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Can Juicing Help Improve Fitness?

Can Juicing Help Improve Fitness?

Fitness is always a hot topic. Whether we want to get fit to lose weight, to have more energy, or to feel better about ourselves, we’re always looking for ways that’ll make the whole process easier. Juicing is one health trend that’s really taken off in recent years, but does it really work to improve your fitness?

Diet Changes to Break Through Plateaus

The secret to improving your fitness level is to keep your body guessing. This means never stick to the same exercise or diet routine. In reference to a diet plateau, this happens when you consume the same types of foods, such as whole grains and fresh, raw foods for a long period of time. When you have plateaued your diet needs a jump-start. This is when you can begin introducing the process of juicing. Juicing restarts your body so you can continue to work hard at improving your fitness goals.

Nutrient Delivery

Juicing is a form of concentrating fresh, organic fruits and vegetables that assist in keeping your fitness routine on track. Just one glass can help you get more nutrients in your body and improve your fitness. Juicing is able to increase your metabolism, get you physically stronger, reduce the chance of injury, and your ability to reach and maintain your fitness goals will increase.

Inflammation Reduction

When working on a fitness routine, there is a possibility that you may become injured. When you are injured, inflammation is likely to occur in the joint areas.  Juicing neutralizes the acidity of the injured area and reduces the inflammation. Through this process, as you continue juicing, you will also experience other benefits, such as a rise in your metabolism, ability to process the nutrients from juicing to provide you with increased energy that will not be stored as fat, and a strong body with a reduction in injuries.

Energy Improvement

Including juicing in your fitness program will show you the power it has of increasing your physical energy so you can perform more efficiently. As energy increases, your hormones balance out and your digestion improves. This is not energy that comes with highs and lows. It is a sustained energy to support you through all your workouts, where you have the ability to exercise with great effort.

But remember – juicing alone is not what’ll make you fit. You must combine it with exercise!

How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise Each Day

How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise Each Day

Some days, getting up to exercise just doesn’t seem to be in the cards for that day. You know you should, but the drive and determination isn’t there.

So do you give in and skip exercising that day or do you reach deep inside and convince yourself otherwise? Here are 6 tips that you can use to motivate yourself when the going gets tough:

1) Set Goals

Most people don’t get up in the morning just for the sake of exercising. They have a bigger purpose in mind – a goal if you will. Exercising is merely a path to that goal. Keep in mind goals should be reasonable and attainable.  If you set a goal that is so high that you have zero chance of attaining it, you’ll soon lose your motivation and quit. Instead set a small goal and when you achieve that one, set one just a little higher.

2) Write Your Goal in a Visible Place

Goals are a great motivator, but if they exist only in your mind, they are soon forgotten. Write down your goal and post it where you will see it each day or several times per day. On the refrigerator makes a great place to post your goal.

3) Celebrate Success

Regardless of how small a success, celebrate it. Taking this celebratory step is an important part of closing out that achieved goal so you can set a loftier one. Just make sure the celebration doesn’t sabotage the success. For example if you are exercising to lose weight and achieve your goal, don’t celebrate with a meal full of calories and saturated fat. You can celebrate with food, but be smart about it and stay on track.

4) Search Out Inspiration

Keeping to a rigorous daily exercise program not only involves a lot of perspiration, but inspiration too. Search out blogs and articles written by people trying to achieve similar goals. Go to YouTube and watch videos to see how people achieved their goals. Feed off of that knowledge and enthusiasm in your quest.

5) Focus on Benefits

If you focus on the exercising itself, you’ll soon become disillusioned and maybe even quit. Instead, focus on the benefits derived from your daily effort. What do you hope to get from your daily grind? It might be to lose weight, get healthier, stronger, a more toned body or a host of other benefits. Keeping an eye on the benefits will help pull you through the rough times.

6) Exercise With a Friend

Nothing will give you more motivation than exercising with a friend or family member. On the days when you don’t feel like working out, you will anyway because you don’t want to let down your exercise buddy. The truth be known, s/he may not want to exercise that day either, but they do it for you. Accountability to another person is a strong motivator and a great way to stay on track to your goal. Once achieved, then you can both celebrate success together.

Staying motivated over the long haul is hard. And there will be times when you feel your enthusiasm waning. Using these tips will give you the motivation to continue even when you don’t otherwise feel like it.

Here’s a fun video I suggest you watch too:

The Benefits of Challenging Yourself to Master 100 Situps

The Benefits of Challenging Yourself to Master 100 Situps

Performing situps as a physical fitness exercise has so many benefits. Aside from requiring no expensive or special gym equipment, you improve your overall core strength. And though many searching for sexy six-pack abs focus on situps for that reason alone, the well-rounded exercise actually involves more of your muscles and a larger range of motion than crunches.

Muscles in your chest and legs, connecting stabilizer muscles and hip flexors are all employed, giving you a full body workout. And when you challenge yourself to reach the level where you can consistently perform 100 situps at a time your benefits are even greater.

