Stretching for Flexibility

The body is flexible. It is supposed to be flexible. You must be able to bend and reach that something you dropped on the floor. You must be able to zip the back of your favorite dress on your own. You must be able to reach that book you need to read at the top shelf.

These are simple activities. Nothing grand about them, you merely stretched out a bit. However, if there are difficulties in doing such simple motions, then you have to stretch your limits. You already need a stretching program.

 WHAT IS STRETCHING?

 

Stretching is simply the act of extending to full length the body or simply a part of it. This activity involves straightening or stretching the structure or the limbs.

HOW DOES ONE DO THE STRETCHING?

Stretching is fairly easy. As mentioned in the introduction, it is involved in the normal activities. It can be done by any people, regardless of age.

However the extent of stretching and flexing differs. The muscles tighten as a person ages. The range of joint movements can be minimized. This can very well obstruct an on-the-go lifestyle. That is why as the person grows older, bending or flexing becomes more limited. This is why stretching regularly, as part of a routine is very important.

Simple stretches can be done everyday. It can be incorporated in the lifestyle and the daily activities. It does not require much of your time.

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Stretching exercises can also be done while training. Actually, stretching is an essential part of any training or sport. It must be done first before anything else. Stretching the body and the limbs is a good preparation for a more rigorous activity.

Most athletes would do the sit and reach, wherein they position on the floor, extend their legs and reach the tip of their foot with the tip of their hand. Actually, most trainers actually require their athletes to really do the stretching before playing.

There is actually an ideal length of time in stretching. It is best to do it in 10 minutes. This will give the body enough opportunity to move and flex the muscles, thus preparing it for more complicated and strenuous movements.

Experts however would frown upon going way beyond 10 minutes. Stretching the exercise to 30 minutes or more will already wear out the body. This will not be favorable if one is preparing for a game.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF STRETCHING?

1

Increase the Range of Movement

As one constantly do the stretching exercises, the length of the muscles and the tendons are also increased. This will help in increasing the range of your movement. Thus, the limbs and joints will be able to move, way before an injury can take place. You are definitely physically fit.

2

Increased Ability to Perform Skills

When you have a wide range of movement, the more you will be able to do more things. For example, you can jump high without feeling any pain when you land back on the floor. This will also help you start a new sport or improve more if you are in one. Stretching in this aspect also allows you to have a more active lifestyle.

3

Injury Prevention

One can prevent injury to joints, tendons and muscles with stretching. When the muscles and tendons are well-flexed, they are considered in good working order. This will help in a faster recovery and decreased soreness. The muscles of the body will be able to take more exhausting and rigorous movements with less probability of being injured.

4

Reduce Muscle Tension

If the muscles are given their regular exercises and stretching, it is less likely that they will contract. This will definitely relieve you of any muscle pain or problems.

5

Enhance Energy

Being able to move more will also give you more energy. Stretching will also help enhance your awareness, like knowing that you have a body that is capable of doing many things. As such, you are going to be more driven to move rather than sulk in the corner.

6

Reduces Cholesterol

Research also shows that doing prolonged stretching exercises, like yoga, will help reduce the cholesterol in the body. This of course must be done with a healthy diet at hand. This could prevent and even reverse the hardening of the arteries, allowing you to avoid coronary diseases.

Incorporate stretching in your everyday lifestyle. It has benefits you can not say no to. It also does not require much. It can be your usual activities, bending and flexing every now and then. After all, your fitness is everything so do what it takes to keep the body healthy.

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HOW TO STOP EMOTIONAL EATING – Control Your Cravings

HOW DO I OVERCOME URGES TO EAT?

 

To answer this question, we first need to understand why we eat in the first place. It’s probably safe to say, you likely already know the answers to that question. We eat for energy. We eat to stay alive. We eat to nourish our bodies. And, we eat to preserve our health.  There are social reasons too—such as a business lunch or a dinner party with friends. There are cultural reasons—such as the Fourth of July BBQ and Thanksgiving dinner. And, of course, we can never forget to eat a piece (or two) of the traditional birthday cake during a celebration.  Eating is even focused around religious observations—like Easter dinner, Passover, or a Bar-mitzvah.  And, for some of us, eating plays a role in our romantic activities as well—the infamous late night dinner date or breakfast in bed.

