Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkey Frying Is Dangerous Fire Hazard



Thanksgiving is coming. Did you know that frying a turkey is a fire hazard (even with the handy turkey fryers in the market)? The huge amount of oil needed may quickly cause a fire. This is why UL does not certify any turkey fryers in the market.

“We’re worried by the increasing reports of fires related to turkey fryer use,” said John Drengenberg, UL consumer affairs manager. “Based on our test findings, the fryers used to produce those great-tasting birds are not worth the risks.”

If you do unwisely decide to fry your turkey anyway, be sure to do it outside and have a fire extinguisher handy. Be also prepared to react quickly because people have suffered severe burns to face and other body parts from frying their turkey. For more Thanksgiving safety tips, go to:

http://www.ul.com/global/eng/pages/corporate/newsroom/newsitem.jsp?cpath=%2Fglobalweb%2Fglobal%2Feng%2Fcontent%2Fcorporate%2Fnewsroom%2Fpressreleases%2Fdata%2Fput-safety-on-the-menu-this-thanksgiving_20101101090000.xml

http://safetyathome.com/seasonal-safety/holiday-safety-articles/turkey-fryers-not-certified-by-ul/

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Medical Check-up



I went to the doctor's office for my annual check up & blood work yesterday. I was seen for 25 minutes by the nurse practitioner. Checkup and blood work lasted about 5 minutes. The rest of the time I was giving her exercise and nutrition advice as she found out that I'm an exercise and nutrition expert (and she is impressed by my health records and my observable physical condition).

I think I may be the only case of being seen by a medical professional for more than 5 minutes in this country.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Your Doctor's Values Vs. Your Values


I've written in the past about recognizing that your risk tolerance and values may be different from your doctor's (but you also need to recognize that he/she has the medical expertise you don't have.)

Here's a good blog entry from Kaiser about knowing that your doctor's values (including religious and cultural values) may be different from yours and could affect your treatment (taking it in the direction that you don't want).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Daily-Reports/2010/August/27/End-of-life-care-issues.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+khn%2Ffulltext+%28All+Kaiser+Health+News+%28Full+Text%29%29



My past blog about being conscious of the difference between your doctor's risk tolerance and your risk tolerance (in addition to recognizing the doctor's expertise) can be found at:
http://spirfit.com/2009/12/decisions-for-medical-treatment-risks.html


Copyright: © 2010. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中 University of California, UC Davis, Brooklyn Tech

Terence Chan LIU Long Island University

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Bacteria Resistant to Most Antibiotics


In recent months, bacteria resistant to almost all antibiotics have been discovered. It contains NDM-1, an enzyme making it a "superbug" resistant to almost all antibiotics. There is one case in Hong Kong where a patient was successfully treated with "oral antibiotic agents commonly used to treat urinary tract infection." (CHP)

Origin of NDM-1 Bacteria
This superbug seems to have originated from Pakistan and/or India. (This NDM-1 bacteria were first discovered in patients who have recently received medical treatment in India or Pakistan.) Health departments in countries all around the world are concerned about the spread of this NDM-1 bacteria (including the British Department of Health, the CDC in the U.S., and the CHP in Hong Kong.)

What You Should Do
At this point (I must say), we shouldn’t be too worried, but we should be proactively vigilant by being conscious of our health and fitness (as I’ve been teaching in this blog), as well as our sanitary practices. Here is a list of suggestions:

1. Pray. We need to recruit the power of collectively praying to God, to not let this antibiotic-resistant bacteria situation to get worse.
2. Follow the guidelines of proper antibiotic use at http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/content/9/460/13039.html and http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/AntibioticsandAntibioticResistance/default.htm
3. Follow the advice of managing stress and maintaining good health at: http://spirfit.org/Published/StressMgtClip.pdf
4. We need to practice prevention – which includes habits that we should have anyway to be healthy and fit:
- Eat healthy and get enough sleep.
- Exercise and stay fit. (Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after you use a public gym.)
- Wash your hands with soap and water whenever you have a chance (especially before you eat, before and after you use the bathroom, and after you’ve used any public facilities where you’ve come in contact with surfaces that are touched by many (such as poles in a public bus).
- Do not touch your ears, nose, or mouth.

