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Training tips, nutrition and much more.....


The Amazing Benefits of Avocados

November 18, 2013 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments

A delicious flavor and silky texture make avocados a favorite food of taste buds, but they also benefit for the body greatly.  The green fruit is one of the top super foods because it contains an excess of many essential nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, E and K, protein, and fiber. Learn more about the health benefits of this tasty food, and eat them before using your training gloves or workout grips!

workout grips, training gloves

Good for the Heart

Avocados are loaded with folic acid and vitamin B6.  These help regulate levels of homocysteine, a chemical linked with a higher incidence of heart disease.  They also contain monounsaturated fat, vitamin E and glutathione; essentials for good heart health.

Lower Cholesterol Levels

Avocados beta-sitosterol richness moderates levels of cholesterol in the blood.  Eating them for one week can lower bad cholesterol by 22 percent and increase good cholesterol by 11 percent.

Prevention of Birth Defects

Avocados are a great source of folic acid.  One cup of this super fruit gives your body over 20 percent of the daily recommended value.  This is essential in preventing birth defects like spina bifida and neural tube defects.

Fight Free Radicals

Avocados are a good source of glutathione, a type of antioxidant that helps the body fight free radicals.

Controlling Blood Sugar Levels

The healthy fats in avocados can help regulate sugar levels in the blood, and the soluble fiber in the fruit also helps maintain steady blood sugar levels.

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All-Natural Sugar Substitutes

October 31, 2013 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments

If you think of sugar substitutes, you may picture a blue, yellow or pink packet filled with a chemical-based fake sugar.  But there are plenty of natural, healthier ways to satisfy your sweet tooth.  Next time you crave sweats try one of these healthier sweeteners!

fitness grips, workout gloves

Agave Nectar

This syrup extracted from the agave plant (yes – the one that gives us tequila) has more calories than cane sugar, but it is also sweeter.  That means you will use less and have fewer calories to burn off with your workout gloves or fitness grips later.

Agave nectar isn’t just appealing to your taste buds; it is also great for digestion.  Agave nectar contains a prebiotic, a dietary fiber, that encourages development of healthy intestinal bacteria.

Try agave nectar drizzled over Greek yogurt, or add it to coffee in place of your regular sugar.

Stevia

This zero-calorie sugar substitute comes from the South American stevia plant.  It’s 100% natural, 200 times sweeter than table sugar, but it won’t cause your blood glucose levels to soar.

Experiment with different brands of stevia until you find one you enjoy (some leave a slight after taste), then try baking with it and see if you can tell the difference.  Just remember to replace all but one quarter-cup of sugar with stevia in the recipe!

Honey

This is one natural sugar substitute you probably already have in your pantry.  Honey tastes great and is loaded with antioxidants.  Eating some each day can even lower cholesterol while helping you lose or maintain weight

Branch out to explore different types of honey. There are over 300 kinds to taste, but darker honeys tend to have the most flavor and nutrients.  Pair your favorite varieties with winter squash or cheese, or use it while baking

What are your favorite all-natural sugar substitutes?

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Understanding Calories and What They Mean for Your Body

October 28, 2013 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments

We normally think of calories as things that are in food, and we know that all foods and beverages have calories, but what does that mean for your body?  How does your body use calories?  What types of foods and drinks have the most calories?  You’ll find the answers to these and other common questions about calories below!

workout grips

What exactly is a calorie?

Technically, a calorie is the amount of energy it takes to raise a gram of water by one degree Celsius.  In laymen terms this means calories gained from drinking and eating are the energy we burn doing physical activities.  For example, a banana may have 110 calories, and a two-mile walk may use up around 200 calories.

How does the body use calories?

To your body, calories are sources of heat energy. That type of energy fuels the body just like gas fuels a car. Calories are what give you the energy to get through a grueling workout with your training gloves or workout grips!

Where do calories come from?

Your body gets calories from fat, proteins and carbohydrates. Each gram of pure fat contains nine calories, and each gram of carbs or protein has four calories. This means that foods that are high in fat are also high in calories, and foods that contain more carbs or protein have fewer calories. This knowledge can help you estimate the amount of calories in the foods you eat and make healthier choices.

