Arguably, the only thing more important than working out correctly, is recovering correctly. Immediate or short-term recovery is the most common form of recovery. This short duration of time allows the body to rebuild muscle fibers, making them stronger than they were before. Sleep is another crucial component of correct recovery. Athletes who are sleep deprived are at risk for losing aerobic endurance levels as well as decreased production of human growth hormones (HGH) — a hormone that is active during tissue repair. Workout recovery supplements also serve their own important role in the recovery process.
How can supplements help?
Long stretches in the gym at high intensity may seem like the best way to get that summer bod, but too much time in the gym can actually halt your progress. Make sure to leave some time to recover and recuperate. Workout recovery supplements help your body with this process and re-energize your body before you step foot in the gym again.
Many recently converted health nuts like to determine their progress based upon how sore they are post workout. NO BUENO. Sore muscles means it’s time to stop. Returning to the gym anything less than 90% fit is a one way ticket to injury. Thankfully these workout supplements help speed up the recovery process, getting you out of bed and back in the gym quicker.
Botanic Choice Creatine
Creatine is every gym nut’s best friend. It helps increase your muscles’ phosphocreatine stores. Phosphocreatine helps with the formation of ATP that gets broken down to produce energy. By increasing our phosphocreatine stores, we are able to produce more ATP, fueling muscles during high-octane workouts.
L-Carnosine is fantastic for improving muscle endurance by promoting healthy aging and cellular restoration. This supplement works by helping to reduce levels of hydrogen ions (H+) from our blood plasma. Too much H+ in blood plasma causes your body to drop in pH which can lead to other health complications. L-Carnosine acts as a buffer for bodily pH, which delays the onset of fatigue.
Whey protein is a staple recovery method for the gym-goer young and old. It’s main ingredient, protein, is essential for repairing and rebuilding muscle. Whey protein is easy for the body to absorb and digest. It is best to consume immediately after a workout.
BCAAs is short for Branched Chain Amino Acids. This supplement is very popular amongst bodybuilders. BCAAs help increase muscle growth, decrease muscle soreness, reduce exercise fatigue, and prevent muscle wasting. So not only will this help increase muscle mass, it’ll help you get back in the gym quicker and longer.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins which are vital for muscle growth, development, and recovery. In addition to its muscular benefits, regularly supplementing Glutamine can help enhance your immune system.
How do I know which ones are for me?
It is difficult to pinpoint what exact supplements fit your gym regimen. If you are looking for supplements that contribute to muscle growth, BCAAs and Whey Protein are a good shot, though Whey is good for most fitness routines.
If muscle longevity and endurance is more important to you, creatine or L-Carnosine may be helpful.
Other recovery methods such as proper hydration, stretching (both before and after working out), and rest are also important for muscle growth and recovery.
At the end of the day…
The only one who knows their body the best is you. The best thing you can do to get the most out of your workout is to understand your limits. Most injuries occur when people try to go that extra mile and push through the pain. Listen, the pain is your body’s way of telling you, “Please can we stop doing this.” So listen most importantly, listen to your body…and your doctor. Always consult your physician before adding supplements to your wellness regime and even increasing fitness routine intensity.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com.
There are so many reasons to love walking — it has a low barrier to entry, improves cardiovascular health, and can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family in person or virtually. Now, new research shows there’s a way to enhance the mental health benefits of walking even more with a technique called awe walking, which was designed specifically to increase positive emotions during exercise.
My Fitness Pal has the science behind it all...
If you‘re trying to build muscle but are not quite getting the results you want, there are probably things you‘re doing wrong.
And while many people focus on meaningless things, such as following the latest muscle-building celebrity workout, or buying a weight-gain supplement, the more important things are being ignored.
For the goal of building muscle mass, you have to:
1. Eat big!
Establishing a caloric surplus will massively optimize your muscle gains.
The caloric surplus should be made up of good amounts of all 3 macronutrients - Protein, fats, and carbs.
The optimal daily intake forms at ~1g of protein per lb of bodyweight, ~0.45g of fat per lb. of body weight, and 3-5g of carbs per lb. of bodyweight.
