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How to NOT Gain Weight During The Holidays

 

There is some good news about holiday weight gain. People don’t gain as much weight as we thought during the holidays.

According to National Institute of Health, throughout the six-week holiday season, the average person gains about a pound. I guess I am way above average. If you are like me, the holiday eating season can really take its toll. So here are a few ideas to keep yourself in check.
1. Maintaining your weight is a victory. Weigh yourself before Thanksgiving and continue to weigh yourself two to three times a week. Be sure to weigh yourself in the morning before you eat anything. If you see that scale creep, make adjustments along the way. Exercise more or eat a little less.

 

2. Don’t fast before the feast.  It might seem like a good idea to skip breakfast or lunch before heading off to that holiday dinner, but eating a few small meals throughout the day is a better way to go. If you show up famished, it will be more difficult to avoid eating too much. And when your little voice tells you that you can have a third piece of cheesecake because you skipped breakfast and lunch, things can get ugly.

 

3. Know what you want. Everyone has their favorites at Thanksgiving. I can probably eat my weight in stuffing and pie. But often times, the main meal isn’t served for a few hours, and there are plates and plates of appetizers to tempt. Most appetizers at my home are pretty generic items that can be found at any bar or party throughout the year. So on Thanksgiving, decide to eat only the things you get on Thanksgiving and step awaaaay from the things you can have anytime. If you need something to munch on before the bird arrives, go for the veggies.

 

4. Be the last in line. Holiday dinners can be an all-day event. The food is left out for a few hours for people to go back for more and more and more. When it comes time for the dessert tray to make its debut, be the last one to get your dessert. Enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea while everyone else grabs their goodies. If you are the last to get your dessert, by the time you finish your one and only treat, everyone else is going to be done with their dessert too, and will probably have moved on to something else like football, napping, or complaining about how full they are. It won’t be as convenient to go back for seconds. And make sure to choose your very favorite dessert. You know; the one that is totally worth the calories… your Auntie’s pumpkin pie, your grandma’s cookies, etc.

 

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6 Creative Ways to Get Children Excited about Healthy Eating

 

Getting your children excited about eating healthy food is one of the major struggles of modern parenting. And it’s no surprise really, think about all the advertisements for junk food your children probably come across on a daily basis, think about all their friends at school munching away on sweets and chocolate during lunch!

 

It’s not hard to see why healthy food seems so unappealing to them! I mean, think back to when you were a child!  Chances are, you weren’t so keen on the green, healthy stuff either. But as parents, we strive to make our children as healthy as we possibly can, and the easiest way to do this, is to get them just as excited about healthy eating as you are.

 

There are several ways you can do this – and trust me, they’re not as complicated as you might have initially thought. You don’t have to disguise things or use trickery – you just have to be honest and use a little parenting magic. So here goes…

 

1.  Get your children to help cook

Getting your children involved in the cooking side of food means that they feel like creators – and they are excited to try eating what they just made with their own hands! Cooking a healthy pizza is a great place to start (and a great way to ease them in). Make some healthy dough and get some low-fat cheese, and them ask you child to choose which toppings they want on their pizza. Allow them one meat (wafer thin ham is always a good choice as it is practically water) and then top up with lots of healthy vegetable choices. It works like a charm! And because your children know the pizza was made by them – they feel less scared of or wary of the healthy food.

 

2.  Always eat dessert

This sounds like a funny way of making children healthier – but if you start introducing fun fruit into dessert then the children will feel excited about it. Don’t just stick to boring apples and pears – mix it up a little bit. Try pineapple, raspberry’s, strawberry’s, star fruit and grapes – and make fun shapes out of them. Your children won’t be able to resist. It’s also a common fact that most children will be more open to fruit than they will be to vegetables – so keep this in mind if you child is particularly stubborn.

 

3.  Grow the vegetables and fruit yourselves

If you have a garden or even a window ledge, then you can be growing the good stuff. Give your children the responsibility of growing them, watering them, planting them and picking them and they’ll start to really get excited about the end product. Make a big deal out of it too – and when the veg or fruit finally emerges – have a big family meal to celebrate the cooking of the freshly grown produce! You child will feel proud and excited!