Why is it important to know about calories?

Now that you understand how calories work, you can use that knowledge to balance your diet. If you want to maintain your weight, you should aim to consume and expend the same amount of calories. If you want to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume.

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The Best Fat-Burning Foods

September 2, 2013 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments

Feed your metabolism and whittle down your waistline by eating these top fat-burning super foods. You’ll scorch calories as you chew some of them because of their high thermogenic effect, but others contain high amounts of compounds and nutrients that launch your metabolism into high gear. Make them a regular part of your diet to supplement the healthy changes you make with your fitness gloves or gym grips!

gym grips

Whole Grains

You burn two times the amount of calories when breaking down fiber-rich whole grains than you do processed foods. Try eating wild or brown rice, whole oatmeal, bulgur, quinoa, millet, buckwheat or whole rye products instead of those made from white or refined flour to boost your fat-burning potential.

Chicken Breast

Lean meat is great for fat burning, and eating chicken breast minus the skin means you are getting the leanest meat possible. Make sure there is minimal fat on the cut, and enjoy it baked instead of fried.

Egg Whites

The protein in egg whites is a great source of energy, and it helps you build fat-burning muscle while you use your fitness gloves. They are also low in calories, making them a great otion for a breakfast omelet stuffed with fresh veggies!

Asparagus

This green power veggie is loaded with asparagine, a chemical that helps cells break down fat. Add it to your egg-white breakfast omelet or as a side to a lean chicken breast!

Tomatoes

Delicious, plump and juicy, tomatoes are quite efficient at metabolizing fat, and they are also efficient oxidizers of it. Add them to your diet to also reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer and lower your blood pressure.

Readers, how will you incorporate these fat-burning foods into your daily diet? Share your favorite recipe ideas or serving suggestions in the comments below!

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Start Your Day with a Healthy Serving of Greens

August 23, 2013 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments

You do your body a great big favor every time you add calorie-light, nutrient-dense greens to a meal. Although greens are traditionally associated with lunch or dinner, there is no reason they cannot be part of your morning meal. Start your day off right with these breakfast ideas that include healthy doses of greens like arugula, chard, spinach, collards and kale.

gym grips

Green Smoothie

Before you slip on your training gloves or gym grips for your morning workout, power up your blender and toss in a cup of spinach, an orange, one peeled and pitted avocado, a small banana and a touch of almond milk. Mix it up to create a creamy green smoothie that is packed with both nutrients and flavor.

Veggie Pancakes

Regular pancakes are too fattening for a health-conscious breakfast, and latkes are even worse when they are topped with crème fraiche. Create a healthier alternative by subbing in pepper, zucchini and carrots instead of onions and potatoes.

Sauteed Greens

Serve up a plate full of sauteed greens topped with a pair of poached eggs to make a breakfast that will power you through the morning and your next workout with your training gloves. You can also ad a piece of tempeh bacon, lean ham or turkey bacon to get an extra punch of protein.

Savory Porridge

Porridge does not have to be topped with brown sugar, berries and maple syrup; it can also be a deliciously savory dish. Top a warm serving of porridge with fresh chopped veggies, wilted greens and even fish to create a healthy, savory breakfast packed with nutrients.

Quiche

This classic French brunch favorite is delicious when made with kale, spinach or any other greens you are craving. Use whole grains, like quinoa, and serve with freshly squeezed juice for a real breakfast treat.

What are your favorite breakfast foods? Share your top picks with our readers!

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Want to Get Fit? Adopt These Habits

August 6, 2013 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments

Adopting a few simple habits can turn a couch potato into a fit person. The ridiculously fit people in the world got that way by making these habits a way of life:

workout grips, weightlifting gloves, fit people

They Don’t Diet

Instead of obsessing over each and every calorie, fit people adopt a healthy, well-rounded diet. They eat a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains and other healthy foods, and they stop eating when they feel full. They eat small meals and give themselves permission to cautiously indulge from time to time.

