27 दिसंबर 2011

5 medication-free strategies to help prevent heart disease

5 medication-free strategies to help prevent heart disease

You can prevent heart disease by following a heart-healthy lifestyle. Here are five strategies to help you protect your heart.

Heart disease may be a leading cause of death, but that doesn't mean you have to accept it as your fate. Although you lack the power to change some risk factors — such as family history, sex or age — there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take.

You can avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today. Here are five heart disease prevention tips to get you started.

1. Don't smoke or use tobacco

Smoking or using tobacco is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis can ultimately lead to a heart attack. When it comes to heart disease prevention, no amount of smoking is safe. Smokeless tobacco and low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes also are risky, as is exposure to secondhand smoke.

In addition, the nicotine in cigarette smoke makes your heart work harder by narrowing your blood vessels and increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces some of the oxygen in your blood. This increases your blood pressure by forcing your heart to work harder to supply enough oxygen. Even so-called "social smoking" — smoking only while at a bar or restaurant with friends — is dangerous and increases the risk of heart disease.

Women who smoke and take birth control pills are at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke than are those who don't do either. This risk increases with age, especially in women older than 35.

The good news, though, is that when you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease drops dramatically within just one year. And no matter how long or how much you smoked, you'll start reaping rewards as soon as you quit.

2. Exercise for 30 minutes on most days of the week

Getting some regular, daily exercise can reduce your risk of fatal heart disease. And when you combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater.

Physical activity helps you control your weight and can reduce your chances of developing other conditions that may put a strain on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. It also reduces stress, which may be a factor in heart disease.

Try getting at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity most days of the week. However, even shorter amounts of exercise offer heart benefits, so if you can't meet those guidelines, don't give up. You can even break up your workout time into 10-minute sessions.

And remember that activities such as gardening, housekeeping, taking the stairs and walking the dog all count toward your total. You don't have to exercise strenuously to achieve benefits, but you can see bigger benefits by increasing the intensity, duration and frequency of your workouts.
3. Eat a heart-healthy diet

Eating a special diet called the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan can help protect your heart. Following the DASH diet means eating foods that are low in fat, cholesterol and salt. The diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products, which can help protect your heart. Beans, other low-fat sources of protein and certain types of fish also can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Limiting certain fats you eat also is important. Of the types of fat — saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fat — saturated fat and trans fat increase the risk of coronary artery disease by raising blood cholesterol levels.

Major sources of saturated fat include:

Red meat
Dairy products
Coconut and palm oils
Sources of trans fat include:

Deep-fried fast foods
Bakery products
Packaged snack foods
Look at the label for the term "partially hydrogenated" to avoid trans fat.

Heart-healthy eating isn't all about cutting back, though. Most people need to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet — with a goal of five to 10 servings a day. Eating that many fruits and vegetables can not only help prevent heart disease, but also may help prevent cancer.

Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, may decrease your risk of heart attack, protect against irregular heartbeats and lower blood pressure. Some fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are a good natural source of omega-3s. Omega-3s are present in smaller amounts in flaxseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil and canola oil, and they can also be found in supplements.

Following a heart-healthy diet also means drinking alcohol only in moderation — no more than two drinks a day for men, and one a day for women. At that moderate level, alcohol can have a protective effect on your heart. More than that becomes a health hazard.

4. Maintain a healthy weight

As you put on weight in adulthood, your weight gain is mostly fat rather than muscle. This excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease — high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

One way to see if your weight is healthy is to calculate your body mass index (BMI), which considers your height and weight in determining whether you have a healthy or unhealthy percentage of body fat. BMI numbers 25 and higher are associated with higher blood fats, higher blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

The BMI is a good, but imperfect guide. Muscle weighs more than fat, for instance, and women and men who are very muscular and physically fit can have high BMIs without added health risks. Because of that, waist circumference also is a useful tool to measure how much abdominal fat you have:

Men are considered overweight if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (101.6 centimeters, or cm)
Women are overweight if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (88.9 cm)
Even a small weight loss can be beneficial. Reducing your weight by just 10 percent can decrease your blood pressure, lower your blood cholesterol level and reduce your risk of diabetes.

5. Get regular health screenings

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your heart and blood vessels. But without testing for them, you probably won't know whether you have these conditions. Regular screening can tell you what your numbers are and whether you need to take action.

