Foods That Will Help You Get A Flat Stomach

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Vitamin D rich foods such as eggs and salmon can help in the metabolism of fat. Cucumbers and dry fennel seeds reduce stomach bloating and also aid digestion. Greek Yogurt and olive oil reduces cortisol levels, a hormone that stores fat. Regular consumption of whole grains like popcorn, oats and wheat and adequate hydration can also help.

Stomach fat can be due to an array of factors. Lack of exercise, over sleeping the afternoons, as well as an unhealthy diet and lifestyle may collectively lead to this particular state. Here are the surprising  foods for flat stomach, which will help you shed inches and pounds and also to banish the bloat.

Foods for Flat Stomach

Salmon: Salmon is an excellent source of Vitamin D. Insufficient blood levels of Vitamin D have been linked to obesity, including abdominal obesity. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and other fatty fish can also help flatten your belly.

Eggs: If you want to lose some fat around the middle, eggs are a great way to start your day. Eggs provide Vitamin D and choline known for playing a role in fat metabolism.

Cucumbers: Cucumbers are loaded with water and naturally low in calories to help with hydration and weight management. One whole cucumber has just 45 calories and eating them can also help you fight belly bloat.

Fennel Seeds: Dried fennel seeds are very nutritious, containing fiber, magnesium, calcium and iron, and they have long been used as a digestive aid. Fennel helps to relax the gastrointestinal muscles, which helps trapped gas pass to alleviate bloating

 Yogurt: Yogurt is a good source of calcium, a mineral that slows production of the hormone cortisol, which encourages belly fat.

Olive Oil: Healthful monounsaturated fats found in olive oil could potentially switch on genes related to the burning and storage of fat.

Whole Grains: Whole grains including quinoa, popcorn, oats and wheat — can help flatten your tummy. The USDA recommends healthy adults consume about six ounces of total grains per day, and that at least half of those grains should be whole grains.

Water: Drinking enough water is helpful to flatten your tummy. Water is essential for moving fiber through the GI system and preventing constipation.

Source : fiitnessplus

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Post C-Section Workout To Tighten Your Tummy

Giving birth is the most difficult and stressful period of a woman’s life. But once the baby is born and you hold him or her in your arms, you forget about everything.

However, post pregnancy, your weight gain is something that gives you a lot of trouble. This problem is more acute for women who undergo a C-section which badly affects their self-esteem.

Post C-section Workout To Get Back In Shape

Most women, in today’s age, avoid carrying that slight weight post C-section throughout their lives. However, now there is a solution for it. Your stomach can go back to that flat shape if you follow some powerful post C-section workout.

Here you will come to know about some workouts that will surely help you lose weight post C-section. Let’s have a look at them.

1. Bridge

This is a safe exercise that does not put any excess pressure on the C-section, yet helps to lose unnecessary fat from the stomach.

You should start it by lying on your back and place your feet flat on the floor. Straighten your arms by placing your palms on the floor. Do not raise your shoulders from the ground. Hold this position for at least ten seconds then slowly lower the body to the ground. Repeat this step five to eight times regularly.

2. Walking

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This is the best post C-section workout that helps you to get a flat tummy. You should start walking on a flat surface, may it be for 500 or 700 meters.

Walking is an exercise that helps tone your legs and other parts of the body. It also strengthens your C-section area. Once you become comfortable with this exercise, start doing it regularly at a medium pace.

You can also include brisk walking for twenty to thirty minutes in your routine. This not only helps in burning your fat but also increases your level of energy.

3. Light Weight Training

Post-C-section-Workout

Light weight training is a useful post C-section workout that helps to strengthen your abdominal and back muscles. This exercise is truly useful for body toning and conditioning. It also helps you to gain body balance and improves co-ordination among various parts of the body.

Lightweight exercises include reverse crunches, normal crunches, churning the mills, etc. All these workouts not only tone your body but also help to burn excess fat in the C-section.

4. Swimming

Swimming is a result-driven post C-section workout for those who wish to get back in shape after giving birth. Water workout is a safe and good exercise because it does not put pressure on delicate areas of the body. Swimming is also useful for strengthening muscles and cardiovascular.

5. Kegel Exercise

Kegel-Exercises

You might have heard the term in your antenatal classes. Well, you can continue with it for your post C-section workout. Kegel exercise is very useful as it helps to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic area and prevent uterine prolapse.

While performing this exercise, you should hold your pelvic muscles up when inhale and exhale by drawing the naval towards backbone. You must keep your pelvic muscle strong throughout the exercise.

