Lifestyle Tips

30 Health, Lifestyle & Fitness Tips for Women

1. Fitness and Health Happen One Small Step at a Time

Most people want to go from where they aretoday to being fit, healthy and strong in as short as time possible ... WAIT, slow down !! It may have taken you 5, 10 or 20 years to get to where you are now and setting a bomb under your entire life to rearrange and change your whole lifestyle and diet is just too extreme. Start slow ... one step at a time. Start with making an appointment with yourself for 15 minutes a day of exercise, cut out a few snacks ... get use to it ... make it a part of your lifestyle and keep going. Implementing small changes that take hold as actual lifestyle changes will have a lasting impact on your life!!

2. Make an Appointment with Yourself Everyday

The most important appointment you make is the one you make with yourself. What I do is I make an appointment with myself everyday between 4:30 and 7:30 for 2 hours and I will not change it for anything or anyone. If someone asks me if I am busy at 5:00 I say yes, I have a meeting that I cannot change. Start slow and make an appointment with yourself for 15 minutes. Change it for nothing. What could be more important than an appointment with yourself? We all lead busy lives but you HAVE to start to apply time for you. The fact is, as we exercise we become more efficient, we have more energy and better mental alertness. Gradually increase your appointment time with yourself to an hour. If someone ever asks to have a meeting or to do something at that time, tell them ... you cant, you have an appointment that you cannot change.

3. Drink Lots of Water - Here is an EASY way to feel better almost immediately

have a glass or two of water. Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water by weight. Blood contains 95% water, body fat contains 14% water and bone has 22% water. Skin also contains much water. The human body is about 60% water in adult males and 55% in adult females. Every bodily function relies on ample amounts of water. If you wake up and feel off or even sick, drink a glass or two of water and see what happens. Also, drinking water WILL make you lose weight. The average person does not consume enough water so our body "pools" water because it is concerned that it is not getting enough. By drinking lots of water consistently, your body then goes into the opposite mode. Its getting too much and will begin releasing the large "Pools" of stored water. The average person can lose up to 10 lbs of water in 2 - 4 weeks, its true.

4. Get Excited About Being You

This is one of those life philosophies that I am passionate about. All of us have things about us that we would change but here is the important thing ... who we are today is exactly who we made ourselves to be. How do we get excited about being ourselves? First off, stop believing what you see in the media that describes who or what is the perfect body or individual ... it is all marketing and it is designed to make you feel less so you will buy the their products and make you feel more if you get them. Thats the first thing, secondly, getting excited about who you are starts with knowing that what you do will be who you become. Health, fitness and an exciting lifestyle is derived not stepped into. Its like looking at your beautiful neighbours garden. How did it get that way? Well, he or she probably spent a lot of time and effort to get it that way ... if you want one just like them, you need to spend some time and get excited about doing it. Start off with the small things, one step at a time. Make changes in your life gradually and realize that as we implement some positive lifestyle changes, amazing things will happen. If you do not start what happens? Thats right, nothing.

5. Take Your Bodybuilding Magazines and throw them in the Garbage

Bodybuilding is a sport that should be akin to Wrestling and Circus shows. Any sport that requires its athletes to consume and inject chemical concoctions to grow abnormally big and to force the body down to a near death 5% body fat level is not fitness or the embodiment of health ... it is the erosion of health. There seems to be confusion with regards to lifting weights and bodybuilding. The two are very different. Most of what is preached in get big magazines is not what the average person seeking a healthy lifestyle should be doing or in any way strive for. I have no respect for a sport or a fitness regimen that is in essence, a chemical contest. Health and fitness is a lifestyle that is grounded in sensible and practical choices that make us healthier and increase our quality of life. Muscle Flex Inc. as well as I, strongly opposes what is preached in the bodybuilding lifestyle. It has become nothing less than a circus side show or another wrestling event.

6. Do Isometric Exercises Throughout the Day, In the Car, At Your Desk, Anywhere

Isometrics are defined as exercises done in static positions, rather than being dynamic through a range of motion. The joint and muscle are either worked against an immovable force (overcoming isometric) or are held in a static position while opposed by resistance (yielding isometric). So for example, you are at a red light ... place your hands at 9 oclock and 3 oclock on your steering wheel ... force your hands together into the center and hold that flexing position for a few seconds. Now pull your hand apart and hold. In essence you are pushing and pulling against an immovable object. Isometric exercises are amazing for burning calories and toning muscles and you can do them anywhere. You can work your abs anywhere anytime ... the mere act of flexing your abdominals is an extremely effective at trimming the body fat and the great thing is that you can do it anywhere and anytime!!

