Weight Loss Forever With The Well Respected Mayo Clinic Diet

The Mayo Clinic is a well regarded medical institution. Doctors and patients the world over look to the Mayo Clinic for their research and answers. The great news is that the Mayo Clinic has devised their own weight loss program. This is no gimmick or fad. This is a lifestyle program that is ideal for anyone who has been on the roller-coaster ride of fashionable diets and rebound weight gain. Read on for their tips to weight loss forever.

The Mayo Clinic diet is an all round healthy lifestyle management program that not only encourages healthy eating, but will also result in better health. This is a well rounded program that has been researched extensively by medical practitioners and nutritionists to ensure optimal health and habits. Continuing on with these healthy lifestyle choices will ensure that your weight will remain in a healthy range. No more rebound weight gain.

This lifestyle program does not solely focus on the size of your waist or the number of pounds you are seeking to shed. The Mayo Clinic program contains 4 equally important components:

1. Realistic goals

* Set goals for the week or month. These can be food related or exercise related, or both. Do you want to decrease your portion size? Do you want to increase the number of times you visit the gym, or walk the dog?
* Keep a journal of what you eat and how often you exercise. At the end of each week and month track your food consumption and exercise levels. If you have eaten more healthy foods and increased your activity levels, you will have also dropped some pounds.
* Set realistic goals. Look for the end of just one week or month to start with.
* Goals allow you better focus on your activity levels and the foods that you have consumed.

2. Get moving

* Regular exercise for weight loss and improved fitness is generally considered to be a structured regime.
* Regular exercise burns calories, reduces stress levels, and increases the metabolism.
* Start small and work up if you are out of condition. Start with 5-10 minutes and slowly increase to 30-60 minutes every day of the week.
* Eventually you should be able to manage to work up a sweat and increase your breathing rate.
* Every little bit of moving helps. Housework, yard work, walking the dog, are all forms of moving your body that will burn up some extra energy.
* Anyone seriously out of condition, overweight, or suffering from a health condition should get a medical clearance from their doctor before embarking on any form of exercise.

3. Motivation

Staying motivated is the key to success to any lifestyle change. Initially your mind and body may be resistant to these new healthy changes. Try some of these strategies:
* No diet fads or over the counter diet pills. Many of these are dangerous and will, at best, result in rebound weight gain when you stop.
* It won’t happen overnight. Healthy and sustainable weight loss and good health take time to achieve. The longer it takes to lose, the less likely it is to go back on.
* Timing. Do not try and embark on a new program if you are distracted by other serious issues. Wait until you can give these changes the attention they deserve. However, if the time is never right, you may need to look at your current lifestyle and stress levels.
* Positive reinforcement. Remind yourself how good you are feeling and looking. If you have a bad day or week, put it behind you and keep going. Don’t use a bad day as an excuse to go back to your old ways.
* Have a buddy. Exercising with a buddy makes it much more pleasant and harder to cancel. Sharing your triumphs, however small, with someone else is always very rewarding.

4. Mayo Clinic Food Pyramid

The Mayo Clinic eating plan means no starvation or deprivation.

* Unhealthy, calorie laden foods are to be eaten in small portions. These are located at the top of the pyramid.
* Fruits and vegetables will be the largest portion of the daily diet. These foods tend to be very filling and contain relatively few calories.
* Lean high quality proteins such as fish, and chicken, along with unprocessed carbohydrates such as beans and grains are allowed in moderate amounts.
* Eating the correct amounts in the correct portion sizes, along with appropriate exercise levels, will allow the average person to shed 1 or 2 pounds each week.
* For further information on the Mayo Clinic Food Pyramid click here:

Conclusion.

The Mayo Clinic Diet is not a fad, and does not concentrate on rapid weight loss. The Mayo Clinic diet is a lifestyle change that encompasses sensible eating habits incorporated with appropriate exercise. The average person can lose 1-2 pounds per week on this program. Moreover, by embracing this program, there will be no rebound weight gain, and health will be optimized.