Continue reading HOW TO STOP EMOTIONAL EATING – Control Your Cravings

How To Get a Six Pack Abs


First off, I want to mention that, for most people, getting six pack abs is not an easy task. It requires dedication, but it is possible! Below is a general 2-step guide that, if followed religiously for 3 months, will produce results.

Step 1

NUTRITION

This is the single most important part of the puzzle, hands down. You can have the most impressive set of abs, but if they’re covered with a layer of fat, you won’t see them! Break up your day with 5 or 6 mini-meals because this jump starts your metabolism. And stop eating the food that is preventing results: white bread, loads of pasta, soda, candy, fast food, hydrogenated oils, sugars and fructose corn syrup.

Instead, replace them with foods that will help you reach your goal: oatmeal, olive oil, whole grain breads, fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, natural peanut butter, chicken, fish, protein and water. Be realistic- you’ll slip here and there, but make a conscious effort to radically improve your eating habits because getting a six pack will be impossible if you don’t.

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Step 2

EXERCISE

You need to concern yourself with 3 different exercises: cardio, weightlifting and ab exercises. And aim to workout 3- 4 times a week.

The cardio you do can be anything: walking, running, biking, swimming….whichever cardio you don’t mind doing so that you’ll stick with it. Aim for 30-45 minutes, a minimum of 2 times a week.

Weightlifting is important because 3 pounds of added muscle burns as many calories as a 1 mile jog…and this is while you’re just sitting around! Aim for 30-45 minutes, a minimum of 2 times a week.

The last exercise you need to incorporate into your workout is ab exercises. Aim to work your abs a minimum of 3 times a week. There are a ton of different ab exercises you can do so try to find 3 or so that you enjoy doing so you can mix it up. A good database of different ab exercises is:

Tip: mix up your workout routine every 2 weeks to keep your body guessing and changing. Add or take away different weight or ab exercises, or at the very least, vary the weight, reps or form of cardio you do.

Well, there you have it. Follow the above for 3 months religiously, and while results will vary from person to person, you will experience improvement.

It will take dedication on your part, but imagine the feeling you’ll get when you look in the mirror and like what you see.

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10 Killer Tips For Rapid Weight Loss

In order to make the most of your weight loss program, finding the most effective ways to burn fat will maximize your results and minimize your waistline! Follow these 10 tips for fat burning if you want to lose weight and lead a healthier way of life.

1
Drink More Water

One of the best weight loss secrets is to ditch the sodas and stick to water! Experts say you should drink approximately eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and healthy. Instead of turning to calorie-laden or sugar-rich drinks, grab a refreshing glass of water. In addition to flushing toxins out of your system, drinking water encourages you to build muscle.

2
Eat More Meals

A traditional three-meals-a-day plan just will not cut it if you are in the market to burn fat. Your body is not able to metabolize large meals and will quickly turn any excess into fat. Many experts believe you should eat six small meals a day. Be sure you cut back on your food consumption at each meal, or else you will be doubling your intake—and doubling your fat storage!

3
Work Out with Weights

One great way to maximize the amount of fat you are burning is to add a weight program to your work out routine. Weight training will not only tone your physique, but will strengthen your body and improve your general health. Lifting weights will also burn calories and fat more quickly than traditional exercising, and it will also boost your metabolism.

4
Choose Protein

Choose protein-laden foods for boosting your metabolism and enabling your body to burn fat rapidly. In addition to burning fat, consuming a protein-enriched diet will help you rebuild muscle after work outs and maintain leanness of that muscle. Wisely choose proteins for your diet. Take great care to pick proteins low in fat so you do not consume extra calories.

5
Cut Calories Wisely

It may be tempting to drastically cut your calorie intake when starting a healthy lifestyle. Instead, use a step method when cutting your calorie intake to minimize risk. Reducing calories too quickly results in your body rapidly burning all available calories, which will lower your metabolism. Furthermore, you are more likely to maintain your healthy lifestyle through this step method.

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6
Reward Yourself

When it comes to successfully dieting to burn the most fat, be sure to reward yourself. Everyone has temptations and favorite treats—so allow indulgence. You will be less likely to cheat on your new diet if you grant yourself small rewards. If you are a chocolate lover, treat yourself to a small square of chocolate or single chocolate kiss each evening.

