Be fit and in shape with great workouts, fitness tips, and yoga!

The Benefits of Running

Running is one of the most popular sports around the globe and is something that everyone is, at least, somewhat familiar with. What many may not know are the numerous benefits that running offers us. This isn’t limited to physical rewards, either. When I first started running at a young age—before many of you were born—I thought it was solely good for fitness endurance. You know, to help me run for longer distances in shorter times. While this is true, little did I know that there are some other amazing benefits to running. I bet you didn’t realize some of these, either!   Top 10 Benefits of Running Running comes with even more benefits than we have time for today. What I can say is that they range from physical to psychological and also some that are a matter of convenience. If you’re in a rush and want the shortlist, check these out, but if you prefer the nitty-gritty, scan below: Aids weight loss. Increases bone density. Boosts confidence. Improves mental health. Builds endurance. Prevents high blood pressure. Strengthens immunity. Increases lung capacity. Can be done anywhere. Totally legal high.     Aids Weight Loss Are you looking to lose some weight? Basic science tells us that in order to shed pounds, we need to burn more calories than we consume. The good news is that running burns calories at a higher rate than many other forms of physical fitness. This includes jumping rope, bicycling and swimming, among others. Not only that, but there’s the “afterburn effect,” as well. This refers to the energy our bodies continue to use after we exercise and have returned to a state of rest. For high-intensity runners, this effect could be even more rewarding. Maybe you’re a newbie, and full-on sprints sound like a nightmare. Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You could sprinkle some high-intensity bursts into your normal routine and see where it takes you. Just make sure that you have the right footwear. If you're in any doubt then check out our best running shoes page for all of our recommended shoes. No matter your sport or type of injury, we have you covered. Whether it's the best running shoes for high arches, the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis, the best running shoes for supination, the best running shoes for flat feet, the best running shoes for heavy men, the best sprinting shoes, or something different. So if you're in the market for a new pair of running shoes check out our reviews and recommendations.     Increases Bone Density When we reach our 30s and 40s, this becomes a real concern. To prevent osteoporosis, we have to make sure our bones are in good shape, and one of the best ways to combat the condition is through regular exercise. Weight-bearing activities, in particular, are shown to have a great impact. For example, in one study conducted on men from the [...]

2020-06-10T16:53:48-07:00 By |

6 Ways To Build Strength And Muscle Mass

A healthy body with considerable muscle mass and a lean physique is never out of trend. Whether it is for flexing at a competition or to look fabulous in your everyday life, a robust muscular stature is alluring to many. It shows one's discipline and dedication towards their sport and life in general. You not only exhibit confidence, but also feel great to have perfected your practice. By all means, one may try to achieve it as fast as possible. But before you get ambitious about gaining huge muscle mass, you may want to take a little time in planning your routine first. For it is not merely exercising and increasing the food volume that gets you muscular, numerous aspects need incorporation when you want the actual results.   Devise an efficient workout plan. You may choose any form of exercise to stay fit, but some of them focus primarily on burning fat and adding mobility. While The HIT and aerobics exercise sweats you out and burns a fair amount of fat per session, but in terms of building muscle mass, they might not be a big hero. To get body gains along with the strength, you may most likely want to make yourself a workout plan that includes a substantial amount of strength training routine. Hitting some weight on the bar primarily focuses on breaking down your old muscles and recovering them stronger than before. If you supply yourself with the right technique and, of course, appropriate nutrition, you will walk out with stronger and bigger muscles. When one wants to gain muscle endurance, and resistance training is the king, all you have to decide is what forms will hold your interest and bring maximum results to you. Each body is different so that each individual may respond differently. The frequency, volume, density are small nit-grits that hugely impact your results. Taking help from a legit coach to build a plan for you to deal with uncertainty and get you the results faster and more efficiently.   Proportionate your macros. Like your exercise routine, another vital component that is responsible for muscle growth is your diet structure and calorie input. It is not only about what you eat, but your meal timings also play a vital role in supplying your body with consistent nutrition throughout the exercise and the recovery phase. What and how you eat has an important role to play in your fitness journey, if you are looking to build muscle you may want to proportionate your macros in a ratio that are more carbohydrates, approximately 40 percent, while keeping optimal protein and fat ratios. You may variate this percentage depending on your body needs.   Introduce a small surplus. To build muscle mass, you need to eat above your maintenance calories. You can easily estimate your calorie intake per day and introduce a small surplus ranging from 200 calories to 500 calories, depending on your goals. You can eat one surplus [...]

