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Mar 30, 2012

Health Benefits of Dates

Health benefits of dates are uncountable, as this fruit is affluent in natural fibres. Dates are even rich in several vitamins and minerals. These natural products contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium which are advantageous for health. It is said that consumption of one date daily is necessary for a balanced and healthy diet. Dates help in fighting constipation, intestinal disorders, weight gain, heart problems, sexual weakness, diarrhea and abdominal cancer.

Benefits of dates

Constipation: Date is termed to be a laxative food. This is the reason that dates are beneficial for people suffering from constipation. For getting the laxative effect from dates, you need to soak dates for one full night in water. You should consume these soaked dates in the morning like syrup to get their actual advantages.

Intestinal Disorders: The nicotinic content that is present in the dates is said to be beneficial for curing any kinds of intestinal disorders. Continuous intake of dates helps to maintain a check on the growth of the pathological organisms and thus, helps in the rise of friendly bacteria in the intestines.


Weight Gain: Dates are said to be a part of healthy diet. They consist of sugar, fats, proteins as well as many essential vitamins. If the dates are consumed with the paste of cucumber, one can easily come out from the problem of over-slimming. One kilogram of dates contains almost 3,000 calories. These calories alone are sufficient to meet the daily requirements of a human body.

Healthy Heart: Dates are quite helpful in maintaining your heart in a healthy condition. When soaked for a night and crushed in the morning and consumed, they prove to be quite advantageous for weak hearts. They help in fortifying the heart, if taken twice in a week.

Sexual Weakness: Dates are even beneficial for increasing sexual stamina in the human body. A handful of dates, when soaked in fresh goat's milk for the night and then grinded in the same milk with the mixture of cardamom powder and honey, becomes a very useful tonic for increasing sex endurance and sterility caused due to functional disorders.

Diarrhea: Ripe dates contain potassium. Potassium is beneficial for controlling diarrhea. They are easily digestible, which helps to cope up with the problems of diarrhea.

Intoxication: Dates are known as an excellent remedy for alcoholic intoxication. Dates provide quick relief in the case of alcoholic intoxication. They should be rubbed and soaked overnight for getting more nutritious values from them.

Abdominal Cancer: Dates are beneficial for curing abdominal cancer. They work as useful tonic for all age groups. They work as better as the medicines, and are natural and do not bear any side effects in the body. They can be easily digested and used for supplying extra and needed energy.

Benefits of Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is a favorable drink of Asia. The benefits of ginger tea are unlimited, and it is very difficult to consider all of them. Ginger, a well-known multipurpose spice used from a long period of time. It is a knotty stem of plant Zingiber officinale with many distinct properties. In Asia and Arabic traditions, ginger has its own history from the kitchen of spices to the world of medicines. Its blissful essence with tea made this combo unusual. Benefits of ginger tea are doubled up, due to the properties of both, ginger and tea. An extra tinge of lemon and mint turn ginger tea into mind-boggling flavor.

Ginger tea has an intrinsic ability to avoid vomiting and nausea during pregnancy. Gingerols of ginger is the reason which helps in preventing nausea and morning sickness. Benefits of ginger tea have been proved handy in cancer cure and many other non-curable chronic diseases. As the awareness for health and fitness is rising, people are getting attentive towards the hidden benefits of ginger tea. Ginger has a unique power of healing, and it is believed, due to the high contents of volatile oils present in ginger.
There is a vast list of the benefits of ginger tea. It works as antispasmodic, as well as antifungal and antibacterial. Benefits of ginger tea can never be over looked in the treatment of skin diseases, as psoriasis, bacterial infection, fungal infections etc. In cold and flu, intake of ginger tea is a must and one of the oldest treatments for fever. Ginger tea also serves as a blood thinner that avoids cardiac strokes and gives relief from all type of headaches. This tea tends to stop the formation of low category lipids and cholesterol, giving a light and relieved internal feel.

Benefits of ginger tea made it a part of some medications prescribed by physicians. According to the doctors it helps to maintain glucose level of the body especially in the case of Diabetes. If you are suffering from weak immunity and falling frequently ill, then Ginger tea is the best remedy for you. Benefits of ginger tea are not limited to the medicinal use; they extend up to the next level of a healthy drink. Ginger tea can be added to the morning breakfast or evening tea-break. Regular use of ginger tea helps in reducing weight and burns extra fat of the body.

Healthier Cooking Methods: Grilling versus Frying

Cooking methods have a significant impact on the quality of food you consume. Grilling and frying are two popular methods used to cook food. To grill foods, you place them on a wire grid placed under or above a dry heat source. The food is cooked by thermal radiation. It is also referred to as broiling or pan grilling.

Fried foods are usually dipped into a fryer or pan that contains very hot oil or fat. Foods may be deep fried or shallow fried. The high temperatures and high heat conductivity cooks the food. This yields attractive, crispy food with a great aroma. However, the quality of food drops considerably when fried. Many fried foods can be grilled as a healthier alternative.


Disadvantages of Frying

When foods are fried, they absorb a lot of fat. Even if the food was a low fat item, it ends up with a high fat content when fried. When consumed, it increases the blood cholesterol level. High cholesterol levels pose greater risks to health. Arteries get clogged over time. This prevents the smooth flow of blood and increases blood pressure. High cholesterol levels also increase the risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Higher calorie intake from fried foods results in weight gain. It becomes more difficult to manage a healthy weight program when fried foods are eaten regularly in the diet. Other foods, such as vegetables, loose much of their moisture and easily perishable vitamins when fried. This is because of the extremely high temperatures of the heated oil. Although fried food may be tasty with a great texture, it is harder to digest than grilled foods. This is because of the high amount of fat absorbed by the food as it cooks. Foods with a high fat content exert more pressure on the digestive system and organs. This contributes to disorders of the digestive tract. It also exacerbates conditions such as ulcers and gallstones. A healthier cooking alternative to frying is grilling.

Health Benefits of Grilling

Grilled meats have a reduced fat content. This is because the fat drips off as the food cooks. It results in healthier meals and makes it easier to manage a low fat diet. Grilled foods also have lower calorie content than fried foods. This helps in weight management and keeping fit. Reduced fat intake helps to lower bad cholesterol levels in the blood. Healthy cholesterol levels improve cardiovascular health. Various health conditions such as obesity, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes become a risk with fried foods.

When you grill your food, it helps to reduce the risk of such diseases. It also ensures that you get more value out of your food. This is because of the shorter cooking time involved when you grill. It results in minimal loss of moisture and vitamins from vegetables. This ensures that as much of the nutritional content is retained in the food when cooked.

Healthy cooking contributes to good health and overall wellbeing.

Mar 28, 2012

10 Ways to Stop Overeating While Watching TV

Snacking in front of the television is one of the more challenging habits to overcome for people who are dieting. Sometimes such a habit has been in place for years so it has become very strong – compelling, even and changing it seems incredibly difficult.


Below are 10 ways to start moving away from the rut of mindless night time eating:

1 – Re-position
Do you always sit in the same spot while watching TV? Move to another spot! Grab a pillow and lie on the floor, or move from the recliner to one side of the sofa. This will move you out of your customary routine so you don’t feel as tempted to munch mindlessly.