7
Avoid Marathon Work Outs

The biggest mistake people make when looking to burn fat and lose weight is to have one long, extensive work out session. Instead, break up your work out plan into small chunks throughout the day. Take a brisk walk in the morning, enjoy a work out at lunch, and then exercise more in the evening. In addition to staying active all day long, breaking up your work out will better maintain your metabolism.

8
Mix It Up

Choosing to engage in a variety of quality exercises will keep your interest and best allow you to maintain your goal of burning fat. Instead of doing the same exercises each day—mix it up! Opt to swim laps one day, jog another, and bike the next. Rotating your activities will not only allow you to experience a variety of athletics, it will also allow you to better tone your body.

9
Skip Happy Hour

For those individuals who want to burn fat quickly, avoid alcohol. Rich in sugars and carbohydrates, alcohol is a calorie-rich substance. These empty calories can add up quickly and take away from necessary nutrients that should be included in your daily diet. Furthermore, alcohol acts as an inhibitor for burning fat, allowing your body to store it more quickly.

10
Try a Low GI Diet

A low GI diet is an excellent method of burning fat quickly. This diet encourages individuals to consume high amounts of foods with low rankings on the Glycemic Index. These foods are nutritious and will aid your body in burning fats and calories at a quicker pace. This diet includes many of your favorite fruits, vegetable, meats, dairy, and grain products.

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What Are the Biggest Reasons Diets Fail?

10 SECRETS TO A FIT FAMILY

It’s no secret that many parents and their children are overweight. These 10 simple ‘secrets’ can help you change your family’s lifestyle so that you can all become fit and healthy.

1. Eat Whole Grain Foods

Processed and refined grains, such as white bread, white rice, cereal, pasta, and other foods made with white flour have a high glycemic index, low amounts of fiber, and fewer vitamins and minerals as foods made with whole grains. Making the switch to whole grain foods, including whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice, and cereals made with whole grains, are an easy and healthy way to make your family’s diet more nutritious.

2. Limit Soda and Fruit Drinks

Soda and fruit drinks have low nutritional value and a lot of calories. At about 150 calories per 12 ounces serving, your kids will gain an extra pound about every 3 weeks if they drink just one can of soda each day.
Cutting back or eliminating soda, fruit drinks, and even fruit juice can be a good way to get rid of a lot of extra calories and leave room for your kids to eat more nutritious foods.

3. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Most children don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables and that usually means that they are eating other less nutritious foods. With a high fiber content and lots of vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. And because they have lots of water in them, eating fruits and vegetables can help you to feel full and satisfied so that you don’t overeat.

4. Eat More Foods with Calcium

A common mistake people make when trying to lose weight is that they stop drinking milk, eating cheese and yogurt. Calcium is important to build healthy bones and to help you lose weight. You should encourage your kids to drink low-fat milk, eat portioned amounts of cheese and yogurt to help lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.

5. Be More Active

Everyone knows that part of the cause of the current obesity epidemic is that people are much less active than they used to be. Getting kids involved in organized activities, which can be either team or individual sports, and cutting back on the amount of time in front of the TV, computer and playing video games will burn calories and improve fitness levels.

Family activities are also a good way to be more physically active. Even simple things, like walking across a parking lot, using stairs, and going for short family walks or bike rides, can make a big difference.

6. Know Where Calories Come From

While you don’t necessarily need to do daily calorie counts, keep a diary of what your family eats for a few days can help you see where extra calories are coming from. Are your kids overweight because of the calories they get from a bedtime snack or those two glasses of Kool-Aid or soda he drinks? Or maybe because his portion sizes are too large?

If you know where your kids’ calories are coming from, you will know where to make changes and how you can cut back, especially on foods that have a lot of empty calories.

7. Learn About Carbs

Carbs get a bad wrap, especially with all of the proponents of high-protein diets, like the Atkins and South Beach Diet. Not all carbs are created equal. While it is a good idea to avoid foods that have refined such as white bread, foods made with white flour, and foods and beverages sweetened with sugar, other carbs should be part of a balanced diet.

Instead of avoiding all carbs, just learn about how to choose foods with ‘good’ carbohydrates, which includes fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grain foods.

