24
Jun 2015
Battle Ropin'

Also known as heavy ropes, this workout is likened to “running with the upper body” and while not a new workout method, is trending in gyms across the US for good reason.

 

Long used as a training tool for football players, mixed martial artists (MMA), and other athletes, battle ropes can provide a high-intensity, whole-body workout that gets your muscles moving in new ways.

 

Unlike the relatively static movement of lifting and lowering a barbell, using battle ropes is a dynamic, ever-changing form of movement that has the added benefit of showing you whether you’re doing the movements correctly.

 

The ropes can be whipped, slammed, or dragged, but among the most popular are undulating movements that cause the ropes to move in waves. A typical battle rope workout class might have teams of people competing to keep the waves going, or the ropes might be used as part of high-intensity circuit training.

 

Benefits of Battle Rope Training

 

Battle ropes are often thought of as a tool for your upper body, which they are. However, their benefits don’t end there. Battle rope workouts work the muscles in your abs, back, and glutes, and you can incorporate movements, such as jumps, lunges, and squats, that work your legs, too.

 

 

Research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research even found that a 10-minute bout of rope training resulted in high heart rates and energy expenditure that would increase cardiorespiratory fitness.

 

Battle Ropes 101: What You Need to Know

 

Battle ropes are a simple workout tool that virtually anyone can use, so don’t be intimidated if you’re just starting out. The ropes come in various lengths and widths, which will impact the intensity of your workout.

 

The longer and thicker the rope, the more force you’ll need to use to make the waves. The slack allowed in the rope will also determine intensity. The closer you move to the anchor point, the more resistance you’ll be creating.

 

Three popular ways to use the ropes follow, but don’t stop at these. Part of the allure of battle ropes is that they allow you to move in many directions. The more movements you incorporate (such as side to side, up and down, or in circles), the more you’ll work different muscles and increase your shoulder mobility and range of motion.

 

  • Waves: An alternating pattern with the primary direction of force toward the anchor.
  • Slam: An aggressive movement with the primary direction of force down toward the ground.
  • Whip: A symmetrical pattern with the primary direction of force toward the anchor.

 

There are two handgrips you can choose when working with battle ropes, either overhand (handshake) or underhand (microphone). The specific exercise and results desired will dictate which is best.

 

Battle Ropes Can Be a Form of High-Intensity Interval Training

 

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to be one of the best forms of exercise in terms of both effectiveness and efficiency. In fact, the evidence shows that by focusing on endurance-type exercises, such as jogging on a treadmill, you actually forgo many of the most profound benefits of exercise.

 

HIIT provides health benefits you simply cannot get from regular aerobics, such as a tremendous boost in human growth hormone (HGH), aka the “fitness hormone.” Perhaps best of all, HIIT requires only minutes, compared to hours, each week.

 

An HIIT workout using battle ropes might involve 30 seconds of the “double-whip” and “alternating whip” movements performed as intensely as you can followed by 60 seconds of recovery. The set would be repeated eight to 10 times and done two or three times a week.

 

When men and women engaged in this HIIT program for four weeks, they increased their VO2 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen you can take in while exercising and is used as a measure of cardiovascular health. It was noted that battle ropes HIIT shows potential to improve both aerobic and anaerobic parameters in just four weeks time.

 

Both the double wave and the alternating wave are beginner movements, so this is a simple and effective HIIT workout to start with if you’re new to battle ropes. Greatist posted two clear descriptions of how to perform each:

 

  • Double Wave: “To start, stand facing the anchor with feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp one end of the rope in each hand so that your palms face each other. Bend knees slightly, brace your core, and move both arms up and down rapidly, creating waves in the rope.”
  • Alternating Wave: “Stand facing the anchor point with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Grab one end of the rope in each hand so that your palms face in. Raise one arm to shoulder level and then quickly lower back to start, raising the other arm to shoulder level as you do so. Continue alternating as rapidly as possible without losing form.”

 

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22
Jun 2015
Who's your bestie?

While some people prefer to work out alone, studies show that having a partner to keep you accountable and motivate you will do wonders – as long as it’s the right person.

 

Searching for a workout buddy resembles searching for the very best pal. A person requires someone who are easy to deal and easy to work. This workout buddy can be a business partner, someone from work, a good buddy or someone who you’re intimate with. Obviously, it goes to say that this partner in exercising must be likewise thinking about shaping up, right?