Daily Heart Health Tips To Avoid Heart Disease

Recent research has shown that we are much more capable of slowing down the aging of our hearts than was originally thought. The heart is one of the most important organs of the body. A diseased heart makes for a shortened and unhealthy life. A heart that doesn’t work at all is incompatible with living. To lead a pleasant and long life, these daily heart health tips and strategies are surprisingly simple and enjoyable.

Exercise.

Aerobic exercise performed at least 5 times per week is ideal for heart health. Some studies have shown that at least 1000 calories should be burned off in aerobic exercise weekly to benefit the heart. Try these simple forms of aerobic exercise to keep your heart ticking for longer:
* Walking at least 1.5 miles daily has been proven to be beneficial for your heart. Start off with smaller distances and gradually work your way up. Another way of looking at the walking is to remember that cardiologists recommend walking for at least 30 minutes every day. This amount of walking apparently significantly reduces the risk of heart attack. Walking is also a great mood elevator, and assists with weight control.
* Exercise bikes like the Life Fitness 9500 recumbent exercise bike are another great way to improve cardiovascular health. These bikes come with heart monitors and various fitness and exercise programs to keep you motivated. Exercise bikes are a great way to keep the aerobic exercise going when the weather outside is too unpleasant.
* Swimming and aqua aerobics are other effective forms of aerobic exercise for those who like to get wet.

When participating in aerobic exercise it is important to stay well hydrated. Anyone who is unfit, over weight, has a health condition, or hasn’t exercised in a while, should seek a medical clearance before pulling on their running shoes.

Diet.

We are what we eat, and our hearts have to keep pumping, despite what we consume. Diets high in salts and animal fats increase the build up of fatty deposits in blood vessel walls, resulting in the heart having to work a lot harder.
* The Mediterranean diet has long been famous for its heart healthy benefits. This diet promotes small amounts of meat, plenty of grains, heart healthy fats and oils, such as virgin olive oil, and a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables. The Mediterranean diet also allows red wine, in moderation. Garlic and omega-3 fish oils are also important ingredients.
* Flavonoids are antioxidants that are found in chocolate, fruits, vegetables, and some grains. Flavonoids have been shown to reduce blood pressure, and decrease bad blood cholesterol levels, both significant factors in heart disease. Soy protein, green tea, and chocolate containing more than 70% cocoa, were all found to be helpful in various ways for improving heart health.
* Red wine contains resveratrol, a natural compound, which has recently been shown to slow down the aging process in the hearts of mice. Even in low doses, the resveratrol seemed to alleviate the decline in heart function that is normally associated with aging. Resveratrol is found in large amounts in both red wine and grapes.

Stop smoking.

Ceasing smoking is an easy way to improve the health of your heart. Smoking increases blood pressure, and dramatically reduces the health of blood vessels. Smoking also contributes to deposits, or plaque, in vessel walls.

Healthy body weight.

The less you weigh, the less burden you are placing on your heart. Those extra pounds eventually add up to an overworked cardiovascular system. People suffering from type 2 diabetes also have a much higher chance of heart disease.

Reduce stress.

The more stress you encounter, the higher your blood pressure will be. High blood pressure is a known contributing factor to heart disease. Lowering your stress levels with yoga or gentle exercise will have you feeling better and take some points off your blood pressure.

Cholesterol.

LDL, or the unhealthy cholesterol, is responsible for forming fatty deposits on the inner walls of the vessels of your heart and brain. This eventually leads to heart attacks and strokes. Green tea and omega-3 fish oils are 2 simple and natural ways to reduce your LDL levels.

Heart healthy nutrients.

