Monday, November 30, 2009

3 Ways to Increase HGH without Injections, Sprays, or Pills

The pituitary gland, located in the center of the brain, produces Human Growth Hormone (HGH). HGH stimulates the growth of tissues and is most active in puberty. HGH has been proven to increase bone density, increase muscle mass, decrease body fat, strengthen the heart and increase blood vessel elasticity. Unfortunately, HGH production slows with age, but the body never stops producing HGH and never loses the ability to produce high levels. Fitness Black Book discusses three way to increase HGH without injections, sprays, or pills.
Time to talk about your body's potent fat burning hormone: HGH. I wanted to let you guys know up front that this post isn't a grand scheme to sell some sort of HGH supplement. There are some pills and supplements that can make a little difference, but this article will be dedicated to increasing your Human Growth Hormone (HGH) with just a solid diet and exercise routine. I've talked in passing about HGH in the past, but felt the need for a post that goes a bit more in depth.

[The science behind HGH is as simple or as complex as you want to make it. I will touch on how HGH works in your body, but mainly focus on actions you can take to increase this natural fat burning hormone in your body. Read more

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Lose Weight, Be Smarter, Live Longer Diet

The mainstream media has discovered intermittent fasting: the diet that won't just help you lose weight, but also live longer and be smarter!
As all dieters will know, there is nothing more tedious than counting calories or weighing foods for a meal plan. Especially if you then don't lose weight.

But there's now an effective weight-loss regimen that is not only simple, it promises significant health benefits - from easing asthma symptoms and reducing blood sugar levels, to fending off heart disease and breast cancer and protecting brain cells. Apparently, you'll also live longer.

The diet goes under various names - The Alternate-Day Diet, Intermittent Fasting or The Longevity Diet - but the principle is the same: eat very little one day (50 per cent of your normal intake) and as much as you like the next.

This appears to trigger a 'skinny' gene that encourages the body to burn fat. Read more
The Alternate-Day Diet, is not the only way to practice intermittent fasting. Read Intermittent Fasting 101.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Can Women Do Bodyweight Exercise Workouts?

Women tend to believe that bodyweight exercise workouts are too hard for them to do. Of course, that is completely wrong. This video shows a woman doing a bodyweight exercise routine that a lot of men couldn't do. These exercises take some time to work up to, but isn't working hard to improve what it's all about?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Too Much Endurance Exercise May Reduce Bone Density

Want to strengthen your bones? Buy a jump rope. Want to weaken them? Become an endurance athlete, says a new bone study.
... Too much endurance exercise, it appears, may reduce bone density. In one small study completed by Dr. Barry and his colleagues, competitive cyclists lost bone density over the course of a long training season. Dr. Barry says that it’s possible, but not yet proved, that exercise that is too prolonged or intense may lead to excessive calcium loss through sweat. The body’s endocrine system may interpret this loss of calcium as serious enough to warrant leaching the mineral from bone. Dr. Barry is in the middle of a long-term study to determine whether supplementing with calcium-fortified chews before and after exercise reduces the bone-thinning response in competitive cyclists. He expects results in a year or so.

In the meantime, the current state-of-the-science message about exercise and bone building may be that, silly as it sounds, the best exercise is to simply jump up and down, for as long as the downstairs neighbor will tolerate. Read more

Friday, November 20, 2009

You're as Old as You EAT: Guide to Anti-Aging Food

While aging is inevitable, physical decrepitude is not. Many of the outwards signs of growing old can be slowed - and life may even be prolonged - by eating key foods that have been show to an ally against aging.
Keeping in peak condition in old age can be boosted by nutrition, which scientists are proving is a powerful weapon in fighting off diseases. As new research shows that olive oil could play a vital role in protecting against dementia, we look at the key foods that have shown to be an ally against ageing. Read more

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Antidepressants Don't Cure Depression

Antidepressants don't cure depression, says Dr. Joseph Mercola. He explains why the two beliefs underlying the drugs currently used to treat depression may be incorrect and suggests natural remedies to use instead.
The majority of people who take antidepressants for depression never get relief. Why? Because the cause of depression has been oversimplified, and drugs designed to treat it aim at the wrong target, according to a new study that appears to topple some strongly held beliefs about depression.

