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Summer Workout Strategies to Get the Body You Want

Do you want to get in shape this summer? Would you like to look better in a swimsuit? Imagine what it would feel like to walk along the beach with the confidence that comes with a well-toned body!

This summer, try different workout strategies to achieve your fitness goals. A balanced approach that combines strategies can help you to get your body into the best shape ever this summer.

Burn Fat

Losing fat is the goal of many of us as each summer season approaches. How would you like to fit into your favorite jeans again or turn heads at the beach? Fortunately, shedding a few pounds is easier than you might think.

The simplest way to shed pounds quickly is with cardio workouts. A brisk walk, jog, or hike at least 3 to 4 times a week will do the trick. If you have access to a gym, the stationary bikes are an excellent choice as well. With an MP3 player, you can take your favorite music with you to enjoy your workout more and make the time pass quickly.

Build Tone

Cardiovascular fitness is important, but it’s only one component of a summer workout strategy that will deliver the body you want. If you’re overweight, focus on building muscle to ensure that your body burns fat more efficiently. Even if you’re already in shape, building and toning your muscles are vital for maintaining optimum health.

The best way to tone your body is with weight lifting. It’s important to start small to avoid injuries. Start with less weight than you think you can handle. As your muscles grow stronger, you can add heavier weights or more difficult weight lifting routines to challenge your body to new heights of fitness.

Some find a gym intimidating because they think that the gym is only for people who are already in shape. But for the most part, people at the gym mind their own business. They’re too focused on their own bodies and routines to worry about what you look like. So instead of feeling embarrassed, step out of your comfort zone and into the fit body you deserve.

For maximum results in the shortest possible time, use less weight and more repetitions. As you grow stronger, you’ll need to add challenges to your workouts to avoid a plateau. Instead of adding more weight, add more repetitions. This will build endurance and tone your muscles most effectively.

Build Muscle

Once you’re in good physical shape, you may want to add more muscle to bulk up. If you’re able to maintain a healthy weight with great muscle tone, you can take your training to the next level and build the muscular physique you’ve always dreamed about.

To build muscle, change your workout routine. While lower weight and higher repetitions is optimal for toning, muscle building is exactly the opposite. You want to challenge your muscles with lower repetitions at higher weights. As you gain strength, add more weight to challenge your muscles to grow bigger and stronger.

Keep your workout plan simple and easy to follow. Instead of applying a complicated formula, do what feels right to you. Generally, 8 to 12 repetitions at the appropriate weight for your goals is a good rule of thumb. If possible, consult a personal trainer to develop a personalized workout routine that takes into account the goals you have for your body.

Starting a workout plan can be overwhelming. But as long as you continue to visualize what you want your body to look like and keep it simple, you’ll find success with your workout goals. Combine cardiovascular workouts with weight training for a fat burning, muscle-toning plan to attain the body you desire – and deserve!

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Make TGIF Workouts Work for You

Weekends can spell double trouble for your diet. If you’ve been sitting behind a desk Monday through Friday, you may try to overcompensate on your days off by running long distances or playing basketball for hours. It’s also common to eat more calories on weekends as you graze at the food court or go out to dinner.
Turn your weekends around with a TGIF workout that keeps you on track with reaching your fitness goals. Try these steps to guide you from one week to the next.
Steps to Take on Weekends
Transform happy hour. Maybe you’re used to grabbing pizza and beer with your co-workers before heading home on Fridays. Try suggesting a visit to a gym or ice skating rink instead.
Take a class. Some exercise studios offer special classes on Friday evenings. Browse online to see what’s available in your neighborhood. Drop by a yoga center and ask if you can receive a discount for bringing in a group from work.
Pace yourself. One hour of chair exercises can be more effective than running a marathon depending on your condition. Overtraining weakens your muscles and immune system. Respect your limits.
Branch out. Weekends are a great time for trying new things. Give your treadmill a rest and spend Friday night swimming at a public pool. Take the family out for rock climbing or kayaking the next day.
Use zero-calorie incentives. You may feel like you deserve a treat for dealing with meetings and customer complaints. Reward yourself for working out with theater tickets instead of bacon.
Schedule activities with loved ones. If you usually gather for pancakes on Sunday morning, gather the family for yard work instead. Celebrate with a hearty breakfast afterwards. If you usually go out for Italian food and a movie on Saturday nights, spend the afternoon horseback riding. You may enjoy your pasta even more when you work up an appetite.
Go to bed on time. You’ll be more motivated to work out when you give your body the rest it needs. Aim for 8 hours sleep instead of watching TV until the wee hours.
Steps to Take During the Week
Exercise regularly. A half hour of exercise a day beats one long session on weekends. Your body will have more time to adapt and recover. Find a convenient time each day whether it’s early morning or your lunch hour.
Keep moving. Any physical activity is helpful. Stand up and stretch at least once an hour. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Manage stress. Chronic stress could be the reason you catch colds and struggle to maintain a healthy weight. Find relaxation practices that work for you. Take warm baths or read a novel before bed each evening. Book a massage or listen to soft music when you arrive home from work.
Adjust your commute. Travelling to and from work can be just as demanding as any tasks you perform at the office. Maybe you can ride your bike to work instead of driving through rush hour traffic. Wherever you live, you can walk a few laps around the parking lot.
Plan ahead. It’s easier to make healthy lifestyle choices when you figure out your obstacles and develop strategies for dealing with them. Bringing snacks to work can help you avoid the vending machines. Setting out your clothes in the evening can free up time to take a Tai Chi class in the morning.
You’ll thank goodness for Fridays when your weekends are restful and slimming. Make TGIF workouts part of your regular routine.

