HARDGAINERS’ ARSENAL FOR PACKING ON MUSCLE MASS

This article is dedicated to the ‘hardgainers’. You know those guys who cannot get any muscle size no matter how much they eat, no matter what they do. I have 10 tips that can help.
As always, see your primary healthcare provider before starting any fitness regimen. This site and the advice given here does not replace sound medical advice or opinion. Now the list.

1) 60 Minutes or less. Keeping your training under an hour will defeat the killer of many hypertrophic hopes and dreams- you guessed it, overtraining. Overtraining is a killer. Destroyer of gains due to overzealousness. Keeping your training under 60 minutes is a sure way to make overtraining irrelevant to you.
2) Become a member of the ‘Clean Your Plate Club’. Yes… eating has everything to do with building muscle mass. No matter what you eat, for the hardgainer- eating is and should be a habit. Without those extra calories, how will you gain that extra muscle mass you long after?
3) Stop relying on supplements. We all know that suplements are great. Supplements get the job done in ways that you couldn’t on your own. In this case, however, lay off most (not all) supplements. It’s a safe bet to only focus on supplements that will help with your gains (more on that later).
4) Take it Easy. Aside from this being a truism of life, this shuld be a goal for those of you seeking to put on muscle mass. Cutting out stress triggers (situations, people) will help your central nervous system do its job better and more effectively.

5) Overload on Calories. For the hardgainer, caloric intake is the name of the game. In fact, it is something that will dominate this article (as it dominates the hardgainer’s thoughts). Eat, eat, eat some more.
6) Think Progress. As mentioned above, your workouts should really be under an hour if even that. The main thing is to make sure you are progressing at a workout.
Now some things will work for a while and you may see some results. But if you want to gain weight, you’re better off focusing on progressing in either the number of reps or an increase in weight lifted within your main program.
7) Rep Range: The Right Mix! Keep the rep range between 6-8 repetitions. Outside of that, you risk overtraining (that will decimate any gains you have made).

8) Use a Mass Gainer. Remember me saying earlier about how most supps are not to be relied upon? This is why. You have mass gainers that are made just for increasing appetite or simply packing on extra pounds. Mass gainers are fantastic for hardgainers because it will slow metabolism somewhat. Metabolism is the hardgainer’s ‘frenemy’.

9) Hit the Buffet. Once a week…. hit a buffet line. Load it up, eat, eat and eat some more. Besides, buffets are cheap and you can eat all you want.

10) Slow it Down! Lastly, is a concept powerlifters and strength athletes have been using for the longest. Slow the pace of your reps down and use frequent breaks in your sets. Also you need to focus on the big presses ( e.g. bench press and squats). The concept of slowing your rep pace down will have an effect of building big muscle, just not lean muscle. The breaks will give the muscle time to grow. Visualization is another great trick you need in your ‘gainer arsenal’.

In closing, the hardgainer has the metabolism the rest of us want. The rade-off for the hard gainer… a great metabolism, but he cant gain muscle weight/size/mass for anything. These tips will get the hardgainer on the road to mass and strength, just as he has dreamt of.

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8 Habits of Successful People

These days, we all read about the successful ones- entrepreneurs, trust fund babies, athletes, entertainers and the like. Regardless of how they started out, I can guarantee you most of them had some difficulty climbing that ladder of success, with some overcoming extreme difficulties (cultural, internal and others) to get to where they are today. This list is nowhere near comprehensive, but it should prove useful as a starting point (or to at least jog your memory).

NOTE: This article (and this site) is no substitute for sound medical advice. Please consult your primary care provider for all things health/wellness related.