These are some useful post C-section workouts that help you to get back in shape after C-section.

I hope you enjoyed the article and don’t forget to like/share

Source: fiitnessplus

 

 

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HOW TO EAT CARBS FOR MORE MUSCLE AND LESS FAT

The amount of carbs to eat in a day depends on several variables including your (1) body size, (2) activity level, (3) fitness goals, and (4) genetics. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest around 55% of your calories each day should come from carbohydrates. Most bodybuilders consume around 50% of total calories from carbs whereas low carb advocates can consume as low as 10-15%.

Technically, carbs are not an essential nutrient so we don’t need to eat them to survive. With that said, going very low carb is simply unnecessary to reach your health and fitness goals.

The best way to arrive at your desired carb intake is to first establish how many grams of protein and fat you want to eat first, then the balance will be your carb intake. For example, if you are looking to cut some fat for the summer without losing muscle, you can intake 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, 0.5 grams of fat per pound, and the balance will be carbs. For a 180lb man, that means 180 grams of protein and 90 grams of fat. Assuming a 2,000 calorie diet, that leaves 200 grams of carbs left over (1 gram of protein/carbs has 4 calories, and 1 gram of fat has 9 calories). The percentage breakdown in this example is roughly 35% protein, 45% carbs, and 20% fat.

As a general guideline, somewhere around 40-50% carbs, 25-30% protein, and 20-30% fat is a solid benchmark during a cutting program. You can play around with increasing, or decreasing the carb/fat level to see what works best for you. ”

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CARBOHYDRATE TIMING

When should I consume the most about of carbs, and when should I cut them?

“After your workout is a great time to eat relatively more carbohydrates and even faster digesting carbohydrates. Carbs are anabolic because they raise your blood sugar level, which in turn stimulates the storage hormone insulin. Insulin gets a bad reputation because it can increase fat storage, but it can also be your friend by helping your muscles suck in more protein. After a workout, eating carbs with protein in a roughly 2:1 ratio can help your body utilize the protein most effectively. Eating more carbs when you have a endurance race, or competition can also be helpful. “Carb loading”, or consuming large amounts of carbs to saturate your sugar storage tanks (muscles and liver) leading up to an athletic event can help you perform better.

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You don’t necessarily have to cut carbohydrates, but eating excessive carbs is not advisable. So if you are a 180lb guy who works out a few days per week and has a sedentary job, somewhere around 200 grams will help fuel your bodily functions and your workouts without any excess being wasted and converted to fat. For every extra full hour you spend exercising, you can add on 50-100 grams of carbs. For frame of reference, endurance athletes intake as much as 300-400+ grams of carbs per day. ”

CARBOHYDRATE CYCLING

What is carb cycling—and how does it work? 

“There are many carb cycling frameworks and each varies depending on whether you are trying to build muscle, or lose fat. One of the most popular is 3 days low, one day high. There are a lot of factors to consider (body size etc) to come up with your carb breakdown, but one method during a cutting program is to eat one gram of carbs per pound of Lean Body Mass [bodyweight x (1- body fat percentage)] and double that number on your higher carb day. The challenge with the 3 low, 1 high framework is that it doesn’t fit neatly within a week. I personally prefer choosing 2 high carb days each week, one of which is on your most intense lifting day (such as legs), and the rest are low carb.

Keep in mind that carbs are only part of the nutrition equation, because you still have to get the calories right, which is more important. In fact, the reason why carb cycling works is arguably not because you are varying carb intake, but because by decreasing carb intake you decrease calorie intake. A quick carb cycling tip is to follow a “carbohydrate tapering” approach where you eat more carbs in the morning and taper them throughout the day on your low carb days. There is no scientific proof this strategy helps you burn more fat, but it makes implementation much easier. ”

PRE and POST-WORKOUT CARBOHYDRATES

How important is the timing of carbs in relation to your workout routine? Is it one hour before and after that’s safest for breakfast? 

“Whether you are looking to build muscle, or lose fat, your prime objective is to have plenty of energy for your workouts. If you find that your energy levels are high without eating carbs before your morning workout, then you don’t need the carbs. If, however, you are looking to build some muscle and find your energy levels waning during your workout, then a protein shake and an apple before your workout can work well because they are easy to digest while fueling your body with ample protein and carbs. After your morning workout you can have a normal breakfast.”

DIFFERENT TYPES OF CARBOHYDRATES:

I would really like to know more about the relationship between fiber and carbs/net carbs. Is fiber counted as carbs? Also I’d love to hear about sugar alcohols, what are they?

