Category Archives: Health Tips
It’s a familiar story: You pledge to honor a daily elliptical routine and count every last calorie. But soon, you’re eating cupcakes at the office and grabbing happy hour mojitos, thinking,Oops, diet over.
There is a better way: Swap the all-or-nothing approach for one or two healthy switch-ups in your daily routine. “Doing this can lead to more weight loss than you ever imagined,” says Marissa Lippert, RD, author of The Cheater’s Diet.
In fact, we talked to readers who knocked off 10, 25, even 60 pounds with some easy tweaks. Borrow their slim-down secrets to transform your body the real-world way.
1. Get fired up
“I loaded my iPod with jams that make me look forward to going to the gym. They energize me, allowing me to pick up speed on the elliptical—and because I want to hear my entire playlist, my workouts are longer now. Two months later, I’m down 13 pounds and have killer legs.” —Kara Marshall, York, ME
“By adding vegetables to the foods I love—like eating pizza topped with arugula and green peppers instead of pepperoni—I became so full so quickly that I no longer had room to eat things like chips or super-rich desserts. I said good-bye to four dress sizes!” —Janessa Mondestin, New York City, NY
“Yoga has become the best thing for my relationship with food and my body. From practicing it several times a week, I’m now more in touch with my hunger cues—so I eat intuitively and stop when I’m full. I’ve gone down a jeans size, and my cellulite has disappeared!”—Jessica Nicklos, Morgantown, WV
4. Healthy up your happy hour
“After work, my colleagues and I always grabbed dinner—and it was usually deep-fried. Then we changed things up. Instead of nights out, we started walking and running around a local track. A year later, I’m down 40 pounds.”—Ellen Setzer, Cleveland, OH
5. Run your butt off
“When I wanted to fit into my skinny jeans again, I started running 20 minutes a day during my lunch hour. In two months, I’ve lost 20 pounds, have tons of energy, and just finished my first 5K. Those jeans? They’re too big now!” —Lauren Castor, Anniston, AL
“When going out for fast food, I used to get the large-size value meal. Now, I satisfy a craving by ordering just one item: a small order of fries or a six-piece box of chicken nuggets. So far, I’ve shaved off 16 pounds in seven weeks, and I’m on track to being thinner than my high school self for my 10-year reunion later this year.” —Miranda Jarrell, Birmingham, AL
“I budget for the treats I love. By eating healthy snacks like carrots and hummus, I have calories to splurge on a piece of chocolate and glass of wine each night. And I’ve still managed to lose 20 pounds in three months.” —Elaine Higginbotham, Fort Worth, TX
“Two months ago, I started going to Zumba twice a week. The crazy dance routines really tone your muscles—especially legs and abs—and give you a heart-pounding cardio workout. Eleven pounds later, I’ve almost reached my goal weight.” —Morgan Howe, Rochester, NY
9. Nix nighttime eating
“Each time I needed to lose the baby weight, I stopped eating after 6:30 p.m. five nights a week. The other two evenings were reserved for nights out. Most of what I’d eat at night was junk food anyway, so it took only two months to get my pre-baby body back.” —Deborah Gilboa, Pittsburgh, PA
“My dog and I go for a walk every day, even if it’s for just 10 minutes around the block. When the weather is horrible, her enthusiasm gives me the incentive to get out when I wouldn’t dare lace up my sneakers otherwise. All the walking adds up: I’ve lost more than 50 pounds this past year.” —Jamie Altholz, Denver, CO
Want to see your six-pack again – or for the first time ever? You’ll find all you need to know to get superlean in a dozen simple rules.
No question about it, burning fat is a 24/7 endeavor. To keep the fires hot, you need to eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Not only that, but you must choose the right foods in the right amounts to keep your metabolism revved up so your six-pack will be ready for its close-up. The way we see it, there are some fundamentals – laws, if you will – that are all you need to shed that unwanted blubber from your midsection and elsewhere. Most of them are nutrition-driven, but training comes into play as well. Your mass-gaining phase is over for the time being; now it’s time to get lean. These laws of fat-burning will help get you there.