Calcium, CoEnzyme Q10, Vitamins C and E, Maitake, Ginkgo biloba, Magnesium, Selenium, and L-Carnitine, are all potentially powerful nutrients needed for optimal heart health. Many of these products are featured in antioxidant supplements. These substances can have damaging side effects when taken incorrectly. Consulting a health practitioner is recommended before taking any heart supplements. Consuming these products through natural whole foods is a much safer and healthier option. For more information on the dangers of antioxidant supplements you may like to read this article on the dangers of antioidants.

Great Ideas For A Home Gym That Will Work Well For Your Workout

Gone are the days of having to sweat it out on your exercise bike next to your bed. Or, perhaps even worse, being locked down in the dingy damp basement with your weights, treadmill and old dodgy black and white TV for company. In the last decade home gyms have really come into their own. Sales of home gym equipment have jumped from $900 million to an astonishing $4.7 billion since the early 1990’s. If you are looking for some inspiration, read on for these great ideas for a home gym.

* Floor space. The general consensus would appear to be that the minimum floor space for an adequate home gym would be 10 feet by 12 feet. This gives you enough space to layout any machines and mats easily. If you have to keep rearranging your equipment to use, you tend to stop.

* Ventilation. It may have been the basement or garage, but that does not mean it has to smell that way. Likewise your spare room does not need to start smelling like a stale locker room. Windows and overhead fans will be adequate. If there are no windows, invest in a great fan.

* Lighting. Daylight or fluoro lighting is best. This type of lighting tends to keep you alert and awake. Beware of spotlights as they will annoy your eyes.

* Entertainment.
Depending on what you type of exercise you are doing in your home gym will determine the appropriate entertainment. If you are into yoga, you will just need a sound system. Fans of exercise bikes may prefer to watch TV while pedaling away the miles. Have your music programmed to your needs. Slow, upbeat, whatever. If you are a fan of DVDs then you will need a system in place to allow you to watch your fitness or exercise program while you workout.

* Extras such as bar fridges, and small sinks can be great for cool refreshments. Shelves for holding towels, and adequate storage systems for weights etc are essential to keep the floor space clear.

* Decoration on the walls to keep you inspired or motivated can be great. Another good idea can be to have a floor length mirror installed to ensure that you are performing your moves correctly. A mirror will also make the room appear larger and lighter.

* Flooring. Rubber flooring is great if you can manage it. The rubber will absorb the sound and impact. It will also prevent the flooring underneath from being damaged if any weights are dropped. Ensure that the flooring is strong enough to carry the weight of the equipment.

Fitness Equipment Needed For

More Fat Loss In Less Time With Circuit Training Workouts

We all want to lose fat fast. We are all pushed for time. Circuit training workouts combine effective fat burning techniques in a time efficient manner. This results in fat burning fast. These types of workouts speed your metabolism, provide an aerobic component for cardio, and interval training for strength. Sound too good to be true? Read on.

The principles of circuit training workouts:

* you will not be having any breaks during the workout.
* while you are resting from the strength you will be performing cardio, and when resting from cardio you will be performing strength work.
* this is a combination of circuit and strength training all rolled into the one session.
* burns more calories more efficiently as you are always on the move.
* your metabolic rate is kept raised long after the session has finished.
* those who are accustomed to using heavy weights in their strength training can continue to do so in this type of workout.
* this works well in a home gym where you do not have to wait to get back on a machine or to use weights.
* you will need a watch with a second hand, or a stop watch. There are even great little interval timing gadgets that you can get that make it even easier with your own pre-set times.
* time saving workout, as you will be doing your weights and your cardio in the same session.
* training should never exceed 45 minutes or you will exhaust your body too much.
* as your fitness improves you can up the intensity of the cardio component.
* can be done 2-3 times per week. You need a day of rest between these workouts.

