Health and Fitness

In a time where more than half of all Americans are considered overweight and obesity is on the rise the health and fitness industry is booming. Despite the poor health of our society as a whole, a large portion of the population is taking an interest in diet, exercise and fitness trends. While taking an interest in these fitness practices and strategies is not likely to result in improved health, actually implementing some of these practices and strategies is one way to put yourself on the path to a healthier you.Diet is one of the most popular aspects of the fitness industry. There are a number of popular diets available today for those who are interested. There are diets which are high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates, diets which are high in carbohydrates, diets which involve complex combinations of nutrients, diets which require the consumption of pre-packaged foods and even diets which limit the dieter to one or two foods during the course of these diets. In selecting a diet you should utilize common sense to determine whether or not a diet is likely to help you achieve desired results. Some diet plans such as those which are overly restrictive will likely be eliminated quickly during this process. You should also consider how easy the diet will be to adhere to until you lose the desired amount of weight. Considering these factors will help you to determine which diets will be most effective for you.Exercise is another popular component in the fitness equation. Most people realize they should be doing some form of cardiovascular exercise and strength training but there is a great deal of contradicting information regarding the amount and type of exercise which is required for weight loss or fitness maintenance. Before beginning any fitness program, dieters should consult with their doctor to ensure they are fit enough to begin an exercise program. Those who have never exercised before may consider short walks of 10-15 minutes when they begin their exercise program. The duration and intensity of these walks can be increased as the fitness level increases.Exercise equipment is another aspect of the fitness industry which confuses many. There is a great deal of equipment available and this variety can be overwhelming. Popular pieces of equipment include treadmills, stationary bicycles and elliptical trainers. These pieces of equipment allow the user to gain a cardiovascular workout but none of them are required for a fitness program. Dieters can run, jump, swim, play a sport, dance or participate in any activity without the use of complicated and expensive equipment.Pilates equipment can be particularly confusing for would be exercise enthusiasts. Pilates has only become extremely popular in the last few years. Although many have jumped on the Pilates bandwagon on the recommendations of celebrities, most people do not have a full understanding of what Pilates really is and the equipment involved in practicing this form of exercise. Although there are complicated pieces of equipment such as reformers and trapeze tables most novices can simply purchase a floor mat and a DVD to begin their journey into Pilates.

Warning: Excess Protein is Hazardous to Your Health and Fitness!

Wait a minute! We know that fat and cholesterol are hazardous to our health. You mean to tell me that too much protein is also hazardous to our health?Yes, absolutely! That is exactly what I am saying. I know that this may come as a complete surprise to you, but the truth is that many experts think that too much protein, particularly animal protein, is hazardous to your health!If a person consumes over 15% protein in his diet (beef typically has 26% protein – the rest is fat – and chicken has 61% protein – the rest is fat), then the body must get rid of that protein.In other words, the body stores very little protein. Certain organs are responsible for getting rid of the protein–namely the kidneys and liver. The more protein we eat, the harder the kidneys and liver have to work to excrete the protein. The result of overuse of these organs is obvious–premature wear and tear.Most Americans eat an over-abundance of animal protein from their foods every day, and then they load themselves up even more with protein powders and drinks and bars. We are protein crazy in this country! And it is to our demise, not to our benefit.So along with the wear and tear of the kidneys and the liver which is bad enough, why else is excess animal protein hazardous to your health?Excess protein makes the body more acidic, and these acids accumulate in the joints causing arthritis and gout.Animal protein is hard to digest so it is hard on the digestive system causing digestive problems.Animal protein is strongly associated with heart disease; no, not just the fat and cholesterol, but also the animal protein itself.Animal protein is associated with many kinds of cancers, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and pancreatic cancer.In a huge study conducted in China by T. Colin Campbell, PhD., it was found that the groups of people who ate the most animal protein had, by far, the most heart disease and certain cancers. And the amount of animal protein did not have to go up very high in order for the disease numbers to go up also.And because the animal protein makes the body more acidic, the body has to neutralize the acid. It does so by pulling calcium out of the bones, and then we pee out the calcium.Why is this significant?It is believed that animal protein just happens to be one of the major contributors to osteoporosis in this country. This excess protein leaches the calcium out of our bones.So one of the best things you can do for yourself is to cut back, way back, on your consumption of meat protein and protein artificially loaded into other foods and pseudo-foods. In fact, your best bet for maximum health and fitness is to completely eliminate animal sources of protein.Load up on plant foods and get away from animal products–it just makes sense!