Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Introduction To The Sauna

Introduction To The Sauna
 by: Simon Harris
History and Use
The origins of the sauna have been lost in the mists of time (so to speak), but it is safe to say its history goes back at least 1000 years. We know that the nomadic peoples of Finland had a primitive type of sauna that was made by building a fire inside a tentlike structure. When the heat had built up and the fire had gone out, the people would enter the sauna to bathe. This was very similar to the American Indian sweat lodge.
This type of sauna evolved into a smoke sauna -- a small building with a stone fireplace inside. There was a small hole in the roof where the smoke could escape but the fire had to die down before the building could be entered. This type of sauna was commonly used up until the 1920s when it started to be replaced by modern saunas as we know them today. The smoke sauna, however, has enjoyed a recent revival in Finland. Many people consider them to be the finest type of sauna.
By the 1930s, a new type of sauna stove was introduced. This sauna stove allowed the rocks to be heated without being placed directly over the flames of the fire. This meant that the fire could burn while the sauna was being used. The earliest stoves of this type used wood as a fuel but later models used electricity.
Types of Saunas
Saunas can be built in many shapes and styles. They can be separate buildings or they can be installed in a house or apartment. Traditional saunas are wooden structures and are as beautiful as they are functional.
The worldwide popularity of saunas has spurred innovative new designs. One of the most unusual of these is the portable sauna -- folding saunas that can be used almost anywhere. They are just big enough for one person to sit in. There is a hole for your head and slits for your hands if you wish to read or talk on the phone while you are sitting in this sauna.
Another unusual design is the barrel sauna. This is a small cabin constructed using barrel making techniques and can hold six to eight people. Barrel saunas can be installed either inside or outside the house and can be heated with a wood or electric stove.
Infrared saunas have been used since the 1960s. The heating source in this type of sauna is an infrared heater. Unlike traditional heaters that heat the air of the sauna, infrared heaters heat objects and people but not the air. Infrared is a type of light and proponents of infrared saunas say that they have superior health benefits to traditional saunas.
Sauna Construction
Almost every type of sauna is made of wood. The walls, ceilings, and floors and benches are all made from a wood such as cedar or hemlock. The only non-wood materials are the stove and the rocks that are heated on the stove.
The sauna provides a dry heat -- usually between 70°C and 100°C. From time to time water can be thrown on the rocks on the stove. This creates a cloud of steam which has the effect of immediately raising the temperature.
The sauna can be heated with an electric or wood stove. Wood stoves are traditional in the countryside, but most urban saunas use an electric heater.

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If You Don't Track Your Diet. You Are Wasting Your Time