“There are two types of dietary fiber: (1) soluble and (2) insoluble. Soluble fiber becomes a gel like substance when added to water and is minimally digested, and insoluble fiber does not change when added to water, instead passing through our bodies mostly intact. Both types of fiber, which are derived from plants, are considered carbohydrates due to their molecular structure.

Whether or not dietary fiber should be considered a calorie is open for debate and is even treated differently from country to country (most consider insoluble fiber as providing 0 calories), but it is agreed that dietary fiber slows down the digestion process, which reduces blood sugar levels. This is the exact opposite effect of most carbs, which increase blood sugar levels. Most nutritionists recommend subtracting dietary fiber from the total carb count to arrive at the “net” carbs. In a medium-sized apple for example, the total carbs is 25 grams and the dietary fiber is 4 grams, leaving 21 grams of net carbs.

Sugar alcohol gets its name because of its molecular structure, which is a hybrid between a sugar molecule and an alcohol molecule. Most sugar alcohols provide less calories, sweetness, and impact to blood sugar levels as normal sugar, which is why they are often subtracted from total carbs like fiber.

Here are the key points: 1) Sugar alcohols are considered safe for human consumption 2) They do not cause a rise in blood sugar levels like normal sugar 3) They may cause gastric distress, bloating, and diarrhea if eaten in large quantities, or if you have a pre-existing condition like irritable bowel syndrome. ”

Source: fiitnessplus

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Reasons Why Your Workouts Don’t Make You Super Fit..

A lot of people start new workout regimes with big dreams. They see themselves as being super fit by the end of their new plan but are often left disappointed. It happens a lot – but why?

Mistakes That Keep You From Becoming Super Fit

In today’s guide, we’re going to talk you through many of the reasons why your workout could be failing. With a little luck, your new knowledge will help you build a super fit body.

1⃣ You Don’t Turn Up Every Day

Your fitness regime should be as natural to you as taking a shower or eating a meal. It should become part of your life, and you need to focus on doing something every day.

Try to see a new workout regime as a lifestyle change, rather than a fix to a problem. Doing so will help you place a greater importance on your workouts and exercise.

There will be no more dropping a session here or there, as you need to put that time aside. The result? Your new attitude will help you smash through your original goals. And once you incorporate exercise into your daily routine, it will feel strange to go without it.

2⃣ You Forget About Nutrition

Healthy and nutritious eating is going to have a much bigger impact on your chances of getting fit than your workouts. Too many people focus on their exercise, rather than the food they are consuming.

If you want to be super fit, you have to embrace both challenges, together. They both work in harmony to give you the results you are looking for, and a vigorous workout can be spoiled entirely by a bad meal afterward.

3⃣ You Don’t Enjoy Your Workouts

People like, and react better, to different things. While most can put up with anything short-term, it’s important to do something you love doing when working out.

Don’t like the gym? Then try body weight exercises at home. Competitive nature? Try team sports, or something like boxing or MMA training to give you an edge. Love being outside? Then choose more jogging or cycling sessions.

Do what you love, and you will have a much bigger chance of completing your goals.

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4⃣ You Don’t Prepare

Becoming super fit takes a lot of preparation, from food and meals through to arranging a gym session. Robust preparation will ensure you don’t start to backtrack – which will happen when things start to slip.

5⃣ You Give Up

There are probably millions of weight loss and fitness goals established on new year’s eve every year. And the vast majority of them are forgotten about before it gets to February.

It all starts with missing a session, and then another, and so on. Until, of course, it seems silly to continue. You can’t afford to be like everyone else, though, if you want to be super fit.

Yes, there will be times when you miss a session. But, that doesn’t mean all your previous work has to suffer. Just be nice to yourself about the odd slip up and get back on track as soon as you can.

If you want long-term success, dealing with minor blips in a positive way is going to help.

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I hope you liked the article,and don’t forget to share /like..

Source : fiitnessplus

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The Difference Between Weight Loss And Fat Loss

The question is: Do you wanna lose weight or do you wanna lose fat? Into many people those terms are interchangeable, there’s no difference between weight loss and fat loss. That’s because most people think when they start exercising they’re going to automatically lose fat. But it’s just not true! Weight loss and fat loss are two very different things.

Weight Loss And Fat Loss

In general, people who talk about weight loss really start from a place that is unknown to them. They may know how much they weigh, but they don’t know their lean body mass (how much muscle they actually carry) and they don’t know their body fat percentage (what percentage of their weight is fat).

So they may just go by the scale number and say “Well… I just need to lose weight. I’m 200 pounds, so I wanna get down to 150. So I just have to lose 50 pounds.” And what you’ll just see them do (especially women), is they’ll do a lot of cardio and they will start to diet and severely cut back their calories.