2020-06-09T17:47:54-07:00 By |

5 Ways Exercise Can Boost Mood and Energy

Everyone admires a great body. It improves your self-image and self-esteem. If you want to lose weight and get in shape,  a great workout routine is what you need. Sportsmen and women are always in great shape and health because they exercise a lot. It is impossible to disregard the benefits of regular exercise and its contribution to health and well-being. Many people have turned to performance-enhancing drugs to boost their output during exercise, but do you actually understand what exercise does to your body? Many people know that physical activity helps with fitness, but there are more benefits of exercise beyond physical fitness. The advancement of science has helped us understand the interaction of physical activity with the muscles, bones, heart, lungs, and brain and the benefits of exercise to these areas. Let’s look at five key ways in which exercise boosts mood and energy levels in your body. 1. Boosts Energy Levels Exercise is vital in stimulating muscle growth and strengthening bones. When coupled with appropriate protein intake, physical activities such as push-ups can help with muscle growth. During intense physical activity, the body releases hormones that increase the absorption of amino acids, which act as biofuels during exercise. This increases energy flow throughout the body, which boosts the flow of oxygen and nutrients to different tissues and improves cardiovascular activity. With this increased energy flow, you will have more strength to handle different activities. Because of the role of exercise in muscle and bone density growth, physical activity is useful in preventing muscle wasting and osteoporosis. 2. Helps Improve Mood Many doctors prescribe exercise to depressed and stressed patients as an alternative or supplement to medication. Scientific evidence has shown that exercise’s ability to increase the heart rate and energy levels helps alleviate conditions such as depression and anxiety, which in turn, improves mood. Exercise helps stimulate a range of brain chemicals, such as endorphins, which improve mood and leave you feeling more positive and calmer. Exercise alone can help alleviate stress and prevent the onset of depression. Scientific evidence suggests that regular exercise for a period of 16 weeks is an effective anti-depressant among people who do not exercise regularly. If you have had a stressful day, a casual walk or a gym session may be just what you need to feel better! With regular exercise, you will not only feel less anxious, more relaxed, and happier, but you will also have improved self-image, a boost in self-confidence, and high self-esteem. 3. Improve Sleep Quality Exercise is associated with increased production of serotonin, a hormone useful in the synthesis of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates the sleep/wake cycle. Hence, regular exercise can help you regain and maintain your sleep pattern. With good exercise, you should not struggle to fall asleep or wake up in the morning. Exercise also depletes energy in the body, and when you fall asleep, the body enters a recuperative process, leading to deeper, better quality [...]

2020-04-13T17:34:01-07:00 By |

What Does Exercise Do For Your Mental Health?

Everyone knows that exercise is good for your physical health. Improving your fitness, benefitting your general health, and keeping your weight in check are all proven pluses to working out. But did you know that exercise can help your mental health too? In fact, exercise can make a huge difference to your mental health is a whole range of different ways — and can particularly help people struggling with anxiety and stress. In this post, we’ll be looking at what exercise can do for your mental health and exploring the many positive benefits that getting active can have. Related: Ten Ways to Stay Active as We Age   1.   Exercise releases “feel-good” chemicals in your body One of the main reasons people cite exercise as being good for your mental health is because it releases “feel-good” chemicals in your body — improving your mood and overall happiness. You’ve probably heard of them: endorphins. It’s not just endorphins that physical activity stimulates the release of either —  serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are all also released when you do exercise. Each of these brain chemicals (known as neurotransmitters) plays an important part in regulating your mood and boosting your overall wellbeing. As well as helping you to feel happy, energized, and motivated, these neurotransmitters can help to alleviate the feelings and symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.   2.   Exercise promotes mindfulness Exercise can help to promote mindfulness; increasing your ability to be fully present in the moment, rather than zoning out or letting your mind wander. If you’re regularly feeling overwhelmed by everything around you and your own thoughts, then mindfulness can have a positive influence on your mental health. Exercise can help you to achieve this mindfulness. Concentrate on how your body feels and the rhythm of your movements as you exercise — the movement of breath in and out of your body. Think of regular activity as an investment in your mind, body, and soul: by being truly present in the physical sensations in your body, you can achieve a zen-like mindset which will benefit your mental health. By practicing these techniques, you’ll find yourself focusing on the task at hand, rather than getting distracted by worries and negative thoughts. You might not realize it right away, but a repetitive exercise that you can lose yourself in — like swimming or run — will promote feelings of calmness within you.   3.   It relieves the physical symptoms of stress & other issues If you have ever suffered from stress or a similar type of poor mental health, you’ll know that these problems don’t just manifest themselves in how you feel or think; they impact your body and physical fitness too. For example, if you are feeling stressed or anxious, you will find that your muscles are often extremely tight, leaving you feeling tense, achy and painful. These feelings can affect your neck, back, shoulders and give you tension headaches. They may cause stomach problems, [...]

