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How To Track Your Body Fat

 

Many people place emphasis on losing weight, and measure their progress using a scale. However, this isn’t completely accurate, since it’s fat, specifically, that we should be trying to lose. When you lose weight, you may be losing water weight, muscle, or fat. The scale simply can’t tell you which one of these you’re losing. This is why you should make it a point to measure your body fat instead of your body weight.

Why Measure Body Fat?

When you are losing weight, your main aim should be to lose fat and not muscle or water weight. This is because water weight loss is temporary, and losing muscle will slow down your metabolism in the long run. The only way to know if you are losing fat is by measuring your body fat. If you track your body fat and it remains the same, but you are losing weight, you may have to change your weight loss approach.

What is The Normal Range of Body Fat?

The range of healthy body fat varies according to gender and age. Generally, women should have about 20%-30% of fat while men should have between 8%-25% of fat. Anything less or more than this range is unhealthy and efforts should be made to gain or lose fat accordingly.

How Do You Track Body Fat?

There are a few methods of measuring body fat, though a majority involve expensive or large equipment, or are just plain inconvenient. The two methods that are doable at home are the skinfold method, and the height and circumference method.

The skinfold method requires you to have a pair of body fat calipers, which you use to measure standardized areas of the body by pinching the area with the calipers. These measurements are then applied to an equation which will give you your body fat percentage. However, if you don’t want to use the equation, the measurements alone will give you a good estimate if you are losing fat.

The height and circumference method involves measuring different parts of the body using a tape measure and comparing it to a table of standard values to get your body fat percentage. There are many calculators on the internet that use this method to help you determine your body fat percentage, so feel free to try them out. Usually the neck, hip and waist are the areas measured.

You can use either of these two methods to easily estimate your body fat percentage, and track your fat loss progress. Hopefully you will be seeing more fat loss than muscle loss, and to help this happen be sure to eat the right kind of foods and exercise often!

 

Survival Guides for Any Situation

 

When you have the knowledge that you need, you can weather short-term and long-term disasters. But without knowing how to survive, you lessen your odds of making it through.

Survival guides share the knowledge that can help you to survive no matter what your location is – and knowing and preparing for the different ways to survive in any territory will provide you the skills you need.

Surviving an emergency situation isn’t the same in a desert as it is in an urban setting. There’s also a big difference between surviving in the woods versus surviving a catastrophic weather event.

But wherever you happen to be, always remember the first rule. Don’t panic. Panic can lead you to make foolish decisions that will hamper your chances of making it through. Regardless of your situation, food, water and shelter should be your focus.

With a survival guide for any situation, you’ll learn that whenever you’re traveling through a desert area, always have emergency supplies. No one ever expects a vehicle to break down or to get lost in the desert, but it happens.

You should have a hat to cover your head, water, a mirror, and matches on hand. Matches are necessary because the temperatures in the desert drop at night. Not only that, but you can use matches to burn tires or other items to signal for help.

You should have a flashlight, a first aid kit and a blanket with you. Remember too, not to wander away from your vehicle – it’ll be harder for search teams to find you. But don’t sit in your vehicle because the temperatures inside can get too hot.

Urban survival is different in that people aren’t conditioned for the break down of societal rules following a disaster. Urban survival can quickly break down to simply food, shelter and staying alive.

Survival guides that discuss urban survival always mention food storage, a means to cook the food, a water filter or purification tablets and facial masks to protect against contaminants.

Wilderness survival is different from desert and urban survival in that the location can offer special challenges depending on the area. You’ll need a waterproof backpack packed with the following items: first aid kit, food bars, matches, a compass, a knife, string, water purification tablets and a parachute cloth or one man tent. You can use the string to tie to trees, drape the parachute cloth over it and create instant shelter.

Disaster survival guides will cover how to survive in any area for specific length of times (short-term and long-term). You’ll learn the supplies that you’ll need to have on hand and the guides can give you the self-confidence to survive any situation.

3 Disadvantages Of Using Home Fitness DVDs

 

Home fitness DVDs are popular among exercisers who want to cut costs and avoid the gym. While they do have their advantages, using these DVDs as your main form of exercise also has disadvantages that you may be overlooking. Some of these drawbacks are highlighted below.

