OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat’s right; you are most certainly welcome to this site. My name is Al Bargen and I am an author and speaker, as well as an online fat loss, fitness and self defense instructor. I teach people just like you what they need to know so that you can’t help but smile when you look in the mirror and see that fabulous version of you smiling back. My devotion towards fitness is a direct result of the innate passion that burns furiously within me for excelling at the martial arts.

This passion started at an early age, and has yet to wane. Throughout the years, volumes of self defense and personal protection information have been assembled at my martial arts site http://www.modernsamuraisociety.com/ . A wealth of fat loss, and fitness information is  happily given at http://cheeseburgerabs.com/ , and lastly, to receive an amazing complimentary author’s start up kit that divulges the easiest way to write your own book, head over to http://writersrise.com/

Do go through this site, and collect all the gems you can. More importantly, grab the lesson’s shared with me, and live your best life possible. Thank you.

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Do You Sit Down Too Much Every Day?

Do You Sit Down Too Much Every Day?New research results keep confirming what we have suspected all along – sitting is bad for us. But just how bad?

Even if you regularly exercise when not sitting behind your desk, it still significantly raises your risk for diabetes, heart disease (including strokes and heart attacks), obesity and even certain types of cancer. For every two hours of sitting, you raise your risk of colon cancer by 8 percent, endometrial cancer by 10 percent, and lung cancer by 6 percent.


The Mayo Clinic did a study of how sitting affects blood sugar spiking and what they found was amazing. If the study participants went back to sitting after a meal, or ate while sitting at their desk, their blood sugar peaked and stayed there for two hours. However, if the same participants took a 15-minute walk at just 1 mph after eating, their blood sugar peaks were cut in half. Of course your risk for developing diabetes increases if you consistently have high blood sugar. Continue reading

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How to Stay Toasty Warm During a Canadian Winter

AlBargen.com-How-To-Stay-Warm-disposableOK, so the winter hasn’t been too bad out west here, but sometimes it is. (and the winter isn’t over yet) Maybe you’re in a colder place, like my friends out east, or you plan to venture to colder climes perhaps for a skiing vacation. Whatever the reason, staying warm is key to enjoying yourself during the brisk winter months.

Most people think about external solutions to staying warm, like the disposable heat packs pictured to the left. These can be OK for temporary use, but there are environmental concerns about living in a “disposable society.” I don’t want to sound like I am bashing these things. I personally keep a few on hand for emergencies, and a few in the “Security grab and go” bag during the winter months.

So if you like the hand warmers, another way to go is this next product.


It’s the same idea, but these ones are reusable. It is frankly quite neat to see them work for the first time. They have liquid inside, and a metal disc. You manipulate the metal disc until some kind of reaction occurs. Watching the reaction is the nifty part as you can see the liquid turn solid right before your eyes, and as a result, the item warms up. Problem with these, is that they don’t last as long as the disposable ones do. To use them again, you boil them for a few minutes in water, and the solid  changes back to liquid… ready for the next use.

What is even more environmentally friendly is the next suggestion I have. What I want to suggest comes from the power of your mind

My best tip to stay warm, is mind games. It’s like using mental visualization to clear your nostrils when you’re congested. You don’t have to know what your nostrils look like from the inside… If you concentrate on an image of them being free and clear… air  being allowed to pass freely, you will become decongested. (I visualize my my empty/clear nostrils like those caves you see in books… Complete with stalagmites, and stalactites.)

So too is it with blood flow. I learned this while riding the ski lift. Visualize the cold parts of your body… Your feet/Fingers? As being the color blue. And now, visualize the parts of your body that have to be warm… Your heart/internal organs, and your brain. Visualize these parts as being red… Which means they are red-hot.

Then play around with mental visualization. Imagine the red/warm areas flowing down to the cold/blue areas. See this blue area diminish, and vanish altogether, as the red area grows larger. Just visualize your entire body becoming red with heat, and the cold from your feet and fingers will vanish.

If this doesn’t work, isolate every muscle group, and flex, and relax muscles as you would if you were working out with weights, say sets of 10.  This will drive fresh blood flow into the musculature, and warm you up in no time.

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Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement Review

Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement ReviewTo say that there have been millions of books written on health would be a huge understatement. But as an innovative and unique offering, “Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement” attempts to explain the science behind the link between physical movement and health in human beings. After explaining exactly why your body functions better and you live longer and healthier when you are active, this physical fitness guide then shows you specific exercises and “habit modifications” which lead to a happier and healthier you. Why don’t we take a look inside?