8. Learn About Fats

Like carbs, there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fats. Instead of making the mistake of trying to stick to a low-fat diet, and simply substituting other foods that are often just as high in calories, you should eat foods that have ‘good’ fat in them. This includes foods with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. On the other hand, you should avoid saturated fats and trans fats.

9. Choose Healthy Meals when Eating Out

Even if your family eats healthy at home, if you eat super-sized fast food meals a few times a week, they are probably still at risk for becoming overweight. If you eat out a lot, review the nutritional facts of the restaurant’s menu and watch your portion sizes. Calories and fat quickly add up when eating out!

10. Stay Motivated!

Most people know what they need to do to be healthier, however, eating healthy and exercising is not easy. Education about the specifics of a healthy diet, getting the whole family involved, and setting goals, can help your family stay healthy and fit. Hire a personal trainer or seek the counsel of a dietitian to keep you on the healthy track.

 



Five Common Diet Tips That Really Work – And Why

 

 

Losing weight is a national preoccupation. I challenge anyone to turn on the television or radio, surf online or open a magazine without finding an advertisement for a weight loss product or an endorsement for a new diet or eating plan. Everyone wants to be healthy and look their best, and for possibly the first time in the last half century, those two things happen to coincide. The current ideal of beauty is far closer to what’s attainable by a ‘real’ person than it has been in decades. Thanks to the recent popularity of actresses and singers who aren’t rail thin, coat hangers are out and healthy muscles and curves are in.

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If you’ve been working toward that comfortable ideal body weight, chances are that you’ve read the same diet and weight loss tips time and time again. In some cases, it’s because someone said it and it got repeated endlessly. In others, though, it’s because the tip really works. Here are five of the most common diet tips that really work – and why.

TIP 1

Drink a full eight ounce glass of water 20 minutes before each
meal

It’s only partly because you trick your body into thinking that it’s full. The real trick is in giving your body all the water that it needs. The usual recommendation is at least an 8 oz glasses of water a day. That’s WATER – not soft drinks, not coffee. Just pure water. Your body needs water to maintain all its systems and to flush wastes away. When you don’t take in enough water, it starts trying to conserve it by retaining water in muscle and fat tissues. Water your body as faithfully as you would a plant, and you’ll find that it starts ridding itself of excess water regularly as well. Is it just water weight? Well, yes. But that water weight is weight you don’t have to carry around with you as long as you’re taking in enough water for your body’s needs.

TIP 2

Eat your fruits and veggies raw

Aside from the fact that raw fruits and vegetables pack more nutrition per calorie, in many cases you’re actually getting LESS calories when you eat your produce raw. Especially if you generally opt for canned fruits or vegetables, there are added preservatives and flavorings that can increase calories substantially. But there’s another reason as well: your body works harder to digest raw fruits and vegetables, and that means that it uses more calories in getting all the nutrients out of it. Your body NEEDS the extra roughage present in fruit and vegetables that haven’t been cooked and processed to keep it working right.

TIP 3

Eat a balanced diet

It’s obviously more healthy, but will it help you lose weight? The answer is yes, and here’s why. When your body lacks ANY nutrient in its daily intake, it tries to make up the difference by substituting other nutrients. The result can be false messages that you’re hungry, when what your body really craves is enough of ONE particular nutrient. Eating a balanced diet provides all the nutrients your body needs in the proper proportions so that it isn’t telling you it’s starving.

TIP 4

Half an hour of moderate exercise five times a week

Your body uses the food it eats to produce energy for your daily activities. The more energy you use, the more of your food your body will use to fuel it. When you eat fewer calories than your body needs, it will turn to stored reserves to keep it going. Adding one half hour of moderate exercise to your daily routine five times a week increases your body’s consumption of energy. But there’s more. Your body is using up calories even when you’re not exercising just to maintain circulation and health in its tissues. It uses up more calories maintaining muscles than fat. As you exercise, your body is converting fat to muscle — resulting in a higher metabolic rate as it increases its activity to keep your muscles in tone.

TIP 5

Snack between meals

Our bodies were never designed for the 3-times-a-day eating schedule we’ve adopted. They work round the clock, and need energy all the time. Rather than eating all your calories in three sittings, spread them out over 5 or 6. The trick is to eat smaller meals – not add more food. You’ll keep your digestive system busy, and your body at full energy all day long.