Why to Never Settle in your Search for a Personal Trainer

When you venture out into the world of the fitness industry to find a personal trainer, ultimately you are investing in yourself. For whatever reason, you’ve decided that it is time to make a change. This is a serious journey, and you don’t want to put your fate in just the hands of just any personal trainer.

With the wealth of personal trainers available you aren’t limited in the amount of selections available, but rather you just have to spend some time dedicated to finding the right personal trainer for you.

Here are some guidelines to follow to help you find the perfect personal trainer for your fitness journey.

  1. Budget the Time

More than likely you aren’t going to find your personal trainer on your first try. It will take some time to find the qualifications that match your specifications. Make sure you don’t just choose a personal trainer on impulse, but rather you take the time to shop around for the right fit.

  1. What Will Drive You

A big part of selecting a personal trainer is finding a personality and teaching style that resonates with you. Not just anyone is going to fit, so you should try a variety of candidates. Some people love the drill sergeant type that will give them a big dose of tough love. Others need more of a gentle approach that offers positive encouragement. Whatever your needs are in a personal trainer you need them to help achieve your goals, so make sure you don’t just settle for just any personal trainer.

  1. Find a Trainer That Wants to Get to Know You

If all a personal trainer asks you is “what are your fitness goals” and that’s it, it is time to hit the road. You want one that will ask you about details of your life including things like your work schedule, eating habits, attitude about exercise and more. These questions will help them build a regime that fits what you need to get results. The fact is that a 45 year old mother of three and a 30 year old bachelor may have the same goal to lose 50 pounds, but each will need a different approach to get there. Knowing background information about you is the only way a personal trainer can truly create a fitness routine that matches your lifestyle.

4.  Availability

No one likes to think about the basic logistics for these types of things, but availability is a very important detail when it comes to choosing a personal trainer. Unfortunately, a lot of the times the best personal trainers have the least amount of time available. If you have a packed schedule, choosing a personal trainer who has limited open hours can be an obstacle to the amount you can train. You really want someone who is available when you need them, because otherwise it just isn’t going to work out.

     5.  Reputation

Word-of-mouth referrals, articles and references are great ways to commence a search for a personal trainer. Ask everyone you know if there is a personal trainer they would recommend. Most good personal trainers will also have before and after shots of previous clients to give you rock-solid evidence regarding the results you can achieve. (Remember though you’ll need to put in the sweat and time to get the same result as other success stories!)

  1. Specialties

Are you injured? Have a specific goal like running a 5k or lifting a certain amount of weight? Then you are going to want a personal trailer well-trained to your specific needs. There are lots of trainers out there who specialize in just one aspect of fitness, and these are the ones you want to utilize if at all possible. Rather than just having a general knowledge of fitness they have specific knowledge that will take your training efforts to the next level.

  1. Progress

You want a personal trainer who is interested in your results, and one way to gauge that is if they have a method to actually track your progress. Progress is often sometimes incremental in nature, so it can be hard to detect the gradual results. Having ways to test your speed, strength and agility will help you stay motivated throughout this process, and you want a trainer that realizes the importance of these milestones.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it is up to your personal preferences as to who exactly you’ll settle for a personal trainer. Notice that these are just guidelines not rules, so feel free to bend and break them to find a personal trainer that matches your needs.

Healthy Lifestyle: Night’s Out with the Guy/Gals

The night with your friend’s is a sacred tradition in modern culture. When we zoom into the human species we can find them oddly prowling the town, sniffing around, eating everything and drinking even more than that.

What happens on these nights out, no one discloses. What’s happens in girls’/guys’ nights out, stays there. Often when the humans wake up in the morning, they feel remorse on top of a terrible hang over.

What is wrong with us all?

It is so vital for people to go out to experience a social life. We are social creatures. Yet we insist on filling these times often with the worst behavior possible. Drinking too much. Check! Eating terribly? Sure, it’s a treat! Exercise? We definitely are skipping that for the day and the recovery day tomorrow.

Why not fill this sacred social time with something a little less destructive? If one commits they can not only make these nights healthier for themselves, but they can actually be a good influence on their friends. I know, spreading positivity to people you care about, what a novel idea.