One is that stressful life events are a major cause of depression. The other is that an imbalance in neurotransmitters in the brain triggers depressive symptoms.

These beliefs were the basis for the drugs currently used to treat depression, and it appears they may both be incorrect. Read more

Monday, November 16, 2009

How to Get Six-Pack Abs without Doing Crunches

Assuming that your body fat is low enough, it takes very little abdominal work to get six-pack abs. I am absolutely convinced that most of the crunches and twists that you see people perform in the gym are a waste of time. I only do two exercises, and I believe that's all anyone needs. The first one is the plank, and the second is the stomach vacuum. The entire program totals eight minutes maximum, and you only need to do it every other day .

How to Perform the Plank

To perform the front plank, lie face down on mat with your elbows resting on floor next to chest. Push your body off the floor in a push-up position with your body supported by your forearms instead of your hands. Contract the abs and keep your body in a straight line from head to toes.

To do a side plank, position yourself so that only the forearm of your right hand plus the right side of your hips and legs are in contact with the floor. Position your other hand either palm down onto the mat in front of you, on your hip, or behind your head. Set your right leg directly atop the other. Inhale and contract your abdominal muscles, pulling them inward. Repeat on the other side.

Start with 30 second holds and then work up to two minutes of the front plank and one minute of the side plank on each side.

How to Perform the Stomach Vacuum

Your abdominal muscles have both internal and external sections. The most direct method for working your inner abdominal muscles is the stomach vacuum exercise. The stomach vacuum is one of the best exercises you can perform to shrink your waistline in a very short amount of time.

To execute the stomach vacuum, stand upright and place your hands on your hips, and exhale all the air out of your lungs. Expand your chest, and bring your stomach in as much as possible, and hold. Visualize trying to touch your navel to your backbone. This is an isometric contraction, like flexing your biceps. You breathe normally while flexing your biceps, and you should breathe normally while executing the stomach vacuum.

After you perfect the form, increase your holds by following this schedule:

1. Week 1: Do 3 sets of 20-second holds with 30 seconds rest between sets
2. Week 2: Do 3 sets of 40-second holds with 30 seconds rest between sets
3. Week 3: Do 3 sets of 60-second holds with 30 seconds rest between sets

Remember that although this routine will make your abs toned and defined, they still won't be visible unless your body fat is low enough. The best way to strip the fat from your midsection is a low-carb diet. While exercise preserves your muscle mass and can help boost your metabolism, most fat loss will come from your diet.

For a free mini course on how to simultaneously improve strength and conditioning while burning fat, click here. Read my review of the two best bodyweight exercise courses you can choose.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Vitamin D: How to Determine Your Optimal Dose

Vitamin D has recently been recognized as being necessary for humans to maintain optimal health and wellness to the point at which some consider vitamin D to be a “miracle substance” that prevents a number of diseases, including various cancers, coronary heart disease, diabetes and multiple sclerosis, as well as several autoimmune and neurological diseases. The recommended daily allowances are useless, so how do you determine your optimal dose?
In the wide world of supplements, vitamin D is the superstar. For the last few years, this humble nutrient has been featured prominently in allopathic and alternative circles alike. It has basked in the rays of media publicity, and has survived an onslaught of scientific scrutiny. And while such widespread publicity is often good cause for skepticism in the realm of health and medicine, vitamin D appears to be the real deal. Whether we`re talking about heart disease, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or Alzheimer`s disease, the "sunshine vitamin" delivers benefits unseen before our time (1).

