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This is my journey towards living a better and healthier life. I will document and share with you all my research and knowledge in developing fitness in more practical way
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5 simple tips for sticking to your fitness plan

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Are you sticking to your fitness plan?

If you are – bravo; if not, let’s do something about it.

You need some glue, something that will make you feel committed, convinced, stuck on the idea that whatever you have chosen to accomplish in 2008 will make you not only look good, but feel better inside as well.

Here are some adhesive suggestions:

1. Write a list of pros and cons. Is the intended result really worth the work or sacrifice?

2. Edit or keep your goal/resolution.

3. Make changes in your methodology. Maybe you gave yourself a goal date that’s unreasonable, or your expectations for what you could actually do to achieve that goal were too high. Amend your plan. Make it so reasonable that it seems like it’ll be a cakewalk – then, doing more is icing on the cake.

4. Enlist a friend to do it with you – optional, but very effective.

5. Just focus on the task at hand for the day at hand. Don’t think about next week, next month, what will happen if work gets busier or the kids get sick, just stay in your plan for today.

Projection is the surest way to sabotage. Stay in the moment, stay in the day, do just what is right in front of you and everything will get done.

Hope 2008 starts to feel great, if it doesn’t already.

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Posted by Tuan Rumah at 7:11 AM 1 comments  
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Chill out brother!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Next time someone at work tells you to "chill out", you might want to seriously consider their recommendation. A study published in the European Heart Journal said that a stressful job has a direct biological impact on a person and raises their risk of heart disease.

The study followed more than 10,000 British civil servants from Whitehall over a 12-year period. People in all types of jobs from messengers to bureaucrats were questioned about how they felt about their jobs. Researchers monitored heart rate, and measured the amount of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the blood and noted individual diet, exercise, smoking and drinking habits.

It was found that people under the age of 50 who said their job was stressful had a 70% increase of developing heart disease than those who felt they had a stress-free job.

During the 12 years of following the employees, it was found that chronic work stress was associated with chronic heart disease (CHD) and was strongest among men and women under 50. Older employees of retirement age with much less job stress had less CHD than the under 50 group.

Lifestyle was also determined to be a key factor in the development of CHD. People who said they had a stressful job were less likely to eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly. Drinking did not affect the development of CHD.

The research team feels confident that the findings linking job stress and CHD are accurate and hold true despite poor diet and exercise habits.

Why does the stress to CHD link hold true despite lifestyle considerations? It was found that stress upsets the part of the nervous systems that regulates the heart beat and how the heart works. Stress also disturbs the release of hormones which is why there is a high amount of cortisol found in people with stressful jobs. Cortisol increases blood pressure, blood sugar levels and suppresses the autoimmune system.

It was previously believed that people in lower paid jobs would have a higher rate of CHD due to more stress, but the findings held true across all pay grades.

This study also confirmed the fact from other studies that work related stress is associated with poor lifestyle habits such as smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet which all can affect a person's health.

A healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruit along with regular exercise will help offset the effects of work related stress.

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Posted by Tuan Rumah at 3:51 PM 0 comments  
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6 scary Celebrities diet tricks

Friday, February 22, 2008

They may say they just have good genes, but you deserve to know: Many stars are jogging their butts off, and some resort to unsafe, even illegal weight-loss practices.

  1. Abuse laxative teas
  2. Do superexpensive liquid cleanses
  3. Subsist on coffee & booze
  4. Misuse diet pills
  5. Stay locked in the gym
  6. and then lie about it
More here...

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Posted by Tuan Rumah at 10:39 PM 0 comments  
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10 practical tips for healthy life

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

1. Let it beet
It sounds bizarre, but beetroot could be a secret weapon against high blood pressure. The condition is a major cause of heart disease and stroke, but many people aren't aware they have it as it has no symptoms. Now, researchers from Barts and the London School of Medicine say drinking 500ml of beetroot juice could dramatically reduce blood pressure after just one hour. So drink up the pink stuff.

2. Think outside the box
Most of us will spend 17 years of our lives on the sofa, with seven years of that devoted to watching TV. Next time you hear yourself say, "I haven't got time to go to the gym" or you opt for ready meals because you're too busy to cook fresh food, think about switching off the box and doing something healthy instead.

3. Don't take the biscuit
It may be a good idea to steer clear of the biscuit tin before you go shopping. A team from the University of Singapore recently discovered that the smell of chocolate chip cookies could make women splurge on unnecessary clothes when they hit the shops. The smell activates the part of your brain that wants instant gratification, although that's no excuse for maxing out your credit cards.

4. Embracing good health
Giving your partner a hug doesn't just warm the heart, it can protect it too. A study by the University of North Carolina in 2005 found that hugging your other half for 20 seconds could lower blood pressure and reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol have been linked to heart disease and other conditions such as diabetes.

5. Pouring salt on the wound
We eat around 9.5g of salt a day, but the Government wants us to cut this to no more than 6g, as high levels of salt can push up your blood pressure, raising your risk of cardiovascular conditions. Many food labels only list salt as sodium however, but you can do a simple sum to work out their real salt content; just multiply by 2.5. So 0.8g of sodium becomes 2g of salt.