 

4.  Do the shopping together

Get your child involved in the shopping and you’ll see their interest in fruit and veg completely improve. If you currently order your food online (whilst it is convenient) it’s ruining the interaction that your child should be having with food. Take them around the super market at least once a month to look at all the produce, and even let them pick and choose anything that catches their eye. They’ll not only feel valued – but they’ll be excited to share their choices with the rest of the family!

 

5.  Do a cooking competition

If you have multiple children then arrange a week of cooking competitions where the most healthy meal wins… This is a great way to not only getting them thinking healthily, but also to get them excited and encouraged to make things healthy too. Most children love having a friendly competition against their siblings, but if your child is an only child then don’t worry you can still do this one! Just have them compete against you instead! It’s a really fun way of getting them to actively think about what they’re eating in a fun way.

 

 6.  Get them to start a food blog

Getting your children blogging isn’t only a good idea because it means they’re writing on a regular basis – but it’s also really smart because it will encourage them to record what they eat and take note of it. You could make it a family project even – and you could see who has recorded the best meals that week!

 

About the Author:  Elle works for chefsknivesonline.com and loves encouraging families to not only eat well – but cook and prepare food properly!

 

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Top 5 Tips to Reduce Exposure to Harmful Pesticides

 

Too often it seems that the easier, more beautiful or more delicious something is, the more dangerous it is for you.

 

Such is the unfortunate case with many of the shiny, colorful fruits and vegetables we choose at the grocery store in an effort to eat healthy – they are riddled with pesticides to prolong shelf life and keep insects from ruining their appearance. While no one wants to bite into an apple and eat half of a worm with it, nor find a six-legged family living in their head of lettuce, the side effects of heavy pesticide exposure are even more serious.

 

According to livestrong.com, these toxic chemicals can cause learning disabilities, negatively affect the nervous system, weaken the immune system and may even be linked to breast cancer. Fortunately there are a few simple steps you can take to greatly reduce your exposure to pesticides and therefore decrease your risk of suffering from negative side effects.

 

1. Buy Organic

Some fruits and vegetables already have very low pesticide content and are safe to buy in the normal produce section, such as those included in the Clean 15. But many staples in our diets are members of the Dirty Dozen, the twelve types of produce with the highest pesticide content, and should only be eaten in organic form to reduce pesticide ingestion.

 

2. Grow Your Own

If buying organic seems difficult and expensive, why not cultivate your own produce? Not only does gardening provide a fun hobby and even exercise, it assures you that there are no pesticides in your food because you grew it yourself.  TLC has a great list of 66 different fruits and veggies you can grow at, or even in, your own home.

 

3. Eliminate Pests Without Using Pesticide

Chemicals are a convenient way to keep unwanted guests out of your home and garden and food, but you may be sacrificing your health in using them. Taking natural measures to keep your home clean and bug-free, such as following this helpful guide from grist.org, will help keep your home free of pests and pesticides.

 

4. Detoxify Your Diet

In addition to avoiding pesticides in your diet and your methods of pest control, you can counteract pesticides you may unknowingly ingest by eating foods that act as natural detoxifiers. Make sure you still purchase these items organic if they are part of the Dirty Dozen.

 

5. No Shoes In the House

Incorporating all of these safety measures into your lifestyle will greatly reduce your risk of exposure to harmful pesticides, but you can only control so much. You may not use pesticides and harmful chemicals on your lawn and garden, but anywhere else you go you can’t be sure what you’re stepping in.  Having a no-shoe rule in the house keeps toxic chemicals from being tracked in to your home and cultivates a cleaner, safer living space. This is especially important if you have small children or pets that crawl on (or eat things off of) the floor.

