Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm Obese and I Don't Know Where to Start With Exercise

Hi YouTips4U, I'm 100 pounds overweight and I don't know what to do to start exercising. I finally made up my mind that I want to do it, but I'm so reluctant to go to a gym because everyone there is thin and fit and I feel so out of place that I can hardly do any type of exercise for too long. What do you recommend I do?

YouTips4U Ans. Hi, first I want to congratulate you for taking action. That's wonderful and it's a very important step in your new lifestyle change. Exercise is so important and you should not be missing out on it because you feel self-conscious. I do understand your feelings about going to a gym, but as a member of a gym, I do want to tell you that people will not think anything but good things about you that you are trying to get in shape. You will be surprised how supportive going to a gym can be. That being said, there is no reason to force yourself to go if you are not comfortable because you want to succeed in your new fitness plan. So go to a gym if and when you're ready. I think a great place for you start would be to go walking. It's free, so you don't have to worry about expensive gym memberships and it's a wonderful way to get in shape. You can start small and add on to your time as you get fitter. So don't wait, start today. Just get a good pair of sneakers. I recommend running sneakers for their excellent cushioning. Find a pace that is comfortable, then see if you can up it a bit to where you are breathing heavier. This will help to improve your cardio vascular system. A great way to motivate yourself is to either listen to music as you walk with your iPod, or you can listen to books that you can download. Check out Apple iTunes. It's fun if you only listen to your book when walking, so you can look forward to hearing what's going to happen next each time you go out. It will keep you looking forward to your fitness walks. You'll want to add more time to your walks because you'll get so into your book, you want to keep listening. You can lose a lot of weight and get into great shape with walking, and you can add more intense sessions later on to challenge yourself; things like interval jogging etc. So, the bottom line is you don't have to go to a gym to get in shape, just put your sneakers on and head outside. I walk in every season of the year; no matter the temperature. I love it and you will too.

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Why Does My Skin Itch When I Go Jogging?

Question: Hi YouTips4u, I love your videos and helpful tips and I admire how fit you are so I was wondering if you might know the answer to my problem. I recently took up jogging to try and lose weight and get in shape, but my skin itches so badly while I'm running. It feels like tons of mosquito bites. I even thought at one point that I was getting bitten because it was daybreak when I was running, but I didn't see any bugs on me. Anyway, it's so annoying, I have to stop and scratch constantly, but then it feels like it gets worse. What could this be?

YouTips4U Ans. Hi, I totally understand your frustration with this. I, too, have experienced the same thing on occasion. I get it mostly in the summer months; not sure why. What I can tell you is that it has to do with blood flow. When you go jogging, the blood starts to flow away from your skin's surface to your larger muscles and internal organs where it's needed for the exertion. This movement of blood flow away from the skin causes your skin to become tingly and itch. When you stop doing the exercise, it goes away because the blood will resume it's regular flow again. Sometimes it goes away while exercising as your body adjusts.

I have found that wearing tight exercise pants or leggings rather than shorts really helps. It keeps your skin from moving and shaking which I think really contributes to it.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Can the New Social Media Craze of Staying Connected Stress You Out?

Constantly checking your Blackberry, iPhone, Facebook, and Twitter can become an addictive habit and can stress you out. When you're not on your devices or online, you worry that someone may be trying to contact you or that you're missing something amazing or fun. This habit can stress you out and actually take time away from doing things that involve real-life interaction with people. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who keeps checking their phone for texts. They're reading their texts and replying to them while trying to listen or talk to you. Frustrating right? We've all been there. Unfortunately, people who are constantly doing this are missing out on connecting with others and this continuous multitasking interrupts attention spans and actually causes you to feel on edge. People forget how to concentrate and listen to someone. You don't have to live without your Blackberry or iPhone handheld device; simply cut back a bit. Practice going for a period of time without picking it up and checking it. Wean yourself from it a bit. You will be surprised at how free and relaxed you will feel. You will enjoy your surroundings more; notice a beautiful day; read a book; hang out with friends and really have fun listening to each other. We live in such a connected society that it is now becoming more and more precious to just disconnect and do whatever you want without having to answer to someone. So just do it! Turn off the computer! Turn off the phone! Go outside and notice the beautiful day!!!

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Is a Protein Shake a Good Breakfast?