2020-01-08T13:28:46-08:00 By |

Senior Wellness: How Preventive Care and Technology Can Help Keep You Healthy

Age is the primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and a variety of other illnesses. However, just because you are getting older doesn't mean you can't take steps to stay as healthy as possible. With preventive care, technology, and healthy habits, you can increase longevity, improve immunity, and lower the risks of contracting a number of diseases.   Preventive Care As you age, annual physicals and preventive screenings become more and more important. You need to catch cancer and other diseases early for the best chances of recovery. When it's time to renew your health insurance, compare Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage plans to figure out the best choice for you. The Medicare Open Enrollment period runs from October 15 through December 7 each year. During this time period, you can switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan (and vice versa). You can also change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, as well as add or switch your Medicare Part D plan (prescription drug coverage). Medicare Advantage plans are legally required to cover everything covered by Original Medicare, plus many offer other benefits such as dental, hearing, and vision care, as well as prescription drug coverage, wellness programs, and gym memberships. Compare the premiums, copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles of various plans, as well as the list of benefits, to determine which plan will meet your needs.   Daily Exercise Exercise is vital for people of all ages since it can benefit your blood pressure, sleep habits, and all other areas of life. One way to track your physical activity level is by using smartphone apps. If you'd like to upgrade your current phone, look for a new phone that has the capacity to run a variety of apps. The Samsung Galaxy S10 is a top choice with its high processing speed, durable Gorilla Glass, and super quick wireless charging capability. If you are more of an Apple fan, then check out the new iPhone 11 Pro Max, which has an amazing triple camera system and fingerprint-resistant glass. In addition to having a great smartphone, you should also look into getting an unlimited data plan so you can use your new phone as much as you’d like. Some of our favorite exercise apps for seniors include: Johnson & Johnson's 7 Minute Workout - This app is great if you are on a time crunch and want to get in a quick but effective Runkeeper - This app tracks your speed, distance, and routes with GPS, whether you are hiking, biking, or training for a marathon. Instant Heart Rate - This app allows you to monitor your heart rate accurately and easily by putting the tip of your finger on the camera lens.   Healthy Eating Exercise isn’t enough to stay healthy. You also need to eat well. According to reports by the World Health Organization (WHO), a majority of the diseases that older people suffer from are the result [...]

