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21
Sep 2015
By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS

Tens of thousands of Americans sprain an ankle every year. But ankle sprains get little respect, with most of us shrugging off the injury as inconsequential and soon returning to normal activities.

Several new studies in people and animals, however, suggest that the effects of even a single sprained ankle could be more substantial and lingering than we have supposed, potentially altering how well and often someone moves, for life.

Healthy ankles are, of course, essential for movement.

“The ankle is the base of the body,” said Tricia Hubbard-Turner, a professor of kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, who led the recent studies. “Everything starts with the ankle.”

But the ankle can be surprisingly fragile and vulnerable to clumsiness (or maybe that’s just me). Step awkwardly off a curb, slide off your high heels, plant a foot wrong while running or playing a sport, and you overstretch or tear the ligaments around the joint and sprain your ankle.

Until recently, few of us worried much about the injury, assuming in most cases that the sprain would fully heal within a week or two, with or without medical attention.

But three new studies, each co-authored by Dr. Hubbard-Turner, raise serious questions about the benignity of ankle sprains.

In the most worrying, since it involves young people, she and her colleagues recruited 20 college students with chronic ankle instability — a condition caused by ankle sprains, in which the ankle easily gives way during movement — and 20 healthy students and asked all of them to wear a pedometer for a week. The researchers controlled for variables like sex, B.M.I. and general health.

It turned out that the students with chronic ankle instability moved significantly less than the other students, taking about 2,000 fewer steps on average each day.

That finding echoed the results of an earlier study by Dr. Hubbard-Turner, although that experiment involved young adult mice. For it, the researchers mildly sprained some of the rodents’ ankles by surgically snipping one of the ligaments on the outside of the joint. They more severely sprained other animals’ joints by snipping two of the ankle ligaments; and performed sham surgery on others to serve as a control group.

Then they let the ligaments heal for several days before giving all of the animals access to running wheels and also testing them for balance by inking their feet and having them skitter along a narrow beam. The researchers could track slips by noting where the colored footprints had slipped off of the beam.

The researchers followed the mice for a year.

At the end of that time, the mice that had undergone sham surgery — whose ankle ligaments had remained untouched — were running significantly more mileage on their wheels than the mice that had had sprains, especially those that had had a severe sprain, even though, presumably, the injury had healed long ago.

The animals with past sprains also continued to slip during balance testing far more often than the control mice. Their balance was impaired and, the researchers concluded, about 70 percent of the mice from the sprain groups had developed the rodent equivalent of chronic ankle instability as a result of a single past sprain.

However, this animal study and that of the college students were relatively short-term. Although mice may be approaching rodent retirement age after a year, that span does not generally represent their entire life, and the researchers wondered whether the past ankle sprain might turn out to affect their life-long movement patterns.

So for another study, this one published last month in The Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, they continued to follow and test the same groups of mice until they passed away from old age, usually within an additional 12 months.

They found that the repercussions of a single ankle sprain lingered throughout the animals’ lives. The mice that had experienced a mild sprain in young adulthood generally continued to run less and more slowly throughout their lives than the animals that had undergone sham surgery, and those that had experienced a severe ankle sprain ran even fewer miles and at the slowest speeds.

“In these animals, a single sprain had led to far more inactivity” throughout their lives than among the animals with intact ankles, Dr. Hubbard-Turner said.

Of course, these were mice, not humans, so it’s impossible to know whether the same decline in lifelong activity occurs in people who sprain an ankle.

But that possibility implies that we should take sore ankles seriously, Dr. Hubbard-Turner said.

“Don’t ignore a sprain,” she said.

If you twist or otherwise hurt your ankle, consult a doctor or physical therapist about diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. And if you have sprained an ankle in the past, even if the injury seems fully healed, consider balance testing by a physical therapist to determine whether you are more wobbly than you suspect.

Finally, if you have never sprained an ankle, pat yourself on the back, preferably while standing on one leg. “Balance training is a good idea for everyone,” Dr. Hubbard-Turner said. (This video has useful balance training tips here.)

The best way to avoid the ramifications of a sprained ankle, she said, “is to not sprain it in the first place.”

07
Aug 2015
Tape it up!

One of our specialties at FIX Body Group, many athletes are reliant on this practice for pain relief and muscular support.



Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy, elastic cotton strip with an acrylic adhesive. Therapeutic kinesiology tape can benefit a wide variety of musculoskeletal and sports injuries, plus inflammatory conditions.

 

It is almost identical to human skin in both thickness and elasticity, which allows kinesio tape to be worn without binding, constricting or restriction of your movement.

 

Kinesiology tape is used for treating athletic injuries and a variety of physical disorders. For the first decade after its introduction practitioners in Japan were the main users of the therapeutic kinesiology tape. By 1988 the tape had been adopted by Japanese Olympic and professional athletes before spreading across the world.

 

Many professional athletes use kinesiology taping improve their sporting performance, prevent injury and allow them to return to sport quicker.



Let’s take a look at the benefits of Kinesiology Taping:


Pain Relief via Structural Support for Weak or Injured Body Parts


Kinesiology tape is a flexible elastic tape that moves with your body. This provides supports to your body parts without the tape slipping.

 

By supporting your body part kinesiology tape is able to provide you with pain relief and muscular support to help control body parts affected by muscle inhibition.

 

Muscle Support


As previously mentioned, your muscle strength may be assisted by kinesiology tape via physical assistance and tactile feedback through the skin eg  proprioception boost. This phenomenon may assist both the able bodied athlete to enhance their performance and hypotonic eg children with low muscle tone.

 

Swelling Reduction


Kinesiology provides a passive lift to your skin via its elastic properties. This vacuum effect allows your lymphatic and venous drainage systems to drain and swollen or bruised tissue quicker than without the kinesiology tape.

 

It is also thought that this same principle can assist the removal of exercise byproducts like lactic acid that may contribute to post-exercise soreness eg delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).


Source

07
Aug 2015
Nice abs!

People work hard for perfect abs, but what you’ve been told about training your midsection may not necessarily be true – or even beneficial.


Don’t Believe These Flat Stomach Myths!

 

Myth 1: Spot-Reducing of Stomach Fat

 

One of the biggest and most popular stomach toning myth is the ability to target a certain area such as a belly with ab exercises to eliminate the fat from your midsection. You just can’t spot reduce where you would like. Of course this would be great if it was true but unfortunately there is more to it than that.

 

The main focus of developing abs and losing stomach fat is to reduce your overall bodyfat percentage. To accomplish this it is important to stick to a healthy diet plan that is filled with natural, unprocessed foods and focus doing both cardiovascular and weight training exercises. Doing this on a consistent basis will have your body fat levels dropping, muscles toning, and your belly looking tighter and flatter.

 

Myth 2: Only Exercise Will Get You Abs

 

Another popular myth to getting abs is that you can eat whatever you want as long as you workout. Of course working out helps you get leaner and burn fat but exercise alone will not cover up a poor diet.

 

It is crucial to stop eating high calorie, processed food, and start making changes to eating healthier. This healthy eating plan will spark the fat burning process and give you a solid foundation for your exercise program.

 

Myth 3: Daily Ab Training

 

For some reason people will treat the abdominal muscles differently than other muscles and want to train them on a daily basis. Training your abs on a daily basis is not only a myth but it can limit you from making progress and also increase your risk of getting injured.

 

Train your abs like any other group and work them a 2-3 times per week. This training method will help strengthen your core and will give your abs enough time to recover.

 

Myth 4: Exercise With High Reps Only

 

Another flat stomach myth is believing your core muscles will only respond to high repetition, no resistance exercses. True, there are some benefits to high repetition, no resistance exercises, but doing just this type of training will only get you so far and prevent you from getting optimal results.

 

If you want to get the most of your ab training then a combination of high reps with no resistance and low reps with resistance will get you the most out of your training. This type of combination will help strengthen and define the midsection.

 

Myth 5: Buying the Magic Product or Supplement

 

The last myth in the list is buying into the fact of getting six pack abs with a special product or supplement. Believing that a fat burning gel, ab belt, or any supplement is all that will be needed to melt away the fat without the discipline of proper nutrition is just a recipe for failure. The truth with these products is that very few will give you any type of results and aren’t worth the money invested.

 

So instead of chasing the magic product or gimmick, try going with what is proven to work and that is the discipline of proper nutrition and consistent exercise. Doing it the right way will keep the results lasting longer without hurting the wallet or the body.

