A weighty response: research is focusing on the brain’s role in stimulating appetites

overweightBeing the butt of fat jokes is no laughing matter. Those who are seriously overweight can suffer from poor self-image, social ostracism, job discrimination and serious health risks from diabetes to heart disease. But for some individuals, shedding unwanted extra pounds can be a lifelong struggle: studies show that 95 per cent of dieters who lose weight regain all the lost pounds–and usually more–within three to five years. That once caused some people, including even some health professionals, to conclude that the obese were weak-willed or self-indulgent.

Now, however, new avenues of medical research are prompting scientists to rethink the causes of, and potential treatments for, obesity. Some of the most exciting discoveries focus on the role that chemical signals from the brain play in stimulating appetite. In some overweight people, those messages do not correspond with the body’s actual need for sustenance. “The appetite is an extremely complex system,” says Dr. Franco Vaccarino, an associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Toronto. “But if we can regulate, or normalize, an individual’s eating, then the weight will take care of itself.”

Until recently, many medical schools did not even teach nutrition and its role in promoting health. But mounting public concerns over obesity and other eating disorders helped change that. “There is now a tremendous amount of research going on,” says Harvey Weingarten, psychology professor at McMaster University in Hamilton. “It’s a very exciting time.” Weingarten, in fact, is the chairman of one of two major international conferences being held in Canada this month that illustrate the wide range of research currently being conducted into the psychology and physiology of weight management.

In Hamilton, from Aug. 16 to 20, members of the Society of Ingestive Behavior will present papers on topics ranging from the role of politics and culture in determining what people eat to whether a group of hormones known as peptides can be used to treat obesity. Immediately afterwards in Toronto, delegates to the International Congress on Obesity will examine an equally wide range of topics.

One exciting new area of obesity research stems from the strides made over the past decade in understanding the brain’s chemistry. While studying the role that a group of chemicals known as neurotransmitters–including serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine–play in modifying mood, scientists noticed an unexpected side-effect: some clinically depressed patients taking the drugs to regulate the levels of neurotransmitters in their brain lost weight without even dieting.

neutrotransmiterThe research into the role of neurotransmitters is also being closely watched by pharmaceutical companies, who have not introduced a new anti-obesity drug in 20 years. Pharmaceutical researchers believe that the research eventually could lead to new diet pills that could help control weight with few unpleasant side-effects. (There are currently four amphetamine-like prescription drugs, marketed under six different brand names, currently available in Canada for weight control. But many doctors are reluctant to prescribe them because of the adverse side-effects, which can range from dry mouth and sleep disturbances to raised blood pressure.)

An easier-to-take diet pill could be worth billions of dollars because the market potential, after all, is vast: 25 per cent of Canadians and 30 per cent of Americans are considered obese, higher percentages than in the rest of the world. And health officials, who define obesity as being 20 per cent or more above ideal body weight–caution that those percentages are continuing to escalate.

The race to produce a new diet pill is already on. Eli Lilly and Co. of Indiana, for one, is currently conducting clinical trials in Canada and the United States into a drug named Lovan. It is a reformulation of the chemical fluoxetine hydrochloride, more widely known as the popular antidepressant Prozac. According to Cameron Battley, corporate affairs manager for Eli Lilly Canada Inc., in Scarborough, Ont., “initial reports are not conclusive.”

Still, the introduction of any new diet drug is bound to be highly controversial. Battley says that if Health Canada were to approve Lovan, it would only be available by prescription, and would only be recommended for the “morbidly” obese–those whose weight is a threat to their health. Critics counter that Prozac was introduced in 1989 as an antidote to clinical depression, but since then it has been used to treat relatively minor personality disorders. If a new diet drug followed a similar course, it could end up in the hands of those who merely wanted to lose 10 lb. by bathing suit season. There are also concerns about the potential long-term effects of any new drug.

Health experts add that because people are obese for different reasons, and that there are different types of obesity, no one solution will work for everyone. And even in those overweight individuals where brain chemistry is the problem, the neurotransmitters have an impact on so many different functions that it will be difficult to develop a pill that modifies eating alone. Says Vaccarino: “There is unlikely to be a magic bullet.” But as research continues, there is hope that there will soon be a new, sophisticated array of weapons in the battle of the bulge.

The best personal essential oil diffuser

When it comes to health and personal care, using essential oil diffusers is the method you would like to explore. Essential oils are not only natural perfumes but also proven options with antibacterial, air pufifying, calming and energizing effects. They are recommended for people with insomnia or stress because it is an effective natural safe remedy. If you have just got interest in the aromatherapy, you should know that nowadays diffusers are widely used means to practice it. There are four different types of diffuser but for starters who just want to try aromatherapy, the best essential oil diffuser may be an evaporative diffuser.

 

What is an evaporative diffuser ?

A diffuser of this type is usually one with very basic operation. It has some sort of pad or filter with essential oils dropped onto it. A fan or natural air would blow through the pad to quickly evaporate the oils and release them into the air for people to breathe in.

The different characteristic between evaporative diffusers and other types such as nebulizing diffusers and ultrasonic diffusers is that evaporative ones are very simple and convenient( you can read more information about Evaporative diffuser at the Essential Oil Diffuser Page . Actually since they are the easiest type to use, evaporative diffusers lead the selling chart of personal and mobile diffusers.

Read more: Benefit of doing exercise regularly

Mobile Car Use

Since evaporative diffusers permeate a much smaller area than netrabulizing and ultrasonic diffusers do, they are more fitting to not big rooms but small places like cars. If you do not want to buy one, you can totally build it yourself (What you need is a cork attached to the ventilation of your car and a few drops of essential oil on the cord anytime you want). However, the products on the market are pretty cheap already and they always come with plus points. They are compact, portable with a powerful fan powered with AA bateries, USB adapters or AC adapters. A suggestion for you is the Car Scenter Electric Diffuser plus 5 refill pads at the price of only $8.49.

difuser 1The Car Scenter Electric Diffuser

Working Space Use

As introduced above, many evaporative diffusers powered with USB adapters so there are ones in styled forms of USB sticks. The target customers of these products are people who are stuck to their desktop computers or laptops so that they can pratice aromatherapy while working. Many of them have a high vibration function to diffuse the essential oil more quickly. A suggestion for you is the Aroma-Crystal USB diffuser at the price of $39.98 for a set of 4 USB sticks. Besides, if your workspace does not have a USB port to plug in the diffuser, you may want to check out the Whispi Personal Pump Diffuser, a mall pump-to-diffuse product which can be attached to your keychan or put in your pocket.