  1. Keep it Moving. Constant movement, especially exercise, keeps the feel-good endorphins pumping, which keeps you pumping on the uptick.
  2. Think! Deep thought and meditation works wonders.Take a few minutes and reset, set your mind at ease.
  3. Eat! Hydrate! Eating and hydrating within the first hour of wakefulness lends to you being less stressed, more focused and yes, more productive throughout the day.
  4. Fake It Til You Make It. Yes, it sounds cheesy, but it does work- you’re laying the foundation in your heart of hearts. The words you use create your reality. Throughout history, various faiths attest to this tactic.
  5. Create a routine. We all have (and cultivate) habits over time. This is your chance to make a positive impact on your life.
  6. Expect Excellence. From yourself. If you really get down to the bare bones of it all, your expectation of yourself should supersede the expectations you have of others. Basically focus on nothing other than yourself. There’s no shame in it.
  7. Work Your @$$ Off. Without this, everything else is a waste of time. Having a work ethic, hard work… sets the table for everything else. Having this foundation makes success possible. Hard work and keeping your vision in front of you at all times will usher you into the place in life you’ve always wanted to be.
  8. Attitude. It’s really not about having “the right attitude” (whatever that is). It’s about having an emboldened sense of being, a healthy self-image and a thirst for success. Something that this world cannot tame, quench or stop in any way. The dreams and visions take time to be established, so throw in some patience and a KILLER INSTINCT to the mix as well.

I hope you all take this to heart, even if it’s just a passing fancy. From time to time, we all need to self-evaluate and reinvent ourselves.

THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN.

The Total Self: Carbs for Weight Loss

 

NOTE: This article (and this site) is not a substitute for sound medical advice. Please consult your primary care provider in regards to diet and exercise.

With the advent of popular diets dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, people have developed a love-hate relationship with carbs. With recent 21st century diets, namely the immensely popular Keto diet, carbs have become supposedly anathema to the average fitness enthusiast everywhere. This article focuses on the 10 best carbs for weight loss.

1) Barley. One of the original “superfoods”, this ancient grain can keep you fuller longer, preventing overeating and regulating metabolism.
2) Whole Grain Breads. This pick does somewhat fly in the face of “conventional diet wisdom”. A recent Penn State study revealed that people who had whole grain products in low-calorie diets (12 weeks) lost a significant amount more belly fat than those who ate processed/enriched breads.
3) Chickpeas. This dynamic member of the legume family called “pulses” are a godsend for those seeking a way not to overeat.
4) Pears. This fruit is not only tasty, fibrous and filling, but it is also a natural stimulant. Studies have proven that adults who eat 30 grams of fiber daily (the average medium pear has 6 grams of fiber) lost on average 5 lbs a year.
5) Quinoa. This popular ancient grain has nearly twice as much fiber as its peers (i.e. wheat). Quinoa is a “complete protein”- you get the amino acids like you would in a steak without the saturated fats.
6) Black beans (frijoles). Packed with soluble fiber, these tasty beans help cut the visceral fat around the heart and waist. This reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
7) Sweet Potatoes. Packed with 27 grams of carbs, this tasty vegetable increases the levels of the important hormone adiponectin. Adiponectin lowers blood sugars and helps stabilize metabolism. Plus sweet potatoes are fat free and has fewer calories and sodium than white potatoes.
8) Oatmeal. This celebrated staple of many meal plans has been around forever, having its origins dating back to the Mediterranean Basin (ca. 1250 B.C.). Just don’t eat it with artificial sweeteners and fillers. Use natural sweeteners like coconut sugar, almond butter, cinnamon and/or cane sugar.
9) Teff. Termed “The New Quinoa”, teff is bringing Vitamin C, iron and protein. It also is packing calcium in the mix, with one cup (cooked) having as much calcium as one-half cup of spinach.
10) Kamut. This ancient grain has a lower fat content than oatmeal. It’s high in B6 (enhancing metabolism) and also contains the entire RDA of selenium along with a dose of Vitamin E for good measure- both proven and trusted antioxidants.

These (10) carbs are fantastic. Whatever your nutrition goals are, you cannot go wrong with any combination of these. Please read/view the related articles/videos below for more information. As I always say, knowledge is a crucial element. Without knowledge, you could not tell the good from the bad.
THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN.

