How to Get the Most Out of Your Workouts

Many people who spend hours in the gym are trying to get lean and toned, but somehow it ends up being harder than anticipated. So, what does one have to do to actually tone their muscles and see some definition?

Getting a fit body requires doing a variety of exercises, including increasing your endurance and intensity, building muscle, and improving flexibility and balance. To make your body look fit, you need more muscle so it can reveal itself on your body. However, this requires more than doing a few weight lifting sessions. Many gym-goers make critical mistakes when they are trying to tone down their bodies. Here are seven mistakes that you should avoid.

1. Working alone.

While you may want to just get started and begin adding running to your day or join a gym and play around with the machines, if you don’t know what you are doing, you probably will not achieve the results that you desire. Instead of making up your workouts as you go along, consult with a professional to learn how to work out effectively.

Either having a one-on-one coach or joining a boot camp or other fitness class, having a professional lead you in the right direction and keep you accountable is important when you are starting to work out. They will make sure you work harder and consistently, which will help you produce results.

2. Repeating the same workout over and over.

It is great to start out with a commitment to a certain workout program. However, doing this for too long can lead to a plateau which will halt your progress. Your body will adjust to your exercise routine over time, so it’s important to switch it up to keep your muscles guessing and growing.

You can switch up your tempo or mix in some strength training with your cardio. Any way that you can adjust your exercises throughout the week will help you achieve results.

3. Not eating enough protein.

You may be inclined to cut calories when you start a new exercise regimen, but you should actually make sure that you are getting enough protein. Your muscles use this protein to recover, repair, and grow. If you are not getting the protein that your body needs, your muscles will not be able to adapt and grow, which is not helpful when you’re trying to tone your muscles.

Try adding more healthy proteins to your diet like eggs, fish, lean meats, beans, and high-quality protein powders. Download apps like MyFitnessPal to keep track of your protein intake throughout the day.

4. Not committing enough time.

You need to give your workouts enough time and intensity in order for them to be effective. If your workouts don’t feel challenging, then you are likely not doing enough and your body will not change. You want to finish your workout with a healthy amount of sweat and some weakness in your muscles.

5. Eating too much avocado.

While avocado is known to be a popular superfood that has a lot of nutrition, it is also important to remember that they also have a lot of calories. These calories add up quickly and end up being stored as fat. Be mindful of your calorie intake while you are trying to tone up your body.

6. Getting dehydrated.

Your body needs water throughout the day to function properly. If you don’t drink enough water, you will become dehydrated, which can lead to fatigue, hunger, and a slow metabolism.

Also, your muscles are not able to properly recover after a hard workout if you are not
hydrated and your body cannot effectively burn fat. Try to drink at least half of your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. To make this easier, try to drink four 20-ounce bottles daily.

7. Not sleeping enough.

Working out results in small muscle tears to help strengthen your muscles and these tears need time to heal themselves. If you are constantly working out without taking a break you can get into a ‘recovery hole’ which will keep you from achieving the results that you are looking for. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep and rest to prepare your body for its next workout.

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Tips for Reducing Foot Pain After Exercising

Have you ever noticed after a workout that your feet hurt more than usual? It is actually normal for your feet to hurt a little bit after working out, but if you have excessive foot pain following every exercise, you may have an underlying problem. It is important to get a proper diagnosis from a podiatrist to prevent permanent damage if your foot pain is severe, but you may be able to make some changes to your workout if you are experiencing just mild discomfort.

First, look at your form when you are working out. If your workout requires jumping, are you landing properly? It is important to have proper form when putting pressure and weight on your feet, which means first touching the ground with your toes before landing on the ball of your foot and finally your heel. If you land flat on your feet, your body is absorbing the shock all at once and it puts undue pressure on your joints. Make sure you are landing gradually to spread that shock out. You should also aim to bend your knees and hips a little when you land and try to keep your knees in line with the middle of your feet.

When is the last time you got fitted for sneakers? It is really worth the money to go to a professional store where they can watch you run and gauge what kind of sneaker will fit you the best. When testing you for sneakers, they will look at your pronation and your gait to see how your feet fall when they touch the ground.