usb

 The Aroma-Crystal USB diffuser

Essential Oil Diffuser as Your Jewelry

Jewelry fans, especially women, may breath heavily when they want to have a personal diffuser and realize that there are diffusers designed as necklace pendants and bracelets. These diffusers use the availabled air current around you to diffuse the oils around a small area. Furthermore, they are not only for yourself but wonderful gifts as suggested by Cosmopolitan magazine.

necklaceA necklace pendants diffuser

Putting Fat in Its Place

Have you ever thought about how contradictory some TV commercials can be? You see an ad for a restaurant that prides itself on its luscious pies, then the next commercial is about low-fat yogurt, or high-fiber cereal, or the local health club. With those mixed messages, no wonder it’s hard to do what’s best for you.

low-fat-yogurt

Actually, the reasons for avoiding the restaurant’s rich pies aren’t all that difficult to understand. Your body needs enough vitamins, minerals, iron, and protein to function properly. What your body doesn’t need much of are foods loaded with salt, sugar, and fat. The calories from those foods really do little to affect the body positively. Instead, they can contribute to increased blood pressure, and put added stress on the heart through extra weight.

It takes only 3,500 calories to equal one pound. This may sound like a lot, but they really can add up quickly. If you ate one 500-calorie piece of pecan pie for seven days in a row, if nothing else were altered in your diet or exercise program, by the end of that week you’d have gained a pound. And that’s the way they can start to add up.

Exercise to the Rescue

Exercise can help. It can put fat in its place by turning it into muscle tissue. What’s more, exercise can prevent extra calories from becoming extra pounds. It’s tempting to eat everything in sight when you’re hungry, and that can add up to calorie overload.

Calories are nothing more than a measurement of energy. Like a steam engine that uses coal for fuel, the body uses calories obtained from food as a source of energy. When it needs more energy, it uses more calories. Likewise, if there isn’t a big energy demand, those calories can be stored until needed. The body stores the calories it doesn’t use right away as adipose tissue, better known as fat.

An active, energetic person usually doesn’t have much extra fat because calories are continually being used for fuel. The classic legion of couch potatoes, on the other hand, probably has increased stores of calories, since, generally, their energy requirements are lower.

Facing the Fats

This all means that if you eat the same number of calories that you burn off, you won’t gain weight. But, if you eat more than your body can use, you’ll notice a weight gain.

Everyone’s metabolism (the rate at which your body uses food) is different, so it’s difficult to compare calorie requirements between people. Some people gain weight easily even if they don’t overeat, while others may eat a lot and never gain an ounce. Age, sex, heredity, and physical makeup all figure into the total scheme of metabolism and weight control.

Older people, for example, may exercise daily and be very active. But they may not need as many calories because their metabolism might be slower. Young people, for the most part, need more calories, since their energy levels are higher and their metabolism is faster. Nutritionists recommend that girls age 15 to 18 should eat an average of 2,100 calories a day, while boys age 15 to 18 should have an average of 2,800 calories a day. But it is also important that girls not go below an average of 1,500 calories per day unless they are under a doctor’s supervision for weight loss. There is a limit to how much a person can cut back on calories and still be healthy.

Get Moving

running

Fitness experts have some simple advice when it comes to fighting fat and staying fit. They say that exercise and movement are simply the flip side of eating. It’s not enough to treat your body like a bottomless storage bin of stockpiled calories. That only translates into extra pounds and fatigue. These experts suggest that good health involves the total body, not just what is–or even isn’t–put into the mouth.

Interestingly, dieting alone isn’t the most effective method of dealing with extra weight. The problem with many diets is that they are just fads that quickly fade away and are easily forgotten.

Aerobic exercise such as swimming, biking, walking, and running can have a far more lasting effect than just maintaining fitness and promoting a healthy heart. These exercises use a lot of energy, so they burn calories faster. Research has shown that people who exercise regularly burn more calories than those who are inactive. So they are likely to be thinner and have less overall body fat.

There are also the added benefits of lower blood pressure, reduced stress on the heart, and a decrease in the amount of harmful blood fats like cholesterol. Your self-image will get a positive boost, too.

Certainly building a good exercise program into your daily routine is much better than having to constantly worry about what you eat every day. Not only that, if you know that you will be exercising the extra calories off, it won’t be necessary to feel guilty about eating an occasional burger with fries or a favorite dessert. And there won’t be the need to come up with an excuse for why the latest diet didn’t work. You will have discovered something that does!

Camping Guide for Beginners

a2Considering the area and weather

You should get enough information before choosing where to go camping. Knowing clearly about the camping site can helps you prepare proper tools for camping activities. Moreover, you also should know the nearest health center for preventing from bad situations.

Weather is a key factor that affects to the quality of the trip. Checking weather helps you prepare suitable food and clothes. You should change time or site in case of bad weather.

Preparing tent before night

a1

If it is getting dark, your tent preparation will deal with more and more difficulties. You also should choose well tent. If you go camping with friends or family, best 4 person tents are good recommendation.

At night, the temperatures go down so you should bring a sleeping bag that can remain the warmth and waterproofing. You should choose sleeping bag, which has good material and not allergen.

Priority for dry food

You should bring enough food that depends on the short/long period of camping. You need to bring dry food because you can use it longer then fresh foods.

Moreover, you should bring enough water to meet the demand of body. You must not drink water from lake, river. In case of lacking water seriously, you should boil the water or using sterilization.

Wearing suitable clothes

a3

Each site has its requirement about clothes so you should find out information to bring the most comfortable and convenient clothes. You also should bring overcoat because in some areas, it is so hot all the day but it is still cold, even very cold in the night.

In addition, you should bring flash lamp in case of unexpected situation at night. However, you also should not wander in night without permission.

Do not forget to bring medicines

When go camping, the risks of accidence, food poisoning, diseases is not low so you should prepare some necessary drugs to prevent those situations. Moreover, many diseases relating to insects can affects to your health. Therefore, you also should use insect repellent cream because tent and sleeping bag cannot prevent all insects from biting us.

Keep personal hygiene

Water for bathing in the areas of camping is often limited. However if you do not keep personal hygiene, several diseases will attack you. You should select convenient products such as wet towel, cleansing hand gel…

Dirty clothes should be washed or be classified in specific bags. You also need to check the water source before using to wash hand or clothes.