6. Sunny side up
Get outside in the sunshine for a natural boost. The sun's rays on the skin help your body produce vitamin D, which has been shown to fight heart disease, depression, osteoporosis and even some types of cancer. There's not a lot of sun around at this time of year, so make the most of it when it does appear!

7. One is the magic number
One of the largest studies into diet and cancer – the Europe-wide EPIC study – found that eating just one extra portion of fruit and vegetables a day could cut your risk of dying early from any cause by 20 per cent.

8. Holding back the years
Add 14 years to your life by following four very easy principles; don't smoke, take regular exercise, drink sensibly and eat five portions of fruit and veg a day. These simple steps can have a huge impact on your life expectancy, say scientists from Cambridge University. If you only manage one thing, give up smoking as the study found this had the biggest impact on your health.

9. A step in the right direction
Previously, experts thought taking 10,000 steps a day was enough to control your weight, but a world-wide study has just established that women up to the age of 40 and men up to 50 need 12,000 steps a day to help shift that middle jiggle. Invest in a pedometer to make sure you're hitting your target.

10. Laughter is the best medicine
Become a glass-half-full person! Studies have found that those with a positive attitude suffer less from conditions such as heart disease. Find something to laugh at every day to give your feel-good hormones a boost.

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Posted by Tuan Rumah at 12:12 AM 1 comments  
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Keep detoxing your health

Friday, February 8, 2008

Many of us can recall the morning shock when we see a haggard looking person in the mirror. The excessive eating, binge drinking and sleep deprivation has started to take its toll on us. What we need, ladies, is a good detox. A detox is basically a process by which toxins are changed into less toxic or more readily excretable substances. Be warned ladies, it takes much discipline in order to make your detox routine a successful one! Beverly dishes on what we can do to get rid of the negative effects of our holiday indulgences:

Go on a Healthy Diet

Avoid alcohol, excessive caffeine, tobacco, red meat, dairy products, and preservative foods. Instead, focus on a wholegrain diet with fresh fruit, vegetables and plenty of water. Start by increasing your daily water intake up to 2 litres a day to wash out the toxins.

To truly purify your system while restoring essential vitamins and minerals, try a regimen of fruit juices in the morning and vegetable juices in the afternoon along with your normal diet. Select foods high in water content, such as cucumber, celery, and lettuce. Grapefruits are good metabolic stimulants; grapes are high in potassium (essential in maintaining normal kidney function); and bananas and avocados digest slowly and help maintain blood sugar.

Beautify Yourself

It is true that your face is one of the first body parts to show signs of aging. You wear your hard-partying history on your face, too: an unhealthy pallor, puffiness, dark circles.

Here’s a healthy beauty secret on how you can restore your natural color: form a paste by mixing 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 2 teaspoons lemon juice and honey. Apply on clean skin and leave on for 15 minutes to allow these natural ingredients to work their magic. Yoghurt and lemon juice to work brighten the skin while honey softens and improves its appearance. Finally, rinse off with warm water.


Last but nonetheless, keep up a daily strenuous activity to get your blood pumping healthily again. If you are unfit or stressed, start with tai chi or gentle yoga and light walks each day. Increase the intensity of exercise as your fitness improves. When you first try these exercises, don’t set time limits on any one portion. Rather, focus your efforts of the breathing and heaviness that should enter your mind and body. Here’s a simple yoga routine for you to try out:

Step 1: Standing Stretch

Stand comfortably with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms above your head with hands clasped and come up onto your toes, all the while inhaling deeply. Stretch your whole body upward. Exhale and bring your arms to your sides while lowering your heels to the floor.

Step 2: Child’s Pose

This pose helps relieve stress and fatigue, calms the brain and will bring you a step closer to relaxation. Start by resting on your knees. Sink back so that your thighs and buttocks drop between your knees. Spread your knees as wide as a yoga mat, keeping your big toes touching. Bring your belly to rest between your thighs and bring your forehead towards the floor. Either stretch your arms in front of you with your palms toward the floor or bring your arms back alongside your thighs with palms facing upwards. Remain in this posture for a few minutes. Allow all of your weight to sink to the floor and continue to focus on your breath.

Step 3: Corpse Pose

The corpse pose is a resting pose, but it’s not the same as sleeping. Usually you should stay present and aware during the five to 10 minutes of this relaxation. In this case, however, you may want to settle into bed and allow the relaxation carry you into sleep. Lie on your back and let your feet fall out to either side. Let your arms drop alongside your body with palms turned upwards. Focus on the breath and allow your thoughts to drift away before they take hold. Continue to focus on the breath and allow your body to sink deeper into ease.

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Posted by Tuan Rumah at 5:43 PM 0 comments  
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Exercise... argh! No time la..

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Once you’ve got used to exercising regularly and eating well, it’s easy to slip into a comfort zone, where you don’t push yourself, do the bare minimum and let the “bad days” when you skip exercise entirely slide by. The best way I have found to deal with the bad days is to apply the football manager’s cliché of “taking one match at a time”, or, in this case, one week. By treating each week as its own individual challenge, exercise is easier to plan and focus on, and a bad day becomes part of a short-term crisis rather than an insurmountable long-term problem.


