitness and good nutrition into your daily routine. Evaluate your holiday schedule and then determine how much time you will realistically have available to devote to working out.
  • If you work in an office setting be prepared for the deluge of guilty treats your co-workers and other business associates will graciously want to share. Stash your own healthy snacks in your desk so you won't be tempted to overindulge when your grumbling stomach demands a 3:00 snack time.
  • Don't put your fitness goals on hold until the New Year. If you can't exercise as often during this time period as you normally do, adjust appropriately. Don't use the excuse that since you don't have time for your full workout you just won't workout at all. Instead accept your limited availability and simply reduce the frequency and/or duration of your exercise. It's much better to cut your fitness time in half than to completely eliminate it.
  • When attending a holiday function, try to eat ahead of time to lessen your hunger. If the party is in the evening, eat breakfast, lunch and a snack before hand (just as you would on any other day). Since you have eaten meals earlier in the day, you'll be less tempted to go overboard and eat everything in sight. However, if you instead starve all day long attempting to "save up" all your calories for the party, you will be so famished by the time it begins that it will be difficult not to overeat.
  • Schedule your workouts. Mark them on the calendar and set-aside time to complete them. Consider them as important as any other appointment or event you have marked on your calendar.
  • At holiday dinners, skip the gravy, dressings, and high-calorie condiments.
  • On days that you really lack motivation or simply do not have time for your complete exercise routine, commit to do just 10 minutes of exercise. You'll probably end up doing more than that once you get started. Even if you only end up completing 10 minutes, that is still a lot better than zero minutes.
  • When at a party, scout out healthy food options rather than doing a grab and run on all the unhealthy selections. For example, vegetable sticks (without dip), fruit pieces, plain chicken pieces, etc. Then move on to some of the less healthy (but yummy) offerings. You will be less likely to overindulge on these foods if you have already filled-up on some of the healthier items. Yet, you will not feel deprived or unsatisfied.
  • Exercise at home. You'll be more inclined to follow-through on your exercise commitment if you don't have to drive somewhere to do your workout. Plus, you won't waste any time on driving, parking, the locker room or waiting to use equipment. Working out at home requires very little equipment (it even can be equipment-free) and is quite inexpensive.
  • Avoid wasting calories on alcoholic beverages. The average alcoholic drink contains 150 - 200 calories per glass. Indulge in just 2-3 drinks and you've drunk the equivalent calories of an entire meal. If you partake in these beverages, choose wisely. For example, instead of having a full glass of wine, try mixing half a glass of wine with sparkling water or with a diet soda. This will help cut your calories in half.
  • When running errands or shopping, be sure to pack some healthy snacks to have on-hand. Then after you work-up a big appetite, you won't be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or the fast food restaurant on the way home.
  • Don't linger at the buffet or in the kitchen. If you loiter in close proximity to all the guilty temptations, you'll struggle to keep from unconsciously shoveling food into your mouth.
  • Focus on socializing. Remember one of the great things about the holidays is spending time with friends and family. During get-togethers spend the majority of time sharing conversation instead of sharing desserts.
Hopefully these tips will help you find a balance between staying fit and also enjoying the fun of the season. Remember, moderation is the key. Have a great holiday season!