Mentally, your brain has the advantage of endorphins which are released every time your body detects stress. Performing multiple situps at once sends these endorphins to your brain, and the response from your brain raises your heart rate and metabolism. This “fight or flight” response from your mind also means that your mental alertness and awareness are peaked.

With that increased heart rate comes higher metabolism and a better ability to burn fat and maintain a healthy body weight. There is also the high level of self-esteem which comes from performing 100 situps without stopping. This impressive physical achievement is rare among human beings to say the least. Additionally, a side benefit that you may not have considered is the desire to push yourself in other ways physically.

You have worked up from 10 consecutive situps to 20, and 50, and finally 100. The boost of energy and self-pride you feel will quickly have you pushing yourself to perform 100 pushups without stopping. Then you will want to run 1.5 miles in under 10 minutes, and bench press 1.5 times your body weight. When you see such an impressive achievement as a reality in your life, suddenly, running a marathon or participating in a triathlon seems well within your grasp.

A body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion. While this is one of Newton’s scientific laws of motion, it applies as well to human beings. Your mind tends to adapt your entire behavior according to your most consistent activities. This means that when you master 100 consecutive situps, you subconsciously program your mind to spend less time sitting and more time standing, less time lounging and more time exercising.

The overall health benefits include a longer and healthier life span, cardiovascular and core strengthening, and healthy weight and fat loss. You also feel great emotionally and mentally when others comment on your new, slim, trim and powerful body, which creates even a greater desire to continue to challenge yourself physically.

5 Places to Find Support to Help You Stick to Your Exercise Goals

5 Places to Find Support to Help You Stick to Your Exercise Goals

Some of the most proven ways to support your exercising and fitness efforts are social ones. Countless studies have shown that when you get a friend or family member to team up with you in your fitness goals, both you and your partner are much more successful in achieving your intended results. The following 5 places to find support that helps you stick to your exercise goals are time tested and guaranteed to help you become the healthiest person you can be, without sabotaging your workout plans.

1 – Hit the World Wide Web

Just about everyone has a smartphone these days, and if you do, there are literally hundreds of fitness tracking applications you can download to your mobile handset. Sticking to your plan is sometimes as easy as tracking and reviewing your daily efforts. This is easy to do with a health and fitness tracking app, which you can download to your smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC.

2 – Find Support by Creating Challenging but Sensible Goals in the First Place

You are almost guaranteed to sabotage your exercise goals and workout plans if they are ridiculously lofty. Someone 30 pounds overweight that works a sedentary job and spends their evenings on the couch should not expect to run the Boston Marathon in 30 days. Make your goals achievable, but challenging as well, and you’ll have a much greater chance of sticking to your plan.

3 – Find Goal Support in Rewarding Small Milestones and Achievements

No lesser organization than the Harvard Business Review reported scientific proof that rewarding small victories is extremely important to achieving huge successes. They showed that the human brain, when presented with a short but incremental progression of improved achievements, actually extrapolates and plans for bigger successes and rewards along that growth rate over time. Rewarding yourself for performing 10 pushups, then 20, then 30 automatically programs your mind to push you to greater and more impressive physical fitness achievements down the road.

4 – Stick to Your Goals With a Laser Focus For One Fitness Activity at a Time

You may want to eat healthier, jog 5 miles a week, take up Pilates or yoga, begin lifting weights and join a local hiking club. But attempting all of these activities at once is a recipe for failure. Once you implement any one of your desired exercise or fitness activities in your life, and are performing it on a consistent basis, then integrate the next goal on your list. In six months to a year, you can be an entirely improved and different person physically and emotionally if you follow this proven “one goal at a time” plan.

5 – Make Your Goals Public and Get Someone Else Involved

We highlighted earlier that it is often times easier to achieve your fitness goals when you have a partner. At times of weakness, you and your partner can support each other. The natural competitive nature of humans is also supported when you are exercising with someone else, spurring you both on to better performances. And when you let your friends and family know of your specific fitness goals, you feel much more inclined to make them realities.

The Difference Between Losing Weight and Losing Fat

The Difference Between Losing Weight and Losing Fat

When most people say they want to lose weight, they really mean they want to reduce their body fat. If they really wanted to lose weight per se, their goal would be to reduce the weight of their bones, muscles, organs along with body fat … most likely not their real goal. Most of us want to preserve all but the body fat part.

So in reality, you want to reduce the amount of body fat you are carrying, but how much is healthy? If you are male, then you want your body fat to be around 10%; 15% for females.

Why the Scale is Your Worst Enemy

If you are trying to lose body fat, weighing yourself every day is frustrating at best. Because the scale measures your total weight, it can fluctuate up or down every time you get on the scale.

When you first started to eat fewer calories, you probably showed a significant drop in numbers on the scale. But because carbs bind to water, lowering your carb intake reduced the amount of water in your body, so the real loss was not body fat, but water loss – the water had fewer carbs to attach to. If you start eating more carbs again, your weight will go up proportionately due to water hanging onto the additional carbs.

As a matter-of-fact, you can lose body fat, gain muscle and your number on the scale can remain the same, even though you now look better. Why? Because a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat therefore your profile is much slimmer even though you weigh the same.