Benefits of doing exercises regularly

How to have a good health? This is not a difficult question but not everyone can do because it is easier said than done. General principles are to have a nutrition balance and proper daily activities. Of course, doing exercise regularly is a key factor.

a1

Many people do not have a habit of doing exercises because they think it is not necessary. In fact, exercise bring you several benefits. You will know clearly about the benefits of doing exercise if you have time to play with some sports. There are many kinds of exercises, which you can apply for yourself such as swimming, running and aerobic.

According to sport expert Althea Shah, exercises can enhance your emotions. It can be considered as the best drug for preventing depression risks and making your emotions return to the normal status. Moreover, it also helps you pay more attention on what you carry out. Therefore, doing exercises every day not only good for your health but also good for your brain and your confidence

Enhancing energy

It is popularly thought that if we move or do exercise too much, we will feel tired and dizzy. However, the more you do exercises, the more you feel well. Doing exercises regularly can helps to improve the muscles strength and your endurance.

When your body is in operation, it will provide energy for thinking thorough an issue and giving new solutions. If you do exercise within 15 minutes, your body will create more energy to do other tasks or activities.

Enhancing concentration

a2

Dr. John Rately shares that doing exercise can help improve your brain within a short period by concentration after 2-3 hours. For example, if you have a presentation or a speech which requiring your concentration, you should practice an hour before.

If you do exercise frequently, you can minimize the risk of suffering Alzheimer because when you do exercise; blood moves to brain in a regular and stable way.

Enhancing emotions

Doing exercise also produces endorphins for improving the brain’s functions. Therefore, when you do exercise, your ability for arrangement is significantly improved. This helps you carry out the task with higher effectiveness.

Doing exercise regularly can also help you relax and reduce stress. You maybe feel good about your existence. Moreover, it can enhance your confidence.

Enhancing the memory

a3Your brain will save more data when your body is in operation. According a recent study, students are required to remember a long series of letter. Then, they are divided into 2 group, one group just sitting and another one doing exercise. After checking the results, it is interesting that the group of students who do exercise can answer more accuracy and fast than the group not doing anything.

In spite of its benefits, you should not do too many exercises or do exercises which not suitable for your body. Abusing exercises will have bad effects on your health. Therefore, you should ask doctor or instructor for receiving useful information.

Why we should do exercise in the morning?

Many people have a habit of doing exercise regularly in the morning, while others prefer do exercise in the afternoon. If doing exercise in the afternoon can enhance muscles, doing exercises in the morning can help to have a good spirit and keep your body in good shape.

1. Morning’s exercise- A method of losing weight

a3This is the best solutions for people who are quite fat and slow. If you are in this situation, you should change your exercise time from afternoon to morning. The reason is in the morning, you have never eaten anything so if you do exercises, the calories you use during exercise will burn the fat, especially in the belly and thigh.

You will soon have a smaller waist. If you do not believe in this, just do morning’s exercise for 3 weeks. You will know the change clearly.

2. Morning’s exercise- A method of having a good spirit

After getting up in the early morning, all the stress of the day before had gone. Therefore your spirit is relaxed and comfortable, you are ready for starting a new day. All physical exercises such as jogging, tennis… will bring the higher effective if you really pay attention to practice. Hence, morning’s exercise is good for muscles, circulating system.

3. Morning’s exercise- Prevent unexpected diseases

a2If you do exercise in the afternoon, you are tired so the action is not accurate. At that time, blood in your body will be dispersed to other organs that prevent the process of food digestion.

On the other hand, mechanical effects of acting also prevent the digestion process of stomach, leading to erosive gastritis and other digestion organs. This also causes some unexpected diseases such as menses disorder, insomnia, digestive troubles…

4. Some “morning” sports

Some sports such as walking, jogging, tennis, swimming…will make all parts of your body move. This helps to burn more calories in belly, shoulder, thigh…that make you feel comfortable.

Moreover, when you play these kinds of sport, you also can see the life around you in the morning. It is also a good method for reducing your tension and stress.

Doing exercises in the morning is good for your health. Now, we give you some notes before doing exercises:

a1

  • Drink water (about ¼ liter of water). When you do exercise, your body will break into perspiration. Hence, it is important to drink enough water.
  • Wear big clothes. When doing exercises, you should wear big clothes to make your skin free. Poison will easier exist.
  • Use sun cream. The sun heat may make your skin be sunburned. Therefore, using sun cream is the way that helps to reduce bad effects from sun
  • Do exercises regularly. You should not do exercises too much in once times. You must know your health condition and your endurance.
  • Check weather. You also should check the weather before doing exercises to ensure that you can do exercises in that weather. This helps you have proper plan of doing exercises.

5 Tips To Turn Your Bedroom Into Heaven

The fact is that everybody all have a great feeling for their bedroom. Therefore, it should be a convenient and warm place to relax after a hard-working time. If your bedroom is untidy with things scattered around, it will be hard for you to get into sleep at night. bedroom In this article, there are some tips for you to consider when arranging the bedroom. They will help turning the room into one amazing heaven.

Make the room darker

Remember to turn off the light every time you go to bed. Or you can switch to lamps with softer light. There are two kinds of lamp include overhead lamps and ground lamps. In fact, the body will start to feel sleepy when you are in dark room. In addition, people can add some soft music to sleep easier. According some researches from New York University, light prevents the production of melatonin. To illustrate, this is an important hormone which help stimulating the sleep. Even when you are closing the eyes, you can also see the light through your eyelids. Therefore, if there is still light in the room, your brain won’t produce the melatonin because it can’t differentiate between day and night.

Maintain the comfortable place

digital clock Avoid using things such as electronics or digital clocks. These things will distract you from sleeping at nights. In addition, it is better if you put the light outside the room or turn on the bedroom light. Activate the ceiling light in bedroom will stop the production of melatonin.

Create the cool temperature

In fact, the temperature of your body starts to drop whenever you get into sleep at night. Therefore, creating a cool atmosphere is one of the most common ways to get into to sleep. In addition, scientists have suggested that you should decrease the temperature of the room 15% lower than your body. The temperature is different depends on each type of people. However, it should be under 50 degree. And for women who are experiencing hot flashes or want to sleep in the blankets, they all want to lower the atmosphere of their bedroom.

Keep it quiet

earplugWhen the room is quiet, individuals can sleep better. If your bedroom is surrounded with noise such as catfights, winds or cars, a heavy rug will help limiting the noise. For some people who love music, you can listen to some favorite song lists that you like. Moreover, an earplugs are very effective in limiting the sound through your ears. Remember if you fall as sleep when listening to music, set the “sleep’ function so that it can automatically shut down at midnight. Since, these unexpected noise can wake you up immediately at nights, remain the quiet background all the time.

