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New Year's Resolution-Home Body Health Newsletter, Dec. 22, Issue #004
December 22, 2004

Helping You and Yours to Better Health, Naturally

Learn how to improve your health and that of your family and friends through natural and alternative options, supplemented by education so that you can make informed decisions. The goal is to create optimum health so that you can live life to the fullest.

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Home Body Health Newsletter Issue #004, December 22, 2004

Side note: I was planning this month's topic to be on hormones, but was waiting for some important information that I was missing, so next month will be hormones.

In This Issue:

New Year's Resolutions: The three most popular resolutions are also the areas that can help your health the most.

1)Weight Loss: Find out about the only clinically proven weight management program.

2)Exercise: Learn how to get in shape with just 20 minutes a week.

3)Quitting Smoking: Tips to help you quit successfully.

My first topic is weight loss and is probably the most poplular New Year's Resolution. You know all those commercials, info-mercials, and magazine ads that claim fantastic results in weight loss? They all count on testimonials to make them credible, believable, and conceivable. (Yes, I had the Thesaurus out. And yes, I actually looked it up in a real live book!)

Don't get me wrong, testimonials can be very helpful, interesting and informing. But only if the testimonials are unsolicited and unpaid. This is not the case most of the time.

Would you believe that there is only one weight management program out there that is proven to work through clinical trials. This is a big deal!

This program includes:

A formula that includes nutrients and a botanical that reduces cravings through proper insulin usage.

Reduced-calorie meal shakes.

The starter kit for this weight-management program includes a journal for keeping track of your food and supplement intake, a tape measure, a user guide plus a new book, now in English, which tells about how toxic chemicals building up in the body can cause weight gain and what to do about it.

There's an additional product from the same company that I've found helpful for that last 5-10 pounds that seemed impossible for me to get rid of. You know what I mean? This product boosts your metabolism and energy without stimulants like ephedra or bitter orange.

You are probably familiar with ephedra and the fact that it has been taken off the market, deemed unsafe. A lot of companies have replaced their ephedra with bitter orange. There is at least one death associated with bitter orange.

This demonstrates why it is critical to use products from a company with high integrity and a concern for the safety of its customers over the bottom line of making money.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not regulate supplements. A company can go in their backyard, grind up some grass, put it in capsules and sell it as alfalfa. The FDA doesn't check to make sure that what is on the label is what is found in the bottle. They only check sanitary conditions for manufacturing, etc.

The company that I trust to use products from is the only company that has never had a product contain any of the "Dirty Dozen" of dietary supplements listed by a May 2004 article in Consumer Reports, a prominent magazine geared to help consumers. That shows this company's integrity because they care for the safety of its customers, above all else.

So, if you'd like to get your New Year off to a proven, effective, safe weight management program.

My next topic is exercise. I like doing yoga and yoga by itself can provide a lot of variety to combat boredom because there are literally thousands of postures you can try and learn.

As I've said in my website, I think Power Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga (same thing, basically) is the very best form of exercise around, if done on a daily basis. Power Yoga gives you strengthening, stretching, and aerobic exercise all in one, but it doesn't provide a lot of variety.

So, I also like to do other forms of exercise, because I need variety and don't always have daily time blocked out for exercise.

Here's a few tips to get exercise incorporated into your lifestyle instead of starting for a month and losing your momentum to keep your resolution to get in shape.

In my view, scrubbing the floor is exercise, raking leaves is exercise. Shoveling snow (coming soon to a driveway near me!) or climbing 7 flights of stairs is exercise. Of course, you have to put effort into these activities to make them worthy of being called exercise. So, if I've accomplished something like this during the day, I chalk it up!

Then, I set my goal to exercise every other day, at least. So, I know that if I didn't get any exercise yesterday, I have to do something today. Preferably, I'll do it in the morning before breakfast, or the afternoon before supper.

My next way of getting exercise is doing something with the kids, whether it's swimming, biking, rollerblading, skating, or football in the yard. And yes, I chalk this up as my exercise for the day, as well. This also helps foster my relationship with my kids and sets a good example for them to exercise, too.