 

 

 

Source

03
Aug 2015
Squatting hungry?

When utilized correctly, intermittent fasting has been shown to be an effective strategy for building muscle & burning fat at the gym.

 

It’s a debate that’s raged since the first weight was lifted: Is it better or worse to work out on an empty stomach? Wars have been waged and nations have fallen (okay, that’s a slight exaggeration) during the eternal battle of fed versus fasted exercise, but it’s time for this madness to end. We have the final answer.

 

It’s time to dismantle some old myths about eating and exercise.


Well, not the final answer. Different people work out best under different circumstances, and deciding whether someoneshould eat before training can be like telling them what time of day to work out or which diet they should follow—it largely depends on what works best for the individual. But it is time to dismantle some old myths.

 

Contrary to popular belief, research suggests that eating many small meals throughout the day won’t speed up the metabolism, skipping a meal won’t make you fat, and exercising on an empty stomach will not nullify a workout. In fact, skipping a meal or two, also known as “intermittent fasting” (IF), can be downright beneficial.

 

Optimizing Hormones (Fast)


If the fact that “Huge Jacked-man” practiced intermittent fasting to gain muscle for his latest Wolverine movie isn’t convincing enough, consider this: An empty stomach triggers a cascade of hormonal changes throughout the body that are surprisingly conducive to both building muscle and burning fat.

 

An empty stomach triggers a cascade of hormonal changes throughout the body that are conducive to both building muscle and burning fat.


The fasted state produces two significant effects:

 

1. Improved insulin sensitivity. Put very simply, the body releases insulin (a hormone) when we eat to help us absorb the nutrients from our food. The hormone then takes the sugars out of our bloodstream and directs them to the liver, muscles, and fat cells to be used as energy later on. The trouble is that eating too much and too often can make us more resistant to insulin’s effects, and while poor insulin sensitivity ups the risk of heart disease and cancer, it also makes it harder to lose body fat . Eating less frequently (i.e. fasting more regularly) is one way to help remedy the issue, because it results in the body releasing insulin less often, so we become more sensitive to it—and that makes it easier to lose fat, improves blood flow to muscles, and even curbs the impact of an unhealthy diet .

 

2. The second reason a good old-fashioned fast can promote muscle gain and fat loss comes down to growth hormone (GH), a magical elixir of a hormone that helps the body make new muscle tissue, burn fat, and improve bone quality, physical function, and longevity . Along with regular weight training and proper sleep, fasting is one of the best ways to increase the body’s GH: One study showed that 24 hours without food increases the male body’s GH production by 2,000 freakin’percent, and 1,300 percent in women. The effect ends when the fast does, which is a compelling reason to fast regularly in order to keep muscle-friendly hormones at their highest levels.

 

We can’t speak of muscle-friendly hormones without bringing uptestosterone. Testosterone helps increase muscle mass and reduce body fat while also improving energy levels, boosting libido, and even combating depression and heart problems—in both men and women . Fasting alone may not have any effect on testosterone, but there is a surprisingly simple way to produce large amounts of both “T” and growth hormone at the same time, creating an optimal environment for building muscle and torching fat: Exercising while fasted .

 

The Fast Way to Improve Performance


Exercise, especially intense exercise that uses a lot of muscles (thinkcompound movements like deadlifts and squats) causes a big surge in testosterone—which is why it can make good sense to combine exercise and fasting . Many studies have found that training in a fasted state is a terrific way to build lean mass and boost insulin sensitivity, not just because of the nifty hormonal responses, but also because it makes the body absorb the post-workout meal more efficiently.

 

Many studies have found that training in a fasted state is a terrific way to build lean mass and boost insulin sensitivity.
In short, fasted training helps to ensure that carbs, protein, and fats go to the right places in the body and are stored only minimally as body fat . Exercising on an empty stomach has been shown to be especially great for fat loss, and it’s even been shown that people who train while fasted become progressively better at burning fat at higher levels of intensity (possibly because of an increase in fat-oxidizing enzymes) .

 

Not interested in training like a bodybuilder? There are also potential benefits for endurance athletes, since fasted workouts can improve muscle glycogen storage efficiency (say that three times fast!) . What that means, basically, is that running on empty can make the body better at using its energy stores. The occasional fasted training session can improve the quality of “fed” workouts (or races) later on. In a nutshell: When the body learns to exert itself without any food, it gets better at performing when it does have fuel in the tank. Some studies have also shown that fasted workouts can significantly improve endurance athletes’ VO2 Max, which measures a person’s capacity to take in and use oxygen during exercise and is a pretty decent way of measuring someone’s fitness.

