Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category
Learn Why You Need to Focus on Body Alignment During Every Exercise You Do
Body alignment refers to the proper usage of different sections of the body. When the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles are all properly utilized, it decreases the amount of stress that is placed on the skeletal system and lessens the likelihood of an injury occurring.
While there are specific exercises that can be performed to improve body alignment, this is actually an issue that should play a role in every exercise that you do. By paying close attention to your posture throughout your workouts, you can not only improve your overall body alignment, but you can also get more out of the exercises you do.
Although many resistance exercises may seem like simple movements, the proper form for most of these exercises requires you to focus on multiple parts of your body. Because there is usually more to good form than initially meets the eye, it can be very useful to have an app like Pocket Trainer. Since this app will cover every detail you need to know about each exercise that you perform, you can be sure that you’re able to keep proper body alignment in mind throughout your workouts.
Examples of good body alignment during popular exercises include:
Squats: A common body alignment mistake is doing squats in a Smith machine. While this seems like a good way to protect yourself from injury, squatting in a Smith machine forces you to handle the weight in an unnatural manner. A better option is to use less weight and squat with a standard barbell in a power rack. The key to proper alignment during this exercise is allowing yourself to “sit back” as you perform it. If you’re currently allowing the weight to push you forward, you need to pay attention to this issue so you can correct it.
Dumbbell Curls: There are two body alignment mistakes that people commonly make while performing dumbbell curls. The first is standing with their feet too close to each other. The reason this is a problem is because it makes it difficult to balance. By using a wider stance, you will create a stable base for yourself. The other mistake people make is pulling with their back during this exercise. If you aren’t able to keep the tension of this exercise on your biceps instead of your back, you need to stop and use a lighter weight.
Deadlifts: When done properly, this exercise is extremely effective for building a strong overall body. However, because it does impact so many muscles, it can have a negative effect on body alignment if performed with bad form. The most important issue to avoid is rounding your back while doing deadlifts. If you notice that you’re unable to perform this exercise without rounding your back, it means you need to stop and decrease the amount of weight you have on the bar. Also, make sure you’re just as focused on proper body alignment during your 1st rep as you are when you do your 8th rep.
Do you want to fuel your body with the best food that’s available? While some people think that not eating any fish or meat at all is the solution, there are quite a few reasons why those foods should be part of your diet. The key to providing your body with healthy food is to only choose high quality fish and meat.
The Top 5 Reasons You Should Eat Quality Fish and Meat
CLA: Red meat is a prime source of this important nutrient. Research has shown that not only is CLA an antioxidant, but it may be useful for treating multiple types of cancer.
Selenium: Eating chicken means you will get the amount of this trace mineral that you need. It plays a role in everything from your immune system to your metabolism.
Protein: Fish and meat are great sources of protein. Because protein is a core building block of your body, its importance can’t be stressed enough.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Although many people worry whenever they see the word fat, omega-3 is actually very good for your body. Getting it from fish will help keep your brain and heart healthy.
Iron: Not only is red meat rich in iron, but it’s rich in the type of iron that’s easiest for your body to digest. Not getting enough iron can cause you to feel weak or fatigued.
The Dangers of Treated Fish and Meat
While there are plenty of compelling reasons to eat quality fish and meat, it’s important to understand that not all options are created equal. There are many dangers associated with proteins that have been treated with antibiotics, hormones and other drugs.
Poultry farmers give antibiotics to their stock so they’ll grow bigger. Unfortunately, eating this type of meat could cause you to ingest resistant bacteria that could put your health at risk because of its difficulty to treat.
Cattle farmers use hormones for the same purpose of increasing the size of their stock. But once again, because of the potential health problems, this is a practice consumers have been worried about since the 1970s.
Low quality fish can also present risks. When fish are raised in “farming” environments, all of the issues associated with this setting can transfer to their bodies and cause problems for people who eat them.
How to Choose Quality Fish and Meat
The key to maximizing the health benefits of what you eat is to focus on the type of fish and meat you purchase.
The only type of fish you should eat are wild caught. This type of fish is the best option because it comes from natural water sources instead of industrial fish farms.
If you care about your health, it’s important for you to care about the source of the fish and meat you eat!
