Compound Exercises are Key

pushups4When putting together an exercise program the primary focus should be on compound movements.

Compound movements or exercises are those that involve using more than one major muscle group at once (and often across one or more joints in the process). The larger muscle group does the bulk of the work while the smaller muscle groups are supportive and secondary. [Read more…]

Yummy High-Protein Baked Sweet Potatoes…

sweet potatoCreamy High-Protein Baked Sweet Potatoes

If you love your baked potatoes but you’d like to get more nutrition than what your typical “white” baked potato offers than you need to try baked sweet potatoes.

Not surprisingly, sweet potatoes top nearly everyone’s list for healthiest foods. Offering a whopping 438% of our needed daily vitamin A, 37% of our daily vitamin C, vitamin B6, 4 grams of dietary fiber, along with calcium, iron and potassium this colorful spud tips the scales at just 105 calories for one baked medium sized sweet potato and it has absolutely no fat to speak of. [Read more…]

Synchronized Hearts and Thoughts Result in Positive Actions

now_fitnessIt’s funny how we’re all involved in the “game of life,” don’t really know the rules, but still have high expectations for ourselves to succeed.

It’s just human nature. However, when we begin to focus on how the playing field it set up the game becomes much easier.

Everything is easier if we read the directions first…

Understanding pain and pleasure, the two “driving forces of emotion” that are behind all our actions or lack of action on a daily basis, is mandatory if we ever hope to become master of our domain. [Read more…]

Exercise, Endorphins and Happiness

endorphins_calmStrenuous exercise is one of the ways that body releases endorphin’s. Endorphins are chemicals that reduce pain by interacting with receptors called neurotransmitters in the brain. They produce positive happy feelings in the body (very similar to morphine). When endorphins are released while exercising, they are often called “runners high”…energizing a positive outlook on life.

Let’s face it, anxiety, depression, and stress are real killers and there are obvious benefits derived both emotionally and physically when you have the ability to stay calm and collected. [Read more…]

Garlic and Weight Control

imagesThe contribution that garlic gives to our health is well documented and studied. It is a nutritional powerhouse that has been used as medicine for thousands of years and the list of health benefits continues to grow as research reveals more and more hidden treasures.

Garlic doesn’t just punch up flavors (most anything tastes better with garlic), it’s been shown to boost immunity, reduce blood pressure, lower the risk of heart disease and quell inflammation among other things. The primary health promoting ingredients in garlic are allicin and diallyl sulfide. This super-food is also a source of powerful antioxidants C and E as well as the mineral selenium. [Read more…]

Cardio verses Resistance Training

11032983_792258797532103_1410477182_nNumerous studies have shown that exercising too intensely…including cardio exercise causes negative effects on health while moderate-intensity cardio exercise actually boosts health and fitness.

The body perceives endurance exercise as a form of stress on the body and responds to this stress by increasing cortisol. Cortisol is the “flight or fight” hormone that results as a normal adaptive response to the physical demands of exercise. Chronic elevation of this hormone is associated with signs of aging such as loss of lean muscle, belly fat, inflammation and reduced immunity.

Cardio has long been associated with weight loss…however, the effects are deceptive. When you are on a calorie restrictive diet and you are performing extreme endurance exercise, your body turns to muscle as an energy source and the result is a depletion of your valuable muscle tissue. Not only that, but intense cardio will increase your appetite making your diet all the more challenging. [Read more…]

Lacking Nutrients Can Cause Weight Gain

essential-nutrients-2-638With weight gain it’s not always about too much of something going into your body but sometimes can actually be about what’s not going in your body…what your body is lacking.

Even though it does not get the kind of attention that other weight-gain issues do, vitamin and mineral deficiency can and does lead to unwanted weight gain.

It’s not by chance that vitamins and minerals are referred to as essential nutrients. Essential is the keyword here. Without these nutrients, our health suffers and deteriorates, severe disease and sometimes even death is the result. In other words, vitamins and minerals are not options…they are crucial to your health. [Read more…]

Reaching Your Diet Goal is Only the Beginning

fitness1It may be hard to believe, but losing weight is the easy part of your journey to your ideal body weight and form.

Unfortunately most people do not consider how they are going to handle their new life after they actually lose their excess weight. In other words, how in the heck do you keep that hard-earned weight-loss off your body once you have reached your goal?

Without knowing that ahead of time you are entering into an unfinished plan and dangerous waters. [Read more…]

Meal Planning is Key to Eating Healthy

meal planningWithout a doubt, eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures. However, for some it is also a huge inconvenience. With so much hustle and bustle going on in our lives and our days seemingly like 18 hours rather than 24, we often feel we should be using our time for some other important endeavor rather than planning and preparing delicious healthy meals.

When we choose to miss an important meal or neglect our nutrition in some way the only thing we accomplish is harm to our health. Not only that, but when we skip meals and our hunger finally takes over and exerts itself, we are left with little control for what we eat usually grabbing the first thing we see without a thought about how it affects our healthy, waistline or energy levels. [Read more…]

Dealing With Dieting Set-backs and Negative Self-Talk

set-backThere isn’t a weight loss program that does not also include set-backs. They come with the territory.

If you are actively dieting or on a weight loss program for any amount of time, you will experience a number of set-backs. However, just because these set-backs come with the territory, it doesn’t mean they have to hinder your progress…unless of course you empower them to do so. 

The real key when you do experience a set-back is to avoid letting that set-back turn into an all-out diet-nightmare and the only way to do that is to get yourself back on track as soon as possible. The other option is to spend days feeling miserable about your progress which could possibly lead to quitting altogether. Your mind is going to entertain one of these two options when you experience your set-back…which I can assure you will happen at some point. [Read more…]