 

When the body learns to exert itself without any food, it gets better at performing when it does have fuel in the tank.
Now, we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that some studies have shown impaired performance as a result of fasted exercise. That said, many of these studies are of Ramadan fasts, which don’t allow the consumption of fluids (which is not advisable when engaging in athletic activities) . Still, the prevalence of people who do eat before exercise is pretty good evidence that exercising after eating can work. Heck, there are even studies showing that eating before exercise can lead to fewer calories consumed throughout the day . But that doesn’t discredit the evidence that fasted workouts, even if occasional, can reap a lot of benefits.

 

Click here to take action! Read this article in its entirety and learn how to put IF to practice for you at Greatist.com (Source)

03
Aug 2015

 

Flex those muscles!

Want to look even better in your sleeveless attire? Try this routine for more shapely & toned triceps and biceps! 

A major mistake many women make in the gym is lifting too light.

 

Understand:

 

Putting on muscle is a not an easy process and women do not produce nearly enough hormones, namely testosterone, to put on size so quickly. Besides, if your diet is on point then there is no need to worry about getting “too big”.

 

The arms, i.e. the biceps and triceps, are a relatively small muscle group. This means that you don’t really receive much of a metabolic benefit when training them (you do not burn many calories).

 

Also:

 

The biceps are worked when you train your back and the triceps are worked when you train your chest.

 

So you don’t have to spend too much time training your arms.

 

Given that your chest and back workouts are on point, you do not need to spend more than 45 minutes of isolation work on your arms per week to keep them looking great.

 

The Two Basic Movements: Curls and Extensions

 

Your biceps are worked with the flexion of your elbow and your triceps are worked with the extension of your elbow.

 

Most bicep and tricep exercises revolve around the curl and the extension. These movements work the muscles by contracting them through their natural range of motion.

 

There are many variations of curling and extension movements but the basic principles of the flexion and extension of the elbow remain the same.

 

Performing any type of exercise recruits muscle fibers. The heavier you go, the more muscle fibers you recruit. Putting your muscles through a challenging workout is what gets them to grow, i.e. add tone.

 

Too many women curl with dumbbells that are too light. If a workout is not challenging your muscles will not grow, i.e. you will not add tone.

 

The Workout


This workout is suitable for women who are just starting out or need a more effective way to target their arms. It was put together by fitness model Dayna Tappan. You may have to go through some trial and error in order to pick the weight that works for you. Keep track of your workouts, i.e. sets, reps, and weights, as to measure your progress overtime.

 

  • Alternate Incline Dumbbell Curls: 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Triceps Push Down – 4 sets of 12 reps
  • 21’s – 4 sets of 21
  • Push-Ups – 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Burnout Sets:
  • Barbell Curl – 100 reps
  • Cable Overhead Tricep Extension – 100 reps
  • Rest: 45 seconds – 1 minute in between sets

 

Click here for a complete breakdown of these exercises and their corresponding video tutorials at PrimeHealthSolutions.org! (Source)

30
Jul 2015
Bike pain free!

Regardless of whether you’re a racer, mountain biker, commuter, or pleasure rider – your knees are the work horses of the sport.  Use these tips to keep them healthy!

 

With the high cost of gas, concern for the environment and obesity at an all time high, bike riding has become the main form of transportation for many commuters. Not only can you cut down on pollution and spend less time sitting in traffic, but you can also help reach your daily fitness goals. However, riding a bicycle can take a toll on your knees, if not done properly. While in a gym working out, you are much more cautious of your form rather then when bicycling outdoors. This article will discuss the importance of your bike being set up appropriately, and will go through the steps of setting up your bike properly to avoid injuries to your knees.

 

Steps for Perfect Biking Position

 

How to make sure your seat is in the appropriate position:

 

  1. Adjust your seat so its level
  2. While on the bike, make pedals parallel to the ground
  3. Use a plumb bob device align knee with pedal shaft and align your knees at either the pedal shaft or just behind the pedal shaft.
  4. While in this position, your knee should make a 90 degree angle

 

Be sure to check both legs before checking the angles of your knee.

