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Cure for Modern Day Stresses

Cure for Modern Day Stresses

Yoga is a 3,000-year-old, Hindu discipline of mind and body that became known in Western society with the hippie generation of the Sixties and early Seventies. Its image as a mystic practice is disappearing as fast as the stressful aspects of the Eighties are appearing.

As an effective method of stress management, yoga is spreading into the business world, the helping professions, nursing and old age homes, and is used in the treatment of alcoholics, hyperactive children and youngsters with learning disabilities. Yoga centers are getting stiff competition from adult education classes of community colleges, boards of education and parks and recreation departments.

The meaning of yoga is union of the body, mind and spirit with truth. There are many kinds of yoga to study, and there can be endless years of practice for the willing student.

Hatha Yoga is among the most popular forms in the west. It emphasizes the practice of postures, which stretch and strengthen the body, help develop a sense of balance and flexibility, as well as body awareness and mental concentration. All forms of yoga incorporate the practice of proper breathing techniques for relaxation, to rest the mind from its constant chatter, to experience an internal calm, and to energize and purify the body.

As stress levels in society reach new heights, Raja Yoga, the yoga of meditation, is growing in popularity in Western society, while others, such as Krya Yoga, the yoga of cleansing, and Mantra Yoga, the yoga of chanting, not surprisingly, have little appeal for newcomers.

Stretching and toning, though beneficial, aren’t the primary reasons people turn to yoga. Newcomers are hoping that yoga will provide them with a means for handling stress and diffusing tension. The difference between exercise and yoga is that yoga has a meditative quality.

A lot of people are exercising for the psychological benefits and trying many of the Eastern activities, like yoga and tai chi. Yoga seems to have a calming effect on people.

And the techniques work on children as well as adults. When your children are quarreling, ask them to stop what they’re doing, raise their arms over their heads, lean forward and breathe deeply to help diffuse their anger. It definitely helps them to cool it.

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When Looking For Abs Exercise Equipments

When Looking For Abs Exercise Equipments

You need to get in shape for summer because those sunny periods are just around the corner and almost everyone is shopping for their bathing suits. A major consideration during this time also is whether the swimwear will fit, and if the legs are toned and the arms fit.

To get the perfect shape you desire, you need to keep up with the daily sit-ups, though many people don’t seem to like it, but those darn abs workouts are very beneficial. Despite the reluctance of most to embrace exercise, they still want a great set of abs, which is why there are several abs exercise equipment in the fitness market. Irrespective of your gender, abs are important, and you really need to test out some of the modern abs exercise equipment.

I don’t have any abs exercise equipment, and to be honest, I prefer doing my workouts without machines. Why? Because I believe doing pull-ups, push-ups, etc is not the right way for anyone who is trying to stay fit. However, most people will rather go for current abs exercise equipment in the market like benches, treadmills, and Stairmasters, no doubt these are great stuffs if you can afford it. You can utilize any of the present aids if they are available.

My wife has this big rubber balls-I must admit I don’t know what it is. The variety of workouts she uses this abs exercise equipment for is amazing, as I have seen her use them for stomach and back workouts. I was surprised when I first saw it, but I now realized how it could provide a platform for strenuous workouts and help to build muscles. Till today, my wife continues to use it daily for several workouts.

Certainly you will have your own preference of abs exercise equipment, perhaps it is the abs exercise equipments in the local gym or fitness club that catches your fancy These two places typically have different types of abs exercise equipment for members use, but regardless of what type you prefer, daily abs workout routine is necessary to maintain a tight stomach.

And if you need help about abs exercise equipment or simple regimes, the Internet is there to answer all your enquiries. From information on diets to fitness routines, you will find it all on the huge resource of the Internet.

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San Francisco Schools Hire Mcgraw-Hill VP

San Francisco Schools Hire Mcgraw-Hill VP

After six months of interviewing applicants nationwide, San Francisco Schools district has filled its top position. Carlos Garcia, Vice President of Urban Markets for McGraw-Hill (educational publishers), has been selected as the next Superintendent of San Francisco Schools. Board members have been seeking a replacement since January after interim Superintendent Gwen Chan announced that she would not return to the post in the fall.

Garcia was voted in due to his experience in San Francisco Schools, strong results as Superintendent of other districts, and good reputation as a fiscal manager. Garcia served both Fresno, California and Clark County, Nevada as Superintendent. From 1988-91 Garcia was principal of San Francisco Schools Horace Mann Middle School. During his tenure the school improved its achievement scores and received recognition for its accomplishments.