 

Author:  Emily Johnson

 

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5 Quick and Easy Fiber Fixes

 

Whole, fibrous foods are a weight loss favorite because they are good for the pocketbook, waistline, and your body. Whole foods that are packed with fiber are less expensive when compared with their fortified food counterparts. For example, a cooked cup of barley costs pennies per serving and has 6 grams of fiber. In contrast, the leading fiber-filled granola bar can cost about 60 cents apiece and have 9 grams of fiber. Not only is the granola bar more expensive, gram for gram, but that bar is merely a snack whereas the barley is half a meal. As a bonus, the whole grain barley is also packed with phytochemicals, fiber, and protein.

This is where your waistline and health come into play. Foods higher in fiber make you feel fuller on fewer calories. Whole foods such as beans, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of healthy calories and fiber.

 

Fiber also works as a scrub brush to clear out natural byproducts of our body’s metabolic process and unneeded cholesterol in our blood. Fiber adds bulk to our poop thus helping dispose all the toxins and dead cells from the colon. For various (and more technical) reasons, eating more fiber has shown to help decrease the chances of colon cancer.  How much fiber do we need to consume in a day to enjoy the full range of benefits? It is recommended that men need 30-38 grams a day, and women need 21-25 grams a day.

 

An easy step to increase your fiber intake is to focus on getting 5 to 9 fruits and vegetables a day in your diet. Here are a few more quick swaps and additions you can make to your daily diet to increase your fiber:

 

  1. Flax and Chia seeds: Great to add to any breakfast cereal. If the nutty flavor of flax is not your favorite try chia. Chia is more gelatinous so adding it to oatmeal is a good fit. Chia can also go undetected for children as it blends so well with the oatmeal! Three Tbsp of chia contains 14 grams of fiber and that is more than the average American eats in a day (12 grams).
  2. Beans and legumes: Wash-off dry beans, place in a slow cooker, and cover with 2 inches of water or vegetable broth. Add seasonings as desired. I like the seasonings from Chef  Paul Prudhomme  or Mrs. Dash because they are quick salt-free spice mixes. Cook on low for 8 hours and have bean soup served with/over whole grain or corn bread. A cup of black beans will add 15 grams of fiber to your day.
  3. Wheat berries: Eat hot or cold. This is a wheat product that has a clean nutty flavor. Eat as a side salad (hyperlink to
    http://nourishnetwork.com/2009/08/25/get-a-new-grain-wheat-berries/) or alone in place of rice. A half a cup serving has 4 grams of fiber.
  4. Bulgur: Meat is void of fiber so add some to your dish! Add cooked bulgur to your meat loaf. Try adding dry bulgur your taco mix when you add your water and seasoning. Bulgur picks up any flavor you combine it with and has a similar texture to the ground beef.  Add a cup of bulgur to dinner and this will add 8 grams of fiber.
  5. Amaranth- Pop like old-fashioned popcorn on the stovetop. I recommend to only popping 3-4 Tablespoons at a time. It will “pop” and turn from the light brown color to white. Eat as a snack or sprinkle on your salad to add a fibrous crunch. A nice sprinkle of about 4 Tbsp of popped amaranth to your salad will offer about 5 grams of fiber to your meal.

 

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Getting the Most Out of Your Cycling Class

 

Cycling classes (especially Spinning classes) have been enjoying a resurgence in popularity in gyms and fitness centers recently, and with good reason. Cycling not only increases your cardiovascular endurance, it also works out your leg muscles much more than other cardiovascular exercises. A cycling class is a great way to burn calories and improve muscle tone in your lower body!

 

 

Benefits Of Cycling Classes Over Other Cardiovascular Exercises Compared to some other forms of cardiovascular exercise, such as jogging, cycling is a very low-impact exercise. Jogging, especially if you are jogging on a treadmill, can place excess strain on your ligaments and joints; it’s not uncommon for joggers to suffer debilitating foot and ankle injuries if they over-train.
Cycling, conversely, is very gentle on the joints and ligaments in your lower body. This is incredibly important for people who have already suffered injuries to their knees or ankles in the past, as high-impact exercises can aggravate these injuries. To avoid the risk of having your fitness goals derailed by sudden injury while working out, you should stick to low-impact cardiovascular exercise such as cycling as much as possible.