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8 Ways to Make Your Workout More Fun

Do you look forward to your workouts? If not, you’re more likely to come up with reasons to skip a session or two. As missed sessions become more common, you’ll lose the health and fitness benefits that made you want to exercise in the first place, so it’s important to keep things fun.
Consider these tips to bring some fun into your exercise time:
Analyze your current workout. If your exercise time is less than fulfilling, an analysis of your current workout will help you identify why you’re not happy.
Does the thought of using the Stairmaster make you want to cry? Do you try to come up with excuses to avoid running? If your workout makes you sad, it’s time to reevaluate how you exercise.
Consider why you’re unhappy and search for solutions that will work with your lifestyle. Would taking a group class make you more likely to exercise? Do you simply need a different type of workout?
Consider signing up for a class at a local gym or other venue. Spending money can add motivation to your fitness routine.
Add a friend. Exercising alone can get boring, but a good friend can change how you think about your workout.
Do you hate to exercise alone? Finding a friend who is also trying to get in shape can help both of you by making the workout more fun.
A study, titled “The Influence of Partner’s Behavior on Health Behavior Change,” found that adding a partner to your workout can help. Researchers learned that it makes you five times more likely to exercise.
Turn it into a game with rewards. Games can make your workout more fun. This will motivate you to keep going and stay active.
Add music. Do you have music playing in the background as you do your cardio? Music has a powerful impact on exercise. There is a reason why you hear loud music in gyms.
A study, titled “Music in the exercise domain: A review and synthesis,” found that music can actually make you better at exercising. The study also found that music makes the workout seem easier and more fun.
Add your favorite TV show. A TV show can help you get motivated and stay in shape. Do you watch TV while you exercise? Switching to your favorite show can make the time go by faster and make the workout seem easier.
Exercise outside. Exercising outdoors can make your workout more enjoyable. Researchers found that the outdoors helps you forget the pain while you focus on your surroundings.
The outdoors will also make you feel more energetic.
Post motivational notes. Putting notes to encourage exercise wherever you might see them during your day can help you stay in shape. Research shows that even simple things like smiley faces can have a positive impact on your workout.
Spend some time writing inspiring notes to yourself. Consider writing funny quotes to help you stay inspired to work out.
Add variety. Do you do the same exercise routine every day? The same workout can get boring over time. Consider trying new exercises you’ve never done before. Also, think about exercise in different ways.
Dancing can be a great way to burn calories and stay in shape. Do you have a dance you love?
Playing sports is a workout too. Organize teams with your family and friends or join community teams and have some fun!
Your workouts can be more fun with a few simple adjustments. Make exercise a better experience with these tips and you’ll find that fitness can be fun!

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Liven Up Your Workout Routine With Kettlebells

