“Health and fitness: I say that there is no shortcut – it takes better choices and work!*”

Vol. 1,  No. 23, November 21st, 2010

TITLE: “Health and fitness: I say that there is no shortcut  – it takes better choices and work!*”


My book of the week is “Your Best Body Now: Look and Feel Fabulous at Any Age the Eat-Clean Way” by Tosca Reno. Hence my topic is health and fitness.


For today, my words/phrases are” healthy diet”, “physical exercise”,” quality of life”,
“longevity”, “circuit training” ,”pilates” and “endorphin rush”.

Healthy diet

“Fresh vegetables are important components of a healthy diet. A healthy diet is one that helps maintain or improve health. It is important for the prevention of many chronic health risks such as: obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.[1] A healthy diet involves consuming appropriate amounts of all nutrients, and an adequate amount of water. Nutrients can be obtained from many different foods, so there are a wide variety of diets that may be considered healthy diets. A healthy diet needs to have a balance of macronutrients / energy ( fats, proteins, and carbohydrates ) and micronutrients to meet the needs for human nutrition without inducing toxicity from excessive amounts.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthy_diet

Physical exercise

“Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health or wellness. It is performed for various reasons. These include strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance and for enjoyment. Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system, and helps prevent the “diseases of affluence” such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity.[1][2] It also improves mental health, helps prevent depression, helps to promote or maintain positive self-esteem, and can even augment an individual’s sex appeal or body image, which again is also linked with higher levels of self-esteem.[3] Childhood obesity is a growing global concern[4] and physical exercise may help decrease the effects of childhood obesity in developed countries.” (Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_exercise

Quality of life

“The term quality of life is used to evaluate the general well-being of individuals and societies. The term is used in a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, and politics. Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of living, which is based primarily on income. Instead, standard indicators of the quality of life include not only wealth and employment, but also the built environment, physical and mental health, education, recreation and leisure time, and social belonging.[1] According to ecological economist Robert Costanza:While Quality of Life (QOL) has long been an explicit or implicit policy goal, adequate definition and measurement have been elusive. Diverse “objective” and “subjective” indicators across a range of disciplines and scales, and recent work on subjective well-being (SWB) surveys and the psychology of happiness have spurred renewed interest.[2]Also frequently related are concepts such as freedom, human rights, and happiness. However, since happiness is subjective and hard to measure, other measures are generally given priority. It has also been shown that happiness, as much as it can be measured, does not necessarily increase correspondingly with the comfort that results from increasing income. As a result, standard of living should not be taken to be a measure of happiness.[1][3] Contents [hide]”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality_of_life


“The word “longevity” is sometimes used as a synonym for “life expectancy” in demography or to connote “long life”, especially when it concerns someone or something lasting longer than expected (an ancient tree, for example).Reflections on longevity have usually gone beyond acknowledging the brevity of human life and have included thinking about methods to extend life. Longevity has been a topic not only for the scientific community but also for writers of travel, science fiction, and utopian novels.There are many difficulties in authenticating the longest human life span ever by modern verification standards, owing to inaccurate or incomplete birth statistics. Fiction, legend, and folklore have proposed or claimed life spans in the past or future vastly longer than those verified by modern standards, and longevity narratives and unverified longevity claims frequently speak of their existence in the present. A life annuity is a form of longevity insurance.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longevity

Circuit Training

“Circuit training is a form of high-intensity aerobics and resistance training designed to be easy to follow and target fat loss, muscle building and heart fitness. An exercise “circuit” is one completion of all prescribed exercises in the program. When one circuit is complete, one begins the first exercise again for another circuit. Traditionally, the time between exercises in circuit training is short, often with rapid movement to the next exercise.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_training


“Pilates … is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates in Germany,[1] the UK and the USA. As of 2005, there were 11 million people who practice the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States.[2]Pilates called his method Contrology (from control and Greek … -logia), because he believed his method uses the mind to control the muscles.[1] The Pilates method seeks to increase the strength, flexibility and control of the body.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.)   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilates

Endorphin rush

“The term endorphin rush has been adopted in popular speech to refer to feelings of exhilaration brought on by pain, danger, or other forms of stress,[2] supposedly due to the influence of endorphins. When a nerve impulse reaches the spinal cord, endorphins are released which prevent nerve cells from releasing more pain signals. Immediately after injury, endorphins allow animals to feel a sense of power and control over themselves that allows them to persist with activity for an extended time.”