No need to thumb through volumes of fat-burning research to get the physique you want. Inject these six tips into your current routine to get lean in a hurry.
You’ve put in the brutal, twice-a-day workout sessions, eaten enough chicken breast and steak to support a small farm, and lined up the correct supplements like a chemical engineer. Now you’re left with mounds of protein-infused muscle covering your body, a true physical fitness achievement. Yet like a supermodel draped in a heavy trench coat, the goods are hidden from sight by a layer of fat. How do you shed the blanket and allow onlookers to gaze in awe at your accomplishments? Here are six steps to take for your big reveal.
1. START YOUR ENGINE
The best way to win a race is to start you motor early. People have told you since you were a kid that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What they probably didn’t tell you was that people eat about the same amount of food each day. By starting that process earlier, you’ll find that you’re not playing catch up later in the day or eating unhealthy foods in emergency hunger mode. Having breakfast will jump start your metabolism, allowing the muscles you’ve built to be nourished while initiating the fat burning process. Remember: the early bird gets the fat-busting worm.
2. GRAZE PHASE
Besides enjoying an early, substantial breakfast, the best way to burn fat is to set up an eating schedule of 5-8 small meals spread out a few hours apart throughout the day. This style of consumption, also referred to as “grazing,” provides a constant flow of nourishment to the muscles, keeping your metabolism surging throughout the day. Having “three squares a day,” such is the custom in most places, means more total calories at each sitting, making it tougher for your body to digest food for fuel and harder for your metabolism to catch up. Smaller meals, more often is definitely the way to go. Eating this way also decreases the risk of overeating.
3. MIX IT UP
To bridge the fat burning process from the kitchen to the gym, structure a workout that keeps the fire stoked. The best way to transform a normal, muscle-building routine into a super charged fat-burning workout is to mix typical resistance exercises with bodyweight movements. This added challenge brings out an increased cardiovascular experience, leading directly to fat loss and heightened endurance. After massive bench press reps throw in a set of push ups. Following a set of cable rows, add some pull-ups. Dips will follow triceps extensions, and walking lunges will insure the leg press did its duty.
4. GO HERBAL
In addition to following your usual lower-carb, high protein diet, it helps to add in green tea to push your fat-burning to a new level. Green tea, taken in capsule form or as a drink, continues to yield new and exciting benefits for physique-minded individuals and is one of the most research-affirmed supps you can have.
5. ZERO IN ON TARGET AREAS
Spot reduction, which until recently was considered a myth, can prove to be an effective aid for fat loss. By targeting your stubborn areas with some continuous, high-rep training and following that immediately with 30 minutes of cardio, you can mobilize more fat from the trained area. Not a believer? A study conducted at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) had male subjects perform single-leg extensions for 30 minutes straight with light weight. They found that subcutaneous fat cells (those just under the skin) in both the exercising and resting thighs. The working leg had a significant increase in blood flow to and lipolysis from the subcutaneous fat cells. In other words, the fat cells surrounding the working muscle released more fat into the blood stream, meaning more fat is being used as fuel. The cardio that follows is to keep that fat from re-depositing itself on the premises!
6. CARDIO BURSTS
One great way to get the fat burning benefits of running while performing a standard weight training routine is to insert short, intense bouts of cardio throughout your workout. These “bursts,” placed every 15 minutes during an hour long routine, help rev your metabolism both during and after your workout. Think of it as extended-rest interval training. One way to do this would be to complete a 90-second sprint on a treadmill after every exercise in your normal 8-10 exercise routine. This is also one way to get your cardio in without spending an additional 20-30 minutes in the gym after your last rep.
Short on time and have a rack of dumbbells? Well, get to work!
