Comments (0)April 15th, 2010Posted by Dr. Charles D.C. in Fat Burning Tips, Stress And Weight Loss

Easy Back Pain Solutions

Have you ever had trouble bending over, playing with children, or dancing? Maybe you’ve been wanting to play golf and you can’t because of the stiffness and the pain. Are you uncomfortable driving in the car and even while you’re doing light house work? You might even mind that you sit at your desk feeling the pain rather than getting anything productive, putting your business or your job in jeopardy. This sort of back pain problem is common and I think you should do something about it. The cost to you of putting up with this pain is way to high.

Before we get into my personal recommendations for you, I want to make clear that you should be evaluated by a health professional first. I don’t know everyone out there and I don’t want anyone to get hurt, so you need to get checked out as a priority. You need to know what the source of your pain is.

Once you’ve got that done, you should work towards eliminating anything that is contributing to your pain. This could be your bed, poor posture, a bad office chair, or even poor form with the exercises you routinely perform. You need to be careful as you address the pain problem because you can easily aggravate the problem, but you can also easily make it better.

When you work out, you should always keep the back’s alignment straight without trying to round-it-out. Rows are another move that you should avoid.

The way you hold your back when picking up weights or other objects is also important. You need to hold yourself to good posture at all time before you make things even worse. You should also be mindful of the way you are doing a row, dead lift, and other movements. For any drills that you’ve never been shown how to do, you might want to skip them until you research more on the proper form to perform the routines you have chosen.

Picking things up is the source of more injuries than you might be aware of. It’s surprising how reaching for something on the floor has devastated so many lives.

Many folks don’t pay attention to simple lifting because they don’t consider it as part of their routine.

Comments (0)March 19th, 2010Posted by Dr. Charles D.C. in Stress And Weight Loss

How The Light Bulb Is Making Us Fat…

When you hear the name Thomas Edison you most likely think of the inventor of the light bulb and phonograph. Some may think of the “Genius of Menlo Park” who has over 1,000 patents in his name.

Others imagine a brilliant mind that laid the ground work for the telegraph services that eventually led to the convenience and speed of communicating by the telephone. Few people, however, would associate Edison with inventing something that could increase your physical stress levels and, as a result, have a negative effect on your health.

The human body has an internal clock which regulates its activities throughout a roughly 24 hour cycle. These 24 hours cycles are called “circadian rhythms.” These rhythms are found in all animals but can differ greatly from one species to another. For example, some animals are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night whereas others are active in the daylight hours. Wild animals are able to awaken without the benefit (or curse) of an alarm clock because their circadian rhythms arouse them from their sleep. These internal clocks control everything within your body to include your body temperature, your appetite and your energy level.

Before the artificial lights became common, our human circadian rhythms were closely synchronized with the 24 hour cycle we find in nature. We were active when the Sun was up and slept when the Sun went down. We shared a common cycle with beasts and plants alike.

The human body developed a close relationship with the 24 hour days over its extensive evolutionary history. When we were in caves, we had only sunlight to illuminate our world. We eventually developed torches and candles which enabled us to move at night but with a relatively dim light source.

Edison’s light bulb introduced a light source that was controlled by man instead of nature. We were suddenly able to make a room almost as bright at the day whenever we wanted to. Instead of squinting behind torches and candles we were now able to see greater distances and read with a brighter light. The problem here is that our bodies depend on light levels to determine when to release some of the many chemicals that drive our behavior and our health. These release times are driven by our circadian rhythms which developed with the sunlight cycles.

Consider the number of times you stayed up late to watch a movie on TV or to surf the Internet. These seem to be harmless pursuits but they are not. The exposure to the light sources at hours when your body thinks it should be sleeping can disrupt your circadian rhythms.

These disruptions can reduce the efficiency of your immune system and disrupt your metabolism as well as the regulation of your body temperature. If this happened on a rare occasion then your body could recover from the stress. However, if these late night activities are consistently repeated then your body is not able to recover from the stress and your health can suffer accordingly.

Modern living finds us surrounded by light at most hours of the night. We have street lights throwing up light pollution, glowing alarm clocks, late night computer use and all night access to entertainment on cable TV. The impact on our circadian rhythms by all of this light is still being researched by numerous organizations but the results so far have not been positive.

To be fair, Edison cannot be blamed for the stressor which may be linked to his creating the light bulb. He could not have foreseen the extent to which his invention would spread across the globe and surely had no idea of the possible negative impacts it would have on our lives.

It would be irresponsible and absurd to try to remove the light bulb from our modern lives. The light bulb was a life changing invention for the world that came from the mind of a single man. It is up to today’s minds to develop a way in which we can continue to benefit from Edison’s brilliance while minimizing the stress it has introduced to our lives.