7. Get lots of Sleep, But Not too Much

Everyone seems to be different in how much sleep they require. Studies have shown that the amount of sleep a person needs is very much based on a persons genetics and physical makeup. Regardless, sleep is an important part of the healing and repair process of the body. Not enough sleep can result in a diminished mental capacity, low energy and a weakened immune system. Too much sleep and we begin to feel chronically tired. A good rule is the 7-8 hour rule. I am also a big fan of the early to bed, early to rise mantra. One other important point with regards to sleeping is never sleep on your stomach. I highly recommend that you buy a body pillow and sleep in the fetal position ... it is extremely comfortable.

8. Brush, Floss and Water Pick Your Teeth

Tooth decay and the bacteria and fungus that coats our teeth can lead to a number of negative affects ... it has even been proven in studies that poor dental hygiene increases wrinkles on your face. The bacteria associated with poor dental hygiene multiply and as they do, begin to enter your entire body ... and why wouldnt they, they are in your mouth. These toxic pools of bacteria manifest themselves in your body and can cause a tremendous amount of negative effects. I am a huge fan of water picking the teeth and then brushing.

9. Eat Healthier Foods and Snacks and Eat More Small Meals

What we put in us is what we will become. All of the exercise in the world cannot cure poor eating habits. Trying to eat healthy usually ends in failure for most people ... why? Because most people try and make a complete 180 degree change overnight. I love my potato chips and my chocolate and I give myself treats from time to time ... I make Sunday my cheat day. Making extreme changes to your diet overnight is a very hard thing to stick to. Start off by eating more vegetables. When you are at the grocery store, buy more veggies than you would normally buy and cut out 1 or 2 of the bad things. Then add more fruit and substitute fruit for chocolate. The sugars in fruit are a much better alternative to a candy bar. Find simple recipes and make 3 or 4 servings so that they are ready in the fridge. Also, it is important to eat several smaller meals as opposed to a couple of big ones, why? Your body metabolism will start to slow as you eat one or two big meals a day. This is because your body believes it is being starved and will go into "protection mode". By eating several small meals a day, your body begins to believe that it is getting ample amounts of food and will prefer to get rid of excess food as opposed to storing it. Something else to consider, I find that some brands of frozen dinners are fantastic. Without going into specific brands, read the back of the box for nutritional information ... thats your guide. Look specifically for low fat, low calorie and higher protein dishes. Implement changes in your diet gradually and swap out some good for some bad. This will begin to form habits and permanent lifestyle changes and thats what we are after ... permanent lifestyle changes.

10. No Sodas or Carbonated Pops

Soda pop accounts for the number one reason for the obesity epidemic in the United States. Soda pops contain incredible amounts of sugar. Cutting our soda pop alone out of your diet will have a HUGE impact on your health and overall weight. It can be hard to stop drinking soda pop all together. Start by switching to diet sodas first. Sugar is kind of like tobacco; you will go through minor withdrawals but as you a short amount of time goes by, your body adjusts and you will begin to feel amazing begin to lose that sugar craving.

11. Get a Regular Check Up

Have you had a physical exam lately? Go to your Doctor and get your regular check up ... if you are over 40, make sure you go at least once a year. Getting a regular physical is an important part of knowing what is happening to your body and making the proper adjustments. Our bodies are constantly changing and picking up of things early can prevent the little things from becoming big things.

12. Take Vitamins and Supplements

Taking your vitamins, supplements and prescriptions and taking them on time is an important part of staying healthy and fit. Our bodies need a wide array of vitamins to perform at their peak. Often times if you feel chronically tired or sluggish it is due to a deficiency in your body. Which vitamins and supplements you take will depend on your age, sex, diet, genetics and fitness level. Do some research and consult a physician who has good knowledge in this area. As well, I do not advocate the use of prescriptions as a matter of fact, I do believe that we take too many as it is however, prescriptions are critical for many people and taking them on time is important. Have some sort of reminder mechanism and always keep them with you.

13. Laugh and Smile More Often

When we Laugh and smile our bodies and brain release an array of feel good chemicals into our system. It may seem like a simple and silly thing to try and smile and laugh more but studies have shown that when we laugh and smile many positive events occur. Try smiling at people a little more and laughing ... even when you are just at home by yourself. Take 2 minutes to laugh and smile!! Also, people are drawn to smiles and the warmth created by them. Ask yourself, would you prefer to speak to someone who is frowning or smiling?