This way, I've incorporated exercise into my life without really trying.

The key is to do some form of exercise, even though you don't really feel like doing it! I rarely feel like exercising, but once I get started, I'm usually thankful that I did it and proud of myself, too. Remember, it's just getting started! Force yourself to get moving.

Along with the above suggestions, one of the exercise routines that I have learned that is the most simple to incorporate into your life is weight-lifting. This is an amazing program of weight-lifting that takes about 20 minutes, once a week. I love this one! This you can truly make time for. Set aside one day a week when you absolutely must do this routine before breakfast.

You can't tell me that you don't have 20 minutes/once a week to exercise.

Here's what you do. You are going to work your major muscle groups all over your body: Biceps, Triceps, Quads, Calves, Lats, Chest. Six exercises. You can add more later, once you get the concept.

The aim of this workout is to lift very slowly and lower very slowly, doing repetitions until the muscle is totally spent. Count to 7 going up and count to 7 going down. This is a very slow, controlled lift, both up and down.

You should be lifting enough weight that you are only able to complete between 4 and 10 reps. At the end of your last rep, when you can lift no more (it will be in the middle of a rep that your muscle fails), you are supposed to hold that position for an extra 10 seconds. This is hard! Truthfully, I rarely make the whole ten seconds.

All the time that you are raising and lowering the weight, you are breathing as much as you need to. You'll start out with one or two breaths per lift up and the same going down. As the reps become more difficult, your breathing becomes faster, until at the end of your reps, you are breathing very rapidly.

A nautilus machine works fine for this workout, until you are lifting more than the machine carries, which can happen to you.

I add some abdominal exercises on an exercise ball to this workout. The exercise ball is very effective for abdominals because you are using muscles to keep your balance as well as using the muscles during the crunches. I do center crunches with my arms across my chest plus alternating twist-crunches where you are bringing right shoulder toward left knee and vice-versa.

At the end of your workout, you should be breathing hard. You will have sore muscles for a few days afterwards. This is why it is a once/week program, so that your muscles have time to repair. It's during this recovery period that your muscles become stronger.

Some experts say that during the above workout, you are getting an aerobic workout along with the muscle-building workout because the muscles are using air while working, just like jogging.

Normal weight lifting is said to be anaerobic (without oxygen) because you are exhaling on the exertion portion of the repetition.

Experts recommend you get three aerobic exercise sessions during a week, to support your heart muscle, plus weight-bearing exercise. So you need at least a couple other sessions of aerobic exercise besides the above routine. Do something fun! Or get a chore out of the way and give the floor a good old-fashioned scrubbing. Just get moving!

Anyway, that's my best suggestions for an exercise routine that's really easy to stick with for your New Year's Resolution to get in shape.

And muscle burns more energy than fat, so your muscle to fat ratio will improve, too. Muscle weighs more than fat, so you need to go by how you look, not by what the scale says. Here's to Good, Fun Exercise for You!

My last, most important, New Year's Resolution tips are for quitting smoking. Believe me, I know how hard it is. Yet, it is the single most important thing you can do for your health. Too bad it's as addicting as heroin, hey?

I asked a lady who was smoking outside the hockey rink last night if her New Year's Resolution was to quit smoking. She said she hadn't prepared for it. That struck me as very smart, because it's true, the more you prepare mentally, the easier quitting will be for you.

The best mental prep that I've found involves the writing exercise below:

First, write the immediate disadvantages you would get if you didn't smoke a cigarette. Examples would be withdrawal symptoms.

Then write down the immediate benefits you get to smoking a cigarette, such as feeling relaxed, taking a break, etc.

Next, imagine yourself 5, 10, and 20 years down the road if you keep smoking. What are the consequences? Write down how miserable your life will be. What would you look like? How would you feel? Emphysema? How much money would you have spent on cigarettes? What example have you set for your children? How much time have you spent ostracized because you smoke?

