How to Train Like an Athlete – For Beginners!

How to Train Like an Athlete – For Beginners!

So what if you can’t afford to go to a first class gym every day, that’s never stopped any from starting a new healthy and fit lifestyle!  Even with a low (or no) budget, you can make yourself train like a pro athlete and seeing results in no time.  Try out some of our tips and create your own fitness routine, then come back and let us know if it helped!

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It doesn’t matter if you’re dreaming of being a professional golfer or snowboarder, every career athlete takes the time to train every part of their body – especially during the off seasons.  While they’re not competing, many pros even take a step back from their career sport and choose to focus on their body as a whole, that way they will be in tip top shape by the time their season is gearing up.  Spend the time training your whole body, don’t turn into an inverted-triangle.

Hire a personal coach

Many professional athletes have the money to hire a personal coach.  You don’t need a lot of money to do so, oftentimes you can get a great deal on a personal trainer at your local gym.  You may also want to consider investing in a piece of fitness technology called a smart wristband that actually measures your body stats and keeps track of your workout and progression.

With real-time stats displayed on the wristband, you can track the number of steps you take each day, the distance traveled, calories burned and the number of stairs you climbed. The Fitbit Force even tells time on the bright OLED display. The wristband wirelessly updates the information to the app installed on your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop. You can also compare stats with friends to stay on track, or get inspired to take that extra set of stairs.

quality-sleep-1412082964Make sleep a priority

Professional athletes all know that sleep is one of the most necessary parts of the day.  Establishing a bed time routine is a healthy way to make sure your body gets into a healthy and natural rhythm.  Plenty of sleep means that your muscles have time to recover from the pounding workout you gave them earlier, and it gives the rest of your body time to release many necessary hormones.  Lack of sleep can result in the release of a stress hormone called cortisol, which can actually eat away at your metabolism and ruin all of your hard work.

Pump up the volume man-jogging-near-bridge

Where would Rocky be without his theme song? You need a theme song. Studies show that you’re closely synced to the tempo of the music you’re listening to. A study about the effects of music tempo on cycling performance looked at 12 male cyclists and found that they worked harder and got more enjoyment from faster music.

Making a heart-pumping playlist can be a fun and easy way to get yourself motivated while considering a work out session.  Music can also help district from some of that ever-so-desired soreness that comes with a hard workout – just focus on the tunes!

What are some of your workout tips?  Let us know in the comments!

Three ways Yoga can help Reduce Stress

Three ways Yoga can help Reduce Stress

Yoga can be a great stress reducer to everybody – from students in dorm rooms to white caller workers in their office.  Here are three ways yoga can help you relax even in the most stressful of days.

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1. Pranayama (Breathing):

The simple act of mindful breathing can help reduce anxiety. When you focus on the breath, your mind has a chance to rest and let go of negative thoughts. Yogic breath is also good for the body. Deep breathing increases oxygen levels in the blood supply, which helps remove toxins from the body. It also increases lung capacity and helps improve digestion. Here are some tips for finding your yogic breath.

2. Asanas (Yoga Poses) and Their Rewarding Challenge:

The practice of asanas (poses) is good for both mind and body. Physically, asanas help release the tension that anxiety creates, allowing the body to feel recharged and healthier. When the body feels better, so does the mind. The challenges you face on the mat reduce anxiety by taking your mind off your worries and fears.

Asanas also teach the student to be patient and let go of things. Just like finding (and re-finding) your balance and mastering a pose, acceptance takes time and patience. Perfection is not only unnecessary, but usually unrealistic. Each time I lose my balance and fall out of a pose I am forced to face my imperfection and accept it. At first, I got frustrated when I fell out of a pose.

3. Meditation:

Meditation is challenging, yes, but not impossible. The ability to clear one’s mind of all thoughts is a skill that takes time. It is a path, not a goal. Meditation starts by simply taking the time to focus on your breath. Meditation gives your mind a chance to slow down and teaches your body to relax.  In addition, with a regular meditation practice, you will begin to notice patterns in your thinking. The things that trigger anxiety, panic, and fear will become apparent to you. Once this happens, you can learn to change the patterns by recognizing your triggers.

10 Fruits That Help You Burn Fat and Feel Full

10 Fruits That Help You Burn Fat and Feel Full

Avocados

Avocados are enriched with omega 9 fatty acids and are a great way to also weight.  They speed up the metabolism by burning the fat and boosting energy levels.  Your body will extract several other health benefits as well.