 

When you look for a workout buddy, it is very important to know ahead that the person or persons in mind should have comparable health and wellness values. When somebody makes a wonderful companion, it doesn’t constantly follow that the individual will be a great company during exercises. Indeed, that person has to have all the potential to make the collaboration in workout effective. Hence, it is necessary to know the key qualities of a fabulous workout buddy. Below are what you must look for:

 

1. A dedicated person. Dedication is essential concerns with exercise. She must show exact same objective in exercise and have to know what the value of collaboration is. She must invest a genuine relationship and need to stay committed.

 

2. Somebody who likes challenges. Exercises can become dull– or they can become challenging physically and emotionally. However a workout buddy who takes these positively can be the beneficial partner you require. Such individual will be “game” to all form of workouts, whether it is tough as men’s workout if she enjoys challenges. As soon as a person has an obstacle enthusiast partner, they can find out new things, and they can broaden their horizon.

 

3. A daring spirit. With working out and setting forth to have a healthy life, one must like to try new things. A creative workout buddy adds fun and color in the exercises. Something that a person must examine when looking for a partner is the lover in trying brand-new things. When an individual and her partner try various things their exercise will certainly become more enticing and more amazing.

 

4. Reliability matters. The person who you share the dedication of fitness must be trustworthy. An energetic workout buddy must not make excuses why she cannot have an exercise with her partner unless there is a legitimate reason. When a person searches for a workout buddy, ensure that an individual can depend upon her.

 

5. Determination to share the obligation. A terrific exercise buddy must be serious about partnership’s goal. Instead of simply being accountable for himself or herself, that individual should also feel that sense of duty or responsibility for exactly what you must obtain. More so, that individual must know your roles as buddies.

 

6. Knows safety comes first. Discover a workout partner who appreciates your health, safety and health, not just during workout regimens but all else that includes being fit. This means understanding each of your limitations and knowing the best ways to manage emergency situations. As you would understand, not all forms, avenues and settings for workouts must be tried because they can cause injury. So make sure your partner understands about all these to keep each other away from injuries.

 

These are some of the attributes that need to be check when trying to find a workout buddy. Keep in mind that it is necessary to have a workout buddy so that a person will enjoy each time that she spent in a gym. Having a workout buddy offers motivation to strive hard to have a sexy body and become healthy in every way. An excellent workout buddy, shares bright concepts and pointers on how to end up being healthy.

 

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21
Jun 2015

So hungry!

Seems like a catch 22 – the more you workout, the hungrier you get! Click here for some nutritionist tips on how to manage those elevated hunger pangs.

 

If you’re exercising to lose weight, but insane hunger makes you eat more, the pounds may pile on instead of melt away. Talk about frustrating! To get a handle on your increased hunger, we’ve enlisted the expertise of two nutritionists — Stephanie Clarke, RD, and Willow Jarosh, RD, of C&J Nutrition.

 

“It’s important to have the internal dialogue conversation with yourself that, unless you’re training for something intense, you will be eating the same thing on days you work out versus days you don’t,” say Willow and Stephanie. This sets a mental precedent to avoid situations where you overeat and tell yourself that it’s OK because you worked out that day or that you’ll work it off later.

 

You can also control hunger by eating the right foods in order to feel more satisfied. They suggest filling your plate with foods that pack in a lot of volume for fewer calories. Think fruits, veggies, protein, and complex carbs like whole grains and legumes. Limit refined carbs like bread, cereal, crackers, and chips, since those are easy to mindlessly snack on and overeat. When it comes to protein, make sure you’re taking in at least 20 grams for breakfast, 30 grams for lunch and dinner, and five to 10 when snacking. Fiber is also essential since it adds bulk to your meals. Aim for six to eight grams per meal and at least three grams per snack to get your daily 25 to 30 grams. And don’t forget fats! Nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocado are also important since they can add to that full feeling, but use them sparingly since they’re especially high in calories per ounce. Including good-for-you foods like these will likely lead to eating less and feeling more satisfied overall.

 

If you’re the kind of person who wants to eat all day long, eating smaller meals more often throughout the day can also prevent you from feeling starved. Stephanie and Willow’s clients have also had success using hot tea as a way to have something to sip between meals and snacks that keeps them hydrated with some flavor to offer a certain level of satisfaction.