Comments (0)March 18th, 2010Posted by Dr. Charles D.C. in Stress And Weight Loss

Is a Stress Free Life Good or Bad?

It seems that the word “stress” is becoming more common in the venue of everyday discussions. We hear about stress on the radio, tension induced by the economy, the anxiety of losing a job and the stress that comes with very challenging work. It is easy to conclude that all stress is bad if the news and magazines were your only resources for information. But is all stress bad for you? Does stress have any positive qualities?

You may be surprised to learn that some stress is actually “good” for you in many ways. The trick to benefiting from stress is to moderate the level of stress in your life. Just as a healthy body requires water, a healthy body requires an amount of stress to maintain its health. Likewise, if a healthy body is exposed to too much water (or stress) there can be negative consequences like drowning (or heart attacks).

So you are probably curious about how stress could possibly be good for you. Let me begin by pointing out that there are different forms of stress. Physical and emotional stresses are among the many forms to which we are exposed on a daily basis. Emotional stress can include being worried about paying the bills or about that lump you recently found on your back. The good part of such anxiety is that it will often drive you to action to avoid the discomfort of the worry. In this case it would motivate you to sit down and figure out a budget or to finally pick up the phone to make an appointment with your physician. (Since we are already very familiar with the negative aspects of too much stress I am refraining from addressing them here.)

Physical stress can be similarly beneficial. Think about it a moment… If you lift weights or engage in a cardiovascular exercise you are stressing your body. You are exposing your body to the physical stress of a greater number of muscle contractions which leads to greater use of oxygen and production of waste products that require removal. This places pressure on your circulatory system by increasing the requirements for oxygenated blood. This causes the heart to pump faster and the lungs to process a greater volume of air. Simply put, you breathe hard when you run.

This physical exertion forces the body to adapt to the stressor by improving its cardiovascular health. This leads to a lower pulse rate and blood pressure which eases the burden on the continuously contracting muscle called the “heart.” This exercise induced stress also improves the functional capacity of your lungs which makes them more efficient. Just as with the heart, this improved efficiency lowers the lungs’ stress load as well. It seems to be counter-intuitive to realize that more stress leads to less stress!

These examples of exercise induced physical stress are also restricted by the “too much” boundary. If you run too far or for too long then your body can respond with an injury (e.g. shin splints) or with an excessive level pain. Both of these examples are quite effective methods for your body to tell you “don’t do that again.” The physical stress of weight lifting leads to a stronger musculoskeletal system by forcing the body to adapt as well. As with running, this level of exertion must be balanced with a period of rest and recuperation or else the athlete will suffer from overtraining. This is another very effective way for your body to tell you to “slow down” or “stop that”- depending on how far you have gone beyond the boundaries.

Soon you will hear another story on the radio or read another article in a magazine addressing the harmful effects of stress and how it is such a terrible threat to your well being. I hope that you will remember that these stories are addressing the presence of “too much” stress and not “all” stress. Coincidentally, adopting a “some is good” attitude towards stress may actually reduce the amount of emotional anxiety you may experience because you are able to understand the positive sides of it. Remember, if kept in balance, some stress can actually provide a healthy and positive impact on your life.

Comments (0)March 18th, 2010Posted by Dr. Charles D.C. in Stress And Weight Loss

Simple Tips To De-Stress Your Weight Loss Efforts

Did you know that some people lose weight when they are under stress? It’s true. The rest of us pack on pounds like crazy, and then get even more stressed out because we’re gaining weight. It’s natural to turn to “comfort foods” and tv when you feel like you can’t handle your life right now. But this doesn’t help you to eliminate stress, and can create more.

Presumably you’re pretty much always under some stress, but you want to be a healthy weight in spite of that. How do you do that?

First, don’t let your weight goals cause you even more stress! That would make things harder for you, and so would be self-defeating! Instead, think of your attempt to maintain (or to achieve) a healthy weight as a chance to take care of yourself. There isn’t some state of perfection that you have to reach – you just need to balance your life, and that includes a little bit of caring for your body.

Second, in the spirit of taking care of yourself, find activities that you enjoy, and make time for them. Even as stressed out as you are, and as rushed as you feel, give yourself permission to take care your yourself by exercising a little. Take a few deep breaths, then a 5 minute walk around the block. Slow down and take the stairs at work, instead of the elevator. Sign up for a weekly yoga class, and really go. This is time for you! The little bit of time you lose here or there won’t make things any worse, and might make you feel a little better.

