Month: December 2019

Improve Your Cardio

Improve Your Cardio

If you are looking to trim down and tone up for the summer, you really need to be incorporating some cardiovascular exercise into your routines.

Why Is Cardio Important?

Cardiovascular workouts get your heart rate working, the blood pumping, and the pounds melting away. It is one of the most important components of a well-rounded exercise regimen.

What Can Cardio Do for Me?

A great cardio workout can help you shed pounds and target problem areas, not to mention how important it is for heart and overall health.  Getting breathless four or maybe five times per week can have significant benefits in many areas.

How Much Cardio Should I Be Doing?

It is recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day or more. You can, however, combine that amount into specific days’ workouts. For example, you can do one hour of cardio every other day.

I Don’t Have Time to Go to a Gym; Can I Get Enough Cardio in My Own Home?

Absolutely; there are tons of cardio workouts that you can do from home. Most require little to no equipment, and you can also get home workout machines to help you.

Home Cardio Exercises

* Jump Rope – You can purchase a jump rope very inexpensively at most sporting or department stores. This simple piece of equipment is one of the very best cardiovascular workouts and can actually be a lot of fun. You remember how to do it from when you were a kid, and you will be surprised how much it gets your heart rate up.  Just remember to leave plenty of space around!

* Trampoline – Whether you go outside and use your kids’ giant trampoline, or purchase a small single use trampoline for your home, simply bouncing around on one of these is a great cardio workout. You can do it while you are watching television or listening to music, and it is fun to work in lots of arm and hip movements as well.  Be careful of the overhead light!

* Walking/Jogging – Using a treadmill, your staircase, or getting outside for a walk or jog is perhaps the easiest way for anyone to get some great cardiovascular exercise. A brisk walk around your neighborhood can do wonders for your overall health and fitness level.  No wonder dog owners are usually so fit.

* Aerobic Exercises – These days, you can download, purchase, or watch exercise videos of all types just about anywhere. Aerobics, Jazzercise, Zumba and more are all excellent cardio workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home.

* Home Machinery – If you have the room and budget for it, you can purchase gym equipment for your own home. Machines like treadmills and elliptical machines are excellent for getting regular cardiovascular exercise.

Cardio workouts are more than just great workouts for weight loss and shedding pounds for bathing suit season. Getting enough cardio is important for your overall health and is one of the most important parts of a heart-healthy lifestyle.

You can improve your cardio by working these simple exercises into your daily life, or increasing your cardio workouts to something a little more intensive if your heart rate isn’t quite high enough. On top of it all, cardio workouts are guaranteed to make you feel great as well as look great.

Get Six-Pack Abs

Get Six-Pack Abs

Everyone wants those cut, six-pack abs, especially come summertime when you can really show them off. Ladies in their bikinis and crop tops and guys shirtless all the time, looking great is taken to a whole new level when you have the definition. You can obtain that awesome six-pack with the right amount of consistency and willpower.

Obtaining six-pack abs comes down to the usual diet and exercise, but understanding the specifics is what will make the difference between trying for six-pack abs and actually getting them.

Diet

* Eat Clean – The key to a healthy diet that is effective for dropping excess weight and trimming fat is eating “clean”. This means avoiding processed foods, fast foods, and other foods that are high in fat, sodium, and chemicals. Instead eat an all-natural diet that focuses on plenty of fresh produce, whole grains, and lean protein sources.

* Eat Enough – Many people consider diets to be all about withholding food, but that is simply not the case for healthy and effective diets.

Start thinking about the word “diet” in a different way, which simply means eating better for a healthier lifestyle. You should always eat enough calories to feed your body so that you have enough energy and fuel to keep your body healthy.

* Go Plant Based: Eating a mostly raw, plant-based diet has shown to be extremely effective for weight loss and healthy lifestyles of all types. This is a great diet to explore for anyone that is looking to trim excess belly fat and make room for those cut abs.

* Stay Hydrated – Drinking enough water and fluids is an important part of any diet. You want to keep those muscles hydrated.

Exercise

* Consistency Is Key – When you are looking to trim fat and define muscles, remember that consistency with your exercises is the most important factor. After all, you can’t just do one workout and expect it to work. You need to target particular muscle groups and repeat these exercises on a consistent basis.

* Keep Up With Cardio: To get those six pack abs, you cannot just rely on crunches alone. Cardio workouts are an important part of any exercise regimen, especially because it helps you trim excess fat. As your abdominals get stronger, you may notice that you use them more during your cardio workouts, too.