It’s Easy To Fall Off the Wagon

For most people, working out is an activity that requires a lot of willpower and discipline to make a habit out of. When one has a live personal trainer or has paid money for the gym, he or she is more likely to keep his or her motivation in check when it comes to working out. Working out at home may be convenient, but for the lazier ones among us, it’s an excuse to frequently skip workouts whenever the smallest things come up. It’s easy to start working out using fitness DVDs, but hard to maintain the habit of using them on a regular basis.

Lack of a Real Personal Trainer

While most home fitness videos are hosted by personal trainers, it isn’t the same as having a live one. A live personal trainer, or class instructor, will make sure you are working hard enough, and that you have the right posture and form when performing exercises. While home fitness DVDs usually have intense workouts that require some strain, you won’t have a personal trainer to make sure you are not overdoing it to the level of hurting yourself, or underdoing it so you aren’t getting much from the workout.

Lack of Quality

Home fitness DVDs are inexpensive, but you have to ensure you are purchasing the right ones. Some fitness DVDs are produced by inexperienced parties that present you with workouts that barely leave you panting. What’s worse, some workouts are too intense – if you’re not ready you could end up hurting yourself. This is why it is important to know what your capabilities and requirements are when working out before you attempt using a home fitness DVD, or else you may find yourself not getting the results you expected or worse, unable to work out due to an injury.

As you can see, there are a number of disadvantages that may be encountered when using home fitness DVDs are a form of workout. However, this does not mean you shouldn’t try them at all. They can definitely work, but be sure to stay disciplined and practice proper exercising techniques when using them as your sole form of working out. If you find that home fitness DVDs don’t keep you engaged, then attempt to try other things like running, jogging, going to the gym, or joining dance classes to get your exercise.

3 Benefits Of Using Home Fitness DVDs

 

When the word “exercise” comes to our mind, we often associat it with the gym, expensive equipment, or running for miles. The truth is, exercise doesn’t have to involve leaving your home at all or buying lots of equipment. It can be as simple as purchasing some inexpensive home fitness DVDs. Here are three benefits of getting some home fitness DVDs for your collection at home.

They Are Inexpensive

Most gym memberships cost a bomb, and home fitness DVDs are a great alternative that costs way less. Even though some DVDs require you to have some basic equipment such as light weights, exercise balls, or skipping ropes, these do not cost much and are usually within the budget of the average person. So instead of renewing that gym membership that you hardly ever used, why not cancel it and purchase a few home fitness DVDs?

They Offer Variety

For the average exerciser who often repeats the same exercises over and over or is bored of the repetitive classes at the gym, home fitness DVDs offer a nice change. There are a variety of DVDs available for one to purchase or even borrow from the local library, ranging from basic workout DVDs, to those for sculpting and toning, to those that are dance-based to increase the fun factor. When you get bored of one DVD, you can always switch to another that interests you. No matter what particular form of exercise you prefer, from aerobics to Zumba, there are several DVDs out there to keep things interesting.

They Are Convenient

Exercising couldn’t get any more convenient than when using home fitness DVDs. Right in the comfort of your home, you can pop one into your DVD player and start working out in your living room. There is no gas, babysitters, or going out involved. What’s more, you can work out with your spouse and kids too, if they are willing participants. There’s nothing like some family time to help keep the motivation to work out going.

Remember, there are drawbacks of using exercise DVDs, especially when it comes to keeping yourself motivated. However, if you don’t want to invest in an exorbitantly-priced gym membership or leave your home to exercise (especially when the weather is less than inviting), home fitness DVDs are your best option to get your daily dose of exercise in a convenient way.

Survival Supplies You Should Be Storing Long-Term

 

Surviving long-term after a disaster will depend on how well you prepared before the disaster struck. You need to gather what you need to survive right now. You can store the items in a cool, dry place and have it on hand for when it’s needed.

There are four important things you have to remember when preparing for long-term survival. Those four things are: the need for shelter to be safe from the elements, first aid, food and water and the ability to protect yourself from people or animals that would attempt to harm you.

