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Feb 29, 2012

Walnuts nutrition facts

Health benefits of Walnuts
The nuts are rich source of energy and contain many health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.

They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (about 72%) like oleic acid and an excellent source of all important omega-3 essential fatty acids like linoleic acid, alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and arachidonic acids. Regular intake of walnuts in the diet help to lower total as well as LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.

Eating just as much as 25 g each day provides about 90% of RDI (recommended daily intake) of omega-3 fatty acids. Research studies have suggested that n-3 fatty acids by their virtue of anti-inflammatory action helps to lower the risk of blood pressure, coronary artery disease, strokes and breast, colon and prostate cancers.

Munch a handful of walnuts a day and you will have enough recommended levels of minerals, vitamins, and protein.

Feb 28, 2012

4 Signs You Need to Lift More Weight

4 Signs You Need to Increase Your Resistance
Strength training is about building and maintaining a certain level of strength. You might not be lifting enough weight during one or many of your exercises if:

1 The current weight you are lifting isn’t a challenge. Strength training is meant to be challenging, because the whole point is to “overload” your muscles so they get stronger. If the weight you are lifting isn’t as challenging as it used to be (or isn’t challenging at all!), then it is time to increase the resistance.

2 You could go forever. Each strength training exercise you do should cause you to feel muscle “fatigue” within 15 repetitions (or fewer). Muscle fatigue feels like you couldn’t possibly do another repetition in good form. If you can do more than 15 reps in good form, or if you literally feel like you could go on forever because the resistance you’re using is so easy, then it’s time to take it up a notch.

3 You have never increased the weight you lift. When you first started strength training, then the weight you lifted was a starting weight. Continuing to progress in strength training is essential to getting the most out of your workouts—that means lifting more weight as you get stronger over time.

4 The progress has come to a stop. Without making your muscles work harder than they’re accustomed to, they won’t get stronger. As you train, your muscles will grow stronger in order to meet the demands you are placing on them. So if you keep offering them the same workload, they will keep working the same amount, and progression comes to a grinding halt.

Recognize if you are experiencing any of the 4 signs above, taking time to pay attention to the level of difficulty and challenge of each of your exercises during your workouts. If you experience any of these signs (or if it sounds like I have been watching you workout based on what you read), then it is time to increase the resistance! Use the 3-step process below to do it safely and effectively.

How to Increase Your Resistance

Step 1: Increase the resistance by no more than 10%. For example, if you’re currently lifting 50 pounds, you’d increase that by 5 pounds (10% of 50 pounds = 5 pounds) to lift 55 pounds. This should automatically feel more challenging to you, but even if it’s not noticeably more difficult, 10% is a pretty safe place to start. Increasing the weight more than 10% at a time increases the likelihood of injury, so progress slowly. Tip: When using free weights and machines, an exact 10% increase isn’t always possible (sometimes 10% results in weird fractions or levels of weight that don’t exist at the gym). In those cases, round down to the closest weight available instead of rounding up to the closest weight.

Step 2: With your newly adjusted weight, aim for 1-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions. With your 10% increase, you’ll be working harder than usual.

Step 3: Once you can complete 2-3 sets of 15 reps in good form, whether it takes you just a few workouts or even a few months, it’s time to go back to Step 1 and increase your weight by 10% again.

4 Low Fat Salad Dressing Options

It's easy to create your own low fat salad dressing that tastes so good you won't even miss the full fat options. In fact, these dressings can be used on many kinds of food to help enhance their taste, or to add extra flair to a meal. You can easily create your own flavors and textures by experimenting with the herbs and other seasonings in the following homemade salad dressing versions.

Italian Dressing

You can actually make an Italian dressing that is fat free, making it easy to indulge in any time of day. Simply mix together a half cup of vinegar, a dash of Tabasco sauce, two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, some minced garlic and salt to taste. You've got yourself a quick, easy and tasty Italian dressing that can be added to much more than just salads. Whether drizzled on vegetables or put in pastas, soups and casseroles, this low fat salad dressing will be a hit with family and friends.

Ranch Dressing

This is one homemade salad dressing that you won't be able to pass up. It's rich, creamy and tangy but without all the fat that the regular version has. Start with a two ounce package of low fat ranch mix at the store and put it in a small bowl. Then mix in a cup of fat free milk or soy milk, ¼ cup of fat free sour cream and fresh (or dried) basil until the mixture is creamy. If you like your ranch dressing extra tangy, consider mixing a couple of teaspoons of lemon or lime juice to the mix. This dressing is great with chicken strips and on sandwiches.

Asian Dressing

A rich, dark Asian dressing is perfect to be used with egg rolls, chow mein, fried rice or salad greens. A little fat goes a long way in this recipe, while the bold and fresh flavors of the other ingredients work together to bring this dressing together. In a small bowl, just mix together two tablespoons of olive oil, four tablespoons of soy sauce, two cloves of chopped garlic, 1/8 cup of chopped ginger, basil and oregano to taste. For a bold flavor, allow the dressing to rest for about an hour in the fridge before using it.

Vinaigrette Dressing

This can be made as a low fat salad dressing, or it can be adapted to be fat free by simply omitting the oil. Either version you choose to create is tasty, but the low fat version is best for salads while the no fat version works best in soups, pastas and on vegetables. To make this flavorful favorite simply mix together two tablespoons of olive oil, 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar, four cloves of chopped garlic, chopped sweet basil and one tablespoon of Dijon mustard for a tangy edge that makes this dressing pop.

Feb 26, 2012

How to Increase Your Vertical JUMP

Strengthening your legs and their fast-twitch muscle fibers can add inches to your vertical jump. Increasing your jump can help you in a number of sports including basketball, volleyball or football. Here are a few easy steps to improve your game and jump high
The Program :

1_Begin every workout by warming up your muscles and then doing extensive leg stretches. Because you'll be building muscle fibers that are used for explosive activities such as jumping, stretching is of the utmost importance.

2_ Jump rope for its excellent cardiovascular conditioning. This step should never be skipped, as it will be an important contributor to your results.

3_ Incorporate sprints into your workouts. This builds muscle, which will add to your jumping ability.

4_ Run stairs on your toes. Start by running up a flight, one step at a time. Walk down and run back up, taking two steps at a time. Repeat as many times as you can manage.

5_ Do sets of elevated jumps (see the next section).

6_ Do sets of explosive jumps (see the third section).

7_ Do sets of double jumps (see the third section).

8_ Rest your legs at least two days a week. Results will come from sustaining the exercise program, not performing it aggressively for a few weeks and then slacking off.

Feb 25, 2012

Chest Exercise for women

1-Incline Press

Start- Begin by laying on an incline bench. Place your feet and knees so that you are most comfortable. Allow your head to lay back on the bench. This will support your spine and neck. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Palms facing away from you.Go For It- Lift the dumbbells up to the sky by extending your arms up. Don’t lock your elbows. Pause here for one second and slowly lower the weight back to start.
Tips and Techniques-Exhale as you lift the weights to the sky. Inhale as you lower back to the start of this chest exercise.Use only your chest and arm muscles to lift the weight. No momentum.

2-Decline Chest Press

Start- Being by laying on a decline bench. Place your feet and knees so that you are most comfortable. Allow your head to lay back on the bench. This will support your spine and neck. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Palms facing away from you.
Go For It- Lift the dumbbells up to the sky by extending your arms up. Don’t lock your elbows. Pause here for one second and slowly lower the weight back to the start of the chest exercise.Tips and Techniques-Exhale as you lift the weights to the sky. Inhale as you lower back to start.Use only your chest and arm muscles to lift the weight. No momentum.Try to keep your lower back pressed against the bench.