It is also important to get new sneakers more often than you would probably think. You can run about 300 miles in shoes before they need to be replaced, but if you are not a runner, you should get new shoes as soon and yours start to look a bit thin or worn. Without proper foot support, you are likely putting extra pressure on all of the small bones and joints in your feet and ankles which can lead to foot pain.

You should also consider the surface that you’re working out on. While most wood floors are likely to be okay, working out on a hard concrete floor is hard on your body. If you have to work out on a really hard surface, get a workout mat to add some cushion to your surface. Better yet, try to work out in the yard or somewhere outside where you have a grassy yet flat area.

Plantar fasciitis is another common cause of foot pain. This occurs when you have inflammation in the thick band of tissue that runs from your heel to your toes called the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia connects your foot together in the muscles and often gets inflamed in people who run. Plantar fasciitis usually causes a stabbing pain during your first few steps in the morning but goes away a bit as you get up and walk throughout the day.

To prevent this from happening, make sure that you thoroughly stretch your calves before and after working out. There are two effective calf stretches for decreasing your chances of developing plantar fasciitis. First, lift the ball of your foot up and place it firmly against a wall while keeping your heel on the floor. Lean forward into the stretch until you feel it in your calf. Do this on both sides. Second, get into a down dog yoga stretch and gently raise and lower your heels. Alternate heels and do them one at a time.

If these solutions do not help your problem, you may have a more severe medical issue that needs professional attention. Start with these tips and see if your foot pain improves and if it doesn’t, be sure to contact your doctor.

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Most Beneficial Foods for Heart Health

The foods you choose to eat throughout your life have a large impact on your heart health. The importance of eating healthy dietary fats is well known, but eating a nitrate-rich diet also helps to protect your heart.

Nitrates are not the same as dangerous nitrites, which are found in cured meats such as bacon and hot dogs. Rather, nitrates are naturally found in vegetables. When you eat nitrates, your body converts them to nitrites, but because vegetables have antioxidants, the nitrites are not dangerous. Your body also turns nitrates into nitric oxide, which is a gas that is constantly being produced by the amino acid L-arginine inside of your cells.

Nitric oxide is important to your health because it supports endothelial function and protects your mitochondria from damage. It also helps relax and widen your blood vessels, which allows more blood to flow through.

Having a healthy circulation is important for proper health because your blood carries oxygen and nutrients to your organs, heart, and brain. It also nourishes your immune system and muscles while helping your heart beat and gets rid of waste and carbon dioxide.

Eating a diet high in nitrate is a natural way to treat high blood pressure and protect people who are at risk of cardiovascular disease. For example, raw beets, which are rich in nitrates, can lower blood pressure by up to five points within a few hours.

Studies have also shown that drinking a glass of beet juice can reduce one’s systolic blood pressure more than most prescribed blood pressure medications.

Foods That Contain the Most Nitrates

Leafy greens are the most nitrate-rich foods, however, there are many other foods that contain a healthy and advantageous amount of nitrates. Beets, a root vegetable, are clearly known for being high in nitrates, however, leafy greens have even more nitrates per serving. Here are the top 10 foods containing the most nitrates:

  1. Arugula (480 mg of nitrates per 100 grams)
  2. Rhubarb (281 mg)
  3. Cilantro (247 mg)
  4. Butter leaf lettuce (200 mg)
  5. Spring greens such as mesclun mix (188 mg)
  6. Basil (183 mg)
  7. Beet Greens (177 mg)
  8. Oak leaf lettuce (155 mg)
  9. Swiss chard (151 mg)
  10. Red beets (110 mg)

Some other foods high in nitrates include:

  • Bok choy
  • Mustard greens
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Eggplant
  • Winter melon
  • Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Onion
  • Turnips
  • Cauliflower
  • Parsley
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Protection Against Heart Disease

Studies have confirmed the results of past research that shows that the more fruits and vegetables you eat, your risk of heart disease decreases. Leafy greens are known to be the most protective, likely due to their NO-boosting nitrates.

In one example, almost 1,230 Australian seniors without heart disease or diabetes were tracked for 15 years. They took a food-frequency questionnaire to evaluate what they ate and their nitrate intake was calculated with a comprehensive food database. Just as predicted, there was an inverse relationship between the amount of vegetable nitrates each person consumed and their risk for both heart disease and overall mortality.

