Friday, July 24, 2009

Bringing Balance to Life: The Unique and Lasting Benefits of Dance

Written by Ashton Feliciano
Saturday, 18 July 2009

Physicians and psychologists universally agree that it is important for a person to maintain a sense of balance if he or she wants to have a healthy, happy and long life.With this in mind, it is important that a person engage in appropriate activities on a regular basis to ensure that sense of balance is maintained ... not only today but into the future as well.Of course, the media has paid a tremendous amount of attention to issues like maintaining a balanced diet.It goes without saying that if a person eats a healthy and balanced diet, he or she will be on a course for a better life today and into the future.However, when all is said and done, living a balanced life depends upon much more than merely eating the correct food items on a daily basis.If a person really is intent on living a balanced life, that individual needs to involve his or her self in activities and lifestyle choices that will ensure life balance on the physical, mental and emotional level.(Of course, some argue that a spiritual element also is important when it comes to creating, developing and maintaining a sense of balance in life.However, for the purposes of this article, the focus will be maintained on what needs to occur physically, mentally and emotionally to ensure balance in life not only today but into the future.Four of the primary, foundational elements of a successfully balance life are:Regular exercise * Healthy diet * Proper emotional release * Self esteem enhancementWhen it comes to regular exercise, nothing is as comprehensive as dancing.Fitness experts all concur that a solid fitness program must include aerobic exercise, strength training and stretching.These three types of exercise can be found in dancing.Moreover, beyond dancing being a comprehensive form of exercise, it is also completely enjoyable.Therefore, unlike other types of exercise programs or plans, people remain committed to a dance based fitness regime because it is so enjoyable and entertaining.Another of the foundational elements of a successfully balanced life is a proper diet.While the act of dancing in and of itself may seem unrelated to a healthy diet, the fact is that in order for a person to fully participate in dancing he or she must maintain a healthy diet.One of the net effects of engaging in a dance program is that normally a person naturally will be inclined to enjoy a healthy diet as well.A truly balanced life also depends upon a person's ability to experience and appropriate, consistent and adequate means for emotional release.Once again, research has revealed that dancing is ideal when it comes to providing a meaningful and direct means through which a person properly can enjoy an adequate and satisfying emotional release.Finally, a balanced life is one in which an individual has a solid level of self esteem.The reality is that through dancing a person will find that his or her sense of self worth, confidence and achievement increase on a continually basis.Therefore, dancing can be fundamental in aiding and in assisting a person to enhance his or her own sense of self esteem.

Ashton A. Valente-Feliciano MBAWe all give and receive gifts in our lives for reason or another. Some gifts are thoughtful, some for occasions, and others are out of kindness.Make the next time a gift that really does keep on giving. A Gift that leaves a lasting impression…Dance…create yourself!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fighting the cellulite battle

Cellulite is a combination of fat cells and fibrous connective tissue under the skin. It is usually found on women on the hips, thighs, or buttocks. Cellulite plagues 90% of all women at some point in our lives and the quest to get rid of cellulite has become a billion-dollar business.
While the exact causes of cellulite formation aren't fully understood, it is known that:
Cellulite does not exist only for overweight women.
Thin women have the problem, too.
Older people have more cellulite than younger people.
Women experiencing puberty, menstruation, or menopause are more likely to develop cellulite due to hormonal changes.
No cure exists for 100% cellulite removal
Most cellulite creams and pills have been proven ineffective. Bottom line, cellulite is the product of body composition, genetics and hormones. It is basically pockets of fat, which are trapped in the loosened fibers and cause dimpling in the skin. There are no miracle cures, but to reduce the appearance of the “cottage cheese” look, you need to tighten up the muscle fibers, reduce excess body fat and improve circulation to begin to make a difference.
Although no pill, cream, lotion, potion, or powder is known to be 100% effective in curing cellulite, there are some steps you can take to reduce existing cellulite and slow the build-up of additional cellulite.
Increase your cardiovascular exercise, up to 60 minutes every day. Do a “two a day” meaning walk in the morning and again at night. This will help to burn up the calories and excess body fat and improve circulation in your legs.
Incorporate strength training into your routine three days a week. Try exercises that will tone the hamstrings, quadriceps, hips and glutes. Doing lower body exercises 3 days a week can result in noticeable changes in a month. And although guys don’t typically suffer from the curse of cellulite based on their hormonal makeup, men will benefit from these exercises too. Strength training is good for everyone.
Stay hydrated and eat healthy. Avoid preservatives, chemicals and processed foods, as they can increase the toxins in your body and create inflammation (which doesn’t aid in the appearance of cellulite). If your inner body is healthy and feels good it will start to show on the outside.
Eat plenty of leafy greens, fruits and veggies. Keep junk, sugar and alcohol to a bare minimum. Avoid caffeine, candy, alcohol, and high fat foods.
Avoid diuretics and laxatives (except as truly necessary).
De-stress yourself. Get a massage to promote circulation and relaxation.
"Dry brushing" the area with a natural bristled body brush a few minutes every day will improve the texture of the area.

