Getting There: Setting Goals for Your Health and Fitness

In reality, a goal is simply a destination on a map. It is a place we want to be in the future. Imagine driving your car without a destination. You do not know where you might end up, right? It is the same with health and fitness, in that if you do not have a specific goal or destination, you could wind up anywhere on that map. As you draw your map and your future, observe the following rules for writing goals.Do not write goals in negative terms.Have you ever noticed the way we phrase things in terms of health and fitness goals? “I want to quit smoking.” “I want to lose weight.” These goals are written in negative terms. Written this way, even when you accomplish your goals, you are either a quitter or a loser! Write your goals with a positive spin.Goals should be attainable.Let’s face it – not all of us can be as fit as Lance Armstrong or have the physique of a supermodel. Make your goals realistic. If you remember a time when you felt pretty slim and healthy at a certain weight, make that your goal. And you may not be able to completely stop taking your medications for cholesterol, diabetes or blood pressure, but it is realistic to possibly reduce your need for them somewhat as you become more fit. (Never stop taking any medication unless directed to do so by a physician.)Goals need to be measurable.”I want to be thin” is not measurable. What does “thin” mean? Instead, think in terms of how much weight do you want to lose and by when? Or what size clothing you would like to be and when? Giving yourself a deadline or a finish line creates a sense of urgency and importance.Goals need specific motivation.This is the tangible reason for why you want to achieve this goal. We do not much care what the number on the scale says. It is just a number and there is not much emotion attached to it. Tying your goal to a meaningful event such as an upcoming reunion or vacation where you would like to look and feel your best gives your goal meaning and a sense of purpose.Here are some examples of goals written with the above rules in mind:1. I will build up to exercising 5 days a week by July 31 of this year so that I need less insulin.2. For the next 30 days I will get into the habit of eating at least three servings of vegetables a day so that I will live to see my children grow up.3. I will be at my ideal weight by May 31 of next year so that I can fit into size 8 clothing.Get started by setting goals and mapping your future and you will be at your destination in no time at all!By Dr. Jennifer D. Wetmore (copyright 2006)

The Real Secret to Profitable Gambling

There is one thing and one thing only that will take any gambler from constantly losing to any hope of making a profit. It’s not lady luck; it’s not any magic trick, and it’s not a mystical ritual.Gambling has been around in various forms for hundreds of years and is an enormous source of revenue for a multitude of casinos, government agencies, bars, clubs and other organizations. The reason that these organizations make such a lucrative income is not so much the huge numbers of people gambling as it is the high percentage of these people who fail to learn the one secret they need to know to have any chance of making a profit at all.The usual gambling approach goes something like this: You go to the race track and overhear a stranger telling a friend that a particular horse is ready to win so you put ten bucks on it. Result – the horse loses. Or you go to the casino and put fifty bucks into a slot machine because you believe it is your “lucky” machine. Result – you walk out fifty bucks lighter if you’re lucky. In most cases you’ll have blown even more because you have the extra cost of drinks, and you may have been so caught-up in your attempts to win that you actually put more like sixty or seventy bucks into the slot machine.So what is the secret that you need to change your gambling situation? The secret is this, “Education”. While ever there are people who make no attempt to educate themselves to a point where they can make informed choices then the casinos and bookmakers will always make very lucrative profits from the suckers who walk through their doors day and night.As an example, let’s say we play heads-or-tails with a coin and I offer to pay you $1.80 per dollar bet every-time you pick the correct outcome. A typical gambler might think that’s pretty good and try to pick more winning picks than they lose in the mistaken belief that they can make a profit. An educated gambler on the other hand would see the truth, which is that the odds of picking any one outcome here is 50/50; so over one hundred spins on average you would win fifty times. The reality is that with a 50/50 game if you outlay one hundred dollars and win fifty of those at $1.80 your total return is $90 or a loss of 10%.The above situation is not uncommon in many casino games. Slots for instance has a house advantage of up to twenty percent (meaning that the casino always makes up to a twenty percent profit on all money that is put through the slot machine), and yet gamblers continue to throw their money into the slots despite the fact that the longer they play the more they’ll lose.To improve your overall chances of coming out in-front when gambling start with a few of these tips:
Play games where you either have an edge or the house edge is very low, and
Games where you have some choices over the outcome (for example with slots you have no influence as the machine is programmed).
Learn to spot the games where the house has a large edge and stay away from them.
Never gamble on the basis of a tip, lucky number, favorite color etc.
And finally, never gamble with money you can’t afford to lose.
Note – If your gambling has reached a point where it is an addiction then stop and get help. You will find many sources of help by searching for the term “problem gambling” on the internet.Successful stock market investors never buy stocks based on a tip or because they like the name of a particular company, otherwise they would go broke very quickly. They learn all they can and make informed decisions when choosing what to invest in. Stop gambling now until you educate yourself enough to make gambling choices that are likely to return a profit, rather than lining the pockets of the casinos.Copyright © 2006 Colin L Wolfenden