 
Another great tactic is to time workouts so they happen right before meals. That way you can sit down and enjoy an entire plate of food without feeling guilty. Just be sure to eat a littlepre-workout snack 30 to 60 minutes or so before your workout to avoid arriving at your post-workout meal completely famished, which will likely make you want to inhale two plates of food. Eat your meal slowly and drink it with water to fill you up. And remember to listen to your body’s “I’m full” signals, so you stop once you’re satisfied, not stuffed, even if that means leaving some food on your plate — just save it for your next meal!

 


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18
Jun 2015
Get don't wrecked by text-neck!

While phone technology can help us with our fitness routine, track our steps, or even pump us up during our workout – there is a now prevalent health-negative to look out for.

 

The human head weighs about a dozen pounds. But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds.

 

That’s the burden that comes with staring at a smartphone — the way millions do for hours every day, according to research published by Kenneth Hansraj in the National Library of Medicine. The study will appear next month inSurgical Technology International. Over time, researchers say, this poor posture, sometimes called “text neck,” can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even surgery.

 

“It is an epidemic or, at least, it’s very common,” Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, told The Washington Post. “Just look around you, everyone has their heads down.”

 

Can’t grasp the significance of 60 pounds? Imagine carrying an 8-year-old around your neck several hours per day. Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts or checking social media sites. That’s 700 to 1,400 hours per year people are putting stress on their spines, according to the research. And high-schoolers might be the worst. They could conceivably spend an additional 5,000 hours in this position, Hansraj said.

 

“The problem is really profound in young people,” he said. “With this excessive stress in the neck, we might start seeing young people needing spine care. I would really like to see parents showing more guidance.”

 

Medical experts have been warning people for years. Some say for every inch the head tilts forward, the pressure on the spine doubles.

 

Tom DiAngelis, president of the American Physical Therapy Association‘s Private Practice Section, told CNN last year the effect is similar to bending a finger all the way back and holding it there for about an hour.

 

“As you stretch the tissue for a long period of time, it gets sore, it gets inflamed,” he said. It can also cause muscle strain, pinched nerves, herniated disks and, over time, it can even remove the neck’s natural curve. It’s a risk for some 58 percent of American adults who own smartphones.

Michelle Collie, a doctor who heads Performance Physical Therapy in Rhode Island, told CNN last year she started seeing patients with mobile technology-induced head, neck and back pain some six or seven years ago.

Poor posture can cause other problems as well. Experts say it can reduce lung capacity by as much as 30 percent. It has also been linked to headaches and neurological issues, depression and heart disease.

“While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over,” according to the research.

 

Speaking to TODAY, Hansraj gave smartphone users tips to avoid pain:

 

  • Look down at your device with your eyes. No need to bend your neck.
  • Exercise: Move your head from left to right several times. Use your hands to provide resistance and push your head against them, first forward and then backward. Stand in a doorway with your arms extended and push your chest forward to strengthen “the muscles of good posture,” Hansraj said.

 

“I love technology. I’m not bashing technology in any way,” Hansraj told The Post. “My message is: Just be cognizant of where your head is in space. Continue to enjoy your smartphones and continue to enjoy this technology — just make sure your head is up.”

 

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16
Jun 2015
Get your run on!

Summer’s here, and it’s a great time to get out there and start up a run routine! Even if you’re an active person, there are few key points to keep in mind as you strap on those tenni’s for the 1st time.

 

it’s always great time to start running. It’s great exercise and can be a huge stress reliever. However, if you don’t start off right, your runs might be the opposite. The best way to start running, even for highly active people, is to start with a run/walk program. Starting off in this manner is highly beneficial because it allows you to exercise for longer than if you were to go out and only run (which helps increase your cardiovascular stamina). It also builds up your cardio without injury or discouragement, and allows your body, especially your joints, to acclimate.

 

As you begin your running program, use these tips to help you enjoy running — and make you want to stick with it:

 

Measure each run in minutes, not miles. The goal is to run/walk for at least 30 minutes, eventually building up to 30 minutes of continuous running. It might seem contrary to walk every three to seven minutes, but the goal is minutes, not miles. Determining your run/walk intervals isn’t an exact science, so you’ll need to experiment and figure out what works for you. If you’re off the couch, start slowly — an injury will only hamper your progress. Your run/walk intervals might be 1/3 (one minute running and three minutes walking). If you’re highly active, you might want to try five repeats of 5/2, or four repeats of 7/2 intervals. Start and finish each workout with a few minutes of fast walking.