Keep the peaceful atmosphere

down-comforterWhen you have achieve all the regulations above, try to limit the things which can distract individuals from the sleep. For instance, there will be no television, no stereo or fitness machine that cause the noise. In addition, add some personal features to make it more interesting and comfortable. Or you can utilize the bed with your favorite patterns. Choose for yourself one best down comforter so it will help getting to sleep easier. There are 5 tips which very useful for you to have one ideal bedroom. And also remember that, you must be aware of going to bed early. Otherwise, it will not good for the brain and health.

Food: eat quick, easy and cheap: 9 ways to save like a student and eat like a star

burger-pizza

Sean Collins knows how easy it is to pick up a burger or slice of pizza instead of cooking: the head chef at Pazzo Ristorante and Stratford Chefs School instructor was once an architecture and engineering student. “All I have to do is look at the nutrition information of processed foods to remind myself why I avoid it.” Here’s how students can, too.

In The Kitchen

Start simple:

Rock-star chefs have made cooking took cool. “But the Food Network has raised the expectations for beginning cooks to ridiculous, unattainable levels,” says Evelyn Raab, author of the Clueless in the Kitchen cookbook. Follow simple recipes to make a few favourites well–eggs, rice, pasta – before getting fancy.

Aim for quality, not complexity:

Whether he’s cooking at home or at the restaurant, Collins uses no more than five or six ingredients. “It’s the quality of the ingredients that counts.”

Make extra:

Leftovers protect your wallet from takeout and your willpower against anything deep-fried (the frosh 15 weight gain is no myth). Simmer big pots of chili, soup, stew or curries to refrigerate and eat all week – or freeze portions to defrost later. Turn today’s supermarket rotisserie chicken into tomorrow’s sandwich, soup, wrap or casserole.

Don’t cook at all:

salad

Raab suggests making a meal of salad. Toss prepped greens with olives, cheese, canned chickpeas, diced tomatoes, peppers, shredded carrots and a sprinkle of nuts or seeds. Warm up some bread and. you’re eating in minutes. “You’ll also save lots and eat way better with your own vinaigrette,” says Collins. “Whisk a little less than 3 parts oil into 1 part vinegar.” Add salt and pepper and experiment by adding pinches of spices, honey, maple syrup, fresh garlic, Dijon, or whatever you like.

Mix cooking with socializing:

Dinner solo is boring. Dinner with friends, where you cook together or bring dishes to share, turns eating into an occasion. University of King’s College student Brendan Sangster grocery shops with pals to get new ideas. “Anything to do with housekeeping is way more fun if you make a party out of it.”

In The Supermarket

Steer clear of processed foods:

“Every time someone else does something to your ingredients–like slicing mushrooms or shredding cheese–it adds another layer of cost,” says Raab. Same goes for single servings: a huge bag of quick oats costs the same as six one-serving oatmeal packets.

Buy in bulk, share among many:

Buying in bulk is a great option when you split 20 pounds of rice or flour with friends. But it’s a waste of cash if it’s you against a 10-pound sack of potatoes.

Raid the clearance rack:

Meat may be reduced the day before its best-before date. Eat the same day or freeze it. Raab sees supermarkets marking down perfectly edible over-ripe produce to clear shelves for new stock. “A spotty banana is just a banana bread waiting to be born. Wrinkled peppers or squishy tomatoes are begging to be turned into spaghetti sauce.”

Be a weekday vegetarian:

weekly-vegetarian

Meatless meals are better for the planet, your waistline and your wallet. McGill student Avital Oretsky lived off $25 a week by sharing shopping and cooking with roommates. “We ate vegetarian and had diets rich in fresh vegetables, legumes, whole grains and homemade sauces.”

Click here to get back to homepage.

EXERCISE MAY HELP PREVENT STROKE

New guidelines say a daily 30-minute walk reduces risk of “brain attack.”

Just as regular exercise can reduce the risk of a heart attack, physical activity also may help prevent “brain attack“–more commonly known as stroke. In its recently released guidelines, the Prevention Advisory Board of the National Stroke Association recommends taking “a brisk walk for as little as 30 minutes a day” as one of ten strategies to help prevent stroke, America’s leading cause of adult disability.

“Exercise is so important to cardio-vascular health in general and to reducing the risk of coronary heart disease that we’ve long suspected it might protect against stroke as well,” says Dr. Philip B. Gorelick, professor of neurology at Chicago’s Rush Medical College and chairman of the Stroke Association panel. “Now we have the evidence to say that physical activity is an exceedingly important factor.”

A stroke occurs when blood circulation to the brain fails, most often as a result of blockage of a blood vessel in the brain or neck. In recent years, some experts have begun calling this condition “brain attack” to reflect its similarity to heart attack and to increase awareness of its urgent nature. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer, taking an estimated 160,000 lives annually. About 731,000 Americans suffer strokes each year, and total costs for care average $40 billion, according to the Stroke Association; there are four million stroke survivors in this country.

“Although stroke remains a leading cause of death, disability, and healthcare expenditures, it can be prevented,” according to the stroke prevention guidelines published in the March 24/31, 1999, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The guidelines, which constitute the first-ever national-expert consensus on stroke prevention, cite six risk factors: hypertension, history of heart attack, elevated cholesterol levels, atrial fibrillation (a type of abnormal heart rhythm), diabetes mellitus, and asymptomatic carotid artery disease.

The guidelines also highlight several lifestyle factors that can contribute to stroke risk, including smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and a diet high in fat and sodium. Regular exercise may help prevent strokes, the recommendations note, in part because physical activity positively affects many risk factors.

“Physical activity can help control blood pressure, and that’s the leading risk factor for stroke,” notes Dr. Edgar J. Kenton, professor of clinical neurology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and a member of the executive committee of the American Heart Association’s Stroke Council. “Physical activity improves cardiovascular conditioning and helps keep the heart in shape.”

Exercise also can improve cholesterol ratios and reduce the risk of diabetes. In addition, Dr. Kenton says, “People who exercise are more health-conscious and are more likely to have healthy behaviors, such as not smoking or drinking to excess and having a good diet.”

