Essential At-Home Exercises to Lose Weight and Build Muscle

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At one time or another, many of us think about joining a gym – whether we want to lose weight, take better overall care of ourselves, or simply enjoy a new hobby, various motivating factors can encourage us to sign up. But not all of us actually go through with it, for various reasons.

Gym memberships can be expensive, particularly those with a wealth of extras (spas, massages), and those of us with families to support may be unable to find the spare cash. Gyms can also be intimidating, regardless of your current physical condition: even the most slender, attractive people may feel as if all eyes are on them when they first walk in, head-to-toe in Lycra, surrounded by well-defined heavy-lifters. The fear of being judged, or making a fool of ourselves using equipment incorrectly, can put off even the most confident people.

The truth is, you don’t need a gym to get in shape: many people work out at home, either with a personal weight bench or using simple callisthenics. The beauty of working out at home is that it’s free (bar the cost of any equipment you want to use, of course), and you can do it whenever you have the time: get up half an hour earlier and get a few exercises done before work; give yourself a 20-minute workout while you wait for your dinner to cook; or even come home and work up a sweat on your lunch break if you live close enough to work.

Another bonus of working out at home is the privacy: no one is there to watch, and this may help you feel more confident as you work out. You can also take a nice hot shower afterwards without any awkwardness, too! Just make sure you don’t over do it on the exercise. You don’t want to hurt yourself, if you do it might be worthwhile to look at physiotherapy, you could use a company like CK Physiotherapy if you do accidentally injure yourself. So be careful, but remember to have fun and enjoy your exercise. To help you get started, here are a few ideas for home-based exercise you can enjoy:

Jumping Jacks

 You may remember these from gym class at school, and the reason so many teachers get kids doing jumping jacks is their effectiveness as a cardio exercise. If you live in an apartment with little soundproofing, you may want to wait until your neighbours are out, or perform these outside if possible. Try to do as many as you can, and ensure proper form – start off slowly to make sure you have the rhythm right. Don’t push yourself at first: aim to do at least one more with each successive workout.

Are Your Friends Sabotaging Your Diet?

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“Do not be misled. Bad association spoils useful habits.” These  words, written by the Apostle Paul in a letter to the Corinthians, were not penned in the context of diet – but they could have been. The people you surround yourself with – your network – will be critical in ensuring that your diet is a success. Hang out with negative people – those who are not on board with your goals, who show little interest in bettering themselves, and who are not displaying balance in their own lives – and all of your hard work and ‘useful habits’ will likely be spoiled.

This is especially important in the first three months of your weight management plan. During this initial period, you are learning new behaviors. Nothing is habitual yet. so you are in real danger of reverting back to your old, comfortable ways. There is always the risk that you will indulge in self-sabotaging behavior that will hold you back. The support of your friends will therefore be critical – yet  your friends themselves could be the ones holding you back.

It’s not that your friends mean to interfere with your diet. They usually mean well when they serve up an extra helping of pasta or insist that you have a cream ensconced muffin with your coffee. They’ll tell you that you’ve got to have some balance in life – and, anyway, you’ll work it off the next time you jump on the treadmill.  But can’t they see how hard you’re working to make changes in your dietary habits? Why do they insist on making it so much harder for you to stay on the straight and narrow?

The answer lies in the very process that you are working so hard to bring about – change.

That’s the whole point of your weight management program. You want to change. But your friends, unless they have jumped on board with you, don’t. They’re quite happy with the status quo – in fact they like it. They can easily feel uncomfortable about your new and ‘abnormal’ behavior. They seem to have some  innate need to bring you back to ‘normal.’ Perhaps they feel guilty that they don’t have the will to do what you’re doing. They may miss ‘the old you’ – the one that was able to indulge with them in the excesses of life. So, perhaps subconsciously, they engage in behavior designed to bring you back to them.

Everything You Need to Know About Eating a Healthy Breakfast

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Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, but not everyone eats first thing in the morning. It may be that they simply don’t have time – sleeping a little later, rushing to get the kids out the door in time for the school bus, and getting ready for work clothes can all make sitting down to eat a real challenge.