Pick your four favorite biggest, baddest chest exercises and back exercises – two for the chest and two for the back (do not use pullups for this workout). Perform all the exercises back to back alternating between pushes and pulls.
For example: in one continuous set perform a dumbbell incline bench press, dumbbell bent-over row, dumbbell flat bench press, and single-arm dumbbell row. After doing one set of 8 to 10 reps at 60% of your max starting weight of the first two exercises of your set rest 60-90 seconds and then begin your first set of your first exercise with as much weight as you can do for 8 to 10 reps. Drop to the next size dumbbells in the rack and do as many as you can. Continue to do this method until you get to 50 (or so) total reps. Once the first exercise is completed perform the next three in the same manner until you have finished all four exercises.
I used all dumbbell exercises thinking logistically simple for all of you guys at the big box Gyms but a seated row or lap pulldown will work just as well.
At a 2-0-1-0 tempo for approximately 200 reps total you should finish your workout in right around 15 minutes. It will be a DOMS inducing hypertrophy fest.
Don’t get too greedy at the beginning. Trust me. 50 reps is a long set. If anything, figure conservatively with the first weight of that work set.
THE 15 PAY OFF
Many of you probably have not tried drop sets. Even if you have, a drop set up to 50 reps still might be rare to you. Drop sets are great way to continue pumping that muscle while in a fatigued state and can create some great hypertrophy results. If you have more time perform two to three sets of this workout and see how your muscles feel 48 hours later. Don’t go to high with your initial work set. If the weight fell to like you still have plenty of reps ahead of you. When you feel your form start to fail drop the weight. Proper execution will create better results than you herking and jerking dumbbells around the weight room.
Achieve greater muscle growth with this proven lifting approach.
Drop sets are a great way to increase muscle mass as they are a quick and easy way to increase blood flow into the muscles, get the heart pumping and most importantly of all fatiguing the muscles to ensure muscle hypertrophy.
WHAT ARE DROP SETS?
Drop sets are essentially a technique where you perform an exercise and then drop (reduce) the weight and continue for more reps until you reach failure. Called the ‘multi-poundage system’ this method was discovered in 1947 by Henry Atkins, who was the editor of Body Culture magazine.
The reason why drop sets work is that in any given set you are only recruiting a certain amount of muscle fibres. By then stripping the weight down and going lighter you recruit different muscle fibres, which should help the muscles achieve growth that couldn’t be achieved by sticking with the same weight.
There are numerous variations of drop sets. Two of the more popular variations include:
RUNNING THE RACK
This technique is performed when using dumbbells. Once you reach failure with a certain dumbbell weight, pick up a lighter weight off the rack and perform as many reps as possible. Continue down the rack until failure.
Sample routine using Running the Rack: Alternating Dumbbell Curl
Set 1: – chose a weight you’d fail at 4-6 reps.
Set 2: – reduce weight by 5lbs. 8-10 reps
Set 3: – reduce weight by 5lbs. 10-12 reps
Set 4: – reduce weight by 5lbs. 12-15 reps
Set 5: – reduce weight by 5/10lbs. 15-20 reps
Rules: 1st set should be heaviest. No rest in between drops sets. “Walk down the rack” selecting weights.
When using a barbell, plates are stripped from each side until you can no longer perform reps with the given weight. Ideally, you want to have a training partner who can strip the weights for you, so you can maintain your position.
Your training partner can quickly pull a plate off each side of the bar when you can no longer do reps with a given weight. He/she can continue to strip away plates, up to two or three times, until you reach a point very close to total muscular exhaustion.
Sample routine using Stripping: Flat Bench Press
Set 1: – chose a weight you’d fail at 4-6 reps.
Set 2: – strip weight by 10lbs: 8-10 reps
Set 3: – strip weight by 10lbs 10-12 reps
Set 4: – strip weight by 10lbs 12-15 reps
Set 5: – strip weight by 20lbs 15-20 reps
Rules: 1st set should be heaviest. No rest in between drops. Ensure training partner strips weights for you.