Recent research has helped strengthen the link between physical activity and stroke prevention. People who exercise for an hour a day cut their risk for stroke nearly in half, according to a study of 11,130 Harvard University alumni published last fall in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers found that people who expended 2,000 calories each week–the equivalent of a one-hour brisk walk five days a week–had a 46 percent lower risk of stroke than those who did little to no exercise. People who expended 1,000 calories a week–the equivalent of walking briskly for 30 minutes a day, five days a week–had about a 24 percent reduction in stroke risk.

“Walking, stair-climbing, and participating in moderately intense activities–such as dancing, bicycling, and gardening–were shown to reduce the risk of stroke,” says the study’s lead author, I-Min Lee, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. “Light activity, such as bowling and general housekeeping activity, did not have the same effect.”

Getting regular checkups is essential to stroke prevention, since keeping track of such personal health information as blood pressure and cholesterol levels is important in reducing risks of the disease.

In addition to getting regular exercise, the stroke prevention guidelines recommend:

* Knowing your blood pressure and having it checked at least once a year.

* Finding out whether you have atrial fibrillation or high cholesterol.

* Quitting smoking; drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all; and eating a diet lower in fat and salt.

* Asking your doctor if you have circulation problems, following your doctor’s recommendations if you are diabetic, and seeking immediate medical attention if you experience any stroke symptoms. Stroke symptoms include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg; sudden confusion; trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing or walking; and dizziness or sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Since many of the conditions that lead to stroke have roots in childhood, experts say it’s particularly important to get kids active. “When you go to other cultures and you see people walking and bicycling and not eating as much, you don’t see this level of disease,” notes Chicago’s Dr. Gorelick. “Here we have a very sedentary, very obese population, and that leads to a whole host of health problems. If we had a population that exercised throughout the life cycle, beginning in childhood, I think we’d see a tremendous improvement in health.”

4 Amazing Benefits of Yoga

yoga

Everybody spends time going to the gym or doing some common exercises at home. So why don’t think about practicing yoga to get a healthy lifestyle. Yoga allows to increase the flexibility and reduce stress after working-hard. To illustrate, practitioners can twist their body into pretzel shapes and experience the sense of peace.

These tasks can be done everywhere include in the kitchen, bedroom or living room. Besides, this articles will list out five reasons to show off your yoga skills. There are also appropriate pose recommended for each benefit.

Increase the Imumunity

Some researchers from the Norwegian show that practicing yoga regularly will create a change in gene, which increase the immunity in the body. And it did not take a long period of time to do that. In addition, studies have shown that these changes happen when people are still working-out on the mat; however, it becomes greater when there are groups of people who practice yoga and listen to music together.

On the other hand, yoga helps boosting the immunity by strengthening the health in your body. When people breathe better, move well and the circulation of blood function better, these things will increase the immunity in the whole body.

posture-yogaPose Recommended: Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar)

This is a combination of these poses performed in a row which can be found in any yoga classes. Practitioners are provide mat with music, this will benefit for the circulation of blood.

Reduce Migraines

Migraine is an annoying symptom for most people because they can’t work effectively when having this health problem. To illustrate, this symptom may be a combination results from mental stressors and physical misalignment. However, researches have shown that migraine sufferers reduce their pain after practicing yoga for three months.

bridge-posePose Recommended: Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Lie your back with your knees bent and create a distance between you’re the feet and the floor. Keep hands resting on the floor, put pressure on your legs and draw the hips into the sky. Remember to keep the shoulders in line with the neck. Lastly, lift your chest towards the chin in order to let all trapezius muscles get away from the head.

Improve quality of sleep

Studies from Harvard show that practicing yoga for two months will help insomnia people sleep better. Besides, attend 2 sessions of yoga in a week is one of the best choices for reducing the fatigue.
This is also known as the ability of yoga to help people deal with stress. At bedtime, people can’t stop thinking about many things and don’t know how to relax the body. Yoga includes breathing and mental exercises allow the mind to slow down; therefore, you begin to sleep better.

corpe-pose

Pose Recommended: Corpse Pose (Savasana) With Diaphragmatic Breathing

This is the final pose in a yoga class with its aim to restore the body. Lay on your back as the position when you are sleeping. Then inhale and exhale through your nose, follow the breath and feel the belly rise and fall under the hands. Remember that all the breath, muscles and mind should be completely relaxed.

Less likely to get hungry

People who practice yoga regularly are less likely to feel hungry. For instant, they can enhance the awareness of physical and emotional sensations associated with eating. By improving the breath awareness, yoga practice will strengthen the connection between your mind and the whole body.

The awareness can help you tune in to emotion when you are craving for food. This will help slowing down and deciding better choices for yourself.

meditation

Pose Recommended: Meditation

Sit or lay in a comfortable position then breathe naturally. Next, pay attention to the triangle area around the tip of your nose and upper lip. Also focus on your breath when you inhale and exhale during the yoga process. This pose should be done for up to five minutes or more. And remember that the main key when doing this pose is focusing on your breath.

Besides those yoga practices, you should also consider some work-outs at home to make the practicing process become various. Having said that, the unfortunate truth is that not everyone can afford to pay the gym fees every month. Therefore, purchasing your own machine can be an investment for a long run. Since the market presents a variety of machines with different features. It’s important to spend time browsing through those spin bike reviews until you find one that suit personal budget and fitness level.
There are still various practices for yoga process. This type of exercise not only strengthen the body but help people experience a sense of peace in their mind as well.

Energy ups and downs: feel as if you’re on a roller coaster–wide awake one minute and half-asleep the next? Here’s how to steady your energy

You may read this article and find it interesting, or you may simply stare at the page. Either way, the words won t change. But what you remember about this article may depend on when you read it.

If you’re like 14-year-old Joey Twarkins of Beacon Falls, Conn., you may get more from reading this article in the morning. That’s when Joey has the most energy. He’s had almost nine hours of sleep and he’s just eaten breakfast.

If you’re like 14-year-old Zoe Skibbie, of Hopkinton, N.H., reading this article in the afternoon could make your eyelids droop. She’s been awake since early morning, and it has been several hours since she’s eaten or exercised. “I feel like cooked spaghetti at 2 o’clock,” she says.

Zoe’s older sister, Anya, 17, would get the most from reading the article just before lunch. That’s right after she has PE. “It’s like I wake up when I work out,” Anya says.

You may not have the same energy highs or lows as Joey, Zoe, or Anya. But very few kids–or adults–maintain the same energy level all day. Why? Here’s a hint: Think about what people say when they’re tired: “I’m out of gas” or “I need to recharge my batteries.”