 

Cycling Classes Are One of The Best Exercises For Toning Your Legs

Practically every form of cardiovascular exercise, whether it be cycling, jogging, using an elliptical trainer or cross-country skier, works out both your calves and your thighs. However, cycling has two distinct advantages over other forms of cardiovascular exercise. The first advantage is that the bikes in cycling classes have adjustable pedal resistance; by increasing the resistance on your bike, you can increase the amount of force needed to pedal the bike, which will result in building up both your calves and your thigh muscles.

 

The second advantage of cycling is that proper cycling form (which your instructor can help you with) works out your core muscles. Maintaining proper form over a 30 or 45 minute workout is a great workout for your core muscles, which include your abs, obliques and your lower back. Having strong core muscles not only improves the way you look, but also significantly reduces the chance that you will injure your back from carrying heavy loads or making sudden movements in the course of your daily life!

 

Why Take Classes Over Cycling On The Road?

Cycling classes are much safer than road cycling. Not only are you safe from traffic, but you are also safe from inclement weather. In hot weather, you risk suffering from heat stroke; in cold weather, you risk slipping on icy roads and losing control of your bike.

 

Taking classes also has social benefits. You can meet other fitness enthusiasts while cycling, and making friends in your classes has the benefit of making you accountable to going to the gym on a regular basis; after all, if your friends don’t see you at the gym in a while, they’re likely going to be calling you, asking if you are okay and trying to get you to come back to the gym! The social atmosphere of cycling classes and accountability can definitely help you stick to your workout regimen.

 

Author bio:  Karlee Wiggins blogs about fitness and health.  She is a supporter of San Diego Plastic Surgery  due to cosmetic difficulties from trauma.

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Why Baby Boomers Are Addicted to Elliptical Trainers

 

Elliptical trainers are a growing segment of the fitness equipment industry.  One of the driving forces behind this growth are baby boomers.  Now that the earliest of this generation are starting to hit retirement age, many are experiencing the aches and pains of years of abuse to their joints.  Walking, jogging and running are less and less appealing because of the impact to the joints.  Even when done on a shock absorbing treadmill.

 

Enter the elliptical trainer, also known as crosstrainers.  Ellipticals came in response to the need for a cardio workout without the impact.  There are two primary benefits of an elliptical trainer…

 

Low Impact Workout – As the name implies, with an elliptical trainer your lower body moves in an elliptical motion.  Your foot never lifts off the pedal as your make your stride, consequently there is very little impact or shock to your body.   It is almost like you are running in the air.  Consequently you avoid the relentless pounding to your joints and your lower back.

 

The downside is that your lower body follows a repetitious that can limit the benefits from this cardio workout.  Although you can crank up the resistance, and you can reverse the motion, allowing you to target different muscles.  Furthermore, many models have the ability to adjust the incline, similar to the incline feature on a treadmill.  This also allows you to target additional muscles groups while intensifying your cardio workout.

 

Upper Body Workout – A further benefit of an elliptical trainer is the fact that you can simultaneously workout both your upper and lower body.  There are few exercises that allow this “cross training”. For many, this is a very important feature because they tend to focus on a cardio workout that only exercises  the lower muscles.   Neglecting the other half of their body.

 

With the use of moveable handlebars that move in coordination with the elliptical stride, you body works a variety of upper and lower body muscles.  Studies have shown that this dual action can burn calories more efficiently and in less time.  However, it is important that during your workout you  put a concerted effort into the resistance of the upper body.  Many users exert most of the action through their lower body, letting their upper body just go through the motions.

 

Not too many years ago when you went to your local health club the majority of cardio equipment were treadmills.  These days you will probably find an equal number of treadmills and elliptical trainers.  In addition, you will find many of the elliptical users are part of the baby boomer generation.  Elliptical trainers are allowing people of all ages to continue an aggressive cardio workout while reducing the stress and strain to their body.