Measuring Body Fat

The only real way to measure body fat loss accurately at home is by measuring your girth in the same places each time with a pair of body fat calipers – the neck, chest, arms, waist and thighs. Your waist measurement should go down, but the rest of your measurements should go up.

Train for Success

The best overall workout strategy is a mix of cardio and strength training. Cardio burns more calories and thus speeds up fat loss, but it alone is not enough; without strength training, you’ll end up losing muscle. Through strength training, you’ll tone the muscle you have and build more. And because more muscle means you’ll burn more calories throughout the day, developing muscle mass is the key to long-term weight management.

Most likely your real goal of “losing weight” is to lose body fat and build muscle. Use the advice in this article to reach your goal.

Why You Should Eat More Protein for Better Fitness Results

Why You Should Eat More Protein for Better Fitness Results

Protein is the macronutrient building block of the body. It is what builds bones, muscle, cartilage, skin, nails and blood. But this all-important nutrient does not stop there. Because it is an amino acid, it also helps synthesize enzymes and hormones, maintains fluid balance, and regulates vital bodily functions, like creating antibodies, protecting against infection, and helping with blood clotting and scar tissue formation.

And because your body does not store protein, you need a certain amount every day just to adequately nourish your body so it can function. But a question frequently ask is how much is the right amount?

Let’s start by clearing up one misconception – more is not necessarily better. The body can only use up so much protein at one time. If your goal is building muscle mass you need a maximum of just under 1 gram of protein for each pound of body weight to maintain tissue construction which is what builds muscle mass; the actual formula is 0.9 gram of protein per pound of weight. Anything more is just wasted and can be counterproductive to your goal.

If your goal is weight loss, that amount drops to 0.36 gram per pound of body weight. Doing the math, we find a 170-pound person wanting to lose weight should consume about 61 grams of protein per day, whereas the goal of someone wanting to build muscle would be 153 grams.

Calorie-wise, protein should make up about 20% of your total daily calories. So taking the above number into consideration at 4 calories per gram of protein, this would give you a diet of 1,952 calories per day to lose weight and 4,896 calories per day to build muscle, respectively.

Keep in mind this is a starting point. Because each body is different, you’ll have to monitor your results and adjust your protein intake accordingly. Ideally, you’ll settle somewhere in between these two figures.

However, do not go let your protein intake go above 30%. Doing so at the sacrifice of carbohydrates changes your metabolism into a state called ketosis. The result is a suppressed appetite (causing you to eat less) and an increase in fluid excretion in the form of urine (resulting in water weight loss). While this would seem like a good thing, because you are losing weight, you are losing it for all the wrong reasons and can lead to severe dehydration and malnutrition.

As this article shows, eating more protein – up to a point – can help you achieve your fitness goal. The key is to eat smart by eating around 50% of your daily calories as complex carbohydrates, 30% good fats (poly and mono-unsaturated) and 20% protein and then adjusting as needed based on your desired results.

How Quickly Can You Improve Your Fitness?

How Quickly Can You Improve Your Fitness?

Before answering the question of how quickly you can improve fitness, we have to accept two proven assumptions:

1. The body can only improve at a certain rate.
2. You can only exercise for a given amount of time without significantly increasing your risk for injury.

Let’s look at the first one. Your fitness level can improve about 50% per week sequentially, based on the training load or how much exertion you put on your body. To further explain this, if you increase your training load (whether that load is adding five miles per week to your running or lifting an additional 20 pounds of weight per strength training session, etc.), your body will improve and adjust to the new load at the rate of:

50% the first week
25% the second week (50% of 50%)
12.5% the third week (50% of 25%)
6.25% the fourth week (50% of 12.5%)

To show it another way, it would look like this:

Week one – 50%
Week two – 75%
Week three – 87.5%
Week four – 94%

So after four weeks of training using your new routine, your body has improved 94%. To increase any more significantly, you would have to increase the load and start over again from your last stopping point.

Let’s look at the second one – you can only exercise for a given amount of time. Regardless of your fitness level, your body is conditioned at a certain level. If you try to push your body harder than you should, you increase your risk of an injury. Plus add to the fact that your body only has so much energy it can burn at any one time. Based on these two facts, don’t expect to go from being a couch potato to running 5 miles in one day- it’s just not going to happen.

However, if you begin by walking 30 minutes the first day and then start a progressive walk/run exercise routine where you strive to walk less and run more, you should, over the course of a month, reach your goal of running 5 miles.

The other fact worth noting is different parts of the body develop at different rates. Your heart and skeletal muscles responds more quickly to exercise than do your bones. So for example if you have been doing cardio training by biking, your heart and large lower muscle groups may be ready to run, but your leg bones may not and thus you have an increased risk of a stress fracture due to the pounding of running. So to take up running, you must start slow and build from there.

The bottom line is when trying to improve your fitness level, listen to your body. It will tell you if you are trying to progress too fast. Listen and adjust or be prepared to suffer the consequences!

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