Then, imagine if you had not smoked for the next 5, 10, and 20 years. What advantages/benefits would your life have? How much improved would your breathing be now? How much money would you have saved? How much younger would you look without the aging effects of smoking? How much lower would be your risk for cancer? Think of how much more energy you would have.

The idea here is to make continuing to smoke more painful than the immediate gratification of smoking. Really concentrate on this and review your motivations daily.

There are other ways to prepare mentally. It's helpful to analyze your smoking habits. Figure out what you are going to do to replace the smoking within each situation. Example: What will you do after dinner instead of reaching for a cigarette? Go for a walk? Do the dishes? Take a shower?

Next, select your date to quit smoking and stick to it.

Another aid to quit smoking that involves planning can be Zyban or Wellbutrin. Researchers don't know what it is, but people find it easier to quit smoking on this anti-depressant. You need to be on this drug for 8-14 days before attempting to quit.

I found it comparatively easy to quit smoking when I was on Zyban for 6-8 weeks. And I have had a lot of trouble quitting smoking in my life, so to make quitting easier is a big thing for me.

I think part of Zyban's success is that it's easy to get depressed when you quit smoking because smoking changes your brain chemicals. Hence, the anti-depressant helps.

The other thing I found about Zyban is that the automatic compulsion to smoke was much less. I got out of the habit of lighting up without thinking--without even thinking about it.

Another tip to remember is that if you just wait a minute, the desire for that cigarette you want so badly will go away. And you'll gain more confidence in your ability to leave them alone each time you resist the desire. Some people never lose the desire to smoke for years after quitting, so you have to be vigilant in your commitment to not smoke.

One cigarette leads to one thousand. Don't even smoke one!

I have spent a lot of years trying to quit smoking and have tried many things. One of the more successful ones for me was nicotene gum because I could get an immediate relief of withdrawal symptoms or stress vs. the nicotene patch which gives a slow steady output of nicotene but does not allow for an extra situational boost.

I haven't tried the new Nicotrol Inhaler, because my insurance wouldn't cover it ($165!), but I have heard one good testimonial on this, too.

Homeopathic formulas, either specifically designed to help quit smoking or formulas designed to calm you, have been a lot of help for me when quitting smoking. The advantage here is that you are not still addicted to nicotene. But these only work for me if the doses are not limited.

Lobelia is sometimes used to help quit smoking. In a homeopathic medecine, the amounts would be minute, but as an extract in oil it's very strong and is actually on the "Dirty Dozen" list mentioned above.

I've heard of good results from the < I>"Smoke Away" products that combines two or three products to take. I'm not familiar with this one. But I did hear a real, live, unsolicited testimonial about it just the other week.

Other things I've tried in the past to quit smoking are:

Hypnotism (2 or 3 times!)-- Here, in my opinion, you have to continue to listen to the hypnotism tape or cd that they give you in order to have continuing results.

Acupuncture (2 treatments)-- Again, I think you need continuing treatments to get positive results. I hardly noticed a difference from 2 treatments.

Nicotine Anonymous (I went 2 months and then I moved, so I didn't find another group)-- This is a very supportive, low-pressure atmosphere where everyone's pretty much in the same boat, addicted to cigarettes. Even if you don't want to quit, you are welcome here.

OK, so I've spent a lot of years trying to quit. I hate that I've failed so many times. Actually, it's not too hard to quit, its just hard to stay quit for me. I only smoked for 3 months, I've been trying to quit for 24 years. Stress or being around other smokers seems to be my downfalls.

I'm embarassed to say (but I want to be honest with you) that I currently smoke. Believe me, I know how hypocritical it is! I have my final quit day coming up Jan. 3rd. I'm determined to practice what I preach! I will quit once and for all this time!

I hope you'll join me in one or all of the New Year's Resolutions above. Let me know how you're doing.

That's all for now. . .


Anita Murray
Life Hope Health and Wellness, LLC

Health Disclaimer These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These statements and products are not intended to diagnose, cure, prevent or treat any diseases. The information here is not provided by medical professionals and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your physician before beginning any course of treatment.

Copyright 2004 Edited out or corrected non-working links, updated company info, 2017

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