Wellness is the state of good physical and emotional health, and is further enhanced by a balanced diet, exercise, and healthy living habits. Nutrition refers to providing our bodies with the right foods and nutrients, in our ability to keep it healthy and functioning properly. Healthy living habits are those that do not cause us harm, such as avoiding smoking, drugs, and drinking excessive alcohol.
Wellness of the body occurs when all the body functions, both physical and mental are performing at optimal levels. Achieving total body wellness is more than just going to the gym, though.
Many factors contribute to our body?s wellness. The daily intake of the right food, vitamins, and water are necessary. It is also important to think about the physical conditioning our body to deal with life.
Physical exercise is key to the wellness of the body. Trying to achieve good nutrition without good physical health is pointless. They work together.
The body is comprised of all of our physical processes, as well as our mental processes. When we think about the wellness of the body, we usually think about weight and muscle tone.
But what about all of our other organs and functions? It is important to consider all of our body?s parts, inside and out. This can be achieved through daily physical activity that addresses the body as a whole, and by taking the time to rest and restore our bodies through sleep.
By using our resources intelligently and educating ourselves about total body wellness, it is not a hard goal to achieve. It can be a lengthy process, though. Years of abusing your body can take its toll, and getting it into good condition will take time and patience.
Taking care and consideration for every part of your body will result in total body wellness. Everything will work together efficiently, and life will be more enjoyable. The human body, when treated properly, is a well-oiled machine.
It is complex and powerful, and can withstand abuse and neglect, but for only so long. The human body is also home to our mind and soul, and when the body is in tune, our mind and soul can be strong as well.
The Front Squat:
As you may have already discovered, the squat is at the top of the heap (along with deadlifts) as one of the most effective overall exercises for stimulating body composition changes (muscle gain and fat loss). This is because exercises like squats and deadlifts use more muscle groups under a heavy load than almost any other weight bearing exercises known to man. Hence, these exercises stimulate the greatest hormonal responses (growth hormone, testosterone, etc.) of all exercises. In fact, university research studies have even proven that inclusion of squats into a training program increases upper body development, in addition to lower body development, even though upper body specific joint movements are not performed during the squat. Whether your goal is gaining muscle mass, losing body fat, building a strong and functional body, or improving athletic performance, the basic squat and deadlift (and their variations) are the ultimate solution. If you dont believe me that squats and deadlifts are THE basis for a lean and powerful body, then go ahead and join all of the other overweight people pumping away mindlessly for hours on boring cardio equipment. You wont find long boring cardio in any of my programs!
Squats can be done with any free weighted objects such as barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, or even just body weight. Squats should only be done with free weights NEVER with a Smith machine or any other squat machines! Machines do not allow your body to follow natural, biomechanically-correct movement paths. You also perform less work because the machine stabilizes the weight for you. Therefore, you get weaker results!
The type of squat that people are most familiar with is the barbell back squat where the bar is resting on the trapezius muscles of the upper back. Many professional strength coaches believe that front squats (where the bar rests on the shoulders in front of the head) and overhead squats (where the bar is locked out in a snatch grip overhead throughout the squat) are more functional to athletic performance than back squats with less risk of lower back injury. I feel that a combination of all three (not necessarily during the same phase of your workouts) will yield the best results for overall muscular development, body fat loss, and athletic performance.
Front squats are moderately more difficult than back squats, while overhead squats are considerably more difficult than either back squats or front squats. Ill cover overhead squats in a future article. If you are only accustomed to performing back squats, it will take you a few sessions to become comfortable with front squats, so start out light. After a couple sessions of practice, you will start to feel the groove and be able to increase the poundage.
To perform front squats:
The front squat recruits the abdominals to a much higher degree for stability due to the more upright position compared with back squats. It is mostly a lower body exercise, but is great for functionally incorporating core strength and stability into the squatting movement. It can also be slightly difficult to learn how to properly rest the bar on your shoulders. There are two ways to rest the bar on the front of the shoulders. In the first method, you step under the bar and cross your forearms into an X position while resting the bar on the dimple that is created by the shoulder muscle near the bone, keeping your elbows up high so that your upper arms are parallel to the ground. You then hold the bar in place by pressing the thumb side of your fists against the bar for support.