However, if you skip breakfast on a regular basis, you’re setting yourself up to overeat throughout the  day. Think about it – your body has gone without sustenance during sleep, which could be as long as 10 hours, and needs refueling. Even if you don’t feel particularly hungry, a  nutritious breakfast gives your body what it needs to perform at its best.

Erica Giovinazzo, MS, RD, a nutritionist based at New York’s Clay Health Club and Spa, recommends a breakfast that “combines good carbs and fiber with some protein”. She regularly cooks whole eggs or egg whites, which she eats topped with peach and mango salsa. She also suggests that people may want to avoid high-sugar breakfasts:

“I am a firm believer in the importance of protein at breakfast. Because we’re fasting overnight while we sleep, our body naturally releases sugar into our bloodstream, and so our blood sugar is always slightly higher in the morning. There’s no need to add fuel to the fire with even more sugar!”

So, what should you eat to set yourself up for the day, curb those pre-lunch cravings, and get the morning boost you need so much? Here are some nutritious breakfast options:

All You Need To Know About Supplements

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When it comes to getting fit and improving heath, nutrition is king. No matter how motivated we are, no matter how effective our training program is, and no matter how much knowledge we acquire, unless we are eating properly we will never achieve our goals. For a long time, , eating properly was simply a matter of relying on foods that came from the ground or that had been killed.

Today, most of the food  we eat is intensively harvested under nutrient-deficient conditions. As a result, foods  straight from the soil contain far fewer  nutrients than they used to. When we combine this fact with the knowledge that there are certain nutrients  our body cannot manufacture and are required in the foods we eat, it becomes clear that supplementation is a necessary part of a complete nutritional plan.

The supplementary requirements of women and men differ. According to dietitian Keri Glassman, women need to be thinking of “bones, babies and bellies” when it come to supplementation. Supplementing to enhance bone density will help ward off osteoporosis. Boosting the body’s stores of folate will improve fertility. And supplementing to help control belly fat will help you ward off cardiovascular illness. Here, then, are the top 5 supplements to achieve those goals.

Fish Oil & Flax Oil

Essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6) can do wonders for our bodies. They are essential for strong bones, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, energy production, healthy skin texture, and fat burning. Because essential fatty acids are so important for optimal health, it makes sense to take a supplement to ensure that you’re getting enough of them. Fish oil supplements are a popular supplement for this, and are usually derived from mackerel, herring and tuna. You should take  1.52.0 grams each day.

Everything You Need to Know About Weight Loss

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Do a quick Google search on ‘weight loss.’ How many results do you get? At this very moment, the search results will go over 229 million. That’s a lot of content to get through, and likely you will be so confused by the first page that you simply won’t know what to do. The problem is that it seems like everyone has their own opinion about losing weight – and more often than not, the opinions will contradict each other. It can leave you wanting to pull your hair out.
Are you supposed to exercise? Are you supposed to diet? Will fad diets work? These questions get lost in the fray of opinions, advertisements, and confusing articles, leaving you wondering if there are even healthy foods out there. (Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that they told us the egg was incredibly unhealthy. Now, they have done a complete 180 and say there are definite health benefits to eggs.)

And here is the worst part of it: While there are millions of articles claiming to provide the weight-loss answer, obesity is a bigger epidemic than ever before. According to the newest research, nearly 70% of Americans are either overweight or obese today. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that this means greater numbers of people with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even certain types of cancer. So, we have a plethora of information out there, and it doesn’t seem to be helping.

So what’s the problem here? Well, most of the information out there is unfounded, based on opinion, or downright silly. Because people want instant results, a great deal of content will focus on ridiculously unhealthy fad diets that will do nothing more than put you on a weight-loss yo-yo. So, it is time to change how you have been thinking and learn how you can lose the weight in a healthy way and keep it off for the long run.

1.No More Extremes

The number one rule of weight loss to bear in mind is that you cannot participate in ‘extremes’ any longer. One look on the Internet and you will find articles that tell you how you can:

Consume only juice for a week or more.

Eliminate carbs altogether.

Only drink diet drinks.

Eat less than 500 calories a day.

