You may think that you have your fitness routine down to a science, but gym-goers of all experience levels and body types can probably do more to make the most out of every minute spent at the gym. If you're thinking about updating your workout, try one – or all – of these seven tips!
1. Start your routine with something you like
If you find that your workouts are getting a little stale, try beginning your fitness routine with the exercise you enjoy the most. This will help you get your heart rate pumping while also getting you psyched up for the workout ahead.
2. Eat before you go
While you don't want to wolf down a steak before hitting the treadmill, eating a small meal or light snack before the gym can help boost your metabolism and keep you from fading during your routine. Try an antioxidant-rich snack like blueberries, a yogurt packed with probiotics or a shake made with a total soy meal replacement.
3. Use your upper body during cardio
Using a treadmill or stationary bike to improve heart and lung endurance is a great way to stay fit, but chances are you're ignoring your upper body during these workouts. Using a full-body elliptical machine that works on arms as well as legs can help you burn more calories while improving your overall stamina.
4. Get a little competitive
Notice someone on the treadmill near you who's really giving it their all? Use their motivation to work a little harder! Friendly competition can give you the boost you need to spend a few extra minutes on the machine or convince you to push yourself to run just a little faster. However, be sure that you don't do anything that's outside of your limits.
5. Try eccentric exercises
It's tempting to focus solely on improving muscles like your abs, but many abdominal workouts shorten and "crunch" those muscles. Mixing in movements that lengthen your spine and strengthen back muscles can help you achieve all-over body fitness.
6. Take advantage of unilateral training
Most of the time, when you're using a leg press or extension machine you're using both of your legs at the same time. While there's nothing wrong with that, most of us tend to favor one leg over the other, even when using both at once. Try doing a full set with your weaker leg – for most people, this is their left – and then doing a full set with your stronger leg. You'll immediately notice that one side completes the exercise with greater ease. Doing this can also help improve balance!
7. Invest in a personal trainer
Maybe you haven't achieved the arm tone you wanted, or maybe your runs are still leaving you feeling exhausted after five minutes. If it seems like your workout isn't having the effects you were hoping for, you may want to consider hiring a personal trainer who can help you reach your fitness goals. Sound too expensive? Try splitting a session with a friend or looking into group fitness programs.
I’ve made lots of errors in my training and fitness in the past 2 years and along the way I’ve learned the keys to my personal fitness success. With that being said, the journey never ends and there is always something new to learn and improve. Although I am presenting the keys to you, keep in mind that your personal journey and success depends on your ability to listen to your body, adapt based on your own situation, and create realistic short term and long term goals.
Throughout your fitness journey you have to ingrain these words into your brain: Consistency – Frequency – Intensity
The human body is elegant and it can adapt and perform based on what habits and conditions its put under and/or through. To create change in your body you need to be consistent with training effort and diet, frequent with your training, and properly select intensity levels based on your health, your goals, races, and lifestyle. You must keep the body moving, period. Even if it’s only 20 mins per day you can make big changes if you do it all the time and really stay dedicated to the long term goal, a healthy life.
The answer to health and fitness is, and always has been simple… Keep moving, eat clean, drink water, sit as little as possible, get plenty of sleep, and try new things that involve moving. I love triathlon because it’s swimming, cycling, and running. I love all of these things, I always have something to improve on and learn, and it keeps me mentally and physically stimulated and regulated.
If you are looking for a sign, a moment of clarity, or something to help you get moving then take this article as the final push. We were born to move and our bodies can do so much more than we give them credit for. Begin your own health and fitness journey today and start a new path.
And remember, never, ever, ever give up and always be relentless!!!
I’m Dustin, and this is my son Boston… First, I’m a dad before anything else, after that I’m a 31 year old vegan expatriate Hoosier living right outside of New Orleans, LA.
On June 12th, 2011 I had a bit of a wake up call and began my road to the ironman 140.6 mile endurance event and after that I’ve got some big plans, so it won’t end there… This is my outlet to vent, rant, promote, and let everyone know what’s up.
The #NaturadeSmoothie Contest is under way. So far the feedback has been great! We have had a bunch of mouth-watering recipes that have sent us back to our blender over and over again. To help you get into the mix here are a few of our favorites:
- Blend 1 banana
- 1 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon each honey and lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup ice
- 6 oz raspberries
- 9 oz strawberries
- 100gms acai frozen bar or 4oz blueberries
- 1-2 bananas
- 1 cup almond milk
- 4-6 frozen coffee cubes
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- splash of flavored coffee creamer (sugar free)
- 1-2 tsp. coco powder
- 1-2 scoops pea protein vanilla
- 1 scoop lite whip cream
Blend together in a blender until all mix and enjoy!