Blood pressure. Regular blood pressure screenings start in childhood. Adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every two years. You may need more-frequent checks if your numbers aren't ideal or if you have other risk factors for heart disease. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury.
Cholesterol levels. Adults should have their cholesterol measured at least once every five years starting at age 20. You may need more frequent testing if your numbers aren't optimal or if you have other risk factors for heart disease. Some children may need their blood cholesterol tested if they have a strong family history of heart disease.
Diabetes screening. Since diabetes is a risk factor for developing heart disease, you may want to consider being screened for diabetes. Talk to your doctor about when you should have a fasting blood sugar test to check for diabetes. Depending on your risk factors, such as being overweight or a family history of diabetes, your doctor may recommend first testing you for diabetes sometime between ages 30 and 45, and then retesting every three to five years.

26 दिसंबर 2011



Each person has three elements of self – emotional, spiritual, physical. If you strengthen one, you become stronger. If you strengthen all three, you become your fitness potential.

 Emotional · I Am
Knowing who you are and what you need is essential to achieving your goals and uncovering the goddess within that you truly love and can be proud of.
Spiritual · I Can
Motivate yourself to try something new. Show yourself love and take it to the next level because you want to do it for yourself and know that you can.
Physical · I Do
Tap into the deep self-awareness you’ve created, so you can realize and embrace that potential and create a beautiful, strong, unique you.


You can do every single move on this site without setting foot in a gym. Obviously, we don't have anything against health clubs and gyms: Kacy's worked in one almost all her life. But we know plenty of women feel uncomfortable in those mirrored rooms full of men or find health clubs too inconvenient and expensive. That's okay. With a little investment, you can transform your body without ever leaving your living room.
Here's what you'll need for the exercises on this site.
Comfortable, stylish clothes
Remember, Show It Love is about feeling good about yourself. So toss aside those ratty sweats, the body-hiding, tentlike giant tees, and all the stuff you wouldn't walk out to get the mail in, and break out something a little more stylish. Your workout clothes should be body-skimming enough that you can watch your form and see your muscles, but also loose enough to bend and reach comfortably.
A staff
Nothing makes you feel more like kicking some ass than wielding a big stick! Use a large 5- to 6-foot dowel rod or even a broomstick in the exercises where Kacy uses a staff.
A mat
If you're not working on a lightly carpeted floor, have a mat handy for the floor work to protect your back. If you don't have a mat, a folded thick towel will do.
Get ready to move and groove
Movement prep
Before starting, do five minutes of light cardio, like jumping jacks or running in place, to warm up your muscles and get them ready for action.
Starting position
Every move will start in the power position. Stand tall, keeping knees soft. Pull your navel to your spine and maintain a straight back and tight, firm belly. In this position, you’re guaranteed not to sleepwalk through your exercise or, worse, fall into sloppy form.
Times per week

You should perform Woman Warrior exercises three days a week, along with cardio exercises three days a week.
Each time you perform a move, it’s called a repetition, or rep. Perform 12 reps of each move. For single leg moves, perform 12 reps per side for a total of 24. For lean, toned, beautiful muscles, Kacy swears by using light to moderate weight (or sometimes body weight alone) and fatiguing the muscles through a full range of motion and high number of repetitions.
Each time you complete the designated number of reps for an exercise, it’s one set. You should go for three sets right away. If you can only do two, try lowering the weight. Concentrate on feeling your muscles and perfecting your form.

We believe some of the most powerful moments in life come to us when we play, whether it be for fun, or sport. By pushing the limits of our abilities through purposeful, balanced training we can elevate these experiences and continue to have adventures that impact our lives for years to come.

25 दिसंबर 2011



Valerie’s 5 rules for healthy living
1. Eat breakfast everyday! No seriously, I mean it! Studies have shown over and over again that people who eat breakfast are thinner than those that don’t. Starting the day with a nutritious meal jump starts your metabolism and sets you up for eating right for the whole day. No, your Starbucks latte and fat free muffin are not what I am talking about. You want your breakfast to include protein and a slow digesting carb.
My “go-to” breakfast options:
¼ cup of Eggology eggwhites scrambled with veggies (just about any will do, except potatoes) over 1 piece of Eziekel toast
1 packet of plain instant oatmeal with 1 scoop of chocolate Designer Whey protein powder with a handful of mixed berries or 1 tablespoon of California raisins
1 piece of Eziekel toast with 1 tablespoon of almond butter or all natural peanut butter (not JIF or Skippy)

2. Exercise (almost) daily. Exercising daily is the one sure way to relieve stress and fix a bad mood. But let’s not forget the big picture. Getting fit, and by this I mean getting stronger, becoming more flexible and increasing your cardiovascular endurance as well as changing your body composition, is the key ingredient to getting more from life. Having a fit body gives you more energy and more opportunities for adventure. Plus, think of your workout as the Norton Utilities of your body. It just seems to run better if exercised. It is a way to dump the stress and physically improve what we have.

