Archive

Monthly Archives: October 2016
12

Are Nuts Healthy For You?

You would be amazed at how healthy nuts are, but even more amazed how most of us are not eating enough of them. We would rather snack on a bag of potato chips or a candy bar before going the healthy route and grabbing a bag of nuts.

Even though they are considered to be a great natural source of vitamin, protein, and fat, some may still wonder if nuts are healthy for you. Maybe some feel that they may be high in calories and tend to shy away from them not knowing all the benefits that come with eating them daily.

We all know that there are many to choose from so it may be a little tough trying to figure out which ones are healthiest. To be honest, I don’t think there is any real way of ranking them.

Depending on what type of nutrients you body needs on a particular day, is probably the nut best for you. Since none of us really know, it is best to eat a variety and go from there.

Why Nuts Are A Healthy Option

They are a great source for protein, and we all know how important protein is when it comes to achieving our fitness goals. Protein is important when it comes to building muscle and burning fat.

Not only are they a good source of protein, but they are a great source of fat as well. We need essential fatty acids contained in nuts for proper brain function and maintaining a healthy heart.

Which Nuts Are Healthiest To Eat

Most are healthy to eat so I really wouldn’t put a rank to any of them. I would however caution about eating nuts that may be heavily salted.

You want to make sure you stay away from them and look towards a more healthy option like raw or oven roasted. I will list off some nuts that I would recommend based on what may have more nutritional value for your body.

Almonds

You find them about everywhere now, even in milk. A small handful gives you just the right daily amount of magnesium your body needs and calcium to help strengthen bones. They are high in antioxidants like vitamin E and selenium. Some research shows that almonds may play an important role when it comes to preventing colon cancer.

Brazil Nuts

These nuts are filled with protein and may help in the prevention of breast cancer. The are also high in nutrients and minerals which are good for the heart. Like copper, niacin, vitamin E, fiber magnesium and selenium. Most certainly want to snack on these if you can.

Walnuts

One of the most nutritious nuts on earth. Walnuts may aid in supporting brain function. Studies have shown the eating walnuts are not only healthy for the heart, but also better cognitive function.

Cashews

About half the fat in Cashews are made up of monounsaturated fat which may help to reduce risk of heart disease and other cancer related illnesses. What is also great about Cashews is the fact that you can add these to some of your favorite meals like salads and curries for added flavor and texture.

Eat It As A Snack

They are great for having as a snack. So instead of stalking the vending machine and looking at the bags of chips and candy bars, nuts are a more healthy option and provides all types of benefits for your body.

I would recommend eating them about an hour before you decide to go for lunch so it reduces the craving for less healthy options. You should aim to eat about 28 grams a day which equals to what can fit in the palm of your hand.

So make sure to share below if you plan on making nuts something you snack on daily

12

Should You Workout In The Morning?

So the alarm goes off and you think to yourself, I got 15 more minutes and decide to hit the snooze button. An hour goes by and you eventually decide to get up and get ready for work.

You get up feeling like crap thinking to yourself, I really should have gotten that early morning workout in. Now your whole day is ruined because you decided to sleep in. Raise your hand if you have started your day to this theme song before.

So should you workout in the morning?

The logical answer would be yes, but we know that life has a way of throwing logic out the window. With work, getting kids ready for school and not getting a enough sleep throughout the night, it may be hard for you to jumpstart your day with an early morning workout.

Just like living a healthy lifestyle, deciding to workout in the morning is about creating a habit. My goal is to help push you into forming good habits on your way to a healthy lifestyle.

Start Your Day Off Right

There is no better feeling then knowing you got a good intense workout out of the way and are now free to do other things later on in the day.

That sense of accomplishment when you step out of the gym after an intense workout and say to yourself “I did it.” Well that is what working out in the morning can do for you.

You can get into you office or classroom feeling good about yourself knowing that you are already ahead of the game when it comes to your health.

