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A very good reason to get back to the gym for

The Harvard Heart Health Letter just revealed research results which may inspire you to go back to the (home) gym after all.
I will personally get back to swinging my kettle bells on a daily basis for I really need to lose some weight and definitely get back in shape.
Here’s an excerpt of that article:

“Add strength training to your fitness plan

Boosting your muscle mass may trigger changes that enhance heart health.

When you do aerobic exercise—brisk walking, biking, or swimming, for example—you breathe harder and your heart beats faster. This “cardio” workout provides a wealth of cardiovascular benefits. But you might not realize that strength training—also called weight training or resistance training—is also good for your heart.

“Strength training maintains and may even increase muscle mass, which people tend to lose as they age,” says Rania Mekary, a visiting assistant professor of surgery at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital and assistant professor at MCPHS University. Boosting your muscle mass speeds up your metabolic rate, so you burn more calories—even when you’re not exercising.

Burning calories and belly fat

Burning more calories helps you avoid weight gain, which keeps your heart healthier than if you pack on pounds. And strength training may be especially important for keeping off belly fat. This so-called visceral fat, which surrounds your internal organs, is particularly dangerous for your heart.
Mekary and colleagues at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that healthy men who did 20 minutes of daily weight training had less of an age-related increase in abdominal fat compared with men who spent the same amount of time doing aerobic activities”…

Click here to read on

8 Smart Reasons to Go Vegan for Heart Health

8 Smart Reasons to Go Vegan for Heart Health

Here’s an interesting story about the changes you can make to improve your heart health although I must admit I wouldn’t go so far as to cut my consumption of meat completely:

“Kim Williams, MD, a cardiologist and the president of the American College of Cardiology, became a vegan in 2003, after finding out his cholesterol levels were high — and it changed his life. He went vegan because he was impressed by how much heart scans of one of his patients improved after she tried a plant-based diet. She went from a high-risk of heart disease to normal risk in a matter of months.

A plant-based diet can decrease plaque in the blood vessels, and lower risk of diabetes and stroke, says Dr. Williams. “If we have a choice, it seems like a vegetarian diet is better.”

The good news for avid meat eaters is that you don’t have to completely quit meat to reap the benefits of a plant-based diet. Simply reducing the amount of animal products in your diet lowers the risk of high blood pressure. Then, as you start replacing meat with fish, or switching to vegetarian, or go completely vegan, your heart-disease risk gradually goes down, Williams says.

“People say eat everything in moderation, and I used to tell people that moderation results in moderate disease instead of severe disease,” he says.

Following are eight of the many ways a plant-based diet can protect your heart from disease”..

Continue Reading Here:http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/8-ways-plant-based-diet-protects-your-heart/

Overweight people who suffered heart attack could live longer than healthy people, says study

Overweight people who suffered heart attack could live longer than healthy people, says study

Well this headline certainly looks very surprising doesn’t it, but before you get all happy and skip your dit and workout routine, make sure to read the whole story for it is obvious that there’s there is just no substitute to a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Overweight people who have suffered a heart attack may live longer than healthy people because certain fats are programmed to guard the body against heart disease, new research has found.

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The University of Oxford study suggests that body fat can act as a last line of defence against a heart attack and strokes by releasing anti-inflammatory chemicals.

The findings, to be presented at the British Cardiovascular Conference in Manchester, challenges conventional wisdom that body fat is detrimental to health. It could also explain why some people with an extreme Body Mass Index (BMI) often outlive those with a healthy BMI.

By studying cell tissue samples of patients that had heart surgery, scientists found a series of chemicals were released from certain body fats in the event of a heart attack or stroke, in response to warnings sent out by the heart and surrounding arteries.

Charalambos Antoniades, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at Oxford University, who led the study, said its findings would change how body fats were perceived.

Here’s the link to the original article

How Saunas Help Your Body Detox

How Saunas Help Your Body Detox

Although most people really don’t like it, sweating is actually good for your body. But thanks to the ultra convenient lifestyles of today, sweating isn’t something that a lot of people do.