3-Incline Chest Fly

Start- Being by laying on an incline bench. Place your feet and knees so that you are most comfortable. Allow your head to lay back on the bench. This will support your spine and neck. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Palms are facing each other.
Go For It- Lift the dumbbells up to the sky by extending your arms up. Don’t lock your elbows. Pause here for one second and slowly lower the weight back to start.
Tips and Techniques-Exhale as you lift the weights to the sky. Inhale as you lower back to the start of this chest exercise.Use only your chest and arm muscles to lift the weight. No momentum.Try to keep your lower back pressed against the bench.

4-Decline Chest Fly

Start- Begin by laying on a decline bench. Place your feet and knees so that you are most comfortable. Allow your head to lay back on the bench. This will support your spine and neck. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.Go For It- Lift the dumbbells up to the sky by extending your arms up. Don’t lock your elbows.Pause here for one second and slowly lower the weight back to the start of the chest exercise.Tips and Techniques-Exhale as you lift the weights to the sky. Inhale as you lower back to the start of the chest exercise.Use only your chest and arm muscles to lift the weight. No momentum.

5-Push Up

Start- Begin in the upper push up position. Your feet are together and your hands are directly under your shoulders. Your back is flat and you are looking at the ground.Go For It- Slowly begin lowering yourself to the ground. Allow your elbows to bend, but keep your back flat and strong. Pause just above the ground and then begin lifting yourself back to start.Tips and Techniques-Inhale as your lower your body weight to the floor. Exhale as your lift back up to start.

6-Knee Push Ups

Start- Begin on all fours. Your knees should be directly under your hips and your hands directly under your shoulders. You should be looking at the floor.Go For It- Slowly lower your upper body towards the ground. Try to touch your nose to the floor. Pause for one second and lift back to start.Tips and Techniques-Inhale as you lower your body weight. Exhale as your lift your body back to the start of the chest exercise.If your wrists bother you, move them more forward.Keep your back flat at all times.

7-Pull Overs

Start- Lay down on a stability ball. Your upper body is supported by the ball. Knees are separated hip width apart and your feet are directly under your knees. Hold a dumbbell between your thumb and forefinger. Extend your arms straight above your face.Go For It- Keeping your arms straight, allow the dumbbell to lower behind your head. Pause for one second and bring the free weight back above your face (starting position).Tips and Techniques-Inhale as you lower the weight behind the head. Exhale as you lift it above your face.Keep your lower back relaxed and try to focus on using only your chest muscles.

8-Ball Chest Press

Start- Begin by sitting on a stability ball. Gently roll down until you can relax your head on the ball. Place your ankles directly under your knees, and lift your hips up to the sky. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.Go For It- Lift the dumbbells up to the sky by extending your arms up. Don’t lock your elbows. Pause here for one second and slowly lower the weight back to the start of this chest exercise.Tips and Techniques-Exhale as you lift the weights up. Inhale as you lower back to start.Use only your chest and arm muscles to lift the weight. No momentum.

9-Ball Chest Fly

Start- Begin by sitting on a stability ball. Gently roll down until you can relax your head on the ball. Place your ankles directly under your knees, and lift your hips up to the sky. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other.
Go For It- Begin to lift the dumbbells up over the ribcage, palms facing each other. Pause for a second, lower back to start.Tips and Techniques-Exhale as you lift the weights up. Inhale as you lower back to start.Use only your chest and arm muscles to lift the weight. No momentum.Try to keep your hips lifted throughout the chest exercise.Think of this as giving someone a big bear hug. As you lift from the start position, it’s almost like a semi-circle motion. Be sure to keep your back flat at all times.If your wrists hurt, move them more forward. It increases the angle of the wrist.

Feb 24, 2012

Honey and Weight Loss: How are the Two Connected?

Honey and weight loss are often associated. Why is honey a smarter choice than table sugar if you are watching your weight and what you eat?

 The good news is that honey, a natural sweetener, on the other hand, contains 22 amino acids and a variety of minerals essential for its metabolism and hence is helpful in preventing obesity. It is believed that drinking lemon juice with a little honey the first thing in the morning is an effective anti cellulite treatment as it helps to increase body metabolism. If you are determined to shed weight and speed up your sluggish metabolism, try this honey and lemon diet tip. If you like, another very popular recipe associated with honey and weight loss is a drink that uses honey and cinnamon as ingredients. Many people have found this home remedy very effective in losing pounds. The steps are easy: Dissolve half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder (or ground cinnamon) in a cup of boiling water. Stir the mixture and cover for half an hour. Filter away any big particles and add a teaspoon of honey. Take it in the morning with an empty stomach about half an hour before breakfast.

For people who tend to overeat or feel discomfort in the stomach after meals, honey can be taken for better digestion. Honey is a simple carbohydrate that one safely take during fasting because it contains easily digested sugars. Foods that are rich in sugars or complexes of sugars are carbohydrates. How the sugars are arranged will determine whether we call a food a source of simple or complex carbohydrates. When sugars are bound into rows, as they are in starches such as whole grains and legumes, they are called complex carbohydrates. It takes the body much longer to digest the sugar from a complex carbohydrate.

And if you are considering artificial sugar or sweetener like Aspartame to help you lose weight, you are putting yourself completely on the wrong track. It might get you off from a few calories but it gives you a bunch of other serious health problems.

Feb 23, 2012


The bottom line in sports conditioning and fitness training is stress, not mental stress, but adaptive body stress. Athletes must put their bodies under a certain amount of stress to increase physical capabilities. Where the stress loads are appropriate then the athlete's performance will improve but if the stress loads are inappropriate then a state of over-training/burnout could come about for the athlete.

Signs of Over-training

Symptoms indicating over exertion can be classified in the following way:

Movement coordination symptoms:
Increased incidence of disturbances in movement (the re-appearance of faults that seemed to have been overcome, cramp, inhibitions, insecurity)
Disturbances in rhythm and flow of movement
Lack of ability to concentrate
Reduced power of differentiation and correction

Condition symptoms:
Diminished powers of endurance, strength, speed. Increase in recovery time, loss of 'sparkle' (competitive qualities)
Reduced readiness for action, fear of competition, giving-up in face of difficult situations, especially at the finish
Confusion in competition, departure from usual tactics
Susceptibility to demoralising influences before and during competition
Increasing tendency to abandon the struggle

Psychological symptoms:
Increased irritability, obstinacy, tendency to hysteria, grumbling, defiance, increased quarrelsomeness, avoidance of contact with coach and colleagues
Over sensitivity to criticism, or increasing indolence, poor incentive, dullness, hallucination, anxiety, depression, melancholy, insecurity

