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Simple Changes to Your Diet That Can Improve Fitness Progress

You’ve probably heard that the best way to improve your health is to diet and exercise.

Dieting and exercise actually go hand-in-hand. Improving your diet will help you exercise better, and both will help you feel better about your life.

But it can be challenging to change everything about your diet all at once. Here are some simple changes to make that can help you improve your fitness.

Stop Buying Processed Foods

Processed foods contain a lot of chemicals and additives that are not good for your metabolism or your health. High fructose corn syrup, for example, is an additive that is found in many processed foods, but it is dangerous for your health.

It can increase your risk of getting serious diseases, such as type II diabetes, and also puts you more at risk of weight gain.

Reducing your intake of processed foods will help your body stay healthier and have more energy.

Choose Lean Meat

Lean meat contains high amounts of calcium and phosphorus, which are great for your dental health. Calcium is also good for your bones to keep them healthy and strong.

The body needs protein, which meat contains, but fat is harder to digest. Lean meat reduces your fat intake while still giving you the protein, which can help you build your muscles while you work out.

Lean meat also gives you more energy, decreases your risk for diabetes, and gives you healthier blood.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are a natural way to give your body the energy it needs while also decreasing your risk of certain diseases.

You may know that carrots are good for the eyes, but did you know that cranberries reduce your risk of getting urinary tract infections?

Potassium, found in bananas, can help the body maintain a healthy blood pressure. Some fruits and vegetables help lower the risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease as well as improve your mental health.

Fruits and vegetables may be expensive to buy at the store, but their health benefits far outweigh their cost.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to make dramatic life decisions. You already eat meat—just go for the lean variety.

You already need to buy fruits and vegetables, just buy more of them and eat them regularly. Little decisions can make a big difference for your body, and for your life.

Read this next: 3 Diet Plans to Help You Get Lean Quickly

Gentle Activities That Are Good for Days Off from Training

Exercise is great! It has loads of health benefits and helps you feel good. And, as an athlete, it keeps you in top competitive shape. As good for you as it is though, it is possible to overdo it.

Taking a day off from training, or a rest day, is important and should be included in your workout regimen on a regular basis. Rest days help you recover and avoid burnout. That doesn’t mean you have to do nothing all day though.

There are some gentle activities you can do that are perfect for your days off from training.

Rolling Out

Rolling out can do wonders for alleviating muscle soreness. Also called self myofascial release, it offers athletes multiple benefits. You can use a foam roller or another type of rolling equipment.

What works best may depend on what areas you’re trying to target. A foam roller can be great for working on larger areas such as your back and sides. If you want to target your shoulders and neck, however, you’re probably better off with something like a theracane.

Powersticks can be great for your legs. One of the great things about all of these pieces of equipment is that you control how intense the pressure is and how long you spend working on an area.

Soaking in a Hot Tub

Spending time in a hot tub offers multiple benefits for athletes. It can be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, and help reduce muscle soreness.

The sound and feel of the water can calm the mind, providing mental refreshment in addition to physical restoration. Keep track of how long you soak to make sure you stay safe.

Staying in a hot tub for too long can have negative effects, like headaches, dizziness, and a raised body temperature.

Tai Chi

Tai chi is another great activity for rest days. Tai chi isn’t meant to be a high impact exercise. It’s slow and methodical. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t take physical effort to do though.

Tai chi incorporates fitness aspects such as strength, flexibility, and balance, all of which are beneficial to athletes. Tai chi can improve sport performance, and serve as a gentle method of exercising all at once.

Practicing tai chi doesn’t require equipment or much in the way of space, making it an accessible form of cross training and gentle rest day activity for athletes.

Rest days are important for athletes. They promote healing and restoration, but don’t have to be days of inactivity.

Gentle activities such as rolling out, soaking in a hot tub, or practicing tai chi are all great options for staying lightly active on a rest day while still reaping the benefits of resting.

It’s important to fuel up before you exercise to gain the maximum benefits. Learn more about supplements and their benefits here!

4 Exercises to Keep Your Knees Working Well

The knee joints are one of the most important and most durable, and we depend on them for mobility. Regular everyday movements put lots of pressure on our knees, and overtime knees joints weakness can become an issue for many people.

The human body is remarkably resilient and responds positively to proper exercise. The following activities will keep your knees and surrounding muscles strong.

Hamstring

There are three major muscles in the thigh: the quadriceps, located in the front, adductor muscles, located on the inside of the leg and the hamstrings, located on the back.

The hamstring runs between the knee, pelvis, and shinbone, which is why they play an essential role in knee mobility and strength. The standing leg curl exercise focuses on the resistance of your lower leg on the hamstring and is an excellent exercise to keep your knees working well.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand straight with your feet and legs about two inches apart.
  • Lift your right leg by bending your knee behind your body and hold for five to eleven minutes.
  • Slowly lower your right leg back down to its starting position.
  • Switch to your left leg and repeat the same motion.

If you have balance problems or pose a fall risk, feel free to hold a stationary object while following the mentioned steps.