Russian bodybuilders used kettlebells centuries ago and they’re making a big comeback now. People are discovering how effective they are for shaping up and losing weight in less time. Liven up your workout routine and learn how to use these weights safely.
Fun Facts About Kettlebells
Go back in history. Russian strongmen first started using kettlebells in Russia in the 1700s. You may have seen these objects that look like cannonballs with handles in old bodybuilder pictures or hardcore gyms. Now they’re becoming popular again.
Feel like a celebrity. Some famous movie stars and athletes train with kettlebells. You’ll have something in common with Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Aniston, Penelope Cruz and many football players.
Burn up more calories. Kettlebell workouts are very intense and target your whole body. Some experts estimate that it’s typical to burn about 20 calories per minute. That’s more than three times the average for a regular aerobics class.
Working Out With Kettlebells
Purchase your equipment. You can buy weights online or in sporting goods stores. The exact prices will depend on the poundage. It may be economical to buy them in sets to keep up with the progress you’ll make.
Enjoy a full body workout. What makes these workouts so special is the way they work everything at once. You get cardiovascular and strength training combined. You even increase the stability of your core muscles as your body works to balance itself.
Learn the whole circuit. The best way to train is to complete a full circuit of different exercises. You’ll learn to swing the weights as well as to pass them from one hand to the other.
Adapt your old dumbbell exercises. Even though you’ll be learning a new approach with different equipment, you can make use of what you already know. Some moves like shoulder presses and flys will be familiar if you ever trained with dumbbells.
Supplement with other activities. Schedule a variety of exercise types to liven up your workouts and maintain interest. Alternate kettlebell days with other activities like hiking or yoga classes.
Additional Tips for Your Best Results
Talk with your doctor. Kettlebell workouts are safe for most people, but you may want to talk with your doctor first. This is especially true if you’ve been sedentary for a prolonged time or you’re over 50.
Seek out qualified instructions. Proper technique is crucial to avoiding injuries and reaching your fitness goals. You can work with an individual trainer or call gyms in your community to see if they have group classes.
Use the correct weight. Give your muscles time to build up their capacity. Using lighter weights will let you concentrate on learning the correct form. From there, you can work your way up to the big weights.
Remain mindful. Once you get into the routine of completing your circuit of exercises, it may be tempting to let your thoughts drift, but try to pay attention. In addition to protecting you from accidents, concentrating your mind plays a big role in sculpting your body.
Protect your hands. You’ll love how kettlebells are tough on fat, but you may be concerned about what they can do to your hands. Give them some extra care. Use pumice stones and moisturizing lotion to treat callouses. Treat any cuts with an antibiotic ointment promptly to reduce the risk of infection. You can also wear cotton gloves for a more comfortable grip.
Kettlebells are a fun and effective way to get fit even if your time is limited. Swing your way to better health and a leaner figure.

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Ketosis and Fatloss

Ketosis and Fat Loss

There have been many diets over the years that have promised weight loss and general improvements in body composition, but how many of them actually work – and at what cost?

The idea behind most diets is to maintain what’s called a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit is eating fewer total calories per day than your body requires in order to function normally.

Most people require around 2,000 calories daily in order to maintain weight. A traditional diet asks you to calorically restrict your intake about 20%, which works out to about 1,600 calories daily. This type of diet only focuses on calories, rather than the macronutrients each food provides.

Of course, this method will work for many people, but you’ll be challenged when you run into a plateau in your weight loss. For years, people have been experimenting with the use of high-fat diets and the potential benefits they can provide to weight loss – and fat loss.

How could a high-fat diet help me lose weight and more fat?

It seems counter-intuitive, yet, a high fat diet can stimulate your body into a state of ketosis – which is very effective at promoting fat loss and weight loss.

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What is Ketosis?

On a fundamental level, ketosis is a metabolic state. Your body can draw from various sources of energy when needed. Your body’s primary source of fuel is through glucose (from carbohydrates), but when it isn’t present the body will source other nutrients – namely, ketones.

Ketosis is a metabolic state that utilizes ketones as fuel when glucose levels are very low.

Eating a low-carb diet may enable you to enter ketosis, effectively burning more fat through your metabolic state.

How Do I Achieve Ketosis?

Your body will enter ketosis any time you fast for a long duration. Many experts believe that runners actually enter a state of ketosis during a long run, especially if they’ve been carb-cycling.

In addition to fasting and exercise, ketosis can also be entered when you’re eating very few carbohydrates – less than 15% of your daily calories, as your body will source its fuel from the fat you intake rather than the restricted form of carbohydrates.

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Does Ketosis Really Help With Fat Loss?

With any diet, there is always speculation and instances where it may not work. With that said, the ketogenic diet, or a low-carb diet, has been shown to be very effective in promoting weight loss and fat loss.

Recent research has even shown that, along with the ability to promote fat loss and weight loss, a keto diet also decreases the level of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and blood glucose. It increases the level of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). All of these effects are essential to your overall health.

Are There Any Downsides?

There’s always a downside to any diet that doesn’t favor balance. We know that a high-fat diet can be very effective in promoting weight loss and total fat loss, but it may actually be dangerous for those who are diabetic or have pre-existing heart conditions.