For More Information From RELIABLE Sources:

http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/21633.html
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5924a5.htm
http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/MediaCentre/Statements/DH_118544
http://www.healthfinder.gov/news/newsstory.aspx?docID=642029

Disclaimer
Please check with your doctor before taking advice from this blog.


Copyright: © 2010. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中 Terence Chan LIU

Terence Chan LIU Long Island University

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Your Health Insurance


A few months ago, I wrote an article summarizing the health reform bills that President Obama signed, including key points that may affect you. I forgot to share it here. Here it is - http://www.baycurrents.net/key-features/item/217-what-the-new-health-reform-means-to-you

Not all the changes from the bill will take place immediately.... Some have taken place already such as your insurance company’s requirement to allow you to include your son/daughter (upto age 26) in your insurance plan. Other changes will take place later.

Copyright: © 2010. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cheapest Months to Join a Gym


As someone who had worked in the past at a major corporate chain fitness center, I want to let you know a little known secret. The best months to join a commercial gym are July and August. That’s when you get the cheapest prices, because they are the slowest months of the year for membership sales.

Although I was never a membership sales rep (I was a nutritionist and trainer when I worked at a corporate gym), I became friends with the sales representatives and I learned a lot of the in's and out's of every aspect of the business.

During the two slow summer months, the management still puts enormous pressure on the sales staff to meet their sales quota. The sales reps are quite desperate for new members to sign on. Therefore, you have the upper hand in manipulating them for a lower price quote, if you play your cards right.

The sales representatives have the flexibility to quote a higher or lower price (within certain limits), but they will pretend as if they don’t have the flexibility or authority to do so. They will pretend that the prices are more fixed than they actually are. When they realize that they have to lower the price in order to get you to sign, they will pretend to “ask the manager” for a lower price.

There are also a few other pointers in order for you to join a gym at the lowest price possible. Here’s the complete list:

(1) Join in July or August.
(2) Join as a group. While you are inquiring about prices, let them know your intention to get a bunch of people to sign up with you. Ask them how many people you will need to get a group discount. (They would be happy to sign your group up. This is very good for them to get their manager off their backs. When their manager constantly asks how many people they've signed, it is good for them to say five [although at a discounted group price] instead of one.)
(3) Ask also for further discount for paying upfront for a full year or two years.
(4) Get from them all the documents you would have to sign and the quoted price from them to take home, while you get the group of people together. I recommend having a legal expert read over the documents, or at least read them very carefully yourself several times.

I know someone who by applying these pointers got a quote of $215 total per person for two years (joining as a group of five people, all paying upfront) at a major corporate fitness center three years ago. It was essentially a two year contract since they were paying upfront for two years.

Again, the good thing about inquiring about the price before you put together your group is that you can take the documents home to have an expert examine them (or at least examine yourself). While you are getting people together, you could give the sales rep a call in two weeks or so (if he hasn’t called you already) to let him know you do not have enough people yet. Chances are, he will lower the price for you because he is desperate for your group business in the slow months.

Another thing to consider is – do you really want to join a corporate fitness center? You have to be VERY cautious. Generally, you should only join if you can afford to commit for at least two years. Beware that memberships are usually attached with contracts of two years or longer. Also, beware of free trials or trials at reduced rates. I’ve known cases of people who’ve signed up for a month of reduced rate only to find out later on that they were contractually bound to two years (because of some hidden terms in the signed documents.) It's almost fraudulent, but are we really surprised that major corporations are using underhanded tactics? This is why it is important to have a legal expert read through all the documents before you sign ANYTHING. If you don't have access to a legal expert, at least have someone good at reading business and legal documents. You should also read it at least three times yourself.


Copyright: © 2007. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You Will Not Gain Bad Weight From Eating Fruits


Many of my nutrition seminar attendees and personal training clients in the past have mentioned to me their fear of eating fruits. They fear that fruits would make them fat. “Fruits have fruit sugar,” they say. “And sugar makes me gain weight.” Although this argument sounds logical, it is flawed. This argument neglects the fact that different foods are in different forms and have different energy-density (or calorie density). Energy-density plays a huge role in determining whether a food is likely to make you fat.

