4 Steps To Better Health

It’s possible to learn HOW to better your health in only 4 steps and this article will show you how. Each step is a bite-sized nugget of healthy living information you can actually use.
Let’s get started…
Step 1: Nutritional Supplements
In my opinion, they are very necessary and very beneficial- especially when combined with healthy eating habits. It’s very difficult to get all the nutrients your body needs through food alone, but combining proper nutrition with nutritional supplements is very powerful.
That being said, the one supplement everyone should be taking is a good multi vitamin/mineral. Look at it as added insurance- eating well is crucial, but now that you’re also taking a multi, you can rest assured you’re getting the nutrients your body needs.
Step 2: Nutrition
Good nutrition is SO important. You are what you eat…remember that. Make a conscious effort to gradually improve your eating habits, eating more of the good foods (nuts, berries, peanut butter, olive oil, greens, chicken, whole grains, etc.) and less of the bad foods (fried food, saturated fat, fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, etc.). Reading the label of what you’re eating will tell you a lot.
You may think you lack the needed will power, but you’ll be amazed at what happens when you start to gradually improve your eating habits.
Step 3: Exercise
Exercise is the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to better health. There are so many benefits of exercising, including stronger bones and improved libido- it’s a no brainer to start doing it. Your goal should be to exercise 3-5 times a week with a combination of cardio exercises and strength training (but no more than 1 hour per workout session).
It’s been measured that if you add 3 pounds of muscle to your body, this added muscle will burn as many calories as if you ran 1 mile. Muscle burns calories!
Step 4: Stress Management and Sleep
Stress management and getting good sleep each night round out your path to better health. Until you find a way to manage your stress, it will continue to do damage to your body. Two tips you might want to implement include prioritizing your day each morning and practicing deep breathing exercises (yes, you probably already knew this, but have you tried it?).
Getting enough sleep each night is equally important when you consider your body uses this time to repair itself. You should aim for 7-9 hours each night. Two tips you might want to implement include exercising and avoiding late night eating.
Now that you have the basics, expand on this information. Step 1 research more about Nutritional Supplements, Step 2 research more about Nutrition and so on. I guarantee after the 4 steps you’ll feel more confident about reaching your health & fitness goals.

4 Simple Changes to Regain Your Life from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrom

According to the American College of Rheumatology,
Fibromyalgia affects 3 to 6 million Americans. Other sources
say the total number affected could be 8 million people. It
primarily occurs in women of childbearing age, but children,
the elderly, and men can also be affected. (Approximately 80
percent to 90 percent of affected people are women.)

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by fatigue
and widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons.
At first, it was not considered an illness at all. Doctors
could not find any thing wrong with patients so they
believed it to be psychosomatic.

Slowly that dismissive view is changing. Published research
at Johns Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania and other top
research facilities points to immune dysfunction and cardiac
abnormalities in these illnesses. It is difficult to believe
that some doctors still regard people with Fibromyalgia and
chronic fatigue syndrome as nothing more than ëextremely
worried well peopleí.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or chronic fatigue and immune
dysfunction syndrome, CFIDS) is a chronic, often
debilitating disorder of unknown cause characterized by
fatigue, pain and cognitive disorders. Often severe
cognitive complaints differentiate the syndrome from similar
disorders and usually occur in a later stage of the disease.

There is no evidence to sustain the thought that CFS or
Fibromyalgia is a contagious disease. Contagious diseases
typically occur in well-defined clusters, either as
outbreaks or epidemics.

What Causes Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Asking what causes Fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome
can be a tricky question, depending on whom you ask. Doctors
and researchers believe there is not a single cause of
Fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. At this point
doctors are just not sure what causes these illnesses.

While the cause of Fibromyalgia is unknown, researchers have
several hypotheses about causes or what triggers the
illness. Some scientists believe that the syndrome may be
caused by an injury or trauma. This injury may affect the
central nervous system.

Fibromyalgia may be associated with changes in muscle
metabolism, such as decreased blood flow, causing fatigue
and decreased strength. Others believe an infectious agent
such as a virus in susceptible people may trigger the
syndrome, but no such agent has been identified.

Research proposes that CFS may be caused by an immunologic
dysfunction or altered capacity of certain immune functions.
One thing is certain at this time: there are no immune
disorders in CFS or Fibromyalgia patients traditionally
affiliated with disease.