Third, exercise reduces stress. There have been many studies that show a strong connection between regular exercise and reduced stress. Even depression is sometimes eased by exercise. The time you take for yourself, to do some physical activity that you enjoy doing, will make you more productive later. You’ll feel better, you’ll look better, and you’ll even work better.

Food choices are a little tougher. I know how tempting comfort foods are when I’m under stress. The thing to bear in mind is that even if you choose comfort foods, you can still be careful not to eat to much. Ask yourself, “Am I hungry enough to eat an apple?” If the answer is no, then you aren’t really hungry, so don’t eat.

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is really just a matter of taking care of yourself. No matter how much your child wants to stay home from school every day, you wouldn’t be taking good care of her if you let her goof off like that. Similarly, no matter how tempting it is to be sedentary and eat lots of junk food, you have to take care of your long term interests a little, by exercising and eating right (or at least by not eating too much).

Comments (0)March 16th, 2010Posted by Dr. Charles D.C. in Stress And Weight Loss

How Stress Affects Your Weight Loss Goals

People are slowly developing an understanding of how their level of stress can impact their progress toward their weight loss goals. Numerous studies have identified the link between the type of the consumed calories (e.g. protein, fat, carbohydrate) and the success of a weight gain or loss objective. But relatively little has been done to associate body chemistry with weight loss.

Our bodies have evolved very little from the body that our cave dwelling ancestors had in their lifetimes. Sure, we have computers, cell phones, commercial flight and many other advances that our ancestors couldn’t even dream about but we still have pretty much the same body we had in the cave dwelling days.

Imagine a time where you were the hunter and the hunted. You constantly had your senses up and aware of any danger as you walked about in search of food. If you wanted to eat, you had to first find something edible, hunt it down and then prepare it for consuming. Your body was in a state of stress because it was trying to save the food stores (i.e. “body fat”) it had while trying to supply your muscles with enough energy to support the hunt. This was a tricky balance in that letting go of too much body fat could lead to starvation whereas not releasing enough would lead to becoming fatigued which would lead to a failed hunt which would also lead to starvation.

Now consider our current lifestyle. We no longer walk for miles to get our next meal. We can just drive to a local fast food joint or grocery store and try to decide from the plethora of options being offered. The result is that we do not engage in the exercise of our ancestors to obtain our next meal and so we do not dig into our food energy stores (i.e. body fat) to support the hunt. Burning fewer calories means less body fat lost.
Our current stress is caused by our jerk boss and trying to pay the bills. Our bodies treat these stressors in the same fashion as our ancestors. Our body’s response to this stress is to get back on the tightrope to balance between parceling out the calories and holding on to them. Since we don’t walk for miles to pay our bills, we no longer have the physical exertion to burn off the calories and so our bodies are able to hold on to more of the body fat stores.

When we reduce our caloric intakes, the little caveman inside our bodies perceives this as a return to the fields of scarcity. This causes it to hold on to all the body fat it can to survive. If we stress our body with less food or jerk bosses then we are telling our bodies to KEEP the fat instead of lose it.
Reducing your stress levels as you exercise will allow the caveman within to work with you instead of against you.

Comments (0)March 16th, 2010Posted by Dr. Charles D.C. in Stress And Weight Loss

4 Steps To Reduce Stress While You Lose Weight

To many people permanent weight loss seems like an unattainable goal. They might get very close to achieving their desired weight only to cave in a moment of weakness and lose all their hard work. Often they will have actually gained weight after the whole ordeal. If you are one of these people, read for some insights as to why this happens over and over.

Stress hormones have been with us from the very beginning. They are produces when we are faced with a threat – perceived or real – which can not be immediately dealt with. As a result, we can experience exhaustion, irritability, increased muscular tension, increased heart rate and a variety of other physiological reactions.

When faced with long term stress, we start craving rich and unhealthy foods. This is actually a coping mechanism of our bodies trying to deal with stress. What’s worse, is that if you are overweight, chances are you’ve gotten into a habit of comfort eating – You eat to feel better.

This means that if you feel insecure about your weight you can get trapped in a negative spiral. You’ll feel bad and stressed for weighing more than your environment tells you to weight, and as a result you comfort yourself by eating more, worsening the situation.

If you feel you are trapped in such a spiral, there are a few things you can do to turn things around:

1 – Be aware of your bad habits
In order to deal with them, you have to know them. Be honest to yourself and write them down. One helpful trick is to keep an elastic band around your arm. Flick it against your arm whenever you catch yourself falling back to a bad habit. Your brain will associate the tiny pain impulse with the bad habit.

2 – Find other ways of comforting yourself
Take up a new hobby or sport that fits in your comfort zone but leads you away from the bad habits you are used to. You might take a dog so you’ll be forced to take walks in the park with him.

