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Here you will find articles / blogs with hints and tips on choosing the right fitness equipment, how to get the best our of your gym equipment and loads of nutritional advice too. We hope you enjoy our blogs.
Is Organic Food Better For You?
If you’re trying to get to the bottom of all the current arguments about whether organic food is better for you, the first thing you might consider is just arming yourself with some facts.
What Makes that Orange Organic?
Maybe a better question is to ask is, what is not organic?
If the product in your hands is labeled “natural,” “free-range,” or “hormone free” – you are about to purchase something that isn’t organic. These are just food labeling terms, and law does not regulate them.
What the law does regulate is the certification program that allows something to be called “organic.” The U.S Department of Agriculture created the organic seal required to be on an organic product’s label. Products bearing that seal are required to be grown, harvested and processed following national standards. These standards include strict limitations on amounts of residues of antibiotics, hormones and pesticides. They also must not be treated with synthetic pesticides, or ionizing radiation. (They can, however, be treated with naturally occurring substances that repel pests.)
So, let’s say you actually do have a USDA certified organic product in your hands. If you buy it and eat it, is it better for you than its counterpart that was cultivated using conventional means?
Organic Food is Safer for You
Fruits and vegetables grown organically are not treated with synthetic herbicides, fungicides or insecticides; nor were they grown using synthetic fertilizer. These chemical substances become part of the food, which you then ingest. If food is imported from other countries that have weaker (or even nonexistent) pesticide regulation, you could be eating food that has been treated with substances that are outlawed in the U.S. because they have been scientifically proven to be harmful to humans.
10 Fat Burning Foods
A fat burning food by definition is a food that takes more calories to digest than it does to consume it. An example of this would be celery. It takes us more energy to actually chew up a piece of celery and the body to then digest the celery than the calories in the entire stick of celery.
In realty, we know this is not practical or optimal for nutritional health. We must eat a variety of foods to actually extract the nutrients for our body to be healthy and survive. There are certain foods however that do cause the body to work harder during digestion, thereby reducing the number of calories the body retains. These “fat burning” foods are called “thermogenic.”
Our bodies need a combination of 3 macronutrients daily: protein, fat and carbohydrates. Protein is actually a thermogenic; which means by increasing your overall protein intake and reducing carbohydrates (not less than 40% of your daily calories) not only will cause hormonal changes that promote weight loss, but will boost metabolism through thermogenesis. It has been estimated as much as 30% of calories from protein are burned during digestion.
What does this all mean? If you consume a typical boneless skinless chicken breast, containing approximately 300 calories, roughly 100 of these calories will be burned away during digestion.
“Fat burning” foods to consider:
* Jalapenos (Cayenne pepper)- contains capsaicin which stimulates metabolism, speeds up heart rate and reduces “bad” fat in the arteries
* Ginger – expands the blood vessels, increases metabolism and stimulates circulation
* Milk – contains calcium which is a metabolic trigger (recommended to consume 1,200 – 1,300mg of calcium daily)
* Olive oil – helps to burn fat and reduce “bad” fat in the blood
* Citrus foods – contain vitamin C, helps to liquefy fat and remove it from the body faster
* Green tea – contains a chemical called EGCG that causes the brain and nervous system to run faster helping you to burn more calories
* Eggs – contain high levels of vitamin B12 which helps the body break down fat and stimulate the metabolism
* Salmon – contains Omega 3 fatty acids, this can alter leptin, a hormone in your body associated with higher caloric burn
* Garlic – helps to regulate insulin – also known as an antioxidant
* Oatmeal – rich source of fiber, slowly releases glucose without causing insulin to spike
How Important Is Warming Up?
Warming up, stretching and cooling down correctly are fundamental, yet often overlooked parts of any training program. While these components to training are very basic, many people tend to skip over a proper warm-up, stretch and cool down program and wonder why they do not feel ready to work out. I call these aspects of training the forgotten elements of training because they are techniques that you never see much of in gyms compared to the amount of work done on heavy sets you see.
Warming up has many benefits. The main benefit to warming up is injury prevention because the blood will be pumping to an area, lowering the chance of a muscle pull or joint injury. Warming up isn’t just a safety precaution though – it also has positive effects on a bodybuilder because after a warm-up, strength and focus should be peaked. Warming up has many physical and mental benefits.
Stretching and cooling down go hand-in-hand mostly because they come after a workout, whereas a warm up usually precedes a workout. Their main benefit is increasing recovery, and these activities also add to the overall health of the muscles.
This article will not only discuss the many ways in which a warm-up, stretch and cool down program is important, but it will also provide some methods to warming up, stretching and cooling down and some useful tips on how to do a proper but time-efficient warm-up!
While it will focus on warming up for a hardcore hypertrophy-inducing workout with weights, this article will also give methods of warming up for other activities such as athletic activities, a strength workout, or an endurance workout, and methods for a cool down and stretch that will maximize recovery and progress!
A treadmill can help you lose weight, make your bones and muscles stronger, relieve depression and stress, and lower your risk for diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and colon cancer.
10 tips to maximize your treadmill workout:
Use your treadmill at 1 percent incline to get the same workout as running or walking outside on a flat surface.
Ignore all the “fat burning” and “cardio training” charts on the treadmill equipment. The key to burning calories is distance, not intensity. The longer or farther you go during your treadmill workout, the more calories you burn.
Adding time and intensity at the same time can increase your risk for injury. When you are starting your treadmill program, gradually add time to your workout first. You can increase intensity later by adding speed or increasing the incline of your treadmill.
Once you have built up your time on the treadmill, the best way to improve heart fitness is interval training. Do this by keeping the same speed and adding some incline or by just adding more speed. You can change the time, speed, and incline to get some variety into your workouts.
The Body-Sculpting Benefits of Strength Training
Use music or television to help with your interval training. Work harder on every other song or during the commercials.
Challenge yourself by monitoring your fitness. Record your heart rate at different grades and speeds after a set amount of time. After a few months you should see your heart rate numbers decreasing; then you will know you are making progress.
Music is a great motivator. You can search the Internet under “treadmill music” and find songs that actually match different levels of treadmill exercise to the beat of the music.
Maintain the right form on the treadmill: good posture, shoulders back, and your head looking forward, not down at the floor. Relax your hands and let your arms swing naturally. Keep the same length stride as you would outside. Don’t let your strides get short and choppy.
Pay attention to where you are on the treadmill. Don’t drift to one side or backwards on the belt.
Don’t be afraid to run: There is a built-in “spring” in the treadmill that will cushion your strides.