2019-11-07T16:35:53-08:00 By |

Ten Ways to Stay Active as We Age

As you get older, you may find yourself slowing down. But taking the lazy way out and not making the time to move and nourish your body can come with detrimental consequences to your health such as a decrease in your strength, cardio, balance, flexibility, and overall well being. That is why it is important to stay active as you age. But staying active doesn’t have to take the form of laborious workout regimens or pushing your body to the brink. There are several less demanding ways to get active throughout the day that will have your mind and body thanking you later. Here are ten of my favorite ways to stay active as you age: 1.    Get Up If you work a desk job or you spend a lot of time at home, then you may get in the habit of sitting for long periods of time. While a more sedentary lifestyle can be tempting, it is essential to split your time sitting up with microbreaks so you can ease inflammation and rejuvenate your body and mind. So stand up, stretch, walk around the office (or your house), or go outside at least every couple of hours. Even if you only move around for just three minutes every two hours you will feel lasting results. 2.    Do Strength Training We lose as much as three to five percent of our muscle mass each decade after age 30. The takeaway? If you don’t use your muscles, they will degrade. Performing weight-bearing exercises will help maintain and add muscle tone. These activities can include walking, jogging, hiking, and taking the stairs. 3.    Stretch As you get older, you may notice that your body isn’t as flexible as it once was. It is just as important to spend time stretching as it is spending time doing strength training or cardio. Proper stretching will not only make you feel more limber, but it can also reduce injuries and improve balance. 4.    Join a Team If you’ve always been a team player and are motivated by working alongside others to achieve a common goal you should consider joining a team. Basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, and many other sports are available in recreational activity centers. If you love to play or want to learn then you should consider signing up. Sports take a tremendous amount of cardio, strength, and time. Playing just a couple of times a week will easily help you meet your exercise quota. 5.    Attend a Workout Class There are hundreds of different classes available for people of all ages. You can do anything from dancing to martial arts to spin classes. Fun, interactive classes make exercising much more enjoyable and can take away the pressure of having to form your own exercise regimen. For those with Medicare, there is an option of adding Medicare Supplement Insurance that offers SilverSneakers, a fitness program with access to gyms and other workout classes. 6.    Try Balance Training As you [...]

2019-08-12T17:54:23-07:00 By |

The Top 10 Detox Herbs

How to Find The Best Detox Herbs Today I want to explore ten of the best detox herbs used to cleanse various organs and systems of the body. Most of these herbs have been part of the therapeutic lexicon for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and are known across many cultures and borders to help with various ailments and health conditions. Due to their long history, popularity, and reported effectiveness, some of these herbs are also active ingredients in some of our most effective body cleansing products. 1. Organic Gum Acacia Made from the sap of the acacia tree, this substance has been used for centuries to help relieve symptoms of diarrhea by adding bulk to bowel movements and improving electrolyte absorption. It is also one of several ingredients in Oxy-Powder®. As a hydrocolloid, it is used as an emulsifier to stabilize and facilitate synergy between two ingredients which would not normally mix well together. [1] If you’re looking for a supplement that can help with digestion, check out OXY-POWDER in the AlrightStore. 2. Dandelion For centuries, parts of the entire dandelion plant have been used to help with a wide range of maladies. It promotes bowel regularity and good hydration levels in the body. And, its famous derivative, dandelion tea, has been used to help with joint discomfort. Dandelion root is used in our liver-cleansing product, Livatrex® because it supports bile production, and bile helps transport toxins out of the body. Dandelion is also believed by some to help the body’s immune system. [2] 3. Organic Milk Thistle This herb has been used to help the gallbladder and liver for over 2,000 years. It has been known to help produce bile, which in turn improves digestive function. Milk thistle is an active ingredient in Livatrex, which is our most popular liver and gallbladder cleansing product. [3] 4. Black Walnut Europeans were first introduced to this herb in the 1600’s. Three active agents in black walnut, juglone, tannins, and iodine, make it particularly effective in natural health and wellness practices. Juglone is the black walnut’s natural defense mechanism, which helps fight against harmful organisms like bacteria and fungus. Tannins also help deter harmful organisms. Iodine, an essential mineral to all life forms, helps reduce the lifespan of many harmful organisms. 5. Wormwood The subject of much folklore, wormwood’s potent reputation as a component of absinthe lead to it being banned in the United States for many years. Despite the momentary hiccup, wormwood is back and has been used since Egyptian times to fight harmful organisms such as pinworms and roundworms. It has also historically been used to aid with digestion. 6. Cilantro Cilantro is instrumental in helping the body rid itself of dangerous toxic metals that accumulate in organ tissues. It is also a very popular herb that is talked about on almost every cooking show. Cilantro possesses natural cleansing agents that contain compounds which bind to toxic metals and help pull them out [...]