Long-term supplies to set aside for safety from the elements should be tents for each member of the family if you’re going to use single man tents, sleeping bags, thermal blankets and ponchos.

Safety from the elements also includes the ability to keep warm if necessary. You’ll need an axe for cutting wood for fires, a way to start a fire – such as waterproof matches or a lighter, gloves and a multi tool.

For first aid survival, you’ll need a first aid kit that includes insect repellent, personal hygiene items and field dressings. You’ll need tweezers, scissors and a surgical kit. You may not know how to close a large wound, but in case you have to save a life, you should know this information. You can keep a how-to guide on hand with your supplies. Make sure you have supplies that will treat teeth or eye problems too.

You should be able to protect yourself and your family from harm. Some people choose to arm themselves with guns and ammunition. If you choose to do that, make sure you store the ammunition in a waterproof box.

In the event that long-term survival is needed, your food supply should already be on hand. You’ll want foods that can store for years without the possibility of spoil. Start with your basic foods – like sugar, coffee, powered milk and staples like flour and salt.

Foods that will keep stored for many years are peanut butter, beans and rice. Canned foods are an excellent choice to have on hand as long as you have a handheld can opener. An electric one won’t do you much good if the power is out!

Store up canned foods like chili, fruits, soups and meats like tuna, salmon, and chicken. Trail mix, beef jerky and powdered juices can all be safely stored for years. If you prepare now, you can make homemade canned items like fruits and vegetables that can last until they’re needed.

When you’re storing foods that are in packages, you’ll need to put those down into a container to keep them safe from insects or mice. You can buy bulk supplies of MREs (meals ready to eat) that can feed an entire family for a year or longer.

Have communication sources like a cell phone and a battery operated CB radio. You’ll want to get LED flashlights and lanterns, waterproof bags for clothing and you’ll want to have a way to clean your clothes. Store a laundry board and a five gallon bucket with some laundry soap and bleach.

Because stress can build quickly in a long-term survival event, store games and other stress busters with your supplies, especially if you have children.

How To Commit To Your Exercise Plan

 

Have you decided to start exercising as part of a healthy lifestyle plan, or to lose weight and tone your body? Good for you! Exercise certainly has a lot of benefits, and even as little as 30 minutes a day can make a world of difference to your health. However, you may be struggling to get up and actually get moving on a daily basis, because of the fact that you are used to a sedentary lifestyle. Here are some tips to help you commit to your exercise plan and make working out a habit in the long run.

1) Make exercise a part of your schedule. This means actually scheduling workout time in your schedule. If you decide that you are going to work out at 6 p.m today after work, then go ahead and write that down. Do this everyday.

2) Be prepared for the workout session. If you plan to head to the gym right after work, then be sure that you bring along the right attire and necessities such as towels, soap if you are planning to take a shower, and so on, so that you don’t have to run home to get these things and have an excuse to not follow through with your plan.

3) Follow through with your exercise plan at any cost. Don’t make excuses as to why you shouldn’t exercise today; instead, make excuses as to why you should. Keep your goal, whatever it is, in mind at all times, especially when you feel lazy.

4) Use other techniques of motivation to keep your exercise fire burning. For example, if you want to be a few dress sizes smaller, then hang a dress of the size you want to be in somewhere in your bedroom in clear view. This will motivate you the moment you wake up to keep to your exercise goals for the day. If being healthy is your goal, then do some reading about the health risks of staying at your current weight, and maybe even write these on a post it note to remind you why you should exercise.

5) If you are a busy person, you have to learn to prioritize your exercise sessions over other activities. Instead of spending an hour drinking with your colleagues after work, be sure to use that hour to work out instead. If you really don’t have much time, remember that a workout does not have to be one long session. It can be four or five workouts of 10 minutes each, thrown in throughout the day. Each session can consist of activities as simple as walking up and down the flight of stairs at your office, walking to a restaurant that is more of a distance away during your lunch break, and so on.

By implementing the tips above, you will be on the right track towards committing to your exercise plan. Good luck and stay moving!

What Is the Best Survival Gear for a Family to Have?

 

Natural disasters and man-made disasters are occurring with more frequency than ever. So it makes sense to make sure that your family is prepared for any event. Preparation gear should always be in place before any disaster strikes.