To lose weight, women will eat anywhere from 1000 to 2000 calories, and many women consider 2000 calories being way too much for them to eat. So they’ll cut out a food group entirely, or somehow they’re just trying things. Because all they want is just to lose weight, no matter whether it’s fat, no matter whether it’s muscle.

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If You Want To Lose Fat…

But if you ask many people “Do you wanna lose fat or do you want to lose weight?” they’ll say “Well, isn’t that the same thing? Of course I wanna lose fat!”. Or if you ask them if they want to lose muscle or if they wanna lose fat, of course they’ll say they wanna lose the fat from their body.

So what happens is that they’ll end up maybe losing weight, and they’ll maybe get down to the goal weight, get close to it, and they look smaller, but their body doesn’t look better or different. They will end up looking more skinny fat, which is still having a high percentage of body fat and low muscle. The reason for this is because they were focused on losing weight and not losing fat.

…Do Heavy Resistance Training

If you want to be smaller or in better shape, to be healthier, to cut excess fat of your body and to look toned, you have to incorporate some heavy resistance training with your weight loss journey. You can not just do cardio, because cardio will help you burn fat, but you’re going to have to build up the muscle, you’re going to have to increase your muscle size.

Toned is revealing the muscle under your skin. So the less fat and the less water you have between your skin and your muscle, the more the muscle is gonna pop up and show. And some fast ways to create heavy resistance are calisthenics, heavyweight training or using resistance bands.

…And Eat Enough Calories

You also need to pay attention to your diet in this process. Like I said, a lot of times women will cut out huge food groups or just lower their calories dramatically, so they could be hindering their fat loss. You could be eating as such a low calorie amount and doing so much cardio that you’re actually wasting away muscle. You’re eating away your muscle through that because you’re not feeding the muscle, you’re not giving the muscle anything to build itself on.

You need to transform “I want to lose weight” into “I want to lose fat”, not focusing on what the scale says. Who cares what the scale says?! You have to understand that the scale matters somewhat but your body fat percentage is much more important. Your lean body mass is much more important!

So when you’re starting a weight loss journey, think about how can you improve your muscle and lose fat. You’ve got to add resistance training, cut back on cardio and eat a balanced macro diet (your fat, your carbs and your protein are balanced).

I hope you learnt the difference between weight loss and fat loss, and I also hope that this article helped you to interchange the word weight with fat in the statement “I want to lose weight!”. After all, losing fat is what it’s gonna give you the nice toned body that you want. ..

Source : fiitnessplus

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Common Issues That Can Ruin Your Fitness Gains

Think you know everything needs to be known about muscle building? Check this list to make sure you’re avoiding the most common dietary and training mistakes that can ruin your fitness gains.

Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Fitness Gains

Everyone that lives a fit and healthy lifestyle will want to see results. Results are what motivates us to do even better, and workout harder. We like to look in the mirror and see all the gains we’ve made; it’s uplifting.

But, sometimes, we struggle to see gains. And, we can’t seem to understand why. Well, it’s most likely down to one of these three things:

1. Excessive Snacking

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A lot of people will often complain that they don’t see any results. And yet, they spend a healthy amount of time in the gym and do lots of physical exercises. If you’re doing this and not seeing gains, the problem is with your nutrition.

However, often, people will say they eat well and list off their daily meals. The main meals they eat are healthy, but the problem lies in between those meals. The problem is excessive snacking. You might be eating too many unhealthy snacks throughout the day. A few packets of crisps, some chocolate, a cookie.

All of these things add up and make your ‘healthy’ diet, a lot more unhealthy. Most snacks are high in sugar, fat, and calories. Three things you want to avoid to stay fit and healthy. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can snack, and remain healthy. As seen on here, there are loads of healthy snacks for you to eat.

2. A Serious Injury

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Being injured is never fun, and can be a major setback to your fitness gains. You’ve spent ages working hard and getting your body to a good standard. Then, you pick up a serious injury and can’t exercise properly for weeks or months. As a result, your gains start to fade away slightly.

Injuries can prevent you from performing to the standard that you’re used to. You may be unable to do certain movements or lift heavy weights. It can have serious consequences on your gains, trust me.

Plus, there’s overwhelming stress that comes with an injury. You feel annoyed and stressed out because you can’t do the things you want to do. So, you end up in a tough mental battle, and may lose the motivation to work out.

All in all, even a small injury can seriously ruin your gains.