Quadriceps

The straight leg raise exercise focuses on the quadriceps, which include four muscles located in the front of the thigh. These muscles are attached directly to the knee and are critical to ensure your knees are functioning correctly.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lay flat on your back with one leg bent by having the foot flat against the floor
  • The opposite leg should be stretched out straight and on the floor.
  • Lift the straight leg up and down.

Depending on your comfortability, try and complete three sets of twelve to fifteen reps. Repeat the same motion with the alternative leg.

Range of Motion

Exercises involving stretching increase range of motion and flexibility, and are important for keeping your knees strong. Range of motion exercises are essential for knee health because they help preserve the mobility of the knee and flexibility.

These types of exercises involve moving the knee and focusing on controlling the movement to increase strength. Wall slides are a good range of motion exercises and are best performed with socks on.

Here’s how to do them:

  • Lay flat on your back and form a ninety-degree angle with the wall.
  • Slowly bend your knee down towards the floor as far as you can and hold for about ten seconds and repeat.

Knee Extensions

Knee extensions focus on strengthening the quadriceps much the same way as the straight leg raises. Here’s how to do them:

  • Sit on a table or desk and ensure your legs dangle above the floor.
  • Slowly extend the knee up and down.
  • While your knee is in the up position, hold the knee for two to six seconds.
  • Repeat the same motion with the alternative leg.

Try to complete five to seven sets, for twelve to fifteen reps, and add ankle weights as your strength increases.

Our knees endure stress going about our everyday lives. To avoid irreversible damage to these essential joints we call knees, it’s vital to try and incorporate the mentioned exercise to slow aging and increase leg and knee strength.

If you are plagued with knee problems or suffered knee injury, the suggested activities performed regularly will prevent damage and help them recover from injuries.

Essential Safety Tips for the Solitary Jogger

Jogging is a great way to stay physically fit as well as boost your mental health. However, solo joggers need to take precautions to stay safe on their runs. Here are a few tips for those who jog alone.

Always Tell Someone Where You’re Going

It’s nice to take a jog to escape from the noise of the world. It’s just extremely important to let someone know where you are going before leaving.

Have a path you are going to follow, and give the details to someone you know. This makes it easier for someone to find you if you don’t return. Should you sustain an injury, dehydrate, or run into some other problem on your jog, at least one person will know where to start looking for you to offer help.

It’s also possible to use certain apps to share your running path with a trusted friend, so they can track your progress and make sure you arrive back at home.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Jogging is a mental zone-out activity for many people. However, not being aware of your surroundings can cause problems when you are jogging alone.

That’s why it’s wise to listen for the sounds of cars and scan the people around you to make sure they don’t mean you any harm. Make sure you are careful when crossing the street, since according to Lorenz & Lorenz, 42 percent of all traffic accident deaths in 2018 were pedestrians. Take your headphones out of your ears when crossing, so you will be able to hear a car that you might not yet be able to see.

Dress in Bright Colors

It’s important to wear bright colors, so you will be seen by drivers. If you jog alone at night, according to Panther Vision, it’s a good idea to wear reflective gear or a vest with lights so you will be visible. This is especially important if you jog alone.

It’s easier to see a group when they are jogging together. However, you can be in a car’s blind spot or right on the edge of someone’s sight when you are alone. That’s why you want to avoid wearing all black or running in areas that aren’t well lit.

Jogging alone can be a very relaxing activity. It’s just important to stay safe while you are getting fit. Make sure that you take the proper safety precautions so that you can make sure that you protect yourself.

Here’s another article you might like: Training for a Marathon? 3 Important Considerations to Keep in Mind

Training for a Marathon? 3 Important Considerations to Keep in Mind

So, you’re planning to run a marathon. That’s a huge deal, and it requires a great amount of preparation. Between training, nutrition, and the proper gear, it’s important to ensure you’re covering the basics.

Whether you’re a beginner or veteran runner, you always want to be safe.

Training

Training for a marathon is essential to finishing the race. Regardless of your experience level, you’ll need to follow a training program. Basically, you need to consistently run various lengths to get ready for the big day.

If you’re new, consider starting with lower amounts of mileage. More experienced runners will be able to easily finish longer miles. Give yourself plenty of time to build up to those advanced runs. As you’re training, remember some key safety points.

For example, try finding a partner. Running out on your own can be dangerous, and pairs can provide some comfort. Additionally, the roads can be dangerous, so practice caution.

According to Abels & Annes, as you are training on the road, it’s important to obey the rules of the road. Remember to use designated crosswalks, be cautious at intersections, be seen by wearing bright colors, stay alert, and don’t be unpredictable.

Nutrition

Nutrition is important to your overall health, but according to Training Peaks, it can also get you ready for your marathon. For one, water is key. Your body requires adequate amounts of water to stay hydrated.

For foods, ensure you’re eating enough calories to keep up with the energy you’re burning. Ideally, you’ll consume plenty of carbohydrates, like bananas and energy bars, to give your body fuel. Try to avoid fatty foods, such as processed meats.