For example, a 4 square inch brownie has approximately 225 calories while an apple of equivalent size has approximately 63 calories. Filling up on fruits and/or vegetables is a great strategy to eat more healthfully, lose weight, and still be satiated at every meal. Although eating fruits at the beginning of a meal may be an eccentric way of eating, my question to you is – do you want to conform (for the sake of being “normal” and ordinary), or do you want to lose weight?

Fruits, although containing fruit sugar (fructose), also contains lots of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and water in their natural form. Although it is scientifically well-established that fruits are good for you, I suspect that science is still not completely explaining how. However, the general principle is this: Foods retaining their natural form (as taught by Dr. Deepak Chopra) are generally better than foods in the processed form. For example, fructose in a whole fruit is good for you. However, fructose in high-fructose-corn-syrup is bad for you.

This however is not to say that everything natural is good. For example, cyanide in its natural form is still bad for you.

Also, fruits are a great source of energy without being fattening. Unlike simple sugars in candies and pastries, fruits in their natural form come with nutrients, fiber, and probably other beneficial contents not yet discovered by science.

The bottom line: eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is one habit that will get you closer to your “weight-loss” or fitness goals.

Copyright: © 2007. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Don't Be Chicken Little; Don't Focus Only On Weight




There's a chicken little in every one of us.

Money and finance guru, Robert Kiyosaki, wrote about how most people are "chicken littles" and how their panic and fear keep them from obtaining wealth. In the same way, chicken littles in fitness have trouble attaining their desired fitness levels. In investment as taught by Kiyosaki, the chicken littles would sell their stocks out of panic and fear when the market is gloomy (when the stock prices are low). These same people would do a lot of buying when the market is up and the mood is positive, and the stock prices are high. They therefore lose money (in buying high and selling low) because their chicken-little emotions play a bigger role in their decision-making than their rational understanding.

In fitness, the chicken littles sabotage their chances of getting a slim figure, because of fear and panic due to subscribing to the common belief of focusing only on weight. They would get off a good program out of unwarranted disappointment, fear, and panic just because they haven't lost weight during the first month of the program but may even have initially gained good weight from increasing lean muscle mass and bone density while losing the lighter fat weight. (When you lose fat but replace them with increasing lean muscle mass and increasing bone density, you may weigh more overall but you are actually making progress. You could tell by your waist size and body fat % measurements and calculation). The chicken littles panic despite an apparent decrease in their waist size. Because they are only focused on weight, they are the majority that always struggle with weight (in the long-term) and never make sustainable progress in their fitness levels.

Many of the chicken littles have a tendency of buying into fad diets and harmful programs that provide them with quick initial weight loss, despite losing the wrong type of weight (such as muscle, water, and bone weight). Eventually, they gain back all the weight and probably more (as their short-term programs have decreased their metabolic rate.) In female cases, they lose bone density. Regardless of these subtle but detrimental effects of fad programs, they are emotionally gratified by the short term weight loss just like how the chicken-little investors felt good about buying high in a bubbled up market.

Although I've mentioned this in a past blog, I want to remind my readers and clients - you shouldn't focus only on weight. That wrong paradigm will throw you off-track. You should focus first on increasing your RMR (such as by increasing lean muscles), secondly your waist size, then your body fat percentage, and lastly your overall weight. It's like what Sharon Stone told a talk show host when asked how she kept her phenomenal figure. She responded, "I never weigh myself but I gauge where I am from the waist-band of my jeans." Sharon Stone got it right. However, I would probably use a waist measure tape to quantify the waist size (and calculate the waist-to-hip ratio).