* Core Strengthening – Definition starts at your core. This group of muscles, including your abdominals and back muscles, helps maintain your balance and makes your targeted abdominal exercises exponentially more effective. Most core exercises, like planking and v-sit exercises, are also more effective for defined abs than most crunches.

* The Right Workouts – As mentioned before, getting six-pack abs isn’t just about crunches. In fact, you will need many targeted exercises to reach all of the different parts of your abdominal muscles to achieve six-pack abs. These targeted exercises combined with core strengthening workouts are what will make those six-pack abs happen.

If you follow these key fundamentals and stay motivated to follow through, you can obtain those sexy six-pack abs. Just imagine how good you will look poolside or walking along the beach this summer, and how positively great you will feel.

How to Choose Probiotic Supplements

How to Choose Probiotic Supplements

Finding the right type of probiotic for your body is very important. But unfortunately it’s not as easy as you want it to be. There is a large range of probiotics, all with different ingredients and different things they do for your body. To find the right probiotic, follow these steps and tips:

1. Read the Label

It’s important to read the probiotic label so you know exactly what types of probiotics are in the product. All labels should include:

* The species and strain of the microorganisms. Many labels only include the species, but the different strains provide different benefits.

* Number of organisms in a single dose and how often you should take it. Choose one with at least seven strains and five billion colony-forming units (CFU).

* Storage information. The label needs to tell you the best storage for the probiotics. Always keep your probiotics away from heat and moisture.

* “Live and active cultures”. When buying yogurt, look for the yogurt that has this on the label. If the label doesn’t have this, the probiotic bacteria could be dead.

* Encapsulated pills ensure that the bacteria can survive through the acidity in your stomach and be able to reach your colon.

* Certification by an independent third party. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate most probiotics. This means that the amount of bacteria stated on the container may not be accurate. Always be sure that everything has been tested.

2. Cure Whatever Symptoms That You Have

Probiotics help with our immune systems and our digestive systems. They will help with any yeast infections you may have and any digestive problems you have come across. Look for these things in a probiotic:

* Find a probiotic with multiple strains of bacteria. This is because the gut contains 30-40 strains. The more strains, the happier and healthier you will be.

Here is a list of different health conditions that probiotics can help with:

* If you’re traveling, take saccharomyces boulardii a couple of weeks before your trip. Taking this probiotic will help prevent traveler’s diarrhea. Many people get this by digesting food or water that has been infected with bacteria.

* If you’re lactose intolerant, you should take lactobacillus bulgaricus. This will help the gut to digest lactase.

3. Feed and Treat Your Gut Properly

Having the right probiotics is important for your gut, but now you have to keep it healthy. The bacteria in your colon thrive on non-digestible fibers. This is also known as prebiotics. Feed the bacteria two-four servings of garlic, bananas, artichokes, whole grains, and honey to keep your gut happy and healthy. Most probiotics already have prebiotics in them but they’ll be listed on the label as inulin.

Choosing the right probiotic for your body is very important. Probiotics have been known to get rid of any symptoms of sickness and it’s used to prevent illnesses from happening. This is one of the reasons why finding the right probiotic is so important. Doing some research on the perfect probiotic for you ensures that you get a good quality product. If you’re ever not sure on the best probiotic for you, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor.

Flushing Body Fat

Flushing Body Fat

As the weather is heating up, it is time to start thinking about swimsuit season.

For many, that means it is crunch time when it comes to getting rid of some targeted fat deposits that you have stored up from the long winter. No worries, however; here are eight body fat flushing tips and techniques that can help you shape up for summer.

1. Hydrate

The number one rule for flushing body fat is keeping hydrated. No matter how many tips or techniques you use from this list or others, drinking plenty of fluids, mainly water, is your key to staying healthy and successfully flushing the fat from your body. In fact, proper hydration alone can help you flush a lot of fat and toxins out of your body.

2, Cleanse

There are a lot of marketed cleanses that are either sold or homemade. One of the most popular is a drink made with water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Some of these cleanses have very effective marketing strategies, but make sure that you talk to your doctor before you try any new exercise program, cleanse, or other diet-related trial.

3. Juice

A great way to get lots of vitamins and nutrients while effectively flushing body fat in a healthy way is to get a juicer. Juicing lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is a great and delicious way to get all the good stuff you need in the easiest way possible.

Not only are you putting lots of good stuff in your body, but drinking lots of fresh juice will help get your bowels moving so you are literally cleaning out your colon.

4. Detox

There are many ways to detox, but the main idea of detoxing is to promote a clean and healthy diet without processed foods. While removing these foods from your diet, you also are cleansing your body of the remaining toxins that are left over from these foods.

Many people, for example, use a cleanse like the one mentioned before or do a juice fast for a day or more to detox their bodies from the sodium, sugar, and chemicals that are abundant in processed foods.