They Enjoy Exercise

The fittest people actually like working out – but that doesn’t mean they all enjoy the same activities. Some love putting on their workout grips or weightlifting gloves and sweating it out in the gym while others love hitting the road for a long run. Some prefer to burn off calories kayaking while still others do it through dance. The key is that they each find something they love to do, and that makes them to stick to their exercise routine.

They Get Enough Rest

Even the fittest people don’t use their workout grips every day. They give their bodies time to rest between workouts, and they get enough sleep each night. This boosts their health in many ways, including building their immune systems and reducing stress.

They Make Fitness a Top Priority

Fit people make a commitment to being fit. They know it takes work and time, but they find a balance with their family and work obligations, exercise and social lives. If they fall off their workout routine, they pick their weightlifting gloves back up to get on track again quickly.

What fitness habits have you adopted? How do you make getting a staying fit part of your everyday life? Share your input with our readers in the comments below!

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How to Avoid Cheating on Your Meal Plan: 5 Easy Tips

July 15, 2013 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments

Making a healthy meal plan is easy – it’s sticking to it that is hard. When temptation grows strong and your motivation weakens, follow these tips to avoid bingeing:

weightlifting gloves, gym gloves

  1. Make a list: Write down the reasons why you are following a meal plan. It may be because you want to be healthier, have more energy to use your gym gloves or simply to look better at the beach. Whatever it is, write it down, and consult your list any time you are tempted to stray from the plan.
  1. Enjoy eating: Too often, people associate meal plans or diets with deprivation. You’ll stop feeling that way if you truly enjoy every bite of your food. Turn off the television, sit down at the table and savor every bite. We call it “Mindful Eating.” Engage all your senses and eat slow. You will be shocked at how you become fuller quicker with less food, and remove guilt from mealtime.
  1. Stay accountable: Keep track of your food choices and send them to another person each day, whether through texting, e-mail, blogging or voice messages. You’ll be less inclined to cheat if you have to tattle on yourself later. Finding a great health coach or counselor can be the perfect support you need. Google “health coach: or “health counselor” in your area.
  1. Know the difference between hunger and cravings: Hunger is what you feel in your stomach after you have gone a few hours without eating. Cravings are felt more in the throat or mouth and signal a desire to eat, not a need. Eat when you are hungry, and label what you are feeling when you have a craving. It’s likely tiredness, negative emotions, boredom or a desire for a certain flavor, not actual hunger.
  1. Set meal times: Most meal plans tell you what to eat, but you also need to make a plan for when to eat. Regularize your meal and snack times to reduce binging and cheating.

Are you guilty of cheating on your meal plan? How do you get back on track and prevent cheating in the future?

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Healthy Eating the Easy Way

July 1, 2013 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments

People often equate healthy eating with blandness, following a rigid diet or depriving themselves of all their favorite foods. No wonder they think eating healthy is hard!! The truth is that healthy eating doesn’t mean any of those things – it simply means making lifestyle changes to incorporate better habits. Follow these easy tips to start making a change today so you feel better, look better and have more energy to use your workout gloves!

weightlifting gloves, workout gloves

Know Thyself

Everyone has pitfalls, but healthy eaters plan for them. That means bringing healthy snacks to work if you always gravitate toward the vending machine around 3pm, or preparing small plastic snack bags with small portions of salty foods if you’re usually tempted to eat the whole bag. Know your weaknesses and then make a plan to conquer them. Making these small changes can save you big amounts of calories. Think about it – cutting just 200 calories a day can lead to 20 pounds lost in a year!

Add Fruits and Veggies

Find veggies and fruits you can painlessly incorporate into your diet. For example, top a homemade pizza with fresh peppers or tomatoes in place of some of the cheese, add shredded carrots to your favorite muffin batter or top your morning cereal with sliced bananas. Eventually, your food preferences will change, and you may just find yourself craving some broccoli!

To really boost your intake of fruits and vegetables, make yourself a power smoothie after you use your weightlifting gloves . Throw your favorite fresh produce items in a blender with some protein powder and non-fat Greek yogurt or nut milk, then enjoy the tasty, healthy treat.