However, I must say that you do need to track your weight in the long term, but it should be your last focus and I emphasize long term. It's similar to the long-term investment strategies. You will mess yourself up if you are a long-term investor but you let the day-to-day fluctuation of your stocks get to you. Although most long-term investors understand this, most people get it wrong when it comes to fitness. It is so topsy-turvy that they focus first on weight (or only on weight) when they should focus first on waist (and fat percentage). For more about this, go to http://spirfit.blogspot.com/2008/09/do-you-really-want-to-lose-weight.html

Chicken littles are not just a certain group of people. There's a chicken little in every one of us. However, if you are consciously aware of the chicken-little part of you, you can eliminate it or keep it in check. This is crucial for success in personal finance, at your job, in other parts of life, and it's definitely true for fitness.

Copyright: © 2009, 2010. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Only Safe Way to Tan



The tanned look has been popular among young people at the same time as the increasing incidences of skin cancer. Most experts think that this is no coincidence and that the tanning trend probably contributed to the rise in skin cancer in the last twenty years, especially in women as shown in a study by the National Cancer Institute.

The only safe way to tan is by sunless tanning lotions or sprays containing DHA. Only DHA-containing lotions and sprays are approved by the FDA. These products are considered safe as long as they don’t enter your eyes, nose, ears, mouth, other cavities, and does not come in contact with your lips or any similar surfaces with mucosal membrane.

Beware also of tanning pills as they may be unsafe and are not approved by the FDA.

Unfortunately, some people are willing to die for the tanned look, literally, as they ignore the warnings and continue to use tanning beds. Since looks are more important to some of you than your health, let’s talk about what tanning booths (as well as outdoor tanning) can do to your looks. You’re simply speeding up the aging and wrinkling of your skin. Although you are getting the nice tanned look in the short-term, you will eventually look 10, 20, or even 30 years older than your actual age. (UV rays speed up the wrinkling process by increasing cell proliferation and disturbing connective tissues accelerating the lost of elasticity.)
















Here’s the bottom line. If you want to tan, sunless tanning sprays or lotions are the only (safe) way to go. Know also that such products do not protect your skin against the sun. Therefore, you should also use sunscreen (SPF-15 or higher) when you go outside.

For more information:
http://www.who.int/uv/faq/uvhealtfac/en/index2.html
http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/tip-sheet-tanning-booths


Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor when considering any health information here.


Copyright: © 2010. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中 Terence Chan LIU

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reliable Health and Medical Info Search



If you are searching for information on health, nutrition, or medicine, a general Google search may produce listings from unreliable sources. For example, I typed in the drug "Fentanyl" in the regular Google search. One of the first listings is from Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not necessarily a reliable source of information, especially when it comes to health and medicine.

I've produced a customized search using the wonderful technology of Google. My customized Google search engine below searches only reliable sources on the web (such as National Institute of Health, Mayo Clinic, various universities, and other reliable and reputable health and medical organizations.)










Shu Chan 陳樹中 Terence Chan LIU



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Monday, May 17, 2010

Things to Avoid to Keep Your Sperm Count High



Here's a good blog of things NOT to do if you want to keep your sperm count up:

http://www.nursingschools.net/blog/2010/05/10-proven-ways-to-lower-your-sperm-count/

For more lessons like this one, feel free to go to - SpirFit.org

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Hay Fever and the Neti Pot


The neti pot seems to be a very good gadget in alleviating allergy symptoms such as sinusitis, and can probably allow allergy sufferers to lower the doses of medications or possibly even eliminate these medications (many of these medications have side effects such as drowsiness and increase heart rate.) The neti pot simply allows you to gently rinse out your sinuses with warm salt water. I don't see any side effects or risks with the use of this gadget, but I see the benefits. What a brilliant solution, yet so simple and it has been used for hundreds of years in other parts of the world.

If you want to know more about how a neti pot works, please view the videos below. I have also included websites (including information about where to purchase a neti pot). I have no affiliations with any of them.



Caution: The only thing wrong with this video is the motions that she teaches you at the end of the video. As a certified exercise professional, I can tell you that the stretches at the end of the video where she bends at her waist with her knees locked out straight can potentially cause lumbar (lower pack) problems or aggravate existing lower back problems. This woman should just stick to teaching the use of the neti pot and stay away from teaching stretches of the body. Other than the problem with the stretches she teaches at the end of the video, I think she provides good instructions on the use of a neti pot.