Anyways, it is easy enough to suggest we don’t act like drunken gluttonous buffoons when out with friends, but it is a whole ‘nother thing to put this plan into action.

6 Tips on How to Create a Healthy Night Out with Friends

  • Remove Your Preconceptions

If you out with the attitude you are going to go crazy letting down all boundaries and inhibitions- don’t be surprised when it happens. Instead of creating this attitude of indulgence, try to gently persuade yourself to control yourself. You can laugh, gossip, and catch-up without the aid of excessive food and drink.

  • Ignore Peer Pressure

Often there is a lot of pressure on these nights to keep up. I personally can already hear the echoes of one of my friends saying “come on, a shot never kill anybody” followed with some inappropriate joking about how untrue that statement is in reality. If you’re feeling pressured, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself or just blow it off. We’re adults! Do your own thing!

  • Savor the Goodies

Rather than eating and drinking as much as fast as possible. Take time to savor each delicacy you indulge in. This will help you better moderate at least the amount of food and drinking you’re partaking in on the big night out. Also, remember to savor every moment you get out with your friends. We’re sure you are too busy to get out often enough! Don’t be afraid for a little bit of a reward just make sure you actually enjoy every single wonderful moment of it!

  • Plan a Healthy Activity

There are more things to in life than going to a bar. I know, I know. This may come as a shock to some of you out there. Try to plan a healthy activity like hiking, going to a class or some other adventure. You’ll be surprised the amount of bonding you can do without drinking. Of course, you can always grab a drink after.

  • Make Sure You Caught Up with Everything Before the Night Out

Sleep, work, chores, shopping and exercise are all things you want to get done before the girl’s night out. Of all of these, getting extra rest when you know you may be out later than usual is always a good idea. It will also give you into extra mischief if you must!

  • Try to Schedule Get Togethers More Often

Often all of the energy we get from these big nights out is due to the fact that people don’t get together often enough. Life is busy. We can always manage to make time for things that really matter to us though. Try to schedule more low-key meetings like just grabbing a coffee, going on a walk, or talking on Skype. This way it won’t have been “forever” since you saw each other last, so you won’t feel as deep an urge to paint the town red.

Keep the Party Going

Although you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, you can’t withdraw from all of your friends. Unless someone is causing direct harm for you, social relationships help to foster our growth. Learn to make your current bonds stronger and healthier while also pursuing relationships with people who will directly assist in your growth.

5 Health Myths People Won’t Stop Believing No Matter What We Say

The thing about the world of nutrition and health is that it is a science. Like all sciences, the field is constantly evolving, and what is true today, may seem silly tomorrow. That means sometimes nutritionists and doctors just get thing flat our wrong.

Unlike other sciences, how to maintain a healthy lifestyle is often heavily marketed by industries often promising life changes results. When the science comes out that these commonly known “facts” about health work actually a bunch of hooey, it takes a while for everyone to catch up. In fact, it seems like for some people these “facts” will not change no matter what the experts have to say about the matter.

The human body is a complicated thing. We do not know nearly everything yet. As one National Geographic writer so eloquently put it in an article title that there is a “bacterial zoo in your bowel”. In this article the writer pointed out the fact:

“You are outnumbered by a factor of 10 to one, by forces you cannot see. Your body has around ten trillion cells, but it’s also home to a hundred trillion bacteria. For every gene in your genome, there are 100 bacterial ones. Most of these are found the dark, dank environment of your bowel but their incredible diversity is being brought to the surface. Say hello to the gut metagenome.”

This may begin to give you an idea of why it is so difficult for us to figure out what is “good for you” or “bad for you”. One way to start learning what is good for you is separating fact from fiction, so here are 5 health myths people REALLY need stop believing.

  • Eating *fill in the blank* makes you fat

Fat and carbs are the big one we always seem to be hearing about. Whether it is Paleo or South Beach Diet, these fads are dangerous. It isn’t that all fats and all carbs are good for you. The problem is that many fats and carbs are imperative. What gets mixed up here is often people compare almonds to French fries or a pear to a donut. Both contain fat or carbs respectively, but obviously pears and almonds offer health benefits French fries and donuts do not. Just use a little common sense, balance and moderation when approaching your diet to achieve optimal results.