 

How to accurately measure the angle of your knee:

 

  1. Sit on your bike to find a comfortable position for your seat
  2. Spin the crank arm until either left or right crank arm is in down stroke with opposing crank aligned up with seat tube angle Take goniometer and place on the outside (lateral side) of knee
  3. Align on arm of the goniometer with the greater trochanter
  4. Align the other arm of goniometer aligned with your shin
  5. Measure the angle of the knee. The recommended knee angle is 25-35 degrees.

 

If the angle of your knee is lower or higher, raise the height of your seat until you have reached the recommended angles.

 

How to accurately measure the angle without a goniometer:

 

  1. Stand with proper posture.
  2. Have a friend measure the height from the bottom of your feet to your hip
  3. Using this measurement, multiply by 96, 98, or 100%. (This number varies by your pedaling mechanics.)
  4. Use these measurement and apply to the bike
  5. Measure the distance from top of bike to the pedal. Make sure that the crank is aligned with seat tube angle.

 

These measurements will allow you to be within the proper 25-35 degree knee angle for riding.

 

Trochanteric Height  X 98% = Proper Seat Height

 

The Importance of a Proper Seat Height

 

Common amongst many cyclist and tri-athletes is the problem of “overuse-also known as repetitive knee injuries.” Repetitive knee injuries are associated with an improper seat high caused by an improper fitting bike. The best method in find your proper bike fit and avoid overuse injuries is having a knee angle of 25 to 35 degree. The average cyclist produces pedal strokes of 90 revolutions per minute. So if were to be cycling for 40 minutes, you would accumulate 360 pedal strokes over the duration of your ride. In theory, 360 pedal strokes is similar motion to completing 360 squats. When performed incorrectly, the repetitive motion of pedal strokes will lead to overuse and repetitive knee injuries.

 

Cycling with a seat height that is too low you can leave to anterior (front) pain in the knee. A bike seat that is too low will leave to muscle imbalance and injuries to the patella femoral ligaments.

 

Likewise, having a bike seat that is too high can lead to injuries to the posterior (behind) knee. Excessive extension of the knee will lead to posterior cruciate ligament or a hamstring tendon strain.

Source

29
Jul 2015
Workout routine killing your back?

Chiropractors agree it’s paramount to keep your spine safe in the gym, and recommend adding these basic back-saving exercises to your routine before your lift session.  Still not sure? Come into FIX Body Group for more information or give us a call today!

 

There are thousands of reasons to work out. Maybe you want to lose weight or bulk up. Maybe you want to have more energy. Or maybe you just want to keep up with your kids. Whatever your motivation, you expect to feel better after the gym.

 

So why does your back hurt so damn much?

 

Turns out, the thing that’s suppose to keep you healthy—exercise—may be to blame for your pain, says Stuart McGill, Ph.D., professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and the author of Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance.


“Coach potatoes typically don’t get back pain,” says McGill. “It’s a problem for the desk jockey who works out.

 

It sounds illogical. After all, you’re building strength at the gym so you don’t get hurt. So why can increasing your fitness ultimately decrease your back health?

 

Say you head to the gym for an hour every day. Whenever you pick up a weight—light or heavy—the vertebrae in your spine compress under the load, says McGill. That’s no big deal—as long as you don’t sit for hours before and after the workout.

 

But if you’re like most men in today’s world, you probably sit—at work, in a car, on the couch—for extended periods. Your spine is flexed a large portion of the day. Then, at the gym, you perform loaded exercises like the deadlift, squat, kettlebellswing, or shoulder press. If your back rounds at all during those exercises, you’re setting yourself up for back trouble.

 

Here’s why: Each vertebral disc in your spine is made of layers of collagen rings with a gel-like nucleus in the middle. When flexed under load, those rings become stressed and begin to loosen up and divide. Do this often enough, and the gel begins to work its way out of those layers, explains McGill.

 

“Imagine your disc like it’s a hamburger with lots of mustard,” says McGill. “When you squeeze the bun on one side, all the mustard shoots out the other.”

 

If you never loaded your spine, the gel would stay safely contained in the tough collagen rings. However, sitting all day, plus flexing your back during exercise causes the nucleus to squeeze through the loosened collagen layers, he says.

 

Eventually, enough gel seeps through creating a disc bulge that presses on a nerve. Your body deals with the pain by initiating an inflammatory response, which can cause muscle spasms and sometimes lead to excruciating pain. Suddenly, it hurts to bend over to tie your shoe.

