Monthly Archives: April 2013

Tone It Up Annual Bikini Series

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Ahhhh! Its that time of year again, the Tone It Up Bikini Series has started. If you all are not familiar with Tone It Up, please check them out.  They are two amazing women that have developed a nutrition plan, which I reviewed HERE, work out DVDs and an all natural protein powder.  The community of women that are a part of Tone It Up are so empowering and amazing.

If you want an idea of what being apart of the bikini series is like, check out my first week below. I will be posting an update video each week to my youtube channel.

 I first participated in the challenge back in 2011 and fell in love.  Last summer I did not participate but enjoyed watching all of the other ladie’s journey. This year I am in it full force and I have a partner Steph, whom I met through the Tone It Up community.  The Bikini Series Is 8 weeks long and Katrina and Karena the owners of Tone It Up provide you with workout routine, recipes and encouragement.  Along the way there will be great prizes from Oakley, Victoria Secret, Perfect Fit and a grand prize trip sponsored by Contiki.

If you want to follow me along this journey, sign up HERE.  Its not to late to join.

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Calorie Counting Made Easy

A few months ago I wrote a whole Fitness Series on calculating calories and macronutrients.  Although those blog posts were really helpful to some, I believe that for a beginner, it provided way too much information and could be a bit overwhelming.

Since I want to make sure this blog is helpful to everyone, in every stage of their weight loss journey, I created a Youtube video demonstrating a really easy way to calculate calories and macronutrients.  Check out the video below and let me know if you found it helpful.  This is how I came up with my current diet plan.

If you have an easier way to calculate daily caloric intake, please share it in the comments. We could all benefit from it.

 

How Can Exercise Benefit Cancer Patients?

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Continuing with my last posts theme regarding diet, exercise and disease process, I am sharing a post with you all today written by Melanie Bowen.  Melanie writes articles over at mesothelioma.com. This post will address the benefits that exercise can have on individuals battling cancer.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and mesothelioma are some of the forms of cancer that are frequently being diagnosed today. In the past, the prognosis for cancer patients was usually not very good. Today, many people are able to overcome cancer thanks to the advances that have been made in medical technology.
In addition to getting the appropriate treatment, there are a number of things that patients can do at home to manage their condition. Exercise is a very effective way to deal with the negative effects of cancer. Below are some of the benefits that cancer patients can reap from exercising:

Boost The Immune System

A person needs a strong immune system in order to fight cancer. Exercise is one of the simplest things that can be done to boost the immune system. It also helps increase the number of white blood cells that the body produces. White blood cells help destroy dead, old or damaged cells in the body. In many cases, exercise can reduce the amount of time that a person needs to spend in the hospital.

Helps Increase Energy

Fatigue is a common side effect of cancer treatments.  According to the American Cancer Society, 70 to 100 percent of cancer patients suffer from fatigue on a regular basis. Exercise helps increase energy.

Helps Manage Pain

Pain is another complaint that is common among cancer patients. During exercise, the body produces more endorphins. Endorphins help alleviate pain naturally and boost the mood. Furthermore, these hormones can help a person relax and get a better sleep at night.

Improve Mood

Depression and anxiety are also very common among cancer patients. The uncertainty of the future is one of the many things that can cause a cancer patient to become anxious and depressed. Exercise has been shown to be very effective at alleviating anxiety and depression.

Reduced Risk of Dying

A British cancer charity surveyed 400 health care professionals and looked at 60 studies that examined the link between physical fitness and cancer. The organization found that breast cancer patients who exercised on a regular basis were 40 percent less likely to die. Prostate cancer patients who engaged in regular exercise were 30 percent less likely to die. Therefore, finding the right fitness routine can be extremely beneficial when battling cancer.

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Disclaimer: Please consult with a medical professional before starting any new exercise or diet programs.

Looking Good Should Not Be Your Only Motivation to Lose Weight

Weight-Loss-MotivationWith less than 4 weeks left in my 1st semester of nursing school I started to notice a trend.  The trend was the importance of nutrition and exercise in disease process. Two of the longest lectures this semester were on activity and nutrition and the importance to teach our patients to properly incorporate them both into their lives.

As a society we normally associate food and exercise with only one thing, being fat or being skinny.  What we really should be associating them to is healthy and unhealthy.  When it comes down to it is all about physiology.  Our bodies only need a certain amount of calories and nutrients to function.  Anything else will either get converted to fat or is excreted out of our bodies to maintain homeostasis (balance).  Obesity’s relation to disease is our focus today.

Certain macronutrients, I am speaking of carbohydrates and protein, when consumed in excess are converted to triglycerides (fat) in our bodies.  Studies have shown that excess fat in our bodies increases our risk for obesity related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers.

With obesity our bodies are no longer in balance. Our heart has to pump out a greater volume of blood when our body surface area increases which can lead to high blood pressure and eventually heart disease. Excess hormones secreted by our bodies due to an increase in fat can aid in cancer development.  Obesity can also affect our bodies ability to produce insulin. Ironically enough, it also prevents our ability to move in order to burn off excess calories because of the amount of strain excess weight places on our joints. The National Institute of Health has written several articles that correlate obesity with a decline in life expectancy.

If you ask me, living a longer, disease free life is a greater motivator to lose weight than fitting into skinny jeans is.

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Disclaimer: I am not a a doctor and all the information provided in this post is based on my personal research. Please consult with a qualified professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise program.