Given the remarkably powerful benefits of vitamin D, many find themselves wondering how to actually go about obtaining it. We know that vitamin D is good for us, but how much do we need, and where do we get it? Most people know that sunlight is somehow involved in vitamin D production, but is sunlight alone sufficient to produce the incredible results demonstrated by recent vitamin D research? What about supplements? There are so many different preparations - with doses ranging from 400 IU to 50,000 IU - that it can get a little confusing. Are such supplements necessary, and if so, how much should we be taking? Read more

Top Nutritional Tips to Support Healthy Hair Growth

The quality of your hair reflects in part the adequacy of your diet: regular, well-balanced meals are best for you and your hair. The following are the top nutritional tips to support health hair growth:

1) Eat adequate amounts of protein.

Protein is composed of the amino acids essential for the building of new cells, including hair. Five amino acids are of particular relevance to hair growth - cystine, cysteine, methionine, arginine and lysine. Inadequate protein intake over a lengthy period can force hair into the resting phase with shedding a few months later. It is obvious then that sufficient portions of protein rich foods should form part of your daily diet. The best sources of dietary protein are lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, soy, nuts, grains, and seeds. At least 15-20% of your daily calories should come from protein-rich foods.

2) Eat adequate amounts of useful carbohydrates.

Carbs are an essential source of energy and help in the growth of body tissues, including hair. They are an important source of the B vitamins that are vital to healthy hair. It is important that you concentrate on consuming non-refined carbs rather than the sugars and white flour that are so prevalent in many over-refined carb products. You should place an emphasis on consuming vegetables, fruits, whole grains, brown rice, and potatoes. It is recommended that you obtain 30-45% of your daily calories from the carbohydrates found in these foods.

3) Achieve a healthy balance of dietary fats.

Fat is used in energy production and can be found in both animal and plant foods. Your body needs sufficient levels of fat to maintain good health. That fat should be obtained from a mixture of animal and plant sources. Roughly 40-50% of your daily calories should come from these good fats.

4) The right nutritional balance is one that suits your personal circumstances.

How much of each food group you eat depends on a host of factors including age, sex, health and level of physical activity. When choosing meals and snacks, take account of the following key principles of sound nutrition:
  • Eat a variety of foods.
  • Apply moderation to your consumption of junk foods.
  • Choose natural and lightly processed foods as often as possible.
  • Do not overcook.
5) Support a nutritious diet with a few carefully chosen supplements.

Following a nutritious diet is essential for good hair health, but on its own this may not be sufficient for a number of reasons:
  • Modern farming methods may deplete the nutrient quality of food.
  • High stress levels may diminish nutrients in your body.
  • Dieting may affect nutrient levels.
  • Aging reduces the ability of our bodies to utilize certain nutrients.
  • Exercise can deplete some nutrients.
It may be sufficient to supplement with a well-balanced multi-vitamin/mineral product, but a number of products are available that specifically cater for the requirements of healthy hair.

For more information about inexpensive, natural programs to reverse hair loss, read my review of the two best programs I've found to reverse hair loss at my blog Reverse Hair Loss.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Dumbbell Bear

The Dumbbell Bear is a simple, but effective, dumbbell workout consisting of 5 DB deadlifts, 5 DB hang cleans, and 5 DB thrusters every minute on the minute for 20 minutes.

Monday, November 9, 2009

More Strength Means Lower Alzheimer's Risk

Greater muscle strength has been linked to a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment.
Older people with stronger muscles are at reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to their weaker peers, a new study shows.

Dr. Patricia A. Boyle of Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center in Chicago and her colleagues found that the greater a person's muscle strength, the lower their likelihood of being diagnosed with Alzheimer's over a four-year period. The same was true for the loss of mental function that often precedes full-blown Alzheimer's.

Studies have linked grip strength to Alzheimer's, while a person's weight and level of physical activity also influence risk of the disease. To date, however, no one has studied whether muscle strength in and of itself might play a role in dementia risk, Boyle and her team note in November's Annals of Neurology. Read more

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