5. Go Raw

A truly great and very effective way to cleanse, detox, and flush fat from your body is to start eating raw. Specifically, this means only eating raw fruits and vegetables.

Some people choose to do this 100% of the time, while others eat raw except for one meal of the day – usually dinner. Eating raw vegan is a safe and effective way to flush body fat, as long as you make sure you are paying attention to eating enough calories per day.

6. Fiber Fix

Getting plenty of fiber is another way to get the bowels moving and flush fat directly from your system. A healthy metabolism often depends on lots of fiber-rich foods like apples, leafy greens, and whole grains.

These foods are practically a toothbrush for your insides, loosening up all of that extra stuff that needs to come out.

7. Superfoods

Eating a diet that is rich in antioxidant-packed foods is another great way to supplement your diet and exercise program to help flush body fat.

Foods like fresh blueberries, leafy greens, pomegranate, and nuts are all considered “superfoods” because of all of the vitamins and nutrients that are packed into each and every bite.

8. Work It Out

Of course, one of the best ways to flush fat from your body is to get your body moving. Exercise does more than just tone your muscles; it helps keep your bowels healthy and regular, and keeps your blood pumping. Exercise is a very important part of any healthy lifestyle, and is especially important if you want to do some fat flushing.

These fat flushing tips and techniques will help you get to looking your best this summer.

Remember to speak to your doctor about any decisions you make about diet and exercise, to make sure that you are making the healthiest choices for you. Good overall health, of course, is the most important thing you need to look great this summer.

Health Issues Caused by Bacterial Imbalances

Health Issues Caused by Bacterial Imbalances

Are you experiencing digestive problems along with some discomfort?  You could have an imbalance between good and bad bacteria in your gut. The average person has between 500 and 1000 different types of bacteria living inside them weighing in at about 10 lbs or 5 Kg.  They need to be in balance with each other- sometimes that balance gets out of kilter.  Although the thought of all these things living inside you can be unsettling, without them you couldn’t function as a human being.

Some health problems that are caused by an imbalance of bacteria include:

* An unhealthy digestive flora – This can be caused by the overgrowth of the bacteria candida. This can also result in a weakness in the gut membrane. Healthy gut by-products will then be produced which helps to keep the intestinal lining strong, but without enough good bacteria, the intestinal tract becomes highly vulnerable to damage. This will then lead to inflammation, which can result in an ulceration. This will destroy the mucosal lining of the intestinal wall.

* Bacterial vaginosis – the vagina has a natural occurrence of bacteria, but there’s a fairly even mixture of good and bad. When that bacteria is disrupted and the mixture between the good and bad bacteria is uneven, it can cause bacterial vaginosis.

Approximately 16% of expecting mothers have bacterial vaginosis. Some women who have bacterial vaginosis don’t have any symptoms. But the women who do have symptoms may experience discharge with a strong and foul odor, vaginal discharge that may be white or gray in color, vaginal itchiness, a painful or burning sensation when urinating, and/or vaginal odor that is very strong, and with a fishy smell after sex.

If bacterial vaginosis is left untreated, it can lead to more serious illnesses. These include:

1. Pelvic inflammatory disease – This is an inflammation of the female reproduction system. This includes the uterus, fallopian tubes, and the ovaries. Pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to many difficulties, including ectopic pregnancy and infertility.

2. Pregnancy complications – Many expecting mothers have had underweight babies because of bacterial vaginosis. It is also known to cause premature ruptures of the membrane which means that your water breaks too early.

3. A greater chance at getting a sexually transmitted disease – Women who are infected by bacterial vaginosis have a greater chance at contracting HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

4. Increased risk of infection – There is a greater chance that after surgery, women affected by bacterial vaginosis may develop an infection afterwards. Those infections typically attack the reproductive system.

If you experience any symptoms, consult your doctor. They’ll prescribe either oral antibiotics, or you’ll get medication in the form of a cream which will be inserted into your vagina. Be sure to use all your antibiotics and listen to what your doctor says. If you don’t, there’s a good chance that you’ll get bacterial vaginosis again.

If you suspect that you have any of these illnesses, see your doctor. It’s important to get the problem fixed before it gets worse and leads to something more serious.

Take care of your body. There are ways to prevent these things from happening. Taking probiotics will help. Bacterial imbalances happen when taking antibiotics, but probiotics can help erase the bad that the antibiotics can do to your body.

Firming the Butt

Firming the Butt

If there is one thing you want to look good this swimsuit season, it’s your butt. After all, it is one of the hardest parts to hide in a tiny swimsuit, and the most likely to jiggle in ways that you might not want it to.