3 – Eliminating Other Stress Factors
If there are other stress factors – Trouble at work, for example – you should strive to eliminate them by dealing with them. Do not get into a habit of looking away, running and hiding, but face the situation head on and give it your best.

4 – Stop expecting miracles
Do not make the mistake of hoping to lose all that weight quickly. Losing your excess weight permanently will require you to change your bad habits into good habits, which takes time.
Do not make big changes overnight – You will not be able to cope and fall back into your old habits again.
Make small changes instead: Start taking the stairs instead of the escalator. One lump instead of two lumps. Again: Gradual change is your key to succes!

Comments (0)February 28th, 2010Posted by Dr. Charles D.C. in Stress And Weight Loss

Don’t Stress Your Weight

The world is not an easy place these days. The recession has created a lot of problems for a lot of people. Watching the news everyday, we are reminded of all of the bad things that seem to be occurring in the world today. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done that a person wants to get done. With all of this happening around us, why add any more stress to our already stressful lives.

How much a person weighs is something that everyone notices. People are often described as that short, fat guy over there or the skinny brunette in the corner. The way we appear is the first image that we present to the world. Because of that it is also something that creates a lot of stress in our lives. Chat rooms like the biggest loser forum are full of people who talk about how their weight affects their daily lives and who are looking for suggestions and help to change the amount that they weigh. But it does not have to control your life if you don’t want it to. We control the way that we react to other people’s opinions, so we can choose not to let it bother us.

It comes down to how a person decides how to handle the stress. If a person is overweight and they don’t want it to affect them, then they have to do something about it. One choice is to learn how to lose weight fast and get rid of the extra pounds that they are carrying so that they no longer have to worry about. There are unlimited resources that will help a person lose weight, but a person has to go out and find them. Weight loss does not occur without some type of effort. But effort does not mean stress. Just because you have to do something to accomplish it does not mean it has to cause you more stress. Make the decision and the commitment to get it done and stop worrying. It doesn’t matter how much weight you actually lose, if you want to lose some than any amount means your heading in the right direction.

If you don’t worry about losing the weight, then you might find it easier to succeed. Stress can cause you to retain fluids or to eat more or to exercise less. Instead of worrying about losing weight, immerse yourself in a weight loss program and enjoy it. Find an exercise program that you enjoy, even if that means finding an old six pack ab exercises video to get you moving around and the exercise will help you handle the stress in your life. Working out is a great way to relieve the stress that a person feels everyday. It is time that can be spent alone or with others, and the benefits to it are countless. When you exercise, you can make your body feel better, and when you feel better inside, you will feel less stress.

Once you make yourself feel better inside, your outside appearance will change. By losing weight, you can improve your image of yourself. If you feel like you look better than you did before, it is much easier to greet everyday with a smile. When you approach each day with a smile on your face, stress will disappear.

Controlling how much you weigh is an important part of life. But it does not have to be a stressful part of life. It is something that can and needs to be taken control of. Once you have that control, you will be able to breath easier. Always remember that stressed is just desserts spelled backwards.

Comments (0)February 22nd, 2010Posted by Dr. Charles D.C. in Stress And Weight Loss

Keep on Keeping on! Keys to Stay Motivated for Fitness

Have you ever noticed that some people can stay faithful to their diet and exercise plan easier than others? There are even people who seem to be doing very well on their routines, but then out of the blue fall off the wagon. So what makes the difference between failure and success? You’ll hear many people emphasize special tips and tricks that are mentally and behaviorally oriented.

Below, I’m going to tell you some of my secrets that will help you stay on the right track to fitness and health. #1. Get some people to help you.

Those who try to change their bodies and their lifestyles on their own have a disadvantage. People will always do better at good things if they have somebody to answer to.

Get one person who you can exercise with all the time and be consistent at it themselves.

You need someone at work too who will be watching to see how many donuts you eat. Also, you don’t need to be going out for pizza and fast food at lunch like so many of your coworkers do.

A lot of support can be found online too.

You might not know them all personally, but a lot of people are in forums who are in situations similar to your own. #2. Join the competition.

By participating in organized challenges you can have some real motivation to stay on you program.

Even in friendly matters, no one wants to fail while others succeed.

Some of these programs will give you a prize if you win or if you reach a certain level. A good competition with weight loss can be just as fun as a sports league.

#3. Reality. One thing that you need to accept is the fact that losing fat is hard work. This is a simple truth: work hard and you will win every time.

Comments (0)February 21st, 2010Posted by Dr. Charles D.C. in Stress And Weight Loss

You Don’t Have To Lose Weight Alone… You Can Always Get Support!