According to Board President of San Francisco Schools, Mark Sanchez, “ We chose Mr. Garcia because of his past experience with San Francisco, his strong track record as a superintendent and his understanding of the challenges that our district faces.” The San Francisco Schools have dealt with issues like declining enrollment over the past few years, as families leave for better districts and private schools. Initiatives like the small schools program are one of many that the San Francisco Schools are implementing to reverse this trend. This change in leadership may bring some of these programs into question, although the school board seems confident that Garcia is in line with their priorities.

Thirty applicants were interviewed since January in an attempt to find a new leader for the San Francisco Schools. Garcia’s credentials includes a B.A. from Claremont Men’s College in political science, a M.A. in education from Claremont Graduate school, and an administrative degree from California State University at Fullerton. Parents in San Francisco Schools provided input to the hiring process in the form of both community meetings, and over a thousand surveys, to determine the criteria for their next leader.

Leadership of the San Francisco Schools will have a strong impact on financial spending and program funding. Given pressure to meet national No Child Left Behind standards, administrators in San Francisco Schools are constantly making decisions about how best to allocate funds. California’s poor reputation on educational priorities and spending was recently highlighted by a think tank study that claimed that the state’s educational priorities are in such disarray that the whole system needs an overhaul. While San Francisco Schools leaders may agree with the study, they still need state funding to run their districts.

The fact that Garcia led one of the nation’s largest districts, Clark County, gives the San Francisco Schools reasons to hope that he will use the same financial wisdom in this district. Six of the seven board members voted for Mr. Garcia’s appointment, with the seventh asking for more time to decide. Garcia will begin serving San Francisco Schools on July 16th, 2007.

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Choosing The Right Vitamin Supplement

Choosing The Right Vitamin Supplement

Millions of people take daily vitamin supplements to encourage good health. With all the different kinds of vitamins, minerals and herbs flooding the market these days, it’s sometimes difficult to know what to choose.

The first thing you need to know is that vitamin supplements are not a replacement for eating healthy, vitamin rich whole foods. Food contains the nutrients your body needs in their very purest form, and interact with each other and your body in a way supplements cannot. However, taking vitamin supplements in addition to eating a vitamin-rich diet can be a great way to stay healthy and protect against damage from harmful free radicals.

When shopping for vitamin supplements, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Always read the label

Reading labels is a wise practice you should do every time you shop for supplements. Labels can tell you more about dosages, ingredients, safety precautions, and other important information.

Choose a reputable manufacturer

Always choose products with “USP” on the label. “USP” is the abbreviation for the U.S. Pharmacopeia and the inclusion on the label means the product has been tested and checked for quality and safety.

Check the Date

Expired vitamins can lose their potency. Always make sure there is an expiration date printed on the bottle, and never purchase or use expired supplements.

Avoid Giant Doses

Do not choose supplements that offer extremely high doses of a particular vitamin or vitamins. Too much of anything can be harmful, sometimes even fatal.

Store Safely

Always keep your vitamins out of the reach of children. Store in a cool, dark, dry place as heat and humidity can affect the integrity of the vitamins.

Always Do Your Homework

Research is always a good idea before deciding to take vitamin supplements. Consult with your doctor. Perform some Internet searches or visit your local library. There is a wealth of resources available for you on the topic of vitamin supplements and the benefits they offer.

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The Real Deal About Weight Loss Pills

The Real Deal About Weight Loss Pills

Living in today’s high end and critical society is really difficult for some people. Sadly, while some are lucky enough to be born perfect, there are those who are physically underdeveloped or are not as endowed with the perfect body. Since conformity is the trick for one to get by in the eyes of peers, many individuals tend to do anything possible just to be considered “in”.

Fat or obese individuals are oftentimes shunned by most people, and the extremely petite women are wowed upon by many. As such, women tend to do whatever it takes just to loose weight. Some go for surgical procedures and others prefer the natural way to loose body fat. Apart from surgery and exercise, there are those who choose to take weight loss pill instead.

Defining weight loss diet pill

Weight loss pill is a tablet that is often taken by obese individuals for the hopes of having their fat and wide bodies slim down. As the demand for weight loss pill continues to grow each year, the market for these products also flourishes. In fact, anyone can buy these pills almost anywhere in the world.

There are two types of weight loss pills: The prescription weight loss pill and the over-the-counter pill. The prescription weight loss pill products are the ones recommended by doctors to obese patients. These products are considered cosmetic in nature, thus, requiring patients to still continue with their exercise and diet.