If you’re a beginner just getting started on a bodybuilding plan, you’re likely feeling slightly intimidated. Starting a new activity of any type can seem a bit scary at times, and since there are so many different exercises to perform in a weight training program, this only adds to the intensity that you’re feeling.
Luckily for you, if you’re equipped with some basic knowledge, you’ll be in the perfect position to get going. The great news is that as a beginner you will experience results at an accelerated level and will notice differences in how you feel and look in as little as a few weeks.
Here are the main points to know.
1. Perfect Proper Form
First things first, it’s of utmost importance that you get proper form down pat when you’re just starting. Getting off on the wrong foot with form will just lead to incorrect habits that are hard to break down the road. If you’re uncertain about any exercises or need guidance on what proper form is for any exercise you are going to attempt to do, book a session with a personal trainer to show you.
This is the number one biggest thing you must get right. Incorrect form leads to injuries and lack of results.
2. Focus On Major Lifts First
Next, you’ll want to focus on major lifts first during the workout. Any exercise that works more than one muscle group needs to come ahead of those that work on a single group. The reason for this being that those exercises are going to take much more energy to complete, therefore you want to be feeling fresh.
These include the exercises of bench press, squat, dead-lift, shoulder press, and bent over row. If you’re using machines, they will likely be called leg press, chest press, seated shoulder press,horizontal row, and lateral pull-down.
3. Use A Rep Range Between Eight To Twelve
As far as rep ranges go, beginners would be best advised to perform somewhere between eight and twelve reps. Since you likely aren’t going to be using an extremely heavy load, this will enable you to work in a slightly higher rep range while still seeing significant strength and muscular size and definition improvements.
Once you get more used to the different weight lifting exercises, then you can bring the rep range lower if you want to really focus on bringing your strength level up.
4. Take At Least One Day Off Between All Workouts
Another smart tip for all beginners is to aim to take at least one day off between each workout you do. This is going to really help control the degree of soreness you experience as well as helping to prevent you from feeling too overwhelmed with numerous sessions each week.
A full body workout is typically the best choice for those who are new to weight lifting and it will allow you to hit all the body parts three times a week for optimal results.
5. Don’t Forget To Stretch
Stretching is something that many people, whether beginner or not, leave out from their workout. This is a big mistake however as the stretching is significantly going to decrease the amount of soreness you experience while increasing your range of motion so you’re able to benefit more from the lifts you do complete.
Try to perform ten minutes of stretching after each workout you do, focusing on all the major muscle groups. You can also perform stretching activities on your day off while watching television for instance to further help reduce the amount of soreness you experience.
6. Focus On Eating Before And After The Workout
What you eat before and after your workout is going to play a big role in how well you perform during that workout and how quickly you recover afterwards.
While as a beginner it’s unlikely that you’re going to really start meticulously planning your food intake, making an effort to make sure you’re eating foods containing both protein and carbohydrates before and after your workout will go a long way towards helping you get better nutrition.
7. Combine Weight Machine Exercises With A Few Free Weight Movements
Generally speaking, free weight exercises are superior to weight machine exercises, but for the beginner using weight machines is a nice way to ease into the process of weight lifting, while also helping ensure you are using proper form. To get the best of both worlds, consider combining some free weight exercises with machine exercises.
Most people can easily learn how to do free weight exercises such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, lateral raises, and so on, but using a leg press machine before jumping into squats, a chest press machine before attempting bench press, and so on can allow you to obtain a greater comfort level while having that machine guidance.
8. Do Your Cardio Training After Your Lifting
Lastly, another common misconception beginners have is that they should be doing their cardio before they proceed to their lifting. This is actually backwards; cardio should be done after your weight lifting or in another session altogether. This is because of the fact that you want the most energy for your lifting since it’s going to primarily depend upon muscle glycogen, while moderate cardio can utilize fat as fuel.