You may also lag behind when it comes to certain types of performance. Fat is not a quick source of fuel, so some people, like powerlifters and cross fitters, will want to keep fast-metabolizing carbohydrates in their diet in order to perform at their best.

Balance Your Keto Lifestyle

Long-term research on the keto diet hasn’t found any major negative health side effects to healthy populations. In contrast, research has even indicated that this diet does promote weight loss and benefits your internal health.

Remember, however, that balance in your life is essential. It’s important to avoid thinking that just because you can eat high-fat foods that you should go around having greasy burgers all day.

The purpose of the keto diet is to achieve a state of ketosis with whole foods, healthy oils, lean meats, nuts, and dark greens.

There’s no doubt about it – healthy eating leads to a healthy lifestyle resulting in a healthy weight, greater vitality, and increased satisfaction in life.

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5 Benefits of A Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet has come to a massive increase in popularity over the past couple years – but why?

A keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that many experts claim can assist in weight loss, fat loss, and general improvements to health.

From bodybuilders to soccer moms – the keto diet is changing the face of weight loss and the fat industry. For years, we’ve been told that fat is the enemy – and that the more you eat the more you have.

Research has shown the opposite. In many cases, when the keto diet is performed correctly, fat will actually start to decrease.

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Learn more about the keto diet and discover five ways it can benefit you.

  1. Better Body Composition

We’re all looking for an effective way to promote weight loss and fat loss – especially if it lets us eat the food we like. Calorie-restricting diets can be very effective, but many people struggle with the decreased calories.

The most popular reason why anyone will engage in a dietary change is to lose weight and burn fat. Research has not only shown that a low-carb diet can be effective in promoting weight loss, but also very effective in burning more fat throughout the day.

  1. Brain Health and Fuel

Much of the internal systems utilize blood glucose as energy to run – but when carbohydrates are not ingested, how would they function?

Our bodies are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. When carbohydrates are not present, the internal system will look to other sources of fuel – namely ketones (from stored fats). Eating a diet high in fat will provide your body with a great source of dietary ketones to help fuel to brain.

Many experts believe that ketosis’ main purpose is to ensure that we always have a reserved source of fuel, especially when carbohydrates aren’t immediately present.

Some studies have even shown that a keto diet can promote concentration and alertness.

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  1. Help With Type 2 Diabetes

For many people, diabetes is an everyday challenge of monitoring blood glucose levels. When glucose falls too low, you ingest rapid forms of carbs. When glucose is too high, you may need to take insulin.

This everyday challenge may lead users to look for an alternative. A high-fat keto diet has not only been shown to assist with the management of type 2 diabetes but has also been shown to lower blood glucose levels.

This can be very beneficial for the management of diabetes, but it’s important to pay close attention to your medication doses and talk to your doctor prior to major dietary changes.

  1. Promote Skin Health and Reduce Acne

Acne accumulation is largely the result of a poor diet. If your diet includes a lot of processed, sugary foods, they negatively affect your beneficial gut bacteria and also cause your blood sugar to go up.

In contrast, a low-carb keto diet has been shown to be very beneficial in promoting healthy skin, nails, and even hair due to its higher intakes of B-Vitamins and lack of processed sugars.

  1. Reduce Risk of Cancer

The leading causes of mortality in North America are heart disease and cancer, both of which are highly correlated to poor diets with high intakes of processed foods. This is why researchers are constantly looking for ways to promote a healthy diet.

A low-carb diet has stood the test of time and has now been shown to be a very effective tool in assisting in cancer treatment – so much so that researchers are now looking into it as an effective addition to chemotherapy.

Is the Keto Diet Right for You?

There are a host of benefits to the keto diet. It’s important to understand, however, that everything should be consumed in moderation. Just because you’re allowed a high amount of fat doesn’t mean that you should start eating out at your favorite rib spot every night.

Eat clean, whole foods and watch the weight shed off and health implications slide away.

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Ketogenic Diet:Three Foods You Need To Start Eating

Have you been struggling to find the best foods to eat on a ketogenic diet? Truth be told, sometimes it can be hard to figure out if a specific food will fit into your keto lifestyle.

As you know, the keto diet emphasizes higher intakes of fats and lower intakes of carbohydrates. This is in an effort to teach the body to better utilize a fat-fuel source known as ketones.

Ketones are only available to be drawn on when muscle and liver glycogen (from carbohydrates) are at a very low amount. This is why the keto diet will work best when you consume lower amounts of carbohydrates, especially if you can continue this for multiple days.

So, what are the best foods to consume on a keto diet?

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Best Foods for Keto Dieters

We know that a keto diet will work best when you can consume higher amounts of fat, but it’s also important to keep your caloric allowance in check when you want to lose weight.

