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JeffBehar

Diving down healthy_heart.jpglow-density lipoprotein (LDL), or badӔ cholesterol, has been the primary approach to improving cholesterol levels and reducing people's risk to heart disease, but there is also another important part of this equation when it comes to lowering your risk to cardiovascular disease: high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the goodӔ cholesterol. Higher levels of HDL are associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk; and some say the level is as or more important than LDL levels to decrease heart disease risk. There are ways to naturally boost HDL without drugs. To learn how, click here

About the Author

Jeff Behar
Jeff Behar, MS, MBA

Jeff Behar, MS, MBA is a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert, regularly writing about hot topics in the areas of health, fitness, disease prevention, weight loss, nutrition, anti aging and alternative medicine. Jeff Behar's work also often appears in several of the major health and fitness newsletters, health and fitness magazines, and on major health, fitness and weight loss websites. Jeff Behar is also the CEO of MuscleMagFitness.com, and MyBestHealthPortal.com; two very popular health, fitness, nutrition and anti aging information sites.


JeffBehar

There are many proven health benefits to those that incorporate aerobic exercise into their daily routine. Cardiovascular or Aerobic Training improves your heart muscle and cardiovascular system. It not only improves endurance, but regular aerobic exercise strengthens the heart, allowing the heart to pump blood more efficiently, delivering oxygen and other important nutrients throughout the body with less effort.

Health Benefits of Aerobic (Cardio) Training

Research shows that the specific benefits of regular low impact aerobic exercise includes:

  • Reduces stress. Regular aerobic exercise releases endorphins, your body's natural painkillers. Endorphins also reduce stress, depression and anxiety.
  • Improves sleep patterns. Studies show that exercise help reduce stress, increases calmness, and improves sleep disorders. Reference: American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2008, June 12). Moderate Exercise Can Improve Sleep Quality Of Insomnia Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2008, from /releases/2008/06/080611071129.htm
  • Reduces anxiety. Aerobic exercise can reduce anxiety and improve the sleep quality of insomnia patients, according to several research studies. Reference: American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2008, June 12). Moderate Exercise Can Improve Sleep Quality Of Insomnia Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2008, from /releases/2008/06/080611071129.htm
  • May reduce chronic pain. Regular aerobic exercise releases endorphins, your body's natural painkillers.
  • Reduces risk to many chronic diseases. Several studies show the benefit of regular exercise including aerobic exercise on health. In the January 2008 issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter, the Mayo clinic notes the following health benefits associated with 30 minutes of exercise a day: lower blood pressure, reduction in LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), improvement in the concentration of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or goodӔ cholesterol in the blood), reduction is risk to type 2 diabetes, reduction in risk to osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease, improvement in bone density. Note: extra weight is also a contributing factor to conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes (adult-onset diabetes) and some forms of cancer, therefore as you lose weight, your risk of developing these diseases decreases. Reference: Mayo Clinic (2008, January 4). Moderate Exercise Yields Big Benefits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2008, from /releases/2008/01/080104123421.htm
  • Helps reduce the risk of developing insulin sensitivity and Type 2 diabetes. Tighter management of blood glucose levels reduces the workload of the pancreas, which reduces the risk for developing insulin sensitivity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes (adult-onset diabetes). Note, although aerobic exercise improved glycemic/blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes (adult-onset diabetes) significantly, the greatest improvements came from combined aerobic and resistance training. Referece: Mayo Clinic (2008, January 4). Moderate Exercise Yields Big Benefits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2008, from /releases/2008/01/080104123421.htm. American College of Physicians (2007, September 18). Both Aerobic And Resistance Exercise Improved Blood Sugar Control In People With Diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2008, from /releases/2007/09/070917173157.htm
  • Lowers risk of heart disease (including but not limited to coronary arterydisease, coronary heart disease angina.
  • Stops or reverses the build-up of blockages in the vessels that supply blood to the heart.
  • Increases the total number of red blood cells in the body, facilitating transport of oxygen.
  • Helps control blood sugar. Regular exercise stops wild blood sugar fluctuations, thus helps control the insulin response as well.
  • Increases bone density. Lowers risk of osteoporosis.
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis (gradual loss of bone mass/strength). Research shows that bones become weaker if they are not stressed and that exercise helps prevent bone calcium loss.
  • Improves mobility and strength in later life. Research shows that exercise helps improve mobility, flexibility and strength.
  • Promotes weight loss through calories burning and increased metabolism. When performing aerobic (cardio) exercise the increase in work load of exercised muscles results in increased metabolic rate, fuel consumption or calorie burning, continues for several hours after the workout is completed.
  • Weight management. Helps maintain a healthy weight.
  • Burns calories. Aerobic exercise raises the metabolic rate and burns calories.
  • Reduces body fat. A research team at the University of Chile Clinical Hospital in Santiago, showed that aerobic exercise reduced body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat. The study also showed that the participants had waist circumference, decreased blood pressure, and reduced appetite. Reference; The Endocrine Society (2008, June 18). Aerobic Exercise Increases A Blood Protein That May Suppress Appetite. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2008, from /releases/2008/06/080616115855.htm.
  • Reduces hunger and suppresses appetite. Aerobic exercise increases leptin levels, a hormone that helps reduce hunger and suppress appetite.
  • Increases your metabolic rate. The metabolic activity of an individual is heightened for several hours following a bout of aerobic activity.
  • Improves immune system. People who exercise regularly are less susceptible to minor viral illnesses such as colds and flu . It is possible that aerobic exercise helps activate your immune system and prepares it to fight off infection.
  • Improved muscle health. Aerobic exercise stimulates the growth of tiny blood vessels (capillaries) in your muscles. This helps your body more efficiently deliver oxygen to your muscles and remove from them irritating metabolic waste products such as lactic acid.
  • Improves balance and coordination.
  • Tone muscles throughout the body.
  • Increases fitness. Can help keep you fit if you have arthritis, without putting excessive stress on your joints.
  • Increases stamina/endurance. Exercise may make you tired in the short term, i.e., during and right after the activity, but over the long term it will increase your stamina and reduce fatigue.
  • Improves the ability of muscles to use fats during exercise, preserving intramuscular glycogen.
  • Enhances the body's hormonal system. Aerobic exercise stimulates the body to secrete specific hormones that have positive specific effects on specific parts of our bodies. Examples include hormones that lower cholesterol, suppresses appetite (leptin), etc.
  • Enhances the body's neuro system. Many hormonal changes affect the nervous system, including some that act on specific areas of the brain that control pleasure and elation. Among the effects are increased alertness and IQ
  • Enhances the speed at which muscles recover from high intensity exercise.
  • Slows down the aging process. Maintaining aerobic fitness through middle age and beyond can delay biological aging by up to 12 years and prolong independence during old age, according to several recent studies. Reference: BMJ-British Medical Journal (2008, April 10). Maintaining Aerobic Fitness Could Delay Biological Aging By Up To 12 Years, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2008, from /releases/2008/04/080409205827.htm
  • Increases brain power (cognitive ability). Several recent studies show that aerobic exercise can increase cognitive ability and allow down age related dementia. According to a recent review of studies from the Netherlands. Aerobic physical exercises that improve cardiovascular fitness also help boost cognitive processing speed, motor function and visual and auditory attention in healthy older people,͔ said lead review author Maaike Angevaren. Reference: Center for the Advancement of Health (2008, April 20). Aerobic Exercise Boosts Older Bodies And Minds, Review Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2008, from /releases/2008/04/080417173453.htm
  • Improves quality of life. Less chronic muscle pain, less stiffness and greater mobility are all benefits of exercising.
  • Increases life span. Several studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientifically linked aerobic exercise with increased life spans.
JeffBehar
INTENSITY Defined
Posted June 17, 2009 by JeffBehar

The key to maximizing performance in the gym, whether we are talking muscle development or fat loss is keeping the intensity high. Many people think they're training intensely, but the sad fact is most people are not. Most people "undertrain" and "overtrain" at the same time. What I mean by this is that they do not train intensely while at the same time they train too long. This ruins any "pump" they may have gotten, delays needed nutrition to the muscles and can limit or even impede desired results.

