Stretching is often overlooked, but when done can lead to a better posture, fewer aches and pains, a more positive outlook on life and a better body.
Stretching can help blood circulation for a healthier body and sends oxygen to your brain allowing you to think clearer and brighten up your mood.
Even though they’re solid, bones are dynamic, living tissue, made mostly from collagen and calcium phosphate, a mineral that hardens bone exterior. But as you age, existing bone breaks down faster than new bone is made, increasing risk of osteoporosis, a condition that reduces bone density and raises chance of fractures. Support your skeleton at any age with these expert suggestions.
Pump up protein
Collagen, a certain type of protein, forms bones’ scaffolding, enabling them to withstand stress. If you’re protein deficient, bones can become brittle, leading to breakage no matter how much calcium they contain because the body makes collagen from amino acids, protein’s building blocks. Get 15 percent to 25 percent of your daily calories from various protein sources. Good choices include organic, grass-fed buffalo; free-range eggs; and sprouted legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Limit acidic foods
Foods common in poor diets (pizza, white bread, potato chips, sweets) promote an acidic body environment. To achieve and maintain a healthy, neutral blood pH, your body will scavenge important minerals like calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and silica from more alkaline tissues, such as bone, which weakens them. Limit acidic foods like processed foods, sugar, grains, dairy, and caffeine or alcohol, and increase pH-balancing vegetables like zucchini and cucumber.
Watch calcium intake
Calcium isn’t the only player in bone density; in fact, many people actually have too much calcium in their bodies, which can contribute to kidney stones, joint pain, and possibly heart disease. Vitamin K2 regulates excess calcium deposits and supports bone integrity. Try 100 mcg vitamin K2 per day.
Weight-bearing exercises activate bone cells called osteoblasts, which form new bones. Climb stairs, hike, bike, or run for at least 30 minutes every day. Walking uphill is also a safe alternative if you cannot do high-impact activity. If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, exercise with a physical therapist’s guidance.
The hormones parathyroid, estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol all influence bone health. When one hormone is deficient, it causes a domino effect that imbalances other hormones, diminishing calcium absorption and deteriorating bones. If you’re a menopausal woman or a man with unusually low energy levels, work with an endocrinologist to get your hormone levels tested and develop a comprehensive hormone balance plan.[box]THE WRINKLES-BONES CONNECTION
Everyone gets wrinkles, whether from sun exposure, processed foods, or ageing. But research from the Yale School of Medicine shows deeper wrinkles may also indicate lower bone density, increasing fracture risk. Why? Skin and bones share the same building block proteins, including collagen, which keeps skin taut.
The Fix: Take 2,000 mg collagen (including types I and III) daily and eat foods containing lysine, an amino acid that helps your body build collagen and absorb calcium. Lysine-rich foods include fish, egg whites, and legumes. For overall skin health and wrinkle prevention, also opt for free radical-fighting fruits and vegetables, along with healthy oils such as alive oil and flaxseed oil.[/box] [hr]
Many people look forward to living a long life. But it’s hard to find someone who isn’t concerned with the physical symptoms that come with aging, from wrinkles to joint pain. In fact, a recent study found that habitual sunbathers are more likely to kick their habit at the threat of wrinkles than that of cancer. And as Baby Boomers reach their golden years, many are looking for ways to maintain their youthful appearance and lifestyle without undergoing injections and other invasive procedures. Shoppers seeking to naturally promote antiaging from the inside out have an ally in the supplement aisle: BioCell Collagen.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body, accounting for 30 percent of our total supply, and it mostly resides in connective tissues in the skin and joints such as cartilage, skin dermis, bones, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. When we’re young, collagen is abundant and allows us to move with ease, plus enables our skin to stretch and move without sagging or developing wrinkles. As we age, collagen production naturally slows and the overall amount depletes, which can result in undesirable wrinkles in the skin and painful stiffness in the joints.
Over 20 different types of collagen have been identified, but generally speaking, you’ll find two types in the supplement aisle: type I, which is abundant and found primarily in the hides, bones, and skin of animals, and type II, which is rarer because it is only found in cartilage where it naturally coexists with hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate in a blood-free environment.
Of these types, collagen is either unhydrolyzed (also known as undenatured) or hydrolyzed. In its original, unhydrolyzed state, collagen molecules are very large and therefore not effectively absorbed by the body. Hydrolyzation breaks down the collagen into small molecular weight fragments to maximize absorption, explains Joosang Park, MD, vice president of scientific affairs at BioCell Technology, makers of BioCell Collagen—a patented ingredient comprised of naturally occurring hydrolyzed collagen type II, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid.