Alternatively, you can hold the bar by placing your palms face up and the bar resting on your fingers against your shoulders. For both methods, your elbows must stay up high to prevent the weight from falling. Your upper arms should stay parallel to the ground throughout the squat. Find out which bar support method is more comfortable for you. Then, initiate the squat from your hips by sitting back and down, keeping the weight on your heels as opposed to the balls of your feet. Squat down to a position where your thighs are approximately parallel to the ground, then press back up to the starting position. Keeping your weight more towards your heels is the key factor in squatting to protect your knees from injury and develop strong injury-resistant knee joints. Keep in mind squats done correctly actually strengthen the knees; squats done incorrectly can damage the knees.
Practice first with an un-weighted bar or a relatively light weight to learn the movement. Most people are surprised how hard this exercise works your abs once you learn the correct form. This is due to the more upright posture compared with back squats. To see photos of proper form on the front squat, visit the link below.
In todays times we live in a very toxic environment. The pollution in the air, the chemicals in our food, the water we drink and even the clothes we wear. At any given moment you may be exposed to toxins and heavy metals. These toxins accumulate in the body and can be stored in your fat cells, which tend to want to hang on to them.
A good way to release toxic build up in your body is to sweat such as in a sauna or hot bath. But for most busy people, they do not have the time to spend hours in the sauna for the best results. Plus that may be a bit too uncomfortable and when used for detoxification should be supervised by a licensed practitioner.
There is an easy alternative more and more people are finding great success with to rid your body of these unwanted toxins. That is the use of ionic detox footbaths. This is not your ordinary footbath.
Ionic Detox footbaths work by sending a small current that goes in a circuit through the body and generates positively charged ions. The high concentration of the ion field attaches to the negatively charged toxins neutralizing them and the body is then able to discard them through the approximate 2000 pores that are on the bottom of your feet. You can then experience the correct acid-alkaline ph balance as nature intended. Its painless and takes about 30 minutes.
People who should not use this footbath are people with pace makers or who have organ transplants or expectant or nursing mothers.
Most Americans are in somewhat of an acid state. Our bodies are not in the natural ph balance that it should be. The result is that you are now left open to various diseases. A body that is in its natural alkaline-acid ph balance will be able to fight off the daily onslaught the body receives. This is a very important activity, especially if you are recovering from illness or post surgery!
The body has its own electrical field and if is too positively charged you are in an acid state. You can find out your own ph balance by going to your local health food store or drug store and purchase test strips. They are easy to use and show you in seconds if you are acid or alkaline.
Detox footbaths can assist in the following areas:
1) Enhancing the immune system
2) Assist in recovery time from injuries and surgery
3) Can relieve pain and joint stiffness due to arthritis
4) Improves sleep pattern
5) Remove heavy metals
6) Removes blood clot material
7) Improve liver and kidney function
During the use of an ionic foot bath the color of the water changes. The various colors can tell you what area the body may be detoxing.
Black or brown water is the liver.
Orange; the joints.
Dark green; the gallbladder
Yellowy green; kidneys, urinary tract,
White foam; Lymph nodes draining
Red flecks; blood clot material
Black flecks; heavy metals
The color of the water may be different for each individual due to water you use such as city water, well water, mineral water and the state of your health. When you put the copper array into water by itself you may see color changes in the water such as a brownish color. But it is the oily residue floating on the top that determines if you are getting rid of unwanted toxins in the body. The more you use the machine the less you will have yucky build up in the water.
An important part of using this system is to make sure you are properly hydrated. Drink plenty of good water (not distilled) before and during the session is very important as well as the use of colloidal minerals and electrolytes. This ensures better conductivity.
After only one use you may experience renewed energy and vitality. You owe it to yourself and family to regain better health and try using a detox footbath!
“Nothing in this article makes any claim to offer cures or treatment of any disease or illness. If you are sick please consult with your doctor.”
A positive body image is one that we should all strive for. This is when you know yourself and who you are. You have a very true perception of your size, shape, and weight. You see yourself as you are in the present. You accept yourself, even though you may be overweight. You believe in yourself and love yourself while still striving for something better. When you have a positive body image, no time is spent obsessing about food, weight, calories, exercise, etc. You are proud of who you are and feel comfortable in your own body.
