Losing weight means starting your day off right. When you're presented with sugary morning snacks and the always tempting snooze button, shedding those pounds can pose as quite the challenge. But you don't have to be a morning person to start the day off right and get yourself one step closer to getting trim. With the right approach, you can make your mornings the best part of your day.
Start with exercise
Once that alarm goes off in the morning, your immediate reaction is likely to hit the snooze button. However, getting out of bed and exercising straight away in the AM may give you more benefits than you realize. Working out gives your metabolism a kick and keeps it elevated for hours. By exercising in the morning, you'll be burning more calories all day long. Aside from an elevated metabolism, you may start to notice that you have more energy in the morning after breaking a sweat. It sure beats splashing water on your face.
But here's the question everyone asks themselves: "How am I supposed to find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning to exercise?" Women's Health magazine suggested resisting that urge to go back to sleep by sitting up and touching your toes. This simple action of bending your head down helps to bring blood to your brain and wake you up.
Have a healthy breakfast
When you have a busy schedule, breakfast often takes a backseat to almost everything. We've heard that it's the most important meal of the day, but often we don't think about what that really means. Just like exercise, breakfast helps to boost your metabolism. It also helps you make better choices regarding your diet throughout the day. By filling up on a good breakfast, you'll be less tempted to overindulge later on. However, you must eat the right breakfast in order to stay full and keep your energy up. Start your morning off with some fiber and protein. This could be a scrambled egg on whole grain toast or Greek yogurt topped off with honey and fruit for added antioxidants. With a healthy breakfast, you'll end the sugar spikes and inevitable moments of sugary weakness later on in the day.
Another great option for breakfast would be a protein shake. Naturade Total Soy can help you lose weight and feel great throughout the day. This tasty meal replacement shake, available in both chocolate and vanilla, is perfect for those with an especially busy morning routine. Whip one of these up in the a.m. for a quick, convenient and nutritious meal to start your day off right with plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Sip on some green tea
If you normally have sugary juices in the morning or nothing at all, incorporate a cup of green tea into your morning routine. According to Fitbie, those who regularly drink green tea tend to have smaller waists and lower body fat. The antioxidants and caffeine in green tea may have an effect on how fast fat is broken down.
Being pregnant, there are a lot of things to think about when it comes to keeping both your body and the baby healthy. Along with prenatal vitamins, regular exercise, adequate sleep and maintaining a balanced diet, ensuring that you eat the right amount of protein is vitally important. Among all of the nutritional advice being tossed your way, it can be easy to forget about protein and its role in developing your child.
Vital to growth
Not only does protein help you to grow, it is essential for the growth of your baby as well. According to What To Expect, at 37 weeks, your baby's brain is in need of materials that are going to help it grow and develop. Protein is what's going to build the brain and help it grow to be healthy and fully functional. Should you not get the recommended amount of protein in your diet, the baby will begin to break down its own tissues in order to get building blocks, preventing the both of you from staying healthy.
Natural Baby Pros said that a woman's blood volume increases dramatically during pregnancy. Protein is what helps to produce the right amount of blood cells and aids the body in producing iron – a vital nutrient needed during pregnancy that helps you maintain a healthy immune system. Women often need more iron than usual when they're with child because they're eating for two.
How much protein do I need?
What To Expect suggested you consume three servings of protein (about 75 grams) everyday to help eliminate problems during the pregnancy. It's important to make a habit out of incorporating protein into your everyday diet. By eating the right foods, this can be made easy.
How do I get protein?
We all know that lean meats, poultry and fish are excellent sources of protein. However, Dr. Tom Brewer, creator of the Brewer Blue Ribbon Baby Diet, recommended getting this much protein by building your day around four cups of milk and two eggs. Not only are these ingredients versatile, but they're often inexpensive and will provide you with at least 32 grams of protein each day. And don't think eggs can only be scrambled. There are plenty of other ways to get this protein-packed staple into your diet. Try making a breakfast sandwich, French toast, stir-fry or some egg frittatas. Another easy way to up your protein intake is by consuming a protein meal.
One source of protein that many pregnant women rely on is fish because it's heart healthy, loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and is an excellent source of DHA, which feeds your baby's brain. However, it's important to keep a good eye on what type of fish you're eating. According to What To Expect, some fish contain high levels of mercury, an unfriendly toxin. Play it safe by avoiding fish from contaminated waters such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, fresh tuna, sea bass, tilefish, mahimahi, grouper and amberjack. On the other hand, fish like salmon, halibut, trout, cod and perch are safe options. You should also look to limit your fish intake to about 12 ounces per week.
