Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

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Tag Archives: fitness

Get stronger, leaner and healthier with strength training

by Mehsel Hartwell

You know exercise is good for you. Ideally, you’re looking for ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. If your aerobic workouts aren’t balanced by a proper dose of strength training, though, you’re missing out on a key component of overall health and fitness. Despite its reputation as a “guy” or “jock” thing, strength training is important for everyone. With a regular strength training program, you can reduce your body fat, increase your lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently.

Use it or lose it

Muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. “If you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you’ll increase the percentage of fat in your body,” says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. “But strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass — at any age.”

Strength training also helps you:

  • Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Control your weight. As you gain muscle, your body gains a bigger “engine” to burn calories more efficiently — which can result in weight loss. The more toned your muscles, the easier it is to control your weight.
  • Reduce your risk of injury. Building muscle helps protect your joints from injury. It also contributes to better balance, which can help you maintain independence as you age.
  • Boost your stamina. As you get stronger, you won’t fatigue as easily.
  • Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, back pain, depression, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.
  • Sharpen your focus. Some research suggests that regular strength training helps improve attention for older adults.

Consider the options

Strength training can be done at home or in the gym. Consider the options:

  • Body weight. You can do many exercises with little or no equipment. Try push-ups, pull-ups, abdominal crunches and leg squats.
  • Resistance tubing. Resistance tubing is inexpensive, lightweight tubing that provides resistance when stretched. You can choose from many types of resistance tubes in nearly any sporting goods store.
  • Free weights. Barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools.
  • Weight machines. Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines. You can also invest in weight machines for use at home.

Getting started

When you have your doctor’s OK to begin a strength training program, start slowly. Warm up with five to 10 minutes of stretching or gentle aerobic activity, such as brisk walking. Then choose a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 repetitions.

“On the 12th repetition, you should be just barely able to finish the motion,” Dr. Laskowski says. “When you’re using the proper weight or amount of resistance, you can build and tone muscle just as efficiently with a single set of 12 repetitions as you can with more sets of the same exercise.”

To give your muscles time to recover, rest one full day between exercising each specific muscle group. When you can easily do more than 15 repetitions of a certain exercise, gradually increase the weight or resistance. Remember to stop if you feel pain. Although mild muscle soreness is normal, sharp pain and sore or swollen joints are signs that you’ve overdone it.

When to expect results

You don’t need to spend hours a day lifting weights to benefit from strength training. Two to three strength training sessions a week lasting just 20 to 30 minutes are sufficient for most people. You may enjoy noticeable improvements in your strength and stamina in just a few weeks. With regular strength training, you’ll continue to increase your strength — even if you’re not in shape when you begin.

Strength training can do wonders for your physical and emotional well-being. Make it part of your quest for better health.

www.healingpowerhour.com

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22 Good, Cheap Foods to Keep in Your Kitchen

By Stepfanie Romine

The cost benefits of cooking at home far outweigh the money you’ll save by cutting processed and takeout foods from your family’s diet. We surveyed a major East Coast metropolitan grocery chain to determine these prices. Costs will vary according to where you live, but this list represents foods that traditionally offer great health value while being kind to your wallet.

Protein

  • Wild Salmon: $2.89 for 14.75 ounces (59 cents per serving)-Get your omega-3s for less. Salmon is full of these healthy fats, which help lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks.
  • Chicken breasts: $3.49 per pound (87 cents per serving)-Easy-to-prepare and versatile, chicken is full of lean protein, which helps keep you fuller longer.
  • Natural peanut butter: $3.39 for 16 ounces (42 cents per serving)-Skip the sugary, processed varieties and spread the real stuff on whole-grain bread. Throw a tablespoon in smoothies or yogurt, use it as a dip for carrots and pretzels, or mix it with a bit of low-sodium soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic, then thin with water for a quick sauce.
  • Beans: 84 cents for 15 ounces (22 cents per serving)-Bulk up soups and stews while getting protein and fiber. Try chickpeas or black beans if you’re not a fan of kidneys or pintos. Drain, rinse, and puree with lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and a bit of vegetable broth for a quick dip.
  • Eggs: $1.99 for a dozen large (17 cents per serving)-Not just for breakfast, eggs are among the easiest foods to cook. If you’re watching your cholesterol, scramble one egg and two egg whites. Add onion and spinach and you’ve got a great omelet.
  • Dried lentils: 79 cents per pound (20 cents per serving)-Full of protein and fiber, lentils cook in just 15 minutes! Throw some in soups and stews or cook with curry powder for a quick, spicy meal.
  • Almonds: $3.99 for 9 ounces (44 cents per serving)-Get vitamin E, fiber, and protein while satisfying a crunchy craving. Nuts are rich in an amino acid that could be linked to heart benefits. Chop up a few raw ones and throw them on greek  yogurt, or add them to a salad.

