Fitness & Wellness

Fitness Products You'll Love

Fitness Products You’ll Love

If you find giving yourself a special treat for accomplishing goals, here are some fitness products you’ll love as your reward. You’ll also find some are so low cost and helpful that you’ll want them to help you on the road to fitness. Apps for instance, can be free or very low cost. Clothing and gadgets are far more expensive. If you choose a more expensive item, start tucking away a small amount weekly to save for the time you reach your goal.

Fooducate provides a tool that lets you know the nutritional values of foods while shop.

Just scan the food item with your smartphone and it grades it from an A+ to D-. It averages the grades for your purchases and offers ideas for alternatives that are healthier. While this app is free, the free version doesn’t offer much, except how many calories you should eat daily. To get the best features you have to subscribe. Based on the version, it costs between $4 and $5 a month.

Get a home version of the TRX system.

This equipment at the gym is so popular and there’s a reason why. It’s more than just effective, it’s fun. Now you can get a home version to use on your days away from the gym and it’s portable enough to take on trips. You use body weight exercises like lunges and squats and will get maximum results with this tool. It’s great for those busy weeks when you don’t have time for a full workout at the gym. Just put in 20 to 30 minutes in the morning and you’re set. The price is about $150, so it might be best as a big reward for accomplishing your major goals.

Don’t wait for a reason, get this great sports bra before you start working out.

If you are well endowed and curvy or just want to make sure the girls stay in place, you need a top-notch sports bra, especially for high impact cardio. One of those recommended by some of my clients is the Enell Maximum Control Wire-Free Sports Bra. These bras have wider shoulder straps, easy and secure closure, a wide band to move with your body and a cross-strap design for back comfort and better posture. It also has fabric that wicks to keep moisture away from your skin. Good support, like good shoes, are a must when you first start working out.

  • If you’re overweight and your inner thighs are painful and sore from chaffing when you walk or run, it’s easy to call it quits. Before you start working out, treat yourself to a pain free one with Body Glide Original Anti Chafe Balm.
  • Get some equipment for your home. At about $40, you can get a great start on creating a six-pack. The Ab-Carver Pro Roller can be perfect for core workouts at home, regardless of your fitness level.
  • Sure you pay special attention to your shoes, but have you considered special workout socks. Finding great socks that offer support and exceptional wicking ability doesn’t have to cost a fortune and could be your next great investment.
  • Work out the kinks with a foam roller. Rollers cost less than $10 and will hurt like crazy while you roll out every stiff muscle, but leave you feeling fantastic.

Is It Time For New Workout Shoes?

Is It Time For New Workout Shoes?

You may have your favorite workout shoes that you’ve had for years. Even though you’ve used Gorilla glue to glue the sole back on or ignored the hole on top, that doesn’t mean they’re gymworthy. In fact, it’s probably time for new workout shoes, not because they’re really tattered but because they’re dangerous and can cause injury when you workout.

How can workout shoes cause injury?

There are a number of reasons. One is that they lose their spring. If the midsole is worn, they lose their ability to absorb shocks and also may lead to excess foot motion. The midsole can also change formation after months of use and change the way your foot aligns. That stresses parts of the foot that weren’t meant to be stressed and causes injuries that come from overuse.

There’s no specific amount of time or usage that you can use.

There’s a wide range of estimates on how long a shoe should last. If you have a high quality shoe, it’s going to last far longer than one that’s not as good, which in some cases translates to cost less. One constant is the ability to absorb shock when you jump. In other words, the shoe’s compression ability. The NSCA—National Strength and Conditioning Association—estimated that the average wear for running shoes is about 300 to 500 miles, approximately 6 months, before the compression capabilities are lost. If you’re doing floor pounding cardio, it could be before that. Working with weights and less intense floor pounding give the same shoes a longer lifespan.

The ball of the foot and the heel receive a pounding when you workout and show it.

If your heel is well worn and shows more wear on one side or the other, they’re no longer good for the gym. That means it’s broken down and allows more heel motion. Can you say injury waiting to happen? You can also tell if the heel compresses when you squeeze from side to side.