These findings were independent of lifestyle and heart disease risk factors and supported the idea that nitrate-rich vegetables can reduce the risk of age-related heart disease mortality.

Leafy Greens for Athletes

Some competitive athletes choose to take nitrate supplements to boost their sports performance, but it is also possible to get the same benefits using whole foods. Research shows raw beets, for example, can help to increase exercise stamina by as much as 16% due to its NO.

In one study, nine patients who were diagnosed with heart failure and had loss of muscle strength benefitted almost instantaneously from drinking beet juice with an increase in their muscle capacity by around 13%.

However, it is important to avoid using mouthwashes or chewing gum because they both prevent the body from being able to convert NO. This is because nitrate is converted into nitrite by saliva and friendly bacteria, which is then converted into NO throughout the body.

Exercise can also help to boost NO production, so athletes are able to get double the benefit by doing their exercise and eating leafy greens.

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Fidget Spinners in the Fight Against ADHD

Fidget spinners, which are all the rage lately, are marketed as trendy toys and tools to help relieve stress and increase focus. But are these really all they are cracked up to be for people with ADHD, anxiety, and autism? While they first became newsworthy due to their potential choking hazard, they’ve continued to be talked about because experts can’t decide whether fidget spinners are helpful or hurtful for children.

Is fidgeting beneficial?

Humans have fidgeted since the beginning of time and it has actually proven itself to increase energy and even help some people lose weight.

It has also been suggested that fidgeting can help occupy your brain, providing a distraction from negative thoughts and aiding in calmness and focus. Sensory putty and other therapy toys have been around for ages helping children with ADHD, autism, and anxiety, and fidget spinners could provide a similar benefit.

Some people who have experience with both autism and fidget spinners report that the sensory tool helps to relieve stress release from daily demands, similar to a stress ball or other devices that help to distract the mind. Because of this, professionals note that these gadgets should be referred to as tools instead of toys, and can be used to successfully manage fidgety behavior if they are introduced to children as a standard part of the classroom culture.

What about science?

While fidget spinners have been very helpful for some children, they have served as a distraction for others. Researchers have reported that these products have not been subjected to rigorous scientific research and therefore their alleged benefits are scientifically unfounded. They also want to remind parents that fidget spinners are a potential choking hazard and there are no peer-reviewed studies to support any beneficial claims.

A fidget spinner may actually be counterproductive in helping a child focus at school, as it may draw a child’s attention away from learning. It can also serve as a distraction for classmates. While there may be some instances when fidget spinners offer some type of benefit, but, overall, physical activity is a better option for helping children achieve success.

How exercise helps children with ADHD

While there is very limited science behind fidget spinners for ADHD, there is a lot of research that shows exercise can relieve ADHD symptoms. Researchers have found that as little as 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day has been able to enhance the cognitive function of children during tasks that require greater focus.

Physical activity is vital for any child’s development, regardless of whether or not they have a learning problem. Both the cognitive and the physical benefits of exercise for children has been proven many times over as a do-no-harm intervention.

Specifically, a 10-week physical activity study performed on children with ADHD showed improvements in their muscular capacities, behavior, motor skills, and information processing ability. One reason for this is that exercise elevates dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels in the brain, which all play a role in attention span.

Exercise can have similar effects of medication for ADHD because it helps to ignite the attention system. This leads to improvement in focus, memory, and cognitive flexibility while causing children to be less impulsive and making them ready to learn.

What are the best exercises for children with ADHD?

Certain activities, such as competitive sports, may not be the best choice for children with ADHD, as they often have difficulty following directions or may lack the coordination skills of their classmates.

Instead, choose sports that let children be part of a team while also developing their own individual goals. Swimming, track, wrestling, or even playing tennis may be beneficial, especially if the coach is a supportive role model. The chosen activity should be something your child enjoys so they will want to keep doing it.

Activities such as gymnastics or martial arts that require close attention to body movements also help children with ADHD activate their attention system. Other sports that help promote teamwork, self-confidence, concentration, and self-esteem are soccer, archery, and horseback riding.

Try essential oils instead of a fidget spinner.