That suggests a different approach is needed to reach the
state of health you want.

4 Simple Changes to Shift Your Life From Fibromyalgia or CFS

Many studies have indicated that a healthy lifestyle
including diet, exercise, relaxation techniques and
sufficient sleep offer the most effective approaches for
reducing fatigue and pain from CFS and Fibromyalgia.

  1. Nutrition/Diet

A common thread in many cases seems to be a tendency to feel
better when refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol, fried foods,
red meat, and highly processed foods, are kept to a sound
personal minimum in the diet.

Try supplementing your current diet with greater quantities
of raw or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables. Try
substituting meats that are high in fat with fish or lean
poultry. Drink plenty of water and take a good vitamin
supplement to ensure that you are getting proper nutrition.

  1. Quality Sleep: Seven Ways to Become Sleeping Beauty

This is perhaps the most important component of treating
CFS/FM. The following tips will help you achieve more
restful sleep. Try to follow as many of them as possible to
obtain the best level of sleep you can:

∑ Try to go to bed earlier and at the same time everyday.
Even on weekends, try to go to bed and wake at the same
time. This will help your body get used to a set schedule
and provide for a more restful sleep.

∑ Try to avoid any caffeine-containing beverages such as
coffee or soda before going to bed. It is a stimulant that
will keep you awake at night. Also, alcohol drinking should
be kept to a minimum in Fibromyalgia sufferers.

∑ Donít eat a lot before bedtime. Generally, try not to eat
within two hours of going to bed. Particularly avoid spicy
or fatty foods and try to keep your “midnight snacks” to a

∑ Ensure that you have a comfortable mattress and pillow.
Sometimes, peopleís poor sleeping habits stem from poor
mattresses. What constitutes a comfortable bed is different
for us all. Usually something that is not too firm and not
too soft should be acceptable. Cervical pillows mold to the
natural shape of your neck and eliminate any unwanted
stresses on the muscles of your neck and upper back.
Choosing the appropriate bed and pillow is often done by
trial and error. Find the combination that gives you the
most restorative sleep and stick with it.

∑ A regular exercise program will help you have a more deep
and refreshing sleep on a consistent basis.

∑ Try and avoid daytime naps. By doing so you will be more
tired at night and be able to sleep deeper, thereby waking
up more refreshed. Naps may seem like they provide more
sleep time, but they are counterproductive to getting rest.
Naps during the day will affect how well you will sleep
during the night and it gets the body out of sync with the
regular sleep pattern, leading to insomnia at night.

∑ Keep a proper sleeping environment. This involves a quiet
and cool room. A slightly cooler room is ideal for sleeping
since this mimics your internal temperature drop during
sleep and silence is more conducive to sleep.

  1. Exercise: You Can Be More Than A Couch Potato

Many studies have indicated that exercise is the most
effective component in managing Fibromyalgia, and patients
must expect to undergo a long-term exercise program.
Physical activity prevents muscle atrophy, increases a sense
of well-being, and over time reduces fatigue and pain
itself. Be sure to consult your physician before beginning
any exercise program.

  1. Relaxation Techniques: Even When Youíre In Pain

Relaxation and stress-reduction techniques are proving to be
helpful in managing chronic pain. There is certainly
evidence that people with Fibromyalgia have a more stressful
response to daily conflicts and encounters than those
without the disorder. A number of relaxation and stress-
reduction techniques have proven to be helpful in managing
chronic pain:

∑ Deep breathing exercises.
∑ Muscle relaxation techniques.
∑ Meditation.
∑ Hypnosis.
∑ Biofeedback.
∑ Massage therapy.

Your goal with these lifestyle suggestions is to modify the
choices that are within your control. But obviously, many
things in your life are not in your control and impact you
on many different levels. But, you CAN gain control over
these areas too.

A free ebook titled “Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome: What you need to know, what you need to do”
explains how you can regain control your health to enjoy a
life free from the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome.