Make Easy Substitutions

Slowly transition to a healthier diet by swapping out some of the existing foods in your diet. For example:

  • Give up white bread in favor of a whole grain bread.
  • Instead of eating high-fat grain-fed cuts of meat, start transitioning to grass-fed, pasture-raised meat. It’s low in   unhealthy fats, and higher in the essential fatty acids omega 3’s! Skip frying and broil, bake or grill instead.
  • Replace soda and juice with water. To get a kick of flavor, add sliced fruits or cucumbers.

What are your best healthy eating tips? What are your biggest pitfalls? Share your secrets with our readers in the comments below!

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Don’t Skip Dessert! Indulge in These Healthy Treats

June 26, 2013 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments

Do you neglect your sweet tooth by skipping dessert? Instead of depriving yourself all the time, feel free to indulge now and then in these sweet treats that are loaded with flavor and nutrients yet are low in calories. Delicious and nutritious, you won’t have to spend hours with your workout gloves to work them off! Our general rule of thumb is 1-2 days a week…make room for dessert!

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Pineapple Raspberry Parfait

A little tangy, a little sweet and very easy to make, these parfaits are the perfect dessert for busy weeknights.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • ½ pint fresh raspberries
  • 2 eight-ounce containers of non-fat peach yogurt

Directions:

Layer the peach yogurt, pineapple chunks and raspberries into four glasses and serve! Each serving contains just 109 calories but delivers 60% of your daily value of vitamin C and 15% of your daily value of calcium.

Broiled Mango

Ready in just 20 minutes, this recipe gives you plenty of time for both dessert and working out with your weightlifting grips!

Ingredients:

  • One peeled and sliced mango
  • Lime wedges

Directions:

Line a broiler pan with foil, then arrange the slices of mango in a single layer on the pan. Broil for eight to ten minutes, or until the fruit becomes slightly browned in spots. Squeeze the limed wedges over the fruit and serve.

The inherent sweetness of fruit comes out more when you broil it, but the tartness of lime juice balances the flavor. This technique can also be used with pineapple!

Blueberry-Almond Turtles

With just 104 calories per serving, these yummy treats make it satisfying to feed your chocolate craving!

Ingredients:

7 tablespoons of very dark chocolate chips

¼ cup sliced almonds

¼ cup dried blueberries

Directions:

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler, then stir in the almonds and blueberries. Drop five tablespoons of the mix onto parchment paper, then let the treats cool and harden in the refrigerator before serving.

What are your favorite healthy desserts? Share your best recipes with our readers in the comments below!

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Are Your Body Image Problems Hurting Your Fitness Success?

April 3, 2013 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments

Having a good body image is a part of reaching overall health. Conversely, having a poor body image can profoundly affect your weight and health, leading to eating disorders, depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and even obesity.

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  1. Unhealthy Behaviors
    If you are unhappy with the way your body looks, feels and functions, you may have low self-esteem. This can cause increased levels of stress and push you toward relieving that stress in unhealthy ways, like abusing alcohol or drugs, smoking or overeating.
    People who have a negative body image and low self-esteem are less likely to care for themselves properly and often neglect exercise. This leads to a host of health problems, and low self-esteem has been linked with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
  2. Obesity
    People with negative body images are more likely to practice poor eating habits and become obese or overweight. Being overweight carries a significant health risk and increases your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.
  3. Eating Disorders
    Dissatisfaction with your body type, size or weight can lead to binge eating disorders, bulimia or anorexia. These eating disorders can be disastrous for your fitness goals and overall health. People with eating disorders run the risk of fainting, fatigue, dehydration, heart failure, dangerously high or low blood pressure, muscle weakness, kidney failure, electrolyte imbalances, tooth decay, high cholesterol and other significant health risks.

Improve Your Body Image

If you have a negative body image, start feeling better in your own skin by following these tips:

  1. Think of your body’s capabilities instead of its appearance. It is pretty amazing what our bodies can do. Instead of setting goals to be something, like a size 2, set goals to do something, like use your training gloves each day or finish a marathon.
  2. Redefine health. You use your workout gloves or training gloves everyday, you stay active and you eat a balanced diet. That is true health, not being at a certain size or weight. If you are killing yourself to get “healthy,” there is something wrong with your definition.
  3. Stay off the scale. Your weight can fluctuate up to five pounds every day, so only step on the scale once a week or every two weeks to monitor your weight accurately.