While regular exercise is vital to maintaining a healthy waistline, what you put into your body can make all the difference. You don’t want to slow yourself down with calorie-packed foods and greasy snacks. By consuming the right items, you may notice a change in your waistline and even feel more energy throughout the day. Fuel your body before, during and after workouts for better overall health. Check out these foods to surround your workout regimen with vitamins, nutrients and protein:
Before your workout…
Coming into a workout, your body needs the energy to last through physical activity in order to get the most effective workout possible. Sports nutritionist Barbara Lewin told Shape Magazine that calories enable you to work out at your best. You really need the calories in order to perform well, especially if you’re planning on an especially intense workout session.
One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a workout is with a meal replacement shake. Naturade Total Soy is an easy on-the-go snack and contains just the right amount of protein to promote muscle growth and stay energized. Available in chocolate and vanilla, this tasty shake is high in protein and low in calories, making it easy to achieve your weight goals.
Another option for a quick snack before breaking a sweat would be oatmeal. According to U.S. News & World Report, it settles well and provides lasting energy. You can also opt to add in some fruit for added taste and antioxidants.
Greek yogurt is another great way to consume a substantial amount of protein, and this snack will fill you up without weighing you down later. It’s easy on the stomach and provides you with a kick of energy. If you’re especially hungry and require a full meal, Shape Magazine recommended waiting three to four hours between eating and hitting the gym. Working out on a full stomach will only lead to cramps, discomfort and a less effective workout.
During your workout…
We all know that staying hydrated during a workout is vital. However, sometimes we get so caught up in the workout that we forget to reach for the water. Eating Well suggested drinking flavored water while working out because it may make it easier to stay hydrated than plain water does. However, beware of flavored drink brands containing loads of sugar, as that can add to the calorie load and slow you down. Instead, try adding frozen fruit to your water for added flavor, antioxidants and electrolytes that will keep your drink cool.
After your workout…
A workout isn’t finished without a proper snack to finish it off. According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine, consuming both carbs and protein are best immediately following exercise. Your body will use those calories for repair and recovery rather than fat storage. A glass of chocolate milk will help to replenish the energy stored in your muscles and promote muscle recovery. You could also opt for a banana and peanut butter for a similar effect.
Protein is essential in a diet due to its ability to repair and maintain the body. According to MedlinePlus, protein is a major part of the skin, muscles, organs and glands. Everyone needs protein to help repair body cells and make new ones. It's also integral to growth and development throughout childhood, adolescence and pregnancy. Many, however, have made the life choice to live by a vegetarian diet. Although this means one of the most protein-packed foods, meat, is out of the picture, it doesn't mean there aren't other delicious and viable options to choose from.
How much protein do vegetarians require?
Many people are under the assumption that we need mass amounts of protein in our diets. While it is essential for our bodies, we do not require large quantities of protein. According to The Vegetarian Resource Group, only one calorie out of every ten needs to come from protein. The amount that you require is largely based on height, weight, age, physical activity level and body type. Look to your general health to determine if your body needs more protein or not. Make sure your hair and nails are growing properly, your wounds are healing well and you recover fairly quickly from routine illness.
Protein-packed foods for a vegetarian diet
Vegetarians can meet their protein needs simply by including the right foods into their diet. The Vegetarian Resource Group created a sample menu to demonstrate how easy incorporating protein really is. For breakfast, they recommended oatmeal, soy milk and a bagel. For lunch, two slices of whole wheat bread and some vegetarian baked beans. A snack could include crackers and peanut butter, and for dinner, try brown rice, broccoli and tofu.
When you're getting a wide variety of foods, you'll be getting all the amino acids you may need to keep your body strong and promote cell repair. Here are a few other foods that provide a good dose of protein:
The nuts with the highest source of protein include peanuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews and pine nuts. They are also packed with heart-healthy fatty acids and antioxidants. While these work well as a snack, they can also be easily incorporated into meals. You can add your favorite nuts to a salad, sandwich, wrap or even baked goods.
Pea protein powder
A protein booster, like Naturade Pea Protein, is a fast, easy and delicious way to get a dose of essential protein. Pea protein is a natural plant-based protein that is derived from yellow peas and is soluble, easy to digest and tastes great! Available in both chocolate and vanilla, this tasty shake is all-natural and contains no animal by-products, artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. It's an excellent source of protein for both vegetarians and vegans.