(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.)


“According to the NIH:
* Globally, more than 1 billion adults are overweight, at least 300 million of them obese.
* An estimated 22 million children under five are overweight.
* Obesity and overweight pose a major risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure (hypertension) and stroke, and certain forms of cancer.
* Key causes: increased consumption of energy-dense foods high in saturated fats and sugars, and reduced physical activity.
In an extensive report on overweight and obesity in America, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that average adult Americans are 25 pounds heavier than they were in 1960.”
(Source: NIH Medline Plus)  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/sprsum10/articles/sprsum10pg26-27.html

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: “Lose weight, gain rewards”

“Overweight girls who lose weight before adulthood can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That’s the most common form of the disease. NIH researchers analyzed information provided by nearly 110,000 women. Those who were overweight children but lean adults did not have an increased risk of diabetes. But women who said they were overweight as children and into their adult years were 15 times more likely to develop the disease.” Researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development conducted the study.”
(Source: NIH Medline Plus) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/index.html

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2: “Physical activity improves health and well-being”

“Physical activity improves health and well-being. It reduces stress, strengthens the heart and lungs, increases energy levels, helps you maintain and achieve a healthy body weight and it improves your outlook on life.

Research shows that physical inactivity can cause premature death, chronic disease and disability. Health Canada encourages Canadians to integrate physical activity into their every day life; at home, at school, at work, at play and on the way … that’s active living!”
(Source: Health Canada) http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/physactiv/index-eng.php


Early in my life, I recognized: (a) That weight was a huge issue for many people, particularly girls and women; (b) That many females have concerns over body shape and size and self image; and (c) That the media lend credence to an unrealistic standard and bring misery to many who feel themselves far from the optimum weight, shape and size. (I think that this constitutes knowing and intentional misinformation; and I vigorously object!)   As a girl, a young woman and now middle-aged, I was/am just as concerned over my body as the next female. While I never had real weight issues, I knew women who did – my mom for one.  She struggled with her weight all of her life. This is a VERY serious topic of great concern to many. I have thought about this a lot.

THE AUTHOR: Reno Tosca

Reno Tosca was born May 22, 1959 in Lachine, Quebec. Unhappily married, overweight and miserable, she decided to change things around in her life at the age of 40.  By the age of 50 she had accomplished what she had set out to do.  She has 3 children and 2 stepchildren.  She has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs and now travels across North America appearing at book signings and seminars  to convey her  message of health, wellness and inspiration.She is now a successful author, motivational speaker and wellness consultant, media personality and model.  She has earned a B. Sc. from Queen’s University and B.Ed. from York University in Toronto.  Her husband, Robert Kennedy, is a publisher and author of several bodybuilding books.  He is also the publisher of Eat-Clean Diet and hundreds of magazine and healthy eating, fitness, and bodybuilding books.
(Source/Fact source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tosca_Reno

Her published works are:
• The Butt Book (2007)
• The Eat-Clean Diet Book (2007)
• The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook (2007)
• The Eat-Clean Diet Workout (2008)
• The Eat-Clean Diet Workout Journal (2008)
• The Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids (2008)
• The Eat-Clean Diet for Men (2009)
• The Eat-Clean Diet Companion (2009)
• Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Cookbook (2009)
• The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged (2009)
• Your Best Body Now (2009
(Source/Fact source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tosca_Reno)

THE BOOK:  “The Eat-Clean Diet “Your Best Body Now: Look and Feel Fabulous at Any Age the Eat-Clean Way” by Tosca Reno

First, I look at the messenger. I found the author believable. Reno understands how you feel because she was once over 200+ pounds and is now a slim and sexy fitness expert.  She has earned my respect from the fact that she turned her life around.  I also look at the results achieved.

Second, I look at the message. This book is about eating healthy. As for example,  Reno encourages eating natural foods without preservatives. She also urges exercise. Reno emphasizes the importance of doing both. In this book, Reno divulges her secrets on the following:

  • Boost your metabolism to burn fat fast
  • Turn back the clock and age-proof your body
  • Look and feel younger than you have in years
  • Create your best body—now!