If you think your child benefits from using a fidget spinner, but you think it is distracting, consider offering essential oils to help increase focus and attention. Vetiver oil is one oil that has shown to be particularly useful. It has shown to improve the brain wave patterns and behavior in children who breathed it in three times a day.

Vetiver essential has also shown promise for children with ADHD. An animal study revealed increased alertness and research on human subjects showed faster reaction times and an increased stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system following inhalation.

What about lifestyle changes?

Natural and behavioral therapy are both important in the treatment of ADHD. Dietary strategies can also be very helpful, such as limiting sugar and avoiding gluten. Some studies have actually suggested that celiac disease should be considered when diagnosing a child with ADHD.

Children who are low in omega-3 fats may also be more prone to being hyperactive, have a learning disorder, and exhibit behavioral problems. Addressing nutrient deficiencies like these and avoiding toxic exposures is an important part of managing ADHD symptoms.

While a fidget spinner may provide some distraction or calmness depending on the child, treating ADHD, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses requires a more comprehensive and holistic approach.

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The Unknown Benefits of Strawberries

Strawberries are a very popular fruit due to their sweet taste and versatile uses. However, most people do not realize that this delicious fruit contains a powerful polyphenol that can not only help prevent and improve several diseases in your body, but it can also help to treat them as well.

This polyphenol, fisetin, helps decrease pain, improve energy, and prevent toxicity, which together leads to certain overall health benefits.

Fisetin was discovered just over ten years ago when researchers isolated certain plant flavonols that have the ability to keep brain cells healthy. Similar to quercetin, fisetin activates sirtuin, which aids the body in weight loss.

Fisetin also provide strawberries their rich color. It can also be found in apples, persimmon, grapes, mangoes, onions, and cucumbers, but strawberries contain are much more potent in this compound.

Fisetin is an antioxidant, which helps stop cell damage that is caused by free radicals, however, one of the biggest ways it improves your health is by staving off age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers have referred to it as being a neuroprotective and cognition-enhancing molecule that is able to benefit the brain as well as other areas of the body.

Fisetin can help protect against the damage that is caused by aging while also improving your memory. It works with other chemicals in the body to activate nerve cells and increase the body’s defense systems to help fight against diseases.

A recent study on mice examined possible advantages that fisetin can have on sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. The mice studied were genetically engineered to begin the aging process prematurely, mimicking sporadic Alzheimer’s disease.

At three months of age, the mice were divided into two groups. The first group consumed fisetin with their meals every day for 7 months, while the second group did not.

Both groups of mice were subject to cognitive and behavioral tests during the study and assessed for levels of stress and inflammation. The study revealed that the mice who were not given fisetin had more stress and inflammation than the mice who did not consume fisetin. Additionally, the mice who ate a regular diet performed significantly worse in cognitive testing than the mice who were given fisetin. Specifically, two anti-inflammatory neurons, astrocytes and microglia, appeared to be increasing the inflammation in the brains of the mice not eating fisetin.

This study helps suggest that fisetin has the potential to be a preventative measure when it comes to health, not only for Alzheimer’s, but also for many age-related cognitive diseases. Fisetin has also been recognized as a compound that can decrease brain damage from a stroke and minimize brain damage after an injury.

Fisetin clearly plays many vital roles in the body for brain health, mental health, and inflammation. This helps your body function better overall and stay in optimal health. Some other benefits of fisetin include:

  • it helps treat inflammatory bowel disease
  • it decreases inflammation caused by high blood sugar
  • it inhibits inflammatory cytokine production which helps treat allergic reactions
  • it inhibits the growth of cancer cells
  • it treats eczema
  • it suppresses mast cells that are found in skin, respiratory and GI tract tissues

Although there are many health benefits to eating strawberries, it is important to note that strawberries are also known to be one of the most pesticide-laden foods as well. Because you would have to eat 8 pounds of strawberries each year to get the amount of fisetin needed to have health benefits, many people choose to take fisetin supplements as well. If you are unable to grow your own strawberries or buy them organically, it is best to get your fisetin benefits from a supplement in order to avoid harmful pesticides.

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The Health Benefits of Coffee

If you are like many other people around the world, you look forward to enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning and rarely start your day without it. But, do you know its impact on your health?