RESOURCES
http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/1063356/kamut-versus-oatmeal
http://www.redbookmag.com/body/healthy-eating/g2573/16-best-carbs-to-eat-for-weight-loss/?slide=15

HACK

In all my time writing, lifting and working out, I have always placed a heavy emphasis on knowledge. Knowing how a thing came to be is big for me to understanding the true value of an exercise. In this fitness game we all love, there are several iconic exercises that come to mind, especially for you lifters out there:
Bench Press. Coined “the granddaddy of all weight training exercises”, this venerable exercise started out in the early 20th century as a floor exercise by Russian-British athlete George Hackenschmidt (who benched 315 the first time he did the exercise).
Hack Squat. Not nearly as popular, but just as effective, this was also invented by Hackenshmidt (the name Hack was obviously a play on his name).
Note: This article is not a substitute for sound medical advice. Please consult your primary care provider for all help with fitness regimens and diet.
I thought that this would be a bit of a fun history piece on an icon of nt only sports, but fitness as well. George Hackenschmidt (1877-1968) was a Russian-British athlete, author and vegetarian advocate. In his lifetime, he participated in over 3000 wrestling matches and was involved in probably the most iconic wrestling rivalry ever: Hackenschmidt/Gotch. He was billed as the first “World’s Heavyweight Champion” and was credited with inventing the Bear Hug (a wrestling hold). He was a writer of some note, penning several books such as “Fitness and Your Self”(1937), “The Complete Science of Wrestling” (1909) amongst others. He was also a strict vegetarian (and an advocate of the lifestyle) with a strict diet limited to fruit, nuts and vegetables. He drank 11 pints of milk per day, avoided smoking and caffeine.
Aside from the history tidbit, I have provided a pretty good video you can watch on Hackenschmidt (SHOUT-OUT TO NICK’S STRENGTH AND POWER for the inspiration), plus a short biography on him.
In closing, I can truly say that being knowledgeable is a big part of the basics. Knowledge, being studious and acting on the knowledge are also part of the basics.
THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN.

RESOURCES:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George/Hackenschmidt

BENEFITS OF OMEGA-3,6,7 AND 9

 

 

NOTE: This article is not a substitute for sound medical advice. Please consult your primary care provider for the best plan that will work for you.

 

With health problems related to a high-fat diet garnering most of the spotlight when it comes to nutrition, it can seem weird to be told that there are fatty acids that we have to have in order to stay healthy. However, omega fatty acids are essential compounds, which humans cannot synthesize ourselves. Instead, we have to ingest them as part of a healthy diet.

While there are a range of fatty acids with varying structures and functions, there are two of primary importance to health that are referred to as ‘essential fatty acids’. These are the omega fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and linolenic acid (omega-6). [1] Both are involved in the regulation of the cardiovascular and immune systems.

Most people are familiar with omega-3 from taking cod liver oil / fish oil (or witnessing other people’s grimaces when they did). Happily, these essential compounds are found in a range of food types that can easily be incorporated into most diets.

What Are Omegas Good For?

The list of health benefits of consuming omega fatty acids, particularly omega-3, is long and well-known, as well as the medical support for these claims. For example, reviews have claimed that there is little to no evidence to suggest omega-3 prevents cancer.

Aside from that, there are indicators that reveal that a strong intake of omegas can and will have far-reaching benefits such as:

  1. Lowering Blood Pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce blood triglyceride (fat) levels and stimulate blood circulation.
  2. Improving Rheumatoid Arthritis. There is preliminary evidence that omega-3 from fish oil may reduce symptoms such as joint swelling.
  3. Improved Mental Health. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to have a positive effect on depressive symptoms in those with bipolar disorder.

 

Omega 6 To 3 Ratios: The Delicate Balancing Act

The “ideal ratio” of omega-6 to omega-3 intake is 2:1 and it has been suggested that in “hunter-gatherer” days it was 1:1. Unfortunately, modern diets tend to include far more omega-6 relative to omega-3. A lower estimate of the typical ratio is 15:1. [6] This may not sound like a problem at first – but there is evidence to suggest that having a skewed ratio of the two essential omega fatty acids can negate the beneficial effects of both, even leading to new health problems. [7] The two are metabolised by the same enzymes, so if there is a flood of omega-6 in the body, omega-3 may not be available to the body in the required levels, even if sufficient quantities are consumed.

A 2002 scientific study reported that a ratio of 2.5:1 reduced rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer, whereas a ratio of 4:1 with the same amount of omega-3 had no effect. [8]

The food with the highest amount of omega 3 compared to omega 6 is krill oil, with 1:12 – which will offer a superb “counterbalance” as supplementation to our diet that is too high in omega 6.

The worst? Corn oil is listed as having 46:1 Omega-6 to omega-3.