Where to Purchase the Neti Pot
Himalayan Institute Ceramic Neti Pot, White/Yellow

Ancient Secrets Ceramic Nasal Cleansing Pot, 1 Neti Pot

Himalayan Institute Original Neti Pot Complete Sinus Cleansing System Starter Kit

Neti Pot Salt Jar 10 Ounces


I have also seen some version of the neti pot in major pharmacy chains.







Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor before trying the treatments mentioned on this blog or any alternative/complementary treatments. Regarding the shopping sites listed, the author is not affiliated with these businesses and has not investigated the legitimacy of these businesses. As with any online companies, please check the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and other resources to research into the legitimacy of these companies before purchasing from them. Also, it is not recommended to purchase the neti pot as a romantic gift for your girlfriend or wife. If you do not heed this advice, the author does not take any responsibilities for the resulting slap mark on your face.

Copyright: © 2006. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中 Terence Chan LIU

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Good and Bad About Coffee


We’ve all read in the mass media about studies done on the benefits of coffee. However, this issue is not black or white. The answer is not just a simple “good” or “bad”.

Coffee does have antioxidants that are good for you. However, if you add lots of creamer and sugar (as many people do), the bad outweighs the good. Also, customized coffee drinks like mochas and cappuccinos may contain as much calories as 1/3 of a day’s recommended caloric intake.

Also, it’s definitely not good if you develop an addiction to caffeine.
However, it’s probably good for you if you drink about half a cup caffeinated coffee per day without adding all the unhealthy stuff. (This is what I do.) Without the unhealthy added condiments, coffee has antioxidants that are good for you. Another option is drinking a black cup of decaf or half- caf (half decaf + half caffeinated).

Even so, a recent study in published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that caffeinated coffee may have harmful cardiovascular effects and effects in increasing blood pressure in healthy subjects (Buscemi, et al.) However, more studies need be done on this. Although one study is not conclusive, I recommend easing up on caffeinated coffee especially if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or a history cardiovascular disease.

Also, talk to your doctor before taking certain medications along with drinking coffee. Even over the counter medicines like acetaminophen (common pain killers such as Tylenol) and pseudephedrine (common cold and allergy medicine) when combined with drinking caffeine may lead to dangerous cardiovascular conditions if you have a cardiovascular or heart condition.


Reference
S Buscemi, S Verga, J A Batsis, M Donatelli, M R Tranchina, S Belmonte, A Mattina, A Re and G Cerasola. Acute effects of coffee on endothelial function in healthy subjects. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. May 2010. 64, 483-489.


Copyright: © 2010. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中 Terence Chan LIU

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Off the Bosu, Flat on Face



The Bosu is a great piece of exercise equipment, but I do not recommend using it as they did in the video. Check out this video:


Beach Face Plant Off Exercise Ball - Watch more Funny Videos

Again, I do not recommend doing this. Don't try this at home.

For more lessons like this one, feel free to go to - SpirFit.org

For updates of new posts and for connecting with others who like these readings, feel free to “like” the SpirFit page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpirFit/141881909215772



Shu Chan 陳樹中 Terence Chan LIU

Sunday, April 25, 2010

To Get In Shape, Take 100% Responsibility


"You have to take 100% responsibility for your life," teaches Jack Canfield, author of the Chicken Soup series. We understand this to be true for many areas of our lives, but many of us neglect this for our physical fitness.

If your finances are not where you want it to be, those who are financially successful know that you can only turn things around by first taking 100% responsibility. You can think (incorrectly) that everyone who is financially successful are trust fund babies or just plain lucky. But you will never become financially successful if you think that way. If you are a student and your grades are not where you want them to be, the academically successful students will tell you that you have to take 100% responsibility and figure out how to improve your study habits, time management, and brain power.