  • Take a look at the shoe. If the ball of the foot shows a lot of wear, it’s time for new shoes.
  • Shoes can wear without wearing them. If they’ve been with you for ages from that last failed attempt at getting fit, the materials might have dried out in the midsole, outsole and upper area. That affects their functionality, even though they may look great.
  • If you find your feet or knees hurt after a workout, suspect wear on your shoes immediately.
  • Give a good visual inspection. Check the shoe from the side, look at the underside and check the wear at the heel. You’ll notice excessive wear if they’re ready for retirement.

Pros And Cons To A Keto Diet

Pros And Cons To A Keto Diet

One of the latest diets being touted is actually quite old. It’s the Keto diet—which is short for ketogenic diet. Originally, it was used as a substitute for fasting to control epileptic seizures. For 1400 years there’s been a hypothesis that fasting helped control seizures, but you simply can’t fast away your life. In the 1920s, doctors at the Mayo clinic found that super low carbohydrate and high fat meals helped control seizures just like fasting did. By the 1980s, body builder’s latched onto the diet and it became their tool for boosting weight loss and building a great body, while still enjoying the once forbidden foods like bacon, cream and butter. Today, it’s a viable tool for weight loss, but it isn’t for everybody.

The keto diet contains 20% protein, 5% carbohydrates and 75% fat.

If you’ve been on a low carb diet, you’re close to a keto diet, but the protein and carbohydrate numbers are lower. Instead of 40% protein, 10% carbs and 50% fat, you’re cutting carbs and protein in half and throwing those calories into the fat category. That translates to approximately 10 or 15 grams of carbohydrates a day. If you translate that to food, it’s about 15 grapes or a fist-size serving of cooked carrots. That’s not just for one meal but for the entire day. The fat comes from nuts, coconut milk or oil, cheese and avocado. It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure.

The body normally uses carbs for fuel but with this diet, it uses keytones.

That’s important because ketones come from breaking down fat. They’re formed in the liver and used as energy instead of glucose. In fact, you can even measure the amount of ketones by using urine and ketone strips. It burns ketones because there’s less glucose available. So basically, it reduces the body’s insulin levels and the inflammation that occurs when they’re high.

It helps you shed pounds and eliminate the sugar urge.

You’ll definitely feel fuller with the extra fat in your diet. A few weeks off sugar will also help you curb the sugar cravings, since you won’t have the blood sugar spikes and drops that occur with a high carb, high sugar diet. It also puts more healthy fat into your diet, something many people lack. Healthy fat, like avocados, can boost your mood and improve everything from your skin and hair to cholesterol, heart and brain functioning.

  • One big problem with the keto diet is that it’s hard to follow. You have to carefully plan each meal to ensure you get the right proportions.
  • People often don’t choose the healthiest fat content for their diet. Instead of turning to nuts and avocados, people often turn to bacon and animal fats that don’t come from organic, grass fed beef. That doesn’t promote good health.
  • The weight you lose may not be significant or long lasting.
  • There’s limited fiber. That can slow digestion. Just the very nature of the diet, low carb, can leave you feeling stuffy and out of sorts.

Fat Loss Mistakes

Fat Loss Mistakes

Shedding pounds isn’t easy and fat loss mistakes along the way make it even harder. You’ll often find diet advice on the internet that not only doesn’t work, but can be extremely bad for your health. For instance, fad diets like the cabbage soup diet or grapefruit diet, may take weight off initially, but as soon as you go back to normal eating, put it right back on again. These diets often cause you to lose water weight, rather than real weight or lose muscle mass over actual fat. Sometimes they’re such low calorie diets, that when used over a long period, not only leave you malnourished but put you in starvation mode, which slows metabolism.

Omitting specific types of food from your diet can be a problem.

While you definitely don’t want fried foods or sugary treats, you do need healthy carbohydrates and healthy fat. You notice the keyword is healthy. Vegetables are carbohydrates, just as fresh fruit is. Fruit also contains sugar. You should always have an abundance of fresh vegetables in your diet and at least some fresh fruit, even if they are carbs. Fat isn’t always bad, either. Healthy fat, such as that found in avocados or salmon, needs to be included in everyone’s diet for healthy weight loss.

Doing the same exercise routine will slow your progress.