 

Author Bio: Fred Waters has worked in the fitness equipment industry for the last 17 years.  He provides elliptical trainer reviews and recommendations at  www.fitness-equipment-source.com, where you will also find a buyer’s guide designed to make you an educated crosstrainer consumer. One last note, it is recommended you avoid cheap elliptical trainers, models under $500.  They typically are not very durable and have a tendency to be unstable, especially for overweight individuals.

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The 7 Worst Training Mistakes I’ve Ever Made…

 

In my 21+ years of training, I’ve seen and done a LOT of different muscle-building and fat-loss programs. I’ve performed (and created) more exercises than I can even remember and I’ve tried a plethora nutritional programs…some good, some bad.

In my 21+ years of training, I’ve seen and done a LOT of different muscle-building and fat-loss programs. I’ve performed (and created) more exercises than I can even remember and I’ve tried a plethora nutritional programs…some good, some bad.

And right now, I want to give you the rundown on some of the very worst mistakes I ever made while doing all these things.

I’m hoping by doing this, I can 

help you avoid making those same mistakes, saving you from frustration and potential injury.

Here we go…and these are in no particular order of severity or stupidity… :)

1. Too Much Barbell Curling

In my first year of training, I was constantly at the barbell curl…I curled so much that I ended up having near constant pain in both wrists. So what did I do? I bought some neoprene wrist wraps and kept barbell curling. Stupid.

 

Of course, keeping on with the curling just made things worst until I read one important fact about barbell curls…because your hands are locked onto the bar and because your arms are attached to your shoulders, the stress of the exercise ends up in the most vulnerable part of the arm…your wrist. The over-reliance on barbell curls lead to the wrist pain.

 

The solution: dumbell curls. Very simple. By allowing free rotation of the wrist, it takes all that torque off the joint. The problem cleared up within a few weeks.

The Lesson:

Don’t be overreliant on barbells for your training. This kind of strain can happen not only on curls but on just about any barbell exercise.

 


2. I Didn’t Eat Egg Yolks

This is actually one of the funniest stories about my first year of training (when I didn’t really know what I was doing but thought I did)…for 8 months, I refused to eat egg yolks.

 

I thought (correctly) that that was where all the fat in the egg was.

 

What I didn’t realize is that it’s also where the vast majority of the beneficial nutrients of the eggs were. Yolks are also necessary to make egg protein complete (egg whites on their own are not complete in terms of amino acid profile – they’re good, but not perfect, like a whole egg).

 

The funny part is, I was eating fried cafeteria eggs at the time (6 every day)…fried on a griddle covered unidentifiable grease that I’m VERY sure contained at least 3 times the fat of those yolks I would cut out of my fried eggs (like an idiot). And by not eating the yolks, I wasn’t eating the lecithin found inside the yolks that would emulsify and help protect me from the effects of that terrible fried grease I was eating my eggs with. Live and learn.

 

The Lesson:

Eat whole eggs unless you absolutely have to avoid fat. The cholesterol found in whole eggs is not going to raise your blood cholesterol…it doesn’t work that way. It’s the stuff your body makes itself that causes the problems, not the cholesterol you eat, which is why for those who have cholesterol issues, sometimes diet doesn’t help all that much.

 

To put that in perspective, in my 21 years of training, I would estimate I’ve eaten about 44,000 whole eggs. My cholesterol is just fine.

The protein and other nutrients found in the yolks is going to do you WAY more good than eating just plain egg whites.

 


3. I Did a Hard Rotational Stretch as a Warm-Up

This was one of the most painful things I’ve ever done in the gym, and not in a good way. I was warming up on the incline barbell bench press and decided I need to loosen up my lower back and core.

 

While sitting on the seat (lower body basically anchored in place), I turned my upper body, gripped the bench and pulled my torso around…until I heard a loud “POP” and my lower back spasmed. I had just blown out a section of my quadratus lumborum, which is a small muscle that is just to one side of the spinal column.