The science of BioCell Collagen
When it comes to skin care, studies show that BioCell Collagen can reduce skin dryness and wrinkles. In a study, a daily 1 gram dose of BioCell Collagen yielded a significant increase in the skin’s collagen (including types I and III) content after just six weeks; the study’s participants saw a visual difference in the skin—a 76 percent reduction in dryness and a 13 percent reduction in fine lines and wrinkles—after the full 12 weeks of treatment.
BioCell Collagen also was shown to offer relief to those suffering from joint discomfort. In a recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human study of 80 participants with a chronic history of joint pain, study participants experienced a significant reduction in pain and stiffness.
BioCell Collagen’s patented composition also delivers chondroitin sulfate, which provides shock-absorbing properties to joint cartilage, and hyaluronic acid (HA), which is critical to achieving lubricated joints and smooth, hydrated skin. In fact, in a human study, participants who took daily doses of BioCell Collagen saw hyaluronic acid levels increase 60-fold in their blood during the 28 days of the study period.
Furthermore, BioCell Collagen has been shown to inhibit hyaluronidase, the enzyme that destroys HA. Thus, BioCell Collagen packs an impressive dual HA mechanism to tackle aging-associated dehydration as well as replenish the loss of the various essential structural components of skin.
As a validation of the strong science, Canada’s Natural Health Products Directorate has approved BioCell Collagen to help relieve joint pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip and knee and to help maintain healthy skin.
It’s impossible to turn back the clock on aging, but supplemental collagen can help stimulate the body’s own regenerative potential to achieve younger looking skin and more active joints … without going under the knife.
Look for BioCell Collagen in oral supplements such as Ultimate HA (Purity Products), BioCell Collagen (Health Logics), Jusuru Life Blend (Jusuru International), Hydroplenish (Nature’s Way) and Collagen Booster (Reserveage), and many other fine nutritional and skincare brands.
Stretching feels good when you have tight muscles because it increases blood flow, but it's also important for flexibility, range of motion and reduced risk of a muscle strain.
When should you stretch?
Starting when we joined our first soccer team at the age of six, most of us have been told to stretch before exercising, whether that be jogging, sprinting, playing basketball or dancing. But the research on static stretching before exercise is mixed on whether it is beneficial, detrimental or has no effect on one's athletic performance. The vague conclusion is that stretches held for 30 seconds or less are fine for anyone to do before exercising, and the only people who definitely must stretch are those that will be holding a position for long periods of time in order to avoid pulling a muscle, such as gymnasts, hockey goalies and dancers.
But, you can stretch at any time, since its main purpose is to improve your flexibility and range of motion to do movements you couldn't perform otherwise. For example, if you feel stiff when you bend down to tie your shoelaces, you might want to stretch your legs every morning to get rid of this stiffness that makes shoe-tying uncomfortable.
Stretch every morning or night as part of your daily routine. Stretching after a workout is also good because your muscles are warmed up and this will have a greater effect on your flexibility.
How to stretch?
You can find several easy stretches online. You probably have a nice repertoire from your team-sport playing days, but online videos are abundant that show you how to do stretches to target particularly tight muscles.
Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds, and do up to four repetitions. Hold your position steadily – don't bounce, which can cause small tears and leave scar tissue, making your muscles even more tight! To avoid bouncing, stretch only to the point of tension and hold it there – don't let yourself feel pain. A good stretching routine will probably last between 15 and 20 minutes.
When can you stop stretching?
Make stretching a daily habit to improve your flexibility. As time goes on, you can spend fewer minutes stretching because you'll start to see the flexibility and range of motion results you want. Stopping altogether could make your muscles tight again, and stretching is good for the body, so keep it up every day if you can!
When it comes to getting in shape and improving your overall fitness, just finding the time and motivation to get yourself to the gym can be half the battle. Unfortunately, once you're at the gym there are several common mistakes that can derail even the most dedicated fitness fans during their workouts. Watch out for these 10 errors that can hinder your efforts.
1. Socializing too much
Having a buddy can be a great way to make sure you get to the gym regularly. However, working out with a friend can also be a distraction. It's fine to socialize, but try to make sure that your trips to the gym actually involve some focus on fitness!
2. Lifting weights that are too heavy
Don't head right for the heaviest dumbbells in the gym. Lifting weights that are too heavy for you can lead to muscle strains, so don't feel like you have to show off. In many cases, studies have shown that lighter weights – used effectively – can have just as much of an impact as heavy ones.