Feb 22, 2012

Top 10: Shoulder Exercises

-Number 10
Shoulder press machine
This one's pretty self-explanatory: have a seat, adjust the weight stack, and press over your head. Great if you're just getting started.
-Number 9
Upright row
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, grip the middle of a barbell with your palms facing in, raise the bar to your chin and lower it. Make sure that your back stays straight and that your knees remain relaxed.
-Number 8
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your arms by your sides and your palms facing in. Keeping your torso solid, raise your shoulders a few inches toward your ears, as if you were saying "I don't know," and lower them.
-Number 7
Bent-over lateral raise
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend over at the waist, holding a dumbbell in each hand so that your upper body is parallel to the floor, with your arms hanging in front of your body, palms facing each other. Making sure not to lock your elbows, raise your arms to your sides until your elbows and hands are in line with your shoulders (like you are trying to fly) and lower them.
-Number 6
Three-way shoulder press
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms bent at a 90° angle by your sides, so that your fists are out in front of you. Keeping the 90° bend in your elbows, raise your upper arms so that they form a "T" with your torso and your palms end up facing down. Keeping your arms raised and the 90° bend in your elbows, rotate your shoulders backward so that your hands end up above your shoulders, with your palms facing away from you. Then, press the dumbbells over your head and lower them. Retrace your steps by rotating your shoulders forward, until your palms end up parallel to the floor, and bring your elbows back to your sides.
-Number 5
Arnold press
Sitting on a flat bench with your back straight and your feet on the floor, hold a dumbbell in each hand, keeping your arms bent and your palms turned toward your face. Rotate your shoulders backward while raising and opening your arms -- turning your fists away from you -- and press the dumbbells over your head, in a smooth and controlled motion. Lower the dumbbells, returning to starting position.
-Number 4
Lateral raise
Pick up a couple of dumbbells and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms down by your sides and palms facing in. Making sure not to lock your elbows, raise your arms no higher than your shoulders. Make sure that the movement originates in your shoulders and that your torso remains strong and still.
-Number 3
Front-side lateral raise
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart -- with your arms straight down the front of your body, palms facing in, and holding a dumbbell in each hand -- raise your arms to shoulder height in front of you, so that your arms and chest form a 90° angle. Keeping your arms raised and your palms facing down, open your arms so that they form a "T" with your torso, then slowly lower them to your sides. Retrace your steps by doing a lateral raise, bringing your arms back in front of you and slowly lowering them so that you are back in your starting position, with your arms straight down the front of your body, palms facing in.
-Number 2
Military press
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees relaxed, and grasp a barbell with your palms facing in, hands shoulder-width apart. Bend your arms so that your palms are facing away from you and your hands are at shoulder height. Press the barbell over your head and lower it.
-Number 1
I'm a big fan of pushups as they work your shoulders, chest, back, and abs at once. Perform them with your fingers pointing out at a 45° angle, make sure that you keep your back straight as a board, and go all the way down.

Feb 20, 2012

Abdominal Bloating Causes and Treatment

If you are of menstruating age or suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, you have likely experienced symptoms of bloating. In a nutshell, bloating is intestinal gas that can cause extreme discomfort and pain. Mild cases of bloating may arise before or during a woman's monthly cycle. The discomfort is generally localized in the pelvic region. However, persons who suffer from persistent bloating may also feel pain in their sides, chest, abdomen, and so forth. Although bloating tends to happen without warning, there are easy ways to reduce and prevent symptoms. However, before this can be done, it helps to pinpoint the exact cause of abdominal bloating.

Common Causes of Bloating
• Pre-menstrual syndrome
• Excessive alcohol consumption
• High salt intake
• Large consumption of sodas
• Too little protein in diet
• Irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive tract disorders
• Food allergies
• Lactose intolerance

Tips to Reduce Symptoms of Bloating

Often times, a build up of intestinal gas can be eased by simply burping or passing gas. Occasional bloating is normal, and generally subsides within a few hours without treatment. However, if bloating prolongs for several hours or days, the following tips may assist with
relieving discomfort.

• Until the bloating lessens, avoid foods that may cause additional gas. These might include beans, fruits, vegetables, and so forth.

• If intestinal gas or bloating is the result of constipation, increase your water and fiber intake. Attempt to drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Water helps to soften stools, which relieves constipation and abdominal bloating.

• Many women experience abdominal bloating before, during, or immediately following their menstrual cycle. Over-the-counter medications such as Midol are very effective with relieving abdominal bloating and distention.

• Another common cause of intestinal bloating is irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is a common condition. The extent varies, and symptoms are generally recurrent. For the most part, specific foods or drinks may trigger symptoms of IBS and bloating. Keep a food log. This will help you identify possible foods causing bloating. Furthermore, reducing stress is also effective with easing IBS symptoms.

• Persons suffering from lactose intolerance may have periodic bouts with bloating. However, symptoms can be prevented by eliminating certain foods from your diet. If you cannot live without ice cream and other dairy products, make a habit of taking medication intended to help he body break down lactose before eating.

• If all else fails, you can quickly relieve symptoms of abdominal bloating with gas relief medications such as GasX, Alka Seltzer, or Mylanta.

Cellulite, Bye-Bye!

Want to know the ways How to get rid of Cellulite on thighs? Have you been concerned about the saddle bags that you see every day while getting ready in the morning? Is the question- How to Get Rid of Cellulite on Thighs is mostly on your mind these days? If yes, then you’ve got the solution to get rid of that stubborn cellulite on thighs by following the five easy and effective ways.

The problem of cellulite on thighs is due to body type, eating habits and lifestyle. The doctor’s advice on this issue is to drink lots of water and exercise regularly to get rid of it naturally. It is also believed that cellulite is caused due to other issues like pregnancy, genetics, smoking and digestive disorders. Whatever is the reason, it does give you an awkward feeling as you may not like to wear shorts, swimwear and short skirts due to bumpy skin around your thighs.

Following are the 5 ways through which people having cellulite on their thighs can let go of it completely in no time at all.

1. Diet: It is imperative to cut down on foods that are high on cholesterol and fat, which leads to accumulation of fat in the lower part of the body. High calorie foods like chocolates, donuts, burgers, mayonnaise are absolutely no-no, if you are looking at getting rid of fat from your thighs. Instead, foods having more water content should be consumed to be able to get rid of fat cells from the body. Green leafy vegetables, bright berries, poultry, fish, low fat cheese and very less proportion of dark chocolates can certainly help people having cellulite on their thighs.To ensure that the metabolism rate is fast, food is to be consumed after every 3 hours in small proportions. This helps in digestion, leading to fast metabolism which further helps in getting rid of cellulite easily. Crash diets and skipping of meals should be completely avoided during your programme of getting rid of that bumpy skin on the thighs.

2. Lifestyle Change: Bringing exercise in your daily routine is an important step of how to get rid of cellulite on thighs. The thought of it may sound boring to many people, but it is the most crucial part in making your thigh skin look firmer and smoother. You can easily get rid of that dimply skin by taking up walking, swimming, jogging, yoga along with some light weight trainings. If you want to see the changes in a shorter period, then exercises like squats, leg presses, lunges and the flamingo balance are recommended. These exercises should be done for at least 3 to 4 days a week to see the visible changes.Aerobics, weight training or any other exercise program done religiously and regularly for the problem area can definitely bring about changes in a short span of time.

3. Anti Cellulite creams: To reduce the cellulite on your thighs easily, you can use anti cellulite creams and oils. Creams having a contents like caffeine, retinol a and vitamin a can be applied daily on the thighs to see effective results. The main purpose of such creams is to increase the flow of blood in the area that is affected by cellulite. It takes about 2 to 4 months to see actual results if you are using anti cellulite creams. Sometimes, Anti cellulite creams are marketed as specifically for inner thighs, outer thighs etc. But, the ingredients in these creams remain the same as for the other creams applicable on other body parts. Hence, there is no need to pay extra or premium amount for that particular area cream- you just need to buy any anti cellulite cream having retinol A, caffeine and vitamin A.

4. Water Consumption: Drinking at least 10 to 12 glasses of water daily is another solution to your question- how to get rid of cellulite on thighs. Water is considered to be the natural cleanser which clears away the toxins of the body through the urinal system and helps in establishing the connective tissue, making it further harder for the cellulite to deposit in the lower body. However, this step is effective only when it is combined with the above mentioned steps.

5. Lymphatic massage of the Cellulite: This massage is done by the trained masseur having experience in lymphatic massage. When this is done, the blood flow increases leading to breakdown and avoidance of cellulite.Circulation, nutrition and exercises are the solutions to how to get rid of cellulite on thighs, so if you really love you legs and want to come out of your house showing them through shorts and skirts, then you can simply take a look at the Step by Step program.Cellulite can really make you sad when you see that dimpled and bumpy skin around your thighs every morning. However, it has become easy to get rid of it completely by bringing in exercises to your routine along with eating and drinking appropriately.