The body is amazing. It’s not only self healing, it also finds ways to conserve energy and not work as hard. When you do the same routine repeatedly, the body becomes efficient at doing it. While efficiency is normally good, in this case it isn’t. It means the body burns fewer calories and makes weight loss more difficult. Varying your routine helps you keep the furnace at high and shed pounds faster.

Avoiding weights or strength building exercises could be your biggest mistake.

You may be a whiz at cardio and it may be quite fashionable to be a runner, but nothing helps you take pounds off quickly like strength building exercise. Many women avoid it because they worry about building bulging muscles, but that’s not going to happen unless you work very hard and supplement with the right type of nutrients or other substances. Even then, it’s doubtful. Strength building exercises also provide the benefit of helping to prevent osteoporosis.

  • You may be surprised to find that working out longer than a half hour to 45 minutes may actually put on weight, according to one study. The conclusion was that the shorter time left enough energy for more activity following and less hunger.
  • While exercise is a very important part of weight loss, you still need a healthy diet to shed those pounds. Eating healthy and not exercising or visa versa, is a huge mistake.
  • Focusing just on the scales and not looking at inches lost is a big mistake. Muscle tissue is denser than fat tissue, so one cubic inch weighs more. You can lose inches by shedding fat and replacing it with muscle tissue. Your scales might not reflect the loss but your size will.
  • Steer clear of “diet food.” Low fat foods will leave you feeling hungry and many times it may have more calories because of added sugar.

Balanced Nutrition For Digestion

Balanced Nutrition For Digestion

Balanced nutrition for digestion should be a top priority, since many nutritionists believe that a healthy gut is the key to good health. Your body reaps the rewards of healthy eating in your digestive system. While some suggest you use probiotic foods, such as kimchi and yogurt to maintain the proper array of bacteria, eating healthy is also important. There are also foods called prebiotics, which encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria. A healthy digestive system allows your body to break down foods better and absorb the nutrients they contain. In other words, it’s both the manufacturing and delivery system for nutrition.

Eat fruits and vegetables, especially crucifers, for digestive health.

A broad colorful range of fruits and vegetables provide both vitamins and minerals, as well as phytonutrients that not only help with your digestive system, but also your overall health. Crucifers, which include broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage, are especially important. They contain glucosinolates that microbes break down that helps reduce inflammation and lower the risk of many ifferent types of cancer, including colorectal cancer and stomach cancer.

You may not believe it, but beans are good for your digestive system.

While this legume can cause gas, you can reduce that effect by soaking them overnight, draining and boiling with a little fennel seed or fresh ginger. They’re not only super beneficial to strengthening the cells of your intestine, while improving absorption, they also are a big aid in weight loss. They do that by making you feel fuller longer. They also provide fiber, folate, B vitamins and protein that help your digestive system and brain.

Get lots of fiber.

Fiber does more than act like scrubbing bubbles for your colon. They also help you regulate blood sugar levels and improve your heart health. They play a role in reducing cholesterol levels, which is why oatmeal is good for it. You’ll get fiber from many different types of plant sources. Apples, for instance contain a lot of fiber and that’s just one reason it keeps the doctor away. The phytonutrients in the skin also play a huge role in overall good health.

  • Bananas contain potassium and magnesium to lower the risk of inflammation. They also make the beneficial bacteria in your stomach happy by restoring their health.
  • Your body needs a wide variety of nutrients and all studies show they’re better when you get them from fresh fruits and vegetables rather than pills. That’s because pills don’t contain the phytonutrients fresh alternatives have.
  • Don’t forget to drink adequate water. It’s necessary for good digestion.
  • Consider adding fermented foods to your diet, such as miso, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. If you opt for yogurt, make sure it has live cultures in it.

What Are The Latest Fitness Trends?

What Are The Latest Fitness Trends?

Whether it’s the newest technology or training, the latest fitness trends can help get you in shape and keep you fit, in many cases. While some of the trends are fads that will fall by the wayside, others make a lot of sense and can help you get fit faster or help you modify your behavior so you can make the necessary changes to do it. Technology is one addition to fitness that’s changed the exercise front. Whether you wear an activity tracker, heart rate monitor or smart watch, you can more accurately plan your workout based on the information it provides.

High Intensity Interval Training—HIIT—is a real calorie burner, which is why it’s popular.