3. Lifting weights that are too light
On the other hand, lifting weights that aren't causing you to exert yourself at all won't help. Fitness experts suggest choosing a weight that you can lift 30 times during your first set, but can lift only 15 times during your second.
4. Not mixing up your routine
If you're getting on the treadmill regularly, that's great! But fitness experts recommend switching up your workout to promote full-body fitness, rather than focusing on just one area.
5. Exclusively using the machines
Sure, your gym may be full of fun equipment that you're eager to try. But many of these machines focus on one particular muscle group, meaning that your time could be better spent elsewhere. Lots of free weight exercises require that you use your whole body, so they can help you burn more calories and strengthen more muscles in less time.
6. Ignoring your core
According to experts, the body's core is where all human movement originates. Therefore, a strong core can help you get fit much faster. It's a great idea to use ab machines and do sit-ups, but it can also be beneficial to keep your core strengthened during other workouts, like the bench press and leg press.
7. Not understanding the equipment
If you're new to the gym and have questions about a certain machine, just ask! Using a piece of equipment incorrectly is ineffective and won't help you get in shape any faster, and you want to ensure that you get the most out of every minute of your workout.
8. Inconsistent workout schedule
This is a common and easily-avoided mistake. Instead of going to the gym four days in a row and then skipping your workouts for the next two weeks, try to hit the gym with relative consistency. This helps you get into a routine and can promote a speedy metabolism.
9. Setting unrealistic expectations
Improving your fitness is all about hard work and perseverance. While it's common to yearn for instant results, it's important to remember that healthy living is an ongoing process. Don't stop hitting the gym because you didn't drop 10 pounds in one week – continue working hard and you'll start to see results!
10. Not changing your diet
Even if you're going to the gym regularly and avoiding these common workout mistakes, exercise alone often isn't enough to help you lose weight. If you've been sticking to your routine like a pro, you can consider adding a weight loss supplement or trying a protein meal replacement to kick your metabolism into gear and help you get the body you want.
In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, many turn toward exercise. It's the perfect way to get your heart pumping, lift your mood, boost your immune system and even sharpen your mind. However, injuries often prevent people from exercising to their full potential. Here are a few ways to prevent those injuries before they occur and keep you as healthy as possible:
By making a joint supplement like UltraFlex Gold Triple Action Joint Formula a part of your daily routine, you may be on your way to healthier joints within just five days. When running outdoors or on the treadmill, your joints are often put under stress, which can affect the way you feel when you exercise and may make it slightly uncomfortable. This joint supplement has natural antioxidant effects on the body which help to neutralize free radicals. Clinical studies have shown this supplement to promote joint comfort and even reduce stiffness.
Warm up and cool down
Making time for warm-up and cool-down sessions before and after your workouts is crucial for an effective workout – and can also protect you from sports-related injuries. By warming up your muscles, you'll have increased flexibility and full range of motion to really minimize your risk for injury. A warm-up could include a brisk five minute walk or even starting off with a slow jog just to get your blood pumping. Once your workout is done, decrease the intensity to get your heart rate down.
Stretching before and after your workout is also crucial in preventing any muscle tears. Before you jump on that treadmill, make sure to stretch out all the parts of your legs- the quads, calves and hamstrings – to ensure your muscles are ready for a workout. According to Fit Day, stretching also increases the flow of oxygen to your muscles, which wards off things like cramps and aches.
Know your fitness level
Go into a workout knowing how much your body can handle. If you're not sure, start off at a lower intensity level and build your way up. If you jump right into an intense workout that your muscles aren't ready for, you could be at risk for injury.
Dehydration is one of the main causes of muscle cramps, according to Greatist. Make sure you fill up on water before, during and after your workout to stay properly hydrated. Think of your body like a car: If you don't fill up on gas before you leave for a long trip, you're likely not going to make it too far. Make sure, however, not to over drink, making your stomach feel full and uncomfortable.
Get proper rest
Many people believe that in order to reach their goals of getting in shape and staying in shape, they need to exercise every single day. However, if you don't give your body a little rest every once in a while, it's not going to perform to the best of its ability. Active suggested that you should avoid over-training and take at least one day off from your workout schedule each week. This gives your muscles time to rest and get stronger.