The basics:

* have everything set up before-hand as you need to keep your body moving.
* the cardio component can be as simple as a skipping rope, stepping, or a machine, depending on whether you are working out at home or in a gym.
* start with a 3 minute warm up to get a light glow going. Gentle cardio or a few light weights will be great.
* approximately 40 seconds of moderate cardio. It is important that you do not tire yourself out straight away. With no rest move straight onto..
* weights. Do the first set. It is important that you work hard, but not to the point of muscle exhaustion. Do not rush your movements. Perform them exactly the same way as you would normally. With no rest move straight onto…
* approximately 40 seconds of moderate cardio. With no rest move onto….
* next weight exercise. And so on until you have completed your weight routine.
* cool down appropriately.

Conclusion.

Circuit training workouts are intensive and hard work. The results are impressive and fast.

Strength Training Equipment – Which Is Best For You

While there are many kinds of strength training equipment designed for various muscle groups, all equipment used for strength training falls into one of two categories: free weights or machines. Your goals, fitness, and experience, will all play factors into what style of strength training is going to benefit you best.

You will find people out there who will swear till they are blue in the face about the merits of one over the other. However, not everyone has the same needs or goals. What may suit your neighbor may not be the ideal for you.

Strength Training Machine Advantages:
* Safer and easier for those just starting out.
* Less likely for the user to incur injury from incorrect motion.
* Can be be more effective when isolating specific muscle groups.

Strength Training Machine Disadvantages:
* Most machines can only perform one range of muscle exercise.
* Most machines are built for standard heights only.

Free Weights Advantages:

* Less expensive, can be more portable, better for those who are space challenged.
* Can be better for building up particular muscles needed for sports movements.
* More suited for the long term regular user.
* Will allow for more muscle mass.

Free Weights Disadvantages:
* Your technique needs to be precise to be effective.
* Poor technique can easily lead to injury.
* Training alone can be dangerous for the inexperienced.
* Requires better coordination.

Strength Training Equipment:
* Weight benches are the building block of a home gym. This is one area where you should go for quality, and ensure it has all the adjustable features you are needing.
* Dumbbells are versatile and can be used for many workouts. The variety to select from is astounding.
* Leg Press machines are an excellent option for anyone who hates doing squats.
* Lat machines are great for back work, and also for curls, low rows, and tricep exercises.
* Smith machines do away with the need for a spotter if you are training alone. This can literally, be a real life saver.
* Squat rack is another piece of equipment that with time you can build on for your home gym. Dip handles and lat rowers can be added on for extra versatility.
* Squat machines are great for those who hate doing squats. These are perfect for the home gym as you do not need a spotter.
* Barbell sets allow you to work out in a different way and to also lift heavier weights than those of your dumbbells. Barbells provide you with a huge amount of options for working out all those muscle groups. Be sure to purchase a set adequate for your needs.

Nintendo Wii Fitness – Lounge Lizards Can Now Burn Calories

If you are visiting this site, you are probably not a couch potato. However, other members of your household, including your children, may well be. Perhaps your offspring or spouse could benefit from a little more exercise? Perhaps you like the thought of being able to use one of your child’s expensive gizmos that was purchased with your hard earned cash?

Whatever the situation, it would appear that Nintendo has done a splendid effort in getting butts off couches and burning calories in the lounge room, with the innovation of the Nintendo Wii Fitness, or Nintendo Wii Fit, depending on which part of the world you reside in.

What is Nintendo Wii Fit?

This program was created by Shigeru Miyamoto who was the mastermind of Mario. Basically, this add on comes in the form of something resembling your bathroom scales, a plastic board that you will be stepping on and off, or balancing on. This board communicates wirelessly with the console. The software includes such options as aerobics, yoga, balance, and strength training. Before you start you will have to program in your age, gender, and weight. The in-built calendar will track your improving flexibility, balance, strength, weight loss and BMI for you.

You will have an avatar representing you. If you are perceived as being overweight by the program, then your avatar will look a little chubby. Your avatar will slim down when you do. There have been some comments by the public complaining about the program being a little too critical or tactless. Some parents have objected to their children being described as chubby or clumsy.

