Thursday, November 8, 2012

Increase Your Energy

Being tired in fast becoming the new 20th century disease. According to the book 'The 28Day Plan' lack of energy can be attributed to: a bad diet, overindulgence in alcohol, lack of sleep and smoking. Plus we know that stress can zap our energy and leave us feeling tired. So how can we get more energy into our life?
One of the best ways to increase your energy is to eat energy producing foods such as porridge, muesli, fish, poultry, lean lamb, bananas, dried fruit, fresh fruit, fresh vegies, baked potatoes, wholemeal foods, fresh juices, water, Soya milk, seeds and nuts. Foods to limit are coffee, tea, cows cheese, beef/pork, sugary foods, pastries, biscuits, chips, white flour foods, fizzy drinks and chocolate (oh no!).
Other tips in the 28-Day Plan book to raise and restore energy are:
(1). Hibernation-take 20 minutes a day for quiet time. Think about no one and nothing. Lie down, listen to some favourite music or close your eyes and drift off to a beautiful island.
(2). Breath-Spend 5 minutes doing some deep breathing. Sit on the floor in comfortable clothes. Close your eyes and slowly breathe in through your nose, hold for a count of five and slowly exhale to a count of 5.
(3). Laugh-Have a good belly laugh. Watch a funny video or tell a funny joke. Refer back to my last newsletter for more tips.
(4). Sleep-Most of us realise we need 8 hours of sleep for the most benefit. Some other tips are to sleep with the window slightly open (be security conscious too). Have a firm supportive mattress and sufficient pillows. Eat at least 5 hours before going to bed. Go to bed the same time each night. Relax before bed.
(5). Pamper yourself-Go out and treat yourself to a beautiful bunch of flowers (or pick some from your garden). Have a massage, give yourself a facial or bubble bath, and go out for herbal tea with a friend.
(6). Do some stretching and flexing of your body at the start of each day.
(7). Exercise for 30 minutes each day. Some exercise ideas are: walking, jogging, cycling, skipping, bouncing (trampoline), swimming, cleaning and gardening. Have a health check before starting any exercise program.
(8). Eat breakfast.
So get to it. Use this information and tips to begin putting more energy back into your day!
Lisa Branigan specialises in coaching women who are stressed, tired and overwhelmed with