Key Elements of Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement

* Designed for all fitness levels
* Written by a trained Biochemist
* Excellent for overall body health and fitness
* Offered in Kindle, audiobook and paperback editions
* Explains what happens at the cellular level when you move, and how you benefit Continue reading

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The Link Between Fitness and Self Esteem is Stronger Than You Think

The Link Between Fitness and Self Esteem is Stronger Than You ThinkHi, Al Bargen here again, who else would it be right? As you’ve noticed, on this site I write about primarily health and fitness related topics with the occasional “life-hack” informational article thrown in just for fun. Today is no exception as I explore the link between mind and body, or perhaps it is body influencing mind. Tell me what you think in the comments section below.

Self esteem can often be attributed to how a person feels about their body and their looks. It often has a great deal of influence on how they see the world. Working out and getting in shape can have a big impact on your self esteem. It releases feel good chemicals in the brain that helps you feel better and more invigorated. These chemicals are also effective even if you haven’t lose much weight yet. Using exercise to release these natural brain chemicals also gives your self esteem a nice boost too. You also get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re working towards something that will make you feel better over time.

How does fitness and exercise relate to self esteem? Continue reading

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Sleep and Weight Gain

Sleep and Weight Gain Insomnia is no fun. But did you know that it can actually contribute to weight gain? Yep, you may have just discovered the reason why your fat burning and weight loss efforts have proven fruitless so far. Significant studies tell us that sleeplessness does not directly cause weight gain.

But the conscious activities that some people make to fight the tired, sluggish feelings they have in the day which arise from insomnia may be causing you to gain weight.

Think about it for a minute. You toss and turn during the night, you fight to get to sleep, and when you do, you sleep restlessly. Just when you are experiencing some wonderful deep sleep, your alarm reminds you that you have bills to pay. You get sluggishly out of bed and head to the kitchen, straight for the coffee machine. Continue reading

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Does Sugar Make You Fat?

Does Sugar Make You Fat?Sugar tastes oh so sweet, but do we really need it? And is that spare tire around your waist, your neck jowls and upper arm flab caused by eating too much sugar? Research in recent years has shown that your sugar intake can have a definite effect on your body weight, over time. So how much is too much, and just exactly how does sugar make you fat?

Let’s take that second question first. Sugar, as well as high fructose corn syrup, is made up of glucose and fructose. You need glucose to live. Your body produces it naturally, and it is used to give your cells energy. But fructose is unnatural, and your body does not produce it. Of all the cells in your body, only your liver cells can process fructose.

When you eat a lot of sugar, the majority of fructose gets metabolized by your liver. It is processed and turned into fat, which is in pushed out into your blood. Fructose also changes the way you react to a hormone called leptin. Every time you eat, some of your food is stored in your fat cells. Leptin levels are increased, your brain notices this higher leptin level, it senses that you have enough fat stored and tells you to stop eating.

But fructose disguises your true leptin levels. Your brain does not realize you have enough fat, so you eat more sweet, sugary things because your mind believes you need to produce fat to put away for a rainy day. So fructose is the real culprit in sugar here, making you fat a couple of different ways.

Some recent research out of New Zealand shows that even small increases or decreases in your sugar intake can dramatically affect how much fat and extra weight you pack on.

In a study which lasted a few weeks to 6 months, test subjects who ate less sugar lost an average of 1.8 pounds. And in as few as 8 weeks, those subjects which increased their sugar intake by even a small amount saw a weight gain of 1.7 pounds on average.

And that is just one of many studies which show the real world results of eating sugar that take place because of the natural process we just discussed. The bottom line? Eat less sugar and you gain less fat. So, how much sugar is too much? Men should limit themselves to 150 calories per day, women to 100 sugar calories.

Healthy fats like olive oil are needed in your body, but the unnatural fructose in sugar produces the kind of unhealthy fat that nobody wants.

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Get Over Your Fitness and Weight Loss Excuses

Get Over Your Fitness and Weight Loss ExcusesHow many excuses have you used over the years to avoid getting in shape and losing weight? We all have them. The truth about excuses is they do keep you from reaching your desired weight and taking control of your health.

Let’s cover some of the most common excuses and try to motivate ourselves to get over them and start working towards those weight loss goals.

Excuse #1 – I don’t like to be hungry. The truth is, no one does. Another truth is that slight hunger will not kill you. I’m not talking about starving yourself here, but if eating less or waiting until you’re really hungry will help you lose weight, why not give it a shot? If you’re suffering from severe hunger pangs, by all means eat something. Try eating a small portion of something to curb the hunger. You don’t have to stuff yourself every time you eat.

Excuse #2 – I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work for me. This excuse can be tricky. Have you tried every diet under the sun and every exercise routine on the planet? How long did you stick with it? To get rid of this excuse you need to think in terms of lifestyle changes and being in it for the long haul. Stop thinking diets and lose weight quick schemes. Those don’t work and if that’s what you’ve been trying, then it’s true, it doesn’t work for you. In fact, those only work for a tiny percentage of people. Continue reading

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Tips On Life From Successful People

Tips On Life From Successful PeopleEveryone has heard the phrase “choose your battles”, but how many people really take that saying to heart and apply it to their daily lives? Not many, and if you have visited any social media website in the past month, you certainly had to have witnessed one of hundreds of public rants or colorful arguments posted for the world to see online. Successful folks have admitted that keeping their emotions in check is one of their many daily attributes that has kept them afloat.