Studies have shown that coffee may actually lengthen your lifespan. How is this possible? Researchers have found that while everyone is different, coffee is associated with a decreased death rate from digestive, circulatory, and cerebrovascular diseases in ten European countries.

The study reports that compared with subjects who did not drink coffee, participants drinking one cup per day had a 12% lower risk of death from diseases such as cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and respiratory disease. The mortality risk from these diseases was found to be 18% lower for those who drank three cups of coffee each day.

These studies show that moderate coffee consumption should not make people worry about its health implications and people may benefit from drinking it. During these studies, differences among the subjects were anticipated and noted. For example, Danes tend to drink more coffee and Italians drink less coffee but in higher concentrations.

A second study looked at the consumption of coffee by 185,855 Americans aged 45 to 75 of all different races. It turns out that it didn’t matter if people consumed regular or decaf coffee, the mortality rates remained the same, suggesting it is not about the caffeine. Instead, it has been noted that coffee contains many antioxidants and phenolic compounds that likely play a large role in preventing diseases, particularly liver cancer and liver disease.

Another important point is that if people choose to drink coffee, they are less likely to be consuming high-calorie and high sugar beverages in the morning such as energy drinks.

How can coffee become unhealthy?

Many people who enjoy coffee do so by adding lots of sugar and creamers. Both fake creamer and conventional milk can lead to serious health problems and negatively impact people’s health, causing the morning cup of coffee to become harmful.

However, organic, raw, and grass-fed cream or milk can be beneficial. People also choose to put coconut oil or MCT oil in their coffee to liven it up a bit. These oils are good for your brain, memory, hormones, and disease prevention.

Making coffee with these oils allows your body to get enough of the really useful MCTs and lauric acid. Widely known as Bulletproof Coffee, this morning beverage is made from coffee that is free of mitochondrial-inhibiting mold toxins, grass fed butter, and Brain Octane Oil. Some people choose to add butter, coconut oil or MCT oil to their black coffee, however, it doesn’t elevate ketone levels as much, which limits the activations of CCK, a satiety hormone. This may result in food cravings and hunger pangs. Ketones are also great brain food which helps increase mental clarity.

Using MCT Oil in Place of Coffee Creamer?

There are several ways in which MCT oil can improve your health:

  • Reduce appetite
  • Prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Increase energy levels
  • Improve mitochondrial function
  • Improve cognitive and neurological function
  • Reduce disease risk
  • Act as a dietary therapy for treating epilepsy

Adding MCT oil to coffee is simple because it is tasteless and odorless, and makes a healthy substitution for artificial creamers. Additionally, both coffee and MCT oil are beneficial to liver function.

What kind of coffee is the best?

Coffee is made with a lot of pesticides, so it is best to choose organic. Organic coffee has no chemicals and uses no synthetic fertilizers when it is cropped. The beans also have a richer flavor and provide the body with natural antioxidants.

There are many benefits of choosing organic coffee for your health and the health of the environment. Organic, shade-grown coffee is available in most retail markets, and can also be ordered online. Also, purchase your coffee in whole bean form and grind it yourself to prevent it from becoming rancid.

Drink your coffee black, without the addition of cream or sugar and consider adding a health boost with MCT oil. Coffee should always smell and taste fresh, so be sure to smell your beverage before indulging in it!

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Facts You May Not Know About Sweat

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you need to look your best, but you can’t stop sweating? While it may be aggravating in these types of situations, sweat is actually a sure sign that your body is doing what it is supposed to do.

When your body begins to get too hot, your hypothalamus sends an activation signal to your sweat glands, creating an evaporation of sweat on your skin that cools you off. Perspiration helps to keep your body cool and prevents you from overheating.

Sweat Does Not Typically Smell

While people may believe that sweat smells bad, it is actually odorless. Sweat is mostly made up of water and electrolytes, and neither of these compounds has any kind of smells. Instead, unpleasant smelling sweat originates in the apocrine sweat glands, which are activated during times of stress, anxiety, fear, or arousal. Smelly sweat is thick and oily, causing it to trap in bacteria on the skin. Additionally, some synthetic fabrics are able to trap body heat and further interfere with sweat evaporation and produce a specific odor of their own.

