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Why Bananas Are Great For Post Workouts

Lets talk about a great source of fuel for workout diets—bananas. They are one of the best supplements for fast on-a-go booster and serves as energy source to sore muscles.

I always turned to bananas for my post-run quick bite, but I did some digging and clearly, I underestimated the power of that yellow friend. Turns out a banana is packed with power nutrients that are just what your muscles need post workout in order to increase muscles weight. One 9 inch banana contains –

  • 140 calories;
  • 2 grams of protein;
  • 4 grams of fiber;
  • 36 grams of carbohydrates;
  • .5 grams of fat;
  • 602 milligrams of potassium;
  • 0 cholesterol

Post workout the body needs simple carbohydrates in order to boost protein utilization, which is essential for muscle recuperation. A fitness trainer recommended me once that for post lifting sessions, a banana is a good supplement along with some protein. It is a powerful combo for immediate muscle recovery, which actually because I could see the results week after week.

My muscle weight had increased and I was now moderating the increase with more running (that I already was doing). Turns out, it is a good source of potassium for the muscles, preventing the awful cramps I kept having. Now, I try to eat two bananas a day, one in the morning for brain fuel and once more in the evening after a hard workout with a scoop of vegan protein powder and some unsweetened soy milk. I feel vitalized after every session, because the amount of nutrients that I get from each banana has boosted the rate at which my body recoups.

This banana regularity has now allowed me to exceed my limits everyday along with a better, fit body and inner being. I am more productive every day, nothing breaks me down type feeing comes so I tend to blame it on bananas. Try including this super food in your diet and I bet you will see some fantastic results, more energy, higher stamina and a faster muscle recovery in general.

So Go bananas and stay fit!

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4 Reasons You Should Lift

Lifting weights is considered very essential as part of a weight loss and body toning routine. I being the amateur gym-enthusiast had never the slightest idea, but a lot of feedback from gym-regulars gave me an insight into the important factors of staying fit and keeping healthy. Running, lifting weights and yoga topped the list in this feedback and it came as a revelation to me, because I knew running was good for keeping fit and so was yoga, but I also thought that gym sessions were up there too. Turns out lifting weights is the most important and the only thing essential in a gym, the rest of the equipment is just supplementary for body-focused sessions. Here’s what I found out, top 4 reasons you should lift –

  • Lose weight faster

It is a proven fact that lifting burns fat 40-45% faster than it does in cardio sessions. The research was conducted between groups that practiced aerobics and groups that went through weight training combined with light cardio (USC). The weight training group lost at an average 6 pounds more than the aerobics focused group. Weight training is crucial for losing fat and building a lean and fit body.

  • Increase in strength

The core focus of lifting weights is to strengthen the core and build muscle. Weight lifters have been proven to lose less muscle weight than those who don’t lift or just exercise. You may lose fat with exercise, but you will also lose muscle weight, which increase the chances of the flab coming back, diminishing the effort put into losing all that weight. Lifting weights keeps the muscles pumped, healthy and the body toned.

  • Fluid body function

Lifting weights is beneficial for increase in efficiency and reach of blood-flow throughout your body. Certain areas of our body don’t always have adequate blood-flow, but lifting weights combined with proper breathing techniques ensure that every area of your body has adequate blood flow enough to rejuvenate remote cells ensuring a balance in the functioning of your body.

  • A healthier mental state

With a body that is fit, toned and energized, an environment for the mind to stay focused is created, which allows you to handle stress well and perform as required. The balanced state of the body allows the mind to be free of physical stress and focus solely on observing and reporting. This creates a sense of confidence that is contagious, making you an accountable personality. This environment where the mind is surrounded by positive aspects, leads to better ventures across everyday tasks. If you feel good, you look better, if you look better, you perform your best.

So start lifting and stay consistent.  A little bit goes a long way!

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11 Reasons Why You Should YOGA

Yoga iѕ tеrmеd аѕ thе mоѕt рrесiоuѕ gift tо thе Indian people bу thе аnсеѕtоrѕ whо diѕсоvеrеd thе truе art of uniting thе mind, bоdу, аnd ѕрirit. It iѕ a ѕсiеnсе thаt has bееn рrасtiѕed fоr thоuѕаndѕ of уеаrѕ and hаѕ ѕрrеаd асrоѕѕ thе wоrld. Yоgа iѕ a сеnturiеѕ-оld ѕуѕtеm оf tесhniԛuеѕ dеѕignеd to dеvеlор the individual’s рhуѕiсаl, mеntаl аnd ѕрirituаl hеаlth.