2 – Quiet cravings beforehand
Before you even sit down to watch television, sit in a quiet place for 10 minutes, breathing deeply and letting go of any tension and anxiety. This helps center you and make you less likely to eat for emotional reasons.

3 – Breathe deeply
Speaking of breathing deeply, you can continue doing so as you watch television. Do it especially if you start feeling tempted to eat and you aren’t hungry. Imagine breathing in peace and well-being, and expelling cravings with each exhale.

4 – Keep your hands busy
Take up an activity that you can perform while watching television like knitting, needlework, or even shuffling a deck of cards.

5 – Work out while you watch
Do sit ups, push ups, and march in place while you watch TV, and you won’t have time to feel restless and start craving food.

See: 10 Ways to Exercise While Watching TV

6 – Chew gum
Snacking and chewing gum are never done at the same time, so keep your jaws busy and a fresh minty flavor (or any flavor you choose) tickling your taste buds. (You can also brush your teeth before you begin watching TV if you don’t like gum.)

7 – Drink water
Sip on ice cold water while you watch TV – add a splash of lemon juice for a bit of flavor.

See: Water – The Drink of Choice for Any Diet

8 – Munch healthy
You can also make a small platter of crunchy, healthy vegetables to munch on while watching. Good choices are low-calorie options like celery and cucumbers. If you’d like to break the habit of eating in front of the TV altogether, eat a low-calorie snack right before you tune in to watch.

9 – Doodle
Grab a notepad and start doodling during commercial breaks. Draw funny little pictures of the scenes you are watching on TV, or draw caricatures of your favorite actors.

10 – Fidget
Fidgeting can also be helpful – just start shaking your foot or tapping your fingers and keep it going. Do this especially if you start feeling tempted to visit the kitchen – shake and tap to get rid of nervous tension.

7 Little Known Tips for Getting in Shape

1) Exercise Daily

What’s easier, exercising three times a week or seven? It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off or a month off.

2) Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

3) You Have a Set Point, Acknowledge It

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results. When you expect a plateau you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality you can avoid dietary crashes.

4) Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether your getting enough Omega 3′s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.


The basic nutritional advice seems to be:

*Eat unprocessed
*Eat more veggies
*Use meat as a side dish, not a main course

5) Watch Out for Travel

Don’t let a four day holiday interfere with your attempts to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first thirty to sixty days, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

6) Starting Slow is Better than Fast

If you are starting running, run less than you can to start. Lifting weights? Work with less weight than you could use. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when you are familiar with regular exercise.

7) People Can Lift OR Anchor

Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can be great motivational boosts and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals. My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

20 tips for fast fat loss

Cut out saturated fats
They do nothing for you, so avoid them completely. These are fats found in greasy foods, crisps, chocolates, pastry...

Reduce late carbs
Make it a strict rule not to have any of the following after 5 p.m.
Pasta
Potatoes
Rice
Bread
Fruit

Cut out junk/fast foods
Yes they are convenient but they contain nothing but rubbish. They are ladened full of saturated fat and unhealthy ingredients. Eat crap and your body will look like crap. Why do you think so many people have such deep-rooted fat like cellulite? Stay away from junk food. If you see a fast food place, avoid it. Go to a sandwich shop instead and get a sandwich.

Eat only when hungry
This is really important. Why on earth are we eating constantly? When was the last time you let your body experience that hungry feeling? There is nothing wrong with having an empty stomach for a few hours. Get used to it. Eat only when you feel hungry.

Eat smaller meals
Don't eat what is put on your plate for you. Fill the plate up only as much as you can eat without stuffing yourself. Eat more frequently but eat smaller portions. This is a good way of speeding your metabolism up.

Drink water
Yes you have heard it a million times. What do you think shifts the fat out of your body? Drink water throughout the day, every day. You must drink at least 2-3 litres a day, more if you are sweating or trying to lose fat.

Make CV a integral part of your every day life
Try and do 45+ minutes, 3-4 times a week on either the stationary bike, rower, stepper or go out fast walking. CV is the only guaranteed way of getting rid of the fat which you already posses.

Stay in your Target Heart Range
The mistake many people make is to do CV but not stay in their Target Heart Range (THR). This means that they do the exercise but fat reserves are not used for fuelling their workout. By ensuring that you stay in your THR, you will burn more fat. The THR is where you are not gasping for breath but you are also not finding the exercise too easy; it is a happy medium. This is why fast walking is better than walking and better than jogging for fat burning; it is a happy medium and enables you to stay in your THR.

Eat fibre
It is amazing to see just how many people are constipated. Why? Fibre ensures a healthy intestinal tract, less toxins and less fat. Eating fibre reduces food passage time and can aid fat loss. If you are confused, then get a packet of prunes and have some during the day.


Drink green tea
The wonder drink for relaxation and fat loss. They drink it in the Orient and you can't deny that they are slimmer than most others.

Take EFAs
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are very good for your body. As well as being good for your skin, they also curb appetite just when you usually go for the cookie jar!

Don't lose muscle tissue
It is imperative that you don't lose any muscle tissue during your fat-loss phase. The more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn. Make sure you keep an eye out on your body and that you are not losing any muscles.

Shop only on a full stomach
The classic mistake people make is to go shopping on an empty stomach. All that happens is you end up buying sugary foods to satisfy your hunger. Always always go shopping after you have eaten.

Get more active
Caroline PearceEvery little bit helps. Stay active. Use the stairs instead of the lift. Walk to the station instead of driving. Go out during your breaks. Make sure you are using calories at every available opportunity. Remember, winning starts with beginning.

Drink caffeine
Caffeine is without a doubt a good fatburner. A cup of coffee in the morning followed by a cup of grapefruit juice (yeah it sounds disgusting!) can be a very good start to your fat-burning day.

Don't get stressed - relax!
People who are too desperate to lose fat, usually put their progress back. Stress means the release of cortisol which destroys muscle and stores fat! So don't get stressed and try to find ways of relaxing.

Lose the "fat" not "weight"!
Don't get obsessed with the scales. How much you "weigh" is not the issue here. Your weight consists of fat, muscle, bones etc. It is how much "fat" you have which is important. Throw your scales out and make sure the mirror is your guide. How much you "weight" has NOTHING to do with how much fat you have.

Do weight training
Weight training builds muscle tissue. Muscle tissue ensures a steady fat-burning furnace is operating in your body. Don't neglect bodyparts like the legs, which can burn a great deal of body fat.

Use supplements
Supplements can without a doubt assist you to lose more fat quickly. They are not miracle pills but in the right environment, they can be extremely beneficial, especially if you are in a hurry.

Be persistent
Fat doesn't appear overnight and it most certainly doesn't disappear overnight. Be persistent and stick to it. The body is not a mystery. Start, stick to it and you will succeed.