If You Don't Track Your Diet… You Are Wasting Your Time
 by: Marc David
Frankly, I'm puzzled whenever I hear this from somebody who's frustrated with their lack of gains:
Me: So what are you eating? How many calories per day and how many do you need?
Them: I don't know. I just eat.
Yes, it's true. People don't track their diets, don't calculate their calories and just guess at what they need. They have no idea where they are going, very little facts on how to get there and yet are frustrated and mad when 6 weeks later they don't see the results.
Imagine, for a moment, that's it's 6-months from today. And you've made no progress. Wouldn't you be frustrated?! I sure would.
But here's the deal, there's a real simple method to make sure you don't end up like so many people you'll hear about. Please don't be the person who just "eats" or does whatever without a plan. If you aren't tracking your diet you are wasting your time!
Let me explain…
In order for your body to change, you must do something different. Let's suppose that you want to burn as much fat as possible. What's the first thing you should do now that you have a long-term goal in mind?
Here's a h-i-n-t!
Make a plan!
A quick plan for losing fat:
1. Determine how many calories a day you need based on your situation
2. Track your daily food intake (yes you should count calories
Bodybuilding manuals go into great detail about how to calculate your caloric intake, giving formulas and such.
Anyway, a typical conversation might go like this:
"Excuse me? My wife made spaghetti bolognaise yesterday, I can't be asked to weigh my meals in order to count the calories, can I? (What would she think about me (not to mention what I would think about myself ;-) ?)
I tried to go to fitday.com and calculate the calories, but it totally eluded me how many grams they were and looking for pasta and meat in different categories is a hassle anyway, so the site was no use for me with that.
Good heavens, there must be a way to go without the calorie counting, mustn't it?"
Despite what you may have heard…
Tracking your diet (counting calories) is important and I'll tell you why and how you can get around the whole calorie counting ordeal.
You see, in order to lose fat or gain muscle you need to know what you are eating in order to do such.
Let's say you need 3000 calories a day to maintain your current weight at your current activity levels.
Now you decide you want to lose fat.
Training more and more, more cardio, longer sessions will just tire you out. You can bump up the cardio and do certain fat loss tips and techniques but overall keep in mind:
Where do I burn the fat:
80% of fat loss comes from diet and 20% from cardio.
As you can see, the area you want to manipulate is the diet.
Back to the example.
You decide to lose the fat. You know you need 3000 a day to maintain. You do some calorie calculations and find that you want to be aggressive and cut your calories by 20%. It's aggressive but it's just enough to get fast results without making your body go into a 'starvation mode' and hold onto everything it's got.
Except you don't want to count calories.
That's sort of like saying...
I want to start in New York and get to California but I don't want a map or directions. I just want to drive West.
It just won't work. You might zig zag here and there. Maybe one week you'll eat less and lose a pound. The next on vacation you'll overdo it and gain 5 pounds. Who knows. You won't.
But do you have to count each calorie? And especially when you look at homemade items that have some many ingredients? What do you do?
While this isn't the most accurate method, I just basically get a good estimate by looking up the general food item, quantity I consumed and input that.
Over time, because I eat a lot of the same things for breakfast, I already know the calories and I don't need to track it anymore. I know via portions that a bowl of oats is such and such calories and how it adds into my total daily allowance.
I personally do not weight each piece of food. I will go to lunch, look at what I'm eating and know generally what portions of what I ate.
At the end of the day, I know roughly that I'm 20% below my maintenance for fat loss and 20% above for weight gain.
The problem that most people have is exactly what you describe.
They DO NOT want to track what they eat.
The bottom line is, if you don't know where you are, and where you are going, you really don't know how you'll get there and it's no wonder so many people are frustrated.
Look, you don't have to track every single piece of food you put into your mouth. And I know that when there's a home cooked meal, you aren't likely to know what's in it. But you can and should generally get an idea.
Eventually you can track your portions if you tend to eat a lot of the same things every day.
If you don't track your diet, you are wasting your time.

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Nutrition Is Not Common Sense