Protein is the building block of all the tissue in the body and may help to promote the growth of muscle. The right amount of protein may help curb hunger and can help you reach your fitness goals and get to the body weight you desire. However, there are more ways to consume protein than just through lean meats. Here are a few other ways to up your protein intake and get you on your way to better overall health:
Incorporating a protein powder into your diet is one of the best ways to increase the amount of protein your body is getting each day. One way of doing this is by making yourself a protein meal replacement. Naturade Total Soy is a meal replacement powder, available in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavors, that boasts an amazing taste and contains dietary fiber and protein. According to the Food & Drug Administration, 25 grams of soy protein daily added to a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. This powder is available in a tasty shake and provides an excellent source of protein.
Another easy way to amp up your protein intake is through Naturade Pea Protein Powder. This plant-based protein is derived from yellow peas and provides you with nine essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins and help to support our bones, muscles and connective tissues.
One way to start your morning off with a boost of protein is by eating eggs. This is a food that is so versatile and so easy to fit into your diet. You could use eggs as a main dish, make egg-based casseroles, egg salad sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, etc. You could even make desserts made with eggs like custard, rice pudding, cream puffs and some cakes.
Nonfat cottage cheese
Nonfat cottage cheese not only has protein, it has bone-building calcium as well. This protein-packed food pairs great with fruit for added antioxidants and can be cooked into scrambled eggs, casseroles or pasta for a creamier texture.
Milk and soy milk
We all know that milk helps to build strong bones and its protein helps to rebuild muscles. Fit Day suggested drinking a glass of milk after exercise to replenish your muscles and help them to recover after a tough workout. You could also opt to pair your milk with dinner. If you find this hard to fit into your diet, try making soups and oatmeal with milk instead of water for a sneaky way to fit in some protein.
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.
There are a wide variety of ways to shed pounds and feel healthier. However, some methods are no-brainers when it comes to improving your health and vitality. While working out regularly is important, maintaining a balanced diet is just as vital. Some think that skipping daily meals will help them lose their unwanted weight, but this actually slows down the metabolism. What does do the trick, however, are meal replacements. More specifically, smoothies! That’s right, this delicious and refreshing drink actually has a number of health benefits.
Meal replacements can not only help you slim down in no time, they can also help reduce your cholesterol levels! And don’t worry, just because they’re healthy doesn’t mean they don’t taste good. They’re filling and delicious! Starting off your day with one of these can work to boost your metabolism without packing on unwanted calories of typical meals like fast food and frozen options filled with preservatives. Here are a few smoothie ideas you can use to replace one meal a day and get on your to that goal weight:
Ready for the best news you’ll hear today? You can actually have chocolate in your diet and still lose weight. By replacing one of your daily meals with a chocolate-soy smoothie, you get that chocolate taste without all of the added sugar. The soy protein works to lower your cholesterol as well. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, soy protein works to lower total cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol significantly more than milk. So go ahead and skip that sugary donut and reach for a chocolate smoothie instead. Your body will thank you!
If you’re more of a fruit fan, opt for a delicious strawberry taste that will please your taste buds and the scale. By replacing meals with this low-calorie smoothie, you may lose weight, decrease your cholesterol and improve overall heart health. To enhance the flavor even further, try adding some fresh fruit to the top.
A smoothie that incorporates natural vanilla will help you get on your way to slimming your waist. Instead of a calorie-packed meal, a replacement smoothie provides balanced nutrition and will help you maintain a healthy diet. Many wonder if meal replacements like these actually keep you full - the answer is yes. With a healthy level of dietary fiber, smoothies help curb your hunger so you don’t have to overindulge later on. When mealtime comes around, you’ll be craving this sweet and refreshing alternative.
A few smoothie tips
Any flavor you choose is sure to be delicious, but there are a few things you can do to enhance this delicious meal replacement. If you especially love fruit in your morning smoothie, Lunchbox.com suggested adding some on top. It really enhances the flavor.
If you’re always on the go, consider making a number servings at night so that you can have a few smoothies ready to go whenever you may need them. This makes it even easier to shed the pounds, even with a busy schedule.
You may not think that you have time to get the bathing suit body you always wanted before summer's end, but there are actually lots of speedy exercises that you can do to gradually improve your beach bod! If you have 15 minutes to train before hitting the sand, you can get your body looking great in that bikini with these easy-to-do fitness tips.