The provided information and suggestions appear to me to be sound  I think that this is a worthwhile read. It will grow your knowledge about diet and physical training. Depending if you act upon her material, it should help you achieve some of your goals, health- wise.  (Source/Fact source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tosca_Reno)


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you healthy eating and exercise. I say that they contribute to a quality of life. Together, they are the natural  fountain of youth; and if you desire longevity, this is the way to go. And once you embrace this healthy tandem, … after a while, such becomes a way of life and a GOOD part of your everyday!  It is a positive in every aspect. And don’t forget the Endorphin rush.

Nobody can guarantee anyone excellent health, but doing this, is a  step in the right direction.

My personal comments

My theory is that there there are three issues here.

1) First, there is the issue of healthy eating. Eating right is beneficial in so many different ways – with good food and diet,  (a) you have energy; (b) you are helping your gastro system to work better; (c) you cut down on those items doing you no good; (d) you reduce your fat intake; etc. I support the proposition of healthy eating. In the past, while I had little time after having worked all day, I made it a priority to prepare a healthy dinner meal. It wasn’t easy, but I did my best.

2) Second, there is an issue of physical activity in general and exercise in particular.I support the proposition of getting “physical” and doing exercise.  After bearing two children, I realized that if I wanted to be as fit and firm as I used to be, I had to exercise. I tried many types of exercise, jazzercise, step classes, different aerobics classes, pilates, yoga, weight training, etc.  Finally, I found my favorite exercises – weights, circuit training and sometimes Pilates. I do it at lunchtime several times a week with a small group of female colleagues at work.

3) Third, there is the matter of attitude. How you view healthy eating and exercise will directly impact upon whether you actually do it, whether you continue with it regularly and also if you make any real progress. Honestly, I agree that it is work-like, … taking effort. But, I have made this time somewhat social, the thing I do with a few workplace women friends. I have found the exercises which I prefer, creating a routine, bordering on…wait for it – fun.  I have inserted my exercise slots at noon. (I do not exercise every day – so I still have free time other days.)  I admit that I  sacrifice some do-nothing time at lunch break. But I feel productive; and my exercise day still works with my busy life.

As an add-on to attitude, I say: “Don’t worry about the “d” word: discipline.” Just start. At the beginning, it will be harder. Focus on the fun side and reward yourself with a treat. Once you have done it awhile, it will become commonplace, with your mind and body half expecting the exercise activity. It will be like a wheel, turned hard, spinning on and on. In the end, surprise … surprise,  you will be exercising on a regular basis; and such shows that you indeed have discipline.

As a further add-on to attitude, I say that we all should make it our business to fight the misinformation rampant out there. I say that females everywhere, regardless of age, should: (a) Object to and argue against the drivel, spewing from media about the “perfect 10” body; (b) Set the record straight, in contrast, about body mass being in proportion to sex, height, etc.

The point

You should decide to do better when it comes to health and fitness. Yes, I know that it is hard.  But, I believe in you; and I know that you can do it. You should create your very own self- improvement program. Here are my seven steps:
Eating right
1. Read up about eating right; in particular, (a) Inquire into: (i). Food groups; (ii). Calorie appropriate portions; (b) Good habits like: (i). Cutting out between meal treats; (ii). Eating more often in smaller amounts every day; (iii). Eating slower; (c) Drinking water;  etc.
2. Plan your meals one week in advance; and in this regard, (a) Make a list ONLY of healthy foods before going grocery shopping; (b) Allow yourself a food treat, desired but not healthy, only once a week AFTER you complete your program requirements; etc.
Physical Fitness
3. Make physical fitness a big part of your life; and with this in mind,
(a) Inquire into the gyms in your community; and check them out and take advantage of free day or weekly trials; (b) Figure out the preferred exercise routine; (c) Set a goal to exercise 3 or 4 times a week, at minimum 30 minutes each time; and (d) Find out what you enjoy doing:  exercise, sports or walking, etc., make the time for it and stick to it!
4. Find a sport that you really enjoy and participate regularly.
5. Decide that you are beautiful, both inside and outside, regardless how you compare to the fantasy image in the fashion mags or on TV;
6. Recognize that it is in your control to better yourself, in and by breaking down the steps into little goals, and take the first step and accomplish the first goal and then the next, etc.
7. Surprise yourself, discipline-wise – you do have this very important quality!

Now please pass me a towel….my oatmeal is ready!

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours?
Books are life; and they make life better!*
-Web Tech  richmediasound.com

The above is a new media production of Valente under its United Author* program.

*TM/© 2010 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

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