Nutrition Is Not Common Sense
 by: Marc David
I'd like to explain an important concept that most online trainers (even the "gurus") don't "get"...
Have you ever heard that 'nutrition is common sense?'
Have you ever thought about why the United States has an epidemic of overweight individuals and kids that are out of shape? Or that most people talk about how in their younger days they were able to do this and that. Yet these people are only 30 years old?
Most people think nutrition is common sense. But these people are completely wrong.
You see, common sense isn't specialized knowledge, but just native good judgment. Many times common sense is when it comes to many things in life are learned behaviors from parents, teachers, mentors or coaches. We get at lot of this common knowledge thru what we see as well. Driving on the right of left side of the road is common sense in your country. You get this from what you see.
The REAL four biggest problems when it comes to nutrition and common sense is that:
1- You learn what to eat from T.V. How crazy is that? I don't think I've seen a good commercial about just eating right. It's always about diets, points, fad diets, crazy workout stuff or fast food. Many kids get plenty of T.V. They don't understand why sugar cereal isn't part of a complete breakfast.
2- You learn what you see at home. If you were a witness to a lot of healthy eating habits (fruits, vegetables, moderate portions) then you probably got a lot of your good eating habits from your parents or guardians.
3- You learn to finish everything that's put in front of you. Does it matter if your hunger was satisfied half-way thru the meal? Or have you been told it was rude not to eat everything. You start to learn that finishing what's in front of you is more important then if you are hungry or not.
4- You learn nutrition at school. Some schools have good programs. Many do not. The only exposure most school children receive is the food pyramid. And then it's off to lunch period where they are served fish sticks and a variety of other unhealthy items. Only a few schools have a very healthy lunch option. It's pretty rare. You learn more about ancient Egyptians then you do about how to put together a healthy meal and what the heck is a complex carb.
This is an important concept -- so let me break it down and explain it in detail.
Most things we learn are common sense. It's common sense not to touch a hot stove. Why? Somebody told you or you tried it and your body responded by telling the pain receptors in your hand that it didn't like that.
You learned the stove was hot and not fun to touch. Common sense. It didn't require any specialized knowledge.
Then it hit me...
Neither should nutrition. It doesn't require any specialized knowledge to eat correctly. But yet it's not common sense.
The reason most people get it wrong is because they were never taught!
They received a lot of information from T.V. which was promoting diets and fast food and sugar cereals.
Their parents didn't learn either so they passed that onto their children.
There's a pressure to finish everything that is put in front of you (don't be wasteful) ignoring the absence of the hunger feeling.
The lack of sound nutrition in most schools. You learn how to read in school. You learn how to write. You learn how to solve math problems. You learn history and you learn different cultures.
I'll bet you can guess what happened next.
You never learn the definition of a complete meal.
You start by learning that right now...
A complete meal always includes a lean protein and a natural, complex carbohydrate. The best meal of all for muscle-building and fat-burning purposes contains three things:
1. Lean protein (chicken, fish, egg whites, etc)
2. Starchy carb (potato, rice, etc)
3. Fibrous carb (broccoli, green beans, salad, etc)
And that, is the biggest benefit of having a complete meal and understanding just how simple it is to create meals with these three steps.
So watch for your next issue of this mini-course, where I'll reveal the single most important question about how much cardio should you do.
Yours For Continued Success


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A Very Simple Program Anybody Can Follow To Gain MASS

A Very Simple Program Anybody Can Follow To Gain MASS
 by: Marc David
Until I started following a routine to eat, my gains were minimal. Once I set my eating times to a specific time during the day along with a protein boost, I could see the gains immediately. This sample program is a quick way to get your protein WAY up and generally increase your food intake. But it doesn't require the traditional sit down 6+ a day to eat 30 chicken breasts and spend all day cooking. I've got a full-time job at a corporate office. Cooking isn't an option. Nor is eating 6+ times a day involving meals with Tupperware and the likes. I need food and I need it fast.
Try this program on for size and notice the size you just might see.
Meal 1 - 7:00am
• 1 packet of a meal replacement with 16 ounces of skim milk
• 1 serving of whole grain cereal
• 1 cup of non/low-fat yogurt
• 1 piece of fruit
Meal 2 - 9:00am
• 1 serving of whey protein mixed in 10 ounces of water
• 1 large apple
Meal 3 -12:00pm
• 2 grilled chicken breasts
• 1 serving of brown rice
• 1 cup of low-fat yogurt
• 1 serving of whey protein
Meal 4 - 3:00pm
• 1 packet of a meal replacement with 16 ounces of water and 5-10 grams of L-Glutamine
• 1 large banana
• 1 workout bar of your choice (preferably some carbs and 20+ grams of protein)
Meal 5 - 6:00pm (Post-workout)
• 1 serving of whey protein combined with a 5gram serving of Creatine mixed in kool-aid. (This is an important meal and is designed for an insulin spike at just the right time to increase creatine and amino acid uptake by the muscle cells).
Meal 6 -7:00pm
• 8 to 10 ounces of a lean round or flank steak
• 1 serving of rice
• 1 medium baked potato
• 1 large green salad
Meal 7 - 10:00pm
• 1 packet of a meal replacement with 16 ounces of skim milk
• 1 large banana
• 3 to 5 grams of L-Glutamine
And that's about it. Simple? You will be significantly increasing the protein uptake. Which means you should be increasing that water consumption as well. I'm not a fan of waking up at 1:00am to get more protein and therefore, I did not include anything beyond 10:00pm. I've noticed some significant gains from this program. My workouts were hardcore but my nutrition was lacking. By putting my eating times to a set schedule, I felt better during the day and was even more ready to tackle that workout later in the day.
Good luck

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