3. A Poor Workout Regime

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Sometimes, the reason behind your ruined gains is that you aren’t working out properly. You may be exercising infrequently, or doing things wrong. You could be attacking your workouts in a bad way too.

Most people think that you should workout for as long as possible. But, as I stated in this article, you need quality(DRS) over quantity. A shorter, more intense, workout is far better than a drawn out one. Have a look at how you’re exercising, it could be what’s holding you back.

4. Eating Carbs Late

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Any bodybuilder would advice you to eat all the time, a lot of calories, during the mass-gaining phase. True, except that carbs from your dinner and late-night meals can be easily stored as body fat.

So try to get your carbs from your early meals and reduce them to minimum in the evening. This will help your muscles recover properly overnight.

5. Not Forcing Progression

Challenge-Yourself-Every-Workout

No matter how hardcore your workout is, if you don’t challenge yourself, you’ll never get bigger/better. You need to stimulate your muscles to grow, and by constantly lifting 200 pounds 12 times daily, you’re definitely not doing it.

I’m not saying you’re not doing it right; any workout is better than no workout, right? But if you want to get real results, you need to try a Dynamic Recondition System(drs). Remember, not challenging your body means not wanting it to change.

Outdo your previous performance each time you exercise.

Add more weight, do more reps or shorten the rest periods to force progression and ensure your muscles are constantly growing.

6. (Not) Training To Failure

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Training to failure is a very disputed concept that has caused a lot of misunderstandings. Even though you need to do it to challenge your muscles, training to failure should be limited only to the last set of your workout.

So perform your workout reps as usual (10-20), but force progression in the last set by doing as many reps as you can. This will increase protein synthesis for 24 hours after the workout is finished.

7. Not Eating Fat At All

Eat-Healthy-Fats

Most of you would say “I don’t eat fat because I’ll get fat!”, right? Nope, this is not right at all. This is an outdated philosophy, and excluding healthy fats from your diet can limit your strength and muscle gain.

Fish, olive oil, avocados, seeds and nuts are great sources of healthy fats. Make sure these foods make about 20% of your daily caloric intake.

8. Skipping Breakfast

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There are numerous benefits of eating breakfast every day.

Keep your fitness gains on track by starting your day with a breakfast rich in proteins and carbs. For instance, oatmeal is a great source of complex carbs (and fiber) and eggs are bodybuilder’s main protein source for breakfast.

A perfect breakfast caloric ratio is 40% protein, 50 carbs and 10% fat.

Hopefully, after reading this, you can see why your fitness gains may be stalling. If any of these things is the reason behind your struggles, you need to fix it! Do whatever you can to get back on track and start making gains once more.

Source: fiitnessplus

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DRS Fitness Laws Everyone Should Know And Follow

In an age of technology and virtual training, it’s so easy to forget what made us fit in the first place: healthy food, quality movement, dedication and high intensity discipline. Follow these DRS Fitness Laws to achieve optimal performance throughout your health and fitness routine.

DRS Fitness Laws

Here are DRS Fitness Laws you need to learn, apply and repeat if you really want a badass body:

1. Eating right is 80% of the battle.

With today’s incredible online resources it’s easy to get distracted by all those health and fitness products and fancy weight loss diets out there. But no matter what your fitness goal is, you can’t go wrong with a well balanced diet of fresh food, cooked from scratch. And the fun part is you can eat plenty of it!

2. Start long-term and work back.

Set your main goal for the long term, then cut it down into smaller goals, easy to reach. For example, if you plan to run 5k in 3 months, start by setting a goal for this month, or this week.

3. It is impossible to get ripped “accidentally”.

The super fit and super lean women/men you see on Instagram work their ass off to look that way. It’s not genetics, but dedication responsible for that insane body!

4. You need to make SMART goals.

Here’s what SMART stands for (just to easily remember what a smart goal should look like): Specific,Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Got the idea?

5. It’s worth investing in the right kit.

Once you’ve found a good workout, invest in the right fitness equipment. And this is not just an excuse to shop, it’s “an investment” because the right clothes will wick sweat away, stop chafing and make you feel fly. Most of them are totally wearable outside of the gym too.

6. Time is money, spend it wisely.

Instead of running one hour on the treadmill to burn 600 calories, why not lifting weights for 30 minutes to burn the same amount of calories?! You know, dynamic moves with free weights are the most efficient calorie-burning exercises.

The more intense the workout, the shorter it needs to be.

7. Peripheral heart action is the way forward.

PHA (peripheral heart action) is the ultimate fitness hack. It says that you can boost your metabolism and work your heart harder if you alternate between lower- and upper-body exercises. All there without spending more time in the gym; genius, right?!