14. Make Excuses Why to Do Something Not Why You Wont Do Something

When I speak with people about improving their lifestyle, the most common thing I hear are excuses and reasons why they cant or didnt do something or why things are the way they are. You need to start changing your excuse pattern around ... find excuses why you did do something or excuses why you are going to do something and do it. As busy as I am, I always make an appointment with myself and I do not change it. I make an excuse for myself why I do it. I make excuses to myself why I am going to eat something healthy or an excuse why I am going for a one hour rollerblade. This is a mind-set and we all need to stop making excuse why things do not happen for us and start making excuses why things will happen for us. Find an excuse to do and make positive changes in your life and stop the excuses why you dont do things.

15. Understand Your Karma, Its Real

Karma is the countless millions of ripples that we put out into the world ... ripples that will eventually return. Just think of the polar opposites ... if we greet everyone we meet with a smile and pay them a compliment, how will that pay us back over time? On the converse, if we meet someone and frown at them and call them a four letter word, how will that manifest itself in our lives? Putting out a positive aura of you is extremely important in what you get back from the world and what you get back has a huge impact on your state of mind and happiness. To some, karma may not seem associated with health and fitness but I believe otherwise. It creates a state of peace and happiness when the world returns the positivity that we put into it. The road you leave behind you is another road you are going to have to go back down.

16. Stand, Don't Sit, Walk, Don't Stand

Whenever I am in a waiting room, I never sit. When they ask me to have a seat I say I prefer to stand thank you. We burn many more calories standing than we do sitting ... and we also burn more calories walking than we do standing. If you have the chance move around, go for a walk if you are waiting or even just pace. Most people spend all day sitting at their desks or in front of the TV. Standing is better exercise than sitting and walking is even better than standing!!

17. Combine Endurance Training and Weights

It is proven that combining endurance training with weight training increases your metabolic burn rate by up to 40%. Running is NOT enough, Yoga is NOT enough and weights alone is NOT enough. Our muscles are tissues that are designed for lifting objects through a space or distance. As we lift weights, our muscles and body become excited and your body reacts in amazing ways. Our ligaments and tendons are only as strong as the pressure applied to them. As we train, they become stronger and stronger and our bodies respond in kind. The same is for endurance training. Strength and endurance are 2 of the 3 important facets if physical fitness. Running, walking, rollerblading, hiking or any other activity that gets your heart rate elevated is an integral part of maintaining health and fitness. By combining both weights and endurance training, your body will burn a much greater amount of fats and carbohydrates. The primary fuel during aerobic and anaerobic training are fats and carbohydrates, respectively. Both fuels are burned simultaneously at virtually all levels of exercise.

18. NEVER Lift Heavy Weights

One of the best kept secrets to staying in shape is staying injury free. The human body was not designed to lift extremely heavy loads over and over ... its the sure way to pull or even tear a muscle. Human muscles WERE designed to move a weight or object through a space and distance. You have to challenge your muscles but not to the point of injury.

19. Wash Your Hands and Cut Your Fingernails

Washing your hands regularly and using anti-bacterial lotion can be the biggest determinant is whether you catch a flu, cold or any other transmittable sickness. As well, cut your fingernails often. It may sound trivial but long fingernails catch dirt and filaments that can be a bastion for bacteria. Keep your fingernails trim and clean, wash your hands and keep some anti-bacterial lotion with you in the car.

20. Stretch, be Flexible and Warm Up

It is the most important facet of fitness that makes us young and keeps us young. Over time, our joints begin to rust and lose their range of motion. This is the very essence of aging ... small movements and fragility. Strength through a wide range of motion will keep you feeling 20 years old when you are 60, 70 and even 80. You will also prevent injuries which is the number 1 reason why people lose their momentum when it comes to exercise. One pulled muscle and you are out for 4 to 6 weeks. Your muscles, tendons and ligaments need that initial flush of nutrients and oxygen to begin to perform for you. I may see 1 in 20 people actually warm up and stretch their muscles and joints ... very sad indeed. Stretching and flexibility should be a core exercise ritual ... if you want to feel young and stay young, start to stretch and make sure you learn how to do it right. There is lots of information on the internet about it.

21. Get Some Sun Everyday

Life cannot exist without the Sun and life could not have evolved without it. The most simple and important things happen in life because of the Sun. For example, its rays spur on the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a process that converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, especially sugars, using the energy from sunlight. The point is, sun light is both a particle and a wave and its benefits are too numerous to mention. Vitamin D is one of the best and well known benefits and it is critical that we get a generous amount of sunshine, at least 30 minutes a day ... life on earth depends on it. Do not be scared of getting wrinkles from the Sun. Do not spend all day in the Sun or go our without sun block but try and get on average 30 minutes a day. You will be worse off if you turn in a vampire and avoid the Sun.

22. Skip the Elevator, Do the Stairs

Are you taking the elevator to go up or down 1 or 2 floors? Stairs are one of the best ways to fire up virtually every muscle in your body. The next time you need to go up or down in a building, take the stairs and even better, make it a habit. You will be amazed at how quickly doing this simple thing will have an impact on your life and body!!