3. Notice what makes you happy and then be happy about it! It is easy to get annoyed with life’s little inconveniences like being stuck in traffic, being on hold forever when you’re trying to reach customer service, or when the weather is too cold, too hot, too wet, etc. I like to notice things each day that make me happy and focus on that. More often than not it spreads out over the day for a general feeling of happiness. For example, if the sun is shining, for me, that means it’s a beautiful day and that makes me feel good. I live in LA so this happens a lot, but I still greet it each time as if I haven’t seen the sun in months. When I hug my dogs Cody & Lexi I feel happy. They get hugs many times a day so that adds up to a lot of happiness. I am always in a great mood after I workout, so I remind myself of this when I don’t feel like doing it. I feel grateful to have this body that can run and jump and play, even while I’m still working to improve it. I am happy when a client is really into their workouts so it is fun for me to work on new ways to help them achieve the body of their dreams. Do I get stressed, frustrated, annoyed or depressed? Of course I do, but I use the strategies above to help pull me out.

4. Eat more vegetables. This is a diet cliché for a reason. If you want to be thinner, have more energy, improve the quality of your skin and build up your immune system, then eat your veggies. These low calorie, nutritional powerhouses can do all that and more. Plus they fill you up without filling you out. Choose fresh, in season and locally grown when possible. Keep frozen on hand for emergencies. The key to getting your loved one to eat more veggies with you? Be a little sneaky and add different kinds to your salads, to your pasta and to your soups or casseroles. They don’t always have to sit separately on the plate. Take your kids with you to the farmers market and let them try the fresh fruits and veggies. The experience of choosing them might make them more inclined to eat them. The farmers market will also tell you what’s local and in season. All produce tastes better when it’s fresh.

5. Love what you do but remember it’s your job, not your whole life. I absolutely love being a trainer. It has been almost 20 years now and I still get an absolute thrill turning someone on to fitness and seeing their confidence grow as they realize the potential of their body. However, it is also important for me to find other ways to feel fulfilled. Whether that is my family and friends or a new interest or hobby. I am constantly seeking ways to grow as a trainer and as a human being.

23 दिसंबर 2011




The holidays are around the corner and with them come the parties, food, and travel. Workouts get shortened or forgotten and temptations eventually get the best of us.
If you’ve worked hard to get fit this year then the thought of undoing it may send you into a bit of a panic.
Fear  not! I have a plan for you.  I call it “Fitness in the Bank” and it works like a charm.
Rather than wait until January to lose the holiday pounds, I’m going to ask you to do a little extra now, before things get too hectic, so you can “bank some fitness” and “save up some skinny”.
I have used this technique with clients before sending them off for a movie shoot or into their television season.  I know that with 17 hour days that go on for weeks and temptation from Craft Service (think warm chocolate chip cookies) that a couple pounds can creep back on.  This could definitely cause some panic if we hadn’t planned ahead and gone into it a little light and extra fit.  This is the idea behind Fitness in the Bank.
If you want to lose some extra pounds now and increase your strength and stamina, then try some of my tips below and put some Fitness in the Bank!

1.Go Harder
This can be achieved a variety of ways. You could lift heavier weights. You could perform exercisesthat use lots of major muscles, like squats, star push ups or Valslide sprinter lunges. You could do big circuits like I do or you could use your GymBoss timer and complete as many reps as possible in your 20-30 second work interval. The point is, you have to push yourself. If at the end of the workout you can ask yourself “could I have trained harder?” and the answer is yes, then you haven’t done your job. Always remember: Go hard. Go home. Put it in the bank!

2. Go Faster
Done properly, interval training is extremely difficult, which is why most people try to avoid it. However, if you want to scorch some calories and bank some fitness before the holidays, intervals are where it’s at.  Simply defined, interval training involves bursts of high intensity training with periods of lower intensity recovery.  For example: After your warm up, run 1 minute, walk 1 minute.  Repeat 10x and then cool down.
If you are new to this kind of training, I suggest to start with “Build Ups”.
This is how I explain them in my I Want My Bikini Body Express program.
Interval training is very effective for fat burning, but you need to ease into them. My favorite way to start clients on intervals is called “Build Ups”.
Head to a track or grassy field. You want a soft surface. You will need about 30-40 yards.
Start off in a jog and gradually increase your speed until you are at about 90% of your maximum at the end. Gently ease up and walk back to the start. Start with about 6 of these – work your way up to 10 or 12.
These will get you use to running faster. If you are already doing intervals, then I recommend that you shorten the duration and increase the intensity.
You will come to love the speed.