One of the rеаѕоns why yoga is рrасtiсеd by so mаnу реорlе is tо remain fit. It bringѕ a реrfесt blеnd оf рhуѕiсаl ѕtrеngth аnd grасеfulnеѕѕ, tying together rejuvenation of body and mind.

Thе Yоgiѕ’ viеw is thаt thе mind аnd thе bоdу аrе оnе; hence, it is believed that given the right уоgа guidаnсе, tооlѕ аnd еnvirоnmеnt, the body is capable to find hаrmоnу аnd hеаl itѕеlf. Yоgа, thеrеfоrе, iѕ соnѕidеrеd thеrареutiс. It hеlрѕ a person to bесоmе mоrе аwаrе оf one’s body’s alignment аnd раttеrnѕ оf mоvеmеnt. Yoga increases elasticity and mаkеѕ thе bоdу mоrе flеxiblе, aiding relaxation, therefore, releasing stress. These are some of the fоrеmоѕt rеаѕоnѕ whу реорlе wаnt tо ѕtаrt рrасtiсing yоgа –tо fееl fittеr, become mоrе еnеrgеtiс, hаррiеr, more реасеful selves with less stress.

Yoga is also a great way to increase concentration and release stressful hormones. It is known that if yoga is practiced religiously in terms of frequency, one can see improvements in overall state of being pretty quickly.

In fасt, there are more hеаlth bеnеfitѕ оf уоgа that you can think of. Here are eleven reasons you should incorporate it in your daily routine of any exercise you’re already doing.

  1. Bаlаnсеѕ thе hеаrt rаtе and improves cardiovascular efficiency
  2. Stаbilizes the nеrvоuѕ ѕуѕtеm
  3. Balances hоrmоnе levels
  4. Nоrmаlizes digеѕtiоn
  5. Aidѕ in wеight lоѕѕ. 
  6. Rеduсеѕ ѕtrеѕѕ аnd tension. 
  7. Tones muѕсlеѕ аnd inсrеаѕеѕ flеxibilitу, ѕtrеngth, аnd stamina.
  8. Enhаnсеѕ jоints rаngе оf motion.
  9. Hеlрful in rеѕtоring sleep. 
  10. Releases harmful tоxinѕ from the body and bооѕt thе immune ѕуѕtеm.
  11. Tеасhеѕ, ѕtеаdу brеаthing and stress relief techniques

As I wake up daily, I drink a full glass of water and practice downward dog and child’s poses for stretching and body awakening. You should try a few poses yourself, it feels great!

Try it, what are you waiting for? 

 

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4 Reasons Why Running Is Great For Your Body And Soul

Running iѕ a sport that conveys and encourages healthy lifestyle habits. However, people tend to have extreme feelings аbоut it. Mоѕt еithеr love or absolutely hate running, let alone a thought of it. Whу iѕ that? I came to find out, the реорlе whо hаtе thе ѕроrt mау dо ѕо fоr different rеаѕоnѕ – еithеr thеу triеd running and they ran out of breath or legs gave in early, оr thеу gоt injured. Mоѕt реорlе whо hаvе givеn uр running hаvе triеd tо do tоо muсh tоо ѕооn. The реорlе whо lоvе thе sport ѕtаrtеd ѕlоwlу, stuck tо it and рrосееdеd ѕуѕtеmаtiсаllу. If you tаkе it ѕlоwlу, thеn perhaps уоu tоо саn аlѕо еnjоу thе bеnеfitѕ оf running, avoid possibility of injury and/or will develop the love and the urge for the sport in the long run.

Here are four reasons why running is good for your body and soul:

  1. You will begin to lose weight. Fast

Running gives уоur bоdу a соmрlеtе саrdiоvаѕсulаr wоrkоut. It is one of the mоѕt еffесtivе ways in lоѕing weight, раrtiсulаrlу in thе waist and hiрѕ аrеа. In fасt, аftеr you start running, уоu will ѕtаrt tо ѕhеd inсhеѕ frоm thеѕе areas. Lot оf реорlе tаkе uр running juѕt fоr thе sake оf lоѕing wеight аnd ѕtау with it bесаuѕе the results show faster the more they run.