8. Cardio first, weights after? No.

Try active rest instead of total rest to save time. Switch the total rest periods between sets with short cardio sessions (1-2 minutes) or full-body moves like pushups, squats, lunges.(try DRS-Circuits)

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9. Make weights work for you.

Work the biggest muscle groups first (back, chest, legs), then work your way down to isolated small muscles like biceps or triceps.

10. When it comes to weights, the more instability the better.

Free weights work your body in a more natural way without injuries. Machines isolate the muscles and neglect the supporting muscles, which can lead to injuries. When it comes to weight lifting, the more unstable the exercise is the better the result is.

Free weights > Cable machines > Fixed machines

11. Step away from the cardio machines!

An outdoor run is just so much better than a treadmill session. The uneven surface will strengthen your legs and the weather conditions will make your body work harder. You can even boost endorphins by 50% just by running outdoors.

12. Recovery is just as important as what you do in the gym.

Do 5 minutes of stretching at the end of every workout session. Don’t work the same muscle group 2 days in a row; rest at least 48 hours until the next workout for the same muscle group.

13. It’s not just about the way you look.

Fitness it’s not just about the way you look, it’s how it makes you feel. You’re strong, stress free, sleep well, have a lot of energy during the entire day and your skin glows; this is the real joy of being healthy, fit and toned!

14. See exercise as a treat, not punishment.

I don’t think there’s a person leaving the gym feeling worse than they did when they arrived at the gym. Yeah, a good workout really is a bless, so why treating it like a punishment?!

Grab your perfect running shoes, strap yourself into a sports bra /supporters with adequate support  and start your fitness journey. You will be amazed what you can achieve living your life by these DRS Fitness Laws.

Source: fiitnessplus.com

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12 Months DRS Challenge For A Healthy Lifestyle

That’s why I propose this 12 Months DRS Challenge where you will make a small choice every start of the month and hold on it the entire month. Every month would be a new challenge and maybe at the end of each month you will adopt a new healthy habit.

People get started on a weight loss journey and what tends to happen is they are so pumped and so ready to go that they jump into it 100% and then they die out quickly and fall back to their older routine. I wanted to talk about that in this article, I wanted to go over clean eating and healthy lifestyle. In my opinion if you slowly bring things into your life and slowly change your lifestyle, you are more likely to stick with it. There are little changes that can make a big difference in weight loss.

People venture out to lose many pounds and then they don’t meet their goals. This is because they’ve made too big goals. Forget about losing 30-40 pounds and focus on losing one pound a week. That’s what you need for healthy weight loss. And then, once you’ve done that, eventually the pounds start to add up. So if you think about it, there are 52 weeks in a year and that’s 52 pounds. Pretty good, right?

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12 Months Challenge

There is a 12 Months Challenge Infographic at the end of the article. You can print it and stick it to your fridge or anywhere else to remind you the decision you’ve made. So let’s see what small changes you should adapt each month:

1. January – Eat vegetables with your snack or meal at least three times per day.

2. February – Cut your processed sugar in 1/2 (or out all together). Instead of white sugar use stevia, honey or agave.

3. March – Drink at least 64-oz (2l) of water every single day.

4. April – Get your sweat on most days of the week. Just 20 minutes will count.

5. May – Stop eating foods with hydrogenated oils, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup. Get rid of margarine and use olive oil instead of other oils used to fry food.

6. June – Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. this should be easy.

7. July – Go meatless at least one day per week. And if you really want to challenge yourself, go meatless 3 days per week.

8. August – Meditate or just sit in silence 10 minutes per day. And do this every single day!

9. September – Kick it up a notch! Increase the time and/or intensity of your workouts.

10. October – Eat good fats and get your Omega 3’s with foods like salmon and walnuts.

11. November – Be gratful. Gratitude is good for your health, so practice it daily.

12. December – Meditate or sit in silence 10 minutes every day. Or try one more time a challenge that didn’t worked at the first time.

I encourage you to change your behaviour, to make small changes like the ones in this challenge. At the end, the winner in the game of weight loss is not who loses their weight the quicker, is the person who keeps it off the longest. GET IN GET FIT…STAY HEALTHY..

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EASE IN MUSCLE SORENESS BY DOING THIS!

Today we will discuss a bit about muscle soreness. What it is, how it comes about, the myths and the realities.

Muscle soreness is probably the most debated topic in sports with or without weights. It manifests as a burning sensation, tightening pain and more or less unpleasant as soon as you move them the next morning.