by Kimberly Wesley

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Top Reasons for Weight Loss Failure

– Jun 16, 2009 – Kansas City personal trainers Micah LaCerte and Diana Chaloux recently revealed the top reasons why people fail when it comes to losing weight. Chaloux says “80% of the way that your body looks is dependant on how you feed it. The number one reason people fail to lose weight and achieve their fitness goals is because they are not eating properly. If you do not eat the right type of foods, at the right times of day, in the proper portion sizes then you simply will not achieve your weight loss goals. Many people get frustrated because they are exercising frequently but they are not achieving any results. When you look at the way they are eating, 9 times out of 10 the answer as to why their weight is not changing is crystal clear. Exercise is not a free pass to eat whatever you want to, and losing weight also does not mean that you starve yourself causing your metabolism to shut down.” LaCerte added, “Portion control is a major problem. In today’s society the majority of the population is completely out of touch with what a proper portion should be. Restaurants serve meals that should be split up into 2-3 smaller meals, and in some cases I’ve seen plates come out that contain 8-10x what the average person should be consuming in one sitting. Portion sizes aren’t going to be the same for everyone, there are several factors to consider when determining what yours should be including your weight, height, age and body fat percentage. Generally speaking however, a serving of meat or fish should be the size of the palm of your hand, and a serving of carbohydrates such as sweet potato, whole grain pasta or brown rice should be no larger than the size of your fist.” Chaloux continued, “Lack of awareness is another top reason for weight loss failure. Many people are emotional eaters, eat when they are stressed or bored or constantly eat throughout the day without accounting for it. When they gain fat weight often times they don’t realize why or how it happened. The best solution for this is to journal every single item that is eaten throughout the day. It is often quite shocking when people realize just how many extra calories they are consuming on a regular basis. If the calories consumed are higher than the calories being expended, then the only option the body has is to store that extra fuel as fat.” LaCerte says, “Motivation and accountability are two big factors that come into play with a person who is trying to lose weight. It’s easy to be motivated for one day, get fired up, buy a gym membership, work out and eat right. But then day two, three and four come around, and without a strong knowledge of why you want to lose weight and what your ultimate goal is, it is easy to make excuses, revert back to old habits, make less and less of an effort, get frustrated due to lack of results and finally quit trying. I’ve heard this story a million times from people who have literally convinced themselves that they can’t do it. The fact of the matter is, they absolutely can do it, it’s an issue of getting them motivated enough to make the right choices on a consistent basis. When people do start seeing results as a reflection of their consistency, and when they get on the right track and their entire life starts to transform, that’s when the good habits stick. Having someone, such as a personal trainer, hold you accountable for your goals can be a valuable tool for success. Knowing that you have to own up to your actions and be held responsible for you choices is a powerful motivator in and of itself.” According to Chaloux lack of exercise intensity is another limiting factor when it comes to weight loss. “If you’re going to the gym but aren’t breaking a sweat, or are using that time as a social hour, then you are sabotaging yourself. Just going into the gym isn’t going to transform your body, you need to work hard and push yourself during that time. Beginners should start a bit more slowly but constantly progress themselves in order to achieve a higher fitness level. On countless occasions I’ve seen people “working out” on a piece of cardio equipment, yet they are barely moving their bodies and burning very minimal calories during their workouts. Though it is better to do something than to do nothing, if you are serious about losing weight you need to kick things up a notch, you have to challenge your body to change it.” Lacerte says “The truth of the matter is, losing weight and keeping it off is a challenge for many because it requires a lifestyle change and implementation of new eating and exercise habits. People are so misguided by marketing scams trying to convince them that it’s as easy as swallowing a pill or following a fad diet for 10 days or buying a silly piece of exercise equipment. There are no quick fixes regardless of what you read in magazines or see on television. Proper nutrition and sufficient exercise including both strength training and cardiovascular conditioning are the three components that you must incorporate into your life on a regular basis in order to achieve your weight loss goals.”