Archive for December, 2014

Injury Proof Workouts with a Healthy Diet

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Fitness girl DDuring physical activity, we can be prone to injuries. We can lose balance and trip over, fall and sprain an ankle.  We can prevent injuries during workouts by strengthening our muscles before embarking on an exercise program. Strengthening core muscles improve balance and flexibility and enable us to exercise effectively to burn fat and build muscle.

However, muscle strengthening is not all about exercise; it also needs balanced nutrition. The purpose is this article is to identify the types of diets which can strengthen muscles effectively.

High Lean Protein Diet

Protein is essential in your diet to encourage growth of muscle mass. This is because a protein-rich diet can provide you with amino acids needed for your body to recover from stress and injury. Amino acids are also needed to rebuild and strengthen muscle tissues after exercise. However, be careful with the type of protein you should include in your diet. You may include lean protein foods such as eggs, beans, chicken, turkey, legumes and low-fat or nonfat dairy products.

Complex Carbohydrate Diet

Complex carbohydrates differ from plain carbohydrates because they are slowly digested, thus providing a slow but steady release of glucose for energy. Consuming this type of carbohydrate can boost your energy levels, especially during a muscle strengthening workout. Consuming carbohydrates also spares protein from being used up for energy in the body.

A good example of a complex carbohydrate is the type of carbohydrate found in oatmeal. Oatmeal is high in dietary fiber, which in turn releases steady energy while keeping blood glucose levels at a normal range. Oatmeal also helps you control your appetite and prevents hunger pangs by making you full all the time. Other foods with complex carbohydrates are whole grain foods and yams.

 

Healthy Fat Diet

 

Fat is not all that bad; in fact, you need a reasonable amount of healthy fat to strengthen your muscles. This is because a healthy amount of fat can build muscle and can help rebuild skin, hair, nails and joint tissues. Choose to include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your diet such as the ones found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, canola oil and fatty fish like salmon. These fats can help decrease high cholesterol levels in the blood and can protect you against cardiovascular disease.

 

Frequent Eating

 

For muscle strengthening, consider consuming a diet that allows you to eat frequently. Eating frequently has been shown to promote weight loss and burn fat. This is because more frequent eating encourages your body to burn calories during digestion every time you eat. The more frequent digestion is, the more calories are burned. Each of your meal portions should contain only 300 to 400 calories.

 

Frequent eating can also help manage protein stores in the body so that protein is not utilized for energy but only in the building and repair of muscle tissues. There should be six small meals per day to help you shed fat and prevent hunger pangs.

 

Other useful tips:

 

Warm up exercises – get your blood circulation going and warm those muscles up. If you’re planning to carry weights or just do a couple of heavy exercises, limbering up will be your best defense against muscle sprains or injury.

 

Get the help of a professional – if this is your first time going to the gym or are planning to seriously get into an exercise regimen, getting the help of a gym instructor is a must. At least get a friend who has experience. Lifting weights in the gym could be dangerous. If you’re trying to lift a heavier weight enroll the help of a friend who could assist you if anything goes wrong.

 

Healthy Tips to Stop Smoking Naturally

Monday, December 15th, 2014

cigaretteDo you smoke? You probably know about the consequences of cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking is responsible for nearly one out of every five deaths in America. It is a major cause of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and chronic obstructive lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Maybe you are also aware of all these but you still have a problem: you simply can’t stop smoking.

We cannot blame you. Cigarette smoking is an addictive habit. Whenever you smoke a cigarette, nicotine is absorbed by your body through the blood and it enters your brain. Upon reaching the brain, there is a stimulant effect in the body brought about by a rush of adrenaline. Your heart rate and breathing increases along with your blood pressure. You feel more awake and you forget hunger.

The problem with nicotine is that it is an addictive chemical. Nicotine has the ability to activate reward pathways in the brain. This means that when you smoke a cigarette, you feel pleasure. This is due to the fact that nicotine increases the secretion of a chemical in the brain called dopamine, causing pleasurable sensations. When you don’t smoke, you feel bad and you experience withdrawal symptoms. This is what makes cigarette smoking a habit which is difficult to break.

So, how do you stop smoking in a healthier way? Here are some tips:

Face Your Cravings

You should learn the art of self-control. If you experience cravings, tell yourself to wait for 10 minutes before you give in. During that time you should be able to distract yourself. Delaying your cravings can actually drive your cravings away.

You should also avoid triggers. Cravings may surface out when you go with the same smoking crowd or when you go to certain places. You must avoid those places or those friends of yours. Also avoid parties and bars while you are on the process of quitting smoking.

Exercise

Getting physical very often can actually help ease cravings for smoke. You can walk, jog or play sports. You may also try relaxation techniques such as yoga. Whenever you crave for tobacco, try to practice relaxation techniques to drive away your cravings and distract you.

Get support

You can ask support from your family members and loved ones. Tell them to constantly remind you to quit smoking. Listen to the advices of these loved ones and lean on them for support whenever you feel weak. You can also join support groups for smoking cessation.

Get Replacements

Smoking alternatives such as nicotine gums or e-cigarettes can help reduce your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor should be able to help you with these. Your doctor may also give you some medications to help you quit smoking.

Help Yourself

You hold the key towards your rehabilitation. You should constantly remind yourself of why you would like to stop smoking. Think of how smoking can kill you. Think of the cancers and lung diseases you may get if you continue to smoke. Think about the things you would like to do when you grow old and tell yourself that you cannot enjoy these things if you continue to smoke and shorten your life. You may write down your thoughts on a journal or a blog. You can say out loud what you have written to strengthen yourself. Remind yourself constantly and you will not fail.