  • We 100% conclusively know *fill in the blank* about health and nutrition

Whenever someone swears they’ve found the dieting or exercise secret to undo all other methods, you shouldn’t take them seriously. Even the most well-versed scientists in health and/or nutrition do not know everything yet. As we pointed out at the beginning of the article the human body is extremely complicated, and that is before you even begin to account for genetic, environmental and other differences. Learn to ignore the hype instead to just seek common sense solutions that seem to work for your body.

  • Spot Training Reduces Fat

Even if you do one million crunches a day, you will not lose fat in your belly. We’re not sure who invented the whole spot training method to exercise, but it doesn’t work. The only way to lose fat is through cardio and aerobic exercise. Spot training just builds muscle in those areas, which mind you is important, but it does not help burn fat to reveal the muscles. Just like your diet, have a balanced approach to exercise that works multiple aspects of your health.

  • Gluten-free food is the best most healthiest food ever

Gluten-free foods are all the rage now. You can’t even look at a food label without seeing gluten-free. This is absurd especially when they mark foods that would never contain gluten in the first place, i.e. salsa. Unless you are allergic to gluten, which a majority of people are not, there is no reason to be on a gluten-free diet. You are depriving yourself of fiber and other nutrients critical to a healthy diet.

  • Organic food is the best most healthiest food ever

Organic food is great for the environment. When you remove pesticides and other harmful chemicals from the process of farming it doesn’t change the nutrients or flavor of a plant. Often organic folks love to say organic foods are healthier and even taste better. This just simply is not true!

What to Take Away

Whenever you hear about the latest fitness craze don’t get caught up in the craziness. Just try to stick to a consistent diet and exercise plan that work for you. Although for some it may seem exciting to some to unlock the ultimate secret to fitness, it often seems these are just people looking for shortcuts. If you are in health for the long haul don’t look for shortcuts, but instead live your life in a healthy and nourishing way.

What does the Affordable Care Act mean for your wellness?

So a vast majority of Americans now have health insurance but what does this mean for your health and wellness? A large part of what the Affordable Care Act does is mandate insurance companies to provide coverage for ten imperative health services that will change and save lives.

While the coverage of these services vary from plan to plan, overall it seems crazy that these things were not required to be covered by the insurance plans before. Most of the things on this list can be a matter of life and death, so consider your chances of living longer significantly increased to all those behind the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Here are the 10 things that we know MUST be covered by your insurance.

  • Outpatient Care

Those who are readmitted to hospitals often do not receive the outpatient care they need. Whether they skip outpatient care due to apathy or financial worries is unknown, but we can assume some patients do not want to take on the cost. By covering part of the cost of outpatient care, it’ll make it easier for patients to get the follow-up care they need to avoid serious complications in the future.

  • The Emergency Room

It is bad enough to be an emergency room without worry about whether your insurance plan covers it or not. Patients with serious illness or injuries may try to wait it out due to the fact they do not have coverage for the emergency room. This can lead to disability, worsening of the condition, or even death.

  • Hospitalization

Nursing homes, hospital stays and operations all were not a required thing for insurance to coverage. These things don’t seem like a big deal until you actually need them. The truth is without insurance coverage this can also be a matter of life and death for a patient.

  • Maternity and Newborn Care

For some, this aspect of health insurance coverage is downright cold. Maybe by some miracle you’ve never encountered someone in need of hospitalization, an emergency room or outpatient care, but every single person in the developed world likely receives some form of maternity and/or newborn care. It is unavoidable. This type of care helps ensure the health of the mother and baby, so they can go on to live happy and healthy lives.

  • Mental Health and Addiction

According to the NIH 23.3 million need addiction treatment and 42.5 million people suffer from mental illness. This seems a rather substantial portion of the population to ignore, but believe it or not, insurance companies were not required to cover any treatment for either of these issues. Treatment for addiction and mental health can change lives for the better while simultaneously dropping the rate of crime, suicide and other societal issues. Whether you suffer from these problems or not, you indirectly benefit from those who need help getting it.

  • Prescription Drugs

When it comes to prescription drugs, many experts out there think doctors are too ready to offer their patients scripts. That being said, there is no denying that some medications can help manage health problems. Take every prescription with a grain of salt, but be thankful you have coverage for the medications you really do need to better your health.