Exercising is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. It aids in weight loss, boosts immune health and even helps relieve stress. Whether you choose to run outside, hop on the treadmill or bike your way to a healthier you, you're using lots of muscles and tendons in your body in order to do so. This is why you need to check something off of your list both before and after you've finished breaking a sweat: stretching. Your exercise regimen isn't complete without it. Here are a few reasons why you should schedule a few minutes to the beginning and end of your workout:
Before your workout
Stretching out your muscles helps to boost circulation and even improve the elasticity of the muscles. It will give you better range of motion, flexibility and muscle control. By stretching, you're increasing the flow of oxygen to your muscles, which prevents things like cramps, aches and pains that show up and slow down your workout. If you're someone who tends to not get through a workout without feeling a little bit of discomfort, try stretching for at least 15 minutes beforehand – this can lead to improvements in the flow of oxygen, helping to rid your body of those aches and pains.
You muscles also benefit a whole lot from a little bit of stretching before physical activity. This act not only alleviates tight muscles, giving you better range of motion throughout your workout and helping to prevent injury - it also nourishes your muscles. Stretching promotes circulation, and without proper circulation, your muscles may not be getting enough blood and oxygen.
A study by Arnold Nelson, an associate professor of kinesiology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, found that stretching regularly before a workout does more than just increase range of motion – it may actually enhance performance, helping to make people stronger and even increase their endurance. Nelson explained that stretching affects muscles in a similar way that strength training does – it's believed to activate some of the same things in the cell that exercise activates.
After your workout
Your exercise regimen isn't quite complete before stretching out all your muscles. As you break a sweat, lactic acid builds up in your muscles, which is what causes you to feel sore the next day. By stretching after you're done, you can help alleviate that soreness and recover faster from an intense workout. And if you're not sore the next day, you're less likely to skip a workout!
Exercises to try out before and after your workout
People should try to stretch all the major muscle groups to prevent any potential injury. Here are a few stretches to try out:
The seated straddle: Sit with your feet outstretched in front of you in the shape of a V. Slide your arms down your left leg toward your ankle, keeping the leg straight. You should feel a stretch in your hamstring. Switch to the other side.
The butterfly: This exercise stretches out your hips and lower back. Sit upright with the bottom of your feet touching and your knees out to the side. Bend forward over your feet and stretch the arms out in front of you to feel a lengthening spine.
The bicep stretch: Sitting upright, bring one arm across your chest, pulling it in with your other arm. You should feel a stretch in your bicep. Switch to the other arm.
During the cooler months, many people take up skiing as a fun hobby to stay in shape and enjoy the great outdoors. However, like many other sports, there is always the risk of injury. But, the rate of skiing injuries has actually declined by about 50 percent since the 1970s, according to the Los Angeles Times. Despite the decline, it's still important to stay safe on the slopes and lower your chances of injury. Here are a few ways to prevent injury and stay safe while skiing:
Check the equipment
Before you hit the slopes, you have to check that the equipment you're going to be using is safe. If you borrow it from a friend, you have to make sure the equipment fits you properly. John Monson, a spokesman for Sugar Bowl Resort in Norden, California, told the Los Angeles Times that wearing the wrong gear can be dangerous. If it's too big, you have less control of your body and it may be harder to maneuver the skis to get where you want to go. Because borrowing equipment from friends is not ideal, never assume that it's safe and have it examined be a ski shop technician to be sure it's ready to go.
Maintain your fitness
You need to prepare your body for the type of physical activity that skiing demands. This means being in good physical condition before stepping out on skis. Start on easy hills and gradually build your way up to more challenging slopes once your body is used to the movement and you feel comfortable. Many ski injuries happen toward the end of the day when people tend to do more than they can handle. If you're tired, it's better to stop and rest to be sure your body remains strong.
Keep your joints healthy
One of the best ways to promote joint health is with a joint supplement. Naturade FlexAid Joint Formula is a natural and safe solution is designed to help support joint comfort and mobility. Its blend of two traditional plants packed with antioxidants was shown to reduce stiffness and improve mobility amongst test subjects in as little as five days.
Like any other sport, it's important to warm up your body before doing any vigorous movement. Do some exercises to warm up your muscles so you're not so stiff when skiing. Be sure to target every part of your body, including legs, torso and arms. James Gladstone, an orthopedic surgeon and co-chief of sports medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, suggested doing windmills with your arms, swinging your legs back and forth, and doing abdominal twists to reduce injury.
Not staying properly hydrated can affect both physical ability and endurance. Drink plenty of water before, during and after skiing.
Know general safety rules
Be sure that you know all of the general safety rules of skiing, like how to safely stop, merge and yield to other skiers. This will not only help to create a safe environment for you, but for others as well.