Whole grain carbohydrates are very high in protein and are essential for the growth of muscle. Quinoa is a protein-packed South American grain that has come into style in recent years as more and more individuals adopt veggie-based lifestyles. Quinoa can be cooked together with honey, berries and nuts for a healthy and balanced breakfast.
Life is filled with things to be happy about: relationships, great hair days, positive reinforcement at work, family and more! Stress, unfortunately, is sometimes a part of those everyday joys. Luckily, there are steps you can take to relax and manage this unwanted and unneeded stress. Try these tips and tricks to be on your way to a more stress-free lifestyle:
Ward off stress with a supplement
Help manage your stress levels with Symbiotics TryptoZen. This supplement is nature's way to a relaxed state of being and works to replenish your mental clarity. With just one capsule, you may be on your way to lower stress levels and increased relaxation.
Break a sweat
Exercise isn't just for slimming down. It can also boost your mood and help to fight stress. According to NIH Medline Plus, exercise can improve your mood and change how your body reacts to stress. You don't need to take part in intense workouts to reap the benefits either. Even walking a few times a day will help you reap the benefits.
Eat the right foods
What you put into your body could potentially have an effect on your stress levels. According to UF&Shands Communication, a handful of walnuts may lower resting blood pressure and improve responses to stress. These nuts also contain other health benefits, like better cardiovascular health and high levels of protein. Oranges, according to a German study in Psychopharmacology, may aid in reducing stress and returning blood pressure to normal levels after a particularly stressful situation. They are also filled with antioxidants to boost the immune system.
Spend time with family and friends
A fun afternoon spending time with family or friends could be just what the doctor ordered. Share your feelings, hopes and joys with those closest in your life to exchange insight and maybe even a few laughs. Laughing triggers the body's release of endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals in the brain. Having a few laughs also helps relax muscles and stimulate circulation, both of which are symptoms of stress.
Don't sweat the small stuff
It won't be the end of the world if you didn't get to cleaning the kitchen or you haven't mowed the grass yet. Focus on the things that really matter in life, whether that be spending time with family, getting work done or simply taking time out in your day to relax.
Joints provide us with the ability to bend, twist and move. They're what allow us to dance, throw a baseball, run and even do regular daily functions like buttoning a shirt, brushing our teeth and tying our shoes. As you age, you'll want those joints to maintain that same healthy function to allow you to participate in all the activities you enjoy.
How aging affects joints
Over time, natural wear and tear may start to affect the cartilage, or the cushioning, that acts as a shock absorber to prevent bones from grinding against each other. According to David Felson, professor of medicine at Boston University, cartilage thins as you age, which makes damaging a joint easier. Even minor injuries like the twist of an ankle can affect an older adult's joints.
Maintain an active lifestyle
A common misconception surrounding joint health is that keeping an active lifestyle will only lead to greater wear and tear on your joints. However, this isn't the case. Maintaining an active lifestyle can actually prevent the deterioration of joints. However, it is important to work out in safe manner. This means stretching before and after workouts, staying hydrated and keeping proper form throughout the exercise to prevent injury.
Take a joint supplement
It's never too early or too late to begin taking a joint supplement. It's an easy way to promote joint comfort so you can maintain an active lifestyle. Naturade FlexAid Joint Formula is a natural and safe alternative that is designed to support joint comfort and mobility. It contains Univestin, which is an all natural blend of two plants with antioxidant properties, and has been shown in clinical studies to reduce stiffness and improve mobility.
Everyone naturally loses muscle mass as they age. Therefore, if you don't work to keep that muscle, it's not going to stick around. According to CNN Health, if you don't have that muscle, it's your joints that absorb the pounding of daily living, contributing to more damage. Keeping a regular strength training regimen can help to build muscle over time. Adding more protein into the diet is also a great way to maintain and promote muscle growth. Naturade Pea Protein powder is an easy way to boost your protein intake. This all-natural protein derived from yellow peas tastes great and is available in both chocolate and vanilla flavors. Each great-tasting shake provides an excellent source of vegetable-based protein and is perfect for those needing any extra protein in their daily diet.
Eat a healthy diet
By keeping a healthy weight, you'll be taking excess stress off of your joints, especially your knees, hips and feet. A healthier weight may help to reduce the deterioration of joints. A healthy diet should consist of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy. Half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, half of your grains should be whole grains and you should consider switching to fat-free or low-fat milk. CNN Health also said that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may help promote joint comfort and decrease inflammation.