Health and Fitness Software, What Should Be in It? Part 1

Let’s keep the answer simple; everything that is related to your health and you can record it in a database.The most important indicators for your state of health can be measured though your vital signs, like blood pressure, cholesterol level, heart beat, body mass index etcetera. The major input that influence these health indicators are what and how much you eat and drink, smoke, medication use, life style, daily activity and air quality.Beside our genetic disposition, we are what we eat, drink and breathe.A good health and fitness software program should be able to capture the above mentioned input and correlate the results with the output, or health indicators. This way you create a cause and effect system that the user can analyze and consequently take corrective measures and improve his or her overall health.The bigger picture teaches us that an effective health and fitness software program contains modules that can monitor our food intake, record our body measurements and vital signs. Furthermore it should track our daily activities and convert them into calories burned. Also it should keep track of our medicine and supplement intake and monitor our overall health level. For the sport and bodybuilders we need additional modules that can keep track of our workout activities, sport results and fitness testsLet’s start with food intake.Most of the time we eat together with our family therefore a health and fitness software program should never be restricted to one user.People tend to repeat the recipes they cook and meals they prepare on a regular interval. For most people this interval is between 20 and 30 days. Furthermore people tend to buy more or less the same ingredients for their meals. For this reason a fitness or diet program boosting databases with thousands of food items will be more of a hindrance than a benefit. The reason that I say this is because it will be very time consuming to pick an ingredient for a recipe or meal plan from a list of thousands of ingredients.Look for a program that has the basic ingredients to build your recipes and allows you to add food items that are specific to your taste.A food’s nutrition facts change depending on how it is conserved, processed or cooked. For example a cup of canned spinach that is cooked will have totally different nutrition facts than a cup of fresh spinach. Look for a program that can make a distinction between these food properties.The cost of buying special diet foods can be a lot more (up to 2.5 times) than what the average American spends on food. It is a plus if a health and fitness software program can keep track of the food cost by recipe, meal and day. It is really a bonus if the program can compare grocery prices between shops and help you budget.A recipe module is imperative to a good health and fitness system. This is the place where you can experiment and adjust your recipes to your diet’s nutritional fact limits. The recipe should calculate its nutritional facts per portion depending on the weight ratio of each ingredient that has been added to the recipe. Naturally you should be able to print the recipe and see the total recipe cost and the cost per portion. Having the ability of adding recipe pictures is a plus.You should also have the ability to create multiple meal plans in the system. Maybe you would like a separate plan for the kids or baby. Or for a partner that has a cholesterol problem, high blood pressure or diabetes. Or you simply want to change diets. These meal plans should repeat over a certain amount of days. The timing of the meals should be more then just breakfast, lunch and dinner. Many diets ask for many small recipe portions during the day. The food items that you select on the meal plan should come from the ingredients as well as from the recipes. For instance you can add a raw apple to your meal plan, which is an ingredient to make an apple sauce recipe. The apple sauce recipe or the raw apple can each be added to the meal planAs you would expect, the software program should be able to calculate the meal plan cost and nutrition facts by day and for the whole meal plan.How are you going to keep track of what you actually ate on a particular day and how do you know how to stick exactly to your plan? You do this by printing a meal plan worksheet for a particular day and you note the actual differences from the plan.We don’t have much time in today’s busy society; therefore you should be able to register the actual daily food consumption in less then 30 seconds. A system that forces you every day for every meal to select your food items from a list of thousands records is not going to make it in 30 seconds. Only select a system that automatically populates your meal plan for that day and you only update the actual differences from the plan.Just adding your daily food intake to a database is not going to benefit you. It will create a “data cemetery”, data that is never examined. The food data needs to be analyzed and correlated to other types of data like your body measurements or calories burned. Click on the calorie analysis hyperlink to view an example. The chart makes it very quickly clear that the calorie intake line is under the calories spent line and consequently you will lose weight.Next article I will talk about activity calorie counting and the factors involved…