This program starts off relatively simply and incorporates more challenging and interesting activities as you become more proficient. So, the more you play, the more of a challenge it will become. You can select a more formal style to your program or more casual. There are even little personal trainers included in the program.

Wii Fit will not replace your health club or gym membership. However, it is a fun and stimulating way to encourage lounge lizards to burn a few calories. There are several published articles available surveying individuals who have diligently added 30 minutes of Wii fitness to their lifestyles daily for 6 weeks. The results were pretty impressive. Weight losses between 6-9 pounds were encountered by those who took it seriously.

Who is Wii Fit good for?

Wii Fit can be perfect for those people who are housebound due to bad weather or other circumstances. You can turn this program on while the rest of the house is sleeping and work through your aerobics or yoga program in peace and quiet. Anyone looking to exercise at unusual hours will enjoy this fun and stimulating program.

Wii Fit can be a great way to get those lounge lizards in your house off the couch and moving around. After all, any movement is better than none at all. Please note, the cut off level is 330 pounds, so if you weigh more than this, you won’t be able to play.

A calorie burning fitness game has to be a step in the right direction. Hide the remote and bring out the Wii.

Workout Activities That Burn Calories The Best

We are all pressed for time. Most of us would like to think that when we are exercising we are actually burning up those calories most effectively. Ever wondered what are the best activities that burn calories? Since one pound equals 3500 calories, an activity that burns 500 calories per hour will after 7 workouts, have allowed you to lose one pound.

The amount of calories an individual will burn can fluctuate wildly due to factors such as body weight, gender, fitness levels, and level of exertion.

There are many calorie burning charts you can access to more accurately assess your personal calorie burning figure. Most workout equipment will have a calorie burned program set in the console.

We have compiled a list of some of the best calorie burning workouts. The activities on our list will burn at least 500 calories per hour for the average woman weighing 150 pounds. Men will burn more calories doing the same workout as a woman.

* Rollerblading can burn up to a staggering 900 calories per hour.
* Running 6miles per hour will burn 850 calories.
* Elliptical machine at a very hard level can burn up to 700 calories per hour.
* Aqua aerobics performed at an intense level can burn up to 700 calories per hour. This low impact workout is brilliant for any one suffering from injuries or joint problems, and is also great for toning muscles.
* Rowing at an intense pace will burn 700 calories per hour.
* Jump rope. This inexpensive piece of workout equipment has to be great value for calorie burning. An intense session with a rope (125 jumps/minute) can burn 850 calories per hour. A moderate workout at 70 jumps/minute will burn 700 calories.
* StairMaster. An intense workout on the StairMaster can burn up to 700 calories per hour.
* Power walking will burn 600 calories per hour. (Note that this is better than jogging at 5 miles/hour for calorie burning.)
* Exercise bikes can burn anywhere between 550-700 calories per hour depending on the intensity of the program.
* Jogging 5 miles per hour will burn 500 calories.
* Aerobics at high impact will burn approximately 500 calories per hour.
* Cross country skiing uses about 500 calories per hour.
* Swimming vigorously will burn 500 calories per hour.

Running versus cycling

Many people will look at the above chart and see all those calories burned by running and go off and get themselves a treadmill. While a treadmill will burn more calories per hour it is important to figure out whether you have the stamina to run for 60 minutes. Most people will find it much more achievable to workout for one hour on an exercise bike like the Life fitness 9500 exercise bike than to run on a treadmill.

The other important thing to remember is that the treadmill is much more high impact on the knees and ankles than an exercise bike. Many people find that they become bored or injured on their treadmills, but can easily and happily keep going on an exercise bike. A life fitness 9500 exercise bike has 13 levels of resistance to suit any level of fitness, and along will all the other features you would expect, will tell you how many calories you have burned.

By utilizing the workout programs preset in the bike you can really give yourself a very intense workout. The programs are often also set up in such a way so as to alleviate boredom with games and contests to beat yourself. The last major difference between a treadmill and an exercise bike is the potential for injury from a fall. While it would be quite hard to fall from your exercise bike, people can and do fall off treadmills. This can make for a nasty injury.