Doing your weight lifting first also ensures that you can put the most energy into the lifts, increasing the strength gains you realize.
So, keep these quick tips in mind. It’s always a good idea to book a session with a personal trainer to get set up on your first program until you have a better understanding of all the concepts involved with weight training. After that point, you can start playing around with your own program, implementing advanced training principles to help kick your results up a notch.
Reference : BeautynFitness
Small goals make a big difference
When it comes to type 2 diabetes, you need diet and exercise goals that encourage you to succeed—not ones that set you up to fail, says Ann Goebel-Fabbri, PhD, a psychologist and investigator at the Joslin Diabetes Center, in Boston.
“I think goals have to be small and well spelled out for people. Everyone has the experience of going to a health practitioner and being told something vague: ‘You know, you really ought to lose weight.’ What does that mean? Goals need to be broken down into small nuts and bolts,” she says.
1. See where you stand now
Margaret Savoca, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, suggests that you stop and look at your eating and exercise habits, and figure out what will be the easiest changes to make, rather than making huge changes that are tough to sustain.
“Diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint,” says Elizabeth Hardy, 47, a Dallas resident who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2005. For Hardy it was easiest to make changes in her life one step at a time.
2. Keep a record of your physical activity
Most people overestimate how much exercise they get. If you write it down, you’ll have an honest appraisal of where you’re starting.
3. Change your daily routine
Instead of stopping for a fat-filled latte on the way to work, have a cup of coffee with low-fat milk and a low-fat granola bar.
4. Use a pedometer
These handy devices—available for less than $20 at sporting goods stores—clip on to your waistband and record the number of steps you take. Use one to estimate how many steps you take on an average day. Then set a goal to slowly increase that number. Maybe you want to take 100 extra steps every day this week, and add another hundred each day next week. Although many experts recommend going 10,000 steps a day for good health, feel free to set goals that work for you, Goebel-Fabbri says.
Find the best fitness friend
A workout buddy is hugely helpful for keeping motivated, but it’s important to find someone who will inspire—not discourage. So make a list of all your exercise-loving friends, then see who fits this criteria, says Andrew Kastor, an ASICS running coach: Can your pal meet to exercise on a regular basis? Is she supportive (not disparaging) of your goals? And last, will your bud be able to keep up with you or even push your limits in key workouts? If you’ve got someone that fits all three, make that phone call.
Relieve those achy muscles
After a grueling workout, there’s a good chance you’re going to be feeling it (we’re talking sore thighs, tight calves). Relieve post-fitness aches by submerging your lower body in a cold bath (50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit; you may have to throw some ice cubes in to get it cold enough) for 10 to 15 minutes. “Many top athletes use this trick to help reduce soreness after training sessions,” says Andrew Kastor. And advice we love: “An athlete training for an important race should consider getting one to two massages per month to help aid in training recovery,” adds Kastor. Now that’s speaking our language!
Buy comfy sneakers
You shouldn’t buy kicks that hurt, bottom line! “Your shoes should feel comfortable from the first step,” says Andrew Kastor. So shop in the evening—your feet swell during the day and stop in the late afternoon, so you want to shop when they’re at their biggest. Also make sure the sneaks are a little roomy—enough so that you can wiggle your toes, but no more than that. They should be comfy from the get-go, but Kastor says they’ll be even more so once you have a good 20 to 40 miles on ’em.
Curious about what’s going to be hot in the wellness sphere next year? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We put our sneakers to the ground to find out what fitness trends could be making their way into your gym in 2015. Happy sweating.
BODY WEIGHT TRAINING
According to an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) survey of more than 3,000 fitness professionals worldwide, body weight training is predicted to be the next big thing. “Expect to see it continue to expand in all movement experiences including both group and personal training,” says Carol Espel, Senior Director, Group Fitness and Pilates at Equinox. “Look for the comprehensive incorporation of gymnastics, adult jungle gyms, workout spaces that are uncluttered with weight machines and open for training, greater suspension training options, primal movements, and more programming that is less focused on standard weight lifting protocols.” In other words, those tried and true exercises that don’t require equipment—like lunges, squats, push-ups, and bur-pees—are here to stay, so embrace them.
HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT)
OK, HIIT (think P90X) did take a hit over the past year dropping from the number one spot on the 2013 ACSM survey to number two this year. But we assure you that this technique, which alternates intense bursts of exercise with short, sometimes active, recovery periods, isn’t going anywhere. The reason: It’s super effective. “People are exercising in shorter bursts and they are still seeing results,” notes Donna Cyrus, Senior Vice President of Programming at Crunch. This should be no surprise, though. After all, who wants to slave away at the gym for hours each day when you can blast fat in as little as 20 minutes? Exactly.
Boutique studios that specialize in one specific fitness genre—be it underwater cycling or trampoline workouts—will continue to rise in popularity. However, within this group fitness sector, indoor group running has been steadily gaining momentum. From big gym chains like Equinox and Crunch to smaller studios like Mile High Run Club, treadmill-based training is poised to become the new “it” workout. Yes, many view this piece of machinery as a torture device (I know I’ve called it a dreadmill on more than one occasion), but these classes are truly beneficial, helping to improve your running through speed, incline, and interval-based drills.
“There is a trend in fitness to return to simplicity, and running is the oldest form of exercise,” explains Andia Winslow, a fitness expert and coach at Mile High Running Club. “With indoor treadmill training, participants are in a controlled and yet challenging environment where they can, regardless of fitness level, keep up with class while running on industry elite commercial equipment. With less strain on bones, joints and tendons, runners can focus instead on form, specialized and programmed intensity and being wholly engaged with their runs.” Even better: You will never have to worry about it being too cold or raining too hard to log those miles.
Don’t you just love a super intense workout? The way it pushes you to your limits, leaving behind a reminder (read: sore muscles) of all the hard work you put in. Here’s the deal, though, too much intense training can throw your body out of whack, leaving it open for potential injuries, which is why recovery is essential. “A balanced body is key, which means all of your muscles are working correctly, not just some of them,” says David Reavy, PT, owner of React Physical Therapy and creator of the Reavy Method. “Weak muscles will fatigue quickly, and you over train muscles that are already strong. The compensation and overuse of muscles and not the work brings the need for recovery.” This is why “we will continue to see the rapid expansion of group formats that include self-care protocols for self myofascial release (SMR), such as foam rolling and therapy balls, core strengthening and dynamic stretching, full recovery days and clear focus on sleep as an integral part of one’s fitness regimen,” says Espel. “And of course restorative yoga formats will continue to become a much more prevalent part of programming.”
There is a key to maintaining your health as a man is eating the right amounts of foods. Use this list of single-portion measurements as your guide:
- 1 cup of fresh vegetables or fruit
- 1/2 cup of starchy vegetables or dried beans
- 1 slice of bread
- 1 cup of dry cereal or ½ cup cooked cereal
- 1/3 cup of rice or pasta
- 1 cup of low-fat milk
- 3 ounces of lean meat, chicken, or fish
- ½ cup is about the size of half a tennis ball
- 1 cup is about the size of a baseball
- 3 ounces of protein is about the size of a deck of cards
Whether you want to lose weight or maintain your weight, you also need to keep track of calories to make sure you burn more energy in a day than you take in. According to the American Heart Association:
- Men between 19 and 30 years old should limit daily calorie intake to 2,400 if sedentary, 2,600 if somewhat active, and 3,000 if very active.
- Men between 31 and 50 should limit daily calorie intake to 2,200 calories if sedentary, 2,400 if somewhat active, and 2,800 if very active.
- Men 51 and over should limit daily calorie intake to 2,000 if sedentary, 2,200 if moderately active, and 2,400 if very active.
Related : Healthy Food