How do you keep a positive body image? What do you do when you are feeling negative about your appearance? Share your best image-boosting tips with our readers in the comments below!

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Kick Your Caffeine Addiction with These Simple Tips: Part 2 of 2

February 21, 2013 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments

Do you need a cup of coffee just to get going in the morning? Do you crave more joe or soda to beat an afternoon slump? If the answer is “yes,” read on to learn how to kick the caffeine habit for good.

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In Part 1 ,  we discussed why you need to curb your caffeine intake for lifelong health. Here, in Part 2, you’ll learn 3 simple steps to how to achieve just that.

  1. Admit You Have a Problem
    The first step in overcoming addiction is recognizing you have a problem. It may seem dramatic, but too much caffeine can cause havoc to your body, just like alcohol or drugs. The legal stimulant feeds your body’s reward circuitry, but when you drink too much, you are not giving your pleasure centers actual pleasure; you are just feeding an addiction. Excessive caffeine intake can cause anxiety, severe adrenal stress, cardiovascular disorders, irritability and insomnia.
  2. Respect the Ritual
    Caffeine consumption is often wrapped in ritual. If you always start your day with a trip to your favorite coffee shop, keep going as you break your habit. Instead of ordering that venti frappuccino, order an herbal tea or decaf coffee. If you sip coffee each morning before you hit the gym, try enjoying orange juice in your favorite mug before reaching for your weightlifting gloves. Making a healthier substitute will feed your brain’s motivation to get the stimulation, keep your ritual consistent and slowly wean your body off caffeine.
  3. Use Exercise to Detox- but not too much
    Reward your brain’s pleasure center with exercise instead of caffeine. When you feel a craving, grab your gym gloves or take a brisk walk for 30 minutes. Help your body detox by eating a healthy diet high in vitamin C and leafy greens and drinking plenty of water. Eating small meals throughout the day can also help keep your energy (blood sugar) levels steady. Know your limits, though. Cravings for artificial energy are found in large numbers in populations that exercise too much. It’s all about balance. If you don’t listen to your body today, it will scream at you tomorrow.

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Part 1: Top 10 Caffeine Related Health Problems

February 18, 2013 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments

Do you need a cup of coffee just to get going in the morning or get through an afternoon slump? If the answer is “yes,” read on to learn how to kick the caffeine habit for good.

Our resident health counselor Laura Wald, shares that she has found sugar and caffeine addiction in a majority of her clients that are personal trainers. As a result many of them suffer from adrenal fatigue and thyroid disease. They may workout for 1-2 hours or more per day, but they are slaves to their coffee and find themselves craving artificial energy in all the wrong places. The problem lies in balance between food/drink and physical activity, and caffeine has become the socially acceptable go-to drug of choice, creating illness as a result. In this post, she shares with us the Top 10 Caffeine Related Health Problems.