Fiber should also be avoided as the day approaches if you’re prone to tummy troubles. On the day of the race, eat a carbohydrate-rich breakfast with foods including berries, eggs, and or Greek yogurt. Shortly before the marathon, make sure you’ve consumed plenty of water or sports drinks.

As you sweat, your electrolytes may be depleted, and sports drinks can help put them back in. Ideal snacks include peanut butter, grains, and dates.

Gear

While preparing and during the actual marathon, you’ll need the proper gear. According to Run and Become, it’s vital that you invest in some high-quality running shoes.

You’ll want soft and cushioned heels to lessen the impact of your foot hitting the ground. Light clothing can help you to feel cooler during the race, too. Consider the weather when picking out your gear. If it’s raining, wear a lightweight jacket, if needed.

During hot weather, try wearing some loose running shorts or tights. Sweatbands can also help you during the race. Whether on your face or your wrist, they’re a great way to quickly wipe away the beads. Comfort is a great way to finish the training and race.

Training for your marathon doesn’t have to be a daunting task. There are a lot of easy things you can do that can make it a much better experience. By ensuring you have the right gear, training program, and diet, you’ll master that race.

Here’s another article you might enjoy: Why It’s Important to Work Out Outside During the Winter

What to Do After Your Workout to Help With Muscle Soreness

When you’re trying to build muscle, you’ll feel sore after your workouts. There’s just no way around it. To mitigate muscle soreness and help you get back in the gym as quickly as possible, proper post-workout care is critical.

Take a look at these helpful soreness-reducing tips to keep your body feeling great, so you can get the most out of your workouts.

Stretch

Gentle stretching after your workout can help relieve muscle soreness by elongating muscle fibers and clearing lactic acid buildup. When lifting weights, you shorten your muscle fibers with each muscular contraction. Therefore, it’s important to elongate those fibers after training for your muscles to recover properly. Try to incorporate approximately 20 minutes of static stretching after your workout for the best results.

Remedies

Post-workout remedies can drastically reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. CBD capsules can help with muscle soreness as well as ice, heat, rest and anti-inflammatory medication, so find what works best for you.

If you choose to incorporate ice and heat, be sure to alternate the two every 20 minutes. Taking too much anti-inflammatory medication can actually slow down your muscle recovery.

Since your body requires a small amount of inflammation to trigger its natural healing processes, try to limit NSAID medications unless you are very sore. Consuming plenty of water — between 64 and 100 ounces daily — will also help with muscle recovery since muscle tissue is approximately 60 percent water.

Proper Nutrition

Eating the right foods after a workout can work wonders for keeping muscle soreness to a minimum. During a workout, you create microtears in your muscle fibers, which your body immediately begins working to repair.

The primary cause of the soreness you feel after training is a result of muscular inflammation, which triggers your body to begin the repair process.

When you feed your body the amino acids it requires immediately after your workout, you give your body the tools it needs to repair those tiny tears, which will mitigate muscle soreness.

Try to consume one serving of fast-digesting protein and carbohydrates within an hour after your workout. You can also include anti-inflammatory foods like tart cherries, berries and dark leafy greens to help boost recovery.

When you’re trying to build muscle, you can guarantee your body will feel sore after each workout.

However, incorporating proper recovery practices and nutrition gives your body the tools it needs to recover as quickly as possible. Through trial and error, you’ll find the practices that work best for your individual physiology, and you’ll be able to hit the weights again in no time.

Are you working out this winter, but hate the cold? Check out why you should still go outside!

3 Workouts to Speed Up Recovery After an Injury

Injuries can happen at any time even when we are doing everything right. Most of us are driven to get back on our feet. However, that often leads to people reinjuring themselves. Therefore, to make sure that you are properly equipped with the right knowledge, the following are the top three workouts to speed up your recovery time after an injury. 

Yoga

Those who have experienced an injury before often swear by yoga. Yoga is seen as a therapeutic tool for common injuries due to its ability to help circulate blood around the trouble areas as well as activating the body’s lymphatic system. However, just like with any treatment, you should be aware of your limitations before attempting some of the more advanced yoga poses. You should speak to your doctor for further advice.

Pilates

Pilates isn’t just for pregnant women but all kinds of people including, athletes, dancers and those recovering from back injuries. As of matter of fact, Pilates is once again rising in popularity in the United States not only for its muscle-building benefits, but also for it being a great physical therapy tool. It is revered for its flexibility, a major benefit when dealing with injuries. Therefore, physical therapists often recommend that their patients consider this alternative form of treatment. The variety of levels involved in Pilates provides people with all types of injuries the ability to strengthen their core and back. 

Swimming

You might think that swimming is just a great way to cool off on a hot summer day, but did you know it also is beneficial for those seeking to recover from an injury? Swimming is often a preferred therapeutic treatment for those suffering from a back injury. A big reason for this is the fact that swimming has a low impact on the back. Circulation of blood is a great way to recover faster, but even simple things like walking can really do a number on your back. Swimming allows an individual to remain in motion with it having little to no impact on his or her back. 