10 Delicious Football Foods That Won’t Wreck Your Diet

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Everyone loves tasty snacks while enjoying the game, especially if you’re having friends over. The problem is, this can easily become a major calorie-consuming scenario if you’re not careful. The good news is that you can have yummy ‘football foods’ without a guilty conscience. Here are 10 great foods that you can eat while watching the game without worrying about gaining weight.

1. Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites

Forget those deep-fried Buffalo wings! You can have a delicious snack of less fattening, bite-sized cooked chicken. Just mix cooked chicken breast with hot sauce, chopped green onions and non-fat cream cheese. Take a spoon and shape the mixture into small, bite-sized balls, then cover them with whole-grain breadcrumbs.

2. Blue Cheese-Apricot Balls

These are delicious treats for your game-day party – and they take only 25 minutes to prepare. You’ll need the following ingredients:
¼ cup of crumbled reduced-fat blue cheese
5 tablespoons of finely chopped toasted walnuts
12 finely chopped dried apricots
6 ounces of reduced-fat cream cheese
¼ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon finely snipped fresh rosemary
Mix them all together and enjoy the healthy (yet tasty) goodness.

3. Sloppy Joe Sliders

For many people, Sloppy Joes bring back good memories from their childhood, but this tasty sandwich can be made in a healthier way. To make this tasty treat, use 95% lean ground meat, and for even more fiber and protein, add smashed kidney beans. Cook it up with some tomatoes and your favorite spices, then serve it on a mini whole-wheat bun. Just make sure you have napkins ready!

Lemon Water – Magical Elixir of Good Health

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Lemons have a bad reputation, if our idioms are any indicator. Cars in need of constant repair are called ‘lemons,’ while a person with a poor disposition is said to be as ‘sour as a lemon.’ “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is a familiar proverb, as if lemons were the worst form of adversity one could face. .
Yes, the lemon has a bad reputation – and it is entirely undeserved. Lemons are in fact a power-packed superfood that can protect or improve health in various ways, and if you are not including them in your diet, then you really don’t know what you’re missing.

Now it’s true that most people don’t enjoy eating lemons in their whole, natural form. They epitomize sourness, and as a form of food, they appeal only to a certain segment of the population, specifically those with taste buds acclimated to their severe acidity.

But it isn’t necessary to eat a lemon the same way you’d eat an orange to secure its many benefits. Freshly prepared lemon juice delivers the health-preserving goods just fine, diluting the intensity of the flavor without altering its life-enriching biochemical profile.

A half of a lemon for people under 150 pounds, and a full lemon for those over, squeezed and mixed into a glass of pure water at room temperature, creates one of nature’s most potent elixirs. After squeezing make sure to scoop out the juicy pulp that remains inside the lemon so you can add that to the water as well, since this is densely packed with fibers and other nutrients. Drinking lukewarm lemon juice first thing in the morning, 15-20 minutes before any breakfast, will provide the full-impact benefits that lemons can deliver.

How Can Lemons Help You? Let Us Count the Ways

But wait a minute, you’re probably asking, aren’t lemons loaded with acid? Won’t drinking lemon juice on an empty stomach lead to heartburn or indigestion?

The answer to this question is no; in fact, the opposite is true. Despite the presence of citric acid, lemon juice turns alkaline when it enters the bloodstream. As it circulates through the arterial network, it helps restore the body’s fluids to their proper pH balance. This means it will actually prevent heartburn and indigestion instead of causing them. It even works as a straight-up remedy if you are experiencing either already.

Training With a Friend: Yes or No?

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It’s one of the eternal conundrums of the fitness world – should you enlist a friend as a training partner, or would you be better off going the isolationist route? This is a decision that is critical to your training success or failure – and possibly your friendship. With all of that at stake, you owe it to yourself to do some due diligence on the issue. So, let’s get to it.

Partner Plusses

Motivation: Sustaining the motivation required to power through your workouts day in and day out isn’t easy. In fact, running out of steam is the major reason most people never achieve their fitness goals. A great way to inject a little motivation into the workout equation is to team up with a partner. The knowledge that there’s someone waiting on you to show up and do the work is a great boost to overcoming ‘mind over mattress’ syndrome.

