2 Supplements worth Taking

Living a healthy lifestyle by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise is a great way to keep yourself feeling you best while avoiding all kinds of sicknesses. If you want a little extra something to give your body and mind an even greater boost, the following supplements are worth taking:

Fish Oil:

A fish oil supplement can not only keep your hair, nails, and skin looking radiant, but it can more importantly boost your brain function and help protect your memory. Your brain’s tissue is composed of fat, mostly consisting of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid. DHA helps increase brain functioning and new cell growth. Both of these things are absolutely crucial to preventing and fighting the effects of memory loss. Fish oil supplements are packed with the brain-healthy DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids. Taking around 1000 mg daily will help keep your memory sharp and provide protection to your brain.

Vitamin D:

Most people know that vitamin D is great for your bones, but did you know it can help prevent cancer, too? This potent vitamin essentially puts a protective barrier around your cells and DNA, defending them from harmful free radicals and toxic stress that can lead to cancer. It also helps to strengthen your immune cells so that they can attack and remove cancer cells. It is a good idea to take 1000 IU of vitamin D per day if you do not get a ton of sun to provide you with adequate amounts of this effective nutrient.

Slim Down Your Legs!

If you want to thin out your legs and burn a tremendous amount of calories in a short amount of time, a great work out for you is cycling on a stationary bike with high and moderate intensity intervals. This means having short bursts where you pedal as hard as you can followed by pedaling at a more comfortable speed for a little while.

The exact number of seconds that you do each doesn’t really matter all that much, as long as you interchange the two quite evenly throughout your workout. For example, a great way to get the most out of your stationary bike workout is by pedaling as fast as you can for 12 seconds followed by cycling at a more comfortable speed for 8 seconds. This variation in speed will keep your body guessing and have you burning off insane amounts of calories in only 20 to 30 minutes per day. The key is to push yourself – during the times that you are pedaling as fast as you can, make sure you are really going all out. If you only give half of your effort, you will only get results that are half as good!

If you try this, comment below and tell us about the results you get! We would love to hear about your experience with this workout method.

It’s OK to Snack Before Meals!

Before diving into the main portion of your meal, it is actually a good thing to eat a light, healthy snack to help fill you up so that you will eat less when dinner time rolls around.

Not only will eating a pre-dinner snack aid the digestion of food through spacing out the times when you are putting fuel into your body, but it will make you feel full sooner than you would if you were to eat the same amount of food all at once, because it takes your body time before it realizes it is full.

Since it takes your body some time to feel satiated, it is ideal to eat your pre-dinner snack about 15 to 30 minutes before your dinner is served. This way, by the time you sit down to eat dinner you will not feel nearly as hungry as you did before!

A salad, half of a grapefruit, or some raw veggies and dip are some great examples of healthy snacks to eat before dinner. These foods are not only packed with nutrients, but have a high water content that increase their filling effects without increasing calories. Any fruit or vegetable eaten in moderate amounts would be a great light snack to eat before dinner!

The Importance of Fiber

For those who are trying to lose weight, fiber is your friend. It helps keep you feeling full so that you don’t consume extra calories that you don’t need. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t get enough fiber. The average person only gets about 10 to 15 grams per day, which is simply not enough. We should actually be eating anywhere from 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day, According to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

What is fiber, exactly? It is the element in plants that our bodies do not digest. Fiber is found in a variety of foods that grow from the ground including vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Unlike most foods, fiber is not absorbed into the body. Instead, it passes quickly through your digestive tract and is not broken down to the same extent as other foods. As it moves through your digestive system, the fiber creates bulk which aids in moving stool and harmful carcinogens through the digestive tract.

There are two different kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Soluble fiber dissolves with water and creates a gel-like substance that helps to lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels.” While insoluble fiber “absorbs water which adds bulk to your digestive tract and helps to move things through quickly.”

Foods rich in soluble fiber include:

  • Legumes/Beans
  • Oats
  • Peas
  • Apples
  • Citrus fruits

Foods rich in insoluble fiber include:

  • Nuts
  • Carrots
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Cabbage
  • Wheat Bran

Try adding some of these fiber-rich foods to your diet – it should make losing weight a little bit easier by curbing your hunger and cleansing your system!

Avoid the Dangers of Running in the Heat

Around this time last year near the area where I live, a 16 year old teen named Michaela Olson collapsed and died in the heat and humidity of her morning run. This devastating occurrence really made me stop and think about how many times I have ran when it was probably a little too hot outside and felt faint from the heat. From now on, I am making a point to use more caution when I go on runs outside, and if it is too hot I am going to stay in – especially if the humidity gets to a point where I have trouble breathing.

To avoid the dangers of running in scorching summer heat, follow the tips below:

  1. Be aware of the temperature outside before you begin your workout so that you know what to expect.
  2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink a lot of water before you go outside, and bring a water bottle with you if you are planning to be outside for long.
  3. Dress for the weather. Stay away from dark colors and heavy materials!
  4. Adjust your workout to the heat. If the temperature is upwards of 80 degrees Fahrenheit, consider running inside on a treadmill instead!

We Live Up to our Expectations

When it comes to weight loss plans, there is often a disconnect between what we desire to happen on our weight loss journey and what we expect to actually happen. Everyone wants to be able to stick to their diet and exercise plan, lose weight, and reach their target goal. But when they are called to look deeper into the matter and think about what they expect will really happen, a different answer comes up.