Your Body Produces the Amount of Sweat it Needs

Your body has the natural ability to know what it needs to thrive. It produces the sweat it needs to keep you from overheating and it has a way of knowing how much perspiration your body needs, which varies from person to person. The amount of sweat your body produces on a certain day depends on several factors, including the number of sweat glands you have and the weather.

If you live in a hot climate, your body changes to adapt to that environment and learns to sweat more efficiently. Alternatively, if you live in a colder area, your body may produce a larger amount of sweat in the heat than someone who is used to that type of climate. Your body knows what it best for you, even if it is different from someone standing next to you.

It Is Not Beneficial to Be Sweat Free

Some people go to an extreme and get Botox injections or light wave treatments to help them produce less sweat. However, while these treatments are approved by the FDA, they can lead to skin irritations such as burning, bruising, itching, and swelling. Also, because these treatments are relatively new, the long-term side effects are not completely known. It is best to let your body do what it needs to do than to have medical treatments for cosmetic reasons unless the benefits of the treatment outweigh the risks.

If you feel like your body produces too much sweat, there are some natural ways that you can manage it. First, layer with cotton, which absorbs sweat and dries quickly. Synthetic materials, on the other hand, trap heat and keep sweat in. Also, it is important to try to relax. If you’re concerned about body odor, try to limit your stress because when you are stressed, your body sends a signal to the apocrine glands to produce water and lipids, leading to odor-causing bacteria. Finally, avoid drinking too much caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant, sending your body into flight-or-fight mode and increasing the activity of your apocrine glands.

Overall, while sweat may be inconvenient and even embarrassing at times, it is just like any other bodily function that your body does for a reason. If you are concerned that you sweat too much (or not enough) then contact your doctor. It may be a sign that there is something else going on with your health, so it is best to get checked out just to be sure.

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Exercises to Tone Your Legs to Perfection

Undoubtedly, one of your fitness goals is to have strong legs to support your body. But do you ever wonder if your leg exercises are as effective as they could be? Here are four new ways to work out your legs that will result in strong, lean muscles.

Warm Up

To get started, do a body-weight goblet squat with a 3-second hold and then a hold reverse lunge with a hold and reach 3- to 5-second hold, alternating sides. Doing these two exercises together helps to open up your hips and primes your knee joints and supporting muscles for your upcoming activity.

You can also help improve your range of motion by pushing your knees outward with your elbows at the bottom of your squat, and shifting the hip of your back leg forward while reaching your opposite arm up as you lunge. Move slowly through each rep and doing this for about five minute total.

Power Circuit

The most effective way to workout is to start with the most difficult movement and on an easy note. This is because your body is at its peak readiness at the beginning of the set before it fatigues. This 15-minute workout begins with squats and ends with the much simpler pull-through.

To help keep your heart rate up during this exercise, do a bunch of reps as a fast-paced circuit without resting in between. Try to do a total of three or four complete rounds of the following routine:

  • 8-10 goblet squats
  • 10 deficit reverse lunge reps per side
  • 10 dumbbell step-up reps per side
  • 12-15 single-leg pull-through reps per side

Strength Set

In order to build bigger, defined muscles, you have to challenge your legs with significant resistance. This breaks down muscle fibers which are then rebuilt while you rest. A good pair of moves you can do to allow your legs to handle heavier loads safely are goblet squats and deficit reverse lunges. Start with 2 reps and work up to 10 of goblet squats with a 10-second rest in between each. Follow this up with 10 reps per side of deficit reverse lunges.

Do this routine once a week with a weight that you can only handle for 10 squats at a time, which is probably heavier than you would expect.


Doing this last exercise will help wear you out. It is important to note that once your body is tired, you tend to lose correct form, so it’s not a great time to do difficult exercises. However, a pull-through is a smooth and easy modified swing movement which is not too hard on your joints.

Do as many reps as possible of a pull-through and work for speed and intensity rather than control and balance. Do this with both feet on the ground and perform as many reps as you can with perfect form in 30 seconds. Rest for one minute and repeat up to five times.

Add in Some Cardio

To get even better results, add in some cardio each week that challenges the muscles in your legs. For example, hike up a hill or walk while carrying a heavy object at your side. Walking up an incline helps to increase the activation of your leg muscles. Remember, the steeper the incline, the more benefit your muscles will get out of it.