2. Lift big!
If your workouts are not challenging enough, you‘ll have a hard time gaining muscle whatsoever.
For the goal of gaining bulk muscle mass, you should focus on challenging sets of 6-15 reps, which bring you close to failure.
This will create a good stimulus for growth, given that you consistently do sets that challenge you in a new way.
3. Recover well!
Though training big and eating big are the two detrimental factors for muscle gain, recovery is actually where the magic happens.
The two most important aspects of recovery are your sleep and the time frame between the separate workouts.
Generally, it is recommended that you sleep 6-8 hours per night and train each muscle group once every 3-4 days.
By doing all of the above, you will create a good muscle growth stimulus, grant sufficient nutrients & time for the body to recover and grow stronger.
This is how you gain muscle.
If you want to achieve a healthy and toned body, it's important that you understand which exercises are effective and which aren't. Some exercises will actually help you lose weight and help the development of specific muscle groups. In case you're a bit confused about which exercises are good for which body fat levels, here are some of the top exercises that will help you get into shape.
1. Insanity: This is an extremely intense cardio exercise. However, it is proven to help you burn fat in a fast rate. This kind of exercise not only helps you lose the weight you want, but also helps you increase your metabolism. This particular exercise helps you to improve your cardiovascular fitness, increase your metabolism, and also reduce stress.
2. Sprinting: Sprinting is another great cardio exercise that helps you to lose weight in a speedy rate. Running for a short distance will also help your lungs become more efficient, reduce the risk of obesity and asthma, and will also increase your metabolism rate. It is also known to increase muscle mass.
3. Squats: This particular exercise helps you to lose weight with great intensity. You don't have to spend a lot of time to start seeing results. In case you want to increase your metabolism rate, you need to keep pushing yourself with this exercise. This exercise also works on your legs. They are the muscles that help you run longer, and you will also become more flexible.
4. Running Hills: This exercise has a great impact on your metabolism rate, and helps you burn fat at a phenomenal rate. Running up hills also helps you to develop your gluteus maximus. This is an area which many people neglect. They think that running doesn't work on this particular muscle group. Well, the fact is, this movement helps to develop glutes tremendously. Running up hills is another excellent cardio exercise, and helps you to lose weight in a faster manner.
5. Stairmaster: This particular exercise is said to work on the entire body. It helps you to develop muscle strength, and helps you develop heart muscle. The reason why it is considered as one of the great cardio exercises is because many people tend to gain weight slowly and gain heart muscle slowly. This exercise also gives you a good cardiovascular fitness. It helps you to lose weight in a faster rate, and also build muscles in a faster rate.
Hitting the daily step goal is a big part of most people’s smart watch experience. The number is front and center when you look at the mobile app dashboard and it’s easily viewed on most devices, making it super easy to check your progress throughout the day. But coming up with a step goal and reaching it are two different things.
For most people, it takes effort to hit a step goal every day, Fitbit has some tips to help you reach your step goal over...
As simple as running may be, it certainly isn’t easy. Especially when you’re a beginner. ‘You have to start where you are, not where you think you should be.' Runner's World has a guide for you to help get started...
Being in a mental rut can harm our health, productivity, and mood. Constantly bombarding ourselves with tasks, either through procrastination or just straight-up overworking ourselves, can give way to heightened levels of stress and anxiety. So, let’s look at five ways to help boost our productivity and mood.
1. Sleep good, work better.
Sleeping is a fantastic, and probably the easiest, home remedy to boost energy. Our mind and body are interconnected, so keeping one healthy ensures the other will do the same. A good start is maximizing sleep quality. Sticking to a structured sleep routine that provides our body with at least 8 hours of sleep will ensure consistent energy levels during the day. But for this to work, you must stick to a specific bedtime and wake-up time. Inconsistent sleep patterns are almost as harmful to the body as little to no sleep.
2. A healthy body is an optimized brain
As mentioned above, our body and brain are interconnected. We have talked about resting our bodies, but what about fueling them? Well, certain foods that are high in vitamin B12—one of the main vitamins known for energy enhancement—can help boost energy levels, giving you the fuel needed to get through the day. Fish, meat, poultry, and other dairy products are high in B12. Incorporating this vitamin into your diet can help power both your mind and body, helping you take on whatever life throws at you.