Many people are under the impression that taking part in strength workouts and lifting weights will make them gain weight, because they see the number going up on the scale each week. However, this is not the case. Workouts in which you work to build muscle can not only help you tone your body, but lose weight as well.
More muscle translates to more calories burned
In order to reach your goal weight, you must first increase your metabolism. While doing aerobic exercises and eating right can help with this, building up muscle is what really increases your rate of metabolism. This rate will be raised while exercising and will continue to be at a higher level long after the activity has been completed, according to FitDay.
One pound of muscle can burn up to 20 calories per day, while a pound of fat only burns about five calories, noted FitDay. If you're not building up muscle, you begin to lose your ability to burn calories. If you notice the number staying the same or going up on that scale, it may not be because you're gaining fat, you may be gaining muscle. According to FitSugar, muscle tissue is more dense than fat tissue. Therefore, it takes up less space. Women's Health Magazine explained that if you add one pound of muscle, your body burns up to an additional 50 calories per day to keep that muscle alive. If you amp up that number to six pounds of muscle, you'll be burning an average of 300 calories each day, just by sitting there.
The best protein for muscle growth
Protein is essential for the development of muscle. According to Active.com, protein aids in the repair of exercise-induced damage to muscle fibers. When you lift weights or participate in strength training exercises, you're breaking down muscle. Therefore, your body requires a fresh infusion of amino acids, commonly found in protein, to repair and build that muscle.
A meal replacement shake is a great way to go about getting in your daily dose of post-workout protein. Naturade 100% Whey is a protein powder packed with essential amino acids that your body needs. These amino acids have been said to support athletic performance and recovery, and even may work to boost your immune health.
Studies have shown that whey protein may aid in the growth and development of muscle. According to a study from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, a group of men took part in resistance training over a 10-week period and were given whey protein, while another group was only given a placebo. Those who had consumed the whey protein showed greater increases in fat-free mass and muscle strength.
Other protein-packed snacks for after your workout
Alongside protein powders, what you consume after you have finished exercising can also have an effect on muscle growth. A post-workout snack can give you the stamina and energy your body needs to repair muscle tissue. Fitness Magazine recommended yogurt and fresh berries. Low-fat yogurt can contain nearly fifteen grams of protein and the berries have plenty of antioxidants and carbohydrate-driven energy. You could also opt for peanut butter and banana slices on rice cakes or tuna on whole wheat for an extra boost of protein.
You likely spend most of the daylight hours at the office, leaving little time to get in shape. Once you arrive home, you may have other priorities to tend to or may simply be too tired to hit the gym. But what about using work hours to build a little muscle? There are a number of ways you can tone up right at your desk.
When you're sitting at your desk on the phone, where you have your hands free, work the muscles in your forearm by clenching and unclenching your hand. Yahoo even suggested investing in a stress ball to make this exercise even easier.
Transportation? More like exercise!
Give yourself a quick cardio workout by opting to park further away from the office than normal. Not only will it give you a breath of fresh air in the mornings, those extra calories will really start to add up. Even better, look into taking public transportation to and from the office. Walking to and from train or bus stations can add up quickly – if you walk a quarter of a mile to and from each transit station, that's a one-mile walk every day!
Bring the right lunch
What you eat during the day obviously has a large effect on your physique. You'll need to maintain a diet high in protein in order to promote muscle growth. Instead of going out for lunch during the day, try bringing a meal replacement shake like Naturade Total Soy All-Natural Original Powder. Available in both chocolate and vanilla, this is a tasty way to take a quick break at work and be building muscle at the same time. Total Soy protein meal replacement delivers 13 grams of protein as well as vitamins, minerals and fiber without all those added calories.
Tone your legs
Build your quads by sitting right at your desk! Bend your leg at the knee and bring your feet up so your legs are fully extended. Proceed by lowering them to the ground again in a controlled manner. See if you can grab some added weight to place on your legs, like a heavy book or ankle weights.
Work your abs
You don't need any fancy equipment to be on your way to getting a six pack. All you need is your chair. When sitting at your desk, ABC News recommended raising your feet a couple inches off the floor so your feet don't touch the ground. Hold that position for a few seconds, release and repeat.
Another great way to build some leg muscle would be to take a quick break and hit the stairs. Doing so a few times each day may help you to see a difference.