On the other hand, over the counter weight loss pill products are the ones most commonly regarded as food supplements. Majority of these weight loss pills that are available in the market today are not really effective. Most of these products are inexpensive and falsely promise consumers of fast weight loss results, thus, making them irresistible for people who find surgery as a costly procedure and exercise as a difficult daily task.

Side effects of OTC and prescription weight loss pills

Over-the-counter weight loss pills generally contain high amount of amphetamine-related ingredients that can cause physical and psychological imbalances. As for prescription weight loss pills, the most common side effects are impotence, high blood pressure, hair loss, chest pain, and fever.

Some things to consider

Although weight loss pills are widely available in the worldwide market today, it is still important for consumers to remember that these products do not necessarily give fast weight loss results, for intake of these medications requires continuous or consistent maintenance of proper diet and exercise.

When taking in weight loss pills, follow the exact dosage instructed by the doctor. If side effects occur upon using these medications, remember to immediately consult a doctor. Also be wary with products that claim to have herbal ingredients, for these are not healthier or safer than the other weight loss pills. Never fall for cheaper products just because they are noted to contain natural ingredients.

Remember that diet pills work when the consumption is under the supervision of a doctor and is associated with proper exercise, diet, and positive attitude towards losing weight.

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Exercise and Mental Health: Are There Connections?

Exercise and Mental Health: Are There Connections?

We all know that exercise promotes healthier body and better sense of well-being. It boosts confidence for people who need newer self image while it prevents the aggravation of physical illnesses for some. While nearly all of the research on exercise is focused on demonstrating positive effects on the physical body, there is a growing mass of research that seeks to prove that exercise is good for mental health as well.

A study conducted by the researchers from the Duke University along with other similar studies proved that exercise could help treat depression for 60% of all the participants. This result is similar with the total number of participants who are using medications for their treatment from depression.

However, you don’t have to be a sufferer of a mental illness before you benefit from exercise. You can boost your sense of well-being while walking on the treadmill or by combining yoga and meditation. In a way, exercise could be used as a potential medium for preventing the development of psychological and emotional conditions.

There are three dimensions at which we could look at when examining the benefits of exercise in the mental wellness of a person. Among the less well known is the biological aspect.

One theory suggests that physical workout or exercise could stimulate a part of the brain to release endorphins. Activities that are more likely to trigger the release of endorphins are swimming, cross-country skiing, running, bicycling, aerobics and sports like soccer, football and basketball.

Endorphins are comparable to opiates in a way that they resemble morphine. Endorphins could work in two ways- as a pain reliever (which is produced in response to the stresses brought about by physical work or stress) and as an enhancer of well-being. There are, however, no definite data that could support this claim.

On the other hand, exercise is also found to trigger the release of hormones norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. All these are known to help improve mood and is actually the main effect of Prozac, a known antidepressant.

Increase in these hormones could be best observed in a condition known as "runner’s high". This feeling during after an acute exercise is directly linked to the increased number of the said hormones. However, there are still no conclusive studies proving that improvements on mood could be facilitated for a longer period of time.

Another is the physiological aspect. Nearly all of the feelings we associate with mental wellness come from our personal evaluation of the way our body feels. Say for instance, if you perceive a stomach pain as a form of stress then you will feel stressed (and sometimes even depression) every time your stomach aches. Likewise, exercise could render feelings such as muscle relaxation and easier breathing which we associate with "feeling better". While this correlation is yet to have a better scientific grounding, we still could not deny the fact that muscle tension and increased blood flow go together with physical fitness.

No one knows yet how exactly exercise affects mental health. But it is common among patients to view exercise as a good medium to elevate their moods. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Charity Mind nearly two-thirds of all people who said that they use exercise to relieve symptoms of stress and depression believe that exercise actually works for them. The scientific community is yet to understand how this happens though and for now, it remains a truth that people benefit from exercise for mental health.

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Exposed Hidden Secrets of Super Body Building Nutrition

Exposed Hidden Secrets of Super Body Building Nutrition

Whether you’re body building for yourself or if you’re interested in taking part in competitions, a specialized diet that contains all of the essential nutrients for muscle building is an absolute must for those who are intent on developing their physique. It’s a common fact: anyone who is actively participating in a body building exercise plan needs to take in more calories than a person of a similar build who isn’t doing the same sort of training, simply because a body building workout has greater demand for energy. Supplying the body the right amount of calories and the right mix of nutrients is the key to proper body building nutrition.