caffeine, health problems

Caffeine-Related Health Problems: Top 10*

  1. Cardiovascular Problems
    Caffeine increases heart rate, elevates blood pressure, and can contribute to the development of heart disease. Both decaf and regular coffee increase cholesterol and homocysteine, the biochemical that science has linked to increased risk for heart attack. Caffeine is also linked to coronary vasospasms. Coronary vasospasms cause 20% of all fatal heart attacks that kill otherwise perfectly healthy people.
  2. Stress
    Caffeine stimulates the excretion of stress hormones, which can produce increased levels of anxiety, irritability, muscular tension and pain, indigestion, insomnia, and decreased immunity. Increased levels of stress can keep you from making healthy responses to normal daily stress.
  3. Emotional Disturbances
    Anxiety and irritability are hallmark mood disturbances associated with caffeine consumption, but equally important are depression and attention disorders. Depression may occur as part of the letdown after the stimulant effects of caffeine wear off. It may also appear during the recovery period after quitting caffeine while the brain’s chemistry is readjusted. Rather than increasing mental activity, caffeine actually decreases blood flow to the brain by as much as 30%, and negatively effects memory and mental performance.
  4. Blood Sugar Swings
    Diabetics and hypoglycemics should avoid caffeine. Caffeine stimulates a temporary surge in blood sugar followed by an overproduction of insulin, which causes a blood sugar crash within hours. This rollercoaster causes weight gain since insulin’s message to the body is to store excess sugar as fat.
  5. Gastrointestinal Problems
    Many people experience a burning sensation in their stomach after drinking coffee because coffee increases the secretion of hydrochloric acid, which leads to an increased risk for ulcers. Coffee, including decaf, reduces pressure on the valve between the esophagus and the stomach so that the highly acidic contents of the stomach pass up to the esophagus, which can lead to heartburn and gastro-esophageal reflux disease. No wonder the best selling over-the-counter drugs are the so-called antacids.
  6. Nutritional Deficiencies
    Caffeine inhibits the absorption of some nutrients in addition to causing the urinary excretion of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and trace minerals, and all essential elements necessary for good health.
  7. Male Health Problems
    Milton Krisiloff, MD, has found that in the majority of cases, men can significantly reduce their risk for urinary and prostate problems by making dietary changes, which include eliminating coffee and caffeine.
  8. Female Health Problems
    Fibrocystic breast disease, PMS, osteoporosis, infertility problems, miscarriage, low birth weight, and menopausal problems such as hot flashes are all exacerbated by caffeine consumption. Women on birth control pills are particularly at risk since they have a decreased ability to detoxify caffeine.
  9. Aging
    Many people find that in their forties, they can no longer tolerate the same level of caffeine consumption as they could in their 20’s and 30’s. Production of DHEA, melatonin, and other vital hormones decline with age, but caffeine speeds up that process. Caffeine dehydrates the body and contributes to aging of the skin and kidneys. It has been shown to inhibit DNA repair and slow the ability of the liver to detoxify foreign toxins.
  10. Adrenal Exhaustion
    Caffeine consumption leads to eventual adrenal exhaustion, which can leave you vulnerable to a variety of health disorders related to inflammation, autoimmunity, and fatigue.

We will share easy steps to reducing caffeine and getting you on a path to health that supports your workout routine in Part 2. Subscribe to our RSS feed to make sure you don’t miss it!

*Adapted from Caffeine Blues: Wake Up to the Hidden Dangers of America’s #1 Drug, by Stephen Cherniske. Warner Books

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Healthy Workout Gone Bad: 5 Ways to Get Hurt at the Gym

November 20, 2012 | Filed Under Exercise, Healthy Lifestyle, Stretching, Tips for Beginners, Workout Tips, Workouts | No Comments

Learn how to keep injuries at bay while working out.

While working out in the gym can help you get in better shape, doing the wrong things can inevitably lead to unwanted injuries. Since no one wants to get hurt while trying to tone their thighs, flatten their belly or build muscle, you need to know the most common ways you can injure yourself so that you can effectively prevent making these mistakes. So, what are the easiest ways to turn your healthy workout into a disaster? Here are some of them:

Healthy Workout

  1. Skipping your warm up. It may be tempting to skip the warm up part of your routine and dive head-on into your workout, especially when you’re pressed for time. Well, to tell you the truth, you are putting yourself in harm’s way if you choose to do this. Keep in mind that warm up exercises are there for a reason. They work by preparing your mind and body for the task ahead and by improving the elasticity of your muscles to prevent injuries. This is what a healthy workout is all about.
  2. Not using the proper form. Using bad form not only compromises your workout, it also puts you at a greater risk for injury.  So, whether you are doing cardio workouts or weight training exercises, you need to use the proper form at all times. When lifting weights, keep your back straight when bending at the hips, don’t lock the joints or bend your knees excessively, and keep your head and neck as still as possible. Also, consider using proper fitness gloves since they provide additional comfort as you perform these muscle building exercises.
  3. Going past your limit. To get the most benefits from a healthy workout, you need to know your limits. Don’t try to make up for lost time by overexerting yourself. This won’t do you any good and may cause harmful strain to muscles and tendons that can lead to pulls, tears, or snaps, not to mention dehydration and nutrient deficiencies.
  4. Lifting excessively heavy weights. This can increase your risk of straining your muscles and/or injuring your back, shoulders and knees. Weight training is not a sprint, but rather a marathon.  You need to work your way up to heavier weights in a gradual manner to build true strength and endurance.
  5. Doing the same routine. Doing the same exercises over and over again can lead to overuse injury so consider varying your workout. Try to modify your moves, or work only certain muscle on alternate days, or revamp your total workout routine. Not only will it prevent boredom, but also prevent overuse injuries.

