Fighting Flu with Fitness

The concept is simple: in order for your immune system to work, you have to move. This isn’t a far – out concept, it is a medically recognized fact. One of the reasons health care providers try to get patients moving as soon as possible after surgery is to stimulate immune response and decrease the chance of infection. The same principle applies to preventing the flu (maybe if you go home and rest you will also buy some more medicine, causing an increase in profit. Maybe that’s why they prescribe you some rest, so you can remain ill, but that’s a whole other story). If you engage in a daily exercise routine and get the proper amount of vitamins, you have a significantly reduce chance of getting the flu.

Movement is crucial to fighting illness off. While we have a pump to get blood through the circulatory system – the heart – there is no pump for the lymphatic system, which provides a crucial line of defense against infection by carrying lymph fluid throughout the body. The only way to move the lymph fluid through the body is to move – contracting your muscles and compressing parts of the lymphatic system. This action, analogous to squeezing toothpaste out of the tube, is what moves the lymph fluid throughout the body.

On the nutritional front, it is also important to increase your intake of Vitamin C. Two important components of your body’s immune system are cholesterol and Vitamin C. (This does not mean you should go wolf down a couple of Big Macs and a glass of orange juice! Your liver makes plenty of cholesterol – just add the Vitamin C.)

Reduce Body Fat

Water Intake: The optimum amount of water you should drink each day is actually one-half your total body weight in ounces. I know how difficult this is so start out with 8 glasses of eight ounces of water each day. Once you achieve your goal, try to set a higher goal and reach for one-half of your total body weight in ounces each day. Drinking water helps to flush the fat, and toxins out of your body.

Exercise: Aerobic exercise will help your health more that you think. I am not begging you to attend aerobics class, I am just asking you to do a little walking each day, or at the very least three times a week. Aerobic exercise helps with your health maintenance program. Aerobic exercise will increase the amount of HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) in your body, which helps prevent cardiovascular disease. Aerobic exercise will also increase you basal metabolic rate which burns your stored body fat as the fuel source for aerobic training. Keep in mind that aerobic training also serves to maintain cardiovascular fitness which affects the heart and lungs.

Loss of Body Fat: To help facilitate the loss of body fat, regular exercise is geared a little different. You need to exercise for a longer period of time because your body will use blood sugar as well as your stored sugar in the form of glycogen for the first 20 minuets of exercise. At this point your body will switch over and burn body fat as the preferred fuel source. Thus, to accelerate your weight loss, you need to work out a little longer.

Getting Great Abs

You want to make sure you do not come up to far. Doing so you are getting away from concentrating on the ab muscles.┬áSo how do we correct these problems? Okay let’s start with the hand behind the neck. Let’s put them behind the ears. Remember they are only there to help with your balance, not to push on your neck. Keep your elbows out wide and sit up nice and slow for a better contraction and then go down slow. This will help maximize the contraction.┬áHere is another exercise for the abs. This one is for the lower abs. Start off lying on your back. Move you legs so they are pointing straight up toward the ceiling. Keep your legs straight without locking your knees. Keep your hands palm side down by the sides of your buns and thighs. Keep your head on the floor so you are looking up at the ceiling or sky if outdoors. Your body would look like the letter “L”. Now this position is the start of the exercise.

You will want to be like an accordion. Concentrating on moving your sternum towards your belly button and then slowly back down. Start out by doing a set of 20 and then work your way up to 3 sets of 20. Once you are comfortable with this work your way up to 3 sets of 50. Consistency is the key. Keep up this workout on a regular basis and you will see the results in the way you abs look and how you clothes fit.

With your feet together and your legs straight, use your lower abs to lift your hips off the floor and slowly roll toward your chest. When your toes are over your head, stop and contract your abs for two seconds. Slowly release and go back to the starting position. Do 30 reps work up to 3 reps of 30.

There are also many ab machines and trainers you can buy. You can sit on an ab chair or ab lounger, or do your floor exercise and watch television while you do your reps.

When to Stop Exercising

The primary limiting factor in sports that require great endurance is the time it takes for your heart to pump oxygen in your bloodstream from your lungs into your muscles. A study from the University of Connecticut (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, May, 2006) shows that with dehydration, your heart beats with far less force so it pumps far less blood with each beat, and is unable to bring as much oxygen to your muscles.

You can’t depend on thirst to tell you when you lack fluids. Certain brain cells called osmoreceptors tell you when you are thirty, but only after the salt concentration of your blood has risen considerably. When you exercise, you sweat. Sweat contains far more water than salt in comparison to blood. So you lose far more water than salt during exercise and blood levels of salt rise. By the time that a your blood salt concentration is high enough to trip off the osmoreceptors, you are severely dehydrated and it is too late for you to be able to drink enough during exercise to catch up with your water deficit. On the other hand, if you take salt with fluids, then your blood salt levels rise faster and tell you that you are thirsty earlier.

There are other reasons that you should take salt with fluids during prolonged exercise. First, it helps prevent muscle cramps. Remember, during exercise you lose salt and water. If you are replacing only water, you can eventually take in so much water that your salt levels drop to cause muscle cramps. Second, even though salt is a mild diuretic at rest, during exercise it helps your body to retain water. So when you are going to exercise for more than a couple hours, particularly in hot weather, drink small amounts frequently and eat salted foods such as peanuts. Always stop if you feel sick, have chills, headache, severe muscle burning or aching, dizziness, or blurred vision. Seek help if your symptoms do not subside in a few minutes; you could be headed for heat stroke that can kill you.