 

And every time you hurt your back, your body responds by growing vascular tissues—nerves, and little veins and arteries—where the bulge was located. “So you know what? The next time it happens, you’ll feel it even more,” he says.

 

Obviously, stopping exercise isn’t the answer. But you should stop assuming that your current workout staves off pain.

 

“Getting fit doesn’t prevent back pain,” McGill says. “It’s howyou get fit that does.”

 

The Workout


Besides limiting the amount of time you spend sitting, your workout needs to build core stability for maximum protection. “It’s nonnegotiable,” says McGill. A trunk that is stabilized by muscles in the front, the sides, and the back won’t bend under heavy loads or multiple reps. And the stiffer your core, the faster and more powerful your arms and legs will be, he says. You’ll be able to lift more, run quicker, throw faster, punch harder, and kick farther.

 

But you can’t just perform any core routine. You need exercises that are easy on the spinal discs while creating as much stability and endurance as possible, says McGill.

 

Twelve years ago, Men’s Health asked McGill for a back-saving workout, both to relieve current back pain and to reduce your chances of a future back pain. He gave us four exercises—the cat-camel, the bird dog, the side plank, and the McGill curlup—based on his knowledge from working with real-life, active men and professional athletes, as well as authoring hundreds of studies on lower-back injury and rehabilitation.

 

Today, he offers up the same exercises—with a new rep scheme. “It’s hard to improve on something that has such a solid, scientific foundation to begin with,” McGill says. “The exercises hit the front, back, and sides of your core, while removing gravity and supporting your spine at both ends.” Watch the video below to see how to perform all four movements.

 

McGill recommends adding these exercises before your usual workout.  “We’ve recently found that if you do these exercises, you’ll actually feel tighter and stiffer in your core for a period of time afterward,” he says.

 

Start watching your back. Click here to see the four exercises you should add to your routine today to prevent a back attack tomorrow (Source).

 

28
Jul 2015

 

Men: eat these foods!

 

Take a moment to examine your own eating habits and think about adding these foods to your regimen – or increasing their intake – to keep your body at peak performance and health.

 

Guys, in order to keep your system working efficiently, you need to remember to fuel your body with the right nutrients. The right foods can improve heart health, eye health, brain health, and reproductive health. Aging is associated with gradual declines in most of your body systems (happens with everyone). These declines may increase your risk for having a heart attack, stroke, certain cancers (lung and prostate), or the development of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

 

However, the foods listed below are chock full of nutrition and may keep your body, organs, and your brain working at optimal levels.

 

 

Health Booster #1: Clams, Scallops, Oysters

 

Clams, Scallops, and Oysters are part of the mollusk family, which can be found on land, in the deep blue sea, or in many lakes around the country. These tiny little creatures are packed full of nutrition and are very low in calories. For example, three ounces of scallops packs a whopping 14 grams of protein and is roughly 75 calories.

 

Plus, scallops, clams, muscles, and oysters are packed full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fats your body needs every day to maintain proper health. Also these tiny creatures of the sea are loaded with important nutrients, such as zinc, manganese, and phosphorus, which could help maintain normal blood sugar levels and improve your immune system.

 

Health Booster #2: Fatty Fish

 

Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, etc.) are perfect for not only shrinking your waistline, but also for improving your heart, brain, and eye health. Fatty fish are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, which could halt the progression of many chronic diseases. Not only that, but fatty fish contain high-quality protein and are low in calories.

 

Compared to a piece of red meat, a piece of salmon has less saturated fat plus a good helping of omega-3 fatty acids. Mixing the omega-3 fatty acids with a natural source of Vitamin D, fatty fish could take the proverbial cake in healthy nutrition. Worried about PCBs and mercury? The smaller fish, like sardines, are a great source of low-fat, high-quality protein, and are very low in mercury or PCBs, which have been shown detrimental to your health.

 

Health Booster #3: Oats or Oatmeal

 

Steel-cut oats are a perfect source of complex carbs, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Of course you know that fiber is good for your health, but did you know that oats, which naturally contain beta-glucan, have been shown to be a great source of fiber? Beta-glucan is a naturally occurring fiber that, when introduced to your body, has been shown to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, and help improve blood sugar levels – which could protect your heart, digestive, and overall health. Plus, the fiber in oats has been shown to decrease appetite and could lower energy intake at meals throughout your day (lunch and dinner).