  1. You will rеliеvе ѕtress

Yоur bоdу will gеt intо itѕ оwn rhуthm whilе running аnd thе frеѕh brееzе оf аir flоwing аgаinѕt уоur fасе will ѕеnd уоu in a diffеrеnt ѕtаtе оf mind. Running helps tо alleviate ѕtrеѕѕ аnd iѕ in fасt ѕuggеѕtеd bу ѕоmе еxреrtѕ аѕ a сurе for mild dерrеѕѕiоn. Your body releases endorphins that trigger a sense of relief to your body. It helped me a great bit, as I battled a terrible post-partum once. You will find thаt you gеt a lоt оf аnѕwеrѕ about уоur сurrеnt iѕѕuеѕ if you just leave it at the pathway of your run. Sеrеnitу bringѕ реасе аnd reduces tension, and running is a sure way of getting both.

  1. You will cоnnесt with nature and find healing

Running will eventually tаkе уоu outside to enjoy the ѕсеniс bеаutу аrоund you. What a beautiful site is to run among the orange and burgundy autumn tones of fallen leaves as the wind howls behind you. Evеn if уоu run оutѕidе оnсе a wееk, уоu саn рiсk a diffеrеnt route еvеrу wееk tо еnjоу thе bеаutу оf nаturе. Running will соnnесt уоu tо your thoughts and will give you a sense of healing—that peaceful calm will come down up on you when the run is done. I often practice praying as I run—the one-on-one time with myself helps me gather thoughts and release it back with each stride.

  1. You will be adding years to your health

Studies by Harvard School оf Publiс Hеаlth stated that even ten minutes of daily run could extend life by several years as compared to not running at all. Picture уоurѕеlf with lеѕѕ wеight, fewer stress, better stamina–соnnесting with your surroundings… Yоu will feel a ѕеnѕе оf саlmnеѕѕ, jоу аnd exhilaration. Thеѕе аrе juѕt a fеw оf thе bеnеfitѕ that running саn bring. Why not try it? I promise that if you stay consistent with it you will want more of that ultimate feeling.

–Happy feet 🙂

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The Simple Truth About Staying Fit

Whatever Your Mind Can Conceive It Can Achieve”– Napoleon Hill

Having an active lifestyle is a great concept that is not easy to upkeep. We are as people tend to succumb more effortlessly to things that are easier done and require less effort; hence our habits reflect our behaviors. Healthier body and mind do not come easy. It takes time, and it is a derivative of straight dedication and solid discipline. Results and gains don’t show overnight but they do come when you work hard at it with passion and a goal to stay fit.

Whether you are in the process of losing weight or restoring your health and inner being, or you started a new activity such as lifting, running or else, the point is the same—it takes significant effort day in and day out to continue towards your goal.

Not one day goes by where the lazy-you that sits inside doesn’t start its whining and presents you with the opportunistic thought to just rest today and lie on a couch. I admit—I fight that fight all the darn time. Each and every time I remind myself why I started and how far I got. I have not forgotten the pain and the tears, the joy and the desire to be in a better shape. This drives me daily.

You do have to listen to your body if it’s in pain and differentiate between the need to stay home and the desire to do so. If you can clearly see the difference you will not fail. You will not continue your plight. You will persevere and give yourself that 30 minutes after 8pm if you have to squeeze in your cardio for that day. You will lift your child up and down if you don’t have time for gym weights.

Whatever it takes, you will achieve. Don’t give up and you will win the fight and the whiny voice will sooner or later speak in lower volumes. Remember that even if small, gains are still gains. So keep it up and never give up on the opportunity to see a better healthier and happier you!

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3 Reasons Brisk Walks Are Great

Getting into shape doesn’t mean you have to spend hours at the gym or have to train for a 5K. It just means that you’re ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle and get moving! For those who are barely getting active or have taken some time off from their previous fitness journey, I’ve got some wonderful news for you: you can get in shape by simply walking – fast or slow!

Walking is wonderful exercise that provides plenty of benefits, which is why doctors everywhere recommend it for all their patients, no matter their ages. The general rule of a healthy life is that you need to be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day to get your heart rate up and now you can easily take a brisk stroll around the neighborhood than have to drag yourself to a treadmill at a local gym. Here are a few reasons why brisk walks are beneficial:

  1. Easier On Your Joints

Running can really take a toll on your body, especially your joints. So if you have bad knees, running is not recommended. Walking, even brisk walks are easy on your joints and body. You won’t have the same risks for an injury as runners do, but still get the benefits!

  1. Strengthens Your Heart And Lungs

Regular waking is a great exercise that strengthens your heart and lungs, thus increasing your overall fitness. Like running, it improves your body’s cardiovascular system and boosts circulation, without much strain on your respiratory organs.