If you want to build your muscles to be able to complete heavy strength workouts, you have to improve your fast-twitch muscle fibers. This part of the muscle gives you the explosive power you need in order to do an effective workout. When you are doing cardio, add in some intervals such as sprinting for 20 seconds, then recover for one minute, then repeat seven more times.

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The Link Between Chocolate and Heart Health

Of course everyone loves to eat chocolate because it is delicious, but did you know that is has many health benefits as well? It can increase your energy and libido level and has also helped cases of diarrhea, syphilis, migraines, and even cancer.

Consider this, the catechins found in dark chocolate are antioxidants that were found to reduce lung cancer rates and rectal cancer. Studies have shown that people who consume cocoa up to three times a month were about 10% less likely to develop AFib, which is the medical term for irregular heart beat.

Research has shown a reduced risk of AFib for women who ate just one serving of chocolate each week, while men should aim for two to six servings. Consuming cocoa and foods containing it can help your heart healthy because of its potent antioxidants, inflammation-fighting characteristics, and blood vessel-relaxing flavanols.

Flavanols are a type of polyphenols that are found in tea, red grapes, wine, and chocolate, which are all powerful antioxidants. Previous studies have shown that dark chocolate, specifically, contains the most flavanols to give health advantages, including the reduction of inflammation. Flavanols can also prevent dangerous blood clots from forming.

Because of this, eating dark chocolate on a regular basis is associated with a decreased risk of heart attack, cardiovascular failure, cognitive impairment, and early death. But are scientists convinced that it is actually the chocolate that prevents atrial fibrillation?

Atrial Fibrillation: Studies, Symptoms and Risks

Over 2.5 million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation, and 33 million suffer from it worldwide. Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of blood clots, which can result in strokes, cognitive impairment, and heart failure

Studies show that about 25% of adults are projected to have atrial fibrillation in their lifetime. Studies provided information that showed the dietary habits of adults between 1993 and 1997. This data was then linked to national health registries to see who was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Findings showed that 3,346 of the cases occurred over this period of time.

Based on their diets, people who ate about 1 ounce of chocolate each week were 17% less likely to develop atrial fibrillation by the close of the study than those who reported consuming chocolate less than once a month.

Factors to Consider

In previous studies, researchers did not consider factors such as sleep apnea or kidney disease, which can also influence atrial fibrillation. They also did not note if their subject ate dark or milk chocolate. As a result, the amount of flavanols connected to the chocolate they ate is variable.

The data does suggest that people who consumed more chocolate also ate more calories, but had a lower BMI than those who ate the least amount of chocolate.

Because of this, a double-blind randomized controlled trial should be performed to evaluate the real efficacy of chocolate for preventing atrial fibrillation. This would require using quantified doses of cocoa.

Does the Type of Chocolate Matter?

Some types of chocolate are more healthy to consume than others. It’s true that chocolate often contains large amounts of sugar and fats that can contribute to chronic disease.

However, dark chocolate contains more cocoa solids. So while milk and white chocolates may be more harmful than helpful, chocolate with more cocoa can be more beneficial to your health.

This doesn’t mean that people can eat as much chocolate as they want. It only suggests that chocolate lovers stick to eating a 1-ounce piece of chocolate each day. Even though there is a substantial link between consuming chocolate and a lowering one’s risk of AFib, eating too much chocolate is not recommended due to the high-calorie content from sugar and fat which can lead to weight gain and other metabolic problems.

What to Look for in Chocolate

Make sure your chocolate doesn’t have artificial sweeteners such as aspartame that can cause serious chronic neurological disorders. Also make sure that the chocolate you are eating contains flavonoids.

Make sure to read the labels to determine the amount of grams of carbohydrates, subtracting the dietary fiber, and sugar alcohol to find the net carbs.

Moderate intake of chocolate that has a high cocoa content can be a healthy choice, which has led scientists to wonder if creating a chocolate pill would be beneficial to people’s heart health.

The best way to get the health benefits from chocolate is to eat raw cacao butter or raw cacao nibs.

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How to Avoid Burnout

While people often begin their promising careers with high hopes and dreams, the truth is that burnout is a problem that will eventually arise. In fact, over 50% of doctors experience both emotional and physical exhaustion, lose their perspective, experience depression, and a lose the connection they once had to their work.