According to studies conducted by TalentSmart, results came pouring in that high performing people have their emotional intelligence intact. Feast your eyes on the following bulleted list of what traits the elite and confident apply every day to stay focused on their goals, and maintain their success:

Don’t allow another to deny your contentment– those that have their emotions matured do not fall prey to the opinions or thoughts of others. They do not compare their own happiness to anyone else’s lifestyles or recent accomplishments.

Forget me not– the emotionally stable are a forgiving group, but they are too wise to entirely forget things. They will let ones former actions dictate the relations they commit to them in the future.

Don’t lose your cool– having a wobbly handling on your emotions can take a normal conversation into a massive, brutal and often embarrassing argument. Successful people take their time to consider their thoughts prior to blurting things out, and they also try to resolve issues with the least amount of collateral damage involved. Continue reading

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Jojoba Oil Benefits: A Natural Extract That Works Wonders

jojoba-oil benefitsJojoba Oil Benefits: Why This Natural Extract Can Work Wonders For Your Hair And Skin

If you’re interested in natural skincare and beauty then you’ve probably heard about some of the many jojoba oil benefits. Jojoba oil is an extract from the seeds of the jojoba tree that looks like an oil but is actually a wax. Jojoba oil is special because, out of all the natural extracts, it’s the closest in nature to the oils found in human skin. As such you’ll find it in a huge number of beauty products, and it has a wide variety of uses both on its own and mixed with other ingredients.

8 Jojoba Oil Benefits

1) Moisturizer: Jojoba, applied directly to the skin, can moisturize for the whole day. It won’t evaporate, and it won’t leave your skin feeling greasy. Continue reading

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Things Successful People Don’t Do And Why You Shouldn’t Either

Runner In Starting StanceOver a million people have been tested by TalentQuest, and it was found that being a top-performer equates with high emotional intelligence. These people tend to act and make decisions based on what will keep them emotionally stable and always in control. Here is a brief list of things they don’t do, and why you shouldn’t either.

1. Don’t let anyone limit your joy.

If your sense of pride or accomplishment is based on what other’s opinions are, then you are not the master of your happiness. Your self-worth must come from within. Be proud of what you do, and take criticism with a grain of salt.

2. Don’t forget about being wronged.

If you are somehow wronged, don’t give the offender another chance. Forgive them and move on. You will feel better for not carrying anger, and wiser for knowing you won’t let the same situation happen again.

3. Don’t pick the wrong battles

It is more important to live to fight another day than it is to win every skirmish. Prioritize what will have the most impact stand your ground only when the time is right. You may exhaust yourself on things that won’t matter in the long run, and not have the time or energy for the things that will.

4. Don’t make perfection a priority.

Perfection is an unrealistic expectation, and if you set it as your goal, you are doomed for failure. Instead of feeling proud about your accomplishments, you will feel regret about not reaching perfection. You are only human, and thus fallible.

5. Don’t live in the past.

Past failures, or being wronged by others can take a toll on your self-esteem. Consistently dwelling on these things could prevent you from having the confidence to take similar risks. Remember, great success often requires great risks. If you live in the past, it becomes your present, and possibly your future.

6. Don’t dwell on problems.

Focusing your energy and time on problems will create a negative state of mind that is hard to break out of. It is much more effective to concentrate your energy on solutions to better your circumstances.

7. Don’t hang out with negative people.

People who are miserable do love company, but only if the company is as miserable as themselves. Don’t mistake empathy with being a negative catchall for others. It is nice to provide a sympathetic ear for a friend, but be careful not to be dragged into their Negative Nancy mentality.

8. Don’t hold grudges.

Back to what I mentioned earlier; Forgive, but don’t forget. The negativity that you feel when thinking about an old argument or wrongdoing is a stress response that has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Letting go will make you feel better immediately as well as having long-term health benefits.

9. Don’t be a yes man.

Common sense says that the harder it is for you to say no, the more stress you feel because of increased obligations. Researchers at the University of California have even linked always saying yes to increased depression in adults. By saying no to a new request, you are able to spend more time on existing commitments and allow yourself the freedom to be successful in them.

Image by Jasminko Ibrakovic – Bigstockphoto.com

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About Al Bargen

Al Bargen regularly writes on the topics of fat loss, fitness and the martial arts. His articles, reports, videos, and now books help you achieve not only your fat loss and fitness goals, but also in areas of self defense, and personal protection. With over 25 years of experience in these areas, Al is a genuine expert.

Disclosure - Many articles will contain affiliate links for recommended products or services. These are personally used and reviewed by Al and he’ll receive commission for any resulting in sales.