Feb 19, 2012

Tuna in Oil Vs. Tuna in Water

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, there are 109 calories in a 3-oz. serving of tuna in water. Tuna in oil provides slightly higher calories at 158 calories per 3-oz. serving. Both varieties are considered moderate calorie choices, according to the Food and Drug Administration, making up only 5 to 8 percent of a 2,000-calorie diet.
Tuna packed in water provides 2.5 g of fat per serving, while tuna packed in oil provides 6.8 g of fat. The oil used in packed tuna contributes about 4 g of fat, 1 of which is saturated fat. It also contains about 2.5 g each of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Tuna is considered a carbohydrate-free food. Both tuna packed in oil and tuna packed in water are free of sugars, fiber, and all other carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important sources of energy and are needed for the body to function properly. Be sure to include sources of carbohydrates at meals to stay healthy. Foods rich in carbohydrates include fruits and whole grains.

A 3-oz. serving of tuna, whether packed in oil or water, provides about 20 g of protein. The protein found in tuna is considered to be a complete source of protein. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that complete proteins are proteins that provide all of the essential amino acids needed for your body to function properly. While protein needs vary depending on age, gender, and activity level, the recommended daily protein intake is approximately 46 to 56 g per day for men and women over 19 years of age. This means that a serving of tuna can meet nearly half of your daily protein intake needs.

Cranberry Juice Benefits

Research has led to other important health benefits of cranberry juice including:

Helps to Reduce High Cholesterol Levels - Drinking cranberry juice daily may help to increase levels of HDL, (good cholesterol) and reduce levels of LDL, (bad cholesterol). The knock on effect is less of the bad cholesterol clogging the walls of your arteries which puts less strain on the heart.
Prevention of Kidney Stone Formation - Some medical studies have shown that quinic acid, abundantly found in cranberries, may help to prevent the development of kidney stones.
Cranberries Combat Herpes Virus – Scientists have found that a substance extracted from the cranberries suppressed the genital herpes virus. Tests showed that the compound, proanthocyanidin, made it harder for the virus to penetrate cells.
Protection Against Macular Degeneration- (An affliction of the eyes that affect many people as they age).
Reduction of Dental Plaque – Studies have shown that cranberry juice can reduce the growth of bacteria that causes plaque to stick to the teeth, preventing decay and gum disease.
Prevents Stomach Related Problems - A daily glass of cranberry juice can help destroy H.pylori bacteria which cause stomach ulcers and cancer.

Top 10 Anti-Cancer Food

Cancer. The mere mention of the word makes us shrink in fear. It's like a death sentence. It's the leading cause of death in the United States, overtaking heart disease. But take heart, recent statistics show a decline in the incidence of both diseases. Now, that's heartening news! And the American Cancer Society reports that half of all these cancer deaths can be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle (assuming you already lead a healthy one). Now, that's doubly heartening news! Opting for a healthier (and heartier) lifestyle means you should stop smoking, lose weight, exercise, and eat more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, according to a recent article published in Healthy Options lifestyle newsdigest.
let's get to know more about the top 10 anti-cancer foods. Take this list (and please take them often):

1) Tomatoes You probably know that tomatoes are oozing with lycopene, which helps ward off the free radicals associated with lung and digestive cancers as well as prostate, ovarian and lung cancers. Lycopene is also found in watermelon and pink grapefruit.

2) Broccoli sprouts For a veggie that's so small you can hold it with one hand, this one's got a fistful of antioxidant benefits that last for days. In the same family of cruciferous vegetables are broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. Their sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol protect against prostate, bladder, colon, pancreatic, gastric, breast, and other hormone-related cancers. Indeed, it's the ultimate baby vegetable, baby!

3) Berries Blueberries, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, cranberries, and grapes are all berry-rich in anthocyanins that help repair and protect DNA.

4) Soybeans They're soy-good for your health as they've got isoflavones (like genistein) that prevent – and treat – prostate cancer. Soybeans may also reduce breast cancer risk. Soy is truly beanificial to our health!

5) Tea Tea – make that green and black – is steeped in powerful compounds that, according to countless studies, may lower the risk of several types of cancer. Care for tea?

6) PumpkinThis Halloween symbol – and Cinderella's chariot – has magical powers indeed. But not too many know that this superfood is a super-rich source of beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, two carotenoids that work hard to fight lung and ovarian cancers. Also rich in carotenoids are carrots, yams, squash, melons, and sweet red peppers.

7) Spinach.Aye, aye, Popeye was right – spinach's a-okay. Its active antioxidant – lutein – may even help KO cancers of the liver, ovaries, colon, and prostate. Lutein is also found in kale and other leafy greens.

8) Garlic The allium family, to which garlic belongs, works to boost the body's antioxidant defense systems to protect against stomach, esophageal, and breast cancers. Meet the other members of the family: scallions and onions. Truly, in onion, there is strength.

9) Pineapple This pine cone-like fruit with its coveted sweet pulp contains an anti-inflammatory enzyme – bromelain – that may inhibit the growth of malignant lung and breast cancer cells.

10) Apple Yes, there's a mouthful of wisdom in the saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Studies show that quercetin – a flavonoid abundant in apples – prevents the growth of prostate cancer cells. The phytochemicals in the skin of an apple inhibits the reproduction of colon cancer cells. According to the National Cancer Institute, eating an apple a day may reduce the risk of lung cancer by as much as 50 percent. Excuse me while I bite into my apple.
A cupful of warning
If you're an instant noodle lover, please read this quickly before you chow down your next bowlful or cupful: Make sure you break for at least three days after eating instant noodles before you eat your next packet because the wax coating the noodles takes at least two days for the body to clear. The wax prevents the noodles from sticking together. One story has it that one steward, after eating instant noodles almost every meal, had cancer and eventually died of it. Which is why some even refer to instant noodles as "cancer noodles."

Does Stress Make You Lose Weight?

Stress generally leads to weight gain, not loss, although you could conceivably lose weight if you were so stressed you stopped eating for an extended period. Stress can send your body and mind into overdrive, which, in turn, creates an amalgamation of conditions that are ripe for piling on the pounds.

Mental Effects

The psychological effects of stress can make you grab for comforting foods, which often consist of high-calorie, high-carbohydrate and highly-fattening concoctions. Your stress level can also send you into a binging state, as it did for Rachel Capaldi. The 26-year-old Michigan woman was so frazzled by her assistant bank-office manager job that she coped with junk food and gained 22 lbs. in eight months, according to "Fitness" magazine.

Physical Effects

Stress sends your body into a fight-or-flight state in which your brain's hypothalamus sends hormonal and nerve alert signals throughout your body. Your adrenal glands react by pumping out a large amount of hormones that include cortisol and adrenaline. Adrenaline increases your blood pressure, heart rate and energy supplies. Cortisol alters systems you don't need in a state of high danger, such as your immune system and digestive system. While the body's response may not directly lead to a weight gain, it can result in depression, sleeping problems and digestive issues that can cause you to pack on pounds. Obesity is one side effect associated with stress.

Healthy Eating and Exercise

Even if you're not binging on cakes and candies, being stressed can make it more difficult for you to adhere to healthy eating habits or keep up your regular exercise. Rather than taking the time to prepare or even seek out a healthy meal, you might instead go for whatever is quickest and easiest. The combination of poor food choices and a decreased amount of exercise is an automatic recipe for gaining weight.

Watching Your Weight

If your stress is so severe that it's affecting your weight, a trip to the doctor might be in order. To help combat a stress-related weight gain, you can also pay attention to what you're eating, when and why. Determine if hunger or anxiety is driving you to eat and find another distraction, such as exercise, if it's the latter. Get rid of the fattening comfort foods and instead keep your kitchen and work desk stocked with healthy snacks. Regular exercise, adequate sleep and relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation can also help kick out the stress and keep off the pounds.

Does Eating Carbs Make You Sleepy?

Carbohydrates are manifest primarily in sugars, starches and fiber. These are found in a wide range of foods, including breads, pastries, fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.Your digestive system breaks down carbohydrates into sugars that subsequently enter your bloodstream as glucose, or blood sugar. Because all carbohydrates are not identical, nor are the bodies that receive them, you may experience sleepiness after eating them .