In some ways, your body is like a car, and energy is like your engine. It can run, but someone needs to start it, fuel it, and keep it tuned up. Three things keep your energy engine running: exercise, food, and rest. Here’s how those crucial components work together.

Pumped Up With Exercise

Think of exercise as your starter. Blood flow increases when your brain of body is active–even when you are unaware of it. For example, your brain needs energy to understand these words as your eyes travel across the page.

When the energy ignition is on, blood vessels in your brain become wider, increasing the blood flow. The heart conveys blood to the brain and body, and a strong heart delivers oxygen more efficiently. That’s why health experts recommend regular exercise to strengthen the heart.

Coach and physical therapist Nancy Reichlin of Norwalk, Conn., agrees. She suggests that young people try to get at least an hour of moderate physical activity every day.

“It’s simple: Exercise equals energy,” says Reichlin. “And doing something every day–riding a bike, walking, dancing–is better for your heart than waiting till the weekend [to exercise]. Even if you squeeze in 10 minutes of physical activity a few times a day, you help yourself.”

Eating for Energy

Think of food as your engine’s fuel. The gasoline–glucose (blood sugar)–is made when the digestive system breaks down food into molecules. Then the glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream in a process called metabolism. Cells absorb glucose from the blood and use it for energy. With high glucose levels, your engine runs well; with low levels, your engine sputters.

Foods are generally separated into three classes: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Nutritionists agree that foods high in carbohydrates give you the best mileage. Whole-grain cereals, pasta, potatoes, and beans are all packed with carbohydrates.

Discuss

* At what time of day do you have the most energy? Why do you think that is?

* What three things keep your “energy engine” running?

* How much exercise should you get daily? Why?

* How does the body get energy from food?

Do

Have students keep energy journals for one week. They should record what they eat, how much exercise and rest they get, and the times for each. Have them note as the day goes on the times when they feel the most and least energized. Encourage students to try to make daily adjustments in nutrition, exercise, and rest to find out if any one of those has an effect on their energy levels. At the end of the week, ask students to draw a conclusion about energy based on their personal experiences.

Resources

California Project LEAN’s Food on the Run program encourages teens to eat healthful foods and increase their physical activity to raise energy levels. Student advocates in nearly 30 high schools are working to add more healthful foods in the cafeteria and vending machines and increase the opportunities for students to be physically active. Visit the program’s Web site for teen-specific information on nutrition and exercise, including recipes and games. www.californiaprojectlean.org

The PBS reality show for teens In the Mix has produced an episode titled “Fit for Life … Eat Smart & Exercise.” Visit the show’s Web site for tips on nutrition and exercise, a transcript, educator information, and program listings. www.pbs.org/inthemix

No Sleep, Big Test: What Do You Do?

It happens to everyone: The night before the big test, all you can do is toss and turn in your bed. How can you get enough of an emergency energy supply to ace the test? You can’t take a nap in school. Instead, you’re better off eating a good meal and taking a deep breath.

How will that help? When you’re tired, your glucose levels are low. So a “good” meal is one that contains carbohydrates. Studies have shown that eating high-carb foods can improve memory within an hour. Eat a sandwich or another high-carbohydrate food an hour before the test.

Breathing deeply helps too. That will increase the oxygen levels in your blood. Right before the test, try this breathing exercise: Stick out your tongue partway and curl the sides up, as though your tongue were a straw. Count to two as you take in a “sip” of air. Close your mouth and count to eight. Then breathe out through your nose and count to four. Repeat those steps five times.

Now you’re ready for the test. After all, you did study, right?

Jason Tsokalas, 15, of Hebron, Conn., likes “whole grain waffles for breakfast and turkey on wheat with mayo” for lunch. Those are excellent energy foods because Jason metabolizes them steadily during the day. Jason says he has the most energy right after lunch. That’s because he’s had two meals built around carbohydrates. His energy tank is full.

Nutritionist Sharon Mierzwa of Hartford, Conn., says Jason’s meals are great. But she also recommends adding chopped walnuts of sliced bananas to the waffles. “Nuts are great for all-day energy, and potassium in bananas helps cells during the metabolic process,” she says.

Mierzwa says it’s important for kids to avoid sweet breakfast treats and to stay away from candy or soda at lunch. Those foods are high in sucrose, also known as table sugar,. Because sucrose is converted to glucose almost immediately, the gas burns fast and the fuel tank soon reads empty.

Lights Out for Rest

Sleep is tune-up time. You should recharge by sleeping between eight and nine hours–the recommended amount for teenagers. Rest allows your cells to store glucose. Too little sleep means you burn glucose rather than store it. Experiments have shown that glucose levels in rats drop when the animals are awake and rise while they sleep. Less sleep means less energy–for both rats and humans.

Now that you know more about energy, you can keep your engine humming. With exercise, the right foods, and enough sleep, you can get off the roller coaster and enjoy a steady ride.

Ingram, Scott

Your top workout questions answered

Four fitness experts answer the eight most common questions that are asked about exercising. These questions deal with motivation for exercising, minimum amount of workouts and keeping workout schedules, among others.

We asked four fitness professionals to answer your top questions about working out. Read their answers and then get with a program!

Q What’s the minimum amount of working out I can do and still see results?

Always looking for short-cuts aren’t we? Lucky for you, this is one case where you may actually benefit from keeping your workout time to a minimum. According to Noah Mann of Miami’s Club Body Tech, if you’re just starting out, keeping your aerobic routine to 20 minutes, three times a week will not only do your body good, but it’ll keep you from getting totally bored.

As long as you’re breaking a sweat and keeping your heart rate up, you’ll be burning fat away – and we bet that after you start seeing results, you’ll want to push ahead and add in a little more time. Check out the chart on the next page to see where you fit in and how to take it to the next level.

FIND YOUR FITNESS LEVEL AND SEE WHAT YOUR MINIMUM WORKOUT DEAL IS:
FITNESS          MINIMUM
LEVEL            TIME             SUGGESTIONS
BEGINNER
(You get         20-30 minutes,   Start out slowly - build up to
minimal          two to three     that third or fourth workout;
exercise)        times a week     Remember to alternate aerobics
                                  and strength-training.
MODERATE
(You work        20-30 minutes,   Push yourself to get to that
out a few        three to four    four or five times a week
times            times a week     spot; When strength-training,
weekly)                           do extra sets as you get stronger.
ADVANCE
(You play a      30-45 minutes    Most likely, you're already
junior varsity   four to five     in great shape. Concentrate
or varsity       times a week     on keeping your body toned
spot)                             with calisthenics and weight
                                  training.