 

Commit to a schedule. Commit to running three times a week. Don’t run two days in a row. Do at least two days of cross-training per week — cardio and strength/flexibility, and take one day off per week. Active recovery — think foam rolling and easy stretching — is OK.

 

Measure pace by effort. During your run intervals, you should be able to talk in a conversational tone. If you start to feel like you’re losing control of your breathing, slow down. Your walk intervals should be fast walking to keep your heart rate up.

 

Use technology to your advantage. We recommend buying a Gymboss because it alerts you via a beep or vibration when the interval is up. You can set it for up to 99 intervals and clip it to your shorts or pants. No need to monitor time or remember numbers. Use Map My Fitness to track your route.

 

Listen to your body. Monitor how your body feels throughout the run, and adjust the run minutes accordingly. If you start too fast or do too much, you’re more likely to injure yourself. You’ll feel sore when you first begin; that soreness should dissipate after a week or two. If pain continues, stop and see a doctor. After you’ve completed two weeks of run/walk intervals, start adding one to two minutes to your run intervals.

 

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14
Jun 2015
Change that diet!

How many times have you worked out to burn off that cheeseburger you ate for lunch? Turns out this isn’t the recipe for success!

 

Sure, you could eat whatever you wanted in high school and stay thin as a rail. But unfortunately you’re not 17 anymore, and even if you work out ’round the clock, you can’t transform your body if you constantly give in to cravings, high-fat foods and sweet treats. The truth is, flat abs are made in the kitchen, and no amount of cardio and crunches can sculpt a sleek physique if you maintain an unhealthy diet.

 

“Consume excess calories and you have to counterbalance them,” says Sara Haas, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “And it’s hard to get enough exercise in to undo the calories you’ll get in a double cheeseburger with French fries and a milk shake.”

 

Read on for reasons why aligning your nutrition plan with your exercise routine will help you get the body you want.

 

1. You’re not a professional athlete.


If you justify frequent fried chicken or pasta dinners with the Flywheel class or CrossFit WOD on your schedule the following morning, you might want to recalculate how many calories you’re actually burning in comparison to the ones you’re taking in. “The majority of people are not serious athletes, meaning they don’t require the same type and amount of fuel as the pros,” says Haas. “Eating a calorically dense, high-carbohydrate meal or snack makes sense for a competitive cyclist about to endure a 100-mile road race, but it doesn’t make sense for someone who is about to take a two-mile jog around the block.”

 

Instead, opt for a healthier form of chicken such as grilled or poached and save the spaghetti for a post-race meal. Yes, it’s OK to have a cheat meal here and there, but try not to make it a weekly or even bi-weekly thing. And don’t bother justifying it with an intense sweat session you may have had earlier — it’s called a cheat meal for a reason.

 

2. You won’t be able to hit your peak if you’re overdoing it with the wrong foods.


To effectively change your physique and stay toned requires intense exercise. You won’t have the physical endurance to push through tough workouts if your diet isn’t up to snuff. Yes, that unfortunately means that while Reese’s Pieces and soda may give you a sugar high that you mistake as energy, they won’t fuel you to PR on the bench or around the track. Also, if you’re consuming high-fat foods in the evening, they could be disrupting your sleep, according to Brazilian researchers — which will leave you too tired to go all out at the gym.

 

You’ll need a combination of carbohydrates and protein to recover following a workout, as well as adequate carbs beforehand, too. “They’re the preferred energy for the exercisers’ muscles and mind,” says Jennifer McDaniel, RDN, founder of McDaniel Nutrition Therapy in St. Louis and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

 

Watch out for taking in too much fat; that often translates to an abundance of calories as well, which quickly packs on as extra pounds. Another diet pitfall to avoid when training is extremely high amounts of carbs or fiber. “These could cause annoying digestive issues and prevent you from performing well,” says McDaniel. In general, aim to get about 30 percent of your diet from protein, 40 percent from carbs and 30 percent from fat.

 

3. You won’t have the energy to exercise if you’re not eating enough.


Keep in mind that a diet you might think is healthy — one that’s super-low in carbs or calories — is just as harmful to your workout plan as one that’s high in fat. A very restrictive eating plan, paired with hardcore exercise, could leave you leaning on muscle mass for energy, says McDaniel. Not getting enough fat (fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamins A and D, and essential fatty acids, like omega-3s, in particular), she adds, “leaves you unable to produce energy and grow muscle because it lowers your levels of hormones like insulin and testosterone — which are important for building lean-body mass.”