We get a lot of information from commercials, TV and our friends, and it can be easy to start believing certain myths surrounding common bugs like the flu. Although getting the flu is a natural occurrence, especially during flu season, many still don't know how to prevent or treat this potentially serious malady. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu affects 5 to 20 percent of Americans annually. In order to boost your immune system health, it's helpful to find the truth among all of the misconceptions.
Myth #1: If you catch a cold, your immune system is weak.
Although your immune system is what helps to ward off things like the cough and flu, getting sick doesn't necessarily mean that your immune system health isn't up to par. Dr. Erica Brownfield, an associate professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, said that even if you have a healthy immune system, you can still catch a cold or the flu. It simply means that your immune system was unsuccessful at fighting off the virus.
Myth #2: You can't get the flu twice in the same season.
Although we wish this were true, it's a misconception. There are many different types of influenza that may be circulating, according to Dr. Carolyn Bridges, associate director for science in the influenza division of the CDC. Just because you're protected from one strain doesn't mean your body is safe against other forms of the flu.
Myth #3: If I get a flu shot, I'll get the flu.
Many neglect to get a flu shot because of the fear that they may get the flu. However, this is not necessarily the case. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the influenza viruses contained in a flu shot are inactivated so that you're not prone to infection. The vaccine is even tested to make sure that it is safe. Mild reactions have been reported from the flu shot, such as soreness, redness and swelling.
Myth #4: If you show no signs or symptoms of a cold, you're not contagious.
Just because you're not showing symptoms of being sick doesn't mean that you can't spread illness to others. According to ABC News, there's an incubation period of a few days during which you may not show any signs of being sick. However, you are the most contagious when symptoms begin to arrive. Younger individuals may be contagious for longer periods of time than healthy adults.
Myth #5: The only way to protect yourself from the flu is with a flu shot.
Although a flu shot is a great way to ward off the flu, it's not the only method you can use to protect yourself. Harvard Health suggested avoiding contact with those people who have the flu, washing your hands on a regular basis and taking anti-viral medication.
Myth #6: Chicken soup will aid in the recovery process
Although hot liquids like chicken soup may taste good and help to soothe the throat, Harvard Health explained that it does not contain any specific qualities that may help to ward off the flu.
We all know that cardio exercise and strength training can help to tone muscles and help get you in shape. But when there are deadlines that need to be met, work demands and household chores to be done, working out seems to fall further and further down the list of things to do. The easy fix for this is to try transforming those chores into a fitness routine. After all, you have to clean, so you might as well kill two birds with one stone! According to Vitality Fitness, an 150-pound person can burn approximately 190 calories per hour by completing general household chores. Here are a few ideas to get you and your home in tip-top shape.
Toning your legs…
If there are clothes or toys lying on the floor that need to be picked up, look at this as an opportunity to get those legs ready for beach season. Vitality Fitness suggested completing squats to pick up items on the floor. Just be sure to keep your back straight and bend at the knees instead of hinging at the waist.
Toning your arms…
Instead of lifting dumbbells, try washing the windows! Move your arm in a circular motion and continually change directions to tone your arm and shoulder. Just be sure to switch arms ever so often so both of your extremities get a great workout. I bet window washing now sounds a bit more appealing.
Toned arms can also come from washing and putting away dishes. As you suds up your dishes, try standing on one leg or raising up on your tiptoes for a quick calf exercise. When putting away dry dishes, if you have an especially heavy pot, plate or bowl, Vitality Fitness recommended doing a few bicep curls with each item. Just be careful not to drop it!
Grab a refreshment
Take a quick break from chores by fixing yourself a shake packed with the protein you need to tone your body. Naturade Total Soy All-Natural Original Powder comes in various flavors like Bavarian chocolate and French vanilla to satisfy your taste buds and deliver 13 grams of protein as well as vitamins, minerals and fiber without all of the added calories. Total Soy protein meal replacement may also keep your heart healthy and lower cholesterol. According to the Food and Drug Administration, 25 grams of soy protein per day may increase heart health.
Toning your abs…
When you're sweeping, raking or vacuuming, activate your abdominal muscles as you extend the tool out as far as possible. As you bring your rake or vacuum back in, you'll be toning your ab muscles as you clean. Discovery Health suggested putting a spin on your laundry routine, literally. Stand about 10 to 15 feet away from the washing machine and spin your hips as you toss the dirty laundry into the washer. This works especially well for wet laundry that is a bet heavier. This is a great activity for your abdominals, lower back and hip muscles. Who knew laundry could be such a great workout?