1. Cross-Body Mountain Climber
Mountain climbers are a full-body workout that can strengthen legs while toning your tummy. Get your body into pushup position, and brace your abs. Keeping your core tightened, pick up your right foot and bring that knee toward your left shoulder. Return to your starting position, and make the same motion with your left leg. Complete 12 reps per leg, remembering to brace your core throughout the workout.
2. Alternating bug
The alternating bug is a great core workout that can also improve coordination. Start on your back with both arms and legs pointed at the ceiling and your feet flexed. Next, lower your left arm and right leg until they are parallel with the floor. Bring your arm and leg back to their previous position, and do the same thing with your other arm and leg. Continue alternating with slow, fluid motions for 30 seconds.
3. Curtsy lunge
To strengthen and tone your legs, try a curtsy lunge. Begin by standing with your feet together. Step into lunge position with your left leg, bringing the foot across your body and in front of your right foot while dropping your right knee. Use both feet to push yourself back into a standing position, and repeat the same motion with your right leg. Remember to keep your chin and chest up throughout the lunging motion – no slouching! Do 10 reps with each leg.
4. Superset plank
Planks are a great, low-impact exercise that will strengthen your core and arms. To start, get into a modified pushup position with your elbows beneath your shoulders and your forearms in front of you on the floor. Your body should be in a straight line, and your shoulder blades and back shouldn't be sticking up into the air. Brace your abs and maintain the position for 30 seconds.
5. Jump and tuck
This routine is slightly more challenging, but it can really help improve lower body strength. Begin with your feet hip-width apart. Bend at the knees, pushing your hips back into a squat, and jump as far forward as you are able. Land with your feet hip-width apart, and immediately jump as high in the air as possible, bringing your knees up into your chest. Try to land softly, with your knees slightly bent. If you find that this is too tricky at first, don't worry! Regular squats are a fine substitute.
Never underestimate the effectiveness some good old-fashioned push-ups can have on your arm tone! First, do pushups for 20 seconds. At the top of your last push-up, hold the position for an additional 20 seconds. Repeat the routine four times, taking breaks as necessary in between sets.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye which many people are choosing to cut out of their diets. Whether you're choosing to eat gluten-free as a lifestyle choice or because you have a gluten intolerance, adhering to this type of diet can be tricky – especially if you're new to the game. Just because you can't have gluten doesn't mean that you don't have a slew of other foods available to you. Here are a few tips to stick to your gluten-free diet while still enjoying a delicious array of foods:
Turn to other whole grains
While gluten is included in many pastas and breads, there are still ways to incorporate whole grains into your diet. Opt for brown rice, corn and quinoa that contain fiber to keep you full.
Check the labels before you buy
It may be easy to simply buy items labeled "gluten-free." However, many products that claim to be "gluten-free" can change ingredients without notice. Eating Well explained that prepared foods that often include gluten are bouillon cubes, broths, cold cuts, rice mixes, condiments and soy sauce. Therefore, it's important to pay attention to the details before just completely trusting the label of a product. Gluten-free products also often have more sugar and calories packed into them. When cutting out gluten, its safest to stick to non-processed foods like vegetables, fruits and naturally gluten-free whole grains.
Replace your meal with a tasty shake
Naturade Total Soy, a meal replacement powder, can serve in place of a meal and leaves you satisfied. These tasty shakes, available in both chocolate and vanilla, are high in protein and low in calories, sodium and carbohydrates – perfect for a gluten-free diet! This meal replacement may even help to lower cholesterol!
Fill up on the right foods
Any food in its natural form won't have any hidden ingredients. Therefore, fruits and vegetables should form the basis of your be incorporated into meals, along with meat and fish, dairy, lentils and nuts, rice, corn and wine.
Delicious meals for a gluten-free diet
Eggs are a great way to start your day and can fill you up the right way. Try them scrambled, poached, fried or in an omelet with plenty of fresh veggies. Pair your eggs with easy to make chicken-apple sausage, which contains onions, savory spices and ground chicken.
There are plenty of options when it comes to eating lunch. Create some peanut butter and jelly roll-ups with gluten-free tortillas, quinoa pasta salad, fried rice or chili!
For dinner, Real Simple suggested curried rice with shrimp, tuna with black pepper, artichokes and lemon, cumin chicken topped with black beans or steak with your favorite veggies for a delicious gluten-free meal.
We always hear a whole lot about how to lose weight. In addition to fad diets that promise to help individuals shed pounds quickly, there are plenty of basic, common-sense ways lose weight. But those who want to gain weight, from athletes looking to bulk up to patients recovering from a weight-depleting surgery or procedure, are often left in the dark. That weight may be crucial to their health. Those who are underweight may be experiencing negative health effects, such as lack of energy, a weakened immune system and other health issues.
