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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.

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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.

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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!

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.

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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.