 

Oats are full of minerals like tryptophan, manganese, and phosphorus, plus they have a good serving of B vitamins. Having a cup of oats in the morning could leave you feeling full all day, which could reduce your belly fat, therefore potentially improving your health.

 

Health Booster #4: Mushrooms

 

As strange as it may sound, including more mushrooms in your diet could improve your health as you get older. Mushrooms, in all varieties, deliver a big plate of nutrients in a tiny, bite size fungus. Mushrooms have been shown to be an immune system stimulant, plus they have also been shown to fight or prevent certain types of cancer.

 

Mushrooms are also a great source of the B vitamins – B2, B3, and B5 – which could be beneficial in mood, blood sugar control, energy levels, and cholesterol levels, just to name a few. Plus, mushrooms have plenty of minerals that are necessary for your body to function at its best.

 

Health Booster #5: Tomatoes

 

Tomatoes, another low-calorie favorite, are full of heart-healthy vitamins and minerals. Tomatoes have high levels of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been shown to reduce your risk for cancers, heart disease, and could boost sperm count. Yes, lycopene, according to some research, could be important for increasing your sperm concentration.

 

Plus, this tasty little vegetable has plenty of phenolic acid, which has been shown to prevent some instances of lung cancer. One more benefit of tomatoes: they are available year-round, which means you can get plenty of lycopene at all times and seasons of the year.

 

Start Improving Your Health

 

Aging can be associated with a decline in health – from heart health, brain health, and everything in between. However, taking the right steps now, exercise and stress relief, plus including these five essential foods, could protect your health and lead to a longer, healthier life.


Read this article in it’s entirety at MyFitnessHub.blogspot.com

25
Jul 2015
What's for breakfast?

Breakfast has been hailed as the most important meal of the day – so are putting the right plate together in the morning?

 

Are you struggling to keep your energy up throughout the day? Or do you usually have a mid-afternoon crash and don’t understand why? This could be due to a hurried or botched breakfast. I’ve found that with a few tweaks to that first meal of the day, you can feel good all day. Here’s what to avoid:

 

1. Bad Coffee
Coffee has both fueled my entrepreneurial ventures and constantly led to crashes and prolonged fatigue. After experiencing many of these ups and downs, I decided to dig into the biochemistry of coffee and the agricultural and economic research. I discovered that all coffee is not the same, and that coffee often carries naturally occurring mold toxins. It turned out that my bad reactions had nothing to do with the coffee; it was a reaction to the mold on the coffee.

 

Now, you won’t see this mold — it’s an invisible byproduct of shortcuts coffee producers take. One study showed that over ninety percent of green coffee beans were contaminated with mold before processing, while another revealed that almost fifty percent of brewed coffees are moldy. When you brew or buy that first cup in the morning, avoid cheaper types of coffee. These cost less because they not only use lower-quality beans but also include a higher percentage of damaged (moldy) beans. And avoid decaf coffee, which contains more mold on average than caffeinated, partly because coffee people cringe at the thought of ruining high quality beans with decaf processing and therefore use lower quality beans to make decaf.

 

2. Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese, But Not Butter
The main problem with dairy is the harmful process of pasteurization. While this process does reduce the small risk of milk contamination, it kills off the beneficial probiotics in the milk, denatures milk proteins, and transforms milk from a source of nutrition into a source of many health problems. Pasteurization also turns milk’s lactose sugars into beta-lactose sugars that the body absorbs faster, causing blood sugar spikes.

 

In the morning, you should avoid milk and most things made from milk — cheese, yogurt, cream, buttermilk, and ice cream — but not butter. Butter is significantly healthier than the milk it is made from because the harmful milk proteins (including casein and BCM-7) are largely absent from butter. What little milk protein remains in cultured butter has been enzymatically modified during the butter fermentation process and isn’t a problem for most people.