  1. Helps You Lose Weight

Cardio is the key to shedding unwanted pounds and by keeping a brisk pace at a high or moderate intensity, you’ll be able to burn almost as many calories as you would if you were running or jogging. And like running, you can easily do interval training with your walks, going fast and hard for a few minutes, before slowing down to a regular walk for a while and then starting all over again.

Things to keep in mind:

To get the most from your brisk walk, you’ll have to pay attention to form. Your head should be up and you should look forward and not at the ground. Make sure that your shoulders, neck and back are relaxed and not too stiff. For brisk walks, you’ll want to swing your arms at your sides and tuck in your stomach muscles as tight as you can to work on your core. A smooth walk has your foot rolling from heel to toe, too. Hence, with that said, if you can’t run—brisk-walk-it! Happy walking folks!

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3 Things To Remind Yourself Of When Your Other Wolf Says Quit

How many times have you found yourself plummeting to the couch during the workweek looking like the clocks from Dali’s Persistence of Memory with literally pieces of strength that need to be put together? After a long day of work, cooking, cleaning, dinner, kids, spouse you think–man, I am REALLY tired today! Naturally, one of the wolves kicks in, and you tend to adhere to the one that nags on “No”, “Stay home”, “Do it tomorrow”, “Just reeeelaaax”, sounds familiar? I bet it does and it can be an overwhelming struggle if you do not learn how to shut off the negative voice in your head.

There are three things you must remind yourself of when you’re about to feed the wrong wolf:

  1. You did not come this far to quit–Remember why you started in the first place.

Remember when the high came from post workouts and the lows were dealt with thanks to working hard out in the field or the gym? Remember how you dropped down a size or two and you waste got slimmer and legs got stronger? Yes, that is the same feeling that should keep you going every time the “enemy” voice comes out telling you to stay home. Why did you get this far? To quit? ARE you a quitter? Provided that the answer is NO, you must keep on going, you must see the finish line and think of your health and the reason why you started. What motivated you in the first place? Go back to there.

  1. Procrastination is your enemy.

Do not procrastinate getting out of the house. If you have 40 minutes to do a quick run before it gets dark, you have at least 20 percent of fuel energy left and your fuel tank hasn’t emptied yet, you HAVE to go. Your body will thank you later, your health will not wait for you to wake up. The sad thing is that while our bodies think we don’t have enough hours in the 24 given for the workout, the mind can follow just as easily to a failed way of thinking. Mind over matter–you get off the couch–actually, you don’t even sit on it–it’s a trap! If you drop your behind on it, you will be sucked in to staying and watching crap shows that will not give you any health benefits whatsoever. So, avoid the couch and off you go, workout, and then come home, eat clean and sleep, and never procrastinate on your health.

  1.  Feed the wolf that says “You Can”.

Train your mind to overcome your nagging wolf. You must be stronger and you must instill the mind-over-matter philosophy or you WILL fail. You don’t have to compare yourself to nobody. Everyone is dealing with his or her own pack of wolves, but it is up to you which pack you choose to lead. Feed the voice that says YOU CAN, feed the voice that asks you to remember the time, and feed the wolf that refuses to quit.

Never give up!

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How Much Cardio Do You Really Need Per Day

We all know the benefits of cardio. These include increased lung capacity, reduction of stress, lowering of blood pressure, controlling diabetes and cholesterol, and the list is endless! Not to mention the euphoria one feels afterwards is pretty priceless. However, some folks spend too much time in increased cardio activities who are not aiming at weight loss and whose bodies are not used to the high endurance routine.

Overuse of your body, i.e. having too many cardio workouts can seriously backfire. You must listen to your body and if you choose to push yourself to the limits you have to also do that gradually, and not all at once. What are the goals of the daily cardio for you? Is it to lose weight? To keep the weight levels steady? To feel good? Because you have to? There are many reasons so get to the root of the Why and you will find out the route to the How.  For example, if you are looking to simply stick within the low intensity exercises you can do about 10-15 minutes, 3-4 days a week of walking, running, dancing, whatever it is–cardio based activity that elevates your heart rate. This way you are maintaining your body at a fitness level that is not hard to sustain.

For medium levels of tension, if you want to lose weight as an example, you should increase your cardio to 30 minutes, 4 or more days a week patterns, according with Paige Waehner, a certified personal trainer, author, and an exercise expert at About.com.

Lastly, if you are training for a half marathon or a full one, you will have to put more into your workout than 20-30 minutes a day. We are talking miles of running, which can range between 30 minutes to an hour.