As a rule, glucose levels rise when carbohydrates are eaten. There are variables, however, that affect the tempo of blood sugar elevation and the body’s response to such an increase. A healthy body will release insulin hormone from the pancreas in order to open cells for the reception of glucose. The cells, in turn, convert the glucose to immediately usable energy or store it for future use. Excepted are your brain cells, which only use glucose upon receipt and possess no storage capacity. Certain carbohydrates consumed in large amounts will quickly enter the bloodstream, causing a spike in blood sugar and – consequently -- a flood of insulin. You cells then consume the glucose for storage, leaving little glucose on which brain cells can operate. Over time, this deficiency will result in brain fog and lethargy.


Eating sugary desserts or drinking sweetened beverages produces rises in glucose almost as quickly as injecting it directly into the veins. Because the form in which they enter the digestive tract is so close to glucose in composition, the digestive system takes little time to release sugars into the bloodstream. Eating candy or drinking soda in significant quantity all but assures the massive insulin response that leads to sleepiness and diminished concentration. Under these circumstances, carbohydrates are the culprit.


Starches are less uniform in their ability to trigger a rapid insulin reaction. Potatoes, for instance, are reputed to have an accelerated carbohydrate-to-glucose conversion, as does white bread. Pasta takes a little longer to be broken down, particularly if it is of the whole-grain variety. Of course many starchy foods also contain fiber, which slows the entry of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. The glycemic index ranks foods by their glucose conversion velocity. It ranks some starchy vegetables and legumes – peas, beans, and carrots – lower on the scale than potatoes and corn. Higher glycemic numbers make fatigue a greater possibility.


Fiber is a complex carbohydrate which is invincible to digestion, thus passes through the digestive tract without being absorbed. It is abundant in plant foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains. In addition to being beneficial to your digestive system, fiber slows the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. It takes time for digestive enzymes to separate sugars and starches from the fiber, thereby keeping the rise in glucose gradual. Accordingly, the pancreas will not release a deluge of insulin, so symptoms of sleepiness and lack of focus will be minimized. Where orange juice might cause subsequent fatigue, a whole orange is less likely to do so, due to its high fiber content.

Feb 18, 2012

Why You Should Change Up Your Workout Routine Daily

If you would like to know whether you need to change up your workout routine, the simple answer is affirmative. However, in order to fully understand why you need to do so, you will have to find out about how your body reacts to exercise. Sticking to the same routine can be very convenient, but at some point, this routine may not give you any results, so you need to shake things up. Changing the workout routine can be a motivator and may make things more interesting for you.

Why You Should Change Up Your Workout Routine ?

Finding an exercise routine that you like doing and are able to do may take a lot of time and dedication, and you may think this routine will help you get rid of all your excess weight. In the beginning, you may notice that you're shedding pounds and the exercise routine pays off. However, after a few months, you may start to stagnate at the same weight, even if you do the same amount of exercise and you stick to your dietary restrictions. The reason for this is simple: with the repetition of the same type of workout, your body will get used to the exercise routine and will consume less energy.If you change up the exercise routine, your body will be continually challenged and it will burn more calories, resulting in a more successful weight loss. In addition, you can avoid repetition and boredom. Many people will quit their workout routine due to boredom or lack of results. The change can be made in the intensity of the workout or in the type of workout. You may also increase the time spent working out.

How Often to Change Up Your Workout Routine ?

Some experts believe that it can be helpful to change up your workout routine on a daily basis and perform a different type of workout each day. However, even if you change your routine once every two or four weeks, you may see better results than if you maintain your regular routine unaltered. Your body will have to work harder and you will also avoid repetitiveness.

How to Change Workout Routine ?

To change up your workout routine, you will need to get creative or talk to your trainer. For instance, if you're running, you will have to add a few sprints, change your route, choose steeper routes or make abrupt stops for some other types of exercise.If you work out in a gym, you can change the equipment you use. If you spend 30 minutes on a stationary bike, you can increase the intensity of the workout by adding speed, or you can spend 10 out of the 30 minutes on a treadmill.
You will have to challenge your body on a regular basis, so that it won't get used to the routine and get lazy, burning fewer and fewer calories.

The Importance of Having One Cheat Day When Dieting

Understanding the Cheat Day

It's important that you understand that despite the name of the term, you shouldn't spend an entire day once a week eating whatever you please. Instead, you should designate one day (usually the weekend, when you're more likely to be out and about) during which you will cheat on your diet one time. This can include the main course of a meal or the addition of a dessert--but probably shouldn't include both, unless the dessert is a healthy one. That means if pizza, hamburgers, bread, cake, cookies, ice cream or anything else has been banned from your diet, you can have one of them at one meal or snack time on the same day each week.

Less Likely to Cheat Uncontrollably

When you plan a cheat day on your diet once a week, you can look forward to rewarding yourself for your hard work. Every time you feel the temptation throughout the week to stray off of your diet, you'll be able to remind yourself that you will have that treat on your cheat day and you'll find the temptation less strong than if you'd told yourself you can never touch that unhealthy food again.
If you don't have any cheat day to look forward to, you can be in danger of binge eating. You could find yourself reaching for "just one" unhealthy snack and wind up spending days overeating and eating unhealthy food that's not on your diet. After you're done binging, you'll feel guilty and you may attempt unhealthy behaviors, such as starving yourself or crash dieting, both of which can be harmful to your health and fitness plan.

Increases Your Motivation to Stick to a Healthy Lifestyle

Knowing that you can still enjoy one of the unhealthy foods you love at some point each week will make the fact that you're on a diet less of a punishment or a chore and more about living a new, healthy lifestyle that can still be fun. Getting depressed or lacking motivation to stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan can cause you to stray off of your healthy lifestyle regimen. Even just taking one week off of your diet and exercise routine can undo a month's worth of work to lose weight and build endurance in your body. Rewarding yourself and not being so hard on yourself can help give you the focus and determination you need to succeed during the rest of the week.

Feb 17, 2012

Benefits of Cycling for a Healthy Fit Body

The Benefits of Cycling:

Cycling in a regular manner will give healthy benefits to many organs or systems of our body:
1. The circulatory and cardiovascular system – our heart is beating fast in order to pump blood in our body quickly, to supply oxygen to our muscles, it allows them to work properly. Our heart is pumping about 4 liters of blood in one minute, at rest. Our heart is also a muscle, if you exercise like cycling; our heart gets stronger and bigger like our biceps. A person who is taking part in a regular exercise activity can lower their risk of getting cardiovascular diseases than those people who do not exercise.

2. Our blood pressure – having a regular exercise or cycling activity do prevent people to have a higher BP or blood pressure. If you keep on getting higher BP, cycling will be able to lower it.

3. Cholesterol buildup prevention – with regular exercise, you’ll be able to improve the levels of the good cholesterol or High Density Lipoprotein in blood.

4. Our Brain – those who keeps on exercising in a regular manner tends to get low fats and good lipids profile. They’ve got less heart diseases and lesser risk of having stroke.

5. Our joints and muscles – daily exercises improve our muscle strengths, balance and coordination. Lessening the falls when you’re older, aiding joints mobility and its lubrication. Endurance of our muscles and results of tones in the working muscles including thighs and calves becomes prominent. An improvement in posture. It also helps the sufferers of arthritis, lessens pains and swelling in the joints, and increases flexibility.

6. The Skin – our skin is one the major body organs, also for excretion just like the urine in the urinary system. During cycling, the blood flow in our skin increase, removing our body’s heat and removes the waste through sweating.