According to the Body Mass Index scale, which uses a person's height and weight to estimate their level of body fat, having a BMI of less than 18.5 qualifies as being underweight. Whatever your reason for looking to gain weight, there is a healthy way to do it. It's more than just packing on the calories from whatever fast food joint you decided to grab today. Learning how to gain weight the healthy way is a topic that many are unfamiliar with – but here's how to go about increasing the number you see on that scale:
Choose filling beverages
Seeking out high-calorie beverages like smoothies, shakes or liquid meal replacements is a great strategy for building muscle and gaining weight the healthy way. It's an easy way to increase your daily caloric intake. For your next snack or meal, reach for Naturade Weight Gain. With 21 grams of carbohydrates and 9 grams of protein per serving, you're going to amplify your caloric intake significantly. This protein powder can easily be added to tasty shakes and smoothies, giving you more energy and a more balanced weight gain program.
Consume the right foods
As a general rule, you should be consuming more calories than you expend. But rather than splurging on sweets and fast food, it's best to fill up on nutritionally sound foods to get the most out of the calories that you're consuming. In other words, you should be focused on quality over quantity. Choose nutrient-dense foods from all food groups. Here are a few foods that are going to help you to gain weight:
Fruit: Go for dried fruit like bananas, pineapple and raisins.
Vegetables: The veggies higher in calories, but still high in nutritional value include, peas, potatoes, winter squash and corn.
Whole grains: Look for whole grains in your pasta, bagels, bread and rice for a good source of carbohydrates that will give you the energy you need to take on the day.
Dairy: Anything from cheese, yogurt or ice cream provide you with extra calories that are going to add up over time.
Nuts and seeds: Some of the best nuts for gaining weight include sunflower seeds, flax seeds, brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts and peanuts.
Just like your meals, your snacks should also be calorie-dense. When you're on the go, carry snacks like nuts, cheese, dried fruit, yogurt with granola, avocados, whole grain crackers or pretzels.
As we get older, we learn so many new things everyday through studying, work and everyday experiences. Of course we want to keep all of that new information fresh in our brain, but we understand that life can get busy and forgetfulness is normal. There are always ways to sharpen our minds and get on track to being healthy not only physically, but mentally as well.
Get some exercise
Simply taking a walk around the building during your lunch break or choosing the faraway parking spot at the mall are great ways to incorporate small amounts of exercise into your day. And while you'll be exercising your body, you'll be exercising your mind as well. When you exercise, you're sending oxygen to your brain. According to Discovery Channel, your mind depends on energy received through a constant intake of oxygen and nutrients from the bloodstream. Without those nutrients, the ability for the brain to perform at its best is diminished. And for an added bonus, it's a great immunity booster!
Take a supplement
Starting off your day with a memory supplement like Naturade MemorAid may be a great way to sharpen your mind and even defend against normal age-related decline. This supplement contains phosphatidylserine, which is naturally found in your brain and is involved in membrane fluidity and rejuvenation.
Switch the station
According to Fox News, simply altering the way you wake up may work to improve cognitive function. Try setting your alarm clock to a new radio station or a new song. We get so used to the same sounds upon waking up. However, unfamiliar sounds wake up your brain in a different way than your normal routine does.
A task as simple as re-organizing your closet can spark a different part of the brain. According to Refinery 29, when you redo your home and think in terms of color and patterns, you're using the posterior part of the brain versus the frontal area.
Refinery 29 suggested picking up your iPhone to play word games such as Words With Friends. Games like these may enhance your mind and even increase your everyday vocabulary!
Close your eyes
Instead of getting dressed in the morning with your eyes open, Fox News suggests switching things up a bit by putting them on blindly. Manning Rubin, co-author of "Keep Your Brain Alive" explained that if you blunt one of your senses, the others work harder, which may help to strengthen the brain. Just remember to pick out your clothes the night before!
Use your non-dominant hand
Next time you sit down to dinner or head to the bathroom to brush your teeth, try using your non-dominant hand. A bit more difficult, right? Well, using the hand that you're not so used to using can challenge your brain to exercise nerve cells on the side that you don't typically use.
Stay away from grease
Turns out, a diet high in fat may be linked to decreased brain function. According to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, rats that snacked on foods packed with saturated fats and performed worse on memory tests than those rats who did not. Stick to a healthy diet filled with fruits, veggies and whole grains and indulge only once in awhile.