The No 1 reason I hear for not exercising. Some days simply are horrifically busy, and if you commute to work and add children to the mix, time disappears. So this is when planning is crucial. Write a weekly schedule of the xercise you need to complete and plan for it when you’re filling in your diary. Your daily commute is an option to introduce exercise. If you live close enough to work, you can cycle or walk. Try to get out for a brisk 30-minute walk at lunchtime. When done regularly, walking provides an adequate cardio workout.


It is amazing how easily people are put off by the hassle of an inconvenient location. It’s important to join one that you know you will have time to fit into your routine.


Exercise is one of the most effective ways of raising your energy levels. Increased oxygen, adrenalin and the feelgood hormone serotonin all give you a rush of energy and a feeling of wellbeing.


There is no getting out of some meetings but that doesn’t mean you have to let your healthy lifestyle fall by the wayside. When you’re out for a business lunch, for example, choose not to drink alcohol. If you feel pressure to drink, making the simple excuse that you are following a fitness regimen is an acceptable reason for not doing so.


Being highly stressed can make you feel tired and demotivated. When you know you are going through a period of high stress you should try to make sure that you fit in your routine in the morning. The rush of adrenalin and increase in oxygen will make you feel better equipped to cope with the day. When you are stressed you also need to change the way in which you exercise. High-intensity weight training can produce too great an increase in blood pressure and testosterone levels, which will have the effect of making you feel more pressure. Alter your workout to focus on moderate cardiovascular training, ideally swimming, which helps a steady blood pressure rate. You should choose resistance training programmes that allow 20+ repetitions in each set, as this will test the muscles adequately, but not provide a destructive overload.


Sore, stiff muscles often make us skip a workout, but if the pain is not a muscle injury, stiffness will reduce significantly by warming up and mobilising the body. Muscles recover effectively within 24 hours of a workout and in the majority of workouts they will have recovered within 12 hours. Try not to work the same muscles on consecutive days.


Some days are just like that. Don’t beat yourself up too much, you are going to make it up tomorrow – just make sure that you do.

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Posted by Tuan Rumah at 8:08 PM 0 comments  
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New hip exercise.. try la

About two dozen women and men, on a recent afternoon, decided to slough off winter pounds and become more in touch with their bodies. They did not use complicated exercise machines or torturous-looking Pilates devices, but something far more friendly and familiar: the hula hoop. I hate the thought of going to the gym, but pick up a hoop and it can be playtime, says Noelle Powers, 30, who is teaching the six-week course. It is a great way to burn calories and strengthen muscles, especially core muscles, and it can be very meditative.

The hula hoop, the baby boomers beloved toy, is back. Hooping classes are popping up at gyms and community centers around the United States. Hipsters tote hoops to concerts and dance clubs. And many celebrities are giving the hoop a whirl, including musician Beyonce, who reportedly uses it to maintain her famously bootylicious figure.

People didn't even imagine that you could do things like this with a hula hoop, says Rayna McInturf, founder of Hoopnotica, a California-based hooping school. Whereas advanced dancers pull off elaborate tricks such as twirling a hoop on their feet while standing on their heads most of the students in Powers first class were looking to nail down the basics and enjoy a fun workout.

Hoops for adults are wider and heavier than those for kids, which makes them easier to spin around a larger waist. And fans usually just call them hoops _ since they aren't part of the traditional Hawaiian hula dance.

In ancient times Egyptian children made games out of hoops of dried grapevines. Medieval doctors of the 1300s in England, blamed the use of hula-hoops for dislocated backs and heart attacks. The hula hoop was introduced in 1958 by the Wham-O company of California, producers of other childhood delights such as the Slip-n-Slide and the Frisbee. More than 20 million hoops were sold in the first six months of production, according to Wham-O marketing associate Martin Marechal.

The hula hoop became an iconic toy of the day and is often noted, along with flagpole-sitting and goldfish-eating, as one of the great fads of the 20th century. Sales dropped in the early 1960s, Marechal says.

Hoops grew in popularity with adults after the Colorado-based jam band The String Cheese Incident started flinging them into the crowd at concerts in the 1990s. Hoop dancing became a popular event at underground dance parties and burlesque shows, and the demand for classes grew. There was an explosion (of interest) about four years ago, says McInturf.

Several Web sites offer adult hoops and instructional DVDs for sale.

Hoop dancers have appeared in music videos _ including Justin Timberlakes What Goes Around and Beyonces Work It Out. In November, about 20 people hooped on New York rooftops as performance art, according to an article in The New Yorker.

It is a good workout, says Powers. And you just can't help but feel happy when you're in a hoop.

Hoop it up

Before you begin to hula hoop, warm up. That means a few stretches, a little jogging and some jumping jacks.

It is not easy. So, start with four five minute sessions and then work up to two ten-minute sessions.

Once you are comfortable with the hula hoop, you can try moving your arms for a more challenging workout. You can punch, swing or wave.

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Posted by Tuan Rumah at 8:00 PM 1 comments  
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