3. Stop workin’, start walkin’?
We know this may seem counterintuitive, but taking a step back from a task or assignment can actually help you get it done quicker! Exercise is not only crucial for the body; it also promotes mental well-being. And exercise doesn’t necessarily mean maxing your deadlift between paragraphs. It can be something as simple as going for a walk around the block. Just getting your body moving helps relieve stress, which can significantly inhibit productivity. Before you even start your work, early morning workouts have been said to get your mind and body prepared for the day.
4. Put down the phone
Social media, texting, and phone calls ranked as the 4th biggest workplace distractions only behind bathroom breaks and talking with coworkers. We’ve all been there: a text message alert or a Twitter notification goes off, and you are instantly entranced into the endless rabbit hole that is your cell phone. There are a bunch of simple ways to prevent this from happening. For starters, keep your phone and work separate. This can go as far as keeping it in a different room, whatever prevents you from distracting yourself. Other methods, such as putting your phone on “Do Not Disturb” and “Airplane Mode,” can immensely cut down distractions without feeling disconnected.
5. Organize your workspace
For many, a cluttered workspace = a cluttered mind. Having a clean workspace can work as a productivity “placebo.” You can trick yourself into working harder when your surroundings are organized. Everyone has their own gauge on what is considered to be “clean,” so do whatever you think is necessary. If it means just clearing off your desk, then go for it. And if “clean” means sanitizing all of your work materials, then do that. Just make sure not to overdo it. There is a fine line between organizing your workspace and plainly pushing off work. Find that balance. Find that productivity.
Feeling run down can have a lasting impact on our short term productivity, leaving us feeling defeated and mentally exhausted. But simple changes to the way we carry on through the day can help boost productivity and increase energy levels. Simple changes to our sleeping patterns and diet are two vital ways we can achieve this added boost in energy. Other changes such as exercise and work habits can help maximize productivity without stretching ourselves too far. These tips do not have to be followed verbatim, but should act as a guide in helping you navigate what best fits your lifestyle.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com
We’ve all faced times where no matter how hard you try, you just can’t stick to a healthy routine. Just thinking about exercise or cooking a healthy meal can be daunting, and with fast food being, well, fast, it’s not difficult to see why so many struggle to stay motivated with a healthy lifestyle.
It happens to everyone, there probably isn’t one person who can say they have never had a period of time where they have had some time away from eating right and exercising as often as they should.
Finding the motivation to look after yourself doesn’t mean that you need to spend hours in the gym or spend one day a week prepping healthy meals, you can do it so much easier.
Let’s have a look at some of the ways you can stay motivated below:
Give Yourself A Real Reward
No, this doesn’t mean eating an entire cheesecake after a run, it’s about giving yourself something that is going to help you get closer to your goals. Why not indulge in an episode or two of your favourite tv show or reading about the Association of Naturopathic Practitioners after your workout, to enable your muscles to recover? Or treat yourself to a massage after two or three weeks on track with your exercise routine. After you have eaten a healthy meal, reward yourself with some self-care such as taking a hot bath or home spa-treatment.
You are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, so the best thing you can do is to stop rewarding yourself with junk food, one of the main causes of a bad diet. Exercise will slowly become a habit, and your motivation will grow as you reward yourself in a positive way.
Set Yourself A Commitment Contract
We can make a promise after promise to ourselves, however, research shows us that we are more likely to eat well and exercise when we make the commitment to some one else such as our family or friends. Why not set a contract with your family to state you will workout three times a week for 30 minutes and that you will cook at least one healthy meal each day so you can be healthier for them?
Turn Your Workouts Social
In the world of today, it is very common to see people using social media as a way to stay accountable for their progress or commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s sharing their weekly weigh in, showing progress pictures, showing methods of exercise, or sharing pictures of your food, sharing them on social media may be a good way to keep you on track.
Always Remember The Why
There is going to be a reason why you want to live a healthier lifestyle, so, remember what it is when you feel yourself slipping. Whether you’re doing because you’ve gained a little weight over Christmas or through pregnancy, or you’re trying to minimise the risks from an underlying health condition, always think back to the reasons why you are making changes.