Thursday, November 1, 2012

How To Give Up Insomnia

I am writing this on a Sunday morning following a very restless night when sleep just didn't want to be my friend. I have suffered with insomnia for many years but, by using a combination of techniques, it is more or less under control.
Yesterday, I spent much too long working on changes to my website. I was enjoying it, so the time shot by. I ended up sending out for a big Chinese meal late in the evening. A vast quantity of spicy food was washed down with several glasses of wine. If you want to lie awake half the night, just do as I did. The remedy is simple and obvious. Time to get a grip on the lifestyle.
Self-inflicted insomnia is easily cured. What I call "real" insomnia is a beast of a much deeper hue, debilitating and much harder to defeat. Even so, it is not impossible to overcome and there is a whole range of things you can do to get the upper hand.
Here I should state that I do not pretend to have any special medical or therapeutic knowledge and I would not advise anybody to stop taking their prescribed medication. I am just sharing my experiences in the hope that they might help other people who are struggling through wakeful nights.
The following tips for getting off to sleep are pretty well known but I think they are worth repeating.
1. Keep the bedroom just for bed with no reminders of daytime activities like work or study. Decorate the room in restful colours and use soft lighting. Make sure the temperature is comfortable and the ventilation adequate. Hang curtains which are heavy enough to block out the early morning light.
3. Have a bedtime routine. This does not involve doing anything special, it is just a matter of doing the same things in the same order each night. We all have things we do regularly: empty the dishwasher, put out the cat, lock the front door, set the alarm, brush teeth etc. These routine things are our steps away from the activity of the day, towards the restful night.
4. Make a soak in a warm bath part of your nightly ritual. Adding a few drops of aromatherapy oil to the water makes it doubly relaxing, soft background music makes the experience positively decadent.
5. Don't drink alcohol late at night. A nightcap might make you feel drowsy but it will disrupt your natural sleep rhythms and exacerbate your problem.
6. A warm milky drink is the best thing to have last thing at night. (Yes, our mothers were right when they made us drink cocoa.) There are tons of instant milky drinks available and most ranges have low fat options. If you don't like this milky, chocolatey type of drink, try out herbal teas but avoid anything containing caffeine.
7. Exercise is important but should be performed several hours before bedtime otherwise the adrenaline will still be pumping around your system and keeping you awake.
What if you follow the above tips, fall peacefully asleep and then wake up three hours later, in the dark middle of the night? To me, this is the most distressing type of insomnia. I know how it feels to wake up at 2.00 am, listen to the clock chime every hour round to 7.00 am, fall asleep and be rudely awakened by the alarm at 7.30. I always feel worse after that final snatched half hour of sleep than I felt in the middle of the night and sometimes get up insanely early to avoid it. The following tips can help you get back to sleep.
1. Recognise why you are awake. If you are too hot, cold or uncomfortable in any way, fix that problem. I often wake up thirsty, so I always have a jug of water at my bedside. Sometimes a drink of water is all that's needed to get back to sleep.
2. Relax by breathing slowly and deeply and by concentrating on tensing and then relaxing every muscle in your body, one by one, starting with toes and working upwards to your head.
3. Keep a pen and paper by your bed so if you are worrying about things you have to do, you can write them down in a list. This way you can stop worrying about forgetting anything important. As you write each thing down, visualise it leaving your brain and lodging itself on paper where you will find it safely in the morning. I find this exercise helps a lot if I have things on my mind.
If all this fails, you have been awake for over half an hour and know you are in for a long wakeful night; give up, get up, go do things. You won't feel any worse and you will probably feel better. There is no point in wasting those hours just lying there worrying about insomnia. If you feel sleepy further into the night, you can always go back to bed.
I gave up insomnia by sleeping whenever I could and getting up and doing things when I was wide awake even if it was the middle of the night. I decided to sleep when I could, not worry if I woke up at strange hours and not waste time tossing and turning in search of sleep. The decision to stop worrying was the key to my recovery.
I was fortunate in that I was not tied to a 9-5 work schedule, most of my work was done at home or in the library. All I had to do was make sure I was there for my children who were all school age.
Over a few weeks I "enjoyed" a strange lifestyle. I would go to bed at my normal time, get up at any time of night when I couldn't sleep (usually between 3.00 am and 5.00 am) and read or write essays or do quiet household chores. Then I would get the children up and see that they had breakfast and got off to school. I would then, depending how I felt, carry on working or go to bed. My alarm would be set so that I did not have to worry about being asleep when the children came home from school (I never was: I think mothers have an internal alarm clock). I would sleep for as long as I needed and then get up and carry on with my day. At weekends I could sleep while the children were doing homework or out with their friends.
Gradually, my night-time sleep became longer and my spells of daytime sleep grew shorter. Without any effort or worrying, I reverted to a normal sleep pattern and resumed a conventional timetable.
Several years afterwards I came across this quotation: "If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep". -- Dale Carnegie. I couldn't have put it better myself!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Avoid Becoming a Fitness Failure

When it comes to fitness, no one likes being a failure, yet more than half
of new exercisers quit their program within the first six months. With a
little help you can ensure you're not one of them. Give these ideas a try
as you begin your exercise program for the new year.
Set goals
If you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get
there? Setting short-term and long-term goals may increase your
chance of success. Your goals must give a clear picture of the end-point
to work towards. Use the SMART model, your goal should be Specific,
Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Without these
you'll never know if you have achieved the goal. You can't just say "lose
weight or gain energy." Instead say, "I will lose 10 pounds in 12 weeks
by doing strength training 3 times a week and cardio 3 times a week."
Go for variety
Whether you do a home workout or belong to a gym, build your routine
on cross-training to keep things fresh and interesting, and keep yourself
from developing an injury. Frequently vary the order of your exercises
and mix in dumbbells, barbells, resistance tubing, machine or body
weight exercises. Don't be afraid to take a class.
Track your progress
Write down your measurements and weight at the beginning of your
program. Keep a workout log and use it. Seeing results is a great
motivator. At least once a month, re-measure and review your log to see
advances in your aerobic fitness, strength, flexibility and body
Seek out support
A workout partner with similar goals and a positive attitude can make
your workout more fun. knowing you are accountable to another person
can be a great motivator too. So can working with a certified personal
Devise a backup plan
Time and access are the largest obstacles to fitness, and even devoted
exercisers experience lapses. Don't use these as excuses to avoid
exercise. Having some portable home workout gear like a stability ball,
resistance tubing, jump rope, and dumbbells, will allow you to work out
while traveling, at home or even at work. With limited time, focus on
movements for the largest muscle groups and superset 2 for opposing
muscle groups. A brief but intense workout can be accomplished in a
few minutes.
Just do it
While pumping iron may not be right for everyone, the idea being active
is. Find something you enjoy doing that elevates your heart rate and
challenges you most days of the week. Also pay attention to how you
feel. If you are like most people in as little as three weeks you will find
sleeping better and feeling more rested.
The information contained in this article is strictly for informational
purposes and is not intended to provide medical advice. If you are
sedentary or over 40 please get clearance from a doctor before starting
an exercise program.
You have permission to publish this article electronically,
without changes of any kind, free of charge, as long as the
bylines are included, and remain working hyperlinks. Please send
a copy of the URL where you have posted this article.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Changes in the Face of Fitness