Mar 26, 2012

How Starving Yourself Can Actually Make You Fat

When you’re bombarded with images of gorgeous celebrities who seem to have easy ways to lose weight in the time it takes them to eat a poppy seed muffin, it’s no wonder you’re tempted to cut your already low kilojoule intake in an effort to shift those extra kilos. When you’re feeling frustrated and desperate to lose weight, it is easy to be attracted to FAD diets and programs that promise magical, rapid and easy weight loss.
It is true that in order to lose weight you should take in (eat) less kilojoules than you expend*. But (and this is a very important but) taking in too little kilojoules will trigger your in-built blue print for survival and send you into starvation mode. So rather than helping you to reach your target weight more quickly, severely restricting kilojoules (as most FAD diets do) will prevent your body from burning unwanted fat stores and will slow down (or worse, STOP) your weight loss.
Ever wondered what’s inside a camels hump? It is not water as is commonly believed. It is fat – stored fat. Camels store fat because they don’t know how long they’re going to go between meals. When you starve yourself by going on a diet or not eating when you are hungry, your body has the ability to do the same thing. Store fat!

By not eating, your body will assume that you’re going through some sort of famine and will become super efficient at storing every morsel of fat from your next meal and not letting go of your body fat stores just in case the ‘famine’ goes on.
In addition, consistently over riding your body’s natural call for food alters your metabolism. Your metabolism will slow down so that it can conserve energy. You may also experience rapid weight regain after the famine aka diet is over – this is a normal reaction of the human body to replace lost weight as fast as possible when it’s been exposed to a period of deprivation.
Cutting your energy intake too much and losing weight too quickly, can have the following side effects and consequences:

- Prolonged hunger
- Depression and irritability
- Fatigue and fainting
- Loss of muscle
- Constipation, due to lack of fibre-intake
- Lowered metabolism, if food intake is inadequate to the level of exercise, causing future attempts at weight loss to become more difficult
- Dysfunctional eating behaviours
- Subsequent weight re-gain

So what’s the sensible alternative?

No magic fix … it’s much more sensible to use a balanced, low-fat diet that still contains sufficient energy consumed from a variety of food groups and you’ll still reap the following benefits:
• Desired weight loss that is slow and steady so more like to stay off!
• Plenty of energy for your daily routine and hopefully some exercise
• Emotionally stable and not depressed
• Less likely to regain all the weight you’ve lost
* An energy deficit of 1000-2000 kilojoules (500 calories) per day, can result in a 0.5 kilogram to 1 kilogram weight loss per week.

Proper Posture for Computer Use

For those of us whose job requires a large amount of computer work, effective ergonomics can be the key to keep our bodies healthy and pain-free. While posture plays a large role in how the body feels after a long day at the office, placing equipment and seating at the proper angles can help us naturally align in a more efficient and beneficial way for maximum comfort and stamina at the workplace.




CLICK THE PHOTO TO ENLARGE



Posture & Positioning

The first step to better posture at a desk is to adjust your chair to the right height for computer work. (If you work at a standing workstation, skip directly to the next step.) Your feet should be flat on the floor, your thighs parallel to the ground, knees forming a 90 degree angle.

Next, arrange your computer. Your eyes should be level with the top of your monitor. Tilt the monitor at an angle of approximately 15 degrees for an optimal neck position that will not strain your spine. For the sake of your eyes, be sure that you are sitting far enough from the screen so that there is at least 20 inches of space between your face and the monitor.

Pull the keyboard tray out towards you, level with the height of your elbows when your arms hang loose at your side. In order to protect your elbows and shoulders, make certain never to reach forward to type. Maintain a right angle in the elbow joint. (If your desk does not have a separate keyboard tray, raise your chair and place feet flat on a small footrest or stool to maintain the joint angles described in Step 1.)

For Your Back...

If you are prone to lower back pain, you may find that a firm cushion placed in the small of the back gives you the support you need.
Try placing a wedge-shaped block under your feet to tilt your toes slightly upwards.


For Your Wrists...

When using the mouse, move from the shoulder rather than the wrist.
Avoid wrist pads that create a bend in the wrist.
Keep wrists flat, forearms stiff and parallel to the floor.
Use reinforced wrist braces if you have need.

Use of Movement

Remember to take breaks to get moving. Instead of going straight from sitting at your desk to sitting in the break room, or in an armchair when you get home, take time to stretch your limbs, rotating each joint slowly, several times in both directions. Do not ignore your sore spots, but rather, pay special attention to them. Over all, be gracious to your body. Preventing an injury is far easier than healing after one.

Mar 19, 2012

Tips for Happiness in Daily Life

Here are a few tips for increasing happiness in daily life:

1) Endeavor to change the way you look at things. Always look at the bright side. The mind may drag you to think about negativity and difficulties. Don't let it. Look at the good and positive side of every situation.

2) Think of solutions, not problems.

3) Listen to relaxing, uplifting music.

4) Watch funny comedies that make you laugh.

5) Each day, devote some time to reading a few pages of an inspiring book or article.

6) Watch your thoughts. Whenever you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, start thinking of pleasant things.

7) Always look at what you have done and not at what you haven't.

Sometimes you may begin the day with the desire to accomplish several objectives. At the end of the day you might feel frustrated and unhappy, because you haven't been able to do all of those things.

Look at what you have done, not at what you have not been able to do. You may have accomplished a lot during the day, and yet you let yourself become frustrated, because of some small things that you did not accomplish. You have spent all day successfully carrying out many plans, and instead of feeling happy and satisfied, you look at what was not accomplished and feel unhappy. It is unfair toward yourself.

8) Each day do something good for yourself. It can be something small, such buying a book, eating something you love, watching you favorite program on TV, going to a movie, or just having a stroll on the beach.

9) Each day do at least one act to make others happy. This can be a kind word, helping your colleagues, stopping your car at the crossroad to let people cross, giving your seat in a bus to someone else, or giving a small present to someone you love. The possibilities are infinite. When you make someone happy, you become happy, and then people try to make you happy.

10) Always expect happiness.

11) Do not envy people who are happy. On the contrary, be happy for their happiness.

12) Associate with happy people, and try to learn from them to be happy. Remember, happiness is contagious.

13) Do your best to stay detached, when things do not proceed as intended and desired. Detachment will help you stay calm and control your moods and reactions. Detachment is not indifference. It is the acceptance of the good and the bad and staying balanced. Detachment has much to do with inner peace, and inner peace is conductive to happiness.

14) Smile more often.

15) Praying and having faith is your ultimate happiness ( Inner happiness is the most fulfilling ) my all time favorite .

50 Healthiest Snacks

Snacks can be a dieter's best friend, if you choose the right ones. The list below offers 50 between-meal bites that will help you stay slim and satisfied. Those marked with an * contain a protein, fiber, calcium or antioxidants to keep your body at its best. The rest will help fend off a craving without a lot of added fat, sugar or calories. No matter what you choose, you'll lose (weight, that is).

