Archive for the tag - blood pressure

4 Tips to Bust Your Beer Belly!

Hi Davey Wavey,

I was on your website because my dad has been trying to get fit and I thought your website would be great for him! The biggest issue he has is a beer belly. How can he get rid of it?


Hey Samantha,

Thanks for the email and for spreading word about Davey Wavey Fitness!

First things first, the term “beer belly” is a bit of a misnomer. The real issue isn’t necessarily beer so much as it is calories. Weight gain occurs when you consume more calories than you burn – and in men, those extra calories are most often stored as belly fat. It’s the first place we men gain the weight, and often the last place we lose it.

Moreover, the so called beer belly is thought to increase the likelihood of diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. In other words, there’s plenty of good reasons for you dad to drop the gut.

Unfortunately, you can’t target weight loss in just one area. We can’t target just the belly; instead, we can incorporate general weight loss tips that will help your dad release his extra weight, wherever it may be.

    1. Eat smarter. Sure, beer has empty calories. But so do many of the other unhealthy foods we eat. Eating smarter means shifting from fried, processed and/or sugary foods to things like nuts, berries, lean meats, fruits and veggies. High fiber foods, in particular, will help your dad feel full. But fear not – it doesn’t mean that your dad needs to be put on a dramatic diet. Even making small dietary changes add up over time. My dad, for example, replaced his nightly snack of ice cream with a handful of peanuts. He lost 10 pounds in a few month’s time. Eating smarter will help reduce the number of calories your dad takes in.
    2. Exercise. Hitting the gym – or practicing with a workout video – will help your father increase the number of calories he burns. And again, it doesn’t mean he needs to hit the gym each and every day. I’d recommend starting out with 2 – 3 days for 30 – 45 minutes each, and possibly slowly moving up from there. I’d advise that he splits his time evenly between both cardio and strength training, as each have tremendous weight loss benefits.
    3. Get active! It’s important to keep moving. Maybe your dad can incorporate nightly walks or weekend hikes into his schedule. Or maybe there is a sports league he can join. My dad, for example, plays volleyball on Monday nights through our town’s recreation department.
    4. Visit a nutritionist. Or, a physician. Sometimes we need a little extra motivation to get us on the right track. Visiting a physician and getting a check-up can be a real wake-up call, especially if elevated blood pressure or other signs of heart disease are present. And consulting with a nutritionist can be a great way to build a meal plan that works for your dad, his habits and preferences. It’s definitely a worthwhile investment; it will yield huge returns in the quality (and possibility longevity) of your father’s life.

      Samantha, good luck with your father! You can certainly give him a little kick in the butt – but ultimately it is he who must take control of his life. You can’t run on the treadmill for him – but you can help steer him in the right direction. And it sounds like you’re doing just that. Kudos!


      Is Being a Hug Slut Good for Your Heart?

      The manhug: Good for your heart?

      I’m a hugger. I love hugging people. You might even call me a hug slut.

      Two summers ago, I even organized a group free-spirits to give “Free Hugs” on the streets of Toronto. It was a great experience, and I remember going home feeling totally recharged and brimming with love. It felt good for my soul – but as it turns out, it was also good for my heart.

      It all has to do with the hormone oxytocin. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s common during childbirth and it helps to facilitate breastfeeding. It’s also a neurotransmitter and aids in social bonding.

      According to Dr. David Hamilton, Ph.D.:

      We produce oxytocin when we bond with each other. Having quality relationships increases its levels. But another way to bond with someone is through a simple act of kindness. And this might just be good for the heart…. Exciting research has revealed that oxytocin plays a powerful role throughout the cardiovascular system.

      During the 1990s, researchers discovered that breastfeeding women (who have a lot of oxytocin in their systems) have lower blood pressure. Researchers were able to attribute the lower blood pressure to the oxytocin through a number of laboratory experiments.

      The implications are amazing: Smiling at strangers, holding the door open, being kind, connecting with friends, cuddling, hugging a stranger – any and all acts of kindness – reduce your risk of heart disease. And since the effects of oxytocin are cumulative, imagine the benefits of making these acts of kindness a regular part of your life?

      Now, giving lots of hugs doesn’t justify an otherwise high-risk lifestyle. But it’s yet another reason to share a little more love with the world in 2011.

      Hug sluts, rejoice.