Major dietary sources of omega-3:

  1. Fish (particularly sardines and mackerel)
    2. Soy beans
    3. Tofu
    4. Walnuts

Major dietary sources of omega-6:

  1. Poultry
    2. Eggs
    3. Avocado
    4. Nuts
    5. Cereals

Omega 7

Most people are aware of 3 and 6, but chances are that you’ve never heard of a new category of omega-7 fats, which includes palmitoleic acid (found in macadamia nuts, sea buckthorn and some other natural sources. Omega-7 has been found by researchers to protect against metabolic syndrome. [9] However omega-7 sources often contain higher levels of less beneficial fats which may even be harmful – so it is suggested to supplement with a purified omega-7.

 

Omega 9

Omega 9’s are also not as discussed as 3’s and 6’s. The 9’s are considered “non essential” to get from your diet – however some of the Omega 9’s (but not all) are considered valuable for health. In particular: Oleic acid (found in olive oil, poultry fat, lard and macadamia oil), may have health benefits. Nervonic acid (found in salmon, nuts and seeds) maybe beneficial for brain function. [10]

Note:

Of course, the main thing when making any decisions regarding your health and diet is to consider your needs and other factors. If you have an existing medical condition, it is always best to check with your primary healthcare provider whether supplements or changes to your diet are safe, even with regards to essential nutrients.

 

REFERNCES

1] E. Whitney and S. Rolfes (2008) Understanding Nutrition (11th ed.). https://www.amazon.ca/Understanding-Nutrition-Eleanor-Noss-Whitney/dp/0495116696

[2] C. MacLean et. al., “Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cancer risk: a systematic review.” JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association, 2006. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16434631

[3] P. Miller, M. Van Elswyk and D. Alexander, “Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid and blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” American Journal of Hypertension, 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24610882

[4] Rheumatoid Arthritis: In Depth (NCCIH): https://nccih.nih.gov/health/RA/getthefacts.htm

[5] P. Montgomery and A. Richardson, “Omega-3 fatty acids for bipolar disorder.” Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online), 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18425912

[6] A. Simopoulos, “The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids.” Biomed Pharmacother, 2002. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909

[7] http://www.gbhealthwatch.com/Science-Omega3-Omega6.php.

[8] The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. (Biomed. Pharmacother. 2002). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909

[9] Omega-7 Protects Against Metabolic Syndrome. http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2014/4/Omega-7-Protects-Against-Metabolic-Syndrome/Page-01

[10] PaleoLeap – Omega 9 Fats. http://paleoleap.com/omega-9-fats/

http://www.herbs-info.com/blog/benefits-of-omega-367-and-9-plus-top-omega-3-food-sources-put-this-on-your-fridge

MENTAL TOUGHNESS

In keeping with The Total Self, this article is a continuation of an earlier article I have written about this topic.I have spoken about mental toughness on oregonsportsnews.com, my own blogs and other social media platforms. I have given speeches about this also. The number one thing I believe that is holding people back in life other than broken focus and a solid plan (plus the willingness to execute) is a lack of mental toughness. It is not necessarily a bad thing that most people are not “hard”. You need people who are a tad softer, normal people in this world. This world would be in bad shape if it were just “Type As” all over the place. But you can learn from the Type A. Learn how to not let things stop you, how not to be a victim, and how not to allow things that have tormented you for years have any more control over you.
Mental Toughness has many definitions and is not limited to athletic performance and pain tolerance. I have known many men and women throughout my life who I would define as “mentally tough”. From an 85 year old gardener to a high school football friend, who it seemed neither ever had a bad day. Much of mental toughness is simply attitude and self-determination. If you do a quick search online on the subject, you will see a variety of mental toughness techniques, articles, stories of remarkable physical performances to brave acts of heroism overcoming insurmountable odds and fear.
On a personal note, mental toughness is a way of life. It is quite simple to me. To not allow any voices, anyone or anything to stand in the way of my goals. To be able to withstand setbacks, controvesy and many other troubles that life throws our way.