 

It was like getting stabbed in the back with a hot fireplace poker. I could hardly move…and I still had to walk home from the gym! Instead of 10 minutes, it took me almost an hour, and I had to wear a weight belt cinched up in order to not collapse from the pain (I had to wear it to sleep that night, too).

 

To this very day, when I get lean enough, you can still see three little round “buttons” where the muscle detached from the bone and bunched up. I’m VERY lucky in that it didn’t completely destroy my ability to train my lower back…they were just small pops, but man, did they hurt.

The Lesson:

Don’t do hard stretching as a warm-up. Use general movements to get the muscles warm and the blood flowing, progressing to more specific movements that target the exercise you’re going to be working with first. You can also include some mobility work in your warm-up. Just don’t do hard stretching when your muscles aren’t warm or you might just pay the price!

 


4. Not Eating Enough Fat or Protein

After my first year of training, I gained 75 pounds of bodyweight…and I say bodyweight because it was NOT all muscle. So I decided to go on a fat-loss diet…and I did it completely wrong.

 

In an effort to reduce calories, I eliminated just about ALL fat from my diet. That’s mistake #1. I also decreased my intake of animal protein (in that same effort to reduce fat intake), which was mistake #2. I lost some fat but I lost a lot of muscle and strength doing this. It literally took me MONTHS to realize what my mistake was (I read an article about it), correct it and start regaining my muscle and strength.

 

I corrected it by eating whole eggs and not taking the skin off my chicken (…mmm chicken skin…)…and I suddenly begain growing like a weed, gaining strength and dropping fat. I felt so much better and realized exactly how I had messed myself up.

The Lesson:

Don’t be afraid of fat…it’s not your enemy even when you’re on a diet. Your body NEEDS fat in order to function, especially from a hormonal perspective (testosterone is derived from saturated fat). You need to watch your calories, sure, and there are nutrient-intake techniques that do require elimination of fat from the diet in a strategic manner. In general, though, don’t eliminate fat from your diet and DEFINITELY don’t let your protein intake suffer as a side effect of trying to reduce fat.

 


5. Stupid Stability Training

There was a time when I took stability training too far…and I can freely admit it now, looking back on it.

Stability training, when done properly and for the right purposes, can be a very useful tool in your training toolbox. Just don’t take it to the point of stupidity…which is, unfortunately, what I did and where I see a lot of trainers taking it.

So here’s what I did…

Freestanding dumbell one-legged squats while standing on one foot on the handle of a round-plate dumbell (that could roll freely).

It was a circus act more than a useful exercise…I actually developed my balance to the point where I could do 3 or 4 full one-leg squat reps without setting my other foot on the ground or touching anything for balance.

 

Did it help me get stronger in the regular squat? No. There was pretty much zero carryover to actual useful strength. And the potential downside of falling off the dumbell while doing this insane exercise…I don’t have to tell you twice.

And here’s what else I did…

Handstand push-ups with my hands on top of the PLATES of two round dumbells set parallel to each other, so as I’m doing the handstand push-up, the dumbells had the potential to roll outwards (in addition to be very unsteady on their own). I did 4 reps of that and have never even considered trying it since.

The Lesson:

Stability training is great, but you CAN take it too far. Use it for the right reasons and don’t push your luck trying to do circus-level balancing tricks with resistance. The carry-over to real-world strength just isn’t there and the risks don’t justify it.

 


6. Too Many Chest Dips With Too Much Weight

A few years back I almost got a pec tear from doing heavy weighted dips. I know this because I could feel it starting and about to blow out. Luckily for me, when I do dips on my dip station, my feet are about 2 inches from the ground at the bottom. So when I felt that about to go, I immediately dropped out of the exercise, relatively unscathed (just a bit of soreness in the armpit area for a few days).

It’s a fact of heavy training that when you always push things, it you’re probably going to get an injury at some point. It comes with the territory.

For me, at that point, I had been doing a lot of chest dips and had been trying to push the weight to see how much I could do. I had worked up to using an extra 160 lbs hanging from my waist (three 45 lb plates and a 25 lb plate) when this happened. And the second after it happened, I knew exactly WHY it happened…it simply performing this exercise too frequently with very heavy loads.

I still do chest dips on occasion…just not as heavy and not nearly as frequently. Just like any exercise, if you do it too much and too heavy, it CAN lead to injury.

The Lesson:

You have to not only listen to your body…your body has to listen to YOU. Physically, I didn’t feel this near-pec tear coming but in looking back, mentally I knew I was probably pushing the exercise too hard, too often, and I should’ve backed off sooner.


7. I Stopped Training for a Month

It happens to everybody…you hit a patch where there are lots of things going on in your life and training just seems to take a backseat.

For me, it happened when my wife and I were in the process of moving to a new house…in order to best show the townhome for buyers, I had to disassemble my gym so the basement/family room showed like a room and not a gym. I moved all my equipment over to our new place, that we hadn’t yet moved into.

Well, with everything going on and not really having a gym to train in, I basically just stopped training…I didn’t even do bodyweight stuff.

And THAT was a BIG mistake.

By the time I got back to training, I had lost muscle, gained fat and felt depressed about not training or doing anything really physical.

You’ve just got to realize that sometimes life gets in the way, or sometimes you do need a break from heavy training (especially if you get injured). Not every workout has to be a blockbuster…sometimes it’s enough just to go in and do a “punchclock” workout to maintain what you’ve got and keep the habit.

Even you’re injured, you can quite often work around that injury. If you hurt your shoulder, train your legs and work the non-injured side of your upper body.

If you’re short on time, do a 5 minute bodyweight circuit of push-ups, lunges, or other bodyweight exercises.

The Lesson:

Training should be a constant in your life. Even just doing small things can go a long way towards maintaining strength, health and sanity.

And one last lesson from me…if you do slip, when you DO get back into training and training hard, hold yourself accountable by taking a “before” picture. It’ll give you the motivation not to let it happen again.

I did this (not pretty – the picture on the left) then immediately did two cycles of my Metabolic Surge program, which ended up being 10 weeks of training. The result is the picture on the right.

Nick Nilsson Before Picture
Nick Nilsson After Picture
After my “slip” After 2 Rounds of
Metabolic Surge

So even if you DO fall off training wagon, don’t feel like you’ll never be able to get back to where you once were…it’s actually going to happen FASTER for you if you’ve been there before.

Conclusion:

Everybody makes mistakes…the key is to learn from these mistakes and grow…and hopefully not ever make them again. And I hope you learned from MY mistakes!

 

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Getting Back into the Routine after Radiation Therapy

 

Often when someone falls ill with a serious illness like cancer, his inclination is to visit his doctor or a group of specialists and expect the health care professional to “fix” him. What the patient might not realize is that whatever treatment is prescribed is often just a first step or a piece of the puzzle, and the patient will need to go the rest of the way and do the things that can help him return to good health.

 

 

Cancer treatment in particular often goes hand in hand with lifestyle changes designed to help the patient handle the side effects of treatment, and to help the treatment to be more effective. Long-term lifestyle changes can also help prevent cancer from returning after treatment.

 

Exercise should be an integral part of any recovery plan for a person receiving cancer treatment. In general, exercise can help to improve self-esteem, reduce anxiety and improve overall health. A recent study has revealed that activities like walking, swimming or cycling may help to reduce fatigue among prostate cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy. Fatigue is a common complaint among people who are recovering from or being treated for cancer. The researchers found that moderately intense workouts produced the best results. Walking is an excellent low-intensity workout, as is yoga or swimming.

 

There is currently no research to support a direct correlation between exercise and the prevention of the return of cancer, but regular exercise can prevent someone from becoming overweight or obese. There is more accumulating research indicating that obesity can reduce a patient’s survivability rate and/or increase the chance that cancer will recur. Obesity also increases the risk of other health problems and can adversely affect overall quality of life.

 

If you have undergone treatment for cancer, you should always check with your doctor or cancer specialists before you begin any exercise program. It is best to start slow—again, a low-intensity workout is fine. A brief walk or a few minutes in a pool is fine to begin with; then, you can slowly try to build up your endurance and do more as time goes on. One note of caution: if you have a weakened immune system you may want to avoid the gym, since public gyms often have a lot of germs and bacteria. Also, people undergoing radiation treatment should avoid chlorinated pools, since chlorine may irritate the skin over the treated area.

 

In terms of diet, many studies indicate that increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables can be beneficial during and after the treatment of some kinds of cancer. There is also some evidence that lowering your intake of red meat and fatty foods can reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. If nothing else, a healthy diet can help prevent obesity and the risks it brings. For vitamins, a basic multivitamin with 100% of the daily recommended amount of vitamins and minerals is probably beneficial, but taking too much of any one vitamin or supplement may actually have a negative effect.

 

Doctors and specialists can treat you for cancer, but if you truly want to get healthy, you need to take charge of your own recovery. You can do this by exercising and eating right.

 

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How Vital is Sleep? [ Infographic ]

 

We need sleep to survive.  Quality sleep is very important to our overall health and ability to function effectively throughout the day. However, when our lives become busy, sleep becomes less of a priority for many of us.

William C. Dement, MD, PhD, the Dean of Sleep Disorders Research and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, states: “Americans have gotten the message that good nutrition and plenty of exercise are important for health, but we have not paid enough attention to the third pillar of good health, which is adequate sleep.”
You Need More Sleep
Created by: Medical Billing and Coding Certification
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How Vital is Sleep?
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Top 7 Healthy Living Tips for Students on a Budget

 

Achieving health and fitness goals can seem difficult for those living on a student’s limited budget. Meeting those goals can be accomplished by eating right and finding a way to work in a little exercise nearly every day, even if there isn’t money to join a gym.

Eating right

It’s no secret there is an obesity problem in America and a large part of it has to do with the fact most people don’t know the proper meal portions they should be eating. The fact that restaurant meals are often larger than necessary obviously doesn’t help. Being healthy isn’t just about cutting out the things people enjoy eating. The following tips should help make it easier to make better food choices.

  • Don’t skip breakfast– Eat a good meal within 30 minutes of getting out of bed. This will help kick start your metabolism and give it energy for the day. Oatmeal is an inexpensive, low calorie option that actually provides fuel over a longer period of time than most other breakfast foods.
  • Learn the right portions – Rather than heaping piles of food on a plate, divide the dish into sections – one for protein, one for vegetables and one for grains. It also helps to vary the meals and make a point of trying some new foods.
  • Snacks – Limit the amount of junk food in the dorm room or apartment and replace bags of chips with healthy snacks like fruit or small vegetables, such as carrot sticks. Fruit is water dense, which means eating it provides satiety with smaller amounts than other foods.

Exercise

Staying in shape can be done without joining a health club and paying a costly monthly membership fee. With a little creative thinking it’s easy to exercise for free on a daily basis.
  • The body as equipment – Doing push-ups is a great way to build the muscles of the arms, chest and abdomen and use the weight of the body to do so. Sit ups or crunches also develop the abdominal muscles without the use of equipment. Jogging increases cardiovascular health and can be done outside around a track or the campus.
  • Sports – Get involved in intramural sports offered at the school or just go to the park and join in some pickup games. Playing sports uses a variety of muscles and often doesn’t feel like a workout routine.
  • Join with a friend– Working out is always more fun when there’s somebody urging another on to do their best. Relying on a friend can also prevent one member from quitting when the going gets tough.
  • Walk or bike –When possible, walk or ride a bike to class. This will provide a decent cardio workout without having to plan an extra session. For those that commute, park in a lot away from class and walk the rest of the way.
It doesn’t take a lot of money to reach fitness goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle. In fact, there are a number of easy ways to achieve good health without spending a lot of money for those willing to be creative.

 


About the Author: Christina Lloyd writes regularly for a site that has helpful tips about financial assistance for students, such as state school grants. She enjoys sharing her tips for living a healthy lifestyle on a tight budget.