Remember changes aren’t going to happen over night, therefore, you shouldn’t expect them to. Don’t give up at the first hurdle, in fact, don’t give up at the tenth. No one said that making changes towards a healthy lifestyle was easy. Do you have any tips on how to you can stay motivated? Please share them in the comments below.
There is a good chance that you may have over indulged the last few days and need thinking that you need to work off all those treats. Runner's World spoke to a sport and eating dietician about how running should never be a validation of what you eat, at any time of year. You can find out more here...
The health benefits of a plant-based diet are, unsurprisingly, varied depending on what plants each person chooses to eat. For instance, one study compared the effects of a plant-based diet that incorporated whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes as compared to a plant-based diet that included potatoes (fries and potato chips), sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, and refined grains. The first group had the lowest risk for heart disease, were more active, and weighed less than the second group. You can get more information about plant-based sugar substitutes over at Pyure Brands.
As the situation in 2020 looks to be extending into 2021, it’s high time we start considering how we’re keeping healthy in the long-term.
Just like how overexertion will deteriorate your health, so too will a lack of exercise and fitness activities. In fact, you may have heard it said that sitting is a slow but sure way of reducing your lifespan potential, and nowadays a lot of us are doing a whole lot of sitting. The Workout Digest has only guide you will need to push you into 2021!
Wellness and stress-busting pretty much go hand in hand, so it’s fair to say we could all benefit from a bit less stress. Thankfully, there’s more than one way to make that a reality. In fact, myfitnesspal.com have counted 31 ways to reduce stress and put them together in this list...
If you think you're doing enough exercise and eating healthily but you're struggling to lose weight then join the club. So many of us think we're ticking all of the boxes for burning fat - and not getting any returns for our effort. The Sun has a guide to help you get those bad habits gone..
For many people, fitness is not about attempting to sculpt a chiselle six-pack or being able to run a marathon in under three hours. It’s simply about staying in good nick. Being able to say, without crossing your fingers, that you are a reasonably healthy adult. Coach Magazine has the perfect guide to keeping yourself fit regardless of how old you are!
Low-impact activities like swimming, cycling and weightlifting are often touted for their joint-friendly properties, but low-impact workouts have more to offer than just being easy on your joints — a lot more, according to fitness experts. myfitnesspal has 11 benefits to having a low-impact workout!
Now more than ever it is important to look after your health. We’ve seen throughout the year how easily germs can spread and at a rapid pace, which is why you should do everything you can to ensure your health is the best it can be and try to maintain that, especially over the next few months as winter arrives. In this post, we are going to look at ways you can maintain your health this winter.
Wash your hands thoroughly
By now you should be washing your hands often and thoroughly throughout the day. It’s something that you should be doing in general as practicing good hand hygiene is just sensible. Washing your hands will remove viruses, bacteria, dirt, and any other harmful substances that can be found on your hands and stop you from spreading them to other people and objects. Illnesses that can be spread by hands include flu, food poisoning, and diarrhea.
Simply wash them with soap and water for around 20 seconds, ensuring you clean between your fingers, the back of your hands, and the tips of your fingers. Make sure you dry your hands properly as partially dried hands can attract germs easily and recontaminate them. If soap and water are not available you can clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol, then when you can, clean them with soap and water.
Eat more fruit and vegetables
An effective way to fight off germs is by keeping your body healthy by eating well. To eat healthier you need to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet. On cold winter days and nights, you may be tempted to pick comfort food over healthier options. This is fine in moderation but try to stick to a healthy diet to maintain your immune system and protect you from winter illnesses like flu, coughs, and colds.
There are many people who train to become a health coach who can provide you with information on taking responsibility for your diet, so if you are struggling in this area consider speaking to an expert who can offer advice. In the meantime, you could try boosting your fruit and veg intake with staple winter vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, Brussel sprouts, and carrots. Fruits you should try to eat at this time of year include oranges, lemons and limes, and pomegranates.
Ensure you exercise
Winter weather can be off-putting leaving many people staying indoors instead of getting out and about for some fresh air and exercise. While sitting by the fireplace with a hot drink and a good book may sound ideal, it is important to still get some kind of exercise. Whether you choose to stay indoors or go outside for this, is entirely up to you.