For the purposes of this site and its readers, I will also say that through somewhat challenging workouts and introspection and study of this topic, you will cultivate a mentally tough mindset. Again, my philosophy works for ME. As I have often said in my articles, take what’s said and make it work for you. For example minutes of non stop punching in a boxer’s case. In my case, heavy lifting and running for miles will create increased energy levels and an increased pain tolerance through training in the pain zone. You really have to get the body to know what pain is so you can endure it longer. PAIN is not injury, but if you push too hard through pain you will be setting up for injury, so knowing your training limits is necessary as well. Studying mental toughness (or at least how others go over) will shed some light on what you may be lacking. On the days when you feel like crap and you have to WILL yourself to go to work or to hit the gym. THAT too is mental toughness. Persistence and determination are all factors as well. Other terms used to describe mental toughness is inspiration, self-motivation and confidence.

 

There are many examples of those who bring themselves out of horrible childhoods of poverty, neglect, and illness to become heroes, mentors, millionaires, and presidents. That takes mental toughness in MY book.

Mental Toughness! How do you get it? Are you born with it? Can you acquire it? Arguments to this question have occurred long before our modern world came about. I am of the opinion that through tough physical training, proper mindset, and a high level of maturity that mental toughness is born. This toughness is what propels you through the storms of life and all that brings How do you get that?

Take for example, the Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong. He had endured one of the toughest diseases by beating testicular cancer. After his battle with cancer, he came back mentally tougher and was once considered the greatest cyclist ever. Maybe he had it all along, who knows? Mental toughness is not measurable and is completely internal. But I believe hard work will get you there. When Lance Armstrong was asked by reporters “What are you on?” referring to performance enhancing drugs. Lance stated, “I am on my BIKE – busting my hump (paraphrased)for 6-8 hours a day!!”

So the question is do you get mental toughness by attending special workshops, or by being in the military/police or by playing sports? Is it by going through hard situations in life and learning from them? I would say the answer is a comination of all that. You can definitely become mentally tough by training and overcoming the trials and tribulations life brings, but ultimately it will be by the determination you make to be unstoppable and make the world a product of you.

I have seen a lot of people not win at life due to cracking under pressure. These daily gut checks that tend to make cowards of us all is something to behold. The pressures we all face tend to beat us down, and send us to our breaking points- that will cause us to lose focus and that’s how we fail. Not because of lack of talent, but because of broken focus. The break in focus becomes a turning point in your struggle/campaign.
This is the biggest difference in those who win in life and who do not. Everyone will have their nemesis or weakness. The key is to BECOME someone who rises to the occasion. Someone who will plow right through very arduous situations and come out with their heads held high. To deal with setbacks and not let them affect you.
In closing, I would like to say that Mental Toughness is definitely one of the basics. One of the master keys to winning in life. THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN!!!

15 Ways for Success with Your Fitness Regimen

It’s now June… how many of you have kept with your New Year’s pledge to lose weight, perhaps turn your life around? If you’ve fallen off track, that’s no big deal (over 85% of Americans break their New Year’s pledges in under 45 days). In case any of you all need a refresher, or a plan to get over the hump (or just to stay the course), here is my list of 15 ways to have success with any fitness regimen. This is by no means a comprehensive list… but hopefully it will work for you. Now, the list.
There is no shortcut to ideal health (whatever that is for you), no magic pill that lets you hit your five-a-day target and no single exercise that gives you a shredded physique in minutes. It takes time, hard work and an educated approach to get in shape and stay in shape. Following these tips will make your fitness quest (and life) a whole lot easier.

1. Prepping for Success
The better path to a sound diet is found by using your weekends wisely. Use the extra time you have on your weekends to make large batches of healthy meals that you can portion up to cover at least a couple of midweek lunches and dinners, avoiding the certain death of your fitness goals via fast food.

2. Mix Up Your Exercise

Variety is – cliché alert! – the spice of life, and many sports and activities support each other in ways you won’t realise until you try it. For example, strength training for your legs and core will make you a better runner, while those addicted to dumbbells will find Pilates works muscles they’d never even considered.

3. Calibrate Your Fitness Technology
If you invest in a fitness tracker, don’t just sit back and assume that following the preset targets will lead you to glory. Adjust the steps, active minutes and calorie targets regularly to build on your progress, or make them more realistic if you never get close and have started to ignore them. If you don’t engage with your fitness tech, you’ll quickly discard it.