Protein plays a tremendously significant role in aiding a body builder to increase his muscle mass. Generally speaking, about thirty percent of a body builder’s caloric intake should probably be in the form of protein. Of course, every individual is different and thirty percent is only a rough guideline. The most popular protein choices are egg whites, fish, and chicken. However, another option to consider for a powerful supply of protein is beef liver. Ounce for ounce, you can’t find a meat more densely packed with protein. In addition, some also choose to supplement their normal diets with protein powders, which can enhance muscle development. No matter what, make sure you check with your doctor or nutritionist and explain your exercise plans to them in detail, so they can provide you informed advice on proper body building nutrition.

Carbohydrates, or carbs, are necessary to provide the body with sufficient levels of energy to deal with the strenuous nature of an intense body building workout. Exercising for maximum gain is significantly different that working out to achieve good health and general overall fitness, and your body’s needs certainly vary depending on the types of exercise you’re doing. During hardcore training your body is going to burn calories at a high rate, and you’re going to need those carbs to fuel your system. It’s quite easy to see why proper body building nutrition is an absolute must in order to provide maximum muscle building efficiency.

And speaking of carbs, beef liver (mentioned above) also has carbohydrates that red beef lacks. Consider beef liver over red beef because it doesn’t have the fat of red beef but it brings the protein and carbs.

And what about your food intake? How should you manage your meals? Body building nutrition differs from the nutritional routines of the average person. While most people prefer to stick to the traditional "three meals a day" food plan, a body builder who is serious about proper food management will likely opt for 5 or even 7 much smaller meals, spread throughout the day at regular intervals. This ensures that the body maintains a regular metabolism, which is the key to body building nutrition.

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Stretching Your Way To Health And Fitness

Stretching Your Way To Health And Fitness

Yoga is an ancient Indian form of exercise that helps improve health and fitness. It is also traditionally viewed as a set of spiritual or philosophical exercises that leads a person to greater self-awareness and internal peace. In India and in many parts of Asia, yoga is used as a means to attain spiritual enlightenment. The word yoga in original Sanskrit language means to control, to join, or to unite. There are different types or schools of yoga such as Karma Yoga (Yoga of Action), Bhakti Yoga (Yoga of Devotion), and Jnana Yoga (Yoga of Knowledge), and Hatha Yoga. Each school of yoga emphasizes a different aspect of the ancient art.

As a means of meditation, yoga can help an individual increase concentration and heighten the functions of the senses through various body postures and breathing techniques. The various body postures called “asanas” stretch the limbs and the torso. The stretching helps relax the muscles and increase dexterity. These movements are accompanied by deep, controlled breathing called “pranayana.” The term pranayama comes from the root word “prana” which means breath or “life force.”

As a spiritual discipline, yoga prescribes certain beliefs, thoughts, and behavior that should be practiced everyday. Another form of yoga called Raja Yoga prescribes eight major philosophical thoughts and practices, namely:

1. Yama – Abstention from lying, stealing, violence, illicit sex, and materialism.
2. Niyama – Observance of contentment, purity, austerity, study, and surrender to God.
3. Asana – Regular practice of meditative postures.
4. Pranayama – Controlled breathing as a means to generate internal energy.
5. Pratyahara – Exercise and “reversal” of the internal body organs.
6. Dharana – Practice of concentration by focusing on a single object.
7. Dhyana – Practice of meditation.
8. Samadhi – The “merging” of one’s consciousness with the object of meditation.

However, in the West, yoga is very popular as a means to reduce stress and anxiety and depression. Practitioners of the art claim that yoga practice helps alleviate lower back pain, migraine headaches, symptoms of arthritis and other ailments. Certain movements and poses also help relieve symptoms of allergic rhinitis and other allergies.

As a form of stress management, many find yoga to be very effective and easy to learn. The breathing patterns allow a person to regain a sense of relaxation while flexing and sweating out the body’s toxins. In using yoga to manage stress, a new practitioner must be careful not to overstretch or strain the body. The key to yoga is to do slow, smooth movements in close coordination with breathing. Of course, there are different levels of yoga practice. Since the advanced postures require full dexterity, beginners are only supposed to follow or learn the basic movements.

Some of the celebrities who practice yoga include Madonna, Ricky Martin, Meg Ryan, and Sting. These celebrities were able to maintain a high level of fitness while sculpting their bodies in “Hollywood” form.

In a world that is so full of pressure, fast-paced work, and other factors that adversely affect physical, mental, and emotional well-being, the practice of yoga should be considered as a simple, inexpensive form of physical training and therapy.