  • Rehab Services and Devices

Plans have to provide 30 visits each year to physical or occupational therapy. This way when injury, disability or other chronic conditions occur, patients have a way to help re-develop lost mental and physical skills with a professional. Access to these services can help individuals live happier and more independent lives.

  • Lab Services

Again, you should be mindful of doctors giving you every test under the sun to try to get to the bottom of a condition. This is a way that doctor’s office scam patients to raise bills. Yet, sometimes tests are necessary to discover a problem, so it really is up to your best judgement. P.S. A second of third opinion never hurt anyone before running through a gauntlet of tests.
The REALLY good news about this coverage is that preventative screenings, for things like breast cancer and prostate issues, are covered at the cost of your monthly premiums These tests save lives without a doubt.

  • Preventive Medical Services

Although insurance doesn’t cover things like exercise and nutrition (we are working on it), they do cover medical services that help detect problems earlier. Counseling, physicals, immunizations and screens are all covered now. Early detection is the best way to deal with any problem early as possible.

  • Pediatric Services

There is no reason a child should go without care. The fact we would not cover children is barbaric to say the least. As a bonus, plans must offer vision and dental for children helping to ensure the lifelong health of their eyes and teeth.
Conclusions on the Benefits of the Affordable Care Act

The effects of the ACA should not just be seen as everyone having insurance. It should be seen as a set of laws that require insurance providers to offer Americans imperative aspects of medical healthcare.

What is interesting is that many of these newly offered services are preventative and can save the patient and insurance company TONS of money. It seems ridiculous and short-sighted many of these things were not covered before.

Agree with the ACA or not, it is hard to deny all of these points should be a part of the most basic insurance plans. Here’s to America’s improved health well into the future!

 

Health Benefits of Martial Arts

There is nothing like a healthy dose of butt kicking to make you feel light on your feet! Martial arts is a form of exercise that empowers individuals while giving them peace of mind. It works on the interior and exterior to create an empowering all around workout. Much like yoga, martial arts provides an answer to soothe our stress-filled, modern lifestyles physically and mentally making it perfectly suited for most individuals.

Using breath and thoughtful movement, martial arts teaches one how to best utilize their mind and body to tackle a task. This not only comes handy when practicing martial arts, but it benefits one in every part of life. Here are 7 benefits of martial arts that will improve your life for the better.

  1. Improved Mood
    Any exercise routine, including martial arts, have been proven to improve moods by various studies, but martial arts also has the additional benefit of learning mindfulness and breath work which are both mood enhancers as well. The combination of benefits put together puts a huge dent in managing stress, anxiety and depression. This not only lifts up how you feel on a daily basis, but improves your overall outlook on life. However, there also is an immediate benefit with the release of endorphins that comes from physical activity. These endorphins will improve your mood for at least four hours giving you an exercise high every time you participate in martial arts. Long-term and short-term mood management? Yes, please!
  2. Improved Self-Confidence
    Another psychological benefit of martial arts is the self-confidence it infuses in its practitioners. Living in this world, most people have at some point fretted about being attacked or harassed. Martial arts gives one the tool to better manage such situations, and this give the user a feel of empowerment. Of course, it does not encourage you to beat up everyone to solve your problems, but rather it just gives you the skills to work with if someone ever became physically aggressive.
  3. Finding Inner Calmness
    We already mentioned that martial arts teaches mindfulness, but we did not go into the overall implication of this lesson other than enhancing the mood. Mindfulness and inner calmness is the state of being fully in the present moment, so that we can better manage all of life’s daily challenges to the best of our abilities. When you learn how to react quickly in a physical way without getting emotional in sparring matches, you can take that skill to everyday life. For example, if you are facing a stressful argument with a boss you can learn to manage your frustration, anger, etc. to keep your cool and provide the best reaction.
  4. Great Practice For The Elderly
    Martial arts increases strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility. These are all physical skills that deteriorate as we age. By incorporating in a martial arts practice the elderly decrease their risk of injury and death. It also prevents falls which are the most reported type of accidental death in the elderly. Gentle forms of martial arts, like Tai Chi, are growing with popularity in the senior community.
  5. Great For The Heart

Martial arts benefit all aspects of the cardiovascular system helping reduce risk of early death and increase stamina. The only real way to increase the health of the cardiovascular system is to work it out via exercises that stimulate the heart like Martial arts. Incorporating 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity a day is the surest way to help improve the health of the cardiovascular system.