HIIT is a workout that involves a short burst of high effort followed by a slightly longer recovery period of far lower effort. Running for three minutes then walking briskly for six and back to a three minute run is one example of this. One reason it’s extremely popular is that a HIIT workout doesn’t have to take as long as a traditional workout to get the same results. It often takes 30 minutes to get the same results as an hour long exercise in the traditional manner.

Strength training for everyone, not just body builders and weight lifters is another trend.

For years women were reluctant to get involved with strength-building exercises. They worried it would build big bulging muscles, which isn’t the case. Once the word was out that strength-building not only burned calories faster, it also toned muscles and gave a svelte, lean, sinewy look that was far sexier than skinny, women were as attracted to the workout as men were. It’s an important part of overall fitness.

Group training is not only fun, it’s also a cost savings.

Personal trainers became important, but some people couldn’t afford the price or simply wanted to find a less expensive technique. That’s why group training or boot camps led by personal trainers became so popular. They not only have fun and get the support of the whole group, they get a personalized program from the trainer. Since everyone shares the cost of the trainer, it’s far less per person than training in private sessions.

  • As mentioned previously, working with a personal trainer became quite popular recently. That’s because trainers get faster results since they address each individual’s problems and needs at the person’s fitness level.
  • Using exercise, plus diet, for weight loss is extremely popular. There’s a reason for that, it works and gets results faster.
  • Exercise for more than weight loss, but for good health too. Most people now realize that exercising is important for overall health and it’s become part of their fitness plan, in addition to healthy eating.
  • Body weight training has made a comeback. That’s primarily because it requires no equipment, can be done anywhere and works.

Just Make Exercise Fun

Just Make Exercise Fun

One way to improve your attitude toward your workout is to make exercise fun. While many people think only of working out at the gym when they think of exercising, but there’s more than one way to get into shape. Working out on specifics at the gym can be part of it, but not the only part. One way to make it more enjoyable even at the gym is to workout with friends. There are group classes that build comradery, while still providing a great workout. Another benefit is the improved motivation the workout provides.

Try something new and different at the gym.

Don’t stick with the same old program of going from machine to machine. It’s no wonder you look at working out as the bitter pill you have to take for your health. There are great workouts that are different and exciting. It’s one of the things that make people look forward to coming to The Worx. Whether you’re doing strength training or testing yourself in HIIT training, it’s always exciting and fun.

Spend a night dancing or a day hiking.

Getting out and socializing doesn’t mean you have to sit all evening. It can be an active evening or day together. Whether you go out dancing, hike a trail and end the day around a campfire or try rock climbing indoors, you’ll be getting the exercise you need and have fun at the same time. Besides, that’s what all the hard time at the gym is for, to give you the energy to have a great time having fun!

Get outside and enjoy Mother Nature and fresh air.

If you have children, it’s time to have fun with them and go to a zoo. There’s plenty of walking and maybe even some lifting to help the kids see the animals better. Riding a bike can lead you to adventure when you take the roads less traveled. Pack a picnic lunch and eat along the route. Make sure you have reflectors or get back home before dark, as well as the proper safety equipment.

  • Learn some healthy recipes and celebrate with friends when you’ve reached a fitness goal. You’ll probably have them begging you for the recipe.
  • Try something fun that you did as a child. Go to the playground and swing, skip rope, hula hoop or jump on a Pogo stick. They’ll all give you a good workout.
  • Sign up for a weekend sports group. Whether they play hockey, shoot hoops or any other physical activity, you’ll even have more energy because of your workout and enjoy the workout with your group.
  • Try kettlebells. These are a blast to work with and can make each workout more fun.

How Healthy Are You Really?

How Healthy Are You Really?

How healthy are you really? There are a number of tests your doctor can take to assess your overall health. These involve levels of important nutrients in the body, tests for illnesses to catch them early and blood pressure tests. While these may judge your physical state of health at the present, projecting whether you have an illness or deficiency, they don’t project where you’ll be in the future or assess your overall lifestyle and whether it’s aimed at continued fitness. Some people have the benefit of genetic predisposition to good health, but if they don’t follow a healthy lifestyle, that good health can quickly disappear.

Do you eat in a healthy manner and are the foods healthy?