These are some of the best things to do in order to speed up your recovery time. This information can help you make a more educated decision on your preferred treatment. As always, make sure you consult with your physician before starting any workout routine.

Vertical Hanging

Get rid of shoulder pain quickly and easily by trying vertical hanging. Watch this video to find out how to do it.

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Things You Should Probably Never Wear to the Gym and Why

Working out is an incredibly healthy activity to engage in. It can help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol, keep your blood pressure at a healthy level and balance your blood sugar levels.

If you’re a woman who works out regularly, then you probably have some outfits that are dedicated to exercise. After all, you need to be comfortable in order to get a good sweat going.

However, there are some things that aren’t great to wear and can take away from a positive gym experience. Here are some things you should probably leave at home when you go to the gym.

Worn-Out Sports Bra

A sports bra is very important, especially if you require lots of support. Sports bras are designed very differently than a traditional bra.

They go over your head, and sports bras have support and padding where you need it most. If your favorite bra is worn out, this can end up being dangerous.

For one, an underwire bra could end up poking through your skin and causing harm. Secondly, your worn-out bra could be harvesting a lot of bacteria if it’s not being washed properly.

Jewelry

You should try to leave your jewelry at home if you’re going to the gym. It’s going to get in your way, and jewelry at the gym could be dangerous.

Working out while wearing a ring can cause serious injury in addition to damaging the ring itself. Necklaces can end up getting twisted around your neck.

The sweat from your body could end up harming the quality of your jewelry if you’re not careful.

Work Clothes

It might be tempting to keep your work clothes on and stop by the gym on your lunch. However, you’re meant to sweat at the gym. You don’t want to get your clothes sweaty.

This could be harmful to your skin as your sweat will be trapped on your body for the rest of the day. Also, work clothes could end up being dangerous if you’re on the treadmill or using free weights.

It doesn’t take too much effort to keep a spare set of gym clothes in your work bag. You’ll be much more comfortable.

If you’re going to be an avid gym enthusiast, think about how you can make this process safe and comfortable for yourself.

You want to make sure you’re safe, but you also want to leave your valuables somewhere that they will be safer. Invest in the gear you need. Your workouts will be better thanks to these changes.

Here’s another article you might enjoy: 3 Things to Monitor to Keep Yourself Safe When Working Out

Safe Exercises to Do When You Have a Back Injury

Just because you’ve injured your back doesn’t mean you have to consign yourself to the couch for the next few months. You can still hit the gym and you can still keep fit.

The goal then becomes making sure that you can work out without hurting yourself even more. Whether an injury to your back felt like a sudden stab of pain or like a slow buildup into something you can’t ignore, you can still stay active.

The best thing to do is to get advice from a physical therapist on form, alignment, and some new exercises to help rebuild after an injury. The most common back injuries include fractures, strains, sprains, herniated discs, and stenosis.

No matter what you’re dealing with, a physical therapist can help you check your alignment, move smoothly and slowly to avoid reinjuring the spot or making it worse and increase your workouts slowly.

Lat Pulldowns

Doing lat pulldowns on a machine is a great option for returning to exercise slowly.

The critical thing to remember about lat pulldowns is to move slowly and work within a small range. If you try to pull the bar behind your neck or pull the elbows back instead of straight down, you’re putting pressure on your spine and shoulders.

This exercise is also very flexible; you can do it from a seated or prone position if your low back is troubling you.

Focus on Core

If your back has a tendency to go out on you, your core is not strong enough to handle the weight you’re trying to lift.

To build a strong core, especially if you have low back pain, work on bridges and planks to build up the muscles between the pelvic bone and navel. If your lower back is so sore you can’t plank, start on your knees or start with your feet out wide until you find that straight line from the back of your head down to your tailbone.

Bridges can be done while lying on a mat. Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor, then press up so your body is on a slant from knees down to shoulders. If you can’t bridge from the floor, find a big workout ball and lay with your feet on the ball.

Lift your hips and try to form a long diagonal line from shoulders to shoes.

Take Stretching Breaks

Stretching breaks can be good to relieve pain during a workout and can prevent you from getting more injuries while you work out.

If you usually wait to stretch until the end of your workout, try adding some stretches after each set of reps. Sore muscles lose elasticity. If you have low back pain, keeping your hips stretched is a great way to get rid of that tight ache at the base of your spine.

Get Professional Help

Many types of muscle pain show up because something is misaligned. If you’ve been fighting back pain for a while now, contact a chiropractor or physical therapist to make sure everything is in the right place.

Also, take the time to rest and be sure to ice the spot that hurts to try to reduce inflammation. Sometimes, misaligned areas will return to the right position but not if there’s a great deal of swelling or you’re pushing through pain and reinjuring it.

Muscle pain and alignment pain are very different. If the pain won’t stretch out or ease up as you work out, you need to see a professional.

The Key to Bodybuilding Isn’t Protein — It’s Persistence

A healthy weight-lifting routine will include lifting, stretching, hydration and rest. Anyone hoping for a healthier body will need to eat a healthy diet. However, loading up on protein doesn’t have to be the first thing on your list as you start a bodybuilding program. 