Yes, there have been changes in the face of fitness. Literally... the changes are on my face!
This is yet another true confession of a lifestyle fitness coach.
During August's marginally sweltering heat, while most were off in vacation bliss and splendor, the heat of drums was heard in NYC. All who were in the know awaited the results of yours truly LIPOSUCTION!
What's that? Liposuction! You say! On a trainer, no less! Well, it wasn't your usual Nicole Smith kind of slimming program. No, it was a liposuction of the eyes. Medically termed 'blepharoplasty.' It's a procedure where the physician removes a small part of the fat pad of the lower &/or upper lid, allowing for more space so the puffiness (water retention) around the eyes disappears. My swelling was worst in winter and 'they' say it's probably caused by allergies, heredity, that old culprit gravity and lets not forget age. (Exercise cures everything but eye bubbles!)
If your next question is "But why did you do it, Deb?" I thank you for your kindness. But my eyes were the only way I gave away my age. And I felt I needed my eyes to match the rest of me. If eyes be the window to your soul ...I'll be the first to admit that I'm an old soul. But why wear your soul on your sleeve, er face?
Oh oh, there's something else that I have to confess. You know that frown line that kept you doing everything I would tell you, and adding a few more reps than you really wanted to ...just because I looked so serious? Well, it's gone! Permanently (hopefully). Don't even think that this will make me easier on any of you. I haven't lost an ounce of seriousness only the frown and eye bubbles! So, instead of having continuous ongoing treatments of the deadly botox toxin (it's devirulized), I chose to have those muscles clipped. Based on the strength of those muscles I hope it doesn't slow down my metabolism too much.
Since I have started working as part of the team with a number of New York City's top plastic surgeons, the opportunity presented itself through Dr. Mauro Romita, in a perfect time window. Getting training results with clients and staff has its rewards!
Now, back to the age thing. July of next year I will be turning 50 (gasp!) So this is another step I needed to take to fulfill my mission. Looking upon my life and my journey, I can be proud and say I am a very real and true fitness role model. Proof of the benefits of exercise, healthy living and good nutrition. I've remained true to my fervent belief that without just can't live life to its fullest! I hope to inspire and motivate all whose lives I am privileged to enter and affect. And hope to continue to do so for a very, very long time. Since we are all involved in the process of becoming our best through the health, wellness and fitness process if anyone cares to discuss the process further with me, feel free to ask for more information. This procedure is basically painless and you can go back to work and walking (with sunglasses) after 3-4 days. Exercise takes 2 weeks.
Deborah Caruana RN, MES, PT
DEBORAH is a highly respected authority in personal training for overall health and fitness, with more than 22 years of experience and success. Her credentials include...
Currently licensed Registered Nurse specializing in Rehabilitative Nursing Medical Exercise Therapist: certified by AAHFRP, an internationally recognized physical rehabilitation certification Maternity Specialist Pre & Post Natal certified by Maternal Fitness Personal Fitness Specialist: certified by NASM, an internationally recognized certification Yoga Teacher Professional Health Member, National Organization of Fitness Instructors (IDEA), a leading membership organization of health and fitness professionals Deborah Caruana RN, MES, PT

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

Carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for at least 400 accidental deaths and over 5,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms per year.
Unfortunately, carbon monoxide poisoning is often misdiagnosed as flu, food poisoning, allergy/asthma or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Children, the elderly, individuals with respiratory problems and pets are at risk, even at low levels.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are; headaches, nausea, drowsiness, vomiting, tiredness, pain, cramps and sleep disturbance.
Some people experience headaches and dizziness for almost 2 years prior to carbon monoxide poisoning diagnosis.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is highly toxic, making it impossible to detect with our senses.
Carbon monoxide is produced by incomplete combustion in household appliances like furnaces, boilers, water heaters, stoves, ovens, fireplaces as well as well as automobiles.
Tips to protect yourself and your loved ones:
1) Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home
2) Have your appliances (boilers, furnaces, stoves, water heater, fireplaces) checked and serviced by a reputable heating company.
Be sure they are equipped with a professional carbon monoxide analyzer.
If they tell you they don't have one, find another company!
3 Do not use unvented appliances (kerosene heaters, barbecue grilles) in the house.
4) If you have a garage that is attached to your home click here.
5) Any time you strengthen the insulation properties or add a ventilation fan you should have your appliances checked to ensure the upgrades have not compromised the ability of the appliances to safely draft the combustion products from the house.
By following the above guidelines, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning can be significantly reduced.
Go to for more information about indoor air quality.
Ed Bishop is founder and president of Enhanced Living Inc., a Troy, NY-based design-consulting and contracting company. A pioneer in residential contracting, Ed is a thirty-year industry veteran trained in the “House Is A System” approach to HVAC design. He was formerly a building analyst instructor, providing certification training for New York's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Measure Your Progress