One of the lifestyle changes that can affect you the most is how and what you eat. I know most of the time we focus on the foods you put into your mouth, but the way you eat is also important. Do you eat slowly, savoring every bite or woof down your food just to fill your belly. It makes a difference. People who eat slower and masticate each bite into a slurry, not just bite once or twice and swallow. Taking more time will help you feel full before the end of the meal and digest your food better, getting more nutrients. You probably already know that junk food and a poor diet lead you down the path to poor health, so I don’t need to reiterate that point.

Do you get enough exercise to stay fit and live an active lifestyle?

Working out in the gym isn’t enough, but it is the means to the ultimate goal. The goal is to be fit enough to live a long active life. The ability to stay active in life and enjoy every minute is the true goal. It’s not how great you look at the gym or how hard you workout, that’s just vehicle to reach your goal. What are you doing with that extra energy and fitness? Are you enjoying your favorite pastime that was too strenous before you began the program? Whether you choose to expend that energy doing home improvement, dancing the night away or skiing down the slopes, you should enjoy the new energy level you have.

Are you happy?

That’s often a tough question for people to answer, after all, how do you define happy? Is it accumulating “things” because others think they’re important or living the way you want, which may or may not include the accumulation of the trappings of success? Are experiencing things you believe are life-enriching or just going through the motions of life? Each minute of life is precious. Learn what makes you happy. You’ll often be surprised at what it is. Many times, it’s helping others find their true happiness and reach their goals in life. I know that’s one of the things that makes me happiest.

  • Do you have a good social life? Studies show that people who are more social, live longer and healthier.
  • Do you get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can affect your body and your mind. Even if you have tons of work, you need to get adequate sleep. You’ll get your work done faster and more efficiently when you’re physically and mentally refreshed with sleep.
  • Do you drink enough water throughout the day. Your body is 60% water and brain approximately 80%. If you’re dehydrated, nothing functions well.
  • Do you abuse alcohol, nicotine or drugs? This often relates back to happiness in life. Do what it takes to free yourself from these habits.

A Little Attitude Makes A Big Difference

A Little Attitude Makes A Big Difference

A little attitude makes a big difference if you want to get the best results from your workout. Consider the way you felt the first day at the gym. You were probably a bit intimidated. You gingerly walked through each exercise, sometimes looking like you were trying, but in reality, there was part of you holding back and not giving it your all. As you built your confidence, you became more adept at each exercise, but are you giving it your all? Dig deep into your thoughts and you’ll probably see that the effort you put into the workout is good, but definitely not your all.

What is holding you back?

Lots of things can prevent someone giving less than their best. One of those things is intimidation. The intimidation comes from the concern that if total effort is put forth and the results aren’t as good as expected, you’ve failed. Nothing could be further from the truth. First, results will come and they grow exponentially based on the effort you put into the program. Don’t worry about failure, it’s not an option unless you allow it to become one.

A sassy “can-do” attitude will get you further.

Sure, you have to listen, you have to take instruction on the movements and follow the program outlined, but it doesn’t mean you have to be humble or timid. Digging deep inside yourself and finding the courage to develop the confidence to believe you’re capable of anything you set your mind to doing helps. If you need to make noise while you’re doing each move, give out a good, loud “Hoooha” or “Argh!” You need to do what it takes and never worry about what anyone else thinks….that’s pure attitude.

Ignore negative advice in your everyday world beyond the gym.

Whether it’s learning to eat healthy, working out or just getting self-confidence, there are always people in your close circle of friends and family that won’t be able to handle the change you’re making. They’re either jealous or worried that you’ll start looking and feeling so good that you’ll leave them. Get your attitude on and ignore the toxic people and reassure those you care about that you’re not going anywhere. In fact, reach out and invite them to your new world.

  • There are so many different attitudes about what you should do with your life, but the only one that counts is what you want.
  • It’s not selfish to spend time getting fit. In fact, quite the contrary. People who are out of shape can’t handle the demands of everyday life and accomplish far less. They often get sick quickly and require others to take care of them.
  • Desiring to look good isn’t vain anymore than working hard to get a promotion at work is. When you get fit and look great, it’s an accomplishment you should be proud of.
  • A confident attitude can help you in every part of your life, not just in the gym.