Safety: Hitting the gym on your own can be risky business. Whether you’re bench pressing, squatting or doing lunges, the presence of a partner could be the difference between an extra couple of forced reps and six months of chiropractic treatment.

Competition: Nothing propels humans to excel more than a sense of competition. In the gym, healthy competition can be the difference between a by-the-numbers session and a fat-scorching, body-shaping frenzy. To really get the most out of your workouts, find a partner who’s a little fitter than you – you’ll be constantly pushing yourself to keep up with them.

Training Tempo: Many guys misjudge how much rest they need between sets; they either don’t allow enough time for the cells to recuperate, or they wait too long and then the cumulative training effect has been wasted. When you train with a partner, however, it’s simple: as soon as they have finished their set, it’s your turn. This back-and-forth tempo provides you with just the right amount of rest to sustain intensity through your workout.

Walking is Not Exercise – But It May Still the Best Form of Exercise We Know

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It is odd to the point of surreal to think of walking as a form of exercise –but these are the times we live in. When humans developed the ability to transport ourselves rapidly and for long distances on two legs, it was a momentous turning point in our evolutionary history. We eventually formed partnerships with horses to improve our speed and carrying power, but even then we were still primarily an ambulatory species.

Now we’ve transcended all that. Cars have become our new appendages, our gateways to mobility and freedom. We don’t have to walk any significant distances anymore if we don’t want to, and if we have to walk, we tend to see that as an annoyance. Since the dawn of the machine age, our range of travel has been extended by trains, planes and automobiles, and our lifestyles have been irrevocably altered as a result.

So when we do embrace walking these days, we do so with a different attitude. It’s not simple transportation now, but rather exercise. A low-impact, low-intensity form of exercise, a pale imitation of real exercise like running, swimming, rowing or bicycling.

But paradoxically, in this age where more vigorous forms of aerobic and anaerobic exercise have become standard practice for many, the United States is in the midst of an obesity epidemic. About 35% of all American adults are classified as obese (more than 20% above their recommended BMI), and 69% are overweight by at least a few pounds.

As we all know, obesity has been implicated in an increased risk for life-shortening conditions such as high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and Alzheimer’s. Poor diet is of course a primary culprit in all this, but regular strenuous exercise is supposed to be great for both fitness and appetite suppression. And we are a pro-exercise culture. So what’s going on here?

Could it be the method that’s the madness? Might it be that we simply aren’t walking enough anymore, and all the exercise plans and routines we hatch are not enough to overcome our neglect of this most basic and fundamental form of ‘exercise?’ The possibility is certainly worth considering.

4 Reason Why Water Is So Vital To Your Health

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You have likely been told all of your life how important it is to drink water. You know it will help you stay hydrated, but do you know why it is so important? Most people don’t know that much about the many crucial roles water plays in the body. As a result, they don’t put enough emphasis on getting adequate H2O on a daily basis . So, let’s discuss what water actually does for you, and how vital it is to your health.

It shouldn’t really come as a surprise how important water is when you consider the fact that the human body is 60% liquid. If you stopped drinking water , you would essentially lose more than half of yourself very quickly through sweating, breathing, digestion, and other bodily functions. You cannot survive without water for more than a couple of days – that’s how important it is. Now, here are the various health benefits you get from drinking enough of it regularly.

1.It Keeps Tissues from Drying Out

You body’s tissues – including organs, muscles, cells, bones and, blood – must all have enough water to function properly. Water protects those tissues by keeping them from drying out. If you become dehydrated, certain areas of your body are specifically at risk, including the spinal cord, brain, and blood. If you put these tissues at risk, then you could be dealing with irreversible damage to them.

2.It Removes Waste

Your body excretes waste in three ways: urination, defecation, and perspiration. If not for water, this waste would build up in your body, especially in the intestines, kidneys, and liver, which would be toxic. Water itself will flush out those toxins so that everything can function properly. This this is important for your basic comfort as well. Water actually helps to avoid constipation by ensuring that solid waste is soft enough to be properly passed through your digestive system. If you become dehydrated, then you can expect harder stools that are more difficult and sometimes painful to pass.