23. Develop Your Intensity

We all have an intensity level that our mind and bodies function at and it is our inner intensity that allows us to increase the pace of all things in our life. Intensity is developed just as muscles or knowledge is developed, it takes time and effort to elevate our intensity. Professional athletes generally function at a high level of intensity. If they take some time off, it requires effort for them to raise it back up. Think of intensity as anything else that goes through a development cycle. If you havent worked out for a very long time, dont be discouraged. You probably have a lowered intensity level and it needs to be elevated just as your level of fitness does. Intensity training is one of the secrets to a healthy lifestyle that I stress and it does not come overnight, but it does come in time.

24. Stop Looking for the 5 Minute Cure and TV Gimmicks

We all see them in magazines on TV, a new product, a new fitness machine, a new pill, all promising to have the cure and the immediate fix. Let me be the first to say that most everything you buy off of TV is garbage. There are no such things as a 5 minute workout or exercise in a bottle. TV products have done one thing over the past 10 years; go down in quality as they spend more on their marketing. We all know people who have purchased that machine or machines off of TV ... and where are they now? Yeah, most of them are in the garage. Health, fitness and a positive lifestyle does not come in small packages ... it comes in small steps, one at a time. Spend your time and effort on real change. Find things that get you and keep you motivated. We are all different and there is no benefit in being discouraged by the failed promises of glitzy TV exercise machines and promises. At Muscle Flex, we believe strongly in the products we provide and thats why most come with a lifetime guarantee at the lowest possible price. We stand behind them and only provide the best possible lifestyle products and ideas to have the most beneficial impact in your life.

25. Stop the Negativity and Start the Positivity

Negativity breeds negativity ... positivity breeds positivity. This is so important in staying motivated and excited with all that your do. Stay positive, surround yourself with positive people, and begin to give compliments to people instead condescending sarcasm. Sarcasm, in its very essence, is negative and shows a persons inability to communicate. People get fired up when you tell them something nice and they want to be around you more ... its nothing different than the Pavlovs dog experiment. We all want to feel good about ourselves. Do not under estimate the power of positivity. Have you ever smiled at someone you didnt know and tell them they look fabulous? Has anyone ever done it to you? It is an amazing feeling ... try it the next time you are out.

26. Do Not Smoke or Chew Tobacco, Who needs to say more?

I lost my father, my best friend in this world, to smoking. Tobacco in all of its forms is a killer and if you do ANYTHING at all for yourself, quit smoking. The sooner the better!! Your body will begin to heal itself. Its very hard, I know ... believe it or not, I use to smoke. 27. Have a Glass of Red Wine - Please check with your Doctor first but a glass of red wine has been proven to decrease the risk of many ailments including clogged artery disease. The complete benefits are not completely understood but studies show a glass of red wine a day can have significant benefits!!

28. Stay Away From Leg Squats, Military Press, Behind the Head Lat Pulls, Free Weight Bench Press and Any Other Exercise that Places a Heavy Weight on Your Shoulders or knees

I have never done standing squats and I never will. There are more knee injuries and back problems because of a few exercises than all others combined. Any exercise where you place a heavy amount of weight on your shoulders or forces you to press a large weight away from your body that applies pressure onto your spine or knees are ones you should avoid. The soft cartilage between your vertebrae was not designed to bear the weight of heavy loads on your shoulders, nor were your knees. I will do seated squats but nothing that forces immense pressure on my knees or vertebrae. The bench press using free weights can be very dangerous as well ... use a machine. There is some great information online with respects to unsafe exercises and I could continue writing a long piece with regards to this subject but in the end, use common sense.

29. Replace High Impact Cardio With Low Impact Cardio

Long distance runners have some of the worst knee problems of any athletes. Again, the constant pounding of thousands of pounds of pressure over a long distance and time will erode your entire lower body complex over a short period of time. Personally, I am a huge fan of rollerblading and do it as my main cardio activity

30. Never Sit Still In the Gym, Make Your Weight Workout A Cardio Workout

Between sets you should grab an exercise ball and do 20-30 ab crunches, work on some flexibility or even do the opposing muscle group at 75% of your usual weight. You can also pyramid your sets so once you have finished with a set, drop the weight by 20% 30% and do 5 -10 more. What this does is it actually makes your entire weights workout a cardio workout. When I am in the gym I take every minute I have to fully expunge the energy in my body. A big part of this process is intensity training (Rule 23) as well. Put your magazine away and get to work on your body ... focus on your muscles and zone in on your exercise ... it will make a world of difference!!