 

3. Sugar, Including Fruit
Your body needs more sodium than potassium in the morning so your blood pressure can go up, but eating fruit (which has a lot of potassium) for breakfast causes your blood pressure to go down. Low blood pressure in the morning makes it harder to feel energized and ready to face the day. Most people are familiar with the term “sugar crash,” but many don’t know where this term comes from. After you eat sugar, it’s not only your focus and energy that crashes, but also your actual blood sugar levels, too. When you eat sugar, blood sugars naturally rise, causing the pancreas to secrete insulin. But the pancreas isn’t great at estimating how much insulin to release and usually overdoes it, secreting large amounts of insulin that cause your blood sugar to drop dramatically. This is the famous crash that causes brain fog, sluggishness, and food cravings. Eliminating sugar is one of the very best things you can do for your health, weight, and overall performance.

 

4. All Grains
Gluten-containing grains are actually addictive. They break down in the gut into opioid compounds called gluteomorphins that trigger the same receptors in your brain as other opiate drugs like heroin. If you allow your brain to get “addicted” to the opiates formed by grain digestion, you’re going to experience insatiable hunger and cravings that last for days after you last ate those grains.

 

There is plenty of research to show that eating gluten also has negative health consequences. It causes inflammation and gastrointestinal distress and contributes to autoimmune diseases and a host of other issues. The trick is to give it up completely. The gluten breakfast foods to avoid include cereal, toast, pancakes, and granola bars. This will dramatically increase your ability to live up to your full potential and you’ll undoubtedly feel an immediate difference in your body and your brain.



So what can you eat instead? Click here to go to AskMen.com and find out!

24
Jul 2015
Maximize!

Are you getting the most out of those precious few moments that you’re setting aside every day for your workout?

 

If you feel like your workout program isn’t giving you the results you were hoping for, now is the time to make some changes. Some basic shifts in the way you approach your workout can make a drastic difference, so take a few moments to consider these 10 simple ways to improve your exercise sessions.

 

1. Change Your Diet
The food that you eat is the fuel in your body’s gas tank, and if you are not eating right, you will not be able to exercise right. Eat nutritious meals at the same time each day, keep snacking to a minimum, and avoid junk food.

 

2. Get Motivated
Everyone has their own ways to get motivated to exercise. You may find that making a playlist of your favorite songs gets you pumped up at the gym. When you are feeling lazy, try to power through it. Once your blood starts flowing, you will find the energy you need.

 

3. Have Fun!
One of the most effective ways to improve your overall fitness is to simply enjoy yourself. When you look forward to exercising, the results will come on their own without you even thinking about it. Join an exercise class that you can get excited about – Spinning is a great example. Get together with friends and play a game of softball. Do anything that keeps you active and having fun.

 

4. Incorporate Exercise Into Your Routine
True fitness is a lifestyle, not just something you do when you are at the gym. Consider jogging to work instead of driving. Conquer the stairs instead of opting for the elevator. If you look for little opportunities to get your heart beating, your workout sessions will reflect that.

 

5. Make Your Workout Program a Priority
Far too many people view exercise as something to do when boredom hits, or when the schedule happens to be free.  You need to make your daily workout program higher on the list of priorities if you want to see real results. Don’t put it off until tomorrow – do it today!

 

6. Track Your Progress
You should keep track of your progress so that you can be sure that your current workout plan is in fact working. If you are not satisfied with your results, don’t get discouraged. Make some changes, and see what works and what doesn’t. Fitness is a lifestyle that people spend their whole lives mastering, so stay focused on the long term.

 

7. Vary Your Workouts
Keep it interesting! If you go to the same machine at the gym day after day, it is going to lose its appeal fast. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Sign up for an indoor cycling class or sit in on a yoga class. Take a jog through a new part of your neighborhood. You are more likely to keep up with your workout if you keep it fresh.

 

8. Stretch
Never start working out unless you have stretched thoroughly. If you do not stretch, your performance will suffer and you will not get the most out of your time spend. More importantly, not stretching can cause an injury that can put you out of commission for an extended period of time, setting you back further.

 

9. Meet Like-Minded People
If you don’t have a gym buddy, try to meet some people who have similar fitness goals to you. Joining a community is a great way to get inspired, and having a friend working out alongside you is a powerful motivational tool. A workout partner helps you to stay accountable and pushes you to achieve your true potential.

 

10. Start Now
 It is never too late to start improving your life. Stop thinking about it and get out there and do it. If you feel any hesitation, you need to push through that and start this positive lifelong journey today. While the best time to start exercising regularly may have been 10 years ago, the second best time is right now.

 

Source: InstallingMuscles.com