Sate a salt craving

23 almonds (162 calories)*
This is our top savory super snack because it offers fiber, heart-healthy fats and vitamin E, which may help your body bounce back post-workout. The nuts also pack alpha-linolenic acid, which revs your body's fat-burning ability.
5 olives (any kind) (45 calories)
1 small Martin's pretzel (50 calories)
2 oz Applegate Honey and Maple Turkey Breast wrapped around 2 bread-and-butter pickles (80 calories)*
1/4 cup hummus, 3 carrot sticks (80 calories)*
1 Wasa Multigrain Crispbread topped with 1 tbsp avocado and 1 tbsp hummus (80 calories)*
6 steamed medium asparagus spears topped with 1 tablespoon toasted almond slivers (80 calories)*
1/3 cup 1/2-inch-thick potato slices tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of finely chopped rosemary, baked at 450 for 30 minutes (80 calories)*
1/4 cup black beans combined with 1 tbsp salsa, 1 tbsp cottage cheese and 1/2 tbsp guacamole; savor with 4 celery stalks (80 calories)*
1/4 cup 1/4-inch-thick cucumber slices, tossed with 3 oz nonfat plain yogurt, 2 tsp chopped cashews, 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp finely chopped fresh dill (80 calories)*
1/2 slice whole-wheat toast brushed with 1/2 tsp olive oil, topped with 1 tbsp Greek yogurt and a mixture of 3 tbsp diced tomatoes with a pinch of chopped garlic and basil (80 calories)
1 Laughing Cow Light Swiss Original wedge, 3 pieces Kavli Crispy Thin (85 calories)*
One 1-oz package tuna jerky (90 calories)*
1 oz buffalo mozzarella, 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (94 calories)*
1 bag Baked! Cheetos 100 Calorie Mini Bites (100 calories)
15 Eden's Nori Maki Crackers rice crackers (110 calories)
1 cup unshelled edamame (120 calories)*
25 Eden's Vegetable Chips (140 calories)
1/4 cup Trader Joe's Chili con Queso, 18 baked tortilla chips (140 calories)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds in shell (143 calories)*
2 pieces (30 grams) prosciutto, 4 dried figs (154 calories)*
9 cashews (180 calories)*
1 Subway Turkey Breast Wrap (190 calories)*

Satisfy a sweet tooth

8 oz plain yogurt (110 calories, 0 g fat)*
This get-skinny staple is the ultimate sweet snack. The mix of carbs and protein in lowfat yogurt keep blood sugar level, stave off hunger and helps your body store less fat. Add fresh berries for flavor and a punch of antioxidants.
1 Fla-Vor-Ice Lite Sugar-Free (5 calories)
10 frozen grapes (20 calories)*
1 package Original Apple Nature Valley Fruit Crisps (50 calories)
10 strawberries rolled in confectioners' sugar (71 calories)*
1 packet O'Coco's Mocha cookies (90 calories)
1 Strawberry Froz Fruit bar (90 calories)*
1 Jelly Belly 100-calorie pack (100 calories)
One 100-calorie pack Trader Joe's Chocolate Graham Toucan Cookies (100 calories)
One 100-calorie Balance Bar (100 calories)*
2 Raspberry Newtons (100 calories)*
1 Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino bar (120 calories)
1 package Back to Nature Honey Graham Sticks (120 calories)
1/2 banana rolled in 1 tbsp frozen semisweet chocolate chips (123 calories)*
2 tbsp Better 'n Peanut Butter, 4 stalks celery (124 calories)*
1 bag Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop Butter Mini Bags topped with a spritz of butter spray and 1 tsp sugar (126 calories)*
1 candy apple with coconut shavings (130 calories)*
1/2 cup sliced pears with marshmallow cream topping (139 calories)*
24 Annie's Chocolate Chip Bunny Graham cookies (140 calories)
Half of a 1.08-oz container of M&M's Minis mixed with 1/3 cup lowfat granola (145 calories)
3/4 cup Cocoa Pebbles with 1/2 cup skim milk (157 calories)*
1 cup apple slices dipped in 2 tbsp caramel topping (160 calories)*
4 Entenmann's chocolate chip cookies (160 calories)
1 McDonald's Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait (160 calories)*
1 vanilla-almond shake: Blend 1/2 cup skim milk with 1/2 cup frozen yogurt and 1 drop almond extract (165 calories)*
3/4 cup warm apple sauce (165 calories)*
1 cup lowfat chocolate milk*

Mar 18, 2012

Workouts Designed For Kids

Childhood obesity is at an all-time high in America. Experts say the only way to help keep kids healthy and fit is to encourage them to do physical activity from the time they are small children.

The percentage of children and adolescents who are defined as overweight has nearly tripled since the early 1970s. One in five children in the United States is overweight. About 15 percent of children and adolescents ages 6 to 9 years are seriously overweight. And, over 10 percent of preschool children between ages 2 and 5 are overweight.it's up to the parents to help the children by being role models. She explains that as parents, we are our children's most important and valuable teachers. Keeping our kids fit starts with keeping ourselves fit.

4- to 6-Year-Olds: The Building Block Years

These are the building block years, when children are mastering basic movement skills such as catching, rolling, bouncing, kicking and tossing a ball, jumping, walking on a balance beam, running, pedaling a tricycle and hitting a ball with a bat. Skills learned during this time really lay the foundation for more complex activity and sports down the road. Lessig says the focus of physical activity should be fun, fun, and more fun because this age group really loves to engage their imagination in activity. So, emphasize movement as play.

T-Ball: The oversized bat and oversized ball is height adjustable and appropriate for three to nine year olds.

Fun Hop: The Fun Hop is suitable for 4 to 6-year-olds, who weigh up to 100 pounds. The Fun Hop is made of heavy-duty material and inflates over 53 inches in circumference so it can accommodate different sizes. The Fun Hop has a large handle for easy grip. The toy helps develop balance, muscle strength and trunk control.

7- to 9-Year-Olds: Building Complex Movements
The use of basic motor skills in this age group has already developed, and is put to use to build complex movements. For example, instead of just hitting a stationary ball with a bat, kids can now practice hitting the ball while it is moving in the air. This age group can play longer and harder, which means their fitness level can improve. Organized group or team play is encouraged, but not on a competitive level. Activities appropriate for this age group include: bike riding, roller skating, dancing, swimming, karate, hopscotch, basketball and gymnastics. Lessig says basketball really helps develop eye-hand-foot coordination, agility, muscular strength and cardio-respiratory endurance.

10- to 12-Year-Olds: Age Where Fitness Can Go Either Way
Parents be forewarned, this is the age group where often a decline in physical activity begins, according to Dr. Kenneth Cooper, author of "Kid Fitness" and founder of aerobics. If your child has not been so physically active up until now, it's time to really encourage it, Lessig says. If children do not incorporate exercise into their life now, chances are they will continue to be sedentary into adulthood. Team sports and group classes are recommended for this group. Strength training, dancing, step classes, basketball, soccer, baseball, wrestling, gymnastics, yoga, biking are all good choices.

Things to Keep in Mind As a Parent
Lessig says you are your child's best role model. Even if you are not a fitness fanatic or sports junkie, you can still make a difference in your child's life: designate family activity times through out the week (to swim, ride bikes, walk the dog together), show your support by attending your child's sporting games or dance lessons.

Kids who are pressured to compete in sports may develop a negative attitude toward fitness or injure themselves while trying to please others. Remember, physical exercise, no matter what form (sports or fitness), should always be enjoyable. Lessig recommends showing your child you are proud of him or her just for participating.

Sometimes it takes several tries before a child finds an activity that she is comfortable with ,be patient through this and always provide encouragement.

The best kinds of exercise for pregnancy

The benefits of exercise during pregnancy

Exercise does wonders during pregnancy. It boosts mood, improves sleep, and reduces pregnancy aches and pains. It also prepares you for childbirth by strengthening muscles and building endurance, and makes it much easier to get back in shape after your baby's born.

