measuring body composition and body fatHow can we be independent of what the scale may say, and what does the number on the weight scale really tell us? Generally, the measured value of body weight does not hold as important information as the composition of that weight does. We should be aware of our body composition rather than tracking scale weight every day. The scale may simply tell us the combined weight value of all the body’s tissues. That weight may vary throughout the day depending on different reasons and factors like the time of day, what we had eaten, hydration status or what clothes we are wearing. On the other hand, body composition represents the relative leanness, or the proportions of fat mass and lean (fat-free) mass in the body.

Fat mass consist of essential and nonessential fat, whereas lean mass (sometimes called active mass), refers to bones, tissues, organs and muscle. The generally accepted range of fat percentage, required for maintaining good health is of about 10-22% for men and 20-32% for women. Continue reading »


exercise prescription for weight lossThe lifestyle choices we make about caloric intake and expenditure have a predominant impact toward overweight problems or the development of obesity. In order to lose excess fat weight, a negative caloric balance needs to be established, which can be achieved through decreasing the calories we consume or increasing the calories we expend. According to ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) recommendations, a person attempting to lose weight should combine physical activity/exercise and moderate caloric restriction. Although the precise contribution of exercise is not strictly outlined and is still debated, this simple combination appears to be the best and most effective in weight management, maintaining lean mass and avoiding excessive drops in metabolic rates.

Theoretically, if you include exercise to your everyday life, this can make a significant alteration in your weight maintenance. For example, if you burn 100 kcal per day over your total daily caloric need for a year, you are expected to lose over 10 lb of body fat. In theory we can make the assumption that for a period of 10 years you should lose about 100 lb of body weight, but in reality this is not likely to be the outcome. The reason is because our body constantly adapts to the way we live, when we gain extra fat or lose excessive amount of body weight, the metabolic rate lowers as a self-preservation precaution. In terms of weight loss this could be interpreted that in order to experience reasonable results, you should perform regular exercise and allow some time for the body to adapt and raise the resting metabolic rate. Continue reading »


The physical fitness goals are to lower risks of developing health problems and to maintain good physical health. The components of these goals are undoubtedly familiar to all of us.

To Lower Risks of Developing Health Problems and Conditions

physical fitness goalsOne aspect of the quality of life is to prevent or delay the premature development of health problems, prolonging the healthy and independent portions of life. There is evidence that regular physical activity is related to lower risk of premature development of many health problems including: anxiety; atherosclerosis; back pain; cancer; chronic lung disease; coronary heart disease; depression; diabetes; hypertension; obesity and stroke. In our modern society cardiovascular diseases has emerged as a serious set of health problems, causing premature death and disability. Fortunately physical activity plays a major role in preventing the development of these and other premature health problems. The most important thing to remember is that activity and exercise are health beneficial, if performed on regular basis, combined with proper nutrition. Continue reading »


lifestyle changes for weight lossHealthy and safe weight loss is usually achieved through gradual lifestyle changes. If you are trying to lose weight your goal would be to make those healthy changes, permanent, bearable and enjoyable, in order to be able to stick to them in the long-term. Sudden changes that may lead to quick weight loss are often too harsh to undertake for longer periods and often may trigger psychological barriers thus leading to denial, while on the other hand people who are committed to long-term weight loss and lifestyle changes are usually more successful at reaching and maintaining their desired weight.

Although each individual must assess which areas of his/hers lifestyle mostly contribute to excessive weight gain, here are some common steps that are usually beneficial for the majority of people who are putting considerable weight loss efforts:

  • Reduction in total calorie intake
  • Reduced fat intake
  • Increase in physical activity
  • Change in eating habits

All of the above steps require behavioral lifestyle changes to be implemented successfully. Continue reading »


Physical activity for moderately active people, goals and recommendations

exercise recommendations for moderately active peopleOne of the most discussed topics in our modern life, with lots of confusion, is how much and what type of physical activity should be performed for health-related fitness and increased performance benefits. There is no universal solution to this problem, because of its complex essence, and the fact that recommendations and prescriptions differ for individuals depending on their current fitness levels, health condition and desired performance outcomes. Different schemes and routines have to be build and recommended for sedentary people to improve functional living and to reduce risks of some major health problems, another with cardiorespiratory and physical performance improvements in active adults and a hole different matter is the training of professional athletes.