 

Additionally, maintaining a very restrictive diet for a prolonged period can lead to a reduction in muscle tissue and can decrease the ability of your skeletal muscles (the ones needed for lifting, walking and other forms of exercise) to perform well, found a study published in the journal Advances in Nutrition.

 

4. You won’t want to exercise.


Unhealthy food choices — whether you’re eating too much fat, too many calories or not enough of either–may make you feel slow and less driven to exercise. “Diet and exercise are a feedback loop,” says McDaniel. “When you eat well, you are motivated to move, and when you move, you are more motivated to eat better.” Consider, for instance, a low-carb, high-fat diet; it might not only weaken training adaptations and hinder performance, McDaniel adds, but can also lead to a ‘hangry’ mood. Translation: You’ll be less likely to want to get to the gym.

 

5. You won’t be able to tone your target areas.


Having a hard time sculpting a better butt or washboard abs? When you consume excess calories and can’t burn them all off solely from your workouts, they head right to these trouble zones. “It’s dependent on your specific body type,” says Haas, “but generally, women tend to gain weight in the hips and thighs, while men pack it on around their midsection.” So even if you’ve gained muscle in these areas, it will be covered by a layer of fat. And abs exercises alone aren’t enough to decrease your body-fat percentage or abdominal fat, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

 

Keeping your diet in check will help because to become truly toned, you’ll need to build muscle and burn more calories than you’re consuming at the same time. It’s easier to do so if you don’t treat yourself to nachos or ice cream in the first place.

 

6. You could get sick — or hurt.


Low-carb and low-fat diets can be mentally draining and have a negative impact on heart health, says McDaniel. Plus, she says, “Following a chronic low-carb diet may lead to micronutrient deficiencies and increased inflammation throughout the body, which both make you more susceptible to injury.” Studies have found that not taking in an adequate amount of healthy fats may raise your chances for overuse injuries(such as stress fractures and tendonitis) and it doesn’t allow your body to protect itself in order to stay healthy. Furthermore, if you pair a low-fat diet with intense exercise, that can lower your immunity even further.

 

Regular sweat sessions are, of course, key for staying in shape and maintaining your overall health. However, says McDaniel, “Remember that exercise sustains weight loss — but a healthy diet is what drives it.”

 

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13
Jun 2015
HITT the beach!

In honor of sunny days and warmer temperatures, now’s the perfect time to say so long to the weight room and take things outside. And why not head straight to the shore? Apart from the beautiful views and mood boost from spending time in the sun, your muscles will have an extra challenge stabilizing you in the sand.

 

“Working out in the sand adds a ton of resistance to any exercise you’re doing,” says DailyBurn trainer Anja Garcia, who loves getting her sweat on outside when she goes on vacation. And HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is a natural choice for outdoor workouts because you can condition the whole body efficiently, without any equipment. This popular training method challenges your aerobic and anaerobic systems, meaning you’ll improve cardiovascular endurance and build strength at the same time. Plus, your muscles will work overtime blasting more calories than they would with just steady state cardio alone (also known as the afterburn effect).

 

Ready to soak up some sun and feel the right kind of burn? Try these three HIIT workouts designed by Garcia with the surf and the sand in mind. They’re short, sweet and sure to leave you sweating! Now go on and HIIT the beach!

 

HIIT Workout #1: 10-Minute Tone Up
Ten minutes is all you need for a killer burn. Set up two towels 20 yards from one another and then HIIT it! Warm up with 30 seconds of skips and 30 seconds of walking lunges. Then, complete three rounds of the exercises below with 30 seconds of rest between each round.

 

  • Single-leg bounding: Drive the right knee up and leap off the left leg, pretending you are gliding through the air. Repeat on the other side. Try to get as high as possible.
  • Plank drag: Set up towels 20 yards apart. Start in a plank position with one towel under your toes. Drag your toes towards your hands by engaging your core, then walk your hands out again so you’re closer to the far towel.
  • Side shuffle: Shuffle laterally from one towel to the other, facing the same way as you go there and back.
  • Inchworm pushups: Hinge at the waist, bend down and walk your hands away from your feet so you’re in a plank position. Do one pushup, walk your feet toward your hands and repeat.
  • Long jumps: Bend your knees and jump as far as you can towards the other towel! Keep jumping for the whole 30 seconds.