You’ll want to gather your items and have them packaged and ready so that when the time comes, you can easily put your hands on what you need. Hopefully, you won’t experience disasters – but being prepared with the right equipment can help your family survive.

The equipment that your family should have can be packed (before it’s needed) into a sturdy backpack. You should make sure that the backpack is waterproof so that it protects the contents from getting damaged by inclement weather.

In the backpack, you should put enough gear to take care of each member of your family. If you have a larger family, you’ll need to prepare more than one backpack.

Inside the backpack, you’ll want to have a change of clothing for each family member. Food should be included in your survival gear. When packing food, obviously, you don’t want to pack foods that will spoil quickly.

Pack things like high protein food bars and other foods that have a lot of calories (minimum 2,000 calories) and can take the place of a meal. Water for every member of the family should be packed and ready.

But since bottled water can take up a lot of space and become heavy and awkward to carry, look for water that’s specifically made for survival gear that’s packaged in lightweight boxes. This purified water is packaged in a way that it can be safely stored in a wide variety of temperatures.

Protection is a must during a survival situation. You may want to arm yourselves with weapons, depending on the situation. For natural protection, you’ll need a solar powered radio so that you can listen to emergency broadcasts. You’ll want protection from the elements and protection against extreme weather.

You’ll need thermal blankets. Some survival experts suggest buying thermal blankets in packets of several at a time, and adding ponchos and emergency or tube tents. You’ll also want light sticks in the event that electricity isn’t available. You’ll need a functional knife such as a multi-tool Army knife on hand in case you need to cut rope for a tent or for other purposes.

Family members that take prescription medication should have their medication included in your survival gear backpack. You should have at least a two-week supply of any prescription medication put aside for survival situations. A first aid kit with medication such as medicine for headaches, bug bites and supplies for treating and bandaging cuts and wounds should also be included in your backpack.

 

Have You Aligned Your Values With Your Goals?

 

Have you ever known someone who would do anything to get what he wanted or to get where he wanted to be?  You’ve watched that person be dishonest and take advantage of others to achieve his goal.  They say anything and promise everything to get to the top and grab the brass ring.

It may sound like we’re talking about politicians and unfortunately this is true of many of them.  But actually, these characteristics are evident in many of those we come in contact with every day in our business and personal life.  It’s unbelievable how many people are gullible enough to be drawn in to their web of deceit.  These people sacrifice their values to reach their goals.

It’s said that if you want to be successful, if you want to lead, then align your values with your goals.  If what’s important to you in your daily living can help you reach your objectives then you’re on your way to the top.  Values and goals must complement each other for you to be effective.

But, if you struggle with anxiety and unhappiness as you strive for your aspirations then reaching them may not give you inner peace and happiness even if you’re successful.  Don’t act like who you’re not to become someone you won’t like once you get there.  If you don’t like yourself then no one else will either.

Define your goals.  Of course, there are many types of goals and you must decide which is most important to you and your family.  Most people when asked to define their goals first think of their career and monetary achievement.

This may include material possessions and social standing in the community.  These could coincide with personal and spiritual goals as you climb the mountain of life.  Aspire to strike a balance in all these qualities of life.

Define your values.  What do you stand for?  Is it courage, honesty, dedication, generosity, thoughtfulness, tolerance, loyalty?  What drives you each day to get out of bed and do what you have to do?  It could be love of family and God.  It could be the thought of possessing power and money.  Or, you could just feel peace in helping others achieve their goals.

If you’re to be happy in your career and personal life you must align your values and goals.  You could fake it until you make it, but unless these are your true values it would be a hollow victory.  Be true to yourself, work hard each day and you’ll become the person you deserve to be.

Who do you admire?  It could be a famous person who exhibits the values you’d like to possess.  There are many notable politicians, clergy, actors and athletes who live the quality of life you admire.  Not necessarily their money but their character.  Aspire to be like them.

The person you admire and wish to imitate could also be a personal friend or a family member.  Ask them what motivates their lives and how they aligned their values with their goals.  If you’re properly aligned with the values and goals of your life, you’ll never regret where you are and where you will end.