I think everyone who has the most basic common sense is with me so far. However, the same concept also applies to your physical state. Are you not as skinny as you like? Are you not as muscular as you like? Are you not as fast or agile as you like? If your physical fitness is not where you want it to be, you must begin with taking 100% responsibility for you physical state. You will never turn things around if you think - I'm overweight only because of my bad genes and there's nothing I can do to change that. You will never turn things around if you think - I am overweight because my husband/my wife/my sister/my brother/my mother/my father tempts me with all these unhealthy foods and snacks. Many people start with the belief (conscious or subconscious) that they are not in control. Therefore, they doom themselves to fail from the beginning.

At my side job at the college (where I spend part of my time working with students in English and Health linked classes ), one of my overweight colleagues there once said to me, "I am jealous of you. You could eat anything and not gain weight." Annie (not her real name of course) neglects to observe the difference in our eating habits. Although I've only known her for two years, I do notice differences such as my drinking of black coffee without adding any sugar, cream, or anything. She adds lots of sugar and cream to her coffee. I usually eat whole grain and high fiber snacks throughout the day. She eats more unhealthy foods. Annie chooses (probably subconsciously) to ignore these differences in habits, because it's easier to think that she is overweight only because of her genes, and I am slim because I am "lucky".

As Annie doesn't really know me at a personal level, she doesn't see me when I am at the gym two to four times per week. Although other colleagues know this, Annie chooses not to remember this about me. It's easier for her to think that I am in shape because I am "lucky".

Again, Annie only has only known me for two years. She didn't know me eight years ago when I was almost 20 pounds heavier and had approximately 10% more body fat than I do now. I also had less lean muscle because of a more sedentary lifestyle working comfortably at a research lab and living comfortably in suburban California where I drove everywhere, rarely having to take more than twenty steps. It doesn't help that the men in my family (such as my father) generally start to balloon up, or gain significant weight, in their thirties. That's the trend with the men in my family, but I started to "balloon up" in my mid-twenties probably because of the suburban lifestyle factor (until I consciously decided to turn things around).

Annie also didn't know me when I began to turn things around in 2002 by improving my eating habits and exercising habits. I was working out at the fitness center twice a week in addition to practicing San Shou (combination of kickboxing, wrestling, and Judo throws) twice a week. On top of that, I bought a bicycle and I began to bike everywhere I can, instead of driving. If Annie's thinking is right, I guess all these activities have nothing to do with me getting in shape. According to her, I am in shape because of "luck" and genes.

Annie also didn't know me in 2004 when I could not exercise for ten months because of having 5 surgeries spread out over almost a year. I couldn't exercise after each surgery. Before I would completely recover, I am back in the surgery room. Naturally, I got fatter. I guess I was "lucky" to be thrown off track during that year. If Annie's right, I was "lucky" to have to restart my fitness efforts all over again after that miserable year.

The advantages that Annie thinks I have are erroneous. However, I do have some advantages that Annie did not speak of. I have the advantage of being more knowledgeable than most in nutrition, fitness, and health. More importantly, I have the advantage of having a good understanding of the spirit, mind, and body connection. However, these advantages all result from conscious choices, right thinking, effort, learning, and gradual progress over time.

In order to obtain your desired physically fit state, the first step is to take 100% responsibility. Don't blame your genes. Don't blame your environment. Don't blame your mother. Don't blame your partner. Even if some of these factors may have contributed to the extra ten inches around your waist, thinking that way will only hinder you. Only when you stop blaming outwardly (looking out the window) and start to seek changes from within (looking in the mirror) will you have any chance of getting fit, slim, muscular, or whatever body type you want to be. This is true for fitness as well as other areas of your life.

Copyright: © 2009. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中 Terence Chan LIU

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Importance of Spirituality in Physical Fitness and Health



More and more doctors and health scientists are realizing the importance of spirituality in optimizing your health and fitness. Are you someone who wants to be more fit and healthy but you have trouble sticking to your fitness goals? If so, chances are – you lack the level of spirituality (and/or mental strategies) to endure and stick to your fitness goals.

I often spoke in my seminars about my previous mentors or professors who were prominent researchers in nutrition science and exercise science. However, they are not particularly in shape. This observation was one of the contributors to my realization that knowledge in nutrition, exercise, and health is not enough. Although it is important to have reliable science-based information, we need more than this. One of the things that we need more of is building up our spirituality.