The ideal workout gets your heart pumping, keeps you limber, manages weight gain, and prepares your muscles without causing undue physical stress for you or the baby.

The following activities are usually safe for expectant moms, although some of them may not work for you during the last few months of your pregnancy. Make sure you consult your healthcare provider before embarking on any exercise regimen. And learn the 13 rules of safe pregnancy exercise!

Cardiovascular

Walking: One of the best cardiovascular exercises for pregnant women, walking keeps you fit without jarring your knees and ankles. It's also easy to do almost anywhere, doesn't require any equipment beyond a good pair of supportive shoes, and is safe throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

Swimming: Healthcare providers and fitness experts hail swimming as the best and safest exercise for pregnant women. Swimming is ideal because it exercises both large muscle groups (arms and legs), provides cardiovascular benefits, and allows expectant women to feel weightless despite the extra pounds of pregnancy.

Low-impact aerobics: One good thing about an aerobics class is that it's a consistent time slot when you know you'll get some exercise. And if you take a class for pregnant women, you'll enjoy the camaraderie of other moms-to-be and feel reassured that each movement is safe for you and your baby.

Dancing: You can get your heart pumping by dancing to your favorite tunes in the comfort of your own living room, with a DVD, or at a dance class, but steer clear of routines that call for leaps, jumps, or twirls.

How To Build Huge Guns

There are few things in bodybuilding that are as desirable as big muscular arms. In fact when most people pick up a dumbbell for the first time they try to perform some sort of bicep curl with it. And when people ask you to “flex your muscle” you automatically assume that they are asking to show them your bicep.

We all want big baseball biceps and horseshoe triceps. The kind of arms that will make you proud to wear a short sleeve shirt and show them off. But most people go about arm training the wrong way. A typical arm workout for most guys involves endless sets of curls, usually lifting way too heavy and swinging and cheating the weights up.

When training the major muscle groups like the legs, back, and chest I generally recommend that you constantly strive to increase your training poundages on a regular basis. After all a stronger muscle is a bigger muscle. However, with arm training constantly trying to up the weights can actually back fire. There is a big difference between adding 5 lbs. to a 400 lbs. deadlift and adding 5 lbs. to a 30 lbs. dumbbell curl.

With arm training you’ll make better gains over the long term if you focus on simply working the muscles, rather then moving maximum weights. Obviously, as your arms get bigger they will also get stronger and you’ll have to increase your weights accordingly, but don’t force it. You’ll know when it’s time to up the weights for your arm workouts.

Since your arms come into play with so many other bodypart workouts (i.e. biceps are worked with all rowing exercises and triceps are worked with all pressing exercises). You’ll only need to devote one training day per week to direct arm work.

One of the most effective workouts for building muscle in the arms is using a training technique called “Positions of Flexion”. Which basically means training each muscle group through it’s full range of motion; starting with a compound mid-range exercise, then moving on to an exercise that works the muscle in the completely stretched position, and then finishing with an exercise that works the muscle in the fully contracted position.

IronMan Magazine writer Steve Holman has written a lot about “Positions of Flexion” workouts, but the concept is certainly not new. In fact if you watch the movie Pumping Iron you can see that Arnold used this style of training for his workouts, and his arm development was simply incredible, even by today’s standards.

To give you an example, here is a typical bicep workout that Arnold used to do:


Barbell Curls
(this is a mid-range exercise as most of the tension is on the biceps in the middle of the rep)

Incline Dumbbell Curls
(this is a stretched position exercise as most of the tension is on the biceps at the bottom or fully stretched position)

Concentration Curls
(this is a peak contraction exercise as most of the tension is on the biceps at the top of the rep when the biceps are fully contracted)

Lately I’ve been focusing my own workouts around the “Positions Of Flexion” concept and the results have been awesome, I’ve gotten the most intense muscle pumps that I’ve felt in years. In the past I usually just focused most of my efforts around the big basic compound mid-range exercises, but by incorporating fully stretched movements and fully contracted movements I can tell that I’m working muscle fibers that are not getting touched with just basic compound lifts. POF training utilizes the best of both compound and isolation exercises to work the muscles through a complete range of motion .

Mar 17, 2012

Core Strength Training

The muscles of the trunk and torso act to stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle. From this solid, balanced base the limbs can be moved powerfully and under control. In fact before rapid movements of the extremities can take place, the central nervous system stabilizes the spine in anticipation (1). The rate at which the core muscles stabilize the spine may have a direct effect on the power of limb.
Core strength training differs from many traditional weight training routines by working both the lower back and abdominals in unison. The same is true for the upper and lower body. All athletic movements incorporate the core in some way. Instead the whole body works as a unit and core strength training endeavours to replicate this.

What are the benefits of core strength training to the athlete?

1 Greater efficiency of movement
2 Improved body control and balance
3 Increased power output from both the core musculature and peripheral muscles
4 Reduced risk of injury
5 Improved balance and stability
6 Improved athletic performance!




Core Strength Training For Reducing Back Problems & Injuries

Weak or poorly controlled core muscles have been associated with low back pain . The back muscles are responsible for movements such as extension and flexion of the spine and rotation of the trunk.

Excessive or uneven shock on the spine may lead to back problems. This may be exaggerated because weak core muscles lead to improper positioning or a forward tilt. In many exercises that use the back muscles, the abdominal muscles contract isometrically stabilizing the body.

The stronger and more correctly balanced the core muscles are, the less the uneven strain on the spine.
Core Strength Training To Get a Six Pack

If you've visited the abdominal training section of the site, you'll already appreciate that getting those wash board abs requires a different approach than simply crunching out lots of sit ups. Also remember that core strength training is NOT about focusing purely on your abs.

If you want a six pack, then yes, core strength exercises should predominate in your routine. Not because they blast your ab muscles, they don't. But they will help you to reduce your body fat stores and increase the muscularity of your rectus abdominus and they will give you the most returns for your efforts.

You will still need to focus on your diet and it won't do any harm adding a few ab-specific exercises like crunches and leg raises within your sessions.

What will strength training do for you?


Strength training is one of the best ways to… build muscle, lose fat and build insane strength. Strength training is the main form of weight training for athletes, especially those in sports like football, wrestling, track, gymnastics and power lifting (any physical sport really…).

Unlike most bodybuilding routines that you’ll find in fitness magazines, strength training is actually very useful for improving physical performance in sports. Getting stronger is one of the best ways to improve your performance in nearly every sport.


If you’re a guy, strength training will help you…


get bigger, more defined muscles
see significant gains in strength (improves athletic performance)
boost your metabolism and help you burn fat
produce more testosterone in your body

If you’re a woman, strength training will help you…

get a tight, toned fitness look through your arms, thighs, butt and stomach
make you stronger, and give you more energy
stay lean ( You will NOT, I repeat NOT get big and bulky)

Part 2 – What is Strength Training?

Strength training is about working your body’s large muscle groups in natural movements (squats, deadlifts, bench press etc..) that result not only in an improved physique, but also a noticeable increase of strength and improved athletic ability.

Many weightlifting programs are designed specifically to make your body look better, while neglecting the function behind the form. While this is better than sitting on the couch, you aren’t getting the full benefits of your workout. The majority of these programs use exercises that are totally useless outside of the gym (wrist curls, calf raises etc…), and do not translate into athletics or real world activities.