There are many activities that you can do to burn 500 calories or more per hour. Many of these activities are free or relatively inexpensive. Rollerblading, in particular, is a great calorie burning activity that the whole family can participate in. Select a couple of activities that you really enjoy, and mix your programs up. This will help counter boredom and repetitive type injuries from occurring.

Adult Fitness Credit To Follow On From Child Fitness Tax Credit

Following on from the 2007 Federal child fitness tax credit of $500, a Calgary politician is proposing that a fitness tax credit be introduced for adults. Calgary politician Dave Rodney, has suggested that adults who go to the time and trouble to keep fit should be rewarded with a $1500 tax credit annually.

Mr Rodney claims that the healthier and fitter the population, the less burdened the health system will be. Mr Rodney is no stranger to physical activity. He has climbed Mt Everest twice. It would appear that his proposal is based around reimbursing workout fees or gym memberships. Yes, you read it right, you may well be getting a tax credit for working out.

Recently, a study commissioned for the Fitness Industry Council of Canada suggested a fitness tax credit for adults regardless of age, could save the Canadian health system a whopping $2.5 billion over 21 years.

Although it would seem many people think that this is a great concept there could be a few other factors to consider:

* The main complaint from the public would seem to be that many people keep themselves fit and active without a gym membership. Walking and running, in particular, are great forms of exercise, but apart from your runners there are not any fees to submit to the government.
* Many people workout at home with DVD’s and their own equipment and likewise do not have receipts for fees and memberships.
* Some are suggesting that this may encourage slothful types to actually join the gym, but would it necessarily get them off the couch and into the gym?
* Going to a gym or health club does not necessarily involve all members of the family. Many healthy family type activities like roller-blading or running the dog, do not attract fees.
* However, for those who are already enrolled in a gym, and for those who would love to go, but currently can’t justify the cost, this tax credit would be a great idea.

Any system that rewards for good health practices and fitness is always going to be a great incentive. However, as we have pointed out, having a gym membership doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy. Conversely, not having a gym membership doesn’t necessarily mean that you are unhealthy and never work out.

The Canadian child fitness tax credit of 2007 could well be followed up with a tax credit for adults who workout and pay gym fees. A little more work on the finer details and logistics could make this a worthwhile proposal. Being paid to work out sounds like a great idea!

Budget Fitness – Home Gym Exercise Equipment For About $100 Dollars

There are plenty of reasons to put off getting with the fitness program, but a popular excuse is lack of funds. If you really are keen to get fit we are going to show you how you can put together really effective home gym exercise equipment for under $100.

We should all know that every effective fitness campaign has three components: cardio, strength, and flexibility. No matter how hard up you are for cash, there are plenty of inexpensive, and in some cases free, options that you can go for.

*Footwear. Having appropriate footwear may well be your most expensive item. Your exercise shoes should be well supporting, and shock absorbing. Make sure that your shoes are comfortable and well suited for walking, jogging, or running. Cost: $60 approx when on sale.

Cardio Fitness

Depending on your budget there are several options for you to chose from.
*A brisk walk, jog, or run around the local park is free, and perfect for burning calories, and is the best aerobic exercise. Cost: free.
*Jump ropes can be an excellent way to get your heart going if the weather is too nasty for outdoors. This is a high impact exercise so make sure you wear your shoes. Cost: $20 if you scout around on the net, or free if you borrow your child’s.
*Mini trampolines can be another great option for low impact exercise or jogging in bad weather. Cost:$30 which included an instructional DVD and a set of fitness bands.
*Pedometers can be a fun way to relieve the boredom of your walk or jog. Just how far have you traveled and how many calories have you burned? Definitely not essential but can be fun. Cost: $15