Fruits

  • Frozen fruit and berries: $2.99 to $5.99 per pound (75 cents to $1.50 per serving)-Since fruit is frozen at the peak of freshness, frozen fruit is a great way to get the health benefits of summer’s bounty all year round. Berries are very low in calories, but full of vitamins and antioxidants. Frozen berries can be used in oatmeal or drained and baked into muffins and quick breads. Throw some in the blender with almond milk or yogurt for a healthy treat.
  • Apples: 68 cents each-They might not keep the doctor away, but apples are actually full of antioxidants, which help slow the progression of age-related diseases
  • Bananas: 35 cents each-Slice one on your morning yogurt or oatmeal for some added fiber and only 100 calories or so. Snack on a potassium-rich banana to prevent cramps after a workout.
  • Grapes: $2.99 per pound (75 cents per serving)-Freeze grapes for a low-calorie dessert or snack. Grapes-especially the dark purple ones-contain plenty of antioxidants that are known to help heart health.

Vegetables

  • Romaine or Kale: $1.99 per head (66 cents per serving)-Banish the iceberg and choose sturdy Romaine for your salads. It will give you more fiber and nutrients, plus a satisfying crunch.
  • Carrots: $2.79 for 3 pounds (23 cents per serving)-Mom was right. Carrots are good for your eyes, thanks to the antioxidants they contain, including beta-carotene. (That’s what makes them orange!) Dip them in hummus, natural peanut butter, or low-fat dressings.
  • Frozen spinach: $2 for 16 ounces (50 cents per serving)-Thaw and drain this good-for-you green, then toss it in omelets, soups, stir-fries, and pasta sauces. Spinach is full of vitamins A, C, K, plus fiber and even calcium.
  • Tomatoes: $1 for 14.5 ounces (28 cents per serving)-Choose low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties and throw a can in pasta sauces or chili to stretch a meal. Puree a can with a cup of almond milk and season to taste for your own tomato soup. You’ll get a dose of vitamins A, B and C and lycopene, an antioxidant known to prevent cancer.
  • Garlic: 50 cents per head (5 cents per serving)-Ditch the bottled and powdered stuff if you want to reap more of the myriad health benefits. Pungent and tasty, garlic can help lower cholesterol and blood clots, plus it can have a small effect on high blood pressure. Crush or chop it to release more of the antioxidants.
  • Sweet potatoes: $1.49 per pound (37 cents per serving)-Aside from being sweet and delicious, these bright root vegetables are a great source of fiber and antioxidants. Bake, mash or roast them-you’ll forget about those other, paler potatoes.
  • Onions: 97 cents each (32 cents per serving)-Like garlic, this pungent vegetable is full of health benefits. Onions have been proven to lower risks for certain cancers, and they add lots of flavor with few calories. Try roasting them to bring out their sweetness and cut their harsh edge. (If you well up while cutting them, store onions in the fridge for a tear-free chop.)
  • Broccoli: $2.49 per pound (63 cents per serving)-Broccoli is a superstar in the nutrition world: full of fiber, it will provide you with vitamins A and C, and a host of antioxidants.

Whole Grains

  • Whole-wheat pasta: $1.50 for 13.25 ounces (45 cents per serving)-With a nutty flavor and a subtle brown color, whole-wheat pasta perks up any meal. Start with half regular, half whole-wheat pasta, then gradually add more wheat pasta for a burst of fiber and nutrients.
  • Brown rice: $1.49 for 16 ounces (19 cents per serving)-Brown rice is a great side dish, but you can also use it to help stretch your ground meat. Mix a cup of cooked rice with 8 ounces of lean ground beef next time you make meatloaf to save 45 calories and 5 grams of fat (and some money) per serving.
  • Oats: $3.19 for 42 ounces (15 cents per serving)-Oatmeal is a hearty breakfast, but you can also cook sturdy steel-cut oats in chicken broth for a savory side dish. Or, mix oats with ground turkey to stretch your meatballs.

www.celestialhealing.net 

The Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel and Juice

10-year-old Fitness Guru Known as The “Workout Kid” Turns Heads

Yesterday I did an article about an elder taking the fitness world by storm. Now it’s time to show you the youngest. Meet C J Senter

C.J. Senter may or may not be the next Tony Horton or the next Barry Sanders, but he is definitely the next 10-year-old to watch.

Granted, when most people hear “child prodigy,” they rightfully raise an eyebrow and wonder who is pulling the strings. Add a workout DVD by a fourth-grader with sculpted muscles to the mix and “cute” can turn to “concerning.” But it turns out the story behind “C.J. The Workout Kid” is a lot more inspiring than insidious.