An extremely important part of your fitness program is being able to measure your progress.
Body fat testing is not painful, nor is it expensive. You can get it done at most any gym or fitness center.
Simply ask if they have an expert who can measure body composition.
It's also a good idea to take before and after photos and post them somewhere you'll see them every day.
But most importantly, measure 5 - 10 different aspects of your progress.
My most successful clients measure everything in their life that's effected by their weight loss, normally on a simple scale from 1 - 10, such as:
- their daily energy level
- their attitude
- the way they feel when they look in the mirror
- the way they fit into their clothes
- the compliments they get from people
- their level of mental focus
- their waist, hips, and thigh measurements
- their body weight
- their body-fat level
- their endurance in their workouts
- etc, etc, etc...
Make a long list of ways you can measure your progress - but be sure to include things that are truly important to YOU. If having loads of energy is important to you, than you should be measuring your energy level every day to see if your diet and/or workout routine are doing their job.
On the other hand, if you already have a lot of daily energy, than you might not want to measure that - you might prefer to measure other things that are more important to you at the stage of life your currently at.
Take time to design your list, then chart your progress in a daily journal every day for each of the categories on your list. Then take an average for the whole day, and write that average at the top of your page.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

11 Steps to a Body of Your Dreams!

11 Steps that Absolutely Guarantee you'll have the Body of your Dreams in 90 days or Less!
Get these tips and more on Audio.
1. Persistence!
Violate this step and you'll never achieve permanent results. We recently concluded conducted a 10 year study which proves that persistence is the single most important aspect of any diet or exercise program. The study followed a group of people (group #1) who exercised and dieted very strictly, but sporadically and compared those results to a group of people (group #2) who exercised mildly and followed a very basic diet, but this group never varied from their routine. Even though group #2 exercised and dieted far less (but did so persistently) they got 68% better results than those who exercised and dieted VERY STRICTLY but only occasionally.
2. Workout around other people.
Working out with others will get you about 43% faster results!!!
3. Don't take bad advice.
Take ONLY the advice of those people who look strong & healthy themselves, and, whom you know to be knowledgeable about health & fitness!
4. ALWAYS keep an eye on your pulse.
When doing aerobic or cardiovascular training! Keeping your pulse inside your 80% target heart rate zone will burn up to 9 times more calories. Dropping below your target heart rate will not burn nearly as many fat calories, and going above your target heart rate may lead to muscle breakdown.
5. Surround yourself with winners.
One of the key qualities of all successful people is that they avoid negative people and they spend the majority of their time surrounded by those who have already achieved what they themselves seek to achieve. So if your goal is to weigh 135 pounds by eating healthy and living an energy full life - then seek out others who already live a healthy lifestyle and weigh 135 pounds. Hanging out with people who just talk about getting in shape but never take persistent action will ensure that you never reach your goal.
6. Know your outcome.
Have specific goals. Get a photo (or several) of what you WILL look like when you reach your goal, then focus only on that image. Quickly erase any negative beliefs or images that may enter into your mind during your day.
7. Increase you water intake.
Water is a key component to life. No living creature can survive without a fresh supply of pure water each and every day. If you do not consume enough fresh water every day, your body will age faster, appear fatter, be more susceptible to germs and colds, lose joint mobility, and much more. Generally speaking, most people who weigh under 150 pounds require no less than 8-10 glasses per day, those who weigh between 150-250 pounds require about 16 glasses per day.
8. Watch where your calories come from.
Without a doubt, we eat way too much sugar and fat. Moderation was the key in the past, now the key is moderation and the exclusion of junk food. One or two binges per year are generally OK if you are a normal healthy individual, but more is absolutely not OK.
9. Increase the number of meals consumed per day.
On average, you should be eating some form of protein and vegetable combination that's low in fat and high in fiber every 2 -3 hours of the day. Doing so will give you an almost unfair advantage over those who only eat the normal 3 meals (or less) each day.
10. Visualize Clearly and Often.
Design your new body in your mind first. You cannot achieve your idea of the perfect body if you don't have an idea of what the perfect body means to you. Take 10 minutes when you are sure not to be disturbed by people or phone calls, get comfortable, fully relax, then begin to dream about what you will look like when you have achieved your goal. Be specific, what will your calves look like, your legs, your butt, your lower back, your stomach, your chest, your upper back, your shoulders, your neck and your face. Then review this image as often throughout each day as possible (never less than 3x/day).
11. Cardio...Cardio...Cardio.
Cardiovascular exercising does more for the health and the appearance of the human body than any other form of exercise. Learn how much and what type of cardio is right for your particular body. Then refer to step #1 and do it persistently.