Let’s try to reach the objective here.

febra-musculara

Muscle soreness is, as I said, the feeling of pain that occurs after about 8 hours of forcing your muscles to the limit. Until recently, studies of fitness have claimed that muscle soreness occurs due to an accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles during exercise. The latest study has come to refute this.

The main reason for developing muscle soreness according to recent studies is that lactic acid is washed out at a rate of over 90% in the first hour of training. Also regarded as a valid explanation, is the appearance of microcellular muscle tears. This micro-trauma and oxidative stress are caused by free radicals produced during exercise effects on the muscle and connective tissue. Thus, once the nerve receptors have recovered there is a feeling of pain or muscle soreness. It occurs around 8 hours after the exercise, with the pain at its peak somewhere between 1 to 3 days and disappears completely after about 5 to 7 days, depending on rest and exercise intensity.

How do we train with muscle soreness? There are also some controversial theories such as “habit cures habit” that is partially true. In no way should you complete the next workout with immense power, especially when the muscles have been affected by muscle fever. Choose a workout to work other muscle groups, or complete a circuit-type training with less intensity on the affected muscle groups.

Muscle soreness is a gauge of the effectiveness of training. In general, you can use muscle soreness as an indicator of the effectiveness of training, but nothing is set in stone. It is not necessary to reach to the level of muscle soreness in order for an exercise to be effective. This is a genetic predisposition and pain tolerance of each individual. Overall, intense muscle soreness may be an indicative of a physically powerful workout too great for the muscle groups and a lack of muscle soreness may be evidence of a not so effective workout. Slight muscle soreness means a good workout. Again, these rules are not set in stone. Strength, appearance or absence of muscle fever varies from person to person.

How do you prevent muscle soreness or make it go away more rapidly?

The cure for muscle soreness is relatively simple. If you gradually increase the strength and endurance of your muscles and you stretch and warm up properly before the activity you will be engaging in, they will not get as sore and a cooling down session / stretching after training is just as important. Adding a good ratio of carbohydrates and protein, eating correctly and getting a good night’s sleep will help to rebuild those muscles after training.

Taking nutritional supplements and antioxidants in the diet is also a good measure. To speed up the passage of fever, besides a good diet and exercising properly is to have the sore muscles massaged followed by a warm bath in sea salt. Inflammatory pills or other medication is contraindicated except for aspirin.

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Source :fiitnessplus.com

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Are Sit Ups Bad for You? The U.S. Military Seems to Think So…

I read an article recently in the Daily Mail about how the U.S. Army is phasing out sit-ups from the Army Physical Fitness Test as well as in their regular training programs. The Marines and Navy may soon be following suit.

So that got me wondering, what’s the deal? Why are these military institutions giving up on one of the long time staples of their physical fitness routines?

The Army is changing its fitness guidelines because it believes sit-ups can be harmful and that there are better ways to condition and strengthen the core.

The Sit-Up vs. The Crunch

The sit-up has had a long reign as the gold standard in assessing and improving abdominal strength, not to mention in achieving a slimmer waistline and the elusive “six pack.”

Then, we had the crunch, which began to unseat the sit-up as the best abdominal move. We learned that the crunch gives more focused contraction potential to the rectus abdominis muscles, while the sit-up puts too much emphasis on the hip flexor muscles.

The transition from sit-up to crunch was positive, but was it enough? Why move at all when working out the core? Next came the static plank.

The Plank

The plank is the latest in improving not just abdominal, but total core strength. A plank is what we call an isometric exercise which means the muscle contracts without any actual movement of the body or lengthening of the muscle.

An isometric plank is used to strengthen and improve endurance and stability in the abdominal muscles, while also including the obliques, gluteus muscles, and the hamstrings. To some extent you even work the shoulders and arms.

There are some variations on the plank, but the most basic form is in a prone position with hands, forearms, and elbows on the floor, toes on the floor, and hips up and in a neutral position with the rest of the upper body. In other words, your body is straight like a plank.

Planks are typically held for a designated time period, such as 30 or 60 seconds at a time, or in shorter time periods with only a few seconds of rest in between, such as 20 second holds with 5 second rest periods.

Why Are Planks So Great?

The U.S. military is making a switch to planks because they have discovered what a lot of trainers already knew:

Planks beat sit-ups every time, in every way.

Planks have been proven both in the gym as well as in the research laboratory to be the most effective way to:

  • incorporate and activate the abdominal and trunk muscles
  • support proper posture by helping to safeguard an erect spinal position
  • encourage proper alignment of the spine

According to me, planks target the abdominals in the manner in which they are intended to function…isometrically.