Feb 16, 2012

The Benefits of Swimming

The Benefits of Swimming
(and other aquatic sports)

Swimming has long been considered one of the most “perfect” sports because of its low injury rate and the amazing benefits of swimming, regardless of one’s age or ability. While injuries do occur in the sport, they tend to be associated with the very highest levels of competition or are due to a swimmer not performing the strokes correctly. (All the more reason to get a professional trainer!)

Why is swimming better?

Buoyancy: Because people naturally float in the water, the impact on the joints is reduced dramatically, which means even someone with an injury that would normally prevent him from performing many land exercises may still be able to enjoy water sports without any problems.*

For example, I played soccer until high school and then I tore my ACL (ligament in the knee). I began swimming and in less than four years, I was a CIF champ! So even though I may never be comfortable running again, that didn’t stop me from achieving a very high level of competition in swimming.

Water Temperature: I don’t know a place where you can control the temperature of the air, but you CAN often control the temperature of the water. Therefore, if you are prone to heat stress, working out in colder water can be refreshing and rejuvenating. Whereas, working out in warmer water can stimulate blood circulation, promote healing of injuries, and relax muscles. Can your gym’s air do that?

Water Resistance: Unlike air, water is a constant source of resistance, and though aiding us through buoyancy, it still requires more work to move through than air. But the stress of the movement is shifted away from the weight-bearing joints to the actual muscles. This means any movements done in the water can be both aerobic and anaerobic (think lifting weights and running at the same time but without the stress on your body!) And because water resistance can be controlled by the participant’s level of intensity, workouts can be customized to meet the needs of any age or ability.

Eat According to Your Blood Type

3 Character Traits: Focused, leader, energetic
Your Diet: Type Os (considered the original blood type) are descendants from hunter-gatherers who relied mainly on animal protein to survive their strenuous lifestyles.
Your Personality: You’re known for your leadership skills, extroversion, energy and focus. You consider yourself responsible, decisive, organized, objective, rule-conscious and practical. (Probably because you are.) But if you ever cheat on your diet, stop exercising or slip into a negative mindset (even boredom), watch out. You become angry, hyperactive or even manic.
What to Eat: Eat lean beef, lamb, turkey, chicken or fish (like bass, cod, halibut, sole and rainbow trout), kelp, seafood and (in moderation) salt, which lowers your levels of iodine, giving you optimal thyroid function.
What to Avoid: You might have difficulty digesting dairy, eggs and gluten, and should avoid wheat germ and wheat products like bread. Beans and legumes should also be avoided when possible, since they mess with your digestion and can wear you out or make you retain fluids. Cruciferous veggies like cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and mustard greens should be nixed because they inhibit thyroid function.
Dinner Tonight: Lamb and asparagus stew, steamed broccoli and sweet potato, and mixed fruit like blueberries, kiwi, grapes and peaches.
Your Workout: It’s especially important for you to work out regularly to stay fit, and exercising will help regulate stomach problems and ulcers you may experience because of your O-ness. Which is fine, since your blood type thrives on physical exercise anyway. Get sweating with the treadmill, swimming, running, cycling and weight training.

3 Character Traits: Hardworking, responsible, calm
Your Diet: When hunter-gatherer Os started thinning out, our ancestors started relying on agriculture and expanding their diet to include a semi-vegetarian approach. Type As have the digestive enzymes and bacteria it takes to digest grains and plants that other blood types might have a rough time breaking down.
Your Personality: When everyone else is panicking, you keep it cool. You’re responsible, hardworking, detail oriented and extremely organized. But you also have a classic “type A” personality—stressed and conscientious, craving success and perfection. You're the most artistic of the blood types (and even a bit sensitive).
What to Eat: Fill your plate with fruits like berries, figs, plums, apples, avocados, pears and peaches. Choose veggies like broccoli, artichokes, carrots, greens and garlic. Fish and poultry should be limited since type As produce fewer meat-digesting enzymes, which is why they have such a hard time digesting red meat. To get protein, rely on plant protein from nuts (like nut butters), seeds, beans and soy. Since your body can easily break down and get optimal nutrition from grains, carbs and proteins, cereal, breads and pastas should be staples of your diet.
What to Avoid: To balance cortisol levels (you may have high levels, which can lead to OCD, disrupted sleep, muscle loss, fat gain and insulin resistance) limit sugar, caffeine and alcohol and don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Stressful elements like extreme weather conditions, loud noise, overwork and violent TV and movies should also be avoided.
Dinner Tonight: Tofu-pesto lasagna, broccoli and frozen yogurt.
Your Workout: Since you stress easily, try something calming like yoga.

3 Character Traits: Individualistic, relaxed, unconventional
Your Diet: Type Bs emerged when type Os moved to the Himalayas as nomads, domesticating animals and living on meat and dairy. Modern Bs should rely on lean red meat (like lamb, venison and beef) and fish, and choose turkey over chicken. Because of a sugar present in milk, Bs should work dairy like yogurt, cheese and milk into their diet each day.
Your Personality: You throw yourself into projects you love, always sticking to your goal, even when it’s against the odds. Since you follow your own rules, you’re not the most cooperative of the blood types. And because you pay attention to your thoughts more than your feelings, you can sometimes come off as cold.
What to Eat: Fill up on leafy greens and vegetables, and fruits like bananas, grapes, plums and pineapple.
What to Avoid: Take it easy on grains and avoid corn, buckwheat, rye and wheat since they can alter your ability to metabolize. (Same goes for nuts and seeds, so avoid peanuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.)
Dinner Tonight: Broiled fish with roasted yams and rosemary, steamed vegetables and mixed fresh fruit.
Your Workout: Maintaining the mind/body balance is essential, so go for exercises that challenges both, like tennis, martial arts, cycling, hiking or golf.

3 Character Traits: Difficult to read, trustworthy, volatile
Your Diet: Type AB is the newest blood type and is the rarest, found in less than 5% of the population. Since ABers share traits with As and Bs, they’re able to digest a wide range of foods. However, they have type B’s adaption to meats, but A’s low stomach acid, which means meat often gets stored as fat. An AB's staples should be veggies, seafood and turkey. Red meat should be eaten sparingly. ABs, like Bs, thrive on dairy and can process eggs particularly efficiently.
Your Personality: You have traits from both ends of the spectrum, making you hard to pigeonhole. You are passionate in your convictions, but you also want to be liked by others and this can create conflicts. You don't mind doing favors or helping out, as long as its on your own conditions. You may have a special interest in art and metaphysics.
What to Eat: Weak immune system? Try a vegetable-rich diet with a variety of carbohydrates. Snack on fresh fruits like cherries, grapes, watermelon and figs. (But thanks to your alkaline stomach, you might have a hard time digesting acidic foods like oranges.) Certain kinds of seafood, like mahi-mahi, red snapper, salmon, sardines and tuna, are optimal.
What to Avoid: Enjoy carbs in moderation, but bypass corn and buckwheat, which are difficult for ABs to digest. Avoid all smoked and cured meats as well as chicken, veal, beef, pork or shellfish. Steer clear of caffeine and alcohol, especially when you’re stressed.
Dinner Tonight: Tofu omelet with stir-fried vegetables and mixed fruit salad.
Your Work Out: Since you pull from both sides of the spectrum, you need to keep balance in your workout regimen, which means a combo of calming activities (like yoga or tai chi) and more intense physical exercise (like running or biking.) Visualization and carving out time alone are important, too. If you’re going to be sitting a lot (say, at work all day), break it up with some exercise. It will keep you energized for the haul.