Luckily, there are exercises you can do to get your butt looking toned and firm.

Squats

Stand with your feet just wider than shoulder width apart, with your arms down by your sides. Slowly bend at the knees, extending your arms out in front of you, until you are at an almost sitting position – or lower if you can manage. Hold this position for a few seconds, and then slowly rise and come to your original standing position. Repeat this action 20 times, rest, and then repeat.

Chair Squats

This squat option is better for beginners who don’t quite have the core strength to complete regular squats. In this version, you can stand in front of a chair. Complete the same movements, hovering just above the chair. Repeat 20 times, rest, and then repeat.

Jump Squats

This exercise puts a bit more “oomph” into your squats. Start in the same position as regular squats, and complete the squat as usual except that when you are coming up, jump into the air. Jump up about one foot, and remember to bend your knees slightly coming back down to prevent injury.

Hip Lifts

Start by lying flat on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Using the muscles in your butt, lift your pelvis into the air, keeping your feet flat on the floor.

Experiment with moving your feet closer to your body or farther away to get the most effective resistance. Complete 50 repetitions, rest, and then repeat twice.

Extended Hip Lifts

This is a slightly more advanced version of regular hip lifts. In this version, you will extend one leg out straight while completing the same motions. Do 15 repetitions and then alternate to the other leg before resting and then repeating for a total of three cycles.

Lunges

Begin in your standing position, with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips. Step out with one foot, about two feet straight in front of you.

Keep your torso straight, bend at the knees until your back knee almost touches the floor, and then straighten back up and return to the beginning standing position. Alternate legs, completing 20 repetitions on each side before you rest and then repeat.

Toe Taps

Start by lying on your back with your legs elevated and knees bent to a 45 degree angle, and then bring your knees closer to your chest. From this position, bring one foot down and tap the ground, and then bring that leg back to the starting position. Alternating feet, complete this motion for one minute before you rest, and then repeat twice.

Superman Lunges

This is a slightly different take on lunges that works out a different part of your butt and the backs of your thighs. Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart, arms down by your sides. In one fluid movement, lean forward and elevate one leg behind you, bringing your arms up in the air.

The motion should remind you of Superman taking flight – thus the name. Return to the beginning position and then repeat, alternating sides, 15 times per side. Rest and then repeat twice.

The butt might be a big problem area for many people trying to look good in their swimsuits, but it is actually one of the easiest areas of the body to exercise.

Complete these exercises at least two to three times a week consistently and you will be summer ready in no time.

Essential Tips to Keep You on Your Keto Journey

Essential Tips to Keep You on Your Keto Journey

Starting and maintaining the keto diet are two very different things. As with any diet, it’s much easier to start a keto diet than it is to maintain one. This is because once you’ve reached your weight loss goals, it’s easy to go back to your old eating habits.

If you’re struggling to keep going on the keto diet, below you’ll discover some essential tips you can follow. With these tips, you’ll find it so much easier to stick to your keto journey and reap the benefits it brings.

Slightly increase the amount of fat and protein

Once you’ve reached your weight loss goals, you can start to increase the amount of fat and protein you’re consuming. This will maintain the keto diet, without losing any additional weight.

It’s important not to increase your carb intake. While you may not want to lose any more weight, if you increase your carbs it’s going to make you gain weight on a keto diet plan. So, keep your carbs restricted and increase your fat and protein content slightly.

Focus on gaining muscle

To maintain low body fat without losing weight, you’ll want to focus on gaining muscle. The more muscle you have, the more fat you’ll burn off. However, building up muscle offers many more benefits than simple fat maintenance.

Muscle mass can also strengthen the bones, improve metabolic flexibility and even reduce the risk of Diabetes.

Ensure your carb intake remains low

As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to make sure you’re not drastically increasing the amount of carbs you consume. While you don’t necessarily need to be as strict with your carbs now as you were when you were trying to lose weight, you still need to watch your intake.

When increasing it slightly, it’s best to do it with vegetables. Root vegetables can once again be added once you’ve reached your goal, giving you healthier carbs.

Consider trying out intermittent fasting

If you really feel like you could use a break from the keto diet, why not try out intermittent fasting? You’re given set windows where you can eat with few restrictions, then 1-2 days where you don’t eat anything. However, if you don’t think you can stand going without food for a day or two, you could also do it slightly differently where you can eat for 6-10 hours each day during set times, but you don’t eat at any other time.

So, if you’ve reached your weight loss goals but you’re keen to stick to the keto diet, the above tips are going to prove crucial. Following just a few tips can make it so much easier to maintain your keto diet.