“A lot of strength trainers realized that the main function of the abs is to stop, not start motion, and the plank came out of what the abs are asked to do, which is resist the spine from moving, such as when fighting off an opponent, and strengthening the lower back.”

I know what you’re thinking: Planks are SO boring and if you’ve never actually tried them, they might just look too easy to possibly be beneficial. But this exercise only looks deceptively simple.

It may seem counterintuitive to switch from active movement of a muscle group to not moving at all, but planks work and if you try them you will feel it.

Staying still and as stiff as a board while on your elbows and toes is a lot more difficult than it looks

What about Using Sit-Ups and Planks?

Why can’t you include sit-ups and crunches along with planks for a complete workout?

Can’t they co-exist?

The truth is that research is starting to show us that sit-ups are not only less beneficial than the isometric plank; sit-ups can actually be dangerous.

According to Harvard Health Publications, sit-ups can be very hard on the spine and potentially damaging. If you have ever felt lower back pain and strain during a sit-up, you know this already.

A sit-up pushes the curved spine against the floor, and as mentioned earlier, employs the hip flexor muscles. (These are the muscles that run from the thighs to the lumbar spine in the lower back.)

When the hip flexor muscles are too strong or too tight, they can ‘tug’ on the lower spine, which can create low back discomfort.

With a sit-up, and to a lesser extent crunches, the position and movement of the body works against the natural curvature of the spine, and therefore can lead to low back discomfort, pain, and even injury.

One study actually found that 56 percent of all soldiers’ injuries relating to the “old fitness test” administered by the Army, were directly due to sit-ups.

The Takeaway(for trainers)

So what is the takeaway message for you as a trainer? What exercises should you be doing for your core and recommending to your clients? Is the answer as straightforward as totally eliminating sit-ups and crunches in favor of planks? Are sit-ups always bad?

what

  • Benefits of sit-ups:

Sit-ups target your abdominal muscles, particularly the rectus abdominis, but also involve and incorporate some of the connecting stabilizer muscles, such as the hip flexors, thereby providing a more comprehensive and integrative movement.

  • Drawbacks of sit-ups:

Sit-ups impose extremely large compression forces on the discs and vertebrae of the spine, especially in the lower back. The U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has set the action limit for low back compression at 3300 N and repetitive loading above this level is linked with higher injury rates in workers. Compression readings that surpass this limit are imposed on the spine with each sit up repetition.

  • Benefits of crunches:

Crunches involve six primary core muscles of the abdomen as well as muscles in the leg.  Crunches can be modified for individual ability levels. They can also be intensified by using resistance, like with a medicine ball, in order to increase the contraction and strength potential.  Crunches do not require as great a range of motion as sit-ups, so they limit the involvement of the hip flexors, as well as the compression on the spine.

  • Drawbacks of crunches:

Crunches target the abdominal muscles but do not adequately address the other core muscles, such as the obliques and particularly the muscles in the lower back (lumbar erectors).  Crunches still place some stress and compression on the spinal column, particularly if attempting to ‘flatten’ the low back throughout the movement.  Crunches have also been known to create strain and stress on the neck or cervical spine if the head is not kept in a neutral position throughout the movement.

  • Benefits of planks:

Planks involve a more complete and comprehensive balance of the muscles of the abdominals, obliques, spinal erectors, and to some extent muscles in the glutes, shoulder, chest and arms. Planks use an isometric contraction to target the core musculature, and muscle activation has been shown to be almost twice as active as in a standard sit-up. Planks, if done correctly, are safe and put no unnecessary strain or compression on the spine.  Variations of the plank movement can be performed to increase or decrease difficulty and target different muscles.

  • Drawbacks of Planks:

Joint limitations in the elbows, shoulders, or feet can potentially negatively affect your ability to correctly perform the exercise.  If you are very weak in the core musculature, you might find it difficult to maintain proper positioning in the movement for more than a few seconds, and therefore limited progress can be seen in the early stages of performing the exercise

With all the information presented to you, what is the final answer?  

In my opinion, there is still a place in the world of health, fitness, and wellness for the crunch. I think that there are enough benefits to the movement if done properly to justify it still being included as part of a comprehensive training program.

With all the evidence from research, I also give the plank a big gold star for being the most effective, most efficient, and most importantly, the safest core strengthening and stabilizing exercise in the industry today.

So if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to ditch the sit-up. Stick with planks and crunches for the best all-around core fitness and strength.

I hope you enjoyed the article and don’t forget to share with your friends

Source: fiitnessplus.com

 

 

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