Feb 15, 2012

Top 5 Personal Trainer CLIENT Mistakes

5. Being Unprofessional
Just as some personal trainers are unprofessional (video example) being an unprofessional client can ruin your experience with a personal trainer.
There are many ways to be unprofessional besides the next 4 items on this list and many of them relate to attitude.
You are paying your hard earned money for a personal trainer because you want the best results from your fitness program.
If you are unprofessional and do not treat your personal training sessions and personal trainer the same way you would treat a doctor or dentist appointment your training sessions will not be worth what you paid.
You will most likely become friends with your personal trainer but make sure to draw the line of your behavior to a business never personal situation if you want to get the most out of your personal training sessions.
You most likely cannot afford to train with your personal trainer forever so keep it professional and force your trainer to be at the top of their game so you can get the results you want in the least possible time.
4. Not Listening
Personal trainers spend 90% of every training session barking out instructions and tips.While it impossible to follow every single instruction and remember every detail of every training session, the most important details of your exercises are bound to be repeated.Your personal trainer is not repeating the same thing over and over again just to exercise their vocal cords.Make an attempt to listen to your trainer as best as you can. If you wanted to workout with little direction and less results you would workout by yourself with 1000 distractions.Focus on your training session and what your personal trainer says and you will most likely get the best workout of your life for each progressive training session.
3. Flakiness, Constant Lateness, Cancellations
One of the reasons you purchased personal training sessions is to have a commitment which costs you money. If you do not approach your personal training sessions with a serious attitude you will waste your time and money with a personal trainer.
You may be a constantly late procrastinator in your daily life but you have approached a personal trainer for change.Do not continue your daily habits with your personal trainer. Never show up late, and make all of your scheduled sessions.
If you want to lose 20 pounds and schedule 3 training sessions per week make it your priority to make every session, and show up early to warm up as well.
Do not cancel appointments, show up late, or disappear from your personal trainer for extended periods of time.If you are the flakey, constantly late, cancelling client you will only be costing yourself money by needing more training sessions over a longer period of time to achieve your desired results.
2. No Additional Exercise
Personal training sessions will only get you so far. If you have lofty goals such as weight loss of over 10 pounds your time with a personal trainer is simply not enough.If you train 3 times per week with your personal trainer, there is 165 hours during the week in which you are not exercising.
Unless you do all your cardio with your personal trainer there is no way you burn enough calories to achieve your weight loss goals during training sessions alone.
If you are trying to gain muscle you may also need extra work outside your training sessions. Always ask your trainer what to do when you are not doing your training sessions.Just because you train with the best personal trainer in the world does not mean you can just sit on the couch and watch TV every day you do not have a training session.
1. Not Following a Nutrition Program
Even if you think you eat healthy there is a good chance you do not.
Your personal trainer may or may not give you some nutrition ideas or food menus from a nutrition program but it is your responsibility to make good diet choices throughout the days, weeks and months you are training.
Some say nutrition is 50% of reaching your goals while others say 75% or 90%.
The truth is, nutrition is 100% of reaching your goals. All the training in the world will not help you lose weight if you are eating 10,000 calories of fried foods a day.How much nutrition effects your goals depends on many factors. Try to remember your past successes and failures, ask your trainer for advice and constantly learn about the different properties of healthy food to have a goal driven nutrition program.If you want to get the most out of your hard earned money with a personal trainer, let your nutrition lead the way to fabulous results from your training sessions and help you and your trainer become a huge success.

Feb 14, 2012

Energy, Food and Exercise

The food an athlete eats before, during and after a workout is important for both comfort and performance during exercise. Energy foods including bars, drinks, gels and other easily digestible carbohydrates can help prevent the distracting symptoms of hunger during exercise and keep you from depleting your energy too quickly.
The major source of fuel for active muscles is carbohydrate which gets stored in the muscles as glycogen in the days before exercise. It takes time to completely fill glycogen stores, and what you eat after exercise can help or hinder this process. Eating the right foods at the right time after a workout is essential for recovery and being ready for the next workout.

What you eat before exercise often depends upon your unique needs and preferences, but should be designed according to the intensity, length and type of workout you plan to do.

When to Eat Before Exercise
Exercising on a full stomach is not ideal. Food that remains in your stomach during an event may cause stomach upset, nausea, and cramping. To make sure you have enough energy, yet reduce stomach discomfort, you should allow a meal to fully digest before the start of the event. This generally takes 1 to 4 hours, depending upon what and how much you've eaten. Everyone is a bit different, and you should experiment prior to workouts to determine what works best for you.

If you have an early morning race or workout, it's best to get up early enough to eat your pre-exercise meal. If not, you should try to eat or drink something easily digestible about 20 to 30 minutes before the event. The closer you are to the time of your event, the less you should eat. You can have a liquid meal closer to your event than a solid meal because your stomach digests liquids faster.

What to Eat Before Exercise
Because glucose is the preferred energy source for most exercise, a pre-exercise meal should include foods that are high in carbohydrates and easy to digest. This include foods such as pasta, fruits, breads, energy bars and drinks.
Eating before exercise is something only the athlete can determine based upon experience, but some general guidelines include eating a solid meal 4 hours before exercise, a snack or a high carbohydrate energy drink 2 to 3 hours before exercise, and fluid replacement 1 hour before exercise.

1 hour or less before competition

fresh fruit such as apples, watermelon, peaches, grapes, or oranges and/or
Energy gels
up to 1 1/2 cups of a sports drink.

2 to 3 hours before competition

fresh fruits
bread, bagels, pasta

3 to 4 hours before competition

fresh fruit
bread, bagels
pasta with tomato sauce
baked potatoes
energy bar
cereal with milk
toast/bread with a bit of peanut butter, lean meat, or cheese

Glucose (Sugar) and Exercise Performance
If you are an endurance athlete, evidence suggests that eating some sugar (glucose) 35 to 40 minutes before an event may provide energy when your other energy stores have dropped to low levels. However, you should experiment with such strategies before competition because some people do not perform well after a blood glucose spike.
Caffeine and Performance
Caffeine acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system. It had been thought to boost endurance by stimulating a greater use of fat for energy, and thereby reserving glycogen in the muscles. Research, however, doesn't seem to support that theory. When caffeine improves endurance, it does so by acting as a stimulant.

Caffeine can have serious side effects for some people. Those who are very sensitive to its effects may experience nausea, muscle tremors, and headaches. Too much caffeine is a diuretic, and can result in dehydration, which decreases performance.
Foods to Avoid Before Exercise
Foods with a lot of fat or fiber can be very difficult and slow to digest and remain in the stomach a long time. They also will pull blood into the stomach to aid in digestion, which can cause cramping and discomfort. Meats, doughnuts, fries, potato chips, and candy bars should be avoided in a pre-exercise meal.

Keep in mind that everyone is a bit different and what works for you may not work for you teammate or training partner. Factor in individual preferences and favorite foods, and an eating plan is a highly individualize thing.

Feb 11, 2012

Take A Healthy Lunch To Work

If you are a working male, then you know how difficult it can be to maintain a healthy diet, especially if you live on cafeteria, restaurant, or worse, convenience store food. A great way to resolve this issue is by packing a lunch for work.For most guys, brown-bagging it for lunch offers many an obstacle. Knowing what, when and how to prepare a meal might seem like a giant task, but with these tips, it'll be easy as pie, or a roast beef sandwich. Prepare yourself for a few recipes and pointers on packing it in for lunch and before you know it, your waist, and your woman, will be thanking you.

Brown bag lunches
To make your life as simple as possible, prepare your lunch the night before and store it in the refrigerator overnight. Most workplaces have refrigerators and microwaves available for employee use, so if yours has those convenient appliances, incorporate meals that can be reheated or need refrigeration.