4 Secrets to A Flat Stomach

Do you want a flat stomach? I don’t know a person who doesn’t!
People spend millions, if not billions of dollars, each year in the quest for a flat stomach. Right now there are about 200 or more ab exercise devices out there. There’s the ab do-it, the ab rock-it, the ab roller, the ab dolly, and so many more. You would think that with all of these amazing new products that most people would be walking around with that nice, lean mid-section they’ve always wanted. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Most, if not all of these products, will do little or nothing to flatten your stomach. And that’s because these exercise contraptions cannot eliminate the layer of fat that lies on top of your abs.
In order to be successful at thinning your waistline you must have a basic under standing of how the ab muscles function and how your body burns fat. The first thing that needs to be understood is the difference between fat and muscle. Fat is excess calories and is primarily stored in layers on top of muscle tissue. Muscle is made up of fibers that contract or shorten to produce movement. Fat cannot turn into muscle and muscle cannot turn into fat! However, you can lose muscle and you can gain fat. That’s what happens to most people.
So if your goal is to thin your waist line and have a nice flat stomach, the first thing you need to do is decrease / eliminate the layers of fat that are on top of your abs. We all have a flat stomach; it’s just some of oarís are covered by excess fat.
The most effective way of flattening your stomach is a combination of strength training (with a extra focus on mid-section), cardiovascular exercise (short, hard workouts), and stable blood sugar (keeps you from adding additional fat and makes it easier for the body to use body fat for fuel).

  1. You must do some form of progressive strength training
    The primary function of the ab muscle is to flex your torso forward. However, there are also muscles that flex your torso to the side and muscles that rotate your torso. Often times you see people on their ab roller every day doing hundreds of crunches or sit-ups.
    If you want to effectively strengthen your stomach you need to incorporate the following types of exercises:
    ï 1-2 forward flexion exercises (crunch, sit-up, etc.)
    ï 1-2 side flexion exercises (side bends, side crunches, etc.)
    ï 1-2 rotational exercises (trunk rotations, standing twists, etc.)
    The abs, are muscles just like any other and should be worked at most 3 times per week. You also want to make sure you are training them progressively, working them harder each time.
  2. Use short, hard cardio workouts to increase metabolism
    Cardio workouts are important because they CAN, if done correctly, increase your metabolism for 4-24 hours or more! This means you are less likely to store any excess calories as body fat because they are more likely to be used by your elevated metabolism. Plus, you are more likely to burn off some excess body fat.
    Below is a sample interval workout that can be done with just about any activity (walking, bicycling, swimming, stair climbing, etc.).
    Warm up at easy pace 2-5 minutes ‡ Perform 30 seconds of hard work (almost as hard as possible) ‡ perform 1 minute of moderate work (recovery time-catch breath)‡ Repeat this process 6-10 times ‡ Cool down at an easy pace for 2-5 minutes
  3. Stable blood sugar is the key
    And most importantly, you must stabilize your blood sugar! This is by far the most important factor when it comes to burning away that excess body fat and keeping it off! To effectively stabilize your blood sugar you must feed your body frequently; like every 2-3 hours. The key is to give your body only what it needs at that time. Your body burns calories 24 hours a day, so, why would you only feed it once or twice a day? Give your body the fuel it needs: vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, whole grains, and lean proteins (chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs, etc.).
    Many people are too hung up on how much fat is in food, or how healthy of a choice it is. Calories are calories and it doesnít matter where they come from. If thereís extraÖ whereís it going? Yup, you guessed itÖ body fat!
    This is not to say that what you eat is not important because it is, it just doesnít have that much of an affect when it comes to fat loss. Try to make healthy choices whenever possible, but donít feel like if you eat a cheeseburger it is guaranteed to be stored as fat.
  4. Get the help of a professional
    Unfortunately, most people donít know enough about the human body, nutrition, or effective exercise to meet their health and fitness goals. Ask yourself this one question, ìAm I happy with my current progress or condition?î If youíre not, you should consider getting the help of a qualified personal fitness professional. Donít depend on the information you get from magazines or from your local gym/ health club. A qualified fitness professional can help you achieve your health and fitness goals, and in less time than you would imagine.
    If you are serious about your health and fitness goals, and you are ready for that flat stomach, I recommend you start implementing the 4 strategies listed in this article. These 4 strategies can help you take control of your metabolism and burn off that excess body fat and having you looking and feeling great! If you would like to receive more information on how to lose those love handles please call me at 240-731-3724 or e-mail me at jesse@achieve-fitness.com