Being overweight is no longer something that has to be dealt with alone. In today’s world there are many ways that a person can lose the weight that utilize the help of others. When someone is severely overweight they can also be very lonely because they are ashamed of how they look or because they are unable to do certain things. Society is very good at ostracizing people because of their weight. Not only can the extra weight cause people to stare on the street, but some places force people who are overweight to do extra things because of their weight. Airlines can make a person buy an extra ticket if they weight too much. Some people can’t sit in certain furniture for the fear that it might break. But just because society doe not accept people who are overweight, does not mean that there is not support available for those people.

The growth of the internet has allowed people to befriend each other anonymously. People are able to hide behind characters they create while surfing the web. When a person is on the internet they can look however they want to anyone and not be judged by how they really look. Sometimes that ability to be unseen can be used to help get the support that is needed.

For people who are overweight there is a lot of information available that can assist a person in losing weight. There are also sites that will help track a person’s diet and exercise and let a person see how they are progressing. One site that is available is the biggest loser forum, which in addition to providing diet and exercise hints also has chat room where people can discuss all of the issues they are dealing with by being overweight and trying to maintain a diet and exercise program.

When trying to lose weight, the internet is a great resource that is able to provide information and support that is needed. The internet can help make a weight loss program even more effective.

One way to find the support of others is to join a fitness club. In the club you can find many people who are going through or have gone through the same thing that you are now encountering. There are also professionals who can show you how to lose the weight that you desire and develop a diet and exercise program that fits your lifestyle even if you want to include your favorite six pack ab exercises video in your fitness regimen.

A gym is a grat place to meet people or you could join it with a group of friends and create a gathering on a regular basis with them. The gym can provide a great connection with others. If you can dedicate yourself to going to a gym on a regular basis, you will find yourself increasing your self image and enjoying the company of others more.

Being overweight is not the end of the world. While it is true that it is better to judge a person based on what is inside that person, this does not always happen in the world. But that does not mean you have to discover how to lose weight fast just to be accepted by the people you pass on the street. If you do decide to lose the extra weight, you will find that there is a village available that will help you succeed in reaching your goal. You might also find a whole new group of friends along the way.

Comments (0)February 20th, 2010Posted by Dr. Charles D.C. in Stress And Weight Loss

Five Great Reasons To Lose Weight And Look Great!

Many people look at themselves in the mirror and decide that now is the time to lose the weight that has seemed to sprout up around their waist. It is not a hard thing to do to say I want to lose ten pounds. But wanting to do it and actually doing it are two very different things. There are a lot of things that we want, but we know that we will never get them. We might want a big mansion on top of a hill but that might not always be possible. Controlling how much me way is something that can be controlled. It is something that if you want it you can get it. But to get it you have to be willing to commit yourself to a weight loss and exercise program that is necessary to lose the weight. To commit yourself to something like that you have to find the reasons. It doesn’t matter if you want to learn how to lose the weight fast or if you want to do it at a slower pace, there has to be some good reasons for you to do it if you want to succeed. So what are five reasons to lose weight?

Reason number one is your clothes don’t fit. Through the years your clothes seemed to be shrinking more and more, but it is not the clothes that are shrinking, it is your body that has been growing. Increase your wardrobe by losing weight and wearing clothes that are just hanging in your closet.

Reason number two is to be able to enjoy more things. Being overweight slows you down. You are not physically able to perform all that activities that you want to. You find it easier to sit on the couch watching television rather that getting out and throwing the football with your kids. Some of the best time spent with friends and families involves getting up and being active.

Reason number three is to change the way that you look. People judge others based upon their appearance and how much you weigh is one of the most obvious forms of our appearance. It is not good to be know as the lonely fat guy lying on the beach rather than the guy who has done his six pack ab exercises that has all the women flocking to him. Taking the time to exercise and diet can make you feel better about the way you look on the inside and out.

Reason number four is health. There are many different diseases that are directly linked to obesity. Many of these can shorten your life significantly. By losing the extra weight, it is possible to reverse many of these maladies and extend your life span. If you learn to eat foods that are healthy for you, than there are many positive effects on your body. You will feel better and also look better when you take care of the weight.

Reason number five is family. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for the people who love you. Those people want you to be happy and healthy and maintaining the proper weight is crucial to that. A diet and exercise program is something that the whole family can get involved in and enjoy together.

So that is a list of five reasons to lose weight. The exact reason will depend upon the person who decides to lose it now. There are many discussion groups on the internet such as the biggest loser forum, where people discuss their reasons and motivations to live a healthier life. If you really decide to lose the weight, find the reason and share it with others and you are on your weigh to a successful plan.