As well, make meals that store conveniently, do not spoil quickly, retain their flavor when packed, and do not damage easily. Here are a few examples of the best types of meat, produce and bread for the job:

Smoked meat and other cold meats make for great and practical lunches.
Add fat-free Miracle Whip or other condiments to chunky seafood to give it some much-needed flavoring.
Many forget dried fruit. Even though they are high in sugar, they can still contain as much vitamins as raw fruit. They also don't squash as easily as some of their raw counterparts.
Pita bread and rolls can serve to make convenient sandwiches. You can easily fit ingredients in them without having everything fall out at the other end.
Since whole-wheat and white breads will likely get soggy when used to make a sandwich, your best bet would be to use rye bread or similar loafs instead.
Do not use too much mayonnaise or other moist condiments unless they are added to hold other foods together, like flaky tuna or crabmeat. Alone, such ingredients can make bread soggy.
Use disposable bags (brown bags) as much as possible. Nobody likes to lug around Tupperware all day, especially when it contained something that doesn't smell very inviting.
For salads, put the dressing in a separate container and add it when you're ready for lunch. Veggies soaked in dressing for too long lose their zest.
Wrap sandwiches individually in aluminum foil. Sandwiches can break apart if two or more of them are put together.
Add variety to your meals. Don't just bag a sandwich and a drink; incorporate all food groups . Bring a variety of raw vegetables like carrots and celery, some cheese, pickles, sandwiches, and salads.

Are you comparing yourself to others at the gym ?

With the exception of a handful of Olympians, there will always be someone faster, higher or stronger than most of us. But when it comes to the gym, many people expel a great deal of energy comparing themselves to the men and women around them.

At my gym, there’s a new member that is working hard to get into shape. Not a day passes where he doesn’t ask me how fast I run on the treadmill, or how much weight I’m able to do on a given exercise. He then pits my level of fitness against his own, and perhaps – to some extent – uses it as motivation.

But comparing yourself to others is a dangerous game that doesn’t always yield healthy results. Because of his age and health conditions, it’s unlikely that the aforementioned individual will be able to run at my 11.3 MPH treadmill pace. And if he tries – which he has – he’s likely to injure himself (though he hasn’t yet). Moreover, over time, the process can be physiologically defeating and take the wind out of any workout’s sails.

Comparing yourself to yourself, however, can be much more effective. When you hit the gym, it’s not about how much resistance or weight the man next to you is able to move – it’s about how much weight you are able to move relative to your own goals. What the people around you are doing is irrelevant – each of those individuals has a different health history, age, goals, etc. than you. What you are doing, on the other hand, is very relevant.

If you are looking to increase the amount of weight you bench press, for example, then your point of comparison is your last few chest workouts (and not the bodybuilder lifting next to you). If you’re looking to maintain muscle mass, then look no further than the mirror, your BMI and fitness history.

My point is this: Whatever your goals, use yourself (and not other people) as a reference point. It’s safer, healthier and far more effective.

Feb 10, 2012

Drinking Water while eating is a Big No No!

It's very common that people drink water between their meals but research has said that a small amount of liquid during meals should be okay but drinking a lot of water, juice, or soda can cause digestion problems. Drinking water and other fluids can cause dilution of stomach acids and digestive enzymes, making them less effective at breaking down food. Whenever possible, it is best to drink fluids before and two hours after meals as this helps uptake of nutrients and move bowels. Reducing the amount of salt and spices added to foods is helpful in reducing the need to drink fluids with meals.
Effects of Drinking water during meal:
Liquids taken during meals can dilute digestive enzymes and stomach acids and these are essential to break down the food and absorb nutrients. As it's harder to break down the food, the stomach may produce more acids, which could result in heartburn or acid reflux. This could possible put more pressure on the small intestines as well because the food is passed along from the stomach without being broken enough.
Drinking lots of water during meals can affect the insulin level in the blood. When people drink lots of water during meals, it's believed that it increases the blood sugar faster as if we eat high glycemic index food and it increases insulin secretory as well. The more insulin is released, the more fat it's likely to store in the body.
Why we want to drink water while eating: We must know the fact that we feel our mouth is just so darn dry while eating, that forces us to drink water. Our mouth gets dry due to:

*stressed while you eat as stress stops mouth secretions
*eating in a rush,
*not being aware while you are eating
*Secretory glands not functioning well due to drinking during meals

In case you can't avoid drinking during meals then:
*avoid cold drinks
*drink warm or hot teas
*avoid milk during meals

Correct method of eating for optimal health:
Chew your food properly until it gets liquid as tremendous burden is taken off of the stomach and intestines and also allows powerful digestive enzymes in saliva to thoroughly mix with food.Minimize drinking water and other fluids while eating.
Avoid physical exertion following meals.Eat with a grateful heart. Neurophysiologists have found that people who eat with a sense of gratitude for their food experience more efficient and complete digestion than those who eat while distracted by an external entity like TV.
So get ready for your next meal and place the glass of water away from you. Have a healthy food in a healthy manner.

Feb 8, 2012


Strengthen your lower back
As you will see below, strengthening your abdominal muscles is a key step in reducing your love handles. But whenever you work on your abs, you should also strengthen the muscles in your lower back to "balance" the strength in your torso and reduce the fat on your back.

Try this exercise: Lie on your stomach, lift your feet and knees off the floor and "flutter kick" your legs as if you were swimming. Do this for 15 seconds, then stop for 30 seconds. Repeat twice.

Cut sodium
Sodium -- which can be found in table salt, seasonings, soups, condiments, and many other prepared foods -- isn't just bad because it raises your risk of heart disease and stroke. It also leads to water retention, which can make problem areas like the gut and love handles seem even more prominent. Reduce your consumption of sodium-rich processed foods, and avoid adding salt to the foods you prepare yourself.

Create a "V" shape in your upper body
Although working on your abs is a must in the quest to eliminate love handles, you can also create the illusion of having a smaller midsection by bulking up your shoulders, pectoral muscles and biceps.There is a wide range of exercises you can perform for these different muscle groups, one of which is the lat pulldown. Sitting with your back flat against the seat, grasp the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. Pull the bar down to your chest, pause, and extend arms back to starting position. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

Drink water
You've probably heard it a million times before, and it's true: You should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Not only does it help reduce water retention caused by excess sodium, but water also helps the body metabolize stored fat into energy and suppresses the appetite. All these factors can help reduce your love handles.

Do crunches
Although increasing the amount of muscle in your abdominal region will help reduce the appearance of love handles, keep in mind that spot reduction doesn't work. You can do all the crunches in the world, but they'll most likely be useless if you don't do any cardiovascular exercise and eat properly, as mentioned below.
That being said, there are a number of exercises that target your oblique abs and love handles more specifically. Try elbow-to-knee crunches: Cross your left leg over your right leg and twist your torso, bringing your right elbow to your left knee. Do as many reps as you can. Repeat on the other side.

Reduce your alcohol intake
Although there is conflicting evidence as to whether or not alcohol causes weight gain, alcohol does contain a lot of "empty calories." And since men tend to deposit extra calories as fat in their bellies, drinking alcohol may contribute to those dreaded love handles. I'm not saying to pour all your beer and liquor down the sink, but drink alcohol in moderation if you're trying to lose weight, or try "light" or low-carb versions.

Do dumbbell side bends
Dumbbell side bends are another great exercise to target the muscles under your love handles. Standing up, hold one dumbbell at your side and slowly bend your torso sideways, letting the dumbbell descend toward the floor. Slowly straighten up to the starting position using the strength of your abdominal muscles. Do 15 reps on each side.

Cut calories
There are no two ways around it: To lose weight, you have to reduce the number of calories your body stores. Even if you work out like a psycho, you will still gain weight if the number of calories you consume is greater than the number you burn. Therefore, your diet is crucial in your quest to get rid of those wretched love handles. In a nutshell, you must consume fewer overall calories, as well as less fat and sugar, and increase your fiber intake.

Get into cardiovascular exercise
Once again, it comes down to burning calories so that they aren't stored as fat. Whether it's by hitting the treadmill at the gym, playing basketball with some buddies, walking to work, or even taking the stairs instead of the elevator, every little step counts. Of course, the amount of cardio you must do all depends on how bad those handles really are. If you have a lot of weight to lose, you should probably seriously consider that gym membership. If the problem is minor, some low-intensity exercise may be sufficient.