2018-06-18T17:57:58-07:00 By |

4 Things Seniors and Caregivers Should Know About Yoga and Meditation

Caregivers and seniors are exposed to so much unique stress in their everyday lives. So, it makes sense that you need similarly unique ways to relieve that tension. Yoga and meditation can be the self-care combo that melts away that stress. Here are some reasons and tips for getting your own practice started.   Yoga Benefits Your Gut as Much as Your Mind  For caregivers and seniors, the primary purpose of meditation and yoga practice is improved mental health. If you get started with yoga, however, you may also be boosting your gut. The flow and work you do through yoga practices can actually encourage healthy processes throughout your digestive system, and that regular movement can help those healthy gut bacteria thrive too. As an added benefit, balancing out your microbiome can also help balance out your mood. So yoga really can be good for your body and brain in many different ways. But if you really want to promote a healthy gut and digestive system, adding fermented foods like yogurt is another way to up the ante. Try a refreshing smoothie that includes yogurt for a pre-yoga workout snack or even a healthy breakfast.   A Home Practice Space Can Enhance Your Habits  Ask any seasoned yogi and they will tell you one of the biggest challenges of practicing is actually stepping onto your mat. It’s important to practice regularly to really get yourself into the habit of using yoga and meditation so you can derive the full benefits. One way to encourage your practice is to dedicate a space in your home. All you need for a relaxing space is an area to stretch out and some basic supplies, like a mat, a block and a full-length mirror. Those items won’t take up too much space, but it’s still a good idea to clear away any clutter.  Consider this the perfect opportunity to remove items that are taking up both emotional and physical space. Give yourself time to decide by transferring anything you don’t need to a storage unit (a 5’x10’ unit rents for only $109 a month at Storage Etc-Los Feliz). Whether it’s temporary or long-term, having that extra space can make a difference for your mental well-being.   Morning Meditations May Provide More Benefits  Setting up a dedicated meditation and yoga space is a wonderful first step to encouraging a regular practice. Finding the time to practice, however, can be a challenge for seniors and busy caregivers. One method for making your meditation habit stick is to practice in the morning. By meditating as soon as you wake up, not only are you getting it out of the way, but you’re also setting the tone and mood for the day. If you tend to have a hard time remembering to wake up and meditate, you can also use a handy meditation app to set reminders. The guided meditation that apps like Headspace and Insight timer provide are helpful for caregivers who [...]

2019-03-26T19:25:27-07:00 By |

How Yoga Can Help an Empath

I am an empath. Sometimes I wish I weren’t, but most of the time it is one of my greatest gifts.   Empathy is, “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” – dictionary.com Unlike its sister term “sympathy”, feeling sorrow for another, empathy means to experience the feelings of another, from the inside. As you can imagine, going inside the experience of another being is often very unpleasant. When the object of your empathy is experiencing sorrow, you experience sorrow. When she is elated, you are elated. The teachings and techniques of yoga are meant to bring us closer to perfect union with the omnipresent consciousness that underlies all things. In a way, this is perfect empathy. The difference between yoga and empathy is that the former seeks to unite with the pure divine consciousness that all things are made from, bliss, while the latter seeks to unite with the experience of the person, place, or thing in question. But, empathy is a tool for the yogi and one that is naturally cultivated through the practice of meditation. Toward the end of my teacher Swami Kriyananda’s life, many noted the heightened sensitivity he showed toward the suffering of others. Mostly, he choked on tears of joy, but suffering too made itself known in his face. The great yoga master Paramhansa Yogananda once exclaimed, “Can you not feel its pain?!” when a disciple was carelessly moving a potted tree as he prepared to plant it in the Lake Shrine gardens. As we meditate, we experience increasingly subtle energies in our body. It should be no surprise that the result is often a heightened sensitivity to the world around us when we step off the yoga mat. In my new job at March of Dimes, I’m listening to stories of tragedy and loss a lot. Stories of injustice and the extreme suffering of losing a baby or mother. If you are black or brown in the United States, you are at high risk of experiencing complications in pregnancy and childbirth for a myriad of reasons, all of them avoidable and rooted in inequity. The stories break the heart of an empath. So, how does an empath cope? How do we develop these keen sensitivities in meditation and still move in the world with joy? Here is what works for me: Lean into the pain. For Siddhartha, the young Buddha, the pain of seeing aging, disease, and death propelled him on his spiritual search. Do not shy away from the pain you experience if you are an empath. Lean into it and you will find, after the waves of suffering subside, that it awakens your latent desire for truth. Release self-righteousness. The great trap in suffering is to give into the idea that you are right and someone else is wrong. That feeds separation consciousness, which leads only toward more suffering. Dr. Peter described it best in a talk last summer when he explained that [...]

2019-03-13T17:32:05-07:00 By |