Are you trying to figure out what you should be doing to get the body you want? Focusing on training movements is the most effective way to get a strong body that looks great. There are several key reasons you should focus on movements instead of just muscles. With this focus, you’ll:
Get Results in Less Time
When many people start working out, they feel they need to limit themselves to a specific type of exercise. If they want to lose weight, they spend all their time doing cardio. If they want better abs, they do set after set of crunches.
While this is a common approach to take, it’s not an effective one. Only focusing on one type of exercise means you’re neglecting the rest of your body. With the cardio example, what people overlook is adding lean muscle to their entire body would help them burn more calories even when they’re not working out.
And with the ab example, people don’t realize that the key to getting visible abs is first lowering your body fat percentage. Although people with a singular focus think they’re working towards their goal, they’re actually limiting their progress.
Training movements help you avoid this problem by requiring you to use most or all of your body. Squats are a great example of the power of training movements.
When you squat, you use your entire lower body. While certain muscles are used more than others, they all have a purpose. You also use your core when you squat. And thanks to its dynamic nature, you’ll increase your heart rate and have the ability to practice good breathing habits. That’s a whole lot coming from just one exercise!
Develop a Functional Body
Although wanting to look great will give you a lot of motivation to work out, this isn’t the only thing you want to accomplish. You also want to build a strong body that allows you to enjoy being active.
Training movements are ideal for building a body that’s attractive and functional. While isolation exercises that only focus on one muscle don’t add much to your overall strength, movements that require you to use a wide range of muscles will significantly improve your overall strength.
Lower Your Chances of Injury
When you continue to do the same exercise over and over, you put a significant amount of strain on that muscle. And if you’re working out multiple times a week but not switching up what you’re doing, you’re not giving that muscle enough time to recover. Inadequate recovery time will limit your progress and put you at risk of injury.
If you want to build a body that looks great and allows you to be as active as you want, you’ll be thrilled with the results you get from focusing on training movements!
Are you in the process of trying to lose weight? In addition to consistently working out and eating well, maintaining a positive attitude and energy plays a major role in successful weight loss. Your mindset plays such a significant role because:
You’ll Be Much More Motivated
When there’s a task you want to do, how much easier is it to complete than a task you don’t want to do? As you know from experience, it’s a whole lot easier to knock out something you actually want to get done. When you need to do something but don’t want to, you can spend a very long time procrastinating.
While there’s a huge difference between your motivation to complete these two types of tasks, what’s interesting is the only real difference between the tasks is how you view them. In many cases, the tasks you want to do may actually be harder or more challenging than the ones you don’t want to do. But because you view them in a positive way, you have all the motivation you need to get them done.
Many people struggle to motivate themselves to work out. The main reason is they view working out as some kind of punishment. However, if you view working out as an opportunity to improve your life, you’ll find that your positive attitude makes it much easier to consistently complete your workouts.
Results Come When You Expect Them
If you briefly talk to someone who has successfully lost weight and gotten in shape, it may initially sound like everything just fell into place for them. However, if you get more details about their experience, you’ll find that they succeeded because they set a goal and continued to work towards it.
While people describe this occurrence in many different ways, the bottom line is when you expect a result, it’s far more likely to happen than if you don’t.
So, is this just your mind playing tricks on you? Not at all. Even though this pattern is commonly described in mystical terms, it has a very rational explanation. When you expect a result, you are going to take far more action than if you don’t. Even if you aren’t fully aware of the extra effort you’re exerting, you’ll be doing more than if you had no expectations at all.
Keeping a positive attitude is key to expecting the outcome you want. When you’re confident that you can reach your goal instead of constantly telling yourself you won’t be able to do it, you’ll put yourself on a path to success.
You Will View Problems as Something You Can Solve
If you have a negative attitude, every problem you encounter will seem like a reason to quit.
By making it a priority to maintain a positive attitude and energy, you’ll be able to lose weight and get in great shape!
Are you trying to figure out what you need to do to lose weight and keep it off? If you think supplements may be the answer, before you
spend a cent on any, it’s important to understand that supplements:
Aren’t the Key to Losing Weight
The supplement industry has sales of over $20 billion each year. They’ve achieved this astronomical level by convincing consumers that if they’re struggling to lose weight, it’s because they’re not using the right supplements.