The Harmful Myth of the Training Montage

Beginning weight lifters can be overly optimistic when they start their bodybuilding routine. In addition, a lot of entertainment programs on TV, as well as movies, show bodybuilding as something you can do quickly with the right workout intensity and diet. 

However, pushing too hard will not only leave you with debilitating muscle soreness, but it can also damage your tendons and ligaments when you train too hard. Rather than killing yourself trying to do everything, it would be better to try a five-day split workout. This workout will let you move on to another body part each day over five days, letting the muscles you worked yesterday heal. Plus, the program has two days of rest built in. 

Growth Occurs Gradually

The right protein shake can help you reduce muscle pain after your workout. Many bodybuilders have good results with whey-based protein. However, the most important thing is that you stick with the weight-lifting process. Increase your weight slowly, build up a tolerance, and then move up again. By making small, positive changes over a long period of time, you can achieve far more in the end. This applies to your workout, your supplement routine, and your daily diet. Growth occurs gradually over time with consistent effort. This is a concept called Kaizen in Japan. While often applied to business, this mindset can be applied to improvement in any other area of life, including fitness.

Start Small

Nothing will make weight lifting easy, but the proper form will make it safe. Even if you have to start with a 3-pound weight, work light until your form is secure and consistent. Then, you can bump up the size of your weights and not put your connective tissues at risk. In addition, it’s critical that you incorporate physical and mental rest into your life after your workouts. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re more likely to make poor choices throughout the day. If you really want to be a lifter, you need to give your body the best support you can. That includes getting plenty of water, proper supplementation, and sleep.

A great workout program is one that you’ll go back to on a regular basis. If you want lasting results, you’re going to have to give your body time to recuperate from the workouts as your muscles grow. No matter what your ultimate goal is, be ready to increase your lifting program logically and safely.

Want to understand the best ways to bulk up and cut fat? Check out these reviews from Muscle Growth Solutions:

Avoid These Things in Order to Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is extremely important when it comes to keeping yourself resilient and energetic.

Many people also find it tricky to keep to their weight, which is why there seem to be pieces of advice on maintaining your weight everywhere you look.

In order to consistently set and meet healthy goals for your ideal weight, keep an eye out for these common pitfalls.

The “Winner’s Mindset”

Many people go through rigorous routines and put in countless hours of hard work only to have their weight bounce right back after they attain their goals.

One of the main culprits to blame here is the “winner’s mindset.” Essentially, this is the mindset that your work is done since your ideal weight has been reached.

While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating your achievements, it’s important to realize that maintaining your healthiest weight isn’t a finite task; it’s a lifestyle. Keep this in mind to avoid falling back into the old patterns that raised concerns about your weight in the first place.

Diets

When people are asked how to maintain a healthy weight, many reply with “diet and exercise.” Unfortunately, many people take the dietary component of weight control as encouragement to hop onto the latest dieting bandwagon.

Many diet trends and fads are actually harmful to your body. Additionally, a lot of them work only for a small percentage of the population — if at all. According to Xyngular, over 90% of diets fail, and the people who try them keep gaining weight.

Instead of getting swept up in extreme diet trends that are more likely to tax your body than to strengthen it, focus on eating healthier foods overall.

Skip Breakfast

While you might think that any opportunity to cut out extra calories should be taken, think again! According to Duke Diet and Fitness, people actually do better at maintaining a healthy weight when they eat a solid, healthy breakfast than people who skip it.

Skipping breakfast will only leave you feeling tired and hungry throughout the day while eroding your willpower, making you far more likely to overeat later.

Maintaining your optimal weight is an integral part of overall good health, and prioritizing it is an excellent choice! However, it’s important not to fall prey to misinformation and bad advice.

No matter which craze you see people getting swept up in, avoid falling for dieting fads and the “winner’s mindset” that so often sabotage people’s efforts.

Additionally, make sure you resist any temptation to skip breakfast since a nutritious morning meal will set you up for a more successful day.

Want to see your abs more? Consider using a belly fat belt with your diet and exercise!

How to Continue Bodybuilding After Becoming Disabled

Bodybuilding isn’t all about competing and winning medals, nor is the sport intended solely for people in their 20s. Anyone can take up bodybuilding as a hobby and path to stronger, healthier living.

Bodybuilding does require performing physical tasks, which may present obstacles to persons with disabilities. Don’t automatically assume the challenges can’t be overcome.

If a doctor okays weightlifting exercises, someone with a disability should be able to hit the gym and workout with enthusiasm. Some changes to workout plans, however, may be necessary.

Ease Back into It

When injuries or disabilities impose physical limitations, you can’t expect yourself to perform where you left off. Rushing right back into heavy compound exercises and maximum lifts could be both self-defeating and outright injurious.

Take your time when turning to the weight room, and figure out any limitations you possess. Once you determine those limitations, you can address them. Besides, why would you want to rush?

Your goal here involves enjoying yourself and experiencing better fitness. Overtraining or hurting yourself in the gym will undermine both goals.