You also have more energy throughout the day to get things done. Even if you hate your job, at least you get to enter the office with a positive attitude and more focus to accomplish any tasks you have set for the day.

Creates A Routine

Deciding to workout in the morning takes a lot of self-discipline and willpower. Through this, you are able to form good habits which helps you in working towards accomplishing your goals. When you are able create a routine for yourself, it almost becomes second nature as you continue to create this habit.

The same way you get up for work and fix the kids breakfast, making time to go to the gym involves the same commitment. Yes you have to wake-up a bit earlier, but by forming this habit, you are making sure to commit to a lifestyle that benefits you in the long-run.

Also know that it does get easier with time, so don’t be to hard on yourself if you miss a day or two. Create a schedule, and work on committing to that schedule week by week.

Boost In Metabolism

A great thing about working out in the morning is that little boost you get when it comes to your metabolism. At a time where most people’s breakfast consist of coffee and donuts, getting that early morning workout is going to increase your appetite and give you a reason to make sure you have a full healthy breakfast before you get into work.

Whether that breakfast is a protein shake, smoothie or some oatmeal, it sure beats having coffee and donuts. Thus making sure your metabolism is constantly working allowing you to burn off more calories during the day. This Phenomenon is called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).

The way EPOC works is after an intense workout, your body is continuing to burn off calories during the day even at rest. So even if you are at your desk or grocery shopping, because of that intense workout you had in the morning, your body continues to burn calories.

It is important to understand that in order for EPOC to work effectively, you have to be engaging in some type of high intensity training like cardio or weight lifting. So make sure to increase the intensity of your workouts if your current routine only consists of light jogging on a treadmill.

Avoid The Rush At The Gym

Like most people that choose to skip out on the early morning workout, they usually make time for it after work. Which means the gym where you go will be jammed packed with people trying to get their workout in for the day.

There is nothing worse than having to wait for the next machine to be available so you can start your workout. This can lead to a very ineffective workout thus stopping you from getting the results you want.

Also depending on which gym you go to, some people use after work hours for socializing. Now there is nothing wrong with chatting it up with friends, but if you are serious about getting results, you want to use this time to get a productive workout.

Better Sleep

The same way early morning workouts can give you that boost of energy you need to accomplish tasks throughout the day, it also lets you know when it is time for your body to rest. Waking up early in the morning to exercise will help improve your sleep.

You will get a healthy sense of fatigue when you are done with the day, thus preparing your body for rest. Morning exercise will not only increase the length of your sleep, but also help improve the quality of your sleep.

As opposed to working out in the evening where the adrenaline from the workout could keep you awake. We all know that there is nothing worse than being wired right before bed waiting to fall asleep.

SO WAKE UP!

So make sure to get up and kickstart your fitness goal with an early morning workout. You will be more sharp, in a better mood, and ready to tackle all of life’s obstacles during the day.

This is your life and your health and it is important to take control of it and form good habits. It all starts with YOU and how you decide to make fitness a part of your daily life.

So don’t be afraid to share below on how you plan on getting up in the morning to kickstart your day.

More about exercise:

8

Burn Fat With Green Tea

In this fast paced world we are living in today. We are always looking for a quick fix, especially when it comes to our health.

There are so many fat burning products out there claiming to burn fat quick, that sometimes we forget to think about how we may be sacrificing our health to achieve this fat burning process. Regardless of how unnatural the process may be, we forget about the natural ways.

One of the popular ways is green tea. You are probably asking yourself, is it possible to burn fat with green tea?

If coupled with a healthy diet and regular exercise, then yes, green tea can help in the process of burning fat.

Now don’t think of green tea as this magical potion that once you drink it, the fat will start melting right in front of your eyes. Like everything else in life, the work and effort has to be put in for results to show itself.

The Hype With Green Tea

When deciding to live a healthy lifestyle, it’s all about creating healthy habits. Not to say that if you drink green tea you will be healthy, but it sure does seem like most healthy people drink green tea. Green tea has been known to have many benefits if consumed daily.