  1. Lose Weight
    In order to lose just one pound of fat we have to burn 3,500 calories. If you want to lose one pound in a week if you have to either eat 500 calories less or burn an extra 500 calories. In just one hour of participating in a moderate form of martial arts you can easily burn 500 calories. If you consistently practice martial arts you’ll be well on the path to losing those pounds you’ve wanted to shed for so long.
  2. Increased Muscle Mass
    Martial arts most definitely increases your muscle tone giving you a tighter and leaner look. In addition, the extra muscle increases your metabolism, so that you either can eat more or you can lose weight.

 

So get moving and try it!

So if you’ve been on the fence deciding whether to try out martial arts or not, just remember that it is excellent for your all around well-being.

 

 

How To Go With Your Gut Instinct

“There is a universal, intelligent, life force that exists within everyone and everything. It resides within each one of us as a deep wisdom, an inner knowing. We can access this wonderful source of knowledge and wisdom through our intuition, an inner sense that tells us what feels right and true for us at any given moment.”

-Shakti Gawain

There is that moment we’ve all experienced. When you feel something inside you whispering, well, maybe actually screaming, to go with a certain instinct. If you were wise, you may have listened to that instinct.

Yet, you may have ignored it. In fact, chances are if you are reading this blog post you did ignore it. No judging! We’ve all been there.

Learning to trust your gut is something that seems counter-intuitive. Most of Western culture is based around the ideals that logic rules all. Logic and intuition do not always see eye to eye, and often the idea of going with our heart rather than our brain is frowned upon.

We’re not here to say that you should always follow your heart, but there is something to be said for having a healthy balance between the two. If you are one of those people who can’t let go of what is logical then perhaps you are looking for the guts to follow your gut!

Let Go Of The Idea You Can Control Everything

Logic gives a false sense of security that we can control all outcomes. If we follow through on the most sound path without a doubt will come out at the other end of the tunnel unscathed.

Even when we follow all of the rules to a “T”, things will sometimes go unexpectedly. There is now way to lead life in a vacuum, so sometimes unpleasant and pleasant surprises will come your way.

Learn To Listen

In the modern world there are so many distractions that take us away from our self. Not very often do people take the time to sit and get to know themselves.

In order to know a gut instinct, it takes a certain amount of self-awareness. Doing activities to foster this self-awareness is a great way to cultivate the capacity to trust your instincts, because you actually know how you work. Meditation, walking, yoga and solo activities are a great way to get in touch with who you are really.

Frequently Remind Yourself That Instincts Are An Asset

If you’ve ever watched a Star Trek episode you are familiar with the relationship between Spock and Captain Kirk. Spock represents a species, the Vulcans, who represent everything logical while Captain Kirk is a very impulsive, emotional man, much like the human species. If you watch enough episodes you learn that the relationship between the logical and emotional is what makes Spock and Kirk such a good team. Just like in Star Trek, we need to take this little tidbit of knowledge into our everyday lives.

If you are person who historically looked down through their nose at emotions, instincts, etc., you’re going to re-train your mindset into seeing the beauty of logic and instincts. This recalibrating of the mind will take time and effort, but if you are persistent enough it can change the way in which you perceive life.

Take In Media That Inspires You To Follow Your Gut

Quotes, television, books, fashion, art, music- find media that inspire you to follow your gut. As mentioned in the previous section, Star Trek is actually a great show to examine in the importance of instinct and logic, but there are countless examples of media out there addressing this issue which is so important to humanity.

This type of media will remind you to infuse your life with more gut decisions when you encounter problems in your day to day life which require it. You may be surprised of how much any media can truly sway your life in one direction or another.

Never Give Up

Even if you still find yourself frequently falling on the logical side of things be mindful to never give up. With enough practice you’ll learn to trust your gut more, but just like with anything it takes a lot of practice. Your heart and logical side will eventually balance out, so that you can better evaluate situations in all facets of life.

