Monday, April 23, 2018

The Role of Muscle Mass in Weight Loss

The importance of muscles

Your muscles not only keep you in shape but also maintain your health and wellness, in particular your body weight. Your muscles are essential for life. Muscle protein is dynamic when it is converted into amino acids. It repairs your body cells and tissues. It helps fight infections. It carries oxygen (in the form of hemoglobin) to your cells. It transports calcium and iron in your blood. It controls your weight (your muscles burn calories while you sleep—one pound of muscle burns 30 to 40 calories a day).

More muscle means less fat. More muscle means less inflammation (excess fat producing more cytokines, responsible for artery, joint, and tissue inflammation). More inflammation means more plague in arteries (greater risk of heart attack and strokes, as well as memory loss). More muscle means more body strength, greater mobility, and less risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Your muscle is important. Use it or lose it!

A study on master athletes at the University of California indicated that muscle mass has little to do with age. In other words, you could still have the same amount of muscle mass as someone who is 10 to 20 years younger than you are. Muscle mass is anti-aging. Do weight training or workout without weights to preserve your muscle mass and keep you in shape to look forever younger.

Women, in particular, benefit more from weight training, because they have less muscle mass than men have, and adding more muscles means burning more calories.

Loss of muscle mass

As you age, you muscle protein dwindles. An average person loses half a pound of muscle and gains a pound of fat a year. Between 30 and 60, you may expect to lose 15 pounds of muscle and gain 30 pounds of fat (if not more). That will put you not only out of shape, but also in health hazards.

Loss of muscle mass may be due to the following:

Increase in cortisol (a hormone for regulating your blood sugar, blood pressure, immune function, and inflammatory response), which breaks down muscle mass

Decrease in growth hormone (stimulating growth and cell reproduction) and testosterone (male and female hormone)
Increase in fat (more fat, more inflammation, and less muscle mass—a vicious cycle).

To prevent loss of muscle mass, continue to build your muscles even as you age. The human body is perfectly capable of getting the exercise it needs with very little extra equipment. For instance, even a simple towel can be used as one of the most effective and versatile fitness accessories for strength and flexibility training to enhance your muscle mass.

Important muscle groups to target

As you age, weight training should specifically target the following muscle groups for prolonged independence and continuous mobility:

Back, knee, pelvic floor. (important for your sexual function, bowel and urinary control)

Shoulder joint and shoulder rotator cuff to stabilize shoulder movements

Remember, exercise, not medications, is the single most effective choice against heart disease. Exercise and muscle mass keep you younger for longer.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau




Monday, April 16, 2018

Self-Efficacy in the Now

Believing in yourself is self-efficacy. Believing in yourself is confidence in your own ability, knowing what you have to do to win or simply to get what you want in life. Self-efficacy is a present state of mind, which means you don't look back at the past, especially your past failures or imperfections 

Believing in yourself is one of the first steps to success in doing anything that becomes the very substance of your confidence. To have confidence, you must set goals, and achieving your goals helps you build more confidence.

The only stumbling block to believing in yourself is your inability to achieve: some of your goals at some points in your life. This stumbling block may create negativity in the form of victimization. In other words, you may find you are a victim of circumstances; this may also lead to bitterness, despair, or even anger.

One of the reasons why sometimes you don’t have self-efficacy is your past. You could have been haunted by your past failures that generated regrets, bitterness, and disappointments that you have not been able to let go of. Attachment to the past is always a stumbling block to moving ahead.

The Wisdom of Letting Go

The wisdom of letting go shows you how to use the ancient Tao wisdom from China to live in the present moment, and, more importantly, to let go of the past. With both  human wisdom and spiritual wisdom from the Bible, you may start believing in yourself again. With self-efficacy, you can do anything at any stage of your life, and the sky is the limit. 

Learn to live in the NOW, which is the only reality: the past was gone and the future is yet to come. Living in the NOW enables you to do what needs to be done for future success.


Stephen Lau

Copyright©2018 by Stephen La





Friday, April 13, 2018

Bedroom Feng Shui



Bedroom Feng Shui

Use Chinese feng shui to promote good sleep. Feng shui is based on the principle of harmonizing the invisible but powerful life energy “qi” that not only courses through the human body but also flows throughout the environment.

Literally, feng shui means “wind-water.” Feng shui has been practiced in China for several millennia. Originally, it was used to find the most auspicious burial sides for the dead. For centuries, it has been used to balance the yin (the female) and the yang (the male) in order to create the balance and harmony for health and wellness. Theoretically, anything that interrupts with the free flow of “qi” is considered bad for feng shui. In the same manner, bedroom feng shui plays a pivotal part in promoting natural sleep.

According to the principles of feng shui, the ideal bedroom should have a regular shape (a square or a rectangle), not oblong or circular. The reason is that any irregular shape will interfere with the free flow of life energy. By the same token, too much furniture is not ominous for good feng shui. A computer or any outdoor coats hanging on the back of the bedroom may create irrelevance instead of harmony to the bedroom environment, and thus obstructing “qi.”

Basically, spaced-clearing is critical to good bedroom feng shui.

Look around your bedroom to see if there are objects that do not belong to a bedroom.

Avoid placing a mirrors on the wall, especially not directly opposite the bed, because it will reflect life energy back at you while you sleep.

Make sure your bed is raised above the floor so that there is no interruption of the flow of life energy. Do not place your bed between doors, or between the window and the door.