Many people that suffer from binge eating disorder do not have positive body images. Instead, they have very distorted images of how they see themselves. Here are six ways to create a positive body image for yourself.
1. Create a list of people that you admire. Write down why you admire each person. As you are writing the characteristics you like, take notice of what you are writing down.
For example, lets say that you have a high regard for Oprah. Your list might include her generosity towards people, her willingness to support what she believes in, and her strong character that went for success no matter what background she came from. You do not admire Oprah because of her looks; you admire her for the difference that she has made in the world. For her contribution to society. How she has touched and changed so many lives.
2. Remember a time in your life when you felt great about yourself.
Travel back in your life to a time when you were happy with your body. Maybe this was high school or college. Whatever the time, just close your eyes and remember how you felt. Let these good feelings radiate within you.
3. Write down what you like about yourself now.
Take out a piece of paper and write down everything that you like about yourself: your legs, your eyebrows, your smile, your hair, etc. The key here is to focus on the likes of yourself instead of the many dislikes. Start appreciating what you do like about yourself. This will make you feel better overall.
4. Notice how you carry yourself when you walk.
Do you walk with your head down looking at the ground? Do you slump your shoulders? Perk up! Start walking and making eye contact with people. Hold your head up high. Walk with your shoulders held back.
5. Start exercising.
If you havent exercised in a while, start off slow. Go for a walk outside on a nice day. If you are used to exercising, keep it up and change up your routine so that you dont get bored. When you exercise you begin to feel good about yourself, even if it is for 15 minutes. Start off slow and work your way up.
6. Hang out with positive people.
Take a look at the people closest to you. Are they positive or negative people? Chances are if they are negative this attitude will reflect on you and your attitude. Try to limit your time with any negativity as this will only make you feel bad about yourself. You will focus on the things that you do not like about yourself.
Start feeling good about yourself and learn to accept yourself. Little by little you will notice changes that have occurred. Learn to be on your side instead of always being against yourself. Put your shoulders back and quit thinking about what youre not. Love the person you are and the person that you are becoming.
If you are having trouble sleeping, and you dont already have a regular exercise program, you should start one if you want to sleep better. Exercise is beneficial to sleep in several ways. For example, exercise raises the body temperature rhythm and allows your body temperatures to peak at a higher level. This, in turn, increases your energy level during the day, so youll feel more motivated and alive. And just as body temperature reach its maximum at a higher level through exercise, the bodys temperature will also drop further and more easily. This lets you sleep more deeply without interruption.
A regular exercise routine prevents your bodys temperature rhythm from remaining relatively level throughout the day. With an appropriate body temperature rhythm, you will find that you can get a deep sleep even if youve had a stressful day or cant perform your regular exercise on a certain day. Exercise also delays the drop in the bodys temperature in the evening, and this delay lets you remain awake and alert for a longer time without feeling drowsy or tired. And, as everyone knows, exercise is a great stress reliever, and stress is one of the main reasons for the development of sleep disorders.
If you dont already have an exercise program, you really should consider starting one right away. The best time to perform exercise is in the morning because it encourages a quick rise in temperature. You should avoid exercise for three hours before you go to sleep, since your bodys temperature will likely still be rising, and you could find falling asleep or sleeping deeply to be more difficult.
You dont have to run right out and join a gym in order to get regular exercise. It is possible to obtain the benefits that exercise brings through its effects on your body temperature by taking less dramatic actions. Research shows that even moderate exercise during the day has many healthful benefits. If you cant seem to get motivated to exercise on a regular basis, you should find a less intense, but physical, activity you enjoy several times per week. The activity could include such things as taking a brisk walk, going for a bike ride, or going rollerblading. All of these activities will have a significant effect on your body temperature and encourage its rhythm to function at beneficial levels.
Whether you are a military special operations soldier, an athlete, or just a regular person seeking to lose weight, all groups experience similar personal obstacles. Those who succeed in their training programs learn to conquer self-doubt. That is the key to fitness!