 

We Are All Emotional Eaters

While most people you meet won’t cry into a pale of Ben and Jerry’s on a regular basis, this is not the only parameters of emotional eating. It is actually a rare thing to meet someone who NEVER eats for an emotional reason. Ever just want some cake due to the fact you’re at a social gathering? That is emotional eating. Ever get excited about the thought of a particularly unhealthy yet delicious dinner? Emotional eating! Ever eaten something you know is extremely bad for you, but you want it anyways? That is definitely emotional eating.

Eating is a major part of the human experience, so it is natural that we would have some emotions associated with eating. The problem is when these emotions override our sense of self control.

First, let’s briefly go over a handful of the various types of emotional eating, so you can know what may qualify as emotional eating. Next, we’ll offer some solution on exactly how you can prevent this behavior.

Types Of Emotional Eating

Eating While *Fill In The Blank*

Eating while talking, watching television, reading, walking, working or anything is a distraction from the food. This is probably one of the most common emotional types of eating that people partake in. When you are eating while you are doing something else you are not fully taking in the flavors of the food. Also, you are less likely to notice when you are actually food.

Solution

When you are eating be 100% focused on the food. This will not only help prevent you from overeating, but it also allow you to enjoy what you are actually eating. When you think about it, we’re really lucky to have access to the food we need. Taking the time to enjoy it is a way of honoring that.

Eating For Cravings

Do you ever crave something sugary, spicy, hot, or cold. Often times these types of cravings are associated with a desire (which is a strong emotion) to satiate something non-essential. Unless you are craving something that is vital to your nutrition like veggies, fruit, protein, etc. then chances are you are doing a little bit of emotional eating.

Solution

If you ever feel a strong craving along try to wait a little bit. Often these cravings will pass if you give them the right amount of time. If possible go do a distracting and/or fun activity that will take your mind off the food. You may be surprised how quickly your craving disappears! This allows you to either skip the unhealthy calories, or you can choose a healthier food to munch on.

Sudden Hunger

Hunger is something that is supposed to come on slow and steady as we burn energy throughout the day. One will begin to feel a slight hunger then it will grow over time. If you feel the sudden urge to eat it is more than likely due to an emotional yearning to eat rather than an actual need to fill your daily caloric environments.

Solution

If you feel a sudden urge to eat question yourself as to exactly why you are hungry. How long ago did you eat? Are you overeating? What is making you want food? Once you find the answer behind what is driving this emotional hunger, it is easier to address the underlying issue. If you MUST eat something, go for something healthy like fruits and/or vegetables.

Excessive Eating

Who hasn’t eaten too much food? Whether you’re at a party, feeling gluttonous or whatever motivation- that feeling that you’ve eaten too much is not something anyone enjoy. Admittedly though it can be fun to see how much you can actually eat without exploding. When we do this we are obviously not doing it for our health, and it is an unhealthy and wasteful way to approaching eating

Solution

Whenever you feel like eating too much, there are three approaches that I like to take. One you can remember how terrible you feel after eating too much. The second is you can do some mental math to figure out how many miles you’ll after to run to burn of the food. For example, the average piece of cheesecake is 1500 calories, so that equals running about 15 miles. Lastly, try to put how much you are eating in the context of the world. There are tons of people out there who are starving, so you’re kind of being a jerk by stuffing your face.

Conclusion: Try To Be Consistent

The more you practice not attaching emotions to food the easier it’ll be to not do so. Just like any learned skill it requires some dedication. In the long run, learning to eat for nourishment rather than for emotional gratification will enhance your experience of food. You’ll learn to savor every bit of the foods that make you feel your best.

 

The Health Benefits of Tea

The small steps we take to improve our health can make all of the difference, and when these small changes become lifetime habits is when positive transformation of lifestyle choices truly begins. If you are working towards improving your health, integrating just one cup of tea into your daily routine can help boost a myriad of aspects of your health and wellbeing. It is amazing that a delicious, affordable and easy-to-make beverage can offer so many health benefits, but it is often the simple and natural things that build us up the most.

Here are just 5 of the numerous health benefits tea offers that will revolutionize the way your body functions.