Q Can I split my workout into three 10-minute mini workouts?

Because it takes your body at least twenty minutes to get your target heart rate up and in optimal working condition, when it comes to aerobic workouts, these mini-sessions are a no-go, says Frank Schrecker of New York Health & Racquet Club. You can split up toning exercises (stomach crunches, arm workouts with weights, etc.) into short periods of time throughout the day. Set a routine where you do three or four sets of bicep curls in the morning before school, get down with squat thrusts to work your legs in the later afternoon, and then tackle tricep extensions before bed. The key is to vary your muscle work all over. Simple!

Q Will walking get me into shape?

Walking a couple of blocks to school won’t cut it – you definitely need to put some major effort into your stride to make it burn fat. According to Deborah O’Connell, fitness trainer at New York Health & Racquet Club, if exercising indoors drives you stir-crazy and you’re not ready for running, check out a walking audio tape. Not only do the tapes provide work-out-worthy music, but most feature a ticking metronome beat that forces you to stay in step and keep your pace brisk!

Q How can I get some motivation?

First of all, making the decision that you want to get in shape and have a great-looking body is one commitment that should remain with you for the rest of your life. It’s got to become a habit, as in a lifestyle change. Compare exercising to brushing your teeth, advises New York Health & Racquet Club’s O’Connell. You brush your teeth every day so that they’ll look clean and sparkling, and won’t get unhealthy and fall out. You should pay the same kind of attention to your body. Another tip: try making a weekly workout schedule – penciling exercise in on your calendar will help you to stick with it. And once you get into shape, staying in shape is a whole lot easier!

Q How can I find a workout I’ll stick with?

workout-with-friendsWorking out with others is not only a great way to do something productive while you hang with your friends, but it’s practically a guarantee that you won’t throw in the towel as easily as you might if you were the only one around. You can also try trading video tapes or testing out new workouts with each other – let a friend teach you tennis, then you can show her the ropes of in-line skating or take her on some serious mountain-biking trails.

Q How soon will I see results?

Results start in a few weeks. Every fitness expert we spoke to, however, couldn’t stress enough that, in order to see results, you must not only develop a workout regime and stick to it, but devote some attention to changing your eating habits. Don’t starve yourself – if you do, your body will store fat to use it as energy.

“You don’t need to diet,” says Manne, “just cut back on bready carbohydrates, cut back on sugary foods and drinks, and you’ll see visible results in a month or two.” Finally, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a week or so of working out; you’re still way ahead of when you started, so just get back on track.

Q How can I make myself stick with my workout schedule?

Every time you exercise, put a quarter in a jar, suggests Todd Person, a trainer with Los Angeles’ Metabolic Project. Not only will the coin stash serve as a reminder of how much work you’ve put into getting in shape, but after you’ve reached one of your goals, you’ll have some money to treat yourself to a cool top or halter that can showcase your iron-hard abs!

Q How can I figure out my target heart rate?

Target-Heart-RateTo know for sure that you’re working as hard as you should, you should try to keep your heart beating at your target heart rate. (It’s at that level that you’re really working your bod.) When you’re born, your heart rate is 220 beats per minute. As each year passes, your heart rate drops one beat.

To figure out your heart rate now, take 220 and subtract your age. You need to stay between 65 and 85 percent of that number in order to get real results. If you go below your target heart rate, you’re not pushing yourself enough. Here’s an example: If you’re 15 years old: 220-15=205, multiply 205 by 0.65=133 (your minimum heart rate) – then multiply 205 by 0.85=174 (your maximum heart rate).

Stay between your minimum and maximum heart rate numbers when you’re working out. To check your heart rate, take your pulse in the middle of exercising (walk in place while doing it, try not to completely cool down). Place two fingers on the side of your neck and count the number of beats. (You can count for a minute, or save time by counting for 15 seconds, then multiply that number by four.) Based on what you count, you’ll know if you’re working too much or not enough!

How to eat healthy and do exercises

These days, there are many articles come out with the idea of people who succeed in building good body. As an illustration, Cindy Tarantino is one of the people who had lost 90 pounds thanks to work out on cycling bike and eat healthy. Apart from doing exercises on fitness indoor cycling bike, what are the other factors which help you get a healthy body?

There are a lot of ways that people could use to burn the calories which result in fit body. They included going on healthy diet, working out every day or setting the goal to shape your body efficiently.

EATING HEALTHY DIET

foodKnowing that eating healthy food can help preventing many diseases in the future such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

You should avoid these following food:

Sugar: it is the most common ingredient which absolutely add more fat to your body. In addition, eating so much sugar can cause the obesity and cardiovascular disease in the future.
Food made from grains: avoid eating bread and pasta because these types food bring more carbohydrates which contains in the body

On the other hand, there are also natural food which is great for health.

Eggs: eggs have a lot of nutrition among a large number of food. One egg contains both the white and the yolk. The part which is healthy and nutrient is the yolk. Also, eating eggs provides the omega-3 which is good for health.
Meat: chicken and beef for instant. Meat which is taken from the animals is natural and good.
Vegetables: people who want to lose weight also encouraged to eat more vegetables. So let’s eat more vegetables every day and drink fruit in variety.

WORKOUT EVERYDAYworkout

To have a shape body, two things that come up in mind first is to eat healthy and do a great number of exercises. Exercises burn calories in the body and also build up strong muscle which benefits effectively in losing your weight.

Knowing the need of exercises, a well-known company named Schwinn Fitness also produce many generations of both indoor and outdoor bikes to suit each target users. Moreover, Schwinn IC2 is one of the well-qualified and effective bikes which can support you in the whole fitness process. Users can lose a great amount of weight approximately 1200 calories if they workout everyday with this machine. You can check out for some detailed reviews of Schwinn IC2 at this link http://exercisebikesexpert.com/schwinn-ic2-indoor-cycling-exercise-bike-reviews/

SET UP AN IDEAL PLAN FOR FITNESS PROCESS

Some people choose to write down all the food that they have eaten in the whole day to know how many calories they consume in the body. As the result, these people seem to lose weight easier because they can reduce the amount of calories after checking their food diaries.

The best recommendation is that you should go to the gym 3-4 times a week and do a lot of types such as lift weights, stretch and warm up.

Lift weight: this will help reducing calories in the body but still keep you feel healthy and strong.
Try some basic cardio exercises for example jogging, running or walking will effectively help.