Every day, excited people join fitness clubs determined to attend classes or workout for an hour a day, five days a week. This exuberance for vitality typically lasts for 10-14 days before self-doubt, sleeping in, and skipping workouts take over. In two short sentences, the first two psychological phases of fitness were described. The five phases of becoming fit are the following:
Excitement and Highly Motivated
Doubt Toward Goals
Total Change in Energy Level / Confidence
Make New Fitness Goal / Challenge
The five phases are used to describe to people how they are going to feel in the near future about starting a fitness program whether as a beginner or as an advanced athlete preparing for Special Forces training. Typically, both the out of shape beginner and the advanced Special Operations candidate develop into their goals through the five phase process.
In Phase One of fitness, a person makes a decision to get healthy, or decide to serve their country as a Special Forces member. This phase takes 2-3 seconds, but it actually takes about 2-3 weeks to replace old, bad habits and to create new habits that will fuel your desire to obtain your goals. Hang in there at least three weeks. It takes 2-3 weeks to BUILD GOOD HABITS. This phase is filled with motivation and a general excitement about fitness and exercise. Statistics show that people who workout in the morning before work are twice as likely to complete the workout compared to those who wait until after work to exercise.
In the Phase Two, doubt enters and can either crush your progress or make you stronger. It is absolutely natural to have doubts about what you are undertaking. My advice is to start doubting as quickly as possible and get over it. Realize self-doubt is part of the process and it will be encountered again throughout your fitness journey. Even SEAL trainees doubt themselves, but those who become SEALs conquer their doubt. Likewise, those who lose 60-80 pounds in a year, conquer their doubt as well.
Phase Three is one of the most exciting phases when you realize you have conquered your doubt. You may reach this phase continually throughout your quest for fitness or Special Forces status, but once you do, you really can do anything you set your mind to. This is where the mind and body connect. Use the workouts to be a catalyst in all areas of your life: work, relationships, school, spirit, financial, and others. I am a firm believer that exercising your body will give you the stamina and energy to exercise your mind, spirit, and achieve those life long dreams you have for yourself.
Phase Four is the total identity change and self-confidence realization period for most people. You now associate yourself with fit and healthy people. Now, you are fit in mind and body. Your example will inspire others. Be a role model to another heavy person or aspiring Special Operations soldier. People will be amazed by your new work ethic at work and play. Eating healthy is now a habit for you too. In fact, eating fast food or unhealthy snacks makes you feel slightly ill. This is because your body will naturally crave healthy foods as you subject yourself to a long-term physical fitness routine.
Phase Five is the next step, but the journey never ends. Set and conquer goals for yourself. Whatever you like – run, swim, bike, weight lift, etc. Challenge yourself to run a 10k, bench press 300 lbs, do a triathlon. The options are unlimited, after all fitness is a journey not a destination.
So many of Hollywood’s hottest stars rave about its benefits. You can’t walk into a gym without seeing classes. But what is pilates, anyway?
Pilates is actually named for a man named Joseph Pilates. Around 1914, Pilates was a performer and a boxer, living in England. During the outbreak of WWI, Pilates was held in a German prison camp, where he taught a health system, based on yoga, Zen philosophy, and a number of exercises taken from the Romans and the Greeks. This health system helped the prisoners to fight off illness and maintain their strength.
The system that Joseph Pilates taught the prisoners was the start of the current pilates movement. This modern version of the workout is a series of exercises that improve strength and flexibility through a series of stretching and balancing exercises.
Chiropractors often recommend pilates as a way to strengthen the back and spine. After some time using the pilates system, an individual can typically expect to notice an increased mobility in the joints, improved circulation, a flatter stomach, and thinner waist and thighs. Typically, those most attracted to the system of workout are dancers, as dance requires a great deal of flexibility and agility as well as strength, all of which the pilates system provides. It is also said that pilates strengthens the body from the inside out, helps to relieve stress and anxiety, and can even aid in the prevention of injury.
Because it is a low impact routine, pilates is very attractive to those needing rehabilitation from injury, the eldery, and the overweight. It increases circulation and reduces weight gradually. Because of this, many women choose pilates after having a baby in order to shed the post-pregnancy pounds.
No matter what the reason for choosing the workout, pilates is fast becoming one of hottest workout trends, and one of the easiest to adapt to all ages and lifestyles. But like any workout regimen, a person should consult their physician before starting. There may be limitations you may not be aware of, and above all other benefits that a workout may bring, your health should be considered above all else.