The Benefits…

1. Hydration

We all are constant hearing about the importance of hydration. It helps all systems of the body function smoothly from out digestion to cell growth, so drinking hydrating fluids is important. Yet, a lot of people find drinking water to be somewhat boring. Tea, even caffeinated kinds, are a great way to get the fluids you need, so go ahead and indulge in delicious hot or iced tea to add a lot of delicious flavor to your water intake.

2. Fights Free Radicals

Free radical damage DNA and cells leaving the body vulnerable to all sorts of problems including cancer, heart disease and neurological degeneration. Our body already has the capacity to fight off these free radicals, but there are many ways that we can help in the process. Tea specifically helps due to the fact it has something called “ORAC” which means it has it has oxygen radical absorbance capacity.

3. Weight Management

Anyone who is looking to maintain a healthy weight can benefit from drinking green tea. A study in the journal of obesity found that green tea actually impacted the weight gain in mice. The speculation from these finding is that green tea may actually prevent the body from forming fat. In the study one set of mice were fed a high fat diet with green tea compounds, the other set was just fed the high fat diet. The group with the additional green tea compounds actually gained less weight than those who did not have green tea as part of their diet.

4. Helps With Memory And Learning

The brain is one of the most precious tools that we have, so it is important to nurture and train it like we would any part of the body. As we mentioned earlier, tea is known for helping to prevent neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. Specifically green tea’s polyphenols help to maintain the part of the brain in charge of learning and memory.

5. Anti-inflammatory

Inflammation is connects to just about every ailment out there including cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, depression and arthritis. The active compounds in teas actually help lower inflammation working as a preventative treatment for all of these health issues.

So What Are You Waiting For?

Add some tea into your diet as soon as possible to start reaping some of these fantastic benefits. The best way to drink it is hot without any sweetening agents. However, you get some of the same benefits through drinking it iced and slightly sweetened.

Sources:

13 Reasons Tea Is Good for You

9 Surprising Health Benefits Of Drinking Tea

Proper running form

We’d Bet About 95% Of You Who Read This Have A Terrible Running Form!

For some of us, just dragging our butts to the treadmill or outside to go on a jog seems like a marathon in itself, so once we’re there it seems like the battle is won. There is a lot of truth in this, because certainly in many cases running at all is better than sitting home on the couch. The thing is once you get out there, it is imperative to start working on your running form, because this will help increase your speed, prevent falling and add on to the years you can run.

Like any adjustment of habit, learning to run in a way that feels “unnatural” takes a good deal of physical and mental effort. With enough patience and perseverance one day your form will improve. In this post we’re going to break down some aspects of forms that are good to focus on. So let’s get started before it is time for you to run off.

7 Points Of Focus For Your Form

  1. Where’s Your Head At?
    Overall you want your head to stay aligned with your spine without having it bobbing in odd directions. Generally, you want to keep your gaze straight ahead with your head held at a level (as if you are carrying a book on top of your head).
  2. Keeping The Good Old Gut In Check
    Just like with any physical activity, the core muscles are key to good running form. In order to keep up good posture in your form, you’ll need to keep your abs engaged. You can do this by tucking your tail bowl and squeezing your abdomen in towards the spine.
  3. Look Before You Leap
    The way you land on your feet hugely changes the way running impacts your joints. You want your feet to land under the center of your body mass. This means if you drew a line roughly from your foot through your leg and torso to the top of your head it’d make a relatively straight line.
  4. Swinging The Arms
    Often people swing their arms without thinking too much about what they’re doing. First off, you want to make sure make a firm fist with your hands. Next you want to keep them fairly straight with a bent elbow. Every time you alternate a hand down you want the wrist to go down to the hip. When it goes back up, it should come back up to chest level.
  5. Lift Up Your Feet
    A lot of people shuffle when they first run, because it feels a lot easier. Picking up your feet will help you cover a lot more ground without too much extra effort. First off, try driving your knees forward more with running, but be mindful not to over stride by having your front foot land in front of you. Secondly, try to pick up your feet enough, so that they’re at calf level.
  6. Stand Tall
    Overall you want to run with really good posture. A lot of the elements of form we already introduced will help you achieve that goal. Being mindful to really try to stand up straight as you run is also helpful when working towards better form.
  7. Keep Your Head In The Game
    It is easy to let the mind wonder off when running, and this can be sometimes a fun route to take. However if you are working on form, speed and relaxing during a run, it is a good idea to try to treat it as a meditation. This means whenever a thought comes up in your head, try to subdue the thought and return to the present.