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Where To Develop Six-Pack Abs

Where To Develop Six-Pack Abs

Today, fitness centers have become a popular haven for people who are conscious about their figure—especially to those who are looking forward to having six-pack abs. For them, enrolling in specific programs offered by the fitness center can ensure their success in achieving their goals to have a body that is fit and healthy.

Nowadays, most fitness centers are unisex which caters to both men and women. They have different offerings for both sexes because the owners know that these individuals have different needs. Unlike before where most centers are male-centered, today more and more fitness establishments also provide a venue specifically designed for women. This is quite effective for women especially those who feel awkward when men see them doing their stretching and weight lifting exercises during their scheduled workouts. Aside from the space provide for them, many women enjoy working out in these types of fitness centers because these have special facilities, unique programs and even women instructors to guide them.

For women who would want to have six-pack abs, it is advisable to enroll in a fitness center or in a gym to be guided by the instructors accordingly. Here, specific workout plan will be created for them so they can achieve successful health goals.

Choosing the right fitness center

If you are one of those who are planning to enroll in a fitness center or in a gym to develop six-pack abs, it is best that you will feel comfortable in the place. The major considerations should include the safety, cleanliness, and well-maintained environment. Since you will be staying inside the fitness center during while developing that six-pack abs, it is best to look for a fitness center or a gym with:

- Good location. The most ideal and convenient location of the fitness center is near the home or in the workplace. When the fitness center is nearby, you can be encouraged to drop by thinking they will not have to worry about going home or to the office late because the center is just within the area.

- Workout schedules that are adjustable. Once you have decided to do your work outs in a fitness center, choose for those that offer services that can suit your schedule. This is important for it will ensure that you can work out because the place is open for you. For those who have erratic schedule, look for a fitness center that is open for 24-hours so you can drop by whenever you are free.

- Affordable monthly fees or membership fees. Choose a fitness center that is budget-friendly. Before enrolling, make sure that you inquire about the fees and its breakdown so you will know if your money will worth it. Stay away from fitness centers that charge high prices. For beginners, try enrolling in fitness center that offer lower charges for trials.

- Advanced gym facilities and equipment. The set of facilities and equipment that the gym offers will give you an idea about the quality of service that you will be getting. Before signing up, make sure that you visit the condition of the facilities and equipment.

- Professional trainers and friendly staff. Having enough number of trainers will ensure that there will be somebody who will guide you as you train for your six-pack abs. Aside from guiding you in your work outs, professional trainers can also monitor your development and can give you suggestions on how to improve your weak areas. The friendly staff will also be a bonus because knowing that somebody will assist you will somehow motivate you to come back.

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NPC Body Building

NPC Body Building

NPC is the National Physique Committee, a national organization dedicated to the pursuit of a body building program that will build great bodies. They are one of the most well-respected organizations in the body building world and sponsor several body building competitions throughout the year.

NPC body building competitions include the following:

* The Women’s National Fitness Championship
* Women’s National Body Building Championship
* USA Men’s Championship
* The IFBB World Championships
* The IFBB Northern Championship
* Junior USA Body Building Championship

And that’s just a few of the national championship competitions sanctioned by the NPC. When an event is sponsored by the NPC, it is well-respected. People know that NPC body building competitions are ones that can give legitimacy to them as serious body building athletes.

Their contests are held all over the country and in Canada, and have long been considered THE contests to enter and win. The NPC Nationals is the number one amateur body building competition and has launched plenty of hardcore body builders on to successful careers in the industry. They have full-time promoters working non-stop to make sure that every one of the NPC body building competitions are the best that they can be.

The NPC is an amateur organization. Becoming a member of the NPC and competing in their competitions can lead to membership in the world’s strongest body building organization – the IFBB (International Federation of Body Builders). The IFBB is a professional organization for body builders who make a living with their physiques.

NPC body building involves more than just competitions. They are dedicated to educating new body builders including women and teens. They also provide members with alternatives to steroids and information on how to sculpt the perfect body.

Anyone can become a member of the NPC. If you are interested in body building and possibly going pro one day, being a member of the NPC is an important part of your body building goals. All you have to do is submit an application along with a yearly membership fee. With that, you will receive the following:

* Six issues of NPC News magazine that features the sport’s up and coming new bodybuilding and fitness stars, along with contest results and contest information on future NPC events.
* Liability insurance (if you’re a registered contestant) covering you going to, from and at any NPC bodybuilding and fitness event.
* Eligibility to participate in NPC events and qualify for IFBB events.
NPC body building is a very important part of a serious body building regimen. Even if you don’t want to go pro, being a member of the NPC can be very valuable in your body building career.