The Best Way to Hone Your Survival Skills

 

Human beings have a strong will to survive, but that will can easily get beaten down when faced with overwhelming situations. A situation is only overwhelming when there’s a lack of knowledge or skill. When you know what do to because you’ve already planned ahead of time, you can act on instinct rather than react in a panic.

Fire drills are practiced in schools (and should be in your home, too) so that everyone will know what he or she is supposed to do. When you perform a task often enough, you can do it automatically without thinking about it when an emergency hits.

Test yourself by conducting drills by going camping on the weekends and only bring your survival bag. Camp in inclement weather so you’ll be prepared to handle that, but remember to let someone know the area where you’re going to go camping.

Practice often so you’ll know what to do in the event of weather disasters, health emergencies and threats to your safety. Practice using the first aid kit, treating a wound, an unconscious person, practice setting a broken bone, treating a burn, etc. Practice what to do if you’re unable to call for help and you’re wounded.

It’s important because the best way to survive is to practice what you’re going to do in any worst case scenario. You might not live in an area prone to tornadoes, but that doesn’t mean one won’t happen-be prepared for the unexpected.

Number one, prepare yourself mentally. If you allow the situation to overwhelm you or to make you fall into the trap of self-pity, your survival odds drop. The first step to take is to assess your situation and realize that you need three things – shelter, food and water. Of the three, find shelter first, a water supply second and food last.

Of course, practice is easy when you’re already prepared for survival. You should have a stockpile of food and necessities already gathered in your emergency pantry for your survival.

You should have staples in large quantities. Have water jugs filled and ready in your emergency pantry. Besides food, have batteries, flashlights and a camp stove put back as well.

But you should also get survival guides and study those so that you’ll know what to do if you have to get your food source from the land. For example, some people advocate eating plants, but certain plants will not only upset your stomach, they’ll kill you. What you want to do is to hope the worst case scenario never takes place – but you want to be prepared for it if it does.

Are You Plagued with Procrastination?

If you’re one of the few people who isn’t plagued with the problem of procrastination then you’re blessed beyond all measure.  This thief of time can quietly rob you of precious minutes, yea hours, before you realize they’re gone.  You search for them and wonder where the time has gone, but it’s too late.

The task you intended to complete today was put off until tomorrow and there was good reason to do so, but you can’t remember why just now.  Procrastination comes in many disguises.  It’s called rationalization sometimes.   You say, “I didn’t get started on that project because the weather was too hot or I didn’t have all the parts.”  One can always come up with many good reasons to delay a project.

Procrastination can become a habit and if you keep putting off getting new habits then procrastination will be your constant companion.  We find ways to delay a task because there are other things more important to do.  Many times these are merely excuses such as checking your email, playing an on-line game or surfing the TV to see if you’re missing something interesting.

You must recognize a real reason to delay as opposed to just an excuse not to do something you don’t want to do.  Ask yourself if that job really needs to be done and if your answer is yes then get it done and then reward yourself for a victory over procrastination.  When the job is complete, step back and assess what you’ve done to see if it was worth the time and effort.  Perhaps you were procrastinating for good reason, but that’s rarely the case.

Lack of direction can cause you to procrastinate because you’re not sure what to do next.

Disorganization could be the father of procrastination.  Get organized with a to-do list with the most urgent at the top.  Make a deal with yourself that you cannot do anything else until you accomplish at least one thing on the list.  You can make giant strides with tiny steps.

Huge projects can be daunting whether you’re writing a book or building a house.  You can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel because the elephant is standing in the way.  Cut a slice out of that elephant one day at a time and soon it will be gone.  A small manageable task is much more palatable than trying to swallow the entire project.  No matter how small the success it’s another step toward completion.

Make a decision on what needs to be done and do it.  Even if it’s wrong at least you’ve done something.  Indecision can cause major delays in both your business and personal live.  It’s easier to make a decision if you create a list of the pros and cons of what needs to be done.  Once you have a clear direction, your mind clears and the path becomes apparent.

Fear of failure can cause procrastination.  The failure lies in never getting started.  Difficult and dreaded tasks are rarely as bad as they seem at the beginning.  Stop procrastinating today.  Don’t put it off until tomorrow.

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