We go from air conditioned homes to air conditioned vehicles to air conditioned offices and shopping places. But this lack of sweating can cause your body to keep toxins trapped inside.

Toxins enter the body one of two ways – either through the mouth or through the skin. When you sweat, your body gets out the toxins and can prevent a build up. Sweating opens up your pores to get out the toxins.

Not only do you feel better and look better, but your skin will also look younger and healthier. While normal sweating can help, it can’t really do the level of detox like a sauna can.

That’s because using a sauna causes you to sweat a lot more than you normally would. If you could check what your sweat contains, you’d see that it was made up of toxins – including airborne ones like pesticides that are sprayed in homes and on plants.

In a sauna, your body also works to release toxins that have been stored in the tissues. It basically forces them loose and then eliminates them. Studies have shown that saunas are effective in detoxification based on the amount of sweat your body will produce in the higher temperature.

Your body will get rid of toxins like uric acid, which is a waste product. And it’s a toxin. If uric acid builds up in the body, it can lead to things like kidney problems. Not only can saunas help your body detoxify from uric acid, but also from toxins from metals, chemicals, household cleaners, and from the medication that you take or put on your skin.

When you use a sauna, your heart rate goes higher – and this is a good thing. That faster heart rate is what will give you a better blood flow. The increase in blood flow will then turn around and help you get the toxins out of your body faster.

Not only that, but there’s a correlation between the temperature of the sauna and the benefit it gives your immune system. When you get a fever, it raises your body temperature to kill off whatever is making you sick.

In a sauna, the increased temperature helps your body fight things that can make you sick. It used to be that if you wanted the detoxification benefit from using a sauna, you had to leave your house to go to one.

But today, you can buy a sauna that you can use right in the comfort of your own home – and they’re affordable. You can find both steam and dry heat saunas for home use.

The Benefits of Challenging Yourself to Master 100 Situps

The Benefits of Challenging Yourself to Master 100 Situps

Performing situps as a physical fitness exercise has so many benefits. Aside from requiring no expensive or special gym equipment, you improve your overall core strength. And though many searching for sexy six-pack abs focus on situps for that reason alone, the well-rounded exercise actually involves more of your muscles and a larger range of motion than crunches.

Muscles in your chest and legs, connecting stabilizer muscles and hip flexors are all employed, giving you a full body workout. And when you challenge yourself to reach the level where you can consistently perform 100 situps at a time your benefits are even greater.

Mentally, your brain has the advantage of endorphins which are released every time your body detects stress. Performing multiple situps at once sends these endorphins to your brain, and the response from your brain raises your heart rate and metabolism. This “fight or flight” response from your mind also means that your mental alertness and awareness are peaked.

With that increased heart rate comes higher metabolism and a better ability to burn fat and maintain a healthy body weight. There is also the high level of self-esteem which comes from performing 100 situps without stopping. This impressive physical achievement is rare among human beings to say the least. Additionally, a side benefit that you may not have considered is the desire to push yourself in other ways physically.

You have worked up from 10 consecutive situps to 20, and 50, and finally 100. The boost of energy and self-pride you feel will quickly have you pushing yourself to perform 100 pushups without stopping. Then you will want to run 1.5 miles in under 10 minutes, and bench press 1.5 times your body weight. When you see such an impressive achievement as a reality in your life, suddenly, running a marathon or participating in a triathlon seems well within your grasp.

A body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion. While this is one of Newton’s scientific laws of motion, it applies as well to human beings. Your mind tends to adapt your entire behavior according to your most consistent activities. This means that when you master 100 consecutive situps, you subconsciously program your mind to spend less time sitting and more time standing, less time lounging and more time exercising.

The overall health benefits include a longer and healthier life span, cardiovascular and core strengthening, and healthy weight and fat loss. You also feel great emotionally and mentally when others comment on your new, slim, trim and powerful body, which creates even a greater desire to continue to challenge yourself physically.