The Four Basic Principles of Intensity
You can increase your intensity by 4 ways:

  • Increase the number of reps
  • Decrease the rest periods
  • Increase the amount of weight you lift
  • Increase the volume of work (sets)


Under each basic principle there are different approaches that can be employed. Understanding this will help you reach your goals quicker. It will also help you break through "plateaus" (performance stagnation).

Intensity Building Techniques

Increase The Number of Reps

The first way to add intensity in my opinion should be addition of reps. The best way is the X + 3 rule. In this rule you add intensity by adding 1, then 2 and then 3 reps beyond your target rep zone. When you can perform 3 reps more than the target zone you need to add weights. 5 lbs additional plates for major muscle groups and 2.5 lbs for minor muscle groups.

Adding more reps creates my hypertrophy in the muscle which is what is required for growth. This is another alternative way to intensify your workout. This can be accomplished in a simple approach, such as trying to get 10 reps vs. 8, or it can be done using advanced techniques such as:

Forced Reps

Forced reps training is an advanced training method, which is employed at the end of an exercise when you are unable to lift the weight on your own. At this point a training partner gives a small extra push while providing a spot so that you can overload the muscle by getting reps that you could not get on your own if you did not have the extra help, and a spot.

The moral support and encouragement alone often works and allows the bodybuilder to seek out a few more reps before the force reps are even employed. Typically this method is used for 2-3 extra reps, resulting in maximum overload and a great pump. Care should be taken however, because this is the most popular and consequently the most abused intensity technique. People get hurt, people use it too often and overtrain, people use it with bad form and technique: all recipes for disaster.

Burns

Burns is another advanced technique...For the rest of this article click here:

JeffBehar
50 Benefits of Yoga
Posted June 17, 2009 by JeffBehar

50 Life Changing Benefits of Yoga

By Jeff Behar, MS, MBA

There is no discrepancy anymore regarding the numerous health benefits of yoga. Many people from many walks of life around the world practice yoga for many different reasons. One of the foremost reasons why people want to start practicing yoga is to feel fitter, be more energetic, be happier and peaceful. However, there are many numerous benefits to the body that practicing yoga can also bring.

Main Benefits of Yoga

There are many benefits of yoga for the body. Some of the most common include:

Improvement in flexibility and mindfulness. With Yoga, your body will become more flexible, it will increase your reflect a lot and you will be able to do a lot of posture without having any difficulties.

Improvement in muscle tone. By practicing Yoga, it will make your muscle tone more better. Helping you to maintain posture and balance when stretching.

Reduce stress and anxiety. Yoga will make you more relaxed, and make your mind peaceful, that will help you to decrease your stress, reduce stress related diseases, such as hypertension. Yoga will make your blood pressure more stable, it could decrease your blood pressure if it is high.

Improvement in strength. With regular practice of yoga you will also feel more stronger than before. Your physical ability will greatly increase.

Weight control. Doing yoga helps burn calories, and helps you maintain your body weight.

Slow or stop bone density loss. Doing yoga helps stop bone density loss.

Continued here: tal.com/fitness-and-exercises/yoga-and-pilates/50-health-benefits-of-yoga.html


For many more articles on Yoga, and Wellness click here: tal.com/fitness-and-exercises/yoga-and-pilates/


MyBestHealthPortal.comMusclemagFitness.comyoga positions

JeffBehar


bowl_of_cereal_and_milk

A bowl of whole grain cereal is as good, and in some cases better for for recovery after exercise than some of the leading sports recovery drinks according to new research published in BioMed Central's open access Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Exercise physiologist Lynne Kammer, from The University of Texas at Austin, led a group of researchers who investigated the post-exercise physiological effects of the foods. Kammer and her team studied 12 trained cyclists, 8 male and 4 female. In contrast to many sports nutrition studies, however, the exercise protocol was designed to reflect a typical exercise session. After a warm-up period, the subjects cycled for two hours at a comfortable work rate, rather than the more frequently seen test-to-exhaustion.