Toning and Strength Training

*Fitness bands can be used for many muscle groups and are great for both strength and toning. Many bands are sold in kits with DVDs or books to allow you to maximize your workout. Otherwise hit your local library for some free educational inspiration. Cost: $3-7 per band or kits from $13.
*Dumbbells are great for incorporating arm and leg resistance to your workout. Dumbbell sets are more cost effective as you can increase the weight as you become stronger. Cost: $35 for a 20 pound set, and $45 for a 32 pound set.
*Chin-up bars give you the opportunity to exercise many parts of your body. Not only chin ups but pull ups, and hanging knee raises, leg raises and body twists. Cost: $15 for a fully convertible chin up/sit up bar to suit any door width.

Flexibilty

*Stability balls are great for stretches, working on your core muscles and balance work. Cost: $18 for a ball alone, or $25 with an instructional DVD for stretches, workouts and exercises.
*Yoga mats are great for doing all your floor exercises, stretches, and any yoga or pilates that you may wish to add to the mix. A mat will also provide a more stable surface for a stability ball. Cost: $10 for a mat or $17 for a mat and instructional DVD.

Grand Total:
No Frills: Shoes, bands, dumbbells, and yoga mat comes in at $103.
If you already own a pair of shoes then you could lash out and purchase a chin up bar, stability ball, and the jump rope for the other $40.

Mini trampolines and pedometers are by no means essential for your fitness campaign and have only been mentioned as alternatives for those who might already own some of the other equipment.

*Library. Never underestimate your local library. This can be a great place to source both instructional books and DVDs on how to get fit. Cost: free.

Your home gym exercise equipment need not cost the earth. There are great bargains around for the savvy shopper. A shortage of funds need not stop you from exercising at home. For those with no cash to spare at all, grab a book from your local library instructing you in how to use your own body weight for strength and resistance work. Stick with walking, jogging or running. All you need to purchase is your runners.

*Costings were correct as of time of publication. Coco found the best prices online through the bigger retail outlets.

Fitness Magazines – Inspirational Or Depressing?

Fitness magazines have become increasingly popular as more and more of the population looks for newer methods to beat the bulge and improve their health and fitness. Take a look at the magazine rack in your local store. Every month there seems to be more magazines dedicated to all the various genres of fitness. Weightlifting, men’s fitness, women’s fitness, weight loss, and the list goes on.

Are we finding these magazines motivating and helpful or are they just portraying unrealistic images that many of us will never be able to achieve? Should we believe some of the celebrities featured in these publications who claim they don’t watch what they eat, and stay bikini slim from running around the yard with their kids? (You have to admit, we have all read that statement from plenty of famous people.)

This begs the question, if they don’t watch what they eat and just run around with their children, how come the rest of us don’t look like them? Obviously, some of these folk may be blessed with great genes and a fast metabolism, but let’s not forget that many of these families have personal chefs and imported meals, which makes it incredibly easy to stay on track nutritionally.

So do we find these magazines helpful or depressing? There are always many informative articles in these publications that all of us can implement. The god or goddess on the cover is just there as a lure to get you to pick up the magazine. Those great images have been airbrushed. By all means, stick them on your fridge door as motivation when you next reach for the bottle of beer or chocolate bar.

The important thing is to not compare yourself too critically to a creature on a cover who has put in weeks, months, or even years at the gym, or with a personal trainer, to then be airbrushed. Fitness models often do not have a full time job dragging them out of the gym. Looking trim, taut and terrific with a 6 pack is their job.

We could all look like the cover guys and gals if we had the time to spend on our fitness that they do. Read the articles, be inspired, and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t look like the featured models.

Health and fitness should encompass your body and your mind. Set yourself realistic goals. Follow a nutritious diet. Incorporate a well rounded exercise campaign, including cardio and muscle resistance.

Use those fitness magazines to your advantage. Use the models as healthy inspiration if you want to. Don’t become depressed and discouraged if you do not end up with the same results. Remember that the image you are chasing has in all likelihood been airbrushed and photo-shopped.