Lemons

Lemon and honey in particular can be a great weight loss tool.  Lemon is a weight management fruit that has tons of riboflavin, Vitamin B, essential minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium, and tons of vitamin c.  Drink yourself a lemon and honey beverage every morning and enjoy the detoxifying effects.

Watermelon

Watermelon in particular can be a great weight loss treat for one reason – it doesn’t have any fat!  The most calories you can squeeze out of watermelon juice is about 50 from one fruit.  Watermelon is also rich in vitamins A, B and C.  These tasty melons also contain lycopene, which protects the body against heart disease and cancer.

Bananas

Bananas are always best eaten raw and in a green state – as they contain a more soluble starch before ripening fully.  Eating one band will make your belly feel bull, and a little water with it may help keep any cravings out of your mind.  Bananas also prove your body with an energy boost needed to burn more fat.

Grapefruits

Recent studies show that people who eat grapefruit daily tend to lose much more weight than counterparts who leave it off their plate.  It is a high carb fruit that is best eaten at breakfast to help compensate for the night’s fasting.  The high sugar content will also help in the day’s digestive processes.

Oranges

Oranges can be a g great weight loss treat because they are high in water an low in calories.  Oranges will curb your snack cravings, which will result in weight loss if accompanied with daily exercise.

Apples

Apples are great for controlling food intake between meals.  They will help keep the doctor away and give you body a boost in fiber and Vitamin A.

Pomegranates

These wonderful fruits are full of seeds that deserve some attention.  Pom-seeds are full of antioxidants and essential fibers, and low in calories.  They are sweet and delicious guilt-free addition to any diet.

Pineapples

Pineapples are full of antioxidants, essential enzymes, minerals and vitamins.  They’re also completely void of cholesterol and fat!

Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries etc are citrus fruits that will impart very little carbohydrates to your body. But they play excellent detoxifiers and bowel cleansers. They will not only aid digestion but will also take the spotlight in weight loss.

10 Home Remedies to Help you Lose Belly Fat

10 Home Remedies to Help you Lose Belly Fat

1 – Lemon Water

Lemon water increases the enzymes that help to detoxify the liver carry out the basic functions very effectively.

2 – Fish Oil or Fish

Fish oil contains eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and linolenic acid that helps to break down the fat.

3 – Ginger Tea

Ginger aids in a natural digestive process and is a thermogenic agent, which can help increase the body to a temperature that assists in fat burning

4 – Cranberry Juice

Cranberries contain organic acids such as magic acid, citric acid and the quince acid that acts as a digestive enzyme.

5 – Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are very useful for vegetarians and vegans in particular, since their diets don’t contain fit and it’s healthy fats and oils.

6 – Garlic

Garlic has an anti-obesity property that helps to get rid of the belly, and it helps reduce the systolic blood pressure.

7 – Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a thermogenic which tends to produce the heat needed to assist in metabolic stimulation.

8 – Dandelion Tea

Dandelions are a natural diuretic that also increases urine output.  Dandelion tea can help strengthen your liver functions.

9 – Hot Peppers

Hot peppers contain capsaicin, which boosts the body’s head production and assists in calorie consumption.

10 – Almonds

Almonds contain a healthy fat that will make you feel full and prevent you from overeating.

How Alcohol Consumption Contributes to Weight Gain

How Alcohol Consumption Contributes to Weight Gain

The body can’t store alcohol, so it metabolizes it right away.  Since the alcohol becomes priority in the metabolic process, your body won’t metabolize other fats and sugars as efficiently, ultimately slowing your metabolism down over time.

Alcohol contains seven calories per gram, that’s almost as must as pure fat.  When it comes to weight loss (or gain) it ultimately boils down to calories-in vs. calories-out, and the empty calories in alcohol (which have no nutritional value) can easily add up.

How many calories are you drinking?

A spirit and coke has similar calories to a blueberry muffin.  

A pina colada has similar calories to a doughnut.

A glass of wine has similar calories to a slice of cake.

There are other factors to keep in mind as well.

Mixers such as juices and sodas that many alcoholic beverages are mixed with are loaded with sugar, which can be stored as fat.

Poor food choices are often an outcome of drinking, due to the fact that alcohol increases your appetite and decreases your mindfulness.

Fun Facts

The average wine drinker consumes an extra 2,000 calories each month.

The lowest calorie drinks you can order are vodka and soda, light beer, gin and tonic, and red wine.

The Top Ten Exercise Myths You Should Know About

The Top Ten Exercise Myths You Should Know About

Myth 1 – Your cardio machine is counting the calories you’re burning.