In order for you weight loss plan to be successful, the path you desire for yourself must be consistent with what you expect to happen. We live up to our expectations rather than our desires, so if we want to manifest our desires we must change our mindsets to believing that they are achievable realities that we WILL (not might) make it to.

Take a moment and meditate on what your desires in life are. This goes beyond weight loss – think about the goals you want to achieve in all areas of your life. Now picture yourself achieving them. Go through the steps and struggles of your journey; create a mental picture of what you might encounter while trying to reach your goal. Now for the most important part, you must envision yourself having what you desire, accomplishing your goals. Sit and think about this for a while.

This practice will help you turn your desires into expectations. We are much more likely to reach a certain goal if we can actually picture ourselves getting there! Even in sports, it has been statistically proven that athletes who envision themselves making a basket they are about to shoot or hitting a killer serve before they actually perform these actions are much more successful than those who do not. If you can envision yourself living in the reality of your desires, you will be much more likely to get to there in real life.

Nut Industry Secret

Nuts are well-known for their bountiful source of protein, healthy fats, and other nutrients. Nuts are super convenient, taste great, and are one of the best sources of the heart-healthy mineral magnesium. They also contain plant sterols that lower cholesterol!

So what’s not to love about nuts? They are healthy, filling, and a great non-animal source of protein. But it’s not the nuts themselves that can be tremendously unhealthy – it is the way some of them are prepared.

You see, not all nuts are created equal. There is a big misconception out there that if you eat a handful of nuts – roasted or not – that you are getting a healthy snack. However, if you look on the back of a nutrition label and see any type of oil in the ingredients, the super-healthy benefits that nuts have may be compromised.

Nuts that are so-called “roasted” are not what they are cracked up to be. More often than not, oil is listed as an ingredient on the back. Whenever this is the case, it is a big indicator that the nuts were fried. Nut producers love to sell roasted nuts because the nuts themselves do not have to be super fresh, and neither does the oil. So these not-so-high-quality products can come together as one and make a crunchy, salty snack that people love to eat.

If you crave the savory, crunchiness of roasted peanuts but want a healthier alternative, dry-roasted nuts are your best option. Just make sure to check the back before buying just in case – if any type of oil is listed in the ingredients list, avoid at all costs! There is no need for extra fatty oil to be added to a food that already has 60% – 80% of its calories from fat.

Run, Glide, Jump!

Although jumping rope is a workout technique that many boxers use, it is a great exercise that anyone can do in-between time periods on the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike to get in shape and change up their at home fitness routine. Jumping rope is a big calorie consumer – you can burn 10 to 15 calories in just one minute, depending on the intensity of your jumps. Not too shabby for a simple and fun exercise!

Adding just 5 minutes of jumping rope in your workout routine can be an effective and fun way to change up your workout. Try running on a treadmill or elliptical for 10 minutes, getting off and jumping rope for 5, and then running on your machine for another 10 to 15 minutes. The short break-up of exercises can will your body guessing and add interest to your daily routine!

What NOT to do When Trying to Lose Weight

If you have ever experienced the frustrating yo-yo diet phenomena that many dieters go through time and time again before ever making any real, permanent weight loss progress, you are not alone. Many people start out their dieting efforts with good intentions, but something goes awry along the way. One night of late night pizza turns into a week of junk food indulgence, and then you just never get back on the weight loss bandwagon. Sound familiar? If it does, then you have probably wondered if the problem keeping you from sticking to a diet was that you didn’t have enough discipline. The more discipline you have, the more weight you will be able to lose, right?

Well, not exactly! Many people who go through this thought process end up making the decision to diet and exercise with even more “discipline”, intensely monitoring what they eat and vigorously exercising. They think that if they have more discipline in this way, that they will be able to lose weight, because dieting is all mental. This is a great big no-no! People who start off a diet by exercising 10 times more than they usually do and restricting their diets immensely only last for so long. It is unrealistic to think that one could sustain a diet so drastically different from the lifestyle they had before they began it.

So instead of increasing the amount of discipline and restrictions all at once when starting a plan to lose weight, try making lifestyle changes gradually. Eating more vegetables would be a good goal to have, and making an effort to only indulge in sweets on special occasions would be more doable then cutting them out of your life altogether. They key is to introduce these changes into your life gradually, and allow for a little wiggle room at first. If you do this, you will be much more likely to stick to a diet and get off that roller-coaster trend you have been riding for a while!

Need Motivation for In-Home Workouts?

 

Working out inside of your house can require a little more more motivation than usual. The home is a place where people relax, so it might take some extra effort to switch your brain to workout-mode while inside.

A few things can get you revved up to exercise in your house:

1. Watch TV while working out – better yet, watch racing videos! This may keep you motivated to increase your speed as if you were in the race yourself.

2. Set up a fan to create airflow to keep you cool and refreshed. Air that is moving is more energizing than stale air.

3. Exercise using intervals to keep your workout interesting. Experiment with different lengths and intensity to find the combination that keeps you going!

4. Set up an exercise schedule. If you have a weekly schedule that includes blocked out times for exercising, you will be much less likely to skip working out. You are much more likely to follow through with what is written down in ink!