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Exercise, Sleep and Mental Health

April 2, 2012 | Filed Under Exercise, Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments

Plenty of anecdotal evidence exists to support the claim that exercise can help reduce anxiety and some forms of depression. Those of us who have been working out for years don’t need to be told that exercise feels great, and most of us have seen how a good workout can put the challenges of a difficult day into perspective.

Exercise, Sleep and Mental Health

But careful scientific studies (like this one: http://www.fitness.gov/mentalhealth.htm) provide more proof of what we already know about exercise and mental health. Here are a few key take-home messages:

  1. All forms of exercise offer a great way to reduce feelings of anxiety and gloom. The reasons are partly physical, since a workout stimulates blood flow and oxygen delivery to cells. But they’re also emotional, since working out offers a change of perspective, a chance to step out of our regular routine, and a healthy distraction as we shift gears from one set of challenges (mental or emotional) to another (physical).
  2. Weight training is great for mood and mental health, but aerobic activity may offer even more pronounced benefits. To get the most out your workout, make sure you blend cardio exercises with weight training and resistance moves.
  3. Exercise may have bigger mood boosting effects for those who face bigger challenges. In other words, the positive benefits increase among those with higher anxiety at the starting point.
  4. Sleep, exercise and mental health go hand in hand.  You can get the benefits of any two, but you won’t fully get where you need to be without the third. To make the most of your workout, get plenty of sleep. To boost your mental health and feelings of well-being, get plenty of sleep and plenty of workout time. Don’t cut corners. Take care of yourself in all three of these areas so you can keep your life on track and take care of those who depend on you.

Are You Overtraining?

January 20, 2012 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle, Progress, Workout Routines | No Comments

The word “overtraining” seems to be thrown about all over the place these days. There are so many different muscle building and weight training programs on offer, and many of them appear to totally contradict each other.

So how do you know if you’re overtraining? The truth is, everyone is different and everyone responds to weight training differently. One definition of overtraining is where you train your body above its capacity, meaning it cannot recover and adapt quickly enough to be prepared for the following training session.

am i overtraining

You may or may not experience the following symptoms when you’re overtraining. With some people you only have to look at them before they start training and you know they’re overtraining. Here are some common symptoms you may feel:

·You can’t seem to get any bigger (lack of weight or muscle gain)

·You don’t have enough energy at the beginning of your workout

·Your target muscles are still sore from the previous workout when you work them again.

·You find it hard to get to sleep and have a good night’s rest

·You have a general lack of energy throughout the day

·And in extreme cases you may feel depression and anxiety

If this sounds like you, before you start thinking about your routine, you should take a week off. Don’t train at all for one week. Your body needs the rest and recuperation time. You will find that the week after your rest week your body will be fired up and ready to go!

Now you have to look at your daily life and plan a routine to fit in. When you look at your daily life you need to consider things you can change,like your fitness, diet and rest time. What you do in your every day life really affects your workout.

Overtraining prevention is up to you. All you need to do is follow a few of the basic principals in muscle building. Quality over quantity, eat big including lots of carbs and protein and rest up between workouts. Good luck with your training!

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

January 9, 2012 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle | No Comments

Sleep is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing, according to most health experts. Yet millions of people do not get enough sleep and this has been linked to increased health risks in a number of areas such as heart disease, obesity, and chronic fatigue.

One of the most critical components to any successful weight lifting program is ensuring that you get enough sleep for your muscles to repair themselves.  It is important especially if you are stuck at a plateau in your routine, as getting enough sleep is critical to your progress.

getting enough sleep for bodybuilding


Here are some common sense hints for getting you the sleep your body deserves:

 

1. Get plenty of regular exercise and try to complete your workout at least three hours before bedtime. Exercise increases the amount of deep sleep you get.