Each year, many new supplements hit the market with promises to give people like you the body you’ve been dreaming about for so long. While some of these supplements can be useful, they’re not the key to losing weight.
Regardless of what marketing spin you may hear, if you want to lose weight, you simply need to burn more calories than you consume. While it’s possible to begin losing weight by simply dieting, research by the National Weight Control Registry has found that if you want to maintain your weight loss, exercise needs to become a part of your regular routine.
While it can seem disappointing to hear that there’s no magic supplement that will melt away your extra pounds, you shouldn’t be discouraged. Watching what you eat and consistently exercising does work, so the only thing you need to focus on is incorporating both into your life.
Can Be Useful
Although supplements won’t help you get your ideal body overnight, this doesn’t mean that every cent of the $20 billion that’s spent on supplements each year is going to waste. Supplements can be useful in your overall weight loss strategy.
Another finding of the National Weight Control Registry is almost everyone who loses weight and keeps it off eats breakfast. Other studies have found that eating a breakfast that features 20-25 grams of protein is ideal for weight loss.
While you can get this protein from sources like egg whites and turkey sausage, you may not have time to cook breakfast in the morning. In this situation, a protein powder supplement can be useful. Instead of cooking, you can quickly make a breakfast shake by simply throwing a scoop of protein and a few other ingredients into a blender.
May Cause Side Effects
Two examples are Aconite and bitter orange. While both ingredients are found in multiple weight loss supplements, Consumer Reports found that both are potentially dangerous. Aconite can cause low blood pressure, while bitter orange can contribute to a heart attack.
Although you can lose weight without them, since some supplements can be useful but others can have side effects, make sure any supplement you decide to use is the result of your own research and not because of claims made by the supplement’s marketing team.
Did you know that stress can be much more than a minor annoyance? Chronic stress can cause health problems. It can also take a mental and emotional toll on you. The good news is once you understand how stress negatively impacts you, there are measures you can take to reduce or eliminate it.
How Does Stress Impact Your Health?
Stress isn’t simply a condition that’s “all in your head.” Stress is a real problem that can increase your blood pressure, reduce the effectiveness of your immune system and even put you at a higher risk for a heart attack.
Did you know that stress may also be one of the reasons you’re overweight? A Wake Forest University study found that stress increases the amount of fat that’s stored around the abdominal region. Not only is this the type of fat that makes you feel the most self-conscious, but health experts agree that “belly fat” is the most dangerous because of its accumulation around vital organs.
Stress Can Take Away Your Happiness
Weight issues result in countless people being unhappy with themselves. Not only can stress take away your happiness by contributing to your weight problem, but it can cause additional emotional problems as well.
The emotional problems stemming from stress generally begin with irritability or moodiness. While these problems don’t sound too serious, it doesn’t take long for the impact of stress to increase to actual depression. Suffering from depression can take the enjoyment out of everything that once mattered to you.
Given the health and emotional problems stress can cause, it’s easy to see why it’s a problem that needs to be taken seriously.
What Can You Do About Stress?
One solution that helps many people handle stress is regular exercise. Whether it’s challenging cardio or resistance exercises, consistently being active can bring down your stress levels.
A common cause of stress is too little sleep. Multiple studies have confirmed the link between sleep deprivation and higher levels of sleep. If you’re not currently getting enough sleep, you need to make it a priority. You also need to eliminate any habits that are preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep.
For example, a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that using a bright monitor in the evening can disrupt the production of a hormone that’s responsible for helping you fall asleep. An even newer study found this same problem may occur when people use their iPad right before bed.
As with most habits that get in the way of sleep, there is a solution to this one. If you enjoy or have to use your computer in the evening, there are programs that can automatically dim the monitor’s brightness and warm its color. This will prevent your computer usage from interfering with your sleep.
Because of the negative impact stress can have on your health, waist and happiness, it’s very important for you to make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of stress in your life!
No doubt that as of late, you’ve been hearing a lot about whole and organic foods. You’ve probably also been hearing a lot about how bad so many often consumed processed food products are for you, due to everything that makes them the way they are. Before we go any further let’s differentiate between the windtwo right now.