C.J. started working out five years ago when his football coach told him and his teammates to go home over a weekend and get some exercise. He did some push-ups and sit-ups and loved it. Not too long after, he saw a P90X infomercial and loved that too. He’s been working out ever since. C.J. does his own routines three times a week, after school and homework, and he’s given new names to some old and boring moves, like the burpee, which involves a squat, push-up, and jump. C.J. calls that one the “shredder.” He even teaches a class of (mostly older) kids at the gym near where he lives in Locust Grove, Ga.

“It feels great,” C.J. says by phone from his Georgia home. “I love staying fit and healthy.”

But wait a minute. Research shows kids shouldn’t be touching weights until at least age 15.

“I don’t use weights,” C.J. says.

Not even bench press?

“I don’t bench press,” he says. “It’s not good for kids.”

Surely he’s on some insane diet, right? His dad feeds him wheat grass and cow brain, perhaps?

“I’m not on a diet,” C.J. says. “I eat everything.”

Disbelieving? So is Carlos Senter — C.J.’s dad. Carlos has spent most of his son’s life in shock, ever since C.J. somehow climbed out of his crib — at seven months old.

“It was two, three o’clock in the morning,” Carlos says, “and boom! My wife would go look in his room and here he comes, crawling out. He would go into the refrigerator, too.”

Carlos can’t quite figure out how his son got to be so fit. He says his relatives put on muscle easily, but not this easily. C.J. has an older brother and a younger sister who don’t really love sports as much. And Dad isn’t exactly chiseled like Terrell Owens. In fact, he admits C.J.’s work ethic has shamed him and his wife into getting into better shape.

“He doesn’t really eat candy,” Carlos says. “I have no idea why.”

And for that matter, Carlos has no idea why his son doesn’t have an attitude. “This kid will score a touchdown, take the football to the ref and act like nothing ever happened,” Carlos says. “If it was me, well, I probably would be a little different.”

But as much as the “Workout Kid” routine is working — C.J.’s DVDs are in so much demand that his dad hired a PR rep — Carlos says he gives most of the DVDs away for free and the primary objective is to help kids get off the couch.

C.J.’s primary objective has always been the same thing: make it to the NFL. He’s a running back and safety, modeling his game after another C.J. — Titans speed demon Chris Johnson.

C.J.’s already been named MVP for the state of Georgia as an 8-and-under, and last year he played in the 10-and-under group as a 9-year-old. Carlos says that the team run by former NFL running back Jamal Lewis expressed interest in having C.J. commute to Atlanta to join up, but the drive was simply too far.

High school coaches are already aware of C.J., but Carlos, who runs a local barber shop, insists on not looking too far ahead.

“As long as he’s happy,” Carlos says, “I’m happy.”

C.J. does seem happy, even though he’s a little bit tired of when kids come up to him at school and ask, “Are those your real muscles?”

The next generation of Atlanta prep football players is about to find out.

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www.HealingPowerHour.com 

Meet The World’s Oldest Female Bodybuilder……. Ernestine Shepherd

She may be a grandmother, but don’t call her old.

Ernestine Shepherd has impeccably toned ‘six-pack’ abs that are the marvel of her Baltimore fitness centre.

Her husband of 54 years, Collin Shepherd, says he ‘has trouble keeping guys away from her’.

The Shepherds live in Baltimore with their son, 53, and grandson, 14.

Ms Shepherd does some modelling and teaches fitness classes, and told the Washington Post, ‘If you are going to try to motivate people, you have to live that part’.

She also trains rigorously with Yohnnie Shambourger, 57, a former Mr Universe who won the gold medal in bodybuilding at the Pan American Games in 1995.

Seventy-four-year-old Ms Shepherd is the world’s oldest competitive bodybuilder and according to her, “Age ain’t nothing but a number.” You got that right, sister.

She doesn’t live in the fountain of youth, she lives in Baltimore. She didn’t get this body by taking an extreme knitting class either. She teaches a body sculpting class. And, no, she isn’t eating or drinking any concoction from late night infomercials that promise to shed weight and do your taxes at the same time. She maintains a strict diet of bland chicken, green beans, plain brown rice and egg whites.

Crazy thing is, Shepherd didn’t even start competing until she turned 57, inspired by a less than flattering experience involving a swimsuit and a dressing room. At that point, she and her older sister, Mildred, made a “pinkie swear” to take better care of their bodies. While her sister has since passed, Shepherd has gone on to complete nine marathons, win two bodybuilding contests and see herself listed in the 2010 and 2011 Guinness World Records as the oldest competitive female bodybuilder in the world.

Ernestine Shepherd turned 75 on June 16, 2011 and she is still going strong. 

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www.healingpowerhour.com