 

HIIT Workout #2: Tabata Bang!
Get off your towel and try some Tabata! Complete 10 alternating lunges, 10 squats and a 30-second plank hold to get warmed up. Then, alternate 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest for each exercise in the circuit. Complete eight rounds.

 

  • Surfer get-ups: Start on the ground in a low plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your belly touching the sand. Push up from the ground and jump into a squatting position with the right leg in front of the left, as if you’re balancing on a surf board. Remember to squeeze your glutes and engage the core! Return to the original plank position and repeat with your left leg in front of the right for the surf stance.
  • Lateral plank: Assume a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Take two steps to the right while maintaining a plank, and perform a pushup. Repeat the process by moving back to the left. Perform another pushup and repeat.
  • Lunge jumps: With the right leg in front of the left, get into a lunge position so your knees are both at 90-degree angles. Use your core and quads to ump straight up, switching your legs in mid-air. Land with your left leg forward, then repeat.
  • Twisting mountain climbers: In a plank position, bring one knee to the opposite elbow. Quickly switch legs and twist the opposite knee to opposite elbow. Try to have your knee touch your elbow for every rep.

 

HIIT Workout #3: Perfect 10 Circuits
Get strong and lean with this workout that will challenge your whole body. Use your abdominals to stabilize your core during the lunges and jump squats, and give it all you’ve got with the sprints at the end of each circuit. Complete five rounds total with 30 seconds of rest between rounds.

 

  • Lateral lunges: Step right leg out into a lateral lunge with the left leg straight. As you stand up, drag the left leg back to standing while using the sand as resistance. Repeat movement on the other side.
  • 180-degree jump squats: Squat and touch the ground, jump 180-degrees clockwise and touch the ground again. Repeat by jumping 180-degrees counter-clockwise. Two jumps equals one rep.
  • Down dog pushups: Start in a down dog position. Walk your hands out to a full plank, perform a pushup and then walk your hands back to down dog.
  • Shuttle sprints: Place two towels about 20 yards apart, and using them as markers, start at one and sprint to the other. That’s one! Keep your speed up, sprinting back and forth five times (10 lengths total).

 

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12
Jun 2015
Make that gym time count!

Everyone knows it’s hard to find that extra time to work out everyday – so use these 7 tips to make sure you’re making the most of it!

 

1. Socializing too much: We love our workout buddies as much as anyone else, but when it comes to gym time, make sure you and your buddy are on the same workout wavelength. That means she should be just as dedicated to an effective workout as you so you can both get in and get out (and then catch up!).

 

2. Going slow and steady: Not every workout has to be a sweaty endeavor, but if your go-to gym workout involves reading a magazine on the treadmill — or, even worse, talking on your phone — you’re wasting your time. Speed it up with intervals so you can push your potential — and your calorie burn.

 

3. Not having a plan: If you’ve gotten to the gym but you’re not sure what to do, trying to decide on the right exercise can be a major waste of time. Before you go to the gym, take a few moments to plan how you should be working out; you’ll get to the gym and know exactly what you should be doing.

 

4. Taking too many breaks: Keeping your heart rate up is key to your workout success, so if your workout is full of breaks and water-fountain trips, it’s time to cut a few out of your routine. Limit breaks between intense intervals and circuits (by doing supersets) to reap your workout’s cardio and calorie-burning benefits in a shorter amount of time.

 

5. Idling in the locker room: If you’re not focused, a quick locker-room trip can turn into 20 minutes of trying to find your socks or being distracted by your phone. Keep your gym bag organized, and try to go to the gym at off-peak times if possible in order to make the locker-room stop quicker.

 

6. Only using the machines: Sure, those strength-training machines can help you work certain muscles, but often they are just a waste of time. Using the machines at the gym means you become less engaged with your workout and are also only spot-training muscle groups — both of which are prime time-wasters. Cut your time on muscle-isolating gym machines, and use that time instead for total-body strength-training moves, like this full-body circuit workout with weights.

 

7. Not knowing what you’re doing: If you’re new to the gym, going in without any advice or instruction can mean a haphazard gym trip; even worse, your gym newbie status can lead you to perform moves improperly for an ineffective workout. Instead, take advantage of the free training consultation many gyms provide; you’ll be able to learn more about essential strength-training moves and the gym floor setup. You should also take beginner-level fitness classes so you can follow along and learn instead of trying to figure it out yourself; being part of a class can make the gym feel less intimidating when you’re new.