- Whole Foods – Foods which are minimally or note processed at all. The only ingredient is the food itself. Examples include meats, seafood, and poultry (typically not packaged until in-store for the purpose of selling), non-packaged fruits and vegetables, certain milks and not from concentrate 100% juices. Whole foods also generally are bright and vibrant in color.
- Processed Foods – Products which are marketed to us as food and are consumable, but have been heavily modified, altered, and refined for a variety of reasons. These reasons include to enhance flavor, texture, and shelf life. Processed foods are typically packaged in a notable amount of cardboard, plastic, or foil, and guarantee “freshness” as well as taste (e.g.: a bag of chips by the same brand and variety will taste the same every time you buy one).
You want to steer clear of Processed Foods whenever possible because all the extra additives and ingredients used to create and package them are not ideal for your body. Processed foods have very high amounts of sodium and sugars (some of them can even meet or beat your recommended daily allowances), preservatives, food dyes and coloring, as well as many other chemicals in them. They are also heavily handled by people and machinery in factories to ensure uniformity, but at the same time this also strips them of whatever vitamins and nutrients they may have once had (and that’s why they call it junk food!).
Choosing whole foods has great yet subtle benefits for your body and mind. You will feel better, healthier, and have more energy because of the vital nutrients you will receive from consuming non processed food. Whole food is also very easy to find in your local grocer. Have you ever noticed that most processed and packaged products are towards the center of the store while mostly non-packaged food is around the outside wall in cooler, refrigerated sections, along with the deli, dairy, and bakery departments? It is important to note that without all the excess preservatives, that whole foods typically don’t last as long in your kitchen, so buy what you need, when you need it– or find out how to store it properly to maximize it’s keeping time.
Remember that making the right choices for eating are just as important as the right choices for your activities, and while whole foods can be better for you, that eating too much of anything can be bad for you or result in health issues. Try to eat a healthy mixture of foods to ensure you are getting proper nutrition.
Sleep – Can Too Little Sabotage Your Weight Loss?
Are you frustrated that you’re not losing as much weight as you want? Although you may initially think that you’re not working out enough, not getting enough sleep may actually be what’s holding back your weight loss.
What Does Sleep Have to Do with Weight Loss?
It’s not uncommon for people to brag about how little sleep they get. What most people don’t realize is not getting enough sleep can prevent them from slimming down.
One reason a lack of sleep can sabotage weight loss is because of how it impacts your eating habits. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re low on energy. And when it’s the middle of the afternoon and you’re low on energy, you’re much more likely to reach for an unhealthy snack like a bag of chips than if you had gotten enough sleep to keep your energy naturally high.
Another factor that ties into this issue is what hormones your body produces when you don’t get enough sleep. When your body is running on a sleep deficit, it produces more of a hormone responsible for hunger (Ghrelin) and less of a hormone that tells your brain your stomach is full (Leptin).
How Much Do You Need?
Multiple studies have found that most people need at least one more hour of sleep than they currently think they require. For example, if you think you only need six hours of sleep a night, chances are you actually need at least seven.
The reason this problem can be especially serious is if you believe you only need six hours of sleep, you’re more likely to try to get by on just five hours. While you think you’re only shaving off one hour, the reality is you’re barely getting 70% of the total sleep you actually need.
Getting enough sleep isn’t just about improving the way your body looks. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine and another study from the University of Chicago found that a lack of sleep can increase someone’s risk for cardiovascular disease. When you add to this the fact that a lack of sleep can hold back your ability to lose weight and thus keep you at risk for all of the diseases associated with being overweight, it becomes clear why sleep is just as important as eating well and consistently exercising.
How Can You Get More Sleep?
Since sleep is important for losing weight and staying healthy, you need to figure out how to get enough of it.
The biggest change you need to make is to accept that you need to make time to sleep. Although you may think you’re too busy to sleep, the truth is you’ll get more done during the day when you’re well rested.
You should also look at specific issues that are preventing you from getting enough sleep. Common issues include your bedroom being too warm, not giving yourself enough time to relax before bed or consuming caffeine too late in the day. Once you identify and correct your personal sleep issues, you’ll find that you feel great after sleeping well.
If you want to lose weight and stay healthy, you need to make sleep a priority!