Adapt Your Routine

You must work on coming up with a routine appropriate for you and your specific injury. Persons with severe injuries positively require some changes.

Case in point, there’s no such thing as a simple spine injury, so you need specific guides for recovery and rehab for those kinds of injury. If you went through a formal rehab stay, then you likely learned several rehab-oriented exercises. Maybe the rehab trainer provided a workout routine to follow after your discharge.

A rehab routine certainly won’t be the same as a pre-contest one, but the program probably will deliver a better path to progress. And stay on the path to progress. Barring a medical issue, never give up.

Work with an Expert

Personal trainers come in many forms. Some boast of specialty training background their peers lack. Is there a personal trainer in your area skilled in helping those with physical limitations. Working with such a trainer could prove highly productive.

Working out under the watchful eye of a trainer does more than lead to gains. A trainer could potentially help you avoid further injuries. Perhaps you need assistance with improving form, or maybe some exercises are ill-advised.

Why try and figure things out by yourself when a trainer can keep you on the path?

Physical disabilities pose concerns for anyone who loves bodybuilding, but concerns don’t necessarily mean roadblocks. Once again, find the right path forward, and never give up.
Home gyms can be very helpful for exercising regularly with limited mobility. Read our reviews!

Taking On a Trucking Job Isn’t an Obesity Sentence

Being a full-time truck driver can be a very lucrative and rewarding career option. Not only do you make good money, but you get to travel to many different areas of the country if you sign up with the right company.

A lot of people find this lifestyle tempting. You’ll be out on the road for a couple of weeks at a time, with some time off after each job. The only problem is, some people are concerned that trucking can be an obesity sentence. After all, you’ll be sitting behind the wheel for much of your day.

When you’re not driving, you will probably want to relax and rest from the trucker’s lifestyle, a sedentary lifestyle. Obesity coupled with the stress of the job puts truckers at risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, sleep apnea, and other conditions.

Let’s look at how you can stay healthy and in shape in this field of work.

Log Your Exercise and Nutrition

You might currently be overweight and looking for a way to lose weight and get back in shape. If you’re already in pretty good shape and are going to be heading out on the road for the first time, you don’t have to put your health on the back burner.

Plan ahead to make sure you live a healthy lifestyle even on the road rather than falling back on a sedentary lifestyle. If you want to hold yourself accountable, you can log the amount of exercise that you’re getting in each day on the road.

Also, write down what you are eating. You can take a look at this information later on and figure out what is working for you. You’ll also be able to determine where you went wrong and how you can improve.

If you’re lacking in some nutrients, you might consider taking supplements to get all the nutrition that you need.

Shoot for at Least 15 Minutes/Day

There are many different exercises that you can do in as little as 15 minutes. These exercises will get your heart rate up, get your body moving and help you stay active.

While you can join a gym that is available to you on the road, you can also figure out ways that you can stay in shape from your hotel room or right from the convenience of your truck.

Use Your Truck As Gym Equipment

There are many different exercises that you can do when you take a break on the side of the road. You can use resistance bands to get an upper body workout in.

You can use a mat that will provide you with space on the ground to do exercises like crunches. You don’t necessarily need fancy and expensive equipment in order to stay in shape.

While the nature of a trucking job may make it difficult to stay in shape and healthy, it’s definitely doable. There are tools and tricks like the ones above that can help you.

All you have to do is remember to be consistent in eating healthily and exercising every day. Doing these things will help you to live longer and avoid lots of health issues so you can have a better quality of life.

3 Things to Monitor to Keep Yourself Safe When Working Out

Working out can boost your cardiovascular fitness, enhance muscle tone, and help you feel more positive overall. To maximize the benefits of each workout, you should make sure to listen to your body and monitor the health aspects discussed below so that you can exercise as safely as possible. Always see your doctor for a checkup before you begin a new exercise program, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions.

Your Form

Monitoring your posture during exercise helps ensure that you are targeting the intended muscle groups for a particular activity. Proper form helps you strengthen your muscles more quickly, and it is crucial in injury prevention. According to RelaxoBak, if your alignment is improper while attempting to perform a stretch or pose, you could damage your muscles or joints. You might then have to have medical care or take time off from your workouts to heal. 

You should also make sure that you learn how to properly use your equipment to prevent injury. Never just guess on your own how to use a piece of equipment. Personal trainers can instruct you in proper form, and they can also provide details about modified forms that could help you if you have injuries. Online videos can also give you the basic details about healthy posture for specific activities.

Hydration

Paying attention to your hydration needs before, during, and after your workout can help you maintain consistent energy levels and increase your endurance. According to Brauns Law, adequate fluid intake can help reduce the risk of serious sports injuries, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It will help prevent dizziness and keep your electrolytes properly balanced, too. Doctors recommend that individuals weigh themselves both before and immediately after each workout. Any weight that is lost immediately after exercise is likely a loss of fluid, and patients should aim to replace this amount through fluid consumption after the workout. Water, sports drinks, and solutions designed to balance electrolytes can all help with meeting hydration needs.