It carries many anti-oxidants which helps aids in the fight against cancer growing cells. Which we know is formed by uncontrolled growth of cells. So if there is a way to help burn fat and help prevent cancer growing cells from forming in your body, you have to take it right?

Lose Weight Naturally

Some studies have shown that drinking green tea is a great way to help you lose weight naturally and lower your risk of becoming obese. One way this is possible is by boosting your metabolic rate. Increasing your metabolism as we all know, helps in the calorie burning process, thus causing you to burn fat and lose weight.

However, some studies have shown there not to be much statistically significant increase when it comes to weight loss, so this should be taken with a grain of salt. I do recommend asking some of your healthy friends if they drink tea and decide if it is something you may want to try.

Hot Tea vs Iced Tea

Although both has it health benefits whether you drink it hot or cold, studies have shown that hot water helps draw out the natural flavor and nutritious compounds in the water.

More antioxidants are released due to the hot water, thus giving you the full benefits of green tea. Also according to the Tea Association, Drinking fresh hot tea, allows for maximum antioxidant consumption.

Add Flavor To Your Tea

If you are having trouble consuming tea due to it not being flavorful enough for you, instead of using unnatural sugar, try using honey. Honey is an amazing substitute to some of the sweeteners used these days and has great health benefits.

One being that it is an anti-inflammatory and is great for the skin. Although, be careful adding honey to boiling water as it destroys all the nutrients honey provides for the body. So if your tea is lacking that flavor you so desire, try adding some honey to it.

Please share below how you make Green Tea a part of your daily fitness life.

14

Does Exercise Help Reduce Stress?

Dealing with stress can be hard on not just the individual, but also their friends and family. Feeling powerless to help someone dealing with stress can in turn cause stress for those that are around that person.

Which can cause people to not really want to be around that person, thus creating a lonely atmosphere which is never a good thing.

So when trying to figure out ways on how to deal with this stress, one must be able to first identify it, and then take action on it. Not letting it take control over your life should drive you to wanting to beat this.

Just know that there are ways of dealing with stress and that you just have to find your happiness through it all.  One of the most effective ways is through exercise.

You may ask the question, does exercise help reduce stress? The answer to that question is yes! Any type of physical activity can help release endorphins in the brain which will help give you that sense of purpose.

Figuring out which form of exercise or physical activity that is right for you is the key to helping you manage any stress you feel throughout the day.

Understanding Stress

The first step in managing stress, is understanding what is causing you the stress in the first place. It is also important to understand how stress can affect your life greatly in your daily activity. Some of the effects stress can put on you mentally are:

  • Lack of Motivation
  • Mood to be Altered
  • Lack of Focus
  • Lack of self worth

Stress can be caused by many things going on in your life. Whether it be work, kids, health, or money. Most times you don’t even realize how much stress is affecting your health. It could be something as simple as getting a headache or getting sick. Some of the Common effects of stress put on your body are:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Chest Pains
  • Low sex drive
  • Weak Immune system
  • Trouble sleeping

Recognizing these symptoms as a result of stress can sometimes be difficult due to other things going on in your life. Thus causing you not being able to know how to find a solution. That’s why it is important to commit to improving your health and make exercise a part of your lifestyle.

Reduce Stress With Physical Activity

If you have symptoms of stress, taking steps to manage stress can have numerous health benefits. There are many different physical activities that help stimulate the brain causing your mind to relax and help reduce stress.

The most important thing is doing something that makes you happy. So many times, we choose to do things because we feel it is necessary instead of doing things that makes us happy. Some of those things can include:

  • Any Physical Activity (jogging,walking, exercise)
  • Relaxing techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation or taking a yoga class
  • Having some alone time such as reading a book or maybe listening to music.
  • Socializing with Friends and Family
  • Something simple as SMILING 🙂

It is important for you to do these things because it can help take your mind off of whatever may be stressing you out. At times we forget to make time for ourselves and get caught up in what everyone else is doing.