4. Add In Extra Activity
This one of the oldest tricks in the book: take the stairs not the escalator, or get off the bus a stop early and walk. Any activity is better than none, and will only encourage you to do more. And if you really want to up the ante, try sprinting up the stairs (safely) each time you take them – clinical studies found that short bursts of high-intensity stair-climbing can make a significant difference to your cardiorespiratory fitness.

5. Keep Tabs On Your Visceral Fat

You can be skinny on the outside (at least your arms and legs), but fat on the inside. Visceral fat is the type that builds up around your organs and often results in a pot belly. It’s linked with heart disease, several types of cancer and type 2 diabetes. Check your waist-to-height ratio (WtHR) to see if you’re at risk. Grab a piece of string and use it to measure your height, then halve it. If it doesn’t fit around your waist, get exercising – visceral fat is the first type to go when you start a health regimen.

6. Value Your Rest Days
When you start on a fitness kick, it’s tempting to exercise every day while motivation is high. This is a bad move, and one that may see your motivation flame out within weeks, because you’re always exhausted and won’t see the massive improvements you expect for your efforts. Why? You’re not giving your muscles the time and rest they need to recover and grow.

7. Up The Intensity If You’re Short On Time
Health and wellness experts still promote the 150 minutes of moderate activity a week minimum, but now offer an alternative option of 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week. That’s running or singles tennis, for example, rather than cycling or walking, which count as moderate. You can also mix the two, so 60 minutes of vigorous cardio plus 30 of moderate will do the trick also. Bear in mind the guidelines also demand strength exercises on two or more days a week alongside your aerobic activity.

8. Treat Your Body Right
Nothing derails a health kick as quickly as injury, as many serious injuries will start out as small ones- you may think it’s OK to push through. Scaling back the intensity for a few days is better than having to shut it down for a few months. If you have an urgent desire to hit the gym, target a different part of the body from the one that’s bothering you.

9. The Drive for Five
Eating at least five portions of fruit and veg a day should be at the cornerstone of your healthy diet plan. What’s not wise is getting in a rut and eating the same five every day, because different types of fruit and veg contain different vitamins and minerals. A good way to vary your five-a-day is to eat different colors, as the hue is a decent indication of the nutrients they contain.

10. Don’t Undervalue Your Sleep
There is tendency for people who sleep very little to brag about it, as if it’s an indication of their commitment to life. However, getting the full seven to eight hours is vital to a healthy lifestyle, as it provides the energy for your exercise and even influences dietary choices – a 2016 study found that in the day following a night of limited sleep, people ate an extra 385 calories on average. You don’t snooze, you lose.

11. Increase Your Cadence On Your Runs
If you are consistently picking up injuries when running, one change it’s definitely worth trying is to up your rate of strides per minute (your cadence). If you overstrike, thus taking fewer steps, you put extra pressure on your knee and hip joints. Try and take more steps, which means your feet will land more beneath your body, reducing the impact on your joints.

12. Give It Your All or Turn It Loose
The first time you try an exercise it’s very hard, but at least quite novel. The second time the novelty is gone, and it’s still hard, leading to the temptation to quit. Try it at least once more, as the third time is often the charm – when a sport or workout starts to become as enjoyable as it is tough.

13. Count Reps Backwards
This is a mental trick that might make resistance workouts a little easier. Counting down the reps means by the time it’s really hurting you’re at the 3,2,1 stage, which feels closer to the end than 8,9,10 or whatever target you’re going for. It won’t work for everyone, but it’s worth a try.

14. Make Full Use Of Your Street Furniture
Exercising outdoors is a great way to ensure you get your hit of vitamin D (if it’s sunny) as well as a good workout, and it doesn’t have to be all cardio. As well as the exercise machines that litter many parks, you can nearly always finds a bar or ledge for pull-ups, or a bench or wall to do dips on. Rarer treats can even include chains to use as ersatz TRX ropes.

15. Record Stats and Progress

Nothing builds motivation as efficiently as seeing signs of improvement, so make sure you keep some kind of record of your activity. It can be as simple as noting your record five-rep max or fastest 5K time, using either one of the many excellent fitness apps available or old-fashioned pen and paper.
In closing, these tips and tricks will help in your fitness goals. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is a fundamental building block in fitness and in life. Knowledge (alongside hard work and dedication) is the most essential of the basics. THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN!!

Averages for Americans, 1960-2010

It’s no secret that Americans are, well, fat. Upwards of 71%-79% of all Americans are overweight, with 80% of those being clinically obese. You’ve heard the rants, the opinings, the pleas before. Here is a graph chronicling this.

 

Image result for Average height weight American men 1977

 

In 2010, the CDC found that the average weight for American women is the same as American men in the 1960s.

Average height of American men: 5’9 1/2″

Average height of American women: 5’4 1/4″

Overall, women have slightly gained more weight than men since 1960 (18.7% women) to 17.6% for men. Both sexes are about an inch taller.

Average weight of American men: 195.3 lbs

Average weight of American women: 168.3 lbs

In comparison, the average American is 33 pounds heavier than the average Frenchman, 40 pounds heavier than the average Japanese man… and 70 pounds heavier on average than the average Bangladesh male.

In closing, we Americans are big. We must do better. The alternative is grim. But it can be done. It must be done.

 

 

 

 

8 Anti-Aging Foods

8 ANTI-AGING FOODS

Although the modern world has countless products designed to counteract the effects of aging from the outside, these don’t do anything for degenerative or age-related issues that may be occurring within.

If you can create better health and take better care of yourself, it stands to reason that not only will your internal organs be in better shape, but your skin will be also.

You may feel “invincible” when you are young, but acting as though you are will take its toll. Start caring for yourself properly – get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise and minimize toxins.
Here is my list of 8 foods that have been recognized by researchers for their health-prolonging and even rejuvenating effects:

1. Pomegranate

Pomegranate has been associated with immense cardiovascular benefits in actual human studies, which found that it reversed arterial plaque that is thought to be a prime cause of serious or even fatal heart conditions.

2. Berries
Berries of all types are antioxidant rich (especially organic ones) – which means that they combat free radicals, inflammation and inflammation-related diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and even Alzheimer’s. [1]

3. Omega-3 Rich Fish

Omega-3’s, which are found in wild-caught salmon (in much higher quantities than in farmed salmon), tuna and also some plant sources such as walnuts and flax seeds, have been associated with brain health – especially with beneficial effects on mood and attitude. [1] They are also considered anti-inflammatory.

4. Red Wine or Red Grape Juice

Yes, it’s true. Red wine contains resveratrol – a powerful antioxidant that has actually been associated with reduced cell death in the brain and heart – meaning that this could actually lengthen your life. It’s advised not to drink more than one glass of red wine per day for health reasons – also you could skip the wine and simply drink red grape juice if you prefer something non-alcoholic.

5. Tea
Black, green, white and oolong teas have been been associated with various health benefits. Note that loose leaf tea is considered preferable to tea bags, owing to chemical residues in the paper of the tea bags which can end up in the tea.

6. Chocolate

Who said that staying healthy had to be boring? Did you know that the world’s oldest person, Jeanne Louise Calment, ate a bar of chocolate every day during her later years? It’s true. Calment was a French supercentenarian who has the longest confirmed human lifespan on record, living to the age of 122 years, 164 days.

This amazing lady, who lived on her own until shortly before her 110th birthday, ascribed her longevity and relatively youthful appearance for her age to a diet rich in olive oil (which she also rubbed onto her skin), as well as a diet of port wine. She ate nearly one kilogram (2.2 lb) of chocolate every week. Calment reportedly remained mentally intact until her very end – though (astonishingly, and we don’t want to encourage you) – she smoked cigarettes from the age of 21 to 117! Chocolate’s health giving properties are due to its principal ingredient – cacao – which is noted for numerous health benefits.

7. Olive Oil

As mentioned above. Though be sure that you are getting olive oil that is pure and not adulterated.

8. Lycopene-rich Foods (Tomatoes, red carrots, watermelon)

Lycopene has been associated with reduced cancer risk and (in tomatoes) is a component of the Mediterranean Diet which is noted for producing some of the worlds longer-lived, healthier people.

Other beneficial foods worth adding to your list – avocados, nuts and swiss chard.

In closing… food should be fun. So should be eating helthy. Just another spin of the basics. THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN.

References:

[1] http://www.webmd.com/diet/best-anti-aging-foods