Moderately active people usually maintain good fitness levels, and cardiorespiratory health, with decreased risks of heart diseases, comparing to people who lead a sedentary lifestyle. The desired goals of physically active people are usually: better health status; increased physical performance and respectively cosmetic body changes (improved shape and figure). Continue reading »


Physical activity for sedentary people, goals and recommendations

exercise recommendations for sedentary peopleOne of the most controversial and confusing areas in our social life is how much and what type of physical activity should be done for health-related and increased performance benefits. There is much confusion in this field, because recommendations and prescriptions differ for individuals depending on their current activity and fitness levels, health status and desired performance achievements. Different schemes and routines have to be composed for sedentary people to reduce risks of some major health problems, another with cardiorespiratory improvements in active adults and a hole different situation is when training professional athletes.

According to some general recommendations, people who are leading sedentary lifestyles should consider at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity performed daily, to reduce the risks of heart disease and other health problems. Continue reading »


Physical activity for everyone, goals and recommendations

daily exercise recommendationsExercise recommendations have to consider the individual characteristics of the participants, current health status and desired outcomes. By making some simple changes, you can easily implement more physical activity into your lifestyle. In order to improve your physical and health status, you should include intentional physical activity/exercise in your daily routine. People leading sedentary lifestyles should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity performed each day, to reduce their risks of heart disease, while moderately active people can and should improve their fitness levels, by implementing vigorous work/exercise on regular basis.

Exercise Recommendations for Everyone

Physical activity goal:
To be more physically active and improve the quality of life. Continue reading »


how to burn fat effectivelyIf you are trying to lose body fat, but haven’t yet succeeded, do not despair. Here are some guidelines, different reasons that may hold you back and some issues you may want to change or improve, in order to achieve results.

Basic guidelines:

Healthy weight loss equals to excessive fat loss. Overweight problems are usually associated with increased fat mass and decreased muscle mass. In some cases, like excessive exercise routines, starvation and fast weight loss methods, it is not primarily fat that is lost, but more often water from the cells and muscle tissue. This is not a healthy alternative, but it is still a loss of a “scale weight”.

To lose weight the healthy way, means to reach your healthy weight and to maintain it. Fanatic weight loss and harshly decreased body fat percentage holds different but as serious dangers as excess body fat does. Healthy range of percent body fat, varies from 15-25% for men and 20-30% for women.

The safest way, known to lose weight, is through making slow and gradual changes in your diet (decreasing your calorie intake) and physical activity levels (increasing your metabolism).

To improve your fitness levels and achieve weight loss results, you need to participate into a regular exercise program, or regular physical activity. This is essential for people leading sedentary lifestyle. By exercising from time to time, your chances of success will be decreased significantly. Continue reading »


fitness and weight lossNowadays, many people suffer from overweight problems, sedentary lifestyle, or both. If for some reason you decide to change only one of the issues – more physically active or lose weight, which could be the better option.

According to Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, in which researchers monitor the health, body weight and exercise levels of more than 14,000 middle-aged men for 11 years, being more physically fit may be more beneficial than losing weight. The level of physical fitness of the participants was estimated by measuring their metabolic equivalents (MET) through a treadmill test.

The results showed that men who maintained their fitness levels, compared to those whose levels declined, over the course of the study, reduced the possibility of dying from cardiovascular disease by about 30%, even if they didn’t lose any significant excess body weight. The men whose physical fitness was improved – reduced their chance for cardiovascular disease by 40%. Continue reading »


nutrition for weight trainingProper nutrition is important for weight lifting and strength sports, which require overcoming heavy weights and training of maximum strength. Compliance with good diet can improve overall performance and increase muscle strength. This is true whether weight training is conducted once a week or several times a day.

Strength athletes need a diet which provides them with carbohydrates for energy and moderate amounts of fat and protein. These requirements can easily be achieved with a nutrient-rich and well balanced diet. Of course, the eating plan should be adapted to different sports or exercise routines, as well as the individual characteristics of training people.

Meeting Energy Requirements

Energy needs of people who engage in sports vary with how often and how intensely they train, and the goals they pursuit. Diets that are low in calorie value can lead to the loss of weight and muscle mass, while diets high in calories can lead to weight gain, including muscle and fat. The increase in muscle mass requires adequate energy intake and eating enough protein, weight training, and appropriate levels of hormones. Continue reading »