Monday, July 30, 2012

Is Your Metabolism Fired Up and Ready to Go?

There are a lot of people who would give a lot to increase their metabolism. Having a high level of metabolism enables one to maintain burn fat and lose weight fast with the least amount of activity. Metabolism is the rate by which the body produces and consumes energy and calories to support life.

There are several factors that affect the metabolism of a person, such as the amount of muscle tissue, the frequency of the meals one consumes, genetics, stress levels, personal diet and activity levels. Metabolism slows done due to the following: loss of muscle because of not enough physical activity, the tendency of the body to cannibalize its own tissue because there is not enough food energy to sustain it, and the decrease of physical activity that comes naturally with old age.

Here are several ways to fire up one's metabolism:

1. Build up on lean, mean body mass. It is only natural that metabolism decreases along with age, but it is possible to counter the effects. The amount of muscle a person has is a very strong determinant in the ability to burn calories and shed fat. So it goes without saying that exercise is essential. Build strength and resistance by working out at least twice a week, preferably with weights. Do easy exercises in between workouts. Simple tasks such as walking the dog and using the stairs in place of the elevator can already take off calories. The key is to match the amount of eating to the amount of activity one has. Here are some guidelines in getting the right exercise:

For strength training

-Increase the amount of repetitions of a particular exercise.
-Add the level of resistance
-Utilize advance exercise techniques if possible

For cardiovascular training

-Insert intervals between exercises
-Perform cross-training and combine the exercises
-Add up on resistance and speed

2. Eat breakfast. A lot of people are ignoring the fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Surprisingly, the ones who eat breakfast are thinner than the ones who do not. Metabolism can slow down considerably if breakfast is taken during mid-morning or if one waits until the afternoon to eat.

3. Avoid sugar. Sugar enables the body to store fat. It is recommended that a person consumes food that helps sustain an even level of blood-sugar. Additionally, progressive execerise 2-3 times a week should be in order to stabilize blood sugar.

4. Eat spicy foods. Hot cuisine with peppers can increase metabolism.

5. Sleep more. According to research, it is riskier for people who do not get enough sleep to gain weight. Also, muscles are regenerated during the last couple of hours of slumber.

6. Increase water intake. Water flushes out toxins that are produced whenever the body burns fat. Majority of bodily functions involves water, and lack of water causes the body system's operations to decrease its speed, and produces unneeded stress as a result.

7. Eat smaller meals. It is advisable to consume 4 to 6 small meals that are timed 2 to 3 hours apart.

8. Never skip meals. People tend to skip meals in order to lose weight, which is a big mistake since it slows down metabolism.

9. Plan meals in detail. Always prepare the right amount of food to be consumed at the designated intervals. Do not commit the mistake of eating meals in sporadic patterns.

9. Ditch the stress! Stress, be it physical or emotional, triggers the release of a steroid called cortisol, which decreases metabolism. Also, people tend to eat excessively when stressed.

10. Guzzle up on green tea. It can be used as a substitute for coffee. Tea has the ability to stimulate metabolism, and unlike coffee, it has no undesirable side effects when too much is consumed.

11. Include more energy foods in the diet, such as fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains.

Achieving the desired body weight is never impossible if one has the determination and patience needed to stabilize the metabolism level, which plays an important role in weight loss. A person needs to realize that eating right and working out is not just a passing fancy, but a way of life.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chelsea's Purpose in Walking

Every morning when my alarm clock rings, I feel someone start to move next to me. I open my eyes and am greeted by a smile as I run my hands through dark hair and gaze into beautiful brown eyes. As romantic as this may sound, the one next to me is not a lover, it's my dog. Cleo, my 3 year old French Brittany,still has the energy of a pup and has had to spend way more time than I'd like lying around my apartment since we moved to Phoenix. Although she seems to have gotten used to her city-dog lifestyle, you can imagine how exciting some daily exercise must be to this  little "jumping bean" as my mom likes to call her.
I don't know if she can tell by the time of day or if she just knows what the sound of my alarm clock means, but every morning at 7 a.m. she's moving before I can even press snooze. She licks my hand, sniffs my face, and burrows into my side just trying to get me out of bed so we can hit the streets for our 30 minute morning walk. Most of the time I am happy to oblige (barring any illness or wine nights with my roommate) not just for her, but for my own mental and physical well-being.

My friends and I used to jokingly quote Elle Woods from the movie Legally Blond "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make people happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands. They just don't!" While not the most intellectual quote, you have to admit that there's definitely some truth here.
We all know that exercise is good for us and I'm sure most of us have heard that it has mental benefits too, but I didn't know this: According to an article I read in US News, as little as ten minutes of exercise is enough to change your brain chemistry. Even small amounts of exercise can reverse the effects of stress, fight depression, improve learning/memory, boost self-esteem, and (my favorite) increase endorphins and the effects of serotonin and dopamine on the brain. There's a reason they call it "Runner's High!" Just a 20 or 30 minute walk is enough to change my entire day. Some of my best ideas and clearest thoughts have come to me while walking/running in the morning.
I also feel a lot better knowing that no matter what happens in my day, I've already gotten some exercise. I always start my week with good intentions of going straight to the gym after, work, but very rarely am I able to follow through on those promises. It's almost like I'm tricking myself. I just get up and do it before I even have the option of becoming "too busy or too tired to exercise." 
And while there are so many benefits to a little walk in the morning, I can't very well write about exercise without paying some attention to calories In fact, someone told me a while ago that a fast walk can actually burn more calories than running. I was a little skeptical so I did some googling and it looks like the jury is still out on that one. According to, it depends on the intensity for the run and/or the intensity of the walk. This makes sense to me. Either way, calories are calories and I'm always looking for a fun and entertaining way to burn them so I can have that afternoon piece of chocolate or glass of wine in the evening.
So, whether you get up and moving for the sake of your furry friend, your sanity, or your waistline; find peace in knowing that all of the above are being positively effected by just a few minutes out of your day :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Josh Scurry of ALIVE New York a victim of cyber bullying

Josh Scurry of ALIVE New York a victim of cyber bullying clears the air about the upcoming event in an exclusive interview at Healthy Living Now with Chelsea Holmstead.

Three Essential Ways to Live Healthy

Do you want to have a body that can support you well into your old age? Do you wish to have mental clarity, quality relationships, good working internal functions, or even an overall feeling of well being? Well, living a healthy lifestyle is what can get you there, or at least improve your condition. There are three specific things that you should do:

1. Exercise
You shouldn’t be surprised that this one is on the list. It is unavoidable. Physical activity is essential to healthy living. The body was meant to move, and when it does not, it can become unhappy and ill. Physical activity stimulates the body’s natural maintenance and repair systems that keep it going. It improves circulation to our heart and lungs. It gives us strength to stave off injuries, and it increases the mobility in our muscles and joints. Physical activity also releases endorphins; the feel good hormones that create a sense of general well being. Physical activity is good for the body and the mind.
Exercises include brisk walking, cycling, dancing, swimming, rowing, elliptical workouts and jogging. Yoga, and pilates are also good exercise workouts; however, they should be performed in conjunction with the cardiovascular-type workouts mentioned above.

2. Eating healthy
Have you ever heard of the saying “you are what you eat” or “garbage in garbage out”? Well, it is true. What you put into your body directly affects how you feel physically, your mood, your mental clarity, your internal workings, and even your skin. Eating healthy does not mean eating expensive foods with little taste. As a matter of fact, there are some fantastic health recipes online and in cookbooks that are very healthy. Basically, you want to aim for a diet that is low in salt, fat and unprocessed foods and is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also good to take a multi vitamin to ensure you are meeting your nutrient requirements.

3. Reduce stress
We have got to get rid of all of this stress. Stress happens when your life becomes out of balance physically, mentally or emotionally. This imbalance can be caused by internal stress like worrying too much, environmental stress like pressure from work, family or friends, or by stress from being fatigued or overworked. Being stressed out has the potential to affect your health in a variety of ways. You can become tired, sick, tense, irritable, and unable to think clearly. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, you will need to manage the stress in your life so that it does not overtake you. This means taking charge of your thoughts, emotions, tasks, and environment to get your body back in balance.