Start a New Health Regimen with These Tips from the Pros

Fitness Expert Joel Harper

Making simple lifestyle changes can lead to phenomenal improvements in overall health, especially skin health. Stretch marks are less apt to appear prominently on a body that is well hydrated and cared for with proper nutrients, physical activity and high quality skin treatments.

Stretchmarks.com reached out to several health experts for advice on launching a new fitness program and breaking some less healthy habits in 2013.

Joel Harper (www.joelharperfitness.com), a New York City-based celebrity trainer whose clients include Dr. Oz and 10 year-old-kids, created the FIT PACK DVD series. Says Joel, “I know you are really busy and want quick results, so I have these 11 simple quick tips to extend your life. It’s a chance for you to get some instant health gratification.”

1. Toss your antiperspirant: You don’t want to eliminate the sweat trying to come out of your body. Use deodorant instead.

2. Buy new shoes: I have clients show up in worn out or ill fitting shoes. They are not good for your feet. Make sure your shoes fit perfectly and are in tip top shape. Don’t skimp. They are worth every cent.

3. Use sea salt: You don’t want more aluminum in your body, so toss out your iodized table salt. It comes from underground mines and is treated with aluminum to prevent caking. Sometimes it’s bleached to make it whiter.

4. Take DHA omega-3 supplement pills: They maintain your smartness.

5. Floss: It reduces arterial inflammation.

6. Rest: Make sure you wake up every morning feeling well rested. If you are not, find out why and fix it. Sleep is crucial for your health.

7. Measure your maximum heart rate: Next time you get that heart pumping hard, count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiple it by 6. That number should be close to 220 minus your age. Then stop exercising and wait 2 minutes and count your pulse again. You want it to drop by 60. This is how you gauge your heart’s response to your needs. If your heart is struggling to keep up, it will keep pounding fast. If you don’t meet these numbers, you have some work to do. Exercise longer.

8. Eliminate salad dressings: They are full of wasted calories. Lemon, oil and vinegar are healthier.

9. Water: Drink plenty of it. You want your urine to be clear.

10. Invest in a workout DVD-Make sure it is a no-equipment workout DVD. They make exercising easy to do when you don’t have a lot of time, are stuck indoors or traveling.

11. Never put plastic in the microwave: Use glass or everyday ceramic. You don’t need any more plastic in your body!

Amie Hoff, a Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine, founded Hoff Fitness (www.HoffFitness.com) and co-founded FitKit health improvement products. According to Amie, “the following action plan is vital to making progress on a new fitness program.”

• Make A Plan For Success: Any successful venture requires a plan that describes its mission and specifics on how to achieve its goals. Without one, you have no idea where you’re starting from, going, how you’ll get there or where you’ll end up.

• Write It Down: Write it down in ink. If you keep a journal and put your specific plan on paper, you’ll have a greater sense of commitment, stay focused and feel more in control. Schedule daily and weekly sessions and there will be less chance of missing a workout.

• Take Baby Steps: Break your fitness goals down to make the end result less intimidating. It’s best to think long and short term. Set several smaller goals to achieve throughout the year and with each new success, you will become more motivated.

• Measure Success: Before starting out, be sure to test your fitness levels, take pictures, measure your size or learn your body fat. Do whatever will help you assess your progress.

• Don’t Go It Alone: Everyone needs help, especially when it comes to fitness. Ask friends and family for support. Professional assistance from a trainer can help you set goals, start a program and lend motivation and advice. Find a buddy with similar goals and you’ll also have somebody to be accountable to!

• Spice It Up: Don’t be afraid to try something new. A variety of activities will keep things exciting and change the way your body works. Try a new cardio machine. Take a fun group exercise class like Zumba or Middle Eastern Belly Dance!! Or try power walking outside.

Sifu Romain (http://sifuromain.wix.com/sifuromain), a World Champion and United International Kung Fu Hall of Fame inductee, has been training in Kung Fu for 34 years. He is the owner and master instructor of the Edgewater Kung Fu Academy in Edgewater, NJ and has appeared on Oprah Winfrey and The Dr. Oz Show. Sifu advises, “Get your New Year started right with these tips:”

• Start slow and set measurable goals: We are all too familiar with New Year’s resolutions that don’t last the first month. The best way to prevent this is to start off with an easy goal. Let’s say you decide you want to start running. Figure out where you want to be in 6 months and then work backwards. Start your training off slowly and track results.

• Reward yourself: When you reach your progress checks at one, three and six
month intervals, reward yourself for all your hard work. Remember progress leads to interest, interest leads to renewal, renewal leads to commitment.

• Take good care of yourself: When creating a workout schedule, remember to include proper rest, nutrition, and my favorite – massage time. The goal of working out is to be healthy. Try not to overwork yourself and trigger injures. Professional athletes take care of their bodies after each training session. I recommend getting a massage once a week if you can. Benefits of regular massage include:

  • Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
  • Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
  • Help athletes of any level prepare for and recover from strenuous workouts.
  • Increase joint flexibility.
  • Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
  • Reduce spasms and cramping.
  • Relax and soften injured, tired and overused muscles.
  • Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.

Stretchmarks.com hopes you make it a winning year by following these health tips; eating more whole foods; choosing healthy snacks; and drinking lots of water to help prevent stretch marks and minimize their appearance. A toned body will help make striae less prominent should the brown, purple, blue or red scars form during pregnancy, growth spurts, rapid weight gain or bodybuilding.

“Skin Health is Wealth”



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