Heart Rate

Monitoring your heart rate during physical activity can give you an indication of the intensity of your workout. According to Biostrap, it can help you pace each exercise session and avoid overexerting yourself, particularly if you have cardiac conditions. To monitor your heart rate, you can check your pulse by placing two fingers on the inside of your wrist, counting the beats for 15 seconds, and multiplying by four. Many fitness trackers will automatically provide heart rate measurements, and some gym equipment will, too. If you find that your heart rate is getting unusually high, it may be necessary to slow down your pace. Always stop working out if you experience chest pain or heart palpitations. If these occur, check in with your doctor to make sure that your heart is healthy enough for exercise.

No one wants to be hurt as a result of working out. Injuries can be a hindrance to your workouts and to achieving your fitness goals. By concentrating on your posture, hydration, and heart rate during your exercise sessions, you’ll be able to meet your fitness goals more quickly and protect yourself from injury. Enjoy your workout!

3 Snacks to Help You Build Muscle and Burn Fat During a Workout

So many people today are trying to slim down while putting on some muscle. Aerobic exercise and weight training are both integral parts of any plan to build muscle and lose weight, but fueling your body is also essential. Most people know that you need protein to build muscle and energy-packed snacks to make it through your workout routine. And if you’re looking for some ideas on what foods to eat to get these sources of fuel, check out these three ideas.

Tuna

Incorporating tuna into your weekly diet is a great way to get lean protein. While tuna salad sandwiches are a classic meal, full-fat mayonnaise has 90 calories and 10 grams of fat per tablespoon, and most people eat more than a tablespoon. If you’re close to your daily fat and calorie intake, you can swap the mayonnaise for a substitute. Hummus, which has one and a half grams of fat and 25 calories per serving, adds a creamy texture to tuna salad.  Spoon University, also recommends using hummus on a grilled veggie wrap or grilled chicken sandwich. Plus, hummus is made with olive oil, which is good for your heart. For a treat, you can also try mixing tuna with avocado. This fruit has many vitamins and healthy fats, too. But don’t eat too much of it. Although the fats are healthy, it’s still fat and calories, and this can derail your efforts if you’re trying to lose weight.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit, such as raisins, dried figs, and dried apricots, contain many nutritional benefits, such as vitamins and antioxidants, and dried fruit is a great source of energy. Treblab explains that dried fruit is dense in energy-boosting calories, so it makes a great alternative to the traditional pre-workout energy drink. But avoid the candied varieties, which have sugar on the outside that provides no additional nutritional benefits. Otherwise, a box of raisins is a quick, easy, and nutritious snack to have shortly before your workout.

Nuts

Sportspeople often avoid incorporating nuts into their diet since they are typically high in fat and calories. In reality, nuts have several energy-boosting properties that can carry you through a workout. Borges explains that walnuts are rich in healthy fats that can work to boost strength and performance during a workout. The healthy fats from nuts also have anti-inflamatory properties, which can support joint function. They also have electrolytes, which can prevent muscle cramping.

Although you might want to lose weight, you need to fill your body with nutritious foods so that you can power through even the toughest workout routines. And when you put on muscle, maintaining your weight will be even easier.
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4 Nasty Habits That Undermine Your Gains

Attempting to build muscle mass can be a challenge for some, but the right tips and techniques can ensure that you make the most out of your time at the gym. It is equally important to make sure that you do not pick up habits that will negate all of your hard work. Here are four nasty habits that can undermine even the most well-planned goals:

Too Much Cardio

Although cardiovascular exercise delivers immense benefits to the body, too much of it can burn an excess of calories. Adding bulk can be extremely difficult if your body is constantly fighting a calorie deficit. Long and sustained aerobic exercise will eventually force your body to use muscle to fuel itself. Although cardiovascular work is great in moderation, too much of a good thing can derail your plans to build bulk.

Insufficient Protein

Your body craves protein to fuel its muscle recovery. Without adequate protein, you will be missing out on delivering crucial amino acids to your body. If your body lacks a steady supply of amino acids, you will begin to experience muscle fatigue and loss of strength. Insufficient protein intakes will force your body to turn to existing muscle fibers to harness the amino acids that it needs to properly function. As this cannibalization of the muscles continues, muscle mass loss will begin to set in. Be sure to consult with a nutritionist or other expert to determine how much protein your body needs to keep up with the demands of your weight-lifting routine.

Vices and Addictions

It may seem obvious, but it is important to understand the full scope of the negative effects that alcohol, opioids, caffeine, and other drugs can have on your goals to build muscle. Alcohol and other addictive substances can impair the process of protein synthesis, stunting the growth of new muscles. The Recovery Village cautions, “although it may seem benign when you first begin using, prescription opioid addiction can lead to more serious addictions like heroin.” New muscle growth will continue to be stunted the more you subject your body to the negative consequences of various addictions.