Most guys who work out with traditional magazine workouts (high rep, lower weight) will see some results and start to feel good about themselves. They look better in the mirror, and think damn!…this is finally working! Then one day their neighbor’s car gets stuck in the snow and theny have to help her push it out… Or they need to hoist that overloaded box into the crawl space of their attic. This is when people finally realize their bloated three sets of ten reps muscles are utterly useless. They’re confused. They go to the gym six days per week. They follow everything they’ve read online and in the magazines, but despite their muscular appearance, they’re still weak.

Now what? Reality has kicked in… and the reality is they have form with no function. They have big muscles with no purpose behind them…

If this sounds like you, no need to panic. It’s actually good that you realize there’s a problem, and that you need to change your strength training workouts. Here’s what we’re gonna do to fix your workouts…


Simplify
Increase the weight, decrease the reps
Rest
Test your progress

Simplify

To build strength we aren’t going to go through the entire encyclopedia of exercises. We’re going to stick with five basic movements: squats, deadlifts, pull ups, shoulder presses and bench presses. That’s it. And dare I say that if these five lifts were the only lifts that you ever did, you would be just fine. Probably better than fine. It’s almost always better to keep things simple. Just remember that simple does not necessarily mean easy.

Increase and Decrease

To build strength, do two things: increase the weight of your lifts and decrease the repetitions. Do not do any more than five reps per set. In most cases, three repetitions will be ideal ( 3 reps for 5 sets is a good starter). Heavy sets of one rep on occasion are a good thing as well. If you’re using a load that you can lift more than five times in one set, you are not using enough weight to build strength. Put some damned plates on the bar, grit your teeth, and lift! Again, simple does not mean easy.

Rest

You should wait at least two minutes between sets when strength training. Waiting as much as five minutes between sets when doing heavy singles is not a bad thing. I typically rest 2-4 minutes between sets when strength training. Also, you may need to increase your rest periods as the workout progresses and fatigue creeps in. You may rest two minutes between your first and second set, and four minutes between your fifth and sixth set. Use a stop watch and log your rest periods as meticulously as you log your weights, sets, and reps.

Test

Find your one-rep max for each of the five listed exercises. And then test your max every four to 8 weeks thereafter (I find six week intervals to be ideal). You won’t know if you’re getting stronger unless you establish your max periodically. These “tests” let you know if your training is effective or if you need to make adjustments.

Lift a weight that requires all of your focus and determination at that moment. Keep your technique clean, be safe, lift with a spotter and also lift as heavy as possible within these parameters. Keep it simple. And when strength training, simple should not mean easy.

Mar 15, 2012

IS BROWN SUGAR BETTER THAN WHITE SUGAR?


Over-consumption of sugar has lead to a decrease in the quality of our lives because it is linked with tooth decay, overweight, obesity and some diet-related diseases. The sugar can be used in our beverages or present in sugar sweetened beverages and snacks. The realization of this fact has lead to an increasing shift in consumption from brown sugar to white sugar. This is because brown sugar is said to be more nutritious than its compatriot white sugar.

Brown sugar is a product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. Some brown sugar is made from an unrefined or partially refined sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content. Most brown sugar marketed is produced by the addition of molasses to ordinary refined white sugar. Brown sugar contains from 3.5% to 6.5% molasses. Brown sugar is naturally moist. The molasses usually used is that obtained from sugar cane, because the flavor is generally preferred over beet sugar molasses. Brown sugar can be made at home by mixing white granulated sugar with molasses, using one tablespoon of molasses for every cup of white sugar.

Because of its molasses content, brown sugar does contain certain minerals, most notably calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium (white sugar contains none of these). But since these minerals are present in only tiny amounts, there is no real health benefit to using brown sugar. Molasses contains microscopic amounts of many vitamins and minerals and the micronutrients present in molasses depends on the type of plant, season, rainfall, altitude of growth, fertilizers, hours of sunshine, soil, and so on.
Brown sugar has a slightly lower caloric value by weight than white sugar due to the presence of water. 100g of brown sugar contains 373 calories, as opposed to 396 calories in white sugar. However, brown sugar packs more densely than white sugar due to the smaller crystal size and may have more calories when measured by volume. One tablespoon of brown sugar has 48 calories against 45 calories for white sugar.

The real differences between the two are taste and the effects on baked goods. Brown sugar is only marginally different from white sugar – and they are both sweet nothings. The idea that brown and white sugars have big differences is a common nutrition myth. Sugar can be thought of as ‘empty calories’ as it does not provide any vitamins or minerals – only calories, which is why it is bad news for those of us watching our weight. At the end of the day, sugar is sugar, be it brown or white, and it is all going to end up contributing to an increase in weight if not ‘burnt’ off through exercise. Let us make conscious efforts to reduce our intake of all sugars whether brown or white.

5 Benefits Of Running In Sand

If your workout needs a makeover, take it to the shore to start reaping these 5 benefits of running in sand. Not only does it provide optimum strengthening of the lower leg muscles, but it’s also easier on your joints and burns more calories than running on pavement. Before you start any sand-running regimen, make sure you have good running shoes, and keep to the wet, firmly-packed sand near the shoreline, staying away from the shore’s slope to avoid injury. To keep your weight balanced and land mid-foot, experts and coaches suggest you shorten your stride and lean forward, lifting your knees and arms higher.

1 You’ll develop more strength in your lower body running on sand. Because of the sand shifts beneath you as you run, your ankles, arches, and calves are engaged and will become stronger. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research followed 51 young men for six weeks, comparing their physical development and performance on different surfaces. The increase in thigh circumference was similar in sand runners and road runners, but sand runners experience a significant increase in calf circumference. In this study, sand running resulted in the most physiological and performance changes in young men.

2 Running on sand burns more calories. A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology proved that people who ran or walked on sand burned between 1.2 and 1.8 times more calories per mile on each run. That’s between 20 and 80 extra calories per mile. It’s thought that because runners sink into the loose sand, they use more energy when covering the same distance.


3 You’ll become more coordinated and have better balance by running on sand regularly. The uneven surface of sand not only activates the muscles of your lower body, it also engages your upper body as you subconsciously – or sometimes consciously – struggle to maintain your balance. Your core abdominals, back and shoulders all get a workout as you move through the shifting terrain. Over time, this results in more strength and fluidity of motion, giving you better control over your body.


4 Running on sand is easier on your joints. Running on a softer surface gives joints and muscles a break from the pounding they take on asphalt or pavement. If you’ve ever seen a volleyball hit the sand, you know it doesn’t bounce, because sand absorbs nearly 100% of the impact. Every time your foot hits the sand, the impact force is minimal, so your body is subjected to less strain.


5 You can’t beat the view. Whether your run along the beach at sunset or you plan a midday run to catch the sunbathers in all their glory, running in sand provides you with scenery you just can’t get on a treadmill or a track. Besides – what’s more motivating than a bikini-clad babe to help you kick your workout into high gear get in shape?