Hi, I was wondering if having a protein shake is a good breakfast rather than having food per se? Also, are all powders the same and do you use protein mixes

YouTips4u Ans. Not all protein mixes are the same. Some have more sugar and other sweeteners; some are made with whey and some with soy protein. Most protein mixes do contain a good amount of protein, but I would much rather have a breakfast of oatmeal, some fruit and nuts, and perhaps a bit of yogurt. I would rather eat foods than sip a drink. If the choice is to have a protein shake or skip breakfast altogether, then it's best to have the shake. Skipping breakfast really does start your day off on the wrong foot and leads to lack of energy and fatigue which can sometimes follow you right through your entire day. I personally don't drink protein shakes as I do get plenty of protein from my diet. You can too with a little planning. Adding things such as nuts, peanut butter, yogurt, tofu, and eggs to your diet as snacks throughout the day can increase your protein intake. Also, having meat, fish, or chicken during your main meal. If you do choose to add protein shakes to your diet, be sure you check the label and find one that has a simple recipe; not too many chemicals you don't understand.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Your Target Heart Rate - A Way to Measure How Hard You are Exercising

Not sure how hard you are working during exercise? Knowing your maximum heart rate and your target heart rate will give you a good idea. To receive all the wonderful benefits of physical activity, it's important that you pace yourself as you don't want to tire too quickly. By taking your pulse rate periodically while you are exercising, you can monitor your heart rate to see if you are exercising within 50-85 percent of your maximum heart rate. This is called the target heart rate zone. You will obtain the most benefit for your body and reduce the risk of injury when you exercise in your target heart rate zone. This can be especially helpful for anyone who is new to exercise or has come off of a period of inactivity perhaps due to illness or pregnancy. Now, you do not want to exercise above 85 percent of your maximum heart rate because doing so can increase both cardiovascular and musculoskeletal risk and does not add any extra benefit to the body. Also, I would like to note there are some medications and medical conditions that can affect your maximum heart rate, so if you are taking medicine or have a medical condition like heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, always ask your doctor if your maximum heart rate and your target heart rate will be affected. If so, your doctor can prescribe the proper heart rate ranges for your exercise program.

So how do you calculate your target heart rate? Well it's very easy. First you calculate your maximum heart rate which is simply: 220 minus your age.

Example: you are 30 years old so your maximum heart rate is:

220-30= 190

Your maximum heart rate is 190.

For our example, you want to stay within 50-85% of 190 while exercising. So for our example, you want to be working between 95-162 beats per minute. This is your target heart rate for exercising at age 30.

How do you take your pulse rate? You place your three fingers (index, middle, and ring finger)at either your wrist or neck. Now, count the beats you feel while looking at the minute hand of your wrist watch (you can also use the time clock on any cardio machine. Next, count the number of beats you feel in six seconds; add a zero to that number and you have your heart rate.

The following is a chart that you can use to determine where you should fall.

Age Target Heart Rate Maximum Heart Rate
20 years: 100–170 beats per minute, 200 beats per minute
25 years: 98–166 beats per minute, 195 beats per minute
30 years: 95–162 beats per minute, 190 beats per minute
35 years: 93–157 beats per minute, 185 beats per minute
40 years: 90–153 beats per minute, 180 beats per minute
45 years: 88–149 beats per minute, 175 beats per minute
50 years: 85–145 beats per minute, 170 beats per minute
55 years: 83–140 beats per minute, 165 beats per minute
60 years: 80–136 beats per minute, 160 beats per minute
65 years: 78–132 beats per minute, 155 beats per minute
70 years: 75–128 beats per minute, 150 beats per minute

This is simply a guide for you and you should adjust according to how you feel during exercise. If you are first starting out with an exercise program, exercise in the lowest part of your target zone (50 percent) perhaps for the first few weeks or so. Then gradually increase to the middle and higher part of your target zone (65-75 percent). After six months or more of regular exercise, you may be able to exercise comfortably at up to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. However, you don't have to exercise that hard to stay in shape. Just try to maintain some activity that elevates your heart rate every day. If you are not comfortable in the 85% range keep it lower if it helps you maintain a good pace while exercising.

There is also another gauge you can use if you don't want to take your pulse and that is the conversational test. If you can talk and walk at the same time, you are probably not working too hard. If you can sing and still maintain your level of exercise, that's also an indication that you are probably not working hard enough. However, if you get out of breath quickly, then you are probably working too hard and should slow it down. You be the judge. Do what's comfortable for you. These are just ways you can gauge your activity level and they are by no means hard and fast rules. You will still be getting the benefits of exercise if you can walk and talk to a friend or if your target heart rate is 60% of your maximum. It depends on your goal. Are you trying to lose weight or simply trying to stay in shape. The important thing is that you exercise regularly and stay active. As a society we do far too much sitting and that is not good. So get up periodically and walk around.

I hope you found this helpful!
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