"Our goal was to compare whole grain cereal plus milk-which are ordinary foods-and sports drinks, after moderate exercise," said Kammer. "We wanted to understand their relative effects on glycogen repletion and muscle protein synthesis for the average individual. We found that glycogen repletion, or the replenishment of immediate muscle fuel, was just as good after whole grain cereal consumption and that some aspects of protein synthesis were actually better."

"Cereal and non-fat milk are a less expensive option than sports drinks. The milk provides a source of easily digestible and high quality protein, which can promote protein synthesis and training adaptations, making this an attractive recovery option for those who refuel at home."

The researchers concluded that, for amateur athletes and moderately physically active individuals who are trying to keep in shape, popping into the kitchen for a quick bowl of whole-grain cereal with a splash of skimmed milk may be a smarter move than investing in a high-priced sports drink for muscle recovery.

Important to note: The study was supported by General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition.

For more health, fitness, wellness, disease prevention and weight training articles, tips, news, studies, resources, check out Exercise physiologist Lynne Kammer, from The University of Texas at Austin, led a group of researchers who investigated the post-exercise physiological effects of the foods. Kammer and her team studied 12 trained cyclists, 8 male and 4 female. In contrast to many sports nutrition studies, however, the exercise protocol was designed to reflect a typical exercise session. After a warm-up period, the subjects cycled for two hours at a comfortable work rate, rather than the more frequently seen test-to-exhaustion.

"Our goal was to compare whole grain cereal plus milk-which are ordinary foods-and sports drinks, after moderate exercise," said Kammer. "We wanted to understand their relative effects on glycogen repletion and muscle protein synthesis for the average individual. We found that glycogen repletion, or the replenishment of immediate muscle fuel, was just as good after whole grain cereal consumption and that some aspects of protein synthesis were actually better."

"Cereal and non-fat milk are a less expensive option than sports drinks. The milk provides a source of easily digestible and high quality protein, which can promote protein synthesis and training adaptations, making this an attractive recovery option for those who refuel at home."

The researchers concluded that, for amateur athletes and moderately physically active individuals who are trying to keep in shape, popping into the kitchen for a quick bowl of whole-grain cereal with a splash of skimmed milk may be a smarter move than investing in a high-priced sports drink for muscle recovery.

Kammer and her colleagues are scientists in the College of Education's Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. The study was supported by General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition.

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Exercise physiologist Lynne Kammer, from The University of Texas at Austin, led a group of researchers who investigated the post-exercise physiological effects of the foods. Kammer and her team studied 12 trained cyclists, 8 male and 4 female. In contrast to many sports nutrition studies, however, the exercise protocol was designed to reflect a typical exercise session. After a warm-up period, the subjects cycled for two hours at a comfortable work rate, rather than the more frequently seen test-to-exhaustion.

"Our goal was to compare whole grain cereal plus milk-which are ordinary foods-and sports drinks, after moderate exercise," said Kammer. "We wanted to understand their relative effects on glycogen repletion and muscle protein synthesis for the average individual. We found that glycogen repletion, or the replenishment of immediate muscle fuel, was just as good after whole grain cereal consumption and that some aspects of protein synthesis were actually better."

"Cereal and non-fat milk are a less expensive option than sports drinks. The milk provides a source of easily digestible and high quality protein, which can promote protein synthesis and training adaptations, making this an attractive recovery option for those who refuel at home."

The researchers concluded that, for amateur athletes and moderately physically active individuals who are trying to keep in shape, popping into the kitchen for a quick bowl of whole-grain cereal with a splash of skimmed milk may be a smarter move than investing in a high-priced sports drink for muscle recovery.

Kammer and her colleagues are scientists in the College of Education's Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. The study was supported by General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition.

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