 

 

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10
Jun 2015
Green Tea = Good

A new study out of Japan conducted on green tea drinkers has uncovered some amazing statistics that just may cause you to change your brew of choice.

 

That fact that green tea is good for your heart isn’t anything shocking – but just HOW good green tea can be for your ticker and consquently your lifespan – that’s big news.

 

This Japanese study – appearing in the Annals of Epidemiology – has shown that drinking 7 cups of green tea a day could cut heart disease risk death by a massive 75%.

 

Researchers followed over 12,000 people between the ages of 65 and 84 for five years. Compared with people who drank less than one cup of green tea per day, those who drank 7 had, in addition to the impressive heart benefits, a 55% lower risk of death from any cause.

 

Their risk of death from colorectal cancer was also slashed by 31%.

 

Now, the researchers say that these strong effects may be due to a lifetime of heavy green tea drinking.

 

But, given all of the other benefits of green tea—protection against Alzheimer’s, lower risk of prostate cancer, and help with weight loss—I say there’s no such thing as “too late” for green tea.

 

Especially when you look at some recent work at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. There, scientists have reported that the cells of regular tea drinkers (an average of 3 cups per day) may actually have a younger biological age than the cells of people who don’t drink tea.

 

They found that the DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes that shorten as cells age were a good bit longer in the tea drinkers.

 

So what’s that mean?

 

A difference of about five years of life.

 

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08
Jun 2015

 Case of the Mondays?

Another case of the Mondays? Here’s a few solid reasons from Life by DailyBurn to motivate you to pen – not pencil – that Monday sweat session into your appointment book for good.

1. You’re more likely to work out the rest of the week.
Hello, clean slate. Exercising on Mondays can get the ball rolling for your workout routine. “There’s something about starting on a Monday that makes you feel like you’re off to the right start,” says Gretchen Rubin, author of New York Times bestseller Better Than Before, which advises on how to master daily habits. “This idea of ‘don’t break the chain’ is really powerful.” This philosophy, she says, can motivate you to exercise on Tuesday, Wednesday or whenever you pencil in your next workout

 

2. You’ll smile more.
Got a case of the Mondays? You’re not alone. Research shows that the average office worker doesn’t crack a smile until 11:16 a.m. But exercise could help you beat those Monday blues. One common benefit of physical exercise is that it releases endorphins, the hormones that make you feel happier. Nothing feels as great as a finished workout, right? And science backs us up. According to researchers, children and young people had improved self-esteem after exercising. Plus, if you’re running or playing outside in the sunshine, you’ll get an extra dose of happiness. One studypublished in Environmental Health and Technology found that a simple five-minute walk outdoors helped improve mood and perceived well-being.

 

3. You’ll quell anxious thoughts.
Dreading that mountain of paperwork gathering dust on your desk over the weekend? It’s not uncommon to feel apprehensive about heading in to work. But don’t go hiding back under the covers just yet — you may want to hop on the treadmill for a few miles instead. Studies show that aerobic exercise can lessen general anxiety. Plus, high-intensity exercise has been shown to reduce anxiety sensitivity, or the fear of anxiety that is often a precursor to panic attacks.

 

4. You’ll kickstart good self-control.
It may take some willpower to lace up those sneakers, but exercise is actually a great way to harness more discipline for other areas of your life. Moving around for as little as 15 minutes has been shown to help people manage cigarette cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Why? Exercise releases GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps keep you in control of impulses and can quiet anxious brain activity.

 

5. You’ll catch better zzz’s.
Sleep-deprived office drones, take heart. Resistance exercise can help reboot yourcircadian rhythm, the internal body clock that controls your sleep cycle. And in case you needed extra motivation to keep sweating it out during the week: One study revealed that four months of consistent exercise helped chronic insomniacs sleep 45 minutes more per night.

 

6. You’ll boost brainpower.
Need to ace a presentation this week? Hitting the gym could be your secret to success. Physical exercise has the potential to increase levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor), which is shown to help build healthier nerve cells. One study showed that strenuous exercise helped participants perform better on a memory test. Scheduling a sweat session before you put your nose to the grindstone could help you absorb new concepts faster, too. Another study revealed that participants could learn vocabulary 20 percent faster after intense physical exercise, compared to the control group.

 

7. You might make more money.
Lifting weights may not lead to an immediate promotion, but it can’t hurt your chances at some extra cash. One study found an association between gym habits and higher pay. Employees who exercised regularly earned nine percent more than their couch potato peers. Cha-ching!

 

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