Poor Recovery Habits

When it comes to building body mass, too much of a good thing can indeed be a bad thing. Resistance training works because it breaks the muscles down in an effort to build even more mass. However, not enough rest between weight training cycles will not allow the muscles enough time to fully recover. Without adequate recovery, your bodybuilding efforts will never reach their full potential. Rest days allow your muscles and connective tissue the chance to reset and repair themselves so that you push forward in achieving your fitness goals. Yuri  Elkaim recommends, “taking off days doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing exercise or other fitness related activities. Rest days don’t mean you’re sitting on the couch doing nothing. Active recovery is a combination of stretching, myofascial release, light cardio, and other light activities like that. Now, there are times you should take an off day as opposed to a rest day, but that depends on your workout routine, and your goals.”

By taking care to ensure that you do not fall into these four bad habits, you will be doing your body a great service. With the right mindset and focus on developing good habits instead of poor ones, you can work toward achieving the body that you have always dreamed that you could have.

3 Exercises to Do if You Lack Mobility

It’s important to stay in shape even as you get older. However, many seniors develop mobility problems as they age. Arthritis and other joint issues can make it painful for seniors to exercise. In addition, some seniors develop mobility issues that make it difficult for them to stand for long periods of time. Luckily, there are many types of exercises seniors can do to stay in shape. Seated dancing, chair yoga, and seated strength exercises can help keep their heart and lungs strong, increase muscle tone, and maintain strength as they get older.

Seated Dancing

Seated dancing is a great way to get some cardio, even if you lack mobility. Seated dancing allows seniors to do their favorite dance moves even if they’re confined to a wheelchair. Listen to your favorite music while sitting in a chair and move in any way you can or want. If you have access to the Internet or have a DVD player, there are videos that can help you get started.

Chair Yoga

Chair yoga is a great way for seniors to exercise when they lack the mobility for a standard workout. Yoga helps increase flexibility and strength, improve muscle tone and breathing, and reduces stress. It can also help reduce the chance of falls by helping with coordination. Chair yoga poses include cat-cow stretch, chair forward bend, chair side angle pose, chair pigeon, and chair eagle pose.

Seated Strength Exercises

Strength workouts are a great way to stay strong at any age. They help people build strong bones, which reduces the chance of breaking one. People with mobility issues can still do strength exercises, even those that require weights. There are also seated strength exercises that use resistance bands, or even no equipment at all. They include chair dips, seated rows, tummy twists and captain’s chair.

These are just a few of the ways seniors can stay fit if they lack mobility. When looking at seated workouts, make sure the chair you’re using is sturdy, has a straight back and a comfortable cushion. Be sure to avoid armchairs you’ll get too comfortable in. When getting started with seated exercising, consider looking at videos or taking a class first to get an idea of how to perform the moves in the different types of exercises. You may also want to talk to your doctor to find out what precautions you should take depending on your specific situation.

Are you considering at-home seated workout equipment? Check our reviews first.

4 Ways to Get Kids Interested in Fitness

Now more than ever, parents, teachers and anyone working directly with children should be teaching kids the importance of physical activity in their daily lives.

Obesity is a huge crisis in the United States and in other developed countries in the world.

Here are four ways that you can get your kids interested in fitness with ease.

Mother Nature

A light hike along one of your favorite trails is a fun way to incorporate nature and physical fitness.

Your kids can collect rocks, leaves, pinecones and other treasures while you all get some fresh air and exercise.

Make a tradition out of hiking to a beautiful location and camping as a family before hiking out again.

Your kids will be looking forward to this tradition every year and will beg to go on practice hikes in preparation for this tradition as well.

Let the Music Play

Physical fitness does not need to involve any fancy equipment or scheduled activities.

The simple notion of upbeat music alone may have them wriggling in their seats; music equals movement.

If you have more than one child, you can play a fun dance-off competition game right in your own living room. Not only does this activity promote family togetherness, but it also gives kids an opportunity to express themselves creatively and show off their dance skills.

Grab a pen and a notebook and list each child’s name down in a column. Put on one of their favorite songs and encourage them to creatively dance around the room to their delight.

Before you know it, an hour or more will have passed, and they will have burned hundreds of calories.

Most importantly, this is a game you can turn into a nightly or weekly event; your kids will cherish this time they spend with you.

Off-Season Sports

There is something undeniably cool about swimming in a pool in the middle of winter or snowshoeing in the sand in the summer.

Your kids can play any summer sport indoors during the winter months and even during the summer months, they can enjoy winter activities such as ice skating.

Kids love originality and being the only one in their group of friends who is doing something unexpected.

Buy a membership at a local hotel or gym with an indoor pool, and bring your kids to swim in the cold winter months.

Involve Charity

Running or walking a mini-marathon and participating in an obstacle course event is a great way to make exercise fun for your kids. It also encourages family togetherness.

Pick running events tied to charities and help raise funds and awareness for a cause.

You can also find other active service opportunities that can benefit others in your community and teach your kids how to be thoughtful of others while doing something fun and active together.

Statistics show that when you engage kids in a regular physical fitness routine that combines the benefits of heart-pumping cardiovascular exercise with fun and games, there is a much higher probability that they will go on to lead healthy and active lives as they get older.

And as they grow, they can find workout routines that fit their preferences and goals.