In a book entitled “Square One,” a former doctor describes some lessons he learned throughout life when it comes to having a healthy balance. The most important thing is to maintain a life of balance by taking your priorities into consideration and fostering them every day.

Having balance requires you to prioritize your social life and your family with your spiritual and physical side. These can be seen in a square with four equal sides.

Square One — Regaining Balance

Danforth emphasizes that you have not one but four lives to live, and these four entities make up the sides of a square:

  • Physical life
  • Spiritual life
  • Work life
  • Relationship life

Each of these aspects of your life should hold similar weight to prevent burnout in any one area. Exercise is one of the best ways to reverse the symptoms of depression, and it does not need to be done for hours each day. Doing just simple strategies when it comes to exercise can make an enormous difference.

Ketogenic Diet for Brain Health

The ketogenic diet is possible a way to aid in the treatment of brain tumors. While this diet is difficult to do, There are guidelines and explanations that are outlined and needed to help cure brain tumors and other malignant tumors that depend on glucose for their metabolic substrate.

Once your body learns to burn fat as its primary fuel, it is best to do ketosis in cycles, which means you would intermittently increase your net carbs to 200 to 300 percent, but in a sensible fashion so you are still maintaining the metabolic flexibility to burn fat. Ketosis diets are good for various diseases such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases of the brain.

Resilience and Adversity

Many stressors that we experience activate genes that produce positive metabolic factors. Considering all four sides of your square — the physical, social, professional, and spiritual sides, it is important to have a mindful awareness of each side and the to have the ability to handle adversity and stress.

Everyone experiences stress in all of these aspects of their life at some point. When this happens, you get increased levels of cortisol in your blood. This cortisol kills brain cells, especially the ones that are used for memory.

Stress can also lead to incredible depression. Doctors often think that depression is treatable with the use of antidepressants, but it is important to also consider the physical activity aspect of treating depression. Exercise stimulates the production of important neurotransmitters in the brain that are reduced during depression.

How to Regain Balance

While we can’t escape stress, but it is important to spend time in every different aspect of your life so you can even it out. So, how do you recover from burnout? Daily exercise and a healthy diet optimize the mitochondrial function in your body and limit inflammation, which then increases mindfulness and decreases stress.

Not only do you need exercise, but you need meditation and spirituality. It is important to avoid environmental toxins. If you notice, people who tend to live the longest all have a healthy diet and engage in physical exercise. They also live in places with very few environmental toxins and they are able to control their stress with meditation and a strong sense of family. This all adds up to mindfulness. It helps to keep the body in balance and reduce stress.

Avoiding Toxins

Toxins such as alcohol, air pollution, contaminated water, and food pesticides are also very harmful to our health.

Surprisingly, one of the most dangerous and common toxins is the microwave radiation from cell phones, Wi-Fi routers, and cell phone towers. Although these can hardly be avoided, expose to them should be limited.

The main concern with cellphones is not related to brain tumors, instead, it is the damaging microwaves that are generated from the reactive nitrogen species peroxynitrite. Exposure to these will damage your mitochondria and therefore increase your risk of developing cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.

Even if you eat very healthy and exercise on a regular basis, if you’re consistently exposing yourself to excessive levels of invisible radiation from cell phones, you are going to incur mitochondrial exposure and damage which will lead to a premature death. You must take precautions to in order to limit unnecessary exposure.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

The long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries have been studied, and one thing they have in common is excessive immune response and inflammation. This can be helped by simple dietary and physical interventions.

Aside from metabolic mitochondrial therapy, there is compelling evidence that near-infrared light can significantly reduce symptoms these diseases, even if they are in a more advanced stage.

In a near-infrared range, light helps mitochondria regain their health. Other important strategies that enhance mitochondrial function include the use of high-dose bioavailable curcumin, resveratrol, animal-based omega-3 fats, L-carnitine, and α-lipoic acid.

If you are experiencing burnout or you are overwhelmed or overcommitted, you need to get your life back in order. It is important to realize that you are responsible for the four areas of your life. While this may seem very simple, you must remember that you have to understand the concept and implement it.

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