Remember: fat is more than twice as calorically dense as carbohydrates and protein.

Those who want to succeed on a keto diet for more effective weight management should look to sources of fat that are moderately low in saturated fats. Saturated fats have also been shown to be detrimental to your health and can even cause some chronic diseases to arise.

So, you’re left with foods that are mostly high in unsaturated fats, lean protein sources, and low-carbohydrate vegetables.

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These foods will help you to maximize your keto lifestyle:

1. Avocados. Not only are avocados rich in fat, but they also contain many essential vitamins and minerals for healthy growth. In general, they can be a little expensive, but they cost less than getting your fats from nuts and seeds.

    ◦ TOP TIP: Take the avocado seed out and use it as your window plant. With a couple months, you’ll have a beautiful little avocado plant!

2. Seafood. Seafood is one of the best sources of protein and fats anyone can eat. Seafood is generally less expensive than many meats and provides a great source of essential nutrients, amino acids, and unsaturated fats.

    ◦ Top seafood choices include salmon and squid as they contain high protein and very low carbohydrates.

    ◦ Unfortunately, more and more seafood nowadays is high in mercury, so it’s important to go the extra mile to source seafood that is mercury-free.

3. Low-Carb Veggies. You will need some carbs in your diet, and our top choices are vegetables that are low in carbs. The easiest way to pick out low carb veggies is to check for fiber and try to keep the starch content as low as possible.

    ◦ Top picks are kale, spinach, and broccoli. Not only do they provide a great source of protein, but their carbohydrate levels are much lower than other fruit and vegetables. 

There’s no need to feel like your keto lifestyle limits you. Even though you want to pay attention to the keto guidelines, you still have a lot of choices and variety. You can eat these foods on a keto diet without having to worry about going over your carb allowance or getting tired of the same boring food each day. Enjoy!

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Keto- A new Buzz Word

Keto is everywhere; it’s the new buzzword, the new favorite among those looking to shed pounds, and the new hate victim of the food-pyramid-spouting-eat-your-whole grains mainstream medical industry. The keto diet, while it is not the magic cure-all for every single disease on the planet, does a pretty dang good job at being the potential causer of healing many horrible conditions. So let’s cut through the science, separate fact from fiction, and look at the benefits of the keto diet.

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Benefit #1: Weight Loss

Okay, so this one isn’t so astounding, but it is one of the most common reasons people embark on the keto diet. So why is weight loss usually so easy on the ketogenic diet instead of other regular diets? For all of the following reasons:

•   The keto diet is composed of approximately 75% fat, 20 % protein, and 5% or less carbohydrates. The high fat content and lack of sugar means diminished cravings, lack of blood sugar swings and binges, and increased satiation. Increased satiation=eating less. Many people also have food sensitivities to grains, even gluten-free ones, so eliminating them may lead to an increased ability to absorb minerals like magnesium and potassium, which in turn means your body is more nourished and you have fewer cravings

•   Ketones. When your blood sugar is running low, your body turns to its glycogen stores for energy. Typically glycogen stores house about 2000 calories of “backup” energy for when you run out of glucose. Like the intelligent machine it is, your body depletes the glycogen stores and then turns to your own body fat for fuel.

IMPORTANT: The ketogenic diet is not a free-for-all eat however much cheese or super low-carb fat bomb treats you want diet. If you are eating way more calories than you need, you will not lose weight. So focus on keeping your diet around fatty cuts of grass-fed meat, butter, eggs, avocados, lots of green veggies and cruciferous, and be modest with the keto desserts, dairy, and sweets.

Benefit #2: Brain Function

A poorly functioning brain, as you may have already experienced, leads to lessened work productivity, which in turn means an unhappy boss, lack of job satisfaction, sugar cravings for energy, and depression. It’s a horrible domino effect. The original ketogenic diet was formulated by Dr. Russell Wilder in the early 20th century to treat epilepsy. The success rate was phenomenal and it is still used today to treat epilepsy and other brain disorders. Research also indicates that ketones are more efficient brain fuel than glucose. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5102124/)

Benefit #3: Potential Cancer Benefits

One study showed implementing the ketogenic diet led to a dramatically increased survival time and slower tumor growth. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5450454/)

Conclusion

If you’re reading this article now, chances are you are in some sort of pain, whether physical and/or mental (being overweight, struggling with autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, fatigue, brain fog) and want to change. Use this information, don’t just skim through it and store it in the back of your brain and say “that’s nice for some people”, motivate yourself to change.

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