All the wrong moves

Some people do their exercises incorrectly, increasing the likelihood of injury. Some common exercises and questions illustrating incorrect exercises are presented.

Could your exercises be failing you? If you’re doing them incorrectly, you may be working harder than you have to, without gaining results. Or, worse yet, you could be putting yourself at risk for injury. Mark Stevens of the Gym shows us some rights and wrongs.

#1 Stretching

WRONG Bouncing while you stretch.

RIGHT Slow, smooth and controlled stretches. “Bouncing could cause you to stretch too far because it’s uncontrollable,” says Mark.

#2 Lunges

WRONG Positioning your knee further forward than your foot.

RIGHT Keeping back straight, knees directly above foot. “Lunging too far forward puts too much stress on your knee caps, which can lead to injury,” says Mark.

#3 Situps

WRONG Arching your back as you come up.

RIGHT Lifting yourself just a few inches off the ground by using abdominal muscles instead of your back and head. Arch your back and you’ll be at risk for straining it or your neck. (Not to mention you won’t be working your abdominal muscles as efficiently.)

OTHER COMMON EXERCISE MISTAKES

WRONG Not warming up.

RIGHT Warming up your muscles and joints for about five to 10 minutes before a workout. Not warming up could lead to muscle injury. A great warm-up involves using the muscles you’ll be working out slowly and gently. Try walking before running, riding a slow stationary bike before cycling or doing weights.

WRONG Stretching only after, or only before, a workout.

RIGHT Stretching both before and after workouts. “Stretching out the muscles you’ve just worked after a workout prevents them from tightening up and becoming sore,” says Mark.

I’ve been doing the stair machine for a week now, but afterward my neck and elbows are sore. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: Chances are, you’re using your arms to support you by hanging on too tightly to the rails. The hand rails should be used for balance only. Otherwise, not only will you become sore, you’ll also be getting less of a lower-body workout.

How much water should I drink when I work out?

Answer: It’s essential to stay well-hydrated when you work out so that your muscles will work more efficiently and to prevent cramping. A good rule: 8 ounces of water every 30 minutes while working out or exercising. Swimmers should be sure to stay hydrated, as it’s easy to forget you’re losing water when you’re inside a pool. And keep in mind that diet sodas are not good substitutes: many contain caffeine which acts as a diuretic.

What you get when you get moving

Want to start exercising but don’t know how long it will take to see results? Some benefits start almost immediately; others take longer. Here’s a time-line, prepared with the help of exercise physiologist John Duncan, Ph.D., a professor of clinical research at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, of the benefits of doing three 30-minute aerobic sessions each week. (If you work out longer or more often, your benefits will be even greater.)

AFTER 1 WEEK

week1Fitness: Expect about a 1-percent boost in your endurance (you’ll feel more energized), as well as a drop of about 1 beat per minute in your resting heart rate (which means your heart muscle is already getting stronger, pumping more blood with each stroke).

Weight: If you were at least 25 percent overweight before you started and are now on a sensible diet, count on shedding up to 2 pounds. For others, no discernible weight loss…yet.

1monthAFTER 1 MONTH

Fitness: You’ll be up to a 4-percent increase in your aerobic capacity – the amount of oxygen your body is able to process and consume during exercise. (When you run up stairs, for instance, you won’t feel as out of breath as you used to.) Plus there’ll be a total drop of about 4 beats per minute in your resting heart rate. (A fit rate hovers between 50 and 70.)

Weight: Another 4 to 6 pounds will come off if you began 25 percent overweight and are eating right. Others will shed perhaps 1 to 2 pounds. Also, expect improved muscle tone.

Blood Pressure: If you started with higher than normal blood pressure and/or were overweight, you’ll see a total drop of 5 to 7 points in your systolic pressure (the top number, which measures the maximum pressure produced in the large arteries by each heartbeat), and a 1- or 2-point drop in your diastolic pressure (the bottom number, which measures the constant pressure maintained in the arteries between heartbeats). That’s a clear sign that blood is flowing more easily to your muscles and vital organs.

AFTER 3 MONTHS

3months“At this point, it’s as if someone flipped a switch,” says Duncan. “The health-promoting changes really start kicking in.”

Fitness: Now, oxygen-burning capabilities will be a total of 10 to 15 percent higher. Your resting heart rate will drop, on average, another 5 to 7 beats.

Weight: If you started out 25 percent overweight and are eating right, you’ll have shed a total of 12 to 17 pounds. Others will see a more modest (perhaps 5- to 10-pound) loss. Muscles will now be a bit larger and more toned. To see more significant changes in muscle tone, add weight training.

Blood Pressure: You’ll be up to a 7- to 12-point drop in systolic pressure, and a 3- to 8-point drop in diastolic pressure.

Cholesterol: Perhaps you’ll see a slight reduction in total cholesterol levels, but more importantly, there will be a definite (3 percent) rise in “good” HDL cholesterol, vital for preventing plaque buildup in arteries. For every 1 percent rise in HDL levels, you lower your risk of heart disease by 3 percent.

AFTER 6 MONTHS

6monthHere’s when you’ll feel the greatest gains in health and fitness, Duncan says.

Fitness: You’ll be up to a 15 to 20 percent improvement in your aerobic capacity. Your resting heart rate will have dropped a total of 10 to 15 beats per minute. Now, it’ll take you only 3 to 4 minutes to “recover” after a workout-more proof that you’re using oxygen more efficiently.

Weight: The formerly overweight can expect a total of up to 30 pounds off. Otherwise, the scale may not show much more of a drop – muscle weighs more than fat – but your pants will fit less snugly.

Blood Pressure: There will be a total reduction of 8 to 15 points in your systolic pressure, and 4 to 10 points in your diastolic pressure.

Cholesterol: You’ll see a 5 to 10 percent increase in HDL levels, often enough to change your readings from abnormal to normal.

AFTER 1 YEAR

1yearFitness: You’ll be 18 to 25 percent better at burning oxygen than when you started. For even more improvement, work out longer and/or more frequently.

Weight: Because it now takes fewer calories to maintain your body weight, your weight will remain about the same. To lose more, exercise more or decrease your calorie consumption.

Blood Pressure: Expect a total drop of 8 to 18 points in your systolic pressure, and up to 10 points in your diastolic pressure.

Cholesterol: HDL levels will have increased a total of 12 to 15 percent – enough, usually, to extend your life expectancy by a couple of years.