Caloric burning depends on one’s age, fitness level, BMI and sex.  Different sexes at different fitness levels and BMI’s burn calories at different rates.  Some machines don’t even ask for weight or sex.

Myth 2 – Heart rate monitors will let you know how hoard you’re working

Monitors can falter depending on what kind of exercise you’re doing.  Your own body is better at telling you how hard you’re working.  You can measure how intensely you’re working out depending on whether you can talk in full sentences, short phrases, or barely able to muster a few words.

Myth 3 – Your weight is the end all, be all

Your weight has little to do with your fitness level.  Muscle weights more than fat, so it’s common to see an increase in weight when performing lifting regimens after a few weeks.  Measure by seeing how your clothes fit and how you feel overall.

Myth 4 – Low intensity exercise burns more fat

The more intensely you exercise, the higher proportion of carbs you burn.  You may burn less fat, but you burn more calories.  Your body digs into the fat after it has burned all the carbs.

Myth 5 – Chug a protein shake after your workout

While protein shakes are good for emergencies, they are a very low quality processed product.  The best way to get protein is through foods like turkey, beef, yogurt and nuts.

Myth 6 – You can spot reduce for tight abs or toned arms

The more repetitions you do, the more muscle memory you enable.  This reduces the effectiveness of your workout and causes your body to burn less fat.  Working out all body parts will reduce muscle memory and increase calorie burn, which will translate into fat burn.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 4.14.18 PMMyth 7 – You can eat whatever you want as long as you work out

Losing pounds and burning fat happens when you have a caloric deficit.  However, intense caloric deficits works the opposite way.  Muscle need to feed, so your food intake should consist of a balance of fats, proteins and carbs.

Myth 8 – Cardio is the only way to lose weight

Cardio is good for the heart and increases endurance, but is not the best way to burn fat.  Some muscles have higher energy stores in them, the body will actually begin to feed off those after extended calorie refines, rather than fat.  10-25 minutes of cardio will give your heart what it needs, without causing your body to start feeding off of muscle.

Myth 9 – You have to do cardio in the morning on an empty stomach in order to burn fat

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 4.15.17 PMYour body’s metabolism is at its lowest in the morning because you haven’t eaten for 8 hours.  Eat a balanced breakfast and you will be able to exercise longer and your body’s metabolism will already be working.

Myth 10 – Drinking ice cold water burns fat

There is no proof that cold water will shock your system and force your body to burn fat in order to stay warm.  However, drinking room temperature water will have the exact same effects.

Information sources

http://www.turbulencetraining.com

http://www.livestrong.com

http://www.cnn.com

http://www.fitsugar.com

http://www.gymlad.com

http://www.running.competitor.com

The 80/20 Rule Helps you Eat Fit while Enjoying Tasty Snacks

The 80/20 Rule Helps you Eat Fit while Enjoying Tasty Snacks

Everyone knows that trying to lose weight can really bring on the stress.  Instead of stressing out about your diet all day every day, the 80/20 rule allows you a little leniency to help take some of the weight off of your shoulders (and waistline).

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The 80/20 rule is incredibly easy.

80% of the time, eat nourishing, nutrient-dense foods. 20% of the time, don’t worry about it.

So what does eating 80% HEALTHY and 20% CRAPPY really look like

First, let’s look at a week’s worth of eating. If you are eating 3 meals a day, 1 snack each day, and maybe 1 dessert every day, you’re eating about 5 times a day. That’s 35 different times every week you have to make food choices.

Whoa, man. 

It’s easier than it sounds, we promise.  This just means that 80% of the time (28 times per week) you should work hard to choose real, nourishing food.  This can include anything from pasture-raised eggs, wild seafood, locally sourced meat, homemade broth, gelatin, raw whole grass fed dairy, grains, beans, lentils, organic fruits and veggies, and food fats like grass fed butter and coconut oil.

The other 20% of the time (7 times per week), you are allowed to relax and eat things like white flour pasta, a crusty bread at an Italian restaurant, and so on.  You can eat cookies, a big pile of potato chips, or even a few slices of meatloaf.  Just relax and enjoy!

Although, you shouldn’t believe that this is a completely magic formula.  Being lenient about food 7 times a week doesn’t mean that you can eat 7 big mac meals per week.  The way that the 80/20 rule is broken down takes snacks into consideration, so part of that 20% should be along the lines of having a few cookies as a snack instead of a rice cake, not exchanging a healthy dinner for a bucket of friend chicken.