In HPE 12 (a health class required for all undergraduate students at the city college where I tutor and teach workshops), the spiritual component is included in the textbook. My point being - the importance of spirituality in obtaining optimal physical fitness and health is now “textbook knowledge”.

What is spirituality? I view spirituality as becoming more connected to God. I’ve heard some teachers of “universal spirituality” define spirituality as knowing yourself or getting in touch with that which is within you. This is only partially true. If you become more connected to God, you will become more connected with that which is within you (placed in you by God when He created humans). However, just "getting in touch with your inner self" without knowing God does not maximize your level of spirituality. Therefore, it is best to focus on connecting to God in order to become “spiritually fit”. This will in turn improve your physical health and fitness.

It also works the other way around. The more physically fit you are, the more easily you will be able to obtain your desired level of spirituality. More about this in future blogs.

More SpirFit lessons like this can be found at - http://spirfit.org/Academy/#fitness


Copyright: © 2009. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at  SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中 Terence Chan LIU

Friday, March 26, 2010

Forgive to Heal


I think most of us understands the importance of forgiveness in healing - physical healing literally. We've learned this from experience and from many spiritual teachers.

Here's a lesson on "How Do I Forgive":

http://life.SpirFit.com/2010/03/how-do-i-forgive.html



Copyright: © 2010. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中 Terence Chan LIU

Friday, March 12, 2010

Daylight Savings Time This Sunday


Daylight savings time. Move your clocks forward 1 hour this Sunday morning, March 14th, 2010 (for those of you in eastern and western U.S.)

Copyright: © 2010. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中 Terence Chan LIU

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Uniting All Fitness-Minded Christians on Facebook


I think one of the most understated or under-taught lessons from the Bible is that of maintaining the body (or temple) to be fit and healthy. It is sad and painful for everyone in a church when a pastor dies of a heart attack or a parishioner becomes paralyzed from a stroke. There is substantial scientific evidence that the chances for such diseases are much reduced with a fit and healthy life. (Another “side” benefit to a fit and healthy life is looking better and feeling better.)

I’ve been to many churches and usually can’t find more than two Christians in any one church who truly understands the importance of maintaining the fitness of one’s physical body (temple). Fortunately, we can unite all the fitness-oriented Christians from different churches since we live in the age of new social media and web 2.0 (which includes tools like Facebook). If God is willing, I hope we can spread this way of life in maintaining our bodies.

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” - 1 Corinthians 3:16 – 17

If you would like to take one step toward becoming a fitter you, I encourage you to join the Facebook group, Christians into Fitness, at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=app_2373072738&gid=278144013879 We all know the effectiveness of joining in numbers, especially in the Lord. (Ecclesiastes 4:9)

“No branch can bear fruit by itself” John 15:4

This is also true for a Christian trying to lose weight or get fit. To bear fruit in this area of one's life, we need to unite all the fitness-minded Christians together (at least on Facebook first). Together, we can make a difference in all the different churches we belong to. If you understand, are encouraged, or are inspired by this, please join my group, Christians into Fitness at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=app_2373072738&gid=278144013879

Copyright: © 2010. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中 Terence Chan LIU

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Are Brains of Boys Different From Girls


According to a recent book Pink Brain, Blue Brain by Lise Eliot (a psychology professor), the differences in brains of boys and girls are slight. However, there undoubtedly is noticeable difference between boys and girls later on. Boys later on tend to be better in areas like math while girls tend to be better at other areas. This is probably due to the fact that we tend to repeatedly do things we are better at. This results in continual improvement in that area. Therefore, a bigger performance gap between the sexes in that particular area manifests.

A. Scott Henderson, an Education professor who reviewed Eliot’s book for Science, generally agrees with Eliot.


References


Henderson, A. S. Unsexing the Brain. Science. 327:414 (January 21, 2010)


Eliot, Lise. Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow into Troublesome Gaps, and What We Can Do About It. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, 2009)


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Copyright: © 2010. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中