Working Out Indoors Versus Outdoors

Whether walking on sunshine or hitting the treadmill, keep it up and expect to feel good. University of Exeter researchers took things a step further by examining the physical and mental effects of working out in natural environments as compared to indoors [3]. Studies on over 800 subjects were analyzed and ultimately suggested a greater decrease in tension and larger increase in energy after an outdoor workout. But the grass wasn’t always greener beyond gym walls, and the review also found that outdoor exercise decreases feelings of calmness. If fresh air is like nature’s energy drink, an outdoor workout before catching some shuteye might not be the best option.

Indeed, while outdoor exercise is a great way to get gym rats out of their cage, Mother Nature isn’t always nurturing. What’s hot and sweaty and red all over? A runner who forgot the sunscreen. When exercising in direct sunlight, it’s important to apply sweat resistant sunscreen in order to burn calories and not skin. Numerous environmental factors can also trigger respiratory problems like allergies and asthma, which, depending on the season, might turn that outdoor run into a pollen obstacle course.

The gym may also be a better option for social butterflies who like to work their muscles (while running their mouths). People generally experience higher levels of satisfaction and increased motivation when exercising in social spaces, often because they associate that latest, Greatist workout with their friends [4]. And for anyone who prefers a soft towel to dried bark, gyms usually take the edge on creature comforts.

Get the Best of Both Workouts – Your Action Plan

The best way to find a favorite workout environment is by trial (and perhaps a little error). Fortunately, some workouts combine the best of both. Many group fitness classes are heading outside, plus more and more gyms are offering safer alternatives to traditionally outdoor activities like rock climbing. As the line between indoor and outdoor exercise continues to blur, what’s becoming clear is that the where of the workout probably isn’t as important as the workout itself. Altering indoor and outdoor sessions is a great way to keep exercise exciting and, most importantly, fun.

Mar 14, 2012

Is fresh food better than canned food?

Question: Is fresh food better than canned food?
Studies show that canned foods are just as nutritional, if not more so, than fresh.

Answer: The current trend is pushing fresh, organic foods for nutrition and health, but truth be told, fresh vegetables are not necessarily more nutritious than canned. A 1997 study by the University of Illinois Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition found that canned fruits and vegetables provide as much dietary fiber and vitamins as the same corresponding fresh foods, and in some cases, even more. For example, canned pumpkin provides 540% of the Recommended Daily Intake of vitamin A, while fresh pumpkin only provides only 26%.

Fresh foods begin losing vitamins as soon as they are picked, and often sit in warehouses or in transit for as long as two weeks before they find their way into the market to sit even longer waiting to be purchased.


Fresh fruits and some vegetables are harvested before they are even ripe, and depend upon time .Canned foods are harvested at their peak of ripeness and normally cooked and processed from the source within hours, thus preserving more vitamins than their fresh counterparts.

Over 1,500 food products are available in a canned state, lending convenience and diversity to those with a busy lifestyle. The sodium content in commercially-canned foods has been significantly reduced, up to 40% over old canning methods.

Most canned foods are also now available in low-salt, no-salt, low-sugar, and no-sugar preparations for those with special dietary needs and/or those who want a more natural flavor.

What You Need to Know About Joining a Gym

Consider Your Needs
The most important factor in choosing the right gym is finding one that fits your goals. Why do you want to join? To lose weight? To tone up? To treat an injury or health condition?

Look for a facility that offers the most classes that meet your needs. For example, if you have arthritis, a facility offering water aerobics classes will be preferable over one that does not. Get a tour of the facilities and check out the array of equipment provided.

Ask These Questions
You'll want to ask some important questions as you choose a gym:

Are Trainers Qualified?
Unfortunately, there is no one association that sets qualifications for trainers in gyms in the United States. Some gyms, however, do require that their trainers achieve certification from the American College of Sports Medicine, the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world.

Ask if the staff is certified by this organization or a similar one. A gym with qualified staff is preferable over one that does not have requirements for its staff.

How Do Classes Work?
Are classes included in your monthly fee, or do you have to pay an additional fee for them once you join? Do you have to pay for them ahead of time (say, six months worth)? Does the gym offer one free class so you can find out if it's right for you?

Is it Clean?
While there are no nationally-recognized health codes specific to gyms, you'll want to check out the facilities for cleanliness.

Take a look at the equipment -- dust piled up beneath or around the exercise machines is a sure-fire sign of poor maintenance. Check out the lockers, showers, and changing areas to make sure they look properly attended-to.
Once you do join, protect yourself. Wipe down machines with antibacterial wipes before you use them (should be provided), and wear shower shoes in the locker room and shower.

What are Peak Times?
If you plan on using the facilities at approximately the same time each day, you may want to scope out the situation before you join. Is the parking lot packed at your desired gym time? Is there a line to use the treadmills? Joining a gym won't do you any good if, every time you go, you can't use the machines you need.



Ask the BBB
It doesn't hurt to check with your local Better Business Bureau to make sure there have been no complaints about the gym you are considering joining.

Read the Small Print
When you start looking around, you will find that you cannot use a gym's facilities without joining, and, therefore signing a membership contract.

Most gym contracts are nonrefundable. While a few exceptions can allow you to cancel a gym membership contract -- say, you move more than 25 miles away or your doctor confirms that you cannot exercise due to an injury -- the contract is a contract. Your membership will have to be paid whether you're using the facility or not.

Compare contracts, special offers, and limitations at different gyms in your area as they can vary greatly. Be sure to inquire about student, teacher, or senior citizen discounts if you fall into one of those categories. Also ask your employer or health insurance company if you're eligible for any gym benefits -- many are offering some help with gym memberships in the way of company discounts, stipends or partial refunds.
Be careful about signing a long-term contract. While paying in advance will probably get you a better rate, most experts agree it is preferable to pay month-to-month.

Mar 13, 2012

Characteristics of a good gym

As we all know that gym is of vital importance for bodybuilding. Just like a school is important for a child to learn and gain knowledge, similarly gym is a school for bodybuilders where they learn, practice and get results. Just like parents pay utmost attention for better selection of school for their children, you guys should also pay attention to select best gym for you. In this article, I will tell you which important things you must consider before selecting a gym for you. Just read below:



1- Professional environment: Exercise and bodybuilding is all about professionalism. If you think that you can get results without being serious with it, then you are totally wrong. You need to take exercise professionally and that is the only way to get best results. So first thing you should look at is whether the gym environment is professional? By professional environment I mean that do you see serious and professional people around you? Do you feel that gym management is serious or just trying to make money? Good gyms have professional environment and one can feel and see it easily.




2- Good quality equipment: Next you must focus on is that whether the equipment available is of good quality? By good quality I mean that you must see that modern equipment is available in the gym which is properly maintained and clean. Cleanliness is very important because otherwise equipment becomes rusty and can cause infections.

3- Good quality instructors: You must not forget to take into consideration that qualified instructors are available who are serious with their profession. Instructor is just like a teacher at school and quality of teacher very much determines the quality of the student. Make sure that there are qualified instructors and also that they are 4-5 in number so that they can pay attention to their students. Obviously the number of instructors depends on the size of the gym but normally for a middle level gym, 4-5 instructors should be available who can give proper time and attention to their bodybuilders.

4- General cleanliness: You must not forget to see that gym has a clean and healthy environment. Cleanliness is indirectly very important because if you are exercising in an unhealthy and ill-cleaned environment, chance of getting sick are high which may lead to poor bodybuilding results. So make sure that you get a clean environment around you.

Mar 12, 2012

Proper Breathing While Exercising

Breathing is a very valuable and often overlooked function of the human body. When you inhale, you take in oxygen, which gets transported through blood cells. When you exhale, you get rid of toxins and gases such as carbon dioxide. Proper breathing during exercise is of utmost importance because it helps oxygenate hard-working muscles and supplies them with nutrient-rich blood.
Step 1

Use proper form while lifting weights, then incorporate a proper breathing pattern with it. Use barbell curls as an example. Grab the bar in an underhand grip and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Your arms should be straight at this point, and your hands should be shoulder width apart on the bar. Curl the bar up and squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement. Lower it back down and repeat. Take a big, deep inhale before you curl the bar. Exhale as you are exerting force during the curling movement. Inhale for the whole duration of the lowering movement. Apply this same breathing technique to all weight lifting exercises. The key thing to remember is to breathe out when you are exerting force.
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Step 2

Master the art of low breathing during cardiovascular exercise. Start out at a low intensity for 5 minutes. Breathe in and out through your nose. Increase your intensity to your desired level and continue to breathe in and out through your nose. Keep your abdomen relaxed, take deep breaths and completely fill your stomach with air. Exhale slowly and retract your stomach back toward your spine. Continue this breathing pattern for the duration of your cardio session.
Step 3

Execute proper breathing while you do yoga poses. Use a downward facing dog as an example. Assume a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Walk your hands back as you lift your hips up in the air and push your weight back on your heels. Your body should be bent about 90 degrees. Hold the pose and take long, slow, diaphragmatic breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Fill your stomach with air and fully exhale before taking another breath.

Muscle Soreness

What is Muscle Soreness?

We all know what it feels it when we have overexerted our bodies – the result comes in the form of sore, stiff and tired muscles. If you have begun a new exercise routine, lifted a heavy box or gone for a long walk, it is only natural that you will experience muscle soreness. Muscle soreness frequently occurs when you have engaged in an unusual level of physical activity and your muscles are not use to the strain.

What Causes Muscle Soreness?

When you push yourself physically, fibers in the muscles tear and as a result the body’s defense mechanism sends fluid into these areas – causing swelling The swelling triggers the pain, stiffness and soreness you feel. The body, however, repairs the injured muscle and it grows back stronger.


Help for Muscle Soreness

Treatment generally varies for different types of muscle soreness. For normal, post-workout muscle soreness, discomfort may be reduced by stretching the muscles and taking anti-inflammatories such ibuprofen or applying a heat gel. Muscles that are overexerted or strained need rest until range of motion is achieved.

If pain is severe, anti-flammatories may also be taken for relief but it best to consult a doctor. For pulled or torn muscles, ice the affected area immediately and consult a doctor. It is very important that when muscle soreness is experienced, exercising and any other physical activity is stopped. By continually using the damaged muscles, the healing time is slowed down. Remember never to apply heat to the affected as it increases the blood flow and swelling.

Natural remedies are a another highly effective treatment option for soothing, relieving and promoting faster healing of sore muscles. Herbal and aromatherapy treatments successfully reduces the need for prescription painkillers and anti-inflammatories while at the same time benefits overall health and wellbeing.

Aromatherapy oils such as Peppermint, Ginger and Pine essential oils have a wide variety of therapeutic uses and are excellent for musculo-skeletal conditions. Herbal and homeopathic ingredients such as Arnica, Filipendula almari, Magnesium phosphoricum and Symphytum officinale have powerful anti-inflammatory and tissue healing properties.

LIFE IS OUR GREATEST TEACHER








LIFE IS THE MAIN EVENT , TRAIN HARD FOR IT
...

Mar 10, 2012

10 Reasons Yogurt is a Top Health Food

1. Yogurt is easier to digest than milk. Many people who cannot tolerate milk, either because of a protein allergy or lactose intolerance, can enjoy yogurt. The culturing process makes yogurt more digestible than milk. The live active cultures create lactase, the enzyme lactose-intolerant people lack, and another enzyme contained in some yogurts (beta-galactosidase) also helps improve lactose absorption in lactase-deficient persons. Bacterial enzymes created by the culturing process, partially digest the milk protein casein, making it easier to absorb and less allergenic.

2. Yogurt contributes to colon health. There's a medical truism that states: "You're only as healthy as your colon." When eating yogurt, you care for your colon in two ways. First, yogurt contains lactobacteria, intestines-friendly bacterial cultures that foster a healthy colon, and even lower the risk of colon cancer.
Secondly, yogurt is a rich source of calcium - a mineral that contributes to colon health and decreases the risk of colon cancer. Calcium discourages excess growth of the cells lining the colon, which can place a person at high risk for colon cancer. Calcium also binds cancer-producing bile acids and keeps them from irritating the colon wall.

3. Yogurt improves the bioavailability of other nutrients. Culturing of yogurt increases the absorption of calcium and B-vitamins. The lactic acid in the yogurt aids in the digestion of the milk calcium, making it easier to absorb.

4. Yogurt can boost immunity. Researchers who studied 68 people who ate two cups of live-culture yogurt daily for three months found that these persons produced higher levels of immunity boosting interferon. The bacterial cultures in yogurt have also been shown to stimulate infection-fighting white cells in the bloodstream. Some studies have shown yogurt cultures to contain a factor that has anti-tumor effects in experimental animals.

5. Yogurt aids healing after intestinal infections. Some viral and allergic gastrointestinal disorders injure the lining of the intestines, especially the cells that produce lactase. This results in temporary lactose malabsorption problems. This is why children often cannot tolerate milk for a month or two after an intestinal infection.

6. Yogurt can decrease yeast infections. Research has shown that eating eight ounces of yogurt that contains live and active cultures daily reduces the amount of yeast colonies in the vagina and decreases the incidence of vaginal yeast infections.

7. Yogurt is a rich source of calcium. An 8-ounce serving of most yogurts provides 450 mg. of calcium, one-half of a child's RDA and 30 to 40 percent of the adult RDA for calcium. Because the live-active cultures in yogurt increase the absorption of calcium, an 8-ounce serving of yogurt gets more calcium into the body than the same volume of milk can.

8. Yogurt is an excellent source of protein. Plain yogurt contains around ten to fourteen grams of protein per eight ounces, which amounts to twenty percent of the daily protein requirement for most persons. In fact, eight ounces of yogurt that contains live and active cultures, contains 20 percent more protein than the same volume of milk (10 grams versus 8 grams). Besides being a rich source of proteins, the culturing of the milk proteins during fermentation makes these proteins easier to digest. For this reason, the proteins in yogurt are often called "predigested."

9. Yogurt can lower cholesterol. There are a few studies that have shown that yogurt can reduce the blood cholesterol. This may be because the live cultures in yogurt can assimilate the cholesterol or because yogurt binds bile acids, (which has also been shown to lower cholesterol), or both.

10. Yogurt is a "grow food." Two nutritional properties of yogurt may help children with intestinal absorption problems grow: the easier digestibility of the proteins and the fact that the lactic acid in yogurt increases the absorption of minerals. And even most picky-eaters will eat yogurt in dips and smoothies and as a topping.