3. Go longer.
Add an extra 10-15 minutes to your workouts. As a general rule, I keep my workouts at about 40-45 minutes. However, I will call in the “go longer” chip when I need to bust a plateau or put some fitness in the bank. The best way to do this is to add some running intervals to the end of your strength workouts when your muscles are warm and your nervous system primed. (See the example above on how to do intervals)  However, if you haven’t really been pushing it in your workouts until now, then do 15 minutes of cardio before your strength training circuits.

4. Go more often.
Even when you are ramping things up, you still need to recover. But a special technique called “active recovery” will keep you feeling good and add some extra calories burned to your week. Active recovery emphasizes doing light exercise on your “off-days.” Try a hike on Saturday or yoga on Sunday. You can even rack up a couple of 2-a-days by  following your morning workout with an after work spin or yoga class.  A few weeks of this and you will be ready to cruise through the holidays.

5. Go Naked.
Okay, maybe not literally, although that may motivate you to get your sweat on. I’m talking more a la` the “Naked Chef” Jamie Oliver. Eat mostly organic, locally produced food, prepared simply without a lot of sauce, cheese or cream.
Skip the Starbucks Frappachino in favor of a black coffee with a bit of sugar or maybe an espresso. Go for grilled chicken with Val’s Easy Tomato Sauce instead of the chicken parmesan. Try roasted vegetables instead of anything “au gratin”. Consider berries or a piece of dark chocolate for dessert instead of ice cream or chocolate soufflé.
If you follow any—or several—of these tips, it won’t take long before this becomes your preferred way of training and eating. The best part? Even if you slip up during the holidays and have some mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie, you can still feel good knowing you “banked” some skinny ahead of time.

22 दिसंबर 2011



"Approach working out with gratitude."
Exercise is not a chore; it's a privilege. Think, How lucky I am that I found time in my busy schedule for myself and to take care of my body.
—Mari Winsor has sculpted the bodies of Vanessa Williams, Sandra Bullock, and Jamie Lee Curtis using Pilates.

"Be accountable for each mouthful."
Most people eat emotionally. We constantly put food into our mouths unconsciously. Keep a food journal, and learn about portion sizes and the actual calorie counts in foods so you really understand what you're eating. It's not about starving yourself; it's about being fully aware of what is going into your body.
—Teddy Bass has gotten Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz into shape; his workouts incorporate Pilates and dance

"Be virtuous."
If you knock out your workout first thing in the morning, you will carry a feeling of achievement and virtuousness with you all day. It sets the tone. This sense of virtue will influence other aspects of your life. You will make healthier and smarter food choices.
—Valerie Waters has whipped Jennifer Garner , Elizabeth Berkley, and Poppy Montgomery into shape.
"Celebrate the body you have."
You have to start by appreciating the body you have. Life is a gift, and we must rise to the occasion. You can become your potential if you focus on three things: mind-set, motivation, and movement. They encompass the emotional, the spiritual, and the physical. You have the right and the power to change your body. The more secure you are, the more you love yourself, the easier it is to make physical changes occur. With self-acceptance and clear intention, change will follow
 —Kacy Duke, cofounder of Equinox Fitness Clubs, has trained Iman, Julianne Moore, Mary J. Blige and Kirsten Dunst.

"Work out for a higher purpose."
Train with a specific goal in mind. Whether it's winning a tennis match, losing weight for a milestone birthday, or running your first 5K, having a goal will elevate your motivation and increase your commitment. Interest fades when you make open-ended goals with no deadlines; the gym should be a means to an end. If you train and think like an athlete, you'll work harder, and your body will change as a result.
—Jamie Milnes specializes in athletics-based workouts. His clients include Cindy Crawford

"Do a super amount of squats for a great butt."
I call this move the Ten-Squat Trick:

"Strengthen from the outside in; nourish from the inside out."
I believe in mindful exercise and nutrition. There are no mindless movements. Everything you do should have a purpose. Put your mind into each muscle you are working on to control the effectiveness of your workout, and into each bite of food you are ingesting. By doing so, you can self-police and self-correct. Take a moment, pause, and think about why you are doing something and what its effect will be. By shaping and toning your body on the outside, your inner core and internal self will become stronger. And by properly enriching your body with whole foods and keysupplements, your inner health will appear externally. It's the yin and the yang. Be conscious. Transform your life.
—David Kirsch's clients include Heidi Klum  Liv Tyler, Ellen Barkin, and Anne Hathaway