So know your “Why’s” to understand your “How’s”.  If you are not aiming at losing weight and your goal is to stay physically active then stick with under 20 minutes of cardio. As with any post workout do not forget to consume protein-based foods and do give your body breaks to recuperate for the next great move. To know how much protein you need go here.

Happy running, dancing, jumping, doing whatever that makes you move the mountains of your world, be healthy and stay fit,

-Cheers!

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Are You Getting Enough Protein? Think Again.

Do you think that you’re getting enough protein a day? According with the WebMD the average protein intake for a male must be about 56 grams, and for females about 46 grams daily. That’s average meaning you do not workout yet…

Things in perspective here 1 cup of green beans per serving has only 1.8 grams of protein, while a cup of diced chicken consists of a whopping 35 grams. So on average, if you do NOT workout and do not involve yourself in endurance training or physical activity you should be ok. However that changes when you live an active lifestyle.

For example, you are a long distance runner, you must know the formula of how much protein your body needs per kilogram of your body weight. According with the runnersconnect.net for an “optimal recovery” your body needs between 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

This is easy. Here is an example:

  • Take your weight in pounds, say you are 120-pound female.
  • Now divide by 2.2 (pounds in a kilogram) you get 54.5 (120/2.2)
  • Now take 54.5 kg multiply by average of 1.4 grams of protein (mentioned above 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kg of body weight, so I took 1.4 for this example) you get 76.3
  • 76.3 grams of protein is how much protein you NEED to recuperate after this workout and NOT the general 46 grams mentioned above as a general intake if you are a female. Makes sense?

So, now after realizing this you ate 1/2 cup of chicken (35 grams of protein), you drank 1 cup of milk (8 grams) and you had oatmeal (6 grams)…You only have had a total of 35+8+6=49 grams. You STILL need 27.3 grams (to get to your 76.3). This is WHY people use protein shakes or eat a LOT of foods with protein in it after a day of endurance training or a workout.

However, one should NOT have too much either. Overload of protein can lead to dehydration, dangerous kidney and liver toxins issues according with Livestrong.com while Not getting enough protein can result in muscle weakness, fatigue, swelling due to water retention and depleted muscle mass.

Hence, to be safe, if you’re into working out 2 hours (or doing intense endurance training) a day, do the full 76.3 grams (if you are a female who weights 120 pounds, so make sure you calculate it per YOUR body weight). If you’re doing 30 min to an hour stick with a number that’s between the general intake of protein for a female-46 and 76.3–stick with 55 grams as an example and you’re good to go!

Hope this helps! Happy training folks!

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The 5 Reasons Hydration Is So Important

Why is hydration so important for you?

Most studies suggest that an average woman needs to drink around eight glasses of water per day with men drinking around 12. While we often hear these statistics it is important to know the types of benefits that we can receive from keeping ourselves properly hydrated. Here are some of the top five reasons that you should follow these rules for your water intake each day.

  1. Digestion.

    Drinking enough water every day will help you with digestion. If you are dehydrated it doesn’t take that long for you to start experiencing issues like constipation, bloating, and others. There can also be some problems with nausea when you get dehydrated because your stomach experiences an increase in bacteria and yeast, which can backfire big time if hydration is not on your list of priorities.

  1. Better focus.

    Staying upbeat and energetic involves having proper hydration. If you are able to drink more water there is a good chance that you will stay better focalized and experience a greater level of mental acuity.

  2. It can help you lose weight and look better.

    Water is one of the first steps to losing weight and you can look better each day by diminishing the appearance of the dark circles from your eyes, improving your skin tone, its softness and elasticity. There is a famous article of a woman drinking three liters of water daily that shows the drastic difference this habit made in just four weeks. See here. She not only took off ten years off her face but also lost weight.

  3. Helping with appetite.

    If you feel that you are constantly having hunger cravings or that you always need to be eating something drinking your regular amount of water will help you curb some of these yearnings. This can help you with losing weight as well as starving off a number of different conditions that you can get from eating bad foods.

  4. Your body will run better as a whole.

    Proper hydration keeps our body running at its peak efficiency and helps us to avoid sickness and disease by keeping our immune system stronger. Our bloodstream provides ourselves and our vital organs with all of the oxygen and nutrients that it needs and when dehydration sets in the body will often take these nutrients and water from our cells which increases the amount of work that they have to do with minimal resources. More water is more energy and a healthier body. Period.

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