If the bedroom has two entrances (such as a suite), place a screen between them.

The sun is not ideal for a sleeping surface. Make sure that your bed is not exposed to direct sunlight.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Ginseng for Your Golden Years


Ginseng for Your Golden Years

As you continue to age in your golden years, taking ginseng is a must. For thousands of years, most centenarians all over the world have consumed ginseng. It is the elixir of life for seniors.

The King of Herbs

Ginseng is the king of herbs in the herbal kingdom due to its holistic-healing potency. In other words, it treats the body as a whole. As such, it is used to keep your body balanced and healthy, in particular in your golden years. 

In Chinese medicine, balance and harmony holds the key to wellness and recuperation. Ginseng, with its branched roots in the shape resembling that of the human form, is called “man root” in Chinese. The word “ginseng” literally means crystallization of the essence of the earth, “shen”, in the form of a man, ”jen.” The name itself attests to the importance of ginseng among herbs, especially in Chinese health and healing.

The potency of ginseng has long been recognized in Eastern cultures. In fact, as far back as 1800 B.C., ginseng was declared in the East as the king of herbs among more than 200 superior herbs recognized as “medical wisdom” for balancing and harmonizing the body for overall health.  Ginseng for the golden years is the wisdom in successful aging.

Ginseng is the essence of health. According to Chinese medicine, it brightens your eyes, opens your heart, enlightens your brain, and strengthens your soul and spirit. These are the attributes of healthy aging in the golden years. For centuries, ginseng has been present in many classical prescriptions for adjustive, preventive, and restorative purposes.

Ginseng is also a potent short-term stimulant that does no harm. It stimulates your nervous system and increases your reflex. In ancient times, Chinese soldiers used to carry ginseng to the battlefield, using it not only to restore strength, but also to ameliorate the effects of shock and stress in battles. It is quite common practice for Chinese to give ginseng root to those on their deathbed to provide adequate strength to be able to receive their family and arrange their after-death affairs before dying.

In space exploration, the Russian astronauts considered ginseng a better stimulant than the amphetamines used by the American counterparts, because ginseng enhances performance without the hangover effects of amphetamines. 

Nowadays, Soviet coaches and trainers have long used ginseng to enhance the performance of athletes in training, even for Olympic Games. The Chinese even purportedly used runners to determine the quality of ginseng by asking two men to run a race biting a piece of ginger root in the mouth, and the one who did not display any body fatigue would attest to the authenticity of the ginseng root. Similar research studies were conducted in the Soviet Union and other countries worldwide to confirm the potency of ginseng as a short-term stimulant.

As strong evidence of its efficacy as a medicinal herb, wild ginseng can be worth thousands of dollars in price. If stored in a tight container, ginseng can retain its potency indefinitely. Today, ginseng is widely grown in different parts of the world. However, wild ginseng is still exclusively sought.

Even in the West, ginseng has been well respected as a medicinal herb. Many American tribes used ginseng for childbirth, fever, aches and pain. In fact, ginseng was listed in the official book of medicine, the U.S. Pharmacopoeia, in the 19th Century as a stimulant and a digestive aid.

Ginseng is safer and more effective than synthetic drugs or vitamins available on the nutrition market today.

Your Golden Years and Santa Claus: shows you how to take care of your health, how to live like Santa Claus in your golden years, so that you might last forever, just like Santa Claus coming back year after year.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © 2018 by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Don’t Look Like Santa Claus


Don’t Look Like Santa Claus

Santa Claus is a mythical figure loved by children because he always brings presents during Christmas. Santa is imaginary and therefore he will be around next Christmas. However, if you wish to be around when he comes back next Christmas, then don’t look like Santa Claus. Your body shape is a good indicator of your current health conditions.

If your body shape is like that of an apple, that is, with extra weight in the midsection, you may have a propensity for diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke further down the road. The reason is that in a beer belly, your abdominal fat is more easily converted into cholesterol, and hence ultimately affecting your heart health. On the other hand, if your body shape is like that of a pear, that is, with extra weight around the hips instead of in the midsection, you may be less at risk for heart disease.

If you don’t want to look like Santa Clause, be mindful of your body shape. Exercise your body and manage your body weight.

Yoga is the best exercise not only to normalize your muscle tone, as well as to balance the activity of opposing muscle groups, but also to enhance your physical and mental awareness. They all play a pivotal part in weight loss. Remember, effective weight management is more than about eating fewer calories through dieting; the mind and the spirit also contribute to your body metabolism.

Because of its holistic approach to wellness, Yoga exercise also requires the application of its basic principle of nutrition, which is the consumption of small quantities of high-quality life-giving foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts, with meat in strict moderation.

Brilliant Yoga: A 200+page e-book with videos on body-mind-spirit transformation! There is all-in-one support you need in every chapter with comprehensive and easy-to-follow steps to guide you on how to make yourself look, feel, and live your life to the fullest. This is the perfect yoga program with everything you need to know about healing yoga. It is for everyone-from the beginner to the advanced learner-who believes that yoga is a science of health. Brilliant Yoga comes with additional bonus books on back pain, pilates, stretching, and weight loss.

Act and think like Santa Claus, but just don't look like him.

Your Golden Years and Santa Claus: This book is about the wisdom of living your golden years as if everything is a miracle, if you act and think like Santa Claus. Living in your senior years is always challenging, so you need the mindset of Santa Claus.

Stephen Lau
Copyright ©2018 by Stephen Lau