 

2. Eat dinner two to three hours before bedtime and minimize liquid intake. Heavy dinners tend to keep us awake, as do meals that are high protein. Some people report better sleep with a glass or warm cow’s milk or soy milk.

 

3. Begin slowing down at least one hour before bedtime. Take thirty minutes before bed to use for relaxing, such as soothing in a warm bath, meditating, reading a book, and/or listening to calming music.

4. Avoid products containing caffeine. If you have trouble sleeping, this is very important! Try not to consume caffeine after the early afternoon if you have problems getting to sleep.

 

5. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime, as it will interfere with your sleep later in the night.

6
. Avoid foods and drinks high in sugar. As your sugar level drops during the night, your sleep may be disrupted.

 

7. Establish regular times for bed and for waking.

 

8. Improve your sleep environment, i.e. comfortable mattress and pillows, quiet, dark, comfortable room temperature. People report that they sleep better when they take the TV out of their room.

Staying Motivated When Progress Seems Slow

October 24, 2011 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle, Motivation, Progress | No Comments

Your workout plans have gotten off to an excellent start. You realized it was time to get moving, you put a plan in place, and you’ve been following it to the letter. Your healthy habits are on track, your workout goals are realistic, and your support team is fully behind you. There’s only one problem: Your body hasn’t yet gotten the memo. No matter how many reps you do or how thoroughly you exhaust yourself, your body remains stubbornly resistant to change. The reps you’re able to sustain have not budged, your strength and endurance don’t seem to be increasing, and your fat is just as settled in and comfortable as it’s ever been. Those rolls aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. What’s wrong? And what can you do about it before you lose motivation and drop the project altogether?

Gripad Workout Gloves

First, remember that adding exercise to your weekly routine is a lifelong change. Exercise is one small part of a healthy lifestyle, not a quick fix for any specific problem. Just like breathing clean air, exercise is not a short term treatment plan. Instead, it’s a fundamental aspect of health and something your body both requires and deserves. You may not see changes during the first week, but that’s no reason to stop. If you’re getting frustrated, take steps to protect your enjoyment of the process. Change your routine to something more fun. And make sure your gear isn’t part of the problem. Your clothes should be comfortable, your workout environment should be encouraging and your hands and feet should be protected from blisters. Use your Gripads and choose the right shoes for your routine.

Second, be patient. If you’re giving your all, your body will get the message eventually. You may experience lags now and then, but if you stay on track, these moments will pass. Share your feelings with your support team or your trainer to get the tips and encouragement you need.

Nutrition and Your Workout Goals

October 20, 2011 | Filed Under Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition | No Comments

No workout plan is complete if it only extends as far as the door of the gym. Your chances of staying motivated, seeing results, and feeling great will increase if you maintain your focus on a healthy lifestyle and carry it with you throughout the day. Sleep, stress management, hydration and nutrition should all play a role in your normal routine from early morning until bedtime. If you maintain healthy habits twenty four hours a day, you’ll see the difference in your strength and endurance as you exercise.

gripad-crossfit-gloves

Start with nutrition. If you’re ready to make positive changes to your eating habits, begin by paying attention to what you’re doing now. What exactly are you eating and how often? Now is the time to place limits on unconscious snacking and make sure that your regular meals are planned and balanced.

Raise your intake of leafy green vegetables and fruits. Exchange processed crackers and cookies for whole grain carbohydrates. And switch from beef and pork products to lean proteins like fish, chicken, nuts and legumes. Each of these moves represents a small, easy change that can improve your health and focus and may have a positive impact on your workout goals.

Don’t skip breakfast. If you’re interested in cutting calories, start by exchanging high calorie, low quality foods for healthier options. Then get a handle on snacking and reduce portion sizes during lunch and dinner. But don’t cut corners on breakfast. For a long list of reasons, our bodies need breakfast to trigger our metabolisms out of sleep mode. Studies show that those who eat a complete healthy breakfast actually lose more weight and stay better focused throughout the day than those who don’t.

Maintain consistent, healthy eating habits and when it’s time to grab your Gripads and head for the gym, your body will be properly fueled and ready for your high energy workout.

 



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