You could go for a nice long winter walk, a jog in the morning to get it out of the way, or you could do a quick 10-minute workout at home which is short enough that you can easily fit it into your daily routine. Exercise can help protect against high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, as well as other health conditions. It also helps strengthen your muscles and builds endurance. Exercise can also boost your mood and increase your mental alertness.
Get plenty of sleep
Getting enough sleep helps to keep your mind and body healthy. Most adults need around 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. While the number of hours of sleep is important, so is the quality of your sleep as this will help prevent you from waking up throughout the night. There are many health benefits of getting enough sleep. It can help reduce stress, lower your risk of serious health conditions, help you maintain your weight, and prevent you from getting sick often.
If you are struggling to get enough sleep, you can try making changes to your bedtime routine. Give yourself a bedtime each night and try to stick to this. By getting into a routine, it will allow you to relax and unwind around the same time every night. To help you relax, you could have a warm bath before bed, listen to calming music, or read a book to relax the mind. Create a comfortable sleep environment, making sure the room is dark and quiet.
If you’re a first-time parent or you’re growing your family, its a guarantee that many parents struggle everywhere with getting their baby to sleep. As with adults, sleep is quite a personal thing for a baby and there are many things that could be keeping them up at night.
It’s important to look after your body throughout the year but especially during winter. By following the tips outlined in this post, you can help maintain your health this winter.
We all know about the physical benefits of sports and exercise. If you want to build muscle, you lift. If you want to improve aerobic fitness, you might want to run… What do you do when you’re struggling with your mental well-being? myprotein.com has the stats on this one...
Most of us have too much chaos going on in our lives to consciously focus on every bite we eat, the secret is to change your environment so it works for you rather than against you! Psychology Today has some insight into how to avoid the junk food!
When you make a plan to run in the morning, you set your alarm to wake you up and you pick out the clothes and shoes you’re going to wear. The only catch? It’s getting increasingly late, and you can’t seem to fall asleep. As it turns out, even one night of partial sleep deprivation may have an effect on your performance the next day, a recent study in the journal Physiology & Behavior suggests. Runner's World has more...
If you set an alarm each night before turning out the lights, take note: Waking up feeling refreshed and alert could be as simple as changing the tone on your alarm clock, according to research published in the journal PLOS One. myfitnesspal.com has more on the terror an alarm clock can cause!
It’s every weight loss enthusiast’s dream to zap the belly fat but, far from pure vanity, there’s actually a reason why having a lot of fat in the abdominal region can be dangerous. Fat is stored all over our body, but how does an expanding waistline grow your risk for chronic illness? myfitnesspal has the info..
If you'd like a really jam-packed step-by-step article with useful info on how to lose fat, its well worth checking this guide out over at Fitness Fixed Gear...
Another great way to lose weight around your midsection is to follow a results-based workout aimed at shrinking your waistline without spending hours at the gym every day. For an easy, step-by-step routine, head on over to Fiercest Fitness.
When trying to lose weight, it can be hard to sort through the myriad conflicting information. Should you give up dairy? What about the protein-packed, gut-healthy benefits of Greek yogurt? myfitnesspal has 11 of the most common weight-loss myths.
Who knew when you packed up your desk and carried your work computer home back in the spring, you'd still be working from home now? But here we are. While swapping morning commutes for workouts and cooking more at home has helped many get healthier, the transition also has downsides resulting in letting some healthy habits slide. myfitnesspal has a list of mistakes you could be making that's hurting your weight-loss goals!
We can all agree there are numerous mental and physical benefits of walking. Whether it’s a structured walking program or simply adding 10 minutes wherever you can, walking can help improve your overall health. myfitnesspal has the help for you...
Walking is one of the most accessible exercises you can do to improve your heart health, lose weight, live longer and boost your mood.. If you’re starting a regular exercise routine, it may seem daunting to aim for 10,000 steps a day. The good news is you can build up slowly without drastically altering your schedule — and if you already get 10,000 steps a day, you can still add more. You can read more over at myfitnesspal.com!
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live