When In Doubt…

Have a friend or coach take a look at your form. Even if they do not know how to exactly tell you how to adjust the running they can verbally describe to your run. Also, with a smart phone they can easily record your stride, so that you can actually see what you like when you run. Sometimes it is a lot easier to work on form once you see what exactly it is you are doing wrong in the first place.

Source:

Runner’s World. Run Like Meb. May 2015.

Rock Out for Your Health!

Whoever said that everything that is enjoyable is bad for you is a fool. We can name MANY things that are amazing and healthy simultaneously, but we thought we’d start with a pretty universal good-for-you interest: music. Whether it is Top 40 tunes or Beethoven, music is something just about every person on the planet enjoys doing.

Next time you feel like pumping up the jams, remember that you are actually working towards improving your health, and in our opinion, it is mall steps like these that make all the difference when it comes to bettering yourself.

Reasons Music Boosts Your Health and Wellness

  1. Rocking Off the Calories and Concerts and Festivals

We’re starting with this one first, because we recently just ran into an extremely interesting fact. It seems that over a festival weekend, a participant can burn as many calories as a marathoner. Wow! Who would have thought you’d burn that many calories at a festival? We imagine that the same applies to larger concerts on a smaller scale for calorie burning benefits. Anyone who has been absolutely exhausted after a day out listening to music probably can testify how tiring it can be to go see your favorite artists play live.

We imagine between the walking, dancing, beer runs and general rocking out, one can really build up a sweat. Of course how many calories you burn sitting down at an opera versus going to a festival featuring danceable music will vary tremendously.

  1. Reinforcing Positivity

Not ALL music falls under this category. There is actually tons of music out there that sends out a generally negative message. I know some of you out there are thinking, “Okay mom, thanks for the warning!” Hearing the truth sometimes may feel like a lecture, but that doesn’t make that particular wrong. Just sayin’!

Here is how it breaks down. When you listen to music with negative words it often spurs negative thoughts and emotions, and the more we feel this way, the easier it is to get trapped into this negative way of thinking. On the other hand, you can listen to positive music to get the opposite effect, so if you want to live more effectively, you know what you must do.

  1. It Reduces Stress

This may not surprise many, but listening music has actually been shown to reduce stress in various studies. There is a caveat; only music with a slow tempo and low pitch without lyrics or loud instrumentation calms people down. Even during stressful or painful events this soothing music decreases the stress hormone, cortisol, while also reducing anxiety-induced increases in pulse and blood pressure.

If you are a person who is regularly exposed to stressful situations, I think that includes just about everyone in our proverbial room, then listening to this type of music can make a major difference. Reducing the effects of stress helps to build a happier and longer life for music lovers everywhere.

  1. Helps to Motivate

Getting up every day to push on with our goals and dreams is no easy task, and we all can use all the help we can get. Music releases dopamine into the body to help improve mood, orientation, memory, and attention. All of these are big parts of being able to trudge forward through everyday tasks.

A great way to help motivate from the start of the day is to wake up with some of your favorite tunes to get you going. You can set an alarm with your phone, computer or clock to immediately tune into the motivation you need to do your best!

  1. Pump Up the Juice for Workouts

Ever tried working out without music. It just feels wrong. Music is incorporated into gym and many physical activities not just to help the time fly, but it actually helps to notably improve performance. If you want to increase endurance, boost motivation and go faster, all you need is to listen to some tunes.

Try making a playlist with all of your favorite workout music to take things to the next level. Having it on your phone or another mobile device means you have an instantaneous boost to your workout whenever you need it.

The Beat Goes On

There are just a few of the many health and wellness benefits of music. Every part of your body in some ways benefits by just listening to music. By taking small steps like just turning on the radio you are laying the foundation for a better you. Make each day dedicated to doing the small things to help improve the health of your body, mind and health, and that is where true change takes place.