Also participating in a activities like exercise can give you a sense of accomplishment. Knowing you were able to complete a workout, gives you that positive mindset. Also, the result of regular exercise helps you look good and feel which will help in creating a positive mindset.

Seeking Help

If you are not sure if stress is controlling your life, don’t be afraid to have a talk with friends and family to help give you encouragement and also help let you know that you are not alone in this.

If you have taken steps to control stress and your symptoms continue, then consult a doctor or other specialists that may help identify other causes of your stress.

Also make sure to ease into this process of controlling stress. The last thing you want to do is stress out over trying to manage stress.

So don’t let stress control you and know that you don’t have to do this all in one day. Making sure you continue to have a positive mindset will help in you beating stress throughout your daily life.

Please feel free to comment below on what steps you take to manage your stress daily.

Related Topics:

6

Should You Stretch Before or After a Workout?

Let’s be honest, nobody likes to stretch. Stretching just isn’t fun! But let’s also be real, unless you’re under the age of 30, the body just doesn’t move like it used to.

Even still, regardless of age, stretching can be key when making sure you are at your optimal level when exercising.  So the question is, Should you stretch before or after a workout?

I will breakdown the importance of why you should stretch, when you should stretch and how you should stretch when getting ready to take your body through a workout.

Importance Of Stretching

Improve Flexibility and Range of Motion – Stretching is a great way to improve your flexibility and range of motion while conducting a workout. By doing so, you are able to get the maximum benefit with any specific exercise you are doing.

Whether it is strength training, Running, or performing in competition, you are allowing your body to push at full capacity.

Warming up your body – You’re also getting the muscles warmed up and ready to complete a workout.

Especially as you get older, you will start to notice that when the body isn’t warmed up, you will feel a little tight and not able to move as freely as you would if you warmed up properly.

Getting the body warmed up also helps in preventing injury.  So stretching can be a great help in making sure the body is good to go before performing a workout.

Different Types Of Stretching Techniques

There are a two main types of stretching techniques you will see people do before or after a workout. Each stretch has its pros and cons, but both try to achieve one main goal, which is to get the body ready to perform. The two types of stretches are Static and Dynamic and I will explain how both are effective in getting the body ready.

Static Stretching – which you will see most people do before or after a workout, either while sitting down or standing up. The purpose of this stretch is to make sure that all tight muscles are stretch out before performing an exercise.

Usually tight muscles within the body are shortened and need to be stretched out. So you will see people stationary in positions that are meant to lengthen the muscle that feels tight.

Dynamic Stretching – this type of stretch involves more movement as you are preparing the body for a particular exercise you are about to perform.

For example, you tend to see track athletes that are getting ready for a sprint race perform high knees while pumping their arms.

Since during the race this will be the actual motion they will be performing, it helps make sure their body is operating at full potential.

Research has also shown that dynamic stretching helps more with getting your body ready for the workout as where static stretching can decrease strength if done before before a workout.

Which gets me to the question, should you stretch before or after a workout?

When Should You Stretch And For How Long?

The recommended amount of time to stretch each muscle, is usually about 30 seconds long. Keep in mind that every person is different so you want to make sure you stretch for as long as it takes for your body to get warmed up for the workout. Depending on the your workout, making sure your body is prepared to do that workout is important to making sure you prevent injury.

So if you are getting ready to do squats, doing dynamic stretching will provide a more efficient workout if performed before. Static stretching done before a workout is known to reduce your strength thus causing you to not perform your exercise at optimal level.

I would recommend doing some static stretches after your workout where the muscles tend to be tight(shortened) to make sure you lengthen them to get them loose.

Cool Down And Stretch

This is a good time to focus on your breathing and get your mind right after an intense workout. Also, I would highly recommend you invest in a foam roller which can be a great tool for loosening up your muscles before